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,

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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Similar Posts about Easter, Shopping, and Toddlers

Living Well Planner Review

Living Well Planner Review

Wondering if the Living Well Planner is worth it? Is it the best life planner for you? This Living Well Planner review will answer all your questions about the planner that was designed by Ruth Soukup of Living Well Spending Less.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you purchase a product through my link. Sometimes, you actually get a better deal by using my link. Enjoy this completely honest Living Well Planner review!

Living Well Planner Coupon

Before we dive into the full planner review, I know you love a great deal and are wondering if there are any coupons for the Living Well Planner.

Good news! There are two special Living Well Planner discounts!

  1. Get FREE SHIPPING on any purchase of $50 or more
  2. Get the Living Well Planner Limited Edition for just $25 (that’s a 50% discount!)

The best part? No coupon code is needed to receive these special deals. Just use the button below to add it to your cart.

Living Well Panner Overview

The Living Well Planner is a lively, high-quality comprehensive organizer and planner that helps you plan and achieve a life you love.

In addition to long-term goals for the year, motto statements and a focus word of the year, there are pages for important dates, important information (like emergency numbers, bank contact info, medical policy numbers, etc), and motivational quotes throughout.

Each month includes pages for:

  • Monthly Goals
  • Goal Crushing
  • Project Planning
  • Month at a Glance
  • Weekly Plans
  • Monthly Budget
  • Monthly Expenses
  • Thoughts and Thanks
  • Notes and Ideas

The weekly plans include a vertical column for each day, broken up into hours from 6am – 10 pm. This is perfect for time block scheduling. There is also space to write your top 3 must do tasks for each day and daily meal planning space. The weekly page includes an extra space to make a list or write notes and jot any big days coming up.

Living Well Planner Flip Through

Watch the video below to see inside my Living Well Planner. I cover my top pros and cons about the planner now that I’ve used it for several months.

Living Well Planner Pros

It’s Pretty, Lively, & Fun!

When I received my Living Well Planner in the mail, my first thought was how gorgeous it is!

If you’ve been frugal shopper and tried to use your own printables or cheap planners from discount stores, you will be shocked at how fancy a planner can be. If you get giddy about using pretty stationary and supplies, you’ll be excited to use the Living Well Planner.

Living Well Planner Stickers!!

I have not used stickers before, but the sticks that come with the Living Well Life Planner are so fun! They include but are not limited to:

  • Reminders
  • Date night
  • Need to do today
  • Workout time
  • Girl time
  • Checkmarks
  • Vacations
  • Meetings
  • Meal prep
  • Appointments
  • Shopping
  • and much, much more!

There are even extra stickers you can add to your planner. The stickers are a great way to make your planner more fun and visually appealing so you want to stick with using it and can keep everything organized.

It’s High Quality

The paper, divider pages, tabs, and cover are all sturdy and high-quality material. With the quality spiral binding, it is easy to keep open so you can see your planner and notes.

Goal Planning & Free Crushing It Course

The Living Well Planner is perfect for anyone who loves or needs help with goal setting. Everything is covered when you buy this planner, including areas to plan out all of your goals:

  • Yearly goals
  • Monthly goals
  • Daily goals
  • Big 3 goals
  • Breaking down goals into bite-sized steps
  • Personal growth goals
  • Fun & recreational goals
  • Health & fitness goals
  • Home improvement goals
  • Finance goals
  • Personal relationship & connection goals

Plus, you get a free email course called the Crushing It Bootcamp that will inspire and show you how to plan and achieve a life you love. This is what I work to do and inspire you to do every day.

You also get exclusive access to the Crushing It Facebook Group for extra goal planning and accountability support.

Monthly Budget Pages

One of the main reasons I decided to try the Living Well planner to organize my family (besides the fact that it’s gorgeous) is that it included budgeting pages right inside for each month.

As you turn the pages for your planner, you will be reminded to budget each month by using this planner. This is great for anyone new to budgeting.

Monthly Divider Tabs

The pretty colored tabs are sturdy and they come without words. You can add stickers to them for each month. So no matter which month of the year you get your Living Well planner, you can have the monthly divider tabs in the order you need them.

These tabs have been convenient for quickly finding the month I need, like March to see when spring break is.

Ability to See Month, Week, Day and Hour at a Glance


Depending on the page you have open, I like that with this planner you can get an overview of an entire month, week, day or hour. The month pages are great for seeing what’s ahead while the weekly and daily sections are great for scheduling appointments, prioritizing your tasks, to do list, and reminders.

Meal Planning Space

The bottom of each day has a dedicated space for meal planning. It includes 6 lines, so there’s more than enough space to plan your meals, snacks, and other notes about food you want to remember.

More Meal Planning Resources

Personally, I still use my favorite weekly meal planning templates but that was already a habit for me before I started using the Living Well planner…and habits are hard to break!

Pro and Con: It’s Undated

When I started using my Living Well Planner, the hardest part for me is the biggest pro for others, so I’ll put this in both. The fact that it’s undated is a pro because you can start whenever you like.

This is also great if you tend to hop on and off the planner train for weeks at a time and hate wasting pages that you don’t use.

Living Well Planner Cons


Although you will probably find a lot of things you love, there are some downsides that I found in my Living Well Planner review. Admittedly, I’m being a bit picky here, but this is my honest opinion.

Pro and Con: It’s Undated

If you like to plan ahead, like I do, you will need to spend some time filling in all the pages because the Living Well Planner is undated (as noted above).

I’m a total nerd about planning and organizing. So filling in months worth of dates was a small pain.

It’s Pretty Big

The Living Well Planner is pretty big. There’s a lot of space to write all the things you’re keeping track of, but that comes with a sacrifice.

This planner is not easy to toss in your purse and take with you. It’s better for sitting on your desk or in your command center by the kitchen.

Family Planner and Organizer Hack


I’ve had a wire book stand similar to this that I’ve shuffled around but never really found a use for before that works perfectly for displaying my Living Well Planner by our family command center.

This keeps it upright and insight for the whole family to see.

Budget Categories

While the budgeting pages can be a good thing, I had the habit of making a monthly budget in my excel spreadsheet for years (which you can download in the Free Resource Library).

Switching to this budgeting sheet has been a bit of a stretch for me. I like that my Google spreadsheet adds up my expenses automatically and I can easily customize the budget categories.

If you’re not already in the habit of budgeting and want a budget right inside your planner, however, these budget sheets could be a positive for you.


If you don’t get the Living Well Planner during a sale, it’s $55. At first, I had sticker shock at this price. But when my planner arrived in the mail, I was not disappointed.

Ruth created a high quality product that’s more like a life organizer than just a weekly calendar.

Living Well Planner vs Erin Condren LifePlanner

Erin Condren LifePlanners are also gorgeous, inspirational, focused on goal setting, and made with incredibly high quality. The price is right around $50-$60 too. Compared to the Living Well Planner, Erin Condren planners are simply more customizable.

You can personalize the planner:

  • front and back cover
  • size
  • weekly layout (vertical, horizontal, or hourly)
  • coil color
  • stickers
  • color theme (colorful or neutral)

There are several different Erin Condren planners to choose from, including:

  • Coiled LifePlanner (most similar style to Living Well Planner)
  • Hardbound LifePlanner
  • Deluxe Monthly Planner
  • Petite Planner
  • Focused Planner
  • Academic Planner
  • Wedding Planner
  • Teacher’s Planner

If you’re ready to find a planner that’s customized to fit your unique needs, then you’ll find what you need in an Erin Condren planner.

Living Well Planner vs Happy Planner

The Happy Planner is another pretty, everyday planner. There are a wide variety of designs and colors to choose from. It’s also spiral bound and a bit heavier, like the Living Well Planner.

The biggest difference I could find between the Living Well Planner vs Happy Planner is there are no additional pages and resources for goal setting, life reflecting, and practicing gratitude.

The Living Well Planner is likely the better planner for you if you are focusing on goal setting, being more productive, and accomplishing your long-term and short-term goals.

Also, the Happy Planner is dated, so you either have to get this planner with the January or July start. The Living Well Planner, however, can start any day of the year.

While the Living Well Planner is only available in Ruth’s shop, and it has a larger price tag, the Happy Planner is widely available on Amazon for half the price. It’s versatile too. You can add The Happy Planner to your Amazon cart by clicking the button below.

Extras for Your Living Well Planner

In addition to buying the Living Well Planner, I added a couple extras from the Living Well Shop.

Do It Scared Mug

Do you hate paying for shipping? Me too. Instead of paying for shipping, I’d rather pay $12 and get something I actually can use.

That’s when I spotted the black and gold mug and t-shits. I instantly fell in love. Not only are they my colors for The Common Cents Club, but I’ve used the motto “do it scared” to face ALL my fears since putting myself out there on this blog, in my book, on podcasts, and speaking gigs.

Now when I wake early in the morning, I experience pure joy sipping coffee from my “do it scared” mug, using my stickers, planner pens, and life planner to organize my day and week as a busy mom.

Extra Living Well Planner Stickers

Since I was going all out to write this Living Well Planner review, I decided to load up on the stickers. There was a sale when I ordered and I had a feeling I would be extra inspired to note my meetings, doctor appointments, kids’ activities and reminders if I had stickers for them.

These stickers did not disappoint and I don’t know that I’ll be able to stick fill out future planners without fun stickers like these.

Pretty Pens for Planners

Oh, and how could I forget the pretty pens?

I use the Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens to keep my planner organized and pretty. The 12-pack is a great deal and I’ve been very happy with them.

I almost bought these FriXion Erasable Gel Pens I saw recommended by someone else because I’d love to be able to erase changes or mistakes, but then I read the reviews (like I always do) and heard your writing will erase on its own if it gets too warm.

I don’t want to have to worry about my appointments and reminders randomly disappearing if I take my planner to work outside or in the car, so for that reason I’m sticking with the PaperMate Flair Pens.

