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Tips For Choosing Valentine’s Day Gifts For Friends

I have always been a gift giver, so these tips for gifting on Valentine’s Day to friends are ones I know work and are appreciated.  It’s hard to juggle all of our responsibilities, and while a spouse or significant other may treat us to a romantic date on Valentine’s Day, sometimes it is nice to be noticed by our friends and family.  This year, we took the time to create a simple basket of treats for our neighbor who has become a great friend.  Why?  Because Valentine’s Day isn’t just about romantic love, but also love for everyone.

Don't miss out on our great tips for choosing Valentine's Day gifts for friends!

Tips For Choosing Valentine’s Day Gifts For Friends

This post was sponsored by Family Christian and came at just the right time to create a wonderful basket of gifts for our friend.  You see, gifting is something that is personal and can be used to show love in a simple way that others need.  Whether it is a book of quotes or scripture for encouragement or a simple bookmark that reminds them of your love, giving a friend a gift will carry with them far longer than a piece of candy or a slice of cake.  I love that I was able to give my friend a little boost of love, and know that what we sent her would grace her home for years to come as a reminder of our love.

Think about their current needs. Sometimes you may know that your friend has been sick, is struggling in their marriage or maybe has financial struggles.  For some it could be a tragedy or a death in their family that is presenting them with pain and needs.  It may even be the need for a break to take a nap while you watch their kids.  Whatever their need, try to find a way you can fill it or offer encouragement.

While you may not be able to “fix” their problems, you can consider them still when choosing a gift.  Our friend has been a wonderful support to us, and while I don’t know all of her specific needs right now, I know I want to show her we are here for her. Even though I didn’t know her specific needs, I was able to offer her a simple book of God’s promises and helps for when you are in need.  I know these words will bring her encouragement when she needs it most.  They can also remind her that we love her and are there for her.

Think about their emotional needs.  Sometimes we just need to be reminded that we are strong and capable.  The Tree of Life necklace was a great reminder to me that I am strong and supported.  I knew that with her wonderful taste in fashion, it would fit perfectly into her wardrobe and serve as a reminder that no matter what, she too had support from us as her family.

Think about a splurge they won’t make for themselves.  A simple journal and bookmark were a great addition to our treats for her.  She is careful about what she spends, and much like any woman who is trying to do the best for their family – she rarely takes time to just treat herself.  These little things aren’t much but they are something special just for her.  You could include a gift card, a candy bar, a special manicure kit or a book you know they have been wanting.

Choosing Valentine’s Day gifts for your friends can be a fun adventure.  They don’t have to cost a ton of money.  They simply have to include some great thoughtful items that show your love and appreciation.

Thanks to Family Christian for giving me the opportunity to share love with my friends this year for Valentine’s Day. 

Posted in Holidays, Valentine's Day Tagged with: ,

Valentine’s Day Wreath Dollar Store Crafts Idea

Check out this super easy and fun Valentine's Day Wreath that is a favorite new dollar store crafts idea!

This Valentine’s Day Wreath is a great Dollar Store Crafts idea that my friend Allison from Crafty Mother of 2 shared with me.  It’s almost time for the day of love, and a cute homemade Valentine’s wreath is just what I want on my door.  She used some basic supplies, all available at a local Dollar Tree store that create a great wreath for just a few dollars!

Check out this super easy and fun Valentine's Day Wreath that is a favorite new dollar store crafts idea!

Valentine’s Day Wreath Dollar Store Crafts Idea

This post may contain affiliate links. 

I love that Allison uses unique items to create such beautiful wreaths for me. She always has great ideas and of course, I adore the fact that they are dollar store crafts that you can fit into nearly any budget!  She uses a few simple items from the dollar store, and of course her trusty glue gun.  You could easily use a glue like E6000, but the glue gun is usually on hand and less expensive.

Materials Needed: 

  • 2 Pink or Red Bathroom Puffs
  • Embroidery Hoop (used 12″)
  • Hot Glue Gun & Glue or E6000 Glue
  • Valentine Themed Ribon
  • Glitter Hearts or Flowers (we ended up using just the hearts, but flowers ar also optional)
  • Craft or Floral Wire

Check out this super easy and fun Valentine's Day Wreath that is a favorite new dollar store crafts idea!


Step 1: Take apart the embroidery hoop. We will using the outside of the hoop again like we did for the Santa Wreath.  You can usually find these embroidery hoops for $1-$2 at a craft or discount store.

Step 2: Cut the main rope on the 3 bathroom puffs. Take the screw out of embroidery hoop. Grab the end and open it up. Gently pull up the bathroom puff. Once you get to the end of the first puff gently slide the hoop through the opening of the puff. Repeat for the other 2 puffs. Close the screw on the hoop. Fluff the bathroom puff to get the desired look.  This Valentine’s Day wreath comes together easily when you use these inexpensive bathroom puffs as the base.  They stretch out much longer than you expect and are a perfect fluffy way to build a Valentine’s Day wreath.

