Sunday, November 29, 2015

Simple Homemade Advent Calendar

A wonderful holiday tradition and one I've always been a fan of is getting my kids those cute chocolate filled Advent calendars each year leading up to Christmas. When I was a child myself, I loved the anticipation of opening up a new door each day and seeing what chocolate I got. As the doors opened, the number of days until Christmas got smaller {every child's dream}. Only, now as an adult I don't like chocolate ha and I didn't really like it then. My kids aren't big fans of chocolate either. So for me, getting them a treat they don't like defeats the purpose of a treat, especially when there are so many other little gifts out there I know they'll enjoy. 

For my homemade Advent calendar, I used simple pocket envelopes, numbered them 1-24, and stuffed them full of little toys and candies. First, I used double sided tape to attach the envelopes to the wall, however, as I stuffed them they got too heavy and started falling off {surprising everyone in the process lol}. So I used a little tack and pressed it inside the envelope to the wall. Works really well and so far nothing has fallen. 

The whole project cost me about $15 {for three kids} and I still have leftover candy canes. The kids are totally excited to see what is in each day's envelope and are pretty happy that none of it is chocolate. And if you're going to make your own and are in need of some inspiration, here's a list of fun things to put in your simple homemade Advent calendar! 
  • Candy canes
  • Daily prayer readings 
  • Inspiring quotes
  • Jokes 
  • Little gum balls
  • Socks 
  • Coins
  • Hot chocolate
  • Mini lollipops 
  • Small books 
  • Homemade coupons
  • Nail polish
  • Lip gloss/ flavored chap stick
  • Dollar store items
  • Stickers 
  • Small art supplies
  • Pencils 
  • Erasers 
I'd love to know what you put in your homemade Advent calendars, as I know so many people who make their own. Happy Christmas! 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Spread Cheer through Baking {Recipe & Giveaway!}

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, it's time for all things Christmas fun, holiday cheer and baking goodness. I'm so stinking excited... to decorate my home, deck out my tree, and bake yummy treats for my family and friends. Giving cookies has always been a family tradition and this year we are starting early. Spreading cheer through baking has never been easier with Betty Crocker cookie mixes.

The kids and I got busy in the kitchen this week. I headed to Walmart and bought the traditional sugar cookie mix and my personal favorite, peanut butter cookie mix. I'm usually pretty reluctant to let my kiddos bake with me {clean freak problems} but for spreading holiday cheer, I had to let them get in on the action. We made three types of cookies... Roll out Sugar Cookies, classic Peanut Butter Cookies, and Heidi's favorite, Coconut Snowball Cookies. 

Snowball Cookies are super easy to make thanks to Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix.

What you need:
  • 1 pack Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup shredded coconut flakes
  • Sprinkles for garnish {optional}
What you'll do
  • Stir together cookie mix, egg and butter
  • Roll dough into little 1 inch balls
  • Fill a small bag with coconut flakes and shake each ball in the coconut until the whole dough ball in covered
  • Bake at 375 for 8 minutes or until the coconut starts to turn lightly golden
  • Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes
  • Enjoy! 

The kids also got messy decorating shaped sugar cookies and pressing peanut butter cookies. 

Once the cookies were done and we had eaten our lot, I got to the best part of the process... packing the cookies and creating little gifts to leave on our neighbor's door steps. Once again, Betty Crocker rocked it with these FREE printable Cookie Gift Tags! They are so cute {& free} it makes spreading cheer that much easier. There are also more printables, like holiday coloring pages for kids and recipes. 

Once we were all cleaned up and ready, Heidi was more than happy to deliver our cookies and #spreadcheer

Creating holiday traditions like this is one of the many reasons I love having children during the holidays. Watching them give back to those who have helped them over the year is a very special gift for me. And to show my gratitude to you and to spread a little more cheer, I'm giving away a $20 Amazon gift card {perfect for the New Year!} It's so easy to enter! Also, don't forget to print your coupon to save $0.50 on your own Betty Crocker Cookie Mix.

***Make sure to tag me in your post or link your #SpreadCheer post to a comment on my blog story so that I can choose a winner and give them their prize!***

Have a wonderful December, filled with lots of hugs, lots of giving, and lots of Cheer! 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

{Thankful} Wonderful Wednesday Linky Party!

