Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Christmas Gift Guide | Ladies

Checking back in this week for the Ultimate Christmas Guide Linkup with Brittany, Owen, and Emily. This week it's about the ladies! What's on your wishlist ladies?!




PERSONALIZED SIGN - QBHomes wood signs are always so pretty! Last year I purchased one for a gift and it was great! I love this one. This one is great for the laundry room. Any personalized size like this would be a great gift!

CLOTHES - Athleileisure, cardigans, and scarves are always a score in my book! This blanket cardi for less than $50 is super cute for winter (currently BOGO 1/2 off)! This puffer jacket is perfect for casual wear. Kiki Larue always has some super cute blanket scarves.

JEWELRY - I love my Stella & Dot engraved necklace with the kids initials. This engravable delicate necklace would make for a perfect gift (less than $100)! Engravable Circle Style here. Pandora has some really nice and affordable pieces as well. This ring being one of my favorites!

BOOKS - Even if you don't know a persons reading style, you can't go wrong with Chip and Joanna Gaines (am I right or am I right?!) Capital Gaines and The Magnolia Story are two great reads on my want list.

SPLURGE ON BEAUTY - Perfect opportunity to mention my little side business - SeneGence skincare and cosmetics! High quality products are something some women won't spend the money on themselves! Who wouldn't want a gift pack of excellent skin care products? Or a new LipSense color or gloss? Maybe even a Lash Extend or Lip Voluminizer?! So many options. Check out my facebook page for more info!

GIFT CERTIFICATES - Pedicure, Coffee, Hair, Massage, iTunes, Favorite restaurant or retail store (to shop for herself not the kids or the house!)

INSTANT POT - An Instant Pot is a game changer for the busy woman in your life. We got one when we moved into our camper and it really was helpful for one pot meals as well as getting a (healthy) meal on the table in a short period of time.

MISC - These Slippers are a useful and affordable gift! A soft comfy robe. CC beanie (bonus Mommy and Me Matching hat for the Mama's out there)! Touchscreen winter gloves. Candles. Nail Polish. Charging Stand.




Wednesday, November 8, 2017

{Non Toy} Toddler Christmas Gift Guide

I'm trying to be on top of my shopping game (who am I) this year! Even though I've picked a few things up over the last few months, I haven't truly started my Christmas shopping. Before I do, I usually like to sit down and make a list of everyone I need to buy for and brainstorm some gift ideas! Starting with the kids of course!

I'm excited to join in this linkup with Brittany, Owen and Emily, to help brainstorm this holiday season! It's like a team shopping effort! Ha! 😉

One general rule of thumb I like to do for the kids to keep myself from going overboard is to limit their gifts to - want, need, read, wear, do. We have sooooo many toys! Heck, half of them are in boxes somewhere. So this year I got to brainstorming non-toy gifts that keep giving long term - learning aids, creativity fun, and/or making memories!


BOOKS | You can never have too many books, right?! Usborne Books are one of my favorite brands and they have a ton of unique high quality books for kids! Some on our wish list >> All Better || Shine a Light: Inside the Human Body || Muddle and Match: Imagine || Slide and See Christmas || Alphabet Sticker Book || Animal Sticker Book 

STICKERS or STICKER BOOKS | No such thing as too many stickers either, right?! My kids go through stickers like crazy! Ordinary Stickers, seasonal stickers, ABC stickers, sticker books, Reusable Sticker Pads - the options are endless and typically you can get hundreds for $5-$10 (thanks amazon)!

COLORING + CRAFT SUPPLIES | Easel, Crayons, washable markers, craft paper, coloring books, mess free coloring books, chalk, washable paint, Do A Dot. I'd love to hear what some of your must have coloring and craft supplies are!

PUZZLES | The options are endless for all ages! Whether it be Chunky Wooden, jigsaw, foam, Magnetic Dress-Up Doll, name puzzle... just to name a few!

BUBBLES | There are so many ways to have fun with bubbles! And all kids love them (I think?!)! Some ideas are... bubble machine, no spill bubble bucket, bubble gunssuper bubble wand, or bubble sticks.

CLOTHES + SHOES | Considering kiddos grow at the speed of lightening, you can never be too prepared with the next size or season! Old Navy and Target have some adorable new finds!

GIFT CERTIFICATES | Creating memories outside the home are always a great thing for children and families, however the costs can add up! Therefore, memberships or gift certificates are excellent gift ideas! Whether it's for the zoo, a local museum, an indoor water park, an aquarium, or the movies.

DVDS | We have a handful of movies recorded on our DVR.. however we have very few DVDs! Gifting a DVD is a gift that keeps giving... whether it's some quiet time for Mama to cook a meal or a good old fashioned family movie night on the couch! 😏 Any suggestions for must haves?! Of course the Disney classics come to mind!

EXTRAS | A few other ideas could be a Mini Outdoor Play Set, Magformers, balance bike, board games, Mega Bloks, Water BeadsMagnaDoodle.

TRIED & TRUE FAVS || wagon, 4-in-1 trike, slide, water wings, toddler table, name puzzle. 


Ultimate Christmas Guide Link Up!




Monday, October 23, 2017

RV Living | Recap


It’s been almost 2 months since we’ve been the homeless Gypsy Joy’s living out of a fifth wheel… and let me tell ya, it feels like it’s been a hell of a lot longer than that. Honest engines, it feels like it’s been forever since we left our home and I miss it so freaking much. I probably sound repetitive with my RV living posts, but here’s a little bit about our RV living days this time around…

Out of the past 53 days, a mere 11 of them have been spent at an actual campground. The rest of the days have been spent in a relative’s backyard. Sounds like a good time, huh? Spoiler alert: not so much.

