Dec, 13

8th Annual Cookie Swap


Another wonderful Cookie Swap wrapped up today.  I’m so thankful for all of the wonderful ladies in my life that make this event happen each year.  We had a solid 12 participants this year, can you believe it?!  Since there were so many, we decided to make a 1/2 dozen for each person, rather than a full dozen.  That seemed to work out nicely.  My mom was so sweet and surprised me with a cookie recipe book for my hostess gift.  I’ve already started browsing through the pages in search of next years recipe.  I can’t wait!



Now I’m going to go and eat one of every cookie, so if you’ll excuse me… haha!

Nov, 12

{diy} magical garland

I’ve been wanting to make one of these for a while and I’m so happy that I did.  Not only is it super easy to make this magical garland, but it’s incredibly inexpensive, too.  All I did was buy a string of lights for $2.88 (LED lights work best) and used scrap fabric that I had lying around, that’s it!  It took an evening to make this, so I pre-cut a bundle of three different fabrics, ranging from white to cream – very subtle.  I chose to cut my strips 1.5″W x 6″L, but you can make them longer if you’d like.  I think any shorter may be difficult to tie, unless you cut them thinner.  Say .5″ or 1″ wide. 

Then, I sat down with a few per-recorded shows and got to tying. No double knots, just a simple single knot and that’s it! 

Every string of lights may be slightly different, but to give you an idea of how many strips to cut, I tied about 4-6 strips between each light.  So, count how many spaces are between each bulb and multiply by 5.  I used approximately 500 strips on my 22 ft. strand (with 100 spaces between the bulbs).  I had a few extra strips, so I went ahead and tied them down the little tail that leads to the plug.  I stopped a few inches short of the actual plug, because it makes me nervous to have fabric so close to the outlet.  Also, as with all lights, I highly recommend that you don’t leave these plugged in unattended, just in case. 

It’s so easy and you can make it while watching a movie or two!  I hope you get around to making one of these this year, because if you’re like me and occasionally enjoy a mindless project, while still feeling like you’ve accomplished something, this is for you.  It would also make a really fun and inexpensive gift.  Happy making!

Nov, 12

Free Shipping + Free Gift Wrapping

Holiday shopping is in full swing and to help out, I’m now offering free shipping + free gift wrapping in my Etsy shop (only), now through Dec. 1st.  Use promo code: freeship to receive this discount.

Nov, 11

Cookie Swap 2011

Welp, it’s that time of year again… that’s right, Cookie Swap time!  A group of us have been doing this cookie swapping for the past 6 years now and it such a wonderful time.  For the most part, it’s been the same group of ladies, but we have had a few drop out and a few join, but on average, we have about 12 to 15 ladies each year.  We have so much fun baking and exchanging.  Everyone does it slightly different, but the main idea remains the same: each person leaves with a variety of cookies!  We have altered it slightly throughout the years, but here’s how we do it…

After we get the RSVP total, we let each participant know how many people will be attending (including themselves) and that’s how many dozen each person bakes of their recipe of choice.  So, for example, if we have 15 participants total, then each person will bake 15 dozen cookies.  By the end, each person will leave with one dozen of each cookie to take home and share with family and friends.  It’s great, because you leave with a variety and you didn’t have to buy all of the different ingredients and bake a variety by yourself.

We used to have each person RSVP with the recipe they wanted to make, so we would be sure that no one made the same kind of cookie.  We changed that last year and decided that no two recipes taste exactly alike, so sometimes we overlap, and that okay!  I love to see what everyone comes up with, because this is a creative bunch.  This year we are venturing into cupcakes and candy too, so it should be fun.

My favorite part of the Cookie Swap is when we all gather and exchange our goodies over some snacks, hot drinks and lots of laughter.  I can’t wait!  I think this year my mom and I are going to make chili and a brie dip.  Then we will have tea, cider and hot coco…nom nom.

We will indeed miss my grandma this year, as she has been a part of it every year.  She will remain in our hearts and we will always remember what a blessing it was to have shared those special moments with her.

