A Business Resource forMommypreneurs


Do you run your own business? I know lots of stay at home mommies are making a very nice income from running their own home businesses. I am not one of those mommies, yet anyway, but for those that do have a business, there is a great resource to keep in mind for merchant services. Onlinecheck.com offers great services for credit card processing.

I know things like free credit card terminals with their merchant account, low or no set up fees, and low credit card processing rates are very important for small business owners. With Onlinecheck, you do not have to deal with contracts at all. You can get started processing credit cards today and cancel anytime. They also offer next day funding, so you can process a customers credit card transaction today. The money will be in the checking account of your choice tomorrow morning. They will not charge you to setup your merchant account. Onlinecheck.com has over 25 years experience in the merchant services industry, and they know what you're looking for. Fast, inexpensive credit card processing with no cost and no long-term obligation. So if you are one of those lucky mommies (or daddy) with your own business, and need to accept credit cards from customers, you should check out Onlinecheck.com and see if they can help you grow your business.

Halloween Decoration Idea


Halloween is coming quickly. The buzz is picking up at our house, and costume ideas are starting to be discussed. For some reason I love decorating for Halloween almost as much as I do for Christmas. I think it's because Hallowen signals the start of the holiday season and I love holidays! Anyway, I'm always on the lookout for new decorating ideas, and I love this one that I came across. We always have plastic milk jugs so this is a perfect use for them at Halloween!

Clean plastic gallon milk jugs
Black permanent marker
Craft knife
String of 50 clear low-wattage holiday lights


1. Draw ghost eyes and mouths on the jugs. Tip: Leave the caps on while you do this, so the jugs don't dent.

2. Use the craft knife to cut a half-dollar-size hole in the back of each jug (a parent's job).

3. Arrange the ghosts near each other and string the lights between them, stuffing several bulbs into each of the jugs.

Easy, reuses empty milk jugs, and they look great. Can't wait to make these with the kids!

Weddings, Honeymoons and Missed Flights


My friend is planning her honeymoon and she and her fiancee are thinking of going to Las Vegas. As a matter of fact, they are thinking of having their ceremony there as well, and they are checking out Las Vegas tours packages through Trusted Tours and Attractions,com. for all of the wedding party.My friend has been looking at their online travel guides.
She also signed up for the Trusted Travels eNewsletter and was entered to win a $150 Magellan’s Gift Certificate - (btw, that offer ends August 31st, 2008 if you're interested). I remember one time when my hubby and I (in our pre-kids day) took a trip to Las Vegas and what a time we had. We ate a lot, saw some shows, and of course checked out the casinos.
But we loved our getaway so much, it was hard to leave. We actually were having so much fun that we missed our flight home. Then we decided to stay another day. Which led to another missed flight. Oh my. We finally ended up renting a car and driving home. But I was getting a bit worried that we'd end up staying in Las Vegas indefinitely! Hopefully if we do go to Las Vegas for the wedding ceremony, it won't be so hard to come home again!

Trusted Tours and Attractions offers discounted tickets to the best sightseeing tours in 23 cities across America, even to Cypress Gardens Florida. So when you plan your next vacation (or honeymoon!), you may want to check them out.

Spirit Squad


My daughter just made the spirit squad at her school. It is so fun to see her so excited and happy! Today will be their official introduction to the school at their morning assembly. They have practiced their cheer...and hey are all wearing their same outfits. The funny thing is that when I checked on my daughter last night before heading off to bed, I found her asleep in her outfit!! I thought about waking her up and having her change into her pajamas, but then decided against it. She was so excited that I was worried she might not get back to sleep if I woke her.

I am feeling a bit nervous now this morning. I am really hoping the assembly goes well!
Stay tuned...I'm sure we'll have more about spirit squad in the days and posts to come.

Tips On Keeping Kids Healthy The Natural Way


Whole Foods Market is running a special podcast series on going back to school which focuses on using natural health alternatives for staying healthy and fit for school. The series will run through September, and will focus on things such as multivitamins for kids, natural oral care for kids, making sure your kids eat the essential fatty acids needed for brain growth and development, and overall immune system care. I really like Whole Food's approach to going natural with health care.

Any Vegetarians In Your Family?


I am seriously looking for school lunch ideas for my daughter. So while surfing around the Net, I came across Vegan Lunch Box..a book full of recipes that are healthy and do not use any animal products, which is a good thing since my daughter is vegetarian (as are my hubby and me.) This book is written by a mom, Jennifer McCann who also happens o have an award winning blog, Vegan Lunch Box.com. I am so excited...there are some great recipes for school lunches on the blog and book (which I am about to go order!) that I can't wait to try some out. If you have a vegetarian in your family, and even if you don't, you might want to take a look at some of these yummy recipes!

Shh...It's a Secret


We are thinking about a special vacation in the next few months. We'd really love to take the kids to Orlando Florida and visit Disney World there. If we can manage it, this will be a huge surprise for our kids (shh!) So I have been checking out Orlando and getting information together. One service that I am finding very helpful is Dexknows.com. It's like having a Orlando Phone Book right at hand. You can locate almost any business in Orlando Florida using this site, even something like Plumbing in Orlando. Pretty cool.

Sneak Some Veggies Into a Smoothie Drink


Yes it's sneaky, but still a yummy way to get some veggies and fruits into a toddler's diet:

1 1/2 cups carrot juice
1 cup apple juice
6 ounces plain yogurt
1 ripe banana (frozen if desired)

Directions: Blend all ingredients in blender and puree until consistency is very smooth. For older toddlers, try blending a little less time to get a bit more texture.

Making Some Extra Christmas Shopping Money


As a stay at home mom I am always on the look out for a way to make some extra cash to help out with bills, groceries, and stuff for the kids. One way is to Trade your Gold for fast cash and you don't even have to leave home to do it! All you have to do is visit gold and stone exchange.com and request a free Gold Exchange Kit. When you get the kit, just put your old jewelry in the packaging they send you, and drop it in the mail. You don't even have to pay for postage--it's prepaid! Experts will examine the jewelry, determine the value, and send you a check.

I have cluttered jewelry boxes that I am going to go through and see what I can find. I am so hoping I'll have some old gold chains or ear rings that I can try sending in. I already ordered my kit, it took just minutes to fill out the request form online, so I am excited. If I do get some cash for the gold jewelry I send in, it is going straight into my Christmas Shopping fund!

Too Funny!


This is just too funny and so I had to borrow it from The Buzz Nutter and share it here!

Dear Tech Support,

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance, particularly in the flower and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as
Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5, and then installed undesirable programs such as:
NBA 5.0,
NFL 3.0 and
Golf Clubs 4.1

Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system.

Please note that I have tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.

What can I do?

Signed,
Desperate.



DEAR DESPERATE,

First, keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an operating system.

Please enter command: ithoughtyoulovedme.html and try to download Tears 6.2 and do not forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update.
If that application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5.

However, remember that overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0 or Beer 6.1
Please note that Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will download the Farting and Snoring Loudly Beta.

Whatever you do, DO NOT under any circumstances install Mother-In-Law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources.)

In addition, please do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0. These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0.

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend:
Cooking 3.0 and
Hot Lingerie 7.7

Good Luck Babe!

Is this too funny or what? I love my hubby, but I'd have to say that certain things have changed since we became husband and wife versus boyfriend and girlfriend. I guess with commitment comes a certain amount of complacency as well. Te wooing days are over, but a stronger bond is there. So even though "installing" husband 11 may affect other "programs", I am very happy with the program overall and would never delete it!!

Toddler Activities


My toddler is always on the move. He never seems to stop from the time he wakes up in the morning. He is always exploring every drawer, every closet, every nook and cranny in our house. Getting him to stay still and involved in an activity can be challenging, but there are a couple of things that will usually work-- some better than others but even a few minutes break for moms can be helpful!

Pour some rice in a big plastic container or bowl. The kind that are rectangle or square work well, and are big enough for your toddler to really get his elbows and arms into. You may also want to do this in the kitchen, or lay a blanket down and put the container on top of it. Then toss in some plastic cups, spoons, and even yogurt containers and let your little one scoop and toss away.

My kids do not like getting their hair brushed so much, but give them the hairbrush, and boy do they all 3 like to brush each other's hair and anyone else that will sit for them. So if you are desperate for even 5 minutes of down time, see if your kids will brush your hair while you sit and breath deeply and remind yourself that you will one day look back on these days and miss them! Really.

Get a small spray bottle and fill with some water. Hand your toddler a sponge and let them spray and wipe smudges off walls, or wipe down a table. Busy little hands love to "help out" around the house.

Sit your kids down with some crayons and paper and envelopes. Tell them to draw a picture for Grandparents, a friend, babysitter, Aunt, etc. They should have fun drawing and putting their letters in the envelopes. A fun address to use is your own-address to daddy and your kids will love watching dad open his surprise mail when it comes.

Back To School Shopping...Yes Again!


My daughter has returned to school already, but we still need to get her some more clothes. We did do some shopping before school started, but she still needs some more things. There is a great site, thank goodness, that we checked out last night that has Discount Clothing that is really cute and comes with mommy approved pricing! Everything is prced at 17.95 or less. And right now there is up to 10% off discount for Back To School Shopping. Now that makes me pretty happy, and the selection makes my daughter happy. I'm going to let her pick out a couple of things, like this cute hoodie hoodie and these jeans Photobucket. I love finding cheap clothing that is cute too!

Remember The Potato Sack?


How cute are these sacks? I came across these at Small Toys.com this morning. Kids could play relay races inside or outside (think rainy wintery days ahead),birthday parties and picnics and they'll save your pillowcases! The sacks are only $3.75-- not bad at all.

Seafood Recipes


Have you checked out all the fabulous recipes from the Great American Seafood Cook Off.com? OMG--just reading those recipes gets my mouth watering. I think my favorite recipe would have to be the Mississippi Redfish Courtboullion with Seafood Dirty Rice. Chef Chef John Currence from Mississippi created this recipe, and it sound delicious! First because I love rice. Any kind of rice. The second reason is because this recipe has shrimp, crab meat and redfish in it! Three of my favorites.

The recipe calls for quite a lot of ingredients and preparations, but it certainly sounds like it is worth all of it. Just reading the recipe directions made me imagine the delicious aromas that would fill my kitchen. The spices alone make me want to try making this dish! I think there is just one thing I would change. The chicken livers that the dirty rice calls for. Yea--I think that would be the one ingredient I would not include. Hopefully it wouldn't change the taste too much, but something about chicken livers just doesn't appeal to me.

If you haven't checked out the recipes and chefs from the Great American Seafood Cook-off, you really should. Just be prepared for your mouth to start watering, lol. A very cool thing about all the recipes listed is that they all use domestic sustainable seafood which is important for the environment and means that the fish is local, fresh and delicious. And if you vote for your favorite recipe from the cook off, you might just win a trip to New Orleans.

Sponsored by Lousiana Seafood

Boredom Busters For Kids


Here's a Boredom Buster idea for kids:

Prepare some "grab bags" out of brown paper bags. Each bag can contain supplies for a simple project, ingredients for a simple recipe, a yo-yo and an instruction book for doing yo-yo tricks, new coloring book and crayons, and so on. Put the bags away for those days when the kids are inside and bored. Pull out the bags, and let them each pick a grab bag and have some instant fun!

Financial Savvy


I took a test today. It's been a while since I've had to take a test, lol, but I thought this one was pretty important to take even though I knew I probably wouldn't score well on it. The test was about my financial IQ, and how well I am dong financially. So I took it and guess what I scored? A "C"-- not great but not failing either. But I realize I need to get serious (my hubby too of course...though he doesn't know it yet!) where are finances are concerned, especially with future planning.
When I completed my test, which only took a couple of minutes, there were lots of tips, information and resources available for me to browse and get help figuring out what steps me and hubbs need to take to become much more financially fit. We have kids and it is important for me that we watch out and not get heavily into debt with no way out. Reading about Debt consolidation was especially helpful. I would suggest anyone dealing with financial concerns take the Financial IQ test,and find out about Debt relief now before you feel overwhelmed. With the economy the way it is right now, I know there are more and more people that could use some Debt help, and this is a great place to start.

Sponsored by Bills.com

Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe


Halloween is in the air. Even though we are still in August, there is no doubt that thoughts of costumes, parties, pumpkins and more are starting to be on everyone's minds. So in the spirit of everything Halloween, here is a quick recipe for pumpkin cheesecake.

1 9-ounce Graham cracker pie crust
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 16-ounce can of pumpkin
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger

Bake crust for 5 minutes in a 350F degree oven then set aside.

Mix together in a large bowl cream cheese, sugar, and eggs. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, and ginger and mix until blended. Pour pumpkin mixture over pie crust.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes at 350F degrees. Let cool and refrigerate overnight. Add a spoonful or so of whipped cream on top of each slice and sprinkle with cinnamon.

If you feel like being extra decadent, serve with some vanilla ice cream. Yum!

Recycle Lost Puzzle Pieces


I am forever finding lonely puzzle pieces from puzzle boxes my daughter has collected over the years. I would store them in plastic baggies always thinking that some day the lonely miscellaneous pieces would be needed to once again finish a puzzle. Apparently I thought wrong. I now have several baggies with many various unclaimed puzzle pieces.

So here is one idea for lonely puzzle pieces that you might happen to have around your home too--

Use them to create a picture frame, put your child's picture in it, and on one part of the frame, paint the words "Love you to Pieces!." This should make any Grandparent smile when they get it as a gift!

You can glue the puzzle pieces to a wood type frame, or make your own frame using poster board. Just cut a piece larger than the picture. Glue the picture in the middle of the poster board, and your child can glue the puzzle pieces all around the border. Over-lapping the pieces makes a great look.

Kid Approved Cream Cheese Dip Recipe


This is a yummy dip recipe that kids will like dipping carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, apple slices and crackers in.

You'll need:

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature

2 tablespoons orange juice
1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
1/4 cup finely chopped dry cranberries

Mix the juice, yogurt, and cranberry sauce in a blender until smooth. Add in the dried cranberries and chill for about an hour.

Get High Speed Internet and a Free Gas Card!

Charter_laptop
Woo-Hoo! I love coming across great deals and today I found a super one. Charter Communications is offering three different fantastic packages for families looking for high speed internet services and more. By bundling services you need such as Internet, Cable and Telephone, you can save money and get the ease of having all three services on one bill.

And the exciting part is that Charter is also giving away a free Shell Gas Card with every online order. I must say that I never thought of free gas as very exciting before, but these days I definitely do! Depending on the services ordered, you will get either a $25.00, $50.00, or $100.00 gas card...free!

Also, when you order one or more Charter services online, you are automatically entered in the Charter Laptop-a-Day Giveaway. You will have a chance to win 1 of 30 HP Compaq Presario C770US Laptops that Charter is giving away. How cool is that?

So if you are thinking of getting new high speed Internet service, you should check out this offer out. I mean, you need high speed Internet service anyway, so why not get free gas and a chance to win a cool lap top as well? The first winner is going to be September 1st...so hurry and check out the deals and the contest!

Sponsored by Charter Communications

Have you heard of Zwaggle?


This is a very interesting site I just recently found out about. I'm not sure if this is something most everyone else has heard of before, but in case you're like me and haven't heard of Zwaggle before, here's the scoop!

Zwaggle is basically a community of parents that exchange kid and baby items from clothes to toys. It is very cool in that no money is used, just "points." Parents join (for free), list "gently" used items and earn points. Then those points can be used to "purchase" other items listed on Zwaggle.

So if you haven't checked out Zwaggle.com before, you should go take a look around!

