Cozy Day (Giveaway)

Oh how I have been longing for a cozy day!! Life has been a little crazy, as I am sure most of your can relate…we had school concerts & carols, cookie exchange, decorations & gifts to be purchased, news segment opportunities, Christmas parties & gatherings, touching volunteering experiences, etc. on top of all the everyday obligations & responsibilities.  What helped me get through some of those events, especially those long days when I was running low on patience, was the thought of a relaxing and cozy day!! So here it is….I am finally experiencing that cozy day!! My inspiration for sharing my must-haves for this cozy day, Parachute Home, a newer company that specializes in providing the finest quality bedding at an affordable price. After checking out some of their cozy items I wanted to share mine as well!”

My must-haves is a symphony for the senses that help to comfort the body and warm the heart & soul. They include…

My favorite Pandora channel this time of year, Ray Charles Christmas, quietly playing in the background. The Christmas tree lights are on and the scent of cinnamon lingers in the room from the scented pinecones on the mantel.

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The scent of cinnamon is only interrupted by the amazing aroma of Starbuck’s Christmas brew coffee warming my hands in my favorite coffee mug!

 

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Christmas cards displayed on the wall of all the amazing people in our lives, all the friends and families….it warm my heart for they are our true blessings and gifts!

 

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And the final and most important component of this symphony for the senses, that truly makes this cozy day is the view; my soul is overjoyed by the view from my couch.

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My gift to you this Christmas is that you may experience a similar cozy day! And to help you in the process I am giving away a $25 gift card to Starbucks to one follower.

To enter the giveaway:

1-Follow Mom on the go in Holy Toledo on Facebook

2-Follow Parachute Home on Facebook 

3-Follow @mamaof3onthego on Twitter

4-Follow Parachute Home on Twitter 

5-Reply with ONE comment saying you completed 1-4 and share a must-have for a cozy day.

 

Winner will be randomly selected Dec. 29th @ 11:59pm, winner will be posted to Facebook page. If winner doesn’t come forward and personal message address in a 24 hour period a new winner will be randomly selected.

Homegating (Video Clip)

Having friends & family over to watch the big game? Feeling overwhelmed?  Have limited time to clean the house, purchase food, prepare food, cook food, etc. Here are some great tips to help alleviate any pressure so you can enjoy your homegating party!!

 

 

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Vegetable Chili Con Queso
Ingredients
1 15 ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
115 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
115 ounce can chili beans with chili gravy, do not drained
110 ounce can chopped tomatoes and green chile peppers, do not drained
1 1/4 cups chopped zucchini (1 medium)
1 1/4 cups chopped yellow summer squash
1 cup chopped onion (1 large)
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 teaspoons chili powder
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese (12 ounces)

Directions: Mix all ingredients together place in crock pot and heat for 4-6 hours

 

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Holiday Gift Guide Giveaway!!

Moms can be the trickiest people to buy a gift for; they give so much to others and rarely ask for anything in return. They hardly ever make a fuss over themselves, which can make buying a gift for them rather difficult. Not this year! This year we have collated a list of products that mom is sure to love! For a complete list and description of items click here.

And now for the giveaway!!

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One lucky follower will receive this AWESOME giveaway (Retails over $120!!) that includes:

Sachi Small Tote with Cool Gem Set- a cute insulated daily tote perfect for carrying your lunch and 2 Sachi cool gems to help your food stay cool longer. Insulated tote has a easy to clean leak proof lining, Cool Gems are food safe non toxic cold pack to keep your food and drinks cool as a mini walking refrigerator. Retails $17.99

Downton Abbey Fragrance, Lady Edith- The rich and varied scents of the fragrance has been crafted from pure perfume oils, without alcohol, chemicals, additives, artificial colors, parabens or phthalates.  The fragrance is pure and undiluted, vastly different than most perfumes on the market, which generally are up to 75% alcohol. (Speaking of alcohol, be sure to Checkout  52 Brews for their official website). Whereas alcohol-based perfumes evaporate in a rush, obscuring the delicate nuances of a fragrance’s complexity, the richness of the Downton Abbey fragrances can be appreciated much like fine wines.  Downtonabbeyfragrances.com, Retails $74.99 (8 ml).

