MommyMandy l California Mom Blog

Show Your Love For Your Children With These Gifts They Can Keep Forever

When you are expecting a new addition to the family, you will find that it is very easy to overspend on gifts, toys, and clothes for them. Having a baby is all very exciting – and you will feel exactly the same way whether it is your first child or your fourth! Every parent comes with a natural instinct to spoil their children and it can be very easy to go over the top without even realizing it. After all, who doesn’t want their little one to have the best of everything? However, sometimes we can get so caught up in the latest toys, treats and fashions for our kids that we end up with more stuff than we know what to do with. If you want something for your children that they will appreciate for years to come, and possibly something that they are going to pass down to their kids too, you will need to think of something really special. Often, these items can even become family heirlooms. Here are just a few of the things you may choose to pass down, or give to you children that they will be able to keep forever.

Personalized Gifts for Kids: I See Me Books

A birth year box

Feel like getting creative? Putting together a ‘birth year box’ for your child is a great way to commemorate the year they were born. Plus, it’s something they can look at in years to come and see how much the world has changed since they were born. Fill it with personal things from the first year of your child’s life – such as their first pair of booties, or their ultrasound scan. But also include some things that represent the cultural aspects of that year. This could be a memory stick with the number one hits from that year saved onto it. It could be a photo of the president at the time, or some technology you feel could be defunct by the time your child has grown up (the first ever iPhone, perhaps?).

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A personalized gift 
Even though so many things change as time goes on, some items are simply timeless. Getting an item such as this personalized for your child will mean it’s something they can keep forever. For example, the art of letter-writing is indeed on the decline. But there are still certain times that will call for a hand-written letter or note – which is why personalized embossed note cards make a great keepsake for your child. Personalized pens, photo frames, and mugs all do the trick too.


A plush toy

Hands up if you’re an adult and you still have your favorite plush toy from your childhood? Many of us develop a strong emotional attachment to the teddy bear we carry around with us as a child, as it provides a form of comfort and security that we don’t get from many other things. Keeping this safe for your child even when they are much older can mean it is a touching and sentimental gift. You could even go one step further and have a plush toy made from some of your child’s outgrown baby clothes.

Scrape-A-Round Ice Scraping Just Got Easier!

Over Christmas and New Years we received a ton of snow. The kids have been having a ton of fun playing in it but I had to go out and shovel it and get the snow off all the cars!

At least I had a little help with the Scrape-a-round. The Scrape-a-round is a brilliant feat of ice scraping engineering. The simple explanations why Scrape-A-Round is the best ice scraper are as follows, Scrape-A-Round is the
Best ice scraper because of the softer plastic, allows the scraper to conform to the window curvature!


  • 18″ of ice scraping surface.
  • The comfortable grasp provides relief for the arthritic or carpal syndrome sufferer.
  • Direct pressure to the window, no pressure lost through the ice scraper!
  • The circular rotational motion of ice scraper.
  • Double ice scraper action, leading edge and trailing edge.
  • Multi functional, remove the cap and it doubles as a funnel.
  • This scrapes windows frost and ice free in half the time!

Find out more information head on over to

My readers get to save! Get FREE Shipping at Use code LU8FBEZREU2 at checkout.


*A product was provided.

What Prenatal Vitamins to Choose When Expecting *Giveaway gift card for $50 ends Jan. 20th*

Approximately 68% of women are calcium deficient, but this matters even more when you’re pregnant because the developing baby needs calcium to build strong bones and teeth, as well as for a healthy heart, nerves, and muscles. Prenatal Vitamins are important to add to any expecting mother’s diet, not only for herself but for her growing baby.

When a pregnant woman lacks dietary calcium (which is often the case), her developing baby draws this much-needed calcium directly from HER bones, which can impact the woman’s health later in life. Popular prenatal vitamins only have a small percentage of recommended the daily calcium. The recommended amount of calcium during pregnancy is 1000mg daily!

It is never too early to start taking Prenatal Vitamins either! If you are trying to conceive it is best to start taking them, it helps mom to be already getting those nutrients she may be lacking from diet alone.  We spent many months trying to conceive our second child and the whole time I took prenatal, plus I knew I needed the vitamins I was lacking.

Prenatal vitamins typically contain more folic acid and iron than standard adult multivitamins. If you are wondering why:

  • Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects in the unborn baby. These defects are serious abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord.
  • Iron supports the unborn baby’s growth and development. Iron also helps prevent anemia for mom which is a condition blood has a low number of healthy red blood cells.

The best over the counter prenatal vitamins can be found at your local pharmacy and retailers such as When picking a Prenatal make sure they include:


ONE winner will receive a gift card for $50!


What Prenatal Vitamins to Choose When Expecting *Giveaway gift card for $50 ends Jan. 20th*

Note: This giveaway is open to US shipping addresses only.

This giveaway will end on Jan. 20th

*This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal, with a prize of a gift certificate

Easy Ways to Keep Your Family Healthy This Winter

Winter brings with it some wonderful things: Christmas time, all the lovely lights, gifts, food, school plays and shows. There’s also snuggly jumpers and hot chocolates in front of the fire, as well as gorgeous winter walks, and with any luck, snow. But winter also brings the flu, coughs and colds, vomiting bugs and many more unwelcome things. If you have young children, you’ll know how quickly they can pick things up, which they then kindly share with the rest of the family. There’s nothing worse than being ill when you are trying to look after your family, especially if you are also working, or studying a further education degree like the nurse practitioner doctorate. Follow these tips, and hopefully you’ll be able to stay relatively healthy all year around.


Making sure you get all the vitamins you need is critical to keeping fit. We all know that vitamin C is great for staying healthy, but you’ll want to make sure the others are topped up too if you want to fight off illness. You should be able to get everything you need form a balanced diet, so make sure you are eating meals full of vegetables and snacking on fresh fruit. If you work full time, or are studying an intense course like a BSN to DNP online, it can be hard to find time to cook. But it is worth making the effort to eat fresh, healthy foods. Cook in bulk and freeze batches to save time later. If you are worried you aren’t getting enough from your diet, consider taking a multi vitamin supplement to help.


Staying hydrated is also really important to staying fit. Your body is make up of huge amounts of water, so it needs more to repair and heal itself. Try to drink 8 glasses a day. Buy a bottle to carry around with you to help.


When its cold outside, it can be hard to motivate yourself to go out for exercise, so try some home workouts on YouTube. Exercise not only helps your body to keep healthy, it will also help increase your mood and fend off any winter depression and fatigue.


Like water, your body needs sleep to look after itself. We are much more likely to pick up illnesses if we are tired and run down. Aim for 8 hours a night where you can. But if you can’t, afternoon naps, or just getting more rest will help.

Listen to Your Body

If you do start to feel ill, get some rest straight away. Stay inside, wrap up warm and get plenty to drink. This way you might be able to fight it off before it becomes anything more serious.

Winter can be a truly magical time. Don’t let winter bugs ruin it for your family. Keep the kids of school if they have a fever or any vomiting, and let them rest until they are better. Always see a doctor if you are worried about any symptoms.

Savings with Huggies® Biggest Pack Ever

Being a mom to four life can get crazy busy! Running to the store daily for groceries and weekly for diapers is just something my husband and I got tired of! We decided it was time to invest in a Sam’s Club membership last year t help us save time and money!

Buying in bulk has been such a lifesaver for us. My kids have super jammed pack schedules during the week and as you can imagine four kids school lunches products go fast in our house. We knew that bulk buying not only would save us money in the long run, but it keeps us from having to do daily grocery store runs!

Diapers is one of them! We usually get all of our baby needs at Sam’s Club because I know it will last us a long time. Well we were super excited to learn about the  2-months supply of  Huggies® diapers (qty 312) at Sam’s Club!

Yes, that is right a TWO month supply of diapers! It was quite entertaining at Sam’s Club though because all of the workers made comments on “wow now that is a huge box of diapers” and they are right, but think about it, for 312 diapers it is about 67 dollars. We spend 20 dollars every time we go to the store for a pack of 74 diapers that lasts a few weeks, it actually costs less buying in bulk and I do not have to worry about running out in two weeks!

When we got home Mikey was pretty excited about the giant box (I know he was thinking a box to play with)

We love shopping at Sam’s Club! Having a Sam’s Club Membership has helped our big family save money and spend less time at grocery stores! You can head on over to the Membership Page to learn more!

Fun Ways to Integrate When Studying Abroad

Studying abroad is becoming more and more popular, and for students who choose to travel as part of or for the duration of their degree, this experience can be both exciting and daunting. One thing is for sure, however, students who travel abroad to study don’t tend to forget their experience quickly.

