Christmas Categories-a new take on gifting

Each year, I go crazy at Christmas time. It’s my absolute favorite time of year. We have a tree in every room of the house, mounds of wrapping paper, and Christmas music can be heard starting in early November. I love buying gifts for my kids and each year they have over a dozen wrapped items under the tree from us, countless gifts from friends and family, and a large item Santa brings. I’m seriously finding items from last year in my kids bins that have still never even been opened! So this year, I decided I wanted to take a different approach to gifting. I had seen online about some moms doing a 4 gift per kid principle by using the “something you want, something you need, something you can wear, something you can read” concept. I liked this but decided to adapt it a little because A. I can’t commit to buying my kids a “need” for Christmas. If they “need” something, we just buy it when it’s needed. B. 4 didn’t seem like a right number to me but 6 did. Don’t know why. lol So after brainstorming a little with Dave, I came up with these categories for our kids this year:

1. Something to play together
This could be a wii game, a board game, a play set they would all enjoy, etc. For this category, I picked a board game for each of them.

2. Something to create
This is a craft, art item, or activity. My kids love creating things and doing busy work with their hands like their mama. This could be a craft set, art supplies, or activity of some sort. I got P a paint by numbers print of Van Gogh’s Starry night for her room, T got a set of Bunchems, and A is getting a set of bendaroos

3. Something to read
Pretty self explanatory. They each got a boxed set of books they enjoy.

4. Something to wear
I went with cute Pj’s and slippers for this category for when we are roaming the halls of Great Wolf after Christmas. But it could obviously be anything like a cool scarf, a new pair of shoes, a shirt.

5. Something they wish for
Just a small wish list item. P wanted me to re decorate her room for Christmas so she’s getting a new quilt for her bed and some art work for her wall. The other two wanted a puppy surprise.

6. Something made by Mama
This was one of my favorite categories. I wanted them each to have a gift made especially for them by me (with some assistance by Dad in some cases). For T I made a Shopkins display frame with glittery shelves. I’ve of course stocked the shelves with several new shopkins baskets too! You can see how I did it here. For A, I’m painting a picture of the moon over the eiffel tower. She always tells me she loves me all the way to the moon, all the way to Paris, and all the way back home. So I plan on writing that on there too. I’ll certainly post a photo when it’s done. For P I have a HUGE plan to make her a custom dry erase headboard that looks like a giant piece of notebook paper. Then she can doodle on it to her heart’s content. I’ll post a photo and directions of that soon too. I have to find a secret workplace to complete it! lol

This is our first year doing something like this and I really liked having a little check list to go along and it kept me from going insanely overboard. I found some cute little felt shaped tags at Target and assigned a category to each shape. When it’s time to open gifts, we will hand out all the gifts with the same shape out together that way they are all opening their pjs together or their books together. Should be fun!
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We asked Grandparents to gift experiences rather than toys as our children are fortunate to already have so much. We suggested a trip to Greatwolf Lodge, gymnastics classes, horseback riding lessons, ballet classes, museum memberships, etc. Making memories is really better than any toy at the store!

Do any of you do something similar for your kids? If so, what are your categories?

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A very shopkins Christmas

It’s happened.  I tried to fight it for a long time but I’ve finally succumbed to it.  The shopkins craze has hit our house.  For about a year now, T has asked me for shopkins every time we leave the house.  If you don’t know what shopkins are, they are tiny gumball machine prize sized collectibles which unfortunately do not have the gumball machine price tag.  They most often come in “blind baskets” so you have no idea what you’re getting.  It’s a surprise!  All my nieces in the 6-8 year age range love them and thus my 6 (almost 7) year old has jumped on the bandwagon.   This year when making Christmas wish lists, that’s all T said she wanted.  Seriously.  Anywho, if we’re going to do this shopkins thing, we’re going to do it right.  She’s my little collector so I knew I wanted to find a way to display her shopkins so that she could easily reach them to play with but see what she has at all times.  This year, we’re doing Christmas a little differently and we have gift categories to be checked off.  1 category is “made by mom”.  So for T’s gift, I decided I wanted to make a shopkins display.  I purused Pinterest for ideas but couldn’t decide then yesterday, while strolling Michael’s, I hatched a design plan!  Thought I would share it here in case you’ve got a shopkins crazed collector too!

