Double Chocolate Brownies in A Jar Gift

Double.Chocolate.Brownies.  Those three words together are enough for me to be enrolled in reading a post to the end.  I found this awesome book, Make It In A Jar, at World Market a few weeks ago and bought it because, well because I wanted to.

I decided to try out one of the recipes and I am telling you, it is a hit.  It makes a great brownie and a great handmade/homemade gift (in a jar which makes it even better…)!

The recipe is easy peasy.  To dress up the jar, I added a felt circle to the top then tied on raffia and holiday bakers twine (also from World Market).   I made the gift card attachment using my the new winter Santa hat die from Ellison (will be available in January 2014!!!) on the Sizzix Big Shot and embellished it with fun things using Aleene’s Tacky Tape Runner.

And then I had to create a printed direction tag to go on it.  This is all explained in the book.

I think is is really cute and I know it will be super yummy!  Who wants it?

Enter this great contest! You might win a $100 gift card to Amazon so you can make LOTS of these!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out these other handmade gifts!


Happy creating homemade and handcrafted gifts for the holidays and every other day too,

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Posted in Blog Hops and Linky Parties, Christmas, Craft Projects | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ugly Sweater Garland with Free Printable

Ugly sweaters create fashion fun!  This printable was featured on Doll Diaries as part of a linky party/blog hop yesterday but today the kids took it to a whole new level.  They designed a bunch and created a garland for the mantle.

You can download the printable HERE and design your own sweaters.  The picture below shares how I doodle and design on my light table with my Laura Kelly Sharpie.

I used a black fine tip Sharpie marker to design the sweaters and then added color with Tombow markers by blending colors and adding personality.  This one is my fave!


The girls made their own too!

I LOVE them all.  I especially love them all strung up as the garland.

Happy Celebrating the Holidays,


Posted in Christmas, Crafts For Kids, Printables | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ugly Sweater Sugar Cookies

While out shopping at World Market, I found this awesome Ugly Sweater Cookie kit and had to buy it.  I mean, how adorable and fun is it anyway???

Sugar cookies are my favorites and decorating is a holiday fun thing around here so last night, I baked them up.  Today I decorated them.  The cookie cutter is adorable and the cookies came out really good.  I did carve a little out with a butter knife between the arms and the body because I think I baked them too thick.

I decorated them and am excited to share my favorite three.  Ta Da!!!

This one is my total fave.  The eyeball decorations leftover from Halloween make it reallllly UGLY, right?!

My monogram in frosting is pretty yummy!

And this tree on a pink background, so ugly that it is cute!

There are lots of great Ugly Sweater things happening right now and you might enjoy hopping around and checking them out!



Posted in Baking and Sweet Treats, Holidays, Product Review | 12 Comments

How Do You Do Your Ranch

Several weeks ago, Laura N. was over and we were creating fun with ranch seasoning packets.  We got into a discussion about ranch dressing and how the world is a happier place because of its existence.  Anyway, that conversation turned into this celebration of sharing on how we do our ranch and how lots of other fabulous bloggers do theirs too.

One of my favorite ways to serve ranch is to mix a whole packet of Hidden Valley Ranch with 1 C sour cream and 1 C salsa.  To serve it with chips, it works great to do it in a wine glass inserted in the middle of the bowl before adding the chips!  I know, what a great entertaining tip.  This particular wine goblet is extra special because it was hand painted JUST FOR ME by the amazing Kathy Cano-Murillo (aka Crafty Chica) on bisque and with underglazes from Duncan Ceramics!

Here it is from the other side.

And here it is when she was painting it during our ceramics education week together in Fresno.

Check out these amazing ways that other bloggy friends do their ranch!

Do you love to paint ceramics.  We are having a contest for one lucky winner to receive a $75 gift card to Color Me Mine so they can paint something fancy schmancy to use for their ranch dip creations.  You can enter here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Posted in Blog Hops and Linky Parties, Contests and Giveaways, Creative Cooking | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Discovery Weekend at Barnes and Noble

This post is sponsored but the thoughts and opinions are completely all from my own brain and heart.

Last night I attended a blogger event at Barnes and Noble to learn about this weekend’s upcoming festivities for Discovery Weekend and I am here to let you know that it is all FUN and GOOD stuff!  Not that they need to do anything at all to get me in to their store filled with an incredible selection of books, music, games, cards, stationery, gifts and other randomly awesome stuff based on the season; but these events are super cool!

There are events happening at the Barnes and Noble stores nationwide.  This is the flyer that shares what is happening!

Be sure to visit the NOOK counter to enter for a chance to win a $1000 shopping spree with Nick Jonas at Barnes and Noble in NEW YORK CITY! Click HERE for more details about the sweepstakes!  And also be sure to get a gigantic s’more cookie for only $1 in the cafe during select hours!

There is a contest too for the most outrageous holiday sweater.  Find out more about that HERE and be sure to have your camera handy when you are in the store sporting your snazzy duds.

While I was shopping, I found some amazing stocking stuffers.  Check them out!  Yes, I bought bunches.

I always love the way Barnes and Noble displays season books, especially for kids.  There are simply so many fabulous ones!

Because there is just so much to add to the “WANT” list at Barnes and Noble, I created a free printable shopping list that you can use with your kids when you take them this weekend.  It is meant to support the love of literature, books and reading as well as have fun with the gifty stuff too.  I guess it is the teacher in me shining through…

Have a fantastic weekend!  I can’t wait to see photos of your sweaters and if you win that trip to shop with Nick Jonas, please pack me in your suitcase.



Disclaimer:  I attended a live preview for this event and received a gift card to do some shopping.  I even got to meet lots of the booksellers which was quite a bonus.  I really do LOVE Barnes and Noble and you can trust that the content in this post is for real for me!


Posted in Printables, Product Review, Shopping Adventures | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

WaterWipes Save the Day

This post is sponsored by WaterWipes and Mommy Bag Marketing.  Although I received product and financial compensation, opinions and ideas are all mine!

I received a few packs of these in the mail this week and thought to myself, really???  I don’t have a baby.  I thought about what I had read on the product and have to admit I was still pretty excited about testing them out.  After all, I do have four kids and three pets.  And in addition to that, we are a messy bunch, always creating and making stuff.

I created this fun box project that day and the perfect opportunity came to try them.  I gathered up my supplies to work on the porch in the sunshine.

The Aleene’s Spray Tacky Adhesive gets on my fingers and it is HARD to get off.  I opened the wipes and tried them and they worked like a charm.  I like them because they are gentle and they won’t dry my hands out.  Most baby wipes contain harsh chemicals, even those marked organic.  Water Wipes are the only wipes that contain absolutely no chemicals!  They are going to come in super handy because we often take craft supplies and create on family outings.  They are totally getting added to our red crafty picnic basket as a staple item.

I find myself washing my hands repetitively all day to remove paint, glues and ink.  I have sensitive skin so this is cruddy.  Water wipes are great for people with sensitive skin, even grown up!  This is such a fabulous alternative and I don’t even have to leave the studio room!  That is a double yay!

You can find WaterWipes on Facebook and on Twitter!

We might not need diaper rash prevention around here, but we sure can use these!  My takeaway, wipes are not just for babies!  Here are the top three ways I know these will come in handy for my family.

  • In the car!  We are always wiping faces and these work better than mommy saliva.
  • On crafty outings.  We often can’t find a sink with soap and water to clean little hands.
  • At home.  Truth, all kids do not always wipe well and rashes do happen from time to time.





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Happy Christmas and Merry Season Rock Painting

The holidays are such a fun time for creating projects and making things to decorate with and to give as gifts.  Here is a really simple and totally fun little project that you can do in a matter of minutes that will spread happy and merry feelings.  After all, doesn’t everyone love rock painting!  Yay, it’s Craft Lightning Time!!!

Aren’t these just the funnest little rocks?

To make these you will need rocks and Tulip Slick Paints.  That is it!!!

Simply paint your rocks using the fabulous tips of the paint bottles and let them dry.

Ta Da!  So stinkin’ fast and cute.

And my favorite…JOY!!!

Happy Holidays and Happy Crafting,


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Posted in Christmas, Craft Projects, Crafts For Kids | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments