Friday, November 21, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: Let Ugly Christmas Sweater Help You Ring in The Holidays

As I've mentioned on my blog previously, the holidays are my favorite time of the year.  I know that may sound cliche, but it's true.  Nothing makes me happier than admiring a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, or sipping a steaming mug of a holiday flavored beverage. I even recently decorated my fireplace for the holidays.  It's never too early to enjoy seasonal decorations in my opinion.  What's your favorite thing about this wonderful time of year?

Ugly Christmas Sweater offers a fun and tacky way to ring in the holiday season. Whether you're throwing a house party, going to a bar crawl, or attending an office party this year, there's no reason why the dress code can't include an ugly Christmas sweater.  The sweaters are available for men and women and feature tacky Christmas trees, ginger bread men, Santas, reindeer, and more.  If you're going to a holiday party this year and the theme is tacky Christmas sweaters, this is definitely the place for you.  Have a contest with your friends, family, or coworkers to see who's sweater is the tackiest and ugliest. Everyone will surely have some great laughs. If you don't want to do a contest, implement a rule that your guests must come in some sort of tacky attire, that will be equally as fun.  Whatever your holiday plans are this year, make sure they include ugly Christmas sweaters.

Instead of choosing a tacky sweater for review, I opted for the snowflake and reindeer pattern leggings. The leggings will let me celebrate the holidays in style, but in a less tacky way.  
These fleece lined leggings are just what you need to stay warm this winter.

Since my holiday season will include taking care of a newborn, it's essential she and I both stay warm.  I love the range of patterns and designs featured on the leggings. You have everything from a fair trade pattern to snowflakes, reindeer, and more.  There's something visually pleasing everywhere you look, and the colors are bright and bold.  Since the leggings are fleece lined, I'm guaranteed to stay warm while I make a quick run to the store for diapers or wipes.  I would probably pair them with a sweater and furry boots when I'm out for optimal warmth.  The leggings fit well and I'm satisfied with the quality of them.

Remember, the holidays aren't truly the holidays without making Ugly Christmas Sweater part of them.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Ugly Christmas Sweater for providing me with a pair of complimentary holiday leggings.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: Give Back with World Vision Gifts

I prefer to do my holiday shopping online this year.  At 9 months pregnant walking around a store buying gifts is utterly exhausting.  When you buy gifts online, you don't have to deal with the crowds or lines at all.  Sitting in my warm house in my pajamas with my credit card in hand sounds like a much better idea! When you shop online this holiday season, why not look into new gift ideas that give back with just a click of the mouse?

World Vision began in 1996 and has grown in popularity as a gift-giving alternative.  This wonderful cause offers more than 250 items online and in a print catalog which range in prices.  When you purchase a handmade item, you'll help improve the quality of life for women, children, and families in the US and around the world.  Give help where it is needed most and receive handcrafted beautiful goods from artisans in Kenya, Bali, India, and other countries.  Delight your gift recipients with items such as jewelry and household decor to soapstone boxes and scarves.  You'll feel good knowing that you're making a difference in a family's life and giving a loved one something they'll enjoy.

How gorgeous is this soapstone box? Leave it out on your side table or nightstand as it will surely be a conversation starter.

This hand-carved African soapstone box designed and etched by artisans in Kenya offers a safe place to store necklaces and rings.   I love the pairing of the giraffe along with the blue background and other patterns.  Each pattern has its own personality but everything meshes together well.  This box will compliment any decor, and looks great on its own if you don't choose to store anything in it.  

I know that anyone who receives this under the tree on Christmas morning will be truly delighted.  Families in Kenya will also be equally as happy as the income from this sale helps provide medical care for them.  


How To Stay Looking Fabulous This Winter

We all know how unflattering most winter clothing can look on women. Not only is it usually thick and clumpy, but it’s also baggy. That means it does nothing to showcase your figure on nights out. After performing lots of research into the latest fashion trends online, I’m now ready to offer you some fantastic advice. At the end of the day, those of you who are single will want to look stunning. Hopefully, that will help you to attract the opposite sex. Those of you with partners will want to make sure you do them proud. Thankfully, winter fashion items have come down in price this year, and there is no need to look for designer labels. Most supermarket chains are selling the perfect items to suit every taste. You just need to think ahead and do some planning. Also, looking after your skin is important as you will soon learn.

