Celebrating Holiday Decorating with Kmart

popsicle 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.


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!

Coke Bottle Reindeer Christmas gift idea

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

Do you shop with Intent?

black fridayit’s already begun, and it’s about to get even CRAZIER.


if your inbox is anything like mine, there are dozens of emails with Black Friday reminders….and most don’t even start on Black Friday! because as we all know…Thanksgiving Day is the “new” Black Friday. blah.

there’s nothing like shoving turkey in your mouth as fast as you can, so that you can hustle over to one of the local shopping centers to stand in line for that once a year shopping trip that lasts through the night. who cares about all the family and friends who have traveled near and far to be with you. because Heaven knows, if you aren’t first in-line, you may not get that deal you’ve had you’re eye on.

i too have gotten caught up in the Black Friday frenzy. i have stayed up all night long, wondering the aisles filling up my cart. and every year, i come home with so much more than i planned on getting…stuff i didn’t even know i needed. yes….i have gotten some great deals like a huge television for a great price. it was awesome….but, shopping Black Friday has been different the last few years. maybe because i’m older, or maybe it’s because i have experienced first hand how it feels to come home with a bunch of stuff that just ends up broken or tossed aside a few days after the holidays. i can’t help but feel kind of sick to my stomach as i watch everyone shop. it’s like a mad house. pushing. shoving. and disregards for others in their paths. the waste. the mindless spending. (i know not everyone is like this…however, the whole experience seems to feel this way to me)

where is the INTENT?

when it comes to Black Friday, the stores know what they are doing. products are strategically placed to cross your path…practically BEGGING you to pick them up and put them in your cart.

deal. deal. deal.

cheap. cheap. cheap.

more. more. more.

it may be the flashy sticker price that is shockingly low, or the fact that they’ve printed our kiddies favorite character on the packaging. it may be that every body else wants it, and hence we “need” it too. or the fact that we are bored waiting in line, so lets just fill up the cart.

whatever the reason that these products mysteriously make it into our carts, i urge us to take a minute….a second thought….and shop with INTENT.

do i really need it?

am i just buying it because it’s cheap?

do my kiddies really need a stocking full of dollar bin crap that is just going to end up in the trashcan a week later? not really.

am i just buying it so they can have a lot of “stuff” to open? what does that teach our children? what does this tell our friends?

STUFF. that’s all it is. however, most of us LOVE stuff. and we love to see our kids excitement as they open gifts on Christmas morning. it really is magical. but you know what is even more magical? seeing them open that one thing they have really wanted, the thing that they would rather have than all those other gifts combined. the gift the was bought with INTENT…just for them. to them, the rest of the gifts are just fluff.

and how much fluff do we really need?

this Black Friday, i urge you to shop with INTENT.

definition of intent

buy gifts that will actually mean something to the recipient. it’s an awesome feeling to have when you know that you got that perfect item that will make that person who receives it light up inside. a gift that shows that person you were really thinking of them when you chose it just for them. it feels SO much better than if you bought them a bunch of meaningless trinkets because they were cheap and a Black Friday doorbuster.


and yes….

we all LOVE A DEAL.

all i am saying is “think” twice before you put that item in your cart. we don’t really need all that fluff.

and you may find that more is less, and less is MORE after all, the true meaning of Christmas doesn’t come from a store.


Celebrate Christmas with the Magic of Northpole by Hallmark

This #NorthPoleFun shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

Hallmark North Pole Collection

the holidays are quickly approaching, and in the blink of an eye, they will be here. for our family, we have Christmas traditions that we begin as early as the 1st of December. so i am feeling like it is already time to get prepared.  some of the current traditions our family has for the Christmas holiday season are…

getting the house decorated for Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving…

Christmas Decoratingbaking Christmas cookies….Baking Christmas Cookiesworking at local charities to make Christmas happen for children in our community….

Los Angeles Charities

 and getting the boys Christmas pajamas at the beginning of the month so that they can enjoy them all month long.

Christmas Pajamas

of course we love to also do activities such as looking at Christmas lights, getting hot cocoa and riding the Christmas Train. i don’t do the elf thing like many families do, i find it difficult to have to come up with something creative every day during the busy holiday season. but i do love the idea of doing something special like an advent calendar or reading a Christmas book each night. so this year we are going to start the tradition with the new Northpole Line by Hallmark, a keepsake line of holiday toys based on the new NORTHPOLE movie coming out on the Hallmark channel.

one of our favorite items in the Northpole line is the Northpole Communicator. each night from December 1st through December 24th, push the button and turn the knob to have a conversation with Santa, the elves and some of his Northpole friends. it’s a fun way for your family to connect with Santa and Northpole.

Hallmark Northpole Traditions
North Pole Communicator plus we received the book “Once Upon a Northpole Christmas” with the special “Find me Santa! Snowflake”, a story that peeks into the secrets of Northpole magic.Once Upon a Northpole Christmas Book by Hallmark

Once Upon a Northpole Christmas

if you add your name and hang this lighted snowflake in a window, on a doorknob, or wherever you like,  to ensure that Santa finds you—no matter where you are. on Christmas Eve, the snowflake will glow for four hours until the jolly guy arrives.
Christmas Decorating with Hallmark Northpoleplus there are other fun Northpole items to make the holidays more magical!

Hallmark Northpole toys

these special Northpole by Hallmark items and more, can be found online, the special book and ornament gift pack will be sold exclusively at Walmart, and will be available beginning November 1st. the boys are really excited to start new traditions with the Northpole items, and so am i! i love the holiday season, and anything that makes it more magical. to find out more about the new Northpole line from Hallmark, click here.



How to Tie Bows for Presents


every year i host a Wrapping Party for some of my close friends were we get together and wrap our Christmas gifts. it is one thing i look forward to every year. i like to make a nice dinner, we sit and chat for a bit and then get to wrapping…helping each other get all our gifts ready for giving. i usually end up with the task of the bows, i love making large pretty bows…i also think that gifts that look prettier are more fun to open.

to get ready for my party, i went over to Walgreens to stock up on wrapping supplies. i love having all the presents under my tree match, so each year i pick out a color scheme and buy 4-5 wrapping papers, ribbons, and tags that all match. Walgreens had all sorts of great items to create some beautiful and creative gifts. lots of wrapping paper choices…and they weren’t those cheesy grandma prints either.

i was able to find 4 different but matching wrapping papers, coordinating ribbon and tags…plus i found some great novelty items to top my gifts.

let me show you some of my finished gifts. for this one, i used sparkly fabric ribbon and red snowflake wrapping paper. to add a little bit of excitement, i attached this Santa hat ornament i found at Walgreens for just $1. it really made to present look festive.


then i found this great polka dot wrapping paper and some red wrapping yarn. i also loved this “no peeking” gift tag.  adding a small novelty item on top of your presents can really make them stand out. when i saw these holiday gum balls, i knew they would look great with the polka dots. i really love how this present turned out.


if you don’t want to spend a lot of time wrapping, Walgreens has these great large stick-on bows that are 7″ round. so much better than the little ones (however they have those too). i decided to use a hologram candy cane striped wrapping paper. i topped it off with this gigantic 12″ candy cane i found for just $1. perfect combo.


using a red and green striped paper, i used one of those large stick on bows and a Santa tag for this present. i also added this cute mini stocking i found for a $1 and placed a gift card in it. i am really not a fan of gift cards because i like to spend the time finding the perfect gift, but adding a gift card to a gift is great. and the stocking made a great holder for it.


these are just some of the many options i found at Walgreens. there was so much more….like this Hallmark line of holiday bags, wrapping papers and pre-tied ribbons.


and it was even better that some Walgreens are opened 24-hours a day. i did all my shopping at 12 am.  i had a little too much fun…cheek it out.

now to show you how to make pretty bows for your presents. it’s pretty simple, and i am not an expert at it, but nevertheless, here is how i do it….


first, you are going to want to tie the ribbon around your gift with a simple knot.  then cut the ends leaving 6-8 inch tails.  you can use any type of ribbon to do this technique, but I love to use wide ribbon (with or without wired edges) to wrap my gifts with.  i purchased the sparkly wired ribbon at Walgreens. beside being my favorite color for the holidays, i also love the glitter and wired edges because they help the bow stay big and full.

second, make the first loop of your bow. hold the end of the ribbon and fold it over to make a loop.


next, continuing to hold the first loop, make more loops by folding up the ribbon back and forth and holding it in the center. you can make as many loops as you want or can hold. cut the ribbon after your last loop leaving an extra inch long tail. for this bow, i made eight loops….four loops on each side.


now, place your almost finished bow on the center of your package on top of the knot you created. continue to hold the center of the loops.


using the tails of the ribbon tied around your package, tie a knot around the center of your bow loops. your bow will now be attached to your package.


trim the tails to look nice…either at a slant or a “v” like the photo below. you now can fluff up your bow by opening and rounding out the loops. continue to do so until your bow looks pretty and polished.


i am thrilled with how my gifts turned out! thanks Walgreens for the great selections.