Our Holly Days

November 28, 2014

Are You a Black Friday or a Cyber Monday?

As a stationery freak, I'll most definitely be hitting up Office Depot OfficeMax's sales today. This year, they're boasting their lowest prices ever & I'm just going to go ahead & take that as my cue to stock up on washi tape, labels, paper, markers, pens, & all things stationery!

Yes, I partake in the crazy Black Friday sales. My mother, sister, & I have made it our post-Thanksgiving tradition for years. For us, it's more about spending the time together just us gals rather than trampling people for the best deal. Although, this year we weren't able to be together, so I may just end up giving Cyber Monday a go. Which one are you? A Black Friday shopper or a Cyber Monday shopper?

With my previous years of Black Friday experience, I thought I'd share some of my tips on surviving the crowds, sales, & getting the best deals.
  • Get your caffeine fix: Our first stop is always, always, always for coffee or tea. You'll need all the strength to avoid the crazies.
  • Use ads to map out your routes: Try sticking to strip malls with a few of your must stop stores in one area. You can jump from store to store easier that way without losing your parking space.
  • Divide & conquer: Spend about 15 minutes in the store shopping & then have someone from your posse get in line. Those lines are forever long & you can take shifts as one goes shopping & the other holds the space in line. 
  • Steer clear of the unruly crowds: When I was pregnant with Evelyn, I had my heart set on these $3 fleece jammies. Apparently, so did every single other Mom on planet Earth. I was nearly trampled by women who were literally grabbing, pulling, & falling over each other to get a pair of these jammies. Not. Worth. It.
  • Be friendly & polite: So many people will be running around hurriedly & without concern for others. Breathe & remember to be polite to those around you. 
Black Friday can be fun & lighthearted, but also has proven to be a bit dangerous in years past, so please remember to always stay safe & be aware of your surroundings during this crazy shopping season. If you need a good laugh or way to de-stress when you come back home, why not Elf Yourself? See our family video below.

What are your best Black Friday shopping tips? Are you a Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopper? I'd love your thoughts in the comments below.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

November 27, 2014

16 Creatively Delicious Leftover Turkey Recipes

Tomorrow, there will be several of us who will look in our fridge only to realize we have piles of leftover turkey to deal with. My husband's company gifts their employees with a huge turkey each year. This year, ours was 23 pounds & with only the two of us & Evelyn home, we will have to get creative with how we use our leftovers. While you're filling your bellies with delicious bird today, here is an extensive list of 16 creative & delicious recipe ideas for your leftovers.

Savory Crepes with Thanksgiving Turkey & Stuffing via Butter with a Side of Bread

Thanksgiving Eggrolls via Fortune Goodies

Thanksgiving Cupcakes via Cupcakeando

Roasted Butternut Squash Turkey Tacos via Family Fresh Cooking

Turkey & Mushroom Quesadillas with Beer Pickles JalapeƱos via Cooking & Beer

Turkey & Butternut Squash Stew via Cooking Chat

Creamy Turkey Orzo Risotto via Family Foodie

Turkey Cranberry Chipotle Quesadillas via Boulder Locavore

Spicy Pasta with Broccoli & Turkey via Cooking & Beer

Turkey Chorizo Breakfast Hash via Brunch with Joy

Leftover Turkey Casserole via Super Golden Bakes

Turkey Noodle Soup via Pics & Pastries

Turkey & Waffles via Real Food by Dad

Creamy Chardonnay Turkey Crescent Braid via Krafted Koch

One Pot Cheesy Turkey Tamale Pie via Half Baked Harvest

Lightened Up Turkey Pot Pie via Happy Healthy Mama

For additional Thanksgiving leftover recipes, inspiration, & more, be sure to follow Our Holly Days via Pinterest.

Follow Our Holly Days's board Thanksgiving on Pinterest.

November 26, 2014

12 Christmas Apps You Need This Year

I'm a total app junkie. I can't help but love a well designed or useful app when I see one appear in the App Store. And as the holiday loving screw ball that I am, when an app is useful or fun for the holidays, I'm all over that business. I thought I'd share a few of my most used, played with, & beloved Christmas apps with you in hopes I can spread some holiday cheer to those screens of yours out there!

7 Christmas Apps You Need This Year

1. Reindeer Cam: This is by far my most favorite Christmas app to have on my phone. When I first discovered Reindeer Cam a few years back, my inner child was overwhelmed with joy. Ever since, I share the magic of Christmas with my kids via one of Santa's feedings. We love having it ready for the kids to check on the reindeer whenever they want.

2. The Christmas List: This app is a great gift giving tracker & list keeper. It is meticulously detailed down to categorizing groups of people, gifts wrapped, money spent, & more. 

3. Dr. Suess' Grinch Cam: This app is another annual favorite of mine. I discovered it the year Collin was born & enjoy using it every year when the holiday season arrives. It has several frames you can use, my favorite being the Grinch, of course!

4. Clear: This app is amazing year round, but especially during Christmas. Clear is a simple, well designed, easy to use app for list making. You can prioritize, set alarms, create several lists & more with this minimalist app.

5. Doodle Jump Christmas: I don't have much patience for games on my phone. They have to be quick, simple, easy to use games that I don't need to invest any time in. Doodle Jump is super fun, easy, & doesn't involve you in any additional things like connecting to Facebook or clicking on ads. It's a fast, fun, mindless game that entertains for a long or as little as you want it to.

6. Santa's Bag: If I had to choose a favorite from all the available Christmas organization apps, this would be it. It assists me with keeping track of every detail down to stocking stuffers. There is even a Christmas countdown & budget monitor!

7. Where's Santa: Come Christmas Eve, this app is handy for keeping track of Ol' Saint Nick. You can locate where he's been & even get an estimate of his arrival time in your home.

What Christmas apps are among your favorites? I'm always on the hunt for a great app or two! Share with me in the comments below!

November 25, 2014

Dream, Create, Inspire | W5

Dream Create Inspire Party

Welcome to our sixth week of the Dream Create Inspire Party! Hosting with Sarah, Alyson, and Tabitha has started to become one of the highlights of my week. In case you haven't heard, each week we want you to come and share your favorite creative blog posts from your own blog over the past week. Posts that you dreamt, created, and now inspire fellow creative minds with! To make this even more fun, and to help us all gain a bit of extra traffic, we would love for you to leave comments on one or two (or several!) posts from other blogs linking up. We will be featuring some of our favorites from all of your posts next week. Below, you will find our favorites from last week's linked up posts. This is a great way to gain some exposure from four fabulous blogs that will feature your content! I am looking forward to checking out all of your sure-to-inspire posts! In case you forgot, here are your lovely party hosts:

Dream Create Inspire Party Hosts

Come see what your lovely hostesses were up to last week: 2014-11-24_0009

And here are our top four picks from last week's link up posts:

Dream Create Inspire Party

Dream Create Inspire Party Guidelines

  • Link up posts that are diy, crafts, printables, tutorials, recipes, etc.
  • Leave a link to the specific post, and not just your blog.
  • You may link up to four posts each week.
  • Do not link up shops and other link ups, your entry will be deleted.
  • Add the button to your blog, or a text link directing back to the party.
  • Make sure to visit and comment on some of the other links.

Our favorites from Dream.Create.Inspire.
Follow Sarah Halstead's board Dream Create Inspire on Pinterest.

November 24, 2014

DIY Designer Pillows + a Chance to Win a Kit to Make Your Own!

This post is sponsored by Paint-A-Pillow. All thoughts, opinions, & ideas are my own. Thank you to Paint-A-Pillow for partnering with me. And thank you readers for supporting the brands that support this blog & my family.

Friends, you know I love a good DIY. They save you money, they're fun, & best of all, you know you're getting exactly what you want. That's why when Paint a Pillow contacted me to share their fabulous product with you all, I not-so-calmly screamed YES!!!

First, I have to tell you that any DIY project I can do with my kids in the house is instantly a fave. I loved that I could easily do this project with minimal mess & all while my kids were playing in the living room.

Before I started, I set aside ten minutes & a chocolate bar to watch the tutorial video made by Janna-with-the-dreamy-accent & bounce technique. Just watch, you'll see.

My Paint-A-Pillow kit (I ordered a Hedgehogs kit & a Herringbone kit) came with literally everything I needed to just pull it out of the box & start painting. That's my kind of DIY!

To start, just make sure your pillow is lined up with the zipper label at the bottom.

 These handy little tabs all along the outside secure your stencil to ensure it stays in place. Genius & effective!

Next, you simply pour your included paint into the provided tray & start painting. Brushes, roller, paint, & tray were all included. They could not make this any more simple!

 Once you're done painting over your stencil, simply open the tabs, & remove your stencil.

Look at how perfect my little hedgehogs turned out!

 At this point, the paint is still wet, so remove it carefully from the template & set aside to dry

 Once your pillow is dry, you can set it using an iron. Then stuff your (provided!) pillow into your lovely new case.

Taking the time to paint, create, & do something that interests me was calming. Even with my kids home while I did it. Who knew painting a stencil could be so relaxing!

I created these simple & modern designs with our bedroom remodels in mind. I'm currently mapping out a bedroom swap & remodel for the kids' rooms in 2015 & already new what direction I wanted to head for Aiden's room. That's where these pillows will end up eventually, but for now they look wonderful on our living room, don't they!?

If you're intrigued by Paint-A-Pillow or if you're just itching to get your hands on a kit of your own, you don't want to miss out on this opportunity. Paint-A-Pillow has offered to give one of my readers their own kit complete with pillow, case, stencil, paint, & all! To enter, use the form below. Complete tasks to gain additional entries. Entries will close at 11:59PM PST on December 1st, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow Our Holly Days's board DIYs on Pinterest.