The tree might still be up for another day or two, but sadly this Christmas season is coming to an end. This past month has been jammed packed with holiday parties, birthday celebrations (yea me!), shopping, caroling, baking, tacky light tours, gift giving and of course spending time with family and friends. While the holiday season was a bit shorter this year that didn't stop anyone from enjoying Christmas to the fullest! Here are some of my favorite moments from this past Christmas season...

My birthday is just 2 weeks before Christmas, so it always gets lumped in there with all the annual holiday celebrations. Now what to wish for...
I was in charge of all the decorating for our office's annual holiday party. This year I got the wrapping bug...
Whats Christmas without a little crafting? I made my own set of "HO, HO, HO" blocks, created my annual Christmas card and created this adorable pink and green Lilly ornament for The Pink Palm's ornament contest (And guess what? I won!!)...
Before I headed home we celebrated one of my co-worker's last day at the office. Let's just say I still had the wrapping bug...
When I arrived home there was still a ton of decorating to do so I got to work and put up our JMU tree right away!
And it can't be the holidays without a bunch of family in town to celebrate with.
What was your favorite moment from this Christmas season?


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There are only a few hours left until Santa climbs down the chimney to deliver presents but until then there is still plenty of time to mix up some egg nog, enjoy a gingerbread cookie and watch A Christmas Story for the 5th time today. Today I have been a busy little elf delivering bags and boxes of homemade Christmas goodies to our family friends so I cannot wait to sit back and enjoy all the festivities this evening. So from my family to yours I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!!
And remember you are never to old to believe in a little Christmas magic! I hope you all have an amazing Christmas with your family and friends! 


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Every year, since I can remember, my grandmother has baked gingerbread houses for my sister, bother and I to decorate. Of course when we were all little it was more along the lines of how much candy can we put on the houses than actual decoration, but it was still something we loved doing! I think that first pictures is from around 2000 with some of our early houses. As you can tell between the two pictures our group has come a long way (as well as my brother's girlfriend has joined us in the decorating fun) with our decorating skills. 
This year I decided to do a little something different when it came to decorating my house. A few weeks ago I ran across this gorgeous Lilly themed gingerbread house on Pinterest and couldn't stop thinking about it. So as with most things I find on Pinterest, that Lilly house quickly became my creative inspiration for decorating this year's gingerbread house. And this is what I came up with...
I loved how great all of our houses turned out this year and cannot wait to decorate gingerbread houses next year! Do you have a Christmas tradition that you love doing each year?


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The holidays are filled with rushing around seeing friends and family, buying last minute gifts, being covered in wrapping paper and bows and my favorite - watching Christmas movies. Last week I was talking with one of my friends and they mentioned that they had never seen Elf. This just had me speechless. How could someone have never seen this holiday classic?!? However, just like most things this gave me a great Christmas party idea for a Buddy the Elf themed Party! The movie is filled with so much holiday cheer that everyone will leave with a huge smile on their face (because smiling is my favorite!) Here are some great ideas on how you can put together your own Buddy the Elf Holiday Party...
To invite all your friends to this festive evening take one of your favorite quotes from the movie and turn it into your invitation. This invitation from Anders Ruff is perfect for spreading holiday cheer!
In the movie Buddy shares with us the four main food groups of elves: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup and through his New York adventures discovers coffee and spaghetti. A fun menu you can create a fun Elf themed menu using these items that all your guests will love. Just be sure to leave all the different items separated as I don't think there are too many people like Buddy who would eat everything all tossed together. 
Now there are w few great activities that come to mind for a Buddy the Elf themed party. Like my friend who hasn't seen the movie you could turn this holiday party into a movie night. You could spread some Christmas cheer by singing loud for all to hear by going caroling. And for those who want a Christmas crafting party, you could have snowflake making and other holiday decor activities as Buddy loved decorating for Christmas. 
What is your favorite type of Christmas party to host or attend? Only 6 more days till Christmas!


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If you were following me on The Blog Baton on Wednesday I shared a sneak peak at the holiday treats that I made this year, Christmas Kisses. I love how simple these are to make and how you can customize them for any any holiday or occasion. So to make them Christmas themed, and to add a little twist to the standard recipe, I bought red and green M&M's, peanut butter M&M's and peppermint kisses. The only issue I came across was that the peppermint kisses melted a little quicker than the chocolate ones so you make more than one variety just put them on different cookie sheets. Here is how I made my Peppermint Kisses...

  • Pretzel Squares
  • Hershey's Kisses
  • Hershey's Peppermint Kisses
  • Red and Green M&M's
  • Red and Green Peanut Butter M&M's

1. Preheat the oven to 250F. 
2. Create one layer of pretzels on your cookie sheet and place one kiss on each pretzel. I did half peppermint and half chocolate kisses for mine.
3. Place the cookie sheet of kisses into the oven for 5-7 minutes. They will be ready to be taken out when they get a shiny look.
4. Once you pull them out have your M&M's ready and place one M&M on top of each kiss. I placed the regular M&M's on the peppermint kisses and peanut butter M&M's on the chocolate kisses.
5. Once all the kisses have their M&M on top let them sit to cool off for at least an hour. 
6. And for the final step I found these adorable treat bags in the dollar spot at Target which are perfect for these treats!
What is your favorite holiday treat to make?


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'Tis the season for holiday cheer and crafting too! This year I was really inspired by a few different projects on Pinterest and when I went to the Richmond Bizarre Bazaar and cannot wait to finish them and put them on display this holiday season! The great thing about all these craft projects is that you can make each one for under $10! What could be better than that! All your holiday guests this year will be wondering where you bought your decorations and you can stun them all when you let them know that they were made by you! Here are three holiday decorations that I will have out this holiday season!

Christmas Wall Art
I shared a sneak peak of this craft with you all on Monday's Christmas Bliss post. I had these 8x10' frames sitting around my apartment so I finally decided to do something with them last week. I found some great holiday prints on Pinterest, printed them on card stock paper and hung them up to enjoy during the holiday season. Since I don't have a lot of storage space these are great to enjoy now and then I can put other holiday or season prints in the frames throughout the rest of the year to enjoy.

Christmas Wreath Hangers
This craft was one that I was obsessing over when I saw it at the Bizarre Bazaar last weekend. The person who made these had simple wreath hangers (which I found one for $2 at BigLots) just covered in holiday ribbon with a bow and ornament attached at the top. Since I had just bought a wreath hanger a few weeks ago I thought that this would be the perfect way to dress it up for the holiday season. Now I just have to pick out which ribbon I want use from my ribbon drawer.

"HO, HO, HO" Blocks
This craft I found on Ginger Snap Crafts and cannot wait to finish mine up! To make these adorable blocks I went to Home Depot and asked if they had any scrap 2x4" pieces of wood that I could use for a craft project and they even cut the pieces for me! (I had each block cut approximately 5" tall.) Right now I am waiting on my vinyl decals to be mailed to me and then I can put everything together. I already had some adorable Christmas ribbon in my ribbon drawer and plenty of red, green and white paint. Next decision: where to display them?

Which Christmas craft is your favorite? 

Let me know if you are going to make any of these Christmas Holiday crafts this year and share your final results with me in the comments section below! I would love to see what everyone comes up with!


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No matter what kind of Christmas or holiday party you are hosting this year it is always fun to come away with some great pictures to remember the event by. What better way to get some great shots of you and your friends than with a holiday themed photo booth! Throughout the night (as people enjoy another glass of egg nog or two) you and your friends will be lining up to get your holiday vogue on with these Chirstmas photo booth ideas...

The first step in creating your Christmas photo booth is to figure out what kind of background you want to make. Here are two great ideas below. The first one from blogger Family Ever After created a photo booth frame wall from plywood. And for those who are not that handy with a jigsaw or building something out of wood this second photo booth backdrop by blogger Little Pumpkin Grace is perfect for you. All you need to do is hang a large piece of fabric up on a wall and then decorate it with some holiday garland or banners.
Once you get your backdrop setup you can't forget about your picture props! Some great holiday photo prop ideas include:
  • A Santa Hat
  • Reindeer Antler Headband
  • Silly Holiday Glasses
  • Over-Sized Candy Canes
  • Festive Holiday Yard Signs
  • An Elf Hat 
  • Holiday Garland
  • A Top Hat
  • A Santa Beard
  • A Wrapped Present Box
  • A Holiday Bow
You could also create your own photo booth props or buy a set like this one from Etsy store Party Goodies.
This year at our office holiday party we are having a photo booth and I am having so much fun finding great photo props for everyone to use. So far I have found some great items in the Target Dollar Spot. I cannot wait to see all the silly pictures that everyone takes at the party next week! Are you having a photo booth at your holiday party this year? 


