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OK all you wonderful women and moms who read my blog. How are you doing? Totally feeling the stress of pulling the holidays together for your family with just a few days still to go? I wanted to take a minute to talk to you (and me) today. Let’s talk about how to relieve stress and entertain for ourselves so we can enjoy the holidays. I did something drastic (yes that is a bit dramatic) yesterday with some help from Mirassou Winery who is sponsoring this post. I took a break….::Gasp::!

I need to add this to my Christmas ideas! How to relieve stress and survive the holidays for moms and women with a little entertaining for ourselves. Sponsored

When was the last time you took a break? Did something relaxing for you? I know that there are tons of entertaining and parties we are responsible for or attend this time of year. We all know that, for the most part, we are doing the buying of present, stockings, Christmas cards, getting the tree, mailing gifts, wrapping presents, etc. It can feel overwhelming and stressful at best and maybe you feel like running away to Jamaica until the holidays are over at worst.

I think that as women, we tend to give tons to others and forget to give to ourselves. I’m not talking about selfishness here, even though many will interpret this that way. I’m talking about self-care. Entertaining for yourself.

I need to add this to my Christmas ideas! How to relieve stress and survive the holidays for moms and women with a little entertaining for ourselves. Sponsored

We have a few fun family gatherings each year that I am responsible for. I always think of what everyone will enjoy in terms of drinks and appetizers. I make sure the house is tidy (and maybe clean). I make sure there are candles and the house smells good. Once my friends arrive, I make sure to take care of their needs. I make sure, as much as I can, that everyone has a great time. In the case of our making Gingerbread houses or even the Cake Party we just hosted, I usually am on my feet the whole time and don’t get to participate much. Does this sound familiar? I still absolutely love it and wouldn’t change or stop hosting these events. They are fun.

The reason, I bring up all of the ways in which I try to be a good host up, is to compare. When was the last time I took care of myself. Entertained for me. Thought of what I want to drink or eat. Took time to sit and enjoy Christmas, instead of worrying about everyone else and when the presents will get mailed or even fighting with my husband about why it is all my responsibility and why he can’t do some of it. When was I a hostess with the mostess for myself? I can now say, yesterday.

I need to add this to my Christmas ideas! How to relieve stress and survive the holidays for moms and women with a little entertaining for ourselves. Sponsored

I was feeling totally overwhelmed with work and home and Christmas. I was at the store and I decided I needed a break. The thing is that saying I need a break and actually taking one are two different things. I find that it is easy to keep going, but if I plan something for myself…entertain for myself, I’m going to follow through with it because I’ve now spent some money on things and I don’t like to waste things like that. Plus it is fun to do something special for myself, just like it is fun to do something special for other people. Or am I the only one who feels that way?

I need to add this to my Christmas ideas! How to relieve stress and survive the holidays for moms and women with a little entertaining for ourselves. Sponsored

I bought myself some pretty flowers, some chocolate covered pretzels that I love, and a new scented candle. Of course, I love relaxing at the end of the day with a great glass of wine, so I added my favorite Mirassou Pinot Noir and Mirassou Merlot, since I’m well over 21. (Oh and by the way to find Mirassou wines near you, use this store locator.) Thankfully Mirassou has the cute sun logo on the front of the bottle, which makes it really easy to spot among all those wine choices. Love it when things are easy! I bought two bottles since they are reasonably priced and it will encourage me to do this more than once in these days before Christmas.

I made a plan to entertain for myself. I made a plan to just sit and enjoy. I want to encourage you to do the same thing. It doesn’t have to be for long. 15 minutes would work if that is what you’ve got. I know you are like me. I know that the holidays are totally delightful and that they can get overwhelming. I know that most of us love making the holidays a special and magical time for our families. I also know that we need to take some time and care for ourselves.

