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  • 50 Christmas Gifts Under $10 (and 75+ Stocking Stuffer Ideas)

    Christmas is just around the bend and we’ve got some helpful gift giving ideas for you today.

    I have put together a list of 50 Christmas gifts under $10 AND 75+ stocking stuffer ideas for the whole family!

    50 Christmas Gifts Under $10 (and 75+ Stocking Stuffer Ideas) | Rock It Mama

    This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links.

    Every year the holiday seems to sneak up on me and I am left scrambling to come up with ideas to put under the Christmas tree. But this time, I have compiled a list of ideas to reference and I want to share them here in hopes that it makes gifting a little easier for you as well.

    Below you will find a list of 50 Christmas gifts under $10 that I have been loving in 2019. I have listed this in sections for him, her, teens, kids and babies. Some of the items may be a tad over $10, but totally worth the purchase. Also – be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to see my Christmas “cheat sheet” with over 75 stocking stuffer ideas for the entire family!

    Happy Shopping!

    Below is our list of 50 favorite Christmas gifts under $10!

    50 Christmas Gifts Under $10 (and 75+ Stocking Stuffer Ideas) | Rock It Mama | For Him

    1. Mr. Coffee Office Mug Warmer
    2. Every Man Jack Beard Oil
    3. Tuncily Credit Card Survival Tool
    4. Pair of Thieves Boxer Briefs
    5. Harry’s Mens Razor with 2 Razor Blades 
    6. Bodum 3 Cup French Press 
    7. Thermos Stainless Steel Beverage Can Insulator 12 oz.
    8. Buxton Top Zip Travel Kit
    9. Survival Paracord Bracelet 5-in-One Hiking Tool
    10. Handyman Flex Grip Work Gloves

    50 Christmas Gifts Under $10 (and 75+ Stocking Stuffer Ideas) | Rock It Mama | For Her

    11. Burts Bees Essential Everyday Beauty Gift Set
    12. Phone Camera Lens
    13. Bella by Illume – Sweet Sangria
    14. seOSTO Women Small Crossbody Purse
    15. Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
    16. Bin 8 Multi Kitchen Tool
    17. Aztec Indian Healing Clay Mask
    18. Leather Tassel Lightning ChargeSync Cable for iPhone, iPad and iPod
    19. Gold Plated Adjustable Infinity Forever Bracelet
    20. Small Glass Jewelry Storage Box Gold

    50 Christmas Gifts Under $10 (and 75+ Stocking Stuffer Ideas) | Rock It Mama | For Teens

    21. Just My Style Ultimate Scrapbook
    22. GETIHU Powerbank Portable Charger
    23. 97 Things to Do Before You Finish High School
    24. Money Maze Puzzle Box
    25. ALEX Spa Hair Chalk Salon
    26. Spotify Subscription – The gift that keeps on giving
    27. Google Cardboard 3D Virtual Reality Headset
    28. iLive Audio Water Resistant Speaker with Carabiner
    29. Joopin Unisex Polarized Sunglasses 
    30. Bluetooth Beanie Hat w/ 2 Speakers

    50 Christmas Gifts Under $10 (and 75+ Stocking Stuffer Ideas) | Rock It Mama | For Kids

    31. CoolSand Indoor Kinetic Play Sand
    32. Zuru Smashers – 8 Pack
    33. L.O.L. Surprise Dolls – 7 Surprises
    34. Gamewright Rory’s Story Cubes
    35. Play-Doh Rainbow Starter Pack
    36. Yeti in My Spaghetti Board Game
    37. National Geographic Break Your Own Geode Kit
    38. HITOP Glow Party LED Gloves
    39. Sequin Mermaid Pillow Case
    40. Elmers Glue Deluxe Slime Starter Kit

    50 Christmas Gifts Under $10 (and 75+ Stocking Stuffer Ideas) | Rock It Mama | For Babies

    41. Where is Baby Board Book
    42. Baby Einstein Press & Play Pals
    43. Munchkin Squirtin’ Sea Buddies – 8 Pack
    44. Nuby Soothing Teething Mittens
    45. Fisher-Price Baby’s First Block Playset
    46. Infantino Stay & Play Sunflower
    47. A Baby’s Gift Box Set – Goodnight Moon & The Runaway Bunny
    48. Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy
    49. Infantino Topsy Turvy Hug and Tug Musical Bug
    50. Battat Sort & Stack

    50 Christmas Gifts Under $10 (and 75+ Stocking Stuffer Ideas) | Rock It Mama

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  • How to Plan a Halloween Wine Tasting

    I’m going to be real with y’all. I love wine. I have a deep affinity for my evening glass while winding down after a long day with the kiddos. The tannins. Mouthfeel. Aromas. I love it all. I decided recently that I didn’t know enough about this beverage for how intensely I feel about it, so I started doing a ton of research and informing myself about all things wine.

    Image of spooky wine trivia game free printable

    Thats when I came up with the idea of a Halloween Wine Tasting. One: to flex my newfound wine knowledge. Two: to spend time with friends. And Three: to celebrate this macabre time of year. I was delighted in how perfectly the event unfolded and how much fun we all had!

    All of that being said, I want to share with you guys everything I did to plan and host a spooky Halloween wine tasting in the hopes that you will plan your own, revel in some adult time and de-stress in the company of great friends. We deserve it, Mamas!

    ALSO: We’ve made our Halloween Wine Tasting Trivia Printable available for FREE. Simply scroll to the bottom. You’re welcome!

    Find a Sitter

    I was up in the air at first on whether or not to keep the kids at home or send them to the grandparents and now I am so glad I went with the latter. The luxury of uninterrupted conversation is one I don’t take for granted when my kids are gone. Plus, I’m not sure I would have been able to get through a detailed tasting with my two year old calling my name every 5 seconds.

    My advice: find a sitter. Enjoy adult time and encourage your mom friends to leave their babies behind so they can do the same. There is nothing better than spending time with mom friends emancipated from their children for a few hours. As the saying goes, in vino veritas.

    Wine and Food Selection

    I decided to offer a variety of wines at the tasting to keep everyone happy. Reds, whites and even a good Rose. I sought out a few local wineries and some international bottles. Total Wine is my go-to but any grocery store with a decent wine selection will do. I chose wines under $15 that rated highly on the reviews.  That way, I kept costs fairly low and my friends who enjoyed a certain bottle could easily pick it up next time they’re out shopping.

    To add a creepy touch, I found some spooky wines in the seasonal aisle (one was labeled Witching Hour). We served Halloween themed finger foods to match the vibe and decor. I was thrilled with how the mummy jalapeno poppers turned out (recipe here) and I will say, Pinterest was a huge help. For the tasting portion of the event, I typed up small blurbs about each wine and gave a few tips on what to pair it with.

    image of party mummy Halloween jalapeno poppers

    We served Halloween themed finger foods to match the vibe and decor

    Image of Halloween themed party decorations and food display

    Games

    What’s a Halloween wine tasting without a little trivia? Games are a great ice breaker and a fantastic way to get the whole gang involved in the action. Our Spooky Wine Trivia game was a big hit with all of our guests and I could tell they enjoyed learning fun wine facts to take with them.

    I found a cute pumpkin charmed wine stopper as the game prize and stuck it in a Halloween bag with a card which both congratulated and thanked them for coming. Easy Peazy! And in case you didn’t see, our Halloween Wine Tasting Trivia printable is available for download below!

    Costumes

    I have a proclivity for dressing up on Halloween. It is the only time of year I can transform into a mermaid or a Dr. Seuss character without fear of judgment. However, we permitted our guests to make the call on costumes so no-one felt forced to come up with something.

    The different ideas were great conversation pieces and allowed for hilarious photo opportunities. My husband and I decided to do a play on snapchat and personify filter vs. no filter, which meant he was in a skirt all night and that in and of itself was worthing dressing up for. My advice: let your guests make the call! Costumes can be a real hit but you don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable. Some great ideas for easy DIY costumes here.

    Decor

    Decor for our Spooky Wine Tasting was easy and simple. I used generic Halloween gear that I had collected over the years, some faux cob web on our railings and mirrors and purple lights on the stairwell. The black cauldron was a perfect place to store the wines. I use my felt board for every event that we host at our house so that was a must. Emoji wine markers added a fun touch to each glass you can purchase them here.

    I used generic Halloween gear I have collected over the years, some faux cob web on mirrors and railings and purple lights in the stairwell

    And there you have it! The Spooky Wine Tasting. A unique and entertaining experience for everyone to enjoy. There are so many different things you can do with this event to make it your own. The most important takeaway: set aside time to be kid free with people you care about. You’ll never regret it!

     



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  • 20 Patriotic Food Ideas for the Fourth of July

    Hosting for the Fourth of July? Check out some of our favorite red, white and blue themed recipes that are guaranteed crowd pleasers – and let us know your favorites in the comments below!

