{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).


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