Sunday, December 30, 2012

Party Pop Anthem!!! ~~~ New Years Eve Celebratory Decor!

Party Poppers in the House Tonight!
Or...tomorrow night because it's New Years Eve!!!!
BRING ON 2013!!!

And what better way to ring in the New Year than with a bang that explodes brightly colored confetti ?!?
(That's a trick question, there is no better way)
All you need to do is fill a clear balloon with confetti, fill the ballon helium, and add a colorful decorative string to give it that extra party flavor!
And then...
Pop it with a pin! So fun and so simple!
Save your money on that plane ticket to New York!!! With all the glitter and what-nots floating about your head you'll feel like your partying  in times square!
 So grab your friends, grab your party poppers, and don't forget the Champagne!
Happy Partying!

Cheers to you this year! And may all you dreams come true!
And don't worry about the New Year, 13 is a lucky number anyways :)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Winter Wonderland Survival Kit!

Christmas is over...Now what???
As December ends January begins!!!! Now the winter blues, and boredom start to seep in.....yay.....
Wait! Ignore the sarcasm, and don't worry, there's a cure!!!
When I begin to feel those 'ol winter blues starting to kick in I bring out my
Winter Wonderland Survival Kit!
Inside, is pure joy, and everything you need to survive one of those dark, boring, depressing, and chilly, winter days...
(Puppy not included)
The Tools of Survival
  • Hot Cocoa ( Where would we be with out it?!?)
  • Candy Canes (Great for stirring or for eating! Candy Canes never go out of style during the winter months!)
  • Marshmallows Christmas Peeps ( Nothing says winter like candy canes, chocolate, and fluff! Well lucky for us Peep's has a holiday special that combines the three best things in the world! But hurry!!!! They're limited edition, so stalk up!!!)
  • Over sized Mug (because who doesn't love 'em?)
  • Fuzzy Socks & Blanket (Warm+Fuzzy= Girls best friend)
  • Candle, and some matches might be helpful...(No fireplace included in this kit, but nothing says cozy like a warm candle light glow!)
  • Favorite Movie!!! (Something that makes you smile! My favorite is Mean Girls...what can I say...nothing makes me feel better inside than some loving words from Regina George!) 
  • A best friend(s) to laugh with! The crazier, the better!(Laughing chases away all the winter blues!)P.S: Good luck getting them in the box by the way, I know for me it was a struggle ;)
You can personalize your kit anyway you want! Whatever makes you happy, throw it in the box! 
And remember, you will survive!
(As long as you are prepared, otherwise no gaurentees...)

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Last Minute Christmas Card Express!!!

In need of some last minute Christmas Cards?!?!
Have no fear! Mandalina is here!
And she has brought with her lovely little printable that can be made into cards!!!!

There are just a few things that you have to do....
(What? Did you think I was going to do all the work here?!?)
 - Printout a card of your choice onto a piece of Card stock.
 - Cut it out to your liking.
 - And Give it away!

It is December!
Pauli Ebner
Charles Robinson (1870-1937)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Have a Cup of Cheer~~~ Decorate Your Own Holiday Mugs!

It's CRAZY how much we spend on "homemade" Christmas presents!

For example, when I was younger I would go every year to one of those pricey "decorate it yourself" pottery places, just so I could give my parents a mug for Christmas. I know, silly right?!?

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But I'll let you in on a little secret.....
did you know that you can decorate your own mugs at home for practically nothing!?!?!
Nope, it's not a lie I'm being totally serious. And it only takes 35 minutes!!!! (Short amount of time+easy=Perfect for the gift giving crunch time!!! P.S only 5 days till Christmas...yep you better get on it!!!) All you need are sharpies, a mug, and an oven!

***Tip: You don't have to do this with just mugs. This trick also works with plates, bowls, platters, you name it!


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  • Grab your mug, and start decorating! Go all out crazy!
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Place mug in oven for 30 minutes!!!
  • Take it out of the oven...
And BAM, done! Just like that!

***Tip: Spice up your gift! Add a few tea bags, some coffee, a package of shortbread cookies, or if your feeling really generous a coffee gift card (preferably Dutch Bros. ;) )

This Gift is Perfect for Guys and Gals!
After all...
Who Doesn't Love a Mug?

It's the Final Countdown!!! (Christmas Edition)

Do you know what time it is???
Time to start tying up all your holiday odds and ends, because the clock is ticking!
Get busy little elves!

Click below for the official countdown timer!
Just a tip this can either really, really, REALLY excite you...or it will stress you out beyond words...


Sunday, December 16, 2012

It's beginning to smell alot like Christmas!

