a pretty cool life.: Thanksgiving hostess & teacher gifts

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thanksgiving hostess & teacher gifts

Tracking PixelThis post sponsored by PAM Cooking Spray.  All opinions are my own.  As always, thanks for reading! xoxo

My littles are off school all of next week for Thanksgiving break, which of course I totally forgot, so today was my last chance to deliver a little gift for our teachers.
We're very thankful for good teachers!

Last night I went on a baking spree and made a few loaves of bread to gift.
Luckily, they all turned out just right and I had them wrapped up and ready to go in time for school.
{Great banana bread recipe found here.}

If you follow me on instagram, you saw a peek at my bread packaging last weekend when I brought it to a friend as a hostess gift.
The process was really simple for something I think turned out to be fun and festive.

To make the pom pom flowers, all I did was take yarn poms that I made and hot glued twigs to them.

I wrapped the loaf in wax paper, tied it with baker's twine and a tag, and tucked the flowers into the twine.

Now of course this isn't the first time I've procrastinated on gifts or projects.
I've kinda been that way my whole life...two of our littles were over a day old before they had names...
But the thing about pushing things to the last minute is that there's really not a whole lot of room for error...
I've had plenty of baking/food prep mishaps that have led to a stop in the grocery store for replacements before a party or just scrapping recipes all together.

Remember Sister's birthday cake??
The tin can rainbow cake that didn't go quite as planned?
So frustrating.

A big help for me to avoid these moments is a little bit of patience and doing things right.
When I'm baking, I always make sure that I have all the right ingredients on hand {duh! but I forget all the time!}, that I've properly prepared my pans {Baking PAM Cooking Spray definitely helps with that!}, and that I don't cut corners in the recipe.
It makes such a difference!  Nothing's worse than making something complex, baking it, waiting for it to cool...just for it to fall apart. {Ahem. See above.}
And...especially true for this time of year...every minute I spend swearing at a failed recipe or starting the whole thing over is a minute that I'm spending away from my family and the other fun things going on.
Getting things right the first time always feels so good!

Another big help for me is using baking mixes when I'm in a pinch...there's no shame in that!
Boxed brownie mix and quick bread mix from the store is just easier than making something from scratch so many times...
Again, more time with my family.  And who really minds??
Even if it's a mix, I made it at home...so still counts as homemade in my book! :)

And now...the best part!!
PAM Cooking Spray has generously offered a prize valued at $50 of a Le Creuset Pie Dish and full size varieties of PAM Cooking Spray to one lucky winner.  Yay!

To enter, just leave a comment below letting us know what's your favorite baked item to gift??
Link to your recipes if you'd like and we can all get some ideas! :)
Good luck!!



Promotion Description:
By participating in a Sweepstakes on www.aprettycoollife.com ("Blog"), each entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of Massive Sway (“Sponsor”), which shall be final and binding in all respects. Sponsor is responsible for the collection, submission or processing of Entries and the overall administration of the giveaway. Entrants should look solely to Sponsor with any questions, comments or problems related to the Sweepstakes.
Promotion begins at the time the blog post announcing the Sweepstakes is published on the Blog and ends midnight PST on November 27, 2013.


Open to legal residents of the U.S. who are physically located in the U.S. or the District of Columbia who are not a minor (as defined by state of primary residence) usually a minimum of 18 yrs. old. Sponsor and parents, affiliates, sales representatives, advertising and promotion agencies, clients and each of their respective members, officers, directors, employees and contractors (including participating bloggers) (collectively, the “Promotion Entities”), and members of their immediate families and/or persons living in the same household as such persons, are ineligible to enter the Sweepstakes or win a prize. Void in all jurisdictions other than the U.S.


Leave a comment on the Blog post to enter for a chance to winFacebook comments will not be counted as a valid entry.

Winner Selection:

The winners of the Sweepstakes will be selected in a random drawing by Blog from among all eligible Entries received throughout the Promotion Period using the selection tool indicated on www.aprettycoollife.com. The random drawing will be conducted by Sponsor or its designated representatives, whose decisions are final. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible Entries received. Winner will be notified by email at the email address provided in the Entry Information after the random drawing. Potential winner must accept a prize by email as directed by Sponsor within 48 hours of notification. Any winner notification not responded to or returned as undeliverable may result in prize forfeiture. No substitution or transfer of a prize is permitted except by Sponsor.


The prize for this Sweepstakes is a kit with an approximate retail value (“ARV”) of $50including:
  • Full sized varieties of PAM Cooking Spray
  • Le Creuset Pie Dish
Only one prize per person and per household will be awarded. Prizes cannot be transferred, redeemed for cash or substituted by winner. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole and absolute discretion to award a substitute prize of equal or greater value if a prize described in these Official Rules is unavailable or cannot be awarded, in whole or in part, for any reason. The ARV of the prize represents Sponsor’s good faith determination. That determination is final and binding and cannot be appealed. If the actual value of the prize turns out to be less than the stated ARV, the difference will not be awarded in cash. Sponsor makes no representation or warranty concerning the appearance, safety or performance of any prize awarded. Restrictions, conditions, and limitations may apply. Sponsor will not replace any lost or stolen prize items. Prize will only be awarded and/or delivered to addresses within the US Only. All federal, state and/or local taxes, fees, and surcharges are the sole responsibility of the prizewinner. Failure to comply with the Official Rules will result in forfeiture of the prize.


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Sponsor is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by website users or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Sweepstakes or by any technical or human error, which may occur in the processing of submissions in the Sweepstakes. Sponsor assumes no responsibility for any misdirected or lost mail, or any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay of operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, Entries. Sponsor is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of email or players on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website or combination thereof, including injury or damage to entrant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participating in the Sweepstakes. If, for any reason, the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of Sponsor which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, then Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes. In such event, Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, perform the random drawing from among all eligible Entries received prior to or after such cancellation, suspension, or modification.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of PAM Cooking Spray.

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  1. I love to gift cookies or a loaf of my Grandma's banana bread. No one will turn away a baked good!

  2. Pumpkin bread and cinnamon cheesecake pie!

  3. I love to gift my famous chocolate chip cookies, or pumpkin chocolate chip loaf -- delicious!

  4. I love to give cookies - a large variety that I make during the holiday!

  5. I've always been a cookie giver, but this year I am hoping to try a Christmas bread recipe I found on Pinterest!

  6. I love to give these clusters that are A's grandma's recipe. PB, marshmallows, rice krispies, peanuts, and almond bark all melted together (that which melts). Oh they are delicious.
    I love LOVE the idea of bread as gifts. I have 11 or so staff to give gifts for for Christmas with all of the speech therapists, paras, etc. Phew!

  7. I like to gift blonde brownies (with marshmallows), because I have a few friends that go absolutely crazy over them! Cookies are a good go-to if I need it to look presentable, though.

  8. shortbread cookies with sprinkles:)

  9. Banana bread or an assorted Christmas cookie platter always seems to go over well. I like receiving food gifts as it saves on baking for me and I get to try something besides just our favorites.

  10. I like to gift Coconut Macaroons over the holidays. They are easy to make and well received. You are so crafty! I would NEVER think to put together such a beautiful presentation! I will be "borrowing" this! I can see gingerbread wrapped with red/white/green etc pompoms now! Thank you so much!

  11. Buttermilk banana bread! I found the recipe online a few years ago and it makes 4 perfect mini loaves or 2 regular sized loaves. It's a pretty creamy yellow color and melts in your mouth!

  12. I make a fantastic pumpkin bread! I love to wrap it just like you did with the banana bread above with a little twine and a fall leaf cut out for a tag. Super everyday gift! As for pies, my favorite thing to bake is my mom's recipe for a chicken pot pie. So delicious!

  13. Christmas cookies. Chocolate chip log cookies with the ends dipped in chocolate and nuts are usually the favorite!

  14. Christmas cookies. Chocolate chip log cookies with the ends dipped in chocolate and nuts are usually the favorite!

  15. I love gifting caramel sauce or banana chocolate chip muffins! Thanks for the chance to win!

  16. i always make and giveaway pistachio bread - crazy green and delicious!!


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