12 Days Of Christmas Swap Reveal!


I apologize for the delayed post regarding my 12 Days Of Christmas Swap, it has been a very busy Christmas season around here! I would like to thank CGSwaps for hosting another top notch swapping experience and I can't wait for the next one! 

My partner this year was Bethany who is the proud owner of the blog happilyrambling.blogspot.ca. Her and I had a lot in common and had a great time swapping with one another! I am glad I got her as a partner and wish her all the best in 2016! 

Here are some of the fantastic gifts I received!


We have been snuggling up watching movies and drinking lots of cocoa thanks to Bethany. We have a foot of snow to sled in and it is minus 12 around here so we most definitely appreciate all of the warm treats and gifts!

Our Favourite Educational Christmas Gift


I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and enjoyed the time with friends and family. I know we had a terrific holiday and now it is time to start catching up on blogging, school, and other important aspects of life.

Christmas always fills the house with toys and excitement but its always nice when you get a gift that stimulates the young minds and makes for a very memorable family time.

That's how I feel about the game I got my kids for Christmas. I got them the Disney game called Super Stretchy which is a form of Twister for smaller kids. It teaches them basic shapes, colors, and picture recognition. It also gets them moving around, laughing, and having an awesome time.

This game is going to be a huge hit on snowy days this winter and many other days to come. I got my game from the disneymovierewards.com rewards program for free using my points I accumulated from buying Disney movies. You can also order it online for under $20.

Last Minute Christmas Gift!


I love those Christmas crackers you can buy in the stores but every time I buy them I am sadly disappointed in what is inside. A paper hat, a piece of paper with a joke on it, and usually a tattoo or small toy that is just useless. So I thought it would be sweet if they came filled with everyone's favorite candy and small toys they would actually appreciate like erasers, silly bands, and small accessories for Littlest Pet Shops and Furreal Friends. 


So I made my own using toilet paper rolls and wrapping paper. I filled them all with caramels, gum, tootsie rolls, and those small toys I mentioned. They look just as nice as the ones from the store but I know they will be enjoyed a lot more. It cost me absolutely nothing and it is going to make some seriously happy faces

Economies and Home Economics for Holiday Time


Throughout the recession money was tight. Many people had lost their jobs and few could expect a pay rise even
if they held on to theirs. Even though inflation was low and demand depressed, it did not stop some things rising 
in price, things such as utilities. With pressure on monthly income it became increasingly important to look for 
bargains, negotiate discounts, use special offers and avoid waste. Even though the recession has ended it is still 
valid to take the opportunities that present themselves. Certainly employment figures are getting better month 
on month but there is little sign that wages are rising across the majority of sectors.
A Young Family
A mother with a small family faces a number of challenges, balancing the needs of the household with keeping 
children interested in learning, amused in whatever way she can and encouraging them along the correct paths 
of behavior and respect. Money plays a major part in her life and in fact teaching her children some of the 
lessons about money is something that will give them a good grounding for their later years. If they do a simple 
chore to earn their allowance each week then that is the first step in learning about the value of money. A 
second step is perhaps saving a little each week towards buying something in the future, or to have a sum to 
use on a future holiday. 
Holiday seasons happen at different times of the year; Christmas, the summer and Thanksgiving are just three 
events worth mentioning. They are times that mom needs to focus on for a variety of reasons, not least the 
finance involved for the family to enjoy them. Finance is needed for presents, for the Thanksgiving Turkey and 
the other food and drink involved in the celebrations. There is also the holiday when the family all go away 
together to a resort of some kind. When the kids are a little older there is summer camp of course.
Money Management
It is not easy to manage money. It is not a school subject and sometimes there are hard lessons to learn before 
people get things right. Mom therefore faces plenty of challenges in paying the bills and putting a little aside for 
holiday time. There are many things that she can do that don’t relate directly to money which can make the 
holiday time more enjoyable. Children can be amused whilst developing their craft skills. How many youngsters 
don’t enjoy paint, glue and craft? They don’t intentionally make a mess you know. Mom will need to keep an 
eye things so that she hasn’t got a lot of cleaning up to do. The same thing applies in the kitchen perhaps 
cooking some cakes for a party?
For a family to be able to go away on holiday it often involves being able to save up. After the decision on where 
to go is made, most holidays can be booked on line by paying a small deposit. The best way to do this is by 
providing credit card details which will be secure thanks to the sophisticated payment gateways that have 
developed to combat potential fraud. It is important not to build up a balance on a credit card of course; a high 
rate of interest is applied to any amount that is not paid off at the end of the month. Card cards should be used 
purely for convenience. Those who build up a balance on a card, and there are plenty judging by the nationwide 
statistics in the USA should pay them off with more competitive & trusted realistic loans. It is sensible budgeting
 which is something every young mom should perfect.
Reduce Expenditure
The remainder of the holiday bill will not be due until a few weeks beforehand so there is time to save, not only for 
the bill but also for spending money. A holiday is something to look forward to especially on cold, dark and wet 
winter’s nights. There may be some obvious savings that can be made. Comparative websites provide a good basis 
for those people wanting to know what the best utility suppliers will charge or who are the most competitive 
insurance providers. You may even find a cheaper telephone network. Each of these are significant parts of monthly 
expenditure. 
The phrase ‘good housekeeping’ has become something that is used to describe anything that is well run, not 
necessarily frugal but certainly not wasteful.  A CEO of a large company would certainly like to hear the phrase 
used about the company. The origins of the phrase come back to the women in the house who prides herself on 
avoiding waste and making the most of available resources. If she does that she will have deserved her holiday and 
the kids ought to be extremely pleased as a result.

Beware Of Internet Fraud

There is a huge rise in criminals using the internet to scam  people out of there hard earned cash. We see these fraudsters act swiftly especially around the holidays when people are rushing around and not being vigilant. Take a look at www.onlinescam.net to learn how to protect yourself this holiday season!

Less Stressful Holiday Cooking Tips


Got Holiday Cooking Stress?
Catering expert shares five simple tips to avoid anxiety and impress your guests

While the holiday season is generally a happy time of year, it does bring about some stress. Whether it is battling the shopping mall crowd, deciding what gifts to buy, traveling or your visiting in-laws, seasonal stress is real. For those of us tasked with cooking the holiday party meal the anxiety may make you feeling not-so holly jolly.



Dennis Snuszka, Vice President of Food & Beverage at TooJay’s Deli (www.toojays.com), a go-to choice for holiday party catering, has a few tips to take some of the stress out of the holidays:

1.     Make a list – It sounds simple but lists can help keep you organized and allows you to get all of the tasks and to-dos out of your busy mind and down on paper. This kind of planning will help you visualize how you want to serve the food and assure that you are not forgetting a family favorite.  Start with your overall menu and then list ingredients needed, items that need to be ordered ahead as well as tasks that you can delegate.

2.     Cooking Calendar – Once your menu is set you know not only what to make, but when to make it. Don’t leave the cooking to just one day. Some recipes need time for marinating, others can easily be made days ahead to free up oven space and ease the stress of the holiday event.

3.     Simplicity is key - Easy to make items are key to avoiding stress, especially the day-of the party.  Between setting up and welcoming your guests, there isn’t much time to spend in the kitchen. There are delicious recipes that are also simple and easy to make. Examples include pears wrapped in prosciutto, green beans with pine nuts, a crudité platter, fruit salad and pre-made desserts.

4.     Label-Making- Set out and label serving dishes and pair with utensils a few days before the party. This allows you to get everything cleaned and sorted in advance. This step will also help you account for space and identify any other bowls, baskets or serving pieces needed. No one wants to scramble to set up an additional table or run to the store for more items the day of an event.

5.     Leave it to the Pros – Sure, a holiday meal made in your kitchen sounds warm and fuzzy, but the strain on your holiday spirit may not be worth it. However, there is nothing wrong with getting a little help!  You can still make your traditional family favorites but let a caterer help with specialty foods for vegetarians or guests who need to eat gluten-free. Or, have them prepare desserts and side dishes to compliment your famous roast. Partnering with a caterer allows you to enjoy the holiday while serving a meal your friends and family won’t forget. It’s up to you whether you share your secrets!





About TooJay’s Deli
Founded in 1981, TooJay’s (www.TooJays.com) has become a Florida institution renowned for serving authentic New York deli comfort food.  With 26 restaurants throughout the state, they are famous for sliced-to-order meats and piled-high sandwiches.  They also offer freshly baked bread, salads, pastries and desserts.  In addition, TooJay’s has an array of catering options for holidays, office gatherings and events of any size.

Palmers Anti Itch Formula Review and Giveaway!


Dry itchy skin is a problem for most especially during the cold winter months. Soothe your skin with Palmer's products.


Introducing Palmer's® Cocoa Butter Formula® Soothing Oil For Dry Itchy Skin
You feel that first itchy prickle and start scratching. Before you know it, you're frantically raking at the
persistent irritation beneath your skin, trying to get some relief! Whether it is itching associated with
pregnancy or other skin irritations - it’s a problem that a lot of people face. The good news is that
Palmer's® Cocoa Butter Formula® has the perfect solution for dry, itchy skin.
Palmer's® Cocoa Butter Formula® Soothing Oil is uniquely formulated to soothe, moisturize and soften
the dry, itchy skin associated with pregnancy and other skin irritations. The unique combination of
Cocoa Butter, Vitamin E, Collagen and Elastin soothes and softens skin naturally, while supporting skin
elasticity and firmness. The addition of Lecithin, a natural emollient, water binding agent and
antioxidant with excellent skin penetration ability delivers further softening and soothing effects for
irritated and stressed skin.
PALMER’S COCOA BUTTER FORMULA SOOTHING OIL FOR DRY, ITCHY SKIN
Is light, pleasantly scented oil specially formulated to moisturize and relieve the itchiness often
associated with pregnancy. Soothes and softens skin naturally while improving elasticity and firmness.
Paraben-Free – Phthalate-Free - Dermatologically Tested
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Soothing Oil For Dry, Itchy Skin retails for $5.99 for a 150ml bottle.
Available at: Walmart.
For over 160 years Palmer’s has been combining premium ingredients from nature with science to
develop affordable skin care solutions that really work.
For more information on Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula products, visit www.palmers.com

This contest is going to be a bit different, a random winner will be chosen from those who comment below. All you have to do is tell me what your favorite holiday movie is and you can win: 
Three Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Anti-Itch Skin Care bottles

OR

One Package: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Soothing Oil for Dry, Itchy Skin,  Moisturizing Body Oil and Cocoa Butter Lotion 
 Winner gets to choose which prize they would like! Good luck everyone! Winner will be randomly selected on December 20th 2015! 

Give The Gift of H.O.PE.

The holidays can be a great time to embrace ones religion and really share the love and passion with another who shares the same beliefs. This year if your looking for a religious gesture I recommend H.O.P.E. products.


What better gifts to give than ones that act as simple but beautiful reminders of love and inspiration? Hope in a Box is dedicated to creating gifts that do just that. H.O.P.E. stands for "Hang On Pray Everyday."  
Hope in a Box is a company founded by a husband and wife team who persevered through difficult times through prayer.


There are many different gifts available for everyone on your list this year.For the father who starts every day with a cup of coffee and the morning paper, tell him you appreciate him with the H.O.P.E. Coffee Mug.
For the mother or grandmother who needs a little extra warmth in the winter, tell her you treasure her with a H.O.P.E. Fleece Blanket
For the teenager who just started driving to school, have them know you’re always thinking of them with a H.O.P.E. Keychain.
Whether your loved ones enjoy relaxing at home or are always on the go, they will feel love and inspiration when they receive any of these gifts. Give thanks with Hope in a Box.
H.O.P.E. is a blessing in itself and a blessing in disguise. Hope in a Box donates 25% of all company profits to life, marriage, and family affirming ministries. This Christmas, the purchase of just one gift could potentially touch several lives. Find all these amazing products at www.hopeinabox.com.


Children And Screens Encourages Children To “LOOK UP” As They Enter The New School Year

Summer break is almost over, and children around the country are getting ready to go back to school. It’s an exciting time, but it can also ...