Cookie Cutter Christmas & Gingerbread Cookie Sugar Scrub

I love to make home made gifts and the Cookie Cutter Christmas bundle brought to mind the wonderful Gingerbread Cookie Sugar Scrub recipe I had. So here is what I whipped up for some family and friends.

I love the little wooden spoons I found since they can be stamped on.

Sugar scrubs are great for the winter and this one smells so yummy. My husband loves them for his hands and I actually use this scrub in the shower all over my body, hands, feet, legs, elbows – it is wonderful and moisturizes too. (Just make sure you are careful in the shower the scrub can make the floor slippery.)

I’m including the recipe below for you in case you’d like to make some last minute gifts too!

 

Gingerbread Cookie Sugar Scrub

1 c. brown sugar

1 c. sugar

1 c. vegetable oil

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. nutmeg

2 tsp. ginger

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

3 drops Vanilla extract

Mix well and place in a tightly sealed container such as a mason jar.

This keeps well in a cool place for weeks!

Today I also wanted to share some of the wonderful hand stamped cards that I’ve received for Christmas from friends – I can’t pick a favorite they are all so wonderful!

Supplies:

Stamp Set: Cookie Cutter Christmas (*142043)

Inks: Soft Suede (126978) and Real Red Classic Ink (126949)

Paper: Candy Cane Lane Designer Series Paper, Real Red (102482), and Whisper White Card stock (100730)

Accessories: Candy Cane Lane Baker’s Twine (141983) and Cookie Cutter Builder Punch (*140396)

*available in a bundle Item #143493

 

Click here to order your Stampin’ Up! Products online 24/7! (US only)

It’s simple simply shop at my Online Store and use Hostess Code U7AKSEJF when you order!!!

**For everyone who places an order (at least $25 in product) through my store you will receive 5 homemade cards in the mail!  If your order is over $50 in product then I will DOUBLE that and you will get 10 cards and an embellishment of your choice in the mail! You can choose from a package of Baker’s Twine, Pearls, Rhinestones or White Perfect Accents. If you don’t email me your choice I’ll choose one for you.
(I will mail your items to you the second week of January)

It’s my way of saying thank you for choosing me as your Demonstrator!!!

Click Here to learn more about using the Hostess Code If you order Online make sure your profile information is up to date and you’ve allowed me to contact you so I can mail you your FREE gift!

 

Customer Appreciation Day

Yesterday I held my first annual Customer Appreciation Day – and I think everyone enjoyed the pampering and projects.

First the food…..

Larry helped me with the food. Here he is putting one of  the appetizers together. He’s a sweetheart – what can I say.

Customer Appreciation  (1)

He was on call for the weekend so he couldn’t join us, but I made a few extra so he could enjoy the goodies too! LOL

We played games, stamped, laughed, and enjoyed the time together! Here is a photo of my snack table all set up and ready.

Customer Appreciation  (2)

These strawberry brownie kabobs were a big hit (with my daughter Kaitlin)

Customer Appreciation Strawberry Brownie Kabobs

And here are the Cheesy Artichokes Crostinis….

Customer Appreciation  Cheesy Artichoke Crostini

They seemed to be a hit – so here is the recipe in case you’d like to make some for your own New Years Eve party.

CHEESY ARTICHOKE CROSTINI

1 pkg. (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened

1 tsp. spicy brown mustard

1/8 tsp. pepper

¼ c. red bell pepper, chopped fine

¼ c. Cheddar cheese, shredded

1 T. onion, chopped finely

1 jar (6 oz.) marinated artichoke hearts, drained, chopped

1 can (8 oz.) Crescent Recipe Creations® seamless dough sheet

2 T. unseasoned dry bread crumbs

2 tsp. olive oil

16 ripe olive slices

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix cream cheese, mustard and pepper. Stir in bell pepper, cheese, onion and artichokes until well blended.

Remove dough from can. Do Not unroll. Using a serrated knife, cut dough into 16 slices. Place slices cut side down on cookie sheet; flatten slightly. Use thumb to make slight indention in center of each slice. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of mixture into indention of each dough slice.

In a small bowl, mix bread crumbs and olive oil. Sprinkle over filling; top with olive slice.

Bake for 11 – 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Customer Appreciation  Crab & Cream Cheese snacks

And of course the Crab & Cream Cheese Snacks – I’m going to have to make these again for my family this week. All of these goodies were so easy to make!

Now the projects….

I love how the way my All is Calm wreath turned out. I wanted a winter themed wreath to use through the end of January so I used the snowflakes from the Snowflake Card Thinlit Die (135855) and Silver Glimmer Paper (135314) for the decorations in the center of my rosettes .

All is Calm Winter Wreath Customer Appreciation day

How’d I do it? Well I’ve used the gorgeous All is Calm Designer Series Paper (135823) and the Designer Rosette Bigz XL Die (125594) to create the 6″, 4″, and 2″, rosettes that make up this wreath. The die makes this quick and easy and the new Fast Fuse adhesive (129026) is great for putting them together.

And for the center, my thank you – I’ve used the Letterpress Winter stamp set (135143) that is part of the Year End Clearance going on right now. Stamped in Pear Pizzazz, Soft Sky and Lost Lagoon to coordinate with the wreath.

Everyone received this cute little goodie for attending – after all who can’t use a little chocolate, right?

Project Life Holiday Cheer Customer Appreication 3d

I really love the Project Life Holiday Cheer stamp set (135188). I originally purchased this for my memory keeping, but it is such a great size that I find I’m using it a ton in my stamping projects! The set it great for all kinds of projects!!

And since I’ve mentioned project life I wanted to share this fun and quick baby gift I made recently.

Project Life Customer Appreciation Day (1)

Yes, it’s a project life album for baby’s first year.  (We’ve got several family and friends who have welcomed bundles of joy into their lives the past week!).  I’ve used the Little Moments Project Life Card Collection (135299) and created pages for the first year.  I’ve also filled it with some photos to start off the new parents off on the right foot – All they have to do is slip in the photos and jot down their memories! Sooooo easy!!!

Project Life Customer Appreciation Day (3)

And for the new mom – I’ve made this great little Clear Mount Case (119105) that includes some Project Life Grid Cards (136528) and Journaling Pen (135304), along with some post it notes. When she is on the go, she can document those memories as she snaps photos on her phone.

Project Life Customer Appreciation Day (2)

Then all she has to do is  just slide them right into the book when she is ready – Quick and Easy! I’ve used the Project Life Remember This stamp set (135786) to decorate it and hidden some of the great little sayings under the cards.

If you’ve got photos in boxes or on your phone that you’d like to organize why not contact me and I can show you how – Get together with family and friends and you can host a party, earn free merchandise and have fun together! And Hostesses will receive one of these special cases! Contact me today to choose a date that works for you.

Well this post is rather long – so I’ll save the rest of our projects for tomorrow. Stop back by then to see what we stamped during the Customer Appreciation Day.

Click here to order your Stampin’ Up! Products online 24/7! (US only)

Hostess code WXV6B23J

Dec Online order Free Tutorial

Place an Online order with me and use my Hostess Code WXV6B23J  and I’ll send you a FREE Tutorial with instructions to create fun projects

Click Here to learn more about using the Hostess Code

Weekly Deals (Special ends Monday, December 29th, 2014 at 11:50 p.m. (MT)

Year- End Closeouts (sale ends January 5th, 2015 or while supplies last)

paper pumpkin box image

Looking for that perfect gift for yourself or a friend, try a Paper Pumpkin Subscription. Add one to your next order, they count towards Hostess Rewards. Subscriptions are the best way to enjoy Paper Pumpkin. Click HERE for more details.

Fun Fall Tiny Treat Box

Check out this fun fall tiny treat that I made using the Fall Fest stamp set and the coordinating Fun Fall Framelits that are available as a Bundle (137628).

Fall Fest Tiny Treat Box

Too cute – And just the right size to brighten someone’s day by giving them a little something as a special treat.

How’d I do it? Before I put the box together. I added some interest  by stamping leaves in Versa Mark. To create a collage of leaves, I simply placed all the leaves on one block in random order. Easy peasy. I also stamped a piece of Old Olive card stock at the same time so it was ready for punching the tag.

Next, I stamped my pumpkin in Tangerine Tango and used my Blender Pen to remove the color from the stem and recolored it using the Old Olive Stampin’ Write Marker. (The Blender Pen is a trick that saves a bit of coloring.) After running it through my Big Shot I popped it up on my tag with a Dimensional.

I then Stamp my sentiments from the Good Greetings stamp set in Old Olive and Tangerine Tango on some scrap strips of Whisper White Card Stock that I had laying around and then punched the tails on them using the Hexagon Punch.

I used my handheld circle punch (loooove them!) so I could add a piece of Linen Thread which I tied onto the Whisper White & Tangerine Tango Two Tone Trim.

These Tiny Treat Boxes are designed to go with our 25 Days stamp set so you can make an easy advent calendar for Christmas – but what you can use them for, as you can see,  is really unlimited!

Why not check this and our other packaging options out? You’ll find them  on page 10 in the Holiday Catalog.

Feeling adventurous?

On a personal note. I thought I’d share one of my favorite new recipes from this summer. It is something that I concocted myself (which is a first),  after desperate pleas from my son that he was sick and tired of my tried and true fried squash recipe I’ve been using for years. (You see, we had a bumper crop of yellow squash  and I’d been trying all kinds of new recipes for a couple of weeks when he cracked LOL – Thus the squash overload.)

I was feeling adventurous and came up with this recipe, suprise it seemed to a big hit in the Merck household! And I got no complaints from my son! Enough said, right? So as we are cleaning up our garden this season I thought I would share it with you. I hope you’ll enjoy it too.

Jini’s Baked Summer Squash

2 tbsp. olive oil
½ – 1 tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. – ½ tsp. pepper (to taste)
½ – 1 tsp. sea salt
8 c. yellow summer squash

Mix first 4 ingredients well. Add summer squash and mix until evenly coated. Spread out squash on baking sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes until tender.
Serve immediately.

It also freezes well. If baked not quite as long before freezing it still has is crisp when reheated after freezing.

Supplies:

Stamp Set: Fall Fest (135194) and Good Greetings (135014/135017)

Inks: Versa Mark (102283), Old Olive (1269853), and Tangerine Tango (126946)

Paper: Old Olive (100702) and Whisper White card stock (100730)

Accessories: Tiny Treat Boxes (135829), Note Tag Punch (135860), White & Tangerine Tango Two Tone Trim (135838), 1/8″ Circle Handheld Punch (134365), Linen Thread (104199), Old Olive Stampin’ Write Marker (100079), Blender Pen (102845), and Hexagon Punch (130919)

Supplies:

Click here to order your Stampin’ Up! Products online 24/7! (US only)

Hostess code HKNSYMNZ

Weekly Deals (Special ends Monday, September 8th, 2014 at 11:50 p.m. (MT)

New Digital Downloads

PAPER PUMPKIN 50% OFF  (offer ends September 10th)

Patriotic Dotty Angles

Fourth of July is Friday this week and so I’m thinking Red, White and Blue. How about you? So today’s card has a patriotic feel today.

Dotty Angles Coffee & Cards June 2014 (3)

This card can be easily made into any occasion since I’ve used the sentiment from the And Many More stamp set. And Many More is one of our new sets that contain 23 sentiments that work perfectly with our Word Window Punch.  What a great deal, right? And this one set covers pretty much any occasion you can think of through out the year!

Did you notice the pop of gold on this card? Well it is our Gold Sequin Trim (132983).

Gold Sequin Trim

Just pull a few off the string and adhere. Sooo easy to do! And great news the Gold Sequin Trim is part of this week’s  Weekly Deals – so why not check it out along with the other items too?

NEW Weekly Deals start Today!

Weekly Deals July 1 2014

On a personal note – I’ve spent the day yesterday processing goodies from the garden and so I didn’t get to post. I got my first batch of summer squash in the freezer along with some other items I baked using the blueberries we picked.

blueberries

I’ve got three strainers this size and with all the rain we’ve had it has been tough to pick at times. A good problem to have for sure. LOL Unfortunately our blueberries are bursting from all the rain – they just don’t seem to be able to grow as fast as they need to, so they end up splitting which is kind of a bummer.

So as a special treat I’ve got another recipe for you Blueberry lovers. This one is a favorite of mine. Light and cool – give it a try and see what you think.  Why you could even put strawberries on the top for a red, white, blue look for the 4th!

Blueberries in the Snow recipe image

When put into a clear bowl – it is rather pretty. I’m sorry to say I had a hard time getting a good picture of that and this one was the best I could do. Hopefully you get the idea.

Blueberries in the Snow

½ c. sugar

½ c. milk

1 pkg. (8oz.) cream cheese, softened

1 ctn. (16 oz.) whipped topping

1 ½ c. fresh blueberries

1 lg. Angel Food Cake, prepared

1 can (21 oz.) Blueberry Pie Filling

Combine sugar, milk and cream cheese in a large bowl. Beat until blended. Fold in whipped topping and fresh blueberries. Crumble Angel Food cake into small pieces and add to cream mixture. Mix well and pour into a large bowl packing mixture down and spreading evenly. Pour blueberry pie filling on top and spread evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

If you’d like to see more recipes that I’ve shared in the past? You can find them under the Categories section by scrolling down the right hand column of my blog. Just look for recipes and click.

Enjoy!

Supplies:

Stamp Set: Dotty Angles (133658) and  And Many More (134273/134276)

Inks: Pacific Point (126951)

Paper: Real Red (102482) and Whisper White card stock (100730)

Accessories: Gold Sequin Trim (132983), Gold Baker’s Twine (132975),  Real Red 1/4″ Cotton Ribbon (134563),  Modern Label Punch (119849), and Word Window Punch (119857)

Click here to order your Stampin’ Up! Products online 24/7! (US only)

Hostess code KGM3XHTJ

Click Here to learn more about using the Hostess Code

Weekly Deals (Special ends Monday, July 7th 2014 at 11:50 p.m. (MT)

New Digital Downloads

Flamingo Lingo SWAG Bag

Today’s post wraps up the coverage of my Luau Catalog Launch Party last Saturday and this project is a little “SWAG” bag that I gave to those who attended.  It was just a little somethin’ somethin’ for everyone.

Luau Catalog Launch Party 2014 (1)

I think everyone enjoyed the new 2014-2016 In Color cards for their color rings and stamps that were included.

These little SWAG bags were so easy to make since I started with our new Polka Dot Tag a Bag Gift bags found on page 201 of the catalog. I simply stamped the flower image from the Flamingo Lingo stamp set onto the bag using my StazOn White Pad and then decorated.

Isn’t the little flamingo from the set precious? I stamped this little guy in Strawberry Slush so I could use our new yummy Thick Baker’s Twine.

Here is a close up of the little bag.

Luau Catalog Launch Party 2014 (2)

I just love using our new Thick Baker’s Twine that comes in all of the 2013-2015 In Colors!

And here are the last of the pictures of my classroom that I took while it was set up for the Luau Catalog Launch Party.

This first one is of the Make ‘n Take table. Ready for my guests to stamp.

Luau Catalog Launch Party 2014 (20)

Everyone had one of my little Beach Bag Post it Note Holders waiting for them. (You can see more about the Beach Bags HERE).

And here are a couple of the girls stamping their projects – we have such a good time together!

Luau Catalog Launch Party 2014 (12)

And the classroom itself

Luau Catalog Launch Party 2014 (11)

some close ups of the displays

Luau Catalog Launch Party 2014 (19) Luau Catalog Launch Party 2014 (17)

Project Life

Luau Catalog Launch Party 2014 (16)

My Classes and Club options (click here to see more about my club option)

Luau Catalog Launch Party 2014 (15)

My “Punch Bowl” – everyone could scoop to their hearts content.

Luau Catalog Launch Party 2014 (18)

And last but not least – my Caring with Cards station  where everyone was able to make a card to be donated to the cause of their choice – Hospice birthdays, Ronald McDonald House, Operation Write Home, and Holiday for Heros. My goal this year is 100 cards for each group!

And of course the snack table

Luau Catalog Launch Party 2014 (4)

along with a picture of the Tropical Cucumber Salad which seemed to be a hit. It’s also the recipe that I’ll be sharing with you today since several of you asked me for it. It swap super easy to make.

Luau Catalog Launch Party 2014 (5)

Tropical Cucumber Salad

3 tsp. fish sauce

1 tsp. freshly grated lime zest, plus more for garnish

2 tbsp. lime juice

1 tbsp. canola oil

2 tsp. light brown sugar

1 tsp. rice vinegar

¼ tsp. crushed red pepper

1 medium English cucumber, cut into ¾” dice

1 avocado, cut into ¾” dice

1 mango, cut into ¾” dice

¼ c. chopped fresh cilantro

Whisk fish sauce to taste, lime zest, lime juice, oil, brown sugar, vinegar and crushed red pepper in a large bowl until combine. Add cucumber, avocado, mango, and cilantro. Gently toss to coat.

Cover and refrigerate up to one hour. Serve garnished with lime zest, if desired.

Supplies:

Stamp Set: Flamingo Lingo (134303/134306)

Inks: StazOn White Pad and refill (106960), Strawberry Slush (131178), Pear Pizzazz (131180), and Crushed Curry (131173)

Paper: Flowerpot Designer Series Paper (133698), Pear Pizzazz (131201), and Whisper White (100730)

Accessories: Polka Dot Tag a Bag Gift Bags (135503),  Strawberry Slush Thick Baker’s Twine (135637),  Mini Metalic Cothespins (133320), Petite Curly Label Punch (133519), Banner Punch (133519), and stapler

Click here to order your Stampin’ Up! Products online 24/7! (US only)

Hostess code BRXTH4XS

Weekly Deals June 24 2014

Weekly Deals (Special ends Monday, June 30th 2014 at 11:50 p.m. (MT)

Sea Street & Luau Launch Party

Saturday I held my annual Luau Catalog Launch Party. Everyone had a chance to see the new products, pick up a catalog,  and be treated by me!

This year everyone was able to make this cute little card using the Sea Street stamp set (133985/133988) and our fun new Designer Series Paper, Maritime (133696).

Sea Street Luau Catalog Launch 2014 Make n Take

I really love this little set, it is great for all kinds of cards like this birthday card, and of course summer themed items, like my Luau Launch Party.  And for anyone who loves nautical items it’s a must have. (Ooops – that’s me!)

Check out all the great images in the set – don’t you just love this little octopus?

Sea Street

And what’s not to love in this fun coordinating paper?

Maritime DSP

Do you love Designer Series Paper? I know I do and I’m tickled to tell you that starting July 1st Stampin’ Up! will have a special promotion – Buy 3, Get 1 free! Whoo hoo! (I’ll be posting more details about the sale on Tuesday, July, 1st).

Of course one of the things I love to do is pamper my guest at these events, so I had a little snack table with Luau themed food.

Luau Catalog Launch Party 2014 (3)

Several of you had asked for the recipes on Saturday so I thought I would share them with you over the next few of days along with some of the other projects from the Luau.

This first recipe is for these yummy little Mini Fruit Pizzas that I made using the fresh Blueberries from my yard.

Luau Catalog Launch Party 2014 (7)

They were a huge hit with my guys too – And since they were so quick and easy to make we’ll be adding them to our summer favorites! You can stop hovering now boys – LOL (You’ll be happy to know they had their own little pizza party after dinner Saturday night!)

Mini Fruit Pizzas

1 pkg. (18 oz./20 count) Refrigerated Sugar  Cookies

1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened

2 tbsp. frozen Limeade concentrate, thawed

½ c. powdered sugar

10 fresh strawberries, quartered

1 kiwi fruit, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, cut into 10 slices

½ c. fresh blueberries

½ c. fresh raspberries or blackberries

Bake cookies as directed on package. Cool 10 minutes or until completely cooled.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl, combine cream cheese, limeade concentrate and powdered sugar; beat until smooth.

Spread each cooled cookie with 1 tablespoon cream cheese mixture. Arrange fruit on top of each cookie.

Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 2 hours.

Makes 20

Luau Catalog Launch Party 2014 (6)

Stop by tomorrow when I’ll be sharing a new video tutorial with you for my cute little Beach Bag Post it Note Holder that everyone who attended received.

Supplies:

Stamp Set: Sea Street (133985/133988), World Map Background (130342/130345), and A Dozen Thoughts (131056/131059)

Inks: Real Red (126949), Night of Navy (126970), and Pool Party (126982)

Paper: Maritime Designer Series Paper (133696), Night of Navy (101889), Real Red (102482),Pool Party card (122924) and Whisper White stock (100730)

Accessories: 1″ Square Punch (124094) and Postage Stamp Punch (122344)

 

Click here to order your Stampin’ Up! Products online 24/7! (US only)

Hostess code BRXTH4XS

Weekly Deals (Special ends Monday, June 30th 2014 at 11:50 p.m. (MT)

Hostess Appreciation Brunch

This past weekend I held my Annual Hostess Appreciation Brunch – I love to say thank you to my Hostesses with a little pampering and a special project. After all I couldn’t do this without you!

Today I wanted to share with you a couple of pictures from the Brunch.

This first picture is of the brunch table.

Hostess Appreciation Brunch 2014 food table

I made one of my newest favorite recipes – Greek Chicken & Artichoke Flatbread. It’s so easy to put together and yummy I thought I would share the recipe with you.

Greek Chicken & Artichoke Flatbread

1 pkg. (11 or 13.8 oz.) refrigerated thin crust pizza crust

1 1/2 c. fresh parsley leaves, divided

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1 tsp. lemon zest

1 jar (12) marinated artichokes, drained

1 tbsp. olive oil

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

4 oz. feta cheese, divided

8 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated

2 c. diced cooked chicken breast

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush large bar pan with oil. Unroll pizza crust onto pan and press to edges. Bake on lowest oven rack 17-20 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Coarsely process 1/2 c. parsley in food processor, remove and set aside for garnish. Add remaining parsley and garlic to processor; process until finely chopped.

Add lemon zest, artichokes, olive oil, salt, pepper, and half of the feta to processor; process until coarsely chopped.

Combine half of the mozzarella, artichoke mixture and chicken; mix well. Microwave, uncovered, on High 1 – 2 minutes or until hot, stirring once.

Sprinkle cooling crust with remaining mozzarella. Top with chicken mixture; spread to edges. Cut flatbread into 16 squares. Crumble remaining feta over top and sprinkle with reserved parsley. Serve.

And here is another of Shirley working on her project.

Hostess Appreciation Brunch 2014 Shirley

Everyone who attended made a gift set of cards using one of our Sale-a-bration stamp sets.

Would you like to be pampered too? It’s easy to become one of my Hostesses – Just hold a party for you and your friends. Or qualify for Hostess Benefits when you place an individual order.

Stop by tomorrow when I’ll be sharing with you the little treat items that I made for everyone. I’ll be filming a quick video tutorial for them later today to share with you.

WEEKLY DEALS

Check out these new Weekly Deals.

Weekly Deals Feb 25 2014

TUESDAY DIGITAL DOWNLOADS

Check out these great new My Digital Studio Downloads just released today!

Just Sayin’ Stamp Brush Set (item 137118)

MDS Just Sayin' Stamp Brush Set

My Digital Class Party Party Ensemble (item 137116)

MDS My Digital Class Party

My Mother Stamp Brush Set (item 137117)

MDS My Mother Stamp Brush Set

Today Starts Here Photobook Template (item 137120)

MDS Today Starts Here Photobook Template

Word Bubbles Punches (item 137119)

MDS Word Bubbles Punches

Want to see more of our Digital Downloads? Click HERE

Click here to order your Stampin’ Up! Products online 24/7! (US only)

Hostess code UQJ7HZ76

Click Here to learn more about using the Hostess Code

Clearance Rack (while supplies last)

Weekly Deals (Special ends Monday, March 3rd, 2014 at 11:50 p.m. (MT)

Paper Pumpkin Special (Free 2012-2014 In Color Markers when you join now through March 31st, 2014)

New Digital Downloads

 

 

Peachy Keen

Peachy Keen is one of our new all occasions sets from the Occasions Catalog and is great for all kinds of projects. Today I’ve teamed it up with the Retro Fresh Designer Series Paper (132993) to create this quick and easy card.

Peachy Keen

I simply stamped the sentiment in Early Espresso, but think it would look great using the Early Espresso Embossing Powder too and add a bit of texture to the card. I love the quick and easy banners that you can make using the Hexagon punch (130919). Yes, you heard me right the Hexagon Punch. Give it a try, you’ll find it so easy to do.

Hexagon Punch Banners

Supplies:

Stamp Set: Peachy Keen (133110/133113)

Inks: Early Espresso (126974)

Paper: Retro Fresh Designer Series Paper (132993), Baked Brown Sugar (131296), Coastal Cabana (131297), and So Saffron Card Stock (105118)

Accessories: Early Espresso Baker’s Twine (123124)

Click here to order your Stampin’ Up! Products online 24/7! (US only)

Hostess code UQJ7HZ76

Snow Storm – Day 3

Snow Storm Feb 13 2014 Day 3

Well the storm has now moved up the east coast and has pretty much finished for us in the North Georgia mountains. The sun has come out and the temperature has started to climb a bit – which is a good thing since things are clearly starting to melt.

We woke to more snow this morning. After sleeting most of the day yesterday, snow is a good thing. We’ve got a snow sandwich on the ground (snow, ice, snow) LOL. But we have fared pretty well so far, our power only flickered off once last night.

Now the cabin fever has set in for my guys and they are itching to get out of the house. I don’t tend to get as antsy since there is always something to do. Of course, it is a great reason to go play in my kitchen and stamp room too!

Quick and Easy Vegetable Beef Soup

This mornings project was a big pot of soup for lunch for my guys. It’s great since I can use the frozen tomatoes from our garden last summer and the ground venison in the freezer. It smells heavenly while it is cooking, and even though I can’t eat it, I enjoy making it for them. They say it tastes great – so I thought I’d share the recipe with you in case you’re looking for a quick and easy vegetable soup.

Quick & Easy Vegetable Beef Soup 

1 1/2 – 2 lbs. lean ground beef

1 onion, chopped

1 ½ c. water

2 (28 oz.) cans diced tomatoes

1 ½ tsp. garlic powder

1 ½ tsp. sea salt, to taste

½ tsp. dried basil

½ tsp. finely ground black pepper, or to taste

3 ½ tsp. beef bouillon

2 (12 oz.) pkg. frozen mixed vegetables

Cook and stir ground beef in the pot until completely browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir onion into the meat and continue to cook and stir until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Drain fat from the pot and return to medium heat.

Pour water and tomatoes into the pot. Season soup with garlic powder, sea salt, basil, and black pepper. Stir beef bouillon through the soup. Add frozen mixed vegetables to the pot, stir.

Bring the soup to a boil; reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are cooked through, 20 – 30 minutes.

That’s it – Enjoy!

This recipe is pretty forgiving and so I’ve experimented a bit with the original recipe I found on allrecipes.com. This one is my version of the original with the changes I’ve made. So far my substitution or changes have made it even better. I find you can really change things out easily to suit your preferences. I think I’ll be freezing okra next year to add to the other vegetables. The guys seem to like that and I never know what to do with all the extra okra from the garden.

Click here to order your Stampin’ Up! Products online 24/7! (US only)

Hostess code UQJ7HZ76

Click Here to learn more about using the Hostess Code

Clearance Rack (while supplies last)

Weekly Deals (Special ends Monday, February 17th, 2014 at 11:50 p.m. (MT)

Paper Pumpkin Special (Free 2012-2014 In Color Markers when you join now through March 31st, 2014)

Language of Love

What do you do when it cold or rainy outside? And it’s been that way a lot here in North Georgia – it’s winter after all. I don’t tend to get cabin fever like the rest of my family – for some reason this type of weather makes me want to bake!

blueberry buckle

Yep, I said bake. I love the way it warms up the house and enjoy smelling all those wonderful aromas as I bake. Not that my family complains – they’ve got a freezer full of goodies now.

So today I thought I would share with you one of our favorite recipes for coffee cake that uses the blueberries from the yard. Blueberries are soooo easy to grow and once they get going they give you LOTS of berries.

Freezing the extras is really easy too. Just rinse them off, lay them out on a cookie sheet, dry and pop them in the freezer. (This lets them freeze individually so that you can just pull a few out at a time.) Then place them into bags or containers. I’ll find my containers partially emptied at times, since Larry and our kids love snitching from the containers LOL. A little taste of summer year round!

blueberry buckle piece

Blueberry Buckle

Topping:

½ c. brown sugar

1/3 c. flour

½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ c. butter, softened

Mix topping ingredients together and set aside until batter is finished.

Batter:

2 c. flour

2 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

¾ c. sugar

¼ c. shortening

1 egg

½ c. milk

2 c. (1 pint) blueberries, washed and drained

Mix together sugar, shortening and egg. Stir in milk. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt; add to shortening mix. Fold in blueberries. Spread batter in greased and floured 8×8 inch pan. Sprinkle with topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 – 50 minutes.

Fresh blueberries are best, however you can use frozen. If frozen, do not rinse, as they will turn batter blue – just gently turn into the batter. A few extra minutes may be needed for bake time when using frozen berries. Just check for doneness with a tooth pick.

You can see one of our favorite recipes for fresh blueberries that I share with you last summer by clicking HERE.

Anyhow you want to see the Language of Love stamping project, right?

Here is a card that I received during Leadership that uses the Language of Love and So Very Grateful stamps sets from the Occasions Catalog. Karin shows another way to use the Language of Love stamp set to create a thank you card – it’s clearly not just for Valentine’s Day.

Language of Love Leadership Swap

I am hoping you can see it – but there is a torn edge on the floral pattern of designer series paper that adds interest and texture to this card.

Supplies:

Stamp Set: Language of Love (133074/133077) and So Very Grateful (133050/133053)

Inks: Real Red (126949) and Coastal Cabana (1331175)

Paper: Fresh Prints Designer Series Paper Stack (132996), Real Red (102482), Coastal Cabana (131297), and Whisper White card stock (100730)

Accessories: Full Heart Punch (119883), Small Heart Punch (19883), Bitty Banners Framelits (129267), and Rhinestones Basic Jewels (119246)

Click here to order your Stampin’ Up! Products online 24/7! (US only)

Hostess code UQJ7HZ76

NEW CIRCLE MONOGRAM STAMPS INTRODUCED

Circle Monogram Stamps Demo Banner Image

Now you can say it your way! You’re going to love these NEW Circle Monogram Stamps (132852)

Circle Monogram Stamp image

With our personalized stamps you can create a cool address label or even use it for everything from marking your territory on books or other belonging, to having a fun way to give a personalized touch to gifts and goodies.

Leadership Circle Monogram Stamps screen image

Here are just a few customization ideas (for you or for the perfect gift).

  • Address stamp
  • Thank you
  • From the classroom of (for a teacher gift)
  • From the kitchen of
  • Made with love
  • This book belongs to
  • From the desk of
  • Just married
  • Save the date
  • New Baby

What ways can you think of?

Circle Monogram Stamps Flyer image

Click HERE to see a flyer with more information

Click HERE to see it on my Online Store

This stamp is only available in photopolymer and coordinates with the 1 3/8″ Circle Punch (119860). Clear Block B (117147) is recommended for the Circle Monogram Stamps.