Take some time to care for yourself, do something for yourself like you would to entertain for others. Think of what you love and do that something small for yourself. Whether it is a great glass of Mirassou wine(if you are over 21) or that favorite Christmas movie or both.:-)It may feel silly, but I’m telling you it will rejuvenate you so you can keep going and enjoy the holidays.I need to add this to my Christmas ideas! How to relieve stress and survive the holidays for moms and women with a little entertaining for ourselves. Sponsored

I did this last night. I really enjoyed sitting in my living room with the Christmas tree, but to be real, I ended up just watching a show on TV. I need to do better. I haven’t watched even one Christmas movie for me this year. I’ve watched a few of our family favorites, but none that indulge my love of romantic sappy Christmas movies. Tonight, I’m going to turn off the computer and the phone. ::Shocking:: I’m going to pick out a sappy movie and entertain for myself again. I’m going to enjoy my candle in the living room with only the Christmas lights on because I love that. I’m going to enjoy a little chocolate and a delicious glass of Mirassou wine. Just writing that I can feel myself unwinding and relaxing. I need that desperately. How about you?

What do you need this holiday season? What do you love that would be some great self-care so you can unwind and enjoy the holidays?

Here is a $3.00 coupon from Mirassou to help elevate your holidays and if you are like me, to give yourself a little self care.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Mirassou. 

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  • Lolly Jane - December 17, 2014 - 11:55 am

    Break? What does that word mean? :D lol This post sounds dreamy!ReplyCancel

    • KC Coake - December 17, 2014 - 7:51 pm

      Exactly! That is why we need to take some breaks. :-) Merry Christmas!ReplyCancel

  • Heather Luckhurst - December 17, 2014 - 4:53 pm

    We really do need to take a break for ourselves once and a while!! I love your entertaining-for-me tips!! I’m going to look for Mirassou next time I’m out – thanks for the coupon!ReplyCancel

  • Mary Beth|Cupcakes and Crinoline - December 17, 2014 - 10:56 pm

    I found I got a bit relaxed just reading this post ~ you have inspired me to aim for some downtime in the next few days ~ with some Mirassou of course! Thanks so much for the ideas and for the coupon.ReplyCancel

    • KC Coake - December 18, 2014 - 9:17 pm

      Oh, I’m so glad to hear it! I hope you find some downtime very soon and the Mirassou as well. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!ReplyCancel

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Cake Boss. I received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for participating.”

I had the fantastic opportunity to host a Cake Boss party last weekend. It was so much fun! I have made cakes for years, usually with some fun ones for my girls birthdays. I thought you might like to learn how to make a cake….like the boss, Cake Boss that is.:-)

Now I can have pretty desserts with this tutorial on how to Make a Cake that is level and pretty every time. It is actually a lot easier than I thought! Sponsored

I realize that saying I’m going to teach you how to make a cake might sound exceptionally simple, but lots of people don’t know the tricks to get a level or flat cake every time.

When you go to decorate your cake, it really makes a difference to have a level cake. Especially if you are doing something special like the Rapunzel tower cake I made a few years back, but even simple cakes like the Hello Kitty cake I made look better when they are level. So let me show you the secrets of making a cake and show you all the fun we had decorating the cakes. We had never worked with fondant before and it is actually a lot easier than anyone thought.:-)View full post »

  • Kim @ Sand & Sisal - December 15, 2014 - 11:24 am

    It looks like everyone had a blast! And each cake is unique!ReplyCancel

    • KC Coake - December 15, 2014 - 9:04 pm

      We sure did have tons of fun! Have you tried your hand at fondant?ReplyCancel

  • Ashley @ Simply Designing - December 15, 2014 - 11:29 am

    Oh this looks so fun!! I love decorating cakes but haven’t tried any of the Cake Boss supplies yet…but I think I might need to change that!ReplyCancel

    • KC Coake - December 15, 2014 - 9:04 pm

      I think you will need to change that Ashley! They work really well and we had so much fun. What is your favorite cake decorating tool?ReplyCancel

  • danielle - December 16, 2014 - 9:40 am

    How fun! I have never worked with fondant before.ReplyCancel

    • KC Coake - December 16, 2014 - 7:59 pm

      I hadn’t either. It isn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be. You should give it a try. :-)ReplyCancel

Earlier this week I told you I would show you more DIY Christmas decorations that I made this year. I saw this cute idea when window shopping at Target and knew I wanted to try to make them myself. It turned out to be quite an easy craft that saved me money by making them myself over buying them. Love it when that happens!

