Put a Label on It

   One of my most favorite things to do over the holidays is wrap Christmas presents. I like to wait for the kids to go to bed (really how much wrapping will you get accomplished otherwise?), get a cup of cocoa or glass of wine (usually number two), put on some holiday tunes, and get wrapping. Like I’ve said before sometimes you need to pack up those gifts and ship them off to grandma’s house. If you want to make sure they get over the meadow and through the woods, you better make sure you put a label on it. 
   Those labels are also good if you have to organize stuff. Honestly, what momma out there doesn’t have some organizing to do? Unless your name is Martha Stewart, I’m sure a little labeling wouldn’t hurt  any of us in the organization department! Labels are great when it comes to organizing your kids old clothes or toys, especially if you’re planning on handing them down to a family member or friend. At least this way you find those size 3 shirts without going through all of those storage bins in the basement! Just think of all the time you can save. Time to go label some more stuff and get organized!

Running Low on Ink is Annoying

    It’s one of life’s little annoyances. You’ve either spent the better part of your day writing up some important stuff or downloading some pictures when you go to hit the print button and the finished product comes out blank. If you’re like me, you’ve ignored the “low ink” messages for the last twenty or so prints and now that you really need it, you’re out of ink. If you’re also like me, you always forget to write down the kind of ink you need so that once you get to the store you have no idea what to get. Epic fail…how annoying!
   So here are some simple tips. First of all, don’t ignore those ink warnings. It would just save a lot of time and aggravation to replace the cartridge when you’re supposed to. It’s like filling your gas tank before you hit “E”. Contrary to what you might believe, “E” does not stand for excellent, at least not in this case. Number two, write down what you’re supposed to get before you head out to the store. Think of it as if you’re going out to the grocery store. I know it sounds easy, but sometimes the easiest things are the hardest!

Holiday in the Box

   Holiday shopping…you can either love it or hate it. Either way you look at it, it has to be done. It’s kind of like cleaning your toilet. Hopefully you can enjoy shopping a little bit more (if you don’t, you may have some serious issues!). Anyway, while many of us can wrap up those gifts and put them under the tree to await the big day, others have to ship them out to family and friends.
   Of course before you send them out to the post office, you have to play Santa and box up those bargains to get them to that special someone. Honestly, sometimes it can be a pain. What’s the sense of spending all that time and money picking out a gift only to be careless and ship it in a hurry for it to get ruined? I’m sure the person getting the gift wouldn’t be too happy either. Who wants to be unhappy on Christmas? We all know the answer to that one.  If you really want to play the role of one of Santa’s elves, you know those packages need a little TLC before they get to that special someone. So don’t act in haste because it would be a really waste this holiday season!

Buying a Luxury Tree Without Going Broke

   We all know the holiday season can get hectic and definitely expensive. There’s the shopping and of course the decorating. While we may love our house to look like it came out of some style magazine, achieving that swanky goal could make you go broke, especially if you like a luxury tree. But, just with anything, it doesn’t have to be that way, if you know how to shop around for a good deal.  I’m sure even Santa looks for a good bargain every now and again!
  Whether you buy a real or artificial tree, I think a lot of people get caught up with having the perfect one. But, perfection doesn’t have to come with a price tag that would make Rudoplh’s nose turn a brighter shade of red. I think any tree you pick out and decorate with your family is the perfect one, even if it wouldn’t get the Martha Stewart seal of approval. I know a lot of people who spend a lot of money to get that luxury look, when in all reality it looks anything but because they’ve tried too hard. When it comes to decorating for the holidays, you want to make it something unque and memorable, not something that made you go break the bank!

Why I Love a Real Christmas Tree

   It’s the age old debate when it comes to picking out a Christmas tree. Real or fake? Growing up, we always had a fake one because my Mom said the pine needles the real tree left behind were a real pain to clean up when all was said and done. But, you can’t beat the smell of a real tree. In my opinion, nothing says, or in this case, smells like Christmas , than a real tree.
   Don’t get me wrong, those real trees do leave a mess behind. Mama was right there! Although I end up cleaning pine needles until the Fourth of July, it’s all worth it to me. I love going to the garden center or farm to find the “perfect tree.”  I love trying to tie it to the roof or jam it in the truck to bring it home. I love dragging it in and arguing with my husband about whether it’s straight in the stand. No matter how hard we try, it is honestly never straight no matter what he says! I even love watching the needles fall as we countdown to Christmas Day. To me, it wouldn’t be the holiday season without it!

Would You Buy a Pre-Lit Tree?

    I have to say one of the most annoying parts of decorating the Christmas tree is stringing the lights. It seems like no matter how many times you test the lights before hanging them, a bulb always seems to go out and sometimes that means the whole strand has lost its Christmas cheer. It’s like the Grinch is playing some kind of trick or something. Then there’s always the job of untangling them because someone was careless putting them away the year before. Do these things ever happen to you or is it just me?
   I know a lot of people who don’t have these problems because they invest in those handy dandy pre-lit trees. The best part is that you don’t have to worry about hanging the lights because it’s already done for you. Score one! If one light goes out, chances are the whole string won’t go out too. Score two! Some may say it’s the lazy man or woman’s tree. But, in all honesty, it may be the smarter tree. What’s better than just putting the tree together, plugging it in, and then decorating it? While I’ve never gone this route, it kinda has me thinking this could be the way to go to deck the halls without the aggravation (or arguments with the hubby!).

Is it Time to Deck the Halls Already?

   I can’t believe it’s almost that time of year again to deck the halls. It’s seems like just yesterday I was packing up all the ornaments and lights and shipping them down the basement. Now, here we go again! It’s amazing how fast time really does fly, ya know?
   Of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a tree. It really is the centerpiece of all the holiday decorating. After all, Santa does need a good place to leave all the presents! So, it’s only fitting that one of the most exciting parts about decorating for Christmas is picking out a tree. But, if you think all trees are created equal, think again. Whether you choose an artificial or real tree, they really do come in all shapes and sizes and with all different kinds of price tags too! 
    If you take the artificial route, the main thing to consider is the size. You don’t want to run the risk of looking cramped or tacky. While your eyes may want the seven footer, your ceiling may only be able to handle five feet of Christmas cheer! ‘Tis the season to be jolly, so happy shopping and decorating!

No Power=No Caillou

   Obviously when you lose the power, you lose your lights, television and all the other great things we have learned to be very cranky without. But, try explaining that to a three-year-old. Yeah, not so easy, and really not so much fun. Like millions of people along the East coast, we lost our power during Hurricane Sandy. It was one of those things we knew was going to happen, it was just a matter of time. Luckily, I was able to cook dinner so we didn’t have to resort to peanut butter or brownies for food, because that would have just been so horrible. Anyway, we were sitting at the table when the lights flickered a couple of times. What a tease. Let’s just get this over with Sandy. Anyway, within minutes, we were sitting in the dark. My youngest daughter could care less, but my oldest first stated the obvious, “It’s dark.” That’s my girl. Then we told her that the storm knocked out the power and turned the lights off. She preceded to tell us she didn’t like the storm and that it was bad. I had to laugh at that one.

   So, I lit a few candles and we had our flashlights as we moved to the couch. My little one was waddling around in the dark like it was no one’s business. Meanwhile, my oldest asked if she could watch “Caillou”. That’s her favorite cartoon show. For those of you who have never made the bald little annoying Canadian…”He’s just a boy who’s four and each day he grows some more…Caillou, Caillou,Caillou…that’s me.” Yeah, the theme song is the equivalent to “Call Me Maybe” to a tween. Anyhow, I told her that having no power meant no television, which meant no Caillou. So, she said “later Mommy.” Yeah, still not getting it. My husband and I knew we would be in the dark well past the morning. Not to get her hopes it, I told her I doubted it because it would take awhile for the power to come back on.

   Ladies and gentlemen, we have lift off.
   “I have no power.”
   “No honey, no power.”
   “I don’t have Caillou.”
   “No honey, no power, no Caillou.”
    She then remembered an episode where little Caillou lost his power in a storm. Then, she asked me, “just like Caillou?”
   Yep, I answered, just like him. From that point on, she seemed to have grasped the concept of not having power. Who knew Caillou would come in handy!