Santa is Coming, Except Well..There’sThis…

The presents are ready, 
All wrapped with such care, 
Hiding in my bedroom,
Just ready to share.
But you see there’s a problem, 
Bubby’s awake. 
He won’t go to bed, 
This stress I can’t take. 
I’ve explained that St. Nick,
Can’t show up at all. 
There will be no presents,
No Christmas at all. 
But Bubby doesn’t care, 
He’s not interested in sleep.
He took a 2 hour nap,
And now I just weep. 
What’s a momma to do,
With a stubborn little boy?
I’ve threatened and begged,
but he just doesn’t care, OY!
I want to have a nice Christmas,
but so far it’s been crazy.
I need to wake up early,
but I fear I’ll be lazy.
This Christmas has been insane,
and it’s not even here yet.
He needs to go to sleep,
But he’ll be up for hours I bet.
I need to stay up, 
And keep Christmas alive. 
But I’m tired and hoping,
Bubby takes five.
Here’s hoping you all have a very Merry Christmas,
and that you get some rest.
Merry Christmas to all,
And I wish you the best!

Be Your Own Coffee House This Holiday Season with Nestles Coffee Mate

Let me put this out there. I adore coffee, as in 2 pots a day adore. Treating myself to a Coffee House Drink used to be a regular event in my life, especially during the holidays, because I’m spoiled like that. But this holiday season, I’ve been incredibly busy and just haven’t had time to stop by my absolute favorite major coffee chain for a hot Peppermint Mocha. And let’s face it, that can get pretty expensive anyway if you do it on a regular basis. A $6 cup of coffee and a sweet treat for the kids really adds up a couple of times a week.
But since I’m all clever and stuff, I had a brilliant idea during my latest trip to Walmart. Why wouldn’t I just use my favorite holiday coffee creamer, which just so happens to be Nestle Coffee Mate Peppermint Mocha, and try to knock this off at home and save a ton of money in the process? And while I’m at it, why not just pick up some other supplies to make some sweet treats for B and the babies? Genius at work right here! I couldn’t wait to get this party started.
I headed straight home, got everything out that I would need, brewed a pot of my favorite coffee blend, and got to work.
And I did it! Yes I know my coffee might not be as picture perfect as the average coffee shop drink, but I’m here to tell you, I actually like mine better. Do I like it because I can make this from home for a lot less money or for the flavor? A little of both actually. I was able to adjust my own recipe to suit my personal pallet. Lighter on the chocolate, heavier on the peppermint. SCORE! If you’d like to try Christy’s Coffee House Peppermint Mocha in your own home, here’s what you’ll need:
  • Your favorite coffee blend brewed to whatever strength you like
  • Nestle Coffee Mate Peppermint Mocha Coffee Creamer
  • Nestle Chocolate Syrup
  • Whipped Cream, the squirty kind
  • Crushed Peppermint
  • The prettiest glass you can find just to make it a fancy occasion at home
Pour the coffee creamer in the bottom of your glass, pour in your coffee (no need to stir if you do it in that order), squirt on the whipped cream, put as much or as little of the chocolate syrup as you’d like, sprinkle it with the crushed peppermint, drink, relax, and enjoy. So easy, so inexpensive, and oh-so-good! I figure the entire cup of coffee cost me roughly $1 and that depends on which coffee brand you enjoy. You could save even more if you use a less-expensive brand than I do. 
While I was enjoying my first cup of heaven at home, I was inspired to start baking for the babies. If you know me, you know this is something that I just don’t do. I can bake, I just don’t like to bake. If this was going to be an entire coffee shop experience, they’d need baked goods and I planned to deliver. I stepped totally out of the box (well not really, you’ll see in a minute) with this recipe and created something that I thought would fit my festive theme and hoped for awesome. 
I call these French Vanilla Candy Cane Surprise. Y’all, I am no Betty Crocker but the babies loved them and B snagged one this morning and sent me a text about how good it was. YAY ME! If you’d like to try these out, here’s what you’ll need:
  • 1 cup Nestle Coffee Mate French Vanilla Creamer
  • Any boxed white cake mix 
  • Vanilla Frosting
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup Canola Oil
  • Cupcake tin and cups
  • White chocolate candy cane candy (several available during the holidays)
  • Candy Cane Spinkles
  • Candy Canes (I sound like Buddy the Elf)
Follow the instructions on the box for the cake mix but instead of using water or milk, use 1 cup of Nestle Coffee Mate French Vanilla Creamer. Pour the mixture in the cups filling them half way, then push the candy down in to the batter, and bake according to instructions. Decorate as festively as possible and watch your family admire your awesomeness. 

I’m sure I’ll still visit coffee houses on occasion. It’s nice to have someone do the work for you for a change but it’s nice to know that you can recreate this experience at home and save a ton of money in the process.   
Folks, do try this at home! It wasn’t only yummy, it was actually really fun for all of us. Before heading out to Walmart, be sure to snag this coupon to save even more money on your Nestle Coffee Mate Creamer of choice. You can thank me later. 
Be sure to follow Coffee Mate on Twitter and on Facebook to stay up to date on new products available and to find other fabulous recipes and ideas.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®  and Nestle Coffee Mate. All opinions, ideas, and photos are entirely my own. #CBias #SocialFabric #ad #UltimateCup

Hickory Farms, Family Traditions, Last Minute Holiday Shopping, and Charitable Giving

Family traditions are important to me. Holiday traditions are imperative because these are the only times we tune out and focus on what really matters…our family!
You might remember a month or so ago, I reminded you that Hickory Farms can make any day a fun day. We had an amazing time enjoying our goodies from the Taste of the Trade Toolbag we received. Hickory Farms makes football games and family time seem somewhat nostalgic to me and that makes me incredibly happy!
But when I hear about people scrambling for “last minute” Christmas gift ideas, I always giggle. Last minute? Hardly! This is when I start every year. True story. 
So what to do. What to do? You’ve got distant relatives or friends left on your list? I’ve got the answer. Give them the gift of holiday traditions that brings back fond memories from their childhood and that will brighten their holiday spirit. There’s still time and Hickory Farms can help with a wide variety of gift baskets that will suit any family and any budget. Quality, freshness, and value are key traits of Hickory Farms. For more than 60 years, Hickory Farms has been providing holiday shoppers with options for tasty gift giving. In fact, their Signature Summer Sausage was rated #1 in America winning the Masters of Taste Gold Medal for Superior Taste in 2011.
Family Favorites from Hickory Farms (photo courtesy of Hickory Farms)

But wait! There’s more! Hickory Farms is totally in to charitable giving so by gifting to your family and friends, you’ll be helping others in need. They have partnered with Share Our Strength which is a leading non-profit organization that works to stamp out childhood hunger. For each Party Planner gift box sold this holiday season, Hickory Farms will donate $5 to SOS’s No Kid Hungry campaign. Through this program, Hickory Farms and its customers have already donated $1.9 million to this cause. How cool is that? Jump on the band wagon and put a smile on the face of your friend while helping a child in need!

Hickory Farms Party Planner Gift Box (Photo courtesy of Hickory Farms)

And as if that weren’t enough, Hickory Farms also has a partnership with Operation Gratitude. This is a national non-profit that creates care packages for military families. They offer 8 products with free shipping to military APO and FPO addresses, including the Home for the Holidays gift basket. 

Home for the Holidays Military Gift Packs (photo courtesy of Hickory Farms)

You should really consider this if you are a last minute shopper like me or completely forgot to pick up something special for someone on your list. Remember sitting around the table eating Hickory Farms sausage and cheese during the holidays with your family waiting for Santa to come as a child? Yea, me too. 

Bring that magic in to the house of a family on your list this year. It’s quick, convenient, and you never have to leave the comfort of your home! Spread the love, enjoy the season, and happy holidays to each and every one of you! Or as we say in my house…Merry Christmas!
Disclosure: Compensation and products for review were provided to me by Hickory Farms via MomTrends. As always, all opinions and ideas are entirely my own, and not indicative of the opinions of Hickory Farms.