An Honest Review of Boudreaux’s Butt Paste

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links. 

An Honest Review Of Boudreaux’s Butt Paste

A Tried and True Diaper Rash Ointment

As a first time mom with the twins I never knew what to use when they would get diaper rash. I tried all of the at-home remedies like having them soak in a tub of Dawn soap and using corn starch. It was messy and the twins were fussy and in pain. Nothing seemed to work on their cute little tushies. Naturally, I sought the advice of my other mom friends which wasn’t very many at the time because I was one of the youngest moms in my group of friends. I found myself studying every diaper rash ointment in the baby aisle at Target. This bright red tube with a cute cartooney baby caught my eye and I looked it over carefully. I just wanted something that got the job done and provided relief to my babies. I enjoyed the pleasant smell and was impressed with the texture. It didn’t slide off of the twin’s skin and stuck to the diaper. Boudreaux’s Butt Paste was my go-to diaper rash ointment from that day forward!

Fast forward eight years and my youngest was born. She was a solid breast milk baby and was fortunate enough to not have diaper rash issues. I had registered for Boudreaux’s Butt Paste and had a tube on hand in the event that I may need it but  only used it a handful of times. It was still the great diaper rash ointment I had always relied on and could still count on it to heal my baby’s owie bottom. I had been very particular about this pregnancy and made sure I read the labels on everything before buying or giving it to my youngest. I was relieved to find that Boudreaux’s is still free from dyes, preservatives, talc, phthalates and parabens.

Why I Use Boudreaux’s On My Toddler…

Then, last February, we took a family outing to a new indoor trampoline park that had just opened up in our area. I had actually won family passes so we had a budget-friendly family outing. Even though we followed the rules and regulations strictly we were not prepared for what happened that day. Our little Lil received a buckle fracture of her tibia that afternoon because children six and under shouldn’t be playing on trampolines of any kind. Period. Their bones are just too soft still. You can read more about our experience here.

We were in the middle of potty training Lily and she was making great progress. Unfortunately the fracture resulted in Lily wearing a full leg cast for almost six weeks. She wasn’t able to walk for about a week and when she finally did she struggled and hobbled along. She couldn’t sit down on her little potty chair do go potty any longer because her leg was straight and couldn’t bend.

This unforeseen accident resulted in severe potty issues for Lily. She was a 22-month old toddler who was almost fully potty trained and now couldn’t sit down to relieve herself. The lack of running around and playing as her usual self resulted in severe constipation. She’d go days without a bowel movement and when she finally did go they were so hard and long that they cause Lily to tear a little bit. Her poor little bottom was so sore. It absolutely broke our hearts. But we knew we could rely on Boudreaux’s Butt Paste to provide Lily with the relief that she needed and to quickly heal her bottom.

Trusted and Loved!

Lily still has issues from time to time and I always whip out good ol’ Boudreaux’s Butt Paste! I am extremely thankful to Moms Meet and Boudreaux’s for sending us a generous supply of Boudreaux’s Maximum Strength Butt Paste in a tube and a tub as well as a tub of the Original Bourdreaux’s Butt Paste. Unfortunately, we were supposed to be sent the new Boudreaux’s Butt Paste Rash Kicking Kit and didn’t receive that so we were not able to sample and share our review of that specific kit. It was supposed to include the innovative Butt Brush, a mess-free silicone applicator that helps parent’s apply a thick and smooth amount of Butt Paste. Since I didn’t receive the new Rash Kicking Kit I looked it up on Amazon. It looks pretty nifty because it comes with two 2 oz. tubes of Boudreaux’s Butt Paste in Original and Maximum Strength along with the new Butt Brush. The Butt Brush looks pretty nifty so parents can keep their hands and fingers clean from mess. It appears to help apply the rash ointment nice and smoothly as well. The really cool thing about the Butt Brush is that is has a suction cup on the back of the applicator so you can stick it to nearly any surface and not worry about it falling or getting dirty. How innovative! I’m pretty bummed I wasn’t able to personally review it for you but you can find a video to the product on Amazon here. It retails for $14.99.

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Probiotics & Your Gut Health

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links. 

Probiotics & Your Gut Health

Probiotic?

Probiotics. That word keeps floating around and popping up everywhere. If you haven’t heard of probiotics then you must be fairly new to the term as I was a few weeks ago. I had no idea what they were let alone the basic purpose of a probiotic. Upon further research I discovered that not only is a probiotic important but  a prebiotic as well as a postbiotic are key to overall gut health.

Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics

Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics is actually a prebiotic, probiotic and postbiotic formulated into one capsule.  Dr. Ohhira’s Prebiotic is a blend made up of dozens of wholesome foods (e.g. fruits, vegetables, seaweeds, mushrooms, and herbs).  The prebiotic is added to 12 proven beneficial strains of probiotics and allowed them 3 years to ferment.  These 12 well researched strains of probiotics  deliver postbiotics which improve the environment to support your own unique microbiome.  Postbiotics are not added to the product, they are the natural result of fermentation.  Compounds created by bacteria such as postbiotic metabolites include vitamins, enzymes, short-chain fatty acids and other organic acids like fulvic acid.  Short-chain fatty acids are produced by friendly bacteria in the gut and may play an important role in health and disease. They may reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases such as, type-2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.  Fulvic acid is the key to the absorption and transport of trace minerals, electrolytes, and other essential nutrients.  Many people report an increase in energy when their fulvic acid levels increase.

Dr. Ohirra’s Probiotics help you nurture your own unique strains of microbes by creating a good environment for them to thrive.  Each capsule contains a naturally concentrated paste with fermented plant fibers (prebiotic), the beneficial bacteria (probiotic) and nutrients developed over the 3-year fermentation (postbiotics).  This combination helps to restore gut flora and promote overall good health.  Dr. Ohirra’s Probiotic blend contains Streptococcus Thermophilus which is a powerful probiotic strain that has well researched health benefits.  This probiotic is often found in the colon and has many digestive, immunity  and other health benefits.  This strain also produces lactase, which helps people digest milk more efficiently.  Another well researched strain that is present in this formula is Lactobacillus d. bulgaricus.  This beneficial bacteria is found in the digestive tract.  Intestinal bacteria is referred to as gut flora or microbes.  The proper balance of gut flora helps keep your intestinal walls strong and bad bacteria at bay, and can reduce the risk of chronic disease.

Most probiotic supplements use microbes cultured in a matter of hours on a base of dairy or soy.  The colonies are then broken apart and cleansed of their food supply, which removed any postbiotic bacteria that may have been made.  The bacteria are freeze-dried into a white powder, placed in capsules, bottled and shipped.  This process makes them fragile and usually require refrigeration.  Freeze-dried bacteria can only make postbiotics after being reawakened and beating other strains to a food supply to multiply.  On the other hand, Dr. Ohirra’s Probiotic’s are always live and active.

But I’m Already Taking a Prebiotic…

All prebiotics are not created equal.  Some products add an isolated fiber such as FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides) or Inulin and call that a prebiotic.  Those strains may not be appropriate for all strains and may even cause excessive gas.  Dr. Ohhira’s uses a wide variety of plant materials proven to support probiotic growth and to develop a wide variety of postbiotics. These strains are grown together for 3 years proving their ability to get along and build synergy.

Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics contains other high quality ingredients as well.  Two of which are controversial and that is due to miss information put out about these ingredients.  Class 1 natural caramel color and carrageenan are both food grade.  Class 1 Caramel Colors are minimally processed and carry the designation of E150a.  No ammonium or sulfite compounds are allowed in the production.  However, because of the confusion with these ingredients and Dr. Ohhira’s commitment to implementing the highest quality foods in his products, he is actively researching alternatives to alleviate customer concerns.

My Honest Review Of Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics

When I first received Dr. Ohhira’s probiotics I was a bit skeptic. I hadn’t taken any kind of supplements since my youngest turned one year old. I was only taking a prenatal because I was still nursing. It wasn’t long after I stopped taking a prenatal vitamin that I started to notice a decline in my overall health. I was constantly tired, suffered from debilitating migraines, stomach pains, bloating, joint pain, and teenage-like acne breakouts. My skin was dull. I stayed consistent with taking the probiotics every day at the same time and upping my water intake.

After two weeks I started to notice a difference in my energy levels. I no longer required an afternoon nap and an entire pot of coffee to get me through the day. My stomach pain and bloating went away. My face started to clear up. I do want to add that I switched up my skin care routine at this time and have been transition to a  non-toxic face wash in addition to taking Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics. I can definitley say that I will be keeping a probiotic in my daily routine and that my husband, who is a Type 1 Diabetic, will also be incorporating these same probiotics as well!

Thank you to Moms Meet and Dr. Ohhira’s for sending these great probiotics for us to try out!

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A Healthier Popcorn Option

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links. 

I absolutely love popcorn! It has always been an all-time favorite snack of mine. From air popped to microwave to the Jiffy Pop campfire in the tin pan. It’s always been fun watching and listening for those kernels to turn fluffy and make that POPPING sound.

A few years back I snagged a stove pop popper that you cranked the handle and I preferred this method for the organic popcorn kernels, sea salt, and butter combination. I thought that those were the only three ingredients needed for perfectly popped popcorn. Phhhh! Shows just how little I know!

When I tried Malaysian Palm Oil I was curious to see what the end results would be. I was surprised how fluffy the kernels turned out! There wasn’t even a need for butter and yet the popcorn wasn’t oily or greasy in any way. I did add just a touch of sea salt for a bit of taste and found that Malaysian Palm Oil is absolutely perfect for popcorn. It actually enhances the flavor instead of taking over that natural popped corn flavor like butter does.  My family and I were pleasantly surprised at how well we enjoyed this pairing.

Palm oil sourced from Malaysia is non-GMO and ideal for high temperature cooking.  Other key factors to note about this unique oil is that it is a healthy replacement for partially hydrogenated oil because it’s trans fat free and rich with nutrients such as, provitamin A carotenoids.  These carotenoids are important for growth and development and maintenance of the immune system.   The Red palm fat is rich in the antioxidants Vitamin E tocopherols and tocotrienols. Tocotreinols are  superior to tocopherols, however tocopherols are the more commonly used natural preservative found in several perishable goods.  Both compounds have been found to be an anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, neuroprotective, with cholesterol lowering properties.  Palm oil itself is cholesterol free, free of trans fats, high in linoleic acid, and helps raise HDL-cholesterol.  Either natural preservative is a much better source of preservation  than any synthetic preservative.  Here’s a fun fact: a one-acre palm oil plantation produces 11 times more oil than a one-acre soybean field. WOW!

We’ve switched to eating sweet potatoes over traditional baking potatoes and I’m anxious to make sweet potato fries with palm oil. Stay tuned for the results!

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A Tale of the Purple Peg-Legged Pirate

This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy here.

Have you ever wished you could travel back in time to a specific date and have a redo? Would you like a second chance to do things differently or experience them over again?

There have been more “do-overs” I wished I could relive again as a mother than I can remember. As I’ve become older I try to remind myself that everything happens for a reason and that the reason behind an event is to help us learn and grow as individuals. That’s not always an easy motto to adopt but I like to think I try my best.

As I strain so hard to remember every last detail of the event that resulted in my 22-month old fracturing her tibia and being placed in a leg cast for 5 weeks my memory robs me of what should have been a fun filled family day out…

We had recently won passes to a new indoor trampoline/adventure park that had just opened up. It happened to be my husband’s Saturday off and we had the twins. We only have them every other week and my husband only gets a Saturday off every six weeks so this rare family day was extra special for us.

It had started off a bit rocky because our oldest had had a rough week and needed to sit out of the activities for a bit. I sat with him while stepdad and sister checked out all that the park had to offer. Our toddler is attached to mommy’s hip so naturally she stayed with me while daddy and Big Sis were playing for a bit.

