Over The Top Mommy

Month: November 2015

Simple “Random Acts of Kindness” Christmas Countdown Bags With Free Printables

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone. #CraftAmazing #CollectiveBias

random-acts-of-kindess-christmas-countdown-bagsWhen my daughter was a preschooler, I started a holiday tradition with her every year, during Christmas time. I would put together 12 little surprise treats or bags that were labeled for the 12 days of Christmas and she would get  to open a new one each morning, as we counted down the days until Christmas. It’s always been something she’s looked forward to each year. As she’s gotten older, I’ve shifted the focus during the holidays from receive to give or better yet, do for others. I’m all about practicing Random Acts of Kindness whenever possible and it shouldn’t just be something you do just during the holidays. practice-random-acts-of-kindness-whenever-possible

This year, during the holiday season, I decided to put together a little activity using the Random Acts of Kindness concept and some fun Scotch® Brand craft supplies I found at Walmart. One of my most favorite crafting items of all is washi tape! Can you tell? random-acts-of-christmas-washi-tapeWalmart carries a fun collection of  Scotch® Expressions Tapes which come in a variety of colors and fun patterns and are perfect to use on your handmade holiday creations. I found these rolls of washi tape in the Crafts & Sewing section at my Walmart.


random-acts-of-christmas-double-sided-tapeI also picked up some Scotch® Create Double-Sided Tape to help me with the project, which was over by the office supplies. The Scotch® Create line has everything from masking tape to spray adhesives to use for everyday projects. All of the other supplies you’ll see in this tutorial were also purchased at Walmart.

Im-all-about-the-gingerbread-menFor some reason, I’m really drawn to gingerbread men this year so I made a cute printable with a little gingerbread man on it and called it “Random Acts of Christmas“. You can print these out too, further down in the craft instructions.

123456789101112I attached each one to the front of a bag, using the washi tape. How cute, does it look? random-acts-of-kindess-bags-outsideI also made a printable note to hand write a Random Act of Kindness on and stick inside each bag. random-acts-of-kindness-gingerbread-small

random-acts-of-kindess-cardsSome ideas of Random Acts of Kindness you could use include:

  • Donate some new, unopened toys (from your closet) at your local fire station.
  • Write a nice letter and mail it to someone.
  • Donate some food to a local food bank or food drive.
  • Donate some spare change or a couple dollars to a “bell ringer” outside of a store. (to a reputable organization)
  • Say something nice to 3 other people today. (Your parents don’t count.)
  • Gather some blankets from your house and donate to an animal shelter or rescue.
  • Find somewhere to donate sweatshirts and jackets that are too small for you.
  • Do something nice to help your parents at home. (without being asked)
  • Drop off some baked goods with a nice note to your doctor or dentist’s office.

random-acts-of-kindess-tiny-treatsInside of each bag, I put a small treat and sealed it up with more washi tape. random-acts-of-kindess-sealAfter they were all finished, I placed them all together in a cute “sleigh” basket and placed them next to my daughter’s mini Christmas tree. random-acts-of-kindess-sleighI explained the idea behind them, placing the emphasis on the Random Acts of Kindness, rather than receiving a big treat per day. I then told her that she was only allowed to open one a day and not shake or touch the others. She was all smiles and excited to do her first “Random Act of Christmas”. random-acts-of-kindness-make-your-own

Here are the supplies you’ll need to make your own set of “Random Acts of Christmas” bags:

  • 12 small brown lunch bags or treat bags
  • a few rolls of Scotch® Expressions Washi Tape
  • Scotch® Create Double-Sided Tape
  • markers
  • scissors
  • small treats for inside of the bags
  • white cardstock (for printing)
  • 1 “Random Acts of Christmas” for each bag (Click here to print yours.)
  • 1 “Random Act of Kindness” gingerbread man printable for each day (Click here to print yours.)
  • I stuck one inside of each bag, along with some simple treats. As I mentioned, I’m placing a bigger emphasis on the “doing for others” part here, but I also want to give my daughter treats in each bag, just nothing too extravagant.

To assemble your bags:

  1. Print out Random Acts of Christmas tags and Random Acts of Kindness cards on white cardstock. Cut apart.
  2. Use Double-Sided Tape to attach tags to the front of the bag and use fun washi tape on each side for a cute, decorative touch.
  3. Write one Random Act of Kindness on each card and place inside of a bag.
  4. Choose a small treat to put in each bag also.
  5. Seal each bag with washi tape.
  6. Place the bags in a basket somewhere festive.

random-acts-of-kindness-bearsThere’s really nothing like the feel of the holiday season! Decorations everywhere, festive music playing, and people in more of an upbeat mood. Why not add to the joy to the season by getting your kids involved with Random Acts of Kindness, too?

Be sure to check out more amazing craft ideas with Scotch® Brand products. I’ll bet these fun products could help you with a thousand of your craft ideas!

The Outlets at San Clemente Are Now Open + Moonlight Madness Extravaganza on Thanksgiving Night


The-Outlets-at-San-Clemente-are-now-openThe Outlets at San Clemente are now open and I couldn’t be more excited! I think all South Orange County moms have been waiting patiently, some time now, for them to be completed. I have driven by the construction several times during it’s duration and to see the final product completed calls for a celebration! outlets-at-san-clemente-trees
outlets-at-san-clemente-ocean-facingThe Outlets at San Clemente is Orange County’s first and only ocean-facing outdoor outlet shopping and dining destination. It features a collection of leading designer and name-brand retailers such as Calvin Klein, Cole Haan, Columbia Sportswear, GUESS, H&M, Levi’s, Nike, PUMA, Tilly’s, Tommy Hilfiger, Under Armour and White House Black Market. Outlets-at-San-Clemente-dogs-welcomeVisitors can enjoy favorite fast-casual eateries, including Panera Bread, Ruby’s Diner and Starbucks. Additional stores and restaurants will open throughout 2016. The center welcomes tail-wagging visitors, as long as they’re on a leash.

The promenades and courtyards at the center are all beautifully decorated with holiday décor, including a live, fresh-cut Christmas tree from Mt. Shasta decorated with 3,000 twinkling lights.

the-outlets-at-san-clemente-visiting-santaIt’s the perfect setting to take annual Santa photos and create fond holiday memories together.  Southern California families are going to quickly adopt the brand new Outlets at San Clemente as their favorite destination.

the-outlets-at-san-clemente-visiting-santa2So, after a day of eating turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, watching football and spending time together, you are invited to start their holiday shopping at their its inaugural Moonlight Madness all-night shopping extravaganza. Although the day after Thanksgiving has been considered traditionally as Black Friday, why not get a head start by taking advantage of door-buster offers and holiday savings?  Door will open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, Nov. 26. Shops will remain open all night and throughout Black Friday on Nov. 27 until 10 p.m.

There will also be a special entertainment schedule during the Moonlight Madness Event as follows:

8 PM – 2 AM  |  DJ MissNinja

2 AM – 10 AM  |  DJ Cre-8

10 AM – 12 PM  |  Lil’ Dickens Carolers

12 PM – 1 PM  |  Koda Corvette (Pop Performer)

1 PM – 2 PM  |  Mary Desmond (Teen YouTube Sensation – pictured left)

3 PM – 4 PM  |  Mary Desmond (Teen YouTube Sensation – pictured left)

4 PM – 5 PM  |  Corey Angeli (Local Musician)

6 PM – 7 PM  |  Duende Flamenco

the-outlets-at-san-clemente-bagsThe Outlets at San Clemente are located at 101 West Avenida Vista Hermosa in San Clemente.

For more information, visit outletsatsanclemente.com. Find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

This is not a sponsored post. I was invited to attend a media event in order to write this post. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Knott’s Merry Farm Will Warm Your Heart

Disclosure: My family & I were invited by GigaSavvy to attend a Media Day at Knott’s Merry Farm in order to write this review of our experience.  No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.
Knotts-Merry-Farm-FacadeEvery year, Knott’s Berry Farm is transformed into Knott’s Merry Farm for the entire holiday season and it makes my hear happy to be in the park and share all of the holiday fun with my family. This year, you can come to the park and enjoy all of the holiday offerings through January 3rd.

