Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Top Places to Experience the Magic of Christmas this Winter The North Pole, NY

Après Ski and Anytime Family Fun at Santa’s Workshop in the Adirondacks
 There are few places left in the world where the magic of Christmas exists in its purest form. Santa’s Workshop located at the North Pole, NY, is one of them.
This winter, you’re invited to experience the joy and merriment of the holidays at one of the first original theme parks in the United States still in existence – one that has inspired the likes of Walt Disney and countless young and old minds alike since opening its gates in 1949.
A trip to Santa’s Workshop is like stepping into the pages of a storybook – one filled with workshops with frost-covered windows, a magical talking Christmas tree, and even jolly old St. Nick himself.
Get in the Christmas Spirit a little early this year with a preview of what’s in store for the 2014 season:
  • Yuletide Family Weekends will be available during five exclusive weekends starting late November through December. These two-day, family-oriented weekends offer lodging accommodations, meals, admission to Santa’s Workshop and special evening activities, including a Trim the Tree Party and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas with Santa and friends.
  • Village of Lights offers a truly magical experience at Santa’s Workshop during select evenings in December. Stroll amid more than one million twinkling lights as you enjoy carolers, marshmallow roasting, meeting Santa’s reindeer, Rudolph and all, and getting one more opportunity to tell Santa what’s on your wish list this Christmas.
  • A True Workshop Experience is guaranteed during a visit to Santa’s Workshop. Stop by the hat shop to add an ornament to your own “Santa” hat, decorate a candle with Santa’s go-to candle maker or a toy with the assistance of Santa’s helpers, and more. Workshops throughout Storybook Village are open regularly during winter hours at the park.
Visit après ski after a day of shredding it up at nearby Whiteface Mountain, or make a weekend of it with Santa Claus and his motley, merry crew by your side. For years, generations of visitors have returned again and again to Santa’s Workshop – see what the magic is all about for yourself this year.
For more information, visit www.NorthPoleNY.com or to make reservations for Yuletide Family Weekends or other events at Santa’s Workshop, call 518.946.2211.
About Santa’s Workshop and the North Pole, NY:
Since 1949, Santa’s Workshop has welcomed countless visitors to experience the magic of an authentic Christmas at its enchanting location in the North Pole, NY, just minutes from the Lake Placid Region of New York’s Adirondack Park. Located on the side of Whiteface Mountain, the park is open from July through the end of December annually, offering unique, magical programming and activities in its nostalgic and unchanging fairytale setting. Visitors can meet Santa himself, see his reindeer, tour the Storybook Village and shops, pose for a photo next to the Frosty North Pole, and be transported to an enchanting Christmas fantasy – all in just a few short hours. Learn more about Santa’s Workshop at www.NorthPoleNY.com, or connect with the park on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NorthPoleNY and Twitter at www.twitter.com/NorthPoleNY.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Don't Remodel RE Think Your Space

Create Space in a Small Room

Your starter home probably felt pretty roomy until the first baby came along. You had plans to move somewhere bigger, but suddenly, you woke up one day and your baby was a toddler, and you have been blessed with your second bundle of joy. Everyone told you that time flies, but they forgot to tell you that your house will literally start to shrink before your very eyes. You may need to get a bigger home eventually, but at least for now you can make the most of the space you do have.

Remove the Clutter

You already knew this was going to be on the list, so there is no need to cringe. This is an important step. The only way you are going to stop feeling like you are being smothered is to get rid of the clutter. The first thing you see when you walk through the door should not be a mountain of shoes, toys, and one of the many diaper bags floating around. If you go through all the rooms and put everything you no longer need in boxes and bags, you can have a yard sale. No time for a yard sale? No problem! Just donate it all.

Get Creative with Storage
As a parent, the right storage solutions will instantly become your favorite investment. Any time you can actually hide the clutter, you win! Decorative boxes look nice on shelves, but can hold remotes,
games, movies, etc. Add cubbies by the door for mittens, hats, and scarves that end up everywhere. Hang cloth bags from hooks behind every bedroom door for odds and ends. Buy some self-adhesive labels and label where toys, socks, etc., need to go so kids know exciting where to put things while doing their chores.

