I had this past Friday off work and decided to use the day to tackle some holiday baking. I always like to make something yummy and pretty to give to friends and co-workers during the holidays. This year, I decided to stick with a classic but try some new flavor combinations. Enter delish chocolate-covered pretzels:
I laid all the pretzels out on a cookie sheet so I could sort out all the broken ones. Then I got all my toppings prepared. I used mini M&Ms, crushed candy cane pieces, crushed oreos, and some holiday sprinkles. Next, I melted down the different chocolates, white chocolate and milk chocolate. I dipped each pretzel, covered with topping, and laid them on wax paper to set. Here are the different combinations I came up with:
2. White Chocolate with Holiday Sprinkles
4. White Chocolate with Crushed Candy Canes
The great thing about this dessert, is that it stores well in the freezer. So I popped these all into gallon size freezer bags and they will be ready for the holidays.
Of course, no baking can be done without a trusty assistant and mine was full of smiles:
Have you started your holiday baking yet? Do you have any easy desserts you bake each year?
When I found out I was pregnant I couldn’t wait to start thinking of ideas for decorating the future nursery. When I found out I was having a girl I was even more excited since I would be able to use my favorite color – Pink! When I was registering for our baby shower, I was not impressed with the different options for bedding – everything was too busy or had characters on it which I was trying to avoid. I was pleasantly surprised when I checked out the different options that Land of Nod had. I immediately fell in love with the Hop to it bedding. And thus began the bunny nursery!
I loved the little bunnies and the gray and pink combination. Nick and I had fun painting stripes on two of the walls – something new for both of us! And Nick made all of the shelves from old wood trim. We went to a thrift store and bought all the different frames to spell her name and spray painted them all pink. I used my Cricut to cut out all the letters from gray cardstock – the whole project was under $10!
Nick actually built the closet into the nursery (we took the existing closet and dry-walled it shut so we could have access to it from our bedroom to have double closets). The changing table/dresser was actually left in our house by the previous owner so we painted it the same gray color as the stripes on the wall. I like the storage the dresser provides rather than some of the other changing tables I saw.
While her glider looks brown in the picture above, it is actually a darker gray. The side table was also wood that we painted gray. The armoire was a $20 garage sale find two years ago. We gave it a fresh coat of white paint and painted the knobs gray and it provides awesome storage!
So that is Ashley’s nursery. We love it and she seems to like it too! I am already thinking about some of the changes we can make when she gets a big girl bed. What is the theme or colors of your nursery? Did you have a plan in mind from the start?
Is the Christmas tune in your head now, too? As long as I can remember, my family always had a real Christmas tree when I was growing up. There is something about the smell of a real tree and the way it fills the house that I just love.
When Nick and I moved into our home, we got a great deal on an artificial tree and ever since I have been just a little sad when putting it up. While I love not having to vacuum up all the pine needles and having to worry about remembering to water it, the smell is so worth it. I also love that we don’t have a real “theme” with our tree ornaments. It is a great collection of ornaments we have gotten each year from kids to adults. Each ornament is a memory and story so it is fun to stand and look at them and reminisce.
Luckily my dad has continued to buy a real tree even after I moved out. My dad grew up with small trees so he always finds a tree that is too large (channeling his inner Clark Griswald) and cuts off the top creating more of a Christmas bush rather than tree. I love it. It is such a fun tradition and this year Ashley got to go help Grampy pick out his tree. We put it up this past Friday and Ashley loved the lights and I loved the pine scent.
What about you? Do you have an artificial tree or a real tree at Christmas? Does your tree have a theme?
Where have we been? For the last year or so, I took a slight break from blogging with many new and exciting changes in the Murphy house. We were married last September on a beautiful fall day.
Being married has been so great – love having such a wonderful husband and all the fun we have together! Last December we found out we were pregnant – more exciting news!
This past August (8/20/13 to be exact) we welcomed a beautiful little girl into our family, Ashley Rose. And then there were 4 in our little family – Nick, Jenny, Ashley and Amy dog!
So it isn’t a good excuse to not blog, but that is what we have been up to – with lots of DIY projects including a backyard deck and Ashley’s nursery in the mix. I am back and hope to keep you all updated on what you missed and what is to come for the Murphy family.
So much can change in a year. What have you been up to? Any big changes in your life?
We are slowly working on creating a photo wall in our hallway and I recently felt inspired to try building one in the stairway leading down to our basement. Photo walls that look like this make me sad:
Here are some looks I really love:
In my opinion, Young House Love can do no wrong when it comes to decorating and I love the mix of different memories that they highlight on their frame wall.
I really like the clean look of this photo wall and think it would be great in a dining room or a home office.
Here is a look at our current hallway frame wall, where we tried to hide our thermostat in the mix of frames.
These frames were given to me as a shower gift by my best friend and maid of honor and we just love them!
Do you have a frame wall in your house? Where is it located? Did you slowly add to it or gather everything and then display it?
One thing is for sure, Nick and I love our home state of Michigan. I am loving all of the state pride pieces there are now to have in your home. Here are some great accessories that I have had my eye on:
Home is where you rest your keys:
This Great Lakes pillow would be so cute on our living room couch:
Love these for any wall in the house:
And a little something to wear around my neck:
Do you have any state pride decor in your house? What is it?
Today we decided to stray from our typical Sunday routine (lounging around and getting things done around the house) and decided to take a mini trip downtown.
Nick was ready and excited because he was going to stop at his favorite spot for lunch once we got downtown:
We made it to Lafayette Coney Island – Nick’s absolute favorite place in the city!
Then we went to MGM casino where I proceeded to lose eight dollars…
Next we were off to Belle Isle for some people watching.
The Detroit Yacht Club:
The old Belle Isle greenhouse:
Lifeguard on duty at the beach off of the Detroit River:
So that is how we spent our Sunday. How do you spend your last day of the weekend? Doing chores around the house or looking for a last minute adventure?
Today is my family’s annual luau party and I knew I wanted to bake fun cupcakes. I came across this recipe for piña colada cupcakes on Pinterest and was excited to try them out. I did make some modifications though…
Here are the ingredients I needed to make both the cupcakes and the pineapple frosting. I did take a shortcut and use a vanilla cake mix for the cupcakes to save some time (and mess!) in the kitchen:
Then I began baking the cupcakes:
1. I lined my cupcakes pans so they were ready to go when the batter was mixed.
2. I mixed everything up following the instructions on the box.
3. Filled all the liners and waiting for them to bake (about 23 minutes).
4. Let them cool and began working on the frosting.
The frosting isn’t the healthiest (made with two packages of cream cheese and three sticks of butter!) and needed about 4 minutes of mixing to combine the ingredients before I added the powdered sugar and pineapple.
Then I began to frost the cupcakes:
After I frosted the cupcakes, I added shredded sweetened coconut to the tops of each one:
Next I cut up some pineapple rings that would become garnish on top of each along with a cherry:
Lastly, I topped all of the cupcakes with my fruit topping and used toothpicks to hold it all together:
And that is how the piña colada cupcakes turned out! I made Nick do a taste test for me (not that he minded) and he loved them. I am sure they will be a hit on this hot summer day at the luau party.
Have you ever tried a fun spin on traditional cupcakes? What did you make?