Wishes Delivered through UPS

Thursday, December 17, 2015

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of UPS for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
The generosity and hearts of people around me this year have been so inspiring.  This year, my husband's coworker sent home a small slip of paper with him that turned into a great way for our family to give back.  He was joining his church in their wish that every child would have a gift this holiday day season.  They were filling shoe boxes to be sent off to impoverished countries filled with toys and hygiene items for kids. 
We joined in and created our own box with the kids.  Our wish is that every child have a box that would give them joy.  It was a lesson for my four year old who can't fully grasp how someone can have nothing.  She's grown up with all her needs met and more.  At first she was sour about having to get a present for someone she didn't know and nothing for herself, but once we started picking out items her attitude changed.  There is something about giving that changes your heart.  It allows empathy to enter and gives you an opportunity to think about someone else.  We sent our box to the head quarters where it will be delivered to a child in need.  Our wish was delivered for someone.  
This holiday season UPS is also spreading those wishes.  By sharing our wish on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #WishesDelivered, they are donating $1 one of their partner charities (Boys & Girls Club of America, World Food Programme, Toys for Tots Literacy Program, The Salvation Army, The UN Refugee Agency) They've also celebrated regular people who have made it their mission to spread love and joy to others.  Leslye is a beautiful woman who creates comfort scarves to donate to women's shelters.  This video truly touched my heart!  A UPS #WishesDelivered!
What is your wish for someone else his holiday season?  A dollar will be donated for every wish and photo wish shared with the hashtag #WishesDelivered!  This is a simple and great cause for anyone to join in.  What’s your wish?  Share it today on the  #WishesDelivered Site
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PINCH ME Who Wants Free Samples?!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

I don't know anyone who doesn't love a good sample!  Our family walks through a certain grocery store just to enjoy them.  Well, there is a new way to get samples and a variety of items to try that you already use!  I got my first Pinch Me box full of goodies an you're in luck because it is SAMPLE TUESDAY!  Today they are releasing a whole lot of new bunch of samples you could receive.

 Here's what came in my first sample box.  No need to enter a credit card or anything, you just take a survey so they know what items suit you and your lifestyle. 

I got some hygiene items to try.

 Some snacks and even a K cup for my Keurig.

How cure are these little splenda minis?!  

Our favorite sample was of course the nail polish.  Such a pretty color.  

It was perfect for the Hanukkah party we just attended. 

Want to get samples delivered to your door?!  Here's a sneak at what's coming this month:
Rejuvenate your skin: Nuxe Beauty Cream (Pick one of four!)
Freshen up: Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash
Get some extra sleep: ZzzQuil™  Sleep Aid
For your furry friends: Beyond® Grain Free White Meat Chicken & Egg Recipe Dry Dog Food

For expecting moms: Gerber® Good Start® Gentle for Supplementing Formula

Samples are available NOW!

  It's so easy to sign up and the survey only takes a few minutes!  Head over to Pinch Me today because today is the day all the samples come out for you to choose from.  All you have to do in return is tell them what you think about the products. 

So simple and so fun!  I love getting boxes in the mail and love the little products to try. 
Really appreciate you stopping by!  Until next time.

The Perfect Dessert Topper

Monday, December 14, 2015

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Hershey Company for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Our very favorite thing to do during the holidays is bake!  We put on the festive music, tie the aprons and get to work on those sweet treats.  Baking during the holidays is one of my favorite memories as a kid and probably my favorite to pass onto my own kids. 

This year I found the most adorable dessert topper.  The perfect little accessory for any cookie, brownie, marshmallow pop, cupcake.  I cannot get over these little cuties, HERSHEY’S KISSES Santa Hat Chocolates

You name it and these little buddies will add that special festive holiday touch! 

I found them near the checkout line and also in the holiday section exclusively at Target. 

We added them on top of marshmallow pops.  The kiddos had a blast making them and of course eating along the way. 

