Dec 212015
 

Hasbro's Hottest Toys of 2015

Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet?  Don’t be jealous, but mine has been done for well over a month.  I get panic attacks in crowds (no lie), so I steer clear of the stores for the entire month of December.  I know I am in the minority, though, and personally know quite a few people that haven’t even started their shopping yet – even though the big day is only four days away.  FOUR days, guys!

If you’re stuck on ideas for what to get your kids this year, fret not because Hasbro has you covered and then some.  They seriously have the coolest toys out this year and your kids are going to flip their lids over some of these things!

**Thanks to Hasbro for sending my family these amazing toys to review at no charge.  As always all opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.

Obviously, Star Wars is all the rage these days with the movie coming out last Friday (no spoilers in the comments please, I am not going to see it until Thursday).  What would Christmas morning be without a little Star Wars?  I am loving these awesome games for my oldest son because he’s 11 now and thinks he’s too cool for toys.  We’ve got a serious case of the tweens going on over here, so these games are absolutely perfect for him.  Continue reading »

Dec 212015
 

A Gift Guide for the Man in Your Life

Small Disclosure

It’s gift guide season again, ladies and gentlemen. And if you’re like most Americans, December 19th is absolutely NOT too late for you to make use of this. I think it’s fitting that this last minute gift guide would be about the kings of last minute shopping – our men. LOL

A Wicked Awesome Gift Guide from LivingSocial

If you’re looking for last minute gifts for your guy, then LivingSocial is the place to look. They have all sorts of offers that appeal to the man in your life, from golfing to skydiving to steakhouse and more. If you can imagine it, you can probably find a great deal on it from LivingSocial. It’s a gift giver’s paradise. Continue reading »

Dec 162015
 

Fun Gingerbread & Friends Craft for Kids - massholemommy.comWhen the weather gets colder we like to find more things to do indoors. We are from Canada but that doesn’t mean we all like the cold or want to be outside in it, because we don’t – at all!

We like to do more crafts, make more sweets, and even watch more movies together as a family when we can’t be spending excess amounts of time outside. I think our favorite besides making (and eating!) sweets is doing crafts. Especially Winter or Christmas themed. Who doesn’t love having homemade crafts for decorations especially with a house full of kids? We do!

So, today I’m sharing this fun craft for kids to make Gingerbread and Friends!

gingerbreadmaterials

Materials Needed: Continue reading »

Dec 132015
 

Ride the Polar Express at Edaville

Inspired by the hit movie, this holiday favorite comes to life as you and your family take a ride on The Polar Express. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, families are sure to enjoy their trip to the North Pole, complete with hot chocolate and cookies served on board the train.

My family had a chance to ride the polar Express at Edaville last week and I want to tell you all about it.

**Disclosure:  We received complimentary tickets to ride the Polar Express in exchange for our honest review.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

Our train was scheduled to leave the station at 6 pm, but we noticed that people were lining up early (like around 5:30), so we lined up, too.   There was a Thomas Christmas train running the same night, but they had the Polar Express riders on one side of the platform and the Thomas riders on the other.  It was clearly marked, so we knew exactly where to go. Plus, there were employees there to switch out our tickets from the printed ones we had to the golden tickets we needed to board the Polar Express, so they were able to direct people. Continue reading »

Dec 072015
 

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BakeInTheFun #CollectiveBias

M&M® and Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Cake Mix Cookies

Every year my mommy friends and I do something fun – a Christmas cookie exchange.  It was something that we all participated in when we were all in the moms club in town together and even once our kids aged out of the club, many of us carried on the tradition. Every December we pick a morning and get together to exchange cookies, have some tea, coffee or hot chocolate and share some laughs together.  It’s something that I look forward to all year long.

Here are the cookies my mom friends are going to be getting this year at the annual cookie exchange:

Here’s what you need: Continue reading »

Nov 242015
 

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ShareTheHoliday #CollectiveBias

Easy White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

There are certain times of the year when I like to do something special for my boys teachers and bus drivers.  Each year for teacher appreciation week I get their teachers a gift card to go out to eat.  I mean, if anyone deserves a night off without having to cook, it’s a teacher.  Then at the end of the school year, I also get nice gifts for the teachers as a way to thank them for such a great year with my kids.  Of course, I always like to get something for the bus drivers, too.  After all, they are responsible for getting my boys back and forth to school safely every day.

At Christmas time, I like to get festive when it comes to gift giving.  I love to make sweet treats for the teachers and bus drivers and based on the feedback I have gotten from them in the past, my baked goods are always a hit.  This year, the bus drivers and teachers are getting some delicious white chocolate peppermint fudge.  It’s easy to make and I know it’s going to be a big hit. Continue reading »

Nov 182015
 

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GiftingAMemory #CollectiveBias

Special Delivery From the North Pole Printable Gift Tag

If you’ve been around here for a while, you’ve seen this photo before. If you’re new, meet my family.

my family at Taras wedding

In the photo, I am pictured with my bother, sister and my parents. The picture was taken the day that my sister got married (a little over two years ago) and it’s the most recent photo of the five of us together.

What you don’t know about this photo is that it took a lot of work to get my mom over to the spot where we took this photo.  At the time, you would never see her go anywhere without her cane, but as you can see in the photo above – she doesn’t have it.  It took two people holding her arms to help her walk to where she stood for the picture. Continue reading »

Dec 252014
 

Holiday Returns - 21 return policy links to your favorite stores

It might be the thought that counts, but you can keep the thought and still return the Santa brought you that you don’t like or need . Trust me, you won’t be the only one. If you’re like me, you’re probably itching to get to the store with (or without) the receipts and return the unwanted gifts. The most important thing to know before you get in line at the stores is the exact return policy. It’s going to save you time and quite possibly a hassle.

To get you started, here are the holiday return policies for a few of the biggest retailers.

Walmart
http://help.walmart.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/9/~/returns-policy

Game Stop
http://www.gamestop.com/gs/help/Returns.aspx

Target
http://help.target.com/help/subcategoryarticle?childcat=Return+policy&parentcat=Returns+%26+Exchanges&searchQuery=search+help Continue reading »

Dec 162014
 

Are you looking to have a little Elf on the Shelf fun this holiday season? If so, take a look at these fun and frugal Naughty Elf ideas a try! You will find that it can be so fun and easy to help your Elf on a Shelf get into some holiday trouble. Here is how you can get started!

1. Clubbing Elf
This elf loves to get down to the beat and dance until the dawn. Grab a pack of glow sticks at your local dollar store, activate them, and then tie them around the elf. He will look like he is ready to party in no time. Cue the house music!

Clubbing  Elf on the Shelf

2. Boozy Elf
Uh oh! Looks like someone found the booze! Boozy Elf looks great when set out with a bottle, wine corks, and a wine glass. For extra fun, stuff him inside of the glass. Bottoms up! Continue reading »

Dec 142014
 

How to Wrap Gifts Almost Perfectly

Every birthday and Christmas I try my hardest wrap my gifts perfectly. I’ve never wrapped them perfectly, but I have learned to wrap them almost perfectly. Check out my tips below to follow along in my secret wrapping.

#1. Pick out wrapping paper you love.

I’ve learned that the secret to wrapping a gift almost perfectly is picking out wrapping paper that I love. I take some serious time choosing several types of wrapping paper that will help me wrap my gifts. I especially love finding incredibly beautiful wrapping paper for Christmas. The shinier than the better when it comes to Christmas wrapping.

#2. Grab your supplies.

There’s nothing worse than starting to wrap a gift and you realize you forgot scissors or tape. I always have everything ready before I start wrapping any gifts. The more prepared you are than the better your gifts will turn out. Continue reading »

Dec 092014
 

11

There’s nothing worse than spending a ton of money on Christmas decorations year after year. Whether you’re looking to purchase new Christmas decorations for a first time home or replace your old decorations, there are some ways you can save money.

Borrow Christmas Decorations

There’s nothing weird about borrowing someone else’s Christmas decorations. Let’s say a person is no longer using something fabulous, decoration wise, and it’s just sitting in their basement. It’s best to ask  to borrow it than just watch it sit there.

Garage Sale Christmas Decoration Finds

Garage sales are some of the BEST places to find Christmas decorations. Whether you’re looking for a tree or lights, it’s best to find them for the lowest price possible. There’s no use in spending your whole Christmas bonus on something like this. Look around during the summer months for decorations that you can use during the winter months. Continue reading »

Dec 072014
 

Perfect Christmas Pranks for the Kids

Every year I have to be THAT mom and have a little fun with my kids. Life just isn’t the same if you do not spend time having fun. I think Christmas time is the perfect time to have a little good clean fun with the boys. I wanted to share some of my best prank ideas to pull on the kids.

Empty Box Wrapped Up

Okay, this one might be just plain mean, but it’s hilarious. Wrap a huge box with wrapping paper and place it under the tree. Don’t say anything and let your kids open it Christmas morning. I’m just saying that you have to have something amazing for them to open after pulling a prank like this.

Early Christmas

Take things from around the house and wrap them up. Surprise the kids about a week before Christmas and tell them you are having Christmas early. They may just love opening a box of brownie mix a week before Christmas.

Wake Them Up Early Continue reading »

Dec 032014
 

Snowman Donuts NOM

The holidays are filled with gift shopping, whipping up feasts that will please a crowd, putting up decorations, planning festive gatherings, cleaning up after the festive gatherings, making lists, and checking them twice. It can all be overwhelming, but the fun in the season is worth every moment of making magic.

These Snowman Donuts are incredibly easy and quick, so you can get back to making three different kinds of mashed potatoes to suit your guests’ desire. They require no baking, but just a little imagination that will have your family wanting to join in.

You Will Need:

*Powdered sugar donuts – You can make your own by frying up some pre-made biscuit dough. Just use a small circular cookie cutter to create the shape. Double-dip them in powdered sugar and let them cool. Or, you can buy a bag. I won’t tell.

*One small piping bag of white-hued frosting

*Candy orange slices

*Chocolate chips (Regular M&M candies work well, too.) Continue reading »

Nov 302014
 

Monsters Inc. Mike Wazowski Holiday Ornament

Do you love Monsters Inc. or know someone who does? If so, this Monsters Inc. holiday ornament is the perfect craft. Simple and inexpensive to make, this Monsters Inc. holiday ornament is the perfect way to add a little monster fun to your tree or holiday décor. Take a peek below at how to get started crafting your own Mike Wazowski ornament and see how much fun you can have!

Supplies needed:
Clear holiday ornament (opt for plastic)
Green craft paint (Hot green or a vivid green is perfect, typically less than $1 at most craft stores)
White, black, and blue craft felt or construction paper
Black marker
Craft glue Continue reading »

Nov 092014
 

maleficent-holiday-ornament-DIY

**I received a copy of Maleficent to review in exchange for my honest opinion of the movie.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

I tried so hard to see Maleficent when it was in theaters last spring, but because of one thing or another, I just never ended up getting there.  When I heard that the Blu-Ray & DVD Combo Pack was being released on November 4th, I knew I finally had my chance to see it.  Last weekend, I sat down with a big bowl of popcorn to watch it.

In case you’re not familiar with the story, Maleficent is the story about the villain in the 1959 Disney film, Sleeping Beauty.  To summarize, in the movie they tell the story of how Maleficent had her heart turned to stone by her first love who betrayed her.  She spends her life trying to right the wrong that was done to her.  I was captivated the entire time I was watching this movie.  It was a great story and it was very well told.

I can’t say enough about Angelina Jolie who stars as Maleficent in the movie. Long before the movie was ever released I kept saying that she was the  perfect casting choice and I was right. I honestly can’t even imagine anyone else playing the character. Her performance was incredible and she was absolutely perfect for the part.

maleficent-movie

Overall, Maleficent was one of my favorite movies of the year. I loved it and if you haven’t seen it yet, you should.

Maleficent is one of my favorite villains.  I loved the character long before this movie was ever even thought of.  If you love all things Maleficent, you have to give this Maleficent themed holiday ornament a try. Using a few basic crafting supplies and VERY little crafting skill, you can make your own Maleficent holiday ornament perfect for displaying on your tree. Take a peek so you can get started working your own Maleficent magic. This is a craft that is too fun to miss out on! Continue reading »

Dec 282013
 

Christmas was very busy for us this year.  For the past five years or so, I have hosted Christmas dinner at my house, but my mother asked to host it this year and who was I to say no to my mom?

The holiday festivities all started on Christmas Eve, though, when we put out some cookies & milk for Santa.

cookies-for-santa

Oh, and we scattered some Reindeer food all over our deck and yard – you know, just to make sure we were dragging glitter inside the house every time we walked in from the outside the Reindeer could spot our house from the sky.
Continue reading »

Dec 262013
 

I know some people observe the traditional 12 days of Christmas before they take their Christmas tree down. Others take the tree down on New Years day. As for me, I like to take my tree down on Christmas night. Yes, you read that right. Lucky for us, we had some down time on Christmas morning while the kids were playing with their new toys, so we didn’t have to wait all day to get the tree out of the house – it went out Christmas morning.

I figure that once Christmas is over – it’s over and I like to get my house back to “normal” as soon as possible.  For the most part, Christmas morning in my house looks something like the aftermath of a tornado, so having the tree taking up precious space that I need to occupy with all the kids new toys just doesn’t work for me.

So out to the curb it goes.

taking-christmas-tree-down-1
Continue reading »

Dec 252013
 

Merry Christmas!

I love Christmas music and I have to confess that I listen to Christmas songs all year long – not just at Christmas.  There are very few Christmas songs that I don’t like, but I decided that I’d put together a list of my ten favorites.

In no particular order…….

Sleigh Ride by The Ronettes

Christmas Eve in Sarajevo by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra Continue reading »

Dec 242013
 

Last year, we finally jumped on the Elf on the Shelf bandwagon.  The boys had been nagging incessantly asking for one for a while, so I caved and “Snowy” made his first appearance last December.  At the time, I had seen people posting all sorts of clever EOTS (Elf on the Shelf) antics on Facebook, Pinterest, etc, and I decided that I should do some mischievous things with our elf, too.  How hard could it be, right?  I mean, people were posting pictures galore all over every social media outlet known to man……

And there lied my mistake.

I know some people  just moved their elf  nightly, which is what I should have done, but instead I started having Snowy do naughty little things right out of the gate.  Last year he toilet papered our Christmas tree, colored our milk green, got himself tied up by some army guys and all sorts of other things that involved way too much planning and work.  But by then I was committed, so I had to come up with a months worth of shenanigans for him to get into.  I was so happy last year on Christmas Eve when it was all over.

On December 1st of this year, Snowy came back to our house and I was ready this year dammit.  I spent a while on Pinterest gathering inspiration and without further adieu, here are a few of the things that Snowy got himself into this year:

He used one of the boys slinkies as a swing:

elf-on-the-shelf-slinky-ceiling

Somehow he managed to get trapped inside this jar by Ironman: Continue reading »