Mother’s Day Messages: Greetings, Letters, and Comments for Mom, Stepmom, Mother-in-Law, and Grandmother

Mother’s Day is a special time to remind your mom, stepmother, mother-in-law, or grandmother how much you care. You can do this with Mother’s Day messages, greeting cards, letters, e-mails, and comments in person. While we probably spend time with these special women all throughout the year, Mother’s Day is a great time to recognize them and show how much we appreciate them.

No matter if you are spending Mother’s Day with your mom or not, you can still show your love with a simple, heartfelt Mother’s Day message, card, letter, or other greeting. If you are married, don’t forget to prepare a little Mother’s Day greeting for your mother-in-law as well. You can also do this for your boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s mom – she’s sure to appreciate it. If you don’t have time to pick out a gift, your mother figures may still appreciate a small gesture like a gift card for Mother’s Day.

Consider these tips for writing your own Mother’s Day messages, greetings, letters, and comments for mom, stepmom, and mom-in-law.

Send happy wishes and messages to mom, stepmom, mother-in-law, and grandmom on Mother's Day.A Special Mother’s Day Wish for Mom
Send your mom or other maternal figure a special Mother’s Day wish in May. Tell your mom, stepmom, mother-in-law, or grandmom what you wish for her on that special day. You can send best wishes for a day full of fun and love, happy memories, or peace and relaxation.

If you aren’t spending Mother’s Day together with your special maternal lady, consider sending a wish that you could spend some time together soon. You can wish for happiness, success, good health, love, fun, and so much more. Think about everything that matters to your mom, and let her know that you wish for all of that and more.

Here are some Mother’s Day phrases and comments you can include in your greeting for your mom:
–    Wishing you all the best this day and always, Mom!
–    There’s nothing like a mother’s love to give us all the strength we need to succeed. Thanks for everything, Mom.
–    Sending you happy wishes for lots of love and relaxation.
–    Mom, I can’t begin to thank you for always being there and for all you’ve done. With Love, [name]
–    Happy Mother’s Day to the best mom in the world!

Heartfelt Mother’s Day Sentiments for Stepmom
Sharing heartfelt thoughts and sentiments with your stepmom on Mother’s Day can be a delicate yet much appreciated situation. You surely don’t want you stepmom to feel left out if you are her only (step)child, but you also don’t want to hurt your mom’s feelings or cause any undue anguish on Mother’s Day if your parents’ divorce is still too fresh or simply wasn’t amicable. You can always send a Mother’s Day greeting card through the mail if this helps to ease the tension and keep your gesture more private. Of course, you should only do something if it is within your comforts.

If you decide to share some loving thoughts with your stepmom on Mother’s Day, you can easily find a nice Mom’s Day greeting card that isn’t overly gushing on the words “Mom” and “Mother.” In fact, some greeting card lines even offer cards for stepmother and mother-in-law, so you should be able to find an appropriate greeting for your stepmom without feeling like you are betraying your own mom.

Consider some of these ideas for stepmom messages and sentiments on Mother’s Day:
–    I want you to know you are a very special part of my life. Thank you for your love and support.
–    Thinking of you on Mother’s Day and wishing you lots of love.
–    Happy Mother’s Day to a very special woman in my life. With love and appreciation, [name]

Thoughtful Mother’s Day Greeting for Mother-in-Law and Grandmother…

How to Celebrate Your First Mother’s Day

Spend time with your little one for Mother's Day.

If this is your very first Mother’s Day as a new mom, congratulations! What an exciting time this is for you and your family. Whether you’ve waited a long time for your first Mother’s Day or if it completely snuck up on you, be sure to take some special time to celebrate and rejoice in the new bundle of joy you’ve welcomed into your home.

If you are planning your first Mother’s Day celebration, think about how you’ve imagined it would be, or how you want to remember it. Decide who you will include in this very special Mother’s Day holiday. Will you spend Mom’s Day with just your husband and new baby, or will you include your own mother or possibly your mother-in-law in the day’s festivities?

Consider these ideas for a first Mother’s Day to help you plan a special holiday with your loved ones.

The Romantic 1st Mother’s Day
If you will be spending your first Mother’s Day with your husband or boyfriend and new baby, a romantic first Mom’s Day is not fully out of the question. You can do the tried-and-true dinner and a movie date for Mother’s Day or go for a more relaxed yet equally romantic candlelit dinner in the comfort of your home. Your new baby can still be by your side and very much a part of your special day.

It is important to celebrate the romance you share with your partner on Mother’s Day. The whole reason you are celebrating your first Mother’s Day stems from the love you share with your spouse or sweetheart. Take special time together with the baby, but don’t forget to spend a few precious moments with your husband, too.

The Relaxing 1st Mother’s Day
If you are done with the hustle and bustle and just want to relax for your first Mother’s Day, your husband will probably be happy to hear it! You can do the easy and relaxing thing for Mom’s Day this year since you have a new baby to tend to, most likely keeping you running at full pace. For a relaxing first Mother’s Day, consider the dinner and a movie date at home.

Agree on your favorite local place and place a takeout order. Enjoy your meal and watch a movie together on the couch – either one you’ve rented or something OnDemand, or even a televised movie – preferably something you both haven’t seen before, or perhaps one of your all-time favorites. After your food has a chance to settle, enjoy a little something sweet. Definitely do not skip dessert on your very first Mother’s Day!

The Social 1st Mother’s Day
Maybe your little one is a complete angel and makes your job as new mom easy. Maybe you have a lot of help so you aren’t as exhausted as you could be. Or, maybe you just got back from vacation so your batteries are already recharged. Whatever the case, if you are up for a social, on-the-go first Mother’s Day, be sure to gather your favorite moms (your own mom, stepmom, mother-in-law, or friends and family members with their own kids) and plan a special Mother’s Day bash.

For the social first Mother’s Day, consider doing a picnic or barbeque (weather permitting), a special dinner at a restaurant, or a nice casual gathering at someone’s home. You can all bring photos of your kids and the first-time moms can all socialize their babies with beloved friends and family. It’s a win-win for everyone!

No matter how you decide to celebrate your first Mother’s Day, it is sure to be memorable. Be sure to soak it all up and try not to let any of the small things ruin your special day. Take a few pictures, enjoy a few sweets, and don’t forget to say “I love you” to those special people in your life. Enjoy!

Celebrate Earth Day with Fun Activities and Crafts

AsterNovi-belgii-flower-1mbDepending on the ages of your children, you can find a number of really cool and fun Earth Day ideas to do with your kids. From preschool Earth Day crafts for your youngest child to more sophisticated Earth Day crafts and activities, you can find a wealth of fun and interesting things to do with your family for Earth Day. Whether you have a teenager or a preschooler or another age group entirely, put your creativity to work and enjoy interesting Earth Day ideas with your loved ones.

A few favorite Earth Day ideas for children and parents include planting a tree, planting and learning about seeds, learning about composing, and creating birdfeeders for use around your own home. To help teach your kiddos about Earth Day, consider these Earth Day ideas and activities.

Earth Day Crafts for Preschool Kids through Teens
Earth Day activities for kids can range from Earth-friendly crafts to singing songs, to cleaning up the neighborhood, to planting a tree, making a birdfeeder, or any other number of Earth Day ideas. Depending on the age of your kids, you can surely find something fun and exciting to do for Earth Day.

A few preschool Earth Day crafts may include coloring pictures of trees and nature, exploring the great outdoors, and learning about different kinds of trees, flowers, plants, and leaves. You can encourage your preschool aged child to recycle and to make less trash, but it may be more effective to focus on the fun aspects of Earth Day.

Making a bird feeder with pine cones, peanut butter or suet, and birdseed can be a fun activity for the whole family to enjoy, and the birds will love it! You can also encourage your kids to make trash sculptures out of things you would otherwise recycle or throw away. In addition to bird feeders, it can be fun to plant seeds for a little garden or to learn about composing, rain barrels, and other eco-friendly gardening activities.

If Earth Day falls on a weekend or at a time when you can spend the entire day with your family or at least your kids, try to find an Earth Day festival in your local area or at least within driving distance. An Earth Day festival can be fun for your little ones as well as your teenagers, so try to visit an Earth Day festival at least once for your family’s enjoyment. Earth Day festivals usually have countless activities and learning stations that are great for kids (and adults!) of any age.

Earth Day Songs and Music
A great way to educate your kids about Earth Day and how to save the planet is to introduce your children to themed songs and music selections. Even popular musicians like Jack Johnson get into the groove with saving the Earth – “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” is a popular, catchy, and memorable tune to play around Earth Day.

You can search for popular Earth Day songs and music on You’ll be sure to find everything from rock stars doing their part to save the environment to educational ditties that are perfect for your school-aged children or even Earth Day lesson plans. If you are feeling especially ambitious, consider making your kids an Earth Day themed CD or iTunes playlist.

Earth Day Party Ideas
If one of your family members has a birthday falling on or around Earth Day, you can have a lot of fun preparing and planning with an eco-friendly perspective. You can have a garden party theme featuring birdhouses and watering cans for centerpieces or a simple outdoor party with natural décor of your own landscape.

To keep your Earth Day party green, turn to earth-friendly paper plates, bowls, and other party goods, like CVS Pharmacy’s Earth Essentials Biodegradable Sugar Cane Bowls and Plates. These items are of top quality and they are quite lovely for paper plates and bowls. Can you believe they biodegrade in only one to three months’ time? I had the pleasure of testing these out with messy chocolate cake and ice cream – not one drop leaked through the plates or bowls. I highly recommend these eco-friendly party goods to keep your celebration as green as can be.

In addition to birthday parties, you can also plan your own Earth Day party to celebrate the environment and the Earth itself. Ask each of your guests to share a favorite tip to help save the environment. When it’s time to go, present each guest of your Earth Day party with a party bag that includes a packet or two of seeds and even a baby tree if you like.

Keep Reading for the Top 10 Ways to Go Green for Earth Day or Any Day…

Tips on Writing an Easter Message or Sending an Easter Wish to Loved Ones

It may not always be possible to see all of your loved ones on a particular holiday, so sending special Easter messages, letters, or greeting cards this time of year can really make a nice impact if your presence isn’t a possibility. Share your Easter sentiments with your loved ones through Easter messages, greeting cards, comments, text messages, or even just a simple phone call.

