Friday, November 21, 2014

Weekend Bloggy Reading :: Link Up!

Happy Friday, everyone! Welcome to my Weekend Bloggy Reading link party. Fridays are fun because this is the day of the week where other bloggers stop by to link up their best post of the week here at Serenity Now, and readers get to browse tons of fun project ideas. If you're new here, don't forget to "Follow" or subscribe so you don't miss future parties and projects!

*Please be sure to read my guidelines before you add a link--I've had to bypass so many great projects lately because they didn't include a link back to my blog in the post!

This party is a great place to showcase your very best post of the week (home decor, crafts, party ideas, recipes, DIY, tips and tricks, etc.) and to see what else is out there.

Did you miss any posts this week? I shared some great Thanksgiving Place Card Ideas yesterday, the weekly features went up on Tuesday, and I also reviewed the new LeapTV from LeapFrog.



Time to link up your best post of the week!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

10 DIY Thanksgiving Place Card Ideas

The countdown to Thanksgiving can officially begin! Can you believe it's only a week away? We're not hosting this year, but we will be in town (yay!!!!), having dinner at my in-laws', along with my mom and my sister's family. I thought it would be fun to share a quick round-up of DIY Thanksgiving Place Card Ideas to make your table a bit more festive.
10 DIY Thanksgiving Place Card Ideas, rounded up at Serenity Now #thanksgiving #placecards

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Inspiring Project Ideas {link party features}

Happy Tuesday! Can you believe that Thanksgiving is next week? I meant to have features up yesterday, but I got roped into cutting out 24 turkey shaped books (with 5 pages and a front/back cover!), so I missed sitting down to check out the links. I've got some creative inspiration for you, Features from the weekend link party. If you're new to the blog, I take a couple of days each week to let other bloggers showcase their project ideas here, and I take a day to feature a few of my faves. We have crafts, home decor, DIY, recipes, party ideas, organizing, tips and tricks, seasonal projects, and more!

Here are some projects that caught my eye this week:

~Midcentury Modern Dresser to Media Center via The Cape on the Corner

~DIY Leopard Print Placemat via Desert Willow Lane


~Kale Salad with Chick Peas and Sun-Dried Tomatoes via Tabler party of two


Sunday, November 16, 2014

LeapFrog LeapTV Review {Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids}

This post brought to you by LeapFrog.// I had the good fortune of being asked to write up a review of what my kiddos thought of LeapFrog's new LeapTV gaming system. I'm going to tell you why this toy was a hit with my kids...and me.
LeapFrog's LeapTV Gaming System for Kids (Holiday Toy Preview), from Serenity Now #leapfrog #leaptv


If you haven't heard about the new LeapTV, it's an all new gaming system designed to get minds and bodies moving. Although it was created for kids ages 4 to 7, my 8 year old had just as much fun playing as did my 6 year old and their 4 year old cousin.
LeapFrog's LeapTV Gaming System for Kids (Holiday Toy Preview), from Serenity Now #leapfrog #leaptv

What makes LeapTV special?
  • 3 ways to play: body motion (the camera catches them and they can see themselves on the TV!), classic control (it can tilt and shake for gaming fun), and pointer play (the control transforms into a pointer!)
  • Designed specifically for young children with age-appropriate games
  • Reinforces learning through movement (kids wiggle, jump, point, and swipe to play)
  • Games adapt to your child (the games automatically level as your child's progresses in proficiency)
Why did my kids (even the 8 year old!) love it?
LeapFrog's LeapTV Gaming System for Kids (Holiday Toy Preview), from Serenity Now #leapfrog #leaptv


Set-up only took a couple of minutes, so they didn't have to bounce around waiting. They figured out how to use the controls themselves in no time at all, and had a blast choosing from fun games to play. Our system came loaded with Kart Racing, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Sofia the First, and some others. These were pre-loaded for review purposes, but all are available in the library of 100+ game cartridges (approved by educators!), downloads, and videos! The system has WiFi, so you can download games with your account without having to be at your laptop.

My problem solver oldest loved that she had to answer some math questions in order to play the racing game, and the creative middle child enjoyed practicing her reading skills with Sofia. The dog even looked interested (see above), and so did the baby, who picked up the TV's remote control and tried to swipe it around.
LeapFrog's LeapTV Gaming System for Kids (Holiday Toy Preview), from Serenity Now #leapfrog #leaptv


Why did I (mom) love LeapTV?

As a mom who is conscious of the ever encroaching toy clutter around this time of year, I had to do a little cheer when I saw how small and unobtrusive the gaming system is. No big, unwieldy plastic pieces that require their own shelf on the media center. Everything goes neatly back into the media center when they're finished playing.
LeapFrog's LeapTV Gaming System for Kids (Holiday Toy Preview), from Serenity Now #leapfrog #leaptv

Another plus? It’s super easy to put together, and the kids were able to figure out how to navigate between games soon after we took it out of the box. Nice graphics, although the sound was a bit off on the initial run…could have been our TV though.

While I limit my kids’ screen time already, I like that when they do have LeapTV time, they are generally up and moving. No sitting like bumps on a log, staring at a screen.

This is a great Christmas purchase, especially if you have more than one kiddo in the 4 to 7 age range…they will love playing against each other…alongside some of their favorite characters!

Well done, LeapFrog! Their new gaming system would make an excellent addition to a Christmas wish list for kids 4 to 7.

What's the top toy on your kiddos' wish list this year?

If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, I hope you'll click your "Pin It" button to add this post to Pinterest, or a +1 for Google+. And I always appreciate kind comments.

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Disclosure: LeapFrog provided my family with a LeapTV system for review purposes, but I was not paid to write this post. All opinions are, as always, 100 % my own.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Weekend Bloggy Reading :: Link Up!

TGIF, everyone! Welcome to my Weekend Bloggy Reading link party. Fridays are fun because this is the day of the week where other bloggers stop by to link up their best post of the week here at Serenity Now, and readers get to browse tons of fun project ideas. If you're new here, don't forget to "Follow" or subscribe so you don't miss future parties and projects!

*Please be sure to read my guidelines before you add a link--I've had to bypass so many great projects lately because they didn't include a link back to my blog in the post!

This party is a great place to showcase your very best post of the week (home decor, crafts, party ideas, recipes, DIY, tips and tricks, etc.) and to see what else is out there.

Did you miss any posts this week? I shared some great Christmas card designs ideas on Monday, and Tuesday brought us some link party features. On Wednesday, we had another edition in my Mommy's Must Haves series: Second Trimester Pregnancy Must Haves.


Time to link up your best post of the week!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Second Trimester Pregnancy Must Haves (Mommy's Must Haves List}

Back again with another installment of my Mommy's Must Haves series for new and expecting mamas. All the essentials for pregnancy and baby. You can click here to start the series from the beginning. Today, I'm going to share a list of my essentials for the Second Trimester of Pregnancy.
Second Semester Pregnancy Must Have List, from Serenity Now #pregnancy #musthave #pregnancytips




Here are some of the essentials for your second trimester...on a budget!

Second Semester Pregnancy Must Have List, from Serenity Now #pregnancy #musthave #pregnancytips

1. Body Pillow
There are probably 567 different kind of pregnancy body pillows that you can buy. These are fantastic as your belly grows. You can use it to support your back or your belly, depending on what's achy or uncomfortable.

My best tip? Forget the pricey ones and buy a $15 body pillow from WalMart or Target. If you decide to "upgrade" later on, go for it, but I found that a cheap pillow and pillowcase from WM did the trick. Save the cash and buy yourself a cute pair of shoes.

2. Tums
You may or may not start to experience heartburn in your second trimester. Please consult your doctor first, but mine allowed me over-the-counter Zantac after a certain number of weeks for the really unbearable cases. Otherwise, I stuck to Tums. But be careful not to overdo those too. 

3. Baby Pinterest Board
Yes, now's the time to start a Pinterest board and fill it up with all sorts of tips, projects, and ideas you find as you scour the web. Not ready to announce your pregnancy yet? You can make your board secret! I have a Pinterest board that I dedicated to nursery ideas, baby gear, tips, and more. Feel free to check it out for inspiration and RePins!

4. Maternity Wardrobe
Yep, at some point you're going to start to "show." If this is your second or third baby, you'll be surprised at how much sooner this happens! I have a very thorough older post with all the necessities of a budget maternity wardrobe outlined. Please check it out to see what you'll need...you might be surprised!

Although it was geared towards Fall and Winter pregnancies, you can easily tailor it to Spring or Summer by swapping the pants for capris and going for lighter weight layering pieces rather than heavy sweaters.

5. Diapers
Huh? You're probably wondering why this chick is recommending that you buy diapers during your second trimester. Don't worry, you won't need them. But baby will. And diapers cane be expensive!!

I finally caught on and started buying a pack or two of diapers in my chosen brand (we love Pampers here) every couple of weeks. By the time baby #3 was here, I had a pretty good stash of diapers on hand. I am sure my husband appreciated not being sent out for diapers every other night.

Tip? You probably won't need that many packs of the newborn size diapers. I'd recommend buying maybe two large packs (keep your receipt taped to them!) and then a few in sizes 1, 2. I also love Pampers "Baby Dry" diapers for night time.

6. Announcement
You do not need to send out paper pregnancy announcements. Please, please save your money for diapers, wipes, clothes, baby food, etc. BUT...it can be fun to do a creative pregnancy for your family, especially if this is your first baby. There are loads of ideas out there. I shared our creative pregnancy announcement to the kids last year on the blog.

And that's pretty much it for the second trimester. If you missed the first trimester tips, you can catch them here, since some of those must-haves you will carry with you throughout your pregnancy.

What are some of your must-haves for the second trimester pregnancy?
Second Semester Pregnancy Must Have List, from Serenity Now #pregnancy #musthave #pregnancytips


If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, I hope you'll click your "Pin It" button to add this post to Pinterest, or a +1 for Google+. And I always appreciate kind comments.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Inspiring Project Ideas {link party features}

Hi there? How is your week going? I've got some creative inspiration for you, and today I'll be sharing some Features from the weekend link party and also the week before. . If you're new to the blog, I take a couple of days each week to let other bloggers showcase their project ideas here, and I take a day to feature a few of my faves. We have crafts, home decor, DIY, recipes, party ideas, organizing, tips and tricks, seasonal projects, and more!

Here are some projects that caught my eye this week:

~Thanksgiving Embroidery Hoop Garland via The Silly Pearl


~Entryway Makeover via DIY on the Cheap


~No-Bake Snickers Bar Pie via The Kitchen is My Playground

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