This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Southern Living®. The opinions and text are all mine.
Tis the season for yuletide and cheer! Christmas has always been a magical time of year for me. But 2016 is a turning point for the holiday in my household because I am now a parent. Growing up, my mom and dad made sure the season was filled with whimsy, warmth, and love. And seeing my 1-year-old daughter wave cheerily to Christmas trees and blow kisses at animatronic Santas, I know that it is now my turn to turn up the magic. However, I face one major, glaring obstacle to this goal. Our little family has just relocated from New York to Texas, leaving the majority of our decorations and general wintery sense of the holiday on the East Coast. With the unseasonably high temperatures of the Lone Star state and the trading in of pine with palm trees, I have felt a bit lost. How am I going to be able to impart the overall feel of what I consider Christmas to my daughter in this alien environment? That is why I jumped at the opportunity to team up with Southern Living to promote their annual December White Cake issue and the Southern Living #MySouthernHoliday sweepstakes.
Now that I live in the South, I literally could not think of a better publication to turn to for holiday inspiration. I have always been enamored with Southern Living’s classic, rustic, and sophisticated style. It is a style that happily mirrors my own sensibilities. But now that I am a Southerner myself, I am coming to appreciate the attention to the details… the details that pay homage to this culturally abundant area of the U.S. So with my trusty copy of Southern Living’s December issue, I set out to make our home a whimsical holiday wonderland.
Since I am a food blogger, I naturally went straight for the recipes! The magazine is filled to the brim with delectable foodie ideas, covering everything from hor d’oeuvres to after-dinner drinks. But it wasn’t until I hit the remarkably fanciful cake section of the issue that I zeroed in like a hawk on wild prey. My earliest dreamy memory of Christmas is baking with my mom. I was in charge of whisking and cleaning up (a.k.a. licking the bowl). Thoughts of those moments standing on a step-stool at the counter next to my mom fill my heart with joy. That is the kind of emotion I want to bottle up and serve to my daughter every holiday season. So, I picked a recipe from the Southern Living pages and set out to bake. To my surprise, my 1-year-old was fascinated with every step of the baking process. She intently watched as I whisked and frosted and decorated along the way. When I showed her the finished product, she lunged at it with the force of a full-grown hangry adult… I couldn’t have been more proud.
Using fun decorating tips from the magazine issue, I utilized my dining room side table and put together an eclectic retro-meets-rustic Christmas tree display for the cake. And voila! I had cheerily created a magical holiday feel in our new Southern home for my daughter…
Looking to add a bit of holiday cheer to your home? Good news! Southern Living is throwing a #MySouthernHoliday sweepstakes. Make sure to enter here for the chance to win one of two $1,000 Visa gift cards for a shopping spree. Plus, seven winners will receive a $25.00 Visa gift card and a Southern Living Made Fresh Cookbook. What’s even better, all entrants will get a $1.00 off coupon to purchase a Southern Living Magazine in store and a complimentary PDF copy of their recipe booklet “10 Recipes Every Southerner Should Know”. Those should be enough inducements to enter the sweepstakes, wouldn’t you say?! But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 19th, so you do not have much time left.
Special thanks to Southern Living magazine for teaming up with me on this very special and personal quest to bring some Christmas magic to my daughter’s new home in Texas. Make sure to pick up a copy of the Southern Living December Annual White Cake issue, in stores now at Costco. So, how do you plan to up your holiday game this year? Make sure to tell me below!