Homemade Eggnog

Homemade Eggnog

Growing up, my mom always made eggnog around Christmas time. As kids, I remember going into the fridge to grab a snack, and then getting really excited when I saw the gallon jugs of milk replaced with gallons of homemade eggnog (non-alcoholic, of course).

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DIY Cereal Box Gift Tags

DIY Cereal Box Gift Tags

With Christmas right around the corner, there are a million things to do in the way of decorating, list making, gift buying and travel planning. It can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve resolved to have a handmade holiday.  Because DIY projects can be a bit of an investment and a little more work, I like to focus on ones that will serve me year round (while staying season-appropriate).  It’s easy to get lost in the idea of “doing it yourself” in order to save money and vent some of that creative energy, but the “saving money” part can get tossed out the window fast if a lot of your projects are only useful once or twice a year.  On that note, I’d like to introduce Cereal Box Gift Tags!

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Easy DIY Wrapped Ball Ornament

I’m not one for flashy Christmas decor. It’s a little ironic because when the giant inflatable snow globes and Santas start to pop up all over the neighborhood, I love it!   As Christmas nears, I love driving around with Dave while listening to Christmas music and trying to find the houses with the most outrageous lights and props displays.  All of this ends the minute I enter my own house.  The craziest Christmas decorating I do is probably putting up a tree with colored twinkle lights.  Out of control, right?  Well that’s why I’ve decided to put a little more effort into my decorating this year.  I wanted decorations that were totally Christmas-worthy but could also be used year-round.

These ball ornaments are incredibly cheap and easy to make.  All you need are some styrofoam balls, an old catalog (or newspaper, or fabric), a hot glue gun and some string.  In the tutorial below, I’ll walk you through how I made one out of the pages of a catalog!

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge

When I made the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles last week, my taste-testers (i.e. family and friends) ate them up in no time. I took that as a good sign, so I’m at it again with the no-bake no-egg cookie dough creations. This time in the form of fudge!

Just like the truffles, this recipe comes from The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook, by Lindsay Landis. I originally borrowed this cookbook from a friend, but after making two delicious and indulgent treats I think I may be ordering it for myself. I hope my taste-testers are OK with trying out a few more cookie dough recipes!

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Our Open “Haus” Menu

I recently shared a few creative and simple entertaining ideas inspired by my brother and sister-in-law at their open house for FreshGround Roasting. As that event was being planned I thought, “Why not make this a weekend event and host an open house at our place the next day?”

OK, I’ll admit it was quite busy cooking, cleaning and setting up for two consecutive open houses. But it was totally worth it! We had a great time on Saturday with FreshGround. Then on Sunday, my husband and I invited friends, family and neighbors to our open “Haus” (our play on words since our last name is Hauser).

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Knife Block Redo

I haven’t had much time lately to tackle the big DIY projects at my house. I have furniture, pallets, burlap, paint and all kinds of other goodies in our garage just waiting to become some wonderful DIY creation. I keep reminding my hubby that I DO have a plan for that pallet and those scraps of wood – and that huge old junky looking window I convinced him I needed.

I’ve finally accepted the fact that I just don’t have time for those big projects right now. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still keeping all those amazing supplies. I just have to be more realistic with my DIY projects at the moment. So this week, instead of stressing about finishing of my big furniture projects, I decided to check some smaller, more realistic projects off the list.

After initially seeing this idea on Pinterest and a host of other blogs, I decided to redo my knife block. It’s one of those boring wood knife blocks that wasn’t really much to look at. I wanted that functional block to become a fun pop of color my kitchen desperately needed.

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Creative & Simple Entertaining Ideas

Last Saturday, Tiffany and I hung out with my brother and sister-in-law at their open house for FreshGround Roasting. We had a blast preparing appetizers, decorating and learning about coffee. One of the things that I loved was how my sister-in-law, Krista, set out the food. We had hearty appetizers, local cheeses, amazing cupcakes from The Sugar Path and fresh fruits and veggies. Krista used vintage and household items to make the spread look as good as it tasted.

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Vote for our DIY Holiday Wreath over at BuzzFeed Shift & Enter Our Wreath Contest to Win a $50 Michaels Gift Card!

About a month ago we were asked to create a fresh DIY wreath tutorial for a Holiday Wreath post on BuzzFeed Shift.  We were SO excited and got right on it!  We tossed around a few ideas before we landed on the “Minimalist White Wreath” made out of paper plates, old t-shirts, tape and rubber bands.

We love this wreath for 3 reasons: 1.) It’s CHEAP! The only thing we needed to buy was a pack of heavy duty paper plates, which we usually have on hand anyway.  2.) It’s VERSATILE!  You can use any t-shirt color(s) you want and you can even add your own flare by pinning on other embellishments like paper flowers, string bows, etc.. sky’s the limit! 3.)  It’s QUICK. Including the time it takes to gather your materials, you can have this wreath hanging on the wall within an hour.  Does an adorable homemade piece of decor get any easier??

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Chicago Trip & Guest-ifying Your Home

I’m so excited to be in Chicago visiting Sarah and her hubby for the first time since we started the blog!  We’re looking forward to doing lots of blog-worthy activities on this little weekend trip.  Today we’ve got an open house for FreshGround Roasting, tonight we’ll be eating at Maya Del Sol (their favorite restaurant), tomorrow we’ve got an open house here at Sarah’s, and in between we’ll be doing lots of exploring and picture taking!

I wanted to do this quick post because when we got in last night and Sarah showed us to our guest room, I squealed with delight when I saw the “guest table”.  The guest table was a little refinished dresser stocked with a bottle of water, 2 glasses and a basket of essentials.  Sarah said she got the idea from a recent trip to our house, where I had bottled water and some snacks on the nightstand in their room.  I got the idea from an article I read about how to make guests feel more at home.

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Chocolate Chip Apple Muffins

Two consecutive muffin posts!  We clearly can’t get enough muffins around here.  Today’s recipe was sort of thrown together for the purpose of using up leftover applesauce.  The results were above and beyond my expectations!  When we got back from the orchards a few weeks ago, I went a little applesauce crazy and ended up with 2 large containers stashed in the fridge.  I figured I’d have some for breakfast or a snack every day, but honestly I’m not enough of a straight applesauce lover to tolerate it constantly.  It was wonderful for the first few days though!

Anyway, if you’re going to have too much of something, you’re lucky if it’s applesauce.  There’s so much you can do with the stuff!  I was brainstorming and browsing for ideas when I happened upon an apple strudel muffin recipe that looked delicious.  It called for chopped apples instead of applesauce, but I decided to improvise.  The strudel part was nixed when I added chocolate chips as the primary sweetener.  I couldn’t get the image of a big juicy milk chocolate covered apple out of my head, courtesy of the e-mails I’ve been getting from Amy’s Gourmet Apples.

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