All you need are a bag of HERSHEY'S KISSES Santa Hat Chocolates, marshmallows, red chocolate melts, and lollipop sticks

Melt the red chocolate in the microwave or double boiler.  Get the items ready to assemble.

And put those little elves to work...

Dip the marshmallow halfway into the chocolate.  Then dip the stick into the chocolate and insert it.  Once the marshmallows are cool, dip the HERSHEY'S KISSES Santa Hat Chocolates into the red chocolate and put them on top. 

This little elf is a pro.  She's been baking with mama since before she could walk.  

While this little elf in training got a little distracted.  But how can you resist eating once you know what goodness is hiding inside these little Santa hats?!

So simple to make and in no time you have the cutest little Santa marshmallow pops. 

Now this next dessert is for those of you who love chocolate and mint.  If you are a lover of this combo, I'm about to knock your socks off with these HERSHEY'S KISSES Santa Hat Chocolates mint brownie bites. 

Mix up your favorite brownie recipe and load them up into a mini muffin pan.  Take some of these yummy HERSHEY'S KISSES Dark Chocolates Filled with Mint Truffle and press them into the center of each mini brownie. 

Bake and allow them to cool.  Melt some chocolate, dip the HERSHEY'S KISSES Santa Hat Chocolates and place them on top of the brownie bites. 

How much more adorable are these little bites with those Santa hats on them?!

Too cute and filled with the yummiest surprise!  This is truly a match made in heaven. 

They make the perfect little home made gifts for teachers, neighbors, family or friends.

On what would you put these little HERSHEY'S KISSES Santa Hat Chocolates? Get baking and you can Buy now !
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Hershey Kiss Reindeers

 Ever since she was about two, my little miss was helping me in the kitchen.  It's our family tradition to make and decorate sugar cookies every year.  She's a pro in the kitchen and helped me to make these adorable little kissable reindeer pops!  

Hershey Kisses
Pretzels [circle shaped]
Regular Pretzels
Lollipop sticks [optional]
Red candy for nose
Candy eyes

On a non stick baking pan, place the circle shaped pretzels on the top of the lollipop sticks. Place in the oven to melt the chocolate.  350 degrees for a few minutes. 

Push down the red noses into the melted chocolate for the nose and add the eyes.

For the antlers, cut the pretzels like so.  Discard the tops. 

Put more Hershey kisses into a little bowl and melt them in the microwave.

Dip the antlers into the melted chocolate and place them on the head.

Let the chocolate cool and harden.

Once it's cool, bag it, add some ribbon and put them in a mason jar full of kisses!  How fun would this be to give to a neighbor?  A reindeer for everyone in the family.  
Really appreciate you stopping by!  Until next time.

Warmth for the Homeless #Wisheselivered

Thursday, December 10, 2015

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of UPS for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's season of giving and everyone is getting their boxes and presents to wrap.  Stockings are being hung under the fire place.  Cookies to bake in the warmth of their homes, a time to spend with family and friends. But a friend of mine had others in mind.  Her beautiful heart was thinking of those in need.  Her wish for this holiday season was that no one would go cold in our home town as temperatures began to drop to the low twenties and thirties.  

Erica read this article about the homeless freezing and it broke her heart.  She is definitely a problem solver whose driven by love because she began a Warmth for the Homeless campaign on Facebook.
She rounded up everyone she knew and created an event to bring awareness.  She opened her home friends to start donating blankets, warm socks, mittens, hats, sweaters and anything that would make her wish that the homeless would stay warm this season come true.  What a beautiful woman she is! 
 People started dropping blankets to her front porch to be delivered.  The beauty of living in todays world is that any gift can be delivered no matter the distance.  Even though we live across the country, we were able to pick a blanket online and deliver a wish and to someone who would need it this winter.  
This season UPS is donating a $1 to one of their charity partners for every #WishesDelivered submitted through social media. Their charity partners include: Boys & Girls Club of America, World Food Programme, Toys for Tots Literacy Program, The Salvation Army, The UN Refugee Agency for everyone who shares their wish with the hashtag UPS #WishesDelivered.  Last year, our wish was that no child go without a gift and this year we stand with Erica and wish that no person go through this winter without warmth. 
Join in to help those in need.  Share your heart-felt wish on Twitter or Instagram  until January 1st with the hashtag #WishesDelivered.  You can aslo go directly to #WishesDelivered Site and share your story or one of someone you know, like Erica who is making wishes come true!  What’s your wish?
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A Holiday Full of Hugs and Kisses

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Hershey Company for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
There are three things I love about the holidays... making, sewing, and giving.  As the weather gets colder outside, my little apprentice and I are usually making something tasty, putting together little gifts, stuffing envelops, or decorating.  My favorite gifts are the ones that are home made and from the heart.
Making cards during the holidays is one of our favorite things to do.  My little lady loves getting involved in crafts and what a treat to receive something hand made.  This year we made the cards a little sweeter because it comes with Hershey's Kisses and Hershey's Hugs!   
I'm a big sucker for sending cards that have the kids hand prints and foot prints on them because I'm sentimental.  I think, their hands and feet won't ever be this little again!  So, we painted the little man's foot and placed it on the card.  I didn't realize how big his foot has grown in just a year!  Using glue dots we added eyes and Hershey's Kisses as the nose.
For the other reindeer version we used the little lady's hand.  We added teeny eyes and a Hershey's Kisses as the nose along with a bow.  I know the grandparents and great grandparents will absolutely love these! 
For the neighbors and our friends we did the mistletoe.  You know the rule, when your under the mistletoe you have to give that person a kiss!  I thought this would be a fun way to spread some sweet hugs and kisses around without getting the germs.  
If the kiddos are making this you can use paper to cut the leaves and glue them on.  I added a little texture to the card by using felt. You'll need three small pieces of felt, the card printout, some card stock for the back, and Hershey's Hugs and Hershey's Kisses
 I hand cut the leaves but you can print out a picture and use it as a stencil as well. 
I placed them where I wanted them on the card, then sewed one straight line down the middle.
Use glue dots to add two red Hershey's Kisses and Hershey's Hugs.
And in no time an adorable and yummy card to give. 
Why not give a little sweetness with that holiday wish?
You can use any of these templates to print out to create your own Hershey's Hugs and Hershey's Kisses Holiday cards.
This next craft is definitely one I hold close to my heart and will become our regular tradition.  Growing up, my family didn't have a lot of money and I remember only getting a mesh stocking full of candy for a few years.  That was it.  A red mesh stocking.  That candy stocking was such a treat, and I truly cherished it.  Decades later I can still remember.  Wow how times have changed!  This year, I wanted to recreate that stocking for the little ones to remind them that it's the little things that make life sweet. 
The stocking is really easy to make and is so adorable!  You'll need the following:
I printed out a picture of a stocking and used it as my stencil to cut the vinyl.  Label on stocking the front and one the back.
Sew the rectangle piece on the front so the right side is facing up and the rectangle piece on the back so the wrong side is facing up. 
Fold over to create a trim for the top of the stocking and sew.
Trim off the excess. 
Sew all the way around the stocking.  This makes it easier to attach the bias tape.
Sew the bias tape all around the stocking.
Cut a little piece of bias, fold over, and attach it to the right corner.
In no time you'll have the perfect stocking for those Hershey's Hugs and Hershey's Kisses
What I love about this gift is that you can customize it to each person in the family based on what they like!  My hubby likes Hershey's Kisses Special Dark Chocolates and Hershey's Kisses Milk Chocolates with Almonds. The kids like Hershey's Kisses Milk Chocolates.  I love the Hershey's Kisses Candy Cane Mint candies, Hershey's Kisses Dark Chocolates with Mint Truffle Chocolates, and of course the Hershey's Hugs.  
Play some Christmas music, lay out the hugs and kisses, and have the family help you stuff each stocking to pass out as gifts.  
These stockings guarantee a holiday full of hugs and kisses thanks to The Hershey Company
Which flavor is your favorite?
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