Thursday, July 3, 2014

Patriotic Pretzel Sticks

These Patriotic Pretzel Rods are super easy to make which makes them a great snack to bring to any 4th of July festivity...or to any event! Simply change the color of the sprinkles you use and you'll be ready for any occasion!

You'll Need:
-Pretzel Rods
-White Chocolate Candy Melts
-Colored Sprinkles (I used red, blue, and a mix of red, white, and blue)

What You'll Do:
-Melt the white chocolate candy melts according to the directions
-Dip the pretzel rod into the melting chocolate
-Sprinkle selected color sprinkles onto the dipped pretzel over a covered surface or cookie sheet
-Let pretzel rods cool for at least 20 minutes
    --I put my pretzel rods into small rocks glasses to cool instead of lying them down on the cookie sheet to prevent one side from flattening


I also made Patriotic Bark which I combined into a festive basket...
 Wrapped in cellophane and tied it with a festive bow!
Enjoy! =)

Patriotic Bark

Summer is officially here!! With it comes BBQ's, river trips, pool parties, beach days and one of my favorite holidays, 4th of July!

We are celebrating America's 238th year as the "land of the free" BBQ-ing and soaking up some California sunshine at the beach with friends. Naturally, I wanted to bring something festive and easy to munch on. I decided to do a spin on my "Easter Bark" and make "Patriotic Bark". I liked this version a lot's the perfect mix of sweet and salty...making it dangerously good!!

You'll Need:
-Pretzel Sticks
-Roasted Peanuts
-White Chocolate Candy Melts
-Red, white, and blue M&M's (which I couldn't find - I just bought original M&M's and picked out the blue and red ones)

 What You'll Do:
-Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
-Spread out peanuts and broken pretzel sticks

-Melt the white chocolate candy melts according to the directions
-Spread melting chocolate over peanuts and pretzels
-Add red and blue M&M's
-Let harden in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes

-Break apart and serve

I am serving my Patriotic Bark in a festive basket with the Patriotic Pretzel Sticks.

 I wrapped it all up in cellophane with a cute ribbon!

Enjoy!! =)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

White Chocolate Cookies n Cream Cookies

White chocolate chips AND a Hershey's Cookies N Cream a COOKIE...need I say more?
I was scouring Pinterest to see what kind of cookies I was going to make to send with my boyfriend and his crew for this weekend's upcoming off-road race and stumbled upon this recipe at Lil Luna. Before I could even read the full name of the cookies he wanted them!!
What you'll need:
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
- 1 cup Cookies N Cream Bars chopped
What you'll do:
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Cream butter, oil and sugars. Add eggs and beat until fluffy.
- Add remaining dry ingredients and extract.
- Fold in white chocolate chips and chopped up Cookies N Cream bar.
- Place on greased cookie sheet and bake for 7-9 minutes.
Enjoy! =)

P.S. I got a text about an hour into their drive and one bag of cookies (about 30) were already gone! I think it's safe to say these cookies are a hit!


I'll definitely be making these again!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter Bark

This year I wanted to make something festive for my family. While browsing the Pinterest boards, I stumbled upon an Easter bark recipe from The Browy Blog that looked too good to not try!

Not only was this super easy to make but it also tasted really good - perfect combo! ;) 

- First, you'll need to get several different colors of chocolate melts. I got one bag of lavender, yellow, bright white, and blue from Michael's Craft Stores; however, almost all craft stores have them and even some supermarkets!

- Next, I separated each color into a microwave-safe bowl and melted each color down.

- While the chocolates are melting, line a cookie sheet with wax paper.
- Once the chocolate is completed melted, spoon it out onto various areas of the cookie sheet (as opposed to having each color in just one spot). Doing this will make it easier to swirl all the colors together.
- After you have poured each color onto the lined cookie sheet, tap the pan on the counter to draw the colors together.
- Grab a toothpick (or knife) and swirl away!
- I dropped Cadbury Mini Egg's onto the mixture for an extra treat! However, any Easter candy will work...
- Let cool in the refridgerator for 10 - 20 mins or until chocolate is hard.
- Break the bark into small pieces.
- I placed my Easter bark in an Easter themed goodie box (also from Michael's Craft Store) with some Easter basket grass, cellophane, and some ribbon before giving them out!

Enjoy! =)


Monday, April 21, 2014

Lucky Treats

Inspired by the "luck of the Irish", here's a spin on traditional rice krispy treats - lucky treats!

I found the idea and recipe on Sweet C's Designs...These were SO good and SO easy to make!

You'll need:

-3 cups of marshmallows
-4 cups of Lucky Charms
-1/4 cup of salted butter

What you'll do:

-In a large pot, melt butter
-Add in the marshmallows, stir constantly until mallows are completely melted, remove from heat
-Add Lucky Charms, continue to stir
-Pour mixture into a well greased cookie sheet or dish
-Let cool and cut into squares

Enjoy! =)

  • In a large pot, add butter and begin to melt on medium.
  • Add marshmallows and stir constantly until mallows melt.
  • You may see slight browning- if your mallows aren't fully melted as the sugar browns, pull them off the stove and continue stirring. They should melt from the heat.
  • Add lucky charms to pan and stir well to combine.
  • Pour mixture into well greased casserole dish and let cool.
  • When set, cut and enjoy!

  •
  • 3 cups marshmallows (if using jumbo, make them heaping cups)
  • 4 cups Lucky Charms
  • 1/4 cup butter, salted

  •
  • 3 cups marshmallows (if using jumbo, make them heaping cups)
  • 4 cups Lucky Charms
  • 1/4 cup butter, salted

  •

    Wednesday, March 12, 2014

    T-Shirt Quilt

    Do you or someone in your life have a TON of t-shirts that you don't wear anymore but don't necessarily want to get rid of? My boyfriend has this problem. My solution...a t-shirt quilt!

    I searched the web to get ideas on how to begin and saw sites charging up to $600 for you to send in your shirts and then they assemble the quilt for you and ship it back. While I'm sure it would turn out absolutely perfect, I wanted mine to have the "handmade" aspect to it - I think that makes things more sentimental. Luckily, I was able to find a website, You Can Make This, that had a PDF pattern guide for a simple, do-it yourself t-shirt quilt. I did have to purchase it for $7.50 in order to download it - but it was well worth it!

    Don't be intimidated it wasn't really as hard as it sounds. Fortunately for me, I had my mom to provide her sewing machine and to  help and supervise with the actual sewing but if you can sew in a straight line - you'll be fine!

    The pattern called for 12 shirts (keep in mind you will be cutting these up so make sure they are shirts you plan on no longer wearing) in order to make a 4 foot x 5 foot quilt.

    After a quick trip to JoAnn's or your local fabric store to pick up the other essentials:
    - 6 Yards of Fusible Interfacing
    - 2 Yards of Cotton Fabric for Sashing Strips
    - 2 Yards of Fleece
    - Marking Pen or Chalk
    - Thread to Match Fabric
    - 1 Size 14 Universal or Knit Sewing Machine Needle're ready to begin!

    Mind you, there is A LOT of cutting, pinning, and sewing but it totally doable. We finished the quilt over the span of a weekend but if you really put your mind to it, you could have finished it in one day.

    Here is my finished product...
    T-Shirt Quilt
    My shirt consisted of all racing related shirts since he is a race mechanic but you can use any type/theme of shirts. I ended up giving this quilt to my boyfriend as part of his Valentine's Day gift and he LOVED it!
    It ended up being about the size of a twin bed quilt and is actual really warm! It is a perfect blanket to use on a chilly night! 

    Tuesday, February 18, 2014

    One Pan Chicken

    Looking for something easy and healthy to make for dinner? This dish has it all in one - your protein, your vegetable, and your starch...that's about as easy as it gets!

    One Pan Chicken...

    You'll need:
    - 2 Chicken Breasts
    - 2 Sliced Potatoes
    - Veggies (I used broccoli this time but have used zucchini, squash, and asparagus - all are great!)
    - Butter
    - Packet of Italian Salad Dressing

    Place items into a baking pan as shown...

    Once your items are in the baking pan, I sprinkle the entire packet of Italian dressing all over the chicken, potatoes, and veggies. Then I cut and place some tabs of butter.

    Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour .

    ENJOY! =)

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

    M&M Cake Batch Cookies

    When I asked my boyfriend what sort of sweets he wanted for Valentine's Day he said "chocolate" and "cookies"...I added in the part where it needed to be festive!

    Luckily, I was able to find a recipe for M&M Cake Batch Cookies from The Frugal Gals. It was really simple - all you need is:

    - 1 box of Betty Crocker Chocolate Cake Mix
    - 2 eggs
    - 1/2 cup of Canola or Vegetable Oil
    - 1 Bag of Valentine's M&M's

    Mix ingredients together in a large bowl, let sit in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes to chill, then bake for 9-10 minutes at 350 degrees on an ungreased cookie sheet.

    This batter is incredibly sticky!! It was a bit of a nightmare to roll into little balls - the batter would get soft and then stick to my hands...but it was worth it - they are delicious!!

    Enjoy!! Perhaps, with a nice tall glass of milk!

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

    Sweetheart Trail Mix

    I wanted to make something sweet for Valentine's Day but enough for a group of hungry co-workers to solution was Sweetheart Trail Mix! So easy and so good!!
    All you need are four simple ingredients and of course a bowl. I couldn't find a bowl decorated for Valentine's Day that was big enough so I decided to make my own! I headed to The Dollar Tree and found this hot pink bowl and grabbed my Puffy Paints from Michael's and got to work...
    I couldn't find a Valentine's Day I made my own!
    The ingredients...Crunch N' Munch Caramel and Butter Toffee (it's a blend of popcorn and peanuts - similar to Popcornopolis), Valentine's Day M&M's, Sweetheart's Conversation Hearts, and Flipz White Fudge Covered Pretzels.


    Literally, dump everything into your bowl...


    Lastly, I wrapped it up all pretty with some cellophane and a festive Valentine's Day ribbon!

    Sweetheart Trail Mix all ready to go!


    Valentine's Day Centerpiece

    Valentine's Day Centerpieces!

    Looking for a really cute and easy centerpiece idea?

    Look no further - you found them!

    This is about as simple as it gets...all you need are candles, clear vases or candle holders, and some candy (I used about 3 bags)! I bought my white pillar candles and candle holders forever ago from Home Goods and have them on our kitchen table year-round! For the month of February, I replaced the stones I usually have with the most popular Valentine's Day candy - conversation hearts!

    For an extra little touch, I found some glitter heart cut-outs at The Dollar Tree and scattered them around the candles...

    Now the hard part is keeping hungry hands from eating my decorations! =)

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

    Personalized Wall Art

    When trying to decorate our spare bedroom for my, then 5 year old, "soon-to-be bonus daughter" (I hate the label of "step" - it just reminds me of the wicked stepmom and stepsisters from Cinderella) I knew I wanted to do something to make her feel special and that this was really a room of her own. 
    Luckily, I was able to incorporate a lot of furniture I had from my bedroom as a little girl! I decided to use a lot of bright accent colors since we have white walls (it's a rental so I really didn't want to paint and then re-paint).
    While sitting in there one night, starting at the huge blank wall above the bed, I decided I wanted to put her name up there.  I thought it would be a fun idea to get a whole bunch of different frames, paint them different colors, and then print out each letter of her name, frame it, and hang it with ribbon!

    I headed down to our local thrift store (2 frames for $1) and bought 6 different frames - both 4" x 6" and 5" x 7" then hit up Home Depot and had samples mixed of 4 different neon colors - blue, purple, pink, and lime green. I painted the frames that night and let them dry. I used Microsoft Word and printed each letter of her name in a different font and cut them out in appropriate sizes to fit each frames. Lastly, I bought a spool of ribbon and used a staple gun to attach the ribbon to the back of each frame and tied a bow at the top. We then hung them in a scattered formation on the wall...


    The look on her face when she first walked into her very own room at "Daddy Brad and Kristin's" house was priceless! She constantly tells me that is the "most favorite" part of her room!

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

    Coors Light Birthday Cake

    If your guy is anything like mine, he isn't a huge sweets lover. He'll rarely have a scoop of ice cream after dinner or go for a box of candy at the movies so when I was deciding what to make for his birthday dessert I decided to incorporate his favorite thing - beer!
    Working for a manufacturer there is plenty of cardboard laying around so I took 3 pieces and used a compass to get my sizes - 12", 10", and 8" rounds. I used box cutters to cut out each circle but scissors or an exacto knife would have worked too. Next, I used the 36 pack of Coors Light cans I bought and placed them (label facing out) around each round piece leaving 1 can to use as the topper. The cans were not secured down but I did tie a ribbon around each level to ensure the cans would stay together. Lastly, I stacked each round piece and placed the last remaining can on the top of my beer cake. I also placed some curling ribbon around it for the last finishing touch!

    The cake was a huge hit...although it didn't last long - he was a thirsty birthday boy!!! 

    Monday, February 3, 2014

    Super Bowl XLVIII

    Ahhh, the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday is always a rough one! Personally, I think it should automatically be a national holiday...I mean who wants to wake up and work after all the commotion of the game, the anticipation for the commercials and the halftime show, not to mention the absurd amounts of food and drinks you consume!?!

    Speaking of food, drinks, and commercials, I decided to co-host a Super Bowl party with a girlfriend this year. Our boyfriends were racing the Parker 425 so we decided to take it upon ourselves to get the house all set up for the big game; luckily, Pinterest was there to help!

    I "pinned" a link to A Second Chance to Dream which had all the game appropriate printouts for the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. I just printed out the table toppers, toothpick/straw wraps, and a 4 x 6 team logo photo for each team all on regular white paper. The cutting out of all the designs was a bit tedious but it was worth it!
    We ran over to The Dollar Tree for the frames and kabob sticks (which we ended up using for our toothpick/straw wraps). I used empty vases and filled them with sunflower seeds to hold the sticks in place.
    I got the remaining printouts from Lil' Luna. Again, I just printed out the two 8 x 10 photos on white paper and framed them in frames from The Dollar Tree. The banner was really easy to cut out! Once I was done cutting, I used a single hole punch and used some left over twine to thread it thru and then tied a bow at each end to hang it from the iron work on the wall.

    Our football table all decorated for the Broncos v. Seahawks game!

    Now that the ambiance was set...we had to tackle our "game day menu"! We opted for traditional American football foods...chip served with salsa and queso (in football shaped dishes we found at The $.99 Store), cheese, salami, and crackers, 7-layer bean dip served with Fritos, red vines,  deviled eggs, and chili. Unfortunately, we ran out of time to make more items appear in football shapes to tie into our theme. However, if you're looking for some really great football menu ideas, check out a "pin" I found to A Family's Feast, they had really great, easy ideas...all designed to resemble a football!

    Game Day Foods!!

    We also decided to play "Super Bowl Commercial Bingo" during the countless commercial breaks! It was a really fun way to get everyone involved in not only the game but also the much awaited commercials! I printed them off from a "pin" linked to Style Me Pretty...each card was completely different with advertisers - we liked it so much that we played twice...aka, I lost twice!

    All in all, it was a great game watched with great friends! Hope this inspires you for Super Bowl XLIX!