The Coolest Idea for ladies!

grainy-top-handle-bag-black-black-gold-monpurse-56889-1

Picture courtesy of Mon Purse.com

Ok ladies I came across this website that I am totally hooked!  If you have a vice of purses, shoes and sunglasses like I do then this is for you.  I came across this website on Twitter and was so curious about it.  Totally a cool idea where you get to design your own purse the way you want it.  They have hand bags, clutches, and big purses.  You get to pick the materials, the colors, and monogram them.  They are a little pricey, but save some money and really make it your own!

Check it out Mon Purse.com  I am hooked!

A Mickey Happy Birthday

mickey-mouse-birthdayy-2

I love to help out with event planning or just help out if someone asks me to  it’s  my passion. So a few months ago I was asked to help a co-worker of mine to do a few things for her sons first birthday.  I was delighted to help and totally honored since I love kids.  She told me that it was going to be a Mickey Birthday party for her son, and that she wanted a banner made to hang up at the birthday party table to show his pictures from New born to 12 months. I have to be honest I was a little nervous to do this since I have never made one of those before, and I wanted to make it perfect. So Of course I had to go on pinterest to get some ideas and think of what I really wanted to do.  I remembered that I had tons of felt from some previous projects that I have done in the past so I was going to use my Cricut , but we recently had a terrible storm that it was not working right ( I got it to work now thank Goodness!) I got a tracing of Mickey from the internet printed it up and traced it on Freezer parchment paper.

I swear by this stuff Just trace what ever it is you need to trace and then use a iron on low heat.  You want to make sure you lay the shinny side of the trace paper facing down on the felt fabric.  Just iron over the paper and you have it stuck to the felt.  Once that is done just cut around the tracing and you get your patterns.  mickey-felts

Once you have all the patterns cut out you can use a glue gun to attach the felt together. The process takes awhile, but it is easier than to sew the whole thing.  I was thinking of doing that, but realized that would take to long. The next step was To stencil the Patterns which was pretty easy to do. I had some stencils and fabric paint. When you use the fabric paint just remember it sometimes takes 24 hours for it to completely dry on the fabric.   The next idea I was thinking  was how is she going to attach the photos on this banner??  I thought I can just add to the banner tiny cloths pins which I had, but realized they were a little to big for the banner.  So I went out to Joanns and bought some tiny wooden cloths pins. the results are in the next photos.

 

I had so much fun doing this, that I realized I think I need to make more of these especially for one of my friends who is having a baby soon. She is a HUGE Disney fan so Finding Nemo is my next project.

 

Besides making the banner for the party I was asked to make my sugar cookies and she wanted me to make Mickey Mouse Cookies. Once again I have never made Mickey Mouse Cookies so I did go and buy a Mickey mouse Cookie Cutter to do this for the party ( One awesome Cookie Cutter to add to the rest of my other Cookie Cutters). I found them on Amazon and got them for a really reasonable price.  mickey-sugar-cookies

I had bought the Food Coloring gel online through Amazon as well,but I would prefer to use Wilton cake Decorating gel.  The Gel that I used was a little Glossy to me and that was not what I wanted to do, but in the end I think they turned out.  So I am thrilled that I got to do this for a little one’s first birthday it certainly turned out cute.

Christmas has ended but a New year will begin.

christmas-tree-2

hard to believe Christmas has come and gone, and now we wait to celebrate the New Year.  The last few months has been a busy time for Chris and I. We recently bought a house of our dreams, and got to celebrate our first Christmas in our new home. We wanted to get to know our new neighbors and welcome them in our new home. Chris and I made gift bags for each neighbor along with a get to know us letter. I of course did some baking to share with them, and one Sunday morning we walked to each house and introduced ourselves to them. Chris and I were thrilled to meet most of our neighbors, and invited them to an open house the following weekend. It was a success for sure and we truly enjoyed everyone. Chris and I were thrilled to meet them and feel blessed to live where we live now.

Of course we had to have our little niece stay over that night, and it was her first night over in our new house. Chris bought her a cute reindeer made out of wood to put together and paint, and then we all made a gingerbread house with her. I love doing crafts with her when she is with us . claire-and-chris-making-gingerbread-house-2

I usually like to make Christmas gifts for my friends and family, but this year I did not have a lot of time to do so, instead I baked away for everyone. I decided to make some gift boxes of baked goods and then a little package of Teriyaki Jerky that my husband made. My boxes were a hit because all I could see was smiles. I love doing that stuff and seeing people smile it is a gift to me knowing that I did my job to make someone smile. In my gifts I made red velvet whoopee cakes, Peppermint Rice crispy treats, Bourbon balls. Just the simplest things are more than anything.

Of course I had to make my famous Sugar Cookies for my workers  cookie exchange party.  These are not just any sugar cookies they are the kind that melt in your mouth and are so light they are absolutely amazing.  I actually learned how to make these from a woman named Jenny Keller when I lived in Washington state. Please check out her website and Blog Jennycookies,   and her new website Jennycookies bakeshop.  I would give  the recipe out, but I think this one I will have to keep a secret.sugar-cookies-roses-2

Besides doing all the baking, for Christmas one of my nieces had mentioned that since the whole family was gathering for Christmas we should all wear Pajamas. I actually thought that would be a fun and cool idea so I was totally in. After hearing that the whole family was in on this idea I thought why not get the whole family together in a photo shoot. It has been a long time since we had a family photo, and our family is growing . I wanted to do this so I can get the photos  copied and give to my family members as memorabilia.

This holiday has come and gone, but I have to say it was a fun time with family and friends. I certainly enjoyed everything this season, and I hope next year we can do this again.

Bourbon Balls Recipe

Ingredients

1          box (12 oz) vanilla wafer cookies, finely crushed
1          cup chopped pecans or walnuts
3/4      cup powdered sugar
2          tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
1/2      cup bourbon
2 1/2   tablespoons light corn syrup
Additional powdered sugar

Directions

  • 1 In large bowl, mix cookie crumbs, pecans, 3/4 cup powdered sugar and the cocoa, stirring well.
  • 2 In small bowl, mix bourbon and corn syrup, stirring until blended. Pour bourbon mixture over cookie mixture; stir until blended. Shape into 1-inch balls; roll in additional powdered sugar. Store tightly covered at room temperature up to 2 weeks

Red Velvet Whoopee Pies

Ingredients

  • 1 (18.5-oz) box red velvet cake mix
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or see Note)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 (3.9-oz) box instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 (16-oz) can cream cheese frosting

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Combine cake mix, buttermilk, oil, eggs, and pudding mix in a large bowl. Mix on low speed with an electric mixer until ingredients are just blended, then on high 1 minute.
  • Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until set.
  • Let cookies cool 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting:

  • 2 cups of imperial margarine
  • 2 tsp of clear vanilla
  • 5 table spoons of coffee creamer I usually get sweet cream creamer
  • 2 lbs of C&H Powdered sugar

Directions:

Blend the Margarine together with the vanilla, and Creamer once that is mixed well then add the powder sugar by cups one at a time. If the Consistency is still not stiff enough I usually add more powder sugar to get it fluffy.

Note: Make your own buttermilk by blending 1/2 cup milk and 1 1/2 tsp vinegar or lemon juice.

You can also get my Peppermint Oreo Cookie Rice Crispy treats recipe from one of my latest blogs the red velvet Oreo cookie white chocolate Rice Crispy treats by clicking onto the link.

A Short Christmas Story about a Chair

rocking-chair

I want to say it certainly has been a long time since my last posting and I truly apologize. My Husband and I have had a lot of things going on in our lives for the past several months. We have been busy with family, along with searching for our new home, moving, and the holidays. I finally am able to get back into my Blog and share my ideas. This blog is a little different from all the other Blogs I have shared and it is special to me. I want to share about a old rocking chair that has been in my family for many years for at least 45 years.

My parents bought this as a piece of furniture for their house, but the big reason why it is so special is that my parents rocked each one of us  children to sleep when we were  new born, or when we were so sick we could not sleep. At one point it was given to my aunt when my parents split, that I was not sure if I would ever see it again. My aunt had called me up one day and told me she still had it and wanted to know if I wanted it back. I certainly did because I loved that chair, and it had so many great memories for me.

When I had received the rocking chair It was still in good condition just had one arm handle a little loose, but I knew I could fix it up as good as new. The chair had several painted details on it that let’s just say was stuck in the 70’s so I stripped it down and refinished it a matte black. I admit I never have refinished something old to something new. Once it was done I sat in that chair and rocked away remembering all the memories from childhood. The one special memory I wanted to share was Santa holding my sister Melissa.

I was nine years old when my mother came across a newspaper article that said, “write to Santa and they will share your letter in the newspaper.” Well I was wanting to do it for my sister Melissa because she loved Santa Claus and she couldn’t do it herself because she had cerebral palsy a condition where she could not walk or talk. The only problem was I had just turned nine and the age cut off was 8. I still told my mom that I wanted to do it anyway and I will explain that I was writing on behalf of my sister and that she couldn’t do it herself. My dear mother helped me out with the letter and I sent it off in hopes they would read it.

One day  I was at home when my mother got a phone call. I sat there listening to her talk on the phone thanking whoever it was with a big smile on her face and tears of happiness. I thought to myself who is it she talking to and what is going on. When my mom got off the phone she pulled me to the side and whispered to me and said,” Charlena that was the local newspaper they got your letter.” I was thrilled until she told me they could not publish my letter in the newspaper because of my age, but they had  something even better they wanted to do for Melissa. She then said to me,” Charlena they loved your letter so much that they wanted to do something special for Melissa they want to send Santa Claus out to our house to see her!” I couldn’t believe it is this for real. We lived up in the mountains and around that time that Santa was coming out we ended up getting snow. I was so worried they would not show up due to the snow keeping them from not making it up the step hill we lived on. I just got home from school, and Melissa still had not gotten home from  the special school she went to. Her bus driver knew about the surprise and was trying really hard to get up that hill and she did it. We had gotten Melissa inside just in time because all of a sudden we heard honking and it was Santa Coming up our drive way in the snow in a tiny Datsun. Mom and I were looking out the kitchen window and seen the car coming up. We then ran into the living room where Melissa was and opened the front door. Melissa’s eyes were showing that she was confused and was wondering what is going on with mom and I. Mom and I saw Santa coming out of the car and start to walk up the Wheel chair ramp that we had for Melissa’s chair, but poor Santa slipped and started to slide down the ramp backwards saying Ho Ho Hooooooo! The most funniest thing ever, yet we both freaked out because we did not want him to get hurt. I then turned around and looked at my sisters face with the biggest smile, and getting all excited it was just great to see that reaction. Santa walked in and all I could remember is her smile, her excitement, it was certainly the best feeling to me that could warm the heart. Santa was there for Melissa for a good hour, and I will never forget that, but where am I going with the Chair well Santa sat there in the chair with Melissa holding her and talking to her.

One of my most fondest memory is this one, and every year I think of this moment in her life and in mine the best thing I had ever done for her. This rocking chair I have kept have seen a baby smile, sleep, be sick, and happiest moments hard to believe a piece a furniture holds those memories. The last memory I have is my mom, my cousin Jodi and I holding Melissa and rocking her to sleep the day before she passed away. Melissa ended up getting sick and was going back and forth to the hospital when she finally was released she still was under the weather, but no one could figure out what was going on. My last memory is not a sad one so please do not think this is sad, but holding her in my arms and rocking her and humming you are my sunshine to her I could see her smile at me while closing her eyes to sleep. It was a smile of love and peacefulness to me. She certainly was a beautiful little girl.

