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Everyday Mom Ideas

Ideas that I use just about everyday for the home and Family. Digital Scrapbooking, Family friendly Recipes, Game ideas, Date Night Ideas,Get together games, coloring pages for the kids, lots of fun printables, craft ideas, Humor,Parenting tips and tricks

Updated: 2017-12-16T11:01:18.309-07:00


Holly Jolly Pink Christmas Printable ( 3 FREE Portables To Choose From)


Having tons of fun making all sorts of things with my new seamless pattern collection I just finished up designing. Here are three fun wall art design for you to print out for your holiday decor. All available for FREE download through A Holly & Jolly holiday pattern line is fun, fresh, and flirty. Combining the pastel blush pink and mint green with a splash of bold strawberry red and modern blacks and whites you get a fresh new take on holiday patterns and papers. Get this full collection of 25 coordinating seamless patterns on my Etsy shop Pixel Dust Design Studio. Click here for easy ad-free access to printing and downloading these Holly & Jolly Christmas printables through google.doc Remember Sharing is Caring!!! Please share this Pinterest image below with your friends and family or save it to print later. [...]

No Furnace For 12 Wintery Days (Our Christmas Miracle Story)


The number of people and little miracles who came together so that we wouldn't be without heat this winter is staggering and humbling. Just about two weeks ago my husband and I found ourselves having a big family "sleepover" with all of our kids huddled up next to the fireplace. I wish I could say it was because we were trying to create fun memories or just because we are awesome parents but the truth is it was the only room in our entire house with enough heat to get us through the night. Thank goodness for our fireplace. We could have called a number of people to come help us but we were sick of needing help. For the past four years since we moved into this old 1928 bungalow house, the furnace has gone out on us at least three to four times each winter. And every time it was a costly repair, and every time right before Christmas. We were tired of being those people with the stupid furnace that needed help every winter. We could surely get ourselves out of this trouble by ourselves. We are not poor after all. My husband works two good jobs and I freelance and blog while taking care of our kids. We pride ourselves on being hardworking, kind, and resourceful. But this house that we love so much just keeps getting the better of us. After a couple of days of this stubbornness and not being able to get the main room above 57 fahrenheit, we finally couldn't take the cold anymore and we started worrying about our kids so we reached out to some of our neighbors to borrow some space heaters. And boy did they deliver. We only called two neighbors. Two. But word must have spread because within an hour we had enough heaters for the basic rooms in our house. By the end of the night, we had more heaters than we could plug in without the breakers all flipping off and we had to start turning away wonderful neighbors who were just pouring in to loan us their heaters and asking if there was anything else they could do. Our hearts were full and our bodies were warm.Here is the part I don't want you to know: We told everyone we were fine and the furnace should be repaired in the next week or two. We even turned down an offer from someone who wanted to seek donations on our behalf. We told them it wasn't necessary and that we were sure this was just a temporary hang up.  The truth was we had no way to pay for such an expense any time soon. Maybe we could just wait it out until spring. Yeah right. Space heaters take a ton of electricity that's why people don't heat their houses on space heaters. And due to the breakers, we couldn't have more than five space heaters on at a time so only select rooms in the house were warm. But we also couldn't stomach someone else helping us pay for the repairs. That was our responsibility.You see, we don't feel unfortunate. We live in a beautiful big old house, the kind of house you would dream of living in while a kid. We have a big Christmas tree with tons of presents under it due to early savvy Christmas shopping, we have two old but running cars, and three jobs between us. We have beautiful children that will never know hunger or what it feels to be unloved. We are not unfortunate. It simply would be much to greedy to accept help, let alone ask for it. There are so many others less fortunate. So many others close by that are in greater need. How do you accept charity when you feel so undeserving?Our Savior gave us the greatest charity of all yet who are we to deserve it. Who are we to accept his life for ours? We are nothing. We sin. We struggle.  All we can do is try to deserve it. Always be in the state of trying. Fail we will, but try some more. Do we turn away from the Savior's love and gifts to us? Sometimes. We all have to learn and challenge ourselves to accept his love despite how undeserving we are. We have to try to humble ourselves to be good receivers as much as it hurts at first. Yes hurts. Turning to our savior and letting his light in can feel like you are breaking. And sometimes you do and that's okay because you can build somethin[...]

Fun & stress-free weekend getaway - planning your first camping trip with a kid


Every day with kids is a never-ending roller coaster of emotions; each parent knows it all too well. The day can start with you wiping down the milk they spilled from their cereal bowl as it drips over the sides of the table. At the same time, you have to answer questions that you answered 600 times before times before (or at least it feels like it). A good parent will know that it’s not their fault; they’re only discovering the world from their innocent point of view. One “roller coaster ride” typically ends with you tucking them in for the night with an overwhelming feeling that it’s all worth. “Nothing is ever the same” doesn’t mean “worse” From lazy Sundays to trips, nothing will ever be the same after you have a kid. The change is especially dramatic for those of us who are the outdoorsy type. A camping trip or a weekend getaway to your cabin will never be about just throwing in a few basics into the trunk and hitting the road. That doesn’t mean that the pleasure of a weekend trip is gone forever and it’s all about the kids now. For the smart parent, it will mean adjusting to the situation and adopting a few new tactics...tactics that will make the trip fun for them but relaxing for you. That’s what we explore today - below, we’ll outline a few tips for planning a camping trip or weekend getaway with your kids. Let’s dive right in. If this is your first camping trip with kids If you never camped out with kids before, it’s definitely smart to do a test run. Gets the gear you plan on using (tents, air mattresses, sleeping bags…) and do a test run in your backyard. You need to learn a lot and it’s not the best idea to start the learning process “on the run”. That one night in your backyard will give you solid insights into what you can expect on the campsite, from the things that make your little ones comfortable (or uncomfortable) to the things that can keep them busy to give you some me-time. Sleeping arrangements If there is one thing that can make or break a trip it’s poorly planned sleeping arrangements. Each kid is different and you need to adjust to that. If they scare easily, your best bet will be a bigger tent and that will allow for all of you to sleep together. On the other hand (hopefully), you might have fearless rascals on your hands who will not only be okay with sleeping in a tent of their own but will prefer it. In the latter scenario, you and your partner can get a good night of eye-shut in the two-person tent with an air mattress of just the right size. Typically, a full-size air mattress will comfortably sleep two people – you can see some of the good ones in Full size here. This brings us back to the test run we mentioned above – instead of purchasing all the gear you need, it’s a good idea to rent a tent for that one a night. If you live in an apartment and circumstances don’t allow a test run, renting is still a good option for that first trip. Make it fun for them Sleeping outdoors is a new experience for the kid and the first time you do it will form their perception of it, in the long run, so your approach is especially important here. The best thing you can do is turn the whole experience into a game of sorts and design a fun routine around it. This shouldn’t be hard, especially if you have them sleeping on an airbed. To them, these feel like mini bouncy castles. It’s also smart to plan for some camping games for the little ones. Packing just right We tend to worry too much about every detail of their comfort. At home, that’s not a big deal because you can always give them another blanket if they suddenly decide they don’t like the one with the dinosaurs. Things get trickier when packing[...]

Christmas In Color Comes To Provo Utah! (Discount Code)


We all love to drive around and admire the Christmas lights during the holidays. Christmas in Color takes that beloved family tradition to a level that you've never experienced before. We are taking our kids and we cannot wait to check it all out. My Three-year-old is all about the Christmas light this year and I just know she is going to slightly freak out at this amazing light display. Immerse your family in our new Christmas light drive-thru that sends you down an enchanted, winding road with almost 1,000,000 LED Christmas lights that are beautifully synched to music that is sure to get you in the holiday spirit! And this all without having to leave the comfort of your warm and cozy car!Tickets Are On Sale Now! Provo, UtahSouth Jordan, UtahGoodyear, Arizona.My readers get to save! Use code "USFAMILY17" to receive 15% off tickets![...]

Christmas Is Better With A Three Year Old (Penwizard Book Review & Discount)


You know what is better than Christmas? Having little kids around at Christmas! When my boys started to not believe in Santa anymore around the age of eight and nine, Christmas just wasn't the same anymore. Then we had this beautiful little girl and now she is Three years old. Everything about Christmas this year seems so much brighter and wonderful with her enthusiasm in our lives. So you can image my excitement when Penwizard reached out to me to check out their custom-made book collections where they illustrate your child into a book right along with some of their favorite characters. Our sweet three year old loves to be read to and it is such a treat for both mom and daughter to cozy up and read some of our favorite Christmas books together. This custom illustrated book sure does take that tradition up a notch. My daughter's name is Oriah and you just don't see that name anywhere. This is one time she will get to see her name all over in a beautifully illustrated book all about her adventures with a Snowman and snowdog she built. I love that there so many options to customize this book even some clothing options along with hair and skin color. We went with a blue pajamas option since my daughter wears a lot of blue due to her baby blue eyes. This book definitely made her feel like this book was written all about her, and drawn just for her. I would recommend this book 100% to all my friends and family. There are lots of other options as well to customize your kid into a book. There are a few more days where these custom illustrated books are available in time for Christmas delivery so hurry on over and get them, also don't forget your coupon code below.  15% OFF ALL PERSONALIZED CHILDREN'S BOOKS! using code HOLIDAY15 when checking out at[...]

