Wednesday, November 30, 2016

I See Me: Personalized Christmas Books

A lot of people spend Black Friday at the malls and big box retailers shopping till they drop and hitting all the sales, but it's our tradition to spend the entire day saying goodbye to Thanksgiving and hello to Christmas!  

It usually takes the entire day to do the inside and out, but I love it and so do the kids!  They are usually pretty great little helpers and love assisting with everything from decorating the tree to hanging stockings. 

One of their very favorite things is when I pull out all of our Christmas books from the basement.  We've accumulated quite the collection and I like to keep them all together in a basket all season long to make it easy for grabbing the ones they want to read each night.

This year I was so excited to add a new personalized I See Me book to our basket.  Our little Boo-Boo still loves his other I See Me book so I knew he would be super excited about a Christmas book with his name in it, too.  

This is the traditional Night Before Christmas story with some personal details added in to the illustrations and the text.  

When he saw his name on one of the gifts in Santa's sleigh he was super excited!

Although this book is personalized for him, I loved that I could also make it personal for our whole family by including the girls' names which are used in the illustrations like on the stockings and the gifts.

There is even an option to include furry family members and I did this for our dog, Walker!  I think this might be the thing Boo-Boo get most excited about.  They are the best of friends and seeing Walker's name and the dog weaved into the illustrations in this story is something he keeps pointing out over and over when we read this book.

I was able to also submit a picture that is included in the dedication page and this gift set also came with a personalized ornament with that same picture!  Boo-Boo was so happy to see him and Walker on the ornament and couldn't wait to hang it on the tree in his room.

The girls were super excited to read this book, too, but after we were done reading it for the first time I could tell Blondie was a little bummed. I asked her what was wrong and she said she wanted a book with her name on it.  I reminded her that this book had her name in it, too, but I knew she meant that she wanted a book of her very own.  Later that night I made sure to hop on the I See Me website and order her a special personalized book that is just for her and I can't wait to give it to her for Christmas.  I know she will love it!

These books are such special keepsakes and my kids absolutely love them. The quality is fantastic and they make wonderful gifts.  There are options for kids of all ages from board books for little ones, to birthday books and of course a great selection of Christmas books.  Be sure to use the code MAGNOLIA10 to receive 10% off your order between now and December 16th!

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**I was gifted this book in exchanged for my review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Holiday Gift Guide: Coolest Tech Gifts for Kids

Yesterday we shared some of our favorite gifts for moms, and today we switch it back to the kids. Because let's be honest - Christmas is all about the kids. 

We know everyone has heard of some of the season's hottest gifts for kids already. You can't turn around without hearing about the craze that is The Hatchimals

And children of the 80's are rejoicing everywhere as Target has brought back the original Nintendo.
(Just another reason to love Target.) 

But we're here to share some of our favorite tech gifts for kids that you might not have heard about. 

Our kids absolutely love anything STEM or tech related. We've seen our fair share of toys, but these all pass their "will play with it more than once" requirement. Most of these we own already, and have already been huge hits with our crews. Others are on Santa's list this year. 

Here's hoping this list gives you a little inspiration. Especially, if you've already been running around frantically from store to store, while simultaneously brokering a deal on Ebay for the egg craze of 2016 - and it still might not happen. 

  • 3Doodler 3D Pen - It took us a moment to wrap our minds around a 3D pen, but once we saw it in action it was amazing. The 3Doodler Pen brings littles ones imagination and art to life in such a fun and unique way. This gift would work best for children in late elementary school and even into middle and high school. 
  •  VTech Smart Watch - Last year we both gave these fun kid friendly smart watches to our children - and they've loved them. They think it is so neat to message one another, take pics, and play games all from their wrist - just like dad's (sort of.)!

  • Amazon Fire Kids - Speaking of smart things...the Amazon Fire Kids Edition is one of our favorite gifts. Think of it as the gateway tablet for your kids. It's perfectly geared for them in mind, from the case its enclosed in to the access and apps available. It has everything they need all in one without the worry of the features you don't need/want them to mess with. Coming in at under $100 it's the perfect kids tablet.
  • Robot Animals - Last year when Cute asked for a robot dinosaur, we (1) didn't know such a thing existed (it does), and (2) didn't realize he would love it so much. This year robot animals are all the hit and we love the Paw Patrol ones for the younger set. They move, interact, talk, and provide hours of entertainment - which is key!
  • Osmo Game Systems - Hands down this has to be one of the coolest toys we've tested this year. The Osmo Games are all STEM based activities that your little one can play on the iPad. Each interactive game is unique and coordinates with an app. We've been amazed at the level of personalized interaction this game provides our little ones and they absolutely LOVE them. Our favorite so far is the Creative Kit

  • Drones - Your little one will get a huge hit seeing how high they can make their own personal drone go, and what they are able to capture with it's 360 degree camera. This easier to navigate and slightly tougher pint-sized version is perfect for gifting under the tree. 
  • Electronic Reader Sets - These are the perfect little book sets for a young child or a beginning reader. Baby Cute received the Frozen set for her birthday this past year, and both the kids love reading these little stories. Each page is specially picture coded to a graphic on the reader, so your little one is easily in control and able to follow along. There are so many fun sets - from Spiderman to Eric Carle, your little reader will be covered. 
  • Dash & Dot - We've already mentioned robots are a huge hit this year, now meet the adorable Dash & Dot. These cute little guys are fully functioning robots that your little one control and interact with. They do anything your little one programs them to - dance, sing, deliver messages. Quite simply the coolest coding toy ever made!
  • V-Tech Digital Camera - All of our kids (minus Baby Cute) so far have owned one of the V-Tech Digital Cameras, and it just might be one of our favorite toys ever. They see us taking pictures of them all day long and want to get in on the fun, and this was a great way to introduce them to the world of photography. We love downloading their photos and seeing the world through their eyes. Such a fun toy, and a great toy to bring on family vacations too! 
  • Smart Phone Printer - This is a gift we know we already know we are going to want to steal from the kids. The Fugifilm Instax Share Smartphone Printer is the perfect gift for the Tween or Teen who is already smartphone savvy (and lets be honest, already knows how to take a million photos and selfies). They will get a huge kick out of being able to instantly print their photos. Mommy might print one or two herself.

Southern Best Friend 
Teacher's Gifts
Babies 0-12 Months
What Moms Really Want

What tech gift is at the top of your child's list this year? 

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Holiday Gift Guide: What Moms Really Want

We've always been on team one-holiday-at-a-time and the thought of mixing Thanksgiving with Christmas just isn't our thing.  However, now that Thanksgiving is over we are officially focusing on our favorite time of year!  We know us moms are the ones always buying gifts for everyone else, but don't forget about yourselves this year, ladies!  Whether you are looking for gift ideas for yourself or for another awesome mom you know, we thought we'd share a few of of our favorites and things we know that moms really yoga pants and robot vacuum cleaners!  

Stella and Dot Earrings - I have these Isadora hoop earrings in gold and wear them at least 4 times a a week, if not more!  They are really light weight, they have fun details on them and super affordable.  I'm hoping for a silver pair under the tree this Christmas.

Stella and Dot Leopard Print Watch - While we are on the topic of Stella and Dot, go ahead and check out this Exotic Pyramid Watch!  Our love for leopard print runs deep and this watch would make us swoon!  

Roomba - I know some people think giving an appliance for Christmas isn't a great idea, but I have to disagree when the appliance is a robot.  A robot vacuum to be exact.  A Roomba was the number one thing on my Christmas list last year and I was thrilled when I received it.  I hate to vacuum, but I have a dog that sheds like crazy, so this is a lifesaver.  I would definitely recommend this to any busy mom that doesn't want to spend every day vacuuming and sweeping! See our full review HERE.

Electric Wine Opener - Because moms love wine, an electric wine opener makes a great gift.  This handy dandy little gadget will make opening wine bottles a breeze and it's just fun!  I've been using mine for a month now and I am definitely a fan!

Workout Wear - Busy moms love to be comfortable, but we also want to look stylish when we are on-the-go.  Often times workout wear becomes our everyday wear so we love adding new and fun pieces to our every growing collecting of spandex!  Our new favorites are leggings with the mesh insets and fun cutouts... they are so much more fun than basic black! (Click pictures for direct links.)

A Metallic Mom Bag - A good mom bag is essential.  Something big enough to be able to carry snacks, small toys, and all of the other extras that you must tote around with you, but something that is stylish and makes you feel like more than "just a mom" when you are headed out for a date night or out with girlfriends.  Metallic hues are popping up everywhere right now and we love the idea of a nice metallic bag to contrast the usually dark and more drab colors of fall fashion.

The awesome people at Jentou sent us this Metallic Leather Satchel and coordinating clutch  and we are in love with these pieces.  The satchel is plenty big enough to serve as a "mom bag" with lots of pockets to help keep our things organized.  The clutch is perfect for keeping my lipgloss, chapsticks and other small things from getting lost amount the goldfish and matchbox cars.

All of Jentou's bags are made of full grain leather and their team has been designing and making name brand leather bags for years, but now they have cut out the middle man and are offering their high-quality bags at a fraction of the price you would pay in department stores.  Who doesn't love a good deal.  And want an even better deal?  Use coupon code MAGNOLIAMAMASHOLIDAY to receive 30% off your purchase AND free shipping just in time for holiday shopping!

We're curious...what is on your holiday wish-list?!?

Here is a look back at our other gift guides.
Southern Best Friend 
Teacher's Gifts
Babies 0-12 Months

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Kitchen Confessions: Turkey Recipe Ideas

Happy weekend y'all! Hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving and shopped until you dropped yesterday! 

Speaking of is official, day three of turkey leftovers 
and we. are. over. it. 

I love holiday food just as much as the next person, but I simply cannot eat the same thing lunch and dinner for three days straight. I can't. 

So this year, we pulled out all the stops, and tracked down some awesome turkey recipes to transform those leftovers into something amazing again. 

Bonus: some of these also have creative ways to incorporate other Thanksgiving leftovers. Like cranberry sauce. Because trust us...there are always leftovers of that. 

And for even more turkey recipe fun - check out our Turkey Recipe board on Pinterest.

Now what creative ways do you have for putting those Thanksgiving leftovers to good use? 

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Cocktail Confessions: Pumpkin Spice Moscow Mule

Two cocktail confessions in a row!  You can tell when we think holidays where our heads are.  In all seriousness though, we are trying to hold onto every last minute of fall before the Christmas season arrives and with that comes our favorite fall flavor...pumpkin spice!

We've shared several of our favorite Moscow Mule recipes here on the blog and it is no secret that it is one of our favorites.

Today we have a fall twist on this favorite and created a Pumpkin Spice Moscow Mule.  We're sharing the recipe and all of the details over on Savvy Sassy Moms today.

Trust us, this is the perfect drink recipe to kick off your Thanksgiving so be sure to grab the ingredients and mix up a batch today or tomorrow or both!  Cheers!
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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Cocktail Confessions: Apple Pomegranate Fizz

Happy Tuesday friends! 

I know we are supposed to be all about the pumpkin right now, but...
I just can't seem to quit the apple! 

It's just too good of a flavor to give up, and this Apple Pomegranate Fizz might just be the perfect fall cocktail. We were asked to give it a try as part of the West Elm and Whole Food collaboration a few weeks ago, and it's a recipe we keep coming back to. 

Cocktail-ing for a good cause? 

We are always down for that!

We still have a ton of apples leftover from our trip to the apple orchards a few weeks ago, and this seemed like the perfect recipe to try from the collaboration - although all of them looked quite yummy!

