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?

Blogmas | Ultimate Christmas Playlist

Hello & Merry Christmas to everyone out there!

Whenever I have a post going up on a holiday, I try to have something easy and laidback for my readers. I can’t get myself to publish a long chatty type of post, although it looks like I can after looking at what I’ve written for this! I know it is a day to be around your family or friends and enjoy that time together, even in this COVID mess but I promised you a Christmas playlist though, so that’s what I am going to do today.

I’ve actually done a lot of Christmas playlist posts over the years, so I know I’ve discussed this many, many times on here but I love traditional, jazz and soul Christmas music more than anything else, but I seemed to have found a whole collection of classic holiday songs in the style that I hold dear to my heart: epic! And what gets me, is that I’ve tried it out before, but it never registered as much even when I reviewed Lindsey Stirling’s holiday album in 2018. There is just something about it all now, that I just think there is something about it that is totally different than what I’ve been listening in the last three years!

For me, epic music–also known as trailer and cinematic music–is all about powerful moments, and when its paired with action and sadness, it can manifest even more and I think that’s why I enjoy listening to it so much, because it can bring out all sorts of things in a person. Whereas Christmas music is pulling out memories of their childhood. Every single song is in one emotion and that is almost always happiness, unless it is playing loudly in the middle of August or September, then it’s just pure annoying to everyone who tries to keep the holiday season until the start of November or for us Americans, after Thanksgiving.

I have chosen a great selection of incredible music for you with my Spotify playlist but here are my Top 22 holiday tunes to explore right now. If you would like to check out the full listing, please click here!

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow by Vaughn Monroe
Somewhere In My Memory by John Williams
Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy by Lindsey Stirling
Ding Dong Merrily On High by Celtic Woman
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by Hugh Martin
Do You Want To Build A Snowman by Kristen Ball
O Holy Night by Anuna
Blame It On The Mistletoe by Ella Henderson featuring AJ Mitchell
Carol Of The Bells by Jennifer Thomas
The Joy Of Adventure by Amadeus Indetzki
Silent Night by Halocence
Epic Christmas by IMAscore
Santa Claus Is Coming To You by Alala
Rockin Around The Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee
Christmas Medley by Two Steps From Hell
Winterspell by Thomas Bergersen x Two Steps From Hell
Jingle Bells by Kaskade featuring Soran
New Fallen Snow by Philip Wesley
Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms
That Spirit Of Christmas by Ray Charles
White Christmas by The Drifters
The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole

Well, I’ve definitely proved I was willing to listen to other genres when it comes to Christmas music. A lot of the songs are featured on my two favorite holiday films and that helped make it slightly more difficult to figure out what I wanted to share on this post because I know I’ve probably talked about them in the past too..

I tried to listen to Stan Kenton’s Christmas album on Spotify, but I couldn’t get through the one song I clicked to play the night I finished this. I can listen to his type of music, which was jazz and blues, but when it comes to Stan Kenton, I still have some issues with it. It’s nothing major, but I tend to cry about it later and I know he would be mad at me for doing that, because it gave him so much joy all throughout my childhood. I will listen to one song this morning just to show him how much I love and miss him on Christmas.

What is your favorite genre to listen to Christmas music? What about an individual song too?

snowflake

Book Review: “Problem Child” by Victoria Helen Stone

Hi 🙂

I wasn’t expecting to read this book so soon after I finished the first book a few months ago. I actually had it on my list for what I want for my birthday and I will say, I was prepared to wait four to five months until that day to check out the newest story of Jane. All of a sudden, my mom decided we needed Kindle Unlimited and then one night I went scrolling through the catalog and there it was; I almost shit my pants, I was so happy but shockingly, I didn’t grab it right away. and I’ll explain my reasoning for that in a minute.


46066517._SY475_She’s cold, calculating, and can deceive with a smile. Jane Doe is back in the Amazon Charts bestselling series – and this time she’s met her match.

After a brutal childhood, Jane Doe has been permanently wired to look after herself and only herself. Now, looking next to normal, Jane has a lover and a job. But she hasn’t lost her edge. It sharpens when she hears from her estranged family.

Jane’s deeply troubled sixteen-year-old niece, Kayla, has vanished, and no one seems to care. Neither does Jane. Until she sees a picture of Kayla and recognizes herself in the young girl’s eyes. It’s the empty stare of a sociopath.

Jane knows what vengeful and desperate things Kayla is capable of. Only Jane can help her – by being drawn into Kayla’s dark world. And no one’s more aware than Jane just how dangerous that can be.

taken from Goodreads.


As I had just finished reading the first book, the author was busy promoting this one, and I saw it every day on social media for about two months and so I became very interested in what this new book could be about, but I only knew that it had to deal with a family member and the possibility that this person could be like Jane, a fellow sociopath.

I was intrigued by the idea that someone else in her family could be a sociopath in the beginning. I thought this could be really interesting to see how it developed in this person as we know how it came about with Jane. And I think this is where I began to lose interest because I quickly realized they had similar background stories, and maybe too much if I’m being honest. However, I would love to see this relationship grow and see what kind of trouble these two can get into if the author decides to continue the series.

The one thing I did enjoy was Jane’s relationship with Luke and I’m very glad it was hanging on strong in the plot. Despite the fact that Jane cannot feel love for other people, especially ones she’s close to like Luke, you do start to see a sliver of affection towards him as the story ends. She might keep spinning her wheels with him, but I do think something will happen later on where she might lose him for good and might actually regret never giving him the attention and care they both deserved in the end.

So, when I was done, I gave it a sensible rating on Goodreads, I didn’t give it five out of five stars like I had hoped I would but I did give it three stars. Now to me, since they only have five stars, I feel three is a fair choice. It wasn’t awesome nor great, it was good, so it deserved that amount of stars.

Have you read the second book of Victoria Helen Stone’s Jane Doe series yet? If you have, what were some of your thoughts you liked or disliked about it? What did you end up rating it on Goodreads?

snowflake

February Playlist

Howdy!

I was debating whether or not to actually publish this post, but I felt like I listened to too many great tunes this past month that I ended up talking myself into it anyways.

For the past three or four months I’ve had to listen to music through YouTube because unfortunately, I’ve run out of room on my laptop to keep installing Spotify. So I am just stuck with YouTube, but it isn’t a total loss though, because I’m able to look up a lot of tracks that are not available on Spotify. I’m also able to search easily and listen to playlists of other users of the site. There is one thing that I miss about Spotify and that’s my “release radar” playlist, it’s a list of recent releases of my favorite artists and bands. I am usually more excited to check it out first compared to the “new music” playlist, because it gives me a bigger variety of music that I listen to on a daily basis.

As everybody was doing the decade challenge of sharing a sort of “before and after” on their profiles of what they looked like in 2009 to what they look like nowadays. I haven’t done it, but I have been rediscovering music from the late 90’s to 2009. It’s actually become a bit of a problem, because I want to hear older music than what’s been coming out recently! It doesn’t necessarily work very well when you’re a music blogger! There has been one genre that I’ve been looking up a lot lately and that’s R&B music. I use to listen to a lot of it when I was younger, I liked the catchy lyrics and relaxed vibes of the beats. What I’ve been finding to be interesting (and scary at the same time) is that I am remembering the lyrics and what it was to make me fall in love with the song in the first place!

One thing that is difficult is not listening to both R. Kelly and Chris Brown. I’ve been trying my best to not give Chris Brown a listen anywhere for the past several years, sometimes I’m successful but there are days when I hear “With You” or “Yeah 3x” and I cave in! He does have a great voice, but it’s his actions with the various domestic abuse issues, I’ve tried to stay away as best I can. The same goes with R. Kelly too, after reading and watching testimonies of the victims of his abuse online and the documentaries on Lifetime. I’ve stopped listening to “Ignition (Remix)” on the radio and I really miss it! It sucks when somebody’s actions can take away any enjoyment you’ve felt about that person, but I have to stand up for my beliefs and if that means muting their music then I’ll work on stopping it.

Here are my Top 10 songs I’ve been enjoying lately!

When I Die by ALMA
Fire Meets Fate by Ruelle
Savages by Sam Tinnesz
Goddess by Avril Lavigne
Poison & Wine by The Civil Wars
Loyal To Me by Nina Nesbitt
Gallery by Mario Vazquez
Show Stopper by Danity Kane featuring Yung Joc
Dip It Low by Christina Millian
Don’t Let Go by En Vogue

I’ve been meaning to go back to reviewing albums, but I haven’t been in the right state of mind to do anything like that right now. I do have a couple that I do want to talk about and if I have a good day in the next couple of days, I might go ahead and work on them! I have been wondering about something though. Since I’ve been wanting to listen old music, would you like me to review one of my favorite childhood or teenage albums? I actually rarely ever listened to a whole album when I was younger, so I thought I could give them another try and see how much my tastes have changed over the years. Let me know in the comments if you’d like that.

Lastly before I go, I just wanted to let you know that if you visit my Facebook page on Saturday, I’ll post five extra songs for you to check out over the weekend! Hopefully you’ll remember and like them just as much as I have been in the last few days!

So I’m curious, what do you think is the best year for music? What were listening in the month of February?

REVIEW: “Fuller House”

review2

Howdy!

I did not plan on doing two TV shows reviews back-to-back, I kind of figured I would slow down once I finished Sabrina, but by the time I got to the end of that one, I was already halfway through season three of Fuller House.

At the end of 2017, I actually decided to give this show a chance, like most people, I was on the fence about reboots of old shows from your childhood. Full House was a big thing for my sister and I back in the day, I remember coming home from school and instead of immediately working on homework, our mom would make us a plate of chips for a snack and let us watch both Full House and Family Matters on the family TV. Since I was older, I think I remember more of the plot and characters, so even though I hesitanted about this new series, I was really about it too.

Backstory

For this show, we have Candace Cameron Bure’s character “D.J.” moving back into her childhood home after the death of her husband, Tommy Fuller. D.J. has three sons: Jackson, Max and Tommy Jr. When the show actually starts, Jackson is 13, Max is 8, and Tommy is still a baby. After her father, Danny, gets a new job in Los Angeles, her middle sister Stephanie and best friend Kimmy Gibbler and her daughter Ramona move into the house to help her raise the family, like Jesse and Joey did when she was a young girl.

Just because this is a totally new show, it doesn’t mean we lose our beloved characters of the original. Bob Saget, Dave Coulier, John Stamos, Lori Laughlin, & even Blake and Dylan Tumoy-Wihoit are recurring stars to come and go throughout the series. We are allowed to see what all happened after the first show ended, and I’m really happy that they added them back on, but I also like the fact that it’s not always about them. The show covers some of the same topics like in the original. There’s still a lot of talks and hugs in the family, they get a dog: named Cosmo, there’s lots of music, and new and old flames in the mix. It’s really about the next generations living in that iconic San Francisco house.

Characters

I have always loved Stephanie, so the fact that the middle child: Max would be the one to hook me is great. He is definitely my favorite. He is portrayed to act like his grandpa Danny, in the fact that he likes to wear vests and be a total gentleman, with a strong urge to clean everything in sight! However, he does act like his mom as he likes to be perfect and has a great catchphrase: HOLY CHALUPAS! Don’t be surprise if I start using that on a daily basis!

Jackson and Max are clearly opposites in every direction, but I like the fact that they seem to get more along compared to D.J. and Stephanie did when they were younger, but we girls just seem to be a little too dramatic at times. And then, you have little Tommy. One bad thing about the seasons being shorter is that we don’t get the lengthy differences with each age. When the character Michelle was on there, we got to see a baby that wasn’t even a year old yet grow into a young kid going to elementary school. I feel since there’s such a large gab in between, we don’t get to see a lot of the developments of this character. Even though he’s such a minor character, he does steal the show whenever he’s around the family dog Cosmo and hanging out with his brothers.

Now Ramona is different in comparisons to all of the female characters of Full House. She’s the modern, technology driven daughter of Kimmy Gibbler and her ex-husband, Fernado (and no, I will not spell out his entire name on here!) and she is the relativity same age as Jackson, but I see her more like an older sister, keeping an eye out for all of the boys. Considering both of her parents are really nutty, she’s like the polar opposite of them and that’s actually really refreshing to me. She still has to deal with the same old school worries like making friends and smart choices for herself, but to know she has a great family to fall back on keeps her grateful.

Overall

My point of view has changed drastically since I first tried to watch it in 2017, so I am happy I gave it another chance. This show was really good to binge watch at night, but you have to be careful because you will laugh your butt off at the crazy antics of these characters. And it’s not all Kimmy either!

I’ll admit though, there were some themes that I felt were pushed a little bit too much. I didn’t like the fact that D.J. quickly went back into the dating scene, even their dad took two seasons to get back in the groove again. So when the story line was going back and forth between Matt and Steve, I thought that made D.J. look like a slut for having two relationships going at once. And sorry not sorry, I was always Team Matt. I thought her relationship with Steve was good like it was, just as friends. However, once I started season four, I did begin to see the light and thought, “okay, maybe I was too quick to judge.” I’d still like her to go back to Matt if it wasn’t too awkward because I definitely don’t like him with you-know-who.

So, have you watched Full House yet? What’s keeping you away, what are some of your fears of the show? If you have watched it, what are your favorite characters, episodes and even season?