Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Happy Howlidays #Giveaway + Goddess Gets A Pet

 American's Spend More On Their Pet During The Holiday Then Any Other Country! Hmmmm I Wonder Why?

The holidays are a time to celebrate family togetherness and love — but pet parents know there are tons of ways to include your furry pups in the festivities, too.

Big Heart Pet Brands and its new website has conducted a survey among dog parents to uncover how Americans include their pets in the holiday -- plus great ideas for giving your pet gifts, making your holiday home pet-friendly, and doing fun DIY pet-themed Christmas decorations your family and kids will love. 

Any idea why? I think it is because we make them part of the family. We love them as if we birthed them ourselves. They are our fur babies!

If you are from Jersey you spend more than any other state (a whopping $30.01 on average). See how it compares to your state by heading to The Nose Print.

According to The Nose Print these are the Top 5 Most Popular Doggy Christmas Outfits
  1. Reindeer: 25%
  2. Christmas Sweater: 24%
  3. Santa Claus: 20%
  4. Elf: 17%
  5. Snowman: 7%
We love these DIY project ideas especially The Milk Bone Wreath.

My Goddess received her first fur baby this holiday when Santa decided enough was enough and gifted her with a cage. We had no choice at this point after all he was basically forcing our hand.

She picked out the most adorable fur baby to fill it with too...Meet Stormy. She asked I post to our Facebook fans and she received a few she liked but only one she LOVED.  You guys had a ton of suggestions and so far this has been my most viewed Maria's Space post ever. Thanks for checking it out.

Their first photo together
The Proud Pet Owner On The Register Line
Thanks to Milk Bone, Pup-Peroni and Milo's Kitchen I have a Howliday Gift Pack for a fur friend. 

Enter the Giveaway Below:

Disclaimer: No monetary compensation was offered to host this giveaway.

Maze Runners #ScorchInsiders Combo #Giveaway #ScorchInsiders #SurviveTheScorch!!

The Maze was just the beginning. After the harrowing adventure of escaping the maze, the Gladers find themselves right in the center of an epic mystery in MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS.  There’s more action, more excitement and more spectacular effects in this thrilling new chapter of the epic Maze Runner saga by James Dashner. 

They may have escaped from the Maze, but Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and his fellow Gladers now face a greater challenge: searching for clues about the secret organization known as WCKD. Their journey leads them to the Scorch, a desolate wasteland filled with unimaginable dangers.  The mystery deepens at every turn as the Gladers work together to discover their purpose and battle to survive in this must-see, electrifying adventure!

Real Gladers are in line for the greatest of presents this winter, as the MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS Ultimate Fan Edition on Blu-ray includes an exclusive, 24-page printed comic-book with two new prequel stories from BOOM! Comics.  In addition, two hours of thrilling bonus content, including deleted and extended scenes will take fans further behind-the-scenes of the suspense and action-packed journey through the Scorch and more!

I haven't had a chance to watch yet but over this next three days this is on deck! Can't wait.

To Purchase

To Win:

Disclaimer: No monetary compensation was offered.

Enter the Jarlsberg Cheese & Charcuterie Party Kit!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

You Must Have A Mini Beer Pong At Your Next Gathering

Fun—on-the-go mini-version of classic college game has everyone cheering 

That favorite dorm-room beer pong game just got cooler with the Mini Beer Pong by Scienz! Mini Beer Pong is an action-packed, convenient new tabletop version of the classic social game that can go on road trips, to favorite bars or house parties or even grandma’s for the holidays!

Life-size beer pong tables take up a lot of space and missed shots send stray ping pong balls flying onto dirty floors — no one wants dirt in their beer. With Mini Beer Pong, players use catapults to shoot tethered balls into mini cups from the comfort of their own seats. No more hassle, chasing or spilling!

The Mini Beer Pong’s light-weight, compact size and portable features makes it perfect for playing anytime, anywhere. The two-foot game board folds up into half the size with the one-ounce pieces stored neatly inside. The mini-size game easily slips it inside a backpack bringing fun to any social gathering. 

The 411: 

I love it! This game comes with everything you need to play this age old game of Beer Pong except the beer. 

The kit comes with a handle, all the little mini cups, the catapults and the balls.  It is really easy to set up and play until your hearts content!

You can play with any drink and of course drink responsibly. 

The brand new, travel and budget-friendly version of this super fun game is only $39.99.

Tic Stac Toe Is Way More Challenging Then Tic Tac Toe

TIC STAC TOE is the refreshing reinvention of tic-tac-toe that takes the concept and revolutionizes it by expanding the board to four in a row and adding a third dimension to the game play.  The result is a game that is familiar and simple, but quickly escalates into an intense match of wits demanding focus and careful planning as the pieces stack up.

Just when you thought you had Tic Tac Toe all figured out Tic Stac Toe changes everything. My daughter and I have played at least 3 games a day for the past week and love it!!!!! My 25 year old niece visited from California and loved it. She was playing my 10 year old daughter and kept telling me, "this is harder then it looks" because my daughter was kicking her butt. I think it's because it is no longer three in a row it is four and you can go up, across, diagonal, vertical, horizontal and because you are going up you sometimes don't realize how many ways the other person can win until it is too late. You seriously need to be on your game. 

Who knew Tic Tac Toe could be such a challenge? 

TIC STAC TOE has won The Creative Child Award, The Tillywig Toy Award, The Parents' Choice Award and the hearts and minds of millions!  It is available at Toys-R-Us, Walmart and other fine retailers.

She always wants to build a tower after our last game.
With over 75 ways to win there will no longer be any tie games!
To Purchase:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered.

6 Simple Suggestions to Bond with your Child

Between work, school, shopping and extracurricular activities, life can get in the way of spending time with your kids. If you’re struggling to hold on to that special bond with your loved ones, take a look at the following suggestions designed to help reconnect you with your family. 

Hit the Road

When the daily routine becomes a bit too, routine, nothing beats escaping the ordinary like hitting the road on an undisclosed adventure. Whether you’re driving thru states or towns, family road trips are perfect opportunities to communicate, laugh and experience something different. After all, “getting there is half the fun.” 

Schedule a TV or Movie Night

Kids love anticipation. When you schedule something fun in advance, kids can’t help but to be eager for that time to come. One easy and fun solution is to coordinate a different movie theme for each week; for example, Freaky Fridays or Mystery Mondays. And if you’re anything like most families, settling on what to watch in a group can get undiplomatic in flash. However, services like eliminate that controversy by providing access to hundreds of unique channels everyone will enjoy.

Date Night

There’s just something special about going out to eat. Designate a morning, afternoon or dinner date with your kids. If time isn’t on your side, take them somewhere quick like frozen yogurt or the doughnut shop. Allow them to lead the conversation and tell you anything that might come to their minds.

Invite them to your Secret Paradise

Is there a special place that brings you serenity and enjoyment? May be it’s a fountain by the park, rooftop view or special street that you love walking by. Invite your kids and allow them to experience and share something with you that brings value and peace-of-mind. Anywhere can be a catalyst to bond, and if you have one, share it too.

Share Memories

A great device to encourage communication and bonding is by swapping stories from the past. From the mundane to extraordinary, the past is chockfull of life lessons, laughs and curiosities. Take turns of your anecdotes and invest time into listening of what they have to say and how something may have affected them. It’s a great opportunity to learn about each other and strengthen your family relationships.

End the Night with a Question

Before bed, try asking your kids a couple of questions about the day that was. Make it a routine as you tuck them into bed to get any last things off their mind. This will give you a better sense of what situations or circumstances may be involved in your child’s life that you may have been unaware of. For example, you could ask them:

1.)    What was the most important thing you learned today?
2.)    If you could over, what would you do differently?
3.)    Did something make you laugh today? What was it?

Keep the questions simple and mundane as your child probably already tired. This simple exercise will bring a unique sense of togetherness and security, both for your child and you. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

My Babies Were Santa's Little Helpers This Christmas And Most Days

My kids and my second daughter (Goddess' best friend) are such good kids.They participate in so many ways that they don't even realize.

We send all their stuffed animals they no longer want to a children's home every year. They bag up their clothes that they have grown out of and give it to friends who could use it. I personally love this because sometimes I get to see their clothes on the kids in photos and it makes me so happy.

Around Christmas time we do a little more. They always say Merry Christmas to strangers at the supermarket, diner, or on the sidewalk around the holidays. This was started by my son about four years ago. I loved that he did it when we were leaving the supermarket one day. I that is something I used to do now with the kids I am distracted and busy so I forget. Ever since that day we do it. It think it is so special that my son thought enough to do this. Now we talk about the fact that not everyone has family or special people to be with during the holidays so we try to be extra nice to others especially around this time of year. This year I asked my daughter to make a list of some things she wanted to do.

The kids also love picking angels off the tree at the post office. My kids have been angels in the past (we all have hard times) and it is something I did before the kids and something I love doing with them. They enjoy picking things out for the kids they choose off the tree.

We always deliver at least three bags to the food pantry during this time of year. We have used the food pantry in the past and I love that I can give back.

This year my son and I headed into town with a few boxes of gifts for a children's party that was happening at a church. It was all new things and it is one of the ways I can give back as a blogger. If I receive things they kids will not use, or win a blogger giveaway I keep the items in a box and hold them until Christmas time. We never had as much as we did this year. The three big boxes were of course happily accepted at the Children's Party. It is a great cause. The children from a special program in the surrounding towns get to attend a party where they will have breakfast with Santa, get gifts, do crafts, bake a cookie, and shop and wrap for their family members. I was able to donate a lot of toys, phone cases, books, DVDs and headphones this year. It makes me feel good knowing that while I can't support these causes monetarily I can donate the things I receive thanks to my blog.  I think my children are seeing what my parents showed me and my sisters. We didn't always have everything we wanted but we had everything we needed. My parents were big donators and volunteers. My sisters and I do the same. Hopefully my kids carry it on and pass this onto their kids too. We all  have to help each other because you never know when you may need help too.

We hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas. We will talk to you soon!

Country Crock Recipes In 30 Minutes Or Less

Hey everyone! I know you are all gearing up with gift purchasing, wrapping, decorating and baking but I wanted to mention Country Crock can help you with some of that baking!

My daughter and I plan I doing a little bit of baking this holiday season. She is getting older and while our kitchen is NOT conducive to actually cooking as we have no table in there and the counter space is like 12 inches by 12 inches we will do our best. Maybe one day I will have the kitchen of my dreams. Until then I can dream and picture all you guys baking to your hearts content.

Here are some easy to make holiday treats worthy of gift giving.

·         Ginger Spice Holiday Cookies Get in the holiday spirit with these goodies that combine cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg for a flavor kick. Top them off with frosting and sprinkles for decoration! 

·         Chocolate Crinkles – These chewy chocolate morsels topped with confectioners’ sugar look as though they’ve just been dusted by snow. 
·         Fun Crispy Treats – With just four ingredients, these rice crispy treats take only 13 minutes to make and you can add melted chocolate and candies for a holiday twist!
·         Zebra Chocolate Chip Cookies – Spice up your chocolate chip cookies with “zebra drizzle,” that adds some festive flair to your favorite cookie. 
·         Cinnamon Stars – Add some sparkle to any soiree with these cookies that are sprinkled with a blend of sugar and cinnamon.   
·         Walnut MoonsA perfect complement to the Cinnamon Stars are these walnut-flavored cookies in the shape of little moons.  

All of these recipes are made with Country Crock, a buttery spread that is the go-to ingredient for baking. Country Crock is part of the good fat family and made with real, simple ingredients, including delicious oils, purified water, and a pinch of salt.

Disclaimer: I received complimentary coupons from Country Crock.