Friday, December 23, 2011

My Friday Five - Week 8

I can't believe that Christmas is only two days away!  Wow!  I'm really excited to spend the day with my family - it's nice to slow down and have some time together.  And since I am on the subject, it's a good time to let you know that this will be my last post for the year.  I'm going to take a few days off but I'll be back in 2012 with lots of great ideas!  Thank you SO much for visiting my blog - I am having a lot fun with it!  I will really miss jumping on here next week.  So let's end 2011 with some inspiration via Pinterest.  You know, just in case you're looking for a couple of easy Christmas ideas.  Ready?

1.  Are you entertaining this Christmas?  Do you need a couple more serving trays?  Here's a great way to make your own-

A tray made from melted mints.  So clever!  Head over to Tutto Bella to see how easy this is.  You can arrange the mints to form any shape or design.  There's still time...

2.  Sticking with the peppermint theme - check out these cute marshmallow treats-

The marshmallows are dipped in white chocolate then sprinkled with sugar.  Yum.  And they look beautiful.  Melissa and Kellie at Icing Designs came up with these treats.  They may even be too pretty to eat...

3.  I assume all of your shopping is complete - and you are on to the wrapping phase.  Well, here's a great resource for gift tag printables-

Ez over at Creature Comforts found many different tag designs and put them all together.  So no more sharpie-on-the-wrapping-paper-because-you-ran-out-of-tags....(come on, we've all done it right?).  Now, you can just print some out at home!  

4.  And don't forget the bows!  I love this felt bow-

It looks easy enough (yay!) and it is beautiful.  Check out Fancy House Road for all of the instructions (and to see all of the other great ideas on this blog - it's really awesome).  I wish all of my gifts had these little bows - love them.

5.  Ok this craft might be a little more than  you want to take on so close to Christmas, but you can always pin it and try it next year-

Christmas lights glitter magnets!  These are so festive and fun!  They remind me of the lights we had on our tree when I was a young girl (yup - I'm old) - but completely updated.  Courtney from A Diamond in the Stuff made these - and now I want to too!  It's nice to start planning for next Christmas...

Are you inspired yet?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

New Winner!

I have picked a new winner of this Shabby Apple Dress -



Comment #36 (via - "I love the Ahoy! dress" is the new winner!  Please send me an email by Friday night so I can get all of your info - kmwerynski@gmailcom

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Field Trip - Delicate Construction

I'm on another guest posting field trip - you can find me at Delicate Construction.  Well, actually, I was over there yesterday but I'd love it if you could hop over and take a look at Michelle's blog!  She has some great holiday ideas - and a few giveaways!!!

In other exciting news - I'm still not ready for Christmas!  I'm close but I still have a few last minute gifts to buy for the difficult-to-shop-for people in my life.  So, I'm off to shop, wrap and get the house ready.  Strangely, I'm very calm about this.  It will all get done somehow!  I think the fact that we still don't have snow is causing me to forget that Christmas is just a few days away...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Cookies

Last weekend, I went to a cookie party hosted by a good friend.  It's an annual event and I always look forward to it.  This year, I decided to bring a few different cookies - some old recipes and some new ones.  The most popular cookie I brought was this white chocolate covered Oreo-

I found the idea on Pinterest and modified it.  Originally, they called for pretzels as the "base".  I decided to change it up a little and used Oreos instead.  It was very easy to make (I'm all for keeping it simple).  I melted some white chocolate chips in the microwave (sorry I forgot to take pictures).  I dipped the front of the oreos in the melted chocolate.  Then, I dipped the top half of the cookie in red sugar.  To top it off, I added a mini marshmallow (actually I cut the marshmallows in half).  Cute and tasty!

The second "cookie" I made was more for fun.  I found the idea on Pinterest and mentioned it in My Friday Five a while back - 

I just couldn't resist - and they were a huge hit with both the kids and adults!  It was really easy to assemble these little guys.  I used mini candy canes - which I cut the ends off of (the swoopy end - technical term - is a little long as is).  I melted some chocolate chips to use as "glue".  I dipped Hershey chocolate nuggets into the melted chocolate and placed them onto the candy canes.  Then, I dipped the Teddy Grahams into the chocolate and set them onto the nuggets.  They set up pretty quickly.  And off to the fridge they went.  Notice that I only used the Teddy Grahams with arms up (I just learned that there are two shapes of Teddy Grahams.  Arms up and arms down.  I stuck with the more excited arms up guys).  I never get tired of looking at these - they make me smile.