Click here to order your Stampin’ Up! Products online 24/7! (US only)

Hostess code UQJ7HZ76

Clearance Rack (while supplies last)

Weekly Deals (Special ends February 10th, 2014 at 11:50 p.m. (MT)

Paper Pumpkin Special (Free 2012-2014 In Color Markers when you join now through February 10th, 2014)

2014 SAB FREE Event-baner

Don’t forget to RSVP for Sale-a-bration Saturday – Click HERE to see a flyer with details

A Perfect Blend

I love to get together with friends for a cup of coffee and so when I saw this Perfect Blend stamp set in the 2013 Catalog I couldn’t resist adding it to my ever growing coffee and tea themed items. I could easily see making all kinds of gifts and cards with this cute little set that has such great sentiments.

So today I thought I would share with you one of my projects that I made using this cute little Perfect Blend stamp set. It was a gift for a special friend that held two of my homemade and oh sooo decadent chocolate-almond biscotti – hopefully she took a few minutes to enjoy them over a relaxing cup of coffee, before getting back to the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

Fancy Bubble Bow

I made this gift box using one of our Tag a Bag Gift Boxes – these little boxes really makes things quick and easy. And I used our Season of Style Designer Series Paper since this pattern felt kind of coffee house-ish to me along with the Gift Bow Bigz L Die from the Holiday Catalog.

I made a quick video tutorial so you can see how I made this Fancy Bubble Bow below:

The Gift Bow die makes this Fancy Bubble Bow really so easy to make – And did you know that this great die is in the Holiday Catalog?

Gift Bow Die

Yikes – That means it is only available until January 2nd! So if you have been wanting one for yourself too, why not get one now before they’re gone?

I bet you’re wondering if I’m going to share the recipe, right?

This recipe was given to me by my friend Helen – so I call them Helen’s Chocolate-Almond Biscotti.

Helen’s Chocolate-Almond Biscotti

 ½ c. butter, softened

1 ¼ c. sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. almond extract

2 ¼ c. flour

¼ c. cocoa

1 tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. salt

1 c. almonds, sliced or chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat buter and sugar in large bowl until blended. Add eggs and almond extract; beat until smooth. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until smooth. Dough will be thick. Stir in almonds with wooden spoon.

Divide dough in half. With lightly floured hands shape each half into a rectangular log about 2 inches in diameter and 11 inches long; place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper at least 2 inches apart.

Helen's Chocolate-Almond Biscotti (1)

Bake 30 minutes or until logs are set. Remove from oven, cool on cookie sheet 15 minutes.

Helen's Chocolate-Almond Biscotti

Using a serrated knife, cut logs diagonally, using a sawing motion, into ½ inch slices. Arrange slices, cut sides down, close together on cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 9 minutes. Turn slices over; bake an addition 8 to 9 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet; leave on parchment paper and cool.

Drizzle with glaze or dip ends into glaze.

Helen’s Chocolate Glaze

Place 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon shortening into small microwaveable bowl. Microwave at High 1 to 1 ½ minutes or until smooth when stirred. Drizzle or dip.

I’ve even experimented with the recipe a bit and came up with my own version for those allergic to nuts by just substituting a couple things. I thought they were pretty good too, so here you go.

Double Chocolate – Orange Biscotti

Substitute Orange Extract for Almond and Mini Chocolate Chips for almonds.

Helen's Chocolate-Almond Biscotti (2)

These biscotti are a little extra work – but oooh, sooo worth it when you sit down with your cup of coffee and start to dunk! Even Larry loves them and he doesn’t wait for the coffee!!

Hmmmm…I think it is time for a cup of coffee. How about you?

Supplies:

Stamp Set: Perfect Blend (130745/131392)

Inks: Chocolate Chip Classic Ink (126979)

Paper: Season of Style Designer Series Paper (132340) and Very Vanilla Card Stock (101650)

Accessories: Tag a Bag Gift Boxes (130927), Big Shot (113439), Gift Bow Bigz L Die (129977), Deco Labels Collection Framelits (130102), Paper Snips (103579), Bone Folder (102300), Glue Dots (103683)

Click here to order your Stampin’ Up! Products online 24/7! (US only)

Use Hostess Code UHRUCJ9X and get a special Class from me for FREE!

Clearance Rack Blitz (while supplies last)

Weekly Deals (Special ends December 23, 2013 at 11:50 p.m. (MT)

Festive Flurry Ornament Kit (while supplies last)

Need Gift Ideas Image