Get Ready For Valentine’s Day With Oriental Trading

My 7 yr old son  needed Valentines to send in for school.  My 3 yr old wanted Valentine’s because her brother was getting Valentines. I realized I had a serious lack of Valentine decorations. I also realized I was going to be inviting my nieces up to play with my two youngest kids and they love creating stuff. So I went to Oriental Trading and took care of everything.

Oriental Trading has prices that won’t break the piggy bank.  They also have lots of choices for just about any theme or holiday.  I love their craft kits because most of them come with everything you need.

My 7 yr old son picked out these super cute ninja Valentines that came with matching ninja lollipops. While browsing all their Valentine stuff I also found matching bendy ninjas that matched the Valentine cards perfectly. I just had to get them.  We put his Valentines together and they turned out so cute.

Then I found a cute craft kit to make Valentine cookie magnets.  The kit had enough to make a dozen magnets. Plenty for my little ones and my nieces to each make two if they like. The kit came with individually packaged packets that had the base,  foam stickers to decorate the magnet, and individual packs of glitter. It also came with the sticky back magnets to finish the project. The project was easy enough that even the littlest ones could do it but came with enough items that it let the older kids express their creativity.

Also while skimming through the Valentine stuff, I was trying to find a decoration or two for Valentine’s day . That’s when I came across the cutest sign.  I’ve not seen anything like it before. I thought it was funny.  When I opened the box I couldn’t help but giggle. I didn’t know what my hubby would think about it.  I figured it would be a decoration for our bedroom.  He laughed when he saw it. When I told him I wanted to put it in the bedroom he said “no you gotta put it where people are going to see it more often, that’s funny”  So we decided we’re going to put it in our family room.

I always put little things together to give all the kids for Valentine’s Day. Just something small.  I found these cute Peanuts canvas bags that are perfect to fill with treats or whatever you want.  I was thinking of making some candy or caramel apples with heart sprinkles on them, packaging them in cellophane and putting them in these bags to give the kids.

Last but not least, my daughter’s Valentines she picked out.  She wanted these ones because they came with glow-in-the-dark bracelets.  I thought the star theme was cute.  I made the mistake of leaving some of the stuff in the box until we were ready for it. I went to work and my daughter was home with the hubby in the  morning.  When I came home I saw a long glowing line on the floor. My daughter got into a pack of the glow bracelets broke them all to light them and connected them all together. Thankfully she didn’t “need” them for school she just wanted to give some to her brothers and her cousins. There was still one pack left. As I was trying to put one together for the picture the stick got caught on the slit and popped so it started glowing. I realized…wow had she needed these for school they would never make it. If they had to be put together and put in a backpack they’d all be busted and glowing before they even got to school.  These would be better served as a party favor for a birthday party (think magic wand) OR keep the bracelets in the box and let the child pass out the bracelets as they hand out out the paper valentine part.

There are lots of fun Valentine items to choose from at Oriental Trading.  What would you like to received from Oriental Trading for Valentine’s Day?  What is your favorite item I reviewed here?

I received the above mentioned products at no cost in order to complete an honest review. Any opinions expressed are my own.  



6 Days Into Beachbody on Demand, My Thoughts


Last year I did was introduced to Beachbody. I had coworkers and friends doing it and they saw results.  The one program in particular that kept coming up was 21 Day Fix.  The program came with dvd’s for daily 30 min workouts.  I’m thinking, ok I think I can find time for 30 minutes somewhere.  Then it came with color coded portion control containers and a book that tells you exactly what you can eat, recipes, and tips.  Yes! A healthy eating guide just for me.  I didn’t want to count calories and figure out labels all day.  I’m a working mom of 4 who also happens to run a blog.  I don’t have time to do math equations just so I can eat!

So I started it Jan 1 last year and did it steady for 4 months.  I lost 12 lbs and 3 inches around my waist.  My thighs and butt didn’t jiggle anymore. Thanks to my awesome coach Shannon Butler she encouraged me to join challenge groups, gave out awesome recipes that broke the eating boredom, and is a great motivator.

After 4 months however I started to get bored with the same 7 day cycles. I ordered a different program that I had high hopes for (Beachbody no longer carries) and it just wasn’t what I thought it would be.  I didn’t want to put money into another program with fear I wouldn’t like it either. I eventually got so bored of doing the same exercises that I stopped doing them.  Then everything else fell like dominos.  Later in the year I remembered how good I felt and was mad at myself for not continuing.  I gained all the weight back and then some.

The end of December I realized I could do a 30 day FREE trial of Beachbody on Demand and it changed my whole perspective.  Yes my coach brought it up to me before but I didn’t listen. If you are not sure where you want to start, what program might be right for you, etc Beachbody on Demand is an awesome place to start. For 30 days you can try out any or all the programs you want.  See what works for you.  After 30 days either cancel or continue.  You can follow a program like 21 Day Fix if you want to or mix it up.

I’m on day 6, I’m having so much fun with . I  had always wanted to try Brazil Butt Lift but was afraid to buy it in case I didn’t like it but it was fun and I definitely felt the burn!  Today I tried Hip Hop Abs. I didn’t really think I was going to like it but I had so much fun I forgot I was exercising. I’m definitely feeling it now though.

If you’ve already purchased Beachbody programs they’ll show up under “Purchased Programs” just click that link at the top of the screen and it will show you’ll all the programs you own and you can do them from Beachbody on Demand. There are apps for your phone and tablets too so if you go on vacation or wherever you still have access to your workouts.

They also have a program called “Fixate” with Autumn and Bobby Calabrese that shows you how to make healthy recipes.  I’m so craving the wasabi cream cheese Salmon burger now!

I use Beachbody on Demand with Amazon Fire Stick but you can use it through several options. Beachbody on Demand is a great place to start if you’re not sure what program you want to try. The Beachbody on Demand 30 day free trial makes sure you don’t waste any money on programs that might not be for you.

Try Beachbody on Demand with me for 30 days.  You’ll need a good coach to help you with recipe ideas and encouragement.  My coach Shannon Butler is a Diamond Beachbody coach. She knows her stuff. And check out Shannon’s story here.

Beachbody On Demand

This post does contain affiliate links. Regardless I only post legitimate links from trusted sites.

Buy Gift Cards at Acme Stores Get $10 Off Your Next Trip #Acme1216

The holiday season is a time for giving. We want to give great gifts but they have to fit our budgets right? What if you could double dip rewards while getting everyone the gift cards they’ll love?

From 12/02/16 to 12/15/16 you can get $10 off your next shopping trip when you buy $100 in select gifts cards. You can get the Bass Pro Shop gift card for your husband, a Kohl’s gift card for your best friend. Use your favorite rewards credit card to buy them.  You’ll earn your credit card rewards and get the $10 off your next Acme shopping trip.

I get it, some people don’t like to give gift cards.  Some people don’t like to get gift cards. You can still get the savings though.  For instance, I know my daughter has the Paw Patrol Lookout Tower play set, a play-doh set, and puzzles on her list to Santa.  I know I can get it at Toy R’ Us and earn Toys R’ Us rewards too. So I could go to Acme, buy a $100 Toys R’ Us gift card with my rewards credit card. I then use that gift card to buy the toys on my daughter wish list.  I scan my Toys R’ Us rewards card and use my gift card at checkout.  By doing that, I just earned credit card rewards, Toys R’ Us rewards, and the $10 off my next Acme shopping trip. Smart right?


Select gift cards include: Purchase $100 or more in select gift cards, Amazon, JCP, Bass Pro, Starbuck’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Toys R Us, Kohl’s get $10 toward next shopping order at Acme. (Minimum $25 purchase required at time of redemption)

Hurry though, this deal is only available at Acme stores 12/2 – 12/15.  Great way to check off that list! Find an Acme store near you:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post is sponsored by Tatu Digital Media. Any opinions expressed are my own.

Affordable and Unique Gift Idea For The Young Soccer Player #HolidayGuide2016


My boys have all played AYSO soccer at one point in time or another. My eldest son only played a couple years then moved on to something else. My middles son played for many years. He was really quite good making it onto tournament teams and things. My youngest son now plays. He has 2 years under his belt. I have a friend whose teenage son has played soccer a long time. In fact, his high school team just made it to the playoffs.


Is there a child on your holiday list that loves soccer? When you think about what to get someone who loves soccer it might be hard to come up with something. Chances are they have at least one soccer ball already. What about something that will help them hone their soccer skills in a fun way and is under $20?  The SOCKIT is your answer.

The SockIt Holiday Guide

The SOCKIT is wearable technology for young soccer players. It slips right onto soccer cleats and lights up when the player kicks the soccer ball correctly. It’s made from industrial strength thermal plastic rubber. It can withstand shock, impact, and other extreme conditions. It’s designed for players 5 -12 years old. It lights up with the use of 6 LED lights powered by a replaceable lithium battery.

They also donate portion of their revenue to St Jude Children’s Hospital for every The SockIt sold.

The SockIt Holiday Guide

The SockIt was created my a father of 2 soccer players. After watching his players continually kick the ball incorrectly he wanted to find something to teach them the right way. He found nothing in the stores. He decided to teach his daughters about business and how to make dreams a reality.

You can find more info and purchase The SockIt at and find them on facebook:


This post is sponsored by SockIt. Any opinions expressed are my own. 

The Guy With The Umbrella At A Walmart In South Carolina

My life was falling apart around me. My husband-of-the-time was having an affair I found out.  My youngest baby was very sick. At the time, they didn’t know what was wrong with him. In and out of the hospital, $150 worth of meds a month.  The poor baby couldn’t sleep laying down, I had to keep him propped in a bouncer or car seat to sleep. We were struggling financially with a foreclosure looming, and at times we didn’t know if we would be able to buy diapers. We had our electricity cut off once or twice. I went into a Walmart in South Carolina off of Two Notch Road on one of the few days I had money to spend on groceries and carefully kept track of everything I bought.

As I was shopping I heard the rain coming down on the roof of the building.  Then the thunder. I paid for my things and headed to the exit.  It was pouring.  My car was half way down the parking lot.  I debated on waiting by the door to see if it would let up.  I did for a few minutes but it didn’t seem like it was going to let up anytime soon.

I made the decision to make a dash for my car. My boys were around 2 month and 18 months old.  I got my my older son out of the seat and my youngest’s baby carrier and tried to get them both in the car at the same time but I had to put them down because I neglected to grab my keys out of my purse.

shadow in the rain

An older gentleman with an umbrella came walking toward me very swiftly. I’m ashamed to say my anxiety went up for a minute. I had no idea why he was coming at me so quickly. He didn’t say anything, he just lifted the umbrella over my head. He held the umbrella as I got both babies in the car. He waited patiently as I buckled each child in. He then held continued to shelter me from the rain as I loaded the groceries in the car. I didn’t know him and he didn’t know me. I do remember telling him thank you at least three times.

Even as I type this I’m crying.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought of that man. I wish I knew who he was. I wish I could tell him how much his kindness meant to me …still means to me. When I felt like nothing was going right in my life something happened to give me hope.  The “sunshine in the rain” so to speak. I remember getting in the car almost in disbelief that someone would do that. It wasn’t until  got home and thought about the whole situation again that I began to cry. That moment was exactly what I needed and it’s a moment I carry on with me.

Many things have changed in my life for the better. But that gentleman, that small moment in my life, will always remind me that even when everything else seems dark, there is always a light somewhere.