Nolan’s Birthday | 10 Gift Ideas Under $100

Hello!

I am so excited to do this post, I actually wanted to do this last year but I wanted to make this more for other families who have a little boy around Nolan’s age range so what was suppose to help our families, can help everyone! You can purely look at this as a wish list for him but you could look at this as ideas for Christmas too, although most of the items are under $20–I didn’t plan on that, it just happened!–I went for stuff he would love for the summertime. Every item I talk about in this post is subject to change, but even if some of them do, it would still be under $100 on Walmart’s website!

Nolan has a lot of interests, and according to his babysitter and OT, he is very smart and has a good imagination! He is very busy but he loves to get cozy with his blankets, books, stuffed animals and watch movies. And like every other little boy in the world, he loves anything wheels… so he has over 300+ cars, tractors, trucks, and a single toy wheelchair that is affectionally dubbed “Meghan’s” everytime he finds it through the basket at our house! I tried to remember the main things I knew he would enjoy the most for when I was creating the post but I think it could work for any kid in his age range too.

Blippi: Let’s Look and Find Book – $8.08

This year, I think, the theme will be about Blippi because he is utterly obsessed with this dude! He doesn’t watch him at our house so I’m not exactly familiar with him but I knew if I didn’t add anything Blippi related I’d probably get in trouble with him, so I was very happy to find this book. To me, it looks like this generation’s “Where’s Waldo” and/or “I Spy” and I think he might like it for that because he’s always had an eye for finding things – when he was a baby, he could find holes in things like clothes you didn’t even know about at the time!

It actually looks pretty hefty which considering the rest of his boxes, he might be ready for these thicker ones now.

Pinkfong Baby Shark Ultimate Sticker and Activity Book – $5.88

Last Christmas, when he went to visit Brandon’s family, he came back with a sticker book that he thoroughly enjoyed and when I saw that they had one of Baby Shark, I thought it was too cute to ignore. Nolan enjoys singing along with the songs and even has Aunt Meg doing the hand motions with her feet (thankfully they’re very easy for me to do!) but nothing is more funnier than dad trying to dance and Nolan getting mad at him for not doing it the right way!

Marvel’s Superheroes Board Box – $10.47

Nolan is starting to fall in love with superheroes, and so far he likes Marvel characters. Although at first he was saying “Batman” but now he is obsessed with the Hulk and Spider-Man.

There is a show all about the Hulk and his mates on Disney+ and I think he started watching it with the bigger kids at the babysitters during the week because we didn’t introduce it to him. I want to show him like X-Men but I also don’t want to scare the little dude either so I’m trying to hold off on as much as possible.

So while looking through Walmart’s website I saw this box full of books about Marvel’s characters, even I became a little jealous! The site says there are 12 books included and considering how cheap the entire block is, that’s really nice! They also have Pixar, Paw Patrol and Frozen blocks as well.

Large Plush Sloth Toy – $10.00

Besides his Hot Wheels cars, he also has a large amount of stuffed animals. He has two of my Husky pups in his toy hamper at our house but he also has Mimi’s cow she use to have on the kitchen table too! So, it was only right to include another one of his favorite animals to the mix, which is a sloth. There were a lot of different sloths but this was my favorite because it looks so cuddly and cute. He really would love it to pieces!

Bubble Play 64oz – $14.99

Another one of his favorite things in the world is bubbles! He has always loved bubbles since he was itty bitty, and it is so nice to see that he loves them so much because it is something that I still love too, so I thought it would be smart to include it in the list too.

M&M Character Candy Case – $3.00

This one might be a little weird, but for the past six months, Papaw has been giving him a handful of M&Ms from his secret stash and for a while, it was the only chocolate thing he would eat, but we think because they were covered in various colors that he wouldn’t see it as chocolate because everytime we tried to give him ice cream with chocolate syrup or chocolate chip cookies, he’d stay away from them.

I was hoping to find M&M plush toys but I think I will have to go on Amazon for that but then I saw these and I was like, I think he’d enjoy having the figurines up in his room.

Melissa & Doug’s Wooden Train & Race Car Paint Kits – $13.40

One of things that Nolan has been really interested to do is paint! I have to thank his occupational therapist for this because he use to hate having his hands dirty, and considering his mommy and I use to spend most of our childhood digging along the sidewalk of our nana and papaw’s house was very odd. Thankfully, he doesn’t mind getting a little messy now!

What I really liked about these kits is that they are wooden, so they are sturdy (hopefully) enough to last through Nolan’s playing and can be packed up and stored somewhere after he has grown out of them too. I just thought they would be cute to do with him or he could do them with his parents!

Garbage Truck Toys – $30.88

I have not included a lot of cars and trucks into this post because he has his fair share of these items already but if you are looking for something that could keep your child happy with multiple toys in one present, this might be your ticket for a lot of excitement!

It has over 10 trucks included and they range of various careers like construction to farming, and I thought it was pretty impressive honestly. It definitely could be worth the $30 in the end, you never know!

Play Food – $9.97

My nephew still loves his play kitchen, unfortunately, it didn’t come with food and for some odd reason, he still doesn’t have any after two years! I feel bad for him because he still “makes” us things and will use his actual snacks in the dishes so I feel like the poor kid needs something and thankfully, they are incredibly cheap on the website so that’s why I decided to include it on this post.

Melissa & Doug’s Vehicles 4-in-1 Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles – $9.79

Another thing that he really likes are puzzles. My mom bought him this little tin of puzzles for Christmas but nothing is in English nor did it come with an actual picture of how it was suppose to look like after you finish! We’ve had to hide it from him because we still don’t know what to do with it.

Once I started searching for puzzles, I was very careful as to what I was looking for, easy for all ages and most importantly for the adults, the main language is English! And I found Melissa and Doug brand of puzzles and I thought these would be perfect as you get more than one puzzle and again, they are wooden so they will definitely last longer than any of puzzle piece I think. And of course, they are of various vehicles, so I think we have a winner here.

I really hope you find this post helpful for you, as at this moment, I will not be doing a post for toddler girls but in the future, if you would like me to do it for Christmas, please let me know and I will consider the option. For anyone who have used these products in the past or present, I would also like to hear your thoughts (both good and bad!) and will relay the information back to my family.

If you could, what is one item on this list that you would purchase for their little man?

November Playlist

Hello!

I bet you didn’t expect me to be back so soon.

Today is the last day of November, for anyone participating in both NaNoWriMo and Nonfiction November, you should be proud of what you were able to accomplish in the last 30 days! I didn’t join NaNo this year because I’m not in that headspace to write anything for that long, and I doubt I have made any changes in reading the two books I got for this month. It happens… and I’m okay with it!

We are itching closer to Christmas and finally, to the new year: 2021. It seems so crazy how fast this year has went, despite the COVID mess that has taken over 2020! I bring this up because I have always felt November is a weird time for music. We are obsessed with Halloween-y songs and then we are quick to switch to Christmas carols at midnight.

I have to say, I have been doing very well at ignoring the festive commercials on TV and online, and I will be very happy when I can finally watch Christmas movies without being judged by my parents! I have a total of eight films in our DVR at the moment, so I can get my fill and enjoy everything that comes with this time of the year! As far as music goes though, I allow myself to listen to my favorite Christmas songs early, mainly because they tend to remind me of my papaw and so, it is just better for me to cave in now instead of feeling bad about it later.

This year, I am working on my “Ultimate Christmas” playlist on Spotify and will hopefully be speaking about it soon. I will hold off on that for a week or two, until I feel it is ready.

For my November playlist though, I have collected a lot of music that is selected in my “Discover Weekly” every Monday. I am always excited to see what type of music will be unleashed from the moment I hit play, and sometimes they create their own aesthetic but sometimes they reflect whatever genre I’ve focused on that past week and it is always a fun surprise at the start of another week.

Here are my Top 25 for the month!

Talk To Me by Apocalyptica featuring Lzzy Hale
Gravity by Sara Bareilles
Share That Love by Lukas Graham featuring G-Eazy
My Spring Your Fall by Falconsheild
Scars To Your Beautiful by Oceans featuring Anna Murphy
Goddess by Xana
Royals by Lorde
Remember by Leah

You’re Not From Here by Lara Fabian
Eugene by Arlo Parks
Cielo a un Diablo by Maluma
Teeth by Dirty D’Shire
Drew Barrymore by
Bryce Vine
Que Color by Major Lazer featuring J Balvin & El Alfa
Ordinary Day by The Animal In Me
The Purge by Within Temptation
Dream On Me (Stripped) by Ella Henderson

Peer Pressure by James Bay
Lullabies by Yuna
Grip by Seeb
If I Could Turn Back Time by Cher
Betty by Chase Holfelder
Numb by Carlie Hanson
Cold by Crossfade

What I truly love about this list, is its diversity! You have hard rock, pop, and reggaetón like it is supposed to fit together. I continue to surprise myself on the amount of music I am willing to listen to everyday. The sad part about it is, there’s sadly not a lot of people like me, who are brave enough to be interested in shuffling their music out in the open and enjoy sharing in hopes we create even more fans for these artists and bands, new and old, and honestly the longer I go about this, I tend to enjoy it even more and I think that’s why I still want to do these playlists too.

Before I go, I wanted to let you know that I was able to post a new album review this month. Well, technically, it was an update to an older post I did in 2018, and I was recently told by the artist, that she really loved it, so that makes me really happy! Anyways, here it is, in case you haven’t seen it yet. Oh, and speaking of links, here is the Spotify playlist for November too! 🙂

SIGN from Above by RAIGN

What were you listening to this month? Name one track that you think I should check out below!

snowflake

September Playlist

Hello!

September was not meant to have three music posts going up (the last one will publish on Monday!) but since stopping my main ‘Music Monday’ series, I had room to fill and I guess I took advantage of it. Thankfully, they are all different and have a large selection of music for everyone to enjoy!

For today, we are getting into the monthly playlist, plus a special dedication for an artist that sent me a message late in August for my services, so before I give you the top songs, I thought you should look into my thoughts on what I thought about Rad Luck’s song “Too Lit”.


Rad Luck is an independent hip hop artist from North Carolina. Apparently he’s released several songs and mixtapes since early 2019, and what I really like about him is that everything he does, he does it himself. Nowadays, everybody is doing this, but I still appericate the passion, people are doing things without the help of record companies. Although, most artists still want to be a part of a famous label and blow up into a mega star, but there is no ganuertee that once you get there, how much power you will able to release what you want, so even though this way is time-consuming, at least you have creative control on everything you put out there for your growing fanbase.

Anyways, I actually liked the song. I didn’t love it exactly, but I thought the beat was good and totally gave me this vibe of everything that screams “summer” and though we are nearing the end of the season, everyone is trying their best to keep it in their lives right now, as part of a good aspect to this interesting year! The video itself is very trippy, which adds another part to the “good times” flare throughout the entire song.

Please before continuing with the rest of my post, listen to his track and check it out for yourself. I’d like to see what your thoughts are on it too! You can find Rad Luck on Instagram and Twitter.


Okay, now we’re back to our regular scheduled post.

I think this monthly playlist is short compared to the others, but I think I know why. Since I was busy with my other posts and their playlists, I just forgot to add songs that I’ve enjoyed listening to throughout the month. I’ve tried my best to pick through the songs I could remember and continued to add more newer tracks afterwards. Here is my Top 20 songs that I just loved so much that I thought you should check out as well!

Exhale by Plumb
Master Passion Greed by Nightwish
Tears Don’t Fall by Bullet For My Valentine
Bad Guy by Conquer Divide
Barefoot In The Park by James Blake featuring Rosalia
I Hope by Gabby Barrett featuring Charlie Puth
I Did It by Raja Kumari

Goddess by Krewella x NERVO featuring Raja Kumari
Getting Over It by COUNTERFEIT
The Diary Of Jane by Freya Catherine
Blood Diamond by VERIDIA
All Around Me by Flyleaf
The Bleeding by Five Finger Death Punch
Good In Goodbye by Madison Beer
Whore by Violet Orlandi
Six Feet Under by Oshins featuring Leslie Powell
Brand New Thing by Zayde Wolf
Giant by ZZ Ward
Another Level by Oh The Larceny
Aerials by Halocene featuring Violet Orlandi and Lauren Babic

If you are on Spotify and want to keep taps on the other songs I listen throughout the day (and sometimes night!) you can click here to be directed to the playlist in general.

What were you listening to?

snowflake

EP Review: “Petals” by Phavors

Hello! 🙂

It has been an awful long time since I’ve done an album/EP review; even longer time since I’ve been asked to do it as well!

Back in mid-May, I was sent a message on my Instagram page from a duo called Phavors. At the time, they were just about to release an EP called “Petals” and wondered if I could write a review of it on my blog. They are my first group to be based in the U.S. to ask for my services, and even though I feel more comfortable talking about international music, I thought it would be fun for not only me, but for my audience too!

So, when the band sent me their pitch and link to the tracks included on the EP. They also included that they sound like Bon Iver but have elements of Billie Eilish, which is what sold me. I’m not a huge fan of folk music, even though I love singer-songwriters Dido, Celtic Woman, Sarah McLachlan, and The Civil Wars; I’m still pretty picky when it comes to the genre as a whole. However, I chose to look beyond that and focus my attention to Philip and Kayla’s work. I hadn’t listened to anything before I went to write this review, it’s just what I like to do for things such as this, that way I’m not overthinking my words as the music flowing in and out of my mini speaker.

The EP itself only comes with four songs, and the first happens to be the title track “Petals.”  My first thought was how beautiful it was, the light sound of the acoustic guitar with Kayla’s soft vocals, were really nice. It reminded me of waking up early and wanting something soft and mellow to begin the day on the right foot. It’s a soothing song that suddenly made me really calm inside. It’s the perfect way to begin a short musical journey. And then we move onto, “Waste Time” and I’m not going to lie, I wanted to use the title as a pun, but I didn’t. I was good, but boy! It would’ve been perfect. One thing I liked about this, was we were finally able to hear Philip’s voice. He is definitely quieter than Kayla. I really liked the slight boop of bass in the beginning, it made me think the general sound would be a little different compared to the first and it is different. I had the same vibes I experienced in the previous, but the tempo is more upbeat and happier.

Third is “Water Is Still” and I was actually looking forward to this one. I had hoped it would sound calm; almost like you should expect to hear it at a spa. In a way, it was exactly how I hoped it would be, but thanks to the addition of electric guitars to the airy beat in the background it gave it a nice little change. It was the perfect instrumental for me. I was so happy to hear something like this, where there’s no vocals at all. It’s just a nice collection of soothing sounds together. Lastly, we have “Home” and to hear Kayla and Philip’s soft words come into focus and together was wonderful, but towards the end of it, everything grows louder and I really liked it.

I was genuinely surprised by this. There were moments when I thought of them sounding like artist Banks and British band London Grammar in a way, like the second track gave me a strong Banks vibe with Kayla’s cool voice, but the whole thing had a London Grammar type of flare. I find it a bit odd that I was half expecting everything to sound a bit like Dido, but they ended up sounding more modern, almost new age type of music that I am learning to fall in love with in the last few years. After I finished listening, I started searching on my Spotify playlists for more comforting type of music like Phavors. After what’s been going on with the world lately, I needed to escape my reality a little longer.

Have you heard of Phavors yet? If you have, do you have a favorite song? What were your thoughts on their new EP too?

snowflake

 

Vloggers That I Love #5

Howdy!

I think I am going to try to do one Vloggers That I Love post a month, because I have quite a bit still on my list. Every time I feel like I’m finally done putting new ones on it, I literally add two more, but mostly to include a third onto every post. Anyways, this week I is either going to make you very happy or depressed you’re not rich; we’ll see what happens at the end of the post?


RemiLife | luxury fashion, beauty + weight loss


I first discovered Remi’s vlogging channel last Christmas, I was looking for new Vlogmases to watch and I happened to find hers throughout the long list of channels. My first impression of Remi was that I loved her personality; she’s a fast talker, lovable woman. I knew I would be back day after day just to see what kind of craziness she’ll get into it!

Remi talks mostly about luxury fashion and beauty products, which is the reason why I said in the first paragraph that you might be a little sad while reading this post! Honestly, I love her hauls and gifted videos the most, because she gets so excited for everything! I’ve noticed that a lot of others that post similar videos, they’re not as thrilled on camera. I especially love it when her doggy Daisy gets in the middle of unboxing and wants to play at that exact moment. Poor girl!

Another thing I love about her is that she is real about her weight loss journey. Apparently that’s why she created her channel in the first place, which I thought was interesting because I figured that would be something that I would be afraid to share online, knowing all of the horrible comments a person can get on just about everything! She likes to talk about food, what she eats on a regular basis and even on her cheat days too! I actually love whenever she takes trips to Whole Foods because she’ll show you what she likes the most and goes for both healthy and junk food! She’s just me and she’ll find something and go “ooh!” for things she hasn’t seen in a while! She makes food shopping so fun!


AlishaMarie | luxury fashion, beauty, podcastor


Remi has a best friend that is featured quite a bit in her vlogs, and that is Alisha! She talks about the same things but her style is way different!

Alisha lives with her sister Ashlee, who also owns a YouTube channel! She has a puppy named Chloe, and her personality is similar to Remi’s but less bubbly. I honestly don’t watch her as much but whenever I do, I actually like to binge watch a few in one day! I love watching her makeup tutorials, I’ve been craving these videos lately and not only do I wear makeup, I don’t even own anything either. I just love watching the different ways to put it on I guess!

I left this last part to the end because it goes with both girls, they are pocastors of their own channel called Pretty Basic where they talk about everything in their lives like past relationships, insecurities, hottest trends, it’s a mixed bag and whenever my Spotify does work, it is fun to listen to their sometimes wild stories.


Inthefrow | luxury fashion & beauty


When I first found Victoria, I only knew about her blog (and her beautiful lilac hair!) but I didn’t really like her until I saw that she had a YouTube channel and I started to really get interested into her tastes! For a while, she was my only luxury blogger/vlogger, and while I was scrolling to see who follows and my original list of three turned into like eight or nine in a very short time span!

I think the main reason why I love watching her videos is that she has a gentle voice, her British accent is a little thick but I have been learning a lot about some of their terms over the years, so I’m becoming a bit of a pro now! She is into a lot of luxury items, and gets invited to a lot of events and sometimes they lead her away from London to various countries, like Paris, New York City and Tokyo. One of my favorite things is that she tries to take us along with a vlog or two of her adventures! It does nothing for my wanderlust but I am getting through it pretty well I think.

Unfortunately, I haven’t really kept up with her stuff and it sucks because she was one of the first few vloggers I started watching when I discovered the mother load of other blogs and YouTube channels in 2014. Maybe after this post is up I will get back into watching hers again? Has she gotten married yet? I would love to read that blog post or watch the vlog if it’s published already.

So, we are done with this list, but I do have like two more luxury vloggers that I tend to watch every once in a while, but I am going to keep them back for my next theme so you will have to wait for that! do you have any guesses as to the others are?

do you enjoy watching YouTubers that talk about luxury things like fashion, cars, and/or trips? Who do you love that you think I would like too?