Clever ways to Stuff a Stocking this Christmas

“What should we get the kids for Christmas?” tis the season for parents to be asked that $64,000 question repeatedly by relatives and friends. To answer the question parents often ponder a few things, (1) storage space, (2) battery consumption, and (3) ones sanity, before replying with their answer.

1- Storage Space: As each year passes children seem to accumulate more toys, games, puzzles, “stuff” than one has storage space. One shouldn’t have to rent out a storage unit just to accommodate all their children’s “stuff”.

2-Battery Consumption: Ever have one of those toys/games that your child just absolutely adores but the darn thing requires 4 AA, AAA, or D batteries? Batteries aren’t cheap! In order to maintain that kind of battery consumption one might have to contact a bank and inquire about a loan!

3-Sanity: Why is it that some of children’s favorite toys and/or electronics are the ones with the most annoying and obnoxious sounds? So unbearable that one actually welcomes the sound of nails down a chalkboard.

So, what should they get the kids for Christmas? The answer is one that both children and parents will equally adore, that doesn’t require storage space or batteries, and that will have parents maintaining their sanity. The answer is the gift of an awesome and fun experience! A gift card and/or membership so they can enjoy awesome experiences! Now, one should be prepared for a little backlash when you state the gift of an experience. Why? Because most people want to wrap something up for the kids, not just hand them a gift card. No worries…just tell them to stuff it, stuff a sock/stocking! stockingstufferStockings make for the perfect wrap, and they could add other small items to the stocking as well, small being the key word. And encourage them to have fun with it…why not add a fun message, have children go on a little scavenger hunt for the stocking (I did this with my brother’s gift last year and it was a lot of fun), etc.

stockingstuffers

Here are some fun messages & clever local stocking stuffer ideas:

    • “I found your Achilles’ heel”: Jam-pack that sock with lots of Dun-dums from the Spangler Factory and include a gift certificate to take a tour on their trolley & buy something from the store! Website: https://www.dumdumpops.com/about-us/factory-tours
    • “Be fleet of foot”: Add train tickets to go somewhere…perhaps a weekend in Chicago? Website: https://www.amtrak.com/content/amtrak/en-us/stations/tol.html
    • “Time to get your feet wet”: Stuff the stocking with goggles, a swim toy, and swimming lessons from the YMCA, or better yet, a summer membership to the YMCA Website: https://www.ymcatoledo.org/
    • “Foot-in-mouth”: Place gift card to Chick-fil-a in sock & add a little stuffed cow animal.
    • “Sock-Hop”: Place gift card to Toledo Ballet, Mini Motions, etc. for dance lessons in sock & add shoes, leotard, and or, cute tree ornament with ballet slippers or tap shoes. Website: http://www.toledoballet.net/
    • “We found your feet of clay/hidden weakness”: Stuff stocking with containers of Playdough and a gift card to attend one of the Toledo Museum of Art’s awesome classes and/or camps.   http://www.toledomuseum.org/
    • “You have the World at your feet”: Stuff socks with tiny items from Imagination Stations Store & include a membership…this is the gift that just keeps giving; there is reciprocity with other Science Museums. Website: https://www.imaginationstationtoledo.org/
    • “Get your Sea Legs”: Add a membership to the National Museum of the Great Lakes and a few cute items from their gift store. Website: http://www.inlandseas.org/
    • “Waiting on you hand and foot”: Place hand lotion, foot scrub, etc. in stocking in addition to a gift certificate for a pedicure & manicure from Beauty Bar. Website: https://www.beauty-bar.com/
    • “This will knock your socks off”: Place tickets to one of Valentine Theatre’s kids’ production in stocking with a book and/or stuffed animal that coincides with the play, such as Junie B. Jones. Website: http://www.valentinetheatre.com/

 

 

Please feel free to add to the list…what are some of your favorite and/or clever ways to stuff a stocking?

stockingstuffersforkids

 

 

8 Tips to Help You Save Money this Christmas

 

 

It’s the time of year when many of us are thinking with our hearts as opposed to with our heads. We allow our hearts to do the shopping, decorating, wrapping, and giving without consulting our heads, a.k.a. logic & reason. Then in January our heads are back in the game and have to live with the consequences our hearts made via bank accounts and credit card statements. Not this year! Here are 8 tips that will help satisfy the warmth of the heart and logic/reason of the mind/head.

christmas-tree-cupcake

8 Tips to Help You Save Money this Christmas

 

1. Look for FREE Christmas Activities and Events Going on in the Community

  • Pat Catan’s offers free Holiday crafting events for the community (what’s more, when you participate you receive $5 Catan Bucks). 8tipstosavemoneyClick on link to see the calendar of events, http://www.patcatans.com/craft-store-locations/oregon-oh/oregon-ohio-calendar
  • Did you know the Lights Before Christmas at the Toledo Zoo offers one FREE weekend visit…and free parking.
  • Holidays in the Manor House at Wildwood Metropark is a FREE fun family event…children will enjoy participating in the scavenger hunt as they tour the rooms adorn with festive themes, dress up in the props provided in the photo booth room, take a quick lighted stroll, & warm up by the fire while enjoying a complimentary s’more!!
  • Barnes & Noble Stores (Fallen Timbers & Franklin Park)has FREE Holiday themed Storytime’s & activity that follows on Saturdays in December at 11am

 

2. Don’t partake in the lethal combination of Craft/Hobby store & Pinterest-Stick to a List!

  • When you walk into any craft store you are greeted by adorable holiday décor that practically screams, “Take me home”!! You may have entered the store looking for just a throw pillow but you are leaving with a cart full of goodies, all color coordinated, & too adorable to pass up! What’s worse is if you “accidently” click Pinterest while in said craft store, it is the worst enabler! Exercise self-control this Christmas…make a list before entering a craft/hobby store and stick to it and NEVER click on Pinterest when in a craft store, do your research before you arrive and save a pic of the project.

 

3. Reuse Christmas Decoration

  • As a child I recall fond memories of helping my parents get out the Christmas decorations each year…the ornaments, stuffed animals, etc. There was something so special about unpacking even the wreath from Christmas past, especially when we moved. It helped make the new house a home because with that wreath came all the beautiful memories from past Christmases spent at our old home. Somewhere along the way we have lost the importance of tradition when it comes to Christmas décor and perhaps tip #2 has a lot to do with it. But this year why not save money and build on the memories with your children by reusing last year’s decorations.8tipstosavemoney3
  • But what about the live Christmas trees? Okay, so maybe you will need to spend a little on Christmas décor if your family opts for a live tree. Our family enjoys the experience of selecting and cutting down our own tree. We go to Samarian Hidden Tree Farm; they have a great selection and a great price, all trees are $40 (cash only). https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hidden-Tree-Farm/140503182764564

4. Wear Clothing that is in Your Closet

  • There is no reason to get all new Christmas clothing, shoes, etc. every year when you already have Sunday best in your closet.

5. Host a Simple Gathering

  • Throwing a Christmas party is a lot of fun, but also a lot of work and money. This year throw a simple Christmas gathering, invite friends over for dessert, have a Sundae bar and/or Hot Coca bar and request that each friend bring a specific topping/sweet to share. This way all you have to have ready when guest arrive is hot cocoa and/or ice cream and serving dishes. And what’s more you get to actually enjoy your party instead of constantly running back and forth checking of food.8tipstosavemoney4
  • Why not add to the entertainment and spread the Holiday savings, make your party a White Elephant party. Have guest wrap a gently used item from home to swap. Not familiar with While elephant? Click on link, https://www.whiteelephantrules.com/

6. Take your own Family Christmas Portrait

  • Don’t pay a dime for a Christmas Portrait sitting fee! Take your own with a tripod and timer on your camera and/or phone.
  • Meet up with another family at a park or other beautiful backdrop and take turns taking pics of each other’s family.

7. Re-think the Christmas Card

  • Just send a virtual Christmas card to friends for free…Smilebox even has music!! Click on link http://www.smilebox.com/lp/christmas-cards-animated-upd.html?partner=googlee&campaign=search_us_christmas_cards_free~christmas_card_free~&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIn9SoubWC2AIV5LftCh1DbQolEAAYAyAAEgJmX_D_BwE
  • Only purchase a small about of Christmas cards for the loved ones who are not on Facebook or Social media. Chances are most relatives are seeing adorable pics of your munchkins on a daily basis, so you could simply add your Christmas pics to your page to share. But there are those few who are not on social media who do still enjoy receiving a Christmas card. Just order 10-25 cards…look for deals online. This year I ordered a bunch of items from Shutterfly and received 10 free cards.8tipstosavemoney5
  • Have children help make Christmas cards from items in your arts & craft container and then print off your Christmas picture (that you had a friend take, of your family wearing clothing that was already in closets 😉 ) at Walgreen, Meijer, etc. and place photo inside the homemade card. Loved ones will appreciate the personalized touch and you will save money, win-win!

8. Implement the rule of 3 for children’s gifts-Want, Need, & Share

  • Make a list of 3 items to purchase for each child and stick with the list, no impulse buys! Purchase children one item they want, one item they need, and an item to share. Ideas for items to share, games for family game nights, puzzles, Lego bricks, movies for family movie nights, and/or one of those craft kids.8tipstosavemoney6
  • Remind children that Christmas is Jesus’s birthday, not theirs and that we should be thankful and appreciative for any items under the Christmas tree. It also helps if adults focus more on the excitement of giving gifts rather than receiving, model the behavior you wish to see in your children.

University of Michigan’s Museum of Natural History

Huge shout out and thank you to everyone who provided suggestions and recommendations on where to go on the kiddos day off. We placed them all in a hat and pulled one, (drum roll, please)….University of Michigan’s Museum of Natural History!!

Mi17

 

We hit the road at 10am and by 10:20am someone already had to pee, lol! So we stopped at McDonald’s in Dundee where in addition to emptying bladders the kiddos also burned off some energy. Their play area is awesome! And the only one I know of that accommodates 12 year olds. There was a brief moment when I considered just making the trip to McDonalds their big surprise, lol!

 Mi3

We arrived on the University of Michigan’s Campus around noon and proceeded to circle around the campus for 40 minutes thanks to Siri’s ingenious directions….”I can’t drive through construction, detours, or a closed road!!!” In all my frustration I let the “S” word slip, I called Siri stupid! (We don’t use that word in our house). And was quickly reprimanded by the backseat, lol! I finally decided our best bet to getting to the Museum was on foot so we parked in a garage, grabbed our winter coats, and set off on foot. I let the kiddos read the maps and navigate us, taking special note of landmarks we passed so they would remember their way back to the car…they learned an awesome life skill thanks to Siri’s fail. And they had a blast walking on campus with all the students.

As we entered The Museum of Natural History I was blown away by the architecture. The museum is housed in the Ruthven Museums Building and it’s over 90-year-old. It was precisely what I envisioned a Mammoth exhibit to be housed in, which was why I was disappointed to read that The Museum will close on December 30, 2017, and will re-open next door in the Biological Science Building, it’s a climate controlled facility. So if you want to see the Museum in its current location you better move fast!

 Mi5

 Mi1

We learned SO much during our visit! We learned about archeology, the first humans, dinosaurs, mastodons (the only mastodon couple on display in the world) etc. but the kiddo’s favorite exhibit was the mammoth remains found near Chelsea, Michigan, last fall.

 Mi9

 Mi7

 

Mi10

 

Mi8

 

Mi

Mi11

 

Mi13

And of course we had to hit up the gift shop, lol! The children save up their money for special occasions like this….I came across these and had to share.

Mi12

 

University of Michigan Museum of Natural History

Address: 1109 Geddes Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Phone: (734) 764-0478

Website: https://lsa.umich.edu/ummnh/visiting.html

Museum Hours: Monday – Saturday 9–5 Sunday 12–5

Admission: Free (suggestion donation of $6)

Parking: Good luck, lol! Just kidding…you can park in the back of the building where it says loading dock area & run into the gift shop to get a tag to place in your vehicle. Or park in one of the parking garages, it only cost us $4 to park for the afternoon.

 Mi14

After walking all over the university and the museum the kiddos were parched. So we stopped into Michigan Creamery.

 

Mi15

Michigan Creamery

Address: 302 S State St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Phone: (734) 662-1700

Website: https://michigancreamery.com/ 

 We had such a lovely day!

8 Awesome Personalized Christmas Gifts to Order Today

It never fails; you research awesome personalized and custom made gifts to no end, finally find that perfect gift, and then realize you just missed the deadline to have the order shipped before Christmas. NOT THIS YEAR! Here are 8 awesome personalized Christmas gifts to order today!

Custom a Retro Viewer with your own Photos!

giftstoordernow10Ribbet collage_giftstoordernow

We gave these as gifts last year and they were a huge hit!! It’s was super easy to make the custom RetroViewer with my own photos!  You can even add 3D captions to your photos as you build your Reel.

https://www.image3d.com/retroviewer/home/

1 Reel and Viewer Set $29.95 (plus shipping)

Personal Creations 

How does FREE personalization sounds? Personal Creations has tons of products to choose from for everyone on your list!

beverageTub

DoorMat

pillowcase

(https://www.personalcreations.com/): Receive a special 15% discount for the holiday season on a wide variety of customizable gifts and decor using the code, MEMBER15, at checkout.

Custom Stuffed Animals from Kids’ Drawings & Art

giftstoordernow3

giftstoordernow4

Celebrate your child’s artistic creations and bring their dreams to life with a custom plushie they’ll love forever. A beautiful realization of your child’s drawings, wacky scribbles or favorite characters! Individually made & one-of-a-kind—just like them! This is a precious gift that’ll make your child feel super special!

$89 ($129 Value)

https://www.budsies.com/kids-drawings-stuffed-animals/?pp=1

Turn your loved one’s life into a best seller!

Writing the Soul provides a unique service of writing personal histories for people in essays, memoirs, and books. The talented writers first listen to your story and then transform the experience into epic, beautiful, captivating stories that will be treasured for generations. They can even write grandma and grandpa’s history in the form of a children’s book, children can have their own family fairytale at their fingertips, priceless!

new-Book-mockup

http://writingthesoul.net/

Price Varies DISCOUNT: Mention Mom on the go in Holy Toledo & receive $100 off your order

Custom family portrait illustration, DIGITAL Drawing

giftstoordernow11

giftstoordernow12

Looking for a different & unique gift for your loved ones? This unique fully customized illustration can be used to be printed either for prints to hang on the wall, or maybe on a mug! Please note, these are not exact reproduction of a photo but a stylized illustrated likeness. The customization includes changing the outfits, hair styles and face shapes to whatever you want. But you must confirm what you want before work begins!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/520190662/custom-family-portrait-illustration?ref=bestselling_by_query-3

$19.11 (the price is per illustrated character)

PERSONALIZED ENAMEL POPCORN BOWL

giftstoordernow

Because I am a sucker for theme gifts & what’s better than a Movie Night!? This wonderful personalized enamel popcorn bowl is a must have for any foodie or movie lover! Snuggle up with a movie and enjoy your popcorn from the personalized enamel bowl on those cozy evenings in. (Add a few gourmet packets of popcorn, candy, & a couple movies and you have the perfect gift!)

https://www.etsy.com/listing/256595238/personalised-enamel-popcorn-bowl?ref=listing-shop-header-1

$21.84 (plus shipping)

Personalized Soy Candles (this is an Ohio Small Business!)

giftstoordernow13

giftstoordernow14

These candles are the perfect gift for teachers, hostess gifts, and/or gift toppers! You name it & they probably have the Christmas sent you are looking for; they include, Almond Bliss, Apple Cinnamon, Butter Rum, Caramel Latte, Cinnamon + Vanilla, Cookie Jar, Cranapple Marmalade, Frankincense + Myrrh, Hazelnut Coffee, Holiday Spice, etc. See complete list on the website.

https://atozcandles.com/

Starting at just $5 (plus shipping)

Monogrammed Bath Sheet Towels

giftstoordernow2

Kids love having their names on everything! And their bath towel is no exception! Monogrammed Bath Sheet Towels are one of the best Christmas gifts, no more arguing over whose towel is whose. These Towels are customized to your liking! You can pick a towel color from the drop down menu and specify the thread color for the monogram or name you’d like on the towel. (I am totally adding some bath bombs, loofa, & lotion to make this a fun themed gift)

https://www.etsy.com/listing/517631741/bath-sheet-monogrammed-towels

$35 (plus shipping)

Create your own personalized gift wrapping paper

giftstoordernow5

giftstoordernow7

Feature your face, your pets’, or the people you love on wrapping paper!

https://www.giftwrapmyface.com/

Two roll sizes: 24″x 60″ ($16.95) and 24″ x 30″ ($9.95)

Bonus item:

Custom Bobbleheads

img_3754

Create a bobblehead figure that looks like your loved one. Further customize it by choosing a costume or providing more details to the manufacturer. Go to https://cheapbobbleheads.com for more info.

 

What’s the Deal with Teal on Halloween

“Can I have something out of the treasure chest even if I’m not allergic to candy?” requested an adorable little trick-or-treater last year. I have to be honest, in a million years I would have never thought that stickers, play-dough, silly glasses, etc. would ever be more enticing than candy!! It turns out the Teal Pumpkin Project is impacting far more than just those kiddos with food allergies.   

What is the Teal Pumpkin Project?

Launched as a national campaign by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) in 2014, the Teal Pumpkin Project™ raises awareness of food allergies and promotes inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season.

FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project™ promotes safety, inclusion and respect of individuals managing food allergies. This nationwide movement offers an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy is not an option, and keeps Halloween a fun, positive experience for all!

Last year, households from 50 states and 7 countries participated in the Teal Pumpkin Project™. This year, you can be part of an even bigger movement by joining 100,000 households pledging to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project™! To Take the Pledge Click Here!

We took the pledge a couple years ago and I am glad we did! The kiddos have so many fabulous friends who have allergies and it always saddened me that they had to miss out on a lot of the fun. Now they don’t have to, they get to be included in all the trick-or-treating fun!! And let’s be honest; with juvenile diabetes on the rise children already consume a lot of sugar in their everyday meals, snacks, and drinks, cutting down on all the Halloween candy is a welcomed idea for all kiddos, not just those with allergies.

tealpumpkin 044

For our teal pumpkin we decided we wanted one that would last for more than just one Halloween so we opted for a plastic pumpkin & painted it teal.

 

tealpumpkin 013

 

tealpumpkin 014

tealpumpkin 036

We use a treasure chest for all our goodies!! I fill it with party favor type toys that I try to accumulate over the summer (end of summer always has some great deals!).

 

tealpumpkin 034

 

tealpumpkin 029

 

 

Each year we seem to give out less candy since we started to incorporate the treasure chest & took the Teal Pumpkin pledge.  I am excited to see how the treasure chest goodies are received by our trick-or-treaters this year!!

Have you taken the pledge? What will you be passing out to trick-or-treaters? What are your thoughts on candy, think there will ever come a day when candy is a thing of the past?

Clean Music, Clean Moves, REFIT! The future of fitness is here! (1st class is FREE)

“Pop it, Pop it, & Thrust!” the instructed blared in her microphone. I glanced over at my 11 year old daughter and our eyes met, she gave me the ‘this is SO awkward’ glare, followed by a strong double eye roll! What did I sign us up for!?! I thought this would be a fun fitness class the both of us would enjoy and we could get some quality mother/daughter bonding time in. Instead we were trying to thrust, pop it, and other various dirty dancing moves while getting the equivalent of a rated R, or possibly X, movie via music lyrics! (I’m in love with your body…could there be a worse message for young impressionable tweens!?)  It was an epic mom fail! I was out $20, my daughter hated it, & I was in line for the confessional bright and early the next morning.  I had almost given up all hope and then I checked my inbox where an instructor for something called REFIT sent me a message and I was blown away by what I read!

REFIT2

What is Refit?

REFIT is a faith-infused cardio dance class and fitness community. REFIT mission is to change people from the inside out by focusing on the heart not only as a muscle, but also as a soul. At REFIT you will find inspiring music, family-friendly moves, easy-to-follow instructors, laughter, friendship and a great workout.

REFIT3

“REFIT® is a value-infused cardio dance class and fitness community. It combines several elements of fitness (dance, toning, and flexibility) into one power-packed workout. Participants of all fitness levels, beginner to expert, attend my other classes and leave feeling successful. I demonstrate choreography with varying levels of intensity and impact so your workout can be perfect for you.

Unlike other fitness programs, REFIT® also focuses on the heart not just as a muscle, but as a soul. Music choices have positive messages and clean lyrics, and we choose choreography that has a purpose and a point… so you won’t be embarrassed by the move”. Holly

REFIT

 

REFIT1

Click on link to see video!

https://business.facebook.com/REFITGreaterToledo/videos/1711095765861063/

When are classes offered?

Tuesdays

6:30 p.m.

Church of the Cross United Methodist Church at 1750 Eastgate Road, Toledo, OH 43614

Enter through the southwest door.

 

Wednesdays

9:15 a.m.

Epworth United Methodist Church at 4855 W. Central Ave, Toledo, OH 43615

Free childcare provided at all Epworth classes.

 

Wednesdays

6:30 p.m.

Epworth United Methodist Church at 4855 W. Central Ave, Toledo, OH 43615

Free childcare provided at all Epworth classes.

 

Fridays

9:15 a.m.

Epworth United Methodist Church at 4855 W. Central Ave, Toledo, OH 43615

Free childcare provided at all Epworth classes.

 

Saturdays

9:00 a.m.

Church of the Cross United Methodist Church at 1750 Eastgate Road, Toledo, OH 43614

Enter through the southwest door.

REFIT5

How Much does it cost?

 

First class: FREE

Drop-in class: $5

5-class punch card: $20

10-class punch card: $30

Children age 12 and under are free provided they are accompanied by a parent. Children may either participate in class or sit on the sidelines doing a non-disruptive activity. They accept cash or check made out to LMB Living, LLC.

Who are the Instructors?

Classes are taught by the amazing Lori Brandt, Hollyce Brammer, Dolli Darah and Shannon Loutzenhiser.

 

So what are you waiting for? Call up your girlfriends, sign up your daughters, & bring your moms to a REFIT class today!!

10 Awesome Ladies Night Out Destinations in Toledo

As moms and wives we are the one everyone comes to with request, complaints, clean laundry, food, TLC, etc. but what about moms? Where do they go to recharge, to be seen, heard, to have fun? 3 words, Ladies Night Out!!!

Health experts say that maintaining positive relationships with friends should rank right up there with healthy eating and exercising. That being socially engaged leads to more positive emotions and may actually boost your body’s immune system and reduce the physical signs of stress. So, no more excuses! It is time to give the girls a call, and set up a Ladies Night Out!!

Needs some ideas?

Here are 10 awesome Ladies Night Out destinations in Toledo! (In no particular order)

LADIESNIGHTOUTsandpiper 070

1.UNCORK THE ARTIST – Full disclosure; I was a tad nervous the first time I did this because I was afraid of everyone seeing my canvas and the fact that I was a total novice, a.k.a. clueless! Haha! My worries were quickly put at ease when the instructor explained that she would be giving us a step-by-step instruction, score! And the glass of wine didn’t hurt. Lol! That’s right; you are more than welcome to bring your favorite bottle of wine to enjoy while creating your gorgeous masterpiece! They offer a nice variety of painting to select from, CLICK HERE  to view the calendar.

MNOBLOGUncorktheartist

2. TRAPPED TOLEDO  -I had THE BEST time doing this! I love activities that involve wit and working together. Team work, baby!! You are locked in a room with a group of your friends and you must use your intellect and the group’s collective knowledge to find hidden clues, solve puzzles & overcome challenges to escape before time runs out. ​We made it with just minutes to spare. Are you ready? CLICK HERE  to check out the current experiences, and see which piques your group’s interest!

3. SANDPIPER – I planned a Ladies Night Out back in August on the Sandpiper, specifically, the Dinner Cruise. It was such a relaxing and enjoyable experience. We were allowed to bring wine, and I did, but the river and cruise was intoxicating enough, I never did open my bottle of Sangria. Thus, if you are in the mood for a “chill” evening out with the girls than a cruise down the Maumee River is perfect! There are a variety of options to choose from, CLICK HERE to see the schedule.

MNOBLOGsandpiper 091

4. HOLLYWOOD CASINO – Luck be a lady! Call up the girls for a fun filled casino night!! Get dressed up and dolled up for a night to remember! Enjoy delicious food, dancing, fancy “girlie” drinks, & channel your inner Grace Kelley, Audrey Hepburn, etc. for an epic Ladies Night Out!!

circus_chickfila 016

5. BIRD’S EYE VIEW CIRCUS  -Hands down this is the coolest!! I just did this with a group of friends and it was amazing! We did the areal silks. (That is me in the image above) They offer a variety of options to select from, aerial hoop, hammock, and aerial yoga, stilt walking, juggling, etc. and offer private group lessons. Did I mention this is SO cool! I highly recommend you get this on the calendar ASAP as they do fill up fast! This is certain to be a night all the ladies will remember! CLICK HERE  for a list of activities they offer and contact info.

6. BOARD & BRUSH Wood signs, Workshops, & Wine– No experience necessary! Bring your personality & creativity and they provide the wood, wine, & paint!! There is something so therapeutic about painting & hanging out with the girls. It is such a great way to relax and unwind While they mainly use wood elements for projects, they also offer a wide variety of other materials in the DIY wood sign workshops, including; Glass, Chalkboard, Canvas pillows, Slate, Terra cotta pots. Checkout their calendar for workshop schedules & book your today!! 

MNOBLOGRibbet collage

7. PUB CRAWL – Sometimes a girl just needs to let loose, laugh, and live it up! Don’t feel like making a bunch of plans. Perhaps an impromptu Ladies Night Out is in order? Then downtown Toledo is the perfect spot for a LNO Pub Crawl!! Why just enjoy the ambiance and atmosphere of one pub/brewery when there are a slew of great spots downtown….you would really be doing yourself, your friends, and the city a disservice if you only visited one all night, true!? Haha! Now I am not endorsing intoxication by any means, pace yourselfers, drink responsibly, eat something, have a designated driver, and have fun!!

MNOBLOGdatenight_pubcrawl 006

MNOBLOGdatenight_pubcrawl 010

8. GATHERED GLASSBLOWING STUDIO– Are you mesmerized by the art of glassblowing or maybe you are just looking to do something new, different, something outside your comfort zone? They will introduce you to the art of glassblowing and help you create a glass piece of your own. Or better yet, don’t feel like making something, then check out their Hot Glass, Cold Beer, & Cool Music event every 3rd Thursday of the month. CLICK HERE  to check out their calendar of workshops

9.LISA’S MANICURE & PEDICURE SPA– Imagine an evening of relaxation….sitting in the massaging chair, feet soaking in the warm water, sipping wine, snacking on munchies, and enjoying fabulous conversations with friends. Yep, Lisa can make that happen! I am a fan of Lisa’s because it is an all-natural/green nail salon so you don’t have to worry about any ridiculous fumes giving you a headache. You can rent the space after hours for a Ladies Night Out to remember!! CLICK HERE  for Lisa’s contact info so you can get your LNO in the books asap!

MNOBLOGmonsnight 008

10. FOODOLOGY COOKING CLASSES – Native Toledoan and Chef Julie Daunhauer is finally answering the question we have been asking for years, “Where can I take cooking classes in Toledo without enrolling in a college program or certification course?” She offers a variety of courses at various class levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced) if you are just looking to take a class (adults are welcomed to bring an adult beverage to enjoy while they cook) or you could set up a private party, checkout the website for more! Foodology supports local businesses and farmers and strives to purchase locally grown food for the cooking classes whenever possible. 

So what are you waiting for? Don’t end up on national news, call up the girls for a Ladies Night Out!!

The 1st Step to Buying a New Family Vehicle a.k.a. Mom Car

“Are you STILL looking for a new car!?” That’s the comment I would receive 8 times out of 10 when family and friends inquired how the new car search was going after a year. As many of you know I did finally settle down with a new Mom Car after much deliberation this past July. So, why did it take me so long?

  • Time- It was difficult finding the time to go to the various car lots to look at vehicles. Between my husband’s crazy work schedule, kiddos extracurricular, and my own obligations little time was left to shop for a new vehicle.
  • Location- Because I want to get the best deal I want to shop all my options, which meant taking road trips that resulted in a lot of potty-breaks, bickering, fast-food, & no new car!
  • Mileage or Money- Without fail, I would find a vehicle I could see my family in and it was either too high in mileage or money!
  • Safety- I felt like I was forever researching safety statistic on every vehicle I came across…I have collated enough research for Master’s thesis!
  • Sunroofs-This was a deal breaker! My new vehicle had to have a sunroof! I don’t know if it is the fears of claustrophobia or what, but, I have to be able to have access to the view above me. And I know this one drove my husband insane! We would literally find the “almost” perfect vehicle, the mileage, number of passenger seats, warranty, and cost were precisely what we wanted, but if it didn’t have a sunroof I couldn’t commit.

After a year of this nonsense my husband mostly gave up on me finding my perfect new mom car match. He even suggested I get a notebook to log the gas I was using in our SUV since the gas gauge was broken and contemplated buying oil in bulk to save on our oil guzzling ride. I was also growing frustrated. I didn’t think buying a new car would be so hard, it had practically become a second job, eating up so much of my time and patience. I so desperately just wanted an assistant, a ‘buying a new car assistant’ to help me narrow down all these options? Turns out such an assistant does exist.

cars_comipadlogo

Cars.com https://www.cars.com/ is a website that allows your fingers to do the walking, no more having to reschedule appointments and extracurricular activities because there might be a car you’re interested in purchasing. In fact, you can literally be shopping for a car while in the waiting room at the doctor’s office or on the bleachers while your child warms the bench. The best part, you can narrow your search to, not just new/old, year, make, model, price, & mileage, but also, exterior color, interior color, number of doors, and yes, even sunroofs (click on keyword and type in sunroof…or whatever else is a deal breaker for you). This site made the process so much smoother, dare I say even enjoyable! I highly recommend making Cars.com your first stop on your journey to purchasing a new family vehicle/ mom car.

https://www.cars.com/

Guess who got her sunroofs? In fact, I got 4 (1 operable)!!

cars5

cars4

Here’s a pic of the old Yukon vs our new ride! When you get a new car you are probably going to have to sell, recycle or dispose of the old one. For a quick way to sell, you can get in contact with a cash for cars website.

cars3

So kiss all that hard work goodbye & click on Cars.com today…your new mom car is only a few clicks away!!

Classy decor on a SAHM budget!? How this store plus Groupon Coupons makes the Magic Happen

Messes happen! And with a house full of kids, pets, and activities this house sees its fair share of messes. So much so that my husband and I have come to the conclusion that we will never own anything nice again, or at least, not until the kids move out. I mean, who wants to spend a fortune on new drapes just to have your toddler pee on them while potty-training? Or have your preschooler spill their wet pink paint Picasso rendition all over your new bedspread? And don’t even get me started with male dogs’ obsessions with throw pillows! Thus it seemed as though our home was destined to forever be stuck in the, “we have kids” design style. That is until I visited a store that I hadn’t visited since I was a kid, JCPenney!

JCP4

I have to be honest, I always steered clear of JCPenney, I thought of it as an “old lady” store, filled with outdated fashion & designs, cheap quality; let’s just say I just didn’t have the fondest memory. Then one day I took a stroll in, went upstairs, and instantly feel in love, and the rest, as they say, is history. The quality was good, the designs were amazing-this definitely was not my grandmother’s JCPenney! But the one thing I really like that didn’t change was the prices. Affordable, quality items, that a parent doesn’t have to sentence a child to a lifetime of grounding to for spilling glitter glue (yep, that happened, lol!). I have since purchased custom blinds, drapery, bedspread, quilt, etc. at JCPenney and I am currently in the market for some wallpaper for the kitchen (yes, I said wallpaper! Who’s their grandmother now!? Lol!)

bedroom_2

maddybday_bedroom 125

 

 

maddybday_bedroom 089

But wait, it gets better! JCPenney totally knows how to cater to us, “we have kids” design styles, you can couple it nicely with a French Country look, Contemporary, Modern, etc. but what about those prices, can we couple those with anything? How does a Groupon Coupon sound?

How it works:

So, on top of their already more affordable price points you can also pair that with a Groupon Coupon. They offer in-store, online, or “day of” codes for some sweet deep discounts. For example, here are some (3 of 20+) that they are offering now on clothes & house/home items:

  • JCPenney: 40% Off + EXTRA 10% Off Major Appliances
  • TODAY’s Promo Codes: Extra 30% Off $100+ Or Extra 25% Off Under $100 With JCPenney Coupon Code
  • JCPenney: 65% Off $100+ Or 50% Off $40+ On Regular Priced Items Or Take An Extra 25% Off Select Sale Items With JCPenney Coupon Code

 

Here is the JCPenney Groupon Coupon link (you might want to add this to your favorites): https://www.groupon.com/coupons/stores/jcpenney.com

 

One last thing, while I have your attention, which one do you prefer?

JCP1JCPJCP3

 

New After-School Activity & Educational Business in Town! *GIVEAWAY*

Students K-12 only spends 18.5% of their waking hours at school a year. Shocker, right!? The remainder of that time is filled with a revolving door of extra-curricular activities, sports, dance, scouts….they not only fill up our evenings but our weekend too! And why do we do it? We do it because we want our children to be good team players, to be well-rounded, & prepared for life.  Speaking of being prepared for life, here are some fun statistics…..

  • Employment in occupations related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math is projected to grow to more than 9 million between 2012 and 2022. Source
  • The odds of your child becoming a professional athlete…let’s say, basketball player, is 1 in 11,711 for men & 1 in 13,005 for women (just to put this into perspective, the odds of getting struck by lighting is 1 in 3,000). Source
  • And with regard to your little girl or boy becoming a professional dancer, the Magic 8 Ball says-Outlook Not So Good! Source

 

In no way are those stats meant to deter you, or your child, from their dreams, I say reach for the sky! But it is meant to shed some light on the topic of investment. Where are your children investing all their time and your money? Perhaps it’s time to diversify and add some STEM to those plies & slam-dunks.

snapology

Snapology:

Snapology is the premier partner for STEM programs, offering year-round hands-on, interactive activities for children ages 1-14 (and awesome Special Needs classes) using LEGO® bricks, K’Nex and technology.

snapology4

 

snapology_3

They create STEM learning experiences through classes (video game design, robotics, and animation), competition team opportunities, workshops, camps, birthday parties, school field trips, scouting events and more!

snapology7

 

snapology5

 

Details:

Remember that stat from the beginning, the one that read; employment in occupations related to STEM is projected to grow to more than 9 million between 2012 and 2022? Well, Snapology is one of those employment opportunities, or rather, ownership opportunity. Snapology is a franchise and the nearest one to us is in Findlay, we NEED one in Toledo! So not only is this post a push for more STEM but also a plea for mom-trepreneurs! They offer franchise opportunities that are affordable, flexible and can provide quick profitability. No more having to hash tag your images “like a boss”, you’ll be the boss!! Who wants to be their own boss? For more info checkout their website.

GIVEAWAY:

LEGO® brick set of the Snapology Mascot Sebastian Gator (recommended for kids 6+)

snapology6

How to Enter:

  1. Share this post with a friend, possibly a mom-trepreneurs! I would LOVE to have a Snapology in Toledo!!!
  2. Simply comment below by sharing your thoughts…thoughts on Snapology. What you have to say is important; I look forward to reading your comments.

Winner will be randomly selected Friday September 1st @11:59pm

Disclaimer This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal