Galations 5:22

But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Galations 5:22

Looking for the TUESDAY TO DO PARTY?

The Blackberry Vine

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pretty Packages Party #4

Trick or Treating is finally tonight, then we'll blink and Christmas will be here.
Gifts to buy and to wrap.  Haven't quite decided on my gift wrapping "theme" yet...have you?
I think the tone on tone packages in the photo above have such a subtle elegance to them.
This was one of several examples of "Pretty Packages" I found over at the Better Homes and Gardens site.  They are so elegant and thought they would be lovely highlighted for the November Prett Packages Party.

Now its time to share your wrapped packages!

This is a PRETTY PACKAGES PARTY so what I'm looking for is beautifully, interestingly, creatively wrapped gifts. The gifts could range from individual gifts, to party favors, to food gifts. At the end of the week (if I can wait that long,) I'll chose my favorites to share with everyone.

Please be sure to add your permalink below, and not your general blog address. To get your permalink, click on your post name, then just copy and paste the address that shows up in the address bar at the top, into the "url" box for the picture linky. You'll also need to put your e-mail address in, but don't worry, it will not be visible to anyone.

It would be fantastic if you would include the Pretty Packages Party button in your post, to make it easy for others to find your Pretty Package post. To do that, just copy and paste the Pretty Packages Party button to your computer or grab the html code from underneath the Pretty Packages Party button on my sidebar.

Please include a link in your Pretty Packages Party post back to the host blog, The Blackberry Vine. Why is this important? When you include a link back to The Blackberry Vine, it ensures your regular readers/visitors will find the other gorgeously wrapped gifts linked to the Pretty Packages Party. If everyone links back, this maximizes the opportunity for visits for all who participate.

Please do not add your link below, until your Pretty Packages Party post is actually published to your blog. Another helpful hint...DO NOT type in all makes it very difficult to read! Thanks!

Last, but certainly not least, please comment on the post in front of you and behind you...spread the comment love!

Have fun and thanks for stopping by!!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

The Pretty Packages Party
 is going on now thru November 6th.

So, on Tuesday I shared with you Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes that I saw at Whimsical Creations...they just looked so yummy.  Today, I decided to give them a try with a little twist.
Instead of vanilla cake I chose Dark Chocolate Cake.  I just had to see how they tasted.
My taste testers all agreed...YUMMY!
I frosted them with Food Processor Cream Cheese Frosting...super easy and super good. 
Look at that cookie dough goodness...mmmmmm!
The key is to make the cookie dough without the eggs and freeze them in balls for several hours.
Fill the cupcakes evenly with cake batter then add the frozen cookie dough balls.
The cupcake bakes but the cookie dough remains soft and gooey.
Can't you just taste it?!?! 
Check out Melanie's site to get all of the details on how to make these crazy good treats!

My quick and easy version:
Make a recipe of Nestle's Tollhouse Cookies
 (omitting the eggs and adding a couple of extra tablespoons of butter.)
Form cookie dough into large tablespoon sized balls.
Put in freezer for several hours or overnight.
When ready to make the cupcakes:
Prepare cake mix according to directions on package.  (I used Duncan Hines Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix.)
Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full with cake batter.
Top with frozen cookie dough ball.  (The batter covers the frozen ball during baking.)
Bake according to package.  (Mine took 19 minutes.)
Let cool in pans for about 10 minutes, then let them cool on rack.
Frost with frosting of your choice.  (I used Cream Cheese Frosting.)


Linking to:
Follow Me on Pinterest

Food Processor Cream Cheese Frosting

Come Check out the
 Pretty Packages Party!
Going on thru November 6th.

This is the quickest and best recipe for Cream Cheese Frosting I've found.  I used it when I made these crazy good Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes.  When you put this frosting together, be sure the cream cheese is COLD...not room temperature.  The butter can be either.  Also, be sure that you don't OVERPROCESS.  It may come out grainy and not hold its shape very well.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese, cold, cut into even chunks
3 - 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, room temp or cold, cut into even chunks
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted (this step is a MUST)

Combine above ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.

Recipe as is well frost 12 - 14 cupcakes with "big" frosting.  Double recipe for 24 cupcakes or for 2-3 layer cake.

Perfect on, well, just about everything!  Smiles!

