Gifts Moms With Little Ones Will Love


Do you know a mom with little ones that you would like to bless this Christmas?


Then this list is for YOU! Whether she’s your mom, wife, friend, or daughter, here’s some gift ideas she’ll love.

*Note – I am not affiliated with any of the gifts below, these are simply some of my favorite items that I think other moms could use and would like.

thermosNo Spill Coffee Mug – You guys, this Thermos Stainless King 16 Oz Travel Tumbler is the best. Ever. I’ve been using mine daily for 3 years and it’s still in great shape. Why so great? I just throw it right in my purse or diaper bag because this lid DOES NOT leak (as long as you close the lid – a grievous mistake). Keeps coffee piping hot for 5 hours, or cold things cold for 9.



Color-therapy – What could be more soothing than coloring while pondering the character of God? The Color the Names of God: An Adult Coloring Book for Your Soul by Marie Michaels and her other books will help the mom in your life to do just that.  The illustrator is a friend of mine and her soul is as beautiful as her art work. And, you can ‘Like’ the Marie Michaels Art Facebook page and find free Coloring Advent pages.

mattress-padFor the freeze-baby – I am so grateful a friend told me about the heated mattress pad. At first, my hubby was not a believer, but ours has dual controls so he can set his temperature to low and turn it on only when he wants to. Turn on for a few minutes before bed and the sheets won’t be ice-cold. AND, if the mom you’re buying for has to get up in the night to nurse a baby, she can come back to warm sheets. Trust me, it is the gift she never knew she needed, but DOES.

necklaceTeething Necklace  I have several silicone teething necklaces from Consider it Maid. These are my go-to gift for new moms. They hold up well, baby loves them and they look great as a colorful accessory. I love being able to use it to distract the baby when we’re out for coffee. Friends often ask where I got mine and are shocked when I tell them its a silicone teething necklace. I plan to wear mine long after baby stops teething.

coffeeCoffee gift card  A gift card to a coffee shop is sure to please – a hot tasty beverage and some treats? Yes, please. I suggest picking one with a drive-thru to make the gift even better. Not only does she not have to get out of the car, but she can enjoy the coffee while it’s still hot. I call that winning. Planning to buy more than one? See if you can buy it at SAMs Club or Costco for a discounted price.


diy-photo-pendant-beaded-necklacesPhoto Pendants – Why not make a gift using photos of those little people she loves so much? Creep her Facebook or Instagram feed and make your own DIY Photo Pendant Beaded Necklaces using her favorite pictures. This is one gift she is guaranteed to love forever.


journalA Gratitude Journal – Find a great journal and nice pens or markers. Make it extra special by writing what YOU are grateful about her. Or, even better, have her kids write in it. She’ll know how loved she is every time she picks it up.



snow-day-survival-kitA Snow Day Survival Kit – Give the gift of activities for her family to enjoy together on a snow day. It will help entertain kids when she needs something to do, and provide a tasty, fun treat.



anchorString Art – A fellow blogger is selling string art on her new Etsy site, TheBurlapNestShop. I’ve been following her creations in my Instagram feed and I’m in love! Check it out for a unique, whimsy gift for the mom you have in mind.


life-verseCustom Necklace  – Moms love necklaces with their kids names on it and you can find tons of them on Etsy. However, maybe the mom in your life isn’t the photo or name-wearing type? How about a Custom Life-Verse necklace by Deirdre & Company? Keeping God’s word close to her heart is sure to bless.


a-good-bookA Good Book – I’m always a fan of a good book, especially one that someone I know has actually read and loved. I just finished ‘The Best Yes – Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands‘ by Lysa TerKeurst. Doesn’t that topic seem like something many of us moms could use? Take a look at your book shelf – anything stand out that you’ve read lately?


mealsMeals – Make her job easier by giving her the gift of meals. Give one meal, or maybe even one per month for the next year. You will bless her by taking one of her daily jobs off of her plate. Make it a healthy one and she’ll be even more grateful – that way she can save the easy pizza meals for nights she has to come up with dinner on the fly.


engagedGo Out – Whether she’s your mom, friend, wife or daughter, the best gift you can give is to take time to be with her. It can be simple, like lunch or coffee. OR, you can get dressed up and do something spontaneously fun. Whatever it is, doing it together is what counts. AND, if you arrange for childcare ahead of time, she can go care-free.

patinaStill not sure what to buy? In the Twin Cities area, head to your nearest Patina gift store. My personal favorites are the handmade jewelry, shower bombs, slippers, books, and MN-inspired gifts. You cannot go wrong in the store and with an eclectic variety, you’re sure to find something even the most difficult-to-buy-for mom will love.


Gifts Moms With Little Ones Will Love |


DIY Snow Day Survival Kit

DIY Snow Day Survival Kit |

Somehow, Christmas has passed, and I haven’t given all our gifts yet. I’m not sure how it happened, but it did.

I love giving gifts and am usually done with cards and gifts long before Christmas arrives. And to this list-making, pre-planning girl…procrastination is rather uncomfortable.

I woke up this morning with the NEED to get things done. Time to kick procrastination to the curb.

Better late than never?

For a handful of friends, I’m putting together Snow Day Survival Kits with an assortment of goodies to keep them warm on a snowy day.

Good thing we FINALLY got measurable snow in MN this week.

Simple, warm and tasty.

Each DIY Snow Day Survival Kit includes:

  • Plastic storage container (Hello, dollar section of Target)
  • Hot Chocolate Mix (Packets of Starbucks Salted Caramel and Starbucks Peppermint hot chocolate and/or small tin of specialty hot chocolate)
  • Plain Marshmallows in cellophane bag
  • Peppermint Marshmallows in cellophane bag
  • Chocolate Covered Spoons (homemade using plastic spoons dipped in melted baking chocolate – dry on wax paper then wrap each chocolate end individually in plastic before packaging in cellophane bag)
  • Baking Mix (Brownie, Blondie or Cookie Mix)
  • Caramel Corn or Popcorn

The marshmallows and chocolate spoons were hand-packaged in cellophane bags. Labels were created using PicMonkey and attached with ribbon.

labels for snow day

What you include in a Snow Day Survival Kit may vary depending on the recipient. The kits we made went to families with small children. If you are looking for other ideas, there are plenty of ways to personalize this gift!

Ideas to Personalize a Snow Day Survival Kit:


Our family Christmas card and the note below were included in each gift.

Snow Day Survival Kit

These were fun and simple to put together and I think they turned out pretty cute.

DIY Snow Day Survival Kit |

Hopefully they bring some warmth and fun to our friends on the next snow day.

Merry Christmas!

DIY Snow Day Survival Kit |


DIY Glass Photo Pendant Beaded Necklaces Tutorial

DIY Photo Pendant Beaded Necklaces |

Over the past few months, I slowly bought supplies with coupons or when on sale to make photo pendants. It was something I really wanted to try but did not have a specific project in mind. I finally had all supplies just days before recent family birthday celebrations.

Perfect timing to make personalized gifts.

The process was easy and gave a stunning result – even for a beginner like me.

Last week I jumped the gun and showed the final result before this tutorial was ready. As promised, a detailed description of how the pendants were made is included below. Since then, I’ve been on a bit of a photo-pendant making binge, creating gifts to give for birthdays and holidays to come.

Ahem…some of you have one of these coming to you in the near future 🙂



1. Select, edit and crop photo

DIY Glass Photo Pendant Beaded Necklaces Tutorial |

Photos were edited using PicMonkey. Photos were printed to size using Power Point – check out quick instructions here.

2. Cut photo to size

DIY Glass Photo Pendant Beaded Necklaces Tutorial |

If your photo is already sized correctly, just cut along the edges and slightly round the corners with an X-acto knife or scissors. If not, align the tile over the photo, trace around it and cut just inside the lines. Check your work and trim any overhanging edges before proceeding.

