Sierra's View: November 2014

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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Easy Meals for an Entertaining Holiday Party!

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

We all know that Christmas time is simply wonderful. 
With that being said, we all know that it is also incredibly busy with christmas shopping, activities, presents, and parties. It is a time of joy--and stress! Haha. 

As I have stated before and many of you know, I am in "A Christmas Carol" so my time is limited to cook during this season. I am incredibly busy, but I wanted to spend some time with my favorite people. It was also important to me to make sure that my time was spent with my husband and my friends and not stressing over what to make for this party.  So, I decided to put together some easy meals and throw a fun, entertaining party with these simple, yummy foods! 

Overall, the party was a huge hit. I love spending time with those I love during this time of year. 

These are the ingredients I used: 

  • STOUFFER'S® Party Size Entrées, 57-96 oz. (Lasagna with Meat & Sauce)
  • NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Dark Chocolate Peppermint Refrigerated Cookie Dough
  • NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels, 12 oz.
  • NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Rolled & Ready Sugar Cookie Dough Sheets

To prepare for this party, I (with the help of others) gathered these ingredients and cooked them before people arrived. 
My mother and friend helping me make the cookies before the party!

First, I gathered all of the ingredients we were going to use and put them on our table with cute decor. 

Second, we (Tanner, Bri and I) took the Nestle Toll House Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cookie Dough and put it in the oven, because, well, I don't know about the rest of you, but we are "eat dessert first" kind of people and this goes for preparing the food as well. :) 

We added EVEN MORE chocolate to those cookies (because, well, who doesn't love more chocolate?) with our Nestle TollHouse Semi Sweet Morsel Chocolate Chips before we stuck them in the oven. 

Next, I grabbed my "Roll and Ready Sugar Cookie Dough Sheets" and make cute little stars and gingerbread men with them. These are so awesome--you simply slide the cookie dough out and use your cookie cutters to make a quick and easy cookie process (you all know that I am about that!) 

Finally, Tanner wanted some "actual" food so we took our party size lasagna and stuck it in the oven. 

 Wah la--its done. And delicious! That simple! 
We, then, decorated the house with cute Christmas Decor. Our little table was decorated with flowers and a Christmas tablecloth. (Yes, I am aware it's the middle of December…I still love flowers). This is one of my favorite Santa's as well.And those stockings?! Oh, my heart. So beautiful. My dear mother made them for us. 

After we decorated, I finally got T Money to step away from socializing and eat the food. He loved it. 

Tanner enjoying the cookies and lasagna at the party. (Doesn't he look so excited to have his picture taken while eating?!) 

We put the lasagna into little bowls so the kids could eat them too. It was a huge hit!!!

After we ate and enjoyed the delicious food, we gathered together for a group photo--and to finally watch a Christmas movie together. Our bellies were full and we were happy! 

The kids also had a tackling contest :) 

The cookies and lasagna were a huge hit... and I got to spend time with those friends and family whom I loved, which is the most important part, right? :) Nothing better than holiday Christmas parties, am I right? Does this make you want to throw a party? You may steal any of these ideas if you would like to use these for your own Nestle party!

I found these ingredients in the dairy, baking, and refrigerated sections at my local Walmart. 

Also, Nestle is giving away $1,600 in Nestle Gift Baskets. 8 winners will receive a $100 Nestle gift basket and 2 winners will receive a $400 grand prize Nestle gift basket. 

Do you like to throw parties during the Christmas season? Do you like attending them? 
I need help with themes for my parties this season. What do you suggest? 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Award Winning is Fun.

I like winning awards, don't you?
The adorable Britt from My Little Sunshines nominated me for the "One Lovely Blog" Award. Thank you, you sweet thing! You're adorable. 
I am always so flattered when people read my blog and actually are moved and inspired by what I say--or they just think I'm super funny and good looking ;) 

I have been awarded a few of these awards over the past few months and well, to be honest, I haven't passed them onmostly due to a busy schedule. But, I wanted to be involved in this one! 

Here are the rules:

You must display the award logo at the top of your post
You must thank the person who nominated you and leave a link to their blog
You must add this set of rules so your nominees know what to do
You must add seven facts about yourself
You must nominate seven new blogs and leave links to each of them
You must let the nominated know that they've been chosen for the award
You must follow the person who nominated you back on Bloglovin’ (if you have one)

Here are seven facts about me:

1. I am currently playing Mrs. Cratchit in the musical "A Christmas Carol". If you are a local Utahn, come check out the play! It opens the day after Thanksgiving (Friday!) 
2. I am a 6th grade teacher.
3. I lived in Kenya for two months a couple of years ago. 
4. I have an 8 month old puppy named Saylor. She is a mini australian shepherd/mini poodle (aussiedoodle) and she's the cutest thing in the world. 
5. I have been married to my husband, Tanner (or T Money) for almost a year and a half! Woo hoo. He's the best. 
6.  I am obsessed with basketball. It is my favorite sport to watch. I love BYU basketball and the Boston Celtics (for family purposes!) I know more about basketball than a lot of males. 
7. I'm obsessed with flowers, polka dots and dresses. 

Here are the people I nominate (all of whom I have met in real life and I LOVE as people and bloggers! Some of these ladies are some of my closest friends, even) :
Brooke from Silver Linings 
Miki from What I Always Was. 
Kelsey from Stories of Kel 
Bonnie from The Life of Bon
Deidre from Deidre Emme 
Danica from Danakin Skywalker 
Amanda from We & Serendipity

There are so many more people I want to nominate. Can I just nominate you all?! Haha. xoxo. 

Also--if you want to read some more good stuff from yours truly, I'm talking about that lovely thing called Self Esteem over here. Check it out. 

I am not sure if I will be around the next couple of days to post, so I wanted to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. I will be hibernating pretty much the entire day. Rehearsals until midnight and then school the next day will pretty much be the death of me. 


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Holiday Peppermint OREO Cookie Balls!

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

One of my favorite things about the holidays are all of the yummy treats that we get to eat (and have to keep off!) Heaven knows that I am the worst cook in the world, but I wanted to get in the festive mood, so I decided to do something quite simple. T Money LOVES OREOS, I decided to make some Peppermint OREO Cookie Balls. Peppermint during the holidays is a huge hit. What I did is take the original OREO Cookie Ball recipe and just added peppermint candies on top of them. 

I think that baking is something that I need to start doing more of, especially during the holidays. My mother always makes treat plates for families in our area who need a little extra love or who have been good friends to them. I thought that this was such an incredible idea and it's something that I want to try to do. I think I might make these cookies again and put them on these Christmas treat plates. What do you think?

These Peppermint OREO Cookie Balls are a huge hit! They are absolutely delicious and they are, quite honestly, simple to make. This is a recipe that I need to keep for years to come! 


-1 pkg (8 oz.) brick cream cheese, softened
-36 OREO Cookies, finely crushed (about 3 cups)
-4 pkg. (4 oz. each) semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted
-Optional Ingredient: One package of peppermint candies (chopped) 

Make it!
-MIX cream cheese and cookie crumbs until blended.
-SHAPE into 48 (1-inch) balls. Freeze 10 min. Dip balls in melted chocolate; place in single layer in shallow waxed paper-lined pan.
-CUSTOMIZE it with your own ingredient additions or decorative skills.
-REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm.
-I added chopped up peppermint candies on top of it! **Optional***
Share and enjoy!

I found these Oreos in the "Candy-seasonal" aisle at my local Walmart. 

Check out this coupon for 50¢ off a package of OREOs! 

P.S. Don't forget the  #OREOCookieBall Pinterest party taking place on Pinterest on Saturday, December 6 at 12pm ET. Click here to join this fun event!  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Holiday Date Night Ideas!

I am so excited to have Brooklyn on my blog today. Brooklyn is an adorable, fun, sweet lady who writes about her growth in marriage and relationships. I have loved reading her blog and getting to know her through this blogging world!

Hello lovelies! I'm Brooklyn from A Little Too Jolley. If you want to get to know me you can learn more about me HERE.

But today I'm here to share ten fun holiday date night ideas!

1. Make a Gingerbread House together.
Most groceries stores have premade kits that are super simple to put together or you can go all out and DIY!

2. Watch a Christmas movie on Netflix.
I made a list of a TON of Christmas movies you can watch on Netflix. Watching movies is the perfect way to enjoy some cuddle time together which I truly can never have enough of.

3. Look at Christmas lights.
Get into your PJ's, drive around, listen to Christmas music and find the houses with the very best Christmas lights!

4. Do some Christmas shopping. 
Make a list of all the people you need gifts for, hit up your local mall and go cross something off your to-do list while holding hands with your honey.

5. Find a local ice skating rink and go skate.
I swear ice skating is in almost every Christmas movie, it's tradition! And if you fall down, I guess your spouse will just have to pick you back up. 

6. Bake, decorate and deliver sugar cookies.
Try a homemade recipe or pick up a simple mix. It will be a blast decorating and talking about who you could deliver them to. 

7. Attend the Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol.
Both performances are sure to bring the Christmas spirit. Lots of cities you can find cheap or expensive tickets depending on where you go to see the performance. 