Knotts-Merry-Farm-funWe were invited to spend a media day in the park, experiencing all of the holiday offerings. Sunny SoCal weather allows you to enjoy it all while wearing tank tops and shorts but the decorations and make you feel like you’re in traditional Christmas town.

Knotts-Merry-Farm-Camp-Snoopy-TheaterKids always love to spend time over in Camp Snoopy, riding attractions that are just their size, and it’s decorated really cute this time of year. In the Camp Snoopy Theater, you can catch a performance of “Christmas Time is Here, Charlie Brown!”, starring all of your favorite Peanuts characters.

Knotts-Merry-Farm-Ferris-WheelOne of our favorite places to dine while we’re in the park is Grizzly Peak Lodge. They make a great cheeseburger and feature a condiment bar where you can build your burger just the way you like it!

IMG_7261After we finished our lunch, we headed straight over to the Charles M. Schulz Theatre to watch the “Merry Christmas, Snoopy!” Ice Show. This show is beyond fabulous and a must-see on your visit to Knott’s Merry Farm and is something we look forward to each year.

Knotts-Merry-Farm-Charles-M-Schulz-TheatreWatching the ice show always makes me tear up (in a happy sort of way) and this year was no different! The skaters in the show are extremely talented and perform each song so elegantly.


Knotts-Merry-Farm-Pair1The set designs are even more beautiful this year as are the costumes and you can always count on classic Peanuts fun within the show and of course, Snoopy is the star!

Knotts-Merry-Farm-Snoopy1I probably could’ve just spent my entire day inside the theater, watching all 4 performances of the day, if the kids would’ve let me, but they wouldn’t. They were ready to head over to see Santa next! You can find him, along with a ton of yummy treats, in Santa’s Christmas Cabin, located in Calico Ghost Town.

Knotts-Merry-Farm-Santas-Christmas-CabinSanta’s sitting up, on the stage, ready for kids to visit and share their holiday wish lists with him.

You can take photos with Santa, which are also available for purchase, and come in a keepsake Knott’s Merry Farm folder.

IMG_7478 I wasn’t exaggerating about the word “ton”  when I referred to the treats available for purchase inside Santa’s Christmas Cabin. Among the treats, you’ll find roasted nuts, pastries (including adorable cookies), Starbucks coffee, hot cocoa, beer and wine, and homemade Santa’s cookies with milk.  Luckily, there’s always room in my tummy for treats!



Knotts-Merry-Farm-Gingerbread-CookieWhile you’re inside Santa’s Christmas Cabin, don’t forget to snap some fun photos at the digital photo booth. Afterwards, you can email the photos to yourself.

Knotts-Merry-Farm-Photo-BoothYou can find special Christmas Carolers wandering around Ghost Town, singing favorite seasonal songs and playing handbell chimes. Their beautiful holiday attire and carols will put you in the holiday spirit.

Knotts-Merry-Farm-CarolersIt’s also fun to take a ride aboard the train to experience “Christmas on Engine 41”! As you cruise along, you’ll be serenaded by carolers and holiday folk.

Knotts-Merry-Farm-Train-ChristmasAs nightfall approaches, guests start to gather around the Calico Square Stage to wait for Snoopy’s Merriest Tree Lighting to begin.


This fun stage show is filled with holiday music and dancers and stars Santa & Mrs. Claus and the Peanuts Gang. It’s a fun, family experience and afterwards, if you stick around Ghost Town, you can also experience “glow and snow” on the buildings and paths in Ghost Town’s Main Street and School House Road. Thousands of sparkling lights dance to the beat of “Let It Snow” while snow gently falls in this spectacular one-of-a-kind moment. and Glow.


Knotts-Merry-Farm-Christmas-TreeKnott’s Merry Farm was so much fun! It’s something you won’t want to miss out on. Just all the more reason you’ll want to grab a 2016 Knott’s Season Pass. When you purchase a pass for the new year, you’ll also receive one free visit in 2015. It’d be perfect to use to visit during the Knott’s Merry Farm season. For more information about Season Passes, click here.

Find Knott’s on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.



Be Proactive About Preventative Care Because There’s No Such Thing As “Aging Gracefully”!

Disclosure: I am part of CosmetiCare’s Mom Ambassador Program. I received medspa services in order to write my review. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Over the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to visit CosmetiCare’s Medspa a few different times, as part of their Mom Ambassador program. Cosmeticare is Orange County’s leading plastic surgery center and medspa facility. Staffed anti-aging experts including certified nurses, estheticians,  and plastic surgeons can render expert, up-,to-the-minute advice and create a skin regime just for you. You should only trust your skin to a medspa managed and staffed by these kinds of professionals..

Cosmeticare-medspa-expertsOur mothers taught us the importance of establishing a good skincare routine, wearing sunscreen at all times, and drinking plenty of water to keep our skin hydrated. I’ve always been told to get my beauty rest too.

so-many-options (2)All of those things can all make somewhat of a difference but if you want to “age gracefully” you need to be more pro-active. This may just be my opinion but there’s no such thing as aging gracefully! The secret (which isn’t really a secret) is to seek preventive care.  Even before the hint of that first smile line appears, be proactive. Women (and men) can prevent issues from occurring by getting certain noninvasive skin treatments well before issues arise and with regularity. If you didn’t catch it that early on, seek treatment as soon as possible. CosmetiCare medspa offers nonsurgical treatments that slow down the signs of aging or treat issues present already, such as:

  • hyperpigmentation
  • adult acne
  • brown spots
  • fine lines
  • wrinkles
  • congested or oily pores

CosmetiCare-Juvederm-Love-the-Way-You-LookThe staff at CosmetiCare medspa has been an incredible resource and have helped me make decisions about which non-surgical, anti-aging options were a good fit for me. The believe that you should love the way you look and I totally agree with that!

CosmetiCare-Juvederm-needleFirst I tried Botox and I LOVED it! Botox won’t let you down. You may not be able to say that about other things (even people) in your life, but Botox is a hard-working wing girl. Start to use Botox as a preventative wrinkle-smoothing measure before the “11s,” the moderate-to-severe frown lines between the eyebrows, form. You could postpone that destined date with wrinkles.

CosmetiCare-Juvederm-boxNext, I tried Voluma, the injectable that adds volume and lift to your cheeks. It has the ability to enhance contour and create a more youthful profile without needing to take a drastic, invasive step like implant surgery. It’s like a mini-lift without going under the knife.

after-botox-and-voluma (2)On my third visit, I conquered the parenthesis by my mouth with some JUVÉDERM. Parentheses lines around your nose and mouth are no laughing matter!


JUVÉDERM is a dermal, gel filler that evens out wrinkles around the nose and mouth. It produces natural-looking results that last up to a year.

CosmetiCare-Juvederm-resultsSo far, I’m ecstatic with all of the results I’ve gotten as a result of my visits to CosmetiCare’s medspa. Do you have any areas on your face, neck, or even body that you feel are starting to need some extra attention? Call CosmetiCare and schedule a complimentary consultation today at 949.356.0102

Connect with CosmetiCare on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Pet Adoption Event, Christmas Tree Lighting, and Carolers at Kaleidoscope Center


Kaleidoscope Center in Mission Viejo will celebrate the spirit of the season this Saturday, November 21 with Home for the Holidays Pet Rescue, a pet adoption event.

home-for-the-holidays-pet-rescueFrom 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, CARMA (Compassionate Animal Rescue for Medical Aid) and Mission Park Pet Hospital will be in the center courtyard of Kaleidoscope, where dogs will be available for adoption. The group will also be accepting donations of dog toys, treats, collars or leashes to donate to the shelter.

kaleidoscope-center-treeThe holiday festivities will continue on Friday, December 4 when A Storybook Nutcracker comes to life in Kaleidoscope’s center courtyard from 6 to 8 pm. As part of the center’s 5th annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, nearly 100 dancers from South Coast Freestyle Dance Company will perform in the round, along with a special appearance by the SCF Dance Abilities Group. The St. Kilian Choir will entertain visitors with holiday classics and modern favorites.

