MOMS HOLIDAY PREP

MOMS HOLIDAY PREP

Most of us tend to forget the spirit of the season because we get lost in the hustle and the bustle that is inevitable this time of year. The Holidays are all about spending time with family and friends so make sure to keep that in mind when planning for the season ahead. I’ve got some tips to make entertaining easier.

My focus is always on three areas of the house: the kitchen, the pantry and the dining room. Keeping your pantry, kitchen and fridge stocked with the essentials is key.

MOMS HOLIDAY PREP

One of my favorite entertaining essentials is stocking a bar cart like this Threshold Metal & Stone Bar Cart and matching Barware Tool Set with festive beverages and mixers. That way, your guests can have fun mixing their own cocktails and you’re not stuck behind the bar all night.

Pre-Mix one custom cocktail and set out wine, beer, sodas and a big bucket of ice and it’s totally self-serve. Another time saver? Pre-washed and pre-cut Archer Farms Veggies ready to go as soon as you open the bag. Need to freshen up your snack rotation? Try Archer Farms holiday trail and snack mixes that are available for just a couple of weeks during the holiday season, so grab them while you can!

Cranberry Rice Pilaf Recipe

Another tip? Don’t sweat the menu. Sure you want some wow-factor (like a great turkey stuffed with sage and basted with Madeira), but you need some easy go-to recipes. Success® Rice takes just 10 minute to make and can be a key ingredient in some tasty recipes. like this  Cranberry Pecan Brown Rice Stuffing. It’s tasty, elegant and effortless. It’s a great classic recipe with a modern twist that will wow your guests. And there’s a variety of products available including White, Whole Grain Brown, Jasmine and Basmati. Everyone in the family will love it. Success is in the Bag.®

Cranberry Pecan Brown Rice Stuffing

2 bags Success® Brown Rice
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp dried orange peel
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 Tbsp margarine
1/2 cup celery, finely sliced
2 Tbsps shallots, finely chopped (may substitute onion)
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 cup pecans, chopped and toasted
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Prepare rice according to package directions. In a medium microwave safe bowl, mix cranberries and orange peel with chicken stock and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Set aside. Heat a large sauce pan over HIGH heat and add margarine. Stir in celery, shallot and poultry seasoning and sauté 3 minutes. Stir in cranberry mixture, pecans, parsley and rice and cook over medium heat for 3 more minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.

To toast pecans: Pre-heat oven to 350ºF. Place pecans on a small cookie sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn pecans. Cool.

For more recipes head to https://www.successrice.com/en-us/recipes/search/default.aspx

Hope these tips help to make your season more fun and let you actually enjoy hostess duty this year.

This is a sponsored post.

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Celebrate the Holidays with POM Wonderful

Did you know that’s it’s pomegranate season from October through January? I had no idea…but I’m thankful because pomegranates have become a big part of my holiday entertaining! Growing up, my family typically enjoyed them in the fall. We always ate a pomegranate on Halloween, but I’ve discovered that they’re also a wonderful addition to holiday celebrations! I mean the color alone is so very festive.

pom

Take POM Wonderful for instance…POM offers a wonderful variety of pomegranates, POM POMS Fresh Arils and 100% Pomegranate Juice. They add a sweet burst of flavor to every meal, making entertaining easy and ensuring POM Wonderful always has a place at the table. They certainly have a place at my table. In fact, I’ve been whipping up some fabulous cocktails with POM products this season. Who wouldn’t want to sip on a glass of bubbly with POM POMS Arils providing a beautiful burst of flavor and color to their drink? This girl is certainly raising her hand! On that note, stay tuned…A POM cocktail post is heading your way soon…I’m ready to share a most delicious combo!

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What I really love about POM Wonderful the most is that they grow, handpick and juice their own pomegranates, managing the entire process from tree to bottle. POM Wonderful guarantees that their fresh pomegranates and 100% Pomegranate Juice comes from only one source, 100 percent California-grown POM Wonderful pomegranates. I always like to know where my food is coming from. Don’t you? And that goes double for recipes that I serve to my loved ones. For me, the holidays are all about showing my love by filling their bellies with delicious goodies and POM Wonderful helps me do that!

For more holiday recipes inspiration, head over to the Simply Wonderful site!

This is a sponsored post.

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‘Tis (Almost) the Season: Inside the #MTHoliday Soiree 2015

We’re in a bit of a blogging conundrum here at Momtrends. You see, as moms, we want to experience and enjoy the present. But as editors, we need to think ahead and anticipate the trends. And, so, while we desperately want to bask in the beauty of fall and soak up these last few weeks of foliage, pumpkin-spice lattes, and gratitude-spreading with our families, we need to start immersing ourselves in all things holiday… Toys, stocking-stuffers, gift guides, tree trimmings, and the holly-jolly seasonal essentials. It’s our jobs to scope out the latest and greatest and report about them to you. And so our hearts are still very much in autumn, but our minds are filled with incredible ideas for a very delightful December. So, pardon us, while we interrupt this Thanksgiving month for a very merry moment and a happy holiday post…

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22540506698_969710c6df_z22958795415_6db2b1729922770805630_9618a2836b22336207124_b00b06ed1cEarlier this week, Momtrends hosted a crowd of top NYC bloggers at our annual #MTHoliday bash, where we introduced  the season’s must-have clothes, gifts, food, and more. Editors sipped deliciously festive POM cocktails while mingling with friends and meeting with brands—a merry time was had by all. And while we’re sorry you weren’t personally there, we’d love to invite you to get a head start on your holiday planning with a few of our festive favorites below.

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22574454089_81243619c4_zPOM Wonderful
You didn’t think we would leave you hanging about those POM-infused libations now, did you? (Our favorite was the POMosa—it’s just POM juice with Prosecco, and it makes a perfect signature cocktail for the holidays!) In season, October through January POM Wonderful 100-percent California-grown pomegranates are known and loved for their sweet and tart taste. POM has got some great party-friendly appetizer recipes too! You’ve got to check them out.

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22928845746_858dee10b6I See Me!
We’re big fans of the personalized books and gifts from I See Me, and the new holiday additions are absolutely adorable. We love the customizable “12 Days of Christmas” book (your family’s last name can be added to the title and your children’s first names will appear throughout the pages). Additionally, the charming personalized ornaments from I See Me feature your child’s name, a photo and a given year. These are beautiful keepsakes and darling stocking stuffers.

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Epson

Epson
Printing your own holiday cards or invitations? Allow us to recommend Epson’s Expression ET-2550 EcoTank wireless printer. It delivers convenience and value, with ultra low-cost replacement ink bottles and innovative refillable ink tanks. (We could all use a little less work and a little more savings this time of year!)

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11350861_1685768634994297_1019953273_nBedgear Performance Bedding
This is a totally innovative and unique gift for sleep-deprived parents—sound like anyone you know? Well, if you’re not a “mombie” yourself, you most certainly know and love a few. Thankfully, the performance baby bedding from Bedgear wicks heat and moisture away from Baby, and keeps them cool and dry—so they can sleep more soundly. The brand also has amazing products for grownups too… Not that you need much help nodding off these days.

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22336109324_b869e34f38_zMudpuppy
We’re all about gifts that double as activities here at Momtrends. And that’s why we are crazy about Mudpuppy’s craft sets for kids. Each kit includes four paper bags and all the accessories needed to make adorable foxes, raccoons, owls, and more! (Woodland creatures are having a major moment right now.)

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22932801926_5dea31d586Dream on Me
The évolur crib makes a phenomenal gift for a new mom. A stunning showpiece, it features modern and traditional elements with vintage-inspired craftsmanship. Made with top-quality materials in the USA, the évolur crib is designed to grow with Baby.

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22958837915_632194e05722945481462_4e3105e562Hasbro
Chromecast might just be the ultimate stocking stuffer this holiday season. It’s a small device that allows you to stream media to your television using your phone, tablet or laptop. And now with Chromecast and Hasbro’s “Monopoly Here & Now: Big Screen Edition” app, the whole family can enjoy game night on your television screen. Of course, Hasbro still has a ton of traditional board games we know and love. ‘Tis the season to be playing!

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There’s a chill in the air this season—thanks to Igloo coolers! Their super-cool cooling products will help you in all your entertaining pursuits this season, from chilling a bottle of wine to transporting leftovers.

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22540582948_f85683a806_zTeleflora
A beautiful floral bouquet always makes a memorable gift. This season, send cheer with Teleflora’s precious Peanuts arrangements. The colorful arrangements feature reusable mugs and cookie jars inspired by our favorite cartoon characters.

