The Reminder I Needed. Times Two.

She was truly lovely. I noticed her immediately. It was 9am. Orlando Airport. Slightly messy blond pony tail, long sleeve t-shirt and cargo pants, very little makeup, but the brightest smile and love painted entirely across her face.

I followed her eyes as they tracked two little girls  – a toddler and one just learning to walk…stepping, falling on her bottom searching upward for mommy and off to explore as soon as she sensed her world was safe again.

It made me smile, remembering those moments – the crazy of following two in the airport, keeping them entertained and happy and the stress of knowing the flight was still to come. I admired her ease, her clear love of her daughters and the pure joy that she seemed to have in simply following them, watching them experience the world around them.

As the girls wandered towards us, the littlest aiming for the closest electronics, mom swiftly intercepted her with a smile and a quick apology.

I smiled back, ‘No apology needed at all. Your girls are beautiful. I remember this time so well.’

She looked right at me, eyes filling with tears, “Thank you for that. I needed to hear that. This woman just came up to me to tell me I’m a terrible mother for letting my youngest crawl on the floor because she’s a nurse and the ground is disgusting”.

I looked right at her and said, “Then let me trump her with this – when we first walked by you I noticed how much you were smiling as you were watching your girls. Clearly they give you joy. And? Your older daughter keeps hugging your littlest one. Teaching them to love each other is amazing. That’s two incredible things you are doing right and two of the most important…so allow those to be the things you remember from today, not what that woman said to you. You are the furthest thing from a terrible mother. You are doing something extraordinary.”

I smiled and pointed to the ground I was sitting on…having given the only two available seats to my children, ‘Clearly, we can survive being on the ground….and we can wash our hands’.

Reminder #1 If you think something kind, say it. You just might have the words someone needs to hear.

I’d by lying if I didn’t tell you it infuriates me to hear that people – strangers – go out of their way to crush the spirits of other’s that way….especially a young mother. I wish I could say that I believed my words WOULD trump what was said to her, but I don’t know that they can erase the hurt of someone telling her she is a terrible mother. That stings. But I can hope.

She smiled. Teary. Grateful.We talked for a moment. All the while keeping an eye on those sweet girls. She IS doing something extraordinary. She ISN’T a terrible mother.

I watched her walk away.

And then my second reminder happened.

Delaney leaned forward and whispered to me, ‘I love to watch you do that, Mommy…..when you inspire people with your words’.

And I started to cry.

I started to cry.

Sure, it’s been a tough week. And I’m emotional.

I managed a smile, a ‘thank you’ and reached out to hug her. She followed it up with, ‘I hope when I’m older I know lots of people like you.’

Gosh, I hope she does too.

Reminder #2 Be the example: Live as the person I want my small people to grow up to be

All day long, I can tell them to be kind. All day long I can try to inspire them with quotes about ‘doing the right thing’, choosing kindness, keeping their chin up, loving their neighbor and treating others as they want to be treated, but nothing, absolutely NOTHING trumps showing them how to treat others.

Just as they see it when I lose my patience with reckless drivers, waiting in line, rude or unkind people….. they see and understand the opposite when I choose to be kinder than necessary.

I’d rather be the good kind of example whenever possible… as my sweet girl proved to me once again, those little eyes and hearts are watching and learning.

No Bake Cookies For Santa

I bake more during the holidays than any other time of year, so it is important that at least SOME of that baking is simple in addition to being delicious. This recipe is for the kind of cookie that flies off the plate – and even though, in our home, we like to make them for Santa, I do find myself policing my family to make sure we have enough left by the time Christmas Eve rolls around. Just you try them – you’ll see.

No Bake Santa Cookies

Ingredients:
1 ½ Cups of Corn Flakes
1 ½ Cups of Rice Krispies
1 Cup red M&Ms
1 Cup Mini Marshmallows
1 ¼ Pound White Chocolate
½ Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
Red Sprinkles

No Bake Santa Cookies

No Bake Santa Cookies

Directions: Combine Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, M&Ms, and Marshmallows, and a dash of sprinkles, set aside. Melt white chocolate in microwave (30 seconds at a time – stirring after each) or over a double boiler. Add peanut butter and continue to melt until both are blended. Pour marshmallow and peanut butter mixture to cereal – stir until fully coated. Add more red sprinkles until pleased. Put parchment paper on two cookie sheets. Spoon 2 inch balls of mixture on to cookie sheet, place in fridge until set.

