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Time is such a valuable commodity. We don’t know how much of it we have left and yet, many times, we don’t stop to appreciate and process this very important fact. The holidays are especially a time when we don’t truly think about the concept of time. You probably know why, but let me explain. Christmas is tough for some people because of worries about getting the perfect gift. However, this should not be positioned as the most important activity. The most important thing you can do is cherish your family and make memories that will live long after the toys have broken or grown old. After all, we never know what tomorrow will bring. In fact, I truly wish some of my loved ones who have already left this earth could be here for me to share a conversation and squeeze in an endearing hug. Without a doubt, I decided long ago that every moment of this holiday would be spent enjoying people and promoting the reason for the season.
In fact, Christmas Eve kicked off with a Candlelight Service at a local church. Then, when Connor got home, we played games and snacked. Afterwards, we watched a Christmas movie and crashed because we know Christmas Day is always packed with activity after activity.
As usual, Christmas Day started with our annual breakfast of pigs-in-a-blanket and a tall mug of freshly made coffee. We then opened presents and made calls and texts to family and friends. The evening closed down playing games and watching a family movie with some of our friends. Overall, it was such a wonderful day. I will end the day with this. I hope your day was wonderful and that you cherished those people in your life on this joyous day that only comes once a year.
It is almost time for Christmas! My family and I have been watching Christmas movies for weeks now and I LOVE our cozy and festive home. Looking out and seeing snow falling while sipping a warm beverage is blissful. Also, curling up under a blanket, enjoying some wonderful tea, and having a snack after exploring the cold outdoors is comfortable. Thus, I wanted to share my newest favorite “cozy time” drink and snack.
Normally, I drink Mighty Leaf whole leaf teas because of the many flavors and high quality (which is why you see this link featured on my website.) However, as I was perusing the grocery store aisle for ingredients to make a fabulous keto dessert for Christmas dinner, I came across a Bigelow brand tea that caught my eye! It is the Toasted Coconut Almond Bark flavor. I immediately thought – tea latte!
So, if you are looking for a wonderful afternoon winter tea and snack, the below coupling is pretty splendid. I recommend trying both of these whether you enjoy together or not. Happy Snacking!
Coconut Maple Tea-Based Latte
2 coconut maple tea bags, brewed
1-2 TBSP of Sugar Free Maple Syrup
¼ cup of Heavy Whipping Cream
Strawberry Shortcake Candies
1 17g Box of Sugar-Free Strawberry Jell-O (I can’t seem to find natural flavored gelatin here so may need to order online, but in the meantime, I have an option even though I don’t prefer foods with any artificial ingredients.)
1 28 g Box of Unflavored Gelatin
2 cups of heavy whipping cream
85% dark chocolate bar
Your favorite candy mold containers
For the latte, you will simply mix all ingredients together and sip. For the candies, you will put the whipping cream in a pot over medium heat. Add the Strawberry and plain gelatin and stir until mixed well. Then, immediately pour into the molds of your choice. For an extra bit of heart healthy dark chocolate, leave a little room in the top of some of your candies to pour 85% -90% dark chocolate! Put in refrigerator for approximately 10 minutes to harden and then place in your favorite glass jar in the refrigerator for quick snacking any time.
Christmas is the time for giving, sharing, and caring. I decided the best way to share some cheer was to host a cooking baking festivity at my house. I invited my immediate next-door neighbor, two neighbors from down the street (I met these two at my first neighbor’s home), and another neighborhood resident I met while walking McKinley the other day. Most of us frequently joke that we never make friends with anyone outside the neighborhood. This seems to be true, but we are open to making friends with anyone.
To kick off this event, I found some shiny invitations, filled these out, and dropped off to everyone like the neighborhood Christmas Elf. This was a full 5 days before the event because I made sure to text almost everyone about it as a “Save the Date” heads-up two weeks beforehand. However, call me old-fashioned, but I fully believe a hand-written note/invitation is still warranted and shows the person you think they are worth the time and effort. I sent out 6 invitations and only 4 ladies attended. (Invitation insert wording is listed near the end of this post, if interested in using.) Also, if you decide to host one of these yourself, you’ll definitely want to consider the fact that not everyone you invite will want to attend (or may already be busy.) Regardless of whether you require an RSVP, inevitably, people still won’t let you know whether they can attend. It happens.
Furthermore, I wanted everyone to enjoy some snacks and beverages while baking. I prepared snacks and a wine spritzer, but had plenty of non-alcoholic options too. My wine spritzer had white wine, pineapple-orange juice, diet sprite, and pure cranberry juice in it. I poured this in my punch dispenser until it tasted acceptable. (You can also add some club soda if you want.) Snacks to fuel all the cooking included: little smokies (which are mini sausages in a low sugar barbecue sauce), chips and salsa, mini French bread baguettes, AND a cheese, cracker, and fruit plate.
Everything turned out great! We had a wonderful time. Although, I believe it would have been helpful to share plans to avoid duplicating recipes. We were lucky. Even though there were two peanut butter items, there were no two identical cookies. We ended up making date balls, peanut butter fudge, peanut butter cookies, thumbprint cookies, ginger cookies with lemon icing, and snowball cookies. Also, I made fruitcake cookies the night before the party to free my oven for others’ items. In the end, I hope this post helps you plan your next ladies event! This would be a great party before Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or even before Thanksgiving.
Items to Purchase before the Party
Pretty invitations (1 month ahead)
Holiday themed tablecloth (2 weeks before)
Holiday themed plates and cups (2 weeks before)
Snacks of your choice (one savory, one sweet, and other snacks planned 3 weeks ahead)
Decorations (if you haven’t decorated already)
Gift bags and tissue paper (for everyone to take cookies home in)
Wording for My Invitation Insert If you are able to make it on __________, please bring your favorite cookie or candy recipe and the ingredients. (I will have plenty of eggs and milk.) I have a few pans we can use but if you happen to have a baking sheet, bring it as well. We will keep the oven busy! This festivity should be a fun one — no stress! We will learn from one another, share cookies, and socialize! I have already purchased bags and tissue paper for us to use to take home a variety of cookies for our family and friends. Also, I plan on having a yummy beverage for us all (with and without spirits) and a few snacks too. While not required, feel free to bring anything snack-wise or beverage(s) to share. Thanks, _____________.
Lastly, do not forget after the party is over, you can enjoy the cookies for up to 2 weeks during the holiday season. This is a win-win festivity.