Christmas Cookies in July – Gingerbread Crackle

Christmas in July got brought to a new level last year when my mom and I made cookies while wearing our matching Christmas baking shirts and sang along to all the great holiday songs. We could smell the foundation of a new tradition right along with the root beer (Make sure to check out the Root Beer Sandwich Cookies from last year)! This year we planned on making the “Christmas Cookies in July” on July 25th, exactly 6 months or 153 days until Christmas! But who’s counting right? 😉 That’s exactly what we did, but in all the crafting and baking from the weekend this post got delayed a few days. Now it’s 151 days until Christmas, so even better news for a Monday!

We played around a lot with making a summer flavored cookie like orange creamsicle or lemon. What we landed on screams Christmas, a gingerbread cookie. This Gingerbread Crackle Cookie is the spiced equivalent of my favorite chocolate crackle cookies. I’m tough on my gingerbread cookie rating and this one exceeded my expectations!

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Quick & Easy Scrabble Ornaments

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that I love Christmas! Christmas in July is just another excuse for my Christmas spirit to come out even earlier. In fact, I’m literally watching a Hallmark Christmas movie while I write this. This project didn’t take long and it used supplies that were already in the house. Plus, can you ever have too many Christmas ornaments? The options are endless for what you write on them. I’ve seen everything from names to fun holiday words (like what was done below).

I want to hear from you! Would you put a name or what holiday word would you put?

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Popsicle Stick Pallet Coasters

I haven’t posted for a while but it’s been such a wonderful month in our house. Exactly a month ago today, I went from girlfriend to fiancée! That’s right, your girl is marrying her best friend and I CANNOT wait. With all of the fun events leading up to the wedding, you know there will be some DIY projects. Make sure to stay tuned and follow the blog to see all of the updates.

These pallet coasters were so fun to make and I might be a little biased but they are super cute. The best part about them is that you can change up what they say or have on them to fit you better. My mom went with a holiday stamp and I went with stamping some personalized phrases.

Supplies:

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DIY Monogram Succulent Sign

While we have been settling nicely into our new house, I’m still trying to add the little touches that make it feel more like our home. One of the best ways I know how to do that is to add little details that I have made. For a while I have seen monogram signs stuffed with beautiful succulents but never attempted one. After looking at an empty spot on our office bookshelves, I figured this would be the perfect addition! A trip to the local Joann’s in my mask and I was off to the races.

I love how this sweet sign turned out and already have plans on how I could make it even better and possibly put it up on Etsy? Like if you would buy one!  

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MOM-osa’s and Brunch

My mom is incredible. She is patient, kind, loving, and I’ve always said if I’m half the woman she is then I’ll be alright. Not only does she put up with my silly puns but she will laugh (maybe with some pity) at every single one. She listens intently to my stories as I tell 5 other stories within it and we never go a day without talking. Without a doubt, I wanted to spoil her on Mother’s Day.

Another thing her and I have in common? A love of breakfast foods! We had a small brunch at the house for Mother’s Day where I cooked up a feast. Two of the recipes I did were new, and one is tried and true classic. The tried and true is my berry french toast, SO much goodness packed into a breakfast casserole. The new recipes also amazed and as my boyfriend ate some leftovers later in the day insisted I make them both at the next brunch we host with his family. The new recipes were Ricotta Pancakes and a Savory Monkey Bread. I 100% agree with him, they were delicious! What is brunch without mimosa’s too? Or in this case… MOM-osa’s! This fun little pun on the name was a huge hit with my mom and we sipped and laughed about it throughout the meal. Below is the recipe for my tried and true berry french toast.

Comment with if you want to see the Ricotta Pancakes or the Savory Monkey Bread recipe next!

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May The 4th be With You

Calling all Star Wars fans, this is our day! Growing up with an older brother, I got an appreciation of the Star Wars franchise from an early age. In fact my Star Wars and Jurassic Park fandom stem from watching the movies with my brother anytime they were on (and frequently in between on VHS/DVD) and enjoying the time with him. To this day I’ll never turn down watching the original trilogy; especially Episode VI which is my favorite! Today has been filled with Darth Vader and R2D2 pancakes, cookies, and watching a movie or two. The makings of a perfect Star Wars Day celebration for our little family.

Are you celebrating Star Wars day? Comment below with how!

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Hand Lettering Challenge – #LetterdaySaturday

One of the creative pieces I struggle with the most is freestyle hand lettering. The main reason is because I ALWAYS compare it to the perfect writing that this computer will make. The computer doesn’t have imperfections but with lettering there is inevitably a small twitch of a pen mark or the second “L” doesn’t have quite the same thickness in down stroke as the first. While brainstorming upcoming posts, this seemed like a perfect challenge for myself and anyone that would care to join!

I’m calling it #LetterdaySaturday. Letterday Saturday is where I take a scrap piece of paper and just have fun testing out some letters and embracing that any small imperfection makes it that much more unique. These won’t be framed or hung on the refrigerator. Instead they will likely be tucked away or recycled after completed.

To watch this unfold, follow my Instagram @take2create! If you want to participate, make sure to tag me and use the hashtag #LetterdaySaturday!

This first one is a little reminder for myself as I improve on this skill to say “I’m Learning” and not “I’m Failing”. When I consider something I’ve done wrong in lettering as “failing” instead of “learning”, it doesn’t help to shape where I’m going. It’s contributing to the negative, give up attitude instead of focusing on how to improve and the progress.

Greek Inspired Summer Salad

For real, how crazy has 2020 been so far? If it’s taught me anything though, it’s to be resourceful in how I use ingredients so they don’t go to waste. It ended up going in a Greek inspired direction once I found the Kalamata olives in my cabinet. Unfortunately, I was out of feta! I LOVE feta so that will be going on my next grocery delivery ASAP. This fun salad has me dreaming of warmer days and being out of the house!

I want to hear from you! With recipes, what do you want to see more of? Sides, Appetizers, or Entrees?

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TWO Easter Bread Recipes

Easter 2020 is over and even though it was celebrated different than in past years, it was still a very memorable day. Along with being Easter, it was my boyfriend and I’s 4 year anniversary! We actually went on our first date the day before Easter 4 years ago, and the rest is history. Four years ago I made this Italian Easter Bread for the first time and it’s made an appearance every year since! This year was a little extra special as we spent the day at our new house still as dreamy eyed in love as 4 years ago (and eating A LOT of bread). With a little extra time on my hands this Easter compared to years past, I decided to make not one but TWO types of breads! The first was our families Italian Easter Bread and the other was Hot Cross Buns.

Italian Easter Bread fresh out of the oven!

I highly recommend making both! They are both yeast breads but the dough is much more foolproof. One of the reasons is the use of instant yeast, meaning you put the yeast with all other ingredients instead of placing it in warm water/milk to activate. Read on for the Italian Easter Bread recipe. The Hot Cross Buns recipe is compliments of King Arthurs Flour and can be found here.

Hot Cross Buns = YUM
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DIY Succulent Pots – Employee Appreciation Day

Today is my first employee appreciation day as a manager and I wanted to do something special to say thank you. I really won the lottery with my whole team! They are hard workers and some of the most caring individuals I know. To avoid any broken diets and to give it a more heartfelt touch, I decided to make them a little gift. I’ve seen these succulent puns on Pinterest a few times and decided to give them a go!

What succulent pun would you put on your creation?

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