Small Victories Sunday Linkup!

Hi guys! It’s been a LONG time here that I haven’t posted anything new. There has been SO much going on my life – I’ll be writing an update soon to let you know where I’ve been. Some good, some bad, but… ’tis the way life goes, right? But, I’m excited to joining this great group of blogs each week now, and I hope you’ll join in the fun. Check it out…

Small Victories Sunday Linkup

Welcome to our Small Victories Sunday Linkup, now partying on 8 blogs!

I am very excited to be a part of this great group! This weekly linkup is designed to linkup your BEST posts to inspire others to read, cook, craft, live well and blog well. Share with us anything that will help others live a happier and healthier life. Sunday is the perfect day to reflect and celebrate the week that passed and look forward to the week ahead, right? Our linkup is open all week long so feel free to stop by anytime, it’s never too late to linkup with us! If you need writing prompts or to see past linkups, visit our main Small Victories Sunday Linkup page.

Ways You Can Follow Your Hosts:

Small Victories Sunday Linkup hosts [Read more…]

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Enter to Win in the Karina Dresses #Frockstar Huge #Giveaway!

I received a complimentary dress from Karina Dresses. The Frockstar™ Nation Event will show how Karina Dresses truly are a dress made for every body. Keep reading to check it out. Too much awesome.

Love dresses, #fashion #Frockstar [Read more…]

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Learn How Weight Watcher’s Can Work for You

This post was created as part of a relationship in which I was sponsored by Weight Watchers and given a free three month subscription to try their new Personal Coaching product and write about my experience. Though I was compensated for my time and commitment, all views, positive and negative, are my own. #WeightWatchers #WWsponsored

Egg Scramble on Weight Watchers

Months ago, if you had asked me how I like my eggs, I might have answered – “In a cake.” But today, I’d say, “just whites, scrambled with bell peppers and fat free cheese, please.” And how did I end up changing like that? With the help of Weight Watcher’s and their personal coaching system, that’s how!

Scottsdale, AZ [Read more…]

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How to Make Artisan Chicken at Home

I was provided with complimentary product and compensation to try out this recipe for the McDonald’s® all new Artisan Grilled Chicken. All opinions and overuse of the word awesome are my own :) #McDPartners

So, you guys all know that I’m a big fan of McDonald’s. 

That was my first job. And the franchise owners here where I live treated us amazing. My McDonald’s was in the mall, so it was fun. Also, I love that they partner with the Ronald McDonald House. That’s the place that helps families have a place to stay when their kiddos are at a Children’s Hospital. {Which my family has used a ton of times, due to lots of emergencies. It’s a lifesaver.} And it’s funded by you putting your change into those little donation boxes in front of each register. I also remember having birthday parties at McDonald’s as a kid. I see how excited my little girl gets when she gets a Happy Meal – with apple slices, smaller serving of fries, a cheeseburger, and a yummy chocolate milk, plus an awesome toy! So, Mickey D’s is a part of our life :) And now there’s a great new addition to their menu that has me super excited….

[Read more…]

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Pin Party Link Up – #PinIt

Hey friends!! Super excited to bring you another week of awesomeness – where you can link up your favorite pins, and find some other amazing things to pin too! Check it, yo. :)

Pinterest Linky Mother's Day [Read more…]

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The Difficult Path to Motherhood – Made Easier

This post is brought to you by The Stork OTC and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

My path to motherhood was….. Difficult. I’ve always wanted to tell the full story of that here on the blog, but haven’t done so yet. But, early May, watch for a series of posts, as we head to Mother’s Day, and my almost 5th year of being a mom. Until then, let’s talk about how difficult it can sometimes be to become a mother.

Becoming a mom - overcoming challenges [Read more…]

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7 Tips for Creating Easter Baskets on a Budget

Welcome to another edition of the #ChosenChixHop, where I partner with 7 awesome bloggers to bring you 7 posts, each filled with 7 fun things! This week is all about Easter – I’m sharing 7 tips for creating Easter baskets on a budget, then at the end of the post you’ll see links to all of the other fun posts too. Be sure to check them out, and share if you find some posts that you love.

Easter egg hunt ideas

I grew up celebrating Easter in a big way. My great aunt used to put on a HUGE Easter egg hunt and lunch out at her house. A lot of the other family all lived on the same street, and all of the yards connected with no fences, giving us lots of room to run and play. We probably had 100 of us each year! We’d divide into age groups and wait our turn while the grown-ups hid the eggs for each group. They were empty plastic eggs, and at the end, they’d count how many each of us got. Everyone got an Easter bag, bucket, or basket as a prize – plus some coins and dollars depending on how many eggs we found. When you’re 5 years old, a baggy full of change and a dollar bill makes you feel like a millionaire :)

Polka dot Easter basket and outfit

After my aunt passed away years ago, that tradition went away too. I realized how much I missed it when we were preparing for Abby’s first Easter. So many of the cousins have all lost touch, moved away, etc. But I have quite a few friends who are like family, so I decided to create my own Easter celebration! We do it every year on the Saturday before Easter, since many of them have other family obligations on the real holiday. Last year, I had 40 kids coming, and wanted to create enough prize baskets for all of them, just like we had when I was a kid. I had every parent bring at least a dozen filled plastic eggs per kiddo, so there’d be lots of them to find – but needed a way to create the prize baskets, buckets, and bags on a budget.

Prizes for Easter egg hunts

So, here are some of the tips and tricks that I use each year to create a huge assortment of Easter baskets and gifts, without emptying my wallet. Hope you find a few to help you too! {For more frugal ideas, see my most popular post of all time: 10 Ways to Make Money from Home.}

  • 1. Containers. For our main Easter baskets, the ones that I make for Abby and my two nephews, I use a more substantial container – but not a traditional style Easter basket. Those don’t really have much use after the holiday, right? A few favorites: Easter pail or a character-themed bucket like this Jake and the Neverland Pirates one. Buckets are handy all year – playing in the yard or at the beach, holding bath toys, or playing in the pool. Another idea, even though it might seem funny since it’s more expensive than a traditional wicker basket, is something like this Fabric Bucket Tote. You can personalize it, it’s super cute, and you’ll use it all year too – making it totally worth it! And my other go-to is the dollar store. Any type of bucket, those collapsible fabric baskets, storage totes, etc – those are all things you’ll actually use later on too! I also will use things like dollar store gift bags jazzed up with some ribbon and glitter too, for smaller gifts, or to make something look more special before adding it to the main Easter basket.
  • 2. DVDs. If you check Amazon, you can find loads of deals, with so many kid’s movies at around $5 bucks. I made a list awhile back of 14 kid’s movies under $5, but prices change constantly on Amazon. As of this minute, they’re all really close in price – and you can see other suggested movies in this price range too. They’ll get a lot more use out of a $5 movie than a $5 chocolate bunny.
  • 3. Books. The dollar store is another amazing resource for this. I find so many fun board books for Abby here! Plus coloring books, crayons, markers, stickers. When the board book is only $1, I let her use craft supplies like that to decorate her books, which totally makes her happy :)
  • 4. Hair accessories. If you go to the craft store {Michael’s is my personal favorite} and buy a bundle or two of fake flowers, you can usually get them on sale for just a couple of bucks. Then grab a package of Alligator Hair Clips, and some ALEENES 15599 All Purpose Glue, 8-Ounce. {Or use a hot glue gun if you have one.} You can simply attach the flowers to the clips, or even embellish them a bit beforehand by adding a little glitter or rhinestones. And bam – super inexpensive but SUPER cute flower hair clips for little girls! Love it.
  • 5. Bracelets. Little girls LOVE this. I buy some inexpensive beads, string them on some elastic cord, and in less than 5 minutes have a pretty bracelet for a special someone for less than a dollar. Bonus if you buy a set of beads with letters to personalize it – Little girls LOVE seeing their name on a bracelet!
  • 6. Toys. Since I’m on a budget, most of the toys I buy for Easter are from Amazon, Oriental Trading Co. where I can buy in bulk, the dollar store, or Walmart. They’re the “cheapy” type of toys. But, I make sure that they are things that – while they’re not high-quality and won’t last long – won’t be a waste. Meaning, they’ll help create fun memories during our party. Sidewalk chalk, bubbles, jump ropes, foam airplane kits, plastic whiffle ball or golf sets. Things that get them all playing and having a good time. Another favorite: Playdough. I’ll get something like this 101-Piece Cookie Cutter Set, plus a Play-Doh Case of Colors, and use some of those cheap gift bags I bought to divide them up into sets. Cookie cutters are awesome tools for designing with Playdough, and the kids have a blast.
  • 7. Candy. Yep, while there’s been more of a trend lately to have “candy-free” gift baskets, which I totally support… Easter wouldn’t be quite the same to me without some candy :) The best way to save is to buy in bulk. There are times of the year that kiddos can get picky about the brand of candy they eat – but at Easter, there are so many themed candies that come in great big ol’ bags – it’s definitely a way to save, especially if you’re entertaining a lot of people.

Easter basket ideas on a budget

So – there you have it. After 4 years of putting on Easter egg hunt parties for 25-50 kids, and creating Easter baskets and prizes for them all, these are the things that have worked for me, and lead to a giant field full of happy kids. If you have more tips to share on Easter basket ideas, definitely feel free to share in the comments! I love to hear from you.

And, for more great Easter posts, be sure to check out my fellow Chosen Chix bloggers, and follow the #ChosenChixHop hashtag on your fave social media sites:

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