Thursday, December 3, 2020

Leslie Loves...{Unique Gift Ideas}

Hi friends! I got a little side-tracked {Thanksgiving, sickness, work...blah, blah, blah}, so this took a little longer than I expected...but I am back with another gift guide!  

We all have that one person {or five} for whom it is SO.HARD to find the perfect gift! Maybe it's because he {yes, he!} buys what he wants/needs when he wants/needs it...even if it is the week before Christmas!  Or maybe it's because she seems to already have everything you can think to gift her. Well, I've compiled a few ideas that will hopefully help you with that hard-to-shop for person on your list.  Please drop me a comment of unique gift ideas you've given or that you would love to receive! Any help in this category is much-appreciated...AM.I.RIGHT?!!?

Digital Photo Frame: We've given this gift to grandparents on both sides of our family.  It is perfect because it is literally no work for them {after you help them connect the frame to WiFi}...and it is very minimal work for you {and other family members/friends who want to share photos}. You can send pics directly from your phone to the frame from the Nixplay mobile app or directly via email.

Facial Steamer: I know the primary purpose of these is to hydrate skin and clear pores...but I was desperately wishing I had one the other day when my head was throbbing from congestion and the hot shower steam wasn't doing the job! Anyway, I've heard amazing things about these from a beauty/skincare perspective from a couple of friends...but I'm pretty sure it would also be nice to have for allergy/congestion season! Bonus: this one also works as a humidifier. 

Custom Door Mat: A pretty and functional doormat, available in a variety of designs and several different sizes.  We have one of these mats {24 x 36}, and I love it!

Portable Photo Printer: We received {an older version of} this printer as a gift a few years ago, and it has been so awesome to have a way to quickly print high-quality pics at home.  Throw in some extra ink and photo paper if your budget allows.

Indoor Garden: Give the gift that keeps on giving!  Anyone can grow fresh herbs and vegetables with this self-watering indoor garden. Available in a 3-pod kit or 9-pod kit.

Phone Charger and Sanitizer: Simultaneously charge your phone while sanitizing it...nothing screams #PerfectGiftFor2020 more than this! Plus, it works on more than phones! Although it was designed with smartphones in mind, it will sanitize anything that fits inside.  If your gift recipient has a larger phone or a thick case, go for the PhoneSoap Pro, which is larger and has twice the bulbs as the PhoneSoap3

Massage Gun: these are all the rage this year, and this brand is the best of the best! I am kicking myself because somehow Ryan talked me into ordering him one of these in late October...why didn't I save this for a Christmas gift?!!? I'm not sure the difference in the mini versus the "big dog," but you can check out the full-size version here.

Family Tree: Display your family tree on a literal tree! Love this sentimental gift idea.

Scotch-Infused Toothpicks: A fun gift for any bourbon lover! A unique little luxury with amazing reviews! 

Wine Chiller: Keep wine chilled for a very pretty container! 

Personalized Blanket: This is another one we've gifted to multiple grandparents, so I can personally attest to the great quality and cozy softness of these blankets. 

If you haven't seen the Stocking Stuffer gift guides, you can find them here: for her, for him, for kids.

How much Christmas shopping do you have left?

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Leslie Loves...{Stocking Stuffers for Kids}

Happy Thursday, Friends! I feel like I'm really on a roll here...Post #3 of the Christmas Gift Guide series. 

I pretty much stuck with my knowledge base on this one. I tried to keep it gender neutral, but this list is probably ideal for kids aged 3-8ish. Of course there are things on the list that younger and older kids would love and/or get use out of...but I'll admit that the list as a whole is sort of designed around the life phase I am living {because let's face it, it's our kids' world and we're just living in it!}. I hope a few of these ideas will make your shopping a little easier!

Crayola Bath Bombs: Our boys typically prefer showers...and they like to stay in there FOR-EV-ER. Needless to say, baths are a quicker option...excluding the time it takes to battle/convince them to take a bath rather than a shower. That is when these little bath bombs save the day! Both boys will happily take a bath if I offer up a bath bomb. {It's not bribing, just negotiation!}

Body Wash/Shampoo/Conditioner: If your child has any type of skin sensitivity, this is your solution! I am devastated because they are discontinuing this line of kids bath products, so STOCK.UP.NOW {at a discounted price!}. If you don't have a need for all three products, you can buy them individually {we use the shampoo and body wash interchangeably}: Body Wash, ShampooConditioner.

