Holiday Party Mistakes

Merry Christmas! I hope you enjoy today with friends, family, good food, good company and really good alcohol (Just kidding about the alcohol) or if you are drinking here is a PSA: Don’t drink and drive and have a wonderful time.

I have decided that I would extend #blogmas until December 31st. I have been having so much fun and I enjoy seeing you all enjoying my #blogmas posts (In a non-creepy way). To catch up on the first 24 days of #blogmas all the links are provided in the #blogmas section

Today’s post is a fun little post that is very helpful for anyone that is thinking or is having a New Year’s Eve party. I wish these tips were around back in my party-throwing days. I hope these tips help you as much as I wished they helped me (I didn’t know about these tips back then).

Welcome back for #Blogmas Day 25! Blogmas Is flying right by! To catch up here are the links to the first 22 Days of #Blogmas

Blogmas Days 1-24

*I realized that my #blogmas days had repeated tagged posts and that not every post was linked. I caught the mistake and fixed it. Every link should now be clickable and days 1-18 are now linked. If you are new to #blogmas you can catch up below.

Blogmas Day 1 Blogmas Day 2 Blogmas Day 3 Blogmas Day 4 Blogmas Day 5 Blogmas Day 6 Blogmas Day 7 Blogmas Day 8 Blogmas Day 9 Blogmas Day 10 Blogmas Day 11 Blogmas Day 12 Blogmas Day 13 Blogmas Day 14  Blogmas Day 15  Blogmas Day 16 Blogmas Day 17 Blogmas Day 18  Blogmas Day 19 Blogmas Day 20 Blogmas Day 21 Blogmas Day 22 Blogmas Day 23 Blogmas Day 24


Getting a reservation at your favorite restaurant during the time-crunched weeks around Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas isn’t easy. Neither is ponying up the triple-digit (or more!) price tag of dinner—or the even higher cost of securing a private space. So hosting at home is the perfect solution, right? You bet, as long as you avoid these common holiday party mistakes along the way.

You forget to schedule in advance

Weekly planner with pen and camera

In today’s crazy world of calendars in the cloud and emails on your wrist, we all seem to be so busy and stretched so thin. When planning for any event, I like to give a six-week runway. By that, I mean invitations and all event planning would ideally begin six weeks before the gathering (If you have the time).

Once you’ve distributed the initial invitation via Paperless Postor Evite, set a calendar event to ping attendees with reminders three weeks out (“get excited!”) and one week out (“don’t forget…”) to keep things top of mind.


You skip the to-do list

Shopping list

Streamline the pre-event prep and avoid forgetting any important details by creating a to-do list:

  • Items to purchase (groceries, flowers)
  • Items that need to be dug out of storage or borrowed (vases, extra chairs)
  • Items to clean (bathrooms, silverware)
  • Items to accomplish before guests arrive (lighting candles, whipping the cream)

You Dismiss The Easiest Decorations

Holiday table set-up

While you’re digging out the “musts” from storage, keep your eyes peeled for easy, affordable accents. That’s right: You DON’T need to drop $30+ per bouquet to dress up your space. Small details like a bowl full of ornaments or vase stuffed full of eucalyptus can make a big impact.

Cut down on prep time and save money by choosing candles in lieu of a lot of flowers. They take less time to arrange and display as decor but they still make a splash.


You discount the benefits of online shopping

Party favors

Stop schlepping bags around town and start hitting the easy “buy now” button on your laptop.

From invitations to favors or custom pillows for the party, shopping online cuts back on time in traffic and allows for easy price comparisons. I love ordering custom party details from companies like Shutterfly. I’m also a big fan of Amazon Prime since purchases usually arrive on my doorstep within 48 hours.


You Don’t Plan Ahead For Drop-in Guests

Unexpected guests

A friend of a friend who just got dumped needs a pick-me-up. A new Tinder plus-one. A random neighbor who sees the crowds piling in. An unexpected guest is almost par for the course these days, so plan ahead for a couple extra servings of everything just in case.


You Run Out Of Spirits

Drinks

Happy hour can turn less-than-happy in a hurry if your bar runs dry.

You know your crowd better than anyone. However, in the events world, It’s estimated half a bottle of wine per person at a sit-down dinner and one cocktail per person per hour at less formal affairs. Calculate accordingly based on your menu and the time frame of your party.


You Forget The Bubbly

Champagne

If a party is thrown during the holidays and there isn’t sparkling wine involved, is it really a party?  Plus, since it’s fairly light on the alcohol-per-serving scale (generally about 12 percent, compared to 22 percent in a Long Island Iced Tea), it’s a smart choice to bring a just-right level of cheer.


You Don’t Cook Enough Food

Antipasto plate

Pound for pound, people can throw down come dinnertime.

Estimate that each adult will consume one pound of food each,” Perotti says. For bone-in proteins, such as turkey, spiral ham, or pork crown roast, purchase 1 ½ pound per person to allow for ample portions because the bones take up some of the weight.


You Attempt A New Recipe

New recipe

Practice, practice, practice. It can be tempting to tear out that trendy recipe from the latest glossy food magazine, but stick to tried-and-true options for larger gatherings to keep #kitchenfails to a minimum. Practice these Pinterest favorites, then add your winners to the menu.


You Forget To Ask About Dietary Restrictions

Friends seated around table

About one in five people have a food allergy or intolerance. Ensure there are eats for everyone by including a simple questionnaire with the RSVP. Feel free to keep it light-hearted so it doesn’t sound like you’re bothered by their bill of fare.

Try something like: I love tailoring the menu to your taste! So check the box if you’re steering clear of…

  • Wheat
  • Dairy
  • Meat
  • Anything that comes from an animal”

You Rush

Woman talking at party

Don’t go from 0 to 100 miles per hour with your party pace.

I really enjoy spending time with my friends and family, so maximizing catch-up time is crucial. I love having about an hour or so of cocktails and appetizers at the beginning to give everyone plenty of time to get in from the cold, get comfortable with the mix of guests, and begin to let their hair down.


You Ignore The Vibe For The Seating Arrangements

Holiday place cards

The way you set the spread sets the pace for the formality level of your feast. For a less formal, family-style meal, don’t assign seats, but let it be organic.


You Ignore The Aroma

Pumpkin spice latte

Candles trigger a cozy vibe, but their aroma usually stays corralled within a room or two. Pipe seasonal scents throughout your whole home (in an all-natural, affordable way) by filling a stock pot with water and these kitchen staples:

Mint Candy: Vanilla beans + peppermint essential oil
Apple Pie: Apples + cinnamon sticks + lemons
Pumpkin Spice Latte: Vanilla beans + pumpkin pie spice + espresso powder
Fresh and Festive: Rosemary + cranberries + orange


You don’t know your limits

Woman stressed

 

So what if your table decor doesn’t look Martha Stewart–fancy or your turkey wouldn’t fit the classic Norman Rockwell scene. Keep the end goal in mind.

Remember that entertaining is just that: entertainment. You should enjoy it as much as your guests. Don’t take on more than you can, and do what feels authentic. Your friends and family will be impressed with whatever you plan. And if they aren’t, then don’t invite them back! Kidding. Kind of.


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can also ALWAYS find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.

If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching or just looking for advice on how to jump-start a healthy lifestyle or how to stay on track during the holidays you can find all of my links which are ALWAYS provided in the “Thank You” section and in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.


Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

Poshmark: AmandaLei

Pinterest: Amanda Explains It

Steller: AmandaLei

Instagram: Amanda Explains It

Twitter: Amanda Explains It

Snapchat: amandaleilei (CoffeeandGlutenFree)

NO SERIOUSLY FOLLOW ME 🙂

 

 

The Best Candy Canes

Welcome back for #Blogmas Day 21! Blogmas Is flying right by! To catch up here are the links to the first 20 Days of #Blogmas

Blogmas Days 1-20

*I realized that my #blogmas days had repeated tagged posts and that not every post was linked. I caught the mistake and fixed it. Every link should now be clickable and days 1-18 are now linked. If you are new to #blogmas you can catch up below.

Blogmas Day 1 Blogmas Day 2 Blogmas Day 3 Blogmas Day 4 Blogmas Day 5 Blogmas Day 6 Blogmas Day 7 Blogmas Day 8 Blogmas Day 9 Blogmas Day 10 Blogmas Day 11 Blogmas Day 12 Blogmas Day 13 Blogmas Day 14  Blogmas Day 15  Blogmas Day 16 Blogmas Day 17 Blogmas Day 18  Blogmas Day 19 Blogmas Day 20

 

BOB’S CHERRY RAINBOW CANDY CANES

BOBS CHERRY RAINBOW CANDY CANES

PER 1 PIECE: 50 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 15 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (0 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 0 g protein

My “worst best” candy cane are these Bob’s Cherry Rainbow Candy Canes with 50 calories and 11 grams of sugar per cane. Founded by Bob McCormack, Bob’s Candies were the first manufacturers to wrap candy in cellophane. It’s no wonder with their colorful appeal and, consequently, several color dyes and artificial flavors.


SPANGLER PEPPERMINT CANDY CANES

Product - Spangler R&W Candy Canes 6-18 ct cradles

PER 1 PIECE: 50 calories, 0 fat, (0 saturated fat), 0 mg of sodium, 12 g carbs, 10 g sugar. Some nutritional facts are not present on their website.

Ingredients: Sugar, Corn Syrup, “Natural Flavors”, Color Added (Includes Red  40)


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can also ALWAYS find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.

If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching or just looking for advice on how to jump-start a healthy lifestyle or how to stay on track during the holidays you can find all of my links which are ALWAYS provided in the “Thank You” section and in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.


Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

Poshmark: AmandaLei

Pinterest: Amanda Explains It

Steller: AmandaLei

Instagram: Amanda Explains It

Twitter: Amanda Explains It

Snapchat: amandaleilei (CoffeeandGlutenFree)

NO SERIOUSLY FOLLOW ME 🙂

PER 1 PIECE: 55 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (0 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 0 g protein

Spangler’s Peppermint Candy Canes contain few ingredients, which means they contain less artificial stuff. However, despite their name, the only thing peppermint about them is, well…fake.


JOYBRITE PEPPERMINT CANDY CANES

PER 1 PIECE: 50 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 13 g carbs (0 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 0 g protein

We are thrilled to see peppermint oil listed as an ingredient in this holiday staple. Mint offers a plethora of health benefits including, aiding weight loss, fighting cancer-causing free radicals, settling an upset stomach, reducing pain and even improving brain function.


BOB’S RED AND WHITE PEPPERMINT CANDY CANES

BOBS RED AND WHITE PEPPERMINT CANDY CANES

PER 1 PIECE: 40 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 10 g carbs (0 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 0 g protein

Despite Bob’s Cherry variety, these traditional canes contain the real thing (mint), along with four other ingredients. Plus they’ve got just 10 grams of sugar.

 


 THE #1 BEST CHRISTMAS CANDY CANE IS… BOB’S MINI PEPPERMINT CANDY CANES

BOBS MINI PEPPERMINT CANDY CANES

PER 3 PIECES: 50 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 13 g carbs (0 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 0 g protein

With the same ingredients and nutrition as Bob’s regular sized Red and White Peppermint Candy Cane, I chose these minis are the best Christmas candy cane because you can indulge in one or two of them for under 50 calories and 10 grams of sugar.


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can also ALWAYS find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.

If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching or just looking for advice on how to jump-start a healthy lifestyle or how to stay on track during the holidays you can find all of my links which are ALWAYS provided in the “Thank You” section and in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.


Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

Poshmark: AmandaLei

Pinterest: Amanda Explains It

Steller: AmandaLei

Instagram: Amanda Explains It

Twitter: Amanda Explains It

Snapchat: amandaleilei (CoffeeandGlutenFree)

NO SERIOUSLY FOLLOW ME 🙂

 

How To Use Leftover Candy Canes

Welcome back for #Blogmas Day 20! Blogmas Is flying right by! To catch up here are the links to the first 18 Days of #Blogmas

Blogmas Days 1-19

*I realized that my #blogmas days had repeated tagged posts and that not every post was linked. I caught the mistake and fixed it. Every link should now be clickable and days 1-18 are now linked. If you are new to #blogmas you can catch up below.

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


Twinkling lights, the smell of Christmas trees, and Winter Cocktails are among the most welcomed delights of the season,(Besides all the good holiday related junk food) 🙂 Oh, and let’s not forget candy canes—who doesn’t love,  love those! Which is why we stock up on the stuff the one time each year every store seems to carry them. But buying 10+ boxes of the minty, sweet treat has a downside: the leftovers ( you would only have that many boxes if you put candy canes on your Christmas tree)? There are often buckets worth—even after they’ve been hung on the tree, stuffed in everyone’s stocking, and fastened to all of your holiday cards. Sound like your yearly struggle? Rest easy; I’ve got you covered with some great candy cane crafts and recipes.


Spike Your Whipped Cream With It

Whipped cream

Shutterstock

Whether you’re dolloping it over fruit, a bowl of ice cream, or into your latte, whipped cream can benefit from a minty makeover. Whip your own cream and sprinkle the swirled candy bits at the end before using it as a creamy topping.


Make Candy Cane Pops

Candy cane oreo pops

Courtesy of Lil Luna

Insert decorative sticks into Oreo creme, dip the Oreo into melted white chocolate, and then coat with crushed candy canes for the perfect holiday treat you haven’t thought of making yet. The subtle vanilla flavor of the cookie met with the refreshing zing of peppermint will make a sweet snack the whole gang will love.

Get the recipe from Lil’ Luna


 No-Bake Chocolate Candy Cane Truffles

Chocolate candy cane truffles

Courtesy of Your Cup of Cake

Use leftover candy canes by crafting decadent truffles dusted with the wintry sweet. This recipe starts with cream cheese, peppermint extract, and chocolate base before it’s refrigerated until set and then rolled in the crushed candies for added color and flavor. You can even wrap these cute little treats in cellophane and gift to your best pals.

Get the recipe from Your Cup of Cake.


Make Minty Marshmallows

Marshmallows in a bowl

Shutterstock

You’ll need to top off your hot cocoa with a giant marshmallow, but why settle for store-bought when you can easily make your own? Start with food genius Alton Brown’s marshmallow recipe on Food Network, and then dust the crushed candy canes on top of the ‘mallows before cutting them into perfect squares. You can even gift leftovers to friends and family.


Napkin Holders

Candy cane on plate

Shutterstock

Rather than opting for your usual holiday napkin rings, use twisted candy canes instead. If you have any leftover candies that are still intact, try hooking the arch over the middle of a rolled-up napkin before placing on your holiday table for some festive flair.


Bake Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes

Chocolate candy cake cupcake

Courtesy of Your Cup of Cake

All you need is a quick devil’s food cake mix and a few other pantry staples to create a rich chocolate cupcake that serves as a perfect base to peppermint frosting. Psst: the frosting is 100 percent homemade, so you know it’ll be just as delicious on its own as over the cupcake. This recipe calls for adorning the frosting with crushed candy canes for a delectable and decorative twist.

Get the recipe from Your Cup of Cake.


 Chocolate Snowflake Candy Canes

Chocolate snowflake candy canes

Courtesy of Lil Luna

Got some extra candy canes that aren’t broken? Continue ringing in Christmas spirit by whipping up these white chocolate snowflake candy canes. All you have to do is dip half of the candy cane stick into a mixture of white chocolate chips and shortening before sprinkling over some white pearl and snowflake sprinkles and allowing them to cool and harden. Yum!

Get the recipe from Lil’ Luna


Craft Candy Cane Oreo Pudding Cups

Candy cane oreo pudding cups

Courtesy of Lil Luna

These cute little pudding cups are perfect for entertaining or a cozy night in. All you need is a white chocolate pudding mix, candy cane Oreos, candy cane bits, and Cool Whip. Then, you layer all of your ingredients into mini cups and voila!

Get the recipe from Lil’ Luna.


 Bath Scrub

candy cane scrub

Shutterstock

Instead of eating your leftovers, use them to make a candy cane-infused scrub. To make a batch, pour four cups of white sugar, one cup of olive oil (or another non-comedogenic oil with a similar consistency), a few drops of peppermint essential oil, and a quarter cup of finely ground candy canes into a mixing bowl. Then stir it up!


Bake Peppermint Sugar Cookies

Peppermint sugar cookies

Courtesy of Lil Luna

Sugar cookies are great on their own, but any tried-and-true classic can use a little makeover from time to time. These sugar cookies benefit from a thick vanilla frosting that’s bejeweled with candy cane pieces.

Get the recipe from Lil’ Luna.


Bake Peppermint Brownies

Peppermint brownies

Courtesy of Lil Luna

Everyone (well, almost) loves the combo of mint and chocolate, and these peppermint brownies embrace the duo to the fullest extent. Warm, fudgy brownies are met with an invigorating crushed candy topping that adds crunch and texture.

Get the recipe from Lil’ Luna


Reindeer Ears on Cookies

Candy canes in glass

Shutterstock

Nothing marks the beginning of the holiday season better than the grocery store invasion of peppermint-themed treats. That’s why we’re loving the idea of decorating homemade holiday desserts with the candy.


 Candy Cane Soap

candy cane soap

Shutterstock

In the mood to channel your inner Martha Stewart? Whip up some homemade candy cane soap! (It’s easy to make—promise!) Start by melting a block of clear glycerin and a block of white glycerin in separate bowls. Then, mix in red food dye and peppermint essential oil into the clear glycerin. (A few drops of each work.) After that, pour a thin layer of the melted white glycerin into a cake mold or small pan and let it sit for about two to three minutes. After it’s somewhat solid, pour a layer of the red glycerin on top and then continue alternating with the red and white glycerin every few minutes until the mold or pan is filled. Then top off your soap with a generous coating of crushed candy cane, which is a great exfoliant.


Throw Back a Candy Cane Cocktail

Shutterstock

If you’re looking to up your bartending game, forgo serving up basic drinks like spiked eggnog and opt for surprising your guests with a round of candy cane vodka shots. Luckily, you only need three things to prepare this festive elixir: candy canes, a small bottle of vodka (about 25 ounces), and a coffee grinder or food processor. Here’s what you need to do: grind 12 candy canes until they’re eroded into superfine crystals. Then, pour the candy powder into the bottle of vodka, make sure the cap is tightly screwed, and shake away! (You can even save some of the crushed candy to rim the glasses with later on!) Then, let the vodka sit for a half hour, shaking every now and then. Once the liquid is candy-cane-red, serve it up in shot glasses or a sleek martini glass.


Peppermint Hot Cocoa

candy cane hot cocoa

Shutterstock

This winter, spruce up your favorite hot beverage with some minty goodness! To make a mug of decadent hot cocoa, add one cup of your milk of choice into a saucepan with two ounces bittersweet chocolate, and simmer over low heat. Once the chocolate is melted, add one tablespoon sugar and a ½ teaspoon peppermint extract to the pot and stir. Once it’s all dissolved, pour it into your fave mug, swirl on some whipped cream, and then garnish the top with crushed candy canes. If you prefer taking the easier route with premade hot cocoa mix, choose my best Hot Chocolate.


 Peppermint Popcorn

peppermint bark popcorn

Courtesy of Cooking Classy

What’s better than binge-watching all of the Home Alone movies in one sitting? The answer: having a big bowl of peppermint popcorn beside you! Spike your popped kernels with a layer of melted white chocolate and some candy cane crumble. Oh, and you might want to whip up an extra batch because you’re totally not going to want to share this!

Get the recipe from Cooking Classy


Crack Fudge Peppermint Bark

peppermint bark

Shutterstock

Give your gingerbread cookie and peanut butter blossom recipes a break, and concoct a batch of crunchy peppermint bark instead. The best part—aside from the taste? It’s beyond easy to make. All you have to do is melt dark chocolate, slather it onto a sheet of parchment paper, and let it solidify in the fridge. Once it’s hardened, drizzle on a layer of melted white chocolate and then drop a handful or two (or three… no one’s looking!) of candy cane chunks for fresh flavor and a festive pop of color. Easy peasy!


Try Pink Peppermint Bark Macarons

Pink peppermint bark macarons

Courtesy of How Sweet Eats

Besides croissants, macarons are the next best thing the French bestowed on us. Give your favorite fancy dessert a wintry twist by adding crushed candy canes into the creamy ganache.

Get the recipe from How Sweet Eats.


Rim Glasses With Candy Canes

Green holiday cocktail

Shutterstock

Remember that martini we suggested shaking up and that hot cocoa recipe you jotted on your list? Well, if these two beverages have anything in common, it’s that you can easily jazz them up by rimming the glass or mug with crushed candy canes. Just pulverize the candies in the blender, use your finger to coat the rim with a syrup (like maple syrup) and dip into the crushed candy.


Scoop Into Homemade Nice Cream

candy-cane-ice-cream

Shutterstock

Adapt your favorite nice cream recipe into a delicious, holiday-approved dessert by sprinkling crushed candy canes into the blender. Whether you choose to go with banana and cocoa mix or a traditional vanilla bean dessert, you’ll want to scoop it into a cone and toss some candy canes on top for a refreshing twist on rainbow sprinkles.


Bake Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Death by chocolate peppermint cookies

Courtesy of Ambitious Kitchen

If you love devil’s food cake, you’re gonna love this recipe idea. All you have to do is bake up a decadent chocolate cookie, dip it in dark chocolate, sprinkle it with some crushed peppermint candies, and drizzle with white chocolate. The minty peppermint will help cut the richness of the dark chocolate.

Get the recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.


Make Homemade Thin Mints

Peppermint bark cookies

Courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction

Instead of unwrapping a thin mint, try DIYing your own this holiday season. The chocolate sugar cookies are super easy to make, and they come out of the oven extra thick while the white chocolate coating gets a double dose of peppermint from the extract and crushed candies.

Get the recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction.


Make a Minty Milkshake

Candy cane chocolate milkshake

Shutterstock

Got a tub of vanilla ice cream, milk, and leftover candy canes? Blend the three ingredients into the best milkshake ever. You can even add some unsweetened cocoa powder for a chocolatey boost and garnish the cup with a mint leaf. Mmm!


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out and I will be more than happy to answer any questions, comments or concerns you may have. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can ALWAYS find my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.

If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching you can contact me my from all of my links the I left below.

Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

Poshmark: AmandaLei

Pinterest: Amanda Explains It

Steller: AmandaLei

Instagram: Amanda Explains It

Twitter: Amanda Explains It

Snapchat: amandaleilei (CoffeeandGlutenFree)

NO SERIOUSLY FOLLOW ME 🙂

Christmas Quiz

Two posts in one day? Who am I ?! I wanted to do something fun. This is a Christmas Quiz. I gathered a bunch of questions about Christmas and I answered them. I’m curious to know what you’re answers are. You can always comment your answers on this post.


Blogmas Links Day 1-10

Blogmas Day 1 Blogmas Day 2 Blogmas Day 3 Blogmas Day 4 Blogmas Day 5 Blogmas Day 6  Blogmas Day 7   Blogmas Day 9


What I love about Christmas is how everyone celebrates it in different ways. To give you a chance to find out a little about my traditions and my favorite things, I thought I would complete the legendary ‘Christmas Tag’. I found a few tags online Enjoy.


1. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS MOVIE/S?

I’m going to have to go with National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. I just love how Clark wanted Christmas to go right and it went all wrong ( I can relate trying to put together a perfect Christmas)I love the scene where Margo and Todd were talking about why the carpet is wet and Todd goes ” Something had to break the window, something had to break the stereo and Margo goes and “Why is the carpet all wet Todd?” and Todd says “I don’t know Margo”. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation ALWAYS has me in stitches! Some of the other movies I love is Home Alone, comfort and joy, and cheesy Netflix romantic holiday movies.


2. DO YOU OPEN YOUR PRESENTS ON CHRISTMAS EVE OR CHRISTMAS MORNING?

I’m going to have to go with option 3; Christmas Night. I know, it’s terrible but it’s not my fault. My sister always say why rush and get all the presets over with in the morning and spend the rest of the day being bored. I think it’s just an excuse for my sister not having to deal with my excitement for the entire day. Scrooge!


3. HAVE YOU EVER HAD A WHITE CHRISTMAS?

YES! It’s either snowed before or after Christmas and It’s even snowed on Christmas! I was young but I did experience it.


4. WHAT MADE YOU REALISE THE TRUTH ABOUT SANTA?

What truth about Santa? That he doesn’t actually climb down your chimney? I didn’t think he did. What would happen if he got stuck, no one would have got their presents. Obviously, I’m only joking… My parents never sat me down and told me he isn’t real, I caught them putting presents under the Christmas Tree when I think I was 7 or 8.


5. CAN YOU NAME ALL OF SANTA’S REINDEER?

Rudolph, Blitzen, Dasher, Vixen, Cupid, Dancer, Prancer… NO!.


6. WHAT IS YOUR ALL-TIME FAVOURITE HOLIDAY FOOD/SWEET TREAT?

Anything that’s Christmas and sweet related will do fine by me! I love anything with peppermint in.


7. BE HONEST: DO YOU LIKE GIVING GIFTS OR RECEIVING GIFTS BETTER?

As we are being honest here, I love receiving them. Giving them isn’t too far behind though! I do love when you’ve found the perfect present for someone that they weren’t expecting, and they get all excited opening it. I do love being the one to open the presents a tad more though. It doesn’t make me a bad person (all though I do get shy when all eyes are on me when It’s my turn to open presents), we all enjoy that moment too.


8. WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM PLACE TO VISIT FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON?

I could never imagine going anywhere warm for Christmas, but I really want to go to Disney World, Florida. I’ve been there during the summer, spring, and fall and I loved it, and I’ve seen a documentary about the Disney Christmas and it just looks so amazing. They have Christmas parades, a winter wonderland, Disney inspired food, all the shows, and performances. Can you just imagine the fireworks display!


9. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CHRISTMAS SONG?

There are so many I love but it has to be “Silent Night” by The Temptations!  Other songs I love to sing along to are “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey“All I want Is a real good tan” By Kenny Chesney as well as the more traditional songs such as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, and “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town”.


10. DO YOU MAKE NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS? DO YOU STICK TO THEM?

I keep them in my head so no one knows when I’ve not stuck to them, and I tend to forget so I never feel guilty. For next year I do want to do a sort of bucket list so it’s not changed I want to make in my life, but things I want to achieve. I think that makes them pro-active so I am more likely to complete them.


11. FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS SCENT?

I love the smell of peppermint, cinnamon, and roasted chestnuts. I am currently using the scent ‘Nutcracker’ by Yankee Candle which smells amazing!


12. AS A KID WHAT WAS THE ONE (CRAZY, WILD, EXTRAVAGANT) GIFT YOU ALWAYS ASKED FOR BUT NEVER RECEIVED?

I don’t really think I ever did. To be honest, I can’t really remember. I just used to ask for the standard toy that was popular that year. I think I’ve started to ask for more crazy presents as I’ve gotten older.


13. WHAT’S THE BEST PART ABOUT CHRISTMAS FOR YOU?

I’m going to have to be a complete cliche and go with spending time with my family.  We don’t really do anything significant but just being in each others presence and playing games.


 

Why We Enjoy Candy Canes On Christmas

Welcome back to another day of #Blogmas ladies and gentlemen we are on day #10. Here are the links to days 1-9

Blogmas Links Day 1-9

Blogmas Day 1 Blogmas Day 2 Blogmas Day 3 Blogmas Day 4 Blogmas Day 5 Blogmas Day 6  Blogmas Day 7   Blogmas Day 9


Between wreaths, frosted sugar cookies, and holiday coffee cups, there’s one thing that’s equally as ubiquitous at Christmastime: candy canes.

Candy canes are one of those holiday treats that are hard not to love. In fact, demand is so high that 1.76 billion are produced each year—with more than 90 percent sold in the month before Christmas. They’re the most popular non-chocolate candy purchased during the holidays, and they’re so iconic of the yuletide season that they’ve earned their own holiday, National Candy Cane Day, on December 26.

Why do so many people love them so much? There are more reasons than you can shake a (curved) stick at, but do you know how they came to be a Christmas tradition? Let’s take a look.


Candy canes are much older than you think—and originally weren’t meant for just Christmas

According to CandyHistory.net, candy canes were originally created over 350 years ago and were originally made as straight sticks flavored with sugar only. It’s long been believed that the now-famous crook shape came about in 1670 when a German choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral bent the candy sugar sticks to make them look like shepherd’s hooks. These candies were given out to children who attended church ceremonies, in an effort to bribe them to keep them quiet and well-behaved. This custom eventually spread across Europe and America and became popular.


They’ve evolved a lot over the years

In 1847, August Imgard, a German-Swedish immigrant living in Wooster, Ohio, decorated his Christmas tree with candy canes, along with paper ornaments. This was the first documented use of candy canes in relation to the celebration of Christmas, and it clearly caught on and became a Christmas tradition.

However, according to Christmas cards of that era, candy canes were still all white—they didn’t get their stripes until about half a century later. We don’t know why the stripes were added (it’s a historical mystery as to why this became a thing), but from old card illustrations, I can tell that the first red and white striped canes made their debut in the beginning of the 20th century.

Around this time, candy makers also incorporated the peppermint flavor, which became associated as a traditional holiday flavor around the 1950s. That’s also when candy canes got a big boost in popularity, thanks to technology that made it much easier to make the oddly-shaped, holiday-flavored treat more quickly.

Candymaker Bob McCormack had started making canes in 1919 in his hometown of Albany, Georgia, but he was bending them by hand. Then in 1957, his brother-in-law invented a machine to bend the sticks automatically, changing the candy game dramatically.

McCormack’s company is now Bobs Candies, and they still sell candy canes. (Also, one fun fact Bobs Candie’s shares on its site it that its treats were the first candy to be wrapped in cellophane!)


Unusual flavors are the new trend

According to The Kitchn, until about 10 years ago, Spangler Candy Co. (based in Bryan, Ohio) still manufactured and sold plain white sugar candy canes that looked like the original candy canes, but more recently the demand for new colors and flavors has taken over. Today, while red-and-white peppermint-flavored candy canes are still regarded as the traditional version for the holiday season, you can now find them in various colors and flavors in candy stores across America, from berry and chocolate candy flavors to unusual savory ones, like bacon, pickle, and sriracha.


Candy canes are more than just a sweet treat

Candy canes make cute tree ornaments, and in fact, half of all shoppers who buy them are using them as ornaments! They also work as easy gift embellishments, festive party accessories or favors, and popular stocking stuffers—they’re the second-most popular candy put in stockings, after foil-wrapped chocolates. And of course we like to eat them, too—the minty sweet stick is unlikely to be turned down by kids or adults during the holiday season. From creative touches for your holiday party to whipping up some candy cane peppermint bark for gifting, there are so many ways you can use candy canes.

Now that you’re armed with the history behind this ever-present Christmas candy, go ahead and grab a stick and enjoy!


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can also ALWAYS find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.

If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching or just looking for advice on how to jump-start a healthy lifestyle or how to stay on track during the holidays you can find all of my links which are ALWAYS provided in the “Thank You” section and in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.


Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

Poshmark: AmandaLei

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Instagram: Amanda Explains It

Twitter: Amanda Explains It

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The Worst Christmas Candy Canes

Welcome back for another day of #Blogmas. Today IS #Blogmas Day #7. I can’t believe a whole week has passed. I hope you’ve been enjoying Blogmas? Today continues the best/worst of something series (Christmas Edition). If you missed days 1-5 you can click the links here.


Blogmas Links

Blogmas Day 1 Blogmas Day 2 Blogmas Day 3 Blogmas Day 4 Blogmas Day 5 Blogmas Day 6


TROLLI SOUR BRITE HOLIDAY CANDY CANES

TROLLI SOUR BRITE HOLIDAY CANDY CANES

PER 1 PIECE: 50 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 20 mg sodium, 13 g carbs (0 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 0 g protein


WARHEADS SUPER SOUR CANDY CANES

WARHEADS SUPER SOUR CANDY CANES

PER 1 PIECE: 50 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 45 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (0 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 0 g protein

Although both Trolli’s and Warhead’s sour canes have the lowest calorie and sugar contents of their contenders, they are packed with artificial flavors and color dyes. Not that this is too shocking, considering each varieties’ neon stripes.


HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE MINT CANES

HERSHEYS CHOCOLATE MINT CANES

PER 1 PIECE: 60 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 10 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (0 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 0 g protein

Don’t be fooled by this cane’s name–mint and chocolate aren’t in their list of ingredients. Fake flavors along with added sugars, 11 grams of sugar and a slew of artificial colors are what give this one their superficial appeal.


JELLY BELLY GOURMET CANDY CANES

JELLY BELLY GOURMET CANDY CANES

PER 1 PIECE: 60 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (0 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 0 g protein

These Jelly Bean “Gourmet” Candy Canes come in three fruity flavors: watermelon, tutti-fruitti and blueberry. And just like the jellies, they’re artificially flavored sugar with crunch instead of chew.


WELCH’S CANDY CANES

WELCHS CANDY CANES

PER 1 PIECE: 60 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (0 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 0 g protein

While Welch’s 100% Grape Juice may be made from the real thing (aka Concord grapes), their concord grape flavored candy canes are not. And the same goes for the raspberry and white grape peach flavors. With 12 grams of sugar and a laundry list of manmade chemicals, these candy canes are almost the worst.


 THE #1 WORST CHRISTMAS CANDY CANE IS… FANCY PICKLE CANDY CANES

 

PER 40 G: 75 calories, 0 g fat, 15 g sugar (all other nutritionals unavailable)

Apparently, Pickle Candy Canes is a thing and with 75 calories and 15 grams of sugar per cane, these are your worst option. However, I’m guessing this wasn’t your first Christmas candy choice anyways.


 Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can also ALWAYS find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.

If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching or just looking for advice on how to jump-start a healthy lifestyle or how to stay on track during the holidays you can find all of my links which are ALWAYS provided in the “Thank You” section and in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.


Thank You!

I do hope you stick around as I put out different types of content I try to post educational, Informative things that everyone can learn from. I am learning what people like to read and what people don’t. The one thing you will get from me Is honesty. If I post something It’s because I believe In It no matter If It’s a beauty review, recipe post, or just me posting a random post.

If you are a company or a person who would like to reach out so we can work together you can reach me here. Leighlei2009@gmail.com

I just want to say Thank you to all of those who read, view, like, comment, and subscribed to my blog It means the world to me ❤️️

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

➡️Where you can follow me⬅️

Check me out on Medium:

https://medium.com/@AmandaExplains

Poshmark: AmandaLei

Pinterest: Amanda Explains It

Steller: AmandaLei

Instagram: Amanda Explains It

Twitter: Amanda Explains It

Snapchat: amandaleilei (CoffeeandGlutenFree)

NO SERIOUSLY FOLLOW ME 🙂