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Preschool Literacy Activities

There are so many ways to promote literacy and develop skills in our preschool age kiddos. I am going to list different ideas, activities, and resources below:

Journal Topics in Preschool & Kindergarten - The Measured Mom
  • Phonological Awareness
    • Rhyming words- ending sounds ex: cat, bat, hat -at
    • Find words with same beginning sound, or which one of three doesn’t have the same sound. Ex: bat, book, tree

These are only a couple of the MANY ways to work on literacy with your little ones. Hope this helps you out!

The Newest Pandemic of 2020

Anxiety and depression. Hello old friend, I did not miss you. Are you dealing with mental health issues right now? New, continued, or resurfacing? I have been treating for anxiety, depression, and OCD since May 2019. I’m not sure when it all developed or if I’ve always been dealing with it. I just thought it was my normal and that everyone felt on edge, easily rattled, and upset all the time but just presented it better than I did. Fast forward to present time and COVID19, homeschooling preschoolers, a husband who works full time from our bedroom, social distancing, shelter in place, friends losing their jobs, businesses closing etc. I feel like those feelings I have learned to deal with are coming back to haunt me!

I like to write about what I know and in turn maybe help someone who feels alone in their personal struggles. If you have never considered yourself to have anxiety or depression I am here to debunk some common myths on what this diagnosis can look like. I am no expert, but this is what I have learned through my own battle with mental health.

Stigmas of depression I worked past:

  • Crying all day
  • Not getting out of bed
  • Acting/feeling suicidal
  • You can snap out of it if you try
  • It is always caused by some trauma
  • Only women can get depressed

What depression can be like:

  • Lack of desire to seek conversation
  • Sleepiness
  • Wanting to stay home
  • Lack of motivation to do daily tasks
  • Perceived laziness
  • Moments of “normalcy” sprinkled with moments of sadness, disinterest, anger etc.
  • Feeling like you have to put on a mask to “be yourself”
  • Over/under eating
  • Feeling inadequate or incapable
  • A normal person, who doesn’t share feelings outwardly but has all these feelings inside
  • Being sad, upset, mad, or lonely and sometimes there isn’t a tangible reason

Stigmas of anxiety I dealt with:

  • Fearful
  • Over reactive
  • Neurotic
  • Worrying all the time
  • Someone who needs constant reassurance
  • Weakness
  • You can snap out of it
  • Only induced by stress or trauma

What anxiety can be like:

  • Feeling like you can’t take a deep breath
  • Feeling like an elephant is sitting on your chest
  • Stressing over doing things you’d do normally
  • Having a panic attack or floor you moments over simple situations
  • Not being able to move on to the next task without making sure a certain situation is settled
  • Thinking about scenarios constantly
  • Sleeplessness/ insomnia
  • Feeling like anything can trigger you
  • Not sharing feelings so that your family doesn’t give you more anxiety by trying to help
  • Feeling worried, scared, overwhelmed, nervous, or upset and sometimes there isn’t a tangible reason

Perception is close to the truth and these are some of the signs but definitely not all of them. Both anxiety and depression are very intricate diagnosis that present themselves differently in everyone. A good indication my psychologist once told me was, that if the way you are feeling is stopping you from being productive or enjoying things in your daily life, then that is when you need to seek help.

I know that I’m feeling a lot right now, even though I’m on an antidepressant and trying to take time for myself during these weird times. I even ordered CBD oil to take as an additional support, but I can’t shake the feelings I’m having. It got me thinking about all of us around the world. We are all locked in our homes, feeling helpless and fearful over the COVID pandemic. You too may be triggered right now and it’s ok to seek help. Whether it’s in the form of counseling, psychology, medication, exercise, meditation, yoga, herbal care etc, you need to find what works for you. If you feel like you are “out of character” or have many more “trigger” moments then I hope you take the time to find out how to protect your mental health today and every day.

