Target x TOMS? Yes, please!

Target x TOMS? Yes, please!

If there are two things that I love, they are Target and my comfy TOMS. I really am in the market for a new pair of shoes that give back, and I am even more excited that my next pair will be purchased from one of my favorite places to shop… yes, Target! 

Just in time for the holiday season (ahem, and my birthday which is Nov. 21), this amazing duo will have 50 items priced under $50, beginning November 16th, 2014.

The Target x TOMS Collection will be available at all US Target locations and online, through March 2015. For every item purchased from this limited edition gift collection, they will donate shoes, a blanket, or meals for those in need. 

The great thing is, there are items for the ENTIRE family! Not to mention, some really cute accessories and home goods.

I perused the look book from Target quite a few times over, and finally created a visual list of favorites. I thought I’d pass the word along and share my finds!

What do you think? Head over to Target’s website and let the countdown begin! 🙂

About Target + TOMS Collection

For each item purchased from Target x TOMS collection from 11.16.2014 – 03.12.2015 in US Target stores and target.com, one of the following will be donated or given: (I) by Target: $3 (the monetary equivalent of one week of meals for someone in need; $1 = 9 meals secured by Feeding America® on behalf of local food banks) to Feeding America FeedingAmerica.org; or $5 (the monetary equivalent of one blanket) to American Red Cross Disaster Relief redcross.org; or (II) by TOMS: TOMS will give one pair of new shoes (which may differ in value from the shoes purchased) to a child in need. See product packaging for details of which donation or giving will occur with purchase. Donations are not tax deductible for guests. The Target and TOMS programs/donations/giving are being administered independently. Each party is solely responsible for its program/donations/giving. For more information on TOMS, how it provides shoes, sight, and clean water to people in need, and its giving partners, visit http://www.toms.com/one-for-one-en.

Review// The Bouqs

Review// The Bouqs

Photo © How About Now Creative Co.

Photo © How About Now Creative Co.

Why send some boring bouquet, when you can send a Bouq?!

While I was at BlogHer in July, I met some awesome people that work for The Bouqs, a floral company based in Los Angeles. The Bouqs ships fresh flowers directly from a live volcano. What??! Yes. You heard that right!

The flowers are GORGEOUS. I had the opportunity to receive a free bouquet for review on my blog and share some images of my floral journey! Here is their video spot. Then check out my pretty flowers below!

The Petal Arrival

My flowers arrived promptly via FedEx! FYI: Make sure that someone is on hand to sign for these gorgeous petals, otherwise they will have to redeliver. It is quite hot here in the Central Valley and my poor Bouqs had to sit on the FedEx truck all day!

Regardless, they arrived and were in pretty great shape!

I ordered the “Peace” Bouquet

It consisted of 12 roses with darling purple flowers as an accent. I was so excited about the arrival of my flowers. I must also add that I am a stickler for design and aesthetics. The simplicity of The Bouqs brand is profound. I really love their imagery and how cool is it that my flowers were picked fresh from the farm off of a volcano?! I still can’t get over that. 

My favorite part? Aside from the flowers, was the infographic printed on the box! Simple instructions! I am not the best with plants, they don’t last very long with me. So I love this!

My first panoramic photo attempt. Not too shabby :) 

Fresh out the box!

Fresh out the box!

Day 1

Day 1

It was really simple to get them prepped. I wrapped a black sparkly piece of ribbon around a Ball mason jar, trimmed my flowers, added water & food, and dropped them in the vase!

Voila! Instant cheer for my office. 🙂

Day 5 - They are gorgeous!

Day 5 – They are gorgeous!

{Review}

Overall, I really like the service and quality of The Bouqs. They arrived on the day that they were scheduled. It took less than a week to receive the bouquet, which is pretty impressive since they came from a volcano! 

My flowers lasted well over a week, I just trimmed any wilting leaves daily and added fresh water when they seemed to dry up. 

The Bouqs offers over 50 floral combinations, and even a new college inspired collection! They have an app and also quick order options. The company website can link you in via your social media accounts for easy sign up. Not only that, they are a Customer Verified BizRate company! They have great ratings, and I am one happy customer!

Pricing

  • Volcano Collection, straight from South America, start at $40, delivery is included. It takes a little longer, but is SO worth it!
  • California Collection. Depending on your US location, many times you can get these Bouqs next day delivery. They are from the East Coast and they start at $50, delivery included.

Concierge Service

“Scheduling saves you time… Discounts save you up to 25%!” Are you forgetful with dates and occasions? You can schedule your Bouqs to arrive throughout the year. Better yet, with concierge service, you select the holidays or occasions and a Bouq will be sent in time to for celebration!

Happiness Guarantee!

The Bouqs' Happiness Guarantee, bouqs.com

The Bouqs’ Happiness Guarantee, bouqs.com

I would definitely order flowers from The Bouqs; I am already compiling my recipient list for holiday and birthdays! You know, it is almost holiday season! Show up at your next event with a gorgeous Bouq and bottle of bubbly. Thank you Adam and team for a great experience! 

xo Spread Magic,

CD

 

Disclaimer: I was given a free bouquet of flowers as a Bouqs Ambassador, in exchange for a review here on my blog. All thoughts are my own!

 

 

Find the Words and Build Memories

Find the Words and Build Memories

As the school year begins, too many children are already falling behind. I am 1 of 30 bloggers helping #FindtheWords with @SavetheChildren to raise awareness of the need for early childhood education for all kids. I am participating in this social media campaign to highlight 30 words in 30 days — to symbolize the 30 million fewer words that children from low-income homes hear by age 3.

Save the Children provides kids in need with access to books, essential learning support and a literacy-rich environment, setting them up for success in school and a brighter future. Learn more about Save the Children’s work in the US and around the world: http://www.savethechildren.org/site/c.8rKLIXMGIpI4E/b.6153159/k.C8D5/USA.htm

 

 

BUILD

Words are so important, especially when words are used to build the memory bank of our children. Many times we don’t think about how we use our words and we also take for granted the fact that our children can get the help they need when they’re in the school system. When I was asked to partner with Save the Children, I immediately jumped at the chance. Upon hearing the statistics that 30 million fewer words are heard by children in low-income homes, I was shocked. Have you considered how important hearing words are, to a toddler? Communication is the foundation of any future relationship for a person. Knowing how to speak, using vocabulary, and understanding context is crucial. I think it’s sad that so many children are missing out and I hope that by spreading awareness through this campaign, we can get more help to those children and their families.

When I think of the word, “build…”

I think of growth, expansion, and development. I envision something that is being built as moving forward and increasing in size. As a mom, I think of how I can build my children’s memory bank as rich as it can possibly be. With five kids it can be a little challenging to get all of their minds on the same page when it comes to activities or outings. More often than not, they all want to do something different. There are many moments of magic that we have been graced to experience and having day to day conversations with them have always been some of the most amazing times.

These are my five treasures...Celebrating their Daddy's birthday in April with the family!

These are my five treasures…Celebrating their Daddy’s birthday in April with the family!

We are a talking family. We are not perfect, but we make every attempt to be open and honest with each other; whether my husband and I are chatting with our seven year old, or our thirteen year old, they know that we are always available to talk, laugh, cry, or ponder something with them. Our goal is that our children will be able to communicate with their peers, educators, and future employers. We want them to be able to resolve problems with each other and enjoy conversations with their friends. How do we go about that? We let them ask questions. We seek out answers with them and give them tools to do a little research on their own. Sometimes the most profound moments come from just a simple conversation. 

Build Your Family’s Memory Bank

It doesn’t have to be an extravagant gesture like a surprise trip to Walt Disney World, or a new pricey piece of technology. While the aforementioned treats are definitely building a great memory for the kids, what are some ways that we can share moments with them without forking out a bunch of cash? I’ll share some of our family’s favorite and fairly frugal ways to spend extra time building our memory bank. Simple things like reading, coloring, day trips, and even the sometimes daunting task of running errands can all be positive experiences for you and the littles, increasing that bank of memories. A lot of it comes back to making time and being purposeful with family time.

Let Them Share and Ask Questions; Build Confidence for Communication

Chatting with our then 7th grader about school, friends and life.

Chatting with our then 7th grader about school, friends and life.

Life is full of every day occasions and when you’re actively parenting, you’ll take full advantage of these times that can segue into a learning moment. There have been plenty of times where my kids have enlightened me and given me something to thing about. Children are intuitive; they are always willing to give their input.

We love conversations that stem from school topics, movies, music, or entertainment. Did you recently watch a movie that sparked interest in an extracurricular activity or had a wonderful story? Talk about it! My sons and I saw Planes: Fire and Rescue, and we had a great chat about we learned. One thing that I love doing is analyzing films and finding ways to take away the plot, applying certain things to my own life. If you’re at home, don’t be afraid to pause the TV and have a conversation about something that they might not understand. I enjoy watching Playhouse Disney with my kids, even though they are well over the preschool age, because it reminds them of simple things that are important for everyday living, plus who can resist Mickey and Friends?! I feel like life gets too complex so much faster for our kids than when we were younger; the life skills basics, like be kind, don’t cheat, and try something new, are things that should be instilled in the home. We should not take for granted the influence and nurturing time that we have with our most precious gifts as they are growing up quickly in a world drenched in overwhelming societal standards. There are many children that don’t have the luxury of parents who care, so make sure to appreciate these moments! 

Take Special Trips and Build Happy Memories

Our family recently took a day trip to Half Moon Bay. It was a great time of exploring, fun, and getting away from the everyday stresses of school, work, and chores! If you follow me on instagram, you might have seen my first sneak peek social media post of this campaign. 

You don’t have to go far to have fun with your kids. While our favorite place is always Disneyland, we’ve learned to bring the magic with us, wherever we go. The past year has been one of great strides for our family; we experienced many “firsts” as a family. We finally got into our own home, my husband and I were both blessed with full time work, we bought our first family car, and we are ready to take on the world! What I’ve learned is that our children actually like us. I know that might sound silly, but when you’re caught up with the daily routine, shuffling schedules, and trying to find time to keep connected, perspectives get lost. When our family love tanks are not full, we tend to be more snappy at each other and overall disillusioned with our place on the home front.

When my husband asked the kids if they wanted to do a day trip to the beach, do you know what they asked him? “Is Mommy coming?” It broke my heart. On more occasions than one, Jeff and the kids have taken day trips because I’ve had to work (I used to work Saturdays and we had no days off together). Even when they came to visit me at work, if I’m out of town, they usually venture off on their own fun adventures; sleeping in the same house or hotel does not constitute to family time. So, to see their pure happiness and excitement, when they realized that we would ALL be together for the WHOLE day, was really special. We’re looking to make that one day a week OUR day as much as possible. Take a trip to the kids’ favorite store (we often do Disney Store trips to get our fix), go to a drive in movie, and explore your city by checking out the local parks and museums.

At the end of the day, all they really want is your time. The intangible value of memories and feelings that you build with your children will last a lifetime. 

How will you help build your family’s memory bank? When you think of “build,” what comes to mind?

Join me as we help children #FindtheWords! Share your thoughts in the comments and enter to win a $100 Amazon.com Gift Card courtesy of Save the Children! 🙂

xo, Spread Magic!

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