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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Out of the Box Games Review and Giveaway

One of the best things that we like to do when the weather is to cold or bad to be out is to play games. We love cards, board games and even puzzles. The Out of the Box Games has some awesome games as well. One of the games they have is called Word on the Street. This game is a tug of war sort of game using words instead of strength.

If you are familiar with the Out of the Box games you know that they create games of all sorts and for all ages. Word games is a common sort of game for Out of the Box Games. The game Word on the Street is a fun game that you can either compete with players or it makes a great team playing game where more people can have fun.

The game board itself is designed like a road or highway. The game pieces are well constructed and I especially loved the letter tiles as they were designed to make you think of street signs. I must say that the makers of the game Word on the Street put alot of thought into this fun filled game.

The game is played using cards which have two different colors on them one side is easier and the other is a bit tougher. I think once again this is great as it allows not only adults to play but children as well. Families, kids or adults could all have a great time playing the game Word on the Street. The fun challenge of trying to capture the letters allowed my family time to have fun and enjoy each others company in a fun challenging but easy game. Later on I challenged my husband to a fun game and we enjoyed it just as much as we did playing it with the kids. I believe that Out of the Box Games did a great job on the Word on the Street Game. To find out if you agree with my opinion or not you may have to play the game to find out.

Buy: you can buy the Word on the Street Game from the Out of the Board Games you can purchase directly from their website located at or use this quick and easy link to find a retailer near you

Win: One of Annie's Home readers will receive the same game Word on the Street that I did.

Mandatory Entry: Please visit Out of the Board Games and let me know what other game you may be interested in playing

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Contest starts now and ends December 31, 2009. Good Luck Email in comment or on blog is mandatory Postcard Giveaway

I have been a sponsored blog of for quite some time. One of the privileges of being sponsored by U Printing is being allowed to offer my readers a chance to win wonderful prizes. U Printing recently reached out with an opportunity to offer my readers a chance to win 100 postcards and in return I would receive 100 postcards as well. With the holidays here I thought this would be a great idea in case my readers are like me and would love to thank all those that gave us gifts. I believe postcards are perfect for little notes of thanks for the good times and gifts that we received. I also thought that postcards would be great to send my college kids notes of aspiration and encouragement. What would you do with 100 postcards?

Buy: If you would like to order postcards from please follow this link
Win: One of Annie's home readers will receive 100 postcards (winner must pay shipping cost)
Mandatory Entry (must be answered) I shared with you a couple of different ways that I would use the post cards not it is your turn. If you were the lucky winner of 100 postcards how would you use them?
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Giveaway starts now and will run through December 31, 2009. Good Luck. Email must be on blog or in comment Winner will have 48 hours to accept or forfeit the giveaway.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Don't Forget The Batteries Energizer giveaway

I bet you are making a list and checking it twice for the items you will need for Christmas. Don't forget the batteries for the cameras, new toys and anything else you will need or want to use. Energizer now has rechargeable batteries that last longer because they can be recharged what a victory. I am so happy because in the past the batteries would die and if we did not remember to purchase new batteries we would not be able to use the item we needed them for. Whether it be my camera or the new toy the kids loved with out the batteries we were out of luck. That is why I love the new rechargeable batteries by energizer.

The Energizer company wanted to make the job of shopping for the right rechargeable battery even easier. They have devised a new AA battery that can be recharged. Without raising the price of the batteries Energizer increased their power. The new AA rechargeable battery will stay charged later and with a the regular high rate of power. The new AA rechargeable batteries can be charged up to 500 times. WOW!!!!! The new battery will continue to last up to four times longer than other batteries and hold more charge for 6 months than other rechargeable batteries.

What does that mean for us? That means that we will not run out of batteries as fast which means that camera, game or toy will last longer. I received two energizer charger sets in return for this review. There is one for me and one for you. That's right one of you readers will receive a energizer charger set for your self.

To enter follow the energizer on facebook

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Contest starts now and runs through January 31, 2009. Good Luck Email must be on blog or in comment

Giveaway To Help Keep You Out of Dog House

Do you ever find your self in the dog house over gift giving? Well JCPenny is here to help keep you out of the dog house. The blog An Island Life is hosting a giveaway sponsored by JCPenny for $100 gift card. JcPenny has a special section called Beward of the Doghouse which will help your man keep himself out of the doghouse with you when you receive your gift.

Weight Watcher Stock Stuffers giveaway

The blog Cheif Family Officer is hosting a giveaway for several Weight Watcher products including a couple of cookbooks, candies and a couple of vouchers for weight watchers baked goods. This giveaway ends December 21, 2009

Build A Bear Review and Giveaway

I have shared my love for Build A Bear with you before. You can read previous posts here and here . Once again Build A Bear has created some of the most adorable characters for Christmas. Santa's elves I believe are a bit jealous as they continue to keep an eye out for the great fun characters at Build A Bear. Best part of all there are over 400 Build A Bear stores and all the great products are also available on their website located at and the prices are great as well.

We were lucky enough to receive the Frosty the Snowman to review for this post. Frosty and other great convents gifts are available daily at Build A Bear. If you are like me you may look for that perfect gift til Christmas morning. With time quickly running out and the being tired of shopping syndrome set in you may wonder where that perfect gift is. May I suggest Build A Bear. Select Build A Bear stores are offering "Gift on the Go" packages to help you save time as well. Frosty and his friends at the Build A Bear Store are all at an affordable price with Frosty available for $15. If you are not sure which to choose perhaps the Amazing Gift O Matic "gift generator" will help greatly. Shopping and Delivery can both be speedily done.

