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Holiday Ideas with Hannah Jean

It's that time of the year, holiday time! Time to show joy and appreciation to our loved ones. Time to make memories but it can feel like you're running out of time! There are so many things to do this holiday season between planning fun activities, cooking and shopping. Whether you want to stay in or go out I have you covered! Let me help with ideas for you and your loved ones.

-Hannah Jean

Winter fun Vegas style!

As a young adult on a budget, trying to find fun things to do with the holiday spirit is sometimes difficult to do. Here are some of my budget friendly activity ideas!

Every age loves looking at the glittering lights!

So pile everyone one up in the car and drive up to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Tickets starting at $39, for one car. Where you and your family and drive through millions of twinkling lights!

The Motor Speedway also has other memorable and affordable opportunities such as taking in the lights from Santa's Train while eating popcorn and drinking hot cocoa. Afterwards you can meet Santa let him know what you really really want this year or if youre like me, plead your case if you're on the naughty list!

Definitely a must do this holiday season!

Don't want to get out of the car? My friends and I wear some cute comfy Christmas pajamas and make sure to bring a blanket so we dont freeze while we drive through the lights with the windows down. Check out their website to find more information.

For this fun activity you might want to expand your budget a little bit. Every dollar you spend funds the Opportunity Village Programs and Service's for over 3,000 people with disabilities. Opportunity Village has put this Magical Forest together for the past 31 years.

It is so amazing - I still have vivd memories of going as a child.

The Magical Forest is good for any age to enjoy. Walking around, riding the rides, as well as playing the carnival games and partaking of the food and beverages offered. One admission has unlimited rides with an attraction wristband. The admission is good for 4yrs and older, while 3yrs and under get in for free. The tickets are $25 per person. Check out website for ticket deals! The Magical Forest is a great way to spend time with your family in a winter evening full of Christmas Magic.

Check out this great organization and help people in need by having a good time with your loved ones. Can't make it this holiday season? Check out how you can donate to Opportunity Village anytime of the year.

Want to do something a little more active? Take the family to one of the pop-up ice skating rinks here in Las Vegas. Take your family to Downtown Summerlin to The Rock Rink. Don't want to skate?You also have the option to ride the festive holiday train near the big chrismas tree that looks out over the ice-skating rink. Only $5 a rider. Getting cold and hungry? Check out the warm beverages and food offered.

While your at The Rock Rink, take a stroll to all the wonderful shops at Downtown Summerlin, and get some of your shopping done. They also have a great handful of restaurants you and your family can eat at.

Looking for my something to do without the kids? Need a date night?

Or even just a night out with friends?

We all love being with our loved ones but sometimes we just need to have time away from them. So get your partner or a group of friends and head to strip.

The Cosmopolitan has a ice-skating rink that looks over they strip. Not so sure about being on the ice? Hang out next to the rink at one of their many firepits and have a nice warm drink or cocktail and s'mores. Not feeling the s'mores? Take a look at their menu! From Kettle Corn to Chicken Pot Pie Empanadas. (They also have kid friendly food, if you chose to bring them along.)

Home for the holidays!

During the holiday season, sometimes you just don't want to leave the house and want just spend time with our loved ones. Head to the store and pick up some colorful paper, color pencils, and tape or glue sticks as well as some string or fishing line to hang the snowflakes.

One of my favorite memories during the holiday season is to make homemade snow flakes. There are so many ways to fold and cut paper to make a snow flake. Every snow flake is different in it's own way, I find it so pretty.

There are also so many ways to make a snow flake. Here are sa few of my favorite styles.

Holiday Treats!

We all love the smell of fresh baked treats. Some families have traditional treats they make or give out. The best part of it all is sharing them with family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Here are some of the favorite treats I'd like to share this season.

Christmas Popcorn Balls


  • 5 quarts plain popped popcorn

  • ¾ cup light corn syrup

  • ¼ cup butter or margarine

  • 2 teaspoons cold water

  • 2 ⅝ cups confectioners' sugar

  • 1 cup marshmallows

  • cooking spray

  • Christmas's sprinkles

Step 1: Place Popped popcorn is large bowl.

Step 2: Combine corn syrup, butter, water, confectioners' sugar, and marshmallows in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat and stir until the marshmallows have melted and the mixture comes to a boil.

Step 3: Carefully pour hot marshmallow mixture over popcorn and toss together to coat each kernel evenly.

Step 4: Grease hands with cooking spray and quickly shape coated popcorn into balls before it cools too much to shape.

Step 5: Sprinkle charismas colored sprinkles on the popcorn.

Step 6: Wrap balls with cellophane or plastic wrap and store at room temperature.

Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies


  • 2 Eggs, large

  • 3/4 cup Butter, unsalted

  • 2 3/4 cups All-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp Baking soda

  • 1 tbsp Cinnamon, ground

  • 2 tsp Cream of tartar

  • 1/2 tsp Salt

  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar

  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

  • 3/4 cup Butter, unsalted

Step 1: Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 2: Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.

Step 3: Cream the butter and sugar. Beat together the butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar until fluffy and light in color.

Step 4: Put it all together. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla and the dry ingredients.

Step 5: Coat the cookies in cinnamon sugar. Whisk together the remaining cinnamon and sugar. Roll the cookie dough into balls and roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar.

Step 6: Bake. Arrange the cookie dough balls on the baking sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes.

Step 7: Cool. Allow the cookies to cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.

Puppy Chow

You are probably thinking to yourself what in the Birkenstock is Puppy Chow? I'm not eating dog food! Puppy Chow is the same thing as Muddy Buddies. It's just a different name, my family is from Minnesota we call it Puppy Chow but my boss's family calls it Muddy Buddies and they are form California. Let me teach how to make my favorite treat. (Treat for humans - no puppies!)


  • Rice Chex Cereal

  • Chocolate Chips

  • Butter

  • Vanilla Extract

  • Powdered Sugar

Step 1: Prepare your chocolate and peanut butter mixture. Use a medium, microwave-safe bowl to melt the chocolate chips, butter, and peanut butter together. Start with 1 minute on high, stir, and heat again in bursts, stirring in between until the mixture is smooth. Lastly, add in the vanilla extract.

Step 2: Place your Chex Cereal in a large bowl. You will need six cups of Rice Chex. A lot of recipes I’ve seen call for nine cups, but my aunt once taught me that six is the magic number. It really maximizes the chocolate peanut butter flavor. I’m officially converted!

Step 3: Pour the chocolate peanut butter mixture over the cereal. Stir the mixture GENTLY with a spatula, making sure to not crush the cereal. You want it to stay in whole, grabbable pieces! When the cereal is evenly coated, transfer it to a large Ziploc bag.

Step 4: Add the powdered sugar. You will need 1½ to 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar, depending on how well-coated you like your puppy chow. Make sure to seal the bag before you give it a good shake! Kids love helping with this part. Shake your chow until all of the cereal is evenly coated in white.

Step 5: Pour the puppy chow out onto a big piece of parchment paper. Or wax paper. Spread the puppy chow in a single layer so it can cool without sticking together. Let it sit until the chocolate is completely hardened. To speed up the process, you can also spread it out on a tray and pop it into the refrigerator.

Still Shopping? Me too!

Only days away from the holidays and so many people to still shop for. There are so many stores to shop from but some of my favorite places aren't the big box stores we all know and love. When I shop for presents I like to shop small, local businesses. Getting something unique sometimes is easier in those little stores.

I might be a little biased, but I do shop at Desert Birkenstock! We have a great variety of items for all ages. I have a big family, ranging in age from 4yrs old to in their 70s. For some of the men in my family I like to get them Duke Cannon products.

Desert Birkenstock has a big variety of their soaps, beard products and deodorants, unlike the big box stores. Their products are made in USA and part of their proceeds are donated to 4 different Veteran organizations. Plus their marketing is hysterical. Don't read 'em if your easily offended.

For the woman I have in my family I like to gift bags. Desert Birkenstock has a wide assortment of Chala Handbags and Healthy Back Bags by AmeriBag.

Ameribags are great for your back -hold a ton of stuff and come in a wide variety of colors and patterns.

Chala bags have so many fun things on their bags. All VEGAN, Chala are easy to clean and with the variety of bag styles and designs - you can find one for anyone. Chala also donates part of their proceeds to animal organizations.

I can't forget about the Watchover Voodoo Dolls. You read that right VOODOO - but they're not what you think. The Watchover Voodoo Dolls can be heart-warming, sweet, inspirational, snarky or just plain funny. Some of my favorite ones that I have gotten for my family are Caffein Queen, Love Your Job, The Army and The Superstar (to name just a few of the 100+ dolls we carry). There are so many different ones you can find that special one for every person that you have in your life.

I wish you all the very best this holiday season!

Thank you for letting me share some

of my favorite things to do!

The spirit of the season is the warmth, compassion and love we show to all. Thank you for supporting small businesses like ours this year, it means everything!

Many blessings from our Desert Birkenstock family to yours this holiday & happiest of wishes to you in the new year!

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