Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cherry Cheesecake Dip **An Easy Potluck Dessert**


My daughters school throws the teachers a holiday luncheon each year, we have food catered in, bring in appetizers, drinks and desserts, help substitute in their rooms and allow the teachers an hour and a half of holiday fun and relaxation (while they are on the clock and not having to come back to school on their own time to "celebrate") 

I am attempting to plan not one...not two....not even 3 parties but FOUR parties right now....that are all happening within the next 6 days and this doesn't even include the 5 day straight holiday gauntlet immediatly following my final party next wednesday. 

so point being. my time is stretched right now.

And that is why my Cherry Cheesecake Dip is the perfect quick pot luck dip!

This is all you need!!!

This was enough to make 2 8x8 pans (one to take, one to eat!) or one 8x12pan.

First crush one sleeve of the crackers and distribute them evenly between the two pans, smooth them out but do not pack them down. 

In a bowl, mix together a block of softened cream cheese (to soften, stick in the microwave for 15 seconds, stir, 15 seconds....or just leave it on the counter for a couple hours) and the jar of marshmallow fluff...mix well.

Add in the cool whip one tub at a time, make sure you are mixing the ingredients very well (using a spoon or spatula...not a beater) 

Evenly divide the mixture between the two pans and using a clean spoon or frosting knife gently smooth the mixture to the outer corners of the dish (you will want to work from the outside in and make sure you are moving large amounts, the crumbs are not stuck to the bottom of the pan so you will need to work gently or you will end up mixing the crumbs in to your cheesecake dip.

Lastly, top each section with a can of cherry pie filling!

Doesn't that look good!?! to serve, break up the remaining 2 sleeves of graham crackers and enjoy!

This takes about 7 minutes to make, and keeps well in the fridge for up to 2 days prior to an event. it tastes great right out of the fridge or served at room temperature during a party.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Candy Cane Lane

When I was growing up, I lived in a small suburb of Dallas that was big on "family stuff" (I now live in a bigger suburb of Dallas that is even bigger on "family stuff"......much bigger lol) so around the holidays all of the neatly arranged subdivisions liked to give themselves themes by which the entire neighborhood would decorate the outside of their houses. 

One neighborhood had large victorian carolers cut out of wood with lyrics to the 12 days of Christmas that spread across the whole block....another had the entire Frosty the Snowman story played out in charcters and music through the street. And for the better part of my younger years the owner of the craft store Michaels lived in my little suburb and would decorate his house big time...with lighted displays that moved, giant snow would literally line up and wait for HOURS to get to his house.

So anytime a new subdivision sprung up in our growing town we would all wonder "what are they going to do for Christmas??" (you can only imagine the horrid ridicule you got if you weren't on a theme street....or even worse, if you didn't decorate at all **BLASPHAMY!**

ANYWAYS so my street was called Candy Cane Lane, it was 4 streets with about 35 houses that were all strung together with large candy canes that lined their yards. They would all be up from the weekend after Thanksgiving to the weekend after new years. every single house. every single year. its just the way it was. If you moved out of your house, you left your candy canes...if you built a new house in the subdivision, you would get a christmas treat of a bundle of candy canes (most of the men in the neighborhood HATED these things...because well they were kinda a pain to put up) 

But for me, its just not christmas without Candy even though I didn't have a neighbor to attach my canes to, I insisted to my delightful man that we make Candy Canes...and make them we did!

We bought a bundle of 1inch PVC from Lowes (it was less than $6 for the bundle of 5 15ft pipes) you will also need 1 inch plastic "pipe caps" (these are $.50 each in the plumbing section) and some 1 inch red electrical tape (1 role is enough for about 2 dozen canes)

Unless you are super skilled (which I am not) you might want to enlist your man...or dad....or neighbor to help you cut the pipes, you will need to cut them at about 4 ft tall, the top end will be a flat cut with a 1 inch deep slit cut vertically in to the top for the light string to pass through and the bottom will be cut at an angle to make a sharp point to stick it in the ground.

After you have them cut, you will need to sand off any writing on the pipes then wipe any sanding dust off.. then you will start striping your canes! This is easiset to do with a second set of hands, one of you will spin the pole, the other will glide the tape down in stripes, they won't be perfect but you can gauge with your eye how to space out the striping. 

Once they are all finished they will look something like this! now you can take them out to your yard and stick them in the ground, we measure ours by using a cane as a marker, so you will put your first cane in the ground, take a second cane and lay it flat to mark distance and stick your third cane at the end of that one....make sense? its just a way to ensure that you have an even length between the canes (you could always just eye ball it, or use a tape measure) 

lastly, take some string lights and string them through the slits in the canes, and place your caps on top, you will want some slack between each one so the lights swag down.

And your final product should look something like this! and ya...note my neighbors decorations....rope lights in the window that say "Ditto" with an arrow pointing to our house :) 

Next year we are going to make another dozen and line the driveway, but the 12 that we made this time is just enough for the front of our house. 

Merry Christmas from Candy Cane Lane :) 

Friday, December 2, 2011

No Sew Ruffle Tree Skirt! **Well Isn't That PINTREST-ing**

So this is going to be the start to a new segment that I am going to do called **Well Isn't That PINTEREST-ing!** which is baisicailly going to be a show off of things that I did from Pinterest. 


Follow me on Pinterest


once I get more footing underneath me with this blog, I'll eventually set up a linky party to go along with the "Well Isn't That PINTEREST-ing" topic. 

So like many of you, I am a full on, 100%, out of the closet Pinterest addict............I spend hours on that site...daily. if you haven't found it yet, you need to get on there! even if your not crafty...or you don't cook....just the amount of ridiculously funny or inspiring things you can find on there is worth the time spent on the site alone!

My first project that I am going to post goes along with my December theme of 


because I like Christmas..............a lot.

So I am going to show you my new "no sew ruffle tree skirt" there are tons floating around pinterest as this really is a project that almost anyone can do. simply search "ruffle tree skirt" and you will easily find 50+ diff tree skirts in return! 

the original how to link was posted on  by Miss Mustardseed this link will tell you the basics that you need to know to get it done.

for my skirt, I used twin sized black flat sheet from walmart ($4 mainstays brand) and folded it in to a 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 square, then you make a triangle, cut a rounded part off the bottom and cut the point off the top to make your tree hole and then you cut a slit down one of the sides for the skirt opening.

Don't be scared....its going to look REALLY big at first, but once its on your tree, you will understand why it needed to be so big.

I picked 3 different colors of fabric, a striped lime green, muslin white and a shimmery silver. I got 2 yards of each fabric and cut 4 inch length wise strips (long strips that are 4inches wide) then I literally ruffled and hot glued for about 4 hours until I had a beautiful hand made custom one of a kind tree skirt :)

obviously, your first ruffle will be the largest, I would pick your favorite color (if you are doing more than one color) because this will be the one you see the most...I love that even kinda up close, you can't tell that it was hot glue! 

When you add your second ruffle, you want to make sure that its far enough down to kinda overlap the first ruffle. so there is about a 2 inch gap between where I am gluing and where the top of the first ruffle is (4 inches of fabric....1 inch is glued, 2 inches over hang the black skirt, 1 inch overlapping the 1st ruffle)

And there is my finished product!!!!! like I said, it takes a while...and you will burn the bajesus out of your fingers at least 10 times. You'll come up with some very creative christmas inspired swear words too!

I chose not to add more ruffles to the base of the skirt because I have a black tree and blends in...however,  I had enough fabric to finish the skirt all the way if I wanted to. (alright truth be told, it was like 2 am and I had burned off my finger prints so I said "good enough!" and called it quits lol)

And remember how I said not to panic over how huge it is? ya, I am SO glad I didn't try to make it smaller like I had originally wanted to, once I get presents under the tree, I will have just enough of my skirt sticking out :) 

So there ya go! Wasn't that PINTEREST-ing? :)

Have you made a ruffle skirt? I would love to do a compilation of all the ruffle skirts out there! leave me a comment or send me a message with a link to a pic of your ruffle skirt! 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

 If it were up to me, I would start decorating for Christmas on Halloween night...........truth be told I've had my tree up since October 1st, but that's a whole different story which includes lime green spray painted dollar tree skeletons and my neighbors assuming I'm crazy. 

So as soon as the man of the house gave us the ok, we all went straight to work on bringing in our sparkly spirit! 

Samantha was able to help with most of the decorating this year, and I found some plastic icicles and star-burst that Skylar could hang without me fearing that she would Hulk-Smash every breakable thing she touches.....sometimes she gets REALLY excited....and likes to REALLY love on things....until they break.....

Please excuse my HORRID pictures....remember how I said Skylar likes to "love" things....well she loved my camera....a much so that it broke. I'm hoping I have been good enough this year for Santa to sneak a new camera in to my stocking, but until then we are stuck using pictures from my busted up phone (not busted because she loved it too much...busted because it loved the ground too much that it felt like jumping out of my pocket and giving the ground a very intense hug...........................need I add that I had only had the phone for 8 days when this happened....and the extra cute zebra print case that I special ordered on line came in exactly 2 days AFTER it was smashed to bits.................ya, I have terrible luck with electronics)


Don't you just lurrrrve my pretty tree :) I know I do! and yes, that is one of those pinterest famous no sew ruffle skirts (its not nearly as easy as you want it to be...but def not too difficult for a beginner) 

 We have done the Black, lime green and silver theme for 2 years now, and tree is black....and I love every prickly little inch of it. My tree topper is actually 2 toppers smashed together, and the ugly base of it is covered by my daughters $3 princess tiara. because my tree is fabulous. and it deserves a crown. don't argue this point. 

Most of my ornaments are lob....etc. my style changes (this is prob my 4th or 5th color scheme in the 11 years that I've lived on my own) so over time I have learned to not spend too much on ornaments and just go for quantity over quality.

 I love having a mantle this year...last year we were in an apartment at Christmas mantle....our stockings were hung from our bar with care.................................ya not too merry lol.

This is just 3 $2 9 foot garlands from walmart overlapped in to each other to and a string of the frosted white lights. I also bought some silver deco mesh (6 inch...unwired) and fluffed it up in the garland to add some color. The silver snowflakes were from target as well as the silver stockings....don't you love my "JOY" sign....thank you very much Target Dollar Spot :) (I got it last year,  but I saw some of these up there last week....get them now...they go fast cause they are cute and cheeeeep!) 

Having my Christmas decor up has made me SO happy...I have spent the last few nights just enjoying that need for TV or noise, just sitting by the fire place and loving my decorations. Its my style. It didn't break my budget. and I love it. 

Thats what Christmas decorations are about...make it about you...and your style. If your family is country chic....why on earth are you busting out elaborate gold and cranberry decorations? Grab some burlap, cinnamon sticks and red yarn and bring your style in to Christmas...If you have 3 kids under the age of 5, maybe you just put lights on the tree and let them decorate it with the 5000 homemade "ornaments" that they are going to bring home between now and the 25th....point being....don't let the whole "keeping up with the joneses" thing make decorating for Christmas a stressful thing. 

and give your tree a deserves it :) 

Merry Christmas y'all!