5 Ways to Believe In the Magic This Holiday Season

5 Ways to Believe In the Magic This Holiday Season

We are the type of family that celebrates the holiday magic all season long , but how do we make it last? Check out these 5 ways to believe in the magic this holiday season.

1. Talk to Santa

This app is my favorite way to communicate with Santa. He leaves great messages and includes any name you choose.

2. Leave cookies for Santa

Download this free printable bundle for o leave a special note to Santa plus more activities! Grab your printable bundle here!

3. Decorate your windows.

While your little one goes to sleep decorate your windows and blame a little elf did it! Watch their eyes light up!

4. Random gifts

Head to Dollar Tree to get some candy and individually wrap them in simple decorations. Walk around your neighborhood and leave on your neighbors stoop. You can also leave some behind at a cafe, library or in a shopping cart. There is nothing more magical then the gift of kindness.

5. Reindeer food

Make some reindeer food for when they come on Christmas! You can mix in some sprinkles with oats or dried fruit to make it more environmentally friendly. Store in an air tight container.

Check out some more fun holiday printables!

The Ultimate Holiday Wishlist for Any Adult

The Ultimate Holiday Wishlist for Any Adult

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

This season is about being cozy and preparing to be cozy for the new year. I am sharing the ultimate holiday wishlist for adults that’s all for easy relaxing street free gifts.

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Light therapy lamp

Don’t let the winter blues get to you with this Light therapy lamp.

Steam cleaner

Easy clean ups for big messes. No need to worry anymore what your pets or kid leaves behind with this multiple purpose carpet and upholstery cleaner.

Wireless router

This mini portable WiFi router is perfect for traveling or to use any where that does not have WiFi.

Big blanket co

The Big Blanket Co has the largest blanket I have ever used and the whole family got to enjoy it! With the size of 10’x10’ no one was fighting over it, including the pups! Use code NICOLE25 for $25 off your purchase.

Air fryer

You have to make some snacks while to bundle up on the couch, so why don’t you just stay there and do it from your phone! We are entering 2022 and it is about time we have an air fryer that is WiFi enabled!

Massage gun

Sore muscles call for a deep tissue massage. This massage gun is perfect for any aches and pains.

Wireless headphones

Time for some peace and quiet and fall asleep to whatever you want- including true crime podcasts with these Bluetooth headphone sleep mask.

This cup cozy pillow will keep all your Sri king needs right by you while binging your favorite true crime doc right from the couch!

Coffee maker

Forgot to set the coffee timer before bed? No problem because with this Smart coffee maker, it is Alexa enabled so you can have her brew your coffee while you’re still in bed.

Fun and Festive Sweet Potato Pop-tarts

Fun and Festive Sweet Potato Pop-tarts

Either you’re a fan of Thanksgiving food or you’re not. In my case I am not. You will find me eating a few sides with a loaf of cranberry sauce (the canned kind).

I know I am not the only one and I know we all have some picky eaters. I am sharing a fun side dish that is kid and adult approved- Sweet potato pop-tarts.

It has all the ingredients of the classic recipe sweet mashed potatoes including cinnamon, nutmeg and creamy marshmallow.

These can be breakfast, side dish or dessert, there’s no wrong way to eat them!

Here is what you need-

Ingredients

  • 2 packages of refrigerated pie crusts
  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbs pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 cup of marshmallow Fluff
  • Sprinkles (optional)

Directions

  1. Mash sweet potatoes and mix in brown sugar and spices. Put aside.
  2. Roll out both packages of pie crusts and cut into rectangles.
  3. Scoop about 1 tbs of sweet potato filling in one side of the rectangles and 1 tbs of fluff on the other rectangle.
  4. Sandwich the two rectangles together and pinch all of the pastry with a fork.
  5. Pierce a few holes on top of the pastry. I used cookie stamps to make shapes with the extra dough I had and sealed them on top.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 F. Ovens may vary so check on them throughout baking.
  7. Once fully cooled decorate!

I added these fun sprinkles that were so perfect for these pop-tarts! I used Sprinkle Pop Campfire S’mores mix.

I also used Wilton Gold Color Mist to give them a shimmery look.

Hurry and gobble these up before the kids do!

Check out these other delicious recipes for Thanksgiving!

Cranberry fluff salad
Cranberry fluff salad with pineapple
Dairy free green bean casserole
Dairy free green bean casserole
Pumpkin pie
World’s best pumpkin pie
Sweet potato casserole
5 Gift Rule Holiday Guide with Free Printable

5 Gift Rule Holiday Guide with Free Printable

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

Do the upcoming holidays have you feeling a little anxious? I get it if you are. All I have been hearing is how there is going to be a product shortage and honestly, I don’t want to stress about that.

To make things simpler while still giving my son a magical and memorable holiday, I am doing the 5 gift rule this year.

Over the years I’ve noticed that Franco played with only a quarter of the gifts he received. Although I shopped second hand, it still didn’t feel right to get so many things.

The 5 gift rule is a great way to spend less money, have less stress, and celebrate more with family and friends.

We still went through all of the holiday toy circulars and Franco got to pick some things he wanted.

The idea of the 5 gift rule is:

  • something they want
  • something they need
  • something to wear
  • something to read
  • something that is a surprise

There are different variations and adaptations of the rules but I like this one because it is practical and I still get to see the pure magical excitement on Franco’s face when he opens his surprise gift.

I am sharing some ideas below of what the 5 gift rule looks like for the holidays. I am also sharing free wish list and gift tags printable below.

Need

Want

Read

Wear

Surprise

Download your free printable a here.

The ideas I am sharing are literally just that- ideas. Do what you can afford and remember, the holidays are more than just gifts. Family and health is most important and I have realized this more after the past two years.

Easy and Delicious Burgers with Fries

Easy and Delicious Burgers with Fries

The next coming weeks are going to be busy, but you will still need to do the basics around the house. You still need to feed your kids, and yes you can order pizza but I say no more than twice a week 😜. (I’m seriously not counting though)

This easy and delicious meal is a crowd pleaser of any age. Who doesn’t love a burger with fries?

The recipe that I am sharing for the burgers are unique because there is a secret ingredient. This ingredient is what makes these burgers so delicious.

Are you ready for it?

PEANUT BUTTER.

Yes, it’s true.

Don’t hate until you try it! It gives it the perfect amount of seasoning flavor that you need. These burgers are on rotation for our weekly meals.

And the fries? Easy and simple. That is all.

Burger with fries
Slider burgers

Ingredients for Burgers

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 package onion soup mix
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Cheese slices
  • Mini Hawaiian rolls sliced in half

Directions

  1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a bowl, mix first four inredients
  3. Spread mixture onto a baking sheet as evenly as possible.
  4. Bake in oven for 10 minutes
  5. Remove and add the finely chopped all around the meat, like a boarder.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes
  7. Remove and add cheese slices
  8. Spoon onions over entire burger. Bake until cheese is slightly melted
  9. Remove and add top bun only to meat.
  10. Back for an additional 5 minutes
  11. Allow to cool for five minutes. Use a pizza slicer to make square patties.
  12. Remove and place your slider on top of bottom buns

Ingredients for Fries

  • 8 yellow potatoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Dash of black pepper

Directions

  • Peel and cut potatoes into desired size fries. Peeling is optional!
  • Soak in cold water for about 30 minutes. Remove from water and dry very well.
  • Toss with oil and seasonings. Spread evenly in a single layer on a parchment-lined pan.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Turn the oven up to 425° and cook fries until golden, about 20-25 minutes more.
Burger with fries

Burger recipe has been adapted from here and fries have been adapted from here.

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3 Ways to Exercise Your Mind

3 Ways to Exercise Your Mind

All moms need a little time to ourselves but sometimes we don’t know what to do with that time.

On top of reading at night I wanted to change things up exercise my brain a little bit. Exercising the brain helps improve memory, focus, or daily functionality.

Research has shown that there are many ways you can hone your mental sharpness and help your brain stay healthy, no matter what age you are. Doing certain brain exercises to help boost your memory, concentration, and focus can make daily tasks quicker and easier to do, and keep your brain sharp as you get older.

Relaxing

Each night before bed I tried different things and I found these three ways to be these best.

1. Meditation

Meditation

Studies from 2007 suggest that mindfulness meditation can help engage new neural pathways, resulting in improved self-observational skills and increased mental flexibility. The 2007 research has also shown that meditation can help improve attention, focus, empathy, and even immunity. Studies also suggest that meditation might even increase the capacity of working memory.

2. Listening to Music

Listening to music

According to a 2017 study, listening to upbeat music helps generate more innovative solutions compared to being in silence. I plug in some headphones and jam to my favorite tunes.

3. Online Puzzle Games

Simple online games are my favorite. Not like today’s games, it’s too much for me and will actually do the opposite and keep me up at night.

Solitaire card game

I enjoy playing nostalgic games like solitaire and pyramid, it reminds me of being a kid and playing cards with my grandparents

I found a website that has fun and basic card games and more. I also found mahjong games, hidden object games and connect 3 games. No apps, no downloading. Just load and play!

Pyramid card game

We all know mommin’ isn’t easy and our minds can feel scattered from time to time. brain exercises can help prepare you do the coming weeks and days.

