Sunday, December 23, 2012

Rice Crispy Treats.

What a delightful christmas treat. We are making some Rice Crispy treats tonight as well. Hopefully it'll be a fun family event. I think decorating the crispy treat like above would be a wonderful way to entertain children, of all ages, while they wait on family or dinner. I know we used to wait for dinner at my Grandma's house before opening the presents from her. This would be something fun to do.

The recipe for the above picture can be seen at

Friday, December 14, 2012

Decorate branches for a Christmas Centerpiece

Christmas trees are more then just a Christmas tree. A live tree can give a home that wonderful pine smell during the holidays. Pine cones can be painted, glitterized, and totally customized to hang on the tree or for decorations around the house.

You can save money on Christmas centerpieces by making your own with the branches from a pine tree. With the decorated branches you can bring that perfect elegant touch into your home with a fraction of what store centerpieces would cost. Plus they are fun to decorate as well. One of the biggest reasons to decorate your own center piece is so you get just the right look that you love. If you are crafty the centerpieces can also be sold for a profit as well. Many people use the profit for extra holiday cash or to help out families in need.

Find out more here on how to make a Christmas Centerpiece.

Eggless Sugar Cookies

BY vhansen
Today we are having a Christmas party at my work. One of my co-workers is allergic to eggs. so I have found an eggless and rollable cookie recipe.

I found the recipe at

Now this recipe was great but I added a cup more flour as my mixture was too sticky for me. I tasted it uncooked before I rolled it out and it was good.

I have baked a bunch of the eggless sugar cookies with sprinkled sugar on top. So now I'll take them into work today and put them to the real taste testing using my co-workers.

Although my family has no issues with eggs, I think this recipe was super easy. It didn't need the hour refrigeration I'm used to. So this is one recipe I'm adding to my collection to use more often.

 Update: after many tasters, my co-workers, we have all agreed. The cookies either neeed frosting or a little more sugar and vanilla.. just to kick out some of that flour taste. However the cookies where very easy to make and still tasted good.

This is a good recipe that is simple and would be good for kids to use.

Monday, December 10, 2012

How to have a Merry Christmas without Gifts

Christmas presents under a Christmas tree is a part of Christmas. However there are times where no presents under the tree can lead a person to depression. Often single adults or parents with grown kids can find it hard to be Merry without the gifts.

I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that way. You can have a totally Merry Christmas without spending a dime on anyone.

First you need to find out what Christmas really is. It is not those gift tucked neatly under a tree, it is not giving until your in debt and crying in January when the credit card bills come in, and it not doing what people expect out of you. The Christmas magic lies in what brings happiness. Yes, this can be easily found on a child’s face when they open a new gift, but it can also be found in general kindness and love all around us.

I can hear a few readers talking about to me about right now. They are saying they don’t have anyone to be kind to. This isn’t true either. You have yourself to be kind to and Christmas time is a good reason to get out a make some friends. For starters Volunteer work. So many places could use the extra help. Churches, hospitals, local animal shelter, and schools can be some wonderful place to volunteer. With nothing asked of you but some time, volunteering can bring joy and happiness to you and others.

No time, that’s OK too. Little things such as helping someone at a store, opening a door, just smiling and saying “HI” will not only let a little Christmas magic out but bring happiness to daily life.

The last time I bought a tree by myself, which is still my favorite tree. I ended up buying a tree that just wouldn’t fit in my car. I tried to find a way for it to fit. A guy pulled and tried to help. Then he looked at me and asked where I lived. He and his family totally took time to drive my tree to my house for me. It was amazing. His family didn’t ask me for anything and said it is Christmas time and they where just glad to help out.

Christmas day can still be merry. Part of the Merry Christmas is the joy we get from spending time with our family and friends. The Christmas depression just doesn’t need to be. We don’t need fancy item under the tree. We don’t need to fill sad because we didn’t fulfill a long list of “I Wants”. Instead lets just brake from the everyday life and do something different or something we highly enjoy.

Note: Picture was done by pixaio

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sweet Christmas Memories

I was just chatting the other day about a Christmas long ago. How I wished I had a camera or video of what I saw.

My children where about four and seven years old. We lived as resident managers of a sixty unit apartment complex. We had a two bedroom apartment that was set up a little odd. One side of the apartment was the master bed, bath, and an odd cupboard spot. Next to that was the kitchen and living room. From the living room was the room to the children bedroom. Through their bedroom was a bathroom, the door to the apartment office, and the utility room.

Now we didn't want the kids to see Santa items before we did. After they went to sleep we snuck in their room and left them a gag gift on their dresser of a lump of coal. It was real coal we had gotten from a friend. Outside their door we had place a chair that would make noise when they got up so we would know too.

At 10:00 am we woke on Christmas morning and started to wonder what happen to the kids and why hadn't they woke us up. Out to the living room, full of items from Santa, sat undisturbed. Maybe the kids where just really tired. We snuck into their room where we saw two very very sad faces. Oddly quiet playing with old toys together.

We entered their room and said Marry Christmas, but got a half heart good morning. I told them Santa had come and with tear in their eyes they looked at us. "We know. We were bad and got coal."

My husband and I started to laugh, which made our kids even madder as they yelled it wasn't funny. We had to almost drag them to the living room where they discovered they did get gifts after all.

Note: Picture is by Ale_Paiva

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas trees

I just love Christmas time. Part is from all the pretty decorations like this tree. So many neat colors. This photo come from the Holiday page on Facebook. You should totally check out this page. Lots of neat Christmas pictures.
We have gotten our trees done, before Thansgiving, but I've been busy and sick so I haven't shared them here yet.

However you can now see the trees. My Fourteen year old took the video from his camera so please forgive a little bit of jiggles. LOL

Two of which can be seen at this link:!/media/set/?set=vb.1740467402&type=2

The third one I'm yet to get a picture of.. Bare with me as every cold that keeps going around keeps finding me this year.

 Blogging can keep a person very busy and these colds are not helping me at all.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sparkling Peacock Bracelet by Backwood Bracelets

Look at what the boys at Backwoods Bracelets have come up with now. What a stunning and amazing bracelets. Now this is a wonderful gift for any girl. Festive and wonderful. A wonderful stocking stuffer as well.

Check this bracelet out at

Prices subject to change, but currently only $10.00 (ok the web site says $9.99 but I rounded up). What a wonderful and affordable gift. I think this could be a highlight of a Christmas exchange party as well.

This bracelet is good for any occasion. Adds just the right amount of pretty colors to make a day just a little more brighter.

If you haven't checked out the backwoods bracelet before your missing out. They are always coming out with new stuff and they have so many amazing items at good prices too.
I saw this picture on facebook today:

Now this is just amazing, but this is also a wonderful idea for those of us who have families all over the place. For just one Christmas, or as often as affordable, wouldn't it be neat to rent a cabin like this for the whole family to get together and enjoy? I think it would really bring Christmas alive not to mention some unforgettable family memories.

Cabin are not all out of the price range. Recently I stayed at a cabin in Pigeon Forge, TN that slept six people for just $89 a night. That much cheaper then hotel rooms for everyone. Even some of the larger cabins are actually cheaper then hotel stays.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Christmas Card Envelopes

Christmas cards come in all shapes and sizes. I often keep my left overs from the years before. This year I decided to use all the left over cards first. I ran into one issue though. Not enough of the right size envelopes. Instead of trying to buy the right size envelopes I grab a single sheet of printer paper.

I placed the card on the paper and folder the bottom up, the side in, and then the top down. I placed tape on the side and the top. Worked perfectly with every card that didn't have en envelope.

Now the envelope can be easily custom by pre-drawing on it or using the computer to print out something neat on the paper. The fold the back side of the paper over the card. An easy and wonderful way to make your own envelopes.

Note: picture is by fangol

Sunday, November 18, 2012

New Christmas Songs

I just love Christmas songs. Something special that we only hear for a small part of the year. Christmas music can be soothing and relaxing. My favorite songs are from when I was a child. My favorite of all would be "Shake me I rattle"

"Shake me I rattle, squeeze me I cry. Please take me home and love me."

Just a sweet song. I still have that song on a tape. I love all the memories it bring from the Christmas past.

There are some good new Christmas songs as well. Check out these new Christmas songs by Jessica Mellott at


Homemade Ornaments

A great way to save money and to get that perfect decorations regardless of whats currently on the store shelf is with homemade ornaments. Making homemade ornaments is also a great way to to bond with the family and create decorations that will bring wonderful memories from Christmas past. I have found some wonderful articles on making homemade Christmas ornaments.

This one is from Her page is full of wonderful ornaments and this is one of my favorites.
Check out her page at

Now this one is wonderful. It a great way to add a nice way to add some sparkle to your tree.

Now these are done by By: Susan Lowenthal for Krylon and you can check out how to make this on this site:

Now these are just two wonderful ornaments that can be made at home. Creating wonderful memories that will come back each time the Christmas Ornament is pulled out of the box. These also make wonderful gifts. I remember getting something from my Grandmother every year that she made for us. I love pulling out those ornaments and remember her.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Backwoods Bracelets

An interesting bracelet from Backwoods Bracelets is a wonderful and different gift for Christmas. These guys come up with some very wonderful designs. I love getting online and seeing the new items they create. Today I saw this picture:

This bracelet is my new favorite, but they have so many wonderful creation. Plus they said they are going to be having even more color combos. So not only can these help save your life, see previous post, but they are so stylish. They can be made to fit anyone's life style.
They don't stop at just bracelets either. They are very wonderful key chains lanyards. This is a great way to color code keys, make your key completely unique from most other keys, and a wonderful way to help make your key more findable.
Check out their web site. It full of interesting creations and it will be neat to see what they come up with next. Contact Edmond Hogge for any of these items.


Friday, November 16, 2012

39 Day Till Christmas

If you think to yourself that you may be crazy for already having up the Christmas decorating. Just remind yourself and others that there is only 39 days to Christmas, and you don't have to worry about the cold weather cause it all done.

I'm almost there and almost ready to share. I need to do just a few touches this weekend, so look for a post by Monday!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

WII U Review

by Richard Smith

The big enigma this season happens to be the next big video game console made my Nintendo. I am talking about the WII U. The specs are as diverse as any can get. Let’s tone it down some swim through the hype and deal with the facts. It’s being released on November 18 and will be the hottest thing this 2012 holiday season. Your biggest decision is going to be based on price. Don’t let that fool you because it goes beyond just that.

There is a lot to be said about Nintendo to lay it all on the table. It’s all listed on their website with all the details and diagrams. Let’s start with what you get at the $299.99 price point. This is what they are calling a basic set. You will get a white system with 8 Gigabytes of internal storage. This is your memory or hard drive what you store your game saves on to restart a game from where you left off. A WII U game pad which we’ll talk about later. You get a stylus, which is an instrument for interacting with game pad. To describe it is like the pen you sign your name on the machine at the supermarket using your credit card. Next up is the sensor bar that tracks your body movement for game play like a camera. Last but not least A/C adapter for the system, an A/C Adapter to charge your game pad, and HDMI hookup that goes to your TV. Remember to make sure to have a HDMI on TV or this system will not hook up to it.

Now let’s check the $349.99 price point. You still get what is listed in the basic set with a few changes and additions. One small difference is this system will be black. It has a lot more storage built in a whopping 32 Gigabytes. It says it is ready to play right out of the box. You get a Stand for the system plus a cradle and stand for the game pad. These are all ways of setting down your system when not in play other than thrown on the table. Of course a big thing is that you get the Nintendo Land Video game. If you buy the basic set you will have to buy a game for it separate. Essentially you are probably better chipping in to get this set because you’ll probably spend that much getting a game anyway. Lastly it includes what they call a digital promotion. Simply they want you to buy more so they are giving you 10% back on digital purchases. When you buy something in the shopping area of the system or at certain retailers, they are going to give you points used to reduce cost on a future purchase. It is all a vicious circle of buying more.

Let’s talk about the features and the game pad. The new game pad is quite a feat in technology all on its own. Not only is it a game pad, but it is a remote. They say it will give you all new ways to function with your TV, Satellite, cable box, and TIVO. It says all that you subscribe to including video on demand. You can also use it to video chat through the internet service you use with the system. You can see and talk with anyone in the world as long as they too have a WII U. You’ll use the game pad to browse the internet. The game pad can be used in all different directions vertically or horizontally, and with the stylus you can effect change like with a Nintendo DS. You can use up to five of them for five total people to play. Also on certain games they claim you can see different content while gaming like the zoom feature on your camera.

Some of the additional things to touch on are its wireless internet and browsing capabilities. You can also do the usual and purchase games and such through Nintendo eShop. It is also backwards compatible meaning it will play your original WII games and use controllers and nunchuks from it as well. The new game pad has a microphone, camera, built in motion controls, speakers and a touch screen. You can also buy regular game pads which are an updated version of the old WII classic game pad. Something weird it says it has is NFC. I see this technology not of much use now but a future application. They say through the new game pad you could read and write to special cards without even touching them. I suppose like you read and right to a flash drive. The information is vague and I feel that they probably have plans for this later on, but do not have it at this time.

Well that’s a lot to sink your teeth into. I hope it lives up to the hype and internet functionality is better than its predecessor. There is a lot to be said, but then again you will not know until you try the thing. Every kid will want one, but I am not so sure on the hard core gamer. Nintendo claim it has made deals with third party publishers to get the hard core gamer games for the U. We will see, but for a family system Nintendo doesn’t let us down. Don’t kill each other on the black Friday deals on the U. I hear there is going to be limited supplies, but be patient. I find this the typical holiday craze everyone buys into. You know when supplies run low and people charge outrages prices on EBay. I think I can wait until after the first of the year when of course they will have plenty. That’s just my opinion. Check it out yourself at

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Snow Days

Some of the best days around Christmas are the Snow Days, hopefully, will be coming soon for those that live in areas for snow. Living in a snow area, I would rather have the snow the just the harsh cold air. I remember loving snow day as a child. It was a day free from school, but also a wonderful day to make money. I would often grab a shovel and head around to the neighbor's houses to see if I can make some extra cash. Snowball fights, sledding, skating, and making snowmen until I was frozen. Sometimes warming up wasn't much fun as the skin would tingle, but I still couldn't wait to do it again.

When my kids were little I remember making the neighbors mad with Killer Snowmen and red Koolaid. OK a bit gruesome but the kids enjoyed it and they used lots of imagination to make it.

So, what do you like to do on a Snow day. Take a look at the link below for some ideas!

Check out this wonderful list of Thing to do on a Snow Day

Picutre is by MEJones

Homemade Christmas treats for pets.

Everyone loves Christmas treats including the family pets. Everyone loves homemade treats for Christmas, but some can make our pets sick. The best way to avoid the pets from being sick is not feed them regular human food. Instead make them their very own Christmas treat that we know is safe. It the perfect gift for man's best friend under the Christmas tree.

15 Homemade Holiday Pet Treats

Don't forget the cats as well. There are also Christmas treats they can have as well. Giving a pet their own treat is a great way to prevent them from bagging for food or stealing other guests food. They know they can't have what the other people are having, but have their very own.

Homemade Cat Treats

Cat picture is by vee8
Dog picture is by kiubo

Monday, November 12, 2012

Poem: What I want for Christmas

What I want for Christmas can't be bought in stores.
I can buy gifts for myself or gifts for friends or family.
I can buy expensive decorations for everyone to see.
Money is nice but it doesn't mean a thing if I feel all alone.

What I want for Christmas isn't on the Internet.
I love keeping in touch but there is something more.
I can't place an order or send enough status update.
On Christmas virtual just won't do.

I love my friends and family and love to be with them.
However if they are all fighting, it won't really matter.
None the less I love to be with them just the way they are.

Want I want for Christmas is that magical feeling.
The one you get when everyone is excited.
The one you feel as the first snow flakes fall.
The one you see when people are kind and help each other.
The one that bring Christmas alive.

Note picture is by micky007 on

Christmas Trees, When do we put them up?

Families have so many different traditions for putting up Christmas trees. This year I'm very pleased to have three trees we are putting up. We have three floor and I just love the tress. I know I can't afford to have them lit all the time but they will look wonderful none the less. We have already started and I see many of my neighbors have started to put up outside lights.

I know the philosophy of putting up Christmas lights early is to avoid putting the outside lights up in the freezing cold. Thankfully there is no set of rules for when to put up the Christmas tree, or I would be in trouble. However one thing to consider is how big are holiday between the time you want to set up the Christmas tree until Christmas. For example, if putting up a tree in October but the family is big Halloween fans, there may be issues and a huge clash of the holidays. So waiting until all the other big holidays at your home is a good idea.

