I cannot believe Christmas is already over and now we’re quickly moving onto celebrating the arrival of the new year! I can’t resist the adorable printable collections by Lauren McKinsey! Look at her newest one….Happy New Year 2014! It has hanging gift tags, circle tags (in 3 different sizes), drink wraps, straw flags, tent cards, signs, cards to write, plastic bag foldover labels, miniature candy bar wrappers, Hershey’s kiss stickers, push pop wraps and kids coloring sheets! I love the colors and the designs of this entire collection! I also love how she used Sixlets from Sweetworks. Below are just some of the pics. Click here to find the entire collection.
Month: December 2013
I absolutely LOVE anything pink! One of my main nicknames is actually “Pinky”! The first time I Casey’s Cupcakes boutique, I was in awe of all the details. With so many cupcake stores open in Orange County and so much competition, it really takes something special to stand out above the others. If you’ve spent any amount of time in a Casey’s Cupcakes boutique, like maybe to enjoy one of her cupcakes and a coffee, you can also watch the episode of “Cupcake Wars” that she was on and that she won! Yep, not only is she adorable, but she can bake….and bake under some major pressure!
Recently, Casey’s hosted a photo contest on Instagram. I didn’t NEED an excuse to go into her Fashion Island store and enjoy a Confetti Cupcake, but if I had needed one, this was it! The store looked extra beautiful because it was all decorated for Christmas! Although there were so many cupcakes to choose from, including her Flavor of the Month: Glamorous Gingerbread, but Emi and I are still always drawn to the Casey Confetti Cupcake. This cupcake is so yummy, I swear I could eat two in one sitting, all by myself! I’m not even sure if I like the frosting or the actual cupcake more? Both parts are amazing! Before I let Emi sit down to enjoy her cupcake, I had to snap a couple pics of her in front of the adorable Casey’s Christmas tree!
|I think this expression on Emi’s face says it all!|
So…imagine our excitement when we found out that we’d won FIRST PLACE in the photo contest! I told Emi that we’d split the prize package, since it was her photo that won the contest, but it was me that submitted the picture. Emi actually negotiated with me that I also get her one of the Casey dolls. I thought it was a fair deal! We returned back to the Fashion Island store to pick up the prize package on Christmas Eve,wearing our matching hot pink jackets! You have to DRESS the part, right?
A Christmas Fantasy Parade is my favorite parade to watch at The Disneyland Resort. This year, Emi and I had the opportunity to be in the park on one of the days that ABC was filming for their Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade Show! It was so exciting to be able to see things that aren’t normally in the regular Christmas Fantasy Parade.
|We loved seeing all of these characters from Toy Story, who normally appear in the Pixar Play Parade at DCA.|
|It was also fun to see a bit of Cars Land over on The Disneyland Side!
Although we weren’t able to sit in the area where all of the cameras were filming, we did secure a spot on the curb, right in front of Plaza Inn, which is where the floats and characters entered the filming area. This meant that almost all of them had time to look our way and wave prior to entering the main filming area on Main Street, U.S.A.! What a great spot to be seated!
|This is one of my favorite pics. It’s just something you never see at Disneyland…Sulley next to The Matterhorn!|
|It was fun to see all of the little guest dancers that were invited to dance in the Monsters University part of the parade. You can tell how excited they were by their big smiles!|
I always get excited for this part, which is the traditional opening of this parade. She’s my favorite dancer in the parade!
More of my fav characters…mainly Wendy! (for obvious reasons)
Look at the giant balloon! So cute! Emi loves these elves because she thinks they know her own elf on the shelf!
So many smiley faces, so many great characters!
The First Lady of the North Pole!
I adore watching this parade and notice something new each time that we do. I love the music, I love the costumes, I love the dancing and I love how much it reminds me of childhood.
What’s YOUR favorite part of a Christmas Fantasy Parade?
Monkey Bread is a holiday necessity in our home! It’s so easy to make and is something that we all enjoy eating for breakfast on a festive day like 4th of July or Christmas. There are always leftovers to munch on throughout the entirety of the day too!
Lately, I’ve been trying to handwrite recipes that I make and put them into a recipe book for my daughter to have when she’s an adult.
- 4 cans of Pillsbury buttermilk biscuits (not the flaky ones)
- 1 2/3 c. sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 sticks butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Generously butter a bundt cake pan.
- Mix sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl.
- Melt butter in a measuring cup in the microwave.
- Cut up biscuits, 1 can at a time, roll pieces in cinnamon sugar mixture and layer them in pan.
- After cutting up each can of biscuits, top the layer with some melted butter. Continue until all cans are cut up and layered.
- Pour remaining butter over the top of the pan and sprinkle some extra cinnamon sugar on top.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, maybe a little longer if necessary. It should be golden brown on top.
