“Make Your Own” Custom Chocolate Bars

Create Your Own Chocolate Bar from 3 Types of Chocolate and Over 100 Toppings!

Today, I discovered custom chocolate bars.

That’s right:  make your own Belgian chocolate bars by mixing and matching 3 types of chocolate and over 100 toppings.

I believe that “Sweet!” would be an appropriate response to this.  {Pun fully intended.}

Create Your Own Chocolate Bar from 3 Types of Chocolate and Over 100 Toppings!

Anywho, the combinations are endless, which I love.

You can add up to 5 toppings to make “recipes,” like Peanut Butter Jelly Time Chocolate Bar which includes a milk chocolate base and toppings of dried strawberries, butter toasted peanuts, peanut butter drops, and gushers.

Heck, you can even go the extra mile and add a “Congratulations” plaque and a candle.

Create Your Own Chocolate Bar from 3 Types of Chocolate and Over 100 Toppings!

Some of the ingredients which most intrigue my taste buds include:

Diced Ginger
Himalayan Sea salt
Pumpkin Spice
Dried Raspberries
Nerds
Sour Patch Kids
Cookie Dough
Pop Rocks
23 Karat Gold Flakes
Crystallized Violet Petals
Bacon
Monkey Munch

The list goes on…

Create Your Own Chocolate Bar from 3 Types of Chocolate and Over 100 Toppings!

And I mean, seriously, does anyone really NOT know someone who wouldn’t want a pumpkin spice chocolate bar?

I’m thinking that I’d love to try the dark chocolate base topped with violet petals and gold flakes.

What about you?  What would you try?  What would you craft as a gift for a loved one?

Let me know!  (And don’t forget to check out all the ingredients for the Create Your Own Chocolate Bar on Zazzle!)

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How to Make Cinnamon Sugar

How to Make Cinnamon Sugar

I recently realized that I use a lot of cinnamon sugar.

It’s something I’ve used forever.  My mom often made me Cinnamon Toast (buttered toast sprinkled with cinnamon sugar) when I was a kid, and I still make it today, both for my daughters and for myself.

And I’ve been using it with various recipes quite a bit, so I decided to go ahead and dedicate a blog post to it.

How to Make Cinnamon Sugar

You can buy ready-made cinnamon sugar in the spice aisle at the supermarket, but I just can’t see the sense in that because it’s so overpriced and so easy to make.

In the above photo you see my tools:  cinnamon, sugar, and a container to hold it.  I also use the knife to mix it, but my mom just shakes the bottle.  Either way works.

But, to make things official, here’s a recipe:

Cinnamon Sugar

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbs ground cinnamon

Pour ingredients into a jar.  Mix with a knife until well combined, or, if your jar has a lid that seals, you can shake to combine.

How to Make Cinnamon Sugar

As I’ve mentioned, I use this on toast.  I also add it to French Toast.  And apples to make cinnamon apples.  And buttered bagels.  And snickerdoodle cookies.  And baked sweet potatoes.

This list could go on for awhile…

And the stuff stays good pretty much forever.

It’s best to store it in a container that has holes on top, where you can shake it onto the food, but also one that has a cover to keep out dust.  Kinda like this.  Or a regular sugar dispenser, if that’s all you have, but those pour too quickly for my needs.

How to Make Cinnamon Sugar

Here’s a pin-worthy pic to help you remember the recipe:

Homemade Cinnamon Sugar Recipe

Enjoy!

And please let me know what kinds of foods you’ve tried with it!

Here are some dishes I’ve used it with:

Honey Cinnamon Apple Pie a la Mode

Homemade Bread (for Cinnamon Toast)

Cinnamon Sweet Potato Slices

Honey and Cinnamon Vanilla Ice Cream

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Custom Sand Heart Ornament for “Our First Christmas”

Custom Sand Heart Our First Christmas Ornament

I’ve always loved this ornament.

I created it from a photo I took a couple of years ago of a heart I drew in the sand of the shore of one of my favorite beaches.

And I just love the way it looks when it’s customized.  This is something I’ve given to family members as gifts, and it’s just so beautiful in person!

Here is the back of the ceramic heart:

Custom Sand Heart Our First Christmas Ornament

But the best part?  It’s fully customizable.  So it doesn’t have to read “Our First Christmas.”  It could say “Our Second Christmas,” “50th wedding anniversary,” or anything else that makes you smile.

It doesn’t even have to be about couples.  You could make one for your kid instead, with their name in the heart and “My First Christmas” on the back.  The possibilities are endless.

Plus, Zazzle has their awesome 100% satisfaction guarantee, so it’s a great place to personalize things.

Interested?  Click on the photos above to see the heart ornament, or check out Zazzle’s latest coupons!

DIY Lifesize Cardboard Gingerbread House

DIY Lifesize Cardboard Gingerbread House

So, I was helping my aunt get organized for a yard sale, and she had some extra boxes from her recent move.  She asked if I needed them for anything.  I took one look at the big box and thought:  gee, that would make an awesome gingerbread house!

