Today's Gift Guide is inspired by:

"The adorable Little Girl in your life who loves princesses, playing in the mud, and reading Eloise."

When Eric and I got married, I suddenly became the aunt to two gorgeous little California babies (they aren't really babies, they're two and a half and five). Though we don't see them nearly as much as we would like to, I had the most fun picking out Christmas presents for them this year. It's fun being an aunt for the first time and spoiling two sweet girls! (We also have two handsome nephews, but they're a little young for the tea set or crayons...) If your nieces/cousins/kids you babysit for are anything like my lil ones, then they have both the princess-pink side, and the playing in the mud side. I tried, with these gifts, to play to both those aspects, so she will be 100% fulfilled when she opens her presents.

Your girlie will love to play in the sand and mud with her very own "baking set" from Melissa and Doug ($14.99). She can whisk and mix and make a great and beautiful mess all on her own. When she's done making a mess you can play with her and become a princess with this Princess Puppet, also Melissa and Doug ($19.99). What voice will you use? Will she be a damsel in distress or a hard working medical student princess? It's your call! Obviously, after puppet time is over, it is time for tea! Any tea-time would be incomplete without this Musical Tin Tea Set from HearthSong ($23). Wind up the teapot and it plays "I'm a Little Teapot"! Pretty much can't get cuter than that. And, of course, a Princess's day is not complete until she draws pictures to send you home with to hang on your fridge. This Princess Crayon Set from Apartment 48 is a perfect stocking stuffer at only $5!

Now, those are gifts fit for a mud-playing, Eloise-loving, sweetheart of a princess.

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