Holidays, Salty Mama Lists, Tips & Hacks

Best Gifts for Families

This post contains affiliate links. Additionally, this post is part of a sponsored opportunity through MomSelect and HP. You can read more at our Legal Disclosures page. Thank you! 

You know how it goes- you have a friend that you exchange gifts with regularly. Sometimes you start out when you’re single, then move on to couples’ gifts.  Pretty soon a baby comes, and then another…and another…and another…and another…and soon you are buying for a small tribe.

Before you start tearing your hair out buying little toys for all those little people, might we suggest a few gifts that the whole family will love. Continue reading “Best Gifts for Families”

Effing Four Year Olds, Holidays, Kids' Activities, momlife, parenting, The Salties, Tips & Hacks

The Elf on the Friggin Shelf

It’s easy enough to pretend the Elf on the Shelf is not a thing when your kids are little. Maybe you pass by them in the store, tell your kids those are dolls, and move on with your life. Maybe you have vowed never to take up with that foul creature. Maybe you’re just bitter you aren’t the marketing genius that came up with that thing. Whatever the case may be, you’re probably okay skipping the elf without anyone knowing the difference.

Until someone starts school. And then get ready to hop up on that bandwagon sleigh.

I knew “all the kids” in Lila’s class had elves, and had even successfully fielded some questions about why we didn’t get one at our house.  Santa knew Lila was nice enough already without sending an elf to spy on her, and all the elves were visiting other kids this year. She accepted it cheerfully enough and I thought we were out of the woods.

And then we had a friend from school over for a playdate, and they asked to see her elf, and Lila was like, “oh she’s on the roof today.” I was a Hill, “silly Lila, we don’t have an elf,” and she burst into tears, and I found out my daughter sits on a throne of lies (see what I did there?). She felt super left out when the other kids were talking about elves, and so she had told them she had one, too. She’d even told them stories about her elf’s exploits. So when she got busted? Yeah, she had all the feelings.

So we wrote a letter to Santa asking what the hold-up was in the elf department. Lila requested he “find a solution and send an elf to this house by Friday.” (She told me to write that part in a stern voice.) So it looks like I’m heading to Target and trying to find an elaborate backstory as to why her elf took so long to get here.


So for others who might find themselves in a similar situation…we’ve compiled this list of resources to help you.  Or not. Because, despite what our kids would have us believe, you are still in charge and you can do what you want to.

And if you decide to take on the Elf on the Shelf

…Check out the Paper Heart Family’s Elf on the Shelf for Busy Mom’s Guide for the easiest way to accomplish the whole elf thing without driving yourself bananas

…And follow our Easy Elf Ideas pinterest board so you’ll be prepared

…Or read why it’s okay to love the Elf on the Shelf at A Modern Mom’s Life

… But don’t forget to have some handy excuses prepared for when the Elf Forgets to Move.

And if you are never doing the Elf, never not ever…

…Prepare yourself with this List of Reasons Why You Don’t Have an Elf 

…Or simply Indulge Your Hatred with

And if you started Elf on the Shelf and regret it every day…

Do what this mom or this mom did, pat yourself on the back, and pour yourself a margarita. It’s the Salty Mama way.


The #ElfontheShelf- Love it or Leave It? Read the pros and cons- and tips for either approach!- at


Chick-Fil-A, Holidays, Salty Mama Lists, Tips & Hacks

Saturday Six

This post contains affiliate links. As always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are our own. You can read more about it at our Legal & Disclosures.  Thank you!

Here are six things we are LOVING on this week.

1. The Holiday Movie Bracket from With Love and a Little Self Deprecation

Not being big on March Madness and the like, we never thought we would take a bracket so seriously. But pitting A Christmas Story versus It’s a Wonderful Life? Oh, it’s ON! Continue reading “Saturday Six”

Effing Four Year Olds, Holidays, Kids' Activities, momlife, parenting, The Salties, Tips & Hacks, Traditions

Teaching Kids the Spirit of Giving This Holiday Season

Last year at Christmastime, I had everything. I had a beautiful Christmas tree, home baked goods, the love of my family and friends…

And an entitled three year old who thought SHE should have everything, too. Everything from the Target toy aisle, anyways.

No matter how I tried, I could NOT convince her to pare down her list. Every catalog that came in the mail, every trip to Target for diapers, even phone calls to the grandparents seemed to unleash her inner Gimme Monster. On one particularly bad, trying-to-make-a-list-for Santa Claus day, this Mama had had enough. Continue reading “Teaching Kids the Spirit of Giving This Holiday Season”

Cheapskating, Holidays, Tips & Hacks

Microhustle Monday Presents: How to Earn Some Passive Cash with Ebates

This post contains affiliate links. We may make a commission if you sign up for this program after clicking the link, but as always, the thoughts and opinions described here are our own. You can read more at our Legal and Disclosures page. Thank you for supporting The Salty Mamas!

It’s that time of year again, folks- that’s right, it’s the happiest time of the year!


Remember the days when you had to schlep from store to store, children in tow, as you hiked and searched and ran price comparisons and did the returns and exchanges and oh-crap-I-forgot-Aunt-May?

Nope. Us Either.

We’ve been doing our holiday shopping online for YEARS. Not only can it be done while you are trapped under a sleeping baby, but you don’t have to buckle and unbuckle 1 million carseat straps in the process.

And best of all- it can earn you money.

If you haven’t heard of Ebates yet, you need to sign up, like, yesterday.  You typically earn a nice little bonus for signing up, which is perfect to get you started (As of the writing of this post, you will receive a $10 bonus after making your first $25 in purchases). After that, you just begin all your shopping trips at or on the Ebates app. It’ll take you to the store’s website, and then you just shop like normal. After your purchase is complete, Ebates will add a percentage of your purchase back to your account (varies greatly from store to store) and you can watch the earnings pile up.

You can help your earnings add up faster by shopping on Double Cashback days, and by doing some percentage-and-price comparisons. For example, Amazon and Kohl’s may have the same KitchenAid mixer you’ve been eyeing for the same price (this is the one I just got. Isn’t it a DREAM?), but Kohl’s typically gives higher percentages back through Ebates, so it ends up being a little cheaper in the long run.

So click here to hop on this bandwagon quick so that you can maximize your earnings before the holiday season. And make sure you’re following us on Facebook! We’re expecting some good deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and you don’t want to miss out on our reminders!

The EASIEST way to earn money by shopping online. Read more about one of our favorite microhustles at #ebates #onlineshopping #earnmoneyfromhome


Holidays, momlife, parenting, Salty Mama Lists

Gifts For the Kid That Has EVERYTHING

22782085_10102463859078757_463923612_nThis post contains affiliate links. As always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are our own. You can read more at our Legal & Disclosures page. Thank you!

I don’t know about you guys, but we are constantly waging the Battle Against Stuff over here. My kids have all the toys, all the gadgets and gizmos, and so many clothes.  And do you know what they play with most? Rocks and balls and baby dolls, and we’ve got plenty of all of those things already! But Christmas will come around again, and lovely, well-intentioned people will be asking me what the kids want. So, what DO you get the child that has everything? Here’s a few of our favorite ideas! Continue reading “Gifts For the Kid That Has EVERYTHING”

Holidays, momlife, parenting, Traditions

Happy 4th of July, Kinda

Ah, the Fourth of July.  We celebrate our freedom. We eat hot dogs and hamburgers and watch fireworks displays. If we’re lucky, some of us go to the beach or the lake or a pool, and we visit with our friends and family and neighbors, and we soak up what it means to be an American.

Unless you’re a certain brand of mother, who lives in a certain kind of neighborhood , who has kids with certain expectations.

Okay, so let’s get more specific- if you’re me.

The Fourth of July has been my favorite holiday FOREVER. It’s also my only favorite uncle’s birthday, so every year my family would gather at our house for a barbeque, and since he’s my favorite uncle, I’d always make a special 4th of July themed dessert to go alongside the cake my mom made.  We’d hang out, and around six o’clock, we’d head to the local middle school where we’d sit on the field with what felt like the whole town, eating Rice Krispie treats and chocolate chip cookies, waving our glow sticks and throwing a Frisbee as the sun went down. We’d beg for snow cones from the cart until my mom eventually caved, and we stood in lines to use the portapotties, because of course we had refused forgot to go before we left the house. Then we’d cue up our radio to the station playing music specially synchronized with the show (country music, of course, because NORCAL), and settle into our camping chairs to watch the fireworks while eating salty popcorn and drinking homemade sweet tea. It was glorious, and hella American. I mean, who wouldn’t love the 4th of July?!?

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And then I grew up, and it hit me like a Roman Candle. You know who probably didn’t love the 4th of July? My mother.

Reread that paragraph up there, and you’ll see her hard work in every line. She cooked and coordinated dinner for the entire extended family.  She baked cookies and Rice Krispie treats and a birthday cake. She not only packed but schlepped those treats, along with popcorn and a thermos of sweet tea, AND camping chairs, frisbies, glowsticks, blankets, and a radio. She didn’t forget any of those things, ever. Never mind that my dad worked nights back then, so it was always just her doing all that work, on her own. And me? I had no effing concept.

Until now. Until I’m the keeper of the whole shebang. It literally takes me a full week to prep for this freaking holiday. Like, I’m not kidding, I’ve been baking cookies since Saturday. I’ve been to three different stores, each on more than one occasion, and have made list after list.  I’ve shucked corn and made Mac N Cheese in advance and baked a thousand other treats and didn’t forget the glowsticks or anything else, I think, although to be honest the holiday is just beginning and there’s still lots of time to realize all the things I forgot to do.


So here’s to the moms baking like madwomen, and schlepping camping chairs all over the world, and working their asses off in boiling hot houses while their husbands drink beer and man the DaddyQ. Here’s to the mamas that are organizing block parties, or decorating bikes for the parade, or buying last minute sparklers that they thought they remembered but actually forgot. And, also, here’s to the moms kicking back and drinking a beer. Because let’s face it, you’re doing this thing right. I could learn a thing or two from you.

And yeah, so maybe it’s not my favorite holiday these days.  Maybe none of them get to be my favorite holiday anymore. But my kids, man.  My kids are going to be living it up today. And if I work my ass off today, and next year, and the year after that, the 4th of July could become a thing of legend for them, too, just like my mom made it for me.  I get to be the baker, the keeper of the popcorn, and the maker of traditions.  And maybe, with the help of my kiddos’ sweet smiles and 17 a couple of drinks, I can find a way to make it a pretty damn good day for myself, too.  

Collage 2017-07-03 21_49_12

How Moms Can Create the Best Fourth of July for their family- and themselves!- from #4thofjuly #fourthofjuly #4thofjulyfamilyactivities #blockpartyideas