Category Archives: Beauty and Fashion

Top Gift ideas for busy moms (2018 Holiday Gift Guide)

Gift guide for busy moms (we all have one in our life!)

 

Welcome to my list of gift ideas for busy moms!  We all have a busy mom in our life…whether it’s our own mother, a friend, sister, or even daughter.  And often it’s tough to figure out what to get that mom because they are always on-the-go or seem to have it all already.  But there’s always something out there that they could use!  

The items on this list are personally recommended by myself – many I have even personally tried.  Others, I have simply heard raving reviews from friends, family, or even other bloggers I chat with.  Regardless – these are some pretty awesome products and I hope you find just what you are looking for!  

 

Erin Condren Undated Planner – Impress her with this trendy 12 month planner, flexible for any schedule.  Includes stickers to helping her mark important dates, detailed pages for projects, and even inspirational quotes.  Erin Condren planners are known for their quality and ability to be everything you need in a planner.  There are several branded and unbranded planner accessories to help make this planner become even more useful! 

 

JJ Cole Caprice Diaper/HandBag – This bag is a diaper bag in disguise.  With pockets galore and all the typical diaper bag features, this bag can also function as a nice handbag as the babies grow out of diapers.  The mom in your life will love having such a versatile bag!  

 

 

 

Nomad 0.3m Rugged Universal Cable – as a mom myself, I can tell you it is becoming more of a need to keep a charging cable in my purse.  Whether your own phone needs a quick boost to take that call from the pediatrician, or your kids’ tablet needs a charge to keep you sane while grocery shopping, it is very useful to keep one on hand.  This short cable has it all.  Rugged (sturdy), short and convenient yet long enough for basic use, and usable by nearly any device…not to mention it supports fast charging.  This is definitely the cable the mom in your life needs! 

 

 

Apple Watch – You know this was going to make the list didn’t you?  What busy mom’s life wouldn’t be made easier with a smart watch?  There are 4 series available, each increasing with price, but also increasing with features and processor speed.  Not only will this device let the mom in your life read and respond to texts without digging out her phone, but it will also help her stay accountable for any fitness goals she has.  

 

 

Amazon Prime Subscription as a Gift – gift the gift of quick and free 2-day (and sometimes 1-day) shipping.  If she has an Alexa smart speaker device, she can save even more time shopping by simply making a voice request for any Prime-eligible item.  

 

 

Aura Cacia Essential Solutions Mist –  this spray-able mist contains essential oils intended to relax and calm the mind.  A little spritz on my pillow before I go to bed can make all the difference. Other scents are available as well, such as Relaxing Lavender and Invigorating Ginger and Mint.   

 

 

Keurig Coffee Brewer – does mom love to have a hot cup of coffee (or tea) in the morning?  If she doesn’t already have a k-cup brewer, that is just what she needs!  A Keurig can have her beverage of choice ready in less than the time it takes to check her Facebook newsfeed in the morning.  There are several varieties to choose from depending on size and brewing options – even different colors! 

 

 

CHI Original 1″ Flat Iron – every mom needs ease in her morning routine and this CHI hair straightener brings just that.  I have had mine since my husband gifted it to me before our wedding, 10 years ago.  I still receive great results after nearly daily use.  

 

Heated Coaster for Mugs – mom should get to enjoy that hot beverage before it cools off but more often than not, she probably doesn’t.  This mug warmer is the perfect solution.  If you are looking to splurge a little more on the same idea, check out the Ember temperature controlled mug!  

 

 

myCharge Wireless Power Bank – this item is all about convenience!  When mom’s phone is running low, she can simply pull this little device out and set her phone on top…voila, instant quick charging anywhere for Qi compatible devices like the newer iPhones and Android phones.  This power bank is small enough to fit in a purse without taking up much space and packs enough power to charge the typical phone up to 5 times before having to recharge the power bank itself.  Mom can recharge her phone anywhere without having to worry about cables.

