Our Holly Days

November 22, 2014

Fleece for the Family, a Warm Winter Staple for All!




This winter, the Sosa Clan is preparing to keep warm with our new Hanes fleece. Recently, we were each sent some fun new items from Hanes to style together as a family. Piecing together stylish, yet practical outfits was a breeze with the cozy new fleece. From chunky jewelry, to denim, to moccasins, we made comfort look good thanks to Hanes.

Jacob styled his new hoodie with a classic denim jacket, a slouchy beanie, retro sunnies, & beige slacks to create this hip look. Simmer down, ladies. He's all mine.



I styled Evelyn's Hanes fleece zip-up with her staple shoes: moccs, along with some fun leopard denim. If she would have let me, sister child would have also rocked a fab turban headband, but she has her own opinions on headwear these days.



For Aiden's cool new zip-up hoodie, I went surfer chic with rolled denim, some tan moccs, & a rad vest to top it all off. Tell me he isn't the most trendy four year old you've ever seen?



As for me, I went for stylish comfort in my trusty jeggings, a Hanes fleece pullover, & topped it all of with some turquoise. Adding a chunky necklace to a plain sweatshirt makes it a little more dressed up & put together, plus you'll get to stay warm & comfy!



I loved that each of these pieces were versatile & easily can be dressed up or down, keeping us warm while also providing a strong base for any outfit. I could have easily created three of four looks based on each piece. Nothing was bulky & was easily layered with accenting pieces without making anyone feel suffocated by fabric. The fleece were all really thin, but also super warm! My kids loved that there were no itchy tags & I loved that no one was yanking on their collars asking me to cut it out. Hanes fleece is an easy & affordable choice for the entire family. You can find out more about Hanes fleece & make your family's purchase here.

For more Hanes fleece inspiration & style posts, be sure to check out the hashtag #HanesFleece via Twitter & Instagram.

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

November 21, 2014

The Best Holiday Cards from Pear Tree Greetings

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

It's holiday card season! One of the reasons I enjoy this time of year is because my mailbox often holds special cards adorned with family photos, seasons greetings, & well wishes for a happy new year. The hand addressed holiday card holds strong in the era of emails & virtual well wishes. As a stationery lover who adores anything paper related, it makes my heart happy to display the cards we receive each year in our home.

As much as I love to receive paper & photo cards, I equally enjoy choosing & creating our family card each year. As a blended family, it can be quite the task since we are rarely all together & that makes family photos impossible. Pear Tree's creative designs allow me the freedom to include everyone in our card. Take a look at these three holiday photo cards I created with Pear Tree's gorgeous designs & templates:




This is only a fraction from their extensive design selections. I could have spent hours upon hours playing with their designs & adding in our family photos, & quips. I had to cut myself off late last night because I was so involved! Here are a few more of my favorite options from Pear Tree:


This holiday season, consider Pear Tree Greetings when choosing your family cards. The quality is supreme (this is our third year ordering through them!), the designs are absolutely stunning, & the options are endless; so there is sure to be something that fits your family.

Which of the holiday cards I shared today is your favorite? Which one do you think I ended up choosing? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Follow Pear Tree Greetings's board Pearista Ideas, Party Ideas & Inspiration on Pinterest.

November 20, 2014

Mini Butterscotch Chip Scones, a Warm Hug From a Far Away Friend




Scones always remind me of my bestie, Maria. Her ultra-Italian family introduced me to the little nuggets of joy when I was in high school. Since then, whenever I enjoy a scone, I think of her & reflect on the fond memories we created together as young women, navigating the insecurities of teenage-dom. We saw each other through bad boyfriends, pimples, & Honors classes then; and now through high risk pregnancies, new careers, & motherhood. Since I've moved, we don't keep in contact nearly like we used to, but our friendship is the easy kind that picks up right where it left off & I know whenever I need her, she is just a text or phone call away....or maybe even just a scone call away! Ha!

These mini butterscotch scones are absolutely exquisite. I found this recipe from the I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!® archives & just had to recreate it. Since I'm not much for raisins, I swapped them out for butterscotch chips much to my delight. The results were nothing short of divine.

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!® spread
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • sugar (optional, for sprinkling on top)


DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or spray heavy coating of non-stick cooking oil on each sheet.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, & baking powder.
  4. Mix in I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!® spread until mixture turns to coarse crumbs. 
  5. Add in butterscotch chips.
  6. Stir in milk until dough forms.
  7. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto baking sheets.
  8. Sprinkle tops with sugar, if desired.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.
  10. Cool on wire rack.
  11. Serve while still warm.




I created this recipe using the newly reformulated I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!® to test out just how well their reinvented product works. Clearly, I was thrilled enough to share this with all of you along with some helpful information on this new product.

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!® recently reformulated their recipe & is now made from real, simple ingredients that you will recognize, like a delicious blend of plant-based oils, purified water and a pinch of salt. It's also the first spread from Unilever in the US to be made from non-GMO sourced ingredients.* I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!® has 40% fewer calories and 70% less saturated fat than butter. The new formula not only offers ingredients you know & can actually read, but also offers a fresh butter taste to add flavor to any meal, and can be used for spreading, topping, sautéing, cooking or baking, which makes it a convenient substitute.


For additional recipes like this one, check out the I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!®archives along with the #TimetoBelieve tag on Twitter, Facebook, & Instagram.

*We source ingredients that are not genetically modified. However, in the field-to-tub journey of making our spread there is some contact with genetically modified vegetable oils, resulting in a small amount in this product. See our website for more information.

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

November 19, 2014

11 Car Organization Hacks for Stress-Free Travel


Traveling long distances in a car can be stressful. Add bored kids into the mixture & it can be a recipe for disaster. With the holidays around the corner, many families are gearing up for long road trips, family visits, & more, which translates into a whole bunch of car time. To make life a little easier, I've rounded up some genius car hacks that are sure to help you achieve a stress-free expedition.

1. Use a shoe organizer on the back of the front seat, like this one seeon on Decor-ganize, to store items. This can be great for snacks, toys, games, & even sippy cups.

2. Take a tip from Modern Parents Messy Kids, & keep a few extra napkins, utensils, straws, & more on hand in your glovebox to make eating on the go a cinch.

3. Use a crib sheet under the car seats to protect your car's upholstery. This idea from Kids Activities Blog is a genius way to keep your car crumb-free.

4. Create a Mom Emergency Kit like this one from Organizing Junkie to ensure you're prepared for everything from chapped lips to headaches.

5. Place your reusable grocery bags in a lidded bin, like this one from I Heart Organizing, for easy access & clean storage.

6. Put together a portable activity kit like Mama, Papa, Bubba's fun creation. This will most definitely ensure your kids are occupied & stimulated throughout your journey.

7. Engineer this clever bucket pulley system to deliver needed items to your children in the backseat. This genius idea comes from Kids Activities Blog.

8. Lookie What I Did cleverly repurposed this dollar store bucket for fast food organization while her children enjoy their meal.

9. Take a tip from Confetti & Other Fun & organize your glove box for easy access should the need arise.

10. Repurpose an apron, like My Frugal Adventures, to store your children's travel necessities.

11. This DIY car trash can by Cottage Gal Style is functional & pretty. There seems to be so much extra trash when traveling with kids & this makes disposing of it easy.

What car organization hacks could you share with me? I would love to hear new ideas in the comments below.

November 18, 2014

Dream, Create, Inspire | W5

Dream Create Inspire Party

Welcome to week four of our 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: 2014-11-17_0001

And here are our top four picks from last week's link up posts:
2014-11-17_0002

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.