Monthly Archives: December 2007

Toy Tester

So its the day after Christmas and I am sitting with my children watching and helping them play with their new slew of toys.  As I am doing this I realize that some of these are not worth the money Santa, Grandma or I paid for them.  I wish I could have tested these things out first before I bought a few because they are the pits and some are made by big name brands — Disney is topping my list of do not buy again.

So here are a few of my most unfavorite toys the kids got this year and why:

Mickey’s Club House – Comes with only Mickey, really expensive, and does not really do much and with one character does not provide pretend play interaction. Plus all the attachments come off without much effort making it impossible to keep together.  Verdict – Buy more figures for this one.

Disney Micro Pix Camera – Kids digital camera, designed to be easy to use but with no flash and no preview screen the kids have to guess at what they are doing.  Reminds me of the first camera I got as a kids but without having to wait for film to develop.  Most photos turn out dark and blurry unless taken in direct light.  Cheap to buy but not a lot of good to use, in 30 year you think they could have designed a better first camera for kids.  Verdict -Need to rethink and possibly return for one better camera for the kids to use.

Elefun – I thought this game would be great but even with brand new batteries those butterflies come out one at a time and most stay stuck in the machine.  Kids get bored waiting for one at a time to come up the nose.  Plus my 5 year old just stands with his net near the top and gets all the butterflies and my 3 year just gets mad.  Not really designed for kids over 3-4 years.  Verdict – Finding the receipt for this one.

Wackamole Tower – This game claims to be for ages 4 and up but any 5 year old can slam the hammer down and make the top easily over and over again. Plus it is super loud and annoying.  Verdict – Sorry Grandma, this one is going back.

National Geographic Remote Spider – After an hour of use this spider gave up on going forward and the remote has to be within inches to activate.  Kids are not a big fan either.  Verdict – Return.

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Works for Me Wed. – Last Minute Presents

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So it is that time of year when there are only 11 days left until Christmas and even less time to shop.  So what do you get those people on your list that you have no idea what to buy???

Well here is one idea.  I love this site called www.shutterfly.com .  They have the best ideas for unique ways to use those 300+ photos you took this year that are still on your memory card and not developed.  This year I have made a photobook, a calendar, and an 8×10 collage photo for presents for various family members.

So if you need a last minute gift idea check it out.  That is what works for me.  For other great ideas that work for other people check out Rocks in My Dryer.

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Aerobic Baby

So this baby feels like she is full size and ready to come out and she was not the only one.  She loves to be active, pretty much all morning, day and until I go to bed.  I have a horrible case of of PUPS, I am not talking about cute puppies either.  I am talking about the pregnancy rash that comes on only when you are pregnant and does not really have a cure expect for birth.

So with all the baby movement and braxton hicks I kept thinking maybe she will come early but I went to Babycenter.com tonight and saw a few babies who were supposed to be February babies that were just born and I know that this little ones belongs no where except exactly where she is.  I do not want a 17 inch/2.5lb baby.  I will stick to the 8.10lb babies I usually deliver.  Of course I would not mind a week early baby in time for Valentines Day. 

So bring on the cortisone, the anti-itch pills,  the aerobic kicks, tumbles and somersaults, the heartburn, and the sore “you know what”… cause I got 10 weeks to go!

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Christmas Time Reflection

Hubby leaves for NC for a few days so I went on a 3 hour shopping mission to get closer to finishing the chore of Christmas shopping.  This time of year when panic starts to set in and I can’t seem to find the toys I saw only a few short weeks ago on the shelves the whole shopping experience does become a more of a chore than fun.  On top of that trying to figure out what to get people who don’t live in my home is even more nerve racking as I like to put thought into all my gifts and not buy for buying sake.

So todays adventure takes me to my local mall, the smaller one with a Macy’s in it.  I went in with some thoughts and then wandered around Bath and Body Works for 45 minutes.  That place is overwhelming.

So after that I stopped for a fresh pretzel with cheese and sat down to observe the mall walkers.  I spied a dad with two young children , maybe 2 and 4 at the most, that seemed to be waiting for someone, mom perhaps.  A little while later I say a young mom pushing a double stroller with baby twins.  The waiting 4 year old yelled mom to the woman pushing the stroller with twins.  In that moment I was so grateful that I was pregnant with only one single baby and that my children, who have not been the best behaved lately, at least were old enough to help me out once the baby does come. 

So one trip to the mall can really put ones life in perspective this holiday season.

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Goodwill Stores

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A few of you know I work for Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids home of the famous Goodwill Retail Stores.  I am the marketing director for this nonprofit agency.  Many people have no idea that Goodwill is a nonprofit and even more so that we have anything more than thrift stores.  So I am going to use my blog to promote Goodwill because I am flying pretty high after opening out 5th new store in the Grand Rapids MI area market. 

The Grand Opening of our newest store on 54th Street in Wyoming was yesterday and I had no idea how many people would come but to give you an idea we had a line around the block at 8am in the morning, we opened at 9am and it was freezing outside.  People waited 45minutes to get through the check out lines and customers bought an average of $53 per person.  Pretty cool! 

I am pretty proud of these stores because this is not your grandma’s Goodwill.  These are brightly lit stores with fresh decor and a whole new spin on thrift store shopping with 15% new items for sale, a drive through donation center and even an optical center. 

So back to my original mission, telling bloggers who Goodwill is.  We are a non profit with the mission of: Change Lives & Communities Through the Power of Work. 

So what does that mean?  Well we have 12 thrift store locations in the Grand Rapids area and we fund raise to help people who have limitations, whether physical, emotional, or chemical, with job training and job placement services.  We have over 30 programs to help people from every circumstance imaginable.  Some of the programs include a certified nurses training program targeted to at risk youth, a prisoner reentry program, a hospitality and catering program, manufacturing opportunities and on top of that we have 500 of our own employees. 

To top all these great things off Goodwill Industries International is the biggest recycler in the country with all of our stores combined throughout the country and abroad.  Talk about being Green!

Pretty cool huh!

So watch out West Michigan, we are hoping to change the way people think of thirft stores and hopefully boost the local economy too by putting people to work.

Next Grand Opening – Plainfield Store in March 2008.

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I must be pregnant…

Because I broke my bra yesterday.  For those that know me know I am well endowed but this is ridiculous.  I heard something crack yesterday but did not realize what had it was until bedtime.  So how does a bra crack you wonder?  Well that under-wire… it snapped right in two.  Maybe it is not wire after all but plastic instead. 

What is a bummer is that for me bra’s that fit and still make me feel sexy without the torpedo boob shape are hard to come by.  Victoria’s Secret has only a few.  Let me tell you that her secret is that Vicky has smaller boobies than me or anyone else my boob size. 

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