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22337645923_02ec8abd38_zCabi Clothing
This season, Cabi has everything the busy party-hopping mama could ever want for her wardrobe. And, best of all, you don’t have to leave your home to shop these fabulous finds—a stylist comes to you! It’s convenient. It’s chic. And our blogger models looked simply divine rocking the brand’s latest looks.

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22540601918_4bcde5cafc_zAmerican Girl
What little lady wouldn’t want to see an American Girl under the tree? This year, American Girl has more gifts than ever for millions of special girls to express their unique interests.

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22540506228_ebe96d815a_zNet Nanny
Keep your kids safe this season by regulating the content on their devices with Net Nanny’s family protection pass. It lets parents monitor their children’s friends, pictures, and posts on social networks.

22337680083_f5cd4ca590_zSocktabs
Never lose another sock again! (Seriously, Santa, every man, woman, and child needs SockTABS in their stocking!) It’s a wearable solution to the missing sock—and a simple product to help you find the right (or left!) match every day.

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22958835495_ddb8141174_zTessemaes
Every party needs quality food. Dairy free, gluten free, and with no sugar added, Tessemaes dressings, dips, condiments, apps, and foods are absolutely incredible—and they taste homemade too!

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0Ce8kheE-8Mde0_ITnB8jjATINIjkuSxo6k6UrTYyNI,_5KTxvBRLrai_GA4_ieltb-36Xi5h-lrm3Dea1U2TBcStocking Stuffers
There were some unique finds for the whole family on our “stocking stuffer” table (Lego sets, craft kits, baking supplies, etc). One of our favorites: Susan Mallery’s books. Mallery’s heartwearming Christmas love stories make great gifts for the romantic and the bookworm book. There’s nothing like curling up with a good read and a hot cup of tea during the holiday season. Mallery’s heartwarming Christmas love stories are great gifts for the romantic and the bookworm.

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22337616723_af8ebd24cbThe Giving Tree
Bloggers were greeted by this DIY tree. We challenged guests to write down what they’re doing to give back to their communities this season. They slipped their paper into a clear ornament and hung it on the tree to inspire hope and action. (We think every family should create something so special!)

22969966711_d208b16b21 22958837505_4d24a119dcGlamSquad
Our favorite makeup artists and hairstylists were there to provide guests with stylish touch-ups. GlamSquad is an on-demand, in-home beauty service in NYC that sends the hair stylist and makeup artist straight to you. We’re sure that every time-strapped mom could use this service this hectic season!

jhYbiSmOIUsrfRaL9p6UCfvmGyOwMaakUHwuYHSEUPM,rrT3FqEuQS_E5voET3hheDtnjO6p6jb-KE0TvDxFszA IgHSkR_LtByplcPNN1MDiTK3Fksg8-D8j-u3dvXHxkE,1v33Tewdv25yWtxt-90oQwEiytGGP_DIBUyrNZHr51c CTixrZkUAAADlT5 kids loungeThe Nanny League
Momtrends has partnered with the Nanny League, an elite nanny placement agency, to offer childcare at our NYC events. A group of amazing college-educated nannies kept our kiddies busy with a snowman-making craft (using POM bottles!), Mudpuppy activities, American Girl dress up, and much more.

More fabulous photos inside the #MTHoliday Blogger Bash (and a peek at the awesome gift bag!)…

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22337723653_c2f0f35176_z(1)The goody bag with the mostest!

Goody Bag 1giftb A special thank you to our truly amazing sponsors! This event would not have been possible without them!

Sponsors:
Bedgear Performance Bedding
POM Wonderful
I See Me!
Epson America
Susan Mallery
Mudpuppy
Net Nanny
Dream on Me
Teleflora
American Girl
Hasbro Gaming
Igloo Products Corp.
SockTABS
Cabi
Tessemae’s All Natural
Lego
Tieks
The Nanny League
Glamsquad

 This was a sponsored event. All opinions are our own.

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Cookies & Coffee Holiday Party Ideas

Whether you need an idea for a holiday gift exchange or your book club, consider a cookies and coffee holiday party. It’s a breeze to put together, and you can experiment with new colors and themes. While I do love the traditional colors of the holiday season, it’s nice to switch it up with cooler tones.

Host a cookies and coffee party for a holiday get together with friends!

Today’s party features fun ways to decorate in a hurry and amazing kitchen and home decor accessories to help you become a great holiday hostess!

Host a cookies and coffee party for a holiday get together with friends!

With a little help from Big Dot of Happiness, my party theme was created. The Be Merry set featured snowflakes, blue and white accents, and a lot of options for customization. With all the party decor shipped in one box, it was easy to set up and work around this theme. You can even add extras like a candy buffet to match! Host a cookies and coffee party for a holiday get together with friends!With options like favor boxes and centerpieces, it’s easy to set up a holiday party table with no fuss. And, since everything matches, you can throw a Pinterest-worthy soiree with minimal work. That’s my kind of event! The holidays are already busy enough so I can totally understand the feeling of overwhelm when it comes to playing party host. Host a cookies and coffee party for a holiday get together with friends!

Luckily, Big Dot of Happiness helped my vision come to life with the Be Merry table decoration set. I loved the centerpieces that helped tie everything together. The vibrant blue color was just what I was looking for with this Frozen-inspired event.

Host a cookies and coffee party for a holiday get together with friends!

I used the table scatter to surround centerpieces of mason jars and baby’s breath. Any sort of white flower will do for this party theme, but I just love the simplicity of a bouquet of baby’s breath.

Host a cookies and coffee party for a holiday get together with friends!

Silverstone bakeware added amazing and functional pieces to this party. What I loved about Silverstone was how practical these colored dishes were. I could bake on them yes, but I could use them as party platters.Host a cookies and coffee party for a holiday get together with friends!

I have a kitchen that is overrun with bakeware and dishes to display food at a party, so it was refreshing to find something that I could use to do both. I am definitely stocking up on their cookware! Host a cookies and coffee party for a holiday get together with friends!

Another way to infuse color at your party is with specialty dishware like Rachael Ray. The vibrant hue of this chip and dip plate paired with a creamy cheese dip turned typical cheese and crackers into something more flavorful. Try a corn cheese dip, a hot corn dip, or a queso blanco dip for extra spice.

Host a cookies and coffee party for a holiday get together with friends!

The handpainted ikat design dishware helped set a table that was picture perfect. While you may not picture this pattern to be holiday themed, it is something that can work your decor year-round. There are also holiday patterns to choose from if you like to swap out your dishes seasonally.

Host a cookies and coffee party for a holiday get together with friends!

A cookies and coffee party wouldn’t be complete without a menu of sweet treats and warm drinks. Prepare tea in this aqua tea kettle by Circulon or make coffee with an authentic French press.

Host a cookies and coffee party for a holiday get together with friends!

Add flavor and sugar to your coffee with candy canes! Let them melt into your coffee and enjoy the combination. I prefer mint candy canes with my coffee, but the fruit flavors have their place in a drink that’s fit for happy hour.

Host a cookies and coffee party for a holiday get together with friends!

Serve white rum with a lemon-lime soda for a fizzy drink. Add a fruity candy cane for extra flavor. My favorites to try are blueberry and tutti-fruitti (pictured below).

Host a cookies and coffee party for a holiday get together with friends!

It’s an easy and inexpensive way to add a mixer to a cocktail, and everyone can customize their own drink. Look for seasonal sodas this time of year including cranberry for an extra punch of holiday flavor.

Host a cookies and coffee party for a holiday get together with friends!

Besides beverages, a good holiday menu is easy and served party style. Try using Microplane’s herb and salad chopper to create a simple spinach salad for the main course.

Host a cookies and coffee party for a holiday get together with friends!

I like to use stainless steel mixing bowls like these ones by Anolon as serving dishes. Again, it’s another item in my kitchen that is functional since it has more than one use.

Host a cookies and coffee party for a holiday get together with friends!

While I first used them to bake cupcakes, they transitioned into being helpful bowls for display.

Host a cookies and coffee party for a holiday get together with friends!

WÜSTHOF knives are a classic tradition in the kitchen, and the paring knife is a must have for slicing and dicing. I use it all the time when prepping appetizers or cooking dinner.

If your party is early in the day, try serving crepes alongside your coffee. This crepe pan is the right size to help make crepes perfect each time. Though, you can serve cupcakes any time of day!

Host a cookies and coffee party for a holiday get together with friends!

Frozen isn’t just for kids. These made a cute dessert and are fun for all ages. It was a good way to close out the party. This snowflake fest made our holiday gift exchange a bit more cheery. I can envision this theme pairing well with your book club, girls night, or family White Elephant party.

Host a cookies and coffee party for a holiday get together with friends!How do you stay merry through the holidays? What’s your best holiday party theme?

Momtrends was not compensated for this post. Some Samples were received.

