Unique Gift Ideas For Loved Ones Living Out of State

Christmas gift1

The holidays are a special time to celebrate those who are near and dear to you. From hosting family game night to decorating Christmas cookies, and, of course, unwrapping the presents left under the Christmas tree. But for those loved ones who live out of state or far from home, the holiday season can be a little less magical when you have to spend it away from those you love the most. That’s why it’s so important to still make an effort to make Christmas special, no matter how many miles separate you!

Since you’ll likely have to ship the presents you buy for your loved ones that are out of state, you may need to get a little creative. Luckily, we’ve created a list of unique gift ideas especially for your family and friends who are far away.

Bring Christmas to them with holiday decor

One of the most special parts about the holiday season is the lighting, festive colors, and overall decor. If you want to make the holidays extra meaningful for your family and friends across state lines, you can bring Christmas to them by sending them some holiday decor! Here are a few ideas to get you inspired.

* Many popular flower delivery companies sell miniature Christmas trees that you can send to help your long-distance loved ones deck the halls.

* Send a set of ornaments and a stocking to remind them of home during the holidays.

* Here’s a fun DIY project: curate a holiday hot chocolate set for them complete with a holiday mug and hot chocolate accessories.

Turn one gift into many with subscription boxes

Subscription boxes are a great way to go if you want to up the ante with your gifts this season. The best part is that there’s a subscription box for just about every interest, passion, want, or need. Whether the recipient is into cooking, self care, or sports, chances are there’s a gift box for that. Here are a few of our favorites to add to your list:

* For the busy bee who has it all, except the time to cook: A meal subscription box would make dinners easier and more delicious than ever. Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, and Home Chef are a few great options.

* For the gal who deserves a little self care: Order a self care subscription box to deliver cozy essentials (candles, face masks, tea) right to their doorstep.

* For the guy or gal that loves their craft beer: Sign them up for a monthly beer subscription box to encourage them to imbibe in their favorite beverage this holiday season.

* For the creative kids on your shopping list: Green Kids sends monthly boxes filled with crafts and lessons about fascinating environmental topics.

A gift card to their favorite restaurant

If you want to make sure your loved ones have a stress-free and enjoyable holiday season wherever they are, why not encourage them to enjoy a night off from holiday cooking by taking them out to their favorite restaurant? Simply send a restaurant gift card along with your personalized holiday wishes and they’re sure to have a happy holiday season.

Flight miles or accommodations

If it’s money that’s keeping your loved ones from traveling this holiday season, why not ease the financial burden by buying them some flight miles or offering to cover their accommodations? After all, spending time with those you love is the best Christmas gift you can give.

Something to remind them of home

Perhaps your loved ones can’t make it home for the holidays due to time constraints or some other obstacle. That doesn’t mean you can’t find them a gift that makes them feel right at home! Send them a Christmas care package filled with all of the things they love about being home for the holidays. Here are some ideas to help you fill your care package:
* Mom’s baked goodies
* A homestate candle
* Photos of their favorite holiday memories

christmas gift2

Final thoughts

If you weren’t sure where to start with your Christmas gifts this year, hopefully these tips helped! No matter where your loved ones are celebrating from, it’s important to make everyone feel loved during the holiday season.

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this pageBuffer this pageDigg thisFlattr the authorShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrShare on Yummly

6 Skincare Tips to Give you a Timeless Look

busy mom

Just because you’re a busy mom doesn’t mean you can’t keep your skin youthful and healthy. And, it doesn’t have to require a 20-step skincare routine either. Because let’s be honest, none of us have the time for that. While you might feel like you don’t have time to step up your daily skin regimen, I can assure you that it’s worth the time and effort. To help you make sure your skin looks and feels it’s best, without it being a burden, I’ve put together these 6 easy skincare tips.

Keep it natural

Natural skincare routine is easy and you can feel good about the products you’re using. To get started, it can be as easy as introducing one or two natural ingredients to your skincare regimen. For example, you can use witch hazel for oily skin, aloe vera for dry skin, and natural oils for combination skin. Fortunately, there are also many brands dedicated to using natural ingredients in their skincare lines so you can feel good about the products you’re using.

Practice proper washing technique

You might think rubbing some cleanser on your face and cool water is a sufficient skincare routine, but it won’t quite cut it if you want a clear complexion. But don’t fear, practicing proper face-washing technique isn’t hard. Once you apply your cleanser in circular motions and rinse your face with lukewarm water, pat your skin dry with a soft towel. Keep in mind that washing your face when you wake up and go to bed. You should wash your face before and after the gym, or any other time you’ll be working up a sweat. This is especially true if you tend to wear makeup.

Exfoliate

Exfoliating might seem like an unnecessary extra step but it’s important to do it several times a week. By exfoliating, you’ll be removing dead skin cells which are often responsible for breakouts because they clog pores, causing bacteria and dirt to get stuck under the skin. To make exfoliation part of your skincare routine, you can use a special scrub, face washing pads, or using face mask with exfoliating beads in it.

Always moisturize

Moisturizing is essential to maintaining a youthful glow. Not only does it help maintain balance by preventing your skin from becoming too dry or oily but it helps your skin repair so you’re less likely to develop wrinkles. Just make sure you use a non-comedogenic moisturizer so that you don’t contribute further to your skin problems.
Wear sunblock every day. The skin on your face is one of the most sensitive areas of your body. Neglecting to wear sunblock, even when you’re driving around town running errands, is one of the easiest ways to harm your skin. Choose a sunblock with SPF 30 or higher to ensure your skin is adequately protected and make sure to reapply several times per day, especially when you’re going to be outside or around water for extended periods of time.

busy mom1

You’ll be thankful you did when your complexion still looks youthful years down the road. And more importantly, wearing sunblock regularly helps protect you from skin cancer, so you can spend your days at the beach worry-free.

Use a skin roller

You may be curious about skin rollers if you’ve seen them online recently. These skincare tools are designed to activate the lymph nodes to rid your skin of toxins and stimulate collagen production, both of which can help keep your skin healthy and prevent wrinkles. Using a jade roller is an easy step in your skincare routine. All you need to do is rub it across a few key areas like your forehead, cheeks, and jawline several times a week to reap the benefits. Plus, it feels pretty good!

If you want to brighten and rejuvenate your skin, practicing a good skincare routine is the first step. Taking care of your skin is an important part of self-care so make you fit it into your schedule, I promise you won’t regret it when you see an improvement next time you look in the mirror. Start with one or all of these tips today to do your skin some good.

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this pageBuffer this pageDigg thisFlattr the authorShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrShare on Yummly

Freezer Meals to make with leftover Ham #FreezerMeals #HamMeals #HamRecipes #Easter

ham

There are a lot of great recipes that you can make and freeze with leftover Ham from Easter. So I wanted to share some of my favorites with you.

Ham & Cheese Homemade Hot Pockets

Pizza Dough
1-2 cups chopped ham
slices of American Cheese
bag of Frozen Broccoli

Take the dough roll it out to a small circle, add some ham pieces, slice of cheese and a couple pieces of Broccoli. Then fold in half and take a fork and close the edges on both sides. Be sure not to over stuff or they will leak. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes on a greased cookie sheet. Let them cool and put them in Sandwich bags to freeze individually. Then just take one out and heat them in the Microwave till hot and serve.

Here are some more recipes that you can use as well:

Ham & Scalloped Potatoes

6 potatoes
1 can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup of Ham
1/2 cup of Milk

Clean and slice the Potatoes, You can leave the skin on or remove it, Then in a freezer bag, just throw the potatoes in and Ham, then mix in the Cream of Mushroom Soup. (Do not add the Milk to it till you cook the dinner.

Ham and Macaroni and Cheese (from the oamc digest)

8 oz. elbow macaroni
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 cups shredded cheese
2 cups cubed ham
2 cups thin white suace (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook macaroni and drain. Place half of the macaroni in and 2 qt casserole dish. Sprinkle with half the cheese. Add all of ham. Top with remaining macaroni and cheese. Pour white sauce over casserole. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.

THIN WHITE SAUCE (for macaroni and cheese)
1 Tbsp. margarine
1 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup milk

Melt butter. Blend in flour, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Use as directed in recipe for macaroni and cheese.

Notes from a tired oamc cook (don’t know who this was!): I was tired and worn out at this point. I decided that the Ham and Macaroni and cheese would have to be a SAR (Some Assembly Required) meal. I placed three cups of cheese in a qt. size freezer — then I placed 2 cup bag another qt size freezer bag. I placed a rubber band around these and froze them. At meal time – I will use this recipe. I will stir in the ham before baking.

The following recipes are from “Dinner’s Ready” by Andrew Schloss and Ken Bookman, a “chain cooking” cookbook, where you make completely different meals out of leftovers from previous meals. These look good. Where there is a leftover used, I posted that recipe too, in case you wanted to do it their way or adapt these recipes.

Here are some more great recipes:

* Delicious Ham & Potato Soup

* Ham & Cheese Ziti

* Cheez Ham & Potato Bake

* Ham & Bean Soup

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this pageBuffer this pageDigg thisFlattr the authorShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrShare on Yummly

Gunapod® Premium Luxury Duvet For Baby Review #ChristmasGiftGuide

stars_duvet-018-copy

If your looking for greener products for your little bundle of joy. Then look no further then Gunamuna, they have created beautiful and comfortable Gunapod® Premium Luxury Duvet For Babies. These Gunapod® Premium Luxury Duvet are unquestionably the most luscious wearable blanket yet invented. Part of the secret? It’s superbly soft-fibered viscose fabric made from eco-friendly bamboo — a self-replenishing plant that is both plentiful and naturally harvested. Add to that it’s said to be breathable, moisture wicking + antibacterial.

When I touched the Gunapod Luxury Duvet, it was amazingly soft, I just loved the feeling of the material. I at first thought that the material was a fleece but was surprised to learn that it was actually made from bamboo. I would have thought it was made from fleece though the way it was so soft and felt against my skin. I had a feeling that my grandson was going to love the feeling of it as much as I did. That night I put it on my grandson and he started to rub it on his face. He liked the softness as much as I did.

gunapodduvetheartbaby

I then put it on him and he started to cuddle up to me. I loved that if he gets warm or needs a diaper change it unzips so that you can let air in or change the diaper without any problems. It really comes in some beautiful colors as well for you to choose from. There are neutral, girls and boys colors to choose from. The colors available are really precious, and perfect for a little prince or princess. My grandson looked so adorable in the Blue and white stars Duvet, he was so comfortable and ready for relaxing. He just loved the feel of it and I loved it, he kept running his hands over it till he fell asleep.

He needed to be changed so I laid him down unzipped the bottom and changed him easily. He actually stayed asleep while I changed him. He started to wake up a little bit but rubbed his hands on the Duvet again and he was back out again. I zipped him back up and laid him back down and he was just so comfortable that he didn’t wake up. He was sleeping like a little angel, it was so sweet and so precious. He has slept so good every time we put him in the Duvet it’s his favorite cover up so far! When he out grows it I’m going to have to get him more because there are so many adorable colors and styles and he is going to need a lot more of them.

If your looking for the perfect holiday gift for a little prince or princess, I can say that Gunamuna has a great selection of Duvet’s and they are a great greener product as well. Which is important to our world and your babies skin!

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this pageBuffer this pageDigg thisFlattr the authorShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrShare on Yummly

Word Winder Game Review #ChristmasGiftGuide

word-winder

Word Winder Game is a great educational game but a lot of fun as well. I saw it at the Toy and Game Fair in Chicago and the kids were having so much fun playing it. They were all standing in line to learn to play the Giant Word Winder Game and Giant Math Winder Game it was so much fun to watch them playing the game. There were always new children wanting to learn how to play and they were standing before the giant game board just having so much fun.

I brought home the Word Winder Game and played with my son’s. The object of the game is to make different words on the board with your chips. The winner will have their words going all the way across the board. The object of the game is to block the person your playing with and get your words going straight across the board. It’s a fun game that any one can play and they will have a great time playing. My son’s and I played several games and they were playing new words every game. It’s a great way to expand their word selections and practice their spelling words as well. It has also helped to increase my son’s spelling of words as well. They both love to play it to see who can get their words across the board first.

I also love that they offer the Giant Word Winder Game and Giant Math Winder Game that is perfect for schools, Church functions, Boys and Girls Scouts, Boys and Girls clubs and other facilities as well. The large boards make it possible for a classroom to play the game together and learn more new words and math problems. It was so amazing to watch the children playing and figuring out addition, subtraction as well as multiplying while playing the large math games. I was so highly impressed with the game boards and how when the children play and change the boards around that no two games were ever the same. They were always different because of how the board was set up. But I noticed that no matter how the board was set up that the children were always having a great time!

I also have to say that I am completely impressed with the way that you can do a fundraiser with Word Winder for your school to purchase the giant word or math winder. They wanted to make sure that any school, club or other facilities that would like to have their game for educational and fun purposes would be able to earn it for their facility. Which I think is just wonderful and will help them have it for their students or children that are apart of their facility. You can contact them to discuss their fundraiser options that are available. I would love to see this at my son’s school and will be discussing it with out PTO at our next meeting. All of their games would make a great gift to a child or to a school or facility that could use more educational products.

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this pageBuffer this pageDigg thisFlattr the authorShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrShare on Yummly

Deadpool 3D Deco Light Review #ChristmasGiftGuide

deadpool-deco-light

Calling all Super Hero fans! If you have a super hero fan then they are going to just love this Deadpool 3D Deco Light it will be the perfect addition to any super hero room. My son’s are huge into super hero’s and their room is done in Super Hero everything. They just love it. So of course why not add a Deadpool 3D Deco Light for a night light to add some more light for at night.

My son’s like to have a light in the room but I don’t like to leave their room light on so I thought this would be a great compromise as they do not like the normal night lights. They get up a lot in the middle of the night so the light comes in handy for them. So why not have it help decorate their room and fit right in with the rest of their décor. They were so excited when I showed them the Deadpool 3D Deco Light and they couldn’t wait to put it on the wall. So I helped them put it on the wall with the wall decal where they wanted the light to go. I then put the light up after putting in the batteries for it. I really like that it doesn’t plug in so that I don’t have to worry about the cord or having it near an outlet for it to work.

deadpool-deco-light1

When I got it up on the wall it was during the day. So the boys couldn’t wait for the night to come so that they could see the light in the dark. They could see by the light but it wouldn’t keep them up at night being to bright. They could get up at night see around the room, go to the bathroom, or get something that they needed and then go back to sleep. They just loved the light, and that it was perfect for their room. I told the boys that they were not to play with the Deadpool 3D Deco Light. That they could use it for their light but it’s not a toy. So they were happy with that.

When they go to bed their light goes on and in the morning the light goes off again. It is really perfect for them and their room décor needs. The lights do come in many different characters like Deadpool, Star Wars Characters, Iron Man, Guardians of the galaxy, Disney, Paw Patrol, Cars, Minions and so many other different character lights. You can purchase them from Think Geek, Target stores, and several other stores.

The Deadpool 3D Deco light has made getting the boys to go into their room and stay there so much easier. They look forward to bedtime and having their Deadpool light in their room and keeping the room bright for them in case they wake up. It really has been the ideal night light as I don’t have to worry about my grandchildren getting ahold of it and breaking it. I also don’t have to worry about them following the cord to the outlet and getting hurt since there is no cord. It really does make their room look great. We are going to be adding a few more of the 3D deco lights that are super hero’s to their room. They really love them. They would make a great gift for any super hero fan, but they do come in a wide selection of other characters for both boys and girls so your sure to find something that will fit perfectly into their room.

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this pageBuffer this pageDigg thisFlattr the authorShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrShare on Yummly

Harry Potter Magical Beasts Game Review #ChristmasGiftGuide

harry-potter-and-the-magical-beast-game

Calling all Harry Potter Fans! If you weren’t aware the Harry Potter Magical Beasts movie is out in Theaters. If you haven’t seen it then put it on your list to go see. It’s a new spin off of the Harry Potter movies and from what I have heard the movie is as amazing as the other Harry Potter movies so you won’t be disappointed. So you can enter another world again and see all the mystical creatures that are running amok. Then we have a game that is a must have for Harry Potter fans as well.

The Harry Potter Magical Beasts Game isn’t like any other game that you have played. It has a game board but it’s not just one sided, you can flip the board to go from the interior of Hogwarts to the grounds to continue to play and find the clues and elements to capture the beasts that are running amok. You can choose which player you want to be from Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, or Ginny Weasley. Your favorite wizard can be yours to play the game with and you can always switch wizards as you start a new game, so your not always going to be one wizard if you do not want to.

I have to say that I was soooooo impressed with this game when I saw it at the Toy and Game Fair in November. I couldn’t believe that the board was able to go between the grounds and Hogwarts with a simple flip of the game board. They really pulled out all the stops with this game. It will get Harry Potter fans completely excited about playing. My oldest son is a HUGE Harry Potter fan, he has all the movies and has wore them out so much that we had to purchase new Harry potter movies. So when I showed him the game and he was so excited that he wanted to play right away.

So we set up the game board and we started to play. My son loved that he was able to be his favorite characters in the movies. He was Harry Potter and I was Hermione when we played. It was such a great adventure to play with him and get clues as we played so that we could capture the magical beasts. We loved that it had the Hogwarts interior and the grounds, it made if feel like you were apart of being in the movie as well. We have been playing the game over and over again as my son’s just love the game. We will be playing again today as it’s cold outside and the boys requested another game day. So I told them that after we shovel the new snow that we got last night that we would come in for some hot chocolate and play games.

If you have a Harry Potter Fan on your Christmas list they are going to love playing Harry Potter Magical Beasts Game. It’s really fun and creative with the swinging boards so your not stuck with just one board to play on. I have to say that it’s a great game that even I like to play with my son’s. Let the games begin and have your wands at the ready! The fun never ends with the Harry Potter Magical Beasts Game.

