Posts Tagged ‘gifts’

My Week(270) in iPhone Photos

Monday, January 4th, 2016

I’m late again, but it wasn’t my fault this time, I was having laptop issues and my iPhone photos wouldn’t load. I know you were really concerned.



Annual Nutcracker Conference


You’re “welcome”.


Teaching the children naval dominance



Pretty pleased with his own driving skills




We play a lot of cards in Ohio



Child-sized hamster run was quite entertaining


No caption needed





The doc is in and she’ll fix you up…


Drive thru banking is so convenient


This is what happens when I want Linc to pose for a picture



Cousin Christmas is a little crazy


Trouble face


More cards





I forgot to bring my phone inside COSI, but it was REALLY fun


Disco sparkle tree



So many pine needles


Post-Christmas disaster house


Post-Christmas ER trip for some face-gluing

I got both big kids out the door and off to school on time with no crying and no screaming, so reintroduction to real life is going pretty well. It’s currently softly snowing outside while I drink coffee and watch Lincoln destroy the house I already cleaned once today, so my day is going well. That’s not sarcasm, that’s a perfectly lovely day with a 17 month old.

I went a little crazy signing the kids up for activities (again) because bored kids trapped in a cold house are the worst, so this week is going to be B U S Y. Let’s hope they wear themselves out too much to whine, since I am all full up of whining children after 2 weeks off school.

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Great Christmas Gift Idea: Personalized Activity Bags

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

Holiday Gift Idea - Personalized Activity Bags

We’ve finally started winding down, but this fall was the fall I signed the kids up for ALL THE ACTIVITIES. Evan has Judo, Caroline has ballet, both big kids had soccer (two different days, two different games on Saturdays), and all three kids have swim (on two different days). I felt like a big reason we had such a great summer was that we were never home. Busy kids don’t whine about the iPad. Tired kids go right to sleep. It seemed like a good idea to keep us out of the house as much as possible. The problem with a full-time after school schedule on top of both full-time schools kids and a full-time baby is you run out of time to keep track of all the accoutrements that go with four different activities. My car was a disaster of shoes, cleats, tights, hair clips, soccer balls, belts, snack cups, water bottles and goggles. I would go to the store to buy groceries and realize every reusable bag contained wet towels from swim. We would get to ballet and I’d realize we were missing a shoe. I couldn’t tell the kids “grab your stuff, let’s go!” because no one ever remembered where their stuff was.

Then I had a GREAT idea: activity bags specifically for each activity. And even better,  personalized photo activity bags so they wouldn’t get mixed up. Luckily, Walmart Photo has the perfect bag as part of their home decor collection – the canvas tote bag. I decided for the Judo and ballet bags I’d really love new pictures, so I took the kids out for a fun photo shoot. For the swim bag, I used photos from my 365 project, both at swim class and from the beach. It was impossible to pick just one, so I made a template in Photoshop for a 4-square collage. If you want to use it, you can download it here (just click, it should download). It’s a PSD Photoshop file, so you’ll need Photoshop to use it. If you don’t have PS or PSE, Picasa makes a quick and easy 4-square collage – and it’s free!

Here are some of the photos from our photo shoot: canvas activity bags-4
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I didn’t tell them what the photos were for, so when the box came and I told them it had presents in it they were really excited. walmart photo canvas tote bags-2
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Really pleased with himself for putting all his Judo stuff in the bag.

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The bags are a nice sturdy canvas with a wide bottom, so they stand up when I fill them with stuff. I can fit 2 towels and changes of clothes in them.

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All three bags hanging up on the hooks in the hallway, ready to go!

We’ve been carrying these all week and they’re working GREAT. Now when I shout “Caroline! Ballet!” she knows exactly which bag to grab (although the fact that I’m pretty sure we left a ballet shoe at the Christmas tree farm is a problem that can’t be solved with organization). There are 3,500 Walmart Photo locations nationwide or you can order online without leaving your couch. Many of their photo gifts are available for free same day pickup in store, so last minute isn’t a problem (and you know grandparents love photo gifts). Right now is offering free shipping on all holiday cards and gifts through the end of the year (12/30/15) so that makes things like their photo ornaments and mugs even more affordable. A huge thanks to Walmart Photo and BlogHer for making these bags possible!    


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Be sure to visit Walmart Photo’s brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ posts.


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How Does Your AeroGarden Grow?

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Thank you to Scotts and AeroGarden for sponsoring this post and giveaway!!

I got an email from my friends at MiracleGro asking if I might be interested in an AeroGarden for review. I ignored it.

Want to know what happened to my last houseplants? Dead.

Wondering how long my cute indoor herb planter lasted? Not even long enough to sprout.

Ask me how many tomatoes I got from my garden this year. NONE. (And yes, I did plant tomatoes.)

But they followed up. And it looked so cute. And after I explained “NO REALLY, IT HAS TO BE FOOLPROOF” they assured me it is. So far, they’re right.

miraclegro aerogarden review


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A Special Christmas Gift

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

special gift 1 special gift 2 special gift 3 Those should come in handy right around July  16th, 2014.


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N-Love with my N-Tune Headphones

Friday, October 4th, 2013

It’s not super often that I get something in the mail that my husband wants even more than I do. Shockingly, I never have to fight him for newborn bonnets, Sephora samples or jeggings. But as soon as I opened my Monster N-Tune Headphones, I knew I might never see them again. Luckily (or really, not at all luckily) E works all the time so I have plenty of hours at home alone with the children where I can enjoy them. And boy, do I enjoy them. Monster N-Tune Headphones-3
Did I mention they’re noise-cancelling yet? Because that is a very, very important part of why they are so useful when I am at home alone with the children. I have an addiction to NPR podcasts, which is the only reason my house ever gets clean, the laundry ever gets put away and the lawn ever gets mowed, so headphones are crucial to the survival of my family. Life or death, people. Or at least clean underwear vs. dirty underwear.

Here are E’s top 3 favorite things about the headphones:
1. The in-line microphone. When he does have a free afternoon, E likes to play *cough*superdorky*cough* computer games online with his brother. They use their computer mics to chat and catch up while they play, so headphones with a mic built in are perfect. His brother reports the sound quality on the other end is excellent and doesn’t pick up the TV or the screaming kids in the background.
2. The sound quality. He’s the kind of person who appreciates music (hashtag marching band nerd) so he was impressed with how great things sounded through the N-Tune headphones. Although he might just have been listening to explosions on his game. Either way, they sounded GREAT.
3. Noise canceling. Because, kids.

Monster N-Tune Headphones-2

Here are my top 3 favorite things about the headphones:
1. Amazing durability. You can practically twist them in half and they’re totally fine, which means when I absent-mindedly leave them on the dining room table the kids can’t destroy them.
2. Their over-ear design, for 2 reasons. First, because they’re bigger than ear buds they are WAY harder to lose. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left a dinky little pair of headphones in the pocket of a sweatshirt I’ve thrown in the wash. Second, because they’re way, way more comfortable than those torture devices a certain iCompany includes with their products. No seriously, whoever invented those things hate people and ears. I wore my N-Tune headphones for 2 hours before I even noticed them.
3. Noise canceling. Because, kids.

Monster N-Tune Headphones

I told you I was addicted to NPR podcasts

With less than 100 days left to do your Christmas shopping (ahhhh!) these would make a fantastic gift for your spouse, parent or anyone who commutes anywhere ever, especially on public transit. They basically scream “I’m not listening to you!!” What subway rider doesn’t need that?
To enter to win a pair of Monster N-Tune Headphones (valued at $150) for yourself (or someone you really like slash love!) head over to, check out the colors, and leave a comment here letting me know which one is your favorite! I really love the green. The comments on this post will be aggregated with the comments on the posts from the other bloggers participating in this review, and 25 pairs will be given away. This giveaway will close on Nov 1. 

Sweepstakes Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post.
For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

BlogHer will pool entries from participating blogs and select a sweepstakes winner at random and will contact the winner with details about fulfilling the prize.

The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 10/2/13 – 11/1/13

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