 

 

Isotoner Women’s Smart Touch Cable Knit Gloves – I love a good pair of gloves and this pair is absolutely perfect.  Maybe my own kids will get them for me (hint hint!) because not only do they look cute and warm to keep mom warm on-the-go, but they are also touch screen compatible!  I also recommend making it a set and adding in these matching Isotoner cable knit slippers

 

Jaybird RUN True Wireless Earbuds – whether mom loves listening to music while working out, talking on the phone while driving, or just wants a moment of peace and quiet from everything else, these earbuds would make a great gift.  They are water resistant and the case holds another 8 hours of charge for recharging on-the-go.  

 

 

SipCaddy Portable Drink Holder – every busy mom needs a chance to unwind.  This cup holder is a fun gift to let mom know it’s ok to take a break and relax.  This “Mommy’s Sippy Cup” Wine Glass goes perfect with this holder! 

 

 

Oversized C.C. Beanie – for the mom on-the-go, this beanie is just what she needs to keep her head warm!  Comfy, spacious, and a popular brand, mom is sure to be excited when she unwraps her gift to discover it.

 

Sound+Sleep Sound Machine – mom deserves a good night of sleep for whatever she has to come the next day…work, school, appointments, you name it.  I have had this same sound machine for 3 years and it has helped my sleep immensely.  

 

Fossil Fiona Small Crossbody Bag – a crossbody bag can make life so much easier for the busy mom.  Sometimes she only needs space for the essentials.  At an affordable price for a designer brand, this bag is available in several colors.  You’re sure to find a perfect match for mom!  

 

Ja-Vie Flats – that special mom in your life will love Ja-Vie flats.  They are comfortable, flexible, water resistant, and lightweight.  There is no need to wear socks with them as they have their own built-in sock liner.  Plus they come in some pretty cute patterns!  

 

Stay tuned.. if I think of anything else, I’ll be sure to add it to this list!!! 

 

Gymboree #MadeYouSmile – New styles in time for school!

This is a sponsored post.  Purchasing through our links is not required however when you do, we receive a small amount that supports our site.  

 

Gymboree Sale On Now!

Gymboree always takes strides to create new and fun clothing for kids, and just recently has re-branded with a new trendy product line for kids, just in time for school!  We have about a month here until school officially starts, so back to school shopping is definitely on the list.  Even as a homeschool mom, I enjoy refreshing my boys’ wardrobe fall as stores bring out fun new fall styles. 

Gymboree Smile Shirt - so adorable

The new line includes fun new graphic t-shirts and accessories, as well as multi-seasonal basics.  Pieces are designed to work together well, being mixed and matched as your kids please.  I just love these cute girl’s shoes!  There is a lot of 80s influence in the new styles, and I just love it!  My boys will love it as well as they are interested lately in 80s music (thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy!)  It’s so fun seeing them interested in something that takes me back to my own childhood. 

And this cardigan and skirt are absolutely adorable!  If I had a little girl, these would definitely be on our Back To School shopping list.  Honestly, I would take one of those sweaters as a staple fall piece for myself if it came in my size! 

One of my favorite features of the new line is how easily the pieces can be mixed and matched together.  If you take a look through the different tops, skirts, jeans, and other pieces, you’ll see that there is so much versatility. This is a great opportunity to let your kids pick their own clothes while not having to worry they’ll be totally mismatched.  My boys love picking out their own clothes – it gives them a sense of independence and makes them smile! 

Soon to be released is also a new “Made You Smile” mobile app with fun features, as well as weekly drawings into the Surprize Surprize Sweepstakes, which has some pretty awesome prizes!  You should be able to either download the app from the Apple Store or the Google Play Store, depending on what kind of phone you use. 

If you are a frequent Gymboree shopper, you will definitely want to make sure you are signed up for Gymboree Rewards!  For every dollar you spend, you’ll earn a point!  Once you accumulate 200 points, you will get a $10 reward.  You will also have exclusive access to offers and shopping events.  Head on over to sign up for Gymboree Rewards!

Gymboree also has an awesome GymBucks program – during earning periods, you can get $25 GymBucks for every $50 spent.  That’s an awesome deal! 

When you sign up for emails, you will get 20% off your next purchase as well.  This is also a great way to make sure you don’t miss out on future sales. 

I can’t wait to head into the store and check out the new line in person and see what my boys pick out!  What are some of your favorite pieces? 

gymboree kid's clothing logo

Tips for shopping thrift & consignment stores

Tips for shopping thrift & consignment stores

 

I discovered consignment and thrift shops in college when my husband and I were newlyweds.  Now that we have two little boys, saving money has been equally as important as it was then.  It took me a little while to get the most out of my shopping trips, but I finally have it down!  Here are a few tips and tricks I follow as I shop:

 

Make a list.  When trying to save money, there’s nothing worse than spending extra money on things you don’t need.  Make a list of the items you are in need of and colors to keep an eye out for (especially for home decor).  You will often find deals you have a hard time passing up, so remember your initial goal – to save money!  

 

Visit often.  The selection changes on a daily basis at most secondhand stores.  And if you plan to go back for an item, don’t hold your breath because someone else may have picked it up already.

 

Keep an eye out for sales. Some of my local thrift stores have “color of the week” sales where the tags that match the color advertised are 50% off.  Another has a $0.69 sale on Saturdays, along with other unadvertised sales.  You can look up your stores’ phone numbers online or in a phone book and call ahead of time to find out what the sale is today.  Many stores often have a Facebook page or other social media they post their deals to…and even some of their favorite new items! 

 

Price check.  I have occasionally found items priced at or higher than new retail price.  If you have a smart phone, you can Google the item to determine whether that seems to be a reasonable price or not.  Consignment stores also run higher prices than thrift stores so make sure you only pay the amount you are comfortable with.

 

Check the items!  Always check for stains, holes, missing pieces or other damage.  Sometimes employees miss something that could be detrimental to the product.

 

Stay open minded. If you can make simple changes to an item of clothing that doesn’t fit absolutely perfect, don’t toss it aside.  There are hundreds of ideas on Pinterest for upcycling, mending, or modifying clothing, furniture, or other odds and ins.  There are some amazing ideas out there!

 

Have patience!  The selection depends on the donations or consignors.  Maybe you didn’t find what you wanted today, but keep trying!  The organization of many secondhand stores is also difficult to get used to as a new shopper, as each item is different and you will have to thumb through clothing and take some time to look through.

 

See more ideas on how to budget at Military Travel Mom.  Thrifting is just the beginning!

5 Ways to Combat the Harsh, Dry Winter Air

 

This winter has seemed like one of the driest I have been through.  Maybe I am just getting older and my hair and skin aren’t what they used to be.  I have taken some steps to combat this harsh dry air and would love to share them with you! 

  1. Use a humidifier.  There are multiple types of humidifiers. Think about the area you spend the most time in at home or work.  Is it a small enclosed space or a big open area?  
    1. whole house – whole house humidifiers are a bit more costly and can help add humidity to the entire house. 
    2. room – room sized humidifiers are great for a bedroom or office.
    3. personal – have you seen these cute little personal humidifiers?  They are perfect to keep at your desk or just carry around with you for a little extra moisture in the air! 
  2. Stay hydrated.  This is one of the most important!  If your skin and hair are dry, chances are the rest of your body is too.  Keep hydrated and drink a little extra during those dry winter months. 
  3. Take shorter, cooler showers.  Hot water will pull natural protective oils from your skin and dry it out much more quickly than cool water.  The longer you are exposed to the water, the more those natural oils will wash away. 
  4. Use moisturizing products.  This seems to be common sense, but I can’t tell you how often I forget to moisturize.  Pick natural moisturizers that soak up well into your skin and use them as necessary. 
  5. Eat healthy, nutritious foods
    1. nutrients will help your skin stay healthy
    2. water in fruits will help hydrate your body

 

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