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This past Thanksgiving holiday was one filled with family and friends galore! From freezing at the Turkey Trot race, family shenanigans and black Friday shopping there was just no slowing down! But not to worry I was still able to capture it all (well most of it) to create this photo diary to share with you all. Here are some of my favorite moments from this past Thanksgiving weekend...

As promised I pulled out my craft box and made these Thanksgiving pillow boxes (similar to the ones I shared with you in my Thanksgiving Party Crafts post) and filled them with delicious chocolate pecan toffee. YUM!
And without even knowing it my mom and sister made this cute Thanksgiving tree and wreath using similar felt stickers like I used on my pillow treat boxes!
After all the decorations were up we kicked off the Thanksgiving weekend by running in the annual Turkey Trot 10K race on Thanksgiving morning. Our race results were kind enough to let us know that it was only 32 degrees out when the race started. 
After we cleaned up (and warmed up) we headed down to the river for our family Thanksgiving celebration. Here is the table all set for dinner, 
What is Thanksgiving without a freshly carved (and personally caught by the carver himself) turkey?
A nice before and after shot of my Thanksgiving meal (well the first plate of it anyways), 
And then we let the Christmas festivities begin! My cousin and I headed out for a little Black Friday shopping Thursday evening and Friday morning without any major crowd issues. We were successful in my book! Number one thing on the Christmas shopping list? A tree of course!
And to end the holiday weekend my dad finished putting up all the Christmas lights!
The Christmas season really is upon us and we only have a few short weeks to enjoy it all this year! What was your favorite part about this past Thanksgiving day weekend?


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Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I am so very thankful for being able to do this blog and for all of you who take time out each day to follow along. In celebration today I have already finished the traditional 10K Turkey Trot with my sister and now am off to an afternoon of family fun down at the river. I can't wait to see what goofiness we get into this year! I also made some cute Thanksgiving goodies for everyone and can't wait to share them with you on Monday! I hope you all have a wonderful day celebrating with your own families!

And for those of you who are venturing out to conquer the Black Friday (Thursday) sales here are some great tips to keep in mind:
1. Make a Plan.
Go through all the ads to figure out the logistics for your shopping adventure. Make a list of the gift items you are planning on buying, from where and at what time each store is opening. Just keep in mind that not every store advertises their sales so don't leave them off your list!
2. Bring Food. 
Since Black Friday shopping now starts as early at 6pm on Thursday and can go until noon on Friday make sure you bring a snack (or two) as well as something to drink. That is what all those Thanksgiving leftovers are for right?
3. Dress Comfortably (and stay warm!).
If you are on the east coast it is going to be a little colder than normal this year on Black Friday (it's going to be in the upper 20's in Virginia!) so make sure you layer up if you are going out. Layers are also perfect on Black Friday so that when you get into the store to shop you can take off your jacket (or two) and not over heat.
4. Bring Your Friends!
Black Friday shopping can only get better if you bring along a friend or two. See who can get the best deals and when you all are done shopping and need to warm up, everyone can head out for a nice late night or early morning breakfast.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all and be safe if you venture out to take on those Black Friday (or Thursday) sales!


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I would have to say that for the most part I am a holiday traditionalist. I am not one to start celebrating Christmas as soon as the decorations come out (in August) but after last year when we had 5 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas I have felt the need to start getting into the holiday spirit a little earlier this year. So as yesterday marked the 30 day countdown to Christmas I figured that it was finally time to start integrating a little Christmas into my life. 

So to help get you (and me!) into the Christmas spirit I have asked my friend Taylor, who knows more about music and loves everything about it more than anyone I know, to put together a fun playlist to kickoff the holiday season. Here are his top ten songs that you can't miss listening to this season... (Thanks Taylor!)

1. Grave Robber - "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"
2. Sufjan Stevens - Come On! Let's Boogey to the Elf Dance!
3. The Almost - Little Drummer Boy
4. MxPx - Auld Lang Syne
5. August Burns Red - Frosty the Snowman
6. Relient K - I'm Gettin' Nuttin' For Christmas
7. Bad Religion - Angels We Have Heard on High
8. Dustin Kensrue - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
9. mewithoutYou - a Stick, a Carrot, a String
10. Weezer - The First Noel
Let the Christmas Countdown Begin! Only 29 more days till Christmas! For more holiday playlist cheer check out my holiday playlist that I put together last year.

What is your favorite way to get into the holiday spirit? Also if you have any topics you would like to see me post about this holiday season leave those ideas in the comments section below!


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