5 Non Candy Valentine’s Day Ideas

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and if you have a kid in elementary school, you know they are getting ready to start filling out Valentine’s for all of the kids in their class. I don’t know about you, but I am hoping that I can stray Bella away from all the candy options and do something a little more homemade and fun! With all the different food allergies in classrooms these days, I would hate for a kid to go home with a box full of things he/she couldn’t eat. How sad is that? If you are looking for non candy Valentine’s ideas, then keep reading! I found some good ones!

non candy valentine's collage

Non Candy Valentine’s Day Ideas!

non candy valentine's pencil

Aren’t these cute? And they are so easy to make! Head on over to Simply Being Mommy for a great printable (makes it soooo much easier for you! Your welcome!) and because I love you all so much, I found a 3 dozen assortment of Valentine’s Pencils that you can order on Amazon and BAM! You’re done! Just put the kids names on it and you have that project done without leaving the house!

non candy valentines puffs

I absolutely LOVE these! You can get the little puffs at your local craft store (and just order these Foam Heart Stickers. I think these are cheaper than the craft store). Head over to Momdot to find out how she put these cute things together for the kids in her daughters class. I can tell you right now, Bella would want to make these!!

non candy valentine's star wars

Star Wars is HUGE in my daughters class right now (3rd grade). She is always coming home telling me that they played Star Wars on recess! Head on over to A Grande Life for the adorable printable. Of course, like the other non-candy Valentine’s ideas, I found glow sticks on Amazon. You have more than enough for your child’s class and you can save some for fun this summer!

non candy valentine's window cling

These are SO CUTE! Milk and Cuddles has a great printable on their site for you to use. Every kid loves window clings! Shoot…my kids are 9 and 11 and they both like window clings too! My 9 year old is forever asking me if we can buy them and put them up! I found these Valentine’s Day Gel Clings on Amazon. I really like the monkey’s!

non candy valentine's applesauce

Now…I know this one is a food item (it’s not candy!!), but the pouches I’ve seen say they are gluten free, dairy free, nut free, etc. If your child’s school is like mine, the teacher usually posts on the door “this is a X free zone” so anyone coming in knows what allergies are in the room. I just had to include this adorable idea that Eat Craft Parent came up with. The Fruit Me Up applesauce pouches I found on Amazon are not only a good price, but they contain JUST apples. How great is that?!?

If you would liked these non candy Valentine’s day ideas and would like to see some other Valentine’s day ideas, please check out:

Alternatives to Store Bought Valentine’s

More Alternatives to Store Bought Valentine’s


Captive – a Movie About Faith Over Fear

On the weekends my husband and I like to watch movies. We don’t go out all that often so, more times than not, we wait for those blockbuster hits to get to Redbox or Family Video (yes there are still movie rental places). I like a wide variety of movies, but my favorite are those that are based off true events. I like seeing the updates at the end. Sometimes they make me very happy to read and other times I get upset with how life turned out for some people. So when I was asked if I wanted to review the movie Captive, I knew right away it was a big fat yes. Captive is based on an inspiring true story.

*I receive a copy of the movie Captive for the purpose of this review. All opinions are 100% my own*

movie captive

About Captive

Based on a miraculous true story about the power of faith, Captive is an “amazing, inspiring” drama about the spiritual collision of two lost souls. Brian Nichols, on the run from police and desperate to make contact with his newborn son, takes recently widowed mother Ashley Smith hostage in her own apartment. Fearing for her life and desperately hoping to see her daughter again, she turns to Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life for guidance. Ashley and her captor face a crossroads where they discover hope and light in the midst of despair in the moving film that Dick Rolfe, CEO, Dove Foundation has hailed as “powerful”.

I really enjoyed the movie. I felt that they did a really great job portraying the events of Ashley Smith being taken hostage and the roadblocks that popped up along the way. In case you are like me and had never heard of this story before, I don’t want to give too much away. However, Captive is an amazing story of faith and hope and one that I think everyone should take the time to watch. For more information about the movie, you can visit their official website, Facebook page and Twitter page. The movie is rated PG-13 (for mature thematic elements and substance abuse).

Book Series You Must Read in 2016

One of my goals for 2016 is to make more time for me to do something I enjoy, which is reading. It’s funny the things we remember, but when I was a kid, I remember someone dropping a couple large paper bags FILLED with books over. There were all kinds of books in that bag. My favorite were the Choose Your Own Adventure books! I remember my mom bringing the bag to me and me digging through it and laying on a lawn chair on our deck and just reading for hours. Literally…hours. The day I got my library card was one of the happiest days ever. With that card I didn’t have to wait until my birthday or a holiday to get new books…I could check out as many books as I wanted and keep them for 3 weeks! And believe me, I checked out STACKS of books every 3 weeks. Especially all the must read book series for tweens and teens!

book series

Both of my kids have a love for reading. Bella will usually only check out books about animals, the weather, science experiments, etc. She has been known to say, “I only read non-fiction books because I want to learn something from what I read“. Zack, on the other hand, very much enjoys fiction books. He loves reading the Percy Jackson books and graphic novels (though I do have to thumb through those to make sure they are appropriate…sometimes they are not)!

I no longer go to the library for my own books. Last year, for my birthday, my husband got me a Kindle Paperwhite and let me tell you, it is probably the best present I’ve ever gotten! I use it every single day, multiple times a day. It especially comes in handy while I wait for my kids during their sport practices or in the parking lot while I wait for my son to get out of school. Besides having multiple books stored on the Kindle at one time, it fits in my purse, weighs very little, AND I only have to charge it about once a month. Sometimes twice, but not normally!

I’ve always been one to gravitate towards series books and that has held true all throughout my life. I get very invested in the characters and want to continue to read about them long past that book ending. So when I found out about a book series that had 21 books already out (and one coming out on January 22nd), it sounded too good to be true! There is nothing I hate more than getting invested in a book series and having to wait months or even years for the next book to come out. This book series is A Shade Of Vampire. They are super quick reads. In fact…I started the first book on December 3rd and finished the 21st book a few days ago. I literally could not put them down! And…once you finish those, you can also check out A Shade of Kiev and A Shade of Dragons. Both are a spin-off book series from A Shade of Vampire!

What is your favorite book series?

2016 Kia Sedona SXL

When I had my first child, I thought I had to have a minivan. However, at that time, buying a minivan was not in the cards for us. Then we had our second child and while we could have bought one then, for some reason, we never did. Now that my kids are 9 and 11, I figured we were past that need for a minivan and leased a car about six months ago. But then I went and drove the 2016 Kia Sedona for a week and I realized that not only was I NOT past the need for a minivan, but I really wanted a minivan. A minivan and this sturdy trunk organizer!

**I test drove the Kia Sedona for one week for the purpose of this post. All stories and opinions are my own**


My first reaction was, “Oh my gosh, this is a large vehicle”. I was actually a tad nervous about parking and backing out. I will admit, I was afraid I would hit something. That is, until I got a load of the camera this car is equipped with:


I kid you not, I parked this car like a pro! I really liked how I was able to pull into a space and check the camera to see if I am between the lines. You know how you see people back out to re-pull in to fix how they are parked, yet you don’t know why they did that because they just pulled right back in the exact same way?!? Not with this car! I could go on and on about the backup camera, but I’ll stop!

