18 Last Minute Mother’s Day Gift Ideas That Don’t Cost Money

Hey guys. Happy Friday! In case you forgot, this Sunday is Mother’s Day and if you still need a gift for mom and wifey for their special day, I’m sharing 18 unique gift ideas that don’t cost money. You’re welcome!

1. Let her sleep in. What mom (especially new moms) wouldn’t love those extra few hours of beauty sleep? Get the older kids dressed and ready before she wakes up or if you have an infant, take care of the morning feeding so mom doesn’t have to.

2. Make her breakfast in bed or treat her to a candlelit dinner at home.

3. Surprise her with an impromptu Mother’s Day photoshoot. No need for a professional photographer. Use your iPhone and tripod if you have one, find a cute location and take some of her and the kids or ask a friend to meet you to take a couple of snaps of the entire family (we just did this last weekend).

4. Plant a little garden together in your own backyard instead of buying flowers. If you want to keep it simple, spend a couple of bucks and get a small flower pot from Home Depot, some paint color to paint the pot, a small bag of soil, some flower seeds and voila!

5. Setup a movie night at home with her favorite movie(s). Make her comfy, get a blanket, and keep the popcorn, candy and beverages flowing so she can relax.

6. Give her a mini massage or foot rub (Google how).

7. Treat her to a mini manicure. I’m sure she can totally use one now especially with not being able to go to the salon currently and you don’t need to be a professional nail tech by any means. Use a nail file to file her nails, maybe some clear nail polish and lotion to massage her delicate hands with.

8. Create a memory journal with some of your favorite memories together and add some photos inside a notebook.

9. Create photo slides through PowerPoint on your computer. You can add some tunes in the background and make it a full blown presentation. If you do want to spend the money, you can make a photo book through walgreens.com for same day pickup for typically under $25 or print out a favorite photo with her in it and frame it. Prints and photo albums can be ready within a couple of hours and both are inexpensive (there are always coupons for prints and photo gifts such as mugs, calendars, etc.)

10. Bake her cupcakes, chocolate covered strawberries or whatever her favorite dessert is. What girl doesn’t love sweets?

11. Make a 30-day coupon book/voucher that’s good for different activities she can do with you or that will take care of any of her responsibilities off her hands such as household chores (ex. one home-cooked meal, one 10 min hand massage, a day to herself, etc.)

12. Set up a treasure hunt with cute notes around the house telling her how amazing she is and/or why you love her.

13. Treat her to a mini facial.

14. Fill up a jar with quotes, favorite memories or sweet sayings that she can open each day for 30 days (or for as long as you want). One year I did that for John’s bday and filled it up for several months…🤪

15. Gift of quality time. Sometimes just spending the day or a couple of hours with your mom engaging in conversation is all she really wants and needs. Make the conversation about her and ask her to relive her favorite memories of her mom or ask her to share your birth story with you. If her mom is no longer with her, maybe visit the cemetery where her mom was laid to rest and plant some flowers at her grave together.

16. Clean the house and take care of all the chores for the week so she doesn’t have to (laundry, dishes, take out the garbage, etc.)

17. Handwash and detail her car for her and then go for a little road trip. Be her private chauffeur for a few hours.

18. Serenade her with a concert at home. Get the kids involved and put on a little show for her that she’ll never forget.

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6 Ways To Show Your Spouse Appreciation

Happy Monday and happy May! This past Friday, John and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary! We ordered takeout from Gibson’s Steakhouse and enjoyed a nice bottle of wine while John’s mom hung out in the other room with Sofie so we can have some alone time. #QuarantineAnniversary2020!

So now that we have 6 years of marital bliss under our belt, I thought it’d be fun to share 6 Ways To Show Your Spouse Appreciation. While I’m certainly no marriage expert, I do believe that showing your spouse gratitude can go a long way in making them feel valued and appreciated, which in turn makes for a happy and successful marriage.

1. Say “thank you” and “I love you” and say them often. “Thank you for taking the trash out.” “Thank you for picking up my dry cleaning.” “Thank you for dinner.” I believe we all have a part to do and showing gratitude for these mundane everyday tasks is important. If I cook dinner, John will clean up and I make sure to thank him for doing so, or if I do the laundry and there are clothes in the basket, he’ll fold them and put them away if I can’t get to it. Also, text your spouse in the middle of the day to let them know you’re thinking of them. I know how busy John is at work, but he still texts me throughout the day and sometimes just a quick “Hi, amore!” makes me feel loved and reminds me he’s thinking of me. I know how much he misses Sofie when he’s at work so I make sure to FaceTime him at least once every day so he can see her or I send him photos. If you don’t already say “I love you” every morning before work and every night before bed, start now! It’s a good habit to get into.

2. Have their back. Life has its challenges and having a partner you can count on to stand by your side through thick and thin is a sure way to make your spouse feel loved and appreciated. There have been a couple of instances where I wasn’t there to defend myself when someone was speaking negatively about me, and John stood up for me and defended me when I couldn’t defend myself. There’s no better way to show you’re a united front than when a spouse stands up for you to others. If you don’t show that you value and respect your spouse or your relationship, others won’t either.

3. Compliment their appearance. Tell your wife she looks beautiful in that new dress she bought. Tell your hubby you love his new hair cut. If you know your spouse or significant other has been working out and trying to lose weight, stroke their ego a bit and give them a confidence boost by letting them know you can see their muscles! Complimenting your spouse is one way to let them know you notice them and is a sweet gesture to make them feel appreciated.

4. Acknowledge their efforts and praise them in private and public. I’ve often seen and heard spouses calling their friends to complain or vent about their spouse when something isn’t going well in their relationship. Instead of focusing on the negative, be proud of your spouse and let your friends and family know just how amazing they are. Go ahead and share it on social media every once in a while. Whether they’re a SAH (stay-at- home) parent taking care of the kids or running a business, remind them they’re doing an amazing job. John has told me in person or sent me text messages on several occasions telling me I’m doing a great job as a mom, and that really means a lot to me. I also know how hard John works so I do my best to tell him how awesome he is at what he does, and we both totally feel appreciated when we do that.

5. Support their passions and hobbies. If your spouse loves going to concerts or sporting events, surprise them with tickets and go with them. Even if it’s not your cup of a tea, spending some time doing what they love and what’s important to them is a sure way to make your spouse happy. For instance, John is a big golfer so I’ve gone to the driving range with him or walked the course with him as he played a round of 9 holes just to keep him company. One of my hobbies is my blog and I know how appreciative I am when John takes my photos for me or reads my blog posts.

6. Listen. We all know that communication is key for a lasting relationship. When your spouse is talking and telling you about their day, put your phone away, turn off the TV and engage in conversation. It’s easy to get distracted and there’s nothing more insulting than when someone’s trying to talk to you and you’re not paying attention.

Leave a comment below and tell me some ways you feel appreciated or show your spouse you love and appreciate them! Also, make sure to check out last year’s post on 5 Ways to Celebrate Your Wedding Anniversary.

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14 Tips For An Organized Closet

Happy Wednesday! I hope you’re having a great week. Have any of you begun spring cleaning? I’ve been trying to tidy up and declutter in my spare time, usually in between Sofie’s naps or in the evenings when John is home. I just reorganized and swapped out my closet for spring and summer as we speak. Maintaining an organized closet is an ongoing process (because updating your wardrobe is an ongoing process) and I tend to reorganize and update my closet seasonally.

A couple of weeks ago, I shared 10 Simple Ways To Keep Your Shoes Organized and promised to share ways to organize different parts of your home over the coming weeks, so today I’m sharing 14 tips for an organized closet!

1. First and foremost, completely empty and clear out your closet. You’ll have a better visual of the space you have to work with.

2. Abide by the one year rule. If you haven’t worn it, toss it. No need to hold on to those pants that are several sizes too big or too small that you haven’t worn in years. More than likely, you probably never will. You can donate gently used pieces to friends and family or to a local shelter and sell your more valuable pieces that you might have a harder time parting with on sites like Poshmark or eBay.

3. Invest in matching hangers for a sleek and cohesive look and toss those mismatched wire and plastic hangers that can make your closet look cluttered. I currently use these white wooden hangers from IKEA or The Container Store which take up a little more space and aren’t as ideal for some pieces that might slip off, but they make my closet look more polished. If you want to save space, use slim velvet hangers or these acrylic hangers.

4. Store your clothes by category and keep like items with like items (sweaters, jackets, dresses, jeans, etc).

5. Separate your clothes by color. I typically go from left to right and from white to dark. You can color code bright colors like the colors of rainbow (ROYGBIV) or what looks most appealing to you.

6. Hang your clothes in the same direction. I always have the front of my shirts facing left.

7. Keep clothes that you wear most often front and center at eye level, and store pieces that you don’t wear as often in the back of your closet or in storage boxes. I currently have my bulky winter sweaters, evening and vacation dresses in the back of my closet or in clear boxes on the top shelves.

8. If you don’t have extra hanging space in your closet, you can fold jeans and sweaters on shelves and save hanging space for your nicer and delicate pieces that wrinkle easily (silk shirts, dress pants, suits, button ups, etc.).

9. If you have drawer space, you can fold your tanks, t-shirts, leggings and workout gear along with your under garments. I use the KonMari folding method to save space in my drawers.

10. Use drawer organizers to keep your drawers tidy which also allows for more space.

11. Swap out clothes for the season if you don’t have a huge closet and use storage boxes or baskets. Our spare bedroom turned closet is now half closet, half nursery so I’ve had to move things around and make more room.

12. Use hooks for belts, scarves, hats or purses. You can use an over the door rack, a wall mounted rack or even command hooks work well.

13. Use shelf dividers.

14. Make use of the dead space and vertical space in your closet to your advantage. As I mentioned above, I have my vacation dresses and winter sweaters in the back and I use all the top shelves to the ceiling for storage.

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Sofia’s 3 Month Update

Hi, all! I hope you’re doing well, staying sane and keeping healthy while practicing your social distance. Some days are definitely harder than others especially when you can’t even visit with your own family. Yesterday we drove around and stopped by both of our families’ homes for “window” and “drive-by” visits. It’s not the way we imagined our visits would be, but it’ll have to do for now. John and I are both extroverts (I’m more so of an ambivert) so we do miss socializing, but we’re so thankful to have Sofia who keeps us entertained and on our toes! Also, thank goodness for FaceTime, text messaging and social media which helps us keep in touch with our nearest and dearest. I have a couple of group texts going with my girlfriends which make for lighthearted and funny conversations during a not so fun time.

Anywho, Sofia turned 3 months old yesterday! She’s getting so big already and I guess that saying, “The nights are long, but the years are short,” definitely rings true. The last update I shared with all of you was at 3 weeks. Quite a bit has changed since then so I wanted to fill you all in!

I was supposed to go back to work at the end of March, but I had reached out to my employer and decided to extend my maternity leave through end of April because I just wasn’t ready to leave Sofia behind (not sure if I ever will be to be honest). However, with everything that’s going on with COVID-19, my office has been temporarily closed since March 16 and everyone is working remotely until May 1, so we’ll see what happens over the next few weeks.

I’m exclusively breastfeeding and plan to do so all through her first year which plays a big part in not being able to leave her yet. I do pump and let her drink out of a bottle a couple of times a week which allows for John to feed her in the evenings and weekends (or grandma when she was able to come over and hang out with us). John and I have gone on one date night since Sofie was born and it was the week after my birthday in February. It’ll be nice to get out, just the two of us, once this quarantine is over and I’m sure grandma Ro is counting down the days to be able to watch her again. Speaking of which, I had my first glass of wine on my birthday after being 10 months sober and I now look forward to enjoying my one glass (or two) Every. Friday. Night. 🙂

I’m pleased to say that Sofia is very happy, healthy and thriving. She lights up our world and has brought so much joy into our lives that I don’t even know how we ever lived without her. She’s super sweet and affectionate and loves giving kisses, just as much as she loves receiving them. She’s always smiling and cheerful (although she definitely has her moments), loves looking at her own reflection in the mirror and enjoys FaceTime with her family. She puts together vowels and consonants, is a pro at tummy time and can roll over onto her back. She still sleeps in our room and will probably stay in our room until she’s six months or so. She can go 3-4 hour stretches these days and has somewhat of a schedule which consists of going to bed between 9–10pm, getting up once (sometimes twice) in the middle of the night to nurse, and then typically starts her day around 7am. We’ve tried putting her in her crib during nap time to slowly transition her to the other room, but she’s not ready to be alone yet and prefers napping on mom and dad’s bed. And as much as she loves her daddy (from whom she gets her stunning good looks), it’s safe to say that for the moment, she’s a mommy’s girl.

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1 month old

2 months old

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10 Simple Ways To Keep Your Shoes Organized

Hey guys! It’s been a while since my last blog post back in January. Sofia was only three weeks old at the time and now she’s almost three months! Motherhood has taken up all of my time lately, but you can follow me on social media to see what we’ve been up to since I post more frequently on my Facebook and Instagram channels.

On a more serious note, I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy. We’re going through some trying times in the world right now and my heart goes out to anyone who has been affected by the Coronavirus, whether it be physically, financially, mentally or emotionally. Personally, we’re doing well and I’m so thankful for John and Sofia and for the ability to communicate with family and friends. I’m still on maternity leave through the end of April so I haven’t had to go out for any reason, but John is considered essential personnel since his transportation company delivers pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, in addition to delivering for retail companies and food suppliers like Hello Fresh. Thank you to United Delivery Service and to all the folks including health care workers, first responders, truck drivers, flight attendants and grocery store clerks who have to go out each day and potentially risk their health right now to make sure the rest of us get what we need. I know it’s hard to put our lives on hold and physically distance ourselves from others as I’m sure we all have things do and places to go, but please do your part and stay home for the sake of others. I haven’t seen my family in a couple of weeks. My dad, as most of you know, is high risk because of his age and health condition, and my mother who was scheduled to visit us from Serbia in a couple of weeks to meet her granddaughter for the first time had to postpone her travel plans. So just remember, we’re all in this together.

With that being said, if you’re looking for some ways to keep yourself busy at home, one of my favorite things to do in my spare time is organize. There’s nothing like having everything tidy and neatly put away. I plan to share some tips on organizing different parts of your home in the coming weeks and I’ll start by sharing 10 simple ways to keep your shoes organized.

1. Sort shoes into categories (e.g. boots, pumps, flats, etc.) and then by color and material (e.g. suede, leather).

2. Keep your shoes off the floor and invest in basic shoe organizers. If you’re on a budget, just keep the shoe boxes the shoes came in and stack them.

3. Hang flats and flip-flips on a hanging closet organizer over your door.

4. Keep shoes out of sight by storing them inside an ottoman or an organizer that fits under your bed.

5. Use clear shoe boxes with lids.

6. If you don’t have a lot of space to work with, use storage bins and only keep shoes out for that particular season. I made more room by putting my taller boots in clear boxes and storing them on the top shelf since I won’t be wearing them anytime soon (see photos above).

7. Use boot shapers for tall boots so they don’t lost shape. I currently use these and have these as well (see photo above). **Hack** Roll up a heavy magazine or newspaper and stuff your boots that way.

8. Alternate shoes to make more space (I’m able to get five pairs of shoes on one shelf instead of four).

9. If you have room in your house, but don’t want to spend a lot on a custom closet, you can use a bookcase to store your shoes. I used an IKEA Billy bookcase (only $59) with its adjustable shelves before I had my custom closet installed.

10. Use floating shelves for that clean boutique look. I currently use floating shelves to display my purses and picture frames.

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