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Day After Thanksgiving in Dayton

After a hearty Thanksgiving meal and day spent taking care of a couple things around the house, we were ready to get out a little on Friday. Friday afternoon we headed towards downtown Dayton to check out the Dayton Holiday Festival by the Downtown Dayton Partnership. We only did a few of the activities available but had a nice time getting into the holiday spirit.

We started out looking at the Wonderland Windows featuring the Rike’s Holiday Window Display. Rike’s Department Store once stood where today’s Schuster Performing Arts Center now stands and these displays are over 50 years old, purchased shortly after World War II. The girls enjoyed looking at all the details and moving figures.

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Next we let our 4 year old visit the Tike’s Shoppe. Speaking with one of the representatives from YES! for Youth, the organization the Tike’s Shoppe benefits, she told me this has been a local tradition for over 70 years with grandparents who participated as children bringing their grandchildren to experience it.

Parents identify a shopping list and provide a budget for each child, then each child is paired with a volunteer that helps them shop. I peeked through the door a couple of times to see how she was doing and seemed to be engaged in selecting just the right present for her Mom, Dad, and sister. She had help wrapping and labeling each gift and was very proud of the surprises she picked up for us.

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Next was our first visit with Santa of the season. Aubrey, the 2 year old, wasn’t too keen on getting close to the big guy but liked Mrs. Clause, sitting on her lap a few times.

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The Junior League of Dayton sponsored a Holiday Hunt for kids to do activities and collect stamps that children traded in for a book. There were way more activities in the Holiday Village than we had time for but our girls really enjoyed them and there was even a free photo booth so we snapped a picture of the four of us.

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We had to make a stop to check out the Virginia Kettering Holiday Train Display. I’ve been doing a little research on Virginia Kettering for work and suggest looking her up if you are interested in Dayton area history. Long story short, much of what we enjoy and are lucky to have Dayton would not be here without her contributions.

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We will definitely be making plans to see and do more next year with a whole street fair and horse-drawn carriage rides as part of the festivities – including going early in the day to play in the life size snow globe! We didn’t stick around for Children’s Parade or The Grande Illumination of the tree this year which draw huge crowds.

Instead, we headed home for turkey leftovers (turkey, gravy and cranberry sauce on a toasted bread with green beans) and Warped Wing Brewing Company’s Esther’s Lil Surprise Milk Chocolate Brown Ale (featuring chocolate notes and named for the founder of Esther Price Candies). We closed out the day with Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

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I still have a few Christmas gifts to pick up on so I’m spending the rest of the weekend keeping an eye for deals on what I’m looking for. Here’s a quick round up of some holiday gift ideas:

  • FabKids clothing for kids
  • Wild Republic toys (not too late to make a purchase that also makes a donation to Project Night Night and enter a giveaway!)
  • Glider Gloves make a great stuffer for adults that like to use their phones but don’t like cold hands
  • Sound Intone HD30 Headset for kids or adults
  • Beabies teething necklace sets for the new mom
  • Diaper Junction has Sitebuster Deals all weekend for those into cloth diapering and babywearing

I’ll also be working on getting my Shutterfly holiday cards addressed and mailed out. If you still need to get cards, Shutterfly has 10 Free cards for you to enjoy using the code 10FORME at checkout. Plus, enjoy 50% off hard photo cover Photo Books and 40% off everything else using the code BLACKFRIDAY plus free shipping on orders $39+ or more with promo code SHIP39. Deals good until 11/29.

If you are in Dayton or Cincinnati, Ohio, be sure to enter to win tickets to Marvel Universe Live! in December. I hope you are enjoying your holiday weekend!

 

*Post contains affiliate links.*

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Buy, Get, Give and Win!

Alt2_WR_300_250A few months ago I had the pleasure to review a Switch-A-Rooz stuffed animal. In the process of that review, I had the opportunity to learn more about Wild Republic. Recently I found out they are teaming up with Project Night Night, a charitable organization that provides blankets, books and toys to children in homeless shelters across the United States. From November 16 – December 16, all purchases of $35 or more on Wild Republic’s site will get:

 1.       Free shipping,

2.       A free stuffed animal, and

3.       Wild Republic will also donate a stuffed animal to Project Night Night. These stuffed animals will go in special care packages that are provided to children in homeless shelters across the United States.

This holiday season, treat the child in your life and child in a homeless shelter to a wonderful product from Wild Republic. Project Night Night, a 501(c)(3), donates 25,000 Night Night Packages each year to homeless children under 12 hoping to reduce the trauma of this uncertain time in their life and advance the emotional and cognitive well-being of the children served.

To get you started, read below for your chance to win a Switch-A-Rooz stuffed animal and book.

Stocking Stuffer Giveaway

Domesticating Michelle is part of the Super Stocking Stuffer Giveaway Hop hosted by The Mommy Island and The Kids Did It.

Enter to win a Tubby & Cubby Switch-A-Rooz stuffed animal and a copy of What Would You Do if You Were Left at the Zoo? by Renee Hand. This giveaway is sponsored by Domesticating Michelle. Enter to win by November 30th, 2015, 11:59pm.

Enter giveaway here!

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Then visit the linky below and join the giveaway hop for lots of gift ideas to stuff your families’ stockings this holiday season.
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*Post contains affiliate links.*

Fox and Finn Silicone Teething Necklaces

2015_08_21_9999_1I love how stylish silicone teething necklaces have gotten over the past few years. Fox & Finn necklaces are no exception. I had the opportunity to try one out for myself recently.

Fox and Finn Silicone Teething Necklaces, available on Amazon, look like statement necklace pieces but are made with 100% premium food grade silicone and BPA free. Each necklace features a safety knot in between each bead to ensure that, if it should break, only one bead will break free.

The colors Fox & Finn uses throughout it’s line on completely on trend right now and match a variety of outfits and occasions. I even wore mine to work one day and got compliments on my new necklace. Everyone was surprised to find out it was really a teething necklace.

You’ll want to see the details, like the satin cord, for yourself. These make a great shower 2015_08_21_9999_5present for the mom that wants to look good while keeping her little one’s hands and mouth occupied. Does it need a wash? Just wash with warm soapy water or toss in the dishwasher.

Pick one up for yourself or a friend today. Check out the one I tried, the “Isabella”, or browse the entire line. You can also visit their website. Which one caught your eye?

 

*I was provided an item to review in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are my own. Post contains affiliate links.*

 

End with Summer with Shutterfly

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It’s Back to School time which means Summer 2015 is coming to an end. Before things get too busy heading into the fall, visit these sites to take advantage of these details today and get all of those summer memories in print and on gifts. I have yet to be disappointed with any of the items I have purchased through Shutterfly, and you won’t be either.

Shutterfly:

All customers enjoy 101 free 4×6 prints with promo code 101TREATS at checkout

All customers enjoy $10 off qualifying merchandise orders of $10-$49.99; $25 off $50-$99.99; $50 off $100-$149.99 and $75 off $150+ or more with promo code BIGSAVINGS at checkout

Don’t forget to use CARD4U for a free card and receive free shipping on orders $39+ or more with promo code SHIP39!

Wedding Paper Divas:

Save 40% off Save the Date orders using the code 0806DEAL at checkout

New customers save $50 off orders of $159 or more using the code WPDSAVE50159 at checkout

Tiny Prints:

Save 20% off home décor orders using the code 20DECORAUG at checkout

Save 40% off address label, gift tag and name label orders using the code 0808DEAL at checkout

Also, right now there is a Groupon for Shutterfly Photo Books starting at $9.99!

Happy shopping!

 

*Post contains affiliate links. I was compensated for this post but opinions are my own.*

Enjoying Festival Season with Little Ones


This past weekend we went as a family to the annual Dayton Celtic Festival. It is just one of the many festivals around Dayton that happens from Spring until Fall every year.  We enjoy going to them as an opportunity to get a glimpse of other cultures and try new foods. Even though my husband and I aren’t crazy about large crowds, we have learned a few tricks to make attending festivals and other large events a little more bearable with small kids.

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Pick the best times. I always try to get there a little before the actual start time to get a decent parking spot and be ahead of any food lines. If something is happening all weekend long, we opt for the first weeknight or Sunday for the lightest crowds.

Snacks and drinks. If you are able to, always pack some water or drinks and small snacks. You never know for sure how long the lines will be or if your child will actually find something they like to eat, plus bringing some “sides” will help you save a few bucks, too.

We got there at about 5:30p on a Friday afternoon with a quick snack of Cheerios available for the girls to munch on while we walked around a little bit looking at the vendors and picked up dinner. As soon as the event officially started, my husband got drink tickets while I snagged a table by a show tent that was about to have Irish dancers performing. By the time everyone was back together, the girls food had cooled enough for them to actually eat it, we had drinks, and the first performing group was up on stage – dinner and a show!

Plan your time there. Look up schedules on line before you go so you can decide if there is a presentation or act you want to see and plan accordingly.

Pick the right gear. As much as I love the baby carrier, for this festival, the right choice for us was the double, side-by-side stroller. I like being able to give each girl a seat to eat in or watch performers from (just in case we couldn’t find one) and be able to get them through the crowds without running the risk of one or more of them stopping to check out what is on a vendors table. In this case, I knew most of the areas would be paved and ramps available, plus we could put items in the storage area underneath.

While I have gotten a lot of use of the side-by-side, a draw back is that there isn’t much in the way of cup holders or a tray for the driver. I like being to have things like my phone, cash, something to drink, and maps easily accessible when we are out and about and I was always having to dig around for items in the little pockets of the stroller or in my bag underneath. That’s why I was happy to get the chance to review the SavvyBaby Stroller Organizer. #savvybaby

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The SavvyBaby Stroller Organizer attaches to the handle bar with strong hook and loop strips and has multifunctional pockets. Two main part has two cup holder compartments, plus a divider running the middle to keep items from getting lost. It’s made from a neoprene fabric that helps hold items and stretches to fit there shape while be easy to clean. The front pocket was the perfect size for my phone, cash, and ID and has a little port to pass your headphones through. Need to step away from the stroller for a minute? Just unzip the whole front piece and take it with you.

It comes in black or a great chevron print and they toss in a free snack or toy leash that attached in a couple different ways so it will be perfect for any container or item and any stroller. It has been the perfect addition to the stroller for us plus, since it’s fabric, we can just leave it attached and the stroller folds right up when we are done. It would make a great baby shower gift, too.

Dayton has tons of festivals, from sweet corn to ribs, from Greek to German, and everything in between and we are looking forward to the rest of the season. What kind of festivals are in your neck of the woods?

*I was provided with a product in exchange for my honest review. Post contains affiliate links.*

Shut the Front Door, Shutterfly!

I had to take a minute to let you guys know about some offers from Shutterfly. Now is the time to get that vacation photo book made (or baby book that is a year overdue). Stock up on freebies now and hold them for birthdays, holidays, whatever. You still have to pay shipping on most of these offers, but you are still getting a great deal. Just click on the red text below for the product you want to check out.

All customers enjoy one free 20-standard finish page 8×8 hard photo cover photo book with promo code SUNNYBOOK at checkout! Offer valid 6/24-30/2015.

Offer expires June 30, 2015 (11:59 P.M. PT). Offer is good for one free 20-standard finish page 8×8 hard photo cover photo book through shutterfly.com, our mobile-friendly site or Shutterfly apps. Offer cannot be redeemed more than once per account and/or billing address. Taxes, shipping, and handling will apply. Customer may add options to their 8×8 book (additional pages, StorytellingTM styles and elements, photo book accessories, other cover types, etc.) at additional cost. Alternatively, customer may apply the current price of a 20-standard finish page 8×8 hard photo cover photo book (after taking into account any current discounts on shutterfly.com) toward the purchase of a larger photo book. Not valid on 5×7, 7×9, or 8×8 soft cover photo books, TripPix, prepaid plans, other products and prior purchases. Cannot be redeemed for cash or combined with other offers or credits. Not valid for resale.

All customers enjoy your choice of one free reusable shopping bag or one set of playing cards with promo code PICKAGIFT at checkout! Offer valid 6/24-26/15.

Offer expires June 26, 2015 (11:59 P.M. PT). Offer is good for one free reusable shopping bag or one set of playing cards through shutterfly.com or our mobile-friendly site. Must select one of the two products listed. Offer cannot be redeemed more than once per account and/or billing address. Taxes, shipping and handling will apply. Not valid on other products, prepaid plans, prior purchases, orders placed for in-store pick up and purchases made on the Shutterfly apps. Cannot be redeemed for cash or combined with other offers or credits. Not valid for resale.

All customers enjoy your choice of one free kids placemat or one notepad with promo code CHOOSEONE at checkout! Offer valid 6/27-30/15.

Offer expires June 30, 2015 (11:59 P.M. PT). Offer is good for one free kids placemat or one notepad through shutterfly.com or our mobile-friendly site. Must select one of the two products listed. Offer cannot be redeemed more than once per account and/or billing address. Taxes, shipping and handling will apply. Not valid on pet placemat, other products, prepaid plans, prior purchases, orders placed for in-store pick up and purchases made on the Shutterfly apps. Cannot be redeemed for cash or combined with other offers or credits. Not valid for resale.

While you are ordering these fun gifts, pick up on a card to go with it by using promo code CARD4U and some prints for yourself.

All customers enjoy 100 free 4×6 prints with promo code 100FREEPRINTS at checkout! Offer valid now until 6/30/15.

Offer expires 6/30/2015 (11:59 P.M. PT). Offer is good for 100 free 4×6 prints through shutterfly.com or our mobile-friendly site. Offer cannot be redeemed more than once per account and/or billing address. Taxes, shipping and handling will apply. Not valid on other sizes, other products, prepaid plans, prior purchases, orders placed for in-store pick up and purchases made on the Shutterfly apps. Cannot be redeemed for cash or combined with other offers or credits. Not valid for resale.

Don’t forget, you can get free shipping with orders over $39 by using promo code SHIP39. Go to your account page now and put all of these promo codes in then happy creating!
Shutterfly Free Stuff

*Post contains affiliate links.*

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Time to Get Back in Shape (Plus Armband for Samsung Galaxy S5 Review)

title My husband and I have enjoyed the evolution of our smart phones over the years but our Samsung Galxy S5’s posed a bit of a challenge in the armband department. My husband likes being able to wear his phone on his arm and listen to music while he runs. This Armband for Samsung Galaxy S5 , S4, S3, iPhone 6 (4.7), HTC One & More not only keeps my phone and ID snuggly nearby, it has a slit that can hold a key making it an overall great accessory while out on a run or walk. I do wish the band was a little longer so it would fit around a bigger arm a little easier, but the hook and loop is very strong and it is easy to hand wash and air dry. There are slits to easily access the ear bud inputs and you can’t beat the price at just $7.99. collage Unfortunately, I have been slacking big time in the working out department and really need to get more active again. When I was home, if I wasn’t taking the girls on a hike somewhere, I was taking them and our dog on an afternoon walk. Nowadays, we alternate taking an evening stroll and just letting the girls run around in the yard. I also have a painful case of plantar fasciitis that is finally starting to feel better so my foot isn’t hurting so bad on a regular basis. Looking for a little motivation to get back into a work out routine, I reached out to a friend of the family that is Team Beachbody Coach. I have been watching Krystina transform herself over the past year or so and start Project G. She is a bubbly, talented triple threat (dancer, singer, actor) that works as a performer in Orlando, FL by day and is a living Pinterest board by night. 10941854_791850177552545_3635517697862368487_n I asked her for a few quick tips on getting back into a work out routine and here is what she said:

  1. Plan ahead! Actually sit down with your schedule or planner, look at your week coming up, and pencil in your half hour or hour that you will devote to getting your workout in. If it’s actually in ink, you’re more likely to stick to it. But it’s up to you to make that a priority and not schedule anything else on top of it. Treat it like an important meeting- this time it’s just with yourself. What could be more important than that?
  2. Reward yourself for starting! We love a little incentive to get us going. Whether its finding a new fitness app, downloading some new music or finding a fun new pandora/spotify station, or actually treating ourselves to a new workout top, headband, or armband – if we associate starting the something new with fun, we’re more likely to jump in with the positivity we need to be successful.
  3. Find some accountability! Whether it’s a partner in crime or finding an accountability group online, having to check in daily that you are in fact sticking to your new routine does amazing things for getting you going. It’s not just you at home putting it off. There’s someone or even a group out there that’s waiting to see if you’ve gotten it done, to cheer you on, and keep you motivated! Plus, they can commiserate with you when you’re having a tough work out day. I guarantee that even on a bad day, they’ll push you to stick with it and you’ll be glad you did!

If you need help with the #3, I would recommend visiting Krystina’s Project G page and signing up for one of her challenges. Added bonus: you’ll get to see pictures of her cute puppy and vicariously plan a wedding (she’s getting hitched!). I need to work on #1, scheduling it in and making work out time a priority. I am horrible about making the time to go for a walk or get to the gym. I did, however, pick up a Groupon for some yoga classes this summer, so hopefully I can get back on track. Wish me luck! **I received a free product in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. Post contains affiliate links.**