Five Awesome Surprises for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is coming up, so pull out all the stops to make your hubby feel special this year with these fun surprises. Your devoted hubby deserves to feel all of your love on his special day, and you can really knock his socks off with out-of-the-norm present ideas and shockers he’ll remember for years.

father's day gift ideas

  1. For the Vino Guy

If your husband loves wine, plan a fun winery trip where you both can taste delicious pinot noir, cabernet, and winery-specific blends. Dress up for the day, and spend some long hours gazing at beautiful vineyards while sipping away. If you can’t attend the winery on Father’s Day, break the fun news to him about your plans by presenting him with a customized bottle of wine from Etching Expressions. Tie a hand-drawn coupon to the neck of the bottle: “Good for one trip to the winery of your choice”. It’s a two-part present that he will adore and never expect.

  1. Take Part in His Favorite Hobby

Maybe you and your hubby don’t always have the same interest in hobbies, but Father’s Day is one day out of the year where all of his favorite things become all of your favorite things. Surprise him by purchasing a ticket to a game that you know he’d love to see, head to the golf course with him to whack away, or strap on that helmet and head into the batting cages. He’ll get to do the things he loves most with the person he loves most, and your thoughtfulness and selflessness will be a sentimental touch to an already wonderful day. Showing interest in what he loves is sure to make him feel cherished and validated.

  1. Whisk Him Away

Take your husband on a surprise weekend trip and get away from the stresses of real life. Sometimes we let so many other things get in the way of quality time together, and a quick vacation could be just what the two of you need to reignite that spark in your relationship. If you can’t afford to be away for an entire weekend, or your budget makes traveling just a bit out of reach, why not plan a staycation at a local hotel? Order a room last-minute on, head there early to fill the room with decadent snacks and any other things you think you’ll need, then wrap up a hotel key card and present it to him over dinner. Getting away from home can give the celebration an air of mystery and capture that excitement from the beginning of your relationship.

  1. A Visit from His Family

If you and your husband live far from his parents, siblings, or any other close loved ones, he likely misses them a lot. If you have enough time to plan a reunion, get in contact with his family members and friends and see what you can do to orchestrate a visit from his favorite people. If you find it too difficult to get all of them to you, do the opposite and plan a visit for the two of you to go out and see them. Present your husband with the tickets and watch his face light up when he realizes your plans. Even if it’s not for a date until way in the future, anticipation is half the fun.

  1. A Special Event

What’s your guy passionate about? Is he a musical savant that knows new songs before anyone else? Maybe he’s a sports buff that rattles off stats like he is the coach of his favorite team. Whatever he loves, try and find a special event in your area that reflects his passions. Check out to find tickets for an upcoming concert or game that you know he’ll love to watch, and wait until the night of to surprise him with them. Drive the two of you to the venue and watch as he slowly understands what’s happening—the reveal is half the fun anyway.




[Post sponsored by Purple Camel Media]

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19 Practical Gifts for Kids

When birthdays and Christmas approach, our family and friends often ask for gift ideas for the kids. Having four kids generally means four of each thing and it’s easy to become overwhelmed with “stuff”. I’m not against them receiving new toys, but there are also many non-toy options that are practical and loved by the kids.  I also try to keep budget in mind when others ask  for suggestions. As with anything, a favorite character or color always sweetens the deal.  At this time, our girls are interested in anything princess while the boys like superheroes, pirates, and vehicles.  If you are the parent of a toddler or preschooler, or are shopping for one this season, consider some of our favorites.




Earlier this season, we invested in rain boots and rain coats for the kids and they were worth every penny.  Their new gear has been practical on the many soggy days we experienced this fall, and I think they will work for the few snow days we’ll see.  The kids are also really proud of their gear and how easy it is for them to put on and take off themselves.  They often choose to wear rain boots even on sunny dry days, which is fine by me since they don’t need any help.



DIY no skid toddler slippers

Our kids are experts at stalling bedtime, but they have a few creature comforts that seem to help.  Right now, the girls prefer wearing “dressy” nightgowns that look more like dress up clothes than pajamas.  When our friends babysat one night, they thought the girls were trying to bamboozle them into allowing dresses for bed rather than pajamas.  The boys aren’t as picky, but they have pajamas with capes attached that are super cute.  Since we have a lot of tile in our house, the kids also like wearing slippers to keep their tootsies cozy.

Each of our kids sleeps with a dream lite pet that projects stars onto the ceiling at night.  It helps them drift off to sleep, and is also comforting to them if they wake up in the night.  The kids haven’t slept in sleeping bags overnight yet, but we’ve found them handy for family movie night, sick days, and time with the grandparents.  We are also practicing sleeping on them for the day we finally take our first road trip.




The quads enjoy bath time and don’t mind brushing their teeth, but they prefer hooded bath towels and brush their teeth longer with power toothbrushes.  They also enjoy wearing plush bath robes before and after bath, or anytime they feel chilled in the house.  I have been surprised by how often they ask to wear their robes.



Family Movie Night

The kids are only allowed to eat in the living room for family movie night, and for those occasions, they use a lap tray to keep things tidy.  Their lap trays are also handy for art projects and table top tasks such as puzzles or magnets.  Since they share almost everything, the kids like having their own personal character dishes and cups that are not shared.  Since the kids are getting too big to use our favorite sippy cups, we have replaced them with lidded, insulated cups with a straw they cannot easily remove.



Last Christmas a family friend gave the quads money to put towards activities.  We enrolled them in summer recreational dance classes and purchased the necessary attire for it with the money.  If your child will be attending preschool or participating in an activity, either the supplies or money to pay for the activity itself could be on the wish list.




Our kids benefit from getting out of the house to explore the world, but taking four kids out for something simple like ice cream can be expensive.  We have greatly appreciated gift cards to local eateries and memberships to local attractions.  Our kids also enjoy checking the mail everyday to see if their monthly magazine subscription has arrived.  I often toss their magazines in my purse for waiting rooms, the car, or when we visit others.  They are full of stories and activities to occupy them.


  •  Memberships or tickets for local theme parks, zoos, or museums

  • Gift cards to restaurants with play areas

  • Movie Tickets

  • Magazine Subscriptions


When it comes to shopping for young children, gifts don’t have to be expensive or extravagant.  With the exception of memberships, all of the items on our list are under $30, with most in the $10-$15 range.  Sometimes it’s the little things kids appreciate most.  And, more importantly, we set the example for giving and receiving gifts with our children.   Happy Shopping!






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QMBFF Christmas Morning

I am grateful for the time I recently spent in Lake Tahoe with four of the most incredible mothers I know.  The bond between us is unique and unparalleled.  Now that we are back home, I’m really appreciating the gift exchange we had while in Tahoe.  After we settled into the cabin, we used the dining room table to splay out piles of gifts for each other.  We only see each other once each year so I suppose it’s like Christmas/ Birthday/ Thinking of You gifts all rolled into one. And, we were like a gaggle of children on Christmas morning as we ripped through tissue and proudly displayed our goodies.

QMBFF trip

Amber made handstamped necklaces like the ones crafted for her Etsy Shop, Texas Take and ordered gorgeous cookies from a triplet mom, Sugar Coma Cookies. Ashley designed custom shirts that read

Amber created beautiful hand stamped necklaces reading “QMBFF”, which is the acronym we created for our little group (e.g. “Quad Mom Best Friends Forever).  We proudly wore our necklaces the entire trip, and I wear mine almost daily now.  She has a knack for jewelery making and sells customized pieces in her Etsy Shop,Texas Take.  In fact, the girls proudly wear the bubble gum Minnie Mouse necklaces I ordered as stocking stuffers.  She also ordered an assortment of personalized cookies made by a mother of triplets at Sugar Coma Cookies.  Mary, the cookier, has been crafting gorgeous cookies for only about a year and I’m always blown away by not only the art involved, but the fact that they are delicious.  I often find that pretty cookies don’t necessarily taste great, but hers are buttery and thick with a hint of citrus.

Ashley embroidered custom t-shirts that read “Raising Quads. #neveradullmoment #qmbffs get it”, which we wore on our Treetop Adventure.  Other custom items can be purchased from her shop, Sweet Dumpling Boutique.

custom made QMBFF shirts by Apple Dumpling Boutique

Becky packaged a trifecta of goodies including a book she’s raved about, No More Perfect Moms. I haven’t cracked it yet, but “No more perfect moms” has become a bit of a mantra for us.  Amongst our group, we are totally open with each other about our day to day struggles, misgivings, and frustrations.  We accept each other for who we are, and inspire each other to be strong mothers and wives without having unrealistic expectations.  When one of us feels down, another will restate, “No more perfect moms!!!”  In addition to the book, she gifted us healing salve (I later learned works wonders on ezcema and my uuber dry hands) and body butter from her sister’s shop, Cindy’s Suds.

No More Perfect Moms and Cindy's Suds

Krista’s gift bag consisted of some of her favorite items including a Norwex baby microfiber wash cloth, Signature Soy Island Coconut candle, eos Organic Lip Balm, and Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail Polish. I’m admittedly impressed by the wash cloth.  It’s a microfiber cloth that with warm water alone removes water soluble make up while gently exfoliating. It was serendipity for me since I didn’t have space in my quart size bag for face wash.  I used my cloth the entire trip.   Apparently it’s also antimicrobial so it doesn’t get that funk rags usually harbor.  I should really order a set for the quads.

We burned one of the candles during the trip and the aroma is now nostalgic of our trip for me.  I’ve burned mine daily so only about half remains…I’ll be hitting Target for another soon.  Please note, if you put such a candle in your carry on luggage, TSA will search your bag and riffle through your dirty laundry. Not cool.  Not cool at all.

I’ve been a huge fan of the insta dri nail polish since the girls were about a year old and I started painting their toe nails.  Rylin was ecstatic to find we had a new color in our collection.  In fact, I’ve already painted her finger and toe nails twice.  Rylin also loves using my special lip balm from Krista.  She often requests to use “that lipstick from Krista”.  I can’t blame her though, the strawberry scent is divine and it’s really smooth.


Of course, my gift to the girls was a picture frame decorated with our respective states that read, “Distance meas so little when friendship means so much.”  They displayed their picture frames on the window sill behind the dining room table during the trip, and it made things seem cozy.

DIY sharpie picture frames

Don’t forget to pop by the girls’ blogs for their versions of the trip:

Texas Tales by Amber

Our Multiples Journey by Becky

The Littlest Lesnaus by Krista



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