4 Holiday Shopping Tips for Moms from Experts

November 25, 2011 By · 1 Comment


Are you ready for Black Friday shopping? Read these Holiday Shopping & Black Friday shopping tips from Dawn Sandomeno and Elizabeth Mascali, entertaining experts, authors of Plan To Party, and founders of The Party Bluprints Blog before you plan your shopping trip for Friday.

These two moms know everything there is to know about parties and gift giving. Dawn and Elizabeth are judges in this year’s Holiday Giftee Awards by Gifts.com and they have appeared as featured experts on TV, radio, and in national publications like the Today Show, Good Housekeeping, Redbook and many more. Their approach to Holiday gifts and Holiday parties is pretty much the same: make it fantastic, but save time and money where you can, and there are here today to share their tricks and tips.

Dawn and Elizabeth are busy moms just like us, and they know what it is to get everything done and how to make the household budget to stretch to make Holidays happen! This Holiday season Dawn and Elizabeth teamed up with CheapSally.com to find the best deals for the gifts they recommend in their Holiday Gift Guide to ensure that you will find the best gifts for your family for the lowest price possible.

Tips for Smart Holiday Shopping:

1. Buy that Expensive Electronic Gift!
I bet you didn’t expect that as the first money saving tip, now did you? But really, these two experts explain that by buying one main gift for the family instead of big present for each member you will get a bigger bang for your buck.

When you choose something like the XBOX Kinect from Dawn and Elizabeth’s Holiday Gift Guide, it will also be a great family fun to enjoy together. You can find the cheapest price for XBOX Kinect on Cheap Sally’s Black Friday page.


2. Make a Plan and Stick to It

Check out the hottest gifts for everyone in the family from the Party Bluprint Blog’s Best Holiday Gift Ideas for 2011 list before you head out. Many of their recommendations will be available on cheaper prices on Black Friday. Plan ahead and make a shopping list of everyone you are gifting this year and try to avoid last minute impulse shopping.

3. See all Black Friday Deals in One Place
The easiest way to get all Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals is by getting all from one place. Many deals sell out quickly so you need to locate and act on the information fast! Save time and money by visiting CheapSally.com’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday pages, they aggregate all the best deals across the internet for you, offering a one-stop resource for saving.

4. Double Duty Gifts
Purchase presents that pull double duty and give a portion of the proceeds to charity – don’t forget this is the season of giving! Dawn and Elizabeth recommend gifts that pay it forward, like AnnieWear pet related children’s clothing line that donates proceeds to animal shelters or Heart of Haiti products sold at Macy’s made by Haitian artisans giving them a livelihood.

Happy Shopping and Saving!

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Games for Kids

November 24, 2011 By · No Comments

Games make up great holiday gifts for either party gifts or to give to someone for the holidays. This year we were lucky enough to attend the Chicago Toy & Game Fair which means we got to see a few games that others have not yet been introduced to just yet.  If you have a board game you’d like featured please let me know: homemom3@gmail.com

Stratego

This is one of those strategy war games that my oldest son, SoccerBoy (age 14) loves to play with me whenever we have  spare moment.  Set up your board, hide your flag and hope that your opponent doesn’t find it.  $30.48

Limited Edition Top Trumps – Moshi Monsters

The Top Trumps game is a lot of fun and very much like the card game WAR. Pick what you think will be the highest number on your card, tell the other players rarities/brains/cuteness/etc and see who has the higher number. If you do you collect all the cards. The winner will have all cards. $6.99

Angry Birds: Knock On Wood Game

Angry Birds is straight from the phone application.  In this game you will find Angry Birds, green pigs, one slingshot-style launcher, structure pieces and mission cards. Get it for the kids so they can stop playing with your phone. $19.99

Richard Scarry Busy Town

You remember reading Richard Scarry’s books as a child, now your child can play the board games based off the books. $24.99

Doggie Doo

Not everyone will like this game but kids will love it. You know kids like the weirdest and grossest toys. Mine loved playing with this dog at the toy fair. They fill it up with a treat, push the pump and out comes doggy doo. $20.99

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Families Dish on Favorite Thanksgiving Foods, Budget and Togetherness

November 24, 2011 By · No Comments

Survey of Cozi families finds 9% prefer their turkey deep-fried,

8% of the non-turkey crowd enjoy lasagna instead

51% of people to check-in on Facebook; 8% to volunteer this Turkey Day

Seattle, WA— November 15, 2011—Cozi, the No. 1 online and mobile family calendar and organization service, today released results of a survey that looked at what American families have planned this Thanksgiving.

Food

Some Thanksgiving food traditions are not-so traditional: Nine percent of respondents prefer their turkeys deep-fried, and among households that skip the turkey, 8 percent opt for lasagna, and 17 percent feast on prime rib. Conventional or not, Thanksgivingfood traditions are strong, with 69 percent of the 681 adults surveyed reporting their dinner remains the same from year to year.

Stuffing is the favorite dish on the Thanksgiving table, with 29 percent choosing it as their top Thanksgiving food. Turkey came in a close second, at 27 percent, followed by potatoes at 11 percent. When it comes to dessert, Cozi users give thanks for pumpkin pie, which was the favorite for 48 percent of respondents. Other popular desserts include pecan pie (17 percent), apple pie (9 percent) and cheesecake (6 percent).

Family, Spending and Travel

Preparing for Thanksgiving is a major undertaking, with nearly half of respondents (49 percent) expecting 10 or more people at their Thanksgiving feast. The majority of those surveyed (80 percent) start planning at least two weeks ahead of time. In 45 percent of households, the whole family pitches in to prepare dinner, though in 18 percent one person does it all. No matter how big the gathering or vast the menu, the brand-new Cozi Meals feature can help make preparing for Thanksgiving dinner a snap, with a recipe box to store favorite recipes, and simple drag-and-drop menu planning.

Most families (77 percent) spend at least $50 on Thanksgiving dinner, and 5 percent shell out more than $250 to feed their loved ones. Travel plans for 2011 are limited, with 69 percent of Cozi families staying in town, and only 9 percent traveling out of state.

Traditions

Despite all the preparation, most families (61 percent) spend an hour or less actually eating, but they’re filling Turkey Day with plenty of other activities. More than half (51 percent) will take time to check-in on Facebook, and some other popular pastimes include watching parades on TV (54 percent), playing board games (40 percent) and watching football (37 percent).

Amidst all the food and fun, many of today’s families are also finding time to give thanks. Seventy percent plan to share what they’re thankful for, and 8 percent plan to volunteer at a food bank or shelter.

Thanksgiving has its downsides (28 percent called it “exhausting,” 18 percent described it as “stressful” and 27 percent said it is “gluttonous,”) but most Cozi users still find it enjoyable. Sixty percent said it makes them feel “happy,” and 49 percent said Turkey Day is “fun.”

“Our Cozi families are giving thanks in many different ways this year, but it’s clear that family togetherness is a top priority,” said Cozi CEO Robbie Cape. “More than 90 percent of the Cozi users we surveyed will spend time with family members this holiday, sharing food, laughter and gratefulness as we move into the holiday season.”

For more on unique Thanksgiving family traditions, visit Cozi’s Live Simply blog at http://www.cozi.com/live-simply/families-share-their-thanksgiving-traditions.

About Cozi
Cozi is a free Web and mobile service that simplifies busy family life. With Cozi, families have the tools to manage schedules and activities with an online calendar, track grocery lists, shopping lists and to do lists, organize household chores, and share family moments with relatives and friends—all with one solution. Families can access Cozi from any computer at home or at work, and can get their grocery list, shopping listto do listschedule and messages on any mobile phone. Located in Seattle, Wash., Cozi was founded by veterans of Microsoft, Expedia and Amazon with a vision for creating technology tuned to the family. Cozi has over 4 million registered family members, and is available for free at www.cozi.com.

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Win Tickets to the The Ringling Bros & Barnum & Bailey Circus!

November 22, 2011 By · 2 Comments

The Ringling Bros & Barnum & Bailey Circus Fully Charged is coming to Indianapolis, Indiana. Will you be going? There will be trapeze acts, Asian elephants, crazy clowns and lets not forget all the yummy goodies. Your child will fill up on hot dogs, cotton candy, ice cream, and soda. All this while you are memorized by the rearing stallions, the human fuse that shoots into the air, and the tiger jumps through fire.

Dates: Dec 1-4, 2011
City: Indianapolis, IN
Where: Conseco Fieldhouse

GIVEAWAY:

RULES: Pick one thing you would like to see at the circus? Please make sure to leave an email so if you win I can contact you.

Extra Entries:

Follow me on Twitter @homemom3
Follow me on Facebook (Eliza Ferree)
Become a Fan of The Life of a Home Mom on FB
Follow Ringling Bros on FB
Follow Ringling Bros on Twitter

Deadline: Monday, November 28 I’ll be drawing a winner at noon. The winner will need to respond to me within 48 hours. Good luck! (my email is homemom3@gmail so be sure to check your spam)

In the meantime don’t forget to print out a coloring page for your young one:

I am a Feld Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and opportunities to attend private Feld pre-Show events.

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Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus presents Fully Charged Coloring Sheet

November 21, 2011 By · No Comments

The Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus

Where: Conseco Fieldhouse
Town: Indianapolis, Indiana
Date: December 1-4, 2011.

Will you be there? Think of all those elephants, clowns, tight-rope acts. Check out ticketmaster to purchase your Circus tickets.

You can use the coupon code: 11MOMFC at ticketmaster.com to save $4 off your tickets.

Click to print:

Disclosure: I am a Feld Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and opportunities to attend private Feld pre-Show events.
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