Jungle Cruise Movie Review

Get ready for an action-packed adventure into the jungle with Disney’s latest attraction-based film, “The Jungle Cruise.”  Starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Emily Blunt, this movie hits all the good notes!  Johnson plays Frank Wolff, who is a jungle cruise riverboat captain, while Blunt plays British scientist Dr. Lily Houghton.  Their two paths cross when Frank is hired by Lily and her brother MacGregor on a mission into a jungle to find the “Tree of Life,” which is believed to possess healing powers that come from its petals.  All the while, the three must fight off the jungle’s deadly environment, wild animals, and a competing Imperial German expedition that is determined to find the tree first.  The movie is set during WW1 and the tone and wardrobe match perfectly!

I was lucky enough to be invited to an early screening of the movie and being a huge Disneyland and Jungle Cruise attraction fan, I had my doubts.  Would it live up to the ride’s fun and silly atmosphere, or would it take itself too seriously? Would Johnson and Blunt’s characters show natural chemistry, or did they simply cast well known actors to score a big box office opening?  With the film being based on a Disney ride with no previous back story, I was expecting the entire experience to be a cheesy waste of my time.  Boy, was I WRONG!

I honestly don’t remember the last time I had that much fun watching a movie!  The script was excellent, and the storyline was creative and deep rooted.  There we’re to be expected, a lot of silly Jungle Cruise jokes that I laughed at harder than most! If you have ever taken a trip on the Jungle Cruise at the Disneyland Resort, you know you cannot leave the dock without hearing some silly jokes thanks to the Skipper, so having a lot of them made the ride feel present throughout the film. There was a ton of action that had me sitting on the edge of my seat, which I absolutely love! The biggest surprise for me was the undeniable chemistry that Johnson and Blunt have!  It’s never a pair that I personally would see succeeding on screen together, but somehow, it’s the “chef’s kiss” to a seemingly perfect Disney film. 

 The rating says PG-13 but being a mom of a 9-year-old who loves the ride, I would comfortably take her with me to see the film again.  It does have some action violence, but the scarier characters in the film are not over the top scary.  There are also a few subtle Disney references throughout the film, as well as a ton of laughs!  The movie isn’t too long either, making this a great family outing for you and the older ones.  I highly recommend Disney’s “The Jungle Cruise” to anyone who’s looking for a fun few hours at the movies!

My Top “3 Ingredient” Trader Joes Dinner Recipes

Cooking meals during the week can already be a serious challenge. It’s a constant balance between simple, affordable, and delicious, and one of those always tends to suffer. I love that Trader Joes has a variety of original food blends to make meals a bit more adventurous, while always keeping cost in mind. I can walk into a Trader Joes and get a week’s worth of meals using only a handful of ingredients for each, and the meals will always be a hit for the entire family. Make a delicious dinner in three ingredients or less? Totally doable! I’ve listed three of my favorite “three ingredient dinner” recipes below to make tonight’s dinner that much easier! Seriously, THREE INGREDIENTS, GUYS. How can you argue with that!

Lemony Roasted Shrimp and Asparagus

Heat oven to 400ºF. Empty 1 (16-ounce) bag Raw Wild Argentinian Red Shrimp into a colander in the sink and run cool water over the shrimp, tossing occasionally, until defrosted, 5 to 10 minutes. Pat dry and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Empty 1 (12-ounce) bag frozen Grilled Asparagus Spears onto baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, toss to coat, and spread out in an even layer. Thinly slice 1 medium lemon, remove any seeds, and tuck the slices under the shrimp and asparagus. Roast, stirring halfway through, until shrimp are pink and opaque, 8 to 10 minutes total. Halve another 1 medium lemon crosswise, squeeze the juice over the shrimp and asparagus, and serve.

Sheet Pan Kale Gnocchi with Pesto and Veggies

Heat oven to 450ºF. Empty 2 (12-ounce) bags frozen Kale Gnocchi and 1 (14-ounce) bag frozen Organic Green Vegetable Foursome onto a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, and toss well to combine. Spread out in an even layer and roast, stirring halfway through, until gnocchi are plump and lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven, drizzle with 1 (7-ounce) container Genova Pesto, and toss to coat. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese, if you would like.

Green Goddess Skillet Chicken and Veggies

Cut 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts into 1/2-inch-thick strips and place in a large zip-top bag or shallow bowl. Drizzle with about 3/4 of a 1 (11-ounce) bottle Green Goddess Salad Dressing and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to marinate. Meanwhile, halve 1 (12-ounce) bag Organic Radishes of Many Colors (or quarter if large).  Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Using tongs, remove chicken from the marinade, shaking off any excess marinade, and add to the skillet in a single layer. Sauté until cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes, then transfer to a plate.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet. Add the radishes, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until browned in spots and crisp-tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Return chicken to skillet and toss to combine. Remove from heat, drizzle with remaining dressing, garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired, and serve.

My Daily Skincare Routine

Okay no judgement here, but I am totally new to the “skincare routine” game. My past routines consisted of looking for products on sale and then forgetting to use them. Basically, I had no routine or regimen to speak of. I am now heading into my mid- thirties and taking care of my skin is now more important than ever. From fine lines and wrinkles, to this weird phase of hormonal acne, my skin is all over the place. It feels caught somewhere between an angry teenager and a cool grandmother, and there is an endless supply of brands available to buy….so who is the best fit for me? Well, everyone has a different answer to this question. It all depends on things like price point and preference in ingredients. There are an endless number of high priced brands that I would love to put into my daily routine. But as a mother and someone who is helping to save up for our dream home, spending $$$ on skincare isn’t really where I am at. I am a firm believer that you don’t have to spend a ton to get great skin, and I found a fantastic company that completely fits that mold. Go Pure Beauty is that perfect blend of fantastic ingredients at a great price point, and I’ll be a fan of theirs for life!

I was introduced to Go Pure when the company approached me to collaborate with them. As I mentioned before, I’m a total newbie to the skincare game, so I figured I would give it a try. Go Pure sent me their entire product line to try, and I’m still working through the options. While on my new skincare journey, I have discovered which products best suit my personal skincare needs. If you’re not sure what your skincare needs are, and want to be sure before purchasing, they provide a “skin quiz” that can help guide you to the best options after a few basic questions. I wanted to give this company and their products enough time to see a visible difference, and I can now honestly say I’ve never loved my skin more! All of their products are made with the best and most gentle ingredients around, only adding things that are necessary to improve the quality of your skin. I love that most of their products are unscented, and the ones that are scented smell like a spa day. From their serums to their moisturizers, you really cant go wrong with whatever line of products you choose with Go Pure. I’ve put together my routine I do each morning to get my skin looking flawless and ready to “face the day” in hopes that I can help you find your next skincare BFF too!

Step One: Vitamin C Cleanser

When creating a masterpiece, you need to start on a blank canvas, right? Well, no blank canvas is ready to be created on if it’s dirty. Avoid harsh ingredients that will strip your skin and snag Go Pure’s “Vitamin C Cleanser.” It’s sulfate-free and gently cleanses your face with nourishing Vitamin C. It visibly brightens and hydrates the face, and leaves it feeling fresh and clean and ready for the day. I like that it leaves my face feeling a little tingly, like it had a great shower or something.

Vitamin C Cleanser

Step Two: Hydrating Toner

After I’ve washed my face, it’s time for a swipe of toner. This gentle toner helps visibly hydrate dry skin, prepping it for things like serums and moisturizers. It primes and brightens the skin, and removes any unwanted dirt that the cleanser may have left behind. If you’re new to toners and their benefits, this toner is a great one to start with. Some of the benefits of toners are:

  • it shrinks pores
  • it restores your skin’s PH balance
  • It adds a layer of protection
  • it refreshes the skin
  • it can prevent ingrown hairs
  • it acts like a moisturizer
Hydrating Toner

Step Three: Youth Glow Eye Gel

The cursed under eye circles and how telling they can be. I’m a creature of habit, and one of my habits is rubbing my eyes. I rub them when I’m tired and when I’m stressed. I rub them when my makeup is feeling crusty and dry. I always rub them. It’s a killer to the blood vessels under my eyes and I have a serious problem with dark circles. Skip the expensive eye creams and try the “Youth Glow” eye gel by Go Pure. The smooth formula is less heavy than most other eye creams, making it perfect for optimal absorption. Its great for during the day, before putting on your makeup, or at nighttime before heading to bed. I love the cooling effect it gives when its been applied. It makes me feel like a trip to the spa, and also like it’s absorbing into the skin and doing its job.

Youth Glow Eye Gel

Step Four: Vitamin C Serum

How often do you use a serum? If it’s not daily, you’re really missing out on some serious skin benefits! Formulated with antioxidants, the Vitamin C serum can help your skin look brighter and younger, while reducing the appearance of age spots and discoloration. Like I have mentioned before, my age is starting to hit the area where anti-aging is a big factor in what I choose. This serum combats those issues while brightening up my skin. Made with Green Tea, Vitamins C and E, as well as Ferulic Acid, its a combination that can’t be beat!

Vitamin C Serum

Step Five: Vitamin C Moisturizer

This is the moisturizer to end all other moisturizers. I love that this beauty feels thick enough to really do the job, but not so thick that I worry about clogging pores and feeling too sticky. It’s super hydrating and can help improve your skintone. Its unscented, which makes it a great base to use before applying your makeup, or adding that extra level of hydration to your skin before bed. This is my last step before being ready to apply my makeup for the day, which is very minimal. I would say that my skincare routine is twice as long as my makeup routine, but each step is necessary and worth it. Its the “me time” I desperately needed in my life, and a sacred part of my day. We all deserve a little extra pampering from time to time, but this regimen should be a staple to your daily life.

Vitamin C Day Moisturizer

Honorable Mentions

Go Pure Nourishing Body Cream

This tube of hydration is literally my favorite body lotion on the planet! First off, the smell is heavenly! It smells like a trip to a spa in Bali and I couldn’t love something more! Made with Vitamin E, Avocado Oil, and Sea Kelp, it completely hydrates the skin without weighing it down. I use it after the shower and after I shave, or whenever my skin feels dry.

Nourishing Body Cream

Go Pure Enzyme Masque

My bestfriend when it comes to “self care day.” I use this when my skin needs a little extra love and attention, or whenever Dan is home to help give me 30 minutes away from the kids. Unlike some masques, this one goes on smoothly while absorbing into the skin quickly. It helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, redness and dry patches. It restores and hydrates without stripping the skin of its nutrients. A total staple in my skincare kit.

Restorative Enzyme Mask

You can visit Go Pure and take their skincare quiz to find your perfect skincare line. They help you save when you bundle your products together, also I highly recommend starting with a few items to save the most money. You can purchase all I’ve mentioned above, as well as shop their other incredible products at:


Whatever line you choose on your skincare journey, make sure you research what would be best for you. We all have different skin types, and if we do our homework and look at the list of ingredients, we’re bound to find a match best suited for us. I talk all about Go Pure, because they provide various lines of products suited to fit the majority of us. I also like that their ingredients are gentle, and so I can recommend them to you without worrying your skin will be mad at me. But, my journey is my journey, and I’m only here to provide suggestion and a bit of insight. What is MOST important, is that you start something for yourself. Yes, nice skin is nice. But there is something about taking that “mandatory 10-20 minutes” on yourself in a time where we all our spreading ourselves so thin that is so therapeutic. Don’t forget how important and incredible you are and how spending some time and a little bit of money on yourself is not a crime. Enjoy the process of finding your skincare tribe, but definitely give Go Pure a look!

Apps You Need To Run Your Life Like A Boss

If you’re anything like me, your phone is basically an addtional part of your body. Your bestfriend who’s just always there for you. What I’m trying to say is, if you’re anything like me, your phone is always around. Why not use this incredible gadget to streamline your life a bit more? With the endless app choices out there, it’s impossible to know all of the helpful ones that are available to you. I’ve rounded up some of my favorites, along with some options I have saved for the future in case I need. I hope this list helps you navigate this crazy thing we called life with a bit more ease.


Are those home repairs adding up due to COVID? Has the broken shower handle or leak under the faucet reached a point where you just cant ignore it anymore? The “Handy” app helps you hire local contractors in your area and helps you price compare for the best possible deal! So, whether it’s a full blown fix or a simple upgrade, leave it up to the professionals to handle the job!


