Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas Snow Days and Vacation Break

Having a family plan for those Christmas snow days and the Christmas vacation break is a must for families with children. Top priority for those with children too young to stay home alone is who is going to be keeping an eye on the children. Next there is the question of what will the children be doing? The answers change depending on age. Many will go to video games, playing with toys, and TV, but there is more that can add enjoyment and holiday magic into the days.

Many of us who love Christmas also enjoy the baking and decorating. We find love and joy from working on special food and items to make Christmas day special for everyone. Children would also love to help get ready for Christmas. Those snow and vacation days are the perfect time to get the kids involved and excited for Christmas. It is also a good time to bring up what Christmas means and add in some learning as well.

Kids Crafts, Christmas Cookies, and Christmas Decorations are wonderful way to keep kids busy durring the winter breaks.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas Trains
Thomas Kinkade Christmas Express Train Collection
 A Christmas train is on my husband's wish list and has been for the last five years or so. Trains are becoming more and more popular to have a train go around the Christmas tree, there is even stands to put the train half way up the tree. There are many many different trains each perfect in their own way.

For me, a Christmas train being special goes back to when I was a little girl. My grandfather worked for Grand Trunk, a train company. Every year we would wait in line early in the morning for hours. It was such a long line that they would serve hot chocolate and donuts while we waited for the train to arrive with Santa. The train cars leading up to Santa where decorated in a wonderful Christmas theme. On decoration I remember the most was the talking Christmas Tree. The tree would talk to people as they were going by. Then everyone would get to see Santa and get a small gift and candy.

Many years of fond memories of the train. I had checked when my kids where young and the Christmas train was no more. I look forward to hopefully see it recreated one day.

I found some good article on Squidoo on Christmas Trains. You can find even more enjoyable information about Christmas Trains.

Christmas Train Sets
Top Rated under the Christmas Tree Trains

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Top Five Christmas Cookies

by Artgeek3K
Christmas cookies are one thing that I look forward to. I love making them with the family and of course eating them as well. The children love the decorating part (even though Dad is odd and doesn't want anything on his cookies). The top five cookie list for Christmas cookies may surprise you, it did me. There is a few on here I need to try, but the sound so yummy as well. Delight your guests this Christmas season by having all five of the best Christmas cookies and don't forget to visit back to tell us what they all thought as well.

Please share in the comments below your favorite cookies.

Christmas Wreath Cupcakes

Just a quick Google search for Christmas Wreath Cupcakes and the pictures are amazing. Many I would love to try. I found on Squidoo an article with not only a recipe but a video on making Christmas Wreath Cupcakes.

Such wonderful techniques. I still love to use M and M's to make the wreath on top of the cupcakes. So simple that children can even make them. The article on squidoo takes the cupcakes to the next level. Bound to amaze guests and look amazing.

I love to add a little flare to the Christmas party. If you make an interested cupcake and would love to share your link in comments. I'd be happy to check it out. I love seeing all the desgins.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Black Friday - Christmas Shopping

Christmas shopping with the dreaded by many BLACK FRIDAY!! There may be ways to avoid the black Friday rush.

Many Black Friday ads can be viewed already at many online sites. One site, Black Friday 2014, is a one stop site to view the hot Black Friday deals. Ok so we got your attention with some of the hot ads. Now take a look to see if those prices are going to be offered online. Most of the Black Friday deals can be bought online. Often, to boost online sales, there is free or low shipping cost at this time of the year. So, depending on what you are shopping for, you may never have to leave home to get the Christmas shopping done. There are many Black Friday sales that are only available online as well.

I still love to get out to the stores and see the Christmas displays. I have to try all the new gadgets out and pick up some decoration ideas. I just make sure to enjoy the Christmas display and any other day than Black Friday. Instead of shopping on Black Friday we will be putting up our Christmas decorations. With a little bit of preplanning, we already have most of our shopping done.

Shopping early every year for Christmas is a wonderful way to reduce the stress of Christmas shopping. Budgets are predetermined and help to keep us on track. This method has helped us to pay cash and not run up the charge card bills. The budgets are based on income not wants. By preplanning we are also able to save up for some expensive gifts as well. It’s not too late. Check out those ADS for Black Friday and then check out the prices now. You may be able to find the same great deal now. With online shopping and search sites like Google Shopping, it is very easy to check prices.

Black Friday will be here soon. November 29th this year. While I hope everyone will have fun and save some money, there is always those shocking moments on the news. I have worked Black Friday as a retail store worker. It was back when the Furbies first came out. The store manager was almost trampled as she had tickets for the limited number of Furbies we had. The rest of the day was great because the hours flew by for me. So I have a great respect for workers on Black Friday. Although there was no Furbies after a few minutes on Black Friday we did get more shipments in for Christmas. I hope everyone will have a safe Black Friday and please remember what Christmas is all about. There is no need to fight over product.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Christmas! Are you ready?