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this pageBuffer this pageDigg thisFlattr the authorShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrShare on Yummly

Rummikub Game Review #ChristmasGiftGuide

rumikub

Rummikub is a wonderful game for the whole family to play together. It is a family favorite here, from my son’s to my mother, we all love to play. It really helps with learning to count, colors, and having a great time together. The tiles come with numbers in different colors and smiley faces which are your wild tiles.

To start the game someone needs to be able to “Meld” which is where each player lays down the value of 30 points or they can not play and they will pick a tile and then it goes to the next player if they can not “Meld”. Then once you have “Meld” you can lay your tiles down in any points that are available on your tile holder. You continue to play till all the tiles are laid out. We have had so much fun playing this game. You can lay 3 of the same numbers but in different colors. The other tiles that you can lay down are the sequenced numbers but they must be in the same colors.

It has been so much fun watching my son’s learn to play and having a fun time playing. It has really helped them with their math skills, it’s a great Stem game for them to work on their small motor skills as well. My granddaughter’s have used the tiles to learn their colors when the kids play. We just have a lot of fun when we are playing. The boys favorite part is when they have titles that match the ones that we have all already laid down. So when I played the 6,7,8 in orange and they have the 9 orange they can play that tile on my tiles and get points for it.

You can play and keep score of you can play without keeping score. When we play with my son’s, I normally don’t keep a points sheet, we go by who ever runs out of tiles is the winner. The boys love playing the game and they have been asking for us to keep playing it because they love it so much. I can see us playing it a lot over the Christmas break when it’s to cold to go outside. I have already talked to my son’s about having an unplugged Christmas vacation. So we will be playing a lot of board games, science experiments, baking, and other fun activities.

This game will be hours of family fun to play, or you could play a quick game as well. If your looking for a great game for the family to play at Christmas time Rummikub should be on the top of your list. It is going to be a great time and a great change of pace if your looking for a new game to play. It would also make a great gift for anyone on your Christmas shopping list! Trust me they will be thanking you for the game. I know we are going to be bringing Rummikub camping with us as well! We love to stay at a cabin during the summer and we unplug for a week and just have a great time fishing, playing games, being out in nature, and having together time. It is something that we look forward to every summer.

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this pageBuffer this pageDigg thisFlattr the authorShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrShare on Yummly

Harry Potter Tri-wizard Maze Game Review #ChristmasGiftGuide

Harry Potter and the Magical Beast Game

I received the Harry Potter Tri-wizard Maze Game to review with my family. My oldest son is a HUGE Harry Potter fan and has been since he was little. We have watched every Harry Potter Movie at least a thousand times each! No, that is not an exaggeration by any means. He just loves the movies and anything to do with Harry Potter. My other son, is less of a Harry Potter fan due to my oldest son’s love of Harry potter. So we were excited to play the Harry Potter Tri-wizard Maze Game together.

I loved that it was made different then the game it’s a little modeled from Sorry. The twist of the game is that it has a deck of cards that you use that can instantly change the game and where the players game pieces are. We started to play the game and my younger son went first. He landed on the “draw” space so he was able to take one of the cards from the deck and move his piece to anywhere he wanted on the board that was open. He chose a space that had another “draw” space so he could choose another card. The card he chose let him move another piece out into the start space.

We were having so much fun playing the game and waiting to see who would get a “draw” card and what they would have to do next. My youngest son was having a blast playing as was my older son. We played several games as we didn’t want to have the fun end. My cousin and her son’s came over to visit so they all continued to play while my cousin and I visited. My cousins son’s just loved the game as well, they told my cousin that they wanted the Harry Potter Tri-wizard Maze Game for their family game nights at home. So my cousin is going to go buy it. Her son’s aren’t usually into playing a lot of board games but she was thrilled that they really liked to play the Harry Potter Tri-wizard Maze Game.

Harry Potter Triwizard game pressman1

The boys kept playing the whole time they were visiting. They were laughing and having a great time. Every time they made it around the board and to their “home”, they would all cheer. It was so adorable to watch and my cousin and I were able to visit while we knew the boys were busy having a great time. We lost track of how many times they played the game.

The Harry Potter Tri-wizard Maze Game would make a great addition to your family board game nights. You can purchase it for a great gift as well for a birthday or the holiday season. The child who receives it will just love it. There really is hours and hours of fun they can have while playing this game! We will be playing it for a long time to come as our family loves to have unplugged days and do other fun things to occupy our time with and just spend time together making memories. This game is helping us to make some wonderful memories that we will all cherish.

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this pageBuffer this pageDigg thisFlattr the authorShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrShare on Yummly