Pinterest Christmas Cookie Recipes | Blogmas Day 11

Hi guys! We’re back on track now! Welcome to day 11 of Blogmas!

In just a couple days, Santa will be coming down the chimney (or through the door) and delivering presents to all the little boys and girls. But before that happens, families have to prepare for his visit by baking cookies and pouring milk. Some go as far as leaving carrots for Santa’s reindeer.

Now, I’m no baker so I’m not the person to go to for recipes. And that is why I referred to Pinterest for fun Christmas Cookie recipes. I picked some of my favorites to share with you guys.

1. White Chocolate Peppermint Pudding Cookies via Here Comes the Sun

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 small package (3.9 oz.) vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup crushed peppermints or candy canes (you can also use Andes Peppermint baking chips)

Instructions

    1. Cream together butter and sugar
    2. Beat in dry instant pudding mix
    3. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well
    4. Add baking soda and flour and mix well
    5. Stir in peppermints and white chocolate chips
    6. Roll into 1″ balls and place on a baking sheet lined with a Silpat (or a greased baking sheet)
    7. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees.

 

2. Soft and Chewy M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies via Crunchy Creamy Sweet

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature, 1 stick
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3.5 oz instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup red and green M&M’s

Instructions

  1. Start with preheating the oven and lining a baking sheet with Silpat silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter for 30 seconds. Add both sugars and beat for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix until well incorporated.
  3. In another mixing bowl, whisk together flour, pudding mix, soda and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture and mix with an electric mixer until almost incorporated. Switch to a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon, add chocolate chips and M&M’s (reserving some) and stir in until well mixed.
  5. Scoop the cookie dough with a medium (1 and 1/2 tablespoon) cookie scoop. Roll into balls and place on prepared cookie sheet, spacing them 2″ apart. Press reserved chocolate chips and M&M’s onto the balls.
  6. Bake cookies for 9 to 11 minutes (10 minutes was the magic number for me). Cool on the sheet, then transfer onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

 

3. Hot Cocoa Cookies via Glorious Treats

Ingredients

Cookies:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 25 marshmallows

Icing:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons ( 1/2 stick) melted unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • sprinkles

Instructions

1. In a medium saucepan (or in a microwave safe bowl, using 50% power), melt the butter and chocolate, stirring frequently. Once melted, set aside to cool slightly.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla on low speed until well combined.
4. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and blend until just combined.
5.While mixing, add the flour mixture slowly and blend until just combined.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then cover the dough and refrigerate about 1 hour. If making the dough a day ahead, let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before shaping.
6. Preheat oven to 325*F. and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat type liner. Use a tablespoon (or a tablespoon sized cookie scoop) to scoop the dough, then roll the dough in your hands to create balls. Arrange the balls about 2 inches apart on your baking sheets, then flatten slightly. Bake cookies about 12 minutes.
7. While the cookies bake, cut the large marshmallows in half (crosswise). When the cookies have baked, remove from oven and press one marshmallow half (cut side down) into the center of each cookie. Return the cookies to the oven and bake another 2-3 minutes. Allow the pan of cookies to cool a few minutes, then transfer cookies to cooling rack.
8. Prepare cookie icing by combining all ingredients in a medium bowl and mixing together with a whisk. Place wire cooling rack (with cookies on it) over a baking sheet (to catch any excess icing). Spoon a small amount of icing onto the top of each marshmallow, and use the back of the spoon to spread it a bit. After icing just a couple cookies, top with sprinkles before the icing dries.
9. Allow icing to set up about 30 minutes before serving.

 

 

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The Best Christmas Movies | Blogmas Day 9

If you’ve been following my Blogmas posts, you probably can recall that I am not a huge fan of Christmas movies. To be completely honest, I don’t consider myself a fan of most movies. I hate having to pay attention to something for extended periods of time. I know, I know, I’m totally lazy. It just makes me feel like I’m wasting my time. However, there are a few holiday movies that I can actually sit through. If I  like these movies, I’m sure everyone else can find something to like about them too.

First, let’s get all the classics out of the way.

1. The “Santa Clause” Movies

Image result for santa clause movie cover

One of my first favorite Christmas movies. Tim Allen kills it. And the magic of the story is so fascinating. I just really love this freaking movie. A lot.