Next Steps:

The most ironic thing about being anxious or depressed is that in order to seek help you have to reach out of your comfort zone. I know it took me MONTHS to finally make a call to see a psychologist and it took many flooring panic attacks and maybe even YEARS of not being my “happiest” self. There are many different ways to seek help and I am just going to list what I’ve learned below:

  • Reach out to someone you know that has dealt with this. Talking to someone who understands mental health will help you try the next steps. I know talking to a good friend of mine about these feelings helped me realize they weren’t weird and that it was totally normal to need more help that just trying it on my own. She told me how she felt and what she did and I finally felt less alone.
  • Find a psychologist, counselor, psychiatrist, or even social worker. This takes time but, even meeting with one person is a step in the right direction. You may not talk to them every week, or maybe you will, but you should talk to someone to help you decipher your feelings.
  • Meet with your general practitioner and go over your symptoms. Sometimes issues can be hormonal or be caused by another imbalance. They can also start you on antidepressants or whatever it is that you may need.
  • Try an herbal solution like CBD oil or even cannabis in states that allow it. I used CBD before I seeked help. It definitely helped me with my anxiety but didn’t help with depression.
  • Have open and honest conversations with the ones you love. Even if it has to be written or via email. Explain how you feel, why you feel it, and then how they can help without causing more stress on you. You will need someone you can trust to say “I am not ok” and they get what you mean. I know I have called my husband a couple of times saying “I am not ok, I don’t feel good” and he knows that I am at my breaking point.
  • Give it time. You will not get better over night. It may take a lot of counseling, medication trials, herbal trials, combination of things, etc to find what it is you need to be your “healthiest”. I know for me the medication took about a month to fully set in, and even then we had to up my dosage. I did counseling for about a month and continued taking CBD until I ran out.
  • Try to be more active, sometimes this helps, sometimes it doesn’t. I wasn’t able to become active until my antidepressants settled into my system. There was no part of me that wanted to be outside or in a gym. Once I felt better, being active added even more happiness into my life.
  • Study Ayurveda or Enneagram to better understand yourself and the way you react to things. I learned a lot about my personality and how I respond to others and them to me. Being self aware is always important.
  • Don’t feel bad about putting yourself first. This was one of the most difficult changes for me. I always wanted to please my friends or even be the one to strike up a conversation with a stranger. At my lowest point it felt so difficult for me to do these things. I realized it was OK to just be quiet, or not go out of my way to see a friend on her time. It was when I put my needs first, that I was able to start the path to healing.
  • Give yourself grace. You won’t always feel the best, it won’t always be easy. Once you realize that the way you feel isn’t “healthy” then heading toward good mental health is your only goal. However, there is no time limit. Not a race, but a journey.

I have wanted to talk about my own depression and anxiety for a long time, but never had the guts to put it out there in public. Me, the extrovert, social butterfly, deals with anxiety and depression. How embarassing! Well, no it’s not. It is what it is, and I am thankful that I was able to find things that have helped me stay on a healthy path. I hope that if you feel that I’ve touched on something you are experiencing, that you take time to ask for help. The times we are in are putting stress on all of us, and this may affect the way we feel. Please if you need anything, and dont feel like you can talk to anyone you know. Reach out to me. I would gladly be your listening ear, sounding board, or just good old friend.

Take care friends, we are all in this together!

Home Schooling Pre K- Week 3

Three weeks down… 7 more to go? Anyhow, lets not focus on that. This week we are covering social studies: Heroes in our Community. I feel this is fitting right now, so why not!

This is the schedule we followed this week, the girls were struggling with reading time after lunch. Also, if you’re looking for what to do during “reading, letters, sounds” I am linking ideas here.

WEEK 3 THEME: Heroes in our Community

TUESDAY

Worksheets for Charlie (5 years, Pre K):

Worksheets for Georgie (3 years, Pre K 3):

Music:

Social Studies:

WEDNESDAY

Worksheets for Charlie (5 years, Pre K):

Worksheets for Georgie (3 years, Pre K 3):

Music:

Social Studies:

THURSDAY

Worksheets for Charlie (5 years, Pre K):

Worksheets for Georgie (3 years, Pre K 3):

Music:

Social Studies:

  • Community Helpers Book
  • Discuss who is working right now, and how essential workers are also community helpers!

FRIDAY

Worksheets for Charlie (5 years, Pre K):

Worksheets for Georgie (3 years, Pre K 3):

Music:

Social Studies:

  • Nurse Video
  • Doctor Video
  • Taking Blood Activity (old medicine syringes, red food coloring or juice, little containers numbered) Have kids take turns to take the right amount of “blood” for testing using the ml measurements.
  • Make a thank you note or coloring page for a doctor you may know.

Make more moments teachable!

xox,

DIY Butterfly Feeder

As we continue staying home during the COVID19 pandemic, we are finding new ways to entertain and learn. I found this DIY from Our Voice Magazine and knew it was the perfect activity to culminate our week learning about butterflies. I loved this particular DIY because you most likely have all of the supplies in your home right now. During this shelter in place mandate, supplies we already have is for the best!

List of Supplies

  • Bottle with cap, preferably one with hole in the cap like a ketchup bottle
  • Cotton ball
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 5 rubber bands or hair ties
  • String or ribbon

Tutorial

We LOVE our new butterfly feeder and even moved it closer to a window so we can check on butterflies while inside. I hope this helps you enjoy a fun activity with the littles.

Butterfly kisses,

Home Schooling Pre K- Week 1

Welcome to 2020 and the COVID19 Pandemic that forced us to home school 🙂

My girls left on Thursday March 5th for Spring Break, and haven’t been back to school since. The official date back for us is April 6th, but I’m not holding my breath. After a couple of weeks of fun, games, YT Kids, TV,and doing whatever we wanted I figure it’s time to get back in the swing of things. My husband is working from home full time and is on important conference calls most of the day. Keeping the girls entertained and quiet is a huge goal of mine, but even more so, I want to keep them educated and on grade level. I went to school for Elementary Education so this stuff comes easy to me. Below you can find our schedule and what we did this week. The times are always flexible. Bathroom breaks and wiggle time are always encouraged!

Before I go into our 3 day school week schedule, I wanted to explain the read books/craft hour. I have two girls who are 3 and 5. I let one color, paint, or do play doh for 30 minutes while I do reading with the other and then switch. For my 5 year old we are doing leveled readers together like: Buddy Readers Level A, First Little Readers Level A, and Primary Phonics 1A (actual copies from when I was in preschool!). With my 3 year old, we do 3-4 read alouds and I ask her reading comprehension questions. My biggest advice is to give you and your kiddos grace during this time. Breathe, take breaks, and try again. Don’t stress if you don’t get through everything, but just keep trying!

Week 1 Theme: Butterflies

Monday

Worksheets for Charlie (5 years, Pre K):

Worksheets for Georgie (3 years, Pre K 3):

Music Videos Days of the week:

Science:

Tuesday

Worksheets for Charlie (5 years, Pre K):

Worksheets for Georgie (3 years, Pre K 3):

Music Videos Days of the week:

Science:

Wednesday

Worksheets for Charlie (5 years, Pre K):

Worksheets for Georgie (3 years, Pre K 3):

Music Videos Days of the week:

Science:

Til next week,

Women’s Valentine’s Day Gift Guide 2020

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and here is a list of items I have already or have been eyeing. I hope this list makes it easy to forward your significant other for ideas because God knows I’ll be showing it to my own husband!

  1. Popsocket Case: This inexpensive case is a great gift for popsocket lovers. Try this one for iPhone X and Xs.
  2. AirPods: If your lady doesn’t have these, I promise she would be ecstatic to get them! Add the AirPods Keychain Caseto your list whether you’re just now getting the AirPods, or she already has them, this cute carrying case comes in tons of colors and is extremely inexpensive at $6!
  3. Rose Glow & Get It: This extremely popular Tula brightening balm is every blogger’s number one used product. I’ve been dying to try it!
  4. Cross Sandals: These were on my Holiday Gift Guide recently, but I like them so much that I think they should be considered for Valentine’s Day.
  5. Knotted Shell Headband: Now you can get the $150 one from Lele Sadoughi or this one I found on Etsy that is significantly less expensive and directly supports the woman who makes them by hand!
  6. Naughty Brownies: The Sampler Boxes are the way to go here. I ordered a three pack for a friend of mine’s birthday and it was a HUGE hit. These brownies are fantastic, Oprah’s people have contacted them and they have been short listed twice for her favorite things! Junk N The Trunk is my favorite! Order by Tuesday 2/11 in order to have for Valentine’s Day! This is great for someone who doesn’t live near you too!
  7. Initial Stackable Rings: If you’ve followed me for a bit you know how much I love Rightly Royce’s jewelry and their story. Their stackable rings are so cute, and I wear mine every single day. They’re inexpensive and even more so with my code CATALINA that gets you 15% off.
  8. Blowdry Brush: This number 1 best seller is on sale for $36! Trust me, if your girl blow dries her hair, she needs this. It’s been tried and tested and LOVED by women with ALL hair types.
  9. Slim Can Koozies: If your lady is into Truly or White Claw or any type of skinny can drink she might be missing out on using koozies. These marble ones are a great addition to your stash for sure.
  10. Charging Planner: I saw these the other day at Office Depot and they caught my attention. An agenda that can wireless charge your phone is genius and a great gift for someone at the beginning of a new year.
  11. Nacre Watch: This watch has been named timeless, chic, expensive looking but not expensive, and one of the best accessories to own by trusted fashionistas like Cosmo, Vogue, and Popsugar. These beautiful timepieces come under $200 and in all sorts of colors and styles. Click the link to build your own to see! Use CATA20 for 20% off!
  12. Portable Charger: I am clearly obsessed with my phone and constantly run its battery down daily. Having a portable charger has saved my butt many a day. I think this would be a great little gift or addition to other gifts.

Happy shopping,

Little Girls Valentine Gift Guide 2020

You know me, girl mama extraordinaire (haha, yeah right), and that means its time for prepping my little girls’ valentines day baskets. This year we will be at my mother in law’s house in Florida, so Amazon Prime is the way to go for most of my gifts. This guide is by no means everything that I am going to buy for my girls. I will be definitely getting the backpack as their “basket” so it’s also usable on our plane ride back from Florida. A lot of the things listed below are some of our favorite items and are tried and tested. I like to give gifts that are more than just candy and toys. Hope you like my list!

  1. Mini Backpack: This uber popular and trendy Fjallraven Kanken mini backpack for kids is on MAJOR sale from $109 to $22! Beautiful colors and a very practical gift and gift basket in our case!
  2. Magic Ink Coloring: We love these easy, one marker, coloring books. Ideal for car rides and air travel!
  3. Matching Game: My littlest loves to play memory in real life and on her iPod. This Princess Set and Disney Characters Set would be perfect for any little girl.
  4. Nail Polish Set: These non-toxic polishes are great for little nails. There are different color combination sets of three available.
  5. Grosgrain Headband Set: My girls have been getting bigger, and with it their taste has changed. Now they are really into headbands. I love how inexpensive and classic these are.
  6. Workbook Activities: Educational gifts are some of my favorite to give. My girls love to do “homework” which is what they call workbooks. I found these two for Pre K: Wipe Clean Tracing and Preschool Math. We also love using these Twistable Crayons when not using pencils.
  7. Disney Wet Brush: If you have little girls with hair, you know that this gift is as much for them as it is for you! Hair brushing isn’t easy, but Wet Brush makes it easier, the girls love their Frozen II ones I got them for Christmas.
  8. Valentine’s Childrens’ Books: I picked some of our favorites classics turned holiday books like: Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse!, Love from The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Peppa’s Valentine’s Day, and Llama Llama I Love You.
  9. Play Doh: This 10 pack of neon colors is great for the dough lovers in your life. We go through a lot of Play Doh in this house, between colors getting mixed (yes I am type A) and it drying out. Every once in a while I like gifting the girls some replacements.
  10. Melissa and Doug Sticker Play: Lots of fun sets like this 3 pack Girly Set and this single Riding Club book. Reusable books are great at home and on the go.
  11. Play Make Up: The girls have had this set since they were little bitty. It’s great because it looks real, but its not. Perfect for organized and clean pretend play!

xoxo,

A Howling Staycation

To start the decade right, we finally decided to see what Great Wolf Lodge was all about. In Grapevine, Texas, this wilderness themed family resort sits right in the center of DFW right across from Gaylord Texan. This location debuted an 11 million dollar facelift in 2018 and is the brand’s largest resort with 605 rooms.

Walking into The Great Wolf Lodge is like walking into a giant tree house. There is an actual tree right in the lobby and it looks like a big cabin. Everyone in our party was given a wrist band, the adults’ bands can open the room and be used to charge on. We arrived after lunch and ventured straight to our KidKamp Suite. The girls literally screamed with excitement when they saw their bunk bed tent room! We changed into our swimwear and went straight to the water park. I loved the way that they checked our bands, cut the extra piece off, and then proceeded to measure the girls and give them color coded bands based on their height. The nice lady also told us which slides each girl was not allowed on. We spent most of the day playing in the water park. After eating dinner we came back to find the cutest pajama party and dance party in the lobby. We even went down to the arcade and played for a while. The hotel was popping when we woke up too! There was story time and kids yoga in the lobby. The Starbucks on property was perfect for a morning caffeine pick me up. We made sure to hit up both the arcade and the water park one last time before check out! The girls are dying to go back again soon. I outlined all the hotel details that I learned below and hope you get to visit a Great Wolf Lodge soon.

Rooms for every family

  • Standard
    • Family: Two queen beds and full sleeper sofa
    • Family with Balcony/Patio
    • Luxury King Suite: King bed and full sleeper sofa
    • Luxury King Suite with Balcony/Patio
    • Queen Sofa Suite
  • Themed
    • KidKabin Suite: Queen bed, full sleeper sofa, twin bed and twin bunk beds
    • KidKabin Suite with Balcony/Patio
    • KidKamp Suite Queen bed, full sleeper sofa, twin bunk beds
    • KidKamp Suite with Balcony/Patio
    • Whirlpool Suite: King size bed, full sleeper and private whirlpool in the room
    • Wolf Den Suite: Queen bed, full sleeper sofa, twin bunk beds
    • Wolf Den Suite with Balcony/Patio
  • Premium
    • Brown Bear Suite: Master bedroom with King bed, second bedroom with two queen beds, main room with full sleeper sofa and seating area for 6
    • Grand Bear Suite: Master bedroom with King bed, two queen beds and full sleeper sofa in living area
    • Grand Bear Suite with Balcony/Patio
    • Grand Royal Bear Suite: Master bedroom with Queen bed, queen bed in living area with full sleeper
    • Grand Royal Bear Suite Balcony/Patio
    • Grizzly Bear Suite: Master bedroom with King bed, two queens in second room, full sleeper in main room
    • Grizzly Bear Suite Balcony/Patio
    • Loft Suite: second story loft bedroom with Queen bed, two queen beds and full sleeper in main room
    • Majestic Bear Suite: Master bedroom with Queen bed, two queen beds in main room with full sleeper

Things to do

  • Water Park: This 80,000 square foot facility houses activities for all ages in a comfortable 84 degrees. With 6 water slides, 2 hot tubs, a wave pool, play pool with lily pad rope course, lazy river, water tree house, and little kid friendly zero entry play pool, cabanas, restaurant with drinks, food, and libations, and even an outdoor pool for warmer weather days, Great Wolf Lodge has water play for everyone in the family.
  • Northern Lights Arcade: fun for the whole family, play all sorts of games, for fun or for tickets. Loads of prizes available at different price points. Paw Points are placed on a re-loadable card that doesn’t expire, so you can come back and use your card as often as you want.
  • MagiQuest: explore the hotel with a swipe of a wand. Each quest takes 15- 30 minutes and can be stopped and picked up during your stay. The wand will remember your past quests for the next time you visit. Mini Magi Mode is catered for kids 5 and under.
  • Compass Quest: An add on layer to MagiQuest, this is for school age and up. Use a compass to unlock 9 adventures. Great for groups! Each game lasts 4-6 hours.
  • Build A Bear Workshop: Build a bear just like you would at the regular shop, but you can make Great Wolf Lodge characters as well.
  • Howler’s Peak: Indoor ropes course for children 48 inches and taller. Smaller structure is available for younger children accompanied by an adult.