The Build A Bear Elves have created classical gifts like Frosty the Snowman. The super cute couple of Holly and Hal introduced last year are back again.
New on the scene at Build A Bear are characters such as the Chipmunks Alvin, Simon and yes Theodore as well as a couple of cute bear elves.

For those special people on your list why not create a personalized gift for them? Perhaps there is a sports fan on your list why not create them a furry friend dressed in their favorite sports uniform. At Build A Bear there are football uniforms, tees, college caps and bandannas available. For those that feel at home in the kitchen why not gift them with a Chef curly Teddy

Whatever your choice would be Build A Bear can help you find gifts for all family and friends at an affordable price.

Win: The Build A Bear Workshop would love to offer one of Annie's Home readers a Build A Bear character of your own.

To Enter you must visit the Build A Bear website and let me know which one is your favorite.

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Contest starts now and will run through December 31, 2009. Email in comment or on blog. Good Luck

BuddyTops Review and Giveaway

I am the type of person that always makes sure that the little ones have hats and gloves on. I really believe this trait either came from my grandmothers or my daddy. Which ever is the case I believe this is a great trait to have if you are going to have one. The adorable hats and gloves that children wear today are precious. BuddyTops are keeping the adorability alive by creating hats for the young ones that can not be denied. a

We received the Chip the Chick and Milton the Wolf hats to review for this post. They are adorable and while I have not been able to see Princess since we received I can tell you when she visits Saturday I will be taking pictures to share with you all. Princess will look adorable in these cute creative hats. Just imagine what your child could look like. The hats are great for children up to 7 and 8 years of age.

Besides the cuteness these hats are created to provide warmth for the little ones heads. I have always heard and believe that heat in the winter time escapes through your head. The BuddyTops will put a stop to this as the hats their selves are among the warmest I have ever found. Now while you may not agree with my opinion you can have the chance to purchase your own. Simply visit their website at

The sweet people over at BuddyTops would love to offer you the chance to win a hat of your own.

To enter this giveaway: You must visit the BuddyTops website and let me know which one of the hats is your favorite

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Contest starts now and will run through January 8, 2009. Email must be in comment or on blog. Good Luck

FashionPlaytes A Neat Idea for Christmas save $15 off purchase of $25 discount code

Do you have a daughter that loves to play with their clothes? My daughter used to love to make matching outfits. She started young around 5 or 6 and continues on today. I just found out about a wonderful place that allows your daughter to create their own outfit. Fashionplaytes allows the creator to follow simple steps on the Internet to create and design their clothing line. From backpacks to dresses and everything in between FashionPlaytes can in reality become your child's new clothing line. They select the color, style, what embellishments if any they want and it becomes theirs. They can show these wonderful outfits off to their friends and when they ask where they can get one like it they can brag that they created it their selves using the FashionPlaytes website. What fun.

I think that FashionPlaytes would make a great gift for any tween or teen from ages 6 to 16. Just think of all the praise you could get from the little designer in your life. In return you get to watch them as they create the one of a kind look.

The creator of FashionPlaytes was a young designer at heart that would create her outfits that she would love to wear and her talented mother would create them for her. Now she wants to make this a reality for all those young girls that are designers at heart. Sarah believes that by allowing the young designers this advantage they will build self esteem and create something unique. The best part is that FashionPlaytes has kept economics in mind and the prices are terrific as well. So yes we can allow our children to design their own clothing at around the same price the stores charge.

FashionPlaytes would like to introduce their products to you and offer a $15 discount on your first order by using the code TwitterMom15

Lots of Hugs and Kisses for the Holiday Season recipes

Peanut Butter Hugs and Kisses Cookies

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® peanut butter cookie mix
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon water
1 egg
36 Hershey's® Kisses® milk chocolate or Hugs® white and milk chocolate, unwrapped
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1Heat oven to 375°F. In medium bowl, stir cookie mix, oil, water and egg until dough forms. Shape dough into 36 (1-inch) balls; roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Immediately press 1 milk chocolate candy in center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely, about 20 minutes. Store cookies in tightly covered container.

Sugar Cookies Decorated X's and O's

1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄2 of an 18-oz roll refrigerated sugar-cookie dough
Royal Icing (recipe follows)
Red and pink paste or gel food color*
Decorations: tiny heart decors, red and white sprinkles (jimmies), nonpareils and decorating sugars

Heat oven to 350°F. You’ll need 2-in. X and O cookie cutters*, baking sheet(s), 3 qt-size ziptop bags and a small paintbrush. Knead flour into cookie dough until completely blended. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to 1⁄8 in. thick. Cut out cookies with cutters; reroll and cut scraps. Place about 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 9 to 11 minutes until just beginning to brown around edges. Cool 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. To decorate cookies: Divide Royal Icing among 3 bowls. Tint 1 red, 1 pink and leave other white. Working with 1 color at a time, spoon icing into a ziptop bag. Thin icing in bowls with drops of water until spreadable. Snip tip off a corner of the ziptop bag. Pipe outline on cookies. Let outlines dry about 5 minutes. Dip brush into thinned icing; spread to piped border. While wet, sprinkle some cookies with decorations. Pipe lines or dots of an alternate color onto wet icing on other cookies and pull a toothpick through lines or through dots to make hearts. Let dry at least 2 hours.

