30 Holiday Potluck Ideas

Every year, a sign-up sheet is passed around our office for our annual holiday potluck. Every year, I’m stumped on what to bring besides the same ol’ boring veggie tray or chips and dip, so I’ve compiled a bunch of holiday potluck recipes that would go well over a large crowd.  I believe the best potluck dishes share these characteristics: easy to reheat, easy to transport, and doesn’t get soggy or goopy or dried out!


1| Pinecone cheese spread 2| Bacon-wrapped potato bites 3| Prosciutto-wrapped arugula 4| Fresh corn casserole 5|| Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and Cranberries 6| Scalloped potatoes 7| Sweet potato casserole 8| Green bean casserole with crispy shallots 9| Pizza wheels

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Time Machine – January 2012

Here are some Hellobee highlights from late December 2011 and early January 2012!

Splurge and Save: Firetruck Birthday Party

I love planning parties, but I also love finding ways to make parties cute and fun without breaking the bank. I’m planning Liam’s third birthday party (yes, it’s six months away, but this is totally normal for me) and since he loves firetrucks, I’ve decided this party will go along with that theme. I’ve rounded up some ideas for how to throw a firetruck party if you want to splurge or save!


splurge: Minted  |  save: Paperless Post

I always like to start with the invitation when throwing a party and base the rest of the decor around it. I’ve always loved the options that Minted has to offer, but they can be pricey, especially when inviting a large number of people. Paperless Post is something I’ve never used before, but they have lots of free options and the ones that aren’t free are very cost effective. Plus, their designs are very well done and a step up from other online invitations I’ve used in the past.


splurge: Fire Museum  |  save: Park – Example

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Crying it Out

I’ve mentioned before that Baby Pencil was not an easy infant. I’ve read countless articles stating that a big reason why certain babies are fussy is simply because they are tired and don’t get enough quality sleep. (Well, that makes sense seeing how cranky I get with no sleep!) I never wanted to try the crying it out method because it sounded awful to me. He was just a wee little baby after all! I was starting to be okay having a constantly unhappy baby. He also started sleeping about 5-7 hours per night on his own… until the raging storm of the “4 month regression” came into our lives and then everything went out the window. His naps and night sleep went back to waking up almost every hour! I was back to square one. I was once again, miserable and started to seriously consider CIO.

Life was starting to get ridiculous. My arms were about to fall off from rocking him for hours. Once he fell asleep in our arms, it would be up in the air how long he would stay asleep for. The entire house became one big white noise machine. He was getting super heavy and his legs would flop around while bouncing him. The hubs and I sat down and talked about logistics. How would we personalize this method so that it fit our specific baby? We created a game plan:

  • Let baby cry it out in 3, 5, 10 minute increments.
  • Only come back to shush-pat for comfort, but no picking up and leave the room completely afterwards.
  • We can use the pacifier to soothe but take it away before leaving.
  • Try for 3-4 days to see if there is progress. (Progress meaning he was able to fall back asleep on his own with no rocking or holding.)
  • Stay firm and consistent for 3-4 days.

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Slim Sweatpants

While I love fashion, I’m also a big fan of comfort. So, when the two come together, it’s like a match made in my style heaven! (See exhibit A and B) For those that are like me, you’re in luck! And for those that won’t leave the house in sweatpants, look away. Because this season, fashionably comfy is everywhere as the athletic trend holds strong, recently manifesting itself in gloriously comfy and stylish slim sweatpants.

See what I mean?

1, 2, 3

You can find women’s slim sweatpants just about anywhere, from Target to J. Crew to Old Navy. And while you can’t really wear these pants to work, they’re great for weekend wear and actually quite a bit versatile. However, the trend extends even to little ladies and gents, and little ones can actually wear these slim sweatpants just about every day! What I love about these pants on little guys is that they are not only both comfy and stylish (just like they are on mommas!), but they also hold up better since elasticized cuffs at the leg prevent them from dragging on the floor. Lil’ CB has two pairs that I’ve picked up for him this fall and he and I both love him in them!

Here are some of my favorite picks of slim sweats for the little guys and girls:

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Names: Enter the Battleground

Years ago, one of the bloggers wrote a post asking for the assistance of Hellobee readers to find a name for her child. And man, that was a great idea! So here I am, to share a bit about where we are at with names and see if anyone has any advice or ideas! Because, hi friends, we are knocking on the door of the third trimester without a clue in the world what we will call this little guy.

Finding our first son’s name (Colin Harrison) was easy, in part because we were following the Jewish tradition of naming after relatives who are no longer with us. His first and middle names both use the first letters of family we’ve lost, with a C and an H, there were limited choices in general, and Mr. Confetti and I were able to narrow each name down to 2 or 3 choices and then the right name just sung to it.

This time, we are blessed to not be tethered to a starting initial for this little guy’s first name. While I am more than thankful to not be naming after people (yay for healthy, living parents and grandparents), having the entire alphabet at our disposal has left the door too wide open. In general, we have a handful of “meh” names, but nothing that seems to be screaming this baby boy’s name yet.

Here’s the criteria:

  • but I would like to stay out of the SSA Top 10 or 20.
  • No more “C” names – we’re done with the letter.
  • We generally like “classic” and normally spelled names that wouldn’t trip anyone up with spelling or pronunciation.
  • Must flow with Colin – I figure I’ll be shouting, “Colin, ___, stop that!” as they are getting into trouble together throughout their childhood…and probably forever.
  • We both tend to like biblical names, but that isn’t mandatory at all.
  • Irish is acceptable (duh: Colin) but not preferred (no need to have a whole brood of Irish names, since we aren’t even remotely Irish ourselves).
  • We are going to pick an “I” name for the baby’s middle name in honor of my husband’s grandfather, but there aren’t any “I” names that sing to me as a winning first. But still, whatever the first name is, it needs to flow well with a middle name that starts with “I” – which makes names that end in certain vowels a bit tricky.  (“I” middle name suggestions welcome as well)
  • Names Mr. C likes that I have vetoed: Jacob, Ethan, Keith, Sean
  • Names I like that Mr. C has vetoed: Adrian, Jonah, Dylan, Parker

Help, help, help! Any ideas guys?  I’m opening the floor to suggestions – ready, go!

15 Best Books for Keeping a One Year Old Engaged

Juliet loves books.  Her favorite thing to do every day is to raid Drake’s bookshelf and immerse herself in his books…literally.

At bed time Juliet loves rocking with me as I read to her, but because of her age and attention span it’s hard to get her to sit and listen to all books. Over time as I’ve read from Drake’s shelves, I’ve come to see which books seem to grab her attention. For the most part all of the books she likes and wants me to read again and again have some kind of flaps or movement or pop out. I am starting to look into more books of that nature to get her to keep her engaged and continue with her love of reading.

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