12 Days of Homemade Christmas 2016

December is here once again and that means it is time to bring out the cookies and holiday inspired sweet treats! Everyone has their own favorite and my family is no different. Like, for my husband, it just isn’t Christmas without Buckeyes and we always have some classic sugar cookies for my kids to decorate for Santa. Over the past few years, I have shared many of our tried and true favorites, so many that I wasn’t sure what to put on the list for this year. It is getting harder and harder so I switched gears a little bit and have been searching for and testing out some new recipes for this years 12 days of Homemade Christmas.

My Hot Southern Mess 12 Days of Homemade Christmas 2016

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Hearty Potato Skillet

One of the things every person needs to have is a recipe for a really great breakfast. I often fall into the make pancakes or waffles for breakfast but my family often wants something different and a bit heartier, more on the bacon and eggs side of things. Something like a skillet with all of their favorite things so a Hearty Potato Skillet is what they got. With potatoes, bacon, sausage, cheese and an egg on top, it fulfills any breakfast craving

Hearty Potato Skillet | My Hot Southern Mess

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Spinach Artichoke Penne with Chicken

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

Cooler weather is here and that means it’s time for comfort food! There is just something about when the temperatures begin to drop and wanting a nice warm casserole. Plus casseroles are the perfect thing for busy moms, they tend to be quick and easy to put together which is perfect for weeknight dinners or that holiday party that someone forgot to tell us about. I love that with a few ingredients I can have a complete, tasty dinner for my family with minimal effort, like my husband’s favorite, Spinach Artichoke Penne with Chicken. It is what happened when holiday party food meets dinner.

Spinach Artichoke Penne with Chicken | My Hot Southern Mess

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Giving Back and Easy DIY Gift Bags

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

How do you give back during the holiday season? Do you volunteer? Do you do small random acts of kindness? What do you do? While I volunteer year round I do extra during the holidays to help make sure everyone has a great holiday. Each fall I figure out and develop a plan that centers around our military members and veterans and what I can do for them.  It usually revolves on small homemade or store bought goodies of all types that let them know they are being thought about.  I learned that small stockings can be hard to find and when you do, they can get expensive but making my own DIY Gift Bags were a snap! Sure I could buy them but when you are needing a bunch it is often cost effective to make your own. Plus, I could have the sizes I need with all sorts of different patterns. They are a great way to wrap, give, and repeat during the holiday season.

Giving Back and Easy DIY Gift Bags | My Hot Southern Mess

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A Veterans Story

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The Folger Coffee Company. The opinions and text are all mine. #sharefolgers #veteransday
Growing up Veterans Day was significant to me because of my grandfathers. They had both served in the US Army during World War II. They were my only connection to military life but, unfortunately, they passed before I was ever old enough to hear their stories. It wasn’t until I got married that I completely understood what the day was about and how important their stories were. Over seventeen years ago I married my husband and became an Army spouse. Since then this Army life has introduced me to so many others who have also served, each with their own story.

A Veterans Story | My Hot Southern Mess

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Caramel and Bacon Brownies

I have to tell y’all a secret about bloggers and blogging. We have to work months ahead. It is one of the things I dislike because every year it seems bloggers are pushing things out earlier and earlier. That is why you have been seeing Christmas pins for well over a month now on Pinterest. Here is something about me. I just can’t. I know I need to organize and get my Christmas stuff going but when it is 75+ degrees out, it is hard coming up with 12 things for my Homemade Christmas posts, I’m just not ready to write about Christmas and the holidays.   I have been working on new recipes, though. I have an awesome new brownie recipe that my family loves, Caramel and Bacon Brownies.

Caramel and Bacon Brownies | My Hot Southern Mess

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Recovery after Hurricane Matthew

On Saturday, October 8, Hurricane Matthew hit North Carolina. This is a fact that I cannot ignore. I cannot post blogs about food and other things I had planned without addressing the fact that I live in an area that is now entering the recovery stage from a natural disaster. The county I live in has been approved for support from FEMA. Our neighboring counties are in the same boat. I know those still without electricity, water, or both. Our communities are dealing with shortages of both fuel and food on top of everything else. When I see the pictures of areas that were hit much worse than my neighborhood, my heart breaks for those families. I am thankful that things were not worse for my family.

Recovery after Hurricane Matthew | My Hot Southern Mess

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Ice Scream Floats

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

It’s October and that means Halloween! We LOVE Halloween in our house and all of the spooky things that come with it. From costumes and decorations right down to food and drinks. My kids are getting older, so my family’s days trick or treating are slowing coming to an end but that doesn’t mean our Halloween fun has to end. I still try to make Halloween special and fun for my boys. Special snacks and treats are definitely the way to the hearts and stomachs. Sweet treats like Ice Cream Floats are perfect for Halloween parties and fun.

Ice Scream Floats | My Hot Southern Mess

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Fake out Take out, Kung Pao Chicken

In the days before I was gluten free if I were to go out to eat my thoughts went to Mexican food or Chinese. Thankfully I still can eat Mexican food, just not everything but my days of stopping at Panda Express for a quick lunch are over. Most Chinese food has some form of gluten in it from a source most people would not expect, soy sauce. Thankfully though they make gluten free soy sauce so I can still have Chinese food, I just have to make it myself. For that reason, I am also thankful for the many recipes out there that let me have my favorites like, Kung Pao Chicken.

Kung Pao Chicken | My Hot Southern Mess

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