Glam up your ornaments-
This year we decided to get a second tree and along with it I created these glammed up DIY ornaments! I chose a blue-ish shimmery glitter to go along with my winter wonderland theme, but you can tailor these ornaments however you see fit. They're so simple to make and require only glue for the glitter to adhere to. If you're decorating this year, I encourage all of you to try and make a few ornaments on your own and if you do, I'd love to hear all about it!
-Clear plastic ornaments (I got mine here)
-Any glitter type/color (there's a wide selection of different glitter colors at Michael's)
Using a paintbrush or your fingers, spread the glue all around the clear plastic ornaments and rub in the glitter. That's it! If you want to get fancy, you can create designs with the glue and sprinkle the glitter on the glue designs. Happy crafting!
Potato pancakes - picky eater approved
Want to know a trick that'll get even the pickiest of eaters to eat in under 20 minutes? These delicious potato pancakes. I even caught my husband sneaking a few for himself (ha!). My kids scarfed these down for dinner and they're a great way to pack in veggies (I included broccoli and cauliflower in the ones I made). Perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner!).
-3 golden potatoes (grated)
-half an onion (grated)
-salt and pepper to taste (about 1 teaspoon)
-1/2 cup all purpose flower.
Use a food processor to grate the onions and potatoes. Using a paper towel, squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the grated mixture. Add the salt and pepper, eggs and mix well. Next add in the flower and the batter is complete. Scoop balls of batter into hot oil in a cast iron skillet and flatten to form flat pancakes once in the oil. Cook until the edges start to brown ( 3-4 minutes). Flip and cook on the other side (another 3-4 minutes. Remove from oil and place on paper towel. These could also be made in an air fryer although I have not tried making these pancakes with this method. Enjoy!!
Creamy Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
Thanksgiving is exactly one week away and though it'll look very different this year, I plan to enjoy it all the same. Plus, I'm hosting and so I've got my test kitchen going. In deciding which veggie side dishes to serve, these creamy Brussel sprouts with bacon are a winner! If you are looking for something other than the typical green bean casserole, give these a try. I got this recipe from my aunt and they are very simple to make. If you've ever hosted Thanksgiving dinner, then anything that saves time is welcomed. I do hope you enjoy this recipe!
- One bag of washed Brussel sprouts
-Salt + pepper
-Low sodium chicken stock
Fry the bacon in a large pan until crispy. Take bacon out and add the Brussel sprouts to the bacon oil drippings. Cook on medium high heat so that the Brussel sprouts char a bit. This gives it a nice flavor. Once charred, add about a half cup of chicken stock, and salt and pepper to taste. Let it simmer for a few minutes until the Brussel sprouts begin to get tender and soften. Next, add about a half cup of heavy cream and let it continue to simmer. The heavy cream will start to bubble and thicken. Add the bacon bits back into the pan and let it continue to simmer for a few minutes more. Serve the Brussel sprouts and top with extra bacon bits of desired. .
Wreaths - Make your own!
I live in an area where there are so many pine trees and cones. One morning during my walk, I got several ideas of how to use the cones so I decided to pick a bunch and get creative by making my own Christmas wreath! I prepped the cones, by washing them in vinegar and baking soda since I did get them outdoors. If you haven't handled pine cones before, they have a very sticky sap and so after washing them, I placed them in a 200 degree oven for about an hour which helped to melt the sap.
The cones are now ready to be used in all kinds of ways. For my wreath, I painted the cones with white paint and then used a glitter snow to coat the pine cones giving them a flocked look. Using twist ties, I secured each cone (about 4 of them) to my wreath. Michael's is a great place to get all kinds of decorative picks for your wreath. What do you think of the final product? Please comment below!
Wall Paper Flowers
From time to time, I always like to change things up in Zoë's room to keep things fun and fresh for her. Recently, I created paper flowers to add to her wall room decor. A trip to Michael's gets my brain going a mile a minute with ideas! With my glue gun in hand, read below for how these gorgeous paper flowers came to be.
-Hot glue gun and glue sticks
-Heavy weight construction paper (colors of your choice)
You will need 4 sets of petals sizes (large, medium large, medium, and small).
To create the large petals fold each piece of construction paper in half and then draw a line starting at the top of the folded side of the paper as demonstrated in the picture. Once drawn, cut out the petal and repeat until you have 6 pieces of the large sized petals.
For the medium large sized petal, draw a line starting about an about an inch down from the folded side of the construction paper. You will need 6 of the medium sized petals.
Repeat the process cutting the medium and small petals of which you will need 5 pieces each.
Paper Flower Assembly
Cut out a circular base (approx. 5 inches in diameter) that you will use to glue the petals onto. Starting with the largest petals, glue the petals to the outer ring of the circle. Repeat the process with the medium-large sized petals and work your way in towards the center of the circular base.
The center piece for the flowers are not necessary but they can add a nice touch to the finished product. You can create any kind of center fringe you'd like by taking folded construction paper and simply cutting slits. Use the hot glue gun to fix it into the center of each petal you create. I hope you all enjoyed this tutorial and happy crafting!
Salted Caramel Bars
Salt + sweet make the perfect combo if paired correctly. And this rings especially true in these salted caramel bars. They're gooey and incredibly delicious! My only complaint is that I probably needed to add a bit more salt. I typically err on the side of less is more when it comes to salt, but for these bars, the right balance is key. Also, who knew making homemade caramel sauce is so easy?! Check out the recipe and I do hope you you'll try it out! Stay blessed friends!
For the crust:
-16 tablespoons unsalted butter
-1/2 cup granulated sugar
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
-2 cups all purpose flour
Set the oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking pan and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar together until it turns a pale yellow. Add in the vanilla extract and beat for another minute or so. Finally add the flour a bit at a time and mix until combined. Knead and form the dough into two balls. Wrap one ball in Saran wrap and place in the fridge. Take the remaining ball and spread it evenly onto the greased pan. Bake the crust for about 20 minutes and then when golden brown, set it aside to cool.
-1 cup granulated sugar
-6-7 tablespoons unsalted butter (cut this up into cubes)
-1/2 cup heavy cream
-1 teaspoon salt
Heat the granulated sugar in a sauce pan (medium heat). It will become clumpy at first and will slowly turn a deep brown color as it starts to melt. Once melted, slowly add in the cubed butter and stir. Next add in the heavy cream and salt and stir until combined. Set aside too cool. Once cooled, the caramel sauce will become thick and rich!
Putting it all together:
Once the crust has cooled, Pour the cooled caramel on top to your desired liking. The more caramel, the more it will ooze. Now here is where I recommend sprinkling just a bit more salt on top of the caramel to give it the perfect balance. Take the dough that has been chilling in the fridge and crumble it over on top of the caramel. Bake at 325 degrees for about 28-30 minutes. Let it cool and then cut into squares. Enjoy!
Sprinkling a little Holiday
Christmas season is my favorite time of year! I can't describe the giddiness I get when I think of decorating for the holidays, and hearing my kids (well, one of them) talk about Santa all the time. It's truly the best time of year! I start decorating right after Halloween because why not?! Now that's not to say that I'm not thinking about Thanksgiving, because I love Thanksgiving as well, but I start sprinkling a little holiday cheer in sections around our place. I started by adding some mini Christmas trees on a decorative bookshelf. And then while organizing my kitchen cabinets, I added some pieces to make it look like a mini winter wonderland. No matter when you plan to start decorating for the holidays, I do hope you will get to enjoy this time with friends and family! Cheers.
Maple butter scones
'Tis the season to indulge! My favorite time of year has finally arrived. I absolutely love everything about the holiday season. Food, family gatherings (albeit I'm not sure how that's gonna work out this year), and the holiday spirit! With the temps steadily decreasing, what better way is there than to cozy up with some warm maple butter scones? Have them for breakfast or with your afternoon coffee/tea. Either way, these scones are sure to make your day just that much better. Enjoy my friends!
-2 and 1/2 cups flour
-1 tablespoon baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 cup unsalted butter (cold)
-1/2 cup buttermilk
-1/2 cup pure maple syrup
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or maple extract for stronger maple flavor)
-1 teaspoon course grain brown sugar
-1/2 cup powdered sugar
-2 tablespoons maple syrup
-2 teaspoons half and half
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or maple extract for a stronger maple flavor)
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Sift all of the dry ingredients into a bowl. Take the cold butter and crumble it into the flour mixture (use either your fingers or a pastry blender. I prefer fingers!). Set this aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients to the flour/butter mixture and combine. If there are lumps in the batter this is totally fine as it'll create delicious scones. Place the dough mixture onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and use your hands to form a round circle that is about 3/4 inches thick. Using a knife, cut the dough into even triangle-shaped wedges (cut dough will end up looking like a sliced pizza pie). Sprinkle the teaspoon of brown sugar on top and bake for about 18-20 minutes (scones will be golden brown). Once they've finished baking, place scones on a cooling rack and once completely cooled, you can cut the wedges completely.
For the glaze, mix all ingredients together until smooth. Once scones have finished baking and are completely cool, drizzle with maple glaze or simply enjoy without. Whatever you prefer! Please let me know what you think of this recipe and if you'll be trying it. Take care friends!
I usually cringe when I let my kids paint and that's because the paint is almost never contained to the paper. In fact, it ends up on everything EXCEPT the paper. And they also don't like using the paint brush. But, a few weeks ago, my 3 year old sat down to do some painting and this time I let her do whatever she liked. She used her hands, mushed all the paint together and that's when I got he idea that we will frame her art work. I found an old frame that we weren't using and when her painting dried, I cut it up to fit the frame and voila! A masterpiece! The next time you and your kids sit down to do some arts and crafts, or if they bring home some great pieces from school, I encourage you to frame it and put it up! Happy crafting!
I was recently featured in a Redfin article where I discuss Apartment Art that Won't Cost You Your Security Deposit. Check it out!
Crafter, creator, DIYer. Follow me along this journey!