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Holiday Peppermint Bark (Recipe!)

8 Dec

We were recently asked if we’d like to be a part of a homemade holiday gifts segment for WGN-TV.  Carol Mackey showed viewers her homemade peppermint bark in our personalized gift boxes … the perfect gift for friends and family!

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Carol was nice enough to share her recipe so we could share it with you.  Just in time for the holidays …

Peppermint Bark

Ingredients:
1 lb chopped bittersweet chocolate
peppermint extract
1 lb chopped white chocolate
crushed peppermint

Directions:
Line a 11×17 baking sheet with parchment paper or waxed paper. Melt bittersweet chocolate over a double boiler, stirring constantly. Stir in four drops peppermint oil or more to taste. Spread chocolate evenly onto the prepared cookie sheet. Chill until just set, about ½ hour. Melt white chocolate over double boiler, stirring constantly, if white chocolate seizes add a little canola oil. Quickly spread white chocolate mixture over chilled dark chocolate, spreading to the edge of the pan, sprinkle with peppermint. Chill until set. To cut, I trim the edges with a chef’s knife and then cut into squares and cut the squares into triangles.

 

I love how Carol tied off the boxes with red and white twine.  So festive and ready to gift!  Her homemade peppermint bark would make a great gift for teachers, friends, neighbors … anyone, really!  Of course, you can fill our boxes with any of your homemade goodies for the holidays.  I’ve even used them to give holiday treats for dogs (I love to bake homemade dog biscuits).

If you give homemade holiday treats, how do you gift them?  Share your creative ideas (and recipes!) with me in the comments below.

xoxo,

Jennifer

Photo courtesy of Carol Mackey.

To learn more about Carol Mackey and her recipes & classes, please visit her site at carolmackey.net

 

 

I Like Warm Hugs

2 Dec

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As Olaf, the popular snowman from the movie “Frozen” would say, “I like warm hugs.”  Of course, a warm hug to a snowman is probably not a good idea, but the idea behind it is that Olaf cares about others. Today is #GivingTuesday.  Yes … the hashtag is intentional.  #GivingTuesday is a social movement created to inspire giving back.  It happens the day after “Cyber Monday” to encourage people to give back and remember the reason of the season.  Today The Stationery Studio is participating by donating 5% of every purchase to feed those in need.  Our goal is to reach $5,000 (maximum) to donate to our local food pantry.  The holiday season is often a time when food pantries are at their lowest and really in need.  I am excited and honored to be a part of #GivingTuesday because it’s something at the core of my personal values.

Giving back comes in so many forms.  Sometimes it’s as simple as giving someone a hug when they’re having a bad day (Olaf the snowman would approve).  Or just listening to someone who really needs to get something off their chest.  Giving back can be a  massive undertaking like taking on ending world hunger.  Or making sure everyone has a warm bed to sleep in.

I encourage you to find a way to give back this holiday season.  Make it an annual tradition with family or friends.  Need ideas?  I’ve got a few to get you thinking (and doing!):

  • Start a bake sale and give the profits to your local food pantry
  • Gather needed items for your local pet shelter
  • Visit an assisted living home and listen to residents stories
  • Deliver presents for those in need (ask a local church)
  • Help out at a local food kitchen
  • Offer to make meals for a neighbor or friend who’s ill
  • Have your kids write holiday cards to service men and women fighting for our country overseas
  • Smile at someone who could use some encouragement

So the last idea seems trivial, right?  But that’s the idea.  Giving back doesn’t have to be some grandiose plan or idea.  It can start with you just thinking about others and how giving back can start with a simple gesture.  I’d love to hear how you or your family give back during the holidays.  You can help inspire others and give people ideas.  Tell me in the comments below or write me on our twitter or facebook page.

Happy Holidays and happy giving back!

xoxo,

Jennifer

It’s a Wrap!

17 Nov

 

The holidays can be stressful!  We work so hard trying to buy the right gifts for everyone on our list and getting it all done in time so we can enjoy the time with friends and family.  I enjoy wrapping the presents with beautiful paper and ribbons so they look great under the tree.  I know that’s the part most people dread!  But it you plan and add some fun elements to your gift wrapping, you can really make if bearable (it’s true!).  Here are some gift wrapping tips that have worked well for me:

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  • Invest in one of those plastic bins or containers that let’s you organize your wrapping supplies.  It really helps when you’re ready to wrap!
  • Shop right after the holidays for great sales on gift wrapping supplies.  Store away for the following year.
  • Focus on one element that will really make your gifts stand out.  Maybe you choose personalized gift wrap and then a simple ribbon.  Or try simple paper and beautiful, bold ribbon.
  • Have the kids get in on the fun!  Give them a roll of kraft paper and they can doodle holiday pictures and messages.
  • Try personalized gift tags to save time and give presents a beautiful finishing touch.
  • Tie it all up with personalized ribbon.  It dresses up every gift!  Personalized ribbon is great for wine bottles and homemade treats, too.

What ideas do you have for gift wrapping that help you make it fun, creative or time-saving?  Let us know in the comments below!

Happy Holidays!

xoxo,

Jennifer