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Holiday Survival Guide

Who are we kidding, nobody’s getting out without losing their crap this year. Honestly, as in every year. Ash and I couldn’t help but think, there has to be a better way! So we’ve come up with a mini “Survival Guide” on how to get through this holiday season. Here’s to hoping we all make it with our sanity left in tact.

Car Hacks

Every year around this time I have to load the kids up every weekend and run around all over town to every family function. (Why people don’t all come to us is still mind boggling.) Every mini van on the highway is jammed with kids, food, and gifts. Have you ever seen the faces on those parents?! (Ash – there is your REAL wine target audience.) Here are our top three ‘must have’ car essentials to get your through the holiday season.

  1. Travel Boxes
    • I’ve personally used these little gems before on our long trips to North Carolina. My kids like the Lego Travel Boxes and the Coloring Travel boxes the most. These are super quick, easy to put together, and keep the kids busy for however many wrong turns your husbands may take trying to get to “Great Aunt Millie’s”.

       

  2. Nacks, snack, nackies. Whatever your kids calls them doesn’t matter, what matters is that you have them. Honestly, I loath the word S N A C K! (That will happen when you hear the word a thousand times a day!) Anyway – my favorite on the go snack cup seriously has to be the Munchkin Snack Catchers. These are cheap, come in a two pack, and they do their job. What more could you need?
  3. Tablets – honestly we all use them, let’s not pretend we don’t. When my 15 month old is screaming cause we’ve been in the car for what feels like 22 hours after 12 minutes, best believe I turn on his Moana.

Go to Meals/Drinks

While we all admire the idea of a pot luck dinner, no one really wants to have to do the planning for it. That’s how you end up with 3 green bean casseroles at the Thanksgiving dinner table. So unless you only crave green bean casserole, here are a couple ideas on easy dishes or drinks to bring to your family table this holiday season.

  1. Pumpkin Shaped Cheese ball – This is something Ash and I have tried before and it turned out super cute! It’s quick, cheap, and everyone always loves it. For the recipe you can go here!eb1c2409aeff21b45c415e86d4ab7f24
  2. Slow Cooker Apple Cobbler – Yes you read that right, slow cooker! What isn’t easier than throwing a bunch of stuff in a crock pot and having to do nothing ALL DAY as it cooks?! (Absolutely nothing, that’s what!)d9ca5ea028c59bd8dfb5a1a97391e4e5.jpg

Not to mention the recipe calls for everything you probably already have right in your pantry. Serve this up with some yummy vanilla ice-cream and top it off with a bit (or a ton) of cool whip. Yummm! Just imagine how good this will make your home smell!

3. Bourbon Pecan  Pie Cocktail – Soo this one is more for the adults. Lets face it, some times the holidays require a little liquid courage to get us through the night. bourbon-pecan-pie-cocktail-3-683x1024.jpg

In our family every holiday is shared with a glass of whiskey, wine, or both. This drink is sweet, but not too sweet and definitely strong. So be careful, this drink may lead you to tell your granny just how you really feel about all those knitted sweaters.

 

 

Family Photos/Greeting Cards

Do people even do greeting cards anymore?! I find myself always saying to my husband, “We’ve got to get photos taken for our holiday cards this year!”. Which is conveniently the time in which he wants to finally finish his ‘honey-do’ list. *insert eye roll here* We put together a few apps that you can upload your family photos to and either print or email them to your loved ones.

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zero cooperation

 

  1. Ink Cards – This FREE app allows you to turn your family photos into personalized cards for only $1.99. This also includes FREE shipping with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. You can create your cards straight from your iPhone or iPad all without making a trip to a store. You can also ship a pack of cards directly to yourself! With tons of options to really personalize these cards, this app is perfect for any holiday or special occasion.
  2. CleverCards – Make your very own personalized greeting cards from your photos and send FREE eCards to all your loved ones. These can be sent via text, social media, or standard mail. The cool thing about this site is you can also make invitations. If you’re the kind of family that likes to send out formal dinner invites.
  3. Shutterfly – Everybody knows about Shutterfly, however the nice thing is you can always find great coupons or deals on their products. So you can’t count them out!

    DIY Gift Ideas

Sadly the era we live in is all about the latest gadget or the coolest new toy. Personally I’ve always appreciated a handmade gift a little more than something bought last minute. Over the years I’ve tried my hand at a few holiday handmade gifts. Below are some ideas on things you can make and give to your friends and families!

  1. DIY Snow Globes –  These little beauties were crazy easy and so much fun to personalize. The kids enjoyed being able to pick out their “little people”, christmas trees, and their jar size. 128js-Snow-Glob-DIY-6-e1446777563482All the items were easy to find at our local Michael’s (Hobby Lobby is another option) and pretty inexpensive too. You’ll want to make sure you use all the correct items listed and store them in your home, not in an attic. We made the mistake of putting them in the attic, the next year the water and snow inside was black. I won’t bother going into details on how it smelled when I had to pour it out.

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2. Sugar scrubs – I did these two years ago and they have to be my favorite so far. Who doesn’t love a good spa day at home?! You can pair this gift with a couple cute bath items, nail polish, or a gift card to a local spa house. There are so many scent combinations you could make, like Maple Almond! This really allows you to customize your scrub for your loved ones and their skin needs. While this gift is more on the expensive side with the essential oils and perfumes, it is something I wouldn’t shy away from!

3. DIY  Dry Rubs – Our family loves to cook! Which is why I never make my goal weight. I mean it is the holiday season so who honestly cares at this point?! This gift is especially great for the guys. You can pair it with a cool grilling set, spice rack or the perfect “kiss the cook” apron. The possibilities are truly endless with this one! Need some help with the perfect spice marriage, go here to check out how it’s done.acb1c695dc658d2d9744fa5b9641e658

Our Family Traditions

Every family has them, we thought we would share one of ours with you! Our family is beyond big, as a result we have come up with our very own holiday. Thanksmas!

It’s hard enough traveling to everyone’s family gathering, so we all decided it would be a good idea to combine Thanksgiving and Christmas. Every year the Saturday after Thanksgiving we all travel to the grandparents house to spend the weekend and celebrate the two holidays. This gives us all the opportunity to catch up and be with one another without the pressure of having to be anywhere else that day. We make our big Thanksgiving meal and then as the food settles the gifts get opened. As we go into the holiday season just remember, it’s all about making memories!

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