Unique Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Unique Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

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Last year, the focus was on simple Mother’s Day gifts that could be made or had a special sentiment. This time, I wanted to do a bit of a different perspective on what you could give your mother for Mother’s Day. I continue to side with the fact that the thought behind the present tends to hold more value, but show her how much she truly means to you.

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Here you’ll find a few unique Mother’s Day gift ideas for this year and beyond.

mother's day gift ideas

Subscription Boxes

With these boxes, you can customize to your mom’s preference. Anything from a self-care box to a box dedicated to books can be subscribed to in her name. Plus, many have additions or changes you can make to them to be more specific to who will be receiving.

Paper or Soap Flowers

For something new and different, these kinds of flowers not only last longer but usually create an excellent reaction when compared to traditional bouquets. A variety of scents and colors make this choice even better. They are becoming more common, but are still fairly unique.

A Day of Pampering

This option could be as simple as a massage or a facial. Or it could be something more like a manicure and pedicure. You could even cook her breakfast in bed, put on her favorite TV show or give her her favorite book, and let her spend the day relaxing.

A Course, Class, or Coach

If she has been talking about taking an online course, a class of some sort, or hiring a coach, then go ahead and provide that for her. Whether it be a gift card to redeem or the entrance approval notice, that selection would be wonderfully thoughtful. You can’t go wrong by investing in her.

Now, these examples are just a couple of unique ideas for gifts to show your mother just how much you love and appreciate her. Feel free to piggyback on any of these ideas. I would love to hear any of your unique ideas that I may have overlooked.

Unique mother's day gift ideas

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Five Unique Easter Basket Ideas for Kids

Five Unique Easter Basket Ideas for Kids

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Unbelievably, Easter is hopping up around the corner again! But, as always, I LOVE the holidays and am soooo ready.

That means I already have gifts ready and just a few more items to get for the magic of Easter to happen in our home. Are you prepared??

easter baskets

If you need a few more ideas and are still tossing around what to do for your kiddos, here are five unique Easter basket ideas you may consider:

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Rain Boots

One year, we chose to use rain boots as a basket and filled them with the goodies (books, clothing, toys, a little candy). Not only did they act as a gift themselves but with so many options of designs out there, the kids absolutely loved the individualized aspect of the boots. Plus, buying them a little on the big size meant they could use them for longer than just a month or two.

Hats

Sun hats, baseball caps, or cowboy hats… again, the choices vary so much as to what you could use. Also, upside down, they make for the best baskets ever. Each year, my son tends to gravitate towards wearing a baseball hat over anything else all the time. In addition, in his eyes, he can never have too many hats. So, fill that baby and watch their eyes light up.

Umbrellas

I know, I know. You aren’t supposed to open an umbrella inside because it’s bad luck. But, an open umbrella upside down serves as a perfect container for larger items that don’t generally fit in a standard Easter basket. An outfit, sandals, sunglasses, bubbles, chalk, books, or anything of that nature. You are less limited or can fit it all in the turned up gift without leaving any sitting on the table. The kiddos are sure to find each item without needing to be reminded of it sitting there.

Backpacks

For those of you who hike, go on trips, or participate in camps, you can use this idea. My brother and sister-in-law did this for their little ones one year and I thought it was genius! A new water bottle, sunglasses, and other goodies zipped right into backpacks perfect for their personalities and needs. You can’t ask for a better “basket” than that.

Chairs

Whether it’s a little camping chair, a gaming chair, a bench, or a simple bean bag, you’ve got a designated spot to place trinkets for your children. You’ll always need a place to sit, and you can get pretty creative with your choice of seat for this “Easter basket.” No child will be upset with a new chair to rest in – what a special treat.

Part of the fun in each holiday for me remains in finding some magical component to letting your child know how important they are to you and in the world. You get to create this remarkable moment for them in a span of rollercoaster ups and downs in their life. Therefore, these will be bits and pieces that they hold on to and remember throughout every year as a child and an adult. Maybe they’ll continue the tradition or put their spin on what you do. However, I also get to see the delight on their faces for that minute and treasure that when I need that memory most.

Take these ideas and make them your own!

5 unique easter basket ideas
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If you have a little in diapers but aren’t sure which brand may fit the best for their little tush, feel free to try a mixed selection with the Diaper Dabbler!

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Goals: Teaching Kids How to Set and Reach Them

Goals: Teaching Kids How to Set and Reach Them

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I see a lot of posts regarding the new year, resolutions, setting new goals, and so on and so forth. Yet, rarely do I notice anything directed towards children in the new year. Perhaps that topic simply gets overlooked.

Or maybe we forget that children can partake in this tradition, as well.

Teach Kids How to Set and Reach Goals

“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.” ~ Melody Beattie

For me, a new year does NOT mean a reset or a restart. It simply means a redirection or new chapter to continue on to your final destination. With the ebb and flow that each year brings, we take the lessons learned and grow. So, new goals can be set in place to stack together into an overall achievement to strive toward.

While you set yours, sit down with your children and help them set their own goals. What would they like to accomplish in the coming year? What steps do they think they need to take in order to reach that big victory? Take a few moments to guide them into learning the work and dedication it takes to get to that point. And, the pride they will feel when completing each notch on the way.

How can you teach your kids to set and reach goals?

Ask questions.

Lead the tiny humans in the right direction by inquiring about their desires. Even if they tell you what they want, assist them in digging deeper to find ultimate goals, smaller parts they can break that big piece into, and discovering aspects about each part that they may not realize if left to their own devices.

Buy/Make a journal/planner.

Goals: Teaching Kids How to Set and Reach

Providing a place for them to track, write down, and share thoughts and inspiration along the road will help your kiddos have a visible recount of everything. Even if they only want to save for a specific item, jotting down the amount along the way will allow them to see the progress and keep going.

Keep them accountable.

Accountability is a key ingredient to setting and reaching goals. Few people have the tenacity and will to continue through adversity without someone or something to hold them responsible. YOU get the job to coach them along and maintain that forward motion; being a good example of that momentum will also support efforts.

Follow-up/Follow-through.

Have check-ins to see how much headway has been made. While this may work in tandem with accountability, following up and following through are essential elements for working toward objections. This step allows for reflection, adjustments, and celebrating the small successes! If your little ones hit a mini-target, teach them the importance of recognizing that triumph (no matter where along the journey it lies). Those little moments of joy will catapult them to attain the next mark.

What ways do you help your children set and reach goals?

If helping your kiddos hone in on wishes and desires and how to achieve them hasn’t crossed your mind, then I hope this enables you to be more intentional in that regard. Guide them in writing the chapters in their book with determination and dedication.

Goals: Teaching Kids How to Set and Reach Them

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Please, remember to sign up to my email list so you never miss anything flawsome around here!

And grab your freebie on how to Get Lost in Your Child and really engage with them even on busy days. (I’m off to spend the day with the girls before brother gets out for the long weekend.)

If you’d like to work with me, find out how! To see your words in my blog, contact me today for a guest spot!


If you have a little in diapers but aren’t sure which brand may fit the best for their little tush, feel free to try a mixed selection with the Diaper Dabbler!


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Planning for Christmas Early and Often

Planning for Christmas Early and Often

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This may be a funny time to post this blog. Maybe even a bit ironic. BUT, besides Santa gifts, I believe we are all finished shopping thanks to planning for Christmas.

Planning for Christmas

I have always been a saver, a penny-pincher, a budgeter. And, I find that in my parenting world this trait comes in handy. Splurging still happens on occasion because I know I can. However, to avoid major stressing or mild panic attacks, planning ahead and buying throughout the second half of the year helps me tremendously.

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Christmas shopping begins around July or August for me.

Using TWO or THREE different “hiding” spots makes it easier for me to locate all the items I build up. This preparation allows me to budget or spend in little spurts for friends/family gifts, the two families, and our family. Then, when it comes time to get Christmas cards (not a necessity, but I LOVE them because they tend to serve as our family pictures each year, as well), I know they’ll be an expense we can cover.

Doing the purchasing in this manner also lets me shop from friends and support local businesses a bit simpler. I can pick and choose which “parties” to attend for books, clothes, jewelry, cooking supplies, bags, etc., and not have to fear the total amount. Now, let me also point out that I used to Christmas shop at the dollar store and similar when I was a single mama (ain’t no shame, and some of those are the BEST presents ever).

Planning for Christmas EarlyWhat I am saying is that little extra expenses over the course of 6 months are much easier to meet than one giant amount.

This strategy also lends itself nicely to birthdays and other holidays but Christmas tends to be the big kicker for us. Stocking stuffers, gifts, cards, and food for celebrations. We usually split food costs for more of a “potluck” meal, but that still means changes to our normal food budget. Another tradition we have kept up on is baking Christmas cookies for the neighborhood which adds more strain on the finances if we were to buy everything in one or two months.

See what I’m getting at here?

Take these three tips and for planning for Christmas early and often and do with them as you will:

Create a List

I cannot stress enough how much lists have helped me. The daily to-dos used to float around in my head but once I started writing them down, I realized how much that helped me to not forget anything important. The same principle lies with Christmas and other celebrations. Writing down who I feel I need to buy for allows me to not have any last minute surprises pop up of those I otherwise would forget in the hustle and bustle. (Santa had it right when he was making a list and checking it twice.)

Planning for Christmas OftenSpend Cap on Gifts

In order to stick to some semblance of a budget, I allot a certain number to friend gifts, friends’ family gifts, etc. That’s not saying that I stick to the exact number as gifts tend to fluctuate and even a $0.60 difference can mean the numbers are askew, but it puts a stopping point where I try not to exceed. Otherwise, I could easily WANT to buy $50 gifts for every person I know. I love shopping for others. We also donate each year for Christmas, so I take into consideration the amount that we “set aside” for doing so and let the kids help us choose what that goes towards.

Commit to Purchases

As I said, I could easily go overboard shopping for others in my life (heck, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without each and every one of them). However, once I find something and I decide that will be the gift, I buy and place it in the “done” pile. A month or so down the road, I may find an item I like better but I committed to that first present. That means I take a note of the second option I found for the following year or birthdays and move on. No need to dwell and chances are the first choices will be loved just as much.

Even if you pick the four present rule for your children (something they want, something they need, something they wear, and something they read), I find that these tips fall in line to remove any stress you may feel around the gift-giving season. No, Christmas is NOT about presents. However, being able to provide those I care about with a little token of my appreciation during a time that’s meant to celebrate joy, life, and time together warms my heart.

Whatever route you take, I hope you share in the love and cheer of the holiday season!

Planning for Christmas Early and Often


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If you have a little in diapers but aren’t sure which brand may fit the best for their little tush, feel free to try a mixed selection with the Diaper Dabbler!



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Tips for Traveling with Children for the Holidays

Tips for Traveling with Children for the Holidays

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If you have had to go anywhere with your children, you know some days are better than others. And, some children travel better than others. My youngest absolutely hated being in her car seat for the longest time. She still sometimes cries, but not as incessantly as before and she has just turned 7 months old.

Interestingly, my son was very similar until he could forward face. Our middle child reminds me of a California surfer stereotype. “Whatever, man.” She went on many a trip, and still is pretty laid back and goes with the flow so long as she’s not super tired or anything along those lines.

Holiday Traveling Tips

And, we obviously have our preferences for what makes the journey a little smoother, a little less chaotic, and a little more enjoyable. While you likely take road trips all year for various reasons, the holiday season seems to really pack in the car rides and visiting families or places for celebrations and festivities.

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Here are my tips for traveling with children for the holidays:

Be Open to Change

Sometimes our son and oldest daughter like to sit next to each other and sometimes that simply isn’t the best scenario. We move her car seat to accommodate the mood there. The likelihood that they’ll get along the entirety of the trip, no matter how short or how long, remains minimal. But, there’s no need to make it worse if you can avoid it.

Games

My favorite for car rides. Growing up, we played all sorts of fun little activities. Now, the main ones that hold their attention are I Spy and variations on that. Plus, it is simple enough for the little one to play (she can’t see out the windows super great for many others like the license plate game).

Books

Our son has gone through phases. He LOVED books when he was a little tyke, then went through a phase in which books burned him (exaggeration here, but that’s how he acted), and now he’s back to enjoying certain genres. Oriana, miss California surfer, has a few in particular she likes but isn’t really picky here. We also have a few chapter books we read together, and could always pick a book on tape to follow along with.

Tips for Traveling with ChildrenOther Activities

If you haven’t heard of these scratch books, then let me enlighten you. They are pretty amazing. Even I enjoy scratching the images to color. And, for a little while of peace and relatively quiet, you’ll thank me. The little activity booklets with coloring, drawing, connect-the-dots, mazes, word searches, and similar bits make for good time passers, also.

Movies

Consider this choice optional. If they can agree on them, then the movies help them when they’re tired to zone out and fall asleep. Or for the times we need to have a bit of extra-quiet, then we pop a film in and that helps tremendously. If it works, it works.

Music

I am a HUGE music fan. Having a degree in Music Education and growing up learning to play the piano and wanting to be a singer meant I surrounded myself with music. I am fairly eclectic in my selections, and I love a good jam session. Nothing lightens the mood and puts me in a happy space like a good song. Plus, if I belt it out and purposefully sing to my son, he gets a bit embarrassed and I can get him to crack a smile, too. Oriana’s usually singing right along with me, and dad makes up new lyrics (clever ones, though).

Snacks

No family excursion would be complete without snacks for the road. Whether you choose healthy options or indulge in sweets, you set the tone of staving off the hangry kids (and you, too). Hanger creeps up to ruin the family traveling real quick-like. I always end up packing wayyyy too many snacks. But, you just never know!

Comforts

When I was little, I had a special blanket. Our children don’t seem to have anything they’re as attached to as I was my Dewey, but Treyton does have a special pillow pet and a stuffed animal (the latter changes frequently). Currently, he has a pug he got for his birthday that he never leaves home without. Oriana brings a stuffed animal merely because her brother does, but not any certain one in particular. She does have “babies” she likes to bring along, but even those rotate. We’ll see what Octavia decides as she gets older, but I pack a blanket with as of right now. Anything to make the journey cozier for them makes my life easier.

I could probably keep adding to the list, but I’ll stop at those 8 suggestions. Traveling with our children (especially over the holidays) runs much more smoothly if we bring these items along, as well. Everything but the kitchen sink, am I right? Seriously, though, I hope this helps you prepare for your holiday visiting itinerary!

What are your must-include elements? Happy holidays, my fellow flawed tribe! 

Tips for Traveling with Children for the Holidays


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Please, remember to sign up to my email list so you never miss anything flawsome around here! And grab your freebie on how to Get Lost in Your Child and really engage with them even on busy days (I’m off to read bedtime stories shortly.) If you’d like to work with me, find out how! To see your words in my blog, contact me today for a guest spot!


If you have a little in diapers but aren’t sure which brand may fit the best for their little tush, feel free to try a mixed selection with the Diaper Dabbler!



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Navigating Holiday Family Time

Navigating Holiday Family Time

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“Some days I’m in better control and can navigate my way through stuff, and other days, not so much.” ~ Kiefer Sutherland


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This sums up how I feel about life in general. Haha, I feel that on a deep level.

Navigating Holiday TimeMany times once you marry, deciding how to work the holidays becomes quite cumbersome. Especially if you have siblings who form a union and then you have multiple families and schedules to work around.

Growing up, I remember being very close to my mother’s side and everyone ALWAYS gathered at grandma’s house for the holidays and other get-togethers.

Maybe one day, that coming together can happen at my home with my children and their families. I look forward to the possibility.

In the meantime, what we generally do since we’ve all dispersed to different places, we rotate our holidays with each family. So, we try to figure out everyone’s schedules and do Thanksgiving with my sister and parents one year, then Christmas with the in-laws and the following year will be the opposite.

Christmas can be difficult due to the weather and travel, so we hope for the best and do what we can. Since Oriana’s birthday is the beginning of December, we tend to have a “Halvorsen Christmas” the same weekend (her birthday party Saturday, the Christmas celebration Sunday) so that we get to see his brother and open presents together and eat lunch before they head home.

Balance, communication, and doing what works best for everyone makes for a much easier time. Flexibility also helps, and some years I’m better at that than others. I’d like to think I’m improving on that aspect each year.

With Thanksgiving around the bend, if you have to navigate that terrain, keep these in mind.

Family Time Navigating HolidayBalance:

You can’t always be fair, so just showing that effort at times makes all the difference. Showing that each side is important. All are included and considered when making plans.

Communication:

This point, for any relationship, is key. I am a big planner, so preparing everything ahead of time means I feel ready and able to participate and complete anything necessary. Knowing what to expect also helps me maneuver our schedule in a way that allows me to make room for friends, family, and other plans and priorities. If I commit to something, I do not like going back and changing or revoking that commitment.

Flexibility:

Definitely not my strength on this step. I believe in keeping your word, so I am a tough one to bend once I’ve set something up or agreed to something. BUT, learning that plans require changing once in a while and that’s okay has been important. My hubby proves much better at the spontaneous moments than me. For the sake of others’ calendars, switching up plans may be needed.

These tips help me in navigating holiday family time and you may find them helpful for your own road. Happy Holidays to all of you!

Navigating Holiday Family Time


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Please, remember to sign up to my email list so you never miss anything flawsome around here! And grab your freebie on how to Get Lost in Your Child and really engage with them even on busy days (I’m off to watch the Erth Dinosaur show with them at the Cam-Plex soon.) If you’d like to work with me, find out how! To see your words in my blog, contact me today for a guest spot!


If you have a little in diapers but aren’t sure which brand may fit the best for their little tush, feel free to try a mixed selection with the Diaper Dabbler!



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