At the end of the program, Kaleidoscope’s beautiful 22 ft. fresh noble fir will be lit by Santa Claus. Donna B’s Bakery will also be on hand selling fresh baked goodies and hot cocoa.

kaleidoscope-center-carolersAdding to the seasonal fun at Kaleidoscope, visitors will be entertained by Charles Dickens Carolers, a quartet strolling the center on Saturday, December 18 from 6 to 8 pm.
Kaleidoscope is located off the 5 Freeway at 27741 Crown Valley Parkway in Mission Viejo. The center has convenient self-parking, as well as a valet available.

Visit Kaleidoscope on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own. Images and logo property of Kaleidscope.  

The Santa Photo Experience & Kidgits Holiday Extravaganza at The Shops at Mission Viejo

Eager children and their families can experience the joy and magic of the holiday season with a visit to the Simon® Santa Photo Experience at The Shops at Mission Viejo. Children can visit and be photographed with Santa beginning November 8 through December 24, on the lower level near Nordstrom. Sponsors of the Simon’s Santa Photo Experience this year are Gymboree and Universal Home Entertainment.


Save time, avoid the line with Santa by Appointment! Now you can reserve your magical moment with Santa online at http://simon.noerrsanta.com. For appointment hours, click here.



The Shops at Mission Viejo also provides children with special needs and their families with an opportunity to enjoy a carefully managed Santa photo experience through the Caring Santap rogram. Caring Santa will occur on Sunday December 6, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., prior to the mall opening. Guests must register in advance by clicking here. Caring Santa events have expanded from seven Simon malls in 2011 to over 100 Simon malls today, reflecting the positive impact of this unique program.


Since so many pet owners view their pet as an integral member of the family and care for their pets as “human” family members, the popular Pet Photo Night will return to the Simon Santa Photo Experience at The Shops at Mission Viejo this year on Sunday, November 15, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Pet Photo night is hosted after regular mall closing and the set gets an extensive cleaning following the event to remove any potential
risk to allergy sufferers. To make a reservation, click here.



In addition to extra festive hours throughout the season, other activities include the Kidgits Holiday Extravaganza event on December 5, from 10 a.m. to noon on the lower level, near H&M and Old Navy. Kids can get festive with various crafts and activities, including writing a letter to Santa.


Simon’s theme for Holiday 2015 is “Spread Love.” From the love of giving to those who matter, to children’s love of Santa, to celebrating love through holiday festivities with family and friends. Join Simon to experience the season’s good cheer with the best of holiday shopping and entertainment..

Visit The Shops at Mission Viejo  on FacebookTwitter &  Instagram.

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own. Images and logos property of Simon & Noerr. 

The Santa Photo Experience (Including Pet Photo Night) and Other Holiday Happenings at Brea Mall

Come experience the joy and magic of the holiday season at Brea Mall! Santa can’t wait to greet children bringing him their holiday wishes. The Simon® Santa Photo Experience is now open and children can visit and be photographed with Santa through December 24 in Fountain Court, on the Lower Level near JCPenney and Nordstrom.


You can now save time and avoid the line with Santa by making an appointment! Just reserve your magical moment with Santa online by clicking here. For available hours, click here.


The popular Pet Photo Night will return to the Simon Santa Photo Experience at Brea Mall this year on Sunday, December 6 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Many pet owners view their pet as an integral member of the family and are just as committed in caring for their pets as their “human” family members. Pet Photo nights are hosted after regular mall closing and the set gets an extensive cleaning following the event to remove any potential risk to allergy sufferers. Reservations can be secured by clicking here.  sit-stay-pose

The Simon Santa Photo Experience is again sponsored by Gymboree and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. With the highly-anticipated release of “Minions,” available on Digital HD on November 24 and on Blu-ray and DVD December 8. Come visit the Simon Santa Photo Experience and receive a fun-filled activity sheet and custom Minion holiday headband, pose for photos with the colorful Minions standee, and watch highlights from the movie.


Simon’s theme for Holiday 2015 is “Spread Love.” From the love of giving to those who matter, to children’s love of Santa, to celebrating love through holiday festivities with family and friends. Join Simon to experience the season’s good cheer with the best of holiday shopping and entertainment.

In addition to extra festive hours throughout the season, Brea Mall will also feature:

  • a Giving Tree from December 4-13, near Guest Services
  • a holiday photo booth experience on select weekends in December
  • Kidgits Sunrise with Santa on December 5 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
  • giftwrapping from December 11-24 on the lower level near Macy’s Women’s store in support of the Simon Youth Foundation.  holiday-giftwrap

Guests to every Noerr set will have another opportunity to share Santa’s heart by making a donation via The Noerr Programs to Save the Children. For nearly 100 years, this non-profit has given underserved children in the U.S. a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. Since this program began four years ago, Noerr has collected over $978,000 largely due to the generosity of Simon shoppers. This season, Noerr will pass the $1,000,000 milestone.

For more information, visit Brea Mall on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own. Images and logos property of Simon & Noerr. 

(Almost) Better Than Christmas M&M’s® White Peppermint Cookies and DIY Snowman Glasses

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone. #BakeintheFun #CollectiveBias


I think my most favorite time of the year is when the holidays arrive. I’ll admit, it’s a little ridiculous that signs of the holidays seem to show up earlier and earlier each year in the stores, but I’m 100% Ok with it! The Christmas season would be year-round thing if I were in charge! It’s such a wonderful time of the year to enjoy doing special things with my daughter like watching our favorite Christmas movies, working on festive crafts, and baking up some favorite holiday cookies in the kitchen!  I am so lucky to have a daughter who enjoys doing these things as much as I do! peppermint-is-my-kryptoniteI get excited to see which special variety of M&M’s® I’m going to find in the holiday candy section at Walmart each year. The other day, I literally stopped in my tracks when I saw bags of M&M’s® White Peppermint and M&M’s® Hot Chocolate chocolate candies on the shelf on the holiday candy aisle.bake-in-the-fun-productsI did a fist pump before tossing both bags into my shopping cart, along with a bag of M&M’s® Holiday Milk Chocolate candies, which I also found on that aisle. I couldn’t resist adding a Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Cake Mix and Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Vanilla Flavored Frosting to my cart either, which I found on a holiday display in the center aisle. Last, but not least, I grabbed a gallon of Great Value Milk. In our home, you can’t have cookies without milk! Now I was ready to bake up some holiday fun at home!

ready-to-bake-up-some-holiday-fun-at-homeAnything peppermint is my Kryptonite, especially these candies! I love all things peppermint and it was time to kick of the holiday baking season with a batch of (Almost) Better Than Christmas M&M’s® White Peppermint Cookies! They are delicious and don’t take too long to prepare.

prepHey, as long as we’re talking about the holidays, go enter the #BakeintheFun Sweepstakes for a chance to win a KitchenAid® Mixer!

Holiday #BakeInTheFun

So…while I was busy baking in the kitchen, my daughter decided to make some easy (yet adorable) Snowman Milk Glasses for us to use later on for our cookies & milk. She had seen a similar idea on Pinterest, using clear glass coffee mugs. So, when I was out shopping, I picked up some glass drinking glasses, perfect for her project. All you need to make your own holiday glasses are: whatever type of drinking glass you prefer (wine glasses would be cute too) and permanent markers. You may also want to keep a pack of baby wipes handy, for mistakes.

sketchingShe first sketched out a couple of snowman faces on paper. She then drew a different one on each of our glasses, deciding to make one a snowman and the other a snow woman.  nose


I poured some of the milk I’d purchased at Walmart into each glass, creating a complete snowman look and they were ready to use. (It’s important to note that the marker will wash off when you wash the glasses.)


Milk, cookies, and a holiday movie! What a fun way to spend the afternoon together!

Great-American-Milk-DriveDid you know that each year, food banks in our country provide for hungry children and families in need? In numbers that translates to more than 46. 5 Americans and about one in every six children who rely on Feeding America food banks each year.  One of the most requested food items is milk, but on average, food banks are only able to provide the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person per year. That’s because while Americans are generous with canned and dry goods, many don’t think to donate milk because it’s perishable.