Living Well Planner Review Conclusion


The Living Well Planner is a high-quality life planner that is one of the best planners for moms. It’s a great planner for you if you:

  • want a structured planner for organizing your life
  • want a pretty planner that’s fun to use
  • want built-in monthly budgeting sheets
  • want to focus on creating habits and crushing goals
  • want space for time blocking, must-do daily tasks, and meal planning

I’m excited to use my new planner and hope you’ve found this Living Well Planner review helpful to help you decide if it will be the best planner for you.

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Sign Up for New Free Organizing Tools in My Freebie Library

Looking for more tools for organizing your life, like a meal planner, budgeting template, and way to organize gift ideas all year long?

Just let me know by tapping the button below and I’ll give you the super secret password to access ALL my favorite freebies for organizing your life and shopping smarter in The Common Cents Club Library.

What’s the Best Planner You’ve Found?

Let me know in the comments. I love using and reviewing planners to keep my life organized too!

Meal Planning Template to Save Money, Eat Healthy and Plan Weekly Meals in 10 Minutes or Less

Meal Planning Template to Save Money, Eat Healthy and Plan Weekly Meals in 10 Minutes or Less

Is meal planning one of those things you know you should be doing, but you haven’t found the right meal planning template yet?

Have you ever swore you were going do this whole meal planner thing…only to fail after two days?

We hear how amazing meal planning is for saving money, eating healthier, and feeling less overwhelmed by the dreaded 5:00 PM “What’s for dinner? I’m hungry now!” I even swear by it in my 100 easy ways to save money and paying off debt tips.

But it is hard to stick with IF you don’t have the right meal planning template. And let me tell you: I’ve tried it all.

After getting on and off the meal planning wagon many times, I finally found a meal planning template and system that works for me as a busy mom. And I even created a free version of it, which you can access at the end of the post.

Why Other Meal Planner Templates Failed

Photo by Emma Matthews on Unsplash

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure for more information. 

But first, why is it so hard to stick with meal planning and why did the other meal planner systems fail?

Well, meal planning takes time and forethought. Kind of like creating a budget for the month — only with your food instead of money.

I tried meal planning a bunch of ways, like:

  • on my monthly calendar
  • in my daily planner
  • on plain pretty notepad paper

But all of these failed after a few days or weeks.

So what changed?

Why You Need to Find a Meal Planner That Works For YOU

Once you find the right meal planner for your needs, you’ll understand why all the others didn’t work for you.

The top reasons I am loving this meal planner system are:

  • I can plan weekly meals and my grocery list in 10 minutes or less
  • This meal planner template includes snacks
  • We stick to our grocery budget
  • We meet all our all our special diet needs
  • It’s so easy I will actually stick with it long-term
  • It is cheap, less than $10 for an entire year
  • There’s a free meal planning option that’s almost as good

So what’s the secret?

The Best Weekly Meal Planning Template

I was browsing Amazon when I came across the Knock Knock WHAT TO EAT notepad.

At first, I felt a little ridiculous even considering buying it. But when I looked closely at what was actually on this weekly meal planner, I started imagining myself as The Meal Planning Queen I had tried to be several times before.

Since I knew how much money I could save if I could stick with meal planning, and it was only $8 for an entire year’s worth of weekly meal planning templates, I gave it a shot.

And I’m SO glad I did.

Why the ‘WHAT TO EAT’ Meal Planner Works

  1. It’s magnetic – It sticks to my fridge…where all the food is to cook and where I look when making a grocery list.
  2. It makes sense. The main space is for planning dinners. We eat the same few things for breakfasts and lunches, so I really don’t need to plan those every day. However, I do plan dinner each day and this meal planner has it laid out perfectly.
  3. It also has a space for planning SNACKS. My 3- and 1-year-old eat ALL DAY LONG, so I need to make sure I have a never-ending grab bag of snacks for them. This was something all my other meal planner templates were missing.
  4. One notepad will last ALL YEAR because there are 60 weekly meal planning worksheets.
  5. It’s cheap. For $8-$9, if it saves you from ordering out even one night you will already get your money’s worth.
  6. I reuse old meal ideas. I run out of ideas after a week or two. So instead of throwing away old meal planner sheets, keep them somewhere so you can pull them out and easily plan out a new week of ideas from those meals you made 3 or 4 weeks ago. This is a huge timesaver!

What to Do After You Make Your Weekly Meal Plan

After you create a plan of what to eat for the week, create a grocery list with everything you need to make the breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks.

My favorite app for making grocery lists is Wunderlist.

I love Wunderlist for my grocery list because you can:

  • check off each item in the store
  • uncheck each item to re-add it to your list
  • share the list with your husband or teenager…
  • who can help you add items to your shopping list when they finish the milk or need to bring something special to school\
  • create a different list for each store you shop at

Plus, you always have your phone with you at the store anyway. No more forgetting your list at home! Check it out and see what you’ve been missing.

Why You Need to Try Meal Planning (Again)

If you’ve tried meal planning before or have any of the following goals, here are five reasons why you need to try it again.

1. Save Money with Meal Planning

The amount of money you save by planning your meals and only buying the food you need to carry out that meal plan is in the hundreds for most families. You’ll stop throwing away food you don’t use because you didn’t have a plan for what to use it for.

You’ll avoid impulse buys and buying a bunch of stuff “just in case you want to make that one dish this week.”

By finding the right meal planner template for your family, investing a few bucks and 10 minutes each week can easily save you $2,000 or more this year. You will save even more if you usually go out to eat a lot.

2. Save Time with Meal Planning

I know fast food sounds fast, but when you consider the time it takes for a family to decide, order, wait for the food, and eat, it’s really not faster than what you can whip up at home.

And when you create a system of knowing what food needs to be taken out to unthaw, knowing you have everything you need on hand, and only making one trip to the grocery store per week, you’ll end up saving yourself time by planning your meals ahead of time.

3. Lose Weight and Be Healthier with Meal Planning

Eating healthy and losing weight are goals many of us have. But it is hard!

I struggle with it too.

Eating healthy may never be straight-up easy. But when you create a weekly meal plan and buy the foods on your list, then sticking with a diet can be much easier.

4. Meal Planning for Food Allergies and Sensitivities

Feeding a family can be hectic enough without adding food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances to the mix.

But with 1 in 13 kids have food allergies, the need to find special foods that fit your family’s health needs is more common and crucial.

I have several food allergies in my family, and when you add my extended family, there are even more. Meal planning has become a way for us to more easily make meals, snacks, and treats that work for each family member’s needs.

5. Less Overwhelm and More Joy Around Meals

I know I can’t be the only one who dreads the hangry 5PM: “What’s for dinner? I’m huuuungry.”

Followed by ferociously hoping something yummy, easy and healthy-ish will magically appear in the fridge or cupboards.

The peace that comes with knowing what you’re going to eat and when allows families to experience less overwhelm in the kitchen and more joy around the dinner table.

More Weekly Meal Planner Templates

If you want to find a new weekly meal planner template but for some reason or another don’t think the Knock Knock WHAT TO EAT pad is the right for you, check out these other meal planners:

Free Weekly Meal Planner Template with Snacks

My Weekly Meal Plan Printable – FREE in my Resource Library

The weekly templates are the same as the WHAT TO EAT pad but in a printable version instead of the magnetic notepad. Sign up to get into the Freebie Library, which includes a bunch of meal planners.

>> When you have the password, CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE LIBRARY! <<

Monthly Meal Planning Template

My Monthly Meal Planning Template – FREE in my Resource Library.

The monthly calendar meal planner is also available in the Library. Sign up for access and you can get instant access to of my free meal planners.

Meal Planner with Grocery List Template

I love the Wunderlist app for keeping track of my shopping list, but if you want a meal planner template with a grocery list included check out this one or this one.

If you want meals already included in your meal plan with a shopping list, then $5 meal plan is your easy and affordable answer. Try the Risk-Free 14-Day Trial with her delicious and easy recipes. The grocery list is a convenient addition and can save you a lot of time.

Editable Meal Planner Template

My Editable Weekly and Monthly Meal Planner – FREE in my Library

You can find two editable meal planners in the Freebie Library too: one weekly and one monthly. With these you can fill in your meal plans for the week then save it on your computer or print it out. You can download them by signing up to get the secret code instantly.

Printable Meal Planner Templates

My Printable Meal Planner Templates – FREE resource library include the following options to best suit your personal preferences:

  • Monday start
  • Sunday start
  • Pretty font
  • Plain font
  • Editable
  • Printable
  • Weekly
  • Monthly

If you haven’t signed up to check out all the goodies in the free resource library yet, what are you waiting for?

Special Diet Meal Planning Templates

Meal planning makes sticking with individual diet needs and goals easier. Check out these options if you’re looking for meal plans for your individual diet goals:

Gluten Free Meal Plans – $5 Meal Plan program has a library of delicious yet easy recipes. You’ll get recipes, directions and a shopping list with your plan. Try it FREE for 2 weeks. Continue for $5 per month or cancel if it doesn’t fit your needs.

Whole 30 Meal Planning Templates – Some worthwhile Whole30 meal planners can be found here or here.

21 Day Fix Meal Plans – Grab a printable spreadsheet meal plan over here.

Paleo Meal Planner (with Whole 30 modifications) – Check out this Word meal planning template on this page.

Vegetarian Meal Planning – Get four week’s worth of recipes and meal plans to fit a vegetarian diet either in Word or PDF.

Meal Planning Template in Excel

Looking for meal planning template for your spreadsheet-loving self? Check out this one and this one.

If you need to create your own meal planner in Excel, here’s a step-by-step guide.

Meal Plan in Your Bullet Journal

Finally, if you’re a bullet journal lover, you can create weekly meal plan in your journal too.

Here’s a how-to guide to show you how to create meal plans, shopping lists, and food budget goals with your bullet journal.


Start Meal Planning Today

When you create a habit of meal planning, you will:

  • save money
  • stop throwing unused food away
  • have less overwhelm about “what’s for dinner”
  • enjoy family meals more
  • avoid restaurant and fast food because you don’t know what to eat
  • have a plan prepared ahead of time for your meals each day
  • know what groceries you need for the week (and what you don’t)
  • stick to your diet goals, eat healthier, and lose weight

The Easiest Weekly Meal Planner


For me, I’m so glad I found the WHAT TO EAT pad on Amazon. It’s been the key for me to stick with meal planning as a busy mom.

An entire weekly meal plan can be created in less than 10 minutes and if it saves you from going out to eat just one time, you’ll already get your money’s worth.

It’s a no brainer.

The Cheapest Weekly, Monthly, and Editable Meal Planning Templates

But if you cannot get yourself to spend a few bucks on the notepad, at least grab one of the free meal planning templates in my resource library. Print four copies for the upcoming month and sticking them on your fridge.

Sign up below if you don’t have the Library password yet (hint: If you’re already part of The Common Cents Club newsletter, the password is included at the bottom on any recent email).

Use your common “cents” and grab your own weekly meal planner template below so you can start meal planning now.

>> When you have the password, CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE LIBRARY! <<

Save This To Pinterest


Whether you have a getting healthier board, a meal planning board, or a saving money board save these meal planning templates to Pinterest so you always have them when you need them. Plus, your friends can start using them too!

Keep Reading

Ultimate List of Gift Guides to Find the Perfect Kid, Friend, and Family Gifts

Ultimate List of Gift Guides to Find the Perfect Kid, Friend, and Family Gifts

Need a gift idea but not up for fighting the crowded stores or searching Google only to be bombarded with ads that won’t stop playing?

Yeah, I hate those too.

So I’ve done hours of research to find you over 90 lists of unique gift ideas to cover anyone on your list without annoying ads.

Perfect Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List1

Not only do the lists below have perfect family gifts, host gifts, teacher gifts, Star Wars gifts and everything in-between, but I checked to verify every list is user-friendly AND you won’t be bombarded with ads either.

Consider it my thank you gift to you for checking out my site. 😉

So enjoy cruising the gift guides below created by some of my favorite bloggers and websites, so you can find the right gift for everyone on your list.

Since there are 90+ gift guides below (and more will be added regularly as I find new great ones), use this table of contents to save you some time.

Tap the link below to jump to the gift ideas you need first:

Best Gifts for Moms

best gift ideas for mom

Gift Ideas for the Mom Who Doesn’t Want Anything – by Seashells and Storytime

12 Gifts for Mom – some of these made me laugh by Paiges of Gray

Unique Gifts for Expecting Moms – on Smart Cents Moms

Perfect Gifts for Moms of Little Ones – by A Purpose Driven Mom

Best Friend & Family Gifts

friends and family gift ideas

Best Board Games for Families to Play Together – on The Pragmatic Parent

Best Gifts for Your Sister – on Best Products

Best Gifts for Your Brother – on Cosmopolitan

Best Gifts for BFFs – on Brostick

135 Best Gifts for Dad – on Dodoburd

Gift Ideas for the Mom Who Doesn’t Want Anything – by Seashells and Storytime

Best Gifts for Party Hosts – by Saving Dollars and Sense

Best Gifts for the Home – by Paiges of Gray

Secret Santa and White Elephant Gifts

secret santa and white elephant gifts
Funny White Elephant Gifts – by Dodoburd

Secret Santa Gift Ideas for Under $25 – by Mommy Takes 5

Gift Guides by Occupation

Best Gifts for Work at Home Entrepreneurs

Gifts for Work-at-Home Moms (WAHMs) – by May Virtual Assists

Gifts for Freelancers who Work from Home – by Kayla Sloan

Gifts for Teachers

44 Teacher Christmas Gift Ideas on Amazon – by Catherine Alford

Affordable Teacher Gift Ideas You can Quickly Throw Together – on The Pragmatic Parent

Gifts for Photographers

Photographer Gift Ideas – by Oh Hello Rae

Gifts for Your Boss or Co-Workers

Awesome Gift Ideas for Your Boss or Co-Workers – on Today

Gift Guides by Interest

Use the list of gift ideas below to find a great gift based on what the person likes. Harry Potter? Goldendoodles? Piano? No problem!

Gifts for Book Lovers & Writers

gifts for book lovers

Gifts for Writers – by Turner Proofreading

More Gift Ideas for Writers – by New Frontier Books

Gifts for Book Lovers on Amazon – by Perpetual Page Turner

Gifts for the Serious Bookworm (8 ideas) – on Hello World Paper Co.

Gifts for Outdoors and Travel Lovers

gift ideas for outdoors lover adventurer

Gift Guide for Lovers of the Outdoors, Hiking, and Camping – by Saving Dollars and Sense

Best Gifts for Hunters – by Saving Dollars and Sense

Best Gift Ideas for Fishermen of All Levels – by Saving Dollars and Sense

Gift Guide for the Outdoor Adventurer – Gift ideas for any outdoorsman or woman on Intrepid Daily

Best Gifts for Travelers (55 Ideas!) – on The Planet D

Ultimate Gift Guide for Travelers – 50 ideas for every budget on Mikala Jane Travels

Unique Travel Gifts for the Female Traveller – on The Pink Backpack

Cool Gifts for Foodies

17 Gift Ideas for Vegans – on the Berry Abundant Life

Cheesy Gifts for Cheese Lovers – by Huffington Post

Kitchen Gadgets That Will Make You Want to Cook at Home – by Making-Time

Perfect Gifts for Bakers – by Saving Dollars and Sense

Cool Gifts for Drinkies

gifts for book and coffee loveres

Gift Ideas for Coffee Lovers – by Roasty Coffee

Gifts for Wine Lovers – by Dancing with Wine

Gift ideas for any Tea Lover in your Family – on Life is Better with Tea

Gifts for Runners and Fitness Buffs

best gifts for fitness athletes

Gift Guide for Health & Fitness Folks – on After the Last Pound

Gifts Ideas for Runners Under $30 – on 366 Days of Running

Gifts for Dog Lovers

gifts for dog lovers

Personalized Gifts for Dog Lovers – on Country Living

Mom Gifts for Doodle Moms – on Mcsquare Doodles

Gifts for Beauty, Makeup and Self-Care Lovers

Best Gifts for Makeup Lovers (10 Best) – by The Guide to Getting Glam

Best Beauty and Self-Care Gift Ideas – by The Guide to Getting Glam

Gifts for Harry Potter Lovers

Gifts for Harry Potter Lovers – by Mama Fish Saves

Ultimate Harry Potter Gift Guide – by Business Insider

Gifts for Star Wars Fans

Best Star Wars Gifts – by Badget Review

50 Greatest Star Wars Gifts – by Hi Consumption

More Unique Gift Ideas by Interests

Top 10 Gifts for Stand Up Paddle Board Mermaids – by Paddle Boarding CPA

Gift Ideas for Piano Lovers – on Pianissimo

Fun Gift Ideas for Crocheters of All Skill Levels – on Dodoburd

Gift ideas for Seasonal Depression Sufferers – on Healthy, Savvy, & Wise

Perfect Gift Ideas for Someone Who is Always Cold –  on 365 Gift Guide

10 Gifts for Family or Friends who Own Golf Cars – by Wheelz

Gift Guides for Every Budget

anniversary birthday christmas gift ideas for every budget

If you need a gift guide and want to ensure everything is within your price range, these creators found gifts that can help you stick to your budget.

Gift Ideas Under $10

30 Great Gifts for $5 or Less – by The Simple Dollar

Great Gift Ideas for Kids Under $10 – by  Family Money Plan

Gift Ideas Under $25

45 Christmas Gift Ideas under $25 – on PT Money

Wooden Toddler Toys Under $20 – on The Busy Budget Mom

Best Toddler Toys under $20 – by Explore Kid Talk

Secret Santa Gift Ideas for Under $25 – by Mommy Takes 5

Awesome Tween Girl Gifts Under $25 – by Finding Our Green Life

Stocking Stuffers for Teen Girls Under $15 – by Inspired Her Way

Gift Ideas Under $50

Gifts Ideas for Runners Under $30 – on 366 Days of Running

Christmas Gifts Under $50 – by The Navy Blonde

Gift Ideas Under $100

50 Gift Ideas Under $100 – by The Butler Journal

50 Best Gifts Under $100 Anyone Would Love – by Best Products

Inspirational Giving Quotes to Keep in Mind

secret santa and white elephant gifts

Remember the reason for the season. The holidays can be as stressful or joyful as you make them. If we focus our attention on giving and spending laidback time together, we can all enjoy our gifts, our gatherings, and our traditions and our family more.

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

–Winston Churchill

“When we give cheerfully and receive gratefully, everyone is blessed.”

— Maya Angelou

“No one has ever become poor by giving.”

— Anne Frank

“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.”

H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Save this Ultimate Gift Guide List to Pinterest and Share it With Your Friends!

Cheers to Your Financial & Family Freedom,



26 Totally Awesome Gifts For College Guys

26 Totally Awesome Gifts For College Guys

Need a gift for college guys that they actually want?

If you want to spend between $8 and $300 and your college student likes:

  • Technology
  • Money
  • Food
  • Practical Gifts
  • or Unique Gifts

Then you will find the perfect gift idea below!

awesome gifts for college students guys

Note: This post may contain affiliate links, which makes it possible to write awesome free content for you without bombarding you with annoying pop-up ads. I hate those too. Ready my full disclosure for more info.

Here are the top college gift ideas your college student will love that you can easily order online.

Tech Gifts for Collge Guys

Technology and college guys go together like grilled cheese and tomato soup. If you’re looking for college gift ideas that students want, these are gifts you can find on Amazon.

1. Amazon Echo Dot

  • “Alexa, play study music.”
  • “Alexa, what is Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion?”
  • “Alexa, announce to keep it down. We’re studying for finals.”
  • 4.4 stars with over 1,060 reviews
Get This Gift!

2. Sofia & Sam Memory Foam Lap Desk with USB Light

  • Great for reading, writing, or working from bed or the couch
  • Keep your lap cool and comfortable with memory foam
  • Detachable USB light plugs into portable desk or computer’s USB port
  • 4.7 stars with over 720 reviews
Get This Gift!

3. Apple AirPods

  • Crystal-clear sound and amazingly easy to use with any Apple device
  • Up to 5 hours of listening time with just one charge
  • Just tap and talk into them to activate Siri without even touching your phone
  • 4.4 stars with over 1,300 reviews
Get This Gift!

4. ArmorSuit Apple Watch Screen Protector

  • Protect your Apple Watch Series 4 with Ultra HD Clear screen protector
  • MilitaryShield heals minor scratches, reduces dust, oil and fingerprint smudges
  • Lifetime replacement warranty
  • 3.8 stars on over 145 reviews
Get This Gift!

5. Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS

  • Track workouts, heart rate, make phone calls and send messages all from your wrist
  • Built-in GPS
  • Monthly challenges, achievement awards, head-to-head competitions, and personalized coaching
  • Advanced features for runners and the ability to share activity with friends
  • 4.3 stars on over 160 reviews
Get This Gift!

6. Fitbit Charge 2 Watch + Fitness Tracker

  • Stay motivated to keep moving and avoid dreaded college weight gain
  • Keep track of time so college students are never late for work for class
  • 4.1 stars with over 17,500 reviews
Get This Gift!

7. Samsung Galaxy 32 GB Tablet

  • Watch movies, play games, check email, and more with long battery life
  • Samsung Galaxy 32GB Tablet has 4.4 Stars with nearly 500 reviews
  • Cheaper alternative is Amazon Fire 7 Tablet, which has 4 stars and over 39,000 reviews
Get This Gift!

8. SoundBot Bluetooth Beanie Hat

  • Keep college guy’s head warm and give him the gift of music too
  • Water-resistant so enjoy HD acoustic music wherever you go
  • Stop messing with wires when listening to music, podcasts or making calls outside
  • 3.9 stars with over 1,000 reviews
Get This Gift!

9. Braven Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

  • Let your college guy take his music anywhere without worrying about water
  • Play music, podcasts, or audiobooks for an impressive 18 hours playtime
  • Charge phone using built-in Lithion-ion battery
  • 4.3 stars with 220 reviews
Get This Gift!

10. Charging Stand for Smart Phone, Tablet and Apple Watch

  • Charge Apple Watch and cell phones at the same time
  • Widely compatible with all Apple watches, most smartphones and tablets
  • Corner rubber pads protect devices from scratches
  • 4.3 stars from over 135 reviews
Get This Gift!

Food Gifts For College Guys

Because what college guy doesn’t love the gift of food?

Here are three unique food gifts college students will love:


  • He’ll laugh when he opens the Hangry Man Kit
  • Variety of tasty snacks full of nuts, protein, and meat
  • 4.6 stars over 380 reviews
Get This Gift!

12. Healthy Snacks Care Package for College Students

  • Give 40 name-brand snacks in one care package
  • Save time shopping all the aisles of the grocery store
  • 4.6 stars from over 100 reviews
Get This Gift!

13. Love With Food – Delicious All-Natural Snack Subscription

  • Try new snacks without committing to full-price products
  • A new box of 10-15 healthy snacks is delivered each month
  • Snacks are natural, organic or gluten-free
  • Get 50% Off Your First Box
Get This Gift!

Unique Gifts for College Guys Who Have Everything

Looking for more unique gift ideas for college students? I’ve got you covered.

14. YETI College Tumbler With Lid

  • Show your school pride with the gift of a YETI’s officially licensed collegiate ramblers
  • Same YETI ruggedness that can take a beating from tailgate parties to after parties
  • Double-wall insulated stainless steel body keeps drinks the temperature you want for ours
  • 4.3 stars from nearly 5,000 reviews
Get This Gift!

15. Phillips Wake Up Light

  • Become a morning person and wake up without an annoying alarm clock (a friend of mine swears by it)
  • Sunrise alarm clock is clinically proven to improve energy, sleep, and well-being
  • Wind-down and fall asleep easily with sunset simulation
  • 4.0 stars with over 120 reviews
Get This Gift!

16. Custom Photo Cube

  • Add six pictures of your college guy’s family, buddies, girlfriend, and pets
  • Display special photos in a fun way that doubles as a dorm room boredom buster
  • 4.8 stars on over 130 reviews
Get This Gift!

Practical Gifts for College Guys

If you’re looking for practical gifts for college students, check out the gifts college guys want and will use.

17. STANLEY 65-Piece Tool Kit

  • Easy-to-use tool set in convenient storage case
  • Prepare him for DIY projects around his first house
  • 4.5 stars from over 1,748 reviews
Get This Gift!

18. Nike Tennis Shoes

  • Who wouldn’t feel better walking around campus in a new pair of stylish Nikes?
  • Breathable and lightweigt for ultimate comfort
  • 4.1 stars from 779 reviews
Get This Gift!

19. Champion NCAA Men’s Eco Blend Hooded Sweatshirt

  • Every college guy loves showing his school pride with comfortable gear
  • He can never have enough enough t-shirts and sweatshirts to wear to class
  • 4 stars from 67 reviews
Get This Gift!

20. Acorn Men’s Fave Slipper

  • Keep his feet warm and comfortable around the dorms, house, or around campus
  • Premium wool-blend, knit, or tweed moccasin slipper with indoor and outdoor support
  • Moisture-wicking fleece lining and machine-washable
  • 4.4 stars from over 850 reviews
Get This Gift!

21. Tao Tronics LED Desk Lamp for College

  • Flicker-free light is gentle on the eyes for reading, working, or studying
  • Modern design fits with any college room decor
  • Customizable with 5 color modes and 7 brightness levels to suit individual needs
  • 4.7 stars with over 6,000 reviews
Get This Gift!

22. Keurig K-Elite Single Serve Programmable K-Cup Coffee Maker + 44 Laughing Man Pods

  • Brews the perfect cup of coffee in under a minute
  • Iced coffee setting – brew hot over ice at the touch of a button
  • 44 Laughing Man fair-trade certified coffee K-Cups included(not K-Cups)*
  • 4.3 stars with over 430 reviews
Get This Gift!

23. All-in-One Wireless and Mobile Printer

  • Mobile printing, so you can print from your smartphone or tablet from anywhere
  • Copy, scan, fax, and wireless printer
  • Optional quiet mode so it’s less disruptive to roommates
  • 3.9 stars with over 1,600 reviews
Get This Gift!

24. Large Capacity TSA Laptop Backpack

  • Sleeve for laptop, cell phone, water bottle, and organizer pockets keep everything easy to find
  • TSA-friendly and functional if he does any traveling
  • Comfortable ergonomic design with extra padding and back support
  • 4.8 stars from over 667 reviews
Get This Gift!

Money Gifts For College Guys

Money is one of the gifts college students want for every occasion:

  • Birthday?
  • Christmas?
  • Going to college?
  • Birthday?
  • Final’s week?
  • Valentine’s day?
  • Just because?

The answer is yes, money is always a safe choice. Add cash and some of the gift cards below to this slim leather wallet and you will have one happy college student. 🙂

25. Travelambo Leather Slim Front Pocket Wallet

  • Super thin leather wallet to wear in a front pocket for maximum security
  • 6 card slots to carry most-used cards, cash and ID without the bulk
  • 4.5 stars with nearly 4,000 reviews
Get This Gift!

26. Amazon Gift Cards

  • Perfect for any occasion to celebrate your college guy
  • Send as an eGift, print it at home, or send it in the mail
  • Let him pick what he actually wants from Amazon without worrying about how he will pay for it
Get This Gift!

27. Activity and Restaurant Gift Cards

Finally, I’ve never heard a college guy complain about getting free money to enjoy a free cup of premium coffee, a restaurant meal, or free date night at the movies. You can order these from Amazon too. Here are some of the most popular among the college boys:

Starbucks Gift Card

AMC Theatre Gift Card

Buffalo Wild Wings Gift Card

Texas Roadhouse Gift Card

Subway Gift Cards Pack of 3

28. *Bonus* Amazon Prime for 1 Year

A perfect gift for college students who have everything already. You can gift them an Amazon Prime membership for 1 year or 3 months. Your college student will enjoy:

  • FREE two-day shipping on millions of items
  • No minimum order size (so they’re not adding extra things to the cart just to get free shipping)
  • Instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows
  • Unlimited, ad-free access to over a million songs and hundreds of playlists
Get This Gift!

Share This List of The Best Gifts for College Guys

Now that you know what gifts college guys want for Christmas, birthdays, finals week, or going away to college, make sure you share this on social media and save it to Pinterest so you always have it.

list of gifts college guys will love

That way more college students will be delighted to open their gifts and next time you will know exactly what gifts college students want.

Not quite what you were looking for? This massive list of gift guides will surely help you find what you need.

What does your college guy love? Let me know below so I can check it out and add it to the list.

Related Articles:

Cheers to smart and easy shopping for college guys,

The Secret Trick For When Your Toddler Won’t Eat Vegetables

The Secret Trick For When Your Toddler Won’t Eat Vegetables

You want the best for your kids. You know they should eat veggies. You go through all the hard work of shopping and preparing homemade food for your family. For what? Your picky eater to scrunch her nose and refuse to eat. As a parent–it’s maddening. So what can you do when your toddler won’t eat vegetables?!

Is there any hope that your kids will someday eat vegetables?

I have a picky eater as well as food allergies to deal with, so I’ve been there. I understand how frustrating it is.

But my kids now happily eat kale, broccoli, celery, spinach, and cucumbers almost every day.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Please check out my full disclosure for more info. 

No joke. There’s no arm-twisting or lying involved either.

And I’m about to let you in on the little secret I use to get my baby and toddler to eat vegetables daily.

My Toddler Won’t Eat Vegetables

toddler won't eat vegetables

I’ll be honest. Having a picky eater sometimes makes me want to pull out my hair. Especially when it’s a homecooked meal I cooked from scratch.

The planning. The shopping. The chopping. And the cooking.

It can take so much time and effort to prepare healthy meals for toddlers and kids. When I slave away in the kitchen for an hour or two to prepare a meal just to have my toddler refuse to eat it, it takes everything in me to keep my cool. Apparently, this kid doesn’t care that I spent hours on Pinterest finding a meal she would eat, creating a shopping list, buying the groceries at the store, then chopping, boiling, and baking so I could provide her with a yummy, nutritious, meal for her growing body and mind.

And what’s worse?

