Minted, brings a whole new meaning to Treasure Map!

I am always on the lookout for cool, unique, and possibly customizable gifts. Gifts for graduations, weddings, birthdays, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, you name it! I have always kind of prided myself in my gift giving (Ms. Modest, over here, ha-ha!)  I try my best to channel the individual’s likes, dislikes, sense of humor, etc. And for the most part I have been spot on with my gift selections.

Here are some of the questions that I ask myself when seeking THE perfect GIFT:

  1. Where are they financially? What do they NEED? (I have friends that would much rather prefer a gift card to help with gas, a movie night, etc.)
  2. What do they NEED but don’t know it? (Like a mom who NEVER gets out, she needs a night out…make an appointment for her to get her nails done or a massage… & you watch her kiddos, perfect gift!!)
  3. How do they enjoy their free time/possible hobby they have? (I have some friends who enjoy trivia a lot! Others are mad about books, art, video games, etc. Hobbies are the perfect gift themes!)
  4. What types of movies/shows do they like, comedies, action, and/or adventure?
  5. Are they sentimental? (Now this is where my father & I fall…we will be thankful & appreciative of anything and everything we receive, however where our hearts & treasure truly lye are in the memories, the DVDs, VHS, photobooks, calendars, the people and amazing experiences we were so blessed to enjoy together on this planet…that is where the real treasures lye!)

Some past gifts that have totally rocked include, customized love monopoly for the hubby, calendars of the kiddos for the grandparents (we do this every Christmas), photobooks of family vacations for the grandparents are another huge hit, pottery painted by yours truly and/or kiddos depending on the occasion, jewelry from the Toledo Museum of Art’s store, etc. So when I came across Minted I nearly lost my mind!! I do believe I might have found a one stop, shop, & customized sweet items location! Minted offers the top 3 things I look for when seeking a sweet gift!

  1. Unique- whenever possible it is really awesome if you can gift an item that isn’t mass produced & support Independent Designers/Artists (even some from Ohio and one from Toledo!)
  2. Customizable
  3. Variety! And what is really cool is that Minted has “families” of products-so if I purchase something for Christmas I could get the matching home décor for Mother’s Day, score!!!

Okay, so this is what really got me excited!! Check this out….MAP GIFTS!!! Created by independent artist and customized by YOU!!!

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SWEET! Right!? So, this is my plan (Dad, if per chance you are reading this stop, look away, LOOK AWAY!!), growing up we visited so many states, New England States (toured Ben & Jerry’s, Ocean Spray, the Von Trapp family lodge, etc.), Mount Rushmore (Corn Palace, Wall Drug, etc.), Grand Canyon, Vegas (baby!), California (World’s largest thermometer and more!), he was the original Clark Griswold (the Christian version) etc. So, my goal, with a little help from my siblings is to locate all those photos and place them in the corresponding state. The hardest part might be limiting the selection down to 4 or 5 photographs and deciding on the frame….I am torn between the reclaimed barn wood and distressed charcoal stain. Tough decisions ahead!

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The state map photos would also make awesome gift for friends who move out of state, what better way to commemorate your time together?

I also like this one, for my home…I might put this in our bathroom stating, you are peeing here and place it right above our toilet, lol!

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Too much!?!  Clearly, if you are shopping for me I have a great sense of humor and am very sentimental so, good luck. Haha! Seriously though, whenever possible I do try to spend my money and time on experiences and what better way to commemorate those magnificent treasures than with a map to be treasured through a lifetime?

So, how cool are these maps? Where have you been? What maps are you getting?

 

Mom Down, aisle 4!

 

I had 30 minutes till I had to pick up my youngest from preschool so I figured I would make the most of my time. I had just left Hobby Lobby where I tried my best to limit my purchase by only grabbing a basket and not a cart. Turns out you can really hold a lot with one hand/arm while the other holds a basket. It is all about determination and will power….where there is a will to purchase there is a way to carry said items. Haha! Well, I might have spent a little more than I anticipated but I figure it all balances out, I don’t need a gym membership…I do my weight training at Hobby Lobby. LOL! So after all that heavy lifting I worked up quite an appetite for one Grande iced hazelnut latté, weird right!? Bet you thought I was going to say water…we get that for free from the tap, as my husband puts it, so I figured I should make those dollars count. I am clearly always thinking of ways to save us money. Haha! (I can’t even type that with a straight face) but I digress.  Fortunate for me there just so happens to be a Starbucks in the Kroger’s that I was heading to, image that, what are the chances!? The Kroger’s I was going to was the one I use to frequent, more specifically every two weeks for our family grocery sphere. It holds many fond memories as you are about to find out.

As I walked through the entrance my first observation was that they had rearranged everything, or at least the produce section and that is how my path down memory lane was ignited. In my mind I could still see how it was laid out in the past, in my memories. I could almost see myself pushing that obnoxious cart with the car in the front that held a little toddler eating his snack that I had packed (or perhaps I grabbed a goldfish package off the shelf and torn into it…that portion of the memory is a little blurry) and a preschooler repeating “beep beep, excuse me, beep beep, excuse me” and my baby bump practically kissing the cart handle.  Just recalling that time in my life put a huge smile on my face. Oh how I wish my journey down memory lane ended there but it didn’t. As I started grabbing the items from my list that iced latte hit me fast and I had to go pee so off to the restroom I went. You know the same restroom I use to go to with my children when they were younger. I use to joke that I spent more time in the restroom than the actual store, between potty training and being pregnant it wasn’t unusual for us to visit “the potty” 2-3 time.

 

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As I washed my hands I recalled how I would pick up each child and help them wash their tiny hands and how I praised them for such a great job in the bathroom and their eyes would light up.  I would then promise that we were almost finished (I was totally lying of course but for some reason it helped) shopping and their smiles would beam from ear-to-ear. And then I remembered how good the younger two were once the baby was born. They would each take their turn watching the baby while mommy helped their sibling pull up pants, flush, etc. Then we would all go back to our obnoxious cart (I use to fear that on one of our trips to the restroom someone would take our cart and everyone would see a mom totally lose it…thankfully that never happened) with the car in the front and place the baby seat on top of the cart, man I loved that view! But I don’t know if I truly stopped long enough to enjoy the view of my sweet baby girl and little ones chatting and beeping away in the car. Granted I can recall bits and pieces but I do wish I would have looked up from my grocery list more often.  And how I wish this was the end of my journey down memory lane but it wasn’t!! I took a turn both figuratively and literally that I wish I hadn’t.

 

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You should never allow your mind to stay on memory lane long otherwise you could end up on the next bus to crazy town. What I should have done was take a jet plane back to reality but I didn’t, I stayed on memory lane. So, there I was in Kroger’s turning down an isle that had a large picture of a cat. And as many of you know we lost our cat in March and I am totally at peace with that, she lived a full and wonderful life.  And chances are if I wasn’t stuck on memory lane I would have been fine, possibly even normal, though that might be a stretch.  Now, the picture of the cat wasn’t what did it, it did compile the situation though.  It was the mother pushing an obnoxious cart with a car in the front filled with 2 laughing toddlers and she was wearing a wrap with a tiny baby in it….that was me 3 years ago coming down the aisle to buy cat food. I want to go back! And then it happened. The lump in the throat, flood of emotions, quickly followed by blurry vision, and finally the waterworks. My heart ached and it felt as if my soul was weeping right there in aisle 4. I quickly put my sunglasses on and starred at the cat food (same cat food I use to buy our cat…was totally not helping the situation). I was in a downward spiral and needed to get out. As the mom passed by me her toddlers started screaming, one threw something out of the car, the baby started to cry, and her phone rang. Yep that did it!! I snapped out of it…I was free!! I was back in reality. Phew that was a close one…I was fearful they would have to announce over the speakers, mom down aisle 4 and bring the Kleenex! Haha! So, as I tell my children, life is a learning experience. We can learn something from every situation, scenario, mistake, victory, etc. So what did I learn from this experience?

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And the lessoned learned today is that I should never step foot in that Kroger’s ever again, it simply holds way to many memories. Just kidding, we can’t avoid the things that stir up emotion in our lives we need to learn how to deal with those emotions. And this time of year can be particularly hard for moms and for those of us who have moms, which would be everyone. You can’t go back and do it again but chances are you are so busy that you don’t even realize the time is passing you by. So, my advice to ALL moms and children, SLOW DOWN!! I know you always have to be prepared for the next event or happening, or grocery list but don’t allow preparing for the future to rob you of your present. Remember it is called present for a reason, because it is just that, a big, beautiful, precious PRESENT! So, as you rush around in search of the perfect mother’s day gift or maybe you will be receiving a mother’s day gift don’t become too caught up with the materialist component for there is nothing more magnificent than time spent, mother and child in the PRESENT!

Happy Mother’s Day Moms!

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day Moms!!

Here is something beautiful I wanted to share with each of you on this special day.

The moment that changed my life!

 

First time Mommy amazed at the beautiful blessing that is her baby girl.

 

A baby asked God, “They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless? “

 God said, “Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you.”

 The child further inquired, “But tell me, here in heaven I don’t have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy.”

 God said, “Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel your angel’s love and be very happy.”

 Again the child asked, “And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don’t know the language?”

 God said, “Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak.”

 “And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?”

 God said, “Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray.” “Who will protect me?”

 God said, “Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life.”

 “But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore.”

 God said, “Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach

you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you.”

 At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth

could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, “God, if I am to leave

now, please tell me my angel’s name.” God said, “You will simply call her, “MOM”

What I Bought myself for Mother’s Day, 2 Apps every Super Mom MUST Have, and a Special Shout Out to YOU!

Okay, so I fell in love with this mug the moment I walked into Caribou the other day, I just had to have it. So, I did what any Super mom would do, I bought it for myself because if past experience has taught me anything it is that you sometimes need to purchase your own Mother’s Day gift. Please, don’t get me wrong, my eyes fill with tear the moment my children hand me those delicate imprints of their hands and I read those heart wrenching poems that coincide. You know the ones; the ones that make you want to come up with some secret potion to keep them small forever. Why must they grow, and why so fast?? And of course my hubby, God bless his soul, he does try to makes an effort to give me a Mother’s Day gift from the heart, kind of.  But if I have to fake a smile for one more gosh darn last-minute, convenience purchased, cheap, carcinogen based candle I might lose it! Seriously, I am not sure if he is aware of this or not but he has given me the same candle 3 years in a row, I have the proof.

 

So, long story short, instead of doing a woe is me pity party later, after the Mother’s day festivities I decided to purchase the mug for myself. This way I am guaranteed a smile Mother’s Day as I sip on my coffee from my new mug.  Despite what gifts and appreciation may, or may not be expressed on Mother’s Day I am already guaranteed a great day because my mug says I am a SUPER MOM!!

The mug got me thinking though, what does every SUPER MOM need in order to be, well, SUPER? Faith, patience, kindness, a sense of humor, love, tolerance, integrity, faith, a positive disposition, a sense of humor, fortitude, a sense of humor!! If you can’t tell, I think faith and a sense of humor need to be emphasized; you can’t take life or raising children too seriously and sometimes you will have those days when you only get by on a prayer. SUPER MOMs also need super support networks. A supportive family, friends, neighbors, etc. are a must otherwise you lose your mind and the SUPER. Then I started thinking about some of the more modern-day gizmos like technology, iPads, iPhones, etc. and the ways they support and encouraged the SUPER status. There are two must have apps that instantly came to mind.

 

Gube, it is wonderful, a true life saver in desperate moments.  You know those days when you are at your wit’s end and you feel like throwing in the towel but you still have 2 more errands on your list?  Well, Gube is the answer. Gube is an app that provides kid safe videos. Parent’s there is no need to worry about your toddler or preschooler stumbling across a provocative video on their search for Elmo or Yo gabba gabba. Gube provides parents with a catalog of pre-screened, moderated, and safe, yet fun, YouTube videos. Designed and developed by parents of toddlers for parents with young children. Paired with the BubCap (www.bubcap.com) home button cover, it turns your iPhone or iPad into a great learning and entertainment device!

Best part, as a special Happy Mother’s Day Gube is $0.99!! It is normally $3.99 but starting Friday May 11th– Sunday May 13th  it is $0.99, so be sure to get your app Friday! Moms this is a great gift to give yourself for mother’s day, trust me, you will thank yourself the next time you are waiting in the Doctor’s office, waiting in line at the grocery store,  going on vacation, or stuck in road construction (construction season is just around the corner).

 

The second app that is a must for a SUPER MOM is Rescuehood.  As many of you know I experienced a Scary Mommy Moment this spring while enjoying what was supposed to be a fun-filled memorable day at the zoo with my children and friends, but quickly became a nightmare.  As I express in Scary Mommy Moment: You can’t Find your Child!, there is panic and pure adrenaline that takes over your body when you can’t locate your child. It is a feeling that no mom, parent, or guardian should have to feel or experience. But if they do have the misfortune of experiencing this scenario Rescuehood is the ally you want on your side!

Rescuehood would instantly alert everyone in the area that a child is at risk, so a mass of people can mobilize into action and rescue the child fast. Rescuehood is an emergency broadcast social network however in order for it to work the technology needs to be on EVERY mobile phone in the world to help save children from harm. The founders are building awareness parent by parent, community by community.

Rescuehood is a must for every SUPER MOM and for that SUPER MOM’s support network. This app is FREE; please share with all you come in contact with today.

Now it is your turn to share, what helps you be the SUPER MOM you are? Do you have a support network, technological allies, or some other means for getting through parenthood, please share?

Lastly, I would like to take a second to give a special shout out to all the amazing Mom bloggers, followers, and friends, you rock!! You are all a part of my social support system, it is nice to read other moms banters and blessings, to know that I am not alone, that there are others who have experienced the same is comforting. To all the SUPER MOMS out there I hope you have a Happy Mother’s Day and God blesses all your efforts.

Added Bonus: The Ten Super Powers of Moms