Archives For holidays

Laissez les bons temps rouler ~ Celebrate Mardi Gras wherever you are! 48 hour giveaway!!

We are getting ready for a Mardi Gras celebration at our house! I am doing a Zatarains House Party and cannot wait to share my famous shrimp Jambalaya and our Hurricanes with friends and family—

And for my readers for Mardi Gras, I get to share a giveaway of fantastic Zatarains boxed meals, spice blends and gravy mixes and a bunch of other tasty products I’m sure you will enjoy!!

In getting ready for my Fat Tuesday party, I have gotten some great ideas and had a lot of fun visiting the Zatarains Facebook Mardi Gras pages. You can get wonderful recipes, download big easy music, jazz up your profile picture and even watch Chef John Besh create fast, delicious recipes.

Did you know? A Big Easy Celebration: Perhaps contrary to popular belief, most of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras celebrations actually take place in the home, away from the revelry most commonly associated with the French Quarter. Centered around time-honored dishes that are both flavorful and easy to prepare, the food brings family and friends together.

Check out some of these ideas to hold a simple and fun Mardi Gras with your family!

  • Visit “Mardi Gras Central” at for Carnival recipes, music, live parade videos and to jazz up your profile pic! (Even get coupons!)
  • Host your own Mardi Gras party at home.
  • Extend the holiday with costumes, authentic desserts and the festive Carnival colors. How about some King Cake cupcakes??

Celebrate Mardi Gras Style with A Zatarains Giveaway!

For the mandatory entry, visit Join The Parade At

For additional entries, you can:

Win a Zatarains Mardi Gras Giveaway! #mardi gras

  • Follow Faith, Family and Fun on Facebook and share the giveaway
  • Add this giveaway to your giveaway linky or another giveaway site (+3)
  • Publicly Blog about this giveaway and give a link back (+3)

Leave separate comments for each entry method.

This is a quick 48 hour giveaway! I will choose a winner on Mardi Gras!! (3/8/11) Giveaway is for US only. Please remember to leave a way for me to contact you in your comments.

Thanks to Zatarains who provided this giveaway!

Each year, as I look forward to our Christmas Traditions, I also try to incorporate new traditions. For our household, my husband and I celebrate Christmas with what we hope is a focus on Jesus’ birth. A few of the things we do include using Advent Calendar readings and candles in the evenings, preparing a Christmas Tree as a family, and even getting stockings and cookies and milk ready for Santa.

As mom, I do struggle sometimes with what traditions to include and focus on for my family and I am thrilled when an idea or activity really fits our family and helps us celebrate the Savior’s Birth.

When I read Ellen Nibali’s The Secret of St. Nicholas, I immediately felt that I had found a new tradition for us! This new book is based on a story of St. Nicholas’s life that many scholars believe to be true. I was delighted to find a story that imparts the joy of the Christmas Story of Christ’s birth, while also sharing some of the fun and tradition of St. Nicholas and his doing of good deeds “in secret.”

The watercolor illustrations are lovely and the hardback book is perfect for a special holiday gift book.

Yes, this one is a keeper!

Yes, this one is a keeper!

You can look inside the book, “The Secret of St. Nicholas” on the website. Also, read about the author, and take a Santa Claus survey…or, find lessons and study plans for The Secret of St. Nicholas. You can even order an autographed copy.

You can also purchase “The Secret of St. Nicholas” on Amazon–if you have Amazon Mom, you can get free, fast shipping!

Giveaway Winners!

Heather —  December 6, 2010

Congratulations to the Winners!

I am sorry I fell off the face of the earth for awhile! I have a ton going on, some good, some bad. I did have a wonderful Thanksgiving and trip to Washington D.C., complete with a visit with family. Thanks for all the well-wishes!

Anyway, I have some winners to announce:

Entertaining, Educational Apps for Families at Home and on the Go

Winner: Kimberly K
Comment: Tom Thumb and the Knights of the Round Table because I have never heard that story.

Doll Furniture From Guidecraft Review and Giveaway. Dreams Do Come True!

Winner: Stacy

Comment: Follow your blog via google reader.

Michael Chiarello´s Bottega and Progresso Lemon Pepper Panko. A Winning Combo!

Winner: Lis
Comment: I Follow you in Reader (Entry 2)

Febreze Home Collection Wooden Wick Candle Review and Giveaway

Author: 409cope
Comment: I would love to try the Gingersnap Vanilla the most.

I am in the process of contacting the winners…please respond asap:)

Thanks to everyone who commented!

Fit Mommy Friday!

Heather —  November 12, 2010

Curious? You can see my Fit Mommy Challenge Post. Today, I need to list how I am doing on my goals in the challenge.

  1. My goal: To continue to eat only organic foods- Did This, no eating out this week
  2. To lose 10 Lbs for Christmas- Well, have not lost any yet.
  3. To drink wine at most 1-2 nights per week, a maximum of 2 glasses- Blew this, I know, it doesn’t matter its organic. My husband pointed that out….
  4. To not eat at all after 7:30 pm- Did eat several times after 7:30. I kept forgetting. Noticed I look for carbs- crackers, things like that after kids are settled and I’m tidying kitchen
  5. To not eat/taste batter/appetizers etc while Holiday cooking- Did not eat while cooking, except when I put out appetizers for company. I probably ate way too many calories there, talking and moving around
  6. To incorporate more veggies into my diet- Ate carrots for snack 2x, purposefully did not buy anything like pretzels. Added more veges to lunches
  7. To exercise at least 4x per week- Exercised officially 2x.

ok. So there you have it. Not a great re-start. But, I kept putting it off, then the week was almost gone. I was more aware and mentally noticing my weaknesses, rather than trying not to!

Now that I’ve faced my weaknesses…yuck….I have high hopes for this upcoming week.

Head over to Got Chai to how the other participants are doing!

Some Winners!!

Heather —  October 1, 2010

ultimate-lgHi all! This has been a crazy couple of weeks and I have tons to blog about and another set of giveaways I think are great…and may help you get a jumpstart on Holiday shopping. In the next few days, I’ll get all that up!

Meanwhile, I owe you a couple of giveaway winners….

For the Terralina – Barbara M!!

For the Flexi-8 Hair Accessories – Glogirl!!

For the Amish Book of Proverbs – Amy V!!

I am in the process of notifying winners:)

I wish I could give everyone one! But as I cannot, I can tell you there is a deal on Terralina’s site. Right now they have a buy 1 get 1 free sale and free shipping on orders over $30. You can also use coupon code MAMABUZZ10 for 10% off your total order. Terralina online

For the Flexi-8, you can purchase at: www.flexi8.comUse coupon code 543626, to get your choice of either 10% off or Buy 4 Flexi-8″s and receive the 5th FREE

I also still have the CSN $35 code giveaway running.

And, I have one giveaway that will make a FANTASTIC Christmas gift for a daughter …or granddaughter…niece…I felt so lucky to be able to review this for our daughter, and she loves it, but I had to go ahead and give it to her for the review photos! So, definitely check back for that if you have a little girl on your holiday list…

I was looking around for a show for my daughter & ran across Disney’s new Prep & Landing show on Hulu. Normally, I would recommend a, well, more old-fashioned show, but the graphics on this one are wonderful!

As with anything online, please use at your discretion. I have no idea what direction the series may take–but for this first episode, I think the video is fine for anyone who celebrates with Santa for Christmas! We personally do a little bit with Santa but try to keep the main focus on The Birth of Jesus.


Happy Thanksgiving Holiday

Heather —  November 28, 2009
This adorable little bundle (my nephew) did not even get any Turkey!

This adorable little bundle (my nephew) did not even get any Turkey!

Happy After-Thanksgiving! Aside from being sad that I did not see the cutie to the left in person, we have just had a blast. Pretty often, I have gotten stressed or depressed during holidays–trying to get everything just so and be perfect, etc. Lately, though, I have been more relaxed about just having some fun. (yes, I had to plan to be fun–can you tell I’m the bad cop around my house?)

For this Thanksgiving, that was the mood. I barely cleaned and had a blast working through a bunch of Thanksgiving activities with my kids. Yes, I was sneaky in order to have a good holiday “flow”–with four teenagers, one little and some girlie drama, I find it helps to go ahead and plan some fun, distracting activities!

My teenagers made Pilgrim Hats the night before Thanksgiving, and I let them eat them all…and sent them directly to bed. So, they thought I was wonderful…and I did not have to deal with the sugar rush:)

My 4 year old and I explored the Mayflower, thanks to some great links (see here for next year) I made myself not get up and “be busy” we made the Mayflower game and made our hats and did a pilgrim play….we even made little place cards using a dumb little Microsoft template. (I was going to make those edible napkin rings but I’m saving those for Christmas)

On the one hand, I am sorry we did not travel to see family, but on the other hand, we were able to relax and do some things we would not have done. The kids did nice cards to send to grandparents and really helped with the thanksgiving cooking (another nice thing about having older kids!) Note: every time we go out, I am making everyone use Purell from my purse before we get home. So far, we have been healthy, hoping that lasts!

The turkey actually turned out lovely and I made enough carbs to sink a ship…a big hit. My one son made the mashed potatoes, another the rolls…I let my daughter make something she wanted, which was not very Thanksgivingy–a pistachio marshmallow pudding thing. The color was awful!! It was funny though, and the kids had fun making fun of it, including her. We decided to use that at St. Patrick’s Day in the future. The Pecan Pie (I just use the simple one on the back of the Karo syrup–it is so good) & Pumpkin Pie Spectacular (from the recent issue of Southern Living –this was pretty but so rich–too rich) pushed everyone over the edge sugar wise, and we then crashed all over the house.

Now, I have to add that I usually do not cook so many things that are sugary and calorie laden…I called this Thanksgiving our last Hurrah. My husband does have a genetic liver condition that causes him to have gout (which is increasing…so my cooking for him will need to be designed with that in mind) and my four year old appears to have many allergies…so, my upcoming quest for Christmas is to prepare a lovely and mind-blowingly healthy Chritsmas meal. (Although I will still get my teens a secret honey baked ham–that is their favorite at Christmas)

chris&iThen, on Friday, instead of trying to shop, we took the kids on a family trek–we went to see the Luray Caverns. What an experience! I had never been inside a cave/underground, etc. I really thought it would be damp and dark and creepy. Instead, what I found was amazing–the air in the caverns was so fresh–weird! As we went on a tour, everything was lit up and we followed a very safe path–the stalagmites and stactites and “draperies” were incredible. I was so intrigued, that I am going to begin a course on geology with my kids soon.

jacqui in Luray

Then, the next day…which is today, we are sending most of our kids off to a local indoor waterpark for the day and husband and I and the little one plan to do…NOTHING!

Anyway, I hope everyone has a good, relaxing week. I pray for those who have had to deal with family drama over the Holiday (I know a bit about that, also…blended family here:) And, many “experts” say mixing up a family can take about 7 years before it is even comfortable to sit together in the living room. We laughed at that 7 years ago…but yikes…they were right.

So, things come and go and I find the older I get, the more I can trust in the Lord for all my parenting needs…so instead of yelling, I can pray. Instead of stressing, I can go hide in the bathroom…or…I as I am getting more boundaries–make my family go hide:)

My verse for Thanksgiving this year was an odd one, but one I love:

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we  trust in the name of the Lord our God.

They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.” Psalm 20:7-8

Free Holiday Idea Book

Heather —  November 5, 2009
Great For Christmas
Great For Christmas

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for The Tallest of Smalls, the New Childen’s Book from Max Lucado! I have three copies to give away:)

And, although I posted this the other day, I just now got a really good look at ALL the content. The ideas are wonderful! The document itself is 181 pages. It is full of Thanksgiving and Christmas crafts, recipes, devotions and lots more.

One of my favorite parts is on pages 25 and 26. These are November and December calendars with suggestions on getting ready for the holidays given for each date…but these Calendars also focus on adding family time and including Christ in Christmas, not just getting decorated and getting everything cooked!

Some other items in here:

  • Children’s stories
  • Children’s activities
  • Handmade Christmas gift ideas
  • Around 20 recipes!  (Some of which are geared to become Family Traditions)

I am loving the ebook. And it is great that it is free:) Here is the link again– I highly recommend taking a little time to look through this one! Just click here to get the download.

2009 Holiday Digital Supplement/Idea Book