After while, Lil Sis and I went to look for daddy and Big Sis and snap a few pictures of them playing around. http://nickle-pickle.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/img_9729.movMy, oh, my were they having a BLAST! 😃 This mommy couldn’t wait to join in on the action! While we were waiting Lil Sis and I went over to the free-zone where there were several square trampolines. They weren’t quite as big as a backyard trampoline but a bit bigger than a personal sized trampoline that you’d use for exercises. We proceeded to a vacant corner of the free-zone and I put Lil down to do her own thing. I kept an eye on her as I watched for older and much bigger participants jumping around so that I could foresee them jumping towards Lil’s direction and pick her up before she was double bounced or knocked over. The free-zone is a pretty large area and took up a quarter of the indoor park. Most of the other jumpers didn’t come close to Lily with the exception of another toddler who was about her age. They tossed a clear ball from the “bubble” pit back and forth and talked in their little toddler jargon. I didn’t encounter anything that would raise my mommy alertness to a concerned level. At one point all five of us were happily hanging out in the free-zone watching one another to flips and taking turns admiring Lily having fun and making new friends. Then Big Sis asked me to try out the rock climbing walls with her. Daddy is an extremely protective dad so I knew Lily was in good hands while I spent some one-on-one time with Big Sis. I’m not going to lie, I had the most wonderful time with Haylee! It was long over do and I really enjoyed myself. We raced up each obstacle wall and I over came my fear of jumping off the top of the wall and letting the harness slowly pull me back down to solid ground. Haylee even dared me to attempt to jump from pillar to pillar without hands and without falling and guess what… this Momma did it!!!! I didn’t nail the landing and fell right on my booty when I jumped off of the tallest pillar but was laughing so hard that tears were streaming down my cheeks. I didn’t care. I was making memories with my oldest daughter and loving every second of it! We had just completed the harnessed activities when we decided we were ready to try the skyline. It’s similar to a zip line and goes across the entire park.

No sooner had we started towards the skyline and here comes Daddy carrying a fussy Lil. Her cry was different, unlike anything I had heard before. My mama instincts told me that something wasn’t right. I had my husband put her down to walk towards me and she wasn’t able to put any weight on her right leg.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< nee while I nursed her. Lily kept trying to fall asleep but would let out the most heart breaking cry. I decided to let the twins play while Lil slept and Daddy iced her knee. After an hour we decided that it was time to head home. Lil is Little Miss Independent and wanted to get down and walk around but her knee gave out and she started crying inconsolably. It was time to take her in. Something just wasn't right. When we arrived at the DOC (Direct Orthopedic Care) we were seen right away. They took a look at Lily's knee and turned it and applied pressure. The doctor thought that she was fine but wanted to take X-rays just to be sure. As suspected, Lily had a buckle fracture of her tibia. Her little bones has smushed together like two little hills. 😔 It was determined that Lil would need a cast and that it would need to be worn for about 4-6 weeks. Lily was a champ and didn’t even cry when she was looked over, had X-rays, and then the cast applied. As you can see she was quite the little cheeser. 😂 She was so well behaved that the DOC gave her teddy bear that we appropriately named Tibby the Teddy.

New teddies and organic suckers make everything better! 😊

Big Brother and Sis made it even more special by being the first ones to sign her cast and help decorate it.

We were very fortunate with Lily’s experience. She was crawling around the next day as she did when she was a younger baby and was hobbling along within the week. And thus the Purple Peg-Legged Pirate made her debut!

We used Big Sister’s old knee-high socks to keep the cast clean and free of any little particles that may have been picked up while getting around. Bathtimes were on hold and we had to take showers with Lil which was quite the challenge. Daddy did a phenomenal job of keeping her leg wrapped well; water didn’t ever get inside of the cast.

After two weeks her toes started to smell a bit. I took Q-tips and baby wipes and washed between her toes and as far as I could get on top of her foot.

At three weeks the cast started to itch causing Lil a bit of discomfort and a lack of sleep at night. I whipped out my hair dryer and put it on the lowest cool setting to help relieve the itch. Week four was by far the worst and I used my finger to apply Honest Organic All-Purpose Balm. Golly, do I love this stuff! I swear by it and have found it helpful for a multitude of uses. I’d rub the balm as far down the cast as my fingers could get until Lil fell asleep.

It definitely helped and did wonders for her skin!

We kept up this routine and care for five weeks and two days before we were seen to get the cast removed. Boy, was this Momma ready!

Lil playing dress up and being silly while getting along just fine on her cast. Lily the morning of her cast removal – boy does she look excited! 😃 We had to have more X-Rays done before she could actually get the cast cut off. A tiny dark line was still slightly visible but there was a lot of new bone growth and we were told it looked great. Lily brought along one of her puppies. Boy, was she BRAVE! She didn’t freak out or cry… Chill as a cucumber! She looked quite comfy and relaxed on that bed. Big Sister was there every step of the way! Once the cast was off and Lil could move her foot and ankle around the stiffness made her a bit weepy. Haylee was SO great to hold her and talk her through the process! A picture with Mommy before we left. If you’ve ever had an experience with a cast, I’m sure you’re wondering about our after care experience. Well, it was an interesting one that’s for sure!

Her leg was, of course, a little dirty but quite horrendously smelly! Because I had tried to keep her toes and the top of her foot cleaned the best I could it was really her ankle that was the worst. The leg was scaly and had a bit of a bumply rash.

Surprisingly, the office didn’t off to wash it off and asked if I had baby wipes with me. I said that I did but quickly wished I hadn’t. The assistant told me that those would be better for Lil’s skin. But as in learning, another with “fragrance” on the ingredient list is not a good thing…

I tried my darnedest to take the awful smell away but I had released five weeks of dead and unwashed skin. This only worsened Lil’s leg, both smell, rash, and itch.

