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.

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Teaching #Gratitude with a Thank You

HANDWRITTEN THANK YOU

Gratitude isn’t innate. It’s taught. So is the art of the personal thank you note.

Parents have to lead by example and model how to be gracious and receive with grace. A big part of that is giving thanks. Since it’s the season on giving, I carve time out to teach my children to look at each gift with joy. Someone took the time, money and effort to pick something special out for them. Even if they don’t immediately LOVE that new pair of long underwear, I expect them to smile, say “thank you” and send a note after.

Having kids write thank you notes is a must to teach them to be grateful. Here are some ideas in how to get them to write great notes of appreciation.

Personalized stationery makes all the difference in motivating your kids to write. Stock up and make sure some new notes appear under the Christmas Tree. Minted has TONS of adorable options that you can personalize. I’m smitten with the Sweet Hello cards and then the Animal Hello cards–those are especially nice since they have lines to guide the kids’ hands.

thank you note tips

Personalized holiday address labels by Mabels Labels. Pick from three limited edition designs for the 2015 season, we are partial to penguins, $12.99 for 100 labels. This plus some Charlie Brown stamps and your kids will love their stash of supplies for letters.

Don’t forget some fun pens. I love Le Pen for the precise tip and fluid motion.

This is not a sponsored post. We are grateful to our brand partners for providing samples.

 

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Trendy Toast: Six Recipes

trendy toast

Toast is cool again. Not just boring bread and butter, we’re talking healthy toast that’s topped with super foods. Chef Amie Valpone from Thehealthyapple.com shows inspired ways to stack your toast for breakfast, lunch, snacks or desserts. Lots of kid-friendly ideas too!

 

Momtrends’ YouTube channel is all about providing fashion and style inspiration to moms. From the trendiest fashions to the coolest gear to beauty trends, we want you to feel fabulous every day.

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Coloring Books for Grown Ups

Adult Coloring

Need to relax? Grab some markers or colored pencils and hop on one of our favorite trends–coloring. Check out some finds to get your creative juices flowing.

 

Shop EeBoo Metallic Pencils

Oaxaca Colored Pencils

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4th of July Mason Jar Decor and Trivia Game

4th of July Mason Jar Craft

Who’s up for some patriotic fun! Here’s a game to play for the 4th of July and a great way to jazz up your mason jars.

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DIY Cork Craft: 4th of July Flag Trivet

FLAG TRIVET

Fun and easy last-minute craft using all those wine corks you’ve saved up (yes, we know you’ve got em). Grab your glue gun, some paint and make a 4th of July trivet.

Momtrends’ channel is all about providing fashion and style inspiration to moms. From the trendiest fashions to the coolest gear to beauty trends, we want you to feel fabulous every day.

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I’m Glad You Asked: Demystifying Autism Mom to Mom

I'm Glad You Asked Video Series

Just in time for #AutismAwareness month we’ve launched a mom-to-mom video series. It’s a chat about what you want to ask your mom friends who deal with Autism every day. This is the first YouTube episode in a new series where we talk one on one with a mom who’s had to deal with a unique circumstance. If you head to our YouTube channel www.youtube.com/momtrends you’ll see it as our most recent video.

I really hope you watch. This series is about learning how to be a better friend and how to support your friends and family.

Momtrends’ channel is all about providing fashion and style inspiration to moms. From the trendiest fashions to the coolest gear to beauty trends, we want you to feel fabulous every day.

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Floral Designs Made Easy

floral designs made easy

To inspire floral designs and create a few of my own, I have been honing my creativity with my new Floral Design Toolkit.

Created by Sarah von Pollaro, a prominent florist whose designs have adorned the White House, the Kennedy Center, and the Macy’s Flower show, this kit is for the flower-challenged. Sarah wants to demystify the art of floral arranging so that anyone on any budget can experience the the joy of flowers.

The complete kit includes the essentials for floral design with floral clippers, floral tape, floral picks, floral wire, and bands, and a Kit Club access code which unlocks online videos on basic techniques, tips, and tricks of floral design.

My daughter and I loved creating our own imaginative designs with fruit and veggies thanks to the floral picks and old sticks thanks to the floral wire. I personally loved the tips with a recipe for homemade flower food, and bright, fun care reminders and floral basics that are included in the kit such as Flower Care 101, How to Make a Tape Grid, and even how a newbie, like myself, can make a Hand Tied Arrangement.

Following the simple instructions, I purchased some flowers from a local flower store and then started by angling the bouquet. Through the instructions, I then made a dome-like shape, cut the stems and held them together with the enclosed rubber bands. As someone who never complied an arrangement, it was that easy!

I also loved how the kit makes this process fun and inspiring as well as how it breaks how simple floral arrangements techniques can be. Not only easier, it is also a cheaper and personal way to go where you can experiment with various techniques and new flowers for less than it would cost to use a florist.

Through the kit, I was able to experiment and have fun with flowers while also learning and creating something unique. As a new skill, I am excited to test out floral arranging for parties as well as a personal arrangement to display in my home

The accompanying website, www.flowerempowered.com, is also a fantastic online resource. You’ll find a collection of ideas from holiday how-tos to tips on what vases are the easiest to use meant to provide continuous inspiration.

$20 Flower Arrangement

Sometimes going to a florist doesn’t make sense. For a recent party, I made this quick and easy sunflower arrangement for $20. Placing the flowers into the vase took me about 5 minutes and an arrangement like this would have cost at least $50.

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More Floral Design Tips

I always have vase on the table when I am entertaining at home.  I think of it as a thank you to myself for organizing an event.  And if it is a kiddie party it’s a nod to the adults in attendance that I care about my home. Here are my tips for using flowers as decor at a birthday party.

If you are on a budget stick to a single flower bunched together. I can always find relatively cheap tulips here in NYC.  I pick one color and buy a few bunches. At $7 a bunch it make a room come alive.

For kiddie parties, keep things colorful.  My little girl is always thrilled to come pick out flowers.  If there is time I take them to the farmers market.  My July-daughter likes sunflowers–perfect!

Bring your own vase. If you are using a florist, drop off a favorite vase or other decorative item.  Another idea for inspiration is to give your florist a copy of the invite so he/she can see the color scheme.

Get inspired.  The blogosphere is full of talented designers.  A quick search led me to Flower Duet.

Keep them fresh. Real Simple has a good list of tips.

flower arranging tips

 Momtrends was not paid for this post.
We were given a sample for the purposes of this review.

 

 

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Love Notes: Ways to Spruce up your Envelopes & Letters

personal and pretty envelopes

Add some art to your personal notes, invitations and Valentine’s. No more blah, boring envelopes. We’ve got 5 ways you can jazz up your envelopes to make the recipient thrilled to open your letter. Perfect for Valentine’s, party invites, birthday cards and holiday greetings. The five tips are easy and perfect for crafty kids or those who are NUTS about stationery.

 

Momtrends’ channel is all about providing fashion and style inspiration to moms. From the trendiest fashions to the coolest gear to beauty trends, we want you to feel fabulous every day.

Here’s where to find everything we talk about in the video:

TIP 1: Use gel pens and a design for addressing. We like Yasutomo Extreme Gel Pens

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TIP 2: Add a sticker (even a puffy one). We like these gold hearts for Valentine’s Day

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TIP 3: Add a printed envelop liner. We like these kits from Papersource

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TIP 4: Roll on some prints with a stamp roller. Get a heart rolling stamper on Amazon

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TIP 5: Invest in an elegant ink stamp for your return address.  We Papersource for custom stamp pads

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Setting a Holiday Table: White and Gold Tablescape

Setting a gold tablescape

Are you ready for the holidays? Are you doing any entertaining? Here’s some tabletop inspiration for you. We’ve used gold as a theme color and added some additional touches.

 

 

Momtrends’ channel is all about providing fashion and style inspiration to moms. From the trendiest fashions to the coolest gear to beauty trends, we want you to feel fabulous every day.

Here’s a close-up of the napkin. Head to West Elm for the napkins here and the Fishnet woven table runner here.

accordian fold napkin

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