Friday, December 23, 2011

Pretty and Easy Holiday Sweet Treats

Last night I decided to make some of my favorite sweet chex mix snack (Muddy Buddies) to give to our kid's teachers along with their holiday gifts.  This recipe is on the back of most chex boxes.  It's very yummy and very easy.

9 cups of any type of Chex cereal
1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter (I used unsweetened and it was great)
1/4 cup of butter or margarine (I used a bit less and you can't tell)
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 1/2 cups of powered sugar

1.  Put cereal in a large bowl on the side
2.  Microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter for about 1 minute and stir.  Microwave for another 30 seconds or until it is all melted.  Stir in vanilla.  Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until it is evenly coated.  Pour the coated cereal into a 2 gallon zip lock bag.
3.  Add powered sugar to the bag, seal, and shake until the cereal is coated.  Spread on wax paper to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

To make it pretty I put it into cellophane bags and cut rectangles of decorative paper.  I punched holes in the paper and the bag (I stapled the bags shut too before putting the paper on so nothing would come out) and tied a ribbon through the holes.  Here is a picture of the back:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New Designs

With a little coaching from my sister-in-law, I am have been delving into graphic design a bit.  Here are two new designs I created that I am excited about.  They may go into our nursery:

I also created these two new birth announcement designs:

I still have a few more projects to post from our super hero extravaganza in the next few days.  It was very chaotic, but also a lot of fun!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Super Hero Soap Party Favors

I have been spending the last few weeks getting ready for my son's birthday party.  One of my seemingly more ambitious projects for the party was homemade soap.  In the end, it was pretty easy and I hope to try some more ambitious soap projects in the future.

The party will have a super hero theme so I went with superman and batman chocolate molds for the project.  I bought all of my supplies (except the molds) from Bramble Berry Soaps.  They have a great website with everything you will need to make any kind of soap.  They have great instructions and I also called them directly a few times to ask some questions before I got started and they were super nice and helpful.  I went with simple pour and melt soap.  I bought a clear base, some colors (red and blue) and I picked a grapefruit scent since I thought the kids would like something sweet.  Here is my set up before I got started:

First, I cut up some soap and melted it in the microwave.

Next, I added a little scent (a little goes a LONG way) and then the coloring.

I used a small wooden dowel to mix the ingredients, but you can use anything to mix the solution:

Next, I poured the scented and colored soap into the molds (I used some leftover red soap to plug the lollipop stick section, but you could also just tape it off).  Once the soap is poured, small bubbles sometimes form on the surface.  You can spray rubbing alcohol on the bubbles right after you pour the soap to get rid of them.  This was my favorite part...the alcohol just zapped them away:

It took the soap at least an hour or two to dry so the project took me a few nights since I only bought two molds.  You can re-heat and re-use any soap left in your glass measuring cup, so you don't have to waste any of it.  

Lastly, I packaged them in some cellophane bags and printed out labels to go along with our theme:

 All in all, a fun and easy party favor that my son is super excited about!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Egg Muffins

Tonight we made egg muffins for dinner.  They were delish, very easy, and a lot of fun.

I knew my pre-schooler would be excited about helping out so I did a little prep before he joined me in the kitchen.  I put corn, eda mame, shredded pecorino romano, arugula, turkey bacon, and mac and cheese (lunch leftovers) into small bowls.  I basically used whatever we had, but in the future (and if I were doing it alone) I would make some sauteed onions, roasted potatoes and maybe some smoked salmon...those ingredients make my mouth water...but I don't think my three year old would agree.

I filled each cupcake mold 2/3 fill with beaten eggs and then we went to town filling them up.

Right before they went into the oven:

I baked them at 350 for about 17 minutes (until a fork comes out clean).  This is definitely something we will be doing again.  My son was so proud that he made us dinner tonight!

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Labor of Love

My alphabet cards finally arrived today!  It feels like I have been working on this project forever and I was so excited to finally post them in my shop tonight.  Now on to planning a superhero birthday party that is just around the corner!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Clothes Pin Bling

I ordered alphabet cards for my new alphabet prints and I want to be able to hang them from a ribbon.  I thought it would be fun to give the clothes pins I am going to use a little punch.  I am a big fan of glitter and I had an unopened bottle of Mod Podge calling my name so I gave it a go and am thrilled with the outcome.

The process was as easy as could be.  I added one layer of Mod Podge to the top surface of each pin and sprinkled on some glitter.

Nothing is more annoying than a glitter project that sheds all over the place so in order to secure the glitter I put on a second coat of Mod Podge with one more light sprinkle of glitter.

This method secures the glitter very well.  I am also planning to add some strong magnets to the back of some of them and use them on the fridge to hold our favorite art projects.  I love 'em!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Busy Busy Busy has been so long since my last post.  This is largely because I just opened a new Etsy shop ( of alphabet prints.  Here are a few of my favorites:

I have a few projects up my sleeve, though, so posting will resume!

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Halloween Celebration

Our Halloween festivities started on Friday and have finally come to a sweet and tired close tonight.  I made some Halloween treats and my three year old and I made homemade play dough to share with friends throughout the weekend.

I made some worm infested ice cubes (thanks for the idea Martha!):

These were a HUGE hit:

Here is the candy corn shaped play dough we made using this perfect play dough recipe:

My son's favorite part was adding the glitter:

I also made some ghost and pumpkin cake pops, using my own easy recipe (doughnut holes dipped in chocolate):

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Incredible Superheroes

As a mom to a three (almost four!) year-old, we talk a lot about superheros.  This year when I asked my son what he wanted to be for Halloween, he said he wanted the whole family to dress up like The Incredibles.  I thought it was a fantastic idea.  I'm not a fan of store bought Halloween costumes and I thought this was something I might be able to pull off.  My husband and I will be sporting "Incredibles" garb from the waste up, since we aren't huge fans of bodysuits with black underwear on the outside.  I purchased red shirts and thermal leggings for the boys and long sleeve shirts for me and my husband from American Apparel.  Then I purchased some yellow, orange, and black fabric as well as some fusable webbing (I'm now addicted) from the craft store.  I sketched out the incredible logos to make a template and then cut out the three shapes and ironed them together with the webbing in between each layer (I went layer by layer...not all at once).  Lastly, I ironed the whole emblem onto the shirt.  I wanted to be sure I got it right before putting it onto the shirt since there is no going back once it is on.  For my three year old, I also made the black underwear and belt.  I winged it on these pieces..snipping and trimming until it looked right.  It would probably have been easier to find some black underwear but my first few attempts were unsuccessful, so I gave up.

Tomorrow I am going to head to our local costume store to look for black masks and black gloves for us.  If I can't find a nice mask, he can always wear this one I made previously.  My son is already obsessed with his costume.  The best part is, he can wear them as PJs after halloween.  More superhero/Halloween pics to come soon!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween Sparkle

We did a little Halloween decorating this weekend.  We carved our pumpkins and made pumpkin seeds, and I made some cut-outs with my Silhouette SD machine (love that thing) which I added some sparkle details to.  We went with a sparkly theme, since skeletons and other scary Halloween images are not favored by three year olds.  Plus, I love glitter!

I like the hanging decorations so much...I think I'll save them for next year too.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pecan Pralines...just cuz they taste sooo good.

Can you tell my sweet tooth has gotten the best of me lately?  I decided to make pralines last night because I had seen a picture of them on pinterest which made my mouth water.  I used Martha's recipe, which I heard was pretty fool proof.  I switched out the light cream for half and half and was nervous at first that they wouldn't work because the mixture got huge and bubbly in the beginning, but they ended up great.  The one thing I did differently was to toast my pecans first (about 10 minutes at 325 in my toaster oven).  They were so yummy.  Pralines should be stored in a moisture tight container (zip lock bags or tupperware) so that they don't dry out.

Here is her recipe:


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 cups pecan halves 


  1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a 3-quart saucepan, mix together sugar and baking soda. Add cream and place over medium-high heat. Cook, whisking occasionally, until golden brown and mixture reaches 235 degrees on a candy thermometer, 25 to 30 minutes. Add butter and pecans and mix together until butter has melted and mixture is well combined, about 1 minute. Using a tablespoon, drop mixture onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart; let cool completely.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Delux Caramel Apples

I just made these yummy caramel apples as gifts for some friends.  My son's eyes nearly popped out when he saw them.  They are a great gift that wont break the bank and in my opinion, the best kind of gifts are the ones you can eat.  I think they are especially nice in the fall since you can get the best apples now.

Simple caramel apples are very straight forward:

-  Wash and dry your apples thoroughly
-  Melt caramel in a sauce pan with a tablespoon of water, stir often (I burnt mine a little which you can see, but you can't taste those little dark I then covered them with chocolate so it really didn't matter
-  Remove caramel from heat and dip (reheat if caramel becomes too thick)
-  Place caramel apples on parchment paper and allow to cool

Bags of caramel often come with the popsicle sticks.  Since these are gifts, I wanted to make them a little nicer so I purchase round wood candy apple sticks at a candy making store.  After dipping the apples in caramel I then drizzled them with milk chocolate melting chocolate.  I melted the chocolate in a one cup glass measuring cup with a spout.  The spout allows you to get the thin drizzle.  It works best if you hold the measuring cup about a foot away from the apple when drizzling since it gives you a thinner stream of chocolate.  While the chocolate was still wet I sprinkled the apples with crushed butterfinger bar.  I put them in fridge to cool and then drizzled them a second time with white chocolate.  Refrigerating them causes the chocolate to get a nice shinny surface.  If you let them cool on the counter the chocolate may appear dull when it hardens.

I think four layers (caramel, milk chocolate, butterfinger, white chocolate) makes for a nice visual effect, but you could use any number of layers with any kind of candy of nuts.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Homemade Creamsicle

Even though fall is here, I am still in love with my ice pop maker and after trying some homemade creamsicles at my parent's house, I had to give it a try.  I'm addicted.  They are so easy and so good!  I just filled the empty molds with a few chunks of vanilla ice cream each, and then fill with orange juice.  The ice cream stays soft so you don't want to add too much.  They are much healthier than a bowl of ice cream, which is good since I tend to eat multiple in one sitting!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Autumn in Vermont

We just got back from an amazing week in Vermont.  Though winter is tons of fun in Vermont, I think my favorite season is autumn.  Fall foliage in Vermont is breath taking and I love the fall activities.  We went to a country fair, apple and raspberry picking, to the Westin Country store, to a dairy farm (where we fed chickens!), on a hay ride, and to Bromley Mountain where they have tons of great summer and fall activities like an amazing alpine slide, mini golf, trampolines, etc.  But our son's favorite activity was probably picking up "rainbow leaves" and stuffing his pockets full of rocks every chance he could.  Here are a few pictures:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Easy dinosaur mittens

I came across a tutorial on recently for embellished mittens and was so excited when I found an inexpensive pair of fleece mittens in our closest that were to big for our son last winter.  I think he will love his new dinosaur mittens this winter.

I tweaked the original design so that the spikes would stand up like and look more like stegosaurus and less like a dragon.  First, I sketched out a template for the spikes and cut out a green piece of felt and then pinned the same template to blue felt and cut it a little smaller than the green piece.  Then I folded them in half, pinned them together and hand stitched them along the spine.  This caused them to stick up when I tacked them to the mittens.  Lastly, I sewed on some buttons for eyes.  It was a little tricky stitching the pieces onto the mittens and I found that using a short needle really helped.