Tag Archives: Holidays

Tis the Season to Sparkle with Customizable Engagement Rings from Anjolee

by Jennifer Wieland
Tis the season to sparkle with customizable engagement rings from Anjolee.com #engagementring #love #wedding #proposal
Thanks to Anjolee.com for sponsoring today’s post!
Tis the season to sparkle with customizable engagement rings from Anjolee.com #engagementring #love #wedding #proposal

The holidays are a time for gift giving and one of the most popular gifts that is sometimes given is an engagement ring. Proposing during the holidays is always beautiful because you and your love are surrounded by family and friends and it makes the magical holiday season even that much more special. This season you can find the perfect engagement ring with Anjolee. Anjolee is an online jeweler that offers a beautiful line of customizable engagement rings that will take you beloveds breath away. 

Tis the season to sparkle with customizable engagement rings from Anjolee.com #engagementring #love #wedding #proposal

All of the engagement rings can be customized on Anjolee.com according to your girlfriend’s likes so it’s perfect for her. You can pick which metal the ring is set in and your options are white gold, yellow gold or platinum. The white and yellow gold can also be either 14k or 18k.You get to pick your total carat weight of the diamonds in the ring from a huge selection. You even get to select the quality of the side and center diamond/gemstone. All that’s left after that is to make sure you get the perfect size.

Tis the season to sparkle with customizable engagement rings from Anjolee.com #engagementring #love #wedding #proposal

Anjolee offers other great features like having a replica of the ring made out of silver and cubic zirconia. That way when you travel you can leave the real piece at home and bring the copy so that your special ring stays safe. They also send an Anjolee Certificate of Authenticity which each diamond order and you have the option to get a third party IGI appraisal certificate to your diamond jewelry order so you know you are getting great quality.

Tis the season to sparkle with customizable engagement rings from Anjolee.com #engagementring #love #wedding #proposal

The whole idea of customizing a ring online may seem daunting and leave you a little nervous but I can tell you that it is a piece of cake and Anjolee’s products are gorgeous in person! Anjolee gave me the chance to customize an engagement ring to learn how the whole process works and then sent me a replica of the ring I had created. I picked the Cloud Nine Cushion Bridal Set and I have to tell you that the replica is absolutely beautiful! I was amazed how great it came out. It’s so beautiful and perfect in fact that I have been wearing it in place of my regular wedding ring set.

Tis the season to sparkle with customizable engagement rings from Anjolee.com #engagementring #love #wedding #proposal

To view all of the beautiful ring options available to wow your love with this holiday season head on over to Anjolee.com.

 

 

 


My Favorite Things Holiday Giveaway 2016

by Jennifer Wieland
Our Favorite Things Holiday Giveaway 2016

Our Favorite Things Holiday Giveaway 2016

Take a look at the gift collage to see all the amazing giveaways you are about to enter!

Scroll down to see my giveaway up close.

Enter to win My Favorite Things prize package at the bottom of this post.

HOP around to all the other sites, check out their amazing prizes, and enter to win their gifts!

Our Favorite Things Holiday Giveaway 2016

  1. About a Mom | 2. A Helicopter Mom | 3. Moscato Mom | 4. Cutefetti | 5. My Sweet Sanity | 6. A Magical Mess | 7. Food Fun Family | 8. The Simple Parent | 9. Divine Lifestyle

My Favorite Things Holiday Giveaway 2016

My Favorite Things Holiday Giveaway 2016

My favorite things at the holidays are shopping for the perfect gift for everyone on my list. I like to think I work really hard at getting everyone I know and love just what they want so I can see a smile on their face when they open up their gifts. Shopping at the holidays can be rough though and you have to go into the stores prepped and ready. To make the perfect shopping day I need several of my favorite things to be able to get my shopping done and fight the crowds.

My Favorite Things Holiday Giveaway 2016

The perfect shopping trip needs a great tote bag to toss smaller purchases into, store your wallet, phone and shopping lists. This Vera Bradley Tote in the Cherry Blossoms print (retail value $48) is an ideal shopping tote. To make holiday shopping easier I like to use a smaller wallet that can hold all of my cards I’ll be using and that has an ID window for you ID. It makes it so much easier to show cashiers when they are tougher on card purchases. This adorable little Vera Bradley Zip ID Case in the Parisian Pom Poms print (retail value $12) is perfect for that. After I’ve made my Christmas shopping lists and checked them twice I can keep them organized along with all of my receipts just in case I was not so great at picking out the perfect present with binder clips. For my prize pack I have some fun ones from Vera Bradley in Midnight Paisley (retail value $8).

My Favorite Things Holiday Giveaway 2016

To start out any holiday shopping trip or just a day in my life in general I require caffeine. To give you that energy boost to power through long lines and crowded stores my prize pack includes a $10 Starbucks gift card. Once your out at the stores it’s nice to know that you have plenty of money to spend so I’m including $10 Walmart, $10 Target and $10 Kohl’s gift cards to help make your holiday shopping less hard on your bank account. Of course after a long day of shopping and toting bags around you need to refuel. One of my favorite fast food places is Chick-fil-A because I can grab grilled chicken nuggets and a salad of some sort to keep it healthy but quick and yummy. You’ll be able to do the same with a $10 Chick-fil-A gift card. It’s a good thing you’ll have a new wallet and tote to carry around all of these gift cards if you are my lucky winner of My Favorite Things Giveaway 2016!

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 


Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

by Jennifer Wieland
Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

 

 

Does anyone else or their kids have an addiction to those cake-like sugar cookies that are frosted with seasonally colored buttercream and topped with sprinkles? Yeah, my 11-year-old is obsessed with them and while they are delicious did you know that it’s ridiculously easy to make them yourself? Even better though is that they are even tastier than the store-bought ones! Score big points in your house with these Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies!

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

The cakey cookie dough comes together easily and bakes up to pale perfection in just minutes. 

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

No chemical, preservative filled cookies and frosting in these soft frosted sugar cookies. Basic buttercream can be flavored how you want to amp up the flavor of the finished cookies. Tint the frosting with a seasonal color of your choice or leave the frosting in its dye free, natural state. Add the sprinkles of your choosing to really make these yummy bites of happiness into some kid-friendly eye candy. 

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies
Serves 36
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139 calories
20 g
25 g
6 g
2 g
4 g
36 g
57 g
12 g
0 g
2 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
36g
Servings
36
Amount Per Serving
Calories 139
Calories from Fat 51
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
9%
Saturated Fat 4g
18%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 25mg
8%
Sodium 57mg
2%
Total Carbohydrates 20g
7%
Dietary Fiber 0g
1%
Sugars 12g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
4%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
2%
Iron
1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the Cookies
  1. 1/2 c. butter, softened
  2. 1 c. sugar
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 3/4 tsp. vanilla
  5. 6 tbsp. milk + 1 tbsp. white vinegar, combined
  6. 3 c. all-purpose flour
  7. 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  8. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  9. 1/2 tsp. salt
For the Frosting
  1. 1/2 c. butter , softened
  2. 1 tsp. vanilla or other extract of choice
  3. 2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
  4. 1-2 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
  5. food coloring (optional)
For the Cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 350° and line baking sheets.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla on medium-high speed for a minute or two. Add in the soured milk mixture and beat on medium until well combined. This will take a few minutes and may still be a little lumpy. In another bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients in three batches and scrape down the bowl as needed. Mix until just combined.
  3. Scoop dough onto lined baking pans and using the bottom of a cup dipped in flour press the dough down until it is about 1/4 of an inch thick. Bake for 8-10 minutes. The cookies will not even have started browning, don’t worry though they are ready to come out. Let cool for 2-3 minutes on pan and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Frost when completely cooled.
For the Frosting
  1. Cream the butter and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the powdered sugar in three batches and be sure to thoroughly scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl between each addition. Once combined add 1 tbsp. of the cream and mix. Add the second one if necessary. Add any food coloring at this point. Beat the finished frosting on high for 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Use to frost cookies or cakes.
Notes
  1. These cookies are perfect for parties and holidays!
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calories
139
fat
6g
protein
2g
carbs
20g
more
My Sweet Sanity http://mysweetsanity.com/

 


Kid Pleaser M&M’S® Frosted Cookie Bars

by Jennifer Wieland
Holiday baking and gifting is a yummy snap with M&M'S® Holiday Baking Minis, Quaker Oatemal and Glad. M&M'S® Frosted Cookie Bars #recipe #MemoriesInTheBaking
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MemoriesInTheBaking #CollectiveBias

 

I love baking up treats with and for my kids during the holidays. I love seeing their faces when they try a new treat and waiting for their reactions. My favorite is always when they take one bite, chew quietly with no expression and then snatch a few more treats and run off exclaiming that they love them. In my mind nothing screams kid friendly more than a dessert decked out with colorful M&M’S®. They just add a level of fun and whimsy that any child or child at heart can relate to. My M&M’S® Frosted Cookie Bars are a perfect example.

Holiday baking and gifting is a yummy snap with M&M'S® Holiday Baking Minis, Quaker Oatemal and Glad. M&M'S® Frosted Cookie Bars #recipe #MemoriesInTheBaking

The M&M’S® Holiday Baking Minis are what I prefer to use during the holiday season. The colors are perfect and the smaller M&M’S® means you get more M&M’S® in each bite! That is definitely a huge plus. 

Create Cookies and Memories with Betty Crocker - Spread Cheer with Simple Surprises #bakingwithbetty

 

Target always has a great holiday baking section and I can always head there and find just what I need to create my holiday sweet treat masterpieces. For my M&M’S® Frosted Cookie Bars I was able to stock up on M&M’S® Holiday Baking Minis, Quaker Instant Oatmeal in Original and even festively decorated Glad® products to keep my treats at the peak of freshness longer.

Holiday baking and gifting is a yummy snap with M&M'S® Holiday Baking Minis, Quaker Oatemal and Glad. M&M'S® Frosted Cookie Bars #recipe #MemoriesInTheBaking

 

The Glad® products also make perfect containers to gift everyone you know with your holiday creations in style!

Holiday baking and gifting is a yummy snap with M&M'S® Holiday Baking Minis, Quaker Oatemal and Glad. M&M'S® Frosted Cookie Bars #recipe #MemoriesInTheBaking

There are several reasons why I just adore my M&M’S® Frosted Cookie Bars. First of all, they are of course delicious beyond belief. Second, I love taking cookie dough and baking it in a pan like you would brownies. One of the things that annoys be about cooking baking is the repetitiveness of it. Put a pan or two of cookies in the oven, cook it 8-15 minutes and then do the same thing over and over again until you are done cooking all of the dough. It makes it hard to get other things done during the busy holiday times. One pan in and done is the way to go!

Holiday baking and gifting is a yummy snap with M&M'S® Holiday Baking Minis, Quaker Oatemal and Glad. M&M'S® Frosted Cookie Bars #recipe #MemoriesInTheBaking

Adding the frosting always adds a level of childish fun to cookies. Topping them with M&M’S® Holiday Baking Minis is just the finishing touch that puts this dessert over the top. 

Holiday baking and gifting is a yummy snap with M&M'S® Holiday Baking Minis, Quaker Oatemal and Glad. M&M'S® Frosted Cookie Bars #recipe #MemoriesInTheBaking

M&M'S® Frosted Cookie Bars
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7537 calories
1128 g
873 g
316 g
58 g
158 g
1783 g
3751 g
781 g
8 g
124 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
1783g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 7537
Calories from Fat 2800
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 316g
486%
Saturated Fat 158g
790%
Trans Fat 8g
Polyunsaturated Fat 48g
Monounsaturated Fat 76g
Cholesterol 873mg
291%
Sodium 3751mg
156%
Total Carbohydrates 1128g
376%
Dietary Fiber 22g
87%
Sugars 781g
Protein 58g
Vitamin A
188%
Vitamin C
1%
Calcium
402%
Iron
190%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 c. butter, very soft
  2. 1 c. light brown sugar
  3. 2/3 c. sugar
  4. 2 lg. eggs
  5. 2 tsp. vanilla
  6. 3 packets Quaker Instant Oatmeal in Original Flavor (I pureed the oatmeal in my food processor.)
  7. 3 tbsp. instant vanilla pudding mix
  8. 1 1/2 c. flour
  9. 1/2 tsp. salt
  10. 1 tsp. baking powder
  11. 11 oz. pkg. M&M'S® Holiday Baking Minis
  12. 1 can of vanilla frosting
  13. 1 c. M&M'S® Holiday Baking Minis
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° and line a 9" x 13" pan with parchment paper and spray with baking spray.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla on medium- high, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Stir in the oatmeal, flour, salt and baking powder just until combined. Stir in the M&M'S® Holiday Baking Minis.
  3. Spread into the prepared pan and bake 40-45 minutes or until set. Cool completely.
  4. Spread frosting over the cooled cookie bars and then top with M&M'S® Holiday Baking Minis.
beta
calories
7537
fat
316g
protein
58g
carbs
1128g
more
My Sweet Sanity http://mysweetsanity.com/
 My Glad® plastic ware in the fun holiday designs makes for pretty packaging and placing a layer of wax paper between the layers helps keep the bars fresher and keeps the frosting from ending up on both the tops and the bottoms of the bars. 

Holiday baking and gifting is a yummy snap with M&M'S® Holiday Baking Minis, Quaker Oatemal and Glad. M&M'S® Frosted Cookie Bars #recipe #MemoriesInTheBaking

For more fabulous recipes and packing ideas featuring M&M’S® Holiday Baking Minis, Quaker and Glad® be sure to head over HERE!

 

 


Keto-Friendly Salsa Verde Avocado Chicken Salad

by Jennifer Wieland
Celebrate Las Posadas this year with this Keto-Friendly Salsa Verde Avocado Chicken Salad.

 

Many nations, races and religions have different ways to celebrate the holiday season. A lesser known holiday in parts of the U.S. is Las Posadas. This is a nine day celebration that is celebrated in Mexico and in parts of Southwestern United States. Las Posadas originated in Spain and the word Posada translates to English to mean hotel or inn. It is a holiday that lasts nine days, from December 16th – 24th and is celebrated by Hispanics of the Catholic and Protestant religions. Family members are chosen to dress up as Joseph and Mary each night. The procession is lead by someone carrying a candle and a house is visited by the procession. Someone answers at the house and they sing a song and let the procession enter. The group then gathers around the nativity to pray. It is done for nine nights to represent the nine months of pregnancy. 

Las Posadas is a lovely holiday that brings religion back to focus into the Christmas season. With so many people only thinking of Santa and gifts it’s so easy to lose sight of what’s important and what the true reason for the season is for Christians. Spending time with family and friends and sharing food is a wonderful way to enjoy the holiday season for nine days. 

Celebrate Las Posadas this year with this Keto-Friendly Salsa Verde Avocado Chicken Salad.

This year to celebrate Las Posadas I wanted to create a meal that I could eat. I have been following a Keto diet since the beginning of November. For those of you that don’t know what a Keto diet is, it’s a low-carb high-fat diet. It’s been shown to drastically help with a number of health issues and has the added benefit of helping people lose weight. 

Celebrate Las Posadas this year with this Keto-Friendly Salsa Verde Avocado Chicken Salad.

I used HERDEZ® Salsa Verde for my inspiration for an easy Las Posadas recipe. I then bought the rest of my ingredients and made this Keto-Friendly Salsa Verde Avocado Chicken Salad. I used the HERDEZ® Salsa Verde to create both a marinade for the chicken and a dressing for the salad. 

Celebrate Las Posadas this year with this Keto-Friendly Salsa Verde Avocado Chicken Salad.

Keto-Friendly Salsa Verde Avocado Chicken Salad
Serves 4
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491 calories
27 g
80 g
28 g
34 g
5 g
588 g
1485 g
13 g
0 g
19 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
588g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 491
Calories from Fat 248
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 28g
44%
Saturated Fat 5g
25%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 16g
Cholesterol 80mg
27%
Sodium 1485mg
62%
Total Carbohydrates 27g
9%
Dietary Fiber 10g
41%
Sugars 13g
Protein 34g
Vitamin A
77%
Vitamin C
102%
Calcium
12%
Iron
20%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the salsa verde marinade
  1. 1/2 c. HERDEZ Salsa Verde
  2. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  3. 1/2 tsp. pepper
For the chicken
  1. 1 c. salsa verde marinade
  2. 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
For the salsa verde avocado dressing
  1. 1 1/2 c. HERDEZ Salsa Verde
  2. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  3. 1 avocado, peeled and cubed
  4. 1/2 tsp. pepper
For each salad
  1. 1 1/2 c. spring mix lettuce
  2. 1 c. baby leaf spinach
  3. 6 grape tomatoes
  4. 1/4 c. shredded Mexican cheese
  5. 1 boneless, skinless salsa verde chicken breast, grilled and sliced
  6. 1/4 - 1/2 c. salsa verde avocado dressing
Instructions
  1. In a gallon sized zip top baggie add all of the marinade ingredients. Seal the bag and mix together. Add the chicken to the marinade in the zip top baggie. Seal the baggie and shake to coat. Place in the refrigerator and let chill for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Grill the chicken on a grill or grill pan until cooked through completely. Remove the chicken and place on a plate and cover with foil. Let sit 5-10 minutes. Slice the chicken into strips.
  3. In a blender or food processor combine all of the ingredients for the dressing. Pulse a few times until the avocado is no longer in large pieces. Do not over blend or it will become to liquidy.
  4. Add the salad ingredients (vegetables and cheese) to a bowl or plate. Top with a sliced chicken breast and then drizzle the salsa verde avocado dressing over it.
beta
calories
491
fat
28g
protein
34g
carbs
27g
more
My Sweet Sanity http://mysweetsanity.com/

Head over to the HERDEZ® website to learn more about HERDEZ® products, learn more about Las Posadas and get recipe ideas HERE or hop over to their Instagram page for some drool worthy food pics and Las Posadas celebration ideas. 

As this holiday brings family and friends coming together enjoying food and celebrations, HERDEZ® brand is holding a photo contest on Instagram. The Share in the Magic of the #MisPosadas contest lasts from December 7th – January 6th.

Each week, a fill in the blank question relevant to the holiday will be posted for fans to answer with a photo. Three top winners will be selected as well as honorable mentions. Prizes are as follows:
– Grand Prize: Dinner prepared by a personal chef for up to 4 people in your very own home!
– 2nd Place: $250 Gift Basket 
– 3rd Place: $200 Gift Basket 
– Honorable Mention: Custom T-shirts

To enter, you must submit a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #MisPosadas to answer the weekly fill in the blank question.

 


#SpreadCheer with Betty Crocker Cookies This Holiday Season Plus a Giveaway

by Jennifer Wieland
Use Betty Crocker Cookie Mixes to #SpreadCheer this holiday season.


 

The holiday season is upon us and in my house that means it is time to kick my baking into high gear. This time of year though more than any other is when my kids want to help me bake. I like that my kids enjoy baking with me and want to learn how to do it. It’s a life skill that will serve them well as they become older. For me, it’s a great way to spend time with my kids and make memories together that will all bring us joy and happiness some day. Earlier this week my two youngest wanted to bake some cookies to get into the holiday season so I decided to let them #SpreadCheer with Betty Crocker cookies.

While they were at school I printed this valuable coupon for 50¢ off when you buy ONE (1) Betty Crocker™ Cookie Mix. I then headed to the store and picked up some Betty Crocker Cookie Mix pouches for us to get creative with. 

Snag your valuable 50¢ off when you buy ONE (1) Betty Crocker™ Cookie Mix coupon!

Use Betty Crocker Cookie Mixes to #SpreadCheer this holiday season.

When they got home from school they were so excited to see that we were going to be baking and making not one but two different types of cookies. I let them take over mixing duty and they took turns adding ingredients and stirring to get the dough mixed up. We mixed up both sugar cookie dough and chocolate chip cookie dough.

Use Betty Crocker Cookie Mixes to #SpreadCheer this holiday season.

For the sugar cookie dough we divided it up into thirds and used food coloring to make one red and one green and then rolled the green into a log and wrapped the un-colored and red around it. I then rolled it in wax paper and popped it into the refrigerator to chill while we worked on the chocolate chip cookies.

We made our chocolate chip cookies following the package instructions and baked them up. 

Use Betty Crocker Cookie Mixes to #SpreadCheer this holiday season.

Once the chocolate chip cookies were cool. I took two and piped frosting onto the bottom of one of the cookies and then placed the other cookie on top to sandwich them together. The kids then got to have lots of fun with sprinkles decorating the sides of the frosting.

Kids and cookies

Once the chocolate chip cookie sandwiches were completed we moved on to our colorfully, festive sugar cookies. I took the log of dough out of the refrigerator and cut we placed so 1/4″ slices. The kids then rolled the edges in sprinkles or dipped the tops into white sugar sprinkles. We then baked them up according to package instructions.

Use Betty Crocker Cookie Mixes to #SpreadCheer this holiday season.

Once the cookies were all baked up and cooled we packaged some up to deliver to my parents. I had some plain paper boxes and lined them with parchment paper sheets. I then placed the decorated cookies in, closed it up and then wrapped some pretty raffia ribbon around it and attached one of the lovely Betty Crocker #SpreadCheer gift tags that you can download HERE.

Use Betty Crocker Cookie Mixes to #SpreadCheer this holiday season.

Now it’s your turn to #SpreadCheer with Betty Crocker and enter for a chance to win $20 Paypal cash!

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 


7 Tips to Save On Christmas Gifts for Kids

by Jennifer Wieland
7 Tips to Save On Christmas Gifts for Kids

 

 

The holidays are rushing up fast and the bill will soon go up even faster. If you haven’t finished shopping yet who are we kidding if you’re reading this you are NOT done. With a few simple tricks you can get save money on Christmas gifts for kids and still enjoy the holiday season without all of the financial stress. This season is not about the gifts. It is about the family.

7 Tips to Save On Christmas Gifts for Kids

Halloween costumes on clearance make great pretend play / dress up outfits for kids. Grab them in the days following Halloween and put them away for Christmas.

Find cute DIY projects that you can make for your kids. From upcycled lamps to cute bath products the possibilities are endless and limited only by your imagination (and Pinterest.) Clearance and resale craft supplies can make the cost even lower.

Check the clearance section to save money on Christmas gifts for kids. In the months leading up to the holiday season So much goes on clearance to make room for new sales.

Take some time to hit your local thrift and resale shops or your local yard sale page. This is a great way to find new unopened toys, boxes of Legos, and fun items that would normally not be in budget. Bigger items like bikes, furniture, and games systems are more affordable used.

Team up with friends and family for black Friday/cyber Monday. Getting all of the deals at all of the stores is next to impossible but with the help of friends and family you can get more of the deals. Plan out together with someone you are close too. One of you each take a shop and both lists. When doing cyber Monday shopping gather together with your laptops at your dining table. split orders to take advantage of free shipping with minimum orders.

Get your child basics for Christmas like pjs, socks, and warm winter clothes. While these are not the top of your child’s list they are practical and give the feeling of getting more while providing for needs. This is a great one for parents that feel pressured to give kids more.

Go for quality over quantity. So often we feel the need to keep up with the Jones’. The neighbors go on rattling off long lists of items they have gotten for their kids and you wonder how you can keep up with that. Let me let you in on a secret… You don’t have too. Your kids will be perfectly fine without loads of junk falling apart before the new year. Go for quality items made to last. If you really feel they need MORE see above.


VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX a Fashion Hit Plus Giveaway

by Jennifer Wieland
The Vtech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX is a fashion hit that's also fun and functional #OOTD #smartwatchdx
The product has been provided by VTech so you could experience it with your family; however, the thoughts and opinions are all your own.

 

My daughter is a little fashionista! Shopping, clothes, shoes and accessories have always drawn her in. Her first word was shoe (pronounced sue while clapping and pointing at a pair of shoes in a store) and she’s been a slave to fashion since. Having a father in I.T. and a mother who used to work in corporate I.T. too has also made her a tech junkie. So when VTech asked if we wanted to test one of their Kidizoom Smartwatch DXs I knew she would love it for both the fashion and function.

The Vtech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX is a fashion hit that's also fun and functional #OOTD #smartwatchdx

What is the VTech Kidizoom Smart Watch DX? 

(Ages 4-9 years; MSRP: $64.99)

  • The VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX is an even smarter watch for kids with better specs including double the internal memory and improved image quality, plus new features such as exciting motion-activated games, eye-catching 3D clock faces and new tools to hone basic math skills
  • Young photographers can take tons of pictures and videos and get creative with fun photo effects, video camera and voice recorder with voice-changing effects
  • In addition to the alarm, timer and stopwatch, the Kidizoom Smartwatch DX has 2 new tools including a calendar feature and a calculator so your child can work out simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems
  • Little fashionistas will love the new design and trendy colors available, including blue, vivid violet, pink, red and camouflage
  • Digital and analog display comes with more than 50 3D clock face designs and is splash proof for everyday play (splash and sweat proof; do not submerge and not suitable for showering or bathing)
  • Features rechargeable Lithium Ion battery and includes micro USB cable to upload photos/videos as well as recharge the battery
  • More than just a watch, it’s the VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX!

My daughter received the VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX in vivid violet. She loved the color and that it had pink accents because those are her two favorite colors. Once we opened up the package we took out the contents, the smartwatch, micro USB cable and user’s manual. We downloaded the Learning Lodge software from VTech and connected the Kidizoom Smartwatch DX to get it setup.

The Vtech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX is a fashion hit that's also fun and functional #OOTD #smartwatchdx

After that my daughter spent hours checking out all of the apps, taking pics, making videos and recording voices. To say that she loved this would be an understatement. For a child who routinely acts like she is on camera talking about her life this was a way to make that into reality for her. It is her absolute favorite fashion accessory!

The Vtech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX is a fashion hit that's also fun and functional #OOTD #smartwatchdx

As a parent and a tech junkie I loved it. The pictures and video were surprising better than I would have expected from what is essentially and educational toy. I like that the game apps are educational and that she is learning while she plays. 

The Vtech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX is a fashion hit that's also fun and functional #OOTD #smartwatchdx

To learn more about the VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch DX or VTech’s other educational toys checkout their website, Facebook page or follow them on Twitter

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Make Fun Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop

by Jennifer Wieland
Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #eHolidays #CollectiveBias

 

The holidays are fast approaching and in the mix of holidays I’m sure we all have a birthday, anniversary, wedding, shower or countless other things thrown into the mix too. Sometimes life sneaks up on you and you’re in need of a last-minute rushed gift. While other times you plan way in advance but know that a gift card is the perfect gift. Who wants to just send a dull boring gift card in an envelope or via email? A gift should have some life and personality to it right? That’s why I love that you can make fun personalized gift card gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

My sister has been a little down lately. She has five kids and three of them are ages two and under. She has a 12-year-old daughter, a 9-year-old son, 2-year-old boy, girl twins and a 1-year-old son. Basically, she has been pregnant or in new mom mode for three years straight. She spends all her time running the old kids around while hauling three little ones with her. At home she spends her day chasing down diaper clad bottoms going in three different directions. Her husband is a great guy and helps as much as possible but he works. However, there are always diapers, sleepless nights and days she prays for a shower alone for some me time. 

Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

I really wanted to send her a pick me up. Something to cheer her up and let her know that someone understands how much she needs a moment to herself to remember that she is not just mommy but Kim too. So I headed to The Gift Card Shop to find an egift card she would love but one that she would also spend only on herself. So she could indulge in some shopping. (I will even babysit.) I picked out a Sephora card because she loves beauty products and I know she’ll enjoy getting to try to pick out new items. 

It was so easy to order and personalize this gift with The Gift Card Shop that I’m going to show you!

Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

Head to The Gift Card Shop website. Click on the digital tab in the upper right corner.

Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

I then clicked on the eGift Card link at the top of the page and browsed through the huge selection of egift cards.

Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

Once I found the one I wanted, Sephora, I clicked the link for it. There I was able to select a denomination, choose between a digital gift card or a physical one and then I could either add to cart or personalize. I opted for the digital card and to personalize.

Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

I was then taken to a a page where I could select from digital greeting cards, digital photobooks or digital video greetings. All of these would be a perfect option but i kept it simple and selected a digital greeting card.

Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

I was then taken to a selection of beautiful card designs and narrowed it down with the occasions along the left side of the page. I went to the Just Because section of cards to find just what I was looking for. I then clicked on the card I wanted.

Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

I decided to go with this Chin Up Buttercup card for my sister. I loved the beautiful flower background with the bold, silly saying. This is where you begin creating. Once you get the large view of the front you can select Back to pick a different card or Next to start to personalize it. If you select a card with a photo you can upload pictures from your computer, Facebook or Instagram.

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I typed a fun message to my sister and “signed” it. I was able to select different font types, colors, sizes and alignment. When I was happy with it I clicked on the Next button.

Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

There is so much detail that you can even select the envelope liner and envelope. Once that’s done you click on the Next button again at the top.

Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

Click on the banner that says SWIPE OR CLICK to open your card and it will show you how the whole thing will look to the recipient. If it’s good just click on the Approve button at the top.

Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

You then let them know who it’s to and from and if you want to Schedule Send or Send Now. If you choose to schedule a date field appears and you decide when you want it to go.

Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

You’ll then get your total for that card and you can then Add To Cart. After that you can create more gifts or just checkout. 

Make Fun, Personalized Gift Card Gifts with The Gift Card Shop!

The Gift Card Shop is a no stress, no hassle way to handle your holiday and occasion cards and gifts digitally! That means no lines at the post, no writing out numerous cards and no stamp fees and right now you can even score a hot deal! Through November 22nd when you purchase a $100 eBay gift card on www.thegiftcardshop.com you’ll receive a $5 eBay gift card bonus. (While supplies last. Limit one offer per customer)

 

 


Pork Tamale Bites a Perfect Holiday Appetizer

by Jennifer Wieland
Pork Tamale Bites with La Morena and Maseca Corn Flour #VivaLaMorena #CollectiveBias
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #VivaLaMorena #CollectiveBias 

Tamales are something that I always associate with the holidays. My grandma and great-aunt would each have tamales made at their houses for Christmas. We would visit both of them over the holidays and get our fill. It wasn’t until my grandma passed away that I realized I never asked her to teach me how to make them. Thankfully, her sister was more than willing to teach me how to make them. It involved a lot of her going you add this much of this and that much of that. Handfuls of things since she’d been making them for decades. I’ve now got it down pat though and at some point during the holidays I will hold a tamale making party and my family comes over. We cook, eat, drink, talk and just have a really great time hanging out with each other. At the end of the party everyone leaves with tamales to eat or freeze. To cut out all of that though I came up with these bite size variations, Pork Tamale Bites a perfect holiday appetizer..

Pork Tamale Bites with La Morena and Maseca Corn Flour #VivaLaMorena #CollectiveBias

 

To get the ball rolling on this appetizer I headed to my local Pete’s Fresh Market and picked up everything I would need to make the Pork Tamale Bites. I was able to get everything from the produce and meat to the canned La Morena Jalapeños and Maseca® Corn Flour.

Pork Tamale Bites with La Morena and Maseca Corn Flour #VivaLaMorena #CollectiveBias

 

The first thing that you need to do to make these Pork Tamale Bites is to cook the pork.

Pork Tamale Bites with La Morena and Maseca Corn Flour #VivaLaMorena #CollectiveBias

Once the pork has reached the point of falling apart you will need to shred it with two forks. This can be done well ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator or frozen.

Pork Tamale Bites with La Morena and Maseca Corn Flour #VivaLaMorena #CollectiveBias

Now, you can make the sauce for the pork. This is easy to do in your blender or food processor. Just blend until smooth. Once again, this can be done ahead of time.

Pork Tamale Bites with La Morena and Maseca Corn Flour #VivaLaMorena #CollectiveBias

Add the sauce to your meat and stir to coat.

Pork Tamale Bites with La Morena and Maseca Corn Flour #VivaLaMorena #CollectiveBias

Next up, it’s time to make the tamale masa. This is so easy to do and just takes a few minutes. When it’s done it should look like thick pancake batter.

Pork Tamale Bites with La Morena and Maseca Corn Flour #VivaLaMorena #CollectiveBias

Press the tamale masa into the cavities of a mini muffin/cupcake pan.

Pork Tamale Bites with La Morena and Maseca Corn Flour #VivaLaMorena #CollectiveBias

Add your meat in the sauce to the masa cavities.

Pork Tamale Bites with La Morena and Maseca Corn Flour #VivaLaMorena #CollectiveBias

When the cooking is almost complete sprinkle on some cheese and finish baking.

Pork Tamale Bites with La Morena and Maseca Corn Flour #VivaLaMorena #CollectiveBias

Let the cooked Pork Tamale Bites cool for about five minutes. Use a butter knife around the edge of the Pork Tamale Bites to loosen and then remove them from the pan.

Pork Tamale Bites with La Morena and Maseca Corn Flour #VivaLaMorena #CollectiveBias

Now you can plate, serve and wow your guests!

Pork Tamale Bites with La Morena and Maseca Corn Flour #VivaLaMorena #CollectiveBias

Now, snag your copy of the recipe and delight your guests with some amazing appetizers!

Pork Tamale Bites
Serves 12
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165 calories
8 g
36 g
9 g
12 g
3 g
150 g
388 g
1 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
150g
Servings
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 165
Calories from Fat 84
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
14%
Saturated Fat 3g
16%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 36mg
12%
Sodium 388mg
16%
Total Carbohydrates 8g
3%
Dietary Fiber 2g
6%
Sugars 1g
Protein 12g
Vitamin A
30%
Vitamin C
16%
Calcium
11%
Iron
7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the meat
  1. 1 lb. pork chops
  2. 1 small Spanish onion, quartered
  3. 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  4. 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  5. 1 14 oz. can vegetable broth
For the sauce
  1. 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce seasoned with onion, garlic & cilantro
  2. 3 pickled jalapeno peppers, La Morena brand
  3. 1/4 tsp. pepper
  4. 1/4 tsp. Mexican oregano
  5. 1/8 tsp. cumin
For the tamale masa
  1. 2/3 c. masa (I use Maseca brand)
  2. 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  3. 1/2 tsp. salt
  4. 1/4 c. lard or vegetable shortening
  5. 5-6 oz. warm water
To assemble
  1. 1/2 c. Mexican cheese blend
For the meat
  1. Combine all of the ingredients for the meat portion in a pot and simmer covered until so tender it falls apart or can easily be shredded with forks.
For the sauce
  1. In a blender or food processor combine all of the ingredients for the sauce. Blend until smooth.
For the tamale masa
  1. In a mixing bowl combine the masa, baking powder, salt and 5 oz. of the water. Stir to combine. Thoroughly stir in the lard. Add the rest of the water if needed.
To assemble
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and press the prepared tamale masa (about 1 1/2 tsp.) into the cavities of a mini muffin/cupcake pan. Fill the tamale masa cups with meat and sauce mix. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Use a butter knife around the edges to loosen and then remove from pan and plate.
Notes
  1. You can serve with a dollop of sour cream on the top.
beta
calories
165
fat
9g
protein
12g
carbs
8g
more
My Sweet Sanity http://mysweetsanity.com/

 For more tasty recipe ideas be sure to visit the La Morena website!

 


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