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This summer we discovered the greatest activity that you can do anywhere—at home, camping, at a family reunion, at the beach, the lake…you name it, rock painting is the perfect summer activity.

It’s easy, quiet, creative, can last hours, and makes the best lasting memories. Kids of all ages love it. Even the adults were getting in on the action! We’ve done it twice now and my kids can’t get enough. Once was at a family reunion and another time camping with friends. It’s simple and quality entertainment and then afterward, the best part is hiding you rocks around for others to enjoy. Here is a little rock painting 101 to get you started.

The Perfect Summer Activity: Rock Painting 101 Supplies Needed:
  • Acrylic paints (preferably outdoor acrylic paint–you can find it at Hobby Lobby or any craft store.)
  • Paint brushes
  • Paper plates to put paint on and cups to hold water for rinsing brushes
  • Paint pens or Sharpie markers for the fine details

Step 1: Search for rocks

One of the best parts of the activity is reaching for rocks. Take a walk, a hike, or go wade in a stream. Walk along the beach or search for rocks around your home that would be perfect for painting. The best rocks are the ones with at least one smooth, flat surface. We found rocks of all shapes and sizes, which lended well to the kids’ imaginations.

Step 2: Paint!

Wash and dry your rocks if necessary, then the painting starts! We found it’s best to have several examples for inspiration. There are some great rock painting books out there or you can print out tons of ideas from Pinterest.

Step 3: Hide

When your rocks are painted and dried, now comes the fun part…hiding them. At our family reunion, the kids loved taking their rocks around to hide them in various places that were visible, but discreet. “Let’s make some other kids happy when they find them!” they said.

When we were camping, the kids took their rocks and spread them around the campsite, by the stream, and even some inside the stream. At home, we have a cute little library where people leave rocks they’ve painted in the garden outside. You can take one and leave another in its place. It’s such a fun little thing that my kids love.

So if you’re looking for a fun, low-key activity that you can do literally anywhere, try rock painting then share you creations to make others smile!

The post The Perfect Summer Activity: Rock Painting 101 appeared first on How Does She.

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This summer we discovered the greatest activity that you can do anywhere—at home, camping, at a family reunion, at the beach, the lake…you name it, rock painting is the perfect summer activity.

It’s easy, quiet, creative, can last hours, and makes the best lasting memories. Kids of all ages love it. Even the adults were getting in on the action! We’ve done it twice now and my kids can’t get enough. Once was at a family reunion and another time camping with friends. It’s simple and quality entertainment and then afterward, the best part is hiding you rocks around for others to enjoy. Here is a little rock painting 101 to get you started.

The Perfect Summer Activity: Rock Painting 101 Supplies Needed:
  • Acrylic paints (preferably outdoor acrylic paint–you can find it at Hobby Lobby or any craft store.)
  • Paint brushes
  • Paper plates to put paint on and cups to hold water for rinsing brushes
  • Paint pens or Sharpie markers for the fine details

Step 1: Search for rocks

One of the best parts of the activity is reaching for rocks. Take a walk, a hike, or go wade in a stream. Walk along the beach or search for rocks around your home that would be perfect for painting. The best rocks are the ones with at least one smooth, flat surface. We found rocks of all shapes and sizes, which lended well to the kids’ imaginations.

Step 2: Paint!

Wash and dry your rocks if necessary, then the painting starts! We found it’s best to have several examples for inspiration. There are some great rock painting books out there or you can print out tons of ideas from Pinterest.

Step 3: Hide

When your rocks are painted and dried, now comes the fun part…hiding them. At our family reunion, the kids loved taking their rocks around to hide them in various places that were visible, but discreet. “Let’s make some other kids happy when they find them!” they said. When we were camping, the kids took their rocks and spread them around the campsite, by the stream, and even some inside the stream. At home, we have a cute little library where people leave rocks they’ve painted in the garden outside. You can take one and leave another in its place. It’s such a fun little thing that my kids love.

So if you’re looking for a fun, low-key activity that you can do literally anywhere, try rock painting then share you creations to make others smile!

The post The Perfect Summer Activity: Rock Painting 101 appeared first on How Does She.

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Birthday parties, barbecues, fiestas…they’re all more fun when you can have a sense of humor and these cool plates definitely bring the fun. Check out these insanely cool paper plates for your next shin-dig!