Daily Activities around hotel

  • Character meet in greets are available throughout the day.
  • Wake up with Wiley and friends in the lobby in the mornings with Yoga Tails. Walk around the lobby on your Wolf Walk and see the Northwood Friends Show.
  • Party in your PJs every night. Meet one of the Wolf Kids, enjoy story time, and dance party with all your new friends.
  • Throughout the day enjoy an animated woodland show at The Great Clock Tower Show.

What to pack

  • Shampoo and conditioner– You’ll be in the water often and the one’s offered don’t cut it after all the chlorinated waterfalls you’ll be enjoying
  • Swimsuits and cover ups
  • Flip flops or water shoes
  • Beach bag if you want to bring anything extra down to the pool
  • Pajamas and slippers for the kids to wear during the night time activities
  • Sneakers if you are wanting to enjoy the ropes courses

Til the next one,

Letter Ledge DIY

We’ve all seen these instagrammable walls with funny phrases, from Pine & Birch to LollyJane. I’ve loved these for over a year now, but did not want to spend the money on buying one. Also, I get nervous putting something up that is so trendy, like will I like it by next Fall? This is why I decided to make a letter ledge that can double as a classic picture ledge for when my itch to switch comes along.

Materials

  • Per ledge: (2) 1x3x8, (1) 1x2x8 pine
  • Trim nails
  • Hammer (if you have a nail gun, that would be easier
  • Bar clamp
  • Sandpaper or sander
  • Stain or paint. We used Varathane Wood Stain in Weathered Gray.
  • Paint brush
  • Damp rag
  • French Cleat, we used 100 lbs rated 12 inch wide. 1 per ledge
  • Marquee Letters: 6 inch letters on 6 7/8 inch clear plastic

Directions

  • Cut down all pieces to desired width. You can have this done at both Lowes and Home Depot if you don’t have the tools at home.
  • Attach and clamp one 1×3 piece to the 1×2 piece like shown in the picture.
  • Use a hammer and nail (or nail gun) to secure both pieces together flush. Make sure that you nail goes in straight so it doesn’t come out through the wood.
  • Attach the second 1×3 piece to the back like shown in the picture and clamp.
  • Nail together like above
  • Sand down all edges and make sure it is smooth
  • Paint or stain all sides, except the back, of your shelf
  • Center french cleat to the top back of ledge and screw on using hardware provided
  • Center bottom part of french cleat to the wall, accounting for that the bottom of it is basically the bottom of your shelf. If you are not going into studs, make sure that you use anchors
  • Once you place your shelf on the wall you may notice minor misalignment. You can unscrew a little to move the plate on the wall up or down and then try again. We had to do this with the bottom shelf a couple of times.
  • Place your marquee letters and voila!

It can be a one person project, but two people make it go a lot quicker. I am VERY happy with how this came to life and I cannot wait to change up our wall letter ledge ALL THE TIME.

Tis the season,

Giving Guide 2019

Yes, this is one more gift guide. Sorry (not sorry). I wanted to help the procrastinators and our stumped friends find gifts for those they love. Below you will find 12 gifts for men, women, and toddler girls. These are pretty general and the prices vary. The idea is that you can find something for your dad, husband, aunt, bestie, co-worker, or secret Santa. There is something for everyone!

Women’s Gift Guide

  1. USB/Lightning Cable Key Chain: Never leave the house without a charger. This super cute monogrammed leather tassel keychain secretly hides a USB to lightning cable cord. Black Friday Sale: 20% off and free shipping code FRIENDS
  2. Quip Toothbrush: A trendy yet practical gift. I love this toothbrush so much, its not only cute, but the case/holder design is genius. Black Friday $10 gift card with purchase
  3. Velvet and Pearl Headband Set: These Lele Sadoughi knock offs have been a fan favorite. I get compliments every time I wear them, and I just love how it elevates any outfit. Black Friday down to $11.99
  4. Personalized Hand Stamped Jewelry: I have been a Rightly Royce fan for a year now. Not only do I love all of their hand stamped and personalized jewlery, but I love supporting a hard working family. Use code CATALINA15 for 15% off. Last day to order personalized goods is 12/15/2019. Black Friday, use my code but get 20% off!
  5. OTG247 Bags: I LOVEEEEEE these bags so much. There is a bag for literally every single occasion and need. I am a total OCD organized person and these bags help me stay that way. Favorites of mine include: card case, #7 Foodie (which is a cooler bag and fits in your purse), #9 with strap that is perfect to replace a briefcase or laptop sleeve, and #6 Nudie which is stadium approved! Use my code LIFEWITHCANDG for 10% off! Black Friday is on until Sunday and everything is 20% off using code GRATEFUL on orders over $100
  6. Digital Frame: Skylight has been a hit in our house for about a month. This digital picture frame has a matted border and touch screen. I easily send pictures to it via email and my girls swipe and “like” the pictures daily! Us code CATALINA19 for $10 off. It would be great for any family member in your life. Same deal as their Black Friday sale
  7. DNA Ancestry Testing: 23 and Me has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Both Ancestry and Health + Ancestry are on major sale right now. Get $100 off through November, no code necessary.
  8. Skin Care Sets: No matter your age, taking care of your skin is an important step in a beauty regimen. Splurge on BeautyBio GloPRO Microneedling Set , save on The Ordinary No Brainer Set.
  9. Corsi Air Fryer: This top rated air fryer is the perfect gift for the techie/cook in your life. You can cook healthier meals and monitor or control it from your phone or Alexa device. There is this cheaper version too!
  10. Get Cozy: Grab a WoodWick Candle, an Amazon favorite and great price, this wood wick candle smells and crackles just like a cozy fireplace. These Trendy Slippers are a blogger favorite, these cute and comfy slippers come in 8 colors. Would be a great stocking stuffer or secret santa gift.
  11. St. Anne Tote: This beautiful Barrington tote is fully customizable. From Louis knockoff to Goyard, or cow hide to plaid. Monogram with a stripe or just letters in just about any color. The possibilities are endless.This bag also come without zipper. Black Friday through cyber Monday get 10% off $150, 15% off $250, 20% off $300 with code THANKFUL.
  12. Customizable Door Mat: The new trendy mat that is every farmhouse lover’s dreams. There are two sizes large and small. This mat is great because you can change it out for every season or occasion.

Men’s Gift Guide

  1. Face Socks: The best gag gift ever. Add you face, your kids faces, you pets face, or anything you can dream of. You can gift this to any family member or even person you work with. Such a funny or cute little gift.
  2. Bear Paws: The original meat shredder claws. We LOVE these so much. So great to shred and pull chicken or pork.
  3. Quip Toothbrush: We are all know that a man in your life could use this hygiene gadget. It is a great toothbrush for someone who travels often because of its handy carrying case that doubles as a holder that suctions (over and over) on a shiny surface like a mirror. Black Friday $10 gift card with purchase
  4. Master Outline Tool: This as seen on TV or facebook ad gadget is the perfect small gift for the handy person in your life.
  5. Shaving Gift Set: My hubby LOVES Harry’s products! If your man needs a new razor, gift him this great set. Black Friday 30% off shown in cart
  6. Suede Slippers: A really good looking and comfortable classic. I love that you can monogram these but they look perfect without without it. On sale for 50% off right now use code BLACK
  7. Weather Tech Mats: This is a splurge item but the man in your life that receives this will be so grateful and impressed. These mats are laser cut to fit your specific model vehicle. They are great for anyone who loves to keep their cars looking brand new.
  8. Charging Station: This wooden charging station doubles as a landing space for for coins and a wallet, it has a spot to hang a watch, glasses, and keys!
  9. Weekend Bag: This Florentine leather bag is a beautiful gift that is useful, classic, and will stand the test of time. It is a bit of a splurge, but is a great gift for a special man in your life. Black Friday get 10% off $150, 15% off $250, 20% off $300.
  10. Travis Mathew Goodies: I think it is safe to say that this brand is almost every young golfer’s favorite brand. Nordstrom Rack tends to have items at a discount. I love this fun shirt that is 50% off. Another funny gift would be these Christmas boxers! Travis Mathew site has everything up to 50% off
  11. DNA Ancestry Testing: 23 and Me has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but also gift to my husband and father. Both Ancestry and Health + Ancestry are on major sale right now. Get $100 off through November, no code necessary.
  12. Digital Frame: Skylight has been a hit in our house for about a month. This digital picture frame has a matted border and touch screen. I easily send pictures to it via email and my girls swipe and “like” the pictures daily! Us code CATALINA19 for $10 off. It would be great for any family member in your life. Same deal as their Black Friday sale

Little Girls’ Gift Guide

  1. Sound Limiting Headphones: These headphones come in a bunch of different colors and even a couple of fun designs. They are inexpensive and work wonderfully for our little ones. They fold down and we loved having them on our last flight.
  2. Quip Toothbrush: The trendiest toothbrush company just came out with a kids option! It may not be on your child’s wishlist, but it is always nice to get them something they need!
  3. 3 Wheel Scooter: If you’re looking to save on a good gift, this is a great option. My girls loveeeee their scooters so much. This particular kind is on amazon (primeeee!) and is designed to have no sharp edges.
  4. Scooter Accessories: We first saw these accessories on our neighbor’s scooters. This unicorn attachment is so cute and even comes with matching streamers. Spruce up any old scooter with this gift!
  5. Frozen Wet Brushes: My girls saw these at my salon the other day and I was forced to secretly buy them! I didn’t even realize that our very favorite brush had cute kid friendly designed. I also found these Disney Princess Wet Brushes!
  6. Good Vs Evil Set: If the little girl in your life is anything like mine, then the Descendants series is top on their list. We have watched every movie in the series but the girls reallllly love this Mal and Audrey thing going on in the third movie. If this is the case, then this is a must grab set!
  7. Mercedes GL450: We are kinda into fancy cars, and this one has caught my eye every time I have been at Target. It is sooo cute and sooo extra. If you can swing it, I think this would be perfect for a little girl in your life! Black Friday deal 38% off until Saturday
  8. Frozen Palace Lego/Duplo: Frozen has been at the top of everyone’s list for years, with Frozen II out, it doesn’t surprise me that every little girl is wanting even more Frozen items. These sets are great to teach hand eye coordination while catering to the child’s interests. Lego is for 2 and up whereas Duplo is great for 6 and up.
  9. Frozen Palace Little People/Doll size: More Frozen merchandise that my girls’ want! Elsa’s palace is great for imaginative play. The Little People set is super cute and great for kids between 1-5. The Disney Arendale Palace is great for kids who love to play with Barbie sized dolls. It is a little more expensive, but could be a good alternative to the Barbie Dreamhouse.
  10. Boogie Board: This simple little writing and drawing tablet has been a favorite in our house. We got it for our recent air travel and the girls use it daily, in the house and in the car. Great stuffing stuffer or small gift.
  11. 18 inch Doll Bunk Bed: My girls are really into American Girl dolls and all 18 inch accessories. This bunk bed is on both their lists and is much cheaper than anything from the actual American Girl store. Black Friday 30% off until Saturday
  12. Magnet Tiles: This is my only attempt at a STEM gift. It is very important to foster a analytical thought process in our little girls’ minds. These tiles are a fun educational tool that they will surely enjoy (and their parents will appreciate)!

I have linked everything I found above, some are affiliate links, some are not. My goal here was to plan my own shopping list, and if it helps anyone along the way, then I am thrilled!

Happy shopping!