2. A Christmas Story

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Alright… don’t attack me, but I had never seen this movie until two days ago. It started when my sister played (and killed)  the role of the mother when our hometown put on a production of A Christmas Story. That was my first time ever hearing the plot. Then, my boyfriend invited me over on Tuesday to help him put up Christmas decorations (yeah, he’s a procrastinator), and I was “rewarded” with a late night screening of A Christmas Story. I think it was easier for me to get through because I just thought about my sister’s lines versus the lines in the movie. But I really liked the story and purity of the movie. It’s super cute. Even though I almost cried when the dad’s turkey got eaten by the hounds. Spoiler alert, I guess.

3. Christmas in Homestead

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Just like any other Hallmark storyline. Girl meets guy, guy is a butt, girl changes guy, girl and guy fall in love and live happily ever after. But this time… IT’S CHRISTMASSY. I really hate that all Hallmark movies have the same basic plot, but I can never take my eyes off the t.v. whenever one is on. I quickly became obsessed with this movie for no apparent reason. But since it’s not so much of a classic, I guess I’ll sum it up for you real quick. The girl, Jessica, comes to a small town to film a movie. She’s staying in a hotel owned by the town’s mayor, who is a …butt… and while she tries to keep it civil, they end up being a little more than civil, if you know what I mean.

4. Holiday in Handcuffs

Holiday in Handcuffs.jpg

Maybe I’m biased because I love Melissa Joan Hart, but this movie is so good. I first saw this when I was 10 (I think) and I think about it every Christmas season. It’s about a girl who is basically a miserable failure and doesn’t want to disappoint her family when she comes home for Christmas, so she kidnaps some guy and forces him to pretend to be her boyfriend. I’m just so interested in it because guess what… spoiler alert… THEY FALL IN LOVE. And I think we all know, that would NOT happen in real life. So I guess that’s why it’s on Freeform and not Crime Watch Daily.

5. A December Bride

A December Bride

Another Hallmark movie. I’m sorry. If you’re looking for a painful romantic comedy that will make you feel a whole bunch of different ways by the end, this is the one.

 

I’m trying to get into the holiday spirit this year, so if you can think of any more Christmas movies that I should check out this year, let me know!

Tracking Santa | Blogmas Day 8

Today’s post is pretty short. Forgive me. I’ve been kicking butt with uploads lately, so I think I can get away with it this one time.

When I was little, it was nearly impossible to get me to sleep on Christmas Eve. However, there was one thing that got me every time- Norad’s Santa Tracker.

For those who don’t know, the Santa Tracker “tracks Santa” and his journey around the world to deliver presents. It’s super helpful for parents who need to convince their kids to get to bed before Santa comes to their house, because as we all know, Santa can’t deliver your presents if you’re still awake.

Before Christmas Day, there is a countdown clock on the site that tells everyone exactly how long there is left until Christmas. There’s also a bunch of different activities on the site prior to Santa’s big day. It now includes new games every single day, movies about Santa Claus, and a library to learn all there is to know about Santa. It goes so far as to b.s. an entire story about how they track Santa every year using the same satellites they use to track potential missiles aimed at North America.

I thought it would be fun to share this link with people who may not know about it so they can take part in the fun of tracking Santa Claus this December 25. Whether you’re entertaining your grown self or your children, this site is super fun on Christmas Eve.

https://www.noradsanta.org

 

Winter Tag | Blogmas Day 7

You can ask anybody who knows me… I hate winter weather. Cold air and wet feet from drudging through the snow? No thank you. However, there are a few great things about winter that I can get behind. One of those things is the winter tag. I found this tag by EllDuclos on ellduclos.blog and thought it asked great questions that I wanted to answer. So after checking this tag out, click on the link at the bottom of this post to see where the brilliant tag came from!

Holiday Traditions

I suppose my family’s holiday traditions revolve around family parties. The family on my mother’s side loves to celebrate holidays together. It starts as early as Thanksgiving. At our family’s Thanksgiving dinner, we write all 7 of the cousins’ names on slips of paper and draw them out of a hat to determine which cousin will get which cousin’s Christmas gift this year. We normally put a price limit on the gifts to make it all fair, but my family loves really hard and almost always goes over the limit. Once Christmas time has arrived, the family comes together for the family party which is usually held either at my parents’ house or my grandmother’s house. We have dinner, socialize, and exchange gifts that we bought after the drawing.

Favorite go to Winter Lippies

I’m going to be completely honest with you guys. I don’t wear many lip colors anymore. I usually just reach for Carmex or Vaseline to moisturize my lips. Katy Perry’s Katy Kat Matte Sphynx lipstick is my usual go-to if I decided to mix it up and wear some color, even though it is almost my natural lip color.

Favorite Winter Scents

One thing I love about winter is all the different scents there are. Peppermint, gingerbread, and cinnamon cookies are some of the yummiest smells of Christmas time. However, I really like the cozy homelike scents of vanilla or warm cinnamon apple. They always make me want to curl up in bed with a warm blanket. Right now I’m trying a cinnamon scent in my apartment and I really like it so far. But I’m thinking I might swap it for gingerbread soon. But if we’re talking about perfumes, I prefer warm vanilla or winter candy apple from Bath and Body Works. Those have always been my favorites.

Go-to Fashion Trends

I really love flannels during the fall and winter time. They’re always so cozy. I also have this obsession with vintage and cabin socks. If my feet are comfy, I’m comfy. I just recently got a few pairs from Walmart for maybe $5 and they are the softest things I’ve ever worn on my feet. I also really like beanies for the winter. My hair is at an awkward length where it just sticks to my neck whenever I wear them, but they are so warm and cozy. I’ve realized I’m more interested in comfy than style these days.

Favorite Holiday Movie

My favorite holiday movie has got to be any of the Santa Clause movies. I just watched the first and last movie with my family the other day and I couldn’t believe I had forgotten about such a classic. It was hysterical. I don’t really enjoy Christmas movies, so that’s really saying something.

Favorite Holiday Tune

Please don’t come for me, but I don’t really care for Christmas music. I think they’re all the same boring song with bells in the background. If I really had to chose one though, it would be Ariana Grande’s cover of Santa Tell Me. Her voice makes the tune bearable.

Prefer to Stay Home or Travel for the Holidays?

I have yet to travel for Christmas. Although I don’t know where I would go, I would be super interested in traveling one year. Perhaps to a warmer climate like Florida or Cali. I really love cold weather we get here at home, but not when it’s snowy. So maybe we could find a happy medium?

Winter Skin Care Must Haves

I don’t take very good care of my skin and I’ll be the first to admit it. I usually just use a cucumber moisturizing peel off mask and 14k gold under eye gel pads. But I’m breaking out more than I ever have before so I don’t know… maybe don’t listen to me.

Winter Hair Care Must Haves

My hair has been damaged for years from constant dying/bleaching and so I’ve had to really baby it lately. With the winter weather, it’s been twice as brutal. I’m trying not to wash my hair as often as I used to to prevent dryness so I use Batiste or Not Your Mother’s dry shampoo to make it look fresh and clean even when it’s definitely not. When I do wash my hair, I usually use conditioner, then apply leave in conditioner when I get out of the shower. This really helps with the static problem I usually have to deal with this time of year.

Favorite Winter Activity

I never did anything in the winter until last year when my boyfriend encouraged me to try new things. Even then we didn’t do too much. We just saw lots of Christmas lights. And although I don’t really understand why everyone likes it so much, it definitely puts me in a different mood so I’d have to say that’s my favorite winter activity. Any excuse to spend time with people I love is good enough for me.

Must Have Winter Beauty Product

Physician’s Formula butter bronzer is my favorite product year round, but when winter comes and I’m looking even more pasty than usual, I love to use a little bronzer to give myself some color. And this bronzer has been my favorite for almost a year now. It lasts so long and the formula really is just like butter.

Love or Hate Snow?

I really hate the snow. I would probably like it if it didn’t get the inside of my shoes wet or make it slippery to walk anywhere. It is really pretty though. I just have a negative feeling toward it because of my experiences with it. But I always love waking up to snow on the ground on Christmas morning.

One Item on My Wish List

One thing I really want this year is a ring light so I can start filming proper videos. I have a really nice camera that I like a lot, but no matter where I go, the lighting is always trash. If I got a ring light I think I would be doing so many more videos.

Favorite Holiday Treat

My favorite holiday treat is definitely the Pillsbury sugar cookies with the pictures on them. Nothing can EVER top those. They’re truly heaven sent. Any time we make them at my house, they don’t last more than a couple days.

When do I get Holiday Shopping done?

I really suck at shopping for other people and that ultimately ends up with me shopping days before Christmas. Procrastination gets the best of me.

Well that’s all the questions for this tag! Now I tag all of you! If you try out this tag be sure to send me links so I can see what your answers are!

 

Christmas Memories | Blogmas Day 6

Today I decided to look back at past Christmas celebrations in preparation for this year’s festivities. My dad has always been the one with the camera since I was little, so I knew that I wouldn’t have to look too far to find old Christmas photos. He handed me a hard drive with albums that go as far back as 2000 (which doesn’t feel like too long ago, but it was literally 18 years ago and that’s crazy). I spent all day filtering through albums, often times getting distracted by other old photos from when I was little. But after getting fairly nostalgic, I narrowed down my favorite Christmas memories.

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When I was little, I was terrified of Santa Claus. Sure, he was great in movies and coloring books, but whenever I saw him in person I got extremely shy (as if I wasn’t already). My grandma worked at a bank that Santa would visit, and while all the other kids would go to Santa and sit on his lap, I would hide in my grandma’s office. This picture was taken when Santa came in to see me and just about make my little heart give out.  (2002)

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In preschool I was super shy. I didn’t like going at all. One day, we had a Christmas party and I was no at all excited. I guess this is the best picture my parents could get of me. I wasn’t really in the mood, I suppose. (2002)

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My parents used to dress my sister and I up and take pictures of us in front of the Christmas tree. We took pictures together, but I just wanted to show off my pretty dress. (2002)

 

 

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This year I didn’t feel like dressing up real nice for pictures. But I managed to keep this outfit on long enough to smile for a couple photos before I stripped all my clothes. (2003)

 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEvery Christmas Eve, the family on my dad’s side would host a Christmas party. This year it was held at my grandma and grandpa’s house. It was full of food and gossip. At a young age, I wasn’t super interested and I had to take matters into my own hands to entertain myself. (2003)

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I loved my grandpa a whole bunch. This Christmas Eve I was throwing a little temper tantrum for whatever reason and didn’t want to open my presents. My grandpa sat next to me and helped me. He kept me pretty tame for the night. (2003)

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On my mom’s side, we would have a Christmas party too. This picture is super special for me to look at because it’s at my grandparents’ old house. I haven’t seen the place since my grandma moved away years ago. (2004)

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I couldn’t find many other pictures after 2004, but I did find this one from 2016. This Christmas was a really good one. I think it was my happiest one since I was a little kid. Everything just fell into place and I wasn’t stressed about anything.

 

A Letter to Santa | Blogmas Day 5

Dear Santa,

I haven’t written to you in so long. Perhaps it was because any time you wrote back, you used ink from our printer and that added up… not cool. But I miss writing you and feeling all the magic in the air whenever I’d get a response. I really miss how exciting Christmas used to be. But now I’m 20 and I no longer ask for toys under the tree.

This year, I have other things in mind.

With one semester in the books, I’ve run out of a lot of the necessities for a college student- determination and patience. I’d love if you could replenish me. I have a very tough spring semester coming up and that would help a lot.

Also, this crazy weather… can you control that? I’m tired of wearing snow boots one day and rain boots the next. I know Ohio is notorious for the bipolar weather, but maybe just this Christmas we could make an exception. I don’t drive, so I always have to plan my grocery shopping around the warm days that I can walk to the store in. It would be nice if we could have warm weather (relatively warm for winter anyway) before Christmas. But of course we need to have snow on the ground by the 25th. If you could talk to Mother Nature or whoever is in charge, that would be awesome.

I’d also like to ask for a wonderful holiday with my family. I want to be in the Christmas spirit this year. I want us all to be. I want to be able to enjoy the season without my mind being preoccupied this year. So many Christmases have gone to waste and I don’t need it to happen again.

Finally, I’d like to thank you. Thank you for being such a huge part of my childhood. Thank you for giving me something magical to believe in. Thank you for proving to me that an imagination can fight the war in our minds.

Sincerely,

The Heart of a Little Girl

 

 

A Gifting Guide To Make Holiday Shopping Easier | Blogmas Day 4

Does anyone else get stressed out over gift giving? Don’t know what to get someone?

