2016 Christmas Gift Guide & Giveaway: Perfect Gift Idea for Couples

This Christmas Gift Guide is an awesome resource to help you determine the perfect gift for each of the loves in your life-family, friends, neighbors, teachers, & we can’t forget Fido, or any other furry family members. Since this season is often an overwhelming one for most I have decided to give you something fun to look forward to, how does a giveaway sound? Giveaway DEETS will be at the bottom of each post….so, without further ado…

This week’s Christmas Gift Idea is for the Couples in your life….parents, sister & brother-in-law, in-laws, neighbors, that couple in your church group, friends, etc. This gift offers them the opportunity to eat, drink, play, and watch, all under the same roof!!  And it is something both the ladies & gents will enjoy….


The Perfect Gift for Couples: A Gift Card to Dave & Buster’s!


  • Because though everyone has the best intentions sometimes a cooking class, a night at the shooting range, and/or camping gear don’t always go over well with the couple as a whole.
  • Because Toledo now has a Dave & Buster’s!!!
  • Because what couple doesn’t need a date night?




  • Because of the fun local flavor Dave & Buster’s added to the décor.







  • Because it is so nice to get a break from having to plan a meal, make a meal, & then cleanup said meal! Oh, and the food is unbelievably delicious! The menu is off the hook….they literally have something for everyone; carnivores, herbivores, and they offer an allergy friendly menu too!




  • Because 2 for Tuesdays: $2 Tacos, $2 Select Beers, & 2 FREE Plays with $10 Power Card (open-7pm)







  • Because Happy Hour is Monday-Friday 4-7pm



  • Because ½ off cocktails, $2.50 domestics pints, $1 off 22oz drafts, $1 off glasses of wine & $3 off bottles of wine.









  • Because ½ priced games on Wednesdays, Woohoo!!!! (And the possibility to win COOL prizes…this isn’t your kid’s prize options, wink-wink)





  • Because there are no shortages of screen so you can watch whatever you please! For once there will be no arguing over the remote!


Bonus: If you offer to babysit for free the night the couple uses your gift card your gift will officially get bumped to THE BEST gift in the world!



Win a $25 Gift Card to Dave & Buster’s

How to enter:

1.Share this post with a friend

2. Comment below stating which game you dominate at Dave & Buster’s….or in general 😉

Winner randomly selected November 7th






Acts of Kindness Countdown to Thanksgiving

In the past we have participated in the 30 Days of Gratitude for November (Where you make a Turkey out of two foam balls wrapped in yard, then each day you add a feather made from construction paper attached to a popsicle stick- write what you are thankful for on the feather, & then press it into the Turkey….thus having a full turkey at the end. This activity is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers!), and have done the Acts of Kindness Countdown to Thanksgiving and the children seem to favor the latter.

The idea is kind of similar to an Advent calendar. However instead of a piece of candy each day there is an act of kindness for the children to complete. Here is a pic of ours, it is very plain, very simple….we purchased the countdown drawers from Hobby Lobby (they were 40% off, Score!!), kiddos added the leaves, & done!


Our lives are very busy and seem to only be getting busier by the day as the Holidays approach. So the key is to not overcomplicate the acts of kindness. There is not a one size fits all type of list, customize to your family’s needs. You know how much time you can allot each day and your budget. Here is our list, please feel free to use the exact same list, substitute, alter, etc. I will tell you, whenever possible add any funds that might be required ahead of time to the drawer & have items needed for the weeks acts of kindness on hand, it makes the process much smoother and less stressful for mom, or dad, but mostly mom.



Acts of Kindness List:

  1. Pick up trash at the neighborhood park (There might be a lot after trick-or-treating)
  2. Clean out the car
  3. Leave quarters at the Laundry Mat (Include bag of quarters in drawer)
  4. Donate Socks to Hannah’s Socks http://www.hannahssocks.org/sock-drop-off-locations/
  5. Make Thank You notes for the Crossing Guard
  6. Pay for the persons order behind you in a drive-thru (Kids get a kick out of this one!)
  7. Help rake leaves
  8. Organize & serve dinner at The Beach House Family Shelter
  9. Mail an “I am thinking of you” card to a relative to lift their spirits
  10. Pack a shoebox for Samaritans Purse’s Operation Christmas Child (Add money for each child & then take them to the dollar store to fill their shoe box) https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/
  11. Help a sibling with one of their chores today
  12. Donate coloring books and crayons to the Ronald McDonald House
  13. Give Muffins to the Mailman with a thank you note (Or a gift card to Tim Horton’s so they can pick out their own treat)
  14. Drop off Hersey’s Hugs for Hospice
  15. Make an effort to smile today, they are contagious!!
  16. Take a treat to the First Responders
  17. Write uplifting messages with chalk on the sidewalk for all the passers-by
  18. Spend quality time with a loved one
  19. Go through books and donate some to the Library
  20. Donate a Toy to Toys-for-Tots (Via eBay, http://toysfortots.org/donate/?gclid=CPrRmLvc-M8CFUtahgod26AOaw )
  21. Write a thank you note to your teacher
  22. Help tidy house
  23. Let your sibling borrow your favorite toy/device
  24. THANKSGIVING DAY!!! – A special thank you from Mom & Dad! I am sending the kids on a small treasure hunt around the house/yard to retrieve 3 clues. The last clue will lead them to their Thanksgiving Bags; each bag will be filled with fun activities (coloring sheets, crafts, fun turkey glasses, etc.) to occupy them during Thanksgiving meal, dessert, etc.


We like to reveal ours the night before, that way the kids can sleep on it. Thus we will begin ours Halloween night. And then each night following the children will take turns uncovering the Act of Kindness for the next day. If time permits we will take a moment and discuss the act of kindness to make certain it is comprehended accurately and to listen to children’s suggestions. Then the next day while running kids around we will discuss how they accomplished the act of kindness….ask them how it made them feel, how they think it made the other person feel, and any addition questions associated with the act….in an effort to make it more of an experience, not a chore.

Does your family have a similar tradition around this time of year? Do you have any suggestions for additional acts of Kindness? Was there an act of kindness you did or received from someone who had a strong impact on your life? Please share…



Friday’s 5 Ingredients or Less: Pulled Pork (Sugar-free)


Some of the best things in life happen accidentally, and this recipe is no exception. It was the day before grocery day and all I had left was one onion, package bacon, and pork sirloin. So I pulled out my handy crockpot, plugged that sucker in, diced that onion, sliced that bacon, scored the sirloin, hit the seasonings basket, dashed a little bit of that and sprinkled a tad of this, and then prayed that it would at least be eatable come dinner time.

Fast-forward 8 hours and it was judgment time. Food was plated, family sat around the table, prayer said, and everyone took a bite. I could literally hear my heart pounding in my head. If this was an epic fail the only backup plan I had conjured up was passing the jar of peanut putter around the table and then chasing it down with ketchup or mustard, we literally had nothing but condiments left in the house. Everyone chewed and swallowed their food and then the reviews started flying across the table “Mom, this is SO GOOD!”, “Mom, you need to make this again”, “Mommy, can I have some more?”….they loved it! Even my Tween who so desperately wants to be a vegetarian and refuses to touch meat loved the pork! That dinner WIN had me grinning ear to ear. I never did tell them it was an experimental recipe and that they were my Guinea pigs, and I especially didn’t tell them that if it didn’t taste good they were going to have peanut butter and ketchup for dinner, some things are better left unsaid.

So here it is, Fridays 5 Ingredients or Less Meal: Pulled Pork……


1 yellow onion

1 package of bacon

1 pork sirloin

1 Tablespoon Wildtree Rancher Steak Rub (I have purchased organic seasons before and nothing has EVER tasted as fresh as Wildtree’s, I HIGHLY recommend their seasonings. Contact Katie and she can hook you up…. http://www.mywildtree.com/katiegaster 

1 Tablespoon Wildtree Tuscan Bread Dipper Herb Blend


  1. Slice/cut up onion and place in Crockpotpork4
  2. Cut Bacon and place in Crockpotpork5
  3. Score Pork Sirloin and toss seasonings on top of sirloin, rub in if you wish.pork3pork6
  4. Place crockpot on high for 6-8 hours
  5. Pull apart pork right before eatingpork



Serve over coleslaw, in a bun, or by itself.pork8

This is officially our go-to meal for the Fall ….perfect for having everyone over to watch the game, Sunday meals with friends and family, or ya know, on those days when you just don’t’ want to cook 😉


Do you have a recipe that is 5 ingredients or less? Send it to mommyblissmarks@gmail.com and your recipe may be featured as Friday’s 5 Ingredients or Less!