CHRISTMAS HOME TOUR 2018

COME ON IN!img_4214img_4215We were greeted at the front door by a friendly and beautiful face, our friend Tracey.  She is AMAZING when it comes to decorating!  She is classy and stylish when it comes to decorating, dressing, or anything she carries out.   As we stepped inside, the first thing that came to view was a beautiful Nativity, sweetly surrounded by these shiny Red Glass Christmas Trees shooting  up to the sky.  img_4367img_4216img_4365

On the opposite side of the Nativity sits this white chair, adorned with these Merry pillows.

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Her beautiful home is lavished with several, I mean several, textured pillows.  img_4362

Right off, we spotted the banner stating “Be Merry”, with a painting of the “Real Santa.” A snow covered Christmas Tree, all adorned with Red and Black checks nestled right between the couch and an oversized chair.  img_4337img_4223The Living Room so dashing, covered with several cheerful pillows, laid neatly on the White studded comfy couch.  A Winter Wonderland for sure!img_4361img_4340img_4345img_4228-1

Don’t worry, you won’t miss a thing, here’s a close up of all the tree decorations!  The tree is truly as amazing as it looks!img_4242-1img_4244-1img_4238-1img_4267-1img_4262-1img_4266-1img_4236-1img_4249-1img_4234-1

Take a load off, forget about all your shopping, just sit down and relax in this oversized chair right next to the Christmas Tree.img_4259-1img_4226-1img_4257-1img_4251-1img_4253-1img_4255-1Come on into the Living Room, there’s more!img_4348More cute Christmas pillows!img_4315-1img_4279-1img_4314-1img_4318-1img_4293-1img_4274-1

The stockings were hung by the fire place with care.img_4357img_4301-1img_4299-1img_4297-1img_4296-1img_4294-1

You got it, mistletoe, lot’s of kissing going on in this house!img_4269-1

Who wouldn’t want to sit down at this table to eat their Christmas Dinner?img_4353img_4285-1

So, so cute!img_4287-1

Each corner filled with reminders of the Christmas season.img_4305-1

A peek around the corner and you’ll be able to countdown Christmas with Santa’s fluffy white beard.img_4330-1img_4327-1

And a Christmas dish towel too spice up the kitchen.img_4324-1Pulled out each year, pillows made by Tracey’s dear friend.  img_4281-1img_4308-1img_4283-1

We glanced one more time as we headed out into the night……. at…….”Be Merry” and too ALL ….a great pillow must be in sight!

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TA TA!

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Celebrate National Caramel Apple Day October 31st

img_2209-2Granny Smith and Fuji Apples are the perfect match with the sweet gooey taste of caramel. These apples will hold up better under the heat and weight of the candy coating.  Simply dipping, coating, and sprinkling, to make your taste buds swirl with delight. As you take one bite into the famous caramel apple.

🙂 Are you ready to have some fun in the kitchen?  Gather up some delicious Green Granny Smith and Red Fuji Apples.

🙂 Start by removing all of the stems, washing each apple well and drying them completely.

🙂 Place a bamboo lollipop stick into the center of each of the cleaned apples.  The Bamboo sticks were found at Michael’s.  Loving these large treat cups to hold the apples in, and the bags to wrap the apples up.img_2251-1.jpg🙂 Cover your cookie sheet with wax paper, we like to brush real butter on top of the paper too.

🙂 Have a candy thermometer ready to place in the pot for cooking the caramel.  Using a heavy duty pot to cook your ingredients, be sure not to go above 230 degrees or your caramel will be to hard.   🙂 Choose and prepare your favorite dipping, drizzling, sprinkling, and crumbling items.  Crushed Oreo’s, mini M&M’s, chopped pecans, chocolate chips, colorful sprinkles, AND …..a whole lot more!🙂 Place your items in easy access bowls for dipping.img_2414-2.jpg Here come the Sprinkles!img_2462-1img_2287-4-e1514587690980.jpgDon’t you just love these colorful chips?!img_2285-4.jpgWe have a little helper in the kitchen, I’m sure he washed his hands! img_2459-3

ANYONE for crushed Oreo’s?  Check out the pumpkin spice chips too!Yikes,…..ANOTHER helper visiting the kitchen! You can always use another “hand” in the kitchen ……..RIGHT?  What about chopped Pecans or Almonds?

Let’s melt us some Chocolate. Perfect for drizzling and dipping.img_2500-2.jpg

After melting your chocolate in the microwave or crockpot on low, you can place it in a ziplock bag. Carefully cut off one corner of the bag with a small hole to drizzle over the apples, after they have already been slowly rolled and dipped into the caramel.

Alright,…..Ready….. Set…….let’s DIP!

Now, ….let’s make us some caramel for dipping!img_2298-1.jpg

CARAMEL RECIPE

1 cube Butter

1 cup Corn Syrup

2 cups Brown Sugar

1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 Teaspoons of Vanilla

Melt the butter in a large heavy duty pot.

Add the condensed milk, corn syrup and brown sugar.  Stirring occasionally, cook until you reach a soft ball stage – 230 degrees.Remove pan from the heat, and add the vanilla.

Let the caramel sit for 2 minutes while cooling before dipping the apples. Let the covering begin!

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Let some of the excess caramel run off, and then continue rolling the apples in your toppings.img_2508-1.jpgAnyone hungry yet?img_2504-2We’ve got some coverage now. Let’s doll up these apples with some cute ribbon!img_3456-2

Look how cute with the ribbon all tied up in a bow! Do you want to tie your ribbon on the stick, or around the bag? Place your apples in the large treat cups. Now the apples are ready to be placed inside of the bags.img_2512-2We just need to place this one in a bag and it’s ready too go out the door. Time to celebrate National Caramel Apple Day!

Coconut Texas Sheet Cake

Calling all you COCONUT LOVERS! Here’s a superb moist coconut sheet cake, topped with toasted coconut. There will be plenty to share with a crowd, besides you’ll get an extra slice for later.

Ingredients:

1 Cup Water

1 Cup Butter, cut in cubes

2 Cups Flour

2 Cups Sugar

2 Eggs, beaten slightly

1/2 Cup Sour Cream

1 Teaspoon Salt

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Coconut Extract

CAKE:

1- In a saucepan, bring Water and Butter just to a boil. Remove from heat and by hand stir in Flour, Sugar, Eggs, Sour Cream, Salt, Baking Soda and Coconut Extract. Beat well with your spoon until smooth.

2- Pour into a greased sheet cake pan.

3- Bake at 375 degrees for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 20 minutes.

FROSTING:

1/4 Cup Milk

6 Tablespoons Butter, cut in cubes

4 1/2 – 5 Cups Powdered Sugar

2 oz. Cream Cheese, softened

1/4 Teaspoon Almond Extract

1/4 Teaspoon Coconut Extract

1- In saucepan bring Milk and Butter just to a boil.

2- Remove from heat and stir in Powdered Sugar, Cream Cheese, and both of the Extracts. Blend well with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread frosting over the baked sheet cake. Sprinkle top immediately with toasted coconut (optional).

Ministering Handout

It’s been a while since we’ve had the ministering handouts up and going. Well, here you are! Let those sweet ladies know they are loved. Finishing Summer off with “drops” of love.

Items you’ll need to purchase:

* Lemon Drops (Walmart, Cracker Barrel, or Judd’s)

* Ribbon (JoAnn’s)

* Scrapbook Paper (JoAnn’s or Michael’s)

* Printable, found here.

When you print it off, it will look exactly like this. Then you will glue it to your choice of scrapbook paper, or leave it as is.

Here’s the printable on a different piece of scrapbook paper, just to give you an idea of how you can change up the look .

Enjoy your final days of Summer guys!

Baby Van’s Shower

I had the most lovely evening spending it in honor of baby Van, who will be arriving here shortly. Isn’t Van the cutest name for a boy? His big brother Jack thinks he needs to be styling, …wearing everything in the brand name “Vans.” I think so too Jack!

A well planned out baby shower not too my surprise, and the succulent craze is still in full swing as you will see! The color theme was orange, lime green and baby blue, to go along with all of the succulents, and cactuses in lime green pots spread out across the tables. Also, displayed on the tables were these mini wooden easels all decked out with graphic art work designed by Steamroller. Great work ladies! Im sad I didn’t save my cute invitation to show you all.When me and my mother-in-law and Sister-in-law entered the room we spotted out these snappy pins. Just a cute little thank you gift for us coming to the shower. We snatch one up real quick! I’m sure it was a parting gift, not an arrival gift. Oh well! LolWe headed in further to set our gifts down, gazing at this cactus banner spread out in front of the diaper raffle table.

I had never heard of a diaper raffle. Becca, one of the cute hosts of the baby shower who delivered twins eight months ago had done this at her shower. She informed the group that she had just barely ran out of her diapers received from the raffle at her own shower. What a deal! Why wasn’t this idea around when I had my babies? The Surprise of the night……. I won the raffle drawing! YES! Oh, you want to know what the prize was? It was The Happy Planner. I will surely be using it!

After greeting one another we sat down to a well planned out Mexican meal, with lots of choices to put on top of these cactus themed plates.Time for dinner! Beef or chicken tacos, with all of the toppings one can desire. My Mother-in-law made the shredded chicken. Slow cooked to perfection. Yummy!

Everything was so tasty. My Husband said we would go out to dinner after the shower. So, I texted him to find something to eat at home instead. I can’t help that I got invited to this wonderful shower….wink wink!

Being a creative person myself, I definitely loved everything I saw and appreciated all of the hard work that went into the evening.

Here is Shawna, the cute mama to be right before she opened all of her fabulous gifts. I’m so excited for Her, baby Van, big brother Jack, and Dad of course.

You thought I was done. Well we haven’t had dessert yet! Pretzels dipped in white chocolate, colored lime green and rolled in coconut. Yes, a sweet little prickly cactus stick to nibble on.Try making a ton of these edible succulent cupcakes in a hurry. I don’t think so! Our minds were blown away at all of the time spent on these masterpiece cupcakes. Not to mention the dinosaur book written add illustrated by Shawna’s friend that also decorated these cupcakes. Talk about talented! Check these babies out!

Mmmmm! All things must come to an end, even this very cupcake and the baby shower.

Well I think I got everything except, I’m just waiting to hold that new little handsome baby boy Van. Congratulations Chapman’s!

More Mango Salsa

We hope everyone is enjoying their Summer. Before it comes to an end, you need to try our More Mango Salsa. It is best made when all of the goodness of the ingredients are in season. If you can dice, you can do this one!

So, get your best pairing knife and cutting board and let’s go!

Ingredients:

3 ripe Mango’s, diced

2 Cups fresh Pineapple, diced

1 Red Pepper, diced

1 Cup Red Onion, diced

1/2 Cup Cilantro, chopped

2 Jalapeño, minced & seeded

1 Lime, juiced

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

After dicing, chopping and juicing, add all of the ingredients into a large bowl. Juice your lime and add in the salt. Last step, pour your lime, salt mixture over all of the remaining ingredients. Stir and saturate all of the ingredients well. Serve with tortilla chips.

You might want to double this one for a large crowd. It’s that good!

Banana Cream Pie Salad

Any banana pie lovers out there? Whip up this salad super fast and have your crowd loving you for it.

Ingredients:

1 small box instant Banana Pudding mix

1 Cup Milk

1-8 oz. container Cool Whip

2 Cups Mini Marshmallows

3 Cups Lorna Doone Shortbread Cookies, broken into bite size pieces.

3 Bananas, diced

Instructions:

1. whisk Banana Pudding well with 1 Cup Milk.

2. Fold in the Cool Whip

3. Add in Mini Marshmallows

4. Fold in Shortbread Cookies & Bananas

5. Serve immediately