Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce for the Holidays

 

Over the years I’ve tried many different cranberry sauce recipes trying to get just the right one. I love a good cranberry sauce but I can’t stand the one from a can. This all started when I hosted my first Friendsgiving which was really our Thanksgiving since we were on our own, and ended up having almost 20 people in our small one bedroom apartment somehow, but oh the memories of those days.

When this recipe came about around year 3 it was made for Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. Its so quick and easy. Here is what you need.

1 12oz bag of cranberries

3/4 cup of orange juice ( I fresh squeeze the juice its much better)

2/3 brown sugar

1/3 cup white sugar

OPTIONAL – 20z bourbon ( we have added the bourbon a few times and it’s good!)

Add all the ingredients in a pot over medium heat. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the majority of the cranberries have popped. On a gas stove this will more than likely take a little less time. Once they have all popped place in serving dish and let cool.

Place in the refrigerator if you aren’t serving it right away. It’s perfect warm or cold, and so easy to make the day before so it’s one less thing to worry about the day of.

One of our after Thanksgiving Traditions is to make french toast from the leftover sourdough bread over the Thanksgiving weekend. I love to make a compote to top them with this cranberry sauce by just cooking it back down and adding a little real maple syrup. Its really great on pancakes too which we do at Christmas.

Are you a fan of Cranberry Sauce over the holidays?

DIY Disney Pin Board Ornaments

*This post may contain affiliate links. That means I may receive a small commission if you purchase something off my link at no extra charge to you.

We have finally been setting up our office space and I came across all our Disney pins. I decided to  make  some pin boards to add some more art to the office, and actually display our pins. 

When I started thinking about Christmas I thought why can’t I display some of our pins on our Disney tree? So the idea for cork ornaments for my pins came about. 

To make these I used cardboard and cork contact paper which you can find here. You could also use this type of cork but I used what I had at home. The pins popped right through and stayed put. 

Use a large mug or something round to trace the circle on both the cardboard and the contact paper. Cut the shape out and peel the back off the cork and apply to the card board. Trim any excess off. 

I like the look of the plain cork but I also wanted to add a little more so I glitter and modge podge for a few others. To do the glitter, apply modge podge onto the cork and then top with glitter. I dump a ton over top a paper plate and then dump what I don’t use back in. Which is usually like half the container. I really like extra fine glitter for projects like these but regular size works too. Once the glitter has tried top with another coat of modge podge to seal it. 

You can use ribbon or hooks to hang your ornaments. I used a bakers twine for most of mine and ribbon for the purple one I did since my red and white bakers twine didn’t match. 

It was fun to pick out some of our favorite pins to add onto to the tree. We collected the pins from Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for several years and they have Just been sitting getting no attention. The Christmas Forever Pin aka Cocoa Queen pin are from Oh Yeah Apparel! 

Garland is from The Fickle Felt Tree

After doing the Christmas Pins I wanted to do some themed with our other favorites. I love Ariel so the purple glitter made since to me and the pins were perfect on there. 

We both love all so many of the Pixar movies so a collage of our favorites was the perfect fit. My husband loves Eeyore so of course I did that one for him.

When we are there in a few weeks I’ll have to do some trading for some Minnie Mouse pins to do one for my daughter. I had planned too but I didn’t have very many to fill an ornament. What is great about these is you can customize them however you want to with pins, glitter and even paint. 

If you collect Disney pins these will be the perfect addition to your Disney tree, or any tree. Do you collect Disney pins and trade them when your in the parks? 

 

Shop some fun Disney Pins!

5 Ways to Earn Cash Back and Save Money this Holiday Season

*This post may contain affiliate links. That means I may receive a small commision if you purchase something off my link at no extra charge to you.

There are several ways to earn extra money, gift cards or save money just by doing very little this holiday season. If you’re shopping online, buying groceries, things for a holiday party or Christmas gifts why not use some of these things to save or get money back. 

Ebates

If you do online shopping and you aren’t using Ebates you should be! This is a great way to earn money back on online purchases from 1000’s of merchants, even small businesses on Etsy. Cash back could be anywhere from 1% and I’ve seen it up to 15%. During the holidays they are great at offering bigger cashback promos, and  even have merchant discounts listed on their site. You receive a check or can get a direct pay pal deposit quarterly so it’s nice to get that extra cash back after the holidays.  If you don’t have an account sign up here and receive a $10 Credit on your first qualifying purchase. Ebates now has an app if you tend to find yourself shopping on your phone often like I do. Why not earn a little cash back while doing your online shopping this season.

Ibotta

I’m hit or miss with Ibotta. Sometimes I can do really well and they have tons of things I purchase and other times I forget to look all together. When I’m consistent I do really well earning $20-$25 a month back. They also now have online shopping for cash back on their mobile app so it’s not all scanning your groceries. Join here and when you sign up you get a $10 signup bonus, plus you will be on my team which is also important for bonuses! 

Drop 

 I discovered Drop not long ago. This is basically an app where you link one of your cards and pick 5 merchants you shop from. They know when you purchase and you start to earn points from those merchants. I use Amazon, Starbucks, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Target. I’ve never earned from Target because I have a Target Red Debit Card and I didn’t think of that when I signed up but I have already cashed in for my first $10 Amazon gift card (there are many others to choose from), and I’m halfway to another. They often send me bonus offers for the merchants I chose and other random merchants on occasion. They use a completely safe server. Join here and get 1000 drop points to start, and download the app! 

Swagbucks 

I’ve done really well with Swagbucks and I’ve had months I kinda forget it exists. I’m a busy Mom so this one takes a little more work. Swagbucks has surveys, videos you can watch, offers you can do, and also cash back options. If you like to try different subscription services its great to get cash back. I tried an Honest Beauty Box, got it when it was 50% off so $25 , and earned 2500 Swagbucks which is $25. If you really want to learn the ins and outs of Swagbucks their are Facebook groups and lots of articles online. I typically cash out for Target gifts cards and I find myself using Swagbucks a little more when we are saving extra for our Disney Trips. Signup here and get a sign on bonus. 

Target Red Card and Cartwheel

While this isn’t a cashback deal it is a great way to save a little extra money. We have a Target debit card and it’s the best thing we ever did. Who doesn’t love 5% off every single purchase as well Free Shipping on all online orders. Plus if you are ordering online you can also use Ebates for cashback.  When the holiday rush of shoppers sets in this is really great to have. Target also runs some amazing sales in November and December, on toys, and various other items so I always make sure to check the weekly ad, and cartwheel. When you combine the two things you really can get some great savings.

The Holiday season can get expensive and stressful, so why not earn some cash back or money you were already spending. What are some ways you love to save during the holiday season?

12 Must-Dos at Walt Disney World for Christmas

*This post may contain affiliate links. That means I may receive a small commision if you purchase something off my link at no extra charge to you.

It’s November and we can finally start talking about Christmas! I’ve got so many good Christmas things planned for the blog. It’s my favorite time of year, especially in the Disney Parks. Today I wanted to share the must do things when visiting the Disney Parks during the holidays! 

1. Castle Lights Frozen Holiday Wish 

While it’s changed from Cinderella to Elsa the last few years seeing the castle get lit up in all its shimmery glory is probably one of my favorite things of the entire Christmas season at Walt Disney World. 

2. Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Hollywood and Dine 

I wasn’t sure what to expect when we did this last year. It was a lot of fun to dine with the characters in their festive clothes, while feasting on holiday food. I will say the food wasn’t my favorite but my daughter and husband were fans. I loved all the desserts, I have a major sweet tooth. 

You get your picture with Santa Goofy upon arrival by a photo pass photographer. Then Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy come around to your table just like at other character meals. There is Christmas decor and music playing, and just really gets you in the spirit. You can now experience  this at both lunch and dinner. 

3. Disney’s Grand Floridian Gingerbread House 

This is another one of my favorites, and I even love stopping by the resort and watching the building process. This is a life size gingerbread house, and they actually open a little shop inside where you can purchase different items. They seriously pipe the smell of gingerbread through the resort. 

4. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Disney’s Magic Kingdom

It’s the Spirit of the Season you can feel it in the air. From Snow on Main Street USA, hot cocoa and cookies, special character meet in greets in their holiday best, a night time parade, fireworks and snow on Main street it’s one of my favorite events of the holiday season. 

Last year it got a bit of an upgrade with different types of cookies, and snow cones at different stations instead of just hot cocoa and snickerdoodles like it’s been for years. It was a much appreciated upgrade. I loved the peppermint bark cookie! 

 

5. Meet Santa 

Nothing is more special than meeting Santa at Walt Disney World. One of my favorites was about 5 years ago when he was meeting right in the front middle of the park. We got pictures with Santa at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party with the castle in the background and it’s one of my favorite pictures and memories. He doesn’t do that anymore sadly but you can still meet him at the party, Disney Springs, Hollywood Studios, and with Mrs. Claus in the World Showcase at Epcot. 

6. Christmas through the Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts

All the resorts get decked out for Christmas as well. The Disney’s Boardwalk, Yacht and Beach, Club and Contemporary Resort all have different Gingerbread structures as well. 

 

 

I love the trees at both Disney’s  Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge as well with their huge open lobby’s the trees are just spectacular. Honestly the decor everywhere is just perfect. 

All the Parks have trees, decor, and music of course. With all of them having their own special things for the season!

7. Holidays around the World at Disney’s Epcot 

Last year they added various food booths to Holidays Around World at Epcot which was a fun addition. My favorite of this celebration however is what I like to all Santa’s around the World. While it’s not Santa in every country there are Story Tellers in each country. In France is Pierre Noel they tell the story of Pierre Noel and Christmas in France. I’m Mexico it’s the Three Kings. I love going place to place to learn more about their cultures and Christmas. 

Father Christmas in the United Kingdom
Pierre Noel in France
Pierre Noel
Morocco
Japan

8. Candlelight Processional at Disney’s Epcot 

Celebrate the Reason for the Season. This one is amazing. With a Cast choir and celebrity narrators it’s a do not miss! The story of Christmas is told. I love that the true reason for the season is celebrated. The choir is amazing and there are some great narrators lined up. The seats fill up fast, so get there early. You can actually make dining reservations with seating for Candlelight and that’s a really nice perk to have. 

9. Pick out Special Holiday Merchandise 

Some of the best merchandise Disney comes out with each year is their holiday merchandise. From ornaments, to festive ears and hats, mugs and more. We always love to get an ornament each and every trip for our Disney tree. 

Not going to the parks for Christmas and still want in on some of the fun? Check out some of the items below and you can shop them over at Shop Disney! 

10. Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail and Decor at Disney Springs 

New just last year Disney added a trial of themed trees to see at Disney Springs. Sadly it started the day after we left but I can tell you it’s still a must see. From Minnie, to The Little Mermaid and more new ones coming this season make sure to add this to part of your Disney Christmas Itinerary. 

Snow people at Disney Springs

11. Take a ride on the Jingle Cruise at Disney’s Magic Kingdom 

Starting November 2nd this year Guest can enjoy a Christmas themed ride on the Jungle Cruise which has been transformed to the Jingle Cruise. 

The Jungle Cruise is decked out with Christmas cheer, even the script changes a bit. As always there were Boats and Jokes, and fun to be had by all!

 

12. Eat All the Festive Treats 

Ok but really calories don’t count at Disney right? There are so many fun festive treats through the parks. Cake Pops, Cup Cakes, Rice Krispy Treats, Peppermint Mochas on Main Street, Peppermint bark samples at Ghirardelli. My absolute favorite the Holiday Sandwich at Earl of Sandwich in Disney Springs. ( ya I know it’s now available year around) There is something for everyone and you should enjoy it. 

Holiday Sandwich

 

Special Treats at MVMCP at the Cone Shop

 

Christmas Treats in the Confectionary at Magic Kingdom
Cranberry Mojito Shop Ears here

Disney really makes the Christmas Season extra magical. There is so much to see and do. While I still miss the Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights I’m excited to see the new entertainment coming to Hollywood Studios this holiday season. What are your favorite things to do around the Disney Parks and Resorts during the holidays?