What you’ll need:

-An acrylic box frame (any size you choose) I went big with a 16×20 

-foam core or sturdy cardboard

-box cutter

-wrapping paper

-hot glue gun

  
You can use your frame as a template and a straight edge to cut your shelves out of foam or cardboard.  I wanted 8 shelves on my display and each shelf needs to be doubled up.  So total, I cut 16 strips.  Leave them a little longer than necessary (about half an inch.  You can trim with scissors later.  

  
After cutting them, I grabbed a glue stick and began sticking them together in pairs.

  
Next, I cut 8 strips of wrapping paper to wrap around each shelf.  I had this fabulous glitter paper that worked perfectly because it won’t scratch easily, it was thicker than my others, and it seamlessly matched up when I wrapped it around without being noticeable.  You’ll want to use something similar or solid color for best match up.  You could even use printed contact paper!  I used my glue stick to secure it to each “shelf”.

  
Next, you’ll need to find a box or a book that will match your desired thickness.  I wanted her to be able to store those little baskets and bags on it too so I found a box that was the perfect width in the closet and used that as a guide.  I then used hot glue all along the back and sides of the “shelf” to secure it to the frame.  

  
Moving the box up with each shelf kept them perfectly spaced and I used a small level to double check my work.

  
I plan to cover the outside trim in ribbon that way I can hang it on her wall as well but I haven’t picked that out yet.  Next, stick your shelves with shopkins and you’re ready to go! 

 This week, Michael’s has a 50% off coupon so I used that for the frame which brought it down to about $7.50!  They also are now carrying shopkins in the store so we used to coupon again to score a 12pk set half off!  
Hope this is helpful Mamas!  I know I’m going to have a pretty happy girl come Christmas morning.  😃

Ipsy glam bag subscription

I had been dying to try one of those monthly beauty subscription sites for a long while and one day a friend on Facebook posted about how much they loved ipsy so I decided to give it a try.  Signing up was super fun and easy.  The website asks lots of questions about your beauty preferences and then you go on a wait list to be approved.  You can expedite the process by posting to social media.  For $10 a month, ipsy sends me 5 products to try in a super cute re-useable cosmetic bag.  Sometimes the products are full size but most often they are sample sizes.  I love it because I get to try products and brands that I wouldn’t otherwise even know about!  Plus, the bags are super cute and so handy for lots of things.  I’m currently using one to store holiday receipts in case anything needs to be returned, one for holiday cash envelopes, and one for my on the go makeup needs.  Additionally, each month ipsy has stellar giveaways you can enter just by posting to social media.  You can also earn points for products by doing surveys on products you’ve tested or referring a friend!

  
In july’s bag, I fell in love with this lip color by teeez.  I get compliments every time I wear it and the shimmery eye shadow is dreamy.  The cool way spray was awesome when I didn’t feel like fixing my hair.  Just spritz and scrunch and bam!  Instant beach waves!

  
August’s bag held yet another fantastic lip product with the hikari gloss, a fantastic eye liner, and a great polish in a shade I wouldn’t normally have tried but loved on!  The argan oil is heavenly in a house full of frizzy curly hair!  

  
September held another brand of hair oil that is equally amazing and I didn’t mind having two because between me and 3 daughters it gets plenty of use and a little goes a long way!  The nyx eyeshadow pallet is by far my new favorite product!  I’ll be picking some up when this is gone for sure.  So pretty and shimmery but without being too made up.  I scored big with another awesome lip color too!  I got to try brow gel for the first time ever and I’m a believer!

  
In October I got this super dual sided metallic bag of goodies.  The cream feels fab on my dry hands and the concealer brush is great!  I like the cleanser but have only used it a couple of times so far.  The polish is an awesome color but unfortunately isn’t as long lasting as I would have hoped.

  
The mailman just dropped off november’s bag  so I haven’t had a chance to try anything out yet but I’m super excited about a new mascara and highlighting trio.  That right red lip crayon is going to be fun just in time for the holidays!  

So overall, I’ve been super pleased with my subscription and plan to continue the service.  It’s so exciting to get that magenta metallic mailer each month and a blast to play with your goodies for a little mini makeover!  Yep, I sit on the floor and play with makeup like my 3 year old!  😂

Here’s my latest ipsy makeover:

  
Wanna try it too?  Follow this link to get started: 

https://www.ipsy.com/new?refer=v3sh6