Pink Cushies- They are padded, soft slipper-shaped footwear, nearly weightless, amazingly flexible and have a breathable mesh top. They are also antimicrobial and both water and skid resistant. Its sturdy neoprene construction makes it durable and comfortable on any indoor surface. Retails $19.99

Collapsible shopping basket (16 liter) Clever Crate-   Pop’em up, fold’em down, Clever Crates are the smartest, easiest way to organize and transport household items. The secret is the unique lightweight and collapsible lift, pop and pack design that creates a spacious container that can be folded, stacked and stored away almost anywhere.  Pop them up to bring gear, drinks and snacks to family activities.  Great for the garden, garage, camping, parties, travel and so many other uses, as well as space-saving and efficient storage.  Retails $9.99

To Enter the Giveaway complete the following steps:

  1. Follow Mom on the go in Holy Toledo on Facebook and share this post on your timeline.
  2. Follow @Mamaof3onthego on Twitter
  3. Follow Heaven’s Alchemy Perfumes on Facebook
  4. Follow Sachi Insulated Fashions on Facebook
  5. Follow Nufoot on Facebook
  6. Reply to this post with a comment expressing which item you are most excited about.

One winner will be randomly selected Tuesday Dec. 16th @ 11:59pm. Winner will be announced on Facebook page. If winner doesn’t come forward after 24 hours a new winner will be randomly selected.

Open to residence of U.S. (void Alaska & Hawaii)

Space Scouts Review! (Includes promo code)

Our Space Scouts monthly subscription club kit arrived the other day, you know, the delightful learning adventure aimed at discovering the wonders of the universe where children can learn about space exploration, science, and astronomy, it arrived!! Our 7 & 8 year olds couldn’t wait to get their hands on it! All that could be heard as they opened the packages was, oohhs & ahhs, as they looked through the contents which included:

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  • Space Scouts Lunchbox
  • Space Scouts Solar System Poster
  • Space Scouts Activity Sheet
  • Space Scouts Sticker Scramble
  • Space Scouts Souvenir Toy
  • Space Scouts Constellation Card Startup Kit (cover & ring)
  • Introduction to Space Scouts Constellation Cards

And then once everything was out their journey began!

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Ricky & Jett, their guides on their expedition through the solar system addressed the children as Space Scouts, which they took much pride in as they launched off!  They began their expedition with first learning about Ursa Major/Big Dipper which included a brief history, the ancient Greeks story to explain the Big Bear in the sky, awesome brain games for the children to solve, and constellation card that had holes that form the Big Dipper when a flash light is shined from behind it in a dark room.

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The children about lost their minds when they saw the constellation on their ceiling, talk about cool!! They had a blast playing with the souvenir toys, completing the word scrambles, putting the magnets on the lunch box, and completing the sticker scramble!

 

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Parent’s point of view….

What I like about Space Scouts is the fact that each month the children learn something new about the solar system and receive information on a new constellation and card to add to their collection. I also appreciate the fact that the Space Scouts makes learning fun and engaging, the children were eager to see the night sky and be the first to point out the Big Dipper.  And I am extremely thankful that Space Scouts comes with an adorable retro lunch boxes where the children can keep all their Space Scout goodies…and said lunch box doesn’t take up much space! The constellations ring is also a genius idea, our son can’t wait to collect them all…he wants to be quizzed on them, haha!  

Space Scouts is the perfect gift for kiddos 6 and up! I am looking forward to next month’s arrival, it is a great way to help pass the time over winter break, snow days, spring break, road trips, etc. and I love the fact that it gives them a much needed break from screens!!!

I highly recommend Space Scouts. To order (only 11.95 + shipping) click here, 20% discount – Use promo code USFAMILY20 at checkout to receive 20% discount on initial purchase of any Space Scouts subscription plan.

Disclosure: I was given free two months subscription to Space Scouts in order to provide review. No additional compensations was received and all opinions expressed are my own.

 

Disney on Ice Princesses & Heroes with Local Heroes

“Mommy, I am so excited to see all my friends, Mickey, Minnie, Belle, Anna, Else, and I think the rest of the princesses can make it too!” exclaimed our 4 year old as we made our way to the Huntington Center. “There better be some Heroes too, not just Princesses!” declared our 7 year old son. “There is a hero in every story. Just look for them!” kindly replied our 9 year old daughter. Before the show we had a little surprise for the kids. A meet and greet with a very special Princess/Queen! But this wasn’t any meet and greet, this one was extra special because the children who were attending had a parent that was either deployed, serving, or served in the military. Thanks to Heroes in Action, a local Military outreach committed to supporting our service members, veterans, and their families, military families were able to attend the meet & greet and the show!  The experience was a touching one. It broke my heart hearing about some of the struggles these families face, especially after sacrificing so much for their country.

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To know that I was standing in a climate controlled building, safe, with my family, enjoying watching all the children’s expressions as they went up to Princess/Queen Elsa, meanwhile their own parents’ were missing this awesome experience so I could have my freedom. It was an extremely humbling experience!! I am so grateful for all our service men and women who sacrifice these special moments with their own children so that mine can be safe and freed. Clearly our daughter was correct; there is a Hero in every story! For we each have many Heroes in our own life stories…sometimes we just need reminding. After shedding a tear or two we headed for our seats. 

 

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With the wave of Tinker Bell’s wand and the comforting lull of ‘When you wish upon a Star’ it was as if the entire crowd was magically transformed back to childhood! Adults and children singing side-by-side, clapping ferociously each time a princess appeared, and when they were gracefully lifted up by their Heroes….so romantic!

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Intermission fun…pause for some comical relief with silly faces! Don’t know what it is about Disney that just brings out my childlike side. Haha!

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It was a night filled with classic Disney songs, characters, and magic but the real man of the hour, the showstopper was this guy…..

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I wish I had recorded the screams and yelps of excitement coming from the Huntington Center when this cute snowman made his grand entrance! Olaf was by far the most popular character on ice! And his infamous line, “Only an act of true love will thaw a frozen heart”, gets me every time! I had a rather emotional night, haha!

We all had a great time, yes, even our little man. It wasn’t all princesses as he had fear. In fact during one scene he actually let out a loud “Wow! Awesome!” when there was fire on the ice! He has been talking about it ever since! (And…he would kill me if he knew I told you but, I caught him singing a few of the Frozen songs. Shhh! Haha!)

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We had a magnificent time at Disney on Ice Princesses & Heroes! I so enjoyed watching my children’s faces light up throughout the performance. It was the perfect family experience! And the meet & greet beforehand truly opened up my eyes to the amazing opportunities I have been given, how truly blessed our families is, and how grateful and thankful I am for all the Heroes who fought/fight for our freedom & all the sacrifices they have made. Please consider donating to Heroes in Action….they support families by meeting with personal needs, housing and auto repairs, food baskets, newborn baskets, blankets for the wounded and whatever else they are able to do. They work with many other organizations to help educate, prepare and equip families with benefit information and emotional issues that may occur with service members. They do the unique and operate on donations. 

Also, be sure to get Disney on Ice Princesses & Heroes tickets for your family if you haven’t done so already! You will be glad you did!

 

Disclosure: I was given tickets for the family to attend the show and kiddos enjoyed meeting Elsa and received Snow White souvenir and other goodies. No other compensation was received, and all opinions expressed are my own.

 

Don’t gain this Christmas….get the box!! (promo code included!)

2015 is going to be my year! Seriously! I know it seems a bit soon to be contemplating New Year resolutions but I have come to the conclusion that instead of gaining those 10 pounds that then need to be lost in the New Year I am just not going to gain any weight, at all!! And I am going to start living a healthier and more invigorating lifestyle now! But I am not going to do it alone. I am going to have Bulu Box as my ally in this war against the holiday indulgences!

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The perfect partner in the pursuit of a healthier you, Bulu Box is like having a personal trainer and a nutritionist as a best friend. Get this, each month, a box of healthy discoveries is shipped right to your door (it doesn’t get more convenient than that!) for just $10. You learn about that month’s 4-5 premium samples, try each one and see what fits into your individual healthy lifestyle. For sharing your opinions on each month’s samples through a quick survey, you will be given 50 Rewards Points (that’s $5!) to use in the shop to get more of your favorites. Join me in this clever endeavor and let’s not gain that holiday weight…get a 3 Month Subscription for just $10 (regularly $30)! at Bulu Box – Use code WOWZA
http://usfamilycoupons.com/coupon.php?regionid=75&bid=11865&dealid=1825 @usfg @bulubox

 

I can’t wait to receive my first box!!!

Why there is no Elf on our Shelf?

Dear Elf on the Shelf, it’s over!

I remember it like it was yesterday, there he was sitting in the book /Elf combo package grinning ear to ear, dressed in red and white, with that mischievous expression froze on his face. Oh the excitement and anticipation I exhibited pondering how to introduce him to the family. Would they like him? Would they accept him? I read the book to my family, carefully placed our Elf on the shelf on the mantel and hoped for the best. The next morning the children’s eyes lit up with enthusiasm when they spotted our Elf. It was official, he had been accepted, and we had just started a new family tradition!!  You know how people say be careful what you wish for, same goes for traditions, be careful what traditions you start.

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It has been five years since I first welcomed that Elf into our home.  The children have grown and are now 4, 7, & 9 and they still eagerly await the Elf’s presence each year. But this year I hesitated.  Why, you may ask. Well, this year when I asked our 4 year old what Christmas was about the first thing she mentioned was the Elf? That was when I knew we had a problem, when the elf trumps Jesus’s birthday we have a huge problem! So I sat back and contemplated our relationship, what we had been through, and what was best for the children. And here is what I have concluded.

  1. I am so sick of the lying! I am so sick of lying to the kids. Sure we can come up with clever ways of calling it something else…magic, small fib, etc. bottom line, when I have to come up with a creative story about how you got into the house I am lying! Not to mention, some of the stories have you not looking so good, they have you border lining breaking and entering night after night, after night, etc.
  2. This relationship is way too high maintenance for me! I am so exhausted at night after cleaning up from the day and preparing for the next day, tucking in kiddos, and if I am lucky getting a shower. Not to mention, this is the busiest time of the year….let’s be honest here little guy, who is actually doing ALL the work…who is actually shopping, wrapping, and on top of all of that I am supposed to move you around every night! Move yourself!!  All you do is sit on your butt while I am the one doing all the work and you get all the recognition and praise!! And the children are supposed to behave thanks to you…what about me? I am always here watching!!! (Sorry, there might be a little animosity).
  3. Jealousy is starting to enter the relationship thanks to social media! I see you everywhere now! It is like there is an unwritten competition to see who can come up with the cleverest hiding spot, back story, etc. it is like a theatrical production and I just can’t take the pressure!! Nor do I have the time for all of that!
  4. You are edging God out! We have a huge problem when my children are more focused on your arrival than the birth of Jesus. I have clearly gone wrong somewhere. We need to refocus the reason for this beautiful season!! The birth of our Savior, not a plastic doll on a shelf!!
  5. Lastly, based upon Dr. Phil’s definition we are on our way to a toxic relationship….I am exhibiting at least 4 out of 8 of these;

Warning signs that a friendship has become toxic:

  • You feel bad about yourself after contact (YES…I feel horrible)
  • Your friend is unsupportive and even demanding (It’s like Dr. Phil is reading my mind!)
  • Your friend is a taker (Check!)
  • The relationship is draining, unsatisfying and stifling (It so is!)
  • There is unequal footing; You have no voice (Well….maybe not this one)
  • Your friend is unreliable (Not like I can depend on you to do anything other than take all the credit for all my hard work!)
  • There is a pattern of criticism (I just don’t like the way you look at me…after 5 years that expression is just creepy! I feel like you are criticizing me with that expression. Okay, so maybe this one doesn’t really apply)
  • There is little or no respect (That little elf has no respect for Moms….taking all the credit while moms are the ones doing everything….sure the kids will behave for the Elf but what about their Mothers? Hello, mom is always watching!! )