Standard Features on the Kia Sedona

  • Mechanical
    • 3.3L DOHC GDI CVVT V6 Engine
    • 6-speed Automatic Transmission w/Sportmatic
    • 19″ Chrome Alloy wheels
  • Safety
    • Dual Front Advanced Airbags
    • Front Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
    • Full-Length Side-Curtain Airbags
    • Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH)
    • Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
    • Traction Control System (TCS)
    • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
    • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
  • Interior, Comfort & Convenience
    • Tri-Zone Automatic Climate Control
    • Infinity Surround Sound Audio System
    • SIRIUSXM® Satellite Radio w/free 3-mo. subscription
    • UVO eServices w/Premium Navi & Back-Up Camera
    • Nappa Leather Seat Trim
    • Memory Driver’s Seat Position
    • Heated and Ventilated Front Seats
    • 2nd Row First Class Lounge Seating
    • Push Button Start with Smart Key
    • Leather Wrapped Wood-Grain Style Steering Wheel
    • Heated Steering Wheel
    • Center Console Mounted 115V Power Inverter
    • Wood-Grain Style and Metallic Accents
    • Blind Spot Detection (w/RCTA)
    • Auto-Dimming Rear View Mirror w/HomeLink™
    • Front/Rear Parking Assist System
  • Exterior
    • Projection Fog Lights & LED Positioning Lamps
    • Unique Bumpers and Trim
    • Dual Sunroofs
    • Heated Outside Mirrors w/Turn Signal Indicators
    • Smart “Hands Free” Power Liftgate
  • Warranty
    • 10 Year/100,000 Mile Limited Powertrain Warranty
    • 5 Year/60,000 Mile Limited Basic Warranty
    • 5 Year/60,000 Mile Roadside Assistance

In addition to the amazing standard features that the Kia Sedona comes with, the vehicle I drove also had the following features:

  • SXL 8 Seat Technology Package
    • Xenon HID Headlights w/High Beam Assist
    • Lane Departure Warning System
    • Forward Collision Warning System
    • Surround View Monitor
    • Smart Cruise Control
    • Two Tone Leather Seats (replaces Nappa Leather)
    • 2nd Row Slide-N-Stow Seats (Delete 2nd Row First Class Lounge Seating)
    • Removable 2nd Row Center Seat
    • Heated 2nd Row Outboard Seat Cushions
    • Chrome Side Sill Trim
    • Luggage Zone 115V Power Inverter (Delete Dual Sunroof)
    • Rear Seat Entertainment System

I was so sad to give this car back at the end of the week. I was even more sad to realize that I had another year and a half on my current car before I could even start to think about getting another car! Every single thing about this car made sense. They really had moms in mind when they created the Kia Sedona. From the little mirror that you can flip down to get a look at the entire back seat to the little shelf under the center console that was perfect for coupons, I was forever finding something and saying “oh wow…I love this!”.


Do you drive a minivan? What’s your favorite thing about it?

Christmas Movies for Kids, the Classics!

Growing up, there is one thing that truly meant Christmas was coming, besides putting up the Christmas tree and watching your mom put presents under the tree that you are supposed to stare at for the next 20 days and not touch…the Christmas movies that are on every single year! You know the ones I’m talking about, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and Santa Clause is Coming to Town. Every single year, even when I was in high school, we watched those movies. My personal favorite was always Frosty the Snowman!

*I received the following product for the purpose of this post. All opinions are solely my own*


Remember these movies?!? The Original Christmas Classics Collectors Edition comes with:

  • Frosty the Snowman
  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town
  • Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
  • The Little Drummer Boy
  • Cricket on the Hearth
  • Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol
  • Frosty Returns

This awesome Anniversary edition also comes with some great special features that your kids are sure to love:

  • Be an Artist & Create – Learn to draw Rudolph, Santa, Frosty and more!
  • Santa Special Delivery – Enjoy 45 notes about Santa and what makes the holiday’s so special
  • Rudolph Unwrapped – Gift boxes are unwrapped to reveal 50 magical facts about Rudolph and all his friends.
  • Magical Melody and Kringle Jingle – Sing along to the memorable holiday tunes.
  • Frosty Snowflake Surprises – Magical snowflakes reveal 45 fun facts about everyone’s favorite snowman.
  • Sam the Snowman’s Sing-Alongs – Join the fun and sing along to Holly Jolly and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

These Christmas movies are great for the whole family! My advice…pick up a copy, add it to a basket with new Christmas pajamas, some popcorn and a board game (this is a favorite game in our family) for a fun family night! Your kids will have a blast and you could form a new Christmas tradition!

What’s your favorite Christmas tradition?