Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box Review: December – Christmas Gift Box

Disclosure: I received free products to facilitate this post.  Affiliate links are contained herein. The opinions are my own.

December’s here!  And it’s time for a new Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box!  I’ve been doing these unboxings for the past few months, and it is always super fun to see what’s inside each box!

This month we have an especially fun box to show, because the them is Christmas Gifts!  This means the materials and recipe cards included will show you how you can use your essential oils to make homemade gifts!  I LOVE homemade gifts!

If you haven’t read my previous posts on the Essential Oil Recipe Box, here are the details:

  • Cost is just $39 / month.
  • Each box has 4 bottles of essential oil, recipe cards to help you use your oils in fun and unique ways, plus other materials you need to make the recipes.
  • Each box is specially curated with a unique theme in mind.
  • Each box is a $150 value!
  • When you subscribe you get a cool BONUS box for FREE!
  • You also get a $40 gift card for FREE when you use my referral link and coupon code:  SSHOMEFREE!

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Getting Your Kitchen Ready For Christmas

The amount of hard work and effort that gets put into creating delicious meals during the Christmas period requires a kitchen that’s fully prepped and ready for the mayhem that’s about to begin. Without organizing every detail beforehand, you leave yourself open to encountering so many unnecessary issues that can easily be avoided by following just a few simple steps. If you’re in charge of the kitchen this Christmas and want to use your initiative and get ready before all of the hustle and bustle kicks in, then read on to uncover some top tips that can aid you in getting prepared for the most mouth-watering meals ever this festive season. 

Clear Out The Fridge

Around 2 weeks before the festive season is in full swing, clear out every item from your fridge to start afresh with everything you need over the Christmas period. It’s no use simply squashing all of your old food to the back, as it’s going to go out of date very quickly and make the surrounding items inedible at the same time. The amount of extra food the average household purchases during Christmas is just so high, and you have to have the space to accommodate each one of these items without damaging it. Donate anything that you won’t have time to eat at a local food bank rather than simply throwing it in the bin, as this could make someone elses Christmas just a little bit better instead of adding to a landfill. There are so many recipes that can make use of all of those UFO’s (unidentified fridge objects) that cleaning out your kitchen needn’t be a difficult task at all! Once its completely empty, get to work with some warm soapy water and wipe down every surface inside to get rid of any bacteria or lingering smells and make a clean environment for your festive ingredients to sit in wait for the big day.

Get Your Ingredients Ready

One of the worst things you can encounter whilst cooking up a feast on Christmas day is a lack of ingredients, as all shops will no doubt be closed and the products you need will simply be out of reach. This can easily be avoided with a little bit of forward thinking and preparation, as you can sketch up a list pretty quickly when you know which meals you’ll be making. Ensure that you get down to the shops to buy any tinned or long-life ingredients a few weeks before you need to use them, as this will mean you only have the fresh to worry about during the busiest times. Track your progress by removing them from the list as you go, and ensure that you have all that you need for your main Christmas dinner at least 2 days before the big day. Don’t be afraid to stock up, as it’s likely you won’t want to leave your family to go grocery shopping regularly during this time! There’s no harm in buying a little extra, as you may make some mistakes along the way and require more ingredients to start over. 

Prepare All Necessary Equipment 

If you have all of your ingredients but no equipment to cook with, it’s just not going to work. It’s vital that you check (and check again) that you have everything you need, from cookie cutters to saucepans, garlic mincers to serving plates and cutlery, as without even a couple of these your whole extravaganza might just come crashing down. Check that the equipment that you do have actually works, and source an appliance repair service to fix any issues in a timely manner before you have to get going. If you have to replace some items or invest in anything extra but your budget won’t stretch this far, don’t be afraid to look online to find secondhand products that work just as good as new for less than half of the original price. Always be sure to sanitize anything that’s been used before, even if it was just by you, to remove any bacteria and make it clean and ready for whatever task you might need it for.

