Happy Thanksgiving!

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So, tomorrow is Thanksgiving AND my birthday. Why did I volunteer to cook? I must be crazy. The smart thing to do would have been to go to my Mom & Dad's! haha Who wants to slave away in the kitchen on their birthday? Apparently I do. Hmmm. I will definitely have to remember that in 11 years when my birthday will again fall on Turkey Day. Wow! I will be turning 52 on that birthday. And I'm bummed about being 41. Oh well. Some will say it's better than the alternative. Usually those "some" are younger than I am.

I am cooking two turkeys this year. One is in the oven as I type. I'm wishing it would hurry up so I can go to bed. I can't remember if I removed the neck. Ewww....gross. I do NOT like cooking turkeys. They took forever (and I do mean forever) to thaw out. Going to cook the other one in a roaster tomorrow morning. Hopefully, they will both turn out and nobody will get food poisoning from my efforts.

I think I am more excited to eat the pumpkin cheesecake bars than I am the turkey. I am very thankful for pumpkin cheesecake bars! :)

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Boudreaux's Butt Paste Review


When I first saw this in the store a few years ago, I kind of chuckled. Butt paste? Boudreaux's Butt Paste. It's not a name one easily forgets. So, when my infant son developed a rather bad diaper rash, I decided to try it out. I have 5 children. I can honestly say that I cannot remember what I used with the older three. I must not have been too thrilled with it or I would have went for it first when I needed it 8 years later with #4. Or again with #5.

Boudreaux's Butt Paste was specifically formulated by a pharmacist with direction from a respected pediatrician to provide effective diaper rash care. I love how it goes on and cleans off easily, there is no strong scent to it like some others - it's actually rather pleasant, the flip top comes in quite handy when diapering, and the small tube size is perfect for the diaper bag.

I was given for review both the Original diaper rash ointment in the yellow tube as well as the New All Natural Boudreaux's Butt Paste in the green tube. I found both worked equally well, but  I prefer the All Natural which is formulated with beeswax, Peruvian balsam and other natural ingredients.


Both are very light and creamy and work extremely well. I have a 2 1/2 year old who is still in diapers as well as a 7 month old and I used both types on both of them. I was impressed with how fast the ointment worked and definitely plan to continue using it for as long as I have little ones in diapers.

I was not aware that there were other products in the Boudreaux's line such as the Boudreaux's Rash Protector which is a spray formulated to protect and help relieve chapped or cracked skin, Baby Butt Smooth Moisturizing Body Ointment which can be used daily, Baby Butt Bath Moisturizing Body Wash & Shampoo which is PH-Balanced and Tear Free, as well as Baby Kisses Infant and Kids Lip and Cheek Moisturizer which is formulated without unnecessary additives. With cold, dry weather coming soon, I'd love to try that last one out. Baby cheeks seem to be the first area to chaffe and it would be wonderful to have a non-irritating way to soothe the discomfort that the dryness causes.

For more product information, visit Blairex Laboratories. Call 1-800-BLAIREX to find a location near you.

Bronner's Christmas Ornament Review & Giveaway

I was very disappointed when, several years ago, our vacation plans to travel to Frankenmuth, MI fell through. I was very excited about the prospect of visiting Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland. For those of you who have never heard of Bronner's, they are the WORLD'S largest Christmas store!

One of these days, hopefully sooner rather than later, I will make it there but in the meantime I can browse  their 68 page e-catalog  and shop to my heart's content. They currently have a FREE gift promotion with purchase of $50 or more.

Bronner's carries personalized ornaments, which would make a perfect gift for Baby's 1st Christmas, a house warming gift, or for newlyweds. I was lucky enough to receive two such ornaments to review: a Gingerbread Girl & a Gingerbread Boy. Each has the names of my children handwritten on the front in a white paint pen.
(For safety reasons, I am not posting actual pictures with my children's names).


They are absolutely adorable and I cannot wait to hang them on our Christmas tree. It's difficult to find quality ornaments that will hold up year after year but I can tell already that these will withstand the test of time. My 3 older children have some keepsake ornaments that they hang on the tree themselves each year and I know that my younger two will also take great pleasure in this tradition with these. There's just something about having their own name on it that makes it extra special!

Bronner's makes it easy to shop online by breaking it down by Price and by Category. They also have a Search bar which really comes in handy. Whether you are looking for high quality Santa Suits, Christmas Cards, Outdoor Decor and more, this is the place.

Bronner's carries over 50,000 gifts and trims and is the size of one-and-a-half football fields and has been in operation since 1945!

Click HERE to join their email list and HERE to request a catalog.

If you are planning a trip to Frankenmuth, MI or surrounding areas and would like to visit Bronner's, click HERE for more information about the Bronner's, to take a virtual tour of the store, for a Map & Directions, Events Calendar, Store Coupon & more.

They even have a recipe for Festive Cookie Frosting which I plan to try out when I bake Christmas cookies with a friend this Friday. And...yes, I know it's kind of early for that, but due to me being on bed rest last year when we were supposed to bake, we are actually behind.

Their Coloring Pages are worth taking a peek at as well.


Bronner's is a Sponsor for our Holiday Gift Guide & Giveaway. One lucky winner will receive their own set of Gingerbread Boy & Girl ornaments. Check back soon to enter!





Ways to Get Organized this Christmas



The Holidays, and the hustle and bustle that come with it, are just around the corner. If you are like me, and need a bit of help getting your act together, you might want to visit Organized Christmas.

There are only 39 days until Christmas! 


If you are looking to simplify your Holidays with tips, free printable calendars & planners, as well as homemade gift ideas, you definitely need to check them out! I know I'm going to. What are you waiting for? Visit them at http://christmas.organizedhome.com .

JUMBiES Review

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JUMBiES are JUMBLED Babies. The storks were so busy delivering baby animals that they started crashing into each other and JUMBLED up all the animals...so a Duck and a Monkey become a Duckey and a Dingo and Bat a Dingbat!!!


There aren't many toys that would appeal both to my 2 year old and my 12 year old but the second my son set eyes on the Blabbit claiming it for his own, my almost teen was oohing and aahing over it wanting it for herself. They are similar to Beanie Babies.


Mr. B won and is now the proud owner of said Blabbit. For the first couple of days, he slept with it and carried it around with him everywhere he went. My older children are still trying to talk him out of it, but he lives by the Toddlers Creed: What's yours is mine & what's mine is mine. Nanny was somewhat appeased by taking possession of Zelephant (which was one of my personal faves).

Some of our other favorites were the Sealion, the Horsefly, and the Dingbat but they really are all very unique & fun! Each JUMBiE comes with its own hang tag which tells its animal combination, Name and D.O.J.(Date of Jumble), Mini Story book with activity section and a collectible Sand Dollar!










 




Any one of the JUMBiES would make a fun stocking stuffer and can be purchased HERE on the JUMBiES site for $7.95 or at a retailer near you.

For a FREE Mini Comic book and limited edition set of JUMBiES Sand Dollars - Get your parents permission and send a SASE (Self Addressed Stamp Envelope) to:

 

JUMBIELAND Industries LLC
940 E. Orangethorpe Ave., Suite C
Anaheim, CA  92831  USA
714-879-2300 office
714-879-9900 fax
info@jumbieland.com

Find them on Facebook & Twitter.

Click HERE to watch JUMBiELand cartoons or HERE to play online games. To learn more about JUMBiES, please visit them online at http://jumbieland.com.


Giveaway coming soon!

Confessions of a Harried Homemaker

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Wow. I don't know how time got away from me but it's been over a week since my last post. Well, actually, I do know. Homeschooling 3 of 5 kids, teething baby, needy toddler, birthday parties, errands, and fighting off a sinus infection which caused me to go to bed "early". Seems like my only free time is after the kids are in bed and when the baby keeps waking up, there is no such thing as free time.

I also just realized how soon our Holiday Gift Guide promotion will be starting. ONE WEEK! Am I ready? NO. I seriously need to get with it!

I was so excited to find turkeys yesterday at our local Walmart for 68 cents a pound  so I bought two, brought them home and asked my son to put them in our outside freezer. Well, my husband had Mason jars sitting on top of the freezer so my son set the turkeys down and then forgot all about them. Found out today that they never made it into the freezer. It was 70 degrees here yesterday and pretty warm today so needless to say, they did not remain frozen. My husband actually wanted me to cook them so we could eat them. NOT! Food poisoning anyone?

Speaking of Walmart, it was just me with 3 of my kids and a man approached me in the parking lot asking for money for gas. My first thought was why would a man approach a woman alone with small children? The faster I walked to get away from him, the faster he walked. It was creeping me out. My next thought was,  if he needed gas, why wasn't he in a gas station parking lot asking for help rather than in a Walmart parking lot where there were no gas pumps??? I found out later that this is a new scam going on in our area. I understand times are hard, but this man actually got mad at me when I told him I had no cash on me. Always something to make you ask "what next"!

As I'm typing this, I'm thinking of reviews I need to get done and wondering why I'm not doing it. It's getting late and I am getting very sleepy. Getting only 2-3 intermittent hours of sleep in one night will do that to a person. Guess I'd better get with it (whatever "it" is) before the baby wakes up again. I hear my pillow calling my name though and it's getting louder and louder. Who will win? Stay tuned to find out. lol

Glee Gum Review

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I recently read an article telling me that my chewing gum was made of plastic. Say WHAT? I found nothing on Snopes.com telling me this was a big hoax so I googled it and to my surprise, came up with quite a few hits. Now, we don't chew gum often, but we do once in awhile and it would be nice to know exactly what we ARE chewing. What I discovered is that after World War II, chemists learned to make synthetic rubber (like polyethylene and polyvinyl acetate) which came to replace most natural rubber in chewing gum. Polyvinyl acetate is also known as glue (carpenter's, school, white, wood). Yuck! According to gum research and company websites, we're often chewing on synthetic polymers—styrene-butadiene rubber, polyethylene, polyvinyl acetate—with a bit of natural latex thrown in.


Enter Glee Gum. While I am unsure of exactly what their gum base consists of, this is what they have to say about it on their website:

Our gum base is a mix of chicle (see above), natural gums, rubbers, resins, and waxes. The exact formula is (unfortunately!) confidential. It is safe to chew, but, like all chewing gum, we don’t recommend that you swallow!

Glee Gum is the only gum on the market which contains chicle in it's gum base! What is chicle?  Chicle is the sap from the Sapodilla (pronounced "Sap-oh-dee-yah") tree, which grows in the rainforests of Central America. Chicle used to be the original basis for all chewing gum, until after WWII when synthetic gum bases were developed.

 

Glee Gum is available in 6 different flavors: Triple Berry, Peppermint, Bubblegum, Cinnamon, Spearmint, and Tangerine. My favorite is the Bubblegum Flavor with the Cinnamon running a close second. Glee Gum has no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners (no aspartame), or preservatives!


They also sell Make Your Own Candy Kits, which are All Natural. The kits make awesome activities for Homeschool, Scouts, Science classes, birthday parties, and more. An exclusive Educator's guide package is available for purchase for the Make Your Own Chewing Gum Kit but all 3 kits have free educational guides that can be found HERE. I love how the chocolate kit uses organic cocoa butter from Costa Rica, the gummy kit contains carrageenan made from seaweed from the Phillippines, and the gum kit uses natural chicle. These kits make learning fun.


The Chewing Gum kit is what I chose to review and my kids had a blast making it. They tell you ahead of time that the gum base is very sticky when it melts, and let me tell you, they aren't kidding!

Here's how we made it:

1. We put the packet of corn syrup in a cup with boiling water. It flows out better when hot.

2. Sprinkled 1/2 of the confectioner's sugar in a mound on our work area.

3. Melted the chicle gum base. We chose to do this in the plastic pan provided, in the microwave.


The melted Chicle. Took about 4 minutes in the microwave to reach this consistency.  




4. Added the corn syrup to the base, stirred, and then emptied it onto the pile of confectioner's sugar.



 5. Kneaded it and then divided it into 2 equal parts so we could add the 2 different flavors to each (bubblegum and cinnamon).

Adding the flavoring
6. We had to mix in the remaining confectioner's sugar to both parts. This was work!


Almost done

7. Time to roll it out. This was a bit of work too, but no where near as hard as kneading. The kids loved it.





8. We cut the gum. The kids argued over the best way to do this. It ended up being cut into chunky squares.
9. The kids tried it out right away. I think we got about 50 pieces. The rest was wrapped up in foil so it would stay fresh.

This was definitely an enjoyable learning experience, and a tasty one at that.

If you would like to give Glee Gum a try, but aren't sure where to buy it, click HERE to find a store near you.


Did you know that Glee is Gluten Free and Vegetarian?


Check out Glee Guy's Blog!

Glee Gum can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and  MySpace and you can sign up for their newsletter HERE.


One of their Make Your Own Candy Kits would make an awesome Christmas present for the curious kid in your life. Glee Gum is also a sponsor of our Holiday Gift Guide and Giveaway coming up November 21 to December 5th. Check back soon to find out how to win Glee Gum!

I was not compensated for this review other than receiving product for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own.