Category Archives: Holidays

Starbucks Buy One, Get One Holiday Drinks are HERE!

starbucks BOGOIt’s like Christmas is here already!

Starbucks is offering Buy One, Get One Free Holiday Beverages from November 14th – 17th between the hours of 2-5pm.

I can’t think of a better early Christmas present, can you??

This momma needs COFFEE!


Live Reindeer Cam!

santa sleigh and reindeer

How awesome is this?!

Yes, I am 31 years old and I still use the word awesome, especially when it comes to all things Christmas.

Check out this Reindeer Cam and let the kids (and probably your own) excited squeals take over!

My middle daughter is SUPER excited to “see it poop”…

So there you go. We are waiting anxiously on bated breath in this house!

Super Simple Elf on the Shelf Ideas

elf on the shelfSo who’s ready to break out their Elf on the Shelf already?

For me, it signifies the start of a beautiful little threat game I like to call: “You better get your shit together, the Elf is WATCHING!”

And besides, the little guy is sorta cute – with maybe a touch of creepy.

There are so many different types of Elves you can choose from nowadays, including precious girly ones! Either way you swing it, the Elf on the Shelf has quickly become a tradition for thousands of families.

Of course, putting your Elf on an actual shelf is easy peasy. Joining in this new found craze of setting up your Elf in certain “situations” to surprise the kids each morning? Plain ol’ exhausting.

But who am I to deny my children at least a few mornings of that crazy Elf’s shenanigans? So here’s a list of simple Elf on the Shelf ideas that you can do or set up in no time and still feel like you’re letting your Elf buddy live up to his full expectations. No mess or complicated shiz = Happy Mom!

The Pooping Elf

Nothing says kid-approved like POOP. Take a bakers cooling rack, lay a sheet of white paper over it and shove the Elf’s feet through the paper and holes of the cooling rack. This will allow the Elf to be put in the squatting position. Put an unwrapped Hershey kiss under his bum. Congratulations, you have a pooping elf!

elf on the shelf pooping

Photo courtesy of The Fancy Stanton

The Toilet Paper Elf

It truly doesn’t get any easier than this. Put your Elf through the middle of a roll of toilet paper and roll him down the stairs. Or if you want to be kind, roll it down the steps first, and then put the Elf in. Who knows, he might enjoy the ride!

elf in toilet paper

Photo courtesy of A Thrifty

The Drunken Syrup Elf

All Elves love sugar. Everyone knows that. All kids love sugar. Everyone knows that too. This syrup slurping elf is pretty self explanatory but is still way up there on the cuteness factor.

elf syrup

Photo courtesy of

The Cereal Overdose Elf

Another super simple idea. Take any box of cereal, open it up and shove your Elf face first into the bag. Make sure his legs are sticking up though! A few pieces of cereal around the box gives a nice effect.

elf in cereal

Toilet Paper TREE Elf

An alternate version of the Toilet Paper Elf. If you aren’t too much of a tree freak, like me, you won’t mind winding some toilet paper through the branches to make your Elf appear mischievous. Just make sure your small humans don’t yank the paper down and bring several ornaments along with it!

elf toilet paper tree

Photo courtesy of

Held For Ransom Elf

Grab a bunch of band-aids, “tape” your Elf to a wall, fridge, cabinet – whatever floats your boat. Find a super hero toy or Nutcracker statue or anything else that is a bit menacing, and have them stand “guard” around the Elf. Your kiddos can come to the rescue!

bandaid elf

Marshmallow Bath Elf

A bowl. Some mini-marshmallows. An Elf. Done.

marshmallow bath elf

Photo courtesy of

These are just a few of many, many Elf on the Shelf ideas you can set up this holiday season. Don’t be afraid to use your imagination! The kids will love anything you do, so long as they think that sneaky Elf did it all on his own. Happy Elfing!

5 Easy Ways to Put Peppermint in Your Holiday

There are so many things to look forward to when the holiday season rolls around. Decorated trees, twinkling lights, snow. Hot cocoa, warm-hearted movies, family.

And peppermint.

In general, my life motto throughout the year is


but when it comes to Christmas, peppermint takes on a whole new meaning. And I try to shove it, stir it or bake it into everything.

That being said, let’s get right to the 5 easy ways to put peppermint in your holiday!

Peppermint Brownies with Buttercream Icing


These peppermint brownies by i heart nap time can whipped up in a shake. Probably eaten in a shake too – but it’s Christmas, calories don’t count. So get whipping!

White Chocolate Peppermint Dipped Oreos

peppermint oreos

Peppermint. Oreos. Chocolate. A perfect trifecta? Absolutely. Pink Cake Plate put together these super simple treats that would be great for a holiday gathering or friendly gifts for neighbors. Want to make your own? Pink Cake Plate says you will need:

Peppermint Oreos

White Candy Melts

Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking chips

\Melt the candy, dip the oreos, shake off excess candy, sprinkle with peppermint baking chips. Let harden.  EAT!!!

Peppermint Marshmallow Stirrers

peppermint marshmallows 2

What is hot cocoa without marshmallows? Especially peppermint marshmallows! Bargain Blessings puts together a version that is not only easy to assemble but also perfect for stirring a cup of hot chocolate. All you need are marshmallows, peppermint sticks, white chocolate and red sprinkles.

Melt the white chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave just until melted. Stir until smooth. Dip the end of each peppermint stick into the chocolate to act as a “glue” and put a marshmallow on the end of each stick over the chocolate end. Dip the marshmallow halfway into the chocolate and then put a small bit of sprinkles evenly over the chocolate. Let cool and store in an airtight container.

Peppermint Snickerdoodles


Yeah, yeah. So quick peppermint desserts might be slightly dangerous for our waistlines. To that, I say: Eh, who cares? Especially when you see how easily you can throw together these peppermint snickerdoodles from Pillsbury.

Peppermint White Trash Candy

peppermint white trash

Not exactly sure how I feel about the name, but certainly sure how I feel about eating it. All of it. In my stomach. NOW. This peppermint white trash candy by The Domestic Rebel may just be a new yearly tradition for me. One I may or may not share with others. YUM-O.

I hope that everyone has a very peppermint-y holiday season – and okay, I guess you should probably share some of this goodness with others too. Just be sure to keep plenty of these 5 easy peppermint treats in stock for yourself as well for those long cold winter days!

Leftover Halloween Candy Brownies

brownies with candy

Photo courtesy of

Yes, I realize it’s only a few days after Halloween… but I’m already sick to death of fighting about candy.

I can no longer fight with myself OR the kids and their incessant requests for “One more piece”. Let’s not even mention finding hidden empty wrappers in their rooms (or mine?).

Perhaps I’m jumping the gun a tad, but when it comes to Halloween candy: I’m OVER it.

I just can’t bring myself to throw it away though… after all, it is chocolate.

If you’re in the same boat, don’t fret. There’s hope yet. You can make Leftover Halloween Candy Brownies!

A pan of these chocolate fudgy treats will bring anyone to their knees! Want to know how to make your own?

You’ll need:

1 box of brownie mix (any brand will do)

A rather large pile of any and all chocolate related Halloween candy that you can steal away from the kids – chopped into smallish sized pieces

A large cookie sheet or foil

A treadmill for after you eat the entire pan…  Kidding!

How to:

Assemble and bake the brownie mix according to the package. When the brownies are finished baking, pull them out of the oven and immediately distribute all of the chopped up candy bars, etc. on top of them. Once the candy is on, quickly put the cookie sheet over the top of the pan to seal in the heat from the just baked brownies. If you do not have a cookie sheet, use a double layer of foil and seal tightly. Do NOT put the pan back into the oven. Turn the oven off. I repeat, turn. it. off.

Let the brownies sit on the counter covered for at least 15-20 minutes until the candy has completely melted. Take the cookie sheet/foil off the pan and with a knife, gently swirl the melted gooey goodness all over the brownies to create a sort of candy “icing”.

You are then left with two choices: Let them cool like a wuss… or devour them in their pure and perfect warmness state. I vote for the latter!

A Thanksgiving “Things I’m Thankful For” Tablecloth

thankful message

When you have young kids, sometimes the best holiday decorations are the ones that include their involvement in creating them. This can also be quite fun for the rest of the family too!

For Thanksgiving in particular, a great deal of time is usually dedicated to prep, cooking, serving and entertaining guests. This usually results in any type of elaborate table decorating getting pushed to the bottom of the priority list rather quickly.

So why not create a personalized tablecloth of your own that will not only spruce up your table, but also get your family involved and allow you to still spend most of your time doing the most important chore of the day: basting!

To get started, you will need:

1 plain white cotton fabric tablecloth – shape and size to fit your style table

1 plastic disposable tablecloth of similar shape and size

Tape that will not harm your table’s finish (masking, painters)

1 pack of Sharpie Stained Brush Tip Fabric Markers (can be purchased on Amazon, Staples, Walmart, etc.) or any other fabric markers that do not wash off of cotton fabric

How to:

1. Before setting your table for the big turkey dinner, lay the plastic tablecloth down, ensuring that it covers the entire surface of the table.

2. Tape the plastic tablecloth to various spots underneath of the table to make sure that it does not slip or move off of the table – this step is very important as you do not want the fabric markers to bleed through the fabric tablecloth that will be laid over it and ruin your tabletop!

3. Lay the fabric tablecloth over the plastic.

4. Using the fabric markers, write a note or saying of your choosing in the middle of the fabric tablecloth. It doesn’t have to look perfect, but I suppose you could use stencils if you really wanted to.

Some examples of what you could write:

thankful tablecloth 2 jpeg

thankful tablecloth crop jpeg

Whatever fits your family best. You could even freehand a few turkeys or something else Thanksgiving related if you’re feeling really adventurous and artistic.

5. Help your children to use the fabric markers to write a “I’m thankful for” message directly on the tablecloth. Encourage them to draw a small picture, trace their hand and make a hand-turkey, sign their name and also put their age or the year next to it. Make sure it’s not too big, you want to save room for other thankful messages for many Thanksgiving dinners to come! If you have guests joining you, ask them to write a message as well. How fun will it be to look back and see all of the friends and family who celebrated with you over the years. Keep adding new messages every year and watch your white canvas turn into a real work of (meaningful) art.

Be sure to follow all washing instructions on the fabric markers package when cleaning your tablecloth. Most just ask that you wash in cold water and hang to dry.

So there you have it! Your very own personalized Thanksgiving table decoration that you can continue to add to and enjoy!

Creating a Polar Express Adventure Night

polar express 1

The holidays are such a great time of year to create memories and participate in family traditions. In our home, one of our favorite things to do is “Polar Express” night, based off of the movie The Polar Express. The kids go absolutely crazy for it, squealing and jumping up and down at the mere mention of it’s name.

Of course, with 3 kids my motto is always to have fun but to keep it simple. So with that in mind, I came up with a few steps to make the evening of our Polar Express adventure memorable.

Print a train “ticket” and bell tags

You can find these free Polar Express tickets and bell tag printables HERE on the The Crafting Chicks website. It may seem like a cumbersome step, but trust me, these DO matter!


Make some silver “sleigh” bells

I purchased a fairly decent bag at the Dollar Store, but you can also purchase them from any local craft place. Be sure to have one per child to avoid a big fight! Print and cut out a bell tag from your free printable sheet (link above) for each bell and attach it with a piece of string or ribbon. Hang the bells with tags on your Christmas tree or have them somewhere handy for later in the evening. If you can manage this without the kids knowing they exist, even better!

silver bellsleigh bell

Snacks for the “train” ride

Prepare a snack and hot cocoa for the “train” ride. Our kiddos are big time popcorn eaters so I usually pop a bag, mix in some red and green m&m’s and any other goodies I’ve got handy, and then brew up a batch of hot chocolate. After all, it’s not the Polar Express without the famous hot choc-o-late!

Photo courtesy of Pams Party & Practical Tips


Photo courtesy of Pams Party & Practical Tips

Take a ride on the Polar Express!

After the snacks and cocoa are ready, have the kids line up at the car with their tickets so that they can board the train (whatever make and model yours might be!). If you own a hole puncher, pull it out to punch each ticket. No need to spell out any crazy words like the conductor in the movie. That’s just crazy-pinterest-mama type stuff!! A punch or three will do ya and keep your tiny tots from freezing before they load in. Collect their tickets and hand out the refreshments.

believe ticket

Tour the local Christmas light displays

Your Polar Express ride can be through your neighborhood, a local Christmas light display event or anywhere that you may find decorated homes, yards or buildings. Turn the holiday music up, sip your cocoa and mosey through town while taking in the sights.

christmas lights house 2 christmas lights house

A movie viewing and special bell surprise

When you return home from your “train” ride, head into the house and snuggle down to watch The Polar Express movie. Once it ends (or earlier, if you think you might have a few sleepyheads on your hands), pass out the sleigh bells you’ve made and encourage them to ring the bell. Important: You MUST NOT let on that you can hear it ringing. If you are a Polar Express newbie, make sure you Google the Polar Express sleigh bell so you know what you’re up against!

santa PE scene PE boy with bell

So there you have it, a wonderful evening full of fun, yummy treats and a truly terrific Christmas movie – and most importantly, a night that your children will look forward to each and every holiday season!

Redesigned By M

DIY-er who loves to redesign, repurpose, and reorganize just about everything.

Nicole Chamberlin

Lifestyle blogger with a passion for fitness

My Favourite Pastime

Food, Travel and Eating Out

Love. Bump. Life.

Making a Mommy out of Me

The Adventures of Fanny P.

...because life is just one big adventure...

First Time Mommy

Journey of a first time mother

The Knitting Neurotic

A great site


Fun Learning Resouces for Kids

Megan Has OCD

About Mental Health, Daily Struggles, and Whatever Else Pops in My Head

Miss Marzipan

healthy • heartfelt • homemade

Mommy by day Crafter by night

Plain & Simple Parenting with an Extra Scoop of Sarcasm

Mommy's Kitchen - Recipes From my Texas Kitchen

Plain & Simple Parenting with an Extra Scoop of Sarcasm

Mom Always Finds Out

Notes by a MOM who doesn't know it all, but ALWAYS FINDS OUT about Family Life, Going Green, Organic & Natural Foods and Living, Coupons, Cloth Diapers, Books, Products, Giveaways, Recipes and More!

Moms & Munchkins

Plain & Simple Parenting with an Extra Scoop of Sarcasm

Mommy's Obsessions

Plain & Simple Parenting with an Extra Scoop of Sarcasm

Mom and Pop Culture

The trials and errors of the realistic parent

Scary Mommy

Plain & Simple Parenting with an Extra Scoop of Sarcasm

Finding Joy

Plain & Simple Parenting with an Extra Scoop of Sarcasm

MOM Plain & Simple

Plain & Simple Parenting with an Extra Scoop of Sarcasm

%d bloggers like this: