the peanuts gang

Goodness to Greatness: Share a Box of Sunshine

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

In a few short weeks, we will fall deep into the throes of winter and the decrease of daylight. Who couldn’t use a little pick-me-up during the winter months or even on those days when you could just use a little sunshine? goodnessknows® my cousin/sister/friend, Sarah, could use a little sunshine and brightness in her life as she chases after a new one-year-old! With the promise of cold, winter nights and running after the energy of a toddler, I’m sure she’s ready to try a little goodness!

Box of Sunshine with goodnessknows® #TryaLittleGoodness AD

With that in mind, I thought I would put together a few of her favorite things (Hello, bright and fun YELLOW!) paired with my recent ohmygosh I am in love find, goodnessknows® snack squares. My personal favorite is the cranberry, almond, dark chocolate variety. These snack squares contain no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners which makes them a delicious satisfying snack – perfect for my little box of sunshine.

goodnessknows® snack squares from Sam's Club #TryaLittleGoodness AD

These little snack squares can take a good day and make it great – giving her that little break to enjoy life!

The rest of the box is pretty simple to put together. You’ll need a few pops of YELLOW to really make things shine!

Sunglasses because things are looking brighter than ever!

Let the Sun Shine In #TryaLittleGoodness AD

Clean and pristine! A loofah and smoothing mask – perfect for her own in-home spa

Bath Goodies #TryaLittleGoodness AD

A yellow pop of nail polish – perfect to beat off the winter doldrums

Yellow Polish to Brighten Things UP #TryaLittleGoodness AD

Little love notes for her to send her own bits of sunshine to friends and family

Loves Notes #TryaLittleGoodness AD

For a few little warm sips, a mug that lets her know I love her more!

Love You More Mug #TryaLittleGoodness AD

Let’s not forget a little goodnessknows®! Sweet, fruity, and CHOCOLATE!

goodnessknows® snack squares - cranberry, almond, dark chocolate #TryaLittleGoodness AD

Lastly, I used a warm infinity scarf to wrap everything up and keep her warm. This also makes the perfect box filler for wrapping up your box of sunshine!

Yarn Goodness #TryaLittleGoodness AD

Put everything together in a box and send it on its way! I’ll be seeing her for Thanksgiving, so I’ll send it along then, but you could also box this up and send via snail mail. The scarf will help protect your mug a bit!

Box of Sunshine #TryaLittleGoodness AD

Don’t forget the final step, enjoying a little goodnessknows® for yourself.

Ready to let the sun shine in? Head to Sam’s Club for everything you need, including goodnessknows® snack squares in bulk. Head to your local Sam’s Club on December 5th and December 12th to try them yourself during an in-store demonstration.

Store Shot #TryaLittleGoodness AD

goodnessknows® we could all use a little sun shine! Who do you plan to share the light with?


Peanut Butter & Jam Banana Bread French Toast

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

It’s no secret that peanut butter is my jam. I seriously am obsessed with that creamy, crunchy, slightly salted goodness. I could eat it directly out of the jar with a spoon (and I usually do!) and our family goes through it like water around here. It’s also no secret that I prefer creamy and my hubby prefers crunchy, so when I heard about Peter Pan® Simply Ground Peanut Butter – the perfect combination of crunchy and creamy? Not to mention with two different flavors – Plain and Honey Roast! I was sold. This was the marriage savior I had been looking for.

One of my favorite pastimes is to put together a PB & J with a glass of ice cold milk, so what better way to enjoy this childhood treat than in breakfast form? Peanut Butter and Jam Banana Bread French Toast!

PB & J Banana Bread French Toast #SpreadtheMagic AD

Putting together this recipe is relatively simple and the ingredients are key.

Ingredients for Banana Bread French Toast #SpreadtheMagic AD

Peter Pan® Simply Ground Peanut Butter (The crunch is KEY for this and it gives the French Toast that little extra something something. Even better, this peanut butter has no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, so it’s all the peanutty flavor without the junk.)

Jam of your choice (I opted for Strawberry – YUM!)

Banana bread (you can either use homemade or Walmart has a great bakery section perfect for this part)

2 eggs

1/2 c. heavy whipping cream


First, mix together your eggs, cream, and cinnamon.

Step 1 - Milk Mixture #SpreadtheMagic AD

Next, dip each slice of banana bread into your liquid mixture and place in a hot oiled pan. Brown each side until cooked through.