Oh the smells of the the holidays! In my opinion these are the best smells of the year!
But, out of ALL the holiday smells,(and as you know, there are ALOT of them), the smell of oranges has to be my favorite! I know it's not the stereotypical "Christmas-Scent", but hey who cares?
And did you know that you can take a plain ol' orange and turn it into a sweet smelling candle????
Well guess what??? You can!!!
You don't have to make a trip to Bath and Body works to make your home smell good this season! Just get your booty up off that couch, and skeedaddle on over to your kitchen! Fill your home,(or wherever you fancy), with the sweet aroma and cozy glow of the holidays!
Now, Go to your fruit bowl, grab an orange and have at it!

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Ballerina Snowflake Decor!!! The best things in life are free (and homemade)!

Pretty, Elegant, AND Easy Christmas decorations!
Ballerina Snowflakes
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The years of the blasé snowflakes have come, and are finally gone! (Hallelujah for originality!) Now you can make your old fashioned, go-to, paper snowflakes with an elegant twist!!!
First things first, cut out a paper ballerina. Then, turn a paper snowflake into a tutu. And, Voi La! There you go! See? I told you so..... it's sooo easy!
 Now you have ballerinas and snowflakes!!! Best of both worlds right there! These are a great, and magical addition to your holiday decor! Hang them on a garland, or by some pretty lights, and transport yourself into a REAL winter wonderland!
Plus.....they're cheap... I know how perfect is that!  All you need are the templates below! And some scissors (of course), and some tape if your not too snazzy when it comes to paper cutting!
 For the Tutu's...

***TIP: Use regular paper for the tutu's. The more easy and pliant the better!
For The Ballerinas...
***TIP: Use construction paper for the bodies! Why??? It will just make your life easier...
Make sure the Tutu fits well! You don't want the ballerina to moon all of your holiday guests!!! And, we really,really want Santa to come back again next year, booty showin' off in this establishment!
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And like I've said before, don't be afraid of putting your own twist on it! Use different colors, O.D on the glitter, add some googly eyes, whatever works for you, go for it!
Express yourself!
Special Treat!
Here are some real life ballerina snow flakes! Enjoy this video of the famous "snow scene", from the holiday classic, The Nutcracker!

Side Note: Bucket list wish---to dance around in fake snow and make other people jealous! I know I'm mean, but how often is it that you get to dance around in a blizzard of fake snow!?!?!? Not very often I'll tell you that!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Home made Sno Balls~ We're Bringing Hostess Back!

We're Bringing Sno Balls Back!

Nope wrong kind of Sno ball......

Pinned ImageI'm talking hostess cupcake, pink colored, chemical deliciousness!!!
I know they're SOOOO BAD for you....but they taste so good! Plus they're pink, how can ya not love 'em?
But sadly, as you must know, America is morning the loss of one of the greatest companies ever, the Hostess Cupcake Factory, making people chubby like a bunny since waaayyyy back in the day....
Good news for you! You can make homemade Sno Balls, that taste twice as good, and will not give you diabetes or heart problems!
***PLUS: these are great for Christmas! Why? Well, because of the name Sno Balls, Duh! And when you bring these to a party, or cookie exchange, they will be a BIG hit, because they are so original!
Say "Hasta La Vista" Gingerbread men and sugar cookies, the Sno Balls are coming to town!
For the cake
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the molds
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for the molds
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoonbaking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoonsalt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoonchocolate extract (optional)
  • 1 teaspoonpowdered instant coffee dissolved in 2/3 cup boiling water
  • For the filling and frosting
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoonsalt
  • 1/2 teaspoonvanilla extract
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, preferably Baker’s Angel Flake Coconut
  • 6 drops red food coloring


  • 1. Heat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter and flour the molds.
  • 2. Beat the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. Add the egg and then the yolk to the butter and sugar mixture, scraping the bowl after each addition. Add the sour cream and chocolate extract, if using, and mix until combined. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the instant coffee mixture in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
  • 3. Divide the batter evenly among the molds, filling them almost to the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Set the molds on a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Run the tip of a knife around the rim of each cake and lift out. Place the cakes on the wire rack to cool completely.
  • Make the filling and frosting
  • 4. While the cakes cool, in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat, bring the sugar and water to a boil. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook until the syrup reaches the soft-ball stage or registers 235°F to 240°F (112°C to 115°C) on a candy thermometer, about 3 minutes.
  • 5. Meanwhile, using a stand mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed until frothy. Add the salt and beat until the whites are glossy and hold soft peaks. When the syrup is at the desired temperature, carefully pour it in a very thin stream down the side of the bowl into the egg whites with the beater still on high speed. Continue to beat until the mixture cools, 8 to 10 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. Scoop out and reserve about 3/4 cup of the meringue. Add three drops of the red food coloring to the remaining meringue in the bowl of the stand mixer and mix until combined.
  • 6. Place the coconut in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, add three drops of food coloring, and pulse 15 times. Turn the coconut into a large bowl.
  • Assemble the sno balls
  • 7. Using a serrated knife, carefully slice off the top third of each cake, keeping each top alongside its cake. Pinch about a tablespoon and a half of cake from the inside center of each cake and set aside for nibbling. Fill the hole with a dollop of the reserved white meringue and replace the top. Thickly frost the top of the cakes with the pink meringue. Then generously sprinkle each cake with coconut until completely covered. Tamp down gently on the coconut to maintain the domed shape. Serve at once.
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Monday, December 10, 2012

