texts from santa

December 7, 2018


as the kids get older, it can sometimes be hard to keep them "believing". Mila is turning 5 soon, and it's great to have new traditions each year. so when texts from santa reached out to me, I knew I wanted to add this to our holiday traditions list. sure we have the elf on the shelf, and our ornaments that get rearranged daily, but finding something the girls could actually interact with and look forward to, was the perfect addition.






you can sign up HERE -- create an account for your child. include their name, age + even the name of your "elf" for an added personalization, and you'll get texts + pictures every day for the whole month of December. 

Mila has been so excited to see her custom texts directly from Santa himself + sometimes even Mrs. Claus! 


keeping the spirit of Christmas alive for our girls is one of the greatest things about the holidays, and texts from santa is the cutest addition. a perfect gift for any little believer in your life!


*this posts contains affiliate links. all opinions are my own.

holiday gift guide 2018

November 23, 2018


I wanted to keep this as informative + useful as possible. everything will be linked so you can use this as your 1-stop-stop holiday gift guide. I hope you guys enjoy!


her.
whether she is your significant other, sister, friend or mother, I think any of these ideas would be awesome gifts. 

ladies love to be pampered, so a gift card or monthly membership to a massage studio is always a big hit! if that's not in the budget, make her feel pampered at home. I am so into cute pajamas + cozy slippers. top it off with some self-care items, like face masks (and wine), total win!




want to know a little secret? self care subscriptions boxes are the shit. I have tried pretty much every one under the sun (as well as gifted them), and my all time favorite is birchbox. it's $10 a month for a box filled with sample size beauty products. I even did this as a bride-to-be gift, so she could try out some goodies before her big day. they also provide discounts if you love a product and want to buy the full size. they do 3,6 and 12 month subscriptions. 



know someone who loves jewelry? rocksbox is for you! if you follow me on instagram (@gniccccc), you'd know that I have partnered with them multiple times over the last few years. for $21/month, you get 3 exclusive pieces from all the top designers. "rent" the pieces for as long as you'd like, send the box back when you are ready for some new items, and if you love an item, the $21 goes directly towards any purchase!



does she love to read? depending on her style, books are always a great little item to make any gift seem a little more "personal". as a mom, we don't get much time to sit down and read, but sometimes it's the little push we need to take a minute for ourselves when everyone is in bed.




kids.
this is my favorite category. I am super into "open ended" toys, meaning, they can be used over and over again .. not played with for 8 seconds and then tossed out. I also think experiences are way better than any toy or gadget. when looking for a toy, these were my top picks!

play sets are awesome. Lego recently came out with a Disney collaboration and I am totally grabbing one for Mila. something she can build over and over again, is a great way to help imaginative play. I also love these wooden name puzzles. great to help them learn their letters, and super personalized.



another awesome wooden set I came across, and already grabbed for the girls is brainblox. they are the perfect wooden blocks set, focusing on STEM learning. the girls totally loved playing with this!


staying on the Disney train, one of my favorite gifts we had ever gotten for Mila was a personalized princess book. Mila loves reading this over and over, especially since her own pictures are in the actual book. want to spoil them every month? Disney just came out with a princess subscription box. you can pick 1 year, 6 months or go month to month!

subscription boxes for kids are super popular this holiday season. one of my favorites is kiwico. another STEM based system, based on age groups, they will send you monthly activities personalized for your kid. no matter what they are into (science, art, math), there is a box for them! right now, it's $160 for a full year of boxes!

looking for a more "fashionable" gift? mac + mia is for you! create a profile for the child and they'll send you hand picked clothing and accessories! you are also assigned a personal stylist who you can communicate with whenever needed. discussing your style, practicality and budget. we used mac + mia multiple times, and always found unique pieces. if you want to purchase anything, you are given awesome discounts.

looking for a gift geared more towards the parents of the kid? YUMBLE is perfect! it's a meal subscription plan based completely around your kid! tons of awesome meals and snacks. perfect for back to school, busy sports schedules, and great for the working parent who gets home right at dinner time .. with no idea what to cook. I have used YUMBLE before and it was a true game changer.

want to cover some of the expenses of having a kid in sports? any parent would deeply appreciate a gift card for any local activity. gymnastics, dance, swim class and even cooking classes are a great way to help keep the kids busy, all while helping the parents out with some of the costs. 

if you're torn on an idea, try even an indoor "play" area. my friend once got a gift card to a local indoor trampoline park and they loved it! something you know the family will appreciate. perfect for the winter time and keeping the kids busy!

double bonus: be the one to take the child to the activity, awesome bonding time for you and the little babe.

looking for something they can use all year long? I came across this burlap indoor swing a while back, and plan to finally have Santa make the purchase. perfect for any bedroom or playroom! it does not come with mounting supplies, but they are available as an extra option.


him.
guys are literally the hardest to shop for, or it is just my husband? he is very particular about everything, so finding something he actually likes has always been tough. I normally opt for a gift card to some of his favorite shops, but sometimes, I get daring and actually wrap something up for him.

one thing I have learned, is that men love to do shit themselves. anything they can create, seems to always be a big hit. want to make your own hot sauces? done. want to drink whiskey all night? done. want to make your own beer? i got you covered.

who know they had subscription boxes for guys? want to know my favorites? sock fancy is perfect for any guy on your list. the perfect pop to any causal (or date night) outfit. 

know a fisherman? then lucky tackle box is for you! they offer awesome 3, 6 or 12 month memberships for crazy good prices! they also have 3 "box sizes", depending on budget and level of fishing.


home.
I would totally be lying if I said I didn't plan on buying any of these. because I am. sorry Santa. most of these I have, but I am crossing my fingers for a few extra this year. PLEASE SANTA!

you guys, the iRobot is so bad ass. at first I wasn't using it too often, but lately? it's almost daily. the app syncs to your phone so you can just press the ON button and BOOM. clean floors.

another smart device (which you can also sync to the iRobot), is the Amazon echo PLUS. completely upgrade with sound and features, this baby will practically babysit your kids for you. SOLD. they have tons of price options, so whatever fits you budget, you can grab one!

calling all mamas and coffee lovers. this ninja coffee bar is under $150 and literally is like having your own personal barista in your house. hot or iced specialities, top it off with some frothed milk and see ya later. I have been eyeing this one up for a while and can't wait to finally have it delivered. 

another awesome product for your house, is security cameras. we actually have one for Lucy's room and we are obsessed. the YI home camera systems sync up to your wi-fi so you can access them anytime. they will playback any motion recorded and also allow you to talk directly into the camera. you can buy them single, but I linked the 4 pack since it's under $120.

want to treat someone to a one size fits all gift? how about an amazon prime membership or even a subscription to netflix? how freaking cool.

looking for a fun gift? you guessed it! subscription boxes! gift someone to blue apron or hello fresh. we had gotten a gift card for one and it was seriously such an awesome surprise. 


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I hope you guys enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed creating it for you! I have made all links "shoppable", or you can find some extra ideas down below!



brain blox

November 18, 2018


it takes a lot for me (no seriously, a LOT) to be influenced by an "influencer" on social media. most of the items I see are overpriced and are in way too high of demand, meaning .. everyone and their mother will have it .. which isn't really my style. 

I started drafting up my 2018 gift guide a few weeks back and began researching for the "kids" category. I came across someone's stories on IG and I stopped dead in my tracks.

I know for my girls, they love imaginative play. they love to create things over and over again. I didn't want to include any toys that would last for 6 minutes and then end up in the bottom of the bucket. I really wanted to find toys that would "grow with them" and challenge them.

BrainBlocks are the perfect toy for any age, gender and even "education" level. my girls are 4.5 and almost 2, and they were able to both create at their own pace. Mila followed most of the sample ideas in the booklet that's included, while Lu did more of a "domino" effect. 



"teaches math, physics +
engineering concepts"


I included brainblox in my upcoming gift guide, but wanted to make sure I gave you guys a little more input on them, rather than just "oh buy these!". every morning the girls grab them (in the adorable storage bag that's included), and dump them all out onto the floor, giving me some extra time in bed .. WIN WIN!

the building blanks allow the girls to create whatever they wanted -- even John got in on the fun & used every block (all 200) to make a tower that the girls got to knock over!




"develops problem solving
+ reasoning abilities"

another plus? the owner. Christine + I had chatted a little before she was beyond thoughtful to send us out a box. she is so hands on + stands behind her brand 100%.

I plan to get my gift guide up this week, so I hope you come back to check that out! I am so happy to introduce you guys to brainblox and make sure you tell Santa to add it to the list!

G.

back to school with YUMBLE KIDS

August 19, 2018


So odds are you have been falling asleep looking up Pinterest ideas on how to crush this upcoming school year. new backpacks, ways to "get your kids out the door on time", chore charts, but what about meals?

Sure there are a ton of ideas online, but that means you'll have to go to the store, dirty dishes + actually cook - UGH!

I have teamed up with YUMBLE KIDS to make your meals easier (and give you an amazing discount code). 



YUMBLE KIDS is an online meal prep service, totally customized to your child's needs. Whether they have allergies, or you have a specific diet for them, you can find everything at YUMBLE KIDS.

They provide snacks, lunches + dinners, that you can heat up (some don't even need to be heated) in the oven or microwave! Meaning: less dirty dishes + happy kids with happy bellies.

Just click HERE, create an account + decide on your subscription.

6 meals, 12 meals or even 24 meals

.. then stalk your mailman for the cutest box, fully insulated to make sure your meals arrive fresh

Each meal gives you nutritional facts + lists all allergens, incase a friend wants to try some.



But my favorite part? Each delivery included a "busy bag" filled with coloring sheets + activities, perfect for keeping your little one busy while their meals heat up!



YUMBLE KIDS gave me a promo code for you guys to save 30% off your 1st TWO WEEKS!

Enter GZABRISKI30 at check out, or simply click HERE to have the discount automatically applied to your order. ENJOY!

G.



*this post includes affiliate links. all opinions are my own*

BTS: mila's 1st birthday

June 7, 2018


talk about a throwback! since last month was 1 year I officially bought tattoos + fairytales, I thought it would be cute to do a blog post on Mila's 1st birthday to celebrate!

I have had a few mamas reach out who are currently planning their babe's birthdays, so I figured I could share all my tips + tricks in one easy to find place. we have thrown about 6 parties now between both girls + my advice? always have it out somewhere. we have done it both ways + man, having it out always wins. yes it's more expensive, but that's really the only con. you don't need to clean up (before OR after). nobody destroys your house. the food is already cooked + you can keep asking for alcohol refills. WIN.

mama tip: bring pajamas for your babe. they will be exhausted at the end of their party + will love getting comfy after a long day!





the guest list
I get it. it's your first kid's first birthday - wahoo. you want to make it amazing, but just keep in mind, they will not remember any of it. Mila wasn't even walking on her own, which meant she was either attached to me or John. we wound up having 73 people. we don't have large families, but we did invite a lot of friends, who had their own kids. but the good news? every birthday after this, the guest list gets smaller. trust me.







the venue
now, we had to find a place to hold everyone comfortably. we decided on a restaurant since the party was mainly for the adults. so we found a place with a large back room, it's own private bartender (hello!) + they allowed us to rearrange the room how we wanted, which was huge. plus they let us to set up the night before.





the menu
we had it set up family style. they brought around huge bowls of pasta + salads at each table. I had also made homemade "pink" popcorn for every table to snack on before anything was served. my best friend also came over the night before to help with all the desserts. I made all the cupcakes, her birthday cake, chocolate dipped pretzels + rice krispies. there's just something about making the cake for your birthday babe that is super sentimental to me. 








the goodie bags
even though I don't do favors anymore, this year I decided on "busy bags". since it was a party mainly for the adults, I had given each kid their own bag before the party started. filled with puzzles, crayons + books. I thought any type of entertainment would be good, allowing the adults to get a quick hot meal in. these were a huge hit!




the extras
my advice to ANY mama, get a photographer. this might sound crazy to some, but if you are a picture lover like me + always say "i wish we took more pictures last night!" - then you will appreciate this. we had done a shoot for Mila's birthday a few weeks prior (which we used as decor also) + I knew right then that I wanted to have Danielle come shoot the party, as well as be a guest. we have the same vibe, so she knew exactly what shots I would die over + as always, she delivered.

I knew I wanted Mila to have a special high chair, so I found a vintage wooden one online + John sanded it down + I used a teal chalk paint to finish it. it came out amazing. I actually wound up selling it after the party which was a nice bonus!






now that I have completely sobbed writing this + looking back at all these old pictures, I will be pouring myself a glass of wine + indulging in a little jersey shore action. I hope you guys enjoyed this post! any other questions, just leave a comment below!


G.

summer fridays: first impression

April 9, 2018


one of my favorite things about this community, is the relationships you create. I have been following Marianna Hewitt for years, so when she dropped the news of a new skin care product she had been working on, I knew I had to grab it.

I have been using Summer Fridays "JetLag Mask" for just over 2 weeks now so I thought it was a valid time to do a first impressions review for you guys! I shared it on my IG + so many of you were interested, especially if it's worth the price ($48, Sephora.com).




before I get into my review, I wanted to give you some back story on my skin.

my skin:
so growing up, I never had clear skin. I would have little breakouts here + there, then struggled with cystic breakouts later in my 20s. I tanned for 10+ years, stopped for about 5 years now, so I do have some discoloration in my skin tone too. I never have had Botox + honestly don't struggle from dark circles or wrinkles (yet!). I was looking for a hydrating additive for my skincare routine, so when I came across the JetLag mask, I thought it would be perfect.

ever since having my first babe, 4 years ago, my skin has been really good with breakouts. most of them would be hormonal, and it wasn't up until recently (when I got an IUD), that i noticed breakouts more frequently as my body adjusted. now, a few months later, they have lessened so I knew it was time to try Summer Fridays on a fresh + clean canvas.

overall, 6/10.

I was honestly a little bummed. a few of my IG friends had said the same. that the reviews they saw online about it being life changing, had to be a huge exaggeration. 

you can use the mask 2 ways. 1, is to apply a thin later. let it soak for 10 minutes, then take a warm washcloth and wipe/pat the excess off. OR 2, leave it on.

I never wiped it off. like I said, I was looking for something hydrating. so after my nightly showers, I'd apply it and sleep in it. it never caused any breakouts - which is a huge win in my book.

it wasn't until I added some jojoba oil to it, that I noticed a huge glow

I would use about a nickel sized dollop of JetLag Mask, with about 6-7 drops of jojoba oil, and pat it into my skin. even my husband said "wow. why are you so glowy!?" men.

again, I would sleep in it overnight + go about my normal routine in the morning.

I personally didn't see a difference in my "wrinkles" or "under eyes", but again, they were never a concern to begin with. 



after adding the jojoba oil, I would stand at a 7-8/10, since it did keep my skin hydrated, just not solo.

will I repurchase it? maybe.


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have you guys tried it? thoughts? reviews? I am so curious to know how others loved it, if they saw a huge difference in their skin, or not? let me know! thanks for hanging out with me on this post. you guys rock.


G.

monthly faves

April 5, 2018


hey guys! so I took a poll on my IG (@gniccccc) on if you would like to see my favorite buys of the month, and the consensus was YES! I thought it would be a fun place to share the goodies, so  you can grab them too! I try to share as much as I can, even sale items, but as a mom - it can be time consuming. so hopefully I can get more of these posts up! but for now, lets do it!


if there are items that I can't find directly, I will share similar finds! or just DM me + I can tell you where I found them!










blog: Q+A

March 8, 2018


guys! where have I been? jeez. I tend to fall off for a few weeks here + there, handle business + then come back in a storm. so let's see how this goes.

I have been getting a ton of questions lately about this whole blogging thing, so I thought having all the answers in 1 place was smart, so you can easily reference back if needed.

a little background: I have been blogging for honestly over 10 years. I had a little beauty blog way back when blogging wasn't even a job. it was called Rags to Riches + Back Again. it was based off the fact that I had $25k+ in credit card debt, that I paid off in under a year .. so all of my beauty finds were super affordable + awesome. proving you didn't need to spend a fortune to look good.


okay so now let's get to the questions:


Q: how do you get paid?

A: okay so there are a ton of answers to this, but for ME, it's through collaborations + affiliate links. meaning, when a company reaches out to me to collab (promote their product), they can send me free product in exchange for a review, and can also send me compensation in addition. affiliate links mean companies I am an affiliate with (Target, Amazon + LikeToKnowIt), pay me commission when I share their products + you click/buy through my links. so when you see #ad #sponsored, it's because I legally have to share that, meaning I was given some type of compensation.


Q: how do you gain followers?

A: again, there are a million answers, but for me it's through giveaways + networking. comment on other pages in similar niches, get to know other influencers, share for share. if you are tagging brands in your pictures (even if you aren't affiliated with them), check out their IG pages + see their flow. they may repost one of your shots that include their product .. which will gain you followers. 

some people buy followers (which is obvious, we see you), but I am not about to spend my hard earned money on people from other countries who don't even speak english to follow me. I share my kids + family, I don't need random ass people looking at my page just for a follow count.

this also gives companies false information, which again, is wrong. if you show a 10k count, your ratios better be on point. your engagement rates should show an authentic following. which is why it's so obvious when people buy followers/comments. companies want to work with authentic influencers who have strong engagement. giving false information to brands is not how you become reputable.


Q: how do you get involved with giveaways?

A: for me, I have always been approached. I know some girls reach out to other influencers to work with, I never have. but remember, if you do a giveaway, you will lose about 1/2 of the followers who followed you to enter. which sucks, but there are ways to help keep them - do your research. also, if you do a giveaway, and have great success, ask the admin if they have anymore giveaways coming up to jump in on. I have had so many girls reach out to me saying they did a giveaway, barely gained followers + rigged the winner. this is bullshit. do your research prior to joining. look at the other girls involved, do you have the same niche? do they have decent sized followings? how will they pick the winner? you are building your business/brand, you need to ask questions before you affiliate yourself with other pages.


Q: what are your biggest struggles?

A: TIME. obviously. I work, have 2 kids, a home to maintain, a husband who works 16+ hours a day on my days off, and a blog to run. I do try to set up content for a few days in advance, but that doesn't aways happen. 

people who copy. god. nothing aggravates me more. it takes so much time to think out content, set up props, think of the proper captions that include links for your followers. I work with brands who i truly believe in. I don't get product sent + share it right away. I test it out, give honest reviews. so to see other people copying your content/affiliates/captions, is honestly the worst part. but welcome to the world wide web, right?




I hope this helped. if there are any other questions you guys might have about jumping into this blogging world, you can always email me or DM me on my IG: @gniccccc. you guys rock + thank you for always sending me the sweetest words. so thankful for this community.

G.

date night: early valentine's edition

January 21, 2018


I know we are a few weeks away, but with so much going on in our house, we decided to celebrate Valentine's Day a little early. we snagged a babysitter, put the girls down for bed + hit the road.



it's rare we actually get time alone, so we got a little adventurous + took the drive down to Atlantic City. any excuse to get fancy, count me in!

I couldn't wait to wear some of my new Christmas gifts, but I was most excited to wear my new Jord watch.

__________






I always found that well thought out gifts meant the most, and a classic piece like Jord, takes the cake. They are handcrafted, customized wooden watches that stand out in the best ways. They have a sizing tool on their website to ensure that when your Jord watch arrives in the mail, it's ready to be worn!

Totally chic enough to wear to dinner + classic enough to throw on for a day of errands. I am obsessed with anything oversized, so you know I snagged one with a large face!

The perfect gift for your valentine this year! And don't forget, they can be engraved to add a personal touch.

__________

I have teamed up with Jord for the best giveaway!

where 1 lucky winner will receive a $100 gift code towards the purchase of their watch

all you have to do is click HERE to fill out the entry form!

__________

want to shop my watch: shop it HERE
shop all women's: HERE
shop all men's: HERE

__________


*this post is sponsored by Jord. All opinions/reviews are my own.

fresh face with origins

January 16, 2018


getting free shit is always awesome, but it's even more awesome when you are obsessed with the product. 

I am a creature of habit, so if a product works for me, odds are, I won't be trying anything new. when Influenster send me some goodies to try out, I was siked.

Origins has been on the shelves of makeup stores around the world since forever, and they were sweet enough to send me the primer from their new "cooling" line. how amazing!?



my first trial with it, was with my regular make up routine. my second (and third) trial was wearing the primer without any makeup on top of it. 

__________

clean face
moisturizer + face oil

ORIGINS PRIMER

__________


shake well + boom. the primer comes out as a foam/mousse, which I have never experienced with a primer before. the cooling effect was instant, and it honestly made me a little nervous since here in NJ, it's bitterly cold .. and I didn't want the cooling effect to dry my skin out.



it did the total opposite. it kept my skin super hydrated all day, without making it look greasy.

the primer is tinted, so it reduced the redness in my face dramatically. enough to where I didn't even need to put foundation on to conceal any discolorations in my face. it was unreal.



it never rubbed off on my clothing, or felt "cakey" if I touched my face during the day. super lightweight and as crazy as it sounds, even after I washed my face, I didn't have as much redness.

this will be in my makeup bag forEVER.

have you guys tried this product? or any of the other products from their "cooling" line?


G.

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