>U Mom Knows Best: November 2019

Monday, November 18, 2019

The Best Black Friday Deals At Lowes

Black Friday is the perfect start to home improvement projects

Sponsored post

 In the past couple of years, my husband and I have been busy with some home improvement projects. These remodeling projects have always started with a trip to a home improvement store. While at the hardware store for something like a piece of wood, we always like to browse other departments to look at the latest appliances and other home improvement products. Then the dreaming starts and my husband and I begin to plan our next project in our home as we work to update our home. Three years ago, we started our bathroom remodeling project after we had some extra money from a car insurance settlement. My husband's car was totaled and since he was taking the bus to work we decide to use the money to renovate our master bathroom instead of buying a new car. The ironic thing is the bathroom project costs were half the amount of what a new car would cost. Keep reading to find out all the details about Lowes Black Friday Ad!

  This year our home project was installing new floors downstairs as the carpet was 22 years old and in bad shape. We decided to embark on this home improvement project after I went to Lowe's for their Black Friday sales last year. I think I went shopping at Lowes for a birthday present for my husband. My husband was born on Thanksgiving so I always take advantage of Lowe's Black Friday deals for his present. I love saving money for gifts and lowe's always had great discounts after Thanksgiving. My husband loves to receive things like tools and other home improvement items for his birthday. So as I was looking for a present for my husband, I had to look at the flooring section as I was tired of looking at my dirty worn carpet that was in my house.

 While browsing the flooring section of Lowe's, I saw ceramic tiles that looked like wood and this is what started our new flooring project. I wanted the look of wood in the downstairs area of my house but I wanted the durability of tile. So when I got home from shopping, I convinced my husband that it was time to replace the downstairs carpet with ceramic tile. My husband liked the idea of having no carpet and also loved the wood look of the porcelain tiles that I selected. I loved the idea of how much easier it would be to clean the tiles. We ended up installing this tile in the family room and the entryway. We installed carpet in the two front rooms that don't get much traffic.

Head HERE to see the Lowe's Black Friday 2019 AD.

  I am known for my discount shopping and for the use of coupons when shopping. So I love shopping the sales on Black Friday. This is the time of year when the stores offer some amazing discounts. When I shop the sales on Black Friday, I like to head to Lowe's for things for the house. This is the best time to replace appliances. One year I scored a great deal on a microwave and another year I was able to get a new dryer for a great price. I also find amazing deals for my husband's birthday presents. One year, my Lowe's find was a new fancy drill for my husband and the year before that it was a firepit. I also love scoring deals on the paint at Lowe's as we always need paint for our home remodeling projects. Now that my son lives near us we can take advantage of his military discount and no longer need those 10% coupons that Lowe's offers.

I haven't seen the Lowe's Black Friday ad for this year so I am not sure what I will be buying my husband for his birthday gift or holiday gift. Yes, while I am shopping for my husband's birthday, I also buy his Christmas gift. My husband has been wanting a compressor for his workshop so I am hoping that they will be on sale. My husband could use a new trimmer for the yard or a new drill.

I am hoping that Lowe's has some awesome large appliance deals as I have been wanting to replace my refrigerator now that I have a new stove in my kitchen. A counter-depth fridge that matches my oven range would be ideal. That way my appliances all match. My fridge is over 10 years old and may need replacing. I just love looking at all the new appliances at Lowe's as I love checking out all the new features. I love to open the doors on the large appliances so I can see what they look like on the inside. 

More Ways to Save at Lowe's on Black Friday
  • The Lowe's Advantage credit card offers 5% off your purchases, but make sure to read all the terms and conditions before you apply to see if it's right for you.
  • Be sure to compare competitors' prices. Lowe's Price Match Guarantee is available in-store on Black Friday, which means you could score an extra discount if you find a lower price elsewhere.
  • Lowe's offers a 10% discount for all active military personnel and veterans. Once you register, you can use the discount online or in-store.
  • Be sure to check Lowe's rebate center to find or track rebates for the items you've purchased.
Did you know that Lowe's has a Price Match Guarantee that is available in-store and you can take advantage of this on Black Friday? Check out other ways that you can maximize your savings on Black Friday. Head HERE to see all the details about Lowe's Black Friday Deals.

What are your favorite items to buy at Lowe's?

Common Home Renovation Mistakes

Home renovation is an inevitable activity for any homeowner. These are the biggest mistakes people make when renovating their home.

Having recently installing new floors and carpet in my home this year, I can understand so many of these below concerns when renovating your home. This article explains some of the common mistakes that people make when doing renovations to their homes.

Cheap or Poor Quality Materials
 It goes without saying that you can save a lot of money upfront by going with cheaper materials, especially if it's going to be a rental. It's a really fine balance between picking materials to the highest return on their investment. Although going with cheaper materials can save you a lot of money in the short term, in the long term, it ends up costing you more when you have to replace them. It is more important to get quality materials and tools, like Generac, than going for the cheapest thing out there. It'll cost more upfront, but it will save more money in the future.

Not Fixing Everything You Can
 Whenever modeling a property, it's a lot easier to get it done right now than wait a few weeks or even a few months for the problem to get worse and then you're forced to replace it. Do it immediately. Don't wait just because it's working right now and maybe has a few months or a year of life left in it. Don't wait until it breaks in one hand, and then you have an even bigger problem. It's better to spend the extra money and get it fixed right now and put it off in the future because you're going to need to do it anyway at some point.

Carpets in Rental Properties
 Carpet gets really dirty. Carpet needs to be replaced really often between tenants, and it ends up costing you a lot more money to keep replacing carpet than just doing laminate hardwood floors at the very beginning and having those last a very long time. If you just end up replacing the carpet twice every 3 years, already that will cost more than laminate floors, which could last 15 years or more.

Underestimating Cost of Repair
 It's always going to be more expensive than what you planned. When you start remodelling, you begin to notice all the little things you never paid any attention to, especially when you begin opening up walls and looking under the house. You always find additional things that need repair. But again, it's better to get all of these things done now upfront than wait a few years and they maybe get worse and more expensive. Plus, you always get unexpected things that tend to come up modeling a place or you just decide to change things out as you go along. And maybe your ideas change.

Friday, November 15, 2019

The 9 Best Small Gifts For Health & Beauty

Looking for a unique gift that is beauty and health-related?

This page may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases
I received samples of the following products.

 When you buy gifts that are beauty-related or that are considered healthy, you can't go wrong. Most people just buy basic items for their personal care items and never think to splurge on themselves. So the holidays are a perfect time to buy a Christmas gift that is a splurge gift for a beauty item. I know that I would love a holiday gift that is both useful and fun at the same time. This list of health and beauty items are perfect for Christmas stocking stuffers or holiday gift exchanges between friends or co-workers. You should stock up on some of these unique gift ideas and wrap them up so you will have some last-minute holiday gifts. That way when you get an unexpected gift from someone, you will have the perfect gift to give back. These gifts are also great for gifts for the babysitter or teachers. Many of the gifts are under $25!

To save this cool list for later, press the “pin-it” button on the photos to save it to your Pinterest boards. 

1. Cleanlogic Purifying Charcoal Mesh Bath Sponge & 
     4 in 1 Foot Buffer

  Give the gift of clean skin and soft feet. These bath items are perfect for the shower and will be used by almost anyone. The mesh sponge not only cleans the body but helps draw impurities out of the skin. I love the foot brush as it keeps my heels nice and soft. These items would be great for the Christmas stockings.

The Cleanlogic Purifying Charcoal Mesh Bath Sponge is infused with charcoal to enhance the cleansing process by drawing out impurities and gently exfoliating your skin to deliver a smoother, softer, brighter-looking complexion. Available: Amazon

The Cleanlogic 4 in 1 Foot Buffer & Brush cleans feet and polishes rough, dry areas for a smooth finish. Use the brush side to scrub feet. Rub away dry, dead skin with the metal rasp. Use the pumice side to gently polish away rough patches. Then use the file to buff the skin for a clean finish. Available: Amazon

Check out these Healthy Grooming Products For Men

2. OMORFIE Let’s Get Lush

 OMORFIE is an Australian haircare brand that is perfect for anyone who cares about looking great and doing their part for the environment! The brand has all-natural products that are completely safe for people and the planet alike. OMORFIE products are natural, sustainable and cruelty-free as well as sulfate, paraben, and silicone-free. As an added bonus, the Let’s Get Lush’ product line is vegan-friendly and packaged in completely recyclable bottles, made from recycled materials. Available: OMORFIE

3. MineTan 

 Research shows that a whopping 86% of melanomas are caused by the sun and that more people in the US are diagnosed with skin cancer than all the other cancers combined! So instead of tanning with the sun, MineTan will help you achieve a serious tan whatever your skin type is. There are many formulas and shades to select from. These products will help your skin to have the perfect summer glow, even in the winter.

The world’s first coconut water based tan is a one-of-a-kind bronzing treatment, supercharged with antioxidants to restore skin hydration, whilst revitalizing the skin. The weightless formula absorbs quickly to lock in moisture while delivering a fast, rich super dark brown skin finish. 100% Natural DHA, Paraben Free & Vegan-Friendly. Available: Amazon 

Check out my The Best Educational & Fun Gifts For Babies & Toddlers

4. 100% Pure Mulberry Silk Pillowcase

 Treat someone to a luxurious silk pillowcase that is made from 100% mulberry silk. This super-soft all-natural pillowcase prevents skin creases and messy hair. Celestial Silk pillowcases regulate body temperature to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Naturally hypoallergenic to repel common allergens so you don't wake up sneezing. Select from standard, queen and king sizes in more than a dozen beautiful colors and prints.
Available: Amazon

Check out my tween holiday gift guide from last year for more ideas!

5. Oilogic Essential Oil Care

 Help a friend keep the medicine cabinet stocked with natural aids to help with those dreaded colds and coughs and other ailments that kids encounter. These essential oil care products are great for things like colds, itches, anxiety, and more. The essential oils are safe for kids and have wonder scent combinations.

Oilogic’s convenient Essential Oils are clear of synthetics and impurities, making products a safe and effective prescription alternative for adults, children, and babies. Oilogic Essential Oils are already blended and diluted so there’s no mixing involved, it’s easy to use and ready to go. Oilogic uses 26 different Essential Oils, sourced from over 13 countries where plants are indigenous. With its line of Essential Oil Roll-Ons, Oilogic makes it easy to apply, absorb and provide solutions to common troubles. Available: Amazon

6. Regular Girl Prebiotic Fiber Blend

 Give the gift of a happy gut and being regular. Regular Girl contains 5 grams of clinically proven prebiotic fiber (Sunfiber®), a perfect food source for the good bacteria in your gut. It moves through your system at just the right pace without the drag of creating excess gas or bloating. Regular Girl maintains regularity and promotes wonderfully balanced intestinal health so you no longer have to deal with constipation. Just sprinkle one serving of Regular Girl into your favorite beverage or food and the comfort of a balanced day is yours. You won't taste the difference, but you'll feel the benefits. You can buy this amazing fiber in a Regular Gift starter set that comes with a cute pink water bottle and a 15 day supply of Regular Girl packets. This is my go-to travel product that is also great for kids and anyone who wants to avoid problems in the bathroom department. This once a day fiber blend you have your number 2 a regular thing so you can get your poop done before you head out the door for your day. Available: Regular Girl

Save 10% on Regular Girl with my coupon code MOMKNOBEST10

7. DentalGURU Charcoal White Toothpaste

DentalGURU Charcoal White is a perfect stocking stuffer for anyone who has teeth. This fluoride-free natural toothpaste not only lifts stains without harsh chemicals, but it also freshens breath with a blend of six natural essential oils headlined by peppermint for a great taste. The toothpaste also has a great taste of peppermint and a great price. You get six tubes of toothpaste for an amazing price of under $20 so you can give the gift of a great smile to everyone on your holiday gift list. This minty toothpaste would be a perfect stocking stuffer. Available: Amazon                   

8. 7th Heaven Peel -Off Face Masks

Montagne Jeunesse 7th Heaven makes these fun peel-off face masks that are perfect for the gift of a spa day. These beauty face masks come in many different colors and great for softer cleaner skin. They contain fruits, flowers, and herbs and are so easy to peel off the skin. These individual face masks are great for stocking stuffers or as part of a beauty basket. You can find this fun face mask at most stores in the beauty section or on Amazon. I love that they come in colors like pink and gold. Some of the masks even have safe glitter on them. Made for all skin types with natural and safe ingredients. Available: Amazon

9. Haute Cocoa® Body Gift

 Satisfy that chocolate craving with a special gift for the chocoholic in your life or yourself. The Haute Cocoa® Body Gift set features a sample-sized collection of our rich dark chocolate line. Made with blends of real cocoa, honey, plant oils, and botanical extracts that nourish the skin with caffeine and antioxidants to reduce the appearance of fine lines and dark spots. It is perfect for any chocoholic and smells like chocolate. The set includes a detoxifying cocoa masks, aromatherapy candles, an exfoliating rich dark chocolate scrub, and smooth, moisturizing body butter. This is the perfect gift for your best friend. Available: Waxing Kara 

Which gift will you be buying for your holiday gift list?  

6 Signs You've Found a Good Eating Disorder Treatment Center

 Like nearly all mental health issues, treating eating disorders can be challenging. One thing that sets eating disorders apart from other conditions, though, is that those with eating disorders might not be able to recognize that there is a problem. Sometimes those people who have an eating disorder aren't the ones who are distressed by its manifestations. Instead, those around the person noticed symptoms that are concerning. So why exactly is an eating disorder treatment center is so vital to recovery? Here are six reasons:

1. There Are Service Options
 One of the challenges of treating an eating disorder is that most people don't fit into a neat little box of treatment options that, when applied, results in a person who no longer has to contend with it.
Some people might need the intensive therapeutic care that comes from an in-patient program while others can't get the treatment they need without having access to outpatient treatment.
Having access to an eating disorder psychologist -- either individually, in a group or both -- can give the patient access to peer groups, individualized attention and other techniques that are geared toward addressing the root causes of their eating disorder.

2. They Offer Individualized Treatment
 While many patients make an appointment with their primary care physician or another medical professional for an initial eating disorder assessment, these generalized doctors are not going to be the best blueprint for success. Just like a patient wouldn't see an ear, nose and throat doctor if they had a broken leg or a general physician if they needed dental care, specialized treatment in a facility that specializes in that aspect of healthcare is the sure way to success.

3. A Talented and Diverse Staff
 When a person is a patient at an eating disorder treatment center, they will have access to an entire team of healthcare workers who specialize in addressing the unique needs and situations that are present in those who have eating disorders. It's typical for a patient to have four or five clinicians working on their recovery. Some examples include a physician, psychologist, nutritionist and more.

4. A Comprehensive Continuum of Care
 Much like today's eating disorder treatment facilities offer different levels of care to accommodate the lifestyle choices and needs of their patients, so too do they offer an array of different services. These are aimed at providing patients with a comprehensive treatment plan that supports them throughout their recovery. In addition to group therapy, nutritional counseling and psychotherapy, for example, patients might also have access to holistic treatment methods such as water therapy and horseback riding.

5. Family Is Intimately Involved in Treatment
  For most people struggling with eating disorders, having access to a strong and stable support system is crucial to their recovery. Many people look to their families to provide this type of reassurance and support. Whether "family" means parents, spouse, siblings, children or even extended members is not the issue here. What is important is that they are included in the treatment of their loved ones throughout the duration.

6. They Use Innovative Methods
 Every year more is understood about eating disorders and this additional information leads to innovative treatments and techniques. While proven methods of treatment should be a part of any eating disorder treatment program, there should be room for innovation and out-of-the-box solutions -- such as holistic options like art therapy and yoga -- to be incorporated into the treatment plan.

Getting Treatment Is the Most Important Thing
 People with eating disorders and their loved ones might struggle with the overwhelming task of finding a treatment center that works for them.  However, the simple truth is whether it’s outpatient treatment near you or a residential program across the country, getting help is the key to living a happier, healthier life.  Speak to your doctor or therapist to find a center that can meet these criteria – sooner rather than later.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Best Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe

This sugar cookie recipe is perfect for holiday cookie exchanges

   I received samples from Nielsen-Massey to facilitate this post.

 I love baking cookies year-round but I get excited about Christmas baking as that is when I bring out the cookie cutters and make the best sugar cookies for the holidays. These are the sugar cookies that my kids help me bake as they are the cookies for Santa. They are also the sugar cookies that I bring to holiday cookie exchanges as everyone loves sugar cookie cutouts. For the past couple of years, I have made my classic sugar cookie recipe as this is a cookie recipe that has an easy to roll cookie dough. This sugar cookie recipe has a nice buttery flavor and tastes great without frosting.

 When I bake these sugar cookies for Santa, then the cookies are frosted. Making cookies for Santa is a holiday tradition that happens on Christmas eve. I roll out the sugar cookie dough and my kids have fun selecting Christmas cookie cutters from my stash of cookie cutters. The kids love pressing the cookie cutters into the cookie dough. Sometimes my husband joins in and rolls out the cookie dough. Then the sugar cookies get baked. While the Christmas shaped cookies are cooling down, my kids gather up all the sprinkles while I make the frosting for the cookies. Then the fun begins! The kids frost the holiday cookies and sprinkle them with the color sprinkles. There is always the child who puts on way too much frosting and an overflow of Christmas sprinkles. One year Santa wrote in his letter that the cookies had too many red hot sprinkles on the cookies.

 This is the time of year that mom overlooks the mess of making Christmas cookies with the kids. They are only little for a short time. So I don't mind having to sweep up all the cookie sprinkles from the floor. The Christmas memories are so worth having to mop a sticky floor. The best part of making Christmas cookies with my children is seeing them enjoy their cookie creation and placing the best-decorated cookies on the plate for Santa. This year I am hoping that my granddaughter will be able to join in the fun of making Christmas cookies.

 This year, I decided to try a new Christmas sugar cookie recipe, instead of baking my Holiday Pumpkin Pie Spiced Sugar Cookies. For the past couple of months, I have been getting together with some ladies at my church as a couple of them decided to start a cooking club for our life group. We have been making lots of yummy treats like cupcakes, cake pops, and cookies. One of the ladies who leads the group is an amazing baker and she bakes the most delicious cakes. For our last cooking group, she showed us how to use sugar cookies and make an amazing cookie that is shaped like a pumpkin. The sugar cookie recipe that she shared with me, so I could make the cookie dough that I needed to bring to the group, was slightly different than the recipe I use for holiday sugar cookies. This recipe contained the usual sugar cookie ingredients like butter, flour, sugar, eggs, and pure vanilla extract but this cookie recipe also contained pure almond extract. I had never used almond extract in my holiday baking before as my husband does not like the taste of nuts in cookies or brownies. So I was hesitant to use the almond extract in my batch of sugar cookies that I was making for our baking club.

A sugar cookie recipe that has a sweet nutty flavor

 My friend told me that the pure almond extract gives the Christmas sugar cookies an amazing taste. She also said that her sugar cookie recipe tasted like it was missing something and thought it was the butter that she was using. After trying different real butter products and still not being happy with the cookie's flavor, she decided to add a teaspoon of almond extract to her cookie dough. The addition of almond extract made all the difference to her sugar cookie dough and her classic sugar cookie recipe for Christmas made the best sugar cookie shapes. It is amazing that a simple flavor like almond extract can make a huge difference and not taste like what one would imagine. That reminds me of the reactions that I always get the first time people try my Lemon Frosted Rosemary Holiday Sugar Cookies. My friends expect the rosemary to make the cookies taste weird but they are always pleasantly surprised at the flavor.

  So I agreed to use her recipe for my batch of sugar cookie dough for our pumpkin cookie project. I only made one substitution in the recipe and I used vegan butter for the real unsalted butter. I never thought that I would use anything but real butter in my baking but since discovering a milk allergy with a blood test was the cause of my out of control asthma, I now bake with plant-based spreads since I have a dairy allergy. Country Crock just introduced a plant butter that is made from avocados, almonds, and olives and it tastes like real butter. The Country Crock plant butter is my favorite spread now.

 When I added the pure almond extract to the creamed butter and sugar in my mixer, the aroma of the extract was so good. The almond extract had a pleasant scent that I enjoyed. I thought that my Madagascar Bourbon pure vanilla extract had a wonderful scent but the pure almond extract had a stronger aroma. When it was time to roll the refrigerated sugar cookie dough, the almond scent was so delicious. I just wanted to smell it all day. I thought to myself that the pure almond extract would make a great body fragrance and that I should buy an almond essential to diffuse in my essential oil diffuser. The chilled cookie dough was so easy to roll and the almond oil scent made it the best ever sugar cookie dough to roll out for the cookie cutters.

No need to frost as you can bake them with sprinkles

  I decided to take a bit of the sugar cookie dough and use it and make some Christmas cookies. Since I was not making cookies for Santa or a Christmas cookie exchange, I just used a couple of cookie cutters. I also decided to not frost these cookie shapes and instead I used some colored Christmas cookie sprinkles. I had red and green colored sugar sprinkles that I sprinkled on the unbaked cookie dough shapes before I baked the cookies. I know that next time I bake these sugar cookies, I will make my delicious lemon blackberry buttercream frosting.

Place the cookie sheets of unbaked cookies in the fridge for 15 minutes before baking

 My friend's sugar cookie recipe is now my favorite Christmas sugar cookie recipe. This is a sugar cookie recipe that has a sweet nutty flavor. Another that I loved about her recipe is a new amazing baking tip that I learned. I learned that when you place the baking sheets of unbaked sugar cookie shapes in the refrigerator for 15 minutes it prevents the dough from spreading. This baking hack is amazing and I will be using it with all my cookie baking. I like that my cookies did not lose their shape while baking. So I will remember to chill the cookie dough on the cookie sheets that I cut out with cookie cutters before I bake the cookies. That way the cookie shapes not spread into weird shapes.

 The sugar cookies came out of the oven and looked amazing. The taste of the cookies was the best sugar cookie I had ever tasted. The Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract gave the cookies a full, sweet, creamy flavor while the Pure Almond Extract provided a sweet, nutty flavor. When I bake, I use only pure extracts and Nielsen-Massey is my preferred baking extract. Check out Nielsen-Massey's Holiday Flavors Bundle and add great flavor to all your holiday recipes.

You can make the cookies sugar free 

 If you are looking to cut out some carbs in your diet or need a cookie recipe that is low in sugar, then I recommend an amazing low-glycemic sugar substitute that has a taste similar to sugar and can be used in recipes with a 1:1 ratio. Lakanto is a sweetener that is made with monk fruit. Monk fruit is a keto-friendly sweetener that is 300 times sweeter than sugar. Monk fruit extract is rated a zero on the glycemic index and has zero calories and zero carbs so it won’t spike blood sugar diabetics can incorporate it into their diet more easily than sugar. I love using Lakanto in my chocolate chip cookie recipe as the taste is so similar to sugar that my family can not tell that I switched out the sugar for this monk fruit sweetener. This natural sweetener is a keto product. So it is a keto-friendly sweetener that is perfect for your keto recipes.

Check out some other favorite cookie recipes for the holidays

Holiday Pumpkin Pie Spiced Sugar Cookies

Lemon Frosted Rosemary Holiday Sugar Cookies

Dairy-Free Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Dairy-Free Rosemary Sugar Cookies

The Best Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe

The Best Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe
Yield: 36 cookies
A sugar cookie recipe that has a sweet nutty flavor.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Almond Extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • sprinkles or colored sugar


How to cook The Best Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe

  1. Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed in your electric mixer or cream by hand until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extracts. Beat until combined. Add the salt and the flour, beat until you have a smooth dough. If the dough is sticky, add more flour a tablespoon at a time until it does not stick to your fingers. Place the dough in the refrigerator for an hour or more. 
  3. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mats.
  4. Remove half of the cookie dough from the fridge and on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness.  Place some flour on your rolling pin to prevent it from sticking to the dough. Cut out desired shapes with lightly floured cookie cutters. Place the cookie dough shapes on the baking sheets.
  5. Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the fridge for about 15 minutes to chill. This will prevent the cookies from spreading and losing the shape while baking. If you are not going to frost the cookies, you can sprinkle the unbaked cookies with sprinkles or colored sugar.
  6. Preheat the oven at 375 F.  Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes or until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let the cookies cool for 5 minutes before removing them. 
Fat (grams)
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Created using The Recipes Generator

Monday, November 11, 2019

10 Super Fun Holiday Gift Ideas For Tweens & Teens

The best gift ideas for tween boys and girls

This page may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I received samples of the gifts to facilitate this post.

  Do you have a tween boy or girl on your holiday gift shopping list? Christmas gifts can be hard to buy for tweens as they are at that age where they still love toys but also are starting to think that they are too old for toys. Let me tell you it is perfectly fine for tweens to still play with toys. Tweens are also loving electronic items more. So whether you are shopping for a girl or boy, Mom Knows Best has selected some unique awesome gifts that tween kids are going to love. These holiday gift ideas were tested by my two boys who are 11 and 12 years old and they gave them all 2 thumbs up. These are toys and products that my boys would love to receive under the Christmas tree or from Santa. My boys both agreed that these would make the best presents for kids who are in elementary school and middle school. So check out my holiday gift list for tween boys and girls. Happy shopping!

To save this cool list for later, press the “pin-it” button on the photos to save it to your Pinterest boards. 

1. Gumball Machine Maker

 Tweens can build their own gumball machines and learn physics lessons in the process. A turn of a handle dispenses one gumball at a time out of the clear storage globe and down the track. As the gumballs roll down the track, they perform cool stunts and tricks. Stunts include a pulley lift, pendulum, funnel, trampoline, variable-slope ramp, pinball launcher, and domino slide. Each segment of the track teaches a different lesson in mechanical physics, allowing users to explore topics including simple machines, force, motion, momentum, gravity, Newton’s laws, energy transfer, and more. Trial-and-error experiments teach in a fun, hands-on way.

 My boys were excited about this toy. My younger son could not wait to build this Gumball Machine and of course chew some bubble gum. This Gumball Machine Maker resembles an exhibit that the boys love to interact with at the children's museum. I loved that they could customize this gumball machine in many different ways.
Gumball Machine Maker AGES 6+ MSRP: $39.95 Click here to purchase  

Check out my tween holiday gift guide from last year for more ideas!

2. Keike Ukuleles

 The word “KeiKi” is Hawaiian for “little one” and KeiKi Ukuleles are designed for kids of all ages to learn to pluck, strum, and play along to their favorite songs! Most tweens are into music and love playing musical instruments. This tiny stringed instrument may just lead to a career in music or just some great fun.

 Musicians and music teachers have noted that the learning curve for the ukulele is much easier than that of the guitar. Within a few days of practice, kids can start making music and playing songs. The tension of the strings is lower on the ukulele, and there are fewer strings to manage, making it easier for beginners to play! Whether a beginner or a master musician, this small instrument is sure to rev up free time in a delightful way! It comes with a digital tuner, carry case, strap, guidebook, and even some fun retro stickers! Choose from four colors: Sandalwood, Sunset Red, Seafoam Green, and Pacific Blue.

 My boys had so much fun making some music on this little instrument. I loved the way this ukulele looks so tropical and how it reminds me of Hawaii. The color even matches my new renovated rooms so I let the boys store it in the family room.
KeiKi Ukuleles • Ages 5+ • MSRP: $29.95 Click here to purchase

3. Moosh-Moosh Plushy

 Who can resist hugging a soft Moosh-Moosh plushy pillow? These adorable soft cuddle buddies arrived under the Christmas tree last year and were a favorite for both my tween boys and my grandbaby. This year Moosh-Moosh has added some new unique fun items to their product line of soft pillow creatures. My favorite is the Moosh-Moosh Flashlights as these are a soft way for kids to have a flashlight at night so they can easily find their way to the bathroom or use when they get scared in the middle of the night. A press of a button on the Moosh-Moosh's ear activates the flashlight.

 My boys loved the new Moosh-Moosh Banks as it makes a fun sound when they dropped their coins into it. The Moosh-Moosh Plushy Skwishys are so soft and squishy. These small ball-shaped toys are super slow rise squishy plush that you won’t be able to put down! They even have a nice scent of chocolate!

Of course, Moosh Moosh plushies still come in the original designs available in 3 different sizes and the new items also come in the original designs so kids can mix or match the plushies. Look for these new Moosh-Moosh at Staples, Walgreens and CVS stores, to name-drop a few outlets for these irresistibly soft accessories.
 Moosh-Moosh • Ages 3+ • MSRP: $5.99 and up  Check them out Here

The 8 Best Holiday Gift Ideas For Toddlers And Preschoolers 

4. Razor Phase Two Pro Scooter Radtke

 Scooters are always so much fun to ride and they provide some great exercise for kids. The Razor Phase Two Pro Scooter Radtke scooter designed for off-road fun and would make an awesome gift for both boys and girls. My boys love Razor scooters and own several of them. The best about scooters after the crazy fun is not having to worry about flat tires like you do with a bicycle. This durable scooter is built to handle a variety of riding styles and is design and tested by John Radtke. My boys think the scooter is cool and has a killer look.

 The Phase Two Pro Scooter Radtke has some awesome features like a Die-cast aluminum spring brake cartridge that has a push-down feature. The scooter deck also has an awesome looking cool-kid design that my tween loved. This is a dual-purpose scooter that can be also used on the sidewalk making it the best transportation for tweens. My boys enjoy using this awesome scooter at the skateboard park near our home and they also use their scooters when they go to places like the store or a friend's house.
  Razor Phase Two Pro Scooter Radtke • Ages 12+ • MSRP: $299.99  Click Here to purchase

5. Spirograph

 Many of us probably remember making cool designs with the Spirograph® and have fond memories of drawing circles. This commemorative edition Spirograph® set is a reproduction of the original—just like you remember—featuring throwback packaging and retro graphics! With all the iconic wheels and rings of the original, the precision-engineered Spirograph® gears work with the 3 design pens included, as well as with most standard pens, markers, and pencils. My boys were excited to grab their color pencils and start making cool designs. I was in awe that my boys were having fun without having to be on an electronic device. This art set would be great for those long car rides and more!
Spirograph Age range: 8+ MSRP: $19.99 Where to Buy: Amazon.com


 Who doesn’t remember making shadow puppets as a kid? CINEMOOD is the portable projector that turns any surface into a magical cinema or puppet theatre! So you can create your own movie theater anywhere. This smart mini projector creates a screen up to 12-feet and the best part no wall outlet is needed. The CINEMOOD has up to 5 hours on its rechargeable battery. That makes it perfect for car rides, airplane trips summer movie nights, and even camping trips.

 This cool movie theater device even includes a digital library of 40 Disney e-books and 25 short safety videos and cartoons (does NOT include full-length Disney movies). To enjoy more movies you can stream from Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, AmebaTV, YouTube, and YouTube Kid. You can even download from Netflix or Amazon Prime Videos directly on CINEMOOD to enjoy anywhere, without WiFi.

 My boys had fun watching their favorite Youtube videos on their dark bedroom wall with the CINEMOOD. My husband already has plans to bring the CINEMOOD on their next camping trip. How cool would it be to watch a movie on a tent while sitting around a campfire in the woods?
CINEMOOD Age Range: All Ages MSRP: $399.99(device) Click Here to purchase on Amazon

7. Loog Mini Guitar

 The Loog Mini Guitar is an ideal first guitar for little ones. Small, fun and cute, but it's not a toy: it's a real instrument, made out of real wood, that projects a sweet, beautiful sound that's just unbelievable for a guitar of this size and price. When you get a Loog, you get more than just a guitar; you get an instrument bundled with an app that has everything you need to start playing songs: video lessons, a tuner and even a digital songbook so you can learn guitar by playing songs (Beatles, Stones, Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and more).

 This 3-string Loog Mini guitar comes in many colors like Red, Green, Black, Pink, White, and Yellow. This was my boy's first time playing the guitar and I enjoyed listening to them learning how to play it. The digital songbook made it easy for the boys to start playing music. Who knows maybe they might just be able to play some of dad's favorite songs that he loves to listen to on the radio.
Loog Mini Guitar • Ages 3+ • MSRP: $79, Buy on Amazon

8. Loog Pro Electric Guitar

 The Loog Pro Electric guitar is the perfect size for kids ages 8+ and has a solid wood body, maple neck, perfect intonation and low string action for enhanced playability. This guitar is fully assembled and ready to play. It is designed for kids but good enough for pros to play music on. The Loog guitar even comes with a mini amp and cable!

 The accompanying app on the Loog Pro Electric guitar will get have kids playing songs -not just scales or exercises- right from day one. With Loog, kids and beginners are playing, learning and having fun from the very beginning, acquiring skills that stay with them forever.
Loog Pro Electric Guitar • Ages 8+ • MSRP: $198.99, Buy on Amazon 

9. Buttheads Fart Launcher

 Get ready to make a BIG stink with the Buttheads Fart Launcher 3000. This bad boy launcher is silent but stinky, and lets you blast “real” fart smells up to 10 feet away! This launcher is best used in well-ventilated areas, or outdoors, but will not leave a lasting stank in more enclosed areas. The scent canister includes 100+ rounds of farty blasts and is made with 100% plant-based material that dissipates in minutes! It’s time to REEK havoc and let 'er rip!

 My boys are still into thinking farting is funny and had a blast making real fart smells. I was glad that the fart scent was 100% plant-based and the smell only lasted a few minutes as the boys had way too much fun sneaking up on me and launching the farty blasts into the family room.
Buttheads Fart Launcher • Ages 5+ • MSRP: $19.99  Click Here to purchase

10. Drinkmate Countertop Drink Maker

The Drinkmate Countertop Drink Maker is the first and only carbonation system that can carbonate any beverage. This fun machine creates fun drinks and is perfect for holiday get-togethers. You can add sparkling bubbles to any liquid of your choice. Liquids like water, juices, iced tea or coffee, wine, cocktails, mocktails, and even flat soda or beer. This drink maker needs no batteries or electricity and does not take up much space. This drink maker is a gift that is eco-friendly as it includes a reusable bottle and it will also save money as you can stop buying all those bottled drinks at the store.

 My boys had fun adding bubbles to juice and water. They made deliciously flavored sparkling water with the Drinkmate. The machine was super easy to assemble and it has been helping my boys drink more water as they love the bubbles in their drinks. This item would also make a great gift in a stocking or under the tree! Available in three modern colors: Royal red, Matte black and Ivory white.

Available: Amazon 

Which holiday gift is your favorite Christmas gift?

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