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WorldVision Balinese Necklace Giveaway
Holiday Goodies: PlasmaCar Giveaway ends 11/30
Why Do We Call It Christmas DVD Review & Giveaway (til 11/25)
Festive Fit Giveaway ends 12/8
Introducing: Damsel Not Book Blast & Giveaway! ends 12/7
Holiday for Her Gift Pack ends 12/6
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Warm you up Homemade Chili Kit

Warm you up Homemade Chili Kit

Create and give a kit your recipient can turn into delicious, savory chili to warm them any time. Recipe and FREE PRINTABLE recipe cards included.

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Santa and the Three Rs

Santa and the Three Rs

Have you ever thought, “do you suppose it’s okay to buy my children’s Christmas gifts off Craig’s List?” or, “is it okay for Santa’s gifts to be used?” What if they ask you, “Why does Santa bring me used toys?”

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WorldVision Handmade Gifts Balinese Necklace Review

WorldVision Handmade Gifts Balinese Necklace Review

This necklace reminds me of a waterfall, and it is not only lovely but well-made. The glass beads are well chosen and the construction of the jewelry is sturdy enough to hold up to daily wear. (If you’d prefer a different handcrafted item, there are others available. They are all more lovely than the last- hard choices, indeed.) This necklace is quite long, and has leather thongs at the back of the neck. They don’t “adjust” per se, but you can tie them in a knot to make it shorter. The length makes it is the perfect accessory for a cowl neck sweater. My son calls it “the Merry Christmas,” and tries to steal it and hang it about the house. It certainly is pretty enough to put on the Christmas tree!

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Orangutan Houdini

Orangutan Houdini

Raising children with an appreciation for our natural world requires that we show them that world in every way we possibly can. Visiting our nations best zoos and natural parks, going outside and building a rain garden, observing the comings and goings of birds, squirrels, lizards, butterflies, bees, and other everyday animals are all great

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Have a very zombie holiday this year.

Have a very zombie holiday this year.

It’s not every day that you find something you can be delighted to call the most disgusting thing you’ve ever seen. Merry Chiapocalypse.

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Give them a hug and tell them a story when you're far from home!

Give them a hug and tell them a story when you’re far from home!

The Original BedBug is a snuggly, adorable plush toy you can personalize with two greetings and a story. Come on in and see if I figured out a way to break it.

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Books On First: Damsel Not Review & Discussion

Books On First: Damsel Not Review & Discussion

Our Books On First series is our version of a virtual book club for moms! Read JMM Danette Z’s review below, and then jump in on the discussion in the comments when you’re ready! enter to win a copy of the book!

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Why Do We Call It Christmas DVD Review & Giveaway (til 11/25)

Why Do We Call It Christmas DVD Review & Giveaway (til 11/25)

Come see what we thought of the Why Do We Call It Christmas DVD by the creator of Veggie Tales and enter to win a copy for yourself! Join Buck Denver and his pals to learn about the history and origins of all your favorite Christmas tradions. One US winner will receive a DVD of Why Do We Call It Christmas.

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Introducing: Damsel Not Book Blast & Giveaway! ends 12/7

Introducing: Damsel Not Book Blast & Giveaway! ends 12/7

Join us in a monthly virtual book club for moms! Introducing this month’s book: Damsel Not! Be sure to come in and get a preview, and enter the Amazon Gift Card giveaway! JMM Danette Z will have a review for you shortly, and you’ll be invited to participate in a virtual discussion. Can’t wait to read it!

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Put the thanks in your #HoneyBakedHoliday #Sponsored

Put the thanks in your #HoneyBakedHoliday #Sponsored

Remember how yesterday I asked you if you were READY? Yeah, I’m still not. But let’s talk about that. Thanks to HoneyBaked Ham Company for sponsoring today’s post. I’ve been compensated for visiting their Alexandria, VA store and sharing the exact same honest thoughts I always would. (Don’t miss the giveaway down there at the bottom!)

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Are you ready?

Are you ready?

We think about being frugal with our money and using our time efficiently, but do we think about the way we spend our spirits? The constant struggle to “keep up,” to be “ready” is draining. It batters us, and it’s a burden we don’t share with our families. Every single woman I know carries this load alone, sometimes even with the added burden of criticism from a spouse who doesn’t understand why it’s important. It’s a bigger load at holiday time, but we carry it all year.

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Hunger in our communities: PWNED by Maddi's Fridge

Hunger in our communities: PWNED by Maddi’s Fridge

#girls making a difference… Sofia and Maddi play in the same park. They live in the same neighborhood. When Sofia realizes that there is no food at Maddi’s house, Maddi makes her promise not to tell. This book is a story about hunger in our communities, and what we (even kids!) can do about it. My favorite sentence is: “10% of profits donated to help fight childhood hunger.”

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Book for tweens helps with sibling and blended family drama

Book for tweens helps with sibling and blended family drama

Twin siblings Maggie and Max are assigned by their mother to create a handwritten journal over the course of a summer. She lays out some ground rules, and then they are to take turns going first and then responding to one another’s entries. The result is the kind of messy, handwritten, doodled in journal that has been building creativity since paper stopped being as precious as diamonds.

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Debt Free Holiday: Science Kids Edition

Debt Free Holiday: Science Kids Edition

Science is amazing and, if you’re doing it right, loads of fun. It’s also EXPENSIVE. Or at least, it can be. If your kid’s favorite question is “how come?” then you’ve probably blown your mind more than once when you priced out gifts that would help her find out the answer… the good news is that there are fun, inexpensive science activities you can make or give as gifts. Your science kid won’t have to make do with theoreticals- he can get his hands dirty for real.

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BabyLit books: You won't want to put your eye out!

BabyLit books: You won’t want to put your eye out!

I cannot promise that your toddler will not want to read these over and over until your ocular nerve gives out. Actually, they probably will, because they’re totally adorable, but we’re talking about YOU here. So, while I can’t promise you won’t be asked to read these way too much, I CAN promise you that we have finally found some board books that don’t insult our intelligence.

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Caught "tween" a rock and hard place...

Caught “tween” a rock and hard place…

I remember my own “tween” years as being extremely confusing, emotional, and overly dramatic. Everyone I know who is currently raising a “tween” girl has mentioned that this stage of life is filled with drama at least once. So when I was contacted and asked if I’d like a review copy of The Girls’ Q&A Book on Friendship by Annie Fox M. Ed., I said yes. Yes, I would like to read anything that is meant to help girls find their path socially, with less drama and confusion.

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Disney on Ice is more spectacular than ever with Frozen!

Disney on Ice is more spectacular than ever with Frozen!

Disney on Ice presents Frozen surprised me by being even MORE visually spectacular than other Disney on Ice presentations I’ve seen. From the incredibly detailed costumes to the incredibly vibrant color palette, the show was eye candy from start to finish. The iconic costumes were, obviously, interpreted for freedom of movement, so if you have an active princess on your hands, you might want to fuel her imagination with one of these versions, if you can.

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Why does food stick to the pan?

Why does food stick to the pan?

When I recently received the Ozeri 12″ Green Pan in exchange for my feedback, I realized that I actually do not know why food sticks to the pan. (And you’re probably thinking, “you didn’t care, either, did you?”) This turned out to be one of those little “I wonder” moments that turned into a revelation. Yes,

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We all wanna see the plan

We all wanna see the plan

Has anyone ever asked your son who he’s going to marry? Mine get asked what they’re going to be when they grow up, not about their marital prospects. I mean, I can see how I might benefit from arranging marriages for them right now, at ages 7 and 3. I have exactly zero goats on hand, and a couple of dowries would fix that right up- but no one has ever asked them what they thought of it.

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Teal Pumpkin GIVEAWAY: Let's make Halloween fun for all kids by offering food-free treats, too!

Teal Pumpkin GIVEAWAY: Let’s make Halloween fun for all kids by offering food-free treats, too!

FARE encourages us to consider painting a plastic pumpkin to re-use year after year. They also have a printable sign available. I personally prefer a little lighter and warmer style of decorating, so I have designed my own sign, which I’m sharing with you. Won’t you please pin it (or the one by FARE) to your Halloween board? Even if you don’t get ToTers at your place, you can spread the word! Thanks!

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Sweet Potato Chicken Chili Recipe & Dei Fratelli Ripened Recipe Contest

Sweet Potato Chicken Chili Recipe & Dei Fratelli Ripened Recipe Contest

This sweet potato chili is what I consider “Pretty spicy,” as in, “Serve with cornbread,” but not “don’t touch it with your skin because it’s chemical weapons spicy.” So grab an apron and let’s get our cook on.

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Honey Praline Bread Pudding Recipe

Honey Praline Bread Pudding Recipe

My little guy declared it “honey cake” (Why? I have no idea, as it’s nothing like cake, but if it makes him happy, it makes me happy.) and kept trying to steal mine. (You’re lucky I got a photo for you, as he’s perfectly capable of inserting his spoon right into my photo shoot!)

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Bet you can't draw-a-saurus just one!

Bet you can’t draw-a-saurus just one!

Even if you aren’t sure which end of the pencil to hold, as long as there’s a dino lover in your house, you’ll get a lot of bang out of this book. Without the instructions on how to create your own dinosaur illustrations, this book would be charming, funny, and informative. With them, it encourages the reader to build their artistic skills by thinking about the science and by drawing comparisons to modern animals.

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One, two, BOO! A spooky story time plan

One, two, BOO! A spooky story time plan

Despite the fact that my kiddo is deeply ambivalent about his costume, we are all looking forward to Halloween at my house! And there is no better way to celebrate any holiday, in my opinion, than with hands-on learning activities and a nice story time. This roundup has got messy play, recycling bin crafts, printable games, and fun Halloween snacks your kids will love to make. Maybe it will buy us all a little reprieve from answering “is it Halloween yet?”

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