Questions for YOU

It’s YOUR turn, today!

To be honest, I tried to come up with some catchy way to title this post that would half way make sense and I came up with absolutely NOTHING.  hahaha!


I have a couple questions for you…all Christmas-related questions.  I’m hoping you’ll answer!  Help a girl out!

*What are your thoughts on the Echo Plus?  I remember a friend telling me she would speak to her dad through his Echo?  He was older and she worried about him getting around being home alone, so this was a way for her to keep extra tabs on him.  I’ve also heard someone say their kids have the other Echo {the smaller edition} and they set the alarms on them every night and play music throughout the day.  If you have an Echo, what do you think?  And if you do, what are your favorite ways or the ways you use it the most?  Also, is there some sort of parental controls to put on them if you’re going to put one in your kiddo’s room?  Yesterday you guys were amazing with your thoughts on robot vacuums and I GREATLY appreciated your help!

*If you’re an avid Hallmark Christmas movie watcher, PLEASE share your favorites with me!  What are your MUST-WATCHES?  

*And on that note, do you have a MUST-READ Christmas book you’d recommend?  I’m wanting to read ALL THE CHRISTMAS books right now.  Please send any good ones my way!

*Last, but not least…do you have any brilliant ideas for a three-year-old for Christmas?  I have some ideas of what we’ll get Britt for Christmas, but now I’m getting questions from the grandparents asking for help.  I’m OUT of ideas.  Anything your three-year-old girl loved or loves?

Okay, friends…THANK YOU in advance!!  And I cannot WAIT to read what you have to say!

Happy Thursday!

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  1. 11.8.18
    Holly said:

    I consider myself a "Seasoned Hallmark Viewer" – ha ha! Anyway, here are some of my faves: "A December Bride," "A Bride For Christmas," "Nine Lives of Christmas," "A Very Merry Mixup," "Ice Sculpture Christmas," "12 Gifts Of Christmas," "A Christmas Melody," "A Cookie Cutter Christmas,and "A Dream For Christmas" and as far as gifts for a 3 year old, that is where we were last year and a play kitchen and pretend makeup kit and vanity were the big hits- hope this helps! 🙂

  2. 11.8.18
    Tanya said:

    We have an Echo (older version) in our kitchen that I use for music and news. You can do a lot more with it, but that is all I use it for. Yes, you can "talk" to other Echo's that are connected, like an intercom. Because we have a "no phones upstairs" rule, my kids use an Echo Dot in their rooms for music and an alarm. It works great! I don't have a parental control on the Dot's for my teens. But if I were worried about what they were doing with them, you can go on the Alexa app to see exactly what they say/ask the Echo. Hope this helps!

  3. 11.8.18
    Eileen said:

    I LOVE Hallmark Christmas movies! Some of my favorites are:
    A Very Merry Mix-Up
    Christmas In the Air
    A Cookie Cutter Christmas
    Christmas List
    Christmas Incorporated
    Fir Crazy
    A Christmas Detour
    12 Gifts of Christmas
    Christmas Under Wraps
    Romance at Reindeer Lodge
    A Royal Christmas
    and my #1 favorite is The Christmas Ornament.

  4. 11.8.18
    Amanda Bellemere said:

    My kids great grandparents on one side always got the kids gift cards, some cash and a wallet or purse every year. Now that they are teenagers and their great grandparents are gone that is the most remembered present and the most treasured as both kids need wallets now. Plus it lets the kids have fun and go shopping days or weeks after Christmas!!! Just make it creative when wrapping. It usually came in a giant box filled with candy or bouncy balls or bubble wrap!!!

  5. 11.8.18
    Elizabeth said:

    I bought the Echo Dot on Prime Day. I keep it in my kitchen and I love it. I mainly use it for music but Alexa will also tell me where my packages are, she’ll help with the weather, and the occasional random question. My husband likes to tell her to remind me of things (pregnancy brain over here!) They make an Echo Dot Kids version…not sure what makes it for kids besides the color…but it does exists- my oldest is 2.5 so not quite ready for that 😉 We love our Echo- we already have plans to get the Echo Show for the kitchen, Echo spot for our room and move the dot to the kids playroom. We also like that Alexa works with our smartphone system and can set our alarm and turn on and off our smart switches!

  6. 11.8.18
    Anonymous said:

    All three kids have the echo dot. They use it as an alarm and for music. We love them!

  7. 11.8.18
    Mix and Match Mama said:

    Whenever you pick our next Christmas book, let me know. Annnnnnnd my favorite new Hallmark movie so far this year is Christmas at Pemberley Manor!!

  8. 11.8.18
    Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} said:

    I'm no help. But after you learn all their is to learn about the Echo Dot, please call me and tell me what I need to know. 😉

  9. 11.8.18
    Kristin said:

    3 year old gift ideas!!

    Leap Reader w/ a few books she would enjoy
    Leap Frog Talking Words Factory DVDs
    Lego Duplos Disney Princess or Minnie Mouse sets
    Melissa and Doug floor puzzles
    Melissa and Doug play food and grocery/lemonade stand
    Bitty Baby

  10. 11.8.18
    Lo said:

    How about one of those cardboard houses for Britt? That you can decorate and play in for a few months and then recycle?

  11. 11.8.18
    cliedahl said:

    My very favorite Christmas book that I re-read every year is Wishin' and Hopin' by Wally Lamb. It's sort of like A Christmas Story…but better. It's short and hilarious. The TV movie came out maybe 3 years ago, but it's nowhere near as good as the book. Enjoy!

  12. 11.8.18
    Becky said:

    I really enjoy the Karen Kingsbury Red Glove series. There are 4 books, each focusing on a special 'need' – terminally ill child, single parent, military family, elderly, homelessness. At the end, there are suggestions of things you can do to focus on someone in one of those situations. Some of the best years were those that we focused, as a family, on one of those needs. All very easy reads too!

  13. 11.8.18
    Jen V. said:

    I'm an expert on Hallmark Christmas movies! My absolute faves are Christmas Under Wraps, Christmas Detour, Holiday Engagement and The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

  14. 11.8.18
    Kathleen said:

    Elin Hilderbrand has a series of 3 Christmas books and they are good.

    As for three old gifts, a scooter, a kitchen, doll stroller and high chair.

  15. 11.8.18
    Mel said:

    Green Toys are the best! There is a cute purple and pink pick up truck, a tea set, and a flower set that are so fun!

  16. 11.8.18
    Dustie Day said:

    Christmas at Pemberley Manor was SO GOOD! Also, any hallmark movie with Candace Cameron Bure is just the best. Last but not least, one of my all time favorite movies that I watch every time it's on is The Christmas Card. I'm not sure it's on Hallmark though…maybe Lifetime?

    3 year old gifts, I'm coming back to read this later….you can only buy so much frozen stuff. HELP!

  17. 11.8.18
    Kathy Olson said:

    Every once in awhile, Hallmark will play "Saint Maybe" with Blythe Danner and Edward Herrmann (the dad from Gilmore Girls). I think it is from 1998. It is such a beautiful story.

  18. 11.8.18
    Andrea Nine said:

    We have 3 Echo Plus devices in the them, sound quality os amazing and I agree with all the HM movies Holly said, I think I have seen all those but one. Have fun pretty lady!

  19. 11.8.18
    sarawilderb said:

    Hey! I am 20 but have 3 younger sisters and everyone in my family has an Echo. The kitchen has the bigger one and then my three younger sisters (16,14,11) all have a Dot because they cannot bring electronics upstairs to their bedrooms. They use it to play music, set alarms, ask homework questions. They are all synced so my mom can "drop in" from the kitchen to their dots and tell them its time for dinner or just listen in on what they are doing. Our family absolutely swears my Alexa. Shes our fav!!

  20. 11.8.18
    Sarah said:

    I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the Hallmark Christmas movies-they’re cute, sweet, and festive! Any with Candace Cameron Bure, Royal Christmas, Hats Off to Christmas, Christmas Land and Christmas Incorporated are some of my favs, along with the new ones for 2018-especially Christmas at Pemberley Manor. I think these movies would likely be appropriate for a girl Ebby Lee’s age, too.

    Happy Hallmark movie viewing!

  21. 11.8.18
    TorontoSAM said:

    My two year old loves Playmobil stuff. They say they are for 4+ and we had them for my older child, but the two year old plays with them no problem. They have people and little props that he can play with and he's never put them in his mouth. We have the fire truck, space shuttle, camping van, and ambulance. Check out the Battat vehicles that you can build with a drill. We got those for my older son when he was 3. Great for hand eye coordination. We like Crocodile Creek puzzles. And this year I'm getting my two year old some fake food and a shopping cart/basket.

