Gift Ideas for Boys

Some of these gift ideas for boys were received in exchange for inclusion in the gift guide.  Others we just love.  Some items were donated to local organizations or national organizations for those less fortunate.

ggforboys

PlayMG Mobile Android Entertainment System Bundle with Charger – 24GB Storage

(We loved this last year too!)

play-mg

Parents, get your phones and tablets BACK from the kids!  A portable does-everything-but-make-calls smartphone (I guess you could say it’s a smart device??)  that fits in a (largish) pocket and comes bundled with all you need to get going!!

And parents, we have control measures!! YES! No More Over Spending Issues With The Prepaid MasterCard®. Included with every PlayMG is an optional dedicated SpendSmartTM Prepaid MasterCard that helps manage app spending. Get $10 free when you sign up and add at least $10. Manage your app spending through a real-time balance on your home screen! 

Not only have Olivia Holt (Disney) and Kyrie Irving (NBA/Cavs) joinedPlayMG as partners/owners,  they are now fully integrated into the product experience with a new app recommendation engine and weekly app recommendations, including a widget on the home screen.

Zing Blast Off – Zoom Rocketz

zoom-rocketz

A toy rocket that can zoom up to 150 feet?! Powered by air? Sounds like a good time to me!

Zoom Rocketz are lots of battery free fun, that will get your kids begging to head outside. Easy to load and aim, this rocket will be soaring through the air in no time.

How high or far it goes is all up to you, and how hard you can stomp on the launch pad. Take a running jump to help it go the distance, or give it a smaller stomp for just short trip. Make it go as high as you can or shoot it to a friend simply by adjusting the flight path. To help insure that your rocket will make it where you want it to go, each one is equipped with three roto fins. Playing a game of catch? The soft foam tip will help make that a bit easier!

Each Zoom Rocketz Launcher comes with 3 Zoom Rocketz which will equal hours of fun.

 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles –M.E.C.H. Wrekkers Raphael

(We have a whole Teenage Mutant Nina Turtle Guide you can check out !)

TMNT_MechWrek_Raph_pu1

With his quick-to-anger intensity and new gigantic M.E.C.H. Wrekker battle armor, Raphael stands tall as a towering inferno of fierce fighting fury! Featuring its Turtle-ized tank treads, gatling-gun missiles and robotic hands with their triple-head sai, Raphael moves into battle and gets the job done!

Retro Raphael action figure included.

Honestly, if you have a little guy who likes Ninja Turtles, there’s a ton of cool stuff that would be  great for him.  There’s a whole line of TMNT LEGOs, Role Play items, Play Sets, vehicles and the action figures.  My little guy is getting the Sewer Lair and a whole bunch of the bad guys for the Turtles to fight- as well as some TMNT socks, underwear, a pillow and more.

 

LEGO Play Book

lego-play-book

Building on the success of wildly popular The LEGO® Ideas BookLEGO Play Book has all-new ways to encourage kids to think, build, and play creatively.

Featuring more than 200 different builds, this fun guide inspires readers with LEGO ideas to bring their bricks to life while encouraging them to use their imagination and play in new ways, creating amazing LEGO models of their very own. Featuring a mixture of simple, medium, and complex models, LEGO Play Book will teach builders tips and tricks to get the most out of their blocks. All-new models along with all-new photography spark new play ideas and LEGO creations.

There are “ten-minute builds” for quick play sessions, a “cool brick” feature with ideas for using key LEGO bricks, and a “handful of bricks” section exploring what can be done with a limited collection of LEGO bricks. This book is fantastic for any LEGO builder looking to be inspired to build and create.

LEGO Chima Chi Lion Temple 

lego-chima-chi-lion-temple-set

  • Features large CHI orb, waterfall, golden CHI, lion gate, drawbridge trap, hidden lion bikes, eagle fighter, cannon, tower, prison, secret entrances
  • Crawley’s reptile raider features rubber track and biting mouth; Weapons include 4 CHI weapons and 2 standard weapons
  • Slam the lion gate to spring the drawbridge trap and send Cragger plummeting; Aim the tower cannon and fire the shooter; Fold walls to store
  • Measures over 12″ (31cm) high, 16″ (43cm) wide and 14″ (38cm) deep; Crawley’s reptile raider measures over 1″ (5cm) high, 5″ (15cm) long and 2″ wide
  • Lion claw bikes measure over 1″ high, 3″ long and 1″ wide; Eagle drone fighter is over 1″ high, 3″ long and 2″ wide

BEYWARRIORS SHOGUN STEEL OCTAGON SHOWDOWN Set

beyblades-beywarriors-shogun-steel

This is the ultimate SHOGUN STEEL BEYWARRIOR showdown! Everything needed for a BEYWARRIOR battle is in one place with the OCTAGON SHOWDOWN set. This intricately designed arena allows BEYWARRIORS battlers to spin, crash, and ricochet against one of the eight walls for optimal BEYWARRIORS battling! The OCTAGON SHOWDOWN set includes an exclusive stadium, two customizable BEYWARRIORS battlers, two ripcords for launching, and two collector cards that can be used to unlock features to battle other Beybladers online at BeybladeBattles.com. Available at most major toy retailers nationwide and on HasbroToyShop.com.

 

VTech Switch ‘n’ Go Dinos Jagger T-Rex

vtech-switch-go-dinos-jagger-t-rex-robotic-dinosaur

 

  • Jagger is 16″ tall and the biggest of all the Switch & Go Dinos
  • Walks and responds to 20 voice commands
  • Motorized actions make Jagger walk, drive, launch the drill and more
  • Plays over 90 wild sounds and phrases
  • Includes a small t-rex that transforms into a bulldozer

Q-Ba-Maze Marble Maze

q-ba-maze

 Q-Ba-Maze 2.0 is a unique system of colorful cubes that interlock to form a marble run. The big difference? You can create marble maze sculptures in the form of animals, geometric shapes or any other design! Configurations are unlimited, allowing for unpredictable action when steel balls travel the various routes. It’s a live demonstration of probability, physics and art, all in one! Big Box includes 72 cubes in five different colors and 20 steel balls. Q-Ba-Maze 2.0 cubes are not compatible with original Q-Ba-Maze cubes.

 

 What are your gift ideas for boys? Be sure to check out our gift ideas for girls!

DIY Grinch Crafts and Recipes

How the Grinch Stole Christmas is one of my all time most favorite stories EVER. I love it. My family loves it too, thankfully!! Here are several DIY Grinch Holiday Crafts and Recipes for you, and some Grinch Cookie Pops that are fun and festive as well!

diy-grinch-holiday-crafts

 

If you love the Grinch and want to find a way to add some “grinchiness” to your holiday tree, this gorgeous Grinch fur ornament is the perfect solution. Made from a few supplies found at your local dollar store, you can easily whip up one (or two!) in no time and for just pennies. Take a look below at how to make your own and add some Grinch flare to your holiday décor.

grinch-crafts-recipes-ideas

Gorgeous Grinch Fur Ornament

If you love the Grinch and want to find a way to add some “grinchiness” to your holiday tree, this gorgeous Grinch fur ornament is the perfect solution. Made from a few supplies found at your local dollar store, you can easily whip up one (or two!) in no time and for just pennies. Take a look below at how to make your own and add some Grinch flare to your holiday décor.

grinch-wreath

Gorgeous Grinch Fur Ornament

Supplies needed:
Green feather boa
Cardboard
Round drinking glass
Pencil
Scissors
Ribbon
Craft glue

We were able to find the green boa and ribbon used in the sample picture at our local Dollar Tree store.

Directions:
1. Begin by tracing a circle on a piece of cardboard. Use the drinking glass as your stencil. Cut the circle out.
2. You now want to cut a small circle out of your larger circle, leaving you a loop. You can do this by tracing a smaller glass on the inside of the circle, however we just freehanded one. Cut it out.
3. You now have what looks like a cardboard wreath form. Take the green boa and begin wrapping round the form.
4. Wrap until there is no boa remaining and your form is completely covered. Use your craft glue to secure the end of the boa to the board.
5. Cut a length of ribbon and run it through the now green and fluffy wreath. Tie it at the top into a bow.

That’s it! Your gorgeous Grinch fur ornament is all ready to be hung. So find a spot, nice and central on your tree so everyone can see your love for the Grinch!

