Are you overwhelmed with all of the STUFF that seems to come along with this time of year?
Are you trying to be a bit more minimalist and conscious of what you buy?
Do the little ones that you're buying for already seem to have every toy known to man?
You may want to consider a non-toy gift!
Gifting your child (or a loved ones child) an experience as opposed to a toy is a great option this holiday season. Particularly in the colder winter months, having activities to look forward to and get you out of the house can be a total sanity-saver, when getting outside isn't an option.
Here are a few of my favorite non-toy gift ideas:
1. Swim Lessons
Swim lessons are a great option, because not only are they fun, but your child will be learning a valuable life skill that could very well save their life one day. We've had my 4 year old enrolled at Goldfish Swim School for the past few months, and I can't recommend them enough. The progress he's made has been incredible, and the confidence that I've seen him gain is priceless.
Goldfish currently have a holiday gift package available that saves you $100! Plus you can save an additional $10 by using code HOLIDAYREBECCAJ. I'd recommend calling your local Metro Detroit Goldfish location as the quantities are limited.
2. Zoo Membership
A zoo membership is a great gift idea for the animal loving kids in your life! It gets them outside, walking, and gives them the opportunity to see many animals that they never would ordinarily. Just keep in mind whether the recipient lives close enough to the local zoo to make this a worthwhile gift.
3. Membership to Indoor Play Area
For the past couple of winters we've bought a family membership to our local indoor play place, and BOY has that come in handy. I'd obviously prefer them be playing outside at the park, but living in Michigan in the winter, that's not always possible. Having a bright, warm place for them to run around and burn off steam on a dreary, cold day has been great. This is a great idea for the little ones in your life with tons of extra energy to burn- their parents will thank you!
4. Membership to Nature Center
Most nature centers host programs and classes throughout the year that are free to members. An annual membership would be a great way to encourage getting outside and learning more about the natural world.
5. Movie Theater Passes
Movie passes with the promise of a movie date is a great option for spending quality time together. A special movie date always feels like a big deal for little ones, and is a great wintertime activity.
6. Weekend Getaway
If you're really trying to ditch the "stuff" this year and would prefer to make memories with your family, a weekend trip to a fun hotel with a nice pool or even an indoor waterpark is a great (albeit pricier) option! Just imagine the excitement on your child's face when they open up a box with a certificate for a trip to a waterpark they've just been DYING to go to- so fun!
7. Museum Pass
Have an amazing museum in your area? Even better, a children's museum? Take advantage of that and gift a membership to your little ones. Museums are a great place to walk around and obviously a great place to learn about art. Not totally committed to ditching "stuff"? Gift the museum pass with a nice art set!
I hope this was helpful if you're trying the less is more approach this Christmas and would prefer to spend your money making memories.
What are some of your favorite non-toy gift ideas? Let me know in the comments!
It's officially Fall and that means PSL season!
But have you taken a look at the nutrition facts? There are 50 grams of sugar in a grande Pumpkin Spice Latte- yeah, hard pass on that. Now I'm not judging, everyone needs a treat now and then (you do you boo), but it's definitely not something that I'd recommend drinking on the regular.
I've been making an at home dupe that tastes JUST like the Sbux version that we all know and love without all of the additives and refined sugar. Plus, it won't cost you $6 and a half hour in the drive-thru line.
Here's what you'll need:
Combine all ingredients except milk in a mug. Froth milk if you have a frother (if you don't, it will still have that PSL flavor!). Add milk to coffee mixture. Sprinkle with additional pumpkin pie spice and enjoy!
Are you a PSL fan? Tell me in the comments!
*Full disclosure- this post contains a couple of affiliate links, however I only share products that I use and love.
Flu season is upon us, and while I don’t love the germs, I’m also not terribly worried about them either. For the last couple of years I’ve had a protocol for cold and flu season that has worked well for us. Don’t get me wrong- we still get sick, but I’ve noticed that my little ones don’t seem to catch every little thing they come in contact with, and when they do get sick, they seem to get over it very quickly.
