Need a Gift for a Grinch? 6 Holiday Ideas to Make Everyone Smile

Pinterest Image Holiday Babbleboxx

This post is sponsored by Babbleboxx.com All opinions are my own.

We’ve all got that someone(s) on our list that is a *little* hard to buy for. They’ve either got everything they need OR they’ll always tell you they don’t want a gift. Of course, this leaves you floundering the last few days of the season because YOU know they want something. I mean, you can’t very well let them be the only one with out a gift to open. This holiday CastelloPAM Cooking SprayCracker BarrelWellness Pet Food, and WHIMZEES offered to help us check off those hard to buy for on our holiday list and give the Grinch-iest of Grinches something to smile about.

6 Holiday Ideas to Make Anyone Smile

Create a CheeseBoard with Castello Cheeses 

Castello Cheeseboard Babbleboxx Christmas

It is possible that not every guest has a sweet tooth. Some very dedicated may be starting their new year’s diet early or even posses the self-control to say no to holiday cookies. If that is the case, having a few good cheeses on hand will help you put together a chic holiday cheese board in no time.

Not sure what to include? Castello makes it SO easy! The Cheese Board Builder on their website helps you pick out the cheeses and pairs them with the perfect selections filtering by sensitivities or preferences, like vegetarian, alcohol free, and gluten-free.

Castello Cheeses Holiday Cheeseboard

Facebook: @CastelloUSA | Twitter: @CastelloUSA | Instagram: @CastelloUSA

Cookies & Milk 

Cracker Barrel Christmas Babbleboxx

Santa isn’t the only one who has an affinity for milk and cookies. This time of year you can soften young hearts by showing up with a gift of milk and homemade cookies. These glass milk bottles from Cracker Barrel are the perfect addition to a vintage holiday party or classic cookie bar and make the occasion feel extra special. Pick up a few at your local Cracker Barrel gift shop and let each of your guests take theirs home for when Santa visits.

Also note the silver snowflake cocktail picks that came from Cracker Barrel too! From cookies to appetizers, you can serve everything with style.

Discount: 30% off site-wide with code SHOP30 

Facebook: @CrackerBarrel | Twitter: @CrackerBarrel | Instagram: @CrackerBarrel

Rosemary Bread and Olive Oil Spray from Pam

Pam Christmas Babbleboxx

If time prohibits you from getting together for the holidays this is a lovely gift idea for anyone on your list. Pick up a bag of pre-sliced baguette from the local grocery or bakery, tie a couple of sprigs of rosemary to the top with a ribbon and add a bottle of Pam Olive Oil spray. It’s a perfect gift to leave on the doorstep of a neighbor or to keep on hand for an extra gift.

I love having this Pam Spray at home because it’s non-stick, no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, and it helps control how much is used when I have little hands helping in the kitchen. The eco-friendly part of me loves that its non aerosol too.

*Discount: Download the ibotta app and earn cash back on your purchase of PAM Spray Pump

Instagram: @pamcookingsprayofficial | Pinterest: @pamcookingspray

Treats For the Pet Lover 

Whimzees Wellness Petfood Babbleboxx Christmas

So if food selections haven’t won over your Grinch showing love and welcoming their furry friends is sure to warm their heart. Make sure they know that your home is welcoming to them and their pet (It’s just for a day after all). Place a nourishing bowl of Wellness CORE Natural Pet food inside a festive wreath and tie up a couple of Whimzees dental chews and treats for them to take home. Little touches like this go a long way to telling them they were being thought of long before they arrived.
Wellness:
Facebook: @wellnesspetfood |Twitter: @wellnesspetfood | Instagram: @@wellnesspetfood
Whimzees:
Facebook: @whimzeesdogchews | Instagram: @whimzeesdogchew |Twitter: @whimzeesdogchew

Christmas Central: Holiday Decorations

Christmas Central Holiday babbleboxx

Okay, so if we haven’t won them over with food and there are no furry friends to speak of we are left with only one option. Make things as festive as possible. Ridiculously so if needed. Christmas Central has it all. My favorite- big impact, minimal effort- is the outdoor snowflake projector. Here in Texas we don’t get a lot of snow but this will make your guest feel like they are walking up to a winter wonderland. Start playing a little holiday music and when you open the door there will be nothing but smiles for miles.

Facebook: @ChristmasCentral | Twitter: @ChristmasCenter | Instagram: @christmas_central

Hopefully these ideas helped check off the last of your list or offered a few entertaining ideas! What’s left on your holiday list ?

4 Perfect Gifts for the Girl on the Go

Gifts for the Girl on the Go

Finding the perfect gift for the girl you can hardly pin down is a tough feat. She’s someone who likes nice things but doesn’t have time to be weighed down. The things in her life have to be multi-functional, chic and bring joy. This can be complicated to sort out but with just a few shopping days left I’ve teamed up with Verizon to test out a few of these and offer you some of the best suggestions of the season!

Perfect Gifts for the Girl on the Go

Google Pixel

google Pixel

With this new phone by Google, she can be sure to document precious moments everywhere life takes her with the highest rated smartphone camera, a battery that lasts all day (through countless selfies and emails) and a charger that gets seven hours of battery life in 15 minutes. Couple that with UNLIMITED cloud photo storage and Verizon’s fastest LTE Advanced network. The girl on the go needs a network that works just as fast as she does.

FitBit Charge 2

Do you even walk bro? If you didn’t track your steps how do we know?! The Fit Bit Charge 2 tracks everything. Maximize workouts, automatically track all-day activity, exercise and sleep. Plus, make the most of your routine with smartphone notifications, Reminders to Move and personalized guided breathing sessions. Add interchangeable bands and it’s the motivation you need to push yourself further.

Cork Globe

Gift guide cork globe

Help your loved ones track previous and future adventures with this contemporary globe. Colored pins keep track of bucket-list destinations and favorite vacations, while the stainless-steel and cork design gives it a fresh, grown-up look.

Travel Blanket Scarf

gift guide blanket scarf

This is one item she can’t afford to be without. Whether it’s a trek across the country or across town, this is a MUST HAVE item in her bag. Planes are always cold and nothing is cozier on a long roadtrip in the car than the blanket scarf. Wrap it, drape it, twist it or belt it, with so many versatile styling options it is a gift any girl will love!

I hope these ideas spurred you on for one more gift under the tree or even a little something to surprise her with New Year’s day. Any of these gifts are sure to surprise and delight! Thanks again to Verizon for providing the lifestyle tech items to review for this gift guide.

For shopping and price info:

Google Pixel :Price $649.99 (retail); $27 per month (two-year contract)
Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate and Fitness Wristband:  Price $149.00 (retail)
Cork Globe:  uncommongoods.com Price: $48.00-$105.00 depending on size
Travel Blanket Scarf : check out several great options here

 

 

Gift of Lights and Snow at Texas Motor Speedway

Disclosure: I was given passes for Gift of Lights and Snow Town for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own. 

This Thanksgiving holiday we were blessed to have our family travel to our home. We had a great time together. We cooked, we ate, we talked, and then we were ready to play! With a large group we gave a lot of thought to what we all wanted to do. With everyone living in different cities (and states) now, we knew wanted to make some traditional holiday memories together. We wanted  snowball fights, hot cocoa, and merry Christmas music playing  while we drove leisurely driving looking  at Christmas lights. With a 70 degree day in Texas, it didn’t really seem likely that a snowball fight would be in our future. Little did everyone know that the Gift of Lights and Snow at Texas Motor Speedway was on our weekend agenda!

Everyone loved the idea of visiting Gift of Lights together but we hadn’t told the kids yet about Snow because we wanted that part to be a surprise. We packed extra jackets, scarves, coats, and gloves in the back of the van and all piled in to go look at the Christmas lights.  We soon arrived at Texas Motor Speedway and while it was super easy to find where we were going, there were attendants ready to direct traffic and helpful with any questions we had.  We dimmed our headlights and began our drive through the bright displays set up along the the path.We had a lot of fun looking to the right and then to the left of the car deciding which displays were our favorites. There were so many displays! Collectively, we decided that the tunnel of lights was hands down our favorite to drive-thru display of the evening.  According to the website there were over 600 unique displays and two million LED lights spread over the  1.7 miles!

the Gift of Lights and SNOW at Texas Motor Speedway

After we had driven through the wonderful light displays, we made our way to SNOW! The Snow Village at TMS features a tubing hill, snow ball gallery, and a snow play area. Kids can also visit Santa and make s’mores. This was super fun for everyone!  Finding something to do with a group of wide ages and activity levels is always a challenge but Snow was great for this. Everyone in our group got involved grandparents, parents, teens and kids. Do make sure to bring coats and gloves and even extra clothes to change into if you have other plans afterwards. I had our kids wear their rain boots. This is real snow so prepared to be seasonally chilly and for the kids to be a little wet if they’ve been playing in the snow for awhile. It really is a so fun so everyone will want to stay for awhile.

The Gift of Lights and SNOW at Texas Motor Speedway

The kids were definitely surprised to see all the snow. The first thing they did was to make a run for the huge snow play area! Snowballs were promptly created and the tossing of snow ensued. Then we worked together to build a snowman and a snow fort. When our hands needed a break from the cold we decided to grab a tube and enjoy the snow tubing. Everyone got in on this one. The tubes were closed on the bottom so little ones didn’t have a problem staying in their tube and you stayed dry.  It was unlimited tubing so we could take as many trips down the snow hill as we liked.  We spent several hours playing, tubing, and making memories. It really was a wonderful outing that everyone in our group enjoyed.

If you are interested in playing in the Texas SNOW with your family Visit giftoflightstms.com for event hours, Santa’s schedule, and pricing.

My readers can save $2 per car to Gift of Lights Drive Thru Light Show PLUS $2 Off Per Person to Snow Village with this exclusive coupon : Save$2.00

Our Trip on the Polar Express

The Polar Express is one of our very favorite Christmas stories, both in book and movie form. We were thrilled to be able to schedule a real life train ride on the Polar Express Train ( Texas State Railroad ) in Palestine Texas last weekend. It was quite a drive but certainly worth it for the wonderful memories and unforgettable experience!

Beautifully decorated Polar Express Train Depot in Palestine, TX.

Beautifully decorated Polar Express Train Depot in Palestine, TX.

We arrived early as we were told to give ourselves enough time to park, check in, and do any shopping in the git shop. We did have to park a little farther from the train depot but there were several carts offering rides to/from the depot.  We checked in by giving our reservation name and they presented us with admission tickets, hardback copy 25th anniversary edition of the Polar Express book and special memory tickets for the kids that the conductor would come along to stamp on the ride. You must have a ticket for the Polar Express you know.

Ticket to the Polar Express

Polar Express train ticket for the kids. The Conductor came along to stamp each child’s ticket along our ride.

PJ's

We didn’t have to wait too long before the Polar Express had arrived! The kids had dressed in their PJ’s & robes (this was encouraged) and were ready for a ride to the North Pole.  Our train car was a lot of fun. It looked like a vintage silver bullet train car. We were seated on the upper level and the whole train car was decorated with white, silver, and evergreen Christmas decor. Waiting for each of us at our seats was a delicious chocolate chip cookie. We waited to eat it though because soon after we started moving the attendants on our train started singing and delivering souvenir warm mugs of hot chocolate to accompany our cookie. They came around later and offered whipped cream for our hot chocolate too.

Souvenir Polar Express Mug of hot chocolate and cookies.

Souvenir Polar Express Mug of hot chocolate and cookies.

Chef on the Polar Express

The chef who delivered our hot hot hot chocolate to us. “Here we only have one rule: Never, never let it cool.”

After our hot chocolate had been delivered, a recording of the Polar Express played and we got to read along in our copy of the Polar Express. This made it great for kids of all reading levels.

reading along with the Polar Express

Sebastian reading along with the story.

Before we know it an announcement was being made that we were arriving at the North Pole! The lights in the train car dimmed and we all rushed to one side of the train car to get a glimpse. Sure enough, there were elves dancing and even Santa himself waving to all the passengers.

The North Pole!

The North Pole!

We got to spend several minutes of our trip “Oooohing” & “Ahhing” at the North Pole.  Soon we were ready to make the return trip back to the depot but not before we were told that Santa himself had gotten on the train! The kids were thrilled- they would get to meet Santa in person soon! Santa and his elves came by and gave every child a silver bell so they would always believe  in the magic of Christmas. Santa signed our copy of the Polar Express and he even took a picture with the kiddos too.

Santa signing our copy of the Polar Express

Santa signing our copy of the Polar Express

Santa & his elf

The kids were thrilled to get their picture with Santa and an elf as he presented them each with their very own silver bell. Never Stop Believing.

Santa had many more kids to visit before the train ride was finished. So after Santa left our train car staff really stepped it up. They had been leading us in songs and dancing the whole time but the energy after Santa’s visit was very high.  They would invite the kids to dance with them one at a time and we all sang along and clapped for each child dancing. Sebastian was shy but Kaitlyn loved being asked to dance and danced with several of the attendants.

Dancing on the Polar Express

Dancing on the Polar Express

Before we departed our souvenir mugs were washed, wrapped up, and returned for us to take home. The staff interaction was really so wonderful and made the experience unforgettable. Our whole family had a great time and the kids slept great the whole ride home.This would be wonderful holiday experience for any family to enjoy!

To make your own family reservations on the Polar Express go here or call 877-726-7245 to climb aboard.  You can follow them on Facebook & Twitter too!

*My family was provided tickets for our experience on the Polar Express to review. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Panther Island Ice & Ticket Giveaway

Panther Island Ice

 

Looking for something exciting to do with your holiday guests? Need to find something new to do with your kids over the holiday break? Or Guys, how about surprising her with a romantic date night idea?

Why not try Fort Worth’s FIRST outdoor ice skating rink, Panther Island Ice. Complete with real ice, Panther Island Ice will offer public skating, Santa Claus appearances, seasonal music and fun for all ages. Come out this season and make ice skating a new holiday tradition!

My family is so excited to check out this new attraction. We know your’s will be too so we wanted to give you a chance to win 2 Tickets! Enter the Giveaway below for your chance to win! Ends 11/25 11:59 CST

hours
Hours are subject to change.
Regular Hours:
Monday – Thursday
Monday – Thursday (FWISD Winter Break)
Friday
Saturday – Sunday
4:00pm – 10:00pm
11:00am – 11:00pm
4:00pm – 11:00pm
11:00am – 11:00pm
Holidays:
Thanksgiving Day
Christmas Eve
Christmas Day
New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Day
11:00am – 11:00pm
11:00am – 6:00pm
2:00pm – 11:00pm
11:00am – 6:00pm
11:00am – 11:00pm

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

*Tickets for Panther Island Ice were provided by Trinity River Vision Authority. All opinions are my own.