Christmas Gifts from Hell. Or what NOT to get the ones you love this year…

Okay – so it just seems WRONG to put Hell in the same sentence as Christmas.  I know.  My apologies.

So my friend, morning show anchor and fellow mom of four, Michelle Linn of Fox23 and I had a great time brainstorming this segment. (Actually, Michelle  had the most fun.  After her nightmare Elmo experiences, I think this was cathartic for her).   WIth eight kids between us – we have seen it all.  The good, the bad and the VERY ANNOYING of Christmas gifts.

Not really sure what the heck these are - but they looking annoying. And a little demented.

We decided to combine our knowledge and help our viewers out a little…on what NOT to give the lil’ darlings this year.  (or, if you just want to piss someone off – this is the list for you.).

Or you can just watch the segment right here…

The What- Not -To- Get -Kids Christmas Gift List

compiled by Michelle and Marnie (well, mostly Michelle)

No batteries

There’s nothing worse than giving your child some fantastic  toy, and they can’t play with it on Christmas Day because no one has batteries  to run it.

Teeny tiny pieces

Our other pet peeve are  toys with teeny tiny parts, or  beads.  Our issue is that people may  give our older children  that crap, but they have younger siblings who like to put that stuff  in her mouth, and it’s impossible to police, and we find those little beads and  crap (can you tell how we feel about this?) all over the house and we HATE all of  that.  Polly Pocket dolls and art kits with BEADS are the biggest  offenders.  Legos are a close second.

These are perfect for fitting into the nose, eyes and ears of curious toddlers…and a guaranteed visit to the ER

Non-washable  markers

Total rookie mistake… any mom would NEVER commit this faux  pas, but it’s a common error made by grandparents.  Mostly our in-laws, and  they have young kids.  Go figure.  Senility?  It’s a  guaranteed way to make this mom mad on Christmas – ruin a festive holiday  outfit with permanent marker.

Loud toys that can’t be turned  off

We once had a personalized Elmo doll.  I gave it to  my daughter on her first birthday.  It plugged into the computer and you  answered a bunch of questions about her.  That way Elmo knew her  birthday, her favorite color, her favorite food, what time she took naps, and  went to bed.  Big problem.  Somehow Elmo was possessed, and would  SHOUT from the toy box, at 3AM “GOOD MORNING!  IT’S TIME TO GET  UP!  ELMO WANTS TO PLAY!  LET’S HAVE BREAKFAST!”  Needless to  say, we don’t still have him.

He looks so innocent and all that...

Electronics that require monthly service plans

iPhones, DVRs – whatever is your fancy.  Don’t buy it for your niece, nephew or grandkids unless you are prepared to pay the monthly plan.  My brother bought me a toll – tag for my birthday.  And bless his little heart – three years later, he is still paying my bill.  (I honestly don’t think that was his plan).  Same goes with  subscriptions…don’t buy a subscription to a magazine or a membership to the zoo unless you plan to renew it.

Best gift?  Sure to please  parents?

Books!!!  You just can’t go wrong!!!  They aren’t  messy.  They don’t take up a ton of space.  They won’t rot my kid’s  brain.

There you have it, folks.

I posed the question to my Facebook friends as well.  Moon sand, train whistles (no-brainer) and possessed Elmos also made the list.

So if my children receive any of said gifts from friends or family this year – I will know that they must not like me.  Or just don’t read my blog.


Shane’s Self Defense Tips for Staying Safe This Holiday. Or Yes, I Married A Ninja.

So, for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting my hubby – he is quite an interesting fella.  And I say that with lots of love.

 In fact his background is so diverse, it is pretty hard to believe.  But hey, I live with the dude.  Let me tell you people, it is all true.

Yes, that is my husband. Don't ask.

 So his reputation in martial arts and weapon training caught the interest of the producer at Fox.  He was asked to come on my Marnie’s Mommy Moment segment on Fox23 to talk about self-defense.

 What qualifies my hubby to teach you how to defend yourself from a mugger in a parking lot?  (or a zombie apocalypse, terrorist attack or nuclear holocaust, but we’ll save those for another day).

Our boys in training...

 Here is just a little bit of his background. 

 Shane was nationally ranked in Tae Kwon Do by the time he was 7.  He then went on to study Muay Thai, Amis and Escrima internationally (don’t ask me what the heck those last two are…).  He has also competed internationally in tactical pistol, shotgun and long range rifle.

In other words – you want him around if you ever get attacked. 🙂 

(and for those of you all that know ME, and know my daily struggle to find my car, find my keys, and my attempt just to make it through a day without some major catastrophe – you can imagine how crazy I drive my husband.  In fact, he tells me on a daily basis that all his combat training was to prepare him for being married to me.).

But I digress…

So without further ado – here are Shane’s tips for keeping yourself safe.

Self Defense 101

By Shane Fernandez

  1.  Long range:  (Awareness)
    1. Be aware of your surroundings.  Before you leave a store, make sure you know where you parked your car, you have your cell phone and keys.  Park in a well lit area and look for security guards.
  2. Mid range:  (Avoidance)
    1. As you walk to your car, look at the reflections in car windows as you walk by to see if anyone is following you.  Have your phone ready to dial 911, and have your keys in your hands so you can use as a weapon if need be. 
  3. Close range:  (Application)
    1. This is assuming you are getting ready to be or being attacked.  Scream, call 911, use your elbow or your knee as they are the hardest part of your body.  Don’t use your fist.  Aim for soft tissue areas such as the throat, nose or eyes. 

Or better yet – you can check out his tv segment here. 🙂

Stay Safe and Stay Aware!  🙂  That’s coming from Shane.  We all know I have issues with that….


The Rice Crispie Treat Massacre (And Fresh Produce Giveaway from Harvest Crate!)

Seriously people, it’s Rice Crispie Treats.  In fact – here is the freaking photo of the cute little turkeys that were supposed to be so dang simple to make.

So this is what they are SUPPOSED to look like.

This year for Thanksgiving, my family( knowing me well), assigned me to bring dessert for the kids.  Forget the gravy, stuffing or mashed potatoes, they know I would crumble under the pressure (or send them to the ER with food poisoning). 

So I saw this darling lil picture in Better Homes and Gardens of rice crispie treat turkeys.  I mean really.  Look at the photo?  Simple to make, smiling happy people and cute little turkeys. 

I mean COME ON! Everyone is happy, there are no rice crispies stuck to the ceiling or kids covered in butter...false advertising here people....


I just don’t get it – why a simple thing of melting marshmallows and butter and rolling it into balls can become such a complete fiasco for me.  My husband doesn’t get it either.  In fact, it is a constant source of amazement for him. 

After about 10 minutes of “holiday fun”, the boys were done.  Especially Nicholas, who had more rice crispies on his body than on his poor turkey.

Yep. This was fun to clean up.

  And Tristan’s turkey looked like it had been massacred.

rice crispy treats

Hmm. So they didn't quite turn out the way I envisioned...

I’ve said this before, but Thank God for my Sis-In-Law Audra.  She saved the day (and the remaining ooey gooey mixture ) and figured out how to make them resemble turkeys.  (If she wasn’t so darned sweet, I’d have to hate her).

However – it wasn’t a TOTAL loss.  Because thanks to my good friend Stacey Puckett (owner of Harvest Crate) gave me a HUGE (I”m talking suitcase here) crate of fresh produce to take to my family for Thanksgiving.  So that beyond made up for the rice crispie disaster. 

fresh produce gifts

Now THIS is good stuff. And impossible to screw up.

Harvest Crate is awesome.  If you are needing produce for the holidays, a gift for a family or office – this is a great option.  Everything is fresh from the farm and packaged for you – just order online and they will take care of the rest.  Even deliver it to your doorstep (FREE delivery in the Tulsa area)!  Prices start at $33.


SIDEBAR:  Moms!  If you are looking for a new fundraiser for your school – here you go!  Harvest Crate does fundraisers!  And who wouldn’t want to buy some fresh fruit instead of wrapping paper, candles and knick-knacks that you will never use?  Just visit the website or email my friend Stacy for more details.

And bonus for all of you that are still reading…:)  I am giving away a Harvest Crate on my blog!  Just leave a comment by Wed. Dec. 7 and we’ll pick a winner.  And ship it to you just in time for the holidays!

(I’ll even throw in some of my rice crispie turkeys!)  Just kidding.