Christmas Caramel Popcorn

Friday, December 21, 2012

Want a super yummy treat to make for your Christmas Eve or Christmas day get-together? This caramel popcorn is UH-mazing!! I promise! I made a huuuge bowl of it for our church Christmas party and came home with an empty bowl! I found the recipe on Baked Perfection

So what you need to do first is pop a whole bunch of popcorn. Instead of popping the microwave bagged popcorn like Risa did, I just did it on the stovetop in a ginormous pot!

If you have popcorn kernels, the directions will be on the bag. But you will pour a little bit of oil in the pot, maybe about 1/4 of a cup. Turn the stove on to about medium low. Then you put ONE kernel inside, close the lid and wait to hear it pop. Then you'll know the oil is hot enough to pour in the rest of your kernels. You'll only want one layer of kernels in the pot, so pour them in till the whole bottom pan is filled of one layer- no kernels on top of each other. Then you just shake the pop around a little here and there. It makes lots of noise banging around. :) But I LOVE hearing the sound of the popcorn popping!

After it's all popped, I split it between 3 of my sprayed glass baking dishes. 
Then you move onto making the caramel! Here's what you'll need for that:

3/4 cup of butter
1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
1/4 + 1/8 cups of light corn syrup
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoons of baking soda
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
red and green food coloring

Start by heating your butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup in a medium sized pot. Stir, making sure to get all the clumps out. Bring it to a boil and keep stirring. Then let it boil for about 5 minutes. I let it sit without stirring too much. After 5 minutes, remove it from the heat and immediately add the baking soda and vanilla. The baking soda kind of changes the color and makes the caramel look a little puffier.. maybe that was just my eyes.. 

Now we want to split the caramel 3 ways. So first I pour 1/3 of the caramel over one dish of popcorn (just eyeball/guesstimate what 1/3 is). Then I pour another 1/3 of the caramel into another pot and added green food coloring, then pour it over a dish of popcorn, then I added red to the remaining caramel left in the other pot. I actually had my Hubby's help because I was stressing about the caramel setting too quickly before I could get all of it done! So I actually reheated the last bit of caramel again to get it pour-able again. As hubby was reheating and stirring, and I was stirring and coating the other dishes of popcorn. When the caramel cooled a bit, I put down my spatula and just used my hands to incorporate the caramel all over the popcorn. 

When all the popcorn is coated with caramel it gets baked in a 250* preheated oven.

Set the timer for 15 minutes.

When the timer is done, stir the popcorn around. 
Set the timer for another 15 minutes. 
Then stir the popcorn again. 
Then set the timer for the last 15 minutes. 

Now it's done! 

Taste your homemade caramel popcorn and freak out because it's so great and you'll never buy caramel popcorn at the the store ever again! ... Atleast, that's what I did! 

I made another batch just for Hubby and me later that week since we didn't get much of it at the church party! .. I just didn't add the food coloring step.

Enjoy and have a Merry Christmas!

Crochet: Simple Statement Ornaments

Monday, December 3, 2012

Here's a simple and easy crochet project I pinned onto my Christmas board a few months ago. I found the idea on a blog called Goodknits. She crocheted around these circular objects called cabone rings. I've never attempted or even thought about crocheting around objects like this before. I wasn't planning on making them, until I found some old curtain clip rings {6 to be exact} while I was cleaning out my craft room last weekend.

I just took out all of the screws and got to work creating pretty new ornaments for our tree.

They were pretty easy for the most part. Basically single crocheting around the ring, filling it up (took 45 single crochets), and then lots of chaining and more single crochets to form the little loops. But you can just go check out the instructions for yourself on Goodknits.

I think they turned out cuuuute!

I didn't have any wire ornament hooks so I just made my own with some wire I had. Paper clips would also work for making ornament hooks.

OooOOOooOoOhh... presents under the tree already!?! ;)

Crochet Coffee Cozies

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I recently discovered the fun of making crochet coffee cozies.. and now I can't stop! 

I'm absolutely IN-LOVE with these bow cozies! They are so fun to make!

I pretty much made up my own pattern that works for me. At first, crocheting in the round (or circle) was a bit confusing.. I'd tried it before when I first started crocheting but gave up. Now I think I've got it down. 

I made some other styled cozies as well.. 

Embellishing them is the best part!

No burned fingers for me! 

I've added a few to my Etsy shop, and I've posted more of them on my facebook page as well! 
They'd make perfect little Christmas gifts or stocking stuffers, maybe along with a gift card to a coffee shop!

Christmas Has Started!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. . .

Got a new cd and can't stop listening to it!

We cut down our first REAL Christmas tree! 

It's such a beautiful tree!!

Decorated with my handmade yarn wrapped cardboard star ornaments

That's all the decorating done in our home so far!

Three Years

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Three years ago ... 

October 24, 2009

And I thought I loved him THEN! 

He was my first everything... 

First LOVE

First {and only} BOYFRIEND

First KISS
 {saved it for my wedding day}

First ...  ;)
{totally worth waiting till it's in the context of God's design!
So happy that we have no regrets to think back on!! 
Doing things the way God planned is so great!}

Our marriage is not perfect, nor do we hope or expect it to be, but we are totally perfect for each other.  

Imperfectly Perfect! 

Things get better every day, even through the rough spots. The hard parts make us realize we can't do this marriage thing on our own, just the two of us. We need God too! 

Psalm 127:1 
"Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.." 
{that was the verse my pastor spoke to us about during our wedding ceremony} 


I could not imagine my life without this guy!

True love is sweeter than strawberry milkshakes! 

I love you, Babe!

Mason Jar Stamped Gift Tags

Friday, October 12, 2012

Eeek! I've always wanted a mason jar stamp and finally I found one at Michael's on sale! ... and I think it was the only one left! YEAH! I've been making gift tags with them! They're so CUTE! 

P.S.. I posted them on my Facebook page first, before adding them to my shop! So if you see a set you like hurry over and leave me your paypal email address!!

Those Gorgeous Fall Leaves

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

These beautiful trees are behind our apartment and my eyes cannot get enough of their pretty fall colors! The trees here in the Fall are absolutely GORGEOUS! Lots of maple trees! I want to play in the fallen leaves all day long, .. but unfortunately all my neighbors would think I'm nuts!

I totally love my outfit here, by the way! : ) I really really LOVE mustard yellow of course, and I think it looks pretty good with the black and white striped shirt underneath. Nothin' like feeling cute and stylish on a pretty Fall afternoon. 

Have a mentioned that Autumn makes me feel all romantic-y and dreamy???

Fall Specimen Art

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The other day I came across this pumpkin specimen art from My Blessed Nest and thought it was so super cute! I wanted to make my own, but I don't have a pumpkin punch. But I just purchased a large heart punch on Ebay, so when it came in the mail the other day I had my first project for it all figured out!

Months ago a neighbor gave me a huuuge stack of magazines when she moved, and I've had that stack just sitting around under one of our side tables. 

Because I didn't have any cute scrapbook paper, I flipped through the magazines looking for designs and images I could punch out. There's TONS of pretty designs and images you could use from magazines! So before you throw them out make sure you get all the prettiness punched out of them!

I bought my cheapo frame from the dollar store and hot glued some burlap material to the back of the frame, glued my tiles on, then picked out 12 hearts I wanted to use and lightly glued them down. I didn't use the glass piece at all. I'll just throw it away.. or something. With a crafter nothing is trash, right? :) 

I couldn't be more pleased! 

So cute! 

And I decorated my piano last night all Fall-ish. I don't have a mantel to decorate, so I use my piano! But I'll share that later on. I'm still finishing up on it.