a pretty cool life.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

gifting: pretty pom pom loaves of pumpkin bread

I think we all know by now that I love making pretty packages.  No holiday's too small for gifting!

So with Thanksgiving this week, here comes another perfect chance to give beautiful gifts to friends, the neighbors, and even as a special take home to accompany turkey leftovers.

I like to bake it directly in disposable mini loaf pans {available here} and then wrap it in wax paper secured with washi tape.

From there I like to doll up the packaging with yarn pom poms.

If you're not familiar with making poms, this is how I do it:

I wrap yarn around a large serving fork about 75 times.  {I usually get distracted by one of my littles, so some are 60...some are 90...the beauty of handmade is that imperfect is all good, right?}

Then I slide a long piece of yarn through the middle tines of the fork.

I then carefully slide the bundle off the fork and tie it tightly.

Gripping the bundle near the knot, I slide my scissors through the loops and cut them all.'

Then I give the pom a little haircut to even it out. :)

I love a good fluffy pom.  Three of them together is even better.

Then wrap your loaf in thick, fluffy yarn and tie a cluster of poms to it.  Slip in a tag with a sweet message! :)

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! gave me the opportunity to try their newly formulated spread, made from real, simple ingredients you can recognize, like a delicious blend of plant-based oils, purified water and a pinch of salt.  I thought I'd put it to the test baking up these loaves of pumpkin bread.  

If you'd like to try it too, here you go!

you'll need {makes 3 of the 6 inch mini loaves I linked to above}:

1.5 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup canned pumpkin {not pie filling!}
.5 cups butter or I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! spread
2 large eggs
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
.5 tsp ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients in bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping down the sides often, until well mixed {but not overmixed...it gets tough!} 

Pour batter into pans. 

Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 

Cool completely before wrapping in paper. 

Happy baking!  Happy pom pom making!  Happy gifting!

ps.  If you try this or another recipe using the new I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!, leave a review here!


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

diy: gumball christmas ornaments

I know lots of people are hardcore about no Christmas before Thanksgiving.

I'm not one of them.

So my first Christmas project of the year...a rainbow of glass ornaments...that my three old informed me look just like gumballs.   

martha stewart crafts paint

They're so easy.  All you need is clear glass ornaments from the craft store and craft paint.  

Then to color each ornament, just unscrew the top and squirt a generous amount of paint inside.  Swirl it around until the entire ornament is colored.

Replace the tops and you're all done!

And if anyone's interested in the colors I used {l to r}:

Martha Stewart poodle skirt
Martha Stewart party streamer
Apple Barrel apricot
Martha Stewart meadowlark
Martha Stewart pea shoot
Martha Stewart blue sky
Apple Barrel Dutch blue
Apple Barrel purple iris

and the Kelly green color that I forgot to include in the picture:

Craft Smart {I think from JoAnn} holiday green


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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

diy: no sew thanksgiving banner

Thanksgiving isn't really a holiday I decorate for.  Usually it's hard enough for me to get rid of pumpkins and spiderwebs from Halloween before it's time to pull out the Christmas lights...no need to complicate things with a bunch of turkey and pilgrim stuff.

But one little decoration never hurt anyone, so here we are.  A simple, no-sew banner for Thanksgiving.  

You'll need:

about a quarter yard of neutral background fabric
a small bit of felt
tacky glue
straw or dowel
sharp scissors
tassels and trims

Start by cutting out your phrase from the felt.  I printed mine from the computer in size 200 font first for reference.

Ever since I started with the tassel making I've felt the need to TASSEL ALL THE THINGS.

Trim your fabric into a banner shape and glue the ends over to give it a finished edge.  If you're not me and your craft room isn't so messy you can barely see your sewing machine, you could just hem the whole thing.  But my craft room is one phone call away from Hoarders, so I glued.

Glue the felt letters to the banner.

Slide the twine through the straw.  

Place it at the top of the banner and fold the fabric over, making a pocket for it to hang.

Secure the pocket with glue.

Then deck out your banner with plenty of trims and tassels and hang it up.  Happy Thanksgiving!!


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