Linking to:
Lucky Linky Tuesday
Get Your Craft Own
Follow Me on Pinterest

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Halloween Candy Fairy Strikes Again

Its just a matter of days until we have loads and loads of candy sitting, staring at us...begging to be eaten.  Our minds work overtime trying to justify snacking on our children's stash.  
 "Just one Twix won't hurt...ummm...that Almond Joy looks pretty good, too...oh, look, a Bit 'o Honey!  Haven't had one in ages...I'll just eat this one."  No, this is not my first Halloween!

Many moms I know incorporate the Candy Fairy just a few days after Halloween to help rid their homes of all of the extra temptations.  Most say its because their kids don't need the sugar. 
 I say its because I have little to no will power.  Candy Fairy here we come.

Its very easy to entice the Candy Fairy to your home.
Let your children pick out 10 or so pieces of candy to keep.
The rest of the candy they can put in a bag outside of their bedroom door.
In the morning, the candy will be gone and a gift will be left in its place.
To help the Candy Fairy out, I made a little label for her to attach to the gift bag.
Feel free to help yourself to the label if you find you need a little candy help, too.

What to do with all of that candy?  Take it to the office, the school, the fire department or a charitable organization in your area.  They will be thankful for your treats!
Hope you all have a Happy Halloween!
Andrea shared this site with me.  Just plug in your zip code and they'll show you were you can take your candy!  Its a great program!!  Thanks Andrea!!!

Don't forget to stop back by Sun thru Sat for

Eyeball Cake Balls

 My mom saw these on local news segment but they used doughnut holes instead of cake balls.
I used Red Velvet Cake Balls,  dipped in white chocolate.  The veins were added with melted red candy melts.  Then a red Life Saver was added and topped with a blue M & M.
What do you think the Kindergartener's are going to think about H's dessert today?
Gross or funny?
These would also be cute added to a MONSTER Cake...hmmm that gives me an idea!
Linking to:

Halloween Cake Balls

Halloween Cake Balls for Friends
These are German Chocolate dipped in White Chocolate.
Topped them off with an orange M & M and orange & black nonpareils.

Linking To:
Friday Fun Finds

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Claw and Antlers Explained

Some of you may have questions about the "CLAW" and the "ANTLERS" sported by the AWESOME Texas Rangers, their fans and some very creative t-shirts (see below.)

Let's see if I can help shed a little light on the subject for you. 
The best explaination is found in the Dallas Morning News, but I have a quick guy starts doing something silly, having fun.  Other guys start doing it because they thought it was funny when the first guy did it and now its a national phenomena.  This may make more since to men than women.

If you don't have the time to read the Dallas Morning News article here is the CLAW and ANTLERS for DUMMIES Version:  the claw goes up when something "powerful" offensively happens (great hit.)  Antlers go up when speed has helped the team out (stolen base.) 

It may look ridiculous, but I don't care...we're in the
World Series!
Claw and Antlers!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

To-Do Tuesday 10/26

Don't forget to come back
 Sunday for the 4th Pretty Packages Party.
Take a button for a little reminder!
The Blackberry Vine

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall Teacher Gifts

First, I just want to say how much I'm missing my camera...glad to have a back-up,
 but missing my camera none the less.  The pictures are just not the same.

Second, I want to be sure to invite you to come back
 Sunday for the 4th Pretty Packages Party.
Take a button for a little reminder!
The Blackberry Vine

I'm always amazed at the creative packaging ideas you share with me at the Pretty Packages Party.  Here is one shared by the Southern Fried Gal a party or two ago.  She gives a great little tutorial on how to make these mini burlap bags for 6" mum pots.

I added ribbon and the chalkboard tags to dress them up a bit for fun fall gifts for the boys' teachers.
The tags are little wooden cut outs I found at Hobby Lobby.
To make the tags, I drilled holes in the top and painted them with chalkboard paint.
A little tip...go ahead and string the jute through the hole before writing the names on the tags with chalk.  The jute can be a little tricky to get through the hole and you don't want to mess up your tag.

The chalkboard tags are great for these gifts.
They add the right look for teachers, but also give the teacher the option to regift the gift if needed.
All they have to do is rub off their name and add the new recipient's name!
Our teacher's are all working moms...maybe they could use this as a gift for one off their kid's them a little more time to spend with their own families.

Happy Fall Y'all!

Linking to these parties:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pumpkin Crisp or My Best Dessert Ever

This is the yummiest, easiest recipe ever.  My eldest even said so, so it must be true.
"Mom, this is your best dessert yet!!" were the exact words.  High praise from a somewhat picky eater!
 He recommends topping it with a scoop of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream for the ultimate treat!  YUM!!!

1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 (18.25-oz.) package butter-flavored yellow cake mix
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Stir together first 5 ingredients.  Pour into a lightly greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish.  Sprinkle cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture;  sprinkle evenly with pecans.  Drizzle butter evenly over pecans.
Bake for 1 hour or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and let stand 30 minutes before serving.  Serve warm or at room temperature.


You can find recipes like this and many more when you subscribe to Southern Living.

Linking to Recipe Swap Thursday at Prairie Story

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Haunting Table

Isn't blogland just the best?!?  So many of the ideas incorporated into this table came from you lovely talented people in blogland.  THANKS!!
For the centerpiece, I used one of my Fitz & Floyd Halloween candelabras flanked by two hurricanes made from Dollar Store finds.  Lauren at the Elephant's Trunk showed me how to do it at her crafty site.  The hurricanes are filled with black beans and white ball candle.  Between the glass and beans I slid graphics I made from some of the lovelies found at the Graphics Fairy.  You can click here to use my version.
Close up view of hurricanes via Dollar Store and spider graphic.
 This little cupcake stand came from a wonderful little tutorial at Under the Table Dreaming.  I'm also adding that tutorial here.
Sweet little pumpkin stand!
The idea of turning the charger over to show the black side came from some smartie out there a week or two ago.  Please let me know who...I'll definitely give you a shout-out!.
The napkins are actually orange pumpkin damask dishtowels I found at Target in the Dollar Section.
The goblets are Waterford Simply Lime. 
I found the fun spider web table cloth at TJ Maxx for $10...nice!
Our table actually needs a 90" round cloth...pretty hard to find at any of the discount make the 70" cloth "go further" I added black tulle all the way around.  Spooky! 
Made the place cards from a spider graphic I found at the Graphics Fairy and just reversed the image.
Back view of one of those crafty hurricanes...I'm thinking about making lots of these to put on my mantle if I can find different sized vases.  They are really pretty for being $1.50!! 
I was late getting on the glittered skull bandwagon.  The two on my table were the only two left at Dollar Tree when I went 3 weeks ago!!!
Here is sad Sally...only glittered up skeleton I could find.  How sad could she really be?!?  She's covered in glitter!!
Happy Hauntings!

Cupcake Stand Tutorial

This great idea and tutorial came from Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming.
She has one of my favorite blogs ever.  It will be yours, too.
 First, stop by your handy dandy Dollar Tree Store and pick up a set of glass candle holders and 2 glass bread & butter plates.

Second, spray paint them black (or orange, or purple, or red, or chartreuse or whatever!)
(This step may take a couple of light coats to get good coverage.)
Third, use your hefty duty super strong adhesive (I used E6000) and glue the candle holder to the bottom of the plate.  Let it dry and there you have it.
If you need more specifics, stop by and read Stephanie Lynn's...her's is way better!!


Skull & Spider Label Printable

Have you stopped by the Graphics Fairy yet? 
No?!?  You must be new to blogland (I'm pretty new, too)...go there and look around right now!.
I get lost in her site for HOURS (and I don't have hours to indulge myself that way!!)
It is an idulgence...she finds the most beautiful antique and vintage images you've ever seen.
And she lets you use them...wait for it...for FREE!
She's an angel!
These images below came from her site. 
If you use them, give the credit to Gaphics Fairy...they are ALL HERS!


70th Birthday Cake Balls

My sweet friend, Phyllis, celebrated her
 70th birthday on 10-10-10.
Her husband and girls went all out to throw her a special bash.
These are just two of the assorted cake balls they noshed on.
More photos and ideas from the party to follow soon!
Happy Birthday & Many More!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday To-Do's 10/19

oooh!  What a week!  Have lots to show you when I have time to upload my pics, but for now enjoy these ideas I found that I have to day.
Be sure to look all the way to the end...

I don't have a cat, but come on...this is FUNNY.
Go to Sew Can Do's blog and see the other pictures...well worth your time!
My BFF Laura is gonna love this cat.
Does anyone out there remember Tounces from SNL?!?


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