Christmas Tree Rice Cereal Treats

We had a full day of holiday baking on Sunday. Does anyone else have a baking day? We made cookies, truffles and rice cereal treats. I don’t make rice cereal treats often, but I do love them! I made a batch of green and a batch of red. Below are the directions to create your own Christmas tree treats!

Ingredients:

  • 6 TBS Butter
  • 6 Cups Marshmallows
  • 6 Cups Rice Cereal
  • Green Gel Food coloring

Directions:

  • Heat a medium sized pot on the stove on medium heat.
  • Melt the butter
  • Once the butter is melted add in the marshmallows and stir until stirred in completely.
  • If you are using food coloring add it in now.
  • Add in the rice cereal and stir until well blended.
  • Transfer the mixture to a 7×11″ greased pan.
  • Once cooled use a cookie cutter to cut into trees.

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A Winter Wonderland Gingerbread House

It’s been years since I have decorated a gingerbread house. My son is two and a half and I thought it would be fun to do some this year! I’m a busy mom so actually making the gingerbread was out of the question. I bought the pre-made kits from Wal-Mart and bought some extra candy to decorate with. I love how it turned out!

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What you need:

  • 1 Gingerbread kit (includes some candy)
  • 1 bottle of snowflake sprinkles
  • 1 package of pearl sixlets (in the craft baking dept)
  • Ice cream cones (for the trees)
  • 1 package of white icing with a star tip (for the trees)

My kit came with the silver pearls and the circle silver candies on top of the house. I bought the snowflake sprinkles and the blue pearl sixlets.

How to create your door:

  • The kit came with a small amount of fondant icing. cut out a rectangle. Add icing to the backside of the fondant and place on the gingerbread.
  • Use your icing from the kit to outline one side of the door, add your sprinkles and pearls. Only ice one side at a time as you do not want the icing to dry before you add your candy.
  • Repeat the above step for the other two sides.

How to add your candy decorations to your house.

  • I found it was easier to add the candies if you place your frosting on the candy first and then place the candy onto the gingerbread house.

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I loved the added touch of the snowy trees and they were super easy to make!

How to make the trees:

  • Starting from the bottom of your ice cream cone use your star tipped icing and add icing all the way around the cone, small vertical strokes. Work your way all the way up.
  • Add pearls throughout the tree.

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Below is a picture of the roof. I’m not an expert in cake decorating, I just took it nice and slow and added blue pearls on the tips.

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If your decorating a gingerbread house this year I’d love to see how it turns out! Tag me on instagram! @craftingthishouse

A Delicious Christmas Cocktail

Looking for a festive drink that’s easy to make? I’ve got exactly what you need! I do not drink that much, usually just on trips or special occasions, but when I was in NYC I had the most delicious Christmas drink and I wanted to share it with you!

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 oz Vanilla Vodka
  • 1 oz Fireball Whiskey
  • 4 oz Apple Juice
  • Brown Sugar for the rim
  • Ice Cubes

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Wet the rim of your glass and sugar the rim with the brown sugar.
  • In a martini shake, pour the vodka, whiskey, apple juice and ice together.
  • Shake and pour contents into the glass.

 

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DIY: Wood Christmas Slices

I love when I get an idea in my head and it comes out perfectly! Does that ever happen to you? I will admit there are times my ideas do not turn out so perfect, but that’s the life of a crafter. I had a vision of how I wanted my Christmas table setting that involved a small DIY so I went searching for the perfect items.

WHAT YOU NEED: 

WOOD SLICES

BLACK ACRYLIC PAINT

PAINT BRUSH

STAMP

INK

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To begin you will need to paint a circle on each wood slice. This doesn’t have to be a perfect circle, I free handed mine. The easiest way to get a solid circle is to apply pressure and draw the circle with your brush.

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Once your paint dries you will cover your stamp with your ink and press firmly down on your wood slices. Carefully remove the stamp and voile, you have your stamped wood slice.

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Once complete set your wood slices with the rest of your table display. I put mine on top of my dishes.

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Decorating Our Perfect Christmas Tree

It seems like it should be simple right, decorating a Christmas tree? It’s not as easy as you think. There are a few key elements that will help make your tree more aesthetically pleasing. Before we get into the details, do any of you have any traditions when it comes to decorating your tree? I always turn on a Christmas movie and get me a warm cup of cider or cocoa. I’m sure I’m not the only one that does this, I’d love to hear your traditions!

Now to get started, I know everyone puts their own spin and all their love into their tree decorating. I’m only suggesting a few key design details to help you along the way. Let’s start by taking a look at your ornament choices.

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Pictured above are the ornaments I use in my Christmas tree. It’s important to have a variety of sizes and textures. To get started you will want a couple bold ornaments, meaning ornaments that are big and solid. My 1st and 4th ornaments are my bold ornaments. The bold ornaments are my favorite, aesthetically. Next, you will want some dimension. My number 2 is a 3 dimensional snowflake. It has a delicate design, but really adds effect to the tree. My 3rd ornament is an elongated frosted pine cone. Having vertically shaped ornaments helps feel space, but also adds visual interest. Number 5 is your basic round ornament, mine are covered in glitter. There are more of these on my tree than any other ornament. Next, you will want to add an ornament or two with a little more interest, that’s where my owls come in. They are a bit whimsical, a conversation piece if you will. They add interest to your tree without being a basic shape. I always use ribbon. Some years I use it more than others. This year I went pretty basic in the ribbon department. I used this faux bark ribbon. I cut it into strips and strategically placed it throughout my tree. The last “ornament” I use is a floral pick, #8. These are great at filling gaps, space and adding levels within your tree. I know a lot of people have ornaments they have collected over the years and that’s ok! Just be sure to spread them out and balance the positions with the size of the ornaments.

Placing your ornaments is just as important as finding the right ornaments. You want to make sure you fill all the large “holes”, this is good for your bigger ornaments or a floral filler. You do not want to place the same ornament too close together. Be sure to spread out your like ornaments. Lastly, you will want to fill some ornaments deeper into the tree and others more toward the ends of the branches. Doing these three things will keep keep your tree balanced and cohesive.

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Now, let’s move on to the top of your tree. If you want something  more than an Angel or a star then you will need to find some picks that you like. I have used several different kinds in the past. This year I only used two kinds. I got two packs of these snow covered branches and 2 sets of these white fuzzy ball picks. It is very important to make sure you separate and spread your picks. You do not want them all stuck in one spot or it will not look aesthetically cohesive.

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I always do the top of my tree last, so once I’m finished with the top my tree is complete! Now I get to sit back and admire all the work and love I’ve put into it.

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Peanut Butter Lovers Dessert

Calling all peanut butter lovers! This year for Thanksgiving I was responsible for three things, the deviled eggs, the sweet potato casserole and a dessert. I do not have a go to dessert, so I did as any normal person would do and went to Pinterest. I found a delicious recipe filled with peanut butter, chocolate, and whip cream. Doesn’t it sound delicious already? When I saw it I knew it was the one I had to make. It’s a peanut butter chocolate ribbon cake, but this is not your ordinary cake, its a cold ice cream like cake. Think smooth and creamy. Who can’t resist peanut butter, chocolate and cool whip? Let’s take a look at the recipe.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:

12 peanut butter sandwich cookies ( I used nutter butters)

2 Tbsp. butter melted

1 pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

1 tub (12 oz) Cool Whip Topping, thawed

2 oz. Baker’s Semi Sweet Chocolate (you may want a bit more)

HOW TO MAKE IT:

Crush 8 cookies into crumbs, mix with butter. Spread out the mix on the bottom of a greased 8×8- inch dish.

Beat the next 4 ingredients in a large bowl with a mixer until blended. Add in 3 cups Cool Whip and stir.

Spoon 1/2 cup cream cheese mixture into a small bowl and stir in melted chocolate, blend well. Spread half of the remaining cream cheese mixture onto the crust; top with the chocolate mixture and cover with the remaining cream cheese mixture.

Freeze for 4 hours or until firm. You can top dessert with remaining cool whip and crushed cookies.

Here are some pictures of the deliciousness in the making.

Pictured below is the delicious peanut butter cookie crust.

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Now, I will admit, these were licked clean. The mixture is just so delicious I couldn’t resist!

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Adding the peanut butter mixture to the top of the crust. Yum!

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Now cut a piece, take a bite, and enjoy!

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Fireplace Makeover

We bought our house eight years ago as a fixer upper. We’ve put a lot of work into the house, but for some reason we never painted the fireplace. I didn’t even like the brick color, I hated it in fact. I guess I was scared of how permanent painting it was. My husband built a new mantel, but I will admit, it looked a little odd against the old brick. The day finally came when I decided to paint it white!

Let’s start with the AFTER. I am in love with how it turned out! I am so mad we didn’t do it sooner. Because of the timing I went ahead and decorated it for Christmas, which I am also loving, my winter wonderland. We used a masonry primer and then topped it with a coat of white paint.

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I actually have two BEFORE pictures. The first is the old brick with the new mantel. It’s not terrible, but it’s definitely not as pretty as the AFTER.

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The below BEFORE picture is when we bought the house. As you can see since this photo we have a new fireplace, new paint, crown moulding and new flooring.

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We’ve come a long with since we’ve bought our house. Our fireplace is the focal point of our living room and painting it white has really brightened it up! If you are considering painting yours, I say do it!

 

 

WAYFAIR HOME DECOR SALE

I got an email from Wayfair.com advertising their Black Friday sale, so I thought I would hop on and check it out. They have some awesome deals on some great items! Here is what I found.

Have you been wanting these ever so popular barstools or chairs? Get them 60% off with Wayfair’s black friday sale. The barstools come in a variety of colors. Get them in blues, greens, purples, red, white, black and even orange. Check out their site for all available colors!

60% OFF $35.99 DOVERCLIFF BAR STOOL FROM WAYFAIR

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If your looking for a backless barstool they have you covered. For nearly the same price you can get the backless stools, also in a variety of colors.

22% OFF $38.98 LOMPOC BARSTOOL FROM WAY FAIR

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If your needing dining chairs you can get two chairs for $95.99. There aren’t as many colors available in the chairs, but they have the basics covered.

40% OFF $95.99 FOR TWO STRUBLE SIDE CHAIR FROM WAYFAIR

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Have you been swooning over an iron headboard? They have those too! This headboard is available in  FULL/QUEEN and KING size.

64% OFF $134.99 GLOSCO SLAT HEADBOARD

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Maybe an upholstered headboard is more your style. They have a variety of options in this category. These are also available in FULL/QUEEN and KING sizes.

53% OFF $108.49 CLARA UPHOLSTERED HEADBOARD

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I love these striped curtain panels! They have a variety of colors and patterns in their sale.

18% OFF $45.95 PLANT CITY STRIPED CURTAIN PANELS

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If you are still looking for some Christmas Decor they have a capsule of holiday goods on sale. Check out these adorable pine tree throw pillows.

29% OFF $19.99 LITTLE ARROW WINTER PINES

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70% OFF $16.99 JOULON HIDDEN FORREST

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Are you into plaid this year? How affordable are these red/black/white plaid throw pillows?

72% OFF $13.99 CHRISTMAS IN PLAID THROW PILLOW

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They have a couple stocking options on sale. I thought these red/neutral stockings with bow were adorable.

31% OFF $12.99 HALLE STOCKINGS

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And lastly I’m sharing these skinny 6′ tall artificial trees. I love the woodsy feel of the skinny trees!

50% OFF $44.95  6′ GREEN PINE ARTIFICIAL TREE

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These are just a few items within their sale. Go check out their deals! Happy shopping!

DIY: Snow Capped Letters

I was out shopping for Christmas decor and came across the cutest letters! They were woodsy on the bottom and snowy on the top, they were perfect! Unfortunately they didn’t have the right letters to make a complete word. Ugh! So, as any crafty person would do, I decided to give it a go myself.

I walked the aisles of Hobby Lobby until I found the perfect craft supplies and here is what i found.

Here is what you will need:

Craft letters, white paint; either acrylic or spray paint, snow paint, “Woodsy” craft paper, scissors, 1 or 2 paint brushes (depending if you use acrylic or spray paint), a writing utensil, and a glue source.

Your first step will be to paint the top of the letters white, with your acrylic or spray paint. Paint about half way down, or however far down you prefer. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but be sure to cover all exposed sides.

Next, you will need to use your writing utensil and scissors (or a craft cutter) to trace and cut out paper pieces to glue to the bottom half of the letters. Again, be sure to cover all sides that will be exposed. I’m sure most glue sources will do, but I used a glue roller.

Your last step in completing the letters is to add the snow! Use a paint brush to place the snow over the painted portion of your letters. Be sure to cover the seam where your paper is glued down.

Your final step is to find the perfect spot in your home to display your beautiful letters!

How do you take your coffee?

Tis the season for caramel, cinnamon, white chocolate and peppermint. I’m weak when it comes to seasonal drinks. I wanted to share some of my favorite holiday drinks. Most of these are from Starbucks, but there is one I just have to share!

We’ll start with the one off. If you come across Grande Kaffe’s “Santa’s Toddy” at Homegoods or TJ Maxx, but it! It is the best flavored coffee I have ever found and If i come across it I will buy every bag! I actually think you can get it on their website, but it’s double the price of TJ Maxx. I add french vanilla creamer to mine with a bit of whipped cream. It’s delicious!

Moving on to the Starbucks list. Let’s start with the Chestnut Praline Latte. This one is in my top two. It’s a semi sweet blend of caramelized chestnuts and spices topped with, my personal favorite, whipped cream and spiced praline crumbs. The Chestnut Praline Latte is a must try!

Next on my list isn’t necessarily confined to the holiday menu, but still gives me the Christmas feels. It’s the Cinnamon Dolce Latte, and it’s one of my favorites! Two words, cinnamon and whipped cream. Need I say more?

If you’re really looking for a sweet treat, you have to try the toasted white chocolate mocha with caramel syrup topped with whip cream. But remember, it’s sweet!

Any gingerbread fans? This cup is sweet with hints of spicy gingerbread topped with nutmug and as always, whipped cream.

On the rare occasion I grab a tea, I love a basic chai tea. You get all the hints of holiday with a variety of spices.

This is only a small selection of what Starbucks offers, but they are some of my favorite. I hope you find a new holiday favorite to try and share!

 

*Photo credit to Starbucks