And maybe that wouldn’t be everyone’s first thought, but, hey, I mean the thing was already the right color…

So, I took it home, and I sculpted the box into a gingerbread house with some packing tape and a box cutter.

DIY Lifesize Cardboard Gingerbread House

I made the roof by cutting off two of the top flaps and taping those to the remaining two flaps that were still attached, as you can see in the photo above.  Taped them together to form the ridge of the roof.

I then cut out a door and three windows (1 big arch in the back to match the door and 2 small circles on the sides) with the box cutter.

I taped down the flaps on the bottom, too, to secure the floor, being careful not to remove too much for the windows and such, to not compromise the structure.  I mean, I only expect it to last the season, but it still has to hold up to the excitement of a 1-1/2 and 3-1/2 year old.

DIY Lifesize Cardboard Gingerbread House

I took the scraps from the door and carved two gingerbread men for their house.  I decorated them with glue and glitter.

Because there’s always room for glitter.

DIY Lifesize Cardboard Gingerbread House

Here you can see my girls decorating the gingerbread house.

I made some candy canes, peppermint candies, and gumdrops out of construction paper ahead of time.  I made the peppermints by adding a red star to a white circle (close enough), and cut arch shapes from a few colors to represent the gum drops (or spice drops).

And I cut a few waves to represent snow (icing) stuck to the end of the shingles, to give the roof some character.

My girls and I then glued everything on together, and they decorated the house with markers as well.

They drew on the outside walls, the inside walls, the roof, the edges of the windows, the floor, and even on the little gingerbread men.

They decorated it, played in it, dragged it around the house, then decorated it some more.

It was a big hit.

DIY Lifesize Cardboard Gingerbread House

Above you can see the two of them inside the house, decorating it with markers.

To make it yourself, you’ll need:

large cardboard box
packing tape
box cutter
construction paper
glue / glue sticks
markers

And before I go, one more photo, showing the little candy cane heart on the back of the house  :)

DIY Lifesize Cardboard Gingerbread House

Sweet Bella Roos

And don’t forget to check out these other Christmas crafts:

Felt Fashion Christmas Tree

Easy Christmas Craft: Paper Cone Christmas Trees

Easy Christmas Craft: Toilet Paper Roll Ornament Painting

Crystal Snowmen

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DIY Dry Erase Books for Kids

DIY dry erase books for kids

I’ve seen a few versions of this around the web, and I decided to make my own.

I picked up a couple of $1 flexible photo albums/brag books at Walmart and some dry erase markers.  My girls love markers, but, even though these things wipe right off the book pages, they do not wash easily from clothing and carpets.  So, the next time I’m at the store, I’m going to be looking for some dry erase crayons.

Anyway, the books themselves were a big hit with my girls.  My 18-month-old pretty much just scribbles over the pages, but, because even at these young ages they both have to have exactly the same things, I made the same pages for both her and my 3-year-old.

The only difference was the first page, on which I drew their names in dashed lines to make them easy to trace.  My 3-year-old LOVES this.

Then I created pages that had other activities, like mazes, lines to trace, and coloring pages that included learning opportunities, like shapes and counting.

I cut plain white computer paper into 4″ x 6″ and slipped them into the pages of the photo album.  The first 5 pages had activities, but then I filled the rest of the book with blank pages, so they could draw whatever they wanted on those pages.  In the future, I’ll probably add more pages of activities.

When the girls use them, I provide a paper towel for them to wipe clean the pages, but you could also use a small sponge or an eraser made for dry-erase markers.

DIY Halloween Felt Board

DIY Halloween Felt Board

During one of my recent random wanderings of Michaels, I was passing the racks of felt and thought:  ooh – Halloween felt board!

Why not?

So, I picked up a few sheets of regular felt in orange (for pumpkins), white (for ghosts), and purple (for bats), and also a sheet of “stiffened felt” in black for the background (a night sky).

DIY Halloween Felt Board

I had a few scraps of felt left over from previous projects, so I grabbed the brown and yellow remnants, and cut a spooky tree and full moon from them.

All of the shapes, including the ones listed above, were all cut out by hand.

I considered drawing faces on the ghosts and pumpkins, or cutting out small pieces of felt to let the kids make their own jack o’ lanterns, but I decided I just didn’t want to find tiny, tiny pieces of black felt faces all over the house for the next month.

So:  no faces.  But I like the clean lines, so I’m happy with the decision.

DIY Halloween Felt Board

Felt sticks to felt, so you don’t need any glue or velcro or anything like that, but I do have to warn you:  the felt doesn’t stick firmly to the stiffened felt, so we played with this on the floor, instead of hanging it on the wall or fridge.

Still a lot of fun.  :)

DIY Halloween Felt Board

What kinds of felt boards have you used?

Check out my Halloween crafts from last year, and our new Chalkboard Pumpkins!