How to make the ultimate hospitality basket for your guests

How to make the ultimate hospitality basket for your guests #HolidayNecessities #CG

Tomorrow will officially begin Christmas at my house because my whole family will all be here! Between JP being off school and the festive feel in the air, it’s finally hitting us that it’s finally here. I’ve known for the longest time that I would have house guests this year, so I’ve been preparing and putting alot of thought into how I will make it the best possible experience. One of the ways I’ve come up with is putting together a nice basket of toiletries with everything you could possibly need in it.

Isin’t it the worst when you go to a friends home, use their bathroom and find out there’s no toilet paper after you’ve done your business? My first instinct is to look in the cabinet under the sink, but nobody really wants to feel like they’re snooping so it’s a little awkward to poke your head out of the bathroom and ask, “hey, can I have a roll of toilet paper?”

How to make the ultimate hospitality basket for your guests #HolidayNecessities #CG

To avoid putting my guests in that situation, I have come up with a hospitality basket that includes everything I could possibly think of. I went to Walmart and loaded up on Cottonelle®, Kleenex®, Scott®, and Viva® products because I was able to use their ibotta app to save some money! I also passed through the travel item section and found some other great knicknacks to include.Using the ibotta app, I was able to save $1 off Cottonelle® (12-ct or larger), $1 off Scott® (12-ct or larger) $1 off Viva® (6-ct or larger) and finally –  Buy two products and get an extra dollar back!

How to make the ultimate hospitality basket for your guests #HolidayNecessities #CG

With 7 adults and a child, we’ll definitely be using some toilet paper, kleenex® and Viva® paper towels. Viva® is one of my favorites because it is so strong and absorbent. If I use it to wipe up water, I almost always wring it out, let it dry and use it again. Since we’ll be cooking up a holiday feast, there’s some messes that are sure to get made.

How to make the ultimate hospitality basket for your guests #HolidayNecessities #CG

Kleenex® is great to have around too, so I always keep a box on the back of my toilet for convenience. I love that they come in these cool looking oval shaped boxes too! Toilet paper comes in all varieties too – I bought Cottonelle® for its softness and Scott for its value

How to make the ultimate hospitality basket for your guests #HolidayNecessities #CG

So let the countdown begin! I’m ready for all the festivities to begin!! I put this little basket in the bathroom so my guests will have everything they need at their fingertips and not have to awkwardly poke their head out to ask.

In the basket I put travel size toiletries just like a hotel!

1 roll of Cottonelle® Toilet Paper, shampoo & conditioner, bar soap, bath gel, mouthwash, toothpaste, toothbrushes (incase they forgot), bath sponge, shave cream and makeup wipes.

 How to make the ultimate hospitality basket for your guests #HolidayNecessities #CG

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Why I’m going to begin a gluten-free lifestyle in 2016

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As part of a sponsored campaign for irritable bowel syndrome – today I bring you the story of my path to wellness.

Why I'm going to begin a gluten-free lifestyle in 2016 #AD #IBSinAmerica

It was the beginning of the summer and suddenly I began to notice all sorts of new aches and pains – specifically in my muscles and joints that had never been there before. I was convinced that aches and pains were a normal part of aging and I didn’t give it much of a second thought. I went to see my doctor to check it out and she dismissed it as a minor case of tendinitis and told me the pain would go away in a few days time.

Why I'm going to begin a gluten-free lifestyle in 2016 #AD #IBSinAmerica

But the pain persisted and got much worse…

It eventually got so bad that I was limited by what I could do, yet I still had to carry on in order to take care of my babies. I struggled with diaper changes, hobbled around everywhere, dropped things from muscle weakness and broke out in a horrible itchy skin rash. To add insult to injury, I also had the occasional bit of tummy trouble – but who wants to talk about that? Little did I know, it was all part of a bigger picture I was not seeing. The doctor concluded that I was experiencing arthritis – in hindsight, I maybe should have mentioned the ibs symptoms I was experiencing.. But I didn’t – I felt it was too embarrassing and maybe a little inappropriate and/or TMI… So I left that part out… Isin’t it interesting that most people have an easier time bringing up sexual topics than bathroom ones? I’ll raise my hand on that one.. I’m guilty!

Why I'm going to begin a gluten-free lifestyle in 2016 #AD #IBSinAmerica

Why I'm going to begin a gluten-free lifestyle in 2016 #AD #IBSinAmerica

So you’re probably wondering where muscle and joint pain tie in with ibs? Well, as it turns out the muscle pains and ibs or irritable bowel syndrome were a symptom of a another condition – Celiac’s disease a.k.a “the gluten intolerance”. Between doctor’s misdiagnosing arthritis and telling me I had tendinitis, I knew deep down there was something more. This is what prompted me into trying something different – so I tried a gluten free diet to see if it improved my well being.

Within a week, all the aches and pains suddenly evaporated and I felt new again and no more tummy trouble! Infact, I felt so much better that it made me consider how long I’ve been living this way and never took notice?

It’s been a tough to give up wheat, because wheat is in everything – literally. Unless its vegetation, meat or dairy, there’s a good chance there’s some wheat in there somewhere too. Now that I know the secret behind all my discomfort, 2016 will be the year that I change all that and adapt to a gluten free lifestyle to keep ibs at bay.

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While all experiences and opinions are my own, this post is sponsored by the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), which commissioned the “IBS in America” survey, the most comprehensive IBS survey of both patients and physicians ever conducted, polling more than 3,200 sufferers and 300 physicians to better understand this condition, with the financial support of Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Allergan plc. For full survey results, visit http://bit.ly/1LwtDgp.

Family movie night with Pop Works & Company popcorn

Popcorn: The fancy & fun snack - #PopWorks #sponsored

With the holidays nearly here, I’ve been putting the last minute touches on the snacks we’ll have available for us while we enjoy the company of house guests. Both my sister and parents are coming to stay over the holidays and I couldn’t be more excited to have them! It’s not often that I get to see my family, so every visit we have is cherished, and this year will be no exception.

It will be that much speacialer (I just made that up!) because my kids will open their presents on Christmas morning with their grandparents present. It will also be Melody’s first Christmas and a first for all of us as a family of 4. I could go on and on, but I’m mostly just excited that there will be memories made of Christmas 2015 for all of us to look back and reflect on in years to come.

Popcorn: The fancy & fun snack - #PopWorks #sponsored

We’ve got lots of time to spend together, and besides feasting on turkey and binging on holiday treats  I plan to have us do some family activities like watching a movie or playing board games. Games are always better with snacks, and if you’re tired of all the rich desserts you’ve been gorging on, you might find that Pop Works & Company is a refreshing change.

Popcorn: The fancy & fun snack - #PopWorks #sponsored

Pop Works & Company popcorn comes in 3 flavors – (far left) Cookies and Cream (middle) Birthday Cake (far right) Chocolate/Salted Caramel. I love that the bags aren’t too big that they would make excellent stocking stuffers for the popcorn lover in your family.

Myself personally? I’m going to lay them out on the tray and let my guests do the grazing!!

Popcorn: The fancy & fun snack - #PopWorks #sponsored

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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