Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Recipes Using Candy Bars

In anticipation of all the candy that you will undoubtedly receive tomorrow night, here is a great website with recipes that use candy bars!

Click here for a list of great recipes.

Rolo Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup butter, softened

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 cup chopped pecans

48 Rolo candies

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

4 ounces white chocolate (optional)

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa and baking soda. Blend well.In a large bowl, beat 1 cup sugar, brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and eggs; beat well. Blend in flour mixture. Stir in 1/2 cup of the pecans.

For each cookie, with floured hands, shape about 1 tablespoon dough around 1 Rolo candy, covering it completely. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup nuts and 1 tablespoon sugar. Press one side of each ball into pecan mixture. Place nut side up, 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 7 to 10 minutes or until set and slightly cracked. Remove and cool.

Optional: Melt white chocolate in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Drizzle over top of cookies when melted.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Stephen's Hot Cocoa - Giveaway

I'm so excited to announce this next giveaway!!

The amazing folks at Stephen's Hot Cocoa, sent me a canister of Peaunt Butter Cup Cocoa and I fell in love! It is my new favorite cocoa flavor. Let me say... it is everything you want a peanut butter cup hot cocoa to be. Rich, equally chocolate-y and peanut butter-y and aromatic to the point of distraction!!! Oh, I love it, love it, love it!!

In addition, Stephen's Hot Cocoa also has generously offered some coupons for a free canister of your favorite Stephen's Hot Cocoa to a Laugh Until Your Cheeks Hurt reader... and let me suggest that you consider trying the Peanut Butter Cup flavor...

So, leave a comment here, by midnight Tuesday, November 4 and you'll be entered in to a drawing for one of two prizes! Yes... this time we will have two winners!!! Package One will include two coupons for free canisters of Stephen's Hot Cocoa and Package Two will include one coupon for a free canister of Stephen's Hot Cocoa, plus a mug and two packages of the individual servings of Stephen's Hot Cocoa.

Yummy!!! I promise!

Tiny Tales Giveaway... the winner is...

...Justina Selim and this is what she had to say in her entry...
"Cute idea! I would love to win this!"

Congratulations Justina!!!! I will make arrangements for Tiny Tales to ship you the Babysitter Notes pad!

Thanks so much for all that entered and a special thank you to Tiny Tales for the awesome gift for this giveaway!

Here are your random numbers:1
Timestamp: 2008-10-29

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Funny School Related Photos

2 of the funniest school related photos you will ever see...

Monday, October 27, 2008


Moonjar moneyboxes were created as a tool for children and families to incorporate strong financial values and practices into their daily lives. Each Moonjar moneybox set comes with three parts of the jar... one each for saving, spending and charitable donations.

Moonjars are a fun and accessible tool to help change how children develop a basic understanding of good money habits.

What a great product to empower children... I love it!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Polling Place Photo Project

The Polling Place Photo Project is a nationwide experiment in citizen journalism that encourages voters to capture, post and share photographs of this year’s primaries, caucuses and general election. By documenting local voting experiences, participants can contribute to an archive of photographs that captures the richness and complexity of voting in America.

Anyone can submit a photograph of the 2008 elections. Photography of polling places is governed by state and local law — there is no one answer for what is permissible. (It does not appear to be prohibited in Arizona.)

Be sure to see the photos that have been posted from the Primaries. It is an incredible snapshot of an American privilege that I love!

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Celebration Candle Kid

At Small Object, I found the cutest candle holders. They totally remind me of Christmas ornaments that were popular at my house when I was a young child. I like the idea of getting one for each of my children, using it every year on their birthday and then giving it to them when they start their own family. I am so sentimental...

There are about ten different styles available and each candle holder is $30.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Curly Wurlys

Imagine my surprise when I discovered this little treasure...

In the very late 70s and early, early 80s, there was a fun candy bar, made by Mars, called the Marathon Bar. It was a long skinny, milk chocolate covered caramel bar that was delicious and a favorite treat that I would get with my Grandpa M. and my dad. In 1981 the candy bar was discontinued. ...sigh...

This candy bar, called the Curly Wurly, is the same size as the original Marathon Bar, and is made by Cadbury, in England.

You can pick up a Curly Wurly in Germany, Canada, or Australia or order some from Old Time Candy.

*** This just in... Cost Plus World Market carries Curly Wurly candy bars for 99 cents each! AWESOME!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Picture Puzzle

The most popular feature in LIFE magazine every week—perhaps the most popular weekly page in any American publication—is the Picture Puzzle. There will be variations on themes and variations on the game itself, as scores of color and vintage black-and-white photographs—many from the famous Time-Life Picture Archives—are twisted, doctored, and otherwise toyed with, all in the name of fun and entertainment.

Our family loves these books. Even our youngest daughter, who is seven, gets in to the hunt! There are several editions available, and we've bought our copies at Target, Barnes and Noble and even the book orders that come home with the kids from school. I did a quick on-line search and Amazon has a great selection of the books for great prices.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tiny Tales Giveaway

File this under "why didn't I think of that?" Seriously... way cool idea! Tiny Tales has created an innovative way of keeping track of all things that are normally tracked in a baby book. However, instead of a bound book, it is a filing system. WOW! I love that the cards are 4x6 inches... the same as a regular photo. Perfect for assembling a photo album!!

From their website, Tiny Tales explains... "Looking for the perfect way to capture life's little moments, but don't have the time? With a dash of fun, a dollop of convenience, and a generous helping of adorable, Tiny Tales has a recipe that is as easy as pie."

Baby Tales Kit, starting at $30

Toddler Kit, starting at $30

Babysitter pad, $8

Tiny Tales has generously offered a Babysitter pad to one lucky reader of Laugh Until Your Cheeks Hurt!!! Yea, thank you so much Tiny Tales.

To win, please leave a comment on this post by Tuesday, October 28 at midnight. Early Wednesday morning a comment will be randomly selected!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Worry Dolls

In Guatemala, before going to bed, children tell one worry to each doll and then put the dolls under the pillows. When they wake up in the morning, the worries are gone.

I love this idea for the worrying child. And the dolls are so cute. sells 1 basket, with 6 dolls, is $2. You can also get 12 baskets, also with 6 dolls each, for $13.

100 dolls ranging in sizes from 2/3" to 2" for $15. These are perfect for crafting, or to simply use for your own worries, or to give as gifts. Also available at

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Be Delicious

This is my favorite perfume... currently! I tend to be very fickle with perfumes. Once a scent makes it as my favorite I will always like it, I just may soon get a new favorite.

So, right now, I am L*O*V*I*N*G this Be Delicious scent, by DKNY Fragrances.

"Feast your senses on this crisp blend of American apple, cucumber, grapefruit, and white amber. Its bulbous, pomme-shaped bottle makes the delectable scent that much more ripe for the spritzing."

It is a very clean, light scent... not at all heavy or soapy smelling!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Project Runway Winner!

I watch Project Runway! There, I said it!

And I like it!

Which is funny, because there is absolutely nothing high fashion about me.

Wednesday night was the Season Finale... and of the final three, the girl that I wanted to win, DID!

Her name is Leanne Marshall and I totally enjoyed her final collection. In another life (and a different body) I would wear a couple of the outfits that she presented.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Webkinz are the Beanie Babies for this generation of kids. And I love them! And so do my kids.

The following description comes from the Webkinz website... Webkinz pets are lovable plush pets that each come with a unique Secret Code. With it, you enter Webkinz World where you care for your virtual pet, answer trivia, earn KinzCash, and play the best kids games on the net!

My kids earn time on the computer and they almost exclusively play with their pets when they get computer time. I love to listen to them create fun worlds for their little pets!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stephen's Gourmet Hot Cocoa

I LOVE hot cocoa! Love it! Stephen's Gourmet Hot Cocoa is arguably the best out there! My favorite flavors are the Orange Creme, Chocolate Mint Truffle and the Candycane Cocoa.

This is a new flavor for 2008... sounds yummy! And I bet it smells soooooooo good!

After several years of testing, Stephen's is introducing Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cocoa. Contains real, miniature peanut butter cups that melt while you mix. Sounds worth a try to me!

The Pay it Forward Winner is...

Here are your random numbers:4
Timestamp: 2008-10-15


Briana writes that her favorite aspect of Fall is WALKING!! I can finally get outside with the kids, squish all three of them in the double stroller and just WALK! Sometimes we have a destination and other times we don't. I love to feel the cooler air and burn a few calories too! Hey why not!
I have to agree... Walking is a great activity, here in Arizona, for Fall!!
Congratulations Briana on winning this Pay it Forward contest. I will make arrangements with you for delivery of your prize! As promised, it'll be some of my favorite things... including notecards from Hallmark, a candle, lip gloss from Bath and Body Works, and a couple of other finds. PLUS, there will be an item from the box of treasures that I received when I won a Pay it Forward last month.
If you choose to offer a Pay it Forward contest on your blog, please remember to choose one item from the box I create for you to include in your prize.
And Happy Fall!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Monster Kit

Yikes... this is $250... more than I would spend for a plush... but if I could, I would! What a cute idea. Your child draws a picture of a monster, you send the image to the designers at North American Bear Co. and they reproduce your child's design as a plush monster.

Monday, October 13, 2008

See's Candy as a Thank You Gift

I have a few Thank You gifts that I need to purchase. I'm going to the mall later today, and will be stopping by See's candy. I need a fix... and I think it'll be the perfect place to buy the little gifts that I need.

There is no lollipop better than a See's Lollypop! I love using these as favor gifts for parties, or hand outs! We passed these out, with cute little homemade stickers, when several of our kids were born!

I'm looking forward to an Orange Cream... or a Pineapple Truffle. Or both.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Monopoly Mania!

After a brief search on-line, it appears that there are almost 100 different varieties of the Monopoly game.

Here are some editions that I find intriguing and interesting...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fall Cookie Cutters

IF I made sugar cookies, I would totally make these candy corn cookies!! Too cute. Cookie cutter $1.44 at Off the Beaten Path.

And I love this leaf cutter... a great buy at $1.19.

This set is $10.95 and includes 7 cutters that range in size from 3" to 4.5".

I have a favorite local bakery that will make and decorate sugar cookies for a reasonable price and the best part is that I can provide them with my own cutter to use! I have had cookies made for birthday party favors, sports team treats and as client gifts! I love that they can be personalized for just about anything!

Off the Beaten Path is a family owned and operated warehouse where you can get some great deals on all styles of cookie cutters and other bake ware needs!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Pay it Forward: My Turn

I won this PIF contest a couple of weeks ago and, as part of winning, I must now hold my own contest.

Here’s what you’ll win: a few of my favorite things!!! I'll put together a mix of fun things that I love and enjoy! Also included will be a mystery item from the contest that I won. It'll be a fun package, I promise!

Here are the rules:

1. Respond here with your name and email by midnight Tuesday the 14th of October. Also please share your favorite tradition of Fall. Mine is the focus of gratitude!! I love chatting with my kids about all of the things that they are grateful for. I learn so much!

2. A random comment will be chosen on Wednesday morning, October 15, using a random number generator. I will contact you for your mailing address and send you out your prize.

3. You agree to choose one item from your package to add to the package you will create for the winner of your contest.

That’s enough rules. Time to comment and get on the PIF train.

The Winner of the Childsplay tickets is...


Congratulations soccermom! soccermom wrote: I just took my kids to their first play this summer, to see the Wizard of Oz. I would love to take them to as many other plays as I can! Growing up, my parents took us to ballets, to see the symphony, and plays. It's so expensive now that I keep putting it off. But at least I've started on it!

I am confidant you will love this show and the experience of childrens' theatre. Enjoy!

And thanks to Childsplay for the generous donation of these fun tickets!!

Here are your random numbers:1
Timestamp: 2008-10-08

P.S. email me your mailing address at alisonsannouncements at yahoo dot com and I'll drop the tickets in the mail! Congratulations again!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Breast Cancer - Pink Things

It seems that every company, every product, has a line that has gone pink!! I love this idea and hope that the money genuinely goes towards finding a cure. Here are some of my favorite "pink things."

Build-a-Bear just introduced their 2008 Breast Cancer Awareness bear. The Hopeful Wishes Teddy II is $25 and for every bear sold Build-a-Bear will donate $5 to advance breast cancer education, research and support.

Sprinkles Cupcakes has a strawberry cupcake, with the Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon on it for sale... just through today. Last year, Sprinkles raised over $20,000 from the sale of these cupcakes to support Breast Cancer research programs.

Save-the-Tatas has these t-shirts, for $24.95. A portion of every sale from Save-the-Tatas goes to support Breast Cancer research and support.

I love Brighton jewelry. And I have always loved their Power of Pink bracelets. The 2008 bracelet is $60... a portion of each sale goes to Breast Cancer research.

"Pink of Hearts" polish by OPI. Price varies.