The second time around we made this cocktail, I adjusted it to make it a little bit simpler. Here's my twist on the Apple Pomegranate Fizz. 

Serves 4-6

- 1/4 cup of ginger beer
- 2 cups of unsweetened pomegranate juice
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1 quart of hard apple cider (use sparkling cider for a non-alcoholic alternative)
- 2 apples, thinly sliced (for garnish if desired

1: Mix 1/2 cup of hot water, sugar, and ginger beer. Mix until sugar is dissolved. 
2: Stir in sparkling cider and pomegranate juice. 
3: Place mixture in large serving pitcher or punch bowl and garnish. 
4: Serve and enjoy. 

Whether you are celebrating the end of season tailgates, or have a holiday party on the horizon, the Apple Pomengrante Fizz would be the perfect drink to serve your guests.  

Now please invite us so we can enjoy it again too!

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Fashion Fix: What I Wore {Red and Black Edition}

Happy Monday!  Blogging a little later than normal on this Monday because we are on Thanksgiving Break and we are all taking our sweet time doing everything this week.  No school means no homework, no sports, and no rushing around.  We are going to soak up every second.  If you follow along on Instagram you might have seen where I am for a few days.

Today I decided it was time for another edition of What I Wore and when I went back and looked at the pictures of my outfits over the past couple of weeks I saw a trend.  Lots of Red and Black and not only because we were supporting our favorite football team.  Here's the thing though even if you aren't a UGA fan, I still love the colors together for fall and especially as we get ready to head into Christmas.

A few weeks ago the Mr. and I did go to the UGA vs. Auburn game and had so much fun.  We totally were expecting to loose game, but the Dawgs pulled out a win and it was such a fun game to be at!

After the game I posted this picture of us at our tailgate and had several people comment on my outfit.  I wore the red version of my favorite jeans, my favorite leopard belt, and a vintage red necklace that belonged to my grandmother. 

We had a few cooler days so I was excited to pull out one of my favorite fall things to wear...a vest!  I got this red and black one for Christmas last year and love it because it is perfect for keeping me warm, but not too warm.  This one is sold out, but there are some similar ones in different colors here and here.  I love the navy and white!

For my birthday my mother-in-law gave me this awesome red and black buffalo check shirt.  I wore it last week and had SO many compliments on it.  It looks like it is flannel, but actually it is very light weight and made of a sheer material so I wore a black tank under it.  I put it with my favorite belt (I seriously wear this all of the time) and my new booties.

There is a fun lace detail on the back of this shirt you can see on the website. I didn't get a picture of it because as you can see below, I have a dog that craves attention and is quite needy so he didn't want me to be posing for pictures.  He just wanted pets!  

I'm in NC with my kids visiting family for a few days and knew I wanted to have cute, but comfy clothes with me.  I shared about this gray and black lace tunic a few weeks ago and it is awesome. I love it with black denim, with jeans and yesterday I wore it with black leggings. This tunic top is long enough to wear with leggings, which I love, and it is less than $25 and comes in 5 different colors. Mine is called dark steel.  Yesterday we went to lunch, went bowling with my dad, and then met up with some other family for dinner so I knew I wanted to be in something that would be comfortable all day long.

It was pretty chilly though so I threw on my red and black scarf (that was a birthday gift from a dear friend) and my red vest!  I hadn't planned on wearing these things together, but loved the way it looked when I had it on. Plus, my Ugg boots finally got to be worn!  It's been so warm that I haven't been able to pull them out of the closet, but this week is the week!

Funny story, but when we got to dinner my aunt told me she had that same shirt and we laughed about how much we love Old Navy. I'm not being paid by them to say this, but that is probably the number one place I buy clothes from for myself.  Their stuff is so affordable, fun, trendy, always on sale and everything fits me really well.

We hope everyone is enjoying their Thanksgiving week and prepped for lots of yummy food later this week!

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Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday Favorites: Getting Turkey Ready Edition

Happy Friday everyone! 

This Friday is totally awesome. Not only does it kick off our weekend, but it kicks off our Thanksgiving Break. And to that I have to say...


I would be lying if I said I wasn't counting down this day since the moment our toes left the sand on Fall Break

We've had a particularly crazy few months, and I am more than ready to kick back, relax, break out my stretchy pants (not to be confused with my typical yoga pants), and get my turkey on!

Even though this week has been crazy, it's been full of fun moments. Linking up as usual with some  of our favorite bloggers and sharing some of my favorites from this week.

It's been so warm here still that we've been able to enjoy playing outside a ton. I've been able to sneak in lots of extra playtime this week now that soccer season has ended, and its been fun to see what the kids have decided to do around our house. 

My neighbor and I were laughing because almost everyday the kids have run off the bus and gone straight to play at our "beach". The lake behind our homes is a lot lower than it normally is, so we now have a pretty decent sized flat area they can run up and down. 

L.C. was even excited to build a sand castle on her new beach. Sand...dirt...all the same right? 

Baby Cute is {this close} to fully walking. She gets a HUGE grin every time she attempts, but after a step or two she bails and speed crawls to her need. Now I thought L.C. was my independent one, but B.C. looks like she might be giving her a run for her money in that department. While we are outside she does not want to be held, and desperately tries to keep up after the big kids. 

Thankfully we still have our trusty favorite push car, and Miss Independent can feel like she is at least riding around with the big boys and girls. She cracks me up with how she "drives". 

Also, see those fun leggings I am wearing? 

These are totally a new favorite of mine. I was on a mission last week to get Cute some new cold weather athletic gear so he wouldn't freeze at his late night soccer game, and I spotted these leggings. I was smitten with the polka dots and after wearing them I am in love. 

Plus they are just so fun!

There are a ton of other fun options too! I am totally putting these on my Christmas list this year. 

(For size reference I am 5'2, and 115lbs - a small fit perfectly, and I might have been able to do an XS.)

Speaking of athletic wear and all things fitness - I sent this to Mr. Cute this week...

It made me giggle. 

Because it's true. 

He wasn't nearly as amused. 

Last month I fell off my reading kick for a bit, and I think I've figured out why. I love being able to actually hold a hard copy book, but being on the go all the time I realized they just weren't as convenient. When I read a book on the Kindle app on my phone I am able to "pick up" my book and read any time I have a few spare minutes. 

This month I transitioned back to the Kindle and I'm already a few books in. Heartless by Marissa Meyer has been my book for this week, and while I will wait to share my full review during Book Club, I just have to say - favorite!

I'm not sure what made me decide to purchase it. I've never read anything from Meyer before. And apparently this falls into the Young Adult category, but I've been sucked in. 

The story is kind of the untold beginning of how the Queen in Alice in Wonderland comes to be. It's not my usual read, but I. Can't. Put. It. Down. 

This week was filled full of Thanksgiving fun. Cute and B.C. each had a Thanksgiving program at their school and Cute's included a fun luncheon. The kids were beyond excited to eat a school lunch. 

I wasn't sure if my picky children would actually eat anything, but apparently I need to stop attempting to make any sort of meals, and just ask the school if they can hold a cooking class. 

I was 3v1 and didn't get a final picture, but The Cutes were literally fighting over the turkey cubes. 


Hair pulling and tears might have been involved. 

And then they found the chocolate cake and carton milk and all was right with the world.  

By the way, you can't really see it, but I absolutely love the tie neck shirt I am wearing. I found it at the same time I was getting a few this for Cute and I found the amazing tights I already mentioned. This top will definitely be in rotation throughout the holiday season. 

That wraps up some of my favorites for this week. Now off to spend the rest of the day with the littles as we round out the rest of our party and holiday fun, and then tomorrow we turn those alarms off for good. Give me all the hallelujah hand emojis! 

What were some of your favorite moments this week? 

We hope you have a great weekend! 

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