When studying abroad, one of your top priorities is sure to be making new friends and finding a social circle that you easily fit into. When you study abroad, integrating with your new classmates, housemates, and perhaps even the people who’ll you’ll be working with abroad is important in order to build up your social circle and have fun for the duration of your stay. We’ve listed some fun and exciting ways to integrate when studying abroad.

Playing Games

Playing games as a group is one of the best ways to break the ice, and there are many games that can still be enjoyed even if there’s a language barrier! Bingo, for example, is a fun games to play that many people will understand or pick up easily, and introducing online Bingo to a group of people who’ve never played the game before can be an awesome way to get the conversation started and learn more about the people who you’re likely going to be spending a lot of time around for the duration of your stay. Online games, board games, and even drinking games are all huge fun and safe go-to choices for making new friends and getting to know one another.

Learn the Language

It may seem obvious, but if you’re going to be spending some time in a country where the residents speak a different language to yourself, it makes sense to learn the language. However, whilst attending language classes or using an online language course to learn the basics before you leave can be very useful preparation, be sure to continue your learning once you arrive as this can be one of the best ways to integrate and make new friends. Learning a language as part of a group or class can be huge fun, and also an awesome way to meet interesting new people, some of whom may be fellow students who’ve come abroad like yourself.

Be a Tourist

A great way to integrate when traveling for education is to ask your newfound friends to show you where they enjoy visiting the most in your new city or town. When studying abroad, it’s likely that you will want to see all the main attractions in your chosen destination and get some amazing snapshots to take home and post to social media to show your family and friends. Spending the day taking part in tourist activities and having fun can be an awesome way to spend more time with the people who you study or live with abroad, and having somebody there’s who’s familiar with the area can make the experience all the more enjoyable.

Learn a New Hobby

Wherever you choose to study, you may come across hobbies that aren’t so popular back home, but hugely popular in your study destination. Learning a new hobby can be a very fun way of spending your spare time as a student abroad, whether you choose to do something that’s widely available such as taking part in arts and crafts, or learn something that’s specific to the place that you’re visiting, for example taking part in cooking classes in order to learn how to cook traditional cuisine.

Studying abroad can be a very exciting experience, but in order to get the most out of it, integration is essential!


Did you all see American Girl‘s newest Girl of the Year for 2017???? As soon as I showed Sarah she was thrilled to see another dancer! But what makes Gabriela special is how she turns to poetry to help build her confidence.
Gabriela inherited a love of the arts from her parents, especially her mother, but spoken word poetry is becoming her own passion. Although Gabriela often finds herself in a battle with her own words because of her stuttering, she discovers that her poetry, filled with wit and honesty, helps her speech flow more easily and gives her the confidence to find her voice to help save her beloved community arts center from being torn down.

Gabriela comes to life for girls via a beautiful 18-inch Gabriela doll featuring curly dark-brown hair and warm brown eyes, an exclusive outfit that reflects her creative side, and a book chronicling her story. Gabriela also comes with several performance-inspired outfits and accessories, including a dance barre, rehearsal and dance outfits, plus pretend headphones and a microphone. Additional Gabriela products and books will be available starting in spring 2017, and—for the first time—the new Girl of the Year collection will be available for a full 12 months and beyond.

and Teachers!!!! , American Girl is partnering with Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and leader in comprehensive educational materials, to create and distribute Express Yourself, a custom curriculum program that teaches 3rd-5th grade students how to use poetry as a tool for self-expression. The free materials will be available on starting March 1, 2017, and include teacher lessons and corresponding classroom activities, a poetry poster, plus parent tips and learning ideas to do at home.

2016 Year in Review

2016 was one of those years that was great for the kids! They all started new activities, continued ones they loved and said good bye to others. It was a huge learning lesson for the girls, both with making new friends, realizing ones who may not be a good fit for them and learning how to deal with their own personal issues.

Sam this year went from 7th to 8th grade and enjoyed dancing and hanging with her friends. She has continued to keep a 4.0 GPA and made Principle’s Honor Roll twice now! She has taken back up Piano Lessons as well as Violin twice a week.

Sarah went from 4th to 5th grade and is loving her dance life! She also takes violin, went to music camp and loves her girl scout troop! She received the Gold Medal in Reading Olympics at school and has really worked hard in getting her grades up. She dances every day and absolutely loves her dance friends! She also started her adventure with braces!!

It was a big year for Shelby! She started pre-school and loves dancing. She earned a spot in this year’s Nutcracker where she was a Gingerbread!! In March she got a hold of scissors and cut all her hair off. Mama cried, but at least it will grow back!

Our little man turned 1 this year and he is so much fun! He brings our entire family  joy and comfort.I love having a little by in the house. He is goofy, and loving. He says so many words!

We have many amazing things in our plan for 2017!!!


Top Tools to Maintain Your Garden

Keeping your garden in tip top shape is a never ending labor of love. The right tools go a long way in taking your garden maintenance routine from sweat and tears to easy breezy. Here are the top tools you need to maintain your garden with ease.

Ergonomic Shovel
A good shovel is one of the most important tools you can have in your tool shed. An ergonomic design elevates the usefulness of a shovel and makes it easier to use by blending the best features of a traditional shovel with innovative ergonomic technology. The handle of an ergonomic shovel is no longer made from wood or heavy metal, but instead is created with lighter weight materials such as fiberglass. The handle shape is round with gripper pads to make holding on easier and less likely to cause blisters.

Line Trimmer
It never fails that the grass will creep its way into any garden area regardless of your edging. Say goodbye to the days of hand trimming, keep the grass trimmed around your garden with a line trimmer. There are so many different types to choose from, whether gas powered, electric or cordless there is bound to be one that fits your gardening needs. There are also smaller and more compact line trimmers that make handling easier than ever.

Weeding Tool
We all know the strain of kneeling in the garden for hours to pull weeds. By the end of the day our hands are red, raw and covered in blisters. That’s even while wearing gloves! Well, no more! A weeding tool is the answer you’ve been looking for. It’s a long metal stick with a forked end that is perfect for digging down to the roots of the weeds making it easy to pry the weed out, roots and all.

Pruning Shears
Pruning shears are an essential to any gardener. You can use them for so much from pruning bushes to cutting thick stemmed flowers. When going to buy a pair of pruning shears make sure you get ones that fit your hand, are easy to squeeze and are the right size for the type of pruning you will be doing. For instance, if you have a lot of thick, woody plants that you will need to prune throughout the year you will want to make sure that the blade can stand up to the job.

Watering Wand
Watering the garden is a huge necessity, but it’s not easy. As much as we’d like to, you can’t just take the hose and let it run all over the garden and the constant refilling of the watering can is enough to drive a person mad. A watering wand combines the ease of simply turning on the hose with the perfect watering technique of a watering can. A watering wand is not the same thing as a hose sprayer attachment. The wand attaches to Flexogen garden hoses and other hose types the same way a sprayer would, but is instead a long handled addition to the hose that lets you reach every area of your garden, as well as your hanging plants, all without stretching  The adjustable settings let you provide the right amount of water to each plant and there is a shut off valve that keeps you from getting drenched as you run to turn the water off.


Garden Rake
Everyone has the leaf rake hanging in the garage but that’s not going to cut it for the garden. A garden rake is smaller and easier to handle when you are maneuvering in between and around plants. These rakes are great for removing leaves, spreading mulch or just cleaning up trimmings and droppings from your plants.

A wheelbarrow may seem like a tool that’s just for the big time gardener, but it’s really for anyone that loves to spend time making their yard beautiful. A wheelbarrow is great for hauling and spreading mulch, moving plants and hauling away yard waste. It can also come in handy for moving heavy materials when you do your next landscaping project.

Your garden is like a member of your family. You care for it everyday. Feed it, water it and you even cover it up when the cold weather moves in. Treat your garden and yourself to the top tools you need to maintain your garden.


Happy Birthday! How To Hold Great Parties For Kids

Christmas is here! Everything’s extremely festive at the moment, people are planning their Christmas meals and finishing up the last of their shopping and looking forward to taking a little time off from work to spend with their families. But not all of us are just thinking about Christmas. There are actually a lot of birthdays this time of year as well – is March a particularly romantic month? Let’s not think about it too hard. But if you’ve got a birthday party for one of your kids to plan at the moment, that’s probably taking up way more of your time than you’d like it to. Here are some tips on how to make them easier for yourself…

Ask Your Child What They Want

If your kid is old enough to make a few decisions for him or herself, chances are they already have a decent idea of what they’d like to see at a birthday party. Even if you as a mother are more concerned with fairies and butterflies and you’d like to have a pretty birthday party for your daughter, remember that it’s her day. If she’d rather have a jungle or pirate theme, that can be a lot of fun too! Ask them how many guests they’d like to invite – if your child is shy or quiet, then they might be overwhelmed if they invite their whole class at school. Remember that the party is about what will make them happy.

Get An All Inclusive Deal

If life’s really hectic, there isn’t any point in forcing yourself to create an entire birthday party from scratch. Not only are you a busy parent who doesn’t have much time, but the fact remains that there are people who make parties for a living, and chances are they’re much better at doing it than you are! If your child is active and loves running around, then you could go for a bowling party. A lot of bowling alleys provide food and cake and a separate room for party games for kids – all you’d have to do would be supervise! Laser tag is also a great idea for a kids’ birthday party, although you might find yourself wanting to join in and getting far too competitive when you’re attempting to shoot seven year olds… If you’re having the party at your home, consider hiring party entertainers like Elsa and Anna impersonators along with a bouncy castle, so you don’t have to provide all the excitement yourself.

Make Simple Food

There really isn’t any point in going overboard with food. A lot of small children don’t have particularly advanced palates, so it’s a good idea to stick with cheese pizza, hot dogs, burgers and fries. If you’d rather go for cold food so you can prepare it all beforehand, cheese and ham sandwiches are always popular along with small nibbles like carrot sticks, baby tomatoes and cucumber slices. Put out bowls of potato chips and cheese straws – just remember not to go too overboard with the candy and sugary drinks! You don’t want a party full of completely hyperactive kids. Preparing or ordering the food beforehand will ensure that you don’t have too much to do on the day. You should also make sure that you ask parents if their kids have any dietary requirements or allergies.

Invite Parents To Stay

Up until a certain age, there are some kids who get a little wobbly if their parents aren’t around, so if you have the space, you could extend an invitation to their parents too. Not only will it be helpful to have some extra sets of watchful eyes on the kids, but if they need a hug from their mother to reassure them and get them back into the party spirit, they’ll be right there. Make sure you provide some food for the parents, along with beverages like coffee, tea and soft drinks. If the kids are having pizza, order another one for the parents!

Open The Gifts At Home

Make sure that your child opens their birthday gifts at home. This is definitely the more tactful option to go for – not every one of their guests will come from the most financially secure of homes and not every parent will have a lot of spare money to spend on birthday gifts, and you don’t want anyone to feel bad. A lot of kids aren’t great at controlling their emotions and you don’t want your child to make their dissatisfaction with a gift evident! Make sure that they write little notes in thank you cards after the party’s over so you keep excellent relationships with all their friends’ parents.

Keeping warm this winter

Balancing work and family life can be tricky, but as we head into winter, many people have to ask themselves the question – could we survive without any central heating? For some it’s a question of poverty while others have chosen to live in homes which, for one reason or another, do not have access to heating. If you’re one of them and you have a young family, good heaters are a must.

Good looking and effective

The task of heating a house through winter can be a real struggle if you don’t have central heating or if that heating is not quite good enough. Many will suggest good insulation but while that can go a long way to improve conditions in the home and keep bills down it only goes part of the way. Storage heating is often used but this is expensive and often only heats a part of the house for small periods of the day.

If you’re like me, though, money is only part of the story. We are becoming much more house proud as a nation, even if we only rent, and we really do want to find ways in which our homes can do all the things we need them to do without it impacting on the design. So, let’s imagine this scenario – you’ve spent the rest of the year working hard to get your interiors looking perfect and then you have to spoil it all by bringing in great hulking heaters.

That’s especially troublesome because many of the portable heaters you can buy look horrible and are also incredibly inefficient. So, not only are you spoiling the look of your lovely home, but you’re paying through the nose for the privilege. I love services such as because they genuinely seem to believe in a very different option – one in which small heating appliances look good and are energy efficient.

Eco friendly

Some of these have been specifically designed to blend in with the environment. For example, you could get a small tasteful plinth heater to keep a classic looking kitchen warm. It means it’ll be a pleasant place to be in while not interrupting the aesthetic, which is something many people like me would love. You can also go a long way to improve the efficiency of your heating options by using a converter fan. This can be placed on top of a heater or perhaps a wood burning stove and circulates heat around the house. It keeps your heating bills down and greatly expands the reach of even a few heaters.

A number of companies are now offering attractive and tasteful portable heating options which blend in with the overall design of a home. It’s about going the extra mile and looking a little beyond pure function to find something which looks good and feels good. They may cost a little more initially, but they will be worth it in the long run.

When Parents Need a “Time-Out” #WhatULuv


Even parents needs a “time-out” sometimes, and what better time to receive this gift than the holiday season. Perhaps the best gift for experienced parents is a little bit of “me time.”

Yesterday was one of those insane days for me! From cleaning the house , splitting up fights, food being spilled on the freshly cleaned carpets, and then running around for errands as well as activities for the kids that got us home at 8:40 pm I was spent!

I was on the verge of loosing it, like full on screaming mom, what did I do? I asked my teenager if I could have twenty minutes to myself. I locked myself in my bedroom and I did a workout. I peeked outside in the living room and saw all four kids sitting quietly watching a cartoon so know what I did? I jumped in the bath! Yes, I took a bath in the dark. Sure it was only about 5 minutes when my husband called and I was interrupted but I needed those moments to myself.

I had all three of my girls have performances the last few days that has had me spent! Yes, our little Mikey had to go to each one (and he is a handful all in himself too!)

Parenthood is a roller coaster ride, but experienced parents take it all in stride. They value the things that help them get through the day and that make their lives a little bit easier – from a best mom friend who always has their back to great products that get the job done and don’t break the bank (like Luvs).

As the holiday season is quickly approaching and lets face it, moms (dads, who ever has the daily duties of raising the kids) everyone deserves a little me time. Be sure to include them in your shopping! Give them a bath bomb (they are amazing I used one last night) along with a package of Luvs for their little one in diapers (I promise she will love it!) A nice bath break and diapers that hold up!

As the official diaper of experienced parents, Luvs is always committed to providing moms and dads with value. They recognize that parenting can be difficult, so diapering shouldn’t be. Luvs conducted a formal poll of moms across the country to take a look at parenting like it really is and uncover what they truly value most. The survey found that:

  • Nearly 2 in 3 moms have never taken a day completely for themselves.
  • 81% of moms would prefer an entire day off from housework than dinner with their celebrity crush.
  • 87% of moms agree that the first time their child slept through the night was one of their best parenting times yet.
  • Even a short spurt of “me” time goes a long way! A quarter of moms surveyed stated that they felt an uninterrupted shower was more relaxing than a day at the spa.
  • Other major moments moms value more now than before they became parents include sleeping past sunrise, watching television and movies that aren’t cartoons, and having an interrupted phone conversation.

Also – to make sure everyone gets their share of value – Luvs is offering a great money-saving opportunity with a $1 print-at-home coupon.

Visit to access a Luvs coupon of $1 off any one diaper pack.

“This review was made possible by iConnect and Luvs. I was provided compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions stated are 100% mine.”

Finding The Perfect Christmas Gift For Just About Anyone

The clock is ticking as we head towards Christmas. There are only a handful of shopping days left and even fewer posting days. But don’t panic, you still have plenty of time to find the perfect gifts for the people in your life. The following is a sure fire way to find something thoughtful and meaningful for just about anyone.

  1. Set A Budget

Set your budget at the outset and stick to it. Rather than being restrictive, this will help you narrow down your choices. Remember that gifts are not about money. They’re a token of your regard for that person.

  1. Make A List

Make a list of all the people in your life you’re going to buy gifts for. Don’t miss anyone out.

  1. Thinking Time

Set some time aside for thinking and planning. If you hit the shops now without a plan, you’re just going to get stressed. Wandering aimlessly through crowds of shoppers is no-one’s idea of fun. Put on some Christmas music, make a cup of tea, coffee, hot chocolate, mulled wine or your beverage of choice.

Take out some paper and colored pens. You’re going to get creative. And you might as well make this as fun as possible.

  1. Mind Mapping

You’re going to create some mind maps. Mapping is a great way to link ideas together around a central subject, and it makes it easier to plan and get the thoughts out of your head. Start a new page for each person on your list. Add their name to the center of the page with a circle around it. Draw lines coming off the central circle containing your ideas.

