10 christmas tree alternatives that may be even better than the real thing

Maybe you love to put a unique spin on traditional holiday decor, or maybe you just dislike the idea of lugging home a tree, lugging it back out after the holidays, and still finding needles in your home months after Christmas. Whatever the reason, I have 10 christmas tree alternatives that may make even the most enthusiastic tree trimmer rethink their holiday decor!

DIY-alternative-Christmas-tree-1

free people

msornaments7a2

say yes

DIY-Washi-Tape-Christmas-Tree3

homey oh my

5-diy-christmas-tree

handmade charlotte

alternative christmas tree no1 d

a few pretty things

booktree11

family sponge

Twig-Tree-1

the art of doing stuff

marcie-tree-

martha stewart

Emily-Henderson-Holiday-Tiny-Prints-acrylic-block-christmas-tree-instagram

emily henderson

b985fd6ef78ad9e3354d4c7d4a48ee65

dekorolog




    

snow day box {a tutorial}


snow day ideas

Snow days! I don’t know about you, but for my family, the first one of the year is always cause for excitement. With the weather getting colder, I wanted a fun and creative way to make the most of our first snow day, so I put together this Snow Day Box! Don’t have kids yourself? This would make a perfect family gift for the holidays, who doesn’t love a snow day?

snow day ideas

First up, you’ll need a clever and fun snack idea, preferably one that adults and kids would enjoy. Pop Works & Company has come up with a unique twist to a traditional party favorite-popcorn! They start with airy popcorn, add sweet glazes and sprinkles bits of sweet treats over the top, resulting in three delicious flavors (clockwise, from top) Birthday Cake, Salted Caramel & Fudge, and  Cookies & Cream.

snow day ideas

I added a few other easy items to my box: a fun book that fits our theme (a DVD would be a good choice as well), hot cocoa (don’t forget the marshmallows), and a Dress Your Own Snowman kit for when we decide to venture into our winter wonderland!

snow day treats

Package it all up in a box (I found this one at Target), add a cute tag or label, and you’re done!

snow day

I can think of about five families I want to gift one of these to, and I love the fact that it’s all ready to go, no running around as the flurries start falling trying to find a way to celebrate the first snow day of the season.

snow day

Can we talk for another moment, though, about this amazing popcorn? Not only is Pop Works & Company the clear star of our Snow Day Box, but I also plan on using it for our hostess gifts this year. What better way to say “thank you for having us” than some yummy popcorn?

If you want some for your own gifting needs (or for yourself, I won’t tell!) Pop Works & Company is sold exclusively online is offering an introductory price of $15.99 on its Pop Box, a colorful and versatile box which can be filled with the 3 different popcorn flavors. They’re also offering free 2-Day shipping through New Year’s Eve.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


    

GINGERBREAD HOUSE PARTY IDEAS + HOMEMADE HOT CHOCOLATE {INSPIRED BY GLADE®}

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

YUM.

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?