Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Toy Guide...

For those wanting to make a little extra money this holiday, don't forget to order the toy guide!!

If you order by Thursday, November 5th, you will be able to take full advantage of the Gold package and get all 8 weekly reports that are included.

You can order it here:

*all proceeds from this are going to the Operation Santa Clause :)


Craftmom - Wins - Magnificent Manicure Kit !!!

Keep an eye out for more contests!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkins, Facepaint and Invites for the Spookfest...

Sunday we drove to Kenosha Wisconsin to see my MIL and hang out - it was supposed to be Halloween day out there (the Sunday before Halloween - from 3-6 - been that way for YEARS) NOPE NOT THIS YEAR! It has to fall on Halloween lol ... Amber was upset but we made it up by going to Smith Pumpkin Farm out there and getting her face painted, some nice hot apple cider, walking around picking up small mini pumpkins and Grandma spoiling her rotten with a candy covered apple that has sprinkles... ohh I can't wait to be asked to cut that up and have her eat it - can we say sugar high??

It was fun, nice to get out and it was really a nice day weather wise, so it all worked out. Some pictures

Click here to view these pictures larger

But in all the excitement I FORGOT to make her invitations for the party Saturday... I had to quickly make invites this morning - found a neat template online Click HERE

Then I whipped out the cardstock, some old ribbon, my glue gun and poof! I've got an invite that's not horrible lol Let me tell ya, I had 2 hrs and a kid calling from school asking if there were done yet and could I add pjs to the list since its pjs day and we didn't know. Ughh... Its definitely Monday!!

Closed and Open

Close Up on the inside

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Christmas is 63 days away... Crazy isn't it!

Christmas is 63 days away... Crazy isn't it!

I'm done planning Halloween - just getting ready to enjoy it. I've gotten almost everything I need for the thankgiving dinner except the big ol' turkey. lol so now... now I concentrate on getting christmas gifts and trying to get good ones that she'll enjoy. Mike's a little harder, he wants big big gifts that even grandma can't afford to help get lol.

So what do you get a 12yr old preteen??

BAB - (Build a Bear) - we've done this since she was 3. Mike came home from North Carolina (I think that was the state lol) and he had this little white teddy bear and she slept with teddy all the time. He was gone for weeks at a time for training so this was great, she still had a little piece of him :) So we continued the tradition years later adding onto her collection of bears, bunnies, dogs, kitties.. etc. And the collection of clothes for these guys - did you know that the bunny has a sun umbrella (I don't even have one lol) - Just don't know when to end the tradition, what age is appropriate to say, lets pass on your bears and bunnies to someone that really needs a hug? Of course Teddy has to stay. No questions asked about that one!

DS (Or DSi) - Nintendo, I love you!! lol On rainy days, on long car drives, when your sick in bed or just bored silly from weary days - you can have the kids play their DS. Tons of fun games, educational, training games (the pet vet ones makes her take care of animals or they get sick and get taken away from her). Our Nintendo is on the way back to them since its broken and we are still under the one year warranty. - Now what games do I get her that are girly and she'll like? We just got Wizards of Waverly place for halloween - she bought it :) She turned in her old games and was able to pay 1.45 for the new game. Teaches her responsibility too! Also do we upgrade her to the DSi? I don't allow internet access too much with her. She's got her sites she can go to, but we don't do facebook or anything like that. So is the DSi appropriate?

Clothes - I learned along time ago that she loves shopping and clothes just as much as me but she doesn't want them as presents lol. UNLESS its a warm fuzzy sweater she can cuddle up in or pjs that are fleece bottoms. Everything else just gets that stare of, 'come on mom - what were you thinking' lol

Dress up - yes we just got out of the dress up stage with the dresses and shoes but she's into the other preteen stage - MAKEUP! they want makeup, earrings, necklaces, bracelets - and they need to be 'cool'. I've stuck with the Avril Lavigne line and did Claire's for the earrings. But the makeup I haven't done yet. Lipgloss yeah. But not the other. She breaks out alot from things so What brand do I get?? What do I get?? I know Twilight items this year are a must so I'll be on the look out for the necklaces and bracelets from that :)

Cooking - my moms and mother in law have always sent Amber holiday baskets (full of junkfood) and toys. They started putting in the muffin mixes that you can get for like .89 cents and she can just add water. I hate the stupid Easy Bake Ovens. So this was a nice turn for us and we all enjoyed it. (The wild berry ones are her favorite!) Last year my gf got her a cute apron to wear. She loves to cook!! So what should we get her this year? She has a couple cookbooks. This is her favorite hobby and loves making dinner with dad, so I need to include something for it with christmas.

Books BOOKS books! - I can't stress enough how much both Amber LOVES to read. She can suck down a book and just not let go of it at bedtime. But I want her to finish the books completely before going onto another one. Yeah at her age she should be able to do this, but we are a little behind maturity wise for her to keep up. Would buying her a little journal to put notes in about the book, too 'schooly'? Do I buy her a couple sets of books or just keep it to one?

What I already have for Amber? umm not alot lol. Normally I'm stacked to the cieling with gifts hidden in the basement. This year, not so much. I have a dolphin bank that was handmade that she can put in her room. Help her learn money and earning it better. And I have a vampire book collection - My Sister is a Vampire. We had to get them off Ebay since they don't make the #2 one anymore in the states. But that's about it... I've got alot of shopping to do Lucy!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Toy Review! Magnificent Manicure Kit - WIN ONE!

Hi ladies - told you I'd have a couple more coming :)

Magnificent Manicure Kit - by Elmers

Scientific Explorer partnered with UC Berkeley's Great Exploration in Math and Science (GEMS) program to create fun educational science kits like the Magnificent Manicure Kit.

I know Amber loves interactive toys - ones that she can make things with and we've gotten past the stage of playdoh and the easy bake oven. This was a fantastic idea for her... age appropriate and she could definitely handle the concept :)

It's has also been picked as the Creative Child Magazines 2009 Toy of the Year Award in the Educational Toys category!!

You get everything you need to turn your house into a nail spa for the day:

  • Crystal mud
  • Bath salt
  • Lavender mist fragrance
  • Cucumber melon fragrance
  • Soaking tray
  • Measuring spoon
  • Mixing spoon
  • Pipette
  • Lotion base
  • Dye
  • Glitter
  • Nail buffer
  • Toe separators
  • Pumice stone

We invited a bunch of girls over (ages 11-14) and bought a couple extra toe spacers at target at the $1 section to keep it sanitary :) They had a ball!! They made their own crystal mud and sea salt scrub - their hands were really soft afterwards. And they did their own manicures. All the kids loved adding the stuff together and measuring it all. I'm allergic to a lot of things but didn't have a problem with these items at all :)
(waiting for permission from parents before posting pictures)

Available at Toys "R" Us and - Age range 8+ ... retail price $19.99

BUT Get your chance to win one here!!
1. Go to Elmers Science Fair and tell me what your project would be!

2. Subscribe to my Facebook

3. Subscribe to my Blog above

4. Subscribe to my Gymbohaven Newsletter

Contest Ends Oct 26th!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness Special


October is Breast Cancer Awareness month - 10% of all orders placed through Independent Demonstrator Amy Serpe during the month of October will be donated to the Breast Cancer Foundation. Browse my website, then call me or email me with your order. It’s that simple, that’s all you have to do to help support Breast Cancer Research. If you do not have internet access, don’t worry, you can still help. Give me a call and I’ll bring our Idea Book to you!

This is close to my heart - with my Aunt Ellen and my sister Heather having breast cancer, the reality hits home hard. I've already scheduled my first appt to get a mammogram due to my family history. Check yourself regularly and tell the doctor of any little bump - don't worry, they will check it with out question. Knowing early increases your chances of survival!!

Know the statistics
Your chance of developing breast cancer in the next 10 years:
•Age 20, 1 in 1,837;
•Age 30, 1 in 234;
•Age 40, 1 in 70;
•Age 50, 1 in 50;
•Age 60, 1 in 28;
•Age 70, 1 in 26.

A few facts about Breast Cancer.

Although the breast cancer diagnosis rate has increased since the early 1990s, the overall death rate from breast cancer has dropped.

It’s estimated that approximately $8.1 billion is spent in the United States each year on breast cancer treatment.

Breast cancer is the fifth leading cause of death in American women, following heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, and other respiratory illnesses.

Barring a cure, an estimated 5 million Americans will be diagnosed with breast cancer over the next 25 years. More than 1 million could die.

On average, mammography will detect about 80%-90% of breast cancers in women without symptoms.

About 70% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no known risk factors for it at all.

As an added bonus…
Orders placed between 5:00pm - 8:00pm on Monday, October 26, 2009, will receive a 10% discount! Mention this coupon to receive discount.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Jenni Hunts Holiday Toy Guide - It's Here!

Hi Ladies,

Thank you for letting me share with you the free reports and the Holiday Toy Guide. I know everyone has their own way to research, plan and act for the holiday season but this one always seems to fit me best. It's all done for me and I'm ready to roll. What could be easier??

The 2009 Holiday Toy Guide is ready...

They have jam packed the Holiday Toy Guide package this year... but, you'll have to act quickly because there is only a limited number of memberships.

There has been some concern of eBay getting saturated - so they are doing their part by limiting the number of people who get their hands on the 2009 Holiday Toy Guide...

You can learn all about it here:


PS. There are only 468 memberships left right now... so if you want one, you should get it here today.


*Please note that any and all commission earned on this will be used for our upcoming Operation Santa Claus program.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Jenni Hunts Holiday Toy Guide - Free Info Day 3

How To Get Those Visitors Bidding

Well, so many people wrote in after yesterday’s report that Jenni put up another one today.

This report explains 6 quick tips for listing during the holidays and you can get it here:

In today’s report, you’ll learn how to get your visitors bidding by:

1.Making yourself stand out
2.Using your store to test your market
3.Not completing with yourself
4.Watching those listing fees
5.Following up

I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy sharing it with you ;-)

PS. If you feel like it, you can leave your opinion on today’s report in the comment’s section! I’d love to hear from you.

*Please note that any and all commission earned on this will be used for our upcoming Operation Santa Claus program.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Jenni Hunts Holiday Toy Guide - FREE info Day 2

How To Research For Toys That Are Selling

Here is another report that was just put up on the Holiday Toy Guide website:

In it, you’ll learn 5 keys to researching eBay for hot items… even toys that aren’t toys.

You can get it right now by going here and downloading it:

Let me know how you like it :-)

PS. I’ve gotten so many nice notes from people who really enjoyed the last report. Thanks so much for your kind words.

*Please note that any and all commission earned on this will be used for our upcoming Operation Santa Claus program.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Jenni Hunts Holiday Toy Guide - Free Info Day 1

2009 toy trends for the holiday selling season

Jenni from the Holiday Toy Guide just put a new report on her website and I think you’ll like it.

You can see it here:

You’ll like it because it shows you an easy way to know what some of the most popular toys are expected to be this holiday season.


*Please note that any and all commission earned on this will be used for our upcoming Operation Santa Claus program.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Operation Santa Claus

OSC - begins its 4th year!

We collect donations, stockings, dvds and more - than ship them overseas to soldiers away from thier families for the holidays. We also send packages home to the families to give them a little extra treat while their loved ones are away.

Last year blew me out of the water with all the stockings and donations sent to the soldiers and families back home! We truly appreciate all efforts to make this a success and look forward to this years Operation Santa Claus.

You can send anything on the suggested list, FULL stockings with a note inside from you, Buildabear gift certificate, BuildaBear items, Letters of encouragement, letters/picture from the little ones (let me know if you have a classroom that would love to do this!)… Email me for my mailing address if you would like to send your donations by snailmail -

We are working with BuildaBear this year to send bears to the kids at home waiting for their loves ones to come home safely. *More information to come

Everything will be shipped out November 23rd so that it arrives in time!

Our Troop this year!

Captain Steve Pressley - 7th Engineer Battalion

70 soldiers over in Iraq

Pictures Coming Soon!

We want to thank you so much for every little thing you do! We couldnt' do this each year with out you and your support. The list below shows all the families that have supported us this year:

Mike, Amy and Amber

To see the items needed or to make a paypal donation go to

Monday, October 12, 2009


Carrie from Emily’s Little Treasures is offering a special just for you ladies AND a chance to win her Minnie Mouse Custom Peasant Dress, which will also include a matching headband for the winner…


The Peasant Dresses she has listed on Etsy are available for our readers for just $16!

And any of the Peasant Tops for $12 (these can be done in any of the fabrics shown for the dresses). Just email Carrie before purchasing at

Minnie Mouse Custom Peasant Dress - The dress is available in 12-18m, 2T, 3T/4T, 5/6, and 7/8. There is an option to have a long sleeve or a short sleeve. All the seams are completely finished and top-stitched for a nice finished look. *I really do take care in the items I make and I love to share what I do with others.

Love the dress? I knew you would! Below are several ways to enter the contest to win the Minnie Mouse custom Peasant Dress and matching headband.

1. Join Carries Facebook page or fan page and post below that you’ve done so!

2. Post your favorite item from her Etsy page

3. Subscribe to my Facebook

4. Subscribe to my Blog above

5. Subscribe to my Gymbohaven Newsletter

Friday, October 9, 2009

Halloweens of the past...

I was reading my BigCrumbs newsletter and couldn't stop giggling... they were talking about the old costumes where you had a huge mask and it had a rubber band on the back to hold it on, you know that once that night you were going to have to tie it back together and then the rest of the night when the other side of the band broke you were walking around holding it up on your face. LMAO - I turned to my husband whose two yrs older than me and asked if her remembered those. I remember being Strawberry Shortcake and Rainbow Bright. He remembers GI Joe and one I can't recall (bad memory lol). It was the kind you picked up by looking through a thin plastic cover on a box and all you saw was the mask inside, the plastic costume (which really wasn't all that badly made) was underneath. You wore your clothes and threw it over. I even had to wear my COAT one year underneath! (NY weather lol) I think they cost like 5.99 - 9.99 depending on the character and size.

What happened to the quality, ease and familiarity of the costume you were getting??

Now... ohhhhhh my golly gosh... last yr we took an afternoon of going to costume stores trying to find one that fit my daughter that wasn't snug, too low, cut off at the wrong places... and ended up getting it at Spirit Halloween store. It was in the womens section of Leg Avenue costumes. It was a vampire velvet completely covered costume... the killer was the price tag. I think it was $49.99. My husband died on the spot but knew we couldn't get any of the kids ones to fit her. She's not fat, she's not short, she's average! She wore it for school and the zipper broke. That night we pinned it and made it more goth looking to wear it again for trick or treating. I swore that wasn't going to happen again!

So this year, I made sure there was no hassle, no store shopping and the darn thing was going to be cheap, last the nights she needed it and still have it after wards. I'm sewing my little fingers out (actually pinning them to death right now!) making her costume from scratch. My gf asked why I didn't just spend $9.99 at walmart... I laughed and said I need it to last her Halloween Dance, TrickorTreating in WI for my MIL, Her school parade AND Halloween night here! I would have had to get a new one each night by the time we were done.

Did you know my little monster ain't so little anymore?? I had to adjust the costume already. We went to the doctors and she got weighed and measured. My mom gasped (love it) since Amber was taller than her! She's 5' 1" and 123 pounds. Not bad for almost 13. Solid little sucker... made me go up a size on the pattern lol, thankfully I hadn't cut it yet when I found out. I was going off old measurements from back to school shopping this summer.

I do wish Disney costumes were cheaper - I LOVE those and actually got Mike dressed up one year as Tigger. Now those suckers hold up and keep you warm!! Wanna See??
OK enough halloween talk... off to do some housekeeping before the real spiderwebs take over here lol

Blog Credit:
Graphics used on page are from digital scrapbooking kit Sugar Rush by Flergs and Ziska. Blog arranged by Designs by Sarah using her Blog Design Service.