Top 10 Gifts for 8 Year Old Boys

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I’m not sure if it’s just me or it my friends are also having this same problem but as the kids get older I’m finding that it’s harder and harder to find out exactly what they want for Christmas. Or, as I’m experiencing with my son, things change from week to week so the one thing you thought was at the top of their list is now just eh. Frustrating, right? 

Well this year I did a bit of research and if you’re like me and have an 8 year old boy, I’ve got you covered! Different price points, different types of toys, and all perfect 8 year old gifts. 

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Stikbot Studio

Create , Animate and Share! Stikbot Studio Pro is the perfect way to get kids interested in stop motion video. This set include 1 tripod , 2 stikbots (solid red and solid orange color, 2in1 stage green and blue screen. With green screen , you can capture the best photo and video and save time editing. Easily cut and edit footage to create the sequence you need by using green screen. You can digitally recreate the background of your scene

Buy here on Amazon (Prime available): http://amzn.to/2guca5u

LEGO Sets

What 8 year old doesn’t love LEGO sets? From Minecraft to LEGO City to Superheros, LEGO sets come in all themes, sizes, and price points. Perfect for boys or girls. 

Video Games

My son is obsessed with video games. But of course he loves the ones that aren’t actually available to purchase easily. Top of his list? The Isle, Subnautica, and Terraria.

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IDo3D Vertical

IDO3D uses a cool blue LED light and soft, squeezable 3D pens that enable you to easily draw 3D objects! The IDO3D Vertical light attaches to each pen by clicking firmly into place. The light can easily be removed from one pen, and placed on another by simply pulling it off, and popping it onto another. It’s a snap!

With IDO3D Vertical, you can draw vertically, straight into the air. To do so, turn on your light, and simply draw upward by squeezing your pen and moving the tip vertically, away from your drawing surface. You can also make solid sheets of material by drawing on flat or curved surfaces, first with the light off, and curing afterward by shining the light on your art. Draw on non-sticky textured materials or objects like coins or buttons, and then remove for very cool effects. 

Buy here on Amazon (Prime available): http://amzn.to/2hjPMeN

Osmo

Osmo is an award-winning hands-on game system, fosters creativity & problem solving skills. The starter kit incldues 4 games – Words: puzzle form spelling, Newton: creative problem solving, Tangram: expand your visual thinking, and Masterpiece: supercharged drawing and is designed for kids 5-12. So siblings can play along as well!

From coding to tangrams to everything in between, my kids are obsessed with Osmo. Their current favorites are the Osmo Coding and Osmo Pizza Co

Cosmo

Now this is one of those gifts my husband checked out before the holiday season and purchased as a joint gift for himself AND the two older kids. Yeah, you read that right. A gift for him and the kids. But boy were his instincts right! Cozmo is a real-life robot like you’ve only seen in movies, with a one-of-a-kind personality that evolves the more you hang out.

Cozmo expresses real emotions in response to your actions. He requires a free app and the processing power of your compatible mobile phone/tablet to access high level robotics functions that brings Cozmo to life. New games and upgrades are unlocked the more you play.

Cosmo may be hard to get now but keep an eye on when he comes back in stock: http://amzn.to/2gqt3sY

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Dart Zone Magnum Superdrum Blaster

One way to get my kid out of the house (and off his video games) is to start a fun game of war. And this Dart Zone Magnum Superdrum Blaster is the perfect accessory for a friendly competition. 

Grab yours here: http://amzn.to/2hjHEKY

Minecraft anything

What kid doesn’t love Minecraft, right? My son is still just as obsessed with Minecraft now as he was last year. And while he has the game, he still wants all of the toys, t-shirts, and stuffed animals out there. So many options for a Minecraft lover! 

Magic Treehouse Box Sets

One thing I love finding for each kid is a good book for them for the new year and the Magic Treehouse series is one my son enjoys reading with us and by himself. Anything that will get him to read is a win-win in my book! 

Grab books 1-4 here (more available if you’ve already read these!): http://amzn.to/2hk2DuC

Little Live Pets

I don’t know what it is about these little guys but both my 6 year old and 8 year old are obsessed with them. There are turtles, frogs, and mice available and each has their own little habitat they come in (or you can purchase them separately. 

Check em out here: http://amzn.to/2htBjxg

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What are your kids asking for under the tree? 

Perfect Last Minute Movie Stocking Stuffer Ideas

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One thing I always forget to get until the last minute are the stocking stuffers for the kids. It’s a task I normally will just give to my husband the night before Christmas eve and then we end up with too much or too little. So I’m going simple this year! Each of the kids will get a DVD in their stocking, an apple & an orange (tradition in our home), a See’s santa chocolate, and a Christmas lego. Simple but fun, right? Now what DVDs should I stick in their stocking? 

Here are some ideas: 

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The BFG

Disney and Amblin Entertainment, in association with Walden Media, present the fantasy adventure film “The BFG,” the first-ever motion picture adaptation of Roald Dahl’s resonant tale of childhood, the magic of dreams and the extraordinary friendship between a young girl and a big friendly giant. Directed by three-time Academy Award® winner Steven Spielberg, the film reunites the director with his Oscar®-nominated collaborator on “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” Melissa Mathison, who adapted the children’s author’s timeless adventure for the big screen. 

This magical tale of an extraordinary friendship loaded with exciting extras will brighten the holidays for the whole family! “The BFG” comes to Digital HD, Blu-ray™ and Disney Movies Anywhere Dec. 6.

Purchase it on Amazon (through my affiliate link) here: http://amzn.to/2hLaReu

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Elena of Avalor: Ready to Rule

Disney’s newest princess comes to DVD with the release of Elena of Avalor: Ready to Rule just in time for the Holidays! Join Elena as she learns about being a princess who will one day become a queen and rule her kingdom. She’s saved her kingdom from an evil sorceress who was trying to destroy Avalor, but that was the easy part! Elena’s journey leads her to understand that her new role requires thoughtfulness, resilience and compassion, the traits of all truly great leaders.

This DVD is packed with laughs, new characters to cherish, and heart, Elena of Avalor: Ready to Rule is a must-own for the entire family! Includes Four Full Episodes and a FREE Exclusive Projecting Scepter – A Great Holiday Gift! Bring home this charming series on Disney DVD December 6th!

Purchase it on Amazon (through my affiliate link) here: http://amzn.to/2hLf4Pr

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LEGO Star Wars The Freemaker Adventures

Are you ready for more fantastic and fun LEGO Star Wars adventures? Of course you are! LEGO Star Wars The Freemaker Adventures Complete Season One arrives in our galaxy on Blu-ray and DVD on Dec. 6th.

Taking place between THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and RETURN OF THE JEDI, this new Lego Star Wars series follows a family of scavengers who build and sell starships from battle debris strewn throughout the galaxy. When their youngest discovers a natural connection with the Force through an ancient artifact – the Kyber Saber –he and his family are thrown into an epic struggle against the Empire to restore peace and freedom to the galaxy. The Freemakers explore new worlds, meet new and familiar characters and discover the strength of family.

Now you can relive all 13 action-packed episodes in LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures Season One, with new bonus features and 6 exclusive Lego Star Wars magnets available nowhere else! This is a must-have release for fans!!

Purchase it on Amazon (through my affiliate link) here: http://amzn.to/2hLauAz

What are your top stocking stuffer ideas? 

5 Must Have Products For Exhausted Moms

This post featuring 5 Must Have Products For Exhausted Moms is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Single Edition Media.

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When I turned 30 I had no qualms about the next decade in my life. In fact I have been waiting for 30. Waiting to feel the age I’ve always felt. Is that weird? Maybe. But it’s so true. And being 30. It’s so right for me. But the one thing I didn’t realize as I became another decade older was the toll it would start to take on my body. The fine lines, the lack of elasticity in my skin. And the myriad of other things I started to notice. 

It could be the 3 kids I had or maybe it was stress but one day I just stopped and looked at myself in the mirror as I was brushing my hair and realized that hair was literally coming out in clumps. And I had a minor panic attack until I read somewhere that hair loss is normal. But is it? And that much? What was going on? 

That realization that my body was starting to change made me realize that I might need to look into a good routine. I might need to find products that would help this exhausted 30 year old mom look somewhat put together the next time I showed up at a PTG meeting or the soccer field. Luckily I found just that in these 5 must have products for exhausted moms I’ve listed below! I’m tackling hair care, skin care, and self care. 

5 Must Have Products For Exhausted 30 Year Old Moms

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1. Spire Wearable Wellness & Activity Tracker
State of mind affects how you breathe, but how you breathe can also change your state of mind. That’s pretty deep, right? Well it’s true. Studies have shown that slow, deep and consistent breathing can lower blood pressure, reduce stress and increase the flow of endorphins in the blood stream. 

Working with leading experts on the respiratory system, digital health and medical/wellness devices, Spire is the only wearable that increases mindfulness and productivity by tracking breathing patterns reflecting our state of mind. And for busy moms that means one thing – realizing when you need to step back and take a moment for yourself. 

Spire is a “trainer” for mindfulness & mindful living Spire makes mindfulness more attainable by alerting users in-the-moment and suggesting breathing exercises and meditations to lead to a more mindful behavior change be it a calmer and focused state – goodbye stress! – or even becoming more active. While wearing, the Spire PLATFORM will learn to anticipate stressful events before they are likely to happen and alert users with actionable insights on how to prepare and experience more calm in their life.

