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

diy gingerbread houses
Like so many of you, I absolutely love this time of year. The festive gatherings, school functions, holiday cards, and special family traditions all combine to make November and December memorable and fun. It takes a concerted effort on my part, though, to ensure that we remember what’s most important, and that we don’t confuse “frantic” with “festive”.

diy gingerbread houses

When I came across the new Glade® Limited Edition Winter Collection at Kroger the other day, I couldn’t wait to incorporate the new fragrances into our home and festivities this holiday season. The new fragrances are cleverly named and I picked up some of the fragrances including BE AT PEACE™, CHERISH THE PRESENT™, SEND A LITTLE LOVE™ and SHARE THE SPIRIT™. BE AT PEACE™ is my personal favorite because it smells just like a Christmas tree with hints of balsam fir and juniper.

glade winter scents

I also love SHARE THE SPIRIT™, which is fruity and festive with hints of pomegranate.

glade candles

For me, scents can evoke powerful memories and emotions. They can uplift and enliven me like little else can. The new Glade® Limited Edition Winter Collection brought brought to mind some of my favorite holiday memories-carols, gatherings with loved ones, and holiday crafts and baking. The Glade® Limited Edition Winter Collection also also inspired me to put together an easy holiday get-together for my kids and a couple of their friends. This Gingerbread House Party came together quickly, and is a great way to create a special holiday memory.

To start, I put together easy houses out of graham crackers. I used 6 pieces per house, and assembled them onto a paper plate. To get the triangle pieces, just use a serrated knife and carefully and slowly cut each piece (using a slow back and forth motion). It was easier than I thought it would be, but definitely have an extra few crackers on hand.

graham cracker house

The end result is a bit messy-looking, but it’ll soon be covered in frosting and candy, so no worries.

graham cracker house

Here are some of the easy and doable touches that helped make this party so festive and fun…

paper straw flags

gingerbread party

For the centerpiece, I hot glued wool pom poms onto craft store branches and put them into a red mason jar.

easy kids holiday party

The candy wreath centerpiece is made out of melted mint candies! After they cooled, I simply hot glued them onto an embroidery hoop.

gingerbread house party

Lastly, a great hot chocolate is the hallmark of any great holiday party. Here’s how I made mine.

Step 1: Add about a cup of heavy whipping cream into your stand mixer. Whip until stiff peaks form. I usually pour my cream into the bowl of the mixer and stick in the refrigerator for a few minutes before whipping–having everything cold helps everything whip up better. You can always add a dash of sugar or vanilla to your cream; I didn’t for this recipe because the hot chocolate itself is so sweet and decadent.

hot chocolate

In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine 1.5 cups of whole milk and 1/2 c. of heavy cream. Pull off the heat once hot (don’t let the mixture boil). Stir in 6-8 ounces of quality, chopped chocolate.

homemade hot chocolate

After spooning into a mug, I added a generous portion of whipped cream, and a drizzle of caramel.

hot chocolate


Next time you’re at Kroger, be sure to check out the new Glade® Limited Edition Winter Collection (your holiday memories will thank you)!

glade copy

I’d love to know: What scents help inspire your favorite holiday memories?


easy dipped marshmallows {a fun, fall recipe}

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

autumn treats

fall treats

With two little ones, who, amazingly, aren’t so little anymore, it always surprises me how fast time flies. It’s one reason why I like to celebrate the holidays and the changing of the seasons; time moves quickly, and my children (and yours) won’t always be this little and eager to celebrate these small moments with me.

dipped marshmallows

Recently, I wanted to create simple, budget-friendly treats to celebrate fall and for my kids to share with their friends. Looking for inspiration, I visited the Holiday Bake Center at Walmart, where a variety of Kraft items greeted me…

kraft final 2

I took a few of my favorites home, including Baker’s White Chocolate, Jet-Puffed Jumbo Pumpkin Mallows & Baker’s Angel Flake Coconut

dipped marshmallows

I knew just what I wanted to make with these Kraft favorites…dipped marshmallows on a stick! The dipped marshmallows would’ve been great on their own, but who can resist treats on a stick? I know my little ones cannot…

easy fall treats

First, I took some paper straws (you can also use lollipop sticks-I just liked the pattern and color of these straws), and cut them in half.


I then took some Baker’s White Chocolate, and melted it in a bowl according to package instructions. Just a tip-always use bar chocolate (not chips) if you’re looking to melt it for dipping purposes. Chocolate chips contain stabilizers that help them retain their shape in baked goods, which also makes it harder to properly melt them for dipping.

fall treats

Once your chocolate is melted, use a paring knife to cut a small slit into the top of your marshmallows, dip your straw or lollipop stick into your melted chocolate, and insert into your marshmallow. The melted chocolate will act as “glue” to help keep your stick in place.

dipped marshmallows

fall treats

Now comes the fun part! Dip your marshmallow into your chocolate (you can also add a drop of yellow and a drop of red food coloring to turn your chocolate orange!), dip into the Baker’s Coconut, then place on a piece of parchment paper to dry and harden.

treats on stick

dipped marshmallows

After they dry, package them into cellophane bags and tie up with ribbon, fabric, or yarn.

dipped marshmallows

I had some pom pom trim and vintage fabrics that I thought would be cute together…I cut the fabric into strips, and tied some trim and a length of fabric to each bag.

kraft baking

dipped marshmallows

marshmallows on a stick

Easy, budget-friendly, and sure to be loved by all. What is your go-to for simple ways to celebrate the seasons? I’d love to hear!


diy taco & wing bar {and homemade dressing tutorials}

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

taco bar

Fall entertaining in our home is all about easy comfort foods that everyone loves. It’s about having fun, without the fuss. And who doesn’t love tacos and buffalo wings?

fall entertaining

taco bar

I was picking up a few essentials at my home-away-from-home (i.e. Target), and was inspired by their great selection of MorningStar Farms products. I knew they’d be the perfect starting point for this easy taco & wing bar!

morningstar farms

I included many different toppings to people could make their tacos anyway they like, including MorningStar Farms Grillers Crumbles, lettuce, salsa, cheese, lime, cilantro, tomatoes, avocado, onion, sour cream, and both hard and soft tortillas.

taco bar

My favorite taco recipe, though, is this traditional-style taco. Start with warmed flour tortillas, and add MorningStar Farms Grillers Crumbles to the bottom of your tortilla.

taco bar

Top with red onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.

taco bar

Just perfect. In my (humble) opinion, this is the way tacos are supposed to taste.

And, of course, great wings need great dipping sauces. I created homemade ranch and blue cheese dips to go with MorningStar Farms Buffalo Wings

homemade dressing

homemade ranch

Making your own dressings may sound intimidating, but it’s not. The ingredients are few, and the steps are even fewer. Let me show you how I made the ranch dressing…


  • 1 small container (about a cup) greek yogurt
  • 1/4 c. whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dried dill
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • tbsp. fresh parsley-chopped fine
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme

Step 1: Combine your greek yogurt and milk in a mason jar. Whisk with a fork. Obviously you don’t have to use a mason jar for this. You can combine your dressing in a bowl, and transfer it to a jar or tuppeware container, this just saved me a step:)

homemade ranch

Step 2: Add all other ingredients to your mason jar. Mix together.

homemade ranch

And you’re done (told you it was easy)!

homemade ranch

Now for the homemade blue cheese dressing…

blue cheese dressing


  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • 3/4 c. blue cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

Step 1: Whisk together the sour cream and mayonnaise in a mason jar.

blue cheese dressing

Step 2: Add the rest of your ingredients, and stir together.

homemade blue cheese

We loved every bit of this taco and wing bar. And I especially loved seeing how creative everyone’s taco creations were! This is something I can definitely see us doing again. The MorningStar Farms products were such a hit–perfect for vegetarians and meat-lovers alike, it’s definitely “Veggie Cuisine” at it’s best.

To create your own taco and wing bar, Target’s the place to start to find a great selection of MorningStar Farms products.

morningstar farms

At home, just use various ramekins and containers to corral your toppings.

taco bar

And if you’re interested in how I created the “confetti” backdrop, it’s so incredibly simple: just use lengths of washi tape in whatever colors/patterns you’d like.

confetti backdrop

Attach the tape to the wall, in a random, confetti-like pattern. And it’s as easy as that!

taco bar

How do you celebrate Fall with your family & friends? I’d love to hear your ideas!