Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Santa Hat Mini Brownie Bites #BakeInTheFun

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, MARS Incorporated. All opinions are mine alone. #BakeInTheFun #CollectiveBias

I love baking during the holidays! I grew up baking with my mom and siblings and we
especially loved making treats to share with friends and family. My mom learned from
her mom how to make delicious treats and I love that she passed it on to me. Now
it's my turn to make delicious treats during the holidays and we can share with friends
and family. It is so fun to get my kids in on the baking and creating. They really love
helping and delivering the goodies to their friends.
 My Isabella loves to do the grocery shopping with me for the ingredients for our
holiday treats. So, we headed to Walmart to do some shopping and find the perfect
ingredients for our Santa Hat Mini Brownie Bites! We found the Pillsbury™ Family 
Size Chocolate Fudge Brownie MixPillsbury™ Creamy Supreme® Vanilla 
Flavored Frosting and M&M’S® Brand Minis Milk Chocolate Baking Bits on baking 
aisle. We grabbed all three and headed home to bake.

First, we mixed up the Pillsbury™ Family Size Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix and
used our mini ice cream scoop to spoon it into the mini muffin pan. I used cupcake
liners on half of them and the other we didn't use liners. I wanted liners and Isabella
didn't, so we compromised and it worked perfectly. After we baked them we let
them cool on the cooling rack and then got to decorating.

Next, we used a decorating tip to pipe the red hats onto the mini brownie bites. My 
baking hack for filling a frosting bag is to use a tall glass to hold the bag. This leaves
your hands free to fill the bag with frosting and makes it easier to load.

I used a medium sized tip for piping the red portion of the Santa Hat, but you can use
whatever you have on hand. If you don't have any decorating tips, you can just cut a 
little hole in the corner of your plastic baggie and use it to pipe instead. I've done this in
a pinch and it works fine, especially if you you're not looking for a fancy frosting shape.

Look at my cute little hats all ready for the white icing. This time I use a pretty small 
decorator's tip for the white frosting. It all depends on what look you want. Isabella
had a great time helping me turn the little brownie bites to get the white on them just right.

We decided to embellish our little Santa Hat brownies a bit and used the 
M&M’S® Brand Minis Milk Chocolate Baking Bits to add a little bling. This was
Isabella's favorite part and it was fun to give her a job that she could do all by herself.
If you think your hats are looking a little droopy, then pop them in the refrigerator and
they will stiffen up nicely.

I can't take a treat to a friend without a cute little printable note to go with it. So I 
whipped up these cute cards that you can pair with your treats when you share them
with friends, family, co-workers or neighbors. I think baking as a family really brings
us together and helps makes the holidays extra sweet. I especially love that my kids
are so excited to share what they make with others. It helps to spread the holiday
spirit and cheer and helps us to get a boost from giving those around us.

Do you bake with your family at the holidays? What's your favorite treat to make with
one another? Do you keep them all for yourself or share with others? I'd love to hear
about your baking holiday traditions! Share in the comments below!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

TOO Cute Tuesday: Linky Par-Tay! #314

This past weekend Isabella and I went to see The Nutcracker
performed by Ballet Etudes. We had such a great time! This is is our
second year attending the performance and I hope it becomes an
annual tradition for our family. I'm giving away four tickets if you're local
and would like to see it too!

Now onto TOO Cute Tuesday!

What did you make this week that is TOO Cute??
Come link up!

  • Must be made by you.
  • Link up to the specific post - not your main blog.
  • No Etsy shops or giveaways please :)
  • Please post the button or link back here so more people can join in the fun.
  • Visit some of the other participants and leave them some LOVE!
TOO Cute Tuesday will be open Tuesday-Saturday.
On Saturday or Monday I'll highlight some of my favorites
and then we'll start over on Tuesday!

This post brought to you by:

I changed the linky party so that the most recently uploaded project will show up as number one. This way everyone gets a chance on top. So, look in the first spot for your project, not at the end. Thanks!!!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Gingerbread Girl Purse {Tutorial}

Last year My super talented mother-in-law and her sweet mom (Grandma Sweetie)
made the girls the cutest gingerbread men beanies. Winter has hit Southern California
(think a chilly 60 degrees) and we recently pulled out the cute gingerbread hats for
carpool mornings and later afternoons at the park. Since Grace loves purses and
carrying all her necessities (think Shopkins and ponies) around with her, I decided to
make her a cute Gingerbread Girl Purse to match.

The Gingerbread Girl Purse is made of soft fleece, a bit of felt, rick rack, some ribbon
and cotton print fabric. The tote purse took about an hour to put together. However, if
you don't have sewing ADHD, because you're trying to binge watch  
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life or a spitfire toddler demanding your attention,
then you could finish it even faster.


  • 2 pieces of brown fleece cut to 9"x11"
  • 2 pieces red cotton fabric cut to 9"x11"
  • 2 pieces of 5/8" white ribbon cut 16" long
  • scraps of black and red felt for eyes, cheeks, bow {optional}
  • white ric-rac (about 12")
  • scissors
  • sewing machine
  • pins
  • basting adhesive {optional}


I cut my two pieces of brown fleece to 9"x11" and cut the pieces for my gingerbread
girl's face. Then, I laid them out  to see how I wanted to them to fit. I just eyeballed my
eyes and cheeks by free-hand cutting circles out of a scrap of felt. I used glitter felt for
the cheeks because I like the pop it added. Once I adjusted the size of the eyes and
cheeks, and figured out how much ric-rac I needed for the frosting stripe and the
mouth, I got to sewing!

First, I sewed the frosting stripe and the mouth onto the brown fleece with a zigzag stitch.
Just go slow and adjust as needed. I did pin the ric-rac down as best as I could, but it
definitely was a bit tricky. I didn't mind if it wasn't perfect, but I wanted it pretty close.
Also, make sure the ric-rac doesn't get too close to the top or bottom. This way it
doesn't get swallowed up in the seam allowance when you start putting the bag together.

Next, I put the cheeks on. Instead of using pins, I used some basting adhesive. Again, I
used a zigzag stitch to put the cheeks on. For the eyes, I sewed a couple of "X"s to make
them look like buttons. If you want to use large black buttons instead - you can. I didn't
for two reason: {1} I didn't have any that were big enough and {2} Since I am making
this for a little girl, I didn't want to create a choking hazard.

Once your face is all sewn on, then you can make a little felt bow if your gingerbread
purse is a girl like mine. I took another scrap of felt about 3"x4", folded it in half and
sewed the open edge. Then, I flipped it right side out and sewed up the open edges.
I took another little scrap and made a middle piece, scrunched up the bow in the middle
and hand sewed the middle piece to secure it and make a cute bow. It's a lot
like the bow I made for the Corn Heating Bag.

Now, we're ready to sew the bag! Put your two fleece 9"x11" pieces with right sides
together and sew together with 3/8" seam allowance on three sides, leaving the top open.
Repeat this process with the two red pieces of cotton fabric. Then, since I like the
square/boxy look on a purse, I pinch and flatten the corners and sew across about 3/8"
from the tip. If you need a better visual, I used the same technique for
my Harry Potter tote bag.

It's so adorable!!! Time to put the liner and the outside of the bag together.
I didn't put the bow on until the very end, it's just on there right now to see how it
will looked finished.

You'll need your two pieces of 16" ribbon as we are going to make them into handles
for the purse. This part is tricky and you'll end up with your  bag sewn together wrong
(believe me I've done it!) if you don't slow down and double check that you've got
it put together right.

Take the outside of your bag (your fleece gingerbread face piece) and turn it
WRONG SIDE OUT. Take your red lining piece and turn it RIGHT SIDE OUT and
slip it inside your fleece gingerbread face piece. Now, the RIGHT SIDES will be together
on the INSIDE of your bag and your WRONG SIDES will be visible on the inside and
outside of the bag. Pin the side seams and then tuck your ribbon handle pieces in
between the RIGHT SIDES together and pin about 1" from the side seams.

Then pin all the way around - being sure to leave a 3-4" opening for turning.
I mark my start and stop with blue pins so I don't accidentally sew the bag closed.
Sew from START to STOP point (being sure to leave the opening!) with a
3/8" seam allowance.

Time to flip it! Through the opening you left, pull your RIGHT SIDES out.
You're almost done. Tuck the lining back into the bag and sew the hole you left
for turning closed. You can sew all the way around and make a nice finished looking
topstitch, but I didn't do that for this bag.

Now is the perfect time to either sew or glue your felt bow on. You can use
grosgrain ribbon if you want something less bulky. I like how the felt looks with the
fleece and it's sparkly! Now I want to make some more little purses for all the little
girls that I know. Then they can all be twinners at park playdates.

We're very glad that the 90 degrees of October are gone and can finally wear our cute
winter clothes. Grace insisted that we add the yellow flower to her gingerbread man
hat to make it girl like her purse. I need to make a red bow so the purse and the hat
can be twinners too! Happy sewing!

This post was originally published at Skip to My Lou on November 13, 2016.


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