Top 10 projects of 2012

It's hard to believe that another year is coming to a close. Back in April, I began this little blog and have enjoyed connecting with so many wonderful people. For the last post of 2012, I thought it would be fun to revisit the top 10 viewed projects of this past year. 

Happy New Years!


Christmas Gift Ideas

There's only 4 more days until the big day and I'm just finishing up gifts for the kids teachers and neighbors. I also just mailed out the last of our Christmas cards. Yep, I'm a little behind this year. 

Because I've left things to the last minute, we needed some quick but fun gifts to give neighbors and the kids teachers. Here are four simple gifts that were sparked by other creative individuals. (Thank goodness for Pinterest).

Festive Mixing Bowls
These mixing bowls were so simple to put together. I bought the bowls at the dollar store. Pull out your cutting machine and cut out circles on red and green vinyl. (Make sure to wash these bowls by hand). Decorate with the circles, then add some kind of mix.

Recipe Book with Dish

This fall I went to Swiss Days and came across a booth called Lemon Poppy. They were selling the most darling recipe books. The photos in the books make you want to lick the pages because the food looks so yummy! I bought a few of the "When Life Gives You Christmas" recipe books along with the polka dotted dish to give to friends this Christmas. Then wrapped them up. 
Go check out Lemon Poppy Inc. here. While your there, read Ali's story about how she started Lemon Poppy, she's truly inspiring!

Lemon Poppy Inc.
 Santa Plate
 The Santa plate is just a plastic plate from the dollar store. (They came 2/$1.00) Add vinyl lettering then put in a yummy cookie mix.
 Merry Christmas tag from Eighteen 25

Peppermint Sugar Scrub
 The peppermint sugar scrub idea and tag came from The Idea Room. She also has a few other sugar scrub recipes that I love! Make the peppermint sugar scrub then put it in some kind of jar. I also added a pair of soft red and white socks.
 One of my favorite ways to give gifts are in gable boxes. There are so many possibilities to decorating them. I used these green and red gable boxes to put the sugar scrub and socks in.
  Have a wonderful Christmas!

Mint Chocolate Cookies

I love this time of year when the weather is cold because I get the baking bug and just want to make yummy treats. It doesn't get much better than putting on Christmas music and baking delicious cookies. Today, I felt like mint, and the cookies are green so it fits right in with the Holiday season. 
What kind of yummy treats are you baking?

Mint Chocolate Cookies

2 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter; at room temperature
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp mint extract
15-20 drops green food coloring
1/2 bag of Andes Creme De Menthe baking chips


Preheat oven 375 degrees.  Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and set aside. 

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and mint extract. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients. Add green food coloring and mix until even colored. Then fold in the Andes baking chips.

Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Crafty Corner


Shared here

Semi Homemade Mom

Joy Wreath

 Here's a last minute Christmas wreath that I put together today. It's been one of those days where I have a ton of errands to run but don't feel like going anywhere so I stayed home and made a mess in my craft room instead.
 I used a white foam wreath form and wrapped it with 3 different colors of burlap. Added some rolled felt flowers and made a JOY banner out of Christmas paper with the help of the Silhouette. The O in joy is made from a couple of limbs that I cut from a fake tree garland and just twisted them into a circle and added some ribbon.

Pretty simple and looks great. What last minute projects are you working on? 

DIY Fishing Activity

Every day I'm on the hunt for some kind of activity to keep my little guy entertained. He's so busy moving from one thing to the next, especially if it involves climbing. With the other kids in school all day, I'm lucky to have a lot of playing time with him.

I made a go fishing activity that he could do now as well as when he gets older. Each fish contains a small super strong magnet in the head to make it easier to catch with the larger magnet hook that's on the pole.

I was going to wait and give this to him for Christmas but I couldn't wait. As soon as he woke from his nap, we went fishing!! (Opps, I didn't even take the time to comb his hair for the picture). 

Materials needed:

Variety of fabrics
Fish template-found HERE 
Sewing machine
Poly Fil- I used one bag for 10 fish
Magnets-(I used Super Magnets for inside the fish and larger regular magnets for the hook on the pole).
Wooden dowel-What ever length you want
Paint- for painting wooden dowel, optional
String- I used bakers twine but any kind of string would work
Glue Gun

*After choosing your fabrics, trace the fish template onto the wrong side of the fabric. You'll need 2 pieces for each fish. Then cut each fish out and place right sides together for sewing.  
Magnetic Hook
To make the magnetic hook, you'll need a piece of scrap fabric, a large magnet, string, hot glue and ribbon. Tie one end of the string to the magnet. You could always glue the string to the magnet as well. Wrap the fabric around the magnet and hot glue fabric together. This is so the little ones can't get the magnet out. Then tie a ribbon around the bunched fabric and tie the other end of the string to the pole.
Happy Fishing!


Soft Gingersnap Cookies

It's that time of year when kitchens begin to fill with the aroma of sweet goodies being baked. Gingersnap cookies have always reminded me of my great-grandmother. She kept cookies in a bread box that sat on her kitchen counter and gingersnap cookies were one of her favorites, so this is where my love of these cookies began. Something about the smell of molasses brings those childhood memories back. 
This soft gingersnap cookie is perfect for those holiday parties or maybe to leave for Santa on Christmas Eve. Pretty sure he'll love them!

Soft Gingersnap Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 Tablespoon water
1/4 cup molasses
2 Tablespoon white sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves. and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the wet mixture. Shape dough into balls and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the dough balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet and flatten slightly. 
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.         

Recipe adapted from all recipes 


Chocolate Orange M&M Cookies

 If you know me, you know that I LOVE cookies! I also love the flavor combination of chocolate and orange. Have you seen the new chocolate orange M&M's? They taste like those chocolate sticks with the orange jelly inside or those chocolate oranges with the wedge pieces, YUM YUM!! 
I discovered them through a friend and went right out to Wal Mart and picked up a few bags. I knew immediately that I wanted to bake them into a scrumptious cookie.
The end result was some good chocolate cookies devoured by my daughters group of friends. (okay, I ate a few also)

Chocolate Orange M&M Cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 bag chocolate orange M&M's- or any kind of M&M would be great!! (save some to add to tops of cookies)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease them, set aside. 
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer until will blended.
Beat in egg and vanilla. Scrape down sides of bowl to make sure everything is blended well.
In medium bowl, stir flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined.
Add flour mixture to butter/sugar mixture. Stir in most of the M&M's. 
Place heaping tablespoons of cookie dough about 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. 
Press a few M&M's into the tops of each cookie. 
Bake 12-14 minutes. 
Remove from oven and transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Store in air tight container.


Christmas Countdown Clipboard

Nothing like a spur of the moment project. With today being the first day of December, and the little ones now asking, how many days until Christmas, I thought it would be fun to have a countdown of some sorts and this is what I came up with thanks to Eighteen 25

I just happened to have a small clipboard and used my Silhouette to make the number cards. For instructions on this fun Christmas countdown go here.