Countdown to Christmas this year‘s best advent calendars

Countdown to Christmas: This Year’s Best Advent Calendars

It’s November 1st, and if you haven’t started planning out your fun Christmas activities, today is a great day to start. One of our family’s favorite traditions is an advent calendar. They’ve changed over the years as our kids have grown. Some years I put together the little advent goodies to open each day, but on other years I felt like it was much easier to buy one that was ready-made. Today I am sharing a dozen of the best advent calendars you can find this year.

Below you can find a description of each calendar. You can either click on the name of the calendar to be taken directly to the retailer, or you can click on the photo below to be taken to my LTK shop. Did I miss a really great advent calendar that you’d recommend? Be sure to let me know in the comments.

This year‘s best advent calendars

Playmobil was the very first advent calendar our kids did! Pro tip: This is actually a reusable advent calendar. Open the boxes carefully and save them to use again year after year. Click HERE for the Playmobil advent calendar.

Pukka Tea makes a wonderful advent calendar. My daughter and I did this together one year, and it is one of her favorite memories. Pukka tea is organic and sustainably sourced. Click HERE for the Pukka Tea advent calendar.

Dog Treat advent calendar is always fun to do at least one year if you have a furry friend. Our family had a ton of fun spoiling our pups with these delicious treats each day. We even made them pose with a Santa hat to get a cute photo opening their box each day. Click HERE for the dog treat advent calendar.

Rituals bath, body, and beauty advent calendar is really exciting for the makeup fan in your house. It even comes with little string lights to decorate the tree. Click HERE for the Rituals advent calendar.

Sugarfina advent calendar is perfect for the person who wants a little sweet treat each day. Each drawer is filled with FOUR pieces of candy! Click HERE for the Sugarfina advent calendar.

Harry & David Deluxe Advent Calendar is highly rated. These are some of the most decadent truffles you can taste. Click HERE for the Harry & David advent calendar.

This Wooden Advent Calendar is perfect for busy, small hands. No worries if they want to add the ornaments over and over again. With 5-star reviews from parents who love it, you can’t go wrong with it for small children. Click HERE for the wooden advent calendar.

Lego Advent Calendars are a hit with kids and adults who are kids-at-heart! Our college aged son picked this out for himself this year; he remembers having a lot of fun doing a similar one as a kid. Click HERE for the Lego Advent Calendar.

Coffee Advent Calendars are perfect for the coffee lover. They’re going to drink a cup each morning, so why not make it fun and festive? We love this one for the Keurig owner. Click HERE for the coffee advent calendar.

I am especially excited about this Bon Mamman advent calendar. I love their French jams and honey. For the price, I think this is one is a gem. It has sold out on a few websites, but I found one that still has it in stock. Click HERE for the Bon Mamman advent calendar.

Ornament advent calendars can help you get into the holiday spirit each day. At $125, this is one of the pricier advent calendars on the list this year, but I think these little glass ornaments are beautiful. Pro tip: save the calendar to store the ornaments in for next year. Click HERE for the ornament advent calendar.

The Adventure Challenge advent calendar is one of the more affordable calendars on the list this year. It is also one of my favorite finds! This advent calendar has a little scratch off box each day with an activity to do together with your loved ones. The website says, “this holiday edition was created to help build new holiday traditions, find new ways to connect during a busy season, and enjoy time with loved ones.” Love it! Click HERE for the adventure challenge advent calendar.

I’d love to know which ones your family did this year! Follow me on Facebook to share a photo of your advent calendar. You can also find me on Instagram and LTK, just search “BelleAntiquarian.”

Until next time!


Activity gift guides for the whole family

Activity Gift Guides for the Whole Family

Today I am sharing some activity related gift guides for the whole family. These are gift ideas for the “tech tired” shopper. The gifts featured are ones that will involve the gift recipient in fun activities and hobbies and will get them up off of the couch and off of their phones.

Below each picture you’ll find a list of the items in each group. You can either click on the item’s name to be taken directly to the site, or you can click on the picture to find the gift guide on my LTK where I’ll be featuring curated gift guides all season long.

Here are a few gift ideas for the the men:

Click the photo to find the commissionable links for these exact gifts.

Here are some activity gift ideas for Women:

Click the photo to be taken to the exact links for these gifts.

Here are some activity gift ideas for the older teen boy:

Click the photo to find the exact links for these gifts.

Here are some activity gift ideas for the older teen girl:

Click the photo to be taken to the exact links for these gifts.

Next are some activity gift ideas for kids:

Activity gift ideas for kids

Finally, here are some activity gift ideas for toddlers to enjoy:

Activity gift ideas for toddlers

If you’re looking for more gift ideas this season, be sure to follow me on LTK or subscribe to my blog in the box below. (You can unsubscribe at any time.)

