Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Creative Scrappers Sketch #136

Guess who the guest designer is over at Creative Scrappers this week???? Yes, it's me! How fun is that??? Here is the sketch that Michelle Fowler came up with that I designed with.

How cool are all those squares? And here is my take on it...

I've had the Delovely papers from Cosmo Cricket for a while and they caught my eye when I was going through my pizza box of product. I love the bright colors and thought they looked good with a kraft background.

A banner!! I hand cut all those triangles. I made this layout at my scrapbook retreat a few weeks ago and I could NOT find the cricut cartridge that cut triangles, so I just winged it. And about 30 minutes after completing the layout, somebody found the cricut cartridge that cut triangles. Of course!

And you can't go wrong with flowers and bling. If you have some time this week and are itching to scrap after the holidays, go check out all the other DT members from Creative Scrappers for some inspiration. Use this sketch and get creative!

Thanks for stopping by today...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

How was your holiday??

Hi Everyone! I hope you had a wonderful holiday!! I had a great time with my family. We traveled to my mom's house where both my brothers (and significant others) were and my sister, her husband and their twin 10-month old girls came from the East Coast. It was great! We ate tons of good food, had lots of laughs, ice skated, were spoiled by Santa, AND celebrated my son's 9th birthday. Here are some highlights...

My cutie nieces-

My kids loved their new cousins!

We ice skated, of course Kayla was a natural-

Played Jenga with Uncle Paul-

Spent time with family-

Celebrated my son's 9th birthday (I'm not entirely sure how he got to be 9 so soon!)-

And ate some yummmmmy food (recipe coming soon!)-

I hope you had a wonderful holiday, too. I hope to be back later this week with some scrappy goodness. I haven't scrapped in a while and i'm itching to get back to it. Talk to you soon!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Holidays Everyone!!

I want to wish all my bloggy friends a very Happy Holidays! Thank you so much for always leaving such kind words and comments on my blog and thank YOU for all your inspiration. I love being a blogger and connecting with people all over the world. I hope you all have a very Happy Holidays with your family and friends. I will catch up with you all when the holidays are over, I can't wait to see some Christmas morning photos on your blogs!

I will leave you with one of my favorite layouts ever. I have a really hard time scrapping Christmas, so when this was completed I was surprised that it turned out to be one of my favorite layouts. I love love the papers, I used the Mistletoe & Co. papers from Pink Paislee from last year. I loved them...I know I already said that.

Happy Holidays Everyone!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gingerbread Tree

It has been raining here, and raining and raining. I am not kidding, it's been raining non-stop since Friday. My kids are going stir crazy being in the house. Not the best way to start holiday vacation! So while I was out shopping on Sunday, I wanted to pick up two make-your-own gingerbread house kits. Well, I didn't find any but I DID find make-your-own gingerbread tree kits. Who knew??? We dove right in..

Glue the tree layers together using frosting...

Wait (impatiently) for mom to mix the frosting colors from the box...then decorate the tree with snow and greenery...

Add the ornament decorations...

Add the star on top...

Check out our two new Christmas trees!

I had some issues with the frosting being too runny (bad directions!!) and the piping bags breaking (thank goodness I had some cloth ones in my cake decorating box). But the kids had a ball and we killed a few hours on a rainy afternoon!

What's your weather like right now? Will you have a white Christmas? Looks like we might have a soggy one! Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Santa Hat Cupcakes

Happy Weekend! I am officially on vacation until the beginning of the new year. Yeah! My kids are done with school and my hubbie is done with teaching, so we are ready to party. Now all I need is this torrential wind and rain to stop!

These might be my most favorite cupcakes I have made. I think they turned out really cute!

Santa Hat Cupcakes:

Aren't they cuuuute???!! The santa hats are Bugles (these are a salty snack shaped like a cone) dipped in red candy melts. Let them dry of waxed paper. Then re-dip one end and roll in white sprinkles. Dip the tip of the cone and then stick on a mini marshmallow. So easy and my kids loved helping me. They actually made most of the hats. I found the idea on Cookies and Cups.

I love the red cupcakes liners, too. I got them at Michael's, but my favorite place to get super fun cupcake liners is Bake It Pretty. They have so much fun stuff!

I used this recipe for the cupcake part: Vanilla Bean Cupcakes. They were decent, but I thought they were a tad dry. I just can't seem to find a great cupcake from-scratch recipe. I mean, I don't mind making cupcakes from a box mix and those usually turn out great. I would just like to find a good yellow or vanilla cupcake recipe. I haven't found it yet, but I will searching and trying!

I hope you are having a great weekend. Are you ready for the holidays??? I think I am done shopping. I just need to get everything wrapped and find out if I have it all. Thanks for stopping by today!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Candy Cane Biscotti

I have two really amazing recipes to share. I have my favorite holiday recipes that I make every year but I also like to try new ones. And if they are good, they will stick around for next year. This is definitely a stick-around recipe.

Candy Cane Biscotti:

Candy canes get crushed up and added into the dough and they add a great flavor plus a little bit of crunch. Such great texture!

The ends get dipped in white chocolate and then sprinkled with a little bit of crushed candy canes. Just enough sweet taste to one end of the biscotti while leaving the other end plain.

I got so many compliments on these. I packaged them up for my kid's teachers and they loved them. My co-workers enjoyed them. This recipe is absolutely a keeper and I will be making them again and again and again. They would make a great addition to any cookie platter or Christmas morning coffee or a lovely hostess gift. Enjoy!!!

Candy Cane Biscotti
from Annie's Eats

2½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
3 large eggs
2/3 cup finely chopped peppermint candies, plus extra for garnish
14 oz. white chocolate

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir briefly with a fork to combine. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until well combined, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one a time, mixing well after each addition. Add in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Fold in the 2/3 cup crushed peppermints with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated.

Evenly divide the dough into 4 portions. Form each into a 9″ by 1½” log on the prepared baking sheet, spaced evenly. Bake until the cookies are light golden brown on top, about 18-20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet. Reduce the oven temperature to 325° F.

After the logs have cooled for 10 minutes, use a sharp serrated knife to cut the logs into ½-inch slices on the diagonal. Arrange the cut pieces on the baking sheet, laying on one of their cut sides so one cut side is facing up. Bake for 15 minutes more, until the cookies are light golden brown and crisp. (They may seem a bit soft, but will firm as they cool.) Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Once the biscotti have cooled, melt the white chocolate in the top of a double boiler. Dip one half of each cookie in the chocolate, shake gently to remove the excess, and transfer to a baking sheet or work surface lined with wax paper. Sprinkle with extra crushed candy canes while the chocolate is still wet. Let stand at room temperature until the chocolate has set completely. Store in an airtight container.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

It has begun...the holiday baking extravaganza has begun!!! I haven't been doing much crafting with paper this week, but give me some real butter, flour, and sugar and i'm a crafting queen!

On the menu today...Candy Cane Kiss Cookies.

Chocolately cookies with semi-sweet chocolate chips, topped with a candy cane Hershey Kiss!

You may have eaten a chocolate cookie in your day, even maybe a chocolate chip chocolate cookie. But how about one with the cutest little candy cane kiss on top???? Never? Well...that needs to be fixed immediately.

Candy cane Hershey kisses can be found at target and the recipe for these delightful cookies can be found at Our Best Bites: Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

I am trying my hardest to stay in my exercise routine during this holiday season. Boot camp, running, I do make it a priority to fit it in during the holidays. But if you see me running down the street with one of these cookies in my hand, don't try to catch me!

Thanks for stopping by...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

S'mores Brownies

Oh yeah...s'mores. They are not just for camping anymore! You might want to add this recipe to your holiday baking arsenal...or just make it for the fun of it. Because they are awesome.

Let me break down the layers for you...

A. toasted roasted marshmallows that were browned in the broiler
B. layer of hershey chocolate bars, slightly melted
C. fudgy brownie
D. graham cracker crust

Seriously, does it get any better? Make sure you have something to clean yourself off after eating one of these, it's a mess. A big sticky, chocolatey, fudgey mess. But oh so worth it.

Do you want to make these? Please go get the recipe from Cookies and Cups: S'mores Brownies. And you can thank me later.

Thanks for stopping by today!!! I hope your holiday plans are going well and that you are not stuck under 10 feet of snow.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Holiday Treat Cones

Hi Everyone! Hope you are having a great weekend. Our weather here is gorgeous, I love being able to wear shorts in December! Hee hee!! I have my Day 11 project of Croppin' Paradise's 12 Days of Gifts Bazaar to share with you today.

These are super duper easy peasy treat cones. You can fill them with anything, candies, lip gloss, popcorn, anything that fits. For this project I used the Everybody Loves Christmas line from Echo Park. Great papers for the holiday!

First up, cut yourself a big circle. I used my Cricut, you can use whatever you have (tracing a dinner plate and cutting it out is a great alternative if you don't have a cutting system). This circle is 10 inches.

Fold it until it forms a cone. Put some really strong adhesive on the side to hold it all together (hot glue gun, terrifically tacky tape, etc.).

That's it!!! Embellish as you wish and fill it with goodies. You could even fold up some wax paper and serve popcorn in these for a party.

You don't have to make them that big. If you want them smaller, just cut a smaller circle to begin with. These circles are 5 inches.

Roll it up, add some strong adhesive, embellish, and then fill with goodies! Wouldn't these look cute on a co-workers desk?

You can take it one step further and use them as place settings. Put them in each wine or water glass on your holiday table with a name on each one and treats inside. It would make a unique placecard!

There you have it...treat cones. So easy, so versatile...make some today! Tomorrow is the 12th day of holiday ideas over at Croppin' Paradise. Come check out all the days and the great projects. There are some awesome ideas!! Thanks for stopping by today...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holiday Cards

Happy Thursday everyone! Do you know what that means? Tomorrow is Friday, yeah!! One day closer to vacation and the big holiday coming up. I just addressed all my holiday cards tonight and I am loving receiving them in the mail. Something to look forward to when I get home from work...who did we get a card from today??? I love it!

Today I have some holiday cards inspired by the PSA Peel and Stick stamps. These stamps come with one ring stamp and 9 interchangeable middles. Here is an example:

Aren't they cute??? You just change out the middle everytime you want a new look for a card. Super easy!! Here are a few holiday cards I made using those those two stamp sets.

I used some older October Afternoon patterned paper and the Happy Holidays sentiment. I love using aqua for holiday cards, just something a little bit different. Here's another card using aqua and red again and a Merry Christmas sentiment.

I love how she is holding a champagne class! And another card with a more wintery theme.

I used just a smidgen scrap of the Mistletoe & Co. line from Pink Paislee that was released last year. I just LOVED that holiday line, that is why I only have very small scraps left of it!! It goes great with the cutie Smirk PSA Stamp. Even though where I live will NOT see snow this year (just the way I like it), I still love making snowy wintery cards. Please go check out the PSA Stamp Camp blog and become a follower! All throughout December you will find tons of holiday inspiration and fun, new ways to use the PSA stamps.

Happy Almost Friday and thanks for stopping by!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cranberry Bliss Bars

You know it's the holidays when you start to see certain things...inflatable Santas on your neighbors lawn, footie Christmas pajamas at Target, and those red cups at Starbucks. And speaking of Starbucks, they also have a seasonal treat called a Cranberry Bliss bar. Apparently it's only available in December. When my girlfriend was telling me about it, I immediately thought...I bet I can make that at home. Yes, I realize I might have issues. But a girl can dream, right?

A vanilla based bar with white chocolate chips and dried cranberries topped with a lemony cream cheese frosting, more dried cranberries and a drizzle of white chocolate. Wow, that's a mouthful.

I had to stop by Starbucks before making these to do research. And their bar was pretty tasty. But these might be better. Not sure why, maybe because I made them??? Ha ha!!

Soft and sweet in the middle with surprising bites of white chocolate...cream cheese frosting with just a hint of citrus...all topped with white chocolate. Seriously, does it get any better? Yes it does because I don't have to count on Starbucks to dangle this treat in front of me for a month, then yank it away. I can have it whenever I want. And I'm cool with that.

Want to try them? Here's the recipe: Cranberry Bliss Bars. Go, bake, eat, and enjoy!!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Crop Suey December Challenge

Hi Everyone, Happy Monday!! I had a great scrap retreat weekend and now it's back to reality. The reality of work and school and working out again and real life. But the good news is...only 2 weeks until holiday vacation, yeah!!!

I have the December Crop Suey challenge to share with you today. The challenge is to use the word FAMILY on your project. Use it in the title or in the journaling or however you want to incorporate the word. The sky is the limit!!

Yes, we are a nerdy family!! We love all things science, both my husband and I work in the science field. And we are hoping our kids grow up to love science, too!! The Atomic Soup papers from Jillibean Soup were the perfect backdrop for a nerdy family layout. I swiped some white ink over the Jillibean corrugated cardboard letters. Love those letters!

We also received some amazing May Arts ribbon to play with over at Crop Suey. I loved this green lacy ribbon and pleated it on this layout.

I hope you can find some time to play with us over at Crop Suey this month!! Our sponsor is Pretty Little Studio and they have offered up an amazing price pack for one participant. So come over and join is! Have a great Monday and thanks for stopping by!!