This is the time of year, that everyone has gifts on the brain. What to get so and so? Will they like it? Do they have one of those? How much am I going to have to pay to get it there?! This just adds to the stress of the holidays and leaves little time for relaxing. So this year I was determined to make gift giving as stress free as possible. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it but once I received my first California Wine Club delivery, I knew exactly what everyone was getting this year!
I have enjoyed the last three deliveries so much and I just knew everyone else would too. It’s exciting to get new wines each month, read through the newsletter and make a couple of the delicious recipes I found. Best of all they are delivered straight to the door! With more than a few wine lovers on my gift list, Christmas shopping was going to be a cinch!
With all of my other shopping done, I sat down this weekend and started checking off the rest of my list. I headed over to www.cawineclub.com and ordered all of my gifts using my special discount code “mommies2cents” for 10% off. You can use that one too! I shopped, ordered and had my own glass of wine poured in about 20 minutes. No lines, no crowded stores, no big credit card bills coming in January and NO POST OFFICE! Plus, I may have added a Premier Membership for myself too!
If you are looking for a unique gift that will attract all the oohs and ahhhs this year, give a Premier Membership to the California Wine Club.
In each month of their Premier Gift membership, they will recieve:
It’s days like today that will always bring a smile to my face. My little man turned 3. It was a wonderful day. There was no stress, no arguing and no tears. Only wonderful family time. On these days, I can’t help but wonder how I got to this happy place. Not that I have had a troubled past or anything. Actually that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I just wonder how two kids, madly in love can go from broke, struggling students to happily married homeowners, with two great kids and a dog.
Was it all of our hard work? Maybe we were just lucky? A higher power? Who do I thank for days like these? I’m never sure so I just soak them up and save the memory for a rainy day.
Happy birthday Cole! Thank you for completing our family and putting a smile on my face everyday!
Christmas confession #57: I have never ever had eggnog…ever.
When I was thinking about making a holiday themed cupcake, I wanted something different and exciting. I heard someone mention eggnog and I knew that was it. I tweaked a couple of recipes and I finally came up with this one. It’s a soft, fluffy cupcake with lots of flavor. This cupcake will be the perfect addition to any holiday party.
I have been fighting off a nasty cold for about 2 weeks now. My kids, who go around other kids, are like little incubators. They bring home these nasty germs and lately those germs have been trying to take up residence in my throat. Sure I fight back. I load up on vitamin C and I start to feel better. The second I get comfortable, here they come again.
I know I have been out of action lately but I’m on the battlefield! If you don’t see me around for a couple of days, you’ll know I lost. Oh! and if any of you see that first kid that got sick and started spreading it around…can you smack his mother for me?!
Guest post written by my buddy Bernardo Graham
One fall day not too long after we moved into our new house, I was upstairs unpacking boxes in our bonus room. It seemed like we had a never ending stack still to unpack, and somehow we had gotten all the ones that still needed unpacking into that room so we could at least move around in all the other rooms. Most of the stuff in the boxes belonged to my children. Can I just say that they have way too many toys? Anyway, our plan was to make the bonus room into a play room so at least the toys were in the right room. No one was home, but me that day. There is a window in that room that looks out onto the driveway at the end of the house. I happened to hear a car in the driveway and looked out. I saw a truck that had backed up my driveway, with two men in it. They got out of the truck and were looking into my garage. Thank goodness the garage door was shut. I think they were going to try to break in. I banged on the window, and they realized that someone was watching them. They jumped in the truck and drove off very quickly. That was the moment that I decided to contact www.besthomesecurity.com and purchase a home security system. I never wanted to be scared like that again.
Black Friday, the Superbowl of retail is one of my favorite days of the year. I start planning it out a couple weeks in advance. We always eat Thanksgiving dinner a bit early and then I shower, gear up and head to the toy store. I know everyone thinks of black friday as this crazy, loud event that no person in their right mind would take part in. I look at it as my mom moment. A time when I can go out and work at getting something great for my kids. It’s not the end of the world if I don’t get something, so it’s like a game. A game I love playing.
I usually find one item that I wasn’t planning on buying but it’s a great deal and will be a huge hit on Christmas morning. This year, I chose a doll. A doll that was not on Ansley’s wish list but I thought she would love it since she has been getting more and more into pretend play with her other dolls.
Since I was #6 in line, I secured one of the dolls for a great price, more than half off! When I came home with my loot, I showed Mr. M2C and he was equally excited and convinced that Ansley would love it. I was a proud shopper.
The next day we were out and about shopping and we happened to pass one of the dolls in the store. Mr. M2C, wanting to test the waters, says to Ansley “Hey! Look at that cool doll! Maybe you should put that on your Christmas list”. Ansley whips her head around, hair flying and says “Ewww! Not that doll! It poops! Don’t even talk to me about that doll that poops and pees! Gross!”
I was not expecting such a strong reaction. Trying to save my black friday score, I said “Yeah but that’s JUST like a real baby! That would be cool, right?”. She was not buying it. She said “Would you quit talking to me about poop?! It’s so gross!”
Suddenly I realized their had been a shift in the universe. For the last 4 1/2 years I had been put through the ringer with poop and pee conversation. Bodily functions have become second nature. But now, potty talk is embarrassing her! I never understood why parents got any joy out of embarrassing their kids but now I know…it’s so much fun! It’s the best payback in the world!
So it turns out my big black friday score was a big black friday bust! Normally when I buy something and it doesn’t work out, I get a small amount of joy from returning it and getting all of the money back. This time, I can’t even enjoy that because I got such a great deal, I’m not getting that much money back. At least I have my new mom power…EMBARRASSMENT!
I’m a thoughtful gift giver or at least I would like to think so. I pretty much drive myself insane during the holiday’s trying to find the perfect gift for everyone from Mr. M2C to the lady that grooms my dog. I have found through the years that some people do not put the same amount of thought into gift selection. I know, it’s not about the gifts but a gift card from a sporting goods store doesn’t really put me in the holiday spirit. Running a marathon is on my bucket list but I’m not ready to buy those running shoes just yet. After sitting on my less than coveted gift card for some time, I started searching for a good use for it. I finally came across the best gift card exchange. At the end of the day I was rid of my old gift card, picked up one for a place I love and ordered a new cupcake pan. All in a days work! I asked Mr. M2C if he had any unused gift cards and he had more than a few. We exchanged them for one store card and bought all of Cole’s birthday gifts! He is going to have a great birthday and it didn’t take any money out of my grocery budget. Managing money is always on my mind so when I can re-purpose funds to better the family, I am all for it. This holiday season when you get a gift card that doesn’t exactly jingle your bells, exchange it and buy that thing you were really wishing for! Now, I also have the issue of living 3000 miles away from my family as well as Mr. M2C family. I can’t stand to pay for shipping so I fall back on gift cards. The kids love them because they get to shop for themselves and I can ship it across the country for the cost of a postage stamp. By visiting a gift card exchange I can also buy discounted gift cards! I can cover everyone in the family for less than I would normally pay. In today’s world, it’s all about stretching your money without sacrificing. Make the most of the holidays this year but don’t go broke doing it! Happy Holidays!