Tomorrow is Trick-or-Treat

October 30, 2008 by  
Filed under Family Fun, Family news

I am not sure who gets more excited me or the boys, but we are heading out for Trick-or-Treat tomorrow! I think the boys are going to be into this year and have been practicing saying “Trick-or-Treat!” I bet when the time comes they will act like the cat has their tongue. I know they are going to love all the candy!

All Star Buddies bounce into the virtual world

October 29, 2008 by  
Filed under Holiday Guide 2008, Making / Saving Money, shopping

As a mother to twin boys, as you can imagine, my boys naturally love balls.  I actually think they were born with a football and soccer ball in their hands!   So, when I got the chance to experience All Star Buddies, I knew they would be a big hit.   Bubs is a huge fan of Blitz (the football buddy) and quickly exclaimed “ohhhhhh footballllll.”   Monkey is my little soccer ball guy and loves Striker (the soccer buddy).  He carried his soccer ball dude all around the house and would sit him next to him on the couch.

The All Star Buddies world was created by two moms who share a passion for sports, fitness and leading a healthy lifestyle.  They have managed to create an online world that is safe for kids and creates a way to have fun through learning.    Each buddy comes equipped with a hang tag that has a code on it, which unlocks a fun new virtual world of games and bonuses.  The games are wholesome and perfect for kids and it can all be monitored by their parents through a separate account.  I think this is a huge plus.

The games and activities are interactive and fun and helps to encourage your child to use their thinking and reasoning skills in an exciting way that makes learning fun and captures their interest.  I thoroughly enjoyed playing some of these games myself!

All Star Buddies would make a perfect gift for any child 6 years and up and if they are stuck inside on a dreary day or are into computers, this is a perfect way to introduce them in an educational way.  And after a long day of learning you can tuck them in with their Buddy!

DoubleBugs would like to give its readers a chance to win an All Star Buddy of their own. and all in perfect timing for the holidays!

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ENTERED!!!

Here’s what you gotta do!

Visit the All Star Buddy site and tell me which buddy you would choose and what you like about the site and its concept.

Leave me an email so I can contact you if you win

If the winner does not respond in 2 days a new winner will be chosen

Contest ends November 10th, 2008

Good Luck!



Ready Set Shop! Holiday Shopping Tips and Treats

October 27, 2008 by  
Filed under Contests

The holiday shopping season is fast approaching us with a little less than 8 weeks before Christmas (eek!). Since having the boys it seems that time is just flying by, and I cannot believe we are at the the end of October already….where does the time go?

I found myself thinking about all the things that I have to get done. There are holiday pictures, cards to send out, shopping to do, gifts to send, traveling, baking, and decorating to do, just to name a few. I love this time of the year in spite of the hectic times ahead. There is nothing like the smell of cookies baking in the oven, the twinkle of the lights or the crackle of the fire. My husband always makes fun of me when I turn the Christmas music on a little early.

This past weekend I made about a half a gallon of homemade applesauce, and 4 apple pies, and I found myself getting in the mood for the upcoming holiday rush. I have been on the look out for what is at the top of the lists for gift giving this holiday season, and thought I would start it off with a bang!

If you are going to get out there and brave the crowds, I have a few tips for you.

