15 Sweet and Simple Mother’s Day Gift Ideas under $50-ish That’s not Chocolate and Flowers

15 Sweet and Simple Mothers Day Gift Ideas That's Not Flowers and Chocolate

Sometimes it’s just the small and simple things that matter to show your mother you care. Besides the homemade card and DIY picture frame, the usual bouquet of flowers and chocolate… Why not throw in something else small and thoughtful and unique. Right? Like these. I would definitely like these.

  1. When you want to take your coffee to go, in a fancy clear glass cup.
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    Joco 12 oz Reusable Coffee Cup

  2. When you only have time to apply your eyeliner once.
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    Stila All Day Liquid Eyeliner

  3. For a mid afternoon pick me up.
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    Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe Herbs and Rosewater

  4. Sunglasses that won’t break the bank because you know they will get lost or broken within 6 months.
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  5. Cute, minimalistic succulent pots, because well we can all take care of a succulent. Right?
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    Pack of 4 – 2. 5 Inch Ceramic White Round Succulent Plant Pot

  6. The trendy moisturizing, color changing lipstick you keep wanting to try but never buying. With gold flakes and a real flower inside. *I actually have one and love it. It’s super moisturizing and applies like a stain. Just apply and go.
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    Kailijumei Flower Jelly Moisturizer Lipstick and Gloss

  7. For the mom who forgot to jump on the initial pendant bandwagon. It’s never too late.
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    Rose Gold Initial Disc Necklace

  8. To replenish tired all day skin.
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    Pure Body Naturals Dead Sea Mud Mask

  9. For moms who don’t have time to shower everyday. So for basically, all moms.
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    Philosophy Amazing Grace Dry Shampoo

  10. Beach season is coming. A cute tote for mom is a needing.
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    Vera Bradley Striped Tote Bag

  11. And to go along with the dreamy spa weekend trip. A colorful weekender.
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    Ban.Do Getaway Weekender Bag

  12. Not only is beach season coming, but picnic season also. Need.
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    Govino Stemless Shatterproof Wine Glasses

  13. People say if you make things more accessible and organized… Good things happen.
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    2 piece Acrylic Make up Organizer

  14. A new fancy set of Riedel Crystal tumblers for mom’s much deserved evening glass of wine.

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    Riedel set of 4 Fine Crystal Wine Tumblers

  15. And a cute pair of Soludos Espadrilles that will last you all summer!
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    Soludos Women’s Classic Flat

    Treat yo’ Mom! This Mother’s Day!

Simple Candy-Free Easter Egg Ideas

Candy Free Easter Eggs: Beads and String

If there’s one thing that doesn’t go old in our house, it’s beads. My daughter loves making jewelry. As do I. And I thought, why not fill some clear plastic eggs with beads and string. It’s colorful. It’s shiny. It’s not as good as candy, but hey – there will be enough of that going around this Easter.

I found some Easter colored beads of different shapes and sizes, and some pink string. And found these cute bunny shaped eggs.

Candy Free Easter Eggs: Beads and String

Just like my Halloween Beads & String, I wrapped the lace around the egg and tied it into a tiny bow.

Candy Free Easter Eggs: Beads and String

You can use any kind of string as long as the beads can fit through them. You can find a variety of different colors here.

Candy Free Easter Eggs: Beads and String

I bought the beads at Michael’s, but this pastel bead set is also a great alternative.

Candy Free Easter Eggs: Beads and String

And the eggs, I found at Albertson’s in the Easter aisle, but here are some that I found that are similar.

Candy Free Easter Eggs: Beads and String

I’ll be putting one of these cuties in my Easter baskets this year. Along with some other goodies.

Like — glitter to decorate eggs, candy covered chocolate eggs, Annie’s organic bunny crackers, sidewalk chalk, a blue stuffed bunny animal, and some tiny Easter chicks.

Candy Free Easter Eggs: Beads and String

So simple, and so cute.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Candy Free Easter Eggs: Beads and String

*Always supervise little ones when playing with beads.

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Who Says Glitter Can’t Mix With Halloween?

Halloween Crafts
For those of you who know me, I’m a wannabe ‘minimalist.’ I try to live by the philosophy ‘less is always more.’ And ‘quality over quantity’ for everything.

Except when it comes to crafts.

I love EVERYTHING about it. And ALL of its colorful clutter.

For every occasion, (Halloween, Christmas, Easter etc…) I binge buy anything holiday related so that my daughter can create anything she desires.

Halloween Crafts

Shiny Beads & String.

Halloween Crafts

Giant Pom Poms. Yarn. Paper. Glitter.

halloweHalloween Craftsencrafts

Masks & Fuzzy Stickers…

I mean, this is just some of the stuff.

Usually, to keep all of it somewhat orderly and at bay, I organize everything into bowls and glass jars. I then lay them out on our table for easy access. Subsequently, while trying to find some bowls to hold all of my addictions — I came across this NIFTY little video.  (You have to click to watch how cool and easy they make it look.) And decided to try and make similar glitter bowls in Halloween themed colors to hold everything together.

Halloween Glitter BowlsAll you need is some Mod Podge, Foam brushes, balloons and glitter.

Halloween Glitter Bowls

Mix the mod podge and glitter half and half. Paint thick coats, 3-4 layers, letting them dry couple hours in between. My 5 yr. old was totally able to handle this.

halloweencrafts6Halloween Glitter Bowls

Once dried overnight, pop the balloon, trim the edges and TADA!

Halloween Glitter Bowls

Glitter bowls.

Halloween Glitter Bowls

You can make them big or small depending on how big you make your balloon.

Halloween Glitter Bowls

They are obviously not that sturdy, or at least mine weren’t, but will definitely hold steady for the month of October. And my daughter has an entire month of Halloween to get messy and go crazy creating, crafting and letting her imagination take over – Wild.

Halloween Crafts

For more Halloween glitter, check out our glittered Halloween pumpkins. Super sparkly. And easy.

Happy month of Halloween!

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And… I’m BaaaaaaAACk!

So it’s been a while, I know. And no excuses. But, I guess you can say, it’s been quite a year.

Els completed a successful year of PRE-K. My husband is as busy as ever with a huge slate of movies/tv shows in development. We rescued a tiny little puppy, named, Bear. And oh, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Like I said, it’s been quite a year!

But now, I’m back into the groove of things and excited to get this blog back up and running. So many new recipes, crafts and mommy-isms to write about. And not to mention hilarious puppy anecdotes and musings.

My brain, thankfully is fine and healthy! It was shocking for sure. Extremely rare. And also benign. And with successful surgery and radiation, completely on the right track.

I look back and am so thankful to my friends and family that supported me. Without them, I don’t think I would have been the same smiling, laughing patient that I was. I remember my friend staying up all night and hand feeding me pudding. My mother cooking me every meal so that I could avoid hospital food while she ate nothing. My brother shedding a tear when receiving the phone call. And my husband and daughter being so brave and strong even when things felt so scary and alone.

And through all the poking and prodding, going through major brain surgery, being bedridden, and rehabilitating… I can’t help but look back and think, (as cliché as it may sound) I wouldn’t change a thing.

I learned that kids are resilient. And with the proper words, actions and guidance they can get through anything. Els, never spent a day without me let alone a night. And she went 2 weeks, strong. She went 2 weeks being a 4-year-old that showed support and understanding. And seeing that, made me strong.

I never shed a tear for myself during that time. Only for her. This, I guess is parenthood.

Little Bear. Rescue. Poodle Mix.

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Preparing for Preschool: What you Didn’t Expect

There’s a children’s book by Rosemary Wells, titled: Mama Don’t Go! If you aren’t familiar, it’s about a little girl named Yoko, who’s excited to start school and make new friends. But the problem is, she doesn’t want her mom to leave. So she stays. Eventually, they take baby steps, until one day the mom says she needs to run to the ‘store’ and buy some ‘milk,’  but that she will be right back. In the story, this works. And when she comes back, it helps reinforce that she ‘will always come back.’ Sweet, isn’t it?

Sounds kind of like the story of us – my daughter and I. Except, my daughter could never be so easily manipulated, nor tricked. It’s worth mentioning, I’d also bought her this book in preparation for preschool, and after one night of reading it, I found it in our garbage can the next day.

Needless to say, today, was the first day after many weeks of staying at her school for me to try and get a quick ‘coffee,’ as my first attempt to start the transition and ease her into school without my presence. Let me just add, her personality is fierce, and leans more towards the kind like: I wanna come with you. Oh, I know you’ll come back. I just don’t want you to go. Period. She knows what she wants. She’s sharp. And has eyes and ears in the back of her head. It was hard.

But I did it. We both did it. And it wasn’t too bad. The teachers stayed with her the entire time. Point is, I was gone for about 10 minutes max. Barely even walked around the block. And then I came right back in to show exactly what the book was trying to show. That, Mama always comes back. But when I walked in, she looked up at me with these all knowing eyes, and not with the extreme joy and happiness that I had envisioned, but the saddest and most pathetic sobbing cry I had ever seen. She then proceeded to collapse into my arms. Important to note, this melodrama lasted about a minute and everything was A-ok again.

Which prefaces nicely, Els’ quote of the day. Right before bedtime. Pen poised in her hand. Notebook sitting opened on her lap.

3 year old quote of the day

That’s my girl, for ya. That’s my girl.

Oh, and I still do highly recommend that book! Transition from home with mom to preschool is hard. And this book at the very least helps your little one become more aware of what’s to come and how it will transpire and end.

Halloween Rocks!

Painting Halloween Rocks

It’s funny because, a jolly old man in a red suit that goes, ho ho ho, scares the bejeebers out of Els. But a spooky white ghost that goes whoooooooo? No way. She loves it. She loves Halloween. I know, partly because she doesn’t quite understand what ghosts and mummies really are… But still, this is coming from a girl who told me to tell Santa to just leave the presents in our mailbox instead of coming down our chimney while we’re asleep. Not to mention the cookies and milk. Those had to stay outside too.

But yes, it’s October. And let the Halloween decorating begin…

Painting Halloween Rocks

I bought a couple bags of medium sized rocks from Michael’s with Halloween colored acrylic paint. We decided to paint some Halloween rocks! There’s Els loving every minute of it. Of course, she had to add some pink. Nothing is official until she adds some pink.

Painting Halloween Rocks

And here’s some of my work. Thank you. Thank you. Those dots took a lot of work.

Painting Halloween Rocks

This was actually a really fun and simple project. The base paint needed a couple coats to cover the rocks and then the rest was easy. Now we can scatter them outside on our front porch and garden. Stay tuned. Lots more of Halloween things to come!

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