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Stay WARM! Craft an Indoor Snowman

Stay WARM! Craft an Indoor Snowman instead!  These are some cute and fun ideas for kids to get their snowman on when there is no white stuff outside (or maybe too much?).  Check out these cool ideas and get crafting.

Cookie Cutter Snowman Art
Fingerprint Snowman Scene
Mason Jar Snowman
Snowman Washer Necklaces
Ziploc Baggie Snowman
Coffee Cup Snowmen
Make-Up Snowman
Spin Art Snowman

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10 Party Perfect Foods

10 Party Perfect Foods

  1. Greek Lamb and Feta Pinwheels
  2. Chicken Cordon Bleu Crescents
  3. Turkey Sliders
  4. Mini Ham, Bacon and Cheddar Cups
  5. Poppy Seed Pretzel Dogs
  6. Tomato and Feta Bruschetta 
  7. Cranberry Feta Pinwheels
  8. Spaghetti and Meatball Cupcakes
  9. Cheeseburger Sliders
  10. Mini Quiches

 

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5 Tips for Organizing the New Toy Mess

 
The day after Christmas is one of my least favorite days of the year. Yeah, I said it.

All the gifts I meticulously shopped deals to get, and so nicely wrapped, are all over the house.  The kids rooms are messier than ever before, so is the rest of the house, and this momma is exhausted from the run up and then cooking all day. But I can’t rest.  Not yet. Not until my house is decluttered and everything is organized – especially the toys! Here are my five best tips for organizing toys after Christmas:

Pitch it: Explaining to your child that her barbie with no hair and one leg is trash can be heartbreaking, and more tense than international negotiations. The best day to do this, (besides when she is NOT AROUND!) is the day shes occupied with her new toys. Sift through the toy box, and be brutal.  Gather everything that is broken and missing pieces, and toss it in the trash!  You will feel awesome.

Rotate it: Kids don’t need 20+ toys to play with every single day. In all honesty, the more toys a child has, the less likely they are to play with them, or appreciate what they have. Keep 10-15 of their new and very favorite ones out and box the rest. In a month, when they have become bored of the toys you left out, put those away and bring out the ones you put away. It will feel like Christmas morning every time you rotate a box.

Sell it or Donate it: Make a big pile of toys that are in great condition that you child has grown out of or totally lost interest in and find a local charity to donate them to, or list them on local buy/sell/trade sites.  I love including the kids in the donation, because it’s easier for them to give their toys away if they know a new child is going to get to love them!  We do this BEFORE Christmas, and we do it again AFTER!

Rearrange it: Sometimes a quick rearrangement of existing toy storage bins can make all the difference. Move the toy box to a different area. Remember, if you can’t close the toy box, that means there needs to be more in the donate or rotate box.

Label it: I love labels. I would label everything in my house if it wouldn’t look silly. You can use word labels for older kids, or picture labels for younger kids. Showing your child that everything has a place and everything should be in it’s place will help save your sanity and keep the toys organized.   Make them help clean up and care for their playthings so that they will mean more to them.

What toy organization tips do you have?

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12 Fun Holiday Wreaths to Craft With Kids

12 Fun Holiday Wreaths to Craft With Kids

  1. Torn Paper Wreath
  2. Paper Loop Wreath
  3. Yarn Wreath
  4. Painted Dish Brush Wreath
  5. Paper Plate Wreath
  6. Snowflake Wreath
  7. Present Wreath
  8. Candy Cane Mice Wreath
  9. Cupcake Liner Wreath
  10. Candy Cane CD Wreath
  11. Crepe Paper Wreath
  12. Miniature Bow Wreath
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Chocolate Bourbon Caramel Pecan Ritz Cookies

Any kind of boozy cookie is my kind of cookie!  Seriously, though, the bourbon in these in minimal and really gives the chocolate a nice depth of flavor that plays well against the sweet caramel and nutty pecans.  I would make a double or triple batch of these.  They are really good and once you eat one…well, you know the rest!  Enjoy these with a nice cup of coffee, bourbon optional in that!

Chocolate Bourbon Caramel Pecan Ritz Cookies

Yields: 1 dozen

INGREDIENTS
24 Nabisco Ritz crackers
12-15 caramels, unwrapped
1 Tablespoon whipping cream
11 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1-1/2 teaspoons bourbon (I like using a good bourbon.  Don’t cheap out on this.  Airport bottles are a good and cheap way to get good liquor without buying the whole big bottle.)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS
1.   Line a large baking sheet with wax or parchment paper.

2.   Lay 12 of the Ritz crackers on the lined pan, spaced apart by at least 2 inches.

3.   In a microwave safe bowl, add the caramels and whipping cream. Microwave for 20-30 seconds and stir. Continue to microwave and stir, in 15 second increments, until smooth and fluid, taking care to not overheat.

4.   Allow the caramel sauce to cool for 10 minutes.

5.   Place 1 Tablespoon of the caramel sauce on top of each cracker on the baking pan. Place the remaining crackers on top of the caramel (like a sandwich) and chill for 30 minutes. It’s fine if some of the caramel oozes out the sides.

6.   In a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips over low/medium heat, stirring occasionally and taking care not to overheat. Once melted and smooth, add the bourbon and stir well to incorporate and heat an additional 30 seconds. Remove from heat.

7.   Dip each chilled sandwich cookie into the melted chocolate. I transferred my chocolate to a warmed smaller bowl for easier handling. Coat each cookie completely and place back on the baking sheet.

8.   Sprinkle with pecans and chill for 15 minutes to allow the chocolate to harden.

9.   ENJOY!!

You can store these cookies in an airtight container for up to one week.  They will not last that long in my house!  These are good.

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Pretty and Stylish Christmas Garlands to Make Yourself

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Adorable Reindeer Crafts to Make Now

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen.  Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen and Rudolph.  Make an cute reindeer craft and name him anything you want to!

  1. Salt Dough Reindeer Footprints
  2. No Glue Musical Reindeer
  3. Toilet Roll Reindeer
  4. Pom Pom Reindeer Magnets
  5. Egg Carton Reindeer
  6. Printable Reindeer Antlers
  7. Handprint Reindeer Ornaments
  8. Stacking Reindeer
  9. Candy Cane Reindeer
  10. Egg Carton Reindeer Sleigh
  11. Paper Plate Reindeer
  12. Cupcake Liner Reindeer Craft
  13. Santa’s Sleigh and Team
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Rum Ball Cookies – No Baking Required

  

If you are going to make cookies, boozy cookies are always fun!  Rum Balls are very easy to make, require NO BAKING and bonus — RUM!  Use a good quality light rum to make sure that the cookies have a good taste and that the cook stays happy.  These are alcoholic so best not to serve these to kids.

Servings: 2 dozen

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups Nabisco Nilla wafers-crushed
1 cup powdered sugar plus 1/2 cup for rolling in
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons Hershey’s dark cocoa powder
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup light corn syrup
3 Tablespoons honey
1/4 cup Bacardi (or good light) rum plus 2 Tablespoons

DIRECTIONS
1.   Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper and set aside.

2.   Add the Nilla wafers to a food processor and break the cookies down into small crumbs.

3.   Pour the wafer crumbs into a large mixing bowl.  Add the powdered sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, pecans and salt. Whisk to combine.

4.   Add the corn syrup, honey and one 1/4 cup of the rum. Mix until a crumbly, stiff batter forms. If your batter is a bit too dry, add additional rum. I added an additional 2 Tablespoons and that seemed to make the batter perfect. Cover and chill for one hour.

5.   Remove the chilled batter from the refrigerator. Roll into one inch balls and place on the lined baking sheet. Cover and chill for 10 minutes.

6.   Place 1/2 cup powdered sugar into a shallow bowl. Roll each chilled rum ball into the powdered sugar, covering each one completely.

7.   ENJOY!!  These do pack a punch with the alcohol so don’t let the little ones indulge.

*Store the rum balls in a single layer in an airtight container in the coldest part of your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. The rum flavor intensifies with each passing day!!

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12 Jolly Gingerbread Crafts

  1. Stuffed Gingerbread Boy and Girl Craft
  2. Gingerbread Puffy Paint
  3. Life Sized Gingerbread Girl
  4. Gingerbread Play Dough Man
  5. Paper Plate Gingerbread Man
  6. Scented Gingerbread Man Ornaments
  7. Toilet Roll Gingerbread Man
  8. Kid Made Gingerbread Ornaments
  9. Montessori Gingerbread Decorating
  10. Easy Gingerbread Man Card
  11. Felt Gingerbread Men
  12. Fingerprint Gingerbread Man Painting
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14 Adorable Angel Crafts

  1. DIY Angel Tree Topper
  2. Clothespin Doilie Angels
  3. Cereal Box Angel
  4. Snowflake Angel Craft
  5. Paper Plate Angels
  6. Toilet Roll Angel Girl
  7. Egg Carton Angels
  8. Pinecone Angels
  9. Bowtie Noodle Angels
  10. Peg Angels
  11. Paper Towel Roll Angels
  12. Plate Christmas Angels
  13. Paper Christmas Angels
  14. Coffee Filter Angel
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Eggnog Gooey Butter Cookies

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Eggnog is a traditional staple of the Holiday season.  Gooey Butter Cake is a St. Louis specialty and OH MY GOSH is it good!  Get the richness of the gooey butter cake made even richer with the eggnog flavor.  It doesn’t have any alcohol in it, but you will want a big glass of milk or a cup of coffee when you enjoy a few of these.  The recipe is super easy, and the dough can be made the day before and kept chilled till ready to bake.  Let the little ones help roll the balls.  Yummy and Fun!

Eggnog Gooey Butter Cookies

Yields: 1 1/2 dozen

Ingredients:
8 oz brick of cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened at room temperature
1 large egg
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons rum extract
1 Pillsbury Golden Butter cake mix
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup powdered sugar

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Directions:
1.   Preheat oven to 350°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2.   In a large mixing bowl, add the cream cheese and butter. Cream until smooth.

3.   Add the egg and nutmeg and mix well.

4.   Stir in the rum extract.

5.   Add the cake mix and baking powder and stir until all of the ingredients are well incorporated.

6.   Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes for easier handling.  TIMESAVER: You can make this dough the day before if you like!

7.   Once chilled, roll the cookie dough into 2 inch balls, and then roll them in powdered sugar. Place on the lined baking sheet, at least 2 inches apart.

8.   Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes. Do not allow the cookies to brown. They should be soft and a bit gooey on top when you take them out of the oven.

9.   Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

10.  Sprinkle additional powdered sugar on the cookies, if desired.

11.   ENJOY!!

*Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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15 Snowman Crafts For Kids and Adults

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15 Snowman Crafts For Kids and Adults

1. Vicky Barone – Snowman Mason Jar

2. Twin Dragonfly Designs – Melted Snowman Ornament

3. Craftaholics Anonymous – Cute Button Snowman Frame

4. Eclectic Momsense – Button Snowman Gift Tags

5. Raising Little Superheroes – Snow Play Dough (Edible)

6. Kid’s Craft Room – Tin Can Snowman Craft

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7. Simple Fun For Kids – Handprint Snowmen Christmas Ornaments

8. Gift of Curiosity – Plastic Bottle Snowman Craft

9. East Coast Mommy Blog – Snowman Door

10. The Cards We Drew – Snowman Holiday Card Holder

11. Twin Dragonfly Designs – Snowman Magnet Craft

12. Typically Simple – Snowman Ornament

13. Easy Peasy and Fun – Cotton Ball Snowman Craft

14. Craftaholics Anonymous – DIY Toilet Paper Roll Snowmen

15. Artsy Craftsy Mom – Paper Plate Snowman

 

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27 Delicious Fall and Winter Pie Recipes

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27 Fall and Winter Pie Recipes

  1. Blommi – Pumpkin Ricotta Cheesecake Pie
  2. Captain Fussy Buckets – Pecan Pie with No Butter or Corn Syrup
  3. Life Love Liz – Frozen Peppermint Pie
  4. Slap Dash Mom – Apple Pie Monkey Bread
  5. Flour on My Face – Easy Inside Out Apple Pie a la Mode
  6. Gretas Day – Sweet Potato Pie With Whiskey and Marshmallows
  7. Slap Dash Mom – German Chocolate Pecan Pie
  8. My Cooking Hut – Mince Pies
  9. The Brewer and the Baker – Homemade Mincemeat Pie (using your crockpot)
  10. Cincy Shopper – No Bake 2 Layer Pumpkin Pie
  11. Parsley Sage Sweet – Cheesecake Pumpkin Pecan Pie
  12. Inside Bru Crew Life – Cookies and Cream Chocolate Pie
  13. Crazy for Crust – No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Cream Pie
  14. Spend with Pennies – Pecan Pumpkin Pie
  15. South Your Mouth – Sour Cream Raisin Pie
  16. Stephie Cooks – Pecan Raisin Pie
  17. Art and the Kitchen – No Bake Triple Layer Pumpkin Pie
  18. Kitchen Meets Girl – Marshmallow Pumpkin Pie
  19. The Gunny Sack – Pumpkin Silk Pie
  20. Zoe Bakes – Caramel Apple Pumpkin Pie
  21. This Gal Cooks – Cookies and Cream Chocolate Pudding Pie
  22. Saving Dessert – Raisin Maple Crunch Pie
  23. The 2 Seasons – White Potato Pie
  24. Nosh and Nourish – Sweet Potato Pie with a Maple Quinoa Crust
  25. Wine and Glue – Sweet Potato Chess Pie
  26. B Sugar Mama – Sweet Potato Pecan Pie
  27. The Endless Meal – Vegan Purple Sweet Potato Pie
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24 Delicious Chili Recipes to Fill You Up

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There is nothing more satisfying than a bowl of chili.  These are all easy to make and feed a crowd or a just a few (freeze those leftovers).  These chili recipes are sure to inspire you to add some new eats to your Fall and Winter lineup!  Happy noshing!

  1. Divine Lifestyle – Most Amazing Chili Recipe
  2. Frugal Mom Eh – Sweet Potato Chili
  3. Miami Mommy Savings – Easy Turkey Chili
  4. Blommi – Vegetarian Chili
  5. Simply Stacie – Presidential Chili
  6. Simply Stacie – Pumpkin Chili
  7. Life Love Liz – Easy Pork Chili
  8. The Nerd’s Wife – Black Eyed Pea Chili
  9. Just Us Four Blog – Slow Cooker Beef Bacon Chili
  10. More With Less Today – Roasted Cauliflower Black Bean Chicken Chili
  11. Sweet Little Kitchen – Spicy Black Bean Lentil Chili
  12. Drop the Sugar – Southwestern Low Carb Turkey Chili
  13. My Plant Based Family – Very Vegan Chili
  14. Pinch of Yum – 30 Minute Spicy Ancho Turkey Chili
  15. A Calculated Whisk – Bacon Sweet Potato Chili
  16. How to Have it All – Slow Cooker Pizza Chili
  17. Floating Kitchen – White Bean Chili with chicken and Sweet Potato
  18. Carl’s Bad Cravings – Mango Black Bean Chipotle Coke Chili
  19. Yammie’s Noshery – White Chicken Chili
  20. Oh Sweet Basil – Dr. Pepper and Chocolate Chili
  21. Self Proclaimed Foodie – Game Day Beer Chili
  22. Fav Fmily Recipes – Chili Verde
  23. Fantastical Sharing – Jalapeno Popper Turkey Chili
  24. The Yummy Life – Steak Chili