3. Apply photo to the glass tile

DIY Photo Pendant Beaded Necklaces |

Apply a pea sized bead of diamond glaze to the tile. Use either the tip of the diamond glaze bottle or a paint brush to spread glaze evenly across the tile, removing bubbles as much as possible. Align and press the photo onto the tile, face down. While not fully secure, adjust as needed. From the center, sweep your finger outwards to seal the edges and remove any remaining air bubbles. Allow to dry a minimum of 10 minutes or until the photo no longer seems wet

*Note: be sure to wait for the glaze to dry before proceeding or it produces a dark shadow that looks like a wet spot and remains even after drying

4. Seal the tile

DIY Photo Pendant Beaded Necklaces |

Apply a pea sized bead of diamond glaze on the back of the photo. Use a paint brush to evenly coat the back of the photo. Use the residual glaze on the brush to seal the edges. Allow to dry a minimum of 1 hour.

5. Affix baal to the tile

DIY Photo Pendant Beaded Necklaces | www.thisgratefulmama.comDIY Photo Pendant Beaded Necklaces |

Apply super glue to the baal. Align over the top, center of the tile and press firmly into place. Obviously avoid contact of super glue with skin – we all know super glued fingers are no fun! Check alignment quickly and adjust if necessary. Allow to dry fully.

 6. String pendant with beads

DIY Glass Photo Pendant Beaded Necklaces |

Once the pendants are dry, string with mixed glass beads of your choosing.


Diamond Glaze and Super Glue come in large quantities so there will be plenty of leftovers for future projects – I’m looking forward to experimenting with different shapes and sizes of glass tiles.

I’d love to see if you make your own pendants or necklaces. Please share in the comments if you do!


This post was shared on the {Wow me} Wednesday at Gingersnap Crafts link party

Wow Me Wednesday at Gingersnap Crafts

DIY Glass Photo Pendant Beaded Necklaces

DIY Glass Photo Pendant Beaded Necklaces |

You guys…

I’ve been working on a tutorial, but it isn’t done, and I just couldn’t wait any longer to share a photo of one of these necklaces!

Consider this a sneak peek because I just can’t help myself.

In July, our family celebrated the birthdays of my mom and my husband’s grandma. This year we found ourselves at a bit of a loss of what to give. Neither of them really need anything, nor do they really desire more ‘stuff’.

While they appreciate ALL gifts, personal gifts (especially those involving grandchildren or great-grandchildren) often elicit the most joyful response. You know, the face-lights-up-with-delight kind of response.

Over the past few months, I’ve been slowly collecting supplies to make photo pendant necklaces. I wasn’t sure when I’d make them or who to give them to, but it was something I really wanted to try. Taking my time to buy supplies, I was able to buy everything on sale or with a coupon. As it turned out, I finally had all the supplies in hand, just days before our birthday celebrations.

Perfect timing to make some personalized gifts.

The process was easy and gave a stunning result – even for a beginner like me.

However, I was disappointed to see that when I strung two or three pendants on once chain, they overlapped. It looked good, but it was not what I had in mind.

DIY Photo Pendant Beaded Necklaces |

Digging through supplies for a solution, I was delighted to find a forgotten bag of mixed glass beads from my last trip to Art Scraps Reuse Store (St. Paul, MN). After some searching, I found this ball chain necklace at Hobby Lobby (50% off on sale for just $1 – can’t beat that). It was just thin enough to string a few mis-matched beads between the pendants.

DIY Photo Pendant Beaded Necklaces |

I love how the beads give enough space for the pendants to lay flat. And, because my beads are all different, they make each necklace unique…but you’ll have to read the tutorial later this week to see the rest of them :).

The first two gifts turned out so well, I made another for myself and have been on a bit of a photo pendant gift-making binge…it is going to be so fun to give them away!

Happy Monday everyone!

DIY Glass Photo Pendant Beaded Necklaces |

This post was shared on The Shabby Nest Frugal Friday link party.

frugal friday


11 Ways For Mamas & Kids To Express Gratitude On Father’s Day (And Every Day)

11 Ways For Mamas & Kids To Express Gratitude On Father’s Day (And Every Day) |

Can you believe that Father’s Day is already just over one week away? Father’s day is one of my favorites to prepare for – it’s a dedicated day to show my husband how much I appreciate him, and a day to help our children express how grateful they are for their daddy.

I often struggle with how to best express this intense appreciation and gratitude. We just want it to be a special day honoring the one who is so special to us.

Last year, we gave my husband a photo desk calendar, celebrated with a family meal, and our 3-year-old son gave a framed set of interview questions and answers. This year we want to shake it up a bit. Here’s a few ideas we’ve used in the past or are considering for this and future years.

(Now…if you are my husband reading this….this might be a good place to stop or you may feel rather unsurprised this year)

11 Ways For Mamas & Kids To Express Gratitude On Father’s Day (And Every Day)

11 Ways For Mamas & Kids To Express Gratitude On Father’s Day (And Every Day) |

1.Photo Calendar – Many photo services offer a calendar in both full size and desk varieties (I prefer Shutterfly calendars – 50% off thru June 16! Order for all the dads in your life and get free shipping with orders over $39)


11 Ways For Mamas & Kids To Express Gratitude On Father’s Day (And Every Day) |

2. My Daddy Is – Ask your child questions and prepare to be amazed by their answers. We made our own but one of these free printables will work nicely: My Dad’s Superpowers, Father’s Day Printable Book, Father’s Day Interview Poster.



11 Ways For Mamas & Kids To Express Gratitude On Father’s Day (And Every Day) |

3. Coupons – They may be generic, but coupons are a worthy gift if your children (or you) actually plan to fulfill the promises on them. If you give a coupon book, encourage your husband to use them! Make your own, or use these free printables – Father’s Day Coupon Card.


11 Ways For Mamas & Kids To Express Gratitude On Father’s Day (And Every Day) |

4. My Daddy and Me Book – We made a board book filled with activities our son loves to do with his daddy using the printer, full sheet labels and a plain book.  Not into struggling with full-page labels? Make one online.

11 Ways For Mamas & Kids To Express Gratitude On Father’s Day (And Every Day) |

5. Father’s Day Photo or Collage – Use signs and the camera to express your feelings in a card – or even better, frame it and wrap it as a gift. We have used this for birthdays and many holidays. Check out other online examples: Father’s Day Photo, Scrabble photo, We love you daddy feet, Father’s day photo collage, D-A-D framed photos.




11 Ways For Mamas & Kids To Express Gratitude On Father’s Day (And Every Day) |

6. Kids Art Work – Let children paint on canvas like our son did for Mother’s day. Or, try one of these other dad-crafts: Following in Dad’s shoes, Daddy art, Daddy mug (make your own with an industrial sharpie)

11 Ways For Mamas & Kids To Express Gratitude On Father’s Day (And Every Day) |

7. A special touch – Regardless of your gift plan, small touches can make any day special. My husband bought me a growler of cold press coffee before Mother’s day. It might not seem like much, but he knows me well and it was a small gesture that went a long way. What does your husband like?





11 Ways For Mamas & Kids To Express Gratitude On Father’s Day (And Every Day) |

8. A child-daddy date – think of an activity your child can do with daddy, perhaps something they’ve never done before. What do your children like to do with their dad?

  • Baseball: snag tickets to a minor or major league baseball game
  • Golf: send them to hit a bucket of balls at the driving range or  them to play putt-putt
  • Art: send them to a painting class or to the children’s theater
  • Cook: father-child cooking class
  • Camping: rent a campsite or for the less-adventurous (or young ones), set up a backyard camping experience, marshmallows and all
  • Music: tickets to a children’s concert or pack them a picnic and send them to an outdoor free concert
  • Fishing: prep the fishing gear and send them to fish on a dock or rent a boat and pack the car with gear and life jackets
  • Family fun: do the dirty business of filling all the water balloons and have a family game of balloon toss (or just have a water balloon fight), family picnic in the park,  camping trip, hiking

11 Ways For Mamas & Kids To Express Gratitude On Father’s Day (And Every Day) |

9. Help the kids cook a meal – help your children pick and prepare a meal or special dessert for daddy. Try to let them do as much as possible!




11 Ways For Mamas & Kids To Express Gratitude On Father’s Day (And Every Day) |

10. Plan a no-kids date – just from you. Because you appreciate all he does and you love spending time with him.




11 Ways For Mamas & Kids To Express Gratitude On Father’s Day (And Every Day) |

11. The Father’s day week – Ambitious, I know. Why a full week? Because dads are dads EVERY DAY. One day just isn’t enough. So why not make it seven? We should express gratitude every day. Start a week before and end on Father’s Day, or start on Father’s day and go for seven more. Flood them with love and gratitude for a 7 full days – handwritten notes, artwork from the kids, maybe a coffee growler, special meals and extra hugs. Make this year’s Father’s Day week one to remember!

P.S. To my husband…if you’ve read this far…don’t be expecting every single thing listed here 🙂 Love you.

11 Ways For Mamas & Kids To Express Gratitude On Father's Day (And Every Day) |

The New Mama Blessing Jar

New Mama Blessings Jar |

Today is the long-anticipated day.

My most dear friend, in all the world, is having her first baby. It makes me so happy I think my heart might POP!


Right now – well, I hope right NOW…but these things sometimes take time…

Upon hearing she and her husband were heading to the hospital last night, I got so excited. I’m amazed I even slept a wink, but am glad I did. In fact, I’ve been SO excited, I can’t sit, stand, or well, BE still. Lucky for me, I had a meal to make and bring to another special family who has also recently had their FOURTH baby (Amazing!).

It is good that I had something productive to keep me busy (kids are napping/or at preschool)! However, I finished the meal this morning so on the way to preschool, the kids and I stopped to pick up a few items to make some small gifts for the new mamas in our lives.

Whether it is your first time, or fourth time, being a new mama is a BIG job. You are in demand, yet you also have the great privilege of soaking up every single newborn baby sigh and snuggle.

With my extra energy and time (well, kind of free-time, I was too distracted to do much else), I thought I’d make a couple of gift jars. I made two. One went with the meal to our friends this afternoon and I the other will be shipped to my other friend along with a couple other small things I’ve been saving for this very momentous day.

The idea for a New Mama Blessing Jar started when I stumbled across cute scripture cards on the ThrivingHomeBlog.

The New Mama Blessings Jar | The New Mama Blessings Jar |

The downloadable PDF file gives 25 scripture verses surrounded by playful colors and patterns. They are cleverly titled “On the Job Meditations-25 Verse Cards For Moms“. I’m a believer that God’s word is much better that any I can come up with – what better gift than to give scripture to encourage a new mama?

My husband and I have been eating Mason Jar salads at lunch for a few weeks. I bought a case of mason jars when we started, so as I was packing our lunches for tomorrow, I noticed how the scripture cards would fit perfectly in a jar. The idea took off from there. The great thing about a jar is you can fill it with all kinds of little things that can bless a new mama, without going overboard, and every jar you make could be different and suited to the friend you give it to.

New Mama Blessing Jar Contents:

  • Dark Chocolate bar – Trader Joes (lower on sugar, and great for just a little treat)
  • Milk Chocolate Caramel Ghirardelli  squares – who wouldn’t want one?
  • Turkey sausage stick – Target (a little protein for a nursing mama)
  • Decaf Good Earth Tea – warm and relaxing
  • Dry Shampoo – if you haven’t used dry shampoo, you are missing out on a huge time-saver. Every new mama needs some, trust me. This way you can quickly freshen up when on the run, overslept, or hardly slept. Rockstar Dry shampoo is my favorite travel size you can get at Target. At just under $3, it lasted a long time, and worked great
  • Mints – see dry shampoo – quickly freshen up your breath when someone unexpectedly rings your doorbell
  • Chapstick – when you need it you need it, take it from an addict. Usually you’re holding a sleeping baby or nursing and can’t reach one when you realize your lips are dry. An extra one nearby is just a good idea
  • Gift Card – because the baby deserves something too, just for being born (but the mama can use it for herself if she wants to)

Thankfully, everything fit in the jar. It just needed a label or something to make it fun. I made a label for the jar and a contents list:

The New Mama Blessings Jar | thisgratefulmama.comThe New Mama Blessings Jar |

Then it was time to seal it up, and give it away – preferably with a meal (because when someone has a baby, YOU bring them food).

If the contents of these jars doesn’t suit your needs, other ideas to customize your own New Mama Blessing Jar include: small packs of nuts or crackers, hard candy, WISP disposable tooth brushes, travels tissues, hand lotion, twizzlers, nail file and polish, hair bands, and more…

What is your go-to gift for new mamas?

4 Ways to Use DIY Metallic Painted Coffee Beans

Last week I made some Metallic Painted Coffee Beans; easy to make, inexpensive, and smell lovely.

I was inspired when I stumbled across this picture of coffee beans that appeared to be painted. I clicked on the photo in hope of some DIY instructions, but instead found the beans only appeared blue due to some fancy photo editing. I was disappointed, since I had already thought of a bunch of ways I could use them in my home.

I decided to try a little experiment to make my own.

I will soon post a little tutorial on how to make your own metallic painted coffee beans, but first I thought I’d give you a few reasons to want them!

4 Ways to Use DIY Metallic Painted Coffee Beans


1. Vase Filler

Use metallic painted coffee beans as vase filler in a clear glass container.

These two examples show the painted beans in a mason jar with some other DIY accents (Crackle Painted Glass Bottle, Spray Painted Wine Bottle and Votive), and as a stand-alone accent in a round glass vase.

Use beans to fill a Mason Jar and group with other glass accents

Use metallic painted coffee beans to fill a Mason Jar. Group with other DIY accent pieces

Use as vase filler

Use metallic painted coffee beans as vase filler


2. Create a Centerpiece

Use the painted coffee beans to create a centerpiece and display on your dining table or kitchen island. Three examples are shown below.

  • Place a large candle in a small metal bucket or other container and surround with metallic coffee beans
  • Spread metallic coffee beans on a platter and place a handful of votive candles throughout
  • Fill different glass containers with metallic coffee beans and place in a line on a dining table (Depending on the occasion, you could create different colored sets of beans – red, white and blue for 4th of July OR green, red and silver or gold for Christmas).
Bucket with candle

Place a large candle in a metal bucket and surround with metallic painted coffee beans. Use as a centerpiece or accent.

Spread metallic painted coffee beans on a platter and place votive candles throughout to create an easy centerpiece for a dining table or center island

Spread metallic painted coffee beans on a platter and place votive candles throughout to create an easy centerpiece for a dining table or center island

Fill various sized glass containers with metallic coffee beans and create a long, skinny centerpiece

Fill various sized glass containers with metallic coffee beans and create a long, skinny centerpiece


3. Give a Gift

Wrap metallic coffee beans in a clear cellophane bag, tie with a ribbon, and bring as an inexpensive, homemade housewarming or hostess gift. Maybe I’ll make these to give hosts this year during Christmas…

Wrap metallic coffee beans in cellophane and give as a gift

Wrap metallic coffee beans in cellophane and give as a gift


4. Dress-Up a Fake Plant

I have some fake plants in my house. That fake ‘grass’ or dirt in them is never convincing and gets dusty and weird. One way to change that is to just cover it up with something decorative like these metallic painted coffee beans.  Would be cool in an even larger pot!

Dress up a fake plant with metallic coffee beans in the pot

Dress up a fake plant with metallic coffee beans in the pot


Other ideas

There are many amazing decorative ideas for plain coffee beans on the internet. Here are a few of my favorites. Any of these could use either plain coffee beans, metallic painted coffee beans, or a mixture of the two.


What would you do with them?

Feel free to post to your favorite link of how to use them, or a quick comment.