Fry them up! #SpreadtheMagic AD

Serve alongside your delicious creamy with a slight crunch peanut butter and some strawberry jam. I like to leave it on the side and make sure there is PLENTY of peanut butter to enjoy.

Ready for Breakfast! #SpreadtheMagic AD

Then, spread and stack. Just like the perfect sandwich. OH MY slightly crunchy YUM!

Creamy with a Little Bit of CRUNCH! #SpreadtheMagic AD

These layers of flavors are simply delicious.

Delicious PB & J for Breakfast #SpreadtheMagic AD

Serve with an ice cold glass of milk and let the childhood memories begin.

Peanut Butter & Jam Banana Bread French Toast #SpreadtheMagic AD

I also thought I’d share a little peanut butter love with family and friends this holiday season!

Later this month, we are headed with another family to a waterpark for a family mini-vacation! I thought we’d pack a little protein punch to help fuel them at the waterparks, so I put together this little gift basket to leave on their doorstep. (They will be our neighbors).

Waterpark Fuel Gift Basket #SpreadtheMagic AD

For this, you will need  Peter Pan® Simply Ground Peanut Butter (you might consider adding that Honey Roast variety here!),  loaf of bread, a knife, and brochures/coupons from where you plan to visit – making travel planning a breeze! The texture of this peanut butter makes it the perfect sandwich spread – no fear of tearing that bread up! You also don’t have to stir it up before using – it’s ready whenever you are! (The spoon is for easy dipping into wide-mouth jar on the peanut butter – perfect for snacking!)


Ready to start your peanut butter and jelly marriage? Head to Walmart for everything you need to whip up this French toast and family gifting kit this season! Bring along this $.50 off coupon for Peter Pan® Simply Ground Peanut Butter when you head out shopping.


What other recipes do you think go with Peanut Butter like Jelly?


‘Tis the Season for Hallmark


Tis’ the season to start decking the halls and addressing those envelopes. I love this time of year – spent with family and friends – enjoying the holidays to the fullest! It’s not often that I fall in love with decorations and Christmas gear, but Hallmark has me extra prepared this year. Here are a few of my finds:

Doc McStuffins ornament for my nephew? Check! He is obsessed with her and this is perfect for his 2nd Christmas! Hallmark has such a fantastic selection of ornaments that I never have to worry about finding the perfect one.


Itty Bittys? I need them all. For real. Like now. These Rainbow Brite ones remind me of my childhood and I’m convinced I should build a shelf just to hold them all!


SEE!? How cute is he! Little Twink. They have characters you would never even imagine!


Last? Hallmark always knows how to make things a special occasion. I snagged two rolls of wrapping paper – buy one, get one for $1 and I LOVE the little device they had for carrying the rolls! I picked these up at the Hallmark store in our mall, so I had more shopping to do. This little handle came in handy! And reminded me that Hallmark has everything I need.


Plus, this wrapping paper makes me swoon! Now I just have to buy the presents to wrap up!


What are your favorite elements in Hallmark that help to make the holidays extra-special?


Smells Like Teenage Dream Spirit {+ A Scent-sible Gift for Teens}

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

The countdown to Christmas has begun and I’m writing my list and checking it twice. I love purchasing gifts that mean something to family and friends, so this is usually my favorite time of year. Because I have boys, I do not often have the opportunity to shop for girls, so when Christmas rolls around, I usually try to really find something unique for my niece (my concert partner in crime). This year, I opted to snag Royal Revolution: a Katy Perry Fragrance Gift Set that is perfect for her!

Katy Perry Royal Revolution Gift Set #GiftingaMemory AD
Because we share the love of music, I thought I’d incorporate a few other musically inclined surprises with this sweet smelling fragrance. Using Katy Perry’s music for inspiration, I put together the perfect Royal Revolution gift bag for her for Christmas.

Katy Perry Gift Bag Additions #GiftingaMemory AD

Using lyrics from Katy Perry’s hit songs, I found items inspired by the music. I then cut out little tags to attach to each item and paired it with the Royal Revolution set and a fun bag. I also included a Thinking of You {also a song} sign to coordinate with this fun package.

A Royal Revolution Gift Basked Inspired by Katy Perry #GiftingaMemory AD

I made sure to include the Killer Queen herself with her Royal Revolution Gift Set. Beautiful and vivacious with the perfect scent like something out of a Teenage Dream.

The Queen Katy Perry herself #GiftingaMemory AD

A fun bottle of perfume, shower gel, and body lotion are included. I love how fun the bottle looks – perfect for displaying on her bathroom counter or in her room while she’s using it and even after.

Royal Revolution Gift Basket with Katy Perry #GiftingaMemory AD

For the rest of her goodies, here’s what I added for each song:

Coming at You Like a Dark Horse – ponytail holders (I know, I know – I’m so punny)

You’re Hot, Then You’re Cold – a little coffee mug for her favorite sips

Living a Teenage Dream – socks with the word dream – bright and colorful

I’m Wide Awake – with a banana oat facial mask

You’re Gonna Hear Me RoarPrism CD by Katy Perry giving her plenty of chances to SING!

Baby, You’re a Firework – glitter nail polish for her to SHINE!

Beautiful choices for a Katy Perry Gift Bag #GiftingaMemory AD

And let’s not forget – managing the sunshine with some shades inspired by California Gurls! If you’d love to use some of these for a gift this season, check out the printables here: Labels (page 1), Labels (page 2), Thinking of You page

California Gurls #GiftingaMemory AD

Ready to start shopping for some sweet smells? Head to Walmart and find your favorite scents, including Katy Perry’s gift set: Royal Revolution by COTY. You’ll also find inspired scents from Beyoncé, Nautica, and Vera Wang!

Katy Perry Fragrances in Walmart #GiftingaMemory AD

Who do you know that would love these great scents Last Friday Night?


Estancia Wine-Inspired Three Course Night In {+ Pinot Noir Fondue for Two}

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HolidayPairings #CollectiveBias The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older.

Grab the wrapping paper, the holidays are just around the corner. Intimate gatherings, family togetherness, and a time to savor the flavors of the season, the holidays are the perfect opportunity to share time with your favorites. Whether you’re aiming to feed the entire party or simply looking for an intimate night in for two, this Estancia Wine inspired three-course pairing of sweet and savory favorites is the perfect menu.

Pinot Noir Chocolate Fondue for Two {or More} #HolidayPairings AD

One of the first steps to a fabulous holiday night in is to start with quality ingredients and recipe starters.

The Makings for a Perfect Holiday #HolidayPairings AD

Estancia Wine pairs well with cheese, chocolate, and pasta, so this is the perfect foundation for a meal fit for a king & queen.

Reservations for Two #HolidayPairings AD

Three Course Holiday Entertainment Night In #HolidayPairings AD

Might I suggest eating your courses in reverse for a bit of intrigue?

Estancia Pinot Noir Chocolate Fondue for Two

Fondue + Cookie Deliciousness #HolidayPairings AD

The key to this rich dessert is ingredients that add depth and sweetness to the overall chocolate dip. You will need a 1/4 cup of Estancia Pinot Noir, 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, 4 oz. dark chocolate, 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, and 3 tbsp. brewed coffee, cooled. Estancia is a super premium wine found at Walmart – the richness without the price tag.

Estancia Pinot Noir Chocolate Fondue #HolidayPairings AD

Start by simmering your cream and coffee until slightly bubbling and warm. Pour over your chocolate and let set for 1 minute. Stir gently to combine, add your Estancia Pinot Noir, and serve warm and melted. I love incorporating Estancia wine because it is hand-crafted and grown with passion – the perfect addition to your date night in.

Estancia Pinot Noir Fondue Ingredients #HolidayPairings AD

Serve with your favorite Pepperidge Farm Cookie Collection – perfect for dipping, scooping, and sweetening the evening.  I love these Collections by Pepperidge Farm quick and easy to put together for all of your holiday entertaining needs. Plus, it makes putting together this Fondue a snap!

Pepperidge Farm Cookie Collection #HolidayPairings AD

This Fondue for Two is the perfect start to an evening or as the finishing touch to a holiday party. Plus, you should have plenty of Estancia wine leftover to enjoy with your meal!

Triple Chocolate Fondue with Pepperidge Farm Cookie Collection #HolidayPairings AD

Fresh Caprese Pasta

This delicious fresh pasta incorporates fresh ingredients, one-pot pasta, and can be put together in less than 15 minutes. You will need 1 box of Barilla Pronto Pasta Penne style, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 cup fresh mozzarella balls, 3 leaves of basil, 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan for garnish.

Caprese Pasta Salad Ingredients with Barilla Pronto Pasta #HolidayPairings AD

Cooking your one-post pasta meal has never been simpler! Start by cooking 1 box of Barilla Pronto Pasta in 3 cups water or broth. Pronto provides the quality of Barilla with the convenience of a one-pot cook and clean-up method. I love that this entire recipe can be made in one pot which means the less to clean up, the more time to enjoy with family and friends.

Caprese Salad Steps #HolidayPairings AD

Toss this simple pasta with your ingredients and a little olive oil. Serve garnished with shredded Parmesan. Bon Appetit!

Up-Close Caprese Pasta Salad #HolidayPairings AD

Finishing Touches

Whether you’re putting together a beautiful tablescape or slicing the last bits of cheese to go with your Pepperidge Farm Cracker Trio, the details, such as using a premium wine, are the most important.

For the table and serving ware, I incorporated plaids, pinecones, and wood serving trays for my cheese and cracker platter. Little vintage elements help to bring the look of the table together and provide that quality your guests will love!

Finishing Touches of Tablescape Elegance #HolidayPairings AD

Inspired by Estancia Pinor Noir, this three-course meal is a triple threat of delicious flavors, convenience in assembly, and quality ingredients.

Holidays Inside #HolidayPairings AD

Ready to start your party preparations? Head to Walmart and get everything you need for all of your holiday entertaining needs! Be sure to visit the Simple Entertaining Hub here to find out about a tasting or pairing event at a Walmart near you!

In-Store Photographs #HolidayPairings AD

Find even more from your favorite brands on social media:

Barilla: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
Pepperidge Farm: Facebook | Twitter
Estancia: Facebook | Twitter

For even more simple entertaining ideas, head to the hub of #HolidayPairings. What are your favorite ways to keep holiday entertaining simple?



All That Glitters: Red & Gold Themed Holiday Party

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

‘Tis the season for glitter, the color red, and sweets galore! One of my favorite things about the season are the parties that we host and attend throughout the season. The JOY of getting family and friends together while you spend time together enjoying the flavors of the season makes the parties that much sweeter.

In preparation for a few we are planning ourselves, I put together a festive holiday soiree: an All That Glitters: Red & Gold Themed Holiday party complete with sweet eats, finishing touches, and favors for guests to enjoy. Your holiday party preparation might get a little easier if you snag a KitchenAid® Mixer in the #BakeintheFun sweepstakes – but more on that later!

All That Glitters Red & Gold Holiday Party #BakeintheFun AD

The Eats

The best way to get a party started is to have some delicious sweets on hand.

Ingredients for #BakeintheFun AD

My aim is to keep things simple and easy to put together, so my first stop was a Candy Bar where guests can fill little bags (I used pretzel rod favor bags) and fill to the brim with their favorite M&M’s® varieties. Using different sizes and shapes of glass jars, the candy is the perfect decor and treat for your table.

M&Ms Candy Bar #BakeintheFun AD

I also love to appeal to different tastes, so I included a few different holiday varieties (think reds, whites, and greens!) for guests to choose from.

Varieties of M&Ms Candies #BakeintheFun AD

M&M’s® White Peppermint

M&M’s® Hot Chocolate

M&M’s® Holiday Milk Chocolate (large bag)

M&M’s® Holiday Peanut (large bag)

M&M’s® Holiday Peanut Butter

I also created two separate recipes using Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Cake Mix. Did you know that a box of cake could be so versatile (AND not be used for traditional cake?)

M&M’s® White Peppermint Mini Cheesecakes

White Peppermint Mini Cheesecakes #BakeintheFun AD

The ingredients are pretty simple.


1/2 box Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Cake Mix

1/2 stick butter, melted

Combine until slightly crumbly and press into the bottom of cupcake liners in muffin tin.


3/4 c. sugar

2 – 8 oz. blocks of cream cheese

3 eggs

1 tsp. of vanilla extra (I also used a splash of mint to complement my M&M’s® White Peppermint)

M&M’s® White Peppermint

I even busted out my KitchenAid® Mixer for part of my preparation. Enter the #BakeintheFun Sweepstakes for a chance to win your very own!

Holiday #BakeInTheFun

White Peppermint Cheesecakes #BakeintheFun AD

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle M&M’s® White Peppermint over cake crust (do not bake yet). Pour batter into each liner. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve topped with whipped cream and extra M&M’s® White Peppermint. Enjoy!

M&M's® White Peppermint Mini Cheesecakes #BakeintheFun AD

Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Cake Mix Cookies

This recipe is SO simple to put together and a quick way to get moist cookies in a snap! You will need one box of Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Cake Mix, 2 eggs, and a 1/2 cup of oil. Mix together and drop on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Funfetti Cookies with Pillsbury Funfetti Cake Mix #BakeintheFun AD

Serve with Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Frosting on the side with sprinkles. Your guests will love decorating them as a simple party activity. Extra sprinkles on mine, please!

Pillsbury Funfetti Cookies with Frosting #BakeintheFun AD

Serve on gold chargers for the perfect table addition that coincides with your theme.

Sweet Eats for the Holidays #BakeintheFun AD

What sweet treat would be complete without a glass of ice cold milk? Great Value Milk is the perfect addition to your holiday festivities and makes a great refreshment for a Santa Clause visit.

Milk Does a Body Good #BakeintheFun AD

Having milk at your holiday party is a great addition, but did you know that some families near you may not be receiving the 9 essential nutrients that milk provides? More than 46.5 million American rely on Feeding America food banks each year, but on average, food banks are not able to provide all of the milk that families need each year!

Luckily, the Great American Milk Drive, with a small donation, will deliver a gallon of milk to a family in need in your community. Even better, if you purchase 2 bags of M&M’s® at Walmart, up to a gallon of milk will be donated! Just by preparing for you own holiday gathering, you can make a difference.

The Decor

While every party has to have great eats, the decor is the next big step to giving your party that WOW factor! You can have a big impact without breaking the bank by utilizing basic items in beautiful displays!

Red & Gold Glitter Party #BakeintheFun AD

For a beautiful backdrop, use holiday themed paper – inexpensive, festive, and easy to hang with a bit of tape.

Ornaments are also a beautiful addition to the table and look great in vases, dangling from the ceiling and table, and work well as tablescape. Plus, they really enhance your theme without requiring a ton of effort.

Glitter & Glam #BakeintheFun AD

Make a splash with something that catches the eye. Rather than buying expensive decor, consider making your own.

Coffee Filter Wreath on Fleek #BakeintheFun AD

I’m not super crafty (FOR REAL), but this wreath and complementary Christmas tree were simple to put together.

Coffee Filter Wreath & Tree #BakeintheFun AD

I used basic foam shapes (tree and wreath circle) and hot glued COFFEE FILTERS (how inexpensive can you get) and used about 100 on each. Then, I hot-glued ornaments in my color scheme, purchased a miniature tree star, and pre-made bow and voila! I have beautiful table pieces – both made for about $20 total.

Deciding on a theme doesn’t necessarily mean you are married to it. I incorporated different fabrics and textures as well, such as these burlap letters (Spread a little JOY!) and this glitter tablecloth. I also used festive flower sprays and garlands to add little pops of color and pizzazz.

Red, Gold, & Burlap Accents #BakeintheFun ADYou might also consider taking simple milk bottles for beverages and dressing them up. Using simple twine, a felt tree, scissors, and a glue gun, I added a little oomph to these and added a festive snowflake straw. Even better, by using hot glue, you can simply remove the decoration and change it up for the season and event. 
Decorative Milk Bottles #BakeintheFun AD

The Favor

No soiree would be complete without something for your guests to take home. I already have the Candy Bar set up for their M&M’s® Chocolate Candies fix, so they can take their own little sweets bag home.

Build Your Own Candy Bag #BakeintheFun ADAs an extra little something, I put together 3-2-1 Mug Cake jars. To make these, you will need miniature mason jars, M&M’s® Chocolate Candies of your choice, Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Cake Mix, and Pillsbury™ Angel Food Cake Mix (This is a necessity!)

#BakeintheFun Favors with Mini Mason Jars AD

Combine the two boxes of cake mix. Fill the bottom of your jars with M&M’s® chocolate candies (a flay layer will do) and top with 3 tablespoons of your cake mixtures. Since the top of your mason jar has two parts to the lid, use a round gift tag – the perfect fit for the lid and layer them together (see picture above) and close it up! Remind your guests that they add their mixture (3 tablespoons) to a mug, add 2 tablespoons of water, and heat in the microwave for 1 minute. A Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Mug Cake in 3-2-1!

3-2-1 Mug Cake Favors #BakeintheFun AD

Ready to get this party started? Find everything you need at Walmart and bring along this coupon which will save you $1.00 on ANY TWO (2) M&M’s® Chocolate Candies, 8 oz or larger.

In-Store Photo #BakeintheFun AD

What are your favorite ways to sweeten up the holidays?


Charlie’s Creative Corner, Installment 1: Jellyfish Inspired by Finding Nemo

Ever since he was little, Charlie has been quite the creative soul. He’s taken a liking to the blog and even stood on a chair this past Easter to get just the right photograph of his Easter eggs. A cross between Martha Stewart and Bill Gates (thank you, Sarah Cupcakes), Charlie is the newest addition to the blog with a weekly feature all his own, “Charlie’s Creative Corner.” From crafts to things he builds, Charlie will be creating a special space for your kids here and we can’t wait to share his flair for all things glitter, engineering, and creativity. The writing will be dictated by Charlie to me (his mom) and I will assist with pictures and editing.


Hi, this is me, Charlie. And I’m building a Jellyfish because I like the movie, Finding Nemo. And this is my first craft of making this blog.

Next, I’ll show you how to make the jellyfish.

Jellyfish Inspired by Finding Nemo

You will have to use these things…

Blue glitter

Yellow glitter

Gold glitter

Black glitter

White construction paper

Cheetah-printed purple construction paper (He was very specific – any fun patterned print will do. I think.)

Two dog stickers

Two cat stickers

Scissors (Parent note: Please always assist and/or watch your child around scissors)


Step 1. Cut a half circle for the head.


Step 2. Make seven rectangles for the legs.


Step 3. Glue the legs onto the head.

Step 4. Put the cat stickers on leg four and leg six.


Step 5. Put the dog stickers on leg five and leg seven.

Step 6. Glue the black glitter into a stripe across the head.


Step 7. Put the yellow glitter straight down in a stripe.

Step 8. Put the gold glitter and make it into a stripe diagonally to the left.

Step 9. Put the blue glitter diagonally to the right.

Step 10. Make triangles out of white paper and make it look like it’s stinging something. Glue the triangles to the legs.


I’m finished. See my next craft on Sunday. Hint: It’s going to be about Thanksgiving.



Be Healthy for the Holidays with Walgreens!

This blog post is sponsored by Walgreens but all opinions are my own.

If you can believe it, fall is full speed ahead, and before we know it, winter will be upon us! You might be starting your holiday preparations, but have you taken the time to work on your health and wellness to make sure you’re ready for the holiday craziness? Head to Walgreens to get your healthy holiday prep in gear!


Tips for Pursuing Health this Holiday Season

1. Drink your WATER!

The more water you drink, the more hydrated you’ll feel. This natural pep in your step enhancer will have your skin glowing and keep you from getting too dehydrated during this season.

2. Exercise

The cooler temps and busy schedule shouldn’t stop you from being healthy this season. Make time for YOU and for getting up and getting physical! (Shivering doesn’t count)

3. Head to Walgreens for your flu shot

Walgreens is the perfect stop for making sure you take those preventative measures to protect yourself against the flu this season.

Why Head to Walgreens for your Healthy Holiday Prep?

1. It’s not too late to get your flu shot, and Walgreens makes it simple and easy to get yours today!

2. With most insurance coverage, you have a $0 copay.

3. Did you also know that when you get your flu shot, you help provide a lifesaving vaccine to a child in a developing country? With Walgreens Get a Shot. Give a Shot.® program, a partnership with The United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign, you can make a difference just by walking into your local Walgreens and getting a flu shot. The Get a Shot. Give a Shot.® campaign allows you to make a world of difference by getting your flu shot at Walgreens. For every immunization administered, Walgreens will donate a lifesaving vaccine to children in a developing country.*

4. The flu can be quite vicious as we head into the winter season. Get your flu shot now to protect yourself from the flu this year.

The holidays will be crazy enough – between getting food on the table, wrapping gifts, and checking your list twice, you will want to make sure your health is in check. Enjoy the holidays and make sure you’ve prepared yourself by getting a flu shot at Walgreens.

How do you prep for the holidays and make sure you are in your best health family togetherness? 

* From July 1, 2015 to August 31, 2016, for every immunization administered, Walgreens will donate $0.18 to the United Nations Foundation, up to a maximum donation of $2,000,000. For more information, go to

Vaccines subject to availability. State-, age- and health-related restrictions may apply.


Homemade Cornbread Wreath for the Holidays

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

Every year, the holidays roll around and I brainstorm about different ideas that I can make for family functions. This year, my mom is planning to host Christmas Eve and I’ve been trying to think of some creative appetizers that update things a little bit rather than the same old eats. In the interest of spicing things up, I decided to try out homemade cornbread with a little kick from La Morena Jalapeño peppers and serve it showcased as a wreath. Simple to put together and perfect for your next get-together (or even for the winter months paired with chili), you are ready to rock and roll.

Holiday Cornbread Wreath with Jalapeño Peppers #VivaLaMorena AD

This wreath is pretty simple to make and you probably have the ingredients you need already on hand.

Ingredients for Holiday Cornbread #VivaLaMorena AD

You will need:

4 cups of Maseca® Corn Flour (finer ground than cornmeal which I love)

1 tsp. each of salt, baking powder, baking soda

1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick)

1 can of  La Morena Jalapeño peppers

3 tbsp. sugar

3 cups buttermilk (fun fact: mix 1 c. milk with 1 tbsp. vinegar for the perfect buttermilk substitute)

1 c. frozen corn

Cherry tomatoes, cilantro, and red pepper slices for garnish

Bundt Pan

2015-11-09 10.52.42

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees. Mix all of your wet and dry ingredients together. Then, dice up your peppers and fold them into your mixture along with the corn. These high-quality peppers from La Morena are made in the style and taste of the authentic Mexican home and work very well in traditional recipes – adding the perfect kick for the season. I love creating new family traditions and spicing things up a bit with new flavors!

Next, make sure your bundt pan is greased VERY WELL. This step is beyond important because otherwise, your bread will stick to the sides and will not look like a great presentation on your tablescape. Pour in your batter. Bake for approximately one hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Red Pepper Bow #VivaLaMorena AD

The next step is simple. Remove cornbread and cool completely. Place toothpicks around your wreath and stack cilantro leaves and cherry tomatoes for that wreath effect. Slice your red pepper thinly and fold into a bow at the bottom. I used five separate pieces to achieve this.

Voila! The perfect appetizer for any holiday gathering and also works great for a soup potluck and on the side of a big vat of chili during the winter months or for the big game.

Holiday Cornbread Wreath #VivaLaMorena AD

Check out that deliciousness inside – jalapeño peppers and corn for the win!

Jalapeño Cornbread Slice #VivaLaMorena AD

Ready to start spicing up your own family traditions? Head to Pete’s Fresh Market and pick up La Morena Jalapeño peppers and Maseca® Corn Flour to get your festivities started.

In-Store #VivaLaMorena AD

How do you spice up the holidays with new flavors? 


First Visit from the Tooth Fairy

We’ve been planning for months for her arrival. We have the perfect pillow with a pocket to hold his tooth treasure. When Charlie was almost 11 months old, he finally popped his first tooth just in time for Thanksgiving. Now, nearly six years later, his little tooth has made its exit! He is the last in his class and the first in November to loose a tooth. His toothless grin is one of my favorite sights now.

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After a long weekend of wriggles and begging from Poppy and I to just yank it out, Charlie headed off to school with his loose tooth intact. I even included an extra soft lunch in hopes that he would loose it at school and because his tooth still hurt quite a bit!

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Once he got home, Poppy convinced him to let him loosen it – which he did quite a bit, but still no luck. Charlie headed home and while eating dinner, I heard a scream that can only be described as piercing and terrifying. I ran over to see Charlie with a mouth full of blood, screaming about his tooth, and with the help of a paper towel, POP! That little bugger finally made its appearance.

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After sharing the good news, Charlie left a sweet little note for the Tooth Fairy.

Dear Tooth Fairy, 

This is my tooth. This pillow is funny. Don’t make fun. Just laugh. I hope you like the note. Also take the note home and make a note collection.



The Tooth Fairy left what we heard was the going rate (apparently, with inflation for the first one).

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Dear Charlie,

Congratulations on losing your very first tooth! This is a big day and you were very brave! As a special token, I have given you some surprises!

1. A new toothbrush

2. Some spending money

3. A very special $2 bill! Keep it Safe!

Hope to see you again soon!

All my love,

The Tooth Fairy

Do you remember where you were when you lost your first tooth?