Here’s our daily, preventative supplement regimen for cold and flu season. We take these supplements in additionto our multi-vitamins:
Vitamin C (I like THIS whole-food spray from Garden of Life)
Vitamin D (I like THESE drops)
Probiotics (I take THIS one, and my little ones use THIS one)
Elderberry syrup (HERE is the recipe that I make for my family)
Cod liver oil (THIS is the one we use)
Homeopathic flu pellets (I like THIS brand)
Intensive Regimen When Actively Fighting off a Virus
Thieves Essential Oil
When actively fighting off a virus, we also take the following every few hours instead of just once a day: Vitamin C, elderberry syrup, flu pellets. I also like to eat LOTS of fresh, organic garlic. You can’t really over do this, so make sure to add it to whatever you’re cooking. If you’re feeling brave, you can chop a clove or two finely, and add it to a TBSP of ACV- top off with water, and down the hatch! This is a remedy that I really swear by.
Those are my secrets to getting through cold and flu season with as little fuss as I think is possible with little ones. What are some of your tried and true remedies? Tell me in the comments!
*Keep in mind, I’m not a doctor. Just a Mama sharing what I do for my family. This is in no way intended to be medical advice.
*Also keep in mind, some of the links above are affiliate links.
I don't know about you, but one of my favorite dishes to order when I go out to eat is shrimp scampi. It feels luxurious and decadent- a total treat! But what if I told you that you could make scampi for your whole family at home for about the same price as one entree at a restaurant AND you can control the quality (GF, grass-fed, wild-caught). Saving money and better for you?! Total win!
Here's what you'll need:
Here's what you'll need to do:
There you have it! A weeknight meal that feels a little elevated. Let me know if you plan to try this recipe or if you already have, I'd love to hear what you think of it in the comments!
Is there anything else quite like a sweet, creamy, ice-cold Frappuccino? There's no denying that they're delicious, but with a whopping 44 grams of sugar (grande caramel), plus some less than desirable additives, it's probably best left as an occasional treat.
I've come up with a tasty alternative that satisfies cravings, but leaves you feeling guilt-free.
What you'll need:
Combine all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth. Super simple, and tasty!
*This post contains affiliate links, however I only share affiliate links for products that I love and actually use. Honest.
My 3 year old loves Mac and cheese. I mean, he REALLY loves it. This kid would eat it for every meal if I let him. We typically buy a gluten-free boxed Mac and cheese and he eats it once a week-ish for lunch. Last week he asked for it, but we were all out- I noticed however that we had all of the ingredients for homemade, so I put my Mom pants on, and decided to get a little fancy.
We stayed at Stafford's Crooked River Lodge this past weekend with the boys, and it was a perfect, much needed getaway. We haven't been on a trip since before Henry was born. We attempted a weekend getaway last year when Henry was about six weeks old, but it was just too much for me so newly postpartum. So, needless to say, it's been awhile and a weekend away was much needed for us.
We typically rent Airbnb's when we travel, but we decided that a hotel might be more fun and feel more "vacation-like" for the boys, so we decided to see what was in the area. After a quick search, we came across the Crooked River Lodge and decided that it looked perfect... and let me tell you- it WAS perfect! It was so family friendly- I can't recommend it enough.
When we had our first son, Jack we were gifted a salve from a local soap company that used clean ingredients and we absolutely loved it. It was great for dry baby skin and rashes on little booty's, and the light scent of lavender essential oil and the healing oils was amazing. We were on a TIGHT budget though, so when we eventually ran out, I decided to try to recreate it. I took the wise words of Daniel Tiger to heart, "if there's something you need, try to make it yourseeeelfff", and gave it a shot!
Ever heard of an armpit detox? Well if you’re using a natural deodorant or interested in switching to one (milk of magnesia is a great option by the way. You can read more about that HERE), to see the best results you’ll want to do an armpit detox. The main reason your pits may get stinky is actually due to toxins that build up (partly as a result of using chemical-filled deodorants. Ironic, right?). The bentonite clay in this recipe helps to pull toxins out, while the apple cider vinegar and tree oil are both anti-fungal and anti-microbial.
Birkenstock Arizona Slide in Copper
I feel like these sandals say a lot about me - practical, but a little extra ;)
I love Birkenstocks because they offer great support, and they're super comfortable for walking in the summertime. Supportive shoes can help with foot problems, and help to keep your back in alignment. They can be an investment, but I think it's totally worthwhile to have good walking shoes or sandals.
You can shop the ones I've been loving this spring HERE.
I'm the Mama of two boys, and wife to a good man. I'm on a mission to make healthy living more attainable for families.