Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Tradition: Light Display Photo Scavenger Hunt

It's that time of year again: the tradition-rich holidays!
One of our absolute favorites is A Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt.
 
Grab your cameras or cell phones, invite a couple other families, print out a list for each car, split up into separate neighborhoods, set a timer for 30 minutes and GO!
 
Find as many items on the list as you can, take a picture of each one and meet back up with the other families/teams to compare your findings and enjoy some creamy cocoa and pumpkin cookies.
 
This is a game our entire family enjoys! I love seeing what the other "teams" find.
There are always "The Perfect Picture" ones:
 
And then there are these:
 That's Rudolph. I promise!
This is what happens when your overly-competitive husband won't slow down for you to take pictures. =)

Find more holiday fun at Whisicle's Countdown to Christmas! You can also follow along on Intagram, Twitter or Facebook and join in with the hashtag #Countdown2Xmas

What's YOUR favorite holiday tradition?
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Monday, December 15, 2014

Countdown2Xmas: Week 2 Review

Here's a review of Week 2 of our Countdown to Christmas online advent calendar!

Day 8:
This day's post is brought to you by Holly at As Cute as a Bug's Ear.
Mason Jar Gifts
Gifts in a jar for the holidays, hostess gifts, and teacher appreciation days. Five easy to make recipes that look as good as they taste!

Day 9:
Mindy from Mindy Alyse Celebrations takes the lead today.
How to Host a Holiday Cookie Exchange Party
(Including FREE Printables)
Inspiration to throw an amazing Holiday Cookie Exchange Party! Including FREE Party Printables.

Day 10:
Shambray brings a little something for your littles.
 Shapes Christmas Tree Craft
 
The BEST last minute Christmas craft to do with you toddlers and kids! Just 3 items that you already have at home to put together this fun craft. It will teach your kids shapes matching & recognition as well as motor skills.

Day 11:
Today's tasty post is from Heather at My Life Well Loved.
Healthy Hazelnut Cookies
 
These paleo, healthy cookies are so delicious your family won't even know that they're good for them! These all natural cookies are delicious and simple so they make the perfect Christmas treat!

Day 12:
We're getting crafty today with Anne of Under the 'Brella.
"Merry" Mantel Sign
 
Fun, Quick and Easy sign to make to add to your Christmas mantel. You can then add your own special touches to the word you choose or the embellishments you add to the letters.

Day 13:
Life according to Lina shares her favorite Christmas tradition today.
My Ornament Collection
 
Start this fun personalized ornament tradition with your kids while they're young- they'll be able to have their own collection by the time they're ready to move out!

Day 14:
Miranda at Love Life Simplified shares an idea today.
A Christmas Issue: Stuff VS Experience
A Christmas issue that we have every year is about buying our children more toys and gifts they don't need. Come check out our solution to this problem.

Be sure to follow along on Whimsicle for new posts every day until Christmas
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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Frozen Ornament @ EVMG

My post for December is live on East Valley Mom Guide!
Get the full instructions for this Frozen inspired ornament
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Monday, December 8, 2014

Countdown2Xmas: Week 1 Review

In case you missed any of the posts from the first week,
here's a recap of Countdown to Christmas online advent calendar:
 
DAY 1:
Our Countdown organizers at Whimsicle start us of with
Tart and sweet, these lemon bars are the perfect thing
to bring to holiday gatherings or use in a holiday cookie tin.
 
DAY 2:
This post comes to us from Deal Finding Family.
If you like chai, here's another drink that tastes like Christmas.
You can either make this for yourself or package it up as a gift.
 
DAY 3:
Our 3rd day of the Countdown comes from Ready... Set... Parenthood!
Every Christmas Eve, my parents always let me and my sister open one present.
Do you have a Christmas Eve tradition or want to start one?

 DAY 4:
Angela from Popsiculture bring us today's post.
Fun, Festive Holiday Traditions
Some Christmas traditions are Elf on the Shelf and St. Nicholas Day on December 6th. While it’s fun to create new traditions for your family, you may enjoy leaving others behind. 

DAY 5:
Marie from Mom Gets Real explains how she is finding the holiday joy through her teens.
Christmas Lost, Christmas Found
As our kids get older, do we lose the Christmas spirit?

DAY 6:
This adorably edible post comes from Ellen at Young Love Mommy.
Egg Snowman
With all the sweets out there this holiday season,
here's a very cute, non-sweet treat for a party.

DAY 7:
This week's final post from casa de la Cargill looks AMAZING
Blackberry Sour Cream Bread Pudding
This sweet and tangy bread pudding can be made the night before. It is perfect for Christmas morning or any holiday brunch. The longer it sits before baking the better it gets!

Be sure to follow along on Whimsicle for new posts every day until Christmas!
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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Frozen-Inspired Snowflake Wreath

This Frozen-inspired candy cane wreath is a simple craft even kids can make!

Anyone that knows me will be shocked to see this post.
Being a mom of only boys, I haven't fallen under the Frozen spell.

However, as I was shopping the other night I was inspired to make this:
Brach has made blueberry candy canes ($1 a box at Wal-Mart) that are a beautiful shade of blue.
I thought of the candy cane wreath I made last year and this idea just hit me!
I couldn't help but think of Elsa; the colors are perfect!
I had to make it.
Plus, I love snowflakes. =)

Here are the simple directions with pictures to help you along:
1 - All you need is a glue gun, 2 boxes of blue candy canes (24 candy canes, total) and some sparkly embellishments (I got mine at Dollar Tree).

2 - Glue candy canes together in sets of that form a heart.

3 - You may want to measure them together before gluing to make sure they match up (notice how different they can be!).

4 - Go back over each connected piece with more glue for stability.
5 - Glue all candy cane sets together until you have 12 hearts.

6 - Place 6 candy cane hearts together to form the outer layer of a snowflake. Glue touching edges together.

7 - Place remaining 6 hearts on top of first layer in a circular fashion. I tried to highlight this second layer in the photo so you can get a good idea of their placement. Glue layers together in ALL the areas that touch (each top layer heart should touch the lower layer in 4 places).
Again, go back over each connected area with more glue for stability.

8 - Add embellishments as desired. I put a small "snowball" on each pointed tip and added a plastic snowflake in the center. Add a length of ribbon to the top for hanging and you're done!
 
It cost me a total of $3.00 and only took 35 minutes to make.

My 10-year-old made one without any help but even if your little ones are a little younger,
{like my little helper}
everyone will enjoy putting this together.
♫♪ "Do you want to build a snowflake?" ♫♪
 
If you'd like something more traditional, try this wreath
Let me know how yours turns out!
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Monday, December 1, 2014

Maple Bacon Snickerdoodles

 ♫♪ It's the most wonderful time of the year! ♪♫
I absolutely love the music, the decorations and the baking that The Holidays bring.
 
Here's this year's
NEW COOKIE RECIPE:
 
I know, I know
I just made a sweet treat with maple and bacon,
BUT
it's an amazing combination and I can't get enough!
 
Here's how I do it:
 
Here's how each step looks: 
They work best when baked on parchment paper but a greased baking sheet works just fine.

Now go get this maple-bacon goodness into you!

Be sure to check out the 40+ cookie recipes from
The Great Cookie Exchange going on now!
 Happy Holidays! 
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Blogger Cookie Exchange

I'm so excited to be joining some of my food blogging friends for a virtual Christmas cookie exchange! I love Christmas Cookie Exchange Parties because you go to the party with one kind of cookie, but come home with dozens of cookies to taste!  It's so fun to see other people's delicious recipes. Here are 40+ delicious cookie exchange recipes so you can find the perfect cookie to take to the party this holiday season!
Let's get this party started!
 
Candy Cane Frosted Sugar Cookies
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You can join the fun by adding your own recipe here: