Posted in Holidays

Holiday Traditions with Hickory Farms

One of my favorite holiday memories involves my grandfather. Every Christmas, we’d drive thirty minutes to a neighboring town to buy him a Hickory Farms gift pack for Christmas. His favorite was the Summer Sausage and strawberry hard candies. He kept a small knife in his pocket. He’d take it out, slice a piece off with that knife, and hand it to me with a salt cracker. He’d also sneak a candy to me when no one was looking. Such a simple memory, but priceless to me. continued

Perfect Pumpkin Cheesecake

This time of year, I really like to be in the kitchen. I love to bake. Getting out my grandmother’s recipes brings back wonderful memories of her. She taught me a lot of what I know. One of my favorite things to make is a combination of two of her recipes. But the combination happened by accident. I made her pumpkin cheesecake only to have the top crack in an ugly way. To cover it up, I used a topping she used on her Lemon Lush recipe. I now have the perfect pumpkin cheesecake!

The great thing about bringing these two recipes together into one, I no longer worry about whether my cheesecake cracks or not. I don’t even think twice about it. It’s going to get this amazing top coat that puts this recipe at the top of my holiday to-do list. I’ve labeled this the Perfect Pumpkin Cheesecake because it’s easy to make, full of flavor, and a huge crowd pleaser. Enjoy!

PumpkinCheesecake

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Disneyland’s “World of Color − Winter Dreams” will debut in November

If you love Disneyland at Christmas, you are in for a real treat. Disneyland just announced changes to the traditional World of Color. They’ll be debuting “World of Color – Winter Dreams” just in time for the holidays. The new show will have a mix of classic scenes blended with new animation.

You can see “World of Color − Winter Dreams” at Disney California Adventure park starting November 15, 2013.

Homemade salt-dough Christmas ornaments

It’s been raining like crazy, and we’ve spent a lot of times indoors this week. We’ve had a week full of Christmas projects around here. Earlier this week, we made a canvas hand print tree and a Christmas tree made of buttons. Yesterday, we made salt-dough Christmas ornaments. We’ve never made them before. I’m surprised how well they turned out given they were decorated by a four-year old. continued

Kid-friendly Christmas crafts: O Button Tree

As a kid, I remember a decorative Christmas tree that my grandmother and mother made together. I have always loved that tree. It has buttons and costume jewelry in the shape of a tree. I am lucky to have that tree in my home now, and I put it out every Christmas. continued

Christmas Craft: Canvas hand print tree

We’re finally at an age where craft projects are fun. When I first saw this project at The Other White House, I knew I wanted to give it a try. Both of my girls were able to take part, which isn’t always the case. After this project, we have a beautiful, hand crafted painting sitting on our living room mantel. continued

Cookie exchange on a budget

I love the season leading up to Christmas. It’s the only time of year when I make all my favorite cookies, and then they’re gone before I know it! This year, I decided to do a Cookie Exchange. After starting to plan and looking into the details, I thought it might get a little expensive. So I began looking into ways to have a beautiful, fun party… on a budget. continued

Christmas traditions: our Advent calendar

One of my favorite traditions with Em has been our Advent Calendar. I made it when she was just one and we’ve been using it for the last couple of years. December is here and so we begin another year of traditions.

I love that she actually remembers her calendar. It’s the first thing we get to do together in the morning. Our calendar is a little boring without toys and candy. But I love it because I made it for her. It’s made of cloth ornaments that are easy for her to grasp, plus they won’t break or make a mess.

I’m sure this is going to change the older she gets. This is probably the last year we can get away without having some kind of chocolate or toy, but for the next 24 days I get to enjoy the excitement each morning brings for all of us.

Easter egg hunt at the zoo

This weekend, we took Emma to the San Francisco Zoo for their annual Easter party and egg hunt. If you can’t tell from the photos below, she had lots of fun, particularly hopping like a rabbit in any of the five (!) bouncy houses that were set up in the meadow.

First time Emma has been excited to see a life-size character. (Past run-ins with Santa haven’t gone too well yet.)

So excited that she wanted to give him a big hug before we said goodbye.

She didn’t like jumping in the bouncy house, did she?

Hoping along the grass with a giant red ball – something she didn’t want to stop.

Tossing rings onto a cactus for prizes.

Emma showing off the results of her Easter egg hunting skills.

And finally, a few rounds on the carousel, where Emma shows she knows how to have a good time!

About me

Stay-at-home mother of two, wife, blogger, amateur photographer. Former flight attendant. Lover of all things Disney. Living the dream.

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