Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hot Chocolate Gift Jars

After the Halloween cookie jars were a hit with the neighbors, I couldn't wait to put together something cute for them for Christmas time.  I thought about doing a gingerbread cookie jar or something along those lines, but after really thinking of something I know we would enjoy and knowing our neighbors better, I decided a fun, adult hot chocolate jar would be so fun to do for everyone.

- I started by putting a couple of packets of hot chocolate in a mason jar.  I chose to leave the hot chocolate in the pouches, versus pouring the powder straight in the jar because even though I think the jars are "prettier" with the powder poured in and the marshmallows laying pretty on top, I think that most will actually make the hot chocolate if it's already pre-proportioned and ready to make.  They can also add the marshmallows after instead of having to dig for the powder underneath the marshmallows.  But you could totally get a large jar of hot chocolate powder and fill about half of the jar with it as well.  

- Then, I filled the middle with marshmallows.  Lots of marshmallows...because you're not being honest with yourself if you don't admit you cover your hot chocolate in marshmallows.

- Finally, what is better than a nice hot cup of coco?  Why, a nice hot cup of coco with booze of course!  A fun little bottle of Baileys or Kahlua is what I put on the side of our neighbors jars, but you could even do Irish whiskey or something like that.  Adds an extra yummy touch to any cup of hot chocolate.

Such an easy, yet fun thing to give to neighbors, co workers, and friends for the holiday season!

What are some fun things you give as neighbor/co worker/friend gifts for the holidays?


Monday, December 15, 2014

We Paraded For Christmas

This past weekend was our second annual appearance in one of our local town's Christmas parade.  The Mr. has an aunt and uncle and their family that participate in it every year and last year we decided to join in on the fun.  Well, us Braccos can never do anything on a smaller scale, so this year it was go big or go home.

My father in law designed this awesome holiday splendor.  The "Ryan's Ride" golf cart that is pulling the trailer was his Summer project he designed for my nephew to have a fun little vehicle to ride in when he visits.

Our family was definitely a sight to see driving down the road.  We don't mess around when it comes to showing our holiday spirit.  Notice the red bulb on the middle deer head.  There has to be a Rudolph in the bunch.  The little purple car was driven by our other cousin who drives this little thing in all their town's parades.  It's a crowd favorite.

The Mr. and I driving the float to Main St. for the parade.

 The little cousins had their theme of Frozen this year...with a boom box playing "Let it Go" of course.

The float was looking pretty snazzy when the sun was going down and you could really see all the lights.  The mother in law drove and I was in charge of candy chuckin.

Look at all that candy!  5 gallon bucket full and we were empty before the end of the parade line.

This was the whole gang coming down the parade line.  Thanks to my awesome husband for being the official parade photographer.

Not even 24 hours later, my father in law was plotting ways to make the float even better next year.  I can't wait....however, I think part of the plan is to have me actually dress up as some giant Christmas tree or's all in the spirit of Christmas!

Happy Monday!

Linking up with Leeann and Meg today.

Friday, December 12, 2014


I cannot believe we are almost halfway through December.  I want to soak up as much of the season as I can since we are jam packed this month with parties, parades, and birthdays.  But one thing that will help slow things down, is the fact that my vacation starts one week from today and I couldn't be more excited to spend a few days snuggled in jammies with holiday movies and homemade cookies.  It's tradition.

Another tradition I look forward to every year is sending and receiving holiday cards.   I love seeing all the different photos of my friends and family displayed around our home and I love sending them to help spread the cheer this time of year.  That's probably the corniest thing I could say about them, but nonetheless, it's so true.  So in light of tradition, I wanted to share with you the photos we had done for our holiday cards this year.

These make my heart go pitter patter every time I look at them.  Helps that I have such a hunk-a-monk to be in these photos with me.  Huge thank you to Trulight Photography for the most amazing job!

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Stocking Stuffers: Mr. & Mrs.

Stockings have got to be one of the things I look forward to opening on Christmas morning.  Since I was a kid, I ran straight to my stocking first to see all the little goodies that were stuffed inside of it.  Aaron wasn't really big into the whole stocking thing when he was younger, but I gotta love him for helping me keep the tradition going in our house because I look forward to it that much.  It's kinda like the whole pj thing on Christmas Eve.  But I think he secretly likes that tradition more than he leads on....who doesn't love new pjs?!

Here are some nifty ideas for little things that I would love to find in my stocking Christmas morning and what I shop for to put in the Mr.'s stocking.

The Mr. always loves trying out new sauces or spices for home cooked meals, so a new BBQ sauce to try on steaks is something he'd get a kick out of.  Koozies and bottle openers have unintentionally become a collection in our household, so any fun new koozie or bottle opener is always a fun stuffer for his stocking.  Coffee mugs for both sides is always, always a great idea for a stocking stuffer.  I feel like I can never have to many monogram mugs.  ;)
 I am loving this phone case and pretty sure it needs to be the new eye candy on my phone.  There is also nothing like feeding into sock addiction that is....I don't think my feet will ever get tired of having a whole collection of comfy socks to choose from to help keep them warm in the Winter.

Oh, and of course, the two fur crazies in our home also have their own stockings and yes, the stuffers have already been purchased and they will be put in Christmas Eve night like everyone else's.  A couple new bones for Bella to replace the ones she has chewed to nothing and a new scratch box and automatic toy that moves a feather back and forth for the tubby kitty.

What are some of your favorite stocking stuffers?  Are they apart of your Christmas morning tradition?

Enjoy your Friday and most importantly, your weekend!


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Weekly Style: Geared For Winter

Oh Winter in happy you could finally join us.  We are dipped in the low 50's lately....oh snaps!......As those of you in the Mid West and East Coast are rolling your eyes.........My favorite rain boots are also getting a lot more use this season and I'm so excited for, not just because I have an excuse to wear them more (ok, who am I kidding), but also because we are in a horrible drought and this state needs a big 'ole drink of rain water.

Thick plaid scarfs and puffer vests are doing just the trick.  Anyone see that trend scrolling through these pictures already?  Plus, they hide the cookie top that is spilling over my pants right now from being on fudge and cookie overload...hey, it's the holidays, ok?  I've already started the cliche, "After the holidays are over, I'm going to get my butt back into gear and go to the gym...blah..blah..yadda..yadda..."  In the mean time, I'm going to soak up all the Christmas crap, holiday movies, and pj snuggle time I can get.  'Tis the season!

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

I wanted to share our holiday touches around the house this year.   A couple new additions, like a second tree in the front room and a little village we've been wanting for years now.  Nothing too over the top, but we are totally loving them.  I think holiday decor is one of those learning things for me that it can't all be bought at one time.   So while I want it to be volatile vomit Christmas all up in here, I'm just so tickled with how our Winter Wonderland looks this year.  My favorite is turning all the room lights off while we watch our shows and enjoy the illumination from the lights on both trees.  Something about it feels so magical for me.

As you walk in, this is the view in our front entryway...

A little festive pillow basket in the living room and some of our favorite holiday photos and prints displayed in our living room gallery wall.

This is a little something, something guests get to enjoy when they use our front bathroom...

Yes, we have a Christmas Vacation village.  I looooove it!  We have been wanting to add this or our Christmas tradition of decor for so long and I'm so glad we collected enough pieces so far this year to put it out on display!

We totally had this all up Thanksgiving night......

And I wish we could keep it up all year long.


Fa La La La La Banner // White Antlers - DIY Tutorial Here // Baskets

Christmas Vacation Christmas Village // Snowflake - Hobby Lobby