Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Kid's Gift Guide 2018

It's GIFT GUIDE WEEK!  Let's do a little happy dance, shall we?  This week I will be posting various gift guides to hopefully help you with some inspo for all of the people on your list.  If you don't already receive my emails, you can sign up on the sidebar of the blog so you won't miss any of the posts!

I don't know about you, but my kiddos are still somewhat easy to buy for.  They are fairly consistent with what they like, and are pretty easy to please. (Even though Chase asked for an iPhone this year--not happening by the way!)  But, I know we all get stumped and it's nice to find new, interesting gift ideas.  These are all items that my kids either have, or have expressed interest in.

I've gone crazy this year with Buffalo Check!  Can't get enough of this plaid pattern for Christmas!  And inside these pretty packages are fun gifts for my kiddos.  If you need ideas for your kids, head to the blog to check out my kid's gift guide!  I'm sharing a variety of items for all ages and at various price points.  Midwestern Mama

Hopefully you find something on this list that is unique and new to you, or that you think your little one will enjoy!

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Monday, December 10, 2018

November Instagram Roundup

Hey friends!  Can you believe we only have 15 days until Christmas???  I mean, how does time seem to just disappear into thin air?  Be sure to check back throughout the week because this little elf has been working on gift guides for you!  I will most likely post one per day, so you definitely don't want to miss them.  If you haven't already, you can sign up for my email list, which is located on the right-hand sidebar of the blog. --->

I am rounding up the looks I shared for the month of November, so you can check them out below.  To shop the looks, just click on the photo!  If I was unable to link an exact item, I do my best to find a similar option for you.

A little tip:  If you see something you like, but don't want to purchase it right now, you can click the little heart to make it a favorite.  ShopStyle will then email you when that items goes on sale!  It's so handy!


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Friday, December 7, 2018

What I'm Ordering From Amazon This Month (Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec)

I think this may be my last Subscribe and Save post!  At least for a while.  Just like most things people buy on a schedule, it started to get repetitive, so I began grouping months together, which helped.  But, I have shared what I order from Amazon's Subscribe and Save program for almost a year now, so I am feeling like it's time to move on.  If you want to refer to any previous posts, you can see them all HERE.



For those of you who are not familiar with Subscribe and Save, I'll give you a run down below.  If you already know the ins and outs, please feel free to scroll on down!
Amazon's Subscribe and Save program allows you to set up regularly scheduled deliveries on thousands of different items.  There is no commitment, so you can skip or cancel deliveries at any time.

Just for subscribing, Amazon gives you a 5% savings on each and every item.  If you have 5 or more items in a given month, then you will save 15% on the TOTAL amount of your bill.  Amazon's prices are often the same or better than Target/Walmart/Costco/etc, and then to save up to an additional 15% AND have it delivered to your doorstep is HEAVEN!  If you are a Prime member, you can get a 20% savings on diapers and baby food subscriptions by having 5 items delivered in a given month.

You can choose how often you would like each item (ex: once a month, once every 3 months, etc) and you can cancel any item at any time without any sort of fees.  If you subscribe to a certain toothpaste one month, and decide you want a different kind the next month, it's super easy to cancel your existing subscription and then place a new order for what you want.  Not everything is eligible for Subscribe and Save, but they sure do have a lot to choose from!  You can shop the S&S Store HERE!

A lot of the items are sold in bulk, so if you don't want 8 boxes of rice, see if you can find a friend or family member to split it with.  But there are also a lot of items that are sold individually too!  Amazon's prices vary quite frequently.  So, be sure to check the cost each month before committing to your order.  Sometimes just waiting until the following month (if you don't need the item right away) will save you some money.  


Let's start with a friendly reminder to BUY BATTERIES BEFORE CHRISTMAS!  Sorry for yelling, but you don't want to get caught Christmas morning with toys that don't work because you forgot to buy batteries!  I added batteries of all sizes to my Subscribe and Save order this month to ensure I would be prepared for whatever Santa decides to bring!

My boys use this all in one body wash and shampoo and we love it.  Free of junky chemicals!

I have used Plant Therapy essential oils for years now and we are very happy with them!  I stock up on this Germ Fighter (which is comparable to Thieves)  for winter time.  


I started using this Retinol Moisturizer at night and I really like it.  This product has over 3500 reviews, and people rave about it!  

I also ordered this moisturizer.  Since retinol tends to dry out your skin, especially when you first start using it, this has helped me maintain some extra moisture.  I am really happy with this this product!

My dad used to swear by Glucosamine to help his joints.  I ordered some to try in hopes it would help with my hip and knee issues.  I did a little bit of research and chose this particular one because it is GMO free, gluten free, and dairy free.  

These water filters are totally random, and chances are you wouldn't need the exact same ones...but I'm sharing because sometimes I see what other people get from Amazon, and I think to myself, I never even thought to look on Amazon for that!  So, if you need any sort of filter, chances are they have it!  

These are so dang good!  Pun intended.  Seriously though, they satisfy my craving for something sweet, but I feel a whole lot less guilty because they are made with only 3 ingredients! 

I put this peanut butter powder in my smoothies.  Great PB taste with fewer calories and fat!

If you have read any of my previous posts, you know I order LOTS of dog food from Amazon for my giant beasts.  But, let me just tell you that I had to run to Pet Smart the other day to grab a bag on the fly, and it cost over $60!!!!  That same exact bag from Amazon is under $45 AND it gets delivered to my door!  This alone is worth me having an Amazon Prime account.  

Now that the weather is cold, my hands are getting so dry.  I love this spray because it is not as thick as the traditional Aquaphor, but still keeps my skin moisturized.  See my other favorite remedies for dry skin here.   This spray is also nice for my kiddos because I can spray it on quickly when they get out of the bath.  

My boys love these fruit pouches. This is one of their favorites.

I use this lemon rinse periodically to help get the buildup off of my hair.  Because I pretty much live with dry shampoo on my head 24/7, it's nice to get a fresh start with this rinse.  

Sniffle season is here!  Stock up on tissues so you will have them on hand when you need them.  These are my favorite because they don't make your nose raw.

I like these Free and Gentle dryer sheets.  I have tried the wool balls, and they just create so much static, especially in the winter, so I use these in the dryer.  They have no dyes or perfumes.

I use coconut sugar in place of brown sugar and white sugar as often as I can.  I order it in bulk here because it's much cheaper than buying it from the grocery store.  It keeps for a long time!  For other healthy food substitutions, read this post. 

I hope you have enjoyed this little Amazon Subscribe and Save series!  Let me know if you try anything I have suggested!  And I'd also love to know what you order from Amazon on the regular!



I am a member of Amazon's Affiliate program, so the links in this post are affiliate links.  If you click on a link and purchase something, I may earn a small commission.  This does not affect the price you pay, but it does help me maintain my blog.  Thank you for your support!







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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

DIY Ornament Wreath

I love Christmas for so many reasons, but one of them is the creativity!  All of the decorating and crafts just get my creative juices flowing and it's so much fun!  

This DIY ornament wreath is easy and inexpensive to make.  Customize it with your favorite Christmas colors to create a one of a kind decoration!  Makes a great gift idea too.  See how at www.midwesternmama.com

Years and years ago I made a couple of ornament wreaths inspired by a Pinterest post (which sadly I can't seem to locate or I would give that person credit!).  It was a Dollar Tree craft, so it was made strictly from a wire clothes hanger and Dollar Tree ornaments.  To be honest, they actually held up pretty well considering they were cheaply constructed.  But, each year a few ornaments would fall off and they started looking so pitiful.

This DIY ornament wreath is easy and inexpensive to make.  Customize it with your favorite Christmas colors to create a one of a kind decoration!  Makes a great gift idea too.  See how at www.midwesternmama.com

I stick to traditional colors for my outdoor decor, and I used these wreaths to add color to my urns.  Since they were on their last leg, I decided to recreate them, but this time I used materials of a slightly higher quality in hopes that they would hold up better through the years.  

Materials:
metal hoop (I got the 14" size from Hobby Lobby, located in the hobby craft section of the store for $2.99)
ornaments of various sizes (I snagged a bunch on major sale last year after Christmas!)
craft wire (I used a small gauge wire found in the jewelry section of Hobby Lobby)
hot glue gun

Directions:
The first thing you will want to do is glue all of the ornament caps onto the ornaments.  
Are you still with me?  

This DIY ornament wreath is easy and inexpensive to make.  Customize it with your favorite Christmas colors to create a one of a kind decoration!  Makes a great gift idea too.  See how at www.midwesternmama.com

This sounds tedious, and it is, but it honestly didn't take as long as I was anticipating.  And after watching my ornaments pop off the wreath each year, this step is going to pay off in the long run!  

This DIY ornament wreath is easy and inexpensive to make.  Customize it with your favorite Christmas colors to create a one of a kind decoration!  Makes a great gift idea too.  See how at www.midwesternmama.com

If your ornaments are already glued, then you can shout a big hallelujah because you just got to skip a big step in this process!  Mine were not secured, so I popped each cap off and re-secured it with hot glue.  

This DIY ornament wreath is easy and inexpensive to make.  Customize it with your favorite Christmas colors to create a one of a kind decoration!  Makes a great gift idea too.  See how at www.midwesternmama.com

Start by wrapping the craft wire around the metal hoop and securing the end.  Allow yourself enough wire to work with, I used about a 2-3 ft strand.  Choose a few ornaments and thread them onto the wire.  Wrap the wire around the hoop, dispersing the ornaments so they are also wrapping around the wire.  

This DIY ornament wreath is easy and inexpensive to make.  Customize it with your favorite Christmas colors to create a one of a kind decoration!  Makes a great gift idea too.  See how at www.midwesternmama.com

Add a few more ornaments to the craft wire, then wrap it around the hoop again.  

This DIY ornament wreath is easy and inexpensive to make.  Customize it with your favorite Christmas colors to create a one of a kind decoration!  Makes a great gift idea too.  See how at www.midwesternmama.com

Pull the wire tight against the hoop to secure the ornaments in place.  Continue this process over and over and over again until your wreath is full!  

This DIY ornament wreath is easy and inexpensive to make.  Customize it with your favorite Christmas colors to create a one of a kind decoration!  Makes a great gift idea too.  See how at www.midwesternmama.com

If you run out of wire, just secure the end and start again with a new piece of wire.  Take note of the colors and sizes you are choosing so you don't get too many of the same grouped together.  I chose my colors and sizes randomly because that's how I like my wreath to look, but I was mindful to choose different colors to avoid having one large clump of a certain color or size.  

When you are all finished, wrap the wire around the hoop several times and secure the end.  You could even add a dab of hot glue to ensure it won't come unraveled.   

This DIY ornament wreath is easy and inexpensive to make.  Customize it with your favorite Christmas colors to create a one of a kind decoration!  Makes a great gift idea too.  See how at www.midwesternmama.com

And there you have it!  You could do any color combinations imaginable!  Snag some ornaments during the after-Christmas sales and you can make these for dirt cheap!  

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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Whole 30 / Round Two

Hey friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Mine was really nice...got to spend time with my husband's family and eat lots of yummy things!  And, now my kiddos have a bonus day off school because of the snow!

I wanted to write a post about my most recent Whole 30.  I know, I know!  After pretty much trash talking Whole 30 the last time, here I am again!  Never say never, right?  (You can read about my previous Whole 30 experience here)  It all started when I was having a conversation with my friend about how we both felt out of control with the way we were eating.  Basically throwing caution to the wind and just consuming whatever in the heck we wanted to.  But, also feeling like crap and our pants were getting tighter.  So, together we decided to do Whole 30.  We had each done Whole 30 previously on our own, but this time we vowed to do it together AND share the meal prep.

My experience with Whole 30 the second time around!  Plus my Whole 30 meal plan!
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Eggroll in a Bowl (Whole 30 Compliant)

I love Asian food, but we don't eat it often because it always makes me SO thirsty!  Restaurants in general use way too much sodium.  I love when I am able to make something at home that resembles what I might get at a restaurant because it feels fancier than our regular meals, but I don't have the yucky after effects.

Eggroll in a Bowl is a quick, easy, delicious meal that is perfect for the whole family, and just happens to be Whole 30 and Paleo approved!

As I was scouring through recipes on Pinterest, trying my best to come up with something other than chicken for dinner, I came across this recipe!  It looked easy and I could adapt it to meet the Whole 30 guidelines!  This meal has all of the deliciousness of a traditional eggroll without the unhealthy wrapper!

If you are trying to stick to Whole 30, be sure your sausage doesn't have any sugar or preservatives in it.  I was able to find some sugar free sausage at Nature's Grocer.

Eggroll in a Bowl is a quick, easy, delicious meal that is perfect for the whole family, and just happens to be Whole 30 and Paleo approved!

Ingredients:
1 bag coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)
1 pound breakfast sausage (sugar free and preservative free for Whole 30)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp fresh ginger
1/2 cup coconut aminos (or soy sauce if you're not doing Whole 30)
sliced green onion
cilantro
cashews

Eggroll in a Bowl is a quick, easy, delicious meal that is perfect for the whole family, and just happens to be Whole 30 and Paleo approved!

Directions:
In a bowl, combine garlic, ginger, and coconut aminos.  Stir to combine and set aside.

Brown the sausage in a large skillet until cooked through.  Drain excess grease.  Add dry coleslaw mix to skillet and stir to combine.  If you can't fit all of the coleslaw in at the same time, pour half, then let it cook down a bit to make room for the other half.  Add aminos mixture to the skillet, stirring and continuing to cook over medium heat until the cabbage is wilted (about 5 minutes).  Top with green onions, cilantro and cashews.

Feel free to add some hot sauce, or even get the spicy sausage if you like a little heat!  This would also be yummy with shrimp, or even ground turkey!


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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

H&M Try On

Can you even believe it's Thanksgiving week?!?!  It definitely crept up on me.  I am excited to have family in town and indulge in all of the yummies.

I love H&M!  I don't shop there often, mainly because the store isn't super convenient for me, but I can always find something fun when I do get to browse!  Sometimes H&M sizing is strange...I will need an XS in one thing and then an XL in something else, so I always appreciate sizing advice when I can find it.  And with all of the Black Friday sales coming up, I am sure H&M will be no exception!  I don't know what they have up their sleeve, but I bet it will be good!  Their prices are always so great to start with, so an added discount is a total win!  Right now you can get free shipping with code 3233.

The lighting in my HM store is always terrible.  I did the best I could with pics, but if you're unsure of anything, click the link and check it out online. 


I'll start with what I wore into the store.  cami / jeans / cardigan / hat  In hindsight, I probably should not have worn red jeans, but actually, they looked pretty cute with most of the things I tried on!  I was in a huge hurry, so I didn't try on any pants this time.  
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