Map of Love

Ok…First I just have to say, this is one of my favorite projects that I have ever created. One of my best friends was getting married and I kept racking my brain for the perfect gift. I kept finding personalized gifts available for sale online, and when I came across some personalized maps, I thought of my friend and all the different places where life events have happened for her (If you have friends that met or have gotten engaged in different cities, it will really make the project extra cute!) After looking at many of the maps for sale, I said to myself “I can make that!” So here you are…

First, I found a frame with 3 openings (5×7) I wanted 3 so that I could include where they met, where they got engaged, and where they got married. However, you could do 2 or 4 or even just 1 large map.

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Second, I got some simple stickers at the craft store- black letters and small red hearts. ( I also had some extras that I didn’t end up using in the final product- I debated writing their new last name in larger letters at the top of the mat, but decided against it-you could still do this if you prefer).

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Third, I went online to google maps (yes, I just printed the maps myself with a good printer) I had to adjust the map sizes a couple times and decide how much I wanted to “zoom in” on the city.

Then, I simply cut the maps to 5×7 rectangles to fit in the frame.

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I added one small red heart sticker on the specific city where each event took place.

Then, I used the black lettering stickers to write short phrases under each map on the mat.

Lastly, put the mat and frame back together and you’re done!

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I really was so pleased with the way this gift turned out, and thanks to my friends for always traveling and allowing me to create such an exciting array of maps 😉

Congrats again to my friends, Stephen & Michelle!

Happy Crafting!

-AD

P.S. This better be hanging on the wall when I come visit 😉

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Confetti Wine Tumblers

I recently tried out this craft when I was feeling like I needed to get some creative energy out, but didn’t have the patience for something difficult. This was super easy and I love the final product! I think these cute and colorful wine glasses make a perfect (and cheap I might add) hostess or birthday gift!

Here’s what you’ll need:

-1 set of stemless wine glasses ( I went to TJ Maxx and paid $6.99 for a set of 4 glasses! Score!)

– Acrylic Paints ( I already had a ton of colors at home but if you don’t, I would recommend buying just a few colors including primary colors and white and then mixing them to create different shades)

– Q-tips for dotting the glasses

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First, pick out your paint colors.

Then, put a small amount of paint onto paper plates (like a palette)

Then, simply use your Q-tips and dot on the colors.

Start with one color on each glass and then just keep layering the dots in whatever pattern you like!

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Let the paint dry for about 24 hours.

Finally, bake in a cool oven @ 350 degrees for about 30 minutes to set the paint.

Remove from oven and let cool completely before handling.

 

Happy Crafting!

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A First for Becrafty- A Lesson Learned

If you love Oreo cookies and peanut butter as much as I do, (or have any strange obsessions with the movie The Parent Trap, as I do) you might want to check out this recipe. I have seen these cute cupcakes several times on Pinterest but hadn’t tried them out until last week. I was less than impressed with the way this recipe came out-hence the title of this post, “A Lesson Learned.” However, for all you Annie James and Hallie Parker fans, I recreated this recipe a second time it was “a brilliant, beyond brilliant idea!”

Peanut Butter Oreo Brownies

What you’ll need:

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-1 box brownie mix and the ingredients to prepare the mix as instructed on the box

-About 24 Oreo cookies

(I used double stuff and peanut butter Oreos because that is what I had in my pantry but you could just use the classic Oreos or any flavor your heart desires!)

-Peanut Butter

1st attempt:

Line a muffin tin with paper cups.

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions.

Spread a thin layer of peanut butter on top of all 24 Oreo cookies.

Stack 2 Oreos together.

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Place a stack of 2 Oreo cookies in each muffin cup.

Pour brownie batter into each muffin cup, making sure to cover the Oreo cookies completely.

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Bake as directed on brownie mix.

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While these brownie cupcakes are adorable, they just weren’t that “ooey gooey” texture that I love about brownies. It was difficult to cook the brownies through without over doing them.

So…in my never failing attempts to satisfy my sweet tooth, I revised the recipe a bit. The 2nd recipe turned out beautifully and deliciously-exactly that “ooey gooey” brownie I love! (AND oreo-y and peanut butter-y!)

If you really want the look of the individual brownie cupcakes, you can make the second recipe and just bake in a muffin tin!

2nd attempt:

Prepare the brownie mix according to the package directions.

Roughly chop the oreo cookies.

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Fold in about ¾ of the oreo cookies into your brownie batter.

Pour batter into greased 9×13 pan.

Sprinkle remaining ¼ chopped oreo cookies on top of brownie batter.

Drizzle top with peanut butter.

(To make this step easy, put a plastic sandwich bag in a drinking glass and fold over, Fill bag with peanut butter, gently lift bag from cup, seal bag, cut corner of sandwich bag, and squeeze!

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Bake in the oven according to brownie package instructions.

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Enjoy!

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Diaper Babies

I recently made these tiny tots for a baby “Sprinkle” and they turned out too cute!

They are a simple and fun craft for anyone to make and also make great decorations

for the baby shower. Mommy-to-be also gets to take them home

(and take them apart to put all the goodies to use!)

What you’ll need:

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16 Baby diapers (I used newborn size. You could also do this with cloth diapers though)

8 Baby washcloths (make sure you get baby washcloths not regular, because they are much softer and easier to work with, and of course this way the Mommy-to-be actually can use them for the baby!)

8 Baby socks

8 Rubberbands

Black marker (or you could use googly eyes)

First, stack 2 diapers on top of each other. Gently roll them up into one cylinder shaped roll. Secure with a rubber band.

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Fold the baby washcloth so that the bottom third is folded up. Place the diaper cylinder on the washcloth. Fold the bottom of the washcloth so that it covers half of the diaper cylinder.

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Fold the side into a triangle upwards. Then pull the washcloth across the diaper cylinder like you are swaddling the “baby.” Repeat on the other side. Secure the “Swaddle” by tucking it into the washcloth or the rubberband underneath.

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Put one baby sock on the “baby’s” head. (You can roll it up a bit or leave it sticking up on the top, whatever you prefer.)

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Finally, draw eyes onto the diaper (or glue on eyes if you are using googly eyes) and you’re tiny diaper baby is complete!

Repeat until you have a whole set of octuplets! 🙂

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Happy Crafting!

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Peanut Butter Fudge

Since my traditional chocolate fudge is so loved, I decided to try a new fudge recipe.

And what could be better than chocolate fudge…except…peanut butter fudge!!

This recipe is even easier and quicker than my original fudge!

(No candy thermometer needed!)

Oh yeah, and this recipe is just as delicious!

(This fudge tastes like the inside of  a Reese’s cup! YUM!)

What you’ll need:

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1 ¼ cups butter

1 ¼ cups peanut butter

a pinch of salt

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

4 ½ cups powdered sugar

Directions:

Line 8×8 pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Combine butter and peanut butter in a saucepan over medium heat.

Bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

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Add salt and vanilla extract.

Slowly add powdered sugar until the mixture is fully combined and smooth.

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Spread fudge mixture into pan evenly.

(You can top the fudge as well if you want, I added some mini semi-sweet chocolate chips.)

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Cover and refrigerate at least one hour until set.

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Pull fudge up and out by the sides of the parchment paper.

Cut into small squares and store in airtight container.

(A large sharp knife works best when cutting fudge.)

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Enjoy!

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Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

This recipe was created especially for my friend Mike.

Mike is obsessed with all things coconut so it was only appropriate to make him an original coconut inspired cake for his 28th birthday!

However, as I began to scour my pantry for ingredients, I realized I had no coconut!

But…I did have Girl Scout cookies!!

And so the Samoa cupcake was created!

Happy Birthday Miguel!

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Ingredients:

Cake:

 1 package Devils Food or Chocolate cake mix

3 eggs

1 cup water

1/3 cup oil

½ box Samoa cookies

Coconut Buttercream:

3 cups powdered sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter (softened to room temperature)

2 teaspoons coconut extract

2 teaspoons water

½ box Samoa cookies

 

Directions:

For the cupcakes…

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line cupcake tins with 24 cupcake liners.

Combine cake mix, eggs, water and oil according to package directions.

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Chop Samoa cookies into small pieces and gently fold into batter.

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Fill cupcake liners about ¾ of the way full. (No matter how hard I try, I always come up short of 24 cupcakes 🙂 I guess I fill them just a little too high.)

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Bake cupcakes for about 18-20 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean).

Let cakes cool about 30 minutes.

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For the coconut buttercream…

Chop remaining Samoa cookies into quarters.

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Beat butter on low speed until creamy (about 1 minute).

Add powdered sugar (a little bit at a time).

Beat on high speed about 3 minutes. At first the mixture will appear crumbly, but turn up the speed on your mixer, be patient, and it will get nice and creamy.

Add coconut extract.

Add water to achieve desired consistency.

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Frost each cupcake with coconut buttercream.

Add one quarter Samoa for decoration!

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For all you coconut lovers– Enjoy!

 

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Wave Sliding

For me, there’s only one thing better than sliding down a wave… Sliding down a wave on a home-made surfing craft.  These bodySURFINGcrafts are guaranteed to keep your trunks around your ankles and a smile on your face!

Materials You Need…

wooden plank of some sort

strap of some sort

four washers & screws

resin or marine varnish

Tools You Need…

jig saw or hand saw

angle grinder or surform

palm sander and/or sanding block

one set of callused man hands

clamps

Step 1_design & draw shape

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Step 2_cut out shape and shape down rails

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Step 3_dig out concave of your choice

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Step 4_finish sanding down rails

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Step 5_paint on resin and anchor down strap

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make sure to sew up some classy board socks to keep it cozy after sliding on those frosty early morning tubes!

create & enjoy!

-CB 

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

These are one of my favorite cookies to make for any occasion and especially for the holidays.  During the holidays we are all crammed for time and these cookies are so quick that they will leave you with plenty of time for shopping, wrapping and partying! They are so quick and simple, yet they look a little bit more sophisticated than your typical drop cookies. Also, and most importantly, they are delicious especially if you are a peanut butter fan like myself!

Happy Holidays and Happy Baking!

Ingredients:

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1 pouch Betty Crocker peanut butter cookie mix

1 egg

2 tablespoons water

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

24 mini Reese’s peanut butter cups

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare cookie mix as directed on package.

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Form dough into small balls and push into mini muffin pan.

(The dough balls shouldn’t completely fill the cups because they will puff up in the oven.)

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Bake for about 8-10 minutes until edges are golden brown.

(The centers may look a bit sunken but that is ok!)

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While cookies are in the oven, unwrap your peanut butter cups.

Immediately after pulling cookies out of the oven,

push one peanut butter cup into each cookie’s center.

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Let cool and then remove from mini muffin tin.

(the cookies should pop out of the tin super easily-the best!)

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As always, enjoy…and share!

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Amanda’s Perfect Fudge

This is my recipe for the easiest and most delicious fudge! I know fudge seems intimidating because it is more of a candy than a baked good, but I promise it is super simple to make! Everyone always asks for the recipe, so here it is, just in time for the holidays! It is perfect to wrap up for gifts or to add to your assorted holiday cookie plates.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

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2 ½ cups sugar

¼ cup butter or margarine

5 oz. evaporated milk

1 jar (7.5 oz) marshmallow fluff

¾ teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon vanilla

1 package (12oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips

(It is also helpful to have a candy thermometer on hand)

Directions:

Line 9×9 pan with parchment paper.

Put chocolate chips and vanilla in a large bowl and set aside.

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Combine sugar, butter, evaporated milk, marshmallow fluff and salt over low heat until blended.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

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Once you reach a boil, stir mixture constantly for 4-5 minutes until candy thermometer reaches about 234 degrees. (Be careful – the sugar can burn very quickly!)

Remove from heat and combine in bowl with chocolate chips and vanilla until chocolate melts.

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Pour in 9×9 pan and let cool. (If you want you can add sprinkles or nuts on top).

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Once the fudge cools and sets, use a sharp knife to cut fudge into small squares.

And lastly, share!

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Happy Holidays!

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Mini Apple Pies

I made these tasty creations for Thanksgiving this year and they were a big hit! I would recommend these to any apple lovers all year round! (not just for Thanksgiving). They are great for parties and gatherings because they are already portioned (no slicing and serving pie) and you can pick them up and eat them with your hands! They are also just adorable and will make you look like the hostess with the mostest!

What you’ll need:

8 cups apples (I used about 9 small-medium sized apples)

1 and ½ cup sugar

12 tablespoons flour

4 teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

2 packages Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts

4 tablespoons of chilled butter cut into 24 equal cubes

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel apples and cut into small bite sized pieces.

Mix apples with sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg until coated.

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Unroll pie crusts and cut into small rounds using about a 3 or 3.5 inch round (the top of a Ball jar worked perfectly for me).

Place one pie crust in each muffin cup.

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Gently fill the crust with the apple filling. (To make this part easy, gently push the pie crust onto the muffin tin to allow the crust to catch the apple mixture. Then let the crust drop into the muffin cup or push down gently after you fill).

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Add a cube of chilled butter to the top of each mini pie.

Use the left over crust to cover each mini pie. (You can make any design you want, I cut strips to make a traditional weaved pattern and also had some fun cutting out leaves and other fall shapes).

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Bake about 20 minutes until crust is lightly browned.

Yield: 24 mini pies

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Happy Baking!

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