All I Want For Christmas

Okay this is an oldie video from when my daughter lost her two front teeth and it was around Christmas time, there is also another cute video all pertaining to Christmas time I believe last year. I love my kids, just look at how silly they are! Just like their Mama … I am so PROUD…

and now the munchkins singing together ….

Maybe I can get them singing again this year on film, all three of them to see how much they have grown!

Madeline’s Christmas & Other Wintery Tales DVD Review

Snow! Santa! And holidays galore! From Ludwig Bemelmans’ best-selling children’s books comes little Madeline and her wintery adventures with her dog Genevieve, her loyal friends from Miss Clavel’s class and next-door neighbor Pepito!

Our family has a few Madeline DVD’s and we enjoy all of them but as the holiday season approaches my family is thinking about Christmas and so Shout Factory! sent my family a little holiday gift, Madeline’s Christmas & Other Wintery Tales to review.

I popped this DVD into my bedroom DVD player the other day to enjoy it with Baby K while AJ had his Wii game time and we sat enjoying the five episodes that are included on this DVD;

  1. Madeline’s Winter Vacation
  2. Madeline and Santa
  3. Madeline at the North Pole
  4. Madeline and the Ice Skates
  5. Madeline’s Holiday with Mr. Grump

I must say this is the cutest little DVD to get your children this holiday season! The Suggested Retail Price is $12.99 and you can purchase this at or other stores as well as

Disclosure: The product reviewed was provided to me for free. All opinions are that of my own.

Hunting Season, Orange Hats and Kids

It is that time of year, hunting season! As a child of a father who has hunted pretty much my whole life I know two facts when this time roles around:

  1. I can’t reach Dad until after dark.
  2. I must wear bright colors.

I also know two other facts:

  1. I don’t own bright colors for the NH Fall/Winter Season.
  2. My sons don’t like to wear bright colored hats.

My daughter and I knew it was hunting season and that we needed a bright hat to wear while playing in our backyard. Since moving to our new house we seem to spend a majority of our daylight hours in the backyard … the backyard that is surrounded by woods in nearly every direction!

We went to Ocean State Job Lots and had a look around because they always have awesome Winter hats and there we were finding a $4 hat for us, $8 total for safe backyard play!

We enjoyed our outdoor play time which was spent with Baby K and not AJ because AJ came out and ran back inside refusing to play hide n seek with us! Baby K and Ki hid behind this big tree we have in our yard and Ki hid so well that I couldn’t see her on the other side of the tree, even with her orange hat on until she ran for the house!

We had a blast, it was a fun day full of smiles and exploring! Speaking of exploring, do you know what animals eat just the apple part of an apple, as in the core and all but leave apple skins behind? We had a ton of apples gone but the critters left behind the skins ….

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CLOSED Funrise Toys Tonka Strong Arm Review & Giveaway

My family received a Tonka Strong Arm Firetruck to review with the boys who are four and two years old. My four year old isn’t as attached to this Strong Arm Firetruck as my two year old is. I was in love with the fact that the packaging was noticeably easier than most toys.

With holidays approaching it is important for me to note that Funrise made packaging so much easier. Apparently they have listened to all the parents say how frustrating it can be to get a toy out for their child during the gift giving season. Funrise uses something call Easy Lock and with one turn of the lock on the bottom, the vehicle is released from the packaging. As a parent of three children who get lots of gifts on Christmas morning I can say the ease of opening the Tonka Strong Arm Firetruck was noticeable and yes very easy!

About the Strong Arm

Tonka is a brand many are familiar with, especially if you are raising boys. The Strong Arms are big freewheeling vehicles with a multi-action trigger-lever built in. When you pull and rev the lever, the vehicles rumble and create sparks inside the lever arm window. Squeezing the trigger will operate the vehicle’s specific action. The best part is they require no batteries! Nothing but kid power and imagination is needed for hours of fun. The Tonka Strong Arms are the winner of the iParenting Award for Outstanding Product for 2009. Recently the company found out that the Strong Arms won the Dr. Toy’s Guide 100 Best Children’s Products for 2010, the Dr Toy’s Guide 10 Best Active Products for 2010 and Best Pick for 201 Awards.

My Thoughts About the Strong Arm

As a parent I have been very impressed with the Tonka Strong Arm Firetruck, Baby K and I love to play with this as often as possible. About once a day I will tell Baby K “go get your cars and Mama will play cars with you”. I assume he will run off and grab some of his little toy cars, but nope he comes back carrying his Strong Arm Firetruck ready to play!

I have had no issues with this vehicle, I think it’s great that it’s a toy without a requirement for batteries and I do feel that the Tonka Strong Arm Firetruck or Garbage Truck would make a great gift for the 2010 Holiday Season!

Enter to Win a Tonka Strong Arm Truck

One lucky person who enters below will win either the Strong Arm Garbage Truck or the Strong Arm Firetruck, depending upon what is available.

Giveaway will end at 11:59pm EST on November 25

Winner chosen using
Announced live on site with email sent to winner as well!

COMPLETE ANY OR ALL OF THE FOLLOWING – ONE comment will equal ONE entry so remember to leave a separate comment for each of the completed entries in order to have them count properly!

  • Blog about this giveaway on your blog and link to this giveaway. Come back here to leave THREE comments telling me where I can find your blog post. {3 entries IF you leave 3 comments telling me you did this – only include link in 1st comment please}
  • Visit Funrise Toys online and have a look around, then come back here to leave me a comment telling me which other toy you see would make a great gift this year for your family. One entry.
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  • Follow Happily Blended publicly through Google Friend Connect (right hand sidebar). {2 entries IF you leave 2 comments telling me you did this}
  • Leave a comment on another non-giveaway blog post such as one under Work at Home Support, Brandy’s Life or Blogging Support. Leave a comment telling me which post you left a comment on, ONE per day ONLY please. One entry each.
  • Follow @brandyellen on Twitter. Leave your Twitter username in a comment below for one entry.
  • Tweet up to THREE TIMES per day using the following tweet {copy and paste}, leave ONE comment for each tweet for one entry each. @brandyellen Has #giveaway for Tonka Strong Arm Truck Enter to #win here:
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Satellite Internet Isn’t All That Bad

Before moving to our new location we found out that we would no longer be able to have Comcast Internet, which was a big bummer as it’s super fast and we were living in a location right off of a main highway before so the speed was even more fast than expected. That was then, this is now. Today I am living with HughesNet Satellite Internet service.

As a family we looked into all of the satellite plans and I also asked around on MomDot Forum, Twitter and Facebook to find out what others thought about using satellite Internet. I work from home, Internet is my income so we must have a reliable source of Internet here!

Some of the feedback I received wasn’t all that great, many were telling me to have a backup provider, others mentioned that the connection was slow and would go down often. Then there was this one person who informed me that she has been using HughesNet for about twelve years now and it has worked pretty good for her! That was a relief to start hearing some positive, I seriously ended up in tears at one point for fear that I would not be able to put in as many hours as I was before.

I love my income, I love my jobs and without them we could financially survive but I would go crazy not working to make some revenue, not to mention writing is my therapy! After living here a month or so now I can say that I am impressed with the service we have through HughesNet. There was one week without Internet due to waiting for money to purchase our dish outright, and the next week was a bit tricky because the satellite went down one night and the network we have here was set up in a weird way that triggered my office computer to not go online.

Overall, I am very pleased! I woke up to an ice storm looking backyard and frontyard, trees, driveaway, cars all covered in ice, but went into the office and voila my internet was still working just fine!

So what do you have for Internet and are you happy with your service provider?

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