Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mommy MD Guides Review and Giveaway!

Hi Neighbors!

Any of you out there expecting?  Or do you know someone who is?  Here are a couple of books that would make a great gift for someone you know who is expecting.  Both of these books are chock full of information.  The first book is The Mommy MD Guide to Pregnancy and Birth ($17.95).  The second is The Mommy MD Guide to Your Baby's First Year ($17.85).  Both books are written by Rallie McAllister and Jennifer Bright Reich.


The Mommy MD Guides are each loaded with over 900 tips for pregnancy and baby's first year.  The tips are from doctors who are also mothers.


Lets start with the Pregnancy and Birth.  The book is divided into 4 sections, the first 3 dealing with the three trimesters, and the last dealing with baby's birth.  Each section is then broken down into chapters.  A chapter for each week of your pregnancy and them 3 chapters dealing with the baby's birth.  The book is nice in that it is not information overload, and it is literally written in sections of hints and tips.  Throughout the book there are boxes that contain questions and answers, like "When should you call the midwife?", and there are are also boxes with recommended products.  The book is a well of information, yet it comes across in an easy to read manner.

Your Baby's First Year is set up in the same manner, with questions and recommended products.  This book is also written in an easy to read manner, with each tip being shared in a friend to friend type style.  The chapters are each of the 12 months of baby's first year.

Both of these books would make great reads for first time mothers, but I would also recommend them for all expectant moms.  These are the type of books that you can read and highlight and then re-read as needed.  The kind of book you will leave on your nightstand throughout your pregnancy and baby's first year.

You can find The Mommy MD Guides on their website:www.MommyMDGuides.com .  This website is also a great source of information, you just might want to bookmark them.  So if you are expecting, or know someone who is be sure to stop by their site and pick up a copy.

One neighbor will win a copy of both books. Pregnancy and Birth and Your Baby's First Year.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Goalforit Chore Chart!

Hi Neighbors!

Here is a great website you will want to visit.  It is called Goalforit, and the Chore Chart that is available is wonderful!  I am definitely going to be using this again!  I will probably wait until we get back from Chicago, but I really like this idea.  You can go in and design a chart for each of your children, young or older!  There is a kid's chart or a teens and tweens chart.  You get to basically design your own chart.  Add the chores you want, and if they don't already have it listed, you can add it yourself.

Child's Chore Chart

I love the themes!

From Goalforit:

I created Goalforit as a "passion-project" to try and help people of all ages bring more focus and personal success into everyday life by recognizing, developing and capitalizing on their own unique strengths & abilities.
That said, if you have any suggestions on how I can make the experience better on Goalforit, you can contact me directly by clicking on the “Contact Us” tab above.
Wishing you great success in all that you do ...  and I hope you find Goalforit helpful.







 Goalforit is totally free.  Just sign up with your email and create a user name.  They do have other goal setting features, but I want to stick with the chore chart.  Gave you ever purchased a chore chart in a store, and then been disappointed, because it had chores listed that you child was not required to do, or there was not room to add the important chores you did want included?  Chore Charts from Goalforit are the answer!  Create them the way you want them to be.  Only add what you want to keep track of.

Here are some of the chores!

The Teen or Tween Chart.

To start out, you choose which chore list you need, child or teens and tweens.  Enter a name for your chart, your childs age, and male or female.  You can choose to receive daily, weekly or monthly email notifications regarding your chart.  For the children's you can choose a theme.  They have some really cute ones!  After this is completed you then can add chores from their list, or make your own.  You can choose from Chores and Responsibilities, which includes things like; make your bed, get dressed, water and food for pet, take out trash, etc.  There are many more.  Next you can choose Behavior Goals; No hitting, be polite and don't raise your voice.  Healthy Habits are next; brush your teeth, wash your hands and take a bath.  Then if you find something is missing create your own.  I did one children's and one teens and tweens.  The teens does not come with themes. Online, they can choose a sticker to mark the chores done.  Or if you really want to, you can print them off.  Personally I believe online is best, why waste all that paper.  The teens you click on and it marks it with a check mark.


