Mom Things

7 Tips to Save On Christmas Gifts for Kids

by Jennifer Wieland
7 Tips to Save On Christmas Gifts for Kids



The holidays are rushing up fast and the bill will soon go up even faster. If you haven’t finished shopping yet who are we kidding if you’re reading this you are NOT done. With a few simple tricks you can get save money on Christmas gifts for kids and still enjoy the holiday season without all of the financial stress. This season is not about the gifts. It is about the family.

7 Tips to Save On Christmas Gifts for Kids

Halloween costumes on clearance make great pretend play / dress up outfits for kids. Grab them in the days following Halloween and put them away for Christmas.

Find cute DIY projects that you can make for your kids. From upcycled lamps to cute bath products the possibilities are endless and limited only by your imagination (and Pinterest.) Clearance and resale craft supplies can make the cost even lower.

Check the clearance section to save money on Christmas gifts for kids. In the months leading up to the holiday season So much goes on clearance to make room for new sales.

Take some time to hit your local thrift and resale shops or your local yard sale page. This is a great way to find new unopened toys, boxes of Legos, and fun items that would normally not be in budget. Bigger items like bikes, furniture, and games systems are more affordable used.

Team up with friends and family for black Friday/cyber Monday. Getting all of the deals at all of the stores is next to impossible but with the help of friends and family you can get more of the deals. Plan out together with someone you are close too. One of you each take a shop and both lists. When doing cyber Monday shopping gather together with your laptops at your dining table. split orders to take advantage of free shipping with minimum orders.

Get your child basics for Christmas like pjs, socks, and warm winter clothes. While these are not the top of your child’s list they are practical and give the feeling of getting more while providing for needs. This is a great one for parents that feel pressured to give kids more.

Go for quality over quantity. So often we feel the need to keep up with the Jones’. The neighbors go on rattling off long lists of items they have gotten for their kids and you wonder how you can keep up with that. Let me let you in on a secret… You don’t have too. Your kids will be perfectly fine without loads of junk falling apart before the new year. Go for quality items made to last. If you really feel they need MORE see above.

Make Fun Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop

by Jennifer Wieland
Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #eHolidays #CollectiveBias


The holidays are fast approaching and in the mix of holidays I’m sure we all have a birthday, anniversary, wedding, shower or countless other things thrown into the mix too. Sometimes life sneaks up on you and you’re in need of a last-minute rushed gift. While other times you plan way in advance but know that a gift card is the perfect gift. Who wants to just send a dull boring gift card in an envelope or via email? A gift should have some life and personality to it right? That’s why I love that you can make fun personalized gift card gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

My sister has been a little down lately. She has five kids and three of them are ages two and under. She has a 12-year-old daughter, a 9-year-old son, 2-year-old boy, girl twins and a 1-year-old son. Basically, she has been pregnant or in new mom mode for three years straight. She spends all her time running the old kids around while hauling three little ones with her. At home she spends her day chasing down diaper clad bottoms going in three different directions. Her husband is a great guy and helps as much as possible but he works. However, there are always diapers, sleepless nights and days she prays for a shower alone for some me time. 

Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

I really wanted to send her a pick me up. Something to cheer her up and let her know that someone understands how much she needs a moment to herself to remember that she is not just mommy but Kim too. So I headed to The Gift Card Shop to find an egift card she would love but one that she would also spend only on herself. So she could indulge in some shopping. (I will even babysit.) I picked out a Sephora card because she loves beauty products and I know she’ll enjoy getting to try to pick out new items. 

It was so easy to order and personalize this gift with The Gift Card Shop that I’m going to show you!

Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

Head to The Gift Card Shop website. Click on the digital tab in the upper right corner.

Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

I then clicked on the eGift Card link at the top of the page and browsed through the huge selection of egift cards.

Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

Once I found the one I wanted, Sephora, I clicked the link for it. There I was able to select a denomination, choose between a digital gift card or a physical one and then I could either add to cart or personalize. I opted for the digital card and to personalize.

Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

I was then taken to a a page where I could select from digital greeting cards, digital photobooks or digital video greetings. All of these would be a perfect option but i kept it simple and selected a digital greeting card.

Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

I was then taken to a selection of beautiful card designs and narrowed it down with the occasions along the left side of the page. I went to the Just Because section of cards to find just what I was looking for. I then clicked on the card I wanted.

Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

I decided to go with this Chin Up Buttercup card for my sister. I loved the beautiful flower background with the bold, silly saying. This is where you begin creating. Once you get the large view of the front you can select Back to pick a different card or Next to start to personalize it. If you select a card with a photo you can upload pictures from your computer, Facebook or Instagram.


I typed a fun message to my sister and “signed” it. I was able to select different font types, colors, sizes and alignment. When I was happy with it I clicked on the Next button.

Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

There is so much detail that you can even select the envelope liner and envelope. Once that’s done you click on the Next button again at the top.

Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

Click on the banner that says SWIPE OR CLICK to open your card and it will show you how the whole thing will look to the recipient. If it’s good just click on the Approve button at the top.

Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

You then let them know who it’s to and from and if you want to Schedule Send or Send Now. If you choose to schedule a date field appears and you decide when you want it to go.

Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

You’ll then get your total for that card and you can then Add To Cart. After that you can create more gifts or just checkout. 

Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

The Gift Card Shop is a no stress, no hassle way to handle your holiday and occasion cards and gifts digitally! That means no lines at the post, no writing out numerous cards and no stamp fees and right now you can even score a hot deal! Through November 22nd when you purchase a $100 eBay gift card on you’ll receive a $5 eBay gift card bonus. (While supplies last. Limit one offer per customer)



Fashion Outlets of Chicago – A Girl’s Shopping Dream

by Jennifer Wieland
Fashion Outlets of Chicago - A Girl's Shopping Dream



I recently got an invite to come and check out the Fashion Outlets of Chicago, an award-winning 530,000 square-foot shopping center that’s complete with 130 designer outlets, an eye-catching contemporary art collection and high-end amenities that will leave you asking where has this shopping experience been all of my life?

Fashion Outlets of Chicago - A Girl's Shopping Dream

Walking in there is no dull and drab decorations that are standard fare at most shopping outlets. There are bright, bold and vivid displays of color and pattern found throughout to grab your attention and take your trip from just shopping to an extended visual feast. Fashion Outlets of Chicago Children's Wing

The shopping has something for everyone. From kid’s stores to high-end retailers you will find just what you are looking for at great prices. The layout of Fashion Outlets of Chicago is also unique in that they took families into consideration. Busy parents can make shopping easier by parking by and entering the mall at the children’s wing. That’s right, they have a children’s wing that has family friendly retailers that include the Disney Outlet, Oshkosh B-gosh, Stride Rite and the Gymboree Outlet to name a few. This way families can pop in and get what they need for the kids without having to trudge through an entire mall to go to a handful of stores.

Fashion Outlets of Chicago Food Court

Another advantage to the children’s wing is that it is right next to the food court. The food court is a bright and clean area that is inviting and filled with a good selection of food options. Chicago Burger Company, Chicken Now, China Max, DJ’s Taco Bar, Freshii, Haagen-Dazs, Little Tokyo, Maoz Vegetarian, Sbarro, South Philly Steak and Fries and Wetzel’s Pretzels round out the food fare in the food court. The food court also houses a family-friendly area in the back where kids can ride on some coin operated ride on machines. 

