Based in the Bay Area, WLK is Mikee and Jo — working parents of two loving and kind kids. They love sharing stories and tips at the intersection of work, life and kids.

Practical holiday gift guide 2018

Practical holiday gift guide 2018

This list is a week too late. My plan was to write this in time for Black Friday sales but not only did life come up, but Camp Fire happened. I had to pivot and focus on air safety instead.

No doubt, you are seeing these lists pop-up everywhere. There’s no reason why you should read mine. I went through our entire house and picked out some of our favorites for busy working parents.

Gifts for her

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Uniqlo machine-washable merino sweater

This is a staple in my closet in three different colors. It washes so well and looks very flattering.


We don’t have time to cook.

It’s true, that’s why I ditched recipes altogether. This book captures a lot of understanding the basics. Excellent reviews on Amazon.


The one oven to rule them all

If she’s been hinting at an air fryer for awhile, forget the air fryer. I recommend you consider a small convection oven instead. It will double as a powerful oven, air fryer and dehydrator. This is a workhorse for our home and guaranteed to make you #husbandoftheyear.

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The viral amazon down jacket

Not only is this down jacket incredibly warm, it look’s so cool it’s taken over the UES. It might be too warm for the Bay Area, but it will work for any winter trips you’re taking. Priced under $100, it’s a great deal. Mine will be here on Monday, will update with pictures!


The big girl watch that won’t break the bank

I work with an amazing creative director, Nicole, who has an impeccable style in fashion. When I decided on my first big girl watch (after ditching the fitbit), MVMT it was she recommended. I couldn’t love it more. Can be dressed up or down as seen her with my moto jacket.

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The perfect crossbody purse…

The one I love is actually a local Singaporean brand, jetsac, but for the ultimate daily lightweight bag, I’ve been a fan of lululemon’s. This year’s model just launched, I’m on my way to pick it up at the store!

Gifts for him

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Travel compression cubes

I got these for my trip to Houston recently, but I’m pretty sure he’s eyeing them. Great price for a three-pack ($25).

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Time for change.

This book is blowing up the feed of a nutrition coaching community I’m part of. It seems like this should be read by any busy parent: “A supremely practical and useful book. James Clear distills the most fundamental information about habit formation, so you can accomplish more by focusing on less.

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Handheld garment steamer

We have this Rowenta pictured here. It does a fantastic job of ironing a crisp shirt without having to pull out the ironing board. Bonus: Dual-voltage! ($59.95)

Gifts for kids (4-7)

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Bruger skid cat loader

I’m probably late to the game but only discovered Bruder’s recently. They are exact replicas and are built to last years. They go from sandbox to the bath. Virtually indestructible.


A great book about inclusiveness

I read this book at Emmy’s class last week. It was a great lesson in inclusiveness and bullying. Every home should have this.

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First kid’s camera

Our kids are obsessed with this camera. We take it on biking trips, hiking trips. and it keeps them away from my iPhone. Currently on Cyber Monday sale for half price!

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Time management starts now

We don’t have this yet, but Santa will deliver it soon. Our 6yo is pretty advanced in terms of self-control and planning her own time. This will help her take it to the next level.

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For STEM gifts…

I’ve got a curated list of the best toys for STEM. Check out my blog, it’s organized by age range.

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For kids that go crazy indoors

Winter and rain is coming. This will keep your super active toddler active and learning educational content. Santa is delivering theirs soon!

Gifts for grandparents

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The lazy spoon

You see that notch? It allows you to hook the spoon onto the edge of the pot. It’s freaking genius. We have a whole bunch of these at home. Pictured here is an 11” spatula. If you need something larger, check out Jonathan’s website for that.

Gift of good sleep

The weighted blanket has revolutionized the quality of my sleep. I fall asleep much quicker and stay asleep for longer. So much so, that I can’t get through a full TV episode anymore! Make sure you pick one that is 10% of their bodyweight. I had great success with this brand.

Gifts for white elephant and secret santa

  1. Emergency hand crank radio: Most people don’t have one!

  2. Yeti tumbler

  3. Jackery battery bank:

  4. Because everybody should have an emergency kit but nobody has one: Emergency sleeping bag ($9) and emergency seat belt cutter($9): and zippo emergency fire kit ($9)

  5. Happy feet socks: On clearance at nordstrom rack!

  6. and if you need more ideas for white , read my blog post.

Stocking stuffers

  1. Nick stick - great for shaving nicks, men and women alike. I also used it on a zit I broke at work, and it stopped the bleeding!

  2. Maldon sea salt flakes tin - These are smaller than you think but a cute staple for any kitchen. We use it to top chocolate chip cookies.

  3. Kanoodle makes an appearance again as a stocking stuffer. Challenge your family members to see who can get to a higher level. Guaranteed hours of fun for all ages.

  4. Ice roller for migraine, headaches and pain. This was recommended by runners in my peloton group.

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WLK receives a small commission on some purchases through posts. No pressure, though.

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