Cute Custom T-Shirts and More



So I am in Christmas planning mode already. And I saw a really cute site today that definitely got me thinking of some present ideas for people. They have a great selection of custom t-shirts for men, women, babies, kids and teens, and you can choose from silk screen or custom embroidery.
I checked out the design center and was happily surprised by all the designs offered. I am not very creative, to say the least, so the more help I can get designing the better. And there are many other items you can get customized besides t-shirts, like aprons, bags, hats, even baby bibs! Very cool. Check it out and have fun designing a one of a kind creation!

Five Things I Swore I wouldn't Do As a Mom (But Do!)


Reading an article on Shine.com today got me to thinking about my pre-kid days when I though I knew everything about being a good parent anyway. How does that even work? No kids but I knew it all anyway...can we say "Obnoxious?"

Turns out I of course knew squat. And though I've been a mommy more years than I can believe, I still feel like I could be told to turn in my "mommy membership card" at anytime, lol.

Some of the things I swore to my "Miss Know It All Self" before I actually had any field experience were--

"I will never feed my kids candy or any junk food." Yea--right. But I do feed them nutritious meals too, and give them vitamins..does that count??

"I will never ever lie to my kids." Uh...well...do little white ones count? I mean, I had to say I love the haircut my daughter gave herself when she was four, didn't I? And yea, telling my son mommy and daddy were playing a tickling game was kind of necessary at the time, kwim? And I know it may be stretching the truth, but what if that last piece of chocolate cake was essential to my sanity that day? Didn't I have the right, for my children's welfare, come on, to tell them there was no more cake left when really that last piece was so well hidden even Geraldo wouldn't have been able to find it?

"I will never yell, lose my temper, or show my anger in front of my kids
"
Hmm. Really wish I could have kept that one, but....I have to admit I am guilty of blown fuses more than once. OK. Mrs. Brady I'm not. But I thought I would be like that, calm, cool, always present and understanding. Always have a solution and a smile. So when did I turn into Roseanne? Maybe it's because I don't have an Alice!

"I will never say anything that sounds like my mom." Can we just say I have made some progress in this area? Now when I say something to one of my kids that sounds like my mom was standing there actually saying it instead, I no longer cringe. I just laugh. Kind of like a Roseanne laugh.

"I will never hear my kids tell me that I just don't understand, because I will never give them any reason to." I don't understand how I became the parent that my kids, especially my daughter, thinks "just doesn't get it." Hrumph. One day she will have kids, and then she'll see!

Tell me I'm not alone though. Have you done things as a parent that you promised yourself you wouldn't?

Mommy Wants a Vacation




Today was one of those days where I accomplished absolutely nothing. The kind of day where you wish you could go back to bed and pull the blankets up over your head and pretend you are single with no kids! That's the kind of day I had. I love my kids, I really do, but today I could of easily packed their bags and sent them to Grandma's without blinking an eye. Anyway, tonight things are improving somewhat--my littlest one is fast asleep, my other little guy is watching a movie, and my daughter is doing her homework. All is quiet and I am (with a glass of wine firmly in hand) sitting here imagining being on a beach somewhere in Mexico, like the Sonoran Sun resort Rocky Point. Just me, maybe my hubby, and a large margarita. Yep, no diapers, no bottles, no yelling, no crying, no temper tantrums,...just sand, waves and quiet. Omg. Sounds wonderful. But I know me. If I were to actually set up such a vacation with Sea Side Reservations.com, I would end up wanting to take my kids after all. I am such a mommy. Sheesh.

Playskool 's Mr. Potato Head Giveaway


Playskool has come out with Celebration Spud -- a jumbo Mr. Potato Head packed with more than 80 pieces, including party hats, "birthday cake," and plenty of the usual beady eyes and toothy grins, in honor of it's 80th birthday.

And you can win one of 80 Celebration Spuds by entering Playskool's Mr. Potato Head free giveaway online! There is a limit of one (1) entry per person. Winner will be notified by October 15, 2008 by email.

2008 Summer Olympics Gift Cards



How cool is this...a VISA gift card with Michael Phelps on it? Right now GiftCardLab, the premier provider of Visa Gift Cards is offering the official and collectible 2008 Olympic Visa Gift Cards series.

What a great gift for someone. Just pick your favorite athlete from the Olympics, and have the card personalized and sent to whomever you are surprising! Better yet, why not give yourself a cool memento from the Olympics and order one for yourself.

I love Michael Phelps,,,and what an astounding job he did. But I'd have to probably go with Nastia Liukin or my daughter would never forgive me!


Grab Some Techno Christmas Linky Love



Have you been naughty or nice this year? Hmmm..could one of your wishes be for better tecnorati authority? The countdown to Christmas has begun and so I have decided to join in the Techno Christmas 2008. The goal of this tag is to increase our Technorati authority, and of course our Page Rank. Isn't it a cool gift for you this Christmas? This tag will end on December 25, 2008, so join now...

*Start Copy Here*



You do not have to be tagged to play along. This game is simple and so here are the rules.

1. Copy from "START COPY HERE" to "STOP COPY HERE".

2. Add your site(s) to the list. Just be sure to post the "Techno Christmas 2008" at each site you add.

3. You have a choice to tag or not to tag, however, the more tags you create the longer the list will grow.

4. Let me know your blog’s name and url by leaving a comment HERE, so I can add you to the master list.

5. Come back and copy the master list back to your site, often as you can. This will allow the new comers to achieve equal benefit as the late comers do.

6. Watch your Authority Rise

7. You may want to grab the Techno Christmas Badge




Please follow the rules. Blogs in the list will be subject to removal if their lists are not updated. I will check all of the blogs once a week.

Masterlist:

1. Aeirin Collections 2. Biz-N-Honey 3. Life In Pictures 4. Pinay Mommy Online 5. Blessings and Beyond 6. Mommy Earns Money 7. OnlineBiz and Resources 8. Lourdes' Mia 9. Digital Life Scraps 10. Pexlinks Triple Love 11. Pinay Mommies Community 12. Deranged Insanity 13. Traipsey Turvey 14. PierrEzarh 15. Dancing in Midlife Tune 16. Life is What we Make it 17. Picture Clusters 18. My Wanderings 19. Maiylah’s Snippets 20. Moments of Colours 21. MBA On Line 22. Mom of 2 Dancers 23. Wonderful Things In Life 24. The Fountain Of Happiness 25. A message From My Heart 26. My Life's Adventure 27. Photographic Memories 28. Love Is... 29. The Joy Of Life Forever 29.In My Dreams 30. I love nice 31. My Resting Place 32.You In My Heart 33. Life's All About 34 Design By Pieces 35. Gala Tayo! 36. Buhay Pinoy~Making Money 37. Hesitant Wife's Blog 38. PTC100 39. My Little Home 41. All Because Two People Fell in LOVE 42. Come, Let's Talk 43. Three P's in a Pod 44. 3P's In a Pod 45. Ivory Task 46. I Play Mom 47. Happy Healthy Families

* END COPY HERE *

Thinking About Halloween Costumes



My most favorite time of the year is coming up! I love everything Fall. I love the leaves turning colors, the cooler crisper air, the smell of fireplaces, and of course, Halloween! Yep, I am already starting to think about Halloween costumes for my kids as well as for me and the hubby.

We have had so much fun every year getting ready for Halloween and picking out costumes. So here I am in August looking at Halloween sites and thinking about what my daughter and boys might like. I am also checking out some very cool ideas for hubby and me (wouldn't mind seeing him dressed up like a swaggering pirate aka Johnny Depp style!)

My daughter loves Witches and Sorceress type costumes. She doesn't seem to care that she is a witch almost every year--it's just what she loves. But the costume itself metamorphoses each year as she gets older. There are so many great Halloween costumes having to do with witches and the like that I know she will spend hours checking them all out, discussing the pros and cons of each with her friends, until she makes her final choice. Personally I think she would look great in this celestial sorceress costume I found on Costume Cauldron, but if I tell her I like that one chances are she won't like it. So I'll keep quiet and she which one she picks out.

As for my boys, we usually end up with character costumes. Last year my son somehow came up with the idea that he wanted to be a worm! Of all things...a worm. And of course, I could not find a worm costume, though I admit I didn't try too hard, LOL. He ended up as Thomas the Train, and my littlest guy was the cutest vampire ever. This year I have my eye on the cute alligator costume for him. It looks adorable!

So who knows what everyone will end up being. But I do know we are going to have so much fun looking at all the costumes and deciding on our favorites. If you check out Costume Cauldron, here's a tip for you! There's a secret HAUNTED HOUSE backdoor on the website that will get you a great discount! To get to the backdoor, go to the homepage halfway down on the right and click on the brown comma in the line that reads “Our Store now has over 10,000 masquerade items for you to choose from!”

Picking Up The Toys


My two little boys are geniuses when it comes to making the most mess in the shortest amount of time possible. I can clean up the floor of the play area and put toys back nicely in their place, and I swear by the time I reach the top of the stairs, every toy is back out on the floor. Which in itself is not sooo bad, but darn it if those toys never stay on the floor in the play area. They mysteriously make their way to the living room floor, bedroom floors, the stairway, kitchen floor, trash cans and even the dog bowl (courtesy of my almost 2 year old), and just about any open area of our home!

And as much as my little guys love making the mess, they just as much dislike cleaning up. So I use an idea that I read on a parenting site once upon a time, and it almost (nothing is 100% with kids...at least not with my kids) always works.

I turn cleaning up time into a game of "I Spy." My 4 year old especially likes this, and even my daughter will sometimes get into the game even though she did not make any of the mess. Just call out something like "I see with my little eye something round and blue!" and magically my boys will run to get the ball first so they can be the one to put it away! And they really love it when mom is given clues as well and helps puts toys away, LOL.

It has made clean up time at our house a fun time instead of a battle.

Wine Counry and Day Dreams


We sometimes travel up North to visit family for Thanksgiving. It is a long drive, but for the most part it is beautiful and we actually enjoy it alot (even ith kids in tow!) And part of the drive takes us through "wine country", and every time my hubby starts daydreaming. He would love to own a winery and make wonderful wines. We get into fun talks as we drive along deciding on things like the name for the winery. We even discuss details like what our Wine Bottle Labels would look like. One day maybe we can actually turn our dream into a reality and actually have a successful winery and place a large order with Label World for our unique labels we've designed in our heads during those many car trips.

Organizing Tip For Children's School Work


And here it comes....your child will be bringing home school work soon with A's and B's and smiley faces, 'best work' stickers, and so on. The refrigerator is probably the first place proud parents put up children's prized school work, but here's an idea to help organize and keep those wonderful papers.

Get a 3-ring binder and some plastic page protectors. When your child brings home a test or quiz or other paperwork you want to save, simply put it in one of the plastic sleeves, and it is saved! Kids can decorate the binders, make labels for dividing the binder into sections, make pages for comments, and so on and to make the binder unique and personal.

This is an easy clutter free way to save all those treasured papers, and the binder can easily be taken to Grandparents' houses or anywhere you go so it can be shared.

Btw, the adorable binder shown is from Kookoo bear kids...they have lots of cute stuff you might want to check out.

Creative Announcements


Thinking about Christmas yet? I know it is still technically summer but the holiday buzz is definitely getting louder. I know some people that have gotten started on Christmas shopping and planning. Unfortunately, I am not one of them. But if you are thinking about your holiday to do list and are wondering about your holiday cards this year, you might want to check out Photo Affections. They have a great affordable selection of Baby Birth Announcements, custom photo cards and designer announcements for weddings and holidays. Their cards are designed and personalized for you by a their own artistic team. So take a look and maybe you'll get inspired to start your holiday to do list early!

Some Slimey Fun For Kids


Kids love the feel of slime. This recipe is so quick and easy kids will love making their own slime.

