Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cute & Easy Christmas Centerpiece

I will admit it. When it comes to decorating, I am CLUELESS. I have to "steal ideas" from others and just can't come up with cuteness on my own. So I frequently search online for ideas and always share the good stuff with you! So, How cute would this be on a Christmas buffet!? (Picture found on: http://www.myhomeideas.com/myhome/photos/0,30587,1672702_1464928,00.html)

Cyber Monday Bundle from Charter

I know you gals enjoy shopping on black friday as much as I love shopping on Cyber Monday. (Unfortunately my hubby had to work on Friday so I didn’t get to go shopping at all…can you imagine me fighting the crowds with two toddlers, no thanks! So I am super excited for tomorrow, Cyber Monday!)

While looking around for deals, I came across this great deal from Charter and had to pass it along. Charter is offering THE Best Holiday Deal Online Right Now for Bundled Services! Here's the details…

You can get the Charter Communications Ultimate Service Bundle for $165.97 which includes:

  • High Speed: 10 Mbps High Speed
  • TV: Digital Home, Charter HD, Sports View, Digital View, HBO/Cinemax Starz/Encore Showtime/The Movie Channel
  • Phone: Unlimited Calling
  • $250 Gift card with purchase
  • AND a chance to win an X-Box 360 game console.


Banner__bf08_300x250_google

I have to say that is the best price available...and heck you get a free gift card. I don’t know about you but I love love love gift cards!!

So, Why not order now and get the best price for 2009…plus a $250 gift card, and maybe win the X-Box!?! Here is the link for those of you are interested: Encourage your readers to visit: http://connect.charter.com/landing/cpg/learnmore_PPC.asp?ID=197&OriginatingID=420136



Post?slot_id=

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A couple of Thanksgiving Photos

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving! It was so relaxing, the food was delicous and the company was gracious. Oh, and the weather was beautiful as well.

I am so thankful for my two precious babies.Oh, this picture cracks me up.
Princess is already checking out the sale ads (and only age 3!). .

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving

Do you know the history behind Thanksgiving? I mean more than "Pilgrims had dinner with Indians" history!? Please take a minute to read: http://www.history.com/minisite.do?content_type=minisite_generic&content_type_id=872&display_order=1&mini_id=1083

I hope each and everyone of you enjoys the next few days. I'll be taking a blogging break for a couple of days to enjoy my husband and kids...and contemplate all the wonderful blessings I have been giving. See you on Monday!

PS....So for those who don't like to watch footall on Turkey Day, here are some Thanksgiving Movies you may want to rent:
Home for the Holidays
Planes, Trains, Automboiles
Miracle on 34th Street (my favorite!)
The Ice Storm
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Giving Back This Holiday Season

Did I tell you all that I spent four years working at a homeless organization? I was the Marketing & Business Development director, which basically is a fancy title for “Fundraiser”. I was able to see first hand out many people in our country are suffering.

I have since moved on from that job, but still look for ways to give back to others, especially during the Holiday season. I usually pick a child of an angel tree or give donations to a local food pantry, but this year I am stepping up a notch. I just found out about a new program, Sears Heroes at Home Wish Registry. Sears is partnering with several non-profit organizations to offer help to over 30,000 military families this Holiday season.

It’s easy to participate and I hope you do it, too. You go to the link highlighted above where you can read stories from many of the military families. I chose to select a family from my state (Florida). From reading their story, I learned that the family has three kids as well as a new baby. The new baby had to undergo surgery and is scheduled for a second surgery. Since the husband is deployed, the mother is handing the family on her own.

Yikes! I truly couldn’t imagine my husband being away from me while having a sick child, so I truly appreciate the sacrifice this man has made for our country!

Please take a minute to check out this great site, and consider helping out our military. Happy Holidays!



Post?slot_id=

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Black Friday Deals

For those of you who plan to shop on Friday, you need to check out these two web sites (Thanks Mom!): http://www.shoplocal.com/ and http://www.dealnews.com/. I am considering going to Kohl's for the Kitchen Aid mixer. However, I am not one to fight the crowds so will probably skip. Let me know if you shop and what great deals you find!

Birthday Photos

Wow, I can't thank you all enough for all the warm wishes yesterday!!! I couldn't believe all the comments I received. Y'all made my day.
So yesterday afternoon, Princess Mimi decided she wanted to bake me a cake. So I got a Red Velvet box mix and some icing, and put hubby to work. The pictures speak for themselves:

No plates allowed, we all four just DUG ON IN!

Even the cat wanted in, ha.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Frontera Chardonnay


Well, I received my new issue (December 2008) of Consumer Reports. (Thank you Dad for the subscription!). This month CR featured "Wine for the Holidays" and one of the "Best Buys" includes a $5 bottle of Chardonnay, Frontera 2007. Now, I don't know about you, but I am willing to try it! (The article also rates Shiraz and Pinot Noir varites). Happy Holidays!

It's my Birthday

Wow, 36. Pretty uneventful and low key weekend, but I am very thankful that my dear hubby took three days off work (five days including the weekend) to be with me!

We didn't do any lavish dinners or nights out, but instead have been doing chores around the house. Weeding the garden, fixing up the flower beds, relining the shelves in the pantry, cleaning fan blades, etc etc--in anticipation of hosting Thanksgiving at our home this year. And I have done so much baking this weekend that I know I have gained 2 or 3 pounds, but OH so worth it.

We also just spent lots of time concentrating on the kids. We even took them to see Santa on Friday (as you see in my new header) and playing outside on the patio in this great weather.

So although it's been an uneventful birthday, I feel truly blessed for my great family!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

New Look

I hope you all like my new look. Since it's cold outside (yes, even in Florida), I felt the beach pictures need to retire. There are many new posts below so please take a minute to scroll down. Thanks for visiting my blog.

UPDATE: A couple of you asked--and the new header was screated on Scrapblog!

Fun Accessory for the Holidays

Okay, here is something fun for the Holidays! Inexpensive accessories…and I don’t mean new earrings or a warm scarf. I am talking about eyeglass frames!


Someone pointed out that Zenni Optical has cute eyeglass frames for the Holidays, in great colors like red and green. With prescription glasses starting at just $8, we should all be getting Holiday frames!


Yea, I said $8.00! The red ones above sale for $19 and the green below are only $8. I mean how cute are they!?



Now I will be honest, I never really thought of eye glasses as a fashion accessory. In fact, when I got my first pair at 19, I hated them and never wore them! I felt like just a geek. But in the past few years, they have become more hip!


And for $8, hell, I can get TONS of glasses. (Can I tell you, as a comparison, that my hubby just paid over $160 for his new pair at the eye doctor!?)


Zenni Optical makes it easy order on with a credit card via their web site. You need two things to get started: prescription for corrective eyeglass lens and your pupillary distance.

So check out the Zenni site if you get a minute, and start accessorizing!


Friday, November 21, 2008

Speaking of cocktails

Last night, a couple of girlfriends brought me out for Happy Hour. And wow, have I turned into a light weight! I had two glasses of wine (Pinot Grigo) and one beer, and my head and tummy feel yucky today.

Fortunately, hubby has taken some vacation time to celebrate my birthday (five-day weekend!) so he was sweet enough to go pick up a Bacon Egg Cheese biscuit at McD's for me this morning with a large fountain drink (Diet Coke!).


Oh and the kids are even cooperating. We are snuggling in the den under blankets now, with the fireplace lit, watching Cars. Princess Mimi just asked if we could put on our pajamas and I replied with "Mostly certainly!". What a great way to spend my Friday!


No other real "birthday plans" to speak of...I have hinted on many occasions to hubby that I would love a red velvet cake on Monday (my actual birthday) so we shall see if he has listened (hehe).


Off to grab more Tylenol...and (hopefully) a little nap.

The Flat Belly Diet, Just in Time!

Have you heard of the new Flat Belly Diet? I have read about this diet in Prevention magazine and have seen it on the news. Well, now I am ready to try it. (As a side note, I love to read Prevention while on the treadmill. It's the perfect size magazine to hold in my hands while going for a morning walk).

As you know, I have lost 10 to 11 pounds in the past few weeks; however, I still have my same problem area, my stomach! In years past, I have tried doing numerous sit ups, yoga, pilates--you name it--and no matter what, I still have my little belly flab. I have never really been able to wear a bikini due to this fact. (

But now that I am turning 36 (on Monday) and I am in the best shape of my life (ran my first 5k this year if you recall), SO I am ready to get serious.

Do you realize this is a diet that ALLOWS dark chocolate!? Hello, right up my alley. Hubby may even try this one with me, too! (He loves nuts, especially almonds.) So tell me, have you tried this diet? Anyone want to take the journey with me?

Fbd

Post?slot_id=

Happy Hour: Two Thanksgiving Cocktails

Caramel Apple Martini
A crisp fall apple smothered in gooey sticky caramel. This cocktail conjures all the flavours of this fall treat, only it won't leave your fingers sticky or your jaw tired from all that chewy caramel.
1 Oz. Sour Apple liqueur
1 Oz. Butterscotch liqueur
1/2 Oz. Vodka.
Measure all ingredients into a cocktail shaker full of ice. Shake and strain into a cocktail (martini) glass. Garnish with a few cubes of caramel candy and some apple slices on a skewer and plunk it into the glass.

Pumpkin Pie
Rather than the traditional warm pumpkin pie, this Thanksgiving cocktail combines pumpkin pie and ice cream all in a delicious cocktail glass. You will need to use a blender or food processer for this delicious cocktail.
3 tablespoons of vanilla ice cream
3 tablespoons of pumpkin pie filling
1 oz of butterscotch liqueur
1 oz of rum
1/3 of milk
3 ice cubes
Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a tall glass. Garnish with whipped cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a straw.

Hey Nat & Alex Fans, Listen Up!

Have you ever heard of The Naked Brothers Band? (Those of you with children, or younger teenagers, probably know what I am talking about! I am just learning about it this week. My kids are still a little too young for the show but I have a niece who loves it.)

Nat (almost 14 years old) & Alex (age 11) are two brothers who live in New York City (Manhattan). They are the founders of “The Naked Brothers Band.” Their second album was released in April, and the brothers are currently on tour. You can check out their music on YouTube.
According to Wikipedia, The Naked Brothers Band is part documentary and part rock-mockumentary comedy series that brought Nickelodeon's highest-rated premiere in seven years. The series began on February 3, 2007, and is currently in its third season.

Well, Nat & Alex have a new movie! Operation Mojo premiers this week on Nick (Saturday at 9pm). Even better…This Saturday, November 22, you and your kids can tune in to live chat with Nat & Alex Wolff of the Naked Brothers Band, as part of their new premiere, Operation Mojo. (You know the kids all over the world will be on top of this!)

So mark your calendar and check it out!

Natnalex


Post?slot_id=

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Countdown: Thanksgiving

Still unsure how to roast the turkey!? Check out this handy roasting guide from BHG: http://www.bhg.com/recipes/how-to/cooking-techniques/the-interactive-roasting-guide/

OR you can just order one from the Honey Baked store: http://www.honeybaked.com/ (Personally I love their HoneyBaked Oven-Roasted Turkey Breast, shown here ):

Super Targets (Archer Farms) also offer a complete meal for $69.99! You get a choice of turkey or ham...with appetizer, side dishes and pie for dessert. (Hmm, if I didn't love cooking so much this would be great!) You can check it out here: http://sites.target.com/site/en/supertarget/page.jsp?title=supertarget_order_fnd_search&flow=order_items_meals&ref=sc_iw_l_1_0

OH AND... There's still time to order this table cloth and/or runner from Pottery Barn Kids:

Have you checked out Kmart lately?

Click Here
When is the last time you have checked out the online shopping at Kmart? I had not done so in a long time but decided to look around some this week. I saw this real cool Attention brand Women's Kimono Wrap Sweater and found out that I could get an extra 10% off if I purchased online. (Heck, online shopping is the best for me since I have the two small kids! I do it all the time as you know.) And the beautiful Abbey Hill Medallion Dream bedding collection is an extra 30% when purchased online.In fact, Kmart's web site is having tons of great "online only" sales. You should check them out too, but let me add that the online discount is only through November 26th. (It never hurts to get a few Christmas items crossed off your shopping list!) Let me also add that the sale price will show up in the shopping cart once you have added an item. Oh and one more thing, through December kmart.com will also be offering an additional 10% (online only) on the following : women’s plus sleepwear, women’s Attention brand, girls tops, ALL juniors, boys tops, men’s shirts and bottoms, big men’s shirts and bottoms, infant and toddler, and bedding.

Post?slot_id=

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ann Taylor Shopping Discount


36 Days to Christmas


Yup, 36 days to go! Are you ready? Well, this site may help you get more organized: http://organizedchristmas.com/. I just found it and absolutely love it! I think you will too.

Sears Super Saturday Sale!

Listen up Shoppers! Sears Super Saturday Sale is coming up. Yup, Sears is having a one day only Doorbuster sale this weekend, November 22nd from 7:00am to noon. Now, I don't know when was the last time you stepped into a SEARS but you'd be surprised at what they have to offer.

We get lots of things there. In fact, just this spring we got our washer and dryer. I have also gotten a digital camera and television set from Sears in the past. Oh, and come to think of it, hubby got his lawn mower and weed eater there the year before.

Personally, I want to check out the Kenmore Progressive vacuum at the Super Saturdy Sale. I have two vacuum cleaners at home and don't like either one! I keep putting it off because I am not sure what king to buy, but since tis Kenmore vac is the lowest price of the season, I can save $70 at the one day sale. YAY!

And since Sears is offering 60% off sweaters for the family, I will look into some new stuff for hubby and the kids. (Last year, Hubby got his "secret Santa" a pair of black leather gloves and some gorgeous siler ear rings in the women's department).

You can check it out here: www.sears.com/weeklyad. Now hurry on Saturday as this offer is only while quantities last!


Post?slot_id=

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Limited Edition Hershey Kisses- Pumpkin Spice

Anyone try these yet!?

Hubby and Late Hours

I am talking off the fly right now, but needed to vent. Does anyone else have a spouse that works late!? I know I should be so grateful that hubby has a job. This economy sucks and I should feel --and do feel--blessed that he is in a (somewhat) secure job.

However, I get really frustrated at times that he doesn't have a 9 to 5 schedule (it's more like 8am to 7pm). Most nights he leaves the office around 6:00pm, and then add on the hour commute, he doesn't get home until 7:00pm. By that time, I AM DONE!

I guess I need some advice or suggestions because I find myself getting so mad at him sometimes. He swears its "beyond his control" and I am sure it is, but why does it happen over and over. (The Love Dare is truly testing me this week--ha!)

Last week, he was going to meet me and the family for an event at 5:30pm, and guess what!? He got caught up in a conversation with one of his employees and a second with his boss, so didn't meet me until 6:45pm! Tonight he promised he would leave work at 5:30, 6:00 at the latest, and guess what!? He's just leaving now, 6:40pm (remember an hour commute-so that's 7:40pm!--ten minutes past Tom-Tom's bed time).

Oh, BTW, before you think/say it-- I know he is at his desk--he answers his phone and emails--it's not like he is out drinking with friends or cheating on me or anything crazy.

I feel guilty for even complaining, again since he HAS a job, but at times I truly fee like a single mom. Anyone else relate!?

Pottery Barn Finds

I am so excited that Christmas is approaching. I can't wait to hang our stockings on the fireplace. (We have these from Pottery Barn). I am ready to light a few cinnamon candles, too.
Also, I told you gals that I like to "bargain shop". Well back in January, I saw this cute Christmas apron on clearance at PB Kids. I gave it to Princess Mimi over the weekend and she LOVES it, so yet again, we "just had" to make cookies...

Monday, November 17, 2008

AT Loft Birthday Gift

My birthday, ugh 36!, is coming up in six days! Hubby and I were out the other night and I had a $15 birthday coupon at Ann Taylor Loft. Hubby liked this sweater, had me try it on, and got it for me. http://www.anntaylorloft.com/catalog/outfit.jsp?ensembleId=3747&categoryId=200

Sunday, November 16, 2008

ABC Family: 25 Days of Christmas

It's that time of year again...ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas (Dec 1 - Dec 25). But even better, It's starting a little early this year with the Countdown to 25 Days to Christmas (Nov 16-Nov 30). I love watching the old classic cartoons with my kids each year. You can check out the schedule here: http://community.abcfamily.go.com/25-days-christmas/countdown

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Great Words by Huckabee

I love Huckabee. (He was my "first choice" for President and I think he would have done a fantastic job debating Obama, but things didn't turn out that way unfortunately.)

SO, I am so glad he has a new show on FOX news. And I truly love what he has to say about showing our respect to "Barack Obama, My President". Check out this quick video: http://www.foxnews.com/video2/video08.html?maven_referralObject=3182352&maven_referralPlaylistId=&sRevUrl=http://www.foxnews.com/huckabee/index.html

NO MOVIE afterall...

Well, you won't believe this, but we ended up NOT going to see the movie. It would have costs us $60 to see the movie. Why $60 you ask? Well, $30 for the sitter, $20 for the movie, and $10 for two soft drinks, so hubby said, "Let's just keep the sitter and go for a walk or drinks!".

Ironically, today was Love Dare 11 (again, he doesn't know I am doing the book) and the dare was to basically give up something you want to do for your husband. (Funny how that worked out, uh?)

Friday, November 14, 2008

eBates Reminder--CASH BACK!

Okay bloggers, it's the Holidays! Time to shop. Have you signed up for eBates yet?

eBates gives you cash back for online purchases. If you sign up now, you will get $10 added to your cash back account. It's really that simple! I've been using it for a few months back, and get about $35 back each quarter. LOVE IT!
Please check it out here (this is my personal referral code): http://www.ebates.com/refer-a-friend/amb1114.htm?referrerid=ihPdomBCzvfNk7l%2FxABVwA%3D%3D

HAPPY WEEKEND!

We Got (Mickey) Crocs!

Since the weather has been so dang nice, we have been going to Disney quite a bit. On Thursday, we ran to EPCOT to see fireworks with some friends. While there I got both kids MICKEY CROCS!

Finally Going to See it Tonight...

Hubby has today have work, so I have sitter coming by later this afternoon, so we can finally see "Fireproof". (Hubby has no clue that I have been doing the "Love Dare" book! I am on Day 12 now.)

Charlie Brown!

Guess what we have been watching!? Yup, Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and Charlie Brown Christmas (Hubby gave me the DVDs a couple of years back for Christmas!). Tom-Tom usually doesn't watch much TV, but he asked for "more" everytime it ends. I LOVE IT! Peanuts was my favorite as a kid so glad my two like it now!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cookie Time!

On Sunday, Princess and I made Peanut Butter cookies! Yum! Love this recipe:
P.S. The recipe yields 54 cookies. I cut it in half to make 27 cookies and that got me two trays--perfect for my home of four!
I will try to do these with Mimi next week.

Layaway Makes a Comeback

I have heard on the news recently that some stores are going back to the old "layaway" system as an alternative to credit cards. I LOVE IT!

In fact, I remember when I was 14 years old and really wanted this pair of denim jumpers. They were the "in" thing and costs $70 for the brand I "had to have". So mom brought me to the store, helped me open my layaway account and over the following few weeks, I paid them off.

Today I visited the web site for Kmart Layaway. You plug in your zip code and it tells you what stores in the area are participating. It then shows you which items are available. (AND let me add that the web site is already offering "black Friday" prices NOW!)

“Layaway is also a great way to not only start shopping early and find great selections at Kmart,” said Mark Snyder, chief marketing officer, Kmart. . “It also allows our customers to spread their payments over time and better plan their holiday spending.”

Click Here
I have finished all the "Santa shopping" for my two kids, but am considering a new television for hubby for Christmas. I haven't shopped for a TV in years so am truly amazed at the price of new flat screen TVs!

I don't have the cash to buy it today, but I don't want to charge it on a credit card, because (a) he'll see the bill and the surprise will be ruined and (b) I don't want to pay interest rates. So the Kmart Layaway program may be PERFECT for my Hubby's Christmas gift!!

Click Here

Post?slot_id=