Show and Tell with Deb & Lisa – Grown Up Gifts {VIDEO}

(To the tune of “Jingle Bells…)  Dashing through the mall.  On a late December day, through the stores we go — charging all the way.  Ching! Ching! Ching!

How far have you gotten on your holiday shopping?  I’m still in the midst of it, but had some great ideas for gifts for kids which you can check out here.  Now that my kidlets are all taken care of, I’m onto completing the rest of my list – which is all adults.

With that in mind, the new episode of “Show and Tell with Deb & Lisa” is all about gifts for grown ups – from the fashionista to the foodie and tech-lover, there is something on this list for everyone! Check it out below…..

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Grab Bag List of Gift Ideas

Did you know that the National Retail Federation estimates that the average holiday shopper will spend $800 on holiday gifts and goodies this year.  I hope you have enough wrapping paper and tape on hand for all those gifts!!

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-many-christmas-presents-image27647684If you’re like me, you’re in the midst of holiday shopping getting presents for family, friends and co-workers.  I always seem to be on the hunt for that “perfect” gift to give someone.  I like to take the person and their interests into consideration and try to find something unique to them.

With that in mind, here is my sort of grab bag list of some last-minute gift ideas – from holiday-inspired and budget finds to stocking stuffers.  Want to know the best part? You don’t have to trudge to the store or mall and wait on a line to get any of these items. They are all available online and delivered right to your or your gift recipient’s door (and in some cases, already wrapped)

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The Harried Mom’s “Perfect” #SundaySauce

One of the moms from my book club recently had twins.  Between recovering from giving birth, taking care of two newborns, tending to her older daughter and oh yeah, don’t forget her husband and the house, I know it’s been an exhausting and overwhelming few weeks…and it’s just starting!

To help our mommy pal out our book club organized a meal train.  I had never heard of a meal train before, but I love its purpose.

A meal train is organized meal giving.  For example if someone is ill, elderly or has a new baby (or two!), caring friends, family, co-workers, neighbors or pretty much anyone who wants to show their excitement or compassion prepares and brings a meal to the family in need on an assigned day.   These are “drop off” ready meals – ones that the family can either pop in the oven to reheat or just stick in a fork in and start eating.

Taking into consideration my friend’s family dietary restrictions/preferences, I settled on making a spinach lasagna since I know it can freeze well if they decide they don’t want to eat it that day.  It’s also easy to prepare so I could double up on ingredients and stash a lasagna in my own freezer for a tasty homemade meal to reheat in less than an hour on a crazy weeknight.

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I think the secret to making a great pasta meal — whether its spaghetti, lasagna or ravioli — is that is has to have a great sauce.  Being Italian I’ll admit that I’m pretty good at making #SundaySauce.  It’s so good that it’s been known to be called “perfect” by my close friends and family.

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Kid Lit: Season’s Readings!

Are you ready to start celebrating the ho-ho-holidays?  This month’s Kid Lit post features books about December festivities including Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa for children aged 3-10.

A Pirate’s Night Before Christmas
By Philip Yates, illustrated by Sebastia Serra (Sterling)

Young mateys will find plenty of holiday joy in this humorous, colorful and thoroughly piratical version of the “The Night Before Christmas.” On this ship, the mischievous brigands have visions of treasure chests, not sugar plums dancing in their heads.

This ship of pirates don’t expect a visit from old St. Nick, but rather from Sir Peggedy, with his peg leg and hook arm!  Sir Peggedy cracks a whip and drives a team of eight giant seahorses — Salty, Scurvy, Sinbad, Mollie, Cutthroat, Cross-Eyes, Roger and Jolly!

This book by far is my kidlets favorite out of the bunch.  It is filled with rollicking rhymes and sprightly, fun-filled pictures—featuring whimsically multicolored seahorses, stockings hung on the ship’s bowsprit with tar, child-friendly pirates, and, of course, comes complete with a treasure map!Continue reading ⇒

Holiday Gift Picks for Kids – Introducing “Show and Tell With Deb & Lisa” Video Series

I’m so excited to share today’s post with you!

Over the past year I’ve had some wonderful opportunities to check out great toys, books, electronics, gifts, clothes, events and activities at various blogging events which I’ve shared with you here at The Harried Mom. At these events I would always run into my friend Lisa Pisano from Mom A La Mode.

I love hanging out with Lisa. Why?  Because we’re two like-minded blogging moms who love to talk about products and our experiences. We figured if we liked talking about these things together, you might too and we’ve created a new series that we hope you’ll find both informative and entertaining.

So I’m proud to introduce you to “Show and Tell With Deb & Lisa” our new monthly vlog series that gives you the scoop on the latest in toys, trends and fun from two bloggers with an all access-pass to what’s hot and happening!

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For our inaugural episode we’re getting into the holiday spirit with a holiday gift guide for kids. Our picks are focused on items for both boys and girls and ranging in age from pre-K thru elementary school.

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It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas – #NorthpoleFun {#shop}

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

‘Twas the month before Christmas and all through my house, both my kidlets were stirring wondering “when the heck will Santa be here?!”

I think the kidlets were ready for the holiday season to start the moment they took off their costumes and ate their last piece of candy! I’ll admit, I couldn’t wait for it either! Christmastime my favorite time of year and I am totally into the celebration!

I mail out my holiday cards early enough that it’s the first card most of my friends get for the season. I put up our tree and decorations the day after Thanksgiving and keep them out all the way thru New Year’s.  I buy crazy amounts of holiday wrapping paper and spend hours debating what bows, ribbons and tags I’ll use for each gift.   I even take the kidlets on weekly trips around our neighborhood to check out all the pretty lights and Christmas displays.

THM-Northpole-Hallmark-Communicator-Book-SnowflakeSo of course I wanted to get a jump-start on this holiday season, so I picked up some Northpole items for the kidlets. Northpole is a new line of keepsake toys, gifts and party items from Hallmark that are inspired by Santa’s magical home and are available now at Walmart.Continue reading ⇒

Have a Family #MovieNight4Less With Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn, M&M’s® & Warner Brothers

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I love watching movies. However, going out to the movie theater these days can be a pretty expensive proposition. Movie tickets range from $8-14 each depending upon where you live (where I live it’s about $12). Add in a soda and a snack you could be talking around than $30 for just one person! Bring the kids and you could be spending close to $100 to see the latest blockbuster.

There are ways though to indulge your love of film without emptying your wallet, such as hosting a family movie night at home.

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What Marriage Is….

THM-WeddingOSBlog6-10-13Today The Hubs and I are celebrating a milestone. It’s our 10th wedding anniversary.

YAY for us!!

Before I got married I used to romanticized about it.

My marriage was going to be just like a fairy tale. Our love would be effortless and our lives would always be filled with romance, chirping birds and never any unhappy endings.

But here’s the reality….

Marriage is not a fairy tale. Marriage is hard word. Having a good marriage is even harder work.

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Snacking On The Go with Jif To Go® Dippers & Giveaway #MC

I participated in an Influencer Program on behalf of Influence Central for Jif To Go Dippers.
I received a sample to facilitate my review and a thank you item for participating. #MC #GetGoing

 

Is your family lTHM-Jif-To-Go-Dippers-Review-Peanut-Butter-Chocolate-Stackike mine? It seems like we’re always on the go.

Weekdays are focused on work, school, meetings and getting the kidlets to and from all their extra-circular activities on time! Weekends are all about getting our errands done quickly so we can have some fun family time together, such as going pumpkin picking, seeing a movie or visiting the zoo.

Whenever we’re out and about I like to make sure that I have snacks on hand for the kidlets for when they get a case of the munchies. I like to give them something that will actually satisfy their hunger and not just give them a temporary sugar high.

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My Dad…..

Two weeks ago my dad passed away.

He had been ill for quite some time and had been in and out of hospitals and nursing homes.  The last few months of his life Dad wasn’t really living, he was just existing.   He wasn’t ready to go just yet.  When it was time he did it the way he wanted, at home, the place he loved most.  I have solace knowing that he is no longer in pain and is in peace.

I had been saying my goodbyes to Dad over the past several months.  I thought it was important for him to know how much I loved him and how his grandkids adored him.  Sometimes I would sit and talk with him while other times I would show him pictures or video of the kidlets.   However, some of our most profound moments were when we just sat quietly with each other.

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