Easter may not be as popular a holiday as Christmas and Thanksgiving, but the idea of sending Easter messages or wishes can be perfect to show your family, friends, and loved ones how much you care. Consider these tips on writing an Easter message or sending an Easter wish to loved ones to help you collect your thoughts.

Spending Easter Apart from a Significant Other – Share an Easter Wish
Many times before you’re married, holidays get spent with immediate family and maybe extended relatives. If you won’t be seeing your boyfriend, girlfriend, or fiancé for the Easter holiday, consider sending a special Easter greeting card complete with its own handwritten Easter wish. You can share an Easter wish with your significant other to express how you feel and how much you look forward to getting together next.

Another option for an Easter message for your significant other would be to pen a poem or a song for your sweetheart. You can share handwritten verse or lyrics expressing your love and tying in elements of nature from the freshly sprung spring season.

Spending Easter Apart from Grandparents – Send Easter Greetings
More than likely, your grandparents will truly appreciate an Easter greeting card with sentiments you personally inscribe. You can personalize your Easter greetings for your grandparents by including a letter with some details on the recent happenings in your life, or you can include recent photographs of yourself and your family.

If your grandparents are the gambling type or even if they enjoy a little game of chance, consider including a few scratch-off lottery tickets in their Easter greetings. Remember to hand-write a special note to your grandmom and grandpop to let them know how much you care, that you miss them, and you can’t wait to spend time together soon. You can even deliver your special messages on the phone. Even if you will be spending the Easter holiday together with your grandparents, a handwritten Easter card can still go a long way to show you much you love them.

Spending Easter Apart from Parents or Siblings – Send Easter messages or letters
Perhaps this is the year you spend Easter with your in-laws. If you won’t be able to see your parents, siblings, or immediate family for Easter, consider sending an email or a text message to each family member. You could also stick a handwritten or typed letter in the mail. You should probably call your parents on the phone, but you can also send a greeting card or a letter to share your feelings at Easter.

You might also consider sending flowers to your mom with a special Easter message. You can base your Easter communications on how your family normally interacts. If you can’t spend this Easter with your family, try to make arrangements in the future to spend Easter together if you like. You can also plan an alternative get-together in the near future.

Easter Comments to Consider
Consider these key themes and ideas as you prepare your Easter comments:

Romantic Easter Comments
–    Beautiful spring flowers and nature remind me of our love.
–    Our love blossoms and grows like a new bud in spring.

Easter Comments for Family
–    Thinking of you and wishing we could be celebrating the holiday together. Happy Easter!
–    Despite the distance between us, you’re here in our hearts this Easter.
–    Wishing we could be together for Easter, but sending our love just the same!

Easter Comments for Friends
–    Wishing you and your family a lovely spring and a Happy Easter!
–    Thinking of you at this special time and wishing you a wonderful Easter holiday.
–    Happy Easter!

Remember to share your special Easter messages and an Easter wish with all those who are near and dear to you. Whether by phone, text message, email, letter, greeting card, or other form of communication, your special Easter messages will show your loved ones that you care and that they’re on your mind. Happy Easter!

Choosing Easter Flowers for Mom, Mother-in-Law, and Grandmother

Giving a gift of Easter flowers is a very nice gesture for family and friends. Your mother, grandmother, or mother-in-law will appreciate the flowers, which can serve as a symbol of thanks or a symbol of hospitality. As you think about the different types of Easter flowers, keep in mind your recipient’s favorite colors, fragrances, and preferences, if you know them. If not, don’t worry – your gift of Easter flowers will still make a great statement of thanks and appreciation.

Consider the following tips to help you select beautiful and fragrant Easter flowers for your mom, grandmother, or mother-in-law.

Different Types of Easter Flowers
Some of the earliest flowers to bloom when spring gets here are daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, and Easter lilies. You can find daffodils in yellow, white, or even a blend of white and pink or peach. Hyacinths most commonly come in pink, purple, blue, and white. Easter lilies feature white trumpet shaped blossoms on hardy green stems. Tulips come in just about every color imaginable, with many boasting a pretty two-toned or tie-dyed effect.

You can choose a perfect plant or bouquet from the different types of Easter flowers available, keeping in mind your mom’s, grandmother’s, or mother-in-law’s favorite types of flowers, favorite colors, or preferred fragrance. If you don’t know the best Easter flower off the top of your head, simply take your best guess – it is hard to go wrong with a gift of flowers!

Tips on Giving Easter Flowers as a Gift
Giving Easter flowers as a gift is a great option when you want to show appreciation for those you love. You can give pretty spring flowers as a gift when you go visiting for the Easter holiday or you can offer Easter flowers as a take-home gift if you are hosting the holiday at your own home. Consider these tips on giving Easter flowers as a gift in the springtime.

•    Consider giving each important female figure in your family or in-laws their own Easter flowers.

•    Think about giving potted flowers at Easter instead of a bouquet. Your recipient can plant the bulbs to keep the flowers coming back every year.

•    If you are hosting the Easter holiday, use the flowers as part of your décor and then offer them as parting gifts to your special guests.

•    If you do opt for live flowers, remind your recipients that they can plant the bulbs for new blooms next year.