No Bake Santa Cookies

Keep refrigerated when not serving.

No Bake Santa Cookies

Enjoy (and save some for Santa!) And don’t forget to leave Santa some extra special MILK (I’m thinking a milkshake…what do you think?)

Santa Cookies and Milkshake

And….if you find yourself wanting a delicious treat while you are lying around AFTER Christmas…maybe even in to New Year’s and while you’re relaxing while watching ALL of those amazing football games? This is the perfect recipe for you!

I can’t wait to hear what you think.

Disclosure: I’m proud to have Kellogg’s as a long time partner. As always, all thoughts and opinions shared are mine and mine alone.

DIY Photo Keepsake Ornament

HI Everyone!   It’s Kasey.  I’m back with another DIY for your Holiday Season!  Last week I shared how you can make the easiest Hot Cocoa in a jar to give to friends and family and today I’m back to share an equally easy gift – DIY Photo Keepsake Ornament.

DIY Photo Keepsake Ornament

This ornament is quite easy and the perfect gift for grandparents or as a keepsake for yourself!  Here’s what you need to make this adorable ornament:

DIY Photo Keepsake Ornament

1 Box of clear glass or plastic ornaments.
photo of your child
glitter
twine or ribbon

There’s only 3 steps that anyone can do!  Grab your kids and do this together for a fun crafty evening.

1.  Add a small amount of glitter to the inside of your ornament.  Just a shake is perfect.

DIY Photo Keepsake Ornament

2.  Carefully roll your photo up facing inward and place inside ornament.  You can take a pencil or something skinny and straighten out the photo to where you’d like it to be.

DIY Photo Keepsake Ornament

3.  Close up the ornament and tie either ribbon or twine on the ornament hook to be able to hang it up.

DIY Photo Keepsake Ornament

That’s it.  Do one for each of your children or even of your whole family as a gift for someone special.  Wrap in a pretty box or tissue paper and you have a wonderful Keepsake ornament.

#ForWhatMattersMost: Family, Time, the Traditions

 

Christmas Traditions For What Matters Most

Christmas Tree

Each ornament on the tree has significance for us. There are photos of my small people from the time they were born.

Christmas Traditions For What Matters Most

Some marking their first year of birth (by far, Cooper’s favorite is his very first.), our first year of marriage and our first home.

Christmas Traditions For What Matters Most

We purchase an ornament for every city we visit and every major life event including attending the 2010 Olympic Games.

Christmas Traditions For What Matters Most

Easily one of my favorites is this one below. It may not look like much, but it was made for me by my now 101 year old grandmother shortly before Alzheimer’s claimed her mind.

Christmas Traditions For What Matters Most

A new tradition for us as a family this year is dedicating one full day to local Christmas celebrations – just the four of us. That may be standard for many families, but for us finding a day that wasn’t already usurped by kid’s sporting events or holiday parties wasn’t easy… it was, however,  glorious. The magic of holding my kids’ hands while walking through holiday lights and seeing a real reindeer? I’ll hang on to those memories forever.

ChristmasTraditionsHolidayLights

ChristmasTraditionReindeerAnd finally – a tradition carried on from my childhood – the reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve. No matter how big they get….my small people still snuggle up next to their Daddy to listen as he reads….just as I did with my dad when I was little.
Holiday Tradition - Twas The Night Before Christmas

Amidst the crazy, the hustle, the bustle….it is these moments, these traditions that matter most in my family.

 TYLENOL® For What Matters Most™

What Matters Most is a question we often ask ourselves this time of year. For many of us family is a large and incredibly important part of that….clearly it is to me….and yet ‘family’ is celebrated and honored in so many beautiful and different ways. Because I love their message, I’ve partnered with the makers of TYLENOL® for the holidays this year who have decided to put a modern spin on Norman Rockwell’s classic holiday painting FreedomFrom Want….showing that while we may not look exactly like this painting, we still have the same love in our hearts.

Take a look at this sweet video – I’m certain you will be as touched as I am.