This year, The Great American Milk Drive will deliver a gallon of milk to a family in need in YOUR local community for each small donation received at pourmilklove.com.  Also, with every purchase of 2 bags of M&M’s® at Walmart (9.4 oz bags or larger), up to a gallon of milk will be donated to the drive. Click here for a coupon good for towards the purchase of ANY TWO (2) M&M’s® Chocolate Candies, (8 oz or larger).


(Almost) Better Than Christmas M&M’s® White Peppermint Cookies Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 container Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Vanilla Flavored Frosting (you’ll be using the sprinkles that are on the top portion of the container)
  • 1 9,9 oz bag of M&M’s® White Peppermint chocolate candies

Cookie Preparation: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. (This is my best kept baking secret.)
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the butter, granulated and brown sugars, and vanilla extract until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating them in after each one is added. butter
  5. Beat in the flour mixture gradually.
  6. Mix in the chocolate chips and M&M’s® White Peppermint with a spoon.
  7. Add in the sprinkles from the Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Vanilla Flavored Frosting. (set some extra aside)add-ins
  8. *This is an extra step. I like to wrap my cookie dough in plastic and stick it in the refrigerator for about 10-20 minutes. (You can skip this step if you’d like to).  wrap-in-plastic
  9. Spoon generous portions of the cookie dough onto the parchment paper-covered baking sheet. (They’re supposed to be pretty giant.) I-love-baking-on-parchment-paper
  10. Bake 10 minutes.
  11. Remove from the oven and add a few more pieces of each candy plus some more sprinkles on the top of each cookie. This will help them to bake while staying visible in the cookie.
  12. Bake 3-5 more minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving. bake-in-the-fun-cooling

Won’t you consider joining Feeding America in The Great American Milk Drive, the first-ever national program to help deliver highly desired and nutrient-rich gallons of milk to hungry families who need it most. Log onto milklife.com/give to learn about the need for more nutritious foods in America’s food banks and see how your small donation can make a big impact.


Be sure to check out more delicious holiday baking recipes, including these M&M’s® Holiday Snowflake Cookies which includes Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Cake Mix in the recipe. I’d love to hear what your favorite holiday recipe is? Leave a comment below!

Promenade Temecula’s Annual Santa Arrival Celebration Saturday, November 21


Promenade Temecula will kick off the holiday season on Saturday, November 21, transforming the outdoor plaza into a winter wonderland for its annual Santa’s Arrival and Holiday Tree Lighting celebration! This year’s event will feature a special Charlie Brown Christmas-themed evening, including special performances, fireworks, snow, and of course, Santa Claus!

Santa's Arrival 2014 2Santa’s arrival is the center’s biggest event of the year, with an average of more than 5,000 guests joining each year for an unforgettable holiday experience. In order to improve visibility and enhance the overall experience for all of our guests, this year we will be featuring an additional LCD Jumbo Tron screen, which will allow even more guests to have a fantastic view of the show.

Santa's Arrival 2014

The Pre-Show begins at 6:00 p.m. and parents are encouraged to arrive early to enjoy a special children’s light wand giveaway for kids age 10 years old and under. Light wands are limited, and will be provided on a first come, first serve basis.

Santa's Arrival 2014 5

The main event will begin promptly at 7:00 p.m. and will feature a special Charlie Brown Christmas show presented by CYT Riverside (Christian Youth Theater), along with appearances from Dunamix Dance and Resonate Vocal Group. In addition, this free holiday event will also feature a synchronized jazz performance from Vista Murrieta High School, as well as musical performances by Hijinx and Joy Song. After the holiday performances, Santa will make his grand debut and light the 35-foot holiday tree while fireworks explode over the square and magical snow falls over the crowd. Following the event, Santa Claus will be available for photos and visits throughout the holiday season until December 24, 2015. After December 10, advance reservations will be required in order for children to visit Santa. Reservations can be booked online at http://www.PromenadeTemecula.com.

Magical snowfall will continue every Friday and Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. throughout the holiday season.

For more information on holiday events & happenings at Promenade Temecula, visit http://www.promenadetemecula.com or call (951) 296-0975.