Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Almost Halloween ... Time to find the best costume

With a little pleading ... Ok maybe a full on mom tantrum Caden agreed to  let me make his Halloween costume. YES it's going to probably cost me more then the $20 grim reaper costume he wanted. BUT I know he's getting the age where he won't let me do this. So after some serious talking he agreed. But come on how cool is this costume? It's an optical illusion and I just know will be a HUGE hit!
 
I found this Jet Pack Illusion Costume
Now to find exact instructions on how to make! 
 
 
Here are the costumes we've made in the past:
 
 
 
 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Emoji Themed Party ... Emoji Marshmallow Pops & Emoji Babybel Cheese

And back to the Emoji party! Here is a simple and easy fun item to make for an Emoji party.  I saw on Pinterest several different versions of this so I don't know the original creator, forgive me if you did give credit.
 
 
What you Need:
Marshmallows (I used Large but you could even use jumbo)
Yellow Candy Melts
Candy Writable Markers
Lollipop Sticks
 
Melt the candy melts, I do mine for 2 minutes in the microwave. Be-careful so you don't burn them, I've done this before! Stick on end of the lollipop stick into the melted chocolate and insert into the marshmallow. Once it has harden up dip the marshmallow into the yellow chocolate. Let them dry on some wax paper. Once they are dry take your writable marker and draw on the faces. And bam done!
 
Also in the picture you will see the Babybel Cheese's that we took out of the outer wax casing. Take the same writable markers to draw on the faces. Easy and fun, these were gone first.
 

Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Emoji Themed Party ... Emoji Cupcakes (Modeling Chocolate Toppers)

Back to the Emoji party I go .. Before school ended last year I made cupcakes for Caden's classmates. His party was a few weeks out and we didn't them to forget when summer had begun. I had my husband take these to the school to surprise him. Caden thought I was making cupcakes for the charity I volunteer for.
 

What you Need:
Modeling Chocolate Yellow (See Recipe at the bottom)
Circle cookie Cutter
Black Gel Pen / Or Black Food Marker (I haven't had the best luck with them on modeling chocolate so I used the pen)
Red Gel Pen / Or Red Food Marker
Pink Gel Pen / Or Pink Food Marker
Candy Eye's
Frosted Cupcakes

I made yellow modeling chocolate and then rolled it out and cut out circles. I searched a few emoji faces and tried to copy them onto the circles. I attached them onto the frosted cupcakes and done! I was getting ready to head to Boston for work so I didn't have a ton of time to make them fancy, but I knew I would make fancy ones for the party.


Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE.

Modeling Chocolate
12oz Candy Melts
1/4 Cup light corn Syrup

Melt your Candy Melts in microwave (mine takes about 2 minutes). Stir them to become smooth and add the corn syrup.  It will become thick and form a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and let it sit out and dry.  Takes a few hours or over night is best. (Alexis note: I found to roll this out use a little powder sugar (like you would do with flour), also you have to kneed it a little like you would dough to make it easy to roll out).

Sunday, September 11, 2016

End of Summer Party ... Lobster Cookies (Royal Icing)

Another quick break from the Emoji party to show off a fun cookie I made for our End of the Summer Party this past weekend. I had this Lobster Cookie Cutter for watermelon lobsters at a previous summer party. I was trying to find fun cookies to make for our party and then I remembered this cookie cutter. I just LOVE how they turned out. NOW when they got to the party they were a little broken since my pre-teen decided to toss the box into the car! Yes I almost cried after several hours of work on these little guys!


What you Need:
Sugar Cookies cut into Lobsters (see my fav sugar cookie recipe below)
Royal Icing in Red & Black (recipe below)
AmeriColor Gel Food Coloring Red & Black (to dye Icing)
Pipping Bag

Tint your Royal Icing to the perfect shade of red. I use the dipping method with my royal icing. I started to do this about 6 months ago to speed up my decorating time. You can pipe each cookie which is a little cleaner but I find the dipping method to be the best. You get your royal icing to the outline consistency and put into a pie dish (I find this is not too deep). Once you dip the top of the cookie you tap off the extra icing and then you let dry! Once dry you can add your details. I like to do my cookies the night before to give plenty of time for the icing to harden. I took a plastic piping bag and added the black royal icing and made the eyes.  I have found in the past making this a little thicker than your outlining consistency is best if not they run together and you get a cyclops (which kids think are cool but not the look I was going for). At first I went for just adding eyes, I tested with a few lines of red but wasn't sure. I let that dry and came back and liked it so I went and added that to rest of the lobsters.


