a new blog home {as of 2013}

Okay, so it's finally ready. I have another new blog home: www.laurapanfilio.com {easy right}!?! 
You will find most of my posts there, a new look and fun things to come.

::click on over to my new blog home HERE::


 I'm very excited to be working in Wordpress and cannot thank the Blog Class {from Jones Design Company} for helping me make the switch. It has been more challenging than I expected...but good for my brain, my creativity and hopefully in the long run this will be a great switch for the future of my blog!


....Happy New Year...I am working on revamping my blog...so stay tuned for details...


...we've been busy...

with family, friends, trips & visitors 
& our new little elf...hoping to post more soon...but here are a few highlights from the past month!


...thanks for all you have done and will do...

*this handsome sailor is my Grandpa George back in the 1940's.  He was very proud to have served this country. He loved the USA*

Today on 11.11.11 I'm reminded of how extraordinarily grateful I am to those who have served & will continue to serve our nation...to protect our freedoms & our ideals...there are no words that can adequately convey our thanks.


October's greenVALENTINE challenge!

...consider buying your loved one's gifts that are consumable or that give back to someone or something else! 

This year (for Christmas & birthdays) we're trying to give gifts that express our love but also make less of an impact on landfills and clutter in our homes. Yes, some people find this impersonal, and I get that, but let's be honest...how many gifts do we get every year that just fill up our home with more stuff? Not that stuff is bad but I for one really do not need more of it (with the exception of a few things here or there)! 

Check out my ideas:

*Consumable Gift Ideas*

*HOMEMADE FOOD (such as jams, breads, nuts, cookies)
*CERTIFICATE for a SPECIAL CLASS (such as cooking, sewing, dance class or swim lessons)
*GIFT CARDS (for meals, clothing stores, grocery stores, movies, spa treatments, shows, events or even flowers)
*GOURMET GIFT BASKETS (chocolate treats for a chocoholic or for a friend with a special diet like celiac you could group together specialty gluten-free products)
*For KIDS: Bubbles, Chalk, Art Supplies, Stickers (one can rarely have enough of these things)

*Giving Back Gift Ideas*

*Have you heard about Operation Christmas Child from Samaritans Purse? Click on the link to check it out and look-up how it works and where you can drop off your box this year! Hurry because the deadline to drop off your box is in a few weeks. Our MOPS group is doing it this year as a fun way to give back and get our kids involved.  Maybe even consider giving a box in place of a gift for a family you know and on Christmas present them with a description of why you have a box in their name and a picture of what you put in the box and where it went.


*Do you know about LOVE146 yet? Their mission is to END CHILD SEX SLAVERY AND EXPLOITATION.  I learned about this organization at Blog Sugar and have not been able to get it off my mind. I'm going to purchase a few items in their store as gifts (most of the money goes back to their organization).  Check it out and be prepared to grab a tissue or two or twenty for this one.


*And of course there are two ways to give to Compassion right now. Year Round: Compassion is an organization that allows you to sponsor children all over the world in order to help them with basic physical (and spiritual) needs. You pay a monthly fee and are able to write letters back and forth and give extra money for their birthday's and Christmas if you can.  We have really enjoyed doing this and wanted to spread the word!  Check them out if you are considering a new way to give-back this year!  Right Now: Check out their Christmas Catalog (this video shows HOW IT WORKS):


And one more thought...if you have a baby or small child and are not sure what to get them for Christmas (because after all they are a baby and have no idea what is going on) consider looking up a Compassion child to sponsor by the birthday and gender of your child.  We did this for both the kids for their "Baby's 1st Christmas" gift and it has been fun watching other children grow up with their birthdays (even though they are not their age)! It's a nice way to have something in common with these beautiful children all over the world. Just something to consider as you make your lists!


...so what's it gonna be?

Trick or Treat?
  Here's to hoping you get a lot more Treats tomorrow & only a few tricks (like pretend spiders in your food)!  In case you are looking for some last-minute treat ideas...check this out:

Easy Halloween Party Food from Our Best Bites


Also, I made some Cake Pops last spring (inspired by an orange on a tea cup) but they could also double as pumpkins...so I thought I'd show you how I made them.  For the best source check out Bakerella and her video here:



They are a lot of steps but pretty cute, eh?  
 Here's how I packaged them...
(I'll show how I made them into place cards another day)!