Merry Christmas!

Today I’ll keep it short and sweet because we should all be celebrating with our loved ones.

Thank you all for being one of the best gifts I could ever receive. You all mean the world to me and I hope you’re all having the best holiday season ever!

I’ll be back soon with more posts before the new year! But for now, let’s all be in the moment. Enjoy every little thing.

Love lots. Share hugs, kisses, stories, and hot chocolate.

Merry Christmas from my family and I!

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December Update| Blogmas 2019

Before I get into today’s post, I have some side notes. I want to let everyone know that there was a slight scheduling mishap with my last three posts. For some reason, they never went public! But they’re up now, so check out My Winter Bucket List , Stocking Stuffers for College Students , and Photos I Want to Take This December! Also, I know this post is going up a little later than usual, and that’s because I really wanted to get this up TODAY but I also wanted to spend some time with my family relaxing. And again, finals are coming up so I’ve been hitting those books any chance I get!

Today I wanted to give you guys a little update on what I’ve been up to and how I’ve been feeling. I don’t want this whole blog to just be me talking about how I’m doing, but sometimes I like to check in and write in my “digital diary.”

Lately I’ve been doing pretty well. Things really seem to be looking up for me. Sure, little things have pushed my buttons here and there, but I haven’t let anything get to me for long.

I got to see an old friend of mine for the first time in almost two years, which is so crazy to think about! Andy had been in Japan doing his tough guy USMC thing and hadn’t been home since before we graduated high school. It was so much fun getting to see him and other old classmates of mine!

I’ve been focusing a lot on school lately, which is good for me. I was letting my poor mental health dictate whether or not I attended class or completed assignments for so long that my grades were taking some hard hits. I had to really buckle down for a couple weeks and study like crazy. I have finals tomorrow and Tuesday that will really be make it or break it for me. Keep your fingers crossed or send prayers if that’s your thing. I’ll be welcoming of whatever positivity you throw at me!

In other news, I’ve met someone. He’s really freaking cool and I can’t think of a single time that we’ve hung out where we haven’t been dying laughing together. Good signs, right?

I don’t want to say too much yet because I’m sure once the time is right, I won’t shut up about him. I guess you’ll hear more soon!

Quick thanks to everyone who has been keeping up with everything I’ve been doing on Instagram and Twitter while I’ve been taking my sporadic breaks on here! You guys are awesome!

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Photos I Want to Take This December | Blogmas 2019

Anyone who knows me knows I love taking photos. My friends get so annoyed with me when I always have my phone out ready to snap a picture! I just really love getting to look back at pictures from special moments because it takes me right back there.

For December, I’ve decided to make a checklist of photos I want to take so I don’t miss out on anything. I figured- why not be that annoying girl behind the camera if that means I get to carry the memories with me forever?

The Christmas tree

Gingerbread house

Shopping

Gifts under the tree

Christmas cookies

Snowfall

Family Christmas party

First gifts being opened

Christmas lights

All my family by the Christmas tree

Friends on New Year’s Eve

The last second of 2019

Confetti

 

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Stocking Stuffers for College Students | Blogmas 2019

Disclaimer: Some of the links provided are affiliate links, meaning  I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you when you make a purchase. Thank you for your support!

Last year I posted Stocking Stuffers for College Students and it seemed to be well received. I thought I would go ahead and update that with some more ideas for 2019! CLICK HERE to see last year’s post!

Candy

I think this one is a given. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t get some sort of candy in their stocking. Hershey kisses in those candy cane plastic tubes are super cute and festive. I love those. I don’t really care for regular candy canes that much, but they also serve as pretty cool stuffers too.

Movies

Walmart always has the $5 movie bins, so you could potentially strike gold and get some classics in the stocking! It’s always fun to watch a movie when there’s time off between classes and homework assignments, so getting a new DVD can also serve as motivation to get assignments done early.

Socks

Everyone knows you can’t go wrong with socks. I just bought some cute pairs at Walmart today- $5 for two pairs. It’s inexpensive and bound to contribute to many comfortable nights down the road. This is an especially good gift for those who are older because comfort is so much more important to us than flashy presents. Especially when we’re walking on cold floors and through 20 degree weather going to class.

Chapstick

Winter is infamous for drying out lips. If you think this is boring, you can always opt for cake batter, pink lemonade, or root beer flavored chapsticks. These may not be conventional, but they sure do come in handy.

Scrunchies

This one is definitely directed toward females, but it’s such a good idea I couldn’t ignore it. Scrunchies are coming back and they’re so cute! You can get so many different patterns and materials, making each one so unique. They’re perfect for days when you sleep in late but still want to make yourself look a little put together. They can pull so many outfits together, even when you forget to brush your hair!

Nail Polish

Getting new nail polishes can always brighten someone’s day. They’re so cost efficient and fun to get creative with. You could go with red, green and blue for the holidays, or you could pick any other color under the sun to add to someone’s collection! It’s so much cheaper (and more convenient) to paint your nails yourself than get them professionally done when you’re dealing with a student’s budget.