Some of the Teen and Tween Chores.
Another feature is, they can earn points.  You can set a point value for each chore.  You can then set up a reward system. You can make a list of rewards, and how many points must be earned to receive that reward.  I know my daughter is going to enjoy this!

Now, a few recommendations of my own:
1. Start out at your child's level.  Remember their age and don't overwhelm them.
2. Start with the most important chores, and help them at first with remembering to accomplish their chores, and to mark them as done..
3. Be sure your child understands what is required.
4. As they proceed and are making progress, slowly add more items to their chart.
5. Explain the chore, and even walk them through it a time or two.
6. Make this fun also.  Reward them for accomplishing their chores and having the proper behavior.

I really recommend that my neighbors go by and check this out.  It could really be a benefit to your family.  Be sure to stop back by here and leave a comment if you do, and tell me what you think.

Disclosure: I did receive compensation for this post.  All quotes are taken directly from the Goalforit website.  All thoughts and opinions are mine.

How Important is Internet Marketing?

Greetings Neighbors!

I hope everyone who visits At the Fence has been having a great week so far.  I sure am.  And we have company coming in tomorrow for a visit, and then we get to go to Chicago again for a Watch Night service, I love it!

Anyway, I wanted to share with my neighbors just how important an internet marketing strategy can be.  I personally do not make any large purchases without checking them out online first.  Of course I want to see what the company has to say, but I also want to see reviews of the product.  I like to look around and see what others are saying as well as the company. 

Here is one example, I have been looking for a new camera, and then a tablet or net book.  While researching one of these items that was available on sale, I couldn't even find information on the product on the company website.  Not a good sign.  Needless to say, I checked out where people were giving their own opinion, and was not impressed.  There were too many problems surfacing with the product, and since the company had no information on the product itself, let alone addressing the product, I decided this was not the one for me.  I did purchase my camera based on what I found online, both on the company website, and from reviews of the product.  And guess what?  I love it.  You will be seeing some information at a later date here At the Fence regarding the camera.

So I would have to say that internet marketing is what made my final decision in my camera purchase and lack of marketing lost a company a sale.  I went with a different product, where there was more information available.  I believe the internet is playing more and more of a role in purchases my family makes.  My daughter purchased a new camcorder, but not before putting in a lot of research online.

How about my neighbors here?  Do you research purchases online?  How much does internet marketing affect your decisions?

I am participating in a blogger campaign by Bucks2Blog  for an seo company and was compensated. However, the views and opinions are my own.

Shaving Choices

Hey Neighbors!

So glad you came out today to visit At the Fence.  I have a question, do any of you have any teenage boys that are starting to grow a beard or mustache?  Do they want to shave or allow it to grow?  I have two sons trying to decide the shaving dilemma.  My 18 year old has pretty much decided to go clean shaven, although every once in a while he is not sure.  My 16 year old on the other hand is truly undecided.  He starts to grow the mustache, and then shaves it off.  A few days later, he starts growing it again.  His dad has asked him to decide one way or the other.  So we aren't constantly yoyoing back and forth. 

Personally I think he would look nice with a mustache.  It looks good as it is starting to come in.  I don't think he is ready for a beard yet. It is not coming in even there yet.  Their dad has a beard and mustache, and I love it.  The boys are still trying to make their own choices and decisions.  It's funny because they are so close in age that they were always dressing alike and now they each try to be a little different on purpose.  They try to have their hair cut a little differently, and I think they will probably be divided on the beard and mustache issue for awhile. 

I also think part of the issue is having to shave everyday.  My 16 year old isn't sure that he really wants to shave everyday, but if he doesn't he has the start of a mustache again.  Oh the trials of growing up!  Have some advice neighbors?  Please leave a comment with your opinions.

