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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Three Easy Candy Cane Treats

Welcome to day three of We Grow By Our Dreams' Red and White Week. Today I will show you how to make three yummy treats using only 3 ingredients. Hello quick gift idea.
The three ingredients you will need to make all three treats are:
  • Candy canes (I used regular size but small would work too)
  • Pretzel Rods
  • White melting chocolate (it goes by many names)

J.O.Y Candy Cane Letters
Inspired by the L.O.V.E. letters on the Make and Take blog, the J.O.Y. letters add a festive Christmas touch.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Break and arrange 4 1/2 candy canes like the picture.

Bake for 5-7 minutes. The candy will flatten slightly and the broken pieces will meld together. Remove from pan when cool.That's it!

Red and White Candy
This is a variation of my pink candy recipe. To make Red and White candy you will need:
  • a half a bag of white chocolate melting chips, melted according to package directions
  • 2 crushed candy canes
Spread the melted white chocolate in an even, thin layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Sprinkle the crushed candy canes over the melted chocolate while it is still warm.  Allow time for candy to cool before lifting it off of parchment paper and breaking it into pieces.
Dipped Pretzels
You will need:
  • 1/2 bag of white chocolate chips
  • 2 candy canes, crushed into fine pieces
  • 1 bag of Pretzel Rods

Sprinkle the candy cane pieces on top half of parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Dip whole or halved pretzel rods into melted white chocolate. If you use halved rods, dip the broken end into the chocolate.
Roll the dipped rod into the crushed candy canes and allow time to cool on the cookie sheet.
They look great displayed in an ice cream glass along with peppermint taffy and red and white kisses.
There you have it, three easy red and white treats using only three ingredients. Save yourself time and melt the whole bag of chocolate chips at once. And, crush the candy canes for the Red and White Candy and Dipped Pretzels at once.
If you missed the previous Red and White Week posts, check out the Curtain to Cute Apron Transformation and the Homemade Gift Guide. 
Come back tomorrow for more red and white fun. I have more edible treats, an origami creation and some fun thrifted finds to share this week.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Handmade Red and White Gifts

Welcome to day two of We Grow By Our Dreams' Red and White Week. I love giving handmade gifts whether they have been created by me or another talented crafter. I found some really fun red and white things to share from Etsy Shops. Let's support our small business artists.

2. Queen of Hearts Matroyshka Doll by Mikasita (OMG, this seller in Mexico has the cutest stuffed dolls ever!)
4. Candy Cane Booties by Sweets Handmade Gifts (so darling)
5. Felted Tray by Gretchen's Creations (she has some really amazing things in her shop)
6. Hand Painted Joy Letters by Daffidolls  (I love the stockings she makes from recycled sweaters)
7. Believe Banner by Studio 1621 (check her great jewelry too)
9. Red Turquoise Necklace by Rachelle D (Love her necklaces.)

Thanks for stopping by. Tomorrow I'll have some edible treats to share. And, don't be shy about sending me links to fun red and white things that you find in cyberspace.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Curtain to Cute Apron Transformation

This week, We Grow By Our Dreams is celebrating Red and White Week. All week I'll be featuring crafts, food and other fun stuff as a tribute to the red and white color combo. To kick off the week I have a quick, inexpensive and easy sewing project for you to make for yourself or to give as a gift. Introducing. . . .

The Curtain Apron
You'll need:
1  Curtain panel with rod pocket
1  17" piece of 1/2" elastic
Safety pin
2  36"x 4" strips of fabric for ties
pins, scissors and sewing machine

First, choose a really cute curtain. I bought mine at an estate sale. Usually these panels come in a set but this beauty was a loner. I love the ruffle and the embroidered flowers. You may have a kitchen curtain you'd like to retire or you may find a great one at a garage sale or on clearance somewhere.
Second, find a cute coordinating fabric for your straps. I had some red and white check fabric in my stash. Cut the fabric into two 1 yard by 4 inch strips.
Third, fold over your strips lengthwise (right sides together) and sew the open sides 1/4" from the edge.
Now, flip each tie inside out and tuck one end in 1/2 inch inside and sew shut. Leave the other end unfinished.
Next, with a safety pin on one end of elastic piece, thread through top pocket of curtain, gathering as you go.
Finish by sewing the elastic piece and the unfinished edge of each tie to the inside of each end of the rod pocket. It helps to pin in place.

There you go, the Curtain Apron. If you try it, please leave a comment with your link and any suggestions you may have to improve it.

Please play along. If you have something red and white to share, please leave a comment below. It could be something on your blog or a find from another website. Share the red and white love.
Thank you for stopping by today.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Red and White Week Preview

I LOVE red and white together, especially for Christmas. So, I'm dedicating a week of my blog to the fabulously festive color combo. I have fun food, thrifting, crafts and other delights to share with you.  

I would also like to extend an invitation to you to play along. If you have any red and white things to share, please post a link in the comments section so we can share the red and white love.

To get your red and white juices flowing, I made a little collage of some red and white pictures from the past.

Thank you for visiting and I'm not kidding, please share your post link so we can all oooh and awww. :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Goofy Thanksgiving

My family, the Grow Girls, went to Goofy's Kitchen for Thaksgiving dinner. Goofy's Kitchen is one of the restaurants in the Disneyland Hotel.
In the Hotel entrance
I highly recommend all of the Disneyland restaurants. The food is great and several fun characters visit with you at your table. We saw Alladin, Dale, Goofy, Donald, Minnie, Briar Bear, and some other bear.
I only took pictures of the dessert station items but I will tell you that the dinner was great. Lots of choices for kids and grown-ups. The good news is that it's all you can eat.Only Disney can get away with serving gummy bears with Thanksgiving dinner

Pecan Pies
Mini Pumpkin Pies
There were some really cool breads shaped like turkeys and alligators. I have no idea why an alligator is at a Thanksgiving spread but, why not?
I kid you not. This was my dessert plate. Not pictured is my caramel nutella tart and rice Krispie treat. And, there were lots of desserts that I left alone like the ice cream sundae bar, the fruit cobbler, jello, brownies, and cookies.
The Rice Kristie treats were very colorful with just a hint of white chocolate.
Yummy Rice Krispie Treats
Here is the niece with Goofy himself.
She's getting to that age where she gets embarrassed taking pictures with the characters.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Simple Love Card

During the Operation Write Home Be My Valentine blog hop, I realized that I don't have a lot of Valentine-y sentiments. And, to add incident to injury, my printer was acting up on my this weekend so I couldn't do the digi thing either. Sheesh. Thus, out of desperation, I had to go to my stash for lovey embellishments.
I made this card from papers, ribbon and a metal tag that I've been hoarding for just the right time. I think that our troops and their loved ones deserve the best so it was fun to layer all the treasures together.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. What are you hoarding?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Miss You Cards

I made several Valentine cards this weekend for Operation Write Home. My go-to theme seemed to be "miss you" since I'm sure so many of our troops miss their families. Here are three very different cards made with the same digital sentiment.

Teresa Collins and BoBunny paper, Fiskars border punch, ribbon

Prima flowers, buttons and brads

 Thank you for stopping by my blog today. I'd love to know your go-to sentiment.
More Teresa Collins paper, Primas, brads and an eyelet

Monday, November 15, 2010

We have a Blog Candy Winner

Thank you to everyone who stopped by my blog and left a comment. You are so sweet. However, without further adieu, the random winner of the Valentine stamp set is:

K. Joy from Splashes of Joy and the artist behind K n' K Designs. Check her out, she creates the cutest digital images. I am a sucker for dog images.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Valentines for Veterans

I am excited to be a part of the Operation Write Home Be My Valentine Bloghop. So, you may be asking yourself, "why are those crazy card ladies making Valentine cards in November?" Well, the Christmas deadline has passed so we are working on our next deadline, Valentine's Day, January 7th.

But, we have a special incentive to get them in earlier. Archway cookies is matching the Valentine cards received by our shippers by December 1 with cookies for our troops. Click here for the details. So cool!

Back to the hop. I made a little card to start off my weekend of Valentine's Day card making.
I went a little crazy with the patterned paper but I like how it turned out. I love the blue and black check paper from Teresa Collins. I can pretty much add it to every card I make a be totally happy and justified about it. Hopefully a soldier will love to send it to his wife and she will love to get something homemade from her hubby who is serving far away on Valentine's Day.

Here is another view.

So, do you want some sweets? I'm offering some blog candy today. All you need to do is comment below about anything, the troops, Valentine's Day, whatever. I'll draw a random winner from all those who comment by Monday at 8 p.m (California time) November 22. If you don't have a blog, leave a way for me to track you down.
Thanks for visiting. Please continue along the bloghop by visiting the very talented cardmaker, Patti at What are you Iinking?  And, if you are in the creative mood and love our troops, please make some Valentine's Day cards for OWH

Also, since it is Veteran's weekend,  I wrote a blog post about sending care packages to our troops. Check it out.

Friday, November 5, 2010

How to Send Packages to the Troops

With U.S. Veterans Day just around the corner, I wanted to share with you some tips for sending packages to our troops. Our troops love to receive mail, especially packages from home. When sending treats overseas, some of the rules can be a little tricky. I'm going to try to make it a little easier.
My cousin's Air Force buddies
What to send:
The most important thing we can send our troops is a letter of encouragement. Other than that, they love to receive fun things from home like books, dvds, magazines, snacks, video games, socks, toiletries, puzzle books, and other thoughtful gifts.

Our local library has a wonderful used books sale and I am one of their best customers. :) It's a great way to support our library and our troops.

MREs can be pretty yucky. Some troops love condiment packets like hot sauce to kick it up a notch.

Troops love easy on-the-go bars, candy, packaged cookies, beef jerky, instant items and drink packets.
What not to send to the middle east:
Obscene articles (prints, paintings, cards, films, videotapes, etc).
Any matter depicting nude or seminude persons or nonauthorized political materials.
Bulk quantities of religious materials contrary to the Islamic faith.
Pork or pork by-products
Chocolate (it melts) send hard candies instead

Where to send it:
There are several really great organizations that help you connect with soldiers. Each is organized in a different way so be sure to read their FAQs first. Here are a few reputable organizations:
Books for Soldiers (I've been a volunteer for a few years and love this group)
Any Soldier
Operation Gratitude
Soldier's Angels
How to send it:
The USPS has some great packaging solutions just for our troops and lots of tips on their website. You can pick them boxes and envies at the post office or do what I do and order them for free online and have them dropped off at your home. There are Priority Mail envies for smaller items.
And, my favorite for shipping books and heavy items, the Priority Mail Flat Rate box.
This is an ongoing project for me. I love it! If you have any tips or questions, please share. I'll try and update this post as new info comes in.
Thanks for stopping by :)


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