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?

Back to School Teacher Appreciation Gifts + a Tutorial

Back to School Teacher Appreciation Gifts + a Tutorial

Ahhhh! The most wonderful week of the year. Back to school week. Where the kids head back into the loving arms of their teachers and mama gets some time to work uninterrupted (well… with the baby). While they enjoy learning and playing and being taught by someone other than me, I can get things done and FINALLY get back to a semi-normal schedule working from home.

And because of that I felt the need to thank the teachers. Thank them for being there for my kids, taking them under their wings, and actually getting them to listen when you teach them fun things like sight words, money, reading, subtraction, getting along with peers and everything else they’ll be learning this year.

What better way to than them then by giving them a small token of appreciation. Or a large token. So as part of the school’s PTG I proposed a gift idea for the teachers. A simple thank you in the form of some candy, popcorn, and a Redbox gift code. Plus some extra school supplies for them to take as needed and some gorgeous flowers for the Teacher’s Lounge.

Back to School Teacher Appreciation Gifts - flowersBack to School Teacher Appreciation Gifts - school supplies and flowers

I don’t know about you but receiving a flower delivery just brings a huge smile to my face. It makes me feel good. And always brightens up the house or office. So one of my favorite things to give when it comes to a gift giving occasion like a birthday, celebration, anniversary, etc are flowers. And most of the time I’m sending them to my mom out of state. But this time around I decided to send them to my son’s school as a thank you to his teachers before the beginning of the school year.

With them I paired some extra school supplies I purchased throughout the summer when back-to-school sales were going on and supplies were dirt cheap. Why not stock up and spread the love with extra supplies when you know at least one teacher will need the extras? Then I figured it’d be nice to create an individual gift for each teacher from the PTG. So I threw together this cute little package and purchased some Redbox codes for each teacher. These came together in a few short minutes and were so easy to make!

Here’s how:

Back to School Teacher Appreciation Gifts + a Tutorial for a Redbox Gift

Teacher’s Rock Back to School Gift

What you’ll need:

  • Redbox codes (you can purchase them in batches of 5, 10, or 20)
  •  individually wrapped microwavable popcorn
  • full size candy
  • ribbon
  • clear packaging tape
  • scissors
  • pen or fine point permanent marker
  • Teachers Rock printable

Back to School Teacher Appreciation Gifts + a Tutorial - supplies neededBack to School Teacher Appreciation Gifts + a Tutorial - materialsBack to School Teacher Appreciation Gifts + a Tutorial - Redbox codes

What you do:

1. Print out this printable. Cut to size and write in the teacher’s name and Redbox code. Remember that each code is unique so keep track of which codes you’ve already used. 

2. Grab a popcorn package and a candy along with your ribbon and scissors. Measure out how much ribbon you’ll need to wrap around the candy and popcorn and cut ribbon to size. 

3. Grab a large piece of mailing tape (a little smaller than the size of the square printable) and place in hte middle of the candy sticky side up. Bring the ribbon edges over to adhere to the center of the tape so each side of the ribbon sticks to the tape. 

4. Place the printable on the tape and ribbon and press down gently to make sure that the tape adhere’s to the back of the printable. 

5. Pass out to the teachers! 

Back to School Teacher Appreciation Gifts + a Tutorial from PTG

What is your ‘go-to’ gift for others?

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?

Making A Smooth Transition From Two To Three Kids

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This post featuring how we’re making a smooth transition from two to three kids is sponsored by Graco®

Making A Smooth Transition From Two To Three Kids

After having our second child we thought we were done having kids. Two was the perfect amount and we were blessed to have both a boy and a girl. But once my daughter hit age 3, the yearning for another little one hit hard. And after a LOT of discussions we decided to try for number 3.

Since the arrival of our little Norah we’ve learned a lot about making a smooth transition from two to three kids. We’re learning new things about the big kids, learning new things about ourselves, and, of course, learning new things about the newest addition to our family.  [Read more…]

Coffee Gift Ideas plus a Berry Scones Recipe

review affiliate link disclaimerCoffee Gift Ideas with Keurig 2.0 - invite some friends over and share some laughs over a delicious cup of coffee

Every year I get together with my girlfriends and we do an ornament gift exchange. It’s the perfect time to sit back, relax, and enjoy each other’s company.

This year I opted to host and had the girls over for a delicious cup of coffee and some berry scones and biscotti. I also had a surprise for them…

Thanks to Keurig I would also be able to gift a brand new Keurig 2.0 to one lucky friend. How awesome is that? Plus, I put together some cute mug gifts for each friend to take home.

Coffee Gift Ideas with Keurig 2.0 and K-Cup packs

The new Keurig 2.0 features Keurig 2.0 Brewing Technology™, which reads each lid to deliver a perfect beverage every time. See – what did I tell you? Perfection!
Keurig 2.0 brewer and Cafe Mocha K-Cup packs

Not only will they be able to enjoy the perfect cup of coffee every morning but with the new K-carafe packs they can also entertain guests and brew a 4-cup pot of coffee to share!

And when one has coffee to share, you need something to pair it with. I whipped up some of my favorite berry scones and grabbed a few boxes of biscotti from the store to serve alongside our delicious coffee choices.

Coffee Gift Ideas for friends

Coffee Gift Ideas plus a Berry Scones recipe

5 from 2 votes
Print

Berry Scones Recipe

This recipe makes about 12-15 mini scones or 6 large scones.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 6 tablespoons regular butter
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dried blueberries
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and pulse 2-3 times to mix. Add the butter and pulse 7-8 times just until the mixture forms large, coarse crumbs the size of peas. Scatter the cranberries into the dough and pulse until just moist.
  3. Turn dough onto a lightly floured countertop or work space and press it together gently until the dough forms a ball. Using a spoon, grab a heaping scoop of dough and drop onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing scones about 1 inch apart.
  4. Bake until golden brown, 13-17 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly and serve warm.

 

Coffee Gift Ideas with Keurig 2.0 for friends

At each table setting I included a mug, two different kinds of biscotti, and k-cup packs for each guest to take home and enjoy. I also included a little candy cane (perfect for stirring) with a cute poem about the legend of the candy cane.

You can download a printable version of this poem here

Coffee Gift Ideas with Keurig 2.0 cafe escapes cafe mocha k-cup packs

Coffee Gift Ideas with Keurig 2.0 brewing

Coffee Gift Ideas with Keurig K-Cup packs and Biscotti

Once we enjoyed the coffee, scones, and some extra biscotti it was time to exchange gifts. When we were finished opening up the ornaments it was time to draw a name for the Keurig 2.0 I was gifting away.

Now there may or may not have been a little friendly competition from my friends but I assure you that no biscotti or scones were harmed when choosing a winner.

Coffee Gift Ideas with Keurig 2.0 gift

The Keurig 2.0 brewer makes a great holiday gift for anyone on your list. You can purchase a Keurig 2.0 K300 like the one I gifted for one of your friends at Walmart. I highly suggest grabbing a box or two of k-cup packs or k-carafe packs to go along with your gift.

Who would you gift a Keurig 2.0 to?

Great Gift Ideas for Parents







Great Gift Ideas for Parents

One thing I always seem to have a problem with is making my own holiday wishlist. My kids have theirs done in October and ready to send off to Santa but gift ideas for parents can be a bit harder to figure out. Luckily I have a little help this year. Thanks to Microsoft and their great holiday gift guide for sponsoring this post.

Microsoft Give - the Best Deals only at Microsoft

From big ticket items to great stocking stuffers, Microsoft has everything covered to make the holidays run smoothly. With a quick stop to the Microsoft store at my local mall, I was able to test out and play with almost everything on the gift guide.

Not only did I find great ideas for myself but I also found fabulous ideas for my husband as well.  [Read more…]

Give the Gift of Cooking Classes with Groupon

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Groupon Gift Shop. All opinions are 100% mine.

Give the Gift of Cooking Classes with Groupon

One thing I absolutely love to do is take cooking classes. Not only do I always learn something new, I also am able to enjoy the fruits of my labor with a friend or my husband.

When brainstorming gift ideas for family members I thought that the gift of cooking classes would be a great gift when paired with a few other fun items. Instead of simply gifting a paper Groupon, I put together a themed basket to go along with my Groupon for cooking classes.

This is the perfect way to personalize a gift and taylor it to the recipients likes and wants. Grab a few ideas off of their wish list and build something you know they’ll absolutely love.  [Read more…]



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