Anyone else just thriving through this “work from home” stage in our lives?! Seriously, I could stay like this forever! No need to sit in traffic, I can leave my sweatpants on all day and won’t get fired for it, the list of reasons can go on and on! It definitely has its perks, but also its setbacks. When it comes to having quick conversations with team members, you cant just hop onto a Zoom each time! Want to send a message to multiple team members? Slack is great for getting on-the-fly communication to everyone you need, minus the group text pile up that can happen with the basic texting format. Create channels, set alerts, comment, and organize, all in one!


The app to close all the confusion when it comes to how your precious Instagram “grid” will look with future posts. Simply download this app and sync to your social media channel and you can place photos in designated spots to see how your layout will look in the future. This gives you a chance to see if your editing and aesthetic is cohesive and the overall look is what you’re envisioning. Want to know something better? It also helps plan out your content for as far out as you want! Want to batch work your content? Do so, then plug it away for future reference. Unlike Hootsuite, which will post for you by scheduling the app to do so, you will still need to post your content manually. This does however, take the headache of keeping your content cohesive out, and I’m totally here for it.


Doing a little Spring cleaning? Are you realizing that some of your pieces in your closet are no longer your style? Don’t assume your trash isn’t someone else’s treasure! List your items on Poshmark and start to make a bit (or a lot) of side money to trade in for fresher fits. The thing I love about the app is they away the headache of selling your goods. From categorizing your items based on type or designer, to getting alerts sent straight to your phone when an item has been sold, it is all too easy! When an item sells, they calculate the cost of shipping in the order and send you a printable shipping label to mail it out. When your item has been received, your earnings show up in your bank account! Cha-Ching!! Who doesn’t love a random payday!


This app is your little bodyguard in your pocket, alerting you when danger may be near. Okay, that sounds super dramatic, but it’s kind of true. The Citizen app is great for those individuals who mainly live in the city. If you’re traveling to a new city, or simply taking a long vacation somewhere new, this is also a good app to look into. Users get location based alerts regarding “risky situations” and dangerous events happening, so that you can stay safe at home and avoid any potential danger. It’s also an interactive app too! You can leave comments and advice, check in on ongoing reports, and access safety tracking for your family. It keeps you just that much safer during an unsure time in our world. Peace of mind is totally worth checking out this app over.


When your brain just wont stop going and you need a moment of clarity, bless this perfect little app! I’ve personally found it hard to turn out the world while attempting meditation, but like all things, with practice comes improvement! Headspace makes it convenient to practice meditation anywhere, anytime. What once felt like a chore is now quite literally the most peaceful part of my day thanks to founder Andy Puddicombe’s desire to bring his Buddhist monk experience into our daily lives. Guided meditations of all sizes can be found on this app, so whether you have a lot of time to devote, or just a little, there’s something for everyone.


I’m going to warn you….this is a financial app. But before you roll your eyes and hate me for even bringing up the subject, give me just a second more of your time. Acorns is the app for people like me, who don’t know a thing about finances and investing. Stocks? Don’t know her. Acorns takes your spare change and makes it work for YOU. The app automatically takes your change (think small, like $1-$5) on a reoccurring basis, watching your portfolio for automatic balancing. You can also save for retirement based on your goals and income. It’s all figured out for you, you just need to fill in the info.


If you know me on any level, you know I thrive on productivity. An enneagram three at heart, I consider accomplishment a completely crossed off to do list and I’m not afraid to admit it. This app is not only good for productive souls but also for those seeking self improvement. Done helps you create healthy life habits by setting your goals and tracking your progress. It even sends you little motivational alerts. Get rid of those pesky bad habits and start to set realistic weekly and monthly goals for yourself. I am also a victim of losing my to do list around the house somewhere, so this helps cross off my day digitally in a place where I can’t lose it! Get things done and feel good doing it! What more can you ask for?!

Offer Up

When it comes to getting rid of big ticket items in your life like furniture, what do you do? Sometimes, the answer is heading to Goodwill or donating it to another second hand store. But, what if some of those items you are considering getting rid of actually still valuable? Try “Offer Up” and see your items get the value they deserve! Skip the annoying process of listing on Facebook or Craigslist and list your goods at Offer Up! We are always in the process of looking for good items to have when we move into our dream home, and this app has been an actual goldmine! I highly recommend!

St. Patrick’s Day Books You Need For Your Bookshelf

Bedtime in March is extra fun thanks to books that talk about Saint Patrick’s Day! Whether it’s chatting up shamrocks or how to catch a Leprechaun, snagging a few festive books can really make this time of year extra special. Grabbing these books can also make for great gifts on Saint Patricks Day as well! I’ve compiled a list of our favorite Saint Patrick’s Day stories as well as the links to shop easily from home! Happy reading!

Pete The Cat: The Great Leprechaun Chase
You’re My Little Lucky Charm
The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day
How To Catch A Leprechaun
Ten Lucky Leprechauns
Jamie O’ Rourke And The Big Potato
Little Man Of Disneyland
A Fine Saint Patrick’s Day
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Clover
Celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day: History, Traditions, and Activities- A Holiday Book For Kids

Bridgerton Must Haves For Your Inner Duchess

It is no secret that Bridgerton has completely taken the world by storm. From the juicy storyline, to the dreamy cast and costumes, what’s not to love?! Just like most of you, I’ve already watched the series three or four times over, and have spent way too much time searching the internet for pieces that could make me feel as close to a Bridgerton extra as possible. Instead of keeping it a secret, I’ve decided to follow in the footsteps of my fellow author, Lady Whistledown, and spill the tea on where to get them. it may not make you the actual Duchess of Hastings, but it’ll make you feel pretty close to the Diamond of the First water, even in your own home.

Poshmark and Depop

I know this sounds a bit vague, but I started my search here, and it led me to some of my favorite finds. The secret is in the keywords you choose to use in the search term. It is a time piece televsion show, so it leans more to costume than wearable fashion. Here are a list of keywords I found to be successful when searching for items froem dresses to gloves and more:

  • “Regency Dress”
  • “Regency Costume”
  • “Jane Austen Dress”
  • “Bridgerton”
  • “Victorian Dress”
  • “Puff Sleeve Dress”
  • “Vintage Puff Sleeve Dress”
  • “Cottagecore”
  • “Vintage Gown”
  • “Victorian”
  • “Empire Waist Gown”
  • “Victorian Costume”
  • “Lace Vintage Gloves”

The goldmine for all things Bridgerton fashion, if you’re not looking to spend and arm and a leg trying out the style. The dresses are beautiful, and they have fun accessories for a fraction of the price you would pay anywhere else. Locating the pieces takes a bit of time, so I’ve linked some of the pieces I personally bought, or have my eye on, that will help the process a bit.

https://us.shein.com/Puff-Sleeve-Appliques-Front-Self-Belted-Dress-p-1776604-cat-1727.html https://us.shein.com/Flower-Lace-Gloves-p-2025270-cat-1772.html
https://us.shein.com/Rhinestone-Decor-Hair-Hoop-p-1368407-cat-1778.html https://us.shein.com/Crown-Design-Rhinestone-Hair-Accessory-p-1869117-cat-1778.html https://us.shein.com/Solid-Long-Pleated-Gloves-p-1946582-cat-1772.html?scici=Search~~EditSearch~~1~~long_20gloves~~~~0~~0 https://us.shein.com/12pcs-Rhinestone-Decor-Hair-Accessory-p-1140306-cat-3017.html?scici=Search~~EditSearch~~1~~hair_20gems~~~~0~~0 https://us.shein.com/2pcs-Faux-Pearl-Rhinestone-Decor-Hair-Clip-p-1975637-cat-3017.html?scici=Search~~EditSearch~~1~~hair_20gems~~~~0~~0 https://us.shein.com/Bee-Decorated-Hair-Clip-2pcs-p-501749-cat-1778.html?scici=Search~~EditSearch~~1~~hair_20gems~~~~0~~0 https://us.shein.com/Faux-Pearl-Flower-Decor-Hair-Pin-p-1438701-cat-3017.html?scici=Search~~EditSearch~~1~~hair_20gems~~~~0~~0 https://us.shein.com/Rhinestone-Decor-Hair-Accessory-p-1493920-cat-3017.html?scici=Search~~EditSearch~~1~~hair_20gems~~~~0~~0 https://us.shein.com/Rhinestone-Flower-Design-Pendant-Necklace-p-392105-cat-1755.html?scici=Search~~EditSearch~~1~~diamond_20necklace~~~~0~~0
Forever 21

