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10 Wedding Gifts Couples Really Use

My husband and I just celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary. I remember wandering the aisles of a few department stores, having never lived on my own, trying to think of household items we might need. We were in college, so we were having to take into consideration that the majority of our guests were poor college students. We were very practical for the most part {not registering for expensive china or entertaining pieces but sticking to things we thought we would use daily}, and while perusing the wedding registry of a few young 20 somethings recently, I was wondering what gifts would be practical gifts couples really use. You know, the kind of gifts that a couple might not have on their registry, but instead realize after they unwrapped it that this was the best gift they got. So I did what any adult does and I took to Facebook to ask my friends. Many of them have been married for decades and most remembered their favorite gifts from their wedding. I thought I would put the list together for you to use just in case you print off a registry for a wedding and start shaking your head thinking that those young whippersnappers have no clue! It may just give you a good starting point to reference if you are registering for wedding gifts for your upcoming wedding or give you ideas if you are looking for a much-appreciated gift for a young couple.

Taking Time for You Doesn't Mean You're Doing It Wrong

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Activia Probiotic Yogurt. All opinions are 100% mine.

You're doing it wrong. Why is it that those four words play on a loop inside my head? As a kid I could hear those words spoken when I was trying to fit in and as a mom I hear them any time I second guess the decisions that I'm making. I usually feel this way when I put myself first. For years, this was really hard for me as a young mom. I put so many people’s needs before my own that I was used to pushing my needs further and further down. We've heard it said that as moms, we need to remember the mantra that is spoken on the airplane; the one that says to put your oxygen mask on first before helping others. Through the years I have learned that it's true that in order for me to truly mother well, I need to take care of myself first. It's something that I wish I had learned sooner.

It's not easy to come to that realization when we see that society doesn't cut moms a lot of slack. We are bombarded with images of the perfect mom and surrounded by reminders from our friends of their perfect families on social media. But what we are seeing is just a glimpse not reality.

Favorite Summer Recipes Plus Create Link Inspire Party

Summer is in full swing and I am loving everything about it! The long days, the warm sun, the sleeping in! I'm also loving all the get togethers and time spent with friends. Usually because that means yummy food shared together. Which is why I put together some of my favorite summer recipes that are guaranteed crowd pleasers. Come check them out!

I tried some of the recipes from last week's link party and they have become family favorites already. I'm also sharing a few others. So come join the party!

What's In My Beach Bag

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hyland’s Earache Drops.  The uses for Hyland’s products are based on traditional homeopathic practice. They have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration.

I grew up land-locked. If I wanted to go to a beach we had to drive for hours to dip our toes in the sand. Seventeen years ago, we moved to the west coast. The novelty of the beach has not worn off on me. I try to spend as much time as possible there and if the weather report mentions any temperature over 70 degrees, you better believe that I'm thinking about making a beach day out of it! I've gotten to be pretty good at packing a beach bag. I'm sharing some of my beach bag essentials today. I think I've become quite the expert after all my years of practice! You may just find some things you never thought to add to your bag before.

Create a Reading Nook for Kids Using What You Have

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Activate.
I have read to my kids since they were young in an attempt to create life-long readers. It's getting harder and harder now that books have to compete with hand-held screens but I'm doing my best to try! Summer is the perfect time to encourage reading since study after study has shown that children who don't read over the summer decline or stagnate in their reading abilities. You don't want all that hard work during the school year to be undone during those dog days of summer now do you? So I'm sharing how I created a reading nook in my home that is encouraging my kids to pick up a good book and curl up for the afternoon. There is nothing fancy about it and I'm showing you how!
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