Gifting Experiences Over Presents This Holiday

As I sit here at my kitchen table and write this blog post, I can’t help but notice something out of the corner of my eye. It’s my children’s playroom. It’s a mess. I’m not ashamed to admit it because it’s the truth. Sure there are bins in there to organize the toys that are too small to put in my hands and the ones that are too large to leave out. But, those bins have failed. Or, should I say I’ve failed those bins. My kids and I just keep jamming more junk in there to the point where I couldn’t tell you what’s in there except for toys.

Many of those toys my kids haven’t played with in who knows how long. They always play the same things…school, dancing, Barbies, games. The other miscellaneous toys seem to get lost in the clutter. I can honestly say I think I’ve only bought about 10% of the items that are in that room. With two kids you tend to accumulate a lot of things through birthdays, holidays, and other events. That’s the reason why I’m choosing to gift experiences over presents this Christmas.

Of course my girls have asked Santa for toys. Honestly, they haven’t asked for all that much. They will get the one or two things they really want from Santa, minus an iPhone, because no 7 year-old needs one,  and minus a FurReal Cat because I find it extremely creepy. If Santa has the toy thing taken care of, what do Mom and Dad give? More toys? Nope. How about something that can’t really be wrapped?

I’ll explain. See, my 7-year-old has been asking for guitar lessons since she was five. I don’t know why, but she is infatuated with the guitar. So, this got me thinking. How about giving lessons as a Christmas present? Lightbulb on and Google activated. After a bit, what did appear at my googling fingertips, but music lessons in my area that not only specialize in the guitar, but several other instruments! This was better than using manufacturers coupons and store coupons on an item that’s already on sale! It gets better! Hard to believe, I know. There are even classes that my younger daughter can take since she likes music as well.

My husband and I decided this would make the perfect Christmas gift because it would introduce both girls to several instruments so they can figure out which ones they like. In the end if they decide playing an instrument is not their thing right now then that’s okay too. At least they gave it a try.

Giving the gift of this experience is far better than some toy they’ll play with for a week and then toss in the bin. Sure they may be confused when they open the box and see a paper explaining the lessons, but they’ll have the memories they’ll make together while learning something new. Perhaps it will even make them want to pursue more lessons. Whichever the case, I think it’s a win-win all around. Plus, it alleviates the clutter in the house which makes me one happy momma. Merry Christmas!

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Spoil Your Kids This Holiday Season

‘Tis the season of the “I wants” and the “I needs”. I know you know what I’m talking about. Every commercial your kid sees becomes something they think they can’t live without. It becomes downright annoying. While it may be tempting to give in because it is the holiday season, I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t. Call me cheap or call me the Grinch, but I really don’t see why we have to give in to every want.

Don’t think that I’m not buying my kids Christmas gifts. I am. I’m just not going to tap the college funds just to put a smile on their faces Christmas morning. After all, Santa does have to buy for all the boys and girls around the globe, right? Unless Santa is working some serious OT, there’s no way he can afford to give in to what all the kids everywhere are dreaming about.

In case you are tempted to spoil your kids this holiday season, I’m here with five reasons why you should not. I repeat SHOULD NOT. Here goes…

 1. Create Experiences Instead of Buying More Stuff: Put aside whatever money you were planning on spending on another toy and use it on something you can do as a family. Whether it is a day trip to a local attraction or maybe even a trip to see their favorite movie, try to create experiences instead of buying more junk. Kids will remember the time you spent and the places you went more than a doll they’ll play with for five minutes.

2. Who needs the clutter?: More things just equal more clutter. Who needs it? Not this mom. There’s no need to buy every board game that Toys R Us sells. One or two will do the job. The truth is kids will play with their new toys for a couple of weeks. Then they’ll just join all the others who are just trying to survive in a toy box or playroom.

3. Teach the Lesson That We Can’t Get Everything We Want: Life is full of disappointments. We don’t always get what we want. As soon as your child realizes this, the better off they’ll be. I know this doesn’t sound like the warm and fuzzy Christmas message you want to be spreading, but it’s the truth Ruth. As parents we never want to see our child sad or disappointed. In order to learn coping skills, they’re going to need to learn what it feels like to not get what you want all the time. Why not start now?

4. Spoiling Them Now & They May Expect it Forever: Maybe I’ll just give in this once to make them happy and keep them quiet. What happens the next time? How are you going to deal with it then? Don’t get caught up in what could become a nasty pattern. Draw the battle lines now but just saying no. You’ll be a lot better off and so will your child even though they may not believe it.

5. Teach Them the Holidays are Not About Presents: This is perhaps the most important lesson of all. The holidays aren’t about the presents. Although this may be disappointing for your kids to hear, they need to know it. Although it may sound cliché, we should be teaching them the real meaning of the holiday season. We should teach them to be thankful for their families and for what they already do have. If they get presents, that’s a bonus. It shouldn’t be expected.

So, the next time you’re thinking about spoiling your kids, think about these reasons why shouldn’t. Your wallet will thank-you and so will your kids even though they may not know it yet.




Springfield Dolls Giveaway

Welcome to the Springfield Dolls Giveaway

Sponsored by Springfield Dolls

Hosted by Kathy’s Savings


This giveaway is for the winners choice of a Springfield Doll. It’s open to the U.S. only. It will run from 10/21-10/28. The Mommy Rundown is helping to spread the word. You can enter below for your chance to win. Good luck to everyone. You can also check out Kathy’s Savings review on the Savannah doll HERE.

Disclosure: Kathy’s Savings and all other participating bloggers are not responsible for prize shipment. The giveaway is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media. The winner will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is drawn. I received this product in exchange for a review. The opinions are all 100% my own and may differ from yours.

Why I Don’t Want Any Gifts for Mother’s Day

We all know Mother’s Day is coming up faster than you can say flowers and jewelry. You just have to look in an ad or go in a store if you weren’t sure.

“Look it’s _____ ,the perfect gift for Mom this Mother’s Day.” You can fill in the blank with the Mother’s Day typical gifts…flowers, perfume, jewelry, gift card, etc. Choose whichever one you think is going to make the Hallmark holiday one Mom will never, ever forget.

Ugh. Spare me.

I think I’ll pass on the one-day Mom lovefest.

Although I’ve written posts before about what I really wanted for Mother’s Day (peace, quiet, spa day, etc.), I’ve changed my mind this year.

I don’t want any gifts for Mother’s Day.

Now before you strip me of my Mommy crown, hear me out.

Sure, I love to get gifts and get pampered just as much as the next momma. Do I deserve gifts? Sure, why not. But, why do we have to guilt our kids and significant others to buy us something special, take us out to eat, and let us put our feet up on just one day?

Are they doing it out of the kindness of their hearts or because they feel like it’s the “right” thing to do?


Flowers for Mother's Day? No thanks! How about on Tuesday?

Flowers for Mother’s Day?
No thanks!
How about on Tuesday?

I would much rather like a bouquet of flowers just because it’s Tuesday, rather than because it’s Mother’s Day.

Why? First of all, I wouldn’t be expecting it if it was just Tuesday. I would know that there was an actual thought behind it. It wasn’t an automated response to a day on the calendar.

How about some jewelry? No thanks!

How about some jewelry?
No thanks!

If I have to wait until the second Sunday in May for my kids to be nice to me or my husband to give me a break and let me just chill out, then I must be doing something wrong the other 364 days of the year. My kids should be nice to me everyday, okay, at least every other day. The same goes for the hubs. He shouldn’t have to wait until Mother’s Day to realize I don’t yearn to clean up after everyone 24/7.

Now, I know there are women out there who really enjoy and look forward to getting showered with gifts, cards, and flowers on Mother’s Day. They look forward to not having to cook and clean for one entire day.

That’s great.

I don’t mean to poop on your lovely bouquet of roses and day of relaxation, really I don’t. But, just think about what happens the other days of the year.

We all know being a mother is more than just getting props for one day.

My 5-year-old daughter asked me the other day what I wanted for Mother’s Day. When I answered, “nothing”, she looked at me as if I just told her Caillou was dead (now that would be a REAL gift).

I went on to tell her that Mommy doesn’t need any gifts and that she and her sister were my gifts. I know it may sound cheesy, but it’s the truth Ruth.

As much as they drive me nuts and make me scream in octaves I thought only opera singers could reach, they are my little booger-nosed, “mommy wipe my butt”, “can I have another cookie?”, filled treasures.

Although I won’t be looking for gifts, I will take all the hugs and kisses I can get when my kids and husband wish me a Happy Mother’s Day.

So, what are you looking forward to this Mother’s Day?





Sponsored Post: Gifts For You Now

We  all know how hard it can be to come up with creative gifts for the same holiday or special occasion every year.

Ties for Dad. Been there, done that.

Earrings for Grandma. Over it.

Gift card for just about anyone. Useful, but can be seen as impersonal.


What’s a momma to do?

As a mom, we don’t always have time (or ambition) to trek through stores with kids and gear in tow to find that “perfect” one-of-a-kind gift that will get all the oohs and ahhs. That’s why it may seem almost impossible and downright stressful.

That’s when you let your fingers do the shopping. Personalized gift sites are a great resource for unique gifts that will get all those oohs and ahhs. Gifts for You Now is one of those sites.

Whether it’s Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, wedding, baptism, or any other special occasion, you can find those unique gifts topped with a personal touch. How about a personalized bunny for your little one? Or an engraved frame for Grandma for Mother’s Day?

Instead of buying another tool box for Dad for Father’s Day, what about some cool engraved items for his man cave?

When it comes to weddings, there are all kinds of gifts starting with the bride and groom and ranging to the parents as well as the wedding party. As for baptisms, there are so many keepsake gifts like blankets, bibs, and crosses that are sure to warm the hearts of those receiving them.

So, the next time you want to give a great gift but don’t have the time to shop around, just click and create for a one-of-a-kind gift.


Pinrose Review

On a scale of one to ten, how annoying is it to have a sales person try to hose you down with the latest fragrance as you enter a store? If you ask me, it’s a solid ten. Half the time you smell like you just bathed in whatever they are trying to sell you.

That’s why I was excited to recently try out a product that leaves you smelling great without all of that drama.


Have you heard of Pinrose? I honestly had not until a couple of weeks ago. Pinrose is a great company that offers perfume scents in the convenience of little individual towelettes besides bottles of your favorite fragrance.  You just apply and wait a mere fifteen seconds for it to dry. You end up smelling great without smelling like you poured an entire bottle of perfume over your body. pinrose2

What’s even better is that you can take a quick online quiz to find out which scents suit you best. My quiz showed Merry Maker, Renegade Starlet and Sugar Bandit were my go to scents. I tried all three as well as the others in my satchel. I have to say I liked my three the best with Renegade Starlet leading the pack.

I would definitely recommend this product as one to try out yourself or give as a gift if Santa is shopping around!

*Disclosure: I did receive complimentary Pinrose products to complete this review.

Why Do Father’s Day Gifts Suck?

I’ve been out shopping this week, searching for the “perfect” Father’s Day gift for my husband. After searching high, low, left and right, I’m here to tell you all the options out there really suck. There’s no nice way to put it.

Let me break it down for you. If you look in any of the sale flyers in the paper, they are all littered with neck ties, khakis, golf clubs, and tools. I’m sorry, but I think those are all crappy gifts. First of all, the only time my husband wears a neck tie is for a wedding or a funeral. Through the years, he’s acquired enough to never need another one in his lifetime. So, scratch that off the list.

Now on to the khakis. Boring. There’s really not much more to say. I don’t wear khakis. My husband doesn’t wear them. We are not a khaki clan. I can’t buy khakis. The same can be said for golf clubs. I know a lot of guys would be foaming at the mouth if they got a new set for Father’s Day. Not in my house. My husband doesn’t golf. So, this goes in the “N/A” pile of Father’s Day gifts.

Moving on to tools. I like to compare these to small appliances for women. It’s kinda like buying a woman a vacuum or iron for Mother’s Day. You may need it, but it’s really not a gift. It’s just something to help you do even more housework. It’s like giving your guy an electric screwdriver, a shiny new hammer, and a wrench and saying, “Go fix all the things in the house that you should have fixed all year round. Happy Father’s Day!” Yet, another crappy gift.

There are always gadgets and electronics. Guys love that stuff. But, honestly some of them are so expensive. Who has money for that? Not this momma. I thought about going the sentimental route and getting something engraved. But, I’ve done that so many times. I’m running out of things to carve.

Hmmm. So, what do you buy for a Father’s Day gift? I asked my husband what he wanted. He truly said nothing. He’s the type to just buy something when he wants it. He’s not going to wait for some Hallmark holiday to get something he’s been wanting. That’s why shopping is so difficult.

I was ready to chuck the whole gift idea, but I felt a twinge of guilt about not having something for him to open Sunday morning. At least something from the kids. After sorting through racks of ugly shirts that left me wanting to chuck some golf balls at someone, I did find a gift. Not a big gift. Not a “typical” gift, but a gift none the less. It’s just a little something from the kiddies. Hopefully he likes it because I can’t return it.

So, what am I going to get him? Maybe I’ll make something other than chicken. That would truly be a gift in my house! I don’t know. I still have a few days to decide.  All I know is that shopping for Father’s Day is annoying. Enough said.

When Girls Want Fire Trucks

“Mommy, I want a fire truck for Christmas.”

I first heard those words about a month ago, and they haven’t stopped yet. I would be lying if I didn’t say I was more than a little surprised to hear my four-year-old daughter tell me and everyone else that this year. I guess I wouldn’t have been so shocked if she said she wanted a Barbie or another doll or some other toy she’s “supposed” to want. Even her teacher was intrigued when the words came out of my daughter’s mouth at the class Christmas party.

I really shouldn’t be all that flabbergasted because this was the same girl who told me she wanted a motorcycle for her birthday six months ago. I really dread what lies ahead when she turns sixteen! But, I digress. My point here is that I find it interesting that everyone, myself included, would find it so odd that a four-year-old girl would want a fire truck for Christmas. If she were a boy, no one would flinch. I think it just goes to show how set we still are when it comes to gender, kids and toys. What I find even most interesting is that my daughter doesn’t see anything strange or intriguing about it at all. It’s just comes naturally. She likes fire trucks, so she wants one. Period. I think that attitude is better than any gift I or Santa could ever give her.

Sometimes I wish I could see things so simply like that. I’m sure a lot of you out there would agree. When my daughter constantly tells me she wants to be a grown up, I constantly tell her being a kid is just the best. That’s because it is.

There are no “boy toys” or “girl toys”, just toys.

There are no white or black people, just people.

There are no ugly colors in the crayon box, just crayons.

There are no cheap or ugly gifts, just gifts.

I think you get what I’m saying here.

I think this year we should all see Christmas through a child’s eyes, where girls can get fire trucks and boys can get Easy Bake ovens, if they want.

Merry Christmas!

p.s. Santa is bringing a fire truck!


More Presence & Less Presents

‘Tis the season to be jolly and empty out your bank account. Right? For many people that is the case, especially if you have kids. If your kids are at the talking stage chances are you hear “I want” a lot when the latest toy commercial comes on. It’s just part of being a kid, especially at Christmas. If your kids don’t do it, I’m jealous.

With all that said, is it really necessary to give into every holiday “I want”? Call me a Grinch, but I really don’t think so. Don’t get me wrong, I’m buying my kids gifts this year, but I’m not dipping into their college fund to get that big smile on their faces and neither is Santa. I don’t really think you have to go big or go home when it comes to the holidays.

I’m trying to raise my girls to appreciate gifts, but not to expect them or to expect extravagant ones at that. Let me tell you, it is harder than finding Waldo. That’s why I’m trying to follow a mantra of “More presence, less presents”.

Do you know how many times my four-year-old asks me to play with her in one day? A lot would be an understatement. So, I leave the dust bunnies and the pile of dishes in the sink to have a tea party or play school with my girls.

I give them my presence.

It seems to go a lot further than dolls I bought them for their birthdays that are just sitting in a bin somewhere. It’s also a lot cheaper. Both my girls also love when I just sit and read them a book or color a picture. They love when we dance around like idiots, have a puppet show, or even just sit and watch some Doc McStuffins….together.

I give them my presence.

Sure, my kids have a favorite toy they do like to kick around and play with. But, for the most part, they make up their own games and scenarios in their little world of make believe. They invite me to be a part of it all.

So, I give them my presence.

I know teaching them about less presents and more presence may be above their four and two-year-old comprehension levels, but that’s not going to stop me. Not at all.

I will continue to give them my presence.






Father’s Day Dilemma

So, Father’s Day is just a couple of days away and I have yet to buy anything for my husband (sorry honey!). Don’t get me wrong, I have asked him if there’s anything in particular he may want. He said nothing. But, I’m not sure if it’s a “nothing” nothing or a “nothing” something if you know what I mean. I usually say nothing and mean it, but always get something anyway. I don’t want Sunday to roll around and have him look for something that isn’t around. Ugh. Sigh.

What do you buy Dad for Father’s Day? All the ads tell me Dad wants some new tools, a tie, and some cologne. Those are such snoozer gifts and so predictable. I usually like to think out of the box, but I just can’t come up with anything really good this year. It’s so annoying. Ugh. Sigh.

We don’t even know what we’re doing that day. I asked if he wanted to go anywhere special or have me make anything special. He said he wants to play it by ear. Hmmm. That doesn’t leave me much to go on. Ugh. Sigh.

I know some guys who actually take Father’s Day to go golfing or fishing…alone. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of Father’s Day? You wouldn’t get to celebrate the day if you didn’t have a kid, so shouldn’t you at least spend it with the family? Maybe it’s just me. Although, I know my husband is probably going to ask the kids to let him just relax. Too bad the chances of that happening are about as likely as us winning the lottery. Ugh. Sigh.

Seeing that we are just a few days out, I think I may just see where the wind takes us.
Although I haven’t bought anything yet and don’t have any dinner reservations, I know that whatever we do will end up being perfect. He already has the three best ladies in the world, right? That’s gotta be better than some ugly tie or power drill, right? I’ve gotta think so. To all the Dads out there, Happy Father’s Day! To all the ladies out there, what are you doing? Maybe I can piggyback an idea from you!