The Ninja Ultima Blender + can make anyone a pro in the kitchen

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'Tis the season of baking, cooking, and entertaining.

While some years I might dread the holidays and how much time is spent in the kitchen, this year I’m actually looking forward to it. Ever since this bad boy arrived, I’ve been looking for any excuse to whip up anything homemade.

Readers, meet the Ninja Ultima Blender. Ninja, meet readers.
The Ninja Ultima Blender
I’m sure you can see from the picture that this is no ordinary blender that merely makes smoothies and mixed drinks. This is a professional model that can do oh so much more than a drink station – this is an amazing kitchen tool that can make anyone a pro in the kitchen.

Ninja Ulttima Blender package

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Corolle Dolls holiday gift guide

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Corolle holidays

Have a doll-loving little one like I do? If so, you are going to want to bookmark this page filled with my favorite holiday picks from Corolle Dolls. With prices from $30 on up and for every age and stage, you are bound to find the perfect gift for the holidays.

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See the magic of Disney’s Frozen – in theaters today!

There’s a special spot in my heart for the first big animated Disney movies of my childhood. I grew up with Ariel and Belle, and all things princess. Their stories shaped my own games and imaginative play of my youth and their songs still get stuck in my head to this day.

But as much as I love The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, seeing Disney's Frozen this week made me long for a childhood with Anna and Elsa instead. I’m very grateful that this movie is that pivotal one for my daughter and I get to relive that with her with a movie I truly love.

There’s something very, very special about Disney's Frozen. I knew I was going to like it from the first preview, but it wasn’t even two minutes in when I knew this was my absolute favorite Disney movie to date.

In fact, it is one of my favorite movies, ever. It’s that good.

Maybe it’s the sister theme, which hit home for me with 3 sisters whom I’m very close to, or maybe it was the laugh out loud humor, or the heart that went into each and every scene. Or maybe it’s all of that and more.

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Keep your tablet safe during holiday baking season with AT&T

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Holiday Baking with AT&T

Remember when we used to use cookbooks to cook? I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but those days are fading fast. These days, I get my recipes from Pinterest, from other bloggers, and from recipe sites – very rarely do I crack open a cookbook.

These days I leave my tablet or laptop on the dining room table and simply memorize the recipe in small pieces while I gather ingredients and cook so it’s safely out of my work zone.

In case you’re wondering, this isn’t the best idea for a forgetful cook who also has very distracting “helpers”. There have been many times I’ve transposed numbers or doubted myself enough to check the same ingredient over and over again because I got sidetracked.

But, not anymore. Now I’ve got this little guy to help me in the kitchen.


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Holiday cleanup is a breeze with the Shark Rocket lightweight vacuum

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by Stacey, editor and reviewer

My household requires a serious vacuum; with two dogs and two young kids my vacuum is on constant overdrive. I love having a clean house, but my vacuum has to keep up with my active lifestyle so I started my search for a machine that would help make quick clean ups a breeze.
Shark Rocket
The Shark Rocket, one of the newest lightweight vacuums on the market, was the solution to the things my large upright vacuum so often lacked. Shark re-engineered the full size vacuum to make a more versatile machine {without the usual heavy packaging} that deep cleans carpets and hard floors with ease.

Shark Rocket Goes Everywhere Cleans Everything
This lightweight vacuum weighs in at under eight pounds, but don’t let the small package fool you, this machine has some serious suction that easily compares to any full size upright model! Shark Rocket Vacuum

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Holiday shopping with Simon Malls

I can’t believe it’s already time for the holidays, again. It seems like just last week it was summer and now here we are with only weeks left until Christmas. Crazy, right?!

While I’m not looking forward to all the wrapping {which is my least favorite part of the holidays}, I'm dying to go holiday shopping at Northgate Mall. I love all the lights, all the good cheer, and I love it when stores switch over to "holiday hours" for us night owls.
Northgate Mall Back to School

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The Zaycon Foods experience

Enough people have asked me about my Zaycon Foods experience this fall that I thought I would share it here so you can see how the whole thing works.

Missed my first post and don't know what Zaycon is? Here's what you need to know:

Zaycon Foods is a fairly new company started here in Washington State two years ago as a Zayconfoodsmeans of offering natural, hormone free meats at bulk prices all across the US.Instead of traditional delivery services, Zaycon calls itself a “drive thru” meat market that allows you to order online and then pick up during one of their many events across the US in a matter of minutes – no unloading kids or searching through the grocery store to find the best deals.

Now that you have a bit of background, here's my Zaycon story:

  1. We placed an order with Zaycon for 40lbs of chicken to be delivered in October.
  2. I cleared out freezer space like a mad woman in preparation of 40LBS OF CHICKEN. My family dined on some crazy meals in my clearing spree.
  3. A few days before the chicken event near us, I got reminder emails so I wouldn’t accidentally miss it.
  4. The day of the chicken event, I drove my car to the church where the event was taking place where there were maybe 2 cars in line in front of me. In about 3 minutes I was talking with the Zaycon reps, confirming my delivery, and then accepting my chicken, which came boxed and covered in plastic sheeting to contain any juices that may seep out of the internal packages. I never even got out of the car, and my kids stayed buckled.
  5. Within 5 minutes of arriving, I was leaving the parking lot with my order. That's roughly 10x faster than any grocery store trip with two kids if anyone is wondering.
  6. I drove home and began a 2 hour process in which I packaged the chicken into smaller portions, cleaned up after myself, and then I split the chicken packages in between the fridge and two freezers to store them. All in all, I washed my hands over 50 times in this process because I am absolutely crazy about raw meat – especially chicken.

Zaycon Chicken
The only part that I did not like about the process was the last step, as 2 hours is far too long to be dealing with raw meat. If I had to do it all over again {and I definitely will}, I will make sure I have someone here to help me with the chicken once I get it home. If one person had the designated clean hands and the other handled the raw meat, this process would have taken about ¼ of the time as most of the 2 hours was honestly spent scrubbing my hands in between tasks.

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My Little Pony Equestria Girls toys for the holidays

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Equestria Girls logo

My daughter loves everything My Little Pony. You may remember how much we adored the MLP movie and RC car last year, but what you don’t know is that the RC car and its pony passengers has been played with almost every day since it arrived. My Little Pony was the first characters my kids ever fell for and they show no signs of giving them up anytime soon.

Especially now that my daughter has found Equestria Girls dolls, based on the new Equestria Girls movie, which is a spinoff of My Little Pony. The basis of the movie and line of toys is that the ponies turn into girls by going through a magic mirror and they must learn about life without four legs, magic, or any of the comforts of home.

Equestria Girls logos

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A Girl for All Time: Clementine, Your 1940s Girl

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Know that feeling when someone catches your eye and doesn't let it go? For me, that someone was Clementine. Compared to other dolls she was a few shades more vibrant, more beautiful, and full of personality. Before I saw her, I thought all dolls were pretty, but next to her they all
Clementine's Winterseemed dull and just so… ordinary.

Maybe it was her bright red hair, or maybe it was because her attire was so quaint and old fashioned, or maybe it’s her distinctly British charm, but whatever it was, she really couldn't help but stand out. I knew right when I met her that she was going to be a lifelong friend for my children.

Clementine is the newest doll from A Girl For All Time, maker of beautifully crafted dolls, accessories, books, and more. Each of their beautiful 16in dolls are based on 500 years of the fictional Marchmont family and feature independent, determined women from different eras of the most exciting times in English history.
A Girl for All Time dolls
One look at their website and I was immediately smitten by their exquisite collection of dolls with their beautifully detailed faces and their accessories that looked like something from a museum. It’s not surprising to me at all that A Girl for All Time can’t keep these dolls in stock over in London. The dolls sold out in a mere 10 days at the famous Harrods luxury department store and are selling well now that they have arrived Stateside at FAO Schwarz and a handful of New York boutiques.

But, as much as I loved Matilda, the Tudor girl, and Amelia, the Victorian girl, there was something about Clementine that enthralled me. Clementine is from London in the 1940s and survives the evacuation of London in 1939 as a 12-year-old. She comes in a historically inspired dress with vintage daisy pattern complete with period accessories and trim. After reading her captivating background story online, I knew she had to come home for tea with us. 

A girl for all time tea party

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Maestro Dobel Tequila for the holidays

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During my teens and early twenties, I used to stress about the perfect birthday presents for friends and siblings. But, after age 21, nearly all birthday presents were given in drinks or shots at the bar and gift giving was as easy as hanging out with friends. Then, at some point in the past few years, a few drinks at the bar was replaced with full bottles of the good stuff and we would just swing into a liquor store on the way to celebrate birthdays so we didn’t have to show up empty-handed.

See, growing up isn’t all bad.

Now that I’m coming up on birthday season for our group of friends as well as the holiday season, I know that I can make it as easy or as complicated as I would like. I could go around store to store looking for something for the friends that have everything, or I could do a one-stop shop and grab a few bottles of Maestro Dobel Tequilano stressing and no wrapping required.

Dobel Tequila bottle

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