Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday cards with Shutterfly

I made my own Holiday cards this season.  I really meant to get to this earlier, but unfortunately I haven't been very organized this year.  Good thing it was super easy with Shutterfly.  A novice computer user would be able to follow their easy directions to create beautiful holiday or special occasion cards that would be unique.

Once you create your account you are able to load your pictures directly into photo albums or skip that step and just jump to the next step which is what I did.  As soon as I created my account I automatically began searching for the perfect card from the hundreds they have to choose from.  That was the hardest part.  I finally narrowed down the selection to three and I showed those to my husband.  We decided together which one we liked the best.  Then it was easy sailing from there.

I followed the simple steps; ie: adding our names and uploading a picture.  Actually, I uploaded a few pictures so I could decide which would be the best choice for the card we selected.  All you have to do for picture placement is drop and drag.  Then save, preview, and order.  Super easy!  You have the option to edit the picture, but I didn't need those functions since I used a picture that had been taken professionally.  They also have matching address labels in a variety of styles.  It's a great service, one I'll definitely use again.  I hope others will give them a try.


I have attached a few direct links for anyone interested in creating their own Christmas photo cards:  Christmas Photo Cards

Or for their birthday invitations:  Birthday invitations

This one is for their thank you cards:   Thank You Cards

And last but not least, since this is the party season, their party invitations:   Party Invitations

Hopefully, everyone has as much fun as I did creating their own cards with Shutterfly!

Please note:  The first three people who comment on their Shutterfly experience will receive free Shutterfly product samples.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Peanut Butter Truffles

We had sort of a snow day yesterday.  It began snowing snowing Saturday night and didn't stop until the following morning when we woke to a Winter Wonderland.  Both my mom and stepson and daughter-in-law's homes lost power for a while during the storm.  I had planned on having my granddaughter, 8 year-old niece, mom, daughter and D-I-L over to make gingerbread cookie pops but the foul weather prevented our gingypop day.  So instead I made Peanut Butter Truffles.

2 cups sugar,  1 5oz. can evaporated milk,  1/2 cup butter,  2 cups mini marshmallows,  3/4 cup creamy peanut butter,  1/2 tsp vanilla,  12 oz. dark chocolate,  2 tsp shortening,  finely chopped peanuts

Butter the sides of medium heavy saucepan.

In the saucepan, combine the sugar, evaporated milk, and butter. 

Cook and stir over medium high heat until mixture is boiling. 

Reduce heat to medium; continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove saucepan from heat.  Stir in marshmallows,

peanut butter, and vanilla

Transfer mixture to a large bowl.

Chill for 45 to 1 hour or until mixture is thick and can be molded.

Line a large baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper.  Shape mixture int 1-inch balls; place balls on the prepared baking sheet.  Freeze balls for 15 minutes.

In a medium saucepan, combine the chocolate and shortening. 

Cook and stir over low heat until melted. 

Dip balls, one at a time, into melted chocolate.

Let excess chocolate drip off balls.

Place on a wire rack set over wax paper. 

If desired, sprinkle truffles with peanuts or drizzle with milk or white chocolate.

Let stand until chocolate is set.

Peanut butter truffles for gift giving or a yummy treat!

Will keep in an air-tight container in the refrigerator up to two weeks.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Little butterball

While surfing the net one October day, I came upon a blog where the blogger had made a cute pumpkin plaque.  She had three pumpkins staggered in size, painted, distressed,  and then glued together large to small with a cute bow tied around the middle.  I visited a few more blogs that day and lo and behold I saw the same pumpkins.  At least the ideas were identical, the projects all turned out differently.  Each had their own unique shapes, they were painted in various colors and of course none of the ribbons were alike, but they all stemmed from the same idea, which gave me a great idea.  Why not do that with a turkey for a Thanksgiving project?  And my little butterball came alive.  So, I looked for a picture of a turkey that I liked that day and took it home to my hubby.   He told me to make him a pattern.  I did in three sizes.  And then I tried to wait patiently to him to find time to cut them out.  That was the hard part!

This is what I started with.   Three pieces; large to small.  Plain wood, thick enough to make it stand once they are stacked.

Base the two bottom pieces with brown, except for his shoes and hat which need to be painted black. 

The top piece I painted to match the picture (at least as much as I could).

Distress the edges slightly with sand paper and scuff the top of the paint.

Using a hot glue gun, glue each piece together.  Make sure the bottom of the feet are even so he will stand up.

Pick a fun fall ribbon and tie around his middle.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pumpkin Bars

Our son and daughter-in-law had a little gathering at their home last Sunday after their daughter, Hannah was blessed.  Amber wanted to serve a dessert bar and everyone pitched in by bringing their favorite treats to sample from.  Everything was yummy!  My contribution, Pumpkin Bars.  I received this recipe from my mother-in-law several years ago and have made it many times since.  It's a tried and true favorite around our house.  Especially this time of year.

4 eggs
1 2/3 cup sugar
1 cup oil

 Cream together, then add:

16oz. can pumpkin
2 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda

 Mix well.

 Pour onto ungreased pan.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

3 oz. cream cheese
1 cube margarine
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cup powdered sugar
Mix well.  Spread over cooled pumpkin bars.

 Cut into squares.


4 eggs
1 2/3 cup sugar
1 cup oil

cream together, then add:

16oz. can pumpkin
2 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. soda

Mix well.  Pour onto ungreased pan and bake 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mother Goose Popcorn

This is a childhood favorite, introduced to me by my grandmother.  She made this popcorn every Christmas.  Soon we made it throughout the year, changing the color and flavors for different holidays.  I changed it up by drizzling chocolate (milk and white) over the top.  It tasted great!


1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp butter
dash salt
1 1/2 tsp desired flavoring
Food coloring


Mix sugar, water, butter & salt.

Bring ingredients to a boil.

When it reaches the soft ball stage, remove from heat.

Add flavoring and a few drops of desired food coloring.

Pour over popcorn and stir until it becomes sugary and cold.

Drizzle with chocolate (if desired).

VoilĂ !  Yummy popcorn, great for gift-giving!