How To Stay Looking Faboulous This Winter.jpg

Winter dresses

Contrary to popular belief, there is such a thing as a stylish winter dress. I realise that most of you will only have encountered items made from wool and other thick materials at this time of year previously. However, at the current time there are some lovely clothing products available that are sure to tickle your fancy. The long winter dress pictured above is made from a synthetic silk, which is renowned for retaining more heat than cotton. You can find these at most high street stores for less than £50.

Ugg boots

We all know how slippery it can be underfoot at this time of year. Things are made even worse if you go out drinking. Considering that, you should purchase some Ugg boots at the earliest possible opportunity. While you might think they were designed to go with jeans and trousers, they look pretty cool alongside winter dresses. Also, you can get some amazing Christmas designs at the moment that are sure to let people know you’re in the holiday spirit.

Winter jewelry

Sourcing the highest quality jewelry on the market can be tough if you don’t know where to start. For that reason, it’s always wise to do some research before leaving home if you plan on spending more than £100 on a single item. Buying some cool Christmas earrings is a good idea, and you can get some lovely necklaces at the moment too. Personally, I think silver or white gold offers the best aesthetics at this time of year. However, the decision is down to you.


As the weather is cold, and there is a lot of wind, your skin might suffer significantly over the next few months. So, you need to get some good quality skincare products. For the best results, you might like to consider some of the items on offer from Emma Hardie @ Blow LTD or similar specialist firms. While they might cost a little more than products you would find in your local supermarkets, the outcomes are far superior.

I hope you have a fantastic Christmas girls, and I can’t wait to hear about all the lovely gifts Santa got for you. Make sure you stop here again soon for more interesting articles!

Holly Lay

10 Unique and Quirky Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas will be here before we know it, but many of us get stuck when it comes to what to buy for our loved ones. You don’t want to get them something they already have, or something that they aren’t going to like particularly. The following gifts are fun and quirky, so you can make somebody special smile this Christmas:


A Day Zorbing

Zorbing might only last a few short minutes, but it’s something everybody should do at one time or another. Who wouldn’t love to climb inside a big inflatable ball and then roll down a hill fast as the speed of light? Gifts like this are perfect for the whole family!

A Day Driving a Sports Car

A lot of people are into cars these days, but we can’t all have Lamborghinis and Ferraris. We can, however, buy an experience day that means we can drive the car of our dreams! If you know a car enthusiast, this is the perfect gift for them this Christmas.

A Star

You can’t actually steal a star out of the sky and give it to somebody, but you can use the Online Star Register to name it after them. How lovely would it be to gaze into the sky and see a star that’s named after you?

A Trip to Warner Brother’s Studios

Warner Brother’s studios is basically dedicated to the making of the Harry Potter movies. Harry Potter is a wonderful story, that people of all ages appreciate. If you want to treat somebody special this year, consider taking them on a trip to the studios to get behind the scenes info.

A Penguin

Again, you can’t really wrap up a penguin and give it to somebody like this year’s John Lewis Advert. You can adopt a penguin and sponsor them in their name though! Unfortunately, some species of penguin could be in danger. You can help to fund research and resources by sponsoring one for £3 per month. If you know somebody who loves penguins, do this in their name.

A Bubblewrap Costume

Some people almost have a fetish when it comes to bubblewrap. A bubblewrap costume will keep them occupied for hours and hours!

A Chalkboard Bag

Never forget your shopping again with the help of a chalkboard bag! It can be so much fun to sketch designs onto too - perfect for completing a quirky outfit. A great gift for somebody with a unique fashion sense.

A Smartphone Projector

If somebody has lots of cool videos on their phone, a smartphone projector could be the perfect gift for them.

Cookie Shaped Cup Warmer

This gift is great for the office worker who always has a brew to hand. It’ll never go cold again with the help of the cookie shaped cup warmer!

A Blow Up Unicorn Horn for Cats

Know a cat lover? Buy them a blow up unicorn horn for cats and their cat can become a unicat! The cat might not be happy about it but it’s great entertainment.

Happy shopping!

Photo credit


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: Let Things Remembered Help You With Your Holiday Shopping

Some of the most special gifts you can give a recipient are personalized.  I'm very grateful and appreciative of any present I receive, but the ones that are directly made for me mean so much.  A personalized gift is treasured and looked at fondly for years after the person receives it.  When's the last time you gave someone a gift that held special meaning?

Things Remembered offers engraved and personalized gifts for Christmas, birthdays, weddings, and any other occasion.  The store offers a variety of items including jewelry boxes, picture frames and albums, kitchen and bath, drinkware, water globes, and so much more.  Any item can be personalized or engraved specifically to your needs in a font chosen by you.  Delight Mom this Christmas by giving her a jewelry box with her initials on it. Don't forget about Grandma either! She'll love a specially engraved picture frame holding a photo of her grandchildren.  If you're going to a wedding in the near future, why not give the bride and groom engraved champagne flutes? The possibilities of gift giving are endless at Things Remembered.  Stop by today to pick out the perfect gift for that special person in your life.

I'm having my first child in 16 days.  I had a lot of fun decorating her nursery, but it was important to me to decorate with sentimental items.  She has a special welcome baby tree picture in her room that my entire family signed.  It was wonderful to read all of the messages of excitement for her arrival.  I know she'll appreciate the picture in many years, and be grateful to have those words even before she was born. When I had the opportunity to review an item from Things Remembered, I jumped at the chance.  In the beginning I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to choose, but I know it would be for Scarlett.

As soon as I saw the Personalized Carousel Horse Musical Water Globe, I instantly adored it.  It is such a beautiful item for a baby's room and certainly a wonderful keepsake item. A waterglobe would make an excellent first birthday present or baby shower gift too.

A beautiful keepsake that will offer memories for years to come.

The waterglobe came extremely fast and was protected well during shipment.  I immediately put it on top of her bookshelf and it looked perfect there!  The waterglobe is compact and doesn't take up much room depending on where you want to put it. It's definitely a quality piece and has weight to it.  There's a pale pink and white horse inside which rotates and plays Carousel Waltz when wound up.  The music is audible and clear, and when wound up the glitter flies around.  When the music was playing, my dog was tilting her head to it. Even dogs enjoy water globes!  There are a few silver areas on top that are engraved with sayings like dream, cherish, believe, etc.  I did not choose those messages but I'm sure you can change them if you wanted to.  The engraving is bold and vibrant.

I love the way the water globe looks on the bookshelf.  On the left hand side is a music box from Scarlett's cousin.  She's going to be one lucky little girl to have such sentimental items!

On the bottom of the water globe and on a portion of the top is the most beautiful filigree. The silver and black compliment the pink perfectly and it looks very elegant together. There is a larger silver area where I had my daughter's name engraved.  I chose the font from an available list of choices.  Although the engraving is beautiful, I wish it was slightly bolder like the top silver areas are.  You have to look at it up close to clearly see it.  

Overall, I'm extremely satisfied with the waterglobe.  It will surely be an item that will stay in her room for years to come.  I hope she likes it just as much as I do. 

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Things Remembered for offering me a complimentary product in exchange for this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own.  


Your Guide to Sourcing the Highest Quality Jewelry Out There

When setting out to buy beautiful jewelry, it makes sense to want to buy the highest quality for the best price. You can’t just hope and pray that you stumble upon a great deal though; you need to take the following steps before you can rest assured you have high quality jewelry:


Look for Stamps

It goes without saying that the highest quality jewelry will have the stamps to prove its authenticity. You may need to look very closely with certain pieces, as the stamps can be small. In cases such as this, you might want to use a small magnifying glass if you can see the jewelry in person. It totally depends on where you’re buying the jewelry from. A reputable jewelers will tell you the specifics of the item without batting an eyelid, but some online sellers can be a little sneaky. This especially goes for those on sites such as eBay, as there are many people selling fake goods who will plead ignorance once they get found out. If you’re buying online, make sure you see appropriate markings in photograph form.