 

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Momtrends Holiday Event #MomtrendsHoliday

Momtrends Holiday

A few days ago Momtrends held a dazzling event to celebrate and ring in the holidays. Held at the Stella & Dot showroom in NYC, we connected influencers to brands for a night of holiday magic.

MOmtrends Holiday
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The event kicked off where influenitial bloggers were able to mix and mingle with brands such as Stella & Dot, Teleflora, Little Me, Lands End, I See Me, Duck Brand, Vermont Nut Free Chocolates, Walkers Shortbread and Priv.

Each station was beautifully set up for the holiday content ideas, holiday planning, and gift ideas. After a casual mingling, bloggers and editors then got some first-hand tips and insight from the brands as Nicole kicked off the holiday discussion by giving bloggers advice about what to post as she stated the importance of having one central holiday guide and to post on 1-2 charities that are meaningful to your sites. She also empahasized the importance of having family traditions and slowly down during this time of the year and to do something (or many things) with your family that you don’t post about!

Momtrends Holiday

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Next up was Walkers Shortbread who shared some easy ways to decorate at home for the holidays using their buttery and delicious cookies. Simply use their cookies and purchase some icing and sprinkles for a fun and no bake way to decorate your holiday cookies. A great idea for cold days in the house, kids will love to decorate and create their own unique cookies that can also be used as gift ideas for teachers and babysitters.

 Momtrends Holiday Event

Momtrends Holiday Event

We then heard from Little Me who shared their latest fashions for holiday. This includes the sweetest holiday pieces for newborns through size 4T. This includes festive plaid PJs, holiday footies, Christmas Tutu Sets and much more! We also saw a preview to spring with vibrant colors, animal prints and floral designs that we can’t wait to see in 2015.
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Momtrends Holiday Event Momtrends Holiday Event

Momtrends Holiday Momtrends Holiday Event

Teleflora was up next where we learned everything about floral arrangements for holiday entertaining. This included insight from Marie Ackerman, Vice President of Education at Teleflora, on how to set a beautiful table using a fresh flower centerpiece such as the Teleflora Holly Days Bouquet  that can be placed on a festive table with candles, ornaments, and bits of holly for a dazzling table. She also recommend to use card settings for your holiday dinners and to place flowers in the bathroom and in the kitchen for a simple touch that will enhance your home (and their senses).

Momtrends Holiday Event Momtrends Holiday Event

Next up, Nicole shared some of her favorite jewelry pieces from Stella & Dot such as the rose gold rings and inexpensive Wishing Bracelet that is a perfect gift for a babysitter.

Momtrends Holiday Event

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The event also included a fun fashion show where our model bloggers rocked holiday looks from Lands End and Stella & Dot. This included lots of class black, plaid and stunning evening dresses that are perfect for holiday parties and events.

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I See Me

At the event, guests also nibbled on the delicious chocolates from Vermont Nut Free Chocolates, enjoyed manicures from PRIV, learned how to create DIY projects using colorful Duck Tape and got some fantastic ideas on giving personalized books from I See Me.

Momtrends Holiday Event

As a holiday event, we were also excited to partner with Bottomless Closet where guests were asked to bring new or lightly used work clothes, accessories, coats, or shoes for disadvantaged women going into the workplace. This resulted in two overflowing bags – such an incredible way to end our holiday event.

Momtrends Holiday Event

MOmtrends Holiday EVent

Guests also enjoyed fun giveaways and an overflowing gift bag that was filled with goodies and content for their blogs and websites.

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Momtrends Holiday Event

A fun evening celebrating the holidays, the 4th Annual Momtrends Holiday Event was another successful merger of content, quality brands and bloggers.

Thank you to our amazing sponsors:

Stella & Dot

Teleflora

Little Me

Lands End

I See Me

Walkers Shortbread

Duck Tape

Vermont Nut Free Chocolates

Apothoderm

Peanut Hottie

Good Night Darth Vadar, Chronicle Books

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Are you a brand, editor or writer in the NYC area?
To find out how to get involved or invited to a Momtrends event,

email Sherri (at) momtrends (dot) com.