Brighten up the Holidays~ Homemade Lanterns

Nothing like a couple of Doily's to light up some ones Christmas.

Actually I'm being serious, believe it or not. Who knew that you could make a lantern using a balloon and some doily's for under five dollars???!!!
The wonderful people at Pinterest that's who!

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~ To put the Doily's on the balloon use Elmer's glue, or wall paper glue.
~ Once the Doily's have dried, pop the balloon with a needle.
*** REMEMBER to leave a large enough circle at the top of the balloon, so that there will be enough room for a light!
And then you'll be all set!
So hang it by a string, or one of those fancy cords with a light on the end (for the real deal lantern effect), and enjoy, or give it away as a gift this holiday!

Say What?!?---Christmas Carols Gone Wrong...

We've all had that moment where we're listening to a song and we've had to stop to do a double take, because something didn't sound quite right!!!

And this experience could go both ways...
                   You could be thinking....

Whaaaat?!? That doesn't make sense, maybe I'm crazy.....nahhh it's not me it's them! Singers these days...


You're like me, and you think somethings a bit off, but you just go ahead and keep on singing the song the way you want.

A word of advise to you! Find out what the correct lyrics are! Why? Well, for one the "Ohhhh" light bulb will go off in your head, and the song will make a heck of alot more sense. And two, being that it's the holiday season you have to know the correct lyrics to all the classic Christmas tunes, otherwise hard core carolers will kill you. Trust me, I know from experience. And let me tell you, that was the last time I ever walked around singing about "chipmunks roasting on an open fire".

So, here are some classic Holiday Song mess ups, that I myself have made. I've posted the correct lyrics too, along with the bad ones, so that you won't make the same mistakes as me!
Yep, you're welcome!


Wrong: "Chipmunks roasting on an open fire, chestnuts nibbling at your toes".

Correct: "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nibbling at your nose".

Ignore the somewhat awkward intro. And don't ask me what's going on, because I have no idea either....


Wrong: "Later on we'll perspire as we sing by the fire".

Correct: " Later on will conspire as we dream by the fire".

Who knew, right?


Very, very wrong: "The horses go left, the cats go right, let it snow, let it snow"!

Correct: Don't ask.... I don't even know where that came from...

(No link necessary....)
There's more songs that I have really, really messed up on, but I'm too embarrassed to post those up in public....

But wait! There's More!
Along with my great advise to remember your lyrics this holiday season, here is a play list of my favorite Christmas songs, that I literally listen to all year.........what can I say, I'm an elf!!!  ;)

Without further a due, here is the Mandalina Ballerina Holiday Play List.

No Place Like Home for the Holidays- Barry Manilow

The Most Wonderful Day of the Year- Glee

We Need a Little Christmas- Glee

Baby it's Cold Outside- Glee

Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel- The Piano Guys

The First Noel- Celtic Woman

What Christmas is all About <3

Being that I am a considerably good person, I decided to volunteer at a "lunch with Santa" event. This was where underprivileged kids, who are living in high risk situations, get to go and have lunch with Santa Claus.

I know it's sweet, I volunteered with the children, BUT, here's the catch...

......I am a HUGE germaphobic! And as I was walking into the venue, where the event was held, I kept thinking "Oh my God....lot's of little kids means LOT'S of little germs. Pretty pretty please have there be a small, and hygienic turnout!!! But sure enough, my hopes were contradicted when the largest group, of the germiest 3-5 year olds I had ever seen, ran through the doors (300 of them to be exact).

Then it was time to get down to business....
I introduced myself to some of the kids, who were going to be sitting at my table.
Let's just say it was a bit of a shaky start......
One kid was throwing crayons, another was screaming, a few were sneezing and coughing, one was crying.....someone bring in the Advil please!
But then this one little boy came over to the table and sat down next to me. Putting on my cheesiest grin I introduced myself and asked him his name. No response, just a blank stare. I soon found out from a staff member that he didn't speak any English. So, I took the plunge, risking looking or sounding ridiculous, and began to put those three years of high school Spanish to good use! And guess what? By some miracle it worked.
Slowly but surely I got used to these little germy creatures (whom I was finding to be quite adorable), when the highlight of my day happened, Santa walked in. Their awe struck faces lit up, as they clapped their hands with delight to see this jolly old man from the North Pole.  Watching them, I sat thinking "wow, look at how happy they are, and how much joy they old people need to start being more like that"!
Talk about an eye opener AND a magical experience all jumbled into one!

Now, here comes the emotional part....
We took the kids up in small groups to go sit on Santa's lap. There, they told Santa what they wanted for Christmas. With a glowing smile, Santa would then reach over into his big red bag and pulled out a brightly wrapped present, just for them. I almost cried when I saw how happy they were to unwrap, and find, that one, special present that they had wanted and asked for.
Knowing the harshness of these children's situations, the other volunteers, and I, were told that this was probably going to be the only Christmas present that they will receive this season.

That got me thinking......
Why can't we be as joy filled as children?  How is it that as we have grown up, we seem to have lost the "magical" aspect of Christmas that the children always see? Why are the gifts such a big deal? (I know if we only got one gift for Christmas, we'd think it was a joke, and be filled with disappointment). And finally, how come we overlook being grateful for the small things?

I don't really have an answer to any of these actually, that's something you're going to have to ask yourselves. But here's what I do know,
  • We need to find joy in everything.
  • Stop! For just a second to find the magic in each and every moment!
  • Always keep a child-like and playful spirit.
  • Be grateful for everything. Seriously you are blessed!!!
  • Remember that presents come from the heart (including banana bread in a jar ;) ), and quantity and size doesn't matter.
  • Keep an open mind and a loving heart.

This holiday season try to bring joy to someone in need. Whether it's through a gift, donation, or even a smile, it could mean the world to them. Plus there's a perk for you too! You'll feel classy inside and out!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Party Girl Pencils!!!!

While doing some of my Christmas shopping I came upon these Fru-Fru La-La Pencils!

The bright colors, scandalous polka dots, and wild up-do fringe edges, screamed Party Girl!
Of course, since I like to be the giver of classy (and playful) gifts during the Holiday season I thought that these would be great to give to some of my girl friends. But..... the store wasn't really feeling the whole "giving season" thing, and wanted $22 for them!!!!!!! No Way girl friend! This chicky's wallet can only handle so much giving.......
So the butter churning wheels in, my head, began to churn and I thought (a most billiant thought), "Hey! These are just pencils and some fancy tissue paper.....
And if I can make it, then trust me, you sure as heck can!
So let's get started!

This craft is great in.........
                                                as extra tid bits in a present bag........
                                                                                              or as party favors..........
You name it, it works!
  1. Grab your supplies! Glue, Scissors, Fun Tissue Paper (I prefer pink), Regular wooden pencils. Yep we're going old fashion :)
  2. Cut a strip of tissue, about 4 inches long, 10 inches tall. **** You're going to want to cut your paper longer if the tissue paper is thin.
  3. Cut fringe on the top of the paper. Not too long though, otherwise it will be difficult to wrap.
  4. Put some glue all over the pencil. Literally go crazy, work that glue stick!!!! Yes, even put glue on the eraser!
  5. Start rolling up the pencil, TIGHTLY!!! Put a bit of glue on the tissue covered pencil each time that you roll. This will insure that the tissue is secure.
  6. Finish rolling and adding your last touches of glue (as you see fit). Take the leftover tissue and twirl it at the base (where the leftover tissue meets the pencil). This will secure those lovely little frillies! **** If your frills just aren't cooperating, it's okay we all have those days, so no worries! Use a LITTLE bit of hairspray. This will add that extra security.
     E't Voi La! You are done!
    Go and give these sassy looking pencils to all of your friends! Trust me, they will be a big hit!
    Here are the same steps in pictures, for all you visual learners out there!

    Take that you $22 pencils you!!!!
Total Cost: 99 cents
Nope this is not a lie! Classy gifts can be cheap!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Bearer of BAD Gifts!-----STOP the Madness!

The Christmas Season is here!
Along with carols, joy, cheer, holiday cookies, AND....
Bad Christmas Presents....
Some of the Christmas gifts these days....... somebody PLEASE call in Martha Stewart!!!
Oh don't play dumb over there! You know what I'm talking about. We've all gotten that one gift where we're just like"ehhhh...", and then put it away to give to some one we hate next year.

And if that's your thing, well then that's just hunky dory! You go right on ahead and become one of those people who gives out banana bread in a jar (for example). What is happening to the world?!?Apparently some people think it's cute....... but, I think I'm missing something here.
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    I don't get it....

Oh The things I have seen……………………….. I understand that any gift that comes from the heart is good, but in reality, sometimes it’s from the heart of the pantry. A very,very, dark and dusty part....

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OH! And what is with this elf on a shelf thing??? I'm sorry, but there will be no elves on this girls shelf!

(I think it looks scary.......)

let's put the classy back into Christmas. You can still save money and make homemade gifts, for a great price, without making it look like you got all crafty and whipped something up at the last minute!

So yours truly, Is here to give you the helping hand you need!
Come back during the holiday season to find fabulous crafts, that you can make on a budget!!! While still maintaining some class and sass!

    Get your little elves together and your workshop ready! We start tomorrow!!!!!!

Friday, November 30, 2012

No Excuses November! The Finale!

It's the end of the No Excuses November!!!!

Don't be sad; now we can sit around watch Titanic, and eat chocolate! Reward time!!! No, I'm kidding. Just because we achieve a goal, or complete something , doesn't mean we immediately stop moving forward. You WORKED HARD to get to where you are today! Celebrate, and don't let that go! Progress is KEY! So, just because I'm going to be posting all types of candy and cookie recipes for December, doesn't mean you should stop all together. Fitness isn't "a one night stand" (or in this case a one month stand), it's a life style. So keep on keepin' on, and enjoy your feature presentation...

~No Excuses November Finale~
Moral of the Story:
Pinned ImageAmen to that right there! This is SOOOO true for everything in life too!!!!
Don't Think to Much Just Blast That Fat:
Let's play the gym game, play the gym game, do you want abs or do you want flab? Are you on your game? Playin' the gym game!
(Sorry, couldn't help going all out Lady Gaga on this one :)
Even if it is Harry Potter themed....
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Whoa There! Time to Simmer Down!:
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Reward Yourself! Yes YOU!:
Since your already feelin' the "high" of working out, add that buzz by go and getting yourself a nice green tea at Starbucks, or make it yourself at home!
*Did you know? Green tea fires up your metabolism, causing you to burn more fat! I'll take it!!!
I am an at home type of gal, so here's what I do to make my taste buds happy little campers:
- One green tea bag
- 1/4 cup Light Almond Milk
- Agave Nectar (Sweeten to taste)
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Happy Finale to Y'all!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Black Friday First-Timer; a view of the madness!

November 22nd-23rd was my first, and last Black Friday. Now I know it's been almost a week since the whole ordeal, and you're probably thinking "ummm a Black Friday article.... Mandy, I think you missed the boat on that one...". And the answer to that lovely thought of  yours is NO! No I did not miss the boat, I was recovering from the madness of fighting off the wild "animals". And part of recovering is letting it all out, getting it off your shoulders.
So, here is my story:

Being the "smart" person that I am I choose to go to Wal-Mart.
To all you newbies out there, going to Wal-Mart on Black Friday can be one of the worst decisions that you've ever made in your life. People were acting like they were just released from jail and like the banks had put up a sign that said Rob Me! This Friday Only!

......Fighting off  ravenous beasts (yes I am referring to the "lovely" people, whom we call our fellow shoppers), I grabbed "Mama Mia", the sing along version......
Yes it was very serious!

Trapped with no escape for 4 whole hours of my life. Time that I could have been using to sit around by myself, eating leftover Halloween Candy, and lounging in my gangster-rapper-fat-pants.
BUT, that my friends is the dedication of a first timer.
Ran into some friends, my "moral support team", to help me get through this rough time...

Ohhhh, and what a coincidence, we met a celebrity.
~Making friends jealous on Facebook since 2008~


We did some impromptu acting, and dramatic singing... (as we waited for the gates of the mall to open).
In my head I sound like Adele, so, of course I sounded great!

And then......!!!!
....the gates we're opened, and we we're released!!!
Roaming wild and free..... I choose to "observe", for safety purposes.

Everything has to come to a close at some point

And like all good nights it ended with a bang......


Let's just say that there's a first time for everything, and a last.
Moral of the story, I think I'm more of an online shopper kinda person...
But whatever floats your gondola.
Just know, all you die hearts out their, be careful when you go on this little mission of yours. So be safe, have fun, and plan ahead, and you'll have all your bases covered.

Enjoy the Madness!