  • Take your time and compare prices.  I know it may not get you instant gratification of snatching up the last few what nots, but I have found that researching prices both in stores and online may save you more.
  • Black Friday!   This is a great way to find deals.  You can find many places that post retailers ads early so you can get your game face on the day after Thanksgiving.  My husband is just brave enough to stand out in the cold for a great deal…like my new laptop I’m getting this year!
  • Try and pay cash when you can, this will help you keep track of your spending and you don’t have to pay credit card interest rates.  You will be feeling much better in the long run
  • Get your easy gifts out of the way early and this will allow you more time to focus on the tougher ones.
  • Make a list!  This will help so you aren’t meandering aimlessly through the stores trying to figure something out.  This is a huge time saver in the end.
  • Think outside the gift box.   Try having a family gift exchange and buying for one person instead of 12!  You can get that someone a very nice gift worth all 12 and everyone is happy.
  • Be creative
  • Look ahead to next year…write down ideas that you hear your special someone talking about so you have something to go by.  I always find myself forgetting what my husband said he really like then I am stuck trying to figure stuff out.  If you write it down and keep the list somewhere you have a ton of ideas come Christmas time.
  • Count that change…all those pennies add up and you’d be surprised how much money you can save for just such things as gift giving.
  • Stress relief!   Take a time out to do nothing related to the holidays.  Go to a movie, have lunch, take a nap or just read a book.  This helps to deflate all the pressure of getting things done and helps to quiet the mind and regenerate.
  • Divide and conquer.   If you have a willing partner…hand them half of the list and send them to get those things while you do the other half.  It will take you half the time and then you can go out and have a nice dinner!
  • Lastly, have fun!  Don’ let the Grinch in you come out.  If you aren’t having fun..just stop for awhile and recharge.  All the weary holiday shoppers and people at the stores will thank you! these great Walmart coupons

Soooo, to kick off the holiday season! DoubleBugs is doing it right! Go do a little shopping, have a hot cup of joe, and relax at the movies on us: With a $25 gift card from Wal-Mart, $10 gift card from Starbucks, and 2 AMC movie passes!

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THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ENTERED!!

Here’s what you gotta do!

Leave me a comment on what you love about the holiday season, or leave a favorite recipe ( I am a sucker for good recipes!) and why you want to win.

Leave me an Email so I can contact you if you win.

Grab my badge for an extra entry or post about my contest on your blog or site.

Contest Starts October 27th, 2008 and Ends November 19, 2008

Good Luck and Happy Shopping!!!!

In the Kitchen with Calphalon

October 27, 2008 by  
Filed under Holiday Guide 2008, Product Reviews

One of my most favorite things to do is to get in the kitchen and cook, especially if I can open up a recipe book and find a new dish.   They always say that the kitchen is probably one of the main hubs of the home, and having a family to feed, means I am in there at the very least, three times a day.

We just recently went apple picking with the boys and of course this means that there is baking to be done!   I went right to work looking for the perfect apple pie recipe to try with my new Calphalon ceramic deep dish pie pan.  I have almost always associated the Calphalon name with my pots and pans that I own, and was pleasantly surprised when I found out that they had a new ceramic bake ware line.  I had the chance to try out their pie pan and 9×13 covered dish.   Of the things I use most, it would have to be the 9×13 rectangular baking dish (perfect for casseroles). I currently do not own one with a lid however, so this was something unique to me.  I know that there may be others, but this is the first time I have laid eyes on one and I love this feature!  Not only that, their ceramics can go from fridge or freezer and straight into the oven or microwave.  This is great for make ahead dishes, then all  you have to do is take it out of the fridge or freezer and just pop it in the oven.  Calphalon ceramics are dishwasher safe, which is also a nice feature especially for families like mine who are always on the go.

Calphalon Ceramics Features

  • Contemporary Design for sweet and savory baking
  • They can go from the freezer, to the oven, to the table, to the refrigerator…allowing for complete versatility through the cooking to storing process
  • Glazed interiors — red and cream exteriors
  • For oven, broiler and microwave cooking
  • Dishwasher safe
  • 10 year warranty

Calphalon ceramics would make such a wonderful addition in any cook’s life and is simply a must have if you enjoy cooking as much as I do.   My Beef shell pasta casserole turned out awesome in the 9 x 13 dish and the leftovers, I just put on the lid, and shoved it in the fridge for the next day.

As if Calpahlon’s ceramic line wasn’t enough, I got the privilege to experience their LX series cutlery line.  And I say experience, because it was the ultimate pampering session while I was using their 8 inch chef knife.  If you are one who loves to cook, you can appreciate a good knife.  My husband could hear me ohhing and ahhing from the kitchen while I was chopping my onions for the chili.  I am simply in love with these knives and I actually tossed out my old chef knife because it pales in comparison.  Chopping through that onion was like chopping through melted butter!  I couldn’t believe what I have been missing all these years with my 10 year old knife set.  You would think a knife is just a knife…but it isn’t and Calphalon’s LX Cutlery will prove the point. It even fits comfortably in your hand and you just know that you are holding a well made piece of cutlery simply by the sheer weight and feel of it.  I am completely spoiled now, and I don’t think I will ever go back to my old knives!

