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Etsy Item of the Day: Creative Cookie Cutters

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I love baking (and eating! ;) ) sweet treats and cookies, so when I saw the cookie cutters at The Buttercup House on Etsy, I stopped in my tracks. They have all kinds of neat cookie cutters, such as holiday shapes, states, alphabets, animals, and more!

If you are planning a themed party anytime soon, you will likely find a cookie cutter to fit your theme. Peruse their collection to find the right one for you or buy a few for your friend who loves to bake. I really like this polar bear, but I also really like this gnome!

If you have any friends or loved ones who are Jewish, you might like to see this dreidel cookie cutter or menorah cookie cutter.
Polar Bear Cookie Cutter ~ Etsy Seller: The Buttercup House

Etsy Seller: The Buttercup House

Drive Through Holiday Light Shows

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callaway-lights-3
Photo Credit: Doug Waldron. License: CC BY SA 2.0

A fun activity the whole family will enjoy is a ride through a holiday light show. Many cities put on an annual holiday light show with hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights. A drive through holiday experience is a perfect way to enjoy the beautiful lights without leaving the comfort of your warm car. Here are a few light shows that you can attend this year—even after Christmas day!

The Dancing Lights of Christmas – Nashville, TN

This is the 5th year that the festive folks at Jellystone Park have put on this fabulous light display. As you drive through this amazing light show, you can jam out to Christmas tunes on your radio and watch the lights dance to the music.

The Dancing Lights of Christmas at Jellystone Park
2572 Music Valley Drive
Nashville, TN 37214
Open until January 4, 2015

Hershey Sweet Lights – Hershey, PA

This sweet light display extends through 2 miles of wooded trails just minutes away from Hersheypark. Make sure you check out their website for hours of operation and directions.

Hershey Sweet Lights
100 W. Hersheypark Drive
Hershey, PA 17033
800.437.7439
Open until January 1, 2015

Lanier Islands Christmas

lanier-islands-lights

Take a rolling stroll through Lanier Islands to enjoy the twinkling Christmas light display. At the end of the tour, you can visit the Holiday Village where you can see a live nativity scene, visit with Santa, and even skate around The Polar Rink.

Lanier Islands
7000 Lanier Islands Parkway
Buford, GA 30518
770.945.8787
Open until December 31, 2014

The Winter Festival of Lights at Oglebay Resort

The light show at Oglebay Resort is one of the largest light shows in the US. Spanning over 6 miles and 300 acres, this is one holiday show you don’t want to miss. If you can’t make it this year, perhaps you can plan a family trip in 2015.

Oglebay Resort
465 Lodge Drive
Wheeling, West Virginia 26003
800.624.6988
Open until January 4, 2015

Lights Under Louisville – Louisville, KY

louisville-lights1

This spectacular light show has over 2 million lights that cover 17 miles of passageways… underground! Drive your own vehicle into the Louisville Mega Cavern to view this one-of-a-kind light show and create a memorable Christmas experience for your family.

Louisville Mega Cavern
1841 Taylor Ave
Louisville, KY 40213
877.614.6342
Open until January 4, 2015

Mary

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Category: Events

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Etsy Item of the Day: Starfish Santa

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Teehee! This little starfish ornament is so funny! If Santa were a starfish, this is what he would look like—sporting red swim trunks, shades, and his signature red hat. He is holding a fishing rod in one hand, but if fishing isn’t your style, you can get a starfish Santa with skis, a golf club, a volleyball, or holding nothing at all. This would make a nice gift for anyone who love the beach or collects cute Santa ornaments.
Fishing Starfish Santa ~ Etsy Seller: Cereus Art

Etsy Seller: Cereus Art

How to Say “Merry Christmas” in Other Languages

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In 6 short days, Santa will be making his big trip around the globe. He will visit homes in many countries, delivering gifts to children. As you know, many different languages exist, and therefore Santa has a multitude of names besides Santa Claus, Kris Kringle, and Ol’ Saint Nick.

Give yourself a quick, fun foreign language lesson with the infographic below. Practice saying “Merry Christmas” in a different language and say “Fröhliche Weihnachten” or “Joyeux Noël” to your loved ones!

Click on the image for a closer look! Infographic via Infographic.ca

Free Shipping Day

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Today is Free Shipping Day! With Christmas just one week away, now is the time to finish up your holiday shopping. Take advantage of the FREE shipping deals while they last. When you place your order today, many retailers guarantee that your goods will be delivered by Christmas.

Give some stellar stocking stuffers with a product or two from C.O. Bigelow, such as their Mentha Lip Shine or Quince Hand Lotion (my favorites!). While you’re shopping, get 12% off any purchase, plus free shipping on orders over $49 with code XMAS12. Good through 12/31.
You can find almost anything imaginable on CafePress from customized clothing to home decor. You can also find some beautiful Christmas cards at a great price—50 cards for $19.50 plus free shipping! Offer valid until 12/31.
It can be tricky to send goodies to your loved ones in the military, but Cheryl’s makes it easy to send fresh baked treats. Get free shipping on baked goods to all APO & FPO military bases from Cheryls.com. (Offer expires 1/1/2015.) Even if you’re not shipping to a military address, you can still take advantage of free shipping on many of their tasty products.
Anyone who is crafty would love to receive a Cricut this Christmas! If someone you know already has a Cricut, then perhaps they would like a new cartridge for new projects or a replacement blade. Whatever you decide to purchase, you can get free shipping in December with code FREESHIPDEC.
For gag gifts and lots of silly puns, check out the fun gifts made by Fred & Friends on Amazon. Many of the gifts are Amazon Prime eligible, so you can get FREE two-day shipping if you have a Prime membership.
Give a unique handmade gift to your loved ones this Christmas when you purchase a present from Gifts With Humanity. All items are hand-crafted by artisans across the world, so you know you’re giving something that is truly unique. Plus, when you spend $50, your order will be shipped for free! (Domestic US only.)
If you’re looking for a gift for a child, take a moment to check out the toys and gifts at Melissa and Doug. From toy & games to arts & crafts, you will find something for a child of any age. Don’t take our word for it—check out the Melissa & Doug Holiday Gift Guide, save & get free shipping!
Find the perfect last-minute gift or stocking stuffers at The Body Shop. With so many scents and body products to choose from, you can certainly finish up your Christmas shopping. Head on over to their website and 50% off and free shipping with code SAVE50. Valid until 12/18.
From toys to furniture, The Land of Nod is the place for all things kids. If you know a child or two who loves books or music, head over to the Land of Nod and get free shipping on DVDs, books and CDs.
Walmart is the place to go for all your last-minute needs. Grab any final food items for Christmas dinner, candles for the table centerpiece, plus the remaining gifts on your holiday list. Get free shipping on orders of $50 or more at Walmart.com!

This post contains affiliate links. Please see our full disclosure here.

Raymond Around the World: Rome

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After travelling to London, New York City and the Blue Ridge Mountains this year, Raymond and I thought it would be interesting to visit another city where we could soak up a lot of history. Raymond was particularly interested in checking out old ruins and historic buildings, so we decided to make our way down to Rome, Italy!

It was incredibly hot while we were in Rome—possibly even hotter than when we went to South Korea last year. Let me tell you, when you live at the North Pole, you aren’t used to heat and humidity! In between purveying the sites, Raymond and I ducked into the shade and made sure to drink plenty of water.

For our first stop, Raymond and I visited the Pantheon, which was built nearly 2,000 years ago. Used as a Roman Catholic church since the 7th century, the Pantheon is beautiful and incredibly well-preserved.

Raymond in the hot sun outside the Pantheon
Admiring the coffered concrete dome and oculus inside the Pantheon
Tempted to hop into the water of the Fontana del Pantheon to cool off in Piazza della Rotonda

Next we decided to stop for some lunch. As you may remember, Raymond and I are both vegetarians, and thankfully there is a plethora of vegetarian Italian dishes. Some days we couldn’t decide… Pasta? Pizza? Salad? Gelato? All of the above? :D

About to chow down on a caprese salad. Yum!

Raymond and I could eat Italian cuisine all day, but we had other sights to see, so we ventured forth in the Roman sun. We came across a large building that turned out to be Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II. Built in the early 1900s, this monument was erected in honour of Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of unified Italy.

In front of Altare della Patria, also known as Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II
With the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the background

From Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II, we passed the Roman Forum on our way to the Colosseum. Raymond was fascinated by the ruins, as some of them date back nearly 3,000 years!

Enjoying a visual history lesson

A trip to Rome would be incomplete without a visit to the Colosseum. Completed almost 2,000 years ago, the Colosseum is the largest amplitheatre in the world. Raymond and I both loved the Colosseum in its beautiful ruined state.

Excited to check out the Colosseum
Some estimates say the Colosseum could hold between 50,000–80,000 spectators—yowza!
“Buongiorno!”

Raymond and I had a blast in Italy, taking in the historical sites and tasty cuisine. Where else do you think Raymond went this year? Stay tuned to find out! :)

Etsy Item of the Day: His & Hers Stockings

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The stockings in this Etsy shop are so pretty, and each design is full of details that you may not notice at first glance. Take these his & hers stockings, for example. The stockings are quite lovely, but upon a closer look you will see mistletoe hanging from the stag’s antler. How cute and clever! These stockings would be a sweet gift for any couple—new or seasoned.
His & Hers Stockings ~ Etsy Seller: Heartfelt Stockings

Etsy Seller: Heartfelt Stockings

Add Some with Pizzazz These Holiday Headbands

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When you’re getting ready for a holiday soirée, it’s fun to add a dash of festive flair to your outfit. You could do this with jewelry or tights, but one of my favourite ways to jazz up a Christmas outfit is with a unique hair accessory. Whether you wear it to your company Christmas party or Christmas dinner, any of the headbands below will give your outfit that extra bit of merry.


Sequin Green & Red Christmas Bow Headband Oversized Black Bow Elf Hat Headband Mistletoe Headband Christmas Knotted Headbands Swanky Celebration Feather Fascinator Cocktail Hat Top Hat Fascinator

  1. This top hat fascinator is perfect for when you’re feelin’ festive and fancy.

  2. The spray of red feathers on this swanky celebration feather fascinator cocktail hat will instantly upgrade any outfit. [Bonus idea: You could also wear this on a date on Valentine's Day!]

  3. Add some subtle holiday cheer to a more casual outfit with these knotted headbands.

  4. Just for giggles, you could don this mistletoe headband. Maybe your sweetie will even give you a smooch ;)

  5. If you’re an elf-wannabe, sport this elf hat headband along with some red and green striped tights.

  6. An adorable statement piece, this oversized bow would look great with a little black dress and some sparkly jewelry.

  7. Not only is this sequin green & red Christmas bow headband cute, but it also lights up!

Psst… All of these hair accessories are available for two-day shipping [some even with Amazon Prime], so you can still get them before this weekend!

This post contains affiliate links. Please see our full disclosure here.

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