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Thursday, December 31, 2009

.:Things to Try Thursday - No Sew Fleece Hat:.

You can't tell me that this no sew fleece hat isn't one of the cutest things you've ever seen! Creative Jewish Mom shares her tutorial on how to make one.

She also has some great tutorials on some other no sew projects that would go great with this hat: no sew fleece color block scarf and no sew fleece delicate ruffle scarf

Now go out and buy some fleece!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

.:Mouth-Watering Wednesday - Peppermint Bark Popcorn:.

Looking for something to do with all of those leftover candy canes from Christmas? This is the perfect recipe! It is soooo tasty, especially if you are a popcorn lover like me!

This recipe is from Our Best Bites.

Peppermint Bark Popcorn
Recipe by Our Best Bites

16-20 C popped popcorn (fresh, or about 2 bags microwave popcorn)
1 lb Almond Bark

1 6oz box candy canes, crushed. (About 1-1 1/2 C total and
Bob's are the best!)
2 tea. peppermint extract

3/4 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

*one bag microwave popcorn has about 10 cups in it, so if you're air-popping, do about 20 cups.

Place popcorn in a very large mixing bowl.

Unwrapping the candy canes to crush them is the most labor intensive step of this easy treat, so you can do that ahead of time if you want too. I put my candy canes in a large zip-lock bag and have a whack with a heavy marble rolling pin.

One they're crushed, dump them into the bowl with the popcorn.

To melt the almond bark, follow the instructions on the package. I just break it up and put it in a glass measuring cup and microwave on 1 min intervals until it's nice and smooth.

When your almond bark is melted, add the peppermint extract. It will seize a little bit (get kind of lumpy) but it's totally fine. Pour over popcorn and candycanes.

Stir it up really well until the candy is evenly distributed. Pour the popcorn out onto a piece of waxed paper, parchment, or foil. Spread it out into an even layer and leave it alone!

While the popcorn is setting, place chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals until melted and smooth. I really like dark chocolate to counter-balance the sweetness of the almond bark, but I know there's a lot of dark haters, so do what you want!

Drizzle the melted chocolate over the popcorn. You can use a fork, or put it in a zip-lock bag with the corner cut off.

Leave it until the almond bark and the chocolate is hardened. If you need to hurry it up, do this whole process on lined cookie sheets you can pop in the fridge.

When chocolate is hardened, use your hands to break up popcorn into chunks. Toss in a bowl, a jar, a cute package, or in your mouth :)

I was thinking this would probably be tasty with Chex instead of popcorn, too!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

.:Tutorial Tuesday - Decorative Soap Bottles:.

I got this idea originally from Sister's Stuff when they shared their cute holiday hand sanitizer bottles. I had my sister in law's name for our Christmas drawing, and she said she wanted soap, so I thought this would be the perfect way to make her something unique!

What you need:

- Bottled soap
- Stickers
- Goo Gone
- Ribbon

I started off by peeling the labels off of the soap.

Then I sprayed the bottles with goo gone where there was sticky stuff. You're supposed to let it sit for a minute or so. Then wipe it off with a clean rag. I also ran mine under water with my rag and soap to make sure it was all off.

Place your stickers where you want them.

Tie some ribbon around the top.

And done! Cute and unique!

Monday, December 28, 2009

.:Market Yourself Monday - Marabou Clips:.

I have seen these on various clip sites, and just knew that I needed to make some. I've only done a few so far, but I plan to make some more - hopefully with more color variety! (Although black and white are classic, and two of my very favorite colors!) I have some pink marabou waiting to be made into clips; it just hasn't happened yet!

I love how the pearls look in the center of these clips.

Black with white pearl

Black with pink pearl

White with white pearl

White with pink pearl

Gotta have 'em? They are in my etsy shop!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

.:Christmas Vacation:.

Yep, I won't be blogging for the next few days! I'm guessing most of you will be pretty busy with your celebrating, as well!

I hope that everyone has a Very Merry Christmas!

.:Mouth-Watering Wednesday - Bran Muffins:.

These muffins have been my family's traditional Christmas morning breakfast for as long as I can remember. Don't let the bran part fool you. They are one of the tastiest things you will put in your mouth! We always have them with sliced oranges and pepper bacon. I made them a couple of years ago when we stayed in Utah for Christmas with my in-laws, and will be making them again this year for them. I like that I can bring a little bit of my family's traditions into our celebrations here!

Sorry there are no pictures - I'm not making them until tomorrow!


Bring 2 c of water to a boil.
Add 1 T plus 2 t of baking soda

Mix together:
1 c shortening
2 c sugar
4 eggs
1 qt. (4 c) buttermilk

In a separate bowl mix together:
5 c flour
1 t salt
4 c 100% bran flakes
2 c 40% bran flakes

Mix everything together with the soda water.