We had planned to meet my Grandparents for lunch at the new Chick-fil-A that had just opened up but what I didn’t realize is that one should not plan on making appointments or running errands the day of a cast removal.

Lily’s leg itched so badly and her poor skin just flaked off like falling snow.

I decided to bring her home and give her an oatmeal bath to help soothe her irritated skin. Thank goodness for great neighbors because mine offered some anti-itch cream. This stuff helped TREMENDOUSLY!

I allowed her skin to just be open to the air. I only gave her an oatmeal bath every other day and applied the anti-itch cream as needed.

The redness and rash hung around for a week but I was determined to heal her sweet skin. When the rash was healed, I continued to apply Honest Organic All Purpose Balm. This has healed her skin beautifully! Two days post-cast removal walking around at the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. Notice how her right leg is up on the top-toes. Lil’s walking was a bit unsteady at first. She wasn’t able to put any weight on her leg for the first two days. We encouraged her to walk to us or things that she wanted. By day 3 she was walking on her tip-toes as if she still had the cast one. She’d tire easily and we noticed her ankle would give out after awhile.

But we didn’t give up! Within a week Lil was walking all over the place! It wasn’t until almost two weeks that she just got up and went! Her foot was flat and her heel was on the ground! Yay!

Favoring her right leg just a bit but getting around GREAT! We are two week post-cast removal today. Lil’s right foot is slightly turned out but we will continue to watch it and give you an update here.

How was your experience with your child(ren)’s cast? I’d love to hear about your journey! Please comment below.

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Immunity Booster Drink

Last fall I shared my family’s tricks for beating the stomach flu quickly and avoiding conventional over-the-counter medicines.

In fact, you most likely already have the ingredients on hand in your home.

My oldest daughter fell ill again last week with a little tummy bug. To avoid coming down with anything myself, I whipped up a concoction that my mom had passed along to me last year.

I already had most of the ingredients in my pantry but had to make a quick run for the fresh ginger.

This Immunity Booster Drink can be prepared in less than 5 minutes in a large glass bowl or cup.

Immunity Booster Drink

  • 1/4 tsp fresh lime juice

  • 1/2 cup of fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp of apple cider vinegar (make sure it has “The Mother”)
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 inch of grated ginger
  • 1 big pinch of turmeric
  • Honey

Whisk all ingredients together for one minute. That’s it! You can serve this drink chilled, at room temperature, or warmed over the stovetop. Every once in awhile I like to add just a touch of cinnamon. 😉

This recipe makes 6 shot-sized servings.

The orange juice is high in Vitamin C, the apple cider vinegar aides in an improved digestion while boosting the immunity, the ginger helps soothe sore throats, and the turmeric is anti-inflammatory and antiviral.

If you’re up for it, you can even add a dusting of cayenne pepper to increase blood flow and and speeds up healing.

Please let me know if you try this drink and how it worked for you! I’d love to hear from you. 😊

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Last-Minute Gift Guides For The Whole Family On A Budget

This post contains affiliate links. Please read more about my disclosure policy here.

Christmas Gift Guides For The Whole Family On A Budget

Christmas is getting close! That means you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time for those last minute gifts to get to their recipients on time. If you’re like my family, you’re on a budget and may be wondering just how can you possibly give gifts while on a budget.

All is takes is a little creativity, discipline, and planning. You can find my healthy and unique gift guides for everyone on your list this holiday season!

The REAL Reason For The Season

Let me preface this gift guide by saying that remembering that Jesus is the true reason for the Christmas season. Sadly, it’s all too easy to get caught up with keeping up with the Joneses. As Rachel Cruze would say, “They’re broke!”

Are you tempted to get those holiday gifts by putting them on a credit card? Don’t do it. That’s another post for another day. But do let me help you get pumped by giving you a few tricks and tips for having a stress-free Christmas!

  • Write out a list of your gift recipients.
  • Set a limit for each individual on your list and stick to that budget.
  • Set aside cash and do not go beyond that.
  • Consider omitting unnecessary recipients; What?!

Yes, when we started our debt-free journey we straight up told family members that we would not be exchanging gifts and only buying for the kiddos. Try getting creative by making gifts or doing a family gift instead. You may have friends and family look at you as if you’re crazy but it’s not other peoples’ finances. If they’re not understanding then that is on them and them alone. Yes, this is the season of giving but think of how you can give of your time or talents.

Offer to help a neighbor shovel their driveway or help a new mom wrap her presents. Maybe you can cook up a meal or two for someone on your list. There’s lots of ways that you can give to others without having to spend money.

On To The Gift Guides!

Last Christmas was our first Christmas after starting our debt-free journey. My husband and I agreed from the start that we did not need to get each other a gift. We stopped and looked around at what we already had: a home, running vehicles, fuel in our cars, healthy and organic groceries in the fridge, my husband’s job that made sure that all of the bills were paid on time, our family, our health, and our children. When we took the time to focus on what we already had we were so content with not getting each other a gift. So, who came next on the list?

Kids

We now have three kiddos and last year was our youngest’s first Christmas. She was too little to have any idea what was going on nor would she remember who gave her what. Our children have grandparents, great grandparents, aunt and uncles, and family friends who all give our kids gifts at Christmas. Sometimes the overload is absolute insanity! When Christmas morning is over I look around at gift after gift. I’ve always joked how we’d be just fine not giving our children anything and they wouldn’t even notice.

A few years back I saw a gift-giving rule about getting kids four things:

  1. Something they want
  2. Something they need
  3. Something to wear
  4. Something to read

It’s minimal yet oh so perfect! I communicate with family members about what we’re doing and what other family members are doing as well so that there aren’t any duplicates. Did you know that Target even offers Kids’ Wish Lists?? Yup! This is so unbelievably awesome because you, as the parent, control what items are on the list. You can just about add anything! If Santa wants to include toothbrushes and deodorant in those stockings he sure can!

I’m also not a fan of cheap, plastic toys that take up space and room and won’t last through the month. You work hard for your money so don’t waste it on nonsense. Gift cards may seem impersonal but make the most sense because your gift recipient can go snag whatever they want (or more importantly need) during the after Christmas sales or whenever they want to redeem them. Gift cards make the best last minute gift idea and a lot you can even send electronically! Save your money by not paying for silly shipping!

I’m also all about experiences over more stuff in our home. Clutter and items create stress; why not gift something that those on your list can do?? Groupon has a lot of great experiences for everyone and its super affordable!

We have family that live all over and the shipping costs can add up quickly. I look at that outgoing money as money I could have applied elsewhere. Gift cards and Groupon activities have made gifting without shipping all that much more convenient. Through December 23 Target is also offering free shipping and returns, too! Another reason to love Target!

Baby/Toddler Gift Guides

Diapers

Diapers are the most practical and appreciated gift to give to any expecting or new parents. Those suckers can get spendy so why not help out mom and dad and give a gift that will give often? Just think, every time they’re changing diapers they’ll think of you – and that’s a lot of thankfulness!

The Honest Co. diapers are my favorite because they come in festive and adorable prints. A package of diapers aren’t quite complete without  wipes, cream, and bath time essentials.

Little People

I remember playing with my mom’s Little People at my Grandparent’s when I was a kid. The twins absolutely loved their Fisher Price Little People and although they’ve changed over the years, Little People are a genuine classic toy that is a must-have on your list for youngsters. They last for years as the age ranges from 1 1/2 to 5 years old. They may seem a bit pricey at first but I look at them as an investment for five years of play! I have all of the twins’ old Fisher Price Little People from almost ten years ago and the magic is still there!

This year, my youngest daughter is fascinated with “Mimi” Mouse and “Gigi” (Grandma Kathy) found her a Mickey Mouse Little People house and the whole Mickey Mouse gang. This couldn’t be a more perfect gift for my 20-month old!

Little Tikes 3-in-1 Sports Zone

It’s never too early to teach little ones about health and fitness. If your toddlers have older siblings and those siblings are involved in sports then it’s quite possible that your littles are just itching to get out there and play too! Little Tikes 3-in-one Sports Zone is so versatile. It’s for one year olds up to three year olds and features a basketball hoop, a soccer ball net, and a bowling zone. It is designed to grow with your child and fold nicely for easy storage. My daughter’s Auntie Brittny will be spoiling her with this Christmas morning surprise that’s sure to be hours of fun!

Cabbage Patch Kids

If you’re an 80s kid like I am then you definitely remember Cabbage Patch Kids! My toddler received her very first Cabbage Patch Kids Cutie for her birthday last spring when Lola the Giraffe was all the rage as the world watched in anticipation for her to have her baby on live television. Well, her little cutie has been her baby ever since. When September rolled around, we were having lunch at Cracker Barrel after church when Little Missy spotted Oliver Pumpkin and kept saying, “Baby! Baby!” My Grandparent’s treated her to owning Oliver for the fall season and “Gigi” will be surprising her with Holly Reindeer.

The Cabbage Patch craze led my husband and I right to our single gift for our little one. We decided on the Cabbage Patch Kids Drink and Wet Travel Set. Its suggested for 2 year olds and up but our 20 month old is just shy of that mark. Small pieces will be put away until she’s old enough. But the crib and stroller will be perfect for her babies! It even comes with a baby. I like to rotate my daughter’s toys out every month so she’s not overwhelmed and all of her toys get played with. The extra baby will be perfect for switching out babies or having an extra on on hand.

POtty Chair

I lucked out with having the twins fully potty trained at 17 months. Little One is definitely ready to be introduced to the beginning stages of potty training. We have a two-story home and while I held on to the potty chair I had with the twins, I’ll need one for our downstairs bathroom as well.

This Fisher Price Learn-to-Flush Potty is too cute! It “flushes”, plays music, and lights up. The best part is that the blue seat is removable and sits nicely on an adult-sized toilet! How awesome is that?? I can’t wait to start potty training after Christmas! A few great additions to assist with the potty training process are some training paints, step stool, hand soap, and rewards.

Books

You can never go wrong with a new book or two to add to a child’s library! Share the love of reading by introducing little ones to your favorite childhood favorites or a new one on the market.

I’ve requested potty training books to have in the bathrooms to help Little One relax. She enjoys looking at the colorful pictures and I love expanding her vocabulary. Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. How To Pee
  2. Princess Potty
  3. The New Potty (Little Critter)
  4. My Big Girl Undies
  5. Girls’ Noisy Potty Book

Other toddler gift ideas are:

  1. H is For Happy: An Emoji ABC Book of Feelings – a modern take on learning the ABCs and teach youngsters about their feelings.
  2. My First Crayola – palm grip crayons that help strengthen little hands.
  3. Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube – great for dexterity and shape and color recognition.
  4. Melissa & Doug Fish Colors, ABC, and Numbers Puzzle Bundle – a great age to introduce puzzles and learn colors, letters, and numbers.

Kids Age 8-10

My twins actually asked for gift cards and cash this year. They realize that they already have a lot of things and want to minimize the amount of toys in their rooms. They’re also at that transitional age where they’re starting to outgrow toys but they’re not quite into those really expensive electronics (Whew! Thank goodness for that!).  But it has also made gift giving a bit tricky.

My twins think it’s a special treat when we go out to eat, grab a cocoa or frappe, or they get to “pay” for their own items with a gift card. You just can’t go wrong with a gift card!

My twins have enjoyed receiving Legos, Lalaloopsies, a Nintendo DS and games, and movies to add to their collection.

They also love to read and getting new books really excites them!

Last year, my daughter really wanted an art easel and art supplies from Michaels. While we were there we picked up models and paint sets for my son. The twins really enjoyed spending hours exploring their creative sides and still look forward for lazy Saturdays to paint.

If it snows where you live sleds are an excellent gift idea for the whole family, too!

