Around the Web: Cookies for Santa

Perfect Cookies for Santa!

It’s that time of the year… time to make delicious cookies for Santa… Check out these yummy recipes from Around the Web we have found for you!

Santa Face Cookies

Santa Face Cookies by In Katrina’s Kitchen

Milk & Cookies for Santa

Milk & Cookies for Santa by Sweetapolita

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies by The Knead for Speed

Santa’s Shortbread Cookies

Santa’s Shortbread Cookies by The Clever Carrot

Orange Cinnamon Roll Cookies

Orange Cinnamon Roll Cookies by Rock Recipes

Gingerbread Hearts for Your Cookies & Milk

Gingerbread Hearts for Your Cookies & Milk by Babble

Meaningful Within Your Means (Part 2)

At SunTrust Bank Their Purpose is Lighting the Way to Financial Well Being

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust Bank. The opinions and text are all mine.

It’s about depositing hope, instead of checks. And withdrawing stress, instead of cash.

This year thanks to SunTrust Bank we are doing the holidays a bit different than we are use to. Sure our house is decorated as every other year and we are going to have presents under our tree, but we are focusing more on each other and on our family traditions than on how many gifts we got.

Over the years we have forgotten the joy of the holidays and the little things that matter more than the whole hustle and bustle. Instead of doing the holidays the way we remember them as kids my husband and I have focused more on the entertaining, presents and things that only stress us more and leave us not doing the only thing that matters… Enjoying the season with our kids.

This year for the first time we are family of four and we want to make new traditions with our kids. Traditions that they will remember when they grow up and maybe even continue with their families.

We already started by planning our holidays and spreading our budget wisely with help from SunTrust Banks Holiday Budget Plan and their Holiday Planning Guide.

We also started a new tradition of baking delicious desserts every week as a family to make the holiday season feel more sweet. And this also gives us an opportunity to spend time with our kids in an joyful environment that definitely is as sweet as the treats we are making. We take this time to talk, share, enjoy and while making memories for us we also make sweet gifts for our family, friends and neighbors. That way we know that we can make someone else’s day and holiday season more special than it is already.

Another thing we have been enjoying this holiday season is watching holiday movies and drinking homemade hot cocoa. Our 9 year-old daughter has been enjoying this new tradition a lot. She loves holidays and recently she said that “spending time with her parents and little brother is only making the season more perfect and special”.

Although every year we donate, this year we decided to make our daughter do the donating herself. She felt very good while donating her toys and clothing to those in need. I think this new tradition definitely made her feel like she was doing something bigger, better and is one we’ll continue for years to come.

What is next for us? We are going to make homemade gifts for our family, friends and neighbors like hot cocoa mix in a jar, homemade cookies, hand painted picture frames, hand knitted scarf’s… We are also planning a holiday party, but this year we are leaving the stress behind and focusing on enjoying the time with our loved ones.

This year think a little differently. Share with us How are you going to make this holiday season more special for your family? How can you be more meaningful within your means? For more ideas visit #holidaymeans!

At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well-being. They want to help you reduce holiday stress through tools, advice, and inspiration that encourages you to make your holidays meaningful by spending within your means and focusing on meaningful experiences.

To get started visit  holidaymeans.com

Meaningful spending made easy with our holiday planning guide.  Download here

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.

Disclosure – SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) wrote this sponsored post on behalf of the above mentioned company or their PR Representative. All of the opinions are strictly of the SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) and SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) staff and no one else. The opinions are honest and not influenced by the monetary compensation in any way.

Around the Web: Favorite Turkey Recipes

Just in Time for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and we can always use a few new recipes and ideas for our party menu. Check out some of our favorite turkey recipes from Around the Web and don’t forget to share your favorite recipe with us in the comments!

Turkey Taco Skillet (one pot dish)

Turkey Taco Skillet (one pot dish) by Yummy Healthy Easy

Perfect Roast Turkey

Perfect Roast Turkey by A Family Feast

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast by Oh Sweet Basil

Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs

Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs by Sally’s Baking Addiction

Ranch Turkey Burger Recipe

Ranch Turkey Burger Recipe by Laa Loosh

Turkey Sloppy Joes Lettuce Wraps

Turkey Sloppy Joes Lettuce Wraps by Growing up Gabel

Homemade Gift Ideas

Homemade Gift Ideas for the Holidays!

With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner it’s time to start thinking about the homemade gifts, if you are planing to make them this year. Homemade gifts are special and from the heart. And we all hope that those that receive the gifts will love them as much as we loved making them.

Need ideas, see what we think it’s cool to make this holiday season!

  1. Homemade Jams and Preserves – If this is something you know how to make you should definitely go for it. Everyone loves something sweet and jam is always a popular choice. And homemade is always healthier and more special than store-bought! To make your gift extra special place it in a nice shaped jar, add a printed label like “Delicious Strawberry Jam” or similar. You can also list the ingredients on a little card and tie it with a fancy ribbon around the lid.
  2. Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix – When it’s cold outside, or even if it’s not, holiday season makes us want something warm and Hot Cocoa is always a popular choice. Make your own by filling a jar with layers of hot cocoa mix, chocolate milk mix, powdered sugar, chocolate chips, and marshmallows. To make it extra special include a nice, tall cup and some special label or ribbon.
  3. Baked Goodies Basket – Yum! Everyone can enjoy a nice cookie or homemade bread. Holidays are a perfect time to indulge in baked goodies. Plus this gift can be perfect for everyone. Make it extra special by placing the baked goodies in separate see trough bags, tie each with different decorative ribbon and a card with what it is included in the bag. Place everything in a decorative basket and finish it off with a large see trough bag and/or big ribbon.
  4. Cute Tutu or a Hair Bow – Surprise a special little girl in your life with a cute tutu or a nice hair bow. Check out these fun tutorials for How to make a Tutu.
  5. Special Blanket – If sewing is your thing you can always make some special blankets as gifts. This could be a perfect gift for boys or men, especially if done with their favorite characters or sports teams! Know how to knit, you can certainly make hand knit blankets as well. They will be fun, fuzzy and perfect gifts.
  6. Handmade Handbags – You can either sew or knit a handbag for a special gift. Make it more special by using favorite fabric, yarn or color of the person receiving a gift.
  7. Handmade Hats and Scarfs – What better way to surprise someone for the holidays than with a warm hat, scarf or gloves. See these fun Free Knitting Hat Patterns.
  8. Hand-painted Picture Frames – Put a little spin on a every day gift by hand painting it and making it super special. You can get inexpensive frames in all sizes in unfinished wood (perfect for painting over and refinishing) at Hobby Lobby or other Craft Stores.
  9. A Christmas Ornament –  This is a homemade gift idea that never goes out of style! You can get as creative as you want or keep it simple if you like. Buy basic styrofoam balls and then paint them. From there, you can add glitter or beads and make it pretty as you like.
  10. Holiday Plaques – One of the fun gifts you will love making and they will love receiving. Choose a winter or holiday saying. Paint a wooden plaque the color of your choice, then glue on letters cut out of card-stock paper to say whatever you want. Follow by brushing a coat of clear glue such as Mod Podge and let dry!

Share with us Your Homemade Gift Ideas!

Meaningful Within Your Means (Part 1)

At SunTrust Bank Their Purpose is Lighting the Way to Financial Well Being

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust Bank. The opinions and text are all mine.

The things that mean the most to you, are well within your means.

Holidays are a joyful time to enjoy with your loved ones, but we all know that holidays tend to get pricey. We want it all, food, celebrations, presents… It seems that more we spend to make others happy the more we feel down and depressed about our finances once the holidays are over.

That’s why SunTrust Bank is here to help you make this holiday season just a bit different from all the others. In reality any bank can talk to you about just money. That’s why SunTrust Bank is here to talk to you not about money, but a different currency. Like about depositing hope, instead of checks. And withdrawing stress, instead of cash. It’s about indulging in the currency of kindness and giving more than you receipt.

It’s about small things in life that bring us happiness and joy without costing us a ton of money. It’s about spending time with your loved ones and gifting them the time and memories instead of expensive gifts that bring temporary joy and more stress afterwards. It’s about creating memories and new traditions you all can look back at and think as the happiest time of your life.

This year we as a family are going to spend more time together. We are going to put more thought and less money into our gifts. We are going to stress less about that perfect party and focus on us, on things that make us happy like cookies and hot chocolate. We are going to create memories and have something to talk about throughout the years other than how much we have spent on the holiday.

Holidays don’t have to cost a lot to be joyful. It’s the people around you, the food, the thought, the happy moments that stay with all of us much longer than expensive gifts we don’t need, outgrow, or don’t like from the beginning.

That’s why this holiday season we are going to do things differently with help from SunTrust Bank and their Holiday Budget Plan. We are going to make a list of important things we want to do and use our holiday budget wisely. Not everything on our list will cost money and that is perfectly ok. But we are definitely going to start a new tradition this holiday season as we are a family of four this year for the first time!

This year think a little differently. Think how you can be more meaningful within your means and how you can make this holiday the best one yet for your loved ones?!

At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well-being. They want to help you reduce holiday stress through tools, advice, and inspiration that encourages you to make your holidays meaningful by spending within your means and focusing on meaningful experiences.

To get started visit  suntrust.com/holiday

Meaningful spending made easy with a budgeting tool to help you make a plan and stay on track with your holiday spending.  Download here.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.

Disclosure – SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) wrote this sponsored post on behalf of the above mentioned company or their PR Representative. All of the opinions are strictly of the SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) and SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) staff and no one else. The opinions are honest and not influenced by the monetary compensation in any way.