Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Welcome to Friday Favorites! I get a lot of questions about things I like to use, so here’s a few things that have been making my life easier lately.

First, in case you don’t know me super well yet, here are a few fun facts about me:

  1. Some would call me frugal, but I prefer to call it intentional.
  2. I read a ton of reviews before I buy things because I don’t like wasting money on things that won’t improve my quality of life.
  3. I’m not afraid of investing money in quality items that save me time, stress, or bring me/my family more joy.
  4. I’m becoming minimalist (ish). I’m sick of clutter. It stresses me out.
  5. I dare to dream big. If I see a way to improve my life, I take responsibility and find a way to make it happen.
  6. No matter how healthy I want to be and how much I value nutritious food, I think the combination of donuts and coffee is one of the best things ever.

So now that you’ve gotten a peek behind the cover of Val, here are 5 things I am loving this week. These things are making my life easier, more productive, healthier, and full of more joy:

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure to learn more.

1. Stasher Reusable Silcone Food Bags

I was blessed and surprised to receive a bunch of Stasher reusable silicone food bags for Christmas last year and I LOVE THEM!

From storing half-cut produce to warming up leftovers, these bags are so handy! I hardly ever have to use throw-away plastic bags or cling wrap anymore. Plus, these make taking food on the go (an essential for frugal living and living with food allergies) so much easier.

I have the Storage (half-gallon size) and the Sandwich size and love them both. Plus, we’re taking a bunch of these on our upcoming spring break where we hit the road in an RV! These are not cheap, but they are a great investment for your health, the environment, and probably your wallet too in the long run now that I don’t have to buy all the plastic wrap and Ziploc bags anymore. If you’ve been wondering about reusable bags for food for kids lunches, I’ve been super happy with my Stasher bags.

2. Contigo Autospout Stainless Steel Water Bottle

I’m a big water bottle girl, as you can tell from my list of frugal living tips. My kids and I bring water bottles pretty much anytime we leave the house. And while I was a long-time lover of the Camelbak’s, I may be converting to these Contigo water bottles instead.

They’re easy to drink from with one hand, keep water the temperature you want for up to 24 hours, and the straw can close down completely to keep germs and dirt off. Plus, if you have curious baby hands around, the button lock adds an extra set of security to keep the lid closed.

If you’ve been thinking about getting a new water bottle so you drink more water and buy less bottled water, I’ve been loving my Contigo water bottle.

**BONUS** It’s on SUPER SALE right now at 50% off! Right now you can snag this water bottle for just eight bucks!

3. PUROAST Low-Acid Organic Vanilla Coffee

Plain and simple: This coffee is ah-mazing! I And I’ve been drinking my fair share this week.

The vanilla flavor is rich and delicious. Because it’s naturally-flavored with real vanilla (not artificial flavoring) it’s not fake tasting at all. The low acid works much better for my tummy. It has loads of antioxidants. And it’s organic, yay!

If you’ve been wanting a flavored coffee that’s naturally flavored or if you’ve wanted to try a lower acid coffee, this is my absolute favorite. I usually find a much better deal on this coffee at Vitacost, but if you’re an Amazon loyalist, you can Subscribe & Save to a little better price and keep the coffee coming to your doorstep every month.

4. Instant Pot

I have no idea why I waited so long to get an Instant Pot. I was happy with my slow cooker and didn’t think I needed another kitchen gadget…

However. the curiosity of the Instant Pot Loving Community got the best of me last Black Friday and now I totally understand why. I use my pressure cooker several times per week, almost daily! There’s a reason this Instant Pot has over 31,000 awesome reviews!

Since I like cooking and preparing our food at home but do NOT like babysitting the stove or oven making sure things don’t boil over or burn, the Instant Pot and I get along well. Dump the ingredients, push the button, and walk away. I have this Instant Pot and as I’ve been preparing food for our week vacation on the road, this baby has definitely made my life easier. **BONUS** This baby is $20 off today too. Seriously? It’s like Amazon is in my kitchen right now!

5. Brandless Coconut Oil

I use coconut oil every day and as I’m packing for our trip, the size of the Brandless coconut oil is perfect!

Not only is it a great deal for organic coconut oil, but it’s a smaller container. Sometimes I buy coconut oil in bulk (54 oz) because that’s the oil we use for pan frying and baking, but I definitely don’t have room for or need a giant tub of coconut oil in our RV.

But big tubs of coconut oil are not handy for packing to go camping or keeping in the bathroom for moisturizer or toothpaste like I do. So I am super grateful I have this perfect-sized container to take a long. You can read more about the Brandless products I love in my Brandless review.

Friday Favorites – That’s a Wrap

I hope you enjoyed getting a peek into those things that have been worth spending money on for me because they’ve made life just a little better.

What things have been amazing your life just a little easier, less stressful or more enjoyable? I’d love to hear what things you’ve been loving lately, big or small.

Cheers to Smarter Shopping & Your Best Life,

How to Make Money on the Road with Kids

How to Make Money on the Road with Kids

Ever wonder how to make money on the road when you have kids? I know I have wondered if this is truly possible. So I checked in with the folks at Outdoorsy to see what this RV living is all about.

Traveling in an RV is exhilarating and relaxing as you can explore new destinations and return to the comforts of a hot shower and comfy bed at the end of the day. This comfort and flexibility combined with families disconnecting to reconnect with one another in life is seeing many families take extended trips or even move into an RV full time. The wide variety of styles and sizes of RVs make them perfect for families on the road. It is so tempting to live on the beach for a while and then head off to the next destination and let your children explore. Taking the steps to make that a reality seems overwhelming and many people stop at the daydream.

The most common question asked when it comes to full time RV living is how do you make money while on the road? As with any lifestyle, the nuances of life on the road will dictate to some degree the options you have for making money. Your skillset, distance and access to basic communication services can all play a role. When you throw kids into the mix then you may have the extra restrictions of limited mobility away from the RV to contend with. Here we will look at some options to make money while on the road with kids.

ways to make money traveling with kids

Balance and Flexibility

If you are not traveling alone and your spouse can stay home with the kids or you can balance childcare, then you have many more options for making money on the road. Even if your spouse also has to work outside the RV, you can stagger shifts so that someone will be home with the kids when necessary. Workamping, traveling medical positions and working jobs for local temp agencies are all great options which can provide good steady income while on the road.

Attractions, RV resorts, playgrounds and nature hikes are often just steps away which is great to get the kids out of the RV for a while so it can serve as an office for almost any work at home job. A long hike, exploring or visiting a local attraction and then a snack will give a good chunk of quiet time for phone calls, correspondence and other work. If leaving the RV, or the kids, is not going to work for your family, there are still many great options out there. Many parents find altering their hours is a great way to work while still spending lots of time as a family. Working for a few hours after everyone is asleep is the perfect solution, especially for parents who are night owls anyway.

Working from the road is not that much different than working from home. When you cut out the time it takes a typical person to prepare for work, travel to their workplace, as well as coffee breaks, lunch breaks and travel time home, that adds up to a lot of time left to enjoy the RV life from whatever destination you choose. There are also options for work that is unique to the RV lifestyle.

rv living family make money on the road

1. Workamping

Depending on the age of your kids and the position, workamping can be option. Workamping is just what it sounds like, working at a campsite in exchange for free accommodations and amenities. Many workamping positions cover the cost of your site when you work a certain number of hours per week. Once that minimum requirement is met, you can also earn cash. Other times, depending on the job duties, a salary can also be involved. Workamping jobs vary greatly by location from high-end luxury resorts where you gain access to pools, playgrounds and clubhouse activities to remote campsites where you have up-close experiences in nature. With older kids, you may be able to work an office or maintenance job without any problems. With younger kids a camp host may be more appropriate since those positions generally do not require you to leave your camper for significant amounts of time. There are also part time office jobs, gift-shop or café workers and other unique positions that will offer you a place to park your RV in exchange for various duties.

Working on the road has become a lot easier now that portable internet and Wi-Fi connections are readily available. Most RVs, even the smaller ones, have space for a small home office. A good travel laptop, internet connection and perhaps some equipment unique to your job are all that you need. Options for earning money can vary depending on your interests and skills, some people even include their whole family.

