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TB Articles: Early Christmas Gifts August 26, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Blog Giveaways, Christmas, life, thoughts.
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In about 4 months, Christmas will be upon us. We think about getting our shopping done early, but end up waiting until the last minute. It’s pretty normal and there are ways to get it done super early without worrying whether you’ll get exactly what you want.

In fact, there is a way to get your Christmas presents early without having to spend ANY money. Impossible, you say? Nonsense! Thanks to sweepstakes and blog giveaways, you are able to at least cross one or two gifts off of your list. Online-Sweepstakes.com is a sweepstakes community where new giveaways and sweeps (sweepstakes) are posted daily. If you enter a few every day, your son will eventually get that new guitar for Christmas without you having to spend the money to buy it! Pretty neat, huh?

QVC is offering “Christmas When You Want It”, which is one of the coolest things they’ve ever come up with. Essentially what it is, you can look at the products that are part of the offer. If you have no place to store it until Christmas, you can reserve it to be delivered on November 2nd or now. If you opt for the November delivery, you don’t pay anything until it is shipped. For more information, check out their website.

It is NEVER too soon to purchase (or in some cases, win) those Christmas presents. Procrastination is a big problem when it comes to early Christmas shopping. Now you don’t have to with giveaways and “Christmas When You Want It”!

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CIJ: Favorite Songs July 31, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in blogs, Christmas, Christmas in July, family, Feelings, fun, holidays, life, music, Siblings, sisters, thoughts, twins.
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Thanks to Confetti Dreams, I thought I would end Christmas In July here at Texas Banter with some of my favorite songs. I know it seems like I am copying her, but c’mon! She’s my twin! She has some of the best ideas!

But it was VERY hard to choose my Top 10 all-time favorite Christmas songs. It’s like asking someone who loves chocolate to choose their favorite piece. It’s impossible! But here goes:

10. The Christmas Song by Luther Vandross – I consider Luther Vandross a legend when it comes to love songs. While “The Christmas Song” isn’t exactly a love song, it can sure turn into one. When I hear him sing it, I just want to sit by a fire with someone and cuddle. It’s always been a favorite of mine, even if it isn’t sung by Vandross. But his rendition will always remain a favorite of mine.

9. Christmas Cookies by George Strait – I am not afraid to say that I listen to country, especially George Strait. We own every Christmas album George has put out and know every song by heart. While “Frosty the Snowman”  and “All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth” are so greatly sung by this King of Country, I prefer “Christmas Cookies”. It’s hilarious and you can just feel the Christmas magic when you hear it. Sure he doesn’t talk about Christmas trees or decorations and it’s more about cookies, you know it’s Christmas.

8. Let It Snow ’98 by Brian McKnight – I absolutely love Brian McKnight. When he sings Christmas songs, you get the feeling of Christmas. It just feels a lot more like Christmas when you hear him crooning out songs that are filled with magic. And considering he sings it with Boyz II Men just makes it that much more wonderful!

7. O Come All Ye Faithful/O Holy Night by Trans-Siberian OrchestraYou’re probably wondering why I didn’t choose “Wizards in Winter” from Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Well, it’s widely used and not a lot of people know about their other works, which are amazing. I have this CD and I have loved it ever since. I wish I could see them live.

6. Believe by Josh Groban – This is from “The Polar Express”, which is an amazing movie. But this song is so powerful and you can just feel what Groban is feeling. This song gives me chills every time I hear it. It will forever remain a favorite and one that I will play for years to come.

5. Heavy Metal Christmas (The Twelve Days of Christmas) by Twisted Sister -I am a metalhead through and through. But because I enjoy all kinds of music, this ranks #5 on my list. I love Twisted Sister’s Christmas album “Twisted Christmas” because its Christmas and it’s metal, what more could ya ask for? But this song is somewhat humorous. Instead of 5 golden rings and and 2 turtle doves, Twisted Sister gets 5 skull earrings and 2 pairs of spandex pants. It’s heavy metal the magic of Christmas! Oh yea!

4. This Christmas by Jagged Edge – Now you should already know that Jagged Edge would have been on the list somewhere. This isn’t the song you hear from Elliot Yamin or Chris Brown. This has different lyrics and a different feel, but one that I enjoy so much. Their harmony just brings out the song that no one can compete with. Once I play it on my iPod this Holiday season, there it will stay!

