Thursday, December 23, 2010

{ i spy a diy - the peppermint dreams cardigan }

I wanted something festive, but casual to wear on Christmas this year. I spotted this vintage Anthropologie ribbon embellished cardigan on ebay a few weeks back and thought the idea of it was sweet. But I wasn't too keen on the minty green color, so I decided to DIY a version to wear this holiday season (and beyond).
 I started with an Old Navy, gray flower-embellished cardigan that I got on super sale. First, I carefully removed the fabric flowers. Then I used this cute, stripey bias tape (purchased on etsy) to add a peter pan "collar" and placket. Lastly, I changed out the buttons for some square, sparkley Swarovski beauties. At $1.50 a pop, those little lovelies were the most expensive part of the whole project.
In my opinion, an Anthropologie-inspired DIY creation is special, and, as such, deserves its own delightful name. Introducing.......the Peppermint Dreams cardigan.
I think those buttons are my favorite part.
Are you planning on wearing something special this Christmas?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

{ making me smile... }

I am SO excited that Christmas is almost here! I've got a bazillion gifts to wrap, cookies to bake, and scores of messes to clean up. But I am so thrilled to be spending time with family in just a few short days. These images are making my spirit bright, and I hope they do the same for you. Have a wonderful holiday! :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

{ real recipe - junior mint brownie bites }

I made these up on the fly a few years ago when I needed something yummy to take to a cookie exchange. They've become a delicious holiday tradition at our house. These little bites of heaven are easy peasy to make (thanks to Ghirardelli's boxed brownie mix) and so festive. You really should make these. You'll be glad you did!

You will need:
  • 1 box Ghirardelli Ultimate Fudge brownie mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 jar Betty Crocker Whipped Vanilla OR Cream Cheese Frosting
  • peppermint extract
  • candy canes
  • 1 box Junior Mints

    Preheat oven to 325°F. Follow the brownie mix directions for mixing the brownies. Spray a 24 count mini-muffin tin with cooking spray. Fill each cup just a little over half way. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Do not overbake. Nobody likes a rock-like brownie! ;) Let the brownies cool for about 10 minutes. Carefully remove mini brownies from pan. Top with the Ghirardelli chocolate fudge ganache topping. In a bowl, mix together a couple drops of peppermint extract and the frosting. Keep adding more extract if you want yours "mintier". I think they taste best with just a subtle mint flavor. Put frosting into plastic bag, cut a little hole at one corner, and pipe onto mini brownies. Now comes the fun part: ask the closest, cutie-pie toddler to grab his/her toy hammer to help you crush the candy canes. Put the unwrapped canes into a zip lock back, and get to smashing and crushing! This is a favorite part at our house. Sprinkle crushed candy canes on brownies. Top each with a junior mint. Enjoy! (makes about three and a half dozen (42) mini brownies)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

{ handmade holiday }

I love handmade holiday decorations and gifts this time of year. These tags say it all :)

*via ana-white