Christmas Vacation 2014

Helloooo there! How was your Christmas? Mine was fun, relaxing and FOOD-filled. I traveled to Wisconsin for what felt like two days (really a week). Time flies when you’re having fun. ;-) I saw a Christmas play (It’s a Wonderful Life), visited Candy Cane Lane in Milwaukee (huge lights display), grabbed drinks with friends, baked A LOT, went for walks (outside!) with my mom and watched a TON of Hallmark channel Christmas movies.

Christmas Cookies

I made A LOT of cookies. Here’s a sampling of pics from my baking frenzy (I am not exaggerating when I say ‘frenzy’). First up — pretzel hug cookies with Christmas M&M’s:

Pretzel Hug Christmas Cookies

Next — Christmas tree spritz cookies:

Christmas Tree Spritz Cookies

Next up — chocolate chip Christmas cookies! These were a fun new little experiment. I made regular chocolate chip cookie dough and baked it in a Wilton Christmas Cookie Pan. So fun! They’re way easier than they look. No cookie cutters required!

Chocolate Chip Christmas Cookies

Last but not least — my pride and joy: decorated Christmas cut-out cookies. I finally mastered royal icing this year!

Christmas Cookies with Royal Icing

Here’s a shot of my brother and I posing in front of the tree on Christmas Eve!

IMG_6934

And… another shot in front of the tree with my mom. I helped her pick out the blouse she’s wearing! We found it at Tablot’s a few days earlier.

IMG_6933 Christmas Tree 2015 IMG_6949

My favorite gift came in a blue box! I was so excited to get pearl earrings this year. :-D I lost my old studs in college and have long been meaning to replace them. These will be my new daily go-to accessory!

Tiffany Box on Christmas

My cousins, brother and I went to our annual holiday Bucks game on my last night. Sadly they lost :-( , but it was still a fun final Wisco outing!

Bucks game 2014 1-1-2015

Now I’m back to New York, and already excited for everything 2015 has in store! My New Year’s post is coming soon…

Happy 2015! :-D

**Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which may generate a revenue for my site when a purchase is made.**

Pretzel Hug Cookies

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Yes, Christmas — but, also: holiday baking season! My favorite December pastime. This recipe is one of my annual go-to’s. It’s EASY, crowd-pleasing and makes the perfect homemade gift. Just wrap them in some cute bags or mason jars, throw on a bow and BAM! You’re all set. :-D

Pretzel Hug Cookies

Hersheys Hugs

Pretzel Hug Cookies

Pretzel Hug Cookies

Pretzel Hug Cookies

  • 1 bag of pretzel grids or rings
  • 1 bag of Hershey’s Hugs, unwrapped
  • 1 bag of holiday-colored M&M’s

How-to: 

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees fahrenheit.
2. Place pretzels on a greased baking sheet. Put an unwrapped Hug on the center of each pretzel.
3. Heat pretzels in the oven for 2 minutes, or until Hugs are shiny and slightly softened.
4. Place an M&M, face-down, on top of each Hug and press down until chocolate fills the ring (or covers the top of the grid almost completely).
5. Refrigerate for 10 minutes until chocolate has hardened. Store in airtight container at room temperature.

 

12 Foolproof Stocking Stuffers

Christmas is only 12 days away! Have you finished shopping yet? I’m *almost* done! Just a few more small gifts to check off my list. Candles, gift cards, goji berries (my new obsession!) and more ideas below! :-D

Stocking Stuffers

Kate Spade Glitter Bug Cosmetic Case:

Kate Spade Glitter Bug Cosmetic Case

Forever 21 Heathered Crochet-Trim Socks:

Forever 21 Heathered Crochet-Trim Socks

Navitas Naturals Organic Goji Berries:

Navitas Naturals Organic Goji Berries

Bliss Lemony Trinkets

Bliss Lemony Trinkets

Forever 21 Faux Fur Pom Pom Beanie:

Forever 21 Faux Fur Pom Pom Beanie

Baublebar Crystal Posy Collar

Baublebar Crystal Posy Collar

H&M Plaid Scarf:

H&M Plaid Scarf

Essie 2014 Holiday Kit:

Essie 2014 Holiday Kit

Bigelow Peppermint Bark Tea:

Bigelow Peppermint Bark Tea

Starbucks Gift Card:

Starbucks Gift Card

Bath & Body Works Twisted Peppermint Mason Jar Candle

Bath & Body Works Twisted Peppermint Mason Jar Candle

Old Navy Fleece Pajama Pants

Old Navy Fleece Pajama Pants

 

**Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which may generate a revenue for my site when a purchase is made.**

 

7 Holiday Movies to Stream on Netflix

Watching Christmas movies is one of my favorite December activities! Anyone else? These are some of my annual go-to’sIt’s A Wonderful Life will always top the list (it’s in black and white. Sign of a true classic!). This year I’ve been craving some variety beyond my personal DVD collection, so I decided to check out Netflix’s offerings. There are quite a few standout titles on there! Here are the 7 best. And yes, I’ve seen all of them!

Netflix Holiday Movies

1. Scrooged – discover Billy Murray in all his glory!

Scrooged

2. White Christmas — this is my parents’ favorite holiday movie. A Christmas classic! You’ll just have to watch yourself to find out why.

White Christmas Movie

3. Love Actually – this follows the same format as Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve. I admit, it’s a bit cheesy, but very cute — especially for the holidays.

Love Actually

4. A Christmas Kiss – rom-com alert!

A Christmas Kiss

5. The Muppet Christmas Carol — I watched this for the first time in school after reading A Christmas Carol in class. It’s an adorable twist on the original!

The Muppet Christmas Carol

6. 12 Dates of Christmas – my all-time favorite holiday rom-com. It’s an ABC Family film, so cheesiness comes with the territory. I still love it! 

12 Dates of Christmas

7. Christmas with the Kranks – I haven’t seen this one in a while, but Tim Allen just makes everything funnier! 

Christmas with the Kranks

What Christmas movies are on your ‘must-see’ list??

 

**Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which may generate a revenue for my site when a purchase is made.**

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cookie Cups

At last! It’s Christmas cookie season. Let the annual baking frenzy commence. I’m already working on my cookie ‘to-bake’ list for the holidays, and this recipe is one of my new favorites! It’s sort of a twist on the classic Reese’s or Kiss cookies, but in cookie cup form. I much prefer these to the flat cookie version. They’re perfectly poppable. Almost too poppable. Good luck having just one! ;-)

Reese's Peanut Butter Cookie Cups   Reese's Peanut Butter Cookie Cups

Reese's Peanut Butter Cookie Cups

I made these cookies based off of EatViews’ original recipe.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cookie Cups

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, slightly softened
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 package of Reese’s peanut butter cups
  • Additional white sugar for coating

How-to: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
  3. Beat butter and peanut butter until combined. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Gradually add egg and vanilla.
  4. Add flour mixture and combine.
  5. Roll dough into small 1-inch balls and then roll in sugar to coat.
  6. Press rolled balls into the cavities of a mini muffin tray.
  7. Place an unwrapped Reese’s peanut butter cup into each.
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove and let cool. Enjoy!

*Note, it is hard to know how high the dough should reach on the edges of the mini muffin pan. Before going into the oven, mine was already close to the top, which turned out to be fine.

10 Ankle Boots Under $100

Happy Wednesday! Can you believe it’s December already? My cold-weather wardrobe is out in full force. And as much as I dread the cooler temps, I do love dressing for them — especially when it comes to shoes! Ankle boots are my go-to as of late. My favorite pairs are black and leopard print (surprisingly, they go with everything!).

Here are a few more favorites, all under $100.

 

Ankle Boots Under $100

1. Michael Antonio Jacob Ankle Boots in Black:

Michael Antonio Jacob

2. Madden Girl Women’s Sharpen Boot in Taupe:

Madden Girl Sharpen Boot

3. Madden Girl Women’s Westmont Combat Boot in Cognac:

Madden Girl Westmont Combat Boot

4. BC Footwear Women’s Clean Sweep Boot in Taupe/Gold Wash:

BC Footwear Clean Sweep

5. DV by Dolce Vita Women’s Callia in Black:

DV by Dolce Vita Callia

6. DV by Dolce Vita Women’s Gila Bootie in Bordeaux:

DV by Dolce Vita Gila

7. Dirty Laundry Women’s Chickadee Distres Motorcycle Boot in Black:

Dirty Laundry Chickadee

8. Jessica Simpson Women’s Maxi Boot in Fudge:

Jessica Simpson Maxi Bootie

9. STEVEN by Steve Madden Women’s Welded Bootie in Taupe Suede:

Steven Welded

10. Target Merona Lacey Heeled Booties in Black:

Target Merona Lacey Heeled Booties

 

**Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which may generate a revenue for my site when a purchase is made.**