Don’t Hate Me But I’m Already Shopping For Christmas

Kmart Layaway

This is a sponsored post, I am a Kmart K-Club blogger, though all opinions are my own. Back in the day my Christmas shopping M.O. was to wait until Christmas Eve, wake up early, enjoy a cup of coffee, and leisurely pick up presents for all of my loved ones before the stores closed early. You'd be surprised at how fast a well-intentioned Christmas gift budget gets blown by waiting until the last possible minute to shop! Once I became a Mom and Ayva threw up in the car as soon as we started on our way on Christmas Eve 2010 (#neverforget), I knew my Christmas Eve Last Minute Shopping Excursions would never again be the same. Sadly, even after knowing better, I've still waited until the last minute. Last year, a present that I'd ordered late and had to pay for expedited shipping didn't come on time, and I vowed that this year would be different. … [Continue]

September is National Preparedness Month

what to do in a natural disaster

A few weeks ago, Ayva and I experienced our first California earthquake. While we were fortunate to not have any damages related to the quake, but it made me start to think of disaster preparedness, and what we would need in the event of a natural disaster. My friend, Elizabeth from the organization Activation ReACT put together this informative post to help my family, and yours, be prepared in the event of disaster. The month of September is a big month for our country and our families. It is National Preparedness Month being ready for a disaster is important and we need to educate and inform the ones closest to us on what we can do as a family. It isn’t every day you talk to your family about disasters and it may not be the most appealing topic to bring up at the table but it is necessary. There are five important questions to ask one another in case a disaster strikes. How will you get in touch with each other? Where will you meet? How will you get out of your house … [Continue]

The Most Important Thing Is Love

The Underground Girls Of Kabul

Once upon a time, in my former life, I was a Teaching Artist who helped encourage creativity in young children. That career path was awesome, but it meant a lot of piecing together gigs here and there to make a full-time living. The summer months were different, though. During the summer, I taught … [Continue]

Super Simple Snickers Cake Cookies

Snicker Cake Cookies - Mama Knows It All

I love to bake. All I need is my sidekick, Ayva, a little inspiration, and butter. Lots and lots of butter. My inspiration today came from a challenge. Terrence and his co-workers are having a competition to see who can make the best cookie, and of course, we'd like Team Riley to win. The winner … [Continue]

Disney On Ice “Worlds Of Fantasy” Coming To Oakland!

Disney On Ice Worlds Of Fantasy

I am a U.S. Family Guide Blogger, and will receive comp tickets to this event for coverage. If you love Disney movies, then you'll love Disney on Ice! Terrence, Ayva and I went for the first time last year, and had an incredible time. The ice skaters are incredibly talented, the show is fast … [Continue]

Surprise Snacks Make Bedtime Easier

abound snacks 5

Bedtime for a 5-year-old. It can go one of two ways. Fortunately, we've figured out a system to make it smooth, painless, and dare I say, enjoyable? For a long time, nights were hard. Really hard, y'all. Fortunately, I married the most brilliant man ever, who came to me with a suggestion. He said, … [Continue]

Fall Apple Spritzer

Fall Apple Spritzer w/ Sweet'N Low

I'm celebrating the season with this Fall Apple Spritzer as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #SweetNLowStars As soon as the weather starts to cool off, all I want to do is curl up with a book and get into the taste of fall. I don't mean pumpkin, either. I'm totally not one of those … [Continue]

Make An Easy (And Cheap!) Jewelry Holder For Your Little Girl

jewelry holder finished

Ayva loves necklaces. And bracelets. And rings. And headbands. And anything else that sparkles, glitters, or looks fancy. What can I say? She's a girly girl, and I love it! As she gets older, her jewelry multiplies, and I needed to find a way to organize them so that they don't get broken, and we … [Continue]

Zazzle’s Dazzling Cases

Zazzle iPhone 6 case

Thanks to Zazzle for partnering on this review. This post contains affiliate links. Last year, when Apple released the iPhone 5s, my husband set his alarm early and headed to the Apple store at the break of dawn to pick his up. I calmly rolled over when the alarm went off and went back to sleep. … [Continue]

Don’t Stress Snacks! California Raisins To The Rescue!

California Raisin

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of California Raisins. There are lots of things that stressed me out about Ayva starting school this year. My number one worry wasn't about whether or not she'd like her teacher, or if she would make friends. Nope, the thing that kept me up at … [Continue]