Holly Jolly Playlist To Get You To The Weekend

 

  1. “Please Come Home For Christmas” by The Eagles
  2. “Carol of the Bells” by LeAnn Rimes
  3. “Candy Cane Christmas” by Darius Rucker
  4. “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow” by Martina McBride
  5. “A Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives
  6. “White Christmas” by Rascal Flatts
  7. “Meet Me Under The Mistletoe” by Randy Travis
  8. “All I Want for Christmas, Dear, Is You” by Travis Tritt
  9. “Santa Baby” by Kellie Pickler
  10. “Country Christmas” by Loretta Lynn

 

Holly Jolly Playlist To Get You To The Weekend

  1. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Little Big Town
  2. “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms
  3. “Up On The Housetop” by Reba McEntire
  4. “Old Time Christmas” by Randy Travis
  5. “Winter Wonderland” by George Strait
  6. “Where Are You Christmas” by Faith Hill
  7. “The Christmas Song” by Trace Adkins
  8. “Merry Christmas From The Family” by Montgomery Gentry
  9. “Let It Be Christmas” by Alan Jackson
  10. “Gold And Green” by Sugarland

Snack Like A Southerner: Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark
(sallysbakingaddiction)

Ingredients:
12 ounces (339g) high quality white chocolate, broken into pieces and divided1
6 ounces (170g) high quality semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces1
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vegetable, coconut, or canola oil
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, divided
3 regular size candy canes, crushed

Step One: "Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch or 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, smoothing out any wrinkles. Set aside." 

Step Two: "You can temper the chocolate or melt the chocolate without tempering. That is up to you. I melt the chocolate for this bark recipe. If tempering the chocolate, make sure the layers are never refrigerated. Allow them to set at room temperature. There are two ways you can melt the chocolate. You can use a double boiler over just barely simmering water or you can use the microwave. The double boiler is easier, but the microwave is a little more convenient for most people, so my directions are for a microwave. If you have a double boiler, you probably know how to use it! So, the KEY to melting chocolate in the microwave is to do it in small bursts and stir frequently. Chocolate overheats so fast, so easily. Melt 1/2 teaspoon of oil with 6 ounces of the white chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Melt in 15 second increments, stirring vigorously with a rubber spatula or spoon after each increment, until completely melted and smooth. Make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl to avoid scorching. Once melted, stir in 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract."

Step Three: "Pour melted white chocolate into the prepared baking pan, spreading with an offset spatula into a thin smooth layer."

Step Four: "Place the baking pan in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes or the freezer for about 8 minutes; or until almost completely set. If it sets completely, the bark layers could separate." 

Step Four: "Place the semi-sweet chocolate and 1/2 teaspoon of oil into a small heatproof bowl (or the double boiler) and microwave/stir in the same manner you did in step 2. Once melted, stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract."

Step Five: "Pour all of the semi-sweet chocolate over the white chocolate layer. Spread into a smooth layer. Place the baking pan back in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes or the freezer for about 8 minutes; or until almost completely set."

Step Six: "Place the remaining white chocolate and 1/2 teaspoon oil in a small heatproof bowl and microwave/stir in the same manner you did in step 2. Pour over the bark layers and spread into a smooth layer. (This layer will not have peppermint extract.)"

Step Seven: "Sprinkle with crushed candy canes-- to crush, I usually do it in a food processor or stick the candy canes in a sealed ziplock bag and roll with a rolling pin until crushed."

Step Eight: "Refrigerate the bark until completely hardened. Once hardened, remove from the pan and peel off the foil or parchment. Break into pieces as large or as small as you want. Alternatively, you can cut squares. To do so, remove from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature to slightly soften for 10-15 minutes. Use a very sharp knife and cut."

Thanks, Sally's Baking Addiction! 

For the Fancy Redneck On Your Nice List 2016

The holidays are quickly approaching. That means lots go shopping, gift wrapping, decorating, and making phone calls to relatives that you forgot you had. It's still a spectacular time to be had by all. 

Here's a simple gift guide to help you this season to buy for the fancy redneck in your life!

Gift Cards

Purchasing a Gift Card for someone can often times be misunderstood as impersonal, but let's be honest, Gift Cards are awesome for both the giver and the receiver. Gift Cards allow for people to buy someone a gift they will actually like via proxy.

CA$H MONEY

Yeah, this one is super impersonal, but seriously, for the college student you know, he/she will rejoice at having some extra spending money.

 

Redneck Couture

Shameless plug, but Redneck Couture has quality apparel and jewelry for the fancy redneck in you. We have released three new Boot Bling designs this year, and we have twenty different tassel color options--perfect for special occasions, bridesmaids, or matching school colors.

Amazon

Seriously. This site has everything. Amazon comes equipped with really useful suggestions, recommendations and deals as well. If you know your friend works out a lot, get them a water bottle that can also be a wallet. Does your mom love the idea of making spaghetti out of a zucchini? Boom get her a Veggetti machine that can literally turn any vegetable into delicious "pasta."

Veggetti Pro
(amazon)

Kangaroo Bottle
(amazon)

Etsy

If you're looking for cute, quirky, and crafty items for someone special, Etsy is the place to check out.

Money Soap
(etsy)

Tip:

Buzzfeed and Pinterest are great aggregators for Gift Lists. They have categories and lists for every single person on your list. Don't be afraid to give them a scroll.

Tip:

KEEP IT SIMPLE. More often than not, simple and useful gifts are pretty spectacular ones. If you feel that you don't know someone enough, or that someone has everything, you can probably just do something simple.

Tip:

Timing is everything. Shop on weekdays. This way stores aren't as zany and crowded. If you find yourself shopping on the weekend, go really early in the morning.

Tip:

I'm a really big Dollar Tree supporter. Go there. You can find everything you need to wrap this year: really cute wrapping paper, boxes, gift bags, gift tags, tissue paper, tape, scissors, etc.

Tip:

BUDGET! Come up with a "Nice List" of people that you plan on buying for this year. Then, come up with a budget. How much can you afford to spend on gifts this year? Then divide it up amongst the people on your list.

 

Tip:

Buy cards! If you aren't doing gifts this year, and even if you are, get cards for the special people in your life. Everyone likes a card, and it will make them feel like you were thinking of them.

Tip:

Free shipping is the best kind of shipping. Shop at websites like Redneck Couture, Mod Cloth, Amazon, Apple and even Target. Some websites require minimum purchase amounts to qualify for free shipping (like Apple), but more often than not, you're already going to be spending that minimum anyway. Also, stores like Walmart and Target allow for you to pick the items up in stores--so you don't have to pay for shipping.

Tip:

Organize your gifts. I'm the type of person that keeps her life in Excel sheets. Be organized when it comes to your shopping, because it will keep you on budget and on time. Make sure you know how much you're spending, where you're spending it, and what/who you are spending it on.

Tip:

Keep every receipt. Again, I do this for everything in general, but for the holidays I keep an envelope of receipts from my holiday shopping. This allows you to figure out when and where you bought stuff, and makes returns simpler. 

Tip:

Get gift receipts and put them in the boxes. This is especially true if you purchase clothing for someone.

Tip:

If the person has never mentioned it, he/she probably doesn't want it or need it.

Tip:

Make gifts! Don't spend more money on DIY projects than you would on the actual purchased item, but sometimes it's fun to make a gift with a personal touch. Pinterest has an endless amount of ideas.

Snack Like A Southerner: Pumpkin Dump Cake

Pumpkin Dumpcake
(livelaughrowe)

Ingredients:
29 oz can pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
3 eggs
4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
¾ cup melted butter
1 box yellow cake mix
½ tsp salt
1 cup pecans, chopped
Step One: "Combine pumpkin, sugar, evaporated milk, eggs, pumpkin pie spice and salt."
Step Two: "Beat well and pour into greased 9"x 13 cake pan."
Step Three: "Sprinkle cake mix over top, followed by pecans."
Step Four: "Pour melted butter over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes."
Thanks, Live Laugh Rowe!

Thanksgiving for One, Two and Across the Miles

Ah the holidays. They're the best for a lot of reasons: family, celebration, great food, gifts, decorations, light heartedness, and an excuse to have endless amounts of fun. However, the holidays can be a bit of a pain. They're expensive, sometimes complicated, and some people don't like their families, or can't be with them during the holidays. No matter what gravy boat you seem to find yourself in, this is a little tutorial guide as to how you can celebrate Thanksgiving all by yourself, with one special someone, or when you're far away from your family.

-Utilize allrecipe's serving size function.

(allrecipes)

This allows you to adjust recipes to fit the serving size you want! It's such a pain to follow and shop for a recipe that will make enough to feed a small village, when you really only need enough for yourself.

-Surf the internet for perfect recipes that fit your taste (and budget).

Make sure you cover all your bases from Pinterest to Buzzfeed for fun ideas for recipes from turkey, stuffing, desserts to drinks. Personalizing your dinner will be key to making cooking worth it.

-Just buy it.

Seriously. Just buy the food at your local grocery store or restaurant. If you're doing dinner for one or two, don't sweat the details too much. Buy a dinner that you know you will enjoy gorging yourself with. A rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and some instant mashed potatoes, and a premade pie from the bakery. Boom!

-Share and swap traditions and recipes

If you and your SO or best friend or roommate are spending the holiday just the two of you; or you're traveling and will be away from your family, trade recipes and traditions. This will allow for a touch of familiarity at your little dinner and make you and your dining partner feel at home.

-Make lists

Lists are incredibly important. List everything out to make life easier. Start with a menu. What do you want at your dinner? (Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, salad, vegetables, pie, etc.) When you're done making that list, consult (parents, dining partner, the internet) for which items to scrap, improve, or hack for an easier and yummier dinner. Make a shopping list! Grocery stores are absolute hell holes the last two weeks of November. Please be careful and plan accordingly. Finally, make a list of how you want the day to play out in order to keep yourself on schedule.

-Keep it simple.

Keep everything as simple as possible. Last year I had my first Thanksgiving on my own. My fiancé and I had just started living together and we were across the country from both of our families. We kept the budget at $50 and dishes to a minimum (both food and clean up wise). Make things disposable. The clean up was super easy because all we had to do was throw stuff out--much easier to clean up on a full stomach when all the clean up is is garbage!

-Take lots of photos

Document the day to share with the family and friends you won't get to see this year.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving! 

101 Reasons to Throw A Party

Here's a list of reasons to throw a rad rager, pleasant party, a great get together, or a humble hang out.

The Big Holidays:

1. New Years Eve
2. Valentine's Day
3. St. Patrick's Day
4. Easter
5. Memorial Day
6. Hanukkah
7. Independence Day
8. Halloween
9. Thanksgiving (Friendsgiving)
10. Christmas

Wedding Occasions:

11. Engagement
12. Wedding
13. Bridal Shower
14. Bachelorette Party
15. Bachelor Party

Family/Birthday Milestones:

16. "We're Pregnant!"
17. Baby Shower
18. Baby's 1st Birthday
19. Sweet 16
20. 21st Birthday
21. OMG You're 30?!
22. Over the Hill, 40th Birthday
23. 50th birthday
24. Month Birthday (Family members born in the same month celebrate on one day) 
25. Birthday

Other Holidays: 

26. Memorial Day
27. Mother's Day 
28. Father's Day
29. Mardi Gras
30. National Cookie Day (December 4th), or National Cookie Exchange Day (December 22nd)
31. International Beer Day (August 4th), National Beer Day (April 7th), National Drink Beer Day (September 28th), American Beer Day (October 27th)
32. International Hot and Spicy Food Day (January 16th)
33. National Chocolate Fondue Day (February 5th), National Cheese Fondue Day (April 11th)
34. National Fun Day (April 3rd)
35. International Beer and Pizza Day (October 9th)
36. Beach Party Day (August 7th)
37. National Cheese Lovers Day (January 20th)
38. Singles Awareness Day (February 15th)
39. Festivus (December 23rd)
40. Beer Pong Day (May 6th)
41. Celebration of Life Day (January 22nd)
42. National Flannel Day (February 10th)
43. National Country Music Day (July 4th)
44. New Friends Day (January 19th), National Make a Friend Day (February 12th)
45. Ice Cream Day (December 13th)
46. Let's Laugh Day (March 19th)
47. World Party Day (April 3rd)
48. National Pie Day (January 23rd)
49. National Pizza Party Day (May 19th), Pizza Pie Day (February 9th)
50. National Superhero Day (April 28th)
51. National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day (December 16th) 
52. National Hot Chocolate Day (January 31st)
53. National Homebrew Day (May 6th)
54. Drink Wine Day (February 18th)
55. New Beers Eve (April 6th)
56. Cinco de Mayo (May 5th)
57. National Cocktail Day (March 24th), National Fruit Cocktail Day (May 13th), World Cocktail Day (May 13th)
58. I Love Cowboys and Cowgirls Day (August 15th)
59. International Day of Awesomeness (March 10th)
60. World Bartender Day (February 24th)
61. National Pretzel Day (April 26th)
62. National Chips and Dip Day (March 23rd)
63. National Day of the Cowboy (July 23rd) 
64. Proposal Day (March 20th)
65. National Lager Day (December 10th)

