March 17, 2017

35 Fancy and Fun Easter Egg Dyeing Ideas

Easter is coming up soon! What’s your favorite way of coloring Easter eggs? If you’re looking to get away from the traditional color tablet kits, we’ve found 35 unique and fun ways to dye your Easter eggs this year.

Here’s what we found:

Need a cute snack for Easter, or maybe to accompany your Easter decorating? We’ve detailed six cute Spring and Easter cupcakes here.

December 10, 2016

Cream cheese spritz cookie recipe

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Pulled from the archives, I originally shared this cookie recipe in 2012. Hope you enjoy!

Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies

These Cream Cheese Spritz cookies are so delicious and as far as Christmas treats go – they are really frugal!

Cream cheese is on sale for $0.99 or less this time of year and you only need 1/3 of a block for one batch, the dough makes a lot of cookies and they don’t require a lot of extras – just some sprinkles and they look beautiful, thanks to the shapes you can make with the cookie press.

kuhn-rikon-clear-cookie-press

This recipe does use a Cookie Press. I have a Pampered Chef cookie press but you can also buy a variety of cookie presses Amazon here. This one seems to have the BEST reviews – Kuhn Rikon Clear Cookie Press with Decorating Tips and Storage Box on sale for around $20 right now. I like that it also has six decorating tips!

INGREDIENTS

1 cup of butter (softened at room temperature)

3 oz of cream cheese (also softened)

1 cup sugar

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

 

HOW TO PREPARE

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2.) Using mixer blend together butter and cream cheese until creamy

3.) Add sugar and mix well until light and fluffy

4.) Mix in eggs yolks, vanilla and almond extract

5.) Slowly add your flour and salt, mix well

6.) If you want to add food coloring, you can take a small part of the dough or all the dough and add food coloring for desired color.

7.) Shape dough into a small log and add it to your cookie press.

8.) Press cookies onto an ungreased cookie sheet (sometimes if you freeze your cookie sheets first the cookies will stick better)

9.) I recommend adding sprinkles before you bake – otherwise you’ll need to frost them to get the sprinkles to stick.

10.) Bake for 10-12 minutes, until they start turning a light brown around the edges.

11.) Let cool and eat!

Here are some photos from when we made them!

[Read more…]

November 3, 2016

24 Books of Christmas Advent Calendar – A book a day!

24 Books of Christmas - Advent Calendar - Great idea for small kids. Each night read a different Christmas book together as a family.

Add it to your Christmas Pinterest board here!

If you’re looking for a frugal, long-lasting advent calendar, let me recommend the 24 books of Christmas Advent calendar. My friend DeAnn told me about this a couple years and we’ve been doing ever since! I love that it’s family activity – we take turns opening a different book, each night, and we read the story together as a family. . . usually in the glow of the Christmas tree.

Supplies

  • As many as 24 Christmas books (they don’t have to be new, I wrap up a lot of the same books every year!)
  • Wrapping Paper
  • Tape/scissors
  • Paper for labels

Basic Instructions

  1. Wrap up 24 of your favorite Christmas books
  2. Label them 1 through 24.
  3. Each night have kids take turns opening a book. You will open #24 on December 1, with 24 days until Christmas. I save The Night Before Christmas for Christmas Eve!!
  4. Read the book as a family each night
  5. You’ll open #1 on Christmas Eve! I saved The Night Before Christmas for that night!

Advent-Book-Calendar-Idea

More tips for creating your Christmas Advent Calendar

  • The first night, I had a *new* Christmas book for each kid. Just to start off with a fun treat.
  • If you don’t have 24 books, just wrap up the Christmas books you have! For example, if you only have 12 books, just open a new book every other day.
  • The books don’t have to be new! We’ve picked up many books at thrift shops over the years!
  • Midway through the month, I wrapped up some Christmas workbooks that I found at the Dollar Tree, they include stickers and activities. One for each kid.
  • You can label them or leave them all unlabeled and let the kids pick!

I’d love to hear – do you have a favorite Advent calendar tradition? 

October 16, 2016

Halloween Trick-or-Treat – Hand-shaped Treat Bags

Halloween-trick-or-treat-bags-plastic-glovesPin it!

My mom loves Halloween. So when she was going to be town the week before Halloween she insisted on bringing supplies for these Halloween Hand Treat Bags. Who am I to pass up someone else paying for Halloween trick-or-treat supplies? I said sure, whatever you’d like. . ..

I have to hand it to her. They are sort of cute.

Winco-bulk-Halloween-candy

They are really easy – basically she bought a box of vinyl gloves (non-powder, not latex) and she filled them with candy and tied them off. Specifically she used Sixlets and Tootsie Rolls for the “fingers” (you can also use Smarties) and then bulk and bagged individually wrapped candy from WinCo to fill the palm area.

And they were so easy, my kids helped her make them!

For a little something extra she put a plastic Halloween ring on one of the fingers.

So I guess this is what we’re giving out at our place, thanks to my mom. I was going to stick to toothpaste (joking).

Do you have any fun trick-or-treat ideas? Do you do goody bags like this for your kids class? 

November 22, 2015

BEST Turkey and Ham prices for the week

Best-turkey-ham-holiday-meal-deals

Buying a ham or turkey is usually the biggest expense in your holiday meal. If you plan to purchase one between now and December, I thought I’d lay out all the best options available. Be sure to check out our simple guide on How to Brine a Turkey!

ALBERTSONS – thru 11/26

Honeysuckle Frozen Turkey, 10 – 20 lb – FREE with $150 purchase
$0.68/lb with $50 grocery purchase

Butterball Frozen Turkey, 10 – 20 lbs, per lb – $1.59

Cook’s Smoked Shank Portion Half Ham, per lb – $1.79

Jennie-O Fresh Turkey, 14 – 20 lbs, per lb – $1.79
While supplies last

Cook’s Smoked Butt Portion Half Ham, per lb – $1.99

Hormel Cure 81 Spiral Sliced Ham, per lb – $1.99

Butterball or Foster Farms Fresh Turkey, 14 – 20 lbs, per lb – $2.19
While supplies last

Hill’s Smoked Boneless Ham, per lb – $5.49

Jennie-O Whole Frozen Turkey Breast – B1G1

FRED MEYER thru 11/28

Kroger Frozen Turkey, 10 – 20 lb – FREE with $150 purchase and in-ad coupon; Limit 1
$0.69/lb with $50 purchase and in ad coupon; Limit 1

Kroger Spiral Sliced Ham, per lb – $1.69

Butterball Fresh Turkey, 10 – 23 lb, per lb – $1.99

Foster Farms Fresh Turkey, per lb – $1.99

Foster Farms Fresh Turkey Breast, per lb – $2.79

Private Selection Ham, per lb – $2.99

QFC thru 11/26

Private Selection Frozen Turkey, per lb – $0.69 with $30 in store purchase, Limit 1

Cook’s Portion Ham, Bone-in, per lb – $1.29, Limit 2

Hormel Cure 81 Spiral Half Ham, Bone-in, per lb – $1.69, Limit 2

Northwest Natural Fresh Turkey, per lb – $1.79

Private Selection Frozen Turkey, Bone-in, per lb – $1.79

Butterball Frozen Turkey, 10 – 20 lbs, per lb – $1.89

Butterball Fresh Turkey, per lb – $1.99

Mary’s Free Range Turkey, 10 – 20 lb, per lb – $2.49
Vegetarian Fed

SAFEWAY thru 11/26

Honeysuckle Frozen Turkey, 10 – 20 lb – FREE with $150 purchase
$0.68/lb with $50 grocery purchase

Butterball Frozen Turkey, 10 – 20 lbs, per lb – $1.59

Honeysuckle Frozen Turkey Breast, Whole, Bone-In, per lb – $1.79

Jennie-O Fresh Turkey, 14 – 20 lbs, per lb – $1.79
While supplies last

Butt Portion Ham, Bone-In, per lb – $1.99

Hormel Cure 81 Spiral Sliced, Bone-In, per lb – $1.99

Open Nature Whole Turkey, All Natural, per lb – $2.49

Caranado Spiral Sliced Half Ham, Bone-In, per lb – $2.99
Honey or Hickory Smoked

Butterball Frozen Turkey, 10 – 22 lbs, per lb – $2.99

Safeway Select Whole Boneless Ham, per lb – $3.49

Foster Farms Whole Turkey Breast, per lb – $3.49

Butterball Frozen Smoked Turkey, 10 lbs – $29.99

TARGET – thru 11/28

Market Pantry Frozen Turkey, 10 – 24 lb, per lb – $0.79

Butterball Frozen Turkey, per lb – $0.99, Limit 2

Market Pantry Frozen Turkey Breast, per lb – $1.29

Archer Farm Spiral Sliced Honey Ham, per lb – $1.99

WINCO

Spiral Ham, per lb – $1.98

COSTCO

Kirkland Signature Spiral Sliced Ham, per lb – $1.99

Kirkland Signature Master Carve Ham, per lb – $2.49

Hempler’s Black Forest Ham, per lb – $2.89

Kirkland Signature Roasted Turkey Breast, per lb – $3.99

Do you have know of any other good deals on turkey or ham? 

November 8, 2015

*HOT!* Minted.com – Score 35 FREE holiday postcards shipped (or up to $50 off an order!)

Christmas-Card-DealsMy cards from Minted from 2011

This is a fantastic deal over at Minted.com (one of my favorite places to order holiday and special occasion cards).

For a limited time, when you create an account through this link (my referral link) you’ll get $25 off your order of $50 or more. PLUS through tomorrow only (November 8), Minted.com has $25 off ANY holiday card order and FREE shipping – score!

Seasons-Greetings-from-postcard

Here’s how to get 35 FREE postcards:

1.) First create an account through this link to get $25 off your $50 order, this credit is applied automatically on your way to checkout

2.) To get your FREE postcards, click on Minted Stationary –> Holiday tab and sort from low to highest price. Look for postcards for $58 – $59. Your total needs to be a minimum of $50 to get the promo codes to come off.

3.) Design your postcards. At the preview page, select EXPRESS service and you’ll save $10 off your order!

Hip2-save-minted

4.) Head to checkout. Enter code BRIGHT25 to get your $25 off your order. This should stack with your $25 from creating a new account through my referral link and your total should be ZERO!

Shop Minted.com

Simple Elegance Christmas Photo Cards by Jessica W... | Minted

(Thanks, Hip2Save!)

March 17, 2015

Spring Cupcake Designs – 6 easy spring and Easter cupcake designs

Sping-Cupcake-DesignsPIN here

Easter and spring cupcake designs

To celebrate spring (or the hope of spring soon?), I’m re-publishing my Spring Cupcakes designs, originally shared in 2013 . .

I’m not very good about decorating for holidays or going over the top with cutesy seasonal foods. But yesterday I had a wild hair and decided the kids and I should decorate cupcakes. I think it was the sunshine – it makes me do crazy things. I had fun getting creative with the kids trying to come up with fun easter cupcake designs for you. They are each 3 steps or less and EASY. We hope you enjoy them!

Step 1 – Your first step is make a batch of cupcakes. You can make them from scratch or make them from a box (like I did, there is only so much you can expect from a girl in one day).

 Baby-Chick-Cupcake-Spring-DesignPIN here

Baby Chick Cupcakes

1.) Frost it with yellow frosting (I used vanilla frosting with couple drops of food coloring)

2.) Dip in yellow coconut. To make colored coconut, put plain coconut in a Ziploc bag, add a couple drops of food coloring, close bag and mix it around until color coats coconut.

3.) Add two eyes. You can use dark colored candies, chocolate chips or I used frosting. Then add a beak. I used a Reeses Pieces.

I actually got this idea from my Parade magazine.

[Read more…]

February 5, 2015

Easy Valentine Idea – Marshmallow Valentines, like Cupid’s arrow

Easy Valentine Marshmallow Ideaclick here to REPIN

Posted last year, I loved them so much I thought I’d bring these back again.

These Marshmallow Valentine’s are so easy and so customizable you can take the idea and run with it. Between white chocolate, milk chocolate, colored marshmallows, big marshmallows, sprinkle varieties, gummie candies and more – the possibilities are endless!

SUPPLIES

  • Marshmallows – I had regular ole white marshmallows, but you could get the new bigger sized ones – that would be fun! And I know they come in lots of colors.
  • Gummy candies – Optional. On some I added a gummy above the marshmallow.
  • Some kind of stick. I used BBQ skewers, trimmed to the right length. You can also use cupcake toppers. I found them at the Dollar Tree.
  • White Chocolate – Or milk or dark chocolate. See I told you this was flexible.
  • Sprinkles. Any kind.
  • Cellophane – I used a little baggies, found at Dollar Tree 40 for $1, but you could cut it to size off a roll, and do it that way, too.

Easy-Valentines-Marshamallows

DIRECTIONS

1.) Place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Nuke it until it starts to soften. Stir about every 20-30 seconds. You don’t want it to burn.

2.) Place your desired candies or marshmallows on the stick

3.) Dip bottom half of marshmallow into chocolate.

4.) Hold marshmallow over another bowl and pour sprinkles over warm chocolate as you turn it.

5.) Place on wax or parchment paper while it hardens.

6.) Wrap in cellophane, add a ribbon and a note.

It’s that easy! You can do a million different styles or colors. Try finding a store with bulk candies like Winco – that’s where I found the gummy hearts.

I like these Valentines because the kids can help. They won’t necessarily be the prettiest – but really, they can dip and add sprinkles. Then they can make a homemade note to attach. Or attach a commercial boxed Valentine – whatever you like!

marshmallow-valentines-stick-diy

Head over and check out my Valentine idea with Haribo Gummi Bears!

I can’t take credit for this cute idea – head over to The Sweet Life to see her variation.

Pinterest-Valentines-Board

Looking for more inspiration? Check out my Valentine’s Pinterest board! 

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