The Mommyhood Life – Travel, Crafts, Food, and Florida Family Fun

Holiday Gift Guide

The Non-Toy Gift Guide!

This post is sponsored by the Florida Prepaid College Board, through my role as a Believer Blogger. All thoughts are my own.

The Non-Toy Gift Guide!

When you look at most kids wish lists around the holiday, it is jam-packed with toys.  Between commercials on TV, the catalogs in the mail, and of course the unboxing videos on YouTube, the only thing on their mind is the latest and greatest toys.  However, as a mom of 3, I am so sick of the toy mayhem that happens year after year.  Each child gets an endless array of toys from friends, family, and of obviously Santa, only to find those precious toys at the bottom of a toy box 3 months later or shoved under a bed.  My family is starting to move away from the toy giving and starting to give gifts that help us learn something, make memories, or use our imagination, and I think this is going to be the best gift giving experience we’ve had.

The Gift of Fun:

We live in Florida, so there is an endless supply of fun at every corner.  Between the amusement parks, beaches, and one of a kind attractions, Florida has it all.  So, instead of buying a toy that will be used a few times and then likely forgotten about, why not give gift cards to a fun attraction closet by.  There are so many possibilities for every budget, from zoo memberships to museums, aquariums, and even bike rentals.  There is something fun that any kid will love.

The Gift of Travel

Do you know any kids who dream of exploring the world, or even just a certain state?  My kids love to travel, particularly Anthony.  His favorite place to travel to so far is New York City, and he has dreams of living there one day.  When we lived in Massachusetts and New York was just a 3-hour drive away, he would ask to visit Manhattan instead of having a party, to which I would always immediately say absolutely.  He is also my child who looks up countries online and tries to talk me into going, currently, he is begging to go to England.  The twins at 8, are a little less enthused about traveling to countries with big buildings and statues and are more impressed with rides, characters, and animals.  Their top travel requests are usually Great Wolf Lodge or a trip to Orlando. 
We stopped doing birthday parties a few years ago and decided to take trips as a family instead and it has worked out amazingly, so for the holidays, this will likely be in our future.
If you have a little traveler on your list, why not get them a night at a hotel in a local city? 

The Gift of Creativity

Anthony is my Traveler, and Lilly, she’s the one with a creative spirit.  Her Christmas list this year consisted of gel pens, 2 sketchbooks, and puffy paint.  My heart melted at the simplicity of her desires that we ended up visiting the craft store early and having fun creating together.  However, for Christmas, a class at the local paint bar or a jewelry making class at the bead shop would be a perfect gift.

The Gift of Experience

Time fly’s by and when they’ve outgrown the superheroes and Barbie’s, they probably won’t remember which doll they got when they were 8.  However, an awesome experience will stay with them!  Take an indoor skydiving lesson together or a surfing lesson.  How about renting a cozy coupe car down the beach?  Think outside the box and make those memories that last a lifetime.

The Gift of Education

This has to be the best gift of all!  Imagine giving the gift of eliminating the overwhelming amount of student debt a child will likely come across down the road.  It may not be on their radar yet, but Florida Prepaid is a gift that will last a lifetime, and it is open enrollment right now!

The Florida Prepaid College Plan is the largest, most successful, longest-running prepaid tuition program in the nation!  Florida Prepaid is helping parents and students prepare for college and making planning for the future a lot easier.  300,000 students have already attended college using Florida Prepaid!

THE PLANS

Florida Prepaid offers 5 savings plans, giving you the flexibility to choose one that fits your family’s needs. With plans starting as low as $46.61 saving for college is now possible.  Here is some more about these great plans:

2-Year Florida College Plan: Covers tuition and other specified fees for 60 lower division credit hours at a Florida College.

4-Year Florida College Plan: Covers tuition and other specified fees for 60 lower division credit hours and 60 upper division credit hours at a Florida College

2 + 2 Florida Plan: Covers tuition, tuition differential fee and other specified fees for 60 lower division credit hours at a Florida College and 60 credit hours at a State University.

1-YearFlorida University Plan: Covers tuition, tuition differential fee and other specified fees at a State University for 30 credit hours

4-Year Florida University Plan: Covers tuition, tuition differential fee and other specified fees at a State University for 120 credit hours
Learn more about which plan is right for your family here!

OPEN ENROLLMENT!
The Florida Prepaid College Board’s annual Open Enrollment period is Oct. 15, 2017 – Feb. 28, 2018.  Enroll now and use promo code: 
Life1718 to save $25 on your application fee!

 

Amazing Gift Ideas that Grade Schoolers Will Love!

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com and the Brands Featured Below.

It is that time of year again!  I love the holidays and gift giving is so much fun, but let’s face it, it can be very stressful too.  I am always on the hunt for the perfect gifts that will make my children and the other little folks on my list excited, I love seeing a huge glowing smile and knowing I picked the perfect present.  However, these days kids have so many things grabbing for their attention it can be hard to get that good old list I remember writing up as a kid.  Luckily Babblebox has come up with some amazing kid-approved items for all the grade school aged kids on your list!

