Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year! New Calendar!




Welcome 2013!

Update your phone a new calendar background!!
Download this file, found on the printables page!



Here it is on my phone:



Thursday, December 27, 2012

Followers to Friends Blog Party!


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

12 Days of Christmas....Day 12





1. Baby's First Ornament
2. Easy Holiday Centerpiece
3. Chocolate Reindeer Pretzels
4. Holiday Gift Tag Printables
5. Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Bites
6. Cookie Cutter Brownies
7. Peppermint Bark 
8. Snowmen and Reindeer Cupcakes
9. Cinnamon Sugar Candied Almonds
10. Best Sugar Cookies
11. DIY Wine Glasses and Serving Plate


On the 12th Day of Christmas....
Ritz Cracker Cookies

This recipe has been in my family for a while and is one that has always been a favorite around Christmas. These treats are so addicting and so, so, SO good! 

And it's super easy to make too!

All you need:
  • A box of Ritz crackers
  • Peanut butter
  • Butterscotch Chips
  • Chocolate Chips
  • White Chocolate Chips
  • Peanut Butter Chips
First make the ritz crackers into peanut butter sandwiches 


Next, melt all the chips into a chocolately mixture!



Dip and let dry!


Enjoy your addicting treats!!


Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2012

12 Days of Christmas...Day Eleven





1. Baby's First Ornament
2. Easy Holiday Centerpiece
3. Chocolate Reindeer Pretzels
4. Holiday Gift Tag Printables
5. Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Bites
6. Cookie Cutter Brownies
7. Peppermint Bark 
8. Snowmen and Reindeer Cupcakes
9. Cinnamon Sugar Candied Almonds
10. Best Sugar Cookies


On the 11th Day of Christmas....
 DIY Wine Glasses and Serving Plate

I found these very inexpensive wine glasses and glass plate for $1 each at Target and thought it would be fun to spice them up!

I used some Martha Stewart acrylic glitter gold paint to make it more festive for the holidays and thought I would make them into "His" and "Hers" wine glasses for those nights me and the hubs relax after the little one (finally) goes to bed!




I kept a wet paper towel nearby to whip off any mistakes and using a paintbrush carefully wrote "his" and then "hers" I just eye-balled it to make them about the same size. Then I flipped the glass over to add a few accent "dots".

For the serving dish, I thought it would be fun to write something festive. I went with "Eat, Drink and be Merry!" A perfect dish for some Christmas cookie!





  Looks like Champagne bubbles!


Next, I decided to glam up the wine glasses with a little glitter! First, I taped off the stem of the glass at the same point on each glass.

Then I added "Mod Podge" glue to the stem and sprinkled on some glitter. When the glue was dried, I sealed the glitter in with clear nail polish. I got a cheap bottle from the dollar store. No point wasting the good stuff!


I love the way they turned out, especially the glitter base! Next, time I would love to make them in different colors too- great way to keep track of your wine glass at a party!


Merry Christmas Everyone! Cheers!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rainy Day Cuddles...

Today is one of those lazy rainy days here in the midwest, with possibly a chance of snow later. Hey, maybe we will get that White Christmas after all!! And one of my favorite things on rainy day is to snuggle up for a nap.

I love my little baby girl, she is great to cuddle with (sometimes). Other times, she's wide awake and super squirrelly when I'm wanting a nap! But I always cherish the moments when all three of us can snuggle up on the weekend for a little nap. There's something so precious about watching your loved ones sleep!!

Even a little fur baby is a good cuddle! My parents have two beautiful fluffy white cats that are perfect for that!

So whether you have a man, cat, baby, or even a good book. Relax and snuggle up!!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

12 Days of Christmas...Day Ten - Best Ever Sugar Cookies!



1. Baby's First Ornament
2. Easy Holiday Centerpiece
3. Chocolate Reindeer Pretzels
4. Holiday Gift Tag Printables
5. Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Bites
6. Cookie Cutter Brownies
7. Peppermint Bark 
8. Snowmen and Reindeer Cupcakes
9. Cinnamon Sugar Candied Almonds


On the 10th Day of Christmas....
 The Best Sugar Cookies (ever)

Since I can remember we've been making sugar cookies in our family just about every Christmas, sometimes we use the store bought kind of dough, sometimes from scratch (its always better from scratch). 

This year I found THE BEST recipe for sugar cookies EVER. It has a melt in your mouth quality about it - similar to butter cookies, which I'm obsessed with by the way. The trick is using powdered sugar instead of white granulated sugar. 

sugar cookies (makes about 2 dozen)

1 cup (2 sticks) of softened butter
1 cup of powered sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon salt


Cream together the butter and sugar. Then mix in the egg and vanilla extract until just combined. Stir in the flour and salt until dough forms. Form a ball from the dough, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (or overnight).

Sprinkle your cookie surface or wax paper with flour and roll out the dough to an even 1/4 thickness. use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out your shapes and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. Remove from over and place on cooling rack.



Fresh out of the oven!

Now my favorite part... The Frosting!!


My husband is not a huge frosting fan, so I used this "less sugary" recipe for frosting and its so heavenly and light! 

Light - White Butter Cream Frosting

1 cup milk
5 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
1 cup (granulated) sugar
1/4 cup powder sugar

In a small pan heat together the milk and flour, whisk until you have a thick paste. Set aside and cool. In a bowl cream together butter, sugar and vanilla for 2-3 minutes until sugar is no longer grainy. Add flour paste to bowl and beat for another 2-3 minutes until it begins to get fluffy like whipped cream. Add powdered sugar and beat until well mixed.

I topped this light creamy frosting with white crystal sprinkles! Enjoy!!








Merry Christmas!


Monday, December 17, 2012

12 Days of Christmas...Day Nine


1. Baby's First Ornament
2. Easy Holiday Centerpiece
3. Chocolate Reindeer Pretzels
4. Holiday Gift Tag Printables
5. Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Bites
6. Cookie Cutter Brownies
7. Peppermint Bark 
8. Snowmen and Reindeer Cupcakes


On the 9th Day of Christmas....
Cinnamon Sugar Candied Almonds

There's nothing like a little bowl full of yummy nuts during the holidays, so here is an easy recipe to make some delicious candied almonds!


What you'll need:
1 Cup of Sugar
1/2 Cup of Water
1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon
2 Cups of Almonds

Step 1: Combine sugar, water, and cinnamon in a saucepan over medium heat, bring to a boil, then add almonds.


Step 2: Stir the mixture until all liquid has evaporated and there is a syrup/sugary coating on the almonds.


Step 3: Spread the almonds out on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and separate the almonds with a fork. Allow to cool, then enjoy!





Saturday, December 15, 2012

12 Days of Christmas...Day Eight




1. Baby's First Ornament
2. Easy Holiday Centerpiece
3. Chocolate Reindeer Pretzels
4. Holiday Gift Tag Printables
5. Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Bites
6. Cookie Cutter Brownies
7. Peppermint Bark 


On the 8th Day of Christmas....
Snowmen and Reindeer Cupcakes



These fun cupcakes are perfect to make for kids and parties! 

To make the snowmen: I used vanilla frosting to top the cupcakes then covered them in crystal sprinkles. I then used decorator black crystal frosting to make the "coal" mouth and eyes. Then topped off the face with an orange "Mike and Ike" nose!



To make the reindeer: I used chocolate frosting then covered it in chocolate sprinkles. I used the crystal black decorator frosting for the eyes. Used a red "M&M" for the nose and broke a pretzel in half for antlers!




Be Sure to check out other great ideas and recipes here at the Saturday Spotlight!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

It's Time to Mingle - Blog Hop

Happy Go Lucky
I was pleasantly surprised to be this week's Guest Host for the "Mingle With Us!" Blog Hop! Hosted by Happy Go Lucky, Blue Skies Ahead, I Heart Crafty Things, and Keeping Up with Kristi
Be sure to check out all the great blogs and link up! 
Happy Following!

Also, be sure to check out the Stop, Look and Link Party!!

12 Days of Christmas...Day Seven






1. Baby's First Ornament
2. Easy Holiday Centerpiece
3. Chocolate Reindeer Pretzels
4. Holiday Gift Tag Printables
5. Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Bites
6. Cookie Cutter Brownies


On the 7th Day of Christmas....
Peppermint Bark



I love Peppermint Bark! Not only is it yummy to munch on (I like it with popcorn) but its so easy to make!! Great for yourself or for bringing to Holiday Parties!

What you'll need:

2 bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 bags of white chocolate chips
2 teaspoons of peppermint extract
4 candy canes

Directions:

Step 1: Place candy canes in a freezer strength ziplock bag and smash with a rolling pin to break up the pieces.


Step 2: Place semi-sweet chocolate chips in a microwaveable bowl and microwave for 1 minute at 50% power. Stir, then repeat until all the chocolate is melted. Do not over heat! Add a teaspoon of peppermint extract and stir. Then using a spatula spread over a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Place in refrigerator to harden. 


Step 3: Melt the white chocolate in the microwave and then add the peppermint extract. Spread the white chocolate evenly across the pan.


Step 4: Sprinkle the peppermint candies over the white chocolate while it's still soft, press the pieces gently into the chocolate. 


Step 5: Place in refrigerator and wait to set. Break up the bark into pieces and serve, or package for a nice hostess gift for those holiday parties






Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

12 Days of Christmas...Day Six





1. Baby's First Ornament
2. Easy Holiday Centerpiece
3. Chocolate Reindeer Pretzels
4. Holiday Gift Tag Printables
5. Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Bites



On the 6th Day of Christmas....
Cookie Cutter Brownies

This Pinterest inspired project entails baking brownies into cute cookie cutter shapes. (They made fudge, I made brownies!) 

To make these brownies I just whipped up my favorite boxed brownie mix and added an extra egg to make them more "cake like". 

Next, I lightly greased the pan and the cookie cutters with a cooking spray. I put the cookie cutters in the pan first. 

I poured the batter individually into each cookie cutter (It may seep out the bottom, but that's ok. Any extra "brownie scraps are good eating!)

Bake as directed, let cool and decorate!  



Yum. Yum. Merry Christmas!



Sunday, December 9, 2012

12 Days of Christmas...Day Five





1. Baby's First Ornament
2. Easy Holiday Centerpiece
3. Chocolate Reindeer Pretzels
4. Holiday Gift Tag Printables

On the 5th Day of Christmas....
Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake Bites

These Peppermint Cheesecake Bites are the perfect treat for the Holidays, or to bring to bring to a Christmas party! They are easy to make and so delicious! I was inspired by the recipe I found Here to make them and I as glad I did!

Hope you enjoy!

Total Time: 1 hour, plus 3 hours of chill time

What you'll need: 

- 3 cup of chocolate cookies (I used "Oreos", ground finely to make 2 cups of crumbs)
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 block of cream cheese (8 oz), room temperature
- 1 14 oz can of sweetened, condensed milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of peppermint extract
- 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 stick of butter
- Peppermint candies


Directions

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Spray your 8x8 cooking pan with cooking spray. Then line with wax paper, so that it comes up on the side and then spray again. 

2. Break up cookies until they are just crumbs. Mix cookie crumbs with the melted butter and sugar in a bowl until coated.



3. Press mixture into the bottom of the pan with a fork. Then bake for 10 minutes.



4. Next, beat cream cheese in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, condensed milk, and peppermint extract and beat until smooth. 

5. Pour cream cheese mixture into the pan over the cookie crust. 

6.  Bake for 35-40 minutes until lightly browned around the edges. Cool in pan for 30 minutes (I recommend waiting longer)



7. Using a knife separate the cheesecake from the pan. Lift the cheesecake from the pan and cut away any rough edges.

8. Place candy canes or peppermints in a zip lock bag. Place on a hard surface (that won't dent) and break up with a rolling pin. 



9. Melt chocolate chips and butter together in a small bowl for about 30, stir and microwave an additional 15 seconds if needed. Place mixture in a ziplock bag and cut a small piece off the corner of the bag. Pipe a decorative design on top the cheesecake. I recommend waiting until the cheesecake is cooled to do this. My chocolate melted a little once it was on the still warm cheesecake. Sprinkle with the crushed peppermint. 



10. Refrigerate until cheesecake is totally firm, about 3 hours. 

11. Slice into small squares. Place into individual cupcake papers for guests to easy grab and hold their own bite and serve!