Monthly Archives: November 2015

A ONE TV FAMILY

For as long as I can remember I knew I wanted to be a ONE TV Family.  Family time is important and the television can be a polarizing option that can send family off in different directions.  The kids will never get their own TV.  Proud to be always present at dinner AND we ensure that family time is just that, family time.

Although, most parent’s know that favorite shows tend to align with bedtime routines.  Alas, the dreaded bedtime routine.  Completely necessary in our house with a two and four year old, so my husband and I would miss our favorites live on TV.

NO MORE.

Now all we have to do is plug in the laptop and BOOMThe Blacklist at our fingertips!  We finally get to catch up on ALL OF OUR FAVORITE SHOWS.

This is a BIG TIME thing for us. We do not own a DVR so taping a show was never an alternative.

 

This is a GAME CHANGER.

My favorite Fall show on NBC is The Blacklist.  I love the mystery, drama, and goodness the plot just keeps getting better each season! Red is just full of surprises and he keeps me on my toes!

The Fine Print

Watch the latest full episodes of NBC shows the day after they air, plus a live stream of your local NBC station (in select markets).

You can also binge on the NEW NBC fall shows – no TV provider login required.

For next day- Sign in with your TV provider username and password to watch the latest episodes of ALL NBC shows the day after they air on TV – and even complete seasons of select series!

(If you don’t have a provider, you can still watch – most new episodes are unlocked 8 days after airing on TV.)

ONE-TV-FAMILY

Another fabulous fact is that tonight, our wild Friday night, we popped popcorn-put the kids to bed(they got a few bites) and are now enjoying our favorite fall line-up.  Love that we get to enjoy the Blacklist again- ON OUR SCHEDULE. Parent Win.

WATCH NBC LIVE

Click HERE to CATCH-UP on FULL episodes. WINNING.

What is your favorite Fall TV Show?

 

You can follow along with me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest!

Gingerbread in a Jar Recipe

The holidays are fast approaching and everyone needs a fantastic recipe for the classic gingerbread cookie! Plus it is always helpful to have a couple Gingerbread in a Jar’s ready to gift a host for a holiday dinner.  So many fond memories can be tied to the smell of gingerbread.
DIY Gift of Gingerbread for the Holidays in a Jar

Gingerbread in a Jar Recipe

Growing up we made gingerbread cookies at preschool which was my first real introduction to baking.  Loved when the teacher’s did an adaption of the dough ornaments with the gingerbread.  Smelled divine and we made them into necklaces for our parents!  My mom always had it hanging on her bedroom dresser.

It smelled so good that when we got our chocolate lab, years later, she ate it.

Yes, sweet puppy, gingerbread does smell delicious.

Here is our surefire way to bring in a taste and intoxicating holiday smell into your homes this holiday season:

Gingerbread Cookies

JAR:

1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp  cloves
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar

COOKING: ADD IN

1/2 cup butter & 3/4 cup molasses & 1 egg

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cream together 1/2 cup butter, 3/4 cup molasses and 1 egg. Blend in the Gingerbread Cookie Mix. Stir until well blended.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.  Roll out dough to 1/4 on a lightly floured surface. Using cookie cutters, cut out shapes and place on a greased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes.

The cookies are deliciously simple and you can pack up ten jars for under 4 dollars a jar– ingredients from a big box store, along with the jars!  Add in a simple handmade tag, noting directions, and you have a wonderfully thoughtful handmade gift.

Gifting for our family always consists of a handmade gift-more personal in nature and a fabulous store-bought treasure.  Although the cards are ALWAYS homemade.  Can’t break tradition. My favorite gingerbread finds look as decadent as they smell.  Thymes Holiday Traditions collection blew me out of the water!

Gingerbread in a Jar Recipe

Bottle Up the Holidays

The smell brings me right back to those fond memories, memories I am now sharing with my own children. Baking cookies and making gifts with our own hands is so very special.  Teaching children the gift of giving is invaluable.  You gain so much more when you give.  The light in their eyes is just magical.

I plan on adding in gingerbread candles to our gifts this year.  Although my two little sisters are all grown-up, some memories need to live on. This Gingerbread Reed Diffuser? Sitting on top of our counter.  My nose is thanking me each time I enter the kitchen.

 

What smell reminds you of being home for the holidays?

 

I bet you can find a fabulous Thymes Holiday Traditions Set that makes your holidays just that much memorable!

 

Plus check out my Holiday Gift Basket for Overnight Guests– with a COUPON code for Thymes!

 

You can check out our 5 DIY Holiday Baked Goods in a Jar and make some deliciously awesome treats for family and friends this holiday season.

You can follow along with me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest!

Holiday Gift Basket for Overnight Guests

The holidays always bring good memories when family is near!  Here are some fabulous ways to make overnight guests stay just a bit sweeter.  Our picks include luxurious options along with the essentials that might be missed when packing for a trip.HOLIDAY-GIFT-BASKET-FOR-OVERNIGHT-GUESTS

Holiday Gift Basket for Overnight Guests

The first thought when packing up a gift basket is age, taste, and the bare essentials.  I love adding in a couple holiday themed luxury items that are as pleasing on the eyes as the nose.  Here are THREE favorite items from Thymes Holiday Traditions Line that made it in the Gift Basket for Thanksgiving!

fraiser-fir-oil-thyme

Frasier Fir Fragrance Diffuser

gingerbread-three-wick-thyme-candle

Gingerbread Three Wick Candle

fraiser-fir-thyme-set

Thymes Frasier Fir All-Purpose Cleaner

Gift-Basket-For-Holiday-Guests

The All-Purpose Cleaner may be a hint as to who is coming for the holidays, but honestly who doesn’t love the mix of crisp Siberian fir needles, heartening cedarwood, and relaxing sandalwood?  That’s right. No one.

Grab a Basket

I like to grab a basket from Target to fill up and it doubles as an extra special gift to take home!

Gift Basket Essentials:

Toothbrush

Floss

Toothpaste

Kleenex

2-3 Magazines or Books

Chocolate Squares

Thymes-Fraiser-Fir-Gift-Set

Holiday Gift Basket

Here are my other three options for this holiday season to add in to our next batch of visitors over Christmas.  I love how our house smells warm and inviting with just the presence of this Frasier Fir Set from Thymes Holiday Traditions Collection.  The smell brings me back to growing up in the Pacific Northwest.

We need to take a family trip up north to visit REAL trees.  My children are surrounded by desert brush and palm trees.  I think we need to start a family tradition of heading up to the mountains to experience a REAL winter, full of pine trees, smores, AND snow!

Grab the COUPON CODE for  a free Thymes Sample Set (a sample set of 14 fragrances) with any purchase of $25 or more. CODE: TRADITION5  The sets come wrapped in the cutest boxes with fabulous tissue paper- love a company that goes the extra mile!

 

 

What do you like to have in place when you stay over night with family or friends?

I would LOVE to add some extra special touches as the holidays approach! Thank you for sharing!

You can follow along with me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest!

Baking with a Toddler: Holiday Edition

Holiday Baking makes Christmas that much sweeter! Add in a toddler and goodness knows that a mess will surely follow.  I stand firm in my belief that messes MAKE memories.  Here are some ideas to help make the holidays sweeter with your family-including a Minnie Mouse Sugar Cookie Recipe!

Baking with a Toddler: Messes Make Memories

Messes Make Memories

Minnie-Mouse-Hallmark-Baking-Set-Holiday

Minnie Mouse Baking Kit

You can check out a video of the unboxing HERE– and follow along on my YouTube Channel for more of our adventures in parenting!

Emma Marie and I rarely get a chance to do baking solo and loved our time in the kitchen!  Plus we were able to safely use the ingredients while Raymond was at preschool and clean up in time for pick-up!

Minnie Mouse Sugar Cookie Recipe

Makes: Four Dozen

Baking Time: 7-9 minutes(FOR-EV-ER in toddler time)

Preheat Oven: 375 degrees

Ingredients

1 cup white sugar

3/4 cup butter, softened

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2-1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

Minnie-Mouse-Baking-Set-Cooking-With-A-Toddler

Baking with a Toddler

Directions

-Add sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla in a bowl and beat until creamy

-Stir in flour, baking powder and salt

-Cover the bowl and chill the dough for at least one hour(once again, a long time in toddler time)

-Roll out dough on a floured board with floured rolling pin(from baking set) until dough is 1/8″ thick

-Cut the dough into Holiday shapes with your cookie cutters

-Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes

-After cookies have cooled, it’s time to decorate

Baking with a toddler requires MUCH more patience, but the look in their eyes as they help you create something, “Just like a BIG kid,” is quite magical.  I put down the camera and relished some one-on-one time with my big girl… plus we were covered in flour and sugar and picking up my camera wouldn’t have been a good idea.  Sticky fingers and DSLR cameras do not mix.

Minnie-Mouse-Baking-Set-Hallmark-Cookies Our Christmas Cookies

 

Here is a sweet video of Emma Marie showing us all of the goodies that came in her Minnie Baking Set!  She has carried around the box for the past couple of days and just loves “setting up” her kitchen in various spots around the house.

Plus, I couldn’t leave out Raymond-I grabbed these two cute Itty Bitty’s from Hallmark!  They will go underneath his tiny Christmas Tree in his room.

star-wars-itty-bittys-hallmark-toy

R2-D2 & C3PO

Can not wait to get back in the kitchen and bake up a batch of cookies to give to our friends next week!

What do you love baking during the holidays?

Did you grow up with a holiday tradition in the kitchen?

My grandmother always made a lemon meringue pie-MY FAVORITE-perhaps this year I will try to make one.

 

You can follow along with me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest!

Holiday Craft Party #StickaPic

 

Thankful for my partnership with HP and MomSelect as they gave me the best reason to get my college girlfriends together!  Life gets busy as a mom and the three of us hadn’t seen each other in MONTHS.  Easily remedied that with a Craft Night with wine, glitter, and printing!  Can’t wait to share how easy it is to print out family memories now!
StickaPic-Craft-Party

Holiday Craft Party- HP StickaPic

I LOVE my chalkboard wall as a photo backdrop and will always, always chalk the pertinent hashtag, because? Blogger til I die.

Yes.  Plus the kids use the chalkboard EVERY DAY and it is incredibly easy to clean up.

chalkboard-photobooth-props-hp-party

Chalkboard Photo Props

Chalk pen markers do not work as easily on those as I thought they would…

But they still turned out to be a fun addition to our Craft Party.

hp-craft-party

Chalkboard Wall

stickapic-hp-craft-party

HP Social Media Snapshots- everyone got to bring some home so that they could continue to print out memories and craft their little hearts out.  I find it is easy to fall into the trap of just keeping all of our memories on social media and on the computer instead of taking the time to print them out.  Well, folks-sometimes technology fails and you should(you NEED) to have some hard copies of your favorite pictures.

The kids both squealed when they saw that I updated the fridge with pictures from this fall. Easy and immediately fulfilling.  And now that I am an Instant Ink convert I don’t need to worry about running out of ink.  I literally will never, EVER run out of ink for printing.  Even if I print out FULL pages of 8×10 photos.  I will never run out.

hp-stickapic-craft-party

No one ever turns down a rice crispy treat.  They are the ultimate, nostalgic treat of our past that just hit that sweet tooth spot!  I always have some on hand as they are one of the only allergy-friendly treats available for my son.  Mom Win.  Any way you look at it.

There was wine, sangria, bubbly, and cheese pizza.  Just keeping it honest and classy here.  The cheese board was my favorite as I love to indulge in that favorite snack.

hp-stickapic-craft-party-night

Hours of talking AND printing-mixed with tons of glitter pens and loose glitter made for a festive night.  I kept hearing how, “This is SO easy!” and how, “I’ve wanted this picture printed forever!”.  Downloading the app, covering our frames in glitter, and printing out stacks of pictures had us reminiscing about our kids, jobs, and WAY back when in college.

 

hp-stickapic-photo-paper

NEW HP Social Media Snapshots

Currently available at Staples, these sticky-backed photo sheets are perfect for printing, display and reliving life’s moments. Not only can you print directly from your smartphone or tablet, but you can decorate your space with your favorite social media photos.

 

Download HP Social Media Snapshot app, available for free download in iTunes and the Google Play Store.  With the HP Social Media Snapshots app you will be able to print photos directly from your social media channels as well as your camera roll onto specially sized 4×5 inch, sticky-backed photo paper!

stickapic-craft-with-hp

As I cleaned up glitter, I am the one that made a massacre of purple… how does it get everywhere?!? I felt like my battery had been recharged.  Sometimes with kids, jobs, and family activities life gets too busy and you find yourself without any ME time.  Craft Night was definitely exactly what this over-tired mom needed.  Missed those women something fierce.

I truly believe that HP Social Media Snapshots, along with the app, have changed the game for me with party planning and events.  I asked HP over a year ago for this type of capability and am so thrilled that we now can have my wireless printer hooked up and print photos LIVE from the photo booth(chalkboard wall) and that my fridge can be updated in the blink of an eye.

What craft would you make with the HP Snapshots?

Please let me know if you have any questions- I have used the app and sticky-paper for over a month and LOVE it.

Follow along with our adventures on Instagram!

 

Thank you to HP & MomSelect for sending the fabulous box of party supplies and goodies!

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