I am participating in a blogger campaign by Bucks2Blog about shaving and was compensated. However, the views and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Frosted Toast Crunch Review and Giveaway!

Hi Neighbors!



Glad to see everyone out here At the Fence!  It is a bit windy and chilly out here today, so I won't keep you long. I just received my Frosted Toast Crunch Cereal package, and the cereal is almost gone!  I have a family of cereal eaters.  Not only do they want it for breakfast, they think it makes a great snack throughout the day and right before bed.  Needless to say, when the package arrived one of my daughters immediately took pictures and tried the cereal.  So we have a new favorite in the house now.




The package came with a real nice pitcher, that says; "Frosted Toast Crunch".  It is nice, but not what the children actually got excited over.  The spilt milk bowl and the lickety spoon were the hits!  My 11 year old walked around the house showing everyone how it worked.  The handle of the spoon looks like a long, narrow tongue, with a curve at the end.  She thought it was great!


Frosted Toast Crunch with 11 grams of whole grain, 9 grams of sugar, and a good source of calcium make a great way to start the day.  Each toasted square has a frosted vanilla top (artificially flavored), lightly dusted with cinnamon.  They will be available at the grocers in early January. 

One neighbor will receive a prize pack, just like mine!  Hurry up and enter!

Disclosure:I received the Frosted Toast Crunch  Pack from General Mills and My Blog Spark for review purposes.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Prepping for my best friend's bridal shower

Guest post written by Jenny Presley

There are all kinds of things that I've been helping my friend with on her upcoming wedding. I took a trip with her to look for bridal gowns and have looked through so many wedding magazines with her. It's been so much fun! But it's also strange to think that she's getting married and I'm nowhere near close to that point in my life. I'm her maid of honor and have been working really hard to try and plan her bridal shower without her figuring out what I'm doing for it.
I've been doing all kinds of research online with my wireless internet Amarillo for some fun ideas. I thought that I would go with an autumn theme. It's her favorite season anyway so I thought that it wouldn't hurt to capitalize on that.
I think that she's going to love her autumn bridal shower. I already decided to go with some pumpkin spice cheese cake as part of the party, which is her favorite seasonal dessert. She makes it a point to eat a lot of it during the season, so I'm making that easier on her.

New Year's Eve Plans? Snack Time!

Hi Neighbors!

This New Year's Eve we are planning to be at a church in Chicago for Watch Night Services.  Basically we will have singing, preaching, prayer, and of course snacks.  My husband and both my sons will preach.  I love meetings like this!



Anyway, I wanted to share some snack ideas with you from Target.  First off, I received 3 different Melba snacks from Target.  The first was the Old London Melba Toast (Sesame), next was Old London Melba Snacks (Sea Salt) and last was the Old London Melba Snacks Roasted Garlic.  Now we pulled ours out for game night and had them with cheddar cheese on them.  They taste great by the way!  I didn't really have enough time to put together one of theior recipes, but I will include a couple here if you would like to try them.

The Lemon Meringue Tarts would be a favorite in my family!



Description: Description: Lemon

 Merengue_014.tifLemon Meringue Tarts
Yields about 24 tarts

INGREDIENTS:
1 box Melba Snacks Whole Grain
Lemon Curd
Meringue

For Lemon Curd
Yield: 2 cups
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces

1.       Whisk together zest, lemon juice, sugar and eggs in a 2-quart heavy saucepan.

2.       Add butter all at once and cook over moderately low heat, whisking constantly, until curd is thick enough to hold marks of whisk and first bubbles appear on surface, about 10 minutes.

3.       Immediately pour curd through a fine sieve into a bowl, then chill, covered.

For Meringue
3 large egg whites, at room temperature 30 minutes
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup granulated sugar

1.       Beat egg whites with cream of tartar using an electric mixer at medium speed until they hold soft peaks.

2.       Increase speed to high and add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until meringue just holds stiff, glossy peaks. Assemble Tarts.

