Saturday, November 30, 2013

holiday style

we have a pretty quiet saturday going on at our house today...turkey leftovers, homework for shaun and holiday planning for me. i'm starting with a style board to organize my thoughts before making a crazy mess by pulling out all the decorations.

here's what i'm thinking:
 
i love the combination of red, white and aqua. plus i will probably add in some kraft paper somewhere and maybe a bit of chalkboard. i'm calling it "peppermint sky" just to amuse myself but also because i know there will be a lot of peppermint yummy-ness this season.

1) everyday beauty blog 2) kara's party ideas blog 3) thirty handmade days blog and hammond's beautiful candy canes!

xo,
carly

p.s. don't forget to shop small & local today, small business saturday!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

happy thanksgiving!

wishing you a wonderful day!

xo,
carly

Sunday, November 17, 2013

advent calendar

i like to celebrate one holiday at a time, halloween all the way until halloween even though the stores change over to christmas on october 31st. then i like to continue with fall and celebrate thanksgiving. novel idea i know! the one exception i make is getting my advent calendar ready. i find having an advent calendar really helps to enjoy the season.

for the last few years we have been using little tags that i designed in combination with the framed metal clip strips (also something i designed and available in my etsy shop) and an assortment of jars, boxes and bags.

the assortment gives us tasty treats some days and fun christmas activities too. some tags i just cut the number bit off into a square and some i fold in half and write the activity on. here's a sample list:

xo,
carly

p.s. you can find the tags here (page 1, page 2 and page 3), if you would like a copy!

p.p.s. find more of my favorite advent ideas here!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

new in the shop!

new in my etsy shop today, framed metal clip strips...

 
perfect for displaying photos, memorabilia and other paper pretties!
happy saturday!
xo,
carly

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

box up your leftovers!

more thanksgiving talk? oh yes! i'm having a blast planning every little detail, from the menu to the boxes to send the leftovers home with my guests!

i have been in love with these brown fold-pak takeout boxes for a few years, ever since i found the restaurant supply store in my town, so many packaging options! this box, box #4, is great for leftovers, about 2 dozen cookies or 6 cupcakes. west coast girls, have you been to cash & carry yet? so awesome! and everyone else, look for a restaurant supply store in your town.

so this year to dress up my takeout & "take home" boxes i'm adding a little thanksgiving seal, complete with my theme appropriate acorn and a spot for my guests name. i've made up a little downloadable sheet in case you want to use them too and here's a quick bit of instruction on how to turn them into seals.

supplies:
-printed seals (find them here)
-2" circle punch (or scissors)
-xyron 510/5" creative station
-something to color with (if desired)

how to:
-open pdf and print on cardstock.
-color seals if desired (i used some watered down acrylic paints to "watercolor" my acorns).
 
-punch out (or cut) with the 2" circle punch.
-run circles through the xyron to turn into stickers and ta-da!

happy thanksgiving prepping!
xo,
carly

Saturday, November 9, 2013

my favorite thanksgiving recipe

as the prep for thanksgiving continues at my house i thought i might share my favorite thanksgiving recipe. for those of you who know me or who read this blog, you probably aren't too surprised that it's a dessert recipe. and it's a dessert recipe that i have been making for thanksgiving ever since i was in college and all i did for thanksgiving was show up with these cheesecakes and dirty laundry.


mini brown sugar pumpkin cheesecakes
makes 36 mini cheesecakes
for crust
-1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
-8 tbsp melted butter
-5 tbsp sugar

for filling
-2 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
-1 cup of brown sugar
-1 cup canned pumpkin puree
-3 eggs, at room temp
-3 tbsp flour
-1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
-1/2 tsp salt

preheat oven to 350 degrees. combine cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. spray mini muffin pans liberally with cooking spray and then spoon about 1 tablespoon of mixture into each cup, pressing down to make a solid bottom layer. bake for about 5 minutes until fragrant and slightly firm. transfer pans to a wire rack to cool. reduce oven temperature to 300.

mix cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. add sugar, pumpkin, flour, spice and salt; mix until well combined.

spoon filling into muffin cups, careful not to overfill (the mini cheesecakes are easier to remove from from muffin pans if the filling does not go over the rim). bake until firm, about 15 to 20 minutes. transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. refrigerate until set, for at least 4 hours or overnight.

gently run a wet knife around the edge of each cheesecake to loosen them and then pop out. transfer to serving platter or cake stand and garnish as desired. mini cheesecakes are wonderful with caramel drizzle and chopped nuts, chocolate drizzle, a little whipped cream or just naked!

adapted from martha stewart's chocolate-pumpkin cheesecake bars

xo,
carly

Sunday, November 3, 2013

planning...

thanksgiving is going to be a little different for us this year, shaun and i will be spending the holiday apart. shaun's grandmother isn't well and is unable to travel to us so he is going to travel to her and his mother. and i'm going to stay home and have a girls thanksgiving with my mom, sister and aunties. i'm going to miss my hubby and our big family holiday so to make myself feel a little bit better i'm planning something a little bit different. here's the very beginning of what i'm working on...

i'm obsessed with acorns for some crazy reason, i ordered a bunch from etsy. i also see some painted pumpkins in my future. and i'm loving the combo of emerald and metallic rose gold.

1) table setting from martha stewart 2)gold leaf and acorns from finding home blog 3)zoe band from gemvara.

xo,
carly

Friday, November 1, 2013

cookie #18: vermont maple cookies

do you remember the last cookie from the cooky book, jubilee jumbles? and remember that there are many variations of the jumble? well the vermont maple cookies are yet another!

recipe:
make jubilee jumbles (find the recipe here) but substitute 1 tbsp maple flavoring for the vanilla. spread cooled cookies with maple butter glaze (below).

maple butter glaze
heat 1/2 cup butter until golden brown. blend in 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar and 2 tsp maple flavoring. stir in 2 to 4 tsp of hot water until icing spreads smoothly.

my notes:
so now that i've made jubilee jumbles twice, i've decided that i probably won't make them again, as in, not my favorite cookie. however, the maple butter glaze is nice, it reminds me of caramel corn. i think i will be making that again, yum!

xo,
carly