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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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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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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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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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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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.

 

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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

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The First Day of Blogmas! | Blogmas Day 1

Happy December 12th! It’s officially the start of 12 Days of Blogmas!
I know most participants of Blogmas opt to write the first 12 days of December, but I was so busy with school and finals to do that. However, I didn’t want to leave everybody hanging all December long, so Blogmas starts today. Like it or not, it’s happening.

I haven’t done Blogmas before, so this could (and probably will) be a train wreck. I follow few blogs that are participating in Blogmas, and ultimately inspired me to give it a try. I’ll link my favorite Blogmas participants below for everyone to check out!

I have never been extremely festive throughout Christmas season. I love seeing family and spending time with loved ones, but I’m not one to go see Christmas lights, visit with Santa, or go ice skating like so many others do this time of year. Maybe by doing Blogmas it will get me into the Christmas spirit. That would be quite the Hallmark film, wouldn’t it?

I uploaded by upload schedule a while ago, but if you haven’t seen it here it is again.

December 12

Welcome to Blogmas!

December 13

My Holiday Wishlist

December 14

Podcast

December 15

Gingerbread Decorating

December 16

Letter to Santa

December 17

Old Christmas Photos and Memories

December 18

Winter Tag

December 19

Tracking Santa

December 20

The Best Christmas Movies

December 21

Podcast

December 22

Christmas Cookie Recipes

December 23

December Photo Diary

December 24

Santa’s Coming!

 

I’m really excited to start Blogmas. If you’re feeling festive, check out these other bloggers and their Blogmas posts! They’ve got some  awesome posts up so far to ring in the Christmas season!

https://jenniely.com

https://jirahmerizz.wordpress.com

https://nicolesniches.wordpress.com

https://specscladeyes.com

 

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