Love is in the Air. My Valentine’s Decor

A new season or holiday = a new mantel!! I love changing this up with the seasons and it’s fun to make it different every year. So this year I have added some new to the old.

Valentins Mantel

  • Burlap garland – made by me. I just used the burlap ribbon with red pinstripes found at JoAnn’s, cut it down and wrapped in half over twine and then I cut some hearts and added them for that pop.
  • Burlap covered letter M – also my creation. The letter is from JoAnn’s Superstore and so is the red burlap.
  • Vase and hydrangeas – The flowers are from Michaels and the vase is Cost Plus.
  • Candle holders and candles – I’ve had them so long that I can’t remember where they came from but I love them!
  • Framed art – Of course I had to add some words so I found this printable on-line and added to an already on hand frame. I spent a 1/2 hour searching and I can not find the original source! I printed this a couple of weeks back.
  • Candle – on clearance at Target.
  • Of course I had to add a couple of close ups of my true loves.

A few other fun Valentine’s spots in my house:

Front door wreath {outside} – I created this using a large straw wreath form and lots of burlap and fabric for the flowers and base.

outside wreath

Front door wreath {inside} – A small straw wreath form wrapped in yarn and covered with pretty rosettes made of felt, burlap and pretty fabrics.

inside wreath

 

Do you change things up for the holidays? I’d love to see your creative side!

Neighbor Gifts

I love giving gifts and there are so many people on my gift list. I am about done but I still have my neighbors. Well, I typically do platters of cookies but then I started to think that I wanted to be different this year. So this is what I have come up with — I have 6 neighbors that I deliver too. This is my plan:

I love these oh so practicable soaps. The attached gift card is adorable and personalizes it a bit. I found the idea over at g*rated but she linked back to Crafts reDesigned for the printable. I picked up the soaps at Bath & Body Works. They have some great coupons right now too!

soap gifts

I think I will also add a mini loaf of egg nog bread. It’s a holiday favorite in our house. I love how Knead to Cook wrapped them up all sweet with a very simple hole punched gift tag and a pretty ribbon.

eggnogbread

Last but not least, I like to include a little something special for the kids. Every year my boys and I whip up some Reindeer Food. This tradition is a sweet one and of course, super simple {notice my pattern here — SIMPLE!}. I love the *free* printable over at TomKat Studios. I love that it allows the children to feel the magic of Christmas by leaving something special to bring Santa and his reindeer to their homes.

reindeer food label - tomkat studio

There you have it – a few fun and simple gift ideas 🙂

 

Citrus Salt Gifts

Tis the season for baking but sometimes there are so many sweets {is there such a thing really?} Anyway, if you want to give something that can be used for months to come and it isn’t going to pack on the pounds, try this gift. I made several of these for the yard duties, admin staff and librarian at my kids school. They looked like I worked super hard on them were super easy.

A couple of tips, I used sea salt as the ‘flake salt’ was not available at any of my local markets. I also ordered the cute little wooden spoons from here. I picked up the 4 oz jars at WalMart. Sunset Magazine has the printables. Just print on plain printer paper, cut down and use a pretty ribbon to attach it to the jar. Done — just like that you have something pretty and that will last beyond a few days. I had some leftover and used in a pasta dish the other night. Delish!

 source

Citrus Salt with lemon zest

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flake salt, such as Maldon, or coarse salt
  • 3 tablespoons citrus zest (any kind)

Preparation

  1. Mix salt and zest in a bowl; work zest into salt with your fingers to release oils and flavor. Spread on a baking tray. Air-dry until dried completely, 8 hours to overnight.
  2. Note: Zest’s color will fade over time, but this won’t affect taste.
  3. Make ahead: 2 months, kept airtight at room temperature.
  4. Bottle it: 4-oz. jam glass jar

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Krispies

Oh my deliciousness!! I can not even explain how amazingly good these are. I had to whip up something quick the other day. You know, cookie exchanges and all are kinda happening left and right. Tis the season! I have now made 4 batches of these. In 3 days. Yep, I’d say these are my latest go to recipe as far as treats go. The downfall? I can’t stop eating them! I am popping them in my mouth A LOT. So basically they are a diet fail but hey, who diets this time of year anyway?? 😉 

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Krispies

Source

(Printable Recipe)

2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
2 cups dry roasted peanuts
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup peanut butter
2 pounds white chocolate chips (2 12-oz packages plus 1 1/3 cup)

In a large bowl, combine cereal, peanuts and marshmallows. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate and peanut butter on High for 1 minute and then in 30 second intervals until fully melted. Stir chocolate into cereal mixture. Mixture will be slightly runny. Drop by tablespoons onto waxed paper. Let set until firm, 2 hours. Store in an airtight container.

I promise, these will be a hit at any party you bring them too!! Delish 🙂

Kids Christmas Party

Wow — December slow it down! Between going back to work and just the normal holiday hustle and bustle, my blog is getting neglected. I’m missing it!! So hello friends — I hope everyone is enjoy the season and slowing down to make some amazing memories. We have watched a lot of holiday movies this week. I love the snuggle time.

