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Three boys, one dog, one chinchilla…Sometimes, you just have to STOP…and Count To Ten.

Tis the season for holiday get togethers…and whether you live near your family or you get to spend time with close friends, it doesn’t have to break the bank OR be stressful to host those dear to you this holiday.

First…decide a theme.  Are you going to be “kid friendly”, “adult only”, full buffet, appetizers, dessert table.  I personally LOVE the ever easy KID dessert table.  Adults will be at our get together, but making everything bright colored and easy to make and eat is SO MUCH less stressful.

Next, you have to go find ALL the goodies that you’ll need to make all the recipes you have in mind AND any pre-made foods you can find to make everything easier on YOU!  That’s why Isaac and I ventured out to Smart & Final.  It’s like a mini-warehouse.  It has EVERYTHING you’d need (regular boxed or bulk), but without the lines and membership costs.

I’m particularly searching for a few things like powered sugar, flour, and then as MANY pre-made goodies as I can find.  As you can see from my table display, I love things that are kid friendly and colorful.

Don’t over look prepackaged donuts or donut holes.  The kids love them AND you can dress them up in a container with ribbons or other holiday decorations.

Yes…those would be Fruit Loops.  You have a WHOLE cold cereal aisle at Smart & Final.  Be healthy if you want and get Chex Mix, or go for something sweet and colorful. We also grabbed popcorn.  You can go with different flavors and it looks so fun in the colored martini glasses!

As much as I’d like to tell you that I made those cookies…nope, they’re pre-packaged and available for purchase at Smart & Final!  These are my son’s FAVORITE holiday treat…I just couldn’t resist.  We even found Snowman Peeps (are they still called peeps when they’re not the chicks?)

Don’t forget chips!  I didn’t make any dip this time, but it’s always an option.  We also grabbed a bag of assorted nuts…whether our guests eat them or not, they still look cute a and festive on the table.

Now…these mini-pound cakes, I MADE!  yes…applause would be necessary at this point!  I actually took a lemon pound cake recipe from my GREAT-Grandma and tweaked a few things.

Here’s Grandma’s ORGINAL lemon pound cake recipe:

1lb. butter

1lb. flour

1 tsp. lemon flavor

1lb. powered sugar

12 eggs

All ingredients should be at room temperature!

  • Cream butter and sugar separately.
  • Separate eggs; beat yolks together and the whites together separately.
  • Add egg yolks and lemon flavoring all at once to creamed butter and sugar, mixing all together with hands.
  • Add the egg whites alternately with flour, mixing with hands.
  • Finally, beat about 3 minutes with electric mixer.
  • Pour batter into tube pound cake pand
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Now…as yummy as that recipe looks, that sure is ALOT of eggs and sugar!  SO, we altered it just a bit.  (and because I do NOT have a pound cake pan!)

I actually cut the ingredients in fourths…and also used a cupcake pan (just sprayed with Pam.)  Cutting the recipe into fourths, I was able to make 12 cupcakes at a time.  I did add red food coloring to make them a festive pink…but, you can make them any color OR no color.  Bake for only 15 minutes at 350…and that’s it!  Great-Grandma’s lemon pound cake turned Pink lemon mini-pound cakes!

This is TOTALLY optional:  but, I did add a glaze to mine.  Just take some of the powdered sugar and mix water in slowly.  I didn’t measure anything…it can be thick icing or thin and just run across the top (just MORE sweetness to add!).  Then, I topped some off with sprinkles  (crushed candy canes would also look cute).

Good luck hosting  YOUR holiday get together…I hope these tips will help inspire greatness and ease your stress!

Now…I do want to tell you that while I was at Smart & Final I noticed special tags on select First Street Baking products.

When you purchase ANY 2 participating First Street baking products, you’ll get a Hollywood Movie Money Certificate!  (the code is printed on the bottom of your receipt)  You’ll be able to use this certificate to see the highly anticipated Parental Guidance movie which opens in theaters on December 25th! (what a great stocking stuffer idea…huh?)

You can find all the sales going on right now at Smart & Final by checking out their Social Circular.  Even more info about Smart & Final at the following links:

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Smart & Final #CBias  #SocialFabric  All opinons and photos are my own.