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Holiday Entertaining and a Hampton Hotels Giveaway

It’s that time of year when guests will soon be arriving at our homes to share the holidays with us, so we need to start thinking about what our holiday entertaining plan of action will be! Even if you have the space to have guests stay in your home, they might enjoy having a little break from all the craziness going on at the holiday headquarters. That’s where Hampton Hotels comes in.

hampton hotels, holiday entertaining, giveaway, hampton

The Hampton Hotels brand, including Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites and Hampton by Hilton, is an award-winning leader in the mid-priced hotel segment, serving value-conscious and quality-driven travelers. A budget friendly property that you know guests will be comfortable at is clutch! High-quality and consistent accommodations and amenities, such as free Wi-Fi and free hot breakfast, and the latest technology and innovations, such as multi-unit Power Cubes and the brand’s signature Clean and Fresh Hampton Bed®, combined with numerous locations globally have made Hampton a leader in its segment and one of the fastest growing hotel brands worldwide. And with over 1,900 properties totaling more than 186,000 rooms in 14 countries and territories, it’s a good bet you’ll be able to find a Hampton Hotel in your neck of the woods.

Even if you do decide to set up a little retreat for your guests away from your home, there are still plenty of ways to make them feel welcome while you’re playing the part of their holiday hostess. Hampton partnered with entertaining expert Jenny Steffens Hobick to bring you some fabulous holiday entertaining tips. Here are some of my favorites…

Be prepared with lots of snacks: We all get a little grouchy when we’re hungry – adults and kids alike!  Anticipate those moments by having snacks planned for afternoons and before dinner to keep everyone happy.  Be sure to include fresh options like fruit and crunchy veggies, along with filling cheeses and more decadent treats so you have something for everyone!

Post the plan: I post a schedule for everyone to see so they’ll know what to expect during their stay.  Don’t overbook your guests, schedule plenty of free time for them to do their own exploring or relaxing.  Channel your local Hampton front desk concierges and be your guest’s hometown concierge by providing them with a list of activities to do in the area. 

Make time for exercise and fresh air: We all feel better with some fresh air in our lungs. I’d be lost without my daily exercise to clear my head and invigorate my spirit.  Invite your guests on a walk with hot coffee (or hot cocoa!) and everyone will feel refreshed!  Suggest an evening stroll through your local neighborhood to check out the holiday decorations.  Guests at Hampton can also get energized and make time for a workout as most locations boast fitness centers and swimming pools.

Make time for resting: The holidays can be very exhausting – especially for your guests who have traveled near and far.  Make sure to schedule down time for resting in the afternoons or early evenings.  An afternoon nap can feel like an indulgent treat for exhausted guests.

Big breakfasts: Serving a big breakfast in the morning seems to make everyone happy!  When we host guests, I prepare big bowls of fresh fruit for nibbling on in the morning, and then make some fresh waffles because really, who doesn’t love waffles?!? Hampton offers a free, hot breakfast every morning with fresh-baked waffles – the perfect thing to get your day started!

Stock up on extras: Don’t forget to stock up on extra necessities like shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, contact solution, and other toiletries that guests tend to forget! Take a cue from your local Hampton and anticipate everything that your guests may need and put a basket chock full of products right in their bathroom or bedroom.

Plan fun games: The best memories over the holidays are when everyone is relaxing, laughing and having a great time.  You can help orchestrate these moments by planning fun games in which everyone can participate.  You can host an Ugly Sweater Contest, A Christmas Carol Sing-Off, or Gingerbread House Competition during one of your “at home happy hours.”

Prepare: Do as much preparation in advance as you can.  Plan menus around recipes that can be made ahead of time –   freezer-friendly, one-dish meals like lasagna, or a hearty-braised beef stew are great options when serving a crowd.  Run a supermarket sweep a few days before for toiletries.  Do your own laundry before guests arrive, so that the washer and dryer can be available for them, if necessary.  The ultimate holiday hosts know that being prepared is the absolute best way to make your guests feel welcome in your home because you can actually enjoy them while they are there!

hampton hotels, holiday entertaining, giveaway, hampton

So, who’s ready to send their guests to a Hampton Hotel? Well, one lucky Momtrends reader is going to win a one night stay at any Hampton Hotels location in the United States!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And while we’re on the subject of holiday entertaining, Momtrends is hosting a Hampton Holiday Twitter Party today, 12/17/2013, at 1 PM EST! Join us won’t you?!? The Twitter Party Prizing is (5) Be My Guest Cards for a one (1) night stay at any Hampton Hotel. Make sure you RSVP to be eligible to win! Connect with Hampton on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Hampton

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Hampton

Instagram: http://instagram.com/hamptonality

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Momtrends was compensated for this post, but the opinions expressed are our own.

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Holiday Entertaining with Momtrends

Holiday Entertaining

A few days ago Momtrends held our 4th annual holiday soiree. Held at the Roberta Freymann showroom in TriBeca, the event brought together a group of lifestyle bloggers and editors to celebrate the holiday season as they learned to entertain in style. The event kicked-off where bloggers dropped of coats and goods to Baby Buggy, an organization that helps families in need.

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Holiday Entertaining

Guests then mixed and mingled in the beautiful showroom with a glass of Anna de Codorniu. As Spain’s leading budding, Anna is a delicious sparkling wine that is perfect for the holidays. It is also considered an “everyday wine” that features a delicate aroma with its notes of citrus, grapefruit and lime. Guests also learned how to effortlessly wrap their wine bottles thanks to Papyrus who showed us to cut properly and use ribbon for a beautiful presentation. Check out this video for more details.

Holiday Entertaining with Momtrends

Holiday Entertaining with Momtrends

Holiday Entertaining with Momtrends

Holiday Entertaining with Momtrends

The event kicked-off with Telefora where Marie Ackerman, vice president education, Teleflora shared their holiday entertaining tips. She spoke of the three places to decorate including front door,(the initial welcome is warmer and the goodbye is sweeter!),the mantel in the room where you spend the most time and the dining table. She also shared the hot holiday trends with some of the top ones being gifts that have a personality including novelty items that bring a warm smile to the grumpiest faces! (bears, snowmen, candy canes). She also said red gifts are big including shiny reflective surfaces, glowing candles, art glass vases and bowls as well as taking iconic elements from the past and incorporating them with new colors and flowers to make a modern holiday statement. Additionally, being a plant company she also mentioned how incredible flower and plant arrangements are great gifts for host/hostesses, teachers/coaches, service providers, business clients and co-workers.

Holiday Entertaining with Momtrends

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We then tasted some delicious and healthy options from Welch’s. As a family-farmer owned company, Welch’s is renowned for their grape juice but they also have an incredible line of frozen fruit, juice ice bars and smoothies for entertaining.

Monica of So Family showed us how easy it is to make the smoothies. The products are a great way to ensure that you are kids are getting your vitamins and antioxidants over the holidays thanks to their assortment of high-quality frozen fruits.

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Holiday Entertaining

Next up we learned more about the incredible holiday finds from the Roberta Freymann showroom where you can find everything from dressers to on-trend items of clothing. Inspired by her travels and exploring, the Roberta Freymann line features a range of whimsical and bright colors that are exclusive to her line. For the holidays, the team at Roberta Freymann suggested some great gift options including their coasters, hand-painted ornaments, chic bagsscarves, beach bag and gorgeous 7-foot beach blank that was featured in NY Magazine.

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Guests also had the chance to have your look updated for the holidays with the GlamSquad where we learned how braids and buns can make you look fabulous. We also learned more about the GlamSquad team and how they can bring their beauty professionals right into your home – making this an amazing resource for us busy moms.

Holiday Entertaining with Momtrends

Holiday Entertaining EVent

Our event also included a visit from Santa who was donning a complete Fruit of the Loom sweatshirt. Guests had fun taking pictures with Santa and checking some of the soft and functional fabrics from this classic brand.

Holiday Entertaining

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Guests also filled their bellies with delicious bites from Cabot, sandwiches and a tasty spread from Nocciolata before departing with a goodie bag full of gifts, including skin smoothing products from Vitabath and an awesome insulated Mason Jar mug by Aladdin,  plus lots more from our generous sponsors!

An incredible evening for both the bloggers and the brands, the Momtrends holiday event was a great way to connect and develop relationships as well as have fun and learn about style and entertaining tips for the upcoming holiday season.

You can see more highlights from the event by checking out the Momtrends Video Recap on YouTube.

Thank you to our amazing sponsors:

Roberta Freymann
Telefora
Welch’s
Anna de Codorniu
Baby Buggy
Fruit of the Loom
GlamSquad
Vitabath
Aladdin
dENiZEN
Cabot
Nocciolata

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Are you a brand, editor or writer in the NYC area?
To find out how to get involved or invited to a Momtrends event,

email Sherri (at) momtrends (dot) com.

 

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Tips for Entertaining in Apartments

Entertaining Tips

‘Tis the season for holiday parties and home entertaining – and, for those who live in apartment homes and like to host friends and family during the holidays, this means it’s time to start prepping and looking for ways to maximize your space as well as master home entertaining logistics. Do you have enough seating for all the guests you’d like to invite? What types of decorations does your apartment building allow?