ROYAL ICING: In a large bowl, with mixer on low speed, beat 1 lb confectioners’ sugar and 3 Tbsp Just Whites.** Add 6 Tbsp water; beat until blended. Increase mixer speed to high and beat 8 minutes or until icing is very thick and white. Makes 21⁄2 cups

find more delicious cookie recipes at the Womans Day magazine website located at or the Betty Crocker Tablespoon website at

Giveaways at My Organized Chaos

Have you visited My Organized Chaos as of late? If not you need to head over there. They are hosting a great Christmas themed event they titled their 2009 Holiday Gift Guide. As they show us great ideas for gifts they are also hosting wonderful giveaways. Here are a few that I signed up for today.

My daughter loves the creations Anne Geddes and one of the great giveaways located on My Organized Chaos is for a Reindeer Baby Plush Toy. Is it not as cute as it can be? Well if you agree with me you will want to enter to win this great giveaway that ends December 27, 2009.

Every one needs a great pair of shoes in this type of weather and if those shoes can be a pair of adorable shoes from Robeez then all the better. The blog My Organized Chaos is also hosting a giveaway where the winner will receive a pair of Robeez shoes. Yeah!!!! This giveaway ends December 27, 2009

Aloha Friday

The blog an Island Life host Aloha Friday each week and here is how they explain it:
In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.

With Christmas speedily approaching our family has been to a few different get togethers. Tomorrow Princess will be here and Christmas Eve will see us with family as well as Christmas Day.

My question today: when does your family get together? Are you like me and have different get togethers or do you all gather all together in a large bunch for the holidays?

Fun Recipes to Keep Kids Busy

So the kids are home from school and you are not sure what to do with them? Well there are always the baking, Christmas crafts and holiday traditions but for a bit of a switch try a couple of these fun activities:


8 oz bottle of glue
8 oz water
1 cup water
1 1/2 tsp borax powder

Pour 8 oz bottle of glue into bowl. Fill empty bottle with water and add to the glue - stir constantly. If you want to add a color, add a few drops of food coloring to this part of the mixture. In another bowl, stir together 1 cup of water and 1 1/2 tsp of borax powder until dissolved. Mix the 2 bowls together - Instantly they will become slime! Working it with your hands to make it a little more stiff.
To make this "noise" putty put in a small container, then stick your fingers through the putty, it makes some "interesting" noises!
Keep in a covered container in the refrige

Silly Putty

2 cups white glue
1 cup liquid starch

Mix together with hands. Keep kneading until it forms a silly putty ball. Will take a few minutes of kneeding before the wetness goes away. If it is wet and starch is not bonding, add more glue. If it is sticky, add more starch. Keep kneading until it forms a silly putty ball.
Store in an air tight container in refrigerator

and for another great one visit my friend Kim over at Mom Tried It. Kim shared a great post on making homemade floam.

Perfect Gifts for the One You Love Without Spending Alot Of Money

Do you want to buy your special someone a gift but just don't have a lot of money this year? Well, many of my gifts that I remember the most is time we spent together as well as the gifts that are made for me. Here are some ideas that you may want to think about

  • Place a picture of your special person in a frame with a blank photo mat. On the photo mat write messages of love and compliments.
  • Leave cleverly written notes in places that they will find them. Leave notes with messages of adornment and inspiration.
  • clean the house or complete regular chores of the other person allowing them to take the day off
  • Take the time and write a heart felt letter or a love poem. The words shared may be all that the individual needs
  • Take the time to give the special person a lesson. Perhaps they are wanting a recipe that you cook often take the time and create it with them.

How To Make Sure You are Buying The Right Toy

Often while shopping we see the flashy, cool looking toys that we think any child would love but are we always right? Are you buying the correct toy for that child on your Christmas list? Here are a few tips to be aware of while you are shopping and gifting.

  • The package often contains recommended age and skill levels. This is not only a recommendation but often the wisest note to be aware of
  • We all know that infants and toddlers love to put toys (and everything else) in their mouths Gifting toys with small parts could lead to choking hazards When buying toys for the youngest on the list be aware of a special safety tip: if the toy can fit through the toilet paper role then it is not proper for the ages 0 to 3 years of age.
  • Another feature of toys to be aware of for children in the youngest age group is to not purchase toys with metal parts, cords or strings. Once again all these items can lead to safety problems
  • Magnets can be a problem for all ages. The older ones should be taught to never put a magnet in their mouths and the youngest group of children should never be gifted with a magnet related product
  • For important information on toy recalls you can easily sign up for notices from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission at

Thursday, December 17, 2009

White Chocolate Dipped Ritz and PB and Oreos

This is easier to fix than any other Christmas recipe that I make. They are simply melting white block chocolate and dipping ritz peanut butter sandwiched crackers and oreos. These are delicious.
listed at Simply Sweets Home blog for the Holly Bloggy Christmas Bash

Flirty Aprons discount code

There are just a few days to enter my Flirty Aprons giveaway currently going on and ending December 20, 2009. Flirty Aprons wants to make sure that you save a bit of money if you can't wait til then. Save 15% when you use the code Apron15. This code is only good through the end of this year and after December 31, 2009 it will expire.

Brunch Parfait

Brunch Parfait

1/3 cup apricot preserves
3 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups low-fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup low-fat granola without raisins (such as Kellogg's)
2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
Place apricot preserves in a medium microwave-safe bowl, and microwave at high for 10 to 15 seconds or until preserves melt. Add strawberries, and toss gently to coat.

Spoon 1/4 cup yogurt into each of 4 parfait glasses; top each serving with 1/3 cup strawberry mixture. Repeat the layers with the remaining yogurt and strawberry mixture. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons granola and 1 1/2 teaspoons almonds. Serve immediately

Eden Fantasy review and giveaway

Eden Fantasy's is celebrating Christmas and wants to give a gift to one of Annies Home readers. I love to sit by the candle light and enjoy a romantic time with my husband at this time of year. The simple light just bright enough to see each other provides a romantic background. Eden Fantasy's has many candles available and the ones that I seem to like the best are the candles that give off a scent.

The simple candle light with a beautiful soft fragrance in the air can set the mood that allows a happy couple to share each others delight. The Illume23 candles that are available at Eden Fantasy's are not the type of candle that is artificial smell that is filled with chemicals. Rather the Eden Fantasy's Illume23 candle shares a common scent created from soy wax with no real harsh odor that takes control of the room. The candle will burn up to 50 hours so plenty of time to enjoy the scent. The Illume23 candle is available in 4 flavors. The Valencia Orange which shares an uplifting scent, the angel food cake which makes it smell as if the room is filled with baked goods, the pomegranate which we all know is sweet and juicy, and the cucumber which often leaves the scent of revitalizing.
Buy: The Eden Fantasy's Illume23 candle is available in your choice of scent from the Eden Fantasy's website. As you know Eden Fantasy's has some wonderful products including the Illume23 candles that would make for great Christmas gift for someone you love. If you are buying for yourself then find the perfect treat on Eden Fantasy's
Win: Eden Fantasy wants to help brighten the Christmas of one of Annie's Home readers by giving them the choice of an Illume23 candle.
Enter to win: visit the Eden Fantasy website and let me know what sort of item on their website you would love to have. Also for a second entry tell me what scent you would choose if you were the lucky winner.
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Contest starts now and will run through new years eve December 31,2009 Email in comment or on blog Good Luck

Cowgirl Chocolates Review

What type of snack do you like? Sweet or Spicy? I am often told that I am a sweet person and while I love to eat my sweets I also love my spicy food as well. If you are like me then you will love Cowgirl Chocolates where the spice is built into the chocolate. Many of us have tasted delicious caramels and chocolates. Cowgirl Chocolates have taken this just a bit further by including ingredients such as habenerao peppers or a splash of raspberry lemonade. Wow what a kick it places in the delicious chocolates available at Cowgirl Chocolates.

We were able to sample some of the delicious chocolates that were sent to us by the Cowgirl Chocolate makers. They were delicious but because we received the assortment set with no instructions on which were hot or not when that spicy kick hit your mouth when not expecting it the candy seemed to bite back. WOW!!!! The delicious taste mixed with a spicy kick was great in my opinion. If you do not like spice then they have a package just for you of sweet chocolates with no spice. But if you adore that spicy kick then take the challenge and purchase the chocolate with the spicy peppers mixed in.

The Cowgirl Chocolates arrive wrapped in beautiful colors and would make the perfect gift for any occasion including Christmas. Do you have a person on the list that adores spice or sweets? Then look no further than Cowgirl Chocolates.

The words I share are my opinion only so you may want to try it for yourself to see if my review is worthy or not. Purchase the cowgirl chocolates from their website at

Pretzel Salad recipe

This is one of my daughters favorite desserts:

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

2 2/3 cups crushed pretzels
3/4 cups melted butter or margarine
12 oz. Cream cheese
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 large package frozen strawberries
About 1/2 of a large container Cool Whip, thawed
1 large package strawberry jello
2 cups pineapple juice, heated

Combine cream cheese and sugar; set aside. Mix pretzels and margarine and press into 9x13 dish. Bake at 400F for 10 minutes. Cool. Spread cream cheese mixture over pretzels. Spread the Cool Whip over cream cheese. Chill about 30 minutes. Dissolve Jello in hot pineapple juice. Add frozen strawberries; chill until partially set. Carefully pour over all; refrigerate several hours.

1-800 flowers wants to help you be a secret santa

Did you know that 1-800 flowers had their own facebook page? Well they do and if you become a follower of theirs they will help you be a Secret Santa to someone you love. Via facebook they will allow you to send a secret Santa gift to one of your facebook friends and then reveal who sent it on December 21, 2009.You will receive a coupon for 15% off your next order from 1-800 is also going to donate $5000 to the Toys for Tots campaign if 10,000 secret Santa gifts are sent. So come on and get in on the fun after all their are kids that will also get a reward for you sending your loved one a Secret Santa gift.

I was not paid for this post only given the opportunity to win -
The first 20 bloggers to post about this campaign and report their link at will receive a $50 holiday arrangement of their choice from, and 5 additional bloggers will be chosen at random to receive the same prize.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Homestead Company Giiveaway

At a previous time I shared a review of the Homestead Company on my blog. You can read that review here. Let me remind you a bit about the wonderful Homestead Company. You may remember that the company was created just a few years ago as a good neighbor program where moms would share ideas about natural alternatives to baby products. This program turned into a business very quickly. The products sold are nutrition and health products that help skin conditions and problems. Our family has been stricken by skin problems and we use lotions and creams and medication daily. The Homestead Company offers ton of products that will help you smooth your problems away. The Homestead Company sells items for the baby, spa, and of course your skin.

Perfect for gifts or to keep for your self Homestead Company has great products available on their website located at

Win: Homestead Company would love to give a $40 gift certificate to one of Annies Home readers.

To Win: visit the Homestead Company and let me know what you might do with the gift certificate if you were the lucky winner

Extra Entries:
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  • leave comment on another non giveaway post (2 entries) let me know which one

Contest starts now and runs through December 31, 2009 Email must be on blog or in comment Good Luck

Creativity for Kids review and Giveaway

Creativity for Kids has become a friend to my blog. We have reviewed products from Creativity for Kids a few different times so when I had the chance to review a products of theirs again I jumped at the chance. This time I was able to review the Holiday Memories Festive Felt Stocking. The kit comes with two stockings a large one and a small one.

It is a great project for families. I took the opportunity to complete this kit with one of my teens. My children seem to be so busy. I took the time to complete this project with my son. It was great as we personalized the stocking using the peel and stick felt appliques and festive embellishments. We were able to create a snowman on skis who had lost his balance turned out super cute. The mini stocking we decorated for my granddaughter Princess. Both of the stockings included ribbon hanging top so the large one was hanged on the wall and the smaller one on the tree.

Buy: so you want to complete this project with your family? You can purchase the kit from the Creativity For Kids website or locate a store near you by using this link

Win: One of Annie's Home readers will be able to purchase a Creativity for Kids kit of their own.

To enter: visit the Creativity for Kids website and let me know what kit you would choose if you were the lucky winner (choose carefully as this will be the one you receive)

Extra Entries:
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Contest starts now and runs through December 30, 2009 Email must be in comment or on your blog. Open to all.

Big Daddy Weave Christmas Concert

We were recently able to attend the

Here is Big Daddy Weave as we watched him on stage

and guess what after the concert you guessed it my son and his youth minister were able to get pictures with the man himself Big Daddy Weave

Rudolph Reindeer Ornament Using Childs Hand and Feet

I found the Holly Bloggy a bit late as you can tell this is my first day but I am so glad that I found it. Today is the craft day and it is being hosted by Blue Eyed Blessings. You should go over and visit

They won't stay long forever but this ornament will help you remember when their hand and feet were so small.

Start by tracing your child's foot on the brown construction paper (or perhaps trace their shoe.)
Trace both of your child's hands on black construction paper. Go around every finger so that your antlers will have many points. Now cut out the tracings. (This is fun for a todler to practice cutting with just a bit of assistance from mom The snagly edges are great signs that the chid created the craft as well) Glue the hand tracings to the "top" of the reindeers head (the front part of the foot) with antlers up. Now create his face using pompoms, googly eyes, construction paper or crayons. The choice is yours and the fun is yours to have.

V Tech Toys giveaway

Does your child have a vtech toy on thier Christmas list? There are a few VTech toys giveaways currently on going on. One of these great giveaways is located at the blog The Shopping Mama who is hosting a giveaway for a Bouncing Colors Turtle from the VTech Jungle Gym Toddler Play Series. This giveaway ends December 31, 2009

Another great giveaway sponsored by V Tech Toys is being hosted by the blog Momma Findings and is for a Bugsby Reading Set. This contest ends December 23, 2009

I am a strong believer on hands on education and that is V Tech does. It allows fun hands on education and learning of information. Based on what the child is learning you can then use this information to ask questions or do other steps in education

Ruffle Butts Buy 2 get 1 Free

Purchase 2 of the woven Ruffle Butts bloomers and receive a third one free. Hurry though because this may end soon. Follow this link to take advantage of this sale

Little Miss Matched discount

If you are still Christmas shopping or looking for a great deal then check out the website of Little Miss Matched and you will find several. Baby outfits as low as $5 and PJs for the children a bit older just over $10 Great deals, cool looks and awesome gifts.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Shoe Buy .com giveaway

The blog Piece of Me is hosting giveaway sponsored by the Shoe website. You should take time and visit the Shoe website as they sell shoes for all with great variety. The giveaway on the Piece of Me blog offers the chance to win $50 gift card to and ends December 29, 2009

Kitchen Tip: ideas for leftovers

Here are several tips for what to do with those leftovers after Holiday dinners or parties

  • Chop leftover turkey or roast beef and freeze into one-cup batches to use in soups, stews and casseroles.

  • Make patties out of leftover mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes and fry in butter for potato pancakes. .

  • Leftover salad or veggies can be rolled in tortillas to make wraps. .Use leftover chutneys or relishes as toppings on ice cream, pancakes or waffles.

  • Use up leftover turkey, chicken, mashed potatoes and veggies in homemade Shepherd's Pie. .Use leftover bread or dinner rolls to make Overnight Blueberry French Toast or Light and Fluffy Cheesy Eggs.

  • Add leftover ham to scrambled eggs, omelets or frittatas.

  • .Puree leftover mashed potatoes to make potato leek soup.

  • .Mash leftover sweet potatoes and add a half-cup to your favorite muffin or biscuit recipe.

  • .Substitute leftover ham for sausage in lentil soup.
shared this frugal homemaking post at 

A Whisper of Prayer for Bryson

I lit a candle and in the flame an image danced. One of my dear blogger buddies has lost a sweet little one. My heart feels for her and so in this candle I say a prayer that a young child who passed too soon will live on through spirit. Sheila Ross my fellow blogger has lost her young 2 year old son in an afternoon nightmare of a situation and my prayers are with her as well. I am joining the other bloggers that have lit a candle for Bryson.

Table Manners Reminder

With all the visiting and parties you may be attending you may want to help your children and yourself brush up on these table manners

Table Manners
1)The meal begins when the host or hostess unfolds his or her napkin. After they unfold their napkins the guest should follow suit and unfold theirs as well. When the host is done he will normally place his napkin in or beside his plate. At this time the meal is normally over and the guest should repeat the same step.
2)Do not start eating before the host or hostess unless the host ask that you do.

3) Once you use your utensils never allow the same utensil to touch the table again rather allow it to rest on the side of your plate
4) food served family style is passed left to right
5) If you would like something that is not in front of you say please pass the ... and then be sure to say thank you and also say thank you if the host or server removes items from the table

6.) Taste your food before seasoning it.

7.) Do try a little of everything on your plate.

8.)Do not blow your food to cool: rather allow it to sit while it cools
9.) Keep elbows off the table. Keep your left hand in your lap unless you are using it.

10.) Do not talk with your mouth full. Chew with your mouth closed.

11.) Do not blow your nose at the dinner table. Excuse yourself to visit the restroom. Wash your hands before returning to the dining room. If you cough, cover your mouth with your napkin to stop the spread of germs and muffle the noise. If your cough becomes unmanageable, excuse yourself to visit the restroom. Wash your hands before returning to the dining room.
This rule is especially important as we are able to enter a bad flu season!

12.) If you are a man sitting at the table with many couples remember it is proper for the men to stand up while the women excuse their selves.

A few General Rules

1.) Arrive at least 10 minutes early unless otherwise specified. Do not arrive earlier as your host or hostess may not be ready for you yet.

2.) Turn off your cell phone or switch it to silent or vibrate mode before sitting down to eat, and leave it in your pocket or purse. It is impolite to answer a phone during dinner. If you must make or take a call, excuse yourself from the table and step outside

Holiday Cupcake Recipes From Duncan Hines

On this the official day set aside for cupcakes I have found some super cute holiday cupcakes on the Duncan Hines website. Simply take a look at how cute this nutcracker cupcake set is and then you may want to head over to the Duncan Hines website and see what else they have to offer.

•18 Duncan Hines Red Velvet cupcakes baked in white paper liners
•2 cans (16 ounces each) Duncan Hines Creamy Home-Style Classic Vanilla Frosting
•Red and yellow food coloring
•1/4 cup Creamy Home-Style Classic Chocolate Frosting
•3 Pirouette cookies (Pepperidge Farms French Vanilla)
•1 tablespoon light corn syrup
•1/2 cup each red, blue, and green decorating sugars
•6 white and 3 pink gum balls
•9 dark chocolate coated cookies (e.g., Cadbury Dark Fingers)
•6 chocolate covered almonds
•6 thin chocolate cookies (e.g., Famous Chocolate Wafers)
•6 mini blue and 27 yellow candy coated chocolates (e.g., mini M&M’s)
•2 pink and 3 white candy wafers (e.g., Necco wafers)
•9 yellow candy coated chocolates (e.g., M&M’s)

Tint 1/2 cup of the vanilla frosting a pale pink with t
of the food coloring. Tint 1/4 cup of the frosting yellow and spoon into a ziplock bag. Spoon 1/2 cup of the vanilla frosting and the 1/4 cup of chocolate frosting into separate ziplock bags; set aside. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Spoon each color sugar into a separate shallow bowl. Cut the pirouette cookies crosswise, with a serrated knife, into six 2 inch pieces. Heat the corn syrup in a small bowl in the microwave until boiling, about 5 seconds. Working on 2 cookie pieces at a time, brush cookies with the warm corn syrup and roll in sugar to cover completely to make 2 cookies of each color to be used as the arms. Snip a small corner from the bag with the vanilla frosting. Pipe a dot of frosting at one end of each cookie and attach the white gum balls to make the hands. Place on the cookie sheet and let set about 30 minutes. Using a serrated knife cut 1/4 inch from either side on a slight angle of 3 of the thin chocolate cookies to make the hat. Cut 1/2 inch from either side of the 2 remaining cookies to make the brims, and trim 1/4 inch from each corner. Cut the remaining cookie into 6ths, like a pie, to use as support for the hair. Cut the pink wafers in half. Trim 1/8 inch from either side of the white wafers to make the mouths. Cut the pink gum balls in half to make the cheeks. Spread the tops of 3 of the cupcakes with the pink frosting to make the heads. Insert the pink wafers, rounded edge up, to make the nose in the center of the cupcakes. Add the halved gum balls on either side of the nose to make the cheeks. Add the white wafers to make the mouth, about 1/4 inch down from the nose. Insert the pointed end of 2 of the chocolate cookie pieces on either side of each cupcake -- this will support the vanilla frosting hair. Spread vanilla frosting on top of 6 of the cupcakes and smooth. Spread the tops of the remaining 9 cupcakes with the vanilla frosting to mound slightly. Roll the tops of the 9 slightly mounded cupcakes in the colored sugars, 3 in each color. To assemble the nutcrackers, place 3 sugared cupcakes of the same color on a serving platter to make the body, 2 side by side and 1 underneath, touching each other. Place the pink frosted head cupcake above the 2 sugared cupcakes and a vanilla frosted cupcake above that for the hat. Place a vanilla cupcake below the sugared cupcakes for the feet (see photo). Repeat with the other cupcakes to make 3 nutcrackers. Snip a small corner from each of the bags with the frostings. Using a dot of vanilla frosting to secure, attach the sugared cookie arms, vertically with the gumball ends toward the feet, on either side of the 2 sugared cupcakes. Pipe dots of vanilla and attach the blue candies as the eyes. Pipe pupils and eye lids on top of the blue candies and pipe teeth on the white wafer with the chocolate frosting. Increase size of cut corner on the chocolate bag and pipe the eyebrows and mustache. Starting on the outside edge, pipe the side hair and beard, overlapping rows, with the vanilla frosting. Add the trimmed chocolate cookies as the hat and brim on top of the top vanilla frosted cupcake. Arrange the chocolate almonds, narrow ends facing each other, at the bottom of the base vanilla frosted cupcake. Trim 2 chocolate covered cookies to fit vertically, side by side, on cupcake to make the boots. Place a whole chocolate covered cookie, horizontally, on the sugared cupcakes to make the belt. Pipe lines of yellow frosting on hat and chest. Pipe yellow fringe on top edge of sugared cookie and add the yellow candies. Pipe dots along either side of chest and attach the mini yellow candies for buttons. Add a mini yellow candy on top of the hat where the lines of yellow frosting meet. Pipe yellow dots of frosting on top of the cookie boots and in the center of the belt and attach mini yellow candies

Peppermint Cake

If you are looking for the perfect cake for Christmas I think this one might interest you.

Peppermint Cake

1 cup sifted cake or pastry flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
12 egg whites, at room temperature
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
8 ounces peppermint candy canes
2 cups heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 325°. Sift together flour and 3/4 cup sugar. Sift again and set aside. In a large bowl or standing mixer, beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and salt. Beat until soft peaks form. Add 3/4 cup sugar and the vanilla and almond extracts. Continue beating until egg whites are firm but not dry. Sift one-third of the flour-sugar mixture onto the egg whites and, with a rubber or silicone spatula, gently fold the mixture into the egg whites. Add remaining flour in two batches, folding gently after each addition. Turn batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan and bake until browned and firm to the touch, 50 to 60 minutes. Invert cake (in pan) on a cooling rack for at least an hour. When completely cool, run a long, thin, sharp knife between cake and pan to loosen, and remove cake. Put candy canes in a large sealable plastic bag. Crush them into small pieces with a meat pounder, rolling pin, or the bottom of a small frying pan. Sift crushed candy with a fine-mesh strainer and reserve candy dust for another use Set crushed candy aside. In a large bowl, beat cream with remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar until soft peaks form. Frost cake with whipped cream using a spatula to form swirls and peaks. Sprinkle frosted cake with crushed candy canes. (To get candy on the sides, hold your hand about 1 in. from the cake and gently toss crushed candy at the sides.) Serve immediately, using a serrated knife to cut slices.

Random Thoughts

We are so super close to christmas we are on that 10 day countdown. We have been so busy and tommorow night is my nephews play at school. How super cute he will look. His mommy has been looking for that perfect Christmas outfit. I remember those days and now my children are all older they still like to look good. My daughter dressed up today for her finals at school I think it was to make her feel a bit better. She left her feeling and looking great in her outfit part of which was new and part of which she had bought on sale.

I am having a bit of a problem with teenage rebellion. I have watched my oldest two travel through this and now my midle child is following those same lines. I just pray that this will past as easily as it did with the other two. We will have to see wish me luck on this one

I was so happy when my son complimented me on the way I decorated the living room. This makes a mother feel great about things when her 17 year old pays a compliment like that.

What are the random thoughts that you have? Want to share them? Head over to the UnMom and share away.

Giveaways at the MomStart blog

MomStart is hosting a couple of great giveaways.
  • Enter to win a $50 gift card sponsored by Fannie May. As you know Fannie May makes delicous chocolates. Enter this giveaway at MomStart blog by December 28, 2009
  • Enter to win some coconut flower from Tropical Traditions as well on the MomStart blog. This giveaway ends December 28, 2009

Chocolate Cream Cheese Coffee Cake to share with friends

Chocolate Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup cold butter, cut up
1 cup chopped pecans
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
Chocolate Velvet Cake Batter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk

Stir together 1 1/3 cups flour and brown sugar in a small bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender or fork until crumbly; stir in pecans. Set aside. Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth; add granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon flour, beating until blended. Add egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, beating until blended. Spoon Chocolate Velvet Cake Batter evenly into 2 greased and floured 9-inch springform pans. Dollop cream cheese mixture evenly over cake batter, and gently swirl through cake batter with a knife. Sprinkle reserved pecan mixture evenly over cake batter. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack. Whisk together powdered sugar, milk, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Drizzle evenly over tops of coffee cakes.

Was Twilight Plagiarized

Recently an author by the name of Jordan Scott made a statement that the author of Twilight Stephenie Meyer plagiarized his book "The Noctume" The reasons his lawyer used was

■Both novels have wedding scenes featuring lots of garlands and braids;
■Both novels have sex scenes that are set on the beach, during which moments are described as “perfect” and the hero calls the heroine “beautiful”;
■Both novels feature nightmares with black figures in them;
■Both novels feature the hero feeling loving toward the heroine upon the discovery that she is pregnant with his child;
■Both novels have a scene where the hero and heroine decide to name their child something unbearably stupid. In “Breaking Dawn,” the stupid name is Renesmee. In “The Nocturne,” it’s Requiem.
■In both novels, the heroine basically dies during childbirth;
■In both novels, the hero thinks his newborn child is perfect; and
■In both novels, the hero uses “love” as a term of endearment for the heroine

The judge ruling over the case determined that it was not plagiarism but rather that it was the traits that many romance stories shared.

source week in rewind

Cbellybelts Review and Giveaway

If you are a mommy, grandma or have ever helped take care of a young child you know that one of their frustrations has to do with their pants. Either they wear a belt to keep their pants up or they sag but when they wear the belt they have trouble as well with doing and undoing the belt. Well there is now a product known as Cbellybelts that wants nothing more than to help keep your child's pants up without the problem of the fastening battle. Created strictly for children the Cbellybelt is for both boys and girls.

The C.bellybelt is a smart, stylish and simple solution to the problem that has affected children everywhere for years. The belt helps the pants fit your child's waist while looking attractive. The Cbellybelt is the unique belt that has no closure in the front. Rather simple Velcro closures helps to secure the belt. With no front enclosure the belt does not constrict the child from quickly going to the bathroom or changing clothes. The Cbellybelt is considered the easiest belt for toddlers, preschoolers and children of all ages. Moms another great thing is that the belt will remain straight since the child does not have to fidget with the belt so the appearance should stay neat and orderly (hopefully!!!!)

The Cbellybelt is perfect for:
  • children that are potty training but still need to wear a belt. The belt does not interfere with going to the potty since the belt does not close in the front.
  • children who do not like belts around their belly but still need to wear a belt. The child will feel less constrained by the Cbellybelt because it does not close in the middle like most belts
  • Children who are allergic because the belt is 100% cotton or nylon it should not irritate children's skin
  • All children who grow and need a belt because the Cbellybelt grows with your child because it adjusts to 5 different sizes.

Buy: you can purchase a cbellybelt of their website for $12.99 each or $19.99 for a value pack. The variety that is available will be sure to please you and I am sure you will find one that is perfect for your child

Win: Two of Annie's Home readers will win a Cbellybelt of their choice

Mandatory Entry (must answer before any extra entries) You must visit Cbellybelts and let me know what belt you would choose.

Extra Entries:

  • follow my blog
  • subscribe to my blog
  • follow my blog on twitter
  • grab my button and let me know where you put it
  • tweet about this giveaway (1 entry per tweet)
  • blog about the giveaway (5 entries)
  • comment on any non giveaway post let me know which one (2 entries)
  • enter any giveaway let me know which one (1 entry)

Giveaway starts now and runs through December 29, 2009. Email must be in comment or on your blog or I will not try to search for you. Open to all Good Luck.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Throx the only socks that come in threes review

Do you hate the missing sock routine as much as I do? Well let me tell you I am not sure what happens to that missing sock. Is there a laundry monster? Do my kids hide one of their socks to taunt me? I guess I will never know but I must tell you that the missing sock game could drive someone insane. That is why I am so happy to see a product come out that will help stop the madness. THROX are the socks sold in three. Yes that is right the set of socks comes with three socks rather than the regular two.

THROX designs are available in "one size fits" adults as well as Kid THROX sizes. There are currently 19 options available. THROX are available in the USA, Germany, UK, Canada, Luzembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands. So I believe that everyone must have the same missing sock game as the popularity of THROX is growing.

You may remember THROX being spotlighted on the t.v. show The Sharktank as well as the today show. Throx has been spotlighted on many different T.V. shows

THROX were invented by Edwin Heaven because he thought socks should come with a spare. THROX is three socks for the price of two and what Edwin calls the "a fast solution for a slow economy"

Buy: you can purchase Throx off their website located at

I am not sure if you will agree with my thoughts and expressions but if you have ever experienced the missing sock game you may. I would love to thank Throx for the two sets of THROX that I received to test and prepare for my review.

Soda Stream

When we received the soda stream you would have thought I had won the lottery with the way the kids acted. They could not believe they would be able to make their own soda. Yes, and I was happy as well because with 6 teens alot of money goes into buying beverages that the teens approve. The Soda Stream made the teens and me happy at the same time. No more having to lug home those crates of soda or heavy 2 liter bottles and no longer do I need to have a special place for the soda. One of the best things about the Soda Stream is that we can use our own glasses so the chore of recycling is cut down as well.
It is so easy to make the carbonated drinks as well as the soft drinks. We have a station simply for the Soda Stream now. Tap water is simply turned into sparkling water in under 30 seconds with no mess and protecting the environment. You can make the drink the way you want it add as much fizz and taste as you want with your choice of syrup flavor.

The Soda Stream would make a great gift for your self or someone you love. Saving lots of money is always welcome. I am thinking about my teens in college here. The soda money they use could be sliced with the Soda Stream. With the great variety of sodas, waters, and energy drinks I am sure you will find a flavor that you love. Just think of all those cans and bottles that can be eliminated by using the Soda Stream. For the figure of a little under $5 you will get the equivalence of 33 cans of pop. Wow what a great deal when the 24 packs of soda cost $6+ where I live at.

Buy: If you would love to try the Soda Stream for your self or another you can order directly off the Soda Stream website. located at

Note: I did receive a soda stream machine and a variety of flavors to base my opinion on for this review. This is my opinion you may agree or disagree with it.

Mrs Renfro Gourmet Salsa giveaway

Would you love to try a taste of some delicious gourmet salsa? The first time I ever saw this salsa was when my lil brother had some and with him he eats all types of odd foods. Well, I decided I would try the salsa expecting not to like it. However after trying it I loved it. Now you can try the same Mrs Renfro salsa by winning the giveaway on the blog Leslie Loves Veggies

Meals this week

The menu for this week will find us settling down a bit and allowing us to enjoy the season a bit. Nearly all of my shopping is done and there is not a lot that still needs to be done so now all we have to do is soak in the Christmas Spirit and have a bit of fun

The menu this week looks like this:
chilli and crackers with PB vegies and dip and PB pie
spaghetti and garlic bread salad and fruit salad
taco soup, cornbread, salad, cake
ham, rolls, fries and cookies
chicken strip roll up, fries and jello
cheese dip, tortilla chips, hotdogs, cheesecake

what does your meal plan this week look like?