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

Image result for christmas story movie cover

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

Related image

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!

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

 

Stocking Stuffer Ideas for College Students| Blogmas Day 3

Hi guys! So as you may have noticed, a holiday podcast was not uploaded today. I have some bad news…

Technology hates me today.

My laptop lost all of my pre-recorded podcasts. I didn’t notice until it was too late to re-record everything. And if that wasn’t enough to make me feel completely defeated, I also can’t upload the video for tomorrow. I’ve had the same page up for hours trying to get tomorrow’s video to load in order to draft it for the next day, but it seems like nothing is working.

I plan to leave the page up overnight in hopes that it will somehow upload by tomorrow and be able to be posted on time, but just in case it doesn’t work out for me, I’ll have a back up post ready to go up at the regularly scheduled time. I promise.

Since I can’t post a podcast today, I decided I could do a gifting guide. Then I realized I’m awful at that. So then I thought it could be fun to come up with some super inexpensive ideas for stocking stuffers. Stockings are always the first thing my family goes to when we wake up on Christmas morning. It’s like pregaming without the alcohol.

So here’s a list of stocking suffer suggestions from yours truly. Enjoy them, or don’t. It was a last minute idea so my feelings won’t be hurt too bad.

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.

 

These are just a few ideas of inexpensive gifts you can stuff in your college student’s stocking this Christmas. Keep an eye out for more ideas based on things they use a lot and could always use more of.