I have partnered with the following brands for feature
Roaming the aisles trying to find something fun and unique for Easter baskets is our favorite sport, right? Not really! I would be a lot more organized and save a lot of time if I knew exactly what I was looking for as I walk into the stores (it saves more time for the shopping I really like such as the kitchen and grocery section)! Here are some ideas that may help you out a bit!
OK! So I wanted to start with something you can find while shopping for the kids! This is My Magic Mud® Activated Charcoal Tooth Powder for Whitening. But we all hear there are some side effects using activated charcoal? By American Dental Association standards, this brand is within range of being safe. My Magic Mud® states that they don’t know of any other activated charcoal brands that have performed the tests they have.
My Magic Mud® has been evaluated in a lab to ensure its safety, however the charcoal you’ll find in supplements and in bulk may or may not be safe depending on the particle size and quality. Because it only takes about 6-14 days to show results, you will have whiter teeth by Easter gatherings. I found it on Amazon for $11.97 shipped!
Now for the toddlers! The Drink in the Box and Snack in a Box are both reusable drink and snack boxes that are better for the environment than juice boxes and individual snack packs and they are both BPA/BPS and Phthalate free. It reduces the risk of mold and they don’t leak or spill. Also available on Amazon.
HABA always has the sweetest games that promote strategy and age-related skill development. Splish Splash Catapult is a game where rabbits have a water fight (not with real water) with their catapult. The skill is to aim well and hit rabbits with the water balloons (again, not real ones). Options to earn extra points too! And you can also shop Amazon for HABA games.
Playfoam is a hit! Educational Insights has fun options and this 4 pack of no-mess molding fun will occupy them for sure! Playfoam never dries out so creativity is ongoing! Find all options of Playfoam from Educational Insights on Amazon.
InRoad Toy’s Play Tape will turn any space into a car lovers dream! With straight line, long and short track tapes as well as ones for the curves, the hot wheels will get used on Easter! Find it in rolls and sheets and find road signs and more at their website or on Amazon!
ZipIt Animals Mini Pouches are made with one long zipper and are so fun to open and stuff! Clip it to a bag and stuff with keys, chapstick, change and more. These will be a hit hanging off the backpacks. This is the Bunny! I found the 3 pack of all animals on Amazon.
Thanks to the Instagram-world we live in, all too often it feels like other people have life absolutely nailed while you run around totally flustered in every respect. It’s part and parcel of seeing what other people want you to see and in which filter they want you to see it – and Christmas is the worst of the worst.
There you are, with absolutely nothing done except the Christmas decorations, the clock ticking way fast than it has ever done, while everyone else seems to be relaxed and ahead of the game. Well, even though there is less than a week to go until the big day, there is still time to take a deep breath, rub your earlobes and get as a calm as a cup of chamomile because we have all the tips and trick you need to pull an incredible Christmas last-minute out of the hat.
Last minute gifts, prepping your home for the arrival of your nearest and dearest, keeping the kids entertained either side of the present opening ceremony – we have it all covered. Call it the essential last-minute guide to doing Christmas.
The Art Of Delegation
All those people that are coming to yours on Christmas Eve will be getting themselves ready, packing their bags and making they have everything they need for their few day stay. And part of that ritual is phoning you to see if there is anything else they can bring or do – it’s part of playing guest – and your answer should be yes. This is your chance to delegate and you should leap at it. Give everyone a role. They will be happy to – or at least they should be happy to. But don’t just rope in your guests, make sure your partner and kids are all helping too.
More Movies The Merrier
If you haven’t already, this is the perfect time to be signing up for Netflix. Trust us. Of course, you could go down the manual route of downloading loads of movies or stocking up on DVDs from your local charity shops bargain bin, but it will be so much easier – and appeasing – to give that choice to the kids. The reason you want to do this is simple: the adults are going to be super busy with stuff that needs to be done, and movies is a great way to keep the little ones entertained while you big un’s rush around maniacally – delaying the threat of impending present impatience.
Batteries Are Now Included
For the other 360-whatever days, there is barely any need for batteries. It’s a rarity, which is why you never have any in your drawers. However, at Christmas, the need for lithium sky-rockets. It’s amazing. So, make sure you go and buy pack after pack to stuff in that tidbit designated drawer. There are just so many gadgets and gizmos that will need battery replacing, so many presents that will need power or else be made redundant, and decorations that may need a little top up. Oh, and make sure you get different sized batteries.
Last-Minute Present Shopping
This is one of those things that seems to catch us out year after year, despite the fact we swore we never let it happen again. However, there is nothing wrong with last-minute shopping. Not in the slightest, so long as you have a plan of attack. Hitting the shops without a clue of what you want is sooooo stressful. But hitting the shops with a brief list of what you want to buy people will make it the best shopping experience of your life because you will find tons of deals. So, before you start panicking and buying everyone Celine Dion’s greatest hits, dedicate an hour to writing a list and doing some research. Look to see if there is a John Lewis code kicking about online, see which stores are offering big discounts, look at what kid’s toys are super-popular, and what trends you can latch onto for guidance. Last-minute doesn’t have to be visible in the gifts you buy. Quite the contrary.
Fairy Lights Are Godsends
You should never, ever, ever, ever underestimate the glory that is fairy lights. They are the best friend of all last-minute Christmas shoppers. We’ve all been there, rushing around to get everything done before guests arrive, only to realise the entrance to your home – both inside and out – isn’t decorated. The answer: fairy lights. All you have to do is drape these over that small tree outside your door, or throw them over a shrub, or entwine them to your bannister, or whatever and you will have gotten that magical look of ‘wow’ without earning it whatsoever. It’s amazing. It is the best Christmas hack out there.
Masterful Make-Shift Decorations
Decorations are a huge part of Christmas day. It is what gives people that warm and fuzzy ambience and makes them know this is the most magical day in the most wonderful time of the year. So, if you are somewhat lacking on this front (or just think your decorations are looking a little flat), then your best bet is to grab a bunch of empty boxes, wrap them up, pop a bow around them and then dot them all around your home. Put them on the stairs, on the mantelpiece, in the corner of your kitchen, everywhere you can think of. This is the easiest way to get the upmarket-department-store-Christmas-display-look that will stop you in your tracks every time you walk in from work.
Don’t Give Up On Cards
There are no excuses for missing the last posting dates; every single website has put up the guide lines and the postal services make it pretty clear when you need to get posting by. Yet, here you are, pulling an odd face that says, “why always me?” But it isn’t all doom and gloom. You can still get that card to your Granny in time, it just involves going online to one of the many E-card companies. Moonpig. Funky Pigeon. Smilebox. Not only will this see them get their card on time, you can even make yours the best by adding some photos for a much more personal touch. Now, that’s how to do Christmas last-minute.
The Perfect Potpourri
A scent is so important when creating that Christmas vibe. It is what pleases people; it’s what brings you back to a memory years on from now. What’s more, you can make a potpourri yourself and of little bits and bobs in and around your home. You just have to pop into your garden and rifle through your cupboards and, voila, you have everything you need – a few pinecones, a couple of pinches of cinnamon, dried out orange slices, some sprigs of leftover rosemary and, yeah, some vanilla extract because why not. It’s so simple and yet so effective. If you really want this smell to waft through your home, then why not pop all of this onto a baking tray, turn the oven up to about 150 degrees, place it inside and leave the door slightly open so that smell gets to be enjoyed. Mmmmmm. Delicious. Actually, thinking about it, all of these things make great decorations too. Maybe not the cinnamon and vanilla extract, but everything else – and twigs and branches – all make a home even more homely at this time of year, so don’t be afraid to get all creative.
And there we have it, the essential guide for last minute Christmas-ers.
Let’s get to that table for the Holidays. It is the place where family gathers and creating a fun centerpiece adds to the holiday feel of the home.
For your holiday table, you should begin decorating by adding some centerpieces. This might be one long centerpiece or multiple decorations for the middle of a larger dining room table. These centerpiece ideas are for both shabby chic and Christmas styles.
Add Ornaments or Pinecones to a Big Bowl
This is one of the simplest and least expensive decor items for your table centerpiece. It works with any style of Christmas decor, so for shabby chic, you are just changing the overall style and color of the bowl and what goes inside of it. If you can find an old wooden bowl, that is perfect for this. You can also use any white or silver bowl you have or like this one. Fill it with pinecones spray painted white or another shabby chic color like light green or pastel pink. You can also just fill it with ornaments of these same colors. Ball ornaments in white or silver often work very well for this type of centerpiece.
Create Twinkle Light Mason Jars
Mason jars on their own already fit in with the shabby chic style since these jars have been around for a long time. Just using them in your decor make them appropriate for this Christmas decorating decor style. To be more specific to Christmas, fill large mason jars with strings of twinkle lights. You can either get shorter strings that use batteries for the lights instead of being plugged in, or you can drill holes in the bottom so that you can pull out the lights and plug them in somewhere near the table. Just bring the cord underneath the table runner so it isn’t obvious, then connect them to a nearby outlet.
Create a Mini Village
If you want to have a Christmas village but only have enough for a small one, placing it on your dining table is perfect. You can create that small shabby chic village by putting it on a vintage-style cake platter. There are clear cake platters, or you might even find one in a distressed white color or silver. Just add some snow to the platter, then add some houses, buildings, and people, and your village is ready for Christmas.
Use a Distressed Planter
When you want to use Christmas flowers as the centerpiece, you may not want a modern flower vase or classic red and green Christmas vase. Instead, you can get a vase or planter and spray paint it a white color, then add some distressing elements. You can also use an older wooden planter for this purpose.
I have partnered with Playmobil for this #HolidayGiftGuide feature
Remember those 24 doors with the mystery chocolate inside we would have as kids to countdown those December days until Christmas? Every Thanksgiving we would be handed our advent calendars in preparation for the countdown. Today my parents carry on that same tradition with the grandkids and they have their calendars waiting for them at her Thanksgiving dinner every year. They still sell those same calendars, but Playmobil has stepped up in a huge way to really magnify the countdown with the play set Advent Calendars.
This year Playmobil has 4 different themes such as 1.2.3. Christmas on the Farm, Royal Ice Skating Trip, Santa’s Workshop and Jewel Thief Police Operation.
We love our Santa’s Workshop and Royal Ice Skating Trip sets. Every year Anthony’s decorating job is the village and it gets bigger as each holiday passes and I find new figures and buildings to add. He loves setting the village up his way and now he wants to merge it with his Playmobil advent calendars to watch his village grow daily. We can’t wait to stat opening those doors.
Each set comes with its own backdrop theme so you can start placing your pieces into the scenery. If you pair all of them together you get a complete village with skaters, animals, toy shop and the town police station. Or you can eat a mystery chocolate piece each day. Find Playmobil in stores and on Amazon.
I have partnered with Lionsgate and a copy for feature was sent
Welcome to the Saving Christmas DVD Giveaway
Saving Christmas is a fun holiday movie you will want to watch to get the Christmas spirit started. It stars Ed Asner , Patrick Muldoon, Brooke Langton, Jack Brunault, Tommy Dreamer (as himself), Mike Bennett, Maria Kanellis (as herself).
The story line is about an X-Files of investigating of the truth about Santa. It really is quite witty for adults. However, Saint Nick is real and actually making toys right in town. Oh…and Santa has a social media director. As the truth unfolds you get comedy and a fu festive feeling. I watched with my 9 year old and we laughed many times throughout the movie.
Holiday Wishing Ornament Craft Kit
We had a lot of fun making wishes with our Saving Christmas themed Holiday Wishing Ornament Craft Kit.
Want to win a copy of Saving Christmas on DVD
Enter below and open to US. Ends on 11/30. Good luck! Don’t want to wait? Get it on Amazon today!
I have a fireplace in my new home! I have always wanted a mantle to decorate and our new home has one. So now I have been searching for a fun way to decorate my mantle for the holidays.
One of the most commonly decorated areas of a home for Christmas is the mantle. This is not only where you will hang your stockings, but it is the perfect place to set decorative items. The following tips will help you decorate your Christmas mantle in the shabby chic theme.
Use Distressed Wood Frames
If you have pictures on your mantle, and many people do, you don’t have to take them down just because it is Christmas. Instead, keep the pictures up, but switch out the frames. Even if you already have shabby chic-friendly frames, now is a great time to put away the white frames (like these) and bring out some distressed wood ones. This really adds a fun look to your mantle where the rest of your shabby chic Christmas decor is probably white, silver, and pastel colors. It gives some nature to your mantle without getting too far from the shabby chic look you want to acquire. For a bit of fun, you can even switch out the pictures and replace them with pictures of angels, snowmen, Santa and Mrs. Clause, as if they were friends and family members.
Create a Village on the Mantle
Many people create a Christmas village and put it on a table, but why not put it right on your mantle? It keeps it high enough to be away from kids or cats who are a little too curious, as well as being in a room where your family probably spends a lot of time during the holidays. Not only that, it is a convenient place to spread around twinkle lights and p lug them in, allowing you to easily illuminate your shabby chic-style Christmas village.
Use Vintage Items on the Mantle
For more traditional decorating of the mantle, you might want to use various decorative accessories and figurines. For a shabby chic look, try to find items that are vintage or at least have that old-fashioned look to them. Some items that work perfectly include an old pair of white ice skates, vintage milk jugs and bottles, or Santa Clause figures that have the old dress as opposed to the bright red dress and hat of the more modern styles.
Add Spray Painted Bottle Brush Trees
Bottle brush trees are really popular during Christmas since they are inexpensive and always add a fun element. However, instead of the bold green ones, you can either get them in white and other pastel colors, or spray paint them yourself. Spread them around your mantle in between other decorative items.