diy christmas recipes : delicious cream cheese dip for parties


With Christmas just around the corner a lot of us are in need of some simple eats ands treats for those last minute guests and late night boozy munchies.
I am here to tell you that if you have 55 minutes and a box of crackers you can feed those people and do it in style.

cream cheese holiday spread

Here’s your Fridge list:
Cream Cheese
Frozen mixed berries
Nuts (or your nutty uncle Ted, your choice)
1 Head of Garlic

Your tool List:
An oven
A Mixing Bowl
Pretty Bowls for Serving
A spoon
Iron fists for nut crushing

  • First things first, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Now, take that head of garlic : unpeeled, and throw it in a shallow oven safe bowl or pan, and drizzle it with olive oil. Put it in the oven with a timer set for 35 minutes.
  • Next, grab your cream cheese and set it out to come to room temp.
  • Now, separate your cream cheese into two parts and add one part to your mixing bowl. Grab those frozen mixed berries and add a few spoonfuls about 7 to 10 small berries to the cream cheese.
  • Grab a handful of nuts, I’m from the south so I think pecans taste great on everything, crush them with your iron fists. Or you can put them in a plastic baggie and use a spoon to smash them, your choice.
  • Now it’s time to stir, because this is such a small serving I don’t use my stand mixer, just a spoon, but if you’d rather you can of course use your stand mixer or just any ol’ mixer!
  • Now plop that delicious cheesy spread into a lovely bowl and wait on that timer to go off. Now, those cloves of garlic are going to be super hot so let them rest till cool. This can take upwards from ten to twenty minutes.
  • Once cooled,simply grab the top of the skin of the garlic clove, give it a good little pull and that clove should just slide right out.
  • Throw those cloves right on top of your softened cream cheese and give them a good smashing with your spoon. Crumble some more nuts, give it a few good stirs.
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    And there you have it. Delicious and easy cheesy spreads for the holiday munchies. Best part about it is they are great for breakfast too!

    Merry Christmas y’all!

    Weekly Roundup – Friday Favorites #02


    | | | This photo that I took on Dinosaur Ridge while in Denver last week. I hate that I didn’t have my polarized filter because the sky is blown out, I had to play with the contrast, but I quite love how it came out and despite the white sky, I still love this photo.

    | | | Lets start with some music. I found this band some time last year and they quickly became one of my favorites, but some how after the New Year I lost my habit of daily playlist listening and organizing (I am constantly shifting my online streaming collection around, building bigger and better playlists for all my moods. Well this week I was able to start that hobby/habit back up again and was so happy to hear this song come across my mix.  It’s the perfect song for spring’s arrival, I love it. Also how cool is it that they are from Costa Rica? I want to be from Costa Rica. Hah. Let’s hope this grooveshark embed works. Cross your fingers!

    | | | This tutorial from Design Love Fest has me wanting to washi tape every chord in my house.


    | | | This beautiful DIY comes from the lovely Kelli Murray’s blog. Gorgeous.

    littleblack dress

    | | | I am on the hunt for a new summer little black dress and I really love this one from LuLu’s. Maybe I can manipulate my Built by Wendy Dirndl Pattern, it just figuring out that wrap top really, but that seems a little difficult.

    mushroom tart
    | | | Some friends and I are putting together a multi-course meal made entirely of pie this weekend and I have found some seriously amazing savory pies on Martha Stewart. I am actually loving the idea of tarts. We might just have to make it a tart day instead.

    | | | Last week when I was in Denver I tried these amazing mushroom and quinoa, vegan meatless meat balls at City O’ City. They blew my mind and I have been searching for something similar. I found and tried this recipe this week. It was close, but the texture wasn’t right and maybe City O’ City’s is more mushroomy and herby, although, this was a great place to start. I omitted breadcrumbs, cheese and used ground flax seed as an egg replacer, but my meatless balls were pretty crumbly so this is something I will have to work on.
    | | | This incredible video of water on a wash cloth in Space! Man I love space. Haha

    | | | This love ly little Etsy shop, I Make It You Make It. It’s full of adorable vintage inspired patterns for downloading printing to make at home.

    | | | This book, Denver on Foot, 30 walking tours of the city, saved my life in Denver. Well not really my life, but saved my budget and saved me from getting lost. It’s full of short little walks for seeing the sites around Denver. It was the best purchase I ever made and I hope there  are more people writing books like these for their town. I had all this free time with out a car during the day and so I would just pick a walk and get to it. Best part about it, I bought it for $9.99 through my Kindle app on my tablet.

    | | | There is also 15 household uses for mint from Apartment Therapy.

    I leave you with one more Denver photo. This was taken at about 5:30 am Mountain time through a rooftop fence. Also I didn’t enhance it at all. Gorgeous Denver sunrise.



    Fall recipe Round Up

    The gorgeous changing of the seasons has inspired my palate and lately I find myself craving the flavors of fall. With the abundance of pumpkins out there for sale at road side stands, farmers markets, and fall festivals I thought I’d share some very intriguing and unique pumpkin recipes I’ve found around the web.

    Number one is a flavorful pumpkin humus. Number two, a to die for pumpkin spice bundt cake with creamy pumpkin glaze. Number three, a warm and creamy, veggie packed pumpkin soup. Number four, a gorgeous and hearty pumpkin chili. And number five is a grain free, dairy free take on the classic pumpkin pie.

    These recipes are sure to please your taste buds and warm you up with all the flavors of fall. Mmmmm mmm! Click To Tweet!

    Recipe Links:

    Etsy Feature Friday – The Gorgeous designs of Lauren Kemp

    I just discovered the beautiful DIYed designs of Lauren Kemp on Etsy. Truth be told I found her through Uncovet and searched her out to find her shop and low and behold there she was on Etsy!

    These are some of my favorite designs of hers that I seriously can’t get enough of and wish they’d jump into my closet right now! Her simple cuts and fun hand painted/stitched embellishments have really inspired me to get out the ol’ needle and thread and try my hand at some of that gorgeous embroidery work. Although it will have to wait till after Urban Craft is over as I am swamped with last minute projects leading up to the big day!

    First up to bat:

    Look at the gorgeous back on this one:

    Fun elbow pads are always a + in my book:

    This one is hand painted, love the color:

    Similar embroidery design as the first image, but boy do I love the cut of this shirt:

    Images from her shop, Lauren D Kemp :1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5 || 6

    10 things I love – End of Summer Gypsy

    I’ve had my eye on some of the pretty items since the temperatures were starting to slowly warm up and as summer comes to a close I feel myself hanging on to those small bits of warmth knowing that winter temperatures will soon be here. Although, I am excited about fall, the craft fairs, layering clothes, pretty scarves, and changing leaves, I know that autumn will only fade to gray winter days of snow boots and more practical things like 3 pairs of socks and remembering your mittens. I love winter and the holidays, but I am not yet ready to leave summer behind. That is what inspired me to put together today’s post, summer fading into fall.

    1|| Gypsy Knott Wrap by Free hippie on Etsy

    2|| Gypsy Celebration Flags by ArtToGo on Etsy

    3|| One of a kind Vintage hand dyed slip by LipStickGypsy on Etsy

    4|| Queen of Roses Jacket by Ruchki & kruchkI

    5|| Bohemian Hoop Earrings by NATgirona

    6|| Boar Tusk Choker by Julia Barbee

    7|| Peach Rose Georgette HiLow dress by Nalini Shop

    8|| Cotton Fringe Bikini Top by Motavationsnn

    9|| Waterfall Body Harness by Moorea Seal

    10|| Tobacco burst skinny yoga pants by Purusha People

    Meet Lucky Jackson

    Yay! Happy Tuesday everyone and let’s welcome the lovely Lucky to the blog. I had the awesome pleasure of meeting this lovely lady at a little clothes swap a month or two back and Lucky kindly gave me a ride back to where I was staying!
    On the way we chatted about Etsy and craft-fairs and well I just had to check this lady out! Incredible! My mind was blown by her talent and I am just so excited to share her awesomeness! Watch out there are some serious skillz showcased here on the blog today!

    My name is Lucky Jackson. I am a artist and illustrator currently working on a project where I embroider a new piece of artwork every day for the next year.

    I am currently selling some of the patterns from the 365 Project in my Etsy shop and lots of new patterns are coming soon!

    I have been making things for as long as I can remember. I have a fondness for the rain as it means I can stay inside all day and make crafts. I am a huge culture vulture and love everything to do with the arts.

    Long Live Indoor recess!

    3 things you’ve learned about yourself from crafting?

    To not rush things. Take your time and enjoy the process. It’s no fun if it’s no fun.
    The more you make things the better they get.
    It makes me incredibly happy.

    3 things you’ve learned from being your own boss?

    I am a horrible, over demanding boss.
    Time management is extremely important.
    You need to take a break once and a while and relax (I am working on this one).

    Embroidery of Lucky embroidering.

    3 ways you stay inspired?

    My kids are a huge inspiration. They have the most incredible imaginations.
    Notice the little things. The small details that make you happy.
    Using a journal to jot down ideas, always. I have tons of these journals and revisit them when the well is dry.

    3 things you enjoy the most about what you do?

    Getting to be a kid again. Pretty much my days are full of Arts and Crafts.
    Art and Craft shows and fairs. It’s the highlight of my year being able to show people my work in person.

    Meeting new people in the craft community. I have been overwhelmed by the amount of support and encouragement that I have received.

