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Christmas Treats

I started my long term substitute job in 7th grade a few weeks ago… Needless to say, I’ve been insanely busy. Let me just say that middle schoolers are CRAZY and I am so glad that middle school is only one short part of everyone’s lives – because it’s a miserable time for everyone. I have plenty of ridiculous stories every day, and I leave school either hysterically laughing or bawling. There’s a fine line between the two.

Christmas is a logical time to experiment with tasty treats. Here are the three that I actually found time to try out. I’ve got a whole long list of recipes I wanted to try. Next year, I guess.

Anyway, some of these pictures should have been posted weeks ago, and for that I apologize. I can’t say that I made up any of these recipes on my own – but they’re all delicious.

Christmas Chex Mix: It doesn’t look quite as appetizing as it truly is. Since I used Chocolate Chex, the chocolate part mixed with the white chocolate chips created that weird brownish color. Recipe can be found here (her pictures look much better than mine). There’s only three ingredients!

 

Eggnog Cookies: Even if you’re not crazy about eggnog, you’ll like these cookies. Eggnog is used in the batter and in the frosting, but it’s only a small amount. They turned out soft and chewy (in a good way), and lasted that way for a while. Recipe can be found at Your Cup of Cake’s blog.

 

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes: I have not tasted these yet, as they will be our Christmas Eve dessert tonight. They turned out cuter than I thought they would! I followed Glorious Treats’ recipe. Note: The batter is very thin, and she mentions it will be thin in her directions. Even though the batter was quite runny, the finished product turned out perfect. I was quite nervous for a while. I used peppermint bark (a gift from a student) as the garnish on top, but crushed candy canes would work well too!

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Allie

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it’s baking season!

With Thanksgiving so near and Christmas around the corner, I’m getting excited to spend more time baking! Yesterday my cousins and I had a “practice Thanksgiving” – basically just a reason to get together and eat delicious food. Overall, we did very good for not having any of the aunts and uncles involved. We had enough food and then some to have for dinner later on. What we had tons of was desserts.

Not too long ago, I found a recipe for a peanut butter fudge brownie trifle on Pintrest. I knew I wanted to make it. Here’s how I did it:

Layer 1: A box of chocolate brownies (any brand – I used Ghirardelli) baked following directions, cooled, and cut into chunks.

Layer 2: Peanut butter-cream cheese layer (see recipe below). 

Layer 3: A 5 oz. box of chocolate pudding – made following the directions on the box. 

Layer 4: 2 cups whipped cream (following instructions below). Note: You will need a total of 3 cups whipping cream for the whole recipe, so I whipped all of it at once and then used 1/3 of it on Layer 2. 

Topping: 1 bag chopped up peanut butter cups.

To make layer 2 (ingredient amounts and directions quoted directly from In Jennie\’s Kitchen)

1 cup heavy cream

8 ounces cream cheese

1 cup creamy-style peanut butter

1 cup powdered sugar

1 – 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Pour the heavy cream into a bowl and beat using a stand mixer or hand mixer until stiff peaks form.  Transfer to a small bowl and store in refrigerator until ready to use. Place the cream cheese and peanut butter in a mixing bowl.  Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in the powdered sugar.  Add the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Increase speed to medium and beat until all the ingredients are combined and filling is smooth.

Stir in 1/3 of the whipped cream into the filling mixture (helps lighten the batter, making it easier to fold in the remaining whipped cream).  Fold in the remaining whipped cream.  

For Layer 4: 

Pour the 3 cups heavy cream or whipping cream (1 cup for use in Layer 2, the other 2 cups for layer 4) into the mixing bowl. Turn the mixer on high for a few minutes, until stiff peaks form. Store it in the refrigerator until ready to use. 

To assemble the trifle: I put the brownies on bottom, then added half of the peanut butter mixture, put half of the pudding for the next layer, chopped up some peanut butter cups, and continued layering like this until I used up all the ingredients. I put the whipped cream as the top layer.

 

 

 

I also attempted to make homemade dinner rolls. It took FOREVER – I think I need to develop patience to bake bread. Waiting for it to rise takes waaaay too long. I followed a bread machine recipe for the dough. Then I balled up small balls of dough and put 3 each in a muffin pan. I let them rise until they doubled in size (I actually turned the oven on to about 250 and put the pan in front of the oven vent to speed up the process) and then baked them for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees. They turned out way better than I expected!

allie

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DIY envelopes

Inspired by another Pintrest find, and with the holidays coming up, I decided to try making my own envelopes and notecards. I found some scrapbooking paper at TJ Maxx for $5.99 for 48 sheets of cardstock. There’s lots of cool vintage designs. I roughly followed Poppytalk\’s tutorial on easy tiny envelopes.

Materials:

*1 sheet 12×12 scrapbooking cardstock

*2 sheets 8.5×12 white cardstock to use for a template

*hot glue gun

*glue stick

*scissors

Steps:

1) I took apart an envelope I found at home (poppytalk suggests soaking it in water so the glue loosens up and you don’t end up ripping the envelope – I was too impatient for that so I just ripped it).

2) Using white cardstock paper, I traced the envelope and cut out a template.

3) I chose the scrapbook paper that I wanted to use, traced using the template, and cut out my envelope.

4) I cut out a card template to fit inside the envelope and made the card to match.

5) I folded each of the flaps (here’s where using cardstock was probably not the best choice because it’s hard to fold).

6) Using my hot glue gun, I glued the sides of the envelope together.

7) After writing my note on the notecard, I used a glue stick to glue the top of the envelope shut. I had to hold it down to make the glue stay but it worked!

8) I made a flower to add detail using circles of cardstock. Here’s the finished product!

I will definitely be making more cards like this for the holidays! Enjoy! (PS Sorry the pictures are so dark – I need to find a good place to take pictures of my crafts.)

 

allie

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wedding and more

And there’s the wedding recap I promised – I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

That being said… here’s a few things I’m loving right now. Pinned Image

cozy bed nook (from here)

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chunky scarf and a top knot are a must (from the girls of lincoln park)

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romantic circle scarf (from here)

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gorgeous, and okay, a little over the top, heels (from here)

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french onion soup – my weekly craving (recipe from the curvy carrot)

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all this cozy room is missing is a maine coon (from here)

That’s all for today!

allie

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This is going to be a different type of post – not one you will typically find from me. However, lots of things have been happening recently, and thoughts have been circling my mind, and I find that if I am ever going to post on a topic such as this, this is a good time to do so. Also, here comes my cheese warning – I will try my best to avoid cheesy statements, but sometimes they are simply unavoidable. That being said…

The Lord’s faithfulness. That is what has been on my mind this week and last. You see, working as a substitute teacher during the day and at Gap during the night has proven to be taxing in many ways – physically, emotionally, time-wise. I have less free time, which means less time with my family, friends, and boyfriend. Less time doing the things that help me relax and enjoy life. I am on my feet all day, and when combined with early mornings, an achy, tired body is inevitable. Situations during the work day can be stressful and unavoidable. I am learning how to view my current situation as a phase of life, a season if you will, and as a blessing. Thinking of it in this way has been somewhat of a challenge. I constantly remind myself that the Lord has given me two great jobs and thus financial stability.

The stress of it all really wears on me though. Those of you that know me well know that I tend to overwork myself, take on far too much, and get stressed out. Since I have learned this about myself, I know what my limits are and what I need to do to take care of myself. Sometimes it’s not enough though.

Here is what the Lord has been teaching me, boiled down to a few simple points.

1. I am not in control, no matter how much I wish I were.

2. Only He is in control.

3.  If He loves me so much that He gave His only son’s life for me, then why do I always think that He can’t provide rest and energy when I need it?

4. When I surrender all, He gives me SO MUCH MORE than I could ever dream.

A few specific examples:

*Today when I subbed, the teacher came back for the last 15 minutes of the school day. We got to talking, and he ended up asking me to sub for quite a few more days for him. Personal connections when trying to find sub jobs are a MUST.

*A few weeks ago when I subbed in a school, I wrote a test for a teacher. One thing led to another, and the next thing I know, all the 5th grade teachers are requesting me (now along with other teachers in the building who have heard about me).

*Just when I think that my hard work and dedication is not paying off, or no one is noticing how hard I work, my managers offer encouraging words to get me through the work night.

*There are so many other little things that I look at and think, “Wow, that was amazing.” Things that I would never be able to control.

I want to be very clear who the glory goes to – solely to the merciful and loving Lord Almighty. So many times have I been surprised at how, after asking Him, my emotions, thoughts, and even my physical state improve. He is always faithful, even when we are not faithful (I always forget which Bible verse that is).

I leave you with a few pictures that remind me of His faithfulness and peace.

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(original source)

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(original source)

allie

PS The wedding is this weekend… pics are soon to follow!

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oh hey

Well hello there! Welcome to my new blog. Some of you already know that I started a blog back in May so that I would have somewhere to share all my crafts. Well, I realized that I like way too many things to have simply a craft blog. Therefore, here it is: everything that I like. I would like to share my crafts projects with you still, but also add some fashion elements, as well as book reviews, recipes, and anything else I feel like writing about.

I leave you with this tasty treat from last fall:

That’s from the apple orchard – I could sure go for an apple from the orchard right now.

allie

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