Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cub Scouts Christmas Skits and Cookie Exchange

Oh what a night....hanging with a bunch of boys as they gear up for a sugar fest of "homemade cookies" was a blast especially since I was hanging with one of my girlfriend's husbands. Frank Sr is a trip. Reminder to self: always sit with Frank! He is so much fun and has enough energy for all of us.

All the Scout Dens performed a skit or sung. Our Den is lucky enough to have two amazing leaders. One is the more authoritative figure. He keeps the boys in line in a fun, often sarcastic way while the other, is more relaxed, very sweet and easy. It is the perfect balance.

Handsome's Den decided on a skit centered around Santa losing his reindeer and when he fears they were eaten by a polar bear spotted near by, he heads out searching and hoping they are OK. He and his elfs happen upon a house in the woods, There is a ruckus inside, when he knocks the reindeer open the door and shout surprise. They weren't eaten, they were throwing Santa a surprise party....I love how the story came to life with the boys tossing out ideas and they were finally tossed together by one of the Den leaders who is a writer. He showed it to the boys on his iPad which was pretty cool. All the boys now want one.

Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the amazing cookies but I can tell you the homemade only theme went right out the window. There were Entenmann cookies there, plus a bunch of other store bought names.  Nothing against store brought, Entenmanns are some of my favorites but why did I spent 2 hours baking 3 dozen cookies! Ugh!

It was a really good time!

Picnik collage

Picnik collage

The Reindeer screamed surprise and invited Santa into the party. Handsome looks like he has no idea what he is doing on that stage. Basically he kept hiking his pants up all night. His belt was on but he didn't make it tight enough. Poor kid was also tired. When you get up at 5:30 this is bound to happen.

Picnik collage

After the skit the boys received their respective badges! Handsome was thrilled to get one. I wasn't since I had sent over 25 different things I thought for sure he would have quite a few. Asked his Den leader who I had to pay to get my son decorated. He told me he would explain it to me later. I am still waiting. Hey, if I need to grease the palm, I will.

Heading up to get his award. He was thrilled!

copyDec 17, 2011 Cub Scouts (20)

After this, Santa came in with a bag full of Box Derby cars that the boys need to do for January. Umm...have no idea what that is so I will be handing it off to the Teach. I take him to these things, he can do the project!

copyDec 17, 2011 Cub Scouts (27)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Breakfast With Santa

While out and about with the kids two weeks ago I ran into the Mayor who sweetly mentioned to the kids at least 5 times about a Breakfast With Santa and asked if they were going. I was well aware and had done it with the kids in the past but it is never worth the cost for us. The kids eat nothing and I get sick each time I but since they had answered her Yes when she kept saying are you going, I was strong armed into it. It is a good time; rushed but still nice considering I know about 85% of the folks there. There is something to be said about living in small towns. You always run into friends.

We went in and paid our $16.00 or whatever it was. ate, did some shopping, got our photo taken and then I snapped a few while the kids were talking to the guy in the red suit. He is really nice and has been the Santa around all month so the kids keep seeing the same guy. Really nice so there is little confusion for the younger children. While my kids know this isn't Santa, they know he can tell the "BIG" guy what they want so they did. It is always fun to listen in but I did allow them their private time too. Wish I could have had them wearing a wire so I could listen to what they were talking about but everyone deserves privacy, even my kids.

Picnik collage

Princess Recovery By Jennifer L. Hartstein PsyD

Princess Recovery
Princess Recovery: A How-to Guide to Raising Strong, Empowered Girls Who Can Create Their Own Happily Ever Afters
By Jennifer L. Hartstein, PsyD
Published by Adams Media

If 70% of girls believe they're not good enough and 62% feel insecure about themselves,
100% of Parents Need This Book.

At two, she only wears dresses because she's a princess like the ones on TV. At six, she wants the trendiest, scantily clad doll because all her friends have it. At eight, she's begging for makeup because she wants to be pretty like the teen superstars. Your daughter has every opportunity to be independent and confident -- if only you could help her tune out the rest of the world! But can you really deny your little girl dresses, cartoons, and friends until she is out of danger?
Child and adolescent psychologist Dr. Jennifer L. Hartstein has good news: You don't have to! Her unique program teaches you to curb the world's influence on your daughter -- without making her live in a bubble. In this debut book, Dr. Hartstein teaches you to:

• Encourage your daughter to pursue her passion with industry and intelligence
• Establish high but realistic expectations of your daughter and her future
• Provide context for problematic influences -- from the media to her peers
• Build a mutual trust that will withstand her adolescent growing pains

With this plan, you can bring balance, confidence, and self-sufficiency into your daughter's life while giving her a modern, vibrant childhood.

The 411: As the mom of a 6 year old spitfire and a Daisy leader to 10 girls I love reading books about creating balance and confidence in young girls. I worry about the preteens in my life who seem to be going through so much already. As a young girl, (and sometimes still do) confidence was something I completely lacked. There was no one protecting, monitoring or filtering out what I saw or heard. I see it now with so many of my female friends, family and more who ask young kids if they have a boyfriend, or girlfriend in school and the kids are only 4 - 12 years old. So many think it is cute  when young children have a crush or wear "sexy" clothes. Personally I find it repulsive. When Goddess was a toddler and anyone said she was pretty, I would follow with she is smart too! Little girls grow up hearing things like "pretty, sexy, thin, etc" and these words sit with them and if they are not these things or if they are, they feel THIS is what matters. Dr. Hartstein's method doesn't have to be followed to a T but it is a great place to start.

Raising a smart, strong, empowered girl starts with what she is learning at home. Check yourself and make sure you are sending the most positive message. Evaluate your own morals. Girls grow up way to fast.

I love the age appropriate break down in each section too. From ages 2-3, 4-5, 6-8 you can help your daughters create a strong sense of self which will enable them to make the right decisions that will help them the rest of their lives.

My hope for Goddess is that she keeps your spirit. She is funny and doesn't conform. She knows what it means to have a good heart, to help people, and she is confident in her mastered abilities. However, as a people pleaser she is often hurt by words like, "I don't like you," "You are not my friend," "You are stupid", the annoying things other kids say when they don't have others telling them how to be a nice person. I simply ask her, "Are you stupid?" or "do they talk to you?" When she says No or yes respectively I remind her that words only hurt us if we let them. If you know you are NOT those things or Don't do those things, ignore them.

I have a long way to go to make sure that Goddess comes out empowered on the other side. I can only pray that I am doing right by her. Hopefully by spending time with her and allowing her to be herself, while filtering out the things she doesn't need to know or see, plus the help of Princess Recovery she will be a strong, wonderful woman who doesn't NEED to feel validated by others. I can only pray.

My daughter is my princess but I hope she grows up knowing she can still wear a tiara if she wants under her firefighter uniform if that is what she chooses to be.

Let your girls be who they are going to be, but lead the way with good healthy morals that teach her compassion, responsibility, appreciation of inner beauty over outer beauty!

Author Bio
L. Hartstein, PsyD, author of Princess Recovery: A How-To Guide to Raising Strong, Empowered Girls Who Can Create Their Own Happily Ever Afters, a child and adolescent psychologist, is a regular correspondent for The Early Show. She has also appeared on Fox News, The Today Show, and Headline News. Dr. Hartstein uses a variety of treatment approaches that promote strong self-awareness, distress tolerance, and acceptance. She lives in New York City.
For more information please visit
Find the author on Facebook and Twitter 

Purchase Princess Recovery:

The Daisys Do Some Day Trips

Well in this case they do night trips...we meet at 6:30 p.m. Me and my fearless co-leader took our Daisy's to the Police Station and Fire House earlier this month. Our Daisy's are a fun troop of girls including my own but I love all of these girls especially the ones I have known for the past three years who were in Goddess' preschool class.

They are so sweet and funny and as much as I didn't want to take on one more thing, being with my 10 girls is a fun part of my week.

We are trying to condense two years into one as these girls are on a mission to be Brownies next year. The leader last year fizzled out and didn't really do anything to keep the group progressing. We are confident that our girls will move forward with all the accomplishments they need.

Two days of trips was hard to fit into this already busy month but so worth it. Our Police and Fire Department are an amazing group. We see them often as they come to the school for many things and host the town on Fire Prevention. They also star in a lot of our parades and such so we know a lot of them by name which makes it all the more personal as we headed in with our group.

Goddess and the other girls were excited and asked A LOT of questions. Thankfully these guys are patient because I would have lost it half way through if I were the one speaking to the group.

The girls loved being fingerprinted. I took a photo of all the girls getting their fingers done. Goddess was last and at this point my girls were moving into the next room so I never got a shot of her facing the camera. 

Their favorite part was being put in the prison cell. The moms and I were creeped out by the cell but the girls loved being in there. Can you see how happy they all are? A little too happy if you ask me.

Here is my Goddess in a bullet proof vest. They are lighter than you would think.

We are going to make copies of the pictures for our Police Department and have the girls sign a card for the guys time. They really are great guys.

Goddess looks bored in the middle but trust me she was probably as worried as I was about someone else holding my Canon 50D! God help them.

The next day we headed to the fire house to meet another group of guys.  Our girls again were relentless with their questions. The guys went over the parts of each truck and all the components on them. It was quite detailed and way too much information but the girls were not bored one bit as the guys just kept answering.

They girls each got to sit in the driver seat for a photo op. Here is my boo-boo...

After that we took a shot of them in the back of the truck. My hope is to present each girl with her own photo album at the end of the year as a way to remember her year as a Daisy. Hopefully it doesn't cost me too much. It's like a where's Waldo shot. Can you find Goddess?

Next the guys did what they do every time they go to the school. They put on a uniform as the kids watch. Statistics show that many children are afraid of the firefighters coming through the smoky house with the strange breathing sound and hide. Only to parish in a fire hiding from the person who could have saved them. The girls had a lot of questions about the suit.

After he was suited up, the firefighters explained about the special alarm that tells other firefighters where one of their own is if God forbid they get injured or collapses in a fire. If the firefighter doesn't move an alarm will go off. To show how this works, Firefighter John threw himself on the ground and didn't move. The alarm does get very loud, we all held our ears.

After that, we asked him to pose with our girls. Mine was rather interested in the firefighter next to her, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

When it was over, a firefighter opened the door (one of the dads of a Daisy) and let the girls pose by the truck. Can you tell they were freezing? It wa-assss brrrr cold!

All in all, our girls and our parents had a great time! Loved every minute.

It's The Little Things...

Having kids is one of the best parts of my life. That, my husband, good friends, a balanced outlook and the air I breathe.

This year while Teach and Goddess were putting up the holiday decorations outside they found a huge hole from mice in our blow up decorations. Ugh...just what we need, another cost for the season. I my head, I thought...OK..well this year, no blow ups. We don't need the additional expense.

Nope, Teach is a good dad and when he promises, he usually comes through....

He headed out and picked up an animated snow globe, the kind with snow that moves around inside.

He started putting it up as I headed to the bus stop to pick up the kids. We walked back and they noticed our neighbors set up...ooohhhhing and ahhhing. I couldn't wait for them to notice ours so I said, "I see something else that is pretty cool or something like that."

They came running up to the house, shouting, "that is so cool!" Loved it.

After dark we headed outside as a family to see how it looked. Kids are easy, we don't have a lot of lights and stuff, but they LOVE it and that is all we care about.

I love this picture of Goddess with the elf hat and her missing bottom teeth...oh baby lost two teeth but I have been too busy to write about it. Makes me crazy.

Here she is pointing at the house telling Handsome to look at it...because he was busy running around. Crazy that in December we were outside without coats. In fact, Handsome has his PJs on because that is how he rolls. He comes home and changes right away where Goddess is in her clothes until the very end.

Angry Birds Unplugged

Yes, we are all addicted to Angry Birds but my kids play enough electronic games. I love the Angry Birds: Knock On Wood Game because my kids set it up and play together. Solitary play is awesome and keeps them quiet but playing with someone and hearing them giggle makes it so much only $16.12 this is a fun family night game. Set the blocks and pigs up like the photo on the card, aim and shoot.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ivory A Household Name Revamped

Last month I told you about Melissa McCarthy who has signed on as Ivory's new spokesperson.  Today I am going to tell you about the NEW, revamped Ivory!

I have been using Ivory off and on since I was a small child. It was the only soap my parents ever had and I used it but it often made my skin too dry and itchy. Not this ivory. I received the new stuff and I have used it for 4 days. We LOVE it. They smell amazing. Nice, clean and pure.

Ivory sent us, (3) 12oz body washes, in three different scents:  original, aloe and lavender.  Goddess and I are obsessed with them we can't stop smelling them. We keep opening them and smelling them. They are all amazing but our favorite is the lavender I the aloe...umm...they are both pretty incredible. They smell amazing, nice, clean and pure.  We will also received a 3 pack of Ivory soap bars and I wonder if my skin has changed because I have had no problems washing even my face with it.

If you have a chance, check out the Ivory Soap Dish Facebook page and participate in the fun, interactive polls and questions. We did. Join us.

You can buy practically anywhere. Even Amazon in a 6 pack.


Christmas Decorations are one of my favorite things to take photos of next to my children.


candle decorations

Color Carnival Sunday #11 it really Tuesday? I haven't turned on the computer since Thursday night, giving myself a loooong, well deserved break.

This week, my submission is from a place called The Ice Caverns in New Jersey. I love it here.

the grinch

Friday, December 23, 2011

Some of My Favorite Christmas Movies

Here they are in no particular order.

Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol - This was always a favorite. I love the songs and grew up with Magoo. When Magoo sings A Hand For A Hand with his former self, I still cry. The ghosts are not scary at all and it's a musical. Magoo is a mild mannered Scrooge. Classic movie and perfect for your movie library.

Home Alone (1&2) - We LOVE Home Alone. It never gets old. We must have watched this movie 100 times last December and this year we are just as close but we asked our son to watch it in his room until yesterday when we watched 1 & 2 as a family.  Not typically thought of as a Christmas movie but it is.

You can get the complete collection from Amazon for only $14.99. That is four complete movies 1-4. Not a bad price and a collection that your kids will surely love.

The Santa Clause: 3 Movie Collection starring Tim Allen. This is really an awesome collection for kids of all ages. Ever wonder how Santa become Santa? You will now know. All secrets will be revealed. How does Santa get into the homes without chimneys? How does he carry all those toys? How does he know what everyone wants? Who makes all the toys? You can get the complete set (all 3 movies) from Amazon for only $24.99. Not a bad price!

Elf (Infinifilm Edition)starring Will Farrel. One of Will Farrel's best. We love this movie. As a baby, Buddy crawls into Santa's sack and ends up back at the North Pole. Instead of bringing him back home, the elves raise him as their own. When he finds out he isn't an elf, he decides to head out to find his father in the big city.  Very cute and funny. We love his naivety and innocent charm. Adorable.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (Special Edition) starring Chevy Chase. This movie will never get old. Funny each time we watch it. So many timeless moments. If you haven't watched in a while. Watch again.

The Polar Express (Widescreen Edition) - One of the best for me as far as animation goes. LOVE IT. Every time I watch I remember a friend who went to the movie when it was in the theater and came back telling me how disappointed she was. She thought it was awful. Not surprised to say we are no longer friends. One of the best movies and I can't imagine what she didn't like about it. I LOVE all of it as does my family including my husband. Wonderful movie about the power of believing!

What are your favorites?

Because God Forbid She Lets Him Take A Photo Alone

Handsome asked for his photo with the Grinch to be taken. His teacher sent him home with the book and the stuffed doll. He needed to write about what he did with the Grinch in a universal journal that the class shares. He was so excited to read what his friends did with the Grinch and since the Grinch goes back to school to move onto the next child he really wanted some photos.

Goddess just couldn't control herself. I had to crop her out of every photo! Except these.



She is completely nuts


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Can You Believe It's Almost Here?

Handsome and the Grinch
Handsome and the Grinch!

This week is flying by.
I started a data entry job on Monday. It is turning into a little more than data entry. Don't think they really know what they want me to do. Hopefully they figure it out eventually. Interesting having them talk about me as if I am not there. They are all very nice thankfully which makes taking it easier. Working in an office was the last thing I ever wanted to do again. It is how I spent almost all of my life before having my kids and was never pleasant. Sitting at a desk with chatty woman is never a good thing for me. I prefer the quiet, non drama of being alone at home working from my computer but $12.00 an hour is $12.00 an hour.

It feels strange to start a job (especially one I didn't see coming) the week before Christmas. There is so much to do but so far it has been accommodating.

No work today which means, I will spend much of the day preparing for the next week and a half. The kids will be home starting tomorrow so all holiday stuff HAS to be done.

3 more presents to wrap. This is the first year they will not be even. I started out making sure that they have exactly the same amount of gifts but over the last week, some have been added and I have a feeling they are unbalanced. Is anyone else like this? You need to have the numbers the same with your kids even though one of their gifts costs so much more than the other.

I could buy Goddess so much more since she never asks for $39+ electronic games. The items on her list are usually more in the $10.99 - $12.00 range and so much larger than a Wii game. Started putting Handsome's stuff in bigger boxes just so it looks like more. Kids are so funny. He rips through his stuff in record time just oohhhing and ahhiing...while she opens slowly, looks at it, shows us the item, looks at it again and then has to be told to get her next gift. He is done almost 15 minutes before her and looks at her like, "wait a minute, you have more than me!"

Handsome also is an early bird. We have never opened gifts after the 7:00 a.m. hour. We are usually done before that. His normal wake up time is a few minutes after 6:00 a.m. but on Christmas his present to us is usually waking before 5:00. Hooray. This year we told him to hold off until 7:00 but when I hear him awake, I can't sleep. Now that he is older, he walks into the living room and goes through the gifts spoiling our pleasure of seeing him see his stuff! My parents used to make us wait on the stairs and not go down until they were awake. They went down before us to turn on the Christmas Tree lights, music and get the camera ready. Being such good kids we would never have thought of going against them. Not my kids. No respect!

2 more days and I can't wait. I am so excited to see their reaction to some of their items this year. Hopefully they will be as happy as I am expecting.

How do you do Christmas Morning?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Begin 2012 Organized with The Help of some Free Apps

Here are some FREE apps that can give you a little extra motivation this January:

·         Get Organized with Cozi Family OrganizerIf you want to simply family life by planning dinners in advance, keeping the kids on track with their homework or starting a chore chart so the whole family can help keep the house tidy, Cozi is your key to success, with free apps for iPhone, Blackberry and Android that can help the whole family simplify and organize their schedules.

·         Drop those Holiday Pounds with Lose It!Lose It! lets you set goals and establish a daily calorie budget, then helps you stay on track each day by recording your food and exercise to stay within your budget. If you need a little extra motivation, add friends so you can celebrate your victories and hold each other accountable.

·         Step up the Cardio with RunKeeperTrack your workouts (indoor or outdoor), map out running routes, and share your progress with friends to keep your fitness on track this year.

·         Save Money with SmartyPigIf you have a savings goal in mind—a house downpayment, a big vacation, or next year’s holiday gifts, a free SmartyPig savings account can help you set the money aside, and even allow your friends and family to contribute.

·         Stop Smoking with QuitterQuitter provides extra motivation by tracking how long it’s been since you smoked, and how much money you’ve saved, to help you kick the cigarette habit for good.

Give Someone A Merry Christmas With Glee The Concert on Blu-ray & DVD

Monday, December 19, 2011

What's Your Number On DVD January 10th1

An Outrageous Romantic Comedy Arriving on Blu-ray and DVD January 10 as an All-New Unrated Ex-tended Cut

Ring in the New Year with a fresh and funny tale about dating, relationships and life as Anna Faris (Scary Movie Franchise, The House Bunny) and Chris Evans (Fantastic Four, Captain America) come together in a hilarious quest for “the one” in WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER? Unrated Ex-tended Cut, debuting on Blu-ray and DVD January 10 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

After reading a magazine article that insists if a woman has slept with at least 20 people that they have already missed Mr. Right, marketing executive Ally Darling (Anna Faris) begins to panic, thinking that she will be alone forever. With the help of her hunky new neighbor (Chris Evans), Ally starts tracking down all her ex-boyfriends, hoping to find her real true love while she helps him escape his latest fling. Hilarious hijinks and adventure ensues as Ally goes on her wild search for the best “ex” of her life, only to find what she is looking has been right in front of her all along.

Featuring hysterical supporting performances from Chris Pratt (Moneyball, “Parks and Recreation”), Joel McHale (“The Soup,” “Community”) and Andy Samberg (“Saturday Night Live,” Hot Rod), WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER? is based on the book “20 times a Lady” by Karen Bosnak and will be available as a Blu-ray combo pack and single disc DVD. Flaunting an unrated extended cut of the film and loaded with laugh-out-loud bonus material including new expanded flashback dates and gag reel, the Blu-ray combo pack and single disc DVD will be available for an average retail price of $29.99 and $19.99 respectively. Prebook is December 14.

WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER? Special Features
Extended Cut of Movie
Extended Flashback Dates and deleted scenes
Gag Reel

About Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment LLC
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, LLC (TCFHE) is a recognized global industry leader and a subsidiary of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, a News Corporation company. Representing 75 years of innovative and award-winning filmmaking from Twentieth Century Fox, TCFHE is the worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox film and television programming, acquisitions and original productions on DVD, Blu-ray Disc Digital Copy, Video On Demand and Digital Download. The company also releases all products globally for MGM Home Entertainment. Each year TCFHE introduces hundreds of new and newly enhanced products, which it services to retail outlets from mass merchants and warehouse clubs to specialty stores and e-commerce throughout the world.


Follow Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment on Twitter @FoxHomeEnt

To Purchase:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The World's Oldest Joke Book - Perfect Stocking Stuffer Idea

Still looking for that special stocking stuffer for the adult in your life? How about The World's Oldest Joke Book by Dan Crompton.

My father-in-law is the perfect candidate for this book. His jokes are legendary for being the absolute worst. We even call other family member's bad jokes, "A Peno`. Peno has always been one of my favorites in my husband's family. He is just too silly not to love. He cracks up easily and especially when telling his own joke. In fact, some of the jokes may have come out of his mouth in the 20 years I have known him.

Sailor: Where’s the wind coming from today?
Captain: Onions and cabbages.

Apparently farting has been funny for a very long time. Well, at least since the fourth century when Philogelos was written by the ancient Greeks.

In the recently released, The World’s Oldest Joke Book readers will find hundreds of filthy ancient quips translated from what historians believe is the oldest joke book in the world.

From absurd situations, to farting and foolishness, The World’s Oldest Joke Book contains a wealth of jokes, some of which still hit the mark and some that will have you groaning with laughter (even if it is because they’re so bad, they’re good). Among these ancient gems you will find:

An idiot hears that a crow can live for up to 200 years,
So he buys one to see if it’s true.

An Abderite meets a eunuch who’s chatting with a woman, and asks him if this is his wife. When he’s told the eunuchs can’t have wives, the Abderite says, “My mistake-it must be your daughter.”

With over 200 wisecracks and absurd one-liners, The World’s Oldest Joke Book will prove beyond doubt that when it comes to witty repartee, humankind will never be able to top “Yeah? Well, you smell.” 

The perfect gift for the men in our lives who tell terrible jokes!

This is a fun book to read out loud at a gathering. Someone is sure to laugh. Pass the book around, sometimes it is the delivery and not the words. Stocking stuffers should always be under $10.00 and this one is. Happy reading!

To purchase:

Blue Monday, Mellow Yellow Monday, + Extra

I was heading into a Merchants Guild Meeting (my first for my company) and had to show you the beauty. The only thing that would have made it better is if there was Christmas Carols playing and a few snow drops. The food was amazing and I wish I could have taken photos inside but people were enjoying quiets meals and once I headed upstairs the meeting got started right away. 

This place has changed hands so many times. Hopefully these kind folks stay open a lot longer. They have amazing food and tried Doc's Pumpkin Spice, Hard Cider, (INCREDIBLE) which I have been craving ever since. Seriously need to get my hands on a bottle or at least head back there for a drink.

Isn't their porch decorations adorable? Love this...Looks like someone is ready for a nice cup of hot chocolate and a read!

Color Carnival Sunday #10

Here is my colorful submission for this week.

Here are some goodies from a local bakery. This place smelled awesome.

Can't wait to see what you post.

Post your colorful pictures and link up to this cheery meme.