Monday, January 15, 2018

Give Your Doorstep The Personality It Deserves From Gifts For You Now

There are many things you can do to the outside of your home to give it personality.  You can plant flowers and add lawn decorations for starters.  One thing that doesn't get as much love is the front porch.  Usually this area of the home has a very basic doormat or not even one at all.  How come we always forget to give the porch the love that it deserves? It's time to put a beautiful personalized mat out to welcome your guests with.
Gifts For You Now provides thoughtful personalized gifts for all occasions year-round.  You can add your personalized touch for gifts that will make the recipient smile and think of you.  There's a range of categories to choose from from baby showers and weddings to pets and even memorial items.  Of course any major holiday is focused upon heavily at GiftsForYouNow.  A personalized family doormat would make the ultimate housewarming gift for a friend or family member, as well as a monogrammed cutting board to use for dinner parties.

The options are endless at GiftsForYouNow and I can guarantee you'll find more than one thing that catches your eye.  Go ahead and treat yourself or a loved one to a fantastic gift today.

The Family Word Doormat stood out to me when I first saw it.  It's different and certainly a conversation piece.  This is no ordinary mat at all, but it shows who lives at your home.  I knew it would be the ideal gift for my parents and something they could enjoy year-round.

There are two options to choose from depending on what you're looking for.  You can either choose from the 18 x30" slip resistant floor mat or the heavy duty 24 x 36" 100% recycled rubber doormat with a block scrollwork embossed frame.  The simple, yet classic design will look excellent any time of year.  It's designed to withstand the rigors of outdoor use and will hold up well in almost any weather condition.  You'll be pleased to know that it's made to list and is mildew and water damage resistant.

You're able to choose any names you want on the doormat including symbols like hearts, stars, flowers, music notes, and more.  The option to select what color you want the text to be is possible too.  I put the names Holly, Scott, and Paisley (their dog) on the mat along with their last name.

Both my parents and I feel that the mat turned out nicely.  It's not as thick as we'd like, but it's not a major deal.  The mat surely gives their doorstep a stylish boost of personality.  The old mat that they had was a plain one and they are enjoying this one a lot more.  This one is also a good size for the space it's in.

Everyone loves monogrammed things and it's fun to have their family represented all on one mat.  The colors are bright and vivid and the text is easy to read.  Many adorable hearts are dotted all over the mat too.

If you're looking to give your doorstep a makeover, Gifts For You Now is waiting for your order.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Gifts For You Now for providing a product sample in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Create Beautiful Canvases from PhotoWall

When I look at the walls in my home, I am presented with pictures of our family and artwork that my husband and I enjoy.  Walls are meant to be filled with love and memories, and that's what I aim to do.  I enjoy seeing pictures of my daughter when she was younger and the memories they evoke. Family means everything to me and I always enjoy adding new collages with meaningful pictures. When's the last time you updated the family photos in your home?

Photowall is a Swedish company that specializes in murals and canvas prints to liven up the walls in your home.  There are several room categories you can choose from for murals including children's rooms, living rooms, offices, kitchens, and even bathrooms.  Don't worry, there are plenty of different prints to select from such as cities, landscapes, nature, sports, and much more.  I can guarantee you'll find something that would look great in any room in your home!

If you'd rather have a canvas, you're easily able to upload the image of your choice and size to create a beautiful canvas to hang in your home.  You can never have too many family photos around your home! A gift from Photowall makes the perfect choice for a friend or family member, especially as a housewarming present.

Here are some examples of murals anyone can enjoy:

I think these examples are perfect for showing the variety of what murals are available from PhotoWall.  There's truly something for everyone's taste.  What will you order?

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Bring The Joys of Cracker Barrel Into Your Home!

As many of you know, I grew up in the south and lived there for 17 years. Due to this, it's made me no stranger to classic Southern fare like mac and cheese, chicken and dumplings, biscuits, and of course sweet tea.  Now that I live in New England, there's not many restaurants that cater towards southern cuisine around.  There's just something so comforting about digging into a plate of something warm and delicious that reminds you of childhood.

Cracker Barrel is an American chain of a combined restaurant and gift store that has a Southern country theme.  You'll enjoy bringing the whole family to this eatery where you can make your belly happy with such menu choices as grilled pork chops, hickory smoked country ham, rainbow trout, or even roast beef.  There's something for everyone including sandwiches, salads, soups, and even breakfast all day! Don't forget the delicious sides like mac and cheese, buttermilk biscuits, fried okra, country green beans, fried apples, and so much more.  You can't leave without finishing the meal with a sweet treat such as fruit cobbler with ice cream, a slice of pie, or even double chocolate fudge coca-cola cake!

