Valentine’s Day Fun

Valentine’s Day is just a week away and my house is all a glow in red {but not pink … I don’t know why but I am not into pinks for decor so I stick to red}. Still, my decor is pretty cute if I can toot my own horn. Toot toot. I thought I’d share a photo of my mantel and one of a cute buffet table in my entry as well.

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My 3 Reed Dotters hosted the cutest cookie party. What a fun idea to celebrate a sweet holiday like Valentine’s.

Cookie Bar

Tatortots and Jello always wows in her holiday and everyday decor. I love how she made these pretty paper rosettes and I am a sucker for anything xo.

valentine-vignette-header

She’s Crafty used so many of my faves – chevron, black, white and red, owls, letters. I could go on and on {and on}.

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The Happy Scraps created this fun display using the word L-O-V-E and added a little bunting to make it even cuter {if that is even possible!}

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I make yarn wrapped wreaths but I have yet to try yarn wrapping letters. How cute are these over at My Sister’s Suitcase?

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Crafty Texas Girls did a cute dresser display. I love the ‘love’ banner, don’t you?

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Sources for my decor:

  • Pom pom flowers and chalkboard – made by me
  • Hobnail vase & numbered plates – Rodworks
  • Pom Pom garland – Target dollar bins at Christmas time
  • Old window frame – found by my dad, painted by me
  • Vase filled with glittery red hearts, hearts are from – Joann’s
  • #4 – Steinmart
  • Be Kind printable {this is one of my favorite quotes in the whole world} – Three Little Monkeys Studio

Wishing you all sweet things everyday. Hugs and kisses to each and everyone of you sweet blog followers out there.

 

Fall Entertaining

Sometimes I just want to jump into a magazine that features the perfect tablescape. Tonight I was inspired by this amazing photo on Joss & Main.

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I love this table over at Bird’s Party. The sprinkles of gold confetti are a fun addition to an already whimsical table.

thanksgiving-fall-tablescape-ideasClassy in the City shared this simple yet inviting table for 4.

Fall2 I love this photo on LampsPlus page. I think the whole property just works for that rustic feel that I adore.

Fall3I love how Sew Fine a Seam incorporated some blue into her table. I love adding blue into my holiday color scheme. Light blue, robins egg blue, soft aqua. It’s a soothing color and adds a fun pop to any decor.

fall-tablescape-3-620x1014The Happier Homemaker kept it simple with whites and a burst of green. I love the addition of the initial as a table marker {I have a slight obsession with initials}.

autumn-tablescapeSo there you have it, a few of my favorite fall tablescapes although I have a confession, I grew up spending holidays with my dad, siblings, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. so we all ended up eating wherever we found a seat and this involved paper plates and plastic utensils but guess what? It was the best and even though we didn’t have fancy place settings, there wasn’t a lack of blessings and things to be thankful for. Still, I do love pretty table.

 

Valentine’s Day Goodies

I have a serious sweet tooth and I am afraid my pants have proven that since Christmas. Yikes. So instead of eating my way through Valentine’s, I’m going to pass along my finds for YOU to make and eat. I know, so very sweet of me eh? ;) You’re welcome!

This deliciousness over at Glorious Treats has some sweet and salty which is a very dangerous combo!

Valentines-Snack-Mix

How about some corny Valentine’s sweetness? Shaken Together Life used a Mason jar to put together this treat.

corny little Valentine

 

I always love the M&M, pretzel and Kiss recipe but this one is different. What’s Cooking Love used Raspberry Kisses. Yum!

Chocolate Raspberry Pretzel Bites4

Iowa Girl Eats made these Brownie Mix Truffles. OMG!!!

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Of course you need some pink milk to wash it all down. Lil Luna has a fun Valentine’s party going on including printables to pull it all together.

pink milk

 

Wishing you a Valentine’s Day full of sweet treats and zero calories.

 

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!

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?

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Buttercream Frosting

Do I have your attention? I know we just went from Thanksgiving to Christmas as far as the season goes but I had to share this recipe from yesterday. I felt like whipping up something other then pie {cause you know, we have like 10 of those in my house!!}. Pumpkin screams Fall so I decided on these Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Buttercream Frosting. They were a hit and oh so yummy! The frosting is very rich but spoon licking good. I added the candy corn for a little pop of color and well you know how I feel about candy corn if you’ve been following along ;)

 

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Buttercream Frosting

Adapted from Made in Mel’s Kitchen

Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the  brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Beat on medium speed until well combined.  Add dry ingredients, and mix on low until smooth. Fold in pumpkin puree.

Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Makes ~ 18 cupcakes.

Source: Adapted from MarthaStewart.com.

Salted Caramel Buttercream

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

In a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth.  Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable. Alternatively, you could use just under 1/2 cup of your favorite caramel sauce.

In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar.  Mix until thoroughly combined.
Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel.  Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes).  Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration.  If your caramel was too hot when added, it will cause your icing to be runny.  If this happens refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
What do you think? Are you a pumpkin fan?