17 Insanely Cool Paper Plates That Make Life More Fun

1.Donut paper plate: Looks good enough to eat! Around $7 for 16.

2. Beach ball paper plates: Doth my eyes deceive me? Take these fun plates to your next beach picnic. Around $13 for 8.

3. Gold-leafed pineapple plates: So posh and festive at the same time. $15 for 24.

4. Marble modern plates: For more upscale events, like a bridal shower or anniversary party, these plates are fancy without the fuss.

5. Vintage floral paper plates: For a farmhouse feel with a little whimsy. $13 for 24.

6. Planet-friendly palm plates: Rest easier using these cool palm plates at your next luau. $20 for $25.

7. Llama paper plates: Llama lovers will party hard with these fun plates–and they’re a great deal too! $16 for 80.

8. Watermelon plates: These fun paper plates were just made for warm summer nights in the back yard or picnics by the lake.

9. Sloth paper plates: Invite Kristen Bell over and she’ll be crying before the second course. Sloth plates. Swoon. $16 for 80.

10. Zoo animals: Lions, tigers, bears, oh my! $13 for 24.

11. Cactus extraordinaire:

This takes the cake, I mean cactus. $12 for 12.

12. Plate full of lemons: There’s nothing better than a bowl full of lemons, unless it’s a plate full. $12 for 8.

13. Strawberry paper plates: Feeling fruity? Nothing says yummy like these fun plates.

14. Red lips plates: Nothing boring about these plates. In fact, nothing at Meri Meri is dull…check out the full collection of party essentials. $7 for 8.

15. Polka dots: These are generic enough for any event, yet still full of fun. $5 for 8.

16. Oh Happy Day Rainbow Plates: If you love to play host or hostess, you gotta know about Oh Happy Day. These guys have tons of fun paper plates, like this rainbow one. $7.50 for 8.

17. Sweet Lulu plates: This toadstool plate is just the tip of the iceberg. Check out Sweet Lulu for a creative assortment of paper plates, as well as all things party.

Life is too short for boring. Your party deserves a flare of fun and these cool paper plates are just the ticket!

The post 17 Insanely Cool Paper Plates That Make Life More Fun appeared first on How Does She.

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***This post is sponsored by RewardStyle. All opinions are my own. This Flower Home line is amazing!***

As much as we’d all LOVE to live in a big house with Pinterest worthy design, for most of us, this isn’t the reality. We’ve lived in our small farm house for 8 years now. We bought it because it was literally the only thing liveable on the market at that time in our small town. It’s been a continuous labor of love, and honestly, the perfect “starter” home for us. We’ve brought 4, soon to be 5, of our 6 babies home here and it’s really been a special place for us. That being said, it’s pretty small and I’ve had to get creative with our decor. Of course, I want things to be beautiful, but they also have to be functional, as well as budget friendly.

This is why I am SO happy I have Walmart in my life! Can we just talk about the convenience of shopping online and having everything shipped to my door in 2 days? It’s awesome! Not to mention Walmart has been bringing the most BEAUTIFUL and unique lines into their home department. I absolutely fell in love with the boho chic style of the new Drew Barrymore Flower Home line. These pieces are what you would see in a high end home, but priced reasonably! The combination is a gorgeous vintage style that can’t be replicated.

It was time to amp up my young daughters room. She’s transitioned into a “big girl” room, and I wanted to create a space for her that would last her years to come. I wanted there to be touches of childhood combined with design that would grow with her.

Two issues. I didn’t have a big budget, and I didn’t have much space. I needed room elements that would pack a mean punch, but were relatively easy to change in and out. I also needed to be sure to create some amount of storage for her. If you’ve ever had a small space to plan for, you know this is vital – especially when you’re talking about a kid and all their “stuff”.

The easiest way to change up a bedroom space, in my opinion, is to update the throw pillows. I found two pillows in the new Flower Home line I feel would compliment each other well. Let me just add, the quality is FANTASTIC. Heavy down, and built to last. The vintage floral print fabric is something you’d seen in a interior design magazine. The muted colors are perfection.


My daughter couldn’t keep her hands off the soft velvet pillow. The tassels just take it up another notch. I also added in this bedding. It provided a clean palette to work out, and makes it easy if I ever choose to switch up the decor or color scheme.

Due to the fact my kids share a bathroom, we’re happy to add mirrors throughout the house. It will provide them, obviously as they grow, places to get ready other than the bathroom. Might I just add, I have been looking for an oval mirror like this FOREVER, but most were out of my budget. This one was perfect and fit the space I had so well.

I wanted to pull the room together by matching the vintage floral throw pillow with the curtains. This is one of my favorite pieces and the perfect frame to her window seat. This specific set sold out quickly, but there are other floral options HERE.


Finally, as mentioned before, I needed to add storage space. She has lots of blankets, toys and books that need a place to go. Again, her room is very small, so big pieces of furniture are not an option. These hand woven macrame baskets are not only STUNNING, they also provided a great way to store her things. The best thing is, she is able to put her toys and books in there so much easier than any shelf making them very user friendly for even the youngest of users. The macrame is absolutely breathtaking!

I’m so happy with how the space turned out! She has everything she needs for a room to grow with her little body, plus a happy mom! Every time I look into her room now, I smile. It’s just so pretty thanks to the Walmart and the Drew Barrymore Flower Home line. There are SO many great pieces for your ENTIRE home.
Be sure to go give it a look, and as always shop the post to recreate in YOUR home!



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Panda Bear picture books are a classic. I particularly like gifting picture books, and I’m always on the lookout for a fun theme. There are tons of cute baby gift options in black and white, so creating a themed-gift is super easy. For this panda bear article, I reached out to my friend Kelli Panique and she pinged 12×12 Picture Book Challenge members to get their insights. Several of these books were nominated not just by me, but by children’s book professionals. Hooray!

Funniest Panda Bear Picture Book:

The Panda Problem is the latest book by New York Times bestselling author Deborah Underwood.  This funny book also teaches kids about the basics of writing a story. So it’s funny and educational. Win-win!

“Highly entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny.” –Kirkus

Note! If you like humorous books for kids, like Panda Problem, check out this amazing list of funny picture books.

Most Charming Panda Picture Book:

Caldecott Honoree and New York Times bestselling author/artist Jon J. Muth has so many pretty panda bear picture books to select from. For me, Hi, Koo! rose to the top.

Panda Bear Board Book with the Most “Heart”:

Little Panda by Julie Abery is the most recommended panda bear picture book by other professionals in the industry. And it’s easy to see why. With the rhyming perfection and the loving focus of the book, it’s definitely one to consider gifting or adding to your own home library. If you’re specifically looking for a board book like Little Panda (though this also available in other formats), here is a list of my favorite board books for babies.

Most Popular Panda Bear Book:

Honestly, this board book is what gave me the idea for this article. I loved the illustrations in Please, Mr. Panda, and I wondered what other amazing panda bear books for kids were flying under the radar. Like Muth, Steve Anthony has an entire line of panda bear centered books. In Please, Mr. Panda, kids learn about manners via cheerful illustrations.

More Picture Books!

Big thank you to Kelli and the children’s book experts at 12×12 Picture Book Challenge for their insights. (I wish I could’ve included all their recommendations in this article!).  For items to pair with these books in gifts, consider the panda bear muslin swaddler {here}, or the black and white bibs {here}.  If you like crafty gifts, check out these adorable teethers {here}.

If you’re on the hunt for more fantastic, giftable books, here are funny options, as well as a list of some of my overall favs >>

Funniest Picture Books:

Best picture books of 2015:

The post Panda Bear Picture Books: Both Trendy and Classy appeared first on How Does She.

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Over the years, my kids have brought home plenty of fundraisers, from bake sales, to carnivals and each time I utter an inward groan. What is it about typical fundraising ideas that make us want to just throw a few bills back and say, “There you go…now leave me alone.”

But these fundraisers…these fundraisers are more like FUNdraisers, with a major emphasis on the fun. If your school, church, or organization needs to raise money for a worthy cause, try these crazy cool ideas!

7 Crazy-Cool Fundraising Ideas People Will Actually Want To Do 1. Tag a Wall

Turning a normally against-the-rules activity, like painting on the wall, into a fundraiser is not only genius, it’s effective. Take one wall of your school/church/business and turn it into a tagging wall. Charge $25-$50 per square foot for artists to showcase their work on. Make sure to set clear rules and guidelines about what is acceptable. Ask artists to supply their own supplies to keep down on your costs, or ask local businesses to donate paint and brushes.

(Photo by Kyle Ryan on Unsplash.com)

The art wall stays up all year long where people can admire it. Next year, paint over it and hold the fundraiser again. It will make for a beautiful mural wall plus raise money for your cause.

2. Wax Museum

My nephew did this fundraiser in conjunction with his fifth grade research project and I thought it was amazing. Each student had to research an influential person from history. They studied, wrote a report, made a display, and then wore a costume of that person. The goal was to look like a wax figure of their influential person.

Subjects ranged from Abraham Lincoln, to Julia Child, to Martin Luther King Jr. Students set up their booths in the hallway of the school and all classes and parents  were invited to walk down the hall, see the reports, and put quarters into the jars at each student’s station.

The class raised $900 for their school. What a fantastic fundraiser idea that kids can learn from and parents actually want to do.

3. Kiss a Pig

This is one of my kids’ favorite elementary school fundraising ideas and it requires very little effort and zero expense. For one week, the school places out 10 buckets with a teacher’s picture on it. Kids and parents are encouraged to drop their loose change and/or donation into the teacher’s bucket of whom they’d like to see kiss a pig.

(Photo by Forest Simon on Unsplash)

At the end of the week, the teacher whose bucket has the most money kisses a pig at an assembly in front of the student body. The kids love it!

4. Mystery Gift

This is a fundraiser where everyone wins, plus it makes for an impressive display. Here’s what you do: first, get local businesses to donate gift cards, services, or gifts (or check out UltimateDonations.org where you can find donors and prizes quickly online). Next, wrap the gifts in various-sized boxes and wrap them (who doesn’t love a mystery gift?). Display them in your establishment for a grandiose effect.

Charge a set amount ($25, $50, $100 etc.) for each gift. The donor gets to choose his or her gift and it’s the magic of a blind bag for young and old.

5. The “Leave Me Alone” Fundraiser

Parents love this fundraiser because it says exactly what everyone is thinking.

6. Flamingo Fundraiser

Now this is a FUNdraiser! What you do is get a ton of plastic lawn flamingos (you can find them in bulk on Amazon or eBay). You can have a local business sponsor the event and buy the flamingos. Charge $25 per flamingo and the donor gets to decorate/personalize/bedazzle his or her flamingo as they wish and place. All flamingos are displayed on the lawn of your school/library/church for everyone to see.

It’s a fun and unique idea that also draws attention to your cause in a very bright and visual way.

7. Petting Booth

Everyone loves their pet, right? Here’s a fun way for pet owners to put their favorite animal friends on display and help raise money for a good cause.

Invite community pet owners to dress up their pets and participate in a “petting booth.” You can sell tickets to the event or put quarters in the cans of the pets you want to visit. Be prepared with rolls of quarters that participants can buy.

So before you opt for the usual fundraising ideas, think about getting creative. You’ll see a huge boost in contributions and find that people are actually excited about giving to your cause.

You might also like:

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This time of year, as our focus turns to spring cleaning, there’s an aspect of tidying up that most of us may be forgetting: our digital clutter. We’re partnering with Walmart Family Mobile to bring you some excellent technology tidying tips (say that five times fast!).

From Christmas pictures that are still taking up memory on your phone, to hundreds of old texts that are eating up your gigabytes, to needless folders that make your desktop messier than a 10-year-old’s room. There are plenty of things you can digitally declutter, and once you get started, you’ll be amazed at the zen you’ll feel.

6 Smart Ways To Digitally Declutter 1. Organize your photos:

Photos are notorious for taking up a ton of space, and can add up quickly if you don’t regularly back them up. To get started, find a free cloud based service to help organize your pictures. As you upload, make sure to select “delete after uploading” to kill two birds with one stone and save a little time. No matter the method you chose, take the time to protect your photos and get them in order. You can even go one step further and make it a monthly routine to make your storage easier to maintain!

2. Delete all old texts:

Text conversations can pile up fast and take up valuable storage, especially if they contain images or videos. There’s no need to keep unimportant ones around. As you go through your messages, save only the vital conversations you’d need to keep as a record or for reference, otherwise, send them to the trash! For the messages with images and videos, use the advice in the first tip to stay organized and limit storage use. Take five minutes right now (that’s all you need!) and pare down your texts.