Learn All About the 4 Cs

When buying diamond jewelry, it’s all about the 4 Cs. The 4 Cs are cut, color, clarity, and carat. All of the 4 Cs contribute to the quality of the diamond, but some are more important than others. For example, the carat refers to how heavy and large the diamond is, so this isn’t all that important. The better the cut of the diamond, the more it will reflect light. The better the color of the diamond, the nicer it will look when worn. Clarity indicates the imperfections in the diamond. All diamonds have some imperfections, but you ideally want one where the imperfections can’t be seen by the naked eye. Whiteflash are Houston jewelers who can advise you further on this.  

Research the Best Jewelers

There should be plenty of reviews online informing you of the best jewelers to work with. No jeweler will have a 100% positive reputation, but you can at least try to find a jeweler who has mostly positive reviews.

Compare the Best Brands

Not only will you need to compare the best jewelers, but the best brands too. Most jewelers sell multiple brands, so you’ll want to know whose jewelry is the nicest and most durable.

Read Reviews and Blogs

Again, the best thing to do is read reviews and blogs. Even if you’ve found a particular piece you’re interested in, there will more than likely be a specific post about it online if you do some digging. You can then find out whether the piece is worth the money, and will last.

With jewelry, the rule ‘you get what you pay for’ is pretty accurate. However, that doesn’t mean cheap jewelry will be horrible, and expensive jewelry will be great. Some jewelers charge an absolute fortune for what is essentially costume jewelry with no real value. Be wary of this. Happy shopping!

Image Source


Monday, November 17, 2014

Delight your Guests with Fabulous Desserts this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and I bet everyone is drooling just thinking about that delicious turkey.  I love the side dishes such as sweet potatoes, stuffing, and rolls.  My absolute favorite part of Thanksgiving are the desserts of course! Last year I made pumpkin shaped sugar cookies with orange sprinkles on them.  I wanted to make turkey shaped cookies, but my cookie cutter wasn't holding the shape well.

If you're in the final stages of planning your dessert menu, I'd love to interest you in some desserts
that will make the holiday even more memorable.

Chocolate Caramel Trifle with Raspberries


1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter or margarine, at room temperature 
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
4 ounces semisweet chocolate 
1 cup sugar 
large eggs 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
3/4 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
3/4 cup milk 
3/4 cup hazelnut- or coffee-flavor liqueur (see notes)
Caramel Pastry Cream
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries (6 oz.), rinsed and drained 


1. Butter and flour a 9-inch square baking pan.

2. Coarsely chop 3 ounces of the chocolate and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in a microwave oven on full power (100%), stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth, about 1 1/2 minutes total.

3. In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium-high speed, beat 1/2 cup butter and the sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until well blended. Stir in melted chocolate.

4. In another bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture and milk to butter mixture, stir to combine, then beat until well blended. Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread level.

5. Bake in a 350° regular or convection oven until cake begins to pull from pan sides, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cake cool to room temperature in pan on a rack, about 1 1/2 hours.

6. Run a thin knife between cake and pan sides and invert onto a board to release. Cut cake into 1- to 1 1/2-inch cubes. Layer a third of the cubes in the bottom of a 3- to 3 1/2-quart trifle bowl or other straight-sided glass bowl. Drizzle 1/4 cup liqueur evenly over cake. Spoon a third of the Caramel Pastry Cream over cake and spread level. Repeat to make two more layers each of cake, liqueur, and pastry cream, ending with pastry cream. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.

7. Finely chop remaining 1 ounce chocolate or scrape into curls. Arrange raspberries on trifle and sprinkle chocolate evenly over berries. Scoop onto dessert plates to serve.

