The holiday baking aisles are buzzing at Walmart with moms who are "baking" their holiday gifts this year instead of spending money on expensive gifts. We found two moms and asked them to show us how they turn a favorite holiday cookie recipe into "gift bundles" that cost them less than $5 each. Watch this episode and vote in our poll below to tell us which gift idea most inspired you. Happy Baking!
- Carolina Buia, Shine staff | More For My Family – Fri, Dec 10, 2010 6:36 PM EST
The holiday baking aisles are buzzing at Walmart with moms who are "baking" their holiday gifts this year instead of spending money on expensive gifts. We found two moms and asked them to show us how they turn a favorite holiday cookie recipe into "gift bundles" that cost them less than $5 each. Watch this episode and vote in our poll below to tell us which gift idea most inspired you. Happy Baking!Read More »from How to make holiday baked gift "bundles" for less than five dollars each when you shop at Walmart
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | More For My Family – Fri, Dec 10, 2010 5:15 PM EST
The silver lining to money being tight? Remembering what's really important. A thoughtful, homemade gift for grandma or teacher will mean a heck of a lot more than another gift card. Round up the kids and haul out the craft supplies to make these sweet, simple holiday gifts.Read More »from 5 sweet, simple holiday gifts to craft with your kids
Relaxing, Fizzy Bath Salts
A perfect gift for mom, teacher, sister, and just about any woman who likes to slip into the tub at the end of trying day. Mix together 2 cups Epsom salts and 1 cup baking soda. Add 20 drops of lavender essential oil and mix well again. Your kids might have fun adding color. To make purple, add four drops of blue food coloring and 6 drops of red. Decant into a shatter-proof jar and tie with ribbon.
Read more: More DIY beauty treatments to make in your kitchen
Everyone's eschewing plastic bags at the grocery store; get your kids working to make Karl Lagerfeld-worthy couture grocery totes. Buy large, inexpensive canvas tote bags at a craft store. Have kids personalize them as
- Emily Hsieh, Shine staff | More For My Family – Fri, Dec 10, 2010 2:07 AM EST
The holiday social swirl is in full swing, and if you're one of the gazillions of people who's playing host these next few weeks, you're already well aware of how fun and gratifying party planning can be-and how stressful, especially if you're worried about overdoing it on your spending. To take the edge off, read on for an array of pointers to keep you on budget, so you can enjoy your own get together to the fullest.
Go paperless. The least expensive, most hassle-free way to corral guests is via electronic invite. There are plenty of sites-from evite.com to paperlesspost.com to cocodot.com-where you can design, send, and keep track of RSVPs, either for free or at least way, way less than the stamps would cost to mail a paper invite. Plus, having a system to manage your guest list and that can even send automatic reminders on your behalf will save you loads of time too.
Bargain hunt. In the week preceding your get together, look out for mailers and coupons from differentRead More »from 10 ways to keep your holiday party costs super-low
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | More For My Family – Wed, Dec 8, 2010 4:59 PM EST
When you've just walked in from taking the dog to the vet for the second time this week and you've made one trip too many to the mall, the particulars of dinner are more hassle than heart-and-hearth-warming. To the rescue: one-pot dinners that cook everything you're hungry for in one go. Pop a roast and vegetables in the oven all together, or let a slow cooker simmer away chicken and vegetables. Which ever recipe you choose, you've opted for a piece of calm in the holiday storm, and that's something you can feel good about. That, and making a super awesome dinner.
- Carolina Buia, Shine staff | More For My Family – Wed, Dec 8, 2010 4:07 PM EST
We all love holiday cookies and in this episode we share creative ways to turn decorating them into a family activity that's unique, memorable and affordable! You can use your own cookie dough recipe or use store bought cookie dough for each of these ideas.
Gingerbread Cookie Pops - This idea is simple but it makes an impressive display. All you have to do is buy lollipop sticks at your favorite craft store and insert one in each cut-out cookie, then bake, decorate and wrap in clear cellophane and tie them with a beautiful ribbon. You can create a centerpiece out of them as well, simply place several cookie pops in a vase filled with sugar or foam base to keep them in place. This makes a great gift too.
Cookie Placards - When you have your holiday party it's always fun to use placardsRead More »from Holiday cookie decorating with Food Network star Melissa d'Arabian
- Emily Hsieh, Shine staff | More For My Family – Mon, Dec 6, 2010 7:41 PM EST
If you haven't already done your Christmas tree shopping, now is the perfect time to go for it. And before you make your way over to your local tree lot, there are certain things you should know to score the healthiest, freshest, best-looking tree possible. Read on for a re-cap on how to prep for picking the perfect specimen, along with a host of guidelines for making it last the entire season.
Take Measurements. Do yourself a favor and figure out exactly how much space you have to work with, so you know what size tree to buy (you really want to spare yourself the hassle of buying one that's too big and having to wrestle with a chainsaw in your front yard!). Not only do you need to know your ceiling height and the width of the spot where you plan to stick your tree, but you'll also want to factor in your tree topper and how tall your stand is, too. Bring your tape measure with you to the lot so you can check the diameter of the trunk, since you'll need to make sure your stand isRead More »from How to choose a Christmas treeâ€”plus, tricks to make it last
- Emily Hsieh, Shine staff | More For My Family – Sat, Dec 4, 2010 3:43 AM EST
We've covered some of the fun, chic holiday decorating options here already, and now it's time to address some of the fundamental challenges we all encounter when trying to get our homes looking merry and bright. Like, how does one hang Christmas lights on your trees with minimal hassle? And what's the best way to hang a wreath without making a mess of your front door? Here, a few simple solutions to address these issues and more, so you can get on with celebrating the season.
How To Hang A Wreath (Without Making Ugly Holes In Your Door): To avoid unsightly nail holes smack dab in the middle of your front door, try cutting a piece of ribbon (usually at least 3 inches wide, so you know it's got enough heft to support your wreath) that's long enough so that you can loop it around the back of your wreath and secure it to the top of your door with a few flat, heavy-duty thumbtacks (available at hardware stores).
How To Hang A Garland: Depending on where you want to put it,Read More »from The easiest way to hang twinkly lightsâ€”and other holiday decorating conundrums, solved
One of the most well known and respected toy experts, Laurie Schact from TheToyInsider.com is featured in this video demonstrating the toys she knows kids will crave this holiday season. We've brought together toys for everyone in the family and at affordable prices.
#2- Sing-A-Ma-Jigs will have kids ages 3+ singing and smiling.
#3- V.Reader animated E-book system brings reading to life for young children (ages 3+) and is also perfect for older kids.#4- Furreal Friends GoGo My Walkin' Pup is a great way to get that puppy your child wants. (Ages 4+)
#5- Loopz is a skill action music memory game. (Ages 7+)
#6- Spy Net Watch is a cool spy watch that has a real hidden camera and microphone and full color video screen too. (Ages 8+)
#7- Vectron Wave/ Air Hogs is a remote control flying game without the remote, it actually senses proximity andRead More »from Toys: the 2010 top toy list revealed
- Emily Hsieh, Shine staff | More For My Family – Mon, Nov 29, 2010 9:49 PM EST
Adding a few extra decorative touches around your home this time of year is such a lovely, happiness-inducing thing to do for you, your family members, and any guests that pass on through. It makes the season that much more special and memorable, and you don't need to go hog wild-either in terms of time or money-in order to get into the spirit. Here, we've compiled a slideshow of more than a dozen chic and festive items to infuse your home with holiday cheer. And best of all, none come in at more than $10.
The "top toys" list for holiday shopping New tools from Walmart to save money on holiday shopping
Here we are: the biggest shopping day of the year. And while now is certainly a prime opportunity to stock up on hot deals and cross off most of your holiday gift getting in one fell swoop, trying to navigate a super-crowded mall packed with overzealous shoppers isn't for the faint of heart. Here, ten guidelines to get you through the day without having a meltdown, while saving you as much time and money as possible in the process. Happy Shopping!
Make A List. It's easy to get distracted in the thick of the sale chaos. To help stay on course, before you hit the mall, comb newspapers, coupon books, and the websites of the stores you know you want to hit up and make a list of the sale items you'd want to track down. Pay attention to the timelines too: some sales only last a couple hours, while some last for a few days.
Get Your Priorities Straight. If what you really want is a new flatscreen for your family, make sure to start there come shopping day. Keeping track of what'sRead More »from How to survive the mall on Black Friday
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