 

 

 

Grinch Glass Cozies

grinch-kozies

This holiday season, wouldn’t it be fun for even your drinking glasses to show some Grinch pizzazz? These Grinch Glass Cozies are so easy to make, and don’t require you sewing single stitch. Plus, they will keep your hands warm while you sip. If you want your glasses to have some Grinchy goodness to them, take a look below at how to make your own Grinch glass cozies.

Grinch Glass Cozies

Supplies needed:
Mason jars or simple drinking glasses
Scissors
Hot glue, glue gun
Old green sweater

A thrift store is the perfect place to find the materials you need for this project. Our local thrift store had some simple clear glasses we used for this project as well as an old green sweater perfect for snipping.

Directions:
1. Begin by snipping off the sleeves of your sweater.
2. Starting at the wrist of the sweater, insert your glass to get an idea of how much sleeve you will need to cut in order for the fabric to fit.
3. Now, cut the sleeve to fit the glass.
4. Slide the sleeve onto the glass. Make sure the hemmed edge is at the top of the glass. If there is not a clean hem, just roll the sleeve down once or twice to make one.
5. Your rough edge will be at the bottom of the glass. Pull it so it folds under the glass. Continue pulling the fabric towards the center of the bottom of the glass.
6. Apply a generous dab of hot glue to the center of the glass. Continue pulling the fabric towards the center, pressing it to the glue. The fabric will adhere to it and create a nice and clean finish at the bottom of the glass.

That’s all there is to making your own Grinch Glass Cozies. They are perfect for sipping egg nog or any other holiday beverage you want to enjoy!

 

Grinch Party Favor

grinch-furry-ornament

Whether you need to come up with holiday favors for your child’s classroom party or a party you are hosting in your own home, these Grinch Party Favors are the perfect treat. Made from a few simple Dollar Tree materials, these Grinch Party Favors make the perfect take home treat. Take a peek below at how to make your own.

Grinch Party Favor

Supplies needed:
Holiday ribbon
Candy canes
Green feather duster
Scissors

We were able to find all of these materials at our local Dollar Tree Store, making this a holiday project that is just as frugal as it is fun!

Directions:
1. Begin by snipping off some of the green feathers from the feather duster.
2. Cut some holiday ribbon (if you use the thick variety as we did, cut it in half to make it skinnier) and set aside.
3. Gather your candy cane and feathers together almost like you are making a bouquet. Place the long feathers in back of the candy cane.
4. While holding the bouquet together, start wrapping the ribbon around the base. This will hold the feathers to the candy cane nicely.
5. Finish the favor by tying any remaining ribbon into a bow nice and tight.

How simple was that? These only take seconds each to make, so they are the perfect favor if you need to make them in bulk.

Head to your local Dollar Tree and gather all of the fixings to make your own Grinch Party Favors! It is a treat your guests are sure to love.

 

Grinch on a Stick Fruit Skewers

grinch-kebabs

Who knew that a healthy holiday snack could be so fun? These Grinch on a Stick Fruit Skewers are the perfect appetizer or snack at your next holiday party! Kids and adults both will love how fun and easy it is to turn their favorite fruits into a resemblance of the Grinch himself. Take a peek below at how you can make a batch of your own.

Grinch on a Stick Fruit Skewers

Supplies needed:
Wooden skewers
Large green grapes
Strawberries
Bananas
Mini Marshmallows

Directions:

1. Begin by prepping your fruit. Do this by washing all of the fruit and allowing it to dry. Cut the bananas into ½ inch thick coins, remove the tops from the strawberries, and wash and leave your green grapes as is.
2. On your skewers, you will place the fruit in this order: grape, banana coin, strawberry (point facing upward) and mini marshmallow.

The finished product looks like a green little Grinch all decked out in his Santa hat! How cute is that? Arrange these Grinch on a Stick Fruit Skewers in a vase or glass bottle for simple display and for guests to easily admire and help themselves to.

Make these for your child’s classroom party, for your own holiday gatherings, or just as a fun holiday craft with the kids. It is a fun and festive treat you are all sure to love, and a healthy one at that.

So head to your local grocer and gather all of the supplies you need to make your own Grinch on a Stick. They are sure to become a holiday fave!

oHo

 

Glowing Grinch Candle

grinch-candle

If you are all about the Grinch décor this holiday season, this simple Glowing Grinch Candle needs to be on your to-do list. Easy to make using just a few Dollar Store materials, this Glowing Grinch Candle is the perfect way to light up your home for the holidays in a way that is a whimsical nod to the green guy himself. Take a peek below at how to make your own.

