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A candy lei to wear and give at Halloween

Halloween Candy Lei

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A candy lei to wear and give at Halloween

Lei made from candy, netting and in Halloween colors

This Halloween Candy Lei is the perfect SWEET gift for anyone of any age!

It’s difficult to find projects that are inexpensive for teens and that they will actually like, and want.  But this Halloween Candy Lei fits perfectly!  Teens will have fun making these for them self, or for their friends, or have them make these at a party! Put out candy that will fit in the netting (as described below) and let them choose the kind they want to put in their lei.  To keep your costs down, you can have popcorn or other snack food for them to munch on while they make their lei and kindly limit the candy count to whatever your budget will accommodate for each person. 

It’s a terrific treat for a parent to give to your kids.

The Halloween Candy Lei is an especially great gift for a grandparent to make and even send in the mail.  See my post Did You Know You Can Send THAT In The Mail for fun ways to mail it off! 

The Halloween Candy Lei is so EASY, QUICK and SIMPLE  with no tricks involved, only TREATS:)




 

HALLOWEEN CANDY LEI

Supplies:

Click on the name/title to go right to the item for easy shopping

This Halloween 10″ mesh ribbon/tulle would work well for mini candy bars and small size candy  *personally, I prefer to use this size just to be safe.  You can always put 2 pieces of small candy in it if it looks like it needs it. 

This regular 6″ Halloween tulle netting  works  for very small/mini sized candy

Curling ribbon in your choice of color

Any mini and small candy, it just needs to fit in the tulle netting you choose

 

Directions:

Place candy in center of tulle.

Halloween Candy Lei

Halloween Candy Lei

Halloween Candy Lei

Halloween Candy Lei

Halloween Candy Lei

Halloween Candy Lei

Take one side of the tuelle of the candy.Wrap the other side of the tuelle over the candy.Tie curling ribbon close to the candy to hold in securely so it won’t fall out. 

Halloween Candy Lei

Halloween Candy Lei

Option: tie candy into the ribbon if it it too large to hold securely.Curl the ribbon.

Tie the ends of the tuelle together in a square knot to form a lei.

Halloween Candy Lei

Halloween Candy Lei

Another option is to loop one end and have it more of a hanging type of candy holder as shown below.

Halloween Candy Lei

Halloween Candy Lei

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.




Refreshing Cranberry Mousse Dessert

Scrumptious Cranberry Mousse

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Refreshing Cranberry Mousse Dessert

Cranberry Mousse

This is a beautiful salad for the holidays, but perfect for anytime of the year.  Light, refreshing and can be made smooth by pureeing the ingredients or left a bit chunky – your choice.  ENJOY!


 

Cranberry Mousse

 Ingredients:

6 oz. package strawberry gelatin

1 cup boiling water

20 oz can crushed pineapple

14 oz. can whole-berry cranberry sauce

3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon fresh lemon rind, grated

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream




Directions:

In a large bowl, dissolve the gelatin in boiling water. Stir well for THREE minutes.cranberry mousse 1Wash the lemon with soap and water then grate the lemon rind, using care to ONLY grate the top of the top of the yellow layer and not the white pith, which will make it make the mouse bitter.cranberry mousse 2Now cut the lemon in half and squeeze out the juice by twisting a fork inside the flesh to extract all the juice possible into a cup.  Then measure out 3 Tablespoons. If necessary, add in bottled juice to make up the difference.cranberry mousse 3




Drain the pineapple well; using a spoon to press out the juice, reserving the pineapple juice and set aside.cranberry mousse 4In a mini processor puree the cranberry sauce. cranberry mousse 5To the dissolved gelatin, add in the reserved pineapple juice, 3 Tbl. lemon juice, nutmeg, drained crushed pineapple and sour cream.  cranberry mousse 6Pour into a large serving bowl or individual serving cups, the gelatin mixture and chill until set; at least 2 hours.  serves 16-20.cranberry mousse 7OPTION:  Puree the pineapple and the cranberry together for a smooth mousse.