Activity gift guides for the whole family

Stocking Stuffer Ideas for the Whole Family

Here are a few stocking stuffer ideas for toddlers:

Next, here are some stocking stuffer ideas for little girls:

And now, here are some stocking stuffer ideas for little boys. Just a heads up that there are only a few of the Santa Legos in stock:

Here are a few stocking stuffer ideas for teens:

Dad would love any of these stocking stuffers on Christmas morning:

Last, but definitely not least, here are some stocking stuffer ideas for the ladies! Men, do not forget to fill Mama’s stocking. We don’t want the kiddos thinking she was on Santa’s naughty list.

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What Do You Give Someone Who Has Everything?

A follower recently messaged me asking for advice on what kind of Christmas gift to get for the person who has everything. In her case, she was shopping for her in-laws and parents, who didn’t really *need* anything. In this situation, I recommend one of two categories: Consumables or Experiences.

Consumable gifts are gifts that are going to be used. This could be something that is eaten or something that will last for just a season. Of the two categories I am featuring today (Consumables/Experiences), I generally prefer to give consumable gifts the most. Consumable gifts require less effort for the gift recipient.

Here are a few examples of consumable gifts:

  1. Real Christmas greenery – This can work for both local and long-distance gifts. For several years we bought table top Christmas trees or wreaths for both my Dad, who lives 1,500 miles away, and my Mother-in-Law, who lives 30 minutes away. This a great gift that will last for the season, and then it can just be thrown away. HERE is my favorite place to order from. Make sure that you enter the shipping address as the gift recipient’s address. Also be sure to leave a gift message. When I receive an email notification that it’s been shipped, I like to call or send a text that says, “Something we ordered for you should arrive on XX/XX/XXXX. Merry Christmas!”
  2. Specialty food gifts – This is often a decadent splurge that people don’t spend on themselves, but love to receive as gifts. In the past I have sent filet steaks for a big birthday year. I have also sent gifts of gourmet pears, apples, and specialty cheeses. These are great gifts for long-distance family members. For local family members, I like to put together my own basket at World Market or order one from Sprouts. When I am ordering food gifts to be shipped, THIS is my food gift favorite retailer. If you want to take a specialty food gift up a notch, consider a food of the month subscription! I’ll never forget the year my parents were gifted a subscription to the Fruit of the Month – it was something we all looked forward to!
  3. Another great “consumable” gift is a personalized calendar. You can easily create and personalize one with digital photos. At the end of the year, your gift recipient isn’t left with any clutter or junk; they can simply throw it away! One year for Christmas I created a calendar for my dad. Each month featured different pictures of him with his grandkids. I would say that is 100% grandparent gold!

Experience gifts are another great idea for the person who has everything. However, there are a few things I would keep in mind when gifting experiences. Make sure you consider if the experience you are gifting is good for an individual or a couple. Would the experience be something that the recipient would actually enjoy doing? I’ll explain more in a minute.

  1. A good experience gift for a long-distance family member or friend would be to find a highly rated local restaurant, and send them a gift card for it. Take it up a notch and ask if you can make the reservation for them. When you call the restaurant, explain that you are gifting an experience at the restaurant, and ask if there is anything special they can do. Sometimes they’ll offer a complimentary dessert or something.
  2. Theater tickets for an upcoming show or concert are a great “experience” gift. This would require some planning ahead of time to make sure the gift recipient is free on the day of the show. (Tickets for a sporting event would fall into this category as well.)
  3. A gift certificate to take a class would be a fun experience gift for the person who has everything. Maybe they have always wanted to learn French cooking, photography, or salsa dancing. A quick internet search should help you find the perfect class for something your gift recipient is interested in.
  4. A day at the spa or salon. This doesn’t just have to be for women! Try giving a certificate for a couple’s massage. A local Foot Palace pedicure would be enjoyable to both men and women.

And now a few things to consider for the “experience” gifts. If your gift recipient is single, it might not be the best idea to give them theater tickets unless you’re planning to take them. For me personally, a spa/salon day would not be an enjoyable gift, because I do not enjoy those types of things. Make sure the experience you are gifting is one the recipient would actually enjoy, and not something that you think that they SHOULD enjoy.

I hope these ideas help you to find the perfect gift for the person who has everything! To find all of the consumable gifts that I recommend in one spot, you can follow the commissionable links HERE or click on the photo below.

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More Christmas Gift Ideas

Welcome back for another roundup of Christmas gift guides! If you remember from my last post, my goal isn’t to get you to buy something that you weren’t planning on getting. I want to give you some ideas for gifts you were already going to buy.

You can click any of the gift guides below to find the commissionable links for those exact items. Subscribe below, and never miss a gift guide!

First up, some ideas for your mom or mother-in-law. Sometimes Mom is hard to shop for because she already has everything. Many of the items on this gift guide are sentimental things she’ll love.

Next, some ideas for dear ol Dad!

Need some ideas for those hard to shop for teen girls? Here you go…!

What about the kid who has everything? Here are a few ideas that will keep them busy!

Headed to a party this holiday season? Don’t arrive empty handed!

Do you have a coffee lover in your life? Here are a few unique gifts they would enjoy!

What about a foodie? Who knows, maybe they’ll whip something up with one of these gifts and share it with you!

Ready for December! Count down the days to Christmas with a fun advent calendar. Here are a few advent calendars for grownups and kids!

I hope these gift guides gave you some ideas! Let me know what kind of gifts you need help with!

Christmas Gift Ideas

You may have seen gift guides popping up everywhere this year, and normally I don’t jump on the bandwagon. I am the kind of person that runs away from the bandwagon. Except, I love gift guides. Some people are SO EASY to shop for. And some are not. Some people LOVE shopping, and some don’t.

It’s kind of like when you don’t feel like cooking dinner, but the family needs to be fed. It sure would be easier if you knew what to cook. That’s what gift guides do; they help you get ideas for presents that you already had on your list to buy.

With the help of my grownish kids and husband, I’ve put together some gift guides for Christmas. Just in case you need ideas like me, this will give you a head start. If you want to find these exact items, simply click on the photo to find the commissionable links for those items!

Gift ideas for the casual chick:

Gift Ideas for the outdoorsy guy:

Gift ideas for the gym rat (fitness nut):

Gift ideas for the traveler:

Gift ideas for the techie:

College Care Packages

By now, most of the college freshmen have been moved into their dorms. Moms and Dads are at home adjusting to the absence of their offspring, and students are settling into life with their new roommates. It’s the perfect time to send a little care package to let them know they’re missed and loved.

I have a little “formula” I like to use any time I would send our son a care package from home. Below is the formula I like to use. Feel free to click on any of the pictures or highlighted words to find these exact things on Amazon! (See more info below about shipping!)

I like to put one thing from each of the following categories every time I send a box (or have it shipped directly) to our college student.

  • Something to have fun with!
  • Something to eat!
  • Something they might need to use!

Something to have fun with!

This category doesn’t have to be complicated. I like to send card games like Uno, Cards Against Humanity, or Exploding Kittens. A very popular game with college students is Catan. Other fun things that are a big hit are a simple Frisbee or something like Spike Ball. These fun things will also pull double duty when college students are trying to meet new people in their dorms or common areas. Game nights are also friendly on a college student’s budget.

Click the photo above to find links for these exact items.

If games aren’t your college student’s thing, try sending something fun for their room like a little succulent plant, fun lights, or a new journal.

Click the photo above to find links for these exact products.

Tip: Just remember, whatever you send from this category will have to be moved out at the end of the year. Don’t go overboard with big items!

Something to eat!

Even with the best meal plan or campus cafeteria, college students are going to want something to munch on in their dorm rooms. Our son’s favorite snacks to receive were these chips and dip kits, popcorners chips, nuts, small packs of candy, Pringles, and gum.

Other ideas for this category could be tea bags, hot chocolate, microwave popcorn, fruit snacks, oatmeal cups, etc.

Click the photo above to find links for these exact items.

Something they might need to use!

It may feel like you just dropped them off at college with everything but the kitchen sink, but over the next few months they’ll start to need a few things. Some things we ended up sending were: Febreze plug ins (those rooms start to stink), Downy wrinkle releaser (the small bottles are easier to send), room spray, Tide laundry pods, new toothbrushes, deodorant, toiletries, and essential oils to diffuse. We also ended up sending a small hand held vacuum that they could use for their car or room.

Find these things linked HERE.

Shipping your care packages:

Shipping care packages can get really expensive. I recommend doing one of two things: either ship directly from Amazon and don’t pay any shipping at all, or use the flat-rate boxes from the post office.

Most colleges offer free mailboxes to students that live on campus. However, I have found that most colleges will also require that students come in person to set up their box and receive a key. I have also known other colleges that receive packages in their mail center and email students when they have something to pick up. (If your student lives off-campus, just use their regular mailing address.)

The cheapest and easiest thing to do is to ship directly from Amazon. This might mean that your purchases don’t all arrive in the same box or on the same day. Just give your student a heads up that you sent a care package and XX number of packages are coming.

Package themes

If you are trying to come up with more ideas than the ones above, try picking a care package theme. Holidays (Halloween, Valentines) are easy to find things for. If you want to give them a “game night” send a text that you’re sending everything they need to have a game night with friends, and then send a few card games, chips and popcorn, candy, and soda.

