Make this New Year’s Eve one to Remember!

December 29, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Party Planning

Hosting a party? We’re all about making your planning a little easier. Here are some SharpMom tips for party success!

cocktailparty

1. If you’re hosting a dinner party, make your life easier by cooking one pot meals (see soup recipe below) or an easy casserole. You might want to try our Ham and Bean Bake. Doing an easy main dish will not only save you time, but save your sanity as well!

2. Let your guests make their own drinks and a do it yourself cocktail bar. If you don’t have a bar area already, set up a small card table with a nice tablecloth-Voila! Instant bar! Set out some champagne cocktail and bloody mary supplies. Don’t forget a fun party tub full of your favorite brews as well as a few bottles of Merlot for those non-champagne drinkers.

3. Don’t get rid of all your wreaths and garland just yet! Use that holiday decor for wishing posts. Fill a hurricaine candle holder with slips of white paper and pens and let your guests fill in their wishes for the coming year. Clip them to the wreaths for all the party guests to read throughout the evening!

4. Don’t forget the finger foods! What is a New Year’s Eve party without a table full of appetizers? Order up some sushi from your favorite sushi bar in town and don’t forget the cheese and veggie trays! For more appetizer ideas click here.

ONE POT RECIPE: Black-Eyed Pea Soup

This is a one pot meal that is sure to please the party goers (or your family, if you are spending a low-key New Year’s at home)!

What you need:

  • 16 Oz black eyed peas (dry)
  • 3 Tsp virgin olive oil
  • 1 Whole onion
  • 1 Whole green pepper
  • 2 Pieces chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 Tsp fennel seeds
  • 3 Pieces bacon (optional)
  • 2 Whole bay leaves
  • 1 Whole ham bone (optional)
  • 1 Pinch pepper TT

Fix it fast:

  • Start with your 16 oz. of dried black-eyed peas. Soak the peas overnight (or 10-12 hours). Drain the peas and place into a carefree crock-pot.
  • Sauté the onion, green pepper, cloves, chopped garlic and bacon (optional) with the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat (or until bacon is crispy).
  • Toss the items into the crock-pot along with the bay leaves, fennel, pepper and ham bone (optional, good use for leftover bones from Christmas).
  • Cook the mixture in the crock-pot set on high for 3.5 hours or low for 6 hours.

New Year’s Resolutions Just for SharpMoms

December 29, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk

Having trouble with making good resolutions for the coming year? Look no further! We have a list of doable resolutions for 2011 that will help you focus on your family and add to your SharpMom capabilites!

1. I will embrace the fact that I’m not perfect. No one is, but as a Mom you most likely feel the constant need to be perfect at everything you do-cooking, housekeeping, career, kids…The list could go on and on. You don’t have to bake everything from scratch, make Halloween costumes out of scraps lying around the house, or coach the soccer team. Children don’t need you to be perfect. What they do need are lots of hugs and love and attention. So forget the idea of being the next Angelina Jolie and focus on your family and spending time together.

2. I will get down on the floor and play with my child every day. Whether you have an infant or school age children, no matter the age, all children need some one-on-one face time with Mom (and Dad). For Moms who work outside the home making time for your kids can be an extra hard challenge. Set some time aside each day to read a bedtime story, help with homework, or participate in tummy time. Not only will your child enjoy it, but it will give you a few minutes to leave the stresses of the day behind.

3. I will take care of my body. Time for yourself? Unheard of! Not really and you should think about making some time to eat better and workout in the coming year. You don’t have to be a diet queen, but try some new healthy recipes for your family. It will benefit you all! Not all Moms are workout divas, but just 30 minutes a day, or every other day, can really help boost your mood and help you shed those few extra holiday pounds you just put on because of that yummy Christmas dinner you indulged in.

4. I will learn to love the chaos. Having a family means loads of laundry, lots of contagious illnesses, messy faces, muddy shoes, and so much more! As comedienne Phyllis Diller once said: “Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.”

5. I will make the family dinner a priority. Sure, it’s easier to grab pizza and eat in front of the TV than to arrange a meal at the dinner table. But remember: it’s not about the food (so don’t worry if you’re not the next Rachel Ray!), it’s your family that should be the focus. Sitting down for a meal at the end of the day gives everyone in the house a chance to reconnect and talk about what happened during their day. And, an added bonus, research has found that kids who regularly have dinner with their parents are more likely to do well in school and stay out of trouble.

6. I will focus a little more on my marriage. Marriage is a living thing that needs to be watered, fed, and nurtured. Raising a family takes up SO much time and energy that you most likely see less of your husband than you did when you were dating in college. Try to make time for a monthly date night, partake in the household chores together, or catch your favorite primetime show on TIVO after the kids are in bed.

7. I will make time for my friends. When you become a Mom everything changes. You may not see your girlfriends as much as you used to. Don’t let your friendships fade. Take a minute to send out an email or make a phone call. Schedule a monthly “Girl’s Night Out”. Spending time with your girlfriends will not only liven your mood, but also lower your blood pressure!

8. I will remind myself daily that time with my children is precious. Motherhood never ends — but childhood does. You have your first baby, you wake up one day and they’re 3 years old and you’re expecting #2. Do not neglect your children. These are moments you will never get back. Spend time with them when you can, take lots of pictures and make time for special activities that will create lasting memories.

What We Love Right Now December 29, 2010: 75 Uses for Baking Soda

December 29, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk

Baking soda can come in really handy, as some of you may already know. It is probably an item you have in your pantry, under the kitchen sink or in the fridge. Here are 75 ways to use baking soda as a healing ointment, cooking ingredient, household cleaner and more!

Health Uses

1. Use it as an antacid.

2. Use it as underarm deodorant by applying it with a powder puff.

3. Mix half a teaspoon with peroxide paste and use it as toothpaste.

4. Use it as a face and body scrub.

5. Add a cup to bathwater to soften your skin.

6. Relieve skin itch from insect bites and pain from sunburn.

7. Remove strong odors from your hands by rubbing them with baking soda and water.

8. Put two tablespoons in your baby’s bathwater to help relieve diaper rash.

9. Apply it on rashes, insect bites, and poison ivy irritations.

10. Take a baking soda bath to relieve skin irritations.

11. Heartburn? Take a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with one-half glass of water.

12. Freshen your mouth by gargling half a teaspoon of baking soda mixed water.

13. Relieve canker sore pain by using it as mouthwash.

14. Use it to relieve bee stings.

15. Use it to relieve windburns.

16. Apply it on jellyfish sting to draw out the venom.

17. Unblock stuffy nose by adding a teaspoon of baking soda to your vaporizer.

In the Home

18. Keep cut flowers fresh longer by adding a teaspoon to the water in the vase.

19. Put out small fires on rugs, upholstery, clothing, and wood.

20. Put an open container of baking soda in the fridge to absorb the odors.

21. Sprinkle it on your ashtrays to reduce bad odor and prevent smoldering.

22. Sprinkle it on your slippers, boots, shoes, and socks to eliminate foul odor.

23. Turn baking soda into modeling clay by combining it with one and 1/4 cups of water and one cup of cornstarch.

24. After feeding your baby, wipe his shirt with a moist cloth sprinkled with baking soda to remove the odor.

25. Wipe your windshield with it to repel rain.

26. Improve the smell of dishrags by soaking them in baking soda and water.

27. Suck it in with your vacuum cleaner to remove the odor.

28. Freshen the air by mixing baking soda with your favorite perfumed bath salts. Put the mixture in small sachet bags.

29. Restore stiff brushes by boiling them in a solution of 1/2 gallon of water, 1/4 cup of vinegar, and a cup of baking soda.

30. Put it under sinks and along basement windows to repel cockroaches and ants.

31. Scatter baking soda around flowerbeds to prevent rabbits from eating your veggies.

32. Sweeten your tomatoes by sprinkling baking soda on the soil around your tomato plants.

33. Sprinkle it onto your cat’s litter box to absorb the bad odor.

34. Sprinkle it on your pet’s comb or brush to deodorize their fur and skin.

In Cooking

35. Use it as a substitute for baking powder by mixing with it with cream of tartar or vinegar.

36. Wash fruits and vegetables with it.

37. When boiling a chicken, add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water. Feathers will come off easier, and the flesh will be clean and white.

38. Soak dried beans to a baking soda solution to make them more digestible.

39. Remove the distinctive taste of wild game by soaking it in a baking soda solution.

40. Make a sports drink by mixing it with boiled water, salt, and Kool-Aid.

41. Remove the fishy smell from your fillets by soaking the raw fish in a baking soda solution for an hour inside the fridge.

42. Make fluffier omelets by adding half a teaspoon of baking soda for every three eggs used.

43. Reduce the acid content of your tomato-based recipes by sprinkling them with a pinch of baking soda.

Cleaning Purposes

44. Add a cup to the toilet, leave it for an hour, and then flush. It will clean the toilet and absorb the odor.

45. Use it to scrub sinks, showers, plastic and porcelain tubs

46. Spray it on walls, mirrors, and countertops.

47. Add a spoonful to your dishwasker to make scrubbing dishes easier.

48. Remove grease from pots and pans.

49. Dry clean carpets and upholstered furniture by sprinkling baking soda over the fabric and gently brushing it. Leave it for an hour or overnight, then vacuum.

50. Boost your laundry detergent’s cleaning power by sprinkling a handful on dirty clothes.

51. Combine it with water to make a paste for polishing stainless steel and chrome.

52. Remove scratches and crayon marks from vinyl floors and walls.

53. Clean your shoes with it.

54. Clean garbage cans with it.

55. Use it to wash diapers.

56. Clean the fridge with it.

57. Soak brushes and combs in a baking soda solution.

58. Mix it with water to wash food and drink containers.

59. Put three tablespoons of baking soda to a quart of warm water, then use the mixture to wash marble-topped furniture.

60. Absorb it with a damp sponge, then clean Formica countertops with the sponge.

61. Use it to get rid of stale odors from cooling containers and thermos bottles.

62. Run your coffee maker with a baking soda solution, then rinse.

63. Combine with hot water to clean baby bottles.

64. Sprinkle it on barbecue grills, then rinse it off.

65. Scatter it on your greasy garage floor, scrub the floor, and rinse.

66. Remove burned-on food from a pan by soaking it in a baking soda solution for 10 minutes before washing.

67. Clean your ashtrays with a baking soda solution.

68. Keep your drains clean by putting four tablespoons of baking soda in them each week. Flush it down with hot water.

69. Clean your shower curtains by soaking them in baking soda and water.

70. Put it on a small brush to rub canvas handbags clean.

71. Use it to remove melted plastic bread wrapper from a toaster. Sprinkle baking soda on a damp rug, then use the rug to clean the toaster.

72. Use it to clean your retainers and dentures.

73. Make a thick paste of baking soda and water, and used it to scrub enameled cast iron and stainless steel.

74. Mix four tablespoons of baking soda with a quart of warm water, and use it to clean the inside part of an oven.

75. Use it to unclog gas stoves.

It is truly amazing what this little box of powder can do! And best of all it is very inexpensive so you can do all this for a small cost!

What We Love Right Now December 22, 2010: Last Minute Holiday Stuffers, Style, and Super Simple Eats

December 22, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk

From stocking stuffers to super recipes, we have last minute tips to save you from any kind of holiday stress!

1. Good Go-To Recipes

If you are cooking the big dinner yourself or heading to a potluck and need some easy dishes we have two very yummy recommendations!

Broccoli Cheddar Casserole

What You”ll need

  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups crushed crackers
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Fix it Fast:

1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 9 x 13 pan.

2. In a large bowl mix broccoli, mayonnaise, cheese, soup and eggs. Be sure to mix well.

3. Place mixture in baking dish and cover with crushed crakers.

4. Drizzle melted butter evenly over mixture.

5. Bake for 35 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

If you are hosting a great holiday open house or even a New Year’s Eve get-together, you might be looking for a great appetizer recipe. Here are a couple that are easy to whip up last minute.

Perfect Party Asparagus Wraps

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 loaf of white THIN Pepperidge Farm Bread
  • 1 can of asparagus SPEARS
  • 1 stick of butter melted
  • 3-4 ounces of blue cheese
  • 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 egg

Fix it Fast:
1. Roll each slice of bread with a rolling pin and cut off the crusts.

2. Mix the blue cheese, cream cheese and egg together well.  Spread a slice of bread with cheese mixture, place an asparagus spear on the mixture, and roll up the bread.  Slice in half or in thirds and dip in the melted butter.

3. Place seam side down on a baking sheet.

4. Repeat until you run out of bread, asparagus, or cheese.  Bake at 400 degrees or until golden brown.  Serve warm.

Razzle Dazzle Beef Bites

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Place ’N Bake® refrigerated crescent rounds (8 rounds) or 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  • 1 package (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 1/2 cup Smucker’s® Red Raspberry Preserves
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 oz shaved cooked roast beef (from deli)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Fix it Fast:
1. Heat oven to 375°F. If using crescent rounds, remove from package, but do not separate rounds. If using crescent rolls, remove from package, but do not unroll. Using serrated knife, cut roll evenly into 16 rounds; carefully separate rounds. Place 1 round in bottom of each of 16 ungreased regular-size muffin cups. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.

2. Immediately press back of rounded teaspoon into center of each baked round to make indentation. Remove rounds from muffin cups to cooling rack; cool 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix cream cheese and lemon-pepper seasoning. In another small bowl, mix preserves, horseradish and mustard.

4. Spread 1 teaspoon cream cheese mixture into each round; top with 1/2 teaspoon preserves mixture. Divide beef evenly among rounds; top each with 1 rounded teaspoon preserves mixture. Sprinkle with parsley.

For more great Cresent Roll Recipes visit www.pillbury.com

2. Stocking Stuffers

For Kids…We are not big candy fans although a oversized candy cane or swirly pop add some extra fun to any stocking! If you are still searching stockingfor perfect stocking stuffers try stickers or small jars of playdoh for smaller kids. Books and cds make great stuffers too, especially for the older children in your house. Even gift cards make a great last minute addition.

For Adults…Try perfume, cologne, or lotions. For those with more expensive taste watches, earrings, and bracelets are great ideas!

3. Holiday Style

Everyone wants to look their best at holiday parties. If you’re not sure what to wear or if you need a little something new to jazz up your holiday outfit, here is a small list of must have holiday style items.

  1. Colorful Dresses-This is one time of the year where your go to black dress can take a back seat. If you’re looking for a new dress, try a deep sapphire, plum, or gray. We love this dress from ModCloth (159.99)!

dress

2. Beaded Necklace-Decorate yourself with a great accessory. These kind of necklaces make a big statement and can really add to a simple ensemble.

necklace

Rhinestone Necklace available at Target, $39.99

3. Cute Clips-Add a little something to your do and clip in a sparkly barrette or pin. We searched Esty and found some great handmade items that are very affordable. What was our favorite? These wintery looking and festive blue glass pins from lilywhitepad’s shop. For more super cute clip finds visit www.etsy.com.

clips

4. Look Dazzling from Head to Toe-Shooties are really in this season and if this trend is for you then you will love these metallic shooties from afaze.com featured in Redbook. And, don’t forget to shine up your fingers and toes with a great OPI color, Sapphire in the Snow, the perfect color choice for your New Year’s Eve pedi and mani!

shootieShooties, $26

What We Love Right Now December 15, 2010: Simple Snowmen Donuts

December 15, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Kid Connection, Party Planning

Snowmen Donuts

As a mom I am always looking for “easy” projects to do with the kids. I am not much of  a baker, but I recently found a picture of these cute snowmen donuts and thought they were too easy not to share! All kids, and most adults, love donuts and you can add your favorite candies or use the ones we suggest to decorate your snowman’s face.

snowmen

Here’s what you’ll need:

Face: Small Powdered Donuts

Nose: Candy Corn or Orange Gum Drops

Eyes: Regular Sized Chocolate Chips or Black Icing

Mouth: Mini Chocolate Chips or Black Icing

Too keep all the pieces of candy in place use white frosting or icing. It just doesn’t get any simpler! These are great to munch on at home or to take to a holiday party or even your child’s class party at school. Do you have a great holiday treat that is easy and festive? We’d love for you to share your ideas with us!

Quick Tips for Staying Healthy

December 13, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Health & Fitness

With colder weather upon us it seems so is the flu, stomach bugs, and colds. We all know that staying healthy is top priority, especially with kids in the house, but with school age children and those that attend daycare staying well can be hard to do. Illness might be hard to avoid, but here are a few tips for doing your best to keep your house healthy this winter.

1. Wash Hands

This is a no brainer, but so very important. Hand washing can save you and your family from many illnesses. Of course, wash hands before every meal and snack and after you use the restroom. As a parent you might just want to wash your hands whenever you think about it. Keep sanitizing wipes in your purse or diaper bag to use when you’re out and about at the mall, restaurants, etc.

2. Change Your Clothes

When you come home from work and when your children come home from school change your clothes. Little germs you’ve picked up throughout the day might be lingering on your clothes.

3. Be Active

Studies have shown that moderate exercise can reduce the number of cold or flu episodes you have by up to 50% per season. So get out during your lunch break for a walk or take your kids for a brisk walk in the afternoon or after school.

4. Get Your Beauty Sleep

Be sure your child is getting enough sleep. Stick to a good bedtime routine and try to put your child to bed at around the same time each night. Get your rest too! At least 6-8 hours for adults to ensure a good nights sleep.

5. Avoid Touching Your Face

This can be very hard with little ones, but do your best to help them keep their hands away from their eyes, mouth and nose.

6. Eat a Balanced Diet

Do your best to eat from all the food groups equally. Try to serve a meat, fruit and dairy with each meal for your children. And, remember, no sharing straws, drinks, or food that has already been partially eaten.

7. Get Vaccinated

The best way to help prevent the flu: Get the flu shot. According to pediatrician Dr. Suzie Benson, “It is only too late to get the flu shot in March.” So what are you waiting for? If you haven’t gotten your shot yet you still have plenty of time.

Red Box Giveaway

December 8, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk

It’s cold, snowy, or even rainy most days and it’s a great time to enjoy a movie snuggled up at home with some popcorn and your family. We’ve got two popcornRed Box free one night dvd movie rentals for ONE lucky SharpMoms member. It may not be a big giveaway, but it is the little things in life, right?

Here’s how to enter:

1. First, you have to be a member of the SharpMoms community. If you are not, click the “Join Now” button on our homepage. It’s easy and FREE!

2. Leave a comment on THIS post on our website telling us your favorite holiday movie {Be sure to use your username when you leave your comment so we know it is you!}

3. Email melissa@sharpmoms.com and tell us your SharpMoms username (so we can verify membership) and tell us you left a comment.

Deadline to enter is Friday December 10, 2010 at 5:00pm EST.

Please note: Red Box codes will be valid until 2/28/11 and each code is valid for the first night of rental only. Codes can only be used at Red Box kiosk. Codes do not apply to Blu Ray or video game rentals. SharpMoms is not responsible for lost codes or trouble encountered when using codes.

What We Love Right Now December 8, 2010: Christmas Crafting

December 8, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Arts & Crafts, Girl Talk

Crafts are always fun, but they are definitely more fun for kids, and even adults, when they are tied to a holiday. Christmas is a one of those “big” holidays that really lends itself to some good crafting. Here are a few easy crafts for you to make this holiday season.

1. Pom Pom Ornaments

pom-pom-ornaments1

This craft is ridiculously simple. All you need is a some cardboard (maybe from an old shoe box or moving box). Then, simply create your ornament template (candy cane, wreath, snowman) using the cardboard. Next, glue on the pom poms to cover the cardboard. Attach ribbon as the ornament hook. You can even add other adornments like rhinestones, sequins or glitter.

2. Pine Cone Christmas Tree

pine cone tree

You’ll need a small tip paintbrush, sequins and green glitter glue for this craft. Spread the glitter glue onto the cone using the paintbrush and add sequins as “ornaments” before the glue dries. You can even add a construction paper star to the top of the tree as a finishing touch.

3. Reindeer Food

rudolph

You might leave out cookies and milk for Santa, but what about his trusty reindeer? Sure carrots are good, but this version of “reindeer food” is much more fun! You’ll need raw oatmeal, glitter (red, green, gold or silver), a brown paper bag, and ribbon. Let your child decorate the paper bag for their favorite reindeer. Then place about 4 tablespoons of oatmeal and a teaspoon of glitter in the bag. On Christmas Eve sprinkle the reindeer food in your yard for Santa’s reindeer to eat once they get to your house!

Don’t forget to check out our Cute Candy Cane Reindeer and how to make an Easy Advent Calendar.

What We Love Right Now December 1, 2010: Best Gifts to Give this Season

December 1, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Deals & Steals, Girl Talk

If you’re struggling to find a great gift for anyone, young or old, we’ve got you covered. We’ve searched high and low and found some of the best products out there! Check it out and you might even find something you’d like to add to your own personal wish list.

What we love right now are THE best gifts to give your loved ones this holiday season!

1. Pottery Barn Sophie Jewelry Box, $89.00-$179.00

pbjewelryboxes

This leather jewelry box is available in two sizes and three colors: porcelain blue, red, and ivory. It looks beautiful on your dresser or nightstand. We love this box particularly because you have a choice of size and it is a nice switch from the wooden jewelry boxes you usually see at many retailers. Buy it here.

2. Prepara Herb Saver, $29.95

Make your meals with the freshest ingredients! This little kitchen gadget is sure to be a cook’s favorite. The Prepara Herb Saver keeps your herbs fresh and crisp for up to 3 weeks and easily fits in your fridge door. Buy it here.

3. Men’s Bison Glove, $89.00

gloves

Soft leather, but durable too, these gloves will be the perfect fit for the man in your life. Available in one color, tobacco, and three sizes, M, L, and XL. Buy it here.

4. Remote Controlled Helicopter, $29.95

helicopter

All boys, young and old, love their toys. Some are bigger than others. Keep it small, but fun with this sleek remote controlled helicopter. It’s fun for the young boys in your life and will remind the men in your life of the fun they can still have with a toy every now and then. Buy it here.

5. Apple iPod Touch, $229.00-$399.00

ipod

Download your favorite songs, check emails, play games, chat with friends…This gadget is great for all ages! If  your family is already iPod rich, maybe other Apple gadgets would make their eyes light up. Visit Apple to check out other great gift ideas. Buy the  iPod Touch here.

6. Life is Good Snuggle Sock, $10.00

sock

We guarantee these socks are the softest things that will ever touch your feet. Cozy and comfortable and available in a variety of patterns and sizes for men, women and children. Buy it here.

7. Fisher Price Imaginext Big Foot, $97.99

bigfoot

This is one of the hottest toys this holiday season. Great for ages 3 and up, this toy packs big fun! He talks, walks, and more all with the touch of a remote control. Buy it here.

8. Munchkin Fish Sticks, $4.99

stick

These fun tub toys are easy for little hands to grasp and sure to be a splashing hit with your little one. They are available in a turtle, octopus, and dolphin and for the price we say buy all three! Buy it here.

9. Fisher Price Loving Family Dollhouse, $75.oo

house

It’s every little girls dream come true. This dollhouse has everything needed for lots of fun! Plenty of rooms, a family of four, booster seats for the little ones, and built to last for hours of play! Buy it here.

10. PBTeen i-Karaoke, $159.00

pbteen

Let your Teen be there own idol with this great karaoke system. Includes two microphones and is compatible with their i-Pod. Buy it here.

11. Polaroid 300 Instant Camera, $79.88

camera

The old Polaroid is back and instant fun has returned! See your photos seconds after you take them. The camera has four light settings and an auto flash so your pictures will be perfect every time. Buy it here.

12. Fisher Price Lil’ Zoomers Spinnin’ Sounds Speedway, $29.99

fisherprice

Another hot toy this season, the Lil’ Zoomers Spinnin’ Sounds Speedway comes with two cars that zoom around the light up raceway. Lots of zooming sounds, music, and lights to entertain your little one. Buy it here.

13. See Spot Spell, &17.00

dog

We love a good educational game and this one is great for your early learner. Flip over two dots if it makes a word you get to add it to your dog bowl. It’s colorful, fun, a great teaching tool and it features one of children’s favorite animals-a dog! Buy it here.

14. Barbie Video Girl, $49.99

barbie

Barbie may be over 50 years old, but she is still hip. This Barbie had a video camera in the Barbie’s back and a lens in her necklace for fun video making. Buy it here.

15. Plan a Trip for your Family or Friends, Price Vary

Vegas, New York, A Cruise for Two, or maybe Disney World. The options are endless when planning a vacation for you and your family. Invite friends and make it an even bigger celebration. To plan your next big getaway visit Expedia.com.