21 Fun, Festive, Flavorful Appetizers – Perfect for Holiday Parties!

This appetizers post has been brought to you by Foodie.  All opinions are mine.

Check out 21 Fun, Festive, Flavorful Appetizers

by Gena at Foodie.com

Fun, Festive, Flavorful Appetizers

The holidays are officially here!  It seems unreal that next week is Thanksgiving, but it's true!  It is definitely one of my favorite holidays because well….the food is delicious!  I am looking forward to the turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, and all the other delicious sides, but also the yummy appetizers to eat before the big meal.

 I have collected 21 fun, festive, flavorful appetizers on Foodie and all would be perfect for snacking while the turkey cooks or those Christmas parties that will be happening soon.  Take a look and pick a few favorites before you head to the grocery store.  These recipes are sure to wow your crowd!

What are you serving this year?

Celebrate the Season of Advent with “God Came Near” DVD set with Max Lucado {giveaway, too!}

This post about the DVD set "God Came Near" by Max Lucado, was brought to you by Family Christian.  All opinions are mine.  

God Came Near

Christmas has taken on a new meaning for us since having kids.  There is a desire to commercialize the holiday and shower our kids with gifts, but I think there is a deeper desire to teach our kids why our family celebrate Christmas, as well.  And really, we all need as much help as we can get in teaching our kids about God, Jesus, and the Bible.  That is precisely why I wanted to watch this "God Came Near" DVD set.  Max Lucado is a smart man who knows the Bible well.  He is a pastor and author and he does a remarkable job with this DVD set.

The boys and I sat down to watch the first DVD together.  Since the boys are 6 and 3, I wasn't sure if any of it would sink in.  It IS approved for all ages, but this set is really geared for older kids and adults.  They did enjoy the setting in England's gorgeous Blockley Church.  They loved the video of the reenactments, but they did sort of zone out while Lucado spoke.  After all, they are little!  I found it fascinating though and really enjoyed it.  This series would make a fantastic study this holiday season for a small group or Bible class.

I personally really enjoyed learning new things in a setting that helped me travel back in time to what it might really be like when Jesus was born.  Max Lucado does a great job telling us all about the Advent season.  He tells a story through Simeon's eyes. What it must have been like to wait for the Messiah!  He also explores Saint Nicholas, popular Christmas traditions, stories of Joseph and Mary, and also about the hectic holiday season we have made for ourselves.

Max Lucado "God Came Near" Advent DVD

Lucado encourages us to realize that God came near to the people of the Earth as a baby born to a carpenter and his soon-to-be wife.  There was no fanfare, Jesus came without fanfare or parties, and God came near for us and continues to come near to us if we allow Him!  How inspiring and wonderful is that thought??

God Came Near DVD set

While this is the season for celebrating Jesus' birth, Lucado encourages us to imagine ourselves as the wise men who were anxiously awaiting Jesus' birth and went out seeking him through many trials.  We are to seek Jesus daily and long to be near Him.

I know that everyone will be uplifted and encouraged to make the season about Jesus this year.  It is an uplifting DVD set and might be just what you or someone you know needs in the midst of the hectic holiday season!

Purchase "God Came Near" for this season at Family Christian.

Family Christian is generously giving away a $25 appreciation certificate to one lucky Life With Captain Fussybuckets reader. Enter to win in the Rafflecopter below!  Good luck! 

$25 Family Christian appreciation certificate

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thanksgiving Doorbusters (Black Friday Sale)

It’s Christmas Baker’s Edition Giveaway – Win A KitchenAid Mixer {giveaway closed}


It’s Christmas Baker's Edition Giveaway Event

Organized by: Mom Powered Media. Co-hosted by: Shannon's View from Here, My Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Life, Joans 5 Star Reviews, Sweetphi, Mommy Kat and Kids and Naturally Frugalicious.

Christmas is a joyous and delicious time of the year!  We love to cook and eat yummy foods, like turkey, dressing, homemade cranberry sauce, rolls, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and of course, Christmas cookies!  Hubby loves green bean casserole, so that's always a must, as well.  I always have a few kitchen items on my wish list for Christmas, so it's exciting to open up a new set of baking sheets, PFOA pans, or muffin tins!  But what would be more exciting than opening up a brand new KitchenAid mixer on Christmas morning?  That's why I signed up to participate in this awesome giveaway…so a reader could win their very own, or give one as a gift!

MPM Network Bloggers are gearing up for an amazing holiday season. Make sure you stop by and checkout all the tasty recipes below. Surely you will find something that makes your holiday even yummier!

One lucky reader will receive a KitchenAid Tilt-head Stand Mixer + accessories!

Giveaway ends December 9th at 11:59pm, open to US & Canada, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck.

Giveaway is over and Rhonda W. is the winner!

Disclosure:Life With Captain Fussybuckets is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. Please contact teri@mompoweredmedia.com with questions or to see your business or blog featured on the next big event!

Easy, Fun Crafts for Kids from Oriental Trading

This post about crafts for kids was brought to you by Oriental Trading.  All opinions are mine.

As a stay-at-home mom of two boys who loves crafts, as well as a volunteer teacher for Children's Worship at church, I'm always looking for fun crafts for kids that are easy to do and worth hanging on to after they're all done.  When I browsed the Oriental Trading website, I was pleasantly surprised with their selection!  I picked out a few things to review and I'm so happy with what we got.  

First up, we received the Color Your Own Knight Mask.  My boys LOVE knights and pretending to be knights, so I knew this would be a hit.  We were scheduled to teach Children's Worship at church, too, so I thought, what better way to use this awesome craft with the them of "I'm in the Lord's Army!"  The kit came with 12 masks that were very easy to assemble, all for only $5.25!  (The masks are currently out of stock, but keep checking back!)  Oriental Trading also has color your own shields, swords, and more, to coordinate with the knight masks.  

Here are the boys, coloring their masks:

oriental trading

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Shop ALDI For Your Holiday Grocery Items!

 I have shopped at ALDI a few times before and have always been pleasantly surprised with their selection of products.  The store itself isn’t big, but they have LOTS of stuff and all at a reasonable price.  The Captain loves to put the quarter in the shopping cart and then retrieve it later.  This is just one way that ALDI saves customers’ money, by having us return our carts so they don’t have to pay someone else to do it.

ALDI always has a great selection of seasonal items, as well.  Upon entering the store, I quickly saw lots of red bows on the price tags of the holiday items:


When we visited ALDI, there were many displays of Christmas themed items, such as these Cookie Ornaments, Gingerbread Houses, Gingerbread Men, and mixed nuts:

And don’t forget the paper goods!  Christmas napkins and plates, all for a great price:holidays

We were able to buy all of this for under $30.  You can’t really tell, but there are two frozen pizzas, a ham, a Rice Krispies Holiday House kit (the Captain’s choice, was on sale,) Benton’s Cranberry Cookie Straws, chocolate chip cookie dough, a pineapple, two boxes of hot chocolate, and two boxes of fruit strips!   Shopping at ALDI really helped take a load off of our holiday shopping list!
holiday groceries

The boys absolutely loved making their holiday Rice Krispie Treats house.  The Captain had been asking for a gingerbread house and this was a great substitute at a fraction of the cost!  It was on sale for only $2.99 at our ALDI.  We have already eaten some chocolate chip cookies as a little treat and devoured the hot chocolate after a night of caroling with our church!

ALDI has a lot of new, different, reasonably priced food, candy, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy, and more so stop in for all of your holiday shopping needs!  Some special holiday items include seasonal beverages such as egg nog and sparkling apple cider, as well as wines, cheese, crackers, and desserts.

Visit the ALDI website to find a store near you!  How might ALDI help you with your holiday shopping list?

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for ALDI. I received a gift certificate to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.

Free Shipping Day!

Today is Free Shipping Day!  Click on the graphic to be directed to a guide for gifts that are sure to arrive by Christmas and get free shipping.  But after you order, make sure you hug a mailperson!


Find Unique Gifts Easily with Novica’s New Gift Finder {giveaway, too!}

If you’re looking for a unique gift for someone this holiday season, Novica is a great place!  Novica is where we got our beautiful Jacaranda wood quena flute that we still enjoy!  When I was searching on the Novica site, I had trouble picking something because there are just SO many wonderful things on the site.  Well, Novica was listening to me and other shoppers because now, they  have a NEW Gift Finder to help you find THE perfect gift for someone special!

gift finder

I went to the Novica site to give the new Gift Finder a try and was really impressed!  I love the “Gifts by Personality” finder.  Search for a gift for the animal lover, environmentalist, trend setter, wine lover, and more!  I searched “Adventurer” and found many gifts that any adventurer would love, like this rugged men’s leather messenger bag:


The Gift Finder also allows you to search for gifts for him, gifts for her, gifts under a certain price, home decor, and much more.  Looking for a romantic gift for him?  I found this beautiful, handcrafted “Heart Bond” wooden statuette:

heart bond

The options are endless, but Novica makes it super easy to find the perfect gift!  Check out the Gift Finder today!

Follow Novica on Twitter and Facebook.

Cheryl A. and Judy G. are the lucky winners of a $40 gift code to Novica!

Crazy Christmas Giveaway Hop featuring Canvas4Life {OVER}

The Crazy Christmas Giveaway Hop is here, hosted by GoingCrazy!! WannaGo??!! and Planet Weidknecht.  During the Holidays, things can get crazy, but we are here to help you take a break and win some great prizes!! Each blog is sponsoring a giveaway of at least $25 value. So, join the crazy and Have Fun!!

Life With Captain Fussybuckets, along with Canvas4Life, gave away one 16×20 canvas print and Kimberly B. was the lucky winner!  


“Love Came Down” – The True Meaning of Christmas

Everyone knows that Christmas has become a commercialized holiday.  While it has Christ's name in it, Christmas isn't about Christ to so many people in this world.  That's why it's that much harder for Christians to teach our kids the true meaning of Christmas.  But I'm up for the challenge because really, it is the greatest story ever told and the reason that we are who we are.  Jesus Christ came down to this earth as an infant, pure and innocent, as a gift to the world so we might be forgiven of our sins and get to spend eternity with him in Heaven.  What a wonderful story and the perfect cause for celebration!  Christmas IS the celebration of Jesus Christ!

Did you know that God sent Jesus to this earth for us?  Did you know that Jesus is the true gift of Christmas?  After all of the toys have been opened and long after they're gone, Jesus still remains and always will.  Love came down and He will never leave us.

I am always looking for ways to not only teach my children about Christ, but ways to remind myself of Jesus' love for us.  I like things that make my kids ask questions and spark interest so the story can be told again and again.  I love these beautiful reminders of Jesus' love from DaySpring.  These drinking glasses simply say "Jesus purest love."  As we are sipping our holiday cranberry juice or water, we can simply be reminded of why we are celebrating.  Jesus.  Purest love.  Amazing love.

love came down

I also love the idea behind DaySpring's "giving platter."  The idea is that you give the plate, along with a food item such as cookies, to a friend or loved one.  They can choose to keep the plate or bless someone else the same way that they were blessed.  I think this is great because it shows friendship and love, has a reminder of Jesus' love for us, and has a simple "pay it forward" reminder on it.  Plus, it's beautiful!

love came down

This is the inscription on the back of the plate:

love came down

Ornaments that remind us of how love came down and that Jesus is the true reason for the season are my favorites.

wonders of his love

This is the back of the ornament, that truly explains the "wonders of his love."


These DaySpring items would make great gifts for someone you love or a great way to serve as reminders to yourself of God's love for us!  

Find all of these great items and more at the DaySpring website.  And, pick up this tabletop advent calendar for only $5.99 (regularly $14.99):


DaySpring wants to give one Life With Captain Fussybuckets reader their own set of drinking glasses and giving platter like the ones we received to review.  Just enter in the Rafflecopter form below.  Giveaway ends on November 30, 2012.  

Lisa G. is the lucky winner!!


Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty List and Giveaway

Just in time for the holidays, Melissa & Doug has released their "Terrific Twenty!"  These toys are the top toys of 2012 with toys for every child in every age range!  And beginning today, November 6, Melissa & Doug will be giving away a toy from their Terrific Twenty list every day for 20 days on Facebook!  Head over to the Melissa & Doug Facebook page to enter!


Terrific Twenty

**Disclosure:  I will be compensated for writing this post.**