Holiday Gift Guide for the Whole Family

Don't you just love this time of year?! I really enjoying giving gifts to people (and getting them too). But sometimes coming up with ideas can be tough. Here's a little gift guide I put together for mama, papa, little man, and little lady. And there's a bunch of discount codes for my readers - so read on, buy cute gifts, and get that discount. 

For Mama

1. The Root Collective flats: These shoes are adorable and comfortable. AND this company is working for a great cause. Read more about them here. Also, they're offering a 25% discount with the code JOYTOTHEWORLD. The code is valid from Friday to Tuesday. Purchase here.  

2. Hustle Sauce t-shirt: These are my favorite shirts! Steph comes up with great designs and the quality is great. My personal favorite is the "Guau" shirt. (By the way, "guau" is the Spanish equivalent of "wow," for those who were wondering.)

3. Foundpiece FL plaque. Being a Florida girl I adore this plaque. I love the colors and geometric shapes. If Florida isn't your state you can choose your own state for a custom design. Also, there are all kinds of rustic pieces in the shop. Check it out. And they are being so generous to offer my readers a 15% discount for any item in the shop with the code GLOWINGLIGHT. The code is good through the end of the year.

4. Let's All Be Brave. I recently finished reading this book from Annie Downs. You guys, I cried. This book touched me and inspired me and challenged me and...it was the best book that I could have read in my life right now. It was a quick read too, which I can appreciate as a busy mom. Purchase here

For Papa

1. Foundpiece Deer Head Silhouette Plaque. This is a manly plaque, guys. Perfect for a man cave or bedroom or maybe even an office. And don't forget, Foundpiece is offering a 15% discount for any item in the shop with the code GLOWINGLIGHT

2. Pure Fix India Bike. When we sold Alex's car he bought this Pure Fix bike to get around. He loves it. It looks good. It's a smooth ride. And the kids love joining him on bike rides in their little trailer

3. Fitbit Wristband. Okay honestly I don't know a lot about the fitbit, but Alex said this would be a good gift for dudes, so I included it. ;-) Apparently it tracks your activity and sleep. So, you know, it's good for health reasons. :-)

4. Hustle Sauce Hoodie. This hoodie is new to the Hustle Sauce collection. It is sooo soft and I like that it has a slim fit. (pssst, it also looks good on the ladies)

For Little Man

1. The Book With No Pictures. We went to the Miami Book Fair last weekend and I purchased this book for the kids. It's written by B.J. Novak and it is hilarious! Liam laughs so much and has been requesting it every night. He calls it "the silly book." It's definitely a good one for the kids.

2. An outdoor playset. Okay, don't tell Liam and Isabel, but they are totally getting an outdoor playset for Christmas! I can't wait. I really want it to be a surprise on Christmas morning, so it'll be  interesting keeping them away from the backyard while it's being built but I'm hopeful we can pull it off. It's important to get kids outside and moving. We have a pretty big yard so this will be a great addition. 

3. Spiderman bike. Liam finally mastered the tricycle so I thought we should move on to a regular bike. I thought about getting one of those balance bikes, but I think this is better for him. Plus, he looooves Spiderman. I think he will be stoked. 

For Little Lady

1. Frozen Little Golden Book. I have always loved the Little Golden Books. I get a feeling of nostalgia when I see them. We have a pretty good collection going of some classic titles. Isabel loves Frozen. It's definitely her favorite movie. One of her first words was "Anna" if that tells you anything. So I think this little book is adorable and perfect.

2. Tres Jolie Bowtique headband. These headbands are handmade and beautiful! Isabel has one and I love it so much. Right now you can peruse the Tres Jolie instagram page and purchase through there - but they're hoping to launch an Etsy shop soon. They will be having a special sale on Black Friday and Cyber Monday so keep an eye out for the special sale prices on those days. Also, they are offering my readers an extra 10% discount on top of the sale price. Just tell her I sent you. ;-) You can search for the sales easily on instagram by searching #tjbblackfriday and #tjbcybermonday

3. Play Tea Set. So we have these little espresso cups that Isabel loves to swipe and pretend to drink out of. It's so cute and so terrifying because I really don't want her to break our cups. That's why I think it's a great idea to get her her own tea set. She will love having little tea parties. 

Happy Shopping, friends!

P.S. The winner to our Hustle Sauce giveaway is Victoria Wilson! Thanks to all who entered. We hope to have many more giveaways in the future. Congrats, Victoria!

*this post contains affiliate links.

Preparing a Family Advent Wreath

I grew up in the Catholic Church and I remember every Advent season the church would bring out a big beautiful Advent wreath with ornate candles. Each Sunday the priest would do a Scripture reading and light a candle. I knew that with each candle that was lit we were that much closer to Christmas. 

I now attend a Baptist church and they don't do the wreath thing. If there's one thing I miss about the Catholic faith it's the traditions (not all of them, but some). There's just something special about traditions. Now that Alex and I have a family of our own we are seeking to make little traditions with our kids. For example, whenever someone has a birthday we always eat special birthday pancakes for breakfast (sprinkles included!). When it comes to Christmas we want to create traditions that will point our kids to Christ. 

I started thinking about Advent and thought about doing an Advent calendar but it just didn't seem all that appealing to me. And then it popped into my head: we should make our very own family Advent wreath. 

I'm not much of a DIY girl but this is the simplest DIY ever. I got some garland from the dollar section at Target, candles (three purple, one pink, and one white) from Amazon, and a cake stand that I already had (find a similar one here). I labeled the candles with the words: hope, faith, joy, love, and Christ - because that's what each candle represents. We are planning on getting together each Sunday in Advent, lighting a candle, and doing a short reading and prayer. My hope and prayer is that this simple tradition will build the anticipation for Christmas and remind our family about the true "reason for the season." 

Does your family celebrate Advent? 

*this post contains affiliate links

The Root Collective

I was six years old when we traveled to Guatemala. We were going to attend my cousin's baptism and decided to make a big family trip out of it. 

My family has a deep connection with Central America because that's where we are from. My parents were both born and raised in Nicaragua. I was born in Honduras. After my birth we stayed in Guatemala for a month or two before moving to Miami. 

I didn't grow up in Central America but my family has always kept the memories alive by telling stories, singing songs, and displaying art from their culture.

And so when I was six we made our first family trip back to Central America. We went to Guatemala City, where my aunt and her family had settled. We visited the town markets and beautiful churches and ancient ruins. The trip left such an impression in my mind because it seemed so different from my life in the United States. I had never seen poverty like I had in this place and it was overwhelming. But there was something else too - there was beauty and hope and joy. It may have seemed like the people didn't have much, and maybe they didn't, but what they did have they were proud of. 

I have always admired the artisans in Guatemala. My cousin, who lives there, always brings us handmade presents for Christmas. When my husband visited the country several years ago he brought back beautiful necklaces for me to wear. What these artisans make with their hands is beyond impressive. I always wished I could visit the markets whenever I wanted, but it's just not possible to hop on a plane at a moment's notice. 

When I found The Root Collective I was thrilled. This is a business that partners with artisans in Guatemala (and Kenya and Peru too!) to get their product to the masses. Otto is the man behind the shoes (my personal favorite). He grew up in La Limonada, a slum in Guatemala City. He began working as a shoemaker at the age of 10 and dreams of helping former gang members in the city by teaching them the skills he has learned. How amazing is that?! 

I know there are so many people who look at the poverty in Central America and are at a loss as to what to do about it. I certainly don't have all the answers but I do know that this is a step in the right direction. Otto and the other artisans are doing amazing work. And I love that The Root Collective is partnering with them to promote change in these communities. 

And one more thing that I love about purchasing through The Root Collective is that 10% of the sales is given back to local non-profits in the communities where the artisans live. Lemonade International is the non-profit organization based in Guatemala City. You can read more about them here

As you can tell I love The Root Collective and I believe in what they're doing. I'm proud to be one of their blogger affiliates. If you're looking for some unique gifts this holiday season this is the website you need to be looking through. This is a business with a beautiful product that is doing everything they can to promote positive changes in a country that I care for deeply. Feel free to use my link or click on the ad in my sidebar. Make a difference this holiday season - and get some gorgeous comfy flats while you're at it. 

Hustle Sauce Giveaway (and discount code)

If you follow me on instagram you may have noticed these t-shirts that I've been wearing and loving. I even wrote a blog post recently about hustling and mentioned the t-shirts there. Well, allow me to formally introduce you to Hustle Sauce. 

I've known Steph (the girl behind the hustle) since our high school days. We sat next to each other in physics classs and the rest is history. Steph is seriously one of the best people I know. She's genuine and kind and hilarious and crazy talented. She always had the cutest handwriting in high school and now she's a designer who does amazing typography work. So she started a t-shirt business this year and has already had amazing success. 

I love that her t-shirts represent Miami so well (guau!) but can be appreciated by people all over the place (the struggle is real, amirite?). Alex and I actually own several of her t-shirts and they are our favorites. So soft and comfy. 

Today Steph has been so kind to offer one of her "The Struggle is Real" women's racerback tanks to one lucky winner.

Use the rafflecopter widget below to enter. You have between today and next Wednesday to enter. But if you just can't wait to get your hands on a Hustle Sauce t-shirt click on over to the shop and use the discount code glowinglight for 10% off your purchase. The code expires next Wednesday so get on it! 

Good luck!