Friday, December 25, 2015

Cranberry Bread Cream Cake

1 loaf cranberry bread
1 can whole cranberry sauce 
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 large cool whip container
2 small boxes instant cheesecake pudding (with milk to prepare)

Prepare cheesecake pudding according to the package, set aside.
Crumble 1/2 of your cranberry bread into the bottom of your dish. (Cranberry bread from scratch recipe found here.) In a large bowl mix cream cheese and powdered sugar until well blended. Fold in 1/2 of your cool whip. Spread the cream cheese mix over your bread. Cover the cream cheese with your prepared cheesecake pudding. Open your can of cranberry, spreading half of the can ontop of the pudding. Top with remaining cool whip and garnish with extra crumbles of cranberry bread. Place dessert in fridge until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Mint chocolate fudge cream cake

1 pack mint Oreos
1 small pack fudge covered mint cookies
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 large cool whip container
1 large box instant chocolate pudding (with milk to prepare)
1/4 cup butter, melted
Chocolate syrup

Prepare chocolate pudding according to the package, set aside.
Drizzle chocolate syrup on the inside of the dish.
Crumble 1/2 of the Oreos in the package , placing in the bottom of your dish. Drizzle the melted butter over the Oreos and mix in evenly. Slightly press down to for your crust. In a large bowl mix cream cheese and powdered sugar until well blended. Fold in 1/2 of your cool whip. Spread the cream cheese mix over your Oreos. Cover the cream cheese with your prepared chocolate pudding. Ontop of your pudding layer, line your fudge covered cookies around the dish. Top with remaining cool whip and garnish with crumbles Oreos and chocolate syrup. Place dessert in fridge until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Cream cheese filled Egg Nog bread

I have been trying to prepare desserts and sides to bring with us for our many Christmas parties are we going to this holiday. With 6 places, Christmas treats can get a little expensive. I started by making cranberry bread which has recently become a crowd favorite. I only had enough cranberries for 1 loaf, so I started hunting around in the kitchen for other things I could throw into a loaf of bread. I noticed a bottle of egg nog in the refrigerator and decided to try something new! I am so glad that I did! This may be my new favorite holiday recipe yet! The spices in the bread are full of flavor mixing with the creamy texture of egg nog and cream cheese. It is certainly going to be the new holiday "must have".

Egg Nog Bread:
1 cup egg nog +1 tbsp
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon 
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
Cream cheese filling:
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/8 cup powdered sugar
1/8 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons flour 
1/2 tsp vanilla 
1/2 tsp egg nog
Egg nog glaze:
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp egg nog

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease a metal loaf pan, set aside.

In a large bowl mix the egg nog, sugar, vanilla, butter, and eggs until well blended. Fold in the remaining ingredients. Once batter is fully mixed, set aside to prepare cream cheese later.

In a separate bowl beat the cream cheese and sugars until blended. Beat in remaining ingredients.

To layer the bread, pour 2/3 of your egg nog bread batter into your prepared pan. Spread your cream cheese layer over your bread and top it off with the remaining bread batter.

Bake for 50-55 minutes. If the top starts to brown before the loaf is done, cover it with tin foil. I baked mine uncovered for 45 minutes and covered with tin foil for another 7 minutes.

Once the bread is baked, cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. After the bread is completely cooled, prepare your glaze. 

Mix the powdered sugar and egg nog, beating out all the lumps with a whisker. Pour glaze over bread. Enjoy!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Crunch

Only a few more days until Christmas! I love everything about Christmas. The decorations, the food, giving gifts to others, seeing all my family and friends, and of course celebrating the true meaning of Christmas ! With our final days approaching it seems our shopping list gets larger and our wallets get smaller! I started making homemade gifts last year to save cost but still give great gifts. I made this Christmas crunch for the first time to add to Christmas baskets and to snack on for the holidays. It's cheap, easy, and delicious!

1 1/2 bags of popcorn, homestyle
2 cups pretzels, chopped
1 - 10 oz bag of Christmas M&Ms
1 1/2 cups Christmas cookies, chopped
1 lb of vanilla candy melt
Christmas sprinkles

Start by popping all your popcorn according to the bag. Place the cooked popcorn in a large bowl, removing all uncooked kernels. Add the chopped pieces of Christmas cookies, pretzels, and M&Ms to your popcorn. Melt you chocolate according to the package instructions. Mix the chocolate into the popcorn evenly. Be careful not to crush the popcorn. Add a few shakes of sprinkles and let the chocolate on the pop corn dry. Once the chocolate has cooled, separate into your gifts! 1 batch makes around 6-8 goodie bags worth. Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

I am all about finding convenient ways to cook. With making over 10 dishes and desserts for friends giving, this slow cooker mashed potatoes were a life saver! Delicious too! Original recipe found at

2 pounds red potatoes, washed, halved.
4 tbsp butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tbsp minced garlic 
1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley (or 2 tbsp dried parsley flakes)
1/2 tsp dried or fresh basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup milk

Place your potatoes in a large greased crock pot. Leave on high for 2-3 hours or low for 5-6. I put mine on low and left them in there all day while I cooked the rest of the food! Once the potatoes are fork tender, blend with a hand blender or a potato masher. Blend in remaining ingredients. Keep warm until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Ambrosia Salad

This is the perfect side for any holiday meal rather it's Thanksgiving or 4th of July. You can mix it up with adding your favorite fruits and nuts to really make it special too. I found the original recipe on It is super light and fluffy! It went great with our Friendsgiving this year!

8 oz tub of Cool Whip
1/2 cup sour cream
11 oz can mandarin oranges, drained
20 oz can crushed pineapples, drained
10 oz jar maraschino cherries, halved, patted dry
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
2 cups mini marshmallows
3/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, cashews) - optional
* we added 1/2 cup chopped up strawberries

Mix sour cream and cool whip together in a bowl. Fold in remaining ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Christmas Decorating on a Budget

It's here! The most wonderful time of the year! It is so hard to believe it has already been a year since Johnny and I got engaged, and wow, what a magical year that was! With all the yummy foods and Christmas shopping, there's holiday decorating! Christmas decorating is the most expensive. From the trees, the mantle, there has to feel like there is Christmas in each room! How do you make a house look as wonderful as you feel this December? Easy! The 4 best bargain places! TJ Maxx, thrift store, Dollar General, and Micheals! 

Let's start with office decorating. For our front table, most of our Devore came from Michaels. 

For the wreath, we took a discounted Kirklands wreath and added flowers and berries from Michaels at 60% off with ribbon that was Buy one get one Free and a 40% off coupon. 

For the tree, we used the artificial tree the company has used for years. We found a reassembled box of gold and silver ornaments and paired them with gold acorn ornaments, gold flowers, and gold berries. 

At home, I have 2 trees. The dinning room is a small artificial tree. We used a purple and green color scheme. All ornaments, flowers, and berries came from Micheals and the Dollar General. 

I paired the tree with a mint table cloth and set up the table arrangements with silvers and golds to match. 

For the Living room, we have a deep red and gold theme. We use a real tree in the front room. This year we got ours from Food Lion for $29.99.

The mantel is decorated with left over Mercury glass from our wedding and 2 jars from the Dollar General filled with pine cones from our front yard. 

Our front table is mainly pieces from the thrift store and items I already had around the house. 

We added a few touches to our bathroom as well by replacing the flowers to a darker color for the season. 

 And don't forget about our drinking buddy we added to our bar!

Top off all the decorations with a homemade wreath and you are savy Christmas ready!!

Merry Christmas!! 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Thanksgiving Decor on a Budget

PIt's a new month with new ideas for my Holiday table. Thanksgiving is a harder holiday to decorate for. Before Halloween even begins, it seems Christmas decor is making its way out on to the shelves, skipping our beloved Thanksgiving! One of the tips to decorating for thanksgiving is to find your turkeys early! 

For our our office we did a turkey and fall colors to help fill out the table. All decor items came from TJ Maxx and Michaels.

We reused the red house calander and flowers from our September table. Pumpkins are a good item you can use from your Halloween table too. 

For the house table, 90% of the decorations are from the thrift store and the Dollar store.

The bottom shelf is the same arrangement from the Halloween table. I also made a wreath using leaves and flowers from the Dollar General. 

Happy Turkeyday! 

Halloween decorating on a budget

One of my guilty pleasures when grocery shopping is ready the home and garden magazines. My brain is filled with so many creative ideas, but the wallet is not as filled as my imagination. Over the years I have learned a few tricks of the trade to save shopping. I saved hundreds of dollars decorating each month from shopping at my 3 favorite places: Michaels craft store, the thrift store, and the holy grail: TJ Maxx. 

The decorating obsession started when my boss asked my to decorate the front office desk. With Halloween approaching I decided to go with an October theme. I looked for deals and coupons to get the most with the budget. I found all the Halloween materials at Michaels were 50% off! I gathered a few of my favorite things and strayed decorating. I started the table with a bag of spider webs and fake spiders on the table and finished with arranging the pieces. We had a chalk board sign to mark each day of October. By my desk we put up a witch and a cute little sign. Pair it with some Halloween candy and voila!

For the house decorations, I picked a few of my favorite pieces from Micheals and scored the rest from the thrift store. The candelabra, candles, candle holders, clocks, Mercury glass, and a few other items were all left over wedding decor that we found at different thrift stores. Look for a color scheme you want to master for you holiday table and see if you already have pieces in your home you can use to decorate. Each year you can add a new favorite piece. I always like to shop after a holiday. Michaels lowers their holiday decor to 70% off after the season!

I added a few extra holiday decorations to pull it all together. In the kitchen, I ised the gold glass goblets I already had from TJ Maxx and paired it with a skull from Micheals and place matts and towels I got from Bed Bath and Beyond with my 20% off coupon. 

If you want to get more crafty with the holiday you can always make a Wreath as well. Buy the Halloween materials from Michaels when they are on sale, and use their 40% off coupon for any other items!

Get some pumpkins and mums to out outside and you'll have successfully decorated your house for Halloween all under $100! Don't forget to check out the link on how to make a Halloween Count Down Calander!