Christmas Bow Wreath

You might be surprised, and possibly a little upset with me, by finding “Christmas” in name of this post…

I know, I know, “fall hasn’t even officially started yet!” I totally get it, and agree with those of you who think it’s skipped over every year these days! We don’t fully get the “fall experience” when perusing stores and shopping malls because there are probably two weeks of September devoted to it and then that’s it, it’s over. Just like that. (possibly exaggerating a little, lol)

Anyway, fall is my favorite season, so I totally think it’s not getting its due recognition! However, Christmas is a wonderful holiday, and I love decorating for it! So, in case you get into the holiday spirit a little early this year, here is a fun craft for you to try.

I originally posted this on my first blog back in 2013, so I thought it would be nice to have it here for you guys to enjoy! I left the original post content so I wouldn’t accidentally leave out any details of how to make the wreath.

Hope you guys enjoy!

I really wanted to do a Christmas wreath this year, and was inspired to do it with lots of colorful ribbons. There was so much ribbon on sale at Michael’s after Black Friday that I didn’t know what to choose, so I stocked up! I have PLENTY for next year – I plan to make and sell these wreaths next Christmas🙂 (I had a baby; totally didn’t happen lol)

If you’re not familiar with how to make ribbon bows, here is the YouTube video I used to help me learn: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDcvdYQWOaw. I know some people have bow makers they use, but honestly, making them yourself makes you feel so accomplished! But choose to do it however you like, I won’t know😉

(Sorry for the blurriness. Could not get the camera to adjust! This pretty green one and polka-dotted one were two of my favorites!)

 

To start, you need a metal wreath as a base. Mine was less than $4 at Michael’s. The reason I recommend this is because its cheaper than other wreath bases, and you want something you can wrap the ribbon round with pipe cleaners.

Which leads me to the second thing you need – pipe cleaners, or ribbon wire. This will secure your bows and also be what you attach the bow to the wreath with.

Third, and most importantly, you need ribbon – LOTS and LOTS! I recommend using wired ribbon, as this is SO much easier to work with (It also will keep its shape after being stored until the next time you need it). I tried a satin and a velvet kind of ribbon, but neither worked as well.

If you look near the middle sides of the wreath you will see I added a special touch of red, green, and silver thin ribbon pieces that hang from each side. I tied them in a simple bow shape, like you would shoe strings, and attached them on the sides. This just mixes it up a bit so you don’t have the same type of bow all around. I also experimented with different sizes of bows to fill in the open spots.

I’m very proud of my crafty side that’s coming out here lately! I always wanted to be one of those people who did the homemade gifts and decorations during the holidays. This is a start, anyway!

You could even try this wreath with other themes of ribbon, like for spring or Easter. I want to do one like that in a few months – I’ll probably share with you how it turns out🙂 (I had a baby, so this didn’t happen either LOL)

Hope you all enjoy! And remember, don’t be afraid to try something new. Even if you’re unsure of how it will turn out, trying is better than wondering what would have happened!

God bless guys!

What We’ve Been Up To + A New Recipe

Hey guys! Happy Friday!!!

Just wanted to pop in today and post a little about what my family and I have been up to, as well as a new recipe I tried from Little Sweet Baker (which was a HUGE hit!).

First off, our little darling girl Emma is growing like a weed! She will be 2 this year and I am too emotional to even think about it. How did this happen so fast?!?! I know that’s the question all moms ask. We’re trying to savor each day and have as much fun as we can in our free time.

This summer, that has included eating lots of ICE CREAM!

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Could you not just kiss all over that sweet face?!?!

Emma LOVES ice cream, and I can’t imagine where she gets it from (…her daddy) hehe.

My birthday was last month and so we had a little shopping day with my mama. Clothes, Italian food, and ice cream – a perfect birthday celebration!

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Not long after my birthday, poor baby girl came down with a horrible case of hand, foot and mouth disease! If you don’t know what that is, and you have babies, I encourage you to look it up. Its highly contagious and is very common in the summer.

(The above picture is her first time back to church after she was no longer contagious. You can see the remainder of the rash on her face, but it looked great comparatively!)

It started as just a fever on a Tuesday night. She hadn’t had an appetite for a couple days, and hadn’t slept well either, so we knew she may be coming down with something. She didn’t have the fever Wednesday morning, so I took her on to daycare. Once I got home from work, I saw a bad rash/blisters had started forming around her mouth, and I knew it was hand, foot and mouth (I have a younger brother who had it as a baby). We went to the doctor the next morning and they confirmed it.

The worst part about this disease is just the pain it causes. Emma couldn’t eat or drink without crying – it causes blisters around and in your mouth – and she was so itchy from the rash spreading to her feet and hands. It was just so heart breaking to watch her suffer. We fed her soft foods, tried to make her drink as much as possible – they have to stay hydrated – and gave her pain meds and oatmeal baths.

We prayed Jesus would heal her quickly, and after Thursday her rash got worse but she started eating and drinking better fairly quickly. We give all the glory to God! We know He touched her.

The sickness ended about 2 weeks ago. Little girl is doing much much better now and is back to her old, joyful self!

{Insert segway from family to food}

So, this recipe I mentioned, it is quick, easy, and delicious for breakfast or a snack! It’s Little Sweet Baker’s Bakery-Style Chocolate Chip Muffins.

The reason I found this recipe is from scrolling through my Pinterest boards. I was going to be baking something for the Harvest Showcase that the ladies from my church are involved with. The Harvest Showcase is a county-wide event where multiple booths are setup, selling anything from fresh produce to handmade baskets. There is also singing and entertainment through-out the day. We have a booth filled with baked goods each year to try and raise money for our Ladies Dept.

Anyway, I was looking for something to bake that would be easy and hopefully a good seller. Everyone does brownies and cookies, so when I came across some muffin recipes  I had saved I thought that would be perfect. And these muffins were! I made two batches (2 dozen) and they sold out of them! I even had my mom and husband begging me to make more for just them, which I actually did last night. “Mmmmm” is all I can say about them!

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There’s a whole stick of butter in one batch, so if that doesn’t convince you that these are good, you should talk to Paula Deen – “butter makes it better” baby! haha

These are the pictures I took of the ones I made, but Little Sweet Baker has much better pics if you want to hop over to her blog!

Here is her recipe. I hope you guys enjoy and have a GREAT weekend!

Bakery-Style Chocolate Chips Muffins

*by Little Sweet Baker*

Makes a dozen (12) muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 & ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tspbaking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk (whole or buttermilk is preferred)*
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 & ½ cups mini chocolate chips (you could use regular-sized ones)

*I used 2% because that’s what I had on hand. They turned out perfect for us.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F and spray a 12 cup muffin tray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla. Slowly add to the dry ingredients. Gently fold together until JUST combined.
  4. Divide the batter into the 12 muffin cups and bake at 425°F for 5 minutes, then turn the oven heat down to 375°F and bake for another 13-15 minutes. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes and enjoy warm.

 

Thanks for the recipe Little Sweet Baker!

Mini Meatloaf Squares

Who else is pressed for time during the week?

Between responsibilities of having a family, a job, church events, piles of dishes and laundry, or whatever other activities you have going on, there just never seems to be enough time in the day to get it all done!

This means dinner must be quick, but also delicious, and healthy if possible. That’s such a tall order some days! Which leads me to my next point: little things cook faster (feel free to applaud me for my brilliant statement, lol).

The recipe that I have for you today is quick, delicious, and can be healthy if you add a side of veggies… we had a side of mashed potatoes and gravy with ours – ha!

 

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(Forgive the TERRIBLE photos. I took them with my phone real quick before we sat down to eat. Next time I make them I’ll try to get better ones!)

We LOVE meatloaf, but during the week it is so hard to make due to the time it takes to cook. Again, little things cook faster! I took a simple recipe for a yummy and cheesy meatloaf and made it into mini squares for a quick and delish dinner that I like to call Mini Meatloaf Squares. Clever right?!

If you do not have a brownie pan like mine (which I got from Pampered Chef), using a muffin pan is just as good. It’s about the taste, after all, not the shape.

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Without further ado, here is the recipe for you. Enjoy guys! Happy Thursday🙂

 

Mini Meatloaf Squares

Servings: 10-12 mini meatloaf squares or muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (we used Colby Jack)

Topping:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all your meatloaf ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Fill brownie or muffin pan with the mixture. Each slot should be filled all the way.
  4. Cook at 350 degrees for 30-35 min.
  5. While cooking, mix topping ingredients together. During the last 15 min of baking, spread the ketchup and brown sugar mixture evenly over the top of each mini loaf.
  6. I suggest you let them cool for 5 min before serving.
  7. Serve with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli, or the sides of your choice!