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?


throw a comfort foods party with marie callender’s pot pies {plus free printables}

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

comfort foods

I’ll admit it: Winter has never been my favorite season. Because of this, I always try to find ways to enjoy the season more. Whether it’s planning a get together with friends, indulging in some favorite comfort foods or putting together and enjoying a Winter-inspired tablescape, truly making an effort to enjoy the season makes Winter much more enjoyable than it would be otherwise. I did all three of the above this past weekend and held a Comfort Foods Party featuring some yummy eats, including Marie Callender’s Pot Pies! I’m so excited to share it with you all today–and be sure to scroll all the way through the post-I’m sharing free printables and recipes throughout!

comfort foods

marie callenders

When I think of comfort foods, I think of easy-to-prepare and delicious dishes that warm you from the inside out. With the recent cold-front moving through, pot pies are the perfect comfort food to warm you up. Paired with sides such as homemade mac n cheese, mini cornbread muffins, and hot apple cider, this Comfort Foods party was a definite hit.

comfort foods party 10

comfort foods party 15

Want to throw your own Comfort Foods get-together? These free printables will help you get started! Click here to download the gold “Gather Together” printable, and click here for the Comfort Foods Party invitation! The invite printable allows you to print 3 invitations per 8×10 sheet of cardstock, and, of course, it’s blank so you can fill in your own information.

As we all know, a great party is all in the details. Take a look at some of the easy touches that made this tablescape extra inviting…

comfort foods party 14

comfort foods party 13

Wooden flatware in drawstring bags add a fun touch, as do confetti dot cloth napkins and mismatched white plates.

tassle garland

comfort foods party 11

And can we talk for a minute about this lovely (and easy!) backdrop? I call it my “dollar-eighty-nine” backdrop, because it literally cost, you guessed it, $1.89 to make. I started by taping lengths of streamers to the wall, carefully twisted each 5 times, and secured it with a piece of tape at the bottom. So easy.

Of course, we all know that a party is only as good as it’s food, and the obvious choice for our main dish were Marie Callender’s pot pies-homemade gravy mixed with vegetables and all white-meat chicken, in a golden, perfectly flaky crust that’s made from scratch. Yum.

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pot pies

marie callenders

Interested in learning more about Marie Callenders? Visit their site here for information on their products, special offers, and more, and potpieplease for great recipe ideas.

comfort foods party 7

We love cornbread muffins in our house, and this Basic Mini Cornbread Muffin recipe is a favorite!

comfort foods party 8

Love mac n cheese? You’ll love it even more once you discover how easy it is to cook it in the crock pot (why had I never tried this before?!). I used this Crockpot Mac n Cheese Recipe.

Interested in hosting your own Comfort Foods Party? Be sure to print off the free printables, and head to Walmart, which is where I picked up our Marie Callender’s Pot Pies. Walmart has a huge selection and great prices for Marie Callender’s products. Also, be sure to check out Marie Callender’s Facebook page for updates, new product info, and great ideas using Marie Callender’s products.

pot pies

Lastly, be sure to visit Marie’ Callender’s Comforts From Home Project to help support our troops overseas. What a worthy cause!

 So tell me-what are your best ideas for enjoying Winter a bit more and beating the Winter blues?

comfort foods party 9



10 favorite candy cane-inspired crafts

There are few things that say “Christmas” to me quite like candy canes do…maybe it’s the colors, the peppermint taste, or maybe just the fact that they remind me of the candy cane reindeer we used to make as kids. Candy canes crafts have come a long way since then, and I’m sharing 10 of my favorite crafts and décor ideas with you. How do YOU like to craft with these Christmastime treats?

favorite candy cane craftscandy cane wreath

Three dollars, you say? Sign me up! This candy cane wreath is adorable and so much fun!

2 - cursive candy cane clay ornaments

Wow. These candy cane clay ornaments are truly inspired. Would be fun to label gifts with each recipients’ name!

Hung with polka dot ribbon, candy canes make easy and festive décor hung from a window or mantle.


For another candy cane wreath idea, check out this beribboned beauty from bhg!


Candy cane marshmallows? Yes, please!

Napkin  Target  1

A sprig of greenery and a pretty tag take the humble candy cane to a whole new level for your holiday table.


Need a teacher or neighbor gift? How about some candy cane popcorn? Love this idea.


Would love to be on the receiving end of some of this candy cane sugar scrub this year!


Why stop with just a craft or two when you can have a full Candy Cane Christmas?


Who could resist these yummy-looking candy cane cake pops? Answer: Not Me.