milk & cookies Christmas party

For my most recent Kellogg’s Snackpicks.com article I created a simple milk and cookies party idea inspired by “the big guy” himself, Santa of course!

And the best part, I didn’t bake a thing! I let the elves handle that part, the Keebler® Elves that is! {wink}

The table was packed with all of your family favorites with fun holiday names: Keebler Fudge StripesTM {wreaths}, Vienna Fingers® {sleighs}, Fudge Sticks {North Poles}, E.L. Fudge® Elves {elves} and Chips Deluxe® {ornaments}.

Hop over to Snackpicks.com for ideas on how to easily embellish your cookie wreaths and North Poles, ideas on how to style your dessert table…

plus a DIY tutorial for my coffee filter cookie sleeves! 

You can also find my complete Santa printable party collection in the shoppe including beverage wrappers, dessert tags, cupcake wrappers and dessert table mat. As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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cherry chocolate cake cobbler

I was recently asked to come up with a fun dessert for the holidays using my favorite Duncan Hines mix and Comstock fruit fillings. This was such an easy yes! I use Duncan Hines all the time because most of their mixes are dairy-free and as you know, I have a little one with severe dairy allergies. 

This recipe is so easy. I call it a cherry cake cobbler, but it tastes a bit like a cherry cordial brownie. No matter what you call it, you’ll say BAKE ON!

You’ll need three things: Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix, Comstock Country Cherry filling and butter. (I used vegan butter for my little guy.) 

Grease the bottom of the pan with butter and spread 3/4 of the can of cherries on the bottom.

Crush up (or sift) 1/3 of the Duncan Hines dark chocolate fudge cake mix in the bag and spread over the cherries. (Save the rest for cupcakes or your next cobbler.) 

Put pats of butter all over the top of your cobbler and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. The cherries will bubble up and the butter will melt cooking the cake mix.

Dish the cobbler, topped with the remaining cherries, AND maybe a scoop of ice cream. My family loved it!

You can visit Duncan Hines’ website www.duncanhines.com to find other great recipes for your holiday get-together! You can also find Duncan Hines on facebook and twitter. As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!  

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snowmouse ice cream treat

When I was a little girl my brother called me mouse… I won’t go into why… but let’s just say he said I squeaked. Ha! I guess that’s a big brother for you. {smirky grin}

This weekend I was playing around with the boys’ ice cream and instead of making the typical snowman, we came up with the snowmouse. Isn’t he cute!

We used a rainbow Twizzler for his scarf (tip: get it cold and it will stay in position), mini M&Ms for the eyes and nose, small black sprinkles for the mouth and the new Keebler Dark Chocolate Fudge Stripe Cookies for the ears.

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create. Happy Monday!

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DIY Santa party favors

I had a little DIY fun this past weekend with the boys. We were testing a few ideas for our cookie decorating party favors and we came up with these little Santas.

You’ll need red, black and silver cardstock, cotton balls, pretzel size cello bags, cotton balls, tape, stick glue and candy. I used soft peppermint sticks and red cherry slices. 

Punch or cut out a red 2.5″ circle and trim a out a quarter of it like a pacman.

Close the circle and tape it on the inside. Next unroll a cotton ball. Add a small amount of glue to the rim of the hat and to the tip. Edge the hat with the cotton ball and then form a small ball for the top.

Cut strips of black cardstock for the belt and small silver cardstock squares for the buckle. Fill in the center of the buckle with a black thin point Sharpie and attach to the center of the belt with a touch of glue.

Insert the candy, fold the cello over in the back and tape. Wrap the waist with Santa’s belt and top with Santa’s hat, using a small piece of tape to keep both in place.

Waalaa! Fun and super easy Santa party favor idea. As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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pretty DIY holiday packaging

My lovely friend Christi from Love From The Oven (fabulous blog full of oh so yummy ideas!) is hosting 12 days of holiday baking and not only is she baking, but she’s packaging, sharing free printables, hosting giveaways and more! Yay!

She made these White Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Oatmeal Cookies (I love every word in that name) and packaged them in these sweet little pails from Target with my FREE Mod Candy Cane printable tags. So pretty. My boys’ teachers may be seeing these in a few weeks. {wink}

And guess what?! Christi is hosting a giveaway for a Kitchen Aid Mixer!! If you don’t have one, you want one. Rush over and enter! It ends Dec. 13!

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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Christmas tree footprint art

I often wish I could freeze time. My little boys are the most precious part of my life and I just want to squeeze them and snuggle with them forever.

But every time I turn around they’ve grown another two inches, so I’m always looking for ways to capture their sweet little features… like their little feet!

For your Christmas tree footprint art, you’ll need: white canvas and paint: Christmas Green, Cranberry and Bright Yellow. (I picked up all of my supplies from JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores.)

And little feet. {wink}

Aren’t they sweet?!

Next, cut a piece of paper the size of your white space to the right of your print and write your child’s name on it. Then cut out each letter and place them next to the print. This will allow your child to keep good spacing when painting on their name.

Now it’s time to let the little ones paint. We started with a star to top our tree.

Next we added their names. I suggest starting with the middle letters in case they get a little high or a little low so you can correct the spacing with the top and bottom letters.

And we finish with the year.

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create! Happy Monday everyone!

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10 Santa snacks

I’m hosting my annual cookie decorating party this year and the theme is all Santa inspired (using my Santa printable collection of course)! Here are a few of my favorite finds from the fantastically talented bakers around the web.

1. Santa cookies from Bakerella, 2. Santa hat cookies from Family Fun, 3. Santa hat cupcakes from Luxe Finds, 4. Santa belly cookies from Tidy Mom

5. Ho Ho Ho roly-poly Santa from Sugar and Charm, 6. Santa hat party mix from Cookies & Cups, 7. Santa hat pretzels from Free Fun Christmas, 8. Santa on a stick cupcakes from Bright Ideas, 9. Simple Santa cookies from Pillsbury {love the coconut beard!} 

10. Santa strawberries from The Love of Food {I love that this one is semi-healthy and still oh so pretty!}

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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DIY snowman cello bag treats

I’m a bit excited to share my snowman cello bag treat craft with you this morning! I’m just in love with him and he will absolutely be making an appearance at school this season, at my Snowman party in January (the kids keep wanting to have a snow related party so they can have a snowball fight off the new tree house with friends) and maybe even at my annual Christmas cookie decorating party… I plan to use my Santa collection… hmmm… {note to self: make a Santa version! Update! Made Santa version!}. 

Here’s what you’ll need: white powdered donut holes, pretzel cello bags (I picked mine up at JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores), orange and black ultra thin point Sharpies, craft paper (the designs shown are from my Ice Cream Social collection) and tape.

Start by putting three donut holes in a cello to measure approximate height. Cut a strip of paper that length and insert it into your pretzel cello bag as a guide. Draw on your snowman’s carrot nose with the orange Sharpie and the eyes, mouth and buttons with the black Sharpie.

Punch a 1″ circle and a 2″ circle (my Fiskar punches came from JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores) for the hat brim and top. Cut a 1″x3.5″ strip for the hat and a 1/4″ wide strip for the scarf.

Assemble the hat with tape. (Note: Use your 1″ circle to make sure the diameter of your hat is correct. I allowed for overlap in the 1″x3.5″ strip.)

Trim fringe on the end of the scarf and attach just below the first donut with a touch of glue or tape. 

And if you like my snowman cello bag treats, make sure you hop over and check out my Halloween monster cello bag treats and my Thanksgiving turkey cello bag treats for next year!

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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black Friday: $19.95 holiday cards!

I’m offering our custom holiday cards for only $19.95! It’s simple. Send us your pictures and your personalized message and we’ll send you a high res jpeg of your card. Print cards at your local photo lab. E-mail it. Share it on your social networking sites. Your choice! 

I’m off to enjoy a visit with my big brother and his family. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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peppermint no-bake cookies

For the holiday savings article in All You magazine this month (download the free gift tags and recipe cards, learn how to craft the inexpensive holiday packagingI made my families favorite no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies with a twist. Peppermint!

Let’s start with ingredients. You’ll need:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter (I often add a little less)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  •  ½ cup 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)
  • soft peppermint to taste (I used six, crushed into small pieces, for the batch and I got them at Cracker Barrel)

Quick and easy steps: Mix the sugar and cocoa together and blend until the mixture is smooth. You don’t want lumps of sugar in your cookies! 

Crush your soft peppermint in a resealable bag with a rolling pin. My kids like doing this part for me! And set aside until the end.

Move the mixture to a saucepan and add milk. Stir again until you have the consistency of chocolate syrup.

The rest of this process is very fast, so make sure you have all your ingredients and greased pan ready (or wax paper if you prefer to drop them with a spoon). Add low heat and butter. Allow butter to melt slowly and then bring mixture to a rolling boil for one minute, stirring it constantly (you want it hot enough to melt the peanut butter and cook the one minute oats, but not so hot that it burns).

Add vanilla and add peanut butter. Whip it quickly so that it melts completely.

Stir first two cups of oats in and mix well. Add third cup 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 into a dish or drop them on wax paper as soon as the oats are mixed!) Fold in or layer your peppermint. And I like to sprinkle a bit on top.

Enjoy! And as always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake and create!

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