2. Freelance & Online Options

rv life family living on the road

Freelance design and creative jobs are common among those who have embraced the RV life. Web design, graphic design, UX/UI design, CAD, computer programming and freelance writing are all very popular and can provide excellent pay. They also tend to be deadline oriented which makes them flexible in the specific hours you spend doing them. This flexibility will allow you to spend time with your kids when you need to and work when you don’t. Finding these jobs can be challenging and the competition can be fierce. Start with what you know and work from there. You can find jobs on online freelance platforms as well as by networking with those looking for your service.

There are a few people that make money blogging or running a YouTube channel. While this can be a good way to make extra money, they tend to develop very slowly if at all. If your goal is immediate income, going this route will probably not be a good option. Instead, get into blogging and YouTube as a hobby while you work a real job and see how it develops. Within a year or two you may be able to shift from a more traditional job into full time blogging or YouTubing. This can be a great activity for the whole family and some of the most profitable and popular channels started as a family’s way to keep in touch with loved ones all over the world. Starting a blog or YouTube channel is most likely to be successful if it is authentic and exciting and living in an RV has the potential for both of those. If you do go this route know it is not a get rich quick solution.

Related Reading:

3. Tech Jobs

Tech jobs including app development can provide a good way to make money on the road with kids. App development is different from freelance computer programming in that you are producing an app that you promote and market on your own. App development can include website or web-based apps and services, but it is more commonly associated with standalone smartphone or computer apps. These can include games, utilities or other amps that people can find useful or entertaining.

Monetizing an app can be done in a number of ways including directly selling it through a distribution system like the Apple Appstore or Google Play. They can also include advertising, subscription based content and in-app purchases. Developing apps has become increasingly less difficult over the years, bringing income potential from their development to within reach of those with even modest skills. Developing apps is also a common segue for landing freelance programming jobs.

Related Reading:

4. Get Creative

There are many other products that you can make and sell that are not app related. If you are more of a mechanical or hands on person then custom jewelry, leather products, small signs and custom glassware or tumblers can all be made from an RV. The kids may even want to help out, allowing them to develop some trade skills at a young age. These products can be sold online through marketplaces like Etsy, eBay or even Amazon. Local flea or farmers markets can offer great venues for sales as well. Finally, as a traveler you can follow certain events around the country to sell your products at. For example, if you make western jewelry, following and setting up booths on the rodeo circuit may be a good source of income.

Making money while traveling can create some unique and difficult challenges. Adding kids into the mix can add even more. Still the excitement and benefits are worthwhile as you learn and explore the world. With some of the ideas presented here you should be able bring in the income you need, be that extra spending cash or a full living wage. You should also be able to do it while still enjoying your children and providing the attention that they need. Finally, in many cases your kids can be part of the process which can teach them valuable life skills and help pave the way for their bright future.

If you are thinking about traveling for long RV trips or even making the jump into full-time RV living, you can adapt practically any job to the lifestyle. There are even travel nursing jobs, construction and horticulture opportunities that all work well for RV living. Whatever you decide, it is worth considering renting an RV or even try out a few different styles to see what fits your family best. From there you might just find the thrill of the road is calling and you are ready to make the adventure more permanent. Knowing your options for earning money while traveling in an RV makes that adventure a little bit more realistic.

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ways to make money travling the world living in an rv with family

About the Author

Shelley Trupert works for Outdoorsy, an RV marketplace for consumers and pros. She has been camping for almost 20 years and is always looking to find the next hike off the beaten path. While she used to enjoy tenting in the wilderness, she prefers to camp in an RV now—whether it is a Class C or a teardrop trailer—to enjoy a little comfort after a long day outdoors and the ease of travel it provides. Her goal is to hike in all of the national parks in North America.

Unique and Simple Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers

Unique and Simple Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers

Looking for some cute easter basket ideas for toddlers?

Use these ideas to inspire you to create an easter basket full of Easter gifts your toddler will love.

It includes unique ideas for Easter baskets as well as creative and non-candy gifts to fill your child’s Easter basket.

This post contains affiliate links. For my full disclosure click here.

For free two-day shipping on these gift ideas Try Amazon Prime’s 30-Day Free Trial.

Use the table of contents link below to jump to the toddler Easter gift ideas you’re most interested in.

In This Article You Will Find:

Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers Who Love Cars and Trucks

Pool Noodle and Beach Towel Easter Basket Idea

Umbrella Easter Basket Idea

Rain Boots Easter Basket Idea

Potty Seat Easter Basket Idea

Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers Who Love Crafts

Shopping Cart No Candy Food Easter Basket Ideas

Easter and Spring Books for Book-Loving Toddlers

Easter and Spring Games for Toddlers Who Love Games

Easter Gift Ideas for 1-Year-Olds

Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers Who Love Wheels

Here are Easter basket ideas and gift ideas for toddlers who love trucks, trains, construction vehicles and all things with wheels.

1. Dump Truck Paw Patrol Easter Basket Idea


If your toddler boy or girl loves dump trucks, here’s a unique Easter basket idea that themed around Paw Patrol. This Easter basket includes bubbles, stuffed animal and water bottles, which were all ideas from above. Insert your child’s favorite character if Paw Patrol isn’t his thing. This idea came from TheKeeperOfTheCheerios.

Tonka Dump Truck

  • Built Tonka tough with sturdy steel construction
  • Movable steel bed for dumping
  • Fill with Easter basket goodies your toddler loves

Fill Truck with Easter Basket Fillers

Fill your dump truck with more Easter basket goodies like these.

Pull-Back Mini Construction Trucks

These eggs filled with pull-back construction vehicles will be a favorite Easter basket filler.

Remote Control Car for Toddlers

Perfect for 18 months and up — this fun and fast remote control car with honking sounds, music, flashing headlights and three different drivers is perfect for any toddler who loves things that go..

More Easter Basket Gift Ideas

2. Beach Towel & Pool Noodle Easter Basket Idea

Here’s a great Easter basket ideas for toddlers to get ready for fun summer swimming adventures. New swimsuit and beach toys can get your toddler ready for fun in the sun.


In addition to a cheap pool noodle, you’ll need a large beach towel to create the above Easter basket idea. Then fill it with fun Easter and gifts for the pool.

Beach Towel

  • Absorbs 5x more water than cotton
  • Large enough to use as a picnic blanket
  • Soft and thick, perfect for pool, beach or lake

Beach Easter Basket Filler Ideas

After you get your main Easter basket with a large beach towel and pool noodle, you can add fun beach gift ideas like these to your basket.

New Swimsuit for Toddler Boys

Your little one could probably use a new swimming suit, so why not add it to their Easter basket? I love rash guards to protect their skin from the sun and fewer sunscreen battles.

Here’s a cute and super affordable swimsuit for toddler boys that’s perfect for a swimming or beach themed Easter basket idea.

New Swimsuit for Toddler Girls

And here’s a cute swimsuit with rash guard for toddler girls that has lots of excellent reviews from moms.

Puddle Jumper Life Jacket

A comfortable and cute life jacket like this is an easy way to keep your toddler safe in the water. We take ours every time we go swimming.

More Beach Easter Basket Gift Ideas:

3. Umbrella Easter Basket Idea for Toddlers

Another creative Easter basket idea for kids to is this upside down umbrella filled with Easter goodies. Perfect for rainy spring days.


Cute Child Size Umbrella

Of course, you’ll need a cute umbrella to fill for this Easter basket idea. This is the one Primal Dish used above.

Unicorn Umbrella

Another cute umbrella that could be flipped upside as an Easter basket for a unicorn lover is this one.

Fill the Umbrella with Easter Gifts

An umbrella leaves lots of space to fill with more gifts. Here are a few practical and cute Easter ideas for toddlers.

Rain Jacket for Toddler Boy or Girl

This lightweight dinosaur jacket will keep your toddler happy and dry on rainy spring days.

More Umbrella Easter Basket Filler Ideas:

4. Rain Boot Easter Basket for Toddlers

Another cute spring Easter basket idea is to use a new pair of rain boots as your Easter basket.

Using rain boots is a unique and practical Easter basket idea for toddlers to get ready to stomp in the springtime rain puddles. Here are a few pairs that are cute, fun, affordable and have 100+ excellent reviews from parents.

Light Up Unicorn Rain Boots

These purple unicorn and rainbow rain boots can make even rain days a little brighter with their cute design and light up style.

Dinosaur Light Up Rain Boots

With red lights and dinosaur shapes, this is another style of rain boots your toddler may love as an Easter basket gift.

Rain Boot Easter Basket Filler Ideas for Toddlers:

5. Potty Seat Easter Basket Idea for 2 or 3-Year-Olds

Your toddler will be potty training sooner or later. So consider using a cute potty seat as a practical Easter basket to get him excited about the idea.


Frog Potty Seat Easter Basket

We have and like the Froggy Potty Seat pictured above, but it’s pricey on Amazon right now, so the similar seat below and the Penguin Potty Seat at Target are cheaper alternatives to make this Easter basket idea happen.

Easter Basket Fillers for the Frog Potty Seat

What should you put in your potty seat Easter basket? Here are some gift ideas perfect for toddlers.

Potty Training Underwear

Frog underwear would be perfect to go with the frog potty seat and they can be worn by boys or girls. Here’s a two-pack that can get your toddler excited about wearing big boy or girl undies.

Potty Training Book

Elmo and life-the-flaps make help make potty training toddlers easier and more fun.

Easter Bunny Ears Headbands

Adjustable bunny ears headbands can fit almost anyone, from infant to adult. They’ll make for some super cute Easter pictures too.

More Easter Basket Stuffers for Toddlers

Easter basket fillers can be simple, fun, and inexpensive. Here are some toddler favorites:

6. Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers Who Love Crafts

What’s better than a bucket or school bag filled with crafts for a toddler who loves being creative?


Craft Organizer Easter Bakset

Ignite the creative side of your toddler by adding new markers, stampers, paints, and glitter to an Easter basket that keeps it all organized.

Easter Egg Stampers

Create fun Easter cards, crafts and pictures with these 15 different egg stampers in 7 different colors and Easter designs.

No-Spill Paint Cups

Let your little Picasso paint with less cleanup. Get 10 different cups with airtight lids and color-coordinated brushes for painting without the mess.

Art Smocks (Pack of 2)

Another key for letting your toddler be creative and work on fine motor skills of painting (without a ton of worry and cleanup for mom) is a good art smock. Long sleeves and a waterproof material makes these smocks for 2-to-6-year olds easy to clean.

More Craft Easter Basket Fillers

7. Shopping Cart No Candy Easter Basket

I found this Easter basket idea with a shopping cart and thought it’d be great for toddlers who love food, pretend play, and cooking too.


Easter gifts can be about food even if you want to create a no candy Easter basket. A durable shopping cart can be used for pretend play and filled with food-related gifts and snacks.

Shopping Cart Basket

  • Sturdy with a deep basket to hold lots of goodies
  • Favorite stuffed animal or baby can ride in the front seat
  • Made in the USA with over 1,000 raving reviews

Shopping Cart Easter Basket Gift Ideas

Here are some more ideas of things to fill your shopping cart Easter basket.

2-Pack Bento Snack and Lunch Box

Another way to make packing and eating easier is using a food portion container that’s leak-proof like the Bento box. The small sections encourage toddlers to eat vegetables and a variety of food groups.

Thermos Funtainer Water Bottle

Straws in a durable stainless steel water bottle makes meal time and snacks on the go more fun. Plus, it encourages toddlers to drink water all day by having a cute and easy-to-use water bottle like this.

Thermos Funtainer Food Jar

A food jar that’s vacuum insulated can make meals on the go much easier as it keeps food hot or cold for 5-7 hours. Since this one has higher ratings and is less expensive, this would be a great non-candy but food-related gift for toddlers.

Dinosaur Toddler Plate

You can make meals at home easier too. Grabbing a cute dinosaur plate that’s safe in the freezer, microwave, dishwasher and oven can make feeding your toddler more fun and less work.

Melissa & Doug Wooden Sort & Slice Eggs

These wooden eggs that help toddlers safely practice cutting are a fun gift idea that encourages fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, color recognition and imaginative play.

More No Candy Easter Basket Filler Ideas for Shopping Cart

More Easter Basket Gift Ideas for Toddler Girls


Whether you fill a traditional Easter basket or a shopping cart, here’s some inspiration for creating an Easter basket for your toddler daughter.

Blooming Flower Wall Decals

  • Colorful wall stickers look like beautiful flowers or fireworks
  • Perfect decor for little girl’s bedroom or playroom
  • 28 pieces in 4 different sizes and 4 colors (purple, green, blue, pink)

Easter Pajamas

She will be cute and comfortable in a new pair of bunny pajamas.

Easter Dress American Girl Doll

This adorable American Girl doll is wearing a beautiful Easter dress with a white hat.

Raincoat, Umbrella, Boots and Bunny

This American Girl doll with a raincoat, umbrella, boots and bunny is ready for springtime.

Rain Jacket, Umbrella, Boots, Hats, Pants and Shirt

Another American Girl Doll option with cute pink umbrella, jacket, and boots.

Easter Bunny Slippers for American Girl Dolls

Accessorize your toddler’s American Girl Doll this Easter with cute bunny slippers.

Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers Who Love Books

Books are a perfect gift idea to add to any basket for any occasion, including Easter! A cute backpack filled with books can be a unique toddler Easter basket idea.

Toddler Backpack

This insulated toddler backpack is adorable, easy to clean, and has a safety harness included. With over 565 reviews and a 4.7 rating, this is one of the best backpacks for toddlers on Amazon.

Best Easter Books for Toddlers

Here are some of the top books for toddlers with Easter, bunny, and springtime themes.

Happy Easter, Mouse! (From If You Give…)

Count on the Easter Pups! (Paw Patrol)

Llama Llama Easter Egg

Pete the Cat: Big Easter Adventure

God Gave Us Easter

You can get more Easter book ideas for toddlers with a summary of each story over here.

Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers Who Like Games

play blocks toddlers babies kids

A game is another gift idea that will have your toddler hopping for joy on Easter. Here are some of the best Easter games for little kids.

Easter Bingo Game for Kids

  • Fun and easy party game
  • Perfect Easter activity for school, church, daycare or family
  • 24 player cards and chips included

Hoppy Floppy’s Happy Hunt Educational Game

  • Help Hoppy Floppy hunt for carrots in this fun and easy board game
  • Recommended for ages 3-6
  • Tweezers, spinner, and 16 carrots help develop social skills, taking turns, and hand-eye coordination in a fun family game

Pin the Tail on the Easter Bunny

  • Fun party game for Easter or springtime
  • Classroom, daycare, or at home activity for Easter
  • Blindfold and 12 tails included

Bunny Bedtime Make a Choice Game

  • Perfect game for you and your two-year-old
  • Players help bunny make choices about her bedtime routine
  • Children learn about matching colors and shapes, making choices, problem solving and social-emotional skills through play

Easter Basket Ideas for 1 Year Olds


Here are gift ideas your one-year-old will love in his or her first Easter basket.

TOMY Hide & Squeak Eggs

  • Encourages fine motor skills, shape and color recognition
  • Press down gently on chicks’ head to hear adorable cheeps
  • Babies will love the squeak while older toddlers can enjoy matching the shapes and funny faces

Melissa and Doug Bunny Stuffed Animal

  • floppy plush sitting bunny perfect for snuggling
  • fuzzy coat and velvety ears
  • wooden crate also included to keep eggs organized!

Cuddly Bunny Lovie Blanket

This soft security blanket comes in many adorable animals, including a bunny, bear, fox, and puppy. Both my 1-year-old and 3-year-old still love these snuggly blankies.

To Sum It Up: Unique and Simple Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers

Most of these items can be found at dollar stores, Walmart, Target, and Kohls. But if you’re wanting something delivered to your door fast from Amazon, this list of Easter basket gifts with great reviews from parents and grandparents will make your Easter shopping fun and easy.

Sign up for your Free 30 day trial of Amazon Prime to get any of the above Easter gift ideas shipped to your door fast.

Happy common ‘cents’ shopping!

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