The Top Recalls of 2011

December 27, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Kid Connection

Toys, medications, and other household items seem to be recalled all the time these days. Be sure to check out this detailed list of the biggest recalls of 2011.

View the recall list.

What We Love Right Now December 14, 2011: Easy to Make Holiday Treats

December 14, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk, Party Planning

Christmastime is a great time to roll up your sleeves and bake. If you’ve baking up a storm maybe you’re looking for an easy treat to make or, if you’re not really into baking, you might be looking for a cookie recipe that requires just a couple of ingredients and just a little time. Our two holiday cookie ideas are perfect for either category you may fall in!

Christmas Cookie Sammies

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We found this cookie idea on another blog and thought it was a great, simple idea to share! All you need are the Pillsbury slice and bake cookies, some yummy icing (homemade or store bought), and some fun, festive sprinkles! These require little effort and they’ll be yummy and, not to mention, cute on a nice little platter. For the full recipe click here.

Christmas Tree Brownies

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Another simple creation, these treats take just a few minutes to bake and decorate and it’s the perfect way to involve you little bakers as well. You’ll need one box of brownie mix, candy cane sticks, green gel icing, and peppermint M & M’s.

1. Bake the brownies according to the box.

2. After brownies have cooled, cut into triangle, tree shape with a steak knife.

3. Insert candy cane stick at bottom of brownies for the tree stem.

4. Apply icing and place M & M’s on brownie.

Hanukkah Popsicle Stick Craft

December 12, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Arts & Crafts, Girl Talk

Hanukkah is just around the corner and this craft is super easy for your little ones to create. You just need popsicle sticks, yellow construction paper, craft glue, and paint.

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1. Cut paper into small flames.

2. Paint sticks any color you like and assemble to make a very festive menorah!

Tips for a Less Stressful Holiday Season

December 5, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Girl Talk

Since the calendar turned to December 1st, my goal has been to enjoy this holiday season. If you have children this can be an especially busy time of year with Christmas projects at home and school, end-of-the-year recitals, and just the everyday hustle and bustle of the holidays. Here are a few tips to help you (try) enjoy and relax a little more this year.

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1. Send holiday greetings through email

We do live in the age of technology, right? I am guilty of stressing about choosing just the right Christmas card to send out each year. Then, if you opt to do a photo card, you have to worry about ordering early enough so they arrive in a timely manner. Sending your grettings via email is a great way to touchbase with everyone on your list. You can even add a photo upload to some email greetings. Still not so sure about doing an email card? Then how about greeting everyone with a Happy New Year card! Still just as festive and Shutterfly has a great selection to choose from.

2. Plan your meals and baking days ahead of time.

If you have family coming into town for the holidays, set your plan ahead of time. Your crockpot can be your best friend during these hectic days! Also, look for recipes that have just a few ingredients, so they can be prepared easily. If you’re big on baking, mark a day on your calendar to bake while your kids are at school. Then, if you have young children, set another afternoon aside for cookie making and holiday crafting.

3. Set a budget for gifting.

Buying gifts for others is stressful enough, but if you plan ahead of time it can actually be enjoyable. Try setting up a “gift fund” and start putting a little money aside here and there. You’ll be surprised how much will add up by the end of November! If you didn’t plan early, try using a set amount of money to purchase your holiday gifts. If you’re not into budgeting, you can always start shopping early (hey, who says Santa doesn’t work in July?).

4. Don’t skimp on traditions.holidaylights

Again, planning early will help you do all that you want to during the month of December. Check your local events calendars to see if there are any programs or other events you’d like to attend. Watch all those great movies together as a family, drive around to find Christmas lights, and make that extra effort to have quality time with your children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. We always set a day aside for making gingerbread houses, visiting a local park with a light display, and try to read at least one Christmas storybook every day or so. Just remember, you don’t have to attend every cookie exchange and holiday gathering!

5. Set up a gift-giving strategy with your family.

If you have several brothers and sisters or lots of cousins, try drawing names out of a hat so that you are only buying for one person instead of five. If you have children, set up a wishlist online. Almost all major retailers have this feature and it is a great way for grandparents and, anyone else who might be buying for your children, to see the items they like and do not already have. When your family can buy from a list, then you won’t be spending the day after Christmas returning duplicate items.

How do you destress during the holiday craze?