December 30, 2011

Double Tomato Bruschetta & an Easy Breezy Cheeseball

The celebrating isn't quite over for 2011 so make sure you're prepared to entertain! Here are a couple super easy (and oh so delicious!) recipes for finishing out the year.
Double Tomato Bruschetta


6 Roma Tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil (comes in a jar)
3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil, stems removed & diced
salt & pepper
french baguette (I used 2)
Shredded Mozzarella cheese

Add first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, during which time you can preheat your oven to broil. Slice your baguette and place on a baking sheet. Broil baguettes until they are barely toasted. Remove from oven and add a spoonful of toppings to each. Sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven to broil until cheese is melted (not even 5 minutes). Done! Just like that!

Broiler warning: DON'T BURN THEM!

If you won't take my word for it, ratings and suggestions for this recipe can be found here.

Easy Breezy Cheese Ball

1 package shredded cheese
2- 8oz packages of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup green pepper
2 tbsp minced onion
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 small jar pimentos
crackers of your choice

Seriously it's this easy people--

Mix everything together in a large bowl. Get messy, use your hands..

Roll it in a ball and put it in the middle of a serving dish.

Refrigerate, overnight if you have time. Add crackers. Done and done!

Happy Snacking!

December 29, 2011

2011 Christmas Snapshot

Here's a quick look into our Christmas this year!
Note: I missed SO many moments, and didn't take nearly enough pictures!

Hope yours was merry and bright!

December 26, 2011

Winter Berry Initial Wreath

Happy Holidays!
I hope everyone had a safe and relaxing Christmas!

When getting in the spirit for Christmas, I found a great winter wreath idea here, and was dying to make it. Ccoincidentally, my boyfriend's last name begins with a "D" so I thought it would be the perfect gift for his mom. I went ALL OVER the place looking for a flat black letter "D", but had no luck. Some weren't big enough, some weren't flat, some were the wrong color- I just knew I wasn't going to find it. Eventually I settled for a gold 3-D letter I found at Hobby Lobby, 12" (if I remember correctly).

So here's what you'll need:
12" letter
 5-6 berry branches (floral/holiday section at most craft stores)
 hot glue (of course)
burlap or ribbon
wire for hanging

First, cut the berries off each branch. I had some left over at the end, so I wouldn't recommend cutting the berries off all five or six stems at the beginning.

If your letter is 3-D like mine, start gluing the bunches onto one side first. When finished with one edge, start on the next.

Just keep adding.. just keep adding..

and add a little more...

Then add a BOW!
(and create a wire ring for it to hang from, and add little adhesive protective circles to the back so it doesn't bang against the door)

(Note: wire circle for hanging runs through the back of the bow)

If I did this project again, I would: buy a longer piece of burlap ribbon, and MAYBE not get the burlap with the red trim, but instead maybe plain.

December 18, 2011

A lot like Christmas

With less than a week before Christmas, I suppose I should show pictures of my mantle and tree, and some other decorations I've found. But that's not all- I finally mastered Monkey Bread (after several failed attempts). I've been on a cinnamon and sugar kick for over a week, but during the holidays there's nothing better!

Similar to the Durham's, you can easily make your coffee table centerpiece festive- add Christmas ornaments, and glittered pine cones to the mix! And/or you can add candles.

I love this tree because it's really fun and girly and beautiful. The top has so much personality!

Love the flowers pinned in the tree!

Now for my (skinny) tree-
Nothing super awesome BUT I do love my "B" and "E" ornaments that I received as a gift last year. Next year, I'd rather wrap my ribbons around horizontally, weaving them between the branches.

To make your skinny/bare tree look fuller, you can use the really inexpensive thin garland and layer it between the tree branches. Works like a charm!

My mantle came out much better than I anticipated and it's become my favorite part of my decorations this year. The white wine bottles may look familiar, you can find out how to make them here.

This is a 9ft garland strand with 2 strings of lights, 30 round (shatterproof) ornaments, 4 glass twisted ornaments, 8 poinsettia flowers, and ribbon

All this decorating makes for one sleepy Christmas puppy!

Now for the cinnamon sugar goodness of Monkey Bread!
 Check out this recipe, it's so delicious- IheartFood&SoCanYou Blog

(Photo borrowed from the above blog)

Let me know if you have any questions, and don't forget to follow my blog to stay up on new recipes,
 DIY projects and crafts!

December 14, 2011

Easy Apple Dumpling Recipe

                      Here is a super simple dessert to share during the Holidays. Super tasty and super easy! Let me know what you think!

Apple Dumplings

4 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and cored
2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls
1 cup  butter, melted
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
8-10 oz Mountain Dew
Vanilla ice cream (because it's amazing)


*Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

1. Peel apples, remove core and seeds. Cut each apple into 4 equal slices.
2. Unroll first crescent roll triangle. Starting at the corner, begin rolling an apple slice up. Tuck ends under to create a dumpling shape. Like this:

3. Butter your casserole dish. Add the dumplings, lining them up against the wall of the dish, and so that they're touching. Like this:

4. Melt butter, mix in sugar and cinnamon. Pour over top dumplings. Lastly, pour mountain dew over top.

5. Bake on 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Enjoy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! So delicious!

December 7, 2011

Holiday Floral Arrangement

When it comes to floral arrangements, I pass the baton to Red Leopard Ltd.! It's definitely a practice makes perfect kind of craft, and I'm not sure I'll ever get the hang of it. Lucky for me, I know two ladies who are quite amazing at it (along with plenty of other decorating, home renovation, DIY, design projects)!

So during this project, I took notes and took plenty of pictures.
This isn't quite a step-by-step but maybe it will help guide you.

What you'll need:
vase - stems and flowers- floral tape - moss- floral foam

Choose a vase you really like. If you decide on a glass or other transparent one,
you'll need the moss to cover the floral foam. the floral foam requires some cutting, molding, shaving, and smushing to make it fit snug within the vase. (and it's messy!)

A view from the top. The floral foam with the moss surrounding it. From the outside, it gives the appearance that it's only moss.

When choosing stems, choose some that are: tall, full, flexible,
some that vary in texture from one another, etc. Buy stems in odd numbers!

Start with your focal point (usual 2 stems). Hold the stems side by side and adjust the height to what you like. Use the floral tape to secure the stems together, keeping the height the same. Press into your floral foam. Below they used the long wild gold branches with the red berries as our focal point.

If your arrangement isn't going on a round table, establish a front and back so you can focus on what people will see. Start adding addition stems to give a full effect. Twist and bend stems as you like them. Cut the bottoms to trim the length.

For instance, this holly stem was purchased as a straight piece, but after a little muscle from Trish, Waa Laa- Curved (so it can be pressed into the floral foam and hang over the edge of the vase!)

Keep in mind your flowers don't have to be at the highest point.
And in general, not every stem should be the same height.

Almost there..once all your stems are in place, add extra moss to the top of the vase.

Perfectly Beautiful Holiday Centerpiece!
(and you can have the satisfaction that you did it yourself!!!)

Thanks to Red Leopard Ltd. for sharing their expertise!

Stay tuned for more projects and arrangements from the ladies at Red Leopard!

December 4, 2011

DIY No-Sew Pacifier Clips

At an age when I feel like everyone I know is either getting married or having a baby, I try to get creative with gift giving. Here's a sure fire craft project that will give your baby gift a personal touch!

DIY No-Sew Pacificer Clips

What you'll need:
Ribbon (1 inch wide), Zelcro roll (self-stick back if desired, 1 inch thick), Hot glue,
 Suspender/Pacifier/Mitten clips, Scissors

Trim your ribbon to the desired length. Keep in mind you'll be folding it over.

Turn your ribbon over, and fold the end under. Hot glue it down. Do this to both sides.

Cut a small square of velcro, peel back the adhesive paper, and add hot glue. Apply one part of the velcro to the ribbon, slightly overlapping the end you tucked/glued.

This is your "pacifier side". Add the matching piece of velcro farther down on the ribbon, allowing enough distance that you could string the ribbon through the pacifier and still velcro it closed. (these instructions are confusing so see pictures below for help!)

Here's a side view to help you judge how much space to leave between velcro pieces.

You'll do these same steps to attach velcro on the opposite end of the ribbon. Since this is your metal clip side, you won't need to space the two pieces of velcro apart as much.

pacifier Clip

Add your clip.


Here's a basket I created for Baby Maddox, and incorporated the clips!

Let me know if you have any questions!