Archive for December 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

holiday peppermint mud pie recipe

Ones last recipe for 2010. An oldie but a goodie. My friend Vanessa (who doesn't really read this blog but always gets referred here by her mom and sister-in-law--hi Fifes!) asked me to make this for a church activity and I couldn't believe I'd lived this long without the recipe! It's easy and sooo yummy. Perfect for your New Year's celebration!

Holiday Peppermint Mud Pie Recipe

36 Oreo cookies, crushed (I ended up using the whole bag because you can never go wrong with more Oreos!)
1/2 cup margarine, melted (can use butter, but margarine works better!)
1/2 gallon ice cream, softened (we use Peppermint or Candy Cane for the holidays, or any mint chocolate chip ice cream is good for traditional mud pie)
1 jar fudge ice cream topping.
1 8oz. container Cool Whip

Mix cookie crumbs and margarine together. Press into bottom of 9"x13" pan, reserving some crumbs to sprinkle on top. Freeze 20 minutes. Spread 1/2 gallon of softened ice cream over cookies and freeze 20 minutes. Heat the jar of fudge ice cream topping for 10-15 seconds in the microwave and spread over the ice cream. Freeze 20 minutes. Spread Cool Whip on top and garnish with cookie crumbs. Freeze at least 20 minutes or until ready to serve (Vanessa recommends making it the night before).

You can't believe how fast this went. I also sprinkled crushed candy canes on top in addition to the cookies. Really cute. (Sorry, no pic--my pan was gone before I could get a picture!)

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

better late than never {happy new year cards}

For all my fellow procrastinators out there, I am not the least bit ashamed to admit that I am sending Happy New Year cards this year. Happy New Year is good for at least all of January, if not into February, so procrastinators rejoice! You still have time to send holiday cards!

I just sent these out today, and they'll get there the first week in January. Perfect. I went with Tiny Prints for two reasons: 1, I love their designs, and 2, I love the heavy matte paper they use. Oh, and 3, they'll mail them for you! You pay a little extra to print the addresses and for the postage, and they take care of the mailing. Awesome--one more thing off my list for 2010.

This was my first order with Tiny Prints and I was impressed. I encountered one slow spot when trying to proof my envelopes, but other than that it was pretty slick. And because I was a new customer, I was able to use this coupon code for $10 off: AFFNEW (ends 12/31/10). If you've used them before, there are other coupon codes for 10%, 15%, and 20% off, depending on how much you spend (ends 12/29/10). You've only got a couple more days to procrastinate if you want to use the coupons, but if you want to wait a little longer, I give you permission to send your Happy New Year cards anytime in 2011. You're welcome.

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}

Friday, December 24, 2010

hand-cut snowflake banner tutorial

Yea! Something fun to do on Christmas day, courtesy of that crafty Jennifer. We'll be making a few of these for sure once the fun of unwrapping is over! Merry Christmas!

Snowflake Bunting Tutorial

I’ve been trying to think of a couple of fun projects to keep everybody busy on Christmas Day. As soon as I saw this idea at How About Orange, I knew that we would be cutting snowflakes.

I picked up a big pack of Christmas tissue paper at Costco a few weeks ago, so I had plenty of paper work with. I cut a stack of tissue paper into 6 inch squares and started playing with them while I was waiting for my husband to finish one of his projects. It was so fast to make them. I had a stack of about 6 or 7 in just a few minutes. Once I mastered the basics, I started looking for some patterns online. There were lots, but I really fell in love with the Christmas tree and snowman designs that I found here. I was able to draw the tree onto tissue paper and cut it out. I was pretty impressed with myself.

Once I had cut a whole stack of them, I was wondering what I should do with them next. I ironed them flat and then used baker’s twine to make them into a banner to hang in front of my window. So easy, so cute and so much fun to make, just watch out for all the teeny, tiny paper pieces that are left over from cutting. They are all over my floor and I think I will have to get the vacuum out to clean them up

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}

holiday wishes

We wish you the warmest of holiday seasons filled with love, peace, and joy. Also lots of wonderful time spent with great family, friends, and food (and hopefully a bit of crafting)!

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}

Thursday, December 23, 2010

free photo canvas offer - ending soon!

Just wanted to share two quick deals with you that are ending soon! I'm a sucker for a good (free) deal.

First, there are only a few days left to take advantage of the FREE 8x10 or $55 off a larger photo canvas from Canvas People! That's the right--the deal ends December 31, 2010. So if you've been wondering if you should order one, do it now, before you forget, or you'll miss this great deal! I ordered an 11x14 canvas for the parents of the sweetie I nanny and it turned out so beautiful. For reference, the "A" in the photo is about 8" high, so about the size of the 8x10 canvas you can get for free. I am sooo glad I got the 11x14 version--it just looks so nice in the bigger size! So you can either choose a free 8x10 or $55 off an 11x14 (or larger). Either one is a screamin' deal!

Our friends at The CuteKid are actually offering a FREE 11x14 canvas from Canvas People AND a free 1-year subscription to Parents Magazine when you enter their 2010 CuteKid contest. And December 31st is the last day to enter the contest for a chance to win a $25,000 college scholarship! So if you're thinking about the 11x14 canvas and you've got a cute kid, you should check it out.

Let me know if you have any questions about the canvas photos. I really love the way mine turned out and I'm so excited for her parents to open it Christmas morning!

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}

giveaway winners

We have two very special giveaway winners to announce today!

The winner of our colby's kettle corn giveaway with the prize of a variety 16 pack is...

who said, "I love salty and sweet together, so the Salty Sweet Addiction would be one I would love to try. Thanks for the giveaway!"

The winner of our Beasties Book giveaway with the prize of a book is...

Laura B.
who said, "This is SO perfect! I'm getting my 7 year old her first sewing machine for Christmas! My favorite monster is Sully from Monsters Inc. Thanks!!"

Congrats to both of you! I have passed your email addresses on to the sponsors so they should be getting a hold of you.

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}

favorite christmas stories for children

As we get close to Christmas, we hope you are all enjoying time with family (instead of madly sewing and crafting like we know some of you are!). Our friend Jennifer shares her favorite Christmas books for kids that she and her family have enjoyed over the years. We hope you'll enjoy them too, and maybe start your own Christmas book tradition!

Christmas at our House – Family Story Night

When our girls were growing up, one of our family traditions was to read a Christmas story each night before bed. It took me many years of buying one or two books each year before we had enough stories to read one every night in December. Each year as I shopped for the special book, I tried to pick something very special – the illustrations might be wonderful or the story was especially touching. When the girls were very little I wrapped each book and they took turns choosing one. The story was a surprise. As the years went on the wrapping fell by the wayside because it became a chore, but we read stories together every year until the girls left home.

Let me introduce you to just a couple of our very favorite Christmas stories.

Hoshmakaka, a camel, is the star of the book “The Last Straw” by Fredrick H. Thury. Hoshmakaka is an cranky older camel who complains about his gout and sciatica when he is asked to carry a load. He ends up carrying all the wisemen’s gifts to the Christ child. After adding more and more gifts during his journey, a small child gives him a piece of straw for the the Christ child’s bed. – This piece of straw ends up being the last straw for
Hoshmakaka and he falls to his knees in front of the Christ child. My children loved the illustrations and seeing Hoshmakaka loaded down with so many gifts. They also loved that he complained about his gout and sciatica, so much so that “my gout, my sciatica” became a code phrase in our family for being near our limit. Hoshmakaka, the grumpy camel, has to be
one of our family’s favorite Christmas characters.

Another family favorite is “Don’t Forget Me Santa Claus” by Virginia
Mayo. This delightful book has no words, only illustrations, so the story
changed every year depending on who was reading it. The storyline is
about a darling baby in red striped pajamas who is determined to get Santa’s
attention after having his Christmas stocking overlooked by the Jolly Old
Elf. The baby has darling expressions, particularly when he is letting Santa
know how he feels about being forgotten. In our family when Dad read the
story it was hilarious, with all the kids chiming in when he said “don’t forget
me Santa Claus”.

I’ll Be Home For Christmas is the title of this Toot and Puddle book by
Holly Hobby. Toot and Puddle are two dear piggy friends. Puddle likes to
stay at home and Toot likes to travel the world. When Toot promises to be
home in time for Christmas, Puddle starts getting everything ready at home
for a wonderful celebration. Toot has travel trouble and Puddle wonders if
he will ever make it, but in the end the two friends are together at Christmas.
Watching Puddle work so hard to make everything just so for Toot’s arrival
reminds me of how hard my mom worked to make Christmas a magical
time of the year. When my kids left home it was my turn to make sure
that Christmas at our house had all the magic that they girls remembered
from when they were growing up. Reading this book reminds me of how
much we all love each other and how hard we work to please our family at
Christmas time.

This list hardly scratches the surface of the many delightful Christmas books that we have enjoyed over the years. Everyone in the family has a different favorite. After the kids left home, I thought about dividing the books up among the girls, but this year I have read to a daughter in Germany and grandchildren in Oklahoma over the webcam. I won’t have to give away my collection. I can read with my family, wherever they are, for years to come.

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

fluffy pumpkin dip and cinnamon sugar chips recipe

A friend shared this appetizer (or is it dessert?) at a recipe swap recently and everyone gave it rave reviews. Try it for your holiday party--you won't regret it!

Fluffy Pumpkin Dip with Cinnamon Sugar Tortillas (via

Pumpkin Dip
16 oz. light Cool Whip, thawed out
1 (5-ounce) packet of vanilla pudding (instant)
1 small can of Libby's pumpkin - (15 oz.)
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large bowl, mix together pudding, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla. Gently stir in Cool Whip.This takes about 5 minutes to get the mixture smooth. (After mixing, I usually stick this in the refrigerator
for a while before serving it.)

Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Chips
Flour tortillas (I used about 7 large tortillas) and holiday cookie cutters
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. sugar
Butter flavored Pam cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cinnamon and sugar together in a bowl. Use metal cookie cutters and a cutting board to cut your tortillas into desired shapes (use leaves for fall, gingerbread men, trees, stars, etc. for Christmas). Place them on parchment or foil-lined baking sheets.

Spray all of the tortilla cut-outs with butter flavored cooking spray on the top side that is facing you.

Sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar mixture. Tip: I put the cinnamon-sugar mixture in an empty spice bottle so my kids could help sprinkle it on. They loved it! Lightly spray again with cooking spray to make sure the cinnamon sticks.

Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Place the chips on racks to cool off. Serve with Pumpkin Dip.

This is so yummy! But make lots of chips--they'll go fast!

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}

hot chocolate syrup or wine bottle scarf pattern {easy christmas neighbor gift}

This year some of my friends got a bottle of peppermint hot chocolate syrup/flavoring with my famous homemade marshmallows. To dress up the bottle a little, I crocheted a tiny scarf to tie around the neck of the bottle. They only took 2 minutes to make and they looked adorable! This would make a great hostess gift, too. I found the syrup at my local restaurant supply store (Cash & Carry for all your Seattleites). They have about a million flavors!

Hot Chocolate Flavoring Syurp OR Wine Bottle Scarf Pattern

Size H hook
Worsted weight yarn

Ch 50. Hdc in 2nd ch from hk and in each ch across. Ch 2, turn. Hdc in each st across. Fasten off and weave in ends.

That's it!

To go with the syrup I gave a cute plate filled with homemade marshmallows. Now I have to brag. Can you believe I found these beautiful plates for only $1 each?! I went to the Rosanna warehouse sale in Seattle and scored. I love that they are not specifically Christmas-themed and can be used all year. Quite a steal.

Here they are all wrapped up.

I was able to make the tags quickly in Photoshop using Cosmo Cricket's Jolly By Golly Elements digital tag set from Jessica Sprague's store (which is all 20% off right now, by the way!). I used the "replace color" feature in Photoshop to match the color of the tag with the plate. I know, I'm a little over the top. But it really was quick and easy!

The tag reads: May the spirit of the season (and a little hot chocolate!) warm your heart this Christmas.

So glad to have my gifts all done and out the door! Now I can relax!

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

top 10 ways to use glitter {we've been featured!}

Homemade Christmas Ideas
We are so excited to be guest posting over at Tip Junkie today, one of our favorite craft blogs of all time! Tip Junkie has been featuring Top 10 Holiday Trends all month, and today was our day. Check it out to see our top 10 ways to use glitter this holiday season. We've featured some of our own posts, and some of our favorites from around blogland. Go visit us at Tip Junkie, and then check out all the other crafting trends for this year!

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
Add a comment

christmas gift tag exchange {easy christmas gift idea}

Last week I joined my cute friends from Lasting Memories for a tag exchange party. We each made 12 tags and traded them while enjoying lots of good food (my contribution coming to this blog soon!) and good conversation. Tags also make a great gift, because everyone can use them at Christmastime!

Here are my tags for the swap. I just punched a circle out of sheet music scrapbook paper, punched a star out of plain card stock, covered the star with glitter glue, and dunked it in my german glass glitter. Then I popped the star up with a pop dot and added a little tinsel and a jingle bell. Festive, eh?

Here are all the tags I received at the swap. Amazing, right?

These are a few of my favorites. My friend Annette went all out with these gorgeous tags featuring an accordion fold circle (see the tutorial here).

This tag was made of thin wood, washi tape, sequins, and a hilarious mustache button by my talented friend London who makes killer chipboard buttons (check out her shop right now!).

This glitter tag by my friend Kim looks so fancy, but it is so easy to make! Martha Stewart makes a great glue stamp pad that allows you to stamp your image with a stamp and then sprinkle glitter on it. That's it--it's that easy!

My vintage-loving-friend Marilyn (the recipient of this cute vintage button jar) make this beautiful tag with stamps and buttons in her favorite colors--red and aqua.

My friend Kayleen and I got together a couple of weeks ago and had a tag-making day. We each made 5 of 5 different tags (okay, she made 6 and I made 5--I'm slow). Then we put 1 of each in a cello bag and tied it with a little ribbon and a tag for a fun gift for a brunch we put on last week. It was almost a gift for ourselves because we got to spend quality papercrafting time together AND we each ended up with a set of the tags for ourselves!

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}

Monday, December 20, 2010

how to make snow globe

Here's a fun activity for the kids while school is out for winter break. Make your own snow globe! It's way easier than you think.

Snow Globe Tutorial

*Wide-mouth canning jar with lid and screw-on ring
*Winter themed ornament or figurine (make sure it will fit in your jar!)
*Waterproof glue (like Gorilla Glue)
*Ribbon no wider than the lid ring of your jar
*Optional: white texture paint by Plaid

1. Glue your ornament or figurine to the inside of the canning jar lid. Forget that you are seeing my hot glue gun in the picture. Hot glue won't hold very long in water--use a strong, waterproof glue like Gorilla Glue (follow directions and drying time on the label)

2. OPTIONAL: If you want a snowy scene, you can cover the inside of the jar with some of Folk Art's white Texture Paint. Just dab it on with a foam brush. Let it dry at least 24 hours. (This is a time consuming step that is not really necessary. Once the lid is on the jar, you really don't notice it anyway.)

3. Fill your glass jar with water, leaving about 1/2" not filled. Pour a small amount (about 1/4 tsp.) of glitter into water. I used Stampin' Up!'s Dazzling Diamonds glitter for a snow effect.

4. Once your glue (and texture paint if you used it) is dry, put the lid on the jar and screw the ring tightly on. Use hot glue or Gorilla Glue to glue around the edges of the ring to keep kids from opening it up and spilling glitter water all over your carpet. You can also glue a piece of ribbon around the ring (so it looks less homemade!). Shake and enjoy!

You can make these for non-winter related figures as well. For example, we made one using a plastic dinosaur and red glitter (to represent lava raining down at the end of the dinosaur era). Get creative (so you don't lose your mind while the kids are ot of school)!

share this on »
{Facebook} {Twitter} {Pinterest}
LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs