Thursday, January 31, 2013

Disney Linky

Since we are saving for our Disneyworld trip (that we *hope* to take next winter) it has me in a Disney mood. I would love to read your Disney posts - so please feel free to link them up here!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Madly Madagascar - Valentine's Day e-card

Check out this cute Valentine's Day e-card available featuring the lovable Alex the Lion!

Save to your computer and then you can email it to your valentine(s)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Big Boy Bed

Big Boy Bed
someone moved to a big boy bed this weekend! This is his first time sleeping in his bed!

Monday, January 28, 2013

How I get my kids to eat dinner

I often hear complaints from parents about how picky their children are when it comes to food that they will eat. I must say, hubby and I are pretty lucky because our two little boys are not REALLY picky. Sure, they have their moments where they don't want to eat what was made for supper (which almost always ends with them eating it – I don’t serve them food I KNOW they don’t like – I insist they eat at least 2 bites of everything on their plates and then they generally finish it off, I will make them a sandwich if they follow through with my request and STILL insist they don’t like it) That' tricks, no bribes. I fully believe that kids are capable of deciding when they have had enough. I don't buy into finishing your plate, or eating more dinner to have dessert. We simply eat until we are satisfied.

They both eat a wide variety of foods (including fruits AND vegetables!); my biggest challenge is coming up with new ideas. Chicken and pasta are 2 of my favorite meals, so I am always on the lookout for new chicken recipes to try out. We do get tired of eating the same flavors over and over, so if I can change it up and add in a new recipe every few weeks - the boys (hubby included) are thrilled to be my taste testers! What I love is when I find a recipe for pasta WITH chicken!  I also tend to make larger amounts than what is needed, so we have leftovers in the fridge. That way, I only end up cooking 4 or 5 dinners a week instead of 7.

What about you? What are some of your favorite meals?

Tales of Mommyhood's Monday Giveaway Linky

Feel free to list any of your open giveaways here on Tales of Mommyhood and enter some as well.

(please make sure to add which countries the giveaway is open to)

National Blueberry Pancake Day

I may be Canadian, but I would love to help Americans celebrate National Blueberry Pancake Day - today, January 28. Blueberry pancakes are a hit at my house, and I will be making some for my boys today!

Are you a blueberry pancake fan? What's your favorite way to eat them - I like mine with just butter.


New Survey Reveals Blueberry Pancakes Are Not Just For Breakfast Anymore
WATSONVILLE, CA, January 24 -- Driscoll’s, growers of Only the Finest Berries™, is set to celebrate National Blueberry Pancake Day on January 28th and is inviting Americans to do the same. A new, online study reveals Americans are enjoying blueberry pancakes in a variety of fun and surprising ways. In fact, more than 82% of survey respondents agree that a stack of fluffy pancakes with plump, juicy blueberries is not just for breakfast anymore. Respondents admit they’ve enjoyed blueberry pancakes for lunch or dinner. It also appears that National Blueberry Pancake Day is growing into a full-blown celebration of all things blueberry.

That’s not surprising, since the most recent Nielsen data confirms that on a yearly basis, 36% of American households consume fresh blueberries, totaling approximately 247 million pounds per year. That’s an average of six pounds of delicious, fresh blueberries per person. Driscoll’s strives to deliver the freshest, best-tasting and highest quality berries year ‘round by partnering with independent farmers throughout the world in regions carefully selected for their soil, climate and other environmental factors.

“Every day should be National Blueberry Pancake Day,” said Frances Dillard, Director of Marketing, Driscoll’s. “Pancakes are an American favorite, and incorporating blueberries adds flavor and boosts nutrition. Loaded with antioxidants, blueberries are a super food powerhouse,” she added.

More than 3,000 berry lovers participated in Driscoll’s online survey and revealed these insights:

• 98% of those surveyed agree pancakes should be called pancakes – that’s a “no” to flapjacks, hot cakes, griddlecakes, short stacks and silver dollars.
• 66% want their blueberry pancakes topped with syrup/honey while only 18% prefer butter.
• 43% prefer bacon as their favorite side. Sausage was a far second, favored only by 19% of the survey participants.
• Driscoll’s berry lovers would most like to share a plate of blueberry pancakes with the crew at ABC’s Good Morning America, and more than 46% would like Rachael Ray to make their blueberry pancakes.

