mobile The Cocooners

7 Unique and Memorable Christmas Traditions to Start Now

Wednesday, December 13, 2017
If you are in a season of life with littles right now at Christmastime, you're probably here reading this because you want to know how to start a Christmas tradition that sticks.  Well, I'm here to help! 

Here are a few Unique ideas that will certainly make for interesting memories throughout the years:
  • Record the entire family singing your favorite Christmas carol.  Do this each year and play it back the next year.  Revel in the acoustic nuances as the children get older.
  • Have your kiddos make a handmade Christmas ornament each year.  My five year old made ornaments each year in daycare (since he was 5 months old!) so I have a nice collection.  If they don't make one in Kindergarten this year, we'll make one at home.  And I will for sure make one for Briggs (my 1 year old)!


  • I love Advent calendars, mainly for the candy, not gonna lie.  I mean, is it really an Advent calendar without candy?  Anywho, why don't you have your kids call a dear friend or family member to tell them Merry Christmas (or Happy Kwanzaakkah) each time they reveal their daily surprise (better be candy).  Young kids generally like talking on the phone and the person on the receiving end will appreciate that you are thinking about them.  Make sure to have a quick script for the kiddo in case they have to leave a voicemail.

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using the link. There is no additional cost to you. Thank you for shopping and supporting the blog.*

Below are some of the more Classic traditions you may already do with your family.  If not, they are popular for a reason so start them this year!  They are fun and easy:
  • Drive around looking at Christmas lights.  This is especially fun for toddlers.  When I was younger, my two favorite spots to visit in Dallas were Timberhollow Circle for the 12 Days of Christmas (Oak Highlands Estates - Lake Highlands) and Highland Park Lights (Armstrong Parkway at Preston).  I'm going to do my best to take Dax to see these this year.  A carriage ride in Highland Park sounds amazing!    
  • Buy new PJs for the family and let the kids open theirs on Christmas Eve for Christmas morning (tip: make sure you wash them first in case your kiddos have sensitive skin like my boys).  Matching family PJs are pretty festive.  We tend to just "coordinate".  But you do you, boo!  Here are some Pajama ideas to get you going.  Target has some really cute matching family pajamas!

  • Put up some mistletoe!  I don't see people do this often but it's a fun and sweet tradition.  Giving your sweetie or your kiddos some smooches will never get old.  Well, it might for them but that's part of the fun.
  • Read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve.  In fact, do what we do and read ALL the Christmas books in your home ALL month long.  And for the record, even if we read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve Eve, we still must read it on Christmas Eve.  Sorry for the overuse of Christmas but, you know, Christmas... 

*Honorable Mention:  If you are actually celebrating Christmas for real (for real), bake a birthday cake for Jesus.  Listen, half of our Christmas traditions have Pagan roots and really have nothing to do with Jesus.  And was he really born on December 25?  Doubtful.  But having a cake for Jesus and possibly singing Him Happy Birthday would be a modern way to remind you kids about what you are actually celebrating.  

Please share what your family's Holiday Traditions are.  The more ideas, the merrier.  Ha!

Don't forget to get your free Christmas Tags Printable clicking here!  Aren't they cute?!

Baby Briggs: 1 Year Milestones {Info-graphic}

Tuesday, December 12, 2017
My smallest bundle of boy joy is one year old today!  We celebrated with a small smash cake and Briggs was not very interested.  But he made a mess, as expected.

I made a sweet little info-graphic for his one year milestones.  I hope you can find some inspiration in this as well.  It really is a great way to capture your baby's first year in a simple yet meaningful way.


Happy birthday, Briggs.  Mom, Dad and big brother love you so much!!

25 Most Popular Gifts of All Time

Monday, December 11, 2017
Just in case you need some more Christmas Gift inspiration, I've compiled my 25 Most Popular Gifts of All Time (from The Cocooners Gift Guides).

These are items that I've gotten the most comments about, have received the most clicks and that have actually been purchased by some of my loyal readers (thanks for supporting the blog!!).

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using the link. There is no additional cost to you. Thank you for shopping and supporting the blog*


Click on any item above to be taken directly to the product {except for #19, the Stitch Fix gift card.  Click here for that}!

Also, check out some of my past gift guides below.  You're sure to find a gift that suits your needs or crosses off a name on your list!
{Most of these items are sold out but I loved this guide.  Too funny, if I do say so!}

Of course there are more great items and gifts below.



Crazy that the gift guide series will be wrapping up next week.  Christmas is almost here and then the New Year is around the corner.  I'm hoping to get out of the house with my man but that might seriously be wishful thinking.  Perhaps I'll dress up and get all sparkly even if we stay home.  I'm not kidding.

Would you dress up for a night in?

Wanted: Carrot Cake Balls With Cream Cheese Glaze

Friday, December 8, 2017
Christmastime is great for making sweets.  Lots of people bake cookies, have cookie exchanges and even full out cookie parties!  But cookies shouldn't get all the hype for Christmas.

Enter carrot cake balls.


They are so good and so incredibly easy, you will not believe it until you make them yourself!  I'm not sure why I couldn't find more recipes or Pinterest pins about these.  Perhaps because carrot cake tends to be a bit more moist than other kinds of cake so it doesn't lend itself to being on a stick like other cake balls or cake pops...?  I actually really enjoy the soft texture of these treats.  I don't dip mine in white chocolate because I just feel a cream cheese glaze let's the cake shine.  Speaking of the cake...

My mom makes THE best carrot cake.

Hands down.  Hands up.  Jazz hands, whatever.  It's the best.  But she sells her cakes so I didn't want to ask her for the recipe just yet.  Maybe we'll put it in a cookbook one day but for now, let's let her get her retired side hustle on and just use a box mix.  My favorite boxed carrot cake is Betty Crocker.  I've compared it to other brands and it seems to be the most moist and flavorful.  It still doesn't compare to my mother's and nothing will so I've come to terms with that.  However, for this recipe, I find that a box mix actually works better.  Nobody wants to mess with the pure awesome carrot cake goodness of my mother's cake.

So here I go again sharing another shortcut recipe (remember the Mac-n-Cheese?).  Don't judge.  Just make these and enjoy the serotonin boost.









Ingredients:
1 box carrot cake mix (Baked according to package directions) 
3/4 tub cream cheese frosting

Cream Cheese Glaze:
1/4 tub cream cheese frosting

Directions:

  • Bake cake according to package directions.  Cool.
  • In large bowl, crumble cake making sure to break up any big pieces.
  • Add about 3/4 of a tub of cream cheese frosting.  I used Betty Crocker (not pictured, sorry!).  Mix well until no crumbs remain.
  • Form "dough" into small 1" to 1 1/4" balls and place on cookie sheet.  You can cover the cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper before putting the cake balls on it if you want.
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Heat remaining 1/4 tub of frosting in microwave for 30 seconds.  Stir and microwave for 15 more seconds until a drizzling consistency.
  • Using a teaspoon, drizzle the glaze over the cooled balls (insert 12 year old boy laugh).  
  • Let sit until glaze hardens up.  Serve!

Are you going to stick to making cookies this year for Christmas or branch out and make other special treats?  I think next up for me is Cream Cheese Peppermints!

2017 Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers and Petite Presents

Monday, December 4, 2017
No worthy gift guide series would be complete without a roundup of stocking stuffers.

For this guide I also wanted to include small items that can go under the tree.  I just love the way small sized presents look mixed in with bigger ones.  And, I tend to buy our stocking stuffers much closer to Christmas so selfishly in doing research for this post, I actually got inspired to shop and not wait.


My aim, however, is to inspire you so I made this guide inclusive of different types of giftees.  You can click on the picture in the graphic to take you right to the item to shop!

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using the link. There is no additional cost to you. Thank you for shopping and supporting the blog.*


1 ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4 ~ 5 ~ 6 ~ 7
8 ~ 9 ~ 10 ~ 11 ~ 12 ~ 13
14 ~ 15 ~ 16 ~ 17 ~ 18 ~ 19

Happy December 2017 + Life Update

Friday, December 1, 2017
December is here!

*This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using the link. There is no additional cost to you. Thank you for shopping and supporting the blog*

~Sweater (under $25!!); Lipstick (fancy but awesome)~

For me, it really is the most wonderful time of the year.  This girl right here loves Christmas and all that it truly means.  Celebrating Jesus in the spirit of giving, peace, hope, joy and above all love, makes me feel warm and fuzzy.  My baby Briggs is about to turn one!  Dax loves Christmas too... still trying to get my Mr. in the spirit even half as much as me. He's gotten much better and more jolly through the years, especially after we had kids.  I think now that this will be my first Christmas as a stay at home mom, I may go a bit Holiday crazy.  And I'm absolutely ok with that!