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 1-800-flowers.com, 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. 1-800-flowers.com 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 1-800-flowers.com 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. 1-800-flowers.com sent me this beautiful arrangement at no cost. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. }

Best Gingerbread Fudge Recipe

Gingerbread Fudge Recipe1

last weekend, our family took a road trip up the coast to the little town of Carmel-by-the-Sea. while we were there, we visited the town’s candy store where they had lots of unique imported candies, homemade truffles and all the homemade fudge that you could imagine. while we were there, i spotted their seasonal gingerbread fudge. i tasted it, and it was so so so good. i even brought a piece home since my husband and boys also thought it was super yummy. then i got to thinking,…i could make also make this Gingerbread Fudge at home.

i got to work, planning my recipe. i decided to use the old stand by Fantasy Fudge recipe that you find on the back of the Kraft JET-PUFFED Marshmallow Creme jar. i substituted the semi-sweet chocolate for white chocolate chips, and added gingerbread spices…nutmeg, cinnamon and of course ginger.

the end result was this 8 x 8″ slab of fudge goodness. topped with cinnamon red hots, this fudge tastes like gingerbread Heaven. its rich, sweet, and spiced perfectly with the flavors of homemade gingerbread cookies. it looks a little cracked here because i was anxious to get it out of the pan…and took it out before it was fully set.

How to make Gingerbread Fudge

once i removed it from the pan, i cut it into 1″ cubes. the perfect size for a rich fudge treat. Easy Gingerbread Fudge Recipe

Easy Gingerbread Fudge

Best Easy Gingerbread Fudge

i am so happy with the results, that i think this recipe will make it into my list of Christmas recipes that i make each year. if you love fudge…and gingerbread, try it…you will love it. the recipe is below.

Best Gingerbread Fudge Recipe1

Easy Gingerbread Fudge Recipe1
ingredients
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup evaporated milk (do not use sweetened condensed milk.)
1-1/2 cups white chocolate chips (i like Ghirardelli Brand)
1 jar (7 oz.) JET-PUFFED Marshmallow Creme
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp ginger
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 – 1 tsp nutmeg
cinnamon red hots

directions
line a 9-inch square pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides. bring the sugar, butter and evaporated milk to full rolling boil in a saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly. cook 4 minutes until candy thermometer reaches 234°f, stirring constantly. remove from heat.  next, stir in chocolate and marshmallow creme; stir until melted. add vanilla and spices; mix well. finally, pour into a prepared pan. spread to cover bottom of pan and top with red hots. cool completely. when ready to serve, cut into 1″ squares.

enjoy!

 

Christmas Grinch Juice Recipe

The Grinch Punch recipe

Christmas time is here! and it is time for holiday parties, get togethers, and gatherings with family and friends. you may need a fun and quick recipe for one of your Christmas events, so i am showing you this Grinch Juice recipe inspired by one of my all-time favorite Christmas stories, How The Grinch Stole Christmas. so i love to make this green punch and call it Grinch Juice! by dressing up the punch bowl and adding a few fun garnishes, your guest will definitely not be Grinches this year.

Grinch Punch

to make this Grinch Juice, you will need blue food coloring, orange juice, lemon juice, Sweet’N Low, water, vanilla extract, almond extract and lemon-lime soda.

grinch juice ingredients

in a punch bowl or pitcher (i suggest clear glass so you can see the green) combine two drops of blue food coloring, orange juice, lemon juice, Sweet’N Low, and water. stir until combined. next add the vanilla and almond extracts. now you can either chill it overnight in the fridge, or serve immediately.

finally, when you are ready to serve, you can fill your glasses with ice and then pour the juice over the ice. i like to garnish with a candy cane or maraschino cherry. you can also just let your guests serve themselves.

Christmas grinch punch recipe

Grinch Juice idea

grinch punch recipe

to make my Grinch Juice extra festive, i like to use a tall, clear glass punch bowl or clear glass pitcher. then i cut out a heart out of felt or cardstock and affix it on the front of the bowl or pitcher to represent the Grinch’s heart that finally grew 3 sizes the year that he brought Christmas back to the Whos. you can also place How The Grinch Stole Christmas story book next to the juice…or make a fun sign.

grinch juice punch

this Grinch Juice is a great compliment to any Christmas Party. kids and adults will enjoy it’s fun theme. the lemon-lime flavor is a light and refreshing compliment to holiday appetizer spread. and pssst, using the Sweet ‘N Low cuts down on the extra calories of added sugar, you are saving 2 cups of sugar from this drink….plus, i can’t tell the difference in this particular drink. add more or less according to your taste.

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas recipe

ingredients
2 drops blue food coloring
2 cups orange juice
1-1/4 cup lemon juice
4 packets Sweet’N Low
6 cups water
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 liter lemon-lime soda
Garnish – candy canes, maraschino cherries

directions
in a punch bowl, mix together orange juice, lemon juice, Sweet’N Low, water and food coloring. stir until combined. next add vanilla extract and almond extract. chill overnight, or serve immediately following the next directions.

When ready to serve:
add add lemon-lime soda and ice to the juice. taste, and adjust any of the flavors to your liking. you can garnish each cup with a candy cane or a maraschino cherry.

tip: to make your drink look extra Grinchy, tape or glue a heart to the outside of the container.

how to make Grinch Juice

 

You might also like to make these Coca Cola Reindeer!!!!

{Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I am an Ambassador for Sweet’N Low. All thoughts and opinions are my own. }

Celebrating Holiday Decorating with Kmart

Tracking Pixelpopsicle blog holiday house i have been busy decorating my home for the holidays…it is one of my favorite things to do for Christmas. i have partnered with Kmart to bring you this post about my holiday decorating traditions, because i definitely have a particular way of decorating for the Christmas holiday.

the above photo is a picture of my home decorated for Christmas. i get so happy just looking at it…because Christmas decorations bring me so many wonderful feelings of the season.  i personally love decorating with traditional Christmas colors, red and greens of course. and i like my decor to be traditional but have a vintage feel as well.

these glass Christmas ornaments are one of my most prized holiday possessions. i have collected them throughout my marriage, and love the unique details each one has. some have glitter, some have a dash of fur. they sparkle and twinkle when the lights are on, and are the focal point of my Christmas tree. everyone knows to be careful with them, and the boys have so much excitement as they pull each one from the box and place them on the tree. once they finish decorating, we usually make hot chocolate and enjoy the view with Christmas music blaring. then they head up to bed in their new Christmas jammies that i got them.  i always give my boy pjs on December 1st so they can enjoy them all season long.

once they are in bed, i rearrange to tree so that i can have the ornaments look just right. i hate to be picky, but i love my tree to be set up a certain way. so without making to boys feel bad, i just rearrange it once they are asleep. yep, i do this very year LOL.

beautiful glass Christmas ornaments

however, i do have to say, that at least of these special ornaments breaks each year. it’s a sad site. luckily, i replenish my collection each year with one or two new ornaments. it is always fun to pick a few new ones that are special to the years activities we’ve done. they add a special memory to the holiday memories we have each year.

Kmart knows a lot about holiday decor. they have everything you need to decorate for the holiday, and no retailer is better prepared to help you deck the halls than Kmart. i checked out their holiday selection online and found some festive decor that i would love to add to my home. these are my faves….

kmart holiday decorations

Pre-lit Pine Christmas Swag – decorating the mantle is a must, and i love that this swag is pre lit. so much better than wrapping the lights around the greenery. and since it is artificial, you can use it for years to come. a great investment.

LED Flameless Candles i love candles, but get nervous having burning flames around my Christmas decor. that is why i like these Flameless Candles, plus they smell like vanilla.

Die Hard Christmas Lights – The new DieHard LED holiday lights at Kmart come with a 5-year warranty, stay cool to the touch and never flicker. If one light goes out, the others stay lit.

Kurt S. Adler Wooden Advent Calendar we have one similar to this, and the boys enjoy hanging the ornaments up on it each day as a countdown to Christmas. i love the vintage design of this one by Kurt S. Adler.

Santa with Sleigh and Reindeer Lawn Decoration

The Christmas Tree Company 24″ Fresh Christmas Berry Fraser Fir Holiday Wreath i have an artificial tree, so this fresh wreath is the perfect way to get that fresh pine smell in the house. did you know you could get fresh pine wreaths at Kmart? neither did i!

Sandra by Sandra Lee Merry Holiday Shatterproof Ornament Pack
Wilton Gingerbread House Kit
Kurt S. Adler Christmas Stockings
Radko Glass Tree Ornaments

and now is your chance to show off your holiday decor!!!!

Best Dressed Home Sweepstakes!
to celebrate the uniqueness of this holiday tradition, Kmart are launching the Best Dressed Home Sweepstakes to capture how you and others across the US are decorating for the holidays.

Kmart BestDressed Contest

Between now to December 26, visit Kmart’s Best Dressed Sweepstake page and upload a photo of your home decked out for the holidays for a chance to win Shop Your Way points. 60 people will instantly win $50 in Shop Your Way points and 1 grand prize winner will win 1 million Shop Your Way points. so go take some pictures of your holiday home and enter today! good luck.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kmart.

How to Make Coca-Cola Bottle Reindeer

This is a sponsored post.Coke Bottle Reindeer tutorial w free printablemaking someone smile is a gift in itself, that is why i love making gifts to give to others. they don’t have to be extravagant gifts either, today i made these simple Coca-Cola Bottle Reindeer gifts with the boys. they turned out super cute, and had a lot of fun making them. we even decided to do something very special with them when we finished making them. hopefully this will help you get inspired to also make some smiles of your own.


to make these adorable Coca-Cola Bottle Reindeer, you will need: Classic Coca-Cola in glass bottles, pipe cleaners (green, gold or brown), google eyes, small red pom poms, and a glue gun. if you want to add the gift tags, you will need card stock, string, and a straw.Coke Bottle Reindeer instructionsfirst, you need to cut (2) 1-1/2 pieces off of the pipe cleaner.Pipe Cleaner reindeer antlersnext, twist the two small pieces of pipe cleaner onto the ends of the long piece of pipe cleaner. you are now ready to assemble your Coke Bottle Reindeer.Pipe Cleaner reindeerglue the eyes and nose onto the Coke bottle with hot glue. then attach the pipe cleaner antlers by placing them on the front of the lid…
Coke Bottle Reindeer
and then bending them towards the back and twisting together.

How to make a coke bottle reindeeryour reindeer is now complete.Coke Bottle Reindeer tutorial next, attach a fun straw to your bottle with a piece of string or ribbon, and then tie the gift tag with a bow. (you can download the free printable gift tags here)Coke Bottle Reindeer tutorial free printablelook how adorable these Coke Bottle Reindeer are!Coke Bottle Reindeer giftCoke Bottle Reindeer gift ideathe boys decided that they wanted to spread some #RealMagic through giving the Coke Bottle Reindeer to random holiday shoppers! they wanted to share a smile and spread the joy of the season through giving to others. i loved their enthusiasm to bring the magic to life through good deeds…something i have been really trying to teach them…and to try to help others experience a happy holiday season.

we took our Coca-Cola Bottle Reindeer and started to pass them out to holiday shoppers as they passed by. the boys were very excited at first, but then they got nervous. however, after they gave out the first reindeer and saw the smile it brought to that person’s face, they were even more excited to finish passing them out.

Coke-Bottle-Reindeer-random-act-of-kindness1

it was a great activity to get my boys and those who received the reindeer into the spirit of giving and the boys are beginning to realize that it feels even better to give than it does to receive. it really doesn’t take a lot to make someone smile.

Coca-Cola wants to see your giving nature this holiday season!!!!

while the holidays are a time for family and gifts, Coca-Cola wants to see how you can be creative and give to others. who is on your gift list this year? how do you create memories through gift giving during the holidays? and how do you share a smile and #RealMagic through giving to others?

Santa knows that one of the greatest things you can do to make someone happy is absolutely free: A SMILE! for this, Santa’s Wish List is for us to turn our attention outward and to spread happiness simply by sharing a smile. Coca-Cola would love for you to tweet or Instagram a photo of your smile with the hashtag #RealMagic. when you do this, you will get a special thank you smile in return after Dec. 1st! PLUS you can earn extra rewards by sharing videos and photos from the My Coke Rewards website!

be sure to check out the Coca-Cola website for fun ideas on how to make someone’s Christmas special! and don’t forget to use the hashtag #RealMagic so you can get a special thank you message!
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Coke Bottle Reindeer Christmas gift idea

you can find Classic Coca-Cola in glass bottles at your local Walmart store on the soda aisle.