- Remove pan from oven and let it cool slightly prior to serving.
What do you do when it’s Christmas Eve day, you don’t have to be at dinner until 6:30 p.m. and you still haven’t had a chance to take your daughter to see Santa yet? You head straight to The Disneyland Resort, that’s what you do! What a beautiful, sunny, Southern California morning it was, too! There aren’t too many places you can be where you actually NEED to wear sunblock on December 24th!
Emily & I decided to visit Disney’s California Adventure first! There was NO LINE to see Santa over at Elias & Company! We walked right in and Santa immediately struck up a conversation with Emily. As you can tell by this photo, she was mesmerized by him.
|I’m pretty sure she’s asking him for the Frozen castle here.|
Santa also had an absolutely beautiful elf named “Tinsel” that was helping him and passing out candy canes to the guests as they exited from sitting for their photo. I couldn’t resist snapping a pic of Emi with her also.
|Seriously though, how adorable is this elf?|
Emi and I also had another mission on our visit….we had to bring her Elves on the Shelf with us! Yep, they had written her a note, asking if she could take them to Disneyland! They told her that Santa had given special permission for Mommy to touch the elves to move them and take them to Disneyland. We just hadn’t had much time during December to visit the parks and since the elves were returning to The North Pole that evening, this was our LAST chance. The tricky part about this was that 1)only Mommy could touch the elves, because children DON’T touch the Elf on the Shelf and 2)We needed to be careful as NOT to spoil any magic for other children at The Resort. I carried the elves in our backpack and we took them out for a few photo opportunities. There was one incident when two small children spotted them and were trying to tell their mom they had seen them, so we just sat back and pretended not to notice the elves and then as soon as the children were long gone, we grabbed the elves, stuffed them BACK into our backpack and ran! It was pretty funny to have elf shenanigans going on!
|Our elves INSISTED on wearing these buttons!|
|Patiently awaiting the front spot on Monorail Blue!|
|This is Disney Magic at work!
CM Manuel even let the elves help navigate, once we started moving and had to sit down!
It was such a great Christmas Eve morning at The Disneyland Resort! We are so blessed to be able to just run over to the parks for a few hours and be able to do something like this! Happy Holidays!
Lately, I’ve been on a mission to find more kid-friendly recipes my daughter will eat. She’s generally been a good eater, but it seems like she’s starting to grow tired of certain basics that I’ve always been able to get her to eat. I recently came across a recipe for a bacon macaroni & cheese. Although it’s something I’d like to cook up for myself, I changed the recipe to one that was just plain and without bacon. She REALLY, REALLY loved this recipe, so I decided to share it with you!
- 1 box (1 lb) elbow macaroni
- 1 bag of gourmet croutons, crushed (ahead of time)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups 2% milk
- 1/2 teaspoon onion flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup shredded colby jack cheese
- Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Use a non-stick cooking spray to coat a broiler-safe cooking dish and set aside.
- Boil pasta in pot of lightly salted water, drain and set aside.
- Pour milk into saucepan and whisk in flour, salt, pepper, butter, and onion flakes. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
- In a large bowl, toss the 3 cheeses together. Add milk mixture into the bowl and whisk together with cheeses until all are mixed well.
- Pour cheese sauce over pasta in the pasta pot and mix well. Transfer to the broiler-safe cooking dish and top with a layer of crushed croutons.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and then increase oven temperature and broil for 3 minutes, until the top is slightly browned. Remove from oven and cool prior to serving.
Such an easy prep!I see this pic and it makes me want to go eat more NOW!What is YOUR favorite comfort food?
Last year was the first year that we participated in the whole “Elf on the Shelf” thing. Emi came home from school one day talking about one of her classmate’s elf and asked if we could get one. I had seen others doing it online and there were some really cute ideas. I figured that it would be something fun to participate in. So, we hopped onboard the Elf on the Shelf party! . I thought I’d post some the pics from last year and how our elf “Sugar” ended up posing! The following images are from our Elf on the Shelf adventures last year! Enjoy!
One of my favorite parts about the holiday season is the variety of peppermint treats you can find in the stores. I seriously love anything peppermint! I think I have a peppermint obsession, actually! The other day, I came across these yummy Ghirardelli Chocolate Peppermint Bark Squares at Target.
I immediately felt the necessity to toss a few bags into my cart, mostly because they’re a limited edition item and I know if I don’t stock up now, they’ll be gone when I go back. My daughter came up with a brilliant idea. She said, “Mommy, why don’t we make peppermint s’mores?” We love s’mores around our house. I think she just likes being my official taste-tester/model!
Did I mention that Emi finds it necessary to stick a mustache on absolutely everything?
Yep, even on the s’mores! (these mustaches are by Wilton and we got them at Michael’s.)
I fall for it every time!