Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Christmas Gifts: Hit or Miss

Happy New Year, friends!!!  Can you believe it's 2018?!  I still remember when I was a kid and just knew that we'd have flying cars by now.  #whereismyflyingcar 

We started the last day of 2017 with a little excitement.  We got SNOW!! (Technically.) 

 It has been straight up freezing here over the past few days and I mean that literally.  Temps are in the 20s during the day which is rare in our neck of the woods.  So when the boys ran into our room Sunday morning to tell me it was snowing, I wasn't surprised.  I jumped up to help them find coats and hats and take some pictures.

Unfortunately, by the time they got dressed and out the door to play in it, it was pretty much over.  Womp womp.

Matthew managed to scoop up some snow that had accumulated on the patio furniture and make a small snowball.

The snowfall was a little underwhelming but the boys were still so excited to see it.  #txsnowstorm2017

I'll post about our New Year's Eve party later this week but today I want to get to those HIT or MISS Christmas gifts!!

(If you missed the recap of our Christmas Eve and Day, go HERE.)


Let's start with the HITS.

HIT #1

First up, are these Garmin Vivofit Jr. watches.  These things are totally workin' for us.  I kind of feel like this was a gift the whole family can enjoy.

They do so many things!  For starters, it tracks your steps so the boys are constantly competing with each other to see who can get more.  They have been going to bed completely worn out.

You download this app to your device and from there you can keep track of everything.  If they sleep with their watch on it will give you a little report of how they slept the night before.  The boys are pretty fascinated by this.  (They have been going to bed so late lately!)

It also has an activity tracker.  The goal is to get at least 60 minutes of "activity" in per day.  (Meaning running, exercise etc.)

If you hit your goal of 60 minutes, you unlock a clue in some little adventure game.  I don't know a ton about this part but the boys like it.

My favorite part (and the part that benefits us all) is the Chore Program.  You can go in and set up chores for your kids to do and assign a set number of coins that each chore is worth.  If they do the chore, they get coins.  I added more than just chores and threw in some daily tasks that tend to get lots of resistance.  (Brushing teeth, showering, deodorant...#ohmy)

It's crazy how easily I can get them to do these things now with very little whining.  And if they do start to complain, I remind them of their coins they'll earn and also threaten to take some away.  I can also offer up coins for stuff not on the list.  Like if I need help bringing in groceries, I can manually go in give them extra coins if they help without complaining.  ;)

So far, they have been happy just to earn these virtual coins but once that starts to lose its appeal, I will step it up and start using the Rewards part of the app.  You can figure out how many coins each reward is worth and they can redeem them for that reward.  

So, for example, they could redeem 10 coins for a pack of gum at the grocery store or 20 coins for a pack of baseball cards etc.  Or save up and redeem 100 coins for a new Nerf gun or something bigger like that.  I haven't really gotten that far yet.  I'm still enjoying the fact that as of now, they are happy with virtual coins that cost me nothing!!  ;)  #winning

These little watches are also water-proof so they can shower with them and they don't need to be charged so no charger to keep up with!  #canIgetanamen

The bands they come with are rubber and one piece so it just slips onto their wrist for a snug fit.  Mason was complaining his was too tight though so I ordered this 3 pack of bands that fit like a watch strap instead.  It's pretty easy to pop out the black piece and slip it into a new band.

The pack of bands was just $10.  There were a lot of different color combos to choose from.  Find them HERE.

So yeah.  These have been a MEGA HIT.  The boys are up and active all day, the house is cleaner, there is little whining when it comes to chores and everyone is much more hygienic.  Hahaha.  #deodorantisamustforthe9yearold

HIT #2

Hit #2 has been all the books!  Here's what we got them.

Matthew loved the movie and was dying for the book.  This may have been his favorite gift.  He's already halfway through it.

The Hardy Boys books were a hit too!  They love trying to solve mysteries so this is right up their alley.

We also got Mason this joke book.  I'm pretty sure he thinks he's the funniest kid ever.  He can't tell a joke though without cracking himself up before the punch line.  So half the time he has to tell it at least 3 times before we can understand what he's saying through his giggles.

Plus it's less than $4!!  Find it here.

HIT #3

We decided that part of Matthew's Christmas would a room makeover.  He desperately needs one.  So Craig's mom sent both boys these cool Wall Pops with a map of the USA to get the makeover started.  If you aren't familiar with Wall Pops, they are like a big removable sticker for your wall.  They come with a dry erase marker too so the kids can draw on them.  Matthew wasted no time writing in some favorite places before he stuck it on his wall.

He's even learning, which is good because after he said, "Arkansas is a state?!" I got a little worried.  (What are they teaching them at that school?!)

These are really cool and on sale for $10 right now.  Find them here.

They also have growth charts and a world map as well.

HIT #4

Speaking of awesome gifts from Craig's parents, his mom picked out these socks/slippers for me and I swear I wore them for a solid 3 days in a row around the house until I forced myself to wash them.  And then they went right back on.  They are CRAZY COZY.  The whole inside is lined with the sherpa stuff.  My feet are always like blocks of ice so these are the best!!  I am all about some cozy slippers.

They are sold out of the "Lumberjack Red" like I have but do have them in blue and tons of other prints.  Find them HERE.  #andthankmelater

HIT #5

What Do You Meme?  Y'all, this game was HYSTERICAL!!!  The adults sat around our dining room table playing this on New Year's Eve while the kids were upstairs and oh my goodness!!  Our cheeks were aching we were laughing so hard!!

Full disclosure:  This game should NOT be played within earshot of kids.  I had no idea it was a little naughty but it definitely is!  But we loved it and had the best time.  And it's easy too so you don't have to spend 10 minutes trying to make sure everyone understands all the rules before you get started.

 (There's that gold glitter nail polish again too!)

Just pick a card that makes the picture the funniest and hope yours gets chosen!  I thought the above card was perfect with the picture shown on the table.  #wut

Find it here.  I'm telling you, you will be sore from laughing so hard the next day.  

HIT #6

And the boys got some fun games they are loving too!  Mason is a bottle flipping addict so he loves this Bottle Flip game.  I don't even know if he's actually played it the right way yet but he loves to read the cards and do what they say.  The only con is that I have to constantly hear the "boom" of the bottle flipping onto the hardwood.  Over. And over. And over. And over...

And this Googly Eyes game had both boys in hysterics.  I didn't find it all that challenging but the boys are at that age where drawing random things can be pretty funny.  But really, they just liked wearing the glasses.

So those were some of our favorites from this year!  Thankfully, most of the stuff they got was very well-received but there were a few that we loved a little less.


I don't even know if I should call this a miss because the kids still love it but I had to laugh when I opened it up.

When I was at Walmart a few days before Christmas, I walked by this and thought it looked great!  The boys love playing the much more expensive version of this game at church so when I saw it I grabbed it.  For only $20, I knew it would probably not be the greatest quality but I didn't expect this.  

It's tiny!!!  The ball is the size of a small grapefruit.  I had to laugh when I saw it.  I'm not sure why I was thinking it would be normal sized.  Thankfully, the boys don't seem to care and it is fun so it all worked out.  But still.  That picture on the box is deceiving, right?!


You may remember me talking about these AMAZING pajama pants that I have and LOVE! 

I have maybe 5 or 6 pair of them in different prints and am obsessed so when I saw them on Amazon the other day I was so excited!  Well, the ones I ordered came in and apparently, they are a knock-off brand.  Boo.  I hate when sellers use other people's pictures and then try to recreate it and sell it as their own.  Thankfully, the knock-offs are still comfy.  They just aren't THE ones.  The fit is off and the material is different.

I checked the tag on my real ones and they are by a company called 12pm by Mon Ami.  I googled trying to find more but all I could really find was the wholesale website for them.  I did find one print on Amazon though so if you are looking for the authentic version of these go HERE.  I feel like someone has discontinued my favorite lipstick or something.  Such a bummer!  I'll keep my eye out for them though!!


So my last miss was more a miss on the company not really the gift.  The boys wanted hoverboards for Christmas and since I know they can be expensive, I got online on Thanksgiving night to find a great deal.  I went with a company called EWheelsUSA because they had a good selection and some basic hoverboards with no bluetooth nonsense (we don't need all that) and "free same-day shipping".  

I snagged two.  A red one and a blue one because that's what colors the boys told me they wanted.  I got basic models.  No frills.  We've had one with bluetooth before and every time you turned it on it had this super loud chime that cannot be turned off or turned down.  It is startlingly loud.  And my kids are on and off those things all day.  So we did not want that.

I expected my order to ship the next day since that's what was broadcast all over their website but knew that if it shipped a day or two late, it would be fine.  I had plenty of time.  And I was all proud of myself for knocking that out so early in the game!  I knew that was their biggest want this Christmas so I was happy to get that checked off the list.

And then I waited.  And waited and waited.  I won't get into all the back and forth with this company but let's just say that I was told 3 different times that my order would ship within 24-48 hours in the 3 weeks that followed.  And it took me finally going onto their Facebook page and leaving my story on every post on their page (including pictures saying "Ships within 2-3 days!" HA!) before someone finally took me seriously.  For the record, I wasn't the only one having issues.

I placed my order on November 23rd.  My order arrived December 22nd.  Not sure what happened to that same-day shipping.  I'm just so glad I threw a fit all over their FB page or else they'd probably still be sitting there.  This was just one mom fail that I could NOT handle and I'm not ashamed to say I went full-on Mama Bear with them.  They were not going to ruin Christmas morning for my kids.  I was LIVID.  And I'm a pretty easy-going and understanding person when it comes to this stuff.  But incompetence coupled with being flat-out lied to numerous times tipped me over the edge.

Yes, they apologized.  They said they were even sending me free carrying cases for the hoverboards too.  (Still waiting...  Should we place bets on if they'll ever actually show up??)  But the final straw was when I opened the boxes and realized they sent me the wrong red hoverboard.  After all that, they couldn't even bother to make sure they got my order right?  Really?  It's not like it was a complicated order.

So instead of identical boards in different colors, I got one fancy red one and one basic blue one.  So that was fun trying to explain to Mason why his wasn't as "cool" as Matthew's.  And the red one is a Bluetooth one and is so loud every time it comes on. Imagine a woman with a French accent saying "The Bluetooth device is ready to pair" at top volume every single time you turn it on.  And there's no off switch to the Bluetooth or her voice.  After a ton of googling, the only thing I can find is that I can take off the cover and somehow disable the speaker.  Yeah right.  Like I could do that without the possibility of completely destroying the whole thing.

Anyway, is a big NOOOOOOO!!!!  Don't do it.  There were so many other people on their FB page complaining about the same things I was and of course, they have now all been deleted.  I really hope people find this if they search "ewheelsusa reviews" or something like that. I'd love to save someone else the headache.


So I have to ask....what was a big hit at your house this Christmas?!  I'm always looking for new ideas!!

And tomorrow is another CONFESSIONS link up!  What do you need to get off your chest??  Spill it, girl!!  This would be a great time to share some New Year's Resolutions and possibly confess that you are terrible at keeping resolutions...  Not that I know anything about that.  ;)

I saw this on Pinterest and thought it was so funny!!

And last but not least, if you have emailed me about anything lately and haven't heard back from me please try again!!  I had over 21,000 emails and tried to delete a bunch the other day and I think I lost several from people waiting for responses.  Crap.  I'm so sorry.  (This is why I never delete my emails!  Lesson learned.)  I'm specifically looking for the girl who emailed me about her package being ruined during transit so if that's you, email me again!  

Also, if you ordered coffee samples and are getting cheesy emails from me, they are automated emails.  I didn't write them.  I don't know how to stop them!  haha  Just don't want y'all to think I'm personally sending you infomercial type follow-up emails.  That's not my style.  But you CAN reply to them if you need to ask me anything and I'll get your email.  I'm so glad so many of y'all (over 80 now!) have loved your samples so much you've come back for the tub!  The infomercial type emails may be cheesy but the coffee is legit. ;)  

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can read the post HERE.
See you back here tomorrow!!

Linking up with Shooting Stars Mag!



  1. We loved Wonder. Great Book and Great Movie.
    I need those socks/slippers in my life.
    My pj pants arrived last night. I hope they are not a total flop!

    1. Let me know how you like them! Most people are saying they love them so I don't feel too bad! And yes, those slippers are AMAZING!!

  2. Great topic. We all have "wins" and "fails" at gift giving and I love to hear about others.
    I am sooooo sad to hear about the pants being a fail. I ordered some after reading your review (not your fault!!) and I have not received them yet. Maybe since I don't have the best ones, I won't really know the difference.
    Can't wait to read your confessions tomorrow...another great topic ;)

  3. That What do you Meme game sounds hysterical and so much fun! I received my personalized travel mug yesterday and I love it! The font and pattern are perfect. :)

  4. Oh wow, sorry about the hoverboards! Definitely not a good company - sheesh! That's awesome your boys like getting books as gifts. Wonder is SUCH a good one. I still need to see the movie though. I'm actually having a Christmas Gift Reveal link-up tomorrow if you want to share this one. :)


  5. My 8 year old received the Garmin vivofit too!! He has LOVED it so far, and likes to tell me how many steps he has in every.chance.he gets. :) I had to buy the watch type bands, and the 3 for $10.00 was a great deal!!

  6. Sorry you had so much trouble with the hover boards! I had a similar experience with my Husband's shoes I ordered him for his birthday (beginning of December). They got here two week after his birthday! lol The kid "fitbit" style watches are so cool too! I love that they are behavior management without kids really even realizing it!

  7. Your stuffs are so cute. Perfect gifts for kids! Thanks for sharing.


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