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    Non-Toy Gift Guide for Kids!

    Legos, Dolls, Nerf Guns, stuffed animals.  How many of you have bought gifts for those special little kids in your lives and then noticed a few days, weeks or months later all of those toys are collecting dust in the corner?  For the past few years this has been the story of our lives and likely, if you’re here – you probably feel the same way.   

    Keep reading for a list of some of my favorite gifts.  All of these gifts are sure to increase education, encourage creativity, and/or increase outdoor time.  (Read: less TV/screen time)

    1. Kiwi Co subscription: 

      Kiwi Co is a subscription based company that creates “crates” for people of all ages (0-104…yes you read that right, they have crates for adults too!) Their crates include science, arts and crafts, and imaginative play activities designed to help people discover, explore, and create things in the world around them delivered to your door! 

    2. Baketivity:

       My kids love baking, I mean LOVE it.  I find them in the kitchen, getting messy and creating something delicious (maybe sometimes not so delicious) all the time with me so I know this would be a great gift to continue encouraging that love for cooking.   Last year we even bought them these kid safe knives that they still use to cut up fruits and veggies! 

    3.  I Can Read! Books:

      As a teacher in my past life, reading is something I want to nurture and encourage my kids to love!  We have a few of these books already and both kids love them. There are different levels that allows you to choose according to the child. 

    4. Highlights Magazine:

      I love love loved Highlights magazines growing up.  We got a subscription to this magazine for the kids birthday this year and it is always a “highlight” (see what I did there?) when we get it in the mail!  They even have a version for kids younger than 5 called High Five.  This is a good way to keep the fun coming all year long!

    5. Melissa and Doug:  

      This brand screams creativity, education, and fun to me. They are super affordable so you can get multiple packs of these create your own kits to last your little ones a while!

    6. Movie Tickets: 

      Experiences for kids last a longer time than any toy I have ever gifted.  My kids still talk about the first time we went to watch a movie with their tiny bestie!  

    7. La Scoota:

      Encourage outdoor time without this super cool scooter that can be both sat or scooted on!  Comes in a multitude of colors that will fit any kids personality.

    8. Zoo/Museum Membership:

      Another one of my favorite things to do with the kids is visit zoos, aquariums, and museums.  Why not buy a membership that will last all year long?  This will also encourage grandparents, aunts/uncles, or even older siblings to go out on adventures with your kids!

    9. Arts & Crafts Easel:

      Encourage creativity with an easel!  In addition to this easel, grab some water colors, finger paints, crayons, colored pencils, etc. to get them started on those master pieces! 

     

    For those of you who love giving toys, don’t worry – I do too, I’ll be posting another gift guide with toys that are sure to please all kids!  I mean, who doesn’t love watching kids freak out and open all the presents they just had to have?  

    Old Navy Try On – Black Friday Special!

    It’s that time of year again!  The holidays are upon us which also means that every store we love and adore is having some super, mega, awesome sale!  This year, I teamed up with one of my favorite bloggers (@Love.Alfa) who also happens to be my bestie, and headed straight to our favorite store – Old Navy to do a try on session!   

    Old Navy has so many cute, versatile and affordable clothes that are sure to make any bargain shopper happy!  Better yet, they are running some great 40-50% off {your entire purchase} sales for Black Friday, which just makes everything better!

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    5 ingredient Yogurt Bark

    The struggle is so real in my world when it comes to breakfast!  Anyone else?  We typically have breakfast on the go since the twins like to sleep in most days.  <that’ll be tough when we start Kinder in August>

    So I finally decided that the waffles, pancakes, and granola bars we always ate, were enough.  We all needed to eat something delicious yet easy to make ahead of time and just a tad bit healthier.  Cue this amazing Yogurt Bark!   It’s 5 ingredients (more if you want to add in different fruits, flax seed oil, or chia seeds) and only took 10 minutes to prep.  

    We stuck with the basics the first time around since I didn’t know how everyone would react to it.  Insert eye roll here, because yes – my kids are very picky eaters.  Anything that works, stays around here!   You can substitute basically any of this for items you know your family will love.  The main goal is to get the maple syrup and yogurt mixed well together and laid onto a baking sheet.  Once you have that base, you can easily add fruits, granola, chia seeds, you name it!

    Once you have everything laid out onto the baking sheet, pop it in the freezer for 2 hours (or more).  Remove from the parchment paper and break it up into pieces.  I tried to do them in mickey shapes but with all the different textured and sized toppings it wasn’t easy.  Just go ahead and break them into uneven pieces.  

    As a note, if you aren’t going to be able to eat all of it in one sitting, pack it up in an air tight container and keep it in the freezer.  Bring it out as you need it and be sure to eat soon after since it can melt!  Happy Eating!

    5 Ingredient Yogurt Bark
    Quick and healthy breakfast for everyone!
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    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    2 hr
    Total Time
    2 hr 10 min
    Prep Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    2 hr
    Total Time
    2 hr 10 min
    Ingredients
    1. 1.5 cups of Greek Yogurt (I used vanilla but you can also use plain)
    2. 3 tbsp Maple Syrup
    3. 1/2 cup of Granola (any flavor is fine)
    4. 1/2 cup of any fruit
    Instructions
    1. Prep baking sheet with parchment paper
    2. In a bowl - Mix 1.5 cups of Greek Yogurt with 3 tbsp of maple syrup & pour onto baking sheet, spreading it as evenly as possible.
    3. Top with granola and your favorite fruits
    4. Pop in the freezer for 2 hours
    5. Cut or Break it into pieces & ENJOY!
    Sincerely, Sweta http://www.sincerelysweta.com/

    The One Watch Everyone Needs!

    This post is in partnership with JORD watches but all opinions are my own!  

    On a daily basis there are a few things that I always have on my person; my wedding rings, a necklace and a watch.  I have an obsession with watches.  Well really, I have an obsession with accessories and the top accessory that I need at all times is a watch. 

    My favorite one lately has been my JORD “Frankie” Watch.  From the moment I received this beauty, I knew it was going to be my go to watch on more days than not. You can tell JORD really cares about their products, their packaging was amazing.  It comes in a beautiful wood box with a cleaning cloth and a natural finishing oil that you can use to preserve the beauty of the wood.  

    I’m sure you can believe it when I say that every single time I wear this watch, someone asks me where I got it from.  It has the most vibrant emerald color and a minimalistic look which allows me to pair it with jeans, a summer maxi, or my LBD (Little Black Dress) with confidence.  The best part — its super lightweight!   I love it so much I’ve been perusing their site for my next one already!   I mean, seriously, check out their women’s watch collection, how could you only own one?

    My husband, who rarely ever wears watches, actually tried mine on when I received it and immediately said he would wear the watch because of how comfortable it was!  Hello Father’s Day present!  I just need to figure out which one I like from their men’s collection now…Ha!

    If I haven’t convinced you that you need one of these watches by now, I’ll do you a solid. Enter my giveaway for a chance to win $100 off a JORD watch HERE! Everyone who enters, even if you don’t win, receives a 10% off promo code to use towards your own watch!

    Wooden Wrist Watch

    Getting organized in a “Flash”

    …or a twirl!

    Ever since the twins were little, (you know, because 4.5 year olds are “big” Ha) they have always wanted to do everything on their own.  I mean, EVERYTHING!  I still remember the day we woke up to a handful of Karina’s hair on the ground from her brother helping her cut her yogurt pouch open but that’s a story for another time.  

    The twins’ need to be independent sent me on a search for ways to set them up for success which also kept my husband and I sane.  One of those things was figuring out how NOT to engage in a battle of “What will I wear” every. Single. Morning.  Y ’all know what I’m talking about…clothes that don’t match, shorts during the winter, or better yet, dress up outfits!!  

    (Even she’s exhausted from choosing the right clothes for the day!)

    So off on my hunt I went.  I ended up at Hobby Lobby where I found these super adorable hooks that I decided to re-purpose.  The thought was to match them to the theme in each of their rooms.  With a little bit of patience, a little bit of paint, and a lot of google searches later (apparently I don’t know a lot of super hero logos), I made a set of super hero star hooks for Sahil’s room and a set of colorful shapes for Karina’s room. 

    Linked here, you can see what they originally looked like.  FYI:  These will be located in the room décor section, originally priced at $4.99 but if you wait until décor is 50% off you can get them at $2.49!! 

    So anyways, Karina’s were super easy, I just painted them in pastels and added these silver glittery paper crowns to the hearts on each end that I had laying around the house.  The super hero themed ones were a little tougher.  I started off by drawing the symbol onto the plain star with a pencil and then painting them.  I don’t have the steadiest hand of the bunch so I outlined with a paint pen after for a “cleaner” look.

      

     

    Now that these are in place, every Sunday night, we go to each of their rooms and decide what they will wear for the week.    We can check weather in advance; Texas weather is so unpredictable and also plan for any events they have at school, like field trips.  Don’t get me wrong, there are still moments of “I don’t want to wear that” or realizing that something doesn’t fit anymore, but all in all, this simple process has changed the way our mornings start every day and I hope they will help you too! 

    Below is what the final product looks like on Sunday nights.

     

    My first blog post!

    Hello and Welcome!  I’m Sweta, I’ve spent the past 4 years or so, working at a large technology company and although I really enjoy what I do, I’ve been looking for a creative outlet for myself.  I started talking to one of my friends who is an amazing blogger and lucky for me, she gave me that much needed kick in the @$$ to take the leap into blogging.  I cant wait to jump right in and also get to know all of you along the way!

    A few fun facts about me:

    I’m a twin (boy/girl) mom – they are the funniest little munchkins and make me laugh constantly! 

    My husband and I met in Houston in 2007 and have been inseparable since.  Now married and living in Austin, TX.  Hook ’em Horns!

    I love elephants, naps, Diet Pepsi, and Iced Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiatos.  (say that three times fast)

    Above it all, my family is everything.  

    My goal with Sincerely, Sweta is to have fun while sharing tips and tricks to make life easier.  I’ll share recipes, awesome fashion finds, fun family activities, and DIY projects.  I hope you’ll stick around to see more! 

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.