Simple Holiday Survival

Simple Holiday Survival Starts Saturday, November 16, 2013!

Let’s face it, the holidays can get a little crazy! Between cooking, cleaning and general holiday celebrating, it can get a little exhausting! Join Simple Solutions Diva every Saturday through Christmas for Simple Holiday Survival, where she celebrates this harried season with simple ideas to make things a little easier!

And to help you get into the mood, and hopefully a little more organized, she has a Free Printable: the Simple Holiday Survival Calendar.  This 11×17 inch, two page calendar features helpful tips on planning your holidays and really enjoying what truly matters to you. Use it to plan out your holiday activities!

Be sure to check out Simple Solutions Diva on Facebook and Twitter as she rebroadcasts her 2012 Simple Holiday Survival videos – or simply click on the Simple Holiday Survival link under the Topics Bar to the right of this page.

Here’s to Happy, and Simple, Holidays to you!!


Simple Holiday Survival Calendar Printable
Simple Holiday Survival Calendar Printable

Simple Idea: Don’t Toss The Graduation Tassel!

This is the season for graduations! After the mortar board and tassel are tossed in the air in celebration, where does the tassel end up? Usually, dangling from the rear view mirror (am I showing my age?)!  But it doesn’t have to stay there! I found a great way to save those tassels and I thought I’d share it with you.

alex ornament2

Simply take a clear, refillable ornament (4-inch size would be perfect) and insert the tassel, leaving the cord wrapped around the neck of the ornament. You can add confetti that coordinates with the school colors. Replace the top on the ornament, leaving the tassel suspended inside the ornament.

Now you have a beautiful keepsake of graduation that can be displayed year-round or as holiday ornaments!

To find 4-inch Clear Acrylic Fillable Keepsake Ornaments by the case (because you KNOW your friends will want to do this, too, for their kids!), Click Below!
Bulk Case of 24 Clear Acrylic 100mm Fillable Keepsake Ball Ornaments


Tassel 2

Oven Space-Saving Recipes for Holiday Side Dishes

Most of us don’t have double ovens in our kitchen, so cooking the holiday dinner and all the side dishes becomes a juggling act for space in the oven.  How do you manage it all?  Crockpot to the Rescue!

Crockpot cooking makes life Simple!
Crockpot cooking makes life Simple!

Check out this roundup of great crockpot side dish ideas and recipes.  With so many options, you may find your next holiday meal tradition!

Pinterest – Here is a link to some GREAT Pinterest recipes. Click Here to view! – This great site has wonderful crockpot side dish ideas. Click here to view! – They have pages and pages of crockpot ideas.  Click here to view!

These are just a few websites that offer some great ideas.  Have fun this holiday season and keep it SIMPLE!

Simple Holiday Survival Recipe: Peppermint Bark

Another favorite of Simple Solutions Diva, Peppermint Bark is an easy candy to make at the holidays!  This recipe uses dark chocolate chips, but you can use semi-sweet or milk chocolate, if you prefer.


Two 10 oz. bags of Nestle Dark Chocolate Chips

Two 12 oz bags of Nestle White Chocolate Chips

3  tsp. canola oil – divided

1 tsp. peppermint extract – divided

25 candy canes or peppermint candies, crushed


In a microwave-safe bowl, combine dark chocolate chips, 1 1/2 tsp. canola oil, and 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract, and microwave according to chocolate chip package directions (approx. 2.5 minutes on 70% power – stirring every 30 seconds until smooth).

Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and pour warm chocolate chip mixture into pan, spreading mixture to the edges.  Refrigerate until hardened, approx. 1 hour.

Once dark chocolate layer is hardened, begin second layer.  In clean, microwave-safe bowl, combine white chocolate chips, 1 1/2 tsp. canola oil, and 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract, and microwave according to chocolate chip package directions (approx. 2.5 minutes on 70% power – stirring every 30 seconds until smooth).

Pour white chocolate mixture over hardened dark chocolate mixture, quickly spreading mixture to the edges. Sprinkle crushed peppermint candies over top of mixture, and gently press candies into mixture.  Refrigerate until it is hardened.
Break into small pieces and store in air-tight containers.  Enjoy!

Simple Solutions Diva’s Favorite Homemade Treat – Reindeer Crunch

With four different types of crunchy cereals, combined with pretzels, chocolate candies and white chocolate, this mixture is addictive! Almost makes it hard to give away!

One of my favorite holiday homemade food gifts is Reindeer Crunch!  My sister-in-law gave this as a gift (thanks Debbie!) to us years ago, and it has become a staple as teacher gifts, hostess gifts, and more during the holidays.  Best of all, kids can get involved — or in my case, as teenagers, they take over the job!

You can alter the recipe based on your preferences. We replace the almond and peanut M&M’s with regular M&Ms when giving as gifts, out of concern for allergies.

Here is the recipe as given to me!  Enjoy!

Reindeer Crunch Recipe


3 Cups Each of the Following:

  • Cheerios
  • Corn Chex
  • Wheat Chex
  • Rice Chex
  • Small knot pretzels

1/2 bag Plain Holiday M&M’s, Large Bag (19.20 oz.bag)

1/2 bag Almond Holiday M&M’s, Large Bag

1/2 bag Peanut M&M’s, large Bag

1 1/2 bag Nestle White Chocolate Chips


Mix all ingredients (except white chocolate chips) in a large bowl. Melt chocolate chips according to package directions (To make it easy with kids, I use microwave directions).  Pour melted chocolate chips over the mixture, and gently mix together until all is well coated.  Spread on wax paper to dry.  Break into smaller pieces and enjoy!

Be sure to store in airtight containers, or ziplock bags.

You can re-name the above mixture based on the holiday: Cupid’s Food, Bunny Food, Uncle Sam Mix, Goblin Food!

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