Make A Plan For Each Meal

This may be quite difficult as it will take some time, but making a plan for each of your big meals during the Christmas period will really help to relieve some pressure. When you make a meal plan, you can better identify which ingredients you need to purchase beforehand, and what equipment you need to get it together, so essentially your whole practice will be improved. It doesn’t have to be in depth – just briefly outline what kind of dish you would like to serve and think about the specifics as the dates get closer. Meals like breakfast do not need a mention, just those that require extra effort and time to prepare. You can check this with all of your guests and attendees to ensure its all fine with them, and follow your plan meal by meal without having to rush around thinking of ideas at the very last moment. 

Getting your kitchen ready for Christmas doesn’t have to take as much strength and willpower as you might initially imagine, as these easy steps make it so simple to prepare in no time at all. Start by clearing out your fridge and cleaning the contents to make way for all of the festive foods, and write your ingredients list in advance to plan out your various shopping trips to avoid being left without. Don’t forget to check that you have all of the necessary appliances for each different dish, and test each one individually to ensure its in perfect working order. If you have a little bit of free time, attempt to make a brief meal plan that covers the big dinners running up to Christmas day, as this will make it much easier for you to cover every little detail and make the experience run as smoothly as possible. 

Christmas Pajamas for the Family Review

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. The opinions are my own.

One Christmas tradition I definitely want for Thaxton is the new pajamas traditions.  It is fun, yet practical, because he will always need pajamas!

I LOVE Christmas pajamas, and I’ve been so excited for the pajamas for the family trend! After shopping around a lot on the internet, I chose Target for our Holiday Family Pajamas.  I was very impressed with the variety they had, from the different colors and prints, to the various styles of pajamas.  And the prices amazing!   Today I’m going to share with you some of the things that I bought and point out a few things I also liked.

I’ve been wanting to get Thaxton and I Mama Bear and Baby Bear shirts, so I fell in the LOVE with the Holiday Bear Family Pajamas.  Apart from the bear theme, these also have red and black checks with I really like.  And they look more like winter pajamas and not just Christmas, so we can continue to wear these in January.

The pajamas themselves fit great.  We both got very soft cotton shirts and fleece pants.  These are so comfortable, and I was impressed by the quality!

I also got Thaxton the Fair Isle Union Suit.  I’m not really in to the adult onesie, so I just got this set for him.  I really love this type of print, and the colors are great.  And like the other pajamas I chose, this has more of a winter theme, so that he can wear it after Christmas is over without looking weird.  This is made of fleece, so it’s very warm, and I actually also love it as something he could wear around the house on cold days and not just as sleep wear.  (And I have to admit, I kind of wish I’d bought myself one of these!)

If these aren’t for you, you might like their Peanuts Pajamas. (I love Charlie Brown and Snoopy!)  And they also have sets that are Harry Potter themed, Grinch, Elf, Santa, and so many more!

I also wanted to point out these slipper socks that I got for just $6.  These are very warm and comfortable, and I think they are quite cute.


So many styles are still in stock at Target, so go over and check out their Holiday Family Pajamas. Perhaps it could be the start of a new family tradition for you!

Simple Christmas Decor and Traditions

Simple Christmas Decor

Have you decorated for Christmas yet?  If not, don’t worry!  In no time at all you can turn your home in to a winter wonderland without breaking the bank.  Today I’m going to share some simple ideas and tips for decorating your home this Christmas and any season, and I’ll be talking about a few Christmas traditions I like for the family.

Christmas Wreath

 

I got his wreath a couple of years ago; it was in a set with some garland and trees.  It was pre-lit but very plain looking, so I just spent a few dollars on some Christmas balls and ornament hooks, and attached them to the wreath.  I chose all red to match our door and shutters and also just to keep things simple and clean.

And one thing I love about this is that I can easily remove these and add other balls or ornaments for a totally different look.

Of course, Christmas stockings are a must!  Even before having any kids I always put our stockings for the dog and cats.  Atop this shelf, I also  have a cute little Christmas sign; you’ll notice as I decorate I’ve got some kind of Christmas sign sign or signs on each shelf.  I get a lot of these from the bargain section at Target, and I’ve also gotten some at the dollar store.