For the Fashionista on Your List:  Vince Camuto Shoes
Check out these Pietra Studded Ballet Flats!  These glitter ballet flats with an adorable bow at the toe are sparkly enough to bring a smile to the face of any little girl who loves fashion, like my Lilly.  Plus, they are comfortable and have a soft elastic strap across the top to keep them from flopping at the heel.  The quality of these shoes is impeccable, and have held up to all the dancing and spinning Lilly has put them through.

For the Traveler on Your List: Viv + Lou Duffle Bag
Do you have a child who loves to travel on your list?  Then the Viv + Lou Duffle Bag is the perfect gift.  They have adorable designs, can be personalized by adding a monogram or name, and are the perfect size for a grade-schooler to pack for a weekend vacation or a trip to their grandparents.
Use Coupon Code: MOMMYHOOD to receive 25% off sitewide!

For the Pet Lover on Your List: Petlanthropy Donation Gift Cards
These Donation Gift Cards give children a unique way to help animals in need!  The Petlanthropy Foundation was founded with only one goal, to help give all homeless cats and dogs a loving forever home.  Gift card recipients are able to find animal shelters and projects that they care about and donate the value of their gift card.
When you purchase, share, and gift Petlanthropy Donation Gift Cards this holiday season, you will receive a special furry and fun surprise!

For the Avid Reader on Your List:  The Wonderling by Mira Bartock and Candlewick Press
From New York best-selling author Mira Bartock, this magical chapter book is sure to keep a middle-grade reader entertained in an adventurous story of fantasy and friendship. 

Synopsis via Candlewick Press:
Welcome to the Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures, an institution run by evil Miss Carbunkle, a cunning villainess who believes her terrified young charges exist only to serve and suffer. Part animal and part human, the groundlings toil in classroom and factory, forbidden to enjoy anything regular children have, most particularly singing and music. For the Wonderling, an innocent-hearted, one-eared, fox-like eleven-year-old with only a number rather than a proper name — a 13 etched on a medallion around his neck — it is the only home he has ever known. But unexpected courage leads him to acquire the loyalty of a young bird groundling named Trinket, who gives the Home’s loneliest inhabitant two incredible gifts: a real name — Arthur, like the good king in the old stories — and a best friend. Using Trinket’s ingenious invention, the pair escape over the wall and embark on an adventure that will take them out into the wider world and ultimately down the path of sweet Arthur’s true destiny. Richly imagined, with shimmering language, steampunk motifs, and gripping, magical plot twists, this high adventure fantasy is the debut novel of award-winning memoirist Mira Bartók and has already been put into development for a major motion picture.

Receive 25% off and Free Shipping with Coupon Code: CANDLEWICK

For the Creative Child on Your List: WowWee Magnaflex
These fun and colorful magnetic strips allow children to create whatever they dream up.  The set comes with project ideas including animals, vehicles, and wearable accessories, or children can use their imagination and create anything with this Magnetic toy set.  Aidan loves construction toys and he spent hours playing with this kid, building, and rebuilding whatever popped into his mind.

For the STEM lover on Your List: Helio Night Light Projection System

My children love science and learning new things in general.  So, I was thrilled when I learned about this award-winning children’s educational nightlight projection system.  Instead of leaving Lilly’s closet light on, we have started playing the Helio Projection System for her and she loves it.  She wakes up and tells me all about the planets and the sleep hours of different animals on the way to school.

Buy one Helio and enter Coupon Code: LEARNINGLIGHT to get the second one discounted to $34.95 (valid through April 2018)

For the Candy Lover on Your List: PEZ Christmas Ornament Collection
These adorable mini PEZ dispensers that come in a real Christmas ornament will definitely bring a smile to a child’s face.  We love PEZ in my family so we opened this ornament up really quickly, but these would make perfect stocking stuffers too!

 

What’s your favorite gift idea this holiday season?

The Best Stocking Stuffers for Tween Boys!

This post was made possible by iConnect and Old Spice. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine
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Stocking stuffer ideas can be a challenge for tweens.  When the kids are young I always had fun finding little toys and treats that would put a smile on their face and keep them entertained while I make my coffee on Christmas morning.  Our rule is stockings first while mommy gets coffee and then we start in on Santa’s pile.  However, now that my oldest is a tween, finding stuff to fill that stocking with isn’t easy.

After some searching I think I’ve come up with a stocking full of fun that will keep my tween as amused as my little ones.


My Top Tween Stocking Stuffers

Snacks and Candy; I’ve always put candy in the kid’s stockings but as my son has gotten older I have started putting different types of snacks in his stocking.  Such as mini jars of Nutella, cans of Pringles, and Slim Jims.

Small electronics; I have started keeping an eye out for budget friendly small electronics, such as headphones, a selfie stick, and portable batteries.  I found a number of items in the $5-$10 range.

Clothes; My son loves Under Armour (Like most boys his age) and these shirts roll up easily and it ends up being a really practical gift that he will enjoy.

A simple and cool old-school toy; Think Magic 8 Ball or Rubik’s Cube.  This will keep my almost teen entertained while I’m making that coffee and just maybe keep him away from his phone.
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Some Old Spice Styling Products; When my little boy sprouted into the double digits and beyond, I suddenly realized he was spending a lot more time focusing on his looks.  The boy who didn’t want to shower suddenly needed his hair cut at a barbershop, his clothes to look just right, and lets not get into the cloud of cologne that follows him out of his bedroom.
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Old Spice Pomade, Putty and Paste hair stylers make the perfect stocking stuffers. Not only will they help you win stocking stuffer bragging rights, but you’ll also be giving your little guys (and the big ones too) the tools they need to achieve the holiday hair style they’ve been searching for!

Best of all, Old Spice Styling Products are both affordable and easy to find.  Ranging from just SRP: $6.99-7.99, they are at a perfect price point for stocking fillers.  Plus, they can be found at Old Spice and in hair care aisles at mass retailers and drugstores nationwide, so they make great last minute gifts.
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Finally the last thing I make sure I stuff in his stocking is a piece of wrapping paper.  A few years ago I started wrapping gifts with different paper patterns and making the kids find a ball of their patterned paper in the toe of their stockings to see whose gifts were who’s.  This has been such a fun tradition!

What are you putting in your tween’s stocking this year?

Creating Christmas Magic with PackagesFromSanta.com

Thank you PackageFromSanta.com for sponsoring this post.  All opinions are my own.
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The twins are my babies and at 7 years old, I know my Santa years are almost over, so I am cherishing every minute of the holidays this year.
I love the excitement in their voices and the sparkle in their eyes when we talk about Santa.  PackageFromSanta.com gave me an opportunity to tap into the Christmas magic and create an amazing memory for all of us!

Take a peak at the excitement when they opened the box in my video below!  It was so special sensing how happy they were that Santa knows them personally.  (also half way through you here Aidan say “I am on the good list, mom you didn’t call him”.  Let’s just say Aidan’s had a rough couple of weeks.)

I give PackagesFromSanta.com 2 thumbs up!  Everything that came is high quality, from the box to the sugar cookie, this is a perfect way to bring Santa alive during the holidays!
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We received the Platinum Package from PackagesFromSanta.com.

This is everything it includes:

Personalized Letter from Santa Claus
Personalized Nice List Certificate
8 1/2 X 11 Autographed Santa Claus Photo
Autographed Rudolph Photo
“Santa, Stop Here!” Window Decal™
Rudolph’s Sleigh Bell w/ Velvet Pouch™
Collectors Santa Swatch
Mrs. Claus’ Famous Sugar Cookie in Tin™
Christmas Cocoa – Santa’s Favorite!
Genuine Reindeer Food in Collector’s Tin
Elf Candy Cane with Red Bow
Santa’s Special North Pole Return Address Label
Special Elf Shipping Label Addressed To Your Child
Genuine North Pole Stamp
60 Day Money Back Guarantee
BONUS! Personalized Call from Santa (retail: $9.99)
BONUS! Personalized Santa Video! (retail: $9.99)
2016 Red Collector’s Box with Custom Artwork
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Exclusive Limited Time Free Bonus!
Keep your children behaving during the busy days leading up to Christmas with a personalized printable and FREE Nice-List Guide from Santa Claus himself!  The guide includes your child’s name, photo, and 10 behaviors needed to stay on the Nice List.
Get your Nice-List Guide here!
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A Traveler’s Must Have! Travel Wise Packing Cubes

Product sample was submitted for review; all opinions are my own.

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Whether your an over packer like me, or just want to keep everything organized, these are a must have when packing!
I used them over the Thanksgiving holiday when we went to South Carolina and my packing went so much smoother.
I loved arriving and being able to just move smaller cubes around the room.

Do you have a Traveler on your holiday list?
Then this is the gift idea for you!

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TravelWise Packing Cubes – 3 Piece Set

The TravelWise 3 piece packing cube set is a travel essential that allows clothes to stay folded and neat when packed in their own “small drawers”. The cubes are fantastic for staying organized on both short and long travels and help avoid over packing. Constructed of lightweight, durable nylon, these multi-sized cubes allow you to compartmentalize similar items such as shirts, pants, swimsuits and electronic accessories to streamline packing. The open mesh top makes searching for misplaced items a thing of the past and our five color choices allows each traveler to have their own individual set. Available in five colors, BLACK, SILVER, RED, TEAL and PURPLE, each set includes (1) small, (1) medium and (1) large cubes to organize different sized items when traveling.

At only $9.95, the 3-Piece Packing Cube System makes a great gift for anyone in the family.

Get it on Amazon.com

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