24/7 MOMS

Friday, February 27, 2009

Organize It this weekend with 10 projects

It's FRIDAY - Do you have plans this weekend? I have 10 simple and quick organizing projects from Monica Ricci that you can accomplish over your weekend to keep you on the "Organize It" journey.

Ten Quick Organizing Projects to Tackle In a Weekend
By Monica Ricci of Catalyst Organizing Solutions

1. Sort and clean out your clothing. Tackle one area at a time. (shoes, tops, pants) This way you can do it in small chunks rather than feeling overwhelmed by doing it all at one time.

2. Toss Ten. Take a walk through your home and notice what is cluttering the flat surfaces. Toss out ten things that are not giving you value. (Examples: Kids' fast food toys, knick-knacks that are no longer special, paperback books cluttering bookshelves, old magazines and catalogs, kids' old school papers, accumulated junk mail, etc.)

3. Tackle a Junk Drawer. Dump, divide and decide. Dump out the drawer, add a drawer divider and decide what stays and what goes. Junk drawers should be thought of as "tool drawers" instead of being a catchall for items that don't have homes.

4. Dive into the Hall Closet. Open the hall closet and pull out anything that's been living there, untouched for a year or more. Make space for new items by getting rid of jackets you no longer wear, worn out hats, gloves and scarves, old games and sports equipment, old shoes, etc.)

5. Donate a Bag of Toys. Most kids are overwhelmed with toys. Get a garbage bag and collect the toys your child has lost interest in over the past year. Immediately put the bag into the car to drop at a donation site near you on your next trip out of the house.

6. Declutter a Kitchen Cabinet. Choose the cabinet that makes you craziest. Pull everything out onto the counter top and evaluate each item objectively. Keep only the items you use all the time or are crucial kitchen tools, and box the others for donation.

7. Store and Rotate Decor. Walk around your house and box up about 50% of your decor items. (framed photos, knick-knacks, vases, etc.) Label the boxes and store them away. Twice a year, when you change your clocks, pull out the boxes and exchange the stored items for your current decor. By displaying only half the items you're accustomed to, your home will feel fresh and uncluttered all year long.

8. Minimize Your Media. Sort and cull out unwanted DVDs, CDs, VHS tapes, cassettes, and yes, even those 8-track tapes and vinyl albums you've been holding onto. Keep the ones you still love and pack up the rest to sell or donate.

9. Designate Homes for Daily Travelers. Choose one location in your home for your daily traveling items (purse, briefcase, keys, PDA, cell phone, and iPod) to live so you can quickly and easily find them on your way out the door.

10. Freshen Up Your Fridge. Ditch old and expired condiments, mystery foil packs, and doggie bags gone bad. Add a lazy susan or two to create easy access to items that would normally languish in the deep recesses of your refrigerator shelves.

Monica Ricci has been an organizing and productivity specialist since 1999. She offers onsite consulting, as well as motivational seminars and workshops. She has been featured on HGTV's Mission:Organization and is the author of Organize Your Office In No Time. Reach Monica at www.CatalystOrganizing.com or 770-569-2642.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Frugal Living for MOMS - WIN Starbucks

Join us for the 24/7 MOMS "FRUGAL LIVING Event"
March 1st-14th, 2009
right here at www.247moms.com

Two weeks of ideas, resources, tips, FREEbies and giveaways for MOMS.

Stop in each day to be inspired through our daily themes-

Sunday- Simple Steps to Frugal Living

Monday- Making Money Monday

Tuesday- Treasures and Memories, Frugal Style

Wednesday- Wiser Consumer Wednesday

Thursday-Thrifty Meals and More!

Friday-Family Fun, Home and Away

Saturday- Bargain Shopping Saturday

WIN Starbucks: Invite your MOM friends to join us by placing our Frugal Living Event button on your site. (HTML code is on right side of blog).

If you place our button on your site, send us an email with your blog address to trisha@247moms.com and you will be entered to WIN a Starbucks gift card.

Stop in daily and become a Frugal 24/7 MOM.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thrifty Finds - Freebies, Bargains, coupons and more for moms.

Who doesn't love a few FREEbies, Bargains and Coupon offers? Check out this weeks great Thrifty Finds.


FREEbie kashi all natural meal entree’: Sign up at http://www.kashi.com/picturehunt
and receive your FREEbie meal.

FREEBie Auntie Anne’s Pretzel - A coupon, delivered to your in-box? How perfect.

If you would like to receive a hot, fresh coupon, delivered to your in-box, all you need to do is sign-up at http://www.auntieannes.com/perfect_rewards.aspx You're entitled to one of our Perfect Rewards coupons every month. Sign up to get your coupon. Stop by their site again next month to get a new Pretzel Perfect Reward!

Online Shopping Bargain:

Veggie Tales: Check out the Sale going on over at Veggie Tales on DVD’s for $8.97 each and FREE shipping on any order $30 or more until Monday March 2nd. The selection also includes a few Larry Boy DVD’s.

Family Fun Magazine: Saturday ONLY you can purchase a one year subscription to the Family Fun magazine for $5.29 over at Best Deal Magazines http://www.bestdealmagazines.com/

Coupon Queen

Pink at Victoria Secret: https://secure.vspink.com/pink_nation.jsp

Join the brand new Victoria’s Secret PINK Nation for free stuff, exclusive offers, special access, the inside scoop and more!

You will receive a FREEbie coupon when you sign-up for a PINK item. I am not sure what the item is yet, as you have to take your coupon into Victoria Secret to redeem it.

KOHL’S: Receive a coupon for $5 off a $5 or more purchase at Kohl’s when you sign up for their email updates . Click here to sign-up. http://www.kohls.com/upgrade/registration/sale_alert_signup.jsp

Email us at trisha@247moms.com with your Thrifty Find ideas.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Let's Make a Meal Mondays - Slow Cooker BBQ beef.

Recently I was asked what I thought the Mom trends were going to be in 2009. I responded with the top 6 trends I felt we would see surface this year. One of these is family dinner time. I explained that I felt family dinner time will be back IN. Families will be back sitting and connecting at the dinner table, thus causing the busy family to look for solutions to simplify their meals, using prepared grocery store foods such as rotisserie chickens or cooking philosophies such as cook once eat twice or make ahead freezer meals. Along with the use of outside meal preparation sources such as Dream Dinners to prepare a month worth of meals, I believe we will definitely see slow cooker sales increase in 2009.

I’ve been a BIG slow cooker user for years with a busy household of seven crazy schedules. I t has often been the only way I have been able to consistently have family dinners in our home. The only problem is that my family is in need of new recipes. Yes, I have worn them out on the ones I’ve been cooking. So, I have pulled out my pile of cookbooks and begun searching through them for a few new recipes to try out.

One of the cookbooks I have ear-marked several recipes in is Dream Dinners, by Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna. They have a nice selection of slow cooker recipes along with many others.

And the WINNER recipe so far from my Dream Dinners cookbook is:

Slow-Cooked Barbecued Beef

Serves 6

2 pounds beef chuck roast, fat trimmed
1 cup yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Putting the dinner together
Place the roast in a crock pot/slow cooker. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and mix well. If you are preparing a triple batch, pour equal amounts over the three roasts.

For dinner tonight
Cook the roast in the crock pot/slow cooker on the low setting for 6 to 8 hours, until meat falls apart easily. Shred the meat with a fork and serve over hamburger buns or baked potatoes.

To Freeze
Label, date, freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before cooking as directed above.

Do you have a WINNER slow cooker recipe to share with the 24/7 MOMS? Email to trisha@247moms.com

FREEbie for you :

Quiznos is giving away 1 million subs for FREE to the first 1 million people to go to their site and register. Click here to register for your FREEbie Quiznos sub. You will receive an email after you register with your printable coupon good for a FREE small sub or everyday value sub. http://www.millionsubs.com/Reg.php

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Dinning Deals - Restaurant Coupons and Specials

As the primary cook in the Novotny house I enjoy a night off once in a awhile or better yet a date night with my hubby out to a local restaurant. Being frugal with our money when it comes to eating out means I’m always on the hunt for great restaurant specials and coupons. Today I found several that you to might enjoy using.

Flip for FREE pancakes at IHOP

Join IHOP to celebrate National Pancake Day on Tuesday, February 24, 2009. From 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., they will give you one free stack of their famous buttermilk pancakes. *All they ask is that you consider making a donation to support local Childrens hospitals through Childrens Miracle Network, or other local charities. Click here for additional details http://www.ihoppancakeday.com/.

T.G.I. Friday's "Buy One Get One Free" Entree

Print your down loadable coupon and head to TGI Friday’s for a Buy one get one FREE Entree. Also, if you sign-up for "Give Me More Stripes" you can get a free appetizer. Click here for coupon and additional details http://www.tgifridays.com/promos/bogo_2009_02.aspx?fromhome

Bucca di beppo

Enjoy a yummy Italian meal and get $10.00 off any $20.00 purchase, valid through 3/4/2009, Click here for additional details and down loadable coupon. http://buca.fbmta.com/members/ViewMailing.aspx?MailingID=34359738491&storecode=1305

Red Robin

Join the Red Robin eClub and receive a free burger for signing up . Click here to sign-up http://apps.fishbowl.com/a/redrobin/eclub/agegate.aspx

Pizza Hut Penny Pizza Deal

Buy 1 large pizza at regular price, get a medium pizza for 1 cent. Click here for additional details

Jack in the Box
One day only. Tuesday February 24, 2009 you can get TWO free tacos at Jack in the Box. Click here to print your coupon http://coupon.hangintherejack.com/two-tacos.php

Did you find a great dinning out special or coupon? share it with the 24/7 MOMS readers at trisha@247moms.com

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Never Ending Laundry Piles

I arrived home this past weekend after leaving my family for 6 days with no mom. The house was picked up, beds were made, floors were vacuumed, bathrooms were spotless - I was impressed! Then I walked into the laundry room only to find piles and piles of laundry, including the overfilled basket that my college son had brought home for Mom to wash. I took a deep breath, and thought I need to appreciate all that my family did as a team to keep the Novotny home in order while Mom was away and realize that I would one day see the bottom of the laundry basket again.

Laundry is one of those Mom tasks that is never-ending. We Moms know the importance of a good working washer and dryer. So, when I saw this fun contest going on at Electrolux, I thought it might interest the 24/7 MOMS to enter for their chance to WIN a new Electrolux washer and dryer set. Here are the details:

has teamed up with one of America's favorite moms, Kelly Ripa, to spread a little love via a charitable social media campaign. On the Electrolux Web site, you can create and send a unique virtual cupcake to friends and family during February. For every cupcake sent, Electrolux will donate $1 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) as part of their half million dollar commitment to help support this worthy cause. Which means each virtual cupcake will go a long way.

What's more, everyone who logs on and sends a cupcake will be entered for a chance to win the newest front-load Washer & Dryer (an estimated $3,600 value) from Electrolux, the appliance brand used throughout fine homes in Europe for 80 years.

So, hurry over to the Electrolux web site to send your cupcake and enter to WIN a new washer and dryer set. If you WIN, be sure to email us at trisha@247moms.com and share the news!

Back to the laundry piles......


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Freebies, Shopping Bargains and More.

Thrifty Tuesday Finds is back with some great Freebies, Online Bargain shopping and more.


You’ve got to feel it to believe it - Enjoy a bit of specialness everyday with VIVA towels. Click here for your FREE sample. http://instoresnow.walmart.com/enhancedrendercontent_ektid66370.aspx

Freebie sample of Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse - Air-whipped liquid makeup, airbrush natural finish, with a weightless feel. Click here to order your FREE sample, http://instoresnow.walmart.com/enhancedrendercontent_ektid65952.aspx


Recycle Old Electronics for Sam’s Club Gift Cards

Trade-in and Recycle Program at Sam’s Club - Turn in your used PC and more

Do you want to recycle an old monitor? Or trade-in an iPod? We make it easy through our Trade-in and Recycle Program. If you’re a Sam’s Club Member, you can trade in qualified used electronics items. In exchange, we’ll give you a Sam’s Club gift card for the value of your item. If your item doesn’t qualify, we’ll help you recycle it.

Follow these simple steps:
1. Visit www.econewonline.com/samsclub.
2. Enter details about the electronic item you want to trade-in.
3. Find out whether your item qualifies as a trade-in.
4. If your item qualifies, ecoNEW, a company we’re partnering with, will tell you the trade-in value.
5. Learn how to recycle items without trade-in values.
6. Follow packaging instructions for your trade-in or recyclable item.
7. Receive a Sam’s Club gift card in the mail for items with trade-in values.

Online Shopping Bargain:

My new favorite place to shop for my two youngest boys is Crazy 8 www.crazy8.com . Sign-up to be on their email list and receive $10.00 off your online order. Offer valid until March 2nd 2009.

They also offer a $5.00 flat rate shipping on all orders. Be sure to check out the great sales going on now over at Crazy 8 www.crazy8.com

Do you have a Freebie, Online Bargain , or great mom saving tip? Share it with the 24/7 MOMS by emailing it to trisha@247moms.com


Monday, February 16, 2009

NS Teens - Internet Safety for Teen and Children

One of the on going Hot Topics in our mom world is internet safety. We hear and read about it in the news of the horrific, scary and almost un-believable stories of children encountering predators, cyber bullying and receiving unsolicited pornographic material.

The truth is our tweens/teens are the techno generation with the ability to make friendships, play online games and interact with others across the globe, gone are the days of snail mail pen pals. They can send pictures,
you tube their videos to be viewed across the world within seconds revealing often who they are, what they look like, what schools they attend and where they live to people they have never meet. They have access to retrieve information in seconds on any topic of their choosing, create online businesses, and the list goes on as to what this techno generation can do.

Today’s teens have a knowledge of the Internet that often surpasses that of
their parents. Because so many teens are Internet savvy, it is imperative that they also have an understanding of the dangers that exist online and how to deal with them.

So, how do we keep this techno generation safe?

Thanks to MOMS Central for introducing me to NetSmartz
, a leading online resource of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has developed a website designed to educate, engage, and empower kids as Internet users. They offer information and support for parents, educators, law enforcement, teens, and kids. They even have a special area for teens where they show videos and comics featuring teen characters that discuss the harm people can cause on the web and also how it can be used in a positive way to empower teens. The videos go over topics such as social networking, cyber-bullying, and offline consequences. The cartoon videos also simulate interviews with teens talking about their Internet use. It is all done in a very hip and informative, but not lecturing, way.

So, if you need help in your mom world to create discussion about Internet safety, check out NetSmartz!

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine Idea #11 - Messages of Love

Looking for that last minute creative idea? It does not get any easier than this.

Grab a tube of lipstick or window markers and head to the bathroom mirrors in your home.

Write messages to your family members so when they awake they will be surprised with your words of love. You can also write on your husband and teenagers car windows.

One word of caution be careful of what you write as your words may possibly be traveling through town that day.

Share your simple last minute Valentines day ideas and send us an email at trisha@247moms.com

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Valentine Idea #10 - Game Time

Kids love games. So, why not include a Valentine themed game into your celebration this year.

Here are two simple games you can play:

Bingo it’s Valentine day! - Play bingo using conversation hearts as your bingo markers. Give each bingo winner a valenine gift of chocolate, heart items, red or pink colored items. Create the game to be a Valentine theme.

A Card Game of Valentine Hearts -
By - Eric Arneson http://www.about.com/
The 18th century ancestor of Hearts was called Reverse, because in this card game, you want to lose certain tricks rather than win them.

Players3 to 7, best with 4.

DeckStandard 52-card deck.

Goal At the end of the game, the player with the lowest score wins.
Your goal in each hand is to:

* Avoid winning any tricks including a heart or the queen of spades (aka the Black Maria), or

* Win all 13 hearts and the Black Maria.

SetupIn a 4-player game of Hearts, each player gets 13 cards.
In a 3-player game, the 2 of diamonds is removed and each player gets 17 cards.

In a 5-player game, the two of diamonds and two of clubs are removed; each player gets 10 cards.

In a 6-player game, the two and three of diamonds and the three and four of clubs are removed; each player gets 8 cards.

In a 7-player game, the two and three of diamonds and the three of clubs are removed; each player gets 7 cards.

Passing Cards - After looking at his or her hand, each player chooses three cards and passes them face down to another player. All players must pass their own cards before looking at the cards received from an opponent.

The passing rotation in a 4-player game is: (1st hand) to the player on your left, (2nd hand) to the player on your right, (3rd hand) to the player across the table, (4th hand) no passing. The rotation then repeats until the game ends. When other than four players are involved, the passing rotation is: (1) to the player on your left, (2) to the player on your right, then repeat.

Tricks - The player holding the 2 of clubs after the pass plays that card to start the first trick. (If the 2 of clubs has been removed for the 3-player game, then the 3 of clubs is led.)
Each player must follow suit if possible. If a player has no cards in the suit led, a card of any other suit may be discarded. Exception: If a player has no clubs when the first trick is led, a heart or the Black Maria cannot be played.

The highest card of the suit led wins a trick. The winner of the trick keeps all cards won in a single stack in front of himself or herself, face down. The winner of a trick starts the next trick.
Hearts may not be led until a heart or the Black Maria has been played (this is called "breaking" hearts). The queen can be led at any time.

There is no trump suit in Hearts.
Scoring - Use a score sheet with a column for each player. At the end of each hand, count the number of hearts each player has taken, as well as the Black Maria. Hearts are 1 point each; the Black Maria is 13 points.
If one player has won all 13 hearts and the Black Maria, that player can choose to subtract 26 points from his or her score, or to add 26 points to every other player's score.

Hearts is generally played to 100 points (any score can be agreed on before the game begins, but 50 is a good minimum). When one player hits the agreed upon score or higher, the game ends. The player with the lowest score wins.

Note: after each hand, the deal passes to the player on the dealer's left.

Do you have a Valentine game you play? share your ideas and send us an email at

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valentine Idea #9 - Movie Night

An in-expensive and simple way to celebrate Valentines day with your family is to create a fun movie night by watching a Love themed movie such as Lady and the Tramp, The Princess Bride, Cinderella, Parent Trap, Beauty and the Beast, you get the idea fun and romantic family style that is.

Pop some pop corn, bake a batch of cookies, grab some red licorice and don’t forget the beverages for those thirsty pop corn eaters. Snuggle up and enjoy your Movie Night.

What is your favorite family movie? email us at trisha@247moms.com

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Valentine Idea #8 - 365 Days

Keep your Valentines celebration going all year long by creating a 365 days of Valentines jar.

Decorate a jar and cut out 365 heart shaped papers. Write on each heart a word of encouragement , love note, a thank you, a scripture verse, an inspiring quote, or even good for 1 desert, good for 1 movie night etc. Place them in the jar and the receiver of the jar gets to read a note each day. This also makes a great dinner time conversation starter if you include fun questions on your 365 cut out hearts.

Send your Valentine Celebration ideas to us at trisha@247moms.com

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Valentine Idea #7 - The Hunt is On

Everyone loves a treasure hunt. So, each valentines day I create a valentine treasure hunt for my family by hiding their Valentine baskets of goodies. I place written clues around the house in which they work as a team to discover where thier hidden Valentine treasure is. We begin the hunt by giving them their first clue at the dinner table after we have eaten our meal and off teh goto disocver their Valentien treasure.
My kids are already talking about the big hunt coming up on February 14th.

Alternative Treasure hunt ideas:

Conversation Heart hunt: Place conversation hearts around your home and send your kids to find them.Candy Kiss trail - make a trial using candy kisses that lead to a Valentine.

SurpriseHeart Hunt - Fill plastic hearts with goodies and hide them similar to an easter egg hunt.

Happy Treasure hunting!Share your Treasure hunting ideas with us by emailing us at trisha@247moms.com.

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Valentine Idea #6 - Let’s Fondue it!

A few years ago we began in the Novotny home the tradition of having a chocolate fondue for our Valentines Celebration dessert . Yes, I am training my kids to be chocoholics like their mother, more excuses to feed my addiction.

So, pull out that buried fondue pot you received as a wedding gift or purchase an in-expensive one at your local variety store (a well worth purchase) and get ready to create a YUMMY Valentine dessert for your family.

Step 1 - Decide what you will use for your chocolate dipping sauce. I use Sephra chocolate which I purchase online at http://www.sephrafountains.com/. You can also use a variety of different recipes ( see below) or buy the already packaged chocolate dipping sauce, usually found in your chocolate baking section of the grocery store.
Step 2 - Choose your items for dipping. We use a mix of fruits and sweets from the list I have listed out here.

Fruits- Strawberries, Sliced bananas, apples, pears, dried fruit, pineapple, raspberries.

Cakes, Cookies and sweets - Marshmallows, pound cake in cubes, bite sized brownies, lady fingers, graham crackers, vanilla wafers, angel food cake, spritz cookies, biscotti.

Step 3 - Gather needed serving items: Dipping sticks ( bamboo kabob stick work great), bowls for the various dipping items, plates for each person and lots of napkins.
A Tradition your entire family will enjoy this Valentines day.

Extraordinary (and Simple) Chocolate Fondue Recipe
By: http://www.extremechocolate.com/

Ingredients -
16 ounces dark, sweet or semi-sweet chocolate1
1/2 cups light cream
1 tsp. Vanilla extract

Instructions -
1. Break chocolate squares into smaller pieces and drop them into the fondue pot.

2. Add cream (which will prevent the chocolate from going lumpy) and stir gently but constantly until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

3. Add vanilla extract, and stir it in.

4. Use a fondue fork to spear the fruit, then dip it in the chocolate. Enjoy!

Looking for more unique chocolate fondue recipe offerings? Click here for YUMMY recipes including "Hot" Chocolate Fondue; Sugar-Free Chocolate Fondue; Chocolate Marshmallow Fondue and more. http://www.extremechocolate.com/chocolate-fondue/

Do you fondue it on valentines day? Share your fondue recipes and dipping ideas with us at trisha@247moms.com

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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Valentine Idea #5 - Valentine Fun with cards

Do you remember your elementary school Valentine's Day parties? My favorite part was passing out and receiving the classmate Valentine cards then sitting at my desk opening each card.

Today I have a fun idea to bring back those childhood memories. Purchase a box of inexpensive classmate exchange Valentine cards. Now the fun begins.

1. On the night of February 13th sneak out to your husband's car and place these Valentine cards all over the interior of his car. You may want to use tape to secure them. Won’t he be surprised to find his car has been attacked with Valentine cards.

2. After your children have fallen asleep on February 13th sneak into their bedrooms and/or bathrooms and place Valentine cards all over these rooms. What a surprise when they wake up to a festive room filled with Valentines.

Send us your FUN Valentine's Day ideas to trisha@247moms.com

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Valentine Giveaway - Lollipop Book Club

Send some sweet love to child with a Valentine's Day gift package from The Lollipop Book Club. The gift arrives in a big red envelope addressed to the child. Think about how much kids love to get mail! The treat inside includes an adorable Valentine's Day book- The Day it Rained Hearts- and a handcrafted Valentine's Day lollipop that is almost too cute to eat. The best part of the gift is that you get to add a personal note, which will be printed on a sticker for the inside of the book. This is your chance to tell a child something special this Valentine's Day!

24/7 MOMS and The Lollipop Book Club are giving away A Valentines Day book and Lollipop. To enter for your chance to win, enter your name and email address in the box below you will be signed up for today's giveaway as well as be added to the 24/7 MOMS E-list(if you are not already a 24/7 MOMS subscriber). Drawing to be held on February 7, 2009.

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Valentine Idea #4 - Red and Pink Make a Meal.

Red and Pink Make a Meal.......
By: Trisha Novotny

Create a festive Valentine's table to celebrate this day of love with your family.
On Valentine's Day decorate your table with a red or pink tablecloth decorated with Valentine themed items, candles, rose petal confetti, flowers, Valentine plates, and don’t forget the Valentine napkins.

Then, serve a special meal with several red and pink food items such as red jell-o, pink mashed potatoes, red pasta sauce, a heart shaped pizza, etc. For fun drinks try strawberry milk or Shirley Temples to drink. For breakfast try pink heart pancakes, pink grapefruit, fresh red strawberries, pink yogurt, pink smoothies, etc. And, of course, don’t forget a Valentine dessert like a heart shaped brownie, pink frosted cupcakes or yummy strawberry shortcake.

Another fun addition to your table can be placing simple gifts at each seat - Valentine chocolates or other fun treats.

Enjoy your Pink and Red celebration!

Share your Valentine meal ideas with the 24/7 MOMS - email us at trisha@247moms.com

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Valentine Idea #3 - "I Love You Because..."

I Love YOU Because..........
By: Trisha Novotny

Teaching my children to love, respect, honor and admire their siblings is one of those top mommy things I strive to do.

One way I encourage this in my children’s relationships with one another is that each year during the month of February I cut out big pink and red hearts from construction/craft paper. I then write on each heart with a marker “ I Love You Because ___________.” I cut out enough hearts for each child to write a note for each member of the family on. They are given these hearts a few days prior to Valentines day to fill out with their amazing kind words (hopefully), and then during our family Valentine's celebration we share these with one another.

I, as the Mom, love to hear what each child has written about their siblings, and at least for that moment I feel my children really do love, respect, honor and admire one another... until then next sibling squabble breaks out.

Share your Family Valentine Traditions with us at 24/7 MOMS. Email us at trisha@247moms.com

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Valentine Idea #2 - "Sweets for your Sweetie Swap"

The countdown is on to Valentine's Day in my house. As you know, I love traditions, so my children love to anticipate upcoming holidays.

Here at 24/7 MOMS you can anticipate for the next 11 days a new Valentine idea each day giving you simple celebration ideas for both your Valentine and your children. There will even be a few giveaways over the next 11 days, so check in daily.

Today we have Valentine Idea #2. Be sure to read yesterday's Valentine Idea #1. It's one of my favorites.

"Sweets for Your Sweetie Swap!"

By: Sandra Peoples
Celebrate Every Day Today's Housewife

Want to shower your sweetie with sweets for Valentine's Day but don't have hours to bake or money to spend?

Plan a "Sweets for Your Sweetie Swap!" Similar to a cookie exchange, I invite friends over and ask them to bring a plate of goodies (homemade or store bought). We have lunch, talk about how much we love our husbands/fiances/boyfriends, and listen to cheesy love songs. After lunch, we set out everyone's goodies and go down the "buffet," packing up sweets for our sweeties! We all go home with cookies, brownies, and candy.

Friends, fun, and food? What could be better?

Stop by Today's Housewife for great "Sweets for your Sweetie Swap" recipes and ideas.

Share your favorite Valentine Sweet recipe with us at 24/7 MOMS . Email us at trisha@247moms.com

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