Saturday, December 20, 2014

CC Gift Bows

Are you ready for Christmas? It's sneaking up on us fast. I'm not sure when we will be celebrating as the kids have a lot going on this year and need to be in other places, but the exact day doesn't matter to me. Jesus wasn't born on the 25th of December, so I don't get hung up on we HAVE to have Christmas that day. What is important to me is just spending time with family and we will take that whenever it works out for them to all be here. I believe the spirit of Christmas should be in our hearts all year long, not just one day of the year that someone determined it to be. I look forward to a fun time filled with food, games, laughter and just hanging out with them.

We had a snow day Monday, so I took advantage of not going in to work (so thankful since my job requires driving and the roads were so icy!) and did some gift wrapping, baking, and finishing up some gifts.

This week the Cutting Cafe Design Team is showcasing just one file: Gift Bow Template and Cutting File. It is the perfect file to add a little something special to your packages. It seems no matter how careful I pkg bows, they tend to get smashed from year to year. By making your own, you can coordinate the bows to the pkg AND make them fresh and new each year, so no smashed bows!
 Be sure to visit the Cutting Cafe Blog on the 7th and 21st of every month to see the design team's projects in which you can leave a comment to be entered into a drawing to win 3 FREE sets of your choice from the online store.

Here is how much we had Monday morning and it snowed all day, so probably another inch was added. Still quite a bit of snow on the ground with more in the forecast.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Double Pocket Drink Holder

Last week I received a lovely prize package from Lori Hairston's Vision of Sugarplums Blog Hop. Oh my!! It was so full of so many fun things. It was like Christmas came early for me. As soon as I saw the red and green striped waxed bags, I knew what I wanted to create.

I made this fun little double pocket bag that can hold a hot chocolate packet and a tea bag as well as a candy cane.
IMG_0339 (675x900)

I folded the  bottom 2/3-ish of the bag up and adhered the sides with Xtreme Adhesive. This creates a pocket as well as the pocket at the top from the natural opening of the bag.
IMG_0341 (675x900)

To add some contrast, I cut some checked designer paper to the bottom pocket I created with Xtreme Adhesive and then added a paper doily with Mono Adhesive Dots. Some coordinating washi tape, a fun bauble, and some gold twine ribbon finish it off. The washi tape and twine were also part of the prize package.

To make the Santa bauble, I punched a 1" image from some designer paper and adhered to the 1" flat back marble with Mono Liquid Aqua Glue and then adhered to the front of the double pocket bag with Xtreme Adhesive.
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There is enough candy cane to stir into some hot chocolate, hot vanilla tea and to enjoy by itself. This is a perfect little gift to give  and easy to whip up.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pinned It Made It Monday Week 50

Anyone notice that I have been way off on my weeks? I went to post this and it would have appeared to be week 47. I knew that wasn't right since we are almost to the end of the year and I went back and really goofed up with some weeks being repeated. Got it all straightened out now. Ü

Last week a friend and I hosted a "Frozen" party for several ladies in Comstock. It was so much fun! I created these invitations with the inspiration coming from THIS pin. In the invitation we challenged the ladies to make a treat to share that was "Frozen" related in food or color. For example they could have brought carrots to represent Olaf's nose and dip: snow. The color theme was white, silver, purple and blue to match the dresses in this free printable that I also found on Pinterest. You find my Frozen Pinterest Board HERE if you would like to host a party and need ideas.

To make the card I started with a very light aqua (you can see it right behind the scallop circle), then sponged 2 shades of darker aqua and blue ink around the edges, then again with 2 shades of purple. I stamped snowflakes from Stampendous in the darkest of the blue and purple as well as a few in white. (if you click on the photo you can see the white snowflakes a little better. I wish I would have embossed them now so they would have showed up better).

I googled free Frozen images and free scalloped circles and came up with this and this to add to the front of the card. I cut the images with a punch and the scallop circle with my Silhouette. Added a punched snowflake and sequin and ribbon to finish it off.

My friend Charlotte had a ton of decorations that was perfect for our party...

The food table before the food came:

Laden with lots of yummy food!...

First these plates were perfect for our theme. I bought them from Hobby Lobby 1/2 off.

and napkins left over from B & K's wedding.

How perfect are these cookies??!! Laura found them at Walmart.

my contribution was these jello pinwheels (recipe can be found HERE) made with  Cotton Candy jello (found at off brand, but yummy)

Charlotte made this yummy puff popcorn. Two ingredients!! Puff popcorn and almond bark. I am definitely making this for Christmas. She added some blue coloring to part of the batch. So fun and yummy!

and here she did the same thing with regular popped corn.

Blue dyed eggs with black olives (I'll let you use your imagination for the black olives. LOL)

White cheese and crackers
 I didn't get a picture, but there were also almond bark covered snowflake pretzels with blue and purple sprinkles

blue poke cake

Sandwiches from a song in the movie that says "we finish each other's 'sandwiches'"

 sandwiches made with a snowflake cookie cutter

The yummiest sugar cookies and cookies in the center!! I'm still waiting for the sugar cookie recipe, the ones in the center is a bag of white chocolate chips melted and then add 1/2 cup each of chopped nuts, coconut and dried fruit. She used walnuts and dried blueberries. Definitely making these for Christmas too!

White chocolate peanut butter balls

 And here it is... the table filled with food!

The tables decorated in the center that the ladies sat around...

We do a gift exchange each year and here is when part of the gifts came. I forgot to take a picture after everyone had brought their gift. 

 A great time was had by all and we had a lot of fun going with a theme this year. Usually it's just bring a gift and treat to share with a red table cloth for decorations. It's also usually in the morning and lasts an hour to 1.5 hours. By having it in the afternoon, the ladies were able to just relax and visit as long as they want. It started at 2 pm and I got home after 5:30. I loved having it later and believe the ladies did as well.

 "Do you want to build a snowman?" Ü

Sunday, December 14, 2014

BFB God Gave Us Angels

God Gave Us Angels

By: Lisa Tawn Bergren This time from Blogging for Books I received a children's e-book "God Gave Us Angels" by Lisa Tawn Bergren. I read it to my 4 year old nephew and he loved it. This is a darling story of a papa bear and his cub having a conversation about angels. The artwork is sweet and this would be a great book to have in a child's library.

**I received this e-book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Frugal Friday 12-12-14

Kinda quiet the past 2 weeks for savings as I didn't do much shopping, which means even more savings really Ü

*orange tablecloths marked down to 25¢ each (we use these for ladies night out)
*lace table cloths marked down from $8 to $1.50
*sweet potatoes 49¢/lb
*cream cheese 79¢/8 oz pkg
* free books from bookbub
* free book from Blogging for Books
*free movies
*90 % off fall items at Hobby Lobby. Scored some pumpkins to do THIS with next year
*gallon milk $2.99
*fabric sale plus coupon for gifts
*coupon on yarn for gift

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Star Joy Banner

Today is my turn to post for the Fancy Pants/Tombow Blog Hop. I have been a huge fan of Fancy Pants Designs for a very long time.

I was inspired by THIS pin on Pinterest to make this star Joy banner. The stars were cut with Cutting Cafe's new 3D Star Set. The rosettes are made from Tim Holtz dies using designer paper from Fancy Pants Designs' "Oh Deer" designer paper pack. This pack is filled with lots of fun goodies!

Thank you Fancy Pants Designs for all the fun goodies. Now be sure to visit the Tombow and Fancy Pants Designs blogs for more inspiration and leave a comment for a chance to win the prizes shown below.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Pinned It Made It Monday Week 49

Over the weekend I created 40 notecards for a friend that she will be sending to Belgium for Christmas! She had a foreign exchange student last year and the notecards will be going to his dad's girlfriend and his mom.The inspiration for for these notecards came from HERE and HERE on Pinterest.

The most consuming part was printing the Monograms one at a time. They come from Cutting Cafe's Monogram Set. I'm not very good at PDF's copy and pasting so I could print out a whole sheet at a time. It seems whenever I do, they are blurred, and I don't have a PDF converter program. If anyone has any tips on how to print out a whole sheet of Monograms, I would love to hear it as I need to make more cards. Ü

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Snowman Shaker Card

It's looking a lot like Christmas on the Cutting Cafe DT's blogs! Our challenge was to use a Christmas Shaker Card using the images or words files. I chose to use the Snowflake shaker in the Christmas Shape Shaker Card Set.

