eat em’ fast snowman shots

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I’ve shared Brooke of the Cheeky Kitchen’s work before. Remember the end of summer picnic she and Jaimee at Sophistimom hosted. So lovely! She just inspires me!

And this latest kid friendly treat does not disappoint. You simply must visit her blog to see yummy after yummy recipe and visit her on Babble’s The Family Kitchen for the how to’s of this fun treat.

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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DIY candy garland craft

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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.

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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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let the countdown begin!

the-painter-family-blog-advent-calendar

Today starts the countdown {surge of excitement… and two little boys… running through my house this morning}! And although my advent calendar is all set to go, I just couldn’t resist sharing a few of my favorite ones from some super crafty ladies. There’s still time!

I’m just completely in LOVE with this first idea from The Painter Family (via Tip Junkie). It will take a little time finding the right boxes and measuring to make sure everything fits, but how lovely the outcome is. I’m saving this idea for next November!

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And Infarrantly Creative thought up this little treasure! Wow what you can do with a few items from the dollar store and a drill. My only fear… I would find all the buckets empty and little ones with tummy aches. If we make one of these fun calendars I’ll have to fill one bucket at a time. {smirk}

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DIY glitter trees & download

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The super talented sisters at the eighteen25 blog have whipped up a little Christmas bling that we can all have on our mantels this year. It doesn’t get an easier, prettier, or inexpensive than these beautiful glitter trees! The ladies give a list of all the items you need (from the dollar store) and a step-by-step tutorial with lots of pictures. There is no way to go wrong!

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And what’s more, they also designed this lovely subway art mat and banner that you can download for FREE! Make sure you hop over and get all the details! Thanks so much ladies!

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Christmas advent calendar craft

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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!

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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)

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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.

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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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introducing BELIEVE

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I’m so very proud to introduce BELIEVE as our 57th collection! BELIEVE offers an elegant palette for cookie parties, cocktail parties, family gatherings and even charitable events. In addition to the custom invitations and thank you cards, and silver square dinner and dessert plates, this collection has several printable components as well. Above you can see our 8×10 “BELIEVE!” mat, which we used on our dessert table flanked by two silver serving trays topped with shimmering Christmas trees and our “BELIEVE!” tag, perfect for favors or even Christmas presents from Santa!  

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Our beverage wrappers are not only great for wrapping wine and water bottles, they are also perfect for embellishing your centerpieces. We chose silver branches from the craft store to give the table a little pop. We also designed beverage markers so you won’t lose your glass of wine and beautiful placecards to help your guests’ find their seats.  

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Who said favors had to be expensive to be dazzling?! I chose a simple ornament favor idea to showcase our square “Thank You” favor tags for this collection: silver and red glitter ornaments tied with beautiful shimmering ribbon.

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And if you’re a hostess that likes to have an activity or two up her sleeve, my “Fondest Christmas Memory” printable kit (includes 5×7 mat, the square BELIEVE favor tags and blank snowflake cards) will help get all your guests in the spirit. The idea is that everyone writes down their fondest memory, places it in the jar and then later in the evening you can read them aloud and let everyone guess who wrote the memory. Mine is from the Christmas just before I turned nine. My brother and I sat at the kitchen table for hours coloring pictures from a coloring book. Then we cut them all out and hung them on the tree as ornaments. They clashed a little with all of my mom’s lovely ornaments, but in true mom style she left them on the tree for the entire holiday season and still has a few of them in her holiday “happy boxes” as she calls them. 

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And what dinner party is complete without a dessert bar?! Our collection offers a “Warm Up” beverage mat perfect when you’re serving hot cocoa or even a warm toddy, dessert labels (six pre-filled plus a blank sheet so that you can overprint your own desserts), and cello toppers embellished with “Thank You” so you can send your guests home with a few sweet treats, like the yummy hand-iced melt-in-your-mouth butter cookies from our partners at Sweet Tooth Cottage. You’ll find these lovely cookies with the rest of the collection in our shoppe. (Read more about cookie sizes, ingredients, shipping and packaging on our About Us page.)

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And it just wouldn’t be complete without cupcake picks and wrappers! Look for the entire collection in the shoppe with 50% off the printable collection original price through Cyber Monday! As always, I hope you’re inspired.

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crepe-paper bell craft

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With Christmas decorations about to come out, this weekend I decided to relax for a few hours and look through some old Christmas ideas. This little crepe-paper bell treasure was from the Martha Stewart Living December 2008 issue.  I love how simple, yet completely beautiful this is, especially as shown on the candle. I could even see making larger (using layers of crepe) versions of these for decorations on a mantle or stairwell. Hop over to MarthaStewart.com for all the how-to details!

And by the way, a little organization tip: Keeping magazines can quickly become cumbersome and messy. Tear out your favorite ideas and file them away under categories that mean something to you, like Christmas crafts, spring decorating. This practice will help you reduce clutter AND make it easier for you to find great ideas when it’s project time!

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fresh Christmas wreath ideas

natural-fresh-diy-christmas-wreath-ideas

I love fresh wreaths at Christmas, especially cedar with cinnamon sticks woven in. I can just smell Christmas writing about it! There are so many wonderful and creative ideas out there, and some not so very traditional. Each of these wreath ideas is from Sunset magazine, from left to right.

  1. Bay and Rosemary
  2. Cedar snowflake 
  3. Douglas fir snowflakes
  4. Red carnations
  5. Eucalyptus
  6. Spanish moss, canella berries, and pincushion proteas

I believe I may just have to try those cedar snowflakes this year. I’m sure I can position a cinnamon stick or two in the center. {wink} As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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sneak peek at BELIEVE

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Those who were around last year might recall the BELIEVE cupcake picks and wrappers that we gave away in December. Well this new collection is an extension of that design and I couldn’t be more proud of how beautiful it turned out. I received such sweet notes from so many of you last year, because of course BELIEVE doesn’t just have to refer to believing in Santa. It can be more profound. Believing in yourself, believing in His grace.

With the season of giving upon us, I urge all of us to reach out and do something kind, no matter how small, for those around us. A can of food, an outgrown coat, monetary donations if you have it. No matter the gift, give with your heart and BELIEVE!

Much more to come on this collection shortly!

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