Adapted slightly from Taste of Home

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

 




budget, cost, holidays, Christmas, gifts, presents

Are YOU Ready for the Holidays?

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Yes, They Are Coming

SURVIVING and Having JOY in the HOLIDAYS 

 Yes, they ARE coming!!!

The holidays are highly anticipated with visits from family near and far. However, it can be a challenge….ok, even down-right frustrating oftentimes.  The weeks of planning, shopping, wrapping, cooking and preparing for a ‘perfect family time’ can sometimes, actually most of the time, turn out a bit different than planned.  Hopefully this article will help you enjoy and relish your time with family and friends.


We WILL have FUN, and I mean it….Really, what are your expectations? Do not expect perfection from yourself or your family – it’s not reality, nor will it ever be for anyone, unless they are paid actors with a script. People are human beings with their own quirks and personalities. Try to imagine your family as a sit-com and get a laugh of the oddities that will most certainly occur. The occasional criticism, the annoying comments, the disagreements; it’s all just a part of being a family. Do not ‘get into it’ with them, or fight or be mean-spirited back; just do your best to forgive, and smile. Of course if there is a serious issue, deal with it as an adult, meaning think it through, count to ten, take a long walk and breath deep to avoid lashing out, or saying something you shouldn’t that will damage relationships. This too shall pass and they will go home. Show kindness and respect to everyone, not just those you get along with better, or family members who treat you more kindly and are more considerate. If you work on being calm, happy, loving to all,  you’re giving your best, and that makes all the difference. Don’t over-think or over-prepare. Over-think means to imagine up all kinds of scenarios that might come, or might not. You cannot control everyone or everything – It is just not possible. DO think of:

  • Have your house clean before they come. Everything will go much smoother, because clutter adds to the chaos.
  • Have extra basic supplies on hand, such as extra toothbrushes (go to the local dollar store and look at the basic toiletries for ideas and for low cost to you).
  • Have your laundry all caught up and put away so that if family needs to wash clothing due to a baby blow-out, a toddler accident, or their own needs, it will be available and you won’t be stressed trying to squeeze your washing in also.
  • Paper plates, paper cups, disposable utensils will be your best friend!  Do not stress over doing all those dishes, this is a holiday for you too.
  • Have snacks on hand that are more healthy such as cheese sticks, crackers, granola bars, fruits, vegetables, bread, peanut butter, etc. for family to snack on when they get hungry. Put them in a ‘free zone’ meaning let them know they can have it whenever they would like and they don’t have to ask permission. This is particularly thoughtful for new in-laws or guests who may feel it would impose on your generosity to ask for food other than meals. But a hungry tummy makes any get together not so fun.
  • Speaking of food, it works well to label ‘do not eat’ in masking tape or on the container if it is an necessity for a certain recipe. There is nothing more uncomfortable than finding out your critical ingredient was eaten, the stores are closed or too far away, or the expense of replacing it would be too much. Embarrassing all around.
  • Consider food allergies. If you are the guest and you have special needs please bring considerate and bring your own food so you are not an inconvenience.  For example if you do not eat meat and only tofu, and you know the hostess/host normally do not have tofu on hand, by all means take it and other specialty expensive or hard to find items.
  • Find out dislikes of certain foods and have a few options, such as peanut butter and bread, cereal, frozen burritos, anything simple they can prepare on their own, while not making more work for you. You may think this is going a bit overboard, but I will give you my example. I will not eat eggs of any type of preparation, so if I had the option of cereal or instant oatmeal for breakfast when eggs were the planned menu, I would really appreciate that host/hostess the mostest!
  • Do not be militant or overbearing, but do set down rules and boundaries that apply to your home.  Make them clear from the get-go.  For example if you prefer people not to smoke in your home, provide ash trays and politely ask if guests would smoke outside.




  So-and-so Drives me crazy! Some members of the family are more social than others; do not

  • Expect everyone to participate in every single activity being offered, or even to be involved with the family much; that’s just how some people are, but love ‘em just the same.
  • Have an escape plan for yourself and spouse IF it does get a bit crazy, just tell them you have to go make sure all the little fish are still in their proper tanks at the local store.  Or that you need to go help arrange the books at the library from tallest to shortest.  It will give them the heads up you need a break, but with a sense of humor.

My best advice: Do tell your family of the ONE or two (but NO more than that) most important activity, or event, to you (and spouse if it applies) that you want everyone involved in, and be clear which one it is. This could be a family picture, a dinner, a visit to see a relative, anything, but just one or two things and that’s the rule you cannot break. It is important that adult children have their own traditions to solidify them as a family unit and they may have the other side of the family who would like to see them also. This makes you happy because your main event will be attended by all, and helps family members know exactly what activity to plan on above all else. Generally they don’t want to disappoint or seem rude, they just may not know what to do, to make you happy during the season. Do NOT over-prepare:

  • Have food that can be prepared simply and quickly so you can participate in the family time and enjoy it as much as everyone else.
  • Try to have food that if it is not used, it can be stored for a future time.
  • Have things prepared to do, such as games, movies, an outing to see the holiday lights or a local attraction. BUT, do not expect everyone/anyone to do all those things. It is nice to have ideas to vote on, or choose from out of a hat.
  • If you are the one visiting relatives, chip in and help with the cooking and clean up. Do not wait to be asked, PLEASE.
  • If it is your house everyone is at, do not be shy about asking for help. It only makes you feel resentful that you are in the kitchen alone while everyone else vegges in front of the tv.

You know how an animal can sense your nervousness? Well, people are the same.   That is why it is vital that you relax, enjoy and savor the time together, whether it is for one hour or a week. Family will want to be with you, IF you enjoy being with them, and it is the most relaxed environment you can make it. Families are made up of complicated individuals, yet the holidays can be simple and fun if you work out the details the best you can ahead of time, then sit back and enjoy the wonderful ride it is.  Just think, after all the festivities, you could possibly write a best seller of all the ‘fun’ – just be sure to change the names, heehee.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mothers Shadow, 2013, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.  




A Marshmallow dipped in chocolate then covered in crushed graham crackers

S’Mores Chocolate and Marshmallow Pops

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A Marshmallow dipped in chocolate then covered in crushed graham crackers

Marshmallow, chocolate and graham crackers

S’Mores Chocolate and Marshmallow Pops are a perfect last minute treat and great for the entire family to make together.

You don’t have to wait to go camping or even to start a campfire to enjoy these yummy delights!

These bite sized S’mores have all the components you love, and are so easy to make too. 

Put a few together in a cellophane bag for a gift or a thinking of you. I’ll show you how!

S’Mores Chocolate and Marshmallow Pops

S’Mores Chocolate and Marshmallow Pops

S’Mores Pops
Ingredients:
Graham Crackers
Chocolate buttons/melts OR chocolate chips
Marshmallows, regular size or the jumbo work really well

Picks These are on sale and pretty cool

Parchment Paper or Waxed paper to set the S’mores Pops on



Directions:
First crush your graham cracker to a fine crumb, or leave a bit chunky; your preference.
Spread out a sheet of parchment on a cookie sheet or any flat surface.
Pour chocolate into a microwavable bowl and heat for 20 seconds. 

S'Mores Chocolate and Marshmallow Pops

Remove from microwave and stir.

Repeat this process.

Continue until the chocolate is smooth, melted and warm to about the temperature of a baby bath.

S'Mores Chocolate and Marshmallow Pops

 

Poke your stick, or skewer into the marshmallow, far enough to make it secure. 
S'Mores Chocolate and Marshmallow Pops

 

Dip the marshmallow into the melted chocolate, covering as far as you wish.

S'Mores Chocolate and Marshmallow Pops

Immediately roll into the graham cracker crumbs coating just the bottom portion, up half way, or the entire marshmallow – whatever you desire!
Set onto the parchment paper to allow the chocolate to set up.

 

Store in a container with a tight fitting lid.  Eat within 2 days for best results.

A Marshmallow dipped in chocolate then covered in crushed graham crackers

Marshmallow, chocolate and graham crackers

A Marshmallow dipped in chocolate then covered in crushed graham crackers

S’Mores Chocolate and Marshmallow Pops

Carrie’s recipe, Copyright Carrie Groneman, 2014, 2018
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.
 



Homemade Greeting Card

Home Made Holiday Card

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Homemade Greeting Card

Homemade Holiday Card

Another one of Dorthy’s amazing creations!  This card will be treasured by the recipient.  It would be a wonderful greeting card to mail to friends and family.  Whether giving a large or a small gift, the card will be the highlight.


Christmas Card supplies

Card base:   8 ½” x 5 ½” cardstock

Contrast:   1 – 3” x 5” cardstock

Contrast:    2 ¾” x 4 ¾” cardstock

Present:    1 – 1 ¼” x 1 ¼” and

      2 – 1” x 1 ¾” and

      3 – 1 ¼” x 1 ¼”

Inside paper:   5 ¼” x 4” (white)

     1 sheet vellum paper computer and printer to print out greeting

     12” metallic gold floss

Scissors

Ruler

Paper glue

Mini hole punch

2 mini brads

Needle

Superglue (opt)Homemade Greeting Card 1


Step 1    Cut out all pieces. Fold card body in half.

Glue presents on to contrast (2 ¾ x 4 ¾ ) placing them 5/8” up from bottom and centered (eyeball it!). Homemade Greeting Card 2Step #2  Thread needle with 2 strands of floss.

Step #3 Poke holes in the top and bottom of each present.

Step #4 –  Thread floss through with needle. Tie in a double knot at the top. Homemade Greeting Card 6

Step #5  Tie in a bow and trim ends to desired length.  Repeat for each present. If desired, place a small drop of superglue on the center of each bow so it will not come untied.Homemade Greeting Card 3


Step #6   Choose a font to print your greeting in. It needs to be about 3” in length. I used Curlz MT 36 bolded. Center the greeting on the page and type about 6 greetings leaving room in between to cut or tear. Print.  Homemade Greeting Card 4Step # 7   Cut apart and then tear to be about 1” wide.Homemade Greeting Card 5Step #8   Place vellum strip over the presents and center side-to-side and top-to-bottom. Hold in place and punch a hole on both sides.

Step #9    Place brads in holes. Fold excess vellum to the back and glue down.

Step #10  Glue to 3 x 5 cardstock centering on all sides.

Step #11   Glue to front of card centering once again.

Step #12  Glue white paper on the inside of the card to write your sentiment. If you used a light color for your Card base, you can skip this step. Homemade Greeting Card 7Tada!

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’ Shadow, 2013

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.




Festive Baby Green Salad

Festive Baby Green Salad

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Festive Baby Green Salad

Festive Baby Green Salad

I crafted this salad for the holidays, using baby greens, pears, apples, honey roasted nuts, parmesan and a wonderfully luscious dressing incorproating cranberries.   Not heavy but healthy, easy to put together for any gathering and sings of festivities and holidays.

Join in the FUN and receive my FREE printable Kitchen Conversion Chart HERE

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Festive Baby Green Salad

Ingredients:

1/2 cup canned cranberry sauce, whole-berry or jellied

2 Tbl. fruited vinegar (such as raspberry), or red wine vinegar

2 Tbl. water

1 Tbl. olive oil

1/4 tsp. balsamic vinegar

1 tsp. Dijon or regular mustard

1/8 tsp. salt, or to taste

1/8 tsp. Montreal steak seasoning

6-8 oz. baby greens – or a mix of baby greens and spinich

2 medium pears, ripe, but firm, cored and thinly sliced OR apples

2 oz., about

6 Tbl., honey roasted almond or walnuts or pecans, chopped

1/2 cup craisins, or desired amount

1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese, shaved or shredded, or as desired amount  Festive Baby Green Salad 2  Festive Baby Green Salad 1

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Directions:

Process in a small chopper or whisk very well in a medium bowl the cranberry sauce, vinegar, water, oil, balsamic and mustard, salt and Montreal seasoning. This dressing can be kept overnight in the refrigerator.Festive Baby Green Salad 3When ready to serve, place greens in a large serving bowl. Add desired amount of dressing, pears and nuts; toss to mix and coat. Scatter shaved or shredded Parmesan on top.Festive Baby Green Salad 4Serve immediately.Carrie’s recipe, Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013

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Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.




Well Dressed Potato Salad

Well Dressed Potato Salad

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Well Dressed Potato Salad

Well Dressed Potato Salad

Definitely an upscale potato salad.  The creamy dressing compliments the red skin potatoes perfectly to bring out all the wonderful flavors. Prepare it ahead of time to allow the flavors to marry.  This red-skinned potato salad is perfect for any occasion.




 Well Dressed Potato Salad

Ingredients :

Combine in a large bowl:

4 pounds red potatoes, cut into larger cubes. Boil into tender, but NOT mushy or overcooked

3 hard cooked eggs, peeled and chopped (optional)

1 cup celery, diced

4-6 green onions, chopped  

Dressing

mix together well in a bowl with a whisk:

1 ¼ cups Miracle Whip or mayonnaise (depending on preference)

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/8 cup prepared mustard

1-2 tsp. minced or chopped garlic

1/4 – 1/2 tsp. hot sauce

1- 2 tsp. sugar (depending on sweetness desired)

3/4 cup evaporated milk

1/4 tsp. balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/2 tsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning

1/2 tsp. salt, to taste

1/4 cup sweet pickle relish  

Directions:

Gently stir together the potato mixture in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, combine well the dressing mixture. Fold the dressing mixture into the potato mixture. Sprinkle with paprika if desired. Refrigerate overnight and keep chilled. Well Dressed Potato Salad 1

Carrie’s recipe

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.




Surviving the Holidays

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DSC_2454

SURVIVING/Having Joy in the HOLIDAYS 

 Yes, they ARE coming!!!

The holidays are highly anticipated with visits from family near and far. However, it can be a challenge….ok, even down-right frustrating oftentimes.  The weeks of planning, shopping, wrapping, cooking and preparing for a ‘perfect family time’ can sometimes, actually most of the time, turn out a bit different than planned.  Hopefully this article will help you enjoy and relish your time with family and friends.

 

We WILL have FUN, and I mean it….Really, what are your expectations?

Don’t expect perfection from yourself or your family – it’s not reality, nor will it ever be for anyone, unless they are paid actors with a script. People are human beings with their own quirks and personalities.

Try to imagine your family as a sit-com and get a laugh of the oddities that will most certainly come up. The occasional criticism, the annoying comments, the disagreements, is all just a part of being a family. Do not ‘get into it’ with them, or fight or be mean-spirited back; just do your best to forgive, and smile. Of course if there is a serious issue, deal with it as an adult, meaning think it through, count to ten, take a long walk and breath deep to avoid lashing out, or saying something you shouldn’t that will damage relationships. This too shall pass and they will go home.

Show kindness and respect to everyone, not just those you get along with better, or family members who treat you more kindly and are more considerate. If you work on being calm, happy, loving to all,  you’re giving your best, and that makes all the difference.

Don’t over-think or over-prepare.

Over-think means to imagine up all kinds of scenarios that might come, or might not. You cannot control everyone or everything. It is just not possible.