Soft and Chewy Pumpkin Dog Treats

Soft and Chewy Pumpkin Dog Treats

All the treats are spread out throughout our house and we are about to get more with Halloween only 4 days away!

This past weekend Some friends came over to watch spooky movies, enjoy some pizza and carve pumpkins.

After carving three pumpkins, we had a ton of pumpkin pulp everywhere. As I was about to throw it away, I saw my two pups staring at me wagging their tails in hope for some to fall to the floor.

Pumpkin pie pumkins

It dawned on me that I should make dog treats for them with all the pumpkin I was about to throw in the trash. If their is one thing I know about my pups, it’s that they love pumpkin and peanut butter.

Pumpkin dog treats
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This soft and chewy pumpkin dog treat only have 4 ingredients and loved by all! They are great for dogs with limited or no teeth because they are easy to chew.

Ingredients

2/3 cup pumpkin purée, canned or fresh
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 large eggs
3 cups flour (I used whole wheat flour)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Purée the pumpkin pulp in a food processor until smooth. Skip if you are using canned pumpkin purée.

Pumpkin purée

Mix all ingredients together until it forms into dough and it is not sticky. If you have a mixer with a dough hook, you do not need to knead the dough when taken out.

Sprinkle flour on your work surface and knead the dough a few times. Roll it out using a rolling pin and cut out shapes using cookie cutters or cookie stamps..

Bake for about 25 minutes and let them cool completely.

Store in an air right container or freeze until ready to be eaten.

Pumpkin dog treat

You can now treat your fur babies for dressing up in their elaborate costumes.

Feel free to wrap some treats up and give them out during trick or treating!

I will earn a small commission from these products below

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Spooky Butternut Squash Mini Pizzas

Spooky Butternut Squash Mini Pizzas

It’s pizza night, but let’s make it spooky!

I am sharing a fall inspired pizza recipe with creepy crawler toppings to enjoy during your horror movie marathon!

Butternut squash sauce is delicious and adds great flavor to pastas, dips and pizza!

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Ingredients:

For the sauce-

½ butternut squash, cut up

3 cloves of garlic, minced

3 tbs olive oil

1 tbs thyme

Salt and pepper

1 cup vegetable broth

1/4 cup tomato paste

For the pizzas-

Pizza crust ( I used Angelic Bakehouse flat bread pizza crusts)

Shredded cheese

Mozzarella cheese slices

Olives, black and green

Ghost pizza

Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix squash and garlic together in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with thyme, salt and pepper.

Roast for about 25 to 30 minutes or until tender.

Transfer squash mix to a food processor or blender. Puree until the mixture is smooth. Add the broth and tomato paste and puree again.

With the oven still on, spread sauce on your pizza, top with cheese and toppings of your choice. I cut olives in half and sliced little legs to make spiders on one. I made another by cutting out ghosts on mozzarella slices using a cookie cutter. I also made creepy eyes by cutting out circles of more cheese and olives slices to top on the pizza.

Bake pizza for about 8-10 minutes.

Pair with some Halloween pajamas and a spooky movie. Enjoy!

Creepy crawler pizza

Other fun toppings to use

Green pepper Frankensteins

Pepperoni pumpkins

Onion skeletons

Basil brooms

Sausage brains

Spooky eyes pizza

Enjoy 20% off your purchase of any Angelic Bakehouse item including these delicious flat pizza crusts with code NICOLE20.

By using this code and clicking my affiliate links I earn a small commission. As always thank you for your support!

Angelic Bakehouse flatbread pizza crust

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Make your own pizza garden
Fun and Easy Pumpkin Spice Rolls

Fun and Easy Pumpkin Spice Rolls

I am so happy that fall is finally here and the weather is perfect. Chilly weekend mornings call for these fun and easy pumpkin spice rolls.

Prumpkin spice cinnamon rolls

Ingredients

  • 2 cans Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls with cream cheese frosting
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbs milk
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Orange and green food coloring
  • Orange icing pouch (optional)
  • Sprinkles (optional) I used Spice Spice Sprinkle Mix by Sprinkle Pop

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Open both cans and put aside 2 rolls, unravel the rest and slightly flatten each strip of dough.
  • Mix together pumpkin, milk, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg until well blended.
  • Divide pumpkin filling and spread over each piece of rolled-out dough.
  • Roll the strips back into a circle and place all in a baking dish, about an inch apart.
  • Unravel the two rolls that were put aside, cut into rectangle pieces and place on top of each roll.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Mix one cream cheese icing with green food coloring and the other with orange food coloring.
  • Once rolls are removed from the oven and cooled, spread green icing on the rectangle stems and orange icing on the buns.
  • Drizzle orange icing onto pumpkin and , add sprinkles of your choice.
Cinnakon rolls
Pumpkin rolls

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