• Copyright canberkolCopyright canberkol

    This is the worst time of the year for me. Oh, it's not the ghosts and goblins that seem to pop up in front of every house in my neighborhood. And it's not the witches and vampires and princesses that will be coming to my door soon.


    No, I'm scared of the bag of teeny, tiny chocolate bars in my pantry.


    I just can't resist it. Look, if there is chocolate in my house, I have to eat it. I must. It's like a biological urge to survive via caramel and chocolate. There cannot be a chocolate bar within 100 feet of my home that I cannot find using my super-chocolate senses.


    Now, I have tried everything to resist the lure of gooey goodness in my pantry every October. I have tried buying candy I don't like. Turns out, there is not really any candy that I don't like, whether it contains chocolate or not. I mean, I will admit I'm not fond of Bottle Caps, but I still eat them.


    I have tried buying my candy on Halloween at 4 PM. Do you know what's left at the grocery store on

    Read More »from Parenting Guru: Resisting Halloween candy is futile
  • I've got some good news and some bad news. The bad? If you still have a long list of to-dos before Christmas, time's a tickin' and you better get rockin'. The good news? It's just enough time to put some last minute finishing touches on your celebration.

    If you're playing Santa this year (something I'm simultaneously enjoying and feeling guilty about), I've compiled some simple last minute tips to make it easier on you. (Psst: If you're one of the many still scrambling to complete your shopping, decorating, crafts and recipes, I definitely suggest Disney's All Things Merry guide.

    For the rest who are ready to finish up and get to the egg nog, this is for you.

    Wrap it up: As I've mentioned before, my gift wrapping skills leave much to be desired. This step-by-step how-to is perfect for paper-challenged people like myself. Because as much as I love the easy-breezy gift bag, kids always seem a bit disappointed when they don't have something to physically unwrap.

    Play

    Read More »from Final Hours til Christmas: 5 Tips to Finishing Touches
  • By GalTime Consumer Watchdog, Mary Schwager


    'Tis the season to be AHHHHH! STRESSED OUT !!! Jolly? Who's jolly? I'm not jolly, I'm wondering how the month of December went by so fast! Was it all those holiday parties? Did too many martinis make me too tired to hit the mall? Now I've got how many shopping days left? Am I the only one feeling this way?

    Please don't tell me you're one of those people who started their shopping last January during the post holiday sales! If you are, just go read another article here on Galtime.com. Well, actually, that kind of good advice I may want to consider next year and it's one of the tips Lisa Reynolds, RedPlum's "Mom Saver-in-Chief", recommends to avoid to the holiday mad dash. "While holidays are a very festive time, they can also be an equally stressful time. One of the chief causes of holiday stress is that feeling of simply not having enough time and overextending yourself financially, too. By putting some strategies in place,

    Read More »from Crunch Time: Tips to Relieve Last Minute Holiday Stress
  • By Melissa Tosetti & Kevin Gibbons

    It's not necessary to spend hundreds of dollars on decorations - especially when prices will be drastically reduced after the holidays. A little money and a lot of creativity go a long way. Here are 8 affordable ideas for holiday decorations:

    Nature

    Pour pine cones into a basket and wrap the handle with ribbon.

    Toys

    Surround the tree with stuffed animals and other childhood toys.

    Holiday Cards

    As you receive holiday cards, place them on the mantle or tack them to the door.

    Winter Wear

    Hang mittens from your door knob and place ice skates beneath the tree.

    Ribbon

    Buy a spool of wire ribbon and wrap door knobs and other ordinary items.

    Candles

    Candlelight does wonders for ambience!

    Holiday Music

    More great ambience.

    Poinsettias
    Poinsettias can be picked up rather inexpensively and add instant holiday cheer. (Note: If you are a pet owner or have small children, you may want to skip the Poinsettia as

    Read More »from 8 Affordable Holiday Decorating Ideas
  • The Season of GivingThe Season of Giving

    By: Stephanie Hamilton

    'Tis the season for buying lots and lots of presents. Video games, HD TVs, clothes, fancy phones and music players are on everyone's list. But this season that is so much about spending money can also be about giving money to well-deserving organizations. A year-end gift can give you an extra bump in your list of tax deductions and also just make you feel really good. We've put together a list for you of non-profit organizations that help people, animals and the environment. This is simply for informational purposes; there are a lot of worthy organizations not named on this list.

    In the spirit of the old-school "20 Questions" game, we've divided our list into three categories: animals, vegetables and people.

    ANIMALS


    The Humane Society


    Your local Humane Society is one of the easiest places for you to donate. Most cities (even very small ones) have a local chapter of the Humane Society. Most people are familiar with the Humane Society's work to get Read More »from The Season of Giving: Buying More than Presents this Holiday Season
  • All though we all have our favorite holiday songs, we've all had our ears pummeled by some really horrible holiday hits, too - especially since the advent of the 24-hour-a-day Christmas music channel. Here's a list of some of the most horrendous songs written about Santa and/or baby Jesus. (Or, in one case, an Italian Christmas donkey.) I've also included a list of songs that were nominated for both the best and worst lists. Add the Christmas songs that drive you crazy in the comments!




    5. Santa Baby by Joan Javits, Philip Springer, and Fred Ebb as sung by Everclear, chosen by improviser Frank Hejl. More than one person I asked mentioned that Santa Baby should be on this list, saying things like, "Every one that sings it has a whiny voice and it makes me want to gouge out my ear drums with a blunt object!" I've heard Taylor Swift's version a lot this year, and though I think it's terrible, I have to agree that this rendition by Everclear has to be the most heinous I've ever Read More »from Shut up Already! The 5 Worst Christmas Songs Ever

  • Since my daughter loves Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, we attempted to make cupcakes in his likeness. These reindeer cupcakes are the end result, however, you can easily simplify them based on your time constraints and what is in your pantry.

    The heads are donut holes attached to the cupcake with a candy melt stick. You may also use a pretzel. The antlers and ears were created by piping candy melts on to wax paper. Once cool, they were attached to the donut hole. We used candy for the eyes and nose, as well as a small marshmallow for the tail. My daughter insisted on the latter.

    If you're trying to cut back on sugar or short on time, just omit the frosting. Believe me, if the donut hole is fresh and the cupcake recipe is a winner, you won't miss it. Just use a dab of frosting or honey to attach the eyes and nose.

    You may also scrap the donut hole completely. Just make the antlers and ears a bit bigger. I used a regular sized red M&M for the nose versus mini M&Ms on the donut

    Read More »from User post: 3 Reindeer Cupcakes for Christmas
  • By Lucy Danziger, Editor-in-Chief, SELF magazine, author, The Nine Rooms of Happiness

    Ah, the holidays. They're supposed to be the "most wonderful time of the year," and yet they have a way of turning into the most stressful time of the year. Maybe it's because your mother-in-law is staying with you for a week (and you suspect she's always had it in for you), or you're anxious about over-spending on gifts but want to be generous, or perhaps you're spending the holidays alone this year and are feeling a little lonely.

    Related: Need a running plan? Try one of ours!


    Whatever the source of your angst-family dynamics, finances, a lack of self-confidence, painful memories-you're certainly not alone, and there are solutions. Along with New York psychiatrist Catherine Birndorf, M.D., who co-authored The Nine Rooms of Happiness with me, I've devised some simple fixes for seven of the season's most stressful situations. You deserve to have the joy you desire this season, so start today to put

    Read More »from 7 Ways To Banish Holiday Stress Today!
  • Follow our easy tips and tricks for baking the best batch of cookies every time.

    Photo: Howard L. Puckett; Styling: Lydia Degaris-PursellPhoto: Howard L. Puckett; Styling: Lydia Degaris-Pursell1. SPLIT THE DOUGH
    Work with half of the cookie dough at a time when rolling and cutting cookies. Too much handling of the dough makes cookies tough. Keep the other half refrigerated. Chilled dough is easier to handle.

    See Recipe: Autumn Maple Cutout Cookies

    Related: Ultimate Christmas Cookies How-To Guide

    2. CHOOSE BAKING SHEETS WISELY
    Bake cookies on shiny, heavy aluminum baking sheets. These sheets with no sides are designed for easily sliding cookies onto a cooling rack. Dark sheets may absorb heat, causing cookies to brown too much on the bottom; nonstick baking sheets work well if not too dark. Insulated baking sheets require a slightly longer baking time.

    See Recipe: Oatmeal-Pecan Snack Cookies

    Quentin BaconQuentin Bacon3. KNOW HOW TO GREASE
    Grease baking sheets with cooking spray or solid shortening instead of butter or margarine. Avoid using tub butter or margarine products labeled as

    Read More »from Top 10 cookie baking secrets
  • Did you know today's stocking stuffers used to be yesterday's main course of presents?

    1940: "Oh look-a Ping-Pong ball and a Tootsie Roll (the penny size)."
    1963: "Oh look-a kitchen-table Ping Pong set and some Tootsie Rolls (the movie-theater size).
    2010: "Oh look-a little blue velvet box and a little blue velvet bag with a shiny sterling-silver bracelet with a silver charm of a Tootsie Roll, and hey, what's with these little squares of chalk?" The parents then explain, all smiles, that the chalk is a clue-to the 760-pound, professional -quality pool slate pool table with foosball and Ping-Pong attachments that's being delivered next week; that is, if the bay window can be removed for the crane to hoist the table through the dining room. "But don't worry," they assure their children. "That's not your real present. That's just a little something for the whole family."

    Are you overdoing the holiday? The top 10 signs the answer just might be yes:

    10. Tiffany's asked your Read More »from Top 10 Signs That You May Have Overdone the Kids' Christmas

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