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Christmas Goodies

16 Dec

Every year I usually spend a day or two baking Christmas goodies with my mother, aunt, grandma and sisters. We would make everything from sugar cookies to caramels! This year was a little different since December has been busier than usual. With people moving, Family #2’s Christmas, etc… I didn’t make it home to bake. The past couple nights however, Kyle and I have been making some Christmas goodies of our own!

We made a fan favorite, Buckeyes, and also peppermint bark, which is new for me. It was Kyle’s idea to make it so I obliged and we made it! It was a lot easier than I expected it to be and turned out really good. I looked at a couple different recipes online just to see what they said but all included two main ingredients…white chocolate and peppermint pieces (go figure!). Those two are the only things we used too!

I purchased the vanilla flavored Almond Bark from Wal Mart(WM), it was significantly cheaper than buying Bakers Chocolate or Vanilla Chocolate Chips. I also bought the WM brand peppermint candies instead of buying candy canes. 1. Because I couldn’t find normal candy canes and 2. they were cheaper!

All you have to do to make the peppermint bark is melt the chocolate and add peppermint pieces. I used a double-boiler for this because I used the whole 1lb brick of Almond Bark. It also helps to cut your chocolate up into slivers so it melts easier. Sometimes I am impatient and have the tendency to burn chocolate in the microwave, so this way was much more effective.

I also melted half then added in the other half just so I didn’t crowd the bowl with a bunch of pieces. Once most of the chocolate is melted remove from the heat and keep stirring! Add in the crushed peppermint pieces, stir and spread on a metal baking sheet covered with wax paper.

I reserved some of the bigger pieces of crushed peppermint to put on top of the bark just to make it look a little fancier. Let it cool for a good half hour in the fridge or until completely hard. Then comes the fun part of breaking it all up. I kept mine in about 2 in x 2 in pieces. Some looked better than others, some are triangles, some are just weird shaped.

I had some left over chocolate from dipping buckeyes and some crushed peppermint so I made some milk chocolate peppermint bark. It wasn’t bad but I think I like it with white chocolate better.

This is the perfect gift to give friends, co-workers, hair dressers, mailman, the list goes on and on! You can put it in a decorative tin, pretty Christmas plate or just in a snack baggy with some ribbon.

Amy Marie

P.S. Coming soon…A present for the dog in your life!

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Vanilla Sugar Scrub

15 Dec

Last night I was bound and determined to be productive…and I was! I cleaned the kitchen, made buckeyes and also tried out a vanilla sugar scrub. I found directions for it on Pinterest, of all places, and thought it would be the perfect filler for some presents.

I modified my recipe a little bit but I think it still worked out perfectly! This was one of the fasted gifts I have ever made.

Ingredients:

3 cups Sugar
1 cup Olive Oil
2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Combine all three ingredients, yup that’s it! Super easy I tell ya. Now if you want a stronger scent of vanilla you can add more in. It also depends on your brand of vanilla because I think some are a little more concentrated than others. The original post I saw called for essential oil but I didn’t really feel like going to the store to buy some. I did a little research and found that vanilla is safe to use, and some people even use it daily for hair and body wash!

After mixing just place it in a pretty jar and make a little label. I had some old jam jars laying around and put it in there with some x-mas fabric on top! I also used the left overs myself and my hands were silky smooth 🙂

Amy Marie

P.S. Only 4 more crafts to go! Thinking about adding in some candy recipes, do those count as crafts??

P.S.S. I will post a picture of the scrub after work today!

Sources:
Sugar Scrub
Vanilla Uses

FREE COOK BOOK For All you Kindle Folks

13 Dec

So this is just going to be a quick post, but I wanted to let you all know about an awesome deal I found through Budget Saving Mom! You can get a free digital edition of the Gooseberry Patch Christmas with Family & Friends Cookbook!!

Follow the link connected to the cook book title and it takes you to amazon.com. Even if you don’t have a Kindle there is Kindle app’s for PC, iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry. Amazon will help you get those app’s if you don’t have them.

I guess Amazon does this every once and a while without warning and there is no telling how long it may last. So go now and get it!

Thought this was too good not to share! Enjoy!

Amy Marie

Weekend Update

12 Dec

What a boring post title but it’s all I got today. This morning was one of those morning where I pushed the snooze button a million times; I just didn’t want to get up! This weekend was pretty busy though.

We woke up bright and early Saturday to move the rest of my stuff from Columbus to  Kyles, which I need to start referring to as ours I suppose. If you have ever lived in an apartment complex you know that you must clean, clean, clean before you move out so you get your security deposit back. Luckily my parents came down to help with the moving and cleaning. It only took one 12 ft trailer and a mini van (no seats) to get all my stuff home.

Since the weather has been crappy in terms of harvesting weather, Kyle and  his family still have about 300 acres to go. For those of you not in farming, you normally harvest corn in October-Early November. This year however many farmers still have crops in the field. In order to get them out we have had to wait until the ground freezes. Since its coldest at night, Kyle and his dad started farming about 10pm on Saturday. The plan was to farm through the night and well into Sunday. Unfortunately about 4:15 am I got a call that the combine broke and then caught on fire! EEK! I was worried but I guess it was small and everyone was ok.

Sunday was literally a day of rest. But I did get to do some crafting with Alisia and also got some grocery and Christmas shopping done. I am planning to get a few more of those 12 Crafts of Christmas posted this week so stay tuned!

Amy Marie

On the Third Day of Christmas…

8 Dec

That’s right, its Christmas craft #3 (4 and 5). I haven’t decided weather or not tonight’s post will count as one craft or three. I guess it really depends on time (whether or not I run out before 12 crafts). But tonight I am sharing with you three things to do with wire and beads. I have seen things like these before, but usually in a fancy boutique for $30 a pop!

Tonight I made a mason jar luminary, beaded spoon and wine glass. All three of these would make a perfect gift for any holiday party you are attending. The directions are about the same for all three, just working with different objects, so I’m not going to repeat the directions three times (besides, you don’t wanna read that much anyways).

Supplies:
18 or 20 gauge wire
Assorted beads
pliers, needed nosed if available

First step is to cut your wire to nesecary length. The bigger the object the more wire needed.  For the the spoon and the jar I used about 2.5-3 feet. About 2 feet for the glass. Secure one end of the wire by wrapping tightly around the object like a twist tie on bread (best way I can think to describe it). It should be fairly tight and not move around on you. Now string the beads! See the two methods below

There are two ways to attack these projects.

1. You can string your beads onto the wire before you wrap (if doing this, leave enough wire to secure to object.)
2. String your beads as you go along

Both ways work fine, with the spoon #1 seemed easier but for the wine glass I found it easier to add beads as I went. Either way you do it just make sure you leave enough wire to wrap the whole length. Once you get it wrapped around I like to take a plain piece of wire to wrap back to the starting point. It gives it a little more security and decoration.

You can get the wire and beads in the jewelry section of almost any craft store including Wal Mart! You could also use floral wire if that’s what you have on hand.


And there you have it! Three great wire wrapped gift ideas. Can’t you imagine a dinner party with the mason jars as centerpieces, everyone drinking out of their unique wine glass and serving food with decorated flat ware! Ok, well maybe that vision is just in my head but I think it would be a lot of fun!

Amy Marie

Trash to Treasure

30 Nov

In my last post I talked about how I did some redecorating, in case you don’t remember since it was a while ago! I wanted to show you guys what I actually accomplished. Now when I started seeing Kyle he had these end tables in the living room that were a nice oak color with a gold rod holding a lamp. They weren’t my favorite and weren’t functional since they were no where close to an outlet.

Finally one Saturday when they were in the field harvesting (beans I think) I got the motivation to do something about those ugly end tables. See my before and after below!

My first thought when tackling this project was not to take them apart, mainly because I didn’t know if I would be able to take them all the way apart. But while I was cleaning off the dirt and dust I noticed a little wing nut and knew I was in the clear. So after I good cleaning and some minor hardware adjustments I have 2 much nicer looking end tables! Kyle even thought they looked better!!

Stay tuned for my next project that includes clearance items from hobby lobby and an old 2×4!

Amy Marie

A Few Weeks Late

21 Nov

Well it seems to most of you as though I have disappeared, but at last I’m just a few weeks late…No don’t worry not that kind of late, just haven’t posted in a while. Here is the run down of the last couple weeks. (not necessarily in order, well except starting a new job was the first thing).

1. Started a new job
2. Shot an engagement session
3. Booked my first wedding! Eek (excited but nervous, we’ll see how I like them)
4. Computer Broke
5.  Moved in with Kyle
6. Tried to do some redecorating (post on that soon)
7. Started some new crafts
8. Got an early Christmas present from KH, The Big Ass Book of Crafts and Upclycled Jewelry
9.
Last and what I think, most important, went WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING!

I hope to have some pictures and updates to these events soon. Until them check out some cute flower girls in training!

Photos Courtesy of J. Wensink

Photo Courtesy of J. Wensink

Photo Courtesy of J. Wensink

I think they are going to be just stellar! In case you don’t know these two little cuties, Emery, in the pink, is my niece and Allison, with the basket, is Kyle’s niece.

Until next time

– Amy Marie

Almost Here

3 Nov

For the past 6 days I have been at my new place of residence (SIN) and while I am really enjoying being with Kyle….I miss something. I miss my internet!! In a way its been really nice to have a break from social media and the internet but I am realizing it might be handy for some wedding stuff.

Luckily, Kyle being the smart boy he is, called Time Warner and we are getting cable and a land line on Sunday! The phone part kinda cracks me up but he makes a valid point: what if we both wash our phones and there’s an emergency?! Haha but in all seriousness we can cut down out minutes on the cell’s since we will have unlimited local and long distance on the land line…Just don’t take away my texting!

Well since I am posting this from the public computer at work on my lunch hour, I should probably scoot and let others who don’t have internet on home on (is there anyone else?). Its not like I can even Facebook on the “public” computer! However, A.M. Leo has not discovered the wonderful world of Pinterest so I am still free to browse there!

Living in Sin

25 Oct

Well it has been a couple days since I have posted a blog but I though I would post a quick update on what you are going to see on here in the next couple weeks. As of Friday I will be ending my run as a resident  of Franklin county. A few posts back I talked about my new job that will be in Piqua and that I will be moving in with the fiance.

Yes, that’s right I will be living with Kyle before the wedding. Now to most of you it probably isn’t a big deal but some people like to refer to that as “Living in Sin.” Why? In the catholic faith you are not supposed to live with your husband before you get married. Also some of the more traditional people around agree with that. But a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do…I mean we will have separate bedrooms (ok not really, but thats what I will tell the nay sayers).

Meanwhile, we have not gotten the internet situation figured out yet so after Friday my posts will be far and few between. I hope to get internet there ASAP because how else am I supposed to feed my Pinterest addiction! A smartphone can only do so much. I am hoping to get some posts ready to go before I move and then can just hop on and publish at work but we will see what happens (I still have to pack!).

 

 

 

Another Day, Another Dollar

17 Oct

Well like usual the weekend flew by and with my looming to-do list, it went even faster! Wouldn’t it be nice if the weekends were 5 days and the weeks were only 2?? Any who, lets check back with my to-do list from Friday and see how much I actually accomplished…

1. Bake an apple pie (because I told him I would and I feel bad breaking that promise)
2. Make closet space for some of my clothes
3. Clean spare rooms
4. Decorate tops of kitchen cabinets (Before and After pictures to come)
5. Pick at his grandma’s house for some neat decorations ( I feel like I could have my own show, we could call it Clark County Pickers!)
6. Laundry (going to try Tonya’s version of homemade laundry soap)
7. Convince him it’s time to get internet!

Wow! Looking back I guess I did get more accomplished than I though, 6 out of 7 ain’t bad! Although maybe some of them should only be half crossed off. One thing I didn’t realize until this weekend was that I think Kyle has more clothes than I do!

Now if you know him, you know he isn’t exactly the metro man type who spends time planning out his wardrobe. However his mother does work at Macy’s and loves a good bargain. Point in Case: Kyle has a lot of clothes, many with tags still on them. So in my effort to actually make room for my clothes I took anything that had holes or big grease spots and kindly asked him if I could make rags out of them, many to which he agreed.

As for the rest of the list I can say I accomplished them or at least got a good head start {laundry and internet}. I got the go ahead to check out some prices for cable/dvr, internet and a home phone. I am making progress people!!

Finally, lets get to those before and after of my interior decorating project for the weekend! While looking through the pictures this morning I realized I should have stood on the chair to take the picture, but I think you will get the idea. Enjoy!

Before - Mostly used for stashing stuff that didn't really fit anywhere else!

And here it is, the homier, girlier, countrier {I think I’m making up words} after version of the cupboard decor.

Pretty! Even Kyle said it looked good!

I want to add in some flowers or fabric to try and tie it all together but I think it was a good start! I keep debating on what my favorite find at his grandma’s was…the wire chicken basket or the old half gallon, glass milk jugs (left side, blue carrier).

Hello Love!

Once I found this, Kyle promptly asked me “What the hell are you going to do with that?” I just smiled and said “decorate!”

Amy Marie

P.S. Stay tuned for my Roasted Spaghetti Squash Recipe and photos of Apple Pie! Yummy!!