Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Great New Year's Eve Party Recipes!

We just got back from a trip to visit family in Erie and my Aunt made 2 new things this year that I just had to share!

Here are the links to 2 great, quick recipes that would be fantastic for your next get together.

Cinnamon Toast Pecans from the one and only Paula Dean!

Sweet Chicken Bacon Wraps again from Paula Dean

From my kitchen, a dip I make all of the time and is always a favorite. It is a Pampered Chef recipe I got when I was a consultant.

Hot Artichoke Crab Dip
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 can artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
1 pkg. (oz.) imitation crabmeat, chopped
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

Just mix everything , put in a shallow casserole dish and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes until dip is bubbly.
Makes 4 cups.
Tastes great with sea salt garlic chips!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Marshalls Winter Wonderland of Savings

Okay, so I am a self proclaimed last minute shopper! Anyone with me? So, when I was contacted to participate in Marshalls Winter Wonderland of Savings Promotion I was very excited! They sent me a $25 gift card to use at Marshalls to finish some of my last minute shopping.

In case you haven't heard of Marshalls they are a group of stores that provide the same quality merchandise for 20-60% less than department stores and high end boutiques. These excellent prices are not just holiday magic. While other retailers are cancelling holiday orders, Marshalls buyers are swooping in to make purchases for less, which they then pass on to shoppers. Now that’s spreading some holiday cheer! From great gifts, to designer clothing and shoes to entertaining and seasonal d├ęcor items, Marshalls has everything you need for a holiday season worth celebrating.

So on Christmas Eve (yes I did say last minute!) I headed to my local Marshalls to see what I could find. The store looked great and was playing some really festive music. They still had a really great selection of items even though it was Christmas Eve. I wasn't really sure who I had in mind to buy for, but I did know I wanted to find some great bargains!

First a quick stroll through the shoe department (you can never have enough shoes). If you are looking for great designer shoes this is the place for you! But, I wasn't here to shop for myself, so I moved on!

My next favorite thing, bags and purses! This is where I found these cute little Bring It On bags by Nike.




These cute little bags fold up really small and tight to fit in your purse or diaper bag so you always have your own eco friendly bag when you take a quick trip to store! I'll take 3, one for mom, one for a friend and yep one me! I just couldn't resist! I wish they would have had more.

Next, I browsed through the gift section. Wow, they had everything you could ever imagine! Bath sets, cookbooks, frames, vases, gourmet gift sets, pet items, tons of kitchen gadgets, pots, pans, home decor, books the list goes on and on! The thing I really like about this section of Marshalls is that they have really unique items. Just when I think I can't find something for that hard to buy person on my list, there it is right in front of me at Marshalls and at a great price too! I have to remember to come here next time I need a cool birthday gift.

Next stop, kids section. They had so many nice name brand toys at great prices. I saw a lot of things that looked really neat that I had not seen in the local toy stores. I was already done shopping for all the toys on my list so I figured I better not buy any more! I decided to look at the clothes. I found these 2 really cute Carters items for my 3 month old nephew. As I was heading toward the checkout lines, I spotted a section of Pittsburgh sports items. Lots of Steeler, Penguin and Pirate stuff. My hubby is a huge sports fan and I found this nice Penguin t-shirt for him and a really cool Steeler hat for my son.









My hubby is also a hunter and a baseball coach and I found this really nice Duoflod Varitherm shirt to keep warm on those cold days outside. I looked around a little more and managed not to buy anything else for myself, but I found some really great stuff I want to go back for after Christmas!

So, off to the checkout! Here is the breakdown of what I purchased

3 Nike bags ------------- retail $24.99 ~ Marshalls price $4.99
Carters Christmas onsie --- retail $7.99 ~ Marshalls price $2.99
Carters onsie gift set ---- retail $12.00 ~ Marshalls price $6.99
Pens t-shirt ------------- retail $16.00 ~ Marshalls price $9.99
Steeler fitted hat -------- retail $16.00 ~ Marshalls price $7.99
Mens Duofold shirt ------ retail $24.99 ~ Marshalls price $12.99
TOTALS
--------------- retail $151.95 ~ MY PRICE $55.92!!!!!!!!!

I saved over 70% by shopping a Marshalls. Now that's a deal worth sharing.

Now it's my turn to spread some post holiday cheer! I have a $25 T.J. Maxx gift card to give away to one of you! T.J. Maxx is owned by the same company as Marshalls and they have the same brand name merchandise at rock bottom prices!

Main entry: complete both parts to be eligible
1. Subscribe to my blog via reader (left sidebar) & leave a comment telling me who you would shop for with the gift card 1 entry
2. Follow my blog (left sidebar) & leave a comment that you are following. 1 entry
Bonus entries:
1. Follow me on Twitter
http://twitter.com/craftymamaof4. Leave a comment.
2. Follow TJ Maxx on Twitter http://twitter.com/tjmaxx. Leave a comment.
3. Post my giveaway on a social networking site like Twitter or Facebook and leave a link to your post in your comment. Can do this 1 time each day.
4. Post a link to my contest on your blog. Leave a link to your post in your comment.

5. Grab my button (right sidebar) and post it on your blog.


PLEASE don't forget you leave your Twitter ID or email address in one of your comments for notification. I will not hunt you down if you win.

This contest will end at 11:59 pm on Saturday, January 3rd. The winner will be chosen by random.org. The winner will be posted on this site on Sunday, January 4th and will have 48 hours to claim their prize or a new winner will be chosen.

Thank you to Marshalls and TJ Maxx including me in this exciting promotion! I had a great time shopping :)

Good luck!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Exciting Announcement!

I have been invited to be a guest blogger on the Walmart 11 Moms website! My blog will be featured here starting December 31st for 2 weeks. I want to thank John Anderson and the 11 moms for this great opportunity!

If you have a product you would like featured on my blog and you are interested in sponsoring a giveaway during this time please email me at craftymamaof4@gmail.com

Do you have a Esty or Artfire shop?
Something I would like to do in the New Year is start an Esty & Artfire shops showcase on my blog. I am always on the Internet, but I just recently started blogging and using Twitter. I NEVER realized what a great selection of handmade goods were available in these types of shops until now. Being that I am craftymamaof4 I would like to bring more attention to these shops and encourage my readers to support these independent business women. I would post a link and a short bio (written by you) of you and/or your shop on my blog for 2 weeks. If you would like to sponsor a giveaway or a offer a discount code for your shop to my readers that would be cool!

I would like to get this started by featuring several shops on my blog during my guest spot on the 11 moms site. If you or anyone you know would be interested, please email me at craftymamaof4@gmail. There is not much time to get this together so respond soon!

Thank you and Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Quick Spicy Chili

I'm not much of a chili eater, I don't like the beans, but last weekend I stopped at my brother's house and my SIL had made some and it smelled good so I tried some.

Wow it was really good and I have been craving it all week so I asked her for the recipe and made some today. I'm gonna share the recipe with all of you it will definitely help warm you up on these cold winter days!

1 lb cooked ground meat
1 26 oz jar spaghetti sauce
1 jar salsa - your choice of mildness
1 pkg chili seasoning
1 can chili beans (I made mine without)

Mix it all together and cook until heated through. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and crushed nacho chips.

That's it! Even if you don't cook I think you could manage this, very easy and YUMMY!

Oh yeah, you might want to take some Tums with it :)

Enjoy!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Winners of Nintendo DS Zenses Games

And the winners are ......(as chosen by random.org)

Comment #51 CarolSue @digicat Congratulations you have won the Zenses Rainforest DS game!

Comment#43 Spooky @spookygirl Congratulations you have won the Zenses Ocean DS game!

Please contact me within 24 hours to claim your prizes!

Thank you to everyone who participated. I hope you all enjoy my blog.

A special thank you to Brittney at The Game Factory for providing these great games to me and my readers! It has been a pleasure working with you :)

Winner Build a Bear Workshop Wii Game

Congratulations to Lindsey @kindred_spirit!

Random.org chose your comment #23! You are my winner! You have 24 hours to contact me and claim your prize!

Thank you to everyone who participated! I hope you all enjoy my blog.

A special thanks to Brittney at The Game Factory for making this giveaway possible.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Quick Yummy Candy Treat

Looking for something quick to make for a last minute gift? These are so easy to make and the kids can help too!

Here's what you need
~Snyders "Snap" pretzels - they are square and look like graph paper
~Rolo candies
Here's what you do
~Heat oven to 250 degrees
~Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
~Arrange pretzels on cookie sheet
~Place 1 unwrapped Rolo on top of each pretzel
~Bake just enough for the Rolos to soften, but not melt
~Remove from oven and place another pretzel on top of each Rolo and smash down to make a sandwich
~Cool

Fill up a jar with candies, wrap the lid in a pretty piece of fabric and ribbon, attach a gift tag, and you are ready to go! Wanna give a little more than candy? Attach an instant lottery ticket to the jar too!

I give these out every year and everyone loves them!

Wordless Wednesday (on Thursday!)


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bakugan B2 Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Plus Size Mommy for winning my Bakugan B2 Giveaway! I hope your boys enjoy this and don't fight too much over it!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Zenses for Nintendo DS Review and Giveaway

This is for all my mom readers! I have 2 more great games to share with you today! They are Zenses Ocean and Zenses Rainforest for Nintendo DS.


I really enjoyed both of these games and would recommend them for a great escape from your busy day (as if twitter wasn't enough distraction!) Zenses forced me to fight my kids for their DS's! I guess I need my own!
Zenses Ocean
Quote from the package "Welcome to active relaxation. Clean, fresh and stylish-with and ambient soundtrack to sooth and relax. Zenses allows you to unplug and experience and active escape, helping you transcend the stresses of your everyday life." Wow I'm sold how about you!

This game consists of 6 VERY addictive puzzle games and challenges. It has over 50 levels of play and you can choose the level you want to escape to. My favorite games are Pearl Diver and Shell Twirl. The directions are kinda vague, but once you play around you can figure out exactly how to play.




Zenses Rainforest
Quote from package "Zenses Rainforest allows players to explore the rainforest while playing games infused with rain drops, exotic flowers, waterfalls and giant trees. Immerse yourself in Zenses while challenging the mind, body and spirit through 6 relaxing games, soothing ambient sounds and authentic visuals that highlight the natural wonders and beauty of the Rainforest." Zenses take me away!


Just like Zenses Ocean,Zenses Rainforest is VERY addicting with over 50 levels to play at your own pace. My favorite games are Stack Jack and Sapphire Wheel. Again the instructions are vague but you will get the hang of it!

Both of these games also come with a bonus downloadable MP3 chill out album!

My 11 year old daughter also really liked these games. Puzzle games are our favorite type of game. My 9 year old son also tried these out and enjoyed them. He is the type that will play a game until he solves everything then move on to the next game! I hope he finishes soon because I want to play more!

These games retail for $29.99 and are recommended for ages 6 & up. My 6 year old had a little trouble playing, so I would suggest a little older.

Now the fun part! The Giveaway!
The Game Factory has given me one copy of each game to give away to my awesome followers! There will be 2 winners. One will recieve Zenses Ocean and the other will recieve Zenses Rainforest.
To enter:
1. Subscribe to my blog via reader (upper right sidebar) & leave a comment telling me how you like to relax. 1 entry
2. Follow my blog (upper right sidebar) & leave a comment telling me which game you think you would like. 1 entry

To be eligible to win you must complete the 2 items above.

You can earn extra entries by doing any or all of the following: Please leave separate comments for each thing you do.
1. Follow me on Twitter
http://twitter.com/craftymamaof4
2. Follow The Game Factory on Twitter http://twitter.com/gamefactorygame
3. Post my giveaway on a social networking site like Twitter or Facebook and leave a link to your post in your comment. Can do this 1 time each day
4. Post a link to my contest on your blog. Leave a link to your post in your comment.

PLEASE don't forget you leave your Twitter ID or email address for notification. I will not hunt you down if you win.

This contest ends Friday, December 19th at 1:00 pm EST. The winner will be chosen by the sequence generator at random.org. Winner must have a US postal address. Winner has 24 hours to claim prize or a new winner will be chosen.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Build a Bear Workshop for Wii Review and Giveaway

I was fortunate enough a few weeks ago to receive some games to try out from The Game Factory. My kids have been having a blast trying them all out. Here is our review of the first game.

Build a Bear Workshop A Friend Fur All Seasons for Wii
You begin this game by creating the furry friend you would like to be while you play the game. As you play you visit 4 islands each with a different seasonal theme. On each island you must play a series of mini games to collect puzzle pieces to get to the next island. You also receive medals based on your success in the mini game that can be used to buy additional clothes and accessories for your character. Once you have completed all four islands you go to the final island to the big party!

My kids had a great time playing this game! My 11 yr old daughter had fun playing with my 3 yr old son, but I don't know if she would play by herself! Don't tell hm I told you, but my 9 yr old son played his way through the whole game this weekend and enjoyed himself while he played! My 6 yr old son is having a great time playing his way through the game and can't wait to get to the party. The manufacturer suggests for ages 6 - 12. I think children under 6 would like it, my 3 yr old does, but they need a little help to play.

This game is rated E for everyone and can be played by up to 4 players. It retails for $39.99 but you can snag it right now at
http://www.bestbuy.com/ and http://www.toysrus.com/ for the bargain price of $19.99.
~OR~
You could snag it right here for FREE!! Yep I said FREE!

The Game Factory has been generous enough to offer a copy of this game to one of my lucky viewers.

To enter:
1. Subscribe to my blog via reader (upper right sidebar) & l
eave a comment telling me what your favorite season is and why. 1 entry
2. Follow my blog (upper right sidebar) & leave a comment that you follow. 1 entry

To be eligible to win you must complete the 2 items above. You can earn extra entries by doing any or all of the following: Please leave separate comments for each thing you do.

1. Follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/craftymamaof4
2. Follow The Game Factory on Twitter
http://twitter.com/gamefactorygame
3. Post my giveaway on a social networking site like Twitter or Facebook and leave a link to your post in your comment. Can do this 1 time each day
4. Post a link to my contest on your blog. Leave a link to your post in your comment.

PLEASE don't forget you leave your Twitter ID or email address for notification. I will not hunt you down if you win.

This contest ends Thursday, December 18th at 11:59 pm EST. The winner will be chosen by the sequence generator at random.org. Winner must have a US postal address. Winner has 24 hours to claim prize or a new winner will be chosen.

Plastic Bottle Bird Feeder

Here in PA when the weather gets cold, the birds get hungry! We always make sure we feed our backyard friends when the snow falls. This year we made our own bird feeders. By doing this we saved money by not buying any new expensive bird feeders, we recycled because we used plastic bottles, and we had fun! Here is a bird trying out the one we hung on our porch.



They are very easy to make. This is what you need:

16 - 24 oz plastic water or soda bottle with lid
Wooden BBQ skewer
Scissors
Bird seed
Permanent markers
String

~About 1/2 way down one side of the bottle cut an opening about the size of a bar of soap. You can cut the flap of or leave it attached on the top and fold it up to make an "awning"

~Cut the sharp edge off of each end of the skewer and cut it in half.

~Under the opening poke a small hole and place one half of the skewer in the hole push it through and cut another hole in the other side so the skewer goes through a little bit.

~Use permanent markers to decorate your bird feeder

~Make a hanger by tying the string around the bottle just under the lid.

~Fill bottom with seed and hang!

I used this as a craft with my Tiger Cub scouts and they really enjoyed it .

You can make a larger version of this by using a 2 liter bottle or 64 oz juice bottle and a dowel rod.

Enjoy!

My Precious Kid


Have you heard of My Precious Kid yet? I had not until a few weeks ago when what in my mailbox should appear? A Child Seat Id Kit I won on Twitter. This kit is for emergency personnel to identify crucial information on my child in case of an accident. The laminated card is attached to his car seat like a luggage tag. This is a fantastic idea! As parents we hope that nothing bad will ever happen, but the reality is that you just never know. Don’t you want to be prepared if something happens to your child? My Precious Kid helps you prepare for these emergencies.

My Precious Kid is a company run by Kay Green, a mother of 4 and grandmother of 1. Her company began with her invention of My Precious Kid Id Kits and has grown to include over 100 great products geared toward the safety of children.

Some of my favorites are:
Child Safety Pack $16
· Includes everything you need to ID your child in an emergency situation
Personalized Allergy Labels $16
· Includes 60 labels with your child’s name and up to 4 allergies
Kid Dog Tag $10
· Personalized, waterproof, place on zipper or belt loop
Sippy Cup Name Bands
· Personalized stretchy bands to identify your child’s sippy cup

There are many more items to choose from that are really great! Interested? Visit them at www.mypreciouskid.com

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Virtual Legos

My 6 year old son is obsessed with Legos! I have to brag that I feel he is very advanced for his age. He does really well following the directions in the large kits and even better dreaming up his own creations. He has amazed many people with his creatitivy.

A few weeks ago he was bored and didn't know what to do (anyone else have this problem?). He asked if he could go on my computer and instead of letting him play the usual internet games I decided to do a google search to find something new. I searched for "virtual Legos" and what do you know, there is such a thing and it's at http://factory.lego.com/!

As facinated with Legos as we are I had never been to their site. So we checked it out. When you get there you have to download the program to your computer, which is nice because you don't have to be connected to the internet to play. Once you download, every Lego piece in every color you could ever think of is there for you to create with! I will admit it took a few fustraiting attempts for him to get the hang of it, but now a few weeks later he has gotten quite good.

You can build from scratch or add to starter models. Once you are finished you can view your creation on a variety of different backgounds. Here is a plane he made:


Here is one more, a car complete with drivers:
The coolest thing is you can order your creation from Lego complete with instructions so you can build it with real blocks!

If you have a kid who likes Legos, I suggest you check out this site, it really is a lot of fun.

Fast Fixin' 7 Ways to Save and Year of Breakfast Contest

Consumer Queen just announced to day that Fast Fixin' and Walmart have teamed up to save you some money and give you a chance to win a year's worth a breakfast for your family!

Here are the details

7 Ways to Save

1. Sign up for Fanatics at http://www.fastfixin.com/fanatics.php?section=4&catid=4&class=fanatics to print $5 in Savings coupons

2. Purchase the January “All You” magazine for $1.50 Savings (Magazine contains $50 in manufacturer’s coupons)

3. Purchase the Fast Fixin’ Breakfast items and send in the Try Me Free for up to $5 in savings.

4. Cut out the UPC’s from the products and collect 10 to earn a free product coupon. = $7.99 Savings

5. Use the coupon inside the box of Fast Fixin’ Breakfast items for a $1 savings.

6. Use the Coupon in the Breakfast Burrito box for a Savings of $1.50

7. Use the Coupon in the Fast Classics Country Fried Steak for $2 off any 2 Fast Fixin’ Breakfast Items= $2 Savings.
Total Savings: Up to $24.00

Now for the contest!
You have the chance to win 1 of 15 Years Supply of Breakfast from Fast Fixin’ and Fast Classics. Prizes will be awarded as: 24 Free Product Coupons good on any Fast Fixin’ or Fast Classics item up to $7.99 for each family.

To enter the contest go to http://www.consumerqueen.com/ and follow the instructions

Good luck!
Contest ends on 1/15/09

Fast Fixin’ Breakfast products are only available at certain Walmart Locations.
Coupons listed are on a limited availability basis.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wordless Wednesday


Piano lessons. Big sis and little bro at Aunts house.

Toys r Us Hot Holiday Toy Giveaway



Toys R Us is having a fantastic giveaway right now that is too good to pass up! Go to http://www.toysrushotholidaygiveaway.com/ to register to win.

They are giving away prizes to 40 lucky instant winners each day now thru December 15th. A Grand Prize Winner will be chosen from all of the entries at the close of the contest.

The Sweepstakes Grand Prize includes the following (1): One (1) prize package consisting of the Top 10 Hottest Toys for the season including: One (1) of each of the following: Step2 50's Diner, Thomas & Friends - Thomas Talking Railway - The Great Discovery Train Set, Thomas Wooden Railway Grow-With-Me Playtable, Power Wheels Toddler Fire Truck, Vtech Touch Tablet Pearl Ice, Meade 114mm Equatorial Reflector Telescope, First Act 7 Piece Designer Drum Set, Hasbro Nerf N Strike Vulcan EBF-25 Blaster – Yellow, Lily Castle and FurReal Friends Biscuit My Lovin' Pup.

You can enter once a day and earn 5 extra entries by referring friends to the contest. You will be prompted to do this after you enter.

Don't delay go to Toys R Us today :) You could be the next winner!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bakugan B2 Giveaway

I was at Target tonight looking for a Wii Fit (no luck) and as I was browsing around I came to display full of Bakugan! I could not believe my eyes. I have been looking for these almost as much as I am looking for a Wii Fit.

A few weeks ago I didn't even know what Bakugan was. One day we were shopping and saw them and my boys begged me for them so we bought 2 packs. I would never believe that a few little magnetic marble like creatures would bring so much harmony to my house. You see, my 2 middle boys ages 6 & 9 can't do anything together without fighting. When we got home, and on several occasions since then, they have played for HOURS with these little guys without fighting! I LOVE BAKUGAN :)

Anyway you can imagine my excitement when I found more tonight. They are so hard to find, I was in such a great mood, and in the spirit of giving, I bought an extra pack to giveaway and spread some joy to someone else's home.


Up for grabs is 1 B2 Starter Pack. The pack includes 3 Bakugan, 3 ability cards, and 3 metal gate cards. These are the new "Bigger, More Powerful" Bakugan. This retails at Target for $10.09.
To enter:

  • Follow my blog and leave a comment telling me who you would give these to.
Want extra entries? Of course you do! Leave separate comments for each task you complete.


  • Follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/craftymamaof4

  • Tweet my contest~you can do this ONCE a day each day until the contest ends.

  • Post a link to my contest on your blog.
Be sure to include your Twitter id or email address in your comment so I can notify you if you win.

This contest ends Sunday, December 14th at 6 pm est. Winner will be chosen by the sequence generator on random.org. The winner will have 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The winner must have a US postal address.


Good luck! Merry Christmas :)



Eco Friendly Present Wrapping

So, are you wondering how you could do your part this holiday season to reduce paper waste? I thought of a great idea while shopping a my local Giant Eagle Grocery yesterday. I was in line and they had a display of their reusable grocery bags. Along with the usual store ones, they also had Steeler bags for sale!


My Mother in Law loves the Steelers, so I figured I would pick one up for her as part of her Christmas present. Then I thought (scary I know) why not use the bag to wrap her presents in instead of wrapping paper or a gift bag! Instead of having a pile of paper to throw away, she will have a bag to use when she goes shopping.

So, next time you are shopping pick up a few and use them to wrap your presents this year. If you really have some time on your hands (haha), you can match the bags up with your friend's and family's favorite stores. Most major retailers have their own versions of these bags, Toys r Us has some cute ones that would be nice to use for kids presents.

Homemade Green Grocery Bags

A few months ago a came across a pattern to make "green" grocery bags from left over material and it has now become an obsession! I made 16 of them for Halloween for everyone to use as trick or treat bags and I am now making them for everyone for Christmas. They are really easy to make and everyone loves them.


The pattern calls for a front pocket, but I don't put one on, instead I embroider the front panel of the bag (when you are making a lot it goes faster without the pocket). If you don't have an embroidery machine, you can just leave the pocket on or do some sort of iron on picture.

Here is a photo of one of the Halloween bags:

Here are photos of the bags I am making for Christmas. I was going to personalize the embroidery according to each person's interests, but that got to be too much, so I decided to go with simple monograms for everyone.










I did make special bags for the teachers.


I did a lot of my sewing the weekend after Thanksgiving while visiting family in Erie. My cousin and I sewed while my mom and aunt watched the kids! I was great. The men in the family were facinated by my embroidery machine. It was really funny. When my uncle realized how much I could do with my machine, he came out of the cuboard with a handful of shirts he wanted my to embroider with his name and business name!Here is the link to the blog where I found the pattern http://www.annthegran.com/cs/blogs/memory-book/archive/2008/09/05/designer-grocery-bags-who-d-have-thought.aspx

Someday I am going to have time to actually make a few for myself!

If you have any questions, leave me a comment and I will get back to you. Happy sewing :)

Chocolate Raspberry Dream Cookies

I was really excited when I read about Mommay's Mayhem's Virtual Cookie Exchange, but the weekend got away from me and I missed the deadline! I'm going to share my cookie recipe anyway.

I found this recipe about 3 years ago at the grocery store and tried it because I love anything raspberry! Now every year I get requests from friends and family to bake these cookies. Enjoy!

Swirled Chocolate Raspberry Dream Cookies by Nestle

2 cups flour

¾ cup Nestle Baking Cocoa

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

2/3 cup sugar

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

½ cup slivered almonds

10 oz package Nestle Swirled Chocolate/Raspberry morsels

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, sugars and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in 1 cup morsels and nuts. Drop well rounded teaspoons of dough onto baking sheet. Top each drop with 4-5 additional morsels.

Bake for 11 -13 minutes or until cookies are puffed and centers are set. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes then transfer to cooling racks.

Makes about 4 ½ dozen cookies


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Elf Magic Giveaway

The day after Thanksgiving we got an unexpected visitor at the door from the North Pole. "Who is it Mommy?" rang through the house with excitement! We opened the door together and just outside the door was our very own Elf Magic Elf named Ashby.
What is an Elf Magic Elf, you ask, well these special elves appear from the North Pole between Thanksgiving and Christmas. They are on a break from Santa's workshop and have come to play with your children until Christmas Eve at which time they return with Santa to the North Pole. Each year your own special elf returns to play again.


While you are sleeping, your elf may get into trouble! He's never in the same place in the morning he was when you went to bed! The first night we had Ashby he must have missed the reindeer because in the morning we found him sleeping on my hubby's buck in the morning!

My kids are having a blast looking for him every morning,especially my 6 year old son, he thinks it's a great game. We have to wake up 15 minutes earlier so he doesn't miss the school bus. So far we have found him mixed in with our Webkinz, in the pantry (he must have been hungry), under the bed, and trying to drive a remote control jeep!

My 3 yr old son is fascinated by Ashby. He couldn't stop smiling when we got him

He is so attached he won't go to sleep without him! We went away last weekend and had to bring Ashby with us!


Each elf comes with a name, a letter explaining why they have come, special North Pole Snowflakes and an elf sized Santa sack that they can leave treats in for your child. Their travel ticket from the North Pole costs $26.95. For those who celebrate Hanukkah, there is also a Hanukkah helper elf! You can find out more about these special elves at www.elf-magic.com.

I think these elves are a really cute. What I like best about them is that they are tradition you can carry on year after year and even pass on to future generations. I would recommend them for ages 2 -8 depending on the child and his or her beliefs. My kids are really excited about the whole idea. The older kids 9 & 11 are having fun playing along with the younger two. They have even been behaving a little better since there is a Santa Spy (my little addition to the story lol) in our house!!

I am excited to tell that the fine folks at Elf Magic would like to spread some holiday magic to my readers! They have given me 2 Elves to send to loving families! Here is your chance to start your own holiday tradition! Thank you Ryan for making this possible! :)

TO ENTER:

Complete A and B below. Leave one comment stating that you did both things. Please include your twitter id or your email address so I can contact you if you win.

A) Follow my blog (upper right hand corner by follower's photos)

B) Go to www.elf-magic.com and check out their site. In your comment, list one other thing that can be purchased from them.

Want bonus entries? Leave a separate comment for each one that you do:

1) Follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/craftymamaof4

2) Follow the elves on twitter http://twitter.com/elfmagic

3) Tweet my contest , put a link to the tweet in your comment. You can do this once a day for more entries!


4) Post a link to my contest on your blog



This contest ends Wednesday, December 10th at 11:59 eastern standard time. 2 winners will be chosen by the sequence generator at random.org. The winners will have 48 hours to respond. If they do not respond a new winner will be chosen.


Good luck!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

We Have Another Winner!!!!

Well, thanks to my extreme craziness in messing up my contest yesterday, you all got another chance to win!

I am happy to announce that Shannon the Coupon Princess is my 2nd winner! Shannon was chosen by the sequence generator at random.org.

Congratulations Shannon I will be sending you an email to get your information.
Congratulations to mommyhastoys also, she was the winner that was chosen yesterday. I hope you both enjoy your games!

Thank you all for your understanding with my mistake. Stay tuned I have some more great stuff coming up!

Thanks again to Brittney at The Game Factory for supplying the game for this giveaway!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Yikes!!!!!! I Can't Believe I Did This

I am so embarassed to even be telling you all this, but I was so excited about my giveaway I ended it too early! My giveaway post said it was over on Thursday at 6 pm and I chose a winner on Wednesday. Guess I should read my own blog huh? lol


To make up for this I will be choosing an additional winner on Thursday at 6 pm.


Please feel free to let your friends know there is still time to enter. Please accept my deepest apology and forgive my stupid mistake!

Please leave another comment in my original giveaway post that you read this post and get another entry to my contest.

Again I am So Sorry! I promise I will get it right next time!

Bratz Sleepover Party Wii Game Winner

We have a winner!

Congratulations to mommyhastoys for winning my first giveaway!
She was chosen by the random sequence generator on random.org.
I have lots more fun stuff coming up so stay tuned, you could be my next winner!

Thanks to Brittney at The Game Factory for this great giveaway!
Don't forget to check out The Game Factory's Build a Bear Celebrity Auction on Ebay http://cgi3.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewUserPage&userid=rwestpr
100% of the proceeds go to The Ronald McDonald House Charity.

Monday, December 1, 2008

My First Giveaway ~ Bratz Kidz Wii Game

I'm so excited to bring you my first ever giveaway, just in time for the holidays!


Up for grabs Bratz Kidz Slumber Party for the Wii!

About the game:

Welcome to the Bratz Kidz Slumber Party! Join your favourite Bratz Kidz characters for a game filled with all the fun of a late night party – no boys allowed. Yasmin is hosting a sleepover. As our 4 girls look through Yasmin's photo album, they remember all their craziest times together and embark on an adventure based on each of the memories in the album! Explore the adventure mode or dip in and out of a series of fun mini games where you customise your favourite Bratz Kidz characters. You can also make a delicious pizza for your girlfriends, take stylish photos, create your very own clothes and much more in this sassy sleepover Select, customize and play with your favourite Bratz Kidz. Jade is really respectful, Sasha is very dynamic, Yasmin is self-confident and Cloe is sweet – and of course they're all sparky, adventurous and cool. Join the Bratz Kidz Slumber Party in this sleepover themed world with an adventure based on Jasmine's photo album full of memories. The game stimulates the player's creativity and imagination with focus on fun, fashion and glamour! The kidz with a passion for fun are waiting for you to arrive. [The Game Factory]


Sounds like a lot of fun for all the little girls on your list!

To enter: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

1) Follow my blog ~ top right hand corner

2) Follow me on Twitter ~ craftymamaof4

3) Post a comment that you are following my blog & Twitter. You MUST include your email address in your comment to be eligible.

BONUS ENTRY ~ post my contest on your website, then post a separate comment with a link to your site. You MUST include your email address in your comment to be eligible.

Contest ends Thursday December 4th at 6 pm EST.

Winner will be chosen at random.org and be notified by email. The winner has 24 hours to respond to my email or a new winner will be chosen.

Thank you to Brittney at The Game Factory for making this (and a few more very soon!) possible!









P.S.
I am excited to say that this is only the first of several giveaways I will be having over the next 2 weeks! Stay tuned!

Review Policy

Lately, I have been getting a lot of requests to do product reviews on my blog for various companies and on various products. I absolutely LOVE to do these reviews and add them to my blog. It is so fun to write about all kinds of different products and give other people insight and suggestions and idea's of how they work and tell them all about them.

Therefore, I have come up with a set of policies that I request be followed if you or your company would like me to "subcontract" a review on my blog for you.

PLEASE NOTE : these rules do NOT apply to companies I work with or blog for, as they have their own rules I must follow. These rules also do not apply to reviews I choose to do on my own or giveaways I choose to do. Nor do the apply to products that I win off of another blog and choose to blog about.

WHAT I EXPECT:

I will only blog about and review products that I believe in and think will benefit the readers of this blog.

I will require compensation for my time for reviewing your product. This said compensation may be in the form of product or monetary. I take pride in what I do and I spend a lot of time and thought on my blog, so I feel that some type of compensation is only fair. This is to be determined when we set up the review.

I value my readers and the time they commit to my blog therefore, I will request at least 1 additional item from your company that I will use as a giveaway to my followers and readers. This item could be the same item I have reviewed or a gift card/discount code for your company so the winner may obtain an item of their choice from your company. If it is not in your company practice to provide addtional product, arrangements may still be made for a review to be done.

I do, reserve the right to post my whole hearted opinion on a product which does mean the good and the bad. I deem myself as an unbiased reviewer and I will live up to this for my readers. If I have a negative experience with your product, I will notify you and you may decide if you would like the review posted. Items sent to me to complete the review will not be returned.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM ME:

A timely blog that is presented in a professional edited way from a non-professional mommy blogger/consumer.

Notification as soon as the review is posted. This way if there are errors in my post they can be caught before a whole bunch of people read it, THIS DOES NOT however mean, I will change my unbiased findings to satisfy the company in a bogus way, It is strictly for spelling errors, layout changes, etc.

I will let you know when the giveaway is finalized and report the winners mailing address to you so the product can get to them quickly. I request that the products be shipped directly to the winners from the company unless we have made alternate arrangements.

I will post the giveaway with some way the participants MUST visit your site to look around before they can win, so that you will have potential customers/clients from me blogging about it.

I will make sure all links to your site work so readers can go there to see more product or services.

I would like long term relationships with my clients for promotional reasons, so if in the future you would like me to do another review or another type of service(handing out fliers, tweeting about it on twitter, etc.) for your company, That professional relationship will be built between you and I.

I am trustworthy mother/consumer who cares about products and will go to every extent I can to help get your brand out there and help promote your product or service.

If there is anything I missed or anything you would like clarified, please do not hesitate to ask me. I am very patient and easy to work with. My email address is :

craftymamaof4@gmail.com

DISCLAIMER : I do not represent in anyway that I am a Professional Reviewer. All Product reviews done by me are based on my own personal opinions and experiences with the product. Monetary or product compensation in no way sways my opinion for any products that I review. I have the right to keep, donate, gift, etc. any product that I review (my copy) after the review is posted. Please ask questions prior to me doing a review if you are unclear about any policies or disclaimer I have written. I have the right to change any of my policies or procedures in any way I deem necessary at any time, as this is my blog, and I am the one that is reflected upon on this blog. I will not in any way go against my personal beliefs, values, views, safety, for anyone or any company in any blog or writing that I do.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Huge HP Giveaway from Gear Live

I came across this fantastic giveaway today on twitter! Gearlive.com is giving away the following products complements of HP:

HP TouchSmart IQ816
HP HDX18 Premium Notebook PC
HP Pavilion dv4 Entertainment Notebook PC
HP Mini 1000 (Windows XP)
HP MediaSmart Connect
HP Photosmart C6380 Wireless All-in-One printer
HP 564 Photo Value Pack
Microsoft Office Home and Student Edition 2007 with 3 licenses
Microsoft Windows Live
Corel VideoStudio X
Kung-Fu Panda on Blu-ray disc, and two DVDs

To enter this giveaway go to http://www.gearlive.com/ and follow the instructions (easy)
Good Luck!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Build A Bear Charity Event and Auction

About a week ago Game Factory Games had a launch party in LA for their new Build a Bear Workshop game for the Wii. Check out these cool photos from the event http://www1.wireimage.com/GalleryListing.asp?navtyp=GLS====342521&str=&styp=&sfld=&nbc1=1&sortval=1a

During the party many celebrities created and signed bears and donated them to an online auction for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California. 100% of the proceeds from this auction go to the charity. They have some cute bears made by some great celebs like the Jonas Brothers, Raven Symone, Tori Spelling, James Gandolfini, Melissa Joan Hart and Bonnie Hunt. They would make a great present for kids for the holidays. Each bear also comes with a copy of the Build a Bear Workshop game for Wii. You can find the auction here http://cgi3.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewUserPage&userid=rwestpr.
Don't miss out on this great opportunity to give a great gift and help a great charity at the same time. The auction ends December 3rd.

I'm so excited to be able to give away a copy of Build a Bear Workshop for the Wii as well as a few other games from Game Factory! I will have the details soon, subscribe to my blog so you don't miss out!

Toys "R" Us My Deals Widget

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Girls Night Out

So do you need a GNO but you can't leave the kiddos behind?
Join me on Monday November 24 from 8pm - 12 am est on twitter #GNO
There will be lots of friends, fun and GIVEAWAYS!
Goto http://mommygossip-gno.blogspot.com/ to RSVP and find out how to enter to win.
I can't wait! I'm sooo excited.
Hope to see you there!

Twitter

When a friend of mine introduced me to twitter about a month ago I had never heard of it, now I think I'm addicted!

I had so much laundry to do last week I went to the laundromat to get caught up now 1 week later, it's all still in my van waiting to be put away. LOL Wait, no that's not funny.

I think I need an intervention.

Well, I guess I better get my DH to unload the laundry now, I am determined to get this done today.

I must say NO to twitter today. It's going to be hard!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Holiday Favorites Take 2

Make a Homemade Music CD

For the last 4 years I have made my own mix CD's for friends and family for the holidays. I put my favorite Christmas songs on it each year and everyone really looks forward to receiving these from my family.

Making Your CD
I use Windows Media Player.

1. Put the holiday CD you want to use songs from into your computer and open Windows Media Player. Click rip at the top , this will put your music on your computer

2. After you have ripped you CD collection you want to create a playlist.

3. Drag and drop the songs you want to include into the playlist block at the right of your screen.

4. Arrange the songs in the order you want them to be

5. Once your playlist is complete go to the top menu and click burn. This is when the songs will be transferred to a disk you have placed in your computer. You will need to use CD-R type disks.

Don't have any songs? Try Amazon.com they have lots available for purchase. Until 12/31/08 you can redeem Pepsi points (available on Pepsi Products) for music.

Make a Case and Label for Your CD

I use Microsoft Word.

1. Find the Mailings and Labels tab

2. Click on LABELS, this opens a new window

3. Click on OPTIONS, this opens a new window

4. Go to LABEL VENDORS and find AVERY us letter and choose this

5. Find label 5693 jewel case insert, click OK then click NEW DOCUMENT

6. Here is where you create your label, the top block will be your cover and the bottom block will be your playlist. Here is what mine looked like

7. Print on cardstock, cut out, fold and place in a slim jewel case, available at Best Buy.

8. Next, make a label for the CD.

9. This depends on the CD label package you buy. Follow the instructions in your package to create this label. Here is what mine looked like:

Well there it is, I hope you can follow it okay LOL. If you have any questions, please leave me a comment and I will help you.

Good Luck!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Send Some Holiday Cheer to an Injured Soldier

This holiday season, when you writing out your holiday cards, make an extra one and send it to

An Injured Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20307-5001

Let's make the holiday season a little brighter for these men and women who have sacrificed so much for us.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Homemade Jam

I love to make homemade jam for the holidays, and everyone enjoys receiving it. I did not make it last year and everyone was waiting for it! OOPS! If you have never made jam before, trust me it is not as complicated as it sounds, it is actually pretty easy to do but it is time consuming and can get expensive.

Here we go!

Step 1 – Get your supplies ready

Some things you need before you start:

  • Jars – I like to use pint jars and give everyone a variety of different flavors instead of large jars of just one flavor. Jars can be reused year after year.
  • Rings and seals - The rings can be reused each year, but you must purchase new seals every time.
  • Large pot – This will be used to boil the jars, rings and seals prior to filling the jars.
  • Pot holders – Don't want to get burnt!
  • Ladle –The smaller the better so you don't spill when filling the jars.
  • Tongs - You need ones that grip well so you can get the jars out of the boiling water.

Step 2 – Prepare your jars

Wash all jars, rings, and seals in hot soapy water. Rinse thoroughly. Put everything in a large pot full of water and place on medium heat. Once the water begins to boil, turn the heat down but not off. You need to keep the supplies very hot for them to seal easily.

Step 3 – Choose and prepare your fruit

When making my jams, I use a combination of fresh and frozen fruit.

Fresh Fruit

When using fresh fruit, it is important to choose a mix of under ripe fruit (not green) as well as just ripe fruit. Peel any fruit that has a thick outer skin, such as apples or peaches. Remove any seeds or stems. Then cut the fruit into chunks and puree in a food processor or blender.

Frozen Fruit

I like to use frozen fruit because it allows for more variety in the off season, plus it is generally cheaper. ALDI has good mixed fruit and mixed berry varieties. Choose frozen fruit that does not have added sugar. Place fruit in a glass bowl to defrost. Once it is defrosted, place the fruit along with the juice in the food processor or blender and puree.


Step 4 – Choose your recipe

For each recipe you will need fruit pectin. This can usually be found in the store where the canning supplies are located.

Here are a few of our favorite jams:

Strawberry Nectarine Jam

3 cups prepared nectarines

1 ½ cups prepared strawberries

6 cups sugar

1 box fruit pectin

Strawberry Banana Jam

2 cups prepared bananas

2 ¾ cups prepared strawberries

6 ¾ cups sugar

1 box fruit pectin


Banana Bread Jam

3 cups prepared bananas

4 cups sugar

½ cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 box fruit pectin

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp Fruit Fresh powder

1 ¼ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

Triple Berry Jam

6 cups prepared frozen mixed berries (Aldi)

OR

2 cups prepared strawberries

2 cups prepared raspberries

2 cups prepared blueberries

4 ½ cups sugar

1 box of less or no sugar needed fruit pectin

Blueberry Jam

6 cups prepared blueberries

4 ½ cups sugar

1 box of less or no sugar needed fruit pectin

Pineapple Strawberry Jam

3 cups prepared strawberries

8 oz crushed pineapple in juice

5 ½ cups sugar

1 box fruit pectin

Peach Jam

4 ½ cups prepared peaches

3 cups sugar

1 box less or no sugar needed pectin

2 tbsp lemon juice

Carmel Apple Jam

6 cups prepared apples

2 cups sugar

2 cups brown sugar

1 box fruit pectin

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg


Step 5 – Prepare your recipe

Use the following steps to make each recipe

  1. Place prepared fruit in large non stick pot
  2. Stir in pectin; any lemon juice or spices
  3. Add ½ tsp. butter to reduce foaming
  4. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil (won't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat stirring constantly.
  5. Stir in sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil for 1 minute stirring constantly.
  6. Remove from heat and skim off any foam with metal spoon.


Step 6 – Jar and seal your jam


  1. Remove a jar, a ring, and a seal from boiling water. Shake off excess water.
  2. Don't forget to use your potholder when holding the jars!
  3. Ladle hot mixture into hot jar leaving 1/8 in headspace.
  4. Wipe jar rims and threads with a paper towel soaked in hot water.
  5. Place seal on jar and tighten ring.
  6. Place jar UPSIDEDOWN on a cooling rack and leave inverted for 8 – 10 hours. During this process you may hear the lids "pop" when they seal.
  7. After allotted time turn jars over and check the seal. Press the middle of the lid; if it springs back the lid is not sealed. If it is not sealed place it in the fridge for several more hours. If this still doesn't work reheat the jam and the jar and try again using a new seal.

Tips

Mix only one batch of jam at a time.

Most recipes yield about 8 cups of jam.

Use Microsoft Word to make personal labels using address labels.

Make up baskets that contain a few jars of jam ,some crackers and fancy spreaders. Make great gifts.

Tell family and friends you would love to refill their jars next holiday season if they give them back when their jam is gone!

Don't forget to have fun!

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me!




Our new favorite snack

My 3 year old can't stop eating these! I must confess I like them alot too.
Enjoy!


  • New York Style Sea Salt Bagel Crisps - I buy a big bag at Sam's Club
  • your favorite cheese, sliced or shredded
  • pepperoni

Top a crisp with cheese and pepperoni, microwave on high for 20 seconds.
YUMMY
Way better than a Ritz cracker.

Thanks to my sis in law for introducing us to this snack!

My fav is with shredded colby jack cheese. Whats yours?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Holiday Favorites Series

So, wow I've had this blog for a little over 2 weeks and have given you none of my craftiness!

The holidays are quickly approaching and I am going to do a series on some of my favorite things to make and do and some new things I have tried this year. I hope you all enjoy!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Check out this givaway from consumerqueen.com . I want one of these bad!!!!

Goto consumerqueen.com to register! Don't miss out.

We are giving away a Brand new in the box Flip Video Camera $150 Value.
Technical Details
Simple to use, pocket-sized camcorder with one-touch recording and digital zoomHolds 60 minutes of full VGA-quality video on 2GB of built-in memory; no tapes or additional memory cards requiredConvenient USB arm plugs directly into your computer for easy viewing and sharingBuilt-in software lets you easily e-mail videos, upload to YouTube and AOL, and capture still photos from videoWatch videos instantly on TV with included cable
TO ENTER:
1. You must be registered for our Message Boards (register on the right hand side)
2. You must be a subscriber to our blog (subscribe on the right hand side)
3. You must post 2 Deals on our message board that have not been posted. Deals can be freebies,grocery deals,frugal tips,clearance shopping etc.
4. Post this contest on the internet some where and post the link here to exactly where you posted it at so its easy to find.
5. Do the above and then Post Here that you want to enter using your member name that you registered with.
*** Bonus***
Earn 5 extra entries.Make a Frugal Tip or Shopping Trip or maybe why you like ConsumerQueen.com Video,mention ConsumerQueen.Com and Upload it to your You Tube Account and post your link here! www.youtube.com
DETAILS:
Winner will be picked by a random number generator. Your Number will be the number in which you post here.If you enter the Bonus Round you will make 5 seperate replys for your extra numbers.
Winner will be announced on this blog and will have 5 days to claim their prize!After 5 days we will choose a winner!
If you have questions please ask.
*** NEW BONUS ENTRY***
Get a Bonus entry for each extra site you post the contest on.Tweet Once a day and post here for an extra entry each time..

Monday, November 3, 2008

About Me

Hi, I'm Kim. I am 36 years old and I am really excited to be doing my new blog! Here's a little bit about me.

My Family

My husband and I celebrated our 20th anniversary of being together this year! We have been married for 12 of those years. We are the proud parents of 4 great kids with lots of energy! A daughter (aka 11) who is 11 , a son (aka 9)who is 9, another son (aka 6)who is 6 and yet another boy (aka 3)who is 3. We also have 3 Labrador retrievers; Ginger, Maggie, and Caesar and 2 cats; Kitty and Timmy. Needless to say I am very busy.

My career

I went to the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and received a degree in Elementary Education in 1994. I never really pursued a teaching career because I got into the Human Resource industry and found I really enjoyed that.

When I had my 3rd child I started my current career; event coordinator, nurse, taxi driver, chef, laundry matron, referee, personal shopper, assistant baseball coach, PTO vice president, Tiger den leader, the list goes on and on…..for those of you who haven't caught on yet, I am a stay at home mom. I love every minute of it (except the laundry part)!! It really is the job I always hoped I would be able to do.

My interests

  • Kids. I love kids. Not only do I have my own, I babysit my friend's children also. I usually have a house full of crazy, loud, energetic kids to contend with, sometimes with a newborn thrown in too! I am also very involved in my kid's schools, sports teams, scout troops and their other interests.
  • Crafting. I scrapbook, make cards, embroider, sew, make beaded jewelry, do lots of crafting projects with my kids and with cub scouts. As crafty as I am I really can't draw or paint at all! My 6 year old draws fabulous things and I can't even draw a stick person!
  • Technology. Me and my family are tech geeks. We love the latest gadgets and gizmos, video games, cameras, mp3 players, you name it; if it is electronic we want to know how it works!

    I would be lost without my laptop and my Palm Centro. It amazes my mom how much information I get from the internet. I use my Palm to keep track of my busy schedule. Without my color coded calendar I would not know where to be when!

    Our favorite electronic item is our Wii! We have a great time playing it as a family. My 3 year old is getting pretty good at bowling!

    The electronic item I don't have and want is a Flip camera. I am hoping to find someone I know that has one so I can make some videos to post on my blog. I would really like to try one before I buy one although, I have heard they are really great.

  • Photography. Going back to the tech geek, I love digital photography. I am always taking photos. I recently purchased my first digital SLR camera, a Nikon D40 and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it

    My favorite things to photograph are 1) my children of course! 2) landscapes; especially at the change of seasons. 3) animals; my favorite place to take photographs is the zoo. Pittsburgh has an outstanding zoo and I always get great shots when we go there. And 4) weddings; a wedding is such a happy day and I love to capture the emotions of everyone through my photos.

    My daughter is becoming interested in photography also and it is a great FREE activity for us to do together.

  • Shopping. I think I like this a little too much, but don't we all! One thing I must say is I rarely pay full price for anything I buy. I am always using coupons and browsing the clearance isles when I shop. My favorite clearance isles are at Target. They always have stuff on clearance at great prices. I buy clothes for next season, costumes for next Halloween, and decorations for next Christmas! When toys go on clearance everywhere after Christmas, I make a list and shop for birthdays for the upcoming year. If you know your nephew likes Bob the Builder, why not buy it on sale in January instead of waiting until it is full price in March!
  • Reading. I love to read, I love to read to my kids, my kids love to read. I cannot say enough about the benefits of reading. I find myself enjoying a lot of my kid's books lately. I have read and loved Harry Potter, also Series of Unfortunate Events, Charlie Bone and the Dear America series of books. It's fun to read what they read and be able to talk about it together.

Wow, this went on a little longer than I expected. I'm excited, this is fun! I can't wait to share my stories, photographs, crafts and ideas with all of you. I hope you enjoy J

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sites I Love

Mom of Faith Button twitter_cruise_button newbadge2 A Cowboy's Wife Organize With Sandy Photobucket Deal Seeking Mom Cutie Booty Cakes The Innsane
Mommy Brain Reports Living Life One Day at a Time Consumer Queen

 
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