Check out this super easy and fun Valentine's Day Wreath that is a favorite new dollar store crafts idea!

Step 3: With some wire make a hook to hang on the embroidery hoop. Fluff the puff so you can’t see the wire.  This is why I love this dollar store crafts idea.  Using simple shower puffs can cover a multitude of mistakes underneath.  An embroidery hoop slim and easy to slide these onto, and of course, the wire can easily be hidden.

Step 4: Wrap your ribbon around the wreath. I used a safety pin and pinned the one end until I got the look I wanted. Then I glued the ribbon to the bathroom puff.

Check out this super easy and fun Valentine's Day Wreath that is a favorite new dollar store crafts idea!

Step 5: Glue down the hearts or other Valentine decorations.  We had both flowers and hearts, but just like the simple heart look the best.  These flowers and Valentine’s day hearts are usually easy to find at a local Dollar Tree store.

We love this dollar store crafts idea for a simple and inexpensive Valentine’s Day wreath to go on your front door!  It is easy enough to get your kids involved in making, and could even make a great craft to make and give to their teachers to decorate a classroom!

Check out some of our other favorite Valentine’s Day ideas! 

25 Valentine’s Day Printables & Crafts

7 Fun & Frugal Valentine’s Day Activites For Kids

7 Non-Candy Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Printable Coupon Book For Valentine’s Day

Check out this super easy and fun Valentine's Day Wreath that is a favorite new dollar store crafts idea!

Posted in DIY, Easy Crafts, Holidays, Valentine's Day Tagged with: , ,

5 Reasons To Host A Girls Night In Tea Party

I love tea, and of course, I am excited to share with you some great reasons to host a girls night in tea party with your friends.  I was asked to share some fun ways to show love for Valentine’s Day to friends by Family Christian, and this was my first thought.  A tea party gives you a chance to unwind, have fun and show your friends, sister or even mom how important they are to you on or around the day of love.  The best thing?  You can do this any time of the year!  

We have compiled 5 great reasons to host a girls night in tea party for your friends this year!

5 Reason To Host A Girls Night In Tea Party

We need a break from the daily grind to just be a woman.  Just because you admit you need a break from the daily grind doesn’t mean you don’t love your family.  It is hard to focus and be the best you can be when you don’t take care of yourself. Time with friends is part of that, and you can easily make a girls night in tea party a way to relax and just be you for a few hours.

We need to connect with our friends regularly. We need interaction with other human beings, and our friends, sisters and even moms are important for that.  They help keep us focused, give us the freedom to let our guard down and also offer some constructive criticism when we need it.  Something you can do at a tea party is to each take a turn sharing a struggle you are having then let the others help you with their opinions and advice.

We need encouragement about our own struggles.  Sometimes your spouse is just too close to the struggle to be encouraging.  Whether it is financial, emotional or even work related, you need a bit of a break to talk to someone outside the immediate issue.  A girls night in tea party is the ideal place to be open and seek encouragement.

You can splurge on fun teas and decorations.  I love any excuse to buy something fun for a tea party.  While I would traditionally go for a pretty tea set, I love the message on the mugs Family Christian has in their new Love focused line of products.  The“God Loves You” message is one that we as moms often need reminding of.  They are perfect for a tea party, and of course, make a great gift to send home with your guests.  I also love the fact that I found some cute tea towels to go on our table with scripture and words of love.

You can create fun gifts for each of your guests.  I love hosting parties because I get to create party favors for my guests.  A theme is perfect for a holiday party like Valentine’s Day and love.  However, you can create any theme you want.  Gift things like a special mug, some gourmet teas and a bookmark or pamphlet with great quotes to encourage them.  I found these cute grocery lists with a small spatula and ribbon that are a cute inexpensive idea to gift to your guests.

You can easily host a great girls night in tea party for Valentine’s Day or any holiday to remind you friends how important they are to you.  Sharing the love by taking the time to listen, advice and share some laughs is important for great relationships with not just your spouse, but your friends.

Thanks to Family Christian for sponsoring this post about how to share love with our friends this year. 




Posted in relationships, Sponsored Post

7 Ways To Easily Improve Health This Year

This post was sponsored by Nature Made® as a part of a Blog Blast for Influence Central.

I am always looking for ways to easily improve our health and am excited to share a few of them with you here.  This year, we have really focused less on weight loss and more on improved health.  Already in January, we focused on some new more focused things, and can’t wait to share those with you.

Check out these great ways to easily improve your health this year!  A few simple things can make a huge impact!

7 Ways To Easily Improve Health This Year

Find daily motivation and health encouragement. Signing up for an email of motivation and encouragement for your health is important.  It can make a huge difference in how long you stick to healthy habits, and how you see your health on a daily basis.  Nature Made offers a great option developed just for regular motivation in your inbox.  This Nature Made Daily Boost is ideal for giving you great tips, tricks and ideas to improve your overall health.

Make sure you are getting the right vitamins in your diet.  Check with your physician about what supplements might be great for you to add to your daily routine.  B-Vitamins, Calcium, Vitamin C and MultiVitamins are the most commonly recommended, but there are hundreds of options that your physician may recommend to you to help your overall health. Nature Made is the brand we choose since we already know it has been measured as the best-selling brand for supplements to help support nutritional gaps.*  In fact, they are even known to be the number one recommended brand by pharmacists in 9 categories.**  For affordability, I love that these are easy to pick up at Walmart anytime I am there making other purchases.

Schedule your annual physical.  Avoiding a regular checkup can lead to a small health issue becoming something large to deal with.  A regular annual physical is important for keeping track of many things.  Annual lab work gives you a baseline to compare year to year for any changes.  A full physical can detect any physical abnormalities that need attention sooner rather than later.

Take care of any medical needs your doctor informs you about.  If there is something detected in lab work or a physical exam, don’t put off tending to that health issue. Your doctor can refer you to the best safe treatments, and if finances are an issue, there are a multitude of options to help create payment plans.

Exercise in some way for at minimum 30 minutes 3 times per week.  This is hard for many, but even just getting up and moving around your office or home more often than normal is better than nothing.  Low impact exercises are manageable for almost anyone when you focus on your abilities.

Drink more water. Hands down this is one of the easiest things to easily improve your health.  Just do it.

Include at least one extra serving of nutrient-dense vegetables in your menu daily.  This can be tough, but is a great way to included better health into your daily routine.  Even if it is simply packing a snack bag of carrots or snap peas for snacking, an extra serving of vegetables brings fiber and nutrition to your diet to easily improve health.

Nature Made Daily Boost is a great addition to our list of ways to easily improve health this year.  I have found, that hands down having motivation on a regular basis keeps me going and making sure I am progressing toward better health.  I love all of these tips for what they offer my health, but without motivation to keep them up – I would find no success.

Don’t miss out on your chance to potentially win a $50 Walmart Gift Card!  I-C will randomly select 20 winners from all program entries and will handle fulfillment of the winning prizes. Contest is open 1/27/16-2/15/16.

Nature Made Wellness

On Tuesday, February 9th, at 1pm ET join us and @naturemade on Twitter for the, “Stay On Track” Twitter Party to help you find more great tips to keeping on track with your wellness goals this year!

This year we have already made great improvements in our health.  We have continued our healthier diet, taking our supplements on a regular basis and even getting our physicals and exercising more.  What are you doing to stay on track for better health this year? 

*Based in part on data reported by Nielsen through its Scantrack Service for the Vitamins Category for 52-week period ending 9/26/2015, for the xAOC, FDM, and FM Markets. Copyright © 2015 Nielsen.

** Based on US News & World Report – Pharmacy Times Survey, Nature Made is the #1 Pharmacist Recommended Brand in Nine Categories – Letter Vitamins, Omega-3/Fish Oil, Coenzyme Q10, Flax Seed Oil, Herbal Supplements, Cholesterol Management-Natural, Garlic, Diabetic Multivitamins and Mood Health Supplements


Posted in Health, Sponsored Post Tagged with: , ,

7 Legitimate Online Jobs Anyone Can Succeed With

Check out these 7 Legitimate Jobs ANYONE can succeed with for great ideas to begin your own work from home business!

Let’s get serious.  There are legitimate online jobs out there.  Obviously, I work from home online each day and am able to not only pay our family household bills but have managed to take us on vacations, pay off debt and splurge on special things from time to time.  It isn’t a huge mystery of where the real legitimate online jobs are.  It’s all about your willingness to work hard to make money at them.

Check out these 7 Legitimate Jobs ANYONE can succeed with for great ideas to begin your own work from home business!

7 Legitimate Online Jobs Anyone Can Succeed With

Blogging.  Yes, it really is something almost anyone can do.  Yes, you can make a considerable amount of money doing so.  However, it takes a lot of work.  A few hours here and there is just not enough to make a blog bring in the traffic to earn a lot of money.  So, if blogging is something you really have a desire to do for income, be prepared to put in twice as many hours as you first think you will. Understand that it is rare to become “hot” or “viral” overnight and that most of us work very hard for our pageviews, income, and social media following. I love the basic information in the site Blogging Basics 101.  It really does have a lot of basics, and from there you can build and grow.  It’s a good place to begin.  My true favorites come from my friend Sadie at Slap Dash Mom though.  She has tons of great Blogging Tips including a post about starting your blog from scratch for under $30 investment.

Social Media Management.  Do you ever wonder how people manage to reply to all of those comments, retweet so much or even find all of those funny cat videos?  Social media managers are basically assistants that work with a website, blog or brand to help them reach their followers on various social media channels.  Many people perform simple tasks like scheduling status updates, tweets, and even Pinterest pins for their clients.  Some bloggers and website owners hire social media managers to simple moderate groups and pages for spam and inappropriate responses.  If you feel that you have a knack for social media or have your own business experience running social media pages, this is a great place to begin working from home.  Look for groups for virtual assistants on places like Facebook to connect with people you could potentially work with.

Freelance Graphics Design.  Graphics design is still a hot commodity in the online industry.  There are tons of ways to get into this business and utilize your skill sets to make money in one of many legitimate online jobs for designers.  This is best for those who are skilled in creating original artwork, but can also be a concept that works for those who use royalty free images to build graphics as well as original work.  Sites like Fivver, ODesk and ELance are excellent places to look for work and put an online resume out for this type of work.  Additionally, some of the same virtual assistant groups mentioned in other parts of this post can be a source of finding clients.


Virtual Assistant.  A virtual assistant is someone who does any number of tasks for an individual or business virtually (online) instead of in an office environment.  I personally have been a VA (virtual assistant) to many bloggers over the last 6 years. I’ve done everything from scheduling social media shares to writing blog posts and creating recipes for other bloggers and businesses.  Some VA’s do simple administrative tasks like sending out email newsletters, checking emails, responding to sponsor requests or even organizing spreadsheets to track income, post traffic and similar things.  There is one group on Facebook that is helpful for new virtual assistants called Virtual Assistants Tips & Tricks.  This is a great place to begin and learn a few things about how to price your work, find new clients and build a virtual resume.  If you really want to succeed, check out the Virtual Assistant Rock Star Training course on Slap Dash Mom.  It is an investment, but you will get that money back easily in your first month as a VA.

Things Virtual Assistants help with: 

  • Emails
  • Social media management
  • Graphic design
  • Writing content for websites
  • Creating crafts, recipes and DIY projects for websites
  • Moderating social media groups and comments on blog posts
  • Participating in shares and social media swap groups with other blogs and websites
  • Creating eBooks, printables, and curriculum

Mystery Shopper.  This is a business that for some is very lucrative, but it also depends upon your time available, ease in upfront investment and of course location.  A mystery shopper will go into businesses and restaurants to make purchases and evaluate specific things about the service.  You may be asked to take pictures, detail the appearance of an employee or simply leave comments about the quality of the food or atmosphere in a restaurant.  Mystery shopping requires a lot of attention to detail, and since there are a lot of spammy mystery shopping programs out there, I took the time to create an entire post around being a successful mystery shopper last year.  It includes links to all of the valid programs, what they offer and for more information you can listen to the podcast.  This is usually best for a detail oriented person with extra time on their hands who lives in a fairly populated area with a lot of opportunities to “shop”.

Check out these 7 Legitimate Jobs ANYONE can succeed with for great ideas to begin your own work from home business!

Transcriptionist.  This has been around along with data entry positions online for many years.  While it is much more difficult to get started in transcription now compared to ten years ago, it still can be accomplished.  I spent time on this last year and shared details on where to go for certification, job boards and supplies in this podcast and blog post about being a successful transcriptionist at home.

Auction or Classified Sales.  We have all purchased something from eBay, Listia or even Craigslist at some point in the last few years. These online classified and auction sites are actually great legitimate online jobs that almost anyone can manage.  Selling collectibles or wholesale items on eBay is still a great way to make extra income on the side.  Listia is an auction site that is focused more on a bartering type system where you receive free product instead of money, but can still be a great way to get things you need.  Craigslist and Facebook are easier for selling to local individuals instead of having to ship products.  I have even written a guide for the Easiest Ways To Make Money On Facebook and the  7 Best Items To Sell On Craigslist To Make Fast Money in the last month as a start to helping you find a way to make money from home.

There truly are legitimate online jobs anyone can make money and even a full-time living with.  While there are 7 great ideas in this blog post, there are literally thousands of ways to make money online.  What isn’t said often enough, is the fact that you truly need to focus on working hard for everyone one of these and other legitimate online jobs to truly pay what you need.  Working at home online is often much harder and takes much more dedication.  You can find many freelance opportunities that will make thousands of dollars per month, but they do require a lot of dedicated time.  If you are ready to truly invest time and effort, this list is a great place to begin.

Posted in Frugal Tips, wahm, work from home

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