I can hear some reader saying, “Oh Yes, I can’t wait!” while others are saying “No way, not yet!” It can be very interesting to see both side of the Christmas joy and dismay. For both side of how Christmas is precede often includes the joy and celebration traditions the families have created. It a sad though, but Christmas just may be another day for some people. Those special memories, the magic of Christmas, and the amazement of staring at the Christmas lights all comes from how Christmas is spent.

Christmas can fill a person heart with joy and bring back memories of Christmas pass. Christmas can also be the crowded shopping stores, greedy people asking for everything, spending too much, and the hassle of possible bad weather. Those two sentences show the drastic difference people can feel when getting ready for Christmas. Everyone can have joy and happiness with Christmas, but it takes a little bit of work.

Stores can be an issue at Christmas time. I totally enjoy Christmas shopping though. Why? All the Christmas displays make me happy. Yes, my family one of those that will try everything in the aisle. My husband even enjoys Christmas shopping even though he not a fan of large crowds. It really is not the people he has an issue with. It happens to be the rude ones you might bump into. The ones we see articles in the newspaper for being demanding, pushing, and even fighting for a simple object. With a little love, kindness, patience, understanding, and caring for fellow man can solve all of the issues. Yes, I would be one of those parents who would give up an item my child really wanted just to not fight. Yet we have had many wonderful Christmases. Never have my children complain that they didn’t get something or about how much they got. They were thankful.

The magic of Christmas means a lot to me. My mother holds Christmas very dear and we both have very fond memories of Christmas. I have passed this on to my children. When they were very young we made Christmas day a day about the children and their new gifts. Instead of making a large meal that would make the parents send lots of time in the kitchen, we pre-made or made easy items. We did this so we could play with the children.

When the kids were old enough they started to help put up decorations. I love putting up the lights on the Christmas tree. One year I put up 21 strands on the tree. I wrapped each branch front to back. I blew the breaker and was ready to cry when my oldest son and husband came to the rescue. We safely got all the light to work. (Had to run some extra power cords to the Christmas tree.) Since that Christmas my son loves to help me put up the lights. He and my husband often talk about the Christmas I went overboard with lights on the tree. That Christmas tree sure was pretty. Now that Christmas is one of those memories that fill our hearts with love and joy every time we look at Christmas lights.

Christmas is all about the pass, present, and future. If Christmas has been like just another day, then it is time for a change. For those that don’t have a family there are churches, homeless shelters, and nursing homes that can all use some volunteers. What else could be better at Christmas then helping someone else? In return you find companions to help bring joy, love, and cheer into Christmas. After all those three things are all people need to have a Merry Christmas.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Christmas is coming

Christmas 2009
Many people are already shopping and planning for Christmas 2014. Making the budget stretch as far as it can to help surprise those special people in your life with something they really want can be very hard. All of that work is 100% worth it when those eye look up at you filled with love and joy.

Some of things people love the most about Christmas are not always the gifts. I love the trees, the lights, Christmas traditions and spending time with family. Years ago my husband and I decided to make Christmas day all around the children. For food we had anything that could be premade and warmed up like Cheese and Bean dip and chips. The kids love that we don’t spend too much time in the kitchen instead.

For some people Christmas is just another day. For me, that is the saddest thing to see. Christmas has such a special meaning. It a day celebrated by Christian for the birth of Christ. For some it’s a day to give and get gifts with family and friends. Such a loving time of the year to help chases away the winter blues with happiness, cheer, and giving.

What about the people who are alone on Christmas? Those are the people we all need to reach out to. If you know someone who is all alone try to do something nice for them for Christmas. That would be just want they need to help cheer them up. That can be a yearly tradition for the family to do something nice for some of the neighbors that are alone.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Blue Frog

Had to share this wonderful blue frog. Great for cheering up someone who has the blue. If you like frogs and blue this is the perfect gift for you. Stunning blue color with that cute little frog. Contact Edmond Hogge if interested. Plus there are even more color options, but I think blue is the best.

Crazy Frog Enamel Alloy Metal Necklace Pendant With Rhinestone More Color Option $12.99

Plus check out his page for even more at Backwoods Paracord Bracelets and More:
If you decide to like his page leave them a message and let them know who sent ya.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Christmas Cash

Christmas can be a very stressful time of the year. There is so much that people want to do and then thier budget just doesn't allow for their wants. Now cutting back and living in your budget is very important, but so is enjoying Christmas. Now I'm not saying by any means you should spend more then you have nor do I think charging Christmas is a good idea. Matter of fact charging is the worst thing you can do at Christmas time as it make the rest of the year harder.  Instead it best to start thinking about Christmas cash now.

Tucking away a little bit every week will help to make Christmas easier for you. Plus you may be even able to have a little extra for those rainy days. It used to be standard practice for people to make sure they had a nest egg saved up.. then charge cards and loan became more popular. Sadly I still have these but wish I didn't. One of the things I tell my kids is don't do it. Don't get a charge card and don't get a loan. Save up instead. Same for Christmas we need to save up. Put away $10 a week would be $520 dollars a year. Now that would be a very nice Christmas budget.

If you are already having a hard time making ends meet consider picking up a side hobby that can make money. For me writing is that hobby. I enjoy it, I learn, and I make money. I am by far not the worlds best writer and I'm sure an English major is shaking their heads, but it is fun.

Christmas cash can also be made by selling items. You can pick up good items at flea markets and garage sales. For me I like to use Listia. I list for free items I want to get rid of it and in return I get points. I then use those points for other items I want. A great way to get items for Christmas. Its also a great way to get rid of items you no longer need or bad gifts (although we know the giver had the best intentions.)

Many banks offer Christmas Clubs that earn higher interest rate then regular savings. They do this because they can use your money until Christmas. This is a great way to make money you can save grow.

Picture is by McGoo84

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Listia - Good way to get and give items FREE

Listia is a wonderful site that you can give and get items for free. I know I was skeptical on the free words as well, but I have been using Listia for a few months now and I have gotten rid of things I don't need, like the bear charm, and got my kids items they wanted. Including a few things we needed around the house.

Listia allows users to post items up for auction, free of charge unlike places like ebay. What the catch, you don't get money you get points. Now many people off free shipping, which usually equals out to more points, but you can charge shipping as well. Points can also be earned by doing filling out surveys or even shopping online.

Points can be save up and used to bid on its. Like mentioned before there are many auctions with free shipping. So you can just earn points and bid on auctions with free shipping and get free items.

Spring Cleaning

Listia can be very helpful so we don't send useful items to the trash. If you see items that are good being thrown out while people spring clean, you can give them away on Listia, if you can't afford the shipping, not a big deal just charge for the shipping. Note: to charge for shipping hit the additional option button on the bottom left when listing an item.

Using listia throughout the year is a wonderful way to earn up points for Christmas and get some really neat Christmas items. There are also many craft items that can be turned into wonderful gifts or even better into a way for extra profits.

Really get Points too

When you first sign up they give you free credits and it is really easy to acutally earn points. On your "My Listia" page there is a spot to click for surveys. I love the one from Peanut Lab the most because I get some credit 90% of the time even if I get kicked out. Unlike many sites that have you feel out survey that take forever and then you get nothing back in the end. I have done a lot of survey but I have never spent more then 30 mins for a survey, plus I got credit for that survey.

If you check out Lisita don't forget to friend me too. I'm on there tracysmith159... if you send me a message I'll make sure to friend ya back.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Busy Bees

Everyone is busy getting ready for spring, spring cleaning, and hoping fun that nice sunny weather to come warm our skin. This is the perfect time of the year to keep Christmas in mind. Spring cleaning leads to sale and people getting rid of things they no longer needs. Those items can be used for other people. One man's garabage is another man treasure. Of course there a fine balance in it all, so share the love.

Don't throw away anything that other people can use. There are many people who have less then we do and/or have wonderful skills that can turn your junk into something amazing. Items can be delivered to a thrift store. Large donations can sometimes be picked up. You can even list an ad to give away free items or just place the item by the curbside with a free sign.

What does this have to do with Christmas? Now is the perfect time to keep an eye out for Christmas items, which are often sold cheaply during summer months and a wonderful time to pick up hobbies and things to make for Christmas gifts.

Spring is also a time to share the love. Most people enjoy a nice yard and maybe a garden. Is there a person near you who has a hard time getting around or just doesn't have time? Now is a good time to get to know them. Maybe they love a garden but just are unable to care for one? Just a little bit of your time can really make them feel better. Not only do you make their yard look better, and maybe gain a friend, but you also make the whole neighborhood look better. This simple act of kindness is part of that Christmas spirit we need to keep around all year long.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Christmas Lights Cup

One of the things I love the most about Christmas are the Christmas lights. I remember being a small child and laying under Mom's Christmas tree with my cat. Looking up at the lights until I fell asleep.

 Keep the Chistmas lights with you all year round while you enjoy some hot drinks. This is a wonderful gift for those who love Christmas lights!

Visit Here to get a up and/or customize a cup just how you want it.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


I'm working on fixing the Christmas blog. I have no clue what happened to all of the pictures, title, background. All gone somehow.  Looks like I may have been hacked. Well I get working on fixing it.

Its ok. I may not be able to fix all the picture for each article, but I can make the rest even better. 

Update: I'm currently in pause mode. I'm waiting to see if blogger can help me fix this as there are so many posts it will take a very long time. However I'll be doing more work on the weekend until its back in shape.

Christmas shapes pan
This cookie pan is very interesting. Not because it can do cookies, as many of us have the traditional cookie cutters. I can see more potential in the pan than just making cookies. Christmas shaped brownies, fudge, cakes and even a Christmas breakfast egg.

I just love rolling out and cutting my cookies with the cookie cutter with the kids. For me this pan would not be for cookies but for anything else I want to use the shapes for. With a little creativity we can show off the Christmas shapes in so many different foods that will supprise your Christmas guest.

This can be a great way to make gifts as well. You can turn many homemade items into Christmas shapes that will make wonderful gifts.

Pan can be viewed for purchase at:

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Christmas from Listia

I had to try this site out before sharing. I found I love Listia. I have received items 100% free, including shipping. How, I earned points by signing in, bidding, watching videos, and fill out surveys. There are so many sites that claim they give free stuff, Listia was hard to believe. However I can guarantee Listia can give you free items because I have used and received free items.

You can also sell for free on Listia, earning points. You can offer free shipping or charge for shipping. If you find an item you really really want you can buy extra points if needed.

Listia is a great way to help you on your Christmas list. There are lots of different items listed daily and it a great to get wonderful items either free or cheap. Listia is also a great way to get rid of unwanted items and make room for some new ones.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Christmas Crafts in the Spring

There are certain things in my life that I tend to hold onto as long as possible. Gifts that are handmade can not only fetch you extra cash for Christmas but they can also mean a lot to the person you are giving them to. One of my favorite things are quilted blankets and knitted or crochet blankets. The quilted blankets are the warmest blankets I have ever had on my bed. The knitted or crochet blankets have many uses from throw for the back of the couch for that little extra color or something to snuggle with when we don't feel good. Now these gift mean a lot to me because I know it took many many hours to make and they are unique and very useful.

Handmade crafts are also a good way to make extra Christmas cash. Its is hard to find handmade items like the blankets without spending a lot of money. Spring is the perfect time to start on those projects. It a good break from all the cleaning and yard work that needs done. Making items like a quilted blanket is a good way to reuse items from our spring cleaning as well.

Picture by nzmu

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Christmas in Spring

Spring time is a perfect time to start planning for the next Christmas. There are family and friends that you may want to make something for, deals to find to save money, and party planning to do.

The traditional Christmas party involves friends and family enjoying a large party together. In many homes this creates a problem. Many homes have downsides since the traditional years and there isn't much room for everyone. Now many people have broken Christmas into many small parties.

Well a wonderful idea would be to put everyone back together again by renting a hall for the Christmas party. Sounds a little expensive at first but not if you can get multi-Christmas parties into one. Reducing it down to one night of food and decor. Plus spending the cost of the hall along the whole family can make it much more affordable.

Not into a hall rental or if you like more quality time with everyone then a music filled room, trying renting a larger home or cabin. Many have games or a pool for entertainment. Now looking at a nice house and spending a few hundred dollar sounds high, but after spreading the cost along the family and friends it becomes very affordable.

Spring time is also perfect time to start planning and buying item for Christmas at a good price. However people can make this difficult as they buy things they need and want through out the year. So, keep a list of what you have bought along with the receipts of each item. Be Careful when buying clearance items as some can't be returned. However item can also be resold or maybe gift to someone else. Be Careful not to overspend by buying to much. Keeping a detailed list along with prices and your budget will help to keep you on track.

Buying Christmas decor is also a good time to start in Spring. There is left over items from last years that are on sale as Christmas stores make room for new items. Of course you can find Christmas items in mass-merchandise stores but there are many speciality Christmas stores that have Christmas items all year long.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Backwoods Bracelets - Lots of uses

 Wonderful bracelets that are just perfect for the love and peace we get by remembering god. The cross is just right not to flashy so the boys like them and enough details that the girls love them. The guys at backwood bracelets also accommodate any color so you can customize the bracelet to fit with your favorite colors.

Backwood bracelets have lots to choose from including more charms. These make great gifts for any occasion. The cord is very durable as is even used in the boyscout campouts for many ways to save lives.

The bracelets are perfect for groups as well. One way to tell who is in the group with a colorful bracelet that can show off your colors. They can even have watches added to them now as well.

Contact Edmond Hogge for more information.