Using Black In Your Kitchen Decor


Black is such a great color - it’s slimming to wear, it’s sleek, sophisticated and meaningful. So why isn’t it used more in home decor? When you think about a black kitchen, you think about an ultra-modern room, with shiny black cabinets and matching floor and countertop. And where that might work for some, it really doesn’t for others. But there are ways to incorporate black into your kitchen in a way that creates depth and space rather than making the room feel dark and small.Image SourceHandlesRather than having pure black cabinets, just have black handles. They look great in metal or painted wood - you can even just repurpose your existing handles by painting them. Whether you choose knobs or grip handles is up to you, but put against white these accents look amazing.Chalk WallUse a small wall, or just paint a section and frame it with a repurposed old frame, or a modern thin, gold frame. Chalk walls are great for leaving memos or writing shopping lists, and what better place for those things than in the kitchen?Feature LightingIndustrial style lighting is right on trend at the moment, and the over-sized, exposed bulbs look fantastic hanging from black piping. Check out these great examples for ideas. You can have the exposed light encased in a cage style lamp shade, or simply have them hanging down. Black also looks fantastic on a chandelier - but, if this is more your style, make sure you pick one that fits the size of your kitchen.SinkMost sinks are silver or white, but black kitchen sinks can look incredibly sophisticated. This is a block of black in the room, but because most of it is on a lower level, you don’t notice it too much as you look around the room, yet it still manages to catch the eye in a pleasing and delicate way.PlantsYou can get some beautiful black plants, but we’re thinking more about the pots. You can get some great circular pots that fix to the wall where you can grow herbs or succulents easily. The contrast of the black and the vibrant green works to draw light into the room. Plants should be present all over the house as they offer so many benefits, so why should the kitchen be any different?CounterAs with the cupboards, maybe opt out of the solid black countertop. However, black accents here can add depth and draw the eye. White and black marble looks timeless and beautiful - and doesn't have to cost the earth. Instead of replacing the entire counter, use sticky-back plastic to cover your existing workspace. And we you next want to re-decorate, just peel it off and apply your new pattern. Or, you can use MDF and white paint to create the perfect marble look. [...]

Christmas Gift Guide For Dads (Get Him What He Really Wants all Under $20) Plus Discount Codes


I reached out to some of my favorite brands and products to see if they would hook you EMI readers up with some discount codes for some of my favorite gifts to the hubby and some of them totally came through for me. I'm so excited to share some of these amazing gifts and products these are all things my kids and I have purchased in the past and we love and my husband loves. So they are tested and approved by real people.1. Man Nails: Man nails are tough and their nail clippers will have to be too. My man is always breaking our lady nail clippers or they just simply won't cut through. He is going to love these manly man nail clippers in fancy manly black stainless steel. They also come in a leather pouch. For under $10 these would also make great stocking stuffers. 2. Hammock - This two-person lightweight hammock by Augymer is definitely on most dads list. Heck, it's even on mine. These are easy to take with you on a picnic, hiking and or backpacking or even your backyard. Comes with adjustable tree straps too and a cup holder. For under $20 this is a great big gift that will bring lots of awesome memories. 3. Hiking Sticks- Anti-shock hiking and trail poles. I surprised my husband with these last year and he just loves them. Two years ago he attempted to climb Mt. Timpanogos summit in Utah and was only able to make it 3/4 the way up before he had to turn around due to the strain it was on his legs. So now that he has his new hiking sticks he is gearing up to go again this summer. Perfect for the guy who loves the outdoors.4. The q-tips of the future... now -  The reusable Utility Tips for ears get 90% more wax and is designed to get wax out instead of packing further down in like regular q-tips. Its also doctor recommended. This revolutionary Utility tip is changing the way we maintain our ears for a safer more effective cleaning. My husband is obsessed with keeping his ears cleaned regularly, he even instructs our kids on proper ear maintenance. He has no idea Santa is stuffing these babies in his stocking this year. It's going to blow his mind.  Get 15% off with this coupon code at checkout: ROYALTY5. Contoured Sleep Mask- This sleep mask is awesome for the light sleeper because of its contouring so it won't put any pressure or irritation on the eyes. Sometimes my hubby works the night shift so this is the gift of a good day of much-needed sleep for him. Know any dads working the night shift to support the family? 6. Chiropractor visit - One of my husband's favorite gifts was a visit to the chiropractor for an adjustment. He had never been before. You can find some crazy good deals on Groupon for a local Chiropractor. TIP:  a lot of insurances pay for up to 10 visits to a chiropractor. Just pay the co-pay up front. So check your insurance and treat your man. 7. Uplifting Manly Books: Mission Man, Left Standing, The Berlin Candy Bomber, The Road To Freedom. These are some of the top books from Ceder Fort Publishing for men. I love that they are uplifting, inspiring, clean, and perfect for my manly man. Mission Man; Life Lessons From A CIA Operative, is recommended strongly for younger men/dads who could use some great advice about navigating adulthood and life. The Road To Freedom is a great adventure/war novel. The Berlin Candy Bomber is perfect for your history buff. Left Standing is a true story about how Mason Well's survived through three different major terror attacks he somehow found himself apart of. Ceder Fort Publishing just put all of these titles on sale for us for crazy good prices.You can also get any Pioneer Plus products on Amazon for 20% off with this coupon code: CedaAmaz8. Zombie Repellent Soap: Got a hubby who is a walking dead fan? This is the perfect fun gift for him. This zombie repellent soap kit is not just fun but also cleanly. Handmade with natural oils and g[...]

