Birthday, Holidays, Life with Kiddos, Shopping

Advent Calendars 2021

These are the gifts that keep on giving!!! Who doesn’t want to open 12-24 tiny themed presents?!

These beauties make my day. Use them to countdown to holidays, birthdays, a trip, or to get through your hardest month of the year! I am way too passionate about these but…

🌟THEY ARE THE BEST!!!🌟

Here are some of my favorites for 2021!

McCrea’s Candies
Caramel Advent Calendar $39

New York Puzzle Company
New Yorker Advent Calendar – 24 Jigsaw Puzzles $200

Mondo Llama
12 Days of Crafting Advent Calendar $10

Palais des Thés
24 Days of Tea Advent Calendar $32

Build-A-Bear
Beary Merry Advent Calendar $49

Godiva
Advent Calendar 2021 $39

L’Occitane
24 days of irresistible beauty $79

Disney
Storybook Collection Advent Calendar $25

LEGO
Harry Potter Advent Calendar (and Board Game!) $31

Harry & David
12 Snacks of Christmas $31

Zuru 5 Surprise
Toy Mini Brands Advent Calendar $29

Benefit Cosmetics
The MORE, The Merrier Beauty Holiday Advent Calendar Set $65

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Health and Wellness, Shopping

Working Out at Home

People always come up to me and ask, “Erika, how do you stay in such great shape with three kids?!” …omg JK! 😂 I’m still recovering from my Covid-19lbs. BUT they do ask my husband and here are his best tips: jump rope almost everyday with the Crossrope* sets below (he says you have to have both sets). He also does push-ups and pull ups, but for planks and sit-ups he uses the Stealth Core Trainer daily.

Both the Crossrope and Stealth Trainer have optional monthly fee content but he uses the free content and is happy with that. I haven’t done the jump rope stuff (it’s intense!) but I do attempt the Stealth Core every blue moon and like it! It uses your phone and has cool video games you play to increase your core strength! My cousin’s 10 year old holds some of the records on these games!** Click the pictures below for more information and good luck on your fitness journey (or gifting towards someone else’s!):

Crossrope Jump Rope Get Strong Set

Crossrope Jump Rope Get Lean Set

Stealth Core Trainer

*Cousin Chris started the Crossrope trend and passed it on to us! Thanks Chris!

**Cousin Jimmy started the Stealth Core trend! Thanks Jimmy!

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Life with Kiddos, School Days, Shopping

🌟More Packed Lunch Ideas🌟 – easy freezer options ❄️ and leakproof water bottles 💧

In a quick follow up to my Packed Lunch post, I wanted to share these easy lunches you should have on hand in the freezer! These are so great and can cook while you’re helping kids with clothes or making breakfast in the morning before school. Click the pictures below for more details! I get them from Whole Foods but I’ve seen similar items at Target too 😍

Preheat Oven to 425, Cook 12 minutes, Place in Thermos 🦖
Preheat oven to 350, Cook 20 minutes, Place in Thermos 🙌
Preheat oven to 425, Cook 11 minutes, OR Microwave 2 minutes 40 seconds, Place in Thermos 🍕
Microwave 5 1/2 minutes, Let cool 1 minute; Place in Thermos 🍚
(I throw a soy sauce packet in the lunch pail too ☺️)


I divide whatever food above I heated into all of my kids thermos containers, throw in some ketchup in a small container, and then add an apple/raisins/banana and pretzels/goldfish/veggie chips to the bag and BAM easy lunch made!

Ketchup does not have to stay cold so I use these twist on top containers (any brand has worked) and they are great and easy for kids to close!

I also wanted to share the water bottle brand I have switched to that doesn’t leak: Pogo💙

The company is not paying me to talk them up but I have to share a quick story!!! My middle son chews on the loop on these and broke through them. I emailed Pogo and asked if I could buy just the lids. They sent me two more in two sizes for free!!!! I just had to provide my address!!! The product AND customer service is phenomenal at Pogo! My older son likes the stainless steel larger sizes and my 7yr old loves the 18oz. The ones below are probably better for kids Elementary school aged and older:

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Health and Wellness, Life with Kiddos, Lists and Printables, School Days, Shopping

75 Screenless Activities for Kids – and Adults too!!!

Anyone else have kids addicted to the digital heroin? Well mine are all screen junkies and the pandemic didn’t help.

We had Covid-19 in December of 2020 (the whole family) and my husband and I barely had enough energy to take care of the little people. The boys had mild symptoms and were fine after day two, but Aaron and I got worse and stayed knocked down for 10 days. No one could help us or we’d risk exposing them… so it was computer, tablet, and video game central over here.

Weaning the kids off their 24hrs/day screens was not easy and we are still struggling. We needed ideas so we came up with the following document:

Most of this you probably either already own, can make (check on Pinterest!), or can procure 🥳 (I put some fun ideas below). But having a list on hand is key. Tape it somewhere everyone will see it (we have ours by where the kids hang their backpacks).

Having bins labeled with said activities is my favorite way to organize AND it lets you rotate out ideas. The best is when I forget I have a bin full of fun and find it – everyone is so happy!!! 😂

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Life with Kiddos, Lists and Printables, School Days, Shopping

25 Packed Lunch Ideas (because packing school lunch is hard!)

I find that meal planning de-stresses my day. The difficulty isn’t always in finding ideas – it’s in lunch ideas that work for your family. Most idea lists do not work for my people so I have to combine several and experiment on my children (mwa ha ha). I try to do a protein, carb, fruit/vegetable, and something sweet or salty to round it all out. Here is what has worked THIS year (and yes my kids love to decide they cannot eat something anymore if I serve it too much or just cuz… so good luck!):

And yes I love a good Thermos! Character ones are a hit with my younger babes and the solid color (and larger) ones are great for my older kiddos and for camping!!! Here’s what I’m talking about (click below):

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Birthday, Life with Kiddos, Lists and Printables, Shopping

Birthday Party Planning Lists (free printables!)

Having just wrapped (hehe) up a birthday party I thought that maybe my birthday party basics checklist and some ideas could help reduce your stress level with these mini-holidays:

This is honestly the simplest birthday checklist but all together you have a super special day! Switch it up too! Put a candle in a burger and have a cookout! Make a stack of pancakes and put rainbow sprinkles in the syrup! Nothing has to cost a lot of money to make someone feel special – just make sure you are keeping that special birthday person’s interests in mind with what you decide to do 🙂 Here’s links to a few ideas:

But let’s say that special birthdayer wants something more than basic. Here’s a few party and event ideas I have collectively hosted over the years! Mix and Match themes – add some more to the list!

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