  22. 11.8.18
    Kate L. said:

    A December Bride is my favorite Hallmark movie. I may or may not even keep it in my DVR year round to watch on a random July day every now and then. 🙂

  23. 11.8.18
    The White Family said:

    We got an Echo for the kitchen last year and a Dot for the playroom. Our boys (10, 8, and 4) love it. They listen to music and ask questions all the time. We play jeopardy as a family or other trivia games sometimes and we just listened to Alexa tell us a bedtime story the other day and loved that. We plan to buy two more dots for their bedrooms this year for Christmas so that they can have music in their rooms and use the alarm. And my oldest can ask for the weather so he knows how to dress. Last year, they went on sale all during the holidays, so I am hoping for another good deal!

  24. 11.8.18
    Emily said:

    Our Echo and Dots have CHANGED OUR LIVES. I'm not kidding. We have an 8 month old and before she was born, we started to make our house a little "smarter" and it all revolves around Alexa. We ask her everything from the weather, to the time, to random facts… she plays music for us (in individual rooms or around the whole house)… she sets alarms/timers- I use her instead of the one on my oven, because if I'm in the nursery or office or living room the timer still goes off and I hear it!

    The BEST thing we did with our Echo and 5 dots is Hue Smart lightbulbs. I can simply say "Alexa, turn on the nursery lights" and THE LIGHTS TURN ON. They also dim! Seriously the best thing ever.

  25. 11.8.18
    Sara said:

    Def "Let it Snow" Isa favorite Hallmark channel Xmas movie of mine

  26. 11.8.18
    angie said:

    I have friend that have the Show, if you have cameras in your house, or the Ring, you can connect them to it, so you get alerts vs. having to have your sound on your phone, etc.. You can also "drop in" on people and video chat via wifi instead of something like Facetime.

  27. 11.8.18
    Jennifer said:

    I love the Finding Father Christmas series by Robin Jones Gunn. They are now Hallmark movies too. So win-win!

  28. 11.8.18
    Laura said:

    We have two "Alexas". The larger one in the kitchen and then my 12 year old has one in his room. He uses his as a white noise/rain sounds machine every night. We also play music through them and it's a great way to check the weather daily. My favorite part is that I can drop in on his room from the other Echo as well as from my phone. Just the other day he was home alone and his ringer was accidentally off. I dropped in on his room and was able to check on him and remind him the ringer needed to be on :).

  29. 11.8.18
    Amy said:

    "A Bride for Christmas" and "Snow Bride" are my two favorites! Love those Hallmark movies!

  30. 11.8.18
    Lara D said:

    I LOVE Hallmark Christmas movies! Did you see they have a Hallmark Christmas music channel on Sirius XM? For the movies, some of my favorites are The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Three Days (they rarely play this anymore, but it has Kristin Davis in it and it's amazingly good), Debbie Macomber's Trading Christmas, Snow Bride, Hitched for the Holidays (with Joey Lawrence) – just so many! Also, not on Hallmark but another personal favorite is Holiday in Handcuffs with Mario Lopez and Melissa Joan Heart.

    For gift ideas, I'm probably not much help as we have 10 month old twin boys, but I am looking at maybe getting them a playhouse for the backyard – does Brit have anything like that yet? Or, a play kitchen? I loved "cooking" in my play kitchen around that age.

  31. 11.8.18
    Teri Garzon said:

    Favorite Hallmark Christmas movies: The Christmas Card is my all time favorite. The Nine Lives of Christmas, Snow Bride, A Very Merry Mixup, Mistletoe Inn, December Bride, Coming Home for Christmas, Trading Christmas, Let it Snow, The Mistletoe Promise, Cookie Cutter Christmas, Maggie’s Miracle, Twelve Gifts of Christmas. Some of these movies are based on books. The Nine Lives of Christmas is by Sheila Roberts. I enjoy Debbie Macomber Christmas books and Trading Christmas is one of them. Mistletoe Promise and Mistletoe Inn are two books in a trilogy by Richard Paul Evans. Maggie’s Miracle is a book in the Red Glove series by Karen Kingsbury that was mentioned. Favorite Christmas books: The Christmas Tree by Julie Salamon. LOVE this story. Paper Bag Christmas by Kevin Milne, Hallelujah by J Scott Featherstone, The Autobiography of Santa Claus by Jeff Guinn(this is part of a series), The Donna VanLiere books-Christmas Shoes, Christmas Hope, etc. The Christmas Train by David Baldacci(it is also a Hallmark movie), The Mansion by Henry Van Dyke, The Great Christmas Bowl by Susan Warren, The Old Peabody Pew by Kate Douglas Wiggin. Our book club is reading Jacob T Marley by William Bennett this year.

