Briana Marie

photo: @fairytalebabybooks 

There is nothing quite as magical as the birth of a child. The grand entrance of a little prince or princess is a wondrous moment that should be documented in the most loving and precious way. You can treat your beloved newborn like the royalty he/she is with an enchanting storybook recalling their own beautiful beginnings. Keep reading to learn how you can Create Magical Memories With Fairytale Baby Books. 

 (The front cover of our fairytale book)

"Real Stories of Royal Proportions"™ is how Fairytale Baby Books describes their custom storybooks. As a first time god-mommy, this sounded like the perfect Christmas gift for my 3-month-old little princess. Gifting cute little onesie sets and bright-colored musical toys were becoming super routine, and I wanted to do something out of the ordinary this time. I decided to look into a Fairytale Baby Book, to see if it was actually worth the purchase.

It is often said that first impressions are everything, and it is clear that Fairytale Baby Books took this into consideration. Entering the website was like stepping into a real-life fairytale as I was greeted by an enchanting castle, soft colors, and dreamy music. With clear samples of the book gracing the home page, I was instantly captivated. I decided to proceed with an order, a process that was so simple I questioned if I had missed a step. Here was the process:

  • Step 1 - Click the golden "Place an order" tab at top of page
  • Step 2 - Select "Buy it now"
  • Step 3 - Click "Order Now" in the gold magic wand
  • Step 4 - Checkout

Now, don't fret...I too thought I had missed a step upon checking out. Don't I have to customize it?? I messaged customer service just to be sure, and with a swift response, I was informed that the customization sheet had already been dropped into my email.

  • Step 5 - Check your email! You will find your order confirmation. Open that email as it will have your customization spreadsheet ready to download. Download/print out that spreadsheet.
  • Step 6 - Fill out the spreadsheet, and send back to Fairytale Baby Books via email
  • Step 7 - Let the magic happen!

 

 (A page in our fairytale book. Every page included vibrant images to accompany the text)

It was actually quite a simple process, and I loved that they sent me a proof to review before sending out the finished product. However, the best part was actually receiving the book!

I was totally blown away by the quality of this adorably customized storybook complete with my own dedication page for my princess. The vibrant illustrations coupled with the meticulously crafted personalized royal birth tale made this the perfectly designed bedtime story. I could not wait to hand over this special gift.

 (The End)

For just $59.95, this one-of-a-kind gift was well worth the purchase. The story is a lot of fun to read, and it can make any child feel like royalty. I am absolutely thrilled that I found the perfect way to document my goddaughter's grand entrance into the world using Fairytale Baby Books.

For more information, you can check out Fairytale Baby Books' website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

photo: @jenstheess 

Believe it or not, it is that time of the year again. It is that time of the year where we reflect on all that we have experienced over the past 12 months, where we tie together all those loose ends, and where we get together to ring in the New Year in a special way. Don't let the kiddos miss out on the New Year's Eve fun this year. Mix up some of these flavorful ingredients to create one of these 5 Tasty Mocktails For a Kid-Friendly New Year's Eve Celebration.

 1. Mint Chocolate Mocktini

  • Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
  • Chocolate Sprinkles
  • Hot fudge ice cream sauce

 

 2. Sour Apple Sipper

  • Sparkling White Grape Juice
  • Green Apple Slices
  • Green Apple Syrup

 

 3. Gummy Worm Mocktail

  • Green Berry Rush Hawaiian Punch
  • Sour Gummy Worms
  • Lemon-Lime Soda

 

 4. Tropical Sparkling Punch

  • Pineapple juice
  • Orange juice
  • Lemonade
  • Sparkling White Grape Juice
  • Sliced Strawberries

 

 5. Shirley Temple

  • Cranberry Juice Cocktail
  • Lemon Juice
  • Lime juice
  • club soda
  • Maraschino Cherries

How much of each ingredient you decide to mix in is totally up to you. You can get as creative as you like with these yummy mocktails. The kids will simply enjoy being part of the celebration this year. With a tasty drink as festive as the party itself, the entire family will be ready to welcome the new year!

 

 

Want to look runway ready without draining your funds? Believe it or not, you can indeed achieve the high-fashion look without spending high-fashion money. Learn how to be a fashionista on a budget with these Tips to Keep it Stylish Without Breaking the Bank.

 (photo: Zeny Rosalina)

Set a Spending Goal.

Know your limits. Set a reasonable spending goal. Treat yourself to a monthly (or other preferred frequency) wardrobe allowance. Set this money aside. When it's time for you to add some new apparel to your closet, use only the money you have set aside in your allowance.

Make Room For The New By Trading and Selling.

Utilize platforms such as Poshmark to sell and trade clothes you no longer wear. Doing this will not only help you free up space in your closet but also help you replace that which you have gotten rid of.

Thrift Shopping.

You can score some really great deals on designer wear, and stylish pieces at your local thrift store. A designer shirt that would typically cost around $50-$70 may be found for $5 or less at a thrift store. This is an excellent way to stock up on some quality apparel while staying within your spending goal.

 (photo: Heather Schwartz)

Utilize Consignment Shops (ThredUp)

Take a shot at selling some of your old clothes to a consignment shop to help build your wardrobe fund. You can even find some new treasures in-store while you're at it. ThredUp is a popular online consignment store you may want to check out for great deals on stylish pieces.

Shop Big Sales.

Utilize big sales such as ones found around Black Friday and certain holidays to upgrade your wardrobe without a huge budget.

Hit the Clearance Rack.

Don't be afraid to make your way on over to the clearance rack. You can often find trendy pieces at a much lower price on the clearance rack.

Know What Looks Best On You.

It's not only about the price tag when you're a fashionista on a budget. It's important that you know what looks best on you so that you can seek out particular styles before even looking at a price tag.

Use The Off-Season To Your Advantage.

You will find that you can stock up on some pieces that are now out of season for a great discount. This is an excellent way to start building your wardrobe for next year.

 (photo: Tamara Bellis)

Mix-and-Match.

Reduce, reuse, and recycle. You don't necessarily have to buy more. Sometimes you just need to remix it a little. Mix-and-match some of your favorite old pieces to create a new look that you can fall in love with.

Embrace Dark Pieces.

Keep a supply of darker colored apparel that can help you to effortlessly pull off the mix-and-match strategy. Using this idea, you can get more out of a piece without exhausting a particular style.

As you can see, being a fashionista isn't all about spending the big bucks on wardrobe hauls. Using these tips, you can look as stylish as you deserve without draining your bank account. Happy shopping!

 

 

Kids are taught many life skills early in life like using manners, cleaning up after oneself, and following directions. However, there are other critical skills such as money management that often gets overlooked. By the age of 3, children can understand the basic concepts of money. Research shows that by the age of 7, their money habits are set. It is important that we get our kids started off on the right foot for financial success in adulthood. Here are 9 Genius Ways To Start Teaching Your Kids About Money.

 (photo: rawpixel)

Use A Piggy Bank

Give your child a piggy bank for them to store their money in. Encourage children to "feed" the piggy by placing their money inside this bank. Explain to them that the more they feed the piggy, the happier he/she is.

Give Allowance

When your child completes all their chores for the week or does something worthy of a reward, you can give them an allowance. It doesn't have to be much, but it is a little something extra they can add to their savings. This method is also a great way to introduce them to the concept of working a job.

 (photo: Becca McHaffie)

Go Shopping

Take your child shopping with you. Make out a list beforehand, set a budget, and allow them to help you gather everything on your list. Through shopping, children can learn how to operate within a predetermined spending plan while checking off everything on the list. It is even better if they can help you do some couponing before embarking on your shopping trip.

Open A Savings Account

Open a savings account for your child at a local credit union or bank. Do a bit of shopping around, and see which bank has the greatest perks before committing to it. Once the account is open, have your child bring their stuffed piggy banks in to transfer into the account. Not only will they earn interest on their savings over time, but they can also get used to the process of working with banks. 

Have A Penny Savings Challenge

Try the Penny Savings Challenge with your kids. On Day 1, you add one penny to your jar. On Day 2, you will add two pennies to your jar, etc. You can continue this for a full 365 days (yielding about $668!) or for however long you choose.

 (photo: Michael Longmire)

Create Coin Jars

Create jars for extra pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters you find. It'll be interesting to see how quickly these jars fill up with loose change. Once they are full, you can deposit the savings into the bank, and repeat the process.

 (photo: Randy Fath)

Play Board Games That Use Play Money

Board games that use play money like Monopoly, Life, and The Allowance Game are a really fun way to teach kids about the concept of money (while sneaking in a family game night.)

Start A Coin Drive For A Charity

Start your own coin drive for a charity. You can talk to your neighbors, family, and friends about your drive, and encourage them to donate their loose change. This activity is also a really great way to teach your children the correlation between giving and receiving.

Start A Summer Business

The summer is a really great time to let your child unleash their inner entrepreneur. You can start a lemonade stand, have a bake sale, offer to care for your neighbor's garden, etc. The possibilities are truly endless. By the end of the summer, children will have acquired valuable business skills in addition to a nice little saving.

Using these carefully calculated ideas, your kids will learn more about earning and managing money in a fun way. Your children can form good money habits they can carry all the way into adulthood. They will be more than grateful to have acquired this knowledge before stepping out into the world. 

 

(photo: John McArthur, Unsplash)

'Tis the season for family gatherings, gift-giving, and of course, traveling. As the holidays quickly approach, many of us are in the process of finalizing our travel plans. For many, this means making plans to travel long distance with children...young children. If this sounds like you, do not fret. There are a couple of hacks you can take with you on this trip to make the process go as smoothly as possible. Here are some tips for surviving long-haul flights with your children.

Arrange Flight Times Around Your Children's Bedtime.

Try to get a flight around the time your children would typically be in bed asleep at home. It may help them to sleep a good portion of the flight. Of course, excitement is always a factor, but with a bit of soothing music streaming from a pair of comfy headphones, they can sleep in no time. This will work even better if you can plan your arrival time around their sleep schedule as well.

Look For Flights With Layovers.

Sometimes the kiddos just need to stretch out and run off some energy. Those long flights can be quite a challenge for fidgety little ones. If at all possible, include a layover or two in your travel plans so the kids can move around a bit. This is also helpful so children can take potty breaks before boarding the plane.

Stay Hydrated, But Don't Over Do It.

Speaking of potty breaks, try to avoid letting the kids drink a lot during the trip. It can be rather annoying to have to get up over and over again to make your way to the toilet.

Have Letters/Cards to Hand Out to Passengers.

If you have a child who is usually on the cranky side, come prepared. When their crying and whining starts to get to other passengers, you can make the situation a little less frustrating. Have cute little apology cards and a treat, ready to hand out to passengers who, at this point, might be growing cranky themselves.

 (Hanson Lu, Unsplash)

Dress Comfortably.

It is a good idea for the entire family to dress in comfy clothes that they can stretch and move around in. It is also helpful to have something you feel comfortable sleeping in. 

Bring Along Individual Care Packs.

Make sure everyone has their own little backpack filled with necessities, a few toys, and entertaining gadgets like a tablet, coloring book, and crayons. Don't forget to include the snacks and a change of clothes! If you are traveling with an infant, make sure their diaper bag is packed with all the essentials and meet TSA regulations.

Check In Early!

It is highly likely that you will want to sit next to your child during your flight. However, this isn't a guarantee when you purchase your tickets. Your best bet is to check-in as early as possible to request seats that are together since you are flying with children. 

Carry a Sleep Pack.

Have an eye mask, blanket, pillow, and maybe even a stuffed animal ready to go for when it is time to nap. The more comfortable everyone is, the more likely they will be to actually sleep. 

The Handy Dandy Tablet.

Tablets and other travel-sized electronic devices are a total lifesaver when it comes to traveling with children. Kids can stay busy for quite a while playing games and watching videos on the tablet. With so many fun apps to choose from, there is hours worth of entertainment available to children during the trip.

(Suhyeon Choi, Unsplash)

Snacks, Snacks, and More Snacks!

You can't forget the snacks! Perhaps the quickest way to calm an upset child is with a tasty snack. Besides, we're all about keeping everyone comfortable during the flight. Your child will have no problem waiting for their next meal if they have something to munch on in the meantime.

Role Play.

Spice up the plane ride with a bit of role-playing. Let your child pretend to be the pilot, you can be the airplane police, and someone can be the snake on the plane. Whatever you choose, just have fun with it. This is an awesome way to kill some time and make the flight more enjoyable. 

Storytime.

Take turns telling stories. You can get as creative as you like with storytime. If you prefer, you can even read from your favorite storybook. This is an especially great idea if your child is used to getting a story at bedtime. This helps them to stay with the routine.

 (Rawpixel, Unsplash)

Have a Drawing Contest.

Try out the 3 Marker Challenge, Draw portraits of family members, or recreate the image of your current setting.

Have Fun!

Most importantly, try to make the flight fun! As the saying goes, "Time flies when you're having fun."

It is indeed possible to survive a long-haul flight with your children. Using these tips, you can make your upcoming travels more enjoyable, and stress-free for the entire family.