Pinterest Project: Glitter Ornaments

Glitter Christmas OrnamentFinally! A Pinterest craft project that I was successful with! After finding several “glitter ornament” directions I decided that this would be a neat project to do with the kids! So, I went to the store and picked up the necessary items (bought the Pledge and glitter at Wal-Mart and the clear balls from Ben Franklin’s Crafts) then set out to actually make them!

The kids didn’t really do a whole lot other than pick colors – they just didn’t want to. I made a blue one for myself just to try it out. Then, I made an orange one (for Xander) and a pink one (for Juliana) and a green one (for my husband.)

I know the blue one that I made first seems to need another “coat” of glitter but the other ones came out perfectly! I’m excited because once the glitter is all inside it there are so many other things to do to decorate them and make them more snazzy! Ribbon, stickers, jewels … the ideas are endless!

Next year I will plan more in advance (and hopefully, live closer to better craft stores.) There were only three non-broken clear balls at our craft store – so I had to pilfer a couple more clear balls from a friend.

If you want to make your own glitter ornaments, go check out these links:

Have fun! Merry Christmas!

 

Holy Holidays, Batman! I Don’t Have Cards!

I’m a last minute kinda-girl. If you are also and (like me) haven’t even ordered your holiday cards yet you need to check out TinyPrints. I love this company – they have great customer service and beautiful cards that don’t look like EVERY OTHER CARD you see.

Okay – so here are some dates for you:

Top Six Deadlines to Know for Christmas Eve Delivery

Cards – Regular Shipping 12/15
Cards – Expedited Shipping 12/18
Cards – Super Rush Shipping 12/22
Cards – Super Rush Plus 12/23 (1pm ET) – Yes that is right, the day before.
Photo Gifts (incl. iPhone and iPad Cases),
Ornaments and Mugs – Standard 12/10
Photo Gifts (incl. iPhone and iPad Cases),
Ornaments and Mugs – Express 12/16

So you better get moving! Click here —–> customized Christmas cards from Tiny Prints!

Grandma will appreciate it! Oh, yeah – that’s an affiliate link 😉

Keep Safe and Healthy This Thanksgiving

Article via Lt. Cmdr. Amit Sood

Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy many social events with your family and friends, and of course, some great cooking! During this time of year, it isn’t uncommon to gain a few extra pounds. in fact; Americans gain an average of one to two pounds throughout the holidays. With the abundance of high-calorie foods available at social events, weight gain can happen fast. Just one pound of fat gain is equal to 3,500 calories in excess of what you need to maintain your weight. Fortunately, you have the ability to make a conscious effort to take care of your body and celebrate health with strategic and mindful eating.

Skipping meals throughout the day in preparation for a party meal will often lead to overeating. Instead, eat a hearty breakfast filled with whole grains, fruits and protein, such as eggs or peanut butter. The fiber and protein will help you feel full, maintain your energy level and prevent excess calorie intake later on. Also, snack on high fiber foods throughout the rest of the day to keep your hunger under control. Then when it comes time for that big meal, be sure to savor each bite in smaller portions.

Don’t be fooled, though. all foods contain calories (yes, even vegetable side dishes!). No matter what you choose, the trick is to eat in moderation.

Here are some additional tips to help keep the calories down while still enjoying your holiday favorites:

  1. Use smaller plates during meal times as it will help you eat less.
  2. Substitute two egg whites for one whole egg whenever possible – this reduces cholesterol and calories.
  3. Scale back on butter and margarine and try low-sodium, fat-free broths to flavor your sides.
  4. Look up recipes that use applesauce or pumpkin in place of butter or oil in baked items like breads, muffins, cakes or pies.
  5. Try infusing your favorite spices in fat-free plain yogurt to replace cream-based sauces and cake toppings.
  6. Try “slow-motion” eating. Research shows eating slowly helps to eat less. Take at least 20 minutes to savor your food while focusing on family and friends during mealtimes.

Remember, you have a conscious choice to enjoy this time of celebration, festivities, family and food.

Lt. Cmdr. Amit Sood, the OPNAV N17 Nutrition Programs Manager, is a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics. He has nearly 10 years of experience in counseling thousands of service members and their families on nutrition and health-related issues, having delivered close to 600 nutrition-related lectures to more than 20 commands and institutions across the DoD. With a passion for promoting nutritional awareness to enhance health and quality of life for individuals and populations, Lt. Cmdr. Sood hopes to offer simple and practical ways to maintain healthy eating practices 365 days a year. He is a firm believer in the phrase “Food is Medicine,” and that every individual should embrace this idea to help them think about food as a therapeutic agent, thus leading to food choices that are beneficial rather than detrimental to overall health.

Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas

Are you still not finished with your holiday shopping? Do you need some quick – yet – thoughtful ideas for your family, friends and maybe even co-workers? Well you’ve come to the right place! First off you should really check out my Guide to Holiday Gift Guides where I list a few of the best gift guides I’ve found online (written by people I personally know and trust too)! Here are some other awesome ‘last minute’ holiday gifts:

Homemade gift baskets are a great way to give thoughtful yet economical gifts to family members and friends. The key to giving this type of gift is to know the recipient or have little basket-stuffers that almost everyone could use. Sample-sized or free items come to the rescue here. If you’re putting together a relaxation or pampering basket, you may want to grab this free gift, recipe, coupons, and guide from Veria.

Into crafting and scrapbooking? Check out these simple and easy holiday gifts by Tami Morrison! You can also create a beautiful Angel Christmas Tree decoration to give to those on your gift list! I’ve known plenty of people who give ornaments as gifts and believe me it comes in handy when your tree is lacking in them!

Don’t have time to create and just want to purchase? I’ve personally received (and given) fruit basket bouquets from Edible Arrangements. These tasty fruit bouquets are a treat for everyone on your gift list. They make sweet gifts or great treats for all holidays. With over 940 locations worldwide you are sure to find a store near you.

Real Holiday Helpings from Hellmann’s

HellmannsRealHolidayHelpings To help parents prepare Real Food they can feel good about serving the whole family this holiday season (including those picky eaters of theirs), Hellmann’s® and Best Foods® Mayonnaise has teamed up with critically acclaimed chef, author and TV personality Bobby Flay to create the “Real Holiday Helpings” program on Hellmanns.com and BestFoods.com.

By visiting the site you can find recipes and tips for how to easily prepare Real Food that tastes great and is made from simple ingredients. You can also watch video demonstrations that showcase stand-out holiday dishes. You can even play the Real Food Matchup game each day for a chance to win a $50 gift card!

While you’re at it, don’t forget to enter the Real Holiday Helpings Giveaway for the chance to win a year’s supply of groceries!

You can become a Hellmann’s® Fan on Facebook and you will also find a $1.00 off 2 Hellmann’s® (22oz or larger) coupon!

I plan on making the Super-Moist Chocolate Mayo Cake this Christmas! It sounds so yummy! It calls for 1 box (18 oz.) chocolate cake mix 1 cup Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise 1 cup water 3 eggs 1 tsp. ground cinnamon. Go read the rest of the recipe on the website! Don’t even get me started on how awesome the Turkey Cuban Sandwich sounds! The fact that a lot of these recipes you can use your leftovers for just makes them that much better!

Wanna hear something that will make your holiday even MORE BETTER (um, yeah my English just went out the window) – thanks to Hellmann’s® and MomSelect – Atomic-Mama.com will be giving away a $25 American Express gift card!! In order to be eligible to win you must be a US or Canada resident (sorry to my overseas readers)

In order to ENTER to WIN the $25 American Express gift card please visit the Hellmann’s® Real Holiday Helpings website and tell me which recipe sounds the BEST to you! (There are so many to choose from!) – leave a comment with your choice (this will earn you one (1) entry)!

Earning More Entries:

1. Twitter about this contest. Please leave me your username so I can verify. Or use something like this:

@starryskye81 is giving away an American Express $25 Gift Card thanks to Hellmann’s Real Holiday Helpings! http://bit.ly/8WKz7O

2. Stumble this post and add this post to other social media sites like Digg, Kirtsy, Blogging Zoom, Reddit, Propeller, Etc. (1 entry for each social network).

3. Comment on any other post on this blog.  (1 entry for each post).  Let me know which posts you commented on.


Each of these gives you 5 additional entries:

1. Blog about this on your blog. Please give me the URL, so I can verify.

2. Add this to any forums you belong too. Please give me the URL, so I can verify.

3. Add @blm03 to any of your Twitter Lists.

4. Subscribe to this blog using either my email or RSS feed

5. Add my badge to your sidebar (each blog gets you 5 additional entries):

The contest will end on Monday, December 15th at 6pm EST! Good luck!!

Disclosure: This post has been presented on behalf of Hellmann’s® and MomSelect – I’ve received a small monetary incentive to post.

Holiday Planning … Already?

Harlequin-Snowman-10066836-SM

There is a cool, crisp feeling in the air on this first official day of Autumn (at least – here in the USA!) The neighbors are beginning to decorate for Halloween and I see pumpkins are already for sale at some stores and the local farms. So what does that mean? It’s time to start planning for … Christmas? Hanukkah? Yule?

Holiday cards are usually sent out shortly after Thanksgiving – and seeing that Thanksgiving is 64 days away (as of this posting) that makes Christmas and Kwanzaa only 93 days away and Hanukkah only 79 days away (again, as of this posting).

That is less than 100 days people! Why not make the whole holiday cards thing easy on yourself and plan them early? That way – you can get the order in and receive them with plenty of time to mail them to everyone on your list. Less to worry about I think!

I’m personally thinking ‘snowmen’ this year. We ordered some photo cards last year and they came out beautiful though – very ‘non religious’ which I like. We’ve got both Jews and Christian’s that we send holiday greetings to. This year I am even adding a Pagan or two to the mix. So I need cards that are versatile.

How about you? What kind of holiday cards do you like to send?