I worked really hard on a video that was supposed to be posted today, but in WordPress’s good fashion, it won’t upload… even after 2 whole days of loading. You could say I’m a little distraught. But instead of moping, I buckled down and prepared a replacement post for everyone. In yesterday’s post I said I’m not very good at making gift guides, but I decided to challenge myself today.  I chose a few different categories and compiled some different gift ideas that your loved ones would be sure to love. I even added some purchasing links for you guys! I hope you enjoy!

Book Worms

A Bullet Journal 

They read enough books, so maybe it’s time they create one of their own!

https://bulletjournal.com

A Kindle

For the readers on the go who can’t always get to the bookstore.

https://www.target.com/p/amazon-kindle-e-reader-6-wifi-8th-generation-2016/-/A-51467832?preselect=51441527#lnk=sametab

https://www.target.com/p/amazon-kindle-paperwhite-e-reader-6-wifi/-/A-51468065?preselect=51441624#lnk=sametab

Amazon Gift Card

So they can get some new books for their new kindle 😉

https://www.amazon.com/gift-cards/b/?ie=UTF8&node=2238192011&ref=nav_cs_gift_cards

Custom Photo Books BY YOU

Shutterfly offers printed copies of books you can create by yourself!
https://www.shutterfly.com/photo-books

Gym-holics

Fitness Apparel

It’s always a confidence booster to know you look good while you’re working out!

https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/nike-womens-pro-warm-training-tights-18nikwprwrmtghtxxapb/18nikwprwrmtghtxxapb

https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/calia-by-carrie-underwood-womens-essential-heather-leggings-17ca2wbsclggngxxxapba/17ca2wbsclggngxxxapba

https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/nike-womens-pro-dri-fit-feather-printed-3-shorts-18nikwpr3fthrprntapb/18nikwpr3fthrprntapb

https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/under-armour-womens-3-play-up-shorts-2-0-16uarwplypshrtxxxapba/16uarwplypshrtxxxapba

Water Bottles

You can never have enough water while you’re at the gym, so why not have some cute water bottles by your side?

https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/nike-hyperfuel-32-ozwater-bottle-16nikuhyprfl32zwtcac/16nikuhyprfl32zwtcac

https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/camelbak-insulated-25-ozwater-bottle-18cbkunsltdbttl25btt/18cbkunsltdbttl25btt

Tennis Shoes

A new pair to a gym-holic’s collection is always exciting!

https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/nike-womens-air-zoom-resistance-tennis-shoes-17nikwrzmrsstncwhtnn/17nikwrzmrsstncwhtnn

https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/new-balance-womens-fresh-foam-cruz-running-sneakers-18nwbwcrzvskntxxxftw/18nwbwcrzvskntxxxftw?recid=Product_PageElement_product_rr_3_9073_&rrec=true

Duffle Bag

Obviously it would be helpful to have something to carry all the new gear in!

https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/under-armour-undeniable-3-0-small-duffle-bag-17uarundnbldffl30trva/17uarundnbldffl30trva

Earbuds

It’s a little rude to play your pump up playlist loudly for everyone to hear, so a pair of earbuds could really come in handy.

https://www.target.com/p/beats-174-powerbeats3-wireless-earphones-neighborhood-collection/-/A-52904572

Phone Strap

Can’t work out with your phone in your hand, can you?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06ZYSYXVJ/ref=s9_acsd_cdeal_hd_bw_b7ijcfT_c_x_w?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-4&pf_rd_r=HGVX9WH9EW9T0706E0YM&pf_rd_r=HGVX9WH9EW9T0706E0YM&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1e89a640-1142-50d7-93be-8b4c6e34f8b3&pf_rd_p=1e89a640-1142-50d7-93be-8b4c6e34f8b3&pf_rd_i=7073962011

 

Makeup Gurus

Morphe Eyeshadow Palettes

Morphe has AMAZING palettes that any makeup lover can’t live without.

THE JACLYN HILL EYESHADOW PALETTE

24G GRAND GLAM EYESHADOW PALETTE

Brush Sets

Can’t apply the shadow without brushes!

EYE SLAY

Travel Bags

I never realized how important travel bags are for makeup until I had to haul all my makeup everywhere I went.

ZMB4 – 'LOADER' SET BAG

Face Masks

A great way to pamper your skin after wearing lots of makeup.

https://www.sephora.com/product/super-mud-clearing-treatment-P376409?icid2=products%20grid:p376409:product

https://www.sephora.com/product/sheet-masks-P429529?icid2=products%20grid:p429529:product