12.21.2012

White Chocolate Popcorn

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I love popcorn – but add in the sweet taste of white chocolate and I am in heaven!
I have to be so careful when I make it or I will eat the entire batch! You can make this year round – but for some reason it seems to be one of these Christmas time treat – like toffee and peanut brittle.

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This recipe is a hard one to share because you make it to taste – and you add in your favorite things! But I will tell you how I make it and love it! I add between 4-5 cups of popped popcorn, about 2 cups of pretzels, 2 cups of mini marshmallows and 1/2 a cup of m&ms all into a large bowl.

Using a double boiler, I melt about 2 cups of white chocolate chips. Sometimes for some reason the chocolate starts to go lumpy so I add about 1/2 a teaspoon of veggie oil to smooth it out.

Then I pour the white chocolate into the bowl and mix and mix and mix. When it is all mixed, I usually pour it out onto a cookie sheet and let it dry a bit and then enjoy!

You can put it into cute bags or tins and share with all your neighbors – If you don’t eat it all first!!

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12.19.2012

Hand Print Christmas Trees

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My kids love to help mommy craft – so I thought it would be fun to let them do a little painting as well! Michelle over at A Little Tipsy had done these in years past and I thought my kids would love it – I was right! They loved “painting” and making a Christmas Tree! I used some green craft paint and painted the palms and fingers of their little hands – then starting at the top we did one hand print, second layer has two prints and the bottom has three prints. I touched up the paint on their hands after every two prints.

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I used some brown paint and made a trunk and cut out a yellow star to finish off the tree. I didn’t want to add too much because I wanted their precious little prints to be the main focus. I cut out some vinyl with their names so I will never forget whose is whose and put them in some spare frames I had kickin’ around that I sprayed colonial red by Rustoleum (my favorite red!)

I love how simple it was to make these a fun Christmas décor item for our home and a fun keepsake for years to come! My kids love seeing their Christmas Tree Art and tell me all the time about how they made them! And they turned out super cute to boot!!

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12.18.2012

Rolo Pretzel Treats

I love a good mix of sweet and salty and smooth and crunchy – so these Rolo Pretzel Treats are a favorite in our home for sure! They are so easy to make as well! The hardest part is unwrapping the Rolos!

You will need:
Small Pretzels
Rolos
M&M’s (Optional)

Preheat your oven to 350. Layout your pretzels on your cookie sheet. Unwrap the Rolos and place one on top of each pretzel. Put in oven for 3 minutes – you want them soft but not melted. Pull them out of the oven and top with a M&M.  Wait till cool and then enjoy!

Be warned: These are addicting!
I mean – who doesn’t love chocolate, caramel and salt with a crunch!!

Enjoy!

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12.14.2012

Santa’s Reindeer Sign

When I saw this sign over at 36th Avenue – I totally fell in love with it and knew that I wanted one for my Christmas Décor – so I busted out the wood and paint and got busy creating and came up with this fun sign with all of Santa’s Reindeer!

This project was so easy to make! You can make one too!
To make this sign I found some scrap MDF (my sign is 9”x 24”) and applied a couple coats of white paint. MDF totally sucks up paint so I use toll paint whenever I can. I cut out the names of the reindeer in vinyl and using the “bones” I created a template. Then filled the names in with red and silver and when it was almost dry I pulled off the vinyl. I used a paint brush to add a white line to the O in Rudolph to make it look like a shiny nose and was done! I love the simplicity and the nice clean lines of just the names painted down the middle.

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I used PLAID paint – whicker white, Lipstick Red and Metallic Silver.
The font is Franklin Gothic Demi Condensed.

I just think it is so fun and love having a fun new item to add to my Christmas collection!!

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12.10.2012

Neighbor Nativity Gifts

Happy Monday everyone! It is snowing buckets here and getting me into the Christmas mood! I love a white Christmas! I have to order two more items for my husband and then my Christmas shopping is completely done so I am really into the Christmas spirit now! This year we are trying to focus more on the spiritual side of Christmas instead of the material side so we tired to incorporate that into our neighbor gifts. This past week I finished them up and love how they turned out – neighbor nativity gifts.

They were so simple to make too! I simply (asked my husband to) cut the 2x6 into blocks. They come out at 5.5x5.5 blocks and you can get 16 from one piece – so cheap! Then simply sand them down and spray them cream and/or brown. For the cream ones I sprayed a light coat of brown on first so when I sanded them down they would look more distressed. Then apply coordinating vinyl and wrap them up with a bow! I used my vinyl cutter  and software to cut out the vinyl nativity.

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I love these because they are so simple but yet elegant too – plus they represent what our family believes to be the true meaning of Christmas.

If you don’t have a neighbor gift yet – run to home depot and pick up your wood and paint today!

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12.03.2012

Sharing the Joy

One of my favorite parts of this fun Holiday season is how everyone opens their hearts to help those that are less fortunate than they are. My husband and I are not rich by any means but we know that we have more than other people might and feel truly blessed. Since we are so blessed we love to help out those who may be having a hard time and set a good example of giving to other for our children.

Since we have been married (5 years) each Christmas we have chosen a treat (cinnamon bread, Oreos, etc.) and something warm (socks, gloves, hats) and have taken them around to homeless people on Christmas Eve. One of the neatest things is seeing how those that have received it pay it forward as well. One year we gave some cinnamon bread to a couple people standing in line at a homeless shelter and as we drove by – we saw them both passing out pieces to other people in line. Another year we handed some Oreos to a man on a corner and when we drove by he had walked down by some other less fortunate people and were handing them out.

Talk about making your heart burst!

A couple years ago we also decided to find a family in our own neighborhood who were struggling and “Secret Santa” them. We enlist the help of family and friends and surprise them with a Christmas dinner – along with snacks and toy and outfit for each member of the family. We drop it on the doorstep a few days before Christmas and go home with joyful hearts.

We love sharing the joy of Christmas!

This year, on top of doing our traditional giving, I decided to go to World Market to get some items to create a gift to share with someone in need. I thought long and hard about who would make a good candidate and decided to go with a family in my neighborhood who has struggled with unemployment issues for a few years. They have had to use all their money to go towards “Must Pay” items like house payments and bills and haven’t been able to buy any wants for a while. I have been inside their home a few times and decided to buy some items to spruce up their home a little bit. Every time I have been to World Market I have loved their home décor items so I knew I could find some good things!

My sister and I headed out last week and together came up with a basket of items for the family.

First off – we needed a basket. We decided to go with a storage basket so they can use it for toys or blankets or whatever they need if for.

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Then we picked out some darling curtains and some throw pillows for the couch to match! I love the curtains – they have every color in them so they match with anything! I love how bold and bright and fun they are and World Market has SO MANY curtains like that!! I knew these would be the perfect fit for my friends home!

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I also grabbed these darling bangles for the mom of the house because they are fun and sparkly!
(I got a pair for me and some extras for some Christmas gifts! At $4 you cannot go wrong!!)

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A couple nights later, we put everything into the darling basket and in true secret Santa fashion delivered the gifts!

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I was at their house yesterday and saw the curtains up their front room and the pillows on the couch and it made me super happy! I told her the curtains were darling and with tear filled eyes she told me about the “sweet package” that was left on her doorstep and how blessed they are to have someone thinking of them during a time of need. Again – my heart was full of Joy!

Right now World Market has a Share the Joy Sweepstakes going on! Head on over to win because not only do you win something for yourself but for someone else too!

  • Grand Prize package includes: A $5,000 American Express Gift Card for you and $5,000 for a charity of your choice
  • You could be one of 5 winners (one winner per week).
  • The Share the Joy Sweepstakes ends 12/21/12.

For more information head over to their Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest! Trust me – you want to follow them!

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™, but all my opinions are my own http://cmp.ly/3/KqtZiE

How are you guys Sharing the Joy this year?

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