CRAZY CANDY CANE CAKE

Ready to make a cake that will have your friends and family racing back for more? Totally Instagram ready, the Crazy Candy Cane Cake from the HOLIDAY JUBILEE retro cookbook will have everyone smiling. And eating. 

holiday cake

GET THIS

 

3 boxes white cake mix, mixed according to box instructions

 

1 large bottle red food coloring

 

1 large bottle white food coloring

 

1 large bottle turquoise food coloring

 

Peppermint extract to taste

 

5 tubs white frosting

 

Small and large candy canes

 

Red, white, and green spice drops

 

Peppermint candies

 

GET BUSY

Divide batter into two bowls and stir in peppermint extract to taste. Generously add red food coloring to one and white food coloring to the other. (Using red velvet cake batter just won’t do, it’s simply not bright enough.) Fill plastic squeeze bottles with batter. Spray 3 cake pans with PAM. Line bottom of cake pans with no-stick baking paper. Flour sides of pans.

To create the candy cane effect, squeeze in the red and white batter, alternating in concentric circles until pan is about 3/4 full. Bake cakes according to box instructions.  

FROSTING and FILLING

Stir turquoise food coloring into frosting until color is consistent. Put several candy canes in a double-zip plastic bag and gently crack with a mallet until they are broken into small pieces and all your holiday aggressions are out. Sift to get rid of the teeny-tiny broken bits. Stack each layer with a generous spread of frosting sprinkled and topped with candy cane bits. Frost and refrigerate.

SHOWTIME

To increase the chances that your candy cane cake will collapse during the party, decorate with candy canes, peppermints, and spice drops just before your guests arrive. Let them oooh and aaah over it. Then let gravity do its thing—hopefully within an hour or so, much to their devilish delight, they’ll witness the cake crack, fail, and fall. Serve the collapsed cake right away with holiday cheer and watch it get gobbled up like it was the last cake on the planet! By the way, it’s totally fine if your crazy candy cane cake doesn’t collapse—it’ll still be the life of the party.  

RECIPE FROM HOLIDAY JUBILEE

BY CHARLES PHOENIX

Christmas Markets Tips for Families

Christmas markets are an absolute joy to visit during the Holiday season. As someone who considers themselves a Christmas market aficionado, I have come up with a list of the best possible tips to get the most from your Christmas market visits. 

 

Tips For Getting The Most From Your Christmas Market Visits: 

  1. Visit At Night. 

 

One of the things that you should do is schedule your Christmas market visits at nighttime. While you can visit them during the day as they are typically open, they are going to be much prettier to visit during the later hours of the day. That way, you can experience the sparkling lights in the dark and experience the changed festive atmosphere at night. 

 

  1. Visit Different Markets. 

 

While it might be tempting to visit one and be over with it, you will want to broaden your horizons. Instead, you should look to visit at least three different markets. After all, each market has its own ambiance with its own decor and specializations. Because of this, you should be planning a trip to a minimum of three to get the most out of your entire experience. You will only be able to reach the one located at Fraueninsel via boat transportation. It is the only one that you will find in Germany on an island. Whereas, in Munich itself, you will find 17 unique Christmas markets each with its own specialization. Check out this list of the best top 10 traditional Christmas markets.

 

  1. Go Thirsty and Hungry. 

 

One of the best things about Christmas markets, in general, would be the food and the drinks. Because of this, you will want to go hungry and thirsty. You will find all kinds of different foods especially at a German Christmas market where you can find specialty foods and beverages that are only available during the Christmas time of the year. This includes must-haves like Lebkuchen which is gingerbread and even Kinderpunsch which tastes much like Kool-Aid. You will be able to take advantage of the regional specialties at the market which can really be a fun and rewarding experience. 

 

  1. Visit With Your Friends And Family. 

 

Another good tip to implement is to try visiting with both your friends and family. You will be able to have a much better overall time by visiting with your friends and family because you will be able to hang out with them in a great atmosphere and celebrate the time of year with them. If you are going to be hanging out for a long time with your friends and family, you should dress appropriately because the weather can get very cold. 

 

  1. Look For Local Specialties. 

 

Whenever you are going out to Christmas markets which specialties, you should be seeking them out. You want to look at each market individually and try the specialties it offers. For instance, the one in Nürnberg specializes in gingerbread. Therefore, you want to ensure that you try it. Whereas, other markets specialize in other foods. 

 

  1. Wear Gloves. 

 

Wearing gloves is a good tip because these markets can get very cold. However, you do want to be sure that you are going to be able to hold objects like cups while at the market. The best way to ensure that you remain warm but don’t lose the inconvenience of having a strong grip without gloves is by wearing finger-less mittens or gloves.

Ideas for your next Christmas card

Tis the season once again and you must be riveting from all the Christmas card ideas that you have in mind. Whether you choose a theme such as construction Christmas cards made especially for your builder husband, or an astronaut theme for your little dreamer, this article offers some of the freshest ideas on exactly what you should write inside.

 

First things first

 

It can be tricky to let your loved one feel how special they are through Christmas cards. As it is tradition, almost every one of them can seem repetitive. When you think about it, at least 9 of 10 cards that you have received last Christmas probably read something along the lines of “Dear Mom, Merry Christmas. Love from all of us.”. Christmas cards have become predictable and, worst case, insincere. So if you are writing a Christmas card, try to find inspiration to show your loved one how much Christmas together means for you.

 

The first thing you ought to do is to choose a Christmas card design. This is not always easy given possibly the million choices that you can select from. You can start by narrowing it down to themes that you think fits your the one you are giving the card to perfectly. There are some considerations you have to take into account as well like religious beliefs, stature, relationship with the receiver and even cultural background. From cute to formal, from straightforward to touching, there is a design that will fit each one. But, if you think you are up to the task, you can also design one yourself. Keep in mind however that it may take a few skills with the photo editing tool and a lot of work and patience if you are not used to it. But that extra mile you do will definitely be appreciated by the receiver and you should do that if you could.

 

As is tradition, Christmas cards often come with pictures with families or loved ones. You pick the most gorgeous one you have in stock, or better yet, make a new one each year so you can commemorate each Christmas how much things have changed since the very first Christmas.

 

Now with all of the preliminaries out of the way, it is time to write your Christmas card message. Here are some tips for you that will hopefully add to the joyful spirit that is Christmas.

Brevity is key

 

Whilst you want to tell your recipients all about the entire year your family has went through, you have to keep their attention and a lengthy message will not afford you that. Keep it short and think of a feeling that you want to convey rather than a story that you want to tell. Typically 2 to 5 lines should be enough with no more than 15 words. Keep in mind that a picture already speaks a thousand words but would not take as long to read.

For your parents or grandparents

 

Sometimes when making cards for close family members, you might think there might be nothing else you could say, after all you call your mum and dad every day. You may be right, but it does not mean that you can’t give your loved one something a bit more special. Our suggestion is to recreate some of the pictures that your parents or grandparents have of you. As you may be living far away from them now, these pictures are all they have of you to remember you by, and now they will have the grown up version. Print the original photo in front and put the recreated photo in the back. You can then choose to have a printed message inside or you can leave it blank so you can personalize it for each recipient.

For your colleagues at work

 

There is a certain balance that you have to maintain when writing construction Christmas cards for your coworkers. While you would not want them to seem bland and generic, you do not want it to be too personal as it may seem insincere. Either way, the most important thing is that you give each one a card as anyone missing a card might feel like he/she is being targeted. You can have different cards for your close workmates like the ones that sit beside your desk or those you know well enough and you can do a different one for your boss. You can add a little personalization in it as well as long as you do not feel like you are overstepping any bounds. All in all, these people are probably the ones that you will be mingling with the longest throughout the year so it is important to show them that you remember them for Christmas.

Make the cards sing

 

When you are all out of ideas, there is nothing that feels a lot more like Christmas than sharing Christmas song lines. Pick a favorite one of better yet pick the recipients favorite line and make that the message of your card. While it may not feel as personal or as original as most would rather have it, it is a sure way to let them know that you are one with them in celebrating Christmas.

For close friends

 

Friends are the easiest people that you are going to talk to in your entire life because as they say friends are family that you get to choose. There is no issue in keeping it casual when talking with your friends. Write long cheesy lines to make sure that they know how you feel about them. To let them know just how exclusive is the friendship between the two of you, make sure to add a few touches that only the two of you would understand. This will make them realize that you have especially written the construction Christmas card for them. And most important of all, send them Christmas love by sending them a picture of you both.

Last Minute Toy Shopping Under $20 #GiftGuide

 

Adorable plush Rescue Runts and Cinco Linko game are under $20 and available in-store at thousands of Walmart stores across the country. You can shop local and not worry about products shipping in timeThese toys are family-friendly, encourage creativity and offer year-round fun!

Cinco Linko (Big Potato)

Cinco Linko is a super-simple five-in-a-row tile game that you can clip to your bag and play on the go, no matter where you’re headed. With no game board required, any flat surface can be your playing field – whether it’s the coffee table at home, the tray table on an airplane or even the sand on the beach.

Learning is easy. Just choose a color, grab your stack and take turns laying down tiles side-by-side until someone manages to get five-in-a-row of their color, either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. Sounds simple, but when there’s players blocking you at every turn and a board without any boundaries, winning can go from simple to tricky in a flash. Run out of tiles? Well, that just means you’ll have to pick up the ones you’ve already placed and reposition them one by one until you manage to sneak your line of five past the other players.

Cinco Linko comes with 60 tiles (15 pink, 15 yellow, 15 green, 15 orange). The tiles stack easily onto four included racks that clip together with a connector to keep everything together on the go. Just use the included carabiner clip to hook Cinco Linko to your bag and you’re ready to play anyone, anywhere. Value: $9.99, 2-4 Players, Ages 8+, Available in Walmart Stores.

Rescue Runts (KD Kids)

Rescue Runts need a home to call their own! The super soft plush puppies and Limited Edition Rescue Runts Unicorn arrive in their crate packaging with matted fur full of fleas, dirty paws, bruises and bumps, tears in their eyes and downturned ears. Care for your Rescue Runt using the included grooming kit to pick out the fleas, remove the cast, clean the dirt from their paws, wipe away their tears and brush their messy fur. Perk up their ears to complete the transformation from ragged runt to perfect pet! Choose a name and write it on the collar to make the adoption official.

Just like any pet, Rescue Runts will need regular grooming, love and care so kids can engage in repeated animal rescue play. Rescue Runts’ fur will become messy again over time, so brunch them each day to keep them well-groomed. Dirt will reappear on their paws, so clean them up again and again! Rewrap the cast to care for their injuries. Place the fleas in their fur and tweeze them out. Flip their ears up or down to go from happy to sad.  Rescue Runts include one pet, a brush, collar, tweezers and towel.  MSRP $19.99, Ages 3+, Available at Walmart

Portable North Pole Toys for the Holiday Season #GiftGuide

Portable North Pole (PNP) brings the magic of Christmas to life with personalized video messages and calls directly from Santa to children young and old. Children (and parents) have sent more than 210 million videos globally since they started 10 years ago.

New for 2018 – the10th Anniversary of Portable North Pole- a line of adorable products, toys and plush dolls that lets kids live the magic of the season while encouraging good behavior:

  • NEW! Letters to Santa Kit: Take your personalized video to the next level using the Letters to Santa Kit, as the included video message reply will include your child’s hand-written letter. Each kit comes with stationary, envelopes, festive Christmas stickers and an officialNorth Pole post office stamp and ink pad. MSRP $12.99.
  • NEW! Twenty-Four Sleeps Until Santa Christmas Storybook:Kids count down the days of December with Santa! Every page offers the “Search and Find” game where kids hunt for Santa’s missing keys and a merry advent verse to read each day. Plus, the book can be personalized with a child’s photo and details. MSRP $12.99.
  • Do-Good Elf:Inspires learning about the true spirit of the holidays by encouraging kids to teach their elf the difference between naughty and nice.

The Do-Good Elf catches you doing GOOD vs. other elves that “spy” on you and report bad behavior back to Santa…

Comes with four (4) personalized videos where Santa checks in on the child teaching progress and more. MSRP $24.99.

  • Karamelli Santa’s Sweetest Baby Reindeer Plush and Okida Santa Playful Husky Puppy Plush: Children teach their cuddly baby pet about the spirit of Christmas. MSRP $12.99.

All toys will be available across North America at most Walmart locations and at Walmart.com this fall.

Euro Yuletide — 10 Christmas travel tips

For many Americans, the focus of Christmas is family — so provided we’re safe, sound and together, let the holiday celebrations begin.

But if you’re ticking items off your family travel bucket list, there’s a certain je ne sais quoi about spending the festive season in Europe.

Whether it’s the rustic old-world architecture, traditional Christmas markets, charming locals or fabulous food and drink, a trip to a European winter wonderland has all the fantasy elements of a scene suspended in a snow globe.  

If you’re planning to shake things up for real this Christmas with a continental break and need practical pre-flight advice, dream destination suggestions and clothing choices, you’ve come to the right place.

Here are ten Christmas travel tips for a Euro Yuletide.

 

  • UK border tips

 

If you’re headed for Britain, long passport control queues at airports like Heathrow and Gatwick might make the entire family antsy. But read these tips to beat border delays from the UK government to sail through swiftly.

 

  • Lounge pass

 

Chilling out in a luxe airport lounge prior to boarding your flight beats the busy regular terminal hands down — grab a Priority Pass membership online for access to over 1,000 worldwide lounge locations.

 

  • PJs

 

Struggling to convince your kids that a break to Bavaria or Brussels will be brilliant? Grab some sets of family matching pajamas from LazyOne.com — they’ll fast-track family festive bonding.

 

  • Pre-flight treat

 

Moms and dads yearning for a cheap culinary treat to get themselves in the mood for a magnificent European break should invest in a chai eggnog latte from Starbucks – it’s Christmas in a cup.

 

  • Parking

 

Travel to the airport in your family vehicle for a friction-free pre-flight experience that’s more relaxing than public transport — find parking at any US airport on Looking4.com to fly with peace of mind.

 

  • Boots

 

Wellington boots have been a mainstay of British fashion for generations and the brand that’s de rigueur these days is Hunter — a stylish pair will protect your feet wherever you’re trekking in Europe.

 

  • Skiing

 

If finding fresh powder on foreign slopes is your idea of family fun, there are few better Euro destinations than Switzerland — Ski Armadillo offer cool catered chalet experiences in the Verbier resort.

 

  • Northern Lights

 

Seeing the Aurora Borealis first hand is a spectacular festive family treat and if you view these legendary Northern Lights from Lapland, the rumor is that your kids can visit the real Santa Claus too. Check out Nordic Visitor tours online for a Noel you’ll never forget.

 

  • Hogmanay

 

‘What’s Hogmanay?’ we hear you say — it’s Scotland’s version of New Year and no one on Earth parties like the natives of this beautiful land. Book a package for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay street party and get ready to rock.

 

  • Madeira

 

For a New Year trip that’s slightly more sedate than Scotland but equally spectacular, head to the marvelous Portuguese island of Madeira. You’ll enjoy terrific torch-lit meals in fabulous Funchal and witness one of the world’s biggest firework displays when the clock strikes midnight.

That’s our list! Tell us about your favorite festive Euro destination in the comments section.

Amazon Prime Video Kids premiering Prime Original holiday specials

As families everywhere hang stockings from the fireplace, place presents under the tree, leave fresh-baked cookies out for Santa, and prepare New Year’s resolutions, Amazon Prime Video Kids will be premiering brand-new Prime Original holiday specials, exclusively on Prime Video. Click Clack Moo: Christmas at the Farm, inspired by the acclaimed children’s book series “Click, Clack, Moo” from New York Times bestselling duo Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin, premieres on November 28 and Pete the Cat: A Groovy New Year, based on the award-winning “Pete the Cat” book series by Kimberly and James Dean, spreads cheer starting December 26.

Amazon Prime Original Holiday Specials:

  • Click Clack Moo: Christmas at the Farm: It’s Christmas time and the farm animals have a problem: how to buy Farmer Brown the present of his dreams – a Tumbletron 300 clothes dryer. It’s a race against time for them, and for Duck who has his own problem – upping his “nice” numbers for Santa to get off the “naughty” list. (Nov. 28)
  • If You Give a Mouse a Christmas CookieIf it’s holiday time in Mouse’s house then, that means Christmas cookies (including a special one for Santa, of course), caroling…and one nearly-destroyed holiday pageant. Can Mouse and his animal friends save the show, without getting utterly distracted along the way? It’s a wild ride as Mouse and his friends embody the friendship and caring at the heart of the holiday season.
  • The Snowy Day: Based on the award-winning book by Ezra Jack Keats. Peter goes on a magical, snowy walk to his Nana’s house to bring home their Christmas Eve dinner.
  • Pete the Cat: A Groovy New Year: It’s New Year’s Eve and Pete the Cat needs a New Year’s Resolution, but… he doesn’t even know what a resolution is! So, with the help of his family and friends, Pete sets out on a fun, musical ride to find one. But as the clock ticks down to midnight, Pete is still resolutionless…will he find one in time? (Dec. 26)

 Amazon Prime Original Holiday Episodes:

  •  The Stinky & Dirty Show, Season 2“Snow Problem” – Stinky and Dirty clear the snow from train tracks in front of FAST, the freight train, then unplug a clogged tunnel so he can reach his destination with a shipment of Christmas trees and ornaments for the Go City town square. “Sleigh Riders” – Early Christmas morning, Stinky and Dirty find a crashed sleigh filled with gifts, and decide to deliver them – but they must find ways to move themselves in snow, and a sled on pavement in order to bring Christmas gifts to the residents of Go City! (episode 1) (Nov. 23)
  • Wishenpoof, Season 2: “A Wish World Christmas” – It’s Christmas time and Bianca, her family and friends are gathered around the town’s Christmas tree to make their wishes. When Bob’s wish breaks and Penelope’s wish gets thrown off course, Bianca becomes determined to do whatever it takes to make their wishes come true! (episodes 12 & 13)
  • Creative Galaxy, Season 1“Baby Georgia’s First Christmas” –  Baby Georgia gets sad because she has to leave the snow alien Arty made outside, so he goes to Sculpturon and learns to make one she can look at indoors. “Christmas Memories” – Arty wants to treasure Christmas with his friends, so they head to Paperia and learn to turn their photos into a picture book they can look at forever! (episode 13)
  • Tumble Leaf, Season 2“Snowflake Dance” – An injured Rutabaga can’t do the Snowflake Dance so Maple steps in and learns the dance in unexpected ways. “The Tinsel Tree Topper” – When Fig loses, then breaks a special holiday tree topper, he learns that just being together is a reason to celebrate. (episode 2)
  • Bookaboo, Season 1“Bookaboo’s Barkin’ New Year’s Eve” special features the incredible Paula Abdul and a whole host of Bookaboo’s celebrity friends who come together to celebrate and countdown to midnight. (episode 9)

Prime members will be able to stream these specials exclusively via the Amazon Prime Video app for compatible TVs, connected devices including Fire TV, mobile devices, and online at www.amazon.com/primevideokids.

FREE Frankincense Essential Oil

GuruNanda – an industry leader in safe and natural aromatherapy – is offering their best-selling Frankincense Essential Oil to email subscribers.  Frankincense Oil helps to reduce age spots, balance emotions and reduce allergies.

To get your freebie, subscribe to the mailing list, here, and enter code “XMAS” at checkout!

Customers will be discounted the full value of the Frankincense Essential Oil and will only pay shipping and handling!  Need a last-minute gift?  Add a gift set to your cart… orders over $25 qualify for free shipping.

Happy shopping, and Happy Holidays.