3. Get your family on one mobile plan:

With all the running around your family does, it’s hard enough to keep schedules straight, let alone keep up with different mobile plans. Make it easy on yourself by getting the whole family on the same affordable plan.

Did you know Walmart Family Mobile has a multi-line family plan? You can get two Truly Unlimited lines with unlimited talk, text and high-speed data for less than $75 per month (Video typically streams at DVD quality). And you can add more lines to suit your family’s needs at a great bargain! Not only is this an amazing deal, but with Walmart Family Mobile you also get non-stop nationwide coverage on one of the nation’s largest most reliable 4G LTE† networks. It’s great for busy families who are always on the go. You’ll be able to keep in touch with your kids when they have practices, extra-curricular activities, are out with friends, and more.

How it works:

Switching to Walmart Family Mobile is quick and easy. With no contract and no activation fees (awesome!), you simply pick a phone (or bring your own), pick a plan, activate and go. It’s that simple. You can either head into your local Walmart store or check out MyFamilyMobile.com.

4. Tidy up your email:

The depths of some email accounts can be a dark and scary place. Email is a primary means of communication in the world today and there’s nothing worse than not being able to find an important message when you need it. Tidy up your inbox by taking some time to delete all junk and trash messages, and then organize further by adding folders where you can store like-minded emails. Work emails go in one folder, PTA emails in another, and so on and so forth.

5. Delete unused apps:

Apps not only take up your device’s memory, but can make for a cluttered screen too. If you find yourself consistently scrolling left and right trying to locate an app, that may be a sign that you have too many, or just need a little organization. Pare down your apps by deleting the ones that you never use. Then move the ones you use most frequently to the first screen, leaving lesser-used apps toward the back. You can also group similar apps into folders to further clear up your screen.

6. Clean up your desktop:

Finally, find a quick 15 minutes to clean up your computer’s desktop. Having rogue folders labeled “miscellaneous” and random icons cluttering up your screen can make it difficult to find what you actually need at a moment’s notice. Once you sort through everything, you’ll free up space and have a great new system in place to find files with ease.

So this season, when you’re gearing up to spring clean your home, don’t forget to digitally declutter too! To find out more about Walmart Family Mobile’s unlimited plans and multi-line discounts, visit MyFamilyMobile.comor your local Walmart.

If congested, customers my notice reduced speeds vs T-Mobile customers that may be further reduced for small numbers of customers who use >40GB.

† To get 4G LTE speed, you must have a 4G LTE capable device and 4G LTE SIM. Actual availability, coverage and speed may vary. During periods of congestion, Walmart Family Mobile customers may notice reduced speeds versus carrier branded customers. LTE is a trademark of ETSI.

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It’s just days before the main event and let’s face it, a lot of procrastination goes into finding the perfect Mother’s Day gift. If it’s the eleventh hour and you’re still in need of ideas as awesome as mom, is here are some easy-peasy gifts that you can pull off last-minute.

24 Awesome Last-minute Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

1. Massage: Stop by a local spa and purchase a massage for mom. Make sure to pay the tip in advance.

2. Gift card: It’s not a cop-out…a gift card is always a great gift. Especially if it’s to her favorite store.

3. Take her out to lunch: Anytime the mom doesn’t have to cook is a win.

4. Sunglasses: Stop by her favorite department store and pick up a new pair of sunglasses. It’s a sure bet that her pair from last year have been manhandled or lost by now.

5. Storyworth: One of the coolest last-minute gifts out there. Storyworth will email your mom or grandma one unique question a week. (i.e. Did you ever pull a prank when you were younger? How did your husband propose?) She writes her response and at the end of the year, Storyworth sends her a beautiful hardcover book with all of her stories and memories. It is a great life history!

6. Hotel room: No offense, but what a busy mom really wants is a day off from being a mom. Gift her a hotel room alone for the night and she will love it.

7. Groupon: For great last-minute deals on things like beauty treatments, check Groupon. They’ll email mom her gift so you don’t even have to buy postage.

8. Manicure/pedicure:

You can’t go wrong with gifting mom a mani/pedi. Check Yelp for great salons near you and stop in for a gift card.

9. Facial: If mom has never had a facial before, she’s in for a treat! This is one of the most relaxing, pampering hours she’ll have in her life.

10. Handbag: Another gift you can never go wrong with. Moms and bags just go together, and with all those fishy cracker crumbs and old receipts, she’s probably due for an upgrade.

11. Flowers: There is something about a bouquet of beautiful flowers that brightens up the whole day. Flowers are a great last-minute gift that will make mom happy.

12. Fitness pass: Give mom the gift of trying out a new fitness club or class. Popular ones right now are F45, TRX, Orangetheory Fitness, and Cyclebar.

13. Professional house cleaning: Give mom the month off with professional cleaning services.

14. Best-selling book: A book is one easy and safe gift that you can stop by pretty much any store and grab.

15. Breakfast in bed: It doesn’t even need to be in bed, but starting Mother’s Day off with a special breakfast will go a long way. Here are some of our favorite breakfasts to try!

16. Cookbook: For moms who love to cook, give her a beautiful new cookbook for inspiration.

17. Magnolia line at Target: In a last-minute pinch? Head to every woman’s guilty pleasure—Target. Grab something/anything from the Magnolia line by Joanna Gaines and you’ve got a perfect Mother’s Day present.

18. Fleece blanket: A mom can never have too many fleece blankets. When in doubt, give her something to snuggle up in.

19. New gym shoes:

Another favorite…gift mom a new pair of athletic shoes. Whether she’s running or running errands, she’ll wear them all the time.

20. Apple Watch: It’s the greatest mom-tool of our generation. Use it to call, text, listen to music, track your fitness, check your calendar…the Apple Watch is everything a mom needs to function.

21. Apple AirPods: These are game-changers. Mom can listen to podcasts, music, and audiobooks hands-free and chord-free to excellent sound quality.

22. Jewelry: When you’re struggling last minute to find a great gift for mom, opt for jewelry. It’s a great accessory that matches everything mom has.

23. Anthropologie volcano candle: If you have an Anthropologie nearby, stop in and get a Volcano Candle for mom. It’s the most amazing smell in the world and mom will think of you every time she lights it.

24. A new outfit: Lastly, treat mom to a new outfit. It will make her feel special and put an extra zing in her step. If you’re not sure what she’d like, opt for a gift card or buy her a Stitch Fix subscription. It’s a personal styling service that sends mom a hand-picked outfit each month.

Some friendly advice: what NOT to get mom last-minute

Desperation + poor planning = no good.

Don’t land yourself in the doghouse. Avoid gifts that are:

  • Too practical. My grandma still talks about the time my grandpa bought her new toilet seats for the house. Don’t. Just don’t.
  • Cash money. In theory it sounds great, but mom will most likely end up spending the cash on everyday items like groceries or piano lessons for the kids  because that’s the nature of a mom.
  • Occupational expenses. Gifting mom a car detailing because her car is messy seems like a good idea, but really it’s not. Her car is messy because of all those kids she’s always taking to school, practices, and heaven knows where! Things like car detailing, and carpet cleaning are like business expenses. Do them, but don’t gift them. After all, you’d never give your boss printer paper, right?

Wishing you all a Happy Mother’s Day!

The post 24 Awesome Last-Minute Mother’s Day Gift Ideas appeared first on How Does She.

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It’s just days before the main event and let’s face it, a lot of procrastination goes into finding the perfect Mother’s Day gift. If it’s the eleventh hour and you’re still in need of ideas as awesome as mom, is here are some easy-peasy gifts that you can pull off last-minute.

24 Awesome Last-minute Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

1. Massage: Stop by a local spa and purchase a massage for mom. Make sure to pay the tip in advance.

2. Gift card: It’s not a cop-out…a gift card is always a great gift. Especially if it’s to her favorite store.

3. Take her out to lunch: Anytime the mom doesn’t have to cook is a win.

4. Sunglasses: Stop by her favorite department store and pick up a new pair of sunglasses. It’s a sure bet that her pair from last year have been manhandled or lost by now.

5. Storyworth: One of the coolest last-minute gifts out there. Storyworth will email your mom or grandma one unique question a week. (i.e. Did you ever pull a prank when you were younger? How did your husband propose?) She writes her response and at the end of the year, Storyworth sends her a beautiful hardcover book with all of her stories and memories. It is a great life history!

6. Hotel room: No offense, but what a busy mom really wants is a day off from being a mom. Gift her a hotel room alone for the night and she will love it.

7. Groupon: For great last-minute deals on things like beauty treatments, check Groupon. They’ll email mom her gift so you don’t even have to buy postage.

8. Manicure/pedicure:

You can’t go wrong with gifting mom a mani/pedi. Check Yelp for great salons near you and stop in for a gift card.

9. Facial: If mom has never had a facial before, she’s in for a treat! This is one of the most relaxing, pampering hours she’ll have in her life.

10. Handbag: Another gift you can never go wrong with. Moms and bags just go together, and with all those fishy cracker crumbs and old receipts, she’s probably due for an upgrade.

11. Flowers: There is something about a bouquet of beautiful flowers that brightens up the whole day. Flowers are a great last-minute gift that will make mom happy.

12. Fitness pass: Give mom the gift of trying out a new fitness club or class. Popular ones right now are F45, TRX, Orangetheory Fitness, and Cyclebar.

13. Professional house cleaning: Give mom the month off with professional cleaning services.

14. Best-selling book: A book is one easy and safe gift that you can stop by pretty much any store and grab.

15. Breakfast in bed: It doesn’t even need to be in bed, but starting Mother’s Day off with a special breakfast will go a long way. Here are some of our favorite breakfasts to try!

16. Cookbook: For moms who love to cook, give her a beautiful new cookbook for inspiration.

17. Magnolia line at Target: In a last-minute pinch? Head to every woman’s guilty pleasure—Target. Grab something/anything from the Magnolia line by Joanna Gaines and you’ve got a perfect Mother’s Day present.

18. Fleece blanket: A mom can never have too many fleece blankets. When in doubt, give her something to snuggle up in.

19. New gym shoes:

Another favorite…gift mom a new pair of athletic shoes. Whether she’s running or running errands, she’ll wear them all the time.

20. Apple Watch: It’s the greatest mom-tool of our generation. Use it to call, text, listen to music, track your fitness, check your calendar…the Apple Watch is everything a mom needs to function.

21. Apple AirPods: These are game-changers. Mom can listen to podcasts, music, and audiobooks hands-free and chord-free to excellent sound quality.

22. Jewelry: When you’re struggling last minute to find a great gift for mom, opt for jewelry. It’s a great accessory that matches everything mom has.

23. Anthropologie volcano candle: If you have an Anthropologie nearby, stop in and get a Volcano Candle for mom. It’s the most amazing smell in the world and mom will think of you every time she lights it.

24. A new outfit: Lastly, treat mom to a new outfit. It will make her feel special and put an extra zing in her step. If you’re not sure what she’d like, opt for a gift card or buy her a Stitch Fix subscription. It’s a personal styling service that sends mom a hand-picked outfit each month.

Some friendly advice: what NOT to get mom last-minute

Desperation + poor planning = no good.

Don’t land yourself in the doghouse. Avoid gifts that are:

  • Too practical. My grandma still talks about the time my grandpa bought her new toilet seats for the house. Don’t. Just don’t.
  • Cash money. In theory it sounds great, but mom will most likely end up spending the cash on everyday items like groceries or piano lessons for the kids  because that’s the nature of a mom.
  • Occupational expenses. Gifting mom a car detailing because her car is messy seems like a good idea, but really it’s not. Her car is messy because of all those kids she’s always taking to school, practices, and heaven knows where! Things like car detailing, and carpet cleaning are like business expenses. Do them, but don’t gift them. After all, you’d never give your boss printer paper, right?

Wishing you all a Happy Mother’s Day!

The post 24 Awesome Last-Minute Mother’s Day Gift Ideas appeared first on How Does She.

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I love to travel and no matter the destination, whether it’s traversing New York City, exploring Rome, or hiking in Hawaii, there is one item that I take every single time: a backpack.

In my opinion, it’s an item I would never, ever travel without. A backpack is a lifesaver for holding snacks, drinks, extra articles of clothing, my laptop, camera, first aid supplies, and pretty much anything I need for any type of trip. For the past two years, my current backpack got so much playing time that it’s started to rip at the seams. While researching the best travel backpacks on the market, here are the ones that kept popping up over and over again, with stellar reviews and personal testimonies.

If you love to travel, you need a backpack, plain and simple. With so many styles available, here are the best broken down by function.

The Best Travel Backpacks

Fashion

When it comes to a fashionable backpack, there’s nothing more trendy than a Lululemon backpack. They are definitely on the spendier side, but if brand power and supreme performance are important to you, this is a worthwhile purchase. You can choose from a smaller 13L pack or the largest 18L backpack. What I love are the almost hidden side pockets for your valuables and smart devices where they are much safer than in an outside pocket.

Fashion + function

Of all the travel blogs and articles I’ve read, the Fjallraven Kanken is the one that appears the most. The wanderlust love this bag! This Swedish-made pack was first created in 1978 and continues to be the brand’s most-loved backpack. (It has fantastic reviews on Amazon.) Its design is simple and straight-forward, which is why it’s so popular.

Pack with a cause

If you’re a philanthropist at heart, you’ll love United By Blue backpacks. For every product sold, United By Blue removes one pound of trash from our world’s oceans and waterways. And not only does this backpack represent a great cause, it’s a great travel bag made by adventurers for adventurers.

Laptop-friendly

It’s hard to argue with nearly 6,000 reviews. If you travel for business, or need to bring your laptop along when you’re on-the-go, check out the Mancro laptop backpack. It’s got a combination lock zipper that gives you an added level of security. There are plenty of handy pockets and compartments that are so nice when you travel.

Classic

A classic backpack will never go out of style, and Herschel Supply Co. is as classic as it gets. Their designs are made for easy traveling and they even have a hip pack (aka fanny pack) that is great to take along.

Cool convenience

My husband swears by his Nixon backpack, which has all kinds of pockets and pouches for his stuff. When we travel together, I’m always asking him if I can stick a few extras in his backpack.

Great travel backpack for kids

How about a backpack you can fit in the palm of your hand? Now that’s what I call cool and perfect for kids. The Bago backpack is ultra lightweight so there’s no added weight from a bulky pack. It’s waterproof, comes in various fun colors, and can be used for sports too.

Lightweight Champions

These lightweights can hold their own in any adventure, whether camping or sightseeing. The Hikpro backpack has insanely good reviews on Amazon and weighs only 7.5oz. Plus the price is probably the lowest out there at under $16.

The New Outlander is very comparable, but has even more rave reviews. In fact, with over 7,000 reviews, it’s one of the highest-reviewed backpacks on Amazon. It’s also water-resistant, less than $20, and a great travel backpack for the price.

Sporty

There’s something alluring about the get-up-and-go look of a sporty backpack like the Adidas Originals Big Logo backpack or the Adidas Originals National backpack (comes in camo and a lot of other cool colors).

Another durable sporty backpack is the Under Armour Hustle 3.0 Backpack.

 My son has this same backpack and I’m always asking if I can borrow it because it’s so great. For travel, there’s so much room to pack. When we travel, he can practically put everything he needs in this one backpack. It has a laptop compartment, divided sections so your stuff doesn’t get lost together, and is strong enough to hold up for years.

Camera backpack

If you’re vacation photography is a high priority when you travel, a good camera backpack is important. There are  many types available, depending on the type of camera and how much equipment you carry, but for the average traveler with a decent camera, I recommend the Nixon Logic Camera Bag. It still gives you room to pack other items like clothing and essentials, but the whole bottom half is a haven for your camera gear.

Airport convenient

When something has over 7,000 reviews, averaging 4.5 stars, you know it must be good. The KSwiss ScanSmart backpack is built to withstand an MMA fight. It’s durable as all heck and is meant to survive heavy or harsh conditions, including airport security. If you’ve got valuable to protect, this is your guy.

Best outdoor backpacks

Outdoor enthusiasts rave about the Venture Pal backpack. It has nearly 5,000 reviews and is around $20. It’s great for hiking and backpacking because it weighs less than a pound, is super roomy, and can function as a pillow if needed.

Wherever you go, do good, and Cotopaxi’s creed, “Do Good” is what all travelers try to embody. Cotopaxi isn’t just a stellar backpack brand, but a lifestyle. It’s for the adventurer who also tries to improve the human condition.

So no matter where you’re headed, you’re going to want to take a good backpack with you. Because sometimes the very best places can only be experienced with just your own two feet.

The post The ONE Item I Never Travel Without: Best Travel Backpacks appeared first on How Does She.

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