The third cookie I brought were haystacks.  I've been making these for years (and I'm sure all of my friends expect them at this point).  Again, easy and delicious-

How easy?  Only two ingredients - chocolate chips and chow mein noodles-

I just melted the chocolate chips in the microwave - 

And added the noodles (I pour in about a third of the bag at a time)-

Then I dropped them into bite size amounts onto a cookie sheet and put them into the fridge to cool-

They are always a hit!  Everyone loves chocolate!

The last cookie I brought also involved chocolate-

A friend made these for us a few years ago and I love them!  And there are only three ingredients - pretzels, Rolos, and pecans - 

The most time consuming part of the prep is unwrapping all of the Rolos - 

So you might want to get the kids in on that.  Then just spread the pretzels on a cookie sheet and top with Rolos- 

They go in the oven for a few minutes on low heat.  They just need to soften a bit.  Once they come out, pop a pecan on each cookie and squish it down a bit.  Let them cool in the fridge and enjoy-

So there you have it.  Four easy and tasty Christmas cookies for your holiday entertaining.  Oh and while I was making these cookies for the cookie party, I decided to make some more for my husband's co-workers.  

I filled one box with:  chocolate chip cookies, brownies, white chocolate covered Oreo's (described above), cookies and cream cookies (I found that recipe here), store bought shortbread cookies, Hershey kisses and candy canes.

The second box was filled with:  haystacks, the pretzel/Rolo/pecan cookies, and white chocolate dipped pretzels.  Craig said that they didn't last too long - always a good sign!  

So now that all of my baking is done, it's time to finish my shopping and wrapping.  Only a few more days left!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Shabby Apple Dress Winner!!

I am very excited to announce the winner of the Shabby Apple Dress Giveaway!!  The winner was chosen randomly (via -


April G.

Comment #65 - 

"My favorite is the Black Oak Dress" is the winner!

Please send me an email - by midnight Wednesday so we can work out all of the details!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Last Day to Enter My Giveaway

I just wanted to remind everyone that today is the last day to enter to win this fabulous dress from Shabby Apple-

Click here to get all of the details!!

Good Luck!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011


I have been featured on a few blogs this week and I'd like to say thanks!  Kaysi at Keeping it Simple featured my Thumb Tack Tree-

Carolyn {Homework}, Rebecca {My Girlish Whims}, Mandy {Sugar Bee Crafts}, Ginger {Ginger Snap Crafts}, and Michelle {Delicate Construction} all featured my Ornament Wreath.  This project was also the most viewed link on Creations by Kara -

Wow!!  Thanks ladies for selecting my projects - it's always so exciting to be chosen!

Friday, December 16, 2011

My Friday Five - Week 7

Ok are you ready for some terrific Pinterest inspiration?  I have found some projects specifically centered around the one Christmas "craft" that I have not mastered (well, actually, there are many Christmas crafts that I have never tried - but this one is just way too complicated for me).  What am I referring to?  What is so difficult?  The Gingerbread House.  Yes, that's right.  I. Can. Not. Make. One.  I have even bought the kits to do with my kids - because they really want to make a cute little house - but it never works.  I can't seem to "glue" the sides together or make the roof stay on.  It is usually a disaster.  I see them all over the place, and I tell myself I can do it.  But I can't.  So I pinned some really cute ones on Pinterest to enjoy.  And that's probably the best it's going to get in this house.  Want to take a look?  Let's get started.

1.  I HAVE to start with this stunning house - 

Seriously?  I could move in.  And it seems to already have working lights.  Barry from Rock Recipes just threw this together.  Really.  He designed the whole thing.  I can't even get the little A-frame working. But maybe with a little more practice...  By the way,  you should really check out all of the other gorgeous houses he made.  So completely impressive.

2.  Let's step back down to earth now with a beautiful house that probably you can make (yeah, I've really given up) - 

I am loving how different the decor is.  The red and white is beautiful!  If you can put together a standard gingerbread house, you can make this.  Sometimes, I have trouble thinking outside of the box.  But this house makes me realize that a gingerbread house can be decorated any way you want.  If you have a certain color scheme, you can tailor the house to fit.  It doesn't have to be covered in multi-color candy.  Take a look at Jenny's blog - Turnip Greens and Sweet Tea for more inspiration.

3.  How about tiny houses for your coffee mug?  Megan from Not Martha made the cutest little houses (that I know I can't replicate...)-

These are crazy good.  Can you just imagine your morning coffee with these houses sitting on your mug?  So festive!  And dare I say fancy?  Yeah, I think I just said it.  Love them.

4.  How about a house that's not made with gingerbread?  What about using graham crackers instead?  That's what Karin from Made By K did-

If you head over to her blog, you can see step by step instructions of this cute house.  And I like the ice cream cone tree (maybe I could make that - baby steps).  This is a clever twist on the traditional house.

5.  Ok, let's try one that even I could probably make - 

A cardboard playhouse - decorated like a gingerbread house.  I could totally do this.  This involves more painting and less structural baking.  Yay!  Laura from Come Together Kids found a cardboard house kit and painted it with her kids (I had no idea they made house kits - I always just gave my kids old boxes.  I guess times have changed).  Anyway, I love this idea.  And what a great way to let the kids join in the fun!  

Oh and I have an early Christmas gift for my readers - an EXTRA Pinterest find - so I guess it's technically My Friday Six.  Which doesn't have the same ring to it. So don't expect it every week.  But I'm in the giving mood today.

6.  Gingerbread house cupcakes - 

I know these are out of my league, but I loved them. I found these at Bake it in a Cake.  Can you imagine sending these to school for your kid's class holiday party?  The other moms would be in awe.  What a great idea - so cute.

Are you inspired yet?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Garland Christmas Tree

I have shared a few dollar store styrofoam Christmas tree ideas lately, but I still have one more.  I just had so much fun making these trees - and I love getting all of my supplies at the dollar store!  Here's the finished tree-

I started with a tree form and base - which I spray painted - and some garland-

I glued the tree form onto the base with some hot glue (I didn't want all of my trees to be the same height) - 

Then, I glued the garland - starting from the bottom - 

I just worked my way up-

I wanted to finish the top, so I added a bow using dollar store ribbon (it's the same ribbon I used to hang my Ornament Wreath)-

And here it is with my Thumb Tack Tree - 

Now it sites on my mantel (with my Tinsel Tree) - 

And my Thumb Tack Tree sits on the opposite side with my Moss Tree - 

I think they are so cute!  And I love how inexpensive they were - it makes decorating for the holidays affordable! Yay!  

I've shared this project here-

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dessert With Friends with Duncan Hines

Thanks to Duncan Hines for sponsoring my writing. There's no limit to the baking possibilities, so grab your favorite Duncan Hines mix and Comstock or Wilderness fruit fillings and Bake On!

As we all know, this time of the year can be VERY busy.  Everyone is running around shopping, wrapping, cleaning, decorating and getting ready for the holidays.  But I think it is so important to slow down and spend time with friends.  I mean, isn't that what the holidays are all about?  So, when I decided to have some friends over recently, I wanted to make a delicious - and easy - dessert.  I whipped up some Duncan Hines brownies. Everyone loves brownies.

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl (water, oil, and eggs - yay for not needing a hundred ingredients!) - 

Pour the batter in a pan (and if you're wondering, yes I find it very hard to resist licking the spoon.  It's just so tasty.)-

Then bake them (oh they make the whole house smell so good - I really wish you could smell them!)-

Then I try not to eat them all before my friends show up (that would be embarrassing). And I had to keep them away from my kids (which is NOT easy!).   But I love an easy, inexpensive and delicious dessert - especially when entertaining for the holidays!  Isn't it great to know that you don't have to be in the kitchen all day to make something your friends will love?  You really can make something simple and impress your friends (especially if there's chocolate involved).  Duncan Hines makes the holidays so much easier!  I think everyone should take some time to slow down, make a quick dessert, and enjoy the company of friends at this time of year.  It really is fun - and it takes your mind off of the stress this season can bring.  And it gives you a great excuse to indulge in some brownies.  Yum!

Be sure to check out Duncan Hines' website for great recipe ideas like these Ornament Cupcakes-

Those are just beautiful!  I may have to try them the next time I have friends over!  

Remember to check out Duncan Hines' website to find some great recipes for your holiday get-together! I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective.