Come on in... it's Christmas in July!

From abbybatchelder via flickr

From Randy Son of Robert via flickr

From arquera via flickr

Greetings, all! Welcome to the Christmas in July party hosted by the fun and funky Just Add Glitter and Stir. To see a full list of participating blogs, go here.
Here at Beauty Does Matter, we'll be celebrating with some lovely photos and recipes to put you in the holiday spirit. We've got our wreath on the door, some holly, a little music playing (per special request from Jenny), Christmas ornaments, a cute gift idea and an even cuter Santa. Not to mention those recipes...
I decided to share one of my favorite cookies to make at Christmas. I wasn't much good in the kitchen growing up except around the holidays. I thoroughly enjoyed baking cookies - probably because I have a terrible sweet tooth. :)  My brothers and sister and I used to make these cookies every year. They're M&M cookies, so they're pretty much good for any time of the year, depending on what color M&M's you use. We always made them at Christmas, though, and we liked them so much we always made a double batch. As a side note, one of the things I loved about this recipe as a kid was that it was so "old" it had a review of The Monkees on the back. Mom had torn it out of a magazine or something years before.

M&M Cookies
(or as the recipe says "The Most Happy Cookies!")

1 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups plain M&M's 

Blend shortening and sugars. Beat in vanilla and eggs. Sift remaining dry ingredients together; add to the sugar and egg mixture. Mix well. Stir in M&M's. (You may reserve some for decorating if you wish, but we always just threw them all in there and sometimes more besides.) Drop from teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown. (Note: After baking, some of the candies may be slightly cracked.) 
Makes 5 to 6 dozen cookies, depending on size.

I also thought I'd share a recipe for sugared pecans. My grandma makes these and sends me a container each year. I keep them tucked away and nibble on them for months. They are so yummy - the perfect combination of sweet and salty. And they are a great holiday treat to bring along to a party, as I have done a couple of times.

Sugared Pecans

2 egg whites
2 Tbsp water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 pound plain pecan halves

Beat egg whites and water with wire wisk until light and frothy. Mix in sugar, salt & cinnamon and stir until well mixed. Add pecans and stir until pecans are well coated. Place on a tray that has been sprayed with Pam. Bake at 250 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes and stir occasionally. Cool and store in an airtight container.

If you're not into food gifts, perhaps you'll enjoy some fabulous little soaps like these:

From soapylovedeb via flickr

And, of course, no Christmas party would be complete without a Santa... 

Can't you just hear her saying - why me?  :)  
Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoyed a little bit of Christmas in July! 


  1. I dropped by to give you some warm
    holiday best wishes! Hugs all the way from (((Texas))) ...
    enjoyed viewing your cool yule blog.
    Looks like you were a good girl and so busy!
    thanks for sharing -

  2. Wonderful!!!! love it :-)

  3. Merry Christmas in JULY

    "Santa" takes the cake I think!

    xxx DJ

  4. Oh Santa is so adorable and I am so happy that you offered the recipe for the candied pecans!!!! My favorite!!!!!! I love the wreath on the inviting.....Merry Christmas!!!! :)

  5. Mele Kalikimaka! Maligayang Pasko!

    Lovely party here! Your Santa is adorable! & your comment of "why me?" is too funny :o)

    & love that the M&M cookie (mmm & m)recipe was on the back of that review of The Monkees! (I loved that show as a kid)

    & thank you for sharing your grandma's sugared pecan recipe...

    Blessings & Aloha!

    Hope you have a bit of time to come to my Christmas memory party :o)

  6. Merry Christmas, it's all so lovely! Thanks for the recipes and you have the perfect santa!


  7. the Monkey's they are not old...LOL, Merry Christmas!Can't wait to try the cookies with the kids. heidi

  8. What good music and fab recipes.I had a fab time And isn't your puppy just the cutest..XXOO Marie Antionette

  9. Merry Christmas in July...what a cute furbaby!

  10. Merry X'mas to you! I love your Santa! :)

  11. Merry Christmas in July! Your recipes are too yummy. I am definitly going to try that M&M one so thanks for sharing:)

  12. Oh, Santa is tooo perfect for words!!! That is just priceless.

    Love the M&M cookies too! Thanks for having me over!! Merry Christmas!!!

    {{Takes cookie and heads off to another party}}}

  13. love your puppy santa - the cutest!

  14. Can't wait to try the sugared pecans. Santa is adorable by the way!

  15. Beautiful Party!! Thanks for having me! Merry Christmas!

  16. HO HO HO!

    I've come out of the warm and sun,
    To find Christmas has begun!

    Where to begin?!

    First of all, I LOVE The Monkees! lol What a great find on the back of that recipe! And I love M&M's so even better! lol

    Thank you so much for a lovely party, the cookies were delicious and thanks for sharing their secrets with us!

    And Santa came to your party too! Wowowowow!

    Merry Christmas to you and Happy Rest of Your Year!


  17. Just beautiful photos, and I would love to kiss your little Santa there.

  18. Merry Christmas in July! Just stopping by from Maggi's. Santa is adorable! My little dog wouldn't let me put the santa outfit on him.. so I bought him a bow-tie instead! hehe :)

    <3 Gina

  19. those soaps are wonderful!

    and i love your santa! ;)

  20. Loved the photos and thanks for the recipes!!!!


  21. Oh man a lot of folks are doing recipes and are driving me nuts. It is making my mouth water. Thanks for sharing for sure! i want some pecans now. lol

  22. Great post, your blog is awesome....MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  23. I saw your entry as my 9 yr old (the helper) was beggin' for the computer so he could play on a game. I love your doggie and I really want to make sugared Pecans this fall/winter. I don't know why I've never done it. It'd be a great neighbor gift too with all my funky packaging tricks. I still don't know how to play music on my blog but love everyone's selections.

    The soaps are beautiful. 1 thing I like to do is a soap on a tea cup saucer or small dish wrapped in cellophane with pretty ribbon and tag.

    Be seein' ya...

  24. Hi,
    All of the photos are beautiful.Your Santa is just adorable. The recipes sound delis. Merry Christmas in July& you are invited to stop by my party.

  25. Wonderful CIJ party. I am finally getting to make the rounds. I did a quick check on my party and visited with guests there, so please excuse me if I missed you. I will be back home later to mingle some more. Right now, I am trying to fit in all the blog parties. This is such fun!!!!!

    Merry Christmas in July!

    I love you music. It is such an assortment and so much fun. Beautiful photos. Your dog is precious. I should have pulled out photos of my dogs in Santa and reindeer suits.

  26. What a wonderful hostess you are! Mery Christmas girl!

  27. Thanks so much to everyone for stopping by and for all the kind comments! I have loved checking out everyone's party. Merry Christmas in July, all! See you soon.

  28. Thank you for stopping by my blog! Your blog is beautiful. I can't wait to try the sugared pecans recipe. My FIL gives me a ton of shelled pecans every Thanksgiving.

  29. One of my little ones is standing here next to me, enjoying seeing and hearing Christmas right in the middle of summer. She only asks me if its time for Christmas at least a handful of times a month. Would you believe that last Christmas, when we asked her what she wanted for Christmas, all she wanted was a BIG Christmas tree to decorate?! Happy Sigh. Merry Christmas in July to you and yours! :>

  30. Hi Bella,
    Thanks for letting me come to your party:-) I can't wait to make those sugar pecans.
    I love your blog, too. Your style seems just like mine and I love the books you recommend.

  31. The dog does have that "why me" look on it's face! :)

    I've always wanted to try sugared pecans so thanks for the recipe!

    I have a horrible sweet tooth as well - I'd better try making those cookies until I have a lot of people over to help me eat them! ;)

    Merry Christmas in July!

  32. This post should come with a warning for all us sweet tooths out there! I now feel like the cookie monster ("me want cookies!")
    Absolutely lovely party and photos, and cutest santa I've seen today! Thanks for visiting my blog!

    Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

  33. Awesome Christmas in July! I bet my dog could relate to yours ... LOL!

    Merry Christmas in July!


  34. Your Santa is adorable!
    Merry Christmas!

  35. M&M cookies, yum!

    Merry christmas in JULY!!!

  36. Bella! You sure know how to throw a party. Merry Christmas in July!! I love all your pics....and the recipes sound great. I will have to try them for sure. :)

    Hope you had just as fun blog hopping. I am going to have to add you to my have such a lovely blog!



  37. I've copied the recipes! They look delish. Love your version of Santa!

  38. I just found the pic of my guy in his santa outfit this morning. I should add it to my post.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    Merry Christmas in July!!

  39. Your dog is adorable and does have that look - "why me" LOL! Thanks for the Sugared Pecan recipe! I think that would make a wonderful Christmas Present in a pretty jar!


  40. That dog is the cutest thing ever!


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