I also enjoy getting things like jars, lanterns or other containers and placing Christmas balls inside.  During other seasons, I like to use similar containers and fill them with fall leaves, Easter Eggs, flowers, or anything else that fits the season.  It is an easy and cheap way to decorate, and you can often use items you already own.

Christmas Decor

For this shelf, I just added a few items in front of my already existing decor.  As you can see, we have more signs and a container of Christmas balls.  There’s also a Santa Hat; since taking this photo, I’ve added another Santa hat on top of the lantern on the left side.  Again, the Santa hat is something cheap, and yet it is very festive for this time of year, and quite often you may already have a Santa hat on hand.

We also have a Christmas Countdown.  I think these are so fun for kids.  I’ve had the one pictured above, but I may get another when Thaxton is bigger.  Here is a great collection of Christmas Countdowns.  This one from Melissa & Doug is very cute and inexpensive.

I’m also considering doing a Jesse Tree as part of our Christmas traditions for advent and am currently looking at resources for that.

You’ll also notice that we have an Elf on the Shelf here.  Thaxton got this for his birthday, and I’m looking forward to doing this tradition with him as he gets older.

And of course, we have our Christmas tree. (Here’s a great deal on a Christmas tree if you need one.  And Target has a great selection of shatterproof balls.  I got a box of 50 for just $15.) The Christmas tree is my favorite Christmas tradition.  I’m actually planning a post on ornament traditions.  I have a ton of Christmas ornaments, some of which I’ve had since childhood, and I always have a good time selecting which ornaments will appear on the tree.

I hope you enjoyed checking out some of our Christmas decor!  I’d love to hear your comments and any ideas you’d like to share!

 

Friday Favorites Linky Party – Week 352

Hello all! Thank you for stopping by for this week’s Friday Favorites party!  Before we get to this week’s features, I just want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays in general.  I hope you all have an awesome weekend with your family, filled with love and a a lot of great memories!

I also have one last minute Christmas gift for everyone…a giveaway!  It is a giveaway for all my cooking friends out there, and it is a $25 Gift Card to Chef’D.  This is one of those services where they send you fresh ingredients in the mail, to help you create gourmet meals.  I recently got to try them out, and I had a great experience with it.  The giveaway was just posted, and it will be open for a week, so please head over and enter.

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Maisy at Becoming AliceFB | G+ | Pin

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Amy at A Day of Small ThingsPin

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Kelly at Under a Texas SkyTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL

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You can show your love for this week’s favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!

And if you love all of this week’s favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week’s linky party! [Read more…]

Christmas Party Must-Haves from Oriental Trading

Disclosure: I am an ambassador for Oriental Trading and received free products to facilitate this post.

Christmas is almost here! Many companies, schools, and even families have already celebrated their yearly Christmas party, but there’s still a lot of partying left to go!  Oriental Trading always has a wide of variety of seasonal items to help you create the ultimate party!  I recently received an entire box of Christmas items that could turn any ordinary holiday dinner into something merry and bright! Today I’m going to highlight those items and tell you why I recommend them for your holiday bash!

christmas-table

Table Decor

I found the cutest plates and napkins (pictured above).  There’s just something about this mix of colors and patterns that make me smile.  They are bright and bold with a touch of the whimsical, and I think they look great for adult or children’s parties.  Also managed to find this polka dot table cloth, featuring pictures of Santa, an elf, rudolph, and a snowman.  I think it goes quite nicely with the plates and napkins.

As you prepare your party today, you need dishes to serve your food.  The Christmas tree, bauble, and snowman trays above come in a set of 12 (4 of each design).  Their cute shapes and colors make them a perfectly festive way of serving up appetizers, snacks, candies, as well as your favorite holiday sides, or even pulled turkey! It’s also an affordable to serve your food in style without spending a lot of fancy serving trays. [Read more…]

Friday Favorites Linky Party – Week 350 – w/ Christmas Ornament Giveaway

Hello everyone! Welcome to a special edition of Friday Favorites.  This week we are celebrating linky party #350.  That is a lot of link ups!  I want to thank everyone who stops by and links up with us each week (and anyone who just stops by to check out the features and shared posts).  I know that many of you have been linking up here for a long time, and I definitely appreciate it!

