Welcome Home Gift Basket with Hallmark Signature Cards

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #HallmarkHolidayMoments


I love the holidays. It's my favorite time of year because it’s the time to spread cheer to those we love and appreciate! I have always loved Hallmark Cards and they have been a part of every holiday since I was born. My grandmother would send Hallmark Cards to me for every single holiday (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Easter, and more!), and I have a box of cards and photos that are a memento to my grandma, Pat.


This year's collection of Hallmark Greeting Cards at Walmart is extremely special to me, and I am so happy to be able to think of her as I look back through the cards she sent me. This gets me thinking about how important of a role greeting cards play in our lives. They help us spread a smile, words of kindness, words of consideration, and sometimes words of sympathy. It seems like there is really a card for every occasion now.

I also love how these greeting cards can be almost a gift in themselves, or accompany an amazing gift and put that final special touch on something like a Welcome Home Gift Basket. Above, I absolutely adore the woodland scene that is set! This gift basket I have created would be the perfect welcome home gift for family and friends who are visiting you during the holidays. I actually used the Hallmark Signature Cards as my color inspiration, which helped me tie a few really beautiful items together into one awesome gift. I found nearly everything at Walmart, including a Hallmark Signature Card, a pair of slippers, a fuzzy blanket, a winter candle, gloves, and more!

Perhaps you could create a set of his and hers gift baskets – Hallmark had TONS of cards for men, too, which I just loved. I would probably use colors like reds and blacks, plaids, and a rustic wooden basket for the container. Oh the possibilities!!!

Perhaps a plate of cookies would be inviting to someone who is visiting! I applied white frosting and some gingerbread decorations to traditional sugar cookies.

Hallmark Greeting Cards are incredibly enchanting and sophisticated, and they have such intricate designs. I could tell the designers and artists paid so much attention to every last detail. When I say little detail, I mean itty bitty, teeny tiny little details!

Speaking of gingerbread, this 3D Pop Up Card actually folds up into a little gingerbread house and is also an ornament! It’s really cute and folds up super easily. No glue was required at all!

DEAL ALERT!!!

I saw in-aisle coupons in the store, for buy 2 Hallmark cards, get one free. The other offer is a cute plush Holiday bear for only $3.97 when you purchase 3 Hallmark Cards priced at $1.97 or higher (offers available through 12/25/18 while supplies last). 

There’s also an Ibotta offer:  Earn $1 off a card purchase of $2.97 or more (offer available through 12/25/18 while supplies last)!
Hallmark has a couple of beautiful display at Walmart right now. It’s enchanting browsing all of their beautiful cards in the Holiday aisle, or the greeting card aisle... In this post, I featured two of the cards from Hallmark Signature Cards, and I also found that I loved a lot of the Hallmark Paper Wonder Cards as well. I was drawn more towards their whimsical greeting cards, the ones that made me want to be a kid again, and that had a lot of dimension to them. And, I thought it was fun to add a candle to the gift basket as well. It went so well with all of my colors.

I just love the enchanted woodland scene on this card, and my mom is going to LOVE it! I was so impressed by all of those little details that the layers of paper and glitter make. I actually used this card for some holiday decor inspiration around my home too! 

Hallmark’s latest designs are incredibly inspiring and will make the holidays and other occasions even more special. They are sure to help you continue to share thoughtful and meaningful moments and memories that will last a very long time.

Creamy Tomato, Basil, Parmesan Soup Recipe

A delicious, homemade version of a classic tomato soup recipe. This will be the only tomato soup recipe you will ever need. With lots of tomatoes, a creamy base, and a hint of parmesan, this soup is sure to please! We even doubled the recipe, and finished the soup in a matter of days. Keep reading to get the recipe, below!

Tomato Soup Recipe

Luckily, I used this recipe from Tastes Better From Scratch and I was thrilled with the outcome!

FIND THE ORIGINAL RECIPE HERE

Tomato Soup Recipe

The weather definitely turned to fall/winter today. Last night, it began to get pretty chilly but definitely bearable. This morning, the high was about 45 degrees, and I am super happy to welcome cooler temps with this soup recipe and lots of others. Perhaps loaded baked potato soup will be next!

Tomato Soup Recipe

Ingredients (serves 8)

  • 2 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes , with the juice

  • 2 tsp olive oil, if using stovetop method

  • 1 cup carrot , finely diced

  • 1 cup onion , finely diced

  • 1 cup celery , finely diced

  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste

  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves (Tbs fresh oregano)

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves or more (or 2-3 Tbsp dry basil)

  • ½ cup butter

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

  • 1½ cups half and half (or whole milk)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

For the Stove Top (This is the method I used):

  1. Add diced tomatoes, carrots, onions, celery, tomato paste, chicken broth, oregano, and basil to a large soup pot. Bring to a gently boil and cook for several minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Alternately, I cooked the onions for a few minutes with 2 tsp olive oil, then add carrots, celery, and seasonings to cook until carrots are a bit tender.

  2. In a separate pot, prepare the roux. Add butter to the pot over medium low heat and allow to melt. Stir in the flour and whisk together constantly for about 10 minutes or until the roux is a nice golden brown color. Slowly add 1 cup of the soup from the other pot to the roux--it will start to form a thick paste.  Slowly add another 3 cups of warm soup to the roux. Whisk together until smooth. Add the roux mixture to soup pot and stir to combine. Note - the rue + soup mixture was thick at first, but when added back into the larger soup pot, everything turned out extremely well!

  3. Pour soup into blender (you may need to do this in batches, depending on how big your blender is)

  4. Purée until smooth. Return to soup pot.

  5. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, half and half (or milk), and salt and pepper. Add additional oregano and basil if needed, to taste. Stir well. Cook for a few more minutes until warmed through. Enjoy!

For the Slow Cooker:

  1. Add diced tomatoes, carrots, onions, celery, tomato paste, chicken broth, oregano, and basil to your slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.

  2. About 30 minutes before the soup is ready, prepare a roux. Melt the butter over medium low heat in a skillet and add the flour. Whisk together constantly for about 10 minutes or until the roux is a nice golden brown color. Slowly add 1 cup of the soup from the slow cooker to the roux--it will start to form a thick paste.  Slowly add another 3 cups of warm soup to the roux. Whisk together until smooth. Add the roux mixture to the slow cooker and stir to combine.

  3. Pour soup into blender (you may need to do this in batches, depending on how big your blender is)

  4. Purée until smooth. Return to the slow cooker.

  5. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, half and half (or milk), and salt and pepper. Add additional oregano and basil if needed, to taste. Stir well. Cover and cook on low for another 20-30 minutes or until warm. Enjoy!

Stay Comfy + Warm Clothing for Winter and Beyond

If you're anything like me, you love and cherish comfortable clothes that fit perfect and look great. I am not one to wear super baggy clothing, but I do enjoy clothes that have an easy fit and still look flattering. If you have seen some of my posts from late 2017, you will have seen a few that we shot for Kohl's! Here is my fourth of five sets of images for Kohl's, which I think turned out so well! 

You will likely notice that this is of course more of a winter / Christmas theme, but I was SO happy with it, and just had to share it while it was still cold out :)

Above, you will see some of my favorite new leggings, which are more of a long john material, in the prettiest pale light blue color. They fit super well, and I even went down a size from what I would normally get so that they had a more snug fit. I have also worn these under my yoga pants to take the dogs on a walk while it's so cold out.

Find these fun thermal leggings and more, online here, or at any Kohl's store.

These cute slippers are only $9.99 and they're adorable! Get them right here.

And, if you're looking for the coziest, softest blanket ever, try this one, shown below, and in a few of the other photos. I got the plaid variant, available here for $29.99.

And, I adore this Cuddl Duds robe too. I featured the Fair Isle print, which is reversible, and grey on one side, and the cute grey print on the other. I seem to always be cold, so I have really been enjoying this comfy fleece robe way too much :) It's on sale for $36.00 right now too!

We are shooting our final post for Kohl's this coming weekend and I am SO thrilled about it. I went with more of a dressy look, and we will be working in Fort Myers Beach for this one, so look out for palm trees, friends!

I have really enjoyed getting to know so many of the beautiful brands from Kohl's like LC Lauren Conrad and Cuddl Duds (not exclusive to Kohl's but they DO have a huge selection there). I also love the higher quality of Cuddl Duds items even though they are not really expensive at all. And, I love how Kohl's offers Kohl's Cash, which I have been utilizing quite a bit during all of these photoshoots. I also got myself a few pieces of Fiesta Ware with my bonus coupons (they're always 25-30% off each week). 

Hot Chocolate With A Hint Of Bam!

I love a good hot chocolate! I would take a mug of hot cocoa over coffee any day! It's just something about steamed milk and chocolate that make me feel so warm. 

Hot Chocolate

HOT CHOCOLATE RECIPES:

BASE HOT CHOCOLATE (1 SERVING):

Fill a mug with milk, and pour it into a small lidded sauce pan. Begin to warm the milk on medium-low heat for 4 minutes, with the lid on. Add 3 Tablespoons of chocolate syrup to the saucepan, stir, and heat for another 2 minutes. Wait a few minutes until is has cooled a bit, and pour the hot chocolate back into your mug. Top with a generous amount of whipped cream, and enjoy! It will be very hot, so please be careful! 

VARIATION: MOCHA CINNAMON

Add 2 ounces espresso and 1 tablespoon cinnamon simple syrup to each mug of hot chocolate. 

VARIATION: CHAI SPICE

Add 2 pods star anise, 10 cracked cardamom pods, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1/4 teaspoon allspice, 1 tsp grated ginger, 6 ounces strong black tea, and 3 Tbsp. dark brown sugar. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, without letting the mixture come to a boil. Strain spices, and ladel hot chocolate into mugs.  

Hot Chocolate

Enjoy!!

Hot Chocolate

Erin Pelicano Necklaces

Looking for an incredible gift that is not only thoughtful, but really well made? Here are some ideas for you! Erin Pelicano has designed some amazing pieces for the women in your life. 

Erin Pelicano + Lily The Wandering Gypsy

Erin reached out to me to help showcase her work. In these photos, I wanted to convey just how beautiful the necklaces are, and how wonderful they would be for a Christmas or holiday gift. 

Erin Pelicano + Lily The Wandering Gypsy

All of Erin's jewelry arrives in a beautiful gift box, with her signature on it in silver. Her whole presentation is spot on! You could probably tie a ribbon around the box and consider it wrapped. 

Erin Pelicano + Lily The Wandering Gypsy

Be sure to check out even more wonderful updates from Erin around social media!

Facebook - Pinterest - Twitter - Instagram - Google+

Erin Pelicano + Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Erin Pelicano + Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Erin Pelicano + Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Erin Pelicano + Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Erin Pelicano + Lily The Wandering Gypsy

This one, below, I'm going to have to gift to myself, I think :) I absolutely love it! 

Erin Pelicano + Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Erin Pelicano + Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Erin Pelicano + Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Erin Pelicano + Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Erin Pelicano + Lily The Wandering Gypsy
Erin Pelicano + Lily The Wandering Gypsy

These necklaces are going to make some incredible Christmas presents!!! Check out her website HERE.