Double Date Idea And A Paint Night Gift Basket

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FronteraExperience #CollectiveBias

For a while now I’ve been wanting to go to one of those places where you can hang out and paint. It sounds like it would be such a great time but I really don’t get out that much for girl’s night or date night since becoming a parent. Because of this I thought it would be fun to put together a paint night gift basket to bring the painting fun home! The basket is perfect for a girl’s night in or a double date night with another couple. (Personally I love the double date in idea because you get time with a friend and your man – just get a sitter to share and enjoy some adult couple time.)

Along with the painting there’d have to be food because a fun evening isn’t complete without it! When I thought about the bright colors of paint I had bought, I immediately knew they would pair perfectly with the vibrant flavors of one of my favorite cuisines- Mexican! I also knew I wanted something simple because nothing kills the fun of an evening for the hostess like being stuck in the kitchen while everyone else enjoys time together. Luckily I knew just the right ones that would work- Frontera® Frozen Skillets, inspired by Chef Rick Bayless. They only take about 15 minutes to cook so they can be made before guests arrive or while everyone’s artwork dries.

The paint night gift basket makes a great gift for a friend or your significant other. To make it for a double date night just put enough of everything for four people in the gift basket!

Here’s what I put in my gift basket:

  • 4 Canvases to paint
  • Acrylic paint in various colors
  • 4 Paint palettes
  • Paintbrushes (fine and wide tip)
  • Colorful plates and napkins

The gift basket is easy to put together. I used a black tin and decorated it with some paper flowers on the outside and added some crumpled paper inside the bottom of the tin. I added in canvases to paint (two 5X7 and two 8×10 sizes), paintbrushes, tubes of acrylic paint, paint palettes, and colorful napkins and plates for our dinner.

Speaking of dinner….if you love Mexican food you have to try these skillets. Frontera® Foods brings premium ingredients and flavors into the kitchen so they make the perfect dish to bring friends together. I bought two flavor varieties, the Frontera® Chicken Fajita Skillet (made with tender cuts of seared chicken simmered together with fire-roasted poblanos and chipotle chiles) and the Frontera® Carnitas Taco Skillet (made with slow-cooked pork with tangy tomatillos and roasted poblano chiles).

I loved that the meal’s ingredients and directions read in plain English and were simple to follow. They are so easy to cook that it took less than fifteen minutes to go from freezer to table.

I bought the Frontera® Frozen Skillets, along with two jars of their salsa (Frontera® Jalapeño Cilantro Salsa and Frontera® Tomatillo Salsa), at Target. We found the meals in the freezer aisle and they had a variety of flavors to choose from.

And, if you are into saving money (who isn’t!?), from now through November 25th use the Cartwheel coupon below to get 25% off Frontera® Skillets at Target!

Have you ever had a double date night in? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Last Minute Gift Ideas For Dad {Giveaway}

Father's Day Gift Guide

Thanks to Sears for sponsoring this post and giveaway.

Father’s Day is this Sunday! Anyone still need to buy a gift for dad? My boys have reached the age where they like to help pick out gifts to give for occasions like this so we are headed to the store tomorrow for some last minute shopping. While they try to convince me we should go to a toy store and get him toys because “daddy really likes toys”, I know better and will be taking them to Sears where there are plenty of things that their dad actually would want.

From tools to small appliances to trendy clothes, Sears has the perfect gift for every dad. I checked out Sears.com to get an idea of what we’d find and am sharing some of my favorites here so you can make sure to visit Sears online or in-store for all your Father’s Day gifting needs! I also have a $50 Sears e- gift card I’ll be giving away for those last minute shoppers.

Gift idea #1: A new grill and/or grilling accessories for the dad who loves to grill

Several years back I shared here on the blog how we got a new grill from Sears. I think it is one of the best gifts I’ve given and something that gets used on a frequent basis. They have a number of grilling accessories too so dad can grill everything from fish to shish kabobs.

One of my favorites is the Kenmore 4 Burner LP Mocha Gas Grill with Searing Side Burner. I love the fact that it has the side burner plus the storage space on the bottom is perfect for all of the grilling accessories and seasonings dad might want to keep in it.

Gift idea #2: Craftsman Tools for the handyman

As a girl growing up I remember being amazed by how many tools my dad had. I never knew what all of them did but he always seemed to know which tool was perfect for the job. I think tools are the perfect gift for the handyman dad.

Sears carries an assortment of Craftsman tools and toolboxes. This Craftsman 254 PC Mechanics Tool Set with 75Tooth Ratchet is the only tool set dad will need to complete any and every mechanical job and it’s nice because all of the tools come in a well constructed tool box. Sears is offering up to 50% off Craftsman tools for Father’s Day (sale runs through 6/18).

Gift idea #3: Home theater system for the movie buff

Some dads are all about movies. They come up with a movie quote for every occasion and always know what movies are playing at the theater and what new movies are coming out every week.

Those dads would love a home theater so that every movie watched at home would make them feel like they were at the movie theater. The Samsung HT-J5500W 5.1 Channel Home Theater System w/ Bluetooth and Smart Blu-ray Player brings a cinema atmosphere to your living room. This package includes immersive speakers, a subwoofer and a smart Blu-ray player to enjoy all types of content in vivid color and robust audio. With 5.1 channels and wireless rear speakers, dad can create an immersive experience when watching sports or the latest blockbusters.

Gift idea #4: Rding lawn mower for the dad who prides himself on how his yard looks

Recently I saw a photo online of a dad mowing his lawn with a tornado in the distance. While I thought he was crazy because you should always take shelter in bad weather, it just goes to show that some dads will not let anything stop them from making their yards picture perfect. If you have a dad in your life who spends hours outside every weekend, a gift that would help make yard work easier would probably be appreciated.

For those with a large area to mow every week, a riding mower would make the perfect gift. The Craftsman Pro Series 42″ 20 HP V-Twin Kohler Hydrostatic Riding Mower w/ Smart Lawn Bluetooth Technologymakes me want to type all the heart eye emojis because this thing is amazing. Dad can get the job done quickly with this mower and it has Consistent-Cut™ technology so he’ll get the perfect cut even if your yard includes uneven terrain or areas of tall grass. Caring for the riding lawn mower is easy too with the Smart Lawn app for iPhone and Android smartphones that includes a run time tracker, service reminders and everything he will need to maintain the riding lawn mower.

Gift idea #5: New tent for dads who love to camp

Growing up we went camping often and I loved it so I think that camping equipment is a great gift that can help make memories for years to come. This would make a great gift for a new dad accompanied by a note sharing some of your favorite camping tips and tricks. Even seasoned campers could use some new equipment and I found this out the hard way! I had borrowed my dad’s tent that was probably more than 25 years old and woke up in a puddle of rain water in the middle of the night. So if dad enjoys camping, maybe surprise him with a new tent before he discovers he needs a new one while in the middle of nowhere.

Sears has tents, sleeping bags and everything else a camper needs. For smaller families, this Coleman Sundome® 4-Person Dome Tent would be ideal. Easy setup means less time setting up the tent and more time roasting marshmallows! This tent is compact, yet spacious and has a ground vent and two windows to help your family stay cool and comfortable. If it rains, the WeatherTec™ system with its patented welded floors and inverted seams will help you stay dry and the compact dome shape stands up to wind.

Gift idea #6: Mini-fridge for the beer drinker

I find that we always need extra fridge storage so mini-fridges are great. If your hubby enjoys a cold drink while watching a baseball game or enjoys entertaining, this might be a great gift for dad.

The Whynter Mini Stainless Steel Refrigerator is sleek and will fit in dad’s garage workshop, office or his man cave. This fridge holds an amazing 117 12-ounce can beverages or up to 27 wine bottles.

Gift idea #7: Mountain bike for the explorer

One of the things Sinisa wants this year is a bike so he can go bike riding with the boys. It’s a great way for dads to spend time with their families- whether they are just going on a ride down the street or exploring a wooded trail.

There are a number of bikes to choose from at Sears from well known brands like Schwinn, Mongoose and Iron Horse. The IRON HORSE 29″ Men’s Warrior 3.2 Mountain Bike is the perfect set of wheels for dad. This mountain bike is built to take all the bumps, dips and holes in stride and is designed to make even rough roads feel freshly paved.

As you can see, Sears is definitely a one stop shop for your Father’s Day shopping because they offer a wide range of home merchandise, apparel, automotive products and more! Sears provides shopping convenience – letting members shop wherever, whenever and however they choose, both in stores and online. They even have an awesome rewards program called ‘Shop Your Way’ that is a free social shopping destination and rewards program offering millions of products, personalized services, and advice. The program rewards members for buying the products and services they want every day. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you will want to sign up!

Enter below to win a $50 e-gift card to Sears! The winner will receive it before Father’s Day so they can pick out some last minute gifts for dad!
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Father’s Day Gift Guide

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Disclosure: I received samples of all products featured but all thoughts are my own.

Father’s Day is in a few weeks and, if you are like me, you probably still need to find the perfect gift. Let’s skip the tie and socks this year, okay? Today I’m sharing 8 gift ideas that might be just what the man in your life wants. I’ve got something for the grill master to the tech geek and everyone in between.

For the well-groomed man – The Good Stuff

The folks over at The Good Stuff have created the recipe for a flawless barbershop shave. Founded by real barbers with over 140 years of combined experience, they’ve perfected the art of shaving with their premium line of products. The Good Stuff Shave Lather is infused with pre-shave oil to reduce friction and nourish the skin. Their Aftershave has a light, clean fresh scent that protects with SPF15 with no greasy, shiny residue. Does your dad have sensitive skin? Their One of a Kind original formula can be used in replace of after shave or in combination and is recommended twice a week to create healthier skin and softer facial hair.

The Good Stuff monthly subscription lets the dad in your life experience the smoothest shave at home, each and every morning. They are so confident in the quality of their Shave Lather that they are letting everyone try it for just 5 bucks when they sign up! Learn more and subscribe here.

For the tech geek – Navdy

Navdy is the first Augmented Driving device that leverages augmented reality to project information directly in the driver’s line of sight, for an all new driving experience. Navdy enables simple, gesture-based access to the phone functions drivers need most and projects everything directly in their line of sight on the road ahead. A comprehensive eyes-forward solution, drivers can manage all their phone necessities like maps, calls, and messages, while keeping their eyes on the road. Read my full review of Navdy here.

For the man who loves to grill – Zach’s Wing Sauce

Designed with the griller in mind, Zach’s Wing Sauce is the first ever sprayable wing sauce. Crafted like great beers with premium ingredients and even packaged in a beer bottle with a sprayer on top, Zach’s aims to make grilling wings an experience that wing lovers will want to repeat…often. This sprayable sauce means less cleanup and allows grillers to use just the right amount of sauce. It’s made with quality ingredients and are Vegetarian, Dairy Free and Gluten Free.

They offer a $20 Mix Pack online that lets you mix and match your dad’s favorite flavors, like Chocolate Chipotle, Sriracha Lime and Better Buffalo. They can also be find in stores like Jewel Osco here in Chicago.

For the traveler – ModernMapArt

Have a dad who loves to travel? ModernMapArt takes his favorite cities, mountains, and places and turns them into beautiful works of art. If you’re looking for the perfect way to help him remember that trip to Europe, honeymoon, place you got engaged, his alma mater, hometown, or anything else, their maps are a great way to display that nostalgia. ModernMapArt creates museum-quality posters made on thick, durable, acid-free paper. The prints are created using UltraChrome ink so they are fingerprint resistant. Order one here and get free shipping on all US orders.

For the gift basket lover – BroBasket

The BroBasket offers the coolest choices of custom baskets that include all his favorites like craft beer, fine wines and spirits along with his favorite brand name gear and goodies. All baskets are 100% customizable and come in non-alcoholic versions too! The Craft Beer Tasting Kit is designed for those men who scoff at typical domestic beer and want something you can’t find at your local corner store. This basket offers a sampling of the top 4 beers from the 8 California breweries that BroBasket carries. Have a golfer in your life? The Golfers Delight basket above may be the perfect choice! Check out all the baskets available here.

 

For the outdoorsy guy – Family Camping Trip

What better gift to get the outdoorsy dad in your life than a camping trip with his loved ones? In my opinion, the gift of time together is the best gift you can give! Find a camping location here (kids camp free Father’s Day weekend!) and then enjoy it! For added fun, you can customize special shirts for dad and his lads. See how I made our camping shirts (pictured above) here.

For the musician – Yamaha Electronic Drum Set

Whether the dad in your life is a drummer looking for a space saving set to practice on or a beginner hoping to start a garage band, the DTX400K electronic drum kit from Yamaha would make an amazing gift! It’s really like having ten professional drum sets in one compact electronic drum kit because they can freely mix any of the 169 organic drum sounds to create customized kits that suit their style. They can try a heavy metal double bass kit one day then change into a dance kit the next, or keep their ten favorite kits of all time. They get a world of choices in this electronic drum kit: 23 snares, 21 kicks, 36 toms, 31 cymbals, and 42 percussion instruments. Learn more about the Yamaha DTX400K here.

For the coffee adventurer – Atlas Coffee Club

Trying to find a great gift for someone who loves trying new coffee flavors? Atlas Coffee Club is a travel-themed coffee of the month club that explores the world’s best coffee; Tanzania, Burundi, Congo, and beyond. Atlas Coffee Club curates only the finest coffee, paying above market prices to ensure that farms can produce high quality coffee year over year, and roasts each batch to accentuate flavor profiles distinctive to the each coffee region. Made to order to guarantee freshness, a subscription is the ultimate opportunity for organic flavor discovery and global variety. Each month Atlas Coffee Club highlights a new coffee growing country and shows the unique differences in both taste and culture.. To go a step further, they’ve designed their coffee bags as a celebration of culture for each country as each design was inspired by local textiles and landscapes. Order a gift subscription here.

What gift would the dad in your life love to receive?

Jar Of Wisdom And Love For A Graduate

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Graduation season is just around the corner which means that many are busy planning parties to celebrate their graduate. There are a number of things to think about, from the food you’ll serve to the decor you’ll have to the gift you’ll give. Today I wanted to share an idea I had that is perfect for graduation parties but also doubles as a gift for your graduate.

I created a Graduation Jar of Wisdom & Love. This jar can be set out on a table at the party for guests to leave words of wisdom and love for the graduate. It’s simple to make, too! Just get a large jar and decorate it with ribbon or scrapbook stickers. Leave pieces of card stock, washi tape and a pen on the table with a sign asking your guests to leave their words of wisdom and love. When they are done writing their note on the card they can roll it up and wrap tape around it.

Once the party is over you can put the lid on the jar and present it to your graduate. You could also roll up dollar bills and add them to the jar before you give it to the graduate (if you were planning on giving them money anyways). Your child will love all the advice and kind words from their friends and family members and will appreciate this gift for years to come!

What words of wisdom would you give someone graduating junior high, high school or college?

 

Creating A Gift Basket For A Sick Friend

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This post is written by me on behalf of Geometry Global. All opinions are entirely my own. This shop has been compensated by Acorn Influence, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

Being sick is difficult for anyone, but it is especially difficult for moms who have households to run and little people to take care of. I’m currently sick with bronchitis so I thought this would be the perfect time to share about things we can do for our friends when they are sick. Personally, I’m lucky to have such sweet friends, who have been checking on me, praying for me to feel better and have dropped off food to my family. These friends have been such a huge blessing to me and have inspired me to think about ways I can give back to my friends when they are sick.

Along with bringing food and offering a listening ear, a couple other ideas that might help a friend out when they are sick would be offering to watch their children or offering to help with any errands or work they might need assistance with. Another way to let a friend know you care about them is by creating a gift basket to cheer them up and help them feel better. I thought about what things might be good to include and wanted to share what I came up with.

Things to make them feel pretty- I love this “hello gorgeous” sign (pictured above). Sometimes when we are sick the last thing we feel is gorgeous so this sign is a great reminder for us. You could also include a little tube of lip gloss because we all know that a little swipe of pink lip gloss adds a bit of a pretty glow to a tired face!

Something warm to drink- Coffee or hot cocoa in a pretty mug can soothe a sore throat and the mug is a nice reminder of friendship that will put a smile on your friend’s face every time she drinks out of it.

Snack- I filled a little bag with sweets because everyone could use a bit of chocolate when they are sick. (I may or may not have picked up a candy bar while I was picking up my medications at the pharmacy last night…..) Find out your friend’s favorite snack and add it to your gift basket for her.

Relaxation essentials- When moms are sick the most important thing they can do is get some rest. Help them relax with a soothing candle they can light while they take a bubble bath or watch a favorite movie. A cute notebook they can write or draw in would be nice as well.

Flowers- It’s hard to keep the house tidy when we are sick isn’t it? Bring your friend some pretty flowers to help brighten up their home and help them forget the mess for a bit.

Kleenex - Most of the time I’m sick the one thing I use the most is tissues. I found a four pack of Kleenex Anti-viral facial tissues at Walmart which lets your friend (or you!) be able to keep a box of tissues everywhere they might be needed- whether it’s on the nightstand or next to the couch. These Kleenex are great because the active ingredients in the middle layer of this 3-ply tissue kill 99.9% of cold and flu viruses* in the tissue within 15 minutes. As moms, the last thing we want is for our kids to get sick, too, so the added anti-viral feature of these Kleenex is helpful in reducing the spread of germs to our families.

How do you bless your friends when they are sick?

 

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Disclaimer: *In the tissue in 15 minutes.  Virucidal against: Rhinoviruses Type 1A and 2 (Rhinoviruses are the leading cause of the common cold); Influenza A and Influenza B (causes of the flu); Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV – the leading cause of lower respiratory infection in children).

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Exes and Ohs

Disclosure: Products were received for consideration but all thoughts are my own.

Valentine’s Day is almost here and, for many, that means it’s time to show love with cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts. I thought I’d share some gift ideas with you all in case you still haven’t had a chance to go out and find something special. Whether you need a gift for your significant other or a “GALentine” gift for a friend, I hope this gives you some ideas!

“Dinner for 2″ Date Night Gift Basket

I shared this romantic date night gift basket a few weeks ago but I love it so much I just had to share it again. It’s super easy to put together- just put some dinner ingredients in there, a bottle of wine, some candles and some Valentine’s Day decorations and you are all set to make dinner in with your sweetie!

Get all the details to make your own gift basket here.

Sweets Gift Box

Does your loved one have a sweet tooth? If so, you’ll want to get them this subscription box!  The SweetsGiftBox is filled with 4-5 goodies ranging from gourmet chocolates and cookies to artisan candies and treats. I loved the variety in the boxes and the few things I’ve tried so far from my sample box are delicious! I like that they are all items from brands I normally wouldn’t be able to find in a grocery store.

Learn more about the subscription service here.

Love’s Passion Bouquet by Teleflora

Heat up the romance and passion with this stunning floral arrangement that is sure to capture your Valentine’s attention. This gorgeous bouquet features a bountiful display of classic red roses, tulips, and white Asiatic lilies nestled within an elegant red glass vase. Each bouquet is professionally-arranged and delivered by a local florist so you can guarantee that every petal of your bouquet is freshly cut, carefully prepared and hand-made with love.

See Teleflora’s full line of Valentine’s Day bouquets here.

Custom Print from 78th & Newbury

I love getting personalized gifts and 78th & Newbury is one of my favorite online shops that offers them. At Christmas I reviewed their personalized canvas travel maps which would make a cute gift for travel lovers but I also think this love song print would make an amazing gift as well. If you are buying a gift for a spouse you could have a print made with your wedding song lyrics on it. How sweet would that be?

Find more gift ideas from 78th & Newbury here.

I love reading romance books so I’m very excited to read about the real life love story of Chip and Joanna Gaines, the stars of HGTV’s Fixer Upper. If your valentine is an avid book reader you may want to surprise them with this cute book!

Buy the book on Amazon here.

What is the best Valentine’s Day gift you have ever given or received?

Gift Basket For New Cat Parents

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NewPetNoStains #CollectiveBias

A year and a half ago we adopted our two cats, Boomer and Peaches, from someone who had rescued them after they were abandoned in a park. Our two little fur babies have added a lot of love to our home and I’m so thankful for that.

Though I had cats growing up, it wasn’t until I became a pet parent as an adult that I realized just how many things that cats required. There were the obvious things we had to buy, like cat food and litter, but then also things I hadn’t thought about. Things like tags for their collars and carpet cleaner became must-have items on my list.

I decided to create a special gift basket for a new pet parent with all the essentials they would need before taking their cats home.

The first thing I did was find a basket big enough for all my items and then add in a pet bed to the bottom of it. Though my cats rest wherever they please, it’s always nice to have a comfy place for them to nap. They love their cat tree but, for most cats, a cat bed placed in any sunny spot will do and it’s small enough to fit into the basket.

The next item I put in the basket was STAINMASTER® Carpet Pet Stain Remover which is perfect for the inevitable pet messes that will happen on your rugs and carpeted areas. I never realized just how much this would come in handy. It removes stubborn pet stains but also can be used on everyday stains. I’ve used it to clean up a number of accidents and hairballs along with spills due to overexcited cats (like those times when my cats are chasing each other and one jumps up on the coffee table and knocks a cup down on to the rug…)  Not only does this remove stains but it has ODOR REMOVE™ Technology that eliminates odors and leaves behind an invisible shield as it cleans so that it repels dirt to protect against re-soiling which means it’s easier to clean the next time. It’s also nice because it doesn’t leave a sticky residue behind.

Another thing I like to add in to the gift basket are cat treats. For a pretty look just put the treats into a clear cellophane bag and tie it closed with a colorful string. Catnip is also a fun addition to the basket and can be added to scratching posts, toys and a variety of other pet items you want to draw your cat’s attention, too.

And speaking of toys, you’ll want to add in some of those! I included some cute little mice and a yarn ball to keep active kittens entertained.

Other PURRfect essentials I added include a water bowl, a lint roller to get cat hair off of clothes, and a brush. You may also want to include an air freshener for them to put near the litter box, a collar and a little note with the recommendation of a veterinarian you love.

Whether it’s a gift for someone bringing a little kitten home for the first time or you are adopting a cat yourself, check out the great selection of pet products at Target! I found the STAINMASTER Carpet Pet Stain Remover in the cleaning aisles by the other floor cleaners in the Orland Park, IL Target. (It is not available at all Target locations, but is available online. Click here to find it, or have it shipped for free, to your local Target store.)

Also, make sure to use Target’s Cartwheel app to save 25% on STAINMASTER Carpet Pet Stain Remover (Cartwheel offer good through 3/4). The only thing better than wandering the aisles of Target is saving money on what you find while you are there :)

What would you add to a gift basket for a new pet parent?

50+ Stocking Stuffer Ideas {Something For Everyone!}

Dash Away Y'all

Disclosure: Some items were received for consideration but all thoughts are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

One of the last things “Santa” has to purchase every holiday season is stocking stuffers. “Santa” tries to limit the candy in the stockings and instead stuff it with small necessities and a few fun items. If you are still looking to fill your stockings I wanted to share some ideas of things you can put in them. This list has something for everyone from kids to teens to adults!

1) Nail polish and nail art - Espionage Cosmetics offers a line of cruelty free nail wraps in fun designs like the rose ones pictured above. They are easy to apply, do not require a heat gun, and when mastered it only takes 5 to 10 minutes to apply.

2) Socks

3) Deck of cards

4) Bath toy

5) Mini screwdriver

6) Keychain

7) Hair ties, bows or headbands

8) Gloves 9) Toothbrush – The kids love BrushBuddies! There’s a new Shopkins Brite Beatz one that plays the Shopkins theme song along to synchronized lights. Brite Beatz helps improve oral care making brushing fun for kids. Shopkins theme song will play for the dentist recommended two minutes. Shopkins Brite Beatz has fun characters on the handle and a comfortable grip for kids.

10) Gift card to their favorite restaurant

11) Chewing gum

12) Stickers

13) Small bottle of alcohol (21+)

14) Crayons

15) Body spray 16) Reusable bags – Urban Market bags are stylish, high quality, reusable shopping bags that are eco-friendly and completely washable. These bags are made from a lightweight nylon fabric with strong stitching that makes them extra durable and the ideal reusable tote bags that will last for years. Best of all, they are compact when not in use which make them ideal for stashing in your glove compartment box, your purse or anywhere else you may need to keep it.

17) Hot sauce

18) Makeup brushes

19) Money clip

20) Ornament

21) Gift card to a coffee shop

22) Stuffed animal – Bears for humanity is a great choice because for every stuffed animal purchased, another is given to a child in need. The bears are made using only certified organic materials by at-risk women in welfare-work programs right here in the US. They have a number of animal pals to choose from so you can find the perfect companion for the little one in your life!

23) Lip balm

24) Small notepad

25) Movie tickets

26) Jar candles

27) Comb or small brush

28) Luggage tag 

29) Headphones – Cozy Phones are awesome because not only are they headphones but they keep the head and ears warm at the same time. There are lycra, mesh lines ones for active people and also fun, fleece animal ones for kids.

30) Lotion

31) Coffee beans or K-Cups

32) Handmade soap

33) Things for their hobby- guitar picks, paintbrushes, soccer shin guards, etc

34) Makeup

35) Guides – You can purchase a guidebook that teaches a new language or skill but Deckopedia is cool because it makes guides in deck form. Fun ones include Mixology 101: The Art Of Crafting Cocktails and Natural Beauty Skincare, a collection of homemade beauty recipes.

36) Hand warmers

37) Bubble bath

38) Tie

39) Coffee Cozy

40) Hair gel or spray

41) Small games

42) Bubbles

43) Face masks – 7th Heaven makes a variety of single use masks that are available at Walmart. Their mud masks are enriched with nourishing active ingredients to deep cleanse, leaving skin fresh, clean and glowing. Peel off masks purify skin enabling all the natural goodness to nourish and pamper skin to perfection. Exfoliating masks deep cleanse and polish to remove stubborn surface blackheads and awaken dull skin and renew skin texture.

44) Tiny puzzle

45) Phone case

46) Scalp massager (I got these ones on Amazon for less than a $1 each!)

47) Pens and pencils

48) Selfie stick

49) Coins

50) USB charger – Ezisoul’s multi-port charger is the perfect travel charger because it let’s you charge 5 devices (phones and tablets) at once using only one charger. Engineered with Auto Detect Technology, this USB port charger lets you plug any device, Android and Apple, into any port and the smart charger will get exactly what it needs to charge the device rapidly and effectively.

I’d love to hear any other ideas you have!

Gifts For The Home {Giveaway}

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(Disclosure: Samples were received for consideration but all thoughts are my own. This post contains affiliate links.)

A few years ago I wrote about how one of the top gifts on my Christmas wish list was a stock pot to make soup. I realized at this point that I had matured because I was asking for something practical that I needed for our home. Ever since then I’ve had gifts for our home on every wish list I’ve written. This year my top wishes were a KitchenAid mixer, an Instant Pot and the Nutri Ninja Nutri Bowl DUO along with some photography related items for the blog. I thought I’d put together a list of great gifts you can add to your wish list or that family and friends may like to receive.

Ninja Coffee Bar

Raise your hand if you spend way too much on coffee every week. {Raises hand…} You’ll want to add the Ninja Coffee Bar to your wish list. Get a better than coffee house experience, at home, without pods. This system includes an integrated milk frother and makes 6 brew sizes and 5 brew types – including the Ninja exclusive Café Forte, which amplifies the natural subtle flavors of your favorite coffee. While my Starbucks runs won’t stop, this is the perfect addition to my kitchen so that I can visit the coffee shop less often and save some money as we head into the new year. I’ll be sharing coffee drink recipes on the blog soon!

Buy it on Amazon here.

Honeycomb Speaker

Have someone in your life that loves music? They will enjoy using this new compact, wireless Bluetooth® portable speakers by Honeycomb Sound LLC. The unique honeycomb cell design easily fills a large room or outdoor space with quality sound proving that big sound and deep bass aren’t only produced from the bulky, wired stereo system of the past. I love that this speaker has a long-lasting battery which allows for portability. This speaker also has some great additional features like a USB flash drive input and a power bank function that allows for the charging of mobile phones.

Buy it on Amazon here. 

Switchmate

Smart home tech is all the rage nowadays and these Switchmate light controls are the perfect gift for someone looking to automate their home. It also makes a great gift for someone with mobility issues who has a hard time getting around because they don’t have to get up from the couch or bed to turn the lights on or off. What I love about these are that you get the security and convenience of smart home lighting without the hassle of complicated and sometimes expensive rewiring and installation. Switchmate magnetically attaches to any standard light switch immediately and syncs with the Switchmate companion app which is used to control the switch. There is also a cool “welcome” feature that senses the sync’d phone via Bluetooth and turns on the lights so they come on when you enter the home.

Buy it on Amazon here.

Shark Rocket Complete with DuoClean Technology

Shark’s newest upright vacuum is the perfect gift for anyone who is sick of using a vacuum that doesn’t clean like it should. With it’s dual brushroll system, it easily transitions from floors to carpet, picking up everything from sand and dirt to cheerios. On carpets, the self-cleaning soft velvet brush roll pulls in large particles, while the deep-cleaning bristle brush works at removing embedded fine dirt. On floors, large and small particles, as well as stuck-on dust, are pulled in by the velvet brush roll and then drawn into the high velocity suction channel by the bristle brush roll, leaving nothing but clean floors behind. What I love most about this vacuum is it’s versatility because, not only is it an upright vacuum, it can also be converted into a handheld to clean narrow, hard to reach places.

Buy it on Amazon here. (P.S.- It’s $100 off as of the writing of this post!)

Magic Chef’s Red Portable Ice Maker

If you entertain a lot, this portable ice maker would be perfect for you! The ice maker products up to 27 pounds of ice per day so you don’t need to worry about running out mid-celebration. For any holiday events you are hosting, the red color one would add a pop of color to the party. The ice maker includes a removable ice basket and ice scooper for simple, convenient serving as well as a see-through window to view the ice level at any time.

Buy it on Amazon here.

Philips Wake-up Light

Know somebody who is NOT a morning person? Get them the Phillips Wake-Up Light! This light is clinically proven to provide a more energetic wake-up in the morning. Designed to mimic a sunrise, it slowly gets brighter 30 minutes prior to your desired wake-up time (you can also have relaxing music kick in to help with the wake-up as well). The result is a gentle and refreshing wake-up experience that gradually raises you out of sleep – instead of a jarring alarm clock. What does this mean for your morning? This natural wake-up will leave you feeling more effective and alert – ready to conquer those essential morning tasks.

Buy it on Amazon here.

WellnessMats

Nobody likes doing dishes but at least your feet will be happy when you are standing on one of these WellnessMats. Customized comfort, rich colors, lovely patterns, WellnessMats look good, and feel better. They boost energy, increase circulation, and eliminate foot fatigue. I love that they can be monogrammed and customized so that they fit in perfectly with the decor in your kitchen.

Buy it here.

Nutri Ninja Nutri Bowl DUO

Anyone who loves to create new recipes will be over the moon excited to receive Ninja’s newest appliance that packs a lot of power and versatility into it’s small footprint. This groundbreaking innovation combines Ninja’s powerful Nutrient & Vitamin Extraction—breaking down fruits and vegetables to unlock their full potential– with the all-new Nutrient Fusion that brings fresh, vibrant ingredients together for flavorful, nutritious meals, snacks, and desserts worth savoring. I was amazed to discover how many recipes that can be made in this, from soups to burgers to desserts.

Buy it on Amazon here.

Debbie Meyer CakeCutters

Looking for a cute hostess gift under $20? Debbie Meyer CakeCutters would be perfect! Those who love to entertain will like how easy it is cut and serve the perfect slice of cake every time with these stainless steel cake cutters. The CakeCutters come in V-shape, for round cakes, and U-shape, for square and sheet cakes. 

Buy it on Amazon here.

 

Shark Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System

Anyone with kids or pets will appreciate the new Shark floor cleaning system, with it’s flexible, tailored, all-in-one solution that delivers improved and easier cleaning than before. The new system offers more control to customize the way you clean finished wood and hard floor surfaces, with up to three settings of electronic steam control- from a light dusting to deep cleaning, to steam blasting- cleaning the dirt you can see and sanitizing the floors when and where you need it. The washable steam pocket pad has special technology that locks in more dirt than ever and the new Steam Blaster technology delivers high velocity, targeted steam to eradicate stains. Along with the steam power of this mop, I love that I never have to touch the dirty pad again because it’s easy and mess-free to attach and remove the cleaning pads.

Buy it on Amazon here.

New Pillows

Nothing is worse than sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress or a lumpy pillow. While new pillows might not be the most glamorous gift, giving someone a good night’s sleep is a practical gift that everyone would love to receive! Brentwood Home makes a variety of pillows and other healthy, luxurious home essentials, all handcrafted in California and shipped to your doorstep.

Buy the kid’s pillow here. Here’s a 10% discount code, too! The Code = OURHOME 10% Brentwood Home Coupon

The folks over at Brentwood Home are offering a giveaway of their Kid’s Space Bundle (ARV $190) to Making Time For Mommy readers that includes a kid’s pillow and a lounger, perfect for any kid’s bedroom or playroom. Here’s a little bit about the products in the bundle:

Lounger

  • Made with nontoxic polyurethane and gel memory foam
  • Has a plush, hugging sensation, so your child feels cradled and secure
  • A perfect place for your child’s “me” time, where they can read, snooze, create, and relax

Kids Pillow

  • For the health-conscious parent who wants the most natural night’s sleep for their child
  • Filled with a mixture of silky smooth kapok, plus the texture of all natural latex for extra supportive resilience
  • The 100% organic cotton cover is detailed with a delicate plaid pattern for a playful touch
  • Has a slim/low profile design perfect for children
Enter the giveaway below to win this bundle!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fun Gift Ideas For Kids

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Disclosure: Samples were received for consideration but all thoughts are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

How’s the holiday shopping going? If you still have some children to shop for you are in luck because I’m sharing a bunch of fun gift ideas for kids today!

My Fairy Garden Magical Cottage Playset

Have a child who loves fairies? This fairy garden playset would make the perfect gift! Your child can grow their own magical garden and play with their own fairy, Freya. This set has charming details including moving doors and trickling water.

Buy it on Amazon here.

 

Star Wars Felt Book

From Han Solo to Boba Fett, kids can create these ten adorable Star Wars figures from a galaxy far, far away! The 48-page instruction book has step-by-step directions and color photos to help kids advance from padawan crafter to Jedi felt master. The kit includes everything they will need to make all ten characters, including multiple colors of felt, stuffing, a needle, embroidery floss, and die-cut templates.

Buy it on Amazon here.

Stompeez! Slippers

Kids love these slippers! They can walk, stomp or jump and the slippers pop to life! They are warm and comfy which makes them the perfect gift for all the cold days ahead.

Buy the T-Rex slippers on Amazon here. (There are a variety of other styles as well. Just type “Stompeez” in the search bar.)

Magnutto Junior Make a Mood – Educational Magnetic Activity

Looking for a gift to give a child on the Autism Spectrum? This “make a mood” activity board would be great for them because many children on the Spectrum have a hard time recognizing emotions. The Magnutto™ Make a Mood is designed to help children identify, express, understand and respond to feeling and emotions. Children use thick, foam, low-strength, safe magnets to create facial expressions and represent a variety of emotions and feelings. I love that the box also includes samples questions for role play that will engage children in conversations about emotions.

Buy it here. 

Marvel: The Amazing 1000 Dot-to-Dot Book 

I guarantee your child has never done a dot-to-dot book like this! Their  favorite Marvel superheroes are presented in 20 dot-to-dot puzzles and a 19” x 14” wall poster that are amazing enough to display! More sophisticated than the one-dimensional dot-to-dots you knew as a child, these puzzles take about 30 minutes to complete.

Buy it on Amazon here.

Mermaid Cuddle Tail Blanket

Know someone who dreams of becoming a mermaid? The Cuddle Tail is an adorable, custom printed soft fabric mermaid blanket that is the coziest way to make those dreams a reality! They come in three sizes- toddler, youth and adult so they make a fun gift for every age.

Buy it here. Make sure to check out the special deals they have going on!

iClever Headphones

Headphones are the perfect gift for any music loving kid in your life. We love the ones from iClever because they have fun designs like these Christmas themed ones, cat ear ones and dragon ones. The headphones have kid-safe volume limiting technology to protect little ears. They are designed well with an adjustable head band, comfy ear pads and lightweight materials.

Buy it on Amazon here.

Stomp Rocket Ultra LED

We love the original Stomp Rocket but their new version is even more awesome because it lights up! This 100% kid-powered activity will keep kids busy for hours as they try to launch the rockets as high into the sky as they can. They’ll love trying these at night so they can watch them light up.

Buy it on Amazon here.

MagicMeeMees

If you have a little collector they are going to love MagicMeeMees. These cute little characters interact with one another and show their moods by vibrating and lighting up. There are a number of character toys to collect!

Buy them on Amazon here.

 

Superhero Jacket

How about gifting a practical gift? These Super Hero jackets from fun.com will keep your kids warm while letting them pretend to be their favorite super hero! Heroes featured include Iron Man, Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Batman, Justice League, Thor and Superman. There is even a cool Marvel Comic Print jacket.

Buy them here.

Zoonicorns

Zoonicorns are the perfect gifts to stimulate your child’s mind, sharpen critical thinking skills and discover life lessons through magical adventures. Zoonicorns is a collection of four adorable plush toys, each with their own unique and loveable personality. They make the perfect companions for the fun-loving and highly imaginative child. Soft and snuggly, Zoonicorns will take your youngster on fun adventures as they play on the Zoonicorns new app (available for download). The app further expands the Zoonicorn world through interactive activities which help kids feel better connected to their new best friends, while being entertained and educated.

Buy it on Amazon here.

Thames and Kosmos Magic: Silver Edition

Have a budding magician in your life? If so, they’ll love this Thames and Kosmos magic kit! With high-quality magic props and simple illustrated instructions, the 100 magic tricks in this kit can be easily learned, practiced, and mastered — to stun and amaze audiences! Tricks include making playing cards change places, making coins disappear into thin air and knots that untie themselves! This kit will keep them busy all winter long.

Buy it on Amazon here.

Marvel Universe Crochet Kit

Crafting is even more fun when characters that kids love are involved! The kit contains all the materials they need to crochet Spider-Man and Captain America including yarn, a crochet hook, stuffing, safety eyes, felt, an embroidery needle, and thread. Colorful photos and step-by-step directions in the 76-page instruction book will also guide kids to crafting other characters including Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Falcon, She-Hulk, Daredevil, Groot, and Rocket. These cute and cuddly superheroes will help your child remember that there’s a hero in all of us! There is also a fun Rudolph Christmas set as well!

Buy it on Amazon here.

 

Fuzzy Flyers

Get the kids to drop the tech and get moving with Fuzzy Flyers, the cute interactive plush. These toys come to life with a toss, shake, or tap and provide entertainment with hilarious phrases, challenging games, and social interaction!

Buy it on Amazon here.

Magnetic Stick N Stack Tiles

When I taught preschool, toys like this were the most popular in the classroom. I love this set by Shape Mags because they are just as high quality as some of their competitors but cheaper! Kids will have fun building everything from houses to rockets with this set.

Buy it on Amazon here.

 

So many fun gifts to give. Which would be your child’s favorite?

Gift Ideas For Women

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Disclosure: Samples were received for consideration but all thoughts are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Can you all believe that Christmas is next week?! Today I’m sharing Christmas gift ideas for women. There’s something for everyone on this list, whether you are looking for a gift for your mom or friend. I also won’t tell if you want to go ahead and treat yourself to one of these gifts ;)

Perf Shirts

I’m so in love with this customizable shirt company. With sayings like “work at home mama hustle” and “mornings are for mimosas” you are bound to find a shirt for every woman on your list. The best part? If you don’t see one you want you can create your own! I chose four different sayings from their site and picked the colors and shirt style and they were at my door days later. The shirts are super soft and the printing is done with great quality, especially considering the quick turnaround time.

Buy them here. (They currently have coupon codes posted on their site so make sure to grab one!)

Kiehl’s Hand Salve Trio

Lotion is one of the easiest gifts to give everyone from siblings to teachers. Kiehl’s is known for their quality skin care products and this Ultimate Strength Hand Salve Trio, that is part of their annual limited edition holiday line, is no different. This moisture treatment offers all-day protection to actually draw water from the air, preventing moisture loss. This is also a product you can buy and feel good about because 100% of sales of this collection will benefit Feeding America. Purchasing this set will provide 295 meals to those in need! I love when companies give back like this! There are also a number of other gift sets that give back to charity as well.

Buy Kiehl’s holiday gift sets here.

InstaShiatsu+ Neck and Back Massager with Heat

Not much is better than a massage at the end of a long day (bonus points if it’s accompanied by silence and chocolate). The InstaShiatsu+ Neck and Back Massager with Heat by TruMedic provides the perfect at home massage that women can give themselves. I love that you can control the intensity of the massage using the built-in wrist supports. Just relax or tighten your grip for your perfect massage!

Buy it on Amazon here.

Bullet Shell Swarovski Crystal Stud Earrings

I love the uniqueness of these earrings. Handmade with real bullet casings, they are an edgy new conversation piece that comes in over 20 different colors.

Buy them here.

Back To The Roots Gift Set

This company is helping people grow their own food- no large plot of land necessary! These Back to the Roots gift sets are a wonderful gift idea and let people reconnect with their food and how it’s grown. They can grow herbs in a can or have their own little mushroom farm. This is a great gift for parents who like to do a lot of hands-on-activities with their kids, too!

Buy gift sets here and use the promo code MakingTimeForMommy10 to receive 10% off of the entire Ready to Grow collection through 1/31/17.

BUILT City Carryall Bag

As a mom I love any bag that’s cute and easy to clean and this one, made of durable neoprene (the wetsuit material), meets both of those requirements. Fashion and function collide in this light-weight, ultra-durable tote bag. The City Carryall helps keep daily essentials together. It even folds flat so it can be kept in the car or closet when not in use.

Buy it here.

Thermos Brand Connected Hydration Bottle with Smart Lid 

Know a health nut that’s also a techie? This is the perfect gift for them! This hydration bottle has a smart lid that connects to iPhones/iPads and Fitbits with it’s Bluetooth Smart Wireless Technology. It will calculate your suggested hydration goal based on your personal data, measures the intake of liquids and keeps track of how much water you get over a daily, weekly and monthly time period. Drinking water is so important and I love that this makes it easy to keep track of how much you are getting.

Buy it here.

Rhea Footwear Daphne Black Booties

Can a woman ever have too many boots? Nope! The Daphne Black Bootie by Rhea Footwear is a comfortable, classic boot she’ll wear for years to come. What I love about this brand is that they have special patented NeverSlip™ outsoles that allows their shoes to have more traction on slippery surfaces, ice and snow. These would be perfect for those who work in places that require nonslip soles on shoes or for anyone that just wants to be able to walk to their car and not fall on their butt if they step on an icy patch.

Buy them here.

Empower Cardio Dance Hoop

Exercise won’t seem like work with this cardio dance hoop! It’s the perfect gift for someone who is looking to change up their fitness routine or start one in the new year. Burn as many calories as aerobics or running and have a whole lot more fun with the lightweight Empower Cardio Dance Hoop. Learn the basics-Latin moves and Hip-Hop grooves and more! Start with five Cardio Dance Hoop instructionals and then get your groove on with five workouts. Once you master the routines, keep learning new tricks with additional free online workouts.

Buy it here for $29.99 and use code SkipFree to get a free Skip Fit and free shipping!

Nowvel Photo Books

Looking for that perfect gift for mom or grandma? I’d love to suggest Nowvel photo books! With their specially built software you can create a book in just minutes! Best of all, they offer a FREE 4X4 pocket book to all new users! All you have to do is pay for shipping (or you can share it on Facebook and even get that FREE). You can also choose to make a larger photo book with either a soft or hard cover. I made a photo book with pictures from our Florida trip and love how it turned out! See a photo of my 4X4 book here on Instagram. The small photo book is the perfect size for photos you’ve taken with your phone camera.

Make your book here.

 

Chicago Cubs Sports Apparel

Chicago Cubs fans across the nation are still celebrating the Cubs’ World Series win so Cub’s merchandise is sure to be a big hit when it comes to holiday gifts this year. Clark Street Sports, Chicago’s premier sports apparel retailer, has over 23 locations across Chicago and an online store with the newest and hottest World Series Winners gifts for the ultimate Chicago Cubs fan. My favorite is this women’s 3/4 length tee celebrating the historic win.

Buy this shirt, and other Cubs apparel, here.

Gratitude: A Prayer & Praise Coloring Journal

Coloring books are really hot right now and I love that this one is a combination coloring book and journal. Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal invites you to bring creative journaling and the calming act of coloring into your quiet time with God. This beautifully designed interactive prayer book from Tyndale’s Living Expressions collection helps guide your thoughts as you pray about concerns such as health, overcoming stress, personal relationships, and more. Gratitude gives you a way to celebrate and give thanks to God for the many blessings he provides. Filled with over 100 designs to color, plenty of space for journaling and sketching, and 40 needs-based prayers, Gratitude helps you express your devotion to God with your whole heart!

Buy it here.

What gift will you be giving this holiday season?

Gift Ideas For Tween Boys {Skylanders Giveaway}

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(Disclosure: Samples were received but all thoughts are my own. This post contains affiliate links.)

Christmas is coming and if you have a tween boy on your shopping list you might agree with me when I say they are kind of difficult to shop for! I feel like pre-teen girls are pretty easy to shop for (maybe that’s because I was actually one myself at one time?) but I tended to struggle with boy ideas. With my oldest in the tween stage now I feel a little more confident in knowing what they want so I thought I’d share. (I also want to preface this with a note that girls may like these ideas as well. This is just a list of ideas for boys because I am a “boy” mom and I want to help those looking for ideas. We don’t really stick with gender specific labels on toys at my home.)

Make sure to check out and enter the amazing Skylanders giveaway at the end of this post!

LEGO

Like I said in a recent Huffington post article, you can’t really go wrong with a LEGO set. My boys love any that are Super Hero or Star Wars themed. Generally the boxes have the age ranges on them to help you pick the right one for your child but I’ve found Jake can do ones that are made for children a couple of years older than him. Amazon has the best assortment of LEGO sets including this Star Wars one for ages 8-14 years old that is listed as the #1 new release on Amazon.

The 2016 World Series Film

Being from Chicago, I had to include this DVD! Baseball fans, whether a Cubbies fan or not, will enjoy reliving this moment 108 years in the making! This sports documentary can be found on Amazon here.

Sky Rover Voice Command Missile Launcher

Ready, aim, fire! Kids can fly this toy helicopter and launch “missiles” all by voice command! They’ll enjoy watching as their heli flies in a circular motion in response to their command “enemy scan,” and launches missiles when they say “missile fire”. The helicopter comes with 8 missiles and has a gyro balanced engine for easy and stable flying. This would make the perfect gift for an aspiring pilot or person going into the military. Buy it on Amazon here.

iTunes Gift Card

My boys have been all about music lately. If the boy in your life is all about music then they will love an iTunes gift card to download their favorite songs!

G-Form Youth Apparel For Athletes

Jacob plays multiple sports and I think sports gear always makes a great gift for the young athlete. G-Form’s youth apparel offers specialized products to fit your aspiring athletes. If you have a soccer player, they will appreciate a pair of G-Form’s Pro-S Shin Guards ($44.99).  The Pro-S Shin Guards offer a broader area of coverage than traditional shin guards. They are constructed as part of a sleeve so your sports player will never have to worry about their shin guards falling down. They also have breathable air vents which is perfect for playing during the hot summer months!

Turbo Runner 

Has your tween been asking for a drone? The Turbo Runner is a great option that’s affordable and perfect for kids. Capable of going just about anywhere, the Turbo Runner climbs walls and ceilings with ease. The Turbo Runner is a master of all tricks. Transitioning from flight to running mode, it darts across walls then dashes across ceilings – it even runs down staircases. Mimicking a design that was developed in conjunction with the U.S. Navy for a real-life UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), the Turbo Runner fears no trick thanks to its patented cage, which minimizes any force of impact. Master the trimming controls, and soon you’ll be performing amazing stunts never before possible with a flying RC vehicle. Buy it on Amazon here.

Ball Sports Trivia Book

Any sports fan would love the Ball Sports Trivia book. Whether you’re tweens a football fan, a rugby player, a tennis aficionado, or  baseball player or a soccer enthusiast, they’ll love this fascinating collection of over 250 sport facts. Over 20 sports are covered and they can find out why the number of dimples on a golf ball can make them a better player, how many tennis balls are used each year at Wimbledon and who is the world’s highest-earning ball player (among other things). Buy the book on Amazon here.

Skylanders

The top gift on my boy’s lists for the past few years has been Skylanders,  the toys-to-life video game series that can be played on a number of different video game platforms. There have been new games each year and this year’s Skylanders game is Skylanders Imaginators. In this new Skylanders game, children use the power of their imaginations to create their own Skylanders to battle in the ultimate adventure alongside the almighty Senseis to save Skylands. All characters from the previous Skylanders game are compatible with this new game and of course there are new Skylanders to collect, along with Creation Crystals and Sensei Skylanders that are now available. Skylanders Imaginators can be bought on Amazon. Here are links to the game for specific systems so make sure you buy the one for the system you have :)  XBOX 1, XBOX 360, Wii U

I’m so excited to be giving away one new Sensei Skylander character and one new Creation Crystal, along with a code for your child to create their own Skylander character in the Skylanders Creator App and bring it to life as a 3D printed character. Jake was so excited about creating his own character that he immediately started working on his creation as soon as he found out about it and he will not stop talking about it. The boys have quite a collection of Skylanders but there is nothing quite like having one you’ve created yourself! This will be an awesome gift for any Skylanders lover and these three items are a $75+ value total. (Please note: this giveaway does not include the game. You will still have to purchase the game for the console of your choice.) You must be 18 or older to enter and have a US address to enter. Giveaway ends 12/28 at 11:59pm CST and I will contact the winner via email. Prizes will be received after the holidays.

HOW TO ENTER:

Leave a comment telling me why you want to win.

For an extra entry, share this giveaway on social media and leave the link in a second comment

Which of these gifts do you think the tween in your life would love? Have any other gift ideas? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

Games That Make Great Gifts

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(Disclosure: Samples were received but all thoughts are my own. This post contains affiliate links.)

I love the idea of giving a game as a gift because it encourages family time and fun for years to come. I wanted to share some games I think would make great gift ideas. Some of these are for kids and some are for adult game nights :)

For Kids

 

Wethead- Remember Pie Face, the game that was all the rage last Christmas? Wet Head creates similar suspense and fun! Wet Head is an all-new water roulette game. To play you fill the helmet with water, strap yourself in, and give it a spin. Players can play with the included spinner or can download the free Wet Head Challenge app for some tricky trivia questions.

Buy it on Amazon here.

Abundant Harvest for Kids- Abundant Harvest is a one of a kind board game designed to help families and educators open the door to more effective communication and encourage decision making based on principles such as honesty, loyalty and commitment. The intent of the game is to reinforce the Law of the Harvest, basically “you reap what you sow”.  The situations presented in this version of the game are directed towards children who are learning the importance of making decisions based on principle. The scenarios provide parents, caregivers and educators the opportunity to teach children, and allow children to begin to develop and apply principle-based, reasoning skills as they work their way through situations common in today’s world.

Buy it on Amazon here.

TMNT Battlesnap Mutagen Mayhem Game- Looking for that perfect gift that will make your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) fan say “Cowabunga!”? This it it! The TMNT BattleSnap Game is a fun battle game that brings the TMNT heroes and villains to life allowing kids to experience battles in a completely new head-to-head way! They choose their Battle Power (Pizza, Weapons or Mutagen) and their  Game Figure. Then they snap in their Game Figure onto the Battlesnap Card and load it onto the Mayhem Collision Rail before releasing them on a collision course to excitement. The strongest power wins the round and the first player to collect 4 delicious pizza slices wins!

Buy it on Amazon here.

Kerfuddle- The best games are ones that we can play at home or take on the go. Kerfuddle is a fun word game that comes in a small jar so it’s portable. The object of the game is simple; score more points than your opponents by finding words they haven’t found on the 14 Letter Cubes. With the added dimension of the “Shake It Up” cards and the Number Cube, each round is unique. This game is perfect for those just starting to spell but it’s also fun for word game pros.

Buy it here.

Wise Alec Family Trivia Game- This is a great game for families to play together because there are hard questions for the adults and easier questions for kids. The trivia game includes over 1,000 questions from elementary school curriculum including history, science, and spelling. Kids will giggle at parents struggling to remember what they learned all those years ago!

Buy it on Amazon here.

50 Road Trip Games Card Deck- If your family is on the go a lot you will want this card deck that features 50 fun games that can be played in the car or airplane, or even at home! Each card lets you know the rules of the game, and materials, if any, that might be needed, such as a notebook and pen. You’ll find a variety of games for ages 3 and up, including brain games, cherished classics, just for fun cards and pop culture quizzes. This card deck makes a perfect stocking stuffer, too!

Buy it here.

For Teens And/Or Adults

The Agenda Game- Know someone who can’t stop talking about politics? They’ll love this game! To start, players choose one of seven political personas (Conservative, Environmentalist, Liberal, Moralist, Libertarian, Corporatist or Socialist), each with specific agenda “planks.” Players travel around the pitfall-laden road that is American politics – from scandals to buying off politicians to filibusters – where the object is to win over the public in votes and polls and gather enough money to implement the most agenda planks. Along the way there is political humor, trivia to test political knowledge, and scandals to avoid.

Buy it on Amazon here.

Backgammon- Backgammon, a simple game of tactics and chance, was one of my favorite games growing up. This set by GrowUpSmart is beautiful. It comes in a leather briefcase and is a larger set than some I’ve seen on the market. GrowUpSmart’s set is great for beginners because it includes a learners’ instruction manual and access to an online video course that teaches the basics of the game. Unlike many other backgammon games, this game has been tested for compliance with US toy safety standards which I think is great.

Buy it on Amazon here.

KinderPerfect Card Game- This game is basically Cards for Humanity- but for parents! Played in a group,  the “Parent” player will read out a red Question Card and other players will submit their white Answer Cards. The Parent picks the winner they like the best, well, because they said so. The winner then becomes the Parent for the next round and the game is won by accumulating the most Answer Cards. This game would be great played with your mom friends and hopefully will lead to deeper conversations about parenting.

But it on Amazon here.

The Best Gift For People Who Love To Travel

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but all thoughts are my own.

One of my favorite things to do is travel. I love going new places with my family and spending quality time with them away from all of the household chores and to-do’s. Though our trips are limited to a few days or a week, I like to keep the memories alive by incorporating bits of my travels in my home. I shared before about some of the travel collections I have, including mugs and magnets, but one thing I always wanted was a giant map to hang and mark our travels on.

I finally found an amazing travel map at 76th & Newbury, an online shop that specializes in custom designs for the home. I love that their maps are made of high quality canvas and can be completely customized. Not only can they be personalized with names, but you can pick the colors of the canvas and the text and choose a quote that’s meaningful to you. Each custom design comes with a proof so you can see what it will look like and request edits if needed. I decided I didn’t like the color combo I had originally requested and asked for an image that was on it to be removed and both requests were done without problem. They want you to LOVE your custom creation!

There are a number of travel quotes I love but in the end I decided to put this one on our map:

I chose to get one of their world maps that I could put pushpins in to mark our travels but they also have some you can put pictures on. I think this is such a cute idea:

Know any newlyweds? How adorable is this personalized map for couples:

76th & Newbury has so many wonderful gift ideas! Do you know someone who would love one of their travel maps this Christmas?

STEM Gift Ideas For Kids And Tweens

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(Disclosure: Samples of these items were received for consideration but all thoughts are my own. Some links are affiliate links.)

Fun toys are great but fun toys that reinforce concepts of STEM subjects are even better! Toys that have a science, technology, engineering and/or math focus have been popular the last couple years and I wanted to share some great gift ideas with you that the kids on your Christmas list are sure to love!

Dash & Dot Robots

What child wouldn’t want their very own robots?! Dash is a real robot, charged and ready to play out of the box. Responding to voice, navigating objects, dancing, and singing, Dash is the robot your child always dreamed of having. They can use Wonder, Blockly, and other apps to create new behaviors for Dash — doing more with robotics than ever possible. Dot is Dash’s companion and a brainy little robot on its own. Dot comes with several games built in, such as Magic Dot Ball, Dot of Music, and Light Sword. Using free apps Wonder and Blockly, you get to make over a hundred more games with instructions in the apps.

For children grades KG and up. The Dash & Dot pack is currently on sale for $169.95 with promo code DASHDOT (Save $30) until 12/31! Each can be bought separately as well, with Dash costing about $150 and Dot costing about $50. Purchase them here.

 

Scratch Programming Playground 

For children interested in coding, there is a great new book out called Scratch Programming Playground. Scratch, the colorful drag-and-drop programming language, is used by millions of first-time learners, and in Scratch Programming Playground, kids will learn to program by making cool games. Each game includes easy-to-follow instructions, review questions, and creative coding challenges so kids can make the game their own. They can even add more levels or add cheat codes by writing some code. Learning how to program will be a game with this book!

Kids will learn to make games like:

  • Maze Runner: escape the maze!
  • Snaaaaaake: gobble apples and avoid your own tail
  • Asteroid Breaker: smash space rocks
  • Fruit Slicer: a Fruit Ninja clone
  • Brick Breaker: a remake of Breakout, the brick-breaking classic
  • Platformer: a game inspired by Super Mario Bros.

Scratch is geared for ages 8+ but I think that children ages 6 and 7 would enjoy doing this with a parent. Buy the book on Amazon here. Today the book is $10 off so go buy it! :)

Roominate

There has been a big push lately to get girls interested in STEM subjects to bridge the gender gap in STEM. Roominate is an award-winning line of complete building sets that was started with one simple mission: open up possibilities for girls by showing them that creativity and engineering are fun. While this set was created for girls, some boys may like it as well (like my youngest son who was so excited to receive a set). What I like about the Roominate line is that creations can be built as shown or children can use their imaginations to “think it, build it and switch it on” and create their dream project. The Roominate line has unique building pieces with motor power and even comes with play-friendly dolls.

Roominate is for ages 8+. Sets vary in price from about $20 to $50 and are available at Toys “R” Us, Walmart, Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Find the one featured above on Amazon here (most sets are on sale as of the writing of this post).

The Future Architect’s Handbook

Have a child or teen who seems to be really interested in architecture? Children with dreams of designing buildings will discover how architects actually work in this workbook, which builds on the concepts introduced in The Future Architect’s Handbook. It walks readers through the drawings created by Aaron, a young architect building his own home. Going a step further, children will learn the steps necessary to create their own drawings and build a model of their design, using an included tool kit consisting of graph paper and an architect’s scale, pencil, and drafting eraser. Finally, readers are challenged to design homes for an eclectic group of clients. Freehand pen-and-ink drawings bring the instructions to life. This book is the perfect introduction to what an architect does at work and why buildings look and function as they do.

This set is ideal for ages 8–13, but creative teens and adults will also find it inspiring. This hardcover book and set is $29.99 and can be found on Amazon here.

Puzzlets

Have a younger child you want to introduce coding to? Puzzlets would be perfect! Puzzlets combines hands-on play with interactive gaming to form one seamless experience, engaging the mind and teaching the player new ways of thinking. The Starter Pack comes with everything you need and setup is simple. Puzzlets connects wirelessly to a personal device like an iPad or Android tablet or to a Mac computer through the included USB cable. What I like about Puzzlets is that it’s not just a series of interactive video games, it’s a toy as well. Only half of any game for Puzzlets is played on a screen; the other half is played by arranging and rearranging the Puzzlets Tiles on the Play Tray. Because there are these two modes of play in each Puzzlets game, it makes working toward a common goal with a friend, parent, or teacher a natural way to experience the game collaboratively.

Puzzlets is great for grades K-2 but I think children a little older would enjoy it as well (especially if they are coding newbies). The starter pack can be found on Amazon for $99.99 here.

Have you found any great STEM gifts for your kids or tweens? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

5 Subscription Boxes That Make Great Gifts

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Disclosure: Some samples were received but all thoughts are my own.

Subscription boxes are all the rage nowadays. From snacks to makeup to pet products to crafts to candles, there is a subscription box out there for everyone on your list. I thought I’d share some of my favorites that would make great gifts for those hard to shop for people!

SnackNation- A snack box subscription perfect for college students and families

Previously a subscription service only for offices, SnackNation just launched their service to homes nationwide. They are a healthy snack delivery service that curates new, innovative snacks from emerging brands and delivers them all in a monthly subscription box. Each box contains 15 full-size, healthy snacks to try. Each product contains no artificial anything, including colors, sweeteners & flavors. They offer a variety of box choices including a favorites box with their top picks and a gluten-free box. In my box, my favorite snacks were barkTHINS snacking chocolate in dark chocolate almond with sea salt flavor, basil and garlic olives from OLOVES and sweet Maui onion flavored potato chips from Deep River Snacks. SnackNation also donates a meal to Feeding America for every box purchased (which I love).

The monthly cost is $24.99 but you can get your first box FREE (just pay S&H). Learn more and subscribe here.

 

Vellabox- A curated candle subscription box

Know a person who loves candles? Vellabox is a curated candle subscription box that sources the highest quality candles hand-poured by American artisans and combines them with a bonus lifestyle gift and a unique packaging style to create a memorable unboxing experience each and every month. My sample box contained a candle from Glint Candles in ‘Firewood Spice & smoke’ scent and one from Often Wander in ‘Amber Vanilla’ scent along with two snack bars and a coupon for a free organic drink. The box also includes a card with more about the brands and the U.S. cities they were made in.

Vellabox offers 3 monthly subscription options, ranging from $10 to $30 a month. Learn more and subscribe here.

Kiwi Crate- A hands on learning subscription box for children and tweens

Kiwi Crate offers a STEAM subscription box service that is perfect for children and tweens. They offer four different boxes: Koala Crate (play and learn activities for ages 3-4), Kiwi Crate (science and art activities for children ages 5-8), Doodle Crate (art and design activities for children ages 9 and up) and Tinker Crate (science and engineering activities for ages 9 and up). New crates are sent monthly and each box will arrive with the materials and instructions for hours of hands-on fun so kids can learn crucial STEAM skills as they create and tinker!

All boxes are $19.95/month. Learn more and subscribe here.

 

Mantry- A food subscription box for men

Mantry is a subscription box that features hand-selected products from the top American food makers. Every two months six full-size products are delivered in a nice crate. Each box is curated around a unique theme, like “Bacon Nation” or “Bourbon BBQ”.

Mantry offers 3 different length subscriptions with one month costing $59 (which is about $8/product when you figure in shipping). Learn more and subscribe here.

Play! by Sephora- A beauty subscription box

The Play! by Sephora subscription box brings you the best of the best products. Each box contains five deluxe sized samples plus a fragrance bonus. Each month subscribers also get a cute, reusable bag that goes along with the box’s theme. What I like about this subscription box is that it’s great for pros and newbies alike because it gives tips and ideas for using each product.

Play! by Sephora is only $10 a month. There is usually a waiting list to get the box but I was only waiting for a couple weeks for spots to open up. Learn more and subscribe here.

Have you ever gifted a subscription box before? I’d love to hear which ones are your favorite to give (and receive).

The Gift Of Writing

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Thanks to CROSS pens for sponsoring this #LongStoryShort post.

For as long as I can remember I have loved to write and it’s something that’s come out in various ways as I have grown. In grade school one of my favorite assignments was to create a homemade book, and I spent hours perfecting my story line and illustrations. When I was in Junior High I wrote the story of my sister’s preemie birth to document that day and share about my experience during her NICU stay and beyond. Throughout the years I have had dozens of book ideas in my head and have half written manuscripts tucked away in my home. As an adult I started a blog to express myself after giving birth to my first born child.

This blog, Making Time For Mommy, started as a hobby for me. I wanted to write about my dreams and goals and how I made time for myself, even if nobody ever read it. I realized that I could connect with other moms through it and started writing to them and sharing my posts on social media.

Eventually I discovered that this hobby of mine was turning into a business. Though I still wrote for myself and for my readers, I was able to start making a bit of money to help contribute to our family (which, with the addition of my youngest, had become a family of four). At that time, even a tiny bit of income helped greatly and brought us from poverty level into what is considered the lower middle class. It also allowed Sinisa to cut down his work hours by only having to work one job instead of two.

When my blog led to a full-time job online we became a two-earner family and I quickly became the breadwinner in our home. Me. This mom, who had never finished college, was able to make an income from home while raising two children and it was all because of my writing “hobby”.  I now blog full-time and feel so blessed to be able to do something I absolutely love every day.

Do you know a budding writer? Give them the gift of writing and encourage them to follow their dreams- whether it’s writing the novel that’s in their head or turning writing into a career like I did. A fabulous gift for them this holiday season (or really any time) would be a beautiful pen by CROSS. CROSS pens are luxury fine writing instruments that symbolize achievement, accomplishments, and human potential. The pens can be engraved with the word or saying of your choice. I chose to get mine engraved with “MOM BOSS” to celebrate my blogging business but the options are endless!

What writer in your life would love the chance to express their dreams with one of these amazing pens?

10 Gift Ideas For Creative Kids

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Disclosure: Products were sent for consideration but all thoughts are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Black Friday is here and everyone is in the shopping mood- including me! I have been online all morning shopping for gifts. I have a lot of great gift ideas I’ll be sharing over the next couple of weeks but today I wanted to share ten gifts that are perfect for the creative boys and girls in your life.

Crayola Air Marker Sprayer: This electric-powered toy turns Crayola markers into spray art, just like a real artist’s airbrush but without the mess of paint.  Kids can create realistic-looking airbrush art for craft projects, school projects, windows and more. Air Marker Sprayer features an electric pump which eliminates manual pumping so kids can solely focus on their artistic creations.  For children ages 8 and up; suggested retail price is $29.99.

Our thoughts: Another great Crayola product. It’s a unique way to use markers and the airbrushing looks cool!

Get it on Amazon here.

IDO3D Vertical: 3D drawing pens have been introduced as the newest way to create remarkable artwork, especially for kids. IDO3D Vertical makes 3D drawing accessible for all families with sets starting at only $9.99. Unlike many other pens in ever-growing market, the IDO3D Vertical technology uses no heat or plastic filament and the pens are designed to use cool ink that reacts instantly to the built in LED light, allowing users to draw up over and in 3D!

Our thoughts: Everything is cooler in 3D! This was the top crafty item on Jacob’s list this year!

Get it on Amazon here.

Fright Factory™: Kids can make scary 3D creations with Fright Factory™! Use the special light curing EwwGoo™ gel to fill creepy molds and then flash them with the eerie light from the Fright Factory Creature Creator. Kids can create insects, reptiles, rats, bats and more! Fright Factory™ uses ultra-safe LED light to develop the creations. Gels are quick curing, non-toxic and kid friendly. MSRP: $24.99 Age: 6+

Our thoughts: My boys are excited to create their own bugs :)

Get it on Amazon here.

Pom Pom Wow!: Pom Pom your world! Create custom pom-poms with the Decoration Station. Choose from the six different techniques to decorate your very own pom poms. The set folds up for easy mess-free transportation. The Decoration Station comes with 1 portable play set, 75 pom poms in 4 colors, 85 adhesive dots, 8 removable pom pom trays, 1 removable water tray, 1 adhesive roll dispenser, 2 markers, 1 blotting cloth, 1 paintbrush, 1 pipette, 4 stamper pads, 4 watercolors, and 1 glitter gel pen.

Our thoughts: This was a hit with kids at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair! They’re easy to use and you can decorate just about anything with them.

Get it on Amazon here.

Pete the Cat- I Can Draw: Kids will enjoy following the easy step-by-step diagrams to re-create Pete and their favorite stories. This 160-page activity book is packed with everything from the world of Pete the Cat that aspiring artists will want to draw and will be a hit with young fans and budding artists.

Our thoughts: We love step-by-step drawing books, especially when they are fun characters like Pete the Cat!

Get it on Amazon here.

Magic Sketch: Magic Sketch is a fun new way for your kids to draw, play, and learn!  The flexible, LCD screen is transparent, allowing kids to trace with the provided stencils or from their own images! With Magic Sketch your kids can create all kinds of amazing art and, unlike most tablets, the Magic Sketch is super kid proof!  They can drop it, toss it, even step on it — it won’t break!  It’s completely water resistant, so if they have a spill, just wipe it off and keep going!  With the advanced internal electronics, you can clear the screen with just the push of a button! Magic Sketch retails for $29.95.

Our thoughts: Magic Sketch is great because it can be used again and again. It’s perfect for traveling, too!

Get it on Amazon here.

PBS KIDS Do It Myself Cookbook: This cookbook by Laurie Goldrich Wolf features fully-illustrated ingredients, tools, and steps so that children as young as 4 years old can make dishes completely on their own! This exciting cookbook kit includes a 128-page wire-bound cookbook, 45 simple, tasty “nothing sharp, nothing hot” recipes, step-by-step illustrations and a set of measuring cups and spoons.

Our thoughts: This cookbook is perfect for the little aspiring chef in your home.

Get it on Amazon here.

Gemmies™: Gemmies are the next evolution of the popular 3D beading craft. Following a simple process, kids clip Gemmies crystals to elastic rings then join completed rings to create a 3D sparkling creation! Design templates are intuitive and use a repetitive pattern that lets kids develop their cognitive abilities and progress to designing their own creations. Kids can make anything out of Gemmies crystals. starting series include animals, flowers and more! Store all your Gemmies crystals and accessories in the Gemmies Design Studio and display your favorite creation on the light up pedestal. MSRP: $24.99 Age: 6+

Our thoughts: This is such a great open ended crafting activity where kids can really use their creativity to make their own creations. They are all so pretty, too!

Get it on Amazon here.

The Official DC Super Hero Cookbook- Deluxe Edition: This cookbook by Matthew Mead comes complete with 60+ simple, tasty recipes as well as 3 cookie cutters (a bat, a lightning bolt, and a shield), logo stencils and character cut-outs for awesome food styling.  More than sixty tasty, simple recipes are inspired by DC’s beloved characters including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, the Flash, Aquaman, and many others! From the Up, Up and Away Parfait to Green Arrow Fruit Kebobs to Holy Guacamole and the Martian Manhunter Malted, the colorfully presented recipes are fun to prepare and to eat. Step-by-step instructions are easy to follow and fans of all ages will enjoy flipping through finish photos featuring classic DC comics art and action figures. An extensive super hero party section offers dozens of drinks, snacks, and desserts as well as cool, clever serving suggestions.

Our thoughts: This is a must for every super hero fan! Imagine how excited they will be to help make “super” fun treats in the kitchen.

Get it on Amazon here.

 

Crayola Emoji Maker: Drawing inspiration from the growing popularity of emojis, kids can experiment with Crayola colors to make 16 custom color emoji stampers and share their unique emoji messages with friends.  Using the included design labels, kids can also create custom color names for their stampers as well as customize the boxes to their liking (each kit allows for 2 packs) . For children ages 6 and up; suggested retail price is $19.99.

Our thoughts: With the popularity of Emojis this is a great gift idea for older children!

Get it on Amazon here.

 

Have you found any great gift ideas for creative kids? I’d love to hear about them!

20 Gifts For Chicago Cubs Fans

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As a Chicagoan I am so excited that the Chicago Cubs won the World Series last night! Jacob, my 8 year old, is a big fan of the Cubs so I thought I’d put together some great gift ideas for all those who love the Chicago Cubs. Click on the images for details/pricing. (This post contains affiliate links.)

Chicago Cubs White Sweatshirt

Warm Chicago Cubs Blanket

Chicago Cubs Earrings

Chicago Cubs Garden Flag

Chicago Cubs Subway Art

Chicago Cubs Winter Hat

Chicago Cubs Jacket

Chicago Cubs Pajamas For Kids

Chicago Cubs Santa Ornament

Chicago Cubbies T-Shirt

Chicago Cubs Alex & Ani Bracelet

Chicago Cubs/Skyline Blanket

Chicago Cubs Girl’s Bow

Chicago Cubs Socks

Chicago Cubs Baseball Tee For Girls

Chicago Cubs Sweatpants 

Blue Chicago Cubs Hoodie

Chicago Cubs Hat

Chicago Cubs Thermos

Chicago Cubs Baby Bib

What other gift ideas do you have for Chicago Cubs fans?

Creating A Nursing Home Care Package

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CaringMadeEasy #CollectiveBias

It’s important for me that my boys grow up to be kind to others. I believe teaching this character trait is not something that can be done only with words but has to be modeled through actions. Whether it’s dropping off toiletries to a homeless shelter, holding a door open for the person behind us or assisting a friend, there are a variety of ways to model kindness. One of my mom’s groups has arranged for visits with a local nursing home so I figured it would be the perfect time to talk with my boys more about caring for our elderly and ways we can show kindness to them. We talked about how some residents of nursing homes may not have any family around and how excited they would be just to have some company.

We wanted to make their day extra special and decided to create a care package to bring along that had some gifts to pass out along with some essentials that residents may need. The first thing I did was find a reusable container to put everything in. Since space is probably at a premium I wanted to bring something someone could use for storage. Once I had my small plastic bin I thought about what they might like to do and bought some things to keep them busy. I chose to add in an adult coloring book with colored pencils, some blank cards for letter writing, a crossword puzzle book, some women’s magazines and a small embroidery craft kit.

I wanted to include some essentials as well so I added in some luxury hand soap, pocket packs of tissues, slipper socks with no-skid bottoms and a blanket.

One other important thing I chose to bring along for the staff to hand out to those who need it is Depend® Fit-Flex® Underwear for women. These new Depend products provide protection with a smooth, close-to-body fit for outstanding comfort.

I found a great deal on Depend products at Sam’s Club and you’ll want to be on the lookout for the special packaging shown above. When you open your Depend packaging it will have a sticker inside that you can use to redeem at the pharmacy for an awesome caregiver sample kit. I’m going to stop by Sam’s Club to redeem it and add the items to my nursing home care package.

Other things you may want to add to your nursing home care package include:

  • Lip balm
  • Poise® pads or liners
  • Housecoat
  • Book with large print
  • Newspaper
  • Flowers
  • Lotion
  • Reading glasses
  • Tea
  • Small seasonal decor

There are so many things you can add to your nursing home care package. You could even write a handwritten card or note and add in some hard candies as a special treat.

If you are a caregiver to a parent or grandparent, or just want to learn more about the resources that Sam’s Club offers, there is an app to download called Digimarc Discovery where you can scan the Depend product box to be taken to the Sam’s Club Caregiver website. On the site you can place orders online for nutritional, incontinence & personal care products to have them delivered to your home or to be ready for you at your local club with free Club pickup. It’s such a convenient, time-saving perk of being a Sam’s Club member!

Have you ever visited a nursing home with your child? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.

Ghostbusters Themed College Care Package

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BTSSpirit #CollectiveBias

This year my little sister will be a junior in college. It’s hard to believe because I can still remember the morning my mom went into labor and the months of hospital trips to the NICU that followed to visit this little one pound, fourteen ounce miracle baby. She’s turned into a beautiful woman and I’m so proud of the amazing, caring person she has become.

Since the new school year is just starting I thought I’d send her a college care package. When I was in college I loved having movie nights with my roommate and friends in my dorm so I thought it would be fun to send her a movie themed package she could enjoy with her friends. With the new Ghostbusters movie out in theaters, and the all-women cast of leading ladies, what better to send for a movie night with girlfriends than a SLIME-tastic college care package?!

When trying to figure out what to put the care package in I chose to use a clear container that my sister could reuse for storage. I started by loading it with a ton of candy. I added in some fun Ghostbusters M&M’s® bottles that I had found plus a variety of other chocolate favorites like SNICKERS®, Twix® and Milky Way®.

I then added in two of the old Ghostbusters movies. Since both Ghostbusters 1 and Ghostbusters 2 came out before her and her friends were even born, I thought they should watch those before they went to see the new movie. I also included a green portable speaker so that they could get better sound when playing the movies from their computer. This little Stay Puft Marshmallow Man character was the perfect addition as well and will put a smile on the face of anyone who sees him.

Another thing that is a must have while watching movies is popcorn. I added some microwavable popcorn packages in the care package and decided to take it a step further by sending additional supplies to make “slime” popcorn. It was super easy to make and can be sent in separate containers so that it can be made fresh whenever they are ready for movie night!

Directions:

Mix green food coloring into the marshmallow cream until you get your desired shade of green.

Pick out green M&M’s® candies from the bag.

Put both the marshmallow cream and the candies in their own separate containers.

Once they get to your student it’s easy for them to make the microwave popcorn, drizzle the green marshmallow “slime” on the popcorn and top it with green M&M’s®. It’s the perfect combo of sweet and salty!

The last thing I added in was a Ghostbusters tin container and a container of green Peanut M&M’s®. Feel free to add in anything else your college student needs while they are away at college or that they could use for a fun girls night!

I found all of the chocolate, and everything else I needed for the college care package, at Walmart. Look for the fun Ghostbusters M&M’s® display near the front of the store and keep an eye out for the in store coupon with savings of $0.75 off 1 M&M’s® Bottle now through September 30th!

Have you ever sent a college care package? What would you have added to it along with the chocolate?

5 Gift Ideas For Dads

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Father’s Day is this weekend and if you are still looking for a gift for the dads in your life, don’t worry. I have you covered! Here are 5 gifts that I think any dad would love. Thanks to the companies featured in this post for sending me samples so I can make Sinisa’s Father’s Day extra special this year.

GrafoMap

This is the perfect gift for any dad who loves to travel or has a special place in his heart for any city. I chose to order a map of Sinisa’s hometown, Zagreb, Croatia, that we are going to add to our travel wall. Though I’ve never been there I hope to visit someday with our children and I love that it will remind him of his home country.

GrafoMap uses Open Street Maps – an open source database – to make it possible for users to create an artistic map print of any cityin the world to hang on their walls and enjoy for years. GrafoMap users act as designer, choosing from a range of text and color options to create the perfect map art for their home. 

Learn more and order here.

Mr. Awesome Tshirt by Load Failure

Does your dad or husband have a great sense of humor? Let him show it by wearing a tshirt by Load Failure. He will wear his Load Failure proudly because well, who doesn’t want to make a statement with not-so-subtle humor? And these are not your typical silly shirts in those unflattering boxy shapes that always seem to look loose and too large. These shirts combine both humor and fashion with sayings like “Mr. Awesome,” “This is my Drinking Shirt,” and “Best Husband Ever.”

View all their styles and order here.

Gift Card to a Favorite Restaurant

If going out to eat is rare for your family consider getting him a gift card to his favorite restaurant so that he can go out with friends, enjoy a date night with you or go out to dinner with his family. One of our favorite restaurants, Hard Rock Cafe, has a Burger Tour going on that Sinisa was excited about. Some dads love nothing better than a burger and beer! Along with the meal consider going on a hike together, catching a movie, or doing something else he loves to do.

Oral-B 7000 SmartSeries Electric Toothbrush with Bluetooth

Does the dad in your life love technology? Let him geek out over the Oral-B 7000 SmartSeries Electric Toothbrush with Bluetooth. Everything else in his home is “smart” so why not his toothbrush, too? This “smart” toothbrush removes up to 100% more plaque than a regular manual toothbrush and offers up to six different cleaning levels.

This toothbrush connects to the enhanced Oral-B app that provides real-time guidance while users brush, and records brushing activity that he can also share with his dental professional. It helps users focus brushing on their most important areas by allowing users to work with their dental professional and set time in each quadrant of the mouth. The app also motivates users to brush the dentist-recommended 2 minutes with entertaining news and weather, plus helpful oral care tips and rewards.

Learn more here and look for it at your favorite retailers.

What man wouldn’t be excited to get tickets to a local festival, a sports game, his favorite band’s concert or a fun event? Think about what your dad or husband enjoys and then get him tickets for that. I took Sinisa to a live WWE event and he loved it! He would also enjoy going to a soccer game or country concert.

What are you getting the dad in your life for Father’s Day?

10 DIY Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

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Mother’s Day is coming up and with it families are trying to think of gifts they can give mom on this special holiday. I recently shared some gift ideas but some of my favorite gifts to receive can’t be found in stores. Instead, they are things that are personalized and made with love from my kids. I wanted to share 10 DIY Mother’s Day gifts that kids can help make for all the important ladies in their life- from moms to grandmas!

Bouquet Of Sunflowers Made With Handprints – Kid Friendly Things To Do

Lemon And Raspberry Sugar Scrub – Reasons To Skip The Housework

Handprint Frame – Messy Little Monster

Footprint Stepping Stone – I Watch Them Grow

Jar Of Love – Crafting A Green World

Handprint Table Runner & Brunch For Mom

Mom’s Emergency Stash – Eighteen25

Mason Jar Succulent Planter – The Golden Sycamore

Egg Carton Flowers – I Heart Arts N Crafts

Picture Flowers

What has been your favorite DIY gift to receive or give?

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

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Still looking for that perfect Mother’s Day gift? Don’t worry because I have some amazing ideas that mom or grandma will love no matter what she enjoys! Please note: This is a sponsored post and contains some affiliate links but all thoughts on the products are my own.

For the active mom

Mio FUSE, is a waterproof wrist-based heart rate, sleep and activity tracker that completely eliminates the need for those bulky and uncomfortable chest straps. The heart rate monitor also works with the Mio GO App (available for Android and iOS) to monitor progress overtime or analyze individual workout data (max heart rate, steps, speed, pace, distance, time and calories burned).

I love that the Mio FUSE is not bulky and comfortable to wear on my wrist. It’s waterproof so I can wear it anywhere I go all summer long without having to worry about ruining it. The FUSE easily connects to the app I downloaded on my phone so that I can track the steps I’ve taken and a number of other things.

FUSE is available on www.mioglobal.com for $129 and Mio is offering $30 off through May 8th.

For the young at heart mom

 

Coloring books are all the rage now and if your mother enjoys coloring this is the perfect choice! Illustrator Eleri Fowler’s intricate, gorgeous illustrations in My Mother, My Heart: A Joyful Book to Color depict the joy and tenderness of a mother’s love. From flowers to birds to hearts and more, these pages of delicate pen-and-ink drawings are waiting to be brought to life through her artistry.

Save 30% plus get free shipping when you use code: MOM30 at HarperCollins.com.

For the dessert lover

Doorstep Desserts is a subscription dessert kit for fun and easy dessert recipes (red velvet cake pops, chocolate overload truffles, éclair cake, etc.) delivered directly to your door. You can choose to have mom receive desserts weekly, biweekly or monthly. My family loved our subscription and it was nice to be able to make desserts together during our busy weeks. This would be perfect for a grandma to do with her grandkids because it is so easy with minimum mess.

Use code “mtm75″ for 75% off your first kit!

For the mom who needs to relax

The Anjou Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser & Complete Anjou Essential Oils Gift Set are the perfect items to lift mom’s mood and bring some relaxation to her hectic life.

Both items can be found on Amazon. Get 20% off all Anjou products on Amazon with code M8WC289G.

For the mom who just needs time with Jesus

In Pressing Pause: 100 Quiet Moments for Moms to Meet with Jesus, Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk offer moms a calm way to start their day, to refresh themselves in Jesus and drink deeply of His presence so that they are ready to pour out love, time, and energy into the people who matter most to them. This book reach moms where they are with short devotions tailored specifically to their needs. In these pages, moms will learn to resist the rush, halt the hustle, press pause, and find calm in the chaos. Just a few minutes each day can help moms center their heart and mind on what God has for them as His beloved daughter.

For the mom who loves to make her home look beautiful

Make mom’s heart melt this Mother’s Day with a special gift that comes with your own personal touch. PosyBox bouquets offer a beautiful flower delivery service that you can customize. And, unlike other flower delivery options, PosyBox provides a tech twist: with each package, gift givers have the option to record a video for mom or include a photo to be delivered with her flowers! Not only will she be surprised by the brilliant bouquet, but she also gets to hear and see a personalized message that will likely bring her tears of joy!
What gift ideas do you have?

Two Gift Ideas For Creative Kids

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

With the holidays here my mind has been on Christmas shopping. Each of my kids has a list of things that they hope to get. From video games to building sets to puzzles, everything they see in the commercials seems to end up on their lists. Most of their wish lists are similar but Lucas has a lot more variety on his. Lucas loves everything from cars to dolls and I love this about him because he is his own person and likes what he likes, no matter what other kids might say.

Some of his favorite activities are arts and crafts which he developed a love for at summer camp. He loves colors and has a keen spirit for all things creative and playful. In order to make Lucas happy and encourage his artful side I introduced some new crafty kits to him this week. The two kits are TEXT COOL Bracelet Studio and the The KNIT’S COOL Knitting Studio.

Lucas loves to dress himself in unique outfits and now he can send the ultimate fashion statement message with a bracelet. He loves being in control and designing his own things and this kit makes it as easy as 1-2-3 to create. Just turn, reveal, and press! He can even make message bracelets to share with his friends by using TEXT COOL. Text Cool includes an easy to use Bracelet Studio, featuring over 60 letters and emoticons and 35 bracelets to wear and share. Text Cool lets Luke get his creative messages on his wrists for the world to see! He is overjoyed to create and show his creativity with Text Cool.

The other kit Lucas liked is KNIT’S COOL. The Knit’s Cool Knitting Studio is an amazing new tool that makes learning to knit super easy. With the Knit’s CoolStudio, any kid can easily design their favorite fashions – like scarves, headbands, bags and more. The knitting studio kit has everything you need to start knitting right away, including fashion yarn, patterns and accessories to make three complete Knit’s Cool™ projects. Lucas is excited to see his Auntie over the weekend and make a phone case with her. Anyone can learn to craft fun and fashionable accessories with Knit’s Cool by watching the easy How-To videos online!

Do you have a child who loves art and crafts? These would make a great gift for the holidays!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Last-Minute Gift Idea: Sponsor A Homeless Pet

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Did you check your list twice and realize you’re not done shopping? Don’t dash out to brave the crowds just yet: Best Friends Animal Sanctuary has the perfect holiday gift. Sponsor a homeless pet!

When you make a sponsorship gift, your loved ones receive an e-card with a photo and story about the animal you chose for them. Homeless pets at Best Friends and around the nation get your love and support. Sponsoring a pet is one way you can help Save Them All®.

Check out all of the animals you can sponsor to make a difference in the lives of homeless pets. Some of these animals have a special place in my heart, especially Bob the cat who I got to walk on a recent trip to the Sanctuary!

This would make such a great gift for the animal lover in your life!

Crayola Gift Ideas For Your Little Artist

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Lucas loves anything to do with crafting, coloring or art so it’s a given that we have a huge variety of Crayola products at our home. From coloring supplies to tools to the easel in our living room, Crayola is the brand we trust to bring us quality and fun. The boys were really happy to receive a box of goodies from the brand and especially excited to try out one of their new products, the Crayola Widescreen Light Designer.

This Crayola Light Designer lets your budding artist bring his or her creations to life. They can choose from seven different light-effect combinations that create the animations. The boys loved seeing their designs light up!

There is a built-in easel so they can draw while the screen is lying flat or standing up and easily display their designs. I love that this product has such a large screen which allows both of my kids to create a masterpiece together. I enjoyed watching the boys explore how different colors mixed together, too.

I see this product being used for years to come. It works for them now but as they get older, and their drawing skills improve, I think they will really explore how to make their pictures animated with the lights. After finishing one drawing, the screen can be simply wiped clean and used again. I found a damp cloth works best on it since paper towels seemed to be too rough on the delicate screen. No need to worry about losing the markers because they store in the back of this Crayola toy, so they are always within reach.

Still looking for more gift ideas? Check out Crayola’s site!

Holiday Bouquets From Teleflora And The Cake Boss

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(Disclosure: I received a bouquet from Teleflora but all thoughts are my own.)

Teleflora, the world’s leading flower delivery service, teamed up with the “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro to create a brand new line up of holiday bouquets perfect for decorating, gifting and entertaining. Buddy’s floral collection features three new bouquets that capture the authenticity and spirit of his festive family holiday traditions.

The trio includes a holly motif-serving bowl, a gingerbread-house cookie jar and a merry mug. Each bouquet arrives professionally-arranged and hand-delivered by a local florist in your community with an exclusive holiday recipe personally created by Buddy. What a great gift for the person who has it all!

We received the Teleflora Holly Days Centerpiece. The holiday collectible table top serving bowl is adorned with a holly motif and is bursting with red and white holiday blooms and fragrant assorted greens. It’s the perfect addition to our holiday decor and I love how it brightens up our whole kitchen while making it smell wonderful.

I wish Christmastime would never end but sadly it does. It’s nice to know that your gift will be enjoyed for years to come because the containers these special bouquets come in are FDA approved to safely serve and store food and are oven, microwave and dishwasher safe. What a great addition to kitchens everywhere.

Which bouquet is your favorite?

 

 

Surprise Your Family With The Ultimate Gift

ultimate family gift

Sometimes blogging offers such amazing opportunities for my family and I was lucky to be able to treat my boys to the best gift ever this summer- a fabulous Springfree trampoline courtesy of the company. Their faces when they saw it were priceless. They were so excited and I loved being able to give them such a special surprise.

If you are still looking for a gift for your family, Springfree trampolines will create hours of fun for years to come. Imagine family gatherings, those long summer days and more, all spent outside together. You’ll also have the confidence in knowing that you’ve chosen a safe gift for your family.

new study from the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics shows that from 2002 to 2011, trampoline accidents accounted for more than 1 million ER visits. This equates to 100,000 ER visits a year in the US alone. Springfree eliminates 90 percent of product-related injuries associated with traditional trampolines. Springfree is the only trampoline on the market that offers a safe jumping environment by removing the impact areas that can cause injury including risks from the springs, the frame at the jumping surface, falls to the ground and collision with rigid enclosure poles.

Image courtesy: Springfree

If you are looking to buy a Springfree trampoline I wanted to share that now through December 30th, Springfree is offering FREE shipping and a FREE FlexrHoop with every purchase! Check out all the available sizes and pricing here. There is also a #SpringfreeSurprise contest going on. To enter:

  • Plan an elaborate Springfree Surprise for your family this holiday season.
  • Film or photograph the surprise.
  • Upload your photos/videos/stories to the Springfree Surprise page by December 31st.
  • Share your surprise on social media with the hashtag #SpringfreeSurprise.
Have fun! I’ll be following the hashtag to see all the excited faces on Christmas morning :)

 

Great Gift Ideas From Family Christian {Giveaway}

Family Christian gifts

Still have some names to check off your shopping list? I’m happy to be working with Family Christian to share some of the amazing gifts you can find in their stores and online.

Music- From Holiday CDs to the WOW series full of top hits to Casting Crowns, Family Christian has some great uplifting music. During the Christmas season I love to have holiday music on so I was excited to see Family Christian offering an exclusive ‘A Christmas to Believe in’ CD. Another CD I purchased was Casting Crowns new CD, Thrive. I have not heard the whole album but as one of the top Christian music groups out there I have no doubt that this will bring joy to anyone who receives it.

Kitchen Gifts- If you have someone on your list who spends a lot of time in the kitchen, how about getting them something special to use when they cook or bake? I love these little loaf pans. A great gift idea would be baking a little treat in them and then gifting the treat and dish together with a little note telling the person how thankful you are for them. There are also mugs, serving platters, kitchen tools, casserole dishes and more. Now through Christmas Eve select holiday gifts are 50% off so it’s the perfect time to pick up Christmas dishes, too!

Devotionals & Books- Gifting a book that guides others in quiet time is such a blessing- to them and to you! We love our Veggie Tales devotional but I was excited to give my boys the new Jesus Calling for Kids after hearing on Twitter about how great it was. All Jesus Calling books are 50% off right now. Another special book by one of my favorite Authors/Bloggers called Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas would make a nice gift for families looking to start an Advent tradition.

Willow Tree- I wrote a whole post about Willow Tree and all the beautiful figurines they have. Know a pregnant mom, a new dad, or a couple who just got engaged? Willow Tree makes the perfect gift to honor special life moments. Read more about them here.

Home Decor- The home deor pieces from Family Christian make ideal gifts! Encourage a friend with an angel figurine or a wall cross, or share one of their Christian plaques with an inspirational message. This ‘Be The Good’ print is one of my favorites.

Which Christmas gift idea is your favorite? Tell me in the comments below and you are entered to win a $25 gift certificate for Family Christian! Share the giveaway on a social network and leave another comment with the link and that will get you an extra entry. Giveaway ends December 24, 2014 at 11:59pm CST.

Good luck and Merry Christmas!

New STEM Toy: brackitz

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(Disclosure: My family received this toy for review but thoughts are my own.)

When I taught preschool, almost every child loved playing in the block area. Each day they used wooden blocks to create towers, houses, roads and lots of other creative things. The one downfall to plain blocks though was that you could only stack them. Enter brackitz, an award-winning construction toy system.

These newly evolved blocks helps lay the foundation for high-level cognitive thinking, reasoning and problem solving that kids will continue to benefit from long after childhood. Standard sets include interlocking 4-inch wooden planks, and 90° and 120° angle connectors, which can be pieced together to form a wide variety of models and architectural structures.

What makes brackitz different?

  • Educational – brackitz proudly promotes STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) techniques for young children to learn as they get older. Perfect for classroom use too!
  • Affordable – Choose from sets including 50, 100 and 200 pieces, with prices ranging from $29.95 – $99.95.
  • Build Up AND Out – brackitz can be used to construct innumerable creations; the one-of-a-kind connectors can interlock at different angles and directions and allow children to build circles, corners and bendable masterpieces.
  • Durable - While traditional stacking blocks collapse under pressure, brackitz allow children to build structures as big as they are without falling over. You can even move them around the house and your pets can roam free without causing a falling mess.
  • Safe - brackitz have been tested and are compliant with the Consumer Product Safety Commission for ages 3+.

brackitz sparks the idea of innovation and the opportunity to engage in creativity with trial and error. The connecting system allows children to instantly build strong and durable masterpieces. My kids and nephew loved playing with them and exploring the things they could design with them.

We have the small “creator” set but I think, if I were buying them, I’d purchase one of the larger sets so they can make larger creations. What could your child build with brackitz?

Buy them here.

Give The Gift Of Hope To Families In Need This Holiday Season

Photo courtesy of Heifer International.

Photo courtesy of Heifer International.

For many, the holiday season is a time filled with festivity and fun. For the more than 800 million people in the world that go to bed hungry every night, however, this time of year isn’t filled with the joy that it should be. Together we can change that by giving a gift that can make a meaningful difference for a family in need.

Heifer International works to empower millions to go from poverty to self-reliance by providing alternative gifts of livestock, seeds, trees, training and more to families in need. Heifer’s strategy is the hope that these families will pass on the gift—by sharing their animals’ offspring and their knowledge, resources and skills—to create an expanding network of hope, dignity and self-reliance that reaches around the globe.

Photo courtesy of Heifer International

So while you check off your holiday gift list and gather last minute ideas, consider making this the year you helped end hunger. Give an animal instead of a gift and help change a life! Heifer has some suggestions if you are interested in shopping from the Most Important Gift Catalog in the World:

* GIVE A GOAT Goats provide milk and extra income that lead to opportunities for education and improved healthcare

* GIVE CHICKS Chicks immediately begin producing protein-packed eggs for children and families

* GIVE A COW The gift of a cow can transform a family’s life providing milk, income, and manure for better crop yields.

For every donation, Heifer provides a free custom honor card, making it easy to honor someone special to you. To learn more about alternative gifting and Heifer International please visit: www.heifer.org.

Share The Joy Of Life’s Milestones With Willow Tree Figurines

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I’m a Family Christian blogger and this is a sponsored post but all thoughts are my own.

There are some things in my home that just mean the world to me. Some are pictures, some are mementos and then some just represent something to me, like my collection of Willow Tree figurines.

I started my Willow Tree collection when I first became pregnant and bought the “Promise” couple figurine to signify the love between Sinisa and I and the “Cherish” pregnant figurine to celebrate the baby I was carrying. Weeks later I headed to the doctor for a sonogram and discovered I was carrying twins but then got the devastating news that I would most likely be losing one. The set of Willow Tree babies was available at that time and I got them. Every time I walk past them it’s a reminder of my angel baby, Avery. The “Our Gift” couple holding a baby completes my current collection. I hope to get the Mother & Son and the Quietly sets still to keep out year round in my bedroom.

Do you know anyone that is pregnant, getting married or going through major change in their life? I think that Willow Tree figurines would make great gifts. I think it means a lot to people to receive a gift that says “I was thinking about you” and “I’m there for you” instead of just giving a generic gift you could have bought for anyone.

I’m also excited to see that there is a Willow Tree Nativity set at Family Christian! What a beautiful centerpiece to have out at Christmas time. I think it would spark some great conversations during holiday parties with family and friends.

See the whole selection of Willow Tree figurines at Family Christian here.

Christmas Shopping At Kohl’s {$100 Gift Card Giveaway}

Disney Frozen

(Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for Kohl’s. I received Kohl’s gift cards to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating.)

One of my favorite stores to shop at for Christmas gifts is Kohl’s. There is something for everyone on the list. I shopped online at Kohls.com on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. One thing that draws me in at this time of year especially is the sales. Why stand in line for hours on Thanksgiving or the wee hours of Black Friday when Kohl’s has amazing deals + 20% off codes + $15 Kohl’s cash and I can shop from my couch?!

Early last week I felt so behind because I had not purchased one single thing for Christmas but now, one week from Black Friday, I’m about halfway to being done. I don’t have a ton of people to buy for which is nice. Most of my money is spent on my children and then I also buy gifts for my immediate family. From Kohl’s I’ve bought the video games my boys wanted, a building set, Christmas shirts for holiday pictures, gifts for my niece and even a gift for myself!

How is your Christmas shopping going? If you are one of the many moms I know who has a list full of Disney Frozen items to buy you need to head to Kohl’s and check out the whole line of Frozen items. Through Monday (12/8/14) there is a wonderful family & friends sale. Kohl’s cash is back and if you spend more than $100 you get 25% off your order.

Since I’ve shared Disney Frozen gifts for the kids over the past couple of months (see here and here), I thought I’d share some gifts for the whole family can enjoy (even those of us who just act like kids ;) lol).

How perfect would this waffle maker be for a family breakfast before a day of playing in the snow?

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This game would be great for family game night!

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The whole family can play a little game of Frozen basketball while staying warm indoors.

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Start a new family tradition- family karaoke night!

With over 800 unique Disney Frozen gift ideas, Kohl’s will help you get your Christmas shopping done so you can spend the days cuddling with your kids or having a snowball fight instead of standing in line. Which is your favorite item from the Disney Frozen collection on Kohls.com?

To get you in the shopping mood head on over to see the Kohl’s Holiday commercial featuring the winner of the Disney Frozen Sing Your Heart Out contest! America voted Long Island sisters Katherine & Kelly Montenero the winners. See the winning video here.

Here’s something else to make shopping easy…a $100 Kohl’s gift card giveaway! It’s easy to enter. Just leave a comment telling me why you want to win. For an extra entry you can share this giveaway on social media (just leave a second comment saying you did so).

Giveaway ends December 11, 2014 at 11:59pm CST. Must be a US resident, 21 or older to win. Good luck!

 

Building Fun With K’nex {Giveaway}

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(Disclosure: This post is sponsored by American Certified.)

Kids love building toys. Last Christmas I shared a top 10 building toys for preschoolers list and today I’m excited to be sharing more about one of those toys that made that list- K’nex! Check below for a giveaway to enter to win your own set.

The boys enjoy playing with K’nex and the set we were sent from American Certified is the biggest set they have. An instruction booklet with over 70 ideas comes with the set but my boys love making their own creations. Cars seem to be a favorite when they build something specific.

The sturdy cardboard box makes it easy to store and all of our K’nex sets can fit nicely in this one treasure chest which makes cleaning up easy. The box says these specific K’nex are for ages 7 and up but my five year old has no problem using them. If you have a younger child there are other sets called “Kid K’nex” that might be better for them.

Enter in the form below for a chance to win a set for yourself! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Unique Gift Ideas For Music Lovers

unique gift ideas for music lovers

This blog post was written as part of my collaboration with eBay.

Some people seem to have everything which makes it hard to shop for them. One way to find them the perfect gift that they don’t have is to look for unique items that are either one of a kind or very rare. Check out my gift suggestions over on eBay! 

Cookie Bouquets From Cookies By Design

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Looking for a fun, delicious gift to send to a friend or family member? Cookie Bouquets from Cookies by Design are the perfect gift idea! My boys received this ‘Merry Christmas’ bouquet and they were so excited when they found out the Christmas shapes were cookies that they’d get to eat.

The boys picked out their favorite designs and I chose the Christmas tree one to eat. I loved the detailed designs on the cookies. Every one was pretty perfect and it was obvious that quite some time was spent creating each cookie. They were also individually packaged which I thought was a nice touch.

Cookies by Design has a variety of other cookie bouquets for the holidays including beautiful poinesetta shaped cookies and elves going down the chimney. See the full line of available bouquets here.

Easy DIY Teacher’s Gifts

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Looking for a creative gift for your child’s teacher? Today I wanted to share a couple easy DIY gifts I made for the kids to give. Not only are they easy, but they are quick and inexpensive, too! Thanks to QVC for sponsoring today’s crafts!

Lately I have been kind of obsessed with Washi tape. If you don’t know what that is, it’s like colorful masking tape. You can buy it at any craft store and even in the aisles of your favorite big box store. Some have stripes or designs and some are solid color. I had a really cute polka dot printed one that I wanted to use so I decorated a mason jar cup and a supply box with them.

“I’m BURSTing with excitement that you are my teacher” Mug

Materials:

  • Cup or mug of some kind (I used an Insulated Mason Jar Tumbler from QVC)
  • Washi tape
  • Starburst Candy
  • Small piece of paper
  • Sharpie

To make, wrap the mugs handle with washi tape and anywhere else you want to decorate it. I decided to do a line of washi along the bottom but do what looks best on your cup or mug. Fill with Starburst candy (but not too tightly because you’ll need to fit the straw in between the candies). Once the cup is filled and the lid is on it’s time to make a little card. I chose to wrap a small piece of paper in washi tape so the little card matched but you can do whatever kind of card you’d like. Since the cup is filled with Starburst candy I wrote a note saying, “I’m BURSTing with excitement that you are my teacher”.

Extra Supplies Box

Materials:

  • School supply box
  • Washi tape
  • School supplies to put in the box

This was a last minute idea. I had all the supplies on hand since Luke’s teacher told me the day before school that he didn’t need any school supplies. I figured I’d put the supplies to good use by giving them to Jake’s teacher as extras because I know kids always run out mid year. This way the teacher would get extra supplies for the classroom and have a cute decorated box to keep their desk organized.

To make it I just wrapped washi tape around the bottom of the box, one row at a time. I tried to match up the dots on each line so it would blend together better. I then put a row around the top and wrote “extra supplies”. (After we took pictures I decided I didn’t like how my writing looked on it so I took that top piece off so the bottom was the only thing wrapped.) Once it was done I filled the box with supplies including sharpened pencils, small scissors, dry erase markers, crayons, and highlighters.

Looking for more DIY ideas? Tune in to You’re Home with Jill® on QVC every Wednesday at 7pm (ET), through October. Jill Bauer’s popular show, You’re Home with Jill®provides fans with simple solutions for their busy lives through innovative products, a library of stress-free DIY projects, and crowd-pleasing recipes. Fans can connect with Jill on Facebook,Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram @jillbauerqvc.

 

Sweet Treats For Little Valentines

cheryls collage

Make your child’s Valentine’s Day lunch or snack special this year by giving them a delicious treat. Cheryl’s sent me a beautiful tin full of cookies and other goodies to share with my boys.

The sugar cookies were really good and had a hint of lemon flavoring to them. I also thought the little bird cookie was adorable. The boys liked the frosted heart shaped cookies and the pretzels that were covered with sprinkles.

Looking on Cheryl’s website I saw a bunch of cute gifts for Valentine’s Day. The cookie bouquets were nice as was the “tweetheart” box. If you are looking to have cookies delivered for your valentine then make sure to place your order by 3pm EST today!

 

They also have $5 cookie cards that are perfect for every occasion from happy birthdays to get well wishes.

Chocolate Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

fannie may heart shaped box

Valentine’s Day is this Friday! If you are still looking for gift ideas I have a few to share from Fannie May and appreciate them sending me a box of chocolates to review. I shared around the Holidays how chocolates were my go-to gift to give and the same is true for gift giving around Valentine’s Day. Since most people love chocolate as much as I do it’s an easy gift to give.

When I received the box of chocolates last week, Jacob was excited to see all of the candy. Every day he has been picking out one to try and we take guesses as to what is inside the chocolate coating. It’s a special moment between the two of us and something we both look forward to each day.

Along with the typical box of chocolate, Fannie May has an assortment of special Valentine’s Day gifts. Here are some of my favorite:

Champagne Celebration Strawberries

Giant, hand-picked strawberries are generously dipped in creamy white and pink champagne-infused real chocolate and decoratively sprinkled with gold, platinum and clear sugar.

Assorted Chocolates – Heart Box, 2 lb.

Milk chocolate, dark chocolate or a combination of both, this essential assortment has something for everyone, from buttercreams and rich nougats, to buttery caramels. This is the box of chocolates that we received from Fannie May. I love the caramels and Jacob’s favorites are the wrapped chocolate hearts. They are housed in a beautiful box that makes this the perfect gift to give!

Loving Favorite Gifts Tower

A selection of favorite confections for your Valentine, each Loving Favorite Gifts Tower weighs 2 lbs, 9 oz and comes filled with: 4 oz Valentine Pixies, 1 lb Delights Individually Wrapped Chocolates, 5 oz Milk Truffle Hearts, 4 Milk Grahams, 4 Milk Cookies, 4 Milk Pretzels, and 4 White Pretzels. Yum! If you have multiple people on your gift list you could even split this one up and give the boxes in the tower out to separate people.

Which gift is your favorite?

Shipping Note: The website says if you order by today (2/11 at 3pm EST) you can use ground shipping and get the gift to your Valentine in time. Waited until the last minute? You can still order and choose overnight delivery on 2/13 for delivery on 2/14 or visit one of their Chicago area stores.

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas From The Fruit Company

TFC Red Pear Valentine Tower

I love chocolate on Valentine’s Day but it’s also nice to give {and get} healthier options as well so that is why I wanted to share about The Fruit Company’s gift ideas for Valentine’s Day. You can give those you love some sweet, delicious fruit along with other goodies. We received the Red Pear Valentine Tower for review and it was great because it had something for everyone in it.

This gift tower is packed with four Red D’Anjou pears, chocolate covered cherries, zebra chocolate popcorn, strawberry yogurt pretzels and two Fuji apples. Sinisa loved the pears and the boys gobbled up the apples. Jacob thought the pretzels tasted just like his favorite drink, strawberry milk. My favorites were the chocolate covered cherries. They were really juicy and I thought it was a great mix of fruit and chocolate.

Some other gift ideas from The Fruit Company include:

Valentine Berries

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Organic Pink Fruit Basket

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 Chocolate Truffle Lava Cakes

If you are shopping last minute make sure to check out their website for special Valentine’s Day shipping. Choose Valentine’s Day delivery, and receive upgraded shipping at no extra cost as long as your order is placed by noon, PST, February 13, 2014.

Showing Love With Baked Goods {Gift Card Giveaways}

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(Disclosure: This is a sponsored post as part of Rich Products #bakerybecause program but all thoughts are my own.)

My boys love their sweets so for Valentine’s Day I wanted to give them some gifts they could enjoy for a special dessert. I’d love to bake but don’t really have much time to do so, so I head to my local grocery store to pickup their favorite cookies and cakes. Instead of just picking up items from the store and giving them in the bakery boxes I decided to get a little creative and figure out some special ways to share them.

I had some chocolate brownies and I decided to make the large brownies into bite sized pieces so they were easier for my kids to eat and not as messy. Once cut I packaged them in a couple different ways.

I used a gift card box and took out the insert inside where the card was supposed to go. I added Valentine’s themed mini muffin wrappers and then put a piece of brownie in each wrapper. Put the lid on, add a couple pieces of tape to the sides, and voila….a little box of yumminess!

For the second half of the brownies I decided to put them in these cute baking wrappers I found. You could even add some mini marshmallows in with them! Once in the wrappers they can be enclosed in clear cellophane.

I found a lot of fun ways to give the cookies. Some I put in little dollar value boxes I found. Some I put into treat bags decorated with curly ribbons at the top. I found a mug with some candies in it and took the candies out and refilled it with cookies which I think would be a great gift paired with a package of coffee beans or a gift card to a coffee shop. I also found little Valentine’s take out boxes with heart cut outs that I thought would be a hit with Sinisa as a special dessert after a Chinese dinner.

I also found a box of mini chocolate cakes adorned with frosting hearts. They were adorable so I wanted to display them. These will be given in a heart shaped tray wrapped in the heart cellophane that the white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies are wrapped in.

What is your favorite way to gift baked goods and who would you give a delicious gift to? Check out the giveaway below!

GIVEAWAY

Three people will win $25 gift cards

HOW TO ENTER

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Leave a comment telling me who makes your life special

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Leave a comment telling me what special way you’d gift a baked good

4) Subscribe to this blog via email

Giveaway ends February 20, 2014 at 11:59pm CST. Must be 18 or older and a US resident to win.

Great Chuggington Giveaway: Stacktrack Set & Chug Patrol App

chuggington logo

Do you have a little Chuggington fan? If so, I have some exciting news for you and a great giveaway you are going to love! StoryToys, a leading publisher of interactive books and games for children, recently released “Chug Patrol: Ready to Rescue,” a 3D interactive storybook for children and it is currently 50% off!

The “Chug Patrol: Ready To Rescue” app is available in the Apple App Store, Google Play and Amazon Appstore for $4.99 on smartphones and tablets. The “Chug Patrol” app features Wilson as he proves to be a brave new hero of the rails. He’s “in control and ready to roll!” Brewster and Koko also move up to advanced training, taking lessons from new mentors and helping with more important tasks. Children can read or listen to the story, and then turn the page to see a 3D pop-up scene magically unfold. They can then join in the action for themselves, all while earning Chug Patrol badges for their collection. Readers will ride along with Koko as she masters speed control and braking, build new track in the forest with Brewster, make a daring rescue from the mine with Wilson, save Emery when his brakes fail, and much more.

“Chug Patrol: Ready to Rescue” includes the following features:

  • Amazing 3D book experience – it’s just like a real pop-up book.
  • Nine interactive pop-up scenes with exciting games and puzzles.
  • Fully narrated in multiple languages by original actors from the series.
  • Read to Me, Read it Myself, and Autoplay modes.
  • 21 beautifully presented pages of text.
  • Win a badge when each task is completed, just like a real Chug Patroller!
  • Features a fantastic musical score and lots of amazing sound effects.

Love a good deal? StoryToys has a two week Christmas promotion running through January 3rd and Chug Patrol: Ready to Rescue is 50% off! They also have other great sales including: Grimm’s Hansel & Gretel (free!) and all other books in the library will be $1 off (apart from books that are already $0.99).

 GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win a Chuggington StackTrack Ready to Race Deluxe Action Playset by TOMY and a free code for the Chug Patrol: Ready to Rescue phone app!

Chuggington StackTrack Ready to Race Playset takes kids on a twisting, turning, spiraling adventure that scales four levels of fun. Experience the only die-cast railway that combines train and construction play to deliver the tallest, most action-packed train play ever. This innovative train track system lets kids build tall, spiraling layouts…so tall, in fact, that TOMY set the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® title for World’s Tallest Toy Train Track this spring at Grand Central Terminal in New York City!

The Ready to Race Playset inspires construction creativity with eight different layout options—each designed to encourage imagination and amp up the play value. High Performance engine technology eliminates the frustration of flipping engines or disastrous derailments with engines that stay on track—even when screeching down a two foot tall layout! Plus, the set is compatible with all other Chuggington StackTrack and die-cast sets, delivering endless track layout possibilities.

Ages: 3 and up. MSRP: $89.99

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Tell me who you want to win this giveaway for

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Tweet: Enter to win @Tomy_toy’s @Chuggington StackTrack & Chug Patrol app from @Storytoys via @aliciamarie112 http://wp.me/p2UYm7-5AZ #Traintastic

4) Comment on another one of my blog posts

5) Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

6) Follow @Storytoys on Twitter

Giveaway ends January 5, 2014 at 11:59pm CST. Must be 18 or older and a US resident to win.

Books For Boys {Giveaway}

boy books

(Disclosure: I received a set of books to review but all thoughts are my own.)

If you have a little boy that is fascinated by all things that rumble, crumble and crash, a new series by Capstone Book for Young Readers is a SMASH-ingly great gift for this holiday season! The aptly named DESTRUCTION series features four very sturdy board books where readers can follow along as a building is imploded, a car goes into the crusher, a wrecking ball destroys a wall and tires are shredded to bits. Crush It!Knock It Down!Blow It Up!; and Shred It! all feature big, bright images and movable parts that allow the reader to blow it up, knock it down, crush and shred it — perfect for little ones mesmerized by destruction!

Lucas, who is always on the go, is not a fan of typical books. He doesn’t enjoy looking at picture books but he loved these books because he could do things while he was looking at the pictures. He can move the wrecking ball back and forth, make a building crumble to the ground, crush old cars and more.

I also liked that these books were very sturdy. Having multiple kids, it is great when I know items will last for more than one child. The colors of these books were nice as well and the bright colors grabbed Luke’s attention along with my own.

For more information about the series and purchasing information please visit: http://www.capstoneyoungreaders.com/products/crush-it-/.

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win all 4 books in the series and a yellow construction hat

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any 0r all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Tell me who you want to win this set for

2)  Share this giveaway on a social network

Giveaway ends January 5, 2014 at 11:59pm CST. Must be 18 or older and a US resident to enter.

Chicago’s Favorite Chocolates

Fannie May gift ideas

(Disclosure: I received a box of chocolates for review but all thoughts are my own.)

You all know I love chocolate. As a Chicagoan, I am lucky to have one of the very best chocolate companies based right here in my area- Fannie May! I can’t remember a Christmas without a box of Fannie May chocolates. My favorites include their pixies and their mint meltaways. I also enjoy their boxes of assorted chocolates.

I’ll tell you a funny story that I am extremely embarrassed to share…. when I was younger (a long time ago) we had a box of assorted chocolates in the fridge. I don’t remember how old I was but I was young enough that I couldn’t just eat as many chocolates as I wanted because they were limited to a dessert item. Well I had my favorites and then flavors I had never tried. I was in the fridge one day when I decided that I wanted to try the other flavors but didn’t want to be selfish and eat the whole piece of chocolate so I took a bite of a few of them and left the other halves in the fridge.

At the time it made sense in my head to share the other half with someone else but, as you can imagine, my dad was not very happy that I had left half-eaten chocolate in the fridge. He probably would have preferred that I just ate the whole piece. Looking back I realize now that a knife would have been a better cutting choice than my teeth. I think about that story every time I have a box of chocolates from Fannie May and it brings back memories of my childhood every time I bite into a piece of chocolate. 

Along with the special memories I have of Fannie May chocolates, I think the chocolate is delicious. I took a look at their website and chose some of the gifts I think *someone* would like if you haven’t bought me them a gift yet ;)

Sea Salt Caramels

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Milk Chocolate Pixies

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Artisan Holiday Bark

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Mint Meltaways

I checked and it’s not too late to place your order for Christmas. There is a 20% off sale and free 2nd day shipping promotion as well. Head on over to their website for full details!

Gift Ideas For Creative Kids From ShopVault.com

creative kids

(Disclosure: I received a playhouse for my kids but all thoughts are my own.)

Looking for gift ideas? The internet is full of them and I’m here to share my favorite creative gifts from a site I have newly discovered called VAULT. ShopVault.com is a curated marketplace where the most unique and the most sought after brands have been hand picked by influential tastemakers. Members get a first look at hot new inventory and private invitations to exclusive events. It’s free to join and you even get a special discount of $20 off your first purchase of $30 or more!

Here are five gifts I think creative kids would love:

Color Your Own Playhouse Castle

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Piggy Couture Picasso Art Kit

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Veggie Sidewalk Chalk

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Wool Felt Jewelry Kit

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Lay ‘n’ Go Lego Carrier

Angry Birds Go! Telepods Pig Rock Raceway Set {Giveaway}

angry birds giveaway

My boys are really into Angry Birds lately. They love the phone app but they also enjoy playing with the playsets. I shared about the small set we got back in October (find the review here) and this month Hasbro sent us the ANGRY BIRDS GO! TELEPODS PIG ROCK RACEWAY Set.

This set is so much fun! Lucas was home sick from school today and, once I set it up for him, spent over an hour playing with the set (which is great for him considering he doesn’t have much of an attention span).

Two of the birds are in little cars and, with the push of a button, race each other along this long race track. There are extra obstacles you can add to the excitement but for my four year old the basic racing was enough to keep him occupied.

It was so cute listening to Lucas say, “you win! yay!” over and over again when one of the cars would get to the end of the track.

Another way to play with the characters from this set is to use the phone app and teleport your angry bird into the game. The boys think it’s so cool that they can do this.

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win an Angry Birds Go! Telepods Pig Rock Raceway Set

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Tell me who you want to win this for

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Comment on another one of my blog posts

Giveaway ends December 30, 2013 at 11:59pm CST. Must be 18 or older and a US resident to enter.

(Disclosure: As stated above, I received a game for review.)

Top 10 Stocking Stuffer Ideas For Preschoolers

stocking stuffer ideas for preschoolers

I’m  excited to be joining in with a great group of bloggers for a special Top Ten Holiday Gift Ideas series. Please join us as we share our favorite books, games, building toys, pretend play toys, and stocking stuffers! Each participating blog will create their own unique list each week for each of the categories so be sure to stop by each of the links at the bottom of this post.

Here are 10 of my favorite stocking stuffer ideas that are not edible:

Art Supplies: crayons, markers, collage materials, little pads of paper, stamps and ink pads, stickers, playdough, art smock

Toiletries: mini bubble bath bottles, fun character toothbrushes, mini tubes of toothpaste

Vehicles: trains, cars, small planes, construction vehicles

Wearable Items: socks, hats, underwear, jewelry, gloves, dress up clothes

Figures: tiny dolls, Super Hero Squad super heroes, small princesses, dinosaurs, farm animals, characters from movies or TV shows

Games: Go Fish card game, character dominoes, Fruitominoes, game for electronic system

Musical Instruments: harmonica, recorder, triangle

Building Toys: lego bricks, wooden blocks, magnetic block sets

Books: any soft cover books that interest your kids, coloring books

Bath Fun: bath toys, bath crayons, bath squirters

Find more great gift ideas in these posts:

Stocking Stuffers for All Ages {Top Ten Holiday Lists} from Something 2 Offer

Top 10 Stocking Stuffers for Boys Ages 3+ from Stir the Wonder

Stocking & Stuffer Ideas for Kids from Powerful Mothering

Top 10 Stocking Stuffers for Preschoolers from Makeovers & Motherhood

Top 10 Stocking Stuffers for Preschoolers from P is for Preschooler

Inexpensive Stocking Stuffers for Preschoolers from Little Bins for Little Hands

DIY Stocking Stuffers Ideas from Creative World of Varya

 

 

 

 

Holiday Gift Baskets and Flower Arrangements

gift ideas

I love getting unexpected surprises delivered to my door. Whether it’s a package I forgot was coming or a special gift from a friend it’s exciting. Some of my favorite things to receive are gift baskets from 1-800-Baskets. They recently sent me their Resplendent Elegance Holiday Gift Basket which was full of chocolates and other goodies.

This gourmet gift basket features some of my favorite chocolate brands like Fannie May, Ghirardelli, and Ferrero Rocher. As a sweets lover this basket is perfect because most of the items are chocolates, other candies, and cookies. There are a couple items in the basket for those times when I’m craving something salty as well.

Some other items from 1-800-Baskets that would make nice gifts include:

Best of Ghirardelli® Gift Basket

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Starbucks® Fan Favorite Coffee Basket

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Holiday Cheer Market Box

Another option is to send a gift from 1-800-flowers. I love having fresh flowers in my home. Look at how beautiful these flower arrangements are:

 

Fields of Europe™ for Christmas

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Glorious Christmas™

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Candy Cane Lilies

So many great gift ideas! If you want to give one of the baskets for Christmas you need to hurry because I just found out that the deadline to place orders is 12/19!

(Disclosure: As stated above, I received a gift basket from 1-800-Baskets. All thoughts are my own.)

 

Zume Games: Gift Ideas For Outdoor Fun

outdoor games gift ideas

(Disclosure: I received a game from Zume Games and can’t wait to play it this spring!)

Do you have someone in your life who loves the outdoors? I have some great gift ideas for them! Escalade Sports, a national leader in recreational sporting goods, has a line of outdoor games called Zume Games that put an innovative twist on traditional outdoor games. Zume Games are portable, easy to play, durable and designed for safe play. 

Zume Games’ must-haves include TENNIZ™, DIZK™, and TOZZ™. Here is some more about these fun games:

TENNIZ™

The instant tennis match you can play almost anywhere. TENNIZ is ideal for building skills and having fun. Perfect for kids and beginners or family recreational play, TENNIZ is lightweight, portable and features ultra-quick setup. TENNIZ comes complete with two 21-inch rackets, 2 TENNIZ balls, 12-foot net and convenient carrying case.  TENNIZ is suitable for ages 8+ and is available for purchase online at Amazon.com and Zume-Games.com. SRP: $79.99.

DIZK™

DIZK is a super-tough, soft-touch, great-grip flying disc featuring a unique design to help it fly, float and flex like no other. Its center hole creates more ways to catch and its versatility makes it great for perfecting those flying disk tricks. DIZK is suitable for ages 6+ and is available for purchase at Sports Authority, MC Sports, Sports Chalet and online at Amazon.com and Zume-Games.com. SRP: $14.99.

TOZZ™

TOZZ is a soft-touch, great-grip football that was made to grip it and rip it, allowing you to get more out of your arm. Its center aerodynamic air tunnel helps create an amazing spiral on every throw. TOZZ’s easy to launch, easy to catch design is suitable for ages 6+ and is available for purchase at Sports Authority, MC Sports, Sports Chalet and online at Amazon.com and Zume-Games.com. SRP: $17.99.

Don’t those all sound like so much fun!?