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Technology Enabled Holiday

Posted By jenrik06 on Dec 15, 2010 at 6:39AM


The question: How has technology changed your holiday?


The answer is not a one liner!

Technology has made vast improvements to our holiday shopping, entertaining, and gift giving. The affordability of technology allows my family to experience the holiday season in an exciting way. Web enabled printers allow me to print photos, recipes, or coloring pages with a click of a button, no computer required. The kids can watch what they like on their televisions while hubby watches football in the living room and I jam out to some holiday toons cooking up the holiday feast. Smart phones keep us connected to family and friends by allowing us to share our holiday moments on Facebook, email, and Twitter easier than before.

Computers have allowed me to keep the illusion of Santa alive by ordering online and having the items shipped to the house while the kids are in school. For someone who lives 70 miles from the nearest big box store, this is a fabulous convenience. I stash all the boxed goodies in the basement. Christmas night my husband and I work for hours as "Santa's little helpers" assembling everything, charging batteries and adding stickers.

Digital television, DVR, and streaming media have opened up a whole new world to entertaining family and friends during the holidays. I no longer have to keep an exhaustible list of holiday DVD's and CD's. The family can enjoy a Netflix movie with the touch of a button. Christmas dinner is even more special with Christmas music playing in the background from one of the many CD or Sirius holiday music stations available on our Dish Network.

Find out how you can win a Holiday Tech Makeover sponsored by Intel.

Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes with a Surprise Inside!

Posted By jenrik06 on Aug 24, 2010 at 4:11PM

Wanna know how I made these????

...then you'll have to go here to get the recipe.

Sneaky isn't it!?!

What's on your dessert menu tonight????

Fractures Offering Revolutionary Photo Keepsakes!

Posted By jenrik06 on Aug 24, 2010 at 2:58PM

Fractures is an exciting new company making it easier than ever before to get your digital photos in print. They have developed a unique way to put those photos onto directly onto glass. Simply upload the photos to their website and they take care of the rest. You end up with a beautiful and unique glass photo keepsake.

And don't worry about those sharp edges. Fractures has thought of it all. They even bevel the sharp edges so you have a smooth easy to handle product.

With any luck, I'll be able to review one of these in the near future and provide you with even more insight about this great product. Wish me luck!!! ;D

Disclosure: I wrote this blog post in response to a TwitterMoms RAMBO alert, making me eligible to get a Fracture picture frame for review. You can learn more about Fracture at http://www.fractureme.com.

Hands On Learning with Kleenex

Posted By jenrik06 on Aug 18, 2010 at 5:37PM

Hands on learning is a valuable experience you shouldn't overlook with your kids. It provides a world of lasting lessons and many kids connect better with a "teaching moment" if they have some hands on activities to reinforce the lesson. These activities can range widely depending on the ages and stages of the kids. Some of my favorites include:

  • Dropping an egg onto the ground to demonstrate the abstract idea of gravity.
  • Using crayons or paint to show how combining two colors can create a new color.
  • Manipulating coins, cereal, or other small objects to display math equations.
  • See if sugar, salt, and other spices melt in water for some kitchen science fun with solvents.
  • Growing plants for a variety of lessons from cultivating food from the ground to photosynthesis to testing the effectiveness of a variety of fertilizers.
  • Puzzles are great for developing problem solving skills and keeping the brain sharp.
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Kleenex is keeping those little hands clean for all the hands on activity with Sneeze Shield. There's nothing worse than getting the dreaded call from the nurse saying your child is sick. Kleenex Sneeze Shield is designed to help contain some of those germs to prevent airborne illnesses from spreading. To encourage hands on learning, Kleenex recently sponsored a Hands On Learning day at an area school. Head on over the Blissfully Domestic to see a video with some great activities from that day and how you can enter to win $250 Visa Gift Card.

10 Tips for Saving During the Back To School Rush

Posted By jenrik06 on Aug 12, 2010 at 2:06PM

Monthly Retail Sales Statistics Dip In July

School's around the corner. For some of you, it's already started! Thankfully I still have three weeks before my bunch goes back which gives me three more weeks to get our back-to-school shopping done.

The school supply list can take over your wallet...if you let it but it doesn't have to cost you a small fortune. Here's ten tips to keep your budget on track while equipping your kiddos for their first day back to school.

  1. Recycle items from last year. Supplies like scissors, calculators, pencil sharpeners, and other items like this can be reused year after year!
  2. Hit the thrift stores. Thrift stores carry a world of items from clothing and shoes to office supplies at a tenth of the price. Visit them first and often!
  3. Shop throughout the summer. Hit the summer sales for clothes, shoes, paper, pencils, pens, markers, backpacks and anything else you know your kid will need for school.
  4. Sign up for email newsletters from your favorite stores to get exclusive discounts and coupons.
  5. Fan your favorite stores on Facebook. Retailers are quickly catching on to the popularity of Facebook and offer exclusive promotions from freebies to deep discounts through their Facebook profiles.
  6. Don't forget about twitter. Find online promotional codes via twitter by searching for #discount or #coupon and your favorite store's name.
  7. Never buy pencils again. Anytime you visit a county fair, bank, or expo, snatch up those freebies they have in their booths. I rarely buy pencils anymore because of all the places I find free pencils.
  8. Check freecycle, craigslist, and yard sales for items people want to get rid of. You can find a wealth of supplies from these places
  9. Shopping online through a service like Ebates will allow you to shop your favorite online retailer while earning you cash back on every purchase.
  10. Set up a network of other moms with kids of a variety of ages and sizes to trade clothing, shoes, etc. This keeps the cost of clothing your kids to minimum.


How do you save money on the back to school rush???

Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Staples blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Link up to Strut Your Stuff's Weekly Meme

Posted By jenrik06 on Jul 26, 2010 at 12:17PM

All family friendly blog posts are welcome. Recipes, giveaways, crafts or just something you want to share with the world.

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My top 10 ways to get fit this year #EASportsActive

Posted By jenrik06 on Jan 18, 2010 at 10:23AM

I've never been a very fit person. I had great metabolism growing up and was always thin. I was able to eat what I wanted without a care in the world but I was also very active. As an adult, I don't like to excercise and eating right has always meant eating tasteless, bland food! The older I get, the harder it is to get away with the carefree attitude. This year, I plan to make fitness and eating better a focus. I want to be healthy but I also want to FEEL good too! Twittermom's is asking for our top 10 ways to get fit this year so here's mine!

  1. Consume less sugar. Reduce the soda's I drink and slowly cut the sugar I use in many of our meals. This should cut the calorie intake dramatically.
  2. Eat more whole grains, fiber and protein rich foods. Fruits, veggies, and other wholesome foods fill you up faster than candy, cookies, and empty calories.
  3. Living in NW Minnesota where the winter weather keeps you indoors, I plan to take advantage of the Wii (like the EA Sports Active game I've been eyeing in the stores). This will keep me moving.
  4. Walk. During the Spring, Summer, and Fall, daily walks to the post office and bank will increase my daily activity and calorie consumption.
  5. Alter my current recipes to include a healthy remix. Using fresh veggies and herbs will increase the flavor of my dishes without adding calories.
  6. Dance more. Crank up the music and dancing while doing the dishes, folding the laundry, gardening, etc, keeps me active while keeping it fun.
  7. Play more. Playing with the kids. Wrestling, biking, playing ball, etc. It's all fun but keeps me moving.
  8. Reduce my butter consumption but mixing half butter and half margarine.
  9. Use juice from fruits instead of concentrated store bought juices which are high in sugar.
  10. Read the food labels. Fresh foods are usually better for you than prepackaged but if I can't read the ingredients listed then it's probably not real healthy for me!


