Keep the Holidays Delicious with a Pumpkin Pie Station

This post is written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc.. All opinions are entirely my own.

it’s  that time of year when you get to enjoy so many yummy pumpkin treats. i love them all – pumpkin bread, pumpkin frapes, pumpkin cupcakes. but the best treat of them all is most definitely pumpkin pie!!!! this year i have already enjoyed….and stocked up on Sara Lee@ Pumpkin Pies. they come frozen, are easily stored in the freezer, and can cook right up in a matter of minutes, ready to take to any of your holiday gatherings or just because. don’t tell anyone, but i ate all my pumpkin pie leftovers for breakfast the other day!

i love that Sara Lee@ Pumpkin Pie has a rich, traditional flavor with smooth pumpkin custard. the special blend of cinnamon and spices are just right. and there are lots of ways you can enjoy it. by the slice, in a milkshake, you can even add your own toppings to change it up!

plus it is really easy to make. just heat, cool and serve. no messy kitchen or dishes to clean, which gives you more time to spend together as a family.

i thought it would be a lot of fun to have our own pumpkin pie station at our next gathering. it’s easy to set up and share with family, friends, coworkers or employees. Sara Lee@ Pumpkin Pie is also a great choice to serve when you have numerous mouths to feed and since it’s so easy to prepare, its an awesome timesaver during this busy holiday season. plus…don’t forget to serve it at your Christmas dinner.

check it out! a Pumpkin Pie Station, complete with fresh whipped cream and all the yummy toppings you could ask for. it also looks pretty amazing if I do say so myself.

it’s the perfect treat to top off any and every seasonal gathering or occasion!

you can find your own Sara Lee® Frozen Pumpkin Pie Dessert at your local Albertsons Supermarkets! so run, don’t walk to stock up for the season.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.}

We Went to HGTV’s Santa HQ and Met Santa!

during the holiday season, we always visit Santa Claus and get the kids pictures taken. this year, we headed over to the Los Cerritos Mall to HGTV’s Santa HQ to check out their great Santa set-up. HGTV’s Santa HQ adds a whole new dimension to the traditional family Santa Claus visit by guiding visitors through an immersive, interactive holiday extravaganza that uses of state-of- the-art digital technology. something that kids today love!

there are 12 Santa’s HQ in the United States. here in southern California, you can find one at the Los Cerritos Mall and the Lakewood Center Mall.

we started off our visit with a greeting from some of Santa’s elves. they we so sweet and spent extra time playing with the kids. they took them through the Naughty or Nice Meter to see if the boys had been naughty or nice this year. of course they made Santa’s nice list….and even saw their names on Santa’s interactive Christmas list.

are you on Santa’s nice list???

next we headed into Santa’s Observatory and got to check out the control panel. what kid doesn’t love buttons and gadgets to play with.

then we got to have Elf-Ray Vision!  we downloaded the Elf-Ray Vison app on our phone, and the kids got to explore Santa’s Observatory by using the app as special goggles. they got to see secret elf happenings on the walls like presents being shipped and the working gears of the observatory.

other interactive activities at Santa HQ include and Elfie Selfie – where visitors take a selfie and star in their own holiday video, and a Light Show – with more than 10,000 individual holiday lights synchronized to the tune of “Carol of the Bells” to create an illuminated orchestra.

finally, we met the big guy himself….SANTA!!!! we had so much fun getting our photos with Santa. he spent one-on-one time with the boys, and made sure to get a good variety of photos that i could choose from. i loved that he took time to speak to each child individually. also, we got to skip the line because we made a reservation. pretty cool huh! guests can now spend less time waiting in line by making reservation online at Santa HQ from HGTV. you can even pre-pay for your photo package, days or even weeks in advance. you can also opt-in text functionality to send reminders about your Santa photo session reservation.

In the Holiday Spirit of Giving

visitors to Santa HQ will also be able to enjoy the holiday spirit of giving through HGTV’s Help Through
Holiday Giving Drive. you can donate an unwrapped toys for local children in need by dropping it in one of the bins at Santa HQ. the toys benefit local organizations like Forgotten Angel Tree, Salvation Army Angel Tree, Toys for Tots, and Spark of Love Stuff a Bus.

the kids and i had such a nice evening at Santa HQ from HGTV. i wasn’t expecting our Santa visit to be so special, but with all these special holiday touches and the elves treating my children with love and care, my kids had night to remember. we will be adding HGTV’s Santa HQ to our holiday traditions each year!

and in case you wanted to know just a little more about Santa HQ from HGTV…check out this fun video!

