Congratulations Cheryl R!! We are so excited to award you this basket and THANK you so much for your support and kind comments. We will be in contact with you about how you would like your truffles and where we can deliver your basket 😀
Thank you all for participating in our giveaway! We didn’t think it was possible but this one was even more fun than the last one. Your support means the world to the two of us and we are so grateful!
See you next year for our next holiday giveaway! MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!!
We have finally made it to the end! The giveaway will be over effectively in 7 hours! Make sure and get as many entries in as you can. Thank you so much to everybody who has entered already! We have had a lot of fun stepping out of the box with this years basket by making a lot of joyful and bright things (ha! pun intended 😉 ). Having so many people entering our giveaway has been balm to our nervous souls (Chrissy more than Ginny ) THANK YOU, thank you. It is hard to let go of something you work hard on and love, but the knowledge that it is going to one of our amazing followers AND A FRIEND makes it all worth it… plus!
Made almost entirely of an enormous granny square, this shrug is going to make a wonderful addition to you Christmas attire. I love the colors that we picked for this. The red and white together will brighten any room.
On chilly nights, curl up on the couch with your shrug to keep warm. Seriously, this thing is like a cozy blanket that you wear like a cardigan. I don’t know about you…but I love to be comfy and cozy!!
Enter to win this shrug by clicking here. Better hurry…We announce our winner TOMORROW!! Can’t wait to see who gets to take these amazing items home.
On an informant trip to the North Pole, I decided that I would join my boys on the Naughty List and swiped this apron right off the ample bosom of Mrs. Clause. She has graciously dropped all charges on the condition that I give it (and all of its cookie making magic) away this Christmas.
This flirty apron could possibly be the reason that the Kringles have been able to keep the spark in their marriage for several centuries. It comes with plenty of sassy ruffles, fun prints, a cute corresponding poinsettia accent and even glitter! There are extra long tie strings to create the perfect big bow and accentuate the backside view…because this baby is definitely a head turner!
Its joyful…its definitely bright… it could be yours!
It’s so great on those chilly winter days and sip on a steaming cup of chocolate…let’s face it life is better with a little bit of chocolate in it.
This delectable holiday drink mix is sure to please any children in your life…including the big ones. 😉 Mom used to mix up a big batch of this yummy hot chocolate mix every winter when we were little. I remember coming in from playing in the snow and having a cup of this sweet, delicious treat.
I added an extra special touch to give it a pepperminty taste. What’s a cup of hot chocolate without a candy cane? We will include 2 pint jars of this mix in this year’s basket.
This years basket is going to have around a dozen of these decadent little bombs of naughty! Kahlua infused, creamy white chocolate, wrapped in a shell of milk chocolate, and topped with an attention-getting dark chocolate hat. There is one tiny coffee bean hiding inside and the search for it is most pleasurable… most pleasurable indeed.
However, I will be customizing these for the winner. We can leave out the Kahlua, or swap it with Baileys. You can even leave out the coffee bean. There is no way that these babies could ever possibly be not awesome.
The second item in the Joyful and Bright Giveaway Basket is this one of a kind diffuser bracelet. It is a very bright and eye catching piece of jewelry with white polymer clay beads hand rolled by tiny elves and ready for any of your essential oil and aromatherapy needs. The functionality has been spruced up with some intriguing, brilliant coral beads and is a versatile coil shape guaranteed to fit any body and has a substantial comforting weight. 😉
This wonderful adornment is a treat for both the nose and the eyes and can be yours this Christmas! Sign up by following the Rafflecopter links here, the Joyful and Bright image at the top of the side bar, or at the bottom of the site. Good luck!
It’s that time of year again!! No. Not the crazy time that we go start spending all of our money and pulling our hair out because our kids are driving us crazy with all the “wants, wants, wants”…It’s time for us sisters to do a super fun giveaway of some of the things we enjoy the most. This is a time for us to give back to our loyal followers and say thank you for the support that you’ve given us the past couple of years.
This Christmas we have a whole new line up with some super fun new ideas that we’ve both been dying to try. I think you’ll be impressed…I also think that I may just have to keep the basket for myself. Just joking! I wouldn’t do that to you.
First up this week is the essential oils we’ll be giving away…
This time around, we’re giving away not one, but TWO bottles of essential oil. WOOOHOOO!!!
From the same family as cinnamon, cassia has a spicy aroma that is sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Cassia helps to support healthy immune function and when diffused can help any room feel warm and uplifting. Add this oil to a bit of orange essential oil and you have yourself a spicy sweet holiday blend that is sure to please your Yuletide company.
Who doesn’t love the smell of fir trees this time of year?? Smelling this essential oil makes me feel like I’m standing right next to a Christmas tree. This oil is derived from the needles of the white fir tree and is known for its soothing and comforting properties. When diffused, white fir can promote feelings of stability, energy, and empowerment.
These oils together are just shy of $50 retail so this is really an awesome addition to this years basket. I haven’t tried a blend of these two oils together yet, BUT I bet it would be magical…MMMM!!
Please shoot us and email or message us on Facebook with any of your essential oils questions and/or inquiries. We love to talk shop about our oils and what they do for us and our families.
After an overwhelming response to our giveaway last year we decided to go digital and use a Rafflecopter counter. What this does is shows you all the options you have to earn entries, then keeps track of them for you AND us. In the end the Rafflecopter system will enter your name into a giant cyber-fishbowl and pick one at random giving us the winner of the Joyful and Bright basket! The more entries you have the higher chance you have to win!
READY?! SET?!? GOOOOO…. By clicking here , by clicking the Joyful and Bright giveaway image at the top of our sidebar, or by checking out the Rafflecopter box at the bottom of our site.
When you start blogging one of the biggest fears you can have is that your posts will be terrible…and even worse people will try to make what you posted about. This is one of those posts. If your wanting to hear about how I regressed from a mediocre sewer to a horrible one… by all means read on.
Having made 3 pairs of these pants now, I can officially say that they have got to be the hardest things to execute and not be embarrassed of. Every year I make flannel PJ’s for our entire family for Christmas and I have gotten pretty good at them whipping out. I decided to really go all out for the basket and “design” a luxurious pair of pants that somebody would want to be buried in they were so comfortable. This consisted of an adorable outer flannel print, a super soft knit lining and satin trimmings. The first pair where for me and meant to be a practice so that I could work out the bugs in my idea. The second pair were actually for last years basket. They ended up being a little short for Lisa. This current pair was to be a Christmas present for my dear friend Leslie… LAST YEAR! Since I am so late getting them to her I really wanted these to be perfect for her…she really is the sweetest person I know.
I’m going to line out here the steps I took in making these pants, but if I hear of anybody making them you’re going to hear from me. Just don’t do it…for your sanity. If anything learn from my mistakes and if your wanting pants like these seek the help of a professional.
*sigh…* here we go.
Your going to need about 3 yards of flannel. I have tried to cut corners here and get as close to the required amount but just get more than you need and save yourself some hassle. Get the same in soft knit fabric (the devils fabric is what I call it) and about a half a yard of satin.
Find your self a pair of pajama pants that are roomy and not stretchy. This is going to be your pattern. (JUST BUY A DAMN PATTERN!!). If you plan on going cheap like I did (still do) you’re going to be sorry, but here’s how you use pajama pants as a pattern. Fold your flannel in half. Fold the pajamas in half, pulling the crotch out so that it makes a point. The long straight edge of the legs needs to go on the folded edge of the flannel, leaving about a inch of the fabric for a seam allowance. Cut out around the pajamas, once again leaving about an inch for a decent seam allowance. If this is confusing just make sure that the flannel is an inch larger than the pajama pants all the way around. When you have it all cut out, use the newly cut flannel as the pattern to cut out another piece the exact same size.
Do the same with the knit only this time use the pajama pants and don’t leave the extra inch for seam allowance. The knit is so stretchy and its so hard to sew it is impossible to make it work…so make them on the small side… heavily. Its stretchy, so the worse thing that could happen is that you have a pair of leggings lining the inside of your flannel PJ’s.
Since knit is such a pain to sew (for a novice like me) I sew the lining first to just be done with it. When sewing knit use a zig-zag stitch so that it retains its stretchy-ness. No matter what I did it always looked like crap…so good luck. Take the two pieces of knit that you have, face to face and pin down both curved sides at the top. Pin a lot-a lot. The fabric will move on you if you don’t. Put a seam in both sides. Fold this in half so that the seams meet in the middle. Pin up the inseam of both legs and sew the seam. You now have knit pants. Keep them inside out.
Go back to your flannel, but before you sew them into pants you will need to put in the satin piping. Keeping both sides together and even, cut about 6-8″ off of the bottom of both sides. Doing this will make sure that your accents are even. Measure two strips of satin that are 2 inches wide and about an 2-3 inches longer than the width of the pant legs you just cut the bottom off of. Fold and pin the satin in half with the shiny side out and sew into a pipe, leaving the rough edges open. Take one top, and one 6-8″ piece from the bottom and sandwich a piece of piping in between the two. Sew all three pieces together using the same seam allowance for each leg, then iron the seams flat. You should have two pieces that are EXACTLY the same.
Now make the pants. Sew the curved sides on the top, fold in half with the seams meeting in the middle. Then sew up the legs. I always pin the piping together first to make sure they line up and let the rest of the “chips” fall where they may… more often than not it means there is some kind of bunching in the crotch…see I told you not to make these pants.
Tuck the lining into the flannel, still inside out so that when the pants are all done the unfinished edges are together and out of sight. Turn them both inside out so the knit is facing out. Trim up the bottom of the legs so that they are even, pin it together making sure the seams line up…mine never did. Put your first seam into the cuff, then roll up a little bit (1/3 to 1/2″), pin and sew. Do it one more time to hide your rough edge. Do the other side.
Soup also hates when I make these pants
I’m not really sure why I didn’t hem up the legs last, so I could trim up any “extra” but I saved that for a much bigger problem, the waist. In all three sets of these pajamas I really struggled to finish the waist band and frankly… they all look absolutely horrible… not fixable. The first set (mine) I used a long piece of satin as a draw string. My pants are very rarely not exposing my bum. The second two had elastic waist bands with a bow accent (purely cosmetic) and I hope they are staying up.
These pants ARE very comfortable and they ARE super cute. However, they are heavy. The legs are so wide that my big toe catches in them which ultimately causes me to turf it in front of my kids repeatedly. They also have to be run through the dryer twice because they are so thick that they rarely dry fully with one cycle. Don’t make these pants.
Last year as part of our Cozy Christmas basket we gave away some really delicious marshmallows and today I’m going to post the link for the recipe I used and also reveal my process and hopefully give some helpful tips. Like most of the recipes that I find on Pinterest I like to tweak them to suit my needs… I’m selfish like that. To start, these babies need to cure for over 12 hours. Don’t wait until the day of to start them if you want them in time.
I have had quite a few people ask me about making marshmallows and are quite flabbergasted to hear that they are fairly easy and straight forward. At least this recipe is…there are quite a few marshmallow recipes that are straight up cray cray. The amount of dirty dishes alone is enough to just let it go and go spend $1 at the store for a whole bag. This recipe is super easy.
For the Marshmallows in the basket I used a Sam Adams Irish stout, but you can use any type of beer. The darkest and bitterest beers are going to give your mallows more flavor. In any case you’re going to really have to be paying attention to pick up the beer flavor. So go out there are find something really harsh if you want a BEER marshmallow. I also used dark chocolate where the original recipe calls for milk chocolate. The dark chocolate is really good but it tones down the beer so… once again if you want a BEER marshmallow, use milk chocolate ;).
Everything in my life revolves around my stand mixer and I really wouldn’t suggest making these marshmallows without one. Just trust me here. So first I put the gelatin in the bottom of my mixer bowl and pour the beer and vanilla for the bloom on top. With the whisk attachment in place I mix it up until there are no lumps.
While that is mixing I start the syrup. The original recipe calls for a four quart sauce pan because the syrup supposedly “foams up to the top”. I still use a larger sauce pan but I have yet to really see a lot of foam… maybe its the elevation? I don’t know and don’t really care… I’m not a scientist. Anyhoo… if you don’t foam up don’t stress. If you do and you live up high let me know, I’m probably doing something wrong. My mallows still turn out though.
Just before your candy hits the hard ball stage (250 degrees) get your mixer going again, keep it slower, like around speed 5 or 6. The mixer will splash the syrup around and the last thing you want is hard ball temp syrup cooling on your skin. When 250 is acheived… slowly pour your syrup down the side of the bowl. When the syrup and the bloom is incorporated enough that you won’t be rained with fiery hot magma, crank your mixer up to ten and let it whip for about 6-8 minutes (soft peaks are formed like meringue).
While your mixer is whipping, get out the Crisco. I absolutely HATE Crisco and think it is super disgusting, I have tried butter with this recipe…it sucks. Now…spread crisco all over your kitchen… and yourself. Ok, maybe I’m being a tad dramatic, but all it takes is once for a person to cut it short on the crisco to know why you get dramatic with the crisco. Marshmallows (uncured) have got to be the stickiest, messiest pile of goo I have ever seen. I grease up my hands PAST THE WRIST. I grease up a spatula, half way up the handle. I grease up a 8X8 pan fully to the rim. I apply crisco repeatedly to both my hands and the spatula as I am transferring the marshmallow goop to the pan. When the goop starts to stick to something… that means its time for more crisco. Don’t mess around with this stuff. My first time making marshmallows, it looked like I (and my kitchen) had been shot by a Spider-Man web. It gets everywhere if it has a surface to stick to.
When your mixer has done its thing, take your goop and move it to your greased 8X8 inch pan. With VERY greased hands smooth the goop down so that its flat and even. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top, dusting it evenly. If there is excess powdered sugar, don’t sweat it… you can just shake it off when your marshmallows are done curing. Cover the pan loosely with parchment paper, tin foil, a towel (whatever) and set out of the way to cure for 12 or more hours.
After curing, the outward appearance wont change but the texture will be nice and firm. Pop the large square marshmallow out of the pan and dust the entire thing with powdered sugar. The goal is for it not to be sticky. If I’m making marshmallows for somebody else I trim off all the rough outer edges so that all the marshmallows are uniform. If you’re making them for yourself don’t sweat it. I like to make mine about 2″ or so, and square. It would probably be easy to make these into cute shapes, but the thought of that makes me shudder.
Crush up your pretzels for garnish and set close to your stovetop.
Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or tin foil. and set it next to your stove top. Put two forks close by as well.
Now…if you have a double boiler, get it out and prepare your chocolate chips (I use about 1/2 to 3/4 of a bag) for the ultimate melt down. I do not have a double boiler and never will. I just use a stainless steel bowl and a sauce pan. If you are at all like me, the sauce pan you used 12 hours prior will still be sitting shunned in the sink, coated with rock hard candy, waiting for your to attack it. I fill that baby up a half to two thirds (rock candy and all) with water and set it on the stovetop to boil. This little technique dissolves all that candy without stress and boils my water too, plus I waste less water (however minimal, it all counts). Put your stainless bowl in the pan, not floating. Hopefully, you will have found a bowl big enough or with a rim so that its not held up by water. The steam from the water should be what is melting the chocolate. A little water touching the bottom of the bowl is ok, but if your sauce pan is too full, you run the risk of getting water into your chocolate, this will make your chocolate seize and after that happens…you have no chocolate. If I have time and patience, I will melt the chocolate in bursts. 2 minutes in the pan and two minutes out. This keeps the chocolate relatively cool. If your chocolate is too hot your marshmallows will start to melt while your coating them. However, I never have time and more importantly, I rarely have any patience. SOOOO I put my stovetop on high, put a sock on my left hand and a spoon in my right and vigorously stir until all the chocolate is melted.
I remove my chocolate from the stove, leaving the water boiling. Pick up the two forks I have ready with my left hand and grab my first marshmallow. I quickly roll the marshmallow around in the chocolate so that it gets covered and scoop (don’t stab) it out with a fork in my right hand. There is going to be a TON of chocolate on it so I bang the marshmallow/fork on the rim of the bowl until the coating is thin but still covering the whole marshmallow. I use the other fork to gently nudge the marshmallow off the first fork onto the cookie sheet. Sprinkle a small amount of crushed pretzel on the top of it.
Repeat this process until your marshmallows are all coated. This is easily the longest, most time consuming, annoying part of making theses marshmallows. So if your just wanting to make marshmallows, don’t coat them in chocolate.
If your chocolate starts to set back up, pop it back into the sauce pan and heat it up. towards the end your chocolate is going to start to look shabby. I usually just finish it out and keep the ugly ones for myself. Put your cookie sheet in the fridge for about 30-45 minutes or until your chocolate has cooled and set up. BOOM done.