We Got the FUNK: December 2016

Friday, December 30, 2016

Top 10 Posts of 2016

2016 has been a year of yet more growth for my little blog.  I am proud of where we have gotten and looking back at the work that I have put in this year, I am excited to see where next year will take me! I thought I would share the top 10 posts from my readers this year!  These are huge hits on Pinterest and get great feedback!

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I started the year out with a goal to lose weight and get my diabetes under control.  Crafting recipes that were low carb and delicious was one of my top goals.  Check out this recipe that people go crazy for here.
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Learned to eat better meant that I needed a guide.  I found this handy printable online and since then it has been shared more than 30,000 times!  I can tell you that when I was on plan eating this way, I lost over 20lbs, fairly quickly and I felt awesome.  Time to get back on track for sure!

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Some big highlights to our year were about our children.  Our little princess loves her Elsa and throwing a Frozen themed party would not have been complete without the ice queen and ice princess.  You can read more about how Princess Ever After made our day amazing!

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Princesses and Disney are themes in our lives that I just love.  So when I was asked to Dream Big Princess, I did so on a budget!  Check out how I created this dream board and dress up station!

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One of my OCD ticks is that I have to have a clean home.  I just do not work well if my space is messy.  Now that is not to say that I don't have messes (oh we do!), but I have came up with some easy tips to keep your home sparkling and people went crazy for them!  Take a peek.

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Not to be left out, our amazing little boy wanted a Super Mario Brothers Swim party...that just decided to coincide with a HUGE blizzard.  Take a peak at how we pulled off a great party with the help of Oriental Trading.

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This year was rough, but one of the best parts of the year was getting to become an auntie to a precious little boy.  However, we had to welcome him first and prepare his parents with this unbelievable Nautical Themed Baby Shower!  You have to see it to believe it.

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I do a lot of sponsored posts on this blog, but I always make sure to only share products and items that our family truly uses and believes in.  However, sometimes a product comes along that you just have to share even without a sponsorship.  ROG3 is that product and you can see why in my post here.

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I was asked this year why did I become a blogger and I shared a bit of my story here...then I shared these amazing Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Covered Strawberries and they took off! Recipe with a video is in this post.

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Some of my favorite posts to write are those where I get to give to others.  This post on an On the Go Fishing kit was one of my favorites too!  My husband loved it and it was easy to see why you all went crazy for it as well!  Take a peek. 

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Although I am eager to say goodbye to 2016, I am thankful as ever for the opportunities that this little blog has provided my family and I.  I am thankful for you all and I am ever thankful that even outside of the classroom I can help people!  Here is to the end of 2016 and the beginning of what I only can hope is 1/10th better than this year. 

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas 2016

Around midnight on Christmas, I had this epiphany.  2016 has by far been the worst year for our family as far as depression, anxiety and financials go.  However, our issues are only American issues. Comparatively, my family and I are so blessed.  We have a beautiful home, more than one reliable vehicle, jobs, our physical health and family that loves us.  We were able to have a Christmas that many cannot and we are beyond thankful.


Our Christmas weekend celebrations started at my parent's house.  We gathered with my parent's, great uncle, and my sister and her family for a nice dinner and some presents.  Of course my favorite nugget was dressed in his best and we had to do a photoshoot.  Obviously I am his favorite aunt and he loves to pose with me.

We also had an exciting dance party (which you can view here), and some quality discussions that included a lot of happy smiles, drooling and squeals because we love each other SO much!


The kids took the classic photos in front of the Christmas tree's and we opened gifts.  My kids were spoiled by my family and had a great Christmas.  The nugget slept through gifts and but I hear he enjoyed the noisy toys that we purchased him.


Christmas morning is normally full of family.  My parents and the hubby's Aunt come over and we open gifts.  However, the night before the tiny girl's eye was goopy and pink.  So of course we woke the next morning with full blown pink eye.  No guest's needed to share in that fun.  So we had a quiet Christmas morning for the first time with just our family. 


I shop year round for Christmas.  When I find something on clearance or great deals then I purchase it.  This year with our finances being pretty tight I was so thankful that I had found such great clearance deals throughout the year.  The only gifts that I had to find before Christmas for our kids were the ones that they asked Santa for. 


Our oldest has been begging for a Wii U.  I had tried valiantly to find a good deal on one and came up empty handed.  Finally on Thanksgiving, I snagged a great Ebay win well within budget that left a bit of our budget over for the Skylanders set he had also asked for.  We had one very happy little boy!


The littlest peanut has an obsession with Moana right now and has been very clear in asking for a Moana dress and the pig.  The dress was an easy black Friday find, the accessories and pig were not as easy, but I managed to get those on a great deal too.


Our kids were so happy and so blessed and so were the husband and I!  Although 2016 has not been our year, it has not been a complete disaster.  We are ending it with an appreciation for each other, love and many blessings.  

I hope your Holiday's were great!

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Monday, December 26, 2016

Disney On Ice Worlds of Enchantment

Disclosure: We received free tickets in exchange for our honest review, however we would have attended regardless because this is a family tradition. 

I looked in my kitchen cupboards the other day and memories of every Disney On Ice we have attended came flooding back.  I started to lay these out and realized that my mom must have several of our cups hidden away because I could only find 3 of our older cups from the beginning of Disney On Ice.

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As I have said before we have attended every show that has came through Denver with the exception of just a couple.  We are huge Disney On Ice fans and our holiday celebrations would not be complete without a trip to the ice show.  Growing up our grandma used to take us to the shows and our souvenir as well as our snack was the yummy flavored ice cups!

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With grandmas passing, my sister and I have carried on the tradition with our own children and our mom.  We go to the shows, purchase the cups, dress up and love the time with our family.  

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This year we even brought the tiniest member of our family to his first show too!  He watched, he slept, he ate and he had a great time!

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This seasons show was World's of Enchantment.  It was a great combination of some of our favorite shows like Toy Story, The Little Mermaid, Cars and Frozen!  However, the kids always go crazy when Mickey and Minnie hit the ice!

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Toy Story 3 was a newer show portion that I had not seen yet.  I loved that they focused on Toy Story 3 (hopefully to prep us for the upcoming Toy Story 4!!!), and that the costumes and performers were so into what they were doing.  This portion of the show was action packed, fun and my kids were on the edge of their seats as the toys fought for their independence!

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The Little Mermaid was up next and my little princess and I were all eyes and ears.  We were singing and dancing and oohing and ahhing through the amazing performance, lifts and jumps!  It was fantastic!

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Intermission was just the perfect time to snap a few photos of our favorite little baby and his adorable Mickey Mouse outfit!  He was alert most of the time and smiling a lot!

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Cars was up next and my boy was so excited for this portion.  He loved watching the Cars navigate on the ice and interact.  I think he wanted this section of the show to take much longer because he is a huge Cars fan.  It always amazes me watching the drivers control the cars on the ice as well!

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The show ended with Frozen.  We had already seen this show in its entirety last year and it was amazing so when Anna and Elsa hit the ice, my little girl was on cloud nine!  She stood up and sang and danced through this entire section and truly loved it! Frozen was a fantastic ending to the World's of Enchantment!

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When the show ended, everyone was a bit sad, except this guy.  He basically laughed and smiled all the way home!  Guess the Disney Magic really hit him!

Disney On Ice Worlds of Enchantment is coming to a city near you!  Check here for tickets and dates! It is a great way to get your Disney fix and enjoy family time together!  We will obviously be back for more soon!

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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Portable North Pole Walk Through!

Disclosure: I received the premium version of the Portable North Pole for free in exchange for my social shares.  Either way, I would have downloaded and used it because we love it!

Earlier this season, I shared with you the discount code for the Portable North Pole.  We have used the PNP for the last 6 years and love it.  My son looks forward to his video every single year and our daughter is just starting to get the idea. With today being Christmas Eve, it might be fun for you to set up a quick video and some Santa magic for your littles.

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Downloading the app is quick and easy and so is set up.  Just enter your email and login information.  From there you set up a code for the parent corner and you can create a phone call and videos!  Also all your children's information is stored in the app so you can use it from year to year!

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Once you have created the videos then you can make them visible in the kids corner very easily and your children can view them.  The smiles on their faces as their watch their personalized videos is so awesome.  My kids watch these videos over and over again.  I have also used the phone call feature when my kids are not behaving the best.  It worked wonders and I use it year round!

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The videos are awesome because you can put your children's photos in them as well as other awesome details.  I used the premium version this year and loved that I could also show the gift that my child asked Santa for!

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You can bet that my son was checking if he was on the nice list daily after seeing his prospective gift in his video.  The boy has been fantastic (although he almost always is anyway)!

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The kids corner not only has the video messages from Santa and his elves, but also offers some games for kids to play.  These change each year, so you need to download the newest PNP each season.

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The matching game is our little girls favorite.  She loves puzzles and matching and plays this every single day.  The girl is getting really good at it!

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The talking elf is really funny and my kids spent hours giggling with the elves this year.  This would definitely be something fun to share with friends and family on Christmas Eve!

Make sure you download your Portable North Pole Console and share a video with a little love in your life, so much fun!



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Friday, December 23, 2016

Free Online Hearing Test #HearABetterDay #Ad


One of the most important people in my life growing up was my grandma.  Grandma taught us a lot, but one thing I learned about grandma is that she was a Miracle-Ear user and often would turn them down when my sister and I would argue. Got to love Grandma!

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When my mom told us this my sister and I would sometime purposely fight to see if she would reach in her ear and turn them down and sure enough she did!  She also would turn them off if she was reading a book that she did not want to be interrupted on.  That grandma was clever, but I am so glad that she had a device that she enjoyed and that made her life easier. 

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When I learned that Miracle-Ear was offering FREE online hearing tests, I had to check it out.  With grandma's hearing issues and her experiences with Miracle-ear, I thought it would be a good idea.  I went straight to the website and began the test.  It was very simple and consisted of listening to various scenarios and then choosing an answer from the conversations that took place during the scenarios with some background noise accompanying them. 

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I finished the test and scored perfectly, which was actually pretty surprising for me!  I was a bit worried that my hearing was not doing so well because I keep having to ask my students to repeat questions.  However, reflecting on that now, I just realize that high schoolers mumble!

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I also loved that you could send your results to your email and have them digitally to share with your healthcare provider if there were any concerns.  What a great online resource to help you make a decision to potentially invest in Miracle-Ear.  My grandma loved this company and although I don't want to be a user just yet, I know that when the time comes, I will use their services as well!

Make sure to take Miracle-Ear's Free Hearing Test Here and share it with your loved ones too!  It is a great resource for everyone!

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Santa's Flight Academy Walk Through at Cherry Creek Shopping Center #BeAHero #hosted

Disclosure: My family and I were hosted for a fun filled Santa meeting.  All opinions are my own. 

Yesterday the family and I took off to Cherry Creek Shopping Center to check out Santa's Flight Academy and make sure that Santa had our final list ready for the big holiday!

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We arrived at the mall and Santa's Academy was very easy to locate.  The line was not as long as I had expected it to be with only a few days left until Christmas and it actually moved quite quickly. We asked how long they expected the average wait to be and they said about an hour and a half.  The elves also told us that most parents come with two adults and one adult takes the kids to the play area while the other waits in line.  Seems pretty reasonable to me and really a great way for kids to enjoy  a fun day!

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When you start your journey through the Santa Academy, you first register and choose your elf friend to lead you through your journey.  Each of our kids created a badge that they scanned throughout the experience and had different elf friends to guide them. 

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The badges printed right there with our kids names and photos on them and the elves helped to place lanyards on to ready us for our training!

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First off, we had to insert our badges to check and see if we were qualified to complete training.  We had to be on the nice list to go through and luckily both kids have been doing great and made the nice list.  

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Their names popped up on the screen to welcome them into the flight academy and off we went on our training.

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First we had to be fitted for our flight suits.  Height, shoe size and hand measurements were taken. The husband and I were so surprised at how tall our kids have gotten this year!  Our boy is the second tallest in his class and the tiny peanut is finally as tall as a normal 3 year old...just not weighing in like that.

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Once our flight suits were measured, it was time to try them on and see how well we moved.  Both kids jumped on the flight suit visualizer and danced around making sure their virtual suits moved well!

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From there we moved to make sure that Santa's sleigh was loaded with gifts, and that his navigation station was prepared for the big night.  We chose his flight pattern and checked the weather.  The kids loved how interactive all of this was.  The sleigh was huge and so amazing for the kids to walk into.

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When all the settings were ready on the sleigh we moved to the power station where a boisterous "Merry Christmas" sent a jolt of power to the sleigh!  My children were incredibly loud and had the elves laughing.

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Final checks to the sleigh engine were next.  We made sure all the buttons were pushed and everything was prepared to make the Christmas Eve flight safe and sound.

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Before meeting the big guy for our final check, we met with our elves to see how well we did preparing the sled and getting through the flight academy.  Both kids were Santa's Hero's and were approved to meet with him!

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We played a little inside this area with the fun mirrors and actual snow falling from the roof before meeting Santa!

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When it was our turn the kids happily sat on his lap, enjoyed a nice conversation and were not rushed through.  Santa was extremely patient and jolly and did a great job giving each child special attention. When we were done, the kids were given special tags for completing the academy and mom and dad purchased our photo package.  Their photo packages were awesome and I am so excited to give some photos to our most special family members!

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Before we left Santa's Flight Academy, the kids sat for a fun caricature.  They are complimentary and fun.  We did tip him though, which we got the feeling, most people did not.  The artist was awesome, very personable and able to work well with the hyper and excited kids of ours.  

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The picture was complete and was awesome!  I love how he captured out kids cute little features and this moment.  What a great way to end our visit with Santa.

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The day was nearly over so we grabbed some dinner, did a little shopping and headed home.  We were spent and our kids were in bed early after all their training and excitement.  The entire way home, the husband and I talked about how awesome this experience was.  We are totally making the hour drive again next year because this was by far the most fun for our kids.

If you have yet to see Santa or you need to finalize your list like we did, you have to go to Cherry Creek Shopping Center and go through Santa's Flight Academy!  Even with a wait you will not regret the time you spent and the fun and magic that your kids experience.


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Monday, December 19, 2016

That Time I attempted The Nutcracker with my 3 year old. #ColoradoBallet

Disclosure: We were hosted for this performance, however all content presented is my own. 

A couple weekends ago, the tiny princess and I were honored to attend Colorado Ballet presents The Nutcracker.  We had went as a large family last year, but this year it was just the princess and I.  The day was hectic, but the performance was stunning. 

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I had planned the day perfectly, I thought.  I would drop off my son at my moms about and hour and half before and then we would get downtown in time to grab our tickets from will call and have time for bathroom breaks and snacks.  That was not how that went down.  We did leave on time, but I did not anticipate the terrible traffic situation downtown.  We finally parked and ran to will call and into the show just as the curtain was literally coming up. 

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Thankfully our seats were on the end of the row, and we were able to sit quickly and not miss a moment of the show.  The orchestra started, the dancers began the performance and little princess and I were captivated.  She kept telling me that they were so pretty and asking how they stood on their toe and she REALLY wanted to open those presents. When the presents were finally opened and the Nutcracker was revealed, she laughed and loudly said "I have him".

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Artists of Colorado Ballet in Snow Scene - The Nutcracker - By Mike Watson
The first act ended with the magical snow and my little girl ready for a potty break and a snack.  I figured we were actually off to a pretty good start with her.  She had enjoyed the first act and wanted to go back to our seats after intermission.  We took a bathroom break, grabbed our snacks and headed back in.

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This was the point, that the threenager arrived. She started to eat her yogurt covered pretzels and popcorn and decided the only place she could sit was on my lap.  The second half of the ballet started and she was once again very into the music and dancing.  She laughed and smiled through all the dancers.  She loved the Arabian and Russian Dancers and told me that she wanted to do that.  Then Mother Ginger came on and she laughed hysterically.  Until her snacks ran out.

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Once Mother Ginger was over, the snacks were gone, the threenager princess was done.  She started leaping off of my lap, into the aisle and trying to escape.  I had to quickly grab our coats and my purse and chase her out of the opera house.  I had hoped that giving her a couple minutes outside the performance to run off the sugar, would allow us to catch the end of the performance.  Nope, not even close.  She was a disaster as soon as we left the performance.

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We ended up leaving with about 15 minutes left and I was totally bummed.  However, the portion of the show that we did see was spectacular and made me want to go back!  Even as we loaded up in our truck, the princess started crying because she didn't want to leave.  We drove about 2 minutes and she was crashed out.  Turns out she needed a nap.  I already am ready for next season, a new year and a new tradition with my little girl.

The Nutcracker presented by KeyBank still has performances scheduled throughout the holiday season and is a can't miss family tradition.  If you want to get tickets, you can click here and use the discount code "SNOW" for 15% off your tickets at checkout! If you would like to check out the Colorado Ballet please be sure to follow them on FacebookInstagramTwitter and their Website.


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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Christmas Table Makeover! #OrientalTrading

Disclosure: I was provided with some items to help bring the holiday spirit into our home from Oriental Trading.  All opinions are honest and on my own.

If the weeks leading up to finals week in a high school had a theme it would be anxiety and cramming.  This my friends has been my life the last 10 days and so I am a bit late on posting my beautiful Christmas Table Makeover!

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I really fell in love with my Halloween and Thanksgiving tables, so this Christmas table had a lot to live up to.  I made sure to hit up my favorite online decor shop, Oriental Trading and found some great decorative items.  

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My mom has a set of deer that she always puts out on her Christmas table, so when I saw this set of standing and bowing reindeer, I HAD to have them.  These were the only item on my must have Christmas table list.  When they arrived they were exactly what I wanted, the perfect size and a great centerpiece to my beautiful table.


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I went back and forth between doing place settings or just a simple napkin set up.  I decided to go with the napkin setting because these metallic poinsettia placemats that I found on amazon were life. The napkins are from the Pioneer Woman line at Walmart and the little decorative floral arrangements are also a Walmart special.  

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While surfing the Oriental Trading site I came across these pinecone votive holders and I needed them.  They are heavy duty and fit a votive candle perfectly.  I purchased two of these and really love the luster and look of them.  They are about the size of a regular pinecone and they make a great statement on my table.

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I also ordered this white metal lantern with tree cutouts from Oriental Trading.  I have a minor love affair with lanterns.  These one are just stunning and a bit rustic.  The Santa salt and pepper shakers are a Dollar Tree find and the white candleholders are old from Home Interiors.  I found the candy cane candles years ago at a dollar store as well.

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I am also enamored with the holiday print table runner.  It was a great bright contrast to the typical reds and greens of the holiday season.  This Christmas table makeover brings warmth and a seasonal happiness into our home and is a huge centerpiece in our lives.  So many dinners have already been enjoyed.  I love the quality of the Christmas decor options from Oriental Trading and you really cannot beat their prices.

If you are looking for some great stocking stuffers, candy, home decor and even outside decor, you need to take a peek at Oriental Trading's website and snag those great deals.
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