Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Holiday Ham Recipe

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Christmas Holiday Ham Recipe
What you will need:
Can of Pineapples
3 tbs. honey
Generous rub of brown sugar
Ham ( you can use any ham you wish)
3 tbs. Maple syrup
Spray your oven pan to keep the Ham from sticking. Place the Ham in and dump the can of pineapples in. I use the juice in the can as well to help keep the Ham moist and from drying out. Rub the brown sugar on the Ham skin. When you dump the juices help the brown sugar to stick on the Ham skin. Drizzle your honey and Maple syrup.
My Mom likes to add some Cherries too to help keep the Ham extra moist. 
Bake your Ham for about 2 1/2 hours at 365.
The Ham skin begins to darken to a golden brown. I was unsure when my ham would be completely done but since most Ham's are precooked before you buy them, you just need to make sure they are warm on the inside. So I cooked mine until the inside was blazing hot!
Enjoy the Holidays!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Top 5 Homemade Gift Ideas!

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Today, I wanted to share my Top 5 Homemade Gift Ideas. I have done several projects over this year I thought were worth mentioning. The best gifts in my opinion are thought provoking and homemade ones. So here are my top five, easy crafts to make.
Homemade Ornaments
They can be found at any craft store! 
Tea Cup Candles
Here is the tutorial on how to make them.
Canvas Art
Here is the tutorial on how to make these.
Makeit Plate
Here is the tutorial for this project.
Baby Hand & Footprints

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Annual Christmas Cookie Party

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This weekend we had our annual Christmas Cookie Party. If you want to see more of our party check out my video here. So in true blogger fashion I thought I would share it with you. I set up our dining room table with my 302 cookie cutters I have collected over the years. Some flour dishes, organic gluten free cookies, snacks and juice boxes. I have to say these treats were amazing! I just loved the taste of them and so did all of the adults and kiddos. 
I made cookie dough ahead of time. That way when the kids arrive we could just whip it out, roll it and everything was ready for cut-outs. Nothing is more fun then cutting out cookies with little ones. If you start doing this when they are young then they will remember it every year, what memories. 
I bought most of these cutters at our local Kitchen Store in our Mall. They had a big package of them on clearance one year and I picked it up. This was before I had Mac and I thought one day I will use 120 cookie cutters. Sure enough eight years later we have a Christmas party every year. 
Then the fun begins. Bake cookies and DECORATE!
What is not to love about frosting and sprinkles??
I colored the frosting with food coloring for an added touch. 
Of course I had to hold the smallest attendee to let his Mom decorate cookies too. I just love getting all together and having fun parties!
I think we will be adding more parties to our menu then just holiday ones. 
These were our final products. More then four dozen cookies. Each person went home with a plate full and we still have some left over. I guess my neighbors will be getting Christmas gifts early :O) Does anyone else do Christmas Parties every year??

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Homemade Christmas Ornament Craft & Gift

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Homemade Christmas Ornament Craft/Gift
I scored these amazing ceramic ornaments at Hobby Lobby.
 They were 50% off of the listing price making them around . 74 cents each!
I used washable markers for easy clean up.
Just remember to spray a setting spray if you also use washable markers (hair spray works too). 
Then I let Mac create his master pieces.
I love how he colored the tree ornaments.
Just goes to show how children view things verses how we see things.
This was my ornament he created. I was so proud.
Each one he picked out the colors and created without any help.
 This age is so much fun I must say.
Then he flipped them over and signed the back! 
These are all of his creations once he had finished. What do you think? I love making homemade gifts for others. Not only are they great keepsakes to show him when he gets older but they have meaning and memories attached to each of them. 
My favorite is the Tree. Although I love mine something about his first one really spoke to me. I am not even going to keep it because each one was made with someone in mind. I would ask him who it was for and he would coloring it accordingly. So I hope who ever gets this one as a gift loves it as much as I do ( I know they will :). Easy craft/gift for a total of .74 cents each!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

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Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies:
2 sticks of butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs ( I used home laid :O)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup Mint Chocolate chips
1 cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips
Melt the butter and mix with the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract.
Then mix separately flour, baking soda, salt and coca powder.
Then slowly mix the two together. Then add the semi-sweet chips.
Spray your cookie sheet and spoon the dough onto the sheet.
I then added the mint chips on top.
This way the melt and give a wonderful flavoring to your cookies.
Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. Let cool and Enjoy!
I made three dozen of these to send out in the Mail with a festive touch.
This year I participated in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2013! I was one of 619 participants in 8 countries! 
Together we raised $2,675 for Cookies for Kids' Cancer!

