The Best Gift Ideas For Mother’s Day – Everything Your Momma Needs

Our mothers are the most important women in our lives.  By nature, they give selflessly and relentlessly, from the moment we are born until they take their last breath.  We go to them for advice, recipes, babysitting needs and life-hacks in general.  They’re honest, thoughtful, kind and caring and notorious for surprising us with the most amazing gifts.  So, why is it that we have such a hard time deciding what to buy THEM for Mother’s Day each year?  Maybe it’s because nothing we can think of even comes close to showing how valuable they truly are?!  Well, this year we’re here to make gift giving a little easier for you!  We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite items that mothers are sure to love.  Whether you’re shopping for a new mom, a minivan momma or a veteran mom, we’ve got you covered!

New Mom

1. Fit Bit – There are numerous styles and colors available; some options are up to 50% off for Mother’s Day!

 

 

2. Purse – Here are some of our favorite styles and brands (different price points available.)

Colorblock Rivet Lockbox Satchel

Mint Green Fold Over Saddlebag

Navy/Camel/White Color Block Clutch

Rose Pink Coach Shoulder Bag

 

 

3. Silky Robe – Think *something to wear while your self-tanner dries*

 

 

4. Insulated Tumbler – Whether you like it hot or cold, this cute tumbler has you covered.

 

 

MiniVan Mom

1.  Massage or Mani/Pedi Gift Card

 

 

2.  Perfume

Coco Chanel

Victoria Secret Very Sexy

 

 

3. Tote – The catch-all for bibs, sippy cups, shin guards, bows, shoes in various sizes; basically all the things we need to run our household!

Brown Leather (Alert: this can be monogrammed!)

Cooler

 

 

4. Sunglasses – Stay trendy with tortoise shell frames and mirrored lenses, in these nearly indestructible frames (toddler tested, you guys).

 

 

Veteran Mom

1.  Outdoor Potted Flowers (found at your local greenhouse.)  Yard art and decorative landscaping items are also a fun option!

 

 

2. Bracelet

Initial

Alex + Ani

 

 

3. Portable Steamer – While practical, we think this is perfect for the on-the-go mom!

 

 

4. Bath Bombs – The absolute ULTIMATE in relaxation; buy one or in a set.

 

Let us know what you are getting your mom, this Mother’s Day, in the comments below!

XOXO,

Jill + Lauren

(Affiliate links included)

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One Month Anniversary – Target Gift Card Giveaway!!

In honor of Glitter Jungle’s ONE MONTH anniversary, we are giving away a $20 Target gift card! We want to thank you all for the awesome love and support we’ve received since starting the blog. We have had a ball sharing our stories, favorite things (*cue Oprah*), product reviews and tips with you.

To enter, subscribe to Glitter Jungle (if you are on a mobile device, it’s at the bottom of the page), share this post (either on Facebook or Twitter via the button at the bottom of the post), and comment with your favorite type of blog post (e.g. fashion, product reviews, personal stories, etc)! One winner will be selected at random and announced Friday morning at 8 eastern standard time!

XOXO,

Jill + Lauren

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Get Fit With Jill; Everything You Need For A High Energy Home Workout

As most of you already know, exercise is my sanity.  It is the perfect stress reliever for me, and when I go a few days without getting a good sweat in, I become a total bear!  Like, woah! (sorry family.)  So many times in the past I’ve slacked on my exercise schedule because, well, life happened.  Like most of you, i’m crazy busy; everyone around here has  a ‘schedule’, even the toddler.  There are always a million things to do and getting to the gym seems impossible at times.  2017 has been a great year for me so far, and a huge part of that success can be attributed to the fact that momma’s been getting her workouts in!   Not only do I look better, but I feel better; on the inside and outside.  Exercise is not only good for you physically, but it’s also good for you mentally and emotionally.  I’m not going to lie though, it’s not been easy.  So many times I’ve thought about making excuses, but I’ve tried really hard to push myself and get in a good workout at least 3-4 times a week.  Here’s  the crazy thing – nearly all of these workouts have been in the privacy of my own home.  Don’t get me wrong,  I AM a gym person and I love group classes.  I’ve had a Y membership for as long as I can remember and CrossFit is one of my all time favorite workouts.  However, it’s not always easy to make it to a class.  Often times my workouts don’t even happen until the kids are in bed, sometimes that may be 9 p.m. or later.  So I’ve found that home workouts are best for me at this stage in life.  I incorporate a lot of Crossfit style moves (body movement workouts) into my regular routine along with some small mobile equipment.  Below is a review of my favorite moves and home equipment.

 

My Favorite Equipment:

1.  Jump Rope – I start nearly every workout with jumping rope.  It’s great cardio and gets your blood pumping quickly!  Within just a few minutes you’ll be sweating and breathless.  For beginners, I would suggest the normal technique for jumping rope (jumping with both feet at one time with your knees slightly flexed.)  I love to change up my jumping routine often.  Sometimes i’ll swivel my core and lower body from side-to-side, sometimes i’ll alternate jumping on only one foot, and sometimes i’ll do a jumping jack motion with my feet (feet going together then apart.)  This breaks up the monotony and makes it fun!  Here’s a tip – do NOT purchase a jump rope that is made of actual “rope.”  You’ll want a rope that is made of a plastic/rubber substance – one that is made for speed.

Rogue Fitness Jump Rope

 

2.  Kettlebell – The Kettlebell is a great full body workout.  The kettlebell swing, if done properly, can be felt in your back, core, shoulders, butt and thighs.  It can be used many ways: the traditional kettlebell swing, it can be lifted one handed, and you can also use it for weighted squats.  There are many sizes/weights of kettlebells available.  (If you’re new to using a kettlebell, I would suggest starting out light and working your way up – maybe start around 10-15 pounds.  The kettlebells I use are 20lbs and 35lbs.)  There are also many home workout videos that do a full kettlebell workout, and trust me, you’ll feel the burn.

Golds Gym Kettlebell

Iron Core Kettlebell Workout DVD

 

3. Dumbbells – I have several different sizes of dumbbells that I use daily.  I use lighter weight dumbbells for high-rep exercises – usually to accompany some type of cardio move.  You can also use them while taking a brisk walk.  Although 3 lbs sounds really light, I promise you’ll feel muscle fatigue if you continuously use them for an extended amount of time!  I save the heavier dumbbells for low-rep movements that are targeting a specific area.   I use 3 lb, 5 lb, 10lb, 15lb and 20lb dumbbells.  (For the men, and super strong ladies, you may want to go even heavier.)

Light Weight Dumbbells

Heavy Weight Dumbbells

 

4.  Stability Ball – The stability ball can be used in SO many ways.  Sit-ups, pushups, legwork, core work; you name it and the stability ball can probably aid with the movement.  The stability ball also relieves pressure while making most moves more challenging, yet comfortable.  Another favorite of mine is the medicine ball.  The medicine ball is a weighted ball that can be used for squats and the infamous “wall balls” exercise.  If you’re unfamiliar, google this movement.  It’s the ultimate squat workout; however, you’ll either need very high ceilings or you’ll have to take this exercise outside!

Stability Ball

Medicine Ball

 

5.  Neoprene Waist Trimmer – My neoprene “sweat band” (as I so lovingly call it) is one of my most prized possessions!  Like a lot of people, my mid section is always my problem area.  Two c-sections later and momma will never have abs again.  During a normal workout, I don’t feel like my core sweats that much.  But when I wear my neoprene waist trimmer, ohh my lanta!  It’s on like Donkey Kong.  It maximizes the intensity of the workout dramatically; I never exercise without it.  (I will note, this product will heat your body up quickly!  Make sure to stay hydrated and make sure that you are healthy enough to use this product.)  Now prepare for the water works!

Neoprene Waist Trimmer

 

6.  Insanity: Fast And The Furious DVD – When I’m short on time but need to get a really good workout in, my go-to is “Insanity Fast And The Furious” DVD.  This exercise video is only 20 minutes, including the warm up and cool down, but it will kick your booty!  You will be dripping the sweat when you get done.  And best of all, there is no equipment involved and you really don’t even need that much room!  I highly suggest this product, and anything else Shaun T puts out.  He’s a beast!

 

Insanity Fast And The Furious DVD

 

My Favorite At Home Exercises:

  1. Squats
  2. Burpees
  3. Push Ups
  4. Lunges
  5. Kettlebell Swings
  6. Jump Rope
  7. Mountain Climbers
  8. Yoga/PiYo
  9. Planks
  10. Tuck Jump

I hope this information was helpful and I hope it gets you moving!  I’d love to hear about your favorite workout routines.  Feel free to comment below with any questions you may have.

XOXO

Jill

(Affiliate links included.)

Disclaimer: These are strictly my opinions.  I am NOT a personal trainer or fitness instructor.  These are simply exercises that have worked well for me.  Before starting a new workout routine you should consult with your physician.

 

 

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Healthy Food Your Family Will Actually Eat – Korean Style Spinach

Spinach.  What a polarizing little vegetable. For those of you who love it, great! For those of you who add a little to your salad to be healthy, I hear ya.  In either case, I am about to change your life with a family recipe.

Here is a disclaimer: I’m not a great cook.  I am more of a baker.  I like the precise measurements and the predictability of baking.  However, when I got up the courage to attempt some of my favorite Korean recipes (with frequent Face Time calls with my mom), I couldn’t believe how easy they are! This spinach recipe is pretty easy and SO tasty that it has won over some of the most picky eaters I know. Delicious, healthy food with little effort? Um, check yes!

Here’s how to make it!

Prep time: 10 mins (or less) / Cook time: 10 minutes / Servings: 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of baby spinach (or 2 small bundles of fresh spinach)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon of minced garlic (or 1 to 2 clove(s) of garlic, finely chopped)
  • 1 bundle of green onions
  • 1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon of sesame seed
  • 1 pinch of sugar

Tip: If your spinach is looking too “wet” start adding less of each ingredient.  Taste it as you go (I hate doing this, but it’s the only way).

First, bring water to a boil.

 

 

Then, pour the spinach into the water.

 

 

Make sure and submerge all of the spinach and stir (bring the bottom to the top and vice versa). This should take about 30 seconds.  Immediately after, strain the spinach and run cold water over it, while gently tossing.

 

 

After, squeeze all of the liquid out of the spinach. This will take a minute or so, but getting as much excess water out as possible will make everything taste better.

 

 

Next, add the soy sauce, garlic, green onions, sesame oil, sesame seed, and sugar.

Don’t let the tablespoon fool ya, I only used half of it.

 

The purist method calls for actual garlic cloves. Who has time for that?? This minced garlic is a super easy substitute.

 

I used all of this, however, feel free to add as little or as much as you want.

 

It’s best to slice these pretty small (I could have gone even smaller…)

 

Sesame Oil gives me LIFE! You can find this in the “asian” section of any grocery store.  It generally comes in a much smaller bottle. (I inherited this industrial size from my mom.)

 

Toasting the sesame seed gives it a little extra oomph! However, you can use it without toasting.

Mix with YOUR HANDS! Apparently, if you don’t do this is will not be that awesome…something about 손맛, “son-mat” (Google it sometime).

 

 

Add this mixture to a plate, garnish with a little more sesame seed, refrigerate for about 30 mins (or eat it right away because it will smell so good that you can’t wait).

 

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

XOXO,

Lauren

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Sneak Peak Into Our Wild Easter Weekend

Here’s a sneak peak into our lives this Easter weekend.  We enjoyed delicious food, amazing family time, soccer games, tons of outdoor play and countless Easter egg hunts.  I mean, how many times can a person hide eggs??  And whose bright idea was it to give toddlers easy access to several open containers of food coloring?!  Hello!  Hot mess express!  (Lifehack – Do this outside! Thank you moms with older kids for the tip.) There were lots of laughs, a busted lip, and some tears, but we loved spending every minute with the ones dearest to us.  Besides Easter baskets and cute clothes, let’s not forget the reason for the season, am I right?!  We would love to hear how you spent your Easter weekend and what your favorite memory is.  Comment below!

 

XOXO,

Jill & Lauren

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Surviving Dinner With Kids; Total Chaos

Remember when you were younger and spent weeks, or even MONTHS, planning for and anticipating your birthday? You obsessed over all the details – your outfit, your shoes, your hair and makeup. Who would be there to share it with you? Most importantly, what you would get?!? It’s funny how that all changes as you get older. Now that we are 30-somethings, birthdays seem a little less spectacular. This is probably due to the fact that we aren’t really focusing on ourselves that day. Birthdays are still fun and we get excited to have a little celebration, but now we have responsibilities and obligations. The carefree days of our 20’s are a thing of the past.

This weekend, we gathered with family and friends to celebrate John’s birthday (Lauren’s husband.) We had a great group of family and friends to dine with and many laughs were shared. John seemed to have a wonderful time; but, let’s face it, it was total chaos. Just imagine this scene: a restaurant with a cool, eclectic atmosphere (old school arcade upstairs) and gorgeous decor, add in a group of 20, throw four kids under 10 in the mix and a waitress who has never taken care of a group that big. Not to mention, the entire restaurant was severely understaffed, orders were misplaced, food was forgotten, drinks were spilled, and all of this was happening on a school night. This became an all-hands-on-deck situation. The kids were exhausted and Jill spent a significant amount of time in the restroom with her newly potty trained toddler!

Let’s be real, the madness actually started before we even left the house. There was a toddler who hated her outfit, another munchkin who didn’t want to get her hair fixed, and a frustrated husband who couldn’t find a parking spot. Just packing the diaper bag and making sure we had all of the “entertainment” for the kids was exhausting. Isn’t it funny how it always seems like the hardest part of going out is simply getting out the door? The night was a blur; a forever-long, baby feeding, toddler chasing, hunger induced, sunshiney blur. Did we even sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to him? (Yes, we did; but both of the toddlers thought it was about them and didn’t like the idea of celebrating someone else’s birthday – until one realized that it was his dad’s birthday.) Yes, things are crazy right now. No, we don’t get to have meaningful conversations very often or even FINISH a conversation. However, as we’re living this crazy thing called mom-life, the reality is, we are simply trying to cherish every moment before this precious time is gone.

XOXO

Jill & Lauren

P.S. – During our 3 hour “dining experience”, we had PLENTY of time to take selfies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Side Hustle – Video Marketing Edition

The side hustle for women has been prevalent for decades. It started out as Tupperware, makeup, and cleaning product parties; which were in addition to a full/part time job or staying at home watching the kids  (major respect). Now, it has exploded to literally everything!!  When we run out of a product or need an outfit, we don’t have to make a special trip to the Mall or beauty store. We can just tell our girlfriend, and she will bring over exactly what we need. Everywhere we look on social media, we see our entrepreneurial sisters, moms, aunts and friends selling products that they believe in; but most importantly, they are putting a little cash in their pockets! I’m sure we all have friends selling buttery soft leggings, lipsticks that last forever, skin products that de-age in a matter of days, healing oils, jewelry, brightly colored kids’ clothes, unique books, hair-bows, etc. Part of this product explosion is due to Facebook video marketing. While we are so proud of our family and friends for their initiative (girl WERK), I think we can all admit that some are marketing better than others. Trust me, I know it takes guts to get up there in front of the camera and show off your goods.  However, we can always strive to do better.

After extensive viewing of Facebook marketing videos, I recently noticed one of my friends that uses Facebook videos to market her product really well. I asked her about the tips and tricks she uses in hopes to keep pass on this knowledge to some of you.  To those of you that aren’t making Facebook videos, you get a little behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to make a really excellent amateur marketing video.

Here is a look into my chat with one of my besties, Melissa Moss:

1.What’s your product?

2. How many videos have you done so far? What kind of response have you found when you market with Facebook videos?

3. What makes you qualified to tell us about Facebook video marketing?

4. Why did you decide to use Facebook videos as a marketing tool?

5. What tips can you give us about shooting a Facebook video?

6. What products do you use?

Products used/recommended:

Smartphone Holder

iPhone Camera Tripod

Umbrella Lights

Peel and Stick Wallpaper

7. What are you wearing?

8. Facebook recorded video vs. Live Feed?

Melissa: “Live is good for great interaction.  I go live on Facebook so the customers can interact and ask questions as I go.  The downside to live is that your customers actually have to be online when you are.  Otherwise, it is just another video for them to view at their convenience. I’ve found that evenings or lunch time is ideal to catch your customers online; 2:00 p.m. is not ideal when people are working.  Live is also great to help build excitement over an announcement or if you want to just hop on to give a quick message that is better conveyed via live video rather than text or an image.  I believe that if you provide great and strong content via live video, folks will watch them.  If you are stumbling and mumbling about and only providing content that could be provided in a more efficient manner then you will lose his/her attention for that video and future videos.  Some tips: Rehearse quickly in a mirror before going live.  Attempt to minimize distractions (think ninja Momma on BBC…ha ha) and be confident in what you are saying.  Don’t apologize, just move forward with your message or demo.”

I hope this was helpful to you all.  I know it was for me!

If you are interested in taking a look at Melissa’s Facebook marketing videos, you can find them at her Facebook group: Melissa Moss ∼ Jewelry Lady. Anyone who joins her Facebook group will receive a $5.00 coupon for any item of jewelry.  Just mention the code: Glitter Jungle. You can also find her products at melissamoss.mypremierdesigns.com.

Let us know of any tips/trick or products that have made your lives easier when using Facebook video marketing! Keep up the hustle ladies!

xoxo,

Lauren

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Momma Got Her Groove Back

Parenting is mandatory, uncompensated employment that can bring you extreme highs and severely frustrating lows.  Every day we wake up hoping for the best while preparing ourselves for the worst.  As we mentally check off the laundry list of chores, errands and obligations that each day brings, we constantly find ourselves making sacrifices to simply get.things.done.  In true “momager” fashion, guess what goes on the chopping block first?!  ANYTHING that pertains to Mom.  We constantly red-shirt our own needs to make sure everyone else is cared for.  This instinct is as basic and primal as the urge to feed and protect our baby cubs.

By always putting our own needs on the back burner, we eventually end up feeling neglected, unappreciated and run down.  We let our hair color appointments go weeks past due until we’re literally hiding our roots with eyeliner and dry shampoo.  (You all do that too, RIGHT?!  Or is that just me?)  Months go by and we can’t even remember the last time we painted our nails.  Sometimes we’re still wearing a hint of last summer’s color on our toes in January.  Ponytails become the norm and makeup becomes a luxury we rarely indulge in.

After the birth of my second daughter, I went into survival mode.  Two children is no joke.  I can still remember the total panic I felt when my husband’s paternity leave came to an end and I knew I was going to be left alone with these two tiny, demanding, loud, needy but insanely sweet humans.  I can remember the postpartum  emotions and how everything made me cry.  I can remember the fear of knowing that I was responsible for keeping them alive!  Who trusted me with this kind of responsibility anyways?!

Those first few weeks were a real struggle.  A struggle trying to help baby adjust to the world and a struggle trying to help big sister adjust to the new screaming, pooping machine that we so kindly referred to as “the baby.” (For the love of everything holy, don’t make this mistake.  Call the baby by his/her proper name.)  It took us a while to realize just.how.much this upset our oldest daughter.   Everyone who had always treated her like a princess and put her on a pedestal was now suddenly stopping by our house to see “the baby.”  Big sister was getting very little attention while “the baby” was constantly oohh’d and aahh’d over.   To be honest, this took a toll on our oldest.  The good news is, we soon found our groove and things started to settle down; but those first few weeks were rough.

The further we got into this parenting multiple children thing, and the more sleep I missed out on, I slowly started to take less care of myself.  I was doing the bare minimum to get by.  For a while I chalked it up to “it is what it is.”  But then I realized that my happiness was just as important as anyone else’s and that I need to make myself a priority.  I also realized that I’m a much better wife and mother when I’m fulfilled on the inside.

I’m normally not a New Year’s Resolutions kind of person.  I usually laugh at resolutions because, let’s face it, those things never last.  But this year, I decided to get on board and make one of my own.  I vowed to spend more time on myself!  More workouts, more healthy living, more girl’s nights, more fun and only positive energy.  I’m happy to report that it’s April and my resolution is still going strong!  Most importantly,  I’m much happier than I was before.  I’ve learned that it is crucial to take care of myself.  It wasn’t my husband or my kid’s fault that I was neglecting myself, it was my fault.  It was that mom guilt that rages inside of us.  But I’ve learned that I’m a much more productive and patient mother when I’m feeling accomplished on the inside.  Take time for yourself.  It’s not selfish, its imperative.  Find time to pamper yourself.  Get a mani/pedi.  Go to the salon.  Join a gym.  Spend time with your girlfriends.  Get a spray tan.  Plan a kid-free vacation.  Splurge and buy something you wouldn’t normally buy for yourself.  Whatever it is that makes you happy, do it; because you deserve it.

XOXO
Jill

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