Saturday, December 31, 2011

wishing you a sweet new year

We are heading over to some friends house tonight to drink some eggnog martinis and ring in the New Year in style.  I am bringing dessert and decided to make this recipe for cannoli dip.  For fun I am serving it in an over sized martini glass.  I dusted some cocoa powder on top and stuck a pirouette cookie in for a garnish.  I am going to put a variety of cookies and some fresh strawberries around the platter for people to dip.  May your New Years be filled with good friends and may your 2012 be sweet!
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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

that's a wrap

This gift really is "that's a wrap"!  For Christmas I gave my sister-in-law a monogrammed canvas bag filled with fun wrapping supplies.  I included some wrapping paper, tissue paper, tiny clothespins, paper bags, boxes, and some personalized ribbon.  This was such a fun gift to put together and my sister-in-law told me that it was the best gift I had ever given her!  I'll definitely be using this idea again. 
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Saturday, December 24, 2011

frosty the snowman

These are the ornaments we made yesterday at my daughter's holiday party at school.  They came out so cute!  They are painted on a mini art canvas that I found at Joann Fabrics.  The kids used their fingerprints to make the bodies for the snowman and then toothpicks to add the details.  We used a glue gun to attach the ribbon hanger. You can find more detailed instructions here.
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Thursday, December 22, 2011

christmas love

My husband and I agreed not to give each other gifts this year.  Instead I decided to make him something.  I saw this ornament on pinterest and knew it would be perfect.  Basically you just take your wedding invitation and cut it into strips and put them inside of a clear glass ornament.  You can find more detailed directions here.  (This would also be darling with a baby announcement inside for a baby born near the holidays)  I also found some chocolates shaped like taxi cabs because our first kiss was in a taxi!  Just a little something at Christmas to remind him how much I love him.
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cachepots & kisses

This year we gave the pre-school teachers mercury glass cachepots and snowflake ornaments, both from Pottery Barn.  I was going to make some snowball cookies to put inside the pots with a cute snowball poem, but I have been dealing with a nasty stomach bug, a husband who herniated a disc and a son with pink eye!  Crazy.  Anyway at the last minute I decided to put some Hershey kisses in them instead.  The note wished the teachers a Merry Christmas and a Happy and HEALTHY New Year and was signed kisses, and my son's name.  I wrapped the pots in cellophane and tied them with a beautiful turquoise satin ribbon.
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

that's a wrap

A gift card to our local mall wrapped and tied with a beautiful purse shaped ornament.  Great for a mother, sister in law or teacher. 
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thanks a latte

I am sure that you have seen something like this little guy all over the web.  I know I have!  But, I could never find out what was used for the nose and face so I made up my own.  I used mini powdered donuts, a candy corn with the tip cut off and some mini chocolate chips for the eyes and mouth.  So easy!  I placed one in a small box and attached a gift card to a local coffee shop.  The note said "thanks a latte".  This is a nice and thoughtful gift for so many people on your list that you want to thank with a little something.  I think I may make the donuts for my sons birthday party in January too!  So cute. 
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

reindeer snack

A quick and easy little snack I whipped up for my son's library holiday party tomorrow.  Just a mini donut, some pretzel antlers, a malted milk ball nose and some candy eyes!  Of course you could use a red candy nose to make Rudolph.  I found this idea here.  I will share another quick donut snack tomorrow for "that's a wrap" Wednesday.  Stay tuned.
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gingerbread houses

One of our traditions at Christmas is to bake home made gingerbread houses.  I got some cookie cutters from Williams Sonoma years ago that help to shape our houses like pieces of a puzzle.  It is a long process, but that is what I like about it.  One day we make the dough then stick it in the fridge until we are ready.  Next we roll it out.  Assemble it another day and then let the kids decorate!  I let them each make their own house which means that by next year I will be making three!  We have been battling a terrible stomach bug in our house so a little candy and sugary sweetness has helped brighten our moods during the craziness of the season.  Hope your day is sweet too!
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Sunday, December 18, 2011

ho, ho, hostess gift

We had another really busy and fun weekend.  I was invited to two different houses and wanted to bring a dessert and gift to both so I made these delicious and easy s'more cups and put them on a white ruffled cake stand.  I tied the whole thing up with some cellophane and personalized ribbon and had a yummy dessert and hostess gift in one.  I also went with my mom and daughter to see the Nutcracker.  It was magical and a favorite tradition.  Hope you weekend was filled with friends, family and lots of love too.
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Saturday, December 17, 2011

deck the halls with boughs of holly

Yesterday I went in to my daughter's kindergarten classroom to share some Irish Christmas traditions.  I focused on holly since that is a common decoration used in Ireland during the holidays.  You can read about what I did last year here.    This year I decided to have the children make tiny hanging arrangement with fresh cut holly and greens.  I used recycled baby food jars and tied some green floral wire around them as a handle.  I loved how the children came up with the great idea to float the holly berries in the water- it looked beautiful! After they made their arrangements they choose ribbon to tie around the jar and also used some tiny cards (that were punched with a holly cutout) to write Merry Christmas in Gaelic.  For the snack I made some holly wreaths with m&m berries.  We listened to some Irish Christmas music and it was a really fun way to spend the morning.
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

holiday cards

I love going to the mailbox this time of year.  It is so fun to get Christmas cards from family and friends near and far.  It is always hard to find a place to display them all. Not any more! I bought some shutters at an antique store years ago.  There were two that were attached and I used them on the floor as a mini screen.  Recently they broke apart and we decided to hang them on the wall in our red living room.  There is one on either side of the room, right next to the windows.  I thought they would be great for displaying books or magazines and cards during the holidays.  Since some of the cards are flat I glued some red shiny paper to some clothespins and they hold the cards in place and look festive too.
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Sunday, December 11, 2011

the most famous reindeer of all

On Friday night we asked some old friends to join us for a Rudolph pizza and movie night.  I have recently discovered Pinterest and found a lot of my inspiration for the party there.  You can see all of the ideas on my Rudolph Party board. Besides eating pizza and watching "Rudolph" I set up two crafts and channeled my inner Amy Atlas by creating a mini dessert table.  Directions for making the cupcakes can be found herethe rein"beer" here, and oranments here. I found the reindeer food labels here.

The food:

We served rein"beer" and Rudolph's nose (a martini made with vodka, chambord, lime juice and a cherry)!

The activities:

reindeer food

  and ornaments

 The favors:

Even our elf got dressed up for the occasion!

Hope your weekend was as fun as ours!

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

deck the dolls

Yesterday I spent a lovely afternoon with my daughter decorating her doll's house.  We made mini wreaths, added doll sized Christmas trees and candy canes and even wrote a tiny letter to Santa. I remembered I had some gingerbread cookie stickers so we put them on a small piece of aluminum foil to look like cookies baking in the kitchen.  We both had so much fun!
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Friday, December 2, 2011

little candle burning bright

I was asked to make some favors for a law office's Open House this evening.  I wrapped a candle and a business card in cellophane bags and tied them with some ribbon.  Some of them are displayed on a tree and the rest were placed in a sled next to the tree.  I added some black Christmas balls and a thicker version of the ribbon to the tree and topped it will a silver star ornament.
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Thursday, December 1, 2011

countdown to christmas

Can you believe it is the first day of December?  Time is just flying by.  I put out our advent calendar and have it nearly filled.  Some of the days at the end are saved for our christmas pajamas and books and a trip on the polar express.  Today the children woke up to find an "elf on the shelf".  They named him Jack and are excited by his presence.  I planted the paper white bulbs right before Thanksgiving and they are coming along nicely.  I can't wait for them to bloom.
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