Pumpkin Gingersnap Tiramisu

  1. 3 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (from 1 1/2 envelopes)
  2. 2 tablespoons water
  3. 6 large egg yolks
  4. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  7. 1 quart whole milk
  8. One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  9. 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  10. 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  11. 1 pound mascarpone (2 cups)
  12. 3 tablespoons Calvados or other apple brandy
  13. 1 1/4 pounds gingersnaps, 1/4 pound finely crushed
  1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk the yolks, cornstarch, salt and 1 1/2 cups of the sugar until the sugar is moistened. In a large saucepan, heat the milk just until steaming. Whisk 1 cup of the hot milk into the yolk mixture. Pour the mixture into the milk in the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until boiling and thick, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the pumpkin puree and cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Off the heat, whisk in the gelatin, vanilla and cinnamon. Whisk in the mascarpone.
  2. In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave the Calvados with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar at high power for 10 seconds, just until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Arrange one-third of the whole gingersnaps in a 9-by-13-by-2 1/2-inch baking dish. Lightly brush the gingersnaps with some of the Calvados and top with one-third of the pumpkin custard. Repeat the layering twice more with the remaining whole gingersnaps, Calvados and custard. Sprinkle half of the crushed gingersnaps on top and press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the tiramis├╣. Freeze overnight.
  4. Let the tiramis├╣ stand at room temperature for 6 hours, until thawed. Sprinkle with the remaining gingersnaps. Serve.
Hope these give you some inspiration! 


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Lance Review and Giveaway

I'm convinced that without snacks life would be pretty boring.  Everyone knows you should eat three meals a day, but it's only normal to get hungry in between.  Yes, you should try to snack on healthy things like nuts or granola, but sometimes you just want something satisfying.  I'm a big believer in eating what you want in moderation.  Go ahead and give in to those cravings, after all you only live once!

Lance has been baking fresh and delicious snacks for the entire family since 1913.  I've loved their peanut butter sandwich crackers for years and they were a go-to choice during my pregnancy.  Did you know that they have many other products in their line-up? Sink your teeth into delicious cookies, popcorn, and cracker creations among many other yummies. The cookies and cracker creations come in tempting flavors like peanut butter and chocolate. Nobody will be able to resist delicious white cheddar or butter popcorn from Lance either. Your child will be delighted to see a Lance snack in their lunchbox at school, and you'll look forward to having a mid-day pick-me-up too. Keep Lance snacks close at hand in your kitchen pantry for anytime enjoyment.

Recently, Lance has gotten into the holiday spirit and launched limited edition seasonal favorites of their cookie sandwiches.  The brand has combined their best-selling cookies with popular seasonal fillings.  The delectable treats include such flavors as chocolate nekot cookies with mint filling, nekot cookies with pumpkin cheesecake filling, and sprinkled sugar cookies with sweet creme filling.  If these flavors don't represent the holiday season, I don't know what does!

Cookie sandwiches, will you marry me?

As soon as my cookie sandwiches arrived, I instantly tore into a pack of the cookies with the mint filling.  Mint treats are my absolute favorite and if anyone ever tries to hide them from me there would be a big problem! As you can see, I'm serious about mint. :) 

These square shaped pieces of heaven were fantastic! The dark nekot cookie provided a strong and inviting chocolate flavor while the seafoam green mint interior was cool and refreshing. I enjoyed the crunch provided by the nekot cookie.  The chocolate flavor was sweet, but not overly sweet.  Some mint cookies don't have a strong mint taste but this cookie was definitely on the ball.  As I found myself devouring the last cookie, a sense of sadness washed over me.  The pack should contain more cookies, the amount included was just not enough! I had to control myself from eating another pack.  These sandwich cookies truly satisfied my sweet tooth and was the perfect mid-day snack.

I haven't yet tried the sweet creme cookies, but I did sample the pumpkin cookie sandwiches.  Pumpkin is one of my most favorite holiday flavors.  Over the years, I've become infatuated with the round orange flavor and will do whatever I can to include it in my holiday baking and cooking.  This cookie combines the best of both worlds of creamy cheesecake and decadent pumpkin.  This is an award winning combination that immensely pleased my stomach.  You could taste both the cheesecake and pumpkin flavors individually, but together they were excellent.  The light flavor of the cookie provided a nice canvas for the two stars of the show.

 I really enjoyed the cookie sandwiches and look forward to trying the last flavor.  I'm sure it won't be long before I do, I'm a slave to anything involving cookies!

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Holiday Memories and Traditions

The holidays are my absolute favorite time of year.  I love everything from the gorgeous Christmas decorations and lights, to the tasty treats, and of course all of the holiday cheer.  It's such an exciting and magical time of year.

What are some of your favorite holiday memories? Do you and your family have special holiday traditions? Maybe you and your children bake cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas morning? Sound off below! 


Holiday Gift Guide: Your Walls Need A Print From For the Love of Maps

The walls of my home contain pictures of my husband and I, modern art canvases, and of course pictures that I've taken too.  Since we just moved into this house in May, we still have some blank areas that need to be filled.  I do consider myself a creative person and would gladly adorn my walls with untraditional, custom art.  There is a hand painted canvas of my dog on the wall going upstairs, so I think this would surely count as untraditional.  What kind of art do you have in your home?

For The Love of Maps is an Etsy shop that creates beautiful skyline prints of major cities in the US.  How does having a framed print of Detroit, Raleigh, or even St. Louis sound? These prints offer a fun way for you to celebrate your hometown pride.  The shop also offers word art for various states.  So for example, if you're from Virginia, you have words describing the state which comes in the shape of the state.  How cool is that? A print from the shop would make a great Christmas present for a friend or family member this holiday season.

The 11x14 prints come unframed and unmatted and are printed on different types of paper depending on the print you order.  These are examples of the types of prints offered in the shop.  For the Indianapolis print,  facts are offered about the state including history, development, and key places in the city.  Show your hometown pride with these fabulous prints! 


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Holiday Gift Ideas that the Whole Family Will Love #spon


As a first-time mom, I’m still getting to grips with the new responsibilities that I have during the festive season. I’ve always loved this time of year, but I have to admit that you do look at things a little differently when you become a parent. You want Christmas to be perfect for your little ones. You want them to feel the magic excitement of it all, just as you did when you were a child.

So, when it comes to buying gifts, you may have trouble knowing exactly where to even begin. You want to get your loved ones something meaningful, unique, and that will help to make their day as special as it can possibly be. So, it’s of little wonder that people end up putting so much pressure on themselves to get gifts for their family that are absolutely perfect. Well, we’re going to help relieve some of that pressure by sharing some awesome holiday gift ideas that you can guarantee the whole family will love.

For Him
Whilst your children should obviously be the main focus of the festive season, that doesn’t mean that you should neglect your partner during this time. When we have children, it becomes more difficult to find a spare moment to spend quality time with our spouse. Plus, if your children are still very young, it may be years before you find the time to focus properly on one another again. So, it’s important to take advantage of this opportunity to show your husband exactly how much he means to you.

One great way of doing this is by organizing an ‘experience day’ as your Xmas gift to him. You can find all sorts of activities to suit almost any taste and budget. For example, if your hubby happens to be a car fanatic, you could arrange for him to spend a day being driven in his favorite sports car. If he’s more of an adrenaline junkie, you could arrange for him to do a bungee jump or skydive.

If you’re looking to spend a little less, then why not get him a gift that he won’t forget in a hurry? You could dress up as a sexy Santa or saucy elf once the kids are tucked away in bed! If these ideas don’t appeal, you can find all kinds of costumes and other Christmas fancy dress ideas online or at your local party store.

For the Kids
Most children these days don’t really want for much, so this year, why not consider giving them the most important gift of all? Why not give them some of your time, and your full focus and attention? Of course, you can still fill their stockings, and give them gifts to unwrap. But we can guarantee you that in years to come, when they look back at their childhood, it won’t be the gifts that they remember. What they will remember is the quality time you spent together as a family.

We hope you have a very merry Christmas!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Unusual Pets That Making A Lovely Addition To Your Family

When we think about family pets we tend to think of rabbits, cats and dogs. While there is nothing wrong with these, you could always be a bit more adventurous if you wanted to! Of course, you need to take into account your home and the living conditions you can offer a pet.

You should also think about what your pet might need long term and what medical costs they could incur in the future. Websites such as can help with worming treatments and more. However, once you know what you can offer an animal why not think outside of the box and buy an exciting addition to your family?

Micro Pig

Pigs can make a lovely addition to your family because they are so much fun! What many people don't realise with pigs is that they are actually very clever and be taught all sorts of tricks.

Of course, this type of pet will need very specific living conditions so you should make sure that you can cater to this before you go out and buy one. Depending on where you live you may also need a licence to own a pig, so make sure you look into this before you decide to get one.


Birds aren't an unusual choice for a family pet but why not consider something more than just a budgie? Parrots are an entertaining addition to the family, especially once  they get used to a family. They'll repeat words and that you say and learn responses to sentences. They take up much less time to look after than you might imagine too.

Cockroaches are often considered a pest, but they're a great choice for exotic pets too. Madagascar Hissing cockroaches grow up to 3 inches long so they're great to hold. This is especially true when you consider  the fact that these don't bite!


Chickens are not only a pet that is fine to have, but they're useful too. If you have enough space outside then why not consider setting up a chicken pen and having a few of these as pets. Not only do you get a fun addition to the family, but you benefit from eating their eggs too.


Hedgehogs are probably not the best choice if you're looking for a pet you can cuddle up to, but they are very loving.  Hedgehogs are a great choice because they don't take up much room at all - they're also a great choice for people who are allergic to some other pets.

Sugar Gliders
These pets so take a little time to look after, but they're worth it. Sugar gliders are great pets for children as they tend to sleep through the day but wake up early evening. This means they can have a little play time before they go to bed. Sugar gliders don't mind being held as long as they are supported and looked after.

The trick to finding a pet for your family is thinking about what you can give a pet and what fits in with this. If you don't have much space then you'll probably want a smaller pet than you would if you had a massive garden for them to benefit from.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: Strider Bikes for Your Child to Love

When I was a child I was constantly riding my bike.  I loved to go on bike rides with my friends or family around the neighborhood.  Bike riding is not only fun but great exercise too.  The children in my townhouse complex are constantly riding their bikes around the area.  I'm glad that kids are still playing outside and being active, rather than watching TV all day.  Why not delight your child this Christmas with a brand new bike under the tree?

Strider Bikes offers a no-pedal balance bike for children.  Their mission is to build lightweight, efficient, all-terrain bikes that develop two-wheeled balance, coordination, and confidence in children.  The great thing about Strider bikes is that children as young as 18 months up to five years old old can learn to ride on two wheels! Strider's no-pedal design builds confidence and eliminates fear by allowing children to have their feet on the ground and progress at their own pace.  This teaches young children to balance on two wheels right from the start, which avoids developmental delays typical with tricycles and training wheels bikes.  The bikes come in colors for both boys and girls and make the perfect holiday or even birthday present.  

I was fortunate enough to receive an adorable pink bike for my daughter Scarlett.  Even though she hasn't been born yet, she'll be able to ride the bike in the near future! I can't wait until I see her on this bike, it'll be so cute!

I'm pink and fun, what child wouldn't love me?

My husband has already set the bike up for Scarlett, and it's waiting for her in our garage.  It was extremely easy to install and came with a tool to assist.  He had it set up for her in 15 minutes or less. The small size of the bike is so cute and compact and doesn't take up much room at all.  It seems solidly built and constructed and I have no worries about her using it when she's old enough.  I absolutely love the cheery pink color and I hope she'll be fond of the color too!

Once Scarlett is 18 months old, I would really like to have her start using this bike.  I don't think this age is too young to begin to teach children to use a bike.  Strider's philosophy of having children gain self confidence on two wheels is important to me.  If my daughter is confident and unafraid to ride a two-wheeled bike, we'll definitely skip training wheels.  I also want her to have fun and enjoy the bike too.  I'm already imagining her riding around our backyard and complex. I can't wait until that's a reality!  The best thing a parent can do for their child is to help them grow and be the most confident person possible.

If you have a young child who would be interested to ride a Strider Bike, why not start them off as soon as possible? 

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Strider Bikes for providing me with a complimentary bike in exchange for this post.  All thoughts are my own. 


Sunday, November 9, 2014

The LG OLED TV is Now at Best Buy! #HintingSeason #OLEDAtBestBuy

Everyone has that technology buff in their family, you know the family member I'm talking about! This person has to have the latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos at all times. Everyone is always wanting to see and use their newest piece of technology.  If this sounds like your dad, your husband, or even your brother, they will be very interested to learn about the new LG OLED TV that's available at Best Buy.

The LG OLED TV offers a stunning design that's only 0.21" thick at its thinnest point.  This television is designed with a spectacular picture quality.  Your eyes will be dazzled with Infinite Contrast that ranges from the most blazing whites to the deepest blacks.  LG's exclusive four color pixel technology delivers bright and deeper vibrant colors like no other television can. 

Look at those rich and beautiful colors! Your TV viewing will never be the same thanks to LG! 

My husband and I love to watch movies on a regular basis.  I know we both would be blown away by the gorgeous picture quality and colors from an LG OLED TV when we watch our movies.  Why not bring the theater to your own living room? Only LG can deliver more natural, lifelike viewing.  The sleek and modern curved television screen is like having your own art piece in your living room.  It will certainly spark conversation and people will be intrigued.  I can't guarantee that your TV will stay off for very long though! 

If you're looking to give your family the ultimate Christmas present this year, why not consider LG's OLED TV available at Best Buy? The everyday price is only $3499.99.  This is a savings of $500 which will make your wallet extremely happy!

*DISCLOSURE* 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.


HALO Sleepsack Swaddle Giveaway

All new moms have plenty of worries about their baby.  Every new parent wants to make sure they are doing as well of a job as possible of caring for their baby.  It can be easy to feel defeated or unsure of yourself if things are brand new to you.  All you have to do is take each day by day and you'll become more confident.  Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need a break either.

The HALO Sleepsack Swaddle is a wearable blanket that replaces loose blankets in the crib that can cover your baby's face and interfere with breathing.  It's nice to have one less worry that you can cross off your list when you have a HALO Sleepsack Swaddle for your baby. This is the only 2-in-1 adjustable swaddle that allows for swaddling arms in and out for baby's comfort.  The blankets come in patterns and colors for both boys and girls in a variety of sizes.  You can choose from materials such as micro fleece, 100% cotton, 100% cotton muslin, 100% organic cotton, and plushy dot velboa.  Besides just sleepsack swaddles, HALO offers sleepsacks, sleepsack gifts, comfortluxe sleepwear, and much more.  If you're going to a baby shower anytime soon, any item from HALO makes the perfect gift.  

As soon as I saw the Microfleece Sleepsack Swaddle in the ladybug print, I absolutely fell in love with it.  This adorable print comes in both a newborn and a size small for your baby girl.  Keep baby cozy and comfortable as the weather turns even cooler day by day. 

In addition to helping your baby sleep better, it the Sleepsack makes them sleep more safely too.  Once it's time to stop swaddling, your baby can easily transition to a SleepSack wearable blanket thanks to the Sleepsack Swaddle.  Put your child in regular pajamas to take the place of loose blankets.  The inverted zipper makes diaper changes a breeze.  Who doesn't love the sweet and adorable ladybug print either? You'll know it's time to discontinue swaddling when your child shows signs of rolling over or breaking out of the swaddle wrap. Keeping your child safe is the best thing you can do as a parent and HALO is there to help every step of the way.