Kids Hydro Flask and Inchbug Labels: I know these are expensive for a kid's water bottle, but the way they hold up to the wear and tear of daily toddler use makes them worth every penny! Both of our boys have these for school, and their water is still cold at the end of the day. My favorite part: they're dishwasher safe! The Inchbug Labels are the best way I've found to make sure these expensive water bottles make it home! With no chance the label will come off like stickers or rub off like markers, it minimizes the possibility of the water bottle getting lost. I rarely remove the labels, just leave them on when running the Hydro Flask through the dishwasher.

Tetris Puzzle: Challenging fun for a wide age range of kids {and adults too}.

Paint by Sticker Book: Keep them busy with this fun, educational art activity book.

Personalized Flashlight: All kids love flashlights...make it even cooler by adding their name! 

Runaway Alarm Clock: The perfect gift for your hard-to-wake kid! Available in several colors.

Socks {Boys} {Girls}: There's no better time than Christmas to re-stock the essentials. Might as well throw some underwear {boys} {girls} in there too!

Battery-Powered Toothbrush and Flavored Floss: make brushing their teeth fun!

Card Games: So many options for family game nights, including UnoGo FishMemoryGuess WhoOld Maid.

Table Topics for Kids: This is a great way to get your kids talking...and they LOVE having the power of picking a card to get the conversation started. This kids set comes with 40 questions. If you're looking for additional questions designed to get your kids to participate in the conversation, try Table Topics for Families, which comes with 135 questions.

Sunglasses: These sunglasses look like the cool ones the grownups wear...and they even come with a cloth cleaning case!  The frames are flexible {ear pieces can literally be bent all the way out} and the lenses are scratch-proof. They come in so many colors and four different sizes. We've had great success with these sunglasses: Huston has not broken his, and it took Sterling almost a full year to break his {that is saying a lot!!!}.

Under the Sea Craft/Sewing Kit: This is probably better suited for slightly older kids {I'd trust Huston (5) with the beginners sewing needles; Sterling (almost 3)...not so much!}. What a fun activity to simultaneously encourage problem-solving and creativity! Other sets available: Farm Animals, Dinosaurs, Jungle Animals.

Don't forget to check out the other Gift Guides I've posted: Stocking Stuffers for Her and Stocking Stuffers for Him.  

What other Gift Guides would you like to see?

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Leslie Loves...{Stocking Stuffers for Him}

Looky, Looky...I'm back with another post, so I can officially call this a "series" of holiday gift guides, right?!!?

Am I the only person who thinks that guys are incredibly hard to buy for? Could it possibly be because they tend to buy what they want/need whenever they want/need it? And does it seem like they specifically do this right around the time you want to buy them a gift? 

Well, I've brainstormed, scoured the internet and conducted a few surveys {very official, let me tell you!} to try to make shopping for the men in your life a little easier/less anxiety-inducing than in years past! Let's get right to it...

Stance No-Show Socks: A good pair of no-show socks is hard to find...and these are good! They don't slip down off your heels and scrunch up under your foot in your shoe. 

Dad and Kid Socks: These are really great dress socks in general...but you have no idea how much the little guy will LOVE matching Daddy! It's priceless!

2UNDR Boxer Briefs: It blows my mind how expensive men's underwear is, but my normally fiscally conservative husband {i.e. penny pincher} assures me that quality underwear is well worth the investment. This brand is one of his favorites. 

Instant Cocktail Cubes: Just drop a single cube into a shot of vodka/splash of water to make a quick Old-Fashioned, Manhattan or Moscow Mule.  If he prefers a lighter cocktail, try this trio to make a Mojito, Cosmo or Mint Julep.

Shower Beer Holder: A little silly, a lotta fun! And if I'm going to enjoy a glass of wine or sip on some bubbly in the bath, then he should be able to have a cold beer in the shower.

Engraved Apple Watch Band: You can't beat the look of a leather band on an Apple Watch. I love that the engraved initials and/or the message on the inside make this such a personalized gift. Available in black, brown and tan.

New Phone, Who Dis? A hilarious adult party game. 

Wireless Meat Thermometer: The perfect gift for the grilling master! This is a newer model of the one that Ryan uses, and the only complaint he's ever had with his thermometer is that he wishes he could monitor it on his phone/app. This updated version does just that...and also comes with two additional probes.  If you don't care about the phone/app availability and only need two probes, I can attest {via the master chef in our home} that this model works incredibly well.

Peeps Glasses Cleaner: This is the perfect tool to clean your sunglasses {or regular glasses} without scratching the lenses. It would be great to leave in a vehicle...where you always seem to notice how dirty your sunglasses are but never have the right cloth to clean them!
Gaiter Face Mask: This is the type of mask that Ryan prefers to wear. He joked this summer that it was actually a benefit to get to wear it because it protected his neck and face from the sun...and now that winter is rolling around, these gaiter masks will keep him warm! These come in a variety of colors. We buy them in packs of six {because ain't nobody got time to be doin' laundry every night!}.

Pocket Hand Sanitizer: This is one of the very few sanitizers I've found that doesn't leave your hands sticky and smelling like alcohol. Plus, it contains aloe vera so it isn't as drying as other sanitizers. The best thing about this line is that it fits perfectly in a pocket and contains 500+ sprays.

Portable Charger: There seem to be at least a million portable chargers out there, so I took some time to do a little research...and every resource kept pointing back to this one. If you're looking for something a little more compact and don't need the rapid recharge speed, this model may be a better {and cheaper!} option.

No-Fog Shower Mirror: Ryan has had this exact mirror for 4.5 years now {the date I bought it popped up when I found it on Amazon}, and it is still going strong.  That says a lot given that two little boys have had their little fingers all over it and dropped it at least 2,476 times.

Poo-Pourri: I don't think there is a man in this world who doesn't have a need for this!

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Leslie Loves...{Stocking Stuffers for Her}

Hello, Hello! I'm back with another round of "Leslie Loves..." This is the first of a series {hopefully I'll get them done!} of holiday gift guides. I love stocking stuffers...probably to a fault given that the stockings are usually overflowing at our house on Christmas morning.  It's just so fun to find little things that will actually fit in the stockings...until there are too many little things to actually fit in the stockings. Ha. 

Anyway, enough chit chat...let's get down to business! I present to you Post #1 of the 2020 Leslie Loves Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers for Her...

Initial Necklace: A great necklace for every day wear; perfect for layering. If you don't love the personalized initial on the pendant, this necklace is a great alternative.

Face Masks: These are my favorite of all the face masks I have. They are breathable {as breathable as a face mask can be} and comfortable {relative}. Added bonus: they are cute and neutral, so they are like an accessory to your outfit. Kinda. Maybe. Ok, not really...but they are cute in terms of face masks.

No-Crease Hair Ties: Because hair creases are ugly.  Plus, these don't pull or break my hair...and I am convinced they even help my thin hair look a little thicker when it's up in a top knot.

Tyler Diva Sachets: You're probably aware of my obsession with the Diva laundry detergent, so it's no surprise that I love these little Diva sachets. Toss them in the dryer like a dryer sheet to freshen up your laundry and leave it smelling amazing! 

Corkscrew and Bottle Opener Set: This set is so pretty and fun; perfect to display on a bar cart!

Satin Pillowcase: This just might be the next best thing to dry shampoo for your hair! Not going to lie, I had my doubts about all the hype surrounding satin/silk pillowcases...but I received one of these for my birthday, and it really does make a difference. I have significantly less "bed head" after sleeping on my satin pillowcase. These pillowcases also claim to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and improve your skin's hydration. I can't say I've noticed a huge change in my skin {in the month and a half I've been using my pillowcase}, but I'll never turn down something that may slow the aging process!

Stress Relief Rollerball: I don't know much about essential oils, but I can personally verify that Aveda aromatherapy products work! I first used the Aveda Blue Oil rollerball when I was pregnant with Huston and couldn't take anything for my migraines. It was the only thing that helped reduce the pain. For stress relief, I apply this to the temples of my head, the back of my neck and the insides of my wrists. Maybe it's all in my head, but either way, it reduces my stress/anxiety {and smells so fresh and clean}, so I call it a win!

Bath Bombs: Baths are my escape, my "me time," the sanity-saving moments after a long and/or hard day. With all that said, I take my bath products seriously...and these bath bombs are legit!

Cozy Socks: Who wouldn't love a cute pair of cozy socks to lounge in on a cold winter day...especially necessary in the Work From Home era we're living in!

Tweezer Set: I just love this pretty set of tweezers! Plus, I feel like I'm constantly rummaging through my {disastrous} drawer to find my misplaced tweezers when I need them, so maybe this nice little case would make them easier to find???

