Gift Basket Ideas for Mom + How to Make Lavender Epsom Salt Scrub

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. Product was provided by the client for review; however, all opinions are mine alone. #WorldsSmartestToothbrush #PhilipsSonicare #OprahsFavoriteThings #CollectiveBias

Sometimes my mom is the hardest person to shop for on my list. So that means going a little outside of the box when I think up things to gift her for Christmas. Sure there’s the photo of the kids, or the massage gift card, but you can’t just keep gifting that to her year after year, right? (she might disagree….)

This year I decided to get some ideas from a woman I’ve known for quite a long time; Oprah. Growing up, there was always one show playing at home when I got home from school and that was Oprah. My mom and I would watch together and talk about the topics of the day and our days at school/work. It was a great bonding time. Now I love finding out what is included in Oprah’s latest Favorite Things List so I can get ideas on what to send my mom for special gift giving occasions.

So front and center in the gift basket I created for my mom is the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9300 Rechargeable Toothbrush. Now you may be saying, “A toothbrush for your mom???” but it really is the perfect gift to give for this holiday season. Plus, it’s being featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things 2017 list! Definitely can’t go wrong with anything on her list. 

It may sound weird, but my mom cares about the heath of her teeth. She’ll do anything she can at home to avoid going to the dentist. So a toothbrush with four high-performance brush heads and Smart Sensor technology is a must for her. Now she can care for her whole mouth, teeth, gums and tongue with the new Sonicare DiamondClean. Just click on the Sonicare DiamondClean in the image below to grab one for your loved ones (or yourself) from Amazon!

The Sonicare DiamondClean is Philips’ best ever toothbrush for complete oral care. It’s sensors and integrated app help you perfect your technique, and get a complete clean. The premium brush heads give you exceptional oral health results and its 4 modes and 3 intensities let you focus on each aspect of your oral health. But no need to worry about what mode or intensity you need. The smart brush heads automatically select the optimal mode and intensity you need. Looking to take your oral health to the next level? Connect with the Sonicare app to get real-time feedback and personalized coaching! How’s that for 100% confidence in your oral care?

And in addition to complete oral care, I threw in some funny and pampering gift items too. I grabbed a tan soap dispenser and created an SVG file for the soap connoisseur image to allude to a favorite holiday Christmas movie, and then got to mixing and created a fun lavender epsom salt scrub for her to enjoy. To round it all out I added an eye mask and pumice stone. The perfect whole body pampering set! I’m sharing how you can make the scrub below AND sharing a free SVG file for the scrub label. 

How to Make Lavender Epsom Salt Scrub

What you need: 

  • 1 cup epsom salt
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 3-5 drops lavender essential oil

What you do: 

Mix the salt and oil together until well blended. Add in the lavender oil and stir to combine. 

Place salt scrub in an air tight container and add a label. 

Grab the free Lavender Scrub SVG file here! 

What do you love placing in gift baskets to make them fun but different? 

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The Best No Flour Monster Cookie Bars + A Cookie Bar Mix Gift Idea

We’ve whipped up these deliciously satisfying No-Flour Monster Cookie Bars and are sharing how you can create your own Monster Cookie Bar Mix to gift to friends this holiday season. This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, Mars Wrigley Confectionery US, LLC. All opinions are mine alone. #SimplySweetness #CollectiveBias

Holiday baking season has arrived! And you know what that means? Lots and lots and LOTS of dishes in our home. Because when we bake, we bake. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before but the kids LOVE to help out in the kitchen. And when Christmas rolls around, we stock up on all of our baking necessities (like the big Red & Green Holiday 52 oz. Bag of M&M’S® from Sam’s Club). We wouldn’t want to run out mid-holiday baking. 

One thing I love about baking during the holidays is that it’s an inexpensive way to share our love with others. We don’t necessarily have the budget to purchase a gift for everyone we know so we can make fun little platters filled with goodies for others to enjoy. And one of my new favorite gifts to make are these fun cookie bar mixes so others can make our favorite recipes at home. That way we can whip up a batch to share with them now and provide them with a mix to make them later. Hey, who knows? Maybe they’ll even use the kit to make some holiday goodies for their loved ones! 

Red & Green Holiday 52oz. Bag of M&M’S® are a festive and colorful treat to bring into your baking, decorating and every aspect of your holiday celebrations. The Stand-Up Pack will keep your M&M’S® fresh and ready-to-go in an easy resealable package. Heck, if I wasn’t baking with them, I’d probably give these bags as gifts! What says, “I love you,” better than a big bag of M&M’S®, right? 

But for now we’ll stick with gifting some delicious cookie bars and mixes.

Print

No Flour Monster Cookie Bars

Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 16

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups Old Fashioned oats
  • 1 cup M&M'S®
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Line a 13x9-inch metal baking pan with foil.

  2. Add all of the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment,

  3. Cover bowl with dish towel and mix on lowest setting. Once mixed up a bit, increase speed and mix until all of the ingredients are combined. 

  4. Spread mixture onto prepared baking pan and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. 

  5. Take out of the oven and let cool for 5 minutes then transfer foil and bars to a cooling rack. Cut into squares and enjoy! 

Remember how I said you could GIFT these bad boys to your friends and family in a fun mix? Well here’s how! 

Monster Cookie Bars Mix

What you’ll need: 

  • 4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup M&M’S®
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 32 oz jar with lid
  • ribbon
  • hole punch

What you do: 

Layer each ingredient in the order it’s shown above into a 32oz plastic or glass jar with lid

Place lid on jar and close tight. 

Print out Monster Cookie Bar Mix printable and cut out and attach to jar with ribbon.

Gift to the ones you love! 

Click on image to download printable

You can find the big Red & Green Holiday 52 oz. Bag of M&M’S® in the candy aisle of your local Sam’s Club. And while you’re there, stock up on the rest of your holiday baking items! That’ll save you a few trips in the long run. 

And right now you can sign up for a free Ibotta account and earn $2 off with the purchase of a 52 oz bag of Red and Green M&M’S®. Offer valid from 11/1/17 until 12/25/17. 

Don’t forget to check out more awesome ideas you can make with M&M’S® by checking them out on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter

Love this recipe? Check out these delicious bites: 

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Baby Shower Gifts with Diapers: A Tutorial on How to Make Diaper Cupcakes

How to Make Diaper Cupcakes - a simple and easy tutorial for the perfect baby shower gift

Running a playgroup means that I know a lot of expecting mamas. Whether it’s their second, third, or fourth child, I always love to have a gift to give the expecting mama-to-be can use! Now usually I have a stock pile of handmade gifts ready to grab and go to include with something the mom has registered for to put a more personal touch on the gift.

With this pregnancy and the craziness of our lives lately I haven’t had a chance to make anything and my stockpile is dwindling. So I figured I’d do myself a favor and get started on an easy baby shower gift with diapers for one of my friends who’s expecting her third in November.

This diaper cupcake tutorial is not only easy but includes all of the essentials needed for a newborn… diapers, socks, and washcloths! Because once you get to the third child you need new socks and washcloths! 

Don’t want to make your own? Purchase a set of 9 diaper cupcakes here from our Etsy store! 

How to Make Diaper Cupcakes - what you need

How to Make Diaper Cupcakes

What You’ll Need: 

What you do: 

How to Make Diaper Cupcakes - start with socks, diaper, and washcloth

1. Grab a pair of socks, a diaper, and a washcloth.

How to Make Diaper Cupcakes - roll sock

2. Roll the socks up from the toes to the heel.

How to Make Diaper Cupcakes - fold diaper in half lengthwiseHow to Make Diaper Cupcakes - wrap folded diaper around sock

3. Flatten the diaper and fold in half lengthwise. Wrap diaper over socks tightly.

How to Make Diaper Cupcakes - wrap with washcloth and cover with rubberband

4. Fold washcloth into thirds. Wrap washcloth over top of diaper and wrap with a rubber band on the bottom third of the cupcake.

How to Make Diaper Cupcakes - cupcakes in cake box

5. Place cupcake into a cupcake liner and put in cake box. Wrap cake box with festive ribbon and add a card for the recipient!

How to Make Diaper Cupcakes with Parent's Choice Diapers

Once you’re all done making these cute diaper cupcakes you can give the rest of the diapers to the expecting mama. I know how important it is to be well stocked on diapers when baby comes home!

What’s your favorite way to doctor up baby shower gifts?

This post was originally featured on September 8th, 2014.

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10 Reasons Why You Should Send Cookies for Valentines Day + A Printable Cookies and Milk Valentine

This post featuring a free milk and cookies valentine printable plus 10 reasons why you should send cookies for Valentine’s Day is sponsored by Cookie’s by Design. 

When my husband and I were first dating, I started to send him a Cookie’s by Design cookie bouquet for Valentine’s Day. It was a special way for me to show him my love and a little less embarrassing than a flower bouquet for a man. At the beginning of our relationship, it was just a cute mug cookie bouquet (we still have some of those mugs!). But as the years went by the bouquets increased in size as our relationship grew. 

With 3 kids at home, that mug bouquet just won’t cut it. Because when my husband brings his gift home from work, 3 eager eyes watch him as he puts down the bouquet. He can’t help himself from sharing with them! And I don’t blame them for wanting in on some of that goodness! 

Even though there are flowers and chocolates and so many other ways to show your loved ones you care on Valentine’s Day, the one way we show each other how we care is through cookies! Here are a few reasons why you should send cookies for Valentine’s Day too! 

10 Reasons Why You Should Send Cookies for Valentines Day

1. Cookies are delicious. We all know this. But Cookie’s By Design cookies are baked fresh AND hand decorated. 

2. You can share with friends (or your kids)!

3. Each basket is made to order and can be personalized with messages or images printed right on the cookies.

4. You can’t eat flowers. But you can eat cookies. 

5. Cookie’s by Design cookie bouquets come in so many different varieties and designs. They even launched handcrafted cookie gift baskets featuring Build-A-Bear Workshop teddy bears. Perfect for the kids! 

6. They deliver right to your door. Cookie’s By Design creations are always hand delivered and handled with care.

7. You can even get them delivered as early as the same day. Cookie’s By Design offers same-day gift delivery on most of their hand decorated cookie bouquets. 

8. You can also pick them up locally at your closest Cookie’s By Design location (for those who procrastinated).

9. These cookie bouquets don’t wilt.  

10. Once the cookies are gone, the Build-A-Bear Workshop teddy bears last for years to come. 

Did you order your Cookie’s By Design Valentine’s Day cookie bouquet? Pair it with this cute printable valentine that you can print out on a 5×7 card to make your gift complete!

Cookie’s By Design is the original cookie bouquet company and they offer custom-designed, hand-decorated cookie arrangements, gift baskets, cookie cakes and cookie trays for every occasion.

Last-minute gift givers can still wow their sweetie with ready-made Build-A- Bear Workshop baskets available at most Cookie’s By Design locations. The new baskets are available to order now at all Cookies by Design locations and online at cookiesbydesign.com and baskets can be hand-delivered the same day or customized and delivered within a day.

You can connect with Cookie’s By Design online, on Facebook, and Instagram @cookiesbydesign

Do you have any Valentine’s Day traditions? 

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?

Vanilla Mint Sugar Scrub

Vanilla Mint Sugar Scrub

One thing I miss about our old house is the soaking tub we installed in the guest bathroom shortly after our son was born. I knew I wanted a great tub for bathtime and a deeper one would hold in all of the water for splashing. Plus I love to take baths so it’d be a great way for me to relax as well.

Our current bathrooms have shallow bathtubs that don’t allow much room for soaking. So I have to do all of my relaxing in the shower. Luckily I’ve made a few sugar scrubs to help make the shower just as relaxing as my old soaks in the tub. This vanilla mint sugar scrub would also be a great gift for St. Patrick’s Day. Or you could make  a salt scrub and pair the two together for Valentine’s Day.

Vanilla Mint Sugar Scrub - a great way to relax

Vanilla Mint Sugar Scrub

In a medium mixing bowl, add the sugar and sea salt.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix with a fork until well incorporated.
Transfer to an airtight container.
Enjoy in the shower or while soaking in the tub. You can store this Vanilla Mint Sugar Scrub up to 6 months but more than likely, it will be used before then…the smell is so soothing and calming!

How do you relax at the end of the day?

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?

10 Teacher Appreciation Gifts

Teacher Appreciation Gifts

With Teacher Apprecation Week coming up next week I wanted to put together the perfect gift for my son’s Kindergarten teacher. But I also wanted something that he could help me make. So we decided to set out to find the perfect teacher gift to give. Want to see what we came up with? Check it out here!

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

After finding what we wanted to create for her, we figured we’d share what else we found with everyone else!

Here’s a list of great Teacher Appreciation gifts perfect for the teacher in your life!

10 Teacher Appreciation Gifts

Homemade Bath Salts from DIY Inspired

Cookie Mason Jar from DIY Inspired

DIY Pencil Holder from Mama of 3 Munchkins

Teacher Appreciation Plant and Printable from 30 Minute Crafts

Love Notes for Preschool or Kindergarten Teachers from Simply Kelly Designs

Bloom And Grow Sunflower Bouquet from Simply Kelly Designs

Thank You For A Picture Perfect Year Printable from Simply Kelly Designs

Custom Sharpie Mugs from Pounds for Pennies

Thank You For Helping Us Bloom DIY Class Teacher Gift from The Suburban Mom

DIY Upcycled Cup Sleeve from Organized 31

Will you be doing something special for your teacher?

The Perfect Pampering Gift Set: How to Gift Groupon

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

The Perfect Pampering Gift Set How to Gift Groupon

One thing I love to gift when possible is something that the receiver can use to relax and feel pampered. Most of the women in my life don’t take the time to pamper themselves so figuring out the perfect pampering gift set to give as a gift this holiday season is something I love to do.

Luckily with the help of Groupon, I was able to do just that for one amazing woman in my life. By putting together a few other products the receiver loves I was able to create this gift set that not only looks pretty, it includes some fabulous gifts.

[Read more…]

Creative Gift Ideas to Encourage Imagination

This post featuring creative gift ideas to encourage imagination is sponsored by RadioShack. #GiftSmart

Creative Gift Ideas to Encourage Imagination

Is there any better feeling than waking up Christmas morning to watch the joy on your child’s face as they open up a gift they’ve asked for all year long? I really don’t think there is. And for my little engineers, any gift that puts their mind to work and gets their hands involved is something they will have on their list.

I don’t know how it happened (ok, maybe I do) but both of my kids seem to have the drive to create and imagine up these crazy contraptions and inventions. So when I find gifts that will fill that need to work on something I snatch it up right away.

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