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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Andes Brownies

Friday we had a Holiday party to attend.  We had to bring a dessert or an appetizer so I opted for dessert.  Little did I know that there'd be not one but two cakes from Nothing Bundt Cake there.  Anyways, I threw together some simple but yummy brownies.  All you need is a box of brownie mix (with the required ingredients), Andes baking chips and peppermint extract.

1. Follow the directions on the box for brownie batter.
2. Stir in 1 tsp peppermint extract.
3. Stir in a couple handfuls for the chopped mints.
4. Bake according to box.

Sprinkle a few more over the top before baking!

I was in a hurry the other night and forgot to take a picture of the finished project and I surely wasn't going to take a picture at the party!  I did eat one and it was delish!  I might make these and deliver them to my neighbors.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Advent Calendar

I started reading an Advent book with my daughter a couple years ago.  Last year I decided I wanted to find a cute calendar to put trinkets and stuff in for the kids.  Well, I looked online and found a cute one but waited too long and decided to wait until the next year which would be now!  I searched etsy and found lots of cute ones but then realized I could make one myself.  Of course I waited until the week of Thanksgiving to get started and just finished it today.

First, I bought a new mini muffin tin (because I will be using the one I already have during this time period) with my 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby.
Next, I cut out squares in four different Christmas prints.
Then I cut out smaller squares of red, green and white card stock followed by a Christmas sticker.

I started with number stickers and decided I didn't like them so back to Hobby Lobby I went to buy number stamps.  Before I stamped them all I attached magnets to the top and bottom of each square.  I bought the magnet roll at Hobby Lobby for $2.99.

I decided after I had already attached the magnets that I wanted to protect them so I could use them again next year.  The best thing I could come up with was to cover each square with packing tape.  Had I started my whole project earlier I would have taken them to Kinko's and had them laminated.  But, this works.

The finished calendar!

Some daily examples are:
2 Hershey Candy Cane Kisses
2 Chocolate Kisses

Activities to do:
Make Christmas cookies
Take treats to a neighbor
Make a Christmas card for a teacher
Make a Christmas card for a friend
Do a Christmas craft
Make a handprint Santa
Listen to Christmas music
Learn the song "The Three Wise Men"

Joseph would care for Mary while she was pregnant. Matthew 1:24-25
Lots of angles joined in praising God! Luke 2:13-14
The wise men again found the guiding star. Matthew 2:9-10

Merry Christmas!  Happy Advent!

Friday, November 19, 2010


I just found a great tutorial on how to watermark photos in Photoshop and/or Elements here.  I'm not a photographer but it was fun to stamp this cutie (a friend's daughter) with a watermark. :)  If you have been trying to figure out how to watermark your pictures go read this tutorial.  It's really quite simple!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

20% off Photocards

My stationery business, The Paper Park, is having a great promotion right now.  Holiday photocards are 20% off until November 14th!  Follow this link to the blog ( for more details.

Happy shopping!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Painting Pumpkins

I meant to post this right after we did this craft but I forgot.  Oh, well.  This was so easy but yet so fun!  My kids loved it, especially my two year old son.  I bought a couple pie pumpkins - 2 for $4.  I gathered a few acrylic paints that I hand on hand.  None of them were Halloween colors but my kids didn't care.  I gave my daughter pink and purple and my son turquoise.  I gave them each a paint tray with a sponge brush and let them paint away.  This kept them busy out back for at least an hour.  I was loving it.  It gave my lots of practice time with my new camera lens! :)

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

After the paint dried I added a layer of Mod Podge and then my daughter added glitter to the pink and purple pumpkin but I forgot to take a picture afterwards.  

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Candy Corn Treats

What to do with all those candy corns?!?  Why not add some candy corn sweetness to your next batch of Rice Krispie Treats!

I sort of followed the recipe on the box.  Here's what I did:
5 TBS butter
4 cups mini marshmallows + 1 cup jumbo sized (I ran out of mini)
5 cups Rice Krispies
2 cups candy corn

1. Melt the butter in a pan over low heat.  Add marshmallows and stir until melted.  Remove from heat.
2. Stir in the Rice Krispies.  Once they are coated well stir in the candy corn.
3. Use wax paper to press down evenly into a 9X13 pan.

Serve and indulge within a couple days!

These make great little treats to pass out to friends and neighbors.  Stick them in a clear bag and tie with some Halloween ribbon and you have yourself a sweet little treat.  I must say, they are quite addicting.  Good thing we passed them out to the soccer team last night!!

Linking to:
Somewhat Simple
Shabby Chic Cottage
Tatertots and Jello

Monday, October 11, 2010

Halloween Frame and Decor

With Halloween coming up I wanted to put out some decorations and add to what I already had without spending a lot of money.  I had some unfinished frames from Ikea and scrapbook paper I didn't end up using I bought for the Boo Wreath.  I decided to make a Halloween frame.  I used the Mod Podge technique.  Initially I thought I'd frame a picture of the kids in the their costumes from last year but I didn't have any printed.  I decided it'd be easier to throw something else together than upload a picture and make a trip to Costco to get a picture!   I came up with a framed bat.  I think it's cute and my kids love it!  Maybe next year I'll have some printed out pictures and frame one of them in the costumes.

 Once I had it on the mantle I decided I needed something else to even out the space so I found another frame that wasn't being used and glued a skeleton to some scrapbook paper and came up with this guy...

Here's the finished mantle.  I'm going to grab some of that webby stuff to add a little more to it.

Linking to:
Skip to my Lou
The Girl Creative
Somewhat Simple Halloween
Tatertots and Jello

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Caramel Apple Sugar Cookies

I just love fall.  Everything about fall makes me happy.  The cooler weather is a great start to bliss, but I am always excited to see what Target's Halloween candy section has in store each year.  I love the different flavors of Hershey's candies.  It's always fun to try and create something fun to compliment the candy.  The other day I found Caramel Apple Kisses.  Let me tell you that they do in fact taste just like one.  Oh so sweet!  Since they're so sweet I thought they'd need a cookie that wasn't overly sweet.  I decided to make sugar cookies but not cut-out cookies and top them with the kisses.  Y.U.M.

Since the kisses are caramel apple I thought the cookies should be an apple. :)  I used WIlton coloring gel.

Once the dough is ready you separate it in half, wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for two hours.

Even though I wasn't going to cut the cookies I rolled the dough out to flatten it some.

I rolled it into small balls and then rolled the balls in sugar.

Ready to bake!

As soon as the cookies have baked put the unwrapped kisses on top immediately.  Let set for a minute then put the baking sheet in the fridge for about 30 minutes or else you'll have a melted chocolate mess.

Then you indulge!

My sweet taste tester approved!

Have you made anything fun with Hershey Kisses lately?

Linking to:

Friday, October 1, 2010

Boo Wreath

It's October and that means it's getting cooler outside AND it's time to put out pumpkins and fall decor including Halloween decorations!  I do not have a fun Halloween wreath for my front door.  When I saw this one made by Craftaholic Anonymous on eighteen25's blog I thought, "That is cute and I can totally make that!"  Eighteen25 had different guest bloggers all throughout September posting fun Halloween ideas.  You should jump over and check out all the craftiness over there.

I followed the directions on her blog.  I bought my materials at Hobby Lobby.  The burlap was $3.99 and I have a lot left over.  I don't think I made mine as full.  The letters were $2 and I spent less than a $1 for the scrapbook paper.  The styrofoam wreath was $4.49 and I used the 40% off coupon.  I had the Mod Podge and paint.  This was a pretty inexpensive project and I think it turned out Boo-tifully!

Linking to the eighteen25 Linky partyJust a Girl & Skip to my Lou.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Candied Marshmallows

Yesterday we celebrated my daughter's 5th birthday.  One of the items I put in the favor bags was candied marshmallows made into lollipops.  I saw these in a candy shop and thought they'd be pretty easy to make. In fact, I didn't even do a trial, I just whipped them up on Friday!  Here's what you need to make them: Jet puffed marshmallows (go for the real stuff, not store brand), Wilton candy melts, sprinkles or decorating sugar, lollipop sticks, small clear bags, ribbon and wax paper.

1. Push the lollipop sticks all the way into the marshmallows and lay on wax paper.
2. Melt the wafers in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments, stirring between until melted.
3. Dip each marshmallow into the melted candy and then smooth the edges (I used a knife).
4. Immediately dip into your choice of decoration.
5. Lay on wax paper.
6. Once they are completely dry you can put the clear bag over the marshmallow and tie ribbon.

Easy, cute and yummy!

Linking to: