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5 Gifts That Give Back

9 Dec

It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of the Holidays because we focus on what’s going on the “list” or where Snowflake will be the next morning.  I try to teach my girls, especially during the Holiday season, that there are many children and families that aren’t as fortunate to have good health, a home, toys and food.  Every year we take part in coat drives and toy drives during the Holiday Season.  You can give gifts to family and friends that also give back to those in need.  Here are a few of my favorite Gifts that Give Back:

World Vision has more than 250 items, ranging in price from $10 to $39,000. They are available online and in the World Vision catalog to help improve quality of life for women, children, and families in the U.S. and around the world.  One of my favorite picks for this Holiday Season is the Balinese Multi-Strand Necklace, handmade by an artisan in Bali who helps children get the education she never received herself.  It’s a beautiful piece that is perfect for your mom, your sister, or a friend.  It’s the perfect necklace to wear with jeans and a t-shirt or a maxi-dress during the summer days.

 

Image from World Vision

Image from World Vision

MD Anderson Children’s Art Project has a wide selection of gifts with the artwork created by children in the pediatric center at MD Anderson in Texas.  Through the sale of merchandise featuring designs created by young cancer patients, the program funds important programs that touch more than 26,000 pediatric patients and families, current or past to help them return to normalcy.   Every year, new artwork is selected, voted on, and turned into new products for the shop.  We have found many gifts for birthdays and Holidays (click links for more information).  This year I love the Presents Ornament Frame with our favorite Holiday photo to give to grandparents.

Image from MD Anderson

Image from MD Anderson

Headbands of Hope: A beautiful stocking stuffer for the Holiday Season. For every headband purchased, one is given to a girl with cancer and $1 is donated to fund life-saving childhood cancer research.   I love the option to Create Your Own and the Chiffon Bows.

Image from Headbands of Hope

Image from Headbands of Hope

Stella & Dot has so many wonderful pieces of jewelry.  When I was at the Stella and Dot showroom for the Momtrends Holiday Event, I learned the beautiful Stella & Dot Enlighten Bracelet benefits Every Mother Counts.  Every Mother Counts is a non-profit organization dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. A great gift for a mom or a daughter.

Image from Stella & Dot

Image from Stella & Dot

FEED’s mission is to create good products that help FEED the world.  I love this FEED + Links of London Bracelet.  The impact of giving this gift is 500 days of clean drinking water for one child.

Image from FEED

Image from FEED

 

Have a wonderful Holiday season!

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post.  I received a sample from World Vision however this did not change my opinions. All opinions expressed are my own.  Information in italics are from the sites linked.

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Fun Friday: Pajama Day & Cozying Up This Winter With Pajamagram

7 Nov

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Now that my girls are older, they always ask if they can wear my clothes and shoes when they get a little older. Or they ask if they can get it in their size. It’s cute. They love to match each other but when they can match mom too— it’s even more exciting.

Every holiday season, the girls pick out a new pair of seasonal Pajamas.  They are the pair they wear on Christmas Eve and open their gifts in on Christmas morning.  We also love our seasonal pajamas for cold and wet winter days, perfect for spending the day in your pajamas. 

This year the girls will be wearing PajamaGram.  And the bonus, I will get to match too. PajamaGram has sets for the entire family–even the pets. The PajamaGram Company is all about giving gifts that remind the ones you love to take a little time for themselves…to help them kick back, relax, and unwind.

Image from pajamagram

Image from pajamagram

Recently my girls and I received a set of  Pajamagram Pajama’s for the Holiday season.  It’s hard to decide which style to pick but my girls favorite was the Nordic style.  We each got our names personalized on the front. Each pair of pajamas came nicely packaged in a blue gift bag (ready to give as a gift).  

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Last weekend (and yesterday), the weather gave us a little taste of what’s in store for this winter.  It was wet, freezing, and the perfect day to stay home in pajamas.  So that’s exactly what we did.  The perfect pajama day was spent in our pajamagrams:

Eating Holiday themed pancakes.

Eating Holiday themed pancakes.

Playing our favorite games.  Our absolute favorite this season is Olaf's in Trouble

Playing our favorite games. Our absolute favorite this season is Olaf’s in Trouble

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Watching movies and eating popcorn

Baking cookies together (recipe here)

Baking cookies together (recipe here)

At the end of the day, I asked my girls what they thought of their new pajamas they said they were cozy, comfy, stretchy & soft.  I think they are cute & fun, especially for the Holidays.  They are a great gift for friends and family this season.  Our Elf usually brings a gift when she returns–this year she’ll be flying in with a pair of matching PJ’s for daddy (shhh….)

For more information or to order a gift for this Holiday season visit http://www.pajamagram.com/.

Have a happy Winter with lots of Pajama days 🙂

Disclaimer:  I received sets of pajamas for review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Information in italics came from pajamagram.  All images are my own unless otherwise noted.

Sending Love & Cheer This Holiday Season With Minted (GIVEAWAY)

11 Oct

I love receiving Holiday cards from friends and family.  At the end of the season we create a Holiday book with all the beautiful cards we receive.  I also love sending cards but every year I wait until the last-minute to do my Holiday cards.  This year I got a head start, thanks to a photo session with Big Apple Portraits (review coming soon). Now that I have photos, choosing my favorite picture and then finding the right card is my biggest challenge (see below for Minted Giveaway)

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Minted.com is one of my favorite sites for cards, invitations and even art. I love the variety and the gorgeous designs to choose from, especially for the Holidays. This  year I have teamed up with Minted for a $50 giveaway to use towards your Holiday cards (or anything outside of art work).  All you need to do is help me choose the design for my Holiday card this year. I have chosen some of my favorite designs below:

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Bright Snowflake Spirits

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Winter Brush Foil-pressed Card

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Merry Typography Foil-pressed Card

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Snow Flurry

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Snowy Love and Joy

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Just Dotty

You will need to leave a comment with your favorite picture and card design.  Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway
to be eligible to win and for more entry possibilities.  A random winner will be selected.  Good Luck, can’t wait to see your favorite!

About Minted: Minted crowd-sources design and art from a global community of independent designers, then sells their best designs as fine products such as stationery, wall art, and décor for the home, holidays, and occasions.  For more information visit www.minted.com!

Disclaimer: I will receive a credit to minted.com for this post.  All opinions expressed.  A big thank you to Big Apple Portraits for the beautiful photos of my girls and thank you to Minted for your support.  Images of all the card designs and information in italics came from Minted.com

Celebrate Easter with Hershey’s #BunnyTrail

7 Apr

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In 2 weeks the Easter Bunny will make his return. My girls are excited for Easter Egg Hunts filled with their favorite candy, dying eggs, and making crafts, but they are most excited to wake up Easter morning to see what the Bunny left.

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Our Bunny tries to limit the amount of sweet stuff when filling our baskets, with the exception of a few Kisses,  since they eat a lot of candy during egg hunts with friends and family. Last week, I took a walk on the Bunny Trail with Hershey’s and The Licensing Company to get some basket filler ideas from beauty supplies to electronics that would make great alternatives while sticking to a candy theme.

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Ideas included filling baskets with licensed Hershey’s beauty supplies scented like your favorite Hershey’s brand candies. Bubble Yum nail polish, a Jolly Ranch hair color comb, and Hershey’s flavored lip balm are just a few beauty products available. Woven wrapper  wristlets and head bands also make a wonderful addition to a basket for girls who love accessories like mine do.  T-shirts in a variety of brands long or short-sleeved, headphones (ear buds or DJ style) and mini speakers are more great (and allergy-friendly) products to incorporate into a basket.

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At the event I couldn’t get enough of the adorable Hershey’s train set (pictured below).  Depending on how much you want to spend, this set would be an extra special gift from the Bunny for your little one 0-5.  Each train set item is 54.99 and the Little Lines Play Set (below) is $74.95.

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Retailers for the various products include Walgreens, WalMart, Best Buy, TJ Maxx, Brookstone, Toys R Us, Ross, & Five Below to name a few.  Products range in price from $3.50-$74.95.

Looking for a fun on a rainy afternoon or to get in the Easter Spirit, I love the Easter Critter Cups displayed at the Event (pictured below).  We will definitely make these to get us in the Holiday Spirit and use as favors for our Easter Egg Hunt with friends.  For more Easter ideas visit CELEBRATE WITH HERSHEY’S and follow #bunnytrail

Click Image for Directions

Click Image for Directions

For more information about brands and products visit Hersheys.com.  Hersheys.com is also a great resource for recipes and other seasonal and fun crafts.

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Have a Happy Hershey’s Easter!

 

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post.  I received a gift bag for attending the event.  As always all opinions are my own.  All images are my own.

Happy Valentine’s Day and Last Minute Snack Ideas for After School #ValentinesDay

14 Feb

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My girls were so excited for today! They have been making Valentine’s for weeks now and trying to figure out what they were going to get their dad!  The girls woke up to a Frozen themed Valentine’s Day gift, Anna and Elsa swimsuits, and FunBites Heart Pancakes!  Then off to school the went for endless lollipops, candy and treats from the school bake sale, what’s not to love!

During the week, the girls and I tried different Valentine’s snacks for after school!  They are so simple, you could run out or pick up the ingredients on your way home but you probably have them already!

“Berry Banana’s for You” smoothie:

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  • 1 plain non-fat Fage Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Banana
  • A handful of Strawberries, cut
  • 3 Strawberry Peeps Marshmallows (I got the idea to use Peeps in a Smoothie after a Holiday event I attended!)
  • a handful of ice

Blend all ingredients but only use 2 peeps  until consistency you like.  Slide the third Peeps Strawberry Heart trough a straw, use gel icing to write a message! Serve and enjoy!

Valentine’s Fruit Tray

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  • Grapes
  • Driscoll’s Strawberries
  • Cabot Sharp White Cheddar Cheese Single

Use a gel icing writer to outline the shape of a heart on a serving dish!  Place grapes on the gel icing!  Once the heart outline is complete, fill with strawberries.  Finish by using a knife to cut an XO out of a piece of Cabot Sharp White Cheddar Cheese single!

Happy New Year

31 Dec

Thank you for all of your support! Wishing you and your family Joy, Love and lots of Laughter in 2014! Happy New Year!

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Happy #Holidays!

25 Dec

Joyous Holiday 2013

Decking the Halls with PEEPS (last minute craft ideas for christmas)

23 Dec

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I still can’t believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve.  The seasons and years fly by.  Since there is no school tomorrow and the weather isn’t supposed to be good, crafts are always great for killing time.  Back in the fall I attended a PEEPS event.  I discovered many great recipes but I was most impressed by their passion to bring families together by using PEEPS for crafting.

We recently came up with our own activity that would be perfect for any age.  It’s easy to make and makes a great centerpiece for Christmas Eve and/ or Christmas Day dinner. All you need is a poinsettia, peppermint, glue (fabric glue, craft glue, or glue gun) and your favorite Holiday PEEPS, available at your local drug store while out doing last-minute shopping.  Let your child glue on their choice in PEEPS.  Teach them about patterns or let their imaginations run free!  If you use a glue gun, your child will need help so they don’t burn themselves.  (see below image for more craft ideas from a PEEPS SneakPeep Event)PeepsPoinsettia

PEEPS Snowman:

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PEEPS Garland:

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PEEPS Wreath:

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Happy Last Minute Crafting to Deck the Halls and don’t forget to SNEAK A PEEP! Learn how to cook with PEEPS by clicking the link.

Disclaimer:  I received samples used for our craft and attending this event.  This did not alter my opinions or my ideas.

Our #Holiday #Reading Guide

19 Dec

Holiday Reading

Winter is for Snow by Robert Neubecker, Photo Credit Barnes and Noble

Dream Snow by Eric Carle, Photo Credit Barnes and Noble

Santa is Coming to New York by Steve Smallman (Author) , Robert Dunn (Illustrator), Photo Credit Amazon

Sofia the First Holiday in Enchancia by Cathy Hapka, Photo Credit Amazon

Snowmen on Christmas by Caralyn Buehner, Mark Buehner (Illustrator), Photo Credit Barnes and Noble

Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup, Matt Tavares (Illustrator), Photo Credit Barnes and Noble

Heart of a Snowman by Mary Kuryla  (Author) , Eugene Yelchin  (Illustrator), Photo Credit Amazon

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg, Photo Credit Amazon

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post! All images are from Barnes and Noble or Amazon!

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

17 Dec

stocking stuffers

The World of Eric Carle Chunky Colored Pencils and Starter Stencil Set:  Perfect for little ones who love art.  Draw shapes from the beloved book The Hungry Caterpillar!

Snowman Nail Polish:  For the girly girls!  Adorable! Available at Rite Aid

Holiday Peeps:  Definitely try the Chocolate Mouse Reindeer, the chocolate dipped peppermint peeps, and the Gingerbread men! YUM.

Mr Frost Melting Snowman by Two’s Company:  Contains all the materials to make a snowman. Once he’s built, watch him melt!

Super Duper Reindeer Pooper:  Add a little humor to your stocking.  My girls saw this at a store last year and couldn’t stop laughing.  I went to go back and buy it but it was sold out.  Can’t wait to give it to them this year.

Brush Pets:  Make dental care fun.  Brush Pets, from the makers of Pillow Pets, are the perfect stuffer to encourage good dental habits, especially after all the candy canes and desserts from the Holidays

Cake That Individual Serve Cake From Old World Gourmet: Easy for kids to mix together and make for a delicious treat after school. Just add milk (let your child measure it out) and microwave for about 90 seconds.  We love the Cinnamon Caramel!

 

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.  I received samples of Cake That, The World of Eric Carle, and Brush Pets but they did not alter my opinions!