Sunday, December 25

Everybody {wants to be loved} by Ingrid Michaelson

I have loved Ingrid Michaelson ever since seeing her live in concert at House of Blues in San Diego.  I treated my husband; the tickets were only $10, and we were standing in the front row, FRONT ROW.  Her voice was flawless.  I mean, she was singing live and sounded exactly like, if not better, than her recordings.  She was a charm.  Listen:





Her songs never fail to engage me in singing and instantly put me in a good mood.  Magic.

-Becky Charms

Day 25 of 25 Days of Christmas

 

It's Christmas Day, and as you've probably figured out, I've skipped a few entries in this first time ever "25 Days of Christmas Countdown".  We all get busy, shopping and running errands to get things done before the big day, so I hope you will forgive me.  Rest assured, I have not forgotten about you, and am so happy to wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season.  {That's what I would've written in my Christmas Cards had I gotten them done.  Ha.}  I'm usually the one who ALWAYS sends cards, so I didn't feel too bad when I just ran out of time.  I think I'll send them between now and New Year's...knock out two holidays with one note.  Score.

I feel it's too early to really settle on any kind of New Year's Resolutions, but I have a few things brewing.  Work out more, check.  Eat healthier, check.  Blog more, for sure.  Play outside.  Shop smarter.  Learn to wind down.  I've already stopped drinking soda; it's been since Halloween and I feel so much better!  Growing up we always drank Pepsi. Then at about age 22-23, I got sick and couldn't taste anything, so I switched to Diet, and afterward never went back to regular.  It was awesome.  No sugar, no calories.  And it worked...for a while.  But recently, I've become more aware of nutrition facts and the effects on the body...so I decided to give it a try and eliminate it altogether.  My husband and I were spending a lot of money on soda.  And sometimes I get a craving for a sip, but remember the burn {the burn and tingling of the bubbles that I used to adore so much} and turn away.  

Yes, our local Starbucks WAS OPEN this morning{magic & miracles}.  Merry Christmas!!
Today was super fun.  Tiny Baker woke up her dad and me around 8 ish {I think.  Who can even see or comprehend that early in the morning?} and we went out to see what Santa had brought.  Where I was thinking I hadn't gotten her all that I wanted to, she still had so many presents to open that she was getting side tracked from finishing opening the ones that were there.  We always want to get everything we possibly can for our child{ren}. 

We opened our stockings, and exchanged our gifts, showered, headed to Starbucks for a power-up, and went to my parents' house {Bubbe & PopPop's} to see what Santa had brought, and share in some more gift-giving.  I love Christmas, always have, and it helps that my parents do too.  So naturally I've led by example and have hooked my husband into adopting it as his favorite Holiday, and Tiny Baker has been born into Christmas Cheer!! {some people love Halloween, but Christmas will ALWAYS be our #1.}

A few presents I received {Thank you!!}:





 
And the ultimate gift from my hubby, what I've been asking for and he listened {enter astonished look on my face}: an HP Photosmart 7515 e-All-in-One Printer!  Thank you, Mr. Sensitive.


It's now 4:30pm 5:15pm 5:28pm, dinner is in the oven courtesy of Stouffer's lasagna, and afterward we'll mosey on back to our home which is conveniently located 3 min. away.  There we will all settle down for a long winter's nap.  

I am thankful for all of my family, living and deceased.  I wish we could all be together {or wanted to}, and count my blessings for every living relative I still have with me.  Life is precious.  Near or far, say a little prayer for your dear loved ones, and thank God for sending us The Newborn King.  Happy Birthday, Jesus!


-Becky Charms

Saturday, December 17

Day 12 of 25 Days of Christmas


Feeling gnomey?  Here are a few, fun, gnome ideas and items to charm up your Christmas Holiday Season.  Put them in your garden, in your kitchen, in your bedroom...wherever you want and wish to have some gnome cheer and good tidings.

Click on each picture to see more details.






For SD Chargers fans!

A welcoming gnome for any entrance.





This movie was a personal favorite of mine when I was a child!


Sleepy Solar Gnome



Hello there, tree gnome!

Wishing you a fun-filled gnomey wintry day!  I hope these little gnomes have had a charming effect on you, and will find a place to live with you in your home.  You'll never be lonely with a friendly gnome around!



-Becky Charms

Friday, December 16

Day 9 of 25 Days of Christmas

 

Chocolate Gingerbread House Petit-Fours Snowy Village [Featured on FrugalGirls!!] {recipe adapted from Martha Stewart, found here.}


 

I followed the recipe pretty much to the "t".  I creamed the butter, then added the brown sugar.  Next I added the molasses and eggs, and beat them until creamy. 



 

Add all the dry ingredients together to make a nice layered mix.


 

It's really been crazy hectic lately.  Catching up with blogs, COUPONS, getting everything ready to open a small business, raise my almost-3-year-old tiny baker, clean the house, and catch up with those dredded dishes.  Oh, and Christmas, Christmas, Christmas!  I do enjoy giving presents, and have tried not to stress about it this year.  And I do love to relax with a nice hot Venti White Mocha nonfat no whip from Starbucks.  So when the stress does start to get to me, I like to hop in the car and speed on over to my local drive-thru Starbucks and pick up a nice cup of coffee {fancy coffee}.  It just makes me feel happy, like "I deserve this".  Mmm.  


 

Anything with brown sugar is anything worth eating!  


 

Charming molasses jar.  You know I bought it because of the jar, right?  My mom had to have one too.


 

After the mix was made, the cake was baked, and everything had been cooled down, I made the cuts, assembled the houses, and voilĂ !  These are best eaten the same day, and will be a bit dry by the next day, even when stored in an airtight container.  I used Snapware.


Find the printable recipe and many more wonderful recipes here

If you have difficulty finding some of the finest ingredients such as Nielsen Massey Vanilla or Espresso Powder at your local shop, you can find them here

Williams-Sonoma Brand Banner

San Diego's nearest Williams Sonoma is in Fashion Valley.  Click here for directions.

Or shop online for some awesome ingredients and bakeware:

-Becky Charms

Wednesday, December 14

Day 11 of 25 Days of Christmas

 

Sunday was a fun December day.  We had the "New Members' Luncheon" at church; serving food and chatting with members was fun.  It's been a while since I've had a chance to do anything like it, since I'm usually always home with Tiny Baker {she's our 2 1/2 year old daughter}. 

Fun Gift: Help your tiny baker develop their skills and love of baking with one of these:

Hasbro Toys Easy-bake Microwave & Style Kit




After serving and clean up time, our little family all drove over to Regal Cinemas off H Street {in Chula Vista} for $5 Sundays and saw Arthur Christmas!  It was so much fun going to the movies together.  One of our favorite things to do is go to the movies, but we've had to forego so many of them and pick other activities until our baby girl could sit through an entire film.  She did amazing!  I am so proud of her, and can't wait to take her again.  {we are unlike all other families down here in South Bay that take their giant families, including 7 babies, to R-rated movies to watch blood, gore, and intimate scenes.}  That's so inappropriate.  



Catch some of the other fun Christmas festivities going on in San Diego {and if you're in another city/state/country, look for something fun to participate in} for a short while longer.  It will set the mood for some good tidings and cheer.

San Diego Holiday Christmas Activities:
  1. Jungle Bells at the Zoo
  2. Holiday of Lights {drive-thru lights} in Del Mar
  3. Ice-Skate Outdoors at Horton Plaza
  4. Sea Boats on Parade at Night
  5. The Holiday Bowl Parade
-Becky Charms

San Diego Holiday Christmas Fun

1. Jungle Bells at the Zoo {a personal favorite}











We've been to this before.  It's fun with lots of lights, and don't forget to bundle up.

Current Hours Jungle Bells (through December 23):
9 a.m.–8 p.m.

2. Holiday of Lights {drive-thru lights} in Del Mar {a personal favorite}

















Thanksgiving (Nov. 24, 2011) through Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012.
(Closed Mondays, Dec. 5 & Dec. 12.)
Sunday-Thursday, 5:30-10:00PM Friday and Saturday, 5:30-10:30PM

Visit the website for more info.

3. Ice-Skate Outdoors at Horton Plaza {a personal favorite}

















Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday
10:00am to 10:00pm

Friday, Saturday, Sunday
10:00am to 7:30pm
8:00pm to 10:00pm (Night Session)
New Years Eve and Christmas Eve We are open until 5:00pm
Thanksgiving day and Christmas Day
Rink is Closed
Session Descriptions
During the day we have Family Sessions: Great skating for the whole family...
- Expect young children and parents at the rink.
As the sun goes down the teens come out and we see more teens in the early evening, expect faster paced skating.
Night Sessions, Nights are fun at Horton Square. This session attracts adults willing to give ice skating a try and skate to fun music.

4. Sea Boats on Parade at Night












 Sunday, December 18, 2011:
  • Fireworks begin at 5:30pm
  • Light Parade begins immediately following fireworks


Approximate Times at Locations Around the Bay
The parade takes approximately one hour to one and a half hours to pass any given point along the parade route. The approximate arrival time of the parade at various locations are:
  • Shelter Island (start of parade) - 5:30pm
  • Harbor Island - 6pm
  • The Embarcadero - 6:30pm
  • Seaport Village - 7pm
  • Ferry Landing on Coronado - 7:30pm


Other Viewing Venues
View the Parade of Lights from the Maritime Museum ship Berkeley. Your Parade of Lights Party ticket includes:
Paid admission to the Maritime Museum, explore our historic collection of ships while you're at the party or before. One of the best views of the Parade on San Diego Bay. Seasonal Music.
Holiday menu of slow roasted carved roast beef, smoked pit ham, scalloped potatoes, winter blend salad, fresh cut steamed vegetables and dinner rolls/butter. Assorted holiday desserts, coffee hot tea, hot chocolate, eggnog, and a no host (cash)bar.
One night only:
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Adults $50.00
Child 5-12 $25.00
Under 5 free
You must have a reservation for this event. Reservations must be received before December 12, 2010
Holiday buffet 5:00 - 9:00 p.m.
www.sdmaritime.org/parade-of-lights/

5. The Holiday Bowl Parade



 Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade
"America’s Largest Balloon Parade"
When: Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Where: Downtown San Diego
Presented by San Diego County Credit Union
A Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl Production

-Becky Charms

Tuesday, December 13

Day 10 of 25 Days of Christmas


A nice Saturday spent at home, no plans, just relaxing.

We lit a fire, hung out together causing a ruckus in the house, and then I went to help Bubbe set up for the "New Members' Luncheon" at church.  Tiny Baker stayed home with her daddy.  He was getting her ready to go Christmas shopping, which she LOVES!

FYI:  They went to Las Americas Premium Outlet Shops in San Ysidro.  Since their expansion, they have endless shops with such a diverse selection.  If you've never been, this is a must-see, must-shop kinda place.  

Every evening after Tiny Baker goes to bed, I nearly pass out from the lack of afternoon naps and nonstop days that we've had, sitting on the couch in front of the tv with the laptop on my legs, browsing the internet and Googling until I pass out.  I go to store websites, add items to my cart, never check out; I'm so undecided about what to gift people this year without breaking my checkbook, yet picking the most appropriate items for everyone.  I want the presents to be thoughtful, special, and OOAK {one of a kind}.  I keep meaning to shop Etsy.  Here's a few items that are Wintry Wonderful for this Winter Season.

 Happy Wintry Wonderment!!


-Becky Charms

Friday, December 9

Day 8 of 25 Days of Christmas

The days are long, the nights are longer.  I haven't been getting much rest; too much Christmas excitement buzzing all around.  The lights, the carols, the sparkle in Tiny Baker's eyes.  There are still a fair amount of families these days that decorate their houses, making it a joy to drive through the neighborhood during this time of year. 

I remember when our daughter was in her first year, and we would go for walks in the evening.  We saw another couple pushing a stroller, and they had put some battery-powered lights attached to it to be festive.  It was one of those "why didn't I think of that" moments!

I'm adding events to my calendar, but for the most part, we have this month free.  I'm not sure what's more fulfilling: stockpiling your calendar with parties and local outings, or having free days for spontaneous Holiday adventures.  I've yet to figure it out.  Chime in with your thoughts by leaving a comment below!!



SD Tip: Gigwalk is blowing up around here.  As much as I'd like to keep it a secret, I love to promote businesses and organizations that I believe in, and Gigwalk is one such company.

 Remember, only 17 days left until Christmas!! 


-Becky Charms

Thursday, December 8

KMart Fine Jewelry Sale {12/11-12/17}



Online Only! Up to 70% off Fine Jewelry + EXTRA 15% off with code WARMWISHES15 12/11-12/17

  • Click link above.
  • Shop.
  • When checking out, enter the discount code: WARMWISHES15
This is some fantastic shopping to make your loved ones' Holidays a special time...at a great deal!  Shhh, no one has to know.

Maybe you're struggling to find an amazing gift. Let him/her choose with an eGift card. They can shop in-store or online with no expiration or fees. Gift cards fit everyone!




I don't have enough jewelry...I might have to get one of these for myself. Charm.

There aren't many Kmarts left in San Diego.  Find the nearest one here.


-Becky Charms

Wednesday, December 7

Day 7 of 25 Days of Christmas


Started the day with a Starbucks Grande Nonfat No Whip White Mocha with an add shot {you can order it as a "Triple Grande..." but I like to add "with an add shot" at the end}.  That first sip was soothing, and made all the chaos of my hectic life and the crowds of National City escape my mind.  Good thing I snapped back to reality;  I was driving, after all!

I was taking Tiny Baker to see her Bubbe, who only lives 3 minutes away from us.  We are blessed, no doubt, and never forget it!  We spent a short while chatting, playing, enjoying this day, planning the Annual Christmas Eve Dinner party, which for the first time in 30 years...Yes, 30 years!...will be held on the day before the day before Christmas.  What was once ALWAYS held on Christmas Eve will now be held on the Friday before.  I think it'll be a nice change, since everyone is always rushed on Christmas Eve; going to church, singing in the choir, wrapping presents at the last minute {myself included.  I have saved every present to wrap the night before Christmas for the past 3 years.  Sheesh! Don't I ever learn?}  We'll still get together on Xmas Eve, but it'll be much smaller. 

There shall be a theme to the party...like one year was "red and gold"...another was "silver"...  perhaps this year should be "candy cane"

My child has become infatuated with them, asking for them wherever we go.  They are simple enough, yet bring so much charm, enchantment, and joy to her life.  She received her first candy cane while visiting Santa at Fashion Valley.  Magic.  We spent the last 2 years keeping candy away from her, and am so proud of our family for complying, that now we take pleasure in her pleasure of these sweet treats.  A special candy cane, every now and then, during Christmastime is simply going to create fond memories for her; memories that will last for as long as she'll remember.

Here are some fun and fresh Candy Cane themed decorations for this Holiday season that would make nice additions to your home.  I know I'll be adding them to my wishlist.  


24" Fresh Christmas Candy Cane Shaped Live Holiday Wreath from Target.com

Sur La Table Candy Cane Candle, 3" x 4"


Philips 4ct. Warm White Led Candy Cane Lawn Stake Set from Target.com



Enjoy the pepperminty fresh Candy Cane Holiday Season!! 

-Becky Charms

Tuesday, December 6

Day 6 of 25 Days of Christmas


 Day 6 with stacks of gingerbread cookies, wintry candles burning, and logs in the fireplace. 

I know the days are encroaching upon us, faster than I'd like to admit, and though I LOVE this time of year, I'm beginning to feel a little rushed.  Yikes!  Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, put another penny in the old man's hat... or mine, or yours!

Here's one of my new favorite sugar cookie recipes, for its ability to retain its shape when baked.  And of course, I used King Arthur Flour {I'm not paid to say that...yet! I just love the stuff}.   I found the recipe from averagebetty, but I added a few of my own ingredients.  That's how it's done, right?



Another source of constant inspiration and a fabulous gift for your favorite baker or homemaker would be a Christmas book from The Gooseberry Patch.

This is a Gooseberry Patch Christmas Cookies book with loads of great cookie recipes and fantastic pages to get you in the holiday mood.

I'm off to bake some bacon-wrapped chicken tenders.  We're having dinner a little late, but at least we're making it ourselves.  

How's the weather where you are?  It's very chilly in our house.  We have hardwood floors, no rugs, and freezing feet!  The only warmth I feel is love. Awww.

-Becky Charms
This post may contain affiliate links which support this blog.

Day 5 of 25 Days of Christmas

 


Today was spent at home, lounging with my Tiny Baker.  She got to paint {which she LOVES}, and let me just say, we have fallen in love and are ready to buy all stock in Crayola Color Wonder.  Amazing!  Paint that's clear and only works on the Color Wonder paper?  Really?!  Out with the old and in with the new.  She painted four paintings and didn't ruin her clothes, like she normally does.  Magic.

Recommendation: anything Crayola Color Wonder {we've used the fingerpaints, and can't wait to try other products.}

Here's a fun Crayola Color Wonder Gift for princess lovers.  It's $16.99 at Kmart.:



-Becky Charms
This post may contain affiliate links that support this blog.  

Monday, December 5

Day 4 of 25 Days of Christmas


Productivity seems to be the key word for today.  

Tasks completed: Red Christmas Jello Jigglers, Pineapple Pistachio Fluff {recipe found here}, Peppermint Rice Krispy Treats {made with brown rice}, Pumpkin Pie Spiced Roll-Out Sugar Cookies.  

'Tis the season to bake tasty treats and enjoy one another's company.  Remember to make this time of year a fun one.  Watch fun movies, eat as a family, go see the lights.

-Becky Charms

Saturday, December 3

Macy's Coupon WOW Pass Printable PDF {11/30-12/5}



Macy's Printable WOW!PASS 


Valid 11/30-12/5... so just a few more days!  {until Monday}


Extra 20% off select sale & clearance apparel for him, her, & kids, plus fine & fashion jewelry!


Extra 15% off all sale & clearance shoes, coats, suits, dresses, intimates, suit separates & sportcoats for him and select home items.


Extra 10% off all sale & clearance watches & electrics/electronics.


Macy's in Plaza Bonita, National City is open tonight until 11pm!  Their Holiday Hours have begun!!
 
-Becky Charms

Day 3 of 25 Days of Christmas


Welcome to Day 3 of 25 Days of Christmas.  It's Saturday, and it seems that every Christmas festival, play, parade, and light show are going on today in San Diego.  Like this is the BIG weekend, and if you want to see something, it has to be today.  I'll have you know that I didn't plan for this 1st weekend to be so important.  Therefore, I didn't write anything on my Google Calendar.  That doesn't mean that today will be a total loss.  This weekend will still be spent well; outings with my little family, Christmas tree shopping, a hot Skinny Peppermint Mocha.

Tip: NEVER order the cold peppermint drinks from Starbucks.  They burn due to the fact that the peppermint is so strong.

IKEA has Christmas trees for $20.  They sell out fast so we're headed there now.  Today is the day for some cookie dough making, and gingerbread baking.  I'm going to have some very surprised family and friends this year.  They will be receiving surprise packages in the mail, in addition to their Christmas cards. Shhh, don't tell.  I said it's a surprise.  I just love sending and receiving mail.  Anyone want a pen pal?

Bakerella, if you've never heard of her nor seen her website, has the CUTEST gingerbread heads.  I'm going to give 'em a go.  So clever.  Check them out here.


Gingerbread Heads by Bakerella


Must-have: assorted sprinkles for decorating.  They're for much more than sprinkling on top.  They are perfect accents, and can be used for hats, hands, noses, cheeks, and pretty much anything else you can imagine.  Creativity is so much fun.

Have a super today, and make it something magical to remember.

-Becky Charms

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