Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Winner is!

We have a winner to our Cup cake Giveaway! Using .... the Winner is......
Luisa Patterson!
Congrats Luisa, I'll be shipping these out to you this week :)


Three Ways to Plan a Frugal Christmas Your Family Will Want to Remember

Three Ways to Plan a Frugal Christmas Your Family Will Want to Remember
By: Denise Willams

Christmas has easily become one of the most expensive and stress-filled holidays we celebrate each year.

That's a little ironic considering Christmas all began with the birth of a Baby in a lowly stable, and was celebrated only by shepherds who were out in the fields with their sheep. Two thousand years later, we still remember that day and honor the birth of a Babe who owned few material goods yet whose life changed the world.

Is this the year you want to help your family put aside all their material expectations, and create a meaningful Christmas they will want to remember?

Here are some simple things you can do to remove financial considerations from your holiday, and focus on what's truly important.

1. Begin the Christmas season by having a frank talk with your family about the meaning of Christmas and your desire to change the emphasis of your celebrations this year. Plan ahead of time how you will express your thoughts and plans to your young children, older children and teens, or even the friends and extended family members you celebrate with.

Don't start out the conversation by saying, "We don't have the money for Christmas that we usually do..." Instead focus on your changing priorities. Christmas celebrations are not about money, but about the desires of our hearts. Speak to your loved ones from your heart, not from your wallet, about the kind of Christmas you want to celebrate this year. Otherwise, you're perpetuating the myth that Christmas is all about money.

2. Add a twist to your favorite traditions by using them to serve others. Do you fill your freezer with holiday baking each year? Go crazy decorating your Christmas tree? Maybe taking to the malls is an important way for you to get into the Christmas spirit each season.

You don't need to stop doing these activities that you look forward to each year. But now that you're planning a frugal Christmas that's not money focused, you can use these activities to serve others.

Instead of baking just for your family, share your baked goodies with shut-in folks and lonely neighbors, or hold a bake sale to raise money for a children's charity. Decorate a Christmas tree for someone who can't do it on their own, or for a homeless shelter. Instead of browsing the malls for piles of Christmas gifts like you usually do, remember those in need and buy them necessities that would make their lives easier. Contact a homeless or a women's shelter to find out what items are needed. These will cost you a lot less than buying extravagant Christmas gifts, and the joy you get from giving them will last a lot longer.

3. Plan ahead so you and your family won't feel deprived during the holiday season. Don't just write up a list of things you won't be doing this year. Make a list of all the new activities you'll be replacing them with.

If you usually spend Christmas Day opening your gifts and oohing and aahing over what everyone got, you will feel disappointed when there's not as much to open and nothing left to do on that day. Plan to fill the day with other things to keep your mind on the true meaning of the season.

Some ideas might be to hold an open house and invite everyone you know to drop by. Invite a senior who is home alone this year to come for Christmas Day. Serve a meal at a shelter. Think of ways you can bless others and then get the whole family involved in doing them.

Article Source:

Would you like to enjoy a meaningful, peace-filled Christmas this year? Denise's Christmas e-book, Saving Christmas, has 30 Christmas ideas, tips and stories that will help you do exactly that, and comes with bonuses to share with family and friends all year long. Visit to download your copy and start planning a Christmas you and your family will want to remember for a lifetime.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Free Music From Sprout -

Tons of FREE Original Toddler music Downloads from Sprout

Free Board Book!
Just go to and follow the's easy and doesnt require any purchasing or cc information..completely free! It doesn't matter if you actually have the toy..all you have to do is select a leapfrog toy from the list they provide to link it..doesn't matter whether you actually bought it or not..

Carnation Holiday Recipe Guide
The holiday season is filled with fun and food to be had---from potluck parties to festive brunches to game day gatherings. Let CARNATION help you find easy and delicious ways to keep your whole quirky clan full of that holiday spirit.

With recipes as flavorful and varied as each of the family members and friends you can expect to see this holiday season, CARNATION makes all your holiday meals and desserts richer and creamier. Get it Here


Craft Project - Paper Pulp Snowball Snowman Head Ornaments

Craft Project - Paper Pulp Snowball Snowman Head Ornaments
By: Shelly Hill
This is a great project that utilizes some will need a fast-food drink carrier or cardboard egg box to make your own paper pulp.

Ages: 8 and up with adult supervision.

Supplies Needed:

Cardboard Fast-Food Drink Carrier or Cardboard Egg Box
White Crafting Glue
Styrofoam Ornament Balls
Blender with tap water
Old Plastic Bowl
Foam Sponge Paint Brush
Wooden Clothespin
White, Black and Orange Acrylic Paint
Paint Brush
(optional) scrap piece of fleece fabric

Making The Paper Pulp - Rip your empty paper drink carrier or empty egg box into small pieces. Place the pieces into an old plastic bowl. Pour in just a little bit of tap water and let the pieces soak for 60 minutes. Once they are good and wet, Pour paper mixture into a strainer. Using your hands, squeeze out excess water. Place paper pulp into your blender container and blend on low speed so that it gets mushy. Pour the pulp back into your empty plastic bowl. Stir in some white craft glue so that you are forming sticky paper pulp. Mine is the consistency of lumpy dough.

Making The Snowball - Using a foam-style paint brush, lightly spread white craft glue on 1/2 of your Styrofoam ball. Using your hands...pat on the paper pulp dough so that you are covering the top half of your ornament ball. Repeat this process on the bottom half of your ball. Once done, hang the ball up via the clothespin so that it can dry and harden. (mine take approximately 16 to 24 hours).

Adding The Facial Features - Once your ball is dry, paint with two coats of white acrylic paint. Once that is dry, paint on black eyes, black dots for his mouth and finally, an orange triangular shaped nose.

Optional Scarf - We cut a piece of fleece measuring 1 1/2" wide by approximately 10" long and tied that into a loop and then glued it to the bottom of our ball to resemble a fleece scarf.

Article Source:

Shelly Hill is a mother and grandmother living in Pennsylvania who enjoys quick and easy crafts. You can visit Shelly's online craft site at for free crafting project ideas. You can find a photo of the completed project at

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Free Music - Mercy Me

MercyMe, the contemporary christian band that is putting out some of the best new music in this genre, has made their live album "10 Live" available for a free download.

If you go to, you will give them your name and your email address, and they will email you a code for a free download of the album.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Crab and Corn Bisque - Hmmm Yum!

We eat a lot of soups during the Winter and this is one of my favorite recipes. I just made it the other night. One of my Favorite Recipes out of MY FAVORITE cookbook EVER! Seasonal Florida - A Taste of Life in North Florida. It has all of the recipes I've grown up with.

Ingredients you will need -
1 cup of unsalted butter
1 cup of All-purpose flour
4 cups of Shrimp stock - (I used Clam juice and the juice from canned crab)
4 ears of fresh corn cut from the cob (or 1 can of corn, drained)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 lb lump crab meat (I bought canned)
Salt and black pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg (I didn't use fresh)
Dry Sherry if desired
1 cup green onions chopped finely

Melt butter in heavy-bottomed pot over low heat. When melted, stir in the flour. Stir constantly to remove all lumps, cook 3-5 mins. Do not let mixture brown. Stir in the shrimp stock and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 15-20 mins. Stir occasionally. Add corn, stir, and cook 10 mins. Add the cayenne and cream and heat through. Gently stir in the crab, salt and pepper. Remove from heat, taste for additional seasoning. Ladle into serving bowls and add a couple of gratings of nutmeg, sprinkle with sherry and green onions.


Monday, December 7, 2009

But I'm skinny!!!

Well Kinda.......
Sorry I've been away for awhile. I'm dealing with some health issues. We went shopping the other day & my sugar dropped, I was super anxious, it wasn't pretty.... my left eye was very blurry and I was extremely snappy! Oh the joys of Christmas shopping.

Apparently I also have hypertension. My blood pressure peaks. Truely I thought this was something that only struck people who were over weight and older. I'm only 32 and I'm 5'6" and weigh 121lbs, not exactly what I'd call "fat" but it seems I am a "fat" skinny person. What? Umm, yeah...

I carry a lot of fat on my skinny frame. So I have to start exercising and eating more. I forget to eat a lot which slows down my metabolism and I like to live on coffee which is no-no. Imagine that? I don't have to lose any weight but rather turn the fat into muscle and eat right. That really really stinks since this is my "fatter" time of year where I gorge myself with alcohol and goodies, oh and lots and lots of coffee.....

My sugar and hypertension came be easily controlled which is great news! I guess now that I'm not in my 20's anymore *sniff *sniff I need to start taking better care of myself.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Being Grateful

Being Grateful by Tawdra Kandle

As you might know from reading some of my previous articles, I am big into kids expressing appreciating and gratitude. I’m also very mindful of the fact that WE as parents are our kids’ first and most influential models. So in light of that. . .

I’m grateful. . .for parents who raised me lovingly and strictly. They didn’t try to be my friends; they were always my parents, and I knew and respected that. They weren’t perfect, but they were always present for me, and I knew that I had their unconditional love. I’m grateful that I had each of them for 63 years, and that they were able to know and be known by all of my children before they left us.

I’m grateful. . .for my sister, who was my first ‘practice’ kid. She has turned out remarkably well, mostly due to her courage, strength of mind and fortitude. She has the most loving, giving heart and she displays amazing patience with her wonderful sons, for whom I am also profoundly grateful. That patience and love is also shown by her husband, my brother in law, whom I appreciate more than he knows.

I’m grateful. . .for grandparents who shared history and tradition with me. My maternal grandmother was from the south, and for the first four years of my life she taught me that the Confederacy had won the “War of Northern Aggression.” She was also Catholic, and she shared those beliefs and traditions with me, her Protestant granddaughter. My paternal grandmother was a farm girl, raised a strict Methodist. She modeled for me a love of reading and writing, and she was steadfast in her love and support of me. My grandfathers were wonderful men as well, and they taught me the value of hard work and family ties.

I’m grateful. . .for a husband who has always recognized the value of my contributions to the household, even when it’s ‘only’ cooking, cleaning and laundry. I’m grateful that when I told him I wanted to homeschool our children, he set out to be as supportive and helpful as possible. I’m grateful that he is steady in a crisis when I am losing my head. I’m grateful that God matched us so that our strengths perfectly complement each other.

I’m grateful. . .for four healthy, happy children. For our daughter who is college, whose intelligence is matched only by her wit. She can make me laugh harder than almost anyone else. For our daughter who is a senior in high school, whose talents astound me continually and whose heart is so open and so full of grace. For our daughter who is in 8th grade, whose way with words, both spoken and written, leaves me speechless, and whose insight is remarkable, and whose capacity for kindness is boundless. For our son, who displays remarkable fortitude in the face of four women running his life, and who is sweet, loving and giving. His generosity is amazing.

I’m grateful for the rest of my family, for my many loving friends, for the freedom of the nation in which I live, for the roof over my head and the food on my table. I’m grateful that God has given me opportunity to share with those in need.

I have so much more I could write. . .but there are some Thanksgiving goodies waiting to be made. . .so you can be grateful that I cut it short here. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Tawdra Kandle is stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of four children who range in age from 9 years to almost 21 years. She and her husband of over 22 years live in central Florida, where he is in seminary. Tawdra spends most of her precious free time writing and reading, and she loves to travel.


We Love our Freebies here @ Taking Time for Mommy.
Amazon is Giving away a $3 credit towards any of their mp3s
Freebies from Amazon
They also offer free music all of the time, just click the link above get your free music credit, then do a search for free music. You can find some great new artists!

As always a special thanks to our Freebie Queen LaQuita for finding this for us.
LaQuita is the owner of EveryDayMoms , a site to connect moms.

Organize Regular ‘Dates’ with your kids & Discover what Makes them Tick

Organize Regular ‘Dates’ with your kids & Discover what Makes them Tick

by Claire McFee Author of Organize Your Life

It’s a novel concept to schedule dates with our kids, but one that can not only have immeasurable rewards for all concerned, but in today's fast paced society is increasingly needed to ensure quality time together. Time set aside with your children one-on-one is worth its weight in gold. You will create truly valuable experiences you will have getting to know your child, with lots of special memories to recount over the years and lots of stories to jot down for future reference. It’s more than worth the effort. Read on, then find the time and you will see what I mean.

We all have individual Passions that as children we are closely connected to, but as the years go by we get absorbed in school, study, friends, family, etc, and often lose sight of these things over time. Parents can help guide their children a lot in this area, by making sure they stay connected to each other and what we love doing as they grow up.

This us where scheduling time together or ‘dates’ comes in. Your child should get to decide what they want to do. Within reason of course! You might be surprised by what they want to do. Kids often just want you to play Lego with them, go for a bike ride, go eeling, visit the play ground, climb the local lookout, teach them a new skill i.e. how to cook etc.

Your child may need some help with ideas initially about what to do together, so get your child to compile a List of things that they would most like to do, so when it is their turn they can look over the list and choose something suitable. Be sure you allocate enough time so you are not rushed. Remember kids love time to just ‘be’ with their parents. Just be in the ‘moment’ with them whatever it is they want to do. Really listen to them and get to know them better.

Some questions you could put to your child to generate discussion;-“I’ve noticed you are really taking an interest in …..“What do you like about……“What do you think when you see someone doing that……“Do you connect with the people here or is it the activity that you like best…………“How do you see your future if this became your No1 passion………“Does this in any way link in with your interest in …..

Separately take note of your child’s interests as they tell you about them and what you observe. This will give your child the opportunity to look back over their desires over the years, so they ‘re-connect’ with their passion quickly if they lose sight somewhere along the way. This can also assist your child in their teens when deciding on subjects to suit their career path. It can be as simple as observing them and staying interested in what they are currently into – be it books, activities, TV, Super Hero’s, Documentaries, etc.

If you already spend a lot of family time together that is great, but there is a difference between this and separate ‘Date’ time – especially if you normally choose what you do. When the tables are turned it really empowers your child with decision making practice and feeling in ‘control.’ They will be less likely to rebel if they feel like they have a say, which I’m sure you’ll agree makes for a much happier household!

A good time-frame for your Date is once a month. Mum and Dad can take turns having time with the kids, without anyone else around. Set a time, put it in your diary and your child can plan the details. You can build anticipation and they will love the thrill of planning this special time together.

If you need to cancel your Date, make sure it is only ever for a really good reason or trust will be broken. If someone asks you do to something that clashes with your ‘date’ tell your child about it, and that you said “No, sorry I can’t because I have a date with the most handsome 8 year old in the world.” It will do wonders for their self esteem.

Have your child keep a Record of what you do together and when. They can draw pictures, add photos, write about what you both did and have it as a record of the love and time you share together.

Some Activities you may like to try are: Bike riding, Time zone 2-player-games, a gem show, couta boat display, cooking, board games, fishing, roller blading, skateboarding, swimming, walk at beach, getting a hot chocolate to savour together, going to a dog shelter or gardening.

Unexpected Conversations also often arise when you have uninterrupted ‘quality’ time with a loved one. This is especially the case for quieter children who take a while to ‘warm up’. My husband and I enjoy the occasional ‘sleepover’ with our children (9&6 yrs old). Emma and I have a ‘girls’ night as do Matty and Neil. We can hear each other across the hall talking about their respective interests – for Matty it’s Footy, Footy, Footy and for Emma it’s what’s going on with her friends. Since we started doing this I have discovered a lot more about Emma, and know that the kids really treasure this special time with us.

Lastly, ask your kids “If you could do anything knew you could not fail, what would it be?” The answers will vary enormously from year to year, but will give you invaluable insight into what really makes them tick. We all ultimately want our children to have a career that doesn’t feel like ‘work’, due to really loving what they do. They need to know that it’s possible and that their passion does not have to be just a hobby. After all “We should work to live, not live to work.”

To be connected with what you love is a fabulous feeling. Helping your child to think creatively about their passions with quality one-on-one time, can help inspire them to do better at what they put their hand to.

About Claire McFee

Claire is author of the Original Organize Your Life Organizer and co-Creator of the new Interactive Organize Your Life e-Organizers. Claire started helping people get more out of life by being better organized and improving their Mindset in 1999. Claire is also a Speaker and has been extensively showcased on TV and other mediums.
Check out her Blog HERE

A War Was Waged - Chore Charts

A War was waged. For quite awhile we were at an impasse. But my knight in shining armor came to save the day.

I must admit, I was the one who invoked this battle to begin with, this battle in which I speak? Myself against 2 little princesses, 5 & 3. I woke up one morning and realized I no longer wanted to be under their rule, I no longer wanted to be their subject. So I formed an uprising. Okay I didn't form much because it was just me, but I knew I needed to get a handle on their behavior before they got older.

My knight in shining armor? Chore Charts!!! Freed me from my slavery!!!!

Who knew rewarding them with stickers for things they should be doing any way would work? I even reward them for their behavior. It may sound like bribery BUT I'm rewarding them and focusing on their positive behavior. I'm teaching them about responsibility and they have so much pride. Did I mention I am no longer their personal slave?

I printed up our chore chart for free Here but you can use google and find plenty of sites.
I hope chore charts have a wonderful impact on your life as it did mine :)

Lovely Bones - A Book Review

My local book club is reading Lovely Bones for this month's selection. I wasn't exactly thrilled when it was picked due to the nature of the subject but boy was I wrong (you won't hear that from me much), this was a great book!
The Lovely Bones is a 2002 novel by Alice Sebold. It's the story of a teenage girl who, after being brutally raped and murdered, watches from heaven as her family and friends go on with their lives, while she herself comes to terms with her own death.
This sounded very depressing to me and as a mother, the subject matter broke my heart BUT the book sucks you in as you see how the family deals with this tragedy and how life goes on. I say if you haven't read it yet, you need to pick it up.
This is also being made into a movie.
Visit the Official Movie Website Here - Book Club to Swap, Trade & Exchange Books for Free.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

And We have a Winner!

We have a Winner for our Partylite Antique Bronze refillable candle holder (pictured above) AND the Bestburn Iced Snowberries Candle refill! Using our winner is
******************** Trishden!***************************
Didn't win? But want one anyway? Go shopping on Joyce's Partylite Site to find
This beautiful candle holder is only $15.95 & the best burn Snowberry candle refill is $9.95

Partylite has GREAT deals right now! Stock up for Christmas!