8. Go sledding. 
Buy a sled, find a local hill, and have at it!

9. Take pictures.
 Find another couple, go out and take turns taking "family pictures" for your Christmas cards.

10. Create your own holiday bucket list.
Decide what things you both want to do during the holiday season and hang it up somewhere where you will both see it! 

 photo jolley-sig_zps8e3a9f4d.jpg

Monday, November 17, 2014

Gift Giving from the Northpole!

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

I have some dear friends who are going through a rough go. I know that it is not technically Christmas time, but the brisk, cold (excuse me--freezing) weather that has hit Utah gets me in the holiday season mood. I keep begging my husband to let me watch Christmas movies and listen to Christmas music and to let me decorate my home, but he won't let me!! He reminds me that our rule is to wait til after Thanksgiving dinner. 

Luckily, the stores all around me are making me feel festive enough. These dear friends have been on my mind for the past few weeks and I thought that this was the perfect opportunity to give their children these fun gifts. Luckily, Walmart and #NorthpoleFun #CollectiveBias has wonderful gifts from Northpole by Hallmark that is available. These fun gifts allowed for my festive edge to be able to kick in and start that gift giving that I love to do during this season. 

I decided on these three gifts for my friends: 
*Once Upon A Northpole Christmas story book + Find me Santa Snowflake. 
*Magic snowflake 
*Northpole Communicator 

One of my favorite holiday traditions are collecting Christmas stories. My mother used to always keep a basket of Christmas stories out int he family room during the holiday season. We would read a story together every night. This book, Once Upon a Northpole, goes along perfectly with this tradition. I gave this book to my friend, but I decided to get one to start my collection. 

One of my dear friends favorite gift was the snowflake that came with the book. There is something about making a gift so personal for a child. This video talks about the special gift below. 

Go pick up these adorable gifts to get your children ready for the holiday season with fun traditions!
Now, I'm going to go put my small christmas trees up :) 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


I know I have been MIA. I have been bombarded with lovely illness the past few days. This includes the whole sinus, cold, cough loveliness. I use these essential oils everyday in and out of my classroom. They seriously save my life! I love Doterra Essential Oils so much. (And they smell so lovely too!) 

I wish I could explain to you how excited I am to do this giveaway on my blog, friends!!!
We are giving away an essential oils diffuser and two amazing essential oils (that I use daily by the way).

The Winner will receive the following:
Petal Diffuser ($62.00 Retail Value)
Wild Orange Essential Oil ($14.00 Retail Value)
Breathe Essential Oil Blend ($26.00 Retail Value)

Wild Orange Benefits: AntiDepressant, digestive aid, antiseptic, de-stresses, helps with insomnia, heart palpitations, and cleaning. 
Breathe Benefits: Anxiety, Congestion, Cough, and help you breathe better! 

Miki: Becoming What I Always Was                        Sierra: Sierra's View 

Mandatory Entry: send an email to with "Free Giveaway" in the subject line. Include your name, and city, state that you live in. You also have to leave your phone number in the email for a phone consultation. We will not spam you with phone calls! Beckie will email you with more information before any phone calls are made. State an ailment that you and/or your family are struggling with.

Enter in the following ways as well:

Click to join the giveaway

To make the deal even sweeter: If you do all of the following requirements and you sign up with a $100 order this month a schedule order for next month, you will get a FREE vitality pack. 

Giveaway Details:
The Winner will be notified by a specific email from me and Beckie claiming that you won! 
U.S. Residents Only. 
Must be 18+ to enter. 

This is perfect for the holiday season! Enter today!
Good luck!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Kids Love Petz!

Yes, I know that kids love Pets, like my Saylor, but I don't mean that kind of pets.
I am talking about the Petz Beach DS3 Video Game 
Friends, I don't think you understand what a great game this is!

This Nintendo 3DS game allows for your child to teach your Petz new tricks with voice recognition, they can enter quests and events and train the dog. (Hello, where was this when I was a kid?!) Your child can bond with their particular pet that they have created and trained. There are even unique outfits that you can give the petz! You can eventually unlock shops and a petting park for other dogs as well.

When I gave this game to *Sally to give her brain a break in the classroom, she literally screamed with excitement. These were some direct quotes that were stated:
 -"OMG! Look how cute these dogs are!"
-"This game is awesome!"
As she continued to play the game, other girls came over and were completely enthralled with what Sally was doing. They wanted to sit with her and play the game with her. Sally soon had a huge crowd of girls around her just watching her play. (Apparently this game is just as fun to watch as it is to play!)

You can order your own Petz game for your children today HERE. 

Petz Countryside is another game that launches not he same day as Petz Beach--it is the same exciting game, just in a different environment. Your children will love this game as well. I promise!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

*Name has been changed for privacy. Note: Permission has been given to post photos of these students.