Toad in the Hole

I love breakfast! So, I thought I'd pass on another family favorite breakfast recipe. We call it "Toad in a Hole," though I'm not entirely sure why.

All you do is cut a hole in the middle of a slice of bread & fry an egg inside. French bread is our favorite kind to use for this, but any kind works. If you like a harder yolk, just heat them on a little lower heat with a little longer time. Then, voila: fancy breakfast with ingredients that most of us always have on hand.

I regret to say that I don't have a photo of the Baked Apple French Toast. We all ate it so fast that I didn't have time to snag a photo (it's THAT good... seriously!). Hopefully next time. ;)

What are your family faves or your standard breakfasts?

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Twas the Night Before Christmas...

LOL! As I typed that blog entry, I wondered how many other blogs were title that today. :)

Today my family made our very first gingerbread house. It was quite an adventure. I bought the set (in a time crunch or I would have tried to make it) & thought it would be so fun for our kids. Well, my son threw a huge tantrum & didn't want to put any of the candy onto the house; he wanted to keep it in bowls. He was soon sent to his room until he could come out & be nice. My daughter loved helping, but loved eating everything more (there are half-eaten pieces of candy gracing the rooftop). And I got frustrated a few too many times with how my little dream of our family happily creating a gingerbread masterpiece. Oh well. Isn't that how life at home is most of the time? We spend a lot of time creating expectations of how things should go & what we want to accomplish, but in the end, the finished product turns out a lot better than we could ever hope for. I love this little messy house we made together because we made it together. It ended up that after everything was said & done, we all came together & had a fun time making our very first gingerbread house. I think we'll make it a Christmas Eve tradition (minus the yelling & time-outs).

Just wanted to type up a quick thank you to all of you for making our first holiday season so successful at CreatedByMom.com! It's been a pleasure working with you & we hope that you have a very, merry holiday & end your year happily! xoxo
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Manic Mama Monday Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Sarah Bray, our winner for last week's Manic Mama Monday Giveaway for a fairy princess tutu. Please email us at info@createdbymom.com to claim your prize.

If you haven't signed up for this week's giveaway, keep scrolling down...
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Holiday Brunch

How are all your holiday plans coming? We're getting really close to being ready for the holidays, but have some last minute shopping to get done. In particular, we're gifting our kids' underwear in their stockings to get them psyched to potty train over the holiday break DH has off work. I know; we are so cool to give underwear. ;)

Here's our family's favorite holiday brunch recipe. I want to post photos after Christmas morning & wondered about waiting to post the recipe until then, but it's too good to wait! Let me know if you try it & what you think!

Baked Apple French Toast with Caramel Sauce

1 loaf French bread, sliced in 1 ½ inch slices
6 eggs
1 ½ cups milk
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
6 medium apples, peeled and sliced (Fuji, Jonathan, or Granny Smith)
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 recipe Caramel Sauce (see below)

The night before serving, coat a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Layer bread slices on the bottom of the pan. Combine eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl; beat well and pour over bread slices. Place apple slices on top of bread. Sprinkle apples with cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake covered about 50 minutes, remove foil and bake 10 minutes more. Server toast hot, topped with Caramel Sauce. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Caramel Sauce

½ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup flour
½ cup butter, melted
½ cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until thick, stirring constantly.

p.s. winners of our tutu & flower wand giveaway will be announced later today... still time to enter if you'd like!
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Manic Monday Mama Giveaway

Yes. It is Monday again, but no need to despair. There is no better way to celebrate a Monday, especially one right before the upcoming holiday, than to get something for free! That's right people, I said free. Here at Created By Mom dot com, we like to call it Manic Monday Mama Giveaway. Since this week is so special, we decided to giveaway 2 prizes to 2 lucky winners. Keep reading for details on these great items (in no particular order).

Handle Baby Car Seat Cover

This is an especially great product for those mom's looking to keep their little ones cozy this winter. The cover is not only stylish, but completely unique because no two are made alike. The handle is reinforced with suede or leather to provide that extra security every mom wants.

