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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Friends & Neighbors Gifts - The Edible Kind

Each year I try to remember a few friends with a "love" gift of cookies.  This year I thought I would switch it up and make a ton of Chocolate Christmas Bark candy.  It is so easy, so inexpensive and it makes a ton of candy in minutes.



The wonderful thing about this is you can make all kinds of flavors and decorate with all kinds of different things.  Since I was making two kinds as gifts for friends and neighbors, I kept them both pretty simple.  This one is made with pecans, chocolate chips, cherries and mini marshmallows.

Here is all you need to make what ever you want.  You can mix these up any way you like.  I used regular and chocolate graham crackers, cherries, peppermints, chocolate chips, dried cranberry chips, chopped pecans, mint extract and vanilla chocolate candy wafers.  (I found mine at Hobby Lobby - 2lb bag for $7.99 - be sure to use your 40% off coupon - that makes them only $4.79.)  I had all these toppings in my pantry, so all it cost me was the price of the candy wafers.


Create a double boiler by adding water to a pot and placing a glass bowl over it.  You need a pretty good size bowl for all the candy wafers.


See the 2 lbs really fills up a big bowl.


Line a baking sheet with graham crackers.


Crush up your mint candies if using.


Stir the candy occasionally as it is melting.


Fill some bowls with your topping so it is easy to add them to the candy.

I added two drops of mint extract when it was complete melted and stirred thoroughly to make sure it was mixed in well.  (This is totally an option - the vanilla flavor of the candy is wonderful by itself.)


 Hubby helped pour as I scraped the bowl.  The candy needs to be spread evenly quickly to coat all the crackers.


Now is the fun part.  Just start sprinkling all your topping all over the candy.  (Work rather fast so it doesn't set up on you.  Then take the back of a spatula and gently press the toppings into the candy mix.


All done.  Now just place in the fridge to set up. This is the one I made with cranberries, chocolate chips, mint candy and pecans.


This one has marshmallows, cherries, chocolate chips, mint candies and pecans. (Use whatever you have on hand, it doesn't take a lot of anything and everything is wonderful on chocolate. )

 I found some really cute Christmas Tins at the Dollar Tree.  They are the perfect size for a "love" gift.  They had several different designs too.


I lined the inside with parchment paper.


When the bark is all set, just break into small pieces and fill your container.  You could also put these in cute boxes too.  I am sure your friends, co-workers, neighbors or anyone would love this gift.  One tray filled up 6 of these boxes.  That brings the cost of each box to about $2 including toppings and the box.


This is soooooo good, and who doesn't love chocolate?



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Saturday, December 9, 2017

2017 Christmas Home Tours - Review

Last week was so special.  The week was fill with Christmas delights and decor from the 2017 Christmas Home Tours.  Each home was decorated to perfection and filled with tons of amazing inspiration for you.   30 of your favorite bloggers opened their doors to show you their beautiful homes all dressed for the season.  If you missed any of them, you can catch up here and you really don't want to miss a single one, they are all breathtaking.

2017 Christmas Home Tours

Monday – Dec 4th
A Stroll Thru Life - Marty-me


Life On Virginia Street - Sarah has impeccable taste.  Love her clean lines and attention to detail.


Clean & Scentsible - Jenn has the ability to make everything look amazing and inviting.  Love this cookie bar.

Nesting With Grace - Brooke's home is full of charm and inspiration.  Living large in a small cottage never looked so good.

Cuckoo4Design - Julia's ability to make black and white new and fresh is unmatched.  Love her eclectic style.

Pink Peppermint Design - Tammy makes Farmhouse Style upscale with her keen eye for design.  Always so warm and inviting.


 Zdesigns At Home.  Bree calls her style clean and simple, I call is Contemporary elegance.  Love her beautiful silver and gold tree.


Life Love Larson. Contemporary with a twist always reminds me of Andrea.  Simple fresh greens and branches speak her style perfectly.


Dimples & Tangles - No one does color like Jennifer.  She has the most fun eclectic style and mixes the most wonderful color and pattern combinations.  She always inspires.


 Remodelando La Casa.  Cristina amazes us all with her DIY ability.  Need a kitchen makeover or how about a coiffured ceiling, then just wait a minute and she will decorate it to perfection.

Seeking Lavender Lane - I love how she mixes different elements to achieve her own personal  farmhouse style - rustic - simple - refined.

 Inspiration For Moms.  Farmhouse style is so popular and Laura give it an upscale twist that is totally hers.

The Chronicles of Home - Jennifer mixes bold black and white and soft neutrals with an elegant flare that only she could achieve.  Every detail is gorgeous.

Our Southern Home - Christy's home is gorgeous with it's updated classic traditional style.  Never stuffy and always stunning.

Decor to Adore - Laura always has a theme for her Christmas decor and this year it is "A Dickens Christmas".  You are going to love all the amazing diy projects and detail.

11Magnolia Lane - Since Christy is a "military" family, she always amazes us at how fast she can turn the next rental into such a beautiful warm and inviting home.  Classic elegance in every corner.

Our Fifth House - Carmel mixes her eclectic style with tons of color and character. while she always embraces her Southern roots. Tons of inspiration here.

Rain On A Tin Roof - Color, Quirky, Contemporay and always totally unexpected and fabulous.  I love how Jenna decorates.  You will love her home too.


Setting For Four Heather adds of a few touches of gold and silver to her neutral decor and creates a winter wonderland.


Life & Home @ 2102 - Vel's ability to mix modern, oriental and traditional together to create the most beautiful and interesting spaces is definitely a talent.

Southern Hospitality - Rhoda is a new bride and has a new home that she is enjoying decorating for Christmas.  Mixing 'his" and "hers" together to create the most beautiful spaces.

Decorating Delirium - What can I say - Jennifer's ability to take anything ordinary and make it extraordinary is amazing. I love it all.

Hymns & Verses - Doreen's home is full of stunning DIY projects.  Her style reflects her unique take on updated Farmhouse that is so warm and inviting.


Simple Stylings - Summer mixes tradition and modern in a style that I call Simple Elegance that is oh so chic and full of fun.

Thrifty & Chic - Alicia's diy skills are legandary and her home is such a beautiful reflection of all her projects.


Tidbits & Twine  - Kim's home is amazing with her ability to create spaces that are full of up to date Traditional charm.

Far Above Rubies - Anita has such a love of family history and fills her home with tons of inherited treasures.  Eclectic charm that is truly inspirational.

House By Hoff - Elegance that is never over done is how April decorates her home.  I know you will love it all.

Duke Manor Farms - Laura's home is Traditional with a twist of the unexpected and always fabulous and amazing.

Common Ground - Debra's style is Old World Charm at it's best.  Never stuffy - always warm and inviting.



Thanks to all 30 of these fabulous ladies for opening their homes and sharing their beautiful Christmas decor.  I found tons of inspiration from each home and I am sure you did too.


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