Gifts For the Whole Family

I am definitely all about experiences over more things so if you’re absolutely stumped check out these unique gift ideas.

Kidartlit offers a monthly book and craft subscription for families with children. You get to pick your subscription and each month Kidartlit sends a beautiful book with a related art project. The boxes arrive in all ready to go so that you can engage with your kiddos right away.

 

Most homes have Netflix and/or Hulu. I had to cancel our Netflix subscription because there just weren’t good shows I felt at peace about knowing that my kids could see the titles (even on the Kid Feauture).  Pureflix is wholesome movies and shows for the entire family that you can stream right to your personal device or television. You can check them out before subscribing because your first month is absolutely free! Woohoo!

Night In A Box is a wonderful gift for anyone on your list! This company offers Kids Night In, Faith Night In and Date Night In. There are lots of wonderful options to choose from and help out if you or someone on your list is on a budget. These Night In Boxes are a great way for couples and families to spend quality time together. Each box comes with everything you need to connect in new and creative ways.

Stocking Stuffers


Whether or not your kiddos are too old to to believe in the magic of Santa or he isn’t someone that your family observes, that’s okay. Stocking stuffers are still fun little gifts to give to others!
My personal favorites are the Christmas candies! As an adult I’ve learned about all of the terrible ingredients in those all time favorites and went on the hunt for healthier alternatives. I want to thank Wholesome for sending our family organic candy canes when I couldn’t find them in our local stores this year. Our entire family loves candy canes as a seasonal treat to stir into our hot cocoa, hang on our tree, and leave a few for Santa to put in the stockings. The best part about these candy canes is that they don’t have any artificial flavors or colors, are made with four simple ingredients including natural peppermint oil, organic fruit juice for color, and Wholesome Organic Fair Trade Cane Sugar. They’re also gluten, dairy, nut free and don’t contain and high fructose corn syrup. Wholesome also sent us some of their Delish Fish which are comparable to Swedish Fish but waaayyy yummier!!! They also threw in Organic Fruit Chews which remind me Starburst but again, they are so much better than Starburst and better for you, too. Thank you so very much again to Wholesome and their team for sending these goodies to our home for the holidays!

I enjoy putting gum in my kiddos’ stockings each year but the conventional gums have so many bad ingredients that I had to give up my chewing gum addiction. Then, I came across Glee Gum! Their name sure is perfect because these cute little squares definitely bring joy and smiles! Glee Gum comes packaged in cute little boxes just right for sliding in your pocket or mommy purse. My kiddos love to open their lunch boxes and find a Glee Gum box inside for after lunch! Wait’ll they wake up on Christmas morning to find these in their stockings! They’re just the right size for loading up stockings. This year, Glee Gum came out with gum pops, too! Similar to Blow Pops, Glee Gum Pops are the first all natural gum pop. Just like Glee Gum, Glee Gum Pops aren’t made with any artificial ingredients, colors, or preservatives. They’re gluten and allergy free, too!

I want to extend a special thank-you to the Glee Company as well for generously sending us a box of their assortment box of gum, a bag of Glee Gum Pops, and a chocolate making kit! Thank you so very much for sending these goodies! We can’t wait to try the chocolate making kit over Christmas Break!

One of the best and favorite treats for younger ones are Yum Earth’s Organic Candy Cane Pops and Organic Christmas Fruit Snacks. Certified organic, non-GMO, and gluten free! No artificial colors or preservatives.

With all of the holiday goodies and calorie-laden foods, it can be rather tricky to keep your eating on track. Suja Organic Cold-Pressed juices are a fantastic way to stay on top of getting key nutrients. They taste great, too! The celery-cucumber is more of a veggie flavor while the Sweet Beets is a bit sweeter. I’m looking forward to trying a new flavor each time I make a trip to the grocery store. Suja juices are certified organic, non-GMO, vegan and gluten-free, and come in BPA free bottles. As a breastfeeding Momma these juices are the perfect pick-me-up during the busy holiday season. They also make an awesome stocking stuffer, too!

I’m such a sucker for lip balms! I always have been since I was a little girl. The Lip Smacker obsession has turned to EOS lip balm. This holiday season they have Peppermint Cream, Peppermint Mocha, Sweet Mint Sphere and Pomegranate-Raspberry Stick, and Strawberry Sphere and Vanilla Bean Stick.

Target even has a Holiday 3-pack just perfect for stuffing any girl’s stocking! The holiday pack comes with sparkling ginger! Are your lips watering yet?

Yum Bath Treats are handmade with love and only natural ingredients like essential oils, coconut oil, almond oil, and shea butter. They’re absolutely adorable and look good enough to eat! If you subscribe to their email list you’ll save 15% off of your first order, too!

 

 

I bought a Wetbrush this summer and my daughter loved it so much that she is constantly asking to use mine (and then I have to go hunt it down each time those little hands borrow Mommy’s brush!). Her favorite color is teal and I found her the perfect Wetbrush Duo – a full-sized brush and a mini brush to keep in her backpack.

Prim & Pure Natural Fruit and Veggie Safe Polish is another stocking stuffer that is making our list this year.

Winter weather means dry, cracked itching and bleeding hands. But they don’t have to be when combated with The Honest Company’s Organic Healing Balm. I swear by this stuff! It is truly healing and the only cream we keep in our home. It works so well as a diaper cream, too!

Speaking of gifts for babies, how about a few gifts for mommies-to-be or a current mommy? Earth Mama has some fabulous products for both babies and mommies. Milkmaid tea tastes amazing and is great for breastfeeding mommas. I still enjoy drinking it! Earth Mama sent me a deodorant set along with their new Baby Face Organic Nose & Cheek and a Coconut Smoothie Lip Balm. Pushing out baby is a lot of work and can dry those mommy lips out. Don’t let baby receive a scratchy kiss from mom and send both baby and momma smooth lips. She’ll love to have one item checked off of her hospital bag list.

 

Guys

I have such a hard time shopping for the men in my life. Can you relate? These guys are awesome! But they make gift-giving a challenge. My husband loves to read. His nightly reading actually lead us to start our debt-free journey. I highly recommend Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. This is honestly a great gift for anyone on your list. An absolute must read!

If your gift recipients have already read The Total Money Makeover, add Chris Hogan’s Retire Inspire to their library.  These two books will change their lives forever. They won’t be able to look at finances the same way again.

Devotional books also make a nice gift for guys. My Grandpa and husband are big fans of Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling, Jesus Always, Jesus Today, and Jesus Lives. They read these books over and over each year!

I hope that these guides help you for those last-minute gifts on a budget! What are some budget-friendly gift ideas that you have used in the past or applied this year? I’d love to hear your ideas! Please comment below.

 

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Cyber Monday Deals You Won’t Wanna Miss!

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Cyber Monday Deals Are Here!

Thanksgiving is over,  Black Friday came and went, the leftovers are all eaten, and the Christmas decorations are up. Now Cyber Monday is here! I’ve got a list of deals that you do not want to miss. There’s a little something for everyone on your list here.

ConvertKit

Know of someone that is an online business owner or a blogger? Help them grow their email list with the best email marketing software. Convertkit can help anyone grow their business by:

  • Sending targeted content with simple, but powerful automations.
  • Build and edit email sequences with their drag and drop organizer.
  • It’s built to use email marketing best practices by default.
  • Free migration for 5,000+subscriber lists.
  • Customizable opt-in forms to fit your brand.
  • Only pay for loyal subscribers once with unlimited forms, segments, and tags.
  • World class customer support from people who care about your business.
  • Industry-leading deliverability means your emails land in the inbox more often.

ConvertKit offers a one month free trial and right now you can enter to win a free year of their services! This is a $348 value! The best part is that you can try their services out for free here.

Start A Blog

Have you ever wanted to start a blog? Maybe you already have a blog and would like to find your niche or you would like to grow your email list. Suzi Whitford over at Start A Mom Blog is offering three of her signature courses for just $47! Say, what?? Guys, this is an incredible deal!

  1. Niche By Number – $27 value 
  2. Blog By Number – $47 value  
  3. List By Number – $37 value 

You can snag all three courses for $47. That’s 60% off of the original prices and it’s like getting two of Suzi’s courses absolutely free! Plan, Build, and Grow today until 11 p.m. CST.

Michaels

Still need to decorate for Christmas, grab a gift for the crafty person in your life, or need to make something of your very own? Michaels has you covered. Now until 10:59 p.m. save 30% off of your entire order plus free shipping (no minimum)!

HandMade With Love Super Bundle

Last week I posted about the giveaway my friends over at Ultimate Bundles were doing in order to kickoff their Handmade With Love Super Bundle. Today the bundle is live at 8:00 a.m. EST.
This deal is like therapy, gifting, and self-care, all wrapped into one really nice little package. It’s fun. It’s at a huge discount. It’s only available for a few days. And if you buy it by Thursday night, you’ll get your choice of a Craftsy course thrown in absolutely FREE!

The Handmade with Love Bundle and it’s 200+ patterns, projects, and step-by-step tutorials covering all your favorite crafts like Quilting, Sewing, Knitting, Crocheting, Weaving, and more!

Seriously, if you want to make a one-of-a-kind gift for a special someone on your list, there’s no need to wait.

Before you fire up your sewing machine, grab that ball or yarn, or get your embroidery hoop ready, there’s only one thing to do: go here to check out your 97% discount on the Handmade with Love Super Bundle.

Earth Mama Organics

Today only Earth Mama Organics is offering their best selling Milkmaid Tea and Angel Baby Bottom Balm 50% off!  I’ll be stocking up because I’m still nursing my 19 month old and can always count on the Milkmaid Tea to boost my supply. Plus it tastes great!

The Honest Company

Have a little one or are you expecting? Maybe you know of someone who is expecting or has a little one this is an AWESOME gift!! I’ve seen this first month bundle offer as low as 40% but today you can get your first month for 50% off!!!


Mommas, today is the day to stock up on diapers, wipes, organic all-purpose balm, hand sanitizer, laundry detergent, you name it. And they recently launched their darling winter prints that you’ve got to check out. Stock up on your favorite Honest products today!

Target

Today get 15% off of your online order. In addition, Target is hosting these other great deals:

•    30% off select clothing for the family
•    All Graco on sale up to 20%
•    Save $100 on the PlayStation GT Sport VR Bundle
•    Save up to $50 on Google Home devices
•    Save up to $100 on GoPro action cameras

Target.com is offering Free Shipping & Free Returns through 12/23!

I’m looking forward to applying these online saving towards my organic candy purchase from YumEarth. They came out with organic candy cane pops just in time for the holiday season. They’ll make great stocking stuffers!


I’d love to hear what deals you snagged today! Comment below and tell me about your Cyber Monday Must-Haves.

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Handmade With Love

This post contains affiliate links. Please read more about my disclosure policy here.

Growing up my parents were constantly looking for extra ways to bring in extra income even though they were self employed. Times can be tough starting out as young parents. My stepdad would build trailers and snowmobiles to sell while my mom was always crafting. For her, crafting was her second love after teaching and playing piano.


Mom and grandma had been crafting for years. Grandma was a seamstress and could make anything from beautiful dresses to quality quilts. Grandma and mom made Christmas ornaments, wreaths, and gifts to save on money so crafting, not just during the holidays but year round, was part of our family traditions. After working around the house and on the farm crafting was the next activity that was always taking place in our home.


I remember my mom taking toll painting and stamp classes to make our home decorations and cards instead of purchasing things outside the home. I even have some of mom’s beloved toll painted decorations in my home that I won’t part with because I cherish and value the personal touch, time, and love that went into each craft.

My best friend has even started a small Etsy shop with burlap and shirt printing and I stamped for a little bit and have always wanted to scrapbook. Handmade crafts are everywhere! I’m really looking forward to making ornaments with kids this holiday season.

That’s why I’m so excited so share the Handmade With Love Super Bundle from my friends over at Ultimate Bundles! They’re running a giveaway… and not just any giveaway! How would you like to win a Cricut Maker Machine ($400), a Brother Embroidery and Sewing Machine ($390), or any of 18 other prizes?

I thought you might be excited about that because I know that I am! So here’s what’s happening: Including the prizes I already mentioned, there are 20 prizes (worth almost $4,000 altogether), so you’ll definitely find something craft that you’ve had your eye on.

With categories like Knitting & Crochet, Embriodery & Cross-Stitch, Sewing, Quilting, Applique, and Mixed Media Fiber Arts (like weaving), there’s something for every maker.

So take a few minutes and head on over here. You’ll pick your category and enter you name and email address. That’s it! Just sit back and wait to see if you win. Don’t wait because you must enter by November 26!

What handmade craft do you enjoy? I’d love to hear what your special skill is so drop me a comment below!

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Healthier Halloween Treats


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I may look forward to Halloween as much as my kiddos do. This year will be my youngest’s first Halloween to trick-or-treat and I can’t wait to see her toddle up to the neighbor’s front doors and say, “Please” and “Thank you” and hold out her little bucket. I can’t wait to come home and dump all of the candy out on the living room floor and sort each piece by their categories. And as we’re sorting and inspecting my momma bear eyes can’t help but read the back of each package to see what the ingredients  I’m about to let my kiddos to ingest are.


Now, you may be reading this and thinking, “Oh, what’s the big deal? A few pieces are harmless.” I once thought that as well. I was the mommy that wanted to let my kids live a little and experience all of the commercialized holidays and everything that came with it. And then my twins got older and started having issues. Migraines, tummy aches, and eczema are just a few of the side effects the twins started experiencing. When I became pregnant with my youngest I was older, too, and much more aware of what I was consuming as well.


I enjoy reading and would start reading everything. Boy have times sure changed! When I expected to read ingredients like milk chocolate, sugar, and peanut butter I was thrown for a loop as my eyes would scrunch up trying to pronounce words like tert – butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) and polyglycerol polyricinoleate (PGPR). TBHQ has been linked to the rise of food allergies and PGPR is fairly new on the scene. It’s a slimy, yellow, fatty substance used to stretch cocoa by making it go further.


I’ve composed a list of healthier Halloween goodies that you can feel better about handing out to your trick-or-treaters or bringing to your child’s class party.

Annie’s Halloween Bunny Grahams

Made with organic wheat flour, Annie’s bunny grahams are non-GMO verified and don’t have any artificial flavors, synthetic colors or preservatives. and no high fructose corn syrup.

 


Annie’s Organic Halloween Fruit Snack Packs

USDA certified organic made with real fruit juice, no artificial flavors, colors, or high fruit cornstarch and are gluten free.

Right now Cartwheel is offering additional savings on Annie’s Halloween fruit snacks and Halloween grahams. You can save 20%!

Yum Earth Organic Gummies, Lollipops, and Candy Corn

Special edition gummy jack o’lanterns and bats and candy corn that are non-GMO, gluten-free, and USDA organic.

Justin’s Mini Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Certified USDA Organic and gluten free, Justin’s peanut butter cups are AMAZING! I actually prefer them to Reese’s. These perfect cups are made with Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa and sustainably sources palm fruit oil.

OCHO Candy

All treat and no tricks with these delectable candy bars! Ochos Candy bars are certified organic, non-GMO, and the coconut and dark chocolate peanut butter bars are certified vegan. They come in bite=sized minis or full sized candy bars. My favorite is the variety bag because there’s something for everyone in there! The guys scarf down the peanut butter while us gals savory the coconut and we all share the caramel. These guys do not disappoint and definitely do not last long in our home.

UNREAL Halloween gluten-free, vegan, Non-GMO Dark Chocolate Crispy Peanut Butter Cups

These are like peanut butter cups but with a crispy twist! Think Nestle Crunch bar with peanut butter.

UNREAL Halloween Non-GMO Chocolate Gems

An M&M alternative! Woohoo! The guys at Unreal have created some of our favorite treats with nothing artificial, all certified organic, fair trade, and sustainable ingredients, They’re non-GMO verified, vegan, and the peanut butter and almond butter cups are certified gluten free. It it unreal how amazing these goodies are!

Glee Gum

Made in the USA with all natural ingredients, sustainably harvested rainforest chicle, and are gluten free. So absolutely no scary ingredients found here!

Glee Gum now offers Gum Pops! Remember Tootsie Pops? Here’s their healthier twin!

There are even mini box options to hand out this Halloween. Cute things come in small packages!

 

Non-Candy Treats

Non candy treats make great items to hand out at Halloween! They allow for extended fun and no added sugar. Oriental Trading and Target have awesome options!

Christian non-candy Treats

I really love the idea of handing out Halloween-themed goodies to share the light of Jesus on an otherwise scary holiday!

Baby & Toddler Options

Ever wonder what those adorable little trick-or-treaters may have when they came strolling or toddling up to your door? I have and I always feel bad when I don’t have something for the little ones. So I got to thinking and came up with a few tot approved treats.

The Teal Pumpkin Project

If you haven’t heard of The Teal Pumpkin Project allow me to give you a quick rundown. Food Allergy Research and Education started to raise awareness for children with food allergies so that they, too, may still participate in the Halloween festivities without worry. Simply paint a pumpkin teal or display one of these adorable signs created by Dawn Warnaar over at Dawn Nicole Designs. A special thank you to Dawn for allowing me to share her cute printables!

Just click on the printable below to print out and display!

 

Candy & Non-Food Treat Sign

Non-Food Treat Sign

I hope this guide has been helpful, informative, and has given you some great ideas to make everyone’s Halloween a little healthier and safer. If you have an idea that you didn’t see listed, please comment and share below. I’d love to hear from you!

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

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