Fashion and Fun after Fifty

Posts Tagged ‘holiday gift ideas’

Crock Pot Peanut Clusters

Yes, ladies and gents, it’s that time of the year…time to rekindle those favorite family traditions the ones you remember from when your kids were younger.  No, I am not talking about tree decorating, ice skating and drinking hot chocolate in front of a fireplace, although that’s fun too!  I’m talking about eating foods that you know you shouldn’t and blaming it on the holidays!

The first week of December when the boys were younger, we would spend hours in the kitchen baking cookies, brownies and making Gingerbread Houses, but our my all time favorite sweet treat was Crock Pot Peanut Clusters.

Malik, our youngest is away at college and Tayair who is working no longer have an interest in spending time in the kitchen baking, so it’s just me and the Crock Pot.

You may remember when I first posted this recipe on my blog, I had made a few batches of  these Slow Cooked Peanut Clusters to give to the nurses at the Helen Graham Cancer Center when hubby was undergoing chemo.

Crock Pot Peanut Clusters make great gifts

Crock Pot Peanut Clusters make great gifts

Very simple to make with just a few ingredients, these Crock Pot Peanut Clusters make great gifts for anyone on your “Secret Santa” list, a co-worker, teacher or the next door neighbor.

Ingredients – Yields 2 dozen

16 oz  Jar Unsalted Dry Roasted Peanuts

11.5 oz package of Milk Chocolate Chips

Cooking Spray

Crock Pot Peanut Cluster ingredients

Peanuts and Chocolate Chips


Crock Pot Peanut Clusters are an easy breezy treat for anytime of the year but because it takes less than 2 hours to make you can get some holiday decorations done while they slow cook.

For easier cleanup, first coat the inside of the Crock Pot with a Butter Cooking Spray.

easy cleanup with cooking spray


Pour in half the jar of peanuts followed by half a bag of chocolate chips.

Pour in the remaining peanuts and chips

Cover and cook on low for 1 hour, however, depending on the style Crock Pot you may need to add more time but check it after the first hour to ensure the chocolate is not burning.

Pour in peanuts and chocolate chips


Once the chocolate has softened, use a wooden spoon to stir, thoroughly mixing in the peanuts.

mix peanuts and chocolate

Use a large spoon or an Ice Cream scoop to dollop out medium size clusters onto a non-stick baking sheet or a platter covered with Parchment Paper.

use non-stick pan

Put Peanut Clusters into the refrigerator for an hour allowing them to to harden.

chill peanut clusters in in refrigerator

Remove and package in a resealable bags or containers to be given as gifts or as tasty treats for the family.

Crock Pot Peanut Clusters


Chime in: What is your favorite Holiday Sweet Treat?


Social Media and Subscription Boxes

As a blogger I have had an opportunity to review several Subscription Boxes throughout the years, some were FREE and other’s were those that I had to pay a monthly fee.  

On the Podcast a few weeks ago, I interviewed Yolanda Kennedy, owner of Blissful Crate a subscription box for moms and babies, you can check out the interview here.

  variety of subscription boxes

Today more than ever consumers are dollar-conscious, and budget savvy thanks to social media.  We want to know if we’ll like something before committing to a purchase which is why samples are so popular in those big box stores like Costco and BJ’s.  While the idea of sampling is hardly new, the concept of putting your brand inside a box is.

This business concept is a two-pronged approach – 1) provide customers with products they’ll enjoy while using a fresh, direct-to-consumer platform 2) market products nationally without ever having to leave your home or office. 

There are literally subscription boxes for everything from cosmetics from Birchbox to dog related products from Barkbox.

sampling food at Costco

For the entrepreneurs who’ve started these sample subscription services the business model provides a steady and predictable revenue stream.  Inventory management is not a huge problem, and the cost of goods is minimal as the samples are usually subsidized by the manufacturers.  Many of these manufacturers may even pay you for including their products in your subscription boxes.

Manufacturers and big brands understand that sample products in a subscription box can lead to conversion to full size purchases.  They can measure this with specially coded coupons or offers placed inside the box that recipients can later use in stores for purchasing regular sizes, or to order online on the brand’s website, this is a win-win for everyone.

Blissful Crate Subscription boxes

10 Social Media Tips to Market  Your Subscription Box

Most subscription boxes are business-to-consumer, so Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are usually good starting points. Think about your target audience’s age and demographics and what social media are they already using then head over there.

  • Tell Family & Friends

Ask your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, sorority, fraternity, church members everyone about your new subscription box and if they aren’t interested, perhaps they will tell others who are.  Make sure to have a sample box with you to show and tell – of course non-perishable items

  • Follow your niche

This is one of the easiest ways to find customers, use your social media accounts that your target customer is already following.  Make sure to follow your followers and their followers as well.

  • Encourage your fans to share photos

Remind your subscribers to share with a custom hashtag printed directly on your subscription box.   Selfie contests and subscriber discount programs are fun, especially during the holidays.

  • Get influencers to share your subscription box.

Send complimentary boxes to bloggers popular with your target audience. Even if they don’t give you a glowing review, you’re increasing awareness of your brand among people likely to buy.  Bloggers are always sharing on social media platforms so you are increasing your own social shares.

  • Free Giveaways

A ‘Try Before You Buy’ promotion to targeted followers and especially influencers in the industry or niche.  Google them to get on the radar of product review bloggers especially those who host link parties.

  • Create anticipation

The beauty of a subscription box is that you always have new surprises to share each month. While your subscribers are waiting for their next box, use this opportunity to tease what’s coming up. By offering these sneak peeks, you’re providing extra value to your followers.


  • Pay attention to what’s working and try new things

Get creative and create media like videos, Infographics, Livestreams and Flipgrams. Experimenting with different posts is what will keep you ahead of your competitors.

  • Blog

We have all heard the phrase ‘Content is King’ then let your customers wear the crown!  Creating a blog that will appeal and resonate with your target audience, and then sharing across your social media networks is exactly how you will organically build a loyal community around your business.

Once you have those followers on board you can aim to convert them into paying customers. Additionally, Blogging also works wonders for your SEO if you do it right. If you can rank high in Google’s search results for those targeted keywords you could be getting a bunch of organic traffic and customers too.

  • Build Your Email List

Email marketing is one of the most valuable channels in the game. Having an email list of thousands of targeted customers who have all shown an interest in your product means that you can instantly contact them to promote your products. Imagine sending out an email to 10,000 potential customers telling them about your new product line. The results can be sensational and it is all free.

Everyone has an email address and the sooner you start collecting them the better you will be placed in the future. Offer visitors an incentive for signing up. Perhaps a free trial, a coupon code offer, or a newsletter update to receive your awesome blog content. Mailchimp  and MadMimi are useful tools to use to store your email list and to then create an email campaign or monthly newsletters with updates that you want to send to your followers.

These are just a few marketing tips to get your subscription box business off the ground and if you have others, please leave a comment below. 

These are the Subscription Boxes that I have tried:

Rocksbox is a monthly subscription box for jewelry rental. You will receive 3 pieces of hand-selected jewelry in every box. Wear them for as long as you like and then return them in a pre-paid shipping envelope to swap them out for a new set.  I tried a Trial subscription to Rocksbox for 3 months and you can check out my blog and YouTube Channel to see the pieces.  The jewelry was nice for special occasions, but if you could see my collection you would definitely agree along with hubby that the last thing I need is another pair of earrings! after you answer a series of questions about your household and shopping habits in the Member Profile. they will offer samples just for you.  Every Tuesday they announce new products and you can pick the samples you want to try, they are actual samples not large products but they go quickly.  Once you’ve had a chance to try your samples, you will complete a short feedback survey to tell them what you think of the samples. You don’t have to be a blogger to sign up. is free to join, they ship out thousands of exclusive VoxBoxes every month from brands you know for FREE and you share your thoughts, pics, videos, on social media platforms as well as complete a questionnaire.  The more you participate the more VoxBoxes you are chosen for and they have some great items.  The more social you are the better chance you are chosen for some big VoxBox containing a wide variety of products from beauty products, to candy and food.

Graze is a mini-snack subscription box that sends a customized selection of treats weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. They offer over 100 different snacks that you can rate online, which, over time, helps tailor your subscription to your particular snacking preferences. (Regularly $11.99 for 8 snacks per box).  The snacks were good and they were perfect for the 3:00 snack attack at work, but was a bit costly for the small snacks so I cancelled my subscription.

Target Beauty Box first started out FREE with a few samples but now it’s a paid subscription which varies and averages about $7. Target releases new beauty boxes about every other month, and they sell out within hours because they are good! The value is always great and they come with Target coupons, with a good mix of samples and full-size items.  I need to check them out again.

Remember to check out my YouTube Channel to see the actual unboxing of these subscription boxes and subscribe so you will be notified when I have new ones to share.

Do you subscribe to any of these boxes?

Limm iPhone Armband Review

Hello friends,

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to exercise I have to admit that I don’t get enough of it.  I don’t run or jog but I do like to walk both outdoors, weather permitting and in the evenings on my elliptical, energy permitting – lol.  

However, my favorite exercise of all times is working outside in the yard.  During this time of the year hubby and I spend our Sunday afternoons outside doing yard work. He mows the lawn, trims and edges the walkway, while I cut back the Spring and Summer foliage and pull those weeds which never seem to stop growing!

Limm iPhone Armband

Autumn is the best time of the year to work outside because it’s not too hot nor too cold, and listening to music makes it even more enjoyable.  While hubby rides the lawnmower, he is listening to music from an iPhone in his pocket and headphones on his ears.  

While I trim trees and hedges I’m listening to music with an iPhone nestled securely in a Limm iPhone Armband with buds in my ears.  The Limm iPhone Armband keeps the iPhone safe and secure with an adjustable and stretchable strap that doesn’t interfere with my arm movements.

Limm Iphone Armband

The Limm iPhone Armband is made of a material that keeps the phone protected from sweat and has a built in pocket to hold a single key, so if you are out for a run or walk, just tuck your house, desk or car key inside.  If your exercise regiment also includes working outdoors and you want to listen to music while you work, try this Limm iPhone Armband, which would also make for a great stocking stuffer, you can order one today from 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.