How many times as a woman have you wished you could have it all? Whether that means riches and wealth or a little house with a white picket fence, a high-powered career or the title of "Mommy", success takes a very personal meaning for us all. I am quite happy being a blogger and stay at home Mom to our 3 kids. I own my vehicle and my home, and we're in a very good place in life. For me, This is MY "all".
Recently, I learned about a great new book by Jane Goldner, PhD that explores this very concept. It teaches women how to identify and then achieve their personalized version of success.
Choosing a housewarming gift can be tough. Too personal and there is a chance your gift won’t suit their tastes, too impersonal and your host may be offended. With this in mind, here are five great housewarming gifts that are guaranteed to delight.
A Luxury Food Hamper
If finding a personal gift is proving to be a struggle, you can’t go wrong with food related gifts like the ones at Shed Load of Gifts. What better way to help your friends and family settle in to their new home than with a luxury food hamper? You can choose from hampers in a wide range of sizes and take your pick from cheese and wine hampers to hampers filled with tea, cake and condiments.
Every home needs a little luxury and champagne flutes are always well received. Give the couple in question a helping hand to toast their new home with beautiful champagne flutes. If you want to make this gift extra special, you can have the glasses engraved with something meaningful.
Homeowners tend to buy home furnishings and furniture in order of the things they need the most and rarely get round to purchasing finishing touches until a few months down the line. That’s why personal touches such as photo frames make the ideal housewarming gift. Stick to a neutral colour so that the frame will blend with their existing décor and make sure that you include a nice photo of the couple in question. Help them make their house a home with a stylish photo frame. You don’t have to stick to one frame, purchase up to six frames and give them the option of creating a feature wall with photos of their family and friends.
If you don’t have a large budget but you still want to buy a fabulous gift for your host, why not opt for a candle? You can’t beat candles to make a home feel welcoming which makes them a great choice of housewarming gift.
An Elegant Vase
No doubt many of the guests will arrive with a bunch of flowers in hand and your host may not have enough vases to go around. A vase is a very useful gift for this reason and it will be used for years to come.
These five gifts are guaranteed to delight your host regardless of their personal preferences.
As a mom, you have limited time on your hands and when you do have a few minutes to spare, the last thing you want to spend them doing is your hair. So, with this in mind, here are four simple hair styles inspired by our favorite A-List moms.
The Easy Up Do
As a young mom, you need a style that is low maintenance and that’s where the up do comes in. When you have a baby to care for, having your hair pulled back from your face can make your life easier. The top knot is a popular choice for celebrity moms and will ensure you look effortlessly stylish. Julia Roberts is a huge fan off the easy up do.
If you have long hair but don’t want to wash and style it every day, braids are a style that complements a busy lifestyle. You can create a braid in under ten minutes and it will stay in for over two days. If you are unsure how to create this style or want to know the tools involved, have a look at this hair tutorial.
Remember that great hair starts with a high quality hair care routine so make sure you invest in a good shampoo and conditioner. Batiste Dry Shampoo is a hair savoir for new moms as you can spray this on your roots and freshen up your braid without having to take your hair down and wash it. You can pick this up online from somewhere like The Urban Retreat Beautique.
The bob is back for A/W 13 and this is great news for new moms. If you have long locks but fancy a change, the bob could be a great option for you. Victoria Beckham originally made the bob iconic back in 2007. However, celebrities have been showing off their freshly-cut bobs on Instagram this week proving that the bob is in fact making a comeback. Short styles are ideal for busy moms as they take less time to style. Gwyneth Paltrow rocked the bob as a new mom back in 2008.
The Pixie Crop
If you want a style that looks great down but won’t get in your way, try the Pixie crop. Short and stylish, this is the ultimate stress-free hair-style for new moms. Natalie Portman and Beyonce have stepped out recently sporting the Pixie Crop. Could you pull it off?
So it’s the middle of October, and only if you’re uber organized will you be starting to think about Christmas. However, if you’ve got kids, it’s vital for your sanity – and probably theirs – that you start. Here’s why.
Planning ahead will save you money. You have more time to hunt around for good bargains, and will be relaxed enough to make sure you’re buying something of quality that will last. You can also spread the costs over the year if you plan Christmas in advance, whether it’s buying Christmas decorations in the January sales or freezing food in November. If you feel like half the fun of Christmas is in the ‘December rush’, then consider planning out your Christmas in advance and simply saving every month towards December.
It’s Less Stressful
There’s no waking up in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve wondering whether you’ve remembered to get your daughter’s favourite snack, no running around store after store trying to find the right tool for your husband, and there’s no worrying about overspending. Planning ahead means that you won’t have to drag your children around stores kicking and screaming, getting upset and stressed yourself either. I can’t promise that your children won’t have tantrums, but if they do, you can simply take them home again and come back another day. Try shopping online, like on sites like The Discovery Store. Having a plan means not forgetting about something at the last minute and having a minor heart attack because of it.
Having a plan means that you’re more likely to make that recipe you’ve always wanted to or create that festive table decoration that you’ve said you’ll do every year. You’ll be cool, calm and collected by the time that the day itself rolls around and you’ll be able to enjoy the day with your family, your kids and your friends.
How to Plan
You should begin planning your Christmas as soon as you can. Ideally, you’ll start planning now. First, start with a budget of how much you can spend. Break it down into areas such as food, decoration and presents and how much you’d like to spend in each area. Consider how you can save money in certain areas.
Then, plan the lead up to Christmas. When will you go Christmas shopping? When will you buy food? Do something Christmassy with the kids? Decorate? Etc, etc.
Sticking to your plan in terms of time and money will ensure that your Christmas is perfect, and your children will love it too.
The invites are sent and you’ve stocked up on your Ace Fancy Dress costumes, now it’s time to get planning for your Halloween party. One of the best parts of Halloween is getting creative with food for your guests, and we’ve got some tasty treats that are sure to impress. Even if you’re not hosting a party, try out one of these recipes and take them along to whatever party you’re attending as a token.
Nutty Toffee Apples
If you’re conscious of the kids getting their five-a-day, then toffee apples make the perfect traditional Halloween food. Admittedly when smothered in toffee they don’t make the healthiest snack, but the toffee doesn’t counteract the fact that apples are good for you! Push wooden sticks into apples and dip each apple into a pan containing a mixture of boiled sugar, water, butter, syrup and chopped nuts. Leave them to harden on a baking tray before serving up to your guests.
Everybody loves cheesecake, and this recipe is a great way to make sure hollowed-out pumpkin purée doesn’t go to waste. With a cinnamon and nutmeg dusted cream and yoghurt topping, this is the perfect dessert for those who don’t like their treats to be too sweet.
Toffee Apple Muffins
Toffee apples are everywhere at this time of year, so as well as making your own, why not incorporate the flavour into muffins for your Halloween party? The recipe is super easy, meaning the kids can get involved too. With chunks of apple and toffee added to the mixture, these can be served hot or cold. Either way, they’re sure to go down a treat.
Mozzarella and Olive Eyeballs
If you’re after something that’s a little more gory, try creating mini mozzarella eyeballs. Buy mini mozzarella balls from the store and roll them in a mixture of oil, mixed herbs, garlic and dried chilli. For the iris, cut the top off a green olive and put to one side. For the pupil, take a black olive and pierce it with a straw to get a small, round cut-out piece. Pierce the green olive you’ve just cut with the same straw and place the black olive piece in the hole to create the pupil. Place your iris and pupil on top of the mozzarella ball and you’ll have snacks that are sure to scare your guests.
***Disclosure: I received a complimentary sample from Click Communications to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided, and all opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way. All images are courtesy of Click Communications.***
Disney•Pixar celebrates homecoming with the release of “Monsters University” on Digital HD and Digital HD 3D on October 8, 2013, followed by the 4-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, 3-Disc Collector's Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack,
3-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On-Demand on October 29, 2013.(That's tomorrow! Yippee!)
***Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Dove Clear Tone. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item for participating.***
I have been using Dove Clear Tone Deodorant for some time now. Why Clear Tone instead of a "traditional" deodorant, you might ask? Aren't all deodorants the same? Well, the answer to that is definitely a big, loud, "NO!" All deodorants are definitely not created equal. In fact, some can be downright irritating! Literally.
Shaving can be harsh on underarm skin; in fact, 32 million women in the U.S. experience underarm red and dark marks that result from shaving irritation. In addition, the delicate skin on a woman's underarms lose 50% more moisture due to shaving. This can result in dryness, itchiness, and even embarrassing red or dark marks on the skin.
Dove Clear Tone is the perfect solution to these common problems women face. Clear Tone offers excellent 48 hour protection from wetness and odors, and comes in 4 variants, including the brand new, fruity and floral Pink Rosa. This awesome product contains Sunflower Seed and Calendula extracts, which accelerate skin renewal and restore the skin to its normal tone. It also contains the 1 / 4 moisturizers that Dove is famous for to replenish skin after womens daily shaving routines. Most women see very real results in only 2 weeks!
So what do I think? Well, I have to say I am definitely pleasantly surprised. I have always been a huge Dove fan, since their products are gentle and very effective. I was, however, skeptical about the claims of restoring skin tone. I have been shaving my armpits for years, and have definitely experienced some discoloration. While using Dove Clear Tone, this has absolutely decreased. The dark and red spots have all but disappeared, leaving my skin blessedly normal looking and moisturized.
Dove Clear Tone is available at drugstores nationwide. You can find more information at Dove.com.
You can also connect with Dove on Facebook and on twitter!
***Disclosure: As a US Family Guide Blogger, I received complimentary tickets to this event. All opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
We have had quite the busy week! First we went to the circus, and just a couple of days later, we attended Disney Junior Live Pirates and Princesses at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio.
My preschoolers, Sophie and Xander, absolutely love anything DIsney. The love Mickey and Minnie, and pretty much any animated movie you could think of. Of course, they adore Sophia the First and Jake and the Neverland Pirates, too, who just happen to be the stars of this fun-filled, live show.
It took us about an hour to get to the Covelli Centre in Youngstown. When we arrived, we were quickly greeted by the sight of tons of little princesses and pirates! I felt almost guilty because I didn't make Sophie wear one of her princess dresses for the occasion! We had nosebleed seats, which was okay since we had a great view of the action.
***Disclosure: I received complimentary samples to facilitate my review. No other compensation was given, and all opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
With the Holidays coming up, I am always on the lookout for gifts that will keep my kids entertained and engaged. I have a 13 year old, a soon to be 4 year old, and my youngest will be 3 in January. Rarely do I find anything that all 3 kids will enjoy. After all, there are SO many differences between preschoolers and teens. For one, the preschoolers still listen when I start counting to 3. They always, without fail, stop whatever they're doing by the time I get to 2. My teen? Well, he would probably laugh hysterically if I tried that tactic. Also, Kyle doesn't like things like Disney Jr. and Team Umizoomi. Or God forbid, Dora the Explorer. He is much to cool for that.
As different as my kiddos are, they do have one thing in common. They all love creative play. If something is hands on and artistic? Even better. So when I learned about the glue-free, mess-free craft kits from PomTree Kids, I knew I had stumbled upon one of those rare products that all of my children would enjoy. Maybe even enjoy together, imagine that!
Happy Halloween, everyone! Okay, almost....When I think about Halloween, one thing always comes to mind: Monsters! Especially this year, since Monsters University is being released on Blu-Ray on the 29th of October! This is SUCH a cute movie! (Look for my review in the next couple of days!)
If your kids love Mike and Sully as much as we do, I bet they'd love these fun Monsters University activities! Mike and Sulley want to make sure your home is fully monsterized with Sulley's Spooky Smoothie recipe, a Mike Wazowski pumpkin carving template, candy totes that are a scream to make and the spookiest window decorations on the block! Simply click the image below to download the .pdf files!
What are you doing for Halloween? Trick-Or-Treating? Haunted houses? Hayrides? Staying home and passing out candy? I'd love to hear all about it!
PR Friendly Mama!
I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud Mom of 3 amazing kids. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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