Stir in 1 c chopped dates

Bake at 350 for 18 minutes.

Another traditional thing that we eat for dessert each Christmas Eve dinner are the Dream Pies. You can find the recipe on the back of a DreamWhip box. I'm also making those for my in-laws this year!

What are your traditional holiday eats?

Monday, December 21, 2009

.:Tutorial Tuesday - Feather Wreath:.


BCD Show and tell

Since we're having another girl, and she will be sharing a room with Reece, I decided it would be alright to totally girl up their room! This feather wreath is the perfect addition!

What you need:

- 14" foam wreath (you could make it as big or small as you like!)
- 2 1 yard feather boas (I almost used two complete ones going around my size of wreath)
- hot glue/gun
- glitter spray (optional)
- ribbon

I glued the end of my boa on the top of my wreath.

I just worked my way around the wreath, gluing on top and wrapping it around. I didn't glue on the bottom, too - I figured it was pretty secure already. This is one boa in.

Cut off any excess boa once you get to the end.

Wrap ribbon around to the length that you want the wreath to hang. Spray it with glitter spray.

And hang!

Super easy, and super cute!

Now, if only someone would buy me this awesome black chandelier from Madison Envy, the room would be complete!

.:Market Yourself Monday - Messy Fabric Flower Clips:.


First of all, thank you to everyone who linked up their Christmas ideas to me on Friday! It was fun to see everyone's creativity! Now, on to the flowers!

I found a tutorial to make felt flowers, and my friend and I decided to see if it would work for fabric flowers.

It does! I frayed my edges up a bit to make it look messy. I just LOVE how these turned out, and want to make about a million more!

Look for them in my etsy shop! I'll be posting them there sometime today - can't promise when, though! We have a busy day today filled with family!

Friday, December 18, 2009

.:Feature Friday - My Readers:.

No feature friday with another blog today! I want to get ideas from YOU, my readers!

Since Christmas is a week away, I wanted to get all of your Christmas ideas, recipes, etc. I don't know how to make buttons, but if you want to put one on the post you are linking up, you can just grab my regular button from the sidebar.

Link them up and let's get sharing!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

.:Things to Try Thursday - More Felt Flower Clips:.

I saw this tutorial over at Material Girls Quilts, and I just know I have to try it! Aren't these so sweet? They are so simple to make - cut circles and bust out your glue gun, and bam! Cute flower clip for your cute little girl! They'd also make great embellishments on bags, shirts, skirts - anything really!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

.:Tutorial Tuesday - Chalkboard Block:.


BCD Show and tell

Remember this post I made clear back in September about these darling chalkboard blocks? Well, I finally made one! Or two! They really are super cute, and so easy to make! Fantastic gifts for any occasion!

What you need:

- block of wood (you can really do any size you want!)
- chalkboard paint
- paint brushes
- Modge Podge (yes, I know it's MOD podge, but we say modge podge in our family - I like the sound of it!)
- scrapbook paper
- embellishments (optional)
- hot glue gun/sticks
- black acrylic paint

You'll want to start off with your lovely block of wood all sanded down. (This was so much easier using my dad's belt sander!)

I painted my sides with regular black acrylic paint, just because the chalkboard paint has a bit of a different look to it, and I left my sides open so you can see them.

After letting that dry, I painted the front of the block with two layers of chalkboard paint.

Measure your piece of scrapbook paper to the right width of your board. The first board I did (pictured at the bottom) was already 12 inches wide, and actually cut to fit a single piece of scrapbook paper just perfectly. This one was smaller so I had to measure.....which I did a terrible job of because my paper didn't wrap around to cover both the bottom and the top of the front! Oops! But bad measuring or not, you need to modge podge your paper to the back of your block, and wrap it around to the front. Be sure to smooth out any bubbles. I use a pan scraper to do this.

Then I did a layer of modge podge on top to give it a bit of extra protection.

Now, since I measured my paper wrong, I had to get creative with some ribbon. I had already planned to do some ribbon down the sides, so I wrapped that all the way around my board - just in case the back would ever be showing - and hot glued it on the back.

Next I wrapped a thick piece around the top, where my scrapbook paper should have been!

To break up the thickness of the solid color, I wrapped around a smaller width of ribbon over the top of the wider ribbon.

I took two flower embellishments and modge podged them for protection.

Once they were dry, I hot glued them on to the front with some rhinestone embellishments.

Finished! Super cute, huh? Here is another one I made. It's sitting proudly in my kitchen.

Don't forget that when you use chalkboard paint, the directions say the best use is that once you have painted whatever surface with the chalkboard paint, rub a piece of chalk over the entire surface and wipe it off before using.