By the way, where do people come from this time of year? It seems every road, parking lot and store is packed full of people. Then come January the world feels a lot quieter. It’s crazy! Six weeks of crazy I tell ya!

I love the kids parties at school. When the new school year rolls around and the sign ups come out I am all over it. This year I was able to sign up to run the Christmas party for my youngest and Valentine’s for my oldest. Christmas is around the corner so I have created a Pinterest Board to help compile fabulous crafty ideas. Some are arts and crafts and others are cute food ideas. Some of you might be planning holiday parties as well so I wanted to share some of my fun finds with you! I should mention that the other person helping me run this pretty much said she didn’t have ideas and would love to hear mine. Um ok!! 😉 I can handle that! Here are a few fab crafty ideas that I am hoping to do this season — either in the classroom or out. Also, my son is in second grade so I am gearing it towards that age group.

 

  1. I love this Christmas cheese platter. It’s filled with tomatoes and cheese with pretzels as the stem. Of course you could serve more pretzels on the side.
  2. Of course snack time wouldn’t be complete without these sweet sandwiches.
  3. This idea for Grinch Floats using green {guessing lime} sherbet and sprite is so fun!! I can’t find the original source though — if you know of it, please do share. I’d like to give the credit where it belongs.
  4. These reindeer munchies are giving me the munchies!!
  5. Kids love cupcakes and these wreath cupcakes also have candy. Yum!
  6. I love this chocolate donut reindeer. They are simple yet so cute!

 

I love crafts. I think it is super sweet to make them nostalgic so little projects that involves handprints melt my heart. Kids grow so fast .

  1. These cute reindeer handprints are on the top of my to do list..
  2. If you have some scraps of fabric {I do!}, just add cinnamon sticks and you have these cute lil’ trees. Plus they will smell yummy!
  3. Another great craft using up old fabric or even some ribbon are these snowman clothespins. You could add a magnet to the back to make it easy to display {and hold stuff like letters from Santa or Christmas Lists!}
  4. I love these beautiful swirled paint ornaments. I happened to pick up some glass bulbs at a great price at Michaels last week. Just in case it’s a project we decide to do.
  5. For something pretty easy and with very little supplies needed, how about a pom pom pinecone? All of a sudden you’ve created a mini tree
  6. Reindeer Food is a must in our house. I adore these sweet little tags to go along with them. Hint: These also make fun gifts for the neighborhood kiddies!

If you are on Pinterest, pop on over and check out my Kids Christmas Party board. I have a whole bunch of other goodies on there that I didn’t share in this post.

Do you have any must do crafts for the season? How about must eat treats? I’d love to hear about them 🙂

 

Feeling Crafty – Homemade Advent Board

A couple of weeks ago, I held a holiday open house. Including myself, there were five vendors. Last year I also hosted this event. I wasn’t sure that I was going to do it again and then decided to give it a go. It was definitely worth it. The energy was amazing and a good time was had by all {or so it seemed!}. I crafted several things — wreaths, chalkboards, pennants, magnets, clothespin Christmas card holders and advent boards. Things literally flew out of baskets and off of shelves. It was crazy and in all the madness. I didn’t snap photos of my stuff! Eeek! Anyway, I was able to craft a couple of more Advent boards. One of which was for myself and I am sharing it with all of you.

Supplies needed:

  • Scrapbook Paper
  • Coin Envelopes {found them at Staples}
  • Embellishments {stickers, etc}
  • Stamps
  • Ink
  • MDF Board {Home Depot)
  • Ribbon
  • Modge Podge
  • Hot glue gun

Cut board down to 24.25 x 21.5 {I forget the exact dimensions of the wood but it cost about $7 and I was able to get two Advent boards out of it with some to spare}.

Paint your board — I have done some in red and others in white. The one I am showing you was lightly painted white, sanded down a bit and then I rubbed a dark stain over the top. It made it an ashy color.

Count out 25 of the envelopes, cut off the tops. They should be 4 inches long.

Pick out your scrap paper and cut the pieces to the size of the envelopes.

Now it gets messy, you will use the Modge Podge to adhere the scrapbook paper to the envelopes {open side facing up}. Let them dry and spend that time getting the gunk off of your hands 😉

Add embellishments. This can be whatever you want — I used ribbons and various numbers stickers and stamps. Make it your own and use whatever makes you happy 😉

Last but definitely not least is adding the things you want to do this season in your decorated pockets. This is a list of things I have used. You could change them to anything of course. I know many of us have our own traditions so be sure to make this special keepsake unique to your family 🙂 I just printed mine out in a word document, cut them in strips and added them to the pockets.

  1. Shop for a new toy to donate to a charitable organization.
  2. Make holiday cards and take them to a nursing/retirement home.
  3. Donate gently used toys, books, and clothes to a shelter.
  4. Give out secret gifts to neighbors and friends.
  5. Perform a random act of kindness for a stranger.
  6. Check out books from the library on how children around the world celebrate winter holidays.
  7. Bake and decorate sugar cookies.
  8. Host a holiday party complete with a hot cocoa bar.
  9. Have a family holiday movie night.
  10. Drive around and look at Christmas lights.
  11. Attend a holiday-themed play or event.
  12. Create a winter themed craft
  13. Make an ornament.
  14. Bake cookies and deliver to a firehouse.
  15. Build a snowman.
  16. Go sledding.
  17. Pick out and decorate the ‘perfect tree’
  18. Wrap presents.
  19. Make homemade gift tags.
  20. Have a candlelit dinner with your best china.
  21. Read T’was the Night Before Christmas.
  22. Pick out a new Christmas CD and have a dance party.
  23. Go ice skating.
  24. Make an Eggnog milkshake.
  25. Work on a Christmas puzzle as a family.
  26. Make paper snowflakes.
  27. Donate a food box to a local homeless shelter.
  28. Write letters to Santa.

You could hang your board on a wall or do like I do and stick it on your mantel or in a niche.

I hope you are enjoying the holiday season — I know I am!!

 

This week I am linking up to:

Christmas Wreaths

Yep, I’m a sucker for wreaths. I love trying to copy cat them and come up with my own creations as well. I thought I’d share some fun finds with all of you!!

 

1. Berry Wreath

2. Wish Wreath

3. Shimmer Wreath

4. Book & Coffee Filter Wreath

5. Star Wreath

6. Upcycled Felt Wreath

7. Santa’s Keys

8. Felted Sweater Wreath

 

Do you have a special wreath that you display during the holiday season?

Chocolate Snickerdoodles with Pumpkin Kisses

My goal is to find, make and share one new recipe a week with all of you. With it being the holiday season, you may see a lot of sweets 😉 I’m sorry. I can not help myself. If you are a neighbor of mine — you will either love or hate me cause I have to share!! Todays recipe was a Chocolate Snickerdoodle with a Pumpkin Kiss in the middle. It was yummy and seasonal. I also walked outside with a plate and handed them out to the kids playing in the beautiful Fall sunshine {mine included}. I needed more judges then just me. It was a general thumbs up. Yeah! I love thumbs up when I make a new recipe.

I would LOVE to try and make these with Caramel Kisses. Can you imagine that flavor combo? Mmmmm.

Chocolate Snickerdoodles with Pumpkin Kisses

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup dutch cocoa
1 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
cinnamon sugar
32 Hershey’s Pumpkin Spice Kisses

Cinnamon Sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl mix together the Cinnamon Sugar and set aside.

Combine the flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt together and set aside.

In mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time.  Stir in the vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients until just combined.

Using your hands, form the dough into 1 inch balls and then roll in Cinnamon Sugar mixture.  Place the dough balls on the baking sheets.  Bake at 325 for 10-12 minutes or until just firm but not overcooked.

While the cookies are baking unwrap your Pumpkin Kisses.

Remove the cookies from the oven and immediately place pumpkin kisses in the center of each cookie. Cool completely.  (Just press them down gently, the candy will melt and stick to the cookie when cool.  Try not to move the cookies until the Kisses have set up again.)
This week I’m linking up to the following parties:

Pumpkin Cuties

Ah Halloween Parties — well kids Halloween parties that is!! The kids are having parties at school tomorrow and I signed up to bring the Pumpkin Cuties. These were easy and so cute! Equipment needed: Cuties and Sharpies. Boom. Done!

Do your kids get to have Halloween Parties at school? It seems that so many schools are not allowing kids to dress up and they are also scrapping the parties. This makes me sad! Kids love Halloween and taking away something that has brought so much joy for so many years is a bummer. What do you think? Should the schools still have Halloween Parties?

I’m linking up to these parties:

Felt Flower Autumn Wreath

I saw this wreath at Living Locurto some time ago and I just had to try it myself. The original tutorial was over at Little Things Bring Smiles It was a lot of tracing and cutting and then more cutting but it was the perfect activity for me while watching TV {cause I need to be busy while watching TV}. Yes, the hand cramps from cutting eventually go away 😉

I used 30 squares of felt {5 for $1.00 at Michaels on sale}, 1 18 inch grapevine wreath {buy one, get one half off at JoAnn’s – $4.99 regular price each}, I had the Autumn Sticker as well as the stick and sign to stick it on. Each felt square allowed for 3 circles using a CD as a template. There was leftover felt which of course I will save for some other project down the line.

I might actually add a big bow just to dress it up a bit.

I am actually working on one using a grapevine wreath spray painted white and then adding light grey rosettes for winter. I will probably add a big red bow and call it good. It’s half way done so I am sure I will be sharing that with you soon!

What do you hang on your door for Fall decor? I like to add something to the inside and outside of my front door.

I’m linking up to the following parties this week: