All the books!

I have joined a work-from-home venture. I have been to several home parties that sell candles, jewelry, bags, home products, etc. I have never really had a desire to become a consultant; I don’t know a lot of shoppers and having to go to people’s homes just did not interest me.

But an opportunity came my way to sell awesome books and host online! I will really try to not sound spammy, because honestly, this is the truth.

These are some of my favorite books!

These are some of my favorite books!

 

I have mentioned that I work in a library, right? I worked at my University’s library while I was a student, worked at a non-profit after getting my degree, and then came back to the library world after I had my son and wanted some part-time work I didn’t have to take home with me. Three days a week I have a total of about 600 kids call me “librarian” (even though I lack the amount of schooling required to be a librarian – nor do I get the pay, but I am the one in charge of the school’s library, so it makes sense to them). I’ve always enjoyed books and reading (thanks, mom for reading to us every night when we were young!) and I want to instill the same love of books with my children.

The other day, a friend from high school (well, actually, elementary school) invited me to an online Facebook party about buying books. I missed most of the party because I was out at a family dinner, but I caught the tail-end of it and scanned through the posts and looked through the book catalog online. I wasn’t sure if I was going to buy anything. I usually pick up books from thrift stores and to pay full price for a book is usually foreign to me, but they had some pretty neat illustrated story compilations. I compared prices with Amazon. Some books were cheaper on Amazon (through a seller other than Amazon), but most weren’t. I decided to order some books for Christmas presents. And then when I went to check-out, I was given an option to pick 3 books at 50-60% off… and I did.

About 5-7 days later I received my box of books. Yay, fun mail!  I was actually shocked at how big and colorful they were (even my $5 books were large hard-backed books with lots of big, colorful illustrations). My friend Jen, actually texted me the same day to say she got her books and was pleasantly surprised to see the quality of the books exceeded expectations. Now I wanted to host a party and get free books! “You might as well just sign up to sell them since the start-up kit is so cheap.”

I made back my investment during my first party… and brought home hundreds of dollars worth of books for a small fraction of the cost. And you know else? I had FUN doing it!

So I am happy to announce that I have become an Usborne and Kane Miller Consultant! I run Facebook parties and offer awesome books to families and schools – what could be better?! The books are awesome – great for ages 0-adult, fiction, non-fiction, and activity books.

Books

*Let me know if you are interested in hosting or consulting – my average party gets hosts over $140 in FREE books, plus more at discounted prices! And since it is online, there is barely any work for the host!

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What I am packing in my hospital bag

With my second child due in a couple of months, I decided to review all the fun labor and delivery info available out there – most recently Pinterest. There are lots of different posts about “what to pack” and some of them seem a bit much, to me. People and hospitals are different, so to each her own, but this is what worked for us last time, and what I will be packing this time. I would take a tour of your labor and delivery unit and ask questions. Sometimes you have a shared room, sometimes they are small, sometimes you have a shower or a bath, sometimes you don’t. Also, sometimes your recovery room doesn’t have a lot of extra room and some hospitals don’t allow husbands to stay the night. We stayed at our hospital one night – other hospitals require two. If you have a c-section, you will probably stay 3 days. All these factors may effect your packing list.

packing list

 
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Decluttering Christmas presents – Kids edition

I have a few stocking stuff posts (like 50 Stocking stuffers for women,  and 100+ Stocking stuffer and small gift ideas for men, and Non-candy Easter basket and stocking stuffer ideas for children) that get a bit of traffic. If you’ve read them, you know that I am a huge fan of Christmas stockings full of goodies (and present-giving in general). This year, I really want to focus on fun, family, and the meaning of Christmas, rather than all the focus be on PRESENTS! This is becoming more important as my first born gets older (he will be 2.5 years old during Christmas) and with another one on the way. Also, if you have kids, you know how quick they accumulate stuff. I don’t even know how this happens, but it seems like magically, overnight, toys have multiplied. We rarely even buy toys, encourage family to gift other things, and yet still, there is a house full of toys!

I am taking a step back from filling stockings with toys and trinkets and little things that will get lost inside the couch or thrown away in a month. Well, there may still be things that get lost inside the couch, but the point is, I am trying to avoid the junk and clutter.

Have you noticed that some of the greatest toys your little ones have played with are actually not “toys?” Stacks of cups, a cardboard box, a pen and a back of an envelope, a table cloth fort, small pumpkins from the local pumpkin patch (I kid you not, my toddler is in love with his little pumpkins) – all of these things, and more, have entertained your child and didn’t come wrapped in plastic, secured with zip ties, and then sealed in a box. They allowed the children to use their imagination. That’s why this year I am focusing my gift-giving for my child on things that will allow him to play in different ways and offer creative freedom. I am also focusing my stocking stuffers on “needs.”

It may be early to start planning Christmas gifts (and I may have gotten my cousin’s kids’ gifts already, at Target, for 70% off during their toy clearance), but my little girl is set to make her arrival in January and I just love making lists, planning a budget, and all that fun stuff. So here are a few tips I am following to decrease the amount of “stuff” we don’t need (but still have fun giving gifts), and a what I am giving my son for Christmas.

decluttering christmas

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Hello, Stranger!

I’ve been MIA lately; busy with work (elementary school “librarian”), parenting (expecting our second child in January!) and home (does housework ever end?).

With a new baby on the way and home improvements galore, you should be seeing more of me!

 

Lately I have been planning on turning our spare bedroom into a playroom for current and future littles! You can see my pins here:

playroom inspirationI’ve also been reading a lot about RIE parenting style, especially from Janet Lansbury’s blog and Facebook page. For me, I would sum the parenting style as respectfully caring for children.

Work is an interesting way to observe the school’s education system and teaching styles.

And as for our home – we should have a new roof and updated paint-job by the fall!

Hope all is well with all of you!

Wrapping those gifts

We have our little fake tree up and lightly decorated; an experiment since we have an 18 month old curious little boy. This weekend we put up a real tree to go in front of our bay windows. The mantel is decorated, I’ve been experimenting with the best sugar cookie recipe, and my Christmas shopping is about 2/3′s done. I can’t believe Christmas is 13 days away! I can’t wait!

Have you started wrapping your presents yet? Here are a few things that might help :)

Free Printable Labels

gift wrap ideas logo

 

 

Books kids love

I currently work at a school library that serves 1st thru 6th graders. I am in charge of making sure the children know how to use the library, check-in and check-out books, and pretty much anything else book related. I enjoy it, and believe it or not, it is actually fairly fast-paced. Also, I get a first-hand look at what books kids love! I read to the first and second graders and receive their input about the books, and I see what the 3rd-6th graders are checking out and requesting.

So what’s on the list?

favorite books for todays kids

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Black Friday sales and Thanksgiving weekend deals

I really contemplated not posting post-Thanksgiving. I rarely go Black Friday shopping; some of the “sales” really are not the worth the wait and the drama, for me. I have taken advantage of the online sales, though.

This year many of my family members want gift cards or specific items that won’t be on sale after Thanksgiving, so I’m not shopping much. I am on the lookout for good deals though, for birthdays and events for the kids in our family and circle of friends… And maybe a special holiday outfit for myself.

Anyways. I’m not going to post every sale every one of my affiliates has, here are just the irresistible ones!

Craftsy is an great place to really up your skills this Holiday season, or give someone a gift card to learn or improve a craft! I’m looking forward to Sweet & Savory Food Gifts with Diane Morgan, and looking through their Free Classes.
Craftsy

60% off the 1st month of a new subscription over at Kiwi Crate. Best deal of the year!
Kiwi Crate Black Friday preview. Preview now ››

Darby Smart is having a 50% off sale tomorrow AND they have a new craft box for tween and teen girls. AWESOME gift idea!
Subscription Box for Tweens

CAFE PRESS HAS A LOT TO OFFER THIS WEEKEND!

New on CafePress! Create Your Own Monopoly Board Game!
$5 Keep Calm and Shop On Tote Bag

$5 Oh Snap Gingerbread Man Tee – Grab one today at CafePress!

$5 Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Egg Nog Tee – Grab one at CafePress!

40% Off Everything with code BLACKFRI – Black Friday Sale starts at 7PM PT on November 28 – Hurry! Ends 9AM PT on November 29.

30% Off Everything Sitewide with code SHOPNSAV from 9AM to Midnight (PT) on Black Friday, November 29!

Abe’s Market is fun to shop this weekend as well:

Use code CYBERMONDAY at AbesMarket.com to save $10 on all orders of $50 or more, plus free shipping at AbesMarket.com!

Additional 10% AND Free Shipping with code SNEAKPEEK

Cute and quirky things over at Modcloth are also 50% off!11/27 12pm PST – 12/1 9pm PST Best deal yet!


Black Friday Deal – 40% Off Single Discovery Boxes at Green Kids Crafts use code blackfri

60% OFF Black Friday at Kidrobot.com! and 60% OFF Cyber Monday at Kidrobot.com!
Kidrobot Inc.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday

I will be posting some great deals and sales on the blog after Thanksgiving. And if you are still deciding what to cook on Thanksgiving Day, maybe THIS POST will help.

I will be linking sales for great products for kids, parents, and the health-conscious, and more!

Not to mention, I will be posting even gift ideas for your loved ones in the days to come!

You may also like:

stocking stuffers for mencreativegiftsforchildren

Almost Thanksgiving! Plus last-minute side-dish ideas

Thanksgiving is only a few days away and I still have to figure out what I will be bringing to family dinner. Homemade bread (the no-knead, no-fail kind) has been requested, but I also need to figure out a side dish and maybe a dessert.

If we weren’t already having several potato dishes, I would definitely make our favorite side dish: Sweet potato, brussel sprouts, and bacon. It is really easy to make and all the flavors taste great. There is a nice balance of sweet and salty and the brussel sprouts pair nicely with both the sweet potatoes and bacon.

photo(2)

I have also compiled a list of 15 healthified traditional Thanksgiving sides, which you can find HERE.

I’m looking forward to enjoying great food and company and kick-off the start of the holiday season! This year I am also even more Thankful for the blessings in my life; my son, my husband, our home, and my new job working at an elementary school library :)

What are you making this week? What are you thankful for this year?

 

You may also enjoy:

recipes and meal plans

 

Creative and unique gifts for children

I am super excited to share this post with you today! I have come across some AWESOME gifts for the littles (and made sure to become an affiliate! You can read more about my affiliates HERE.)

It seems like kids these days have way too much toys! I hardly ever buy my toddler toys and I have already had to box some of them up and put them away. But what do you get kids for Christmas and their birthdays? Most kids don’t care for clothing (and they might need more clothes, either), and toys are fun, but really, how often do they really get played with?  I’m all for quality-made, imagination-inducing toys, but sometimes an experience is better.

creativegiftsforchildren

So what to gift the kids? Here are some ideas!

Little Passports is a monthly subscription where the child gets a virtual trip to a world or USA destination  – the package is filled with activities, souvenirs, fun facts, and more. They even run deals sometimes where you can gift free kits to a teacher with a minimum order.

Get Kiwi Crate's Thanksgiving Turkeys Crate! shop now ››

Kiwi Crate is another subscription based gift (but you do not need to subscribe for more than a month, if you do not want to). Choose from a large variety of crafts, or just browse their DIY tutorial section! There are so many cool craft crates to choose from, I don’t know which one is my favorite. My Godchild would love getting one of these in the mail and as a parent, I love this type of gift. PLUS they have an awesome rewards/referral program.

Green Kid Crafts is another crafty gift box subscription, but is more focused on being “green.” They have science, nature, and discovery themed kits, and even kits for birthday parties. They even have mini kits ($5.95!) for stocking stuffers!

 

Get Free Shipping on all orders at I See Me with coupon code Santa - hurry, offer ends November 14th!

I See Me has a HUGE selection of books (coloring and activity books, too) to customize, from name to picture. They even have special gifts for babies. When I was little, I LOVED the book I had with my name in the story.

 

Braided Bracelet by Darby Smart
Darby Smart is a craft gift box, too, but has all sorts of trendy projects to choose from for the older child, teen, or adult. There really is a HUGE selection of projects, from jewelry to block printing.
Refer A Friend
Abe’s Market, one of my favorite retailers, has a large selection of eco-friendly children’s toys and craft supplies that you will definitely not find in stores. I’m a fan of the bath puzzles (and only $10.99).

Where are some of your favorite places to shop for kids?