I’d love for you to join me in sharing What Matters Most to you and your family - you can pin the photo below to one of your Pinterest boards. The photo is of the Yee Hoshida family and they appear in the video you just watched above – part of the ‘modern’ version the Norman Rockwell photo and like you and I – celebrating our own versions of family, of tradition, of love and holidays.

TylenolWhatMattersMost

What matters most to you?

Disclosure: I have received information about the TYLENOL® For What Matters Most™ campaign from McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc., the makers of TYLENOL®. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post.

 

 

For the Love of the Game: Why We Defend Our Turf as a St. Louis Rams Family

If you know anything at all about me, it is that I am quite clearly one of the least athletic people you might know. But I live and breathe sports on a daily basis. I’m married to a former sports TV guy. My small people both play three competitive sports each – and LOVE it with their entire tiny beings – and I was raised by a man who watched his teams religiously year ’round.

As a little girl, I would sit with my dad on Saturdays and Sundays while he watched his beloved football, hockey and baseball…my focus at the time was initially fixing his hair just to spend time with him, but you’d be amazed how much a girl can pick up about field goals, first downs, interceptions and blocked punts just by being in the room.

That little girl grew up and while her athleticism didn’t much improve, her love of the game did.

This season something extraordinary happened with my family and I want to share a bit of that journey with you. You may have seen bits and pieces shared here and there on Instagram or Twitter, but as I wrap my brain around what this experience has meant to us, I think it is worth talking about how it has brought the four of us together. (Together? Weren’t the four of us already together? We’re a family, right? Yes… but bear with me.)

I’ll start from the beginning.

For their 2014 campaign, the St. Louis Rams decided to create a ‘Superhero’ theme titled ‘Defend Our Turf’  – aptly singling out some of their star players, Chris Long as ‘The Beast’, James Laurinaitis as ‘The Gladiator’ and Robert Quinn as ‘The Machine’. But, as their goal is to show families that the sport can be an enjoyable experience, they wanted to include a family as one of the centerpieces of the campaign.

Chris Long The Best Defend Our Turf St. Louis Rams

Robert Quinn Chris Long The Best Defend Our Turf St. Louis Rams

As I’ve done a little social media work with the Rams over the course of the past few years, Brian Killingsworth, the Vice President of Marketing and Brand Strategy called, told me a little about the campaign, mentioned they needed a family to complete the project. He asked if we would be interested.

Count my sports loving, football loving, St. Louis Rams loving family in.

ALL CAPS.

In the Beginning 

Know this: When we said yes, we had NO IDEA just what the ‘campaign’ would include. We were thrilled to be a part of what we thought was simply going to be 1-2 commercials and maybe a static advertisement supporting a team we loved.

We were giddy we were going to be able to start going to the games.

Keep in mind that I grew up in Los Angeles… then the home of the Los Angeles Rams. Doing my dad’s hair, watching and listening over his shoulder, asking questions as I grew to understand the game, I was a fan then…I was still a fan now.

My Rams moved to the Midwest with me.

All day, as we shot the spots, the vision became more clear, the kids were singled out for individual commercials. Cooper was a ‘beast’ as a mini Chris Long, even doing the ‘ Joel’ – his traditional sack celebration .

CoopTheJoelChrisLong

And Delaney was a small version of Robert Quinn, mastering the ‘Bernie’ – his signature move.

DelaneySTLRamsTough

We posed as Superheroes for what would become one of the centerpieces of the Defend Our Turf Campaign.

SmithDefendOurTurf

But in the studio that day, we were just having the time of our lives…had truly didn’t know. We didn’t know the campaign would be so big, so beautiful, so full of life and would hit a homerun on so many levels. We were given a sneak-peek just before it launched. To say we were excited was an understatement. Until that moment, we hadn’t fully grasped the vision. We hadn’t been able to picture ourselves as Superheroes. But there we were….Defending Our Turf.

DefendOurTurfPreview It was a campaign that continued to astound us with commercials (you can see all of them here) and then billboards.

STLRamsDefendOurTurfBillboard

And then it was the radio spots – ALL of them were voiced by my small people – which was, quite honestly, the pinnacle of this for me. Up until this campaign, my small girl had been mortified at the very idea of speaking in front of people she didn’t know. When she was required to do these voiceovers, she found a quiet, inner confidence I didn’t know she possessed and she NAILED them. As she sat, alone, in the sound booth, I watched a group of adults applaud her.

DelaneySTLRamsVoiceOver

And then this… in the video below, you can see her hearing herself on the radio for the very first time. Color me proud…watching your child develop some self confidence is a beautiful thing. Her radio spots give me chills every time.

Close to the end of the season, Brian surprised us with two more bits of fun campaign pieces: an ad in the St. Louis Rams Program.

St. Louis Rams DefendOurTurfProgram

And – probably the most exciting piece for the kids: our very own Topps Trading Card.

STLRams ToppsCards

The Campaign and Why it Works

I realize that I am biased, and I know that the St. Louis Rams did not have the season that we all hoped, but I love this campaign.

St. Louis Rams Defend Our Turf

Defend Our Turf does EXACTLY what the St. Louis Rams intended for it to do.

Defend Our Turf puts Family back in Football

St. Louis Rams Defend Our Turf Commercial

For the longest time, football has been seen as a predominantly ‘male’ sport. Men play it. Men watch it. Men love it.

But here’s the thing…I love it. As a woman, as a mom. My daughter loves it. My son and husband love it.

DelaneyMomSTLRamsSidelines

We love it as a family. 

SmithSTLFamsSidelines

By far my favorite experience is actually seeing the positive effect the campaign has had: As the spot airs in the Edward Jones Dome on the big screen, people would turn to us, families would turn to us, men would turn to us and ask, ‘is that you?’ and then turn to their sons and say, ‘did you see that little girl in that commercial? She’s right there. See? I TOLD YOU. GIRLS LIKE FOOTBALL TOO.’  I almost cried the first time it happened.

DelaneyNFLBallSidelines

And I’ve heard from people who don’t even live here in St. Louis that they LOVE the campaign – that involving families – everyday families – is GOOD. And I agree.

We go to the games. We are there early and we stay until the very end each and every time. Certainly this season has been unlike any other for us….my small people have been spoiled by the experience. They were beyond thrilled to meet Robert Quinn and Chris Long (and to do those signature moves for them just like they do in the commercials), but for me – I’ve watched my kids grow.

DelaneyCooperRobertQuinn

DelaneyCooperChrisLong

They are stronger, they are proud of this work they have done and will look you in the eye in a way they hadn’t previously. This has given them some extra self confidence, which is especially amazing for my small girl – the one who would previously struggle to make eye contact when anyone she didn’t know would talk to her.

The St. Louis Rams Football Experience

My family feels as though our St. Louis Rams season ticket experience has been like an extended family. We sit by many of the same people. We see many of the same people – around us, on the big screen, at the concession stands, even as we wander around the Edward Jones Dome.

There may only be eight regular season games, and the season may not have been the winning one we hoped to have, but the St. Louis Rams give you a fun, committed, exciting environment while you are there.

STLRamsThrowbackUniforms

From the team’s grand entrance before each game to the many St. Louis local restaurants that were added this year (think Crown Candy, Sugarfire Smokehouse and Strange Donuts) to hearing the regular chants begin to play and the ‘regulars’ chant right back to by far, one of my FAVORITE moments – honoring a Veteran from the Wounded Warrior Project – imagine a standing ovation for that soldier each and every game. It is chill-inducing.

STLRamsEntrance

There are free after-game concerts and, if you are like us, with a crazy full schedule, you can always split your tickets…enjoy some with your family….

STLRamsConcert

Bring Grandparents… (for this we bought a few extra tickets)

KidsMumDadSTLRams

Make it a girl’s day out…

STLRamsFriends

Or keep it as family time as we did for most games.

St. Louis Rams Jeff Danielle

DelaneyCooperSTLRamsJamesLSidelines

We have one more game to go this season and admittedly, I’m already looking forward to 2015.

I have to thank Brian Killingsworth and Lisa Boaz with the St. Louis Rams for having faith that my family would be good representatives for the team and for allowing us to be a part of this campaign for the season. We’ve had a remarkable time. We’ve watched the games from our seats and from home and have definitely done our best to Defend Our Turf.

