Beer Advent Calendar

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Although I have no shortage of ideas to attempt from my 2K+ pins on my boards, this project wasn’t actually inspired by Pinterest. With that said, it’s the kind of idea that seems like something I would find on Pinterest, plus I’m betting if I were to do a search, I would find versions of it on Pinterest, and if not, I think there should be 🙂

The inspiration was from a friend who posted to FB a picture of a beer advent calendar she was given. …A random collection of craft beers, each one different. J thought it was the coolest thing. Since his birthday was at the end of November, it was perfect timing for a birthday gift. I checked, but the version my friend had was sold out in less than 2 days. Instead of giving up, I created my own version.

I shopped for 24 unique individual beers. Trader Joe’s was a great source, since you can pick and choose any of their beers and buy any bottle as a solo. They even provide empty 6-pack holders so you can create your own customized pack of 6.

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I used an empty beer case to package the 24 unique bottles, wrapped it up with gift wrap, and wrote a unique number overtop  each bottle in random positions around the case, and voila – a Beer Advent Calendar.

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J thinks it’s pretty cool, and for fun he’s keeping track of how many of the beers he’s being introduced to for the first time.

 

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Mini Gingerbread Houses

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This week my goal was to start & finish my Christmas baking. Thanks to a few vacation days, it was easily accomplished. We have certain baked goods that we make every year…it’s tradition! These include sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, peanut butter balls. Every year I try one or two new recipes and sometimes those are included in the yearly pre-holiday baking days. I’ve even found recipes during the past 2 years on Pinterest that are now a key part of my Christmas baking (I’ll save those for another post).

So, in preparation for my baking days, I looked at my Pinterest boards for something that stood out and would be easy to accomplish among the other recipes on the agenda.

And then I remembered these….mini gingerbread houses! How cute are they!? I love the look of miniature food items (& should probably create a new board dedicated to them!).

Since I was already making gingerbread cookies, I decided to make 3 mini houses with the dough I had leftover at the end. I use Martha Stewart’s gingerbread cookie recipe (available on her website).

The link above provides a template.

Rolled out the dough, place templates and cut. I used a butter knife to cut out the shapes (and therefore likely didn’t cut as precisely as I should have).

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Out of the oven. The cookies expanded and the door openings filled in, so I trimmed them with a knife as soon as they came out of the oven.

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Here they are! The instructions call for putting them together with royal icing. I used buttercream icing as I already had made some for the other cookies I was baking, and it worked fine for what I needed.

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Aren’t they adorable?!

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The original poster of this idea made her houses to fit on the edges of coffee mugs. But here was the tough part…I had a difficult time finding a mug it would fit on! Probably because I wasn’t as precise when I cut out the pieces.

I managed to fit it on this mug, but it was a tight fit.

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I also thought they would be cute on a bowl, for kids to enjoy with ice cream:

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Would I make these again?! Yes! It would be fun to experiment with the size of the pieces and to decorate them with candies.

Christmas tree craft

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It’s definitely a busy time of year! Since it’s December, my Pinterest pins lately have been Christmas related. And honestly, even then, most of them would just remain pins until next year or the year after. But this year, mostly because of this blog, I’ve found I’ve been going through my Christmas board and trying ideas I pinned last year (while still pinning lots of new ideas :).

I’m fortunate that I get to test out many of the pinned ideas with the kids at work.

This week we made a Christmas tree craft, inspired by this pin.

I liked how each child was able to create their own design…but when they were placed together to form a tree, the triangles complimented each other.

All that is needed is an uneven number of equilateral triangles! I printed an equilateral triangle I found on a search engine and enlarged it with a photocopier. Then we cut out the triangles out of green bristle board. The kids decorated their triangles with sequins and stickers.

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Our tree is made of 25 triangles. We added a star on the top and a brown piece of construction paper for the trunk….

Voila!

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