Wednesday, December 28, 2011

NYE Cakepops

My Sister-In-Law has been wanting to learn to make cakepops for a long time so we {my Mom, my SIL and myself} finally found a time for us to get together but it was after Christmas so we decided to make New Years Eve cakepops! We just used up a bunch of leftover candies and sprinkles I already had. I love it when I don't have to go buy anything!!!

They weren't anything too fancy but it was fun to spend some time together...and it is always fun to teach people to make cakepops!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Baked Alaska's...

My Mom has been making Baked Alaska's for a while and I'd been dying to try it so I finally did for Christmas. These are most definitely a make-ahead dessert!

Recipe from Simply the Best by Julie Andersen
Julie is a family friend.

I made the cookies two days before I was planning on serving them!

The day before I was planning on serving them I put the ice cream on the cookie and let them freeze overnight.

The morning of Christmas I made the merigne and spooned it on. I got the idea from my Mom from a few years ago to put sprinkles on top to indicate what flavor was inside. The choises were peppermint (red sprinkles) and mint chocolatechip (green sprinkles).

You really could make these with any cookie and any ice cream!!! They are amazing!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kids Cakepop Cake 2011

My friend Danielle was gracious enough to host another wonderful Kids Cakepop Camp this Christmas break. The kids had a blast last year and they nicely followed my directions and did exactly what I told them too...this was NOT the case this year but they had a BLAST!!!

These were my ideas for this year...

Ornaments (which is just red and green candy & sprinkles)
Snowmen with earmuffs
Candy cane coated cakepops

I think we had 10 kids and 6 might have even been more!!

Look at their darling little faces!! They have SO much fun doing this. I think it is now a yearly tradition!!

Blake's "sick" reindeer.

Smiling little reindeer.

The expert packers!!


The "reindeer" (aka the dog) from The Grinch.
Notice he has one antler out the front of his head. The kids made a lot of them.


Angry bird...


Somehow snowmen turned into chickens...Angry Birds came to the party...and we had quite the time getting the balls to stay on the sticks...but we sure had a good time!!!

As the kids finish the cakepops and they dry the helpers packaged them so I didn't get a bunch of good pictures but you can get the idea...can't wait for next year!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

'upcycling' gift tags...

I've read the term upcycling a few times recently, which to me is basically the same thing as recycling, but I'll go with trends...

Last year I kept all my old Christmas cards and forgot why I did, until at this very moment as I type this blog post - which is too late for it's orinigal intent. What I was going to do was hole punch them and bind them together with a circle ring and put the year on the front. Then each year we would have a collection of cards from years past...I got the idea from ThePoeFam blog but I cannot find where the post is that contains pictures.

Well, now that that isn't going to is what I did. The idea actually came from my Mom :)

I took the cards from last year and cut up the ones that were small enough or cute enough to be 'upcycled' into new gift tags. It so happened that I am out of Christmas gift tags and didn't want to go to the store!

I used about 8 cards's a few of them.

This tag is made from two cards {Thanks to Adrienne Black & The Hubert's}. I took the little mug that was on the inside of a picure card and first just made a plain tag. Then I was looking at the photo card from my friend Jen and loved the plaid print! I trimmed down the card and glued it to the plaid. It made a cute little card to send to my cute little (okay, she's taller but younger) cousin :)

Here is two more. The top Santa tag is from a card from my friend Leena and the bottom tree is from my friend Kalli.

I have about 6 more cards that I've already done and plans to make the rest of my gift tags from cardstock that I already have around the house.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

button wreath {first pinterest inspired craft}

Have you heard of Pinterest?? If not, it might be best for your time management skills if you don't click on that link... If so, you know what I am talking about!

* Note to self. Keep all parts of the project until you are done with the blog post. I cannot remember or find what kinds of buttons or paper I used. I got everything I needed at JoAnn Fabrics in December 2011.

Last week I made my first Pinterest inspired craft...You can see the original inspiration here.

Isn't it cute?!?! The original sewed the buttons on which is a super good idea. I am not that skilled nor do I have that much patients. SO instead of fabric and thread I used paper and hot glue.

Here is the jist of how I pulled this off...

1st - I bought this home decor picture...but really all I wanted with the shiny silver frame!!

2nd - I cut the paper after a few samples from some extra light green paper. I only had one glittery paper and needed to make it perfect!

3rd - 5th - I used a few items from around the house (seasoning and Christmas bowl) to help me make an 'as nearly as you can while using buttons' circle.

