Sunday, August 27, 2017

Snack is Coming!

Hi there! I know we have been missing here for the last few months. Even with summer vacation, there doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day for everything. Perhaps one of these days we'll finally get it down and be able to get everything done, as planned.
Anyway, today's post has been a few weeks in the making. You may have heard of a little show called "Game of Thrones". If not, you may live under a rock. (It's OK, I have been told I grew up under one 😉) When Caleb and I first started going out, he introduced me to the show with the "Red Wedding" (Imagine red cornstarch, EVERYWHERE...) It took me another few months to get over that episode and we started watching from the beginning. The only problem- it's addicting. For the last three seasons, we've re-watched the entire series. This season has gotten him through the work week this summer, and we've looked forward to it every Sunday.
When this season began, we decided we wanted to throw a season premiere viewing party. Then it turned into a season finale viewing party. I started gathering a few ideas earlier this week, but then we decided against it because Sunday afternoons are kind of rough around here. However, as I was looking on Pinterest for ideas, I found a super cute shirt for the Little One.
For those of you who don't watch the show, the Nights Watch is the group of men who protect the Wall that stands between the Seven Kingdoms and the land beyond. For those of you who do watch the show, I didn't spell it wrong. I mean, I guess technically, yes, but it is a play on their last name. (I thought it was clever...) Then, the one shirt led to a handful of onesies for the future Littlest One:
These are all show-themed sayings and designs, changed to fit babies and kids. I absolutely LOVE how these came out- and I got to use up some materials, which is always a great feeling! 
And to enjoy while watching tonight, we made some "White Walker Direwolf Chow":

In the show, the White Walkers are a mysterious group of the undead that have come back and everyone has to come together in order to conquer them. The direwolf is the symbol of House Stark, and if I had to guess, Ghost is going to come help Jon and Co. Below are the directions to make this treat. This version is super quick and easy, and takes about 15 minutes to make, which includes melting time. Serving size depends on a few things, especially if you're anything like me and snack as you go. This recipe can also be doubled or halved quite easily.
  • 5 cups Rice Chex (or a combination. I like Rice Chex because they're gluten free and have a 'neutral' taste, so you don't have to use a lot of other things to cover it up. You know?)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar 
  • Blue, white, and black sprinkles and blue chocolate candies
  1. In a double boiler (or, if you're like me, you can use a glass bowl and water-filled saucepan), melt the peanut butter and chocolate. 
  2. Pour cereal into a mixing bowl. Slowly pour the peanut butter and chocolate over the cereal, and toss. Coat the cereal pieces completely. (Snack on the biggest chocolate-covered cereal piece you can find.)
  3. Pour the powdered sugar and cereal mixture into a gallon-sized plastic bag. Seal tightly and shake. Make sure the cereal is entirely covered in the sugar. (Eat the biggest chunk you can find in the bag.)
  4. Add the sprinkles and candies into the bag and shake again to mix. (Munch on a handful of the other colored candies) Enjoy the peanut butter and chocolatey goodness as you watch an episode or ten of Game of Thrones
Now, I'd be lying if I didn't say this is really just another version of the iconic "Muddy Buddy" or "Puppy Chow" (hence the Direwolf reference). The combination of chocolate, powdered sugar, candies, and the sprinkles make it a perfectly tasty representation of the characters on the show. I actually lucked out and found a "Blizzard Mix" of sprinkles, which works even better for this mix.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Honoring a Legend

It's been a while, but I thought today would be a great day to post. Warning: It might get a little "mushy", and I'm OK with that.  😁
Every once in a while, people come along that have a true impact on your life. From family members, to teachers, to friends. Most of the time, these people come and go and we continue on the path we choose. Sometimes, we are most fortunate enough to meet people who start as "just the person down the street" to someone you consider family. This is my story of one such person. 
Growing up, Coach Butler was just the man who lived down the street from us. He lived across the street from our grandparents, so we'd see him working in his yard when we visited. He'd occasionally stop by while we were over, but being the shy little girl, it was always kind of awkward. I'd sit there in silence, listening to the older people talk (Oh, and can he talk! I'd only learn later how true that was). I remember being at one of our grandparents' summer picnics and being terribly afraid because Coach's dog Hershey crossed the street for a visit. Here was this big, ol' German Shepard who I was sure was going to eat me. (I now know this wasn't true, and I'm pretty sure my dad tried to tell me this.) 
A few years passed, and when we got older and started running with our brother, he'd stop at the end of our runs and the two would chat. We'd continue our run home because we didn't have much to add to the conversation. However, these conversations would be the start of something amazing.
Come fall of our freshman year, I remember sitting in the high school cafeteria, being one of a handful of freshmen signing up for indoor track (we decided to go with it, even after the Twins made fun of us for turning beet red that summer at the Track Restoration), and talking to Coach. Over the next four years, I learned just how much the man liked to talk, especially during Sports Awards, when we would sit in the front row, timing his speeches. By the end, I'm pretty sure they put a limit on how long he, and other coaches, could be up at the podium (think Hollywood awards nights and the music starting to play.) The four years of high school flew by and we made a TON of memories, from the Twin Relays, to the dog "poop" on the track,  to everything else that I seem to be drawing a blank on. The four years in high school, under Coach's supervision and dedication, made me a stronger person (both literally and figuratively.)
After college, we had the opportunity to begin coaching with him. It was the most rewarding four years. Through the early morning bus rides to the late night meets and hours upon hours in between, we learned the ins and outs of everything that went into running a high school athletic program. In the last year before we moved, we were honored as co- Connecticut Indoor Track Assistant Coach of the Year. This honor wouldn't have been possible without Coach Butler's mentorship. Or without him submitting our names (and being the only one who voted). (Annnd here come the tears. Have to hold it together- can't cry during school ;) )  He is the man I look up to, and compare all other coaches to. I have yet to meet another coach who shares the same passion and dedication as he does, for all of his athletes, whether they were All-New England, All-SWC or just trying to become an all-around better person.
So, today, as Coach Butler is finally honored by the school district he has given so much of his time, energy, and love to, I would like to say "thank you" for absolutely everything. I couldn't think of a better man to have the track named for. This honor should have been given to him years ago, when he first led the effort to restore the track. He has done so much for the school and town, and this a truly well-deserved honor. I'm not sure how many more "after this person graduates, I'm going to retire" there are, but after who knows how many years (but he still looks the same 17 years later), hopefully he can enjoy the spotlight for a few hours, and then continue inspiring his athletes. I look forward to seeing him in a few months and catching up. That's one conversation I am looking forward to.

Monday, December 5, 2016

On the Fifth Day of Christmas

Mrs. Claus spent the weekend decorating and decided a sale was in order for this week!
We know that everyone is busy around this time of the year, and party planning for a Little One (or a Big One) isn't always on the top of the "things-to-do" list. We want to help take the burden off of our customers (and put it on us!).
Now through Thursday, the more you purchase, the more you save! (These coupons can also be used at our store, just send us a message!) This is a perfect time to pick up those invitations or banners to add to your holiday festivities!

Thanks for stopping by! We hope you come back tomorrow, when we'll have some helpful planning ideas!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

On the Fourth Day of Christmas

Santa brought an idea for a quick, last-minute gift!
We all know how busy it can get around this time of the year- obviously. And if you're anything like us, it always seems like you need to add one more person to the list. And then another. And another. (I definitely added three more to mine yesterday...) Whether it's a teacher at school or the letter carrier (two highly unappreciated jobs, especially around this time of the year, in my opinion) or you need a quick fix for one of those parties that sneak up on you (Secret Santa, White Elephant, etc), having something small on hand to give them isn't a bad idea.
Today's project is a little coffee mug with a few yummy treats included.

Obviously, there are a million ways to run with this project. Since we wanted the coffee mug to be used for more than just Christmas, but still with the holiday feel, we went with a wintery theme for our mug. We made a basic hot chocolate mix to put into the mug, which includes layers of crushed peppermint chips (you can use chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, other kinds of baking chips, too) and small marshmallows. The gift was finished off with a small plate of shortcut peppermint chocolate chip cookies with a mocha glaze.
The recipes we used for both the hot cocoa mix and cookies can be downloaded below. We've included some other ideas to add to a basic hot chocolate recipe, as well, to make it your own!

You can download the files here:
2016 Holiday Planner Insert & Recipes
"Cold Hands, Warm Heart" Studio File

Thanks for stopping by! Have a fantastic day!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

On the Third Day of Christmas

Santa ran a little late... Sometimes you happen to fall asleep 7:45, and have to get everything done the next day. However, today's project did get finished, so it's all good!
Today's project is a little DIY lighted garland that would be perfect for a tablescape or to hang on the mantel. These poinsettias are about 4” wide and come together in a snap (once the pieces are cut out). I won't lie to you, I cut these out with my machine, so that helped, a lot. These pieces can also be shrunken down a little to make napkin rings or other decorations. These will add a lot of character and class to your holiday!
For each flower, I used green, red, and yellow (or gold) cardstock. There are three red layers to each flower and a green holly leaf layer. If you want to add a little sparkle to the flowers, you can add some white glitter to the edges for a snow-covered look, gold veins in the petals, or gold sparkle instead of the paper in the center, like I did. Since you are going to be folding and rolling the pieces, I recommend using thinner paper- it makes it easier to bend and fold. In this case, I made each individual flower, and then worked around the little bulbs on my light strand. I created five poinsettias for this garland and skipped a few lights in between to add a little sparkle and flare.
Once everything is cut out, you can follow these step-by-step directions to assemble the flowers. For other decorations, you can cut the pieces out at this size or shrink it down to a better size or enlarge it to make wall décor. 

Here are the downloadable files, just for you!
Instructions PDF File (with "Holiday Craft Ideas" Printable)
Printable pattern file
SVG file: (coming soon!)

Thanks for taking a look! I'd love to see some finished projects with the poinsettias!!

Friday, December 2, 2016

On the Second Day of Christmas

A discount for you to use!
From today through Sunday night, everything in our store is Buy One, Get One 50% Off!In order to take advantage of this offer, just send us a message including what you are interested in. We'll create a custom listing for you with the new price. This offer can also be used with other discounts, including the month-long "BeMerry2016", that will give you 15% off your purchase of $25.00

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

On the First Day of Christmas

Happy December! I can't believe how fast this year went! It's already the last page on the calendar and I still have my New Year's Resolutions on my computer, collecting dust (I think I made it to mid-January). I guess I won't have to do much thinking next year for any resolutions. I suppose we have to get through Christmas and the other holidays first, though.
To help everyone get going with their holiday to-do's and shopping lists, and everything else that seems to pop up during the holidays, today's gift to you is a holiday planner.

The cute little snowmen and bright colors will cheer anyone up and will surely help you get in the spirit! We decided to go with a more 'holiday/winter' theme so anyone can use it.The planner PDF file includes 21 pages (and a front & back cover) to start helping you get organized. Some of the pages include calendars, wish-list planning, budget trackers, a list to keep track of cards, checklists, and decoration inventories (helpful for next year, too!) The planner can be downloaded here.
Now, there may be a few of you who are thinking, "Oh, what about matching party lists or menus, or is there a sheet for a bunch of notes and reminders?". Those are coming! Over the next twelve days, I'll be adding some more pages to this file (I'll add them separately, so you don't have to download everything multiple times!)
Thanks for stopping by! Have a fantastic day!