Features

  • Each knife is made from high carbon German no stain steel
  • sharpens more easily than stainless and maintains it’s edge longer. The ergonomic handles  has each knife’s identification etched on the bottom of the handle for easy knife selection!

- Blade:

  • German steel—high carbon, no stain steel with Molybdenum and Vanadium
  • One piece of metal for blade, bolster and tang
  • Fully forged blade
  • Full tang for balance and strength
  • Fully tapered from cutting edge to spine and from tip to heel for superior strength
  • Tempered- heat hardened to 1000 degrees C
  • HRC 54-56 (Hardness Rockwell “C” scale – a standard measurement of hardness)

- Handles:

  • Full tang—first ever ergonomic handle which shows the full tang
  • Made from fiberglass reinforced poly-resin—won’t split, crack or harbor micro-organisms
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Knife identification etched on the butt of the handle
  • Classic triple riveted handle updated with modern ergonomic design

Lifetime Warranty
I am thoroughly impressed with both my Calphalon ceramics and cutlery.  These would make perfect holiday gifts for the cook in your life and come backed by the Calphalon name you can trust.  I still have my pots and pans that are at least 10 years old and they are still just as wonderful as the first day I used them.

In The Kitchen With Calphalon

October 24, 2008 by  
Filed under Product Reviews

One of my most favorite things to do is to get in the kitchen and cook, especially if I can open up a recipe book and find a new dish. They always say that the kitchen is probably one of the main hubs of the home, and having a family to feed, means I am in there at the very least, three times a day.

We just recently went apple picking with the boys and of course this means that there is baking to be done! I went right to work looking for the perfect apple pie recipe to try with my new Calphalon ceramic deep dish pie pan. I have almost always associated the Calphalon name with my pots and pans that I own, and was pleasantly surprised when I found out that they had a new ceramic bake ware line. I had the chance to try out their pie pan and 9×13 covered dish. Of the things I use most, it would have to be the 9×13 rectangular baking dish (perfect for casseroles). I currently do not own one with a lid however, so this was something unique to me. I know that there may be others, but this is the first time I have laid eyes on one and I love this feature! Not only that, their ceramics can go from fridge or freezer and straight into the oven or microwave. This is great for make ahead dishes, then all you have to do is take it out of the fridge or freezer and just pop it in the oven. Calphalon ceramics are dishwasher safe, which is also a nice feature especially for families like mine who are always on the go.

Calphalon Ceramics Features

  • Contemporary Design for sweet and savory baking
  • They can go from the freezer, to the oven, to the table, to the refrigerator…allowing for complete versatility through the cooking to storing process
  • Glazed interiors — red and cream exteriors
  • For oven, broiler and microwave cooking
  • Dishwasher safe
  • 10 year warranty

Calphalon ceramics would make such a wonderful addition in any cook’s life and is simply a must have if you enjoy cooking as much as I do. My Beef shell pasta casserole turned out awesome in the 9 x 13 dish and the leftovers, I just put on the lid, and shoved it in the fridge for the next day.

As if Calpahlon’s ceramic line wasn’t enough, I got the privilege to experience their LX series cutlery line. And I say experience, because it was the ultimate pampering session while I was using their 8 inch chef knife. If you are one who loves to cook, you can appreciate a good knife. My husband could hear me ohhing and ahhing from the kitchen while I was chopping my onions for the chili. I am simply in love with these knives and I actually tossed out my old chef knife because it pales in comparison. Chopping through that onion was like chopping through melted butter! I couldn’t believe what I have been missing all these years with my 10 year old knife set. You would think a knife is just a knife…but it isn’t and Calphalon’s LX Cutlery will prove the point. It even fits comfortably in your hand and you just know that you are holding a well made piece of cutlery simply by the sheer weight and feel of it. I am completely spoiled now, and I don’t think I will ever go back to my old knives!

Features

  • Each knife is made from high carbon German no stain steel
  • sharpens more easily than stainless and maintains it’s edge longer. The ergonomic handles has each knife’s identification etched on the bottom of the handle for easy knife selection!

- Blade:

  • German steel—high carbon, no stain steel with Molybdenum and Vanadium
  • One piece of metal for blade, bolster and tang
  • Fully forged blade
  • Full tang for balance and strength
  • Fully tapered from cutting edge to spine and from tip to heel for superior strength
  • Tempered- heat hardened to 1000 degrees C
  • HRC 54-56 (Hardness Rockwell “C” scale – a standard measurement of hardness)

- Handles:

  • Full tang—first ever ergonomic handle which shows the full tang
  • Made from fiberglass reinforced poly-resin—won’t split, crack or harbor micro-organisms
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Knife identification etched on the butt of the handle
  • Classic triple riveted handle updated with modern ergonomic design

Lifetime Warranty
I am thoroughly impressed with both my Calphalon ceramics and cutlery. These would make perfect holiday gifts for the cook in your life and come backed by the Calphalon name you can trust. I still have my pots and pans that are at least 10 years old and they are still just as wonderful as the first day I used them.

Briarpatch joins Thomas and Friends

About Briarpatch
Briarpatch has a strong legacy of stimulating children’s lives through fun and eco-friendly products.  Since its founding, the company’s co-founders applied environmentally conscious business practices in such innovative ways as using vegetable and soy-based inks and post consumer materials. A key to Briarpatch’s success has been to combine fun with learning.

Briarpatch has unveiled its first Thomas and Friends game!  I know my boys just love playing with all their little Thomas trains and saying “allll aboard!” when they move them along the track.  I was delighted to see that there is now a game that they can actually play.  They are both at a stage where they are getting really involved with counting, focusing on one thing for longer periods of time, and just really interactive with things.

The game is designed for children ages three and up so my two are just about at the perfect age for the game.  Not only that, it is so nice to get together as a family around the table and just interact with the boys.  I think this is of major importance, especially this day in age, when families are always on the go.

We took the game out of the box and Bubs the younger of my twins was like “OHHHH WOW.”  He is always saying this whenever there is something new to look at.  It is so cute how his face lights up.  Both of them recognized the characters right away and were ohhhing and ahhing over Thomas.  Both my husband and I sat with them to play the game.  Each of them are learning to count, so this game was fun and helped that along.  They are still a little young, when it comes to board games but I think this is a terrific start!  If anything, it teaches them the basics of following directions, counting and taking turns.

How does the game work? Each engine drops into a slot on the Great Race track, with the back of each slot open to receive “coal blocks.” For younger children, a parent or older sibling is designated as a helper to join in the fun and aid emerging readers. Players take turns selecting a card and answering a simple counting question based upon what they see on the card –for example, how many blue engines do you see?” The answer – ranging from one to three, depending on the card selected — appears on the back of each card in the form of a graphic that matches one of the blocks of coal. A correct answer is rewarded when a player picks up the matching block of coal and inserts it into the open slot behind his engine, powering it up the hill. Coal blocks are also different sizes and colors, adding to the drama and excitement of the race. Once the engines head over  the hill, they roll across the finish line.
Each game includes a Great Race track, 4 racing engines, 24 question cards, 30 coal blocks and complete game rules. The race can be played with two to four players. Look for it on store shelves at specialty toy stores and major outlets!
The Thomas and Friends Great Race Game retails for $24.99.  This would make a really great gift for a Thomas fan this holiday season! Doublebugs would like to give its readers the chance to win a Thomas Great Race game for your special little someone!

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED! THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ENTERED!

So Here is what you gotta do!

Leave me a comment on what you like about Briarpatch and who you would give this game to and why.

Please leave me an email so I can contact you if you win

If a winner has not responded in two days a new one will be chosen.
Contest starts October 22, 2008 and ends November 2 , 2008

Good Luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Off for more apples!!

October 22, 2008 by  
Filed under Family Fun, Family news, Making / Saving Money

Well tomorrow I am off to pick more apples. This time they are the Fuji apples, which are some of the best apples you can get. It is supposed to rain this weekend so I need to get my apple picking in. I mostly enjoy just being in the outdoors and wandering through the orchard. It will be a cold one, but I am excited, this is definitely goin gto be a future family tradition!!

Back with Apples, apples, and more apples!

October 22, 2008 by  
Filed under Family Fun, Family news

Ok so we went apples picking and we decided on a 20lb bag of apples to pick.  The boys had a lot of fun and I loved meandering through the apple orchard and finding the perfect apples.  Bubs took a bite of a rotten apple before we could stop him, so I think it turned him off to the whole apple eating thing.  Once they got the hang of it, they were picking all sorts of apples, faster than me and my husband could look at them  lol!

Now I have 20 lbs of apples, and I figured I would be industrious in the kitchen, and make some apple pies and homemade applesauce, neither of which I have a clue on how to make really.   I love to cook but I have never actually made an apple pie.  I have made “pie like” dishes but never an actual fruit pie.   So I have passed by this huge bag of apples like 30 times, and I have decided that I will attempt to make a pie.  My dear husband has requested an apple pie with no apple chunks of any kind.  He has some weird texture issue (*rolls eyes*).  So how do I make an “applesauce” pie…I guess you would call it that?   To me you might as well slap some Musselman’s  in a pie crust and heat it up.  He doesn’t know what hes missing….a piece of warm apple pie and a scoop of vanilla ice cream yum!

So If anyone has any suggestions for a mush apple pie…please enlighten me.   I will be keeping you posted with my apple endeavor.  I intend on making a few pies and some applesauce.

Prima Princessa for your little princess

October 17, 2008 by  
Filed under Contests, Holiday Guide 2008, Product Reviews

If you have little girls, almost all of them love to dance at some point in their lives.   I have a couple of nieces that just love to dance and in particular one of them loves ballet.   I never got the opportunity to go to dance school when I was growing up, but have always hoped that someday when I have a little girl that she will want to dance.

Both of my boys love to dance and they especially love music and in particular classical music as well.  I was given the opportunity to do a review of “Prima Princessa presents Swan Lake” which is a delightful DVD that introduces young children to ballet.   Although my two aren’t particularly into ballet, they were mesmerized by all the little girls dancing, and they just loved the music if anything.

Prima Princessa is a delightful and enchanting DVD that had me wanting to dance around the room. It is presented in such a fun way  to keep your little one engaged. It is so cleaverly done to help maintain a child’s interest and the video is only 40 minutes in length…perfect for a young child’s attention span. Prima Princessa presents the Swan lake ballet and teaches children very basic ballet moves in between.

Mary Kate Mellow and Stephanie Troeller are both stay-at-home moms who were inspired by their children’s love of dance and decided to create this wonderful DVD.  Prima Princessa is the animated fairy ballerina in the DVD, and she magically transports a group of little girls to see select segments of the Paris Opera ballet of Swan Lake.  In between the acts the children are transported home to learn simple basic ballet steps that are presented in a fun whimsical fashion.

Prima Princessa ($17.99) will make a great gift for your little ballerina this holiday season or at anytime.  To purchase a copy of this DVD you can find it here at Amazon.

DoubleBugs will also be giving away a copy of the “Prima Princess presents Swan Lake”  to one lucky winner so leave a comment here an let me know who you would give this DVD too and why you might like to win it.

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED!

Thank you to all who entered!!!! I will post the winner shortly!!!

Here’s the scoop:

Leave a comment on why you would like to have this DVD

Please leave me an email so I can contact you if you win

Giveaway starts October 17, 2008 and Ends October 31, 2008

Good Luck!!!


Lego Gift Card Winner

October 17, 2008 by  
Filed under Contests

Congratulations to Tamara B.!

She is the winner of the $10 Lego gift card!!

Check Back often here at DoubleBugs!!!

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