Dollar General Boy’s Easter Basket for less than $15!

I love celebrating holidays – especially now that we have kids. It makes it so much more fun to see their eyes light up on the morning of a special holiday.

What I don’t love, however, is all the money we spend to try to make them happy. I would prefer the focus be on the actual REASON for the holiday.

For Easter we were typically spending more than $50 per child not including a new outfit for church! Now that we have three kids to buy for, well, I was not about to spend $150 to fill their Easter baskets. No way! It’s just not necessary.

I decided to head to Dollar General to see if I could fill the boys’ baskets for under $20.

Challenge Accepted!

I didn’t want to fill them up with candy – yes, a little of that would be included – but I wanted to find other fun things too!

Wire basket – $1.50 each
Easter grass – $1.50 (1 bag split)
Toothbrush – $5.00 each
Chocolate bunnies – $.50 each
Pez dispenser – $1.00 each
Kite – $1.00 each
Playpacks with crayons – $2.00 each
Sports eggs with candy – $3.50 (1 bag split)

Grand total for each Easter basket – $13.00

Looking to save money on Easter Basket for your little boy? Find everything you need at Dollar General for less than $15. Click the photo to see a price list! | adayinmollywood.com

Not too shabby, eh? I plan on making little tags with their names. I also bought a pink wire basket for Sawyer but I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to put in it! She is 14-months-old and would probably be happy just to play with the fake grass! But I’ll figure something out I’m sure.

I know our boys will be so happy with these baskets and bonus that they didn’t cost us an arm and a leg!

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I found all of this at Dollar General but my guess is Dollar Store, Dollar Tree and Big Lots would have similar options.

Happy Shopping!

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Know a Mom Who Needs a Vacation?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Best Western. All opinions are 100% mine.

I am really excited to start blogging about travel more in the coming months! I have always loved traveling. From the very first road trip my mom and dad planned where all three of my sisters and I piled into the station wagon and drove cross country to fun destinations.

Although we haven’t traveled that much since starting a family we have taken a few trips and I always end up thinking – why don’t we do this more often?!

Well, it’s because we’re busy! And then there’s that whole budget thing to worry about too. But my husband and I are making it a goal to go on at least one vacation a year with our family. And I really think you should too!

Right now, Best Western is giving away a free five-night stay for a deserving mom you know. Go to Facebook to “mominate” them in the Mom Me-Time Sweepstakes! It’s so easy and guess what? If you do this for a friend or family member and they win – you get to go too! 

That sounds awesome, doesn’t it? It’s a win-win!

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I am so many things before I am bipolar

Today is World Bipolar Day. All I ask is that you help stop the stigma of mental illness. This illness is real. I can’t just snap out of it. I can’t sleep it off. I can’t cure it with a cupcake (although cupcakes do help a little).

There are challenges every day. But there are also break throughs. Beautiful, beautiful break throughs.

And they make life worth living. Yes, I live with Bipolar Disorder. But I am so many things before I am bipolar.

Please remember that.

Today is World Bipolar Day. Help Break the Stigma of Mental Illness! | adayinmollywood.com

My Struggle with Chronic Pain

My mom put me in my first dance class when I was three-years-old and being the stage-loving performer that I am, I absolutely flourished. I took tap, jazz and ballet classes until I left for college at the age of 18. I was active and in shape, spending hours a day stretching and strengthening my muscles. Aside from the occasional muscle soreness caused by pushing my body to its limits, I never suffered any real injuries during my dancing years.

But at the age of 26, ten years ago this week, I was in a car accident that would change my life forever. I stopped to yield to oncoming traffic and then heard a loud noise. At first I thought my car had been struck by lightning. That’s how loud it was. As I was trying to figure out what the noise was, I suddenly realized my car was in the middle of the street!

Then I felt it – one of the worst pains I’ve ever felt in my life. It was like a wave of warmth climbing my spinal cord that rose to the top of my skull. I quickly grabbed my head with both my arms and sat there begging for the pain to go away. At the time I didn’t even know what had happened yet. But I would soon find out.

A woman rear-ended me so hard that my car was pushed into the roadway. I heard a knock on my car window. It was the woman who hit me, although I didn’t know that at the time. She opened the door and asked if I was okay. I remember screaming, “No!” I don’t remember anything else until I was waking up in the emergency room of the hospital. After a couple hours they sent me home with some painkillers and I foolishly thought my body would heal after a couple weeks. But after a month of barely being able to roll out of bed without excruciating pain I knew my life and my health was forever changed.

My car was totaled and so was my upper body.

For the last ten years I have had pain in my neck and right shoulder. Sometimes the pain can be debilitating. I have missed work, important events and life in general. I have taken every single pain medication and muscle relaxer available. I have had painful epidurals in my neck because I literally couldn’t get out of bed without them. I have gone to chiropractors and physical therapists searching for even the tiniest bit of relief. But eventually, I just learned to live with the pain.

My struggle with chronic pain and how I'm trying to manage it with MELT method | adayinmollywood.com

I never realized how much chronic pain can negatively affect your life. Although my injuries were not life-threatening, I must manage chronic pain every day. Sometimes I feel angry and upset about it all. I used to exercise daily. I cared about my body and my health. But it feels like that part of me fell apart after the car accident. For a long time, I gave up on exercise because every time I got active again I had more pain in my neck and shoulder.

But I realize that I can’t give up. I’ve got too much to live for and too many things I want to accomplish. That’s why I am on a recent quest to live a more natural, healthy lifestyle! With that, comes the desire to find a solution for long-term neck pain relief.

The MELT Method is helping me accomplish this goal. In just ten minutes a day I am working to get out and stay out of chronic pain. I like this hands-off approach. There are certainly times that will require me to see a professional but I like the feeling that I am in control of my own pain relief – and not having to rely on heavy, sedating medications is also quite helpful since I am a busy working mom!

MELT is just one thing I am adding to my new daily health regimen to positively impact my overall well-being. If you struggle with chronic pain I highly recommend you check it out.

I am hopeful that using this technique will decrease my pain and increase my ability to live a full life again. Even after ten years I refuse to give up hope that my body can heal!

I was compensated for sharing my personal story of managing chronic pain and trying The MELT Method. However, my words and thoughts are my own. Thank you for reading and allowing me to support this blog through thoughtful sponsored content!

The Little Spoons

Slish, slosh. Slish, slosh.

The dish water splashes back and forth in the sink as I hurriedly place dirty bowls and plates and silverware in the dishwasher. After a few days of ignoring the growing pile, it was the strange stench that finally convinced me to do them.

Dear God. How long has this been in here!? I say to myself as I open a sippy cup to find spoiled milk. Ahhh, yes. This must be the source.

Life is so busy. I’m here, I’m there. I’m three places at once and although I hate to do the dishes as it is, quite possibly, my most unfavorite chore of them all, I stand there completely still for a moment.

The window is cracked open for the first time in who knows how long. The green curtain blows in the warmth. Could it be – spring is finally asking me to dance after a rough winter?

I am aching, for what I’m not exactly sure, and the sun is begging me to come outside. But the baby will wake soon and the boys’ quiet time will turn into yells of “Mooooom, is quiet time over yet?”

I want to scream, “Not yet!” but I usually give in because despite how much I need thirty minutes to myself, the calm between the storm, I always miss them when they’re not around.

I miss their noise, their excitement at everything around them. I am in awe of their happiness. And I wonder – was I ever that happy as a child? I think I was but I can’t remember anymore. It’s not clear – kinda like how my hands look under the dirty dish water.

Hurry, HURRY – I interrupt myself. Just get it done and then you can have a few minutes to sit by yourself.

I finally spot the bottom of the sink and breathe relief because I know I’m almost to the finish line of at least one thing on my to-do list. I’m closer to that first sip of afternoon coffee, a treat I sometimes allow myself even though I know there’ll be hell to pay when it’s time to fall asleep.

My husband will fall asleep within ten seconds of his head hitting the pillow. But I will lay there, definitely not sleeping, listening all around me. The pops and cracks of our house settling down for the night. Oh, if these walls could talk – they would probably tell us all to be quiet.

I press the start button on the dishwasher and hear it begin to hummmm. I flip the switch to the garbage disposal and immediately realize there is something caught down there making it grind, grind, grind to a halt. Grrrr, I hate reaching my hand down in there. No telling what it is this time. One time it was what looked like a month-old piece of broccoli.

I put my hand down in and feel something smooth and hard. I pull out a tiny baby spoon.

I’ll sure be glad when we’re finally done with these things. Always getting caught in . . .

But I stop myself mid-thought. Because I realize when we’re finally done with them, it means we’re really done.

My husband had a vasectomy in December. Truthfully, I haven’t even been that emotional about it. I know I’m done having babies. I know this is our complete family. There are no missing pieces. I’m at peace with our decision to be done with the baby-making phase. I’m so ready to enjoy the here and now and anticipate what comes next.

But on this day, as the wind continues to dance with the curtain and my 14-month-old naps upstairs, the weight of time and memories hits me hard. Like the hot water hits the dishes ridding them of all the leftover food.

I open the drawer and toss the little spoon into the pile with the rest of them. I stand there, staring at them, all the colorful baby spoons.

Baby Spoons | adayinmollywood.com

I can’t get over it – how fast it all goes. I can’t comprehend that a year ago I was holding a newborn and today she’s miss independent, exploring this big world one milestone at a time.

In a few years the little spoons will all be gone. No miniature silverware to curse while I’m doing the dishes. One by one, everything little will be replaced with something bigger. Something for growing hands. It’s strange how you can feel so sad and so grateful all at the same time.

Tears fall fast as I wipe splattered water off the counters.

“Mooooom, is quiet time over yet?” my oldest yells.

“Yes,” I call back rubbing my eyes dry.

And I close the drawer and head upstairs.