Treat Your Pets This Holiday Season

Sponsored post by Lunchbox, all opinions are my own.

Our dogs, Ziggy and Dodger, love Christmas!  There is so much excitement around the house, with guests to greet, boxes to sniff and trees inside the house. So we always make sure that our Christmas celebration includes special things just for them and that they have presents under the tree. Sometimes they get a new bed or a nice collar, and they always get toys and treats, like this Purina Busy Bone.

Purina Busy Bone for Christmas

Wrapping up a package for the pups is a great way to include them in the holiday fun! This year we decided to include some dog treats in the holiday decorations too. We took some of the dogs’ favorite treats – Purina Beggin Strips – and strung them with ornaments to make a fun garland for the tree.

Dog treat garlandContinue Reading

Danish Pastries and Family Traditions

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

Danish Pastries with Maple Glaze - a traditional family recipe with pastry dough rolled up with walnuts and cinnamon and drizzled with Maple glaze.

One of the best things about the holiday season is family traditions. We have many traditions in my family, and most of them revolve around ornaments or baking! When I was growing up this recipe for Danish Pastries was part of every holiday season. My mom always made them for Christmas, and every year we would eat them for breakfast on Christmas morning after we opened presents.Continue Reading

Thai Shrimp Noodle Bowl

I am participating in a VIN campaign for California Dried Plums. The opinions expressed in this post are my own. #CADriedPlums

California Dried Plums are a delicious fruit that is perfect not just for snacking, but for cooking too. I recently made this Thai Shrimp Noodle Bowl recipe from the California Dried Plums Website, and it was a tasty dinner that the entire family enjoyed.

Thai Shrimp Noodle Bowl - a quck and easy family dinner featuring carrots, zucchini, red peppers, California Dried Plums, and shrimp in a teriyaki sauce.

The recipe combines the dried plums with lots of vegetables like carrots, red peppers and scallions, and tops it all off with shrimp. I shredded the carrots and zucchini and cut all the ingredients finely for an easy to eat stir fry, suitable for using chopsticks.  I served it over rice noodles, and it was delicious.Continue Reading

DIY Advent Calendar

My kids have always enjoyed having an Advent Calendar for keeping track of the days left until Christmas! A Christmas Countdown Calendar is a great way to keep add some enjoyment to the anticipation of the holiday.  This year we worked together to make a DIY Advent Calendar that we can re-use year after year.

DIY Advent Calender - an easy Christmas Countdown Calendar made from paper mache boxes.

The general idea of the DIY Advent Calendar is pretty simple, since it is made out of paper mache boxes. We picked up paper mache boxes in all different shapes and sizes, and then decorated the boxes and arranged them in a Christmas tree shape. The kids can one box a day during the month of December.Continue Reading

Give the Gift of Fragrance

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

This holiday season give the gift of memory! Smell is the most powerful of all the senses, and creates lasting memories. Just a whiff of cinnamon reminds me of my mom’s delicious apple pie, and takes me back. So a fragrance gift for the holidays gives you the chance to give a gift that will leave a lasting impression.

Give the Gift of Fragrance this holiday season

The other great thing about a fragrance gift is that it is easy, stress free gift. When I was at Walgreens recently they had a large display right inside the front door of all kinds of COTY Fragrance Gift Sets. There was something for everyone, from Nautica to Beyonce to Katy Perry to Stetson to Vera Wang.Continue Reading

Warm up with Winter Savings at Hyatt with Giveaway

This is a Fashionista Event and a promotional item was provided to me. Hosts for this event are Still Blonde after all these Years and ModlyChic

The holiday season is approaching fast! The winter can be long and dreary, so it is a great time to think about a winter getaway – to escape the winter blues! Vacations don’t just have to be in the summer after all. Sometimes winter can be the best time to see a completely different side of a city. I’d love to take a winter trip to a someplace cosmopolitan and unique, like Montreal, Canada.

Montreal Canada

Montreal is a fantastic city to visit, because it is like a European city right here in North America. And right now with Hyatt’s Warm up with Winter Savings Event you can get great savings at a fantastic hotel, like the Hyatt Regency Montreal. During the day you can take a Foodie tour of the city, or try some winter activities like ice skating downtown and visit landmarks like the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal.Continue Reading

Speculoos | Dutch Windmill Cookies #CreativeCookieExchange

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Speculoos, also known as Dutch Windmill Cookies, are a holiday cookie that is traditionally made for the Feast of St. Nicholas (Dec. 6th) in the Netherlands and Belgium. They are a shortbread type cookie, but with a lot of spices, like cinnamon, added, which makes them fragrant and tasty!

Speculoos - Dutch Windmill Cookies - a traditional stamped cinnamon and spice filled cookie from the Netherlands and Belgium - Speculaas - Make holiday cookies from around the world this Christmas

I saw a box of the cookies at Trader Joe’s last week and was intrigued, so I decided to make some for this cinnamon cookie hop. I wanted to try something different and it is fun to try holiday cookies from different countries.  The cookies are thin, crunchy cookies, and are traditionally stamped with a holiday design. Since I have a cookie stamp that I rarely use it was a perfect cookie for trying it out.Continue Reading

Clean and Organized for the Holidays

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

One of the big things I need to do to get ready for the holiday is clean and organize the house! We are having a big celebration at Christmas, with all of our family coming over for Christmas dinner. And we are planning smaller celebrations too, with friends and family. I want things to be tidy and organized this year, and not just do a cosmetic surface cleaning. One of the biggest things that makes cleaning challenging for my family is our pets, especially the dogs.

My holiday cleaning challenges - My two dogs

Sure the dogs look cute, but they make big messes. Dodger, our larger dog, is pretty laid back, so he mostly makes messes by shedding. But our younger dog Ziggy loves to chew, and he chews anything and everything, usually all over the living room and family room floor. Just last week he found a 1/2 empty root beer can, and chewed right through the aluminum to spill soda on the carpet. Yesterday I pulled a yellow marker out of his mouth – luckily before he created any stains this time. And then there is the mud that both of them track into the house, along with an occasional accident. Continue Reading

Maple Roasted Carrots

I am always looking for new ways to serve old favorites, like carrots. While browsing Pinterest for sides for Thanksgiving I came across this recipe for Maple Glazed Carrots, and decided it would work well. So I changed it up a little and made these Maple Roasted Carrots.

Maple Roasted Carrots - a simple side dish made by roasting carrots and garlic and tossing them in maple syrup. Perfect side for Thanksgiving.

I modified the recipe up by using olive oil instead of butter, and adding garlic too. I love garlic, so I tend to add it to most vegetable dishes! I also used multi-colored carrots to make the dish look pretty, which makes it perfect the the Thanksgiving table.Continue Reading