This West Coast Mommy’s 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

Here's where you'll find my suggestions for fun, practical, and eco-friendly gifts for the entire family!

I don’t know about you, but every year it seems like it gets harder and harder to find just the right gift to surprise and delight the special people in my life. That’s why I’ve put together this gift guide for you! Here’s where you’ll find my suggestions for fun, practical, and eco-friendly gifts. I’ll be adding more gift ideas, reviews, idea roundups and giveaways as we go, so follow along to find the perfect present!

Here's where you'll find my suggestions for fun, practical, and eco-friendly gifts for the entire family!

There’s still time and a few spots left for just the right gift idea! Visit this post to find out how to get featured!
Continue reading

Holiday Gifts for Tea Lovers from Harney and Sons {Plus Giveaway}

There are tea people and there are coffee people. It’s not that I don’t enjoy them both, but when I sit down with a cup of tea, it’s so much more than just a cup of tea. It’s 6-year-old me staying up late, drinking sweet milky tea with my dad and sticking my pinky up in the air like a real lady. It’s curled up on the couch with my best friend drinking chai lattes and laughing together all evening. It’s garden parties in the backyard with Earl Grey tea and cute little sandwiches.

high tea

Continue reading

Panasonic’s eneloop Rechargeable Batteries Win on Christmas Morning

Did you ever have this experience as a child? You wake up ridiculously early on Christmas morning and race downstairs to rip open your presents. You’re overjoyed to find the toy you’ve been begging for all year! You eagerly pull it out of the box and turn it on and… nothing happens.

Sigh. Batteries not included, right there in the fine print on the box.

If your parents were smart, they had a package of batteries set aside for you, but in my family, this meant the hunt was on to scavenge batteries from all the other devices around the house.

That’s why whenever I give electronic or battery-powered gifts, I make sure to wrap up some batteries in there too! Instead of single-use batteries that waste resources and end up in the trash though, I choose to send rechargeable batteries.

eneloop batteries win on christmas

Continue reading

Handmade Home Decor Gift Ideas from HomeRightonline {Plus Giveaway}

Handmade Home Gift Ideas from HomeRightonline

Today I want to introduce you to Michele, the artisan behind Batisse Fashions and HomeRightonline on Etsy. Michele uses luxurious fabrics like silk, velvet, and high-thread count linens and cottons to handcraft decorative boxes, colourful glam and ethnic pillow covers, and more. If you’re looking for unique or custom handmade gifts this Christmas, head over to see what Michele can create for you!

Read on to see some of our top holiday picks and to enter a fun giveaway for your own set of silk velvet pillows or a pearl and sterling silver pendant.

Meet Michele
Continue reading

Introducing Disney Princess Jasmine {Win a Royal Dreams Castle!}

I was technically an adult when Disney’s Aladdin first came out, but I felt like a little girl again the first time I watched this magical tale. And again when I showed it to my daughters for the first time many years later! Jasmine is more than just a pretty princess. In a time when she might be expected to be a passive prize handed over to the suitor of her father’s choosing, Jasmine is strong, courageous, intelligent, and independent. She knows her own mind, and she has a pet tiger! Those are qualities we’d all love our daughters to have. (Except maybe for the tiger – imagine the litter box!)

Meet Hasbro’s Disney Princess Royal Shimmer Jasmine Doll!

Disney Princess Royal Shimmer Jasmine

Continue reading

Hotmilk Forever Yours Nursing Bra Review {And Giveaway}

I bought my first nursing bras three years ago while I was pregnant with Brooks. My body was doing all sorts of weird, new things, and the drastic changes—coupled with raging hormones—sent my self-esteem plummeting. I’d go to bed and wake up to aching breasts that had somehow grown a cup size larger overnight, and not in a way that felt attractive to me.

I imagined myself more as a porpoise than a life-giving goddess.

maternity picture

Continue reading

Roasted Sweet Potato and Coconut Cream Soup in a Blender {Kenmore Pro Blender Review & Giveaway}

This roasted sweet potato and coconut cream soup is gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, and Whole30 friendly. Here's how to make it in a blender!

Back in the day, I was the queen of takeout. Chinese, sushi, Thai, pizza… anything so long as I didn’t have to cook it! Once the kids came along though, I felt obligated to spend more time in the kitchen making healthy meals for them. In the process, I’ve discovered I actually like preparing home cooked meals for my family. I know, it was a shock to me too!

This roasted sweet potato and coconut cream soup is gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, and Whole30 friendly. Here's how to make it in a blender!

Continue reading

Kubo and the Two Strings Now on Blu-ray {Plus a Giveaway}

I can think of only a select few movies this year that I want to have in my personal collection. A very small number of films that I and my family will watch over and over again. Kubo and the Two Strings is one of them.

Even if I hadn’t been invited to attend an advance screening in L.A., even if I hadn’t had the chance to hear Director Travis Knight talk about his love for stop motion animation and his inspiration for this movie, even if I hadn’t been a part of any kind of promotion for this movie, I would still tell you to bring this home for your family.Kubo combo pack

“Kubo and the Two Strings is an epic action-adventure set in a fantastical Japan from acclaimed animation studio LAIKA. Clever, kindhearted Kubo ekes out a humble living, telling stories to the people of his seaside town. But his relatively quiet existence is shattered when he accidentally summons a spirit from his past which storms down from the heavens to enforce an age-old vendetta. Now on the run, Kubo joins forces with Monkey and Beetle, and sets out on a thrilling quest to save his family and solve the mystery of his fallen father, the greatest samurai warrior the world has ever known. With the help of his shamisen, a magical musical instrument, Kubo must battle gods and monsters, including the vengeful Moon King and the evil twin Sisters, to unlock the secret of his legacy, reunite his family, and fulfill his heroic destiny.”

Continue reading

Mom Talks: Handling Children’s Pain and Fever

When you become a mom, life as you know it changes completely and forever. All of a sudden you’re responsible for keeping a tiny, helpless being alive every second of every day. I know I felt the pressure, especially when my first baby came along. When we took Tee home from the hospital, I kept thinking there had to be more to the process. The midwife just put her in my arms and sent us on our way. Wait. That’s it?

To be honest, those first few weeks were really anxiety-provoking. I worried over every sniffle, every cough, every twitch, every hiccup. Once I was nursing Tee in my arms and she rolled off the nursing pillow onto the bed. She couldn’t have fallen more than 6 inches, but I was horrified and worried I’d broken my baby. I stayed up most of the night watching her sleep to make sure she didn’t stop breathing.

And then my second precious little girl came along. Twice the vulnerability, but twice the sweetness too!

loving sisters

Continue reading

Mom & Kids Black Friday 2016 Sale Directory {Win an AppleCheeks Caturday Cover}

Black Friday 2016 Sales Directory - Here's where you'll find all the best deals on cloth diapers, baby carriers, mom & baby gear, and more!

No matter what your budget, there’s no denying that Black Friday is the best time of the year to stretch your cloth diapering, baby wearing and mama gear budget! Whether you’re shopping for Christmas gifts or building your own stash, you’ve come to the right place. The fabulous retailers in This West Coast Mommy & Maman Loup’s Den’s Black Friday Sale Directory have deep discounts, bonus offers and giveaways to entice Canadian and American shoppers!

To find what you’re looking for, use “CTRL + F” (Command + F on a Mac) to search for particular brands, or offers such as “free shipping.”

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway at the very bottom of the page to win a one size Caturday AppleCheeks envelope cover, and leave us a comment thanking our participating retailers for making their sales so easy to find!

Continue reading