Both of my kids have a list of severe food allergies or sensitivities. Seriously…so not only would they much rather eat pizza or mac-n-cheese every meal, their health is seriously endangered by their food allergies and sensitivities so I have to watch food labels like a hawk.

Some days figuring out what food they could and would eat was a complete nightmare.

But despite all of that, my kids now eat a variety of vegetables daily. And I’m not talking about french fries either.

They eat kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, celery, peppers, spinach, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, cucumbers, asparagus, and carrots…without a fit.

I finally have the relief of knowing my kids are getting the awesome nutrition their bodies and minds need to grow and learn, and I know you want that for your kids too.

How To Get Your Toddler To Eat Vegetables

So what’s the secret already? How in the world can you get toddlers to eat vegetables?

My secret weapon is my blender!

That’s it. Seriously. Something you can buy off Amazon Prime and get shipped to your door in two days. (This is something that went on sale last year during Amazon Prime Day but I didn’t pull the trigger. #LessonLearned)

Now before you write this off as something you already tried…hold on.

Have you tried a VITAMIX blender?

Something that took me way too long to learn is that blenders are NOT created equally.

I have the Vitamix 5200 Blender and I LOVE IT.

If you’re an Amazon Prime member (or you sign up for a Free Trial for 30 Days) you can get free shipping on this bad boy and start whipping up yummy veggies for your kids this week.

The Key Tool To Getting Kids To Eat Veggies

I used to have a regular Ninja blender that I thought was decent. But my green smoothies were really just pinkish smoothies with big chunks of green crud in them. I didn’t particularly care for them, and my toddler definitely wanted nothing to do with them.

After getting tired of chewing chunks of kale myself, I finally decided to invest in a good blender. I didn’t really understand how it could be that much better but my dear sister swore by it. I was skeptical. Are blenders really that different? Isn’t a blender a blender?

After my first smoothie, I was completely amazed. The texture. The taste. It was soooooo much better.

And the best part? My kids both wanted to try it!

Yes. Both my toddler and my baby wanted to try my green smoothie full of celery, cumbers, avocado, kale, flaxseed, and more.

I happily shared my drink and…they loved it!

Daily Veggie Routine For My Toddler

Making a green smoothie with our Vitamix is now part of our daily routine. My toddler loves “helping” me make it. And both my toddler and my baby love devouring it with me.

And when my toddler asks what’s in it, I simply tell her the truth. I love getting to say “kale, celery, broccoli, spinach, celery, etc.” Plus, she no longer scrunches her nose when I tell her those veggies are in other meals. I remind her that she likes them in the green smoothie, so she’ll like them in this dish too, and surprisingly, she goes along with it.

I cannot wait to learn even more ways to use my Vitamix to get my kids to eat more vegetables. I know with the smoothies I’m just hitting the tip of the iceberg with the Vitamix possibilities, but at this point it gets my #1 goal accomplished: get my kids to eat veggies!

Because of this one simple kitchen tool, I no longer do I fret about toddler dinner ideas that they refuse to eat or are unhealthy.

In addition to our green smoothie, there are more ways to get toddlers to eat vegetables. I’ll share those tips next.

How to Make Healthier Meals for Picky Eaters

Fruit & Veggie Smoothie

I’m not the greatest at relaying recipes because I don’t measure. The first smoothie I made with the Vitamix I followed the Green Smoothie recipe guide that came with the blender.

It tasted delicious and had a smooth texture and a beautiful green color. It had quite a bit of fruit. I’ve gradually added more veggies and my basic smoothies include a mixture of the following ingredients:

  • grapes
  • celery chunks
  • cucumber slices
  • banana (frozen if I have them)
  • frozen blueberries or raspberries
  • avocado (adds great smooth texture)
  • ground flaxseed
  • plain water
  • frozen mango (usually if I don’t have banana)
  • several handfuls of spinach, kale, or swiss chard
  • fresh herbs (especially mint, because…why not?)
  • ice cubes

On a rare day when my toddler refuses to eat veggies in her smoothie, I simply offer to let her drink from mine (moms is always better for some reason) with our “special straws,” and she’ll slurp it up.


My toddler loves broccoli! Seriously, she will usually ask for seconds, sometimes thirds.

But it wasn’t always that way.

When I first gave my daughter mac and cheese, it was organic but I still knew it wasn’t the healthiest meal around. So to make me feel better and to get her to eat vegetables, I always added chopped, steamed broccoli.

In addition to macaroni and cheese, I add chopped, steamed broccoli to spaghetti, egg bakes, and even smoothies.

Try these ideas when your toddler won’t eat vegetables and see if you can get more broccoli in her diet.


It took me several months to figure out that fresh asparagus is much better than frozen steamed asparagus. So if that’s the only asparagus you’ve tried feeding your toddler, hang on.

My toddler won’t eat the frozen stuff either. But I took a risk one day and bought the fresh asparagus from Aldi. Luckily, there was a recipe on the back that turned out to be totally simple and delicious. This is a veggie recipe I was surprised that my toddler, baby, and husband all devoured. We easily eat a whole package of fresh asparagus at dinner. Here’s a similar asparagus recipe for you to follow.

Bonus! Fresh asparagus in season is $1.99 at Aldi, so it’s a budget-friendly way to eat healthy and save money.

The recipe calls for coating the asparagus in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt then baking it. Super easy and yummy as a side dish! We often have this on the side of spaghetti. When my toddler refuses to eat this veggie because it’s one of those days, I cut it into smaller pieces and mix it in with her spaghetti.

Sweet Potato

When your toddler won’t eat vegetables, you need to try sweet potato fries. Sweet potato fries are a favorite veggie for both my toddler and baby. Simply peel a potato, cut it into french fry sticks or wedges, cover them with olive oil and seasonings, then bake.

I typically bake my fries at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, flip them, then bake for another 15 minutes.

You can also broil them for the last 5 minutes too for a little more crispness. For a more specific recipe, this sweet potato fries recipe is pretty much what I do.

Add Hummus

I’ve now created the routine that our morning snack is cucumbers and grapes every day. I don’t offer chips, crackers, or cookies. If my kids are hungry, she will eat the fruits and veggies I offer her.

She used to eat the cucumbers plain, but then she started a phase where she was refusing the cucumbers and throwing a fit about it. On these days, I add hummus.

My husband is the only one who eats dairy in our house, so you could potentially add a different type of dip, but adding something like a dip or hummus to raw veggies is another way to get kids to eat veggies.

Make a Juice

If your strong-willed toddler won’t eat vegetables, it might be time to try juicing them. I first bought a juicer after watching the movie Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. If you’re interested in the health benefits of food and how juices can help to heal your body, I highly recommend checking out this movie.

I don’t fully understand the science behind it, but there are different health benefits to smoothies vs juices. Personally, I’ve found investing in a juicer worth it (even though I don’t use it every day) because I’ve noticed how juices make my body feel better AND my toddler and baby both like to drink them. Win-Win!

Personally, I’ve found juices to:

  • be an excellent post-workout drink to re-energize after a particularly tough sweat session
  • be the absolute best remedy after a night of too many drinks
  • consistently make my baby poop when he’s constipated
  • be an easy way to get toddlers and babies to “eat” more vegetables

Additionally, it’s a fairly easy way to get toddlers, babies, and even big kids to eat more vegetables. I even eat foods in juices that I don’t care for on their own or in dishes.

My juices typically include:

  • lots and lots of greens (kale, spinach, swiss chard, greens of beets and other veggies you’d typically just discard)
  • 1/2 – 1 apple (typically the only fruit I add)
  • carrot
  • celery
  • cucumber

You can also add things like beets, peppers, tomatoes, or oranges to get your kids to eat more vegetables and fruits. I borrowed a juicer from a friend to make sure I’d use it first because I was hesitant to spend the money. If you’re not sure about buying another kitchen tool, see if you can borrow one first or check out a second-hand shop. I’ve seen them in the kitchen area before.

Pouches with Veggies

Finally, when all else fails in my house, I give my toddler who refuses vegetables a pouch. You can find pouches with all kinds of veggies in them. Just check out the ingredient list to see what order the ingredients are listed. If I’m buying a pouch because it has kale in it, I make sure kale isn’t like the last ingredient (which means there’s the smallest amount of kale compared to everything else included.)

When my daughter refused butternut squash but I wanted to introduce her to the taste and give her the health benefits, I found a pouch that included squash and she sucked it down no problem.

Here are some pouches that include vegetables:

Pouches can be an easy way to get babies and toddlers alike to eat more vegetables each day.

If Your Toddler Won’t Eat Vegetables…Try These Things!

Honestly, the easiest and healthiest way to get toddlers to eat vegetables is blending smooth green smoothies in a Vitamix Blender. It worked for me and it worked for my neighbor who has 3 little ones as well. She loves her blender and like us, uses it every day.

get toddler to eat veggies in green smoothie

So stop pulling your hair out and stressing that your kid won’t eat any veggies. Stop making meals that no one eats. And instead do these things:

  1. Get a Vitamix Blender and start making REAL green smoothies
  2. Add chopped veggies like steamed broccoli and peppers to casseroles, noodles, and eggs
  3. Make sweet potato fries
  4. Try fresh asparagus instead of frozen
  5. Add hummus or another dip to fresh veggies
  6. Get pouches that have vegetables in them
  7. Try a juicer and create vegetable juices (with some apple to sweeten)

If any of these tips turn your toddler who won’t eat vegetables into a toddler who eats vegetables regularly, be sure to comment or email me to let me know. I’ll celebrate that #ParentingWin with you!

Spend your time and money with intention. Happy veggie eating!

Let your light shine,

Amazon Prime Day 2018 – The Hottest Deals No One Is Talking About

Amazon Prime Day 2018 – The Hottest Deals No One Is Talking About



Vitamix 5300 – $269.99 by clipping the $89.96 off coupon. Have been thankful for this investment in my family’s health every day since I purchased it (and I paid a lot more because I was too chicken to spend the money last Prime Day. #LifeLesson) Read how I use it in How to Get Toddlers to Eat Veggies without a fight.





Magnet Tiles – $34.99 for 82-piece by clipping the $5.00 off coupon. Babies to adults love creating with these magnet tiles. These get used way more often in our house than Duplo blocks.






Echo Dot – $29.99 instead of $49.99. Don’t personally have one yet but have heard they’re fantastic. Save $20 today.





RoboVac – $159.99 by saving $90 off today. Not the exact one I have but I love my dear Robo. #GameChanger for when you can’t keep up with all the time spent vacuuming. Read more about the one I have and how it saves my sanity in my splurges I love post.






CompressionZ High Waisted Women’s Leggings – $19.94 great for yoga, running, fitness classes, & every dang day if you #workathome





Contigo AUTOSEAL 2-Pack Travel Mugs – $21.99 for two. #MomHack – I put a little hot water in one + add Dr. Browns bottle of milk. It stays warm for hours! Perfect for feeding baby on the go when they refuse cold milk from a bottle. Plus, these don’t leak, fit in cup holders, and keep coffee/tea warm for hours







DEWALT Tools – Some 50% off. Gift for Dads or husbands? Confession: I don’t know much about tools but the dads in my life love their DEWALT tools.




Ello Glass Water Bottle – $10.97 for 20 oz bottle with flip lid. Perfect if you want to avoid plastic or add essential oils to your water.






Trtl Travel Pillow – $20.98 for neck support travel pillow. This twenty bucks might be worth a little extra shut eye during long car rides, plane trips, and whenever else you don’t want to wake up with a sore neck.




Silicone Infant Feeder (2 pack) – $10.37 for 2 feeders. Has over 600+ reviews and nearly perfect 5 stars. I have mesh ones which I used a lot but are kind of a pain to clean. This set looks much easier to clean.




Anker PowerCore Compact Portable Charger – $19.19 for high-speed charging your iPhone, Samsung, Galaxy on the go.





Amazon shoppers–Amazon has finally announced that the 4th Annual Amazon Prime Day 2018 will begin Monday, July 16 at 3:00 p.m. ET. Deals will be live for 1.5 days, making it the longest Prime Day in history.

What Is Amazon Prime Day 2018

Prime Day is Amazon’s epic day with deals exclusively for Amazon Prime members. This year they’ll offer hundreds of thousands of deals, with new deals starting as often as every five minutes. There will be special offers across all the various Prime categories, including video, reading, music and voice shopping. Keep a careful eye out for deals on electronics, toys, sporting goods, patio furniture, clothing, outdoor gear, and more.

This is one of the most popular Amazon shopping days of the year, so if you like amazing deals and online shopping, you do not want to miss this.

How to Participate in Prime Day

1. Make sure you’re an Amazon Prime Member or this is the perfect time to start your FREE 30-Day Trial so you can take advantage of these deals.

2. Download the Free Amazon App (easiest way to shop these deals).

3. Set a reminder and mark your calendar for July 16 at 3:00 p.m. ET.

How To Access Prime Day’s Hottest Deals

1. Open the Amazon App to preview and shop the deals. Sneak peeks will begin on July 9 on the Amazon app. Prime Day Deals will have a “Prime Day” badge.

2. Get or use Alexa. If you have an Alexa-enabled device like the Echo or Echo Dot, you’ll have access to exclusive Alexa Prime Day deals.

3. Add items to Your List so you get notified when they go on sale.

Extra Amazon Prime Freebies & HOT Deals

These special deals are exclusively for Amazon Prime Members this month.


New FREE video game EACH day. Good through July 17, 2018.


Unlimited Romance Audiobooks FREE for 1 month. Good through December 30.


Amazon Prime Student Free for 6 months. Ends December 20, 2018.


Free Trial, Free Delivery + $10 Off $40 Purchase for new subscribers. Good through July 17.


3 Months of Kindle Unlimited just $0.99. Regularly $29.97. New subscribers. Good through July 17, 2018.


4 Months Unlimited Music for $0.99. Regularly $39.96. Good through July 17, 2018.


3 Months just $4.95/month. Regularly $14.95/month. Good through July 17, 2018.


Free trial CBS All Access. Good through December 30.


Unlimited FreeTime (kids’ books, movies, TV, audiobooks, music) just $2.99. Regularly $29.99. Good through July 17.

What If You Miss a Deal?

If you miss a deal, join the waitlist. If an item shows 100% claimed, click the “Join Waitlist” button on the product page. If additional items become available, you’ll receive a notification on your phone.


Stay Tuned for More Amazon Prime Day Tips & Deals


Want to save this list for later? Save it to Pinterest!    [apsp_save_button]

10 Products That Make Working From Home With A Baby Easier

10 Products That Make Working From Home With A Baby Easier

Working from home with a baby is a win-win…you get time with your precious little one and make money at the same time. Ideally, your baby will take long naps plus sleep through the night at just a few weeks old, so you have plenty of time to do #AllTheThings.

Except, it doesn’t always work that way.

In fact, juggling your work from home job with kids can be tough, exhausting, and even maddening at times.

From my experience working from home with a baby, a toddler, and now one of each, I’ve learned a lot. So to help you avoid those days when you want to pull your hair out because you can’t seem to get anything done, here are the products and tips that have helped figure out how to work from home effectively with babies.

Products For Working From Home With A Baby Easier

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Check out my full disclosure for more info. 

1. Baby Carrier

A good baby carrier is a key tool for working from home with a baby. Babies need to be held. Baby carriers allow us to give baby the physical comfort and touch she needs while our hands can be free to do other things, like work on the computer, make a phone call, do laundry, cook, or take care of older kids.

When I say a “good” carrier I mean an ergonomic baby carrier that correctly supports baby’s spine, pelvis, and hips. I used to have the Baby Bjorn but it killed my back after a short time. After some research and talking with experienced moms, I discovered “ergonomic carriers” are better for both mom and baby.

After I invested in a better baby carrier, I could wear baby for hours without pain and my baby was content for much longer too. This allowed a lot less time soothing and a lot more time to be productive. With a good carrier, you keep baby close, supported, sneak all the sweet new baby smells you want, and still have your hands free to do other things.

The One I Use

I use the Standard Tula Baby Carrier. It’s comfortable, has a pocket for your phone and keys, and comes in adorable prints. Right now it sells for $139 directly from the Tula website, but you can find a lot of them on Amazon for $100. This carrier is for babies and toddlers who weigh between 15-45 pounds. You can wear babies on your front or back. My daughter is now 3 and still easily fits in this carrier.

For my second child, I got the Baby Tula Infant Insert so I could wear my baby in my carrier right away. Babies weighing between 7-15 lbs need an extra infant insert to properly support them in the Tula Carrier. So if you’ll be working from home with a newborn, the right baby carrier can help you give snuggles while keeping your hands free.

Other Good Baby Carriers

Tula Free-to-Grow Carrier, the new style Tula create that grows with your child from newborn to toddler (no infant insert needed)

Ergobaby 360

Boba Wrap

KeaBabies Baby Wrap Carrier

2. Laptop

A good laptop has been another key ingredient for figuring out how to work home with a toddler and baby. While a desktop computer is good for working in a home office, it’s not feasible when you have an on-the-go lifestyle when you’re trying to work from home with kids. A laptop, on the other hand, can go with you anywhere: the recliner, couch, outside, in the car or even in bed when needed.

The One I Use

I have an Apple MacBook Pro and absolutely love it for working from home effectively. I’m a big fan of Apple products and this one has not disappointed. Of course, Apple is top-of-the-line when it comes to computers, so you’re going to pay top dollar for these premium laptops.

More Laptops With Good Reviews

Dell XPS 13 

ASUS VivoBook

Lenovo Yoga Book

3. Breast Pump

If you are a breastfeeding mom, you will spend many hours nursing your baby. While you might be able to get some work done while nursing, another way to maximize your time is to pump with an electric breast pump. You can maximize your time by pumping one side while nursing on the other or pumping both sides to get double the milk. You can let someone else feed baby so you can get a longer time to work.

The One I Use

I use the Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump. This pump has gotten many, many hours of use from my days of working outside the home. You can use it at home or even in the car with the right attachments. Having a reliable breast pump can help you give baby the best nutrition while maximizing your limited time.

Other Good Recommended Breast Pumps

Electric – Signature Pro by Lansinoah

Manual – NatureBond Silicone Manual Breast Pump

*Money-Saving Tip: Check with your health insurance about getting a breast pump for free or discounted price. This was a perk I did not know about as a new mom!

4. Hands-Free Pumping Bra

A hands-free pumping bra is one of those things I wished I had bought sooner! After months of holding the bottles while pumping, it was amazing to finally have my hands free and multitask while pumping.

The One I Use

The Lansinoh Simple Wishes Signature Hands-Free Pumping Bra is the one I have and it is awesome. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Check out the reviews from over 7,000 happy moms who bought this bra on Amazon.

Other Good Hands-Free Pumping Bras

HOFISH Wireless Hands Free Nursing Bra

Hands Free Breast Pump Bra

5. Baby Swing

A baby swing that baby loves was another key for me as I was working from home with a baby. It was awesome to have the swing as an option when baby needed something new to do, and honestly, I used the swing a lot in the younger months for naps. Sometimes this was the only thing that would make baby happy! There are noise and music options, which I used the heartbeat noise the most.

The One I Use

Graco DuetConnect LX Swing and Bouncer – Both of my babies were fans of swings that swayed side-to-side. Neither was a fan of the swing we had that swung front to back. Seems weird, I know. But I was so glad I found this swing that also came with a bouncer as it helped soothe my baby both for playtime or for naps. Some days my son’s only long nap of the day would be in this swing!

Other Good Recommended Baby Swings

Graco DuetSoothe Swing + Rocker

Graco Simple Sway Baby Swing

6. Video Baby Monitor

A video baby monitor was an awesome tool for me because sometimes baby was making noises in his crib and I thought my work time was over. However, by being able to see baby on the monitor, I sometimes realized he was just making sleep noises or rolling around a bit trying to get back to sleep. Without the video monitor, I would have went in his room to get him and ended the sleep session. This also came in handy when our first became a toddler because I could tell if she needed something or if she was just being silly in her crib.

The One I Use

I have the Summer Infant Baby Secure Video Baby Monitor and it’s helped our family for over 3 years now. My only issue is that we’ve had to replace the battery once, but other than that it has served us well. Since both of our kids were noisy sleepers from day one, the video part has been a key feature on our monitors and has brought us peace of mind many times.

Other Good Recommended Baby Monitors

Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor

Home Video Baby Monitor Camera

7. Bouncy Seat

Using a bouncy seat was another thing that helped me when I was working from home with a baby. While tummy time, time on their back, and time being held is preferred over too much time in a baby device, there were many times when the bouncy seat came in incredibly handy, like when I:

  • needed to take a shower
  • needed to cook dinner
  • needed to get work done

The One I Use

I probably would not have bought a bouncy seat because I simply didn’t want another bulky baby item. So I didn’t know how much I’d use it until the swing I bought came with a bouncy seat too. Graco DuetConnect LX Swing and Bouncer. Had I bought one separately, I would have looked for one that had lights, music, or more engaging discovery toys on it. The bouncer disconnected from the swing super easy and could be easily carried anywhere in the house or outside. Once my little one got more mobile and wanted to move more, a Jumper was my go-to thing to put baby in when I needed to get something done.

Other Good Recommended Baby Bouncers

Playful Pinwheels Bouncer

Fisher Price Infant-to-Toddler Rocker

8. Planner

There is a big difference in my productivity on the days where I have a plan and days where I don’t. While there’s nothing wrong with flying by the seat of your pants and rolling with the punches, if you have work that needs to get done and you’re juggling kids, you must create a plan. That way when you are blessed with a few minutes to work you know exactly what your first priority is–and isn’t. Writing a freelance writing post that you’ll get paid for? Yes. Browsing Facebook or Instagram? Not so much. But without intentionally planning your ideal work from home schedule, your precious time can easily be sucked by a “quick” email check or peek at social media. Trust me…

passion planner for ideal work from home schedule

The One I Use

This year I bought the Passion Planner for the first time. I was skeptical at first since I see myself as a natural planner and goal setter but within the first day of reading the front matter and using it, I knew it was the right choice. It helped me break down my big goals for the year into manageable steps that I actually scheduled to help keep me on track.

Other Good Recommended Planners

Plum Paper

Happy Planner

9. Bluetooth Headphones

I used the earbuds that came with my iPhone for a long time, but when baby #2 got curious and yanked them out of my ears every time he was nursing or he was in the carrier and I was trying to listen to something, it got old fast. I decided to try wireless Bluetooth earbuds and it helped a lot since the cord was no longer danging near him. So if you can’t get something done because baby is distracted by the noise or cords of whatever you’re tryig to listen to, check out a pair of Bluetooth headphones and see if that helps you figure out how to get things done with a baby around.

The Ones I Use

I have the SENSO Bluetooth Headphones. At $30, they are nothing amazing, but they get the job done. I chose these because I needed a pair that would stay in good while I’m running and I didn’t want to spend a ton of money. They easily connect to my laptop or phone so I can listen and have my hands free. Another bonus is these block out noise better than other headphones I used. So when Mr. CommonCents is in charge of our little ones, I can block out their happy (and unhappy) yells.

Other Good Recommended Bluetooth Headphones

Cowin E7 Active Noise-Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones

Mpow Flame Bluetooth Headphones 

10. Robot Vacuum

If you’ve read my post about things I’m glad I splurged on, you’ll know that I love my Robot Vacuum, “Robo.” If you’re a mom who’s trying to figure out how to work from home with a baby, chances are you also wish you had more time or help with house chores.

Enter: Robot Vacuum. I used to think these were kind of a joke until I had to figure out how to work from home with a toddler and a newborn. I’m not the best at ignoring a messy house, so the Roomba was a perfect solution and Christmas gift. By just making sure an area is relatively clear, I can push the button and Robo will clean the floors for me. It works on both carpet and hard surfaces and allows me more time to get my work done and have clean floors too. Or at least semi-clean. 😉

The One I Use

I have the iRobot Roomba 650, which is a little older model that’s harder to find now. You can get a better deal on a newer model that uses Wi-Fi by buying the iRobot Roomba 690 instead. Then get ready for your floors to be cleaned while you are free to do something else!

Other Good Recommended Robot Vacuums

eufy RoboVac 11

eufy RoboVac 11S (Slim)

Make Working From Home With A Baby Easier

With the products and tips for working from home with a baby above, you’ll be a master at balancing both in no time. Start slow.

Which product that I use don’t you have yet? Put it in your budget and see if it helps! Don’t expect a magic pill to give you immediate success, but stick with it and you’ll see improvement over time.

With persistence and trial-and-error, you’ll figure out how to work from home with a baby (and toddler) while keeping your sanity.

Which item will you try? Did I miss something that works great for you? Share your best product for working from home with a baby in the comments below.

I’m always open to new ideas for maximizing my time as a work-from-home mom.

Spend your time and money intentionally,

This Stay At Home Mom Makes Consistent Money Loving On Kids

This Stay At Home Mom Makes Consistent Money Loving On Kids

Some moms just have the gift.

It’s the gift of incredible patience, tolerance for chaos, and unconditional love for children–even for those little angels that aren’t biologically their own.

Moms like this are absolute saints for moms who work outside the home.

Today I have another interview with one of those gifts from above, a mom who has four little boys and works from home running her own daycare.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission for qualifying referrals and purchases made through these links. 

Meet Danielle, Daycare OwnerMom makes money from home running a daycare

Danielle has been married for almost 10 years. She and her husband have 4 handsome little boys, ages 6, 5, 3, and 6 months. They also have 2 fur pets, Timon and Citra (a red fox labrador retriever puppy).

How Do You Earn Money From Home While Being A SAHM?

I run an in-home daycare full time. I watch and stay home with not only my own children who are too little for school but also two little ones full-time Monday thru Friday and a couple others who are currently part-timers. I watch these kiddos anywhere from 10-35 hours per week now and I will watch them full-time during summer months.

About How Many Hours Per Week Do You Work?

45 hours

How Much Money Do You Make From This Work From Home Job?

It truly varies a lot depending on the week. Things like kids being sick, if I need to take a day off, or if one of the parents takes a day off all affect how much I earn each week. In a “typical” month, I make a minimum of $1,200 but many times I earn more with my daycare.

How Long Have You Been Running An In-Home Daycare?

I’ve run an in-home daycare for combined 4 years, with a short break in there.

How Does Your Income Income Compare Now To When You First Started?

I make a little more, depending on any children I have added.

What Does Your “Typical” Day Look Like?

My typical day now is different than what it will be in the summer and next year. But currently, I have daycare children getting dropped off as early as 7:30 a.m. and picked up as late as 5:30 p.m. I drop my two oldest children off at school between 8-9 a.m. and pick one up at 11:30 a.m. I pick the other one up at 3:30 p.m.

In between these times, I am trying to stay ahead of the children and getting out activities for them to do before they start to get bored and chaos breaks out. Sometimes there is free play, while other times it’s structured time at the table, flashcards, art projects, play-doh, etc. After picking up my son at 11:30, it’s home for lunch and getting kids down for naps.

The summer months will have more free play as we will be allowed and desire the outside more for running around and summer activities. Then fall will again change when some kids go back to school and I’ll have different pickup schedules.

Is This A Job You Can Do While Pregnant?

Yes. I worked throughout my pregnancy and only took about 5 weeks off for maternity leave.

Here is an Epic List Of More Jobs You Can Do While Pregnant

Did You Have A Different Career Before You Started Staying Home With Your Kids?

No. I worked at a couple insurance companies for several months in between doing in-home daycare, but my passion truly lies with being home. I graduated college and had my first baby shortly after, so I never jumped into a corporate career.

Many Moms Want To Find Ways To Make Money From Home, But They Don’t Know How To Start. How Did You Get Started Running A Daycare?

I searched through and Facebook for children to watch. I set up multiple interviews to meet with families then went from there. Now I get children through word of mouth if I have an opening.

You can Google “in-home daycare” or check out sites like or to learn more about starting a daycare too.

Who Would Be A Good Fit For This Work From Home Job?

Running an in-home daycare would be a good fit for someone who wants to work from home but doesn’t need the freedom to do whatever works best for them each day. To run a daycare,  you typically need to be committed to the same hours on a daily basis to consistently meet families’ needs. You tend to lose some freedom of being able to come and go as you please.

You also need to be good at communicating and building relationships. Being able to multitask and work in a fast-paced, loud environment while remaining happy with kids is also important.

What Advice Do You Have For A Mom Who Wants To Stay Home With Kids And Make Money Too?

You can totally find a way. There are countless ways you can make money while staying home with kids. The opportunities are there. It’s really what you make of it. 

Stay-At-Home Moms Can Make Money Too!

Thank you for sharing how you make money from home while being a stay-at-home mom, Danielle!

You’re a Super Mama. Not only are you jugging all the balls of four little boys, but you have the coming and going of daycare children, preschool and school pickups and drop offs too while creating a fun place for children to play and learn.

Providing childcare from home is yet another legit way moms can make money from home. To get started, check with your friends, family, Facebook, or to use your love for kids to start a daycare from your home.

More Work From Home Mom Interviews:

How To Make $2,500 Per Mont With VIPKID

How To Make Money and Homeschool Too

Cheers to using common ¢ents and letting your light shine,


VIPKID Pays This Mom Over $20/Hour To Teach Online (Work From Home Mom Series)

VIPKID Pays This Mom Over $20/Hour To Teach Online (Work From Home Mom Series)

Have you ever wondered if those claims that the VIPKID pay is >$20/hour are actually true? Does making legit money from home when it fits in your own schedule sound too good to be true?

I wondered the same thing.

So I found a fellow stay at home mom who makes legit money online as a VIPKID teacher to give us the ins and outs of what VIPKID hours are like, how much VIPKID pay is, and what it takes to be a successful online teacher.

Here’s the interview with Whitney, a real work from home mom and VIPKID Teacher.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn an incentive for qualifying referrals.

Meet Whitney, VIPKID Teacher

Whitney and her husband have been married for 3 years. They have a dorkie named Tinkerbell and a 19-month-old girl known as Scout online.

How Do You Earn Money From Home?

I have been teaching online with VIPKID for over a year. I am an independent contractor and teach Chinese children ages 5-12 four hours a day, six days per week. (You get to pick your own schedule.)

The curriculum is provided.

I’ve also been a teacher and recruiter for Magic Ears and Cambly. Magic Ears is very similar except it is up to four students at a time. Cambly is video chatting with people all over the world to help them practice English.

How Many Hours Per Week Do You Work?

24-30 hours per week

What Are Your VIPKID Hours And How Do You Get Work Done With A Kid At Home?

I teach from 4:00-8:00 am while my daughter sleeps. I sleep with her during naps sometimes to catch up on my sleep.

How Much Money Do You Make Working From Home?

I earn about $2,300-2,500 per month.

How Much Does VIPKID Pay? What Is A Typical VIPKID Salary?

VIPKID teachers start at $7-9 per class base pay. While I can’t disclose my actual rate, I can say that most teachers I’ve talked to start around $8 per class. Classes are 25 minutes, so that comes to $16/hour.

You get $1 just for showing up and teaching the class, and you get another $1 per class if you teach 45 in a month. That brings it to $10/class or $20/hr.

6 days x 4 hours x $20 = $480/week. That times 4 weeks is $1,920. With a couple of extra days in most months, I usually make $2000 each month just in teaching.

I recently added an hour a day, so now it’s more like $2500 per month based on the $8 average.

I also am a recruiter and help other teachers get started with VIPKID. VIPKID pays me for each referral, and I usually get 1-3 of those per month.

Here is a quick video I made to visually break down the common questions:

  • How much does VIPKID pay?
  • What can you expect as a VIPKID salary?

How Does Your Income Compare To When You First Started?

I just got a raise with VIPKID, so I now make $1/hour more. I also work more hours, but that’s due to my own scheduling changes.

What Does Your “Typical” Day Look Like?

I finish teaching and then often lay down with my daughter until she wakes up. Sometimes I’ll work on videos to help recruits or current teachers during that time.

While my daughter is awake, I try to be totally focused on her, though I often spend a lot of time on Facebook trying to find referrals. I’m trying to cut that time down and be more present with her when she’s up.

Referrals are not required for this job, but they do help bring in extra income.

Did You Have A Different Career Prior To Staying Home With Your Kids?

Yes. I was a teacher prior to staying home.

What Are VIPKID Requirements and Your Educational Background?

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from BYU. VIPKID requires a Bachelor’s Degree, but it can be in anything (doesn’t have to be in education).

You also need “a year” of teaching experience. That year should add to at least 500 hours of teaching experience. That can be ANY teaching experience – coaching, tutoring, training at work, church classes, homeschooling, volunteering at a school, music lessons, etc.

You absolutely won’t get an interview if you don’t meet those two requirements. You also need to be eligible to work in the US or Canada (don’t have to live here), speak English like a native, and have a North American accent.

**No Bachelor’s Degree?  No problem!  Check out tutoring through Magic Ears and Cambly instead. I can help get you started with both!**

Many Moms Want To Start Making Money From Home, But They Don’t Know How To Get Started. How Did You Get Started?

I first found it on Facebook. Then I found out many of my friends were doing it. One of them let me know about a minimum requirement change that made it a lot more accessible to me.

What Advice Do You Have For A Mom Who Wants To Be Home With Her Kids And Earn Money Too?

Do it! It is so worth it to watch my daughter grow.

Where Can People Learn More About You And How To Make Money Tutoring?

You can follow me on Instagram: @teacherwhitney

‘Like” my Facebook page 

And check out my YouTube channel full of super helpful videos with answers to the most common questions about how to start as a VIPKID teacher.

How Can Stay at Home Moms Make Money Online

Thanks for sharing your story, Whitney! You’re an inspiring and fun Money Making Momma.

I love her tip that implies all the work and getting up early to be home and watch her daughter grow is worth it. I can completely relate!

Making money as an online teacher through VIPKID, Magic Ears, and Cambly is a legit work from home opportunity for anyone who enjoys teaching and meets the educational requirements.

That extra money each month can make a huge impact for a lot of families. Way to go finding something you like and makes money too!

If you’re interested in getting started as an online teacher/tutor, “Do it!” There has never been so many legit opportunities to earn money from home (or anywhere). Plus, the VIPKID pay can quickly add up. Find out if VIPKID is the right work-from-home job for you.

What do you want to know about VIPKID and online teaching?

Comment below and SHARE this post to show how real stay-at-home moms can be home with the kids and make money too!

Related Content:

How This SAHM of FOUR Manages To Earn Money and Homeschool Too

The 7 Flexible Ways I Earned Money Online While Being A Full-time Stay at Home Mom

31 Insanely Awesome Jobs for Pregnant Women and Moms

The Best Ways Jobs for Stay At Home Moms

Let your light shine–even across the world,



How This SAHM of 4 Homeschools and Makes Legit Money Too (Work From Home Mom Series)

How This SAHM of 4 Homeschools and Makes Legit Money Too (Work From Home Mom Series)

Wondering how can a stay-at-home mom make money and be home with the kids?

How about and homeschool too?!

That’s exactly what this mom does.

Meet Brigid, a real friend who took time from her incredibly busy day to teach me about her MLM business and how she helps families eliminate the chemicals in their home, all while wrangling in 4 kids and homeschooling her oldest too!

Meet Brigid, Young Living Educator

best jobs for stay at home moms-mlm-brigid

Brigid Bergman of Wisconsin has a household of 6, including a husband who works construction, and four kids: ages 6, 4, 3, and 5 months. Sounds like a busy house, let’s hear how she manages to earn money in the middle of all that.

What Is Your Stay At Home Mom Job?

I am an educator and advocate for chemical-free homes and natural products. Technically, my title is “Young Living Distributor.” As part of my work, I teach classes about using essential oils and other Young Living products, both online and in-person.

My work also involves time on Facebook, where I manage a Facebook group, share ideas and recipes, answer questions, and works with other leaders in my group.

I’m also constantly learning myself. It’s important to keep learning about ways to use essential oils so I can incorporate them into my own family’s life, as well as those in my classes and group.

When new people sign up to buy Young Living essential oils or other products through me, I help them get started by guiding them along the way as they learn the ins and outs of oils and supporting them through their new journey of living with more natural products and fewer chemicals.

How Many Hours Per Week Do You Work?

I try to limit myself to 3 hours per day, which consists of planning, replying to messages, checking on my team members, educating myself, and more. During busy times in the business, especially end of the month and during special sales, I spend more time than that working.

How Do You Get Work Done While Having Kids?

Like many work-from-home moms, I operate during nap time, early mornings, and late nights.

If needed, I hop on the computer while the kids watch a movie or are playing elsewhere in the house. Sometimes my husband takes the kids out of the house for a while so I can have some quiet and really focus on my business.

Hiring a nanny or babysitter at this time isn’t an option for our family, so I’m working with what I have!

How Much Money Do You Make Per Month?

I’ve been educating others and selling Young Living oils for 4 years now, and I’m grateful I’ve been able to double my income every year. I’m currently at the Executive rank and working to move up to the next rank soon.

Here are the potential earning opportunities you can expect from supporting and selling Young Living.

What Does Your “Typical” Day Look Like As A Working Stay At Home Mom?

In the morning, I jump online to answer questions and connect with members. Then while the younger kids play, I homeschool our oldest son. (Yes, she is a stay-at-home mom, an essential oils educator/distributor, AND SHE HOMESCHOOLS TOO. Amazing.)

Midday, we eat lunch then the kids watch a movie. During this time, I work for about 1 hour doing things like prepping classes, sharing in my Facebook group, and connecting with group leaders & members.

In the late afternoon, we all play, go for a walk, go to the library, or something like that. Then it’s more school time with my oldest.

Evenings are dedicated family time for us. The computer is off while we have dinner and spend time together before bedtime. I’ve set a boundary for myself and typically do not respond to messages during this time to keep the focus on my family.

After my kids are in bed, I hop back on the computer to get a little more done before I spend time with my husband.

Admittedly, there are nights when I stay up until1 AM to finish up work so that I can be more available to my kids the next day.

Like most moms, my days vary. I work around the kids and baby and squeeze in work when I can. I find it helps me to make a list every day of what I want to get accomplished so I can better stay on track with what I need to get done.

How Did You Get Started With This Type Of Work From Home?

I always felt strongly that I wanted to contribute to my household income but working out of the home wasn’t an option for us.

A friend introduced me to Young Living years ago and it was a good fit. I was already natural-minded and enjoyed sharing what I’d learned or things I was trying with others. So for me, passion met opportunity and that’s how I got started.

Who Would This Job Be A Good Fit For?

I think this job would be a good fit for someone who enjoys building relationships with others and helping others to live a healthier lifestyle.

What’s Your Advice For Moms Wondering How To Make Money As A Stay At Home Mom?

It’s totally possible, but it’s not always easy! Keep your priorities in check and remember why you started when things get tough.

Where Can People Learn More About You and Your Business?

Brigid teaches and blogs about motherhood, essential oils, dwarfism, and small house living at Surviving Motherhood on Oils & Coffee. Her blog posts about motherhood are raw and hilarious. I love them.

Plus, you can learn lot about Young Living oils and natural products from a mom who wants to keep her family safe, healthy, and chemical-free.

You can join Brigid’s Facebook Group for awesome ideas for using essential oils with your family and creating a chemical-free home.

Stay-at-Home Moms Make Money

Thanks for sharing your story, Brigid! You’re an incredible Money Making Momma.

I love her tip to “keep your priorities in check” and “remember why you got started.”

Becoming a consultant is one of the best jobs for stay-at-home moms if you’ve found something you’re passionate about. Side hustles like this can give you income to pay the bills, pay off debt, save for the future, etc.

If you’re interested in getting promoting your wellness and chemical-free cleaning, I’ve heard and personally experienced awesome things with essential oils.

Are you interested in being a Young Living Educator?

Comment below and SHARE this post to show how real stay-at-home moms can be home with the kids and make money too!

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