The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are such a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with the family, eating delicious food, and just being able to relax is a great change of pace from the every day grind. If you're a mom or especially a grandma, you might be a little bit stressed just thinking about all of the work that has to be done during the holidays. I know that my mother and mother-in-law both spend countless hours in the kitchen, preparing the holiday feast for all of us.
This year, why not make it easier on yourself and others in charge of cooking by ordering your holiday desserts from Collin Street Bakery? We have tried the luscious praline pecan cheesecake and were in awe of the exceptional quality and flavor. A great holiday treat is the Apple Cinnamon Pecan Cake, which is pictured above. Washington apples are sprinkled with cinnamon and folded into Collin Street Bakery's unique honey batter and THEN topped with delicious, crunchy native Texas pecans and slivered almonds. It's a special treat that arrives in a keepsake tin and if refrigerated, can stay moist and delicious for months.
This post was brought to you by Collin Street Bakery. All opinions are mine.It's a great time of the year. Summer is on it's way, end-of-school and graduation events are happening, Father's Day is coming, and many picnics and family BBQs are on their way! There are many different gifts and foods to celebrate with, but what's more awesome than cheesecake? Collin Street Bakery has made it easy to give delicious, homemade desserts for gifts or keep them on hand for all of the family get togethers this summer.
This praline pecan cheesecake is absolutely delicious and definitely a real treat. The bakers at Collin Street Bakery coat the native Texas pecans in sugar and syrup to make a crunchy praline coated confection that is then mixed into the New York style cheesecake. They take care of making sure it is perfect and shipped to your doorstep when you need it.
I'm always searching for the perfect, original gift for different occasions. Collin Street Bakery has a variety of delicious desserts so you will be sure to find the perfect one! Ship directly to your lucky recipient for a special surprise or have it shipped to your home so you can personalize the package! Cheescakes, fruitcakes, pies, cookies, squares, Texas pecan cakes, snacks, and more are available all year long. Find the perfect gift or summer dessert at Collin Street Bakery.
The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.
Now is a great time to start thinking about the holidays, if you haven't already. I have just now started to think about what Hubby might want for Christmas and to be honest, I'm completely stumped. Best Buy is always a good place for him because there are just so many items he would love!
Best Buy is prepared to make this a great holiday season, starting with their Holiday Shopping Event this Saturday (November 8th)! From 1-4 PM, visitors will be allowed to preview and shop great holiday collections from some of the biggest brands. Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, and Sony will all be represented, and more! There will be experts available to answer any questions you may have and to help you make the best holiday gift purchases for those that you love.
Another great incentive to attend the event is the in-store only (not valid online) offers:
- Get a $100 Best Buy gift card when you buy any Apple® MacBook Air 1,2
- Get a $50 Best Buy gift card when you buy the new Apple® iPad Air 2 or iPad Air 1,2
- Bundle & save when you buy the Surface Pro 3 128GB, Type Cover and Microsoft Office 365”
- Purchase a 55-inch Samsung UN55H6350AFXZA HD TV (SKU 4323009) for only $799.99
Receive 3X My Best Buy points on all Samsung curved UHD TVs. (Not a My Best Buy member? See a sales associate to get signed up today. As a reminder, My Best Buy members will not get 3X points if they select promotional financing (6, 12, 18 or 24 months).
Save $200 when you buy a Sony XBR55X850B 4K UHD TV (SKU 5005006) with a Sony PlayStation 4.
Select PlayStation 4 games on sale for $24.992 (regularly $39.99)
Get free Geek Squad Smart Device Online Setup (valued at $49.99) with the purchase of Geek Squad Protection for Xbox One or PlayStation 4.
Get free Geek Squad Virtual Smart TV Set Up (valued at $149.99) with the purchase of Geek Squad Protection.
Get 20% off Geek Squad Protection with the purchase any Geek Squad TV Installation service.
**Unless noted, rainchecks are available for advertised products. We reserve the right to limit quantities. No dealers. Other limitations may apply. Not available online.**
Get more infomation about the Best Buy Holiday Shopping Event and see more great offers, details, vendor demos, and to find participating stores in your area.
Do you have your eye on something at Best Buy? What would YOU love to receive this season?
This Switch & Go Dino® post has been brought to you by VTech. All opinions are mine.
Both the Captain and D love dinosaurs, so I knew they would flip over the new Switch & Go Dino® – SkySlicer the Allosaurus™…and I was right! When SkySlicer came in the mail, the boys were so excited and after we got him out of the packaging, they played with him for a long time. (They had to practice their sharing skills for sure!)
This eco-friendly photo post has been sponsored and was written by me on behalf of Static Pixels. All opinions are mine.
I am always on the lookout for new ways to display favorite family photos. I also am always looking for companies that provide eco-friendly photo prints and gifts. Static Pixels is a great combination of new and eco-friendly.
Static Pixels is a company based in Canada that is doing all they can to provide high quality photos that are not taking from the environment. Static Pixels prints on recycled cardboard made from post-consumer and renewable sources, which adds a different look, for sure.
I wanted to get a picture of the boys for D's room, because the only other picture is from D's babyhood. This picture was taken while we took the Captain's bithday pictures and our Christmas pictures. It captures the boys and their silly, mischievous little relationship:
D absolutely loves this picture of him and his brother! It makes him giggle everytime he sees it. And the Captain loves that HE is in his little brother's room, making him laugh!
The quality of the print is exceptional. I was a bit hesitant when I read "printed on cardboard" but Static Pixels uses fade resistant UV ink so it really LOOKS high quality. They also don't use any glue or toxic chemicals, so I feel good about the boys touching it, too.
The view from the top is an interesting one. I bet you have never seen a photo like this before:
You can upload your Instagram pictures directly to the site. Or you can upload any of your pictures to create lasting memories your family and friends will adore.
Static Pixels is certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and Forest Stewardship Council. And, all DeepSquare prints are inspected for quality and carefully packaged, making it perfect for gift giving. I truly appreciate companies like Static Pixels who are making quality products while protecting the environment.
Yesterday was Easter. We don't do the Easter Bunny at our house although I see nothing wrong with him. I just was a bit obsessed with Santa and the Easter Bunny as a child and would rather my kids not be greedy little boogers like I was. I have two older brothers that were not as obsessed as I was, so it was all me, not my parents or anything else. It was all me. We do still celebrate holidays and our boys get candy and gifts. After seeing some of the HUGE Easter baskets in stores and online…..I really gotta say….tone it down, parents.
Easter eggs are one thing. Plastic pieces strewn all over my floor after the hunt is over, candy wrappers, then later, broken plastic eggs on the floor and hurt feet after I have stepped on these awful booby traps. I was smart yesterday, I helped the boys empty their eggs and then I scooped them all up and put them in a bag for next year. But I still can guarantee you that I will be finding eggs for the rest of the year, hidden under the TV, in the playroom, and under the refrigerator.
I always had Easter eggs with candy in them. This was fun. But now, every kid not only gets a million Easter eggs, but they get elaborate Easter baskets, filled with MORE candy, small trinkets, toys, and even more junk to pick up off of the floor. Why do parents do this to themselves??? Unless your child is an amazing cleaner-upper, I don't know why anyone would subject themselves with more…for lack of a better term….crap! My kids get enough crap without ever celebrating a holiday. They were thrilled with their coin filled eggs that they found in our backyard yesterday. (They were also thrilled with the chocolate, berries, and cold hard cash that Grandma brought to them for their savings.) The Captain asked for a chocolate bunny for Easter so I got the boys a small one and they got to eat it before church. This was special. And they were both so surprised and both kept saying "thank you for my chocolate bunny!" Well, Baby D's was more like "tat too" but I knew what he was saying.
Maybe my kids are just young and I don't know what I'm in for. Maybe the madness peaks at about 8, and they won't be satisfied with one small chocolate bunny and a little money. I'm not sure, but I do know that if they got a huge Easter basket, each, after getting coins and chocolate for St. Patrick's Day, after getting a huge box of chocolates and red dyed lollipops for Valentine's Day, after getting a gazillion gifts for Christmas, (which really, they did,) after getting a huge bucket full of Halloween candy, they would never, ever, be satisfied and next year I'd have to outdo this year. I don't want to be cheap, I don't want to be lazy, I don't want to be compared to other parents, but I have already realized that kids as young as three do remember last year and they will expect the same thing plus more next year. Plus, there are always pictures. That's why I'm always AMAZED that parents willingly take so many pictures of their first child's first birthday with the gazillion of gifts that they're sure to get (because it's exciting to spoil your first child on his first birthday, I know!) Start small, don't take a picture of all the gifts they got, and they'll never have to say "why don't I get as many gifts now as when I was a baby??"
It's not too late to tone it down. I promise. And if you really want to spoil your kids, at least go today and buy up all of the unsold Easter candy, toys, or clothes and give it to them a day late (or next year, in the case of toys and clothes) instead of paying ridiculous prices for….well, crap. 😉 Or buy something a little bigger that is more eco-friendly, educational, nutritious, longer lasting, and/or useful!
I apologize if this post offended you. I'm not judging, I promise. I'm just saying that you could totally have it a million times easier and raise a less greedy child, as well, or at least have a shot at a less greedy child. 😉 I'll honestly tell you that my kids are greedy and have too much junk, but, we're working on that.
Since becoming a parent, I've become amazed at all the candy and gifts we parents give our kids at every possible opportunity. We like to celebrate Valentine's Day, Easter, birthday, Christmas, Halloween, and more, all with candy and stuff our kids don't really need. Here are some of my suggestions for the best eco-friendly Easter gifts this year!
1. Rainbow Plush Fabric Alphabet Letters from Crunchy Farm Baby – $40 – handmade with 100% cotton fabrics – super cute, educational gift for toddlers and preschoolers! Get the magnetic version for $50.
2. Bunny Natural Wood Teether from Montana Solar Creation – $10.95 – Handmade with natural, untreated hard wood, and will not splinter. What a great eco-friendly gift for a teething baby or toddler!
3. Nature's Magic Egg Dyeing Kit from Wee Can Too – $16 – The dyes are all natural and edible, made with fruit and vegetable powders.
4. Organic Easter Honey Bunny Soft Doll from Jen Galaxy Designs – $24 – This adorable little bunny is handmade with organic cotton and filled with poly-fill and rice.
5. Travel Chalkboard Mat from Mommy Loves Maddy – $15 – Super cute way to keep the kids entertained in the car! It rolls up nicely for storage and you can pick out the fabric, too. Just add chalk and imagination!
6. Eco Kids Natural Plant Dye Molding Dough – $17 – This dough is made with plant, fruit, and vegetable extracts. It contains no chemicals, artificial dyes, or metals.
7. Indie Candy large chocolate bunny – $10 – allergen free, free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
8. Resurrection Eggs – $16 – Okay, maybe this is a stretch because these plastic eggs aren't really "eco-friendly," but when you compare them to other Easter gifts we give, these Resurrection Eggs are loved and well used by my kids, to teach the story of the true meaning of Easter. Each egg contains a small "trinket" to teach different parts of the Easter story of Jesus' death and resurrection.
9. Haba Wooden Eggs in a Carton – $10 – These wooden eggs are perfect for pretend play!
10. Organic Easter Egg Blend Radishes from Nimble NiteCap Seed Co. from – $2.25 for 100+ seeds – I love these beautiful heirloom, organic radishes that look like little Easter eggs! Any gardener or child would love to grow these pink, red, purple, and white radishes!
11. Lastly, if you need a few eco-friendly gifts for yourself, your child's teacher, or a friend, Tropical Traditions carries Organic Fair Trade coffee at only $8.99 a bag.
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Valentine's Day is coming up quickly, and to celebrate, I bring you the Valentine’s Day Forget Me Nots Giveaway Hop hosted by MamaNYC! This is a HUGE event with lots of prizes to be won, all worth $25 or more. This event will run until February 14th, which means you will have plenty of time to enter all of our giveaways.
Enter to win a box of Sibu Seven Omega 7 chocolates, "Until We Hug Again" bear and greeting cards from Hallmark. Enter to win in the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck and Happy Valentine's Day!
Giveaway has ended and Michelle O. is the winner!
When looking for great gifts for any occasion, Hallmark is always the leader for unique, special, sentimental, and/or fun products. Valentine's Day gifts and cards are no exception! The Hallmark card selection is full of anything and everything you could possibly want. They always have cute character cards, as well, that my boys particularly love:
We were sent this "Until We Hug Again" bear to review and I wasn't sure what we should record on it. It came pre-recorded with a sweet message from a grandmother to a grandchild. The bear is, as the name suggests, meant to give to someone who you are away from so they can hear your voice "until we hug again." You simply record a message, give it to the recipient, and they can hug the bear at any time and hear your special message. Well, my husband's grandfather, whom we all loved, died at the end of January and it became clear who this bear was meant to be for! I asked the Captain if he knew anyone who might like this bear, someone that might be sad and he immediately said "Sweet Grandma" (which is what he has called his great grandmother since he was two years old and thought we said "sweet" instead of "great" grandmother.) So, we recorded a message (there is room to record a 30 second message) and presented it to Sweet Grandma the next time we saw her. She absolutely loved it and the boys were thrilled to be able to give it to her.
I LOVE this idea and know that so many people would love and cherish something so sweet and personalized for Valentine's Day, or for no reason at all! The bear is just adorable!
I was worried that because it was so easy to record a greeting, that one of the boys would record over it, but there is a spot in the battery compartment to temporarily "lock" it so you can keep the message for as long as you like. You can even change the message every time you see your special someone!
The "Until We Meet Again" bear sells for $29.95 on the Hallmark website or can be purchased at Hallmark Gold Crown Stores around the country.