Giving the perfect gift with Target Registry #TargetWedding

This post is sponsored by Target

Have you ever looked at a wedding registry and wondered how you can make that smaller gift a perfect gift?  For instance when hubby and I were planning our wedding (before we ultimately eloped) our Target registry didn’t consist of big ticket items, but basic necessities. We would be moving in together directly from living with our parents so we would need everything from towels and dishes to bedding and home decor.  Sure we registered for some of the big items, like our top five items.

  • Calphalon Kitchen Essentials Hard Anodized Nonstick 10 piece Cookware Set
  • KitchenAid Artisan Design Series 5 Qt Stand Mixer
  • Ninja® MEGA Kitchen System
  • Ninja Kitchen System 1200
  • Keurig K75 Single Cup Coffee Maker

I love the big items don’t get me wrong, but I also love the smaller things even more so when you make them personal.  As I was browsing through some of my friend’s registries I noticed many had every day items like towels, laundry baskets, trash cans and more.  It got me wondering how can I provide an amazing and personal gift while on a budget.  I began to plan and I came up with a bathroom love gift basket.  I know my favorite time is relaxing, childless in the bath.  It is even more enjoyable when hubby joins me (hey, don’t go there this is a PG bath).  It got me to thinking what a unique way to gift towels.

#TargetWedding (3 of 4)I set out to find everything I needed.  I began by picking up a laundry basket, four coordinating towels and because it is the holidays I was able to score some great bath and body products, a candle and holder.  I decided rather than box it all up the laundry basket would serve as a gift basket holding the towels and everything else and packaged up nicely with some ribbon.#TargetWedding (2 of 4)

If you want to go a little further you might purchase those wine glasses they have on their registry and their favorite bottle of wine.  Then add a personal note.  In my head I am thinking something like the below.

Today on your special day you loved and enjoyed one another.  You professed your love amongst family and friends.  As the days pass from today you might get caught up in the daily grind, you work, you stress, you might have children and some how those simple moments of displaying your love might fade or not come as often.  Take this basket on a particularly hard day, head into the bathroom, forget about everything going on.  Put the kids to bed (if you have them), turn off your phones, shut off the TV and find a special song to play.  Run a bath, open the wine, light the candle and think back to this amazing day, how much you loved, cherished and doted on each other.  Spend time together as just you, talk to each other and just relish in having each other.   Rekindle the spark I see between you, this very second as you pledge to spend your lives together.

#TargetWedding (4 of 4)

Of course I couldn’t find my ribbon or gift packing stuff to put the finishing touches on my basket, but you get the idea.

As you can see something as simple as towels, something every couple needs as they begin their new life can be turned into an amazing gift.  Not only does it show that you wanted to gift them something they wanted, but you added a bit of a personal touch to it.  You thought ahead to their future in the note and hope that they will truly enjoy a special evening with each others company.

What are some unique wedding gifts you received?  Was their one that truly stood out?

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Last minute gift shopping at Target #MyKindOfHoliday

This post is sponsored by Target

#MyKindOfHoliday (6 of 8)I won’t lie I am such a last minute shopper.  Sure the kids gifts were put on layaway weeks ago, but everyone else I go out last minute.  If you can believe it once hubby is home from work today I will be heading back out to pick up some more last minute items.  I had the chance to scope out some of the must have items on my family and friend’s holiday lists.  Did I mention I haven’t even gotten the kids holiday outfits?  I am just that behind this year.

#MyKindOfHoliday (5 of 8)#MyKindOfHoliday (1 of 8)#MyKindOfHoliday (4 of 8)As soon as I walked in I saw a great games display and front and center was Twister which is on our cousin’s list.  Then I went around picking up some last minute stocking stuffers for the kids (love the $1 Spot) and some baking essentials.  I decided to check out the movies and toys, because even when I am not looking to buy I some how always navigate to that section and they had all the must have movies for kids this year.  I also love the amazing Lego Friends display they had setup, it really made me wish I had purchased some for the Drama Queens.  I also saw The Walking Dead game which would make a great gift for my hubby or our cousin, because we are huge Walking Dead fans.