  32. 11.8.18
    ifl said:

    My daughter turned 3 the week before Christmas and the things she loved most or were used the most we're:
    Play kitchen food sets from Melissa and Doug
    Lego duplo (princess sets on Amazon)
    Mr and Mrs potato heads
    Dress up
    We got some Disney Jr shows on DVD so we could just put them on our tablet for traveling
    Art supplies!
    Matching games
    Books for bedtime

  33. 11.8.18
    Amanda @ That Inspired Chick said:

    I have all the same questions as you, minus the 3-year-old girl gift ideas. haha I'll be back to read all the comments!
    That Inspired Chick

  34. 11.8.18
    Jennifer Pierce said:

    Get her a Koala Box subscription! It's a STEM box that has three activties in it each month! They are super fun, fairly quick activities to do WITH her. They give you everything you need and they show up at your door and are PERFECT for rainy days with littles!

  35. 11.8.18
    Lauren Donoghue said:

    I’m sure you already have read the “Winter” series by Elin Hilderbrand. There are four books in the series. I’m reading the fourth now.

  36. 11.8.18
    Melissa said:

    My daughter is turning 3 in December. She loves horses, so we got her a Duplo lego set that comes with horses. We've also gotten her some water paint and paper, Frozen magnetic dolls, and a Frozen book. She loves to play with her baby doll stroller, too, and will push it around the house for HOURS!

  37. 11.8.18
    renee said:

    I’ve never commented on your blog before, but when it comes to Hallmark Christmas movies and Christmas books…. I can’t resist. My favorite hallmark movies are the older ones. I think hallmark has started valuaing quantity over quality in the recent years. So, a few favorites are The Christmas Card, A Season for Miracles, and One Starry Christmas.

    Another good one that isn’t a Hallmark movie but is on Netflix is called The Spirit of Christmas.

    As far as books, my all time favorite is the Mistletoe Promise by Richard Paul Evans. There are two other books in the series (Mistletoe Inn and Mistletoe Secret) that are also good, but the the Mistletoe Promise is a must read. They are all super quick and easy to read, and you don’t have to read the in any particular order.

  38. 11.8.18
    Unknown said:

    Koala Crate are my favorite! My 3 year old loves them and it is a gift that comes once a month, so it keeps going! 🙂

  39. 11.8.18
    Jennifer said:

    For Britt- MagnaTiles or Little Cosmetics pretend make up set. I’m making a list of these books and movies!

  40. 11.8.18
    kathie bickford said:

    My very favorite Hallmark Christmas movies are "Nine Lives of Christmas", "12 Gifts of Christmas", "A Princess for Christmas", "A Royal Christmas", "Cookie Cutter Christmas", Coming Home for Christmas", "Operation Christmas" which was on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel, and "The Christmas Secret" also on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel. Love your Blog!!

  41. 11.8.18
    Nicole in WI said:

    We are an Alexa household, I have 3 echo's and 2 dots. Two kids have a dot in their room – warning the speaker isn't the best ever – but you can connect them to a speaker to make it better. The oldest kid has a echo, then there is one in the family room and one in the master. We use the "drop in" feature all the time to talk between rooms so I don't have to yell about dinner or needing them. My daughter plays a night time play list and we use them for alarms. You can pay a monthly fee to put them into a kids mode – if that is worth it to you. Alexa then answers questions a little more kid friendly and has limits/access to kid friendly content – but I haven't found a need since you can see what they are doing through the app.

    I am also super into the smart home aspect, which is my favorite. I recommend getting wifi plugs/strips over the smart bulbs for most rooms because you can use the plugs on anything. I do have smart bulbs in our bedroom though because then you can set them at a specific dimness. Then you can make smart routines – so I have one where I tell Alexa "We are going to bed". That auto shuts off all the downstairs lights, then turns on my master bedroom lights and fan. Then in the morning I tell her to start my day and she turns off my fan, turns on my light super dim, tells me the weather and what events I have planned for the day.

    Clearly I love her.

  42. 11.8.18
    Suzie S. said:

    Hi! We have two Korean born daughters, (who are now 33 and 25). When they each turned 3, I got them an Asian Bitty Baby from American Girl. They LOVED them, and AG have such cute accessories and clothes too for them. Two years ago, I took each Bitty Baby, ordered each a Christmas dress and accessories from AG, put them in gift bags, and gave them to our girls for a surprise Chirstmas gift! They thought that was the neatest thing…the dolls had been in storage in our basement. They brought back some happy memories!!! For a Christmas book, I love the Jan Karon book, "Shepherds Abiding". Those books are kinda slow, but so sweet, and that one is special to read during this blessed season!!! I love reading your blog, and your friends' blogs. I love all of you young mommas putting the Lord first, and how you love your families:)

  43. 11.9.18
    Amy Heinl said:

    I am a Hallmark Junkie and watch the Christmas movies on both channels and save my favorites to my DVR. Some of my favorites are Miss Christmas, December Bride, Snow Bride, Christmas Melody, Angels & Ornaments, Rocky Mountain Christmas, Hearts of Christmas, Christmas at Pemberley Manor and all 3 of the Father Christmas movies (Finding Father Christmas, Engaging Father Christmas, & Marrying Father Christmas).

  44. 11.9.18
    Foss Family said:

    Any toy by Learning Resiurces. They are fun toys without the kids knowing they are also educational! Won win! 😉

  45. 11.9.18
    Lauren Morris said:

    Hallmark Christmas movies are wonderful! I love any of the movies with Candace Cameron Bure – Switched for Christmas, Christmas Under Wraps, A Christmas Detour. Since you are reading Karen Kingsbury, you should read her book Maggie’s Miracle. It was made into a movie last year. The Bridge was also made into a movie and is great! I also love Debbie Macomber’s Christmad books and movies. As far as gifts for Britt you can never go wrong with Melissa and Doug toys. The water wow is great for coloring in the car.

  46. 11.9.18
    Parnell's Pantry said:

    Ok..three year old Christmas..Step 2 has a new line of Christmas items..I just purchased one and it is adorable..they have My First Gingerbread House,My First Advent Calendar, My First Christmas Tree and a Rudolph rocker kids can sit on and rock..All adorable!! Check out their website and Amazon. Naturally, there are great books,arts and crafts,and those things that can be put together in a fun Christmas Box(check out Etxy for adorable,personalized Christmas Boxes,cute and so special).CufflinksGalore has beautiful wooden boxes(etsy),and and Skillustrate has some the kids can color in(also on Etsy).
    As for Books..Debbie Macomber has her new one out Alaskan Holiday. For a meaningful Read,if you've never read The Christmas Box,by Richard Paul Evans, it's a good one or The Christmas Jar by Jason Wright. Great messages.
    Have fun!

  47. 11.10.18
    Kasey said:

    The ice cream cart that Andrea posted about! House favorite. Also, grocery cart, pretend makeup.

  48. 11.10.18
    hopechelle said:

    I have a 3 1/2 yr old and I would recommend any of the Leap Frog learning toys. Melissa and Doug makes nice and sturdy play/learning activities as well. My daughter got a leap frog dog at her first birthday and she still plays with it. You can play games, sing songs and it also has a mode for night where it plays lullabies and will play for up to 15 minutes.You can never go wrong with babies and all of their accessories. My daughter likes Baby Alive. They have several different ones that eat and poor or pee pee.

  49. 11.12.18
    Claris Yoder said:

    I'm a grandma and the best gift I have given my 3 year old granddaughter was a Pottery Barn Kids Anywhere chair. She does sit and read in it, but she also jumps over it, flops onto it, slides off of it, and anything else she can find to do with it. And it's really cute and looks great in her room or in the playroom.

  50. 11.12.18
    Katy said:

    Um, I'm commenting just because I read through all the comments and didn't see my favorite Hallmark movie: "Christmas in Evergreen"! It has Kimberly Williams Paisley's sister in it and is do darn cute. They are making a sequel to it this year! I also love Switched for Christmas.

    One of my friends has an Echo in her family's playroom and she said her girls use it to help them spell words when they are drawing or reading to themselves which is sounds like a dream to me because she doesn't have to repeat the spelling of words 500 times, ha! They also request music on their own and play lullabies while they sleep. I think we are getting one as our family gift this Christmas.

  51. 11.13.18
    Braden & Brooke said:

    My fave Alexa feature … I connected her to the Anylist app on my phone and I can tell her to put items on my grocery list. Then I pull up the list on my phone when I’m at the store or placing an online order. She can keep multiple lists I.e. a separate list for Costco. So so helpful!!

  52. 2.17.22
    Kristin S said:

    Confession. I read this about 4 times before I knew you were referring to Amazon Prime! I was so confused. I thought you meant makeup primer. Oy. (I canceled Prime 3 years ago so it doesn’t even cross my mind but I always love your loves! I just wait a day or two longer for them.)

    • 2.17.22
      Kristin S said:

      No clue why or how this posted here when I was commenting on your 2/17 post.

      • 2.17.22
        Erika Slaughter said:

        That’s okay! I knew exactly what you meant!