Story Charm Bracelet

This is also an amazing product that you get to personalize and make your own with precious photos of those closest to you. The classic design makes it a perfect fit for anyone still on your holiday list.

To enter to win, please subscribe to follow this blog (especially so you can know if you won or not) & leave a comment below, telling us who this perfect gift would go to & why you would love it. Go ahead. Try it. You may just win!
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Top Christmas Gifts That Support Moms

It's been a busy day! Thanks to some help from a very good friend, we have now submitted our very first Press Release! Hooray! And we'd love for you all to check it out. You can Kirtsy it (http://www.kirtsy.com/story.php?title=Top_Christmas_Gifts_That_Support_Moms) or Digg it (http://digg.com/business_finance/Top_Christmas_Gifts_That_Support_Moms) (we'd love if you did both!). Thank you so much for your support with our premiere press release.

Also, if you've visited our home page lately, you may have seen this video. We wanted to post it here for your viewing pleasure also. The thought behind having a video is we wanting everyone's experience with CreatedByMom.com to be more personal. If you haven't already noticed, every product in CreatedByMom.com has mom information attached so you can read & see that there really is a real-life mom behind each product. Hope you all have a fabulous pre-holiday weekend!

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The Answer to the Big Question

Is CreatedByMom.com still shipping products to arrive before Christmas?

You bet we are!

Most of our mom-vendors are able to ship their unique products within 24 hours of the order being placed & will send the product 5-7 day ground free. We do also offer faster shipping methods that can be selected at checkout. It's not too late for last-minute shopping.

If you're like me, this is VERY reassuring - I haven't even got one present under the tree, let along Christmas cards sent or anything! Yikes! With Christmas less than a week away, guess I better get crackin'! Happy holidays to you!!!
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Toddler Bikes: How Do They Work?

A video is worth a thousand words, right? :) Whenever I've gone anywhere with a Boot Scoot Bike, the same questions are asked: "where are the pedals?," "how does it work?," & "how old can a child start riding?". Here's the answers & why I LOVE our Boot Scoot Bikes.
  1. Boot Scoot Bikes have no pedals
  2. Kids first learn to ride by walking the bike, then they start gaining confidence with balancing & lift up their feet to coast. After they're able to balance really successfully, they are able ride all over & will never need to use training wheels once they transition to a bike with pedals.
  3. Generally, you gauge your child's readiness by their inseam (at least 14"), but most kids are able to start around their 2nd birthday.
My son is now 3 & he's been riding his Boot Scoot Bike for over 6 months. The very first day we got his bike, he enjoyed walking with it. It had been a big fight to get him to enjoy his tricycle & other 3 wheel bikes, but he loved his Boot Scoot Bike immediately. And, he continues to love it now. I'm amazed at how the thrill hasn't worn off; if anything, he's even more excited to ride it now. I love what great exercise he gets whenever we're outside & he can ride his Boot Scoot Bike. He can spend great lengths of time riding & riding & riding. It's been a blast to watch.

Katie, the haute mama behind Boot Scoot Bikes, has two little boys & is pregnant with their third child. When she initially started her company, she only manufactured green & blue bikes. But, after hearing time & again that she should make them in pink, she is now also offering pink. Moms of girls know how important a pink option is, right? We're so excited to offer Boot Scoot Bikes at CreatedByMom.com! Thanks, Katie! xoxo
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Our Current Top 5 (10) Gifts at CreatedByMom.com

Don't you just love "Top 5" lists? Seriously they make life so much easier. I never thought I was that interested in keeping up with the crowd - & I still don't think I am - but Top 5 (or 10, 20, etc.) seem to be a really good indicator to see what products are worth quickly looking into further. So, without further ado, here's the current CreatedByMom.com Top 5 selling products:

1. Bella-Inspired Charm Bracelet
2. Multi-Colored Tutu
3. Twilight-Inspired Bella Bracelet Bookmark
4. Zoomer Toddler Bike
5. Super-Hero Capes

oh... okay, you pulled my arm enough... here's 5 more, to show our Top 10...

6. Drummer-Girl Cards
7. Story Charm Bracelet
8. Glitzy Glass Pendants
9. Tutu with Ribbon
10. Bella-Inspired Cell Phone Charm

Fun, huh? How's your holiday gifting going? Are you ready?
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Snow Day & Lots of New Mom-Vendors

It's snowing!!! We're in a Winter Wonderland today! My kids were sooooo excited. Their dad was equally excited to take them out sledding for their first time. I loved this photo of them looking out our front door at all the snow. The first thing they said when they woke up was "it's snowing!!"

We have a big "great room" in our upstairs that has 2-3 large windows on every wall but one. It's my favorite place to go when it's snowing because you can sit in the warmth, by the fire, & watch all the snow as it falls around you. If I didn't have work to do, I would go sit up there & read a book today while the kids are gone.

My brother plows snow in the winter, so he's VERY happy it's snowing today & is already off to work. This storm is supposed to stick around for a few days, so my brother might be plowing through the night with few breaks for the next little while. But, that's the life of a snow plower, I guess. He's just bummed because his radio is broken & he'll have to plow without it... bummer. That's got to be boring.

Man, so many exciting things are happening at CreatedByMom.com! If you haven't checked out our New section lately, you'll want to take a look.

Cheeky & Swank has added a TON of fun new items to the store - my favorite would have to be the Commy Cap (read the product description; I think it's hilarious); her blankets are to die for, also, as they are gorgeous & super-soft.

Also, we just got a new, chic jewelry designer in the store, Sarah's Unique Designs. She's got a really fun style & has made lots of treasures that are especially fun for the holiday season.

Another new mom-vendor we're soooo excited to have, is Tender Moments. This mom makes the most beautiful, handmade creations. Right now she put two pairs of newborn baby booties in the store that would be the perfect additon to your baby's special day.

And - oh my goodness - we're thrilled to welcome Candy Argyle to CreatedByMom.com, also. She's got a really fresh, funky design to her handmade fabric creations. They are super hip; fun & very functional.

Thank you for supporting CreatedByMom.com & helping us welcome these fabulous moms to the scene! Hope you have a beautiful day!
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The Other Side of the Story

I know it's crazy, but as my kids watch their favorite cartoons, I think about the part of the story that isn't shown on the screen. I guess it's my entertainment so my mind doesn't go numb from the monotony of hearing the same theme songs every day while I'm doing a little housework. Do you do this too? I bet I'm not alone. Recently on Twitter a few of us were confessing how we rock out to theme songs on our kids favorite TV shows.

My kids LOVE SuperWhy. They want to watch it every morning. I've often wondered what the kids' parents think of them running off all the time without telling them they're going. Also, who gave them their "super dooper computers" and their fancy smart phones? They seem kinda young for such high tech electronics, & don't even get me started on the "why flyers" (they don't even watch where they're flying most of the time!). But, SuperWhy has the BEST music & dancing of any show. ;)

As my kids were watching Clifford I started to wonder what the "Clifford the Big Red Dog Goes to the Vet" episode would look like. Or I've wondered who gets to pick up the ginormous piles of poop that surely must come from such a big dog.

Do you do this too? What shows have you found a hilarious other side of the story for? I can't wait to hear!
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Manic Monday Mama Giveaway

First of all, a BIG congratulations to Jenna who won our last giveaway. Email us (info at createdbymom dot com) to claim your prize.

Want to win the perfect gift for your little girl? Imagine the glee as she unwraps this beautiful blue & purple tutu. Then, when she sees the adorable fairy flower wand that comes with, you will have the happiest little fairy princess on the planet.

This week's Manic Monday Mama Giveaway is sponsored by haute mama, Jennifer, owner of The Flower Girls. To enter to win, please subscribe to follow this blog (especially so you can know if you won or not) & leave a comment below, telling us who this perfect gift would go to & why you would love it.
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