#MyKindOfHoliday (2 of 8)#MyKindOfHoliday (3 of 8)Being a mother no trip to Target is complete without visiting the children’s clothing department where I was loving the holiday dresses.  It really made me wish we were doing a larger holiday event and visiting family because I just love getting them all dressed up.   After passing the dresses I saw a cute display with some last minute holiday gifts setup.  It was so easy to pick something out that I must have debated for 20 minutes on if I wanted to get a pair of slippers for Kaleb or not.  I finally decided not to, but I am thinking I might have to head back in and grab a pair because he keeps trying to steal his sisters.

#MyKindOfHoliday (8 of 8)Lastly I headed to my Wonderland, the kitchen section.  I can live in these aisles and dream of owning many of the products.  Hubby wonders how I can constantly stare at the same appliances and never buy.  Of course once we move next year many of them will move from my wishlist to my purchased list.  The amazing KitchenAid mixer will be one of the first I need to own.  No baking obsessed person is complete without one of these mixers.  I figured while I was here I would look at the Keurigs because I remember over hearing my mom say she wanted one.  After making notes on what I still needed to pick up and for who, I finally headed to the register shortly after.#MyKindOfHoliday (7 of 8)

Just because it is Christmas Eve doesn’t mean it is too late to grab some of those last minute gifts.  You can head in and grab some great gifts, I was in on Saturday and they had an amazing selection still and some great beauty gift sets too.  If you can make it in before they close another option is a Target Digital GiftCard.  What is great about these is that you can email or text them and be sure they get them just in time for the holiday.  If you use the Cartwheel app on your smart phone (I love it) you can save, share, combined and reload Target GiftCards.

Win It

Comment on this post with your favorite #MyKindOfHoliday Target gift item for a chance to win a $25 Target Digital GiftCard.  I will select a winner using random.org at 12:00am EST on New Years Day!  Open to any residents that can use a Target Digital GiftCard.sponsoredpost

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Conquer Your Everyday sweepstakes #KyoceraConquer

Blogger Image - 403x403 - 121713Kyocera’s new waterproof, shock-proof Hydro XTRM smartphone is built to stand up to life’s toughest challenges. It’s designed to “Conquer Your Everyday” and Kyocera wants to help you conquer your everyday with $2,500 and free Hydro XTRM phones.

Click here to enter the Kyocera “Conquer Your Everyday” Sweepstakes for a chance to win $2,500 and free phones.  That’s not all thought, they also have a Kyocera “Conquer Your Everyday” Photo Sweepstakes for a chance to win two tickets to UFC 169 and more chances to win the new Kyocera Hydro XTRM 4G LTE smartphone.

There are three simple ways to enter the photo contest.  Just snap a picture of you conquering an everyday moment (like daily commute, workout or job) and enter the photo sweepstakes one of these ways:

  1. On Facebook by clicking here
  2. On Twitter by following Kyocera handle@KyoceraMobile and tweeting a photo with hashtag #kyoceraconquer.
  3. Or on Instagram by following Kyocera@Kyoceramobile and uploading a photo with the hashtag #KyoceraConquer.

Two winners will be chosen each week at random to receive the Kyocera Hydro XTRM 4G LTE smartphone. The grand prize winners will be chosen at random at the end of the photo sweepstakes and receive two tickets to UFC 169 plus $500 toward travel and expenses or $2,500! The “Conquer Your Everyday” Sweepstakes begins on Dec. 16, 2013, and ends on Jan. 20, 2013. The Photo Sweepstakes begins on Dec. 16, 2013, and ends on Jan. 13, 2013.

Kid safe TV with Kidoodle.TV #sponsored #mc

I participated in a Blog Blast program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Kidoodle.TV. I received a promotional item and a free trial as a thank you for participating.kidoodle1kidoodle5My kids loveTV and it doesn’t bother me.  I have no problem with it being on in the background most days as long as they are watching safe shows.  Kidoodle.TV takes the worry out of it all with safe programing for children 12 and under.  I found it amazingly easy to navigate, just setup your children profiles (you can have up to 5), type their name, theme color, pick their age range and add or remove selections you want them to be able to watch.  The Drama Queens love that each of their names has their favorite color and I love there is no advertising and they can easily switch between their names without help from me if I am doing house work or doing something for Kaleb.  They sat and watched Super Mario Brothers for nearly and hour while I folded laundry.  You can find Kidoodle.TV on Facebook and Twitter.

kidoodle3Right now if you try Kidoodle.TV for FREE by December 31, 2013 you can win 1 of 10 tablets or 1 of 10 Kidoodle.TV year-long subscriptions!  To enter the giveaway, go to Kidoodle.TV to sign up for a free trial. Follow the on-screen directions and submit!kidoodle (1 of 1)

CWIST, it’s fun and education in one #sponsored #mc

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for CWIST. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

cwist-logo-mini.jpgReading the title you might be wondering what is CWIST exactly?  CWIST features fun and educational challenges for kids.  Here is some more background information on CWIST.  Ranging from community service, creative, learning, physical activities and more.  Upon creating your account you can login is the parent, browse through available CWIST activities and even filter them by age, duration and if they need assistance or not.  Once seeing what is available based on the parameters you picked you can view the full details, including the instructions and any materials you might need.  Once you decide on a CWIST you can assign it to a child, don’t worry if you haven’t added a child because you can do so on the next screen and go back to attach them to the CWIST.  After assigning a child you let them pick their wish (can be a handmade or prize that you would order), this is what they will earn for completing the activity.how-to-cwist

Each child is able to login with their own password to check out their assigned CWISTs and work on them.  From their own area they can browse the wishes or even make a wish for something want and link to it if it is a product sold on a website.  Once they are completed when you login it will alert you to who has completed what.  From here you can grant their wish, if it is a handmade item you can work with them on doing it, if it is an item you would have to purchase you can grant the wish and be taken to where the product is sold.

I especially love that there is a parent’s area to setup your children, monitor how much your child has completed on a CWIST, assign their CWISTs and grant their wishes and then a child area that allows them to just access their stuff without messing with the parental controls.  As a homeschooling mom I enjoy that when I am working with one child another can work on a CWIST that has been assigned.  I also like that for those that might be on a budget they offer fun handmade wishes that might be as simple as baking together, having a family trip or a sleepover.  I recommend signing up, especially if you are looking for fun and educational activities to have your children do or work together on as a family.

1472774_359627697515404_433845977_nKeira has been really focused lately so I decided to work on a CWIST with her.  We decided we would work on one of the Kids CWIST For Kids which would allow to grant a wish for another child in need.  Keira picked a little girl her age that was just looking for a toy and decided the wish would be 100 Cool Color Wood CitiBlocs, because she thought she would love to play with some blocks.  We decided to do the Kindness is Magic one, which was quite simple in a pay it forward fashion, that we would make or buy wants and attach a tag that said “Spread the Magic! Perform 3 random acts of kindness”.  Keira was excited to make her wands and leave them around the city. We left our wands in our two favorite parks and hoped that kids would play together, share their toys and pick up after themselves.  She thought it was so much fun and loved that she was leaving special little notes for other children to find.  You can find a little more information on Kids CWIST For Kids here.steps

Was I meant to be a mom…

Ever since I was little I dreamt of being a mom.  Whether I was working and lucky to have a position to take my kids to work or had an in house daycare or being a SAHM.  Right now (thanks to the amazing Michelle at IMEX Cargo) I have the best of both worlds.  She gave me an awesome position working one night and one day when hubby is home with the kids and has me come in for coverage whenever I am available, but still allowing me to spend most of my days with the kids.  It is perfect, but enough about that, I am straying from the original topic of this post.

I always imagined being that mom.  You know the one that you look at and think wow she is fucking awesome (pardon my language).  I wanted to be her.  Baking with the kids, doing crafts, thinking up fun ways to learn and play all at once.  That mom you look at and think how does she have all this time.  How does she care for a house, entertain all those kids and prepare meals.  The mom that is constantly on the go with kids doing activities outside the home daily.  The dance, soccer, karate, music, swimming mom.  Having sleepovers and making all kinds of fun and unique snacks and a list of planned activities.  Almost 6 years ago, right before Keira’s birth when we made the decision that I would now stay home I about jumped out of my skin.  I was finally going to be that mom.

Luck isn’t often on our side, my joy quickly turned towards despair.  Shortly after having Khloe and finding out I was pregnant with Keira I learned we had lost our home (at no fault of our own) and I was now homeless with an infant and pregnant.  My job wouldn’t cover all the expenses and I would no longer have in my home daycare (my gma) so that was just another bill.  With only 30 days to make a decision we moved in with hubby and his parents and I would become a SAHM once Keira arrived.  Things were looking up, hubby had a ok paying job and we were just paying off some bills that accumulated due to having a new baby and my no longer having an income.  Things were great and we were on track to being out of here within a year when hubby fell at work.  He injured his back and ultimately didn’t get doctor’s approval to return to work for a year and a half.  We were so behind and owed so much that we are now just getting back on our feet.  Again I have strayed off track, so let me continue.

I am far from that mom I always wanted to be.  I get angry easy.  I am OCD and the mess drives me crazy.  I can’t figure out how to approach or deal with Khloe.  Keira has become a horrible little girl and Kaylee is constantly mean.  Kaleb is getting into that terrible phase and turning out to be worse than all three girls combined at this age.  I feel like I am always yelling, cleaning up some mess or handing out punishments and can’t just sit back and enjoy them.  They are always making huge messes.  I’m not talking just toys every where, I am talking dumping out every jar of spices in the 5 minutes I am in the bathroom.  Sneaking into the fridge and dumping any leftover food that might be in there, wasting food just because they can, destroying anything their hands come into contact with.  I keep beating myself up over it.  I cry at the end of the day because nothing I do nice or mean seems to resinate with them.  I know a lot of it most likely has to do with our living situation (still with hubby’s parents) and I really hope once we move soon after the New Year it will change.  It’s just has me questioning if I was really meant to be a mom.  Sure I love them to the moon and back.  I would give my life for my kids.  I quite possibly would kill for them if someone tried to hurt them, but I also find some days I just want to run away from them.

Am I the only one?  Please tell me that there is someone else like me out there.

Little Passports sale and win a trip to Belize

300X250Flash1515% Off site-wide at Little Passports until 12/17

Little Passports is offering 15% off all of their subscriptions, which means you can buy a 1 year subscription and save almost $20! If you place an order before December 17th, you qualify for holiday delivery, meaning you can have your first package arrive by December 24th or before! (Hello stocking stuffer!!) This offer also applies to the monthly and 6 month subscriptions so you can choose whatever option you want and get this great deal when you use this code at checkout: MERRY15

In case you don’t already know what Little Passports is, let me give you the highlights:
-Monthly subscription kit for your children that teaches them (and sometimes us parents) about new states and countries around our world
-Your child gets their own faux passport to update with stickers included each month so they get to remember all of their “trips around the world”
-Wonderful activity sheets that keep kids stimulated for hours and a beautiful world map to help them visualize everything they are learning about!

And one more important note about Little Passports…

This Holiday, Win Your Family A Trip to Belize From Little Passports!
Can’t believe it? Neither can I! Little Passports is partnering with Luxury Link to give away a trip to Belize, worth $5,000, to one very lucky family. It’s easy to enter, and they’re offering bonus entries for participating in fun games, trivia questions, and more. Take 1 minute to enter this giveaway, and maybe YOUR family will win the trip of a lifetime! Win a trip to Belize from Little Passports!

Keep your feet warm this winter with Heat Holders

This post is sponsored by Heat Holders

heatholders (2 of 3)If you’re from New England you know it gets really cold here and the weather is unpredictable.  One day it is warmer and sunny and the next you’re slammed with a blizzard burying you in a foot or more of snow.  I am always looking for something to keep our feet warm, especially hubby who is often outside shoveling snow at work.  A lot of what I have found is either too bulky or not the softest material, that is until I tried Heat Holders.

About Heat Holders

Our company was established in 1947 in England. At that time the company used to trade yarn. The last few decades our company has been manufacturing, importing and distributing socks.
Our North American office is based out of Oakville, Ontario in Canada. We have multiple warehouses and fulfillment centers. Shipments for this website are serviced through our fulfillment center in North Carolina.
Heat Holders was developed by our talented product development team in house. The challenge was to make a sock that would be the warmest sock ever and comfortable and practical to wear in daily life. It wasn’t easy, but our team came up with Heat Holders in 2008.
Since then we have sold more than 10 million pairs worldwide and our distribution continues to grow. This growth is because of our customers who are truly satisfied with Heat Holders. Whether they are at Home, at Work or at Play in the cold winter months, there is a pair of Heat Heat Holders for them, which keeps them warm, comfortable and safe. We hope to count you among our customers!

Follow Heat Holders on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

What is TOG Rating

TOG means Thermal Overall Grade. It is a scientific test that measures the thermal (heat retaining) capacity of fabric. Heat Holders® when tested using this standard rates TOG 2.34. This is 7x warmer than cotton socks and almost 3x warmer than an ordinary thermal socks! We test socks from most major brands that we can get our hands on and it is safe to say that Heat Holders® is almost 40% warmer than the warmest sock we have ever tested, which was a heavy sock with 80% plus wool!

 
heatholders (1 of 3)I received the Ladies (also fit men size 4-8) and Men’s (also fit woman size 8-13) Original in black.  I was very excited to try them out because they were not as bulky as some of the other cold weather socks I have seen.  Have you tried any of them or tried wearing 2-3 pairs of regular socks to keep warm?  It’s beyond uncomfortable to try and cram your foot into a shoe with that much excess fabric.  Your toes end up all squished and by the end of the day your feet are killing you and you would have probably been better off just wearing a single pair of regular socks.  With the Heat Holders I was so comfortable.  The interior is so soft and fluffy, I felt like I was wearing cushions on my feet.

Suffering from arthritis really leaves my hands and feet in pain when it gets really cold.  Lately the temperature has really began to drop and now that I am working part time a couple days I am out of the house more than usual during the cold weather.  Part of my job is going into the warehouse which is not heated and very cold and painful for me, but pairing Heat Holders with my boots I am not only comfortable, but my feet are toasty and warm.  As for hubby he has been washing his daily just to be able to wear them at work and has not complained about a single foot pain upon returning home from work on days he wears them.heatholders (3 of 3)

Where to Buy

You can buy the original Heat Holders Original for $15.99 as well as other varieties including Kid’s directly from Heat Holders website.
 
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Holiday shopping with RadioShack #sponsored #mc

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for RadioShack. I received a gift card to facilitate a shopping trip and promotional item as a thank you for participating.

RadioShack (1 of 12)RadioShack (9 of 12)I’ve only been to one RadioShack in my area, despite there being several.  The store is great, but on the smaller side, so I was really surprised when I went into one of the recently updated stores in downtown Boston.  I was shocked at the selection as well as how bright and large the store was.  When I think Radioshack I only think of electronics like cell phones, radios, computers and similar, but I was shocked to see lots of fun toys, including a super cute dinosaur dig.

RadioShack (5 of 12)We’re a techy family and we all have at least one, if not more tech items on our wishlist this holiday season.  I for one want a new camera lens and I am desperately in need of Office for my computer, hubby has been wanting a new Blu-Ray player and headphones, the Drama Queens are asking for flying toys and Kaleb wants a Kindle (ok he’s doesn’t ask for it, but gets mad when he can’t play with his sisters’).  I wasn’t planning on finding all of those items in RadioShack, but I was quite pleased and surprised that all of them were there.  You can check out some great gift ideas at the RadioShack Holiday Hub.

RadioShack (6 of 12)RadioShack (3 of 12)I was happy that like many holiday shoppers this year I was one of the first to visit a recently updated store.  Nearly to 2,000 stores have  completed their updates with new paint and interior signage to current brand standards.  The interior is brighter and exterior signs with the new RadioShack logo are also changes.  By the end of this year they will have more than 100 concept and brand statement stores open and made improvements to nearly all 4,300 stores throughout the nation.  They’ve also completed a merchandise update designed to deliver a better shopping experience.

RadioShack (7 of 12)We headed home with more than we were expecting.  For just over $80 we were able to purchase the Dinosaur Dig, a Hovermaxx, Wire Maze Challenge, Action Dinosaur and Turbo Air Floating Ball Kits, 3 four packs of much needed batteries and a double pack of compressed air I kept forgetting to pick up.  I was shocked at the great prices and the kids are going to have a blast with all the neat stuff we were able to pick up.  I can’t wait to see their faces on Christmas morning (plus I can’t wait to play with the Dinosaur Dig)!  Thank you RadioShack, I had a blast (and spent hours browsing) in your recently updated downtown store.