This can be a hard time for students and parents. Sending a care package is a great way to reach out to them when you may be feeling disconnected. I hope these ideas help you! Let me know in the comments if you have more ideas to share with everyone.

Click the photo above for links.

Unique Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, so here’s a gift guide with some unique ideas.

Sometimes it is really hard to think of something thoughtful, yet special, to give the moms in your life. Here are a few Mother’s Day gift ideas for you. You can click any of the photos in this post for commissionable links to the gift ideas pictured.

Below is a floral or botanical press that includes all of the tools and materials she’ll need to preserve special flowers and plants.

Click any picture to find the commissionable link for that gift idea.

Next up is a neat electric tea kettle. Preparing hot drinks is a snap with this one! We happen to think it’s pretty, too!

Click any picture to find the commissionable link for that gift idea.

This cute little on-the-go getaway kit includes a brush compact, toothbrush, floss, ear plugs, sleep mask, hair ties, bobby pins and emery boards. 

Click any picture to find the commissionable link for that gift idea.

Here’s a set of two cast iron rabbit bookends to hold mom’s favorite books. This might be my favorite gift featured today!

Click any picture to find the commissionable link for that gift idea.

This foldable trunk organizer is perfect for the on-the-go mom. Whether she uses it for her grocery pick ups or keeping things from rolling around the trunk, it gets the job done.

Click any picture to find the commissionable link for that gift idea.

Save the bees! What about a print of a vintage bee image? This print comes unframed, but no need for a custom frame…it is a standard 11 x 14 size that you can find a frame for anywhere. (Try this one.)

Click any picture to find the commissionable link for that gift idea.

Moms can dress up birthday cards, Christmas cards, or invitations with a wax sealing kit. Everything she’ll need to get started is included.

Click any picture to find the commissionable link for that gift idea.

Here are some special bracelets just for mom! Buy one, a mother/daughter set, or a stacking set. We personally love the stacking set that says, “home is where mom is!” Click the caption on each picture for a commissionable link to purchase.

Is mom a wine lover? Then she’ll love this vintners standing wine opener!

Click any picture to find the commissionable link for that gift idea.

This vitruvi white stone essential oil diffuser is perfect for Mother’s Day. It’s beautiful and well made – just like mom likes.

Click any picture to find the commissionable link for that gift idea.

Not only is this a beautiful vase, it is perfect as a piece of decorative artwork. Mom will love it!

Click any picture to find the commissionable link for that gift idea.

We love this beach bag/beach hat combo! Perfect for the mom headed to travel to the beach or pool.

Click any picture to find the commissionable link for that gift idea.

We hope these ideas were helpful! Happy Mother’s Day!

Easter Basket Gift ideas for Teens

Teen Easter Basket Gift Guides

I’ve put together two teen Easter basket gift guides for you. Our 16 and 19 year olds gave me some great recommendations to share. Shopping for teens can be tricky, so we’ve taken all of the guess work out. You can find each of these gift guides over on my page with commissionable links to everything you need for your favorite teen’s Easter basket.

Click HERE (or click on the picture below) to access our Teen Boy Easter Basket Gift Guide

Click HERE (or click on the picture below) to access our Teen Girl Easter Basket Gift Guide. Our daughter recommends the small kitchen appliance that you see. She thinks other teen girls would also enjoy using it!

I’d love to hear if you have any other teen Easter recommendations. Let me know in the comments below!

Valentine’s Gift Ideas

Hello, friends!

I recently took a poll on my Instagram page, and almost everyone said they give Valentine’s gifts to their family members. I’ve rounded up a few ideas over on my Like To Know It page, just in case you are struggling to think of the perfect gift. I’ve done Valentine’s gift guides for teen girls, teen guys, ladies, and men. I haven’t done a younger kids gift guide because we don’t have younger kids at the moment, and I only want to recommend things they’d actually want. (Our teens recommend these gifts, and so do we!)

To find links to all of these things, you can either click HERE to shop from my page on Like to Know It, or if you have downloaded the app you can screenshot these pictures. LTK influencers receive a small commission if you buy through a link, but at no additional cost to you – prices stay the same.

Fun ideas for a teen girl’s Valentine’s Day – things she can use any day of the year!

Fun gift ideas for a teen boy, but if we’re being honest, lots of grown men would also like this stuff. Exploding Kittens is one of our favorite family card games. I promise no kittens are actually harmed.

Most of the items on the Valentine’s gift guide for men check off the want/need boxes. You can’t go wrong with these gifts!

Lots of things on the Valentine’s gift guide for ladies that will pamper her and make her feel special. If you haven’t slept under a weighted blanket, you don’t know the luxury you’re missing!

Links to all of these fabulous gifts can be found HERE!