Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of the links, I get a few coins. 

I, a 32 year old woman, am excited for Evie, our Elf on the Shelf to return. She's become the official entree into the Christmas season for our family.

What is Elf on the Shelf?

If you aren't familiar with Elf on the Shelf, they are magical elf dolls. They come with a book that introduces the Elf as an emissary of Santa who is sent to the households of little boys and girls to report back to Santa on how they are behaving. Each day during your Elf on the Shelf season (for us, that is the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Day) the Elf pops up around the house leaving treats and getting into shenanigans. The elves are magic, and children are instructed not to touch them, or else the elf will lose their magic.

Online you are bound to see memes from parents who wake up in the middle of the night panicked because they forgot to move the Elf, or parents lamenting about trying to come up with new Elf on the Shelf ideas for each day. We keep things pretty simple in our house, but fantastical enough that our daughter really enjoys our time with Evie the Elf. I'm here to bring you some cool ideas, but ones easy enough that you don't have to stress yourself too much to make the magic.

Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas

The first thing I will note is that our Elf on the Shelf always gets one new outfit each season. So the day they debut their outfit is an idea all in itself. Last year we went with a super hero outfit, this year we're planning on getting Evie some sort of dress. There are plenty of Elf on the Shelf outfits you can buy or make easily. 

An elf doll dressed as a super hero

Incorporate Existing Toys

Some of the most fun situations we put Evie in were utilizing our daughter's toys. She's ridden on Marshal from the Paw Patrol and Thomas the Tank Engine, took Skye from Paw Patrol's helicopter for a spin, and played her own solo fishing game. 

An elf doll riding a Dalmatian dog

Elf doll riding a train toy

Add your Elf to your holiday decor

Evie managed to get herself on top of the Christmas tree, inside my holiday lantern, and wrapped up under the tree. 

Some of our other favorite Elf on the Shelf ideas are when Evie got caught in a spider web, when she snuck into the Cheerios box, when we found her after a bath, when she made her super hero entrance by flying in and when she left our daughter a little message on the refrigerator. 

What are your favorite Elf on the Shelf Ideas?


Friday, November 9, 2018

Don't Be Afraid to Ask

I was recently asked to join an event planning committee. In the initial email invitation they offered me childcare during the planning meeting if I needed it, and a small stipend.

This is a dream! It's ideal because not only are accommodations being made for me as a mom and a stipend being offered, all of these accommodations were arranged prior to reaching out to me, without me even having to ask. This is ideal, but this is not normal, unfortunately.

I have come to a place in my life where I cannot be afraid to ask about compensation or accommodations for children when I’m requested for things like committees, boards, panels, etc.

If they are reaching out to you they value your presence, so don’t be afraid to ask: 

Is there compensation?
Is there childcare?
Is it child friendly?

For a long time I was scared to ask about compensation for my time. I thought it somehow made me less professional. After having my daughter, and now that I work for myself, I better understand that my time indeed does have value. You don’t have to turn down opportunities that are completely volunteer, but it’s important to ask.

I also was scared to ask about child-friendly spaces or child-care, especially as a Black mom. I thought it would make me come off as unprepared or unable to handle my own family. But the bottom line is I am a mom and parents need and deserve accommodations for their children. Too often children are looked at as not belonging in spaces, but guess what? We were all children once! And children are a part of society, so where possible, I believe there should be more flexibility for having children in spaces and trusting that parents know what their child can and can’t handle socially. I don’t have to bring my daughter with me, but its lovely to know when I can, especially for volunteer endeavors.

Have you been afraid to ask?

P.S. - If anyone is interested in a post about how you as an organizer or organization can be more parent friendly let me know, and I’d be happy to write a post with simple tips. 


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Trident VIBES Rebate

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TridentVibes #CollectiveBias

What’s better than getting something free after purchasing your favorite gum? You simply upload your Walmart receipt, including the purchase of Trident VIBES® gum, and wait for it to be validated and you'll receive a $5 iTunes gift card. Trident VIBES® has this rebate offer running until 11/1!


Sunday, October 14, 2018

Custom Cards and Stationary Made Easy with Basic Invite

I received product complimentary from Basic Invite. All opinions are my own. 

Get Holiday Cards Out of the Way Early 

It's October. Why am I thinking about Holiday Cards already? Because if I don't start planning now they will never get sent out! I don't know how many years I've waited until after Thanksgiving to start planning holiday cards and then I either give up because there isn't enough time, or end up sending things after the New Year. Not this year. This year I already have my holiday cards in and it's not even November yet! The holiday season is just SO busy, anything I can check off this early is a plus. 

I got my cards from Basic Invite. It was so simple. Within minutes I had chosen my design, edited the text, uploaded my photo, and was done. Our card this year features BabyCakes, but if you want to showcase your pup they have a few cute dog Christmas cards in their designs. Thinking ahead, I also got some custom Thank You Cards to send out to folks who send us holiday cheer. Both sets of cards also came with envelopes, and there are 40 different envelope color options. 

Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different colors. 

custom holiday cards

custom thank you cards

What's a major blocker in getting Holiday Cards out on time? Addresses! 

Basic Invite offers an address capturing service that allows customers to simply share a link on social media or via e-mail to request their friends and family’s addresses which will be stored in your account and can then be selected during the design process. Basic Invite offers recipient address printing at no cost on all Holiday Card orders.

Not Just Christmas Cards

Basic Invite offers more than just Christmas cards. There is still time to pick up Halloween party invitations cute and creative Thanksgiving dinner invitations. They also offer foil cards in gold, silver, and rose gold which are perfect for New Year's Eve party invitations or New Years cards. 

custom halloween cards

custom thanksgiving cards

Give Basic Invite a try for yourself. Right now they are offering 30% off with coupon code: holi30 

Are you ready for the Holidays?


Friday, October 12, 2018

fairlife Deals at Peapod

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TwoMilksInAPod #CollectiveBias

Connect to what’s real. The best ingredients start at the farm. Dairy farmers across the U.S. are passionate about caring for cows and leaving the land better than they found it because that means a fresher product for you and your family. Celebrate the farmers behind the foods you love! Buy more, save more at Buy any two 52oz. fairlife products for $6.00 now through November 9th!


Monday, October 8, 2018

Fresh Kids' Meals Options for Wendy's + Giveaway

Disclosure: I received the gift cards for my meal and the gift cards I'm giving away from the Wendy's + Shamrock Farms Teams. All opinions are my own. 

wendy's kids meals

Today after a very fun trip to the park our little family of three took a trip to Wendy's for lunch. I absolutely consider strategic trips to the drive thru a Working Motherhood hack. Whether its because of a time crunch between activities or no drive to cook after a long day of work and extracurricular activities being able to grab food on-the-go is an awesome convenience. It's great that Wendy's and Shamrock Farms have teamed up to offer fresh options in Kids' Meals - milk (regular and chocolate!), grilled chicken wraps, and a seasonal Strawberry and Blueberry cup. 

wendy's kids meal

wendy's kids meal

I have $30 in gift cards that I'd like to give away to one of my lovely readers! Enter in the Rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway closes midnight October 15th. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Fall Bathroom Upgrade with DIY Toilet Paper Pumpkins

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FamilyCountsOnClean  #KeepLifeRolling #CollectiveBias

DIY Toilet paper pumpkin

Finally. Finally! It is officially fall. I'm so excited. Fall brings many of my favorite things - sweater weather, warm beverages, fall holidays, changing leaves, boots and leggings, and fall decor! I managed to wait until the official start of fall to start this year's decorating. Today I'm going to share some very simple ways to upgrade your bathroom for the fall. 

DIY Toilet Paper Pumpkin

Roll of Scott® ComfortPlus Toilet Paper™
Orange tissue paper
Green ribbon

This craft is so simple to do and offers a really cute fall accent to the bathroom. Take a large sheet of tissue paper - the 20 in X 26 in size is perfect for this craft - and lay it completely flat on your table. Place your roll of toilet paper in the center. 

diy toilet paper pumpkins

Gather all four corners of your tissue paper and twist all the excess.

Bend your excess paper to create your stem, and tie a green ribbon around it. 

And there you have it, a toilet paper pumpkin! Our family uses Scott® ComfortPlus™ Toilet Paper because its tested for strength and designed for comfort. The sheets are thick, plush, strong, and Septic Safe. We get our toilet paper at Family Dollar, and they currently have a deal for Scott® ComfortPlus™ 12ct Big Roll - just $4.25 ($0.75 Smart Coupon) valid from 9/2 - 10/22.

Basket of Gourds

Small basket
Faux gourds
Tissue paper
Grab a small basket and some faux gourds. You don't actually need enough gourds to fill the basket, you can use your tissue paper to fill the basket and place your gourds on top. This offers a cute fall harvest feel. 

toilet paper pumpkin

Small accents

Some other small fall accents you can add to upgrade your bathroom for the season are fall shower curtains and simple fall stems in the center of your paper towel holder. These small changes really brings your bathroom into fall!

fall shower curtain

In our paper towel holder we have Scott® Paper Towels because they're super absorbent and quickly soak up messes - which we have a lot of with a pre-schooler in the house lol. Family Dollar has a deal currently for Scott® Paper Towels 6ct Mega Roll  - just $5.25 ($0.75 Smart Coupon) valid from 9/2 - 10/22.

Check out the Family Dollar store finder to locate a store near you and pick up Scott® Toilet Paper and Scott® Paper Towels!

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