Streamlined Furniture

Shaving a few inches off furniture can go a long way in making a space appear less cramped. Maybe you can get rid of that bulky entertainment center and mount your flat screen instead. Do you need your oversized sectional sofa, or can it be replaced with a sofa and chair, and maybe a couple small beanbags tucked in a corner for the kids to use as needed?

Mirror's reflective nature tricks the eye into believing a space is significantly bigger than it is. This is why interior decorators use it so much, mirror indoor water features are ideal. You get the benefits of cascading water and a mirror from one piece. If you buy one that mounts on the wall, you don't have to worry about floor or table space. A store like Indoor Fountain Pros has waterfeatures that should fit your style.

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Great Destination for Thanksgiving


New York - September 24, 2014: This Thanksgiving, Ashford Castle, Ireland's favorite five-star estate, invites the whole family for an Irish-style holiday complete with homemade turkey, stuffing and all the fixings. As an extra "thanks" to guests, the castle is also providing a complimentary third night for the

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Drink Like a Celebrity

Celebrity Cruises has shared with me the recipe for three of their signature drinks. So now you can Drink like a Celebrity. A Celebrity cruiser that is.

Snowflake Cosmopolitan

Garnish- 3 cranberries
Glass - Martini
1.5 oz Grey Goose La Poire
5 ox Cointreau
2 oz White Cranberry Juice 1 lime Wedge
Preparation: Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Squeeze in lime wedge and discard. Shake and strain.

Palmilla Sangria

 Garnish- Cherry, 2 pineapple cubes, orange half, pineapple spear

1 ox. Patron Reposado Tequila
.25 oz Agave Nectar
1 oz. Pineapple Juice
.5 oz Orange Juice
.25 oz Fresh Lime Juice
2 oz. Merlot
Preparation: Add all ingredients to serving glass, top with Merlot.  

Dragon Fly 

Garnish- Liquid Nitrogen
Glass Martini
1.5 oz Russion Standard
.5 oz Countrieu
.75 oz lime juice

.5 oz pink grapefruit juice
1oz dragon fruit juice
Rice- Lychee Foam

Preparation: Pour all the ingredients into a mixing glass. Add ice, shake and strain into a martini glass. Top with liquid nitrogen.
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Quest Chips- Low Carb Protien Powerhouse

 I am always looking for healthy snacks that even my pickiest eater will eat. Well I have found a happy medium in the potato chip space. I don't like to feed my kids chips and they love to eat chips. So it is a constant struggle on the snack space. Enter Quest Chips. No they are not potato chips. Yes they are crunchy, baked, and packed with flavor. So a win all around.

Quest Nutrition was recently named by INC Magazine as the 2nd Fastest Growing Company in America. After just 3 years, they have the #1 protein bar, grown 57000%, and have based their company off a singular mission of providing a product that is truly healthy (no added sugar), and tastes amazing.

Their Quest Protein Chips are the world’s first snack chip that is high in protein, low in carbs, and is gluten free! Quest Protein Chips come in three varieties – Sea Salt, Barbeque, and Sour Cream & Cheddar – in a personal-sized, 1-1/8 oz. (32 gram) bag, with other flavors and sizes to come. Quest Protein Chips are available on the Quest website (www.questnutrition.com ) and will be launching at retail in November.

Tell us how you #CrunchClean and join the conversation with Quest Nutrition @QuestNutrition.

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Braha- A Tale of Innocence and Intrigue

 Linden St. Clair is working overseas when she learns her beloved grandfather has passed away under suspicious circumstances. Returning home, she discovers he has left her an old family journal, as well as clues to an explosive family secret. The journal, written by Leena Weiss, Linden's great-great grandmother, recalls the woman's early years as a German girl living in a small Russian village. Leena's life is turned upside down when a Russian army officer turns her into his object of affection. Caught in a difficult situation, Leena soon finds herself living a life one the run, pursued by the Okhrana, a secret police organization and predecessor to the KGB. A century later, Linden peels back shadowy layers, exposing clues and secrets. Despite professional security services, she and her family remain pawns in a deadly game that extends beyond borders and crisscrosses the globe.

 I love a great story. One of the reasons I read so much is that I can't get enough of great stories. I also love a costume drama. This book has it all, mystery, intrigue, family secrets, treasure.

I don't want to spoil it for you but the characters and how they are revealed is so well done. If you love a bit of history and mystery this is the book for you.

The two main characters,Leena and Lindy are women you can relate to. Their short comings and their strengths are all revealed masterfully. they are believable precisely because they are not perfect. They do not make all the right choices.

But they do make for a hard to put down story that had me reading late into the night.

About the Author

Julie Mangano has been involved in the publishing industry since 1989 as a publications manager,
writer, editor and art director. Braha is her first mystery. Her maternal grandparents’ journey from Russia to America inspired the historical characters and events in this book. Her paternal grandparents’ ranch in Escondido, California was the model for one of the locations in this story. Born and raised in Southern California, she now lives in Round Rock, Texas with her husband. Mangano is currently at work on the sequel. If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Friday, November 7, 2014

Sex Ed

 All Eddie Cole (Haley Joel Osment) ever wanted to do was to teach.  That’s his calling, his passion. Obtaining that perfect job is not easy. A sympathetic administrator, impressed by Eddie’s enthusiasm, finally assigns him a class. Okay, it’s detention, but it’s a way in. 

 The kids need to do SOMETHING during their hour of penance.  And they have lots of questions about everything but particularly about sex.  They’re teenagers, why wouldn’t they? Eddie takes his assignment very seriously and soon detention is an ad hoc sex ed class. Eddie is a good teacher but also being a virgin puts a damper on things. His teaching is sound but only theoretical and ultimately that's fine with Eddie … it recalls the George Bernard Shaw quote: Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach. But both students and teachers have a lot to learn from each other and beyond the physical act.    A bawdy, coming-of-age comedy in the vein of American Pie, SEX ED also has a heart and a social conscience – it is not partisan in its humorous look at our often clueless approach to teaching kids about sex.  Even during production, the film received support from both the Catholic Church and Planned Parenthood! 


This movies was completely different than what I expected. I think that is why I liked it so much. I was surprised over and over. I laughed and I was pleased with what was presented. Language was a  little rough but I really liked this movie. Haley Joel Osmet is perfect. He should be please with his performance and with being part of this film. As the mother of boys, one in High School and one in JR High,  thought it was a great film for getting me relaxed enough to talk openly with my boys about sex.

Directed by Isaac Feder
Written by Bill Kennedy
Cast: Haley Joel Osment, Lorenza Izzo, Kevin Hernandez, Retta, Matt Walsh, Laura Harring, Glen Powell,
Abby Elliott, Parker Young, George Eads, Chris Williams, Ray Santiago, Castille Landon, and Isaac White.
Domestic: Joey Stanton, JStanton@Resolution-ent.com (424) 274-4321
David Gonzales, DGonzales@resolution-ent.com (424) 274-4263
Foreign: Dori Sperko, Dori.Sperko@thebusinessgroupinc.com
Director: Isaac Feder, isaacfeder@gmail.com
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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How to Keep Your Children Safe On Holiday

Safety is always going to be a top priority whenever you take your children on holiday. You’ll need to make preparations before you leave home to ensure they are never exposed to more danger than is necessary. None of the things you will need to do should break the bank, they just require a bit of forethought. The last thing you want is for your kids to become ill or injured due to your incompetence.

Purchase appropriate insurance

While it might be fine for adults to go away on holiday without any insurance, your children need proper protection. You’ll still have to find the money to pay for hospital bills in most circumstances, but at least you’ll get the cash back when you come home.

Research your chosen destination

Some countries have a high risk when it comes to certain diseases and infections. For that reason, you should always research your chosen destination before setting off. You might need to take your children to see your GP for injections and such.

Download travel apps

The infographic attached to this post shows some of the best travel apps on the market today. You should download them and also get some GPS tracking software. That way, you can find your kids in an instant if you lose them in the crowds.

Now you know how to keep your children safe on holiday, you can relax. At the end of the day, most of what you’ve just read is common sense. Sometimes we just need a little reminder. Infographic by www.sportscoverdirect.com


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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Hitting the Road with the ARMY

 This summer the ARMY hit the road for a family road trip from California to Idaho. I personally like road trips. I like to see little known cities and towns. I like ghost towns. I like old mining towns. And I love to see amazing feats of nature like Cathedral Gorge. What I don't like is being stuck in a car with two teenagers without wifi. We drove up the 93 in Nevada fro Vegas to Idaho. if you are unfamiliar with this route desolate is probably the best way to describe it.

What saved my sanity and the lives of my boys is the Wilson Electronics cellular signal  booster. It installed easily while we were driving. No I didn't do it. I drove and the Tech Monkey hooked us up. This allowed us to keep the fun going when far from the nearest town. Did it work everywhere? No. But at one point we passed a sign that said next rest stop 100 miles. We were in the BOONIES! But there were a lot of times that our cell signal would have gone out long before it did if it were not for the Wilson Electronics Cell booster. We were caravaning with a U-haul and that booster kept our texts going back and forth even when it seemed we had no cell service.

If you or a loved one travels over long distance, or  just has a few "dead" spots in their  cell plan, this is definitely a great gift for Christmas. If you have kids away at college or just driving through your dead areas, go get this!

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Monday, November 3, 2014

5 Gadgets You Need in Your Glove Compartment

Toddy Gear: Toddy Smart ClothCarefully handcrafted microfiber cloth provides effective, scratch-free cleaning for iDevices, windows, lenses and other sensitive surfaces

  • Built for cleaning extremely sensitive surfaces including iPhone, glasses, windows, car surfaces
  • Protected with the AEGIS Microbe Shield® technology – a durable, environmentally friendly way to instantly wipe away dirt and smudges
  • Plush microfiber material on one side to clean and silk microfiber on the other side to buff and polish
  • No messy/damaging sprays or fluids necessary
  • Features an antimicrobial coating, protecting the cloth against microorganisms that contribute to mold, mildew, and other negative effects
  • Available at: toddygear.com | Price: $9.99 (5x7) $14.99 (9x9)
JunoPower: JunoJUMPRWorld’s thinnest car battery jump starter keeps your automobile and mobile devices powered up when you need them
  • Lightweight lithium polymer battery houses an impressive 6,000 mAh capable of jumping a completely dead car battery in minutes
  • 5V 2.1A output charges power hungry devices such as smartphone, cameras and tablets
  • Features a built-in LED flashlight for working in the dark
  • Compact device measures 5.5” x 3” x .6” and weighs in at a mere 7 ounces
  • Sleek battery pack fits perfectly into any purse or luggage case
  • Available at: JunoPower.com | Price: $99.99
Blackfire: Clamplight JuniorInnovative and versatile LED flashlight lights up every situation by clamping to virtually anywhere, making chores easier and play better
  • Quality grade CREE LED’s provide 100,000 hours of bulb life and up to 100 lumens
  • Resilient spring clamps securely to shelves, doors, pipes, branches and a plethora of other objects, keeping both hands free and flashlight out of the way
  • Two axis swivel head pivots and directs light where you need it
  • Nonskid feet lock open and convert into a stand when there’s nothing to clamp to
  • Braced with high impact ABSplastic with non-slip TPR for a comfortable yet rugged look and feel
  • Maximum portability allows you to fit in a belt, pocket, or anywhere else
  • Available at: Blackfire-usa.com and various retailers | Price: MSRP $18.99
Bracketron: Mi-T Grip Mount
The perfect universal mounting solution for your smartphone or other portable device

·         Features Temporbond, Bracketron’s patented, breakthrough technology that allows you to mount the holder on any smooth or textured surface including your dash and windshield
·         Allows you to view your device hands-free in portrait or landscape mode
·         Provides full access to all device controls and ports
·         Unique grip with rotating head securely holds your device with or without a case
·         The mount’s compact size makes for easy portability from car to car or when traveling
·         Available at: Bracketron.com | Price: $29.95

Lemur Monitors: BlueDriverTurn your smart device into a professional-grade auto diagnostics tool
  • Allows users to wirelessly read and clear diagnostic trouble codes without having to spend money at the mechanic
  • Download the free BlueDriver app and plug in the BlueDriver – it’s that easy!
  • Generate vehicle specific information such as code definition, possible causes and repair recommendations
  • Check for whether or not your vehicle is ready for local emissions test
  • BlueDriver is the first line of defense for today’s mechanic and is an affordable diagnostic tool for that fits in your pocket
  • Works with all makes and models (sold in U.S. and Canada) that are 1996 or newer
  • Pairs via Bluetooth with Apple devices (running iOS 7.0+) and Android devices (running Android 4.0+)
  • Available at: lemurmonitors.com | Price: $99.95
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