Best Gifts For New Parents


It’s Christmas and most of us already have a list of people we have bought gifts for. Research shows that a large number of the population buys presents in a panic ahead of Christmas day, as they haven’t allowed enough time to think ahead and do some well-planned shopping. Instead, they purchase the first appropriate thing they see in the fear they will not see anything better in the short time they have ahead of Christmas day. You will most probably already have bought the majority of your gifts but if your best friend has just become a parent, choosing a present for him or her might be a challenge you didn’t think you would have to face. Here we show you the best gift ideas for you to offer your circle of new parents.Choosing a gift for new parents can be tricky (image: adviceNew parents often worry about everything that surrounds their newborn child, whether it’s feeding them the best way or getting them to sleep adequately, there is never enough advice one can offer to someone who has just become a parent. As you might not have children of your own and giving parenting advice might, as a result, be difficult for you, why not offer them a subscription to Innerparents? Your friend will find here everything he or she needs to know about the best parenting methods. A bibFood spillages are one of the biggest concerns new parents face. From puree to fruit compote, there are myriad ways your friend’s baby can produce stains. A bib will help them protect their baby’s clothing if this is worn appropriately. These days there are also a number of great ways you can personalize a bib, from printing a photo of your friend’s child on it to sewing sequins onto it. This post will help you find the coolest bib!A mobile Newborns are open to new sensorial experiences and it is a well-known fact that a young brain is at its most flexible. That is why a toy that will help your friend’s baby not only be entertained but keep learning actively and be curious about its surroundings might just do the trick this Christmas. Have a look at these beautiful mobiles and pick your favorite one!A dummyDummies or baby pacifiers are a great gift for new parents. They will offer this to their baby once this is six months old or so, as most experts recommend this is when babies should start making use of it. They are a great tool to make a baby wait until its next milk supply is ready and also reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Have a look at these wonderful dummies and choose your perfect Christmas gift!A toy Who doesn’t remember their favorite toy from when they were young? A beautiful and well produced toy will become a baby’s first play-friend and interacting with a toy is a very important part in the process of growing up in a trusted and endearing environment. Don’t know which toy you would go for? Browse through these cute toys and choose the one your friend’s child will appreciate![...]

Family Gifts To Enjoy On Christmas Day


When you’ve had quite a few family Christmases together, the activities you did one year too many can get a little boring after a while. That means we need to get a little more creative with what we’re planning to do this year; we still have time to set something out! You never know, you could actually end up starting a new tradition that continues for years and is always fun to put a spin on. Check out a few of these gift ideas you can give to the family for Christmas day to enjoy all together. SourceBuy an Old Board GameThe clue doesn’t have to be in the name when it comes to board games. Some excess gifts to wrap up for the kids to rip open on Christmas day are board games, as they’re fun to get competitive over, and crafting out little groups amongst ourselves means we can get the edge over the others and win silly little competitions everyone likes to dabble in! Board games are a family classic, and have stood the test of time for a lot of good reasons. Whether you want to fall out over Monopoly, or argue over how much your Pictionary drawings actually look like what they’re meant to represent, be sure to indulge in a few of these standard games for some old timey fun. Similarly, with the amount of new concepts being brought out each year, you can get a little untraditional in what you play with. Games like that of Pie Face are a good way to get messy with quick cleanup, and are fun for everyone to get involved in. No drawn out rules that are difficult to understand, and it can keep people's attention for a long time! Use Technology to Bring People TogetherAt least one person in a family has a phone, and that means you can use it to your advantage when you get bored. A lot of game companies make phone ports of traditional video games, so you can easily download something like Pacman to your mobile and try and beat each other’s top scores. On the other hand, you can also get plenty of family games on both android and iOS systems, so there’s something for everyone. You could also try out the Final Fantasy xv mobile game, which is a strategy game that can keep kids interested because of the flashy colors and plenty of options for playing. It’s a great family activity as when you’re taking part in your children’s interests with them, you can often monitor what they get up to in safe and friendly way! You could even just download a drawing program and make big pictures together, with none of the associated mess with paints involved! Let out your energy as a family and you’ll have a better time because of it. Take to the OutdoorsGoing outdoors on Christmas day is a lot of fun! There’s snow, sun, a bit of ice, and plenty of room to run around and make noise in! If you’ve finished unwrapping the presents, or you’ve just got the lunch out of the way, it’s time to spend any excess energy you still have on the great outdoors down the park or walking the dog. So when it comes to gifts you can use outside, turn back to the old time favorites of gym classes and competitive sports the world around. Frisbees are always a popular choice here, as are a baseball bat and stumps. It’s so much fun to do these activities as a family, as your kids can show off their burgeoning sports spirits and you can remind yourself how good you are. This could include volunteering if you want to truly share the love on Christmas day. Giving the gift of safety and security to people who lack it over the festive period is the best present anyone can make with their time. Of course, on Christmas, your family are the people who came first. But if they’re up to it or want to try it out, you can find plenty of organizations who still work during the festive period. There’s a lot of gifts you can fork out for your family; that means there’s a whole world of creativity for you to delve into. Make sure you pu[...]