6th & 7th - I first placed the buttons in a random order trying to make sure the bigger ones were farther apart. I used mostly white buttons from this black/white button pack as well as 6 strips of buttons, also from JoAnn Fabrics.

I added the red glittery ribbon and had to end up sticky-tacking it on because it wasn't staying. I didn't want it to be permanent so I didn't use hot glue. I know when I pack it away this winter I'm going to have to redo the bow next year!

I would say all-in-all it took me about 45 gluing buttons takes a long time!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies {a first and a success}

Since I've been sick since September {for reals} I have done zero baking. Like, none. I've thought about it and then I generally took a nap and some more medicine. This week the antibiotics are finally working and the zest for baking is BACK. I think the people at my husband's work are excited :)

I was craving peanut butter and chocolate - which is a common thing in my life. That is an amazing combination!! I went to my Martha Stewart Cookies book that I got from my BIL for Christmas last year and had yet to crack open. I was thumbing through hoping to find something that I had all the ingredients for, since I did not want to go to the store. I pretty much love the table of contents in this book because it is pictures!! My eyes fell on the whoopie pie and I was sold!!

I followed the recipe, which can be found here, exactly. When I make them again, because there will be a next time, I will make the filling a bit sweeter!

I was a bit worried since I'd never made them before but it all turned out great. Martha's books really do have some stellar directions in them!! PLEASE ignore the horrible pictures...the lighting in our house is SO yellow...and I'm hoping Santa will bring me this for Christmas to aide in that!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fun Frames ~ JOLLY

My house didn't get as crazy-decorated as I'd had liked for Christmas - being sick will do that to you!! I was on the tailend of my 3 month long cold when Christmas decorating rolled around. I have big plans for next year...which WILL include my snow village which did not make an appearance this year!!

The Fun Frames words for this holiday season were tough to figure out. We aren't religious so anything pertaining to religion was out. Though, thankfully, that still leaves plenty of other options!! My montra this season was "I believe in the spirit/magic of Santa" because for us, he is one reason to celebrate the season. And who doesn't like getting a present from Santa under the tree :)

JOLLY seemed like the fitting word. I LOVE how the red and white swirls went nicely with the dark green I picked out from JoAnn's.

Fun Frames 2011

above the TB

Subway art from eighteen25

The mantle.

I love our candels. The Santa's are painted by me when I was a kid.

The tradition of "teddy bear in the stocking"...I love this tradition my hubby started for me.

Shelf in the kitchen.

Our stocking. Lovingly made by my wonderful Grandma Cole...

The whole mantle.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

DB Creamy PB Fudge...

...also known as Denise Batten's Creamy Peanut Butter Fudge.
I have been eating this recipe for 3 years but this is the first time I've made it. I've also wanted this recipe for many years and have been told it was a "family secret" one year and then told I'd be given it the next year (but never was). I did come by it honestly - but not from the person who makes it. I was given it by another friend who saw my post on facebook about wanting to make a good PB Fudge that someone had already tested because lets fact it - there are SO many recipes on the Internet...I wanted to spend my money and time on something I knew was delicious...and!!!
This fudge is not the "hard" fudge - hence the creamy word in the title.

DB Creamy PB Fudge
DB Creamy PB Fudge ~ Printer Friendly Edition
6 Cups Sugar
1 12oz can evaporate milk
4 sticks margarine (Imperial)
2 7 oz. jars marshmallow cream
1 28 oz. jar Skippy Peanut Butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
On medium heat put margarine, sugar, and evaporated milk in a 6 quart pan. Stir occasionally to keep from sticking and allow for even mixing. When mixture comes to a full boil, set a timer for 5 minutes, and continuously stir while the mixture continues to boil. When the timer goes off take the pot off the burner. Add vanilla. Stir in marshmallow creme until incorporated. Add in peanut butter and stir until it is completely mixed. Pour into foil lined pans coated with non-stick cooking spray. Let sit overnight, or put in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Remove fudge and foil from the pan and cut into squares. For creamy fridge, let it sit on the counter, not in the fridge.

Wondering about the cup in the middle of the collage?? One of Jason's coworkers called it "mood changer fudge". It is creamy, smooth, and to get the consistency right!

