DIY Christmas Wrap Photo Labels

It’s hard to believe, but Christmas is right around the corner!  Every single year I plan to have as much done as possible before Thanksgiving…and every year I am scurrying at the last minute!

Last year I had a great plan to wrap all of my gifts in shipping paper (with some cute little extras) and it went soooo well!  I will definitely be using these ideas again, especially since some of them were cute AND cheap.

My first special twist?  DIY photo labels!

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What Would You Do with $10 Million?

I love this question.  I know it sounds weird, but I ask myself all the time – What would you do with $10 million, Nikki?  And then I make a list. Usually with a glass of wine after everyone’s gone to bed.  I know it sounds indulgent, but it’s really not.  In fact, I think it’s a really, really important question that everyone needs to ask themselves on a regular basis – What would you do with $10 million?

Why waste time imagining a life you don’t have, you ask?

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Seven Layer Cookies

Seven layer cookies are possibly my favorite cookies of all-time.  They are surprisingly easy to make, but your guests will think you are Julia Child when they eat these.  They are rich, delicious, and absolutely perfect for the holiday season. THIS is what I will definitely be making. 😉

It’s a pretty fool-proof recipe, so odds are you can’t mess this one up. (more…)

What to Get a New Mom for Christmas

Two years ago around this time I was a brand new mom. My little baby had all the cutest little holiday outfits with bow ties and suspenders, reindeer and santa hats, booties and mittens. He was decked out in all the “essential” holiday gear.  I, on the other hand, found myself desperate for my own essentials – ones I was caught off guard to be needing.

So, as a former holiday season new mom, I can tell you there definitely are gifts you are itching to get when you’ve got a brand new baby on your hands. Things you didn’t realize you needed or just didn’t prioritize.

Here are the holiday gifts that I loved (or wished I would have had): (more…)

Household Items that are Far Better than Any Toddler Toy on the Market

This scenario plays out in my house almost everyday: The playroom is strewn with blocks, cars are on their sides, balls are piled in the corner…and my son?  He’s playing in our cabinet with the pots and pans. There’s no question he loves his toys, but sometimes I can’t believe how much he loves his “not toys.” So much so that I find myself converting old household products into play things just for some free indoor excitement.

So if you’re tired of buying toys, look around your house and see if you’ve got any of these big winners:

Related article: The Baby Products I Wish I Hadn’t Bought…and Definitely Didn’t Need

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How to Pay Off Student Loans Early

Student loan debt is the absolute worst. Yes, it is really important to get an education. But the vast majority of students that are taking out loans have no idea how much that debt is going to weigh them down. Education is important, but so is getting this debt off your back!

If you want to pay off student loans early (which I’m assuming you do), there are a lot of things you can do…some of which you may not have thought of.  I feel lucky that my husband and I were able to get rid of what we had before I decided to stay at home with my son, because basically I wouldn’t have been able to if we hadn’t.  And I want that for you!

So here’s what you need to do to get rid of that debt FAST:

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12 Gifts that 2-Year Old Boys Will Love

Shopping for a 2 year old boy is no easy task! There are tons of options out there, so it's hard to know what's a true winner. Check out this list to see what the winners are in our house!

My son is a November baby, so every year I get a special preview of the big hits before Christmas arrives.  We do our best to save some of the big surprises for Christmas morning, but how can you resist an early gift??  This year we celebrated the big number 2. I know, crazy!  🙂  

So, for all the parents, grandparents, and aunts & uncles of 2 year-olds out there, here’s how to be the favorite this year!   

Related post: The 10 Best Thomas the Train Gifts for Your Thomas-Obsessed Boy

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7 Websites with the Best Free Stock Photos

Images are everything these days. And unfortunately one or two good ones on your website or blog just won’t do the trick.  So it is essential to have a pool of amazing, high quality free stock photos at your disposal so that you can spend your money on things that aren’t free.

Some of these are my favorite go-to image sites and others were great discoveries that I came across researching for this post.  With this list, there is definitely no need to pay for photos anymore!  Good luck.
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Pumpkin Pie Martini

I have to admit, I get sick of pumpkin spice flavors pretty quickly once Fall hits. But when a friend made me this pumpkin pie martini in early November, I LOVED it.  It’s perfect for this time of year, especially as Thanksgiving starts to approach, and is amazing if you’re a sucker for creamy martinis (even though there’s no added cream!).

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The Unexpected Perks of Having a Traveling Husband

When my husband first started traveling for work (EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK.) I was absolutely miserable.  I had no idea how I was going to deal with it.  I was used to hanging out with him every night and life was simple enough that I had no need for personal time or extra money.  I didn’t feel safe in my house alone and I hated taking the trash out. It was awful.

And then things changed. We had a baby…and that pretty much changed everything…including how I felt about my husband traveling.  Now, not only am I used to it, but I actually enjoy a lot of aspects of it…which is something I was convinced would NEVER happen.  So for the newlyweds out there that are wondering how they’re going to get through a new job, or for the long-time traveling family that just needs a pick-me-up, here’s a list of all the great perks of having a traveling husband:

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