Glowing Grinch Candle

Supplies needed:
Green jar candle
Construction paper
Scissors
Craft glue

We were able to find everything on this supply list at our local Dollar Tree store. So not only is this a fun and festive craft, but it is one that you can make for just pennies.

Directions:
1. Begin by cutting a red strip of construction paper. This will serve as the Santa jacket on your Grinch!
2. Apply some craft glue to the ends of the red strip, wrap the strip around the candle, and press the ends into place until adhered.
3. You now want to create a buckle for the belly of your Grinch candle. To do this, cut out a square of black construction paper. Fold the square in half and cut a smaller square out of the inside of the larger one. Discard the small square leaving what looks like a nice shiny black belt buckle.
4. Apply some glue to the buckle and press it to the red strip.

Your finished product will look like the belly of the Grinch (the green candle) wearing his Santa gear (the red coat and buckle) in hopes of popping in on Who-Ville! This project takes just minutes to make, pennies to create, and is a fun way to add some Grinchy fun to your holiday décor. Give it a try and see what you can create!

 

Grinch in a Glass Bottled Drinks

grinch-beverages

A party just isn’t a party without the perfect beverage. If you plan on entertaining guests this holiday season, these Grinch in a Glass Bottled Drinks are the perfect solution. Easy to make and so whimsical, these green bottled drinks would make the perfect addition to your menu. Take a look below at what a cinch they are to create using a few simple supplies. Take a peek!

Grinch in a Glass Bottled Drinks

Supplies needed:
Glass bottles with lids (found at most dollar and discount stores)
Lime Kool Aid
Miniature red/white stockings
Rubberbands

The miniature red and white stockings can be found at your local Dollar Tree. They are sold in a two pack for just $1. Glass beverage bottles are sold at most discount stores. Be sure to find ones with screw on lids so you can make them up ahead of time and refrigerate them until needed.

Directions:
1. Begin by preparing your Lime Kool Aid per packet instructions. If you don’t like this beverage you can always use any green or yellow/green beverage of your choice.
2. Fill the bottle with the beverage. Place the lid on tightly.
3. Place one of the mini stockings on tops of the bottle.
4. Gather the top of the stocking and bunch it. Wrap a rubber band around the top of the stocking creating a small puff at the end. It should now resemble a Santa hat.

Fill a tub with your Grinch in a Glass Bottled Drinks and then allow guests to serve themselves. It will look so festive filled with green beverages and topped with a Santa hat, just like the Grinch!

So gather your supplies and give this fun party idea a try! It is sure to add some Grinch fun to your holidays.

 

 

 

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Gift Ideas

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Gift Ideas

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Gift Guide 2


Ninja Combat Gear, Michelangelo $12

Dress up, dress up, dress up. I’ve long since lost count of how many times my kids have gone out dressed up as one character or another- and at $12?  GREAT price for imaginative play inspiration!

 

 


LEGO Ninja Turtles Stealth Shell $33.88

LEGO is always a great gift option and if your child loves the Heroes in a Half Shell, they’ll probably love to create their own Stealth Shell at home!  

 


Turtle Shell Backpack With 4 Masks $30.92

Role play, imaginative play- and, the cool shell backpack stores all of the role play stuff inside it, so you won’t be finding Donny, Mikey, Leo and Raph’s masks all over your house.  Maybe.  

 


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shell Water Blaster $15.20

Blast their friends with water from their own half shell…

 


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Sewer Lair Playset $99

This is a HOT HOT HOT toy right now and if you find it online anywhere, grab it. It retails for about $99 and has been on sale at Walmart.com for about $76 so check often. Really, if you see it, grab it.  It’s like the ultimate way to play with your Turtles! (You will, of course, want some bad guys to go with.  Fish Face is a must-have for us but there are many to choose from)

 


4 Movies: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $6.99 P

ERFECT stocking stuffer at $6.99!! Four movies for that price

 


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Nintendo Wii $29.72

We can’t wait to play this on a snowed in day. Lots of fun and lots of action– get them off the couch and moving!


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Underwear, 5-Pack $15

Who doesn’t love fun underwear?  Grab a set of these for a stocking stuffer- it’s a fun gift sure to get some smiles

 


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Bowling Set $19.95

For the younger TMNT fans- their fave characters come in a bowling set


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pal Pillow, Raphael $35 I can’t even explain how CUTE these are. Or, um….COOL I guess. Grab their favorite TMNT hero for their bed!

 

mech wrekkers

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Retro Mech Wrekkers (ToysRUs Exclusive)

Robotic hands, motorized walking…this is your fave Turtle with a whole new level of fun!

 

DIY Light Up Christmas Tree on Canvas #TexturedSurface

This post brought to you by FrogTape provided by ShurTech Brands, LLC. All opinions are 100% mine.

The folks at FrogTape® asked me to check out their  new FrogTape Textured Surface. Since it’s full holiday season, I decided I’d do a fun new Christmas decoration to test it out!

1 12×12 Canvas (get them on sale or with a coupon at the local craft store)

1 piece textured green paper  (Scrapbooking aisle)

1 set 20 mini LED lights

8-10 mini Christmas bulb ornaments (really, you can do anything with this, we just liked the red

Acrylic paint (we went with a Metallic Gold for more shimmer)

Glue

FrogTape® Textured Surface

1. Cut your paper into the tree shape.  You can go super simple like we did or get more complicated and do branches, etc.  I’m not great with shapes and symmetry so we kept it simple.

2. Glue tree down, let dry

3. Put the FrogTape® Textured Surface on either side of where you want to paint your “garland” on the tree

4. Using a damp cloth or paper towel, make sure the tape is adhered to your surface

5. Shake the sealer, remove lid and foil cap and replace with applicator.

6. Apply Liquid PaintBlock® Edge Sealer™

(Be sure to recap the container when you are done and get it sealed up so it doesn’t dry out!)

7. Paint your garland onto the tree

8. Remove tape (this is where I was all “OH WOW” because where I had the tape? Perfect edges!!  You can see below where the tree ‘trunk’ is that I didn’t use the tape and you can see what a big difference the tape made)

9. Taking a tiny screwdriver, poke holes where you want the LED lights to come through

New FrogTape® Textured Surface is your sharp paint line solution for most common textured surfaces!
Liquid PaintBlock® Edge Sealer™ Technology helps deliver super sharp paint lines
Easy to use, frustration free
Stripes, patterns and designs are now possible on most common textured surfaces

FrogTape® Textured Surface is treated with patented PaintBlock®Technology, a super absorbent polymer that reacts with the water in latex paint and instantly gels to form a micro-barrier that seals the edges of the tape, which helps prevent paint bleed.

FrogTape® is on Twitter @FrogTape- be sure to follow them for creative inspiration!

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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Candied Pecan Rolled Cookies Recipe

Chocolate Candied Pecan Rolled Cookies Recipe is up next for our 12 Days of Christmas Cookies.  Chocolate and candied pecans? Yes please!12-days-of-christmas-cookies

 Bing Smart Search is like this whole new way of finding information, images, recipes and inspiration from any Windows 8.1 device.  With Smart Search, you don’t have to open an app or a window, just swipe from the right to open the search bar or start typing in Windows and you can find your doc, photo, app, link, information,images…the list goes on and on.  When a web page comes up, you can preview the content before clicking on it.  With Bing, you get a “Smart” summary of results. For a variety of popular searches, you’ll see a rich, visual summary of the most relevant information from across the web and apps. We’ve all gone to sites that matched search terms only to find the content is not relevant to what you were looking for, right?   Bing Smart Search is how I found inspiration for many of the cookie recipes shared in the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies Feature!

Chocolate  Candied Pecan Rolled Cookies Recipe

chocolate-candied-pecan-rolled-cookie-final-

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup melted milk chocolate (You could also cheat a bit and use Hershey’s Spread)
  • 3/4 cup chopped candied pecans
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar (for icing)
  • 1 Tbs milk (for icing)
  • 2 Tbs caramel syrup (for icing)

Makes approximately 6 dozen.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In large mixing bowl, cream together shortening & sugar and add eggs.

Sift dry ingredients together and add, alternating with milk and vanilla.  Mix well after each addition.

Roll dough on floured surface to 1/8″ thick.  Cut into approximately 4″x6″ sections.