I love these glittery Joy DIY Christmas decorations! They are so cute and they look easy too!.

I told you earlier this week when I showed you the Merry DIY Christmas decorations that I had really wanted them to spell out JOY, but that I hadn’t been able to find the right letter combinations. A little while after I bought those supplies, I got an email from Pick Your Plum(affiliate link) showing that they had some of their fab MDF wood items for sale. They had the JOY letters that I wanted so badly, so I decided to get them and make two sets of decorative letters this year. Because the letters were only $7.99 and I had all the supplies on hand to make these letters, even with the shipping fee it was less expensive to make than buying the letters from Target.  View full post »

Do you like to make DIY Christmas Decorations? I do! I’m going to guess that if you have been to my blog before, you probably knew that.;-)I’ve got some cute Christmas decorations to show you today and of course I’ve got you covered with a tutorial so you can make your own. Yippee!

These Merry Letters are the cutest DIY Christmas Decorations! They are an easy craft with endless possibilities. Fun!

I really enjoyed when I made the Summer DIY home decor letters earlier this year. I thought they were fun to make and a cute touch on my fireplace mantel. I knew I wanted to make some this year for Christmas. I had been planning it since summer. I totally wanted to make the letters to spell out Joy. When I went shopping for my supplies I guess other people must have been planning the same thing. I couldn’t find a ‘Y’ in the paper mache letters. In the wood letters I ended up using, I couldn’t find a ‘J’. It just wasn’t meant to be. Oh boo! However, I did end up getting to make my JOY letters, which I will show you on Friday. I’ll tell you about that later this week. Since that solution hadn’t presented itself yet, I went ahead and got the letters to spell out MERRY and got to work. Let me show you what I did so you can make your own DIY Christmas decorations (that spell out whatever you fancy).  View full post »

  • Judi Boyd Niermann - December 10, 2014 - 2:11 pm

    Cute idea for xmas letters for my mantleReplyCancel

  • Jill Goodwin - December 10, 2014 - 4:48 pm

    Do you think it will work with scrapbook paper? I might make some for all of the seasons…I have paper for all seasons.ReplyCancel

I had this great idea to make these cute DIY Christmas ornaments. They were really a ploy to buy these cute little Christmas trees I saw at AC Moore, but I needed something to do with them…you know an excuse to buy them. So why not create a blog post and a cute craft? Ever done that before? Probably not, but I did and it didn’t turn out quite like I wanted. Oh bother!

Love these adorable DIY Christmas Ornaments! They look cute and I could make them with any fabric and ribbon. Must make!

The ornaments are OK, but not nearly as cute as I thought they were going to be. I picked out two cute fabrics. I love polka dots and gingham is an all time favorite of mine. The paper mache ornaments needed something to cover the side and the cute ribbon I found was supposed to look great. The plan was to put the green ribbon on the red ornament and vice versa to give some contrast. The reality is that when I went to make them, the ribbon reminds me of those colonial hats that women used to wear at night. It did not look good AT all with the contrasting color fabric. The best I could do was put the same colors together and call them done because I wasn’t going to spend any more money on this project.

