I am a huge fan of a classic cheesecake recipe. Homemade cheesecake is actually one of my favorite desserts to bake! But we aren’t doing that today. Because the holidays are upon us and ain’t nobody got time to tie up the oven baking cheesecake. So instead, I’m sharing the easiest Christmas cheesecake hack!
The countdown to the holidays is officially on, friends, and by super popular request I’m sneaking in a couple more Christmas cocktails before all the merriment commences! Champagne cocktails are, of course, perfect for Christmas and also make the ideal New Year’s Eve cocktail. Might I suggest this blueberry bubbly sparkler? It’s the loveliest, tastiest champagne cocktail for either holiday…or both!
Wrapping gifts is one of my favorite things to do during the holidays! Each year I’m committed to the perfect wraps, ribbons and bows, because I really believe the care that goes into wrapping a gift is part of the gift itself! It’s amazing to me how a sweet and simple touch or two can make family so excited to open a package. Today I’ve rounded up 10 chic and cozy Christmas gift wrapping ideas, all of which have me totally inspired this year.
We have so many parties coming up and I’m 100% living for it, friends! We’re hosting three days in a row this weekend, a combination of cocktails and full scale dinners so I’m making my lists and prepping today so I’m good to go. Are you hosting this week? I vote you skip fancy hors d’oeuvres and go right for an epic Christmas cookie board served alongside champagne. That sad old cookie platter has nothing on us.
Some of you may remember that last fall we added a record player to our dining room, which is the absolute heart of our home. I immediately began stock piling Christmas albums on vinyl (duh) and it’s become a teensy bit of an obsession now for our friends to check out whatever new finds I’ve added into the rotation when they come over for parties or to play cards on the weekends. While I am still eyeing a bunch I want to buy this year, here is my current list of favorite Christmas albums on vinyl!
Making homemade gifts is one of my favorite ways to bestow a little love on friends during the holiday season, and I’m sure many of you know by now that I’m no stranger to a good gift basket. Gift baskets are fun because you can personalize them with thoughtful little touches specifically for each recipient. Also, people love getting baskets full of goodies to open and enjoy! Today I’m teaming up with Walmart to share this super chic DIY spa gift basket with you, along with a sensational little recipe for a homemade peppermint foot soak that is unbelievably good. You can buy all the items shown here, including the foot soak ingredients, right at Walmart so you can knock out one or a few of these baskets in no time for all the ladies on your “nice” list needing a bit of pampering!
Making homemade ornaments is one of my favorite holiday traditions and every year my ornament posts are some of your absolute favorites! These gold leaf ornaments from two years ago and these glitter confetti ornaments from last year are a couple of the top ranking posts I’ve ever shared in nearly 10 years of blogging. I love that! Obviously that ups the ante though, because each year I love to bring you easy, beautiful ideas that add a little joy to your holiday season and a little beauty to your tree. Inspired by the myriad of melted crayon crafts my favorite elementary school little people have been loving this year, but with a decidedly elegant touch, I bring you these stunning melted crayon ornaments! They may just be one of the easiest ornaments I’ve ever made, easy enough for the kids to help if you them, but they are absolutely gorgeous. Inexpensive, chic and homemade? Now that is my kind of holiday craft!
When we were kids there was something about the official Christmas cookie baking day that my mom and our good family friend used to co-host every year that was absolutely magical. As an adult my holiday baking tends to happen here and there in waves throughout the season versus on one specific day, but as a kid I looked forward to cookie day all year long. The peanut butter blossoms were my favorite to make then and they still are today! I was always in charge of unwrapping the Hershey kisses, rolling the dough balls in sugar and then smushing the chocolate kisses on just right. These cookies always show up on cookie trays this time of year, but I’m going to go so far as to tell you that these are the best peanut butter blossoms you’ve ever eaten, so if you need the best peanut butter blossom recipe to add to your cookie repertoire, you’ve come to the right spot! Keep scrolling because I am also linking up below to a handful of my best blogging friends and some of their favorite Christmas cookie recipes, too, so be sure to pop over and give them all a little love.
‘Tis the season for the most festive of Christmas cocktails and I’m serving up one of my new favorites! I’ve dubbed these frothy little concoctions sugar cookie White Russians and with good reason. They’re loaded with yummy vanilla flavor and topped with whipped cream, sugar cookie crumbles and sprinkles! This is the type of cocktail that is sure to wow your friends and makes the perfect addition to your hosting repertoire this time of year. I’m partnering with Walmart to bring you the recipe, which boasts my personal favorite vodka, Tito’s Handmade. (Any other Tito’s fans in the house?!) So let’s get to mixing, because this cocktail is going to make your actual sugar cookies at least a teeny bit jealous this year.
Designing pretty printable gift tags for readers is a bit of a tradition around here, in part because I love sharing my love of beautiful stationery and in part because I’m personally such a sucker for a well-wrapped gift. I absolutely love how a great gift tag can make even the simplest of packages feel so special and unique, which is a quality I like all of the gifts I give to have. Have you ever noticed how much more excited loved ones get to unwrap a gift that’s all decked out in the perfect ribbons and bows? People can tell when you take a little extra care wrapping their gift, making them feel even more loved, and for me that is what this season is all about. With that spirit in mind, I’ve teamed up with Staples to share the prettiest hand-painted printable gift tags with you! I collaborated with my amazingly talented bestie Erika Firm who took my ramblings about plaid and “traditional but modern” and turned them into a collection of nine seriously stunning gift tags all created by hand just for you.
Some of you may have seen on Instagram that I recently purchased a record player for our home and have started amassing a collection of my favorite Christmas albums on vinyl. I am a total Christmas music junkie and it’s what I’ve been listening to almost exclusively since the first week of November. I totally get it if you’re the type that prefers to wait until December, but for me it just makes the season when I am creating and shooting so much holiday content feel so much more festive so November it is! You guys loved when I shared my Christmas music favorites so much last year that I decided to update The Sweetest Christmas playlist with some additional selections for this holiday season, some old and some new. In addition to my growing collection of holiday vinyls, this is my go-to playlist and is, in my humble opinion, one of the best Christmas playlists you’re ever going to find. It’s got the classics, it’s got the modern classics and it’s got a few brand new songs that were just released this year. Check it out! Follow along on Spotify and let me know if you want additional playlists throughout the year, too. I’m happy to oblige! (Scroll down for a track list for those of you who don’t use Spotify.)
Whatever it is about the holidays, I become a total Instagram junkie this time of year. I guess you can call me a sucker for an excessive number of photos of Christmas lights, homemade ornaments and cups of cocoa. Like a good holiday movie, I just can’t get enough of catching a glimpse of how people are celebrating. Maybe it’s simply that seeing all the incredible joy this time of year inspires just makes me so damn happy. Basically, I’m a big Christmas season nerd and I can’t fight it! Today I’m sharing 10 seriously inspiring Instagram accounts you absolutely need to be following this time of year! Prepare yourself for an influx of gift ideas, recipes, cocktails and Christmas trees. While you’re at, be sure to give me a follow, too, if you’re not already! In addition to new posts I also share glimpses of favorite holiday posts from the archives, my personal holiday season adventures, and cute photos of my sweet little kid, too.