As much as I love Cracker Barrel's restaurant, I am equally fond of their country store.  We just got back from a 3 week road trip and I was lucky to be able to stop at two different Cracker Barrel's for lunch and dinner.  There's always something uncommon and interesting to see in the store.  You'll love the housewares, unique food and candy options, as well as clothing and toys.  It's next to impossible to walk into the store without buying something.  I found an adorable dress for Scarlett that I bought and there were plenty of other things I had to control myself from buying!

Since I don't live close to a Cracker Barrel I don't get to go too frequently.  Luckily, you can bring the convenience of their store into your home with their online shop.  Anyone's kitchen would be thrilled to receive a Cracker Barrel Large Breakfast Basket as well as a cast iron skillet.

The basket contains CB's famous natural syrup, buttermilk pancake mix, apple butter, fried apples, a bag of coffee, and strawberry preserves.  Not only would this be a fabulous gift for yourself, but for a loved one too.  You can never go wrong with pancakes, syrup, and coffee anytime of day.  Fried apples are a treat that I don't have very often, so it was exciting to have them featured in the basket.   The apple butter and strawberry preserves on toast would be perfect on toast any day.  Don't forget to pair your breakfast with a fabulous cup of coffee!

I've heard wonderful things about cast iron skillets but surprisingly have never owned one. The one I received is on the smaller side which is perfect since it doesn't take up much room.  I got to work making Cracker Barrel's pancakes.  I have not tried their pancakes in the restaurant previously, so it was exciting to have the opportunity to do so at home. Breakfast for dinner was on the agenda and it was a great choice if you ask me.

Using the cast iron pan for cooking made the pancakes turn out wonderfully fluffy and golden brown.  I'm not always the best at making pancakes perfectly round, but they came out round and beautiful tonight!

I served our pancake dinner with bacon, strawberries, and fried apples.  Of course you can't forget a generous drizzle of Cracker Barrel's fabulous syrup which was fantastic.  The pancakes tasted very similar to their biscuits which I wish I could have on a daily basis.  I loved how fluffy and light they were.  Since they were so quick to make, I certainly will keep the pancake mix in mind on busy nights when I have no time to cook a big meal.  Breakfast for dinner is always a hit in my household.

Everyone enjoyed the dinner and my husband Jay gave the coffee two thumbs up too. I'm looking forward to sampling the strawberry preserves and apple butter in the very near future.

If you need to buy a friend or a loved one a gift, the large breakfast basket would be a fantastic choice.  Who knows, maybe they'll even invite you over for breakfast?

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Cracker Barrel for providing a product sample in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 

Keep Little One's Hands Warm With Mittyz

If you picture cold weather what's the first thing you think of? Many will think of soups, stews, or even roaring fires and hot chocolate.  Of course snow goes hand in hand with all of those things.  Adults and children alike enjoy snow activities including snow tubing, skiing, and even making a snowman.  When you're out in the frigid temps, it's dire to make sure your hands are protected from the chilly air.

Mittyz by Veyo Kids are a new type of baby and toddler glove designed specifically to end the "thumb wars" and make outdoor playtime easy.  The unique design makes them easy to slip on and fit perfectly around bulky coats.  They stay on better and keep little fingers warmer, which means outdoor playtime lasts longer.  You'll find that the gloves come in a variety of styles including tiger paws, skull and crossbones, penguins, dragons, and butterflies.  There's a perfect pair of Mittyz for every boy and girl in sizes that range from 6 months all the way up to 6 years. 

Parents everywhere will enjoy that Mittyz are 100% waterproof and fleece lined for warmth. The elastic gauntlet cinch strap seals out snow and ice making outdoor play enjoyable and easier. Toss in the washing machine to have the gloves be washed and ready for more future outdoor play.

Scarlett absolutely loves to play in the snow whenever the white stuff falls from the sky. Since we live in New England, we get a lot of snow during the winter.  She doesn't love to be bundled up but knows it's necessary to play outside.  One thing that I've always had trouble with is her gloves though.

Children's mittens and gloves always seem to be thin and not very warm.  It's always a struggle to get little one's hands in them, especially with thumbs for mittens.  We've had waterproof gloves in the past that were made with a thicker material but were challenging to put on.  In the end, Scarlett's gloves always seem to come off and then her hands get wet and cold.  She gets upset and it's not enjoyable for either of us! I worry about her getting sick with her hands not covered.  

We received the Mittyz in the mail yesterday and today we have snow.  What perfect timing, don't you think? The gloves very easy to put on securely and in no time Scarlett was bundled up and ready to play outside. I loved how the Mittyz went all the way up Scarlett's arm over her puffy jacket.  Thanks to this, you're able to prevent snow and ice from getting inside the sleeve of the jacket and making your child cold.

Scarlett had a lot of fun playing outside and when I asked her if her hands were cold she said no.  We were able to stay outside for about half an hour before she wanted to come in.  With prior snowfalls, she didn't want to stay outside as long because she would complain about her gloves falling off and her hands being cold. The gloves did not come off at all and tightly stayed on the whole time outdoors.  I was very impressed with that and knew that these gloves would be a lifesaver this winter!

Mittyz will always be reliably in our coat closet for future play all winter long.  I know I'll be ordering the next size up for her when the time comes! I highly recommend Mittyz to parents everywhere who live in cold states.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Mittyz for providing a product sample in order to facilitate this post. All thoughts are strictly my own. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Put Some Good Night Books On Your Child's Bookshelf

Now that Scarlett is older and just turned 3, we're really trying to teach her about the world around her.  She knows about the sun, moon, stars, weather and so many other elements of life.  It's equally important to me that she knows about the state she lives in, as well as where her parents are from.  As she gets older, I'd love to tell her about my childhood in North Carolina, as well as her dad's in New Jersey.  Thankfully, there are plenty of children's books to help on those subjects.

Good Night Books is an adorable board book series meant for children 0-5 designed to celebrate special places that young children can relate to.  Not only is there one for each state in the United States, but others including the galaxy, the beach, animals, America, and many others.  The books are clear and easy to understand and include bright and vivid illustrations that all children will enjoy.  

A few years back we discovered the Good Night book for our state at a used book store.  I was very excited to buy it for Scarlett because it was a great way to know about where she lives.  I had no prior knowledge of the series and was pleased to know how large the line was once I did some online research.  We also have Good Night Farm which is equally as adorable.  It's one of Scarlett's favorites since she is such an animal lover.

These books make perfect gifts for young children as well as gifts for a baby shower.  Any tiny tot would be enthused to have a book from the state which they live in.  The hardcover board book is easy to hold and doesn't have too many pages where children will lose interest.

Since we're always looking to expand Scarlett's book collection, I wanted her to have Goodnight New Jersey, Goodnight North Carolina and Goodnight Country Store.  I grew up in North Carolina and my husband Jay grew up in New Jersey, so it was important to us for Scarlett to have books about where her parents are from.  In my opinion, Goodnight Country Store is a fun choice because Scarlett it combines shopping and food, which are two of Scarlett's favorite things.  It reminds me of Cracker Barrel's Country Store which Scarlett and I both enjoy. 

Since we only had 2 prior books from the series, I was looking forward to seeing Scarlett's reaction to 3 new books from the line once they arrived.

We chose to read Goodnight North Carolina first since I was intrigued at what it would say about my home state.  I lived in North Carolina for 17 years and have fond memories of growing up there.  It's very different from New England where we live now! The book focuses on The Outer Banks, Kitty Hawk where the Wright Brothers were first in flight, Roanoke Island, The North Carolina Zoological Park and much more.  

It was great to be able to show her places in North Carolina in the book that I went as a child such as The Outer Banks.  Scarlett enjoyed the pictures and asked questions along the way of things that intrigued her.  Hopefully one day she'll be able to see everything in the book in person! She's been to North Carolina a few times and it's always special for me to have her in my home state.

My husband was very enthusiastic about the Good Night New Jersey book.  Scarlett's Grandma lives in New Jersey, so we visit frequently.  The book showcases such places as The Delaware Water Gap, Asbury Park, Point Pleasant Boardwalk, and New Jersey lighthouses among others.  Jay enjoyed reading the book to her and telling her about his memories and thoughts about certain topics in the book.

Since he's from New Jersey he has much more knowledge about the state than I do.  Last summer we visited the Point Pleasant Boardwalk and rode the rides which are featured in the book.  It was fun to remind Scarlett of that visit and how she loved the experience.

Lastly, Goodnight Country Store focuses on everything that you associate a country store with from quilts and crafts to classic toys and food.  There was even one page that featured a bookshelf with some books from the Good Night series for sale! I thought that was cute.  There's always something fun and interesting to see at a Country Store.  Scarlett and I just went to the Cracker Barrel store twice last weekend when we were driving back from our road trip.  They sell very similar things as to what's in the book.  It's hard to not buy something every time you're in a country store!

Scarlett's really been enjoying the new books from the series immensely.  I hope to add to her collection soon enough.  We have our eye on Goodnight Galaxy and Goodnight Ocean!

If you're looking to add some wonderful books to your child's collection, it's time to pick out some titles from the series!

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Good Night Books for providing product samples in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own.