2012 Hot Holiday Toy List

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Every year, Time to Play Magazine puts together a list of the Most Wanted Toys prior to the holiday season. They test and review thousands of toys, narrowing the list down to those your little ones will be most excited to receive.

The toys are evaluated on three factors: Fun, Repeated Play and Ease of Assembly and Instructions. The list also includes a brief description of each toy, along with the Suggested Age Range. If you click on the toy, you’ll be taken to an info page sharing the price, any battery requirements and locations where the toy can be purchased.

This website has made my holiday shopping SO much easier! I already have a list started for Andrew and each of my nieces and nephews.

I decided to take a look at their list and feature a dozen of the toys that looked the coolest and most exciting for the holidays. Can you believe that Furby is back? And that helicopter is PERFECT for The Nerd. The My Little Pony castle would be an awesome gift for River.

Remember — these toys will sell out fast, so if you haven’t already started your holiday shopping, now’s the time to do so!

Don’t see anything on the list that catches your eye? Time to Play Magazine has a Toy Advisor on their website, where you can find toys based on your child’s gender, age and type of play they enjoy. How cool is that? I know what I’ll be using to find Andrew’s birthday and Christmas presents this year!

Have you started your holiday shopping? What’s on your child’s must-have list this year?


How to Create a Fall Mesh Poly Deco Wreath

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Fall is one of my favorite seasons. I love putting out all our decorations and making special meals. It’s such a fun time of year!

I recently went to Christmas in Cowtown and there was a booth selling these super-cute Christmas, Halloween and Thanksgiving wreaths. I saw them and thought, I could make that! And so, I did!

Here’s what you’ll need to make this wreath:

Wreath Collage 1

Get your materials together. You’ll start on the inside ring of the wreath frame. Gather the end of the Poly Deco Mesh together and twist it into one of the fasteners on the frame.

Create a loop with the Poly Deco Mesh and secure it into the next fastener on the frame. Continue around the inside of the frame, securing loops along the way, and then move to the outer edge. Continue until finished and cut the end of the Poly Deco Mesh.

Wreath Collage 2

Repeat the steps above, this time using the ribbon to loop around the frame.

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Here’s what it will look like when finished.

Wreath Collage 3

Add embellishments to the wreath, securing with the fasteners on the frame.

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Position the mesh loops and ribbons so that they’re to your liking and you’re done!

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I think it adds a fun, festive touch to our front porch, don’t you?


Looking for yummy fall recipes? Look no further!



{DFW Mom} The Addams Family from Dallas Summer Musicals

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Earlier this week, The Nerd and I had a fun date night. It’s been all Baby Mum-Mum coated fingers and Bubble Guppies sing-a-longs around here lately. And while I wouldn’t trade those moments for anything, sometimes, you just need a grown-up night.

We decided to brave the crowds at the Texas State Fair to see The Addams Family with Dallas Summer Musicals. I’m so glad that we did!

I’m not quite sure what I was expecting — honestly, this isn’t a musical I’d ever pick to go see. But I was pleasantly surprised as I laughed at Gomez’s antics and Lester’s love affair with the Moon. I remember watching The Addams Family television series reruns growing up, and the musical definitely did the show justice.

Although I wouldn’t recommend the show for a day out with your family (there were a few choice words and crude jokes), I highly recommend it for a night out with your significant other! It was definitely a great date!

You can see The Addams Family the Musical Hall at Fair Park with Dallas Summer Musicals until Oct. 21. Click here to purchase tickets. 

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I am SO excited for the Dallas Summer Musicals 2013 line-up! I have been DYING to see Wicked and The Lion King. What are your favorite musicals?


Disclaimer: I was provided with two tickets to see The Addams Family by Dallas Summer Musicals to promote and review the show. All opinions are my own.

Mini Fruit Pizzas

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If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know of my love affair with cookies. They are seriously one of my favorite desserts.

This is a fun way to add some variety to your cookie diet. Err. Cookie addiction? Yeah. That sounds about right.

Mini Fruit Pizzas
Adapted From: The Pioneer Woman

1 batch of sugar cookies, cooled
1 jars (13 oz) marshmallow creme
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese
Kiwi fruit
Other fruit optional


In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the marshmallow creme and cream cheese until well-blended and smooth.

Spread mixture on top of prepared and cooled sugar cookies.

Top with fruit as desired.

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What are some ways you vary the cookies that you serve?

How My Samsung Galaxy S III from Verizon Wireless Saved My Job!

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A few weeks ago, I was teaching at a workshop as part of my day job, when we ran into a snag. When we got to the workshop location, we discovered that the Internet wasn’t working.

When you’re planning to demo online software, Internet is kind of essential.

Luckily, I had the Samsung Galaxy S III from Verizon Wireless to save the day! I set up a mobile hotspot and gave the info to workshop participants.

We even ran the demo computer from the hotspot. At one point, eight devices were connected!

I was SHOCKED at how well the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network performed under such strenuous conditions. There was no lag, and everyone was able to keep up with the class.

I seriously don’t know what I would have done without it!

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Has your cell phone ever saved the day?



**Disclaimer** I am a Verizon Wireless Ambassador. I received a wireless device and phone/data plan free of charge to use for review and evaluation of Verizon Wireless products and services. As part of the program, I was asked to share my opinions with others, however, my opinions are my own. Please contact vzw@comblu.com with any questions about the Verizon Wireless Ambassadors’ Program.

Baby Pumpkin Photos {and FREE Halloween Photo Card Templates!}

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I can’t believe it’s already October! It’s time for pumpkins, candy apples and fun costumes! I couldn’t miss the chance to dress up Andrew and take some Halloween photos over the weekend.

Baby Pumpkin-011Baby Pumpkin-014Baby Pumpkin-015Baby Pumpkin Collage 1Baby Pumpkin-006Baby Pumpkin-019His super-cute Jack-o-lantern costume is from Carter’s.

I also took the opportunity to create some Halloween Photo Card Templates to share with you!


Halloween Photo Card 1 Click here to download this template.

Halloween Photo Card 2Click here to download this template.

The templates are designed for a flat 5×7 custom printed photo card. There’s even a spot for you to add your own photo! I ordered mine from Hallmark and used this card. Remember: You can get 30% off your purchase using the Promo Code: BLOG30!


What are your plans for Halloween? Are your kids dressing up?


Looking for yummy fall recipes? Look no further!



Our Five-Year Class Reunion and a Tour of the MSC at Texas A&M

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I can hardly believe it’s been five years since we graduated from college. I look back at the years that we spent at Texas A&M with such fondness.

Last weekend, we headed south to College Station for our reunion and to watch the Aggies beat the hell outta South Carolina State University. It was a great day, and a great game!

We toured the newly renovated Memorial Student Center and stopped by a tailgate hosted by our friend, Ryan. We even got to have our photo taken with Reveille!

A&M Reunion-009A&M Reunion-003A&M Reunion-004A&M Collage 1A&M Reunion-002A&M Reunion-001.jpgA&M Collage 2A&M Reunion-017With Reveille

I love going back to College Station. Do you feel the same way aout your college town? When was the last time you visited?

PS – All photos in this post were taken with the Samsung Galaxy S3 from Verizon Wireless. Its camera is awesome and I find myself leaving my DSLR at home more often than not.



**Disclaimer** I am a Verizon Wireless Ambassador. I received a wireless device and phone/data plan free of charge to use for review and evaluation of Verizon Wireless products and services. As part of the program, I was asked to share my opinions with others, however, my opinions are my own. Please contact vzw@comblu.com with any questions about the Verizon Wireless Ambassadors’ Program.


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