    1. Red White and Blue Parfaits

    “These Red, White, and Blue Parfaits make the perfect patriotic treat.  Simply layer fresh strawberries, fat free yogurt and fresh blueberries with a little granola in the center for an easy  and healthy dessert without the guilt.” Go to Post

    2. Fun and Fabulous Fireworks Cupcakes

    “…they’re great for events, parties, and celebrations of all types, and these fireworks cupcakes for 4th of July are perfect to eat as you watch the rockets burst in the sky with sparkly color!” Go to Post

    3. Fourth of July Popcorn

    “4th of July Popcorn recipe is a fun and festive sweet & savory snack to enjoy on any patriotic holiday. Celebrate Fourth of July. Kids enjoy making this easy chocolate covered popcorn and everyone will relish eating this patriotic snack.” Go to Post

    Recipe by Mom Foodie

    4. Fourth of July Fudge

    “A patriotic red white and blue fudge recipe perfect for Flag Day or the 4th of July. This easy marshmallow creme fudge recipe is made using evaporated milk, white chocolate chips, sugar, butter, and food coloring.” Go to Post

    5. Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

    “With summer approaching, I thought that it would be the perfect time to make these red, white, and blue ice cream cone cupcakes.

    These patriotic cupcakes would be great for 4th of July parties or Memorial Day barbecues.  Or even for Flag Day!” Go to Post

    6. Patriotic Thumbprint Cookies

    “It’s no secret that we love making cookies. Double butterscotch cookies that are easy to freeze are usually my go to, but these patriotic cookies also make for a great summer treat.” Go to Post

    Recipe by Money Wise Moms

    7. Patriotic Fruit Pizza

    “This is a great dessert to make with kids too, let them help decorate!” Go to Post

    Recipe by Splendry.com

    8. Flag Rice Krispie Treats

        

    Recipe by Making of a Mom

    9. Marshmallow Pin Wheels

    “They are easy to make, only take a few ingredients, and kids LOVE them! I just adore how fun they look — and aren’t sweet treats on a stick the best?” Go to Post

    10. Fourth of July Cheesecake Bites

    “Now these red, white, and blue Strawberry Cheesecake Bites may not be quite  as easy as simply stepping out on the deck to watch the fireworks. But they’re pretty darn close.” Go to Post

    11. Red White & Blue Chocolate Dipped Wafers

    “Got a celebration pool party to go to?  Or having a few friends over to celebrate the big day?  Well, if you’re looking for a fun and easy little 4th of July treat to make for your festivities, I’ve got just the thing for you – Red White & Blue Chocolate-Dipped Sugar Wafers.” Go to Post

    12. Vegan Star Spangled Skewers

    “Let’s start with these super simple 5-minute Star-Spangled Skewers! Aren’t they so cute? You’ll love the flavors of the sweet watermelon (red), salty vegan feta cheese (white), and tart blueberries (blue). Like my mom would say, “It’s the yin and the yang, the tart and the sweet!” It’s the perfect festive finger food to make for your 4th of July BBQ, cookout, or party!” Go to Post

    13. 4th of July Icebox Cake

    “This icebox cake is cool and refreshing with its layers of softened graham crackers, luscious cream filling, and fresh berries. It’s easy to make, there is no baking, and it can be made in advance. It’s a perfect summer treat and a great way to celebrate the 4th of July!” Go to Post

    14. 4th of July Cake Pops

    “These cake pops are easy to make and would look great on any party table.” Go to Post

    Recipe by Mommy Made That

    15. Frozen Yogurt Bark

    “Frozen yogurt bark topped with mixed berries and crushed pistachios – super easy, delicious and a refreshing no-cook recipe that is perfect for breakfast, snack or dessert!” Go to Post

    16. Fourth of July Pretzel Bites

    “Are you looking for a fun and easy recipe to serve on Independence Day? Here’s a festive red, white, and blue snack recipe that will be perfect for your Fourth of July picnic, party, or potluck.” Go to Post

    Recipe by Moms Who Save

    17. Fourth of July Chocolate Covered Oreos

    “With the the new fireworks oreos I thought it would be fun to make festive chocolate covered Oreo cookies for the Summer. The 4th of July oreos have red, white and blue and it’s so patriotic and perfect for a celebration. If you are hosting a cookout, party or just hanging out with family, try making Red white and blue chocolate covered oreos. The milk chocolate coating is so yummy!” Go to Post

    18. Red, White & Blue Jello Shots

    “This batch makes a bunch, depending on the size of jello shot containers you use so be sure to share these with friends! You could also use this recipe with other jello flavors throughout the year to create new color combos.” Go to Post

    19. Fourth of July Doughnuts

    “Be prepared to be shocked and awed by some doughnut deliciousness AND a quick video tutorial on icing these babies.” Go to Post

    20. Patriotic Pretzel Rods

    “Although these Red, White, and Blue Patriotic Pretzel Rods really are the ultimate Independence Day snack, they are actually perfect for any time that you want to express your patriotism. Whip up a batch for Presidents’ Day, Veterans Day, Flag Day, July 4th, Election Day, or to commemorate the birthday of your favorite President. These festive snacks make every Patriotic event extra special!” Go to Post

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  • DIY Personalized Teething Pacifier Clips

    My one year old is going through an extreme teething phase right now and I’m willing to try about anything to soothe him and the fuss. As I was searching for teething toys, I came across these super cute DIY personalized teething pacifier clips and I decided to give it a whirl. The final product was so cute, I simply had to share.

    These easy to make clips are the perfect gift or quick craft for the mama looking for a teething solution. Below I’ve included the supplies needed and step by step directions for creating these super simple and sweet DIY personalized teething pacifier clips!

    This post may contain affiliate links, which means that we may receive a commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase using these links.

    You will need:

    Directions

    1. Cut a 25″ piece of white polyester cord.
    2. One at a time, place silicone teething beads on the cord. You may need to use the bobby pin to push the cord through the bead or tape to control a frayed cord.
    3. Find the center of the entire piece of cord and tie a knot to create a 2.5″ loop. Slide the beads down to the knot. Then thread the needle back through the beads.
    4. When you get to the end, loop the cord around the base of a pacifier clip. Hold it taught, and wrap the end of the cord tightly around the base of the clip and knot. Thread the end of the cord back through a few beads (to hide the excess) and trim the end.

    And there it is! A pacifier clip that doubles as a teething toy. Be sure that the beads are secure on the cord and that the knots are tied tight. These beads are perfect for teething but post a choking threat if detached.

    Sweet teether!

    Enjoying the DIY posts? Check out these awesome Kid Friendly Bath Bombs with a Hidden Surprise!

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  • 5 Slow Cooker Meals for the Busy Mom (& Grocery List)

    If you’re a busy, on-the-go mom, you might appreciate slow cooker meals just as much as I do. This week, we have more recipes to share with you!

    This post may contain affiliate links, which means that we may receive a commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase using these links.

    As we continue to share our favorite slow cooker meals with you, we hope you will find ones that become a staple in your home. We’ll share everything from kid-friendly meals, healthy meals, soups, budget-friendly meals and more.

    The first thing when planning your slow cooker meal prep is to make sure you have a top-notch appliance. Here is our favorite – this slow cooker pumps out enough food for the entire family!

    Here are this weeks favorite slow cooker meals.

    1. Broccoli and Sausage Macaroni Casserole

    Only 7 ingredients – and you can’t go wrong with a recipe that incorporates mac-n-cheese!

    2. Pineapple Chicken

    The perfect summer chicken dish – with just the right amount of sweet and savory.

    3. Turkey Chili

    Image link to slow cooker turkey chili by Baking Beauty.

    Recipe by Baking Beauty

    Hearty and healthy chili chock full of beans and 2 different kinds of meat. The slow cooker makes this comfort food almost effortless!

    4. Ranch Chicken

    This ranch chicken recipe only takes moments to prep and then it will cook all day in the crockpot while you are at work, enjoying family time, or out and about! No pre-planning or thawing required

    5. Chicken and Dumplings

    Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings from Scratch is the ultimate in cozy day, feel better, warm your belly, cold weather, comfort food.

    To make things easier, use our free grocery list  for this weeks recipes!

    If you enjoyed this post, you might like our previous freezer meals post here.

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  • How to Create Your Own Cake Smash Photo-Shoot at Home

    How is it that the second child’s first year flies by even faster than the first? I’m over here scratching my head trying to figure out where the time went. It feels as though we were just in the hospital introducing him to big brother and yet here we are, only a few weeks away from his first birthday. (Don’t mind me, I’ll just be over here in my feelings)

    With time having left us little to work with, I decided to set up an in-home cake smash photoshoot for his first birthday so I could have the photos in time for his party. I feared that most professional photographers would be be booked by this point and I wanted to flex some creative muscles as photography is definitely a hobby of mine.

    This post may contain affiliate links, which means that we may receive a commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase using these links.

    I can only describe the in-home cake smash as a huge success! The photos are priceless. The experience was incredibly fun and it became a family ordeal, as big brother helped draw big smiles (as only a big brother can) and Dad assisted with props.

    The birthday boy normally doesn’t stop moving and can be difficult to capture. However, the cake kept him anchored in place long enough to snap some great photos. Once all was said and done, we had a few bites of what was left of the decimated treat.

    I want to empower other moms to have some fun with their own cake smash photo-shoots because it truly is so easy! Save time and money and capture some memories without having to leave the house. Flex full control over the shots you want to frame and print at your leisure without acquiring extra cost.

    Here is a step-by-step guide explaining how to create your own cake smash photo-shoot at home!

    Step 1.) Find a Location

    The lighting and background of your photo-shoot will play a huge role in the quality of your photos. Select a spot in your home with plenty of natural light. Use the space in front of a big window or sliding glass door. Turn off any overhead lights to prevent orange and brackish coloring in the photos.

    If there isn’t an ideal location inside, outside will work too. Be sure to choose a time of day where the shadows won’t be overpowering your subject.

    The background should be plain and simple. Use a white wall or purchase a backdrop on amazon that can be hung or used as a faux white wood floor. These elements ensure that baby will be the central focus of each capture. I’ve linked one below. A white sheet will work just as well!

    Step 2.) Cake, Props & Clothing

    The cake, props and clothing you choose will help develop the theme of the shoot. For example: because the theme of my son’s first birthday is barnyard animal, I used a simple cake on a rustic wood platter with a few sunflowers, and added suspenders to his shorts for a farm feel. I also used a sign for the pre-cake photos simply to indicate the occasion.

    Tip: Balloons are a cheap and easy prop. Scatter them around and snap photos of baby chasing after them.

    To continue to keep costs low, find a toy or piece of decor around the house to boost the theme of the photos. Bake a cake or grab a cheap one from the supermarket. I purchased the cake featured in my son’s photos at Target for $10. The “One” prop used in the photos below I picked up from a craft store for $5.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Step 3.) Camera

    For this step, the good old iPhone (especially in portrait mode) will do just fine. But for full disclosure purposes, I wanted to note that when capturing these photos I used my Nikon DSLR D3400, linked below.

    Now, I know what you’re thinking: we were supposed to be saving money here and that camera sets me back almost $400. Hear me out: since purchasing that camera when my first child was born, I’ve used it on many occasions that I probably would’ve paid a photographer to capture. Birthdays, holidays, vacations, and everyday moments in between, the Nikon has taken some incredible photos and in the long run has definitely saved us money.

    This my advice: Hire the professional for monumental family moments when mama, you need to be in there too. Invest in the camera for the smaller occasions. Or, if you’re totally cool with the iPhone quality then use the iPhone. I’ve snapped some awesome photos with my iPhone camera as well.

    Step 4.) Take as Many Photos as Possible

    When the shoot is all set up, the props are handy, and baby is happy and ready, start snapping and DON’T STOP! Snag as many shots from as many different angles as possible.

    Focus in on the details of the cake, the messy hands and the cake covered faces. The more photos you have the more likely you are to be happy with the outcome. It’ll also be easier to select the best photos for editing!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We even let big brother get in on the action!

    The Aftermath…

    Step 5.) Culling and Editing

    Now that you have an amazing crop of photos, it’s time to decide which ones to edit. Pick your favorites and make sure there is a solid variety with good resolution and quality lighting. Those will withstand the editing process the best.

    For editing I use the Lightroom app on my phone. It’s free and will provide the best quality photos without having to pay for an expensive editing program.

    Feel free to edit the photos to your liking OR you can do what I do, and use a Lightroom mobile preset to enhance your photos. Below you can see the before preset and after preset photos.

     

    I’ve linked my favorite lightroom presets here but you can always browse Pinterest or Etsy for presets that provide the desired feel. Some are free and others may charge a small fee.

     

     

    LET THERE BE CAKE (smash photo-shoots!) We hope you enjoyed our step-by-step guide on how to create your own cake smash photo-shoot at home and feel inspired to get creative! Please share photos of your DIY shoots!

    Craving more DIY treats? Check out our Homemade Air Fryer Poptarts!

     

     

     

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