DIY Date Night Jar

My husband is one of the hardest people to buy a gift for.  Mainly because he has a lot of things and the things he wants are just not in the budget to buy or I can’t buy it for him (like the custom golf club he wants).  So to say I was stressed out this holiday season trying to figure out what to get for him, was an understatement.  Until I was browsing Pinterest and I found a great DYI gift idea!

date night jarMy husband works in another state during the week, which takes a huge toll on our relationship.  When you only get two days to spend together a week, it really stinks.  And since we have kids, I always feel guilty getting a babysitter so he and I can go out.  I feel like they need to spend just as much time with their dad, as well.  But like I said, it’s taking it’s toll.  So when I saw the idea to make a Date Night Jar, I knew I had to make one of those for him for Christmas.  And boy did I have fun!  I even bought him a puzzle for Christmas to go along with the jar!

So what do you need to make this?

  • Package of wide popsicle sticks 
  • A jar
  • Label for the jar or some way to decorate it
  • Sharpies

The first thing I did, while watching Beverly Hills, 90210 (I just love that show…and I’m hoping Santa brings me the series on DVD!) was take a red sharpie and color the tip of several popsicle sticks.  The red tipped sticks indicate that a little more planning would need to go into that particular date…basically, we would need to get a babysitter.  The plain popsicle sticks are things we can do at home once the kids are in bed.  Here are a few of the  different types of dates I have in the jar:

The Red Tipped Sticks:

  • Dinner at Mongolian BBQ
  • Go for a drive (we used to do this before kids…just drive and drive…but gas was also cheaper then)
  • Dinner at P.F. Changs and a movie
  • Night at a hotel

The Plain Sticks:

  • Pick a t.v. series on Netflix and have a marathon
  • Do a puzzle together
  • Play Trivial Pursuit
  • Plan a family vacation
  • Finish a project in the house

You can put anything you want on these popsicle sticks.  I geared mine towards things my husband and I like to do or places we like to go to.  And yes…I also put some naughty ones on there too!  But my point is, you can make this gift any way you want!  I also thought about making a summer vacation jar for me and the kids.  The possibilities are truly endless!

If you were to make a jar for your spouse, what would you put on your popsicle sticks?


Scooby Mystery Workshop

Are your kids like mine and love Scooby-Doo?  I have to admit, I’m not a huge cartoon person, but one cartoon I love (and love that my kids like) is Scooby-Doo!  If you’re like me and looking for some last minute gift ideas for your kids (or need to tell relatives ideas for the kids), then set your children up on the new Warner Bros. website, Scooby Mystery Workshop and give them the chance to customize their own gift list!

This site offers Scooby costumes, games, puzzles, action figures and other fun things that children can check off to create their own wish list and help mom and dad solve the holiday shopping mystery!  Once completed, children can simply print the list and hand it to their parents or it can be emailed to other relatives looking for gift ideas!

Now that their list is complete, the Scooby Mystery Workshop site offers many other activities like helping the gang pick out gifts for each other through interactive polls, competing to win prizes or playing games with Shaggy or Scooby.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and if you had your kids fill out a wish list on the Scooby Mystery Workshop, which item did they get most excited for?  My son liked the Scooby Doo Wii Game and my daughter liked the Scooby plush.


*I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Scooby-Doo. I received a product sample to thank me for participating

Personalized Shower Wraps

When Zack was born, I did not jump on the “personalize everything” bandwagon.  I became paranoid that someone would steal my kid because they could see his name and trick him into going with them.  However, I absolutely LOVED having things with his initials or just a Z for his first name or K for our last name.  In fact, when he was two, we got him one of his own personalized kids backpacks.  It had a big red K on it.  He loved it and thought he was a superhero!

In fact, when we got married, no one got us monogrammed linens.  I really wanted “his” and “hers” towels.  We’ve been married over 10 years and while I don’t have “his” and “hers” towels, I do have a shower wrap that says “Goddess” on it!  Check it out:

personalized gifts
Doesn’t it look great?  This wonderfully soft, personalized shower wrap comes from Posey Lane where they have a whole slew of personalized gifts for every member of your family.  What I like the most about this shower wrap is the feel of the towel.  It’s extremely soft and washes nicely.  I don’t use dryer sheets or softener with my clothes and this towel still came out of the dryer feeling as soft as the day I received it in the mail!  Other items you can find on the Posey Lane website are:

  • iphone cases
  • Day planners
  • Nap mats
  • Laundry bags
  • Personalized plates

And so much more!!!

 So quick, check out their site and tell me one item you would like to have or give to someone for Christmas!  Any order placed by this Friday WILL ship on next Monday!


Have Santa Call Your Child!

There is nothing more magical than to see a child’s face light up at the sheer mention of Santa.  Well unless you are my daughter…

She was so unimpressed, she went to sleep!

Sooner or later, my kids will find out the truth about Santa and the magic will die.  And it makes me sad.  It will be a true sign that my kids are growing up.  However, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t use Santa to threaten my kids into behaving.  “Oh you better listen.  Remember, Santa’s watching“.  Come on, you  know you’ve said it too!  And with this Elf on the Shelf, we should have the most best behaved kids in town.  But sadly, I had to take desperate measures.  I had Santa call my daughter.  Her face was priceless.  Check it out:

She has talked non-stop about Santa calling her.  She just leaves out the part where Santa told her she still has a chance to make it on the nice list!  My favorite part of the entire video is at the end where she says “let’s do Zack now”.  Boy was she irritated that her brother didn’t get a call.  Zack…he was relieved!  But guess what, YOU can have Santa call your child too!  Visit the Portable North Pole and check out all the ways you can bring the magic of Santa into your home!

You can choose to create a video that is emailed to you for your child to watch or you can have Santa call your child.  The first thing you need to do (after deciding if you are going to create a video or have a phone call) is figure out if your child has been nice, sort of naughty, or naughty.  Next you answer some basic questions and add some pictures to make the video more real and personalized for your child.  Once the video is complete it will be emailed to you for the kids to watch.

After Santa called her, I also let her know that we had an email from Santa.  The thing I like about the video is that you can personalize it to fit your child.  One of the questions  you answer ask’s if there is something your child has been asked to work on.  For my daughter I checked “not to tell lies”.  We are constantly having conversations with Bella about the her not telling the true.  When Santa said “Bella, I hear you have been asked to not tell lies” her eyes got huge.  This solidified in her mind that he was real!

Besides videos and phone calls, the Portable North Pole also has a gift shop where you can purchase many different types of personalized keepsakes sure to make the holidays magical for your child!  As a avid scrapbooker, my favorite are the personalized letters you can have Santa mail your children!  Visit the Portable North Pole and make a video for your child today!  Leave me a comment letting me know their reaction!


Finding Nemo on Blu-ray!

Disney Pixar


Disney-Pixar’s Finding Nemo is swimming it’s way into homes on December 4, 2012 for the first time ever in high-definition Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D!  Finding Nemo made it’s original debut in 2004 and earned the Oscar for the Best Animated Feature Film and it remains the fifth highest grossing animated film worldwide!  But that’s not all…in 2008 the American Film Institute  named Finding Nemo among the top 10 greatest animated films ever made!  And to date, it is still the second highest grossing Pixar film (with Toy Story 3 being ahead of it).

The hi-def release of Finding Nemo will be available in the following way:

  • 5 Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition (2 Blu-ray 2D + 1 Blu-ray 3D +1 DVD + 1 Digital Copy)
  • 3 Disc Collector’s Edition (2 Blu-ray 2D + 1 DVD)
  • 3D Digital
  • High-Definition Digital

I don’t know about your kids, but mine love the bonus features.  We always have to watch ALL of the bonus features.  Finding Nemo has some pretty neat bonus features:

Blu-ray 3D Disc

  • 3D HD Aquariums

Blu-ray Disc One

  • Knick Knack, theatrical short film (rated:  G)
  • Aquarium
  • CineExplore
  • Finding Nemo–A Filmmakers’ Roundtable
  • Reinventing the Submarine Voyage
  • Deleted Scene:  “Alt Opening”
  • A Lesson in Flashbacks

Blu-Ray Disc Two

  • Aquariums
  • Art Review
  • Classic Content
    • Making Nemo
    • Exploring the Reef
    • Studio Tour
    • Old School
    • Outtakes
    • Deleted Scenes
    • Publicity Pieces
    • Mr. Ray’s Encyclopedia


  • Knick Knack, theatrical short film (rated:  G)
  • Finding Nemo–A Filmmakers’ Roundtable
  • Aquarium


  • Knick Knack, theatrical short film (rated:  G)
  • Finding Nemo–A Filmmakers’ Roundtable
  • Deleted Scene:  “Alt Opening”
  • A Lesson in Flashbacks
  • Art Review
  • Classic Content
    • Making Nemo
    • Exploring the Reef
    • Studio Tour
    • Old School
    • Outtakes
    • Deleted Scenes
    • Publicity Pieces

We’re quickly coming up on Christmas break, don’t let your little ones get bored…check out the Finding Nemo activities.  Print them out and have a blast!

Download Activity Games!

Be sure to stay connected with Finding Nemo on Facebook and Twitter for exciting news about the release on December 4, 2012!