Decorating for the Holidays

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on December 9, 2010

Preparing to decorate for Christmas always brings me such mixed feelings. It is so much work to pull out the boxes of decorations we have collected over the years, but I do love going through them year after year. Sifting through each box of homemade ornaments, white lights and colored lights, little nativity scenes, and garland, is sure to get us in the holiday spirit, but it’s such a conglomerate of different colors, with no real theme. That’s okay, though – I love the way the house looks decorated with items that bring so much joy as we think about all of the memories each item possesses.

I took a stroll through Walmart’s Christmas Shop, with a gift card in hand, to try to find a few new items to add to help us deck the halls. I tend to lean toward traditional colors and found a couple of great items at affordable prices.

I really like to hang wreaths… They are such a simple way to decorate. I’m thinking that this Pine Cone Wreath would bring a classic look to our front door.

Candles use to reside on our home’s every surface. Not so much anymore, being that we have lots of little pyros living with us. I like the idea of substituting wicked candles with flameless votives, especially when placed in a vase filled with cranberries or other festive fruit. No fire hazard to worry about and these little boogers can fool even the most observant guest.

Next shopping trip will result in new stockings for each member of our family. I plan to have them each personalized and, now that our family is complete, I can be sure that they will all match! What do you think of these?

Every year I purchase a new ornament for each of my children. Sometimes they represent a special event that took place during the year; sometimes they’re ornaments that just reminded me of a particular kiddo. This year I couldn’t go wrong with purchasing a couple of ornament sets.

Some day I may choose a theme for our decorations, filling our house with specific colors or some uniformity, but for now I enjoy adding little bits of goodness to our growing collection.

How do you decorate for Christmas?
Do you have a theme? Or, do you decorate as we do, with a little bit of everything?

I am a part of the Walmart Moms program and Walmart has provided me with the above mentioned gift card, as well as compensation for my time in creating this post. My participation is voluntary and opinions are my own.

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Help End Hunger with Walmart

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on November 27, 2010

This holiday season Walmart invited customers to join them by participating in an in-store food drive. The food drive took place in all Walmart stores, just before Thanksgiving, and all donations went to support local food banks. My family and I were happy to get involved…

I was excited to hear that Walmart committed $2 billion to fight hunger, now through 2015. You can join Walmart in fighting hunger in your community – They are putting $1.5 million in our hands and we can get involved at www.walmart.com/fightinghunger

Together we can make a difference.

I am a part of the Walmart Moms program, and Walmart has provided me with compensation for this post and video. My participation is voluntary and opinions are my own.

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Eggland’s Best Holiday Baking Party

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on November 21, 2010

On Friday some of my best friends and I spent the entire afternoon doing one of our favorite things – baking! Eggland’s Best sponsored this fabulous baking party and we even had door prizes! We made Quiche, Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies and homemade ice cream, all with Eggland’s Best eggs. (See recipes below.)

QUICHE

Line pie pan with pie dough and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Layer with grated cheese, sauteed spinach, sauteed mushrooms, sauteed onions and diced tomatoes. Pour mixture of 6 Eggland’s Best eggs and 1/4 cup milk. Bake at 375º for 45 minutes.

VANILLA ICE CREAM

Beat 2 Eggland’s Best eggs in a large bowl until thick and lemon-colored (about 5 minutes). Add 1 cup sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Stir in 2 3/4 cup half & half, 1 tablespoon vanilla and 1 cup whipping cream and pour in to ice cream canister. Follow manufacturer’s directions. Makes 2 quarts.

CRANBERRY WHITE CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES

This post is sponsored by Eggland’s Best.
I received monetary compensation for my participation,
but my review and opinions are my own.

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Homemade Treats Make Great Gifts

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on November 12, 2010

My family and I make lots of goodies during the Holiday season – Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Pumpkin Cake and Fudge are just a few of our favorites. Baked goodies are not only extremely yummy, but they also make great inexpensive gifts for neighbors, family members and friends, especially when packaged up nice and pretty.

You can find many ingredient items on Rollback at Walmart right now. Be sure to look for festive goody sacks and tins at great prices, too!

Some of my kiddos and I just recently made homemade fudge. I wasn’t able to include the recipe in the following video, but see below the clip for step-by-step directions (courtesy of Nestle!) on how to make these scrumptious bits of chocolatey goodness that your favorite people will go nuts over!

CARNATION FAMOUS FUDGE

Ingredients::

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup (5 fl.-oz. can) Evaporated Milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups Jet-Puffed miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 cups (9 oz.) Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1/2 cup FISHER chopped pecans
1 teaspoon McCormick’s vanilla extract

Directions::

LINE 8-inch-square baking pan with foil.

COMBINE sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

STIR in marshmallows, morsels, nuts and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously for 1 minute or until marshmallows are melted. Pour into prepared baking pan; refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into 48 pieces.

Do you enjoy baking with your kiddos around the Holidays? What do YOU give as gifts?

I am a part of the Walmart Moms program, and Walmart has provided me with compensation for this post and video. My participation is voluntary and opinions are my own.

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Christmas, a Trip to the Dump, and a New Dog?

December 28, 2009

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’ve posted giveaways every day of this last week…. I hope you had a chance to enter each one. Even with all of my giveaways, I’ve been taking a vacation, of sorts. A bloggy vacation. But, boy… Have I been busy! Our Christmas was such a wonderful and joyous celebration. […]

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A Snapshot of a Date

December 23, 2009

It’s not very often that Ray and I get a picture taken of the two of us together, so when one is snapped it is cherished! This picture was taken by Marie Young, on our date at the #HoliTweetUp, last week. Good times! Visit more Wordless Wednesday participants at 5 Minutes for Mom and Extraordinary […]

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Play and Learn

December 11, 2009

I have many fond memories of this time of the year, growing up…. With so many family gatherings and school group activities, we were much busier than usual. Because of the hustle and bustle, it seemed we took many days off of school between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sure, we were still learning, but they were […]

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Thankful

November 26, 2009

I have so much for which to be thankful… A loving Savior A wonderful family Fabulous friends – You Health, laughter, and peace I am simply bursting with thankfulness! I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. Psalms 69:30

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Dancing Sugar Plums, Already?

October 31, 2007

I love everything about the Christmas season – carols, decorations, Christmas cards, baking, and shopping. But, I also love Thanksgiving – reflecting how truly blessed I am, baking, anticipating a large family meal, a warm fire and pumpkin pie. I don’t remember hearing Christmas carols on the radio on Halloween last year, do you? What […]

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