donut hole snowman

s9

Hello, little snowman! I was inspired by Martha Stewart's ice cream and coconut snowman. What a cute idea, but just not the right party treat for our toddler craft party. Hmm, what else is round and little?

Donut holes!

At first, I imagined plain donut holes that I would frost, stick together, and top off with a toasted marshmallow hat like Martha. Funny thing is, I couldn't find plain donut holes. After I thought about it some more, I realized that frosting on top of donuts was not really necessary (especially for two year olds!) so why not just powdered sugar covered ones? That just made the whole project SO much simpler!

What you need:

3 powdered sugar covered donut holes

toothpick

frosting

2 eyes (nonpareils, or 2 pieces cut from black licorice string, or anything else you can think of that will work, even two tiny dollops of black frosting)

carrot nose (I used a piece of candy corn, cut the orange middle and molded it into a carrot. You could also use marzipan and dye it orange.)

mouth (In this case, red decorating gel you can buy in the little tube in the baking section did the job!)

One skinny pretzel stick cut in half for arms.

whipped cream for snow (optional)

Here's the step-by-step:

s2

Put a dollop of frosting on your plate. Place one donut hole in the frosting. Insert toothpick into the center of the donut, pointy side up. Do not push all the way down.

s3

Add the second donut hole.

s4

Add the third donut hole.

s6

Use another toothpick to make indentations for your eyes, nose, and arms. Put a tiny amount of frosting in the holes to help hold everything in.

s7

Insert eyes, nose, and arms.

s8

Add a mouth.

s9

Some whipped cream snow and a few sprinkles make a little more fun!

s10

These little snowmen go together in minutes! Sure, you could add a hat and a scarf if you wanted, but I like them simple and sweet. I can't help but smile when I see them. The girls LOVED them!

handprint rudolph

rudy6

Once again I searched for some holiday craft ideas; this is one that I found. It's a pretty simple concept and it helps that the little miss is just slightly obsessed with Rudolph. So all in all, a perfect idea for the younger set.

rudy3

I find that it helps to have all the components of the project together in a sort of craft pack. In this case, a plate worked just fine. It keeps everything at hand and it's fun for the little ones to see all of the different parts that will make up their final project. You can talk about them, "hmmm, what do you think this red pom pom will be? An eye? No! That would be funny."

rudy2

This is what we used. I have a thing for google eyes, definitely not necessary, nor is the bell, but I thought it would be fun. You could just use red glitter and some glue to make a shiny nose instead of a pom pom, or even put brown glitter on the 'antlers' or use a flocked paper. It could be as simple as you want it to be. There are so many ways to tweak it.

rudy1

Trace each hand and cut out.

I like the hand print projects, when the kids get older they can look back and see how tiny their hands once were. Paste the 'antlers' on the head, either on the front or back. Add some eyes, a shiny nose and a mouth. The girls aren't using glue on their own yet, in fact Clementine put it on her lips like lip gloss, bad idea! So, we just asked them where everything went and attached it for them. Draw on a mouth...Addie wanted Rudolph's tongue to be sticking out. Why not?! A jingle bell tied on with a gold pipe cleaner was the final touch.

rudy5

My favorite part is how proud the girls are of their work!

let the holiday craft party begin!

Whoo Hoo! Put on your tutu and lets have some fun!

The girls got together for their holiday crafting and merriment extravaganza.

On the agenda: donut hole snowmen, rudolph, snowglobes, and silliness.

It was quite a success.

Present wrapping, the busy post office, and cookie baking are calling me right now, but I will post details of each project later on tonight! What fun

party1
party7
party2
party5
party3
party6

found: vintage skinny santa and little deer, too

deer5
deer4

Found: One small vintage skinny santa. Made in Japan. It was love at first sight.

And how about these deer?! An upstate NY summer yard sale find.

They were all tied together with gold thread attached to a sleigh filled with crocheted tiny packages and a small round santa. They clearly did not go together but the sight of it all made me smile... and the little miss really enjoys playing with the presents!

sparkly chewy ginger cookies

chewy-ginger1
ginger5
ginger2
ginger3

This month's bon appetit has some amazing cookie recipes. Of course, I will be making the pink peppermint meringues that grace the cover, but first I had a hankering for some ginger cookies.

The recipe calls for powdered, fresh, and crystalized ginger. I didn't have any crystalized, so I just added a little more fresh ginger.

The sticky dough is spooned out into a bowl of raw sugar, which is what they used and does look lovely and naturally sparkly, but since I had no raw sugar at the house I used the second option which was sanding sugar. I just happened to have many colors on hand.

After covering the dollop of gingery goodness in sugar, it is rolled into a ball and placed on a cookie sheet. I was quite enamored with these little gems and I hadn't even cooked them yet! They looked so pretty sitting there on the parchment.

I waited anxiously for the twelve minutes to go by as they cooked. One, because I was so eager to taste them but mostly, two, because Clementine was kind of whining and carrying on that she wanted a cookie.

"A pink one, mama! No cook! No cook! Clementine want a pink cookie mama, please. C-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-k-ie!" Repeat. Repeat again. You get the picture. It was a long twelve minutes. Plus cooling time, which is a little hard to explain to a two year old, but when all was said and done, definitely worth it! This recipe is a keeper.

graham cracker cottages in a marshmallow world

snowman4
snowman1
snowman3

I really wanted to make a gingerbread house with the little miss this year.

The problem? Well, I didn't want to start with an already made kit that you just assemble and with my ever growing cookie-to-bake list I didn't want to make it myself.

Then I discovered graham cracker houses.

Where have I been? I'm convinced I've never seen this idea before until I googled holiday crafts to make with your toddler.

My babysitter (who is 15 years younger) tried to convince me that we made them in school. Ha! Did 'we'?! I don't remember that.

Anyway, countless pictures and instructions are available just a few clicks away.

I'm really into the small scale and although Clementine's two year old hands couldn't assemble a cottage, she was very happy to decorate the roof with peppermints and make a snowman out of mini marshmallows all while singing her rendition of Frosty.

Putting our sweet, snow covered houses in the punch bowl seemed like a great way to contain them in our own little snowglobe.

I filled it with giant marshmallows and then mini marshmallows (are you singing 'It's a marshmallow world in the winter when the snow comes to cover the ground... It's a time for play, it's a whipped cream day... I wait for it the whole year round' ???  I am.) put in our cottages and then sprinkled with coconut. A gumdrop snowman and peppermint walkway were the final touches. Oh, and of course the string of star 'lights' across the top, for this is a festive peppermint town!

It's simple and not perfect, and that's what I love about it.

As for the mini marshmallow snowman that Clementine made? She ate it, of course!

gingerbread s'more?

gingerbread

Gingerbread marshmallows? Oh, Jet-Puffed, you think of everything!

I couldn't resist picking up a bag of these. To be honest, they are kind of addicting

(in a really bad for you, eat too many and have a belly-ache kind of way).

None the less, I had to try to make a s'more with one.

Once you toast them it's hard to even tell what shape it is and if you put a graham cracker on top, well, it's hard to even taste the gingerbread flavor, however artificial it may be.

So, it didn't work.

That's okay!

It's made me crave real chewy ginger molasses cookies and old fashioned gingerbread. I've added them both to my baking list.

It even made me think of a great craft idea for the little miss.

Let the holiday season begin!