3. Here Comes Santa Claus by Gene Autry – Manders forgot about this one! It’s a classic and I love classics! I remember when I was little and our parents had an old record player and old Christmas records. Every time Christmas came, we would put that album on and turn it to this song because we just loved it. In 1946, he wrote the song because of a Christmas Parade in Los Angeles. Pretty cool, huh?

2. Winter Wonderland by George Strait – You can’t deny that George Strait is great! I love this song, especially when George sings it! He brings a fun vibe and it just feels like Christmas! I’m surprised Sissy forgot to add it to her list! But then again, she wouldn’t have to. She could just add every single Christmas album by the King of Country!

1.  Here We Come A-Wassailing – So many people sing this but I still love it! It’s a fun song and so much fun to sing! It’s joyful and so cheerful, that you can’t help but feel happiness when you sing it with friends. No one knows exactly when it was written or it’s exact origin, but to know that it is still sung through the centuries just to show that it’s such a great song!

I appreciate everyone joining all of us for our first Christmas in July event! It was so much fun that we have decided to do more events! We will have a Halloween event starting the first week of October, maybe a Thanksgiving event, but definitely Christmas will be our 3rd major event (considering Manders and I love Halloween and we plan to make it a major event as well). We hope you enjoyed everything and our memories!

CIJ: Electronics July 28, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, Christmas in July, Electronics, Gift Ideas, gifts, holidays, shopping.
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christmas-presentIf you have a gadget buff in your midst, then give them more gadges- electronics! With the Kindle (Amazon’s Original Wireless Reading Device), you can take eBooks that are downloaded onto your computer or bought at the Kindle Store and read them as you would a regular book, except it is almost like a tablet! I personally would love to have one, since I am an avid reader. Millions have already been sold and this should be a hot ticket this year for bookworms!

Of course, digitized photos are VERY hot right now. With new digital cameras coming out all the time, it’s hard to choose which one to get. I say get one that would be appropriate for the person’s age and experience with digital cameras. If they aren’t that experienced, the Nikon Coolpix 4100 would be a great simple camera for them to get their feet wet in digital photos. There are also digital photo frames. What you essentially do is plug the frame into your USB port, upload the photos to the frame, and set the frame anywhere in your home! It’s like have a regular frame except all your photos rotate so they have their own moments to shine. If you want to take it for on the go, there is always the Digital Photo Keychain from Overstock.com that can hold up to 60 color photos.

Then you have the newest phones, like the iPhone 3G, which seems to be the hottest phone around. Not only is it a phone, it has internet connection, applications, and tons of other things to do! But it can cost anywhere from $200-$600 so I would wait for sales before buying so you get more bang for your buck. BlackBerry is also becoming popular. Texting is a lot smoother than on regular cell phone and they have a lot of applications for you to choose from whether you like music or travelling. They pretty much have it all. BlackBerries usually range in the same price of the iPhone.

iPods aren’t as popular, but as soon as the iTouch http://www.apple.com/ipodtouch/ hit the shelves, the demand has been grand. It’s not like the iPhone where you can talk or text to each other. But it’s just the same! You can download your favorite music, movies, get online, and even get weather or stocks! These tend to be a little less expensive, starting at $190 for the cheap versions up to $400 for the official iTouch device. But don’t forget that you have the Zune Music Player, iPod Nano, iPod Shuffle, or the SanDisk Sansa.

If you’re man doesn’t know where to go and won’t stop to ask for directions, give them a GPS so you won’t nag them to stop and they won’t argue back that they “know” where they’re going. At GPSCity.com, they have hundreds of different kinds of GPS to choose from. According to BestBuy.com, they can range anywhere from $80 for the easy and simple to over $400 for the high-end GPS systems.

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CIJ: Retro Christmas July 27, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, Christmas decor, Christmas in July, family, Feelings, hilarious, life, memories, thoughts.
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I was watching the Christmas in July special they had on QVC yesterday and the day before. Yesterday, they had a special segment called “Christmas Memories” where they brought out all sorts of retro Christmas ornaments and decorations. While I don’t remember having any retro Christmas decorations, I thought it would be neat to have a retro Christmas this year!

Instead of putting up a big artificial green Christmas tree, I love the idea of putting up an aluminum Christmas tree with the color wheel! Mom told us about them and ever since that story, I wanted one! I thought it would be so cool to go retro for Christmas, but that also includes the tree! Every year, it frustrates us because we can’t get the lights to go the way we want. They’ll blink when we don’t want them to or they won’t blink when we would prefer they do. So to counterbalance all of that, I want an aluminum tree!

When I was little, Mom used to have this HUGE collection of Santas. I mean, there were a lot. They were given to her as gifts or she would see it, and say “I have to have it!”, thus ended up buying it. But a house fire in 2001 destroyed it all, including everything we had. So one year, Manders and I bought her this beautiful and colorful ceramic Santa that stood a little over 12 inches. Mom loved it. So she put it on a shelf. But one of the cats we had at the moment (I hope it wasn’t Smokie!) jumped on top of the shelf, where we thought they couldn’t reach, and knocked it over. It was broken into a million pieces. So one day, Manders and I decided to start re-collecting Santas for Mom. But this time, I would love to give her a retro Santa! It just brings back that magic that Christmas held close as children.

I don’t know if anyone remembers these, but way back when, they started making plastic Santas that you could put out in your yard and there was a light so Santa could shine. I believe they also had Frosty and Toy Soldiers. As I was watching QVC’s “Christmas in July” event, they had a Toy Soldier ornament. It brought back the image of those plastic Toy Soldier’s outdoor decorations and I thought it would be so neat, if I can ever find them, to snag 2 and place them outside. I know as older people drive by, they will be reminded of Christmases that features these outside their home. It would bring back a lot of memories.

I would love to buy all the retro Christmas decorations I can and just make on Christmas completely retro- down to even the tiniest decoration! I think it’s because it was a simpler time when Christmas didn’t mean the hottest iPhones or the coolest toys. It was about family and being together. I think most of society has lost that idea and I would like to see it come back!

CIJ: 5 Months July 25, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, Christmas in July, family, Feelings, holidays, life, thoughts.
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In 5 months to the day, it will be Christmas Day. Families around the US (since International countries celebrate it hours before we do) will be waking up early to see what Santa had brought them. Children will feverishly rip at the wrapping to get the toy that’s underneath. Parents will be sitting on the sofa, drinking their coffee, in hopes that the children liked what Santa had given them. “A Christmas Story” is playing on the television for the 900th time.

I enjoy Christmas morning. Texas usually doesn’t get a “white” Christmas but it’s chilly. But it’s fun to pad into the living room with socks on my feet, Manders behind me, and presents under the tree. We are usually not awake enough to play Santa so Mom and Dad are volunteered. We unwrap one gift at a time so that each person have their moment to see what they had gotten and show everyone.

I look forward to Christmas EVERY year. There is just a magic about it that seeps into my body and chills me to the very bone. The pretty lights, the soothing music, the Christmas carols playing on every station, and seeing the Holiday movies. Being with my family as we drive mindlessly around town, looking at all the Christmas displays on the houses and coming up with ideas on how we can make out Christmas display look even more fantastic! We take turns asking to put this CD in the CD player or turning the station to something that fits the mood.

I like Christmas.

CIJ: OrnamentsWithLove.com Review July 24, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, Christmas decor, Christmas in July, Feelings, holidays, Home Decor, Product Reviews, Products, Reviews, thoughts.
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If you’re anything like me, you get tired of the generic ornaments on your tree everything Christmas rolls around. You want to add a little flair and personality to your ornaments, but you’re not exactly sure how. Did you know that you can have your own personalized set of ornaments just for $10 or more per ornament? Most places would charge you anywhere from $15 to even $90 just for a personalized ornament! But not OrnamentsWithLove.com!

OrnamentsWithLove.com offers over 700 personalized ornaments and a variety of photo frames and table decorations. Most of their ornaments are handmade from artists and companies all around the United States. Many of the ornaments are made from bread dough here in the United States. Others are made of wood, resin, polymer clay or clay dough. If you are looking for a specific ornament (i.e. a horse or a panda), then they have a lot to choose from. Unless specified, all ornaments come with personalization that you do right at ornament’s page. So let’s say you want to order the Cat – Grey Tabby Personalized Christmas Ornament. When you visit the page, all you have to do is type in the name you want for the ornament, the year, the quantity, and just press “Add to Cart!”. It’s very simple!

I love personalized items, especially at Christmas since it makes it so special for that person receiving the gift. I personally love the Twin category of the ornaments for obvious reasons!  I have no idea which one to choose! At first I thought Bronner’s had the best ornament selection but because OrnamentsWithLove.com has more handmade and personable ornaments that are just too cute for words, I think I may have to take that one back. OrnamentsWithLove.com has been in the retail gifts business for over 50 years! But in just the last 10 years, they have made it a priority to take what they know and apply it to personalized Christmas ornaments!

So if you’re looking for a few places for personalized ornaments but don’t want to spend a ton of money, I promise that you won’t have. They even have a category for items under $10 so if you’re trying to save money this Christmas but still want to show that special someone you care, you won’t want to miss it!

CIJ: Fave Tradition July 24, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, Christmas in July, family, Feelings, holidays, life, Siblings, sisters, Texas, twins.
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Everybody has to have a favorite Christmas tradition. I know I sure as hell do. Well, actually, it’s more like several. One tradition is Manders and I decorating the outside of the house every single year. If you’ve heard that song “12 Pains of Christmas” and that guy is getting mad because the outside lights aren’t going as planned? That’s us. We won’t want them to blink and they’ll blink. Or putting them above the porch only to find there aren’t enough nails. But we are proud of ourselves, even if did spend almost 3 hours outside trying to figure it out. Even when Manders and I move to college, we’ll still do that every year because it’s tradition.

Another one of my favorite Christmas traditions is going to Nature in Lights, which is a  drive through over five miles of holiday- inspired scenes. We do it almost every other year and it is so much fun! It’s at the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area, which is usually cut off to civilians since it is on Fort Hood but the open it during Christmas so that they can see Nature in Lights. In fact, we went last year and took tons of pictures, which I turned into a slideshow. Feel free to view it and bask in the wonderfulness that is Christmas! We try to go a little before or a week before Christmas. It just doesn’t have that Christmas feeling if you go afterward. But it always gets us looking forward to Christmas because it’s crisp, we listen to the Christmas music they play, and we all wear our Santa hats.

We also have smaller traditions but we don’t usually do them every year. It really depends on how tall our Christmas tree will be that year, or how we’re feeling, or just the general overall feeling of Christmas. Sometimes the feeling of Christmas isn’t what it should be so we wait for next year on the traditions. But those traditions span from pictures in front of the Christmas tree, goofy Christmas pictures, or candid pictures while someone is dancing to a Christmas song.

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CIJ: Christmas Parties July 23, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, Christmas in July, Crafts, holidays, Party.
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Christmas parties happen ALL over the US and other areas because it is tradition. But sometimes people become frazzled because they don’t know where to start, what to serve, or even how to send out the invitations!

Centrinet says that you shouldn’t focus your energy solely on the buffet because it will become predictable and attendence will drop off. Instead, offer food like you didn’t work yourself up into a frenzy like cheese and meat squares and a few alcoholic beverages. This site also has other ideas to make your party less boring and more Christmasy!

Celebration.com says bring your guests together this Christmas with a Christmas Tree Trimming party! It spells out tradition for a lot of folks and will bring up great memories that they will be able to share with you or other guests. Maybe they didn’t have an angel on the tree. Instead they had a star. Show them you love traditions as much as you do with a Tree Trimming Party. Or better yet, a Christmas Caroling Party! While that hardly happens, it still looking like fun!

If children are expected at the party, sit them down with Christmas crafts or games they can play with an adult supervisor or each other. Not only will it keep them occupied, they will feel as if they’re celebrating the Holidays with friends. If your children feel a little left out because you’re preparing for the party, let them help out a little by setting the buffet table or pouring the non-alcoholc drinks into cups. For more kid-friendly party ideas, check out FamilyFun. If you need ideas for Christmas crafts for the children or supplies, visit Oriental Trading’s Craft section.

Invitations can be the hardest to send because sometimes people don’t check their e-mails, don’t return phone calls, or misplace paper invitations so they have no idea where to go! Why not give them an eye-popping invitation they can’t miss? At InvitationBox, they have quite a few designs to choose from though they are a little pricey. TinyPrint doesn’t have that many Christmas invitations to choose from but they are definitely cute!

If need more party ideas, visit Party411 for party ideas to make your party tops!

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CIJ: Frugal Christmas Decorating July 21, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, Christmas decor, Christmas in July, DIY, holidays, Horror Movies.
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Xmasgiftcheap-main_FullOur family doesn’t do any major Christmas decor shopping. We simply cannot afford the huge Christmas tree or the collection of snowglobes. So we’ll decorate on a smaller scale while still buying Christmas decor to replace what was lost during the Summer.

If you’re not sure how to make those Dollar Store decorations work without looking like they were bought at the Dollar Store, there are numerous ways to make it look like you’ve spent a fortune without really having to do so! eHow tells you that if you mix a teaspoon of liquid dish soap with any metallic acrylic paint (craft paint), you can create your own snow color. Then, sponge paint pretty snowflakes on your windows for a shiny, old-fashioned holiday effect. You can also wrap empty boxes with colorful Christmas paper and stack them all decoratively in a hallway or living area. While the kids might think they are presents for them, explain that they may or may not be. The element of surprise!

You can also use nature to decorate. Spray paint pine cones whites for Holiday candle votives. You can use holy/evergreen branches to create wreaths, line a basket, or a hanging bouqet of evergreen branches. The children can help by sprinkling glitter while the paint is drying on the pine cones or even help gather the branches.

What my family does, to create an eye-popping door that reflects the outside Christmas decorations, we take metallic wrapping paper and tape it to the front door. We then take some ribbon and wrap it like it was a gift. We sometimes top it off with the inevitable velvet bow and sometimes we don’t. At About.com, you can use swag or even wreaths for a classic look. There are also tons of ideas for easy and frugal Christmas decorating!

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CIJ: Pet Gift Ideas July 20, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Animals, Beds, Cat Furniture, cats, Christmas, Christmas in July, dogs, family, Gift Ideas, gifts, holidays, shopping.
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christmas-kitten-cat-756396Don’t forget our furry friends this Christmas! Our 3 cats and 1 dog are as much as a part of this family than anyone else and we have always given them some sort of gift (unwrapped, of course) so that they don’t feel left out at Christmas.

There are TONS of gifts that you can give your doggy or your kitty at Christmas! What my family always does, even if they receive something else, is get our fur babies treats. Since the Holidays are filled with sweets and pets can’t usually have them, we give them treats so that they don’t beg for that piece of chocolate. There are numerous treats out there pretty much everywhere so pick up a bag/can of your pet’s favorite treats for Christmas!

Toys are another great way to celebrate the Holidays with Fido or Fluffly. Smokie and Patches (Smokie is my cat and Patches is my Mom’s) enjoy catnip-filled mice and string while Princess (Manders’ kitty) enjoys the feather and fluffy toys. Zeus will play with practically anything but really loves to play tug-of-war. So depending on your pet’s favorite game(s), giet them a toy they will enjoy!

Even though Fido loves to sleep on your bed or Fluffy wants to sleep on your favorite couch, get them the gift that keeps on giving! Instead of losing your couch or bed to your pet, give them their own! At PetCo, they have all shapes and sizes to choose from. They even have dog couches and cat cradles for your loved one to sleep in on those extra cold nights. Fido will feel happy that he has his own bed that no one else can sleep on and Fluffy will be glad that she has her own quiet place!

If you have a friend that has pets and you want to give them something, give them the gift of a gift card. If something happens and they need to run to PetsMart or PetCo, they won’t have to worry if they have enough money to get what they need. Maybe they’re thinking of getting a pet and giving them the giftcard will make them feel more confident in their choice, since it won’t be for just a dog or for just a cat.

Every year at Christmas at Wal-Mart, they sell animal Christmas stockings that are filled with toys and treats. So take the guesswork out of wondering what your pet will enjoy and get them a Christmas stocking. They will be so excited, they’ll play with more than one of the toys included! I know we have given our pets a Christmas stocking for years and every year, they play with it like it will be their last! Sometimes they even play with it months after. I know Fido and Fluffy will enjoy it!

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Christmas in July: Favorite Movies July 19, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, Christmas in July, Feelings, holidays, Movies, thoughts.
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Note: Due to the videos, it may take a few moments to load. Please be patient.

Everyone has their favorite Holiday movie they enjoy watching year after year. Everytime Christmas rolls around, they are excited that they will once again see a movie they love for what seems forever. In fact, there are some Holiday movies that I don’t even put in storage after the Holidays are over with. When a Texas Summer can easily reach over 100* for days (or even weeks) on end, you do what you can to stay cool, even if it’s just wishing for snow. So what do I watch year-around, especially at the Holidays?

Even though they don’t play it on television anymore, I still enjoy National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation because in some way, I can relate to them.

I am so glad they play this at Halloween and again at Christmas. It has become one of my favorite movies. It was this movie that I deemed Tim Burton to be a genius.

This HAS GOT TO BE one of my most favorite Holiday movies of all time. I remember watching it as a kid and just wishing for a White Christmas. That’s when I feel in love with Bing Crosby.

This is such a funny movie, yet heart-warming. The first time I saw this was actually when Mom bought it for all of us to watch when it came out. I still watch it during the year, even when it isn’t Christmas.

I love watching this every chance I get. I watched this when I was just a tot and fell in love with the whole claymation idea!

I love Garfield, need I say more?

 

Do you have a favorite Holiday movie?

CIJ: Christmas Food July 19, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in candy, chocolate, Christmas, Christmas in July, cookies, food, Gift Ideas, gifts.
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Food is always a large part of the Holidays, because it is synonymous with Christmas. There are tons of Christmas recipes at AllRecipes.com. They have some of the best recipes that even I would enjoy making. While it’s not widely popular, they have several recipes for different types of Christmas cake (actual cake).If you have difficulty making fudge at Christmas, they also have tips and tricks for making perfect fudge.  They also have a section for food gift recipes if you have a friend or family member who is an avid cook/baker!

Give the gift of fortune cookies! At Fancy Fortune Cookies, they have fortune cookies that you can customize anyway you want. You can customize the flavor, the fortune in the cookie, and even have it drizzeld in chocolate! If you want to send them a surprise, send them a giant fortune cookie! All Giant Fortune Cookies come dipped in chocolate with confetti and your customized fortune!  Read my review on Fancy Fortune Cookies.

If you want to send something that is homemade without actually having to cook it, Etsy is your best bet! When the Holidays get a little closer, all the bakers start churning out their best that include fudge, chocolate, cookies, and sugary creations! Some stores even offer gift certificates for their products so if you’re not sure if you recipient would like the chocolate fudge or the cupcakes, give them a gift certificate so they can choose their sugar snack!

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CIJ: For the Tool or Golfer in your life! July 18, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, Christmas in July, family, Gift Ideas, gifts, Golf, holidays, Products, shopping, thoughts, Tools.
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While my father isn’t exactly Tim Taylor when it comes to tools and cars, he knows his way around a drill or a hammer. But I do know that there are a lot of guys out there that wish they could receive just that one new saber saw or that  Surveillance camera. Maybe he wants a rolling toolbox. Or maybe he just needs a new set of golf clubs.

Maybe your Husband or Dad is just like my Dad- is always losing a part of his tools! Well, with this Craftsman 204 pc. Mechanics Tool Set, he will promise that he will keep everything together. Wouldn’t you?

Sears Craftsman 204 pc. Mechanics Set-  $179.99

In case your man suffers from “more power” once in a while, get him the Craftsman C3 Compact Lithium 1/2 in. Reversible Drill/Driver BONUS C3 AM/FM/Weather Radio. As you can tell, it practically has everything he would want, including a radio! So he can pretty much drill to his heart’s content while listening to his favorite radio station.

Sears Craftsman C3 Compact Lithium 1/2 in. Reversible Drill/Driver BONUS C3 AM/FM/Weather Radio- $159.99

If he would rather be out on the range than in the garage or basement, Sears can help you out there as well. They have various loose clubs like the Dunlop DDH Knife Wedge which runs for about $17 per club at the moment. Now if you don’t want to spend $17 on one club, you could always get the Wilson Hope Golf Clubs, which is a whole set is sold at K-Mart and KMart.com.

K-Mart Wilson Hope Golf Clubs- $170

Not too sure if he’d like the set of golf clubs or the set of tools? Don’t forget about Lowe’s or Home Depot! I know those stores are huge and when it comes to Christmas gifts, your first thought isn’t either of those places but rather Sears or Academy Sports + Outdoors. So instead of traipsing around those big stores in search of the perfect gift, give me a gift card! Don’t worry whether he will think that “you don’t know him at all”. Trust me- men can be the hardest to shop for. They aren’t particular and that’s why it is makes it difficult. So make him go pick out his own gift with a gift card! You won’t see him for hours, which means more “you” time!

Christmas in July: Dear Santa July 17, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in alpha inventions, Animals, Books, cats, Christmas, Christmas in July, dogs, family, Feelings, funny, holidays, life, Pets, random, Siblings, sisters, thoughts, twins.
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Note: I took the idea from Manders (aka Confetti Dreams).

 

Dear Santa:

It’s July. It’s hot, muggy, and no rain. I’m tired of it and wishing Fall would get here soon. So what does this have to do with you?

Everything! You grace us with your presence every year at Christmas, and getting through Fall just means you’ll visit us once again. But I must remind you: The cats are still sort of afraid of strangers. They are attached to their owners and don’t want attention from anyone unless he or she is part of the family. Of course, that doesn’t include that dog. They hate him. But then again, he loves to chase them. Speaking of the dog, he won’t bite. I promise that. His bark is a lot louder than his bite. Milk and Cookies are in the fridge. Pup likes cookies and kitties like milk. For the reindeer, since it’s going to be a long night, there is some soda in the fridge as well. They could probably use the caffeine.

So what do I want this year? Not much, really. Like my other half, a laptop would be REALLY nice. Then Mom wouldn’t get tired of hearing us argue about who has been on the longest or asking “When am I getting on?”. We wouldn’t have to argue either. True, sisters (especially twins) argue over inanimate objects like computers but after a while, it gets boring. We need something new to argue over! I’m pretty sure if I said more books or a nutcracker (which is on my “just-in-case” list), we wouldn’t have to argue over that and Christmas would end up boring. But of course I’ll take practically anything dealing with books, movies, music (heavy metal or Jagged Ege please), or nutcrackers.

Manders will take George Strait or Kahn (from Kamelot) under the tree this year. Forget any CDs or DVDs by these men. She’ll just take them as they are- in the flesh. She wants them only for a month, but I know her too well and she secretly wants them for more than a month. Please leave a note on how long she can keep them. Oh and if they come with any accessories (guitars, ya know), leave those as well. Mom could probably use a vacation. As far as where, that’s a conundrum. I have no clue! You’re better off asking her. I don’t know what you could get Daddy. You might want to ask him too.

Oh and if it isn’t too much trouble, please make sure that all pets are in the house. Smokie likes to escape. Give the Mrs my best.

CIJ: Christmas Crafts July 17, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, Christmas in July, Crafts, DIY, ornaments, Wreaths.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
3 comments

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To me, making crafts at Christmas is fun! Making snowmen out of pillbottles or Angles out of styrofoam. If you’re creative and not sure how to make your Christmas homemade without spending hords of money on bows that will only be ripped off in seconds or ornaments that will end up broken before they’re even taken back into storage, try making your own homemade Christmas!

At HowStuffWorks, they have articles on many different articles on how to make Christmas ornaments as well as wreaths. The wreaths they create on HowStuffWorks are intricate so if you have patience and want to make a wreath that is Macy’s worthy, head over here to make your own “Snow-Themed Wreath”. But you also have the choice of making other types of wreaths as well as ornaments and garland.

If you want more selection and kid-friendly crafts, AllFreeCrafts.com is your place to go. They have hundreds of Christmas crafts to choose from and they even have crafts for your children to do this Christmastime. While they may seem difficult, they are actually rather easy to create. Even if you wanted to make some extra cash, you can sell your creations on Etsy.com in time for the Holidays. If you’re REALLY into make your own Christmas ornaments, AllFreeCrafts.com has plenty of ways to spice up an transparent ball ornament. and AssociatedContent.com has tons of articles for you to pick from if you are interested in making your own painted Christmas ball ornament.

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