Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Budget Conscious “Classy & Crazy Creative” Christmas Gift!

I Love gift giving at Christmas time, but I go CRAZY over giving handmade, thoughtful gifts created with my own little hands and that remain with in my holiday budget!  I will be starting my CRAZY HOLIDAY BLOGGING with a 
“Classy & Crazy Creative” little Christmas Gift for any special gal on your list!

One of my favorite places to shop is the Michaels or Joanne Fabric $1.00 bins.  You can find some cute little gems in these bins- that with a few inexpensive additions will look like a beautifully crafted gift fit for your bestie, or someone to whom you simply want to show some appreciation.

I ran to Michaels to search the $1.00 bins, and found these ADORABLE blank lined note pads.  I knew with a little jazzing up these would make the perfect little gift for some of my girlfriends.  I searched for a rubber stamp that would be a perfect message for the front of the notebook… and as you know, I always close every blog with ‘live, laugh, love’, so this stamp was perfect.  I know I will be using this rubber stamp OVER AND OVER, so I really cannot put a price tag on what it would cost for the project, but I know it will be pennies.  The rest of the necessary items I already had at home!  But in case you don’t have all of the items needed, here is your list of supplies:

Clear stamping ink
Gold Embossing Powder
Heat Gun
Aileen’s Tacky Glue
Embroidery Thread to match your ribbon
Or anything YOU WANT to decorate and embellish your notebook!

Step 1: Place the rubber stamp on the ‘clear’ inkpad and apply pressure to completely cover the stamp. 

Step 2: “Eyeball” where you wish to place the stamp on the notebook.  Place the rubber stamp in place and apply pressure to completely apply the ink.

Step 3: Pour the Gold Embossing Powder over the stamped area, and gently shake off the excess.  To make your embossing powder last longer, place a piece of paper under your project to catch the extra, so that you can return the left over embossing powder to the jar. 

Step 4:  Using your heat gun, turn it to high heat.  Hold it close to the stamped area and watch as the powder changes to the ‘liquid gold’.  Do NOT overheat, as it will burn, just make sure all of you powder has turned gold.

Step 5:  Using whatever ribbon you have chosen, glue it to the notebook closest to the spiral.  A contrasting color, or a color within the theme is always good.

Step 6:  Using an embroidery thread that matches your ribbon, lace it through the button holes and knot it on top.  Glue your button, or whatever fun objects you have chosen in place


This is a FUN, INEXPENSIVE, QUICK and EASY project, perfect for Christmas, or ANY time of the year, a gift needs to be given.  Handmade and from the heart is the way I roll!  Why not give handmade gifts this year!  Your family and friends will cherish the gifts, knowing that you were thinking of them while you were creating!

Living, Laughing, and LOVING my handmade gifts,


Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I love the smells of ‘Fall Flavorful’!Spices, and I LOVE baking in the fall.  Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves- so reminiscent of the Fall baking my mom did when I was a child.  With my schedule I also love recipes that are easy to make, BURSTING with Fall Flavors, and CRAZY DELICIOUS!  So, I have combined several recipes, played around with them, added my own touches and finally stirred them up with enthusiasm, and created a WONDERFUL Fall dessert that you will want to make for years to come!  Crock-pot Applesauce and Walnut Cake with Caramel Sauce!  YUMMO!

I love the ease of using my crock-pot.  There is nothing like starting a recipe in your crock-pot and then coming home to the smells of something wonderful that is waiting for you and welcoming you home!  So this recipe is easy, fall flavorful, and soon to be a family favorite!

Ingredients Needed:
Parchment Paper

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp round ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 Granny Smith Apples cored and chopped
Confectioners’ sugar and ice cream, for serving

Recipe Preparation

Place a 15-in. piece of parchment paper in the bowl of a 5- to 6-qt slow cooker, letting the excess come up the sides. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt.

      Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the applesauce and vanilla (the mixture will look curdled). Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated.

Add in the chopped walnuts and chopped apples


     Transfer the batter to the prepared slow cooker and cook, covered, until set and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 3 hours on high.

   Holding the parchment, transfer the cake to a rack and let cool for at about 15 minutes.

1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. whipping cream
Bring to boil. Serve over slices of cake.  Top with Confectioners Sugar.  If desired, serve with Vanilla Ice Cream on the side.

I hope you are getting hungry for this yummy, delish, FALL FAB dessert!  SO easy, SO sweet, SO FALL!  Get your apron on!  Pull out your whisks and bowls, and get your cooking groove on!  You will Have Happy Tummies in your home!

Living, Loving, and Laughing my way through Fall!