Thanksgiving is this week, whaaaattttt? I can't believe how fast this year has gone by but I sure am glad that it is the week of giving and thankfulness! I enjoy reading all the wonderful blog posts and social media posts on what everyone is thankful for or how they are giving back to their communities. 
What are you thankful for?? I know for me, I'm just happy to have the life I have! 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Eve and link up all those wonderful posts I can be thankful for below! 

As we Welcome you to our 76th "Oh My Heartsie Girls "Wonderful" Wednesday's Linky Party, We would like to wish you all a "Happy Thanksgiving"!! He who thanks but with the lips Thanks but in part; The full, the true Thanksgiving Comes from the heart. ~J.A. Shedd And we welcome you each week and hope that you enjoy the features while enjoying family!!

Oh My Heartsie Girls Wonderful Wednesdays

Oh My Heartsie Girl & Co-Hosts Welcome's you!! :❢:❢ #OMHGWW starts early ❢❢ And if you looking for something special from last week, there are so many good recipes and crafts, you can find them here
:❢:❢ All The Entries Here :❢:❢ 
If this is your first time to join us ~Welcome~ and if you are revisiting our AKA Wordless Wednesday Now... "Wonderful Wednesday Party's Welcome Back!! We hope you will participate each week. We Hope That You Will Follow Our Host and Co-Hosts 

Oh My Heartsie Girl Wonderful Wednesday 
Karren-Host // Oh My Heartsie Girl // Christmas Staircases Decorated // I have captured some wonderful ideas for decorating staircases. Twitter | Bloglovin | Google+ | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | HomeTalk

Co-Host Evija Roberts// From Evija With Love // My Take on the November's Theme - Take a Seat // My idea for the ‘ Take a Seat’ challenge was that I wanted to create a cool seating area for ME where I could ‘TAKE A SEAT’, sit and stay there! So here is what I did..... Twitter | Bloglovin | Google+ | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

Two Chicks and a Mom 
Co-Host Donna Wirthlin // Two Chicks And A Mom // Our Family Christmas Traditions #1// Many families have traditions, whether for a holiday or otherwise. One of our family's Christmas Eve traditions is the reading of "The Other Wiseman" and I hope you enjoy my summary. Twitter | Bloglovin | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram 

Simply Wright 
Co-Host Ashleigh // Simply Wright // Reading Book Nook // I've created a neat, cozy & inexpensive reading area for my kids! Have a look! Facebook | Google + | Pinterest | Instagram | Bloglovin

Cherishing a Sweet life 
Co-Host Christine // Cherishing A Sweet Life // Christmas Mason Jar Candles// These festive Christmas MasonJar candles are not only seriously easy to make, but cost less than $5 each! They would make great gifts to have on hand for teachers, friends at work, hostess gifts for those Holiday parties going on this Season. They do, also brighten up the Holidays! If you like candles and mason jars as much as I do you are going to love making these. Not to mention they were a ton of fun to make! Twitter | Bloglovin | Google+ | Facebook | Pinterest 

Must Love Home 
Co-Host Christine Mello // Must Love Home // Spicy Squash Seeds Recipe// Do you like pumpkin seeds? If so, you will love these Spicy Squash Seeds! They are a little smaller than pumpkin seeds, and really crisp up when they are roasted. Cajun Seasoning and Sugar take them over the top! Twitter | Bloglovin | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest 

The FAblous Journey
♥The Fabulous Journey // An Afternoon On Haji Lane // I enjoyed a wonderful afternoon on Haji Lane in Singapore...awesome shopping and colorful architecture! Twitter | Bloglovin | Google+ | Facebook | Pinterest |Instagram

Shandra White Harris With Heart Wide Open 
Co-Host Shandra White Harris // With Heart Wide Open // We All Have A Story // When Women Gather, we connect. We tell of ourselves, of our families, our Journeys....Our Stories. We share recipes! This evening was no different. Except it was. Twitter | Bloglovin | Facebook | Instagram

                    My Purple World
♥Co-Host Indah // My Purple World // Sambal Goreng Tempe - Indonesian Sweet-and-Spicy Tempe // More recipe from Indonesian favorite dishes for you all. Have you ever heard of or tried tempe? Let's try this Indonesian sweet and spicy tempe :) Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

Best Picks from last weeks party 

Your Co-Hosts Picks From Last Week 

Ferro-rocher-chocolate-cupcakes-Serendipity and Spice 
Co-Host Pick By Christine @ Cherishing a Sweet Life // Serendipity And Spice // Ferro Rocher Chocolate Cupcakes//

Co-Host Pick By Evija @ From Evija With Love // Abion Gould // Rustic Glam Jewelry // 

Co-Host Pick By Ashleigh @ Wright Simply //Strength and Sunshine // Pumpkin Spice Chickpeas//

  ultimate-star-wars-gift-guide-The Scrap-shoppe-blog 
Co-Host Pick By Donna @ Two Chicks and a Mom // The Scrap Shoppe Blog // Ultimate Star Wars Gift Guide 

Co-Host Pick By Christine Mello @ Must Love Home // Create With Joy // Ultimate Star Wars Gift Guide

Host Pick // Penny's Treasures // Short Fat Christmas Tree

Host Pick By//Sweet Mornings // Peanut Butter Spritz Sandwich Cookies//

How to create-gift-baskets-keeping-it-real
Host-Pick // Keeping it Real // How To Create A Gift Basket Like a Pro

Host Pick // Sparkling Footsteps // A Holiday Dessert Party

Host Pick // Fynes Designs // Christmas Tree Cones For Only 99¢!!

Host Pick // A Simple Pantry // Cake Mix Cookie Bar Sandwiches

Something new is coming to our "Wonderful Wednesdays" to promote Features watch for it!!!
Disclaimer: When you add your link along with your email, it will be used only to send you an invitation to join us for the party. It also gives Oh My Heartsie Girl or Co-Hosts permission to share your posts, pictures and links if featured in upcoming posts. Any content used will be given proper credit and link-backs will be provided. But Now.....Let's Party!! ..Open for a Week.. Stop by add new Links!! Share With Us your recipes, reviews ,crafts, home decor, fashion posts, jewelry, paper crafts and yes, Linky Parties and Giveaways. Comments Are Welcome & Linkbacks are Appreciated We Want To See It All! And Please Feel Free To Pin A Few Features
But Now.....Let's Party!! ….

White Peppermint Holiday Mug Cake

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

It's time, it's time! Holiday baking and cookie making time has begun. And my children and I couldn't be more thrilled about it. I've been going through my cook books and family recipes, trying to come up with simple and new recipes to make this holiday season. Let's just say that with the right ingredients, I've come up with {yet another} mug cake recipe that is sure to get everyone in the holiday spirit.

These White Peppermint Holiday Mug Cakes have everything you need for a cozy night around the Christmas tree with your friends and family. 

What you need: {per mug}
  •  1/4 cup Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Cake Mix 
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tbsp Great Value milk 
  • 1/8 cup  M&M's® White Peppermint 
  • 1 Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Vanilla Flavored Frosting
  • 1 bag M&M's® Holiday Milk Chocolate

What you'll do:
  • Get a set of holiday mugs and put in 1/4 cup of Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Cake Mix.
  • Next, you'll add melted butter and milk, stirring all ingredients until a smooth batter forms.
  • Add M&M's® White Peppermint and stir.
  • Cook up to two mugs in the microwave for 3 minutes

  • Take mugs out of the microwave {careful! they're hot} and let sit for 3 minutes.
  • Apply Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Vanilla Flavored Frosting to each mug cake and sprinkle with your choice of M&M's® Holiday Milk Chocolate or M&M's® White Peppermint, the latter for that extra punch of peppermint. 
  • Either eat straight out of the mug or eat off of a plate, either way, enjoy it! 

Something that made this recipe even easier is that I was able to get all my ingredients at my local Walmart. Right now, you can use this coupon and get $1.00 off two bags of M&M's® Chocolate Candies, perfect for adding holiday cheer to your baking needs.
Did you know that families and children in communities all over the country go without milk each year because milk is not usually donated at Feeding America food banks? Milk is highly desired, and right now you can learn more about Feeding America and join the fight against hunger here! You can also donate to The Great American Milk Drive here, and see how a small donation can make a big impact. Feeding America in The Great American Milk Drive is the first ever national program of it's kind to deliver nutrient-rich gallons of milk to hungry families. 

Check out some more wonderful and flavorful holiday recipes here, and let me know which you'll be trying this season! I think I'll be making a few just in the coming days, they all look so tasty! And don't forget to vote in the Favorite Recipes Sweepstakes in the link below!