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We are literally just a few short days away from celebrating Mother’s Day.  As a mother, I look forward to spending this day with my husband and sons because they are the ones that make me a mom, but this year, my eldest son will be off island for a band concert and I’m certainly going to miss him.  If you’re wondering why it has taken me so long to share with you a little gift guide as I tend to do each year, well – that’s the reason!  I’ve been able to spend this day with all of my boys since they were born so I have been in my own little pity party the last few days knowing that he wouldn’t be home.  A few days ago, I realized that I needed to get over myself and be thankful that my husband and sons treat me like Mother’s Day is every day and no special day on the calendar is ever required.  So – while I am a bit late at sharing my gift lift with all of you – I figured that I would make this post because any day is a great day to get a treat – right?

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The first thing on my list is this gorgeous necklace from The Vintage Pearl which you can find on The Grommet.  The Grommet has to be one of my go-to websites for finding unique gifts for my loved ones.  This Messy Nest Necklace is a cute treasured keepsake and I absolutely love it.  Whether you are getting it for your moms or grandmothers, I’m sure it will be a hit.  The necklace starts at $42.00 and is handcrafted in the United States of antiqued silver wire.  Each nest is handcrafted and filled with freshwater pearls – one for each child in the wearer’s heart.  It’s set on a sterling silver ball chain and can be customized to match the number of children in the family.  The creator of The Vintage Pearl is a mom herself and started creating from her kitchen table in hopes to be able to be a stay at home and work from home mom. This is probably one of my favorite pieces to share with you because it’s certainly a sentimental piece.  I hope that The Vintage Pearl will offer this in gold one day.

Get a Messy Nest Necklace from The Vintage Pearl here.

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Next is another gorgeous piece that can also be found on The Grommet.  The Family Tree Necklace by Vintage Stamp Jewels is a great piece that can be worn every day.  The delicate family tree charm represents the life connections that matter to each of us.  You can choose the color and number of Swarovski crystal charms that accompany your tree.  The bezel-set crystals can represent any important moments or people from birthstones of children or grandchildren, milestones and anniversaries or any special date or time that is close to your heart.

You can learn more about this gorgeous piece and get one for yourself or a loved one here.

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Now, when I think of Mother’s Day – I always associate a really great face mask as a gift.  Here’s the deal, I LOVE an awesome face mask and some of my favorites come from Miss Spa.  If you’ve been a long time follower of my blog, then you know I’ve raved and talked about this brand a lot over the years.  What I love about Miss Spa is their wide range of masks available for a variety of skin types and textures.  You literally can find one to fit your needs or someone you love.

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Did I mention that these masks are so affordable?  Depending on the type you select, they start at about $4.00 each and go up in price from there and you can easily find a mask that suits you.  I definitely love a great face mask for Mother’s Day because I don’t have time for an at Spa pampering so I love doing it at home.

You can learn more about Miss Spa products, purchase your own or get it as a gift here or at your local Ulta or Drugstore.

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Bath Bombs are a favorite gift to receive and to give on Mother’s Day.  For years my sons and I made creations of our favorite scents and dried flowers to give as gifts, a tradition that my sisters and I did when we were teenagers.  One of my long time favorite handcrafted websites for great bath, body and essential oils is Sky Organics.  I’ve been using their essential oils for a few years now and I just had to include them in this guide.  All moms deserve a little pampering and bath bombs are those little fizzy wonders that just help any mom relax.  Sky Organics offers their Organic Bath Bombs Gift Set for just $25.99 (one of my favorites besides my own handmade ones) and it includes 6 beautiful bath bombs in an assortment of scents – Caribbean Coconut (my favorite), Lavender Lemon Muffin, Love Potion, Mermaid Kiss, Strawberry Milkshake and Sugar Rose.  These beauties are made in the USA and each bath bomb has a net weight of 5 oz.  It’s a total steal for sure.

If bath bombs aren’t your thing, then be sure to check out their wide range of essential oils.  They offer a set with all of their oils for just $50.  Did I mention they also provide FREE SHIPPING.  Head on over to their website here for more information.

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LATHER is another company I recommend to anyone and they offer gift sets that are perfect for Mother’s Day or any day of the year.  Their Dream On set ($58.00) includes their blue chamomile foaming bath treatment, lavender aromatherapy candle, Art of Tea sleep tea handcrafted loose leaf tea (organic), tea infuser, quiet night relaxing balm, eye mask, and a reusable gift box.  All of these essentials are perfect for treating mom to a night of a little peace, quiet and relaxation.  With my sleepless nights and insomnia, this kid would be the absolute perfect way for me to just settle down and relax.

Learn more about LATHER’S gift sets and products here.

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I’ve been swooning over IT Cosmetics the last few months now and I knew I just had to include some of these beauties.  Honestly, I’ve been totally stalking IT Cosmetic’s website now making a VERY LARGE wish list of items I want to try.  I have literally only tried their Je Ne Sais Quoi Lip Treatment and Bye Bye Under Eye, so I find that this portion of my post has an ulterior motive for me… hehehe!  Maybe my friends and family who see this will snatch something from IT for me for Mother’s Day.  Hey, one can hope, right. j/k!  This year IT Cosmetics is offering a bunch of IT girl essentials that will literally have your Mom feeling her most beautiful on this special day and always.

The Your Beautiful Basics Airbrush 101 5-Piece Face and Eye Getting Started Brush Set $58 is the perfect set for any makeup loving addict.  Every woman needs a great basic brush set in her makeup bash and the Airbrush 101 is how you get started with it all.  Blend, blur, buff and perfect for a flawless airbrushed finish with a brand of brushes that are known to be super soft and luxurious.

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Now – of course, makeup brushes are definitely my thang so I had to share with you the Face & Eye Essentials Mini 5-Piece Face and Eye Travel Brush Set.  This set retails for $30 and it wold be a great hit for Mom.  An awesome powder, eye shadow brushes and liner brush can help you get ready in a flash.  Four brushes are included to line, define, smoke out and blend.  Plus, you get an all-over complexion brush for all the basics from foundation to blush and illuminizer.  This is a great kit that includes the tools to get that fab look.

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The Je Ne Sais Quoi Lip Treatment ( I just mentioned about how this is one of the products I have tried from IT) is also a great gift selection.  But, this NEW Je Ne Sais Quoi Lip Treatment is now available in Rose.  It contains the essential butters and oils, hyaluronic filling spheres and antioxidants for your softest and smoothest looking pout while it flushes your lip to the perfect rosy pink.  The original is my go-to when I’m in a rush or not feeling makeup but want a little color to my lips.  It’s definitely something I’d buy for my mom and something I’d love to receive as a gift.  It retails for $24.00

 

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Lastly from IT Cosmetics, I wanted to share with you the Bye Bye Pores Blush (retail $24). This award-winning Bye Bye Pores formula is infused with optical-blurring pigments which instantly diffuse the look of pores and discoloration.  It’s filled with skin-loving ingredients like anti-aging silk, hydrolyzed collagen, antioxidants, and peptides which will give any Mom (any body) a youthful flush.  I definitely think this is perfect for me or my mom because we love a great blush and anything that is infused with ingredients we love, well – it’s definitely a must have.

You can purchase any of these products on IT Cosmetics website here.

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Who says hair products and tools don’t make great gifts?  Not me!  I would love to get a fab hair tool for Mother’s Day so I figured I would include something that would help mom eliminate the “hair tool storage” and get a 3 in 1 that can do the trick.  The CHI Ellipse 3-in-1 Styling Iron is a great tool to make convenience mom’s game.  You can create a multitude of looks using this very versatile styler that includes 3 styling options in one tool.  With Teflon and Titanium plates to create smooth and sleep styles on a non-stick surface.  You can great smooth hair, curls and waves with just one tool.  The styler has adjustable temperature settings that heat up to 410 °F / 210 °C.  It has a ceramic heater for consistent temperature and an LED touch sensitive temperature control and display.  You also get a temperature lock feature (oooh… fancy) and a 1 hour shut-off.  I also love that it comes with it’s own glove, so you have everything you need for the perfect hair style.  The CHI Ellipse 3-in-1 Styling Iron retails for $110 but the price is reasonable considering the quality of the product and the fact that you can use it for more than one style.

You can learn more about this tool or grab one for yourself or your mom here.

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This next gift idea is untraditional, but definitely something worth mentioning.  The Revolar Instinct (I’ll have a full review on this product in the next week or so) has been a very important part of my everyday.  Retailing for $80, this little device can be the perfect gift in a big way.  The Revolar is a product that is brand new (the Indiegogo campaign has just completed) but a tool that I think is very worth the while.  It’s a quarter sized connect button that with 1-3 clicks, the Instinct can send different custom alerts to friends and family to let them know where the user is and what level of help they need.  Unfortunately, sexual assault is on a rise here in the United States and violence against women is at an all-time high.  You can send help to your location with a few clicks of this wearable device.  It not only empowers you to be proactive about your safety, but this little Instinct will help ou stay in touch with loved ones as well.  Did I mention it also tracks your steps?  There are no chords, and easy to use device and you can replace a battery in about a year so you don’t have to worry about charging it.  Last year my mom was sitting in a parking lot when someone tried to attack her.  Luckily she was in her car and was able to escape.  When I was 4 years old, a man attempted to kidnap me, I was in his car and he was about to drive away when my dad stopped him in his tracks.  Devices like this are easy to use and definitely worth it.  I wish I had one for each person in my family.  I had to share this with you because it’s a gift I think that would be invaluable to any mom and anyone.  Like I said, a full review will be coming soon – so stay tuned.

Learn more about the Revolar Instinct and find out how to get one for yourself here.

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I’ll be honest, as a mother, I can honestly say that any type of gift is such a wonderful sentiment, but I never expect it.  I think that Mother’s Day is every day of the year for me and I’m so lucky to call myself a mom.  I love creating handmade gifts for my mom and my mother in law from all of us because I think it’s special and I’m quite good with a glue gun.  Little flowers or hairpins decorated in fabric or paper always seem to make our loved ones happy.  At the end of the day – a gift should come from the heart, whether purchased or made.  My sons make me handmade cards each year and I cherish them with all my heart.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

I want to remind you that Mother’s Day is every single day of the year.  If you’ve been following me a while then you know that I believe this to be so with Valentine’s Day too.  Hmmm… I wish Christmas and birthdays were every day of the year also, hahaha!  Anyway – no matter the gift or sentiment you give to the moms in your life, make it special.  This last minute gift guide was not intended to be late, but I’m reminded that a present for mom doesn’t have to be given only one day a year so even if you miss picking up one of these for that special lady in your life – feel free to use this as a guide to put together a special treat for her at anytime.

I want to take this time to wish all of the mommies out there (whether you have human children or fur babies) a wonderful Mother’s Day this Sunday.  May your day be filled with lots of love and hugs and a whole lot of warmth and happiness.

“To the world you are a Mother, but to your family you are the World.”

 

 

 

 


Disclaimer:  Some of the products featured in this post were sent for review consideration, while others were purchased with my own money.  All opinions are my own, 100% honest & unbiased, as with anything you see on this site.  Affiliate links may be posted throughout.

 

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No matter how old my boys get, I find myself still utilizing many of the items that I had for them when they were babies.  Since I’m a work from home and stay at home mom, the number one thing I find I still use is a diaper bag.  Now, hold on – obviously I’m not going to be using this particular bag to hold diapers, the boys don’t use those, ha ha!  But, I don’t use my old diaper bags in the traditional sense.  I turn my diaper bags into work and planner bags so I can take my work on the go.  About 5 months ago I was sent this very cool bag from CiPU and today I’m going to share my thoughts on this accessory as well as how I utilize it for my personal use.  It may not be traditional, but it’s functional and we all know I love anything that offers function to my life.

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Now, it’s no secret that I’m a laid back simpleton, basically – I’m a casual gal.  So when I can find something that works for me… I’m excited.  I was contacted by CiPU and asked to try out this “diaper bag” and if I enjoyed it, if I could kindly provide a review.  Here’s the deal – since I was using my Coach Diaper Bag from the twins as my work bag, I thought to myself… “hmm, this will be interesting to see how it would work for me.”  And, so I accepted.

CiPU is pronounced – ‘Shee’ (translated to “happiness” in Chinese) and ‘Pu’ (translated to “store” in Chinese) like “shee” in sheet and “PU” in put.  

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CiPU was founded in 2009 by a group of mothers and brand owner Jarrah, all of whom had one shared inspiration – an idea to gift mothers love, happiness and affection.  CiPUs focus is on style by exploring colors and patterns to suit every occasion, however – each bag is full of functionality (you see that word there, it’s golden to me) and created to meet a mother’s everyday needs.

“The Bowknot in their logo represents the ribbon on a gift, meanwhile it also looks like an “infinity” symbol.  Since children are such a precious gift and a parent’s devotion to their children are testimonies of “infinitive love” the bowknot symbolizes infinite love and the power of gifts in a single wish, a wish that every mother can enjoy blissful, long-lasting memories with their children – the greatest gift in life.”

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Each CiPU bag is hand-crafted with lots of love and many of the bags are limited in quantity since they only make a few of each design.  They are each made from environmentally friendly materials and I love that CiPU offers Free US Delivery.  All CiPU bags were created with different styles and patterns to focus on women because mother’s are still women and looks matter.  Perfect for function while providing lightweight carryalls to take the load off your shoulders.

Check out my video review and come chit chat about this bag with me.  My video can be found here or embedded below.

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Lightweight | Stylish | Easy Cleaning | Organizable | Large Compartments | Water repellent

CiPU offers a variety of bags to fit the mothers’, fathers’ and even babies’ style.  From Large tote bags like the one I have here to diaper backpacks in every type of color and design.  I have my eyes set on a camouflage one, a plain black bag and the Leopard next.  Let’s talk a little about this awesome diaper bag shall we?

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I have the CiPU Tote Diaper Bag in Heather Gray (Large).  This bag retails for $158.80 and comes with 13 large compartments to hold all of my necessities.  Now, as I mentioned before, I’m not using this bag as a diaper bag, but as my work bag so this is perfect to host all of my planner supplies, planners and even my laptop and tablet all fit inside perfectly.

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This bag features 1 hidden compartment (which I love to put the boys wipes in or even store their dirty clothes while out and about so it doesn’t mess up any of my papers.  You also get the following accessories to go with your bag:

  • Personal belongings pouch – this pouch comes with detachable straps and you can use this to store your diapers, wipes and changing mat.  I use this particular pouch to store my tablet for safe keeping and a few notebooks.
  • Foldable Changing Mat – this soft and easy to clean mat is perfect for changing baby, but again – I use this bag for work – so this changing mat is used as a little sitting mat for me when at the park or in case I want to put my bag down without sitting it directly on the floor.  It’s machine washable which makes it perfect for on the go.
  • Retractable Key Hold – probably my favorite thing now to keep my eyes on hand at any given time.
  • Chest Strap – this helps to keep my strap in place to prevent slip-downs
  • Slip Proof Should Straps – these soft on the shoulder straps are great and comfy.  It made long hours at the airport easy because my arms were not sore from carrying my bag too long.
  • Stroller Clips – These are great to clip to a wagon or stroller to keep your bag with you.  I use it to attach to my sports cart so I am not taking up real estate of the wagon with my bag.

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The material is very soft and easy to spot clean or wash should I need it.  I love that this bag is water repellent (inside & out), especially since I always take it with me, that way I don’t have to worry about spills.  This bag comes with a gorgeous hot pink and bright lining which makes it so easy to be able to see inside and grab everything that I need at any time.  And, since this bag is made of quick dry material – it helps to prevent mold (so you don’t have to worry much about spills from milk bottles or juice causing mold if you don’t get it dried up quickly.)  This bag is perfect for outdoors – whether rain or shine and I love that it’s so easy to take with you.

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The CiPU Large Tote is very lightweight at just 1.2 lbs. – one of the lightest on the market.  And, remember how I said CiPU offers different bags for different personalities and sizes, your littles can have their own little backpacks too.

So, now that you have a bunch of information to make an informed decision on whether or not this bag is for you… let me keep it real for you all.  This bag is costly, but I am a handbag lover and most of my bags cost well over this amount already so I would spend this money in a heartbeat – especially after my great experience with this one over the last 5 months or so.  When it comes to how I spend my money, I tend to look at things as an investment.  These bags are an investment in not only your style and longevity of having them, but your comfort.  They are easy to carry and hold, giving you various options and so easy to clean.  As a busy mom, I know that the last thing we want to be doing is scrubbing a bag of strains or water spills.  While I don’t currently use it strictly as a diaper bag, I know the quality of the bag will hold up in that if and when I should have another child – I’ll be able to use this.  I also love that this is functional for me and allows me to use this as a “mommy bag” no matter the age of my children.  I can carry all my work stuff inside while still have a ton of room for mommy stuff too – whether it be wipes, extra clothes, toys, books for reading on the go or games – whatever tickles your fancy.

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We all know I am brutally honest here and I have to say – Yes, this bag is worth the cost and definitely high quality.  Like I mentioned before – I have my eyes on a few others and I plan to get them.

Check out my video review:

 

You can check out the full range of products available at: https://www.cipu.us/

Purchase from their Amazon store here.

So what about you, have you heard of CiPU before and do you think you could utilize something like this?  Are you a mommy looking for a little more help in the organizing and diaper bag compartment?  Comment below and share your thoughts with me.

Signature Honey


Disclaimer:  This product was sent to me for review consideration.  All opinions are my own, 100% honest & unbiased.  I was not paid to provide my thoughts or to feature this product.  Affiliate links are posted through out.

 

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I love Christmas shopping, especially for my children.  When it comes to Christmas, my boys are so laid back and easy to shop for, that it makes surprising them each year that much easier.  I think children should have a wide range of gifts from clothes and toys to books and games and I’m always excited to write up my list of treats for my boys each year.  Shopping for kids can be a challenge, at any age… so I have compiled a list of presents that are reasonably priced for any child.  No matter the age, I’m sure you will find something in my list that your children may enjoy.  Let’s get started, shall we?

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Trekz Titanium Mini Wireless Headphones ($129.95) – These headphones from AfterShokz are the ideal gift for my teenager.  Kevin Ka’eo is at the age where he works on projects for school on his iPad and Tablet and needs a quality headphones that can take the beating that teens dish out.  He also runs and jogs so I really want to ensure I have a product that will work for him and provide him with quality sound.

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The Trekz Titanium Mini Wireless Headphones are lightweight and comfortable.  The are stereo headphones which are the safest alternative to traditional sport headphones and earbuds.  With bone conduction technology, an open ear design and a suite of convenient features, the Trekz headphones deliver premium music play and crystal clear calling without any compromise.  This headphone is designed with athletes in mind and are sweatproof and secure – making them ideal for my son.  They will allow you to hear your surroundings – no matter where life takes you.

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4id Power Spurz Light Up Heels ($19.95) – If you have little ones or even teenagers (heck, I even use them), Power Spurz are a great gift.  They keep you safe and visible through your outdoor training, walking, running or everything in between where you need to be lit up so you are visible.  The lightweight heel spur has two available settings – pulse and continuous light.  The piece slides conveniently on the back of your shoe and glows in a vibrant LED light.  Since my family and I often do night time walking around our block, or are out and about at the local festivals, these work perfect for the boys and they were a hit at Halloween.  They come in five different colors and I definitely suggest it.  They fit on my shoes as well as the boys so you have many options to utilize these.

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LUX – The Principled Block Lux Blox ($29.99 +) – All three of my sons LOVE Legos or anything that will allow them to build creations to their heart’s desire.  I love encouraging their imagination and the fun without the screen, so Lux Blocks are definitely a fun toy for anyone to play with – kids and adults too.

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Lux is Made in the USA and was created by artist/inventor Michael Acerra because he and his wife Healther wanted to give the world a block that could bring everything as nature does.  These construction blocks allow you build and make structures that curve, bend and move.  The come with a unique, patent-pending snap and lock hinge system that allows you to build a structure that flexes, twists and turns.

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There are different sets available and like I mentioned before, it doesn’t matter your age or your child’s age – they will love Lux as much as we do.  While we still LOVE Legos in our house, Lux has easily become a building block we enjoy and I have it on my list to purchase several sets for my nieces and nephews.

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Magic Sketch Art Tablet For Kids ($29.95) – I love As Seen on TV finds and the Magic Sketch is definitely one of them.  This fun and new way for k8ids to draw, play and learn is flexible with an LCD screen that is transparent.  The Magic Sketch allows kids to trace with the provided stencils or from their own images and creating all kinds of amazing art is fun for all ages.  Unlike most tablets, the Magic Sketch is super kid proof.  Kids can drop it, toss it, even step on it and it won’t break.  It’s completely water resistant, so if they have a spill, it will wipe off and they can keep going.  It’s got advanced internal electronics so you can clear the screen with just a push of a button.

Each Magic Sketch retails for $29.95 and includes:

  • Magic Sketch
  • Protector Guard
  • 1 Roller
  • 3 Stamps
  • 20 Learning Stencils
  • 20 Games Stencils
  • 20 Art Stencils

I especially love this as a gift because it’s perfect for travel, mess free and I don’t have to worry about replacing an expensive device if it breaks or gets lost or stolen.  It’s an ideal gift for all ages and I can’t wait to doodle on it myself.

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Books & E Readers Make Great Gifts ($10 +) – My sons all love to read, so a great book (or two or three) or an E Reader like the Amazon Fire Tablet make great gifts.  These items make fabulous stocking stuffers or fun gifts for unwrapping.  Each year, I select at least two books for each of my boys and wrap them up.  This year – I’ll be purchasing an Amazon Fire Tablet for the three of them to download some of their favorite Kindle books (that way there is more room for my books on mine… lol) and with Amazon Prime and Amazon Underground – many books are free to read and download.  A basic Amazon Fire Tablet will make a great gift because it provides a plethora of apps and internet capability at reasonable costs.  You can easily get a Tablet for $50 now a days and it’s worth it.

A few books that the boys have been loving lately – The Adventures of Camp Nana Papa and The Spinfords are great classics that I think any child would like.  My eldest is currently reading The Kingdom Oceana (not currently pictured) and highly suggests that one.

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Stompeez Slippers ($19.99) – Slippers with Personality.  These slippers are absolutely adorable and perfect for my twins.  They are fun, soft and comfy.  Walk, stomp or jump and Stompeez will pop to life.

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I thought these would be the perfect gift for Luke & Isaiah because they love soft and cuddly things.  They come in different sizes and a variety of different designs – 9 total.  Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Batman, Nemo, Dori, Shopkins, Happy Puppy, TRex Dinosaur and so much more.

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Buddy Balls ($19.99) – Zip it, Flip it, Love it!  The boys and I have talked about Buddy Balls here on the blog before and it was a rave for a product.  We love Buddy Balls and definitely thought it would make a great Holiday Gift to include in our gift guide.  Buddy Balls are soft, cuddly and so sweet.  They are little bears that you can zip up and flip into a ball to play with.  The boys love them and I love them so much, I’ve purchased several of these as gifts for the holiday.

You can read about Buddy Balls and our review on these sweeties here.

I realize that most of the gifts I listed in this post are really for boys, but hey – I grew up a tomboy and I loved to play with all the boy things when I was younger, so I guess many of these things really gravitate in my mind as fun gifts.  The fact of the matter is – they are all unisex and the gifts like Stompeez and Buddy Balls are sweet presents for little girls as well as any of the items I’ve chosen here.  Each of these were selected because we have tested them ourselves and the boys and I really went through and found the ones that we would love to get or enjoy.  At the end of the day, gift giving is about love and the thought is always what counts in our house.

I do have something fun for all of you.  The boys and I are working in collaboration with AfterShokz and giving away a Trekz Titanium Mini for someone this holiday season.  Check out the Giveaway Widget below to enter.

Looking for more ideas for your holiday shopping?  Be sure to check out the following links for my guides and inspiration: (this list will be updated periodically as new guides become available)

Holiday Gift Shopping – Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals 2016

Holiday Gift Guide – Skin Care and Body Care {Honey’s Favorite Things} 2016

Holiday Gift Guide – Hair Care {Honey’s Favorite Things}

2015 Holiday Gift Guide for the Skin Care Lover

So, what about you?  Are any of these items a part of your children’s wish list this holiday?

Signature Honey


 Disclosure:  Some of the products featured in this post were sent for editorial consideration, while others were purchased by Honeygirlsworld.com.  This post may contain affiliate or referral links. For more details and outline of my product review disclosures and policies, affiliate links, etc. please visit my Disclosures page. 

Trekz Titanium Mini Headphones Giveaway

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When you’re looking for something to keep your kiddos busy or to help with learning their alphabets or reading, there are apps that can help.  Interested in getting a bit more organized or need something to unwind and relax your brain for the day – hey, Amazon Underground Always Free apps got you covered.  You never have to worry about your kids downloading apps and games that will cost you money and you can get access to over 3,000 apps and games that are 100% FREE.  Simply download them from Amazon Underground to your Amazon Fire tablet or Android smartphone and you are good to go.

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There are so many apps available in the Amazon Underground catalog that there is something there for anyone – my whole family is enjoying the selection.  100% free apps & games are a part of the Amazon Appstore with access to great content that you would normally have to pay for in “other” App and Playstores, but they are at zero cost through Amazon Underground.  I am loving that some of my favorite games are available through access to premium apps and my family and I get to take advantage of the fun and convenience while we take a break from our busy day.

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As a mother the Amazon Underground apps allow me to take my coloring on the go – letting me take a few minutes to focus on me while coloring – utilizing an easy app I love called Adult Coloring or Zen: Adult Coloring Book.  When my family and I like to work our brains and have some fun together, we enjoy playing Brain It On! or some of our favorite games called Cut the Rope, Sonic Dash and Zootopia also make for some family enjoyment.  For drawing, sketching and note taking, the app Notepad+ is also a great selection for fun as well as productivity.

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On night that I need to unwind and relax and fall asleep soundly and easily, I love using the White Noise Sleep Aid – the Forest Noise is ideal for falling right asleep and feeling rested the next morning when I awake.  You see, the options are endless and the Amazon Underground app store offers you a variety of selections for the busy mom and dad, student and school performance and studying and even the college bound teen that needs a little help making the transition.

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If you are looking for something fun to do, get productive or organized or just have a little “me” time, I highly suggest checking out Amazon Underground.  It’s easy to use and many apps and games are available at your fingertips.

If you’re interested in checking out the Amazon Appstore and learn more about what it has to offer, click here and check out the Amazon Underground catalog of 100% free apps and games.  You can also access the Amazon Underground on your Android smartphone by visiting here.

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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As the season starts to change and the weather gets a tad bit chillier, the kiddos make their way back to school for the 2016-2017 year.  I remember as a kid, going back to school was my favorite time of year because it meant that I would have the opportunity to impress a new set of teachers and meet new friends.  My boys returned back to school at the beginning of August and while it has been a busy month so far, we are so excited and they have been absolutely loving school.  Today I share with you a few of their favorite finds for Back to School from affordable selections that we love and a few Celebrity faves.  Since back to school can be a fun time for kids or some may feel a bit uneasy, it’s the perfect time to pick up some new goods that will surely put a smile on your littles’ faces.

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Going back to school after a fun summer break isn’t always easy for littles.  But, finding cool Back to School gear and supplies always make for a great start.  This year I wanted the boys to be able to develop their own sense of style (see the twins with their mohawks and sunglasses in the photo above? lol), but I also wanted them to select basics that would make their year fun and functional.

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A quality made backpack is always an important part of back to school.  My eldest Kevin has a full schedule of classes and a heavy workload and homework sometimes.  It’s important that he has a backpack that can take him to and from school while still offering him the option to use for extra curricular activities and sports.  His choice of gear for this year was the Mountainsmith Approach 25 backpack (retail: $89.95).

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This multi-pocket backpack is perfect for on the go for work and office, school or sports, or for a hike to climb the highest summit.  It features a dual-anel loader system which is idea for travel and trail), a front panel stretch-mesh pocket with daisy chain attachment loops, Anvil Airway ridged EVA back panel padding which make it comfortable on the back no matter what you carry in it, tool / trekking pole carry, side compression straps, dual side-panel mesh pockets, an internal hydration sleeve to hold 3 liters and an eleastic sternum strap and bit valve catch with a safety whistle.

This backpack is sturdy and unisex.  He has it in burgundy with brick red trim and it looks stunning and manly.  It’s comfortable on and Kevin can stuff this backpack with his school supplies and homework without worrying about it falling apart.  It’s a great backpack to have for anyone of any age and is not only for school but anything.  I plan to pick one up for myself as well since it will be great for my forest treks.

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Luke opted for a fun and stylish backpack from Chooze.  Chooze is a brand selected and loved by celebrities alike.  Matthew McConaughey’s little girl is a huge fan of the versatile and affordable clothing and accessories Chooze offers.  Luke wanted the reversible ChoozePack in Quest (retail $43.95).

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These ingenious packs feature a reversible design that has two functional sides to give your kiddos the power to choose which print to display.  It offers padded convertible straps (which Luke says are BOMB because they are so comfortable) and you can flip each strap from side-to-side to provide a different look.

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Of course, no back to school list and gear would be complete without a way to carry your lunch and snack to and from school.  Kevin opted for something he could use for school and sports and went with the Mountainsmith Takeout insulated lunch pack (retailing $17.95).  It is the perfect sized carry-all for school, office and tailgating and has a look that any teen would enjoy.

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To help carry his favorite mom’s delicious soups to school for lunch, he also selected the Hydro Flask Food Flasks.  He has them in the 12 oz. (retails for $29.99) and the 18 oz. (retails for $34.99).  These flasks are perfect to carry his favorite soups or a hot cocoa on those chilly mornings.  They fit perfectly into any lunchbox and are the perfect way to give kids a balanced healthy meal.  They offer improved temperature control technology and can keep hot food items made in the morning steamy until lunchtime.  He also enjoys holding his milk in these and pours a small box of cereal inside for breakfast on the go.

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Luke & Isaiah decided that getting a traditional lunchbox was the way they wanted to go this year.  Each of them selected a Personalized Lunchbox from I See Me! (retailing for $29.99 each, currently on sale for $17.99.  Isaiah chose the Kick, Score, Run Lunchbox and Luke chose the Outerspace Lunchbox.  I See Me! is a brand and leader in personalized storyboks and gifts for kids, offering over 30 customizable book titles.  They also offer lunch boxes, stickers, growth charts, puzzles and so much more.  This fun company is a favorite of celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba and Brooke Shields.

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Did I ever mention how much I enjoy Quinoa?  Well, I couldn’t resist putting some of these yummy snacks in the boys lunch boxes.  I Heart Keenwah snacks are perfect for any kiddo on the go or to pack with their lunch.  These Grab n Go (1.5 oz) snacks are great afterschool or lunch treats that taste great and are fun and nutritious.  I Heart Keenwah quinoa Clusters and Puffs are a healthy alternative to chips, crackers or sweets.  They are made of organic, Non-GMO ingredients.  They are a protein-rich superfood snack and gluten-free with the perfect crunch to fill and fuel your little ones bodies.  I love them myself and the boys think they taste great.  We find them at our local Safeway and Wholefoods at a reasonable cost.

Setton Farms International Premium Quality Snacks are also a great buy.  Our favorite are the Creme Brulee Blend that has cashews and toffee peanuts.  The Creme Brulee Blend incorporates all the creamy sweetness and crunch of the traditional Creme Brulee without the spoon.  It combines freshly roasted cashews and toffee peanuts with creamy butterscotch and white chips for an irresistible treat.  They are available in 5 oz resealable bags and available in major grocery store chains across the country – Price Chopper, Market Basket, King Kullen and more.  Setton Farms sent us a variety of treats to try but the Creme Brulee Blend is our favorite.  I hope we can find more of these in our local stores, so far I’ve only found them at http://www.puritan.com/ and I’ll need to be purchasing more soon.

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When it comes to back to school, the boys are simple shoppers which makes my job easiest.  I remember as a child wanting to have all the pretty notebooks and pens for back to school supplies.  This year, when I did the boys school supply shopping, I also took advantage of some discounts for myself too.  Whether it’s Crayons or Pens, Notebooks and Planners or a tablet, the options are endless and come in a variety of price points.  Some of our favorites included:

  • Crayola Crayons 24 Pack – these are perfect on the go or to keep in the desk or at home.  When shopping during the sales you can get these for about $0.25 each.
  • Calendar or Planners – some of my favorites are the Blue Sky Planners from Target.  Of course, you can’t go wrong with an Erin Condren Life Planner, Happy Planner or your traditional binder planners like Kikki K, Filofax or Dokibook.
  • Pens – anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a huge pen collector.  Some of my current favorites include the Paper Mate Ink Joy Gel 0.7mm Pens, Pilot Frixon Pens and Pilot G2.
  • Pencils – Oh, how I love me some pencils.  Currently my favorites at the moment are any type of Mechanical Pencil with 0.5mm lead, BIC Pencil 0.7mm (the metallic ones have won me over), Dixon Ticonderoga #2 Pencils (have you seen the beautiful metallic ones?)  The Ticonderoga pencils are perfect for sketching as well as writing and erase cleanly.
  • Notebooks – Spiral, composition tablet… you name them and they are available in all kinds of paper style and cover design.
  • Folder / Filler Paper – ah, hand me a ream of college ruled please!  The twins use Wide Ruled, Kevin uses College Ruled.  I love that they are available from a variety of brands and price points.
  • Amazon Fire Tablet – for less than $50, you can get your hands on a Tablet that acts as a Reader or Internet hub.  The Amazon Fire Tablet is affordable but gives your student (or you) the option to get online, use amazing apps or just play games.  It’s definitely a great tool to have for the student or the mentor.

Now – you don’t need to pick up these particular items.  Honestly, I just wanted to include some of my favorite school supplies (or mommy supplies) because I was feeling a bit left out. lol

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Last but certainly not least in our Back to School finds are some great threads.  Each child is an individual and I really love seeing them shop and select their own clothing, accessories and shoes – even their own hair cuts.  All three of my boys are simple guys but they do enjoy fun pops of color to their outfits and clothing selections.  Whether it be plaid shorts with a solid color shirt or fun hats and accessories, the boys take pride in finding something to wear that is not only comfortable and functional – but reveals their style.  Isaiah is absolutely enjoying his Rocket in Listen modern sneaker boot style shoes from Chooze ($54.95) and he wanted to show them to our readers today.

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This modern sneaker boot style shoe comes with a side elastic gore added for comfort.  It has a signature dual design with easy access side zipper entry making the shoe easy to take off and put on.  It has padded throat for extra comfort and soft canvas uppers.  The flexible support offers comfort while the removable, padded, anti-stink insoles make these the perfect footwear for an active little guy.  They wipe clean easily with a damp cloth or can be washed in cold water and air dried.  Chooze offers a variety of footwear designs for both girls and boys and they are stylish and fun to allow your child to make a statement all their own.

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Luke likes a shoe that can allow him to run and play with a little swagger and Kevin, well – if he’s not in his Nike Basketball shoes most of the time, you can find him in a pair of flip flops (rubbah slippahs as we call them here in Hawaii) and a cool pair of shades to finish off his look.  The boys were quite ecstatic to return back to school because the new school year meant that they were all beginning their football season for Pop Warner but most importantly, they got to go back to school and learn… I mean, hang out with their friends, just kidding lol.  The boys love school and love learning new things so shopping for new gear for back to school is always a huge highlight.

No matter what you decide to get for your child (or yourself) this Back to School season, make it fun and colorful and let it represent your own individual style.  Have your kiddos gone back to school yet?  If so, do they sport a relaxed and casual style or do they really like to dress up and have some fun?  Wishing all the students a wonderful 2016-2017 school year filled with lots of fun, friendships and learning.  From our house to yours… Aloha!

Signature Honey

Disclaimer:  Some of the products mentioned in this post were sent for review and feature consideration.  All opinions are my own, 100% honest and unbiased and I was not paid to feature these products.  Some products were also purchased with my own money.  Affiliate links are posted through out.

The last few weeks have had me talking about relationship advice on my Thirsty Thursday episode I do each week but I have been saving some motherhood topics for today.  As many know who follow my blog or YouTube channel, I am a Stay at Home / Work from Home mom and honestly, I’m proud of it.  I wish each mother could experience staying at home with their children and spending the time with them watching their child or children grow.  But, being a stay at home mom comes with a certain personna, or stigma I shall say, that can sometimes hit a few nerves.  Today we are going to do a “Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom” segment – something I used to do a lot on my channel and blog in the past and we are going to touch base on the following subjects.  These questions were emailed to me for advice and topic consideration…

” Do you think Sta at Home Moms are lazy?  What do you think about what is said about Stay at Home Moms, calling them lazy or that they have an easy life and don’t do anything.”

” Do you feel you push your kids too hard to be successful?  Do you think some parents can push their kids too hard to be great?”

Be sure to watch the video embedded above or click here to watch the episode directly on YouTube. Remember that this is just a chill and relaxed conversation and I’m simply stating my opinion as a person and not bashing on anyone else’s opinion on the subject.

Thanks so much for joining me on this episode of Thirsty Thursday.  Don’t forget – if you are interested in submitting questions or topics for future episodes, you can email them to thehoneygirlk@gmail.com.  As a reminder, I am not a professional at all and do not get paid for my advice.  All opinions are my own – my honest thoughts on the subject and I am in no way judging anyone for the choices they make or their own opinions, these are just mine.

Signature Honey

Summertime in Hawaii is a dream come true for many and for my family, we love it and enjoy our paradise home year round.  As a family, we love to get outdoors and experience all that our beautiful islands offer us from the ocean and streams to hiking, climbing and all around fun.  But with the high island heat, deep ocean water and so much to do around us, we must be prepared for anything and everything and planning for a safe summer ahead of time is a must.  Having worked in the tourism industry for years, I have seen many injuries occur and today I want to share some simple tips that will make your summer time here in Hawaii or anywhere a blast and hopefully – accident free.  Here are a few personal summer safety tips that I think every parent should know.

Summer Safety Tips Every Parent Should Know - Be Summer Ready With Aflac

Summer Safety Tips:

Stay Hydrated – Drink plenty of water!  While we are out and about having fun and enjoying our summer, often times we don’t realize that we haven’t been hydrating our bodies until it is too late.  Make sure to have consume/drink the daily intake of water or increase the amount depending on your level of activity/fun.  Drinking water not only helps to keep your body hydrated and healthy, but it will also keep you feeling cooler while you are out and about.  Don’t forget about this important tip.

SPF/Sunblock are Essential – Use it!  Let’s face it, many of us forget to apply sunblock before it’s too late so the key is to be prepared and have it ready and handy before you plan your summer adventures.  SPF or even coverups like hats, etc. can be essential in not only protecting your skin from sunburn, aging, etc – but also cancer.  Make sure to have an SPF you are comfortable using and apply 20 minutes before you get out in the sun.  Reapply every two hours as needed or if you are in the water.  Sunblock is so important to our family that I always carry a small travel size in my purse year round and my sons always wear a hat year round if we are gonna be exposed to the sun and elements.

Update that First Aid Kit!  Since I have very active boys, we have a First Aid kit in each vehicle, a small kit in my purse and a large one in the house to be prepared at a moment’s notice.  Cuts, scrapes, thorns – all things ouch can occur at any time and it’s always best to be prepared.  My son has played basketball for years and each year one of his teammates get hurt on the court, needless to say – Mommy is always to the rescue.

Water Safety is a MUST!  Obviously, we live in Hawaii and are surrounded by water so it is important that we teach our children water safety.  My husband and I are both CPR Certified and have years of water training both in the pool and ocean so it is imperative that you teach your children the dangers of water and how to protect themselves.  While working in the hotel industry, I have seen many tourists drown due to lack of knowledge of the ocean current, waves and tides so it is important that no matter where you go – that you familiarize yourself with the ocean conditions and know that the ocean is unpredictable.  Check signs, posted flag warnings and speak with a life guard on duty when available and make sure to supervise your children at all times.  When swimming in a pool, make sure you are supervising your children and have nice clean fun.  One important thing to also remember… if your child has been taking in water while swimming or gulping water while playing – monitor your child several hours after water play as that can result in Secondary Drowning – this goes for adults too.

Summer Safety Tips Every Parent Should Know

Know Limitations!  Teach your kids to listen to their bodies.  This may not seem like a big deal, but it can turn into a disaster if not taken into consideration.  Teach your children that if at any point they feel pain or discomfort while playing, they should notify their coach and get out of the game or tell a parent or adult while playing. While sitting on the sidelines is one of the most difficult situations a player can face, pushing through injuries increases their severity and keeps you out of action longer.  This goes for regular outdoor play, swimming, etc – not just during a game or game play.

Be prepared with accidental & supplemental insurance coverage and Plan for unexpected expenses!  Let’s face it, accidents happen and while children are still learning and growing, things can always happen at a moments notice without warning.  If you keep busy during the summer months, whether a vacation trip or just lounging at the beach or pool, it is always best to be one step ahead of it all and get that extra insurance to help with expenses.  Between sports (which occur often during the summer for my boys) or outdoor play and activities, it’s best to be prepared.  Accidents happen. When unexpected injuries happen, make sure you’re prepared with supplemental insurance like Aflac’s accident policy to help cover out-of-pocket expenses.

Should the need arise where you need that extra insurance benefit you’ll have it ready.  Submitting health insurance claims isn’t something people necessarily look forward to doing – with claim denials and waiting up to a month for payment, it can be a long and difficult process. And while 30 days may not seem like a long time, for families struggling to pay medical expenses, it can feel like a lifetime.  Therefore, Aflac recently introduced One Day PaySM – an initiative that allows Aflac to process, approve and pay eligible claims in just a day.  By being prepared, you’ll have a back up plan should you need it.

Visit Aflac’s Accident Insurance page for more information on their accident policies here.

Aflac-same-day-pay
Last but not least, the most important tip for Summer is to Enjoy life and have lots of fun. Children grow up too quickly so make sure you cherish every moment and make lots of memories!

Happy Summer!

Signature Honey

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

It’s been almost 6 years since I have given birth to my twins and the day is still quite fresh in my mind.  All of my pregnancies were difficult and this particular one was no exception – but more so because it was VERY high risk and I was carrying two instead of one.  About four months into my pregnancy a family friend gave me a bunch of books about twins (since she had just delivered her own about 6 months prior) and mixed in the bunch was the book What to Expect® When You’re Expecting.  During the remainder of my pregnancy, I read through all of the books, but carried this particular book with me and read it consistently.  To say it was a lifesaver, is an understatement.

What To Expect When You're Expecting - The Perfect Mommy Guide

While I’m not expecting any children in the immediate future, I keep these books on hand because they contain a wealth of information for both myself and my husband and they are a great reference for friends, family and ourselves to turn to when we have questions.  There is a reason why they are the #1 Bestselling Pregnancy Book – it’s one of those books that you just can’t donate or pass on because it’s that valuable.  Have you ever read a book that referenced anything, especially pregnancy and felt like you were reading something written in Greek?  Well, that is why Heidi Murkoff & Sharon Mazel’s What to Expect® When You’re Expecting, What To Expect® the First Year, and Eating Well When You’re Expecting have in common?  They are easy to read and literally lay everything out in easy terms that make it simplified for you to understand.  It’s a timeless book series that I love, will reference during each of my pregnancies in the future and suggest to any mother or father expecting their own child.

What To Expect When You're Expecting - The Perfect Mommy Guide

I really enjoy that this series of books offers you not only a wealth of information, but it is something that you can pass down for generations, sharing with your own children.  The books offer everything from the beginning through the first weeks after pregnancy and well into your child’s second year (What to Expect® the Second Year) making it a hub of information.  The books were my guide in Postpartum where I struggled and continue to struggle today and have been such help in combating an issue that many women experience.  After having my twins, I experienced major depression and my hands were so busy with my sons, I didn’t realize what was happening to me.  A quick glance at the book and I was able to determine that it was time to visit my doctor and I’m glad I did because I was diagnosed with severe postpartum depression.  Without a little push from the book, I may have allowed such a big deal to take over and I may have not realized what was happening.  I still deal with my depression today as a result of postpartum, but thankful it was caught in time before anything drastic occurred.

What To Expect When You're Expecting - The Perfect Mommy Guide

It’s amazing that with a plethora of information on the internet, I still found that a book would be my number one reference – till this day.  The What to Expect® When You’re Expecting series is based around the main book, What to Expect When You’re Expecting which has been the Bestseller Pregnancy book for over 600 weeks.  It’s a definite necessity in my book and America’s Bestselling Parenting Series for a reason.  As a mother who experienced some of the most difficult pregnancies, I am thankful that I have the books to fall back on for information.  There is a wealth of information and covers everything you can think of.  No question is odd, weird or embarrassing and sitting down with this book is like chatting with your best friend.

What To Expect When You're Expecting - The Perfect Mommy Guide

What to Expect® When You’re Expecting is the long-running book on the New York Times Bestseller list and recommended by moms (myself included) and doctors alike.  In fact, my OBGYN hands this book to her patients that are expecting and makes it a point to keep them well informed with a great read.  This book is definitely “mommy survival guide” status for me!

Have you read this series of books from Workman Publishing?  If not, is this something you’ll be adding to your must-have list when you are expecting?

Signature Honey

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

We are just a few short days away from Mother’s Day and I can’t help buy reflect on my first Mother’s Day 11 years ago.  It seems like the time has flown all too quickly and the minutes of the day just drift away like they are non-existent.  Looking back on what I’ve learned and what I’ve accomplished gives me a sense of pride.  I always knew I wanted to be a mom, but I never knew how rewarding it would be for me and how much I loved this job with all my heart.

My boys are growing so quickly and I have learned after becoming a mother that sometimes a little acknowledgement, peace of mind and inspiration go a really long way.  I wanted to take the time to write a letter to all moms – new, soon to be and those with years of experience.  This is my Mother’s Day Gift to you and I hope you enjoy!

My sons
Luke, Kevin and Isaiah – 2011

Dear Moms…

1. As much as we wish it would, time stands still for no one and father time ticks and tocks the days and nights away.  While our days may be filled with challenges, they may also be filled with laughter and delight.  Take the time each day to stop and think about the things you are grateful for.  I keep a gratitude journal specifically for this reason.  It allows me to reflect back on other days and remember the memories that we often times soon forget.  Remember that each day is filled with some form of happiness… there is always sunlight at the end of a storm.

2.  It’s okay to want a little “me” time.  I’m still trying to grasp the concept myself, but at least now I have accepted that wanting some time to myself does not mean that I don’t love my children.  It just means that I need a break sometimes.  Even if this means you are gonna vegetate in front of the computer, online window shop and have a glass of Vino… so long as it gives you a moment to yourself – hey, that’s great.

Kevin Kaeo
Kevin 2008

3.  Don’t feel bad about wanting to capture every moment on camera.  Your children will thank you later, trust me.  My three sons grew up in front of a camera and I snapped away at every moment and tried to capture as many memories as possible.  Even with a camera attached at the hip, I found that some of their earlier years were missed because I was caught up doing other things.  It’s okay to stop and tell someone you need to take a photo, it’s okay to capture the moment for your memories.  Snap away and always have a camera on hand.  You don’t want to look back at the past and realize you missed something because you were too busy with something else.

4.  Each parent has their own set of advice for new or soon to be mommies.  It can be difficult to hear sometimes and I know that I struggled with this (still do), for a long time.  If it’s something you can use in your life as a momma, then incorporate it into your own.  If you can’t use, do not worry – just move on and thank the person who gave it to you.  Parents sometimes forget that each child is their own individual and what might work for one child, certainly will not work for another.   Do not feel obligated to make someone’s advice work for you – even if they say it will and you know it won’t.

Luke
Luke 2010

5.  This one might only pertain to moms of twinnies… but needless to say, it had to be said.  Please please do not tell a mom of twins (new or otherwise), that you know exactly what they are going through because your children are just 10 months or a year or so apart.  IT IS NOT THE SAME.  I won’t tell you how many verbal arguments I have gotten into with parents over this.  Having two children exactly the same age (twins) is not the same as having a child just a year older.  By the time you have your second child (or the child born a year after), your first child is already starting to feed themselves, talking, walking, etc.  It is not the same experience as two infants or children the same age.  Many can argue the fact, but as a mother of twins, it was absolutely difficult for me to deal with and it was the cause of MANY arguments with other people.  Does that mean that you are less than I because I am a mother of twins – OF COURSE NOT, but they are not a comparison or similarity by any means.

6.  It’s okay to splurge on yourself once in a while.  I’m pretty lucky in that I have a husband that consistently reminds me that it’s time to buy myself something nice, otherwise, it goes on the back burner and I completely forget.  Choose out something from your wishlist and if you can swing it, get it.  Ask your hubby for a Sephora Gift Card (hint hint) and pick up that new perfume or lipstick you’ve been eyeing.  The choices are endless and I want moms to know that it’s okay to want to spoil yourself once in a while.  It’s too often that we forget about ourselves and are always thinking about others, so it’s okay to have a little treat now and then.

Isaiah
Isaiah – 2010

7.  A child’s smile can warm your heart.  But, don’t let that fool you… that doesn’t mean you have to give-in and give them anything and everything they want.   Sometimes structure is key and I know it has been very essential in raising my children.  There are many out there that will say you are being too harsh… but don’t let them affect how your raise your child.  They are your children after all – not your aunts, sisters, mothers, brother from another mother… they are your children and you set the rules.

8.  Your are a strong woman!  It takes more than just physical strength to handle the job of a mom.  You are not only strong physically and mentally, you are courageous, creative and a complete genius.  Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise!

family

9.  Before having your first child, no one ever tells you that it is a 365 day a year job, no days off, no weekends – no holidays… no pay. lol We don’t get a lunch break, no vacation time off and there is no worker’s comp either.  It has made me appreciate my mom more after having children.  While I knew that my mom was a very hard worker and she kept our family afloat, I truly had no idea what it was like until I stepped into this role.  My mom also made it all work with less than half of what my family has financially.  My siblings and I are all healthy and grown up and I am proud to have learned so much from my own mom.

10.  This is an important one!  After having children, sometimes we lose that sense of sexy.  I know after having my boys, I gained twice my weight and I was not feeling very pretty.  Gaining weight after childbirth is not the only thing that makes us not feel beautiful.  Emotions are running wild, we’re tired, we don’t want to put makeup on and pajamas are our best friend.  All these things add up to feeling frumpy and blue and that doesn’t even include the women who suffer from postpartum as I did.  When someone pays you a compliment, believe them.  For a long time my husband would tell me how beautiful I was and I thought to myself… “what’s wrong with this man?  Who in the world is he looking at?”  I still think that way sometimes.  But when your husband tells you are your beautiful – believe him.  This is not an easy concept for many and sometimes we just don’t feel beautiful.  But beauty is much more than looks and a woman who can survive on two hours of sleep and no food in their belly and still be able to cook a whole meal for the house, pay the bills and make sure each child is happy and healthy – well… she has a beauty within that most only dream of having.

My boys

So, at the end of the day – we are here on this Earth because of our Mothers… well, our Dads too.  Most of us are who we are because of these women and those who are mothers, well – we are strong, stealth ninjas with a heart of gold.  At the end of the day, our lives are no longer our own and times can be tough, but there is one thing I know about being a mom… it is the BEST, MOST REWARDING JOB IN THE WORLD and I wouldn’t give it up for anything.

To all the mommies out there, new, soon to be and those that are experienced just know that YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!  Wishing you all a wonderful Mother’s Day!

xo

Signature Honey

While I’m a stay at home mom, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s a job that most people underestimate.  It’s a job I love and I take pride in but it’s 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with no days off.  You’re on call all hours of the day and night and as much as the job is rewarding, it can be trying and stressful.  But, I love being a mom!  Come on now, look at those three adorable faces… they keep me busy, they keep me on my toes, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the whole world.  Because I’m constantly on the go and busy being a mom, I am always looking for ways to help with the stress.  Here are a few steps and tips I can give busy moms like me going through the same.

the boys

1.  Positive Affirmation – First of all, know that you are just too blessed to be stressed!  I know, I know – this is easier said then done… but if you take a few seconds and actually say it out loud… “I’m too blessed to be stressed” you’ll be amazed at how good it will make you feel.  Saying positive affirmations out loud is a great way to empower yourself.  When I’m feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, this helps me in a pinch and works quickly.

2.  Breathe – As simple as this one may seem… no one really stops to think about it.  When a person is under stress or feeling stressed, their breathing pattern changes and they can often start taking on small, shallow breaths – which in turn can add to the symptoms of stress and make it worst.  This is otherwise known as a form of hyperventilation.  By controlling your breathing you can help to improve the symptoms.  Slow, controlled breathing can help to relax your body, muscles and can also lower your blood pressure giving you increased energy as well as the feeling of calm and well being.

3.  Exercise or Stretching – I find that sometimes just a long, good stretch will get the blood flowing in my body, give me a boost of energy and help me to get focused.  It’s a proven fact that when you exercise, your body releases natural endorphins in your body giving you a boost of self confidence and even happiness.  I will be honest, this is the one thing I need to incorporate more into my stressful days, but when I do – I have the feeling like I’m “unstoppable” and I can concentrate better for a solution to help with the cause of stress.  Overall – I’m much more relaxed and feel less stressed.

4.  Jam out to your favorite music while driving – This may not be a stress reliever if you live where there is heavy traffic, however – I find jumping into my car, opening the windows and sun roof and just listening to my favorite music helps to relieve a lot of stress.  Sometimes we underestimate how helpful belting out our favorite music makes us feel.  I love driving down a country road, easy listening songs on the radio and clear my mind.  It works, try it.  If you find yourself in heavy traffic – try putting on your favorite music and just sing along – you’ll be amazed at how fast you’ll calm down and how quick your drive will be.

5.  The last tip for conquering or relieving stress comes in homeopathic form.  RESCUE Pastilles is a natural stress reliever in a chewy pastille lozenge.  I especially love that these are available when I need them and are non-habit forming.  Just simply chew on one when you feel stressed or could use some relief.  They are travel friendly and I have one in my purse at any time to help when needed.  Active ingredients help you to focus, have patience and give you a balanced mind when losing control.

Rescue Pastilles

Keep a canister of RESCUE Pastilles in your purse in case you need it while on the go… and get natural relief in the form of a lozenge.  I find that while I’m out and about, I experience a lot of anxiety if I’m rushed or have to deal with large crowds when I was not expecting to.  Having RESCUE Pastilles in my purse has been a lifesaver.  I have the one flavored like Black Currant and it tastes pretty good.  Keep one around the house if you are looking for a quick way to provide stress relief.

Rescue Pastilles

RESCUE Pastilles has been trusted for generations and comes in a variety of forms to fit your busy (and sometimes stressful) lifestyle:

    • RESCUE Pastilles
    • RESCUE Sleep Liquid Melts
    • RESCUE Pearls
    • and more

RESCUE stress relief products are available now at CVS, Walgreens, Whole Foods and Sprouts (in the U.S.) or where ever you find natural products.  RESCUE is developed by a doctor and since it is non-habit forming, it allows you to help keep stress at bay without side effects.  RESCUE products are affordable and can be found for under $10.  I especially enjoy taking one of the lozenges pre-workout to help me relax and just buckle down in the grind.

Rescue Pastilles

Want to try RESCUE?  Click on the Printable Coupon and Buy 1 Get 1.  Try RESCUE for yourself and see how it will fit in your every day life.

So – while keeping stress at a minimum is not an exact science, sometimes it’s the little things that help make it all better.  Let’s face it, we live in a complicated world filled with stressors that can often damper any positive thought or situation, but learning to deal with stress and help relieve it, helps not only in our day to day – but in life.  What do you use to relieve stress?  Is RESCUE Pastilles something you may try?

Signature Honey

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


A few weeks ago my sons and I went out to a dinner date with a family member visiting from afar.  As we sat at the table, my Aunt asked… “Hmm… do your children not have those iApple things?”  I giggled, but explained to her that while they each have their own tablets they are limited on time of use, where they use them and how often.  As much as we love technology in our household, family time and hands on things are much more important and I’m glad my husband and I are able to instill that in our children.  After dinner, I thought back to some memories from years ago.  As a child my parents always made science things so interesting and I remember going on little adventures at the local park with my dad with a magnifying glass and clear dishes to hold our specimens in after finding them.  As we got older and my parents could afford it, my siblings and I would get really cool kits that allowed us to dig up dinosaur-like bones, bugs and mineral rocks and we enjoyed those as well.

Real Bug Dig Kit

Because of these memories it always excites me to be able to offer these similar things to my children.  My sons and I spend a lot of time together and because of this, much of what we do is explore and learn about History, Science and all the wonders our beautiful Earth has to offer.  But, with the rainy season upon us – our explorations have been dwindled quite a bit.  That’s why I am so excited that there are cool Kits like the one I’m about to talk to you about.  Discover With Dr. Cool Real Insect Excavation Kit has been a fun choice for rainy days and I am excited to place another order for other kits also available.

Real Bug Dig Kit

The Discover With Dr. Cool’s Kit retails for about $12 on their website and comes with everything you need to dig up some really cool bugs.  Included in the kit is your Digging Block (which is disguised as a bright green beetle), Excavation Tools, and Adventure Guide, an Activity Booklet and 3 Real Specimens.  Please note that some of the items in the kit are considered choking hazards and not recommended for children under 3.

Real Bug Dig Kit

The kit is completely hands-on and my three boys each took turns scraping away at the beetle till they revealed what was encased inside.  Just like archaeologists, they took their time to clean away the dust and debris till they found what they were on the search for.  I was a bit worried that with their little excavation they may mutilate the specimens while looking but each one is secure in a glass shell.

Real Bug Dig Kit

The boys took about an hour to get through the entire beetle to reveal their finds.  Though I know they thoroughly enjoyed it and they took their time because this was truly an adventure to discover.  My ten year old (Kevin) loved taking part in this with his little bros (Luke & Isaiah) who are just five years old and together they made this an afternoon of fun and discovery.

https://www.discoverwithdrcool.com/science-kits/real-insect-excavation-kit-dig-out-3-real-bugs

After making their way to through the exterior of the beetle, they slowly started to find the glass encased bugs through out the body of the beetle.  What I enjoyed about this kit is there were no sharp edges to any of the digging tools.  It was as simple as laying down some newspaper and clean up was just as easy as throwing it all away.

Real Bug Dig Kit

The boys didn’t have to dig too deep as most of the bug specimens were found through out the top part of the beetle.  I do suggest that if you have asthma or if you have sensitivity to dust to use a mask as it seemed like this was a clay like brick and there was quite a bit of dust.  We made sure to open our windows so the boys air and breathing was not compromised.

https://www.discoverwithdrcool.com/science-kits/real-insect-excavation-kit-dig-out-3-real-bugs

What I think is probably the coolest part is the end result.  Each bug is encased in a cool glass marble and they are REAL Genuine bugs.  The kit includes a guide with information on each bug included in the kit and it was so cool to see the different colors these bugs had on their bodies.  The activity booklets also include challenge puzzles and games that the boys enjoyed taking part in.

https://www.discoverwithdrcool.com/science-kits/real-insect-excavation-kit-dig-out-3-real-bugsAt such an affordable price tag – this Discover Dr. Cool Real Bug Dig Kit includes all the makings for hours of fun and education for any little person (or even adult, since I truly enjoyed myself as well) and offers such great hands on experience for children.  The box does state that the products itself are non-toxic, but I do suggest like I said before to take caution with the dust from excavation.

Real Bug Dig Kit

The boys and I are excited to try out other kits available all for about the same price range.  With technology taking our World by storm, sometimes we forget all about the wonders that our Earth offers.  While the internet opens up our eyes to things we can’t see or touch immediately, I’m so glad that there are still great things like this to keep our children wondering about science and more.

Real Bug Dig Kit

Have you heard of Discover Dr. Cool before?  What are some interesting things you may remember about exploring from your childhood?  Do you have children and is this something you think they’ll be interested in.  Thanks for reading 😉

Signature Honey

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.


When it comes to organization and keeping dates in order, I’m a stickler for planners and keeping track of dates and appointments on paper or via technology.  Sometimes I’m told it’s a bit repetitious… but needless to say – it is a rare occasion that I’m late or missed an appointment because I keep my dates organized.  With three children who all have a schedule of their own, it is a requirement to keep my life planned out.

Dotmine - Dutch Treat Family Time 17 Month Planner

 

PRESS SAMPLE

Dotmine is a company that offers Family and Student planners that help you organize your busy schedule.  Each planner offers 17 months worth so that your planner can accommodate both school and regular calendar years without you having to sacrifice your organizational needs.  I rather like the 17 month year because I plan both for myself and my children and this allows me to not have to use a plethora of organizers for each of us in my family.

About Dotmine

 It all started with a simple “dot” back in 1999–Sarah, Lisa, and a commitment to reclaim our lives while helping you do the same.  A serendipitous meeting in a London pub had given us the idea. Our corporate days — one of us pitching underwear and the other pitching laundry detergent — were far behind us. And for 15 years, backed by supportive husbands and seven fabulous children, our planners became favorites throughout the world.

Family Time 17 Month Planner

This planner is great in organizing a busy family but also loved by teachers and nurses as well as bloggers such as myself.  Developed by a group of moms, the Family Time planner is there to help you juggle multiple schedules all in one place.  Those of you who have children or juggle more than one job I’m sure will definitely appreciate this.

The Family Planners are available in 3 designs (Dutch Treat, Free Bird and Petites Fleurs) and each retails for $24.99.  Each planner is 8.5 x 11 inches and includes dates from August to December.  Adorned with their fashionable designs that are printed on durable plastic, these cool planners include monthly and weekly pages on crisp white paper.  I especially love that they include inspirational and humorous quotes each week, which is probably one of my favorite features of any planner as those that know me know that I look for daily inspiration before starting my day.  Plastic coils keep this planner spiral bound and there are back pockets to hold important papers in place.  Perforated margins for “tear-out” lists and note pages help to make your daily planning and errands a breeze.  In my opinion, if you are looking for a quality Family or blogging planner without spending the hefty costs that some may offer – this planner will be a great addition for you.

Family Time 17 Month Planner

What I love the most about this planner is how easy it is to use.  There are pages that offer seasonal schedules which is awesome since my children are all involved in sports which often has practice and games on repetitive dates so listing these make it an easy reference for myself, my family or the sitter should I need one.  Speaking of sitter… there is a babysitter page where you can easily insert a sticky note each time you go out so that the sitter knows exactly where you are or how to reach you each time.

BabysitterPage_10_54448169-fa21-45a1-9795-092e805c3240_large

I also love that Family Time offers a guide and tips on how to use the planner… simply take a look at the first few pages where it outlines exactly what to do and how to utilize the planner.  From adding sticky notes to special dates or weeks to planning out “family business”… every detail you may have questions on can be found on the “Using family-time.mine Everyday” pages.

family time dotmine

Overall – the price point is great considering I have paid well over $100 for other planners on the market in the past.  While it is simplistic, it offers a wide range of organizational tools for you and your family.  I love the perforated tear sheet options because this allows me to write down my grocery shopping lists or notes, etc. and tear them out should I need them on the go. The note sections are large enough for me to list a good amount of information as are each week and day.  If I had to critique the planner in general, I wish there was a way to add on pockets to keep pencils or post-its or a book mark that will allow me to easily turn to my page of the day.  I can definitely DIY these options, but it would be great if Dotmine offered something like this.  I’m all about accessories and add ons and I think that those would be awesome options.  I do definitely give this planner a 5 Sparkle rating because the options are wonderful considering the price point.  For those of you that love reading my “Mommy Survival Guide” posts – this is definitely something I would add to a Mommy Survival Necessity. 🙂

Have you heard of Dotmine Planners?  Could you see this meeting your families’ organizational needs?

Signature Honey

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.