Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Best Sugar Cookie Cut Out Recipe

For the past couple of years we have had a little cookie decorating party for the kids and a couple of the neighbor kids. What a blast! But you have to be able to let go a little. They will make a mess. But that's ok! Making a mess means they were having fun! Of course I'm not saying it's ok for them to throw sprinkles and lick the table...but let them have fun.

The cookie recipe we use is THE BEST!! This is the recipe my mom uses. I'm pretty sure that it came from a magazine, but have no idea which one. She has used this recipe for years.
 
Ready? Here it is...
 
The BEST Sugar Recipe
2/3 cup butter (softened)
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
 
Mix the wet ingredients together. Mix in the dry just until it is all incorporated. Chill dough for 1/2 hour or more before rolling out and cutting into shapes. When ready to roll, flour your surface *see tip below* and flour the dough and the rolling pin to prevent sticking.  If the dough becomes too sticky, return to the fridge to chill.
Bake at 375 degrees for 5-7 minutes, just until the edges begin to brown.
 
TIPS: To make the job seem easier, make your dough one day and bake on another.  I made my dough, stuck it in a Ziploc and did all my baking 2 days later. 
Tape down a piece of parchment paper, flour it and roll your dough out on there for easy clean up!
 
Frosting: Start with 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla and 3 Tbsp milk. Whisk together. You want the frosting to be thick able to be spread or squeezed. I picked up a couple of cheap condiment bottles to use for decorating. Divide the white frosting into bowls and color as desired!
 
 
Cover your table with paper, set out all sorts of sprinkles and colored sugar and let the kids pick out their cookies and get to work!
 
They had a blast!
 
linking up at

Monday, December 16, 2013

Quick and Easy Glittery Pinecones

Need to add a little sparkle to your decor? These glittery pine cones are so quick and easy you an knock this project out in no time at all!
 
I had these pine cones in my stash but if you don't have any, take the kiddos out on a nature hunt!
 
With a paintbrush, dab on Mod Podge wherever you want the glitter to stick. My favorite glitter is Martha Stewart's. *not a paid advertisement...it really is my favortie*

To add a little something extra I tipped the edges of the pine cones with Stickles.  I love Stickles. *again...I just love Stickles*
 
The Stickles takes a while to dry. Just sayin'.
 

Use them to fill a candle holder or glass container. Hang them on your tree or tie them onto gifts! That would be so cute!
 
Have a great week!
 
Linking up at Give Me the Goods


Friday, December 13, 2013

Mason Jar Lid Wreath

Since seeing this tutorial on Tatertots and Jello, I have wanted to make a lid wreath.
Click on over to read the tutorial there, but I'll share what I did that made it easier.  First, I painted my lids all white.  It took two coats. Don't worry too much about it. You can do a quick job of this. Perfection isn't necessary.
 
Since I was using 4 different rolls of washi tape, I divided my lids into 4 groups and started wrapping each one in tape. I didn't have any trouble with my ends sticking, but if you did, a dab of hot glue would do the trick.
To form the wreath I strung the lids on a piece of twine and pulled it tightly together. I was having trouble getting the tight circle with the lids so I ended up threading each end all the way through the circle. So (if that doesn't make sense) each end of the twine goes all the way around the circle. After that I was able to pull the ends and tie a knot to easily make the wreath.
 
I added my hanging twine and ribbons and that was it! It hangs on our white pantry door (second picture) and I love the pop of color in the hallway.  I would love to have one hanging on all the doors!


 
 


 
 

 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

How to Make a Ginormous Chalkboard

If you have been reading for a while, you know how much I love our huge chalkboard in the kitchen. It really was a quick and easy project!
We decided to frame it out. You could easily paint your whole wall and that looks great too. This wall flows into another area so there isn't a definite cut off.

We (my hubby and I) decided how large we wanted the chalkboard to be and then taped it out on the wall. I painted 2 good coats of the paint. All I needed was a quart. Jason stained 1x4 boards to match our living room floors. He assembled the frame on the floor first using brackets and then hung the whole thing on the wall.
For the shelf, I just had him stain a scrap board we had in the garage. I was the perfect length. I like the look of the metal brackets to secure the shelf. Plus we had them in the garage. But they are seriously cheap. As in maybe $2.50 for both of them.
Here it is decorated for Christmas. You can read about the tree here. And how I painted the desk here. And the banner and Silent Night sign are available in my shop and ready to ship quickly if you need a quick last minute gift!

This year...because I was late with the advent calendar...I wrote a bucket list on the board. Most days I choose something from the list that will fit in our schedule.



I love the look of the chalkboard. I think it has a Pottery Barn look to it with a less-than-Ikea price!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My Favorite Tree

The decorations I love most are often the simplest. I recently added a tree branch to the breakfast area and I couldn't love it more! It was so easy to set up and only took about 10 minutes!
First you will need to go exploring and find the right branch and a tall vase or container to put it in. I found the vase at Target and the branch on the ground at the nature preserve. It was a little long but a quick trim (me stomping the end off at the edge of the deck) and it was just right.

Plaster of Paris. You need this. It's easy to mix and will hold the branch well.  I just used what I had laying around from mixing my chalk paint so I didn't have enough to fill the bottom of the vase.  Quick fix: Mason Jar! I mixed the plaster of paris in the jar as directed on the container, stuck the branch in, and placed it where it could lean on the wall while the plaster hardened. 

Viola!
I love what it adds to this corner of the kitchen! It may move around the house, but this tree will in our house year round! I'm thinking I may need another one in the bedroom.

This little guy was my Grandma's. The kids are sure that their Grandma (my mom) must have touched him when she was little because this one has no magic.
I hung some gold bulbs and these glittery snowflakes. They are actually gift tags I found at Target on clearance last year.
 
I have wanted to add some glitter to the tree but have held off. I know I'm going to want to use this year round.
 
 
What an easy way to bring in some nature this season!
 
 

 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tips and Tricks: Christmas Decor

Time for Tips and Tricks again! Last week our most pinned post was
 
Thanks so much for linking up! We love what a great resource for inspiration this party is becoming! Grab a cup of tea or coffee and visit the hosts and follow them somehow!
Let's move on to this week. Our theme is Christmas Decor. Here are a couple of ideas I'm linking up:
 
 
Now link up your awesomeness!
 

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