12 Days of Christmas: What to get your pet for Christmas

I can already hear my grandma judging me, but I don’t have human children, so I get my pets Christmas presents!I know I am not alone in this!

If you are a weirdo like me, here are my pets’ favorite Christmas gifts. I know because they told me.

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To prove we are nuts, above is actually a professional photo of our cat. To be fair, though, this was taken when she was in the shelter. We adopted her the next month! You can’t tell me she doesn’t deserve a Christmas gift!

For our pets, we always get them toys and treats. Our cats really love these crinkly balls. They come in a 24 pack, but they will all be lost by February, don’t you worry. I also get them these Greenies treats for hairballs. They love them more than they need them really. It’s ridiculous.

Our dogs love to get these rawhide chews. We do not have delicate, gentle, soft dogs though. Our dogs all have beards and grunt when they eat, so you might want something like this if you have a dainty, lady-like dog. I do not buy Christmas themed treats, though. Often times, they contain harmful dyes that make our dogs throw up on the carpet.

Last year we got our dogs this gift bag, and let me say we absolutely loved it. It was worth every single penny. The toys also came in a really nice little tote that we still use today, even though the toys have long ago been buried or lost.

Yes, we are lunatics that buy our pets Christmas present, but we know we aren’t alone! Tell me below what you got your pet for Christmas!

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12 Days of Christmas: DIY Peppermint Lip Balm

Hey, guys! Christmas is approaching rapidly, but so are our DIY recipes! This is a pretty great recipe, if I do say so myself, and I have a very high standard for lip balm quality.

I really think you will love this product! The ingredients can be pricey upfront, so if you would like to try my DIY Peppermint Lip Balm, you can buy a tube here. It’s only 25¢, which funds future DIY endeavors such as this!

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This peppermint lip balm will sling you right in to the Christmas spirit, but you can use it all year long.

To make this recipe, you will need:
organic coconut oil ($7)
all natural soy wax ($26) – this will make a lot of lip balm! But you can also use it for candles.
Vitamin E Oil ($7)
Organic Peppermint Oil ($8)

In a small, disposable bowl, you will need approximately 1/4 cup of soy wax. You will add 1 tsp of coconut oil to your mixture and begin melting the wax. You don’t want to add all the ingredients at once, because the heat will take away the healing effects of the peppermint oil. To melt the wax and coconut oil, you can use the double boiler method or use a microwave. If microwaving, only microwave in 30 second intervals. Heat until everything is completely melted!

After your wax is completely liquid, you will add along 1/4 tsp of Vitamin E Oil and 20 drops of Peppermint Oil. Stir the mixture together and start pouring it into lip balm tubes immediately! This stuff sets up quickly.

Why these ingredients?

You have a ton of options when it comes to making lip balm. I chose to use a soy wax because it is completely vegan, and I had it on hand. It is versatile and so easy to make candles with. You could use bees wax as a base, but I haven’t had much luck with using bees wax and it is more expensive.

I use Coconut Oil to loosen up the soy wax, so it doesn’t have a candle consistency. You want your balm to glide on with ease, and the Coconut Oil provides this. Coconut Oil is also great for skin. It is a natural moisturizer, and it is safe to eat! You could substitute another natural, edible oil in place of Coconut Oil, but you would need to be careful with the consistency. Too much of a liquid oil would cause the balm to be too runny.

I use Vitamin E Oil to add additional moisturizing affects to the lip balm. You could omit this, if you wanted, but I love it!

Lastly, I chose Peppermint Oil because it provides that sting that I expect out of my lip balm. Sorry, guys, but I do not like lip balm that I can’t feel. This will tingle! The Peppermint Oil, and the tingle that comes with it, soothes my lips when they are dry and chapped. You might be able to replace the Peppermint Oil with another essential oil of your choice. Do make sure the oil you choose is safe for skin and face use; not all are!

I have replaced my once loved Burt’s Bees with this lip balm, and it is a close comparison! My husband even likes it, and he hates lip balm! Let me know if you like it in the comments.

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12 Days of Christmas: Easy “Work Party” Crockpot Recipes

I’ve got a work Christmas party tomorrow, but I really don’t have any time to actually cook something. I have to grade papers (insert teacher cry), fix dinner for my fam, and prepare for Christmas, which is only 5 days away!

Nobody – and by nobody, I mean me – has time to slave over a stove anymore. Crockpots are life! So, here are 4 crockpot recipes that will rock your work Christmas parties.

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Teriyaki Meatballs

Speaking of which, I will be making this for the party tomorrow! It is so easy AND delicious! I’m not even exagerating.

For this recipe, you will need:
– 2 bags of frozen meatballs ($10)
– 2 jars of teriyaki sauce – I use P.F. Changs ($7)
– 1 small can crushed pineapples ($0.77)

Throw all of this in a crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3. You will want to stir it every 30 or so minutes.

You will love this recipe. If you need to half the recipe, just go ahead and throw the entire can of crushed pineapples in. It won’t hurt anything!

Cocktail Weenies

This is technically my mom’s recipe, and she might get me for sharing it with you guys, but you deserve something good!

This tastes nothing like the BBQ and grape jelly recipe that has been floating around, and honestly, that grape jelly recipe doesn’t hold a candle to this. It really is that good.

For this recipe, you will need:
– 2 packs of little weenies ($7)
– 1 bottle of spicy BBQ sauce – this really adds a nice tang! ($3)
– 1 can cream of mushroom ($0.64)

Mix all of the ingredients together and cook on low for 4 hours.