 

 

 

 

Holiday Gift Guide for the Fashionista

Have a mom / sister / cousin / BFF who is all about clothes and fashion? (My friends and family should all be nodding yes right about now. ;) ) Then this gift guide is the perfect place to start your holiday shopping list! The clothes-crazed ladies in your life will thank you.

 

fashionista gift guide

If you’re looking for a pricey gift, you really can’t go wrong with a classic designer item. J.Crew’s Cocoon Coat is super-chic and comes in ten colors! A pair of riding boots are also perfect for cold weather. Tory Burch’s Bristol boots are a great pick, and they’re currently on sale! Even if your favorite lady doesn’t collect watches, a glamorous Michael Kors watch is a timeless piece of jewelry. And a classic Kate Spade handbag, like the Cobble Hill Devin, will work year-round, regardless of the season!

 

fashionista gift guide

If she doesn’t already own the popular J.Crew Herringbone Vest, your fashionista is probably lusting after it. Faux fur is also another great less expensive gift option. Vests or a snuggly warm snood are perfect for this time of year! A great pair of sunglasses is always a safe bet too. These tortoise shell frames from Michael Kors are perfectly on trend.

 

fashionista gift guide

If you’re on a budget or looking for a smaller gift, you can’t go wrong with cold weather accessories. An adorable hat or trendy plaid blanket scarf is sure to be a hit. And a little glitzy statement necklace is a great pick for a girly girl. Does your lady love all things monogrammed? Then C.Wonder’s zip top pouch that doubles a clutch is perfect! And they offer plenty of prints to match your fashionista’s wardrobe!

Easy Christmas Dinner Recipes

easiest-christmas-dinner

Friends….hosting Christmas is sooo much easier than Thanksgiving. Trust me. On Christmas Day, faith, family and, let’s face it, gifts take center stage, rather than the menu. On Christmas Eve or Christmas evening, guests simply want something cozy and sort of special to fill their bellies.

If you are hosting this traditional winter feast and are not required to follow a familial tradition, here are some easy yet fully festive ideas to try.

main-courses

MAIN COURSES

Prime Rib Roast:  I always think prime rib is to Christmas what turkey is to Thanksgiving. It is such a treat and beloved by all carnivores. You basically throw most of your holiday dinner budget at this big, beautiful beef and can scrimp on all other dishes. Jen Tilley of How to Simplify’s prime rib recipe is the bee’s knees and oh-so-simple to follow.

Grilled Moroccan Lamp Chops: Succulent cuts of lamb with exotic spices make it look like you slaved and slaved, when really you were reading your new book by the tree all day. Jamie Oliver’s strategy for the baby sheep is a winner.

Osso Buco: This veal dish is classic Italian feast food and has a richness perfect for Christmas. As usual, Giada breaks down the old school Italian classics for the kitchen cook.

Wild Mushroom and Port Brioche: Make your vegetarian family or friend feel special with their very own brioche, stuffed with fragrant veggies. You can even modify this for vegans.

side-dishes

SIDES

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon: Skip over all those other Brussels recipes and go with Rachael Ray’s easy, excellent dish.

Perfect Roast Potatoes: Every time I make Nigella Lawson’s truly perfect roast potatoes I find grownups and kids at the fridge later, devouring them from the Tupperware…on the off chance any make it to leftovers. These are waaaaay easier than mashed potatoes, although if you need to have those with your roast you can always make them ahead.

Christmas Soup: This one dish stew has sausage, kale and potatoes, making it a heavy side or first course, or a perfectly casual main course meal. It is the easiest Alton Brown recipe I have made but it tastes complex.

Creamy Parmesan Grits: Minimal ingredients, maximum comfort food! This pairs perfectly with a meat main course.

treats

TREATS

Campari and Blood Orange Cocktail: I love a signature cocktail at Christmas. It tempts those who only drink on special occasions with something worthy, and reminds everyone else to keep it classy.

Herb Coated Goat Cheese: Fresh herbs and cheesy goodness combine for the perfect savory delight. After lots of fudge and sugar around the holidays, this non-sweet treat will hit the spot. Serve as an app or after dinner (a cheese course is so chic, no?)

Buche de Noel Yule Log Cake: I do not often bake, but when I do I lean on Andrea’s Recipes for her clear directions and incredible-tasting confections! Her take on the Christmas table classic, the Yule Log Cake, is pure heaven.

Monster Cookies: You can find lots of fiddly, finicky, complicated Christmas cookies elsewhere. When you are pressed for time but nothing but fresh-baked Christmas cookies will do, Monster Cookies do the trick. Christy Jordan of Southern Plate’s recipe is almost identical to the one my grandma gave me.

What is YOUR go-to Christmas menu? Please share with us!

Chocolate Krave Peppermint Milk Shake

Ok, I admit it, we love Chocolate Krave Cereal.

It is not unusual for a box of it to disappear from our home in less than two days. That’s fair, I guess, when you consider that my husband and my daughter have both been known to go back for seconds AND to have it for dessert AND breakfast. In fact…as we roamed the grocery store aisles just yesterday, I asked my small girl if there was anything she needed…and she said, ‘Yes, Mommy…just one thing, Chocolate Krave. I only have one bowl left’. Admittedly, I’m impressed, not only that she had an answer to my question, but that the child who forgets to put her shoes and her backpack away each day knew EXACTLY how much cereal was left in the box AND knew enough to plan for the moment when she just might run out.

Krave has power as a double-duty cereal in our home, so I decided to see if I could give it yet another role: Milk Shake.

ChocolateKravePeppermintMilkshake3

In case you’re wondering? Success.

Chocolate Krave Peppermine Milk Shake4

Here’s how simple it is to make:

Ingredients:

1 Cup Chocolate Krave Cereal – Crushed

2 Cups Vanilla Ice Cream

½ Cup Milk (of your choice)

Whipped Cream (Optional)

Peppermint Garnish (Optional)

Directions: Crush the cup of Krave in a plastic bag using a rolling pin. Blend ice cream, milk and crushed Krave in a blender until smooth. Top with Whipped Cream if you so choose – we do. For the peppermint rim, wet the edge of the glass and touch it in to the peppermint sprinkles.

ChocolateKravePeppermintMilkshake2

Enjoy.

In our home – this is a not only a special treat around the holidays but we’ve decided there’s a big guy in a red suit who will be visiting soon who just might be in need of an extra treat.  The small people are excited to leave their new favorite for Santa with some extra special cookies we’ll be sharing soon. (Assuming Daddy doesn’t sneak down and steal it after the kids go to sleep!)

Disclosure: I have been a long time partner of Kellogg’s and am always excited to share new recipes, ideas and suggestions with you – ways to include cereal and milk in your world. As always, all thoughts and ideas are mine and mine alone.

Kiss 2014 Goodbye with CoverGirl and Rent The Runway #Giveaway


There is something magical about the moment the ball drops on New Year’s Eve. Your slate is wiped clean, you leave the previous year behind you and start fresh. You have a brand new year stretched out in front of you. You can make resolutions, or NOT. You can decide to make changes, vow to exercise, get organized, learn a new language, stop saying ‘um’, travel the world, unplug on the weekends….

Or not.

Maybe you put on your fanciest dress, your best lipstick, you grab your husband, your best friend or your kids and you…

Kiss 2014 GOODBYE. 

Not because it was an awful year. Not because you hated it (though maybe you did) but because the fresh air of 2015 represents new and beautiful and good.

And you love a good party.

I’ve long worried that New Year’s Eve can be wildly overrated. Much like Valentine’s Day, we expect it to be AMAZING, and when it falls vastly beneath ‘the-best-night-ever’, we are disappointed and worried the tone of the year-to-come will follow. I now believe New Year’s Eve is simply what you make it. It is a day, an evening, that allows us to relax, dream or party it up….the best part being – YOU DECIDE.

I, for one, will be with both friends and family and will be more than a little fancy this year as I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to dress up. I’m excited to have partnered with both CoverGirl and Rent the Runway to share some ideas with you about that fancy part. (and I have a super-fun giveaway – keep reading!) How fancy am I going to be, you ask? I’ve created a shortlist of fabulous dresses – from Rent the Runway – which just so happens to be my favorite place to rent the most glorious dresses. Naturally, you can find black tie, cocktail or even casual options. I’ve used them before for a little bit of everything. You can even create ‘shortlists’ or categories, for different events you are attending…like NEW YEAR’S EVE. Excellent. (which one do you like best?)

Rent the Runway New Year's Eve

And just last night, I sampled the lipstick I’ll be wearing for the evening – CoverGirl’s Colorlicious in Caramel Kiss ( I also love Sweetheart Blush and Coquette Orchid).

Danielle #KissedbyCoverGirl Caramel Kiss

Each lipstick is infused with shea butter – it lasted all night on me – amazing. There are 36 different shades (how do you ever choose?) and are all available in WalMart.#KissedByCoverGirl Colorlicious Lipstick

And because I love the opportunity to play Fairy Godmother to YOU as well, I’m excited to be doing a giveaway to make your New Year’s Eve extra fun as well. Here’s the deal – I’m giving away a CoverGirl Colorlicious LipStick AND a $50 Rent the Runway Gift Card.

How do you enter? Easy. Comment below and tell me what you have planned for New Year’s Eve AND either what CoverGirl Colorlicious Lipstick or which Rent the Runway Dress would be a perfect compliment for your evening. The comment is your mandatory first entry which will unlock other ways to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I can’t wait to hear what you have planned AND how CoverGirl and Rent the Runway will be helping you to Kiss 2014 Goodbye and 2015 hello!

Thank you so much for entering.

This contest will be open until 11:59pm on Saturday, December 20th.

Rules: No purchase necessary to enter. ExtraordinaryMommy.com is not responsible for prizes that are shipped from outside vendors or sponsors. All entries will be pooled together and one (1) winner will be drawn. The winner will have two calendar days to reply via email. Unclaimed prizes will be placed for availability to newly chosen winners after that time. Giveaway is open to all U.S. residents only, must be at least 18 years old to enter. One entry per person, entries accepted through Saturday, December 20th, 2014 ending at exactly 11:59 CDT. 

Disclosure: I’m excited to be working with CoverGirl and Rent the Runway to bring you the post and giveaway. As always, all thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone.

DIY Holiday Gift – Hot Cocoa In a Jar

Hi there.  Kasey from All Things Mamma back this month with another fun DIY for you.  This month it’s All Things Holidays for me!  I’m sharing my favorite Holiday related posts – so make sure to stop by to check out the latest.  Today, I’m sharing one of my favorite gift ideas – Hot Cocoa in a Jar.

How Cocoa Jar Gifts

OH yes! This is a fun project that you can do with your kids. It can be gifted to neighbors, teachers, grandma and grandpa and friends.  So much fun and it doesn’t cost much.  The good thing about this recipe is that you can personalize it to your taste with different flavors of cocoa by using different flavored coffee creamers. Today I used Peppermint Mocha – yum!  I love peppermint and chocolate in the Winter.  They just go together.

Here’s my simple recipe for making this delicious chocolaty treat.

1. Gather your ingredients: Baking chocolate, powdered milk, confectioners sugar, flavored (or plain) coffee creamer and mini marshmallows.

hotcocoa1

2.  Add 1 cup of powdered milk, 1 cup of confectioners sugar, 1/2 cup of cocoa and 1/2 cup of coffee creamer to a bowl. Mix well. Next, throw in 1/2 a cup of mini marshmallows and stir.

Hot Cocoa Jar Gifts Hot Cocoa Jar Gifts Hot Cocoa Jar Gifts

3.  Add the mixture to various Mason Jars.  I like all kinds of sizes for this – pints for a friend and quarts for a family. It’s completely up to you. This recipe will make about 2 quart jars and you can just double or triple the recipe to make a bigger batch.

Hot Cocoa Jar Gifts

4.  Decorate your jar with a pretty label, fabric or twine and add directions for use – Add enough cocoa mix for about 1/4 of your cup – fill with hot water or milk (I like it with milk) and stir well.

Hot Cocoa Jar Gifts

That’s it!  It doesn’t get much easier than this. The perfect gift to make with your kids and give as gifts. Everyone loves a hot cup of cocoa during holidays so you’re sure to impress.

See you back here next week when I share an adorable DIY Keepsake Ornament for your tree!