HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE SERIES (BABY BOY)

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10
(1) Make your own board book to teach little ones names and faces of their favorite people (you!). Easily upload photos and simply type in names. Perfect gift for an aunt to give their favorite nephew (HINT).
(2) The cutest taxidermy we ever did see! So sweet over a crib or changing table.
(3) Sometimes babies just like to kick around on the floor. Instead of throwing a burp cloth or towel down to prevent spit-ups… or other stuff… let baby be nice and stylish on this play mat from Dwell Studio.
(4) We at Love & Lion have taught our babies simple signs which is why we love these wooden sign language blocks. Perfect for learning, stacking, and of course knocking down.
(5) We’re not alone when we say we are crazy for Freshly Picked Mocs! They come in every color and are seriously soft and comfy for those chunky baby tootsies! 
(6) For the hipster baby who refuses regular old bibs for spit up and drool, get him a bandana bib! Absorbent and oh so stylish.
(7) Wooden teethers safe for baby in every state shape. Naturally anti-bacterial, non-allergenic, and non-toxic, which of course we love!
(8) Babies loooove keys, but please don’t let them chew on them! These key-animal teethers are simply gorgeous and have the benefit of being non-toxic. You can engrave the babies name and birthday on the back too! A keepsake your baby will actually use.
(9) Every baby boy needs a bow tie. They just do.
(10) If you’ve never felt a JellyCat toy… omg. Do it. Please. This sweet little baby Reindeer will be baby’s BFF. Look at his teeny little Reindeer horns! Perfect for the holiday season.

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE SERIES (FOR BABY GIRLS)

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 
(1) A cute little farmer’s market stuffed set. The milk actually has a little mirror inside. Peek – a – boo!
(2) Mini Boden is always a home run in our book. The little reindeers make it the perfect seasonal dress.
(3) We both own these blankets for our kiddos! They are AMAZING and so warm!! 
(4) Every little baby needs a hippo ballerina play mat, right?! We agree!
(5) A bright wooden walker to help those wobbly legs get stronger. Love Hape products. Amara is the happy owner of this walker. It will last for years!
(6) If you love the crafty look of felt hair bows, but don’t have the time or the talents to make them, buy them! 
(7) Keep those chubby baby legs warm all winter long with these polka dot leg warmers. The only downside is that you don’t get to see all of those fat wrinkles, which…hello!?! They are the best.
(8) We love trendy outfits just as much as the next fashion forward mom, but we also want our kids to be comfortable especially when they sleep. These Carters fleece sleep sacks are so warm and come in the most adorable patterns. They also have footed ones for your toddlers! We live in these during the winter months.
(9) The softest little stuffed animals ever. So many different ones to choose from, but we are loving the white owl. “Whoo! Whoo!”
(10) I feel like these moccs need NO introduction, but if you haven’t hear of them or tried them….please do! Not only are they quality shoes that stay on your littles’ feet, but they come in the most beautiful colors. Available in leather and suede. We love Susan and her team too!!
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HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE SERIES (FOR BOYS)

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10
(1) This colorful cube-bot is the perfect toy to throw in your bag and bring out to a restaurant to keep your little guy busy. You can make all different configurations and it’s seriously tough (for adults) to put the robot back into a cube! Challenging and fun for all ages 🙂
(2) Perfect for a growing guy! This is a 3-in-1 scooter that starts out with a seat, then a small steering wheel, then a tall handle for the big boys. 
(3) Bizarrely enough, kids love to pretend to clean. Let’s train these boys so when they’re men, they’ll know their way around a broom and dustpan! 
(4) A stylish little hideout for a game of pretend or a picnic or a slumber party! 
(5) What boy doesn’t want to be just like his daddy? This bath shaving kit is just right for a little gentleman.
(6) Each make-your-own monster kit is unique and comes fully stitched- ready to stuff and create!
(7) This Art Jar has everything you need for creating a masterpiece, just bring your imagination.
(8) We love this old-timey magic kit, starting with the box! Little guys will learn 15 tricks to amaze their captive audience. Expelliarmus! 
(9) These headphones are awesome for plane rides and car trips when you don’t want to hear that Daniel Tiger episode for the umpteenth time. They’re volume limiting for safe listening. And your guy can decorate these headphones with stickers and markers for that unique touch. 
(10) We read this book. All. The. Time. All kids are intrigued by bubble gum, even if they’re not allowed to have it yet. This adorable book tells the story of the invention of bubble gum with charming and colorful illustrations. 
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HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE SERIES (FOR GIRLS)

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10
(1) Every little girl can’t wait to get their hands on all of the kitchen gadgets that they see mommy use. This wooden baking mixer set will have you wanting to play with your kids’ kitchen gadgets! Adorable. We love the durability and classic gesture of wooden toys here at Love & Lion.
(2) Such a creative take on the classic memory game. Love the idea of putting family members’ faces on here!
(3) We are over the moon for this Oh Joy Pixie Dust camera from Twig Creative. Why can’t our Canons be this cute?
(4) Pottery Barn Kids anywhere chairs… enough said. We are swooning over the Sherpa!
(5) This is on Amara’s Gift list! A new take on the ole “fort”. We love the colors and patterns on all of the Land of Nod playhomes.
(6) Get your little ready for spring with some stylish boots just made for puddle splashing. Great in the snow also with the fleece lining socks.
(7) Meslissa and Doug never ceases to amaze us! Our kids already love “getting mail”, and this is the perfect gift! Again, wooden toys baby!!
(8) Top off her little holiday outfit with this fab headband. Sure to sparkle!!
(9) A scooter that grows with your toddler/little girl. Comes in such fun colors too.
(10) Take these on the go for restaurants or leave them at home on the dishwasher for endless entertainment. These wooden magnets are so lovely, and come in beautiful finishes.
Happy Shopping!
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HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE SERIES (FOR HER)

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 
(1) We are absolutely LOVING this emerald shade suede bootie. It adds a subtle touch of color to any outfit.
(2)  Genius!! Bake a little bit of your batter in this nibble pan so you can taste test without cutting into your cake.
(3) If you haven’t tasted Jeni’s ice cream…. you haven’t lived. We sincerely mean that! We make it part of every girls night. The lovely lady in your life will thank you.
(4) Who doesn’t love a great nail color? With this Advent mani set, you will calm your color cravings all month long. Beautiful!
(5) We all love photos, and using calendars make us more responsible (kind of). These are ALWAYS good gifts for any occasion.
(6) A stylish way to listen to a good audio book or iPod.
(7) We are dying over this beautiful leather clutch that charges your iPhone. Stunning colors to choose from also.
(8) These rings are the sweetest, most stylish reminder of those you love most. Whether it be your kids, spouse, or your imaginary friend… initials never go out of style.
(9) Perfect pair of PJ’s! Classic and comfy.
(10) Rock these with a leather jacket and ankle boots or just around the house when you want to get out of your lounge pants that you have had since college (we all have them… your secret is safe here). They will make you feel cute for sure!

LATKES AND VODKAS

It’s the 6th night of Hannukah, and we’re having latkes and vodkas over at our house! 
A latke (rhymes with vodka) is a potato pancake cooked in oil- a traditional food we eat on Hannukah. My dad created a baked version that is just as good and is super easy to make, not to mention way healthier… though go ahead and fry those babies if you chose! To go along with your crispy latkes, we’re having sparkling cranberry orange cocktails, concocted by my sis. A festive fizzy drink perfect for the holiday season! Scroll down for recipes. 
Not the most attractive food, but they’re absolutely delicious!
Fizz, pop, clink!
I made the drink stirrers with a skewer, 5 folded circles of paper, and double stick tape. Easy peasy! Tape together any extra circles on fishing line, and you have a simple and sparkly garland.
BAKED LATKES
makes about 12
3 potatoes 
1 carrot
1/4 onion
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp flour
1 egg
*serve with sour cream or chunky applesauce 
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Peel and shred potatoes (I used a food processor) and mix in 1 tbsp salt. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
Shred carrot and onion.
Drain access water from potatoes and squeeze with paper towels.
Mix together potatoes, carrots, onions, flour and egg. 
Scoop 3″ rounds loosely on parchment paper.
Bake 12-15 minutes per side until brown and crispy.
Best baked right away before potatoes turn brown. They’ll still taste good but won’t look so hot!
Delicious savory with sour cream or sweet with applesauce.
SPARKLING CRANBERRY ORANGE COCKTAIL
1 oz vodka
1 oz dry sparkling wine
Splash of cranberry juice
Orange simple syrup to taste – boil half sugar and half water with a couple strips of orange peels
Fresh cranberries
Shake together vodka, juice, and syrup. Strain into a champagne flute, top with sparkling wine, and serve with a cranberry garnish.
ENJOY!
-L

MODERN THANKSGIVING TABLESCAPE

One day until our Thanksgiving feast, and my table is already set! I may be a little excited. Creating a tablescape is my absolute favorite part of Thanksgiving ( well, second favorite to devouring all of the delicious food).
This year, I tried to use things that I mostly had on hand. I couple of Thanksgivings ago, my mom purchased some beautiful linen napkins from Pottery Barn. They weren’t cheap, but I just HAD to have them. Therefore, I owe them several appearances on my table. I absolutely love the dark teal color, and really wanted to create a table around that color with hints of gold. 
I spray painted pumpkins with a metallic gold spray paint, which has to be the easiest project ever. It makes such an impact too! I purchased some brass candlesticks a couple of years ago at a thrift store, and this is my first time using them! Sometimes you just have to wait for the perfect time to pull things out, ya know? I also had a gold dotted burlap runner from a previous event I hosted. I purchased a set of salt and pepper shakers and a Threshold runner from Target. I put the final touches on the table with some greenery, roses and pheasant feathers. Now we are ready to stuff our faces!

I hand painted a small “say grace” print with water color. I think it may be a permanent framer for my dining room.

My favorite part of my Thanksgiving decor is the floating branch above the table. I found it on the side of the road while on a walk with my daughter. I strung it up with fishing line and commando hooks. I am really considering leaving it up and stringing “snow” from it for winter, so this may not be the last you see of it.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
-J

A PEAK INTO LOVE & LION

Just a little bit about us and our families!
JENNI…

What inspired you to start a blog?
Leah and I share our ideas, inspirations, and pictures of things we are working on weekly. I knew I wanted to have a blog where I could share these things with others, and it just made sense that we do it together. I am in awe of so many creative bloggers, and I only hope that Leah and I can be just as inspirational… not just as bloggers, but as moms and women in general. We have to support one another!
What is your favorite thing to do as a family?
My husband travels a lot, so whenever we’re together we are usually playing “catch up” on family time. We love being out of the house… dining out (our favorite), going to the park, or even just running errands. We are a pretty on-the-go clan. However, every now and then we love a good lazy day of lounging in our pjs from morning to evening.
What is your favorite type of party to throw?
Kid’s parties!! Probably because I am a mom now, I have so much fun with it. I feel like the sky is the limit creativity-wise. I am also styling a wedding in a couple of months, and I couldn’t be more excited! Weddings are always so beautiful.
How did you and your husband meet?
I was a nanny for his current employer, and Gabe was over at the house a lot for business. I thought he was funny, super talented, and charming. We hit it off immediately, and I knew after our first long conversation (followed by a sweet hug) that I was going to marry him. It scared me, as I was only 20, but I knew my life would be better with him in it. He is honest, hard-working, caring and loves the Lord. He is certainly my “prince charming.”
What is something people may not know about you?
I love to sing! My car is my concert hall… often. My daughter also gets her share of serenades. I grew up singing and “writing songs” and use to think I would actually become a country singer (sigh….. oh the innocence), but one day something inside me just clicked and I became extremely nervous to be on stage or sing in front of people.

LEAH…


What inspired you to start a blog?
Love & Lion is my creative outlet. I love making crafts and recipes for friends and family. Celebrating a birthday or baby or bride with a handcrafted party and making that person feel special is extremely gratifying. Jenni and I hope we will inspire you to celebrate the special people in your lives. We would love to hear about your ideas and events too! 
What is your favorite thing to do as a family?
It’s a tie between morning cuddles and evening dance parties. My three-year-old, Ari, is so squishy and sweet, and my newborn, Max, with his happy demeanor and chubby cheeks fits right into the cuddle-fest. We end many nights with a dance party in the kitchen. Max is asleep in our arms even though the music is blaring and Ari is dancing his little heart out! Pure joy!
What is your favorite type of party to throw?
Simple décor and food I can make ahead of time, so that I can relax and enjoy the party. And any event that ends with cake is okay by me!
How did you and your husband meet?
Jeffrey and I met at Indiana University freshman year. The second I saw him, I knew he was the one… so I stalked him. Totally normal thing to do, right? Stalking paid off, and we dated all through college and married in Carmel, California in 2006. Almost eleven years later, and here I am with three wonderfully sweet, silly, stinky boys!
What is something people may not know about you?
I’m a HUGE Harry Potter nerd. I’ve read every book multiple times and will watch the movies every time they come on TV. Literally. Every time. I dressed my then one-year-old as Harry Potter for Halloween with a hand knit Gryffindor scarf, and my husband and I went to Harry Potter World for our 7 year anniversary and bought a wand (wood for 7 years!) I’ve said too much, haven’t I?! 
*Photos by the talented Shara Katerberg-Hsu

CUSTOM HOLIDAY WRAP FOR THE LITTLES

Remember the chain link garlands you made in grade school? Well, we’re reinventing them! They make perfect gift wrap toppers for the holidays. At Love & Lion we celebrate both Hannukah and Christmas, so we’ll show you how to wrap using all the same supplies. This is the perfect craft for your littles! My three-year-old Ari stamped the Hannukah wrap paper all by himself. Great for small motor skills and shape recognition. 
Grab your toddler and get to stamping!

Here’s how to make your chain link garland topper:

Voila!

Here are some shots of our Hannukah party. We used the extra stamped wrapping paper as a table runner and kinda went crazy with the chain links!

We tied the napkins with candles – Hannukah is the Festival of Lights after all! 

Any great holiday crafts you like to do with your kids?
-L