Another thing to consider when putting up the Christmas tree is family space. Do you have the room to put the tree up and not inconvenience people? If the tree is going to be in the way, you may want to consider waiting. My husband keeps suggesting a picture of the Christmas tree on the wall. That does work if you have no space, but I prefer to find space. Don't forget about pets. They need to learn to leave Christmas decorations alone, but this time practice. If they are not Christmas broken you may want to consider waiting until closer to Christmas.

Don't forget the family. Now if I was to put the Christmas decor all by myself, my family would be very upset with me. They love to have an input and to help with the Christmas decoration. As a matter of fact I think the whole family would love to retire to a Christmas theme store. Maybe one day. The important key is to ask family members if they want to help before getting too carried away. It a time for happiness so we don't want to hurt anyone feels. Plus putting up the Christmas decor is a wonderful time for family bonding and my son to remind me how old I am when I put on the Christmas music I love.

Overall anytime is a good time to put up the Christmas tree. Remember how much space it takes up. Sooner the tree is up the more time people have to enjoy it. Plus more time to put up more Christmas decorations. Don't forget to share you Christmas pictures!

Christmas Mishaps


We got three tree up and started to put on our decorations. My husband is very excited over some new Christmas tree toppers we can't wait to share, we will soon. However he went to cut off a zip tie we put on wrong and when he got the zip tie to cut the scissors continued to his finger. So now he has a nice long cut on his knuckle and utterly refused to even talk about stitches. Now his finger would bleed again every time he moved it. So this mishap put a damper on the night until we went to the drug store.

Now I have heard about the liquid skin but never tired it. The liquid skin said it clean the wound and had a pain reliever in it as well. After some strong convincing on my side my husband gave it a try. Finally we got the wound covered and it stopped bleeding. It worked wonderfully.

I highly recommend having the liquid skin on hand to handle the minor cuts and braises. It is now part of my must have on hand, like band-aids are must in my house.

So as everyone gets started on putting up their Christmas displays, which I can't wait to see the pictures this year, please think safety. As we want everyone here for the new year as well.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Hershey Kiss Bells Commercial

Sitting at home rest after part of the night and all day working on getting up our Christmas decoration. We are very excited this year and can't wait to share what we have. My husband, Richard Smith, is maybe a little too excited. Unfortunately a pair of scissors found his finger today when he went to cut a zip tie. He is OK, but ended up missing work due to it.

We are now resting and watch TV and I saw the same one but cute commercial for the Hershey Kiss Bells. Now this commercial came out in 1989 or 1990. So it  is about 23 years old. I seen some different dates for the exact year, but that was close enough for me. There is not many commercial that old that they show today. If you have not seen the commercial or haven't seen it recently it is on YouTube.

I have to admit I look forward each year to the Hershey Kisses. Not only are they good by themselves but they are wonderful for baking, placing in hot drinks, and for decorations.

What do you think about this commercial? Do you love seeing it every year? Please share in the comments.

See even more

Skylanders, a popular 2012 Christmas Gift

Skylanders Review by Richard Smith

Skylander Giants is the sequel to Skylanders Spyro’s adventure. A gaming system that pairs works with your existing video game console. It is a system where as toys come to life. The system contains a portal where figures are placed that enters a game. The figure also saves your data to be used on a friends system. In this aspect all you need is a single figure to share the adventure anywhere. Giant’s sequel adds a whole new level of game play to Skylanders

Getting started is easy. If you have the first game Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure, then all you need to buy is Skylanders Giants Portal Owners Pack. It will say this right on the box. It includes the new game, one giants figure, one secret code for web and mobile game, the figures trading card, and a sticker with collector poster. If you are new to Skylander you need to get Skylanders Giants Starter Pack. Again it will say this right on front of box. This set consist of the game, portal of power needed to play, 3 figures ,three secret codes, three cards, and three stickers with poster. This is only the new game if you want the first game Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure then you will have to either buy a portal pack of it or just the game and figures. Also remember to look to see what system for. Again this is on box. It will either say X Box 360, PS3, Nintendo 3DS, or WII. They all have different hook ups for portal of power and game language. So make sure you find this out before you buy it for child or grandchild.

With either set there are other figures you can buy to play in game and change game play. There are also adventure sets with items that change the game. These figures enter the game when put on the portal of power. There are figures that were made for the first game and new ones for Giants. They have reissued old figure in new poses for Giants and introduced light up characters besides having the Giants. The Light up figures actually illuminate when put on the portal of power. This is where packaging like the above kits is very important. Character packages will actually tell you which game it is compatible with. In the right bottom corner it is marked with an x if it is not compatible or check mark if it is. There are two columns one for Spyro’s Adventure and on for Giants. So look carefully.

All in all if your kids ask for this and you already have a compatible system it is a very affordable gift for your child. Highest price is a starter pack with portal at $80. Everything else is $60 and less. They will love you forever and it will provide hours of entertainment with each new character or adventure set. Remember to talk with child with television and today’s technology they know more than us. There is also a web site dedicated to the product that can tell you even more if you are internet inclined. Lastly there is always a sales clerk that can help you with your purchases. Have fun this Holiday season and start your adventure today.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Christmas Bracelets

 This is one awsome bracelet. If you haven't seen what the guys at Backwoods bracelets can do you are missing out. They have some very wonderful designs. I just can't help but share because I think it is just that wonderful.
Shown here in the picture is a Christmas Bracelet.
Christmas carolers, helpers, and even Santa will enjoy these wonderful bracelets. One thing I find very interesting about the bracelets is they can be used to save your life! Check out this article with Seven ways to Save your Life. Now I have also heard the cord can hold up to 500 pounds as well.
So this is why I'm so amazed with this bracelets. They are fashionable, they guys can make many different paterns and colors, and very useful too. Although the article above list 7 ways to save your life with the cord I think we can come up with many more. Please feel free to share Ideas in the comment section below.
Contact Edmong Hogge for purchases of bracelets.

"Merry Christmas", What Does It Mean and Why Do People Say It?

I've heard over the years of money places telling employee not to say "Merry Christmas" for fear of offending someone. They have come up with the odd saying of "Happy Holidays" to cover everything. I'm not opposed to either saying but I think either should be up to the individual saying it and I don't understand why "Merry Christmas" would offend anyone. It is not mean in anyway even if you don't celebrate the same it just good wishes. Well I wrote this "Merry Christmas", What does it Mean and Why do people say it?

Merry Christmas to All.

Even for my friends, co-workers, or anyone else who may not believe in God can enjoy Christmas. Yes the main meaning of Christmas is about God and Jeasus, but it is also just another holiday to get with family and friends. I don't see how a holiday can be bad when Christmas really just wants to spread love, kindness, laughter, friendship, and wonderful memories. Now that can't be all that bad. We can use some Chrismas throughout the year to help make the world a better place.

Note: Picture was done by big-E on

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Must See Christmas Lights

I just love Christmas lights and saw a post on the sevierville web page about


Living in Sevierville, TN I was able to see the lights there. In Severivlle last year there was a large Santa Claus and the lights in his beard made the beard look flowing. I haven't seen any of the light yet this year but the past four years have been awsome.

Just thinking about all the Christmas lights make me want to get my trees up right away. This weekend my husband and I are going to get started. We are going to be putting up three trees this year one of each level of our home. The picture above was from last year. I was so pround that I finally got a tree topper from my childhood. Keep checking back and we'll have picture of this years decorations as well.

Awsome Backwood Bracelets

I  just love what I see the guys at make. They have wonderful bracelets, chokers, and the key chains below. Now I don't have any affiliation with these guys but I seen a lot of wonderful creations and just had to share it.
"A photo of the Paracord Cross Keychains with the Breast Cancer Ribbon Pin I have made this week in a variety of colors these go for $10.99 with the Ribbon Charm without the Charm they are going for $8.99 let us know if we can help you out, Prices are subject to change! "
Now I think this black and white bracelet is my favorite so far. I just has that awsome classy look that I just so love.
I even asked my boys ages 11 and 14, they said they like some of these too. My oldest likes the blue and black while the youngest digs any reds one. So these are wonderful for both boys and girls. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Toys for 2012 Christmas year

I've looked at many of the list from the stores. Then I went to my children and asked them what is really hot. They are both boys ages 11 and 14. I took their list and placed the top five items on the list.

Please share with us what your children are interested in this year along with some ages, it will help parents with ideas for their or other children the same age with gift ideas.

Chicken Noodle Soup and Dumplings

Not quite about Christmas but Christmas has me thinking about the cold air and snow that some of us get.  However noodle soup and dumpling is the perfect meal to warm up or to help someone feel better when they have a cold.

I learned to make Chicken Noodle soup and Dumplings from my mother when I was learning to cook. This is not the traditional dumplings that I see most people make. I have heard of this type of dumpling referred to a depression dumpling. When a little extra chicken flavoring is added to the dumpling it is just so wonderful. I still prefer the Ms. Grass brand of soup, thankfully my parents bring it down when they visit from Ohio or else I had to order it online, but amazon does carry it.

Monday, November 5, 2012

WinterFest in Sevierville, TN

I am going to be very sad about missing the winterfest this year. If you get a chance go out tonight and see them. It is from 3 pm to 8 pm. They do this every year.

Here is a picture from their facebook page.

This is a spot where they have decorated tree, crafts for kids, and picture with Santa. Outside the have games, talent show, bounce houses, free food and drinks and many local merchants. And the best part IT IS ALL FREE. Yes Free fun for the whole family. It does get very crowded but this is located close to down town, the library, and one of the school so there is lots of parking. They even have handicap parking at the Sevierville community center, which is right next door to where this is at.

This is done every year at the Municipal complex. It the kick off to turning on all the Christmas lights. They end they festival with fireworks and then everyone can head out and see all the neat Christmas light all over town. The festival is amazing and fun.

If you are like me and are going to miss this year winterfest, just remember they do this each year and plan to attend next years Winterfest. They have a calendar of events listed on their web page to help with planning.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Family Christmas Newsletter
Want to save on stamps and Christmas cards this year. Post your family Christmas newsletter online. Send links to your family and friends or post a link on Facebook.

One free site for posting a holiday newsletter is Squidoo. Here are tips for composing a dynamic family newsletter using Squidoo.

You'll still want to send regular Christmas card to great-aunt Millie, but you'll save a bundle by using an online Christmas newsletter for your family and friends who use the Internet.

Friday, November 2, 2012

2012 Spirit of Giving

Wonderful winter snow came early this year to Tennessee. Sadly I couldn’t get out and enjoy the snow, but I highly enjoyed all the picture of the snow. I am hoping we get even more snow this year. Sorry fellow Tennesseans but I still love the snow. The cold doesn’t like my bones, but it is still worth it.

Christmas this year is going to be very different for many families. Every year many children are used to waking up and seeing the abundance that Santa brought. Now Sandy has pulled on the heart strings of us all. I had to shut the TV news off and avoid going to yahoo’s main page right now. It is just too sad. This year is a good year to get the children involved in the spirit of giving.

After all the true meaning of Christmas is love, kindness, family, laughter, cheer, happiness, and the gift of giving. What is the gift of giving? It’s a wonderful feeling that a person gets when they help another person, no matter how little. A simple card can brighten up someone day. A prayer or sending good wishes for someone’s family can help them to heal and bring them joy. While many people are helping out and trying to help out the Red Cross with needed items; we’ll have to work even harder this year to be frugal.

For many, instead of the abundance under the tree, they are going to work on a few main things the kids want. Then, if possible, help out another family who has less. To find a family to help you can contact toys for tots, local churches, department of human service, or the Red Cross. The site can also help match you up with people/organizations who my need help.

Apple Crumb Cupcakes

Sitting around thinking of finger foods that we can make ahead of time for Christmas day. In our family we like to have snacks and finger food on Christmas day so we can spend the time with the children and playing games or with toys. We often have nice feast so this is one day we like to be focused on family and children instead of food.

Apple Crumb Cupcakes

I want to have an apple crumb cupcakes this year. It an appie pie without the crust and the top crust is just sprinkled on. (Great for those who don't like the crust as much as the filling). An applie pie isn't finger food, but what if they were made in cupcake foil? Now my favorite desert is in perfect serving sizes and can be quickly grapped but ate with a fork. Well not quite finger food, but it'll do.

There are many apple crumb pies recipes on the internet. Pick one, but make without a bottom crust and place into the cubcake foils. I can't wait to have some this year. Keep an eye on those cupcakes. They will cook faster then a large pie.