**This fudge was amazingly delicious but I must have done something a tad wrong. I remember it being pretty creamy when she made it but mine was like melting and slipping through my fingers...which, don't get me wrong, was still amazing!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Homemade hot cocoa & Bath Salts ~ After Thanksgiving Craft

This is the 3rd year of our "new" tradition of making a craft after Thanksgiving dinner...though this year my husband didn't have to help with decorations - becuase he had to go back to work :( For a flash back go here and take a look at the last 2 years of creativity!

This year we stepped it up and we did two projects. I really like doing these projects for the following reasons...

- Spending time with my Mom
- Being creative
- Getting a few gifts out of the way

It is nice to have a few gifts laying around the house. Some of these I already have people in mind for...some I don't. I also want to figure out about how much per gift we spent...because I bet it really wasn't much...more on that in a different post!
This year my Mom gather the ingredients for one project and I the other.

Bath Soaking Salts - Mom's Craft

There are SO many options for bath salts out there. All of the recipies are pretty similar. We decided to go for a bath soak which is a dry bath salt. You can also make bath scrub which is the 'wet' kind...I still might try some of those!!

We made two varieties: tea tree and ginger. For the tea tree we used essential oil and for the ginger we (to my surprise) used actual ginger that we smashed and took the oil out!

For the base mixture we mixed together 4 cups of Ebsom Salt, 1 cup of Sea Salt, 1/4 cup baking soda to make one batch. We then added about 5 drops of tea tree oil to one batch and about 1/2 a stock worth of ginger oil to the other batch. We then packaged them in glass containers my Mom got at the Dollar Store, tied them with some tulle, and added a cute little card that was actually made from cutting out pictures from Christmas cards my parents got last year...yeah for recycling (and free)!
Mom cutting the ginger...

Making labels/tags out of old Christmas Cards!

COST ANALYSIS of 1 gift. Total - less than $5 out of pocket
Glass container - $1 @ Dollar Store
Epsom Salt - $4 - we used 2 3lb bags
Baking Soda & Salt - already on hand
Essential Oil - about $10 per container. We used 5 drops...
Tulle - already on hand
Tags - made out of recycled Christmas cards

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix - Annie's Craft

I found a recipe that seemed really good - many different ingredients - here. We followed the directions for making the powder but we put our own little spin on another indgredient! As an after thought I realized that I hadn't even tasted this before we made it...I confirmed today it was delicious!!

Ingredients you will need the below ingredients for 1 batch.
  • 2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup powdered nondairy creamer
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
The above recipe made about 4 baggies, measured 1 Cup each. We added a hanfull or two of mini peppermint marshmellows...yummy!! We tied wth some rickrak and cute gift tag I made.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fun Frames ~ gobble {gobble}

Thanksgiving really snuck up on me this year...and considering this weekend it is my goal to catch up on the last, oh, 4 months of blog posts...this one is going to be right on time!

I didn't do a whole lot of shopping for decor for this season. I was still so sick at the beginning of November {yeah for double ear infections and sinus infections at the SAME time at the age of 28...}. All I really bought was the fake little pumpkins and the mixture that is in the bottom of the candle holder tray...All in all I'm not as happy with my Thanksgiving decorations as I was with my Halloween ones...maybe next year...

above the tv...

The Thanksgiving mantle

Isn't he the CUTEST turkey candle you've ever seen?!?!

Our pumpkins from our Elements Glass Trip.

Jason's pumpkin when there is light behind it...

and when there is not...

Subway Art from the girls at eighteen25

The fall decorations crept into the kitchen...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Diaper Cake for baby Oren

One of my very favorite "family members" Stacy is having her second baby, a little boy named Oren, this coming January. She and I lived 2 houses away from each other growing up. Our families sometimes do Thanksgiving together. She really is like my little sister and I love her...okay, enough mushy stuff...on to cute baby stuff!!!

Since Stacy already has an adorable little girl, Crissy, she really wanted some practical baby stuff...mainly breast pads and diapers. My Mom got her the pads - I covered the diapers. But let's face it, wrapping diapers isn't usually that entertaining so I decided to take it up a notch. I've made a few diaper cakes though this one I made in record time - about 10 minutes {thanks for the help Mom}. It was a lovely celebration with family and friends.

What's a cake without a little decoration {in the form of travel size baby related items :)}

Stacy and myself.

And here are a few other pictures from the {cute} day!!

Delicious food

Adorable cake

Cute cupcakes from Battle Ground Bakery.

The beautiful Mom to be!!!

She was seriously excited about the diaper cake!!

Lots of cute boy clothes!!