Sweet Balsamic Glazed Stuffed Shells


This three ingredients Virgin Sangrias is like Christmas in a cup! Simplified down into just Three ingredients you can now add this festive drink to any gathering. This is a fruity drink infused with Christmas spices that the whole family will love. This is a make ahead recipe. You will want to make this at least five hours before serving so that it is chilled. But it actually doesn't take much time to make. CODE HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Sharing is Caring!Please share this Pinterest friendly image below with your friends or family or save it to cook up later. Thank you! [...]

SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium (Family Adventure In Lehi Utah)


Super excited to be taking my family next week to SeaQuest. It will be our first time exploring at SeaQuest and my kids and I couldn't be more excited!SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium offers a completely interactive, hands-on learning experience for the entire family. Designed as a 'Quest of Edutainment', visitors to SeaQuest will journey through realistically themed exhibits where they will connect with the animals through various hands on encounters such as feeding sharks, stingrays, giant pacific octopus, sulcata tortoises, large exotic birds species, and thousands of other creatures along the way. Anyone in search of a more daring experience can enjoy walk-in bird aviaries, feeding caiman alligators or snorkeling in their giant snorkel tank filled with reef sharks, stingrays and hundreds of other tropical fish. Sea Quest Interactive Aquarium also offers an exclusive private event venue which is ideal for school field trips, birthday parties, and private events. Explore, discover and learn more about the world we live in, as well as create lasting memories for the entire family and kids of all ages at SeaQuest Interactive Aquariums.seaquestaquariums.comThe SeaQuest Online Gift Package Sale Is ON!Stay tuned we will be sharing with you all about our adventure at Seaquest next week. [...]

3 Coffee Alternative Treats That Taste Like The Real Thing


Have you ever cooked or baked something, only to realize that your kids aren’t allowed to eat it? It happens to the best of us - you make a luscious coffee ice cream from scratch or a scrumptious coffee-infused cake for dessert, only to remember that your children can’t have coffee or anything that contains your favorite brew. As it is, children are consuming more caffeine than ever in energy drinks, trendy blended coffee drinks, and bottled iced tea. Though moderate coffee consumption is  generally recognized as safe, this classification is based on studies conducted in adults, and there is very little research conducted on children and adolescents. While it has been said that  safe daily levels of coffee  for kids aged 7 to 9 years old is 62.5mg (or about one and a half cans of Coke), it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to our kids’ health. Fortunately, there is a healthier alternative to coffee that tastes just like the real thing, and you can use it to create wonderful drinks and desserts that everyone will love without the caffeine buzz. Chicory—the caffeine-free alternative to coffee If you don’t want to switch over to decaf for your coffee recipes, then  chicory is a family-friendly substitute  as it tastes just like coffee without the caffeine. Chicory is a perennial with purplish blue flowers, and its roots are roasted and brewed to make chicory coffee. To make a cup of chicory coffee, you can brew it  using a drip coffee maker  or use a cold brewing method. Apart from having it as your morning beverage, you can also use it in recipes that won’t give your children sleep issues or cause a caffeine addiction. Here are 3 chicory-based recipes for your whole family. Chicory and vanilla frappe According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, caffeinated drinks  have no place in the diets  of children and adolescents. Instead of letting them hang out at their favorite coffee shop, entice them with this chicory and vanilla frappe. Simply combine two ounces of brewed chicory coffee with a cup of whole milk, two drops of vanilla extract, half a cup of vanilla ice cream, and some ice cubes in a blender and blend until thick and frothy. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Chicory coffee ice pops To make this treat, you’ll need instant chicory coffee. First, make a sugar syrup by boiling a cup of water with two-thirds cup of sugar. Combine two tablespoons of instant chicory coffee with a cup of almond or whole milk, then add the sugar syrup and stir. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze. Chicory coffee cream cheese spread This is a great spread for homemade bread and it even makes a good, thick dip for pretzel sticks and fruit. To make this spread, simply combine 6 ounces of cream cheese with one-fourth cup of sugar and half a teaspoon of instant chicory coffee in a mixing bowl and beat until fluffy. Try any of these chicory-infused desserts as an alternative to your favorite coffee treats. All of these recipes are healthier, caffeine-free options that are better for the whole family. [...]

Our Top Ten Favorite Family Games Of All Time (Tried & True)


Just wanted to share with you all some of my families favorite board games of all time. We have over 50 beloved family board games in our home and it was hard to narrow them down to just our top 10. These are actual board games we have used and loved over the years and some of our more recent favorites we have discovered. We love to play board games as a family and try to play at least once a week. We have a lot of great board games and card games but these are the ones that get the most play out of them, so definitely worth the investment.  Most of these games are for eight years old and up and the best part is the parents will love playing them too.#1. Game: Apples To Apples & Apples To Apples Jr: (Social & Casual)Description: A social card game for three to 10 players. Place down the best card you have in your hand that best fits the description the cardplayer is holding. The twist is that you have to put down a card you think the cardholder should pick. The cardholder can pick any card for any reason they seem fit. How well do you know the card players personality and sense of humor?Average Time: 15 to 60 minutes, you decide.Why we love it: It's a light-hearted casual game that a large number of people can play. It helps you get to know each other in a not too invasive way or by making clowns of ourselves. It's laid back and funny. We love playing the Jr. addition with our older boys because the themes and topics of the card are perfect for them and we enjoy playing it as well. #2. Game: Blokus (Hand On & Casual) Description: A hands-on game for four players. Each player has a set of blocks in different shapes and number of blocks. Each player puts down one of the blocks in their stash. The board starts to get crowded as the game moves forward and you have to come up with creative ways to place your shapes before you get cut off. The player to put down the most blocks wins.Average Time: 30 minutesWhy we love it: The blocks are kind of pretty and I love how you get to use your hands to create these beautiful patterns on the board. There is some strategy and style involved but it is still casual and light. You could probably play this game with your child who is as young as five years old and you would still enjoy it as an adult. When we play this game we usually play it twice in a row because it's so fun and easy but challenges the mind.#3. Game: Ticket To Ride (Hands-On & Competitive)Description: A race to get as many of your trains on the track before the first player runs out of trains. Get points for the most trains on board, most destinations accomplished and longest connecting train rout.Average Playing Time: Depending on the number of players. We play all five and it takes about 90 minutes. Fewer players = Shorter Game.Why we love it: It's not a complicated game, easy to play and it's still competitive. You can feel the excitement and energy to get your trains on the board before the other players take your rout that you have been gearing up for. Love the beautiful map and details of this game and love that we can play this with our kids seven and up. Also, we like that we can play up to five players.#4. Game: Catan (Strategy)Description: A fun strategy game for three to four players, you can buy an expansion pack to get up to eight players perfect for bigger families to all join in on. Place houses and roads to build your settlement by collecting resource cards. The more resources cards you get by rolling the dice the faster you can put down and build your settlement. There are different ways to earn points, the first person to reach 10 points wins.Average Playing Time: 90 Minutes. It gets faster the more you play[...]

Your Children Illustrated Right Into A Stunning One Of A Kind Book (Plus discount code)


Each and every book Penwizard prints is unique, just like your child! Founded from a love of children and children's books, Penwizard set up a company that took children's publishing to the next level. For more than 10 years, they've used their skills and expertise to push the boundaries and create inspirational books where children actually appear in the illustrations. There are several options to choose from even a line of Christmas books to insert your child into. This level of customization is just amazing.There are even a few books that you are able to add multiple illustrations of your children into one book.   You can get 15% off* your entire order or personalized books at Penwizard, just in time for the holidays! Use code HOLIDAY15 at checkout. *Valid until 12/25/2017. I just ordered my book, we are getting the Snowman and The Snowdog. I can't wait to get my book this week and share it with you all.[...]

Fall/Winter Home Decor Reveal (1928 Historic Bungalow Home)


Sometimes it hits me just how special this house is flaws and all. Built in 1928 true to the craftsman/bungalow style. My favorite part of this house besides the outside is this fireplace mantle. I love that over all the years and all of the owners this home has seen this fireplace brick has not been touched and is 100% original. There have been so many fads and decor trends over the years to prompt people to paint this pink brick but I'm so glad no one ever did. I myself have been tempted to paint the brick to a more trendy white, but just couldn't shake the thought of how wrong that would be. Now I love it and feel it is my duty to take care of it so it will be around for another 90 years. This authentic bungalow style mantle with its matching and original bookcases is the pride of our home and deserves to be decorated accordingly. It can be challenging to decorate with the past and the present in mind. That's why I always try to mix a little old with a little new. For this years fall look I was inspired by The Heritage Collection by  Chesapeake Bay Candle and by all the nature all over my yard. It all began with these chestnuts that dropped from our tree and was now in abundance all over our yard. Sounds like a nice problem to have but the sad thing about these chestnuts are they are NOT the edible kind. These pretty little deceptive beauties are completely useless… or are they. That’s when it dawned on me… I should decorate with them. This little experiment surpassed all my expectations and I am in love with the natural beauty these different elements add to our festive vibe in our home. Decorating with nature is a tried a true decor practice that has stood the test of time. That's what makes the addition of the Chesapeake Bay Candle Heritage Collection so perfect in this space. The Heritage Collection candles were inspired by the natural rustic charms of the Chesapeake Bay with its beautiful frosted glass and minimal natural packaging design. It adds just the right touch of modern, elegance and nature. When decorating I try to use and reinvent some of the treasures I already have and use them in different creative ways, and then I like to add a few natural element to the look. To finish it all up I make sure to always add my “one something special”. These stunning USA made scented candles are my something special this season. They have been strategically placed throughout the main living room and attached dining room to add that festive glow and invigorating scents of fall and winter. It might be getting frostier outside but it's definitely cozying up in here. The Pumpkin Latte coffee table jar candle is the centerpiece for my bungalow fireplace mantle decor. I love this large triple wick candle because it lets off a bright glow and enough fragrance to fill the main floor of the house with its aroma of pumpkins, pralines, and pecans. Oh my! I've accessorized the Pumpkin Latte candle with some pinecones, chestnuts, black walnuts and of course a figurine of the Mayflower. To the left, you will find the Balsam Fir large jar candle that couldn't be more fitting for the upcoming Christmas season with its evergreen pine, fresh balsam, and spiced pomander scents. And on the right, I have the small jar of the Balsam Fir candle perfect for smaller spaces. The larger soy blend candles last for 80 hours, the coffee table triple wick candles last for 35 and the smaller candles last for an impressive 20 hours. The Cinnamon Spice small jar candle is perched on my white chest of drawers in the living room and is always a great transitional scent that goes from Thanksgiving to Christmas with its rich cinnamon scent mixed with a hint of eucal[...]

Black & White Gingham Flag Banner (FREE Printable)


I am loving all the black and white gingham check designs I am seeing everywhere as the weather gets colder. It adds such a cozy feel to any space. I just had to add some to my fall mantle. So I designed a festive gingham banner with this plaid-inspired pattern. It turned out so glad I'm sharing it with you all. I ended up swapping out the twine I used for this gingham banner for some black ribbon and it looks even that much better. This banner is not only great for Halloween and Thanksgiving but can transition into Christmas as well. So you can get lots of uses out of it. Hope you enjoy! Download and Print this Black & White Gingham Banner Here via Sharing is caring! Please share this Pinterest friendly image of this printable below with your friends and family, or save it for printing next time. [...]

Thanksgiving Turkey Paper Banner Sign (Kids Paper Craft + FREE Printable)


This Thanksgiving Turkey Paper Banner Sign is perfect for ages two and up. You can make it as simple or as fancy as your ability and desire commands. This makes a perfect toddler and little kid craft. Help cut out the shapes and let them have a blast gluing on all the pieces. I made mine with four colors of construction paper and one white printing paper. I drew our turkey design on and let my little one color in the turkeys face before we got started on gluing all the feathers on the sign. If you don't want to take the time to hand draw your turkey out, you can use these helpful printables I have included for free in this craft blog post. Look for the link to the FREE printables below. I have a white turkey printable and a colored version available. You can use the white turkey printable to color in or use as a template for your colored construction paper. Construction Paper Turkey Banner SignNeed:1sheet - Black construction paper1/2 sheet- Red, orange, yellow construction paper1- Turkey body illustration1- 12 inch- String/yarn cut at 12 inches2- googly eyes (optional)Tools:scissors hot glue and glue gunglue stick crayons1. Cut a large triangle shape out of the bottom of black construction paper to create the tail/shape of the sign that you will be using as the base of your Turkey Sign.  2. Once you have colored and cut out your turkey body, trace the shape onto your sign base (black construction paper) Trace the turkey where you will be placing it on your sign. Do not glue your turkey on yet. 3. Use the traced outline of your turkey body as a guide to placing your feathers. So that when you glue your turkey body on top all of the feathers will be tucked in neatly. Feather Tip: Give your construction paper feathers that little extra something by cutting little slits on both sides to create a more 3D feather look and to add a little extra detail. Googly eyes: Always use googly eyes when applicable. LOL! Adding googly eyes always makes a kid craft feel more legit! Add extra ribbons, bows, and sparkles for extra fun! Tip: Construction paper is quite flimsy so to keep your paper banner from folding in you can glue cardboard strip on the top back or extra layers of paper. Or you can take it one step further and use a wooden dowel to secure your banner to. We used a long strip of folded up construction paper and glued it on the top back to steady the craft. Click here to instantly download or print the Thanksgiving Turkey Paper Banner Printables here via Remember Sharing is Caring!Please share this Pinterest friendly image below of this Thanksgiving Kids Craft with your friends and family or save it for next Thanksgiving. [...]

Pilgrim Clothes Napkin Rings (FREE Thanksgiving Printable)


FREE Pilgrim Napkin Rings printable just in time for your Thanksgiving Tablescape. This printable comes with five different fall colored Napkin rings inspired by traditional pilgrim clothing. Just download and print on cardstock. After cutting them out you can easily roll them into napkin rings. Secure with tape or glue. You don't need to spend a lot of money to spruce up your Thanksgiving table decor. These colorful napkin rings add that fun and whimsy touch. Get this FREE Thanksgiving Pilgrim Napkin Rings printable via here.  Sharing is caring! Please share this Pinterest friendly image of this printable below with your friends and family, or save it for printing next year. [...]

Birthday Dreams and Wishes For My Husband Turning 35 (JORD Watch Giveaway)


The love of my life is turning 35. Hitting mid-thirties looks so good on him. What is it with men in their 30’s and 40’s its like they blossom in middle age. As the salt and pepper hair starts to come in the awkward anxious young man goes out and in its stead, a sturdy man of character and strength grows in its place. Yum! We were married at only 19 years old so in many ways, we have had to grow up together. I remember on one of the first birthdays we spent together I got him the new Tony Hawk video game and we ate take out on the floor in our tiny new apartment because we didn’t have any furniture yet. It was a very good birthday memory. Birthdays have changed a lot since then but it has been a privilege to share many more birthdays together. Birthdays are very special around here. I think I get my love of birthdays from my mother. Every year I try to do something different for him that is meaningful and memorable. He does so much for us. One year we went to a football game with his buddies, another year we had a big birthday bash, sometimes we take a mini vacation and sometimes we enjoy some of the cool stuff around town. Every year it gets harder and harder to come up with something new. He has got to be the hardest person to shop for. What do you get someone who thinks he already has everything he needs… you get him something he wants. My husband is such a practical and generous man and is always putting the needs of his family first. If he does suggest gifts he usually asks for new shoes or gift cards to restaurants so he can take me out on more dates. (I know I'm lucky!) He wouldn’t dream of asking for something as luxurious as a JORD chronograph wood watch, and that’s what makes him deserve one of these beauties even more. One of my favorite things about his birthday this year is sitting him down and telling him to pick out any one of the JORD watches that he would like. His mouth just about hit the floor. He ended up picking the Dover Koa & Black because he loved the dark stain on the Koa wood, the black metal face and the detail of seeing the gears inside on both sides of the watch. He was even able to get it custom fitted to his wrist. He is definitely feeling spoiled and can't wait to wear this out to his big dinner bash in a couple of days. If you don't know what an automatic watch is its a watch that doesn't use a battery but instead uses automatic self-winding mechanisms that winds up just by you wearing it. Pretty cool right?! And JORD has some of the most stunning men and women automatic wood watches you will ever see!This watch, in particular, came with natural finishing oil to preserve the wood and help it be a little more weather resistant, also came with extra pieces for the watch should we ever need it, a polishing rag and a beautiful wood crafted watch box with magnetic lid and drawer. This isn't just a watch its a statement piece. It's not necessarily flashy or sparkly from across the room but it does catch the eye with its unique real wood craftsmanship and ingenuity. Plus it's just plain fun to wear and goes with every outfit... well don't wear it with your swimsuit because it's not waterproof just water resistant. This is definitely a watch for the office though and of course date night. Enter To Win $100 towards any JORD Watch!(Everyone who enters also gets a 25% off coupon code emailed to them)25% off Coupon Code: "everydor7yrs" -- valid only during the course of the giveaway!Giveaway End Date: Thursday, Nov 22nd at Midnight MSTOne EMI Reader/Winn[...]

How To Create A Calming Space In Your Home


Some dads have a man cave, and some kids have their own play space, but do you have a place that you can call your very own at home? Most moms often make their home as comfortable and inviting as possible for their family, but it’s also important to have a space of one’s own where you can retreat for a bit of relaxation. The demands of parenthood can be quite challenging, and according to a survey of 12,000 American parents, it was found that being a parent is more stressful for moms than dads. For your health and well-being, it’s important to take some time for yourself, and you can do this even without leaving your home. Here are a few easy ways to create a relaxing place in your home.Photo by Kate Williams on UnsplashDesignate a part of your home as your personal sanctuaryAn unused guest room or the basement can be turned into a relaxing place that’s just right for you, but if you don’t have the extra room, even a corner of your living room or the space under the stairs can work for this purpose. Clear out all the clutter and go for a minimalist yet soothing vibe when choosing colors and accessories for your calming space. Pale blues or greens and neutral shades will work well for your personal sanctuary.Consider adding an indoor fountain to your décorBeing near the water can be soothing for stressed-out parents. It’s no wonder that a cruise or a beach vacation is in the top must-go lists of a majority of parents. But if you don’t have the time to go to your favorite beach, consider adding a freestanding water fountain to your décor. Some studies suggest that simply being around water can increase “feel-good” brain chemicals such as dopamine and decrease levels of cortisone, also known as the stress hormone. Remember to keep your indoor water fountain clean by using distilled water to prevent algae growth and cleaning it out with a solution of white vinegar and water at least once a month.Add a few rugs and pillows for comfortThere’s nothing like a plush rug and some soft pillows to make a space more comfortable for lounging, reading, or taking a nap. Select the best rug that you can get, then add a few floor pillows or throw pillows in the mix. Try different pillow combinations to get the effect that you want in your sanctuary.Add a great scentIf you step into the lobby of a luxury hotel, one of the first things that you’ll notice is the signature scent that is piped through the vents which instantly helps you switch to “vacation mode.” Recreate the experience by scenting your calming space. Use a water-based diffuser, a scented oil burner, or even a scented candle whenever you’re feeling frazzled and want to relax. White tea, lavender, pine, and vanilla scents can relieve stress and even elevate your mood.As a mom, it’s important to take care of yourself and your well-being by finding positive ways to de-stress and recharge. Follow these tips to create a calming space in your home that you’ll enjoy for years to come.[...]