Little Box Play Things

As we are oh so quickly approaching the holidays, it seems to always bring on the panic of gift hunting.  We are constantly bombarded by ads for the latest, greatest technology, or this fad toy, or this awesome gadget, it’s easy to overlook the beauty in simplicity.  This is where my awesomely talented cousin comes in and I tell you about her gorgeous gifts that can be custom tailored for any kid, big or small!

Please meet Little Box Play Things, artfully crafted by my cousin, Ashley.

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She creates these amazing, personalized treasure boxes, perfect for keeping all kinds of goodies in!  You have the ability to choose colors, names, themes, whatever your little heart desires!  Princesses, Mickey Mouse, Avengers, Game of Thrones even! If you have an idea, I guarantee you that she can run with it and leave you amazed. What a great gift idea for the hard to shop for guy!  Or girl!  She has lots of themes to choose from, and an amazing knack for really getting even the tiniest details in.  My girls keep all sorts of fun things in their boxes, anything from jewelry, lip gloss, pretty rocks, you name it!

After you pick out your amazing treasure boxes, how about fill it with imagination building toys?  She also custom makes gorgeous magnet play sets with lots of fun themes including big Disney favorites!  My kids have had hours of fun with the magnet sets, playing out favorite stories or episodes or even making up their very own stories to go along with their favorite characters!  So cute, so fun, and no batteries required!!

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To round out the fun themes, you can even have a mini bowling set created to match everything and provide lots of fun and giggles with the little ones.  Everything is gorgeous, and made with love!

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So many cute things to choose from!  Make sure you stop by and say hi and tell her what kinds of fun themes would make the perfect gift for your loved ones this holiday season or any time at all!  Nothing beats handmade with love!

Check out Little Box Play Things Etsy shop by clicking HERE.

Check out Little Shop Play Things Theme Ideas by clicking HERE.

Follow Little Shop Play Things on Facebook by clicking HERE.

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After Christmas Sales!

Do you go shopping for after Christmas bargains in the days following the big event?  As you may know, I have a passion for clearance, and often score amazing holiday deals by scoping out the stores in the few days after holidays.  This includes Easter, Fourth of July, Halloween, and of course, Christmas!

My personal store of choice is Target, mainly because they are really generous in their markdowns, but also because they tend to have just the absolute cutest things.  This year, we waited longer than usual, totally skipped the 50% off sale and went in when things were marked down 70%.  I’m glad we waited!  There was way more stuff left that I would have imagined, things I definitely would have snagged at 50% off and ending up paying more!

Abe loaded up on LED Christmas lights for next year,and I got loads of fun decor and even, dare I say, a few gifts for next Christmas!  Yes, I am a planning kind of girl, I love to have things planned out as far ahead of time as possible, so you can trust and believe that this mama always has a fully stocked gift closet!  I’m able to give my friends and family really nice gifts for a tiny fraction of the original price!  And when the kids spring a last minute birthday party invitation on me, I can go shopping in my gift stash to find the perfect gift, no stress involved!

If you can stomach the holidays for a few more days past their prime, clearance sales are the place to be!  Best of all, our cashier told us we saved $242!  Happy dance!

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Don’t forget to check out my Facebook page for today’s smoothie picture and my random awesome thoughts.  😉  Click HERE and don’t forget to follow!  Thanks, friends!

Natures Paradise Organics Review!

I have recently discovered another awesome company that specializes in organic products, with lines for baby, beauty, household, you name it!  Natures Paradise Organics is a company that started with the founder’s great grandmother’s family recipe for skin irritations, something she cooked up herself on her stove top and gave out to family and friends to soothe their irritated skin.

This is a company that is passionate about providing it’s customers with organic, safe, and natural products.  Their recipes include no chemicals, no toxins, no petroleum, no synthetics, no parabens, no phtalates, no BPA, no sulfates and are 100% vegan!  Safe ingredients equal a safe product, and one that you can feel 100% confident in using both on yourself and on your precious baby’s skin!

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I received the  Baby Organic Coconut Moisturizing Lotion for review, and I just have to say, the formulation is heavenly!  It is silky smooth right out of the bottle and the scent is just divine!  It is a very light and delicious coconut smell that leaves skin fresh and moisturized without weighing it down with a greasy, sticky mess.  It absorbs well and best of all, it works wonders on dry winter skin!

This is a product that you can feel good using on your children and yourself, along with their many other amazing products.  As the year is coming to an end, now is the perfect time to go through your cabinets, throw out the old, toxic, nasty, chemical laden products and replace them with something better both for you and for the environment.  Even better, Natures Paradise Organics is having a sale on their products!

Go to their website by clicking HERE, and enter code “blackfriday” to get 60% off!  That is a steal!  Browse through their many products and stock up now, it is a great way to start the new year and an amazing gift for the loved ones on your holiday shopping list!

“Like” Natures Paradise Organics Facebook page by clicking HERE.

Follow Natures Paradise Organics on Twitter by clicking HERE.

The 60% off sale has been extended to include Cyber Monday!  What are you waiting for?  Go shop!  🙂

The awesome folks at Natures Paradise Organics provided me with free product for review purposes only and I was not compensated in any other way.  All opinions are my own, and I really do love their products!

Citrus Lane Black Friday Deal!

I love Black Friday season, snagging a good deal and saving money are a sure fire way to make this mama very happy!  This year, just in time for Black Friday, Cirtus Lane is offering up an awesome deal for new subscribers OR current subscribers who would like to renew their subscriptions!  What a perfect time to try it out for yourself or to send it as a gift for someone you know with a baby aged 0-5!

Click HERE where you will find their offers for 3 months for just $56 (regularly $75!), 6 months for just $105 (regularly $150!) or a full year for just $196 (regularly $300!)

We LOVE our Citrus Lane box!!  We have been getting boxes for Sara since she was only 9 months old and have found some really amazing goodies in our boxes over the years!  Take advantage of this amazing deal, and remember, shipping is always free!

10 Storks Review!

Today, I have an exciting new subscription box to share with you, designed especially for the expecting mama!  What a perfect time to pamper yourself, and look forward to a new box of goodies each month throughout pregnancy!  This would also make an amazing gift for that special mama to be in your life (hint hint to all the expecting papis out there!).  Better still, with every single paid subscription, you also receive a free baby box filled with items valuing $30!  Let’s dive in, shall we?

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I received Box #4 for review, this is the magical time in pregnancy when the morning noon and night sickness starts to wear off and you can finally start to enjoy the ride a bit!

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The box was oh so lovingly packed, seeing all the pretty tissue paper and the neat little bow just made me smile instantly, such a nice way to package everything!

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And the box was packed full with all kinds of awesome, pregnancy stage appropriate items!

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Orchard Valley Harvest Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds

This was the first thing to catch my eye, yum!  Almonds are a great, low carb food, perfect for storing in your purse for snacks on the go.  The added dark chocolate is a great bonus, filled with antioxidants and yummy goodness for the perfect treat during pregnancy or anytime.

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Earth Mama Angel Baby Organic Heartburn Tea

I love Earth Mama Baby Angel anything, so having the yummy heartburn tea was a welcome addition to this month’s box!  Pregnancy comes with lots of fun little discomforts, one of the biggest for me is always heartburn.  This delicious organic tea is the perfect herbal blend with a soothing mellow mint flavor that helps ease the discomfort of heartburn.  The tea is also caffeine free, so no worries!  Drink as often as needed!

 

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Mambino Mommy & Baby Calming Aromatherapy Oil

This tiny bottle is serenity in disguise.  Apply a small dab to each temple for relief with nausea, and continue use for calming effects both for mom and baby.  Organic oils are very potent, and just the tiniest of amounts proves very effective, so even in a small package, this bottle of magic will last a good while.  Also included were sample sizes of a few other products, Youth Glow Face Serum and Oh Baby! Belly Butter.  Awesome, pampering products that are safe and organic for the mama to be.

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Eucerin Travel Size Lotion

Perfect for throwing in your purse and moisturizing on the go!  During pregnancy, your skin can tend to be more sensitive and dry.  Having this in your purse is a great way to help keep that dryness under control in between doctor’s appointments and busy schedules.  Moisturized skin is happy skin!

 

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Neutrogena Age Shield Sunblock Lotion

Having more sensitive skin, means being more susceptible to sun damage and even sunburns.  This is a great, generous sized product from a big name brand known for keeping your skin healthy.  Remember to apply daily, even in the colder months!

 

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Oral-B Complete Glide Dental Floss Picks

During pregnancy it is super important to keep up with your regular dentist appointments and teeth cleaning routine.  You are more susceptible now than ever to bleeding gums, so keep ahead of it and keep those gums clean!  This is an awesome product to take with you on the go as well, great for a quick cleaning and breath freshening any time of day.

 

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Mayo Clinic Guide To A Healthy Pregnancy

The pregnancy Bible.  Seriously.  This book was written by doctors who are also parents, and covers absolutely everything you could ever want to know about your pregnancy.  Everything is explained very well, no confusing clinical terms, and being well informed will squash any fears you may have during your pregnancy.

 

Pretty awesome stash, wouldn’t you agree?  I think this would be a great box to look forward to each month, pampering during pregnancy should be a rule!  You can subscribe to 10 Storks for as many months as you like, start at anytime!  Each month is $40 and shipping is always free!  Don’t forget that with each paid subscription, you will also receive a free baby box filled with great products valuing $30!

You can get your very own subscription by going to the 10 Storks website HERE.  Enter code MOMLOVE for $10 off your first box!

If you aren’t ready for a full subscription, there is also a pregnancy survival kit available for purchase.

 

“Like” 10 Storks on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Follow 10 Storks on Twitter by clicking HERE.

 

I received this box from the awesome folks at 10 Storks free of charge for review purposes.  I was not compensated in any other way and I really do think this is an awesome subscription box!

December Citrus Lane Box!

December is a crazy month for everyone!  That is my official excuse for not posting this in a timely manner.  🙂

Citrus Lane’s theme for December was “A few of our favorite things”.  The box was jam packed with some great goodies!  Shall we begin?

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As always, each month includes an insert that gives you all the details of the items in the box, the websites to find the products, and very often, an exclusive savings code so you can stock up on even more of the awesome items.

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This month’s box came was a bit larger than usual because it had a big toy inside of it!

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Green Toys Airplane $14.99

Totally eco friendly, totally made from recycled materials (milk jugs to be exact!) and totally awesome!  The Green Toys ariplane is a perfect imagination toy for both boys and girls alike!  All of the Green Toys items are made very sturdy, ready for lots of play time with even the littlest, perhaps roughest, of little pilots!  A total hit in our house, sound effects not included, but easily and very happily provided by the happy kiddos!

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Pearhead Brag Book $8.95

This is not a flimsy, cheap little brag book!  This is a hardcover, sturdily made book, perfect for a grandparent gift or just filling and keeping for yourself!  My kids love to spend time looking through photo albums, so this would even be a perfect book to fill with photos for the kids to look through whenever their little hearts desire.  Very cute and easily personalized!

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GoGo Squeez Fruit Pouch $1.29

Yummy, easy, real food snack that is great to stash away in purses, diaper bags, you name it.  All of my kids love to eat snacks from pouches, from 10 years old all the way down to my 1 year old.  It is an easy, mess free way to give a healthy snack on the go and offers at least a few minutes of quiet time while the kids are snacking away!

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Renee & Jeremy It’s A Big World CD $12.00

Okay, as a mama with little ones, my house is filled with all sorts of kid songs that can get…..annoying.  Admit it, character voices get old fast!  This CD, Rene & Jeremy as artists in general, just amazing!  Calming, soothing, mellow, happy, just GOOD.  They have a bit of a hippie/folkie vibe that I have to admit, I love.  You can check out their website for samples of their songs.  Watch out though, they are amazingly addictive!

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Madecasse 75% Cocoa Mini Chocolate Bar $1.50

This was an added special little treat just for the mamas (or daddys!) this month.  I love getting small little things for me in the boxes, and you can’t go wrong with chocolate, am I right?  This particular chocolate was very dark and very bold, as the label suggests.  Not for everyone’s taste buds, but still a very nice little treat!

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Ecomom Gift Voucher $15

Ecomom is a website with an amazing variety of awesome, eco friendly items, both for the kids and for mom (or dad, lets not forget the papis!)  This voucher is good for $15 towards ANYTHING your heart desires on their site!  What a generous gift!  The hardest thing about that, is picking one thing to use it on!  I am an Ecomom regular, I have no doubt that everyone will be able to find an amazing deal to use this voucher on!

 

Have you fallen in love with Citrus Lane yet?!  I am being 100% honest when I tell you that it is something we look forward to each and every month!  We are constantly being introduced to new, awesome products and companies.  We use all of our Citrus Lane goodies regularly, and often have impressed mamas asking us where we got this or that.

Wanna hear some exciting news?  The Citrus Lane Subscription box has expanded its ages for their boxes!!  They now offer curated boxes for babies and kids from birth to age 5!!  How exciting!

Are you interested in a getting a subscription of your own?  Well, I can help you!  Click HERE to sign up and you will get $10 off your new subscription!  You can get as little as 3 months, or as much as a full year!

I have said it before, I will say it again.  I think Citrus Lane is an awesome value and it definitely costs less than a quick trip to Target (or any store) for this mama.  They have exciting things planned for the coming year, so now is a great time to join the Citrus Lane community!

 

November Citrus Lane Box!

Middle of the month means a box of sunshine at our door, otherwise known as Citrus Lane!  For those not in the know, Citrus Lane is a subscription service that delivers a box of specially curated items for babies from newborn to age 3 every month.  Each month has a theme, and this month, unsurprisingly, the theme is “Fun With Food.”  Let’s dive in!

This month’s box was full of fun, food related goodies!

As always, each box comes with a sheet that explains each item, tells you where to find more, and often times includes some awesome, exclusive coupon codes.

Goodbyn Small Meals $6.49

This BPA free container is perfect for packing snacks for on the go and keeping them from getting all squished like they would in a baggie.  This one in particular also has two separate compartments, which is awesome for making a complete meal for your little one and easily toting it mess free.

Plum Organics Training Meals $1.49

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal.  Yum!  This is a perfect way to start the day, keeping baby nice and full before a long car ride to grandma’s house for turkey and all the fixins!  I like to mix in some fresh fruit, upping the yum factor and adding even more nutrition.  No complaints from my kiddos!

Green Eats Set of 4 Snack Bowls $6.99

Just the right size for the Plum Organics oatmeal!  These bowls are actually made from recycled milk jugs!  Even better, for easy clean up, they are dishwasher safe.  Something to remember though, they are not microwave safe, so while they are great to serve snacks in, remember not to warm anything in these bowls.

Tiny Prints 20% off plus free shipping

Tis the season for fun holiday cards, and this coupon code is just in time for making some awesome cards of your little ones to send to friends and loved ones.

“Look Mommy!  Something for you!  In my box….”

Juice Beauty Nutrient Moisturizer $9.00

Yes, included in this month’s box was a special treat for the mamas!  All natural, hydrating and full of antioxidants.  Great way to wind down at the end of the day, especially during all the chaos of the holidays!

Plan Toys Fish Castanets Set of Two $10.00

How stinkin’ cute are these?!  Two, very brightly colored wooden castanets, perfect for little hands and pleasant on the ears!  It is a soft, pleasant sound that these fishies make, and they are FUN to play with!  I find myself grabbing them every time I see them, clacking out a little beat before one of the kids steals them away.  Very well made and well loved in this family.

“Time for a jam session, Mama!”

Try out your very own subscription to Citrus Lane by clicking HERE.  Once you follow that link, enter coupon code 10TODAY to save 10%.  Or, enter code 10MONTH for $10 off one month.    When you subscribe for a full year, they also give you two months free.  Who doesn’t love free?!

We love Citrus Lane in our home.  As I have said before, the value of the products each month for the small price paid is just fabulous.  And much cheaper than a “quick” trip to Target for me.  I love being introduced to new brands and companies, and we have loved everything we have gotten so far.

Baby Spa

 

After a hot, dry summer, it is suddenly fall and fast approaching winter!  All the crazy weather and now the dry heat can really wreak havoc on our skin, especially on delicate baby skin.  If you aren’t already experiencing dry, irritated skin, then it’s time to be proactive and prevent it from happening all together!

I was recently introduced to the Baby Spa line of products, a brand that is 98-100% natural and absolutely 100% free of parabens, pthalates, SLS, PEGS and mineral oil.  Basically, none of the yucky stuff that could further irritate baby’s skin.

A unique feature of Baby Spa, is that they cater specifically to your baby’s stage, be it a newborn baby or crawler, to a walking baby, and preschool ages and beyond.

They also use something called ethnobotanicals, which are indigenous plants that have been traditionally used for medicinal and other beneficial reasons.

Baby Spa has a wide range of products, from shampoos and baby washes to diaper creams and even massage oils.  The lotions are creamy, not greasy at all, and have a very faint, pleasant scent.

Now is the time to stock up!  Prevent those precious baby cheeks from the dry winter months ahead!

 

Check out Baby Spa products on their website by clicking HERE.

“Like” Baby Spa on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Follow Baby Spa on Twitter by clicking HERE.

 

I received the samples pictured for review purposes, but was not compensated in any other way.

Black Friday!!!

Gift Wrapped – 20 Songs That Keep on Giving!

I won’t lie.  I love to shop.  Retail therapy is a real thing for me, and finding an awesome bargain?  Well, that is icing on the cake.  This time of year, the stores are gearing up for some of the craziest sales of the season, and I just love it!

I follow a website that leaks the ads early, that’s how obsessed I am.  This year, we have a pricey 3DS XL on Santa’s list, so I am really hoping that someone will have a nice bundle on sale.

I’m also trying to dial back a little on the gift giving this year because I tend to get a little out of control.  I made a list and am trying very hard to stick with it.  That’s easier said than done, especially with all the leaked sales coming out!  The problem is, Christmas morning is so full of gift opening, that lots of gifts get thrown aside to open new ones.  The kids get so many toys, they don’t know what to play with first.  The littles especially, even get tired of opening gifts!  Hello!  Time for a wake up call, mama!

I heard of this awesome old Victorian tradition of gift giving which basically consists of four gifts.  Something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read.  How smart is that?  A little bit of everything, and with less gifts, it’s so much easier to appreciate what is actually received.

Well, I already went over that four gift limit.  Not as badly as before, so I get points for that, right?  And I am sticking to the general rule of the four categories.  What really complicates things is when the kids get older and the items they ask for get so much more expensive.  The 3DS XL?  Yeah, without any games, it runs $200.  A game will be at least another $30.  That’s for one kid.  We have four.

Now, the other kids lists, well, they are all significantly less expensive.  They could get way more gifts for not even close to the cost of the 3DS XL.  But then, one kid is opening only a couple gifts and the others have a whole bunch?  That’s not fair.  Is it?

I don’t know.  I think I over think it all.

That is so unlike me.

Stop laughing.  Seriously.

October in a Nutshell

I’ll admit, October flew by before I had a chance to catch my breath and enjoy the scenery much.  We filled every single moment we could with fall activities and decorating for Halloween.  Here are a handful of photos I intended to share throughout the month.  Hey, it’s the thought that counts, right?

 

Early in the month, we hit up the dollar stores for some inexpensive decorations and party supplies.  I added ribbons, bows and other glittery embellishments to make the inexpensive finds just a little more fabulous.

 

 

This wreath was a dollar, I just spray painted it black and added the roses, skull and ribbon for hanging.  You can never have too much glitter in my book.  Never.

 

I had fun with Bella’s hair for dance class in October.  Ever since I sent her to dance with Easter eggs in her hair for Easter, the staff kind of expects something out of the ordinary from us.  (I’ll rehash the Easter egg ‘do in the spring, I promise.)  This was simple, easy, and got alot of attention, which of course, Bella LOVES.

 

The extreme closeup of the Halloweenie mani kind of looks sloppy, but whatevs.  Do you know how hard it is to paint tiny, nibbled baby nails?  Yeah, kind of ridiculous.  It was still cute.  Just trust me on that.

 

To go with the festive mani, we did some fun makeup for her Girl Scout Halloween dance.  I used a liquid liner, which I regretted right away, but it was too late to turn back.  A pencil would have been much neater, but you get the idea.

 

You can’t drink regular old soda at a Halloween party!

 

We ate these yummy snakes, which are crescent rolls filled with cheese and lunch meats.

 

Creepy spider web bean dip!

 

That spider must have a sweet tooth.

 

My crew on Halloween!  Abe, Matt, Noah and I were all pirates.  Sara was Tinkerbell, and Isabella was Merida from Brave.

 

“Do you ever get the feeling that someone is watching you?”

That crazy display is at Grandpa’s house.  I have to say, I enjoyed having Abe home with us this Halloween season.  He is usually working on Halloween junk with my dad from about mid July up until minutes before Trick or Treaters start arriving at the haunted house they build.  With things being all weird with my dad, we had the luxury of extra time with Abe.  We all LOVED it!  Our plans are to make our own haunted house in our new home (fingers crossed) next year.  The kids already have all sorts of plans for spooky things, I think we will quickly build a reputation wherever we decide to move.  Well, besides the house with all the kids.

This weekend, I took Matt with me to do some clearance Halloween shopping.  We got a giant cart full of costumes and decorations for next year at 70% off!  It was a major score, and Matt being so Halloween obsessed, he was in heaven, filling the cart with all sorts of fun, creepy things.

Okay, Halloween is over and done.  Whew!