Tag Archives: Christmas

Ebates…A Way to Make Money While Doing Your Holiday Shopping

Thanksgiving just came and left.  There were so many things to be grateful for, especially my wonderful family. 

Even my sister from San Diego (www.sandwichemporium.com) and my cousin from the Philippines were able to celebrate the festivities with us.

During the visit my cousin told me about a wonderful site called Ebates.com.  It is a shopping portal that gives you cash back for shopping at major retailers like Toys R Us, Macys, Dell Computer, Target to name a few.

Since this is now the gift giving season of Christmas and Hanukkah, discovering this site was such a blessing.  I am planning to buy gifts for those I love, so why not make and save a few extra bucks while buying the items I was already going to purchase?

So far I have made $41 cash back from items that I bought in the last couple of days.

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

 There are still a few people on my Christmas list so I know I will be going back to Ebates again!

Soon there will be presents under our Christmas tree from Santa Claus and the family!

Happy Holidays!

(Note: Ebates did not ask me to mention them in my blog.  I added them on because I think it’s great to get cash back!)

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back




Massimo’s Favorite Gift from Santa Was a Yoyo and Gifts You Give Young Kids


I mentioned a few days ago how we took a vintage train to the North Pole. 

When we were on the train we were entertained by our own personal elf named Manny Mistletoe.  One of the questions Manny asked all the kids before Santa came on board was , “What was your favorite gift that Santa gave you?”

I was so shocked when most of the kids who were in the ages 4-7 year old range yelled that they received an Apple ITouch and IPad.

A huge sense of relief and smile in my heart came over me when my 5 year old son Massimo excitedly and proudly said, “I got a Yoyo!”   His joy over such a cheap an simple gift really stood out.


Growing up I was reared in a home with a lot of excess and I sometimes acted out if I did not get what I wanted.  (I mention it in a past post where I had a melt down in a popular toy store.)  I was happy, but looking back on it as an adult I really feel that I did not need all that stuff.  

Now that Michael and I have our own kids we are determined to bring them up having things, but in a more Spartan way so that they are able to enjoy the items they do receive.

If I got Massimo an Ipad this year what would he want next year?  A laptop or a flat screen television?  Like most kids his age he only plays with something for a while until he moves on.  Also, often his favorite “toys” are the ones he creates.

My kids are still young so I can guide and control what they want at this stage of their life.  Eventually they too will want the electronic gadgets and gizmos, but I really am hoping I will be spared till their teenage years.

I know that I will keep the quote below handy when my kids start asking me for stuff and I do not deliver!


Have a great day!

Inspiring Quotation of the Week on Getting What You Want

Since Christmas just ended and today is the last day of Hanukkah, I thought about putting a quote about getting what you want. 

There were many who exchanged and received gifts this holiday season.

My favorite quote of the weeks is…..


Have a great day!

Being A Tourist In Your Own Backyard–The Essex Steam Train and Visiting Santa Claus in the North Pole

Yesterday was December 26, the day after Christmas. 

Once again we decided to be “tourists in our own backyard”. 

We have tried to pass on our love for traveling to our boys by exposure. Both kids got their passports before they could sit up and roll over. Aside from going overseas we have really tried to make our kids appreciate their local surroundings.

We are firm believers that if you can’t love and enjoy where you are living right now, how can you truly appreciate life and visiting abroad? We often find ourselves “playing tourist in our own backyard” and I mention it frequently in other posts.

 We took the 45 minute drive from New Haven to Essex to ride on a vintage steam train to the North Pole.


It was an awesome cabaret ride filled with sing-a-long Christmas caroling, a visit from the elves, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus. essex2essex

Each train cart had their assigned elf who gives gifts, candies, cookies and cocoa.  Our elf, Manny Mistletoe, kept us entertained with songs and games.


The action not only happens in the train, but the night skies shows homes in their lighted, decorated glory and from a distance you will even see Santa Claus and his reindeers.



Yesterday was a magical moment not only for the kids, but all the adults who were able to relive the awe of “believing” in Santa Claus, his elves and the magic of Christmas.

If you just allowed yourself to escape and let your imagination wander you were truly transported to the North Pole.

Goodbye Christmas!  See you again next year!

Have a wonderful day!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Connecticut

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

While we were asleep guess who came to our house? 

This was a picture before Santa came and there are still no gifts under the tree.   Massimo is holding the flashlight and mini-vacuum that Santa gave him from Christmas’ of years past.


We did not see the big guy in red, but my kids woke up extra early this morning because they said they heard a “Ho ho ho” and then they saw gifts under the tree!


Merry Christmas!  Happy Holidays!

If you still haven’t had a chance to check out my new holiday book, “Christmas without Chimneys as Told by Ted the Elf Who Can’t Keep Secrets” remember today is the perfect time to read it.

Christmas Cover

It is exclusively being sold at Amazon.com for $0.99. For under a Dollar you will be entertained and told about Santa’s deepest secrets. (Or you will be granting my Christmas wish of selling at least one copy!)

(Click this: Even if you do not have a Kindle Reader you can purchase the book. Amazon has free app readers that you can put on your computer, Ipads or smart phones.)