Winter Fun for Kids

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It's winter and there is a lot of SNOW here in Western New York. Time to send out the snow babies out and have some fun. Dress your children accordingly. I know that sounds common sense but you would be surprised. I always put a hat on Mac. Better to have no ear infections and be safe then sorry.
He finally used the sleds we picked up at the Auction for FREE! We just made a hill outside our home. He was so excited! Last year he wouldn't go outside much and this year we can't keep him in! 
Are your kids snow babies? Do you like snow and cold weather? I have to say I hate cold weather and snow. I just have never been all that found of it. I know I live in some of the coldest climates but what can I say. Nothing beats going out and watching him have fun though! 
Snow man anyone? This was our first one this year.
We used our homegrown carrots even!
Mac was soo proud.
Whether its sliding, sledding, building snow forts or snowmen snow can be so much fun!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

$1 Shelf Makeover

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I purchased this shelf/stand for $1 at a local auction house. It has been sitting in my garage for a while now and I thought for the sale maybe I should "spruce" it up a bit. Nothing to crazy but I know there is left still left in this wooden master piece. 
Granted it has seen better days. I think I must be very obsessive because I use coasters at age 28? Does this make me old?? I know I have a small child but I like my things to last a long time and don't want them looking like, well this. Is anyone else with me on this? So this surely had seen better days but was a stable piece of furniture that I thought a few brush strokes of paint could fix. 
My Free Lowe's paint came in handy.
Sandpaper I found laying around in the garage=Free
paint brush also found in the garage= Free
a block to help with distressing?? 
"Robin egg blue" is the perfect color in my opinion.
I love it so much it will be my new office wall color.
Throw some "lemon yellow" in there for Mac and white pillows I will be all set!
I coated it twice with the "Robin egg blue paint color.
But it looked too new and needed some Vintage touches.
I took my sandpaper and scuffed it up a bit.
Threw a candle and a doily on it. . .VOLA!
This does not look like the $1 item I first purchased, what do you think?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tea Candle DIY gifts

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Tea Candle DIY gifts
What you need:
Soy Wax- 1 pound bag(I used soy candle wax I purchased from Michael's)
Candle Wick's 
Tea cups ( I purchased mine form a local thrift store watch here).
Pan & Fork
Scents ( I used Mint leaves & Almond extract) 
Heat the Wax in a pan and add your scent. I used my nose to decide how much scent to use really. I used an entire pack of Mint leaves chopped up and drops of almond extract. I also did a cinnamon one that turned out amazing. 
Once heated pour your liquid into your molds or in this case tea cups. I stuck the wick in and used utensils to keep them standing straight up as shown. Let stand overnight. 
To wrap them for a gift you will need:
Clear basket paper
Homemade stickers ( I used Kidecals)
Ribbon 
Just wrap the clear paper around the candles.
Tie it up with the ribbon.
Simple, easy, homemade and fun! 
 
Might I suggest getting help making these. I love making homemade gifts with Mac (see here!).
We have fun doing it and it's a great gift to give someone. 
He calls them "daily projects" or "crafts", I call them memories :O)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookie Recipe

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I participated this November with "Baking Friends".
They send a secret ingredient you have to use.
This month it was "Nutmeg".
Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookie Recipe
What you need:
canned of pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil ( which seems like a lot but it works)
1 egg ( we used our home laid eggs) 
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon 
2 Teaspoons Nutmeg ( secret Ingredient YEAH!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
1 1/2 cups Butterscotch chips 
Mix together the pumpkin, egg, cinnamon, sugar, vegetable oil, baking powder, baking soda, salt, milk, walnuts and chocolate chips. Then start adding the flour. The original recipe called for 2 cups but I got to 1 1/2 and decided that was plenty!
 
Spoon out your dough onto nonstick pans.
 I also spread my cookie sheet pan for extra reassurance because the dough was a little sticky.
Bake around 360 for 20-30 minutes.
The bottoms should be golden brown and the middles should not be gooey. 
These are the finished beauties I sent out! What do you all think?
**Bakin’ Friends is all about connecting bakers, bloggers, foodies, and people who just like sweets! We’re in the business of baking and making friends!

Monday, December 2, 2013

St. Susan's Soup Kitchen

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I got some exciting news this past week and I just could not wait to share with all of you. The Western New Yorker blog is teaming up with the local St. Susan's Soup Kitchen this December! We will be there handing out donations, care packages, my family has put together. Over the last year I have shopped, scrimped and saved to help save money for my family and others. I started this Blog site to help others and help them get to a point from debt to donations. It has always been on my heart to give back not only to others but my community. So every year we do donation hauls. This year its is to the local people, families, children who are in need.
We went down and was given a tour of the facility to help figure out where to set up. I took Mac along because I want him to go and help out. Christmas is a great time of year but we all need to remember those who are less fortunate including our kids. He has every toy known to four year olds (ok maybe not that many but he has A LOT). He was really excited to look around. 
The St. Susan Center has a Gardening program to help locals grow for the Kitchen. I love that idea and will be getting involved come Spring time. They give you seeds, plants and ask that you donate some fresh produce. What a great concept! Now, Why didn't I think of that?
Now, what does a soup Kitchen do exactly? They provide a balanced nutritious meal seven days a week to people in need. 96,000 Western New Yorkers visit food pantries, soup kitchens for assistance. They have 300-500 people a day come and have a meal here. I was just astonished at those numbers and cannot wait to be a part of helping them as well. 
They also offer fresh produce, bagged bread and any other extras they can take home with them. I can't imagine needing fooding or not having enough. When I was younger we lived on canned food and we didn't have much. There was times I felt hungry but was never starved. As an adult I have always had more then enough and then I had Mac. Having him really gave me a heart to help others in need and seeing this, visiting this facility just made me realize why we do this every year and throughout. Giving back will never get old and I will never stop!
So we had a nice time visiting and made arrangements to come down and donate. Don't worry we will take you along with us. If you want to help out, donate or send money to help this awesome cause just shoot an email my way. The more we can give the more we can help others.
Donate here: