Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Glow Bracelet Valentines & FREE Printable

I love Valentine's Day!  Any holiday centered around love, chocolate, and lots of pink is A-OK in my book.  That being said, I don't necessarily want my little ones having a ton of treats so I'm always looking for cute Valentine ideas that don't have candy.  Jake recently had a glow in the dark birthday party and we gave glow bracelets as favors.  I was looking at the favor tag I had made and realized that with a tiny tweak it would make the perfect Valentine.

I found this great font that looks like a neon sign and made up a cute little Valentine tag. 

Glow Bracelet Valentine Tag Printable

Then I used my silhouette to cut out a neon scalloped edge circle to use as a backing.  If you don't have a silhouette, you could use a large craft punch, scissors, or just skip the backing all together.

Glue the printed Valentine tag onto the neon backing.  Your child can sign their Valentines on the back.

Use a hole punch to make a hole and then thread a black ribbon through it and tie the Valentine onto the glow bracelets.

If you want to make it even more economical, instead of giving each child a tube of glow bracelets, you can just punch a hole on the bottom of the tag too and thread one glow bracelet through the Valentine tag.

Either way you have an adorable, affordable, non-candy Valentine, perfect for your little one to give to their friends.

I'm linking up with Two Cup Tuesday, Frugal Crafty Bloghop, Tasty Tuesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Moonlight & Mason Jars, Crafty & Delicious, Create Link Inspire, Create It Thursday, Cook It Craft It Share It, Thrifty Thursday, Showcase Your Talent Thursday, Creativity Unleashed, Pin Junkie, The Weekend Social, Link Party Palooza, Best of the Weekend, Weekend Potluck, Best Recipes, Saturday Night Fever, Pinworthy Projects,
Munching Mondays, Inspiration Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Craftastic Monday, and Busy Monday.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cheesy Garlic Bread

The Superbowl will be here in less than two weeks so it's time to start thinking about my favorite part of football games, the food.  We had some friends over this past weekend to watch the Packers game.  It was a rough afternoon in our house, but luckily we had delicious snacks to cushion the blow.  This Cheesy Garlic Bread was phenomenal!  I got the idea from Lauren's Latest and just made a few tweaks based on what I had on hand (and to make it easier on myself).  The ingredient list is blissfully short: refrigerated French Bread loaf, butter, garlic, basil, oregano, and cheese, lots of cheese.

This Cheesy Garlic Bread is incredibly easy.  Pop open a tube of Pillsbury Crusty French Loaf dough, and put it on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Use a sharp knife to cut slits about 3/4 of the way down, about an inch apart all along the loaf.  Bake it at 350 until it is mostly done and starting to brown (I baked mine for 17 minutes).

While your bread is baking grate 1/3 of a lb. of cheese (I used Trader Joe's cheddar gruyere blend but a white cheddar or a Dubliner would be great too).  To make the garlic butter, melt 1/3 of a stick of butter in a small dish in the microwave.  Add one clove of minced garlic along with some dried basil and oregano. 

Pull the bread out of the oven and re-slice along all of the slits you made before you baked it.  You want the slits nice and deep because that is where you will be putting the garlic butter and cheese.

Take that scrumptious garlic butter and brush it inside all of the slits and all over the top of the loaf.

Then take the grated cheese and tuck it into all of the slits pushing it down as much as you can.  Sprinkle the remainder along the top, no cheese left behind. 

Put it back in the oven until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

Less than 30 minutes to Cheesy Garlic Bread nirvana!  This Cheesy Garlic Bread is the perfect party appetizer for any occasion, but it just screams football food to me.  Add this to your Superbowl menu.  Your guests will be impressed, your taste buds will thank you, and you can spend your time watching the game instead of working in the kitchen.

Cheesy Garlic Bread
  • 1 tube Pillsbury Crusty French Loaf dough
  • 3 tbls. butter 
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/3 lb. Cheddar Gruyere blend (White Cheddar or Dubliner are good substitutes), grated
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Open tube of dough and make slits 3/4 of the way down, about 1-inch apart, all along the loaf.  Bake until almost done and starting to brown, about 17 minutes.
  3. While bread bakes make garlic butter: Melt butter.  Mince garlic and add to butter along with oregano and basil.
  4. Re-cut all of the slits in the bread.  Brush garlic butter into the slits and all along the top of the loaf.  Press grated cheese into all of the slits and sprinkle the remainder on top.
  5. Return to oven and bake 5 more minutes, until bread is cooked through and cheese is melted.

I'm linking up with Tasty Tuesday, Two Cup Tuesday, Whimsy Wednesdays, Wednesday Whatsits, Moonlight & Mason Jars, Create It Thursday, Cook It Craft It Share It, Crafty and Delicious, Showcase Your Talent Thursday, Thrifty Thursday, Creativity Unleashed, Pin Junkie, and Weekend Social, Pinworthy Projects, Best Recipes, Best of the Weekend, Link Party Palooza, Saturday Night Fever, Weekend Potluck, Inspiration Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Craftastic Monday, Busy Monday, and Munching Mondays.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Mint Chip & Waffle Cone Ice Cream

I know that for some people chocolate and mint treats are for December, but for me chocolate and mint are a year-round flavor combination.  When Trader Joe's brings out their holiday treats my heart beats a little faster.  (If you haven't figured it out by now, I have a MAJOR sweet tooth.)  One of my favorite holiday goodies at TJ's are the Mini Peppermint Waffle Cookies.  They are basically little circles of waffle cone with dark chocolate and crushed candy cane pieces on top.  If I'm not careful I could probably wolf down half of a package at once.  I have definitely never done that though.

As I was eating a few of them, I realized that they would make the perfect ice cream mix-in.  After I mentioned this to Josh a time or two, he took the hint and whipped up a batch for me.  He started with a mint ice cream base and then added in mini chocolate chips and almost an entire package of Mini Peppermint Waffle Cookies.  Now if you aren't like me, and haven't hoarded a few boxes of these waffle cookies, I'm sure you can just break up some waffle cones and some peppermint bark and use that instead.  You could even crush up those leftover candy canes and add more chocolate chips.

This ice cream was even more delicious than I thought it would be.  It is the perfect combination of creamy and crunchy, minty and sweet.  Yum!!!

Mint Chip & Waffle Cone Ice Cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tbls. peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 7 oz. package Mini Peppermint Waffle Cookies, frozen  
  1.  Put frozen waffle cookies in a large ziplock bag and roll over with a rolling pin to break them up.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, sugar, and salt until sugar is dissolved.  Stir in heavy cream and peppermint extract.  Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Churn according to the instructions on your ice cream maker, adding in mini chocolate chips and waffle cookies in the last 5 minutes.

I'm linking up with Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays, Moonlight & Mason Jars, Cook It Craft It Share It, Crafty & Delicious Party, Showcase Your Talent Thursday, Thrifty Thursday, Pin Junkie, Weekend Social, Link Party Palooza, Best of the Weekend, Pinworthy Projects, Munching Mondays, and Best Recipes.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

What I Wore - Winter Neutrals

I hope you all enjoyed the last few weeks with your families.  I certainly did.  It is such a crazy time of year for us with the holidays and birthdays, but it is so fun.  On New Year's Day we were invited to a fun open house style brunch party.  We were also experiencing some winter weather (at least for our neck of the woods) so warm clothes were definitely in order.

I picked up this cream sweater during one of Old Navy's amazing sales before the holidays.  It is super soft and cozy and doesn't have any wool so I can wear it without itching like crazy.  This sweater was perfect paired with some black leggings and my cozy chestnut Uggs which, truth be told, have seen better days, but I just can't justify a new pair right now.

The "icing" on my outfit was this delicate little necklace.  I saw it during Nordstrom's anniversary sale and nonchalantly pointed it out to Josh and then went upstairs for a little while with my laptop left open.  Thankfully, he picked up on my not so subtle hint and got it for me.  The bar is engraved with J & L which I love because it stands for Josh & Lauren AND Jake & Luke.  Everyone asks if we did that on purpose with their names but honestly, those were just the boy names we liked.  It did work out nicely though.  One day I'd like to get a Maya Brenner asymmetrical initial necklace with J and L but this one is perfect for now.

Necklace - Similar (mine is cursive)
Sweater - Old Navy (on sale) 
Leggings - American Apparel

I'm linking up with Style Elixer and I do deClaire.