Preparing For the Holidays

Preparing For the Holidays

Hey Smart Girls! Its that time of year again! The most wonderful time of the year! Many of us look forward to the smell of warm bakes good, hot drinks and -if you are a New Englander like me- snow!  December has to be one of my favorite months; between Christmas carols and time off from school what’s not to love! As soon as the calendar hits December first, I am already pulling out my favorite holiday recipes! One of my all-time picks is Swirled Candy Cane Cupcakes! They are super easy to make:

You’ll need:

  • 02b2cf63-9475-4119-8483-481a414fff6d1 box (1 lb 2.25 oz) Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® white cake mix
  •  Water, vegetable oil and egg whites called for on cake mix box
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 teaspoon red paste (or regular) food coloring
  • 2 containers (12 oz each) fluffy white whipped frosting
  • cup crushed hard peppermint candies (about 30)

Heat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin      cups.

In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil, egg whites and peppermint extract with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Divide batter in half. To 1 portion, add food color; stir until uniform in color. In each muffin cup, place 2 tablespoons red batter; top with 2 tablespoons white batter. Swirl white batter through red batter with knife for marbled design.

Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Frost cupcakes with frosting. Top each with crushed peppermint candies.

Another way to get into the holiday sprit is by watching Christmas movies! ABC Family does a 25 days till Christmas movie marathon, where every night is a new holiday movie! Some of my favorite classic movies are:


  • HolidayMovieCollageThe Year Without a Santa Clause
  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Elf
  • Love Actually
  • Meet Me In St. Louis
  • Miracle on 34th Street

The list could go on forever! Another thing that always brings me some Christmas joy are holiday-scented candles! Yankee Candle has a lot of amazing scents! Some of my personal favorites are: Snowflake Cookie, Winterland, Sparking Snow, Pumpkin Pie, Home for the Holidays, Cinnamon Sugar, and Gingerbread! As soon as those smells fill my home, I instantly feel like it’s the holiday season!

Last but not least, what’s Christmas without the best holiday albums and songs playing all the time! When it comes to Christmas music, I listen to a lot of old classics. Here are just a few:

  • All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey (song)
  • Christmas Cocktails (Pt.1) – Various Artists (album)christmas--cover-art-extralarge_1313541716823
  • Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Amy Grant
  • Christmas – Michael Bublé (album)
  • Kissin’ by the Mistletoe – Aretha Franklin (song)
  • Merry Christmas Baby – Otis Redding (song)
  • Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses(song)
  • The Christmas song – Nat King Cole (song)


Hope all these Christmas favorites help you get into the spirit and help you prepare for the holidays!

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