Thus it is with a deep sadness (not really) that I have come to the conclusion that we need to part ways. It’s not you, it’s me, and it’s what I am going through as I mature in my role as a mom.  I need to do what is best for the children. And sure, it will be hard on them the next couple Christmases but they will eventually move on.  Besides they will be more preoccupied with something else, the most important birthday ever!! You don’t have to go back to the North Pole but you do have to leave here…oh, and if the children ask, I told them you are working for a much bigger boss than Santa….that you are heading to a monastery.

Gifts for Mom

Moms can be the trickiest people to buy a gift for; they give so much to others and rarely ask for anything in return. They hardly ever make a fuss over themselves.  But let’s be honest, there comes a point when a mom wouldn’t mind something in addition to a homemade macaroni necklaces. So hubbies, adult kids, and friends take note, her are 6 awesome gifts that mom/nana would appreciate.  Trust me; they will be pleased with any or all of these gifts. Each product has received the Mom on the go in Holy Toledo approval!! It was my pleasure reviewing each of these amazing products…..

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Downton Abbey Fragrances

 

When I opened the box and saw the elegant Downton Abbey fine fragrance collection I literally screamed with enthusiasm!!  (I am clearly not as refined as some of the ladies on Downton Abbey  but at least I smell of refinement, haha!)Then I carefully twisted off each cap and tested each sensual and sophisticated perfume.   Each is designed to embody the personality and style of the central female characters of the show, including Anna Bates, Lady Cora, Lady Mary, Daisy Mason, Lady Edith, Lady Rose and Countess Violet.  The collection’s fragrances are crafted in the artisanal method utilized by the master perfumers so highly in demand during the early 1900’s time period during which the show is set, allowing the fragrances to be very close approximations of the luxurious and complex perfumes which the high society ladies of that era actually wore.  And let me tell you, when you are wearing  Downton Abbey fine fragrance you feel sophisticated, whether you are off to the office or in your bathrobe dropping off the kids at school…seriously, it is that amazing!!

And the best part is you do not have to constantly reapply.  The rich and varied scents of the fragrances have been crafted from pure perfume oils, without alcohol, chemicals, additives, artificial colors, parabens or phthalates.  These fragrances are pure and undiluted, vastly different than most perfumes on the market, which generally are up to 75% alcohol. Whereas alcohol-based perfumes evaporate in a rush, obscuring the delicate nuances of a fragrance’s complexity, the richness of each of the Downton Abbey fragrances can be appreciated much like fine wines. Each scent has top, middle and bottom notes that develop slowly after application on the skin, creating a sensual experience that lasts for and develops over a period of hours.  It is this kind of painstaking fragrance artistry that allows the Downton Abbey collection perfumes to reflect the personality of the show’s characters.  Downtonabbeyfragrances.com, $74.99 (8 ml).

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 Light Affection

 

I submitted a photograph of my kiddos to Light Affections and it was duplicated perfectly in sculpture and then combined with a beautiful lighting system that illuminated every aspect of the sculpture, creating a work of art that makes the memory displayed in a photograph seem lifelike and making it even more treasured.  When I illuminated the artwork I was speechless, how did they do that? How did they make the image come to life like that? Apparently it is based on an age-old art form known as lithophanes (Greek for vision in stone), the engraving of an image comes to life when illuminated from behind. The varying thickness of the translucent material creates the illusion of the original image.  All you have to do is email a digital image or mail a physical photograph and the company generates the Light Affection without damage to the original image.  This makes for the perfect gift for grandparents, aunts, uncles, moms, etc. they come in sizes from night-lights to large frames in various styles and shapes. $45 – $239 depending on size, lightaffection.com.

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 Sachi Insulated Fashion Handbags  

 

These are perfect for moms on the go! Sachi Insulated Fashion Bags are insulated and fashionable. I enjoyed showing up at Thanksgiving dinner with these stylish bags that effectively kept the green bean casserole hot and the ice cream and gelato cold! It felt so good showing up with these classy Sachi bags and not towels and brown bags. And best of all, Sachi bags are easy to clean, just wipes clean with a damp cloth.  Handles fold down for easy fit in the refrigerator.  Zips closed and handles fold down to the sides so that you may lay it flat, allowing for easy refrigerator storage.  Comes in a variety of styles and colors.  Retails for $5.99 – $27.99.  sachi-bags.com

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Cushies

There is something so relaxing about taking off your shoes after a long day and slipping on something more comfortable. And these Cushies are precisely what your feet need, nay, deserve!  Cushies are the newest indoor footwear creation from the Nufoot Company. They are padded, soft slipper-shaped footwear, nearly weightless, amazingly flexible and have a breathable mesh top, need I say more?  They are also antimicrobial and both water and skid resistant which I really appreciate on the hardwood floors. Its sturdy neoprene construction makes it durable and comfortable on any indoor surface….even the basement floor where our laundry room is located.  They come in a variety of colors and sizes $19.99, nufoot.com

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 Sound Oasis Bluetooth Sleep Sound Therapy System

 

This is the best! It is a high-quality, wireless Bluetooth speaker and a therapeutic sound and sleep therapy device all in one.  As a Bluetooth speaker, it has a 30 ft. range to stream music from your mobile device or computer.  Its built-in usb-rechargeable battery allows for 5-8 hours of cordless use on one charge.  Super compact size, very portable, but still has excellent sound quality and powerful bass! Just what this momma wants! This little guy is so small but has amazing sound!  And the best part, it has  built-in sleep therapy sound tracks that can be customized to run seamlessly for up to 8 hours….no more sleepless nights (unless you have a newborn or puppy).  Have a spouse that snores? This is perfect for blocking noise! It has  10 different sounds built-in and more sleep/sound therapy tracks/sounds can be downloaded from the SoundOasis.com store or from the Sound Oasis Apps.  $59.99, soundoasis.com

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Clever Crates Folding Utility Boxes

 

Clever is right! As most of my friends know, I utilize laundry baskets for everything! I throw papers and toys in them before guests arrive, put sport equipment in them for games and practice, use them to bring in food from a Costco trip, you name it! Downside to the laundry basket, it isn’t practical to store…and it looks ridiculous. Finally a solution! Pop’em up, fold’em down, Clever Crates are the smartest, easiest way to organize and transport household items. The secret is the unique lightweight and collapsible lift, pop and pack design that creates a spacious container that can be folded, stacked and stored away almost anywhere.  Pop them up to bring gear, drinks and snacks to family activities.  Great for the garden, garage, camping, parties, travel and so many other uses, as well as space-saving and efficient storage.  Ranging in size from 32 Liter (35 lb capacity) to 62 Liter (132 lb. capacity), coming in both open walled and solid wall versions and with or without handles.

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And thankfully Clever Crates are hygienic and easily washed. They are made from durable, reusable, sustainable and recyclable material.  A great alternative to plastic and paper disposable bags and cardboard boxes, Clever Crates have advantages that no other box, crate or basket can match.  Comes in a variety of colors.  $11.99 – $19.99 depending on size

And there you have it, perfect gifts to give mom this Christmas….a great mix of practical and fun! I so enjoyed reviewing each of these products. My life has been less stressful since reviewing these amazing products…that’s not to say my life has slowed down by any means but I now have wonderful products in my life to help manage the crazy and make me smell like a million bucks while doing so!

So what do you think moms? Did any of these products interest you? Are you a Downton Abbey fan? How awesome would it be to get the gift set of fragrances for Christmas? Or how about organizing your life with a few Clever Crates? I am contemplating a giveaway…what product interested you most?

Disclosure: I was given each product to review. No other compensation was received, and all opinions expressed are my own.