Cover with melted chocolate and sprinkle with chopped pecans.

chocolate-candied-pecan-rolled-cookie-spread

Roll into 6″ long “log” and cut into 1/2″ thick slices.

chocolate-candied-pecan-rolled-cookie-2-rolled

Bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes.

While cookies are cooling, mix together the milk, confectioners sugar, and caramel syrup.  You can add a touch more milk or sugar to achieve desired consistency.  After cookies ave completely cooled, drizzle icing over top.

5.0 from 1 reviews
12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Candied Pecan Rolled Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Rolled cookie with candied pecans and chocolate
Author:
Recipe type: Cookie
Cuisine: American
Serves: 18
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup shortening
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3½ cups cake flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup melted milk chocolate (You could also cheat a bit and use Hershey's Spread)
  • ¾ cup chopped candied pecans
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar (for icing)
  • 1 Tbs milk (for icing)
  • 2 Tbs caramel syrup (for icing)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In large mixing bowl, cream together shortening & sugar and add eggs.
  3. Sift dry ingredients together and add, alternating with milk and vanilla. Mix well after each addition.
  4. Roll dough on floured surface to ⅛" thick. Cut into approximately 4"x6" sections.
  5. Cover with melted chocolate and sprinkle with chopped pecans.
  6. Roll into 6" long "log" and cut into ½" thick slices.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes.
  8. While cookies are cooling, mix together the milk, confectioners sugar, and caramel syrup. You can add a touch more milk or sugar to achieve desired consistency. After cookies ave completely cooled, drizzle icing over top.

 

Holiday Gift Baskets with ALDI

We used the last of our gift cards that ALDI sent us for the Ambassador program to pay things forward earlier this week.  Walking through the store, I found so many fun things I wanted to buy for decorations for the house, surprises for the kids, etc. but I started thinking about how many people don’t have what we do, and decided that the gift certificate would be better used to pay things forward.  So we did 5 “baskets” of ALDI products- 1 hostess basket, 2 baking sets and 2 dinner sets.  I did also grab a few toys but they went to school with my 6 year old for Toys for Tots before I remembered to grab a photo.

For the dinner baskets, I grabbed some of the essentials one might expect to have for a holiday meal- stuffing, cranberry sauce, corn,  olive oil and bread.  Obviously I couldn’t put fresh bread in, as I don’t know when this will be delivered, so I did a Beer Bread mix. We are also going to include an envelope with $15 for a turkey or whatever the recipient would like to purchase for their meal since we can’t send meat! I loved the bread dipping sauce set, and at $3.99 decided it was a must-have item and wasn’t leaving the store without it.  Even doing all of this, I spent about $15 on each basket!

giving-dinner-baskets-aldi-#aldistyle

For the hostess basket, the kids helped choose the items.  We will be again adding an envelope with a little something to get butter, eggs, milk, etc. that may be needed for the baking.  You’ll notice that bread dipping set is in there- I just love it so much (and got one for hubby’s stocking!), along with a nice quality olive oil, some bread mixes (for the dipping sauce), and also some cookies in a jar that the kids made a church. Easy to make, inexpensive, and lots of fun to assemble.

hostess-gift-ideas-#Aldistyle-aldi

The baking baskets were my favorite to make.  It’s always nice to get the essentials when donating for the holidays, but one of my favorite parts of Christmas and my kids’ also is the traditions, like baking cookies and decorating them together. While these certainly don’t replace the traditional needs, I also think that everyone should also be able to have ‘fun’ stuff as well, and we ran with that.

baking-gift-set-aldi-#ALDISTyle

Not wanting to get food for gifts?  ALDI offers lots of great name brand toys the kids will love- many of which I’ve seen at other stores for a higher price.  You can also find fun inflatables for the yard (which I really almost grabbed for us!!) and some cute tinsel Christmas trees priced at just $4.99 each- what a cute idea for the kids’ rooms!

gift-ideas-aldi-#aldistyle

Head to your local ALDI for last minute gift ideas! There are a lot of great items and all are very affordably priced. You can find things to dress up your decor, gift to a friend or to the kids, or just grab your holiday grocery needs!

Personalizing Holiday Memories #PCHoliday

This is a sponsored post with Provide Commerce and the Social Media Chicks. All opinions are my own.

Christmas is such a special time of year for so many of us.  There are so many memories wrapped up in the whole idea of the holidays.  Personalizing holiday memories is one way to give those memories another element, and this year, we turned to Personal Creations to add some personal touches to gifts.  We did some items for others, like special ornaments for the kids, relating to their current interests.  We also chose an Advent calendar which can double as a gift “stocking” of sorts- that will be filled for my brother in law’s kids with some Christmas surprises for them.  It’s a double gift!

personalized-advent-stocking-calendar-#PCHoliday

Disney “Through the Years” Tree is a Collectible item.  It’s a keepsake- it’s gorgeous, and the kids will love it and want to touch and play with it.  Don’t let them.  Teach them to look and not touch so that you can enjoy it for many years to come.  My family LOVES Disney.  We had our first official family vacation in January of this year TO Disney World.  This tree just seemed like such a wonderful gift to give the family to me. It’s special and will only be out at the holidays, so we can enjoy it and see it each year when we decorate the house.  It’s got so very many of our beloved Disney friends on the tree, topped by Santa Mickey flying his sleigh with Rudolph Pluto flying high.

disney-through-years-tree-personal-creations#PCHoliday

With 4 lively levels of rotating movement on this spectacular tabletop tree, the Disney Express seems to “climb” ever higher, brilliantly lit by 20 LED lights. At the very top, Mickey is at the reins of a Pluto and reindeer drawn sleigh that rotates around Cinderella’s magic castle. A medley of 8 Christmas carols makes the festivities complete. Hand crafted of resin with a handsome mahogany base, this breathtaking tree captures 10 unique holiday scenes, starring over 50 sculpted, hand-painted Disney characters from your favorite movies, including Mickey and Minnie, Donald Duck, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Bambi and more. We artfully engrave the brass plaque with any message on 1 line, up to 22 characters. Measures 16″H. UL listed. Includes standard AC adapter. Uses 3 AA batteries (not included). Item cannot be gift boxed.

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Santa Mickey flies high about Disney Through the Years Tree.  This is my favorite part of the whole tree.

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The train doesn’t move on the top tier of the tree- but as you can see, it surrounds Cinderella’s Castle and welcomes so many of the original Disney friends.

The princesses are dancing with their princes around Cinderella’s coach…

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Daisy and Donald are greeting guests happily

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Dumbo and Bambi are hanging out while the Disney Express train goes round and round the bottom layers of the tree. It’s Disney magic in your living room!

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And the last piece that makes this so wonderful is the brass name plate with our name on it.

How do you and your family go about personalizing holiday memories?  Who would you give this Disney Through the Years Tree to? 

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Ready to personalize your own Christmas creations? Personal Creations is offering my readers 20% off of all of your purchases through the end of December. Click here to start shopping at Personal Creations and the 20% will be applied in your shopping cart.

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iPad Air Giveaway #ipad #giveaway

I’ve partnered with some blogger friends to bring you the chance to win one of the biggest prizes of the year. We’re giving away an iPad Air!

 

ABOUT THE IPAD AIR

 

The new iPad Air is unbelievably thin and light. And yet it’s so much more powerful and capable. With the A7 chip, advanced wireless, and great apps for productivity and creativity — all beautifully integrated with iOS 7 — iPad Air lets you do more than you ever imagined. In more places than you ever imagined.

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GIVEAWAY

 

Prize: iPad Air 16GB Wi-Fi ($499 ARV)

 

Sponsors: 2 Sisters 2 CitiesBay Area MommyClare’s Weight Loss Journey with Plexus SlimCouponing For 4Dallas Single MomDream a Little BiggerFood Folks and FunFun Fierce Fab Beauty Over 50!Happy Deal – Happy Day!Joyful ScribblingsMamamusingOh My Gosh Beck!Patchwork PosseThis Mama LovesYou Justincredible

 

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily – all entries are optional. Giveaway ends 12/31 and is open worldwide.

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Have a very LEGO Minifigure Family Christmas!

This post brought to you by LEGO. All opinions are 100% mine.

If you know my family at all, you know we LOVE LEGO bricks, sets, Minifigures, games, apparel….all of it.  We have a LEGO Advent calendar every year. Sometimes more than one.  My son eats sleeps and breathes LEGOs.  LEGO just makes so much possible.  You can build anything with LEGO – even your own family! ! This holiday season, LEGO has created an online experience called “Minifigure Family”, which enables you to create your own custom LEGO Minifigure free greeting card. Making these cards is easy, fun, and best of all? FREE!!

lego-minifigure-family

Each member of your Minifig’ family can be customized to match skin tone, facial expressions, outfits and more.  The adult Minifigs have a lot more options than kids or pets, but you can still have a lot of fun customizing your Minifig.  We did a full holiday theme, except for my husband, because I’m pretty sure even in the land of Minifigures, he’d not actually wear a holiday piece of clothing.  So he’s in his blue and grey.

The Minifigure Holiday Cards are TONS of fun.  My kids have actually created 5 of them, and I will wager a guess they’ll probably create at least that many more.  They are fun, cute, and let kids be creative and send a fun holiday wish customized with their choice of Minifigures, Scene and greeting too!  Once you’ve got your family Minifig-ed, you can share the holiday card with your friends and family via your social channels. Or, if you are my kids, you can wait patiently for Mommy to share with her email account.

Head over and make a LEGO Minifigure Family for your own family (or friends…or both!) Please do leave the link — I want to see what YOUR LEGO Minifig family looks like too!!

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My Christmas Wish: 25% more…… #MoreisBetter $500 Amex Daily Giveaway

Tracking PixelThis is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cottonelle.

Most of us have heard that song “All I want for Christmas is….” you?  There are a lot of songs. And a lot of things we may want.  Peace on earth? Sure.  Goodwill toward men?  Yep.  My 2 front teeth?  Got those, happy to keep them…. but there are OTHER things we want for Christmas.

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Or maybe I should say, want a little more of.  Like, say, 25% more of?

The things I’d like to have 25% more of?

Pillows.  I love pillows.  Especially when they are beat up and I can squish them into the perfect shape.  Win.  There’s never too many pillows.

 

Image via http://www.downfactorystore.com/

Image via http://www.downfactorystore.com/

Naps. Any nap is a bonus, but I’ll take 25% of the approximately 0 naps I average per week.

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Original artwork by my then-6-year-old who knows her mama well

Sleep.  It’s holiday time.  Presents to be bought (mostly), wrapped (not started), and made (oy.  What have I gotten myself into!?).  Do you know what I could do with 25% more sleep?  (I do. I’d get MORE behind!! )

 

Time. I guess this is my big one. With 25% more time, just for this month, I could get my wrapping, making, baking and crafting done AND get my beloved sleep. And maybe naps. Win!

 

Image via http://teramchugh.com/

Image via http://teramchugh.com/

Also, shoes.  There’s never enough shoes.  Ladies, imagine what fun there would be with 25% more shoes in our closets?

I also want more toilet tissue.  Specifically….25% more toilet tissue.  You may not know this but I have a fear of running out of toilet tissue.  And we buy it at BJ’s stores- so I get like 36 rolls at a time.  Times 2.  If we don’t have a spare 36 pack, I get all anxious and go get some more. I think it stems from being pregnant and running out exactly one time.  Panic set in.  (I wasn’t the most rational pregnant person).  I dont’ want to run out nor do I want to have the WRONG TISSUE.  So I’m happy that Cottonelle is giving us 25% more tissue.  I’m happy, and when mama’s  happy, we’re all happy.  Seriously.  Should you ever want to get me a hostess gift?  Now you know.

cottonelle-logo

That’s right, my friends.  Cottonelle Clean Care’s got my whole “more is better” attitude and it ROCKS my socks off (oh, speaking of, I’d like more socks, please and thank you. Mine are all holy and falling apart).  25% more sheets of tissue ON THE ROLL!!  You get more sheets for the same money. More money in your pocket, for things like….

presents

spa time

cookies

wrapping paper

shoes

boots

other shoes

other boots

and maybe other necessities.

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Since Cottonelle agrees that more IS better, they are giving someone more cash! That’s right, someone will win $500 dollars.  Five.Hundred.Dollars.  ANDDDDD Oh, did I mention that this is a DAILY thing?  Yea. From 12/9 to 12/30, One winner (from all 30 blogs hosting these giveaways) will be selected daily to receive a $500 American Express gift card for themselves and a charity of their choosing. Winners will be announced daily on the SITSGirls Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SITSGirls.

  ENTER TO WIN THE MONIES BELOW.

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cottonelle.