    3 of your favorite items currently in your shop?

    Boot Love Embroidery Pattern

    Guitar Girl Embroidery Pattern

    Book Love Embroidery Pattern

    3 words of wisdom for others starting out in selling their crafts on Etsy or online?

    Do something different and be unique.
    Don’t compare yourself to others. (tough but true)
    Do what you love, being and artist/crafter is a tough racket and you really have to have a passion for what you are making. It always shows in your work.

    DIY Recycled Suede Leather Wristlet

    I’ve got a little DIY action for ya and I am super excited to share this one with you guys as this wristlet is my number one go to piece of jewelry this summer. Seriously, I wear it with almost every outfit, everyday.

    Maybe that says something about my jewelry collection or maybe it just goes to show you how awesome this bracelet is.

    So you might be saying to yourself. Buying suede can be expensive. I mean, like, really expensive, but I am here to tell you that all you have to do is you look in the right place. That place is…the thrift store. Not the fabric store. You can find oodles of leather garments just begging for some new love all over the thrift store.

    The fabric scrap I am using for this project came from a  calf length suede skirt I thrifted that was priced at $7.99, but it just so happened to be a %50 off sale that day and I got yards of fabric for only $3.50. Yeah, awesome! So go find some suede and let’s get started.

    Here’s what you will need:

    • Scrap suede fabric at least large enough to wrap around your wrist.
    • Scissors
    • A pencil
    • Something small and round to trace, I am using a small votive candle holder
    • A permanent marker [Not pictured, simply because I forgot to grab it.]

    Start by figuring out the size of your wrist. You can do this by wrapping a piece of twine around and cutting it where the ends meet.

    Then, flipping your fabric wrong side up, begin tracing close to one end around half of your votive holder or round object. Next, grab your string and stretch it out from the center of the arch towards the other end of the fabric long ways, place your votive there and trace half way around it creating two half moon shapes that face each other.

    Grab a straight edge, if you have a ruler great! If your craft room is currently in shambles and you can’t find a darn thing, grab a trusty DVD case.

    Line up the outside edges of your have circles and draw a line between.

    You will actually notice my pencil isn’t actually making a lead mark on the fabric, but it is making a very noticeable indention. Trace a line down both sides and then cut out your shape!

    To make the closure, simply cut a thin length of leather 3 to 4 inches long.

    Fold your wristlet in half long ways and make a little mark with your thumb nail on both side where you want to cut the slit for your leather tie.

    Now fold the leather short ways and cut a small snip on both sides.

    Slip your thin strip of leather through both slits and slip it over your wrist.

    Tie into a little knot, or a double if you prefer!

    Almost done! We now have a nice blank canvas, so grab your sharpie, get creative and start coloring! When you are done you have an awesome, engraved leather look in minutes with any pattern you like!

    And there you have it. A super, simple, amazingly fashionable and versatile DIY wristlet!

    You can see how I styled it in this outfit post from last week.

    Handmade Month – Meet Some Amazing Artisans!

    I am super excited to introduce to you the Handmade Month Project which features incredible women, their stories, and their wares from around the world and the web!

    The project has awesome group interviews every other Monday and feature stories every Tuesday and Thursday, where these women tell us a little bit about their journeys to the online market place, what keeps them inspired, and how it has changed them as individuals.

    As a bonus I will be sharing a new crafty DIY project every Friday!

    Without further ado I introduce to our first three awesome ladies!

    I’m Sonya. I go through life collecting moments and turn them into beautiful visual stories. I live in Norway and travel extensively throughout Scandinavia. The beauty around me has taught me to never go without my camera because I don’t want to miss documenting it. I then take my photos and turn them into unique pieces of art, which I sell in my etsy shop. I am a photographer, a writer, and author of the blog Kanelstrand: simple living for human beings, which is the meeting point of a vibrant green community of eco-crafters from around the world. I am a book reviewer for Elsevier through one of its imprints, Focal Press, which is a publisher of high quality photography and digital imaging books. My photography has been shown on international exhibitions and published in magazines on and off-line.

    What is the biggest thing you’ve learned about yourself from crafting?

    My initial reaction to that question was – nothing new! But then I dug deeper because I was sure there must be something new I’ve learned. It is that I always take the hard road first. I get so over-excited with learning a new craft that I want to make all things right now and in the best possible manner. Taking the steep road always offers different outcomes though, but for the inspired crafter every experience is a positive one! it is extremely important to listen to yourself and to go peacefully with the flow of your inner ambitions. That is the only valuable way.

    My current favorite item in my shop is my last photo, symbolizing the importance of home. To me it is fairy-tale-like and surreal, a bit naive and evoking a a lot of emotions.

