{free printable} Merry Christmas Tags

Merry Christmas! We're going on a road trip to visit family in Utah so I won't be posting anything new until after Christmas, but I hope you all have a wonderful holiday full of family and friends.
To download these 2.5" square tags go HERE


{free printable} Snowflake Circles

So simple, but it adds a bit of color to those plain white holiday card envelopes.  You could also use these circles as cupcake toppers, gift tags (just add a little note on the backside), or put them on your gifts.  Just print, punch and attach.  I used my sticker maker, but a glue stick or double sided tape would work great too!

 These holiday circles measure at 1.75" and I used a 1.5" hole puncher for the above picture.  Happy Holidays!  Hope it's snowing where you're at, because in NM it's a rarity (although I can't complain too much, we do have snow on the ground right now).  Enjoy!
To download your own snowflake circles go HERE


{tutorial & free printable pattern} Felt Nativity Hand Puppets

I in no way came up with this project on my own.  My church provided these kits to make felt nativity hand puppets and I just thought I would share it with everyone because they were quick and super cute!
 Felt Requirements:  these are just suggested body colors to make all 8 puppets using 9" x 12" felt pieces.
- 2 pieces each (light blue, tan, green, dark tan, purple, and red)
- 4 pieces each (white)
- Scrap pieces (flesh, black, yellow, dark brown, gold, dark blue, brown, pink, and gray)
Also Needed:
-Sharp fabric scissors
-Tacky craft glue
-Sewing Machine (optional)
 Other Doo-Dads Needed:
-2 brown pipe cleaners
-Ric-rac, braid, and trim
-Jewels, wooden bead, and gold button
-Small pink pom pom (for lamb's nose)
-Small bell & cord (for lamb's neck)
Download the nativity puppet outline and pattern HERE.
 It's as easy as printing the PDF pattern, cutting out the pieces and gluing them together. The instructions on the PDF file are fairly clear and concise.  My mother in law was in town last week and got a kit for herself, but she she's going to sew the hand pieces so that they last longer.  However, I did mine with craft tacky glue and they seem to be holding up just fine, thus far.
{The Three Wise Men}

{Baby Jesus, Mary & Joseph}
{Lamb, Shepherd & Angel}
The puppets came together relatively quickly and I just know the kidlets will enjoy playing with them through the holidays.  Again, download your pattern HERE.


{tutorial} Jingle Bell Wreaths

What's Christmas without some jingle bells?  I found discounted tubes of bells last year after Christmas and just remembered I had them while decorating my house for the holidays.  This project took me all of 15 minutes.  I love quick and easy-- nothing better!
All that is needed:  wire coat hanger, ribbon, and jingle bells.
I feel like the hardest part was unwinding the wire coat hanger.  I thought my finger tips were going to get slashed open.  I highly recommend wearing heavy gardening gloves or better yet, use wire clippers if you have them.  I, on the other hand, did it the hard way!
After you've formed your wire into a circle you thread your bells onto the hanger, making sure to push them as close together as they will go.  Once you've completed threading the bells and have determined it is the size you want twist your wire back together and attach some ribbon for hanging.
 I had some left over bells, but not enough to make another wreath so I made this fun little hangy thing.  Instead of wire, I used some ribbon to thread and tied knots on both ends so the bells stay close together.
I'm loving the dark bronze bells, but they're a bit larger than the silver ones so they are unable to get snug and the wire is showing through a bit on these.  Oh well... can't win them all.


{tutorial} Children's Turkey Crayon Holder

Imagine this cute little turkey guy sitting next to your kiddies on Thanksgiving day.  I just know my boys will love coloring their place-mats with these "turkey feather crayons".
All that is needed to make this little guy is:  styrofoam base and head, two googly eyes, brown paint & brush, hot glue gun, red & orange felt, and crayons.
First, paint your styrofoam pieces and let them dry.
Then, attach the head to the base with a dab of hot glue.  Then glue the beak and wattle (yep that's what that red little hangy thing is called-- I looked it up) with glue as well.
Next, you can drill the holes out with an actual drill (which is what I did) or you could firmly press the styrofoam with a sharp pencil and make your holes that way as well.
I personally think this little guy is more handsome with a bow-tie.
Total Cost:
Styrofoam Pieces-- $2
Felt--$0 I used scraps
Craft Paint & Brush-- $0 I used left-overs
This fun turkey guy is cheap enough you could make them for the gaggle of kids that will be joining you on GOBBLE DAY!

{free printable} Thanksgiving Door Wreath & Sign

I'm all about quick crafts!  I usually do them during the kiddo's naps and this wreath was one of those super quick, but cute crafts I took on this past week. 
I used some scrap chenille fabric I had left over from some bibs I made 4 years ago.  I was just waiting for the perfect project and this was it.  However, I used so little that I still have plenty left over. :)  I created this flower with 4 circles, embroidery floss in an alike color, and a needle.  The center circle was rolled up and sewn like a rose.  Then I folded the remaining circles into fourths and sewed them willy nilly onto the rose until I liked the look.  The green leaves were simply sewn with my machine and trimmed down with scissors.  The nice thing about chenille is that it's rustic and your lines don't have to be perfect.
After I was done attaching the flowers with wire I felt the wreath a little too plain so I created this sign and mod podged it onto a painted wooden board.  I then attached the ribbon with staples onto the back.  So simple, I tell ya.
The sign in the picture was printed at Staples and I had them enlarge it to fit the size of board I had laying around.  If you want to do the same just right click on the above image and save to your computer.
So if you'd like to adorn your door or wall with this last minute "Give Thanks" sign, feel free to download HERE.  Happy Turkey Day!


{free printable} Give Thanks Tea Towel

This Thanksgiving tea towel was an easy make.  First I purchased the tea towel at Walmart for uber cheap.  Then I printed the image in reverse onto iron-on paper and cut it to the size I wanted.  Next, I ironed it onto the pre-washed tea towel.  That's it!  Super de duper easy!
This will make a great addition to my Thanksgiving day guest's goodie baskets.  Just picture a small basket stuffed with this homemade tea towel, jam or marmalade, fruit, sparkling apple cider bottle and baked goods.  Perfection!


{free printable} Thankgsiving Gathering Printable Set

Thanksgiving has to be my absolute FAVORITE holiday ever!  Nothing beats family gathering together for the sole purpose of devour all things delicous.  Seriously, does it get any better?  Today you'll find my Thanksgiving printables set featured over at Whatever DeeDee Wants.  Go on over and check out her site for the full printable set.  She's also got a plethora of fun ideas for kids-- such a darling site!

traditional Thanksgiving food label cards
12" x 16" children's activity place mat
 I'm beyond excited for Thanksgiving this year.  The in-laws will be in town and I will be hosting my very first Thanksgiving dinner.  I will definitely be using these printables to add to the overall decor of the day.

To view the entire Thanksgiving printables set and/or download your very own copy go HERE.
Unfortunately, to download the children's activity place mat you will need to FOLLOW THIS LINK, download and save to your computer separately.


{recipe} Chocolate Cheesecake Four Ways!

I LOVE chocolate and I LOVE cheesecake so the two together was heaven on earth for me.  A chocolate cheesecake recipe is nothing new, but I've added a little bit of spice to each one of my little cheesecakers.  I've done the dirty (if cooking and tasting chocolate cheesecakes can really be called "dirty"?) work for you.  I made one batch of cheesecake and divided it into four.  I then added different secret ingredients to each one.  So... let's get to it shall we?
The first cake batter I added ground cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves.

 The other three cakes were accompanied with alternative spices as well.  One cake had Cayenne, the other Chili Powder and the last one had Chipotle Chile Pepper.

 Once the graham cracker crust had cooled from it's prior baking I added the four different cheesecake batters. I then filled the casserole dishes with boiling water half way up the sides of the cheesecake pans.  This helps keep the cheesecake moist and hopefully from cracking.
Tip 1:  make sure your tin foil is wrapped snuggly around the spring form pans so no water can seep through.
Tip 2 (if you're going to bake all four flavors at once): wrap tin foil around the handle of the casserole dishes identifying which cake is which.
Now for the hard part-- tasting each one!
Cake 1: Cinnamon, Nutmeg & Cloves-- tasted very Christmassy
Cake 2:  Chili Powder-- had the slightest hint of chili, but not a lot of other flavors going on
Cake 3: Cayenne Pepper-- had a good amount of spice taste, but didn't overwhelm the chocolate flavor
Cake 4: Chipotle Chile Pepper-- smokey undertones

THE WINNER-- Cayenne Pepper!  It was a nice pair to chocolate and didn't take away from it.  Now, that's not to say the other three weren't delicious, but the Cayenne was by far my fave.
Chocolate Cayenne Cheesecake
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar (brown or granulated white-- I've used either and both work great for the crust)
3 (8 ounce) pkgs cream cheese, room temperature
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate, melted (I used Ghiradelli's baking chips)
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper (If you like more heat add additional increments, but I would suggest tasting the batter as you go.  Keep in mind the spicyness subsides a bit with baking)

1.  Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Combine the melted butter, graham crackers and sugar in a food processor.  Press mixture into the bottom of your springform pan and bake for 5 minutes.  Set aside and cool
2.  In a large bowl mix together cream cheese until fluffy.  Gradually add sweet condensed milk until smooth and creamy.  Next, add all of the remaining ingredients.  Poor into prepared pans.
3.  Bake for 65 minutes or until cake center is set.  Cool to room temperature and then chill thoroughly in the fridge.  Store leftovers in the fridge (if you have any).


{free printable} Please Take One Halloween Candy Sign

Every year I feel bad that I leave our house (and candy) unattended while we take our kidlets out and about the neighborhood, but this year I'm setting this sign out with the candy and having a guilt free night.
If you would like to download your own copy go HERE. Hope your little ghosts and goblins have a great night of trick or treating.  Happy Halloween!


{free printable} Anniversary/Any Event Notecards

Just a few weeks ago the hubs and I celebrated our 9th anniversary.  So in honor of that momentous event I've made some printable anniversary cards for you!  Whether you're celebrating your 1st or 40th anniversary these sweet little animal cards will get the job done (especially if you're like me and NEVER remember to pick up cards at the grocery store).
These cards could really be used for any event:  birthday, valentines day, just to say 'hello'....etc.  It's always good to have generic cards laying around in case you need them in a pinch.  So print out a few pages and have them handy.
Download FREE printable cards HERE.


{tutorial & free printable} Halloween Burlap Wreath

These burlap wreaths are popping up all over the internet, but I specifically found inspiration at Craftaholics Anonymous to make mine.
I've seen most burlap wreaths made with wire hangers bent into a circle, but I chose to use a wreath form.  However, the green would definitely poke through so I needed to paint mine black first.
I used basic craft paint, but I suppose if you had black spray paint laying around that would work too.
While the paint is drying, lay out your burlap and cut 1x18 inch strips of fabric.  I chose to make mine a bit longer than other tutorials because the wreath form is thicker than a wire so it requires more fabric to wrap around.
I cut strips from approximately 3/4th of a yard of fabric and that seemed plenty for my wreath, but if you like a more fuller look I would purchase at least a yard of burlap to be safe.

 Just as I was about to begin wrapping my wreath with fabric I looked down to see black paint splatters all over my shirt.  What can I say I'm a messy crafter, but if anyone has any tips as how I could remove paint splatters from a shirt please send them my way.  Back to the wreath-- just tie knots of fabric around your wreath until your satisfied with the fullness.  Make sure NOT to pull too tight on the burlap when knotting-- it's very sensitive and will break with just a little amount of strength.  I then attached this little crow I found at the dollar store with some super glue and wire.  Now your wreath is ready to hang.  I paired mine with this little "trick or treat" sign I had laying around, but you could hang your wreath with my printable file below.  All you would need to do is mod podge it onto some wood or tin and string with some burlap or ribbon.

To download your own "Trick or Treat" sign go HERE
Total Cost of the Project: $8
Wreath Form (Joanne's Fabric with 50% off coupon): $4
1 Yard of Black Burlap Fabric (Joanne's Fabric with 40% off coupon): $3
Black Crow (Dollar Store): $1


{recipe} Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

 This recipe came from Sprinkles' pumpkin spice cake box.  It adds just the right amount of cinnamon to any spice cake, pumpkin cake, pumpkin pie or cinnamon roll.  Seriously so good!  I tell ya, those folks over at the Sprinkles company know what they're doing.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
milk-- add in 1 teaspoon increments to your desired consistency
Using your electric mixer, beat cream cheese, unsalted butter, salt, and cinnamon on medium low speed until smooth and creamy (approximately 2 or 3 minutes).  Reduce speed to low and gradually add the confectioners' sugar, mixing until incorporated.  Add the vanilla; beat just until mixed.  Do not over-beat or the frosting will incorporate too much air. It should be creamy and dense like ice cream.  Add milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, if frosting is not of a spreadable consistency.
 Piping Tip: 
More often than not I’m too lazy to get out all of my baking gear so I use Ziplock baggies to pipe frosting.  I make cut in one of the corners (about 1/2 inch off) and insert my tip so it’s a snug fit.  Then I fill the bag up with frosting and pipe away.  Super easy and super lazy, I know!

Enjoy!  This frosting is DIVINE and just in time for the holidays.


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