Now that I have done such a great job talking these up, let me show you how to make them. LOL! But really, I do have a tutorial for you and I think if you used regular flat ribbon on the sides instead of my ruffled ribbon, they would be totes adorbs.  View full post »

  • Jill Goodwin - December 8, 2014 - 2:35 pm

    The ornaments are just missing something. You could cut out a circle phone and glue to the center or add some 3D stickers.ReplyCancel

You guys! My kids totally destroyed our computer! I am not kidding. It was s slow and painful death for the computer. Slowly but surely it fell apart and yet kept on working…amazing right!?! Today I want to tell you about what I’m doing about the destroyed computer included how Amazon Freetime Unlimited  is restoring some sanity to this mom and stopping the fighting over electronics in our house! Sounds lovely, right? I’ve got a great solution for your house, too!

My kids destroyed our computer and what I

Seriously, this is what the kids computer looked like! Can you believe that it still worked? I think it was literally hanging on by a thread or wire, as the case may be. It just happened slowly over time. I’m sure the kids carrying a 17″ laptop (that was my work computer long ago) around the house didn’t help, but it wasn’t as though they dropped it down the stairs or anything…at least not that I’m aware of.;-)Can you guess why I never let them use my computer? Hmmm…let’s think. Yeah, not so hard to figure out is it? View full post »

  • Rachel Willis - December 5, 2014 - 3:31 pm

    I love this! My granddaughters are always fighting over my iPad and this is a great solution!ReplyCancel

  • Heather Luckhurst - December 6, 2014 - 4:32 pm

    What a great idea!! This will end those squabbles over the electronics at home!ReplyCancel

  • Angie @ CCC - December 9, 2014 - 10:17 am

    ooooo….I need to get this!!!ReplyCancel

    • KC Coake - December 9, 2014 - 8:50 pm

      I know, right?! I’m guessing you have kids that are hard on things as well. The peace of mind with the Amazon Fire HD7 Kids Edition is super fab! Enjoy!ReplyCancel

  • corrie mcdonald - December 17, 2014 - 4:21 pm

    Can kids stiil make in app purchases in the kindle fire kids? This is a problem that I have with the freetime on my kindle:(ReplyCancel

    • KC Coake - December 17, 2014 - 7:56 pm

      Corrie – I’m pretty sure they can’t. I’ve looked around a little bit (not a ton) but it seems like it only gives them the option of things that are included in the Freetime Unlimited. It would concern me as well if they could. Hope that helps. I’ll update this if I find differently.ReplyCancel

Do you and your family enjoy watching Christmas movies this time of year? It is one of my favorite things to do with my girls this time of year. There are so many great Christmas movies and I thought I would share our favorites with you today in case you needed some inspiration and a relaxing evening with your family this holiday season.

LOVE this list of 10+ of the best Christmas movies for a family! #3 is my favorite!

Like I said, we LOVE watching Christmas movies. We rarely watch TV on weeknights as a family, however the holiday season is a different story. In the past, we would watch a different movie or Christmas TV show almost every night. This year with my older daughter going to public school now, I’m not sure if we will get to watch as many movies since she has homework in the evenings now. I’m sure we will find a way to watch quite a few, but I bet this year a few will get missed.:-(View full post »

I love finding and coming up with cute Christmas ideas. How about you? This year I wanted to try a cute little idea for our table. I made these stockings in which to put our utensils.

Love Christmas Ideas that are so cute! This cute utensil stocking will look great on our table and is a simple sewing project.

I had the idea to make these little utensil stockings for our table and knew they would be super cute. Of course, working out the pattern when you don’t have a pattern can sometimes be a little bit of work. It took me a couple of revisions, but I finally came up with a pattern that worked. I’ve got that pattern for you, so I’ve saved you a bit of time. Yippee! View full post »

  • Morgane@Bear Dolly and Moi - December 2, 2014 - 8:25 am

    it looks very festive, cute stocking. I am more of a mitten than stocking for the silverware, I guess it is my “no shocks on the table” policy ;) ….teenage boys are so much work!
    I really enjoyed the Keep it real moment, it feels like my house, no camping mat but rock climbing shoes!
    Looking forward to seeing more Christmas craft!ReplyCancel

    • KC Coake - December 7, 2014 - 7:31 pm

      The mitten idea is really cute! I hadn’t thought of the no socks on the table…but that is a good policy. Of course, if my kids or ANYONE tried to put real socks on the table they would totally hear about it! Gross! Glad you liked the real pic. It felt good to put it in there. :-) Merry Christmas to you!ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa Barker - December 3, 2014 - 3:35 pm

    This is such a fun and cute idea. I love itReplyCancel

  • Steph @ The Silly Pearl - December 3, 2014 - 6:29 pm

    Adorable stockings! And your photography studio is way fancier than mine!ReplyCancel

    • KC Coake - December 7, 2014 - 7:41 pm

      Thank you! :-) I’m amazed that my photography studio is fancier than anything! Where do you photograph?ReplyCancel

  • Debbie - December 3, 2014 - 7:48 pm

    Love them! So dang cute!!!

  • Jessa - December 7, 2014 - 7:43 pm

    These are too darn cute! I like the touch with the ribbon. I want to make some, but I’m afraid of my sewing machine. I love the keeping it real photo. Your area looks impeccable compared to mine! I’m a messy crafter.ReplyCancel

    • KC Coake - December 8, 2014 - 9:01 pm

      Thank you, Jessa! That is funny. I think people are either a messy crafter or a neat crafter. I can’t think when it is messy, so I tend to be more neat/organized. Weird, right!?!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel Rockwell - December 11, 2014 - 5:08 am

    Oh my goodness these are just SO cute! Love it!ReplyCancel

I seem to have had a string of projects that have not gone quite as I want them to or have taken a LOT longer than I anticipated. I needed a break and something easy. I took a break from my other projects and spent an hour or so to create this DIY chalkboard table runner.

I love this DIY Chalkboard table runner! So pretty and could be used in our Christmas decorations or any time of year.

The table runner was pretty easy to make, it just took some time to get the template and get everything cut. Thankfully, I didn’t have any problems! I needed that!

Also with today’s post, I’m going to start adding a new feature to most of my posts. I used to write a lot more Keeping it Real posts and share some more of the ‘real’ side of our life. It just seems like things have gotten too busy and I haven’t been inspired with any specific topics to write about, so they haven’t happened. The fact that this blog is called ‘The Real Thing with the Coake Family’ and I don’t feel like there is that much that is real has been bothering me. Not that I don’t make and use the things I’m showing you, but I’m doing more of my photography to cater to Pinterest versus showing you the real stuff. It is necessary in order to succeed and make the blog a full business that is earning income. However, a part of it doesn’t feel like I’m being genuine with you and I’ve always wanted this to be a space that is real and genuine. So, as much as I can, I plan to add a picture into each post that shows you the real side of things. I’m starting that with this post today. I hope you enjoy it!

Back to today’s DIY, let me show you how to make your own table runner.
View full post »

I’ve got a cute mason jar idea for you today! I made some pretty Christmas mason jars that you could easily use in a lot of different ways. I’ve also teamed up with other bloggers today to bring you 99+ handmade gift ideas and a giveaway!

Love these DIY glittery Christmas mason jars. They are so pretty and look filled with pens and pencils for a teacher gift.

Do you remember my Fall Mason Jar Crafts that were a total craft fail? Back in October, I started trying to make a gift for my daughter’s teachers. I was trying to work ahead and not feel overwhelmed this Christmas season. Since those didn’t work out to be given as a gift (though I did rescue them if you read that post), I decided to try again. I came up with another idea and decided to make Christmas gifts instead.

I love the way the jars turned out and I’ve got a couple of ideas for these jars for you, but you can use them so many ways. A few of these are going to end up in the middle of my Christmas table but most of them are going to be teacher gifts. Let me show you how to make your own pretty Christmas jars. View full post »