DO think of:

  • Have your house clean before they come. Everything will go much smoother, because clutter adds to the chaos.
  • Have extra basic supplies on hand, such as extra toothbrushes (go to the local dollar store and look at the basic toiletries for ideas and for low cost to you).
  • Have your laundry all caught up and put away so that if family needs to wash clothing due to a baby blow-out, a toddler accident, or their own needs, it will be available and you won’t be stressed trying to squeeze your washing in also.
  • Paper plates, paper cups, disposable utensils will be your best friend!  Do not stress over doing all those dishes, this is a holiday for you too.
  • Have snacks on hand that are more healthy such as cheese sticks, crackers, granola bars, fruit, vegetables, fruit, bread, peanut butter, etc. for family to snack on when they get hungry. Put them in a ‘free zone’ meaning let them know they can have it whenever they would like and they don’t have to ask permission. This is particularly thoughtful for new in-laws or guests who may feel it would impose on your generosity to ask for food other than meals. But a hungry tummy makes any get together not so fun.
  • Speaking of food, it works well to label ‘do not eat’ in masking tape or on the container if it is an necessity for a certain recipe. There is nothing more uncomfortable than finding out your critical ingredient was eaten, the stores are closed or too far away, or the expense of replacing it would be too much. Embarrassing all around.
  • Consider food allergies.
  • Find out dislikes of certain foods and have a few options, such as peanut butter and bread, frozen burritos, anything simple they can prepare on their own, while not making more work for you. You may think this is going a bit overboard, but I will give you my example. I will not eat eggs of any type of preparation, so if I had the option of cereal or instant oatmeal for breakfast when eggs were the planned menu, I would really appreciate that host/hostess the mostest!
  • Do not be militant or overbearing, but do set down rules and boundaries that apply to your home.  Make them clear from the get-go.

So-and-so Drives me crazy!

Some members of the family are more social than others; do not

  • Expect everyone to participate in every single activity being offered, or even to be involved with the family much; that’s just how some are, but love ‘em just the same.
  • Have an escape plan for yourself and spouse IF it does get a bit crazy, just tell them you have to go make sure all the little fish are still in their proper tanks at the local store or that you need to go help arrange the books at the library from tallest to shortest.  It will give them the heads up you need a break, but with a sense of humor.

My Best advice:

Do tell your family of the ONE or two (but NO more than that) what the important activity, or event, to you (and spouse if it applies) that you want everyone involved in, and be clear which one it is. This could be a family picture, a dinner, a visit to see a relative, anything, but just one or two things and that’s the rule you can’t break. It is important that adult children have their own traditions to solidify them as a family unit and they may have the other side of the family who would like to see them also. This makes you happy because your main event will be attended by all, and helps family members know exactly what activity to plan on above all else. Generally they don’t want to disappoint or seem rude, they just may not know what to do to make you happy during the season.

Do NOT over-prepare:

  • Have food that can be prepared simply and quickly so you can participate in the family time and enjoy it as much as everyone else.
  • Try to have food that if it is not used, it can be stored for a future time.
  • Have things prepared to do, such as games, movies, an outing to see the holiday lights or a local attraction. BUT, do not expect everyone/anyone to do all those things. It is nice to have ideas to vote on, or choose from out of a hat.
  • If you are the one visiting relatives, chip in and help with the cooking and clean up. Do not wait to be asked, PLEASE.
  • If it is your house everyone is at, do not be shy about asking for help. It only makes you feel resentful that you are in the kitchen alone while everyone else vegges in front of the tv.

You know how an animal can sense your nervousness? Well, people are the same.   That is why it is vital that you relax, enjoy and savor the time together, whether it is for one hour or a week. Family will want to be with you, IF you enjoy being with them, and it is the most relaxed environment you can make it. Families are made up of complicated individuals, yet the holidays can be simple and fun if you work out the details the best you can ahead of time, then sit back and enjoy the wonderful ride it is.  Just think, after all the festivities, you could possibly write a best seller of all the ‘fun’ – just be sure to change the names.  

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mothers Shadow, 2013, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.