To be honest, I hate mushrooms, but I never noticed they were in this recipe. This is a Christmas staple for our Christmas Eve dinner. I think you will like it, too.

Chocolate Poke Cake

Guys, my coworkers don’t even know I know how to make this, yet, but they will hate me for not bringing it tomorrow. This is another one of my absolute favorites!

For this recipe, you will need:
– 1 box mix of Chocolate Cake – prepared as directed ($1)
– 1 can sweetened condensed milk ($1.50)
– whipped cream ($2.50)
– caramel sauce ($2.50)
– Heath Chunks ($2.00)

All of these ingredients can be found at your local grocery store, and the Heath Chunks can easily be switched out for a different type of candy.

After you bake your cake as directed, poke holes throughout the entire cake with a straw. While the cake is still hot, pour the sweetened condensed milk and caramel over the cake. You will then let the cake cool completely, in the fridge. Once cool, top with whipped cream and Heath Chunks. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Your coworkers will love this recipe! If you are on a diet, you can use low fat sweetened condensed milk, which still tastes awesome! You can use light whipped cream or even sugar free whipped cream, and you can omit the candy on top to save calories. I have done my recipes both ways, and they taste equally incredible!

CrockPot Easy Chicken Spaghetti

This is a recipe I make regularly for dinner. It does require more hands-on work, but it will feed more people!

For this recipe, you need:
– 1 LB spaghetti ($1)
– 2 cans rotel ($2)
– 2 cans nacho cheese in a can ($3) – trust me!
– 1 large can of cream of chicken ($1.50)
– 1 rotisserie chicken ($5)

Shred and skin your rotisserie chicken, while your spaghetti is boiling. Once your spaghetti is finished, drain it, saving 1 cup of water. Add spaghetti, chicken, and water in the crockpot, and throw in the rotel, cream of chicken, and nacho cheese. Stir this up and cook on low for 3 hours.

This is a really easy, tasty take on the traditional chicken spaghetti. I like to bring it to dinner parties because it is so easy to make ahead of time and keep warm.

Tip: If you pasta starts to become dry, add a little bit of water to the mix. It won’t hurt it! And don’t forget to salt and pepper!

I hope you love these recipes as much as I do! Please comment any recipes you have used and come to love below!

12 Days of Christmas: Wassail

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Wassail is an apple cider based drink that my husband loves! He requested it at our Christmas wedding, and he has continued to request it annually, as soon as the weather turns cold. Today, I will share with you my simple, Wassail recipe!

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There are many Wassail recipes out there, but this one is our favorite!

For this holiday favorite, you will need:
– 64 oz. Apple Cider
– 5 cinnamon sticks
– 1/2 c. lemon juice
– 16 oz. orange juice

– 1/8 tsp ground ginger
– 1/8 tsp allspice (optional)
– 1/8 tsp nutmeg (optional)

We like our Wassail tart, but you can adjust this recipe to taste. That’s the beauty of it!

You want to add all of the ingredients together. I do not add ground cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice to my recipe. You can if you like, though.

You can simmer the Wassail on the stove top or crockpot. To simmer in crockpot, place on low for at least 45 minutes. To simmer on stove top, place on medium to low heat until boiling and then reduce to low. You will want to simmer this for at least 45 minutes. Serve warm.

I hope you love this recipe!

12 Days of Christmas: How to Make Your Own Christmas Wreath for Less Than $25

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If you love Christmas as much as I do, you have tried many a Christ mas craft. Also like me, you’ve failed at most of them. Right?

Gingerbread Houses usually kick my butt, as do most other Christmas craftiness, but a wreath, I can make. Today, I will show you how to make your own easy, cheap Christmas wreath!

All of my materials came from Hobby Lobby, where all Christmas items are 40% off! I love Hobby Lobby because of their wonderful discounts. On RetailMeNot, you can also find an additional 40% off coupon for one non-discounted item at Hobby Lobby.

This is the wreath I made:

Since Hobby Lobby’s website does not currently have many of the Christmas Items that the store does, I will use links from Amazon. I will try to make sure the items are as close to the ones I bought, so you can recreate my wreath, if you want!

For this wreath, you will need:
 –  Wreath Base ($6) 

 –Christmas Foliage Garland (This can be as cheap or as expensive as you want – mine was $7 from Hobby Lobby, but you can get it as low as $3 at Walmart!)
 –
Decorative String Garland ($15-$17 – I didn’t use the garland in the link, but I love it! It would make an elegant, rustic Christmas garland!)
 –
Christmas Ornaments ($6)
 – Hot Glue with Hot Glue Gun

Once you gather the items that you like, you can start assembling your wreath.

You will wrap the foliage garland around your Wreath Base. It is really easy; just fluff your garland as you go! 

After your garland is wrapped around your base and secured, you can move on to your decorative string garland. I did not wrap this around the base, because it was too short and a lot of the decoration got lost behind the foliage. Instead, I hot glued the bells and pine cone sections of the garland to the foliage. This worked very well! Don’t be afraid to use a lot of hot glue!

After the hot glue was dry and my decorative garland was in place, I started gluing my Christmas ornaments on. Mine blend in really well, which is what I wanted. I used deer antler ornaments that I found at Walmart for $3. It is important that you use ornaments that fit the theme that you are going with!

Tip: Use long strings of decoration, rather than a bunch of individual ornaments. Ornaments are hard to keep together if they fall off, but decorative garland works much better. 

I hope your wreath turns out wonderfully! If you liked this post, like, share and subscribe! Also, I would love to see how your wreath turned out!