Game Day, Award Shows, Cinematic Occasions:

66. Superbowl Sunday
67. The Kentucky Derby
68. March Madness
69. World Series
70. World Cup
71. The Olympics
72. Oscars
73. American Music Awards
74. Country Music Awards
75. Emmy's
76. People's Choice Awards
77. Grammy's 
78. Video Music Awards
79. Golden Globes
80. Reality Show Viewing 
81. Season or Series Finale
82. Season or Series Premiere
83. TV Show Marathon, Movie Marathon
84. Movie Premiere
85. Tent Pole Movie

Adult Occasions:

86. Moving Out
87. Moving In
88. Housewarming
89. New Job
90. Gradutation

Random Reasons:

91. You just want to get wasted.
92. Girls' Night
93. Boys' Night
94. You bought a new TV or gadget you want to try out
95. You're having a bad day and want to make it better.
96. You have gift cards to spend.
97. Family Dinner
98. New Pet
99. Cute New Outfit
100. Personal Milestone
101. Pregame

 

Snack Like a Southerner: Skinny Cranberry Bliss Bars

(skinnytaste)

Ingredients:
For Cookies:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour (Gold Metal)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, unpacked
  • 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped

For Frosting:

  • 8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 ounces white baking chocolate, melted*
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Step One: 
"In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and stir to blend."

Step Two:
"In another bowl, whisk the sugars with the butter, egg whites, applesauce and vanilla until light and fluffy."


Step Three:
"Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in two additions until the batter is very well blended. If the batter looks more “crumbly” than smooth, add just a drop of water at a time (ONLY if needed) until it smooths out."

Step Four:
"Fold in white chocolate chips and 1/3 cup cranberries. Spread batter onto the baking pan using the back of a measuring cup to smooth evenly."

Step Five:
"Bake 10 - 14 minutes, until the edges are light brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Don't over-bake or your bars will be dry. Let it cool completely on wire rack."

 
Step Six:
"Meanwhile, prepare the frosting; in a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until well-blended. Frost bars and sprinkle with remaining cranberries. Drizzle with the melted white chocolate."


"*To melt the chocolate, place in a microwave safe cup and heat 15 seconds; stir. Another 15 seconds; stir until the chocolate is melted."

Step Seven:
"When the chocolate sets, cut into 15 large squares (5 cuts by 3 cuts with the knife). Then cut each square in half diagonally to create triangles. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve."


 

DIY: Hot Chocolate Dipping Spoons

Hot Chocolate Dipping Spoons!
These are perfect as a last minute gift, Christmas dessert or just to enjoy around the fire with friends and family.

Step One:
Gather your materials-
-Spoons (these can be clear or any color you want depending on what you're going for--like red, green, white, etc.)
-Melting chocolate (color ones work nicely for display!)
-Caramel or butterscotch melting drops
-Marshmallows

Step Two:
Game plan. Figure out how many of each variety you want to do, what varieties you want to do, etc.

Step Three:
Melt and dip!

Step Four:
Cool in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes to make sure the chocolate hardens.

Step Five:
Wrap with clear candy wrappers or serve!

Snack Like a Southerner: Cheese Tree

(cabotcheese)

Ingredients:
-5 8oz bars sharp cheddar, provolone, mozzarella, etc. (You could replace one of the blocks of cheese with some pepperoni or salami)
-Fresh thyme sprigs
-Grape cherry tomatoes or olives
-1 mushroom

Step One:
Cut cheese/meat into cubes or slices.

Step Two:
On a large platter or cutting board, arrange cheese/meat, tomatoes and thyme into tree.

Step Three:
Peel mushroom and cut into a star pattern. Place on at the top of the tree.