To celebrate 350 weeks and as a special Christmas treat, I am offering a giveaway from my Etsy shop.  I’m also offering 10% off this weekend with coupon code: MERRYCHRISTMAS.

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Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:

Jerri at Simply Sweet HomeTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Christine at Light and SavvyTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Jen at Creatively HomemadeTwitter | G+ | Pin

Dawn at LeroyLimeTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL

Maisy at Becoming AliceFB | G+ | Pin

Sheree at Stage PresentsTwitter | FB | Pin | Inst | Inst

Lisa at Condo BluesTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Amy at A Day of Small ThingsPin

Penny at Penny’s PassionTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Kelly at Under a Texas SkyTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL

If you are featured this week, be sure and grab a featured button for your blog!

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You can show your love for this week’s favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!

And if you love all of this week’s favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week’s linky party! [Read more…]

Friday Favorites Linky Party – Week 349

Happy December, Friends! Welcome to this week’s Friday Favorites party! This week we have so many fun ideas for the holidays! I’m sure that you will enjoy each and every one of them!  Please take a moment to look around, and as always I invite you to share your ideas with us so that we may feature you here!

PS – Please be sure to tune in for next week’s party, where we will have a fun Christmas giveaway from my Etsy shop!

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Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:

Jerri at Simply Sweet HomeTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Christine at Light and SavvyTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Jen at Creatively HomemadeTwitter | G+ | Pin

Dawn at LeroyLimeTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL

Maisy at Becoming AliceFB | G+ | Pin

Sheree at Stage PresentsTwitter | FB | Pin | Inst | Inst

Lisa at Condo BluesTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Amy at A Day of Small ThingsPin

Penny at Penny’s PassionTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Kelly at Under a Texas SkyTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL

If you are featured this week, be sure and grab a featured button for your blog!

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And if you love all of this week’s favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week’s linky party! [Read more…]

Hand Stamped Jewelry & Christmas Ornaments + Small Business Saturday

ornament-collage

Today is Small Business Saturday!  Across the country people are supporting small business by shopping small!  I’m happy to call myself a small business owner; apart from my blog and content services, I also have an Etsy shop.  It feels good to be able to do something creative and use my talents to make money for my family, and I’m so thankful for the opportunity that I have a to a work from home mom! [Read more…]

Friday Favorites – Week 348 – with Giveaway from Leroy Lime

Hi everyone! Happy Thanksgiving! And welcome to this week’s Friday Favorites party!  I hope you’re having a lovely holiday week, and I appreciate you taking the time away from your holiday festivities to spend a moment with us.  While you’re here I invite you to check out our giveaway from Leroy Lime.  The giveaway is for a sweet piece of Christmas tree garland, and we have a lot of easy entry options for you!

I’d also like to take a second and invite you by my Etsy shop this weekend.  I sell hand stamped Christmas ornaments and jewelry, and for the holiday weekend, I’m offering customers 10% off with coupon code GIVETHANKS.

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Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:

Jerri at Simply Sweet HomeTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Christine at Light and SavvyTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Jen at Creatively HomemadeTwitter | G+ | Pin

Dawn at LeroyLimeTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL

Maisy at Becoming AliceFB | G+ | Pin

Sheree at Stage PresentsTwitter | FB | Pin | Inst | Inst

Lisa at Condo BluesTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Amy at A Day of Small ThingsPin

Penny at Penny’s PassionTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Kelly at Under a Texas SkyTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL

If you are featured this week, be sure and grab a featured button for your blog!

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You can show your love for this week’s favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!

And if you love all of this week’s favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week’s linky party! [Read more…]