The Busy Giffs: September 2016

September 26, 2016

Looking at a New School Year! Review

Disclaimer: I was offered product to facilitate my review, however all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

It's crazy to think that the first month of school is already over. 
The forecast calls for cooler 60 degree days this week, I made caramel apples with Emma over the weekend, and we put away the summer outdoor furniture already. Summer is gone and Fall is here.  

I've been loving the addition of some fall pieces. My buttery soft LulaRoe leggings, the swing dresses from Old Navy that I've been living in, and the vanilla chai in the morning! Yum! Add in my new Scout tote for school, a new planner, a new Vera Bradley lunchbox, and it was time to update my eye glasses as well. 

I usually hate going to get glasses. The eye exam, the dilation; I even have a freckle on one of my eye balls so it's always a big deal to check out. After the exam, it's time to pick out the glasses and that might be even harder.  First, you get a tray and put on like 20 different glasses because you don't know what looks best and then you pick a pair you like, only to find out it's $500 or $600 for that with your lenses! Yikes!

Thankfully, finding glasses online is the new way to shop. had a great selection of frames and I was able to find multiple pairs I liked that fit into my budget, then even have prescription sunglasses in addition to regular glasses

Ordering was super easy. The hardest part was picking out which glasses to order but I was excited for a pair of wayfarer style navy glasses. 

Once I picked out my style, I added it to the cart and was able to input my prescription from my eye doctor! I was even able to make my lens photochromic so they can adjust indoors and outdoors or polarize them! The company offers a variety of lens materials and coatings such as UV, scratch protective, etc to really get the best glasses you can. Check out took only a few minutes and no surprise costs!

I'm going to make it even easier for you and give out a special coupon code GSHOT50 just for my readers! You will get 50% off on eyeglasses and sunglasses with FREE lenses (sale frames excluded)!!!

Be sure to tweet or Snap (heathgiff) me a picture of your new frames!

xo, Heather

September 16, 2016

Fairies in Our House!

Five is such a magical age.  Everything is awe inspiring and anything is possible.  Emmalee has been in love with fairies this summer. We love to sit on our front porch and look for lightening bugs.  She is convinced they are fairies she can make magic wishes to.  Her wishes are always the cutest; wishes like "I wish we could watch fairies forever" and "I wish I had a fairy for my very own", adorable right?

I was super excited when I had the opportunity to meet The Irish Fairy Door Company at Blogger Bash a couple of weeks ago and even more thrilled when they asked Emmalee if she wanted an Irish Fairy Door to set up in her own room!

The Irish Fairy Door is amazing and there are so many door styles and add ons like wall art and garden accessories! You can purchase them on their website, or through my affiliate link on Amazon.

The first step is to set up your Irish Fairy Door, and leave the key by it.  Then you log onto the computer and enter your special code, letting the fairies know that you are ready for them.  When the key has disappeared, a fairy has moved in! Emmalee was so excited to set it up but in her logical little mind, she couldn't understand where the fairy's door led to, since her mind, there was no actual house.  We talked about magic and how it is hidden and only fairies could see it, and while she was excited after understanding, she was sad she didn't have a fairy house to watch the fairies in.

Thankfully, there's another company that can give Emmalee even more fairies in her life! Dreamland Fairy offers a paint your own fairy home and an adorable, plush 6" Fairy!

You can buy the items from their website or through my affiliate link on Amazon.  I love that Dreamland Fairy allows Emma to believe in the magic of fairies, but also let's her be creative through art and pretend play with the fairy doll.

Both fairy products offer hours of imaginative play and cost under $25! The fairy doll is only $9! At such a great price point, it's easy to get both!

I can't wait to see Emma' face in the morning when she sees that the fairy has moved in!

xo, Heather

September 15, 2016

Beautycounter at Target

Beautycounter is at Target!
This is not just any makeup. Beautycounter’s mission is “to get safer products into the hands of everyone,” and now there is a limited edition mass market line of some of their favorite products. 
The items range from $12-$39 and you can see if they are available at your local Target here.   

The Rosewater Mist is the perfect "get fresh quick" spray and honestly, what more do you need than a good blush/bronzer combo and lip color? Add in some mascara and that's my morning make up routine!

I'm so excited that Target will be offering such a high quality, "good for my skin", product in its stores!
Go check it out and let me know what your favorite product is!

xo, Heather

September 14, 2016

Grab and Go Apple Pies

Single serve, individual, apple pie,

I love love love September, or as I call it, apple month.  It is the little bit of time I get before pumpkin spice everything takes over.  I am in love with the smells of September, the leaves, the crock pot meals, and my favorite, apple pie.  My problem with apple pie is that if I make an apple pie, there's an entire pie staring at me, and honestly, I lack the willpower to say no.

These individual sized, easy to grab and go apple pies are the perfect way to limit your pie consumption, and since you can eat them in your hand, you don't need any plate or silverware!

They are so easy to make and only require a few ingredients.

You need:
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
6 cups thinly sliced pared apples
1 package of refrigerated pie crust
Preheat oven to 400*.
Mix all the ingredients together and then add the apples. Mix until all are coated in the cinnamon mix.
Using a large 3" circle cutter, cut out the pie crust.  I used the scraps, rolled them together and then cut out more, giving me 16 circles. 
Put half on a baking sheet and scoop 1/4 cup of the apple mixture into the middle.
Top with a second pie circle and using a fork, press the edges into each other. Also, cut a vent into the top of the pie, I did 4 to make an x, but 1 single cut is fine too. 
Sprinkle a little bit more cinnamon on top of the pie.
Cook for 12-15 minutes or until pie is brown.

We barely let them cool before we started eating them! Ha!
Emma asked for ice cream with her so instead of eating it with our hands, we drizzled some caramel and added a scoop of ice cream. So so good!

Apple pie is my favorite, but I'm sure you could make these with blueberry, peach, or cherry!
Let me know which flavor you make!

xo, Heather

September 5, 2016

Newest Obsessions: LuLaRoe and Plexus

So unless you live under a rock, you've probably heard about LuLaRoe.
I kept hearing about it last year from a coworker and then from another woman at dance, but I was skeptical. Buying clothes off a computer screen has rarely worked out for my very curvy proportions.

A family friend messaged me saying she was having an in-home party and if I wanted to come try out some items, I could, with no pressure to buy. Oh my gosh, I don't know why I said yes... it was life changing.

LuLaRoe clothes are seriously the softest articles of clothing I've ever touched. I started with a pair of plain black leggings and blue striped Randy top. Simple, easy to wear pieces. Then I went to another party and added in a couple more solid color Irma tops.

And now I have multiple leggings, multiple tops, a handful of dresses and skirts, and I'm in like 42 LuLaRoe Facebook groups. It's an addiction yall. LuLaRoe has harnessed the power of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and wrapped it into a clothing company.  Unlike other home sales where every consultant has the same stuff, LuLaRoe makes a limited number of every print/style combo and then randomly ships out to the consultants.  Consultants can't request prints, only sizes and styles so you can end up shopping from 14 different consultants because they all have different inventory.  This means, if you see something you have to grab it because you may never see it again. This mentality is what drives us to be crazy!

I will say, the best thing to do is host a party. The consultant will come to your house and you invite all your friends so they can fall in love. Or you can host a Facebook Pop Up Party and do it from the comfort of everyone's living rooms. I love the in home party because people can touch the clothes and really understand the amazing. Also, by hosting, you get free items! I was able to build my LuLaRoe wardrobe even more by hosting both an in-home party with Kristin's LuLaRoe Lover Boutique and an online party with LuLaRoe by Sarah and Angela .

I'm anxiously waiting for my friend Erin (LuLaRoe Erin Murad) to host her first in-home party this weekend and my other friend Carol (LuLaRoe with Carol Dotts VIP) is anxiously awaiting her shipment! I love that I can support multiple friends, because like I said before, they all have different inventory!

LuLaRoe isn't just for women, there is a child's line as well and these clothes literally fit everyone.  A coworker wears the kid's cardigans and the TC leggings fit up to a 22/24! Each piece fits a bit different so it's easy to find at least one you love on!

I promise you, you will not regret going to a LuLaRoe party!

And, since we're talking about amazing companies that basically sell from mom to mom, you have to check out Plexus while you're at it. I had NEVER heard of it until a blogging friend reached out and asked if I wanted to give it a try. Her daughter is almost the same age as Tyler, and seriously, this woman is so put together, and energetic, and skinny, and yes, I wanted to know her secret so I immediately said yes!

She started me out with the "pink drink" and the Accelerator +. Individually, each is designed to help with weight management, but together, I was told I would see some real loss!
The pink drink is easy.  Add the small package to a 20 oz glass of water each morning, 30 minutes before you eat anything else. I took my Accelerator + pills at the same time.

In 2 weeks, I saw a loss of 8 lbs and all I did was start drinking that! No other amounts of exercise or dieting.

More than losing the actual pounds, I just felt so good. Like really good. It's when I posted all the pictures from New York City, and since, I've just been so happy. I know that a "pink drink" can't really change my mood but I felt so good while drinking it that it came out through every way possible including my emotions. It's a great addition to your routine and it tastes good! I've tried a TON of these types of things and this is seriously my favorite.  How many of you can say you genuinely feel good every day?

Have you heard of LuLaRoe or Plexus before? Try them out and let me know what you think!


September 1, 2016

McDonald's and Kids in the Kitchen #McDKidsintheKitchen

 I received compensation from McDonald’s in exchange for writing this review. Although this is a sponsored post, all opinions my own.

Last week, Emmalee and I were invited to the Natick McDonald's to hear about the great changes McDonald's has made it to it's menu. McDonald's has really been stressing their commitment to nutrition and well-being, which flips the fast food idea that many have had for years.

Some of the changes McDonald's has made includes using a Spring Mix in it's salads, rather than just locally sourced iceberg lettuce,  making burgers with 100% ground beef that has no additives , and Grade A fresh eggs, literally all things found in my own refrigerator.  Additionally, McDonald's has moved to artificial preservative and antibiotic free chicken breast meat. It's important that my kids get the same caliber of food I offer at home when we head out for McDonald's.

We started out our day with McDonald's listening to a nutritionist talk to the kids about healthy foods and choices, even going over what should be on their plate at each meal. It's a nice visual for kids so they can take ownership in what they are eating.

You can't spend all morning talking about Happy meals and then not get one, right? I really loved the idea that a Happy Meal doesn't have to be the full meal, you can add in more veggies and manipulate the food a bit to be sure you're getting all your servings!

Emmalee loves the chicken nuggets and added a Chocolate milk, apple slices, and a yogurt to her meal to up the nutritional value.
Instead of eating the chicken nuggets right out of the box, we made little wrap sandwiches, using romaine lettuce leaves, tomatoes, cucumbers, shredded cheese, and cut up chicken nuggets.  We topped ours with Ranch dressing before folding them up to eat!

It was such a great way to eat a classic Happy Meal, that packed an even better for you punch of veggies!

I'm so excited about the changes that have happened at McDonald's; I am more excited to bring my children there now, knowing that they are getting meats that have no extra additives in them, and knowing that they can opt for better for you choices!

What do you think about the changes? Are you more apt to swing by McDonald's now that these changes are in place?

xo Heather

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