December 17, 2014


Man Gifts 2014

Why is buying presents for men so impossibly hard!????? Why can't they like Sephora gift cards and new shoes like a normal person?! For the past month or so, I have been wracking my brain trying to come up with some creative gift ideas for the men in my life. (that sentence made me sound like I possibly have a boyfriend or two stashed away somewhere!). So if you're like me and you have a husband/boyfriend/dad/brother/brother in law/uncle/nephew who 1. already "has everything" or 2. Wants things like a weapon (gun, bow and arrow, or prison chiv) that you can't possibly even begin to locate let alone purchase.... then this list is for you! These are all doable gift ideas for grown up guys - because as we all know, sometimes they don't even know what they want until we show them :) Disclaimer: These are not paid endorsements. Just things I love!

1. A zip line kit.

Seriously how amazing is this idea??? If you're related to the adventurous/outdoorsey type and that trip to Costa Rica just wasn't in the budget this year...consider sailing over the grass in your own backyard! I found and ordered this exact very high quality one on Ebay for under $200 and purchased a separate seat to go along with it (you know, because the kids and I want to ride on it too!) 



2. A cool wallet from J fold.

All of these awesome wallets are under $60. I have purchased my brother a wallet from here and also for an ex-boyfriend or two in Christmasses past. Styles range from hipster to cowboy. You can't go wrong. 


3. A Meat Smoker!

This was hands down the best investment I made in my husband all year! For his birthday I bought him this beauty from Cabellas: The Masterbuilt Sportsman Elite. Amazingly on sale for $180 right now! This isnt the exact model we purchased, our doesn't have these leg thingies...but its an electric smoker (not propane) that uses wood chips which you can buy at Cabellas for about $7 a bag. Throw a few favorite meats in the freezer to sweeten the deal and you have yourself a delicious little gift that keeps on giving all year round! (Tip:Pizza and Vegetables are divine cooked in the smoker!)


4. A Clear Play DVD player

I have had my eye on this little box of freedom for a long time - and this is the year it is finally making its way to our home! My kids are getting older and more aware of what is on our TV, and this gives us the ability to watch whatever we want without worrying about language, nudity, or sexual content popping on screen. My neighbor told me that it was unusually affordable right now - because it is on backorder and wont ship until after Christmas. But for $299 you get the player and a 3 year subscription to the filters needed to use the player. I printed out a picture of it for Gabe to open and we will enjoy it in January! I can't wait to binge on all the movies we haven't rented in the past because of crazy content! Its a splurge - but again, something everyone in the home will use and enjoy. 

5. The BEST tasting protein Powder ever: Syntha-6

If you have a fitness buff in your life I can HIGHLY recommend this amazing pre/post workout powder. It came endorsed from my very muscular friend Justin, and we were NOT disappointed. It comes in delectable flavors like chocolate milkshake and vanilla ice cream. I am sorry to say that I drank a LOT of this stash of powder.....and I was not working out at the time! It was just so delicious! Check it out at your local vitamin shop, GNC, or on Amazon!

6. Custom Phone Case 

I hopped on Etsy and ordered up a leather phone case for my husband last year. He uses it daily and it is one of his most favorite gifts ever! He grew up on a farm and I had the phone case printed with his family "B" brand. However, if I could order it over again I would buy this amazing plastic shell with one of a one of a kind custom cut out. I think its amazing! And only $20. You send the image, they cut the case. 


Annnnnd - thats all I've got. My poor husband has been the recipient of some pretty crafty gifts in the past: a custom money clip that broke instantly , books he's never once attempted to open let alone read, and an entire Ben Sherman wardrobe that was 3 sizes too small. I had to remind him that sometimes the gift of an AWESOME wife is worth more than anything money can buy ;)


Good luck in your man shopping adventures! Whats the best gift you've ever come up with for your men?? Please share! 






December 16, 2014


A Fa-La-La-La-La Failure!

Have you decked your halls yet? Im sure you have. You over achiever people out there have probably already sent out your custom high quality triple fold 5 dollars a piece Christmas card that is both modern and whimsical....while I on the other hand just barely got my act together to find enough clean items of clothing so my entire family could pretend to love each other for 45 minutes in order to send you a 4x6 of carefully posed christmas cheer.
And. We. Failed. 
Our littlest angel is named Benett. He's a feisty bear cub of defiance. He sat and cried hysterically while wiping his running nose on the sleeve of his shirt because we wanted him to stand near us.  And then when my husband finally got brave enough to pick him up - he sustained the customary kick to the face and bash to the head. All Benett wanted to do was pick his nose in peace.  Which he did. In 25 consecutive photos. 
The best part of this picture is that my other two darlings decided to hold hands! Precious! Except in reality Brigitte was restraining Spencer from trying to hug her repeatedly. That's my girl. 
Suddenly in a fit of Christmas spirit we spontaneously (at the suggestion of our photographer) decide to hug each other in a huge mass of family love and adoration! And my poor Brigitte was swallowed whole and oxygen was cut off for at least 10 seconds. I don't know what the actual rules are for sending out a family photo for the holidays - but Im pretty sure showing the face of EACH child is sort of essential. 
So we try again. And, I don't know about you but I think this one is pretty good! But my husband got all whiney about the fact that my lions mane was crowding his baldness. We laughed for at least 10 minutes over the rat tail cascading down his back.
(Although truth be told a man with hair has been on the top of my Christmas list for ages!) Just kidding honey - Love you!
We tried to capture the love. Can I help it if I have an actual negative physical reaction to public displays of over-affection??? Feelings make me feel so awkward! The fact that I am married is a sheer testament of Gabe's persistence and confidence in his don juan-ness. 
This one was my favorite though - oh are we kissing now? Oh ok! Ill hold very very still like a Stepford wife and forget to close my eyes... is it over?
Have we kissed??? Phew. Nailed it. Couples shot - check check!  
And here we have my middle child Spencer pretending to die of overexertion because instead of his usual daily ritual of sitting mostly naked in a recliner with a package of Oreos while watching Netflix for hours on end - we forced him to put on pants and be seen in public. 
He alternated between this - and fits of rage. 
Heaven forbid we need our introverted shy daughter to face the camera and make eye contact. This would require interacting with humans, which she only does sparingly and on special occasions. Where gifts or major bribes and or the threat of imminent death are involved. (Yes, I tried all 3 of those tactics)
I grabbed onto her precious face and said, "GET AHOLD OF YOURSELF DARLING!"
And give mummy a kiss! Which she thought was a terribly hilarious idea,  which then sort of shocked her because I was serious. 
All in all, we totally captured the spirit of our family. Each personality like a shining Christmas star, warming the hearts of a family, friends, and neighbors. 
Merry Christmas everyone. From my adoringly awkward family to yours! Ps - If you want an actual printed on paper Christmas card from us this year please email me your address at: I promise it will be neither modern nor whimsical - nor will it unfold in 3 panels of well thought out goodness. And it will probably arrive after the new year. Because that is how long it is going to take me to recover from taking these photos.  
xoxo Christy
Beautiful pictures captured by the gifted Merrakai photography!
December 13, 2014


Hey Carla, LOVE your sweater!

You might not recognize me....but Im the nerdy gal in glasses in the middle of this photo. And yes, I am rocking a legit sweatshirt circa 1994 that is bedazzled with roughly 4 bottles of white puff paint to make each beard as white as snow. What Im saying is -it can double as a bullet proof vest, thanks to the fact that there are 6 - count them - 6 SANTAS on my shirt here.  To make it even more festive each Santa's hat is dangling with a real jingle bell, which I can only assume was hand sewn oh so delicately by a nice lady named Carla. (since her name is permanent markered in the bottom lefthand corner.) My friend Sheena picked this beauty up for me at the local DI for our very special annual ugly sweater party. It was an exceptional time involving vintage Christmas records, catering from Cafe Rio, and more hot glue in one room than I have seen in ALL of 2014. Which reminds me: my new years resolution for 2015 is going to be: USE MORE HOT GLUE! It was a really great time despite the fact that nobody dressed up like Mean Girls or busted out in a random flash mob of choreographed Jingle Bell Rock. 

I made this slightly hilarious wooden ornament tree - complete with lopsided deer head topper, to hold the VERY hilarious vintage tart tin ornaments that I made for take home gifts for the attendees. I got a little sick of sustaining 3rd degree hot glue gun burns last sunday when I was constructing 70 of these they got craftier and craftier as I went along. Some of them ended up with ahem - quite a bit of glitter.

New Years 2015 resolution rewrite: forget hot glue! BUY MORE PRE-MADE STUFF! 

Do you have an amazing ugly sweater??? Post it on instagram and tag me (@Christyatthetopknot) so I can admire your good taste!!!





December 12, 2014


Im a Barbie Girl

And OH how I WISH I lived in a Barbie world! Gaze upon this one of a kind handmade dollhouse that my talented friend Amber Schmidt crafted for her daughter Stella's 4th birthday! It was too adorable to keep a secret, so maybe it will inspire some of you other gifted "makers" out there to create your own version! (Sidenote: If you are DYING over Amber's style you MUST check out her super popular etsy shop featuring her cards for all occasions: Announcing You. If I ever have something worth announcing she's the lady I consult!)
How in love with her itty bitty framed art prints are you?! 
Its perfection down to the drawer pulls and cork board!
I wouldnt mind stretching out my barbie legs under this ruffled duvet... while I schemed about my upcoming adventures
whilst gazing fondly upon my galloping pony wallpaper...
I don't know about you - but I might not mind doing laundry so much if my laundry room was this stylish:
I might even consider giving birth to a tiny barbie baby - just so this nursery complete with faux fur rug didn't go to waste.
Hard wood floors in the living room? Yes, please!
Happy Birthday Stella! Says the miniature chalk board sign in the kitchen! This kills me!
Thanks to this bathroom, I am now completely obsessed with hot pink toilets and floral wallpaper. Lets just say I wouldn't mind locking myself in there to escape the children. 
I can't believe how much thought and time went into staging this little house down to the tiniest of details. There is a potted plant in every room, and this little book case complete with little books is possibly my most favorite feature of all. Perhaps because it is adorned with the world's cutest pom pom garland. It really is Home Sweet Home!
This is one happy little Birthday Girl. Something tells me she thinks her new dollhouse is pretty amazing! 
Thanks for sharing your incredible talents, Amber. Seriously though, Im about to go get out my glue gun for no particular reason just because I feel so inspired by this project!  Do you dare attempt making something this amazing once the standard has been set so high? I think not.
Maybe Ill just bake some cookies and call it a day :) *Photo creds belong to the always popular Merrakai Photography
December 11, 2014


A series of unfortunate events. Also known as "Thursday Morning"

I woke up abnormally late at 8 am (thanks melatonin!) in a panic because it was eerily silent...and as I made my way in a haze to my daughters room to summon her for school - I was almost killed by a smell that can only be described as dead animal/aged vomit.

I could hear my boys downstairs doing their normal morning "hunger games" routine which involves literal attempts at killing each other and also consuming as much garbage food as humanly possible. (SUCH a good idea to have two boys only 18 months apart!!! Thanks a ton mini pill - you totally useless chemical of lies!!!)

Anyway - I called out to Brigitte to hurry and get up for school and as I opened her door a whiff of unbelievable grossness almost took my head clean off. She sat up, yawned, stretched. Batted her beautiful eyelashes. Totally unaware that she was literally the yolk of a rotten egg. I immediately covered my mouth and nose with my scarf (why, yes, I DO wake up and put a scarf on it - doesn't everybody? Isn't that how we "get dressed" in order to drop kids off at school???!) and yelled at her to hurry up and get her clothes and go downstairs. She says to me "why mom?" And I say to her - BRIGITTE! Cant you smell that HIDEOUS smell??? She proceeds look around quizzically and with a baffled expression says, "what smell?" I nearly died of disbelief. This is after all, my child that literally sniffs her way through life. Its how she interprets her world - through smell. I told her to just never mind and hurry up and get ready for school!

As Brigitte joined the fun downstairs I began my search for the mysterious smell - which is a terrifying task in my daughters room. She's a bit of a magpie and collects all sorts of "treasures" and stashes them in the weirdest of places. Balls of string wound around her dresser knobs, shiny baubles in old cans, wrappers and tags tied around the necks of her stuffed animals are her favorites. Its like ye old curiosity shop in there. I forgot to mention that Brigi has a certain clothing phobia - as in she won't wear ANYTHING. My daughter - my ONLY daughter to dress up and bedazzle...wont allow me to brush her hair or buy her denim. Its a travesty of epic proportions.  So her room is literally a land mine of clothing rejects. Stretch pants "that weren't long enough" inside out strewn here and there. Sweaters that are "too choking" wadded up in the corner. Little pairs of undies sprinkled about the room like confetti because she deemed them "too distracting". Its hilarious and also infuriating. 

Ten minutes in and I cannot find the source of the terrible smell. And then - I do the unthinkable, and lift her bedspread. Voila. A crusty old rotten sippy cup with moldy chocolate milk spilling out of it. (I can literally hear moms around the world gagging right now. This smell is familiar to you. We can all agree - rotten milk smell is otherworldly in its grossness!) It is somehow on her sheets. Its on her headboard. Its on her pillow. In one swift motion I rolled basically her entire mattress into a ball and using my pure barre arms I carried that load of moldy blankets straight to the laundry room. I did pause briefly at the garage door, strongly considering throwing it away instead of washing it. Because thats the kind of lazy mother I am. But I powered through the urge and tossed it in the laundry room and quickly shut the door behind me. Ill deal with it later today. Which is also the kind of lazy mother I am. It was barely 8:15 am, and I had fist fights to breakup and wild hair to detangle. 

As we continue along the morning routine I keep smelling the smell. Its not until I mustered the courage to tackle my daughters tangle of rats nest bedhead that I figure out why. Her hair had absorbed the barf smell! I guess technically she did spend the night rolling around smothering her head in the milk that makes sense. It is right about at this time that the doorbell also rang - signaling the neighborhood kids ready to walk to school. Crap. There is literally no time to shower! I assess the situation and vote for a quick hair wash. 

I quickly tell the kids to go on ahead, while simultaneously dragging Brigitte over to the kitchen sink which is piled a mile high with yesterdays mound of filthy dishes. (my frequent cooking fiascos -Another post for another day).  I bend her little head in between a mixing bowl caked with crusted roll dough and a glass baking dish smeared with last night's artichoke dip - and proceed to hose her head down with my barely there spray nozzle that is TOTALLY useless. In case you think I am exaggerating, here is a quick snapshot of my kitchen:

It is at about this time that I realize I only have a teeny tiny bit of dish soap left in the very bottom of the bottle - and it would take an olympic amount of hitting the bottom in order to get out roughly a teaspoon of soap. I go to plan B which is to sift through whatever mysterious bottles of soap are hiding in the dark recesses of my kitchen sink cupboard. After deciding against antibacterial 409, glass cleaner, and lysol wipes...I settle on these little gems:

Thats right my friends. Your eyes are not deceiving you. I did in fact scrub down my baby girl's barf hair.....with dog shampoo and conditioner. 

IT WAS DESPERATE TIMES!!!! Please don't call CPS.


After a quick blow dry and braiding session, we were loaded up in the car heading to school. With 3 minutes to spare I might add. I gave my little animal a kiss and sent her almond scented head on her way!

I don't know about you, but I call that a success story. Love this crazy girl of mine. (She gets the crazy from me. Obviously.)

 Happy Thursday.



December 09, 2014


Pure Barre Winner!

Unfortunately our previous winner of the Pure Barre giveaway was not a Boise resident - so we had to redraw!
A big congratulations to Cynthia Ibarra for being the lucky gal!
I am so excited to see you at the barre! Please check your email for details!
December 08, 2014


And the winners are....

Congratulations to the following giveaway winners! 

Brenda necklace from Cents of Style - Jenna Hopkins

Pure Barre bundle - Nova Manske Conover

Murchison-Hume - 5 minute hostess set - Elizabeth Van Giesen

Essential Oils set - Kristy Haight

Cents of Style Houndstooth infinity scarf - Suzy Bell


You have each been emailed and upon address confirmation your items will be shipped! If we do not hear from you within 48 hours a new winner will be randomly selected! (All winners were chosen at random through Rafflecopter's winner generator. )

Thank you to everyone who participated in my favorite things giveaway!!! Come back and visit the blog often! I adore hearing from you!




December 08, 2014


Stay Tuned...

Thank you to each and every one of you that entered our giveaways! I cant wait to announce the 5 lucky winners! 
December 06, 2014


The FINAL Giveaway: Cents of Style Houndstooth Scarf!



Look no further for your most adored scarf of all time. This little gem of coziness DEFINITELY makes the top of my list as one of my favorite things! Its the perfect ending to a wonderful week of gifting!!!! I really feel like this scarf has superpowers. It can transform any outfit into a super cozy ensemble. I never really fully feel dressed until "I've put a scarf on it". Its my Idaho version of Portlandias "put a bird on it."

(This video will explain what Im talking about if you have no idea what I just said. )



So dont have any drab sad little ensembles! Put a scarf on it and enjoy your Merry December!!!! Winner will be contacted to choose a Houndstooth Infinity Scarf from the Cents of Style website. 



Thank you to everyone who has entered this week's giveaways!!! You still have time to enter each one until Monday at 9 am! Spread the word and send some cheer to your friends and family who might enjoy winning a prize or two!

xoxo Christy


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December 05, 2014


Giveaway: Young Living Essential Oils!

If you want to officially welcome Christmas into your life - then you MUST HAVE these Young Living Essential oils!!! How do I love them? Let me count the ways....

It seems like oils are all the rage right now. Like fur vests and high waisted denim - everybody is doing it. I hopped on the bandwagon myself 2 years ago and after dappling here and there with the basics - I have recently become a full blown addict. It started out so simply with a lone bottle of lavender...and now my medicine cabinet basically looks like an episode of doomsday preppers. The problem with these little bottles of heaven is that once you try them out and see how amazingly they work... you sort of get addicted to trying out more and more!

You can use essential oils in almost every facet of your life. Add lemon, ginger, or orange oil to your drinks. Repel insects and soothe bites with Purification blend. Drift off to sleep with Lavender or Peace and Calming. Keep your immune system strong with Thieves. The list goes on and on and on. I clean with them. I add them to my shampoo, cosmetics, and smoothies! It is also a little known fact that using essential oils does not mean you have to now homeschool your kids and only eat eggs that you harvest from your very own organic chicken coop. No no. I have 3 kids under 6 and the last thing I need is bird feces tracked through my house, or a near death experience with an eye-pecking beast. Don't think you have to subscribe to the completely granola way of living in order to use Essential oils!!! 

It's overwhelming when you first start learning about the therapeutic properties of all the different oils and blends out there. Where do you even begin?? If you're like me, you want a friend you know and trust who is able to walk you through it! So today I have 3 options for you, and I hope this makes your Essential oils journey a little easier for you!

1. Enter to win this giveaway, and hopefully walk away with 3 delicious oils to try out. Nutmeg, Orange, and Cinnamon bark. Here is a brief description of the therapeutic uses of each of these oils:

Nutmeg: commonly used to help with digestive disorders, supports the nervous and endocrine system to combat fatigue & exhaustion. Smells dang good and is delicious in hot chocolate!

Orange: Powerful antioxidant, used often in beauty products. Smells amazing and brings about happiness and peace of mind! I love a drop or two in my smoothies and pretty much add it to my diffuser every time I turn it on!

Cinnamon bark: "is thought to promote healthy cardiovascular and immune function, and acts as an antiseptic. You can also use it to enhance your cooking, or dilute and massage into chakras to create a soothing, relaxing sensation." Pulled directly from the Young Living website. Sidenote: I had no idea where my chakras are. And Im a nurse, so yeah. Go here to discover what that even means. ( Its a fancy foreign word for energy points. )

2. If you LOVE oils (or even think you might someday love oils...), and you want to try them out, but are scared of commitments (Im right there with ya ), then please by all means shoot me an email at and I will extend my wholesale discount of 24% off to you. That's it! No obligation, no strings, nothing but a discount. The only very slightly bothersome part of this is that I place the order for you and it ships to me, and then I will ship it to you. Its painless, really. So if you've been wanting to try ANYTHING from Young Living take me up on the discount and it's yours! I'm a huge fan of "try before you buy". So if you want to try a few oils and see how you like them - this is the way to go. 

3. And the final option is to sign up for a Young Living Membership. I would highly recommend this option if you are looking at buying more than one or two oils. In fact, the way you sign up for the membership is to purchase a starter kit. Here is the kit I purchased 2 months ago when I started out, but there are kits available for as little as $75 that come with oil and a diffuser! (see the kits in the link above)

Premium Starter Kit with Bamboo Diffuser  ($160)

Kit includes: Everyday Oils™ collection, the all-new Aroma Diffuser, Welcome to Young Living booklet, Essential Oils at a Glance user’s guide, Member Resource Guide, S.E.E.D. Sharing for Success booklet, Citrus Fresh 5-ml, AromaGlide™ Roller Fitment, two sample sachets each of: Lavender, Peppermint, Peace & Calming®, Lemon, and Thieves®, two NingXia Red® 2-oz. samples, Business cards sample pack, Member Agreement, Product Guide


When you sign up for a wholesale membership it works just like buying a costco card. It lets you into the store, with an automatic 24% off savings on your purchases. Here is the kicker - to keep your membership active you only have to buy $50 worth of oils a YEAR. You dont even have to pay to renew your membership! You don't have to sell anything. I repeat: You don't have to sell anything!!!! Hence the reason I signed up. When you spend a certain amount in a single transaction you earn free oils! This month I got a free bottle of Ginger - which I can't wait for! Once you have a wholesale membership you can then enroll in Essential Rewards (completely optional) which is a FREE auto-renewal program that ships items to you monthly. You earn points back on what you spend, that can then be used dollar for dollar for more free oils!

Ok phew. That was a ton of information. If any of you would like to now more, feel free to leave a comment or reach out to me through email. I am by no means an expert - just an obsessed oil user with a wholesale membership :) Use me to your advantage! I am here to help you! 

Without further ado: The giveaway widget:



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