Apartment Guide – the guide for finding your ideal place to live – has complied a list of holiday entertaining tips for those who are celebrating the season in a new apartment for the first time and may need a little help navigating this time of year in their new place.

Check out more of the Apartment Guide Tips on how you can navigate holiday celebrations in small spaces.

Prep for Holiday Decorating: Decorating for the holidays is half of the fun, but before you deck out your apartment with festive decorations, speak with your property manager about your building’s policies as some may affect balcony, wall, lighting and tree decorations. For example, most buildings allow real Christmas trees as long as the tree is treated with fire retardant spray. Some buildings even offer free tree spraying!

Make Space for Friends & Family: Don’t be afraid to rearrange furniture for the evening to maximize space and increase seating. Often kitchen tables are against walls; moving these tables to the center of the room will allow you utilize all four sides for seating during parties. In addition, move unnecessary items that take up floor and counter space (e.g., magazine racks, bookshelves, cookbooks, etc.) into your bedroom, so that there’s more room for guests to stand and mingle!

entertaining in small spaces, apartment entertaining

Storage Solutions for Holiday Supplies:

  • Tuck away holiday linens and decorations in storage ottomans or benches to maximize space and de-clutter your closet
  • Check to see if there is extra storage space available in your apartment building or consider renting a space through a storage facility, since you only use these decorations once a year – perhaps go in on a space with a friend!
  • Sick of storing gift wrapping paper in hard to reach places? Check out this  gift wrap organizer – perfect for your apartment closet .

In addition, to help those who may be searching for a new apartment before the holiday parties begin, Apartment Guide looked at their listing data and put together a list of top metros for apartments for holiday entertaining. To compile this list of top metros, Apartment Guide looked at amenities that make party hosting easier, such as a dishwasher for easy cleaning after the party, a microwave for reheating food you prepped the night before and an island kitchen for more prep and dining space.

Top 10 Metros for Apartment Entertaining This Holiday Season*

1. Denver, CO
2. Phoenix, AZ
3. Seattle, WA
4. Tampa, FL
5. Houston, TX
6. Minneapolis, MN
7. Raleigh, NC
8. Omaha, NE
9. Jacksonville, FL
10. Huntsville, AL

*Methodology: Apartment Guide looked at their data for the top cities with apartment listings that included a balcony, island kitchen, dishwasher, washer and dryer in-unit, microwave and extra storage space. Please note the Minneapolis metro area includes St. Paul, MN and Bloomington, WI.

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Cookware Trends for the Holidays

Cookware, Anolon, food, holidays

With the holidays approaching, we were excited to attend the Food and Wine Festival last week to learn about the latest in cookware trends from Anolon.

Anolon Cookware Trends Anolon Cookware Trends

Featuring everyday cookware to specialized item for entertaining, Anolon featured a variety of pieces from their line including the Anolon Nouvelle Copper, Anolon Nouvelle Copper Stainless Steel, Anolon Tri-Ply, Anolon Advanced, and the Anolon Advanced Bronze Bronze. 

Anolon Cookware Trends

Another fun part of the Anolon’s booth was the “Recipe Remix” – a campaign that showcased how one recipe can be prepared in 5 different ways, reflecting the 5 boroughs of New York City. During the event I had the chance to meet with Chef David Bonom who demonstrated the various food items that were all prepared using Anolon cookware. This included delicious bites like Sesame-Hoisin Pork Sliders that represented Manhattan to Chipotle BBQ Pork Sliders that represented The Bronx.

For the holidays, I was excited to learn more about their pieces for entertaining with some favorites being the 12-Cup Holiday Pan, the 9 Inch Pie Pan and the 5-Piece Bakeware Set. I also loved learning about their 17-Inch by 12.5-Inch Large Rectangular Roaster with Nonstick Rack where you can cook everything like chickens and turkeys for the holidays. This also includes a nonstick rack that is oven-safe up to 500°F and easily cleans. Another fun piece for entertaining (and everyday cooking) is 4-Quart Open Risotto Pan with 13-Inch Wooden Risotto Spoon thats helps with the speed and interaction of the risotto through the cooking process.

Whether you are baking or cooking over the holidays, Anolon has you covered with their high-quality and innovative cookware.

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Momtrends was not paid for this post. We were given a ticket to attend.

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