Spire is fully integrated into the Apple Health App and works with Apple watch. And if you’re like me and have an Android based phone, an Android App is also now available. You can score $10 off when you purchase the Spire here. The discount is applied at checkout.

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2. Viviscal
After each kid I seemed to lose a bit more hair. And while it hasn’t visibly been something to worry about, I’ve noticed that the fullness I once had is starting to wane. So I researched various brands to find one that would work well with my hair and I’ve had a great experience with Viviscal. They’ve been the leading brand of dietary supplements in the US for the nourishment of thinning hair and promoting existing hair growth for over 25 years. Backed by extensive research and clinical studies that prove the brand’s effectiveness, the Viviscal Hair Growth Program nourishes hair from the inside out with the proprietary marine complex called AminoMarTM for strong, healthy hair!

Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Shampoo is scientifically formulated with Ana:Tel™, a proprietary complex blended with Biotin, Keratin and Zinc to promote healthy looking hair growth. Viviscal Densifying Shampoo gently cleanses, leaving hair looking fuller, thicker and healthier instantly. Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Conditioner contains the proprietary Ana:Tel™ complex blended with Biotin, Keratin and Zinc to nourish hair from the outside and promote the appearance of healthy looking hair growth. The lightweight formula moisturizes and conditions hair leaving it looking naturally thicker, fuller and gorgeous.

3. Dermae Firming DMAE Eye Lift –
While I was looking for a new skin care routine to help with the lack of sleep I’ve been getting, I stumbled on Dermae products. This multi-action eye cream helps to revive and smooth the look of your delicate eye area. And who doesn’t need help with our eye area, right? Widely-acclaimed DMAE helps to visibly improve the appearance of skin’s firmness for a more lifted look. While wrinkle-fighting peptides including Instalift® Goji Berry help to smooth the look of fine lines and wrinkles for younger-looking eyes. Now I just need to get rid of the dark circles! 

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4. Dermae Firming DMAE Moisturizer –
I know the importance of moisturizer so if I can find one that doesn’t feel too thick but soaks in well and makes my skin feel hydrated, I know I have something that will work. This nutrient-rich moisturizer is clinically proven to improve the appearance of skin’s firmness, hydration and elasticity. Widely-acclaimed DMAE helps skin to appear visibly firmer, smoother and lifted. Antioxidant-rich Alpha Lipoic Acid and Vitamin C Ester nourish your skin for a more revitalized appearance.

5. Fiera® by NuelleTM
As I’ve looked at every other area of my life – stress level, skin and hair care, etc – I also look at the relationships in my life and how they’ve changed in my 30s. Especially my most important relationship – my marriage. I’ve checked out Fiera for a little help reconnecting with my husband and love the changes it’s made for us. If you’re looking to reconnect with your partner, you can use code Babble for 10% off when you check out here

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Have you found any great products you use daily? 

Baby Sprinkle Gift Ideas for the Second Time Mom

This post featuring great baby sprinkle gift ideas for the second (or third, or fourth) time mom is a product-provided, sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of FeverAll® Infants’ Strength Acetaminophen Suppositories.

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As a mom of 3, I’ve had quite a bit of experience with the necessities when bringing home a new baby. And while a lot of personal preference – and figuring out what works well with one baby may not work well with the next  – plays an important role in what is needed for a new baby for moms who’ve already had one, I’ve narrowed down a few areas that focus on necessities for every kid no matter if it’s your second, or your fourth! 

No, I’m not pregnant (nor planning on being pregnant again) but my sister is pregnant with her 4th and we’re hosting a sprinkle for her next weekend. I don’t see any reason why every baby shouldn’t be celebrated and love any excuse to get family together so we’re very much looking forward to this event. 

Sometimes when a family has already had kids (and they’re relatively close in age) they don’t need all of the big items they needed the first time around. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need things if you’re generous enough to send a gift. Below are some great ideas on what to get the second (or third, or fourth, etc) time mom their baby sprinkle!

Baby Sprinkle Gift Ideas for the Second Time Mom

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Feeding

While you can definitely reuse items like bottles, bowls, plates, etc for each child, there’s always something new on the market that makes feeding baby easier for parents. We’re sharing our favorite feeding tools with my sister and her family as well as stocking her up with new nipples for bottles.

Here’s what we’ve included in our basket: 

  • Squeeze pouch feeder
  • Easy squeezy spoon (can fit on most squeeze pouch foods too)
  • Handkerchief bib
  • Pacifier & pacifier clip

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First Aid

First aid is something that’s often overlooked when gifting a new baby. And while there are great baby first aid kits out there, some moms already have the nail clippers, useless bulb sucker, thermometer, etc. But it’s a great idea to stock the new parents up with the first aid items they might need in the first few years of life so if their baby does get sick, they don’t have to race out to pick up these essentials. 

Here’s what we’ve included in our basket: 

  • FeverAll® Infants’ Strength Acetaminophen Suppositories – Be prepared! Make sure you have acetaminophen in both liquid and suppository forms on-hand for the cold/flu season. In the event your child is unable or unwilling to swallow oral medication, an acetaminophen suppository is a safe alternative to the liquid form and always provides an accurate dose with no mess.
  • Rectal thermometer (each child needs their own) – Using a digital rectal thermometer will provide the most accurate reading of a baby’s temperature.
  • Nose Frieda (not pictured) – those old bulb suckers just aren’t as effective. It may seem gross but is actually quite sanitary! And… it works. 
  • Humidifier (not pictured) – we have a humidifier in each of the kids rooms to help out at night when they’re sick. 

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Fun & Play

The best part about a new baby is all of the fun things you can purchase for them to play with. We all know every new baby needs their own lovey! And, of course, a stuffie like the stuffed bear my kids chose for their new cousin. And as baby gets older, she’ll learn to throw her toys out of the stroller, car seat, etc. so it’s a good idea to have toy clips to secure those items. 

Here’s what we’ve included in our basket: 

  • Stuffed teddy bear
  • Owl lovey
  • Toy strap

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While preparing for a new baby, there’s nothing better to do than make sure you take a peek into the medicine cabinet to make sure you’re stocked up on everything you might need for the new baby. Being prepared will help out when it’s 2am and baby isn’t feeling good. A baby or toddler with a fever is no fun, and Acetaminophen is one of the most recommended non-prescription medications by healthcare professionals – including pediatricians and pediatric nurse practitioners – for temporary fever reduction and relief of minor aches and pain in infants and children. 

FeverAll® is the only national brand of acetaminophen in suppository form and is available in three strengths for children from 6 months to 12 years of age.

FeverAll® Infants’ Strength Suppositories (80 mg of acetaminophen) is the only acetaminophen product available with dosage instructions for children as young as six months of age.

For more than 30 years, caregivers have relied on the accuracy and convenience of FeverAll®. With FeverAll® Suppositories, caregivers can be assured that children will receive the accurate dose of acetaminophen labeled on the package vs. needing to measure liquid oral acetaminophen.

FeverAll® Acetaminophen Suppositories are an important option for caregivers because they permit the administration of fever and pain relieving medicine to children who cannot take medication by mouth due to illness/vomiting, or fussiness, for those who don’t like taking liquid medication or who have other health issues; they provide an accurate dosage of acetaminophen without measuring or causing a mess.

Purchase FeverAll® Infants’ Strength Suppositories in your local Rite Aid, CVS, Walgreens and Walmart stores. Ad follow along on social media by checking out the hashtag #FeverAllBeFeverReady for great fever reducing tips and tricks.

What was your favorite baby shower gift you’ve received? 

Use FeverAll® only as directed. If you have specific questions about fever, acetaminophen or using FeverAll, speak with your child’s pediatrician. FeverAll Acetaminophen Suppositories are available at major retailers and drugstores across the U.S, such as Walmart, Rite Aid, CVS and Walgreens. For more information and current offers, visit www.FeverAll.com.

This is a product-provided, sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of FeverAll® Acetaminophen Suppositories. The opinions and text are all mine.

Pool Party Etiquette + A Simple Solution To Party Gifts

We’re sharing some tips on pool party etiquette and our simple solution to picking the perfect party gift with help from our partner Google Express. Also? You can score a free 6-month membership by using code FREETIME when signing up!  More savings at the bottom of this post including $15 off your first order.

Pool Party Etiquette plus A Simple Solution To Party Gifts

This past week was very busy. It was the first week the kids didn’t have camp and things were a bit… busy… in our home. Not only was I working from home while the kids tried to entertain themselves, but we are also preparing for vacation. 

And that means extra work, extra things on my to-do list (what items did we need for our trip?) and extra chores. You see, I hate leaving the house un-tidy when we leave for vacation. It’s just not fun to come back from being away and not having things perfect at home. Does that make sense?  Basically I had to do all.the.things in one week. 

Pool Party Etiquette - bring your own gear

So when we were invited to a pool party for my son’s friend that weekend, I wasn’t sure if I could do one more thing. But luckily with the help of Google Express, I was able to not only tackle my to-do list from my house, but I was also able to pick up pool supplies and a gift for my son’s friend all from the comforts of my home. And it was all delivered with time to spare. That means less running from one store to the next to the next and more spending time at home getting things ready here. 

Checking off things on my to-do list not only give me personal satisfaction but also free up time during my day so I can do fun things with the kids. Total win in my book! 

I just perused the site (and over 25+ stores) and added what I needed to my cart. Sunscreen, cell phone tripod, sea bands for the trip. A LEGO for my son’s friend’s gift. And cleaning supplies for the house. All within 15-20 minutes of looking for what I needed. That would have taken me a lot more time driving to a few different stores. In two days the items arrived at my doorstep and I was able to continue to go about checking off everything on my list before our trip. And next month when we need more sunscreen I know exactly where to go! 

Pool Party Etiquette - watch your kids Pool Party Etiquette - plan other activities

Pool Party Etiquette

1. Bring Your Own Towel

And goggles, and floaties, and change of clothes, and… you get what I mean. Don’t expect the host to provide anything you might need at the party. I also find that it’s helpful to bring a wet bag to put the wet clothes in after the kids get out of the pool and dry off. 

2. Make Sure To Designate Supervision

For me, personally, if my kids are in the pool, so am I. While my son is a strong swimmer, my daughter still lacks the confidence to swim for a long period of time without me close by. Even if I’m not right there in the pool, I’m on the side of the pool with bathing suit on just in case. If you’re dropping your child off at a pool party, don’t feel weird asking the host how many parents will be watching the kids and if the parents will be in the pool. 

3. Go Over Pool Rules

Before you leave the house, remember to go over the pool rules with the kids so they’re up on pool safety and what’s to be expected of them. Make sure they understand who’s in charge, what is ok and not ok, and what to do if they need something. I find that the kids actually remember the rules when I go over them a few times. 

4. Remember Sunscreen

It may be obvious but for our family we stock up on sunscreen like it’s going out of style. And then we buy more. Because even when wearing sunscreen I will burn. So I am that parent who will re-apply my kid’s sunscreen every 1-2 hours. I’m also the parent that has extra for the kids who forgot their sunscreen. It’s an important part of the pool party equation. 

5. Have Fun!

Whether it’s fun in the pool or out, the key to any good party is to have fun. And that means SAFE fun. Plan a few activities for the kids to do outside of the pool so that when they’re done playing in the water, they have a safe activity to participate in. 

Pool Party Etiquette - water balloons

Great Gift Ideas with Google Express

With over 25 stores to choose from, you can find everything from pool toys from Target, to LEGO sets from Toys R Us , to books from Barnes and Noble. And don’t get me started on the awesome Costco finds I was perusing! There are so many great gift ideas all in one place. 

Plus, you get same-day, overnight or 2-day delivery from these stores with Google Express. It’s your everyday, delivered. We’re at Target or Costco at least once or twice a week so the fact that we can shop at these stores all in one place, add items to our cart, choose when we want delivery from each store, and check out using Google Payments makes everything so much easier. One place, not 10.  

With a Google Express membership, you can get fast and free delivery on eligible orders. For non-members, delivery starts at $4.99 per store for eligible orders which is definitely reasonable for what you’re getting. 

Google Express delivered to your door

 Want to check out Google Express yourself? Sign up for a FREE 6 month membership by using code FREETIME. Just click on the Try It Free button after following the link. Then you can shop and use BJK8N924Z at checkout for $15 off first purchase. You will need to sign up first with code FREETIME before you can use the $15 off referral code. 

Once you’ve enjoyed the freedom Google Express brings, post a comment or photo of your Saturday on social media with the #MyNewSaturday and #GoogleExpress hashtags to share how you’re spending your newfound free time!

How will you spend your free time this summer?

Give $15, Get $15: Offer may end at any time/valid until 08/31/2016 while your account is active. Limited to Google Express accounts that received the offer from Google. Each valid referral gets you a $15 courtesy credit when the new users you referred place their first order using your referral code. Alcohol, gift cards, membership costs, and shipping & service fees excluded. Credits you give are subject to these terms. Credits you get are subject to these terms.*

The Perfect Baking Basket for Mom

This shop featuring the perfect baking basket for mom has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BlissfulMoments #CollectiveBias

The Perfect Baking Basket for Mom

Life has been crazy here. I feel as if I’m running in every direction and have no idea where I’m supposed to go. I’m in the middle of planning my kids school Gala and am in charge of all of the gift baskets and donations for the event. And it’s next Saturday. Months and months of planning and now we’re in the final days before the event. Even with all of the planning, there is still a lot to do. 

With all of the running around I’ve been doing, I’ve found myself forgetting to sit back and take a moment for myself. I haven’t been enjoying naps with Norah, or me time at night after the kids go to bed, because every extra moment is spent on Gala prep. So when the time came to start assembling all of the baskets we have for our event, I decided to combine me-time with basket assembly.

The Perfect Baking Basket for Mom with Betty Crocker Sweet Rewards

With some delicious indulgent treats in hand, my favorite music on, and the kids at the park with their dad, I jumped in to making baskets and getting my creativity on. Nothing makes me happier than crafting and creating. It’s the perfect me-time. And these NEW Betty Crocker™ Sweet Rewards Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars and Brownie Bars were the perfect treat to enjoy.

One of my favorite baskets to put together would have to be this awesome baking basket for mom. Complete with baking pans, aprons, and a few extra boxes of Betty Crocker™ Sweet Rewards Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars and Brownie Bars, I’m sure any mom would be stoked to get it! Here are a few tips on making your own perfect baking basket for mom.

The Perfect Baking Basket for Mom

1. Add a personalized touch

I have a Cricut machine and a Silhouette machine. But I hardly find time to actually use them. So with the time I had while the kids were out of the house, I made some vinyl cut outs to add to a chef’s hat and apron set I had. Now mom will have an apron for herself and an apron for her little one to match!

The Perfect Baking Basket for Mom with personalized touches

2. Find a nostalgic piece or two

I don’t know about you but my mom always had one or two “fun” pans that we could make ice cream cakes or checkers cakes with. So when I saw this Betty Crocker Bake’n Fill bake set I had to grab it for this basket. Consider finding something out-of-the-box to add to your basket and make it fun! It may not be a cool bake set but maybe a gift certificate to a baking class around town.

The Perfect Baking Basket for Mom with Betty Crocker

3. Fill the basket with accessories

Once you’ve picked out your big items – like various sized pans – it’s time to find some fun little items! Consider a spatula or whisk, some paper liners, or these cool cookie sticks!

The Perfect Baking Basket for Mom Fun Extras

4. Presentation is key

Make sure you choose the right basket for your items. You don’t want a basket that’s too small or two big. And if you need help fitting things in the basket, grab some filler – cardboard makes a great prop for items and paper “grass” left over from Easter can pretty up any empty space that’s visible. And if you’d like, wrap everything up in cellophane and add a big bow!

The Perfect Baking Basket for Mom - an easy mother's day gift

If you’re having trouble finding items for your basket, try and think of things that you use daily in your kitchen and the use they bring to you. Then consider a few extras you’d love to have and pop those in as well. And if you get hungry trying to assemble your basket, don’t forget to pick up a few boxes of Betty Crocker™ Sweet Rewards bars. These delicious soft baked bars are amazing at home or on-the-go. Pick some up at your local Walmart! I found mine in the Cereal aisle.

Betty Crocker Sweet Rewards at Walmart

Here are a few other great ideas for baskets for mom: 

Pampering Gift Basket

Coffee Lover’s Gift Basket

Wine Gift Basket

Cooking Gift Basket

How do you enjoy me-time?

Baby Gift Ideas For The Third Child

Today we’re sharing some great baby gift ideas for the third child with help from our sponsor, Huggies. Read on to find out what we’re leaving under the tree for our little one this year.

Baby Gift Ideas For The Third Child

As a mother of three I never thought there’d come a day where I was clueless at what to get one of my children for Christmas. There’s always something that they are wanting for even if it’s a small book or toy. But for Baby’s First Christmas, it’s hard to look at everything we have handed down to our third child from the first two and think of something else she needs for Christmas. I did what I always do in these situations and reached out to my mama tribe. You know, that group of online women who will help out whenever you need them? And who would have known? Every.single.idea was something we already had or gifted to the other two previously.

Why not wrap up something they don’t play with anymore and give it to her, right? Wrong. The other two would be mighty suspicious if I just wrapped up a bunch of their old toys to give to her. So, instead of wasting money on things she won’t use, I’ve come up with some practical gifts to place under the tree this holiday season for the third child. Especially on their first Christmas.

Baby Gift Ideas For The Third Child - diapers

Baby Gift Ideas For The Third Child

1. Diapers

So maybe this sounds boring, but after making the switch to disposable diapers after our third child was born, I realized the importance of staying stocked up on the basics. Even if it’s a bit boring. And with the hustle and bustle of the holidays, why not wrap a box of Huggies Little Movers diapers to put under the tree for your little one? My baby loves playing with the diaper boxes. In fact, she’s pretty obsessed with the babies ON the boxes and continues to talk and wave to them every time she finds the box in my closet. So a box of diapers is not only fun for my 10 month old, but something we’ll be using in the near future!

And like everyone else this time of year, I need to be able to easily grab what I need for baby and the family. Three kids means lots of parties, events, and presents to organize. So I get a little help during the holiday season – and throughout the year – with my Sam’s Club membership. I can use Sam’s Club pick up and have everything I’ve ordered ready for me when I arrive. Wrangling 3 kids in the store isn’t always the most fun so the option to have everything ready for me when I arrive makes the trip a lot smoother.

IMG_20151208_121414568

Our go-to brand of diapers for Norah when we made the transition was Huggies. We used the Little Snugglers and loved how soft and absorbent they were. We weren’t woken up to find that they leaked at night like the others we’ve tried to use, and they kept her dry during the day as well. I was a huge fan of the wetness indicator! Now that she’s moving non-stop (Did I mention she’s cruising along now? Crazy how fast that happens!), we’ve switched over to the Huggies Little Movers. With DryTouch liner, contoured shape, Double grip strips, and leak lock protection, it’s Huggies moving Baby System!

2. Wipes

Just like diapers, wipes are something we use for EVERYTHING. Not just wiping bottoms! From washing toys that fell on the ground at a restaurant, to cleaning off surfaces, to wiping faces, wipes are not only useful in various situations, but they’re fun to pull out too. Just ask Norah. She’s emptied a wipe container faster than any of the others. And I only had my back turned for a second! They also serve as a chew toy if you aren’t fast enough to grab it too. Mmm… wipes!

I stock up on the big box of wipes from Sam’s Club and then wrap each individual wipe up so there’s more ripping and tearing. Then you can add the wipes back to the big box and wrap that up too! Who doesn’t love more presents to open?

3.  Clothes

Now for older kids this is the most boring present to receive, at least for my son. My daughter jumps for joy at the sight of clothes. As long as she approves and loves. But babies… babies love to play in clothes. When Norah see’s a freshly laundered pile of clothes on the living room couch she makes a bee line for them. And promptly pulls each and every piece off of the couch and onto the floor. So the dog can lay on them. FUN stuff right?

Since kids are constantly growing, and finding new ways to dirty up and stain their current clothes, new clothes is always a fun way to add more boxes under the tree to unwrap. Plus, if your baby is anything like mine, she’ll have it out of the box and playing with the outfit on the floor in no time.

4. Sippy Cups

Sippy cups and bottles are always disappearing in my home. I can have a full cupboard one day and later in the week there’s none to be found! Now that Norah is getting closer to a year, we’re starting to make the transition from bottles to sippy cups so we’ll be gifting her with a lot of varieties under the tree this year. The big man himself has even mentioned putting one or two in her stocking. The straw kind, of course. Because that’s what she prefers right now. Easier to spit out the contents when she’s sucking it out with a straw!

5. Boxes

Now of course the most obvious gift of all, and one we’ve been talking about all along, are boxes. Norah is a climber. You put down anything on the ground and she’s climbing right over it. Even if it’s only 2 inches up. Boxes are a huge deal to her and she loves being able to play with them. So we’re practical and stock up on the boxes that come in the mail with other presents (remember that Sam’s Club pick up? Well they also deliver too from online! Boxes galore here…). You can choose to wrap them, or leave them unwrapped. We prefer using some of the packing paper that came in the mailed boxes and recycling that as wrapping paper. Then grab a sharpie and start writing away!

Baby Gift Ideas For The Third Child - boxes

What will your baby be enjoying under the tree this Christmas?

How To Make A Simple Succulent Terrarium

How To Make A Simple Succulent Terrarium

This past Tuesday was my 8 year wedding anniversary. So much has happened in the past 8 years and I couldn’t be more in love with my husband or more excited about the years to come. Our family has expanded, we’ve moved to a great home in the perfect area of town, we’ve become involved in our community and have expanded our friendships. Life is good.

In celebration of our anniversary I wanted to make something for my husband. I remember him seeing a succulent terrarium at a restaurant or a business somewhere and mentioning that he’d like one for his desk. I had filed it away in my head as a project to make for his birthday or another special occasion. So when this anniversary snuck up on me, I thought that a homemade gift would be perfect.

After visiting City Farmers Nursery with the kids one day to pick up some chicken feed, I saw that they sold all of the components to make your own succulent terrarium. And the options were perfect for creating my own vision and design. Plus? This gift cost less than $20 AND took less than 15 minutes to put together. I’d call that an awesome win! And my husband? He LOVED it. It’s already on his desk at work.

How To Make A Simple Succulent Terrarium - 3 simple things

How To Make A Simple Succulent Terrarium

What you’ll need:

What you do:

1. Place a layer of rocks/sand/dirt of choice in terrarium.

How To Make A Simple Succulent Terrarium - add rocks

2. Plan out where you want your succulent plugs to go. Try and look at the height of each succulent when mapping out your design. Have fun with mixing different types of succulents together.

How To Make A Simple Succulent Terrarium - place succulents in terrarium

3. Add additional rocks around the succulents and include any trinkets you may wish to include as decoration in your terrarium. Sea shells, star fish, pottery pieces, signs, etc. are all great ways to spruce up your succulent terrarium.

How To Make A Simple Succulent Terrarium - perfect for your desk or patioHow To Make A Simple Succulent Terrarium - an easy and quick gift idea

Where will you put your new succulent terrarium? What will you add to it?

End of Year Teacher Gifts: Summer Book of Gift Cards

End of Year Teacher Gifts Summer Book of Gift Cards

Tomorrow marks the last day of my son’s first official school year. He will officially be a 1st grader after tomorrow. And I’m not sure I’m ready for that. But you know what? He is. And most of that is because he had an amazing teacher this year.

As a way to show thanks for all she’s done we wanted to gift our son’s kindergarten teacher with a fun book filled with all of the things she’ll do this summer complete with gift  cards to do them.

Now this can be something the whole class pitches in for where each child writes/illustrates a page and includes their own gift card or it can be something everyone pitches in funds for. There are so many ways to make a fun Teacher’s Summer book.

end of year teacher gifts - gift cards for the book

End of Year Teacher Gifts: Summer Book of Gift Cards

What You’ll Need:

  • Gift Cards (see below for ideas)
  • Blank Book OR Cardstock to make a book
  • Pencil
  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Glue Dots

What You Do: 

1. Have your child write on each page what their teacher will do this summer. Have it correspond with one of the gift cards you’ve purchased.

end of year teacher gifts - book of summer ideas

2. On the opposite side, let your child illustrate what their teacher will do.

end of year teacher gifts - drawing summer fun

3. Add the gift cards to the book with the glue dots. Let your child sign the end of the book and include a note if you’d like at the end on the last page.

end of year teacher gifts - summer ideas

 

4. Let your child give the book to their teacher on the last day of school to give them an awesome start to summer.

What Our Book Included:

Title page: Mrs. X’s Summer
First page: “This summer Mrs. X will sleep in”
Second page: “Then she’ll go to Starbucks to grab some coffee” – with Starbucks gift card
Third page: “She’ll stop by the book store to read a book” with Barnes and Noble gift card
Fourth page: “She’ll go to the movies with her family” with AMC gift card
Fifth page: “And spend lots of time shopping” with Macys gift card
Sixth page: “Then she’ll get ready for the new school year” with Target gift card
Seventh page: “We hope Mrs. X has a great summer!”
Eighth page: Note to teacher and signature

Gift Card Ideas

  • Favorite department store for shopping
  • Local discount store for school/classroom supplies
  • Movie theater
  • Book Store
  • Favorite restaurant
  • Local coffee house
  • Local attractions

Have any other ideas on gift cards to include?

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

I am part of the Microsoft Blogger Program and receive incentives from Microsoft to blog about its products.

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Sometimes you just need a little inspiration to come up with a fabulous gift to give mom. I don’t know what it is about this holiday but it’s always the hardest to shop for!

Luckily over the years I’ve come to realize that moms like simple. And they like when you’re listening to them.

So when choosing what to get mom for Mother’s Day remember to open your ears to small hints you hear mom mentioning and get her something she’s been asking for. Even if she doesn’t directly say it!

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Creating a Workout Routine Post Baby - Microsoft Band

Electronics

Has mom been trying to get back in shape? Or is she still typing on a computer that looks like it came from the 90s? Consider one of Microsoft’s many products like the Microsoft Band (LOVE!) or SurfacePro3 for Mom this Mother’s Day.

With the Microsoft Band she’ll be able to track her steps, keep track of the time, and keep an eye on her heart rate during workouts. If you’re afraid of giving mom something for “weight loss” don’t worry! This is for keeping mom healthy!

With the ability to run desktop software, a USB port, and an integrated Kickstand, Surface 3 is the perfect productivity device for school, home, and on the go. This means mom can stay connected and keep everyone on track from home or on-the-go. And, for a limited time, it includes Office 365 Personal – a $69.99 value – FREE!

How to Be A Princess 5 Tips for Releasing Your Inner Princess - stop to smell the roses

Flowers + Chocolate

My go-to gift for my mom has to be a flower delivery and/or chocolate covered strawberries. There’s just something about getting a treat in the mail that I love so I love sharing that with my mom too (hopefully she’s just as in love).

And I literally just got an email in the mail from my favorite – ProFlowers and Shari’s Berries – that they have a deal right now with flowers, a free vase, and 1/2 a dozen chocolate covered strawberries for as low as $39.97. How perfect is that? Oh, and when you go to RetailMeNot and search for a code, you get an additional 20% off making these $31.98 + shipping (I pay the $4.99 extra to have them delivered the day before Mother’s Day).

And yes, this is a non-sponsored plug 🙂

Packing the Protein for Breakfast plus an Almond Coconut Granola Recipe

Breakfast in Bed

One of the simplest ways to show Mom you care is by putting together a simple and tasty breakfast in bed. This can be as easy as some yogurt, berries, and granola – great for small kids to help with, a breakfast burrito from the taco shop down the street, or something a little more elaborate like my overnight french toast casserole.

And don’t forget the caffeine! Serve breakfast with a nice cup of coffee or tea in mom’s favorite mug. Better yet, buy mom a new mug with your mug on it! Or a cute saying or greeting.

What are you planning to do for Mom on Mother’s Day?



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