I added red sequins and Shaved Ice glitter stuff to the shaker part of the card. I also cut the arms 3 times and adhered them together to make them stronger. The mitten was cut 2 times each.

Be sure to visit the Cutting Cafe Blog on the 7th and 21st of every month to see the design team's projects in which you can leave a comment to be entered into a drawing to win 3 FREE sets of your choice from the online store.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Elf French Fry Box

Today is Day 2 of the Tombow Blog Hop with Core’dinations. Today I created for you a cute little elf box with the Fun with Fry Boxes  cutting file from Cutting Café. I don't know about you, but the whole "elf on the shelf" just freaks me out. I think the elf is creepy and scary, but the movie Elf was cute and I don't mind CUTE elf projects.

On to my box...I used Core'dinations cardstock in green, black and gold. The white is watercolor paper. I cut a back piece for the box out of designer paper by Fancy Pants Designs' Little Sport line, since is was just kraft brown (the back of the Core'dinations paper. IMG_0217 (900x675)

I used Mono Adhesive Dots for the collar & designer paper and Xtreme Adhesive  for the rest. I filled it with these cute striped fuzzy socks that I got on sale Sunday at our local farm equipment store...3 pair for $2! These will make some fun little gifts.
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Be sure to stop by tomorrow to see what Marie created for this hop.
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Pinned It Made It Monday 48

Today I have some recipes to share that I created for Thanksgiving via Pinterest. The first is this yummy Cranberry Jalapeno Dip. This was a hit! So good and yummy and not hot at all. I didn't make mine with cilantro as I didn't have any and didn't want to buy a big bunch for one recipe.

I also made new this year these Pumpkin Dinner Rolls. I didn't have any pecans so used walnuts for the stems. You can't taste the pumpkin in these at all, but they are still very good. 

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip 
Time: 15 minutes prep + 4 hours refrigeration

Yield: 15 servings

1  12 oz package fresh cranberries
1/4 C green onion, chopped
1/4 C cilantro, chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper
1 1/4 C sugar
1/4 t cumin
2 T lemon juice
dash salt
2  8 oz packages cream cheese
1. Put your cranberries in a food processor. 
2. Chop up your green onion, cilantro, and jalapeno pepper into small pieces. 
Careful of the seeds now. Throw on a pair of rubber gloves or something, please. 
The seeds are the hot part of the pepper. If you don't like a lot of heat on the old pallet, 
just leave the jalapeno out.
3. Add all ingredients (but the cream cheese and the wheat thins) into a bowl.
Mix them all together, cover and store in the fridge for at least 4 hours. The sugar 
needs some time to soak in to the cranberries and break up their bitter taste.   
4. When you are ready to serve, place your cream cheese bricks on a plate.
5. Spread the cream cheese out as evenly as you can.
6. Pour your cranberry mixture over the cream cheese.
7. Spread it all around.
8. Serve immediately with Wheat Thins, Ritz Crackers or Tortilla Chips.

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
¾ cup whole milk, scalded
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
⅓ cup light brown sugar
⅓ cup white sugar
6 tablespoons butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
2 packages active dry yeast (1/2 ounces) plus 1 teaspoon white sugar
¼ cup lukewarm water
5 cups all­purpose flour
15­20 pecan halves, sliced into 3 vertical sections
¼ cup melted butter, optional

1. Pour hot milk in a mixing bowl, add butter and stir to melt. Add sugars, pumpkin puree, salt to the milk and combine well.

2. In a small bowl proof yeast in a lukewarm water with a teaspoon sugar. When it gets foamy add to the pumpkin mixture, and add the egg, mix well.

3. Add in flour gradually and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined. The dough will be sticky.

4. If using electric mixer, attach a dough hook and beat the mixture until the dough itself pulls from the side of the bowl.

5. Turn the dough out to a wooden board dusted with a little flour. Knead with hand for 1 minute. Form the dough into a ball shape, place in a greased bowl and cover with a cloth. Let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume, about 1 hr.

6. Punch the dough to deflate and knead it for a few seconds on a wooden board. Cut the dough in half. Cut each half into about 15 pieces.

7. Roll each piece into a ball shape with your hand. Flatten the piece with palm of your hand a little. Using a knife, give 8 cuts on the edge to mimic flower pedals but the leave center uncut.

8. Poke the center with your finger to give a deep indentation, and repeat the same procedure to all the other pieces.

9. Place them, 2" apart, on a baking pan lined with parchment paper or baking mat, and let them rise again to be doubled, about 45 minutes.

10. Preheat oven 350ºF for 20 minutes.

11. If the center indentation is not obvious on the rolls, poke them again with your finger.

12. Brush with egg wash, if you wish, and bake for 9­12 minutes until the top gets slightly golden.

13. Brush the rolls with melted butter or a little honey diluted with water to make it shine if you wish.

14. Insert pecan slices on top to mimic pumpkin stem.

Recipe by Beyond Kimchee at­dinner­rolls/

Friday, November 28, 2014

Frugal Friday 11-28-14

Grocery Deals
*cream cheese 70¢ each
*gallon milk 2.99
*flour 78¢/5 lb
*butter 1.98/lb
*sugar 97¢/4 lb

*was given corn candy and peanuts left over from Ladies Night Out
*rec'd bag of Hawaiian Dinner Rolls from a friend
*won a blog hop and rec'd a stamp set
*rec'd free book from Blogging for Books
*downloaded free books from Bookbub
*SIL gave me some baskets and yellow goodies she picked up for my Sunshine Baskets I made
*picked up some baskets for 10¢ each
*pretty snowman mug for 10¢ for a Christmas goodie basket I'm making

Monday, November 24, 2014

Pinned It Made It Monday Week 47

Benjamin came out and stayed with us Friday night so he could go hunting the next day. He likes snickerdoodle cookies, so I made up a batch. He also likes zucchini bread and I had a Snickerdoodle Zucchini Bread recipe pinned on Pinterest for some time now and decided it would be the perfect time to give it a try.

And since I made Benjamin some special zucchini bread, I also made Kassy (his wife) her favorite flavor Reese's Chocolate Zucchini Muffins.

Reese’s Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 6 servings

Moist, rich Reese's peanut butter chocolate muffins have zucchini hidden inside!

Muffins: (my note: I just made into bread pans, but I recommend making them into muffin pans. they take too long to bake and get hard on the outside with all the gooey stuff on the inside still needing to bake. I also lowered the temp to 350° for the bread loaves.)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Peanut Butter Streusel:
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 12 mini Reese's cups, quartered

In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl, mix together the oil, milk, sugars, vanilla, egg and zucchini until well combined. Add in the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Don't overmix, or your muffins will be tough! Fold in the mini chocolate chips.

For the streusel, combine the flour, sugar, butter, peanut butter and chocolate chips in a small bowl until crumbly.

Spray a jumbo muffin pan with cooking spray. Using an ice cream scoop, put one scoop of batter into each of the cups. Put a tablespoon of streusel, and 8 pieces of chopped Reese's cups over top the batter in each cup. Scoop the rest of the batter evenly over the 6 muffin cups. Batter will be almost to the top of each cup. Sprinkle the remaining streusel evenly over the batter.
Bake at 425 for 5 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 375 and bake for another 20 minutes. Do not open the oven ...just reduce the temperature. A toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin should come out clean. Because of the chocolate in the middle, the toothpick might have a little chocolate on it, but there should not be uncooked batter on it.
Store in an airtight container. These muffins keep for up to 5 days at room temperature.

If you don't have a jumbo muffin tin, you can use a regular muffin tin and get 12 muffins. Reduce the baking time so they do not overbake.

My note: Black walnuts have nothing to do with Snickerdoodles, so I left out the black walnut extract and nuts.

Snickerdoodle Zucchini Bread
via: kissrecipes

3 large eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon black walnut ext.
2 cups zucchini, grated, unpeeled
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cups black walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup cinnamon and sugar mix

Oven Temp: 325°
Recipe Cooking Time: – 60 minutes
Pan Type: two 8 x 4" loaf pans

Zucchini Bread Directions
Preheat Oven and spray baking pans with non stick spray.

In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until blended. Stir in the oil, vanilla, black walnut extract and grated zucchini. In a seperate bowl, stir the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon together, add to the sugar mixture and blend. Stir in the walnuts.

Pour zucchini bread batter evenly into baking pans, sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mix of bread mix evenly. Bake snickerdoodle zucchini bread in a preheated oven for the allotted time or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Transfer zucchini bread to wire rack to cool.