You can usually find pretty spring flowers at your local nursery and even your grocery store or pharmacy from time to time. Be sure to water the flowers if you buy them in advance. If you opt for cut flowers, consider pairing the bouquet up with a nice glass vase to keep them fresh and fragrant. Enjoy!

Great Gifts for Pregnant Mommies and New Moms

Consider these great gifts for pregnant / expectant women.What kind of gift do you get for a new mom or a pregnant woman without overdoing the baby clothes and accessories? Sometimes a special gift with the mom herself in mind can be the best kind of gift. From pampering products to stylish nursing clothes, gifts for expecting moms and new moms have come a long, long way.  You might just have to get a little creative.

As you plan to select a gift for your pregnant friend or family member, remember to keep her personal tastes in mind. That can greatly help you in selecting a personal gift that is both useful and meaningful. Consider these gift ideas for pregnant mommies and new moms.

Gift Idea #1: Toe Stretchers, Yoga Toes, or Pampered Toes
Yoga Toes are great for pregnant moms.Sometimes the extra weight and the sheer exhaustion of being pregnant can cause pains in the feet, back, and other parts of the body. To help alleviate some of the discomfort, consider getting your expectant friend a set of toe stretchers like Yoga Toes or Pampered Toes by the maker of the Ped Egg. You can be sure she will appreciate the few moments of relaxation these types of products can provide to a tired mom-to-be.

Toe stretchers like Pampered Toes and Yoga Toes can range in price greatly. I recently picked up a pair of Pampered Toes at Bed Bath and Beyond for only $5, with the regular price being about $10. However, the Yoga Toes product typically sells for around $50 if my memory serves me. No matter what you decide, your friend’s body will thank you for it.

Gift Idea #2: French Toile Nightgown by Expressiva Nursingwear
Even new moms like to feel sexy during and after their pregnancies. A nightgown that is stylish and comfortable at the same time fits the bill for a perfect gift for an expectant mommy. The French Toile Nightgown by Expressiva Nursingwear is decked out in a fashionable red and cream pattern with lace trim at the bottom of the skirt and all the way around the bust area. The pattern includes hearts, flowers, and a bunch of swirls, curves, and abstract shapes, similar to paisley.

The French Etoile Nightgown by Expressiva - reviewThe bra cups for this comfy nursing nightgown are triangle shapes with adjustable straps and little clippies that easily unclip to reveal the hidden nursing area for easy breastfeeding while still keeping you covered up from sight. It seems like the folks at Expressiva have thought of every last detail in this lovely French Toile Nightgown. The style, pattern, and cut are gorgeous for any pregnant mommy or new mom. The fabric is soft and luxurious; a blend of polyester, rayon, and spandex. Add a pair of slippers and you have the perfect gift set. While I am neither pregnant nor a new mom at this point in my life, I am definitely going to remember this brand and their attention to quality when I am!

Expressiva specializes in nursing clothes for moms, such as supportive nursing bras, nursing nightgowns and pjs, nursing tops, and a nursing dress for special occasions. For more information, please visit

Gift Idea #3: Gift Certificate to a Spa, Salon, or Other Special Store
Give the new mom or mom-to-be some special “me-time” with a gift certificate for something utterly indulgent like a day spa or high end salon. Your expectant friend can get a new haircut or indulge in a massage whenever she feels up to it following her pregnancy. A new haircut can help her feel sexy and sassy while a massage can truly rejuvenate her body and mind.

If the special mom-to-be isn’t a spa kind of gal, perhaps a gift certificate to a fancy boutique would do the trick. You can also look into gift certificates to nearby restaurants so she and her husband can escape for a romantic meal once things settle down.

No matter what, though, keep your friend’s preferences, likes, and dislikes in mind as you scope out her gift. All of these suggestions may not be a great fit for every expecting mom ever, but hopefully you can find the right gift in this list or while using this list as inspiration.

Valentine Gift Ideas for Girls (Daughters, Nieces, etc.)

Little girls, much like their mommies, can be very easy to shop for… Sometimes all we need, as parents, is a little nudge in the right direction.

Vermont Nut Free Chocolates are a safe and delicious Valentine gift option.If your girls are anything like mine, they love frilly bows and hair ties; they love dolls and pets and tea parties, clothes and perfumes and nail polish. Girls love just about anything, as long as it’s pink and pretty. If that’s the case for the beautiful girls in your life, we’ve got you covered.

Life Love Beauty has teamed up with some wonderfully willing companies, to provide a gift guide, with suggestions, that can help make shopping for your little Valentine a synch – HAVE a WONDERFUL VALENTINES DAY!

Gifts under $30.00

Try a Hello Kitty yoga mat and Wii Fit carrying case as an exciting Valentine's gift for your daughter.Hello Kitty Yoga Mat and Carry Case for Wii Fit is an awesome find. It’s perfect for any girl who is fascinated with Hello Kitty and has a Wii fit. It’s really cute and the mat has a huge picture of Hello Kitty on it. It’s all pink and totally worthy of gifting it as an add-on to their Wii collection.

Though we don’t own a Wii right now, I do work out daily and my kids enjoy working out with me. I recently purchased a yoga mat for my daily exercising regimen, but it isn’t half as pretty and cutesy as this Hello Kitty one. I’m kinda jealous. Over all, it’s a really cute gift that would delight any girl.

ARP: $24.96
Available at: and

Gifts under $20.00

Vermont Nut Free Chocolates are a safe and delicious Valentine gift option.Vermont Nut Free Chocolates – now what child wouldn’t want chocolates – especially if its luscious milk & dark chocolate shaped like little bite sized hearts (wrapped in beautifully decorated foil)? It makes for a great gift for any man, woman, or child. You’ll find more than your heart can handle at Vermont Chocolates. There’s butter crunch, cookies, truffles, and more.

I received an assortment of chocolates (and a bag of Jelly beans) to try. The girls were more than thrilled to sink their teeth into the heart shaped chocolate-pops. After those were demolished, it was onto the bite sized heart candies. The jelly beans (in our home, we call them jelly bellies) were a huge hit for the whole family. We sat together at the table and munched away, chatting about all the flavors and trading for favorites.

ARP: Prices vary depending on the quantity
Available at:

Demeter Fragrances are a unique Valentine gift option for kids.Demeter Fragrances will change the way you think about perfumes, body sprays, and home sprays. From ice cream cones to chocolate covered cherries and Sweethearts to Hershey’s, kids (and grown-ups alike) will have a hard time deciding just what fragrance they’d like to call their very own.

Getting hooked on fragrances from Demeter is not hard to do. The prices are very affordable and the products make for a very unique and desired gift to those mad about sweets. Even if candy’s not your thing, they offer such a broad variety of smells that it’s virtually impossible to resist the temptations of purchasing a collection, or two. If a unique gift is what you’re looking for, Demeter has just what you need.

ARP: prices vary according to single and/or collection sets
Available at: and

Gifts under $10.00

Consider the Core Headphones Organizer as a great gift option for music lovers.Cable Organizer is the place to go online for ear phones, cables, connectors and other such accessories. Cable Organizer specializes in helping make those unsightly cords, cables, and connectors not so unsightly. Organization, after all, is the key to a happy place.

Pink cable earphones are also a lovely Valentine gift.I received a beautiful pink set of ear phones by iLuv along with The CORE headphone cord manager by Handstands. I would have never thought that a cord manager could make such a difference in someone’s mobility (on the move). After seeing the two gifts together, combining the cord manager with this cute pink pair of ear phones could get you a few unexpected kisses from your little music lover. My cheeks are still being rewarded.

Each is priced at: ARP $4.99
Available at: or by visiting the brand’s official Web site

Popular Hello Kitty is a great theme for your Valentine's gifts, especially with this cute Hello Kitty heart speaker.Hello Kitty Mini Heart Speakers are an amazingly cute Valentine gift idea for girls. This mini speaker fits into anything that plays sound or has an earphone connection. The sound that comes from this single speaker is amazing. It’s not muffled nor is the sound distorted in any way. It’s a gift that can be not only useful for them, but cute too.

My girls loved it, but, they couldn’t help it. They love, love, love Hello Kitty and boy, how they love their music. It has definitely been used more times than I can count. What’s funny is, I’ve even bought single speakers similar to this in the past, but they never got the same use or reaction that the Hello Kitty Mini Heart speaker got. In saying this, I can pretty much bet that it’ll be a big hit in your home, too.

ARP: $9.99
Available at:

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and, from all of us here at Life Love Beauty, thanks for stopping by! I’m sure you’ll find the perfect gift, so don’t stress too much.

Products provided free to writer for review

Disclosure: Each company listed above provided product(s) as a sample of what they have to offer. With these products; I was able to form an opinion based on my use. I claim no liability for anyone who feels differently. Results may vary. Please go to sponsors’ official website for more information on the products of interest. Thank you.

Last minute Gift Idea for the Kids: Girl Gourmet Delectable Sweets Product Line

I can’t tell you enough how much fun this was – sitting with the girls, watching them create jewelry and cakes, and then eating all the goodies afterwards – YUM!!

Girl Gourmet Bead Kit Product Review

I was given the wonderfully fun opportunity to try – not one, but two Girl Gourmet products from JAKKS PACIFIC. Every moment the girls and I spent creating these delicious yummies were priceless. They thanked me for being a “reviewer” and then sent out a huge THANK YOU to Janis (JAKKS PACIFIC) and Kate (Life Love Beauty) for the wonderful products the girls were able to take part in reviewing.

The girls, for years, have been asking me to get them the typical “kid bakery” kit that you can normally buy at the local super store, but unfortunately it never happened.  So needless to say, Girl Gourmet Bead Kit Product Reviewwhen they received the Girl Gourmet Cake Bakery and the Girl Gourmet Sweets Candy Bead Studio in the mail, it was all they could do to stay calm and “grown up” about it. I literally had to tell them to stop screaming a time or two because their voices were SO LOUD. I was honestly afraid the neighbors would think I was beating my kids or something.

Yes, they were filled with tears of joy, screams, and laughs. I swear it took me forever to set everything out. I even think the most agonizing moment of the “review”, for the girls, was sitting there waiting for me to set out the kits and take the pictures – I couldn’t help but laugh inside a few times.

So, without further adieu…

Girl Gourmet Bead Kit Product Review

Girl Gourmet Bead Kit Product Review

Girl Gourmet Bead Kit Product Review

Girl Gourmet Bead Kit Product Review

Girl Gourmet Bead Kit Product Review

Girl Gourmet Bead Kit Product Review

Let me begin by sharing my thoughts on the Girl Gourmet Sweets Candy Bead Studio, since this was the kit we tried first.

Girl Gourmet Bead Kit Product Review

Where to begin… candy, candy, and more candy, that’s where! This kit is filled to the brim with candy galore. From the necklace string (candy) to the beads (candy) and the glitter & markers (candy) to the “glue” (candy) – everything is completely edible and considered a must-see! I should know, my girls made tons of great jewelry pieces and there was still a ton left over for my son and friend to make something special, not to mention all the candy that was eaten in between.

Girl Gourmet Sweets Candy Bead Studio comes complete with every candy imaginable (for making the perfect bracelet or necklace… 24 uniquely created ones at that), as well as the licorice rope, frosting glue tube, edible-ink markers, sprinkles, gummies, the instructional booklet (to help give ideas on what to create) and more. The suggested retail price is $19.99 and is recommended for kids ages 8 and up.

Girl Gourmet Bead Kit Product ReviewThe Candy Bead Studio was a blast and a huge hit in my home, and I’m not just talking about the little ones. My sixteen-year-old son made his girlfriend a necklace filled, from one end to the other, with candy and a dear friend of mine (30 years old) made a beautiful “I love you” necklace for her hubby. Everyone agreed that this was a must have, as a gift, for anyone at all, even grownups! So, if you’re having a problem trying to find that perfect gift for your kids, a sweet Valentine gift, a secret Santa Party, or just because… this is the product you need. It will bring tons of laughs and unimaginable fun to any party.

I can’t stress how much fun this kit is for the whole family – no matter what your age, you’re going to LOVE the Girl Gourmet Sweets Candy Bead Studio!

Next up we have the Girl Gourmet Cake Bakery…

Valentine Gifts for Kids – Demeter Product Review

Consider Demeter Fragrances as Valentine's gifts for your kids.Kids are such a blessing! From the minute they come into our lives, they gift us with so many priceless moments. They are the apple of our eyes, the beat in our hearts, and the spunk in our steps. In a nutshell, kids are miraculous balls of happiness rolled into one little being.

This Valentine’s Day, go a step further; give your child sugars and spice with everything nice. And no, I’m not talking candy here (although that wouldn’t hurt either). I’m talking fragrances with your child’s favorite candy in mind.

Demeter has one of the widest, largest, and most unique fragrance collections I’ve ever seen. I can’t even begin to tell you the countless number of intriguing smells they have to offer. I can only say that you’ll go crazy with the array of choices you’ll have.

Consider Demeter Fragrances as Valentine's gifts for your kids.Some of the cool (candy) fragrance collections include (but not limited too): Hershey’s, Jelly Belly, Tootsie Roll, Sweethearts, Sweet Delights, and more. I’m telling you – it’s a virtual gold mine for fragrances.

The wonderful people at Demeter sent me not one, not two, but six awesome “kid-geared” smells to try out. The girls were more than ecstatic about receiving their very own bottles; regrettably, they were not as eager to share them.  I was happy to be appointed “neck smeller”; otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to sniff a single scent.

Demeter is a Bath & Body Home fragrance company that is proud to be unique, simple, subtle, fun, easy and affordable – they are 100%. You simply cannot resist smiling every time you open the cap to one of the fragrances. The smells will either draw you to a memory from the past or whisk you away to new and unforeseen territories. The only CON to the whole experience with Demeter is not being able to decide on which fragrance you want to try first. There’s far too many to choose from (and I say this in the most appreciative way possible) and not enough days in a year to try them all. I have literally spent hours going through Demeter’s fragrances only to be stuck with no less than 10 items in my shopping cart. This includes home sprays too.

If you’re looking for something unique, fun, and affordable this Valentine’s Day, please consider taking a peak at Demeter’s online store. You’ll be amazed with the wide array of fragrances to choose from as well as the unbeatable prices offered; not to mention the ongoing sales – I love sales. The girls and I totally recommend this to everyone… doesn’t matter how young or old you are – we guarantee you’ll love the way you smell.

Disclosure: As stated in this review, I received six fragrance samples, for free, via Demeter. In return, I give you, the reader, thoughts I’ve gathered on Demeter’s products (through personal experiences). The opinions within this post are mine, therefore I claim no responsibility for anyone who may (or may not) agree. Thank you.

Top 10 Gifts for Your Children on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be just for sweethearts! You can spring for a small gift for your son or daughter to show how much you care. A gift for as little as $1 or as much as you would like to spend can instill a very fond memory and impression of Cupid’s day of love for your little ones. …But what kind of gift should you get for your son or daughter on Valentine’s Day?

Depending on the ages of your children, you can find a suitable Valentine’s Day gift for your daughter or son just about anywhere. Here are our top 10 gifts for your children on Valentine’s Day.

1.    Toys – Stuffed animals, action figures, Barbies, and other kids’ toys can be a great Valentine’s gift for your son or daughter.

2.    Games – Board games and video games can be a great Valentine’s gift for your son or daughter. The Ladybug Game by Zobmondo brand is a fun game for kids as young as three years old. This game is open to two to four players and features an adventure in the garden for the ladybugs who are trying to get home without running into too much trouble with some of the garden pests. Your child can learn about bugs and flowers while having fun playing this game.

3.    Candy – Valentine’s PEZ, candy hearts, cinnamon red hots, or any of your kids’ favorite candies will be much appreciated. If your budget is low this year for Valentine’s Day gifts, a small candy gift could be the perfect fix.

4.    Movies – A children’s movie may be the perfect gift for your kids this Valentine’s Day. If you have a boy and a girl, you might want to get two different kids’ movies to satisfy both your children.

5.    Music – Valentine gifts of music can be a great way to reach out to your teen or preteen child. If you know what bands your kids like, and you already know which music albums they have, a gift of their most desired new CD – or an iTunes gift card – could be the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.

6.    Perfume / Cologne – As your sons and daughters start to get older, a gift of perfume or cologne could be a great way to give them a gift that is mature yet also age appropriate. Fragrances by Jessica Simpson, Hilary Duff, and Britney Spears can be a great option for Valentine gifts for your daughters.

7.    Art Sets / Model Kits – Arts and crafts kits and model kits can be a fun and educational gift for your children on Valentine’s Day. This type of gift can also be enjoyable for parents and children to use together.

8.    Tickets to a Special Event – Sometimes the gift of an experience shared together is cherished far beyond any material gifts. A special Valentine’s Day gift of tickets to a sporting event or concern could be a good way to bond with your child as well.

9.    Jewelry or a Watch – Jewelry and watches are classic Valentine’s Day gifts for sweethearts as well as for children. You can get your son a watch or get your daughter a locket, bracelet, or a pair of earrings to show how much you care.

10.    A Card with Money – When all else fails, a Valentine’s Day card signed by you accompanied by a $5 bill (or more if you can spare it) makes a very special holiday for your child.

No matter what you decide, spending at least part of Valentine’s Day with your kids could be gift enough. Make special time with your children even if you are already planning an extra-special date with your spouse or significant other. You could make Valentine’s together, watch a movie, or simply share some gourmet chocolates right out of the box. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Five Ways to Celebrate the Holidays with a Sick or Terminally Ill Family Member or Friend

We all know the holidays can be everything from stressful and hectic to romantic, relaxing, and satisfying. Sometimes a combination of emotions encompasses the holiday, leaving us scrambling to figure out just how we really do feel. When you throw in the element of a sick or terminally ill family member or friend, you might suddenly feel numb and unsure of how to proceed through your holidays.

Many times what we need to remember is that our loved ones need us in their times of struggle. Whether they are hoping and waiting for a cure or beyond all hope, those who are sick or terminally ill really do appreciate our thoughts, prayers, and especially our time in visiting them and reminding them how much we care.


“When the harshness of reality assaults your everyday existence, there are bigger concerns than how to decorate your tree or which wrapping paper to buy,” says Joni Aldrich, author of The Saving of Gordon: Lifelines to W-I-N Against Cancer (Cancer Lifeline Publications, 2009, ISBN: 978-1-4392550-3-2, $19.95). “The thing is—unless you move to a cave!—the holiday season will impact your life, whether you want it to or not. But if you step back and think about the true reasons for the season—mercy, caring, and humanity—the holidays that seem so difficult can also hold invaluable gifts.”

Author Joni Aldrich lost her husband Gordon in his two-year battle against cancer in 2006. In her book, The Saving of Gordon, she offers the following tips on five ways that you can celebrate the holidays with a sick or terminally ill friend or loved one.

1.    “Don’t wait for the “right time”—just go.”
“Visiting an ill loved one is going to be hard. Know that, and choose to move forward anyway,” says Aldrich. “When you do visit, consider the needs of the patient and his or her family. Call in advance, and take your cues from the family regarding the duration of your visit. Consider the well-being of the patient, and err on the side of caution when choosing to visit. If you are under the weather yourself—even if it’s just a sniffle or a cough—consider a phone conversation instead, or wear a mask. Also, avoid wearing strong perfumes or colognes.”

2.    “Visit the patient and the caregivers.”
“Whatever you do, don’t avoid the family because you are uncertain of how to approach them in a difficult situation,” instructs Aldrich. “Call often, bring food, and offer prayers. These ‘gifts’ will be appreciated by the patient and by his or her family. It is very painful when the family expects that support, and ultimately doesn’t receive it.”

3.    “Avoid preconceived expectations.”
“Always gauge the patient’s mood as acutely as you can,” Aldrich says. “It’s helpful if she is forthcoming about what would give her the most comfort, but she may not be able to express her feelings and needs that easily. Make the visit about the patient, whether that means that you end up laughing, crying, reminiscing, or even leaving until a more convenient time.”

4.    “Be sensitive to changes in the holiday routine.”
“If a holiday party does take place, take extra care not to go off into a corner to whisper with other friends and acquaintances,” Aldrich urges. “The last thing your ill loved one needs or wants is to feel like he is the cause of speculation or sadness. Similarly, there will be tears, so let them come. Sometimes the patient won’t want to see them, so you may have to steal some private time. Whatever you do, don’t shut yourself off completely from the patient or from your feelings.”

5.    “Remember that the best gifts can’t be wrapped.”
“Don’t forget that a hug is one of the most powerful gifts that can be exchanged,” says Aldrich. “A kind word is another. A sympathetic ear is often the best present you can offer, along with a strong shoulder to cry on. Make sure that your ill loved one and his or her family know that you are available to help at any time, whether that means a grocery store run, an extra pair of hands to help hang holiday decorations, a night out for the patient’s family, or going to get a prescription filled. Prayer is the most blessed gift of all—pray together, pray separately, and pray often.”

“Ultimately, you will be blessed because of the comfort and love you have given to a family who needs it,” promises Aldrich. “You will have experienced the true meaning of Christmas—giving a gift to others that is much more valuable than anything you could ever wrap in a box. This holiday season, the precious time you spend with your ill loved one will offer hope and comfort, and it will supply precious memories that you will cherish for the rest of your life.”

About the Expert:
Joni James Aldrich is the author of The Saving of Gordon: Lifelines to W-I-N Against Cancer (Cancer Lifeline Publications, 2009, ISBN: 978-1-4392550-3-2, $19.95) and The Cancer Patient W-I-N Book: Our Cancer Fight Journal and of the upcoming book The Losing of Gordon: A Beacon Through the Storm Called “Grief.” For more information, please visit You can buy The Saving of Gordon: Lifelines to W-I-N Against Cancer on (plus it’s eligible for free super saver shipping!).

Satisfying the Male Appetite Isn’t Easy Unless You Have “Mad Hungry- Feeding Men and Boys” Among Your Cookbooks

Written by Lucinda Scala Quinn, the top expert on food entertaining for Martha Stewart, “Mad Hungry- Feeding Men and Boys” emphasizes preparing tasty recipes designed to provide vitality and health while satisfying appetites for both men and boys. It features recipes, strategies, and survival techniques that can be used to feed hungry men and boys. Let’s face it, satisfying the hunger of males is not an easy task. The recipes are simple, healthy, and delicious! You might want to find out for yourself and simplify your hectic life at least in the kitchen.

“Mad Hungry- Feeding Men and Boys” is divided into 5 excellent chapters:
•    Tools, Flavors, and Theories
•    Breakfast
•    Lunch
•    Dinner
•    Dessert

It makes a great deal of sense to start a cookbook off with a few important pointers on the preparatory tools needed to start a meal. Obviously, not all of us have been blessed with mothers who were culinary queens in the kitchen and this type of added help is certainly useful. From the obvious pots, pans, and utensils to the necessary shopping list and trip to the store to the final step of preparing the recipe, the tips include an eclectic array of practical, functional techniques. From tips on using a knife to tips on setting up a pantry to tips on shopping with the kids in tow to tips on cleaning up, you will find everything you need to know to get started in Chapter 1.

You will discover an amazing medley of recipes destined to show up on the breakfast table for the heartiest of appetites (a man’s) in Chapter 2. Try the Omelet for One for starters as it is truly delicious! From hot and cold beverages to just about every type of cooked egg imaginable to breakfast-friendly pastries to hearty meats, breakfast at the house for your guys will certainly never be the same once you begin to use this cookbook.

Chapter 3 continues the quest to serve up satisfying meals that will tempt the guy in your life. Only this time, the menu is one that includes a bevy of lunch-friendly temptations. As we all know, any food that can be eaten without the benefit of kitchen utensils offers a win-win situation. Not only can a wife, mother, or girlfriend prepare a healthy lunch for their man, but they can also be assured that it will be eaten and heartily at that! Suggested recipes include pocket pies, tasty sandwiches, empanadas, and burgers. Of course, utensils eventually enter the picture with a medley of healthy salads, soups, salsas, and pastas.

This book features an interesting array of flavorful suggestions for dinner as well, starting with a popular entrée of fried chicken and continuing through an entire bevy of different methods to prepare chicken. The pictures alone look tempting enough, so just imagine what you can do with the recipes.

If chicken isn’t your guy’s favorite, tap into some of the recipes for short ribs, chili, meatballs, lamb, pork, turkey with all of the trimmings, or a sensational set of steak entrees. For fish lovers, this book also includes some terrific tips on how to prepare healthy and delicious recipes for tuna, bass, salmon, and shrimp. You will also find instructions for preparing paella and lasagna so that you can satisfy the craver of carbs in your household. Following these recipes, you will even have your boys eating vegetables out of your hand including greens, smashed potatoes, and Italian fries!

The final chapter touches upon the Achilles heel of most women – DESSERT! Just try to avoid this chapter and you might discover that preparing a few of these tasty temptations for your men folk is actually the same as preparing them for yourself. Whether it is busy-day chocolate cake, old-fashioned apple pie, or oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, there happens to be a recipe to satisfy everyone’s discerning palate when it comes to desserts.

Product provided free to writer for reviewWhile you might not be as lucky as I have been to receive a free copy of “Mad Hungry- Feeding Men and Boys,” it is well worth the small price to purchase the book.