3.       Preheat over to 350°F.

4.       Spoon cold lemon curd in a large re-sealable plastic bag and remove any air pockets; knead slightly.

5.       Cut one corner tip off the bag which allows you to squeeze the cold curd onto the toast.

6.       Gently squeeze the lemon curd onto the toast, making sure to have a smooth, flat top.

7.       Add a dollop of meringue decoratively over the filling.

8.       Immediately bake until meringue is golden-brown, 8-10 minutes.

The next recipe, Atlantic Salmon Bites,  probably only my husband and older daughter would like, but perhaps some of my neighbors would enjoy it too.


Description: Description: Salmon_043Atlantic Salmon Bites
Yields ~24 bites

INGREDIENTS:
1 box Melba Snacks Roasted Garlic
1 “flat” salmon fillet with skin, about 2 pounds
1 8-ounce 1/3 less fat cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons low fat sour cream
2 tablespoons dried chives

DIRECTIONS:
For Spread
Mix cream cheese, sour cream, and chives in medium bowl until smooth.

For Salmon
1.    Preheat broiler.

2.    Line broiler pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.

3.    Pat fish dry and check for bones; remove any bones with pliers.

4.    Cut fillet into about 1 inch odd sizes.

5.    Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper, then broil 5 inches from heat 5-10 minutes.

Assemble Bites
1.       Spread each roasted garlic Melba Snack with cream cheese, and top with cooked salmon; garnish with lemon if desired.


Or maybe you would like to try the Crab Cake Planks!

Description: Description: Crab Cakes_007.tifCrab Cake “Planks”
Yields 10 “Planks”

INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup minced green onions
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay)
1 pound blue crabmeat or Dungeness crabmeat
2 cups Old London Bread Crumbs Classic
1 box Melba Toast Sourdough
Remoulade, tarter sauce or your favorite dipping sauce.
Lemon slices (for garnish)

DIRECTIONS
1.       Whisk together mayonnaise, green onions, egg yolks, lemon juice, mustard, and Old Bay. Gently stir in crabmeat.

2.       Place Melba Toast Sourdough on cookie sheet, and form 2 heaping teaspoons crab mixture onto each Toast. Gently coat moist crab mixture with bread crumbs.

3.       Chill, covered, at least 1 hour.

4.       Preheat oven to 400°F.

5.       Bake crab cakes in batches in middle of oven until crisp and golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

6.       Transfer with a spatula to a platter and garnish with lemon and serve with your favorite sauce. 

And last, but certainly not the least is the Chocolate Pistachio Crunch.

Description: Description: Chocolate Pistachio CrunchChocolate Pistachio Crunch
Yields 40 snacks

INGREDIENTS:
4 cups (2-12-oz. pkg.) of semi sweet chocolate dark chips (not milk chocolate)
1 box Melba Snacks Sea Salt
1 cup of pistachios, chopped and toasted



DIRECTIONS:
1.    Stir chocolate in large bowl set over saucepan of boiling water until melted and smooth making sure that water does not touch bowl and that the chocolate does not get too hot.

2.    Remove from over water.

3.    Dip into melted chocolate to cover half the Melba Snack.

4.    Gently shake off excess chocolate.

5.    Place on baking sheet and quickly sprinkle with chopped pistachios.

6.    Refrigerate until chocolate is firm, about 35 minutes.

Each of these recipes seems easy enough to make, and anyone of them should be a hit at your New Year's Eve get together.  So stop by Target and pick up some Old London Snacks.  Let me know if you try one of them! And if you have another recipe be sure to share.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Reverse Charades Review!

Greetings neighbors!

Here is another last minute idea for a gift, though I have to tell you, an even better idea is have this game for your New Years Eve party or get together.  Reverse Charades, talk about a great ice breaker!  My family played this, and at first it started out a bit stiff because everyone was embarrassed, but after a round or two, it got really silly!  We just played as a family.









Here is how Reverse Charades normally works.  First you divide everyone up into two teams.  Decide which team goes first.  Team 1 chooses one person to guess, and the others all stand up to act out the words.  With this game there is no preparation ahead of time and no talking or mouthing words or information is allowed.  Team 2 chooses one player to pull the word cards out of the box and show them to team one, not to the person guessing.  Flip the timer and begin!  The person holding the cards pulls one out and shows it to team one, who start acting out the word/s.  This can actually get pretty funny, because everyone starts doing their own thing.  As soon as the person guesses right they go on to the next card.  You have one minute, using the timer, to complete as many word/s as possible.  The group acting out the word/s can pass on a card, but they are only allowed one pass.  After team one is done, they earn one point for each word they got correct.  Team two then takes a turn.  You can set a number of rounds ahead of time, and the one with the most points at the end, wins!





As a family we played Reverse Charades a little different.  We had one card turner, 1-2 people guessing, and the rest acted out the word/s.  Some of them are hysterical!  Sometimes you can act out the word itself, like squat, amd other times it is easier to break it down, like wheel chair, or roller skating.  I think one of our funniest was fire hydrant, unfortunately, my daughter thought she was recording it, and didn't.  And it is just one of those moments you can't relive.  I do have a couple of videos attached for you to watch.




As I said earlier, this would make a great New Years Eve game whether you get together with a group, or if it is just your family.  I definitely recommend this game, and I think it became a family favorite overnight.  We have some friends coming to visit, and I have a feeling we will be pulling out Reverse Charades again!

Reverse Charades is one of the games we discovered at ChiTAG.  We certainly enjoyed our time there, and found many new fun games and toys!  Reverse Charades can be purchased online, or use their store locator to find a store near you that carries Reverse Charades. (approx. 24.99).

So if you are looking for a fun new game, be sure to try Reverse Charades.  Try following them on Twitter and "Like" them on Facebook.

Disclosure: I received no monetary compensation for this post.  I did receive a copy of Reverse Charades for review purposes.  All quotes are taken from the Reverse Charades website or email.  All thoughts and opinions are mine.

Blis Review and Giveaway

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Grand Gift Guide At the Fence Post

Hello Neighbors!

We finished up re-arranging the Rooms we were working on yesterday and it looks really good!  We are trying to get everything organized and keep it that way.  Speaking of organizing I have a product that will help you do just that!  This amazing product is...  BLIS!  An online organizing system!  It is the...

Best
Life
Information
System

Here is some information about BLIS... "We suspect we are a lot like you --- trying to meet the demands of information overload and having enough time for family, work and play.  We are sisters, wives, daughters, friends, working mothers, home-owners, grocery shoppers, cooks, taxi drivers to our kids, and most recently, co-founders of BLIS, the system which keeps us from losing our minds. "I remember a conversation Tricia and I had about how we felt we were living one day at a time and feeling totally disorganized. I had a long 'to do list' (which I had misplaced, but I knew it was long) and I knew I could have more time for family, and play, if I could just get a handle on all the 'home stuff'," recalls Tracy Coe, co-founder of BLIS. We found that our work-life was pretty organized, but we desired that same level of organization within our home-life. We knew we could have more time for fun, family, and friends, if we didn't spend so much time looking for important paperwork, remembering where the grocery list was or trying to find the plumber's phone number which was scribbled on a napkin...and now is nowhere. Running the house can feel like a full-time job. We desperately want a tool that would put all that important information in one place -- something that is savvy, easy to use, and mobile. Such was the birth of BLIS: Best Life Information System, a Comprehensive Home Management System."

This is a great product!  I can easily see how it would be a big help.  Especially in our family of eight!  Here are some pictures I took while testing Blis...



This is something I added the the calendar!

This is really neat!  It has Calendar, To Do and to Plan, Home, Health, Activities, My Choice (whatever you want!), and Address Book.  So helpful!  This would be great for my family because we are so large.

You can fill out a calendar, a to do list, shopping list, address book and many more!

In the Home section you can have information to keep track "of when you last changed the smoke detector batteries, which neighbors have your extra keys, and who borrowed your cordless drill. This section also allows you to list your home inventory, appliance warranty records, and financial accounts and contacts in one central location."  In the Health section you can document "the results of a routine doctor’s visit and saving it to the health history, uploading test results and reports instead of creating a new file in the filing cabinet, listing and printing questions for your next visit so you won’t forget when you’re there and keeping track of prescription information for refilling."

One Neighbor will receive a one year membership!  Wow!   Here is a little bit of info about what you will be receiving...

"• 1-year online Blis Membership

• Multi-User & Multi-Home functionality
• Attractive Design
You’ll wonder how you ever survived without your BLIS. BLIS allows you to access important household information remotely and conveniently. The easy to use program seamlessly guides you from initial input to daily use. BLIS is organized into 7 thoughtful sections: Calendar, To Do & To Plan, Home, Health, Activities, My Blis and Address Book."


Friday, December 23, 2011

Floppets Review and Giveaway

Hi Neighbors!

I hope you are having as nice a day I am.  Sitting at my desk working with my family around me, music playing, and just enjoying the day!  I have another product I wanted to take time to share with you.  I found this at ChiTAG and think it is a really cute idea!  They are called Floppets!  They are cute little animals, that attach to a small piece of velcro strip, that you can then wrap around a pony tail, purse strap, attach them to a bracelet or a strap on your sandals even a finger.  You can then take your little friend with you everywhere.  Their logo is: "They go WEAR you go!"  We received a Chicago Toy and Game Fair badge, and then we were able to choose a skunk, pig, and a cow.  They are really cute!


Floppets:

Floppets by Zydeco Studios are the homegrown brainstorm of Ilyse Brainin, a passionate reading teacher. Ilyse’s vision is to create cool, fun, and affordable transmedia toys and novelties that are story driven.
Floppets are a clever, cute and customizable collection of characters you can attach to anything! Wear them on your finger or add them to your most personal accessories. Floppets allow you to demonstrate how clever you are by “wear” you attach them! You can collect, share, wear, and trade them with everyone!








Collect them, trade them, wear them, give them as gifts, there is so much you can do with the Floppets! You can purchase 6 Floppets for $14.95 plus shipping on Amazon.  Great little gift idea!

One neighbor will receive 1-cow and 1-pig Floppet.  Hurry up and enter soon!

Disclosure:I received no monetary compensation for this post.  I did receive 3 Floppets for review purposes.  All thoughts and opinions are entirely mine.

Educational Insights Sneak Peek!

Hey Neighbors!
I received a special package with a sneak peek at a new product EI has coming out in 2012.  His name is Kai!  My daughter thinks he is really cute.  They claim he is an alien, but she is positive he looks like a frog, so a frog he is...today at least.  He actually has two friends Lex and Fez.  They are puppets on a stick!  They are so easy to use with the little lever on the stick, that even a young child can make the mouth move.  You can also open and close the mouth by pulling on the ball on the end of the stick.
Kai, a Stick Puppet from Educational Insights.

Doesn't he have a cute face?

Lever for moving mouth.

Kai and friends could provide hours of fun for you children and their friends, or for just one child.  They can make Kai, Lex and Fez talk, or create a play.  Have them put on a small play one night for family night.  Or for a school assignment, you could have them write a play, with scenes and props.




You can purchase Kai and his friends from Educational Insights for $23.99.  I want to thank Educational Insights for all the GREAT products they have shared this year, and for the giveaways they have participated in!  Thanks EI!

Disclosure:I received no monetary compensation for this post.  I did receive Kai for review purposes.  All quotes are taken from the EI email or website.  All thoughts and opinions are mine.

Doodlebuckets Error! Please read!

Our apologies neighbors!  Apparently the Rafflecopter was accidentally omitted.  Please stop by At the Fence now to enter.  We have corrected the error.  If you ever notice an error like this please email, so we can correct as soon as possible.  Thank you!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Doodlebuckets Review and Giveaway

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Grand Gift Guide At the Fence Post #


Hello Neighbors!

How is everyone today?  We have had a great day!  I have yet another great gift idea.  Doodlebuckets!  They have so many great Christmas Gifts.  They sent me their Chocolate Delight Holiday Gift Basket...





Here is a little bit of information about Doodlebuckets... "Doodlebuckets Family Gift Store was established in 2002 with an aim toward service, integrity, and quality. We provide our customers with high quality gifts, excellence in customer service, and a generous return policy. We aim to please and are not satisfied until our customers are satisfied."



This Gift Basket is great!  It came with :


  • Prestige Bar, 60% Dark Cacao
  • Milk Chocolate Prestige Bar 3.0oz
  • Milk Chocolate with Caramel filled 3.5oz
  • Milk Squares
  • Dark Squares
  • Milk Square with Caramel





My Dad is a big fan of the Ghiradelli Chocolates so he loved this basket.  As soon as it came in he tried grabbing them!  I don't think so!  Once I took the pictures I couldn't keep him back. :D  He liked the Dark Chocolate the best, but he also liked the Caramel and the Hazelnut.   Here are some pictures of our Gift Basket...

It came with all you needed so you can arrange it yourself!


This is what it came with.  3 large and 6 small.


Sooo good!


My Gift Basket!
Doodlebuckets has some really great products that would make great gifts!  Like a variety of Baby Gifts (even Diaper Cakes!).  So many items!  So make sure you go check them out.  You can also  Like them on Facebook, Follow them on Twitter, and keep an eye on the Doodlebuckets Blog to stay up with their latest news!

Guess what!?!  One Neighbor will receive the Chocolate Delight Holiday Gift Basket!  Yay! 

Backyard X-Scapes!

Hello Neighbors!

We have more snow!  It was snowing most of the day today.  The snowflakes were very big.  My little sister is so excited! 

We had alot of fun this afternoon (sort of:),  we totally rearranged our Dining Room and Living Room area and our Study!  It looks really nice now.  By changing things around it gives us more space and I personally think that it looks better this way.

Speaking of changes, I am not sure if you remember, but recently we put fencing around our backyard.   It looks really great! (As you can tell by our new background.)  I have also been looking at bamboo fencing for our front yard.  I think it would look nice.  I have been researching all the different types, colors, and styles.  They even have bamboo paneling.  I think I like the Natural look the best.  It looks so ... natural! :D 

What do you think?  Have you ever had  bamboo fencing or know somebody who does?  Leave your thoughts or comments and let us know.

Brought to you by your friends at : www.backyardxscapes.com

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gift Cards Make Great Gifts!

Hello Neighbors,

As you all know from previous posts I hate crowds.  So what better way to give gifts than to give a gift card.  I personally love to receive gift cards where I can shop the after holiday sale.  Gift cards also make great gifts for the hostess of any parties you attend.  You can always give the hostess a gift card for her favorite store or restaurant.  They are also perfect for couples with young children to give them a card with a gift card to a restaurant enclosed and a note that you will watch their children so they can go out on a date.  For gift exchanges you can give gift cards to unique bath and body shops, candy and bakery stores, or a special coffee shop.  For a unique gift you can bake them so cookies, buy a refillable coffee mug and give a gift card to the local coffee shop.  Another special way to give gift cards, if you are crafty, would be a gift card bouquet.  You could attach the gift cards to floral sticks and add ribbons, flowers, and leaves at your discretion.  You could do four or five five to ten dollar gift cards this way and give a gift they will remember.  Another idea for expectant parents would be gift cards to specialty baby stores.  College students and those who travel would certainly appreciate phone cards.  One year we wrapped a gift card in a small box, which we then put in a larger box, and then an even larger box, which we gift wrapped real pretty.  This would make a great way to give several gift cards in the small box and really surprise someone.

I personally like to receive gift cards for Bath and Body, my favorite restaurants like Longhorn, Coldstone, and just about any department store.  Gift cards give me the ability to purchase things in the scent I like, the right size needed, and cuts down on returns of gifts that don't fit. 

Neighbors, do you like to receive gift cards?  And if so why, and what unique ideas do you have for giving gift cards?  Be sure to leave a comment, let me know what you think, and share your ideas with our other neighbors here At the Fence. 

Be sure to check out Gift Cards Rock where they list special  and other information on gift cards available.  Make sure to like Gift Cards Rock so that you will stay updated on their latest information. 



I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Gift Cards Rock blogging program, for 6,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

eGifting with First Data Review

Gift Guide Post #

Hey Neighbors!

Any of you have some last minute gifts that you haven't decided on yet?  Here is a really neat idea.  eGifting with First Data.  You can purchase gift cards and email them to your friends and family!  You can purchase cards for Wal-mart, Cold Stone Creamery, Boston Market, Burger King and others.  You can see the list here

I received a Puppy Gift Card!
eGifting with First Data is so easy.  You choose which store you you want a gift card from, and choose the amount.  Next you decide who you want to send one to! You can choose one friend or several friends.  Then you decide whether you want the gift card delivered by emailed or snail mail.  Right now, email might be best!  You purchase the eGifts with your charge card.

I did not purchase any myself, but I did receive one!  A $5 Walmart eGift that came in my email.  You do have to wait one hour from purchase time to actually print it off, but I had no trouble using it at my local Walmart.  My son used it towards his new fish tank! 

eGift cards make the perfect gift for a hostess, an office party, or maybe you know a couple that could use a date, give them an eGift card, and offer to watch the children.  Use your imagination and come up with a unique way to give your gift card.  Neighbors leave your thoughts here on this post about a special way to give an eGift.


Disclosure:I received a $5 eGift card for review purposes.  All quotes are taken from the email or website, all thoughts and opinions are mine.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Pure Integrity Soy Candles Review and Giveaway!

Gift Guide Post #

Hi Neighbors!

As the Gift Guide is winding down, I want to remind you to keep stopping by for last minute gift ideas, and there are still a few giveaways going up.  This is one of them.  Pure Integrity Soy Candles sent me a Cocoa Mint scented 16 oz. soy candle!  All you need to do is remove the lid and inhale to feel better!  Since I can't have my sweets in food form anymore, I will take them in candle form!  I LOVE candles that scent the whole room. I also received 2 tealights in Summer Breeze!  This has a light, clean fragrance! The 16 oz. has two wicks.

I stepped outside to try to get a picture of some birds at our feeders, and when I walked back in I was greeted with a sweet, chocolatey, minty fragrance!  Wonderful!

I wanted to ask my neighbors what you know about soy candles.  I am impressed with the information I received from Pure Integrity.  Here are some helpful hints from Pure Integrity:

1. Keep your wicks trimmed.  If they get too long, they can not draw the wax all the way to the top of the wick, so the wick itself starts burning.  Not good!

2. If you start seeing soot on your jars, you are not trimming your wick enough.

3. When paraffin is burned it emits 11 toxins and 2 carcinogens.

4. They invented an Innovative Fragrance Technology that makes PI fragrance so compatible with their wax - it actually absorbs better, allowing them to use 50% more fragrance than the national leading brand.  This makes their candles so strong and so realistic - they'll knock your socks off!

 One neighbor will receive win the Pure Integrity Soy Candles Holiday Fragrance Combo Set, which includes 3-10oz top selling holiday fragrances.  (Vanilla Almond, Pumpkin Pie, and Sugared Spruce)  Sound good to you? Let's go then.  US only.