While buttermilk blueberry pancakes are tops with most pancake lovers, whole wheat blueberry pancakes and even gluten-free blueberry pancakes were named as favorites in the survey. Driscoll’s offers a variety of blueberry pancake recipes at Here, visitors can choose from a variety of pancakes to celebrate National Blueberry Pancake Day including Lemon Ricotta Blueberry Pancakes
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About Driscoll’s, Only the Finest Berries:
Driscoll's is a fourth generation, family-owned company that has been involved in berry farming for more than 100 years. As the leading provider of fresh and organic berries, Driscoll’s works with independent farmers to produce the highest-quality strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries in the world, in an effort to continually delight all berry consumers. Driscoll's is the preferred berry partner of some of America’s leading chefs and culinary institutions.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How to make snow at home

My hubby was watching the evening news and saw a neat segment from the weather man. It was talking about the extreme cold temperatures we have been having, and that it is great for "making" your own snow outside.

You take a cup of boiling water and throw it in the air; the extreme temperature difference causes it to to turn to "snow" and then you end up with a whole lot of steam.  As soon as he saw this, he wanted to show the boys so we started our activity.

hubby "making" snow - our first attempt

The next time, we tried adding food colouring to the water, but it didn't show up. It did, however, stain the ground/snow with the green!

our 2nd attempt, with the food colouring - although you can't tell

It was really neat to see, and the kids had a lot of fun. Just make sure that it is an adult doing it because of the boiling water!
ETA: Also - please make sure you are not doing it on a windy day, and make sure to throw it AWAY from you. I have just been reading lots of people have been burning themselves by throwing it on windy days

Wordless Wednesday - Skating Lessons

Mr. J enjoying his first skating lesson of this season!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - Review

Every time my husband and I have to start thinking about our mortgage renewal, I get a little stressed. I always hope that the rate we get will be the same or lower (for all my loyal readers, you know that I am all about saving money and getting the best deal I can – our mortgage is no different) but the fear of an increase is always there.

In the past I didn't know how to go about finding the best rate, but now I do. offers a great comparison tool for finding the best mortgage rate.  In 30 seconds, I had entered in the required information and was provided with the best rates for mortgages in my province, listed from lowest to highest.  You can then click on each one to check out the details.

When you are entering your information you can choose what type of mortgage you are looking for (closed, fixed, variable; you can even change the amortization term)

Not in the market for a mortgage? You can also compare rates on credit cards and insurance companies.

Are you thinking it will be difficult to use because you don't know the lingo? Don't worry, they have a glossary of terms right on the website, a help center which describes the differences between the types of mortgages and other information which you need to know (closing costs for house purchases etc) and a 1-888 number to call for help with mortgage and credit card information. In addition to the useful information on the site, they have a blog filled with other financial information and you can subscribe to their monthly newsletter, to help keep you up-to-date.

You can connect with them on Facebook and twitter.

Madly Madagascar - giveaway!

The Madagascar movies are a big hit at our house (might have something to do with Mr.J sharing a name with one of the characters!) and they are BACK!
We received a copy of Madly Madagascar to review, and it did not dissapoint.  The characters are back in all their quirky glory going crazy for love potions. My boys loved watching the penguin's, and the visiting "Okapi" that Marty takes an interest in.  Read through below and then enter for your chance to win a copy of Madly Madagascar on DVD!  If you don't win, then I would pick up a copy for the kids to watch this Valentine's Day!

Love Potions for Kids!

Inspired by MADLY MADAGASCAR, coming to DVD January 29

Your favorite Madagascar pals are back in an all-new adventure! Alex’s favorite holiday, Valentine’s Day, brings hilarious surprises and excitement for the entire gang. Melman plans a big surprise for Gloria, Marty tries to impress a new friend and everyone wants to get their hands on King Julien’s love potion. You'll fall in LOVE with MADLY MADAGASCAR!

Kids would love to get their hands on King Julien’s magical love potion – and now they can! Here, we’ll provide some fun, kid-friendly recipes to make “love potions” this Valentine’s Day.


Kids will love this easy to make (and delicious) “love potion!” All you need 1 can of pink lemonade concentrate, 4 cups of raspberry sherbet, and 1 can of lemon/lime soda, and water. All you need to do is mix the lemonade concentrate with the amount of water it lists on the instructions in a large pitcher. Then, in a blender, combine the sherbet with 4 cups of the lemonade mixture, and pour about a cup into individual glasses. Lastly, fill each glass the rest of the way with the soda – the mixture will bubble and really look like a love potion!


Making perfumes at home is actually really easy and can be a fun activity for kids this Valentine’s Day! You need distilled water, fragrance oils (and scent you or the kids want!), and Polysorbate 80. All you have to do is mix your distilled water with the Polysorbate 80 in a spray bottle. Then, mix your fragrance oils in a separate container, and add them to your water mixture; shake vigorously. Use fragrances like rose, lavendar, etc. to really amp up the “love spell” part of this perfume!


Using a glass bottle with a cork or lid and different colored sand is a fun way to create a “magic sand” love spell (and it makes for a great decoration)! All you need to do is layer different colors of sand in a glass container (colors like red, pink and white work best for V-Day). Before putting the cork or lid on the bottle, invite your kids to say a few words about something or someone that they love – then tell them that once the bottle is sealed, it will represent that person or thing, and to take care of the bottle and keep it close.


Making this tea will require a little help from mom and dad, but it’s ingredients are rumored to spark feelings of love! You will need rosemary, black tea, thyme, nutmeg, fresh mint leaves, fresh rose petals, lemon leaves, and water. Put all of these ingredients in a tea kettle and bring to a boil. Serve with honey or sugar and lemon, to taste.

Use the form below to enter for your chance to win a copy of Madly Madagascar on DVD!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Baby Cargo 100 series stroller - review

Mr. K super happy to try out his new stroller

Now that Mr. K is older, it isn't all that often that we use a stroller. Really, the only time I do use it is when I need to bring him with me to pick up Mr. J from the bus stop.  The old stroller I used was part of a stroller system, and not really useful for a child of Mr. K's size.

I used to use an umbrella stroller, but was never thrilled with it because the wheels didn't work well and it just didn't have much support to it.

When I was contacted by Baby Cargo late last year, I was intrigued with their strollers. Baby Cargo kindly sent me a 100 series stroller for review, and I must say that I love it!

the handles are at a great height, and super comfy to hold
It is super lightweight, easily foldable and so far seems really durable.  Living in Canada, I knew that January was a great time to put it to the test.  Walking up the street to the bus stop involves, slush, ice and snow.  I needed something that could make it through all of those conditions - and I am really happy to say that I am able to push it through all of these wonderful road conditions with little effort. The only time I have trouble is over the slush turned to ice, and then I just turn it around and pull it backwards!

folded, even has a small clip on the side that keeps it closed

The only complaint I have is that with all of Mr.K's winter wear on, the straps (even at their longest setting) are super tight to do up....once the winter jacket is gone though, it will be a breeze!

you can see the road conditions I have to put the stroller through

The 100 series is meant for babies 6 months and up, weighing up to 50 lbs., there is no recline feature on this model.

 If your in the market for a new stroller, I would highly suggest that you look into Baby Cargo. Check them out on Facebook and Twitter

Winter Crafts - Coloured Ice "Balloons"

if you like this idea, please pin it!

A few months ago, a friend sent me a link to a facebook photo that looked like a really neat activity.  What you do: fill balloons with coloured water and freeze! Remove the balloons and you have some pretty neat looking outdoor decorations.

What you need:
- balloons
- food colouring
- water
- funnel (optional, but easier)

What you do:

If using a funnel, fill a few bowls with water and add desired colours.  Insert the tip of the funnel into the balloon and fill with water; knot the balloon and continue until you have the amount of balloons you want.

Place outside (overnight is great) in below zero temperatures and in the morning cut off the balloons and place the "decorations" where you want them.

No funnel method:
- squirt some food colouring into the balloon
- fit the end of the balloon over your faucet and fill with water
- knot balloon and follow the rest of the directions above

I didn't have a funnel, so we did the no funnel method; however, I think the colours would be much brighter by colouring BEFORE adding to the balloons, so next time we do it I will make sure I have a funnel! Enjoy - super easy and affordable activity to fill a small bit of time on a cold, cold day....great for this week if your in Ottawa!

Friday, January 18, 2013

How to FIND money for savings - Disney Vacation

Saving money can be really difficult, especially if you live paycheque to paycheque. However, there are ways to make it happen.

One of the easiest way to begin saving without cutting anything out of your already limited budget, is saving your change.

This can really add up - it may seem small, but over the course of a year can add extra money to your savings account (whether it is for your nest egg, to purchase something or just for those extra's you like to have!)

1) empty your pockets/wallet at the end of every day; then, weekly or monthly add it up and deposit it to your savings account.  You will  be surprised at how much you can total by doing this.  Hubby and I roll our change normally 2 times a year, and often have close to $200.00 each time!

2) keep a jar by your laundry; money often goes through the wash because we forget to empty our pockets, anytime you find some put it in this jar and add it to your change jar monthly.

3) arrange with your financial institution to round all debit purchases up to the nearest dollar, and then it automatically goes into your savings account

4) be on the lookout for coins on the ground! How many pennies do you walk past in a day? I often see 5 or more. If you pick up every coin you see, it could result in an extra $10-$15 by the end of the year, not much on it's own but added to the rest of your change it could just tip you over to the next hundred!

If your saving money for a Disney vacation, check out A Busy Mommy for some more tips!

What are some of your savings tips?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

How to Get your child out of YOUR bed!

Like lots of parents, hubby and I have fallen into the routine of having our oldest son in our bed.  He falls asleep in his own room, but inevitably ends up with us at some point through the night.

There have been a few attempts in the last 3 years (yes, this has been going on since he was a little over 2years old) at getting him to stop coming in, but it always ended up in tears and fights and we would give up.

If your reading this, chances are your looking for help in this area also. So keep reading - but be warned, you have to follow through. It may be tough, there might be some sleepless nights for a few days as everyone gets used to the new sleeping arrangements, but it will come.

Now please, don't get me wrong - I don't think kids NEED to sleep in their own beds. I think every family does what they are comfortable with, and as long as it is working for your family, then there isn't an issue.  However, it wasn't working for our family anymore, which is why we decided to pursue it.

First off, we talked to him before bed about the new arrangements. We told him that he has his own room, his own bed so he needed to sleep in it from now on.  I told him that if he woke up and needed mommy, he could come and get me but that I would be taking him back to his own room.  Then, I told him that if he came into my bed and I didn't realize it, as soon as I awoke he would be taken back to his room.

Knowing that this was a big adjustment for him, I did give him a little incentive.  I told him that if he could sleep in his own bed, every night, then we could pick 1 night a week for a sleepover in HIS room.  He chose Sunday nights.

Now, the first night he did end up in our bed (he wasn't there for very long, but he was still asleep in our bed) so last Sunday he didn't get his sleepover. However, that was the only night - as of now, 1 week in, he hasn't slept in our bed at all.  He will sometimes wake up and come get me, and then I just tuck him back in to his own bed.

So here are my tips:

1) make sure to give them warning, and mention a few times before they go to sleep how it will be
2) if they wake, follow through with what you told them would happen (walking back, keep talking to a minimum)
3) when the morning comes, make sure to make a huge deal about how well they did the night before!
4) make sure to keep following through each night, and to keep praising them in the morning
5) if your going to make an exception, make sure it is set out clearly BEFORE it happens (ie, if they are sick with a fever then they can sleep in your bed etc. Be prepared for the negotiations to start afterwards though, and ready to follow through again)

We have been really lucky, and he hasn't fought me at all when I have been taking him back to his room. The 3rd night was our worst, with FIVE wake ups/walk backs...but most nights it is just once...and we even had one night that he slept the entire night in his room!

I would love to hear any tips that you might have - please leave me a comment with your own experiences!

It's been 2.5 months or so and I am so happy to say that 6 out of 7 nights, he sleeps the entire night. Once a week he appears next to me - but all he needs is for me to walk him back and tuck him in! So happy with the progress he has made. It has allowed for a HUGE improvement in his behaviour also!

mmm....Kellogg's delivers again!