  1. Use Questions To Prompt You

This is where it gets tricky. If you feel you fail at buying good gifts, you’re looking at a blank page with a circle in the middle. Where do you go from here? Ask yourself several questions about that person. For example, are they visual, auditory, kinesthetic, cognitive, feeling? Visual people rely on sight and will appreciate art, photographs, ornaments, etc. Perhaps you could find a photograph (or take one) of a favorite place and have it framed? Auditory people perceive the world through sound first and will appreciate gifts related to this. Music is the obvious choice but you may not know what they own already. So, think about podcast subscriptions, concert tickets, headphones, etc. Kinesthetic people are ‘doing’ people. They appreciated gifts that they can get involved and immerse themselves in. If they’re creative, a craft kit or any experience day would be ideal. Cognitive people are often analytical thinkers. Opt for gifts that will stimulate this such as gadgets, books, puzzles, etc. Feeling people are often attuned to touch and will appreciate gifts that rely on this sense, such as a soft, wooly scarf, beard conditioner, etc.

This is always a good place to start. Other questions that will provide useful prompts are:

  • What do they do in their spare time?
  • What are their hobbies and interests?
  • Do they travel and, if so, do they have a favorite place?
  • What do you know about them? Eg. do they always feel the cold? Are they always singing or listening to music?
  • Have they mentioned a problem that you could find a solution to? For example, do they frequently complain that it’s cold at work?
  • Are they easily bored?
  • Do they have a long commute?

The more creative you are with your questioning, the more gift ideas will come to mind.

Using this technique and setting aside some thinking time will help you find the perfect gift for just about anyone.

Are You Sure Your Family’s Ready For A Pet?

Have your kids been nagging you to get them a pet? Sure, dogs and cats are a great addition to any family, but they certainly require a lot of hard work and care! Before you do give in to your kids’ demands, it is a good idea to consider whether you are really ready to introduce a pet into your home. If you aren’t ready and you still get a pet, you will find that it could become a whole new stress in your life! As you can see, it is very important that you give your final decision some careful thought.

So how do you know if you are ready for a new family pet? Here are some things that you need to think about.


Are you sure that you can afford a pet? You need to remember that a pet is for life, so the expense that comes with one will last for a very long time. There will be a lot that you will need to pay for once you have a pet. Firstly, you will need to make sure that you always have food for it at home. It will also need a bed and other accessories. One other major cost is the vet bills. However, you might be able to keep them relatively low by buying some of your pet’s medication online at sites like


If you get a dog or a cat, you will need to make sure that you have enough space for them in your home. Obviously, the bigger the dog, the more space you will need. But even if you only want a small cat or dog, you will need to make sure that you have a spare corner where you can put their bed. Cats don’t require quite as much space as dogs, as they can always be let outside. However, if your apartment or home isn’t big enough for your dog, it could end up feeling too enclosed. This could result in some very bad behavior!


Time is another big issue when it comes to caring for a pet. If you and your partner both work long days, then getting a dog might not be an option for you. That is because most breeds will become restless and badly behaved when left at home on their own for the day. You may be okay with a cat, as the cat can spend the day outside hunting for mice. Even though some pets won’t need as much care as others throughout the day, it is important to remember that every pet will need some attention on a daily basis. Unless, of course, you want to get an exotic pet such as a tarantula. You can find out more about caring for them on

You will need to consider a whole bunch of other stuff before you commit to getting a pet. Take enough time to think things through to make sure that you come to the right decision for your family!

Scotties Tissues Bring Comfort and Holiday Cheer Into Your Home *Giveaway closed* #BringComfortHome

Winter has arrived and it is time to stock up as cold season will be here before you know it! Thankfully you will be prepared as Scotties is available in-store and also online on It’s the perfect combination of softness and strength that can provide comfort to you and your whole family. Scotties is soft enough for everyday use, and strong enough to tackle your worst cold.

Introducing the new 2016 holiday box designs featuring serene snowflakes, picturesque snow-covered villages, and nature scenes with polar bears, birds, trees, and much more! The new designs are a perfect way to bring comfort and holiday cheer into all the rooms in your home.

I absolutely love the Holiday’s – from Thanksgiving to New Years it flies by so fast and I enjoy spending tons of time with my friends and family. Some of the simplest ways to bring comfort home is hosting a few fun parties.

Making a Gingerbread House, watching Christmas Movies, driving around looking at Christmas Lights. Special memories we create with our kids, and family!

Be sure to enter the Bring Comfort Home Sweepstakes, where they could win their own sampling of our new holiday box designs! (Sweeps Runs November 22 – December 31)



ONE winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card along with a sampling of the new box designs!


Scotties Tissues Bring Comfort and Holiday Cheer Into Your Home *Giveaway ends Dec. 20th* #BringComfortHome

Note: This giveaway is open to US shipping addresses only.

This giveaway will end on Dec. 20th

*A product was provided.