Tag Archives: pretzel

Like A Gingerbread Man With It’s Head Cut Off

Oh my.

It’s been 5 days since I’ve posted! Every day I plan on sitting down and doing so, but it just hasn’t happened.

My days have been filled with the following…

driving around to four stores looking for gingerbread syrup for some martinis…then it dawned on me that I could have just walked into Starbucks and possibly begged them to buy a {tall} gingerbread syrup. Then I visited every CVS in town tracking down some calendars. I tell you, once I get something in my head, there’s no stopping me.

making more of these with Caramel Kisses {delicious, but don’t press the m&m down too hard or you will have oozing caramel which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just not as tidy for packaging them up nice and neat} and the Hugs {milk chocolate inside white chocolate with stripes ~ those turned out super cute! {you can see the salted caramel ones to the right ——-> under my Instagrams}

Our little ballerina partook in her fourth recital and Gramma and I had the {pleasure} of working backstage. Keeping track of a dozen tutu’d 4-6 year olds is no joke. This paranoid mom was doing a head count every 10 seconds when I wasn’t filling cups with goldfish or providing water refills, that is. I {think} I may prefer sitting in the audience cheering on my girl rather than stressing backstage and applying lipstick touch ups at the last minute, but she’d been wanting me to be a stage mom for some time and I most certainly didn’t want to let my little lady down. Thanks again, Gramma, for being on potty duty!

Also, thank you to Gramma for starting a beautiful new holiday tradition and treating to front row seats at our local production of The Nutcracker. I was amazed at all the beautiful young dancers….my goodness. My girl decided to wear her costume straight from her recital to the ballet ~ swapping her ballet slippers for some boots and adding in one {Fancy Nancy} coat…

Holden sang a very simplified version of {Soon And Very Soon} in church on Sunday ~ You Tube to come!

I hosted a little Merry Mama gift wrapping to-do where several gals came over armed with rolls of paper, rolls of tape, bags of gifts and lots of chit chat. This was where my gingerbread martinis were supposed to make an appearance, but honestly my girls were so busy wrapping they didn’t even notice! I served the Winter White Wine sangria, artichoke dip, cranberry meatballs and Christmas pasta salad {2 packages Buitoni spinach tortellini, one box small shells, 4 small tomatoes [chopped] and a whole bottle of Bernstein’s Light Fantastic Cheese Fantastico ~ cook both pastas [separately] according to package directions, add chopped tomatoes and then stir in the bottle of dressing…can be made the night before} along with my beloved Hershey pretzel snaps and See’s molasses chips for a little sweet somethin’.

My little Pinterest find came together for treats for Elliott’s classmates:

{I picked up a bulk bag at CVS and divided them up into cello bags, but later found them prepackaged in a box of 24 at Smart And Final which is the route that I will go for Holden next year}

I also literally threw together a frame and some glitter clothespins to hold thoughtful gift cards from the kids to E’s teacher ~ one Goodwill frame, a can of black gloss Rustoleum, some twine, a glue gun, some clothespins {thanks for lookin’ out, Lisa!} and a rainbow of glitter…

These frames are also perfect for displaying Christmas cards during the holidays or birthday invitations throughout the year. Just get yourself a frame and discard the graphic and glass, spray paint it if need-be, use your glue gun to string twine across the frame every 4 inches or so by pulling it tight and securing it with hot glue onto the back of the frame. Easy. For the clothespins, just brush some Elmer’s glue onto the pin with a foam brush, sprinkle on your glitter over a bowl, shake off excess and let dry. Easy.


And that is where I’ve been, friends! I’ve missed you and hope to post more regularly now that the kids are both out of school and we’ll be having some LAZY mornings days while they’re on break.


Let’s Do This


This week I felt like I was on a see saw ~ lots of ups and downs.


Not that I am any busier than anybody else, I just {thought} this was going to be the week when I baked, wrapped, cleaned, organized…

There was lots of stress and anxiety and LOTS of back & forth this week, but the highs definitely outweighed the lows.

Like when I took my first solo trip to {Justice} to procure a few items on Elliott’s Christmas list ~ uh, that place is insane…a peace sign and glitter EXPLOSION up in there. But I had fun browsing {alone!!} and finding some cute starter stuff for her. She’s going to die when she sees a half dozen Justice boxes under the tree ~ I asked the lady for separate boxes to spread out the smiles on Christmas morning.

Or when I put another Pinterest recipe to the test and realized the cuteness factor way outweighs the easiness factor…wait, super cute AND easy? L.O.V.E. **Note: I tried a new variety of Hershey’s kiss tonight…the cookies n cream. Don’t know that I even knew those existed, but they caught my eye at Target today so I grabbed ’em. They DO NOT need a full 6 minutes in the oven, though! Maybe more like 4.5 to 5 minutes because they certainly lost their shape and started to ooze after 6 minutes, but still worked out just fine. I am addicted to making these and am going to try the chocolate ones with mint truffle inside next!

Then there was the Christmas Pot Luck at church which I SO needed on Wednesday night! Loved chatting with and getting to know my sweet RCIA sponsor better and sampling the oodles of home cooked dishes.

Today’s highs take the cake though…I was out on errand duty EARLY and went through the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf drive-thru before I hit I-5. As I was in the long line waiting to pay, I decided that I was going to pay for the woman’s order behind me. When I got to the window I told the guy and he said, “Uh, her total is $15-something…she has three large coffee beverages.” I told him to go ahead…and he asked me if I was sure and I said, “Yes, I just want to spread some Christmas cheer.” and his reply was, “Let’s do this!”. I have no idea what her reaction was, but it was fun and I drove off with a big smile.

Then, my friend, Vicki, and I decided to go in together and do some Blessed to Bless bags {this was one of the things on my [2011 holiday to-do list]}. We both shopped for about six items, split them up and filled our gallon ziplocs. All I need to do is print off a little card to slip inside and they will be ready to load into the car and share with those in need.

Here are the items that we included:



Trial size lotion

Carmex lip balm

Granola bar

Mandarin orange cup w/ a plastic spoon wrapped in a napkin

2 Slim Jim meat sticks

6 Ricola cough lozenges

2 Wisp toothbrushes {disposable}

Trial size toothpaste

Mini hand sanitizer

Several Wet Ones

Juicy Juice juice box

We bought eight of each item so that will give us both 4 bags each…just the right amount to get us hooked and want to make more, I’m sure.

Awesome stuff right there.

Here is an example of another Blessed To Bless bag:


There were a couple more {highs} this week, but I am going to have to keep those under wraps for a bit, but CANNOT wait to share.

The only way that I have been getting through each day is drawing up a list of what MUST {no ifs, ands or buts} get done THAT particular day. I simply have not been able to think ahead at all! This has been working for me so I will keep it up since the next 8 days aren’t looking any less hectic.

In the words of the CB&TL barista, “Let’s do this!”.

Bring on the week before Christmas.

One day at a time, please.

Elf Buttons & Rudolph Noses

I got my second wind this afternoon and threw together a couple more batches of these SIMPLE holiday snacks sure to have you rattling off the recipe to all who receive them.

I was even chatting with the sweet woman clerk at CVS this morning and she was disappointed that she and her daughter weren’t going to have time to bake this year….not so! I told her about these and before I took off with my bags she was scrambling for a pen and paper to jot down the specifics.

First laid eyes on these little cuties on {the big p} and pinned them onto my {For The Ho Ho Holidays} board.

I made them with both the candy cane kisses and the good ‘ol milk chocolate version. Not everyone likes peppermint {what?} so that is why I chose to do some regular ones as well. As I was pushing down the red m&m’s on the chocolate kisses, I thought “these look like little Rudolph noses!”. So with that, I had to come up with a special name for the red striped ones with green m&m’s ~ Elf Eyeballs sounded a little too {Nightmare Before Christmas} so I settled on Elf Buttons!

These are a breeze with the hardest part being opening all the kisses.

Here’s the rundown:

Pick up some pretzels ~ I used Snyder’s Snaps {the non-butter flavored ones}

Grab some Hershey’s Kisses of choice ~ there’s the dark chocolate variety, mint truffle ones, Hugs, etc.

Don’t forget the m&m’s ~ you could most certainly use peanut m&m’s or the peanut butter ones……{note to self}

Set the oven to 170*, lay some parchment paper on your baking sheet, line up the pretzels, place an unwrapped kiss on each pretzel and place in the oven for 6 {SIX} minutes…and NO more!

Take out the baking sheet and immediately place an m&m {“m” side down for a cleaner look} on top of the kiss and gently press down. For some reason, the candy cane ones get softer and will spread out a little more. I actually put the chocolate ones in for more like 7 minutes and they were fine, but I wouldn’t recommend going over 6 minutes with the white chocolate ones! Both varieties will hold their shape, but glisten a little.

Once you’ve topped them all with an m&m, place them in the freezer or ‘fridge to set up…my cookie sheet wouldn’t fit in the freezer so I just put it in the ‘fridge for about 30 minutes.

Then package them up! I picked up some little Chinese takeout containers last year at Target after Christmas and they hold a dozen buttons and noses perfectly ~ just the right amount for a couple days an afternoon snack. The little boxes will go to the yard duties at Elliott’s school and I packaged up some larger amounts for Jay to take to work and just tied them with a piece of grosgrain.


If you’re in a bind, but want to give something handmade, you can crank out about 120 of these suckers in less than 30 minutes of you have enough cookie sheets! Each bag of kisses makes about 60 pretzels.

I’ve gone through 4 bags of kisses so far and still have plenty of m&m’s, but need to pick up another bag of pretzels since the kids have been snacking on them throughout the week.

I’m actually looking forward to making these throughout the year with all the festive holiday kisses and m&m’s….won’t they be darling for Valentine’s Day and Easter?

You can also get the colored Wilton melts and use those instead of the kisses and tailor to your party’s color scheme.

Fun. Fun.


Is tomorrow really Friday?

Night night, floppers!