Thursday, December 22, 2011

Recipe: Christmas Cake Truffles

Guess what!? 

Christmas is almost here!

Last weekend I was looking around online for some new recipes that I could Christmas-ify and found this one for no-bake cake truffles.
The inside of these truffles turned out sooo yummy and I must let everyone know that they taste very similar to Starbucks' "Birthday Cake" cake pops. The only problem was that as you can see, my chocolate didn't turn out as it should have, so they weren't very pleasing to look at. Read on to find out why!

After following the recipe, here, I added some christmas coloured sprinkles.

I rolled the dough into balls to refrigerate before dipping in chocolate.

Now here is where we had a problem. I put my candy melts in a bowl and followed the instructions to melt them in the microwave.....except that I forgot that the plate in my microwave no longer turns. So, instead of rotating and melting the chocolate evenly, the top of the chocolate melted, and the bottom- well, it cooked. 

 I had no extra candy melts laying around so I decided to try and use the top melted layer of chocolate...but it didn't work out so well. The cooked chocolate underneath ruined the whole "dipping" of the truffles.

I ended up trying to squish some chocolate on the top of each truffle (don't laugh- this is an honest blog admitting my failures :) ) and this is how it turned out!

Next time I think I'll be using my double boiler to melt the chocolate- otherwise, these truffles are so yummy, and so easy to make.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Lights at Night

Well, I disappeared during exam week again. Not only did I end up with fantastic grades, but I also came down with the flu and pink eye on the same day as my first exam. I'm a lucky person by nature...just kidding. :)

Anyways, I thought I would show off our outdoor decorations this year. When I took the pictures, I realized that a lot of the details look blurry and can't really be seen, but you get the idea. I have also decided that next year I will be starting to save for my first DLSR camera- I can no longer stand trying to create my blog with bad photos. It's going to take me a while, but it will be worth it.



...and our Christmas tree all lit up at night.
The presents are all hidden in a secret location (okay fine, it's my bedroom) so that our 2 and 3 year old monsters don't think it's Christmas every morning.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Recipe: "Ho Ho Ho" Sugar Cookies

Pinterest has informed me that it's time to start christmas baking, and I figured that a simple sugar cookie was a good place to begin.

I found this recipe in my recipe box, but I must say that although they do taste great, the cookies puff up very oddly as you'll see. Here is the recipe:

1 cup of sugar
1 cup of butter of golden crisco
2 eggs
3 cups of flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

- cream wet, and then dry ingredients until fluffy (I used my hands to knead the dough properly)

Roll out and use cookie cutters- I thought "H" and "O" were cute and just small enough for toddler hands!

Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown on the bottom (won't take very long at all).

This is how these cookies came out of the oven. As I said, they are a bit puffy and have an odd texture in comparison to traditional sugar cookies.

I used store purchased cookie icing to ice the top of each cookie...

...and added some cute christmas sprinkles!

"Ho, ho, ho!"

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Planner Pickings

As 2011 comes to a close, one of the things on my "to do" list before the end of the year is to buy a new planner. Above, are two photos of my current planner. It is extremely beaten up, and not very pretty. I found it about a year and a half ago on a trip to The States at Meijer for around $7.00. At the time, I was having a hard time finding a planner that I loved, so I settled for this overly colourful (kind of ugly) one and forgot to look for another one ever again.

As you can see, my current planner ends after December, so right now I am on a hunt for a new one. I have come to learn that:
1. Cute stationary is hard to find here in Canada
2. Cute stationary is usually very expensive here in Canada
3. Most websites that have cute stationary will not ship to Canada

I have decided that I will most likely purchase from Chapters (a book store here in Canada), and here are a few of my prospects:

- I love the damask on the front of this planner, I just really don't think that I like the page layout. I'm really not sure why, but I generally do not like the way that the inside of this planner looks (I found the view of the inside here) and I also really dislike the tear-off corners.

- I love the colour of this planner, and I also adore the font used inside. I pretty much enjoy the layout of this planner all around, but for almost $50, I'm not quite sure that it's justified. $50 just seems like way too much for me to spend on a planner.

- Before my current planner, I owned this exact planner in a different pattern. I loved that it was hard cover (no ripped pages!), but there's one problem with this planner- it isn't ruled. There are no lines. I know this doesn't seem like a big deal, but it is to me. I can't stand writing on paper that has no lines, but for $12.99, how can you lose?


Do you know any great places to find a planner in Canada or know a website with great planners that will ship to Canada?
Feel free to let me know in the comments!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Lighted Porch Trees- An Easy Revamp!

Although it wasn't Thanksgiving here in Canada this past week, we still got the benefit of having black-friday-like sales all weekend long. We bought some extra christmas lights, some clothes for the girls, and my favourite purchase of the weekend- these fabulous lighted porch trees.

Canadian Tire had the set of two on sale for $24.99. According to the flyer, the sale was 75% off regular price- a fantastic deal.

When we set up the trees, I realized that they looked a little sparse. Also, I am fully aware that because of the ridiculous sale on them, everyone on the block will have the same trees, so I wanted to make ours look a little different.
Using decorations from Dollarama (mini pinecones, red and gold bulbs, and a star for each tree) I decorated the trees as mini Christmas trees to make them a bit more festive.

Finished product!

On either side of our front door.

Fa la la la la, la la, la la!

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Fresh Coat of Paint...

I've been hinting for a few weeks now about how we painted the entire open area of our home, and promised that I would post pictures. My boyfriend's mom was a fantastic sport and did most of the painting (he and I helped out when we could) and I couldn't be happier with the results!

I forgot to take some of the before pictures, but the kitchen/dining area were bright orange (ick!), the upper living room was white, and the lower living room and play area was bright yellow (double ick!). Also, the final results look almost white in some of the pictures, but in reality, the colour is a very warm beige (called "Brazil Nut" officially), so picture it a bit darker. I finally got around to taking the after pictures, so here there are:

P.S. We decorated for Christmas right after painting, so you get the Christmas version of our home :).



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