MakeUp Eraser: I was hesitant to believe that this incredibly soft, pretty pink cloth could remove all of my makeup {including waterproof mascara} by just adding water...but it works! Gently wiping this wet cloth over your entire face seriously removes every trace of makeup. And it's reusable...just throw it in the washing machine and it comes out looking brand new!

Hair Turban: This hair towel/turban absorbs water to dry your hair faster and reduce frizz and static. It's easy to wrap your hair in and so lightweight that you might forget it's on your head.

Ice Roller for Face: A fabulous tool for self-care! It reduces puffiness and redness while soothing your skin. It promotes blood flow/circulation to make skin look more vibrant.  Added perk: it can be used for to the pain of a tension headache or migraine. 

USB Lighter: This.Is.Genius! It recharges just like your cell phone. 

Wick Trimmer: I didn't realize how important it is to trim the wicks of candles...but it can extend the life of a high quality candle by up to two hours because it ensures that it evenly burns.

Anecdote Candle: A true tribute to the craziest year in the history of...ever! "Smells like WFH and WTF." This just might be the perfect way to close out burning it down!

What do you want in your stocking?

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Leslie Loves...{Sephora Beauty Insider Sale Edition}

Well hello's been awhile! Years, actually!  Turns out, being mom to two tiny tyrants little boys tends to interfere with time available to blog. But what can I say...I wouldn't trade it for the world. Being their mom is the absolute best role God has allowed me to fill.  I will continue to invest every minute of my time in my family...but I'm also going to try to throw a blog post in here and there because I've missed this!

I thought the best way to jump back in would be to revive the good 'ole "Leslie Loves..." series. I just spent entirely too much money made a solid investment in makeup and beauty products this past weekend thanks to the fall Sephora Beauty Insider sale, so I thought I'd share with you the products I use and love. Let's just jump right in...

Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation: I know this foundation is pricey, but it is THE.BEST I've found. It goes on so smooth {I use a BeautyBlender to apply it} and feels weightless on your face while providing medium to full coverage.  For reference, I wear color 6.5.

NARS Blush: I've used this blush for as long as I can remember. It's buildable, so you can make it as natural or as dramatic as the occasion calls for. 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz: This is the perfect brow pencil to fill and enhance brows and leave them looking natural...and it is EASY.TO.USE {which is critical for me!}. I use the color taupe.

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow Contour Duo: If you are like me and have no clue how to contour but still want to look like you have defined cheekbones, this is the product for you! 

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer: The very best I've found to cover the dark circles under my eyes...and it doesn't crease throughout the day! I use Cannelle under my eyes and Honey to cover blemishes.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara: I've been using this mascara as long as I've been using the NARS blush. I've tried others and just keep going back to this. It lengthens and adds volume to my lashes...and best of all, it doesn't clump!

Smashbox Halo Setting Powder: The best setting powder for a perfect finish that will last all day. I've been known to skip the foundation on occasion and just use this to even out my complexion.  I use Light/Medium in the summer and Light/Neutral in the winter.

Michael Kors Perfume: This is my old faithful, signature scent.  It is a fresh and clean scent; the perfect mix of warm and cool. It is long-lasting, as I still get compliments at the end of the day.

Dr. Dennis Gross Tan Towels:  I hate being pasty-white, but I refuse to subject myself to a tanning this is my solution! These towels provide a much more even faux tan than the liquid sprays or lotions. The result is natural looking, not oompa loompa orange! These tan towels also come in a smaller version if you're just looking to add some color to your face.

DryBar Triple Sec: Although this is technically a texturing spray, I also use it as dry shampoo. It gives my hair instant volume and a little grit to help with styling...and strangely enough, it also gives it a refresh when I'm trying to squeeze in another day before a wash.

Sephora only does these sales twice per year {in the spring and fall}, so now is the time to stock up...and maybe even buy a few Christmas gifts! Since it’s been a minute since the last “Leslie Loves...” post and in the spirit of full disclosure, I just want to remind you that this post contains affiliate links {i.e. if you click a link and buy the product, I may receive a small commission. There is no added cost to you}. However, I promise you that I use {and love!} everything included in this post...which is the whole point of me sharing with you. 

This was fun to put together, and I hope you find it useful. If you have a minute, please drop me a comment to let me know what you’ve been up to...and what you’d like to see in future blog posts. It's great to be back in the blogging world!