Fashion Outlets of Chicago Sweet Treats

Regular food court fare not going to cut it? Do you need something sweeter or with a jolt of caffeine to see you through an in-depth shopping trip? Never fear, Fashion Outlets of Chicago has you covered with three candy stores. Lindt Chocolates, Godiva Chocolatier and Lolli and Pops can cater to any sweet tooth you may have. If caffeine is your thing you can grab a drink at Starbucks or the only Lindt Bar in the country. That’s right cover your sweet tooth and your need for caffeine with a drink made with Lindt Truffles. Fashion Outlets of Chicago Concierge Service

The Fashion Outlets of Chicago takes customer service to a whole new level with their Concierge Services. No basic customer service here. No, they go above and beyond by making restaurant reservations, checking coats and their “Text Concierge” program which allows shoppers to text representatives questions. Since the Fashion Outlets of Chicago is right by O’Hare airport visitors who are on a layover can pass the time shopping and dining. Through a partnership with Go Airport Express you can access shuttles between the airport’s terminals and Fashion Outlets of Chicago. The shuttles also work to transport the center’s shoppers to and from downtown Chicago hotels. TSA-certified BAGS Inc. has partnered with Fashion Outlets of Chicago so that travelers have luggage held, print out boarding passes and even get your bags checked for your flight on site at the center. Did you just fly in from overseas and want to kick off your trip by doing some shopping or grabbing a bite? No problem there, international travelers can use the currency exchange and translation services. 

Ready to do some fall shopping or maybe you need a girl’s day out. Then visit the Fashion Outlets of Chicago website for more information on stores, hours and services or use the “Text Concierge” service and ask a representative any questions you may have at 847-957-4600.



Managing LBL, Light Bladder Leakage, with Poise

by Jennifer Wieland
Poise Microliners putting Light Bladder Leakage in it's place.

Thank you to Poise for sponsoring this post and keeping me confident!

Every person suffers from that one thing that makes you self-conscious about yourself and causes stress and worry. It can be any number of things but for one in three women it’s LBL, light bladder leakage. LBL is one of those things that happen in life that people always think they are alone in dealing with. Let’s be honest here, who wants to announce to friends and family that you suffer form light bladder leakage. Sadly though if more women talked about it there wouldn’t be the stigma attached to it that there currently is. We as women, need to acknowledge our LBL and share our stories with others so we know we aren’t alone.

Poise Microliners putting Light Bladder Leakage in it's place.

For me personally, LBL started as a result of pregnancy, like many women. Sure, I was fine after baby number one. Two and three were okay as well. I was young and my body bounced back. The problem for me started with pregnancy number four. I spent a lot of time on bed rest during that pregnancy and since my activity level went down my muscles seemed to decide they were done too. Then I had pregnancy five and that one also had bed rest but not as much. It didn’t help the situation though with my LBL. Finally I had pregnancy number six. You would think with no bed rest that this one would have helped improve matters. It didn’t but it also didn’t make the situation worse. The things that added to my light bladder leakage was having to have surgeries for female issues after all the pregnancies. Being nervous and worrying about Light Bladder Leakage can really cramp your lifestyle.

Poise Microliners putting Light Bladder Leakage in it's place.

Now, if I do more than giggle or get taken by surprise by a big sneeze then my LBL gets me. If I have a cold with lots of coughing or need to lift a heavy object you better believe I would have been worrying about LBL. Geez, there are days if the hubby or kids hug me to hard i may get hit with LBL. Luckily for me though I have discovered Poise Microliners! These little gems are made from SAM (Super Absorbent Material) and are so unbelievably absorbent and small that you will be able to go out with confidence while being completely protected from Light Bladder Leakage (LBL).

Poise Microliners putting Light Bladder Leakage in it's place.

Head over to the Poise site where you can request your free sample and coupon so that you no longer have to fear going out with Light Bladder Leakage. Now you can laugh, cough, sneeze and lift your way back into confidence with Poise.


My Top Five Holiday Card Picks From Minted

by Jennifer Wieland
My Top 5 Holiday Card Picks From Minted
Thanks to Minted for sponsoring today’s post. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

I love finding the perfect holiday card every year. I order them early and make the kids take the perfect picture (or at least one where everyone is smiling) and then I hunt down the perfect card for that picture that fits my family for that year. Minted is always a perfect place to go to find beautiful cards and they have holiday cards that are perfect for everyone. One of the great things about Minted is that they offer unique Indie designs and free recipient address printing.