I knew RV living was going to be difficult. After all, this is the third year of living on/off in the camper and it’s always had its challenges. Only this time, we did not have a “home” to run back to when things were getting hairy in the camper. Two small kids (1 that still wakes up 24972040 times a night) in a mere 600ish square feet of space with limited water, limited cooking options, a small amount of toys, and no cable TV (only antenna channels) – enough said.

We aimed to do the “backyard” thing rather than a campground to save us a couple bucks. For which I am thankful we have family to help us in that area (for the third year in a row).

The biggest perk to RV living was that Michael was able to come “home” to us every night, and we were together as a family for the first time ever. Although, most nights Michael didn't get home until 8pm right as I was laying the kids down for bed. We/I may only see him for a short period of time per day, which stinks, but at least we were under the same roof as a family every night.

Some of our favorite things about RV living in Nana & Papa’s backyard:

Having a pasture of horses as neighbors. The kids looked out the window all day to check to see if the horses were outside. If they were outside, Remington would squeal with excitement and ML would gasp then point while blubbering his lips to mimic the sound a horse makes. We would pick buckets of apples off the apple trees and then walk over to feed them. We would also buy carrots for them. ML always ate the horses treats which cracked me up every time. 





On the days we went to Gaga’s (my Mom’s) for dinner, we would get to see Auntie Poo (my sister) – the kids favorite.

We were close to family, friends, parks, the beach, etc. Which allowed us to go out and about with minimal travel time. It allowed us to get out of the camper and have some fun. We went to the beach, lots of parks, lots of walks, shopping, a splash pad, Friday night football games, playdates, and the apple orchard - just to name a few. This was definitely a change of pace for us considering when we live in the middle of nowhere we rarely went anywhere.

 





As you can imagine, living in a camper can be challenging and stressful at times - as I’ve mentioned before. Over the last three years of on/off RV living, the challenges seem to change as our lives change. 

These three things seemed to be our biggest challenges (again)…

Challenge #1: water supply. Every Sunday we would have to pack up the camper and go empty the septic and refill the water tank. With the limit on water, we had to watch how much we used to cook, drink, wash dishes, brush teeth, flush toilet, etc. Therefore, we had to bathe either inside the house where we were staying or a few miles away at my mom’s.

Challenge #2: keeping the kids entertained, especially once the colder weather hit. For some reason, they do not like being confined in the camper and they didn’t like playing with most of the toys I packed (which were all their favorite toys they play with the most often when we had a house). We went outside or drove to the park every chance we had and that was about the only way we made it through the day. If I knew it was going to rain, I would plan a play date at a friend’s house.


Challenge #3: Sleep. To be expected, adjusting to the new place took a little adjustment for all of us. Due to such a small area and Mason’s horribly loud scream that can wake anyone within a three mile radius, we had many sleepless nights or napless afternoons. I felt horrible for Michael having to get up to go to work after nights like those. It wasn’t like he could just go sleep on the couch that was 10 feet away… Remington has her own room which helps the situation but still isn’t very sound proof. She’s a pretty good sleeper, but she had her fair share of rough days. ML started out in a pack n play in the living room which didn’t last long with how many times I am up and down through the night with him. Good thing our bed in the camper is a king because ML took up ¾ of it.


Our future housing plans...
We had high hopes that we would find a place to call home shortly after we moved into the RV, but unfortunately that hasn’t happened. With the cold weather approaching quickly, we decided to take an opportunity to move into a rental home. For as hard of a decision as this was the best option to keep us all together rather than living separately again as we have for the last several years. Moving into a rental will give us some more time to search for a new home rather than to just settle on something that we don’t 100% love. While we are in the process of cleaning, digging for boxes out of the storage unit, and moving in general, I will be staying with my MIL. 


I’d like to think we made the best of our RV living days… but I can’t deny that the daily challenges sometimes got the best of me. The added stress of house searching didn’t help matters. The guilt of not having a home to provide for our kids weighed on my shoulders daily. Especially the days Remington would cry that she wanted to go back home. Someday we will look back and laugh at all the days we’ve spent living in our RV over the years. For now, I’ll just continue sharing and documenting our experiences with hopes that RV living will soon be a thing of our past.

If anyone has any questions or suggestions for RV living related posts, feel free to ask!!


Monday, October 16, 2017

Blakes Apple Orchard

One of the many things I love to do in the fall is visit the apple orchard! Last year ML was only a couple months old and it was already pretty chilly outside, so I didn't take him. So this year was his first time! Although, we did go to another orchard a couple weeks ago as well, but it was a smaller scale place and we basically stayed long enough to get donuts and cider. 😆

Since this time of year seems to be chaos at the orchards on the weekends, my girlfriend and I decided we'd try to go during the week. We went on Friday late morning and despite a million school buses on field trips, it wasn't too bad! Both of our husbands work a lot so it was nice to be able to go with someone and try to wrangle all the kids as a team rather than solo! (Read: easier trips to the bathroom!) 😉 

The kids had a great time! Remington was screaming when it was time to leave but ML was completely over it all and ready for a nap. R's screaming proceeded on the entire ride home therefore neither kid took a nap and I quickly questioned by sanity of ever going in public with the kids again.😏  Oooooh the memories we're making... ha! 














Last year's visit vs this year