Poll: Should Kids Have Chores?

Let us know what you think in comments!

Tech Tips

How to Delete All of Your Excess Gmail Email to Free-Up Space

Gmail fills up fast, especially when you’re using it as a secondary email to sign up for freebies!

If you don’t have a freebie email address, I highly recommend you get one free at Gmail. For all my recommendations, check out this post on Getting Started – Top 8 Tips to Get Real Free Stuff

Here’s how to delete all of your Gmail E-Mails by Category:

Delete All Gmail Emails by Category

  1. Open your Gmail account
  2. Find the Search Box at top of screen
  3. Type in category:promotions and click the search magnifier to begin search
  4. Check the box to Select All
  5. Then, click the link at top that says “Select all conversations that match this search”- this will select ALL emails (not just the emails on that page). Note: this will not be an option if you have only one page of results.
  6. Click the delete icon to delete all (this may take a few minutes)
  7. Empty your trash (note: this will permanently delete all of the emails you just removed – so proceed with caution)

Other Gmail Categories you can search & delete using steps above:

  • category:promotions
  • category:social
  • category:updates
  • category:forums

Other tips for quick deletion:

  • To increase the number of results displayed per page on Gmail, click the GEAR icon on right side of page, then click SETTINGS and change Maximum page size: Show XXX conversations per page (choose a number up to 100)
  • To change which tabs are shown (or to remove tabs in Gmail): click the GEAR icon on right side of page, then click CONFIGURE INBOX and select – or deselect – the category tabs you want displayed



Is Santa Real? How to Break the News of Santa


Last night my daughter asked me if Santa was real.

I’ve been dreading this conversation almost as much as the one we’ll have about the birds and the bees.

This isn’t the first time she’s asked. She caught me this past year as the Tooth Fairy. Side note: when I posted on Facebook that I didn’t know who felt worse when my daughter heard the news about the Tooth Fairy my dad replied, “is the Tooth Fairy okay?”  lol!

In the past, I’ve tried breaking the news by focusing on what is real about Santa: the magic he brings to our sometimes drab world. We talked about how the Holidays transform people into loving, caring beings – people who may otherwise get stuck and be self-focused. I’m not saying people are bad, because I don’t believe they are. I think when people are self-absorbed, it’s because they have so much distraction – so much going on in their lives. Myself included.

So, I focused on what is real about Santa. While a fat man in a red suit may not break into your house late at night every year, the joy of secretly giving a gift – no matter how big or small – which will brighten someone’s day… That is real. The excitement of sneaking an anonymous gesture or present, to bring big smiles to kids young and old… That is real. Giving selflessly of yourself in a totally anonymous way, and restoring someone’s faith in humanity by doing so… That is real. Watching your beloved babies in wonderment over an age-old tradition, preparing them for a life of generosity and giving… That is real.

And that’s what it’s all about, in our home: Giving. Whether it’s gift giving, giving of yourself, servitude toward fellow human beings or animals, charitable contributions – we do it all and we do it with love. And, with no strings attached.

I hate to have her be the last one of her friends who thinks Santa is real. I commended her for being so loyal to her beliefs, and assured her that she wasn’t wrong to believe. The spirit of what Santa Claus means is really what is about. And that feeling is as real as it gets.

So, when my daughter asked me if Santa really comes down the chimney to deliver presents on Christmas Eve, I reluctantly answered. I had so hoped for one more Christmas with Santa.

I told her I hoped this wouldn’t change how she felt about Christmas. We talked about the true meaning of Christmas for us: the birth of Jesus, who we also can’t see but believe in. She said, “Mom, what if He isn’t real either?!?” I reassured that we believe He is real, and we live our life trying to be good because of it of our beliefs. So, no matter what, being a good person is a good thing. Same as Santa, the things we do because of him are good… Whether there’s a fat guy in a red suit, or not.

I tearfully told her that when she has children of her own, she will finally, truly know how I have felt being her personal Santa. She will see the wonder in their eyes, and know the joy I’ve had (and will continue to have) having her as my daughter.

She was disappointed, and we cried together.  I cried not because I’d been “caught”, but rather because another innocence of childhood has now passed.

Later, I told my sister what happened.  Years ago it was I who broke the news to her daughter, my niece. Ironically, we had almost the same conversation, right down to questioning whether Jesus is real!  My sister shared an idea she saw online about how to make the transition from believing in Santa.  I love it so much because it suits our family perfectly. I hope you love it too!

The Secret of Being a Santa

In our family, we have a special way of transitioning the kids from receiving from Santa to becoming a Santa. This way, the Santa construct is not a lie that gets discovered, but an unfolding series of good deeds and Christmas spirit.

When they are 6 or 7, whenever you see that dawning suspicion that Santa may not be a material being, that means the child is ready.

I take them out “for coffee” at the local wherever. We get a booth, order our drinks and the following pronouncement is made: “You sure have grown an awful lot this year. Not only are you taller, but I can see that your heart as grown too. [Point out 2-3 examples of empathetic behavior, consideration of people’s feelings, good deeds, etc., the kid has done in the past year.] In fact, your heart has grown so much that I think you are ready to become a Santa Claus.

You probably have noticed that most of the Santas you see are people dressed up like him. Some of your friends might have even told you that there is no Santa. A lot of children think that because they aren’t ready to BE a Santa yet, but YOU are.

Tell me the best thing about Santa. What does Santa get for all of his trouble? [lead the kid from “cookies” to the good feeling of having done something for someone else.] Well, now YOU are ready to do your first job as Santa!” Make sure you maintain the proper conspiratorial tone.

We then have the child choose someone they know — a neighbor, usually. The child’s mission is to secretly, deviously, find out something that the person needs and then provide it, wrap it, deliver it — and never reveal to the target where it came from. Being a Santa isn’t about getting credit, you see. It’s unselfish giving.

My oldest chose the “witch lady” on the corner. She was really horrible – had a fence around the house and would never let the kids go in and get a stray ball or Frisbee. She’d yell at them to play quieter, etc. A real pill. He noticed that when we drove to school that she came out every morning to get her paper in bare feet, so he decided she needed slippers. So then he had to go spy and decide how big her feet were. he hid in the bushes one Saturday, and decided she was a medium. We went to Kmart and bought warm slippers. He wrapped them up, and tagged it “Merry Christmas from Santa.” After dinner one evening, he slipped down to her house, and slid the package under her driveway gate. The next morning, we watched her waddle out to get the paper, pick up the present and go inside. My son was all excited, and couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. The next morning, as we drove off, there she was, out getting her paper — wearing the slippers. He was ecstatic. I had to remind him that NO ONE could ever know what he did, or he wouldn’t be a Santa.

Over the years, he chose a good number of targets, always coming up with a unique present just for them. One year, he polished up his bike, put a new seat on it, and gave it to one of our friend’s daughters. These people were and are very poor. We did ask the dad if it was ok. The look on her face, when she saw the bike on the patio with a big bow on it, was almost as good as the look on my son’s face.

When it came time for Son #2 to join the ranks, my oldest came along, and helped with the induction speech. They are both excellent gifters, by the way, and never felt that they had been lied to – because they were let in on the Secret of Being a Santa.

Source: Imgur

Money Advice

TAX Guide: How Long To Keep Documents



How long do I have to keep personal financial records before shredding?

The length of time you should keep a document depends on the action, expense, or event the document records. Generally, you must keep your records that support an item of income or deductions on a tax return until the period of limitations for that return runs out.

The period of limitations is the period of time in which you can amend your tax return to claim a credit or refund, or that the IRS can assess additional tax. The below information contains the periods of limitations that apply to income tax returns. Unless otherwise stated, the years refer to the period after the return was filed. Returns filed before the due date are treated as filed on the due date.

Note: Keep copies of your filed tax returns. They help in preparing future tax returns and making computations if you file an amended return.

Period of Limitations that apply to income tax returns

  1. You owe additional tax and situations (2), (3), and (4), below, do not apply to you; keep records for 3 years.
  2. You do not report income that you should report, and it is more than 25% of the gross income shown on your return; keep records for 6 years.
  3. You file a fraudulent return; keep records indefinitely.
  4. You do not file a return; keep records indefinitely.
  5. You file a claim for credit or refund* after you file your return; keep records for 3 years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.
  6. You file a claim for a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction; keep records for 7 years.
  7. Keep all employment tax records for at least 4 years after the date that the tax becomes due or is paid, whichever is later.

The following questions should be applied to each record as you decide whether to keep a document or throw it away.

Are the records connected to assets?  Keep records relating to property until the period of limitations expires for the year in which you dispose of the property in a taxable disposition. You must keep these records to figure any depreciation, amortization, or depletion deduction and to figure the gain or loss when you sell or otherwise dispose of the property.

Generally, if you received property in a nontaxable exchange, your basis in that property is the same as the bases of the property you gave up, increased by any money you paid. You must keep the records on the old property, as well as on the new property, until the period of limitations expires for the year in which you dispose of the new property in a taxable disposition.

What should I do with my records for nontax purposes? When your records are no longer needed for tax purposes, do not discard them until you check to see if you have to keep them longer for other purposes. For example, your insurance company or creditors may require you to keep them longer than the IRS does.

Source:  IRS small biz and IRS individual


GimmieBlog How To - General

How to Dispose of Prescription Medication


How to Dispose of Prescription Medication

How does your medicine cabinet look? Do you have expired medications or medications you no longer use and have no plans on ever using again? How should you dispose of these medications? Knowing how to properly dispose of unused medication will help keep it from accidentally being taken by someone other than the person for whom the medicine was prescribed. Is it safe to throw them out in the trash or flush them down the toilet?  Learn about the proper ways to dispose of those medications you’ve got cluttering up your medicine cabinets!

BEST Option: Prescription Drop Offs
Some law enforcement offices and pharmacies are collecting unwanted medicines from residents until a permanent statewide program is in place. To find a temporary drop-off program near you, click here. You can also call local government household trash and recycling services in your area to ask if there are any drop offs near you.


Bad idea #1: Throwing medicine in the trash is a bad idea. Even mixing medicines with coffee grounds or kitty litter before throwing them in the trash will NOT prevent drug theft.

“Unused prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold…. Take back programs are the best way to dispose of old drugs.”  – DEA, April 30

Furthermore, trashing old medicine won’t keep children and pets safe from accidentally finding it and ingesting it, as some may assume. And, medicines that make it to landfills can be toxic to people and wildlife. Even medicine that decompose and emit low-levels of drugs can be harmful.

Bad idea #2: Crushing medicine before throwing in the trash is a bad idea.Trying to crush pills can expose you to the drug through contact (via skin or inhaling).

Bad idea #3:  Flushing medicine down the toilet or down the drain.  Putting dangerous drugs into our sewer systems can pollute our waters. This can harm fish and other aquatic life, contaminating our food and water supplies. Most medicine are not removed by wastewater treatment plants or septic systems.

Scientists have found medicines in surface, ground and marine waters as well as soils and sediments in the Pacific Northwest.  Even at very low levels, medicines in the environment hurt aquatic life.

Even non-prescription “over the counter” medicine must be disposed of carefully. While the threat of drug addicts stealing it from your trash aren’t there, if it’s expired or otherwise harmful you don’t want it to get into the wrong hands. And, it’s not something that we need seeping into our waters or poisoning our wildlife!

Source: Take Back Your Meds


GimmieBlog Recipes

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream Pudding ~ Only 3 Ingredients! |

homemade ice cream

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream Pudding ~ Only 3 Ingredients! |

I love homemade ice cream, but I hate how much work it is to make it!!  I can honestly say this is the easiest ice cream ever. If you want vanilla, it’s just two ingredients! Chocolate adds one more. Quick, easy, and sooooo yummy!

See it on Instagram!

The idea struck me to use dry instant pudding mix when ransacking my cupboard and not finding anything else that looked good. We had chocolate ice cream in the freezer, but that’s no fun. I wanted to make dessert with my little girl. Editor’s note: even though it literally took two minutes to mix up a batch, she still bailed on me. Ha, joke’s on her! I didn’t share. 😛

Repin on Pinterest!

I used my KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment because I have one, and I love it. No rock salt or anything needed with it. It’s pretty easy to use.  I also like to do things with reckless abandon, so I didn’t look up how to actually use it. I did read the manual the first time, but that was at least a year ago and I can’t remember what I did this morning. So, yeah, you should check your own ice cream maker’s manual for best results.

As for the value, the pudding package has a tag on it that says 49¢ and the sweetened condensed milk was 69¢ (off brand, probably from a “crash and dent” grocery store).  If you add in the milk, I still spent well under $1.50 for the whole pint of ice cream.  This stuff is better than Talenti which costs about $6 per pint!


GimmieBlog How To - General Tech Tips

WOW! See EVERYTHING You’ve Done on Facebook in One Place


WOW! See EVERYTHING You’ve Done on Facebook in One Place

Easily track your buying and selling on Facebook garage sale groups. Effortlessly find videos you’ve watched, or pictures you’ve posted. You can even revisit a comment you made, or something someone commented on your pictures or posts.  Don’t wait for Facebook to remind you of your memories, give this awesome Facebook hack a try!

What can you do?

  • I was searching for photos on Facebook, and found them easily in Activity Log > Photos and then selected the date/year. I compiled them into Facebook photo albums, such as all of my daughter’s Halloween costumes, each of her first day of school photos, and birthdays. So fun! And, handy to have them in one place now!
  • Have you ever watched a video on Facebook and wanted to show it to someone later, but couldn’t find it?  You can get there in a snap! Go to your Activity Log and click Videos Watched
  • Trying to sell something in multiple Facebook garage sale groups, but can’t find all you posted to? You can see all your group activity in Activity Log > Groups
  • Can find a post you liked? Activity Log > Likes
  • Want to show someone a post you’ve hidden? Activity Log > Posts You’ve Hidden
  • And so much more! Your Facebook Activity log shows you: Your posts, posts you’re tagged in, posts by others, posts you’ve hidden, photos, likes, comments, about, friends, life events, music, news, video, games, books, products, notes, videos watched, following, groups, events, questions, search, saved.

How do you access Activity Log?

  • Easy! Click the down arrow on Facebook’s top menu bar and click Activity Log
  • You may need to click MORE under Photos, Likes, Comments… to see all the options


Did you know? You can also back up your Facebook profile to save all your pictures and to your computer!

GimmieBlog Recipes

Top 5 Super Bowl Recipes! Tasty Barbecue & Beverages

Big Cats Food Pairings

Check out these AWESOME Super Bowl recipes that will make your party rock!

The Golden Gate

The Golden Gate1.25 oz. Bulleit Rye
0.5 oz. blackberry syrup
2 dashes bitters
Add ingredients to an ice-filled rocks glass. Stir and serve.




Keep Pounding Punch

Keep Pounding Punch

Serves 25

*recipe created by Kevin Deidrich
750 ml. Bottle of George Dickel Rye
10 oz. Lemon Juice
5 oz. Ginger Syrup
15 oz. Sparkling Water
7 tbsp. Simple Syrup
Muddled Raspberries
Muddled Mint leaves

Mix ingredients in punch bowl, add muddled fruits, chill and serve with ice.


Dab On ‘Em Wings

Dab on 'Em WingsIngredients:

.3 cup Crown Royal Canadian Whisky®
.3 cup Honey
.25 cup Soy sauce
2 Tablespoons Thai chili sauce
1 packet (0.75-ounce) stir-fry seasoning
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
4 pounds chicken wing drumettes
3 scallions (green onions), finely chopped (optional)
.25 cup chopped peanuts (optional)

In a large bowl, combine whisky, honey, soy sauce, chili sauce, stir-fry seasoning, and garlic. Add drumettes, tossing to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in refrigerator for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.

Set up grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat. Oil grate when ready to start cooking. Let drumettes stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Place on hot, oiled grill. Cook for 12 to 18 minutes or until cooked through, turning occasionally. Transfer chicken to a platter. Sprinkle with chopped scallions and peanuts (optional).


Orange Crush Punch

Orange Crush PunchServes 6

9 oz. CAPTAIN MORGAN® Coconut Rum
9 oz. Orange juice
6 oz. Cranberry juice
3 oz. Ruby red grapefruit juice

Combine all ingredients including Captain Morgan Coconut Rum in a pitcher and stir.


Bucking BBQ Bites

Bucking Bacon Bites*recipe created by George Johnson from The Comfort of Cooking

Chicken Recipe

Nonstick cooking spray
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
8 oz. (half pound) bacon, cut into thirds
1/2 cup Spicy Sweet BBQ Sauce (recipe below)

Instructions: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Wrap each chicken piece with a small strip of bacon. Secure with a toothpick and place on the baking sheet. Brush with BBQ sauce. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven, brush bites with more BBQ sauce, and return to oven. Bake for 15 more minutes. Serve warm.

Sauce Recipe:

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup chile sauce
1/2 cup Captain Morgan® Original Spiced Rum
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon ground dry mustard
Ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, or until thickened as desired. Stir occasionally. Use immediately as you wish, or store in refrigerator until ready to use.


Love these Super Bowl Recipes? Repin to save!


GimmieBlog Recipes

Bacon, Egg & Potato Breakfast Bites Recipe

bacon egg potato bites_hero

Bacon, Egg & Potato Breakfast Bites Recipe

Muffin Pan Recipes are super popular, but this one is a little different. Rather than fork a bunch of chopped up stuff into a tin, you’re using big chunks (almost whole!) Like other bite-size meals made in muffin pans, they’re a great size and you can store them in the refrigerator for up to a week, then pop them in the microwave for a few seconds and take them to go!

Check out these yummy and EASY breakfast bites your whole family will love! You can substitute different ingredients too. Try with bacon or sausage, and add in more or different veggies. Get creative!

With just 3 main ingredients (you can add more if you’d like), these are the easiest and tastiest breakfast!


Bacon, Egg & Potato Breakfast Bites Recipe
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Author: Wendy
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
Get creative with your muffin pan and stop chopping! Use whole ingredients for an even easier take on this popular bake. Tasty and easy! Great to make ahead too! Just 3 ingredients!
  • 6 potatoes, cut in half with a small section removed (I used a melon baller)
  • 12 eggs
  • 12 strips of bacon
  • peppers or veggies of choice (optional)
  1. Spray pan with non-stick spray
  2. Line pan with strip of bacon to form edge
  3. Set prepared potato inside
  4. Crack egg and carefully fill remainder of muffin well (hole)
  5. Salt and pepper to taste
  6. Bake at 425 for 30 minutes or until potato is fork-tender


bacon egg potato bites


GimmieBlog Recipes

Birthday Cake Puppy Chow Recipe + Chex Coupon

Birthday Cake Puppy Chow

Birthday Cake Puppy Chow

For those of you who do not know what Puppy Chow is, it is a yummy treat that is extremely EASY to make. It takes no time and you only need a few ingredients. While many people do many different things with their puppy chow, also referred to as muddy buddies, the main ingredients you’ll find in most of the puppy chow recipes are powdered sugar, Rice Chex cereal, and melted chocolate.

$0.75 off one Chex Cereal Printable Coupon

This birthday cake puppy chow recipe has a few extra ingredients to give it that birthday cake feel. It is perfect for parties, get togethers, or  just any occasion where you want to throw something together super quick.

Like it? RePIN it on Pinterest!

Here’s how to make Birthday Cake Puppy Chow:

You will need the following ingredients (you can find the measurements listed below on the recipe): Rice Chex cereal, White Chocolate Chips, Powdered Sugar, Birthday Cake flavored Cake Mix (OR yellow or funfetti cake mix), and sprinkles.


First, you’ll combine the powdered sugar and cake mix in a large container that also has a lid (this will make things very easy later on).

Cake Mix Sugar

Set the powdered sugar/cake mix mixture aside, and in a separate bowl, melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave. You can follow the instructions that came with your chocolate chips on melting it, or if it doesn’t have any, microwave the chocolate chips for 1 minute and then stir them. After that, you’ll keep microwaving the chocolate chips in 15 second intervals and stirring after each time until they’re all melted.

melted chocolate

Once you have your melted chocolate, get 5 cups of the Rice Chex cereal and pour it into the melted chocolate (or you can pour the chocolate over the cereal. whichever is easier for you. Also, if you find the chocolate is too thick add a little shortening or melted butter). Mix gently until all of the cereal is coated in white chocolate.


Once your is cereal is all coated, fold in the sprinkles.


Add the coated cereal to the powdered sugar/cake mix mixture you made first. Put the lid on the container and shake, shake, shake!! Get all the cereal coated. NOTE: You could also do this in a ziplock bag if you prefer that over a container.

shake shake shake

Once you have all of the cereal coated, you’re done! Time to enjoy!

puppy chow


Make it BETTER with Printable Coupons!