Monday, December 21, 2009

What to do with all those Candy Canes?!

Every year there always seems to a bundle of left over candy canes and peppermints so here are a few recipe for cookies for Santa or desserts for the party!
Peppermint Spinwheels click here
Mint Thin Cookies click here

Peppermint Chocolate Pudding click here

Swirls of Peppermint Cheesecake click here
Oreo mint pie click here

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Let's Get Ready to Party!

"Christmas is coming, It's practically here!" The Grinch

So lets get ready for those Christmas Eve parties and shock our friends and families by how creative we can be! First, add some sparkle to those dining rooms but dressing up the chandeliers!

Next, focus on a centerpiece. I saw this one at the Flower Market the other day and had to take a pic because I loved it.

If you don't like how fake or messy artificial snow is with your little village, try using white bowls flipped over to give a "snowy hillside" look!

"Oooohh this is lovely" you guest will say and you can say "I did it myself!''

To make- Hot glue fresh or silk flowers around a container and fill it with sprigs of greenery!

Food presentations is always important so when doing a casual buffet style try putting your food up on tiers for a more elegant look.

A simple way to display candy canes,.

You can find these star ice trays at IKEA during the summer (around the Forth of July) and then just add some frozen cranberries to a bowl and it will chill any bottle of your favorite sparkling drink!

This works best in one of the glass jars with a spout, but if you don't have one (I found mine at Costco in October for $35) you can always just do this in one without a spout and put it out on display!

And finally, a parting gift for your guest. A mitten filled with treats and a drink, we like "jul mus" from Sweden. It's my hubbies fave.

Chic it Yourself stocking!

The Stockings were hung! I know I say this a lot but I love these projects!
These are little baby stockings all hung in a row! (Can also be a cute advent calendar like so)
So this is a project made with old sweaters! Click here instructions.

Simple red or white Stockings can be embellished with silk or fabric flower, ribbons or lace.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Wrap, Ribbons, and Bows

Wrapping presents is, sometimes, the worst part of Christmas so I wanted to find a way to get excited about it. I think if you make the packaging part of the gift, it's more exciting for you and the recipient! There are some great ideas here, I'm really excited to do these! Below are ideas on making your own wrapping paper, tags and bows! I tried to post easy ideas with stuff that hopefully you already have at home.



I'm pretty much obsessed with anything black and white so when I found out that you can print this paper for FREE on your own printer I squealed! (luckily I was alone). So click on this link. It will print out on a smaller scale on 8x10 but use 11x17 if you can! Or save it on a desk and print it at a Kinko/FedEx. They give you the tags and everything!

Candy cane stripes made by wrapping ribbon inches apart over the wrapping paper.

This one I also love! Take fabric and photocopy it, then print it out onto paper! Very personal and chic! I think it would be a fun idea for birthdays, baby showers and weddings as well!

Go green! Use fabric, towels, maps, magazines, brown paper bags, anything lying around the house or can be a gift in itself like the dish towels.

I always try to do this, but color coding each person with there own wrapping paper. Then you don't need labels and your tree and gifts with coordinate and look a little more polished.

This is a project called Dip-Dye. You use rice paper and food coloring. Really easy, go to see how!

Doilies people! They're back in a big way! I have to admit, I like them too, used in the right way. Example, here it is a little more vintage and not so "grandma." Not that being "grandma" is bad! Let's just not frame doilies again, OK!


I probably shouldn't post this since I did it for the family,but it's a great way to give a picture of your cute little ones to their Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles!

This is a Do it yourself project, A way to package those gift cards using paper and ribbon. If you can't figure it out by looking you basically glue a piece of ribbon on three sides to piece of card stock cut like so. Then stick the card inside the unglued side. OR, make a little sack! Using just ribbon, cut a longer piece, fold in half, wrong sides together. Then staple, sew or glue together the 2 sides, leaving the top open. Flip right side out. Slide the card in and cinch shut with string or more ribbon!

This is a cute little printed tag. Click here for the FREE template


Pom pom bows. See also the flower bows below on how to make these!

Cupcake-paper Carnation bows. Use petit four, mini cupcake, and cupcake paper liners. I read the instructions, pretty easy. Nothing you could figure out by looking at the picture.

I thought this was cute with the bows on all sides. Just something different.

Pom pom or Flower bows
This is your basic self-adhesive bow, but with a little scissor work it's 10 times better, wouldn't you say! Cut the loops open of the big bow, at angles rather than across the middle for best results. Then once it's open adhere a smaller bow in the inside and cut that one open too. Curl ends once open.

Top it off! Line the top of a box with different sizes of bows, but in the same color. Gives it a great texture and little more pizazz!

The Homemade Peony. Again, take a regular store bought bow and snip in open but instead of curling the ends fan them out. Then take a smaller bow and cut it way down at different angles and adhere in the middle.

Happy Wrapping!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My mistake!

Sorry! I didn't have that link working for Studio 5! Why didn't anyone tell me? I'm such a loser. OK, well this one should take you there.
You can still print out those numbers and they also have other crafts and recipes and such!
Happy Chic'ing (yes I plan to wear out that word!)

A Gingerbread (graham cracker) House

We have a family tradition of making gingerbread houses, and we've done ever since I was little, and now I get to do with my kids! This year was my first attempt and it was pretty dang easy! The first important step is to build the house. The best, easiest and none messy way we've found is to use burnt sugar. You make it just like it sounds. Put 3/4 cup of sugar in a pan, on medium, stirring frequently and eventually it will liquefy to a sticky syrup!

Then dip the edges in and build it to your hearts desire!

The next, and best step is the decorating! I just get my candy from Dollar Tree and it is in no way "chic" but doing it with my son was fun just the same!

Here is a recipe for the frosting. It's a cake decorating frosting and it's super yummy so be prepared! This recipe will make frost about 6 small houses.

2c shortening

2 1/2 lbs powder sugar (that's 10 cps)

1/2 c milk

1 tsp vanilla

dash salt

mix until a fluffy consistancy.

In honor of this post, I posted some professional houses I saw when I visited the Festival of Trees at the beginning of the month here in Utah. The trees are just trees to me, sometimes there are some amazing ones. But I'm always amazed at the gingerbread houses. Our neighbor builds one every year, his was the "UP" house this year. So creative! Maybe someday I'll bake real gingerbread and make one. Add that on my To Do list.

This one was just funny.

"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs"

Sorry, out of focus because I had to hurry, but you get the idea.

A cute little Bird House

There is always some big elaborate, over the top Castle, this one, was it. Who has time? Really? But it is amazing.