Five Dishes On Our Thanksgiving Table

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We have been hosting Thanksgiving for our family for almost a decade now. While it is definitely a lot of work, it is also one of our favorite holidays to host. We have family from both mine and Mike’s side of the family join us. There’s typically 30+ people, including kids. Mike and I spend days before cleaning and cooking and cooking some more lol. Even Lucas joins in to help and there’s usually holiday music playing in the background. It’s a lot of fun! Over the years, we have had some food hits and misses so today I thought it would be helpful to share five dishes (besides the turkey, of course) that always make it onto our Thanksgiving table.

Thanksgiving Dishes

1. Cheese Board: We used to make fancy appetizers for Thanksgiving, but we quickly learned that with all of the cooking you have to do for the main meal – the appetizers are a great opportunity to lessen your load and buy something pre-made. We always set out a cheese board complete with a variety of cheeses, hard salami and thin water crackers.


I usually pair this spread with some nuts and we’re all set! The other thing I like is that this doesn’t fill you up like a bunch of carbs and allows you to save room for the main event – turkey and all the fixings!

2. Sangria: Along with the appetizer, I like to prepare one large cocktail drink that everyone can enjoy during the evening. Our favorite? Sangria. It’s super simple to make. It’s festive. Everyone loves it!


I set it out on a table with appetizers, other drinks for the kids, and wine glasses and allow guests to help themselves.


3. Mashed Potatoes: I’ve tried to make all sorts of fancy variations of potatoes, but we always come back to the classic mashed potatoes. I like to infuse the milk with chopped garlic before mixing with the potatoes and I always add in sour cream and chives.


One more tip – don’t over whip your potatoes or they will get a glue-like consistency. I actually prefer mine with a lot of texture so I don’t whip them at all and instead use an old school potato masher.

4. Homemade Rolls: If there is ever a time to make your own bread, it’s Thanksgiving. The aroma of homemade bread baking in the oven is instant comfort and your guests will love it!


The key is to find the right recipe that allows you to make the rolls the day before (see my favorite recipe HERE). I use my bread maker to mix and knead the dough, then roll them by hand, pop them into a dish, and refrigerate until I’m ready to bake. Before baking, you’ll want to pull them out about 1-2 hours before to allow them to rise and come to room temperature before baking.

5. Pecan Pie: I used to not like pecan pie because it was overly sweet. Since it was a classic, I would still typically make one every Thanksgiving. A few years ago though, I started tinkering around with the recipe and created my own WITHOUT corn syrup.


My pecan pie is made with maple syrup and let me tell you…I now have to make TWO pecan pies every year and there is still never a crumb left over!

Get the Thanksgiving Look Pictured Above!

The personalized serving pieces, glasses, and pitcher pictured above are all from Personal Creations. The stoneware casserole dishes (round and rectangular) and the pie plate were all personalized with Thanksgiving messages rather than names. I think that is such a special touch that really speaks to the season! Plus, wouldn’t you be the best guest ever if the dish or pie you take to your Thanksgiving dinner was presented in one of these? The casserole dish or pie plate would be the hostess gift!




The cheese board was personalized with our last name and year we were married. I love how the cheeseboard neatly stores all of the cheese knives within itself (see picture above).

cheese board

And, my absolute favorite are the personalized glass pitcher and the Chalk It Up wine glasses! These wine glasses have a chalkboard base so that you can write each guests name on the bottom.



They are also etched with whatever message you’d like. I decided to have them etched with “Cheers” in different languages (i.e. cin cin, salud, salut, kippis, kampai, and more). I got twelve glasses each etched in a different language. These are now one of my favorite things EVER.







Fall Treat: Pumpkin Pie Spiced Muddy Buddies or Puppy Chow Recipe

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Have you ever had muddy buddies – aka puppy chow? Every holiday season, we are guilty of whipping up an embarrassing number of batches of peppermint muddy buddies. They are slightly addictive. Ok, not slightly. Highly, highly addictive. We have been known to make a batch late at night because wejusthavetohavethemnow. This year I thought – what if I put pumpkin spice + muddy buddies together? The result is a perfect fall snack. We have been using Kellogg’s Krave Cereal to make all of our muddy buddies recipes since last year (which by the way if you don’t have time to whip up muddy buddies, Krave cereal all by itself will satisfy any late night sweet tooth!). It’s great because it is light and crunchy on the outside and has lightly sweetened chocolate on the inside. Consume at your own risk though. You might feel the need to make a batch in the middle of the night too.

Pumpkin Pie Muddy Buddies

Pumpkin Pie Muddy Buddies Recipe


  • 1 box chocolate Kellogg’s Krave Cereal
  • 11 oz White Chocolate Chips (White Chocolate)
  • 1.5 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 4 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • (OPTIONAL) Fall sprinkles


  1. Place cereal in a large zip top bag and set aside.
  2. Put powdered sugar and pumpkin pie spice into a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, melt white chocolate chips by microwaving 30 seconds then stirring and repeating until melted (about 90 seconds).
  4. Pour melted white chocolate into the zip top bag with the cereal, close, and lightly shake until cereal is evenly coated.
  5. Pour cereal mixture into a large bowl, sprinkle powdered sugar mixture over the cereal and lightly toss until cereal is coated. Store in a sealed air-tight container or zip top bag.
  6. OPTIONAL GARNISH – add sprinkles when ready to serve.



After School Snack Ideas: Homemade Baked Doughnuts Recipe

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Fridays are pretty special around the Jolly household. Friday mornings typically start with Lucas jumping out of bed super-excited that it’s Friday. There are usually a few high fives and TGIF’s thrown around! Lucas loves Fridays because he gets to do a lot of art and the school day is much more relaxed. He also knows that mom and dad always bring him a special after school snack on Fridays. Sometimes that might be a Blizzard from Dairy Queen or sometimes it’s a homemade treat. No matter what though – he gets a special treat to celebrate the end of the school week. Friday nights are also family night – whether it’s playing video games or board games or going out to dinner or cuddling up on the couch to watch a movie – Friday nights are all about us.

This past week, we surprised Lucas with a new Friday treat – homemade Baked Doughnuts. This is a wonderful recipe that is easy to follow and results in an airy, light glazed doughnut. Just perfect. We topped a few with lightly crushed Kellogg’s Froot Loops, which was a big hit!

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Glazed Baked Doughnuts

recipe adapted from


  • 1 1/2 cups milk, scalded
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup All-Bran® Original
  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water (105 to 115°F)
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted


1. In large mixing bowl, pour hot milk over shortening. Stir in sugar, salt, spices and KELLOGG’S ALL-BRAN cereal. Cool to lukewarm.

2. Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water. Let stand 5 minutes. Add to cereal mixture together with eggs. Mix well. Add flour and thoroughly combine. Cover and let stand in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

3. Turn dough out on well-floured board. Shape into a ball. (Dough will be very soft to handle.) Roll out lightly to about 1/2 inch of thickness. Be careful not to stretch dough. Cut with floured 3-inch doughnut cutter. Place about 2 inches apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Brush with melted butter and let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 20 minutes.

4. Bake at 425° F about 10 minutes.

Baked Doughnuts_2

Cream Cheese Glaze


  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp hot water
  • (OPTIONAL) 1 cup Kellogg’s Froot Loops, lightly crushed

1. Using a mixer, beat together cream cheese, vanilla, sugar, salt, and hot water until smooth.

2. Dip tops of warm doughnuts into glaze.

3. Sprinkle with crushed Froot Loops or serve as-is. NOTE: If using Froot Loops, make sure to do this right before serving or else the cereal becomes soggy when stored for a long time.

Yield: 3 dozen (36) doughnuts

For more recipe ideas, please visit

After School Snack Ideas: Cinnamon Raisin Stuffed Apples Recipe

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Now that the weather is getting cooler, it’s nice to have a warm and comforting after school snack for Lucas. This is especially true on baseball practice days. Some warm food in his belly helps get him through practice until dinner. One of his favorites snacks (and one the entire family loves) are Cinnamon Raisin Stuffed Apples – it is the perfect fall treat! The Kellogg’s Mini Wheats, raisins,  cinnamon, and apple juice meld with the softened, warm apple to produce what really almost resembles an apple pie or apple crisp. Sometimes we like to serve it with a dollop of whipped cream or a bit of vanilla yogurt. The bonus is that while it tastes like dessert – it is actually very low calorie, healthy and nutritious. A+ in my book!

Cinnamon Raisin Stuffed Apples_1

Cinnamon Raisin Stuffed Apples

recipe from


  • 4 medium baking apples
  • 1 cup Kellogg’s® Frosted Mini-Wheats Little Bites® Original cereal
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup 100% apple juice

1. Core apples. Peel strip about 1 inch wide around middle of each apple. Place upright in 1 1/2-quart microwave-safe casserole.

2. In small bowl combine cereal, raisins and cinnamon. Pack cereal mixture into centers of apples.

3. Pour apple juice over apples and into casserole dish. Microwave, covered, at high for 6 to 12 minutes* or until apples are tender. Turn casserole dish and baste apples with juice every 3 minutes.

4. Before serving, spoon juice over apples again. Serve warm.

Note: These Kellogg cereals may be substituted for 1 cup Kellogg’s Frosted Mini-Wheats Little Bites cereal

  • 5 biscuits Frosted Mini-Wheats Big Bite cereal
  • 1 cup Frosted Mini-Wheats Bite Size cereal
  • 1 cup Frosted Mini-Wheats Maple & Brown Sugar cereal

Baked Apples_2

For more recipe ideas, please visit

Midnight Snack: Frosted Flakes®-Chocolate Chip-Marshmallow Cookies Recipe

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You might remember that over the summer, I headed up to NYC for the Kellogg’s Recharge Bar, which featured elevated cereal and milk breakfast combinations (think lemon zest and thyme in your cereal – read more about it HERE). However, I missed the last night when the Recharge Bar was transformed into a nighttime, living room atmosphere and swapped the more traditional breakfast cereals for some indulgent treats and evening snacking options by the uber talented, Chef Christina Tosi of milkbar.

Chef Tosi at the evening Kellogg's Recharge Bar in NYC

Chef Christina Tosi at the evening Kellogg’s Recharge Bar in NYC

One of the treats served during the event were these decadent Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes®-Chocolate Chip-Marshmallow Cookies that Chef Christina Tosi created for the Recharge Bar. They are to.die.for. I know because I just re-created them at home and I’m sad to say…24 hours later they are all gone.




This cookie recipe has Frosted Flakes that have first been baked, which almost caramelizes the cereal. Um…honestly, I could have eaten a bowl of just the baked Frosted Flakes! When incorporated into the cookies, it gives them a delicious caramel flavor.


Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes®-Chocolate Chip-Marshmallow Cookies

Frosted Flakes®-Chocolate Chip-Marshmallow Cookies

makes one dozen cookies


  • 1 ¼ cups kellogg’s frosted flakes®
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ea egg, large
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat milk powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions: 1. heat oven to 300f. spread frosted flakes® onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. set aside to cool.

2. heat the oven to 350f. in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar and light brown sugar on high for 2-3 minutes until fluffy.

3. on low speed, add vanilla and egg and mix to incorporate, about 1 minute.

4. on low speed, add flour, nonfat milk powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt, mixing just until the dough combines together. about 1 minute.

5. on the same low speed, add the cooled, toasted frosted flakes®, mini marshmallows and mini chocolate chips until the dough is evenly speckled with mixins, about 30 seconds.

6. drop or scoop the dough (about ¼ cup) onto a greased or lined baking tray, 3-4 inches apart from one another. pat down the cookie dough rounds with the palm of your hand.

7. bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until cookies have puffed, spread and browned around the edges. cool cookies completely on the baking tray before transferring to a plate or airtight container.

But you know what? While I love to whip up tasty sweet treats in my kitchen, I don’t always have the time or honestly…my waistline can’t take it. That’s why I love cereal. I have been enjoying cereal as an after-dinner treat for years! I love grabbing a small bowl of Kellogg’s Froot Loops or my new fave – Kellogg’s Krave, which I eat without milk – straight out of the bag. It’s really that good. It’s the perfect crunchy treat to have when watching a movie or when your sweet tooth attacks and you don’t want to blow your days calories on a bowl of ice cream or a dozen chocolate chip cookies lol!


Fun ways to incorporate the convenience and nutritional benefits of cereal beyond breakfast:

  • Serve Kellogg’s cereals such as Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes, or Krave as a kid’s treat during slumber parties or children’s events. It’s easy, delicious, and sure to be a hit!
  • Enjoy cereal alone or with milk as a movie night treat!
  • Cereal is the perfect treat to reach for when the midnight munchies hit or you get a sweet tooth attack!
  • Incorporate cereal into yummy treats such as the Frosted Flakes®-Chocolate Chip-Marshmallow Cookie. For additional Kellogg’s nighttime cereal recipes by Chef Cristina Tosi, click HERE.
  • Visit for additional information and recipes.



End of Summer Yogurt, Fruit & Cereal Popsicle Recipes

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The summer is coming to an end and we are trying to savor every last drop of sun, every weekend afternoon lounging at the pool or evening spent on the back porch enjoying a frozen treat after dinner. One of our favorite homemade frozen treats are yogurt popsicles made with fresh fruit and Kellogg’s cereal for a little crunch. They are so easy to make and they make yummy and healthy treats for everyone in the family. Kids also love them as an after school snack and it could even be served as a fun twist on breakfast.

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Froot Loops, Blueberry & Yogurt Popsicles

Kellogg's Cereal & Fruit Popsicles FINAL-1


  • Vanilla Yogurt
  • Kellogg’s Froot Loops Cereal
  • Blueberries
  • OPTIONAL: Sugar or honey or sweetener of choice; sweeten yogurt to taste
  • Popsicle molds

Directions: Starting with the yogurt, add the ingredients to the popsicle molds in layers. Freeze overnight. When ready to serve, unmold and enjoy!

All-Bran, Berries & Yogurt Popsicles

Kellogg's Cereal & Fruit Popsicles FINAL-2


  • Vanilla Yogurt
  • Kellogg’s All-Bran Cereal
  • Strawberries/Raspberries, pureed and a few very thinly sliced
  • OPTIONAL: Sugar or honey or sweetener of choice; sweeten yogurt to taste
  • Popsicle molds

Directions: Starting with the yogurt, add the ingredients to the popsicle molds in layers. Freeze overnight. When ready to serve, unmold and enjoy!

Fourth of July Rice Krispie Treat Sandwiches #Recipe

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Just in time for Independence Day, today I’m sharing my delicious and very patriotic 4th of July Rice Krispie Treat Sandwiches. They are basically two thin Rice Krispie treats with a frosting filled center. Did I say YUM?! As you can imagine, these are a HIT with both children and adults.

4th of July Rice Krispie Treats FINAL


These treats are also adorable! They make a big statement, but they are so simple to make. Recipe below – enjoy!

4th of July Rice Krispie Treats-2

Fourth of July Rice Krispie Treat Sandwiches Recipe


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 10 cups JET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows
  • Red and blue food coloring
  • 15 cups Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® cereal
  • White frosting (I use cream cheese frosting)

1. In medium saucepan melt 4 teaspoons of the butter over low heat. Add half of the marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Tint with red food coloring.

2. Add 3 cups of the KELLOGG’S RICE KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated.

3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly and firmly press mixture into a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

4. Repeat steps 1 through 3, using blue food color and firmly press into another baking sheet. Cool.

5. Using a star cookie cutter, cut out stars.

4th of July Rice Krispie Treats-3

6. Using a small spatula or knife, spread frosting onto 1 star and top with other color star.

4th of July Rice Krispie Treats-4

Celebrating Special Family Moments – Mickey Mouse Layered Jello Cups #DisneyJuniorFamilia

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Whether it’s The Disney Channel, Disney HD, or Disney Junior – Disney has been a permanent staple in our lives and on our television throughout the years. When Lucas was younger, he LOVED Disney Junior. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Handy Manny were his favorites.


Now that he has a little sister, he has been enjoying watching some of his old favorites again PLUS a few new ones like Sofia the First and Doc McStuffins! He’s a good big brother! And, to be honest … he will always have a special place in his heart for Mickey Mouse.

Meeting Mickey and Minnie Mouse for the first time in 2012

Meeting Mickey and Minnie Mouse for the first time in 2012


Seeing his buddy again in 2014

Seeing his buddy again in 2014


Amelia met Mickey Mouse at Disneyland this past year and they were best buds right off the bat!

Amelia meeting Mickey Mouse for the first time

Amelia meeting Mickey Mouse for the first time

As parents what we love about Disney Junior is that the shows are educational and age appropriate while still being fun and engaging for kids.

And, it allows us to take their beloved characters and create special memories. Whether it’s meeting one of the characters in person for the first time or simple moments at home made special with a special Disney-inspired craft, activity or yummy treat. Today, I wanted to share a simple, fun treat inspired by the beloved-by-all Mickey Mouse!

Mickey Mouse Layered Jello Cups

Mickey Mouse Layered Jello Cups


  • 2 (6-oz) box Cherry Jell-O
  • 4 envelopes Knox unflavored gelatin
  • 1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • boiling water and cold water
  • clear cups


Make the red layer: In a medium bowl, mix the red Jell-O with 1 envelope of the unflavored gelatin. Add 2 cups boiling water and stir to dissolve. Cool to room temperature and pour into clear cup. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, or until quite firm.

Make the white layer: In another bowl, mix sweetened condensed milk with 1 cup boiling water. In a separate small bowl, sprinkle 2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin over ½ cup cold water. Let stand for a few minutes and then add ½ cup boiling water to dissolve the gelatin. Add to the milk mixture and stir to combine. Cool to room temperature. Pour the white layer over the firmed-up red Jell-O layer. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until quite firm.

Glue two little white “buttons” to cup (I used white circle stickers). Hot glue black ribbon or bow on top of cup.

Mickey Mouse Jello Cup-5

Disney Junior News!

WATCH Disney Junior is a free app that allows kids to watch full episodes, clips and games of their favorite Disney Junior shows on a tablet, phone or computer in either English or Spanish!

  • Watch full episodes of your favorite shows anytime, anywhere.
  • Watch what’s on Disney Junior LIVE!
  • Play new games featuring some of your favorite Disney Junior characters (exclusive to Android apps)
  • Listen to music on Radio Disney right in the app

Your Child’s Photo Could Be Featured On TV!

  • Submit a photo on the Disney Junior Familia photo app on the Disney Junior Facebook page. Your photo could be featured on TV!


Rice Krispies Fruit & Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars #KChamps

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National Breakfast Week

Everyone loves the iconic and tasty Rice Krispies treats – myself included! However, they are treats and obviously not intended for breakfast. However, I have a discovered a healthy version of the Rice Krispies treat that you and your kids may actually like better and you’ll feel good about eating them for breakfast.

Peanut Butter and Fruit Breakfast Bars4

These Rice Krispies Fruit & Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars replace the marshmallow and butter with peanut butter, honey, and dried fruit. Paired with a cold glass of milk, it’s a perfectly delicious morning breakfast that can be eaten in the car or on-the-go!

Peanut Butter and Fruit Breakfast Bars

You can even make these to pack for school lunches, healthy treats to take to school (replace the peanut butter with sun butter for peanut-free school zones), or just a yummy afternoon snack. WARNING! These are so good that you have to practice a lot of self-control when you’re in the same room with these lol. Mike and I may or may not have eaten several in one day.

Peanut Butter and Fruit Breakfast Bars3

Rice Krispies Fruit & Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars


  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried fruit (I used cranberries)
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies

1. In 4-quart saucepan, combine honey and sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to boil. Continue cooking and stirring 1 minute longer. Remove from heat.

2. Stir peanut butter, raisins and mixed fruit into hot mixture. Add KELLOGG’S RICE KRISPIES cereal and mix until cereal is coated. Press evenly into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2 1/4 x 1 1/2-inch bars. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Olympic Party Treats & Crafts for Kids

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The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia officially kicked off this past Friday, February 7th. We are so excited to watch the games with our family and cheer on Team USA and Team Kellogg’s! To make it fun and festive, we decide to throw a little Olympic party complete with a few simple, but delicious treats!


Olympic Torches made with Kellogg’s Corn Pops Cereal



7 cups corn pops cereal
1 10 oz. bag of large marshmallows
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
Ice cream cones (cake cones – with flat bottom)
Cooking spray


In a large pot, melt 6 tbsp. of butter over medium high heat then add the 10 oz. bag of marshmallows. Stir until the marshmallows have all melted. Remove pot from heat and add the corn pops cereal. Mix until all the corn pops are covered in the marshmallow mixture. Using your hands, pack the cones with the corn pop treat mixture. It’s a good idea to butter or spray your hands with cooking spray while packing the cones.

Olympic colors Rice Krispies Treats – get the recipe HERE.





We also decided to do a fun Olympic craft!


Olympic Gold Medal Froot Loop Necklaces


Froot Loops
Gold medals
Yarn, Twine or Ribbon String

Precut yarn, twine, or ribbon in the length of a long necklace. Tie a Froot Loop to one end so that when your child goes to thread the necklace the cereal doesn’t fall off the string and wrap the other end with a small piece of tape so that it’s easier for your child to thread.

Have your child thread the necklace until it is halfway full of Froot Loops and then thread through the gold medal. Continue adding Froot Loops until full and tie together to form a necklace.

Now we’re ready to cheer on our favorites, including Team Kellogg’s listed below!


Watch Team Kellogg’s Start Stories:

Amy Purdy – Snowboarder

Meryl Davis & Charlie White – Figure Skating

Maggie Voisin — Freeskiing Slopestyle

Noelle Pikus-Pace – Skeleton

Gretchen Bleiler – Snowboarder

Torin Yater-Wallace – Freeskiing

Ted Ligety – Alpine Skiing

Sarah Hendrickson – Ski Jumping

Heath Calhoun – Alpine Skiing