    Hi There! Maria Ballestrino here, designer and business owner from Plume to the Wind, Inspired by a fictional princess and a very special person who played the role of the princess in a play, Plume to the Wind stationery has a delicate, vintage feel. Offering everything from invitations, invitation suites, thank you notes, baby stationery, table cards, save the dates, invitation inserts, place cards, programs, menu cards, and any other printed details. All stationery has a vintage flair, and custom design is offered as well.

    Formally, I am a trained graphic designer. I have always had an affinity for stationery. As a child, I remember spending all of my time in the grocery or drug store in the card isle, carefully examining cards that caught my eye with their beauty, or reading the funny cards for their humor. As I grew up, and entered the real world as a graphic designer for a corporation, I had this uncontrolable urge to start my own line of stationery. It started with a few friends of mine getting married and coming to me to design their invitations, then family members followed suit. During those times, I found that I truly loved the design process of creating custom stationery and all of the creative freedom that came along with it. After receiving a lot of positive feedback, I decided to give Etsy a shot. I still consider my work and shop a work in progress, and always will. In my view, everything has room for improvement. Lastly, I find that offering the best possible customer service to my clients is extremely important. Like I said earlier, most of my clients are brides, and I know they are super busy trying to get everything together for one of the biggest days of their lives. I try to take as much off their plate as possible. I don’t ever want them to feel like they have to chase me down, so I make myself readily available by checking my Etsy account often, promptly responding to messages, and providing my phone number if requested. All of my policies are outlined in my shop section, so nothing is a surprise.

    What is the one thing you enjoy the most about being a small business crafter/artisan?

    Only one thing?!? It is so hard to nail down only one thing I love about what I do on Etsy. With that said, I feel very fortunate that I am able to have a business, doing something I love on so many different levels. I very much enjoy the excitement I feel while designing new stationery sets. I really enjoy working with my clients to acheive a look that represents them and or their event. Most of my clients are brides, and I love it when I am able to create a look that represents the most important day in their lives.

    What is your favorite item currently in your shop?

    Although I often find myself saying that I love all of the items in my shop equally (as if they were my chidren), my most recent addition is the apple of my eye. It is the Floral Harmony invitation suite. I love the soft color palette, vintage pattern that was adapted from wallpaper from the 1940’s, and the typography. The Floral Harmony invitation suite would be perfect for an outdoor or garden wedding.

    My name is Kristina and I was born in Ljubljana, capital of small country called Slovenia. As a child I loved to craft from paper, and sewing came later. At first I sewed clothings for myself and when there was a bit of fabric left over I would make a bag. As years went by I made more and more bags and less and less clothes. In spring 2010 there was an application in the local newspaper for making a shopping bag that was kind to the environment. It was a charity thing, and all the bags would be sold and the money given to children and their familes who lost their jobs in Koroška region. I was extremely happy when I heard I made it into 20 finalists. At that time my friends told me I should create a brand, so the same year Blackbird bags was born, but as soon as I created my brand I knew Slovenia was to small and I wanted the world to know about my work. I wanted my bags to be sold around the world and what better way to do it than selling online. Etsy seemed like the perfect solution.

    I could say my mum inspired me to begin sewing, but that wouldn’t be entirely true. The first sewing machine in our home was a singer dated from the early 20th century and had been in our family for nearly a 100 years. My mother’s great grandfather sold Singer sewing machines and this how we obtained ours. My grandmother used it to sew for her home and her children and my mum used it to  sew for me and my brother. It was only natural I learn to sew as well.

    What words of wisdom do you have for others starting out in selling their crafts on Etsy or online?

    Etsy is huge, with shops from around the globe and it can be difficult to stand out. Belive in yourself, love what you do, and be active. No matter how great items in your shop might be, no one will find you unless you are active in teams, blogs, etc. I speaking from experience. I opened my shop and waited and waited, but nothing happened. No one knew I was there. So being as active as you can, can really bring people to your shop!

    What is your favorite item currently in your shop?

     This adorable red Polka Dot Framed Coin Purse.

    T hanks for stopping by everyone and be sure to check back through out the project! Love having you here!

    Tutorial Round Up

    Hello everyone, stopping in to share a quick little tutorial round up with you all. These are some of the amazing tutorials from out there in blogland this week. Check these lovely ladies out!

    Gorgeous hanging basket garden tutorial with Elsie and Emma on A Beautiful Mess.

    How about this lovely little ombre hand dyed tassel necklace for a night on the town? From Clémence on Oh the lovely things.

    This adorable wall hanging is easy to make with your favorite song lyrics and will look perfect on any wall! From Kinsey on Sincerely, Kinsey.

    Also, Savannah’s Recent post on how to balance your schedule was really inspiring and helpful for me this week.  Balance-Tips for a Productive Week from Savannah on Maie Dae.

    TGIF! Have a lovely weekend everyone and be ready for some fun on Monday!


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