Momma Told Me: November 2017

Blog Archive

Give Back With A Single Photo + #SealsForGood- No Purchase Necessary

#SealsForGood Share Real California Milk Seals now through 12/31 with the hashtag #SealsForGood and a $5 donation will be made to help FL and TX hurricane, and CA wildfire relief efforts by the Great American Milk Drive up to $20k and $10k! No purchase necessary! #AD
As bloggers I think we tend to get a little caught up in ourselves.

There's a campaign going around to help spread the word about a very special charity initiative in cooperation with Real California Milk and the Great American Milk Drive. It began a few months back as a response to the Florida and Texas hurricane relief, and has since rolled into supporting California Wildfire relief efforts.

It requires people to do no more than share a photo of a product with the Real California Milk Seal and upload it on social media with the hashtag #SealsForGood (adding a @RealCalifMilk tag helps, too). The photos can be grainy, shot on the shelf in a dairy case, taken as you toss out the wrapper for your cheese while cooking dinner, snapped with a smartphone, uploaded on numerous channels, and can be done as many times as you want now through 12/31/2017, until the initiative hits it's raising caps of $20k for TX and FL hurricane relief and $10k for CA wildfire relief.
#SealsForGood Share Real California Milk Seals now through 12/31 with the hashtag #SealsForGood and a $5 donation will be made to help FL and TX hurricane, and CA wildfire relief efforts by the Great American Milk Drive up to $20k and $10k! No purchase necessary! #AD
I state this so bluntly, and up front, in this post because I feel that is the star of this communication- the real driving force to this post.

It's something anyone can do, especially if you live in California, and it really requires no effort to help give back. The Real California Milk name gets a little exposure and families recovering from recent natural disasters get much needed dairy staples provided through the Great American Milk Drive. It's pretty simple.
But I have a slight gear to grind-

Many of the people sharing this message find the need to include it in a recipe post.

Sure, your blog is all about beautifully shot recipes that drive your Pinterest traffic and click-thru revenue. Yes, you feel strongly that every piece of content on your site should have added value. But are you really getting the messaging out there? In so much content it feels like an afterthought the seal in a single styled photo here, the charitable aspect called out at the very end, or somewhere in the middle. A post title that speaks to the recipe only. You've been taught all of this is necessary for SEO, to pay your bills, to make an income.

But the point here should be that anyone can support this cause without the impulse to buy products for a tasty recipe. In fact people should consider they probably have what they need to help in their home already.
#SealsForGood Share Real California Milk Seals now through 12/31 with the hashtag #SealsForGood and a $5 donation will be made to help FL and TX hurricane, and CA wildfire relief efforts by the Great American Milk Drive up to $20k and $10k! No purchase necessary! #AD
I want my readers to know they don't need a recipe to go out and snap a photo of a Real California Milk Seal- sure you can find hundreds here on the blog with plenty of ingredients that sport the RCM seal. The seal is found on everything from yogurt, cottage cheese, hard and sliced cheese, liquid milk products, and more.

But the point really needs to be that if you live in California and consume dairy you probably have a product with the Real California Milk seal in your fridge already- and, if not, you can easily support the cause on your next shopping trip. It takes less than 2 minutes.
#SealsForGood Share Real California Milk Seals now through 12/31 with the hashtag #SealsForGood and a $5 donation will be made to help FL and TX hurricane, and CA wildfire relief efforts by the Great American Milk Drive up to $20k and $10k! No purchase necessary! #ADI'm not normally this direct, but charity is something I feel passionate about, especially when the average excuse a person gives as to why they haven't given back or helped is that they don't know how to, or don't have the time or resources. I've solves both of the above with this post. In fact donations will continue to be triggered every time a Real California Milk Seal photo appears on social media with the hashtag #SealsForGood now through 12/31/2017 (or until donation caps have been met) so the entire family can get involved. Why not make it a game to spot and share the seal?
#SealsForGood Share Real California Milk Seals now through 12/31 with the hashtag #SealsForGood and a $5 donation will be made to help FL and TX hurricane, and CA wildfire relief efforts by the Great American Milk Drive up to $20k and $10k! No purchase necessary! #AD
As someone who lives a stones-throw away from much of the recent California Wildfire damage, and has friends impacted by it, I cannot be more passionate about supporting this #SealsForGood initiative. This time of the year we are all quite busy, but we are also in and out of the grocery store preparing to entertain family and friends. Let's all take a moment to help and give back!
#SealsForGood Share Real California Milk Seals now through 12/31 with the hashtag #SealsForGood and a $5 donation will be made to help FL and TX hurricane, and CA wildfire relief efforts by the Great American Milk Drive up to $20k and $10k! No purchase necessary! #AD
Did I mention that I've even spotted the Real California Milk seal on ice cream in the frozen case of my local grocer? Does helping to give back get much sweeter? Yea, you can say I was pretty proud of my efforts to support the #SealsForGood efforts, and may have treated myself to a little reward. The entire family truly has gotten in on this- even Gidget is excited to spot the seal on a new dairy item!

Here's specifically what you need to now to continue to help these efforts:
  • If you are using Facebook, tag @RealCaliforniaMilk AND use the hashtag #SealsForGood. 
  • If you are using Instagram, tag @RealCalifMilk AND use the hashtag #SealsForGood
  • For all other platforms upload your photo with the #SealsForGood hashtag.
You have until 12/31/17 to get those Real California Milk seal photos shared, so no excuses, okay? For every submission Real California Milk will donate $5 to the Great American Milk Drive (up to $20,000) to help families affected by hurricane Harvey and Irma in Texas and Florida. No purchase necessary.
You'll find plenty of dairy infused recipes on the blog and our Pinterest to inspire you to get in the store and snapping those photos- but, remember- you don't need to actually buy anything to help out!

Gifts For The Whole Family For Less Than $40

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DoingThe99 #99YourHoliday #CollectiveBias
Take the challenge and find gifts for the entire family on a budget of just $40 #DoingThe99 #99YourHoliday #AD
Growing up holiday shopping was always certain to 1.) begin as early as Januray when taking advantage of post-holiday sales, and 2.) involve a very strict budget. Looking back I don't think it's because Momma was cheap, I rather think she enjoyed keeping herself to such guardrails. The thrill of shopping with a price cap in mind was a sort of game for her, and the lower she could drive the price on amazing finds the more fun she would have.

Naturally, shopping on a budget is a good idea regardless of your means or income- The holidays are filled with wonderful opportunities to spend money. There are Sugar Plum Fairy shows, your neice's school fundraiser, those red buckets outside every grocery store door, fabulous ugly sweaters to buy, hostess gifts to be given, delicious food to indulge in, snow chains for tires to be bought, and so much more. So, in the spirit of Momma's little budget game, and in the interest of padding my wallet for unexpected holiday events, I headed to my local 99 Cents Only Store.
Holiday decorations began hitting our 99's shelves immediately after Halloween had passed, but the 99 is full of wonderful gift ideas and home decor items every day of the year. Of course the elves at the 99 have conveniently gathered some of their favorite picks in an aisle adjacent to the holiday decor, for the convenience of shoppers. In that magical aisle you'll find gift sets, Disney brand toys, winter wear, stockings stuffed with pet treats, and so much more. It's definitely a great place to start when you want to grab a few high quality gifts on a budget. Of course you can also get creative and take advantage of the 99's everyday inventory to make your own gift baskets, too!
Take the challenge and find gifts for the entire family on a budget of just $40! #DoingThe99 #99YourHoliday #AD
For the purpose of my experiment I set my budget at $40, and my goal to buy gifts for an entire family- a family consisting of at minimum a mother, father, son, daughter, and pet. I'll admit the hardest part about this challenge wasn't staying in budget, it was choosing only 1 or 2 items for each person on my list. I found so many wonderful gift options for every single category! I could only imagine if I was really going all out and spending $20 a person- what a wonderfully generous holiday that would bring!
#DoingThe99 #99YourHoliday #AD
While I wandered the aisles it was impossible not to add a few extra decorations, entertaining supplies, and wrapping paper/bows into my cart.  I didn't count them on my bottom line, but the convenience of being able to pick up fresh fruit for my upcoming party, as well as adorable gift bags, while doing my holiday gift shopping was truly priceless. Shopping the 99 is always like a fun scavenger hunt, in the sense that new deals are always being added and can be found around every corner (toy mountain case in point)- but the physical store layout is also quite clean and easy to navigate. This means I can wander simply to shop, or get in and grab what I need and get out, at any time.
Affordable holiday gifts on a budget at the 99. #DoingThe99 #99YourHoliday #AD
It's hard to miss the selection of toys and gift sets for children- The office supply aisle has a wide variety of coloring and art gift packs, while the seasonal aisle features some of the hottest characters and brands for kids. My store also had a secondary feature for seasonal specialty toy selections in the form of a giant mountain next to the produce department. For a long time I wrestled between grabbing a 4' Basketball Hoop Set or the Boxing Bag and Gloves Set shown above. Both were priced at jut $3.99!
The 99 has toys for every age group from toddler to teen- there were many licensed dolls for girls including My Little Pony and Disney's Descendants as well as Disney's Inside Out plush characters, Star Wars action figures, and more. For tweens there were many creative kits from building your own stuffed animal to jewelry making and craft kits. For the picky teenager in your life you'll find character clutch wallets, cosmetics gift sets and plenty of tech gadgets like Bluetooth emoji headphones. I picked up a graphic clutch wallet for just $1.99 that my 13 year-old niece would absolutely love!
Shopping for men in any store is generally tough- they can be so hard to pin down. However, I immediately spotted a Basketball Hoop Trash Bin ($1.99) when I entered the door and knew exactly what I wanted to gift for the man of the house. The 99 has an entire aisle dedicated to snacks that would be perfect for any sports fan's game time festivities. I grabbed a few favorites such as Slim Jim, Lay's Stax chips, a Rockstar energy drink, Cracker Jacks, and a new pair of lounge pants to complete my sports fan gift basket gift.
Make a sports fan gift basket for under $10 at 99 Cents Only Stores! #DoingThe99 #99YourHoliday #AD
Making gift baskets at the 99 is always fun and affordable. I'd pay $4-$8 for a good gift basket at many other stores. The 99 is full of decorative bins and tubs that are not only durable and affordable but can double as a functional item long after the gift has been received. Once you have your 'basket' chosen all that's left is to decide on a theme and shop the thousands of deals at the 99 to fill it!
While my mission was to gift an entire family under $40, it was impossible for other things not to 'fall' into my cart. There is inspiration around every corner at the 99, especially if you follow them on social media such as Facebook and Instagram where they are constantly sharing their shoppers ideas and finds. I spotted some cute glass mugs, sparkly winder decal stickers, pipe cleaners, and light up necklaces and had an instant stroke of brilliance. This year at our holiday gatherings I would host an Ugly Sweater Drink Table.
Create an ugly weater drink station for holiday gatherings at the 99! #DoingThe99 #99YourHoliday #AD
The Ugly Sweater Drink Station is quite an easy concept, really- pull out all of those old mismatched glasses (or buy new ones at the 99), grab some holiday decals, pom poms, ornaments, light up holiday jewelry and more from your 99 and let guests go wild making the ugliest sweater glass they can. Not only is it fun to see guests walking around with their ugly sweater glass creation in hand, it's a great holiday tradition all ages can get involved in. My favorite drink for my ugly sweater mug also happens to be sold at the 99- Sparkling ICE, which happens to come in some great festive colors!
Another thing that wasn't on my gift list, but had to come home with me was a D.I.Y Paw Print Ornament kit for just $1.99 at my local 99 Cents Only Store. This little kit required no mixing and had enough pre-made dough to make 3 ornaments (1 for each of our pets). It was the perfect task to time out from wrapping gifts and really quite painless (unless you were the unsuspecting pet having your paw pressed into clay). There was a pretty big stock of these at our 99, and I just might go back and grab more for gifts for the neighbors!
Pet Ornament Kit for just $1.99 at 99 Cents Only Stores! #DoingThe99 #99YourHoliday #AD
I just love how our handmade clay ornaments turned out- and they took far less time than traditional salt dough, and even cost less than most dough ornament recipe ingredients combined! It's little discoveries like these that make shopping at the 99 such a fun adventure, and keep me walking through the door multiple times a week. You just never know what you'll find at the 99!
Now would be a purrfect time to share what I picked up for the pet on my fictional family's list- There were many items in the 99 pet aisle intended to spoil felines, but a few stood out as seasonal specials. I was able to nab a 20oz value size jug of Truffle's favorite Friskies cat treats for just $2.99! I also spotted some cardboard cat scratchers for just $1.99!
Make this fun pet treat dispenser fur just $4 at your local 99 Cents Only Stores! #DoingThe99 #99YourHoliday #AD
Naturally Truffles is spoiled and I couldn't just gift her a plain jug of treats- so I found a little inspiration in the snack and candy aisle at the 99. For $3.99 I bought an adorable candy machine to put all of those delicious treats in. It was the perfect decor accent for a crazy-cat-lady with a sense of fun and funky style and really helped spoil the pets like our kids.
#DoingThe99 #99YourHoliday #AD
Last, but not least was the mother on my shopping list. There were many gifting directions to go from gardening supplies and beautiful living flowers to perfume gift sets and new bath slippers. When I spotted an end cap of candle pillars, however, I knew that was the perfect gift. My 99 has a large selection of various size candles and I was easily able to pick up 3 matching pillar candles to gift with it. A fabulous gift that cost me less than $12 in total, and looked as though it had easily cost me $40 alone!
Now anyone can shop gifts on a budget- pinching pennies isn't the real test, it's making those pinched pennies turn into valued items that the recipient truly loves. I was impressed with not just the variety of gifts I was able to find, but the quality from the name brand products to the general home decor. What it comes down to is that I would never give a gift I wouldn't love to have, myself, and every single item I brought home from the 99 could easily have a place in my home. The true triumph of my challenge wasn't the $40 budget for an entire family it was finding real gifts I'd be proud to give any of my friends of family!

Still need a little holiday inspiration? Discover more amazing 99 gift and entertaining ideas on the 99 Cents Only Stores Social Hub! Visit my local 99 on Facebook  for some fun local finds!

D.I.Y. Minions Wreath Tutorial

D.I.Y. Minions Wreath for Under $10 In 15 Minutes!
Momma Told Me: Be a little different.

It's no secret we're a little 'off color' here at Momma Told Me- while we appreciate tradition, there are some things we prefer to break free and stand out from the crowd on. Unique seasonal door decor is one of them. Yes, we're talking wreaths. For year I have wanted to make my own Fall wreath, but lacked the patience, or budget, for the more elaborate 'professional' style D.I.Y. wreath. Don't get me wrong, Martha Stewart is great for most people- but when I sit down to create something I'm going to display in (or on) my home, I want it to be immediately obvious that is' home made. A lot of the gorgeous wreath tutorials out there cost just as much as the store bought one's to make, and look slick enough to be store bought when done. My friends, you will not find a Minion wreath in any store, and it is crazy easy to make.
D.I.Y. Minions Wreath for Under $10 In 15 Minutes!
Start with a medium foam ring from your typical craft store. This will be the bulk of your materials cost, as these can run $6-$8- but I'll let you in on a little secret. If you head online to Micheals/JoAnns/Hobby Lobby you can often print a coupon to save 40-50% on a single item and knock that price to just a few dollars. The second most expensive supply, the boas, are about $3-$4 a piece- you'll need 2. Again, bring the hubby, or the kids and use multiple coupons in your trip (it's usually 1 per person.) The rest of the supplies you likely have hanging around; a hot glue gun, some ribbon (for hanging,) black acrylic paint, a paper plate, a paint brush (I use disposable foam brushes) and some newspapers to cover your work space.
D.I.Y. Minions Wreath for Under $10 In 15 Minutes!
Are you ready? It just might have taken you longer to gather your supplies and protect your work space than to assemble this wreath, because this bad boy goes together with no skill level and faster than I can say 'banana' 3 times. Start by taking the end of one boa and hot gluing it to the back of your wreath foam ring. Next, loosely wrap the boa around the foam ring so that the feathers cover the ring, but there is enough give to move the boa to the side as needed for the later steps. Tack the loose end of the boa onto the foam ring and repeat with the 2nd boa, end to end.
D.I.Y. Minions Wreath for Under $10 In 15 Minutes!D.I.Y. Minions Wreath for Under $10 In 15 Minutes!
You should have what looks like the beginnings of a fabulous Carnivale hat, or at least a wreath that resembles an abstract Tweety Bird. Go ahead and shake it back and forth like a 3rd crader fascinated by the movement of the feathers (I won't judge,) it's impossible not to feel happy when playing with feathers!
Next, grab your paper plate and cut the ridged rim off of the inner circle. Take your foam paint brush and dip it in your black paint. Place it in the center of your round (flat) plate piece so that the tip and wooden end are vertical- give it one smooth spin while applying pressure. If you want to be less fancy- "Take a paint brush and paint a black circle in the center of your round plate cut out." Cut 5-6" strips from the ridged plate rim and paint those black as well. Allow you pieces to dry, or pull out the blow dryer if you're impatient (like me.)
If you want to get a little fancy pants you can add some detailing to the eye. Using your black paint go ahead and draw a black rim along the outside of your round (flat) eye and make one of the border's edges a little thicker to indicate the traditional Minions goggle frame. Take a daub of white paint/white paint pen/white out and draw a little circle of reflective light in the iris of your eye. Glue your dried black painted plate strips to the inner eye circle evenly.

Attach your goggles/eye to the wreath by gently separating the wrapped boa and gluing the paper plate portion directly to the foam ring. Repeat on the opposite end and even out the feather distribution to hide your handy work. Next, loop a few inches of ribbon and glue it to the top (back) portion of your wreath- paying attention to glue directly to the foam ring again, or the ribbon will not adhere.
D.I.Y. Minions Wreath for Under $10 In 15 Minutes!D.I.Y. Minions Wreath for Under $10 In 15 Minutes!
Congratulations- you've just made a Minion! Wouldn't these be cute in purple as well for the 'monster' minions from the Despicable Me 2 movie? How about doing this with 2 small foam tubes and chaining them all together to make Bobe, Stuart, and Kevin? The possibilities are endless and the work is truly minimal; just my type of D.I.Y. craft. And you better believe the compliments from delivery workers, neighbors, and friends are plenty! Best of all, this is a fun wreath for the Halloween season that isn't spooky or scary at all! What type of seasonal decorations do you like to make?

What Daughter Says: Fall leaves, ribbons, and acorns are nice, but this wreath truly makes me smile every time I come home!