Sunday, December 11, 2016

Graham Cracker Gingerbread House-


 
 

If you're looking for a way to make cute gingerbread houses QUICK, this is your lucky day!
These guys can take less than 10 minutes if you're in a hurry, and are a great alternative to your standard gingerbread houses when you need to make several in a pinch.

I came across the idea for these easy gingerbread houses when my 14 year old, Kati asked if all 7 of her friends could make gingerbread houses at her birthday party- 5 days away!!
My first thought was, "oh my gosh, I should've started baking like a week ago!!"
My second thought was, "how much will 8 gingerbread houses cost?"

Fast forward-
These graham cracker houses were a hit at the party, so I decided to let Kati show you guys how incredibly easy it is... Have fun!!

Set up your supplies:

Graham Crackers- they even make Gingerbread flavored grams now, so-score!

Store bought icing- I'd usually make a batch of royal icing for my gingerbread houses, but in a pinch this store bought icing in a can works great too.

Candy- keep in mind that these houses are on the smaller size, so you might want to scale down the size of your candy as well.

A cake plate, or something flat to use as a base for your house.

A spatula, or dull knife to apply the icing

a serrated knife for cutting the grahams.


 Cut 2 of your grahams into a point with your serrated knife. These will be the front and the back of the house. You'll need 4 full sized grahams for the 2 sides of the house and the roof.
 


Once you cut the first graham you can place it on the other graham you need to cut, as a guide. You want them to have the same angled cuts, so the roof sits evenly on top.


This is the icing we used. It doesn't get rock hard, like royal icing does, but does firm up after an hour or so.


Spread a good amount of icing onto your base. This will act as the "glue" that will stick your house to the base.
 

I like to start with one of the sides and the back, so they can balance on each other. Kind of like building a house of cards. Continue spreading a thin amount of icing on everything you want to stick together. Once the base is built spread icing to the backs of your roof pieces, add them on top.


Time to decorate.


And here's our finished house. We're keeping this one as a decoration, so we added a couple of cute, inedible touches.
 

The decorations, including the adorable sisal trees and wreath, as well as the candy found in this post are from Oriental Trading. 
You can find these items here-

I received items from Oriental Trading. The review is based strictly on my opinion. Others may have a different opinion or experience with the products listed above. I was provided the samples free of charge by the company or PR agency and I provided my honest opinion. No other type of compensation was received for this review.

Happy Decorating xo
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Halloween Decorating- A picnic with my BOO



It's a crisp, Autumn day here in Pennsylvania. The leaves are just starting to change, the local orchards are full of apples ready to be picked, nearby farms have their corn mazes open, and pumpkins as far as the eyes can see, and Halloween is just around the corner...
We love Halloween in my family, my younger daughter, Kati actually has a Halloween birthday! 
We're not so much into the gory stuff, so these skeletons are about as scary as we like to get. 


When I saw these "adorable" skeletons from Oriental Trading, I decided to set up a skeleton picnic, including bat cookies and eyeball punch. (Of course on Halloween the cookies will be wrapped for our favorite little neighborhood ghouls, and the punch will be for the grown ups only!)  ;)



Awwww... 'Til death do us part xo


I used a bat cookie cutter from local cookie cutter company R&M Intl. to make these easy sugar cookies. (Their cookie cutters are the best!)


I picked up the pitcher and floating eyeballs from our local dollar store. The punch is glowing thanks to the glow in the dark necklaces from Oriental Trading. I have also seen people use Super B Complex to make their punch glow, but haven't tried that one out yet.

The skeletons, BOO balloons, black gauze, glow in the dark necklaces, and burlap bunting can be found here:

I received items from Oriental Trading. The review is based strictly on my opinion. Others may have a different opinion or experience with the products listed above. I was provided the samples free of charge by the company or PR agency and I provided my honest opinion. No other type of compensation was received for this review.

Happy Fall xo













Saturday, July 2, 2016

Luau Party- Oriental Trading Style


  I can hardly believe it's been 5 years since my adorable God-daughter, Reagan turned one! I helped her mom and dad throw a fun luau party back then, and I'm starting to get the luau itch again...





A luau is a classic summer party theme, and really easy to throw together, even last minute... However it can be a little time consuming picking out what you really need and trying to stay in- budget. Well, I'm a serious bargain shopper, but I don't skimp when it comes to pulling together a party theme...So I've done the work and picked out some awesome supplies for your next party that no luau should be without. And good news, it's all under $50 with FREE shipping on orders of $49 and up!!
Let me know how you think I've done...









And they even have this... ;)




The Oriental Trading Blog is sharing  some extras (FREE printables and a pineapple drink recipe) by Jessica Wicox that will make your party look like you blew your budget, check them out here:



PINEAPPLE THANK YOU TAGS-
http://m.orientaltrading.com/pdf/pineapple-thank-you-tags-yellow-printable.pdf

PINEAPPLE "BAR" BANNER-

GOLDEN PINEAPPLE DRINK RECIPE-


Find more luau items and ideas here-




I received items from Oriental Trading. The review is based strictly on my opinion. Others may have a different opinion or experience with the products listed above. I was provided the samples free of charge by the company or PR agency and I provided my honest opinion. No other type of compensation was received for this review.
xo


Thursday, June 30, 2016

It's Shark Week!

As much as I love watching these beautiful creatures on tv...

This version is much cuter, and they don't bite back! ;)

To make this cookie:

I rolled a thin strip of white fondant onto some grey fondant, then cut out the shape with my cookie cutter (from R&M International). I brushed a thin amount of corn syrup onto the cookie, then positioned the fondant, and pressed gently (so it's secure)...so easy & will make a great snack for your Shark Week viewing party.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Philly Home Show (Cookie Workshop)


This past weekend, I had the pleasure of teaching a Make & Take Workshop at the Philly Home Show.  My class was on Saturday, the day before Valentine's Day, so we decorated cookies for our Valentines <3

That's me!!
This is actually the very first photo I'm posting since I came down with Bells Palsy (8 months ago)!! I'm not quite totally healed yet, but who cares, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take at least one gratuitous photo in front of the Home Show sign. 
(I was working really hard to get my smile right for this!)  ;))

Sure the class was supposed to be maxed at 15 people, but I planned ahead (knowing how much we all love cookies) and we squeezed in a few extra people.

We made flower bouquets and cookie chalkboards (my fave!)
These small flower punches from Wilton were the perfect size for making the flower bouquets. Just press them into fondant, then attach them to the cookie-easy peasy...We had people of all ages making the prettiest cookies, with no previous training and less than an hour to learn!! 

After the cookies were decorated nice and pretty, we packaged them in clear boxes, tied with red twine, ready to give as gifts...


And speaking of gifts... R&M International (my favorite cookie cutter company) gave each guest a set of cookie cutters, so they can create these beauties again at home!!  Thanks, R&M!!

Thank you, Denise from The Painted Home, for the invite to teach this workshop. Also thanks to my bestest friend, Linda Griffin for taking theses awesome photos. And to my awesome assistants, Kati and Julia. xo

What a fun day with a great group of people!! 






I received items from Wilton, and R&M International.  The review is based strictly on my opinion. Others may have a different opinion or experience with the products listed above. I was provided the samples free of charge by the company or PR agency and I provided my honest opinion. No other type of compensation was received for this review.




Saturday, December 5, 2015

DIY Christmas Gifts

With Christmas only a few weeks away, you might be wondering how you can thank the many special people in your life without blowing your budget...  Personally, I love baking for my daughters' teachers and coaches. I mean, who doesn't like Christmas cookies?  So, I came up with this unique way to present my cookies. If you wanted, you could add a gift card to a favorite coffee shop or book store...

I found most of my supplies for this project at orientaltrading.com

These cute, wooden trays can be left plain or painted any way you'd like. I'm a lover of everything chalkboard, so the choice was easy for me. 
First I spray painted my trays gold, and once that dried, I painted them with 2 coats of chalkboard paint.

While the paint was drying, I started my baking. I've made cookies similar to these in the past using a gingerbread boy cutter turned upside down. That works fine, but I spotted this letter A cutter and knew it would be even better. I hand cut the antlers out of rolled fondant, but you can get creative if you're short on time...food writers would work great if you wanted to draw on some antlers, broken pretzels would work, licorice strings...you get the idea! 

So here's the cuties all wrapped up and ready to be gifted. As far as DIY gifts go, this one is both easy and reasonable. You can even customize it by writing the teacher's name on it. 

Have fun baking and crafting, and Merry Christmas!!!❤️

*The trays, chalkboard paint, mason jars, red chocolate candies, red striped straws, gift bags, twine, and candy jar (that I turned into a snow globe of sorts) can all be found at Oriental Trading.


I received items from Oriental Trading. The review is based strictly on my opinion. Others may have a different opinion or experience with the products listed above. I was provided the samples free of charge by the company or PR agency and I provided my honest opinion. No other type of compensation was received for this review.
xo

Monday, November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving Table– DIY Napkin Rings


I had the opportunity to help make napkin rings for a local charity banquet this past weekend, and it got me thinking...these would be adorable on a Thanksgiving table!  Well, lucky for me, my sister is hosting Thanksgiving this year, but I figured I'd put together a simple tutorial just in case anybody else wants to make them.

You'll need:
•Thick ribbon, this one is hemp from Hobby Lobby.
•Scissors 
•Hot glue gun and glue sticks

(I had to make almost 300 napkin rings so you'll probably get away with a couple of yards)... 

My daughter and I cut the ribbon into 5-ish inch strips.
Add a few lines of hot glue.

Loop it around and hold tightly together for a few seconds.

That's it!! They're so quick and easy, and will add a stylish flair to your table.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! xo

Monday, November 9, 2015

Holiday Cookies~


I've recently started working with a local cookie cutter company, R & M International Corp.
They supply me with the cutters, and I get down to business. In this case it's prepping for Christmas and the fun holiday season...


{Okay, these are from my own cookie cutter collection, but I thought they turned out so cute, I had to add them.}


My cookies even appear on the box of their new cookie press! If you've never used a cookie press before, I'd highly recommend it. This one was so simple, no rolling or cutters involved. When you're baking for large crowds, and don't have a lot of time, this thing will be your best friend.