Kids Gift Idea and Black Friday Deals

November 16, 2021 at 8:20 am (Mom Stuff) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Christmas is fast approaching! But I’ve got an awesome gift idea for your littles!

A balance bike!

Barrett fell in love with the balance bike from Coco Village! He rides it everywhere!

It really is a great skill to build for kids too. Even big brother (8) can ride this one! Barrett is 3 and it took some prefecting. They also have a 3 wheeled version!

Plus, if you subscribe to the VIP list here, you will receive an email on NOVEMBER 23rd giving you special early access to all their Black Friday deals!!

Coco Village is our favorite stop for gorgeous and fun kids toys. Check them all out!

Here are a few more of their adorable kids items too!

Hope your kiddos will love these ideas!

XX,

Jess

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Guest/Playroom Update

August 11, 2021 at 9:33 am (Home Changes and Additions, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

We finally have an official guest space in this guest/playroom!!

What is the best way to keep the space usable for playing while also functional for housing guests?! A sleeper sofa, of course!

We found just the one at Slumberland Furniture too!

This one is not only comfy and gorgeous, but is the perfect color to be stylish and playful, and has a hidden bed!! Win!

Plus, Slumberland is having a big Anniverary event right now with a HUGE Travel Giveaway!! When you spend $1000, get 10% off Slumberland Low Prices + 2 complimentary Hotel Nights. When you spend $2000, get 15% off Slumberland Low Prices + 3 complimentary Hotel Nights. And when you spend $3000+, get 20% off Slumberland Low Prices + 4 complimentary Hotel Nights!! Check them out for details!

So what do you think of the room progress?!

XX,

Jess

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Mt. Rushmore Area Trip

July 21, 2021 at 6:41 am (travel) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

We did it! Iowa to Minnesota, to South Dakota to Wyoming and back again! In a car. With little kids. Do it again? Definitely!

But there’s so much to do and so little time. So here are just a few of the things that we thought were must sees and a couple skips.

Mt. Rushmore. Obvious. But it’s impressive even to all ages. Inexpensive, only $10 for parking and free entry. It was busy, but not overly packed. Of course, we had to hit up the gift shop for something to commemorate the trip. You can do a tour and spend, more time, but it isn’t necessary for the full experience, and overall this stop won’t take a ton of time.

When near Mt. Rushmore, you should totally stop to see Crazy Horse monument. Do I think it’s worth going all the way in? Not yet. It’s still under construction, and amazing as the start is and really amazing as it will be when it’s done, I don’t think $30 for the car to get in is worth it just yet. We pulled over at the sign in a little lot and took pictures. I recommend that!

If you are in this area, driving through Black Hills National Park and Badlands National Park are must dos. There are plenty of pull over and look out spots. And the views are GORGEOUS.

If you’ve made it out to the Badlands, stop at Wall Drug. Yes it’s a lot of hype. And busy. But a very cool see if you need a drink, a bathroom and a leg stretch. You could spend all day here. But you don’t have to. We did an hour or two and picked which bits to see here.

If you make it a little further out to Rapids City, SD, see Bear Country USA. We didn’t stop this time, but would have if time allowed (we did years ago). Totally worth it. Especially with kids in tow. It’s so amusing to see bears up close!

Sturgis is also a fun stop. More for the adults, but still things to see for all ages. Great to say you’ve been there even when the rally isn’t going on. Great food. Not a must do of you aren’t into this type of thing.

If you are at Mt. Rushmore and want to venture just a couple of hours west, a stop at Devil’s Tower, WY is a must do! It was STUNNING in this area! We walked the whole path around it and kids and adult alike were in awe.

This whole area of WY is stunning really, especially to see if you are not local. The red dirt and mountainous terrain are very neat to see. We stayed in Hulett, right next door to the tower and this town was definitely unique if you’re looking for a place to stop. There is an antique store there with unique Native American artifacts. The Best Western in town is very rustic and nice, with a pool. And the local cafe was delicious.

If you have headed out to WY from Mt. Rushmore, Deadwood is on the way. I recommend stopping here if you’re on adults trip. The gambling and drinks life there looked very fun. It’s not a horrible spot to stop with kids, but not a must do. The Broke Boot gold panning mine sounded super cool with kids. However, their website did not say we had to book in advance and since we did not, we were SOL. We also planned to see a shoot out there with the boys. They only do the shows on Saturdays and Sundays and we were there on a Friday. My fault, as this is on their website.

Also on the way out if heading west is Spearfish Canyon. Definitely drive the scenic byway here. Stop for some photos and explore. It’s just amazingly gorgeous out here. We did hear that there are mountain lions when off the paths, but we did not see any. This you don’t want to miss.

If your path take you East to Souix Falls, SD on the way in or out, we loved the Ramada there. They have a little water park. Kid win!

Another stop we had mid-South Dakota was Mitchell. We stayed here on our way out. This is home of the Corn Palace. It’s neat. The kids were impressed. Fun dining in town. It’s not a must see, but makes for a good place to stop if you need to!

Hitting Minnesota on the way? The town of Blue Earth is home of the real Jolly Green Giant. Great place to stretch! The even have a little sound park!

Hope this helps a little bit! If you are the get out and explore or hike type of fam, bring a fee baggies and a permanent marker for any treasures the kiddos find!

XX,

Jess

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Trip Must Haves

July 8, 2021 at 6:32 pm (Mom Stuff) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

We road trip and day trip a lot this time of year! So, I’ve put together a few things that are super helpful when we travel. These are good for kids of all ages!

I pack food. Duh. More importantly, I pack fun food that we don’t normally have. It makes great entertainment and fun, and even works when you need a little bribe. So helpful on a trip. Pre-packaged stuff is handy too!

I pack mess free coloring. So simple, but so handy. And I don’t have to worry about clothes and car being destroyed or crayons melting. They make some awesome mess free goodies now, all are clear to begin and make color on the special pages. Viola!

Pack a bag within a bag. I take a fold up beach bag like this one. We stop to put our feet in the water at the beach? We can throw things we might need in here instead of taking a bigger, bulkier bag out. Anything sandy can be contained here too!

I pack a wet bag! Same idea, but wet suits or shoes won’t make a mess when contained in here!

I pack a few new or not-used-in-a-while toys. Dollar Tree is great for finding inexpensive and fun surprises to pack. This popper toy has been a road trip favorite this year (from Target).

I pack Tubby Todd Baby Fresh Spray. Mom of boys here. They can get real sweaty and stinky. What if we want to stop for dinner? Spray ’em down. Fresh boys! ๐Ÿ˜‰ (you can use this link for 10% off too!)

I pack a portable fan. I’ve got one that clips to the stroller and this one that mists too in the diaper bag. Easy entertainment and so refreshing when we all need it!

I pack this multi travel bottle.

It holds 4 bottles inside. Perfect for sanitizer, soap, lotion, etc, but keeps them small and contained.

I pack our weighted blankets. Our favorites are from Moxie. These make car naps so easy and enjoyable. Aah, some peace and quiet! (You can also use code Jess15 for 15% off here!)

Hope these are helpful! Happy road tripping!

Also, if you want my bigger list of toddler travel must haves, see the post here!

XX,

Jess

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A New Mud Room

June 9, 2021 at 7:26 am (Home Changes and Additions, Our New House) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Check out this horrible mud room!

I know it doesn’t show it well, but behind the open back door is a small closet and then a sink. Yuck.

It is an old farm house, so once upon a time the sink had a purpose. Now it was just wasting space. Valuable space. We knew this room could be better utilized. Little did we know, we would, as usual, open a giant can of worms…

We thought we’d tear out the sink and old paneling, paint, add barn doors and call it a day. No.

The walls had to be redone down to the studs. A new false wall had to be added above the closet, since we were taking out the drop ceiling. Then we found that the paneling went behind the flooring. This removal ruined the flooring (not sad about it) and in removing the tile we found we had a rotten spot and needed to even replace subflooring. The house is 1862, but still, whew!

We did make the closet go all the way across the space and Jason built custom barn doors and trim. Gorgeous!

Look what we found under the flooring! Lots of these old papers from the 40s!

But now… she’s about done. (I say about, because we do still have an antique flag we are making a custom frame for to hang about the coat rack, but still, very close)

What do you think?! I think I love it so much that I need to add a chair for company. Come in further and you will see the dining room and hallway that we need to do the same too. ๐Ÿคฃ

XX,

Jess

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Deck Updates- Easy Ways to Make Outdoor Spaces Cozy

June 6, 2021 at 8:04 am (Home Changes and Additions, Seasonal Decor) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Summer is finally on the way! And we’ve been getting the deck and yard all ready.

Last year getting the deck built was our project. This year making the deck cozy and entertaining worthy is my mission. So we added a few things. Not done yet, but progress!

Plenty of cushions and a new rug make it cozy! Rug is from Mark and Day, our favorite rug place! (You can still use my code at Mark and Day too- JESSI10). AND, they are doing a free rug pad promotion right now too!

Some cushions and Walmart and Dollar General, but old, and the two darker green are new from Target Dollar Spot. Scotch Guard them to keep them longer, and I take in or put in a deck box when weather is bad. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The other cozy trick is to add little areas. When we have company, chairs can get pulled anywhere, but they start out set up in cozy little spots. These stackable chairs we got to have extra seating, are from Best Choice Products. Different rugs also help tie different conversation areas together.

Another easy thing to add for coziness is plants. Plants bring brightness and life to spaces, and same with outdoor spaces! You don’t have to have a green thumb, mine mostly isn’t ๐Ÿ˜‰, even fake plants do the trick.

I like my plants colorful! Plus, remember the rule of three, add a centerpiece, and outer plants that will grow and hang and you will be potting like a pro. These were all recently planted, but will soon be big snd overflowing! ๐Ÿคฉ

One more cozy add is lighting and sound. This can be super simple too. My lanterns are all inexpensive and have solar lights in them. We also added this umbrella light from Brilliant Evolution recently and it adds such a beautiful glow in the evening! You can use code JESSICA15OFF on their lighting too!

The quickest, easiest DIY to up your outdoor game!

Right now I use a simple Bluetooth speaker sat on the table too, but we are in process of installing a whole system with speakers on the house wall. Either way, tunes add to the vibe!

What else would you add?!

XX,

Jess

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Gift Ideas for Her!

April 14, 2021 at 2:19 pm (Mom Stuff) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I’ve found the cutest, affordable jewelry, perfect for sentimental gifting! JoyCuff!

JoyCuff has such cute pieces! Check out this 18k gold initial necklace!

I love how you can choose an initial, making it a sentimental gift for yourself or someone you love!

I completely adore anything customized with my boys’ names or initials and this momento gives me all the feels! I think this would be an amazing gift for a mama (hello Mother’s Day!), your bestie, a grad, or even yourself!

I also adore their Morse code bracelets! They have the cutest sayings coded in the beads! This one says “badass”!

Yup, mamas are badasses. Another perfect mama gift for that BA chick in your life. My gal pals are all getting one for Mother’s Day!

They even have sayings and mantra bracelets that are super cute!

Use code 20JESS01 at this link on all your purchases too!

AND, if you want to win a Badass Morse code bracelets, check out my giveaway on Instagram, here!!

XX,

Jess

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Toddler Packing

April 13, 2021 at 9:44 pm (Mom Stuff) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I’ve posted before about baby must haves and essentials, and talked about diaper bag supplies for babies, but what about when babies become toddlers?! Little different, right?!

No worries, I’ve rounded up everything I pack for a trip out with my toddler. All very handy!

Don’t worry, I’m an over packer, you can pick what you think would be helpful from the list. ๐Ÿ˜‰

First, diapers, wipes, changing pad and extra change of clothes. Even if you toddler is potty training or has learned, these are super handy for emergencies. Believe me, I know. Also, a folding potty seat. Game changer. (This changing pad is so nice, and super wipeable/cleanable! )

Feeding supplies. Always snacks and water. I bring an extra bottle to refill our cups too (and use code Jessimarie15 on Swig bottles and mugs! ๐Ÿ™Œ) Having a bib, even if grown out of them at home, is super handy for keeping nice clothes tidy. I stash a fold up plate and silverware too, for when the eating situation is less than toddler friendly.

Also, these cups from Elk and Friends have solid lids that make packing snacks super easy too! ๐Ÿ‘Œ

This is where face wipes and wash clothes come in handy. And kid friendly sanitizer.

I always have safe sunscreen and bug spray. Plus Fight Bite is amazing for taking away bug bite and poison ivy itch!!

Bandaids and medicine are a must! These metal kits from Welly come loaded and are so handy. I buy the bandaid kit and med kit and swap half and half to put in places like the diaper bag, car, camper, etc. Their meds include stomach soother, fever relief, and allergy relief. And are rated for ages 2 and over. So handy!!

I like to pack a pouch of toys that the kids rarely see so that they are interesting. And soft headphones. So handy when they need to swipe my phone for entertainment.

A clip on fan for the stroller is helpful too!

And our Tubby Todd Dream Cream goes everywhere with us. Great for dry skin, rashes, etc and works for the whole fam. (This link saves you 10% automatically! ๐Ÿ˜‰)

I also always add a mini CleanSmart spray. This guy disinfects surfaces with just a spray and is safe for the kiddos! CleanSmart and sanitizer both go in an easily accessible side pocket, not a pouch, for quick grabbing.

Our Lily Jade diaper bags are our favorite and their packing cases make great spots for all the things we need. I like to pack them by category. I even use one pouch for “mom stuff.” Think lip gloss, lotion, Tylenol, etc.

I also always add some Bumkins pouches. Handy to pack snacks or to stash things on the go. We’ve even filled one with shells and treasures on an adventure before. ๐Ÿคฃ

Anything I’m forgetting? Always forgetting something. Hope this helps! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Jess

XX

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Guest/Play Room Update

April 12, 2021 at 8:41 pm (Home Changes and Additions) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Added a new rug! Small update, but so gorgeous I had to share!

Rug is from Mark and Day, and I LOVE their selection and prices! Highly recommend! AND, you can use that link and save 10% ๐Ÿ˜

Wall hangings, shelves and a couch coming soon…

Plus, a total gut of our mudroom in process to share soon! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Jess

XX

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New Way to Clean!

April 10, 2021 at 7:31 pm (Mom Stuff) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Let’s face it, life’s messy. Kids, pets, busy lives… husbands. ๐Ÿคฃ

I’ve found something that makes it very simpler to keep it all clean. CleanSmart. Period. Spray it on. Walk away. That simple. How?! This cleaner is made with natural Hypochlorus Acid and made with 100% natural ingredients. It dissolves to saline solution and leaves no chemical residue. And no fumes!

This cleaner can be used on anything, door knobs and appliances to countertops, highchairs, toys, and switches. It’s even safe for use on baby’s pacifier, and safe to spray around food and pets.

Plus, CleanSmart kills 99.9% of germs, including Coronavirus, cold, flu, strep, RSV, staph, MRSA, E. Coli, salmonella, and listeria, to name a few! The EPA has approved CleanSmart to kill a while list of germs!

I even throw the mini bottle in my diaper bag to spray down items as we go (think shopping cart handles!)

So what I’m saying is, get some! Seriously. CleanSmart will change your house cleaning game. How much more simple can it get than spraying and done?! I’m so pumped that not only is it easy, but effective and safe for my whole family and the Earth. ๐Ÿ˜‰

It’s now available on Amazon Prime too!!

Let me know what you think!

Jess,

XX

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