Gift Cards

If all else fails, gift cards are the way to go. My family usually goes for the iTunes gift cards that can be used for apps or music. For college students, perhaps gift cards for near by restaurants would be just as valuable.

Earbuds

What college student couldn’t use an extra pair of earbuds? I know I always misplace my AirPods and could use an extra pair of earbuds as backups.

Face Masks

After a long day of classes and homework, we deserve to pamper ourselves!

Pura Vida Bracelets

I’ve seen Pura Vida bracelet becoming popular lately. I have a ton myself and I know a bunch of people who are starting a collection! They have more than just bracelets, too. I catch myself drooling over their necklaces a lot. And good news! If you CLICK HERE, you can get 20% off your purchase at puravida.com, or you can use my code “MEGANNROSECRANS20” at checkout!

Card Games

If your college student has games like Cards Against Humanity or What Do You Meme?, try getting some expansion packs! Games get old after too long of playing with the same cards. Instead of buying a whole new game, save some $$ buy giving those old games a facelift!

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My Winter Bucket List | Blogmas 2019

Winter brings out the lazy in me, that’s for sure. The cold weather makes me want to curl up in bed with hot chocolate and watch Hallmark movies. I think that the world should just shut down during the winter months. But this year I want to get stuff done, ya know? You can only relax for so long before relaxing gets exhausting. So here’s what I hope to do this winter!

Catch Snowflakes on My Tongue

Make a Christmas Playlist

See Christmas Lights

Make Homemade Hot Chocolate

See Santa

Decorate a Gingerbread House

Learn a New Skill

Decorate Cookies

Watch a Christmas Movie with My Family

Spend Time at Home

Celebrate New Year’s with Family and Friends

Journal Throughout the Month

Take Lots of Pictures

Finish Blogmas 2019

Work on My Blog More

Get on the Dean’s List

Work Harder on Creating Content

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Prepping For Finals | Blogmas 2019

Finals week is next week and saying I’ve been overwhelmed would be an understatement.

I have so many papers and study guides to get completed. My head feels like it’s going to explode. I let the days fly by and totally lost track of time. Guess who’s really behind. Me. I’m behind. That’s who. *nervous laughter*

So I pretty much wanted today’s post to just be a short little heads up that blogmas might be super short posts until I’m through with finals next week.

Lame post, I know. But I had to get it out there somehow, right?

Ok, carry on with your day! See you tomorrow!

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Disney+ Christmas Films I’ll Be Watching | Blogmas 2019

First, let me disclose that I am not an avid movie watcher. But something about holiday movies really gets me.

I recently got Disney+ and I’ve been really excited to watch their holiday movies with my friends and family this year! I’ve done some perusing and I have a list of the movies I’m dying to snuggle up and watch while the snow falls outside!

1. Noelle

“Kris Kringle’s daughter is full of Christmas spirit but wishes she could do something important like her brother Nick, who will take over for their father this Christmas. When Nick is about to crumble like a gingerbread cookie from all the pressure, Noelle suggests he take a break and get away… but when he doesn’t return, Noelle must find her brother and bring him back in time to save Christmas.”

2. The Santa Clause

“On Christmas Eve, divorced dad Scott Calvin and his son discover Santa Claus has fallen off their roof. When Scott takes the reins of the magical sleigh, he finds he is now the new Santa, and must convince a world of disbelievers, including himself.”

3. Miracle on 34th Street

“An elderly gentleman named Kris Kringle creates a stir when he’s hired as Macy’s in-store Santa Claus for the holiday season.”

4. The Ultimate Christmas Present

“When 13-year-old Allie Thompson and her best friend Sam happen upon a weather-making machine discarded by none other than Santa Claus, they use it to cause a snow day in Los Angeles. But when the machine gets out of hand, it threatens to ruin Christmas.”

5. Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas

“Mrs. Potts recounts another ‘tale as old as time’ about a Christmas that almost wasn’t, thanks to scheming composer Forte who is determined to keep Belle and Beast apart forever.”

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Hello Blogmas! | Blogmas 2019

Chapter 12 of 12.

Hello December!

We’ve made it to yet another year’s end and that means it’s time for Blogmas! Last year was my first attempt at Blogmas and it was such an epic fail that it pained me. But this year I’m back and better than ever!

This year needs to be different. I’ve grown and changed a lot and I really think I could redeem myself after last year’s utter flop.

I suppose today is sort of a cheat day by announcing Blogmas instead of doing an in depth post, but oh well. Let’s count it!

Time to get into the holiday spirit, right?!

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December in Photos | Blogmas Day 12

We finally made it- the end of Blogmas.

I didn’t think I would make it this far. And I guess in a way, I didn’t. I was late uploading a lot of the time and couldn’t stick to my original schedule. However, I still managed to post 12 blogs in 12 days, and that’s something I am very proud of. My first Blogmas- at least in my eyes- was a success and I can’t wait to do it again next year.

When I wasn’t blogging, I was enjoying December and all it had to offer. I took a few pictures along the way and I thought I could share them all with you. Rather than explaining them in extreme detail, I thought I could just leave the photos to be interpreted by the viewer. So make of them what you will.

 

 

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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

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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

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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!

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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

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