Melissa had passed away on February 16th 1984 the hardest time in all of our lives, but no matter what I hold on to this rocking chair because it reminds me of all the good memories of our family, and my sister Melissa the angel that was sent into all our lives. If you have ever seen the movie, ‘It’s a wonderful life” and the ending when the little girl says, ” look daddy every time a bell rings an angel gets it’s wings.” My favorite saying of all times and I truly believe.

Remember Christmas is not about presents, and food, and Santa it truly is about life, memories, family and friends. Merry Christmas Eve to all and to all a good night.

Hand Held Apple Pies Just a little guilty Pleasure

 

hand-held-apple-pie

 

Is there anyone out there that does not like eating Apple Pie? If there is please let me know because I honestly never met anyone who does not like Apple Pie. My Dear Husband has a vice to always go shopping at the grocery store. Now I have to be honest I have never met someone who loves to shop at the grocery store until I met him. We both are foodies or wait can you not tell? Anyway just to make this clear I usually shop with a list , and I never go there when I am hungry ,on the other hand my husband loves to go there when I am not around and buys more than we need. There are times I can’t understand why he does that when it is only just the two of us, but I have to let it be since thank God he does not go shopping for other things that are more expensive.

Where am I going with this story well he bought apples which I told him to just buy six, but he bought 12 instead. I usually try to buy for the week, him not so much. I had to think of something fast since I did not want them to go to waste. I came across a video on facebook this time which seem pretty easy. I thought I would try it out and I accomplished making the cute little pies, but I have to be honest they were a little time Consuming. If you have time to do this great,but if not then i would say do this when you have nothing else to do for the day. They turned out great, and so cute I really did not want to eat them.  you can go  to this website to check out the video on Cooking panda.com .


  • 6 green apples I actually used red apples because well that was what I had to work with
  • 1 package refrigerated pie crust (2 crusts) I  actually made my crust instead
  • 5 ounces caramel sauce  I made this home made caramel
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Ground cinnamon

 

  • Home made Crust instructions :
  • For the crust
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions:

1) Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment and non stick spray; set aside.

2) Remove pie crusts from refrigerator so they warm up slightly. This will make them easier to work with.

3) Peel the skin off the green apples, discard. Continue peeling so you have bunch of white peels in your bowl.

4) Dust work area with flour and slightly roll out crusts. From one pie crust, cut out circles for the cookies. Cut other crust into 1/2″ strips.

5) Place round pie crusts on cookie sheet. Spread a thing layer of caramel sauce on each cookie, followed by a pile of white apple peels. Using the 1/2” strips, create a tic-tact-toe  lattice pattern over each cookie.

6) Beat egg in bowl and add sugar and nutmeg until well blended. Brush cookies with egg wash.

7) Sprinkle cookies with cinnamon. Use more or less cinnamon depending on your preference.

8) Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until cookies are a golden brown. Remove from oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes, serve and enjoy!

Caramel Butter Bars

caramel-butter-bars

Caramel Butter Bars

Today was a very busy day for me which started at 4:30 AM ( my alarm clock was my cat and if you are a cat owner you will understand). I started off doing some errands, and then doing things around the house, cleaning out the Cupboards in my kitchen throwing things away and finding stuff to put together for meal prepping for the week.

My Husband and I have a very hectic schedule during the week, and so I try on Sundays to prep our meals for the week. I actually started doing this about a month ago and totally love it. It certainly takes a couple of hours to do this, but I have to be honest well worth it. So to make a long story short last weekend I had made another easy treat which required caramel. I have to be totally honest the last time I tried to make homemade caramel I burned it.  I came across a recipe that I thought I would try and master, and I did!  Of course I made a lot of it, and so I had put the rest of it in a mason jar and refrigerated it. I honestly did not want it to go to waste so I came across this amazing treat, that is certainly Buttery and Oh so comforting.  Now I found this recipe off of this website Salted Caramel Butter bars which was very easy to follow the only difference was that I had already had Caramel made so I did not have to use Caramel candy Pieces. I actually followed this you Tube Video on how to make home made Caramel and I have to be honest so easy to follow, and I did not burn the sauce I actually mastered it!! Sorry I got a little over joyed there for a moment. I guess I am going to have to shares these with my Co-workers tomorrow because I know my husband will eat more than one and then Complain to me. We only live one life right so enjoy it to the fullest.

Ingredients

For the Crust:
    • 1 lb. butter, softened
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1½ cups powdered sugar
    • 2 tablespoons vanilla
    • 4 cups flour
For the Filling:
  • 1 bag (14 oz.) caramel candies (about 50 individual caramels), unwrapped
  • 1/3 cup milk or cream or half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • Or if you want to try to make home made Caramel check out the you tube video I posted

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugars. Using mixer on medium speed, beat together until creamy. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. Add flour and mix until smooth.
  2. Spray a 9×13 inch baking pan lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Press one-third of the dough evenly into the pan to form a bottom crust.caramel-butter-bars
  3. Place remaining crust mixture in the refrigerator
  4. Preheat oven to 325F.
  5. Bake crust until firm and the edges are a pale golden brown approximately 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool about 15 minutes.
  6. While the bottom crust is baking and the remaining dough is chilling, make the caramel filling. Place the unwrapped caramels in a saucepan, add the cream and vanilla and cook and stir over low to medium heat until completely melted. (You can also use the microwave in short bursts to melt the caramel mixture.)
  7. Pour the caramel filling over the crust. Generously salt with sea salt.
  8. Remove the remaining chilled dough from the refrigerator and crumble it evenly over the caramel. You may find the chilled dough doesn’t “crumble” that easily. If so, just place on a cutting board and chop into the dough
  9. size pieces you want for the topping.caramel-butter-bars-1
  10. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the filling is bubbly and the crumbled shortbread topping is firm and lightly golden, about 25 – 30 minutes.
  11. Let cool, and cut into squares.

 

 

 

 

 

Oh Oh Avalanche!

Avalanche Bark (2)

Did I get your attention already with the Title? Yes these are called avalanche Bark, and they are very sweet so  one of these and a glass of milk will be required. One of my Co-workers had found this on the internet, and she posted it to her face book page. I of course had to make these since I already had everything in my cupboards and in my fridge from what the recipe called for.

honestly it  did not take very long to put this together, and not much clean up duty afterwards so I was highly impressed. It took me like 10 minutes to put it all together, and then it took 30 minutes to harden up in the fridge.  These are great treats for little ones lunch box surprise, and children’s birthday parties etc.

Avalanche

you want to make sure with the white Chocolate and peanut butter that you do not burn the chocolate in the microwave.  When melting the chips with the peanut butter I actually had to microwave on high for 45 seconds, take it out and stir the Contents to make sure all the mixture and the chips were combined. Then I placed the microwave bowl back into the microwave and cooked the contents on high for 30 seconds.Next  I took the bowl out of the microwave I  began to stir to make sure the chips were completely melted in with the peanut butter. Once I have completed this task then I poured the rice krispies in the bowl and stirred it up  making sure all the cereal was coated well. Let the Cereal mixture sit for about 8 minutes to cool down before you pour in the dark chocolate chips and Marshmallows, because you don’t want them to melt in the cereal.

Once the cereal mix has cooled down pour the remainder of the recipe in the bowl stir the ingredients all together, and then place in a 9×9 greased pan. I like to give this tid bit out when you go to push down on  the rice krispie recipe make sure you do not crush the cereal and make sure you do not use your hands to do this. When you use your hands they tell you to coat with butter all over so the mixture does not stick to your hands.  I have a better idea for you to use, take wax paper and put it over the pan and start to push down to bind the cereal and mixtures together. No mess with your hands and you just throw the wax paper away when your done .

Ava

Once you are done doing this task then set the pan in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour to set. Now you have an Avalanche! Its quick and easy to make and in the end so sweet !

Ingredients
  • 12 oz bag of White Chocolate Chips
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 cups Rice Krispies
  • 1½ cups mini marshmallows
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips + 2 Tbsp for garnish.
  • Lightly grease a 9×9 pan