Mystery Candle set and Present Pack Here

Be sure to sign up for our other Giveaways!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Grubby Cupcake Candle Tutorial & Giveaway

    ******giveway over*****
This picture really doesn't do this craft any justice. These cupcake candles are so adorable and make great gifts for teachers, co-workers, friends, favors for baby showers, and more. These cute grubby cupcake candles are actually pretty easy to make too!
I know I should have taken step by step pictures but I really didn't think of posting about it until afterwards. I also didn't really measure much - opps, sorry again but it just shows you how easy they are to make :)
Materials -
Wax - you can use paraffin, or soy for these. At least get a lb. (For the bottom I remelted excess wax from another craft - you can even use the ends of melted candles)
Scents - I ended up using 2 different scents - Spice for the bottom & Vanilla for the top
Double Boiler, a pot with water & a metal carafe to melt in, or I just used an old pot and slowly melted the wax
Candy thermometer
Wicks - you can buy these at any craft store, I used a big roll & cut it long so I could twirl it when the wax had set.
Muffin tin
Muffin baking cups
Hand Mixer
To begin with, I stuck the baking cups in the muffin tin to act as a mold. They don't fit perfectly but don't worry, it'll work.
Next I melted some of the wax - Sorry I didn't measure - I started off with a little and added as I needed. I added colorant and scent. You can even use old crayons as a colorant if you are in a bind. Melt the wax never letting it get over 200 F. The wax you are melting is for the base of the candle. While you are melting you wax, you can get your wicks ready, dip them in the wax and stick them to the base of your baking cups. When you are ready, add the cooling wax to your baking cups and fill to the top. I usually have to use pencils to help prop up the wicks. I usually wait about an hour or more while the candles set. During that time I clean up. (You can put them in the fridge to let them set up faster.)
Now the bottom is nice and hard you can move on the the next step. This is a little bit harder, you may have to melt your wax again until you get faster but no worries, that's the beauty of this easy craft. No mistakes!
I add my wax, scent, and colorant letting it melt slowly. I make sure it's a different color than my bottom was. Usually something that would look yummy! As it cook it will get a skin to it, at that time I take my hand held mixer and mix making it "grubby". That's when I pick up my bottom & "Ice" my cupcake with a spoon. It's very easy! If the wax gets too hard too fast, just remelt it!.
You can add sprinkles to it too! When everything is all set I curl the wicks and sometimes even add a little bow. Dress them in Saran wrap and add to bow to the top for a quick and easy wrapping.
I should add - If you make these, take the wrapping off before burning!
****If you have any questions just email me @ and I'll try to talk you through it.
****If you like this craft, please leave me a comment letting me know.
Do you want one but don't feel like making it? Win 2 of my cupcake candles by entering this giveaway!
How do you enter? So glad you asked!
Follow this blog and comment that you do.
For more Entries -
1. Follow me on Twitter and come back & comment you do
2. Tweet about this Giveaway and come back & comment you do
3. Blog about this Giveaway and come back & comment with a link so we can check it out.
This Giveaway will end Friday December 11, 2009 at midnight. Open to Canadian and U.S. Taking Time for Mommy Blog Followers. Good luck!
Giveaway is now Closed, Winner will be announced shortly.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Twilight Saga Freebies

Most of the Staff here at Taking Time for Mommy are Twilight Moms and we are all giddy about the release of New Moon on Friday!
In the spirit of our excitement we thought we'd share some Twilight Saga freebies that LaQuita found for us.
Free Twilight Scrapbooking Template -
Blogger, As Designed by Kat, has graciously decided to giveaway this awesome freebie to us Twilight lovers.
This pack comes with -
13 papers
25 elements
Download Here
Another freebie is a Free Twilight Ringtone, you can download this from EveryDayMoms .

Edited - Adding ANOTHER Freebie ...
Twlight Bookmarks - Here

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Eco-Friendly Etsy Finds

I love the idea of taking old items and making them into something brand new and use able. By reusing items you save money, reduce waste and it's doing something positive for the enviroment since these items won't end up in the land fill.
Here are some great shops I found that have done just that. They are "Upcycling" and have some really awesome gift giving ideas.
1. The first is Dr. Craze's shop with the Wine Wedge pictured to the left. All of their items are made from at least 50% reycled materials and most of the exposed glass items was collected from their local beach. This awsome wine wedge is only $25!
2. Next I came across V. On'Neill's Unique Fiber & Mixed Media Art Design shop. Reused Christmas Cards were made into these adorable little Tags. Only $6 for 25 die-cut and hand assembled tags.
3. I LOVE these recycled Scrabble tiles, they are actually easy to make if you can get your hands on the tiles. I found this beautiful "I Believe, Santa tile" at Jesse Jane's Shop. She has an array of different tiles for moms, teens, co-workers etc... they make very affordable gifts (Only $5.50 each!) and she offeres free shipping worldwide!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Our Freebie Queen LaQuita found these great freebies for us!
Free Hello Kitty Printable Calendar 2010
Sign up for Hello Kitty's Sweet Happy News! and enjoy downloading this awesome 2010 calendar for your little princesses HERE
Free Kids and Nutrition Book
So a couple weeks ago we talked about Kids and Nutrition on the Everydaymoms Webshow. I ran across a freebie from The Cancer Project. They are giving away a booklet full of recipes and more on how to get your kids to eat a bit healthier.You can order yours HERE
Being Girl Sample Kit
Have a pre/teenage girl? This kit is perfect for her. The people at Being Girl is giving away this kit for young girls.Click HERE to order your kit FOR US RESIDENTS ONLY
Free Sunmaid Recipe Booklet!
Another free recipe book. This time from Sunmaid.Sun-Maid and Gooseberry Patch have teamed up to create a collection of 30 all-time Family Favorite Recipes that include Classic Raisin Oatmeal Cookies, Waldorf Stuffing, and Fruity Coleslaw.Books are only for US Residence, but for the rest of us we can still get it by downloading it on our compy's too!To Order or Download the book click HERE
LaQuita Bergeron is a mother of two beautiful spoiled children. She is a stay at home mom that works from home as a transcriber. She is also the owner of EveryDayMoms Social Network. I also call her our Freebie Queen! For more Great Freebies visit her site!

Tons of Free Music

Free Music
By: LaQuita Bergeron

Sargent House Sampler
by Various Artists

I really enjoyed this album. Before I downloaded it I made sure I at least loved most of the songs and my favorite so far is track number five, Chinchilla by This Town Needs Guns. Don’t let the name of the band scare you away, this song is a must have. I also added to my playlist track ten, David’s Birthday by Love You Moon. I don’t know what it is, but this song is just so catchy. Enjoy!

The O'Neill Brothers Wedding Music

Enjoy a free album from Amazon. This would be good for someone you know planning a wedding, your anniversary or just spending that quality time with the hubby. Here is the link. Enjoy!

The B.Reith EP (Album Sampler Four Songs)
by B.Reith

I’ve never hear of this artist before now and I absolutely love him. I’ve been into the folk/ acoustic music lately and this just topped my playlist. It’s four songs, but four songs that are amazing and you’ll be singing for days. They’re upbeat songs that just makes you smile and want to have a good day no matter how bad your day is going. Enjoy!

Highschool Hoodlums (single)
by The Datsuns

This song reminded me of a mixture of music from the 80’s and 90’s put into one. (LOL)
I enjoyed it and I think you will too. You might even get your teens to enjoy it as well. I know my daughter and son have been dancing around the house when this song comes on. I’ve been testing out so many songs, this one made it to the list for sure when I got my hubby to dance with me and the kids while we were listening to this cooking dinner. Enjoy!

LaQuita Bergeron is a mother of two beautiful spoiled children. She is a stay at home mom that works from home as a transcriber. She is also the owner of EveryDayMoms Social Network. I also call her our Freebie Queen!

Living in the Now

Living in the Now

by Tawdra Kandle

From the moment that the pregnancy test comes back positive, or the agency calls to say that your baby is on the way. . however it is that we become parents, we begin with an incredible sense of anticipation that never really goes away. We’re waiting for the first kick, the first maternity clothes. . .and after the birth, for each and every milestone along the way. We’re constantly looking forward to that next thing.

I used to live that way, always looking forward to. . .something. On Mondays, I couldn’t wait until Fridays. In the winter, I was pining for the spring. When my babies were infants, I was excited about the day when they could walk or talk. I would often think, “Once they get through this stage, life will be so much easier. . .” And yes, some things do become easier, but there are almost always new challenges to replace the old ones.

There’s nothing wrong with a little anticipation. Looking forward to a trip or a special event only adds to the joy. As a believer and follower of Christ, I live in anticipation of the fulfillment of His kingdom. But when we live only for the days to come, we’re missing out on so much.

Sometimes we choose to embrace the promise of the future because the present isn’t so great. It might even seem as though the only thing getting us through each day is the idea of what tomorrow could bring. When our babies are tiny infants, they need so much of us. It can feel as though it’s never going to end. I remember my husband saying that when our first daughter was a newborn, he thought we would never again sleep through the night, eat an uninterrupted meal or finish a conversation. I am happy to report that almost twenty-one years later, that scenario hasn’t come to pass.

It’s not easy to find the good in each day. But it’s there. It might be hiding under the noise of a crying baby or behind the face of a sulking teenager. And the longer we’re parents, the easier it is to remember in each stage that this too shall pass. . .faster than we can know.


Tawdra Kandle is stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of four children who range in age from 8 years to almost 20 years. She and her husband of nearly 22 years live in central Florida, where he is in seminary. Tawdra spends most of her precious free time writing and reading, and she loves to travel.

Princess and Fairy Children's Book Review

Princess and Fairy Children's Book Review

by Mandie Stevens

This book is beautifully illustrated and that alone drew my children to this book. They "had" to have me read it to them. The "Can you find it" articles and the Treasure hunt list with stickers made the book very interactive.

Princess is a bunny-princess. Fairy is a bunny-fairy. And tonight is the Queen’s Grand Birthday Feast! Together, the two cutest bunnies in all of Fairyland set out to find their list of pretty things—a blue silk purse, stripy pink sweets, rainbow cake, and a four-leaf clover—to bring to the queen.

This book shows your little ones that the prettiest things may be found where you least expect them and that true beaty lies within.

About the Author
Anna Pignataro has illustrated more than twenty-five books for children, four of which she also wrote. She has received a number of awards, including Australia’s Crichton Award for Children’s Book Illustration. She lives in Melbourne, Australia.


Mandie Stevens is founder of Taking Time for Mommy. She is a homeschooling mom of 2 girls. When she isn't writing she spends her time at the beach, making crafts, playing in the garden, and reading entirely too much. Her specialities are frugal and natural living.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tawdra's Couponing Adventure: Part 5 Can This Really Be A Way Of Life?

My Couponing Adventure: Part 5 Can This Really Be A Way Of Life?
by Tawdra Kandle

I took a brief break from actively pursuing my couponing while my middle daughters were in California. With two people away and my husband on a special diet, there wasn’t much need to shop for anything than fresh vegetables.

I did continue to faithfully clip and organize my coupons, and I actually used some outside the realm of the grocery store circuit. At Ulta (a cosmetic store), I took advantage of some great offers and used coupons to purchase some girly necessities, and I was able to put away a few goodies for Christmas, too-some of them for FREE!

This week I carefully jumped back into the pool. I got rid of some expired Q’s and pulled up the lists.

Incidentally, I’ve been finding coupons from other sources lately, too. When I buy any magazines, I peruse them carefully for those precious slips of paper. . .and many of the products I’ve purchased have come with great coupons enclosed, too. Love those EXTRA savings!

Yesterday I assembled lists and coupons, and today I managed to hit Publix and Target. At Publix, I simply used some Q’s that were about to expire for some cool deals. But I was pretty pleased with my Target trip.

I bought two boxes of Pop Tarts which were on sale for $2.52 each. I had .75 off coupons for each, so I paid $3.54 for both. . .AND I also received a free gallon of milk, worth $2.49. Not too shabby.

Then there was the ice cream deal. Edy’s 1.5 gallons were on sale for $2.50. I had 5 $1.00 off Q’s. . .and when I purchased 5 1.5 gallons, I also received a $5 gift card from Target. So I paid $7.50 out of pocket for 5 containers of ice cream, but when you figure in the gift card, the actual price total was $2.50. Wow!

I was really happy with my overall totals at both stores. I still have to make trips to CVS and Kmart this week.

But can this be a sustainable way of life?

I love even the little savings I’ve been seeing. I am thrilled that I have already made a meaningful start to my Christmas shopping. Even my son’s birthday shopping has been coupon-happy!

I’m planning to continue this adventure full-force. I’ve noticed that it’s getting easier the longer I do it, mostly because I’m building up my coupon supply in an organized way. I love it when a list calls for a coupon and I find it! With our new pantry, we can easily see what we’ve stockpiled.

On the other hand, I don’t know that I will ever be one of those women at the grocery store who only has to pay a few dollars for a cart load of groceries. I have to feed too many opinionated people!

I’ve also realized that I have some standards for my family’s eating that I’m not willing to sacrifice. While the experts recommend clipping ALL coupons just in case you come across a deal too good to pass up, I know there are things that my family have chosen not to eat. I chose not to clip those coupons.

Time is another big consideration. The idea of hitting multiple stores to find more of a bargain or planning to shop each and every day makes me tired. Being a homeschooling mom gives me a certain freedom, but it also bears the responsibility of managing my time wisely. So I am definitely going to stick to my shopping schedule of CVS on Sundays and Publix on Thursdays.

I realized how much I had learned over this past month when my aunt came to visit and I sat down to share some coupon tips. For the first time in my various attempts at successful couponing, I’m happy with my organization style. I haven’t tried to do bite off too much right away, and I think I can make this work.

Come to think of it, that might be the key—starting slowly and being organized. Knowing how much you can handle and not beating yourself up when you miss a sale or a coupon opportunity just might be the difference between success and failure.
So. . .have you been inspired to tackle couponing? Do you have tips or ideas? I’d love to hear them. Learning from each other is the best way to keep this coupon adventure rolling along
Tawdra Kandle is stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of four children who range in age from 8 years to almost 20 years. She and her husband of nearly 22 years live in central Florida, where he is in seminary. Tawdra spends most of her precious free time writing and reading, and she loves to travel.

Chocolate Milk: muscle recovery’s new best friend?

Chocolate Milk: muscle recovery’s new best friend?
by Carolyn Lawrence

Fitness lovers everywhere can rejoice! Low-fat chocolate milk is actually good for you and muscle recovery after a strenuous work out. So, why is low-fat chocolate milk the perfect choice for a post-work out drink? Chocolate milk contains many of the nutrients the body needs for recovery.

According to an article on the web site Medical News Today (2009), “Post-exercise consumption of low fat chocolate milk was found to provide equal or possibly superior muscle recovery compared to a high-carbohydrate recovery beverage with the same amount of calories.” This means that low fat chocolate milk can provide exercise lovers the same carbohydrate quantity needed to help restore muscle damage after their work outs.

During work outs, muscles can become fatigued and stressed, and often can suffer from work out induced injuries, such as small tears within the muscle. As muscle are worked, they can be microscopically injured--a natural process from which the muscles are then rebuilt stronger and firmer. It is this process which helps develop muscle tone and mass. However, the muscle must be repaired and repaired appropriately. The high carbohydrate and protein within chocolate milk has shown that it can repair muscle damage just as effectively as popular sports drinks.

This is great news, particularly for women, since drinking low fat milk can provide the necessary calcium and vitamin D often missing from diets. Milk can also provide missing or lacking minerals, such as magnesium and potassium, along with the much needed calcium. Milk can also rehydrate the body just as well as water or a sports drink.

However, it should be noted that individuals who are counting calories and watching carbs should chose a low fat or skim version of chocolate milk, since regular chocolate milk can have upwards of 200-plus calories and 32 grams of sugar per 8 ounce serving. Keep in mind that the recommended daily sugar intake is 40 grams, or 10 teaspoons. With one regular 8 ounce serving of chocolate milk, you are getting your daily intake. Yikes!

Despite this, low fat chocolate milk is a great alternative for a post-work out drink. So before you reach for a bottled sports drink, reach for a glass of chocolate milk instead. The wholesome goodness within milk is much better for you than the empty calories of sports drink. After all, milk does do a body good!

Source:Chocolate Milk's 'Natural' Muscle Recovery Benefits Match Or May Even Surpass A Specially Designed Carbohydrate Sports Drink, Retrieved on October 22, 2009 from:
Carolyn Lawrence is a fitness coach for Beachbody, inspiring and motivating individuals on the road to health and wellness. A lifelong sports junkie, Carolyn is currently getting certified as a weight management and life coach to become a greater value to those who need her help. Visit her blog for more advice.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Free Taylor Swift Song!

My girls and I LOVE Taylor Swift! I was so excited to see another Freebie song from L. E. I. This FREE download is of her new single "Fifteen"
As always. I choose not to include my phone# on the form and it still allowed me to download.
Enjoy! Download HERE

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

PartyLite Review and Giveaway

It’s no secret that I’m a candle addict. I was extremely excited when I got the chance to review the candles for PartyLite. If you know nothing about PartyLite candles you need to know they are NOTHING like the candles in Wal-Mart. PartyLite candles are packed with scent!

The scents are available in several different sizes and broken up into different categories: Fruits & Citrus, Edible & Spicy, Floral, Fresh & Clean, and Herbal & Woodsy. I promise, there is something for everyone.

Although I love candles from all of the categories, I lean more towards the herbal & woodsy scents. The Plum and Cognac & Tamboli Safari were certainly among my favorites. So were the Champagne Pear and Tuscan Vineyards.

Joyce Leicthy, our PartyLite Consultant is doing a Giveaway through Taking Time for Mommy. She is giving away the Antique Bronze refillable candle holder (pictured above) AND the Bestburn Iced Snowberries Candle refill.

Be sure to check out the special offers page, there are 28 Fabulous Gift Ideas up to 75% off

In order to enter our giveaway you must (One entry Given for each you do)-

1.Head over to Joyce’s site and come back here and comment which product is your favorite
Extra Entries given for these -
2. Follow this blogspot & comment that you do
3.Follow this blogspot on twitter: & comment that you do

4.Tweet about this giveaway & comment that you did (this can be done daily)
5.Blog about this giveaway & comment that you did with a link, so we can check it out!
6.If you Join PartyLite as a Consultant or book a show with Joyce, you will receive 10 entra entries!
This giveaway will end on November 20, 2009 Please Be sure to leave your e-mail address with each comment and leave seperate comments for each entry! Good Luck!
Contest is Now Closed! Winner will be announced shortly....

Free Holiday Music (Limited Time Only)

Free Holiday Music (Limited Time Only)
by Laquita Bergeron

Glade is offering free holiday music until January 10, 2010.Enter 12 digit UPC to receive your free holiday music downloads:
Just enter a UPC on the site and download away!Here are the UPC's for you
Bayberry Spice UPC 046500708633
Homemade Gingerbread UPC046500709715
Peppermint Crush UPC 046500708466
HollyBerry Wreath UPC is a walmart exclusive item and so far not online...
Note: People are reporting that if you use the back button once you download a song,you can download the others as well without having to come back the next day. [you may have to clear your flash memory to get this to work]
LaQuita Bergeron is a mother of two beautiful spoiled children. She is a stay at home mom that works from home as a transcriber. She is also the owner of EveryDayMoms Social Network

Tawdra's Couponing Adventure: Part 4

My Couponing Adventure: Part 4: Putting It All Into Practice By Tawdra Kandle

You might recall that my goal was to actually get out there and use these lovely, valuable coupons this week. So. . .here’s my weekly log:

SUNDAY: I came home from church and grabbed the Sunday paper out from under my husband’s very nose. I spread out on the living room floor, first separating all the sections I needed (coupons, ads, comics. . .). Wow! Three coupon circulars this week—Red Plum, Smart Savers and one from General Mills. Cool. I pulled out my business envelopes and clipped my coupons, organizing them into the newly labeled envelopes. The next step was pulling up Tanya’s website. I scanned the CVS and Walgreens specials and copied/pasted the ones I liked onto a Word document. I glanced at the Publix sales, which had begun on Thursday and wondered if I might somehow make it in there before the sales ended. Just in case, I also copied and pasted some of those onto my list. The new Target specials weren’t up yet.

I was pretty excited too because I’d received two Target ad books in the mail last week. The coupons in there were awesome, and one of the books (not both. . .hmm, I wonder why??) had a $5 off any $50 order as well as a $5 off $25 of school supplies. So I’m pretty psyched to see the Target deals this week and figure out which ones I can maximize.

I had hoped to get to CVS today, but we’ve had some glitches. It’s not a normal week in my household, since we’re in the midst of sending two daughters off to visit family and friends in California, and we also spent the weekend outfitting a new pantry and moving everything into it. All that means that I didn’t get to CVS or Walgreens.

I was reminded of another obstacle we face in reaching total coupon bliss. My family has more than one shopper. My husband will run out to the grocery store, or my daughter will. . that doesn’t help our grocery budget. And then last night my daughter and I ended up making a late evening run to Publix. I wasn’t coupon ready—we only needed lemons—but it made me think that we need to come up with a plan for avoiding these quick runs to the store.

MONDAY: So this morning I’m glad I didn’t make it to CVS yesterday—in my email, I received a $5 off any purchase of $25 or more at CVS but only on Wednesday this week! Hoorah! Now I can plan to go that day and know I’m really going to clean up. Time to sit down and match my coupons to my list for this week. I know, I should’ve done it yesterday. . .but it didn’t happen. One of the things I’m determined is that I won’t fall prey to coupon guilt. I won’t feel bad if I don’t get it all done. Otherwise I’m afraid that I’ll end up ditching the whole thing.

TUESDAY: I had to go to Target today anyway, so I made a plan and used my coupons. It was fun! In some ways, it’s hard to tell how much I’m saving, since I’ve been buying some stuff that isn’t on the couponing plan. My daughters are going away for two weeks, and I had to buy them some necessities. Still, I noted that with my coupons and including a gift card I earned, I saved over $50.

WEDNESDAY: Today was my day to use the CVS coupon. I worried it wasn’t going to happen, since we had to take the girls to the airport, but we did manage to stop on the way home. I stuck carefully to my small list, and I bought a Revlon mousse foundation, a pack of Sharpie Highlighters and razor refills. I added quickly in my head and realized that I would be short the $25 needed to use my coupon. Going down the makeup aisle, I noticed that my daughter’s favorite makeup was on sale, 40% off. I chose some eyeshadow and headed for the register. Following Tanya’s advice, I held onto all the coupons until everything was rung up. I first submitted my $5 off coupon, then my other manufacturers’ coupons, and finally, my Extra Care Bucks earned a few weeks ago. I was thrilled beyond measure when the cashier announced that I only owed tax! My total went from over $30 to $1.56.

Okay, it’s not quite the $400 to $22 I’ve seen, but it’s a start! The only negative of this trip was that I didn’t earn any ECB’s (Extra Care Bucks) because the offer for one item had ended yesterday.

I also stopped by Publix and hit their sale last minute (their new sales begin tomorrow). I bought ice cream, salad dressing and water ice BOGO (buy one, get one free). I had coupons for the salad dressing and water ice, and I could use one coupon per item, even when it was free. I also took advantage of Publix’s “buy theirs, get ours free” offer (buy a name brand item and get the Publix brand free) and bought graham crackers, cereal bars and cashews. I had coupons for the graham crackers and nuts, too!

On the down side of the Publix trip, the muffin mixes that had been on the web site as being on sale and BOGO were not either at this Publix. I had coupons for them and so went ahead and bought them. Also, because I brought my husband, I ended up having more items in my order than I had planned! My total at Publix went from $57.51 to $41.37. Not great, but considering everything in my cart, not too bad either.

Lessons learned: Make sure of the dates for special sales and offers. Ask about items that aren’t marked according to the list (my muffin mixes!). Don’t take husbands or young children to the store.

I know tomorrow is supposed to be my Publix day again, with the new sales, but with two of my loyal babysitters out of the loop and in California, I think I’ll call it a week.

Next Week: Can This Really Be a Way of Life?
Tawdra Kandle is stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of four children who range in age from 8 years to almost 20 years. She and her husband of nearly 22 years live in central Florida, where he is in seminary. Tawdra spends most of her precious free time writing and reading, and she loves to travel.

Guerilla Mom Tactics

Guerilla Mom Tactics
by Tawdra Kandle

Being a mom has got to be one of the hardest jobs in the world. It’s rewarding, yes. . .fulfilling, and sprinkled with some of the brightest and most wonderful moments possible. But it’s also gut-wrenchingly, heartbreakingly tough.

So it only stands to reason that every mom needs to have a few tricks up her sleeve. These are not the kind of things you read about in parenting magazines. These little tidbits are shared between frazzled moms over coffee or passed on from mother to daughter in confidential talks.

I have a few of my own. Hey, you don’t have four kids—one of them nearly twenty-one—and hold onto your sanity without some guerilla tactics. I don’t recommend all of them for everyone, and some are only to be used under extreme duress. But I’ll share a few of them with you. Shhhhh. . .

The first thing you have to remember is that the bond between siblings is sacred. You don’t mess with it. . .unless it’s absolutely necessary. I will admit that I have, once or twice, coerced information from one child about another. It’s usually just to confirm a hunch I already have. I don’t like it—I want my kids to be friends and to trust one another—but sometimes it’s safer to go in with as much information as possible.

I also discovered something a little disturbing with my youngest child. I realized a few years ago that when he is grumpy or less than motivated to do his chores or school work, there is one thing that will change his mood. And that’s the presence of a sibling who is even grumpier. A sister who gets in trouble for her attitude? Why, you’ll practically be able to see your reflection in my son’s halo. Suddenly he is very attentive and the absolute sweetest child you’ve ever met. With this knowledge, it is entirely possible. . .although I admit to nothing. . .that I may have coerced a sibling into feigning a snarly mood. This hypothetical event would only have happened when I was at the end of my rope, of course.

My most recent discovery has the faintly unsavory air of bribery, although I choose to call it a business proposition. A certain daughter of mine had expressed a need to make some money for the holidays. At the same time, I was growing less and less tolerant of a younger child’s messy room. I was trying to train this child to keep his/her room in order, but it is an uphill battle. There were times when I just wanted to see the floor without clothes and toys covering it and the drawers closed.

I hit upon a plan. I clandestinely approached child who needed money and offered her the job of keeping her sibling’s room relatively neat. But part of the agreement was that she could NOT disclose this agreement, because I knew if messy child was aware that a sibling was being paid to help him/her with his/her room, he/she would take advantage of that fact and not work at all. May I just tell you that this agreement is working out brilliantly? And I really don’t feel even the least bit guilty.
Yes, we moms need these tricks. Sometimes they’re the only things that get us through the week. . .or the day. And we can comfort ourselves with the reality that one day, we’ll share these little secrets with our grown children and laugh.

Just not within hearing of the grandkids.
Tawdra Kandle is stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of four children who range in age from 8 years to almost 20 years. She and her husband of nearly 22 years live in central Florida, where he is in seminary. Tawdra spends most of her precious free time writing and reading, and she loves to travel.

Fall Clutter Control in your Closet

Fall Clutter Control in Your Closet
By: Marilyn Bohn

An aunt visited us a few years ago just after we had our living room carpet replaced with blue carpeting. As we visited she said she didn’t like the color blue. I was amazed that anyone could not like the color blue. After all the sky is blue and the ocean is blue.

Now I have no room to talk as I don’t’ like the color brown—in textiles anyway. I like beautiful wood. I think I have finally figured out why I don’t like this color.

When I was a little girl all the girls (including me) wore ugly brown (I think they were actually dark tan) long socks to school. We didn’t wear pants to school then and my legs would get cold where the socks ended and flesh was exposed.

I would grumble and complain that I had to wear them when it got cold. The only time I was happy to have them is on Christmas Eve because we would put out a sock for Santa to fill and then I would search for the longest sock to be filled.

I always hoped when they were packed away for summer they wouldn’t come back.

This is the time of year when winter socks, clothes, scarf’s, gloves, mittens and coats need to be rotated into the closet. Clutter control begins with taking out the clothes that are worn in the summer and replacing them with winter clothes. As a professional organizer I recommend doing this an orderly fashion.

Step 1: Take out all of the clothes in your closet that you wear only in the spring and summer. Look at each one of these items and evaluate them before packing them away. Ask yourself these questions:
·Do you still like them?
·Do they need mending?
·Do they fit?
·Are they stylish or do they need to be remolded or donated?

This is the first step in clutter control. Now neatly fold them and place them in containers that have lids. Move these to another closet if you have room or place on a shelf in your bedroom. To make more space clothes can be rolled instead of folded.

Step 2: Take out all of your winter clothes from the bins and closets where you hung them. Next shake out the wrinkles and iron if you must. These clothes go back in your drawers or hung up in the closet.

Also hang up the fall and winter coats. Take your light jackets and put in another closet until warm weather returns. If you kept clothes you no longer like or are sure you won’t wear again now is the time to get rid of them. Donate to a charity so others can enjoy your generosity. That is what I wished would have happened to those ugly brown socks I had to wear.

It isn’t your grandmother’s (or great grandmothers) closet any more. There is a lot more to clutter control than she was thinking about in her day. We have more clothes and accessories than she ever had. To make room in our closets for our clothes we need to rotate them in and out as the seasons change.

It would be nice if the weather was either hot or cold but it doesn’t happen that way. There are warm days that require cooler clothes and then the next day it is cold. This is typical fall weather so as you pack away your cool weather clothes keep out one to two shirts and short pants that you can wear while the weather is making up its mind what it is going to do. You can always remove them from your main closet and drawers when the weather settles and pack them away with the rest of your clothes.

Now is a good time to sort through your jewelry and see if you want to keep it all or update your wardrobe with new pieces.

Rotating clothes for the seasons makes more room in your closet, keeps you on top of clutter control and reminds you what clothes you do have to wear.

Article Source:

Marilyn is a professional organizer who works with women and seniors in clearing clutter and providing organizing tips. Visit her website for free organizing tips on her blogs, articles and videos.


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