2-in-1 holiday shopping

We’re in the middle of the holiday shopping season, which means chaos and confusion for most of us. Well, maybe it’s just me. Because no matter how much shopping I get done before December 1st, I always manage to procrastinate about something crucially important. But I’ve vowed to do something about it this year… and get myself a bit more technologically advanced. I mean, I streamlined all of the Christmas card craziness a few years ago with the help of mail merge and my printer… so why not extend that to shopping this year? Thank goodness I’ve got that Microsoft Surface Pro 3 in my life now!

So first… tackling Miss L’s Christmas wishes (because the holiday is really all about the kids, right?)…

Once she was done with her wish list, I quickly snapped photos of her list with the built-in camera and shared the slideshow list with the Grandparents (to make sure no one was duplicating efforts!) via email.

Then I decided to do something smart about ALL THOSE CATALOGS that I browse throughout the month.

You see, I’m ADDICTED to these silly things. I horde them in giant piles throughout the month, and pretty much drive Mr. M insane with my clutter. Because… what is better than flipping through catalogs of presents in the light of the Christmas glow? 

So this year I decided to be nicer to him, and slowly recycle the catalogs throughout the month with a new method of Christmas shopping…

So as I’m flipping through the catalog… I snap photos of the items I like using my Intel 2 in 1 device as a tablet. Then I “pin” them on a secret board on Pinterest. I think this is a little better than ripping out pages or dog-earing the pages in catalogs… but I don’t have to abandon my flipping tangible pieces of paper! 

So come December 25th, I have a feeling that both of these tricks will lead to these stockings overflowing with goodies!

And just a friendly reminder, if you’d like to join the Intel Advocate Experience, just click the image below! I promise you’ll love it!

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel This could include Intel providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

2014 holiday gift guide for the artistic kid

It’s no secret that ART is a big thing in our household, so I thought I’d share some of the best gifts I’ve seen for artistic kids in the past year in museum stores, art supply stores, and things that are well loved in our house!


Spirograph Design Kit: When the Easter Bunny gifted this to Miss l, I thought she might be a little young to fall in love with it. I was so wrong! She’s continually fascinated by the designs she can make on her own and all the different possibilities. $31.99

Master Kitz: Help your kids recreate the art of the masters with these amazing art kits! Whether it’s Starry Night or Sunflowers, these kits include the paint, materials and techniques to learn how to paint in each particular style. $29.99

Artist’s Loft Paints (from Michael’s): Walking into an art store for materials can set anyone back a pretty penny! Michael’s has watercolor, gouache, acrylic & oil paint sets for only $4.99 each, along with reasonably priced canvas and paper under the same label.

3Doodler: Older kids should be jumping on the new 3-D printing wave with enthusiasm and this pen is an easy way to do it! You literally paint in 3-D with melted plastic! $99

13 Artists Children Should Know: The perfect introduction to the masters of the art world for elementary school aged kids!


Seedling Design Your Own Super Hero Cape: Every house needs a caped crusader or two, so help your child’s dreams become a reality with this kit! $44.99

Crayola Light Up Tracing Pad: I always wanted a light box as a kid, but they were large and impractical. So I taped things to the window and traced the “old fashioned way.” Now LED lights make these kid’s versions perfect for any of your tracing needs! Miss L loves starting with a character from tracing and then adding to the rest of the scene on her own! $23.99

Crayola Marker Airbrush Set: I received this as a “fun” present a few years back from my Dad. Then Miss L got one from her uncle. It’s safe to say that everyone wants their own airbrush kit, and this one can even decorate fabric using the right markers! $29.99

Make Your Own Animal Puppets Combine art and theater with this awesome set of creative puppet pieces! $19.99

NeoLucida Drawing Tool: This portable drawing tool helps anyone sketch objects that are sitting right in front of them by projecting it on the paper below. It’s an amazing optical trick, but it’s also a fascinating aid for artists, especially those who want a lot of practice! $49.99

Point & Shoot Camera: Let your kids explore and capture the world with their own photography! Invest in a “shockproof” version with no shutter for the little kids (usually an underwater model) to minimize breakage and avoid any models that run on non-rechargeable batteries.



2014 holiday gift guide: Kim’s Favorite Things


This week I’m going to sharing a few gift guides for the holidays, so I thought I’d start out with an easy one featuring some of my favorite gifts to receive!

1) Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates. We’re so lucky to have an amazing local chocolatier here in town, and luckily she ships her loveliness across the country!. 12 piece assorted box: $22

2) HOBO Lauren wallet. The perfect wallet in every way, and everyone will ask you all about it when you use it! $110

3) Microsoft Surface Pro 3. Move over old iPads, this is definitely my favorite gadget of the year! $799

4) Philosophy Bath & Shower Gel. Scented bath stuff is neat, but there’s something extra special about the flavors that Philosophy has each year that makes everyone smile. $17.

5) Riedel “O” Key to Wine Tasting Set. This year, I learned that the wine glass matters. Buy yourself a set of these dishwasher friendly glasses and you’ll learn the same lesson! $59

6) UGGs. My first pair of UGGs were requested on my Santa list in 7th grade (that’s the Christmas of 1993). Navy blue short. And 21 years later, I’m still happy for my toes to find a snuggly pair under the tree.

the easiest pre Thanksgiving meal to prepare!

This past Sunday, we had an early “Thanksgiving” celebration with friends thanks to our friends at Raley’s. We got to sample their Holiday Dinner selections a bit before the actual holidays, and let me just share that they were fabulous!

A few years back, we discovered the brilliance of the “prepared” holiday meal… and without fail, have used it to our advantage on multiple holidays since then! Because… no everyone wants the chance to eat a frozen turkey or destroy their kitchen for hours RIGHT BEFORE guests arrive every single year. So I went to Raley’s on the Wednesday before and picked up all of the goodies (using their brilliant large burlap tote bag) and threw it all in the fridge until Sunday morning!


Raley’s Holiday Feast consisted of an 11.5 lb Diestel Turkey (happy sustainably grown local turkeys from Sonora, CA), gravy, Cranberry bliss sauce, Artisan Ciabatta Bread Stuffing, Classic mashed potatoes with herb butter and Green beans almondine.

Preparation began 90 minutes before serving time, when I popped the turkey into the oven with a meat thermometer in the breast! Then, with 50 minutes left, I popped in the mashed potatoes, and with 40 minutes left, the stuffing ingredients were mixed together and and thrown in the oven as well!

And this is what emerged… mmmm….

This pre-cooked turkey was just as moist and juicy and delicious as you can imagine, but all I had to do was “heat it up.”  I think everyone was happy that this was foolproof as well!

.Sometimes it’s just wonderful to host a party and have a meal that you KNOW will turn out delicious without the stress and worry of a crazy timetable in the kitchen. And it’s also nice to wake up at 9am, before said party, and leisurely enjoy coffee and donuts while doing the final prep.

If you’re in the “neighborhood” of a Raley’s/Nob Hill/Bel Air and are looking to make your holiday feast a little easier (or perhaps host a second party at your place?), it’s easy to order a meal right online for pickup this Thanksgiving

AND… if you’re planning to order a meal, just send me an email at contests@kimberlymichelle.com before 11/23/14 and you’ll be entered to win a $20 off coupon to use on your purchase!

matching holiday pajamas for any budget

Christmas is around the corner, which means that you should be picking out your holiday card photos and getting those printed up right away! But if you’re looking ahead to taking the perfect photos on Christmas Day, then you’re probably shopping for pajamas right now. Hanna Andersson got into the matching family PJ game a few years back (I requested holiday cards featuring such ensembles… no one delivered last year… this year maybe?), and well, now it’s most definitely a thing.

But you don’t have hundreds of dollars for a family set? Don’t worry… Target’s got you covered!



You’ve got family plaid


a family full of stripes (with doggy pj’s too!) …


the extras from Elf….


and jolly ‘ol St. Nick styles as well.

Did you want flannel pajamas too? Oh ok… you can have those too!


Choose from Skiing Santas, Penguins (light blue for women, dark blue for men), LLamas, Sock Monkeys, Space Santas and Flamingos.

The best part?  They’re priced just right for pajamas that you will only wear one night of the year (or maybe just one morning?)… and cute enough to recycle for the parents for years to come!

I’m not going to lie that I literally shouted in Target when I saw these today… and that both Miss L and Mr. M already vetoed the Elf version… but I’m excited to see all the adorable matching photos across Facebook and Instagram from Christmas morning! Maybe it’ll just be Memphis and I matching?

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