peppermint sweets!

I’m guest blogging for Laurie at Tip Junkie today and sharing my top 10 fav peppermint sweet ideas. Here’s just a little peak at what you’ll see after the jump! As always, I hope you’re inspired!

Homemade Christmas Ideas

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DIY pom pom Rudolph

My darling friend Kelly at The Party Dress asked a few of us to participate in a holiday series on her blog this month. We could style a dessert table, a dinner table or a child’s table. Since my 2010 Christmas collections, Mod Candy Cane and BELIEVE, were already styled and in the shoppe, Kelly let me bend the rules a bit. I worked with the two most important (shorter than 4 feet) men in my life to style Santa’s cookie placesetting for Christmas Eve. For the most part I let them lead and they chose a woodland theme with the initial inspiration coming from a huge pine cone they had been dying to decorate like a Christmas tree.

More to come on the placesetting, but for now I want to share the DIY pom pom Rudolph-the-red-nosed-reindeer craft we came up with. I’m just in love with him! I was inspired by Jenn at HWTM and her recent use of yarn in several Christmas crafts. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • brown yarn for the body and neck
  • large acorn for the reindeer’s face/snout
  • 4 dark brown pipe cleaners for the legs
  • 2 light brown pipe cleaners for the antlers
  • small brown pom pom for the tail
  • red paint for the tip of his nose
  • glue gun
  • sharp scissors

And here’s how you make him:

  1. You’ll need two medium size pom poms for the body. Wrap the yarn around your hand (just below the knuckle) 45 to 50 times, cut and tie in the center as shown in image A. You’ll need two small pom poms for the neck. Wrap the yarn around two fingers (above the knuckle) 45 to 50 times, cut and tie in the center.
  2. Cut all the loops in each of your pom poms. You may need to shape them a bit, clipping off any stray strands and condensing his body a bit as shown in image B.
  3. For the antlers, cut a pipe cleaner in half and form a “V” with one piece. Next cut the remaining piece in half and twist them around each side of the “V” as shown in image C.
  4. For the legs, you can twist the pipe cleaners to give the legs more dimension as we did as shown in image D, or you can leave them straight.
  5. Now it’s time to hot glue. Start by gluing the two medium size pom poms together for the body and then add the tail.
  6. Glue the two small pom poms together for the neck and glue the acorn on as the snout with the point out.
  7. Attach the neck to the body (at  about 10 o’clock on the body pom poms) so that the head is up. You may need a few dots of glue at the back of the neck to the body (easily hidden) if your acorn is heavy.
  8. Attach the legs.
  9. And finally paint the tip of the acorn red.

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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no-bake but must-make cookies

My absolute favorite cookie in the world is the chocolate no-bake cookie. I can’t remember a holiday without them… and to be honest they are the “go to” cookie in my house when we’re craving something sweet and simply don’t want to wait for anything to bake. You can even eat them right out of the saucepan… not that I’ve done that before. {wink} And I know they’re not much to look at, but trust me. You won’t be disappointed!

You’ll need:

½ cup (1 stick) butter (I often add a little less) 
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup milk
4 tablespoons cocoa
½ cup peanut butter (I sometimes add more!)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (splurge for the real extract; it’s worth it)
3 cups quick-cooking oats (I sometimes add a little less depending on how much peanut butter I use)

Quick and easy steps:

  1. Mix the sugar and cocoa in a saucepan until smooth.
  2. Add milk and stir.
  3. Lay stick of softened butter on top of the chocolate mixture, turn the stove on low and allow butter to melt.
  4. Bring to a rolling boil, let boil for 1 minute and remove from heat.
  5. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth.
  6. Stir first two cups of oats in and then add third a little at a time. (Remember: The heat of the mixture is what cooks the oats so don’t go too slowly. Plus, they set very quickly so spoon them as soon as the oats are in!)
  7. Use tablespoon to drop onto wax paper-lined baking sheets.

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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chocolate chip cookie snowman

chocolate-chip-cookie-snowman-wl

I can honestly say that my boys inspire me constantly. I have a sketch pad of ideas on my desk at all times and it often travels around with me. The boys are always asking “What’s this mommy?” When I share my idea they often give me tips on improving it or get these large excited eyes and give me four more ideas, some of which involve superheroes and construction, but you get the picture.

So the other day when my oldest was playing with his snack, two Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies, and a lollipop stick I really didn’t think much of it. As you can imagine, we play with sweets around my house all the time. After a few minutes he ran to me and said “Look Mommy!” He had carefully twisted and as he put it “lightly pushed at the same time” the lollipop stick through his cookie without breaking it. After I praised his work he went back and made a face, the one you see above. Isn’t it sweet?! He asked if I would put it on my blog and of course I said yes. This is a family business!

So yesterday we set his little creation up for the big debut! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Chocolate chip cookies, preferrably something like Chips Ahoy (not too soft)
  • Lollipop sticks
  • White icing
  • Candy corn for the nose
  • Cherry chew and string Twizzlers for the hat

And here’s how:

  1. Top one cookie with white icing
  2. Twist and push the lollipop stick through the second cookie to make the face
  3. Put a little icing on the back side of the cookie with the face and push the icing into the holes a bit so that the face is prominent
  4. Insert the lollipop stick in the icing of the bottom cookie. A reminder from my son: “Tell them to make sure to put the chocolate end of the lollipop stick in the cookie so it doesn’t look dirty.” Or of course you could use one to make all the faces and new ones for the cookies themselves. {wink}
  5. Put a small amount of icing on the end of the candy corn and attach the nose
  6. Cut the cherry chew in half, add a small amount of icing and attach as the hat
  7. Embellish the hat with a tied single string of Twizzler

Ta-da! Chocolate chip cookie snowman as created through the eyes of my six year old. As always, I hope you’re inspired! I know I am! {gushing motherly pride}

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printable gift & giveaway!

free-christmas-snowflake-printable

It’s difficult to express how grateful I am for all my customers and readers, you all mean so very much to me. I’m terribly blessed to be able to make a career out of doing what I love. I wish that for all of us! And since I like to give “little happies” now and again, I thought this would be the perfect way to thank you all for such a fabulous year. So while we were developing our Mod Candy Cane collection I decided to create a mini printable collection for those sweet gifts we tend to give this time of year. It includes: snowflake circles, I recommend a 2.5″ circle punch but scissors will do the trick, and rectangle tags that say “Have a sweet day.”

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Plus these recipe cards, both pre-filled with the Peppermint Cookie Bark recipe (above) and blank ones so you can send any goodies you like! 

Here’s how you get them:

  1. If you’re already signed up to receive special offers you’ll be receiving an e-mail with your free printables in the next day or so. 
  2. If you’re not, join us by signing up in the “receive special offers!” box at the top of my blog and get not only this Christmas printable gift, but regular updates about new collections, crafts, sweet ideas, future freebies, offers and so much more! And don’t forget to tell us with a comment on this post that you signed up as an entry in the giveaway too! (NOTE: We’ll e-mail the printables once daily through Saturday.)
  3. Facebook fans will find the link on our wall.
  4. Twitter followers will find the link in my timeline.

And for all the Columbus Parent Magazine readers, thanks for stopping in! This printable is especially great for those of us who want to spread a little cheer without breaking the Christmas budget. I’m personally giving Peppermint Cookie Bark this year. YUM! {Sorry to ruin the surprise for those who are reading this!} And since it’s already snowing here, I may even have the boys pull my snowflake jars (found them at the Dollar Tree a few weeks ago) around the neighborhood in their little wagon, sort of like those Smuckers jelly commercials… we are in Ohio after all! {wink} 

mod-candy-cane-giveaway

I thought this would also be a lovely time to give everyone a chance to win the entire Mod Candy Cane collection. You can have up to six chances! Here’s how:

  1. Comment on this post sharing either your very favorite collection from The Celebration Shoppe or tell me about a party idea you’d like to see us create in our 2011 collection. We’re working to finalize the list for the next six months so it’s perfect timing and I would love your input!
  2. Become a fan of  The Celebration Shoppe on Facebook  and comment on this post.
  3. Follow The Celebration Shoppe on Twitter,  tweet about it and comment on this post.
  4. Subscribe to our RSS feed at the left of the blog or let us know you are a subscriber with a comment on this post.
  5. Sign up for offers in the box in the upper right corner of my blog and comment on this post. (This is the best way to ensure you get the freebie above and all future freebies too!)
  6. Spread the word (on your facebook page, on your blog, etc.) and comment how on this post.

The Mod Candy Cane collection winner will be selected and e-mailed on Saturday at 8 a.m. ET. Best of luck to everyone and again, THANK YOU for a fabulous year! {The giveaway is now closed. The winner is comment #57, Jenny D.!}

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easy peppermint cookie bark

peppermint-cookie-bark-wl

I’ve had several of you ask about the peppermint cookie bark that we made for the Mod Candy Cane collection photo shoot a few weeks ago so I thought I would share the recipe. It’s super easy and oh so very yummy!

Ingredients

  • 8-10 sandwich cookies (+ some for nibbling)
  • 6 oz hard peppermint candies (approximately 32)
  • 1.5 cups white chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Place candy canes in a plastic bag and hammer into 1/4-inch chunks
  2. Place cookies in a plastic bag and break into 1/4-inch chunks
  3. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler
  4. Combine candy cane chunks and cookies with chocolate, saving just a few.
  5. Pour mixture onto a wax covered cookie sheet, add last few cookie and candy cane bits, pressing them gently into the chocolate, and place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes or until firm

This is the perfect recipe for a “sweet” Christmas gift. Stay tuned tomorrow for a few fun free embellishments to help you pretty up the packaging!

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DIY candy garland craft

taffy-and-cherry-chew-candy-garland-wl

Not all garland has to be store-bought, and as a matter of fact it’s likely more fun if it’s not!

This week while we were whipping up a few placesetting and craft ideas, my six-year old son grew a little restless. Imagine that! So we set him up with this simple craft. And the best part, we just used leftover candy that we had around the office. The top garland is red cherry chews and green taffy. Using a large dull needle and clear fishing line (always in my craft bag!) thread each piece. I recommend cleaning your needle with a damp paper towel between each piece of candy and using short pieces of fishing line that you can tie together at the end so that you don’t have to push the chewy candy down very far.

popcorn-and-cherry-sour-garland-wl

And for this second one, popcorn, chewy cherry sour balls and green cross-stitch thread. Admittedly there was much more eating than threading on the kids’ part, but there were lots of giggles. My very favorite sound!

Happy weekend everyone and as always, I hope you’re inspired!

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custom princess castle cookies

princess-castle-cookie-box1

I’m always so impressed with the talents of Sue and team at Sweet Tooth Cottage, our bakery partners, but when I saw our castle and crown designs from our Princess Castle and Prince & Princess collections I honestly was in awe. (All the cookies shown in this post, including the sugar paper sheets that you can purchase separately, will be in the shoppe early tomorrow morning!)

These cookies are so lovely and could be perfect additions adorning a dessert table, or boxed as a favor. And not only are these cookies pretty, they are so very yummy! They’re baked fresh upon order and heat sealed to ensure flavor and texture for up to two weeks. Did I mention these are butter cookies, not sugar cookies, so they are soft and they melt in your mouth. I wish I could send a sample to each of you because you would honestly be in love!

princess-crown-cookie-only

If you’ve been following our new partnership you may have noticed that the cookies can be personalized. For these two collections we can personalize the crowns with either the birthday girl’s name or with each of her guests’, making the favor even more special!

princess-castle-crown-cookie-rounds

We also offer cookie rounds with edible printed sugar paper. You can purchase the delish cookies, or just the prints (2.13″ circles, 12 per page, 2 pages per package, 24 circles total) already pre-cut for easy application!

princess-cookie-collection

One of my best girlfriends hosted a princess party last month using these cookies AND some new princess printables (cello toppers, beverage wrappers, favor tags, dessert labels) that will be in the shoppe by this weekend. I’ll share all the “real party” details shortly.

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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30% off for Cyber Monday

sale-30-off1

We’ve been busy over the past few weeks! We’ve launching two new holiday collections: Mod Candy Cane and BELIEVE, forged a sweet partnership with the fabulous Sweet Tooth Cottage cookie company, and had two wonderful press opportunities: honored as a Martha Stewart Dreamer Into Doer and had our Science birthday collection featured in Columbus Parent Magazine.

And now I’m very happy to announce that we’re having our best sale ever! Today through noon tomorrow we’re offering 30% off any custom invitation order (code INVT30) and 30% off any printable collection (marked)!

So plan those January birthdays, host a wow-worthy holiday cookie decorating party with the kids or a sophisticated cocktail party for the adults, and surprise your mom-to-be or bride-to-be girlfriends with the perfect shower!

If you’ve not already, make sure and sign up for offers in the box at the top of the page. Like us on facebook and follow us on twitter!

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Christmas advent calendar craft

easy-advent-calendar-craft-with-kids-wl

I love crafting with my kids and Christmas is my absolute favorite season, everything from the giggles of excitement that waft through the house (the kids and mine) to whipping up new treats to share with neighbors and friends.

So last week while we were wrapping up our final Christmas collection photo shoot, I took a little time to plan this fun and easy Christmas tree advent calendar craft. Make it over the Thanksgiving holiday and be all set to count down the days to December 25 by decorating a mini Christmas tree each day!

advent-cal-supplies-all-wl

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 24 Christmas trees (8 to a sheet of regular scrapbook paper)
  • 9′ of ribbon to hang, another 3′ for push pin bows
  • 24 mini clothes pins (wood working section of your craft store)
  • 24 stars
  • sheet of number stickers
  • ornaments (aka hole punches out of coordinating scrapbook paper)
  • 1 sheet of vellum (for the mini envelope)
  • 6 push pins
  • glue (to attach your vellum pocket and for the kids to decorate with)

advent-calendar-3-steps-wl

And here’s how you pull it all together:

  1. Cut out 24 trees, stars and vellum rectangles.
  2. Punch out lots and lots of ornaments (a regular office hole punch works just fine).
  3. Using stickers, number each of the stars 1 to 24.
  4. Attach the stars to the tops of the trees and then flip the trees over.
  5. Sprinkle some ornaments in the center of each tree, pipe three lines of glue (Elmer’s glue or a glue stick) leaving the top open, attach the vellum rectangle over the ornaments and allow the trees to dry for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Hang three 3′ sections of ribbon with push pins. (Optional: Tie bows in coordinating ribbon to the push pins to help hide them.)
  7. Attach the trees on the ribbon using mini clothes pins.

the-celebration-shoppe-advent-calendar

Now, starting on December 1, let your little ones take down a tree each day and decorate it using the hole punch ornaments from the little vellum envelope in back. As you can see, we’ve got a jump start! As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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handmade projects

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