By Heather Ledeboer | Category: It Worked 4 Me
Christmas may be over but it is not the only time of year that we are in need of a ready-to-give-gift. With young children in toe, having a handful of gifts ready makes perfect sense. This simple solution comes from 4 Nannies and I hope you will find it to be an inspirational help to ease the stress of needing to find a last minute gift!
It’s time for the kids to go to another birthday party and, unfortunately, you haven’t bought a gift yet. There’s barely enough time to get to the party as it is and now you have to figure out how to make time for a stop at the store and figure out something to buy for the birthday child. Everyone is in a rush and stressed out. Does this situation sound familiar? All of this stress can be avoided by having a gift cupboard; here’s how to create one.
Find a spot to store everything
This may sound like the most difficult part, and it might be, but here are some suggestions: you can use a small linen closet, a hope chest at the end of your bed, a couple of boxes on the top shelf in your closet, under bed storage, or buy either a new or used cupboard. If you buy a used cupboard you can clean it up and paint it or stain it to match your home and it will blend right in.
Buying the gifts
Getting the gifts to put in the gift cupboard is a gradual process. You’ll want to get into the habit of checking the clearance area everywhere you go and watching the sale ads. After Christmas sales are also a really good time to pick up some good buys at a fraction of the normal cost.
You should be on the lookout for games and toys that fall into the price range that you would normally spend for a birthday party. Maybe you find a bunch of board games on clearance, or several popular action figures. Make sure to pick up a mix of both boy gifts and girl gifts to give yourself a good variety. A few unisex gifts wouldn’t hurt, just in case you run out of one or the other.
This gift cupboard doesn’t have to be just for children’s birthday parties – it can be for adults too. When you go someplace for dinner and you’d like to take a hostess gift, it needs to be in your gift cupboard so you don’t have to stress about it. Put a few bottles of wine in different varieties in there, some wine charms, coasters and other small gifts that you think your friends would like. It’s also smart to include some small gifts that you can exchange with friends and acquaintances on the spur of the moment. These come in especially handy during the holiday season. A friend may unexpectedly drop by with a small gift, and it’s nice to have something to give them in return. Another good idea is to keep a few gift cards on hand for various places around town.
Stocking the gift wrap
While it’s not mandatory to keep your gift wrapping stuff in this cupboard, it might be a good idea to do so since you will be using them in conjunction with these items.
Include gift bags in various sizes and colors, white tissue paper (will work with any color bag), rolls of gift wrap for different occasions, wine bottle sleeves, bubble wrap, Styrofoam peanuts and plenty of tape. A few small boxes might be a good idea too so that the odd shaped items can go into a box for wrapping.
Accessories to go on a wrapped present or gift bag are what make people gasp in surprise and tell you how lovely the gift wrapping is. This part takes no talent or craftiness, so don’t panic if you are not crafty. Include plenty of ribbon, both regular and curling. Buy a few pine picks for the holidays. These can easily be added to the top of a gift with some tape. Wrap the ribbon around the gift and tie a simple bow. Tuck a pick or some sort of gift dangle into the bow and you are done. You will look like a rock star and it was all stress free because of your gift cupboard.
Someday, when you have some time on your hands between appointments or just a free day to go shopping, you can take your time and stand and read through some greeting cards. Choose a variety of cards, such as thank you, sympathy, male birthday, female birthday, congratulations, etc. Keep these cards in your gift cupboard and you won’t have to worry if you remember someone’s birthday at the last minute or you hear about someone having a death in the family. You will be able to go to the gift cupboard and grab a card and send it on the same day without rushing to the store.
Next time you are out shopping and you see a sale, keep in mind that this is how the gift cupboard starts. You can pick up two gifts instead of just one and stash the other one away for another child some other time. Happy gifting!
Posted Tuesday, January 22, 2013
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By Heather Ledeboer | Category: Super Sales
Goober Baby Tote Bags 50% off this week!
Goober Baby Tote Bags can be used as a snack bag, a medical kit, or to store those diaper-duty essentials.
- See-through front for quick access to contents
- Practical waterproof interior for easy wiping
- Durable, easy hook and loop closure
- Winner of the iParenting Media Award for ’2008 Best Products’
- Measures: 8″ x 10″
- Fabrics: 100% Cotton / 100% Vinyl
Click here to learn more….
Posted Thursday, January 17, 2013
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By Rachel Steele | Category: Pursuing God, The Journey of Motherhood
Why is it so difficult to keep my mouth from erupting with fault-finding lava and plumes of critical smoke? There are times I get so worked up, I’m sure my ears must be billowing steam and shooting out sparks.
I work outside the home just one to two days a week. A few months ago, I arrived home after a rather long day at work and was met at the door by my husband, who is a very consistent and dedicated runner. He was scrambling to get his running shoes on before the sun went down and was already at the end of the driveway before I could yell out, “How many miles?!!” As I walked inside, my 18 month old was coughing and choking on some sort of regurgitated snack. It only bothered him a second, and then he was back to playing. I gave the boys a hug and then hurried to the restroom. My bladder was about to burst, so I didn’t realize I was dancing around in something watery that had puddled in front of the toilet, until after I sat down and noticed my socks were wet. What is this liquid? I wasn’t sure, so I sprayed it with cleaner, rolled off my soppy stockings and threw them in the laundry basket. Still puzzled, I walked into the living room to ask the kiddos how their day went. Again, my youngest is still battling with an unknown crunchy food form. As tiny bits are occasionally spewing from his mouth, I ask my oldest, “What is that he’s eating?” He responds, “Oh, daddy gave him peanuts.” Peanuts! What person in their right mind would give a jumping, rolling, bouncing toddler, whole peanuts without any supervision! As I am hunting around for the snack bowl to cut off the peanut supply, a tiny brown mushy ball squishes between my toes. Mind you, I’m now barefoot, due to the unidentifiable fluid incident in the bathroom. I start inspecting this cold mush by pulling my foot as close to my face as I can get it. I become a squinting and sniffing contortionist, and discover that this russet paste is exactly what I had feared. That’s right, it’s plain old number two, just chillin’ out on the living room carpet, like it’s part of the party. By this point, my thermometer of fury had reached the top of my head and I was red hot!
Unfortunately, for my husband, he had a longer run that day, which gave my infuriation ample time to fester. As soon as he stepped inside the front door, he proclaimed he was starving and asked, “What are we having for dinner?” Boom! Explosion! I could no longer contain the monumental push that was shoving this poisonous and critical speech right off the tip of my tongue. After a minute or two of reenacting the role of a blabbering and blithering idiot, I stop to catch a breath, and my husband defensively barks back his reasoning behind the nutty, squashy fiasco. He explains that he was only trying to find a healthy snack for our son, not trying to cut off his airway. He describes how he was trying to heed my wishes by using cloth diapers at home instead of disposable. Apparently, a tiny toddler nugget slipped out of the leg hole when he was transporting the diaper to the toilet. His account of the wayward diaper sprayer explained the small lake I waded through in pursuit of the porcelain throne.
I realized that my momentary rant undid all of my many efforts to sell my husband on using cloth diapers, something I had been trying to persuade him to do for over a year. When I allowed the crackly, condescending branches of bitterness to creep around and clutch my spirit, I crushed all of his spirit’s vulnerable efforts to grow in confidence. To this day, he won’t attempt another cloth diaper, and can I blame him? Well, yes I can, and I did. I’ve found that blaming and accusing, fuel on an arrogant and vainglorious attitude which tends to burn down considerate and caring gestures, often in a matter of seconds. I realized how so very far away I can be from acting like a Christian, and still call myself one. I mentioned in my last post, Hanes in the Horizon, that I have been praying to “see as He sees” and “hear as He hears”, although I find it very interesting that God has answered my prayer by exposing my own ungrace, so that I can begin to comprehend His grace. A quote from Henry Nouwen’s, Return, hits the nail on the head:
“I have often said, “I forgive you”, but even as I said these words my heart remained angry or resentful. I still wanted to hear the story that tells me that I was right after all; I still wanted to hear apologies and excuses; I still wanted the satisfaction of receiving some praise in return–if only the praise for being so forgiving!
But God’s forgiveness is unconditional; it comes from a heart that does not demand anything for itself, a heart that is completely empty of self-seeking. It is this divine forgiveness that I have to practice in my daily life. It calls me to keep stepping over all my arguments that say forgiveness is unwise, unhealthy, and impractical. It challenges me to step over all my needs for gratitude and compliments. Finally, it demands of me that I step over that wounded part of my heart that feels hurt and wronged and that wants to stay in control and put a few conditions between me and the one whom I am asked to forgive.”
I thought surely I would feel much better after I blurted out all of my frustrations and unloaded my wrath. Sadly, I used “justice” as an excuse for my tirade. Jesus does not give us due justice, He is faithful to respond in covering grace, a message I’m reminded of every time I wash out another dirty diaper. Let us all agree that these bitter, barren branches will transform into canopies of sweet shade as we grow and stretch out towards a fruitful season of grace.
“The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” Matthew 12:34
Posted Tuesday, January 15, 2013
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By parkingpal | Category: Meet the mom inventor, Mom 4 Life News & Giveaways, New Products
Read below to find out how to get a free Penalty Pal in addition to 20% off the Parking Pal as well as the Penalty Pal!
Hi, my name is Denise and I’m a mom to 3 boys ages 11, 9, and 7. I stay busy homeschooling the boys and work part time as an RN in Maternity. I spent most of 2011 fighting breast cancer. I am now cancer free and feeling great. About 6 years ago I invented a product called the Parking Pal. After having my 3rd child, I found myself sounding like a broken record in parking lots. I was constantly telling the older boys to “stay by the car” while I was getting the baby in or out. I new there had to be a better way to keep kids from wandering away from the vehicle. The idea of the Parking Pal came to me…and after developing our first prototype, I couldn’t believe how well it worked!
There is no other product like the Parking Pal on the market. But what is really amazing, is how well it works. Even parents with difficult kids who didn’t think it would work, have been amazed with how well their kids use it. It definitely makes running errands with kids much less stressful!
Not too long ago Heather and I created a video about my product, I invite you to view the Parking Pal review video here.
We are happy to have recently released another product called the Penalty Pal. The Penalty Pal is a removable wall decal used for time-out spots. In the short time it has been on the market, we have gotten some wonderful reviews! We hope to release several new products within the next few years.
We have been so blessed through our business that we feel it is really important to give back. Since both my mom (business partner) and I have had breast cancer, we donate to a local breast cancer fund. It helps other women going through the same things we did. I hope and pray that someday soon there will be a cure for cancer!
$9.50, for one week only $7.60 with free shipping as always! $7.99, for one week only $6.39 with free shipping as always!
Posted Thursday, January 10, 2013
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By Heather Ledeboer | Category: Super Sales
BellaBand Maternity Accessories by Ingrid & Isabel 50% off this week!
Prices starting as low as $13.00
The BellaBand works throughout your entire pregnancy when pants, skirts or shorts aren’t fitting quite right.
- Wear throughout and after pregnancy
- Seamless construction
- Specifically designed to expand and recover for pregnancy
- Adjustable; wear full-length or fold for extra hold
- High-density, ultra-soft knit blend
- Fabric won’t pill, fade or lose elasticity
Our sale even includes the newest style BellaBand which features:
- New stay-put silicone strip offers more hold/keeps Bellaband from riding or rolling up
- New longer length for extra coverage and flexibility
Click here to learn more….