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A Rustic Cookies and Cocoa Party with Santa

HWTM Contributor Maureen Anders of Anders Ruff here to share our recent Rustic Cookies and Cocoa Party with Santa that I styled for a session with Michelle Kujawski Photography. A neutral palette with creams and whites, mixed with pops of greenery and red berries made this a super cozy setting for a day with Santa and a home decor that will last all winter long.  The kids enjoyed a magical experience that made them feel like they were in Santa’s living room!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Vintage inspired “I love the winter weather” backdrop sign over the mantle
– Rustic wooden mail organizer-turned-mailbox with letters written to Santa + candy canes for the kids
– Homemade marshmallows packaged in clear boxes with twine and tags
– Custom designed cotton sacks with “Santa’s Gourmet Hot Cocoa” labels

A Rustic Cookies and Cocoa Party with Santa

A Rustic Cookies and Cocoa Party with Santa

A Rustic Cookies and Cocoa Party with Santa A Rustic Cookies and Cocoa Party with Santa

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{GIVEAWAY!} Give & Get Better Gifts with WishBin

Wish it was a little easier to find the perfect gift for your loved one? Me too!

I mean, the goal of gift giving is to make someone happy, after all… but finding the thing that’s SURE to do that is often more difficult than it sounds. And if you’re like me, you also start second guessing your gift choice even after you settle on something – or spend way too much of your time playing “detective” and trying to figure it out.

Kids are actually the hardest for me to shop for, personally… we live far away from our family unfortunately, and I usually feel unsure about what my nieces and nephews would love (or what they’re into at the moment) when a birthday or holiday rolls around. And based on all the questions I receive about my own girls in regards to gifts, I know that I’m not alone when it comes to being stumped!

Well… there’s a cool new company called WishBin that’s setting out to help with all of the above. It’s a free online service that allows users to drag and drop items from any website they like into their personal WishBin using a plugin that you install in your browser. It basically feels like a super organized gift bookmarking tool that you can save things to (or edit) whenever you like.

{GIVEAWAY!} Give & Get Better Gifts with WishBin

And then friends & family can visit your WishBin at any time to instantly access a list of things that you – or your kids – would truly love to receive, including your preferred size, color, etc. You can include non-tangible “things” on your list like dance lessons or travel wishes too! Pretty smart, right?!

Here’s a 1 minute video that explains some of the other great features too:

One of the coolest features of all (IMHO) is that adults can add children to their accounts and create unique WishBins for each of them – which I’m thinking will prove especially helpful for grandparents! (Mom – are you listening? Because this seems a tad more efficient than the zillions of back and forth text messages we usually use!)



And now for something REALLY fun… a chance to win $150 worth of your own wishes for the holidays! One lucky HWTM reader is going to win just that, so be sure to fill your WishBin with some of your favorite things in case that person is YOU! :) Giveaway ends at 11:59pm PST on Thursday, December 18th.

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Cash for Christmas: Win TWO $500 Amazon Gift Cards!

Update: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to all who entered! The name of the (randomly selected) winner is displayed in the Rafflecopter entry widget below.


Who couldn’t use a little extra cash this time of year, right?! Right. And on that note, I’ve teamed up with some wonderfully creative bloggers to bring you a very timely Instagram giveaway in the form of $500 for you AND $500 for your BFF (or whomever else you fancy)! Enter below.

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#TOMSforTarget + 2 Headed Holiday Sweater + {Free Printable} Happiness & Giving Quote

A few weeks ago, I received a package with a huge red gift box inside…

There was a TOMS logo on the shipping box, and I already knew I’d be receiving some sort of holiday sweater in conjunction with a #TOMSforTarget holiday campaign they were doing, so I just took a super quick peek inside since I was in major deadline mode on another project at the moment. I saw the print of the sweater, but didn’t pull it out of the box… I mean, it was folded up so nicely and all. ;)

Later that night, my husband asked what the deal was with the giant gift box sitting on the table. I said, “I think I’m supposed to wear it in a picture or do some sort of “ugly sweater party” story with it, but it looks HUGE!” I opened the gift box all the way this time, noticed a card inside, and proceeded to read it out loud and try to figure this out… “Well Hello There! You’re probably wondering why you’ve received a large, festive, multi-headed sweater…

Wait – WHAT?!! Did I just say “multi-headed“???

I yanked that perfectly folded sweater out of the box this time… then proceeded to immediately collapse on the floor laughing. This gigantic holiday sweater did indeed have TWO head holes… THAT was definitely not something I was expecting at all!

#TOMSforTarget + 2 Headed Holiday Sweater + {Free Printable} Happiness & Giving Quote

The two things that instantly popped in my head upon seeing this sweater:

1) Well played, marketing geniuses. ;)

2) I am seriously going to have the BEST white elephant gift ever at the Christmas party our friends host every year… this baby is definitely going to make for some hilarious pics!


The best thing about all this playfulness is that it’s attached to a really great cause! Many of you are probably already familiar with TOMS and all of the good that they do – every purchase you make from them helps a person in need.

Well, they’ve teamed up with Target this holiday season to offer a signature collection that makes it super easy for holiday shoppers give to people in need across the country. Every TOMS for Target item purchased is matched one-for-one with a donation of blankets, shoes, or meals!

#TOMSforTarget + 2 Headed Holiday Sweater + {Free Printable} Happiness & Giving Quote

Here’s a tiny peek at the collection, including a t-shirt that I will admit I bought for myself… at least I know that the purchase helped someone else too!

#TOMSforTarget + 2 Headed Holiday Sweater + {Free Printable} Happiness & Giving Quote

FREE PRINTABLE: Quote on Happiness + Giving

So in the spirit of giving, I felt compelled to design a little inspirational freebie to give away today too… hopefully it can serve as a helpful reminder of what this season is REALLY about. You know – for those moments when the hecticness and stress of it all start to get to you. (Trust me, I have lots of those moments too, and this quote really does ring true… if you want to make yourself feel happier, the best thing to do is start spreading happiness elsewhere.)

#TOMSforTarget + 2 Headed Holiday Sweater + {Free Printable} Happiness & Giving Quote

Click here to download a high res PDF of the printable. (The quote fits in an 8×10 frame.)

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Update: This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to our winner – Olivia D. – and thank you so much to everyone that entered! P.S. If you’re still interested in ordering custom PJs from GreatStitch, you can get free shipping with the promo code HOSTESS. :) *** I’m so excited to bring you this fun PJ […]



Tonya Coleman here from Soireé Event Design, and I’ve got some fun news to share today! Have you heard all the buzz about the 1st annual BASH Conference?  It’s the premiere conference specifically for Party & Event Planners and Party Bloggers, and it’s coming to Phoenix, Arizona January 15-17, 2015, featuring some of the biggest names in […]



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