Top Gifts for Preschoolers

Gifts for Preschoolers

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Top Gifts for Preschoolers

Preschoolers are so much fun to shop for!  They are becoming more independent, are generally more excited about Christmas than the previous years, and with my kids, this is the age where they are happy with just about whatever they get!  The possibilities are truly endless when shopping for preschool-aged kids, but I've collected some of our very favorites for this holiday season.  Check back often because I'll be adding more of the best gifts for preschoolers throughout the season!

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Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshake {Chick Fil A Copycat}

There is finally a chill in the air and while pumpkin spice everything is still divine, there's nothing quite like the pairing of chocolate and peppermint for the holiday season.  I love to sip on a Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks, but for a cool treat, Chick Fil A has THE best Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshakes!  If you find yourself craving one of these beauties on Sunday or when it's just too cold to go out, here's how to quickly and easily whip one up at home!

Copycat Chick Fil A Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshake


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HUGE Best Buy Holiday Shopping Event: This Saturday, November 7!

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Order Your Holiday Desserts Now from Collin Street Bakery

Apple Cinnamon Pecan Cake

This holiday desserts post was brought to you by Collin Street Bakery. All opinions are mine.

The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are such a wonderful time of year.  Spending quality time with the family, eating delicious food, and just being able to relax is a great change of pace from the every day grind.  If you're a mom or especially a grandma, you might be a little bit stressed just thinking about all of the work that has to be done during the holidays.  I know that my mother and mother-in-law both spend countless hours in the kitchen, preparing the holiday feast for all of us.  

This year, why not make it easier on yourself and others in charge of cooking by ordering your holiday desserts from Collin Street Bakery?   We have tried the luscious praline pecan cheesecake and were in awe of the exceptional quality and flavor.  A great holiday treat is the Apple Cinnamon Pecan Cake, which is pictured above.  Washington apples are sprinkled with cinnamon and folded into Collin Street Bakery's unique honey batter and THEN topped with delicious, crunchy native Texas pecans and slivered almonds.  It's a special treat that arrives in a keepsake tin and if refrigerated, can stay moist and delicious for months.

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Happy 7th Birthday, Captain Fussybuckets! {Plus a Free Birthday Interview Printable}

Happy Birthday Isn't it crazy??  The Captain is already 7 years old.  SEVEN.  He's in first grade and reading chapter books, but prefers playing sports….any sport will do, especially if it is outside!  He is a great big brother and makes us proud each and every day.  He wanted to celebrate his birthday by cheering on his team, the Seattle Seahawks, as they played the local favorites, the Dallas Cowboys.  Wouldn't you know, they won!  We had a blast eating hot wings that Daddy grilled, crazy bark, cake, chips, and more.  It was a great day after Halloween party…ha! 

Every year, I like to give the boys a "birthday interview" and chronicle it on the blog.  Here are his answers from this year, and if you scroll to the bottom, you'll find a free printable of a modified birthday interview that I have created for you.  Enjoy!


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Top Gifts for Toddlers

Baby Brother is almost two, and being the third boy, it has been a struggle to know what he might like that the older brothers already have.  I have made a collection of some of the top gifts for toddlers to help others in our situation!  These toys have all been tested and approved by Baby Brother, so enjoy!  I will be adding to this throughout the season, so check back to see some more great gifts of 2015!

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Ten Delicious Pomegranate Recipes

Delicious Pomegranate Recipes

I LOVE pomegranates.  They are, without a doubt, my very favorite fruit.  I long for the pomegranate season and scoop up a few pomegranates whenever I see them in the store.  The boys love them, too, and they're full of yummy goodness!  A few weeks ago, I bought about 72 pomegranates for $30 from Bountiful Baskets and we are still enjoying them.  I've frozen some arils and also collected a few great pomegranate recipes to try!  Take a look and see what you think!  And if you have a great recipe made with pomegranates, let me know in the comments.

If you are looking for tips for picking, storing, and serving pomegrantes, check out this informative post from Frugal Minded Mom.

10 Delicious Pomegranate Recipes

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Every Two Minutes, A Woman Dies From Preventable Birth Complications, But We Can Help

All three times that I was pregnant, there were lots of things that I complained about.  Yes, I had morning sickness and there were times I could not think of anything to eat. I complained about having to wake up so much during the night (ha!  Little did I know what was about to come!)  I complained that I was uncomfortable in my nice, warm bed.  We tend to complain a great deal, it's true, pregnant or not.  When I take a moment to peruse the Samahope website and see what the people in other parts of the world are dealing with, my nice warm bed and the food that we DO have sound pretty good.  

And what about medical care?  I remember complaining about little things when I was pregnant, whether it was a nurse brushing off my concerns or an old, outdated sonogram machine that was fuzzy so we weren't able to make out the sex of Baby #2.  Then there was the gross stuff that I had to drink for my gestational diabetes test that made me feel absolutely gross the rest of the day.  Of course, all of these things are silly and pale in comparison to some of the real issues that pregnant moms around the world really do face.  Imagine waiting for months, worrying if you and your baby will even survive.  Imagine being in labor and not having any access to any kind of health care.  I think we can all agree that prenatal care and trained personnel during labor and delivery can be lifesavers…truly.

Every TWO minutes, a woman dies from preventable causes related to pregnancy and birth.  Something that is a beautiful gift and "routine" in America can be life threatening to those without the proper help and care.  Samahope is here to help those women who are in that exact situation.  It is a fantastic organization that allows anyone, anywhere to directly fund doctors’ life-changing medical treatments for women and children in need.  This year, Samahope is on a mission to protect even more women and children in need.  

Cigna SamaHopeThe 10,000 Lives Campaign will help 5,000 moms and 5,000 babies – 10,000 lives.  Samahope is dedicated to helping this many people and won't stop until they reach their goal of funding enough birth kits!  They are currently only half-way there.  At Samahope, $5 helps fund a birth kit that includes the sterile tools to enable a Skilled Birth Attendant to protect a mother and child from life-threatening complications during childbirth.  $5 can save the lives of a mother and a baby!

The Cigna Foundation is supporting Samahope while it focuses on helping people overcome barriers to their health and well-being related to factors such as ethnicity, race, gender, age, geography or economics. This year’s Cigna Foundation World of Difference grant to Samahope is helping to train local nurses and fund doctors in India to provide treatment and surgery for people in need.

If you want to help, $5 can buy one birth kit that will help one mother and baby.  You can donate at the Samahope site.  

Samahope is on a mission to help 5,000 women deliver their babies safely, and we can all help!  With the cost of a coffee or two, we can save two lives.  That is just mindblowing to me and gives me chills.  Can we all pitch in to help women and babies in need?

Cigna SamaHope

How to Make Your Sick Toddler Feel Better…Naturally

How to Make Your Sick Toddler Feel Better...NaturallyWith the first cool, fall wind blowing through Texas, I know that it's time to start preparing for cold and flu season.  We all have bouts with allergies, viruses, coughs, and more during fall and winter, despite all that we do to prevent us from getting sick.  Sometimes all of the prevention is not good enough, and we need to have things on hand just to make the littles feel better when they're sick!

A few years ago, we were able to try Maty's Healthy Products.  We really enjoyed their natural products for kids, so I was happy to stock our medicine cabinet with Maty's products once again.   Wouldn't you know, Baby Brother, who is almost 2, came down with a cold last week and developed a pretty nasty cough that kept waking him up at night.  I rubbed some Maty's Baby Chest Rub on his feet and put a pair of socks on him and sent him back to bed.  The all natural baby chest rub did the trick and he was able to sleep the rest of the night without his cough waking him up.  And you know, if it helps the baby to sleep better and NOT wake me up all night, then it's a huge blessing!

How to Make Your Sick Toddler Feel Better...NaturallyI love that Maty's baby chest rub is all natural, petroleum and menthol free, and well…it works!  I'll admit, I had my doubts, but the way it helped Baby Brother night after night, really has me sold.

How to Make Your Sick Toddler Feel Better...NaturallyI've become frustrated with coughs since having children.  It's just so sad to hear your little ones coughing and not being able to sleep soundly.  We have tried numerous things to treat coughs, but there really aren't very many choices for cough syrup for any kids under about 6, because they are not safe.  Maty's provides drug-free relief with their cough syrup for children.  Just look at the ingredients list:How to Make Your Sick Toddler Feel Better...Naturally

My last "must have" for the cold and flu season is Maty's petroleum free baby ointment.  This stuff is great for diaper rashes, eczema, and the sore and red nose that comes from wiping it a million times a day.  (My secret tip that I learned from hubby is to sneak in after they go to sleep and slather them with this stuff so they don't fuss and rub it off!)  It works to protect the skin and create a barrier from moisture.  And the fact that it's natural and petroleum free is awesome!

How to Make Your Sick Toddler Feel Better...Naturally

Maty's is available in many places, including my favorite grocery store, HEB, along with Amazon, Target, and the Maty's website.  Also, look on the site for the store locator, product info, and all about these wonderful products!

How do you prepare for cold and flu season?

Glow-In-The-Dark Star Wars Pyramid Bean Bags

My little guys are really getting into "Star Wars."  It all started with "Angry Birds Star Wars," oddly enough, but now they're crazy about it.  So much so, that the Captain is going to be Darth Vader and D will be Luke Skywalker for Halloween.  Hubby loves the movies and while the boys haven't seen them yet, they love reading about Star Wars, hearing Daddy talk about it, and of course role-playing.  Hubby can't wait to see the new Star Wars movie!

A few months ago, I found some adorable Star Wars glow-in-the-dark fabric on eBay and knew I needed to get a project started for the boys.  I remember learning how to make pyramid bean bags in college in an Elementary Physical Education class, and I knew the boys would flip for Star Wars bean bags!  (I found this awesome glow-in-the-dark Darth Vader material on Amazon if you can't locate this particular print on eBay.)  Star Wars is HUGELY popular right now, in case you missed it, so you can probably easily find fabric that you love.  (Also, in the pictures, if you are wondering, is the awesomely cool Millennium Falcon from Playskool.  It has been a HUGE hit with all three boys.  It comes with R2-D2, Han Solo, and Chewbacca, and Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker are sold seperately.)

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