I’ll be sure to post about the swap in early December.  Our Swap is on Saturday December 3rd… so we have a bit of time.  How about you, have you ever done a Cookie Swap?  If so, share what you do differently, if anything.  ♥ RobbieLee

Dec, 10

5th annual cookie swap

So this years 5th Annual Cookie Swap was a success!  We had 14 ladies bake their hearts out to share with each other.  There were so many different recipes and flavors, it was unreal, and delicious.  Ron and I had them all gone in a week and a half.  Yum yum.

So, I tried this Weight Watchers Pumpkin Chocolate chip recipe that I found on Two Blonde’s Walk Into a Gym, and although they were ugly, they tasted so yummy.  I wasn’t sure how this recipe was going to pan out, but it blew me and my guests away how moist and flavorful they were!  Go Weight Watchers, woohoo!  Not only was this the easiest (by far) cookie recipe that I’ve ever made, but is also probably the healthiest… he hee hee.  Below are step-by-step instructions on how to make these scrumptious little cookies, so enjoy.

Above Images: 1. The ingredients that you see here is all you need, seriously!  No eggs, no milk.  I made 14 dozen cookies, so I needed more than one batch.  One batch makes approx. 48 cookies.  You will need 1 box Spice Cake Mix, 15 oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix, just straight pumpkin), and 1 cup chocolate chips.  that’s it! 2-4. Mix the ingredients one by one into a small bowl. 5. Scoop mix by the tablespoon onto a non-stick cookie sheet and bake at 350° for 12-14 min.  Let cool foe a few minutes on pan then transfer to cooling rack. 6. Enjoy!

Visit Two Blonde’s Walk Into A Gym for the nutritional values.

What was a bigger hit than the cookies you ask?  Well, that would be my cat Brutus James.  He should have had a red carpet at this event because all of the ladies were swooning over him.  They all asked for photos with him!  He loves the ladies and all of the attention that comes with them.  He was such a hit, even my pal Jessica (top) loved him and she’s not a big fan of animals.  He worked his charm, that’s for sure.  My mom and cousin are in the middle photos and that’s my mom and sis in the bottom ones.  So cute!

Here is a photo of this years ladies!  Can’t wait until next year!

Funny thing, my friend Ben invited me to his cookie swap too, so I participated in two lovely swaps this year!  Crazy, I know, but this one only had us baking 8 dozen…heeheehee.  Oh, that’s my hubby Ron, trying to take the credit for baking all of these goodies.  Don’t be fooled by his charm though. 🙂

Night all!
ox RobbieLee

Dec, 09

It’s a wrap…

Each year for the Holidays many of us scurry out to buy gifts and wrapping paper to hide them in without ever thinking of where that paper goes after we rip into them.  Well, this year is a great time to change that.  This is just another area of our lives that can be “greener” and it’s super easy to make that change!  If you have wrapping paper or tissue paper from last year, use that before you buy more.  If you have to buy wrapping paper, make sure that it’s made from recycled content.  This way you can recycle it again.  Avoid buying metallic or foil wrapping paper because that cannot be recycled.

After you rip into the gifts on Christmas morning, be sure not to wad the wrapping into a ball, lay it flat to keep it in tact and use it for some of the following:
1.  To wrap gifts next year or depending on the design, you can wrap gifts all year around
2.  Cut paper into 6 inch squares for origami {
3.  Cut into small pieces and place by the phone to write messages or shopping lists on the white side

Also, save all of those greeting cards and bows too and either recycle them in your bin, or be creative and reuse them for next year!  You can also wrap gifts in other ways to be more green and creative.  For example, if your buying tools for someone, wrap them in a toolbox.  Or, use fabric scraps and ribbon to wrap a gift for that crafter in your life.  The possibilities are endless.  Visit this site for these and other great ways to wrap gifts this year!

There are many other ideas on how to reuse wrapping paper and greeting cards out there, so Google away!  In the meantime, check out these sites to get you started on the right path to a “greener” life!
www.inhabitots.com – Recycle and Reuse Your Wrapping Paper
2. www.ocrra.org – Holiday Recycling (Green gift ideas and green gift wrap ideas too!)
3.  www.socyberty.com – 10 Ways to Recycle Christmas Wrapping Paper