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add cornstarch, then food coloring while stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. This makes a messy slime that goes from liquid to solid, and is great fun to play with.

If you store the slime in a covered container it should keep for several days.

Extra Income For Mommy Bloggers?



Have you heard of Adjix yet? It is a new ad network that allows bloggers to place Adjix shortened links into their blog entrees to earn money when users click on the link. Mommy (and daddy)bloggers may find this as a potential way to make some extra income with their blogs. Linkers share in the ad revenues with Adjix while advertisers get well placed ads. Another cool thing about Adjix is that linkers can track who has clicked on their links. You can read the Adjix F.A.Q. and learn more about this new program.

Here is the press release from Adjix:
Media contact: Kerry Kerr, Director of Sales & Marketing, 760-444-0977

HOLD FOR RELEASE - 12:01 a.m. PDT August 19, 2008

NEW "LINK SHRINKING" SERVICE PAYS USERS
AND OFFERS A NEW WAY TO ADVERTISE ONLINE

(Carlsbad, CA) -- Adjix, a new online advertising network, has created a powerful breakthrough that can be used to send links to friends and colleagues via email, in blog posts, and news articles. The Adjix service is ideally suited for newspapers, bloggers, and e-mail marketers.

Currently, when sending a link to a web page, the resulting link is often so long that it breaks off, thereby prohibiting the recipient from viewing the item. There are already several websites that shorten links, but Adjix has taken this free service a step further. When the the recipient opens the linked item, a tiny text ad appears at the top of every page. Here are two example ads:

Adjix Advertise with the Adjix ad network. Get paid to shrink a link. www.adjix.com

iPod Basics Basic iPod accessories every owner should have. www.iPodBasics.com

"We are very excited to introduce Adjix to the newspaper publishing community. This product offers an innovative and unique way to increase revenue and improve results for both the company and its customers," says Joe Moreno, founder and president of SMS Pal, Inc., the parent company of Adjix.

People who send links using Adjix (also known as "linkers"), will earn cash every time their link is viewed by an individual, and earn even more when the ad is "clicked through" to the advertiser's website. New ads scroll into the top of each web page every 15 – 60 seconds, and can be customized to appear under specific categories, such as health and fitness, business, entertainment, et cetera. This allows advertisers to be more selective about when and where their message runs.

Using this service is inexpensive and easy. Adjix advertisers create a simple text ad and deposit a small fee in their account to get started. There is no cost to linkers to join the network. Both can set up their account in a matter of minutes. "This service will not only make the linking process more user friendly but also provide a great opportunity to expand business for newspapers, bloggers, and email marketers alike," said Moreno.

For more information on Adjix and SMS Pal visit www.adjix.com.

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The Tooth Fairy Jar



Omg..this is so cute I wanted to share right away. This idea comes from Jess of Lost Button Studio.

When it is time for a tooth fairy visit at your house, instead of doing the tooth under the pillow thing, add some magical mystery with the tooth fairy jar. Use a glass jar and fill about 3/4 way with water. Then have your child drop in their tooth. When your child wakes up in the morning they will see the jar now filled with a beautiful colored water (few food coloring drops added in by mom or dad), and some magical glitter floating inside as well! Tooth will be gone of course, replaced with some shiny coins.

Jess has many more cute ideas on her blog so go check it out!

Peanut Butter Playdough


This is a super easy recipe for playdough. It is made with peanut butter, and should not be used or made near children if they have any allergies to peanuts. I like the recipe because it is so easy and kids have fun making the peanut butter playdough. But kids do tend to want to eat it as it's made with food ingredients, but honestly it's not such a good idea. However, this playdough is safer if it finds it's way into kid's mouths than the store bought playdough.

For the peanut butter recipe you'll need

* 1 cup peanut butter
* 1 cup white corn syrup
* 1 cup powdered sugar
* 3 cups powdered milk

In a large bowl, mix peanut butter, corn syrup, and powdered sugar.

Add powdered milk and knead until smooth, adding more powdered milk if the mix seems too wet or sticky.