Sunday, December 26

The Princess' Store

The girls' school had a holiday store where the students could purchase gifts for their family. The girls came home and created their own store. First they decided what was for sale and laid the items out with prices (they are written on the paper next to each item.) I then let them use the Jr Monopoly money which they handed out to Daddy and I.

Daddy was so sweet he even wore some of the lovely necklaces and rings he purchased from the girls' store.

Saturday, December 25

Our Gingerbread House

We finally made our gingerbread house. The girls have been looking at the kit for a while and could not wait to get started. Princess A was in charge of the icing and was very good at it.
The girls did all of the decorating themselves (I did smooth the icing/snow on the roof for them.)
Right after I took this picture the whole house collapsed. I was able to rebuild the house but this time we let each step set for over an hour each time. Luckily when the house collapsed only the icicles on the roof line fell off, everything else stayed on.

Here is the front view, notice the door Princess A designed herself.
Here is the back view, Princess A added double doors. The girls designed and placed all of the candies by themselves but I did give them the idea for the candy cane heart.
I must say that using a kit is the way to go. The girls can't wait to start eating the house after Christmas!

Friday, December 24

Quick, Easy Tips for Homemade Creations and Two Contests

Today we are going to make some more gingerbread men for Santa, well we are suppose to but so far the girls have been doing other things. Princess G and I were going through the gifts under the tree and guessing what they could be. I always make silly guesses and make the girls giggle. The doorbell rang and it was an envelope of some candy samples. Bake Shoppe Cookie Dough Miniatures, Sun-Maid Chocolate Raisins, Sour Jacks Watermelon and Welch's Fruit Snacks.

It reminded me that I was sent some wonderful quick tips and I wanted to share them:

· For an even more delicious version of Chocolate Chip Pancakes, sprinkle Bake Shoppe™ Cookie Dough Miniatures™ into your pancake batter instead. The result? A chewy, chocolaty, bite-size morsel of cookie dough in every bite. *Note: this works for waffle mix too!

· Make your own chocolate raisin biscuits! Simply stuff a few Sun-Maid® Milk Chocolate Raisins into your favorite store-bought, ready-made biscuit dough or croissants before placing them in the oven.

Adding a creative twist to some traditional after-dinner refreshments will liven up your holiday table and have compliments coming your way:

· For fun-to-eat Fruit Snack Jell-O cups, add ½ cup Welch’s® Fruit Snacks into your favorite flavor Jell-O mix. Place in a medium glass bowl or divide equally amongst glass dessert dishes while stirring in the prepared mix. Chill to set. Top Jell-O with whipped cream and decorate with a few Welch’s® Fruit Snacks for a colorful garnish! (you could also use white cranberry juice and plain gelatin and then you could see the fruit snacks)

· For delicious rice pudding with a twist, top a dish of creamy rice pudding with Sun-Maid® Milk Chocolate Raisins

Use candy to make decorative holiday crafts, gifts or table pieces:

· Make a colorful edible holiday wreath by attaching Sour Jacks® onto embroidery floss or thin all-purpose string. Older kids can use thick plastic craft needles to pierce through the candy. Alternate Cherry (red) and Lime (green) flavors for a festive decoration!

· Purchase a tiered cupcake stand (you can find one for around $10 at most home/kitchen stores) and place colorful paper or foil cupcake foil liners in the holders. Fill each with a different candy: we recommend Welch’s® Fruit Snacks, Sour Jacks®, Sun-Maid® Milk Chocolate Raisins and Bake Shoppe™ Cookie Dough Miniatures™. Place stand in the center of your holiday dessert table and you’ve got a centerpiece that looks great and tastes great, too!

· To make a gift even sweeter, attach snack bags of Welch’s® Fruit Snacks, Sour Jacks®, Sun-Maid® Milk Chocolate Raisins or Bake Shoppe™ Cookie Dough Miniatures™ to holiday gifts in place of name tags.

Start a new tradition with these original recipes, from breakfast through dessert:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Stuffed French Toast
Serves 2

Ingredients:
4 slices Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Whipped Cream Cheese as needed
1/2 cup Bake Shoppe™ Cookie Dough Miniatures™, coarsely chopped
2 Large Eggs
1 cup Milk
2 teaspoons Confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
pinch of Salt
Vegetable Oil
Confectioners Sugar for garnish

Directions:

1. Spread each Bread slice with 2 teaspoons of whipped Cream Cheese.

2. Sprinkle the coarsely chopped Bake Shoppe™ Cookie Dough Miniatures™ on two of the Cream Cheese covered bread slices.

3. Combine with the remaining Cream Cheese covered slices, making two closed sandwiches.

4. In a medium sized bowl, beat two eggs. Add the milk, two teaspoons of Confectioners sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract and salt.

5. Heat a large non-stick skillet with a 1/4 inch of vegetable oil.

6. Quickly dip and soak both stuffed sandwiches in egg mixture. Let excess drip off.

7. Carefully place both sandwiches in hot oil. Lower heat and gently fry bread until golden brown on both sides. Stuffed French toast must be cooked slowly to allow filling to become warm and gooey.

8. Serve immediately topped with a dusting of Confectioners sugar and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey.


Candy Land Gingerbread Bundt Cake
Serves 10-12

Rooted in old fashion tradition, yet with a modern touch, this Gingerbread Cake will be a heartwarming addition to your Holiday dessert table.

Ingredients:
2 boxes Gingerbread Cake Mix
2 eggs (for Cake Mix)
1 can Vanilla Frosting
1/2 cup Welch’s® Fruit Snacks, chopped and divided

Directions:

1. In a large bowl combine both boxes and prepare according to directions.

2. Mix in 1/4 cup of chopped Welch’s® Fruit Snacks.

3. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Pour prepared batter in a greased 9x3 Bundt pan.

4. Place in 350°F oven and bake for 40 minutes until firm and inserted wooden toothpick comes out dry.

5. Cool cake and carefully remove Bundt pan.

6. Prepare frosting by microwaving a 1/2 cup of frosting for 5 seconds or until thin enough to drizzle. Do not heat too long, otherwise frosting will separate- heat 5 seconds at a time.

7. Quickly drizzle the warm frosting glaze over cake with glaze decoratively running down the sides.

8. Immediately sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup of chopped Welch's® Fruit Snacks decoratively over cake.

Triple Milk Chocolate Raisin Decadence Cake
Yields 10-12 slices

Decoratively topped and stuffed with Sun-Maid® Milk Chocolate Raisins, this moist show-stopping cake will quickly be devoured with many glasses of cold Milk!

Ingredients:
2 boxes Duncan Hines® Triple Chocolate Cake mix
6 Eggs (for Cake Mix)
2/3 cup vegetable Oil (for Cake Mix)
1 can Duncan Hines® Milk Chocolate Frosting
1/2 cup Bake Shoppe™ Cookie Dough Miniatures™
4 teaspoons all purpose Flour
1 cup Sun-Maid® Milk Chocolate Raisins (for topping)

Directions:

1. Follow Cake mix directions as listed. Combine 2 boxes together in a large bowl.

2. Add an additional 4 teaspoons of flour and a 1/2 cup Bake Shoppe™ Cookie Dough Miniatures™ to the prepared mix.

3. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Pour the mix into a greased 9x3 non-stick spring form pan.

4. Bake in center of oven at 350°F for 45-60 minutes or until firm in center and a dry toothpick placed in center comes out dry.

5. After cake has cooled and spring form pan has carefully been removed, prepare glaze by heating 1 cup of frosting in microwave bowl in microwave for 5 seconds until frosting is thin enough to pour. Do not heat too long, otherwise frosting will separate- heat 5 seconds at a time.

6. Quickly pour warm frosting glaze over cake, letting it decoratively drip on the sides.

7. In a decorative manner, cover top of the cake with Sun-Maid® Milk Chocolate Raisins. Let cool and set.

Contests:
I was also sent information about 2 great contests:

Welch’s® Fruit Snacks “Lunchbox Notes” contest and you could win big, $1000 for a year of lunches! Entering is easy. Go to http://www.welchsfruitsnacks.com/ and click on the “Lunchbox Notes” banner. Follow the link for more information and the rules. I always put notes in Princess A's lunch and she likes to keep them in a box in her desk at school. Contest ends December 31, 2010.

The second contest is a photo contest. Enter photos of people having fun with Sour Jacks® pucker face. It’s easy to enter! Log on to http://www.sourjacks.com/ and click on the “Pucker Face” contest icon. Upload your best Sour Jacks® Pucker Face photo for a chance to win awesome prizes, and see your Pucker Face on Sour Jacks® promotional materials nationwide! Contest ends May 31, 2011.
I was not compensated in any form. I was sent samples to facilitate my honest opinion.

Our Favorite Gingerbread Recipe

I discovered this recipe two years ago on allrecipes.com and I love it.
This year I shared it with Princess G's kindergarten teacher (she has a week about gingerbread men and at the end of the week they chase them all over the school and then eat them.)
She loved the recipe so much she shared it with all of the other kindergarten teachers.

Gingerbread Men Recipe

(modified from original, the original uses the smaller 3.5 oz pudding package)
1 (5.1 ounce) package instant butterscotch pudding mix (or you can use vanilla or chocolate)
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions
1.In a medium bowl, cream together the dry pudding mix, butter, and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the eggs. Combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon; stir into the pudding mixture. Cover, and chill dough until firm, about 1 hour.
2.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease baking sheets (I used a splat mat). On a wax paper roll dough out to about 1/4 inch thickness, and cut into shapes using a cookie cutter. Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
3.Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until cookies are golden at the edges. Cool on wire racks.

I really love this recipe because it is not as sticky and the flavor reminds me of gingerbread but lighter tasting. The girls wanted to add decoration before we baked the cookies so we used Nerd and different flavored Tootsie Rolls. Be careful with the Tootsie Rolls because they melt and will spread all over and I do mean all over. We made these cookies earlier this month and the girls gave some to their teachers. We made the dough for these cookies (I followed the original as I had the smaller size box of butterscotch pudding) and Maple Spice cookies and they are chilling in the fridge right now. We are going to make them for Santa.

Thursday, December 23

Our Best Christmas Tree Ever

We always go to Fred Meyer's for our Christmas tree. This year we misread the price and picked out a more expensive tree than we planned. We went back to the garden area to pick out another one but my husband loved the tree so much we bought it. It really is the best tree we have ever picked!
After letting the tree soak in a bucket over night it was time to decorate. Princess A picked her new Clara ornament Daddy bought them at the Nutcracker this year to put on the tree first.
Princess G picked the same ornament to put on the tree first.
Here is our finished tree!
I really do believe that this is our most beautiful Christmas tree!

Giveaway: Original Pledge



My husband does most of the cleaning so when the Pledge arrived I handed it over. He is a big fan of Pledge but he usually uses the Pledge Wipes. My husband likes he only needs one product to clean so many surfaces. In our house he uses it on wood, laminate, stainless steel and leather. Pledge can also be used on marble, granite and automobiles. Of course with the holidays lots of cleaning is happening in every one's home.

Giveaway
One of my readers can of Pledge.

To enter: Please leave a comment with a time saving cleaning tip.


(If your email is not available on your blog please include in comment.)
US only
Ends 12/31/10 at noon PST.

Extra Entries: (please leave a comment for each extra comment)
1.Follow my blog (button on side of blog)
2. Follow me @SillyMommy on Twitter (leave your twitter name in comment)
3. Blog about contest (2 entries, leave link in comment)
4. Tweet about contest (leave link in comment, may tweet once a day)
5. Enter another of my giveaways (listed on right near top, one entry per giveaway entered)


This post was written for Family Review Network & SC Johnson who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest opinions.

Wednesday, December 22

Christmas Parade

The girls were in a Christmas parade together.
This was Princess G's first parade, Princess A was in the same parade last year and wore the same costume.
Aren't they so cute as an elf and a reindeer?
The parade was so much better this year, it was warmer and we were closer to the beginning so it was a much shorter wait. They both had so much fun and this year they also handed out candy to the crowds.


Review: Barbara’s Bakery


I was sent a Gift of NO box. My girls love to snack and when they snack I like those snack to be as healthy as possible. My girls were most excited about the Snackimils because there was a Hippo on the package. Princess G loves anything to do with hippos. I like that the snacks and cereals are free of hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, artificial preservatives, refined sugar, trans fats, artificial additives, and high fructose corn syrup. The girls like that they taste so good. I did have a taste of the the yummy cheese puffs but with my jaw (it was dislocated last week at the Dentist) I have not been able to try the cereal. I really miss eating cereal, hopefully I will be able to try them next week (well if any is left.)
In honor of Barbara's Bakery's 40th birthday, Barbara’s Bakery is saying NO to the bad stuff, and YES to natural foods, and want you to encourage you to do the same!

Barbara’s says NO to:

■Hydrogenated Oils
■Artificial Flavors
■Artificial Preservatives
■Refined Sugar
■Trans Fats
■Artificial Additives
■High Fructose Corn Syrup
Barbara’s Bakery recently launched a Facebook promotion allowing users to Give the Gift of No to their friends on Facebook. On Facebook, through the end of December, users visit the the Barbara’s Bakery Fan Page to Give the Gift of NO to their friends. It only takes a few simple steps and as a thank you for spreading the Gift of NO, users will receive a Barbara’s product coupon for every three Gift of No’s given!

This post was written for Family Review Network & Barbara's Bakery who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest opinions.

Tuesday, December 21

Giveaway: BofA giftcard and Time-Saving Tips For the Holiday Season


I love the holidays but there never seems to be enough to get every thing done (especially if you lose a few days due having you jaw dislocated just a week and a half before Christmas!) I really meant to get everything done before school was out for the holiday break but I didn't. I dragged the girls to the post office, the library (twice, I turned in the case without the DVD), grocery store, and the mall. They were quite the troopers and I even bought them stocking stuffers and they did not even notice. One nice thing is that with all of the shopping I am doing I can check my bank balance almost anywhere and at anytime. Bank of America has lots of tips and tools to help save time which is especially helpful this time of year.

Bank of America solutions:
Bank on the go: It’s easy to set up mobile banking and secure access to your money wherever you are. Download the mobile banking app and you can check balances, transfer money, pay bills, and locate ATMs. Sign up for text banking and you’ll be able to send a text message to get your balance instantly in a reply.
Make quick and easy deposits: With Bank of America’s Deposit Image ATMs, you simply feed checks or cash into the ATM with no envelopes or deposit slips required. You get images of your checks and a list of cash deposited on your receipt as proof.
Save a trip to the bank: Keep track of your spending by using Bank of America’s online banking: set up alerts, check balances, and transfer money.

I must say I really like using online banking. I am one of those people who like to have my bank account balanced to the penny. It is so much easier for me to see my account information on my computer instead of calling on the phone and writing down which check, deposits or withdraws have posted.

Bank of America also has some great time saving tips that have nothing to do with banking:
Holiday Time-Saving Tips:
Avoid backtracking: Use “route planner” feature on MapQuest, it helps you save both time and money by mapping out an entire journey – with multiple stops – all in one convenient step. You can add up to 26 destinations along any route, and the tool gives you the fastest route.  (I can't wait to use this!!)
Babysitting or playdate exchange: Gain kid-free time to make your way through your holiday to-do list by coordinating a playdate exchange with another family.
Find a holiday helper:  Save time and relieve stress by finding a holiday helper to assist with household chores and last-minute errands.  (My holiday helpers are my kids. I don’t hesitate to to mention that Santa is watching and asking then to do a little extra around the house.)
Make sure it's in stock: Nothing wastes more time than driving from store-to-store in search of a specific item.  Do yourself a favor and call ahead or better yet check store inventory online before you leave home.  (I already did this a few times this month. I checked online for a toy at Target, and I called ToysRus and Walmart looking for a certain gift for my husband and another gift for my kids. I was able to get the store to hold what I needed or if they did not have it I saved a useless trip.)
Wrap it up: Socialize and wrap up your holiday duties by inviting your friends over to chat, nosh and yes, wrap gifts! Everyone brings a roll of wrapping paper, ribbons and other decorative elements to share with the group.  (I have a wrapping party with my kids. They love wrapping for family and friends. We listen to Christmas music and nibble on cookies.)

Giveaway
One of my readers can win a pre-loaded $50 gift card from Bank of America.

To enter: Please leave a comment with your a holiday time saving tip.


(If your email is not available on your blog please include in comment.)
US only
Ends 12/27/10 at noon PST.

Extra Entries: (please leave a comment for each extra comment)
1.Follow my blog (button on side of blog)
2. Follow @BofA_Tips on Twitter (leave your twitter name in comment)
3.Follow me @SillyMommy on Twitter (leave your twitter name in comment)
4.Blog about contest (2 entries, leave link in comment)
5.Tweet about contest (leave link in comment, may tweet once a day)
6. Enter another of my giveaways (listed on right near top, one entry per giveaway entered)


I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Bank of America and received a Bank of America preloaded gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate. The giveaway is coordinated by A Silly Mommy of 2 Silly Girls and fulfillment will be handled by Mom Central Consulting.

Monday, December 20

mOmma Baby Feeding Products Review


I was sent the mOmma Rocking Cup and the mOmma Soft Spoon. Before I mention how great the two products are I first have to gush about the packaging! They were both so easy to open. When I first saw the packaging I figured I would need the scissors to cut through the hard plastic and hope I don't cut or scratch myself. Instead the front and back just come apart. There is a small plastic loop that prevents the packaging from opening enough to get the product out but the loop is so easy to cup and to get the product out. Sorry but the easy open packaging really made me very happy!

Now on to the great mOmma products. First the Soft Spoon. It reminds me of a weeble, they wobble but they don't fall down. The part of the spoon that goes in your babies mouth does not touch the surface the spoon is resting on. Besides not falling out it is just fun to use. The spoon is also great when away from the house because it comes with a cover. You could draw a face on the cover and have a cute toy for your baby to play with while getting their food ready. I really like that the cover is easy to get on and off but it never fell off on its own.

The second mOmma product I was sent is the Rocking Cup. The cup, just like the spoon, rocks back and forth. The cup does not come with a separate cover because instead the straw gets tucked into the lid. To hide the straw you just twist the green part of the lid. These mOmma products are so innovative and just plain fun to use. What I like too is that not only are they products you will use in feeding your baby but they are entertaining for a baby so they can be a mealtime toy and feeding product.


This post was written for Family Review Network & mOmma who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest opinions.

Sunday, December 19

Vittorio Grigolo "The Italian Tenor"‏ Review



My husband loves listening to opera music and he was very excited when I was Sent Vittorio Grigolo's The Italian Tenor. As soon as the CD arrived he listened to the music so he could pick his favorites to put on his ipod. He put the whole album and is still enjoying the music. I love listening to the music too. If I close my eyes I can imagine that I am in Italy. I just feel transported when I listen to the mesmerizing music. A beautiful album that I would recommend to anyone and especially those who enjoy arias.

From Sony:

The Italian Tenor presents arias from three great operatic composers - Gaetano Donizetti, Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini. These include Donizetti's “Una furtiva lagrima” (L'Elisir d'Amore) which was made famous by Enrico Caruso, whose famous performance of the aria paved the way for the opera's return to the repertoire after years of neglect. Equally as beautiful is “Spirto gentil” (La Favorita) in which the lead character laments the loss of his love forever.

I was not compensated for this post. I was provide a copy of the album to facilitate my honest option.

Saturday, December 18

Pacific Northwest Nutcracker

Every year we attend the Pacific Northwest Nutcracker and every year it is just as magical!
We actually bought out tickets in July when they go on sale. I know it is hard to think of the holidays in the summer but it is our tradition.

Daddy always sneaks off while we are making crafts and buys them something from the gift shop. Here they are holding their Clara dolls from a previous visit and the new miniature jewelry boxes Daddy got them that day. Daddy also purchased a Clara ornament for each of the girls. It was the first ornament on our tree this year.
This year we had a surprise for the girls, at intermission we got to go back stage. The girls were just so excited to see backstage. Intermission is not very long so it was a quick tour but so magical. We got to see how the waves are moved, to touch the 'snow', say 'Hello' to the Peacock and the grown-up Clara. We also saw the Chinese dancers and the Sugar Plum Fairy
practising. As we were leaving we also saw some of the mouse costumes and so much more.
Princess A has not stopped talking about going backstage and even shared it with her class.
There is still time to see the Nutcracker this year as they shows until December 27. It could even be a Christmas gift. Princess G's teacher mentioned that her daughter has asked for tickets to the Pacific Northwest Nutcracker this year. I sent her a link to special offers on tickets and I suggest you check too as the Nutcracker is a great family tradition that we will continue for many, many years!

Thursday, December 16

New Possibilities

What do you want to happen in the new year? I have been thinking lately that I need to do things a little differently. I love my life but how could I make it better. I realized that I need to take better care of my self. I am relatively healthy but I don't really get the exercise that I should. There have been many health scares and catastrophes in my family lately. My brother-in-law suffered a traumatic brain injury and at one point they thought he would never wake up. Luckily he is practically back to his old self, nine hard months later. If you met him you would never know, as his family we notice small differences, but only small things. My father was also diagnosed with cancer around the same time. Long story short, it is melanoma in his lungs and somewhere in his neck (they never did find the primary location). He seems to be making a full recovery but all of these things made me want to take better care of my self. My first step was to get a physical. Beside being checked when I was pregnant I have not had a full work-up since I was in my 20s, right out of college. I am also going to get a full body mole check next week. Many family members have had skin cancer but, until my dad, it was always Basel cells. Hopefully nothing is found and I am healthy. Assuming that, I need to get in even better health. I have decided to start swimming again. As a child I was on a swim team all through grade school. I was really good at Butterfly that is what I was always assigned for the IM medleys (four person relay and each does a different stroke.) As soon as my girls are back in school in the new year I am going to swim laps twice a week. I do go swimming with my two girls but as they are beginner swimmers I need to be right next to them the whole time we are in the pool.
I also want to eat healthier. We already eat lots of fruits and vegetables but I will admit that I do not eat the recommended 5 servings everyday. I do eat 5 servings on some days but not every day. I want to reach my 80s at least and luckily my family does have longevity. Almost all of my grandparents and great-grandparents lived into their 80s and some their 90s. But I don't just want to be alive I want to be ALIVE. I want to have a full and active life and to do that I need to be health. Now right now I have just a little over 2 hours by myself after I drop my girls off at school before I have to be back. Now next Fall I will have over 6 hours. Soon I will have to think of the possibilities available then.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network blogging program, for a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.
About OWN: The New Oprah Winfrey Network New shows. New faces. New possibilities.
OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network is a multi-platform media company designed to entertain, inform and inspire people to live their best lives. OWN will debut on January 1, 2011, in approximately 80 million homes on what is currently the Discovery Health Channel. During the OWN launch weekend, viewers will have the chance to see a little of everything OWN has to offer. OWN programming includes original series and specials, all focused on entertaining, informing and inspiring people to live their best lives.

Giveaway: Fancy Pals by Aurora (Perfect Gifts)


My girls just love stuffed animals and have just started getting into cute purses. Aurora Fancy Pals is perfect because it is both. Each comes with a so sweet plush animal and a cute carrier which they can also use as a purse just like my girls do. The plush animals are just so soft and sweet. We received the black and white puppy and the purple kitten. They both came with a cute pink carrier/purse with hearts on them. Aurora is the same company that makes those oh so cute YooHooFriends (see my previous review). Aurora makes great quality plush animals. They are so soft and so far have held up to lots of love from my girls. What a cute gift for that special little girl or girls in your life. I like that the cute carriers can be used as a purse too. My girls like to use them as a regular purse when they play store (they use monopoly money to buy stuff). They also use them to carry anything and everything. We also have quite the collection of strawberry shortcake dolls (some were mine), ponies, princess dolls, star wars figurines and other stuffed animals which ride in the purse when it has become plane or even a boat in their imagination. Of course they also use the carrier to carry their new friends. They named their new friends, Oreo the puppy and lollipop the kitten.
I was just at Claire's today picking up hopefully the last Santa gift for my girls and I saw a huge selection of Aurora stuffed animals including YooHoo&Friends and Fancy Pals.


Giveaway
One of my readers can win a Fancy Pal of their own.

To enter: Please leave a comment with your favorite Fancy Pal

(If your email is not available on your blog please include in comment.)
US and Canada only
Ends 12/30/10 at midnight PST.
Extra Entries: (please leave a comment for each extra comment)
>1.Follow my blog (button on side of blog)
2.Follow me @SillyMommy on Twitter (leave your twitter name in comment)
3.Blog about contest (2 entries, leave link in comment)
4.Tweet about contest (leave link in comment, may tweet once a day)
5. Enter another of my giveaways (listed on right near top, one entry per giveaway entered)

I was provided 2 Fancy Pals necessary to facilitate my candid review.

Tuesday, December 14

Dislocated my Jaw at the Dentist

Guess what happen to me at the Dentist today! It was not my Dentist's fault, it just happen because my mouth had to be open for about 70 minutes. I was having some fillings replaced. I had the other side of my mouth done a week and a half ago. When I had that treatment a week and a half ago I did have a hard time getting my jaw to pop back into proper alignment. I have TMJ but I have been able to manage it so it only bothers me twice a year when I have dental cleanings. If I open my jaw wide my jaw joint can become misaligned. I have always been able to pop it back by opening and shutting my mouth a few times. This time I could only get one side back in the joint. Luckily my Dentist knew what to do and she was able to get get my jaw back in the proper position. Since my jaw has been dislocated I have to follow a specific treatment for at least the next week. I am not suppose to open my mouth more than and inch and no yawning, I have to hold my mouth closed if I feel one coming on. The Dentist also wrote out two prescriptions for me, a very strong Motrin and at night, Valium. I have never had anything more than over the counter ibuprofen so I am not sure how well I will react to it. I really did not want to take the prescription for the Valium but it is proven to help with relaxing the muscle of the jaw and helps with swelling in the jaw too. I have to be very careful for the next week so my jaw does not becomes dislocated again. Once I can chew again, (in a few days) it will have to be soft foods. After a week I am then suppose to slowing start stretching my jaw open a little more each day. I have no idea what I will be eating for the next few day. I have only had black bean soup (pure liquid) with a tiny bit of shredded cheese that melted and yogurt. I had to slurp both of them as even opening my mouth for a spoon is uncomfortable.

Monday, December 13

Giveaway: Show Your Helping Hand with Hamburger Helper



Growing up we never went without food but there were times we went to bed still hungry because we had to make sure we had enough food to last the week. Hamburger Helper® is partnering with GRAMMY® Award-winning singer, songwriter and actor Tim McGraw to help Feeding America. Millions of meals will be delivered to local food banks through the Show Your Helping Hand™ campaign.


How can you help? You can support the campaign purchasing and then submitting codes from specially marked boxes of Hamburger Helper at www.showyourhelpinghand.com or by logging on to make a donation. Hamburger Helper has already donated more than half a million dollars and will contribute up to an additional $100,000 to Feeding America through this program. Do you think a single code won't make a difference? Hamburger Helper will donate 17 cents per code and that is enough for Feeding America to deliver one meal to a local food bank. So every time you submit a code you are helping provide a meal for someone.

Giveaway: One of my readers can win a prize pack that includes a box of Hamburger Helper skillet meals, a Hamburger Helper foam “Helping Hand” and a copy of Tim McGraw’s “Southern Voice” CD.

To enter: Please leave a comment with a way you would encourage others to enter codes from Hamburger Helper or ways you help combat hunger (we donate food to our local school and food bank)

(If your email is not available on your blog please include in comment.)
US only
Ends 12/27/10 at midnight PST.
Extra Entries: (please leave a comment for each extra comment)

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This post was written for MyBlogSpark & Hamburger Helper who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest opinions.

Visiting Santa

Every year the girls tell me that Santa is so busy he has fake Santas pretend to be him at mall but we visit th ereal one. He is a great Santa and remembers the girls every year as does the photographer.

After telling Santa what they want it was time to go over the candy stream.
Next the went around to the candy stream to pick up their favorite candies.

I always have to get a picture with the reindeer.

I love that both still believe so much!!!

Saturday, December 11

My Great Wolf Lodge Birthday

When we arrived we tried to check in but we had a long wait.

I always bring plenty of snack to have in our room.

We went a week or so before Halloween and they had trick-or-treating every night.

Princess A's costume really glowed under a black light.

Best friends!
Before our visit Princess G was still nervous about swimming.
Soon she was swimming with a life jacket for the first time.
My darling husband.
We only went for one night but we had plenty of time.
Happy Birthday to me!
On my actual birthday we went out for Thai food and we had sticky rice with mango for dessert.

My darling husband also bought me a cake so I did not have to make my own.

Friday, December 10

Giveaway: Terro Ant & Spider Killer Review

All summer we had ants invading our walkway. Our side walkway is stepping stones surrounded by pebbles which the ants were undermining. I was very excited to try the Terro Outdoor Ant Barrier Shaker Bag. I was all set to try it when a huge snow storm hit and I have not seen the ants since then. I guess I will have to wait for the warmer weather before trying the Terro Ant Barrier. According to Terro:

Since most ant infestations are linked to a colony that is actually located underground outside the house, Clark recommends applying TERRO Outdoor Ant Killer Granules around the entire perimeter of the house. “The Outdoor Ant Killer Granules are packaged in an easy-to-apply Shaker Bag™ that allows the granules to be easily distributed in a three- to five-foot band around the typical house,” says Clark. No spreader is needed to apply.

I was also set Terro Spider Killer which the snow did not stop a need for. Since the Terro Spider Killer was delivered I have not seen a single spider in the house. That is a very good thing since my kids like to yell when they see a spider and I have to drop everything to take care of it. Believe me when one is in the middle of chopping raw meat one does not want to stop, wash hands, remove the spider and chop again. From Terro:

Terro Spider Killer is a crack and crevice aerosol contact spray that is highly effective against spiders, including brown recluses, black widows and hobo species, scorpions, cockroaches, crickets and other pests. “Because the product kills on contact, it immediately eases the dread of having a spider enter the home. However, the spray has a residual control so it continues to stop pests from entering your home for up to 12 weeks,” says Clark. An extension tube allows the user to choose between a directional “stream” for crack and crevice treatment, or a regular spray pattern.

Do you have an ant, spider or ant and spider problem?

Giveaway: One of my readers can win the same products I was sent TERRO Outdoor Ant Killer Granules and TERRO Spider Killer Spray.

To enter: Please leave a comment with the insect that bothers you the most if it gets in your house or tell me which product you will use first, the ant or the spider.

(If your email is not available on your blog please include in comment.)
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Ends 12/16/10 at noon PST.
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4.Tweet about contest (leave link in comment, may tweet once a day)
5. Enter another of my giveaways (listed on right near top, one entry per giveaway entered)

This post was written for Family Review Network & TERRO who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest opinions.

Thursday, December 9

Prima Princessa Presents The Nutcracker Review



Both of my girls love ballet and they adore the Nutcracker Ballet. They both have a collection of nutcrackers, a Clara doll (purchased at the ballet), and the San Francisco production of the Nutcracker on DVD. As you can see they love everything to do with the Nutcracker. They were both very excited and could not wait to watch Prima Princessa Presents the Nutcracker DVD. After they watched it for the first time they quickly changed into ballet clothes and wanted to watch it again. They have been watching both Nutcracker DVDs that we have. We have been attending the Nutcracker Ballet the last few years and the girls watched the Nutcracker in the car on the way to the show. My girls really loved dressing up and dancing along. The DVD is also to watch before attending a live presentation of the Nutcracker as the story is explained in a way that they will understand.

Would you like to watch this great presentation of the Nutcracker, perfect for kids? Some local PBS stations will be presenting Prima Princessa Presents The Nutcracker. Just click here to see a list of stations and the dates it will error. Keep checking back as more air dates are being added (I am still waiting for our PBS station to be added to the list.) If you are not on the list or want to purchase the Prima Princessa Presents the Nutcracker for a ballet loving child you can purchase the DVD through Amazon.



I was provided the DVD necessary to facilitate my candid review and was not compensated in any way.

Wednesday, December 8

Advent Calender Craft

With the big snow storm right before Thanksgiving we had to reschedule the girls' Girl Scout meetings. Since both troops (Princess A's Brownie troop and Princess G's and my Daisy troop) were doing the same craft and practising for the same parade we had the meetings together.
The Brownie troop made their own design and drew it with puffy glitter paint. They then glued on 25 Hershey Kisses.

The Daisy troop already had the trees drawn on so they only needed to glue on the kisses.
The girls both love eating one of their Hershey Kisses everyday and counting how many are left.

Monday, December 6

Hickory Farms Review




Every year I remember the Hickory Farm gift baskets and or boxes arriving at our house. My parents always received at least one each holiday season. My sisters and I always went for the candy first. We always knew the season of gifts was starting once we had one of those strawberry flavored candies. My grandparents liked to send the Hickory Farm gifts and if we were lucky they took us when they want shopping. I remember they always had a sample for me to try while my grandparents shopped. My grandmother liked to look at everything but if my memory is right she always bought the same gifts every year. Just like me, as soon as our Hickory Farms Beef & Turkey Hearty Gift Box arrived my girls went for the strawberry candies. Next was the beef sausage which went very fast. I put the rest away to enjoy the next day. The cranberry mustard was perfect for the turkey sausage and perfect for leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. Did you grow up with Hickory Farms? Our local mall does not have a Hickory Farms booth set up during the Holiday season but luckily orders can be placed from their website. Also Hickory Farms is offering free shipping to APO (military addresses overseas). What a great gift for our military service men and women.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Hickory Farms and received a signature gift box from Hickory Farms to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Sunday, December 5

Giveaway: Cradle Rock: Michael Jackson, Ke‏nny Chesney and Johnny Cash Lullabies

I was not sure what to expect when I first heard about Cradle Rock. I figured the music would almost be elevator music version of the songs. The songs are a mix between lullabies, the original music and classical music if it was played with a xylophone. it is kind of hard to describe but not hard to enjoy. My girls already like some Micheal Jackson music so that is the one they listened to the most. We did enjoy all three but Michel Jackson was their favorite. I leaned a more toward the Kenny Chesney Cradle Rock CD. I am still enjoying all three. The music is fun and lively but at the same time soothing. My girls are no longer babies and I found the 3 albums nice music to listen to during homework. If you would like to take a listen yourself, click here and then click on the album you would like to listen to.

Giveaway
One of my readers can win all three of the Cradle Rock albums I reviewed, Micheal Jackson, Kenny Chesney and/or Johnny Cash.


To enter: Please leave a comment with your favorite Micheal Jackson, Kenny Chesney or Johnny Cash song.

(If your email is not available on your blog please include in comment.)
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Ends 12/19/10 at midnight PST.
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5. Enter another of my giveaways (listed on right near top, one entry per giveaway entered)
I was provided albums necessary to facilitate my candid review.

Friday, December 3

Giveaway: Norah Jones...Featuring



I have been a fan of Norah Jones music for a long time and I have a few of her earlier albums. I was very excited to review the new Norah Jones CD ...Featuring. Besides getting to listen to Norah Jones you also get to listen to so many other great artist. It was fun listening to the album the first time and trying to guess who she was singing with. My favorite song on this album is "More than This"

Here is a complete list of the songs on ...Featured:

1. Love Me – The Little Willies
2. Virginia Moon – The Foo Fighters featuring Norah Jones
3. Turn Them – Sean Bones featuring Norah Jones
4. Baby It's Cold Outside – Willie Nelson featuring Norah Jones
5. Bull Rider – Norah Jones and Sasha Dobson
6. Ruler Of My Heart – Dirty Dozen Brass Band featuring Norah Jones
7. The Best Part – El Madmo
8. Take Off Your Cool – OutKast featuring Norah Jones
9. Life Is Better – Q-Tip featuring Norah Jones
10. Soon The New Day – Talib Kweli featuring Norah Jones
11. Little Lou, Prophet Jack, Ugly John – Belle & Sebastian featuring Norah Jones
12. Here We Go Again – Ray Charles featuring Norah Jones
13. Loretta – Norah Jones featuring Gillian Welch and David Rawlings
14. Dear John – Ryan Adams featuring Norah Jones
15. Creepin' In – Norah Jones featuring Dolly Parton
16. Court & Spark – Herbie Hancock featuring Norah Jones
17. More Than This – Charlie Hunter featuring Norah Jones
18. Blue Bayou – Norah Jones featuring M. Ward

Giveaway
One of my readers can win their own Norah Jones CD ...Featuring


To enter: Please leave a comment with your favorite Norah Jones song or which song from ...Featuring you are most excited about.

(If your email is not available on your blog please include in comment.)
US only
Ends 12/17/10 at midnight PST.
Extra Entries: (please leave a comment for each extra comment)

1.Follow my blog (button on side of blog)
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5. Enter another of my giveaways (listed on right near top, one entry per giveaway entered)

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by One2One Network received the CD necessary to facilitate my candid review.

Thursday, December 2

School Happenings

The girls each entered the PTA Reflections contest this year.
Princess A entered a drawing and photograph.
Princess A entered a drawing, photograph and story.
Both of them won and will move on to the district competition.
They both had their photograph win and Princess A's story also won.
In October Princess A won a WOW award for Kindness.
Each month her school pick a positive attribute and pick 2 - 4 kids in each class to win an award.

That same day (they picked matching outfits on their own) Princess G had her ICU picked so she won an ice cream party. An ICU is when a staff member (not their own teacher) catches them doing something good or following the rules well. Once a month 1 ICU is chosen from each class and gets a prize.


A few days before Halloween Princess A and her class took a field trip to see the play Frog and Toad. It was her first real play and she loved it.

The last day of school before Halloween was Princess A's first PJ day at school. Only her class earned the privilege. She wore her Give a Mouse a cookie PJs and her cupcake nightgown over it.




Last week was the 50 day of school for kindergartners so they dressed up in 50s clothes.

Princess A was nice enough to let her sister borrow her long pink skirt and I sewed a leash and Scottie dog (I had a felt one) to complete the look.