What an amazing opportunity for any Christian. This is the kind of thing that only comes around once in a lifetime. This is no ordinary cross; this is the ability to own a piece of the cave where the baby Jesus spent his first night with his mother Mary. You can own a piece of the cave where the magi came to bestow gifts upon the newly born Lord. Here was the cave in the rear of the house, and used for cattle. In a manger, as the most ready and fitting place, the babe was laid. The place where the shepherds came to pay their adorations, the place marked by the star of Bethlehem.
There are many different options, but this is my favorite: The Carpenter’s Cross is the embodiment of the simple life Christ lived. Straight, clean lines, the ultimate in modesty and a true symbol of the working life of Christ, who Himself was a carpenter by trade. With The Original Nativity Stone at the apex of the Cross, this is the perfect Christian gift for the man, woman or child who strives to live life on a daily basis according to the teachings of Jesus.
Emperor Justinian built the church that now stands over the cave of the nativity in 565 A.D. on the site of a previous church built by Constantine Cesar and his mother the Empress Helena, in 327 A.D. It is one of the oldest churches in the world.
The cave of the nativity is 38 feet long by 11 wide, and a silver star in a marble slab at the eastern end marks the precise spot where the Lord was born. There is an inscription on the star that reads: Hie de virgine Maria Jesus Christus natus est. that means: Here Jesus Christ was born to the Virgin Mary. Silver lamps are always burning around, and an altar stands near, which is used in turn by the monks of the convents. The manger in which the Lord was laid was taken to Rome by Pope Sixtus V. and placed in the church of St. Maria Maggiore, but a marble one supplies its place. A few feet opposite, an altar marks the spot where the Magi stood. The walls are covered with silken hangings.
The actual birth place of Jesus
The stones that are contained in the crosses were removed during construction in the cave. You can read the story about it here by clicking on the cross, and then on the second page clicking on “The Story.”
This is the only time that stones from this most holy of places will legally be removed. Once these stones sell out, they will never be available again. Take this opportunity to give a gift that will become an heirloom for generations of your family. Give the gift that truly keeps Christ in Christmas. If you want to buy one now, you can get 15% off with code HOLIDAY15 Purchase yours here Nativity Stone Crosses
If you want a gold cross, this one is really beautiful: The Classic Nativity Stones Cross is perhaps the most spiritually connected Christian gift symbolizing our love for Jesus Christ. The unique design of this cross is the work of world-renowned jewelry designer Paul Dimitriu.
The Classic Nativity Stones Cross
On a recent long road trip my 14 month old became very disenchanted with his favorite books after looking at them over and over and over. We made a pit stop at a Barnes and Noble to let him burn some energy while playing with the Thomas the Train Table that most all B&N’s have. It was here that I discovered one of my new favorite children’s books, The Little Blue Truck. It’s a lovely little story with a great moral about taking the time to cultivate real friendship and as a bonus the illustrations are absolutely adorable. This will be one of my new “go-to” gift items for my friends having children!
Can be purchased on Amazon for around $6
This is a cool present that I think any dad would love to have! I know I would be thrilled to have something like this when I go camping. Since I use the camera on my phone, and love to take pictures during my camping trips, this little gadget would allow me to be a lot more free with my picture taking because I wouldn’t have to worry about a dead battery! It would also be great just to have around the house. During the summer storms, we end up loosing power a lot at my house. I would love to have the comfort of knowing that I could at least make sure my phone was working during a power outage. The cool thing about this is that you can either use a rechargeable battery, or in a pinch you can use 4 D batteries. Plus, it is under $25! Here is what Coleman says about it:
Charge your cell phone, iPod and other small electrical devices more than 10 times
Operate on 4 D batteries (not included) OR Coleman XPS rechargeable battery pack
Charges a fully-depleted cell phone approximately 20 times (on 4 D batteries)
Includes standard 3.1mm and USB jacks
Storage compartment for charging cords
You can buy it on Amazon HERE.
It’s that time of year….yup graduation! I love the idea of giving a book (with a great message/moral) along with money to special grads in my life. Even if the recipient doesn’t read that book until years later they’ll likely find it useful in some way. Here are a few of my favorites!
The Alchemist by Paulo Cuelho $9 on Amazon
Book Description: The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist.
The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, above all, following our dreams.
Oh The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss $9.50 on Amazon
Dr. Seuss’s wonderfully wise graduation speech is the perfect send-off for children starting out in the world, be they nursery, high school, or college grads! With his trademark use of humorous verse and illustrations, Dr. Seuss addresses the the ups and downs life presents while encouraging readers to find the success that lies within them all.
Remember those long skinny ice pops we had as kids? I used to love those! I’m not sure there are many kids who don’t love them however now that I’m a parent I gotta tell ya those will certainly not be a summer staple in our house. Why? The ingredients are way to scary for me to feed to my child….high fructose corn syrup, artificial dyes. Nope, not for my kiddo! That’s why when my sister-in-law told me about Zip Zicles I was so excited! These things are genius. They allow you to make your own long skinny popsicles so your kids can still enjoy them and you can feel good about it. Oh, and you can wash and re-use them if you’d like and they’re BPA free!
ZipZicles – $2.99 for 12
My husband and I do our best to mindfully select products and food that are the best for our health and the environment. It can be tricky with so many different labels (ie organic vs natural) and products claiming to be good for you and with the constant flow of contradictory information coming out on what’s okay and what’s not. Confusing at the very least! There is a site that I visit regularly for good solid information. This is my “go to” especially when it comes to selecting the very best products for our son, The Environmental Working Group or EWA. In a nutshell they’re:
The nation’s leading environmental health research and advocacy organization. Our mission is to serve as a watchdog to see that Americans get straight facts, unfiltered and unspun, so they can make healthier choices and enjoy a cleaner environment.
Now that the temperatures are warming up and my son is over 6 months old I’ve been doing some research on the safest, most effective sunscreen. I figured while I’m at it I should see about a great sunscreen for my husband and I as well. I went through many of them and found the top ones that are rated the safest according to the EWA, are at an affordable price point and can be found/purchased easily.
For Children (6 months and older)
Badger SPF 30+ Baby Sunscreen about $13 (plus free shipping) on Amazon
Think Baby SPF 50+ about $13 on Amazon
Seventh Generation Baby Sunscreen SPF 30 about $13 on Amazon
Kiss My Face Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40 about $13 on Amazon
ThinkSport Livestrong Sunscreen SPF 50 about $15 on Amazon
We just bought some new toothbrushes for our boys, but kids toothbrushes have large beefy handles for the kids to be able to hold on to. The problem with that is that there is very rarely a toothbrush holder that can accommodate that larger sized handle. Coincidentally a friend of mine just sent me a link to an OXO kids toothbrush station that is made just for that reason. It also has a slot to keep the toothpaste and holds up to 4 brushes. It comes in nice bright colors like blue, pink, green and orange. It’s only $9, and is easy to clean. Here is what OXO has to say about it:
Keep tot-sized toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes neat and tidy with the OXO Tot Toothbrushing Station. The Station features soft fingers to accommodate a variety of toothbrush and toothpaste tube sizes. Grooves in the bottom keep toothbrushes and toothpaste upright and at attention for tots to use. The non-slip feet and weighted base provide stability and help prevent the Station from tipping while children are removing and replacing toothbrushes on their own. The smooth, crevice-free surfaces and removable lid allow for easy cleaning.
As a bonus, check out these bamboo toothbrushes for you! 4 for $10! I love that they are compostable, unfortunately they have nylon bristles, but a compostable handle is better than full plastic!
Now that spring has finally arrived we’re already starting to cook differently. With warmer weather I like to shed the heavier dishes we eat in the fall and winter for lighter, fresher fare. This is the time of year when we begin to use more and more fresh herbs. My one rub however is that we never seem to use the entire amount that we buy before going bad. I’ve had my eye on an Herb Keeper for a while now and I’ve finally decided to purchase one. They have some cool features:
- Keep herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano and dill fresh longer
- Also great for keeping vegetables like asparagus and celery fresh and crisp
- Slots in removable tray hold and hydrate herb stems while keeping leaves above the water
- Sized for storing large quantities of herbs; designed to fit in most refrigerator door shelves
- Measures 4-3/4 inches in diameter and 9-1/2 inches tall
Cuisipro Herb Keeper – around $18 on Amazon
I am so excited by this product! What an amazing way to make a healthy summer time treat for the kids. This is especially exciting because I already have a Zoku Pop Maker. My sister-in-law gave it to my wife a few years ago, and it is really cool. You can make ice pops from just about any liquid in just about 7 minutes. You can ad chunks of fruit, you can make layers, really there are so many fun ways to make ice pops with this thing. But now, with this $15 kit, you can take it to a whole new level! The kit basically gives you little cookie cutters that you can make little characters to go into the pops! Check out some of the examples below.
To buy the pop maker for $39.99 go here: Zoku Pop maker
To buy the Character Kit for $14.99 go here: Zoku Character Kit
Info on character kit:
- Create animals, faces, and fun characters of your own design using stenciled fruit slices, or follow Zoku’s designs included in the instruction booklet
- The kit includes 14 stencils, 1 faceplate, 1 stand for holding the Pop Maker steady, a pusher tool for removing fruit slices from the stencils, instructions, and sample character designs to get started
- Never before have pops been so much fun or easy to make
- Bring your Quick Pops to life with the Zoku Character Kit! Works with both the original Zoku and the Duo
- BPA and Phthalate Free
Info on Pop Maker:
- Create your own customized frozen pops, including cream-filled varieties, in as little as 7 minutes
- Makes up to nine 2 1/4″ x 3 1/2″ pops (three 2-oz. pops at a time) before refreezing is required
- Nonstick cast-aluminum molds have a proprietary solution sealed inside their bases to enable rapid, uniform freezing
- Special drip guards promote tidy eating
- Includes base, remover tool, six reusable pop sticks and six reusable drip guards
That’s right, spring is just around the corner, which means it’s time to start thinking about your garden. This year we finally have a space to do a bit of gardening. Living in NYC last year certainly didn’t allow for that. For me having produce that’s free of GMO’s, harsh chemicals and pesticides is even more important than ever now that we have our son. I found some seeds that I’ve bought to get our garden started this summer and wanted to share them with you!
Ferry Morse Large Organic Vegetable Garden – $16 on Amazon
Custom Collection of 12 Organic Herbs – $9.50 on Amazon