Monday, December 24, 2012

Jingle the Elf on the Shelf: Week 3-4

Jingle (Our Elf on the Shelf): Week 3-4

So, this is our last week with our beloved Jingle.  We've loved every minute, although to be honest, there were some nights I didn't feel like doing much with him, and I could feel his judgement of me from across the room. 

Jingle made lots of snowflakes and hung them for all to see.

Story time with the toys.

Jingle went over to the grandparents' house and decorated their tree for them! 

Jingle doing a puzzle.

Hot air balloon ride!

Challenged Buzz to a friendly game of Hungry Hippos!

Jingle wrote a note to R on the bathroom mirror.

Decorating the windows with "snow".

Rappelling from the cabinet.  He's such a daredevil!

Making some snowmen!

Lastly, making R work for his presents, Christmas morning.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Holiday Projects (i.e. Why I've been so freakin' busy!)

So, of course, ever since I was introduced to the world of Pinterest, I've seen a multitude of projects that I wanted to do for Christmas.  Like this, and this, and of course no holiday celebration is complete without this!!  I only got a few things done though, but I love them! 

Fabric Covered Christmas Tree Cones

I used the tutorial here, but I did not pay the $12.95, or whatever it was, for the download template.  I didn't think it was necessary.  I feel like maybe I went a little overboard with the trees, but I was in the zone...and I had already purchased the materials.

Snowman Ornaments

I have a snowman tree in my dining room, and being the cheap frugal soul that I am, wanted to make several more ornaments to hang.  I have been crosstitching for years, but straight up sewing is not a skill I use much.  So, while the stitching is good, the sewing is only so-so.  The ones above are all free patterns that I got online.  You can find them on my pinterest board here.

The Let It Snow and Peace on Earth are Dimensions kits I got off Amazon.  I think they're also available at Walmart, but I had a gift card for Amazon, so I went with that!

Now, if I could just get the house clean, I think I'll be ready for Tuesday!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Hershey's Butterscotch Chocolate Fudge

Butterscotch Chocolate Fudge

Hershey's currently has a bake, share, win giveaway going on, so I thought I'd give it a go and see how I fared!

To be fair, I'm not sure if fudge actually qualifies as a baked item.  But, I did cook it on the stove, and since there are a multitude of no-bake items that resemble baked items, I'm going for it.  I won't say anything if you won't.

First, let me start by saying that I love Hershey products!  Their "perfectly chocolate cake" is my go-to chocolate cake recipe, and it's delicious!  The frosting is the same way.  I also love their chips and drops that you can buy in the baking aisle.  They taste great, for starters, but also, they're cheaper than their competitors!  It's a win, win, if you ask me. 

Butterscotch Chocolate Fudge
slightly adapted from Eagle Brand's Foolproof Chocolate Fudge

4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
6 oz. butterscotch chips
1- 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
dash of salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 to 1 cup of chopped nuts (optional)

  • LINE 8- or 9-inch square pan with foil (would strongly recommend parchment instead), extending foil over edges of pan.
  • MELT chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk and salt in heavy saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
  • CHILL 2 hours or until firm. Remove from pan by lifting edges of foil. Cut into squares.

    It does seem like a motley assortment of chocolate, but it totally works, trust me.  The bittersweet chocolate really cuts down the normal sickly sweet taste of regular fudge, that way you can eat more!  Also, with the addition of the butterscotch, it almost tastes like it has a little alcohol in it.  That, or it could be my homemade vanilla that I used.  Either way, it's a great recipe that I know my family will love when they get here for Christmas.

    I made half with nuts, and half without, because I have a nephew who says he dislikes nuts.  He also says he dislikes anything with the word "pie" in it, but he'll eat chocolate pie.  Yeah, he's one of those.  Enjoy!

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

    CandiQuik Prize Pack Winnings!

    I recently won a Candiquik giveaway from Aimee at ShugarySweets and Miss Candiquik, so I wanted to give them a little shout out and show them what I've been up to with the goodies they sent me!  (Unfortunately, I didn't realize I was going to do this until after I had used some of the items, so I don't have a group shot of the prize pack.)

    I made some Holiday pretzels with sprinkles, to give as gifts.  First, I melted down the candy in the convenient microwave trays that they come in (aahhhhmazing, btw), then I dipped the pretzels in about 2/3 of the way.  I let the excess drip off, then set them on a parchment lined baking sheet to harden.  Some of them I decorated with sprinkles, while the candy was still wet.

    I know it's a pretty basic and simple thing to do, but they can be so nice when packaged up.  The recipient feels special that you took the time to do this for them, and no one needs to know how incredibly easy it was!

    Thanks again to Aimee and Miss Candiquik!  Couldn't have done this without you!!

    Elf on the Shelf: Jingle the Elf- Week 2

    Here are the pics from our 2nd week, and then some.  My time seems to have run away from me recently.  Anyway, on with the pics!

    Driving away in the Handy Manny race car!

    The holiday season is no reason to slack off at the gym!

    Stealing R's chocolate milk in the morning.  Jingle!

    Rolling by on his skateboard.

    Little drummer boy!

    Zip line elf!

    Watching a little TV.

    Held captive by 3 Transformers (you can't see it in the picture but he's gagged and handcuffed too).  Oh no!


    Jingle hung Christmas lights along the breakfast bar chairs.

    Fishing in the sink.

    We're still really enjoying all the antics that Jingle has gotten into.  Another week and a half to go!  Good thing there are so many great ideas on Pinterest!

    Sunday, December 2, 2012

    Our Elf on the Shelf: Week 1

    This year, we started the ever popular Elf on the Shelf tradition at our house.  Except, we're not using the creepy Elf, that looks like his head might do a 360 of its own volition.  We're using a different one, called Christoper Pop-In-Kins.  Not only does this elf already have bendable extremities, but he's just so darn cute!  We named our elf Jingle.  And, we're loving every minute of it!

     Day 1: Dinosaur Sleigh

     Day 2: Hanging upside down from bunk bed.

    Day 3: Sleeping in Kleenex box

     Day 4: Decorating a Christmas tree

     Day 5: Playing with cars

     Day 6: Exchanged undies for stockings

     Day 7: Hanging from the ceiling fan

    Day 8: Playing cards with Optimus Prime (our favorite so far)

    We don't subscribe to the whole Santa thing, so we just we just have fun with the elf showing up in the morning and enjoy it!  I highly recommend it!
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