Lobsters on the table
(with a few broken arms thanks to my son .. ugh)

Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE.

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
DIRECTIONS:
1.In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
2.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
3.Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.


Julie Usher, she has a GREAT YouTube video on how to make, color and make consistency adjustments

Royal Icing what you need:
2 lbs Powdered Sugar
1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
5 Large Egg Whites (or equivalent) 
Flavor to Taste
Gel Icing Color

Mix powder sugar and cream of tartar in your mixer, just to make sure it is incorporated in. Slowly add egg whites, then whip start of slow then go to very high speed. She says around 2 minutes, my friend had an older mixer so it took almost 10 minutes. You want stiff peaks that hold on and won't fall off the spoon. Add in your flavor, I would suggest you use a clear flavoring.  This would be the glue texture great for ginger bread houses etc.

Take 1 cup of royal icing in a smaller bowl then add your coloring, lightly mix so you don't get air into the the icing. I'm like her and like the gel coloring. 

For Top Coating - Add 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 tsp Water (This is if you don't want to outline and flood)
For Outlining - Add 1/2 to 3/4 tsp Water
For Flooding  - Add 2 to 3 tsp Water

WATCH her video on How to Top-Coat, Outline, and Flood Cookies. YES it is around 7 minutes BUT if you have never done this technique it's a MUST she explains it perfectly.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Back to School Teacher Gift .. Coffee Gift

And one more Teacher Gift made, a few days behind but it has been made and delivered. I love coffee and coffee gifts are a fav of mine to make. I found this fun idea Thirty Handmade Days. She found a cool ruler crate at Michael's for the project, I sadly did not find such item. So of course I made one myself!


What you Need:
Crate / gift box (I found this one at Ross $6.99)
2 pkgs Rulers (4 rulers / 2 thin and 2 thick $2.99)
Coffee Cup (Ross $2.99)
Coffee (Walmart $5.49)
Coffee Creamer (Walmart $2.49)
Hot Glue Gun
Husband with a saw to cut the rulers done (or if your handy yourself)
Card Stock for the Free Printable (Click on her blog name above to find this)

I found this very cool crate at Ross and added the items inside and the rulers on the outside. I had my husband take the chop saw and cut my rulers down so I could cover the front and sides of my crate. Be creative and add them to the box, I did thick and then thin and so on! I used the hot glue gun to attach the rulers to the crate. I added a little tissue paper to hold the items in place. Inside the box I added the creamer, coffee and the cup I found (thankfully I think she has a sense of humor so the teacher cup was funny). This crate has a chalk board on it so I wrote Thanks a Latte! I added her free printable, printed on card stock, added a hole with my hole punch and attached with my famous twine I use for all projects.



Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Start of School Year Teacher Gift - If you give a teacher a cookie ...

A quick break from the Emoji Party items I have a quick teacher gift for the start of school. So school started early this year so this is a little late but hey it's the thought! I saw this awesome idea on Thirty Handmade Days she has a FREE printable also that you can use! You know my love of a free printable, less work for me! 

With Cole now in middle school and having 6 teachers it is not as easy to make teacher gifts. Well ... it's easy but can get spendy!! So I decided to make these cookie bags which is inexpensive and a cute idea!!


What you Need:
Baked Cookies (recipe below)
Clear treat bags (25pk $1 Dollar Tree)
Card Stock
Twine (or ribbon)
Hole Puncer
Scissors or paper cutter tool

Place cookies in the bag (I put 4 in each bag). I printed her FREE printable (link if you click on her blog name above) onto card stock paper. I used my paper cutter to cut them down and then a hole punch to add a hole. I used twine since I have a crap load of it left over from my mom's wine party last year, PLUS it's very rustic and cool looking! Tie on the card and close up the bag!
  All packed up and ready to go to school!a


Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE.


 All Recipes Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in flour, chocolate chips, and nuts. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans.
  3. Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.
I did a mix of semi sweet, dark chocolate and for fun added in some butter finger crumbles. Mine seemed to spread a bit too much and took 15min in my oven to bake.

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