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.


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

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

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Holiday Decor Ideas

Candy Wall Arts Decal

My girls and I have been enjoying decorating our house this week. While we can’t wait for the tree we started the fun by decorating with the super cute (and festive) decals from
WallCandy Arts. Featuring Christmas trees, candy canes, dancing reindeers and snowman, kids will have a blast arranging and rearrange our very own holiday scene.

WallCandy Arts Decal

We tested out the Design Your Own Snow Woman decal where we created our own fashionable snow gall complete with a hat ad jacket. Featuring 31 decals to stick and rearrange, I love that they are all BPA and phthalate free as well as that they are easy to peel-and-stick – making it easy to move around the decals.

Candy Wall Arts Decal Candy Wall Arts Decal

Other favorites for the holidays include the Candy Cane Wall Decals, Holiday Lights Christmas Wall Decals and the fun Merry Tree Wall Decal.

The beauty of the decals is that it offers the kids a chance to get involved with temporary results.

Momtrends was not paid for this post. We were given a sample.

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Deck the Halls Pinterest Fun

pinatoz holiday

The holidays are here and it’s time to decorate. This week we’re inspiring you to make your homes look festive and bright to welcome in the holidays.  We’re pinning images with the theme “Deck the Halls” and we invite you to join us in the letter D. We’re on our fourth letter of the  #PinAtoZ concept and there’s no stopping us now!

If you are new to #PinAtoZ here’s how it works.  Andrea Fellman and I are hosting a year’s worth of Pinterest fun. We won’t stop until we get to Z! Every two weeks we select a theme inspired by a letter of the alphabet and invite our friends and followers to join the #PinAtoZ extravaganza!

What can you expect? Amazing pinterest images. Super fun social engagement and oh, the PRIZES!

D  is for Deck the Halls

Deck the Halls. It’s how we remind ourselves to be cheerful and bright. A festive home helps welcome in the season. Click here to see our Deck the Halls pinterest board. And if the amazing images weren’t enough we’ve got a $100 Marshall’s gift card to give away and help you get some new holiday decor!


Here’s how it works:

On Monday, November 18th at 10am PST / 1pm EST. Andrea Fellman (@SavvySassyMoms) & I (@momtrends) will pin for 1 hour together to the #DecktheHalls board and you are invited to join us.

In addition to Pinterest, we’ll be tweeting with the hashtag #PinAtoZ to let everyone know about the fun.


Keep going! From the 18th through the 22nd continue pinning anything and everything having to do with the theme Deck the Halls. Whether it’s a photo of your gorgeous mantle,  a great holiday wreath, instructions for a DIY ornament, or favorite centerpiece.. Anything goes!  Be sure to use the #PinAtoZ hashtag so we can see all your creative ideas.

To enter to win the Deck the Halls prize you must:

1.  Pin a Deck the Halls image using the  hashtag #PinAtoZ
2.  Leave your link in the comment section via the Rafflecopter form below
3.  Follow @savvysassymoms and @momtrends on Pinterest

Please enter through the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Full Disclosure: Winner must be 18 years or older and a US Resident. No purchase necessary. Winners will be notified via email with the specifics on how to claim their prize. Contest ends 11/22/13 at Midnight EST. Winners will be picked by rafflecopter. By entering this contest, you will automatically be signing up for the Momtrends newsletter.


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Newsday’s Annual Holiday Lights Festival Brings Winter Wonderland to Long Island


The 2nd annual Newsday Holiday Lights Festival kicks off on Friday, December 1ST with an expanded Winter Wonderland to explore. Visitors will enjoy more than 1,200 feet of illuminated holiday light displays including 58 brand new exhibits, as well as carnival games, crafts, photos with Santa, and the popular full size ice skating rink.


Presented by Bethpage Federal Credit Union and Lord & Taylor, the festival is open to the public every weekend in December. Ticket prices range from $4.00 to $8.00 plus tax. For every ticket purchased, $1 will be donated to Newsday’s Help-A-Family campaign, which helps Long Island families in need. Children 2 years old and younger can enter at no charge. For tickets, visit


Newsday’s Annual Holiday Lights Festival Brings Winter Wonderland to Long Island
Every weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday); December 1st through December 30th
Gates open from 6pm through 10pm
Afternoon skating is also available some weekends – for a complete listing, visit
Newsday Headquarters
235 Pinelawn Road
Melville, NY

Momtrends was not paid for this post

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