I’m here for embracing the Victorian side of fashion, but updating it so it has a more wearable feel. The pieces from Shein are adorable and fancy, but they strike me as a more costume feel. Forever 21 has great pieces that have that Bridgerton feel, but in a more wearable way. Ive linked a few of my favorites below.

https://www.forever21.com/us/2000412508.html https://www.forever21.com/us/2000412337.html https://www.forever21.com/us/2000411789.html https://www.forever21.com/us/1000426371.html https://www.forever21.com/us/2000408405.html

This is the absolute best place to find the most authentic looking items from Bridgerton. From the Lady Whistledown’s society paper download, to Daphne’s infamous necklace that she wears for most of the first season, this is the best place to get your Bridgerton items. Not only does shopping here support small shops, but these items are made by Bridgerton fans for Bridgerton fans. I’ve linked some of my favorite items below, so you can start to feel like you’re in the Netflix show yourself.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/950870481/bridgertons-lady-whistledown-society?ref=yr_purchases https://www.etsy.com/listing/935706095/bridgerton-daphne-14k-gold-fill-dainty?ref=yr_purchases https://www.etsy.com/listing/941203979/duchess-of-hastings-bridgerton?ref=yr_purchases https://www.etsy.com/listing/936611485/ce-bridgerton-soy-wax-candle-scented?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=bridgerton&ref=sr_gallery-1-15&organic_search_click=1&bes=1 https://www.etsy.com/listing/947559443/spill-the-tea-lady-whistledowns-society?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=bridgerton&ref=sr_gallery-2-49&organic_search_click=1&pro=1&frs=1&col=1 https://www.etsy.com/listing/752668567/1920s-hair-comb-wedding-hair-gatsby?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=feather+hair+piece&ref=sr_gallery-1-42&organic_search_click=1

This may seem like an obvious one, and it most certainly is a helpful site at that. Basically type anything into the search bar, and you’ll locate a great option for whatever you’re searching for. I’ve linked a few of my favorite finds, from Regency dresses to drinkware, Amazon had it all! I hope you find this list helpful and entertaining!

These are just a few items that could have you feeling like the Diamond Of the First Water in no time! I love taking these pieces and creating some magic with the camera, just for fun. Or, throw yourself a Bridgerton style viewing party in style! Whatever the reason, treat yourself to something fancy and fun, simply because you deserve it!

D.I.Y Branch Valentine’s Day Advent Calendar

When December rolled into town, so did the fun traditions like the advent calendar. Each morning, my kids would rush to their designated calendars and want to see what awaited for them. Most of the time, it was chocolate, or maybe a small toy. But it was enough to make waking up before school a little bit more special. I got to thinking, why do we only do this during December and not any other time, counting down to a fun holiday? I stopped into my local Target, and in their Bullseye section were advent calendars that counted down to Valentine’s Day! What a clever and innovative idea! They only had two designs, and both were super cute! I felt like I could create something a bit better…and incorporate nature in a fun and festive way!

These D.I.Y branch advent calendars were super easy to create! I found the branch outside of my home and utilized the ribbons and trim I had leftover from Christmas. Since I’m a huge fan of using pink and red during Christmas, I had plenty left over for the craft. The bags were a great Amazon find, that I’ll link at the bottom of this post. The treats and trinkets I filled the bags with we’re small Valentine’s Day themed gifts from the Dollar Tree and Target. You can avoid the stores completely and order for a Target drive-up or order small things online to be delivered to your doorstep. Once I had my items together, I wrapped star tinsel around the branch for extra sparkle. I then cut 14 pieces of ribbon and tied them to the branch, leaving a bit of space in between each. For extra security, I hot glued the ribbon to the branch, but you don’t have to. After they all assembled onto the branch, tie your goodie bags to the bottom of each ribbon. Fill your bags up with an item per day, or a few if you have siblings sharing the advent. Once assembled, Hang on your wall by balancing the branch with a nail about midway down the branch. For added decor, tape a decorative balloon, like this “Love” balloon I got at the 99 Cents Store. That’s it! Starting February 1st, open one bag a day to countdown to the most loving day of the year!

Materials Needed:
  • Long and sturdy tree branch
  • Ribbon and trim of choice
  • 14 goodie bags
  • Various treats and trinkets for filling
  • Hot glue gun (optional)
  • Love balloon (optional)
Link For Bags:

The Loviest Valentine’s Day Books For Kids

The season of love is here and I am more excited than I’ve ever been for it! I plan on making a ton of Valentine’s Day themed content in the weeks to come, and I wanted to start off with my top reads! Ever since Halloween, the kids have been loving the idea of having holiday books set aside to enjoy. I normally would utilize our local library to collect such things, but due to the pandemic, that is sadly not an option. I’ve compiled a list of my favorite books to read to my littles during the month of February, along with a shoppable link so you can start to collect safely from your home!

The Biggest Valentine Ever”
“The Day It Rained Hearts”
“Love Is A Good Thing To Feel”
“Happy Valentine’s Day, Little Critter”
“Romeo And Juliet, A Counting Primer”
“Scooby Doo: A Very Scary Valentine’s Day
“Anna Loves Elsa”
” The Love In My Heart”
“Love Monster”
“The Invisible String”
“Pete The Cat: Valentine’s Day Is Cool”
“There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Rose”

Your Last Minute Shopping Gift Guide For Kids

So, we’re less than a week or so away from “the big day” and you still have some holes in your shopping list with the littles… don’t worry. I know this time of the year can be stressful enough. Add the pandemic, and you’ve got yourself an impossible mission to get it all done, and safely. I’ve personally ran into the problem that I’ve shopped for my kids during lockdown to keep them entertained, and now I don’t have options for Christmas. I know you can relate to that one! I wanted to compile a list of my kid’s favorite requests on their wish list, along with some items we just couldn’t live without during the year. That way, it can help fill in some blanks on your kid’s shopping list, giving you enough time to mobile order it all! If you do need to go out and shop in person, remember to wear a mask, socially distance, and bring hand sanitizer with you!

Play Osmo Educational Fun

Do you own an iPad or Tablet? Looking to mix up the homeschool routine or looking for a way to get the kids to learn while they’re having “screen time?” Look no further! The Play Osmo system is a huge hit in our home, and the kids honestly don’t realize they’re doing things like phonics and math! With so many games to choose from, there really is a game (or eight) for everyone!

“The Child” Mandalorian Crossbody Wallet

This bag is the only bag that matters, and not only because of its precious cargo. I snagged this crossbody bag a few months back when it first came out, and I’ve never gotten so many compliments! No wonder it sold out in no time flat! Along with the fact that it’s beyond adorable, it’s completely practical too. When I need to venture out into our new world, I no longer like to bring a big bag with a ton of my possessions. Instead, I like to take just what I need to get the job done, which lately is my wallet, keys, mask, and hand sanitizer. This bag fits it all. If you love it as much as I do, you better act fast. This restock wont last long!

Women's Crossbody Wallet – Star Wars The Child Chibi Peeking Pose
Fun Character Slippers

This year has been all about finding your inner cozy self. The coziest thing you can possibly have is a good pair of slippers. Happy Feet Slippers makes some of the coziest and most fun slippers around! From Disney to Marvel , to your favorite sports teams and animals, they have a slipper style for whatever you’re into! I fell hard for the Dumbo character slippers, while the girls love the flamingos. The fun doesn’t just stop with slippers! They also carry a line of stuffed animals that flip to reveal a new character! A total must for everyone on your shopping list!!

Anything From Barbie: Princess Adventure

Kensey went bananas over the Netflix movie, “Barbie: Princess Adventure” and I was just happy to have so much merch to choose from! Target has an entire line of practically every character from the movie, so just head over to Netflix and watch this cute flick and become equally obsessed! I personally love every song from the movie, especially “Try it on.”

Hairdoorables Hair Art Series Collectible Dolls

The most fun and fab dolls out there have had an artistic makeover! Choose from 26 “hairdoorable” characters, that each comes with 11 surprises, including a new hair art extension! Each package comes with one poseable doll, removable outfit, and 10 stylish surprises. I love the bright and vivid colors, as well as their cute expressions! You can get Hairdoorables at your nearest Target, Walmart, or Amazon!

Carmen Sandiego Handheld Electronic Game

Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? I would spend countless Summer days on my mom’s computer playing this game. I remember every sound like it was just yesterday. If you have someone on your shopping list that was born in the 80’s or 90’s, you need to snag this up for them! Give them a piece of their childhood back, while watching a new generation of kids fall in love with it too! This game is available on Amazon.com!

