Anal Wrapping.

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Dirty, I know. ¬†ūüôā But “Deck the Halls” seems so‚Ķbasic ūüôā ¬†Anyway, I wanted to talk about my type-a approach to wrapping. ¬†Or maybe it isn’t really type-a, but¬†rather¬†bred from the mere fact that I suffer from CRS (can’t remember sh!t).

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So, after wrapping everything for various people, I tend to forget what is what (mainly for the kids, because we do around 5 presents for each kid from different people‚Ķmake sense?). ¬†Now what I do is discretely write in Sharpie marker the initial of the present’s recipient on the pretty bow. ¬†Under the bow I write a number that corresponds to a key. ¬†I know.

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Therein lies the anal part ūüôā

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You’re welcome. ¬†Lol ūüôā OK, as I promised, there is a bit of “deck the halls” in this post…

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Gabe’s Ornament

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Funny. The dog is oscar but he doesn’t look like that…

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BEST.

 

STEM Toys

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HI everyone! ¬†So, today’s gift list is centered about the STEM theme. ¬†As a former elementary school teacher I had to get on this one! ¬†STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and is the focal point of most school district’s current curriculum. ¬†The point of STEM toys is to introduce children to these important concepts and to allow them to explore and learn through play. ¬†So, here are my top ten favorite STEM toys of 2015 that you might put under your tree (and then learn how trees grow and are involved in the process of photosynthesis lol)!

1.Mine for Fossils Science Kit ($29.95)- The Mine for Fossils Science Kit from Discover with Dr. Cool lets your child become a paleontologist in their own backyard. The digging brick contains 10 amazing fossils to uncover and examine. With the full-color adventure guide (included), your family will identify and learn about each fossil, paleontology, and earth science. Then, dive into the activity booklet for 10 additional games, mazes, and challenges to solve. (6-15 years)

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2.   Learning Resources Primary Science Magnifier & Tweezers ($7.80)- My little LOVES playing with this super cool magnifier and the tweezers help with his fine motor skills!

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3.Learning Resources Primary Bucket Balance ($14.98)- Explore volume and compare solids and liquids with this sturdy bucket balance. Graduated, clear buckets can hold solids or up to 400 ml of liquid. Easy-pour spout on removable buckets takes the mess out of measuring liquids. Lids can be used as platforms. Built-in drawer is perfect for storing weights. (3 years and up)

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4.Geode Explorer Science Kit – Crack Open 7 Amazing Rocks and Find Crystals!¬†($29.95)-¬†Formed by volcanic eruptions millions of years ago, geodes can contain a world of crystals including quartz, calcite, or even amethyst ‚Äď which minerals will your child find? This science kit gets the adventure started with all you need to start a rock and mineral collection.¬†(6-15 years)

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5.The Learning Journey Match it! Counting ($10)- The Match It! Series features a wide range of award-winning educational titles. Each product in the series features self-correcting puzzle sets that introduce children to a specific educational topic or skill. The brightly illustrated puzzle cards engage children in the learning process in an entertaining way. Match It Counting includes 30 self-correcting puzzle pairs. (3 years and up)

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6. Thames & Kosmos Glow Stick Lab ($19.99)-Make your own glow sticks in three colors using non-toxic phosphorescent substances and a special glow stick tube with a built-in ultraviolet light. Experiment with different glowing chemicals from around the house. (3 years and up)

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7.  Thames & Kosmos Magnetic Science ($20.49)- Explore the invisible and amazing power of magnets with 33 engaging experiments and games. This science experiment kit contains many magnets of different shapes and sizes, and a variety of other components with which you can explore this classic scientific subject. Experiment to determine which materials are magnetic and which are not. Learn about magnetic poles and magnetic fields. Discover how Earth behaves like one giant magnet, and how we use compasses to take advantage of this phenomenon to determine which way is north. Conduct a series of experiments to learn first hand how magnets behave and interact under different conditions. Make invisible magnetic fields visible using iron filings in an enclosed transparent box. Build an electromagnet to learn how electricity relates to magnetism. Finally, have some fun with what you have learned by playing some games with magnets. The full-color, 48-page manual guides your experiments with illustrated step-by-step instructions. (8-15 years)

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8.  Clifford The Big Red Dog Kitchen Science Kit ($16.20)- Clifford and his friends love exploring the world around them and with this exciting kit they are learning all about KITCHEN SCIENCE! Emily Elizabeth, the narrator in the colorful 20-page manual, guides young scientists through captivating experiments with catchy titles such as test tube explosion, making slime, crystal star, crystal art, milk glue, colored celery, waking up fungus, fungus eats bananas, fungus in a tube, sticky ice, upside down trick, crystal garden and exploding volcano. Young Scientists will feel like real scientists when they use the included colorful lab tray, measuring cup, test tubes and funnel to perform their experiments! Join Clifford and his friends on an adventure into the world of science! (36 months-10 years)

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9.¬†Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears!¬†($34.99)-¬†Vibrant, spinning gears set imaginations in motion. GEARS! GEARS! GEARS! is a child’s introduction to the world of construction and movement. Bright colors and easy-to-assemble pieces encourage children to create moving masterpieces. There are so many ways to build and open-ended components mean there are no wrong ways to build. The set contains 95 sturdy pieces that snap together, challenging your child’s creativity. Children discover something new every time they play.¬†(36 months-7 years)

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1o. ¬†K’NEX Education – Elementary Math and Geometry¬†($26.16) ¬†-This one is AWESOME for teachers. ¬†From the manufacturer: ¬†The K’NEX¬ģ Education Elementary Math & Geometry set allows students to build, investigate and explore geometry concepts, vocabulary, and structures in a 2-D and 3-D world. The students live in a 3-D world, so it makes sense for them to connect with geometry on a 3-D level. K’NEX¬ģ allows them do just that! The teacher’s guide, designed as a resource, provides a glossary of key terms and definitions and includes Vocabulary Card masters to support instruction and understanding. (grades 1-3)

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Enjoy and encourage learn through play always!  Please add your own STEM toy favorites in the comments!

Blessing Bags.

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Hi everyone!  So, as you may (or may not) know I am fortunate enough to work for one of the BEST companies EVER, InterExchange Au Pair USA.

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I am a local coordinator and my cluster is made up of a bunch of fantastic au pairs and their host families.  SCORE!  I love it.  Anyway, this weekend for our cluster meeting, we enjoyed a delicious brunch (I cooked!)

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Monkey Bread FTW!  What, What?!

…and an awesome project:  making blessing bags for the homeless.

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I had gotten all of the supplies the day before at the dollar store, so the girls needed to stuff the bags (male/female) and write a sweet greeting card to go inside as well.

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Here is what they included:

Baby wipes

Toothbrush/Flossers

Vitamin C drops

Deodorant

Socks

Gloves

Crackers

Peanuts

Granola Bar

Pack of Tissues

Bandaids

Female:  pads

Male: hot hands

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These Blessing Bags will be passed out to local homeless people and hopefully will bring a smile to their face. I am SO glad we were able to do this project and I encourage you to do the same (or something similar)!

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Happy Holidays!

 

 

11 months and 1 day

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Gabey, you are something else, Love.

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Favorites at 11 months:

Crawling (fast) like a madman

Scaring mommy by trying to launch myself down steps or into other dangers

The doggie, especially feeding him. (gasp!)

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Mirrors

Playing in the dog bowl.  But no bath. PLEASE.  Only the sink.

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Cheerios.  Actually, any food.

Extreme breastfeeding (it is a sport to him)

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Love you, baby Bear.

 

Monogram Madness: Host/ess Gifts

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Gooooood afternoon! ¬†I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday shopping as much as me (and my wallet)! ¬†Today, I am coming at you with some cute monogrammed gifts! ¬†I feel like monograms were a thing of the past and were only popular on wedding registries but have now come back in popularity with full force. ¬†And boy am I happy about that! ¬†I LOVE monogrammed items for hostess gifts or any other little personalized gift. ¬†I feel like the extra touch of a simple initial adds so much thought and uniqueness to the gift. It isn’t like you pulled it out of the re-gifting closet (although that is OK too :)). ¬†So, without further ado, here are my favorite monogrammed items-most can be found at Target or Amazon– and are in all price ranges (from less than $5!). Enjoy!

Monogrammed Trinket Dish ($7.99)

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Monogrammed Hand Towels- Silver ($8.99)

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Monogrammed Hand Towel- Gold ($8.99)

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Monogrammed Scrabble Mug ($8.98)

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Monogrammed Glass Pitcher ($32.00)

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Monogrammed Beer Growler ($21.00)

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Monogrammed Trivet ($19.99)

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Monogrammed Coasters ($16.99)

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Monogrammed ornament mug (from $13.99)

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Monogram wine cork holder (price varies by letter)

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Monogram handmade cutting board ($40)

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OK, well I hope you liked this little list!  Please feel free to ad your own in the comments!

Gifts for the Man-Boy

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Hi everyone! ¬†I don’t know about you, but so far I am LOVING this holiday season and I also love bringing you these gift guides, because who doesn’t love online shopping ?! ūüôā SO, without further ado, here are a few suggestions for the man/boy in my life (you SO know what I mean).

Rugged Bluetooth Waterproof Dustproof 10 Watt Portable Speaker (64.99- ON SALE with AMAZON!). These rugged bluetooth speakers are perfect for ANY use.  Poolside, shower, (waterproof), golfing, lounging and more!  Connects to any bluetooth device!

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Amazon Fire TV sticks¬†(price from only $39.99!)- OK, so I will admit. ¬†First I had NO idea what this was but after doing a bit of research I decided this is PERFECT for anyone really. ¬†I ¬†bought specifically the Fire TV stick with Voice Remote (THIS ONE). ¬†Here is the description…

  • Fire TV Stick, our best-selling streaming media stick, now comes with a voice remote. Find all your favorites just by speaking into the remote.
  • Now with Alexa, use your Fire TV Voice Remote to check sports scores or the weather, play music, and more – instantly
  • Just plug into your HDTV and start streaming in minutes.¬†The easiest way to enjoy over 250,000 TV episodes and movies on Netflix, Amazon Video, HBO GO, and Showtime Anytime, plus games, music, and apps.
  • Cutting the cord? Watch the best of live TV on NBC News, NBA, and Sling TV, which includes ESPN, CNN, HGTV, AMC, A&E, Cartoon Network, and more.
  • The most powerful streaming media stick with 4x the storage and 2x the memory of Chromecast plus a dual-core processor, 1 GB of memory, and ASAP so the Amazon movies and shows you like start instantly
  • Never miss out. Bring Fire TV Stick with you to watch your favorites away from home, even in hotels and dorm rooms.
  • Amazon Prime members get unlimited access to Prime Video, including original programming like Transparent, plus over 1 million songs with Prime Music

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Dre Beats Headphones¬†(from $139). ¬†These WORK. ¬†Like, too well. ¬†The noise cancellation on these babies is SO good that my dude could not hear me screaming at him from across the street! ¬†Or maybe he pretended?! ¬†ūüôā

Old Dutch Copper Mugs ($49.95 set of 4)-  Guys these mugs are the bomb.com.  Seriously.  You can get them engraved with an initial or plain.  They are classy and even more, the solid copper construction with nickel lining enhances the taste of any drink.

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singlecue Gesture Control for your TV and Entertainment Devices¬†($199.00)- Oh my God, you guys, THIS is what we have ALL been waiting for. ¬†Those of us (ALL of us) who lose the remote to our devices only to find it 30 minutes later, thereby missing your favorite TV show! ¬†This awesome product allows you to use gesturers to operate your TV and other devices. ¬†Brand spankin’ new technology. ¬†LOVE this one!

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Star Wars Legendary Jedi Master Yoda ($99.00)- Although this one is a little pricey, it is the perfect toy for your Star Wars loving guy.  I saw my girl Wendy Williams do a demo of this on her show and boy is it neat!

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PAJAMAS!  Look, men need them too.  How else will they be able to experience the cozy comfort and lazy feeling a good pair of PJ pants allows for?  I LOVE these Marvel ones, these Star Wars ones, NFL ones, and these adorable Peanuts ones.

Perfect Drink App-Controlled Smart Bartending– I saw this one on TV and thought it was SOOO cool! ¬†It takes all of the guess-work out of your “drink-making” game.

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Tile TLE-02004 Gen 2 Phone Finder, Key Finder, Item Finder- 4 Pack ($69.95). Yea, so anyone who knows me pretty much knows that I would actually benefit MOST from this brilliant product!  Those of us (or the men in your life) who tend to lose EVERYTHING (i.e. keys, phone, etc.) this product is a necessity!

Drunk, Stoned or Stupid Game¬†($15.00) THIS. ¬†IS. HYSTERICAL. I would LOVE to partake in a game of this with my dude. ¬†I think any man-boy would LOVE it. ¬†I mean, it goes PERFECTLY with this Farts: A Spotter’s Guide book that my guy already owns lol. ¬†Really.

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‘Twas the Night Before Hanukah

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Helloooooo everybody! ¬†So, in my old blog days, I used to post cute lists of things the kids (ahem, I) ¬†might want ūüôā ¬†and it was a pretty popular posting topic (you know, among my four readers hehe). ¬†So, I thought I would return with some more of these posts, beginning with ¬†Hanukah presents (8 days for us means 8 small gifts‚Ķso we don’t ¬†need to refinance the house). ¬†So‚Ķwithout further ado‚Ķ.

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For the Little

Melissa and Doug ABC Stamp Set

Melissa and Doug Play Cleaning Set

Crayola set of 10 washable paints

Melissa and Doug Scratch ‘N Sniff Sticker Pad

Paw Patrol Figurine set

Triangle instrument

Bank is from the Museum of Natural History in Philly but here is a cute similar one!

Torch is also from the museum but here is something similar in Spiderman style!

Not pictured: Lincoln Logs! (throwback!)

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For the LittlEST

Polar Bear, Polar Bear Sound Book (great price)

V Tech Smart Wheels Fire Truck

Fabric Book with Flaps  ALSO I love this three-pack!

Fisher Price Mirror Tambourine– less than 7 bucks!

Fisher Price Maracas (2 for less than 7 bucks!)

V Tech Play Phone

See N Say Farm toy (another throwback!)

Peekaboo Baby Book

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ALL THE GIFTS!

So, as you know, there are only “8 crazy nights,” but here are a few “small” gifts appropriate for Hanukah, Kwanza, stocking stuffers or whatever your gifting needs!

Gaiam Yoga Mat for your little YOGI! (only $17.98)

Kid’s Shaving Kit ($20)

Marvel Avengers Hulk Gamma Grip Fists ($20)

Super Hero Hoodies with Mask!

Star Wars Figurines: Luke and Yoda

Playskool Heroes Star Wars Galactic Heroes Millennium Falcon and Figures

PS: Welcome, Dear affiliate links‚Ķbecause somebody’s gotta pay the bill$ ūüôā ¬†Hehe ¬†thanks for your support!