As a Kellogger, I am lucky enough to get a few shipments a year from Kellogg's!  Friday happened to be delivery day, and it was a great package!

The latest package came in a small gym bag (which my oldest has decided is his new skating bag - it is actually the perfect size for him too, fits his his skates, helmet, gloves, sweater and skating pants perfectly!) a workout top and a few boxes of Special K products!  This package was to help promote - a website with a tool to help you keep yourself on track with your healthy goals!

Monday, January 14, 2013

How To Save Money Shopping Online

If you are a regular reader of Tales of Mommyhood then you are well aware that I do not like to pay full retail price for anything I buy. When I am grocery shopping, I visit one local grocery store and price match to all the competitors using their flyers, and then I use coupons on top of that to bring my bill down even more.

When it comes to purchasing items for my home, clothing for myself, hubby and the boys, or gifts for parties we (or the kids) are invited to, I am no different. The idea of paying full value when I know I can get a better price does NOT sit well with me, so I am always on the lookout for great coupon codes to use. I have come across Coupon Chief coupon codes and it allows you to search for a particular store/brand while looking for a discount! I recently purchased an edible arrangement for someone (which are delicious by the way, great taste and quality in the fruit they use!) but they are expensive and knowing I was going to have to pay for shipping, I automatically searched for a discount code for Edible Arrangements that I could use. It is super easy, you can search by name or you can browse by their pre-set categories.

*Tales of Mommyhood received compensation for this post, however all opinions are honest and belong to the author*

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Giveaway #MilkUnleashed

Milk Unleashed is launching a new blog app, and to help celebrate it's launch, they are offering a giveaway to Tales of Mommyhood readers!

Have you ever tried shelf safe milk before? It is able to stay at room temperature until it is opened.

Milk Unleashed is offering a giveaway to my Canadian readers:

Milk Unleashed prize pack to be won:

a) One liter of Shelf Safe Milk (Grand Pre or Baboo)
b) Three single serving shelf safe milks (white and chocolate) from: Chokeo Chocolate Milk, Grand Pre or Baboo
c) brochure with information about Shelf Safe Milk
d) Plus, one bonus prize!

Some of the great features of the app:

• On-The-Go Games and Tips! Even cruising down the freeway can be an adventure! With these fun games and tips you can have some family time even when you are out on the road!
• On-The-Go Snacks! Have you ever wanted to try the world’s best smoothie? Well Milk Unleashed is here to make all your dreams come true! Find out the best snacks to grab that will make your next outing even more thrilling!
• Get Social! Tweet with the #MilkUnleashed hashtag to get your audience revved up for their next family adventure!

*Milk will be chosen by random from the previously mention brands.

How to Enter:
(mandatory)Check out the app and take the quiz; leave me a comment with your results, as well as a valid email address
(bonus) follow @tlsofmommyhood on twitter AND tweet this "enter to win a #MilkUnleashed prize pack from @tlsofmommyhood " leave me the link to your tweet in a SEPARATE comment

Giveaway will run from January 10, 2013 until January 17, 2013. Open to Canadian residents only; void where prohibited. Must answer a skill testing question to win. Winner will be chosen via and contacted via email, they will have 48hrs to respond with requested information or they will forfeit the prize and another winner will be chosen.  Tales of Mommyhood is NOT responsible for missing emails, spam folder or any other technical difficulties causing the winner to not respond in the allotted time. Also, Tales of Mommyhood is NOT responsible for shipping the prize, that is up to the sponsor.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sofia the First

Did your kids watch the movie Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess? Mine did and he loved it! Mr. J is super excited for the series to start, and it's kicking off on January 19th!  Immediately before, Disney Junior is going to be airing Cinderella.




Toronto, January 7, 2013 – There’s a new girl in crown this month as Astral’s Disney Juniordebuts the new animated series Sofia the First on Saturday, January 19 at 7 p.m. ET. Featuring Disney’s first little girl princess, the series follows the adventures of Princess Sofia as she adjusts to her new life and the unexpected challenges that come with it. Ahead of the series premiere, viewers can catch the network debut of the classic Disney Princess feature film,Cinderella.

Sofia the First tells the story of a regular girl who becomes an overnight princess after her mom marries the king of Enchancia. Sofia discovers the regal lifestyle is not as easy as it seems, but with the help of family and friends she learns that qualities like honesty, loyalty and compassiondefine a true princess. Classic Disney Princesses Ariel, Aurora, Belle and Jasmine make special appearances throughout the series to offer Sofia words of wisdom.

In the premiere episode, “Just One of the Princes,” Sofia sets her sights on becoming the first princess member of her school’s flying derby team. Faced with the challenge of an overly-anxious horse named Minimus (voiced by Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family), Sofia learns she can accomplish anything as long as she believes in herself. Following the premiere, Sofia the First will air in its regular timeslot, weekends at 11:30 a.m. ET from January 26.

Sofia the First features the voices of Ariel Winter (Modern Family) as Sofia; Sara Ramirez (Grey’s Anatomy) as Queen Miranda, Sofia’s loving and supportive mother; Wayne Brady (Let’s Make A Deal) as Clover, the wise-talking rabbit sidekick; and Tim Gunn (Project Runway) as Baileywick, the castle’s royal steward. Winter’s Modern Family co-star, Eric Stonestreet, guest stars in the premiere episode as the voice of Sofia’s flying horse, Minimus. Other notable guest stars throughout the season include: Viola Davis (The Help), Bonnie Hunt (Cars), Ellie Kemper (Bridesmaids), Megan Mullally (Will & Grace), Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men) and Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development).

Prior to the premiere of Sofia the First, Disney Junior will air the network premiere of Cinderellaat 5:45 p.m. ET. When Cinderella’s cruel stepmother prevents her from attending the Royal Ball, she gets some unexpected help from her woodland friends and a magical Fairy Godmother.

The enchantment continues on where viewers are invited to play games and learn more about Sofia’s royal family and friends. Disney Junior OnDemand also offers new episodes of Sofia the First as they become available weekly starting January 25.

The series was developed by Craig Gerber (Pixie Hollow Games), who also serves as co-executive producer and story editor. Jamie Mitchell (Special Agent Oso) is executive producer and director. John Kavanaugh (Winnie The Pooh: Springtime with Roo) serves as songwriter/music director and Kevin Kliesch (Tangled Ever After) is the composer. Sofia the Firstis a production of Disney Television Animation.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

How to save money

With the new year upon us, I have made the decision to increase our savings. We are hoping to go to Disney World again next January and while we have some money set aside already, I don't want to deplete our bank account for the trip.

I saw this great thing on facebook today - it tells you that if you save the amount of money per # week of the year (from 1 -52) at the end of the year you will have saved $1378.

Check it out for yourself!  For me, I looked at what I was going to transfer into my savings account today anyways, and it brought me up to week 15. This way, I figure it gives me a little wiggle room if things are tighter one week - but I still plan on making my weekly contributions for weeks 1-14.

So, if I don't need to skip a week, my total contributions by the end of 2013 should be $1618.00 - this will be in addition to what we already contribute.

What about you - do you have any monetary goals for the year?

I just received a great tip on this too - if you start with the highest amounts first (so reverse the weeks) you will earn more interest, and be "saving less" closer to Christmas!

Do you have a savings goal for the year?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Years

Good morning and Happy New Years to you! 2012 was a wonderful year for our family and we are looking forward to what 2013 has in store for us.

New Years is not something that is big for us anymore.  We celebrate with the kids generally by camping out with sleeping bags in our family room watching movies and playing games. This year was slightly different - we spent the day together as a family; we made our way downtown to the rink of dreams at City Hall and enjoyed some beavertails (for those of you not from the area, a beavertail is fried dough topped with cinnamon sugar - there are other variations, but that is my favorite)

We then made our way back home, put together the boys new train table and had supper (which consisted of a bunch of appetizer type foods). Instead of a movie this year, Mr. J wanted to watch Knight Rider episodes, so that is what we did until he fell asleep. Mr.K however, was a complete basket case as he was over tired.....he wasn't able to fall asleep, and he was just very unhappy...he finally fell asleep around 1030 but it was not a restful sleep and he was up a few times, whimpering and unhappy throughout the night.

This morning we had a really nice brunch together and finished putting the last of the Christmas decorations away. I hope you and yours had a wonderful time, whether spent at a party or a quiet evening at home!