12 Days of Christmas Activities – Day 5 Ornament Exchange #12JollyDays

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Our Christmas tree is filled with ornaments that represent us. Our family. Our memories. Throughout the year, we collect new ornaments to add to the tree. We buy an ornament at every travel destination. We have ornaments from our trips to Ocean City, Disney World, Disney Land, Chattanooga, and more. Our tree has an ornament marking each year that Mike and I have been married. There’s an ornament for each child’s first Christmas. We have ornaments from when we were kids. Ornaments made by us as a family or by Lucas at school. It’s a beautiful sight to see and it always brings up memories while we trim the tree. We talk about the places we’ve been or remember Lucas’ first Christmas or share stories of our own childhood.


Each Christmas, we like to give each other special ornaments that mark a milestone or hobby. This year, we have several new ornaments. For Lucas – the gamer and baseball ornaments. Two of his obsessions.




For Amelia – the sock monkey and Elmo ornaments. She is obsessed with Elmo lately!



For Mike – the beer and griller ornament. Mike loves to brew his own craft beers and he can regularly be found at the grill or smoker making a tasty dinner for us.




For Aries (our dog) – a beautiful chocolate lab ornament.


For Family – a new “The Jollys” ornament marking each member of the family.


For Me – the photographer and smartphone ornaments. These couldn’t be more perfect, right?!


Exchanging ornaments is a special tradition that every family can do during the holiday season and will create lasting memories. You could host an ornament exchange party with friends or family, make homemade ornaments with the kids, or if you have an “elf” friend he or she can surprise everyone with a new ornament (our Elf Sherman does this every year, actually).

Personal Creations Ornaments

Make sure to visit PersonalCreations.com to check out their huge variety of personalized Christmas ornaments. They have over 1,000 personalized ornaments – there is literally an ornament for every occasion, milestone, personality, interest, and more. Save 20% off your entire order when you enter PCSM20 at checkout!

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$500 Holiday Giveaway!

Enter via the giveaway widget below for a chance to win a $500 PersonalCreations.com Gift Card! Must live in the US and be 18 + up to enter.


$500 Personal Creations Gift Card Giveaway

(VIDEO) @Rayovac Portable Mobile Battery Power Pack

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One thing that I can’t live without? A Rayovac Portable Mobile Battery Power Pack to charge my phone while I’m on the go. I can’t tell you how many times per week I use this thing. It is a lifesaver (and quite literally could be). The last thing I want is to not have a phone when I’m out – whether it’s out running errands, at the pediatricians office, at the park, picking Lucas up from school, anywhere – my phone is my lifeline. If something were to happen, I need to be able to call Mike or a friend or family member. I always keep one in my diaper bag or purse so that if my iPhone ever runs out of battery – I have a way to charge up no matter what.



The Rayovac Portable Mobile Battery Power Pack has so many awesome features – I’ll let Mike tell you about it in the video below!

Features and Benefits

• 800mAh Lithium Ion rechargeable mobile device charger
• Charger holds enough power to recharge your mobile phone for 150 minutes of talk time
• Recharge the Phone Boost power pack 500+ times by using a USB charger
• Holds charge up to 6 months
• Integrated USB and Apple Lightning device connectors with protective caps
• Compatible with Apple Lightning devices
• MFi certified – Made for iPhone & iPod
• 4 LED battery gauge indicators show charge and discharge status
• Keychain attached for convenience and portability
• Instant power once your device is plugged in
• Push button switch turns charger on – if inactive for 30 seconds, charger will automatically turn off to save battery power
• Limited product warranty

Holiday Gift Ideas for Everyone at Lands’ End

One of my favorite places to shop for holiday gifts is Lands’ End. They honestly have something for everyone and you can always count on their quality and their 100% satisfaction guarantee. A good place to start marking people off your holiday shopping list is right on the Gifts section at LandsEnd.com. You’ll find handsome and luxurious gifts for him…

gifts for girls…

and boys…

and even gifts for the furry babies in your lives…

and, luxurious gifts for her (or you)…

like cashmere sweaters that are warm and cozy and so incredibly soft. Look, I know the price tag on cashmere is high, but the quality is amazing AND if you look out for Lands’ End coupons like the 40% OFF PLUS FREE SHIPPING one they’re offering right now…then the price tag becomes doable.

Lands’ End sent me the Stripe Funnelneck Cashmere Sweater and it is divine. It should be considering it is made with 100% Inner Mongolian cashmere, the world’s finest cashmere. I literally got at least five compliments the day that I wore it. I got it in the red and it is festive and perfect for the holidays. I plan on wearing it on Christmas Eve actually! LOVE it! And, let me tell you–I would have loved to receive this sweater as a gift, for sure!

The featured product{s} in this post were provided to me free of charge by the manufacturer or pr company representing the company.  All opinions expressed are mine. Please refer to this site’s Terms of Use for more information. 

Holiday Gift Idea for the Cook: Trudeau Stress Less Kitchen Products

Anyone who visits this blog knows how much I love to cook and no cook is complete without the proper tools. I recently had the opportunity to check out some great kitchen tools from Trudeau–three really cool products from their Stress Less line— a can opener, a cheese grater, and a pizza cutter.The stress less line is designed ergonomically to make using the tool easier and so it creates less stress and pressure on your hands and muscles while doing so.

The pizza cutter is surprisingly smooth to use and doesn’t require much pressure to cut through the pizza quickly and easily. The pizza cutter I had been using required me to go back and forth in a sawing motion to cut a slice of pizza.

We always keep a block of fresh parmesan cheese in the kitchen so the cheese grater came in very handy. The block loads easy from the outside and the wheel grates it with ease. What I really love about it is how easy it comes apart for cleaning…just 2 steps and three pieces.

My favorite tool is the can opener. It opens the can on the edge which eliminates the sharp edge. It glides around and stays on the can the whole way. I highly recommend the entire Trudeau Stress Less collection and imagine that they would work wonderfully with anyone with strength issues or arthritis. They are also the perfect holiday gift for the home cook or foodie in your life.

See the Stress Less Can Opener in Action:

This giveaway is closed. Congratulations to the winner, JaMean!

The featured product{s} in this post were provided to me free of charge by the manufacturer or pr company representing the company.  All opinions expressed are mine. Please refer to this site’s Terms of Use for more information. 

NEW by Sony! The BDP-SX1000 Portable Blu-ray Player (Review & Giveaway)

We all know that there is only one thing that can keep a family from going crazy on a really long road trip….A DVD PLAYER!!! There are all sorts of DVD players and entertainment systems that you can have custom installed in your car, but what we have been dying for is a portable DVD player. That way we can use it in the car, but we can also use it outside of the car as well (vacations, hotels, rental homes, at grandma’s, etc). We recently got the wonderful opportunity to review the Sony BDP-SX1000 Portable Blu-ray Player and it is one of our new favorite things!

The fact that it is a blu-ray player is beyond awesome because Mike has been making sure that our blu-ray collection grows LOL. He is actually a movie buff and collector so he has even gone out and replaced DVDs with the new Blu-ray versions. Plus, all the new movies we buy are always in Blu-ray and as you guys know–not all Blu-rays come with a DVD copy so a Blu-ray player is a MUST for us!

Surprisingly, there actually aren’t that many portable Blu-ray players on the market, but that doesn’t matter because this new Sony is AWESOME. Sony is obviously a name we all trust when it comes to electronics and they didn’t disappoint with their Blu-ray player either! The Sony BDP-SX1000 Portable Blu-ray Player has all the features you would want. It has a huge (and I mean huge) 10.1 inch screen that swivels completely and even folds flat against the player. It also has both a standard audio/video output & an HDMI output (a lot of other portable Blu-ray players don’t come with any outputs) so you can easily hook it up a TV and a remote control as well. This is a must-have feature for us! We love to take movies with us on trips, but many places that we stay don’t have DVD players (and they never have Blu-ray players), so it was really important to us that could be hooked up to a TV and be used as a standard player. Like most portable players it comes with a charger for both the car and the home, but the Sony’s batteries also recharge to offer up to 5 hours of use. That’s at least two movies! And finally one of the coolest features is the USB port so you can play other videos, movies, and music on the go.
So if you are looking for some peace and quiet on those long road trips or a portable player to take with you on vacation, then I would definitely recommend the Sony. It has become the first thing we grab whenever we go on a trip. Love it!

See It In Action:

Retails for $299.99. Buy it online or at major retailers across the country.

This givaway is closed. Congratulations to the winner, BethElderton!


The featured product{s} in this post were provided to me free of charge by the manufacturer or pr company representing the company.  All opinions expressed are mine. Please refer to this site’s Terms of Use for more information. 

Acoustic Research Docking Station for iPod, iPhone and iPad (Review)

I am obsessed with Pandora Radio. It is the best way to discover new music and to listen to the music you love–both from the past and current. However, besides on the computer, I didn’t have any other way to listen to Pandora. That really stinks because I would LOVE to be able to listen to Pandora while I’m in the kitchen cooking or doing chores around the house downstairs. That’s why I’ve had an Internet Radio on my list of “wants” for a while, but I’ve never purchased one because the reviews are always the same–the sound is terrible on the Internet Radios on the market. So when I was contacted to review the iPad Docking Station by Acoustic Research. I had to try it out!

The Docking Station by Acoustic Research is honestly one of the coolest products I’ve received to review in a very long time. It is essentially a sound station for your various “i” devices. It will work with the iPhone, iPod, and iPad–just use the corresponding adapters, which are included in the box.

All you do is set the device into place and the Docking Station will now play the device’s audio through the speakers. You can control your entire mp3 music library from the docking station, listen to FM radio, AND listen to Pandora Radio! It even comes with a remote control so you can turn the volume up and down, change stations, songs, scroll through your mp3 music library, and it also controls Pandora Radio. You know what else the remote control does? It switches the iPad’s position from portrait to landscape, which is such an awesome feature if you like to watch videos from your iPad. So cool!

The Docking Station also charges your devices while they are connected, which is very convenient. Oh, and it’s even an alarm clock!

So, I know what you’re asking…”what about the sound quality?” That’s where the iPad Docking Station really impressed both Mike and I. It sounds WONDERFUL! It has a 20 watt total audio power. The sound is loud and crisp and the perfect music solution for small spaces like a kitchen or bedroom. LOVE love LoVe it!

See It In Action:
For more information, please read more about the Docking Station at Acoustic Research. Retails for $129.99.

The featured product{s} in this post were provided to me free of charge by the manufacturer or pr company representing the company. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by anyone. Please refer to this site’s Terms of Use for more information.