Polka Dot Chocolate Bunnies


I just can't get enough of pretty pastel Easter treats.  They never get old.  Neither do Cadbury mini eggs, but that's another story...

I got to participate in "The Polka Dot Project" again this year!  Melissa is one of my very favorite bloggers and you just must check out all of the cute craftiness at polkadotchair.com!

I know I did polka dot bunnies last year, but I'm bringing them back in a new way!  This time I'm adding polka dots to our friend, the chocolate bunny!
polka dot chocolate bunnies 1

If you haven't ever worked with chocolate molds, you're about to find out how easy it is!  I got this chocolate bunny mold from Target but there are so many more available out there.  Check out this site for tons of options.  Usually craft stores like JoAnn's or Michael's have a few.   Cake and candy stores have great selections, and if you're willing to order online, you can find everything you've ever dreamed of!

I also purchased dark chocolate, vanilla melties and pink melties (wilton brand).
polka dot chocolate bunnies 2

Start with the pink chocolate.  I melt it in the microwave, in a glass measuring cup.  I put it in for 30 seconds, stir, put it in for 30 seconds more, stir and sometimes it's done.  Sometimes it needs 15-30 more seconds.  It is done when it is mostly smooth but still has some lumps in it.  Continue to stir those until it becomes smooth.  If you microwave it until it's all the way smooth, it will end up being overcooked.  After my pink was ready, I made my polka dots with a sucker stick.  Super easy!
polka dot chocolate bunnies 3

After I did all the dots, I put this in the freezer for about two minutes to harden.
polka dot chocolate bunnies 4

Next, I melted my white and dark chocolate, put the sucker sticks in and poured (easy when you are using a glass measuring cup) it into the mold.  Tap the mold on your counter to level it and get the bubbles out.
polka dot chocolate bunnies 5

If you hold it up and look underneath, you can see if you have any bubbles or empty spaces on the molds.  This needs to be put in the freezer for 10 minutes or so, depending on how big your mold is.  When they're are done, you twist the mold and your polka dot bunnies will pop right out!
polka dot chocolate bunnies 6

These little guys look pretty cute all dressed up in their polka dots!  This is a fun project to do with the kids, or your big kid friends too!  I hope you give it a try!
polka dot chocolate bunnies 7

Yes, these guys are going to rock my Easter baskets this year.  Back in the freezer they go, until then!


Real Life, Easy Way to Save with the Target Cartwheel App

I've always admired my frugalista friends.  Some people seem to get deals on everything!  I've tried to be a "couponer" but I just couldn't hack it.   I'm not dedicated enough to get multiple newspapers, clip a ton of coupons, organize them in a binder, scan multiple couponing blogs for tips on deals, and go shop at 5 different stores.  I wish I was that awesome, but it's just not in me.  
 
But what IS in me, is the feeling that I need to be doing the best I can to be prudent with our means.
 
So I need a happy medium of REAL SAVINGS with VERY LITTLE TIME AND PLANNING.
 
Well, my friends, Target answered my call!  
 
I first heard about the Cartwheel App from one of my cutest and most "on trend" friends.  I knew if she approved, that I would love it too.  I already love Target.  And I mean LOVE Target.  It is my happy place.  My kids beg me to take them when I'm going there, so I have successfully instilled a love of Target in them as well. 
 
Let me tell you how this app works and how easy it is to use!
 
There are over 700 offers on this app, waiting for you to save big on your next little Target run.  It takes one or two minutes to scan the deals, by department, and see if there are any items you already need.  If you want that deal, you add it to your "Cartwheel" on your iphone or Droid phone.  
Cartwheel 1

I usually do it after I pull in my parking space at Target.  I give the app a quick scan, then go in and do my shopping as planned.  Then when I check out, I have the checker scan my phone ONCE (not like using multiple coupons, even though I am).  The savings are applied and I am good to go!

This is not hard.  I have this soap dispenser (from Target) by my kitchen sink.  I refill it with Target soap because I like the smell.  It was already on my list, and now I used a coupon on it.
cartwheel 2

The app also lets me know of other things I might "need."  When I saw that Giada De Laurentiis kitchen tools were on sale, I thought I should go check them out.  When I saw some mini spatulas I need for my icing escapades, I put this coupon in my Cartwheel.
cartwheel 5

I love this brand of clothes for my little boy because they're stylish and fit him well.  I saw that it was 25% off with my Cartwheel so I grabbed a shirt and I'm started on his spring wardrobe!
cartwheel 3

Another handy thing is the scanner.  Say you don't look at the app before you go.  But you see something you must have and wonder if there might be a Cartwheel deal on it.  You can just scan the barcode!   If there is a deal that applies, it will bring it right up and you can use it right away!
Cartwheel 4

The very best thing about this app is that all of these savings work ON TOP of my red card discount.  I'm a huge believer in my red card where I get 5% off my purchase every time.  With Cartwheel and my red card, I can feel good that I'm making an effort to save on the everyday items my family needs!  And for all of you people dedicated enough to clip coupons and have the binder or card file, you can use those bad boys with the Cartwheel discounts too!

Honestly, this is something I tell my friends about already.  When I get excited about something, you usually hear about it too.  This is real life stuff here.  On my last little Target run, my total was $31.00  My Cartwheel saved me $6.65.  My red card saved me an additional $1.50

I saved more than $8.00 on a $31.00 Target trip.  Sometimes I impress, even myself!

 
Enter to win a $1,000.00 Target GiftCard®!
Just leave a comment telling me what item from Target you want to save on!  p.s. The app is FREE
 
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Double-Decker Camera Cookies

In the words of Dora, "Say Click!  Take a Pic!"

These little camera cookies were some of my favorites I made last year.  I have a petit little camera cutter that made these little (2" x3") cuties.  I knew from the start, they needed to be 3-D to get the effect of a camera lens.  This circle cutter didn't come with the set, but I just grabbed the smallest one from my favorite cookie cutter set.

With a picture this close-up, you can see all my imperfections and shaky handedness, but it doesn't stop these cookies from being adorable.
camera cookie

I've only made a couple of Double decker cookies, but it makes me want to take pictures, (and eat them) from every angle.  The "lens layer" was frosted separately, then after they were both dry, I put a dime-sized drop of royal icing down to stick the layers together.  They held like a champ.

I was thinking that they would need to be pulled apart to eat because of the 3 layers of hardened icing, but they were actually delicious to eat all together.  My cookie recipe is soft, so biting through all the layers was still soft and delicious!  Yay!
camera cookie 2

These cookies are the perfect gift for your favorite photographer, or anyone who can appreciate a double-decker sugar cookie!
camera cookies 3


So, say... Cheese!  Or say... Cookie!  Because whoever you make these for, is going to smile!

For more on my recipes and decorating instructions, go to "The Basics of Sugar Cookies and Royal Icing."

Happy New Year- Cookies!

Happy 2014 all!

I've missed this!  I haven't posted as much lately but I'll have you know that I'm still here!  I'm still doing silly projects!  I'm still making cookies!  And I'm still enjoying any creative endeavor I can get myself into.  I haven't been as good at documenting here on the blog, but I want to!  Documenting not only gives me a digital record of my creative life, but also helps me reflect on how the project was successful, a disaster, or just fun!  I've missed it!  So today is a great day to remind myself to stop in, share some pictures and connect with all of you out there who are doing the same!
New years cookie

Cookie Notes:  I dabbled in some disco dust to make my cookies festive and shiny for this special day!  I also used nobiggie.net's darling clock printable to make my clock.  Confetti is from theconfettibar.com

My New Stockings

As I decorated this December, I felt very happy that I did this project in February!

I was tired of my stockings but was holding onto the idea of keeping the same ones for all the kids' growing up years.  Changing them would be absurd!  But then I remembered when my mom got new stockings for us, and we were all so excited!  Then I decided, there is NO rule!   I'm going to change our stockings whenever the mood hits.  So I didn't hesitate to make these in trendy Chevron.  

I just went for whatever graphic red and green fabrics I could find.  I wanted to be a little bold, but a stay in the red and green.  I'm normally an "everybody needs the same one" kind of girl, but I'm stepping outside my box nowadays.  Here is my happily mismatched mantle:
stockings 1

If you'd like the pattern, I cannot help.  I borrowed a friend's stockings (that I liked the size and shape of) and traced it onto craft paper.  There was my pattern.  I just cut the fabric about a half inch bigger all the way around and made it work.  Don't look too close at my "make it work" craftsmanship but I was pleased that I lined them all with white polka dot fabric.  :)
stockings 2

The dumbest idea I had was to give them a quilted look by drawing diagonal stripes on the fabric and sewing some batting to the fabric.  This took waaaaaay longer than planned and you can't tell unless you look really close.  I do like how thick the batting made them but it didn't need to be quilted in like that.
stockings 3

I anticipated getting these done before last Christmas, but since I didn't, I did them soon after.  I knew if I waited until Christmastime again I would get too busy and this wouldn't get done.  So that is my new theory...  Make your Christmas crafts in February and enjoy them in December!

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