Melissa and Doug “Let’s Play House” Cleaning Set

My toddler, Kensey, is a girl after my cleaning heart. She is constantly stealing my broom and mop and pretending to be a big helper. She’s always struggling to hold a regular-sized broom, so bless Melissa and Doug for making this cute and practical set! If you have a little cleaner in your house, be sure to snag this cleaning set for the holidays!

Care Bears Plush

Kensey’s bestfriend in the world is her “Share Bear” Care Bear. She doesn’t go anywhere without it. The Care Bear plush are so cozy and huggable, you’ll want to collect them all! Available at Walmart, Target, and Amazon!

Jenga Game

A classic that just never gets old! I love the idea of giving some fun games under the tree this year, because it continues the fun after the luster of new toys has gone down. Jenga is a family favorite of ours, and kids of all ages can play!

LEGO Princess Building Playsets

I am absolutely obsessed with these playsets! They come in a few character options, and come ready to build, just as a LEGO set would be! As you go, you’re creating your playground for your princess to play in! Comes with everything you need to build the inside, as well as characters and stickers to decorate. Once you’re done playing, close it up and take it with you! Best for older kids, as it comes with small parts and advanced instructions.

I hope these ideas helped sparked some ideas and eased some stress! If you don’t have time to grab any of these items for the holidays, they always make great gifts for birthdays! As always, just relax and known that your kid will have a magical Christmas regardless of what is under the tree. Have a wonderful and enjoyable Christmas! Happy shopping!

Winter Gnome D.I.Y Garland

Call me Judy, because I may have gone a bit garland crazy as of late. I absolutely love how a garland can transform a space and create some whimsy anywhere it lays! I wanted to create a holiday themed option, but the ideas I found just weren’t my favorite.. until I stumbled on this gem of an idea! I decided to give it a try, because it seemed so simple, and it was! I love how you can keep this up, honestly all year long if you want! There isn’t a specific holiday feel to it, so it’s very subtle in the festive department, Best of all, it was super cheap to create!

Materials Needed:

  • White yarn
  • Medium sized book
  • Scissors
  • Yarn color of choice for beanies
  • Hot glue gun/glue sticks
  • Cotton Balls
  • Large sewing needle
  • Toilet paper roll
  • Small wooden beads
  • Optional: pom pom maker

How to Create:

To start, we are going to create the beanie for your gnome. Take your beanie yarn color of choice and wrap the yarn around the book about thirty times. Take your scissors and cut the yarn off of the book. Take your toilet paper roll and cut off a small section, about an inch thick. Take your yarn pieces and begin to attach the yarn to the paper ring. To attach, take your yarn piece and fold in half. Place behind the roll and create a hoop with the top part of the yarn, and loop the ends through to attach. See the photos below for more of a refernece. Once attached, repeat this process until all of the yarn has covered the paper circle. If you need to cut more yarn to cover, feel free to do so. After the ring is covered, take the yarn ends and tuck into the paper ring, so that the yarn is facing up. Take another piece of yarn and tie the yarn pieces together about 3/4 of the way up. Take two cotton balls and shove it up into the beanie to add some shape. Cut the top of the yarn down , so that you have a fluffy little beanie topper. Repeat this process until you have made your desired amount of beanies for your gnomes.

To make the gnome beard pom, I used a Clover brand pom pom maker and created perfect poms in minutes! Don’t have a pom maker? That’s totally okay! I’ve attached a link to a video below that shows how to make a perfect pom without any extra materials. After you have created your desired amount of poms for your gnome, it’s time to assemble the garland. Take your beanies and hot glue the base of the beanie to the pom. Then, take your wooden bead and hot glue it to where the base of the hat and the beginning of the pom meet. Once you have assembled all of the gnomes, it’s time to string them together. Due to the thickness of the cotton ball, and the thickness of the yarn, you will need a needle with a larger hoop. Take your yarn and string the gnomes together through the beanie. To add a little extra whimsy, I put wooden beads between to break them up a bit, but you don’t have to. Once they are all strung together, you’re ready to hang and enjoy your hard work! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and for a more detailed look on how I created this D.I.Y, be sure to follow me on Instagram at @OCfitmommy where i break down this project with video in my story highlights! Happy Holidays!

D.I.Y Pom Pom Tutorial (without pom maker)