My Top 5 Holiday Card Picks From Minted

Here we go, my top five holiday card picks from Minted:

Holiday Ornament Cards

These beautiful cards are not your old-fashioned, traditional holiday cards. These are beautiful cards in fun shapes that are ornaments. Each one comes with a luxe linen ribbon so that they can be hung from the Christmas tree. It takes something that usually doesn’t last beyond the current holiday and makes it a keepsake to use year after year. My favorite one of these this year is the Sparkling Be Merry by Jill Means in teal. It comes in three different shapes and colors. I personally like the snowflake shape in teal. It makes me think of the movie Frozen which is a favorite with my daughter and me. Holiday Ornament Cards

Photo Credit: and designer Jill Means


Holiday Minibook Cards

These fun and funky cards take your holiday photo cards to the next level by turning them into a small photo book. Each one has 7 pages of customizable text and photos and the books are hand-grommeted and measure 5″x7″ making them a lovely keepsake.The other thing that is great with these is that you get to add some details about your year and what each picture represents. This is perfect for those that like to send out a yearly update letter with photos in a more refined way. My personal favorite holiday minibook card is the Winter Foliage Cheer Holiday Minibook™ Cards by Karidy Walker. Holiday Minibook Cards

Photo Credit: and designer Karidy Walker


Holiday Map Cards

The Holiday Map Cards by Jill Means I really like because they are so very different form your run of the mill holiday cards. Each one displays a map of the contiguous United States and you mark your city with a star. This idea is very popular in the craft, jewelry and home decor worlds right now. For these cards you can choose to do them with or without pictures which makes them a great option not only for families but businesses as well. Holiday Map Card

Photo Credit: and designer Jill Means


Amazing Comic Book Holiday Photo Cards

The Amazing Comic Book Holiday Photo Cards by Gakemi Art+Design are comic book geeks perfect idea of a family holiday card. Being able to customize your holiday card into what looks like a comic book will bring out the happy in any self-proclaimed geeky nerd. You don’t have to stop with the front of the card though. You can add a custom backer or additional page inserts for more photos and text. Amazing Comic Book Holiday Photo Cards

Photo Credit: and designer Gakemi Art + Design


Wreck the Halls Holiday Photo Cards

I birthed five boys before getting a daughter and since she follows her brothers she tends to be rather rough and tumble too. As a result anyone who enters my home would know that a card named Wreck the Halls by Sara Hicks Malone would be beyond appropriate for my group. There’s just something fun about being unapologetic for your kids being kids at the holidays. Once again you can add a custom backer or interior for more photos and texts. Wreck the Halls Holiday Photo Card

Photo Credit: and designer Sara Hicks Malone


Now, to settle on a design for my family Christmas card and get them ordered. Which one will it be? I’ll let you know and share the final product with you all but in the meantime be sure to take a look at all of the holiday cards that Minted offers. They definitely have a design for every family.



Kidecals Helping to Organize and Decorate My Life

by Jennifer Wieland
Kidecals Waterproof Canning Labels
Thanks to Kidecals for providing products for me to review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Now that all of my kiddos are in school full-time I have been on a purge and organize mission in my house. I’m pretty sure that each week my garbage man curses me along with my husband who is hauling out all of the junk to the curb. I’ve been cleaning and organizing like a woman on a mission and one of the tools that has been helping me with the organization is Kidecals.

Kidecals are delightfully versatile and cray durable decals for your family, your life and your home. They have labels for just about anything you can think of and do make custom labels as well. You can get wall decals, kid’s labels, chalkboard labels, keyboard labels, bumper/laptop stickers, even canning/baking labels and many more. The labels are both dishwasher and washing machine safe. So that means you can go ahead and label your kid’s clothing, lunch boxes, book bags and toys and the labels won’t be going anywhere. It also means that you can label items around the house as well and these lovely labels will hold up.

Kidecals Waterproof Labels

Since I am on an organization kick I personally ordered some of the chalkboard labels. I am trying to store and label all of my baking supplies and these are going to be a great help.

Kidecals Waterproof Chalkboard Labels

I also ordered some absolutely beautiful, canning labels with my blog name on them and blank fields to label what the item is. These are going to come in so handy at Christmas time for homemade gifts!

Kidecals Waterproof Canning Labels

Lastly, I ordered a fun little laptop sticker. My laptop is boring old gray and when I saw the stickers on Kidecals I had to have one to make my laptop a little more personal and a lot more me.

Kidecals Waterproof Labels

Could you use some new labels and decals for the kids, yourself or your home? Then use the code ilovelabels with your order, which will give you a 15% discount on any Kidecals orders and remember that shipping is free on all orders!



Viviscal Gets You Longer, Stronger, Thicker Hair

by Jennifer Wieland

FTC Disclosure

Holiday Gift Guide Logo

Most of the time I have medium to long hair. Most of the time, I love it to death too but, every few years I get this completely ludicrous idea to hack it all off, donate it and have something shorter. Last year I went even crazier. You see, last October I got picked to be a part of a FDA study and got to have laser eye surgery for it. I had worn glasses since I was four years old and was darn near blind and due to extremely dry eyes I could not comfortably wear contacts. This was going to be my first time to truly see and wear cute sunglasses that I could get at any old store. So I had the surgery and at this point my hair was more than half way down my back. I loved it but had gotten into a rut of wearing it in ponytails. After my one month followup to my eye surgery I went out to dinner with my husband (who loves long hair) and announced to him that I was going to cut off my hair. Not just cut it off though. Oh no, that would have been to simple in my need for a complete makeover to go with my new eyes. I decided that what I wanted was a very short pixie haircut.

Me with long hair

Me before my laser eye surgery and my brilliant idea to cut off all of my hair.

The next day I had an appointment and went, pictures in hand of Ginnifer Goodwin when she had her really, really short pixie. The girl did not want to cut my hair and I could tell. She must have asked me at least 20 times if I was sure I wanted to do this. I assured her that I have had short hair at different points in my life. She finally began cutting and when it was finished I hated it! It was not at all what I had asked for and not nearly as close to as short as I wanted. I paid, tipped her and went home and cried to my husband. He, being the good sort he can be at times tried to convince me that it did not look that bad. Bless his little heart but it was awful! So what did I do? I went the next day to one of those little cheap haircut places in the strip malls and asked the girl I got to fix it. I went to pull out my pictures and she said don’t worry I know what you want. I left it in her hands and when she was done it was cute. I loved it!

Me with pixie cut

Hack! The hair is all gone!

So now I had this really, really short hair and after a month I missed my long hair but was not looking forward to growing it out. So I kept it short and in March of this year I decided it was time to grow it out. I waited for it to grow, and waited some more, and some more, and some more and finally it grew… in the back! Can we say mullet? Now it’s the end of the year and it is finally growing but it has taken forever and some extra help.

Headbands for the win?

Why oh why won’t this grow out already? This is all I’ve gotten since March 2013.

While at BlogHer at the end of July I spoke with the people at Viviscal. What is Viviscal you ask? Viviscal is the #1 hair growth supplement in the U.S. and they have an entire hair growth system to help you get tresses that are thick, healthy and shiny. They even have a special line just for men. Their products work so well and are so popular that celebrities like Miranda Lambert, Reese Witherspoon, Rob Kardashian and Miley Cyrus (who is also growing out a pixie) use it. The key ingredient is their proprietary AminoMar marine complex and it has been proven to double follicular growth.

Viviscal Extra Strength

So how do I know Viviscal works? Well, they were kind enough to give me some of the supplements to try. So how did they work for me? The sides of my hair are finally growing in nicely! Yes, the mullet is on its way out and a bob is on the horizon for me. This has really helped me to get to a point where I can do more than wear a headband to try to disguise the mullet. I am now able to wear it as is and it doesn’t look bad anymore. So what does my hair look like currently, since using Viviscal?

Me after using Viviscal

See, it’s finally almost chin length!

 It’s finally growing on the sides and I have noticed that I am seeing less hair come out too. So I would definitely recommend this to anyone trying to grow out their hair. The whole system would make an excellent holiday gift to any man or woman not happy with their hair currently.

To learn more be sure to head on over to the Viviscal website where you can take the Viviscal Healthy Hair Check to find out what products will work best for you.



Sweet gifts from Ghirardelli Chocolate!

by Jennifer Wieland
Personal Planner collage

Do you have someone on your gift list that is always busy and on the go? Someone who could benefit from a little organization in their life to make it easier? Do you just want to give people useful gifts or stocking stuffers this year? Then you need to check out On you can customize a perfect planner for everyone in your life.

Holiday Gift Guide LogoI recently had the opportunity to order a customer planner from the website. Being a mom and blogger I have loads of deadlines, appointments and schedules to keep track of and I have been debating what kind of planner to get. I like that I was able to completely customize my planner down to adding an ideas section to jot dot recipe ideas when they hit, add a workout section daily to help keep my workout on track and add some of my blog photos for the front and back covers. The process was easy. In fact, the only hard part was deciding all the colors and features to add to it.

Personal Planner collage

Would you like to add more color to your days?

Personal Planner is, just as the name suggests, a planner you can design completely after your own taste and style. You can choose color and text on the cover, or why not put a picture of yourself or a loved one there? The planners come in four different formats: from the small and handy one that fits into a jacket pocket, to the large A5-format that includes a full weekly planner and then some.
What makes our planners even more personal is the fact that your can customize the content to suit your needs and what you feel is most important to you. There are fields and boxes that help you keep track of training, studies, work, weather, etc. You can create to-do lists, schedules for dropping off/picking up the kids, etc. You can even enter special events and dates in advance, or why not import your Facebook friends’ birthdays directly into the planner? There is also plenty of space in the back pages for your own notes, year overviews or maybe even a spot of time-wasting, like Sudoku or pages to color in.

One thing is for sure
– NOBODY will have a planner like yours!


Do you or someone in your life need one of these as a gift? If so be sure to check out the website where the planners start at $24.95 and the notebooks start at $18.95 and the prices include shipping. Otherwise, you can enter below to try to win a gift card to order your own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What is Mialisia?

by Jennifer Wieland
Mialisia 3 pieces

Mialisia is a hot, new direct sales jewelry company. Read on to learn more about the company, jewelry and to enter a giveaway to win some of this beautiful jewelry.

Mialisia jewelry is simply beautiful and I love that it is completely versatile. What makes this jewelry so unique is that each piece has a hook system that allows you to make the piece into more than what it is. You can add pieces to make them longer/shorter, turn pieces into a bracelet, boot jewelry, wear alone or layer. For more info on that check out the Mialisia FAQ page:

How seriously amazing is this jewelry? I love jewelry but I hate that it costs so much and I am so limited to what I can and can’t do with it. With this though I could wear a piece one day and the next day I could wear the same piece but add another Mialisia piece to it and I have a completely different look. For me, I love the idea of being able to buy a few quality items and mix and match to get different looks. It really stretches my money further.

Mialisia Jewelry

Mialisia NecklaceMy favorite Mialisia independent designer is Trisha Haas. She is a phenomenal person and already a well-respected and liked leader in the mom blogging community. If you would like to find out more information on Mialisia Jewelry or are interested in becoming an independent designer for the company then you should check out her Mialisia blog:

Mialisia Jewelry

All photos courtesy of Trisha Haas.

If you are interested in seeing more of the jewelry and shopping be sure to check out the company website and click on SHOP:

Now is anyone interested in winning some Mialisia Jewelry for themselves or to gift this holiday season? If so be sure to enter the giveaway below that is provided by Mialisia Independent Founding Designer Trisha Haas. She is kindly providing three necklaces for this giveaway. To see each necklace click on the names for each piece below.

Polaris Necklace    Aries Necklace     Gemini Necklace

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Theme by Selim Alvele | Copyright 2020 My Sweet Sanity | Powered by WordPress | 97 queries in 1.419 seconds.