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$600 Holiday Table Setting Giveaway

Posted By jenrik06 on Dec 3, 2009 at 2:51PM
I'm not hosting this one but I have entered for a shot at this fabulous prize including a case of new Libbey tall wine glasses, 12 piece Walco flat ware set, 12 Strawberry Street dinner plates plus 12 dessert plates.
It's true, I'm lusting after this one folks!
Food Service Warehouse hosted a giveaway last year for some new restaurant quality cookware. I entered it and didn't get the first bit of spam. Have I told you how much I HATE spam!?! I didn't win last year's giveaway but then again, you can win if you don't play! Click the image below to go to the entry page. The contest ends December 18!

dinner holiday giveaway

Filed in: Holiday, Giveaway | Tagged with: Giveaway

Holiday Fun Time

Posted By jenrik06 on Nov 24, 2009 at 6:20AM

The holidays are a time when we have a lot of fun around the house. I don't know why we get the extra umph during the holidays, maybe it's the holiday cheer going around. *wink* *wink* Anyway, the kids and I can be found doing all sorts of things this time of year that's a bit out of the norm for us.

  • Decorating the Christmas tree Thanksgiving weekend. This is a must in our home. They love putting all the decorations up but I usually have to rearrange them and even out the look once the fun has subsided.
  • We also like to bake cookies and decorate them. I usually make a basic cookie, then we drizzle melted chocolate or almond bark on it. This year they are old enough to help mix ingredients, possibly even put it in the oven - OOOOOHHHHH AAAAAHHHHHH! This is also my sure fire way of making sure my house smells like the holidays. I bake something sweet and gooey and try to incorporate cinnamon or peppermint in it for the extra bump in aroma!
  • Homemade hot chocolate. It's the only time of year I make it but, we melt the chocolate, add the warm milk and the kids LOVE stirring it with a peppermint stick. Again the smell of chocolate and peppermint is INTOXICATING!!!
  • We also writing Santa letters. It's usually on simple notebook paper but now my oldest is able to read and write we like to draw pictures of santa and his elves, coloring them in fun colors. There's also pictures of cookies and milk and whatever else the 8 year old wants to draw for "The Big Jolly Guy". For my 3 year old, the 8 year old likes to make the list for him but another trick I use is to glue cut out images from magazines of what they want when the 8 year old was really little. Making the list is just so much fun but I should probably start getting it done BEFORE Thanksgiving to give "Santa" a heads up on his toy shopping.
  • One other thing we really enjoy is making holiday ornaments. Sometimes we keep them, other times they want to give them to our neighbors or the teacher. It's really fun to sit down and play with them during the holidays and making Christmas window clings or a tree ornament or some other fun holiday craft is really heart warming for me.
  • One last thing I'd like to try with my kids is ice skating. Now we live in Minnesota, we have plenty of opportunities to learn. I think it's something we'll all enjoy, if we can master it! If not, there's always bowling!!!!


So what fun things do you do with your kids this time of year??? Read other mom's favorite holiday activities with their kids here. Share your own and you might win a shiny new gift card just in time for the holidays.


Watch Dora's Christmas Carol Adventure Dec. 6 on Nickelodeon

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Favorite Holiday Activities with Kids

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Filed in: kids, holidays, fun | Tagged with: santa, christmas, holiday, fun, kids

My Messiest Rooms of the House

Posted By jenrik06 on Nov 20, 2009 at 6:02PM

Trish over at MomDot is having a contest for the messiest room. Entry with the messiest room wins a new Oreck Halo. SA-WEET - This would definitely come in handy since my Bissell is about to kick the bucket and the holidays are nearly here!!!

I'm embarrassed to say, this is my son's room, our gaming station, and my craft/storage room which are all on the second floor. Part of me wonders if my 8 year old is practicing to be THAT messy 18 year old teenage boy! I blame the cat for my craft room! You buy that right???


So what do you think? Do I have a shot???


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