Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Noelle's Birthday Favors

Noelle is playing a basketball tournament on her Birthday. So I always get the girls on the team a party favor for Noelle's actual birthday. And I make cake balls for after the game. It is our tradition.

So we got everyone a Noel lip gloss, Noel hand lotion and Noel hand antibacterial lotion. All from Bath and Body Works. However, the best tip that I am going to give you is that Bath and Body Works will give you free cellophane bags, tags and ribbon just for the asking! I think they only do this during the holiday season - but who cares - I love not digging through my craft box trying to find enough cellophane bags and coordinating ribbon.

So I put the treats in the free cellophane bags and tied them with the free ribbon and placed them in a green basket. Now I am all ready for the actual day of Noelle's Birthday. I have to be organized because Noelle is having a Breakfast at Tiffany party three weeks before her real Birthday.

I use this green gingham basket at Christmas, Easter and St. Patrick's Day!

I love being prepared and organized. Also we have learned in year's past - they sell out of the Noel Vanilla Bean items rather quickly.

This would be a cute idea for a holiday party favor or if you were planning on giving small gifts to the crossing guard, teachers aid, babysitters etc. 

Peppermint Party Favors

I made these treats for my tennis team and I made extra for my kids lunch boxes.

I bought the Peppermint Slims at Trader Joe's and packaged them in pretzel bags and found some candy cane striped ribbon in my craft box.

These are so yummy!

It only took me about 10 minutes to make fifteen treat bags.

Don't these look cute? They would be a great party favor! 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Party Favors

I made party favors for Noelle to take to her basketball Holiday party.

I bought these basketball ornaments in October at Michael's for $1. They came in a cute red box with a clear top.

I just tied the boxes with ribbon and placed them in my red basket.

Did you notice that the ribbon is printed with Noel in the shape of a Christmas tree? I bought the ribbon last May at the Tall Mouse closing sale. So what I am trying to say is - if you know you will need something and it is on sale - buy it. The basketball ornaments are no longer at Michael's and Tall Mouse has closed.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

More on Gift Wrapping

What I am going to try to do is not to buy any wrapping paper or ribbon this holiday season. I will use what I have and try to coordinate the tags, paper and ribbon. I have all sorts of things to tie onto packages to make them look more festive. Of course I will need to buy more scotch tape at some point!

For example the above wrapping paper doesn't look Christmasy on it's own, but once I added the star ornament and red lipgloss it started to look more like holiday paper. Don't you agree? Now you are asking - why did she add the ribbon and tag so early on this gift? It is for a Secret Santa gift exchange that my daughter needs this week.

So before you go to the store and buy wrapping paper, tags and ribbon - try to use up all the wrapping paper you have that would work for the holidays! You might have even bought wrapping paper on super sale after last Christmas - check your Christmas box!

I like to add a little tie-on to all my packages, like jingles bells, cinnamon sticks, ornaments, rick rack etc. I will show some great gift wrapping ideas this month - so keep checking back!

Wrapping Your Gifts

Okay - I went shopping on Black Friday - it was exhausting and I came home with a horrible headache. However that didn't stop me from wrapping. Whenever I go shopping I come straight home and wrap the gifts. On the bottom of the wrapped gifts - I use a marker to write the name of the gift recipient.

I place the wrapped gifts in a corner of the dining room without ribbon or tags - those will be added later. Without the ribbon and tags the boxes can be stacked until we get the tree and then I will add the ribbon and tags and place the gifts under the tree.  This way I am not wrapping fifty gifts at once - which can be a real strain on your back and neck.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgviving

I wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am thankful that you have been reading my blog. Let me know when you make a craft or recipe off of the blog. Sign up to be a follower and let your friends know about the blog.

This December I am going to do a comprehensive tutorial on Cake Balls. I also have a lot of fun and easy ideas that I am sure you will enjoy. So keep checking back!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving Themed Chocolate Pretzels

Okay - I you know I had to add a few more posts before Thanksgiving. These are super easy to make and they can look really rustic or elegant - which ever look your prefer. It depends on what type of sprinkles and ribbon you choose to use.

First lay out some pretzel rods on parchment paper and melt some chocolate.

Once the chocolate is melted start dipping and sprinkling!

You only need to dip the chocolate about half way up the pretzel.

Once you have dipped the pretzel in chocolate and added the sprinkles - place the pretzel back on to the parchment paper to dry.

I used two types of fall themed sprinkles.

Once the chocolate is completely hard - place the pretzels into a pretzel bag (available at Michael's) and tie with a fall themed ribbon. I found this beautiful brown sheer ribbon in my craft box.

These would look adorable at everyone's place setting or make really cute party favors to give everyone as they are leaving. I always place my party favors in a basket. These would also make a cute classroom or sports team treat. I made some extras and put them in lunch boxes last week.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Donut Hole Turkey's

Today we made some turkey's with donut holes, candy corn and Oreo's .  We used melted chocolate to "glue" the feathers and nose on the donut hole.

We took the Oero's apart and used the frosted side to place the candy corn about half way around the Oero to simulate the look of feathers.

Now use melted chocolate to glue the feather Oero to the back of the donut hole and also to glue a candy corn nose on top of the donut hole. Let dry for at least one hour.

Aren't these cute! So easy to make and fun to eat!

If and only if you have time - it is fun to dip your candy corn in chocolate! Yum!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bacon Wrapped Dates

Many recipes call for the dates to be stuffed with various cheeses or nuts. However, I find that the dates taste best when simply made - just wrapped in the bacon.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line your cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Then either pit your dates or buy pitted dates like I did!

Now wrap each date with a piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick.

Bake the bacon wrapped dates for about ten minutes, until the bacon is nice and crispy.

So simple! And easy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I love making these cookies. You might remember that I made these with pumpkins at Halloween.

I baked the Turkey cookies according to the package directions.

Then you apply extra frosting  when you sandwich the cookies together so that it oozes out just a little.

Then when you roll the sides in the sprinkles they will stick to the frosting.

These don't last very long at my house.

This is a fun project for the kids to make!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Potato Chips

Whenever I sign up to bring chips to tennis or a BBQ I always tie my chips in little bags with ribbon.

I put ruffle style chips in little bags and tied them with brown ribbon. The trick is to buy - non-ziplock bags. They are the pleated fold over sandwich style bags.

Then place the ribbon tied bags in a basket. In the summer it would be cute to use a plaid or checkered ribbon. 

It only takes a few minutes to make something a little cuter!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thanksgiving Decorations

I have noticed that Thanksgiving decorations are the hardest to find. It is super easy to find Halloween, Christmas, Easter etc.

So when you see cute Thanksgiving/Fall decorations grab them while they are in stock!

Here are some of my decorations:

I know I need to work on my photography! If you click on this picture it will enlarge for you and you can see more detail.

This is my lollipop turkey - I have had it BC - Before Christian who will be eleven next month.

This photo is from the top of my entry way hutch. I have Pilgrims and Indians. Check out my rod iron Give Thanks on the top shelf.

On Thanksgiving Day I usually move the rod iron Give Thanks to the dessert table.

Close up of the Pilgrims. I love how the one man Pilgrim is carrying a pumpkin.

My Indians are carrying a lot of food for the feast.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Let us Give Thanks

It seems to me that we go from Halloween to Christmas. The second Halloween is over the stores start with the Christmas decorations. However, maybe we should stop and think about Thanksgiving which is a holiday about family, food and giving thanks.

So keep checking my blog every week for Thanksgiving ideas. I will post a lot of ideas that you can do with your kids. When Thanksgiving is over I will start with Christmas ideas.

Let us be mindful and thankful.

Oranges and Cloves

Every year Noelle and I add cloves to oranges. It is one of our November traditions.

The trick is to find oranges that don't have a super thick skin. Once you place the clove studded oranges in a bowl - the whole room smells delicious. This would be a lovely and fragrant centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table.

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Key Lime Tarts

I made these Key Lime Tarts to bring to a tennis match.

I used store bought mini shortbread tart shells and prepared key lime filling.

Then I sliced a fresh raspberry in half and added a fresh sprig of mint. Two or three fresh blueberries would also look great in the middle of each tart.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Turkey Party Favors

These party favors are really easy to make once you find all of the craft supplies. I went to Joanne Fabrics and Michael's to find everything I needed.

You will need:

Brown Tulle
Brown Pipe Cleaners
Red Felt
Fall Themed m&m's

If you want to make these with your kids on Thanksgiving morning or the day before Thanksgiving - buy all of the craft supplies and Fall themed candy at least a week before Thanksgiving. Trust me - you will not be able to find what you need when you are stressed out the day before Thanksgiving.

Isn't this cute! And so easy to make!  You could use candy corn or nuts instead of the m&m's.

Cut the tulle into a six inch square. The easiest way to do this is to cut a thick piece of cardboard into a six inch square and use it as a pattern. Then place two tablespoons of candies or nuts in the center of the tulle.

Gather the tulle at the top and twist the pipe cleaner around the top several times. Then bend the top of the pipe cleaner into a head shape and add the piece of red felt for the waddle with a dab of glue.

These would look cute on the dessert table or lined up down the center of the Thanksgiving table.  I also think they would be a fun classroom or sports team treat.

Gobble. Gobble.

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fall Buttons

Today I made some Fall Buttons - but you can make these Buttons for any holiday just by changing the color of the m&m.

First preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Then line your cookie sheet with parchment paper and place the pretzels in rows on the parchment paper. Add a chocolate kiss in the middle of each square pretzel.

Place the pretzel with the chocolate kiss on top in the oven for 2-3 minutes. You want the kiss to be intact - not melted. Then quickly push a m&m in the middle of each kiss.

They look best on a tray lined up in neat rows and color coordinated. So easy to make and a fun project to do with your kids. Although my son just wants to eat the kisses and m&m's.

These would look really cute packaged in a small box or cellophane bag as a party favor.