Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sock Monkeys!

Sock Monkeys are the rage this year and our family is no exception to the madness! My niece wanted to dress up as one for Halloween (where to you find that costume for a 12 year old??) Well, here's some fun sock monkey gifts for you to choose:
Sock monkey slippers at

The sock monkey hat at

The custom sock monkey at
Sock monkey socks at
And finally the sock monkey necklace at

Saturday, November 29, 2008

More do it yourself

Some more do it yourself Christmas gifts from

Make chocolate-covered spoons.

Go to your local dollar store or discount supermarket and stock up on plastic spoons. Melt chocolate in the microwave on 50% power for one minute(if you have a fixed setting, do it for 30 sec.. Stir, and continue melting in 10-second increments at 50% power until smooth. Dip spoons until generously covered with chocolate. Lay them on waxed paper lined cookie sheet to cool down. If you want to get fancy, roll in crushed peppermint candies or drizzle them with melted white chocolate.

Make a peppermint candle.

Buy a large plain white unscented pillar candle and peppermint candies (round or stick). Unwrap the candies. Using a hot glue gun or glue dots (found at craft stores), glue candies all around the sides of the candle. It will look like candles sold for $15 and more in catalogs and fancy stores.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Yes, it's Black Friday

Get the shopping carts ready, it's black Friday people! But, if you're like me, sometimes you want to give something a little different. So today, I think it's time to revisit some of my favorite shops!

Of course, first would be my shop Use coupon code xmasship for free shipping through Christmas.
And then there's another of my favorite shops Check them out for unique super hero capes and custom sewn bears like mine below!
Another local shop and a definite favorite is, they specialize in home made dog treats

Or if you're just not sure and want to browse around, go to where you'll find loads of hand crafted items in all categories that are sure to suit your needs!

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Shopping

Gobble Gobble Gobble, now that you've eaten your fill of turkey your thoughts are turning to shopping. Here's a start to your holidays, beautiful prints from
Set of three original, handpainted renditions of classic nursery rhymes: Hey Diddle Diddle, Humpty Dumpty and Hickory Dickory Dock. Neutral colors would compliment either a little girl's or boy's room. The borders are painted a sage green, with accent colors of gold, and creamy yellow. All paintings measure 16 x 20", and are trimmed with a coordinating sage green trim for edging and hanging purposes.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Fresh from the pages of Parenting, a fun and yummy cookie recipe for the holidays!
From Christy Turner, mom of Luke, 5, Emily, 3, and Grant, 1, Tuscaloosa, AL (Makes 2 dozen)

Cooking spray
Peanut butter cookie:
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/3 cups packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 Tbs unsalted butter
1/2 cup marshmallow cream

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly coat a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Mix flour and baking soda in a small bowl; set aside.
2. With a spoon, mix butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Add egg and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Add flour mixture, and stir until combined.
3. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and flatten with a fork; bake 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes, then place cookies in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
4. While cookies cool, place chocolate chips and butter in a microwave-safe bowl; heat about 1 minute, until just melted. Let stand for 30 minutes, or until slightly stiff.
5. Heat marshmallow cream in microwave for 10 seconds to soften. Spread marshmallow on a cookie, chocolate on another and sandwich together. Store finished cookies in the fridge.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

FRENCH Vegan Wool Coat/Jacket

Yes, it does say a French Vegan Wood Coat but I think of it as an adorable Christmas jacket! Visit to see their premier line of French Children’s Couture and Accessories. This coat is reasonably priced at just $35 and available in a range of infant/toddler sizes.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Last Chance for Polar Express Brio Train Sets

They're going going and almost gone. If you have the wooden train sets (as many of us do) be sure to pick up these fun and affordable Brio Polar Express Holiday sets before they're all gone. They're not expected to last beyond this holiday season. The Christmas tree set is $15.95 and the tree lights up and the figure 8 set is on sale for $35.00. Find them both at

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Super Cute toy for Christmas

I love this adorable Horse and Carriage set from, on sale now for $49.99 (go through your upromise account to get more back towards college!) I've already received mine from Santa to hold for Anna until Christmas Day. It really is super cute and I know she'll love it!!
(Be sure to look for coupon codes at in case you order more - you can get % off or free shipping!)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ladybug Bib & Burp Cloth

Love this bib and burp cloth set (can be personalized!) See it at

Alphabet Print

I just love this alphabet print by! It can be customized with a name in green, pink or blue. A great addition to the nursery or your child's room!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

More Ideas for Inexpensive Gifts

While exploring the idea of inexpensive gifts to give this year I came across many instructions on how to do some things yourself. I'll be posting on them over the coming weeks and here is the first.
How about a lovely gift of home made soaps? You can pick your fragrances and shapes and arrange them in a nice basket or box. The instructions aren't too bad either:

Bars of natural fragrance or color free soap
Essential oils of your choice (Lavender, rose and jasmine work well)
Food coloring
Vitamin E Oil (Optional)
Almond Oil


1) Grate soap in a blender or food processor.

2) Boil a pot of water and put a glass bowl over the pot, (like a double boiler.)

3) Add some almond oil into the bowl

.4) Add the soap into the bowl.

5) Take the water from the pot and add it into the bowl until soap changes into paste.

6) Add oils, color, and vitamin E as desired.7) Let cool in molds of your choice. You can use anything for a mold - ice cube trays, cookie cutters or your own hand. (To make hand soap, flatten soap paste to approximately 1/4 inch. Trace your hand on to the surface of the paste and mold accordingly. Finish by writing "hand soap.")

8) Air out on wax paper for a day or two.

Experiment! Make different shapes of soap or don't mix the color all the way in. Oats are great for exfoliating. Lavender pieces and rose petals can sometimes mold or rot if you don't air the soap out properly, so be careful. Your utensils should not be used for food afterwards but if you need to, wash very thoroughly.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ice N Go

Brrrrr, if you leave in the Eastern part of the States you know that it's getting cold outside. You can stay indoors OR make some outside fun with this Ice N Go backyard ice skaing rink from

Add in these skates from and you have an activity the whole family can enjoy without leaving your home!! Have Fun!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cars for Christmas!

Thinking of Christmas for my 2 little ones always revolves around vehicles (John!) He loves cars and trucks and trains and planes. He has ride on cars, remote cars, push cars, battery cars, you name it. I hate to mention how many riding vehicles we have but in our defense, they really really do get used. All the time!

Anna has a hard time driving them, someone gave her a barbie jeep but she doesn't know how to steer. That never stops her but it stops me from putting the battery in, especially since she tends to run into the house or fence.

Well this Christmas, she will have a new pink car of her own!! And she will "think" she's driving it but ah-ha! I will have the remote that can actually allow me to steer! How wonderful. She really loves to try to do the things her brother does but sometimes can't. Well, now she can!! Here is the car from ($110!) Check out all of their remote options!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Advise from the Miserly Mom

We all need to save a bit of money of money this year so here is some advice from the misery mom ( ) on inexpensive Christmas gifts!

The perennial question we all ask!
by Jonni McCoyThe Miserly Mom
Thursday: Managing Money

Q: Please give me some suggestions for inexpensive Christmas gifts. I love the holidays, but I can't afford to give the gifts that my kids want. Thank you!--Kathy M.

A: I don't know about you, but this time of year always goes by quicker than I had hoped. I never have the time that I wish I had to make homemade gifts for those that I love. But I don't have the money to buy gifts either. If I was more organized, I would have started in April and had them done by now, but life happened instead. However, I didn't give up finding some inexpensive and quick gifts that I could make.

One of my favorites gifts to give is a basket filled with homemade treats. Some of the gifts require making an item at the time the gift is given. One example might be homemade truffles: these are very easy and delicious.

Another idea is homemade mixes that can be made ahead and stored. These can be presented in a decorative fashion, and either given alone or combined with other gifts in a basket.

Pick a theme and create a basket. Here are two of my personal favorites. First, the Italian gift basket; use a colander for the basket and fill it with garlic bulbs, spiral pasta, gourmet spaghetti sauce and a pasta spoon.

Second, a Latte Lovers basket filled with a decorative mug, chocolate dipped spoons, and hot drink mixes such as Mexican coffee mix, hot cocoa mix, or teas.

Give a basket filled with various flavored rice mixes, dip mixes, salad dressing mixes, dessert mixes, soup mixes, etc. Many websites offer a variety of mix recipes.

Choose an inexpensive item to add to the basket to make a unique and beautiful gift. For example, a ceramic bowl for the soup mix, a wooden spoon with the dessert mixes, and a cruet with the salad dressing mix. For the dog lover, give them some gourmet dog biscuits and a dog toy in a basket.

I buy the baskets at thrift shops and garage sales. Sometimes I spray paint them gold to dress up the gift. I fill the bottom with straw or a piece of cloth with the edges cut by pinking shears.

Another idea is to layer a mix in a glass jar so that it looks like sand art. For the decorative containers that the mix will be put in, I gather jars from various sources. For the smaller mixes such as spice mixes or salad dressings, I use baby food jars. I ask friends and neighbors to save them for me. For the larger jars, I look for 1 quart canning jars at garage sales and thrift stores. The sealing portion of the lid needs to be new, so I purchase them separately.

To make the jar more attractive, I cut a 9 inch circle of fabric with pinking shears to ruffle the edges. Using a hot glue gun, I attach the fabric to the lid. Glue around the side edge of the lid. Then tie some raffia or ribbon around the lid. This way the lid can be removed and reattached without losing the decoration.

If jars aren't available, use small plastic bags and surround them with a square piece of attractive fabric. A large bag of mix (2-3 cups) would use an 11 inch square of fabric to cover. I use pinking sheers to ruffle the edges so that sewing a seam is not required. Tie it with a ribbon.

For the recipe cards, I buy (on sale) business cards made for desktop printers and print the instructions on them. I then punch a hole in the card and tie it on the jar with the raffia or ribbon. For a more elegant look, use a gift card and write the instructions with a calligraphy pen.
Happy gift giving!

Stocking Caps

Love this! Beautiful stocking cap for baby at You'll love it to, check it out!!
Custom Knit - Fun, cool, knit bright striped hat inspired by the Munchkins from the "Wizard of Oz" movie. It has an Elfin/Pixie/FaIry look!! Stripes are red and white. This looks adorable on!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Unique Christmas Stockings at

Okay, so you're looking for some different custom stockings this Christmas? Look no further than for loads of different choices!

Custom Christmas Stockings that YOU design. Your choice of block heel or high heel christmas stocking style, and 17 fabric colors allow you to mix and match boot and cuff colors for endless stylish christmas stocking combinations!

Handmade Custom Christmas Stockings are created by an artist from high quality luxurious fabrics with personality cuffs. All fabrics used are high quality and durable faux furs, polyesters, fleeces or velvets.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Free Shipping at!

Free ground shipping on all orders through Christmas day at Just use coupon code Xmasship and we'll pay the costs!! Order as much or as little as you like. Coupon expires Christmas day so get shopping!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

It's all fun and games

Fun Fun Fun! That's what we want, especially this time of year. It's dark earlier, cold outside in many places so we have to make due in doors. One way to accomplish that is to go to to order some fun games for family night (go through your upromise account to earn $$$ for college!) Here's a few we like:

Apples to Apples Junior:
The Ladybug Game:
Brown Bear - Panda Bear What do you see game:
What's in Ned's Head:

Friday, November 14, 2008

Check out the great designs for e-cards, printable cards and card postings at Quick and easy and fun too! Here's one I did in about 10 seconds:

Click to play Anna and John
Create your own greeting - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox greeting

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Very Hungry Catepillar

Check out this reversible jacket patterned after The Very Hungry Catepillar! Offered by it is a unique way to battle the cold for your little ones this winter. Sized for 15-24 months, this jacket has a thinsulate insulation layer that enables the jacket to be used in EXTREMELY COLD conditions even when damp. A bit pricey at $120 but worth it!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Black Friday's Coming

Get a jump on the sales and know where you need to be! They've already posted a few (Sears, Kmart-Thanksgiving day, etc.) Go visit and see where the deals are?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tis the Season....

Tis the season to watch Christmas shows over and over and over again (in this household we watch Rudolph all year long!) Well, here's a few to help get you and yours in the spirit. All are available at Charlie and Lola - How many more minutes until Christmas? Max & Ruby - A Very Merry Christmas Collection The Wiggles -- Wiggly Wiggly ChristmasWonder Pets -- Save the Reindeer!

Happy Viewing!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

GoodNight Moon

Goodnight Mom (by Sarah Jio)

In the messy green
family room
There was a telemarketer
ringing the telephone
And a crying toddler
because his brother
just popped his
red balloon
And a picture of --

The cow jumping over the moon
(which someone colored on
with permanent marker)
And there was a missing
teddy bear, and a girl with
gum in her hair

And one to be scolded
And laundry to be folded
And a very hungry spouse
And something stinky in the house
(that no one else seemed to smell)

And a comb and a brush and a colicky
baby who just won't shush
And a frazzled mommy screaming #*%#@

Goodnight messy room
Goodnight scribbled-on moon
Goodnight cow getting out while she can
Goodnight telemarketers and the
popped balloon

Goodnight long-gone teddy bear
Goodnight cereal bar smeared all
over the dining room chair

Goodnight spitup
And goodnight leaky sippy cup
Goodnight much-too-little house and
goodnight grumpy spouse
Goodnight comb and goodnight brush
And goodnight to a certain 4-year-old
who just needs to hush right now I mean it

Goodnight Elmo
Goodnight toys we'll pick up tomorrow,
of the next day
Hello chardonnay and TiVo--
"me" time finally

(Reprinted from Parenting Magazine)

(Or, buy the Real Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown at

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Handcrafted Reindeer Sweater

I just love this luxurious cardigan sweater for little girls and am dying to order it for Anna. Precious reindeer (Anna's favorite) adorn the front of the sweater, which is available in blue or white. This would make a wonderful gift or, even better, an lovely outfit for those Christmas cards! (You just might see it on mine!)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Custom French Posters

I found a beautiful addition to any child's room over at They have personalized french posters made especially for your child. You choose the print (many many different styles) the font, the size, and finally the wording:

Subject only - "Avion" (Airplane)

Semi Personalized - "J'aime les Avions" (I love Airplanes)

Personalized with any name - "Michael" (Michael)

Personalized with any name and subject - "Michael aime les Avions" (Michael loves Airplanes)

This makes a wonderful gift idea too.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Custom Toddler Bed

Is it that time yet? Time to move your toddler from the crib to a toddler bed? I'm still waiting for Anna to use hers, but in the meantime, if you're shopping for one, here's a cute custom bed to consider:
It comes in your choice of color (16 to choose from) with different accents and name or initials! Lots of fun and unique for $319. Visit to see this and more.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Best news in years

Wow! Head on over to to read about their new Frustration Free packaging! That's right, they have started an initiative with manufacturers to to deliver products in smaller, easy-to-open recyclable cardboard boxes with less packaging material (no more clamshells or wire ties!)

One of the first products to offer it is something John is playing with as I type! The Fisher Price Imaginext Adventures Pirate Ship!

We love Imaginext toys and this is a great way for you to try them out!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

100 Free Things to do with your Grandkids

Have you visited to download the 100 free things to do with your grandkids guide? No?? Then head on over and get it now! Get going doing fun (and free) stuff with your kids or grandkids!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Other Stuff to do today

So, hopefully you've voted and possibly your kids are home from school today. Looking for something to do? Well, obviously you can shop till you drop at (and we hope you do!) But how about some cookies! Here's some easy cake mix recipes that you and the kids can make and enjoy today!

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies:

1 package devil's food cake mix
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional
1 cup chocolate chips
Preparation:Beat half of the cake mix with the margarine, vanilla and eggs until smooth. Add remaining cake mix, the nuts and the chocolate chips. Stir well. Drop dough from a rounded teaspoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 10 minutes. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Chocolate Cake Cookies:

1 box chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
Preparation:Beat everything together. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet, flatten slightly.
Bake 8-10 350 F.
I've started to roll these in white sugar before flattening them out and they are GOOD. (And fast.)

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies


1 (18.25 ounce) package dark chocolate cake mix
1 (18.25 ounce) package low calorie chocolate cake mix
4 eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease cookie sheets.
In a medium bowl, stir together the dark and light chocolate cake mix. Add the eggs and oil, mix until well blended. Roll dough into 2 inch balls, and place them onto the prepared cookie sheet. Flatten the balls slightly with the back of a spoon.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until firm. Let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.
To make the filling, beat the cream cheese and confectioner' sugar together until smooth. Spread between two cooled cookies.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Bird Hat

I just came across this hat and absolutely love it. Hope you do to. $20 at

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Solar Powered Helicopter toy offers this very cool, very green, very modern (and soon to be our very own) solar powered helicopter toy. No batteries required! The propellers are solar panels, so just set this baby out in the sun and watch it spin!

Available in red, green, yellow or natural for $32!