Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hanukkah & Holiday Decorations

Decorating time in our house! We actually haven't fully decorated for the past three years because our house was on the market for two and then we were still getting organized and moved in last year. I've been collecting random decorations throughout the years and was excited to see everything I had.

Since we're having our first Hanukkah party (see my planning post here), I wanted to decorate for the party. For an awesome centerpiece that I love, I took this bag of dreidels I got for 75 cents at the thrift store and spray painted them in silver.
Then I mixed them in a glass bowl with silver glittery ornaments I got last year on clearance.

I love the classic, elegant look and it mixes Hanukkah and Christmas which is perfect for our house.

In the bathroom, I hung up these cute snowman towels I got last year on clearance.

I also added a snowman to hold the soap dispenser.

The ornament wreath I made last year is back on the door! Go here for the tutorial.And here's our version : )And speaking of more clearance buys from last year, I got 12 of these pretty napkin rings at TJMaxx and I've been dying to use them.
I rolled up silver napkins and put them all in a basket for our Hanukkah party.

And for another table centerpiece, I filled a glass bowl with silver spray-painted pinecones and blue berries. Again, another good mix of Christmas and Hanukkah to decorate the table.

We also put up icicle lights outside for the first time ever, but I had to add my light-up menorah to make it even. It looks so nice from outside with our white icicle lights!
For last year's festive Hanukkah decorations & crafts, go here

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Glittery Stuffed Dreidel Tutorial

Hanukkah is coming soon! It's early this year which means I had to get started in the fall with new ideas for decorating. I made this dreidel above last year, but I wanted to simplify it a little so it would be easier to explain to you and to sell at a craft fair.

Here's the simplified version below: I started out by enlarging these templates. I like the look of the giant dreidel!
I cut out the templates and traced the dreidel shape onto fabric. To make it easy, combine the triangle and square into one giant shape. You'll need 4 pieces to make one dreidel. You'll also need one more square for the top.
Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance I attached the top to one of the side pieces.

Then I attached the side pieces to one another.Then the 2 pairs were attached to form the dreidel.

Fold the top down and pin along the top edges. Sew only 3 sides closed and leave one side open to stuff the dreidel later.
I cut out the Hebrew letters and traced them onto felt.
I also cut a small rectangle about 1 inch wide to use for the handle. The piece is folded and pinned.
Using a blanket stitch and some thread, I stitched along the edges of the letters and handle. See below for the handle image.
I glued the letters to the sides of the dreidel using some tacky glue and a q-tip.
Lightly press on the letters to make them stick. Be sure to let the glue dry completely before going to the next step.
Turn the dreidel right side out and stuff.
Pin and hand sew that last edge of the top closed.
I also added a little stuffing to the handle to make it puffy.
Pin the handle to the top of the dreidel and add a few stitches on each corner to attach it.
Here's the finished dreidel!
I loved using this glittery fabric and silver glitter felt to make it really sparkle!
As you saw in the first photo, I pinned each one to a teddy bear so it would stand up. You can also make it more of a patchwork dreidel with different layers of fabric like I did last year.
It's the perfect gift for the holiday!

Linking up to these parties

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Low-Fat Pumpkin Walnut Oatmeal Muffins

Got leftover pumpkin from all those yummy Thanksgiving recipes? Here's a good way to use it up and stay pretty healthy after that huge meal! Or maybe a quick breakfast before the turkey comes!

1 1/2 cups flour
• 1 cup oatmeal
• 3/4
brown sugar
• 1
teaspoon baking powder

• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
• 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
• 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
• 3/4 cup skim milk
• 1/3 cup applesauce
• 2 eggs
• 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.

Pour mixture into greased muffins cups or tins.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Serve warm!

Linking up pumpkin goodness here

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pumpkin Cornbread

Nothing says fall like some homemade warm pumpkin cornbread! I made this last week and ate a huge piece every night as dessert!

Adapted from Cara's Cravings


• non-stick cooking spray
• 1 cup flour
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
• 1 cup cornmeal
• 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
• 1/2 unsweetened applesauce
• 1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 9x9 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.

Pour evenly into baking pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until cooked throughout.

Linking up some Thanksgiving goodness here

Friday, November 19, 2010

AMAZING peanut butter pretzel truffles

Seriously, AMAZING! I made this for a work party and they were a huge hit! I had about 5 requests for the recipe and people begged me to make more of them!

Adapted from
The Girl Who Ate Everything

Makes 10 truffles, so I suggest doubling the recipe. I promise you'll want more!

• 1 cup creamy peanut butter
• 1.5 cups finely crushed pretzels
• 1 cup chocolate chips
• shredded coconut (optional)
• vegetable oil

Mix peanut butter and crushed pretzels in a bowl. Cool in the freezer for about 15 minutes until firm.

Roll the peanut butter mixture into small balls. Place balls on a cookie sheet covered in wax or parchment paper. Freeze balls for about 30 minutes or until firm.

Pour chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl with a little vegetable oil. Microwave for about 30 seconds and then stir. If chips aren't melted enough, microwave again for another 15 seconds.

Roll frozen peanut butter balls in melted chocolate. As an optional topping, roll them in shredded coconut after dipping them in chocolate.

Refrigerate truffles until ready to serve.

Take a bite of this heavenly truffle!

Linking up the chocolatey goodness here

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Festive Hanukkah Crafts

As I've said in the past (and some of you can relate), it's very hard to find cute Hanukkah decorations that are elegant and tasteful. There's more Christmas stuff than any person could ever want, but Hanukkah decorations are usually tacky and hard to find.

Last year, I made it my mission to start making my own so I could decorate my house. I wanted to share everything I did last year if you're looking for new ideas & tutorials. I also have a few new ones for this year that are almost completed. Stay tuned for those!

Stuffed Dreidel (tutorial coming soon)
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