Holiday Gift Guide For {Mom}

Gift cards are the golden ticket to a women’s heart! This list, although short, is a culmination of ideas for women, whether they are in mommy mode or need a little ME time. So, whether your shopping for your wife, mother, mother-in-law, daughter, or daughter-in-law, there is sure to be something for everyone!

Holiday Gift Guide For Mom

1. Mommy Mode – Shutterfly Gift Cards

I love Shutterfly! It’s the perfect place to store all those precious photos. This is #1 on my personal list, especially since I just recently decided I wanted to have hard copies of all my children’s photos. Having photographs stored digitally and in several places is great, but computers crash and thumb drives get lost. Plus, when we were kids our moms would spend a weekend going through family photos. So much history spread out on the living room floor… I don’t want my kids to miss out on those sweet and simple memories. So here I am, still working on printing photos from my 3 year olds first year on life.

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2. Restaurant Gift Cards

This is great for any occasion whether its date night, girls night, or lunch with the kids! It’s nice to give moms and dads a break from the kitchen! Restaurant gift cards are perfect for date night or dinner as a family. But also consider gift cards to places children really enjoy, such as; Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, KFC, etc.

3. Movie Theater Gift Cards

Who doesn’t enjoy seeing a new release on the big screen?! My personal favorite – movie theater popcorn! Seriously, what is it about movie theater popcorn that makes it taste so much better!?

4. Gift Cards to a Salon and Spa

As moms we often get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life that we forget the simple things, like getting a hair cut. Or maybe that is just me? Either way, its nice to get in a little “me”, while feeling pampered!

So, instead of making your way through a crowded shopping center, consider purchasing a gift card for the special lady in your life! What are your go-to gifts for {her} this holiday season?

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You

3 Reasons Your Kids Should Visit Santa Early

Visiting Santa can be a stressful experience, whether you have 1, 2, or 3+ children. With three years of Santa visits under my belt and a fourth underway, I have definitely learned a thing or two. So, I have come up with three reasons you should visit Santa early!

3 Reasons For Visiting Santa Early

1. No Lines

Time got away from me last year and I ended up taking my daughter to see Santa the week of Christmas. I had hoped going on a weekday morning would be less crowded – wrong! The line was incredibly long despite the day and time. I circled back a few times, hoping it would thin out between errands. Eventually, I relented and got in line.

Like many young children, it takes my daughter a while to warm up to the big guy in the red suit. I was fortunate enough that they still took there time with each child, despite the amount of people in line. Although, it would have been much easier if there had not been such a long line. We will definitely be avoiding a long line this year!

2. No Surprises

My mother often recalls one of my visits with Santa where he asked me, “What I wanted Christmas.” To which I replied with something my mother had never heard me say before – “Oopsie Daisy Baby Doll.” It was 1980 something and little did my mother realize, it would be the hot item. She ended up having to pay for her brother to ship the doll from another state, because of course, Santa had to come through!

My mother learned two things that year :

  1. Visit Santa early, because no matter how much you prep a child, they could say anything.
  2. In order to avoid any surprises, we were to ask Santa for two items and he would bring one.
3. Cost

We typically see the Mall Santa. Expensive, I know! But there is one thing I have learned, If you go early, you get more bang for your buck. Last year I purchased one photograph that cost me the same price I would have paid a week prior and I would have received more photographs. If you wait until the week of Christmas there is a price/package change. The originally package will end up costing more money.

Are you ready for a visit with Santa? Are your kids nervous or excited to see the big guy?

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You

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Spooktacular Meals For The Littles : {Happy Halloween}

Halloween is in full swing in our house and the kitchen is no exception! If you read my blog, then you already know I am a fan of batch cooking. Meaning, I typically cook my toddlers meals for the whole week at once, depending on what it is. Since Mondays tend to be the day we typically stay home, it works out pretty perfect!

I knew I wanted to incorporate Halloween into her breakfast and lunches for the week. It was also important that I keep the prep work pretty simply for the days that we were out and about. Plus, we are not morning people and she is never a huge fan of eating at that time.

Cookie Cutters are usually my go-to for fun and simple! A few good metal cookie cutters can take a boring meal and turn it into a fabulous creation! So, I grabbed some Halloween inspired ones from the drawer.

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Breakfast

Halloween Cinnamon Sugar Crisps with Ghost Bananas 

Cookie Cutters: A cat, witch hat, and pumpkin

Whole Wheat Tortilla Shells

2 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 to 1/2 Cup Sugar

4 TBS Butter Melted

Bananas

Chocolate Chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

My daughter used the cookie cutters to make shapes out of the tortilla shells. Then she dipped them in the bowl of melted butter. Next she pressed them into the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Lastly, we placed them on a a greased baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Let them cool for a few minutes and Enjoy! You can store the remaining crisps in a tubber ware bowl on the counter.  (Note: I got busy and left them in for a few extra minutes and they were much darker then intended. So really pay attention to the timer.)

Cut a banana in half, to create two individual ghosts. Press chocolate chips on the bananas to create the eyes and mouth. Creating the perfect Spooktacular Breakfast!

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Lunch

Mummy Hot Dogs, Apple Teeth, & Pumpkin Carrots

1 Can of Crescent Rolls

Hot Dogs

Cheese

Apple Slices

Peanut Butter

Marshmallows

Carrots

Preheat Oven to 375 degrees. Roll out crescent roll dough. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into strips. (Note: My strips did not come out perfect by any means, but the Mummy’s still came out great!) Lay a slice of cheese under a hotdog and wrap the strips of dough around the hotdog and cheese, in a mummy like fashion. Use a little dough to create some eyes. Set them on a baking sheet and pop them into the oven for about 17 minutes or until the dough is golden brown and the hotdogs are hot. (Note: I made five hotdogs, but there was enough dough to use all 8 hotdogs if preferred. Once they were cooled, I placed the remaining mummy’s in a sealed tubber ware bowl. Put them in the refrigerator to have for the rest of the week.)

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We always seem to be pretty busy through the week. So when I plan to do a themed meal that requires a little extra prep, I try to make it as easy as possible. Buying the precut apples is one of those ways! While the hotdogs are in the oven, I pull out the apple slices, peanut butter, and marshmallows to assemble the apple teeth! Using a butter knife, I spread peanut butter on to one side of the apple slices. Line up the marshmallows on one slice and place a second apple slice on top. WALA! Apple Teeth!

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For the pumpkin carrots, I found this easy tutorial from Little Dairy On The Prairie!

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Snacks

Finally, no Spooktacular meal would be complete without dessert! Thanks to my husband for finding these super cute Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkin Spiders!

Is Halloween a major deal in your house? What Spooktacular meals do you have planned for your littles?

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You

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Pumpkin Patch Fun + Toddler Friendly Decorating

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Halloween is a huge deal in our house, thanks in part to Charlie Brown! When our toddler was a mere 18 months old, I turned on the annual broadcast of, “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” With all the current, more flashier cartoons, I wasn’t expecting much. So imagine my surprise when I realized my daughter was completely memorized. Thank God I DVRed it! Since then, we discuss all things Halloween, including pumpkins, year round!

This past weekend we drove back to visit family and made a stop at our local pumpkin patch. It’s the same one we have taken our toddler to since she was a baby. There isn’t an array of flashy activities like some. Instead, its a quaint family owned farm, just off the beaten path. While it can get busy, it never feels crowded and the pumpkins are reasonably priced. The weather was a perfect, sunny and 65 degrees.

This year I was in search of the perfect little pumpkin for some toddler friendly fun! Once we settled on the perfect, pumpkins – one for traditional carving and the other for my toddler to enjoy, we headed straight for grandma’s house!

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We did what I like to call, “The Rainbow Pumpkin Activity” at their house, because grandma owns a blow dryer! (Thanks mom! 😉

I did a similar activity when I taught, except I used a poster bored instead of a pumpkin. But I have to say, I like the pumpkin better!

I used a hot glue gun to attach some older crayons around the top of the pumpkin. Then, with the help of my mom, my daughter began melting the crayons with the hair dryer. The crayons melted faster when the blow dryer was pointing directly down on the crayons. My daughter was a amazed as the bright, bold colors began to drip down, consuming every inch of the once white pumpkin!

It was a quick and easy activity, that created little mess! The best part – it fed my daughters Halloween obsession and we still made it home in time to see the Cubs win their division!

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You

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Update : {Two Months Old}

Here we are baby girl, you and me in a little coffee shop while your big sister is burning off some energy at preschool. You are all wrapped up in the Solly, sleeping peaceful on my chest. What are you dreaming about little one? Are you dreaming about climbing the highest mountain? Are you flying high above the clouds, heading straight for a shooting star? Oh little one, how I wonder what your dreaming about.

As I still here, quietly tucked away in a corner, I can hear the soft sound of conversations buzzing all around us. Whenever I come here with you baby girl, you steal the show. So many compliments on your adorable little self. Your adorable little two month old self! Time is so bittersweet! You are constantly growing and changing. I just want to bottle it all up and keep it forever, but unfortunately, thats not how it works. Luckily, I can at least capture those memories through photographs, video, and writing.

So my sweet little babe, here is a

Baby Girl – {Two Month Update}

  • Friday night, September 16, you slept from 12:30am until 5:30am. This was the longest stretch you have ever slept! I woke up Saturday feeling great!
  • Sunday evening, September 18th was your first time in the 4moms infant tub. You loved it much more than the sponge baths!
  • Wednesday evening, September 28th you slept from about 11:30pm until I woke you about 8am the next morning. Since then, you have been sleeping long stretches through the night.
  • You often rustle in your bassinet throughout the evening. Its usually because your pacifier fell out.
  • Sunday evening, Oct 2nd was your first time on the play mat. You loved kicking the piano!
  • Tuesday evening, Oct 4th was your first tummy time experience! You have great head/neck strength!
  • I love when you get those little bubbles on your lips!
  • I love when your eyes widen and you give the big smiles when I pick you up!

{Monthly Stickers} : AppleEyeBabyShop

{Personalized Swaddle Blanket} : Audrey’s Bear

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Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You