April 16, 2014

No Bake Cheesecake with Berries and Chocolate Crust

Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts! I haven’t found a cheesecake that I didn’t like. I enjoy making cheesecake (although not as much as eating it), but it can be time consuming so this easy, quick and delicious no-bake cheesecake recipe is the one I usually turn to.

This recipe is perfect if you are still looking for the perfect Easter dessert! You can make one cheesecake or 5 mini cheesecakes using half pint jars.

No-Bake Cheesecake with berries and chocolate crust - an easy dessert recipe

No-Bake Cheesecake with berries and chocolate crust - an easy dessert recipe

No-Bake Cheesecake with Berries and Chocolate Crust

Ingredients

Crust-
  • 1 sleeve of chocolate graham crackers - crushed (could also use vanilla wafers or regular graham crackers)
  • 5 tablespoons butter – melted
Filling-
  • 8 ounces cream cheese - softened
  • 4 tablespoons butter - softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounce tub of cool whip – thawed
Topping-
  • 1 cup of fresh berries
Directions
  • To make crust crush graham crackers in an airtight bag. Add melted butter and use your fingers to mix the two together. Spread into the bottom of a pie plate or to make individual cheesecakes add 2 tablespoons of the crust mixture to the bottom of a half pint mason jar and press down.
  • For the filling use a mixer to beat together cream cheese, vanilla and butter until smooth. Fold in half of the tub of cool whip. Spread over the crust or layer into the jars. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Immediately before serving add a dollop of cool whip and fresh strawberries.
 
No-Bake Cheesecake with berries and chocolate crust - an easy dessert recipe

No-Bake Cheesecake with berries and chocolate crust - an easy dessert recipe

Enjoy,

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April 15, 2014

Easter Seed Starter Cup Place Cards

I host Easter at our house every year. We have my side of the family and my husband’s side of the family join us for brunch or lunch. This year we are doing an Easter lunch and I am in charge of the ham, infamous cheesy potato casserole (I’m sharing the recipe over at Tatertots and Jello tomorrow!), rolls and drinks. Everybody else will bring a side dish and a desert. My favorite part about hosting this year is that I actually had time to come up with a beautiful tablescape and place card baskets.

Just like most of the projects and recipes I share – I created these mini basket place cards on a budget. I used seed starter cups I picked up at the dollar store, a bag of Easter grass from Target that cost $0.50, the moss and paper doilies from Michael’s were 40% off and I used cupcake liners and twine I already had. The total cost was around $7 for 14 of them.

Mini Easter Basket Place Cards - Place Settings

Supplies Needed:
  • Seed starter cups
  • Cupcake liners
  • Easter grass
  • Moss
  • Twine
  • Paper tags/doilies
  • Scissors
  • Pen
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
Directions:
  • Start by cutting down the side of a cupcake liner and then cutting out the bottom round part. Each seed cup will require 1.5 cupcake liners. (See image below)
  • Use a hot glue gun to glue the cupcake liner to the inside of the seed starter cup.
  • Using a pen write all of your guest’s names on a paper tag or doiley and secure them the seed starter cups with twine.
  • Fill each cup with Easter grass and tuck in a small piece of moss.
How easy is that!?

Mini Easter Basket Place Cards - Place Settings
Mini Easter Basket Place Cards - Place Settings

Mini Easter Basket Place Cards - Place Settings

Mini Easter Basket Place Cards - Place Settings

I did a different version for the kids to keep things bright and fun on their table. I left the cupcake liner intact and glued it to the bottom of the seed starter cup, filled with paper grass and a plastic Easter egg with a bit of candy inside.

Mini Easter Basket Place Cards - Place Settings

Mini Easter Basket Place Cards - Place Settings

Mini Easter Basket Place Cards - Place Settings

Just so you don’t think I am going all crazy – I wanted to share that I am using paper plates and plastic silverwear on our Easter table. My pregnant butt doesn’t want to be doing dishes for the week following Easter so these name tags will really give the paper plate set table a richness and elegance!

Mini Easter Basket Place Cards - Place Settings

Enjoy,

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April 13, 2014

DIY: Achieve Perfect Chalkboard Designs and Lettering

Ever since the chalkboard trend started a few years ago I have been in love with it. My creative side loves to doodle and I especially love word art and quotes so the two marry quite nicely. I am good at doodling, drawing and designing however I am not that great at hand lettering. I am going to share all of my tips and tricks for making awesome chalkboard art and lettering without having to have superb hand lettering skills!

Chalkboard Lettering and Design Tutorial - for those who are not great at hand lettering!

Supplies Needed:
  • Chalkboard
  • A design printed onto regular printer/copy paper
  • Pencil
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Chalk
  • Washi or painters tape
  • Paper towels
  • Q-tip
  • Water
Directions:
  • Start with a well seasoned chalkboard. To season a new chalkboard turn a piece of chalk on its side and rub it over the entire chalkboard. Use a wet paper towel to wipe it and then do it once more. After rubbing chalk for the second time allow the chalkboard to dry completely and wipe with a wet paper towel again repeating until the chalkboard is clean again.
  • Using your computer create a design to print. You can use Microsoft Word, PicMonkey, Photoshop or another program you feel comfortable with. Depending on the size of your chalkboard determine if you want to print landscape or portrait and you may want to use multiple pages. **If you want to download new fonts see my font downloading tutorial with some of my suggestions on where to find cool fonts.
  • Once printed turn the paper with the printed side down and rub the entire design with chalk.
Chalkboard Lettering and Design Techniques
  • Now place the design printed side up where you would like it to be on the chalkboard using tape to secure it from moving.
Chalkboard Lettering and Design Techniques
  • With a pencil trace over the outlines of the text and designs you printed. It will leave behind a faint chalk line left by the chalk you rubbed on the back of the paper. **In the image below you can see where I worked from left to bottom right since I am right handed. I worked with one word at a time and folded the paper down so I didn’t smudge too much with my hand as I worked.
  • Once you have traced over the design on your paper use a piece of chalk to trace back over the outlines and fill in the letters. **To draw cleaner and neater lines sharpen the chalk with a pencil sharpener. It is cheaper and just as useful as a chalk pencil.
Chalkboard Lettering and Design Techniques
  • The last step is to clean up your board. Regardless of how clean you try to keep things you are going to have unwanted smudges left behind. (See all those on my board in the picture above?) You may also have little imperfections you want to fix. First blow off as much of chalk as you can and then use a damp paper towel and a q-tip to clean things up. I dip a q-tip in water and use it to fix tiny spots and then turn it over and use the dry end to smudge things out. I also pull the damp paper towel over my pointer finger to precisely clean things up.
Chalkboard Lettering and Design Techniques

As you do more and more designs you will find techniques that work best for you and will be able to attempt more complicated designs. My biggest suggestion when making your first designs is to use thicker fonts because you don’t have to be as precise. You might find that you like working with more blocky fonts or more whimsical rounded fonts – it is all personal preference.

How To- Create awesome chalkboard designs even if you have bad handwriting

Enjoy,

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April 10, 2014

Our Yard - A Weed Free Work in Progress

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scotts Turf Builder for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

As Winter ended and Spring came I was fed up with all of the weeds that had taken over our lawn. It seemed like over night the weeds moved in and the grass moved out leaving us with an ugly yard. Since most of our neighbors have pristine lawns (granted they are older and retired with grown kids) I didn’t want to be the ones in the neighborhood with that lawn. At the end of February we put Scotts Turf Builder down on the lawn and now after almost six weeks there is an extremely noticeable difference.

Scotts Bonus S came out with a new and improved formula specifically for Florida lawns. It is available in the Jacksonville and Ft. Myers areas. The formula is guaranteed to clear out dollar weed and clover. Our biggest problem was the clover and as you can see below the clover is gone now!

Florida Lawn after using Scotts Bonus S

Maybe you are thinking what my husband thinks – ummm… the yard looks worse now than before. Before we go on let me remind you - there are NO weeds my friends! The past week I have been raking out the dead weeds and preparing the yard for grass seed. Since I am pregnant and yard work tires me out quickly I work in sections. It might take me a week or so but I can’t wait to start seeing the grass fill in where the weeds once were.

Florida Lawn after using Scotts Bonus S

My dad was so impressed that he went out and bought the Scotts Bonus S for his own lawn. He has used their older formula but commented that it never worked near as good as the new formula has seemed to work in my yard.

Florida Lawn after using Scotts Bonus S

Enjoy,

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