Get Your Little Elves a ScholarShare 529 Account plus a FREE Printable Elf Bank

This post is sponsored by ScholarShare 529.

this year, we are doing the “Elf Thing” with the kids. it’s been so much fun creating different scenes and hiding “Link the Elf” around the house each night. i wanted our elf to not only make the holidays fun and full of Christmas cheer, but i also wanted him to remind the kids of the reason for the season, and also ways to live life in a happy productive way. so tonight, our elf will be showing up at the bank holding a ScholarShare 529 gift card!

“why?” you ask. because we love our ScholarShare 529 accounts over here. and it’s a good reminder that we need to keep up the good work and add funds to our accounts.

so i made this fun little bank on the computer, printed it out, and glued it to a cereal box. isn’t it cute!

last year, i wrote about how the gift of Scholarshare would make an awesome holiday gift. well, this year is no different! i love having a ScholarShare 529 account for each of my kiddies because i know that each time i fund some money to my kids accounts, i am making it easier and easier to pay for their college educations in the future. it’s a state-sponsored, tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan that’s helping families and individuals plan for the cost of higher education. a plan that offers measurable tax benefits to support parents in saving for their child’s college education. it’s available to any citizen or tax payer. and just about anyone can help contribute including Grandparents, other family members and friends. PLUS there’s exciting news….

ScholarShare 529 $50 Target Gift Card Offer!

on December 7th and 8th, 2017, those who open a new ScholarShare 529 college savings account with an initial $50 contribution and set up of an Automatic Contribution Plan of $25 or more for 6 months, will receive a $50 Target gift card!!!!

so not only do you get piece of mind that you are saving for your child’s future, you also get an awesome bonus that will help you get that holiday shopping done! so head over to the ScholarShare 529 Website, and sign up. it’s very easy and can be done in the comfort of your own home.

here are some of the benefits of a ScholarShare 529 college savings account:

  • 100% Tax-Free Growth – your savings grows free of federal and state taxes, which can result in up to 25% more money.
  • Low Cost – ScholarShare 529 Portfolios charge less than half the national average for 529 plans.**
  • Go Anywhere – a ScholarShare 529 savings can be used at any accredited school in the US.
  • Investment Choice – there are a variety of professionally managed portfolios to fit your life situation, risk tolerance, and college savings goals.

PLUS get a $50 gift card if you sign up December 7th or 8th!!!!research shows that children are 7x more likely to go to college if they have a savings account of any amount. i have FOUR kids who will most likely be attend college. this though can be VERY overwhelming….that’s going to be A LOT of money. but i have found that saving money for college doesn’t have to be painful at all. we’ve created ScholarShare 529 saving plans for each of them, and i’ve been saving in small realistic steps that will result in saving big in the end. by simply giving up a fountain soda once a week or eating at home instead of going out once a month…i’ve been able to put money away for all my kids’ college.

and good news! i am linking the FREE Printable Elf Bank here, so you can make one for your own elf.

it includes everything here. use the gray background included on the printable to wrap the sides of the cereal box.

let others help you save for college this holiday season…

with the help of family and friends during the holidays, on birthdays and special occasions throughout the year, you can work together on getting your kids ScholarShare 529 accounts funded. it’s also super easy for others to buy Scholarshare gift cards for your children, they are even sold at Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us. the gift of education is a gift of love !!!!

don’t forgot about the $50 Target Gift Card Program this December 7th and 8th, 2017!!!!  it’s a great little bonus that will help your holiday shopping this year. time is short, soon our kids will be saying goodbye to us and heading into the grown-up world of college and careers. as parents, we love to give our kids the best, an not have them worry about the struggles of funding school and having to pay off huge student debt loans. one day they will look back and thank you for what you have done for them!


 FREE Printable Elf Bank HERE

{Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.}

Christmas CHEER Checklist

it’s December 1st!!!! the beginning of my favorite month of the year. i love the colors, the decorations, the sights, the smells and feeling of the season. i love it so much that i started decorating the house two weeks ago. to celebrate my favorite month of the year, i partnered with, to bring you my Christmas CHEER Checklist!!!!

i thought it would be a fun to create a Christmas CHEER Checklist in case you needed some ideas on how to get into the holiday spirit. these are the traditions i do with my family each year. i love them all so much.

Number 1 on my list is – add a fresh holiday arrangement to my home. i LOVE fresh flowers, they always make me happy and even help me de-stress. something that is very prevalent during the holidays. sent a beautiful fresh floral arrangement in colors of the season. it arrived at my doorstep arranged perfectly and even more beautiful than i was expecting from a delivery service.  the Natural Elegance by Southern Living arrangement by put a gigantic smile on my face. isn’t it beautiful?!!!!

i am so happy with the flower arrangement, that i plan to have a few more delivered throughout the month. i’m also going to have one delivered for my Christmas Dinner tablescape. with a few candles, some pinecones, pretty plates and napkins, my table will be ready to go with the flower arrangement as my centerpiece.

the rest of the Christmas CHEER Checklist is just as great – especially for helping to plan out the holiday month. each item will help you  add a special feeling of Christmas CHEER. sit down on December 1st, plan your calendar out, and gather the items that you need to make your home full of Christmas Cheer.  i can tell this year is going to be an extra special one….the yummy scents are already wafting through the air, and we have a new little one to share our joy with. hope that you enjoy the upcoming season as much a we will.

Click here for a the FREE Printable Christmas CHEER Checklist.

and Happy December!!!! hope theses ideas get you in the holiday mood.

{Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. sent me this beautiful arrangement at no cost. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. }

60 Christmas Light Displays in Orange County

the best orange county christmas light displaysUpdated for December 2017

Christmas Lights!!!!! i just love it when houses AND even neighborhoods go all out decorating their home with twinkly lights and decorations for the holidays. all that work putting up the outdoor lights gives the community the special gift of Christmas magic. here is a list of over 60 Christmas Light Displays in Orange County that you can visit.

Aliso Viejo
King Elder Lane

Anaheim Hills
Bel Air Neighborhood (Riverview & Santa Ana Road near Weir Canyon)

306 Barryknoll Street
151 S. Jeanine Way
2118 W. Minerva Avenue
Symphony St.

Balboa Island
327 Sapphire Avenue

515 Cedar Avenue
Birch Street (Kraemer & Birch)
Shadetree Circle (Lambert & Wandering)

Buena Park
8073 Calendula Drive

Codo De Caza
Gooseberry Court

Costa Mesa
3150 Bear Street
467 East 19th Street
Lilac & Santa Ana Avenue
77 Fair Drive (City Hall) – Peanut’s House

5208 Cumberland Drive

Dana Point
Monarch Beach Homes

Fountain Valley
Brookhurst & Heil
18323 Stanislaus Street (Light Music Show, entire roof decorated)

Woods and Amerige
Mountain View Avenue & Fullerton Creek Road
Sparkle Ball Street, North Yale (500 Block)

Garden Grove
6531, 6541, 5521 Belgrave Avenue
12112 Wutzke Street

Huntington Beach
Bolsa Chica Avenue (past Bolsa)
16889 Algonquin Street 
La Cresta Drive

Ladera Ranch
Bramford Street
Shively Street

Laguna Hills
Mawson Drive
25276 Orellano Way

Laguna Niguel
Nellie Gail Road
Elder Court
5 Tunis

Lake Forest
22981 Belquest Drive
Ashbrook Street
24952 Greenbay Drive
Rimrock Street, Peachwood & Tamarisk (Trabuco Canyon & Lake Forest Drive)
Rushford Drive
25141 Steinway Circle

La Palma
Houston Avenue
Tiara Lane

Mission Viejo
26152 Cordillera (Whoville House)
23446 Bolivar Street
Bough Avenue (Nightmare Before Christmas House)
27093 Pinario
Via Amistoso Street
21602 Criptana

Newport Beach
El Paseo Street on Lido Peninsula
Harbor Island Drive
Saphire Avenue

451 N. Citrus Street
1431 North Shaffer Street
Locust & Glassell
Pine Street
7633 E. Saddlehill Trail
1767 N Lindenholz Street
458 N. Emerald Drive

444 Normany  (“Frozen” House)

Rancho Santa Margarita
22 El Corazon
20 El Corzo (Candy Cane Land)
11 Twilight Lane
16 Calle Liberacion

San Clemente
Talega Seaside Neighborhood
Talega Stella Mare Neighborhood

Trabuco Canyon
Wagon Wheel Neighborhood

Red Hill Avenue & Olwyn Drive
2351 Caper Tree Drive
1151 Windsor Lane

Bolsa Chica & Westminster Boulevard and Northwestern & Bolsa Chica
5755 Westminster Boulevard

Yorba Linda
Buena Vista at Lakeview
East Lake Village (Village Center Drive & Avenida De Las Polmas)
18665 & 18974 Seabiscuit
4712 Via Del Rancho

(have any suggestions?  let us know! )

PLUS…..have you seen this list of 100 Christmas Events in Orange County??????