2020 has definitely been a rough year for everyone, and those of us with a small business are definitely no exception. The holidays of the past have often been the busiest time of the year for many of us, in large part due to holiday craft shows.
Many of those shows just won't be happening this year.
So we thought, why not host a virtual one? We can all hang out online for three days, have some giveaways, interact with and support cool small business owners, and get our holiday shopping done!
So... we are!
We will be hosting the 3 Winks Holly & Mistletoe Boutique this November 19-21, and we have teamed up with so many incredible vendors from a wide variety of businesses and shops. There's really something for everyone!
If you're interested in joining, be sure to join the Facebook group and turn on notifications so you don't miss anything.
Here's a list of our vendors!
Livvy Lou's Bow Shoppe
Polished and Purdy with Andrea
Jaci Hibshman with doTerra Essential Oils
Solo Wood Design
Lori's Card Creations
Tara Fritz with Rodan and Fields
Wreaths by Shalonda Alexander
Color Me Culturally Confident
Tara Fritz Art
Children's Culinary Institute
Baked in America
Plus one more surprise...
Typically, we only sell our hot cocoa bombs locally at craft fairs. This year, the Original Hot Cocoa Bomb will be available in our Etsy shop for the 3 days of the craft fair. Our available flavors will be:
These will be sold in packs of 4-12. Stop by early to make sure you get the flavors you want!
So who's excited? We definitely are! Will we see you there? Let us know in the comments!
This post contains affiliate links. I will be compensated for any purchases made through those links at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!
Are you cooking for a crowd this Thanksgiving and are you stressing out about pulling it off? Growing up in a large family and raising a large family of my own has taught me a few tips that I can share to help make your Thanksgiving meal prep much easier and successful. A little pre-planning can take the stress to a much lower level. Be sure to print off the free timeline printable to hang on your fridge to keep you on track!
Thanksgiving Menu and Recipes
First things first, make a menu and choose your recipes! If you decide that you want to try something new, you may want to give it a trial run, but do that early, before the real crunch starts. I suggest trying something that you feel pretty confident will turn out well and be a crowd pleaser. Also, it may be best to keep your new recipes down to 1 or 2 dishes. Traditional Thanksgiving recipes are looked forward to, comforting and expected by many and changing things too much could leave some people disappointed. A couple of new dishes added to the traditional can be surprising and fun! You might even start a new tradition. I wasn't raised with pecan pie growing up, but it is a tradition in my home now. Also, I can still remember the year pumpkin rolls first appeared and we have enjoyed them ever since.
Speaking of pies, we have a whole category devoted to pies on our blog. You can start with my mom's absolutely best crust recipe here and go onto the many other varieties of pies that are all delicious, here. For even more pie ideas, you can purchase and download our For the Love of Pie ebook. You might find a new, wonderful pie to add to your Thanksgiving dessert table this year!
If you are asking people to bring some of the food and drinks, be sure to make those assignments well in advance so that they have time to plan ahead as well. Especially if you are just asking for a general thing, like a salad or a dessert, they may want to have time to try out a recipe before they bring it. Or, they may need to budget into their budget the cost of ingredients. I would say that 2 weeks notice is a good amount of time and you can give a heads up reminder a few days before Thanksgiving.
Sometimes people already have an idea of what they would like to contribute, so it is good to be open to those suggestions and work around them. If your sister asks what you would like her to bring, you could give her a few suggestions and let her choose. Also, accept any offers from people who would like to come early and help!
Before you Shop
Before you head off to the grocery store, clean your fridge! I am lucky enough to have two refrigerators, so I have to clean them both. But seriously, you are going to need a lot of room. You will be bringing home produce, a turkey, butter, veggies of various varieties, cream, dips, cranberry sauce, pickles, olives...And then you have to plan on the leftovers! Don't forget that if people are bringing dishes to add to the feast, you will need a place to put any cold items that may need to be chilled until serving time. So, the week before Thanksgiving week, be sure to plan meals that do not generate a lot of leftovers. Then, get in that fridge and get rid of those little dabs of leftovers, throw out the old, expired condiments, flush away the "science experiments" tucked away in the back corner, and wipe everything down so that you have a nice, clean refrigerator. If you think that you may not have enough space for everything, break out or purchase a cooler to handle some of the overflow. This one on wheels would be great!
Another important thing to do before you shop is to take an inventory of what you have already and what you will need to make your planned menu. Do you have enough eggs? How about little things like sage or even salt? Do you have the evaporated milk for the pumpkin pie? Make a list and check it twice!
At the beginning of November there will be tons of good sales on all of the fixings for a Thanksgiving Dinner. (This is also a good time to stock up on canned goods for your pantry and to buy food for donations to food banks!) Check your ads! If you will also want a turkey for Christmas, get one now and put it in the freezer because the prices are at their best right now! Here are a few things to add to your shopping list that you may not have thought about:
Once you are finished shopping and have everything you need, make yourself a timeline of things that need to be done. Here is an overview of how I generally organize myself the week of Thanksgiving. Be sure to get the free Thanksgiving Prep Timeline below. Just press the button.
One Last Tip
Accept help! Let others put out the cranberry sauce, pickles, olives and other condiments. Allow someone to mash the potatoes, put out the rolls and butter. You can give instructions as you make the giblet gravy! Then, at last, it will all come together, everything will be hot and you will have a feast to be thankful for.
Keep an eye out for some basic recipes here on the blog to help you out with holiday dinners!
This post contains affiliate links. We will be compensated for purchases made through those thinks at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.
My son and his wife have moved an hour and a half away from us, taking with them 2 of our grandchildren! It isn't as bad as the ones who live 12 hours away in different directions, but it still kills me! So, I have determined that an hour and a half really isn't that terrible, and I am going to make that drive as often as I can to visit them, if only just for a day. The Grandparent adventure booklets that we told you about in this post are going to help me make those visits memorable!
These two particular grandchildren are ages 2 and 4, a girl and a boy respectively. I had the smaller books printed off for them because I thought that they would be great for their tiny hands. You can choose to print off a booklet that says "Adventures with Grandparents" or "...Grandma" or "...Grandpa." I meant to print off Grandparents, but accidentally printed Grandma, so I just wrote, "& Grandpa" on mine.
You may be wondering what I put in that Tupperware container!
Since my granddaughter is 2 years old, I know that she would love to bake and decorate cookies with me. We've done that at my house before. I've already made her a little apron to wear when she helps her mommy cook or when she plays in her play kitchen. One of the pages of the book suggests that grandparents cook together with their grandchildren. I decided that if I'm driving up there for an afternoon, we could spend a little bit of time just decorating the cookies, so I put together a cookie kit a gift that we can do together.
I put in the pre-baked sugar cookies, a container of my homemade frosting and some little packages of sprinkles. (I love those little $1 packs that you can get at Michael's.) I made sure to put in pink sprinkles because they are her favorite color! I packed everything in Tupperware to keep it all fresh and safe. I love decorating cookies with kids. They have so much fun. I wrote about my method of keeping everything somewhat organized when decorating with kids on this post.
My grandson, who is 4 years old, is a really good artist. He loves to draw and he enjoys having me draw with him as we watch Art for Kids Hub on YouTube. It is a lot of fun. One of the pages in the grandparents booklet suggests doing art with your grandchildren. So, I went to DollarTree and bought him a giant art sketch pad and some new crayons. I know that he already has crayons, but who doesn't love a nice fresh box?
The fun part will be that they will both want to participate in the other's activity, which will be great and we can color in 2 parts of the booklet that day! I'm so excited to get up there, see the new house and have some fun with these cute little ones! I'll try to remember to post pictures on Instagram!
Have you thought of ideas for experience gifts to give to your grandchildren? Share them with me! And head over to our Etsy Shop and pick up your own PDF Files of the booklet or the poster! They will be a great way to give Christmas gifts this year!
Lately I have been thinking about what to do on Halloween night. Because there aren't any parties going on with friends and it looks like trick-or-treating isn't really happening in my neck of the woods. I plan on having my kids trick-or-treat from door to door in our home among other ideas I posted for our Quaranween like crafts and costume contests. But I wanted something fun to wrap up the night. That's when I decided we could do a Halloween movie marathon!
When I started thinking of my favorite Halloween movies, I realized most of them are from Disney. Hocus Pocus, Halloweentown, Don't Look Under the Bed. Also my favorite Halloween shorts are from Disney too. Trick or Treat and Lonesome Ghosts are two Mickey and friends cartoons that I remember watching as a child.
This gave me the idea to make a list of all the Halloween related movies, shows, and shorts on Disney+ and share the list. Actually my original idea was a checklist, but there ended up being way more than I could include. The list contains all Halloween related movies and shows. It even contains memorable Halloween themed episodes.
You may notice that Disney+ has a Halloween collection on their search page. Our lists overlap some, but mine doesn't include some of what's on theirs because I didn't find it to be Halloweenish. And mine includes things that aren't on their list because I felt they were iconic Halloween episodes (I'm looking at you "And Then There Was Shawn" the ICONIC scary episode of Boy Meets World).
I also Included Coco and the Day of the Dead episode of Lizzie McGuire. I know they're not Halloween themed (well actually the Lizzie McGuire one Is a cross-over) but I love them!
I also couldn't include all the Disney Jr episodes, so I left it at Vampirina.
I hope this list helps you to celebrate Halloween. You can curate the perfect list of what to watch on Halloween with your family and not miss any of your faves.
I have the list in a printable format and on Instagram we'll be sharing a template for your IG story.
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!