Category: Holidays

Easter “Cotton”tails – Jelly Beantini | Peeptini

According to my Spring Bucket List, I should be coloring Easter Eggs right now.

Those of you that have been here a while may know that it kills me to put something on a list and then not do it. Seriously, I’m two days behind already on my 30-Day Fitness Challenge and I feel like such a loser that I’m forcing myself to make them all up at once tonight. You may also know that the way to make myself feel better about this laziness almost always involves sugary, sweet things. It’s a problem. Add alcohol to the mix and suddenly I feel like we’re getting close to Intervention status. But! Will you forgive me if it’s cute and it tastes good?

Easter Cottontails

Of course these were inspired by many Pinterest pins. Would you expect any less from me?

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For the Jelly Bean-tini, I combined 1 nip of Kinky blue (I didn’t name it…) with 1 nip of flavored vodka (I used Raspberry). I added a splash of grenadine and threw in a few jelly beans for good measure.

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If you’re feeling fancy, you can rim the glass with some colored sugar.

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The Peep-tini was a bit of a spontaneous creation. I grabbed a bottle of caramel-flavored coffee creamer and added 1 nip of chocolate vodka (think Cadbury Egg).

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I added 1 drop of red food coloring to make it festive. Garnish with your favorite Peep, if you have one. I personally love all my Peeps.

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So. Have one of these, then go complete two days of missed workouts on a sugar high? Or work out first and reward myself with one of these work-out-cancelling-drinks? Which is less likely to make you shake your head at me? FINE. I’ll go color eggs.

Easter S’mores

I know s’mores are normally a summer thing, but do you think I’m going to argue adding a second season of marshmallow and chocolate?

As soon as I saw this idea, I knew I had to try it. I added it to my Spring Bucket List to make sure it would actually happen because if it’s on a list, it has to be done. I even tried waiting to post this until closer to Easter, but since the grocery stores have been bombarding me with Peeps, Cadbury Mini Eggs, and jelly beans since the day after Valentine’s Day, I’m actually considering this an act of restraint rather than an early holiday post.

The ingredients are simple. You will need some graham crackers,

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some Peeps of your choice (the bunnies work best because they’re flatter),

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and a chocolate bar.

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I might be cheap with my graham crackers, but I don’t mess around when it comes to chocolate.

Place one Peep and a square of chocolate on top of half a cracker.

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Put them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, but make sure to keep a close eye on it. The Peep will start to expand and you want to stop it before it explodes. Think swollen bunny that ate too many hard-boiled eggs; that’s where you want to hit “stop”. Press the other half of the graham cracker on top while the Peep and chocolate are still warm. The result = ooey gooey deliciousness with a little bit of festive, pastel sparkle!

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You could also try this with a peanut butter cup instead of chocolate. And then we would be best friends.

Feed Me, I’m Irish

Are you wearing your green today?

We’re heading out to dinner tonight so that Dan can have a traditional Irish corned beef and cabbage meal for St. Paddy’s Day. While Dan does have red hair, he’s not Irish at all, and neither one of us is Catholic, but we will take any excuse to celebrate when it comes to food. We’re heading to one of our favorite places for dinner – Supino’s – and I will most definitely be getting their baked macaroni and cheese. I’m saving my green for dessert.

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I somewhat loosely based my dessert off of this recipe that I found through…where else? Pinterest, of course. I wanted something quick, green, and minty, and this sounded like just the thing.

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Somewhere along the line, my green food coloring went missing, so I had to improvise with blue and yellow.

First, I crushed the Oreos in my food processor and ended up with a crumbly cookie mess that looked like this:

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Then I spooned a little into the bottom of each dish.

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Next, I made the chocolate pudding and added mint extract and food coloring to the vanilla.

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Then I layered the pudding on top of the cookie crumbles. The only thing left was to add a (what’s another word for “dollop” because I don’t want to use that one?) of whipped cream and sprinkled a few mini chocolate chips on top.

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Looks good enough to eat, right? Good, I’m glad you agree. Because I’ve already had a few.

Happy St. Paddy’s Day! How did you celebrate?

Spring Bucket List

I swear the temperature in my apartment rose seven degrees just from designing this. I’d like to think some snow melted, too.

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The second March was on my calendar, I decided it was Spring enough. I can’t wait any longer for sunshine, green grass, and just that whole feeling of newness. What’s funny is that even though I am not a fan of birds and flowery smells, when given the choice of these versus snow and cold, suddenly I can’t wait for all that chirping outside my window. Until it actually starts. Grass is always greener, or something like that…

Speaking of grass, this bucket list is full of all the things I want to experience from now until Summer, when I’m sure a new (and much longer) bucket list will be made. Ever since last winter when I did my Holiday Bucket List, I’ve been a little obsessed. It’s just such a fun way to make sure I really enjoy everything the season has to offer. Plus, I really like lists. So, there’s that.

What’s on your list for Spring? Did I miss anything?

14 Days of Valentines

You’ve heard of The 12 Days of Christmas? Well, here we’re doing The 14 Days of Valentines.

Because I don’t live with a small child (I suppose this is arguable), Dan tends to be the one to benefit from these silly little projects that I get myself all excited over. Side note: STILL upset about not having an Elf on the Shelf and am thisclose to buying one for next Christmas so I can create obnoxious and un-kid-friendly scenes all over our apartment. I’m not even sure if I would rather be the one hiding the elf, or the one finding him, so I would have to coerce Dan into participating at least half the time. I know there must be other 30somethings out there that hide elves for each other even though they have no children and one of them is Jewish. Please email me and we can start a support group.

Anyway.

This project came about while I was shopping at The Paper Source and finding millions of cute things for Valentine’s Day. I originally thought of putting together a little basket, similar to a Christmas stocking, but hey, why do that when you can complicate things and do 14 days of gifts instead of just one?

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Each gift was under $5 with the exception of the coffee above and a cute little book from The Paper Source that I will show you below. Lesson learned = do not step foot into Paper Source unless you are prepared to want EVERY.THING. Oddly enough, I had never been to a Paper Source before this shopping trip and figured it was mainly stationery. Surprise! It’s not. Tons of small little gifts, games, home decor, food items, etc. I used to think the same thing about The Paper Store until I actually went inside and discovered they sold books, clothes, shoes, jewelry, and candles there, too. I kept confusing The Paper Store with The Paper Source, but now that I’ve been to both, I know it doesn’t matter because I just want all of it.

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These books are just adorable. There are 50 pages with fill-in-the-blank phrases and sentences where you can personalize everything for the person you’re giving it to.

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Positive reinforcement, right? Dan actually IS very good at vacuuming and goes over places multiple times and even does the closet, which I would totally be lazy and skip.

There are several different versions of these little books, and I actually bought the one above for Dan and the What I Love About Mom journal for….wait for it….my mom.

Every gift had a Valentine’s Day theme to it, or was red and/or pink, except for Dan’s favorite kind of muffin because they’re blueberries, not redberries. I can’t change nature.

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A few were food-related because, hello, have you met me?

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Others were more practical.

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Some were fun!

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Some ended up being a bit disappointing.

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And some were cute, if you can consider The Dark Side cute.

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Today’s gift was a Valentine’s Day card.

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Does that seem lame after all of the other gifts? Like I should have ended with a grand finale of pink confetti and stuffed (or live) snuggly animals with a trail of rose petals to the door where one of The Avengers was waiting with flowers? Oh well. But! We will also be going out to dinner later at a new restaurant we’ve been wanting to try and food is always exciting, right?

I knew we were internet friends for a reason.

[Resolutions] – How I Did With My Holiday Bucket List

Since this is the first Sunday in an entire year that I haven’t drawn a resolution from the jar, I figured I would update you on one of my past resolutions. Maybe you remember Week 45 where I decided to create a new holiday tradition and made us a bucket list of 24 things to complete before Christmas.

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And here’s what it looks like now that Christmas is over:

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We did pretty well! The only item not checked off is “Play in the Snow” and I would love to say that it hasn’t snowed here yet, so we couldn’t complete this one, but that’s not entirely true. It’s snowed a few times, but we’re (I’m) just too old and lazy to get all bundled up in snow gear only to go outside and throw a few snowballs and freeze. Plus, all that laundry when you come back inside. Ugh. We do have snow tubes that I want to use if there is a more significant amount of snow, but until we have kids, I think our snow angel days are on hiatus.

Here’s what we did for the rest of the things on our list:

Watch a Christmas Movie – I made Dan watch It’s a Wonderful Life because he had never seen it before. It’s definitely dated and a bit cheesy, but it’s such a good movie with a nice Christmas seasony message.

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Create a Holiday Drink – We did this one twice! Er…two nights in a row. We made Christmas Cookies and Candy Canes.

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Take a Holiday Photo – This was actually taken while we were accomplishing one of the other items on our list. Yay multitasking.

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Drive Around Looking at Lights – The house in the photo above goes crazy with their Christmas decorations (and electric bill) every year. We drove around the neighborhood and checked out some of the other light displays, too.

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Bake Cookies – I can’t even tell you how many times I baked cookies in the last three weeks. Multiply that by a lot and that’s how many of them I ate. Someone has to do quality control.

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Make a Christmas Craft – I found this wreath project on Pinterest and I love how it came out. It’s so easy, but so pretty!!

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Listen to Christmas Music – Pretty much every day.

Donate a Gift – I brought a board game to a work function for Toys for Tots.

Put up New Decorations – Dollar store for life!

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Drink Egg Nog – I don’t like the regular flavor, but I could drink the vanilla one for days. I wish it wasn’t just a seasonal thing. Can someone petition this?

Give a Secret Gift – This one wasn’t entirely secret because Barnes & Noble wasn’t letting me send a book as a gift, so my name showed up on the packing slip. I think it was still a surprise though!

Do a Christmas Activity – We jumped the gun a bit on this one because we went to the Enchanted Village on November 30th. But at that time, it must have been December somewhere? We also went to a tree-lighting ceremony a week later, so we didn’t break the rules entirely.

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Wear Holiday Jewelry, Nails, or Clothing – Did all three. BAM!

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Play a Christmas Game – Technically this didn’t happen until Christmas night, but I see no reason why that shouldn’t still qualify.

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Read a Christmas Story – I downloaded a short story collection from Kindle and I actually really enjoyed these. They’re not very modern, but the old feel to them makes it more authentic and nostalgic I think. Check them out.

Enjoy Christmas-Scented Things – Oh, I did. Winter Candy Apple, Christmas Cookie, Peppermint everything.

Watch a Christmas Special – We watched the Saturday Night Live Christmas Special and I found TLC’s Extreme Christmas Trees on Netflix. Obviously I liked the tree made of cake the best.

Drink Hot Chocolate – Spiked, unspiked, made at home, bought from Starbucks, we did it all. But mostly spiked.

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Send Christmas Cards – Done.

Enjoy a Christmas Treat – We’ve had a candy dish full of peppermint bells and I bought Dan some gingerbread cookies. I’m not even going to make a joke about gingerbread for the ginger because he won’t like it.

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Send a Card to a Soldier – Someone posted this story on Facebook so I mailed him a card. His birthday was on Christmas!

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Wrap Gifts – Ok, this one was kind of a free pass. Obviously I wrapped gifts.

Attend a Holiday Craft Fair – My mom and I attended one in November, but Dan and I found another one a few weeks later. We didn’t buy anything at the one in December, but it was part of a nice day of shopping, eating, and people-watching.

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That’s it!! I can totally tell you that this was a complete success (even without playing in the snow) and I will definitely be doing it again. It made the holiday season about more than just last-minute shopping and chaos, and I really enjoyed doing these. I think this is going to be my new “advent calendar” for years to come!

Holiday Gift Guide

So I have been seeing gift guides everywhere I look lately: in magazines, on some of my favorite blogs, even in news segments. Some of them have great ideas that I hadn’t thought of and I was inspired to share some of my own ideas. Mostly though, I just had a lot of fun putting this post together and making the graphic below!

Everything you see below is either an item that I bought for someone on my list or something that I would want to receive myself. Ill let you guess which is which 😉 Here we go!

Holiday Gift Guide 2013

  1. Phone Case – Everyone has a cell phone these days, so you can’t go wrong with a cute case (actually, I guess you could go wrong if you don’t know what model phone they have, so make sure you find out first!). Etsy has some great ones that range from quirky to glittery to fun. I’m really loving the pay phone one and may even buy that for myself!
  2. Gift Cards – I have a thing against gift cards and I really don’t know why. I hate buying them as gifts because I feel like it’s not very personal, but I love receiving them because it’s basically like a plastic shopping spree. A lot of people on my list specifically request gift cards, so I’ve bought a lot more of them in recent years. Something like Amazon, Target, or Phantom Gourmet (if you’re local) always work if you don’t have a specific store in mind.
  3. Candles – I am obsessed with these. This is clearly one that’s on my own list, but I have bought them for others as well. Winter Candy Apple? SO. Freaking. Good.
  4. Subscription Boxes – A subscription box would be like the gift that keeps on giving! Whoever you gift it to will receive a package in the mail to enjoy for many months after Christmas. Birchbox would be a great idea for a beauty product junkie like myself, Conscious Box would be great for a health-conscious, foodie friend, and BarkBox would even make your dog happy!
  5. Chromecast – I actually bought one of these for Dan for Christmas, but ended up giving it to him at Hanukkah instead. When I bought it, I didn’t even realize all the ways it could be used and we have spent several nights now watching YouTube videos on the TV, playing Tic Tac Toe against each other (on TV using our phones and

Haunt Your House for Cheap!

Sometime towards the end of September I flipped the calendar over early so that my boyfriend would let me decorate for Halloween. He’s not really the Scrooge type, but for some reason he didn’t want to decorate until it was officially October. I think he just didn’t want to face the fact that summer is over. I, on the other hand, could not stop buying Halloween decorations every time I walked into a dollar store. They’re just so cute and they’re only $1, so even if I get 30 of them, that’s still like….wicked cheap, right?!

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I realize this is terribly uncool, but I love the dollar store for things like this. I mean we got some pretty good decorations for just $1, and a lot of them will probably get reused next year. Even the ones that don’t (like the static cling pumpkin my kitten has been insisting should not stay hanging on our window) well, they were a dollar. I also got all my Halloween party plates, cups, napkins, straws, table cloths, candy bowls, and platters from the dollar store, which would have been scarily, creepily, frighteningly expensive had I gone to iParty or Target.

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I can’t wait to go back for Christmas decorations!! (Too soon?)

The 12 Saves of Christmas

So in honor of Christmas, and of the fact that I finally have 10 minutes of free time right now, I’m going to make up a list of 12 different ways to save some money and get some free stuff this week!! Here we go!

12 Shoppers Saving – “Like” the CVS Facebook page and then click on the “Holiday Pass” tab to get a 20% off certificate good until Thursday! *You will need to enter your ExtraCare card #.

11 Drinkers Drinking – Click on the link to get a coupon for $1 off a 14, 16, or 20oz. Diet Coke. Depending on where you shop, this could get you a free soda, or else one for pennies!

10 Gums a-Chewing – Again, click “Like” on the Stride gum Facebook page, click on the “Oomph” tab, and get a free pack of gum!

9 Batteries Charging – If you get the Sunday coupon inserts AND if you saved last weeks, there is a $1 off Energizer batteries coupon in it. Target has Eveready batteries in their dollar bins right now. Don’t see the connection? Eveready is an Energizer brand and these coupons will work on both!

8 Magazines a-Mailing – If you click the link, add ESPN magazine to your cart, and then use the code “ESPN” at checkout, the magazine subscription should be $2.99…for the YEAR! The face value on this one is $103.74, so this is a HUGE deal! Last minute Xmas idea for the sports-lover on your list??

7 Candles a-Burning – Click the link to print a coupon for Buy 2 Get 2 Free Large, Medium, or Small jar candles from Yankee Candle and also get a FREE tote bag! There are a few other YC coupons on this page as well.

6 Make-up Kits….a-Make-upping? – Sephora is offering Stila travel kits that include 4 eye shadows and dual cheek/lip cream in a mirrored palette for only $10! These regularly go for $65! Plus if you chose UPS 2-day shipping and enter the code “UPS2DAY” you will get FREE shipping also AND get to pick some free samples at checkout!

5 Yuuuummmmmyyyy Cookieeees – Pillsbury Holiday cookies are on sale for $1 at Target right now. Buy 2 and use the $1 off coupon attached to this link (you will have to check the box and print it out) and it’s like getting one FREE!

4 Lip Glosses – Click the link to print a coupon for a FREE lip item at Bath & Body Works with any purchase.

3 Email Deals – Sign up for Eversave (it’s like Groupon) before December 31st and get a FREE $5 credit to use towards any future deal. I’ve bought several deals from this site, it’s a good one! And those credits come in handy!

2 Car Check-ups – Print this coupon for a free Winter Prep service for your car from Pep Boys. They will check your lights, wipers, battery, coolant system, and more!

And a Coffee in a Bookstore – Print the coupon for a free coffee or tea at Borders. I love to sit at Borders and read a magazine and watch people! *You have to be a Borders Rewards member for this one, but it’s free to sign up!

Merry Savings!!