Diary of a Stay at Home Mom: December 2010

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Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas recap and hopes for the New Year

December is always such a busy month for our family, there is always so much going on that sometimes I get lost in it all.  We had an amazing Christmas, as usual, great times with family, awesome food (diet time!) and some really nice presents.  I got a laptop and a much needed external hard drive YAY! The kids, well they got spoiled like usual...Santa must really only see them when they're being good...so here are some photos...
We had a super white Christmas....lots and lots of snow!

She could stay out in the snow all day if I let her

 This was right before he had a meltdown because he couldn't spell fart, threw his tiles down and stormed off to his room crying...poor guy :)

We love sledding!

Really love this guy!

The most patient I have ever seen him

So hopes for the New Year?  We personal goals include losing that pesky 10 pounds I gained over the year that I lost 2 years ago (here we go again), trying to spend more one on one time with my children, try not to stress so much over things I can't control....and of course making some more blogging friends!  What are you looking forward to in 2011?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

What is PayBox.me (Easy Money)

PayBox is developing an online currency and payment processing service to make buying and selling online easier, more secure and available to everyone. They are designing their service with the help of a dedicated group of EarlyBird users who are contributing ideas and feedback.

Stages of development planned to launch in 2011:

•Person-to-Person transactions.
•Small Business integration, including payment processing modules for all popular shopping cart software.
•Mid-sized Business integration.
•Major Online Store integration.
•Debit Card linked to your PayBox account.
•Currency exchange with all major world currencies

Why you should join today...

•You start with a $25 balance and it's free.
•PayBox will add up to $20 per day to your account for participating as we prepare to launch our new service.
•You get $10 per person you refer to PayBox.
•You'll be an EarlyBird user—before PayBox opens to the public.
•You'll help shape the development of the best payment system ever designed for the Internet.
•You could have hundreds or thousands of dollars in your account by the time we launch, without ever making a deposit!

You can sign up by clicking here.  I signed up last night and already have $46 in my account.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

$25 for $50 worth of custom, hand-crafted jewelry from Sheyna.com - Free shipping on all orders

$25 for $50 worth of custom, hand-crafted jewelry from Sheyna.com - Free shipping on all orders!
Offer expires: 02:59 AM - Dec 31, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

I wanted to wish all of you a beautiful and joyous Holiday!



I wanted to post these winners before we start our Holiday Festivities, so here we go...

The winner of the Kidorable Umbrella is #51 Desiree Torres

The Curious George prize pack winner is #22 MStrickland96

The winner of the Radko Ornaments is #9 Suburban Prep

Congrats to all the winners, email are going out right now!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Did some sewing for the American Girl Dolls

My daughter has some American Girl Dolls and I always thought it would be fun to sew some clothes for them.  I found a website that has free patterns, the ones that they used to sell for American Girl Dolls.  I was a little intimidated when I looked at the patterns, but the one I picked was actually pretty simple to follow.  I made my daughter's doll a Christmas dress using the pattern for Molly's pinafore.

Keep checking back, I'm going to try some of the other patterns that they have on there!

Loving Pets Dolce Dishes Review

As many of you know we have two dogs, Tyson the Bernese Mountain Dog, and Lucy the Australian Shepherd.  They're actually more like my furry children, or so they think so.  They are an important part of our family and we were excited to find out that we would have a chance to review the Dolce Dishes from Loving Pets.  Loving Pets uses only the highest quality materials when making their pet accessories.  The Dolce dishes come in two sizes, pint or quart, and 5 different colors to match your taste or decor.  We chose the Merlot, quart size dishes.

These dishes offer Snap-Fit locking stainless steel bowls which prevent them from rattling. The removable skid-free rubber ring base keeps the bowl from sliding around

These dishes are dishwasher safe too (once the rubber ring is removed).  I really like these dishes for two reasons, they don't slide around and they are unbreakable (unlike the ceramic ones I had before), so even if my dogs knock them over I know they won't shatter.  My dogs are messy eaters so this helps their dishes stay in place. They are also lightweight, and the color is perfect for my kitchen.  Loving Pets also offers a quality assurance:

All of our products are tested at an independent U.S. certified lab for both chemical and bacterial contaminants. At Loving Pets, we use only the finest ingredients and quality materials in our products. 

Dolce Dishes are sold at stores such as PetSmart, and you can find a store locator on the Loving Pets website.

**I was sent two bowls for review purposes, all opinions are my own and I was not compensated for my review**

Chicken Soup for the Soul Christmas Magic review and giveaway...3 winners

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas Magic: 101 Holiday Tales of Inspiration, Love, and Wonder

Chicken Soup for the Soul books are filled with real people sharing real stories.  These stories have been translated into more than 40 languages and can be found in more than 100 countries.  The stories are put in books, magazines newspapers and online.  They offer hope, comfort and inspiration to many people.  After seventeen years of publishing these heart-warming tales, they have done it again with 101 Christmas stories that are sure to make your Holidays even more magical.  This book is filled with Christmas miracles, family reunions, charity the wonder of children, the joy of giving, and family...and of course stories about Santa too.  All of these stories are appropriate for children so go ahead and share them with your little ones, even if they can't read they will enjoy hearing them read out loud.

I am giving away 3 copies of this book, so three lucky winners this time!

Leave me a comment telling me your favorite Christmas Carol/Song and of course your email address so I can get a hold of you.

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This Giveaway will end at midnight on Jan 6th and 3 winners will be chosen via random.org.  Winners will be notified through email and have 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen.

**I was sent a copy of the book for review purposes, all opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review**
Good Luck

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tassimo T20 Review and Giveaway

My household is a coffee household, we drink a TON of coffee.  The problem we run into is that my husband gets up and leaves for work about 2 hours before I get up, and the pot of coffee that he made is no longer good.  So I either have to warm up the stale coffee in the microwave (um, gross) or make another pot.  Besides the fact that I am now wasting a bunch of coffee, brewing another pot takes a while and I don't function without coffee so I need it fast.  I had been contemplating purchasing a single cup brewer for a while when I got the opportunity to review the Tassimo T20 by Bosch.   

This brewer (comes in white or black) may look compact, but it is very powerful.
The water tank is in the back so the T20 is less bulky and takes up less counter space.
There are also different colored accessories so you can change the way your brewer looks to match your personality and your kitchen.

These are the T discs that the brewer uses.   The T20 reads the bar code printed on each disc to ensure best brewing conditions, including the amount and temperature of the water.  The actual brewing takes place inside the T-disc, so you can make different drinks, one right after another, without transferring flavors from one cup to another.
The brewer is really easy to use, all you really have to do is insert the disc and press the button...and voila!  A hot, fresh cup of coffee in less than 60 seconds.

This yummy looking cup is the Starbucks cappuccino I brewed.

Even my kids really love the Tassimo T20, since it makes delicious hot chocolate.  My 7 year old can use it on her own.  Tassimo offers beverages from 13 well known brands such as Milka, Gevalia, Maxwell House, Suchard, Mastro Lorenzo, Twinning's, Kenco, Jacob's, TAZO, Nabob, Carte Noire and Seattle's Best Coffee and of course Starbucks.  I was actually concerned that I might have a problem finding the T-discs at stores, but they are available everywhere including Target and Wal Mart.  I'm really in love with this little guy, and anytime I need an afternoon pick me up, he is right there!

Tassimo T20

•Makes coffee, tea, cappuccino, latte, crema, espresso and hot cocoa
•Makes drinks in about 1 minute
•Includes an exclusive flow–through water heater for faster, quieter brewing
•Space saving design ideal for apartments, dorm rooms and countertops
•Smart bar code technology allows the brewer to adjust each beverage with the proper temperature pressure and amount of water
•5.6 lbs.
•Brewer dimensions: Width: 7.88" ; Height: 11" ; Depth: 11.75"
•1.5 Liter water tank

The Tassimo T20 can be purchased at stores such as Wal Mart and Target, and also by visiting the Tassimo website.

Want to win one?  Here is How:

Follow this blog via Google Friend Connect and leave me a comment with your email address so I can contact you if you win.

Additional Entries:
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Put my button on your blog (please leave me your url in the comment) +3

Giveaway will end at midnight on Jan. 5th and a winner will be chosen via random.org.  Winner will be notified through email and will have 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen.  Good Luck!

**I received a brewer for review purposes, all opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review**

When your seven year old is your hairstylist

Monday, December 20, 2010

I'm soooo going to.....AND a whole lot of LATENESS

Yes!  I got confirmation that I am being sponsored to this awesome event!  I have a button on my right sidebar if you are interested in registering for this even.  This will be my second blogger event.  My first was just about a month ago, also in Chicago, I just have been swamped lately and have not had the time to post about it...so I will tell you now :)

I went to a Blogger's Brunch put on by Child's Play Communications.  There was a very informative panel discussion followed bu a delicious brunch (complete with ice cream cake from Cold Stone Creamery) and some really great sponsors.
The wonderful panel

Haha, that is me right there near the middle with the light colored scarf and glasses.

This was a lot of fun.  I got to meet some ladies who's blogs I read as well as hear some great information from bloggers who have been doing this for much longer than me.  Not only that but the Chicago Toy and Game Fair was also going on at the same time and at the same location.  I got to preview the fair as part of the media, and then went back to it after the brunch.

So many games and toys, some brand new, and all there to be played with!  Tons of fun for kids as well as adults complete with Star Wars breakfast and Radio Disney.  I am really looking forward to the second event...I know it is not until July but I can't wait.