Category Archives: Gifts

Simple, Fun Ghost Pretzels and Beets Fail

I promised I’d tell you about my great creations…and my not so great ones fails. I made sauteed, grated beets last night…FAIL. :/ I got the recipe from a Garden Fresh cookbook and thought, “Eh, I’ll give it a try.” Maybe I shouldn’t have! I grated the beets (which stained my hands-EWW! For any Office fans out there, I felt like Dwight in the episode where he tries to buy that wizard from the fancy store at the mall, but they don’t letΒ  him in because he had beet-stained hands and it looked like blood…), then sauteed them in melted butter and a bit of orange juice for about 10 minutes. Dr O’s statement concerning the beets, “These taste like the earth.” I took one bite and that was enough…amazing he ate ALL of his even though they were in no way yummy AT ALL. 😦 I guess I’ll try a different recipe next time. Dr O found one online for beet apple soup–maybe it’ll be less “earthy.” The main course last night was a very, very yummy and simple skirt steak and bok choy stir fry (which I’ll post about within the next couple of days) so the whole dinner wasn’t a fail…(that’s my glass half-full side :))

Now, on to my sweet pretzel ghost treats. I saw these on (da, da, da, daaaaaaaaa…) Pinterest. Of course. I really like making treats for Little O’s teachers about once a month and I usually do it towards the end of the month. They are the sweetest women and Little O ADORES them. I can tell that they adore her as well and any person that chooses to spend 4 mornings a week with a room full of toddlers is someone that deserves a treat every now and then! I’ve given them candy-filled jars, Fall mix (chex, m&ms, reese’s pieces, pretzels, cheez-its, candy corn, mellowcreme pumpkins), and now ghost treats. These were so simple and would be fun to do for and with kids (Little O had the extras for snack and proclaimed them “Alicious [delicious]!”). All you need is white bakers chocolate (I used 12 squares), pretzel rods, and mini chocolate chips.

First, melt your chocolate until it’s nice and smooth πŸ™‚

Mmmmmm….

Then dip the rods into the chocolate (I did it as far as I could, but obviously couldn’t get the whole…or even the majority…of the rod in there). Lay them on wax paper and while the chocolate is still in liquid form place 2 eyes and a mouth near the top to create the ghosts’ face (with the chocolate chips).

You’ll end up with all these….

Isn’t that easy?!? Let them set at room temperature or put them in the freezer if your antsy to eat one soon!

I grabbed some cellophane treat bags that I had leftover from…something…and placed 6 in each bag (she has 3 teachers). I still had 5 or 6 left so this made plenty of them! Almost the whole bag of rods!!! Then I secured the end with a twisty tie and tied some ribbon around that. I wanted to make my own tags, but it was getting close to time for Little O to wake up from her nap and I wanted to be finished with these treats, so I cheated and printed some from the internet (I just googled “free printable halloween circle tags”..there were PLENTY of choices).

I cut them out with decorative scissors, punched a hole in the side, tied it onto the ribbon and TA DA!

Aren’t those fun?!?!?!?!? They were cheap, simple, but they are super cute and ALICIOUS πŸ™‚

I hope you can have fun making some of these with someone special this weekend in honor of Halloween!!!

Mrs O

1 Comment

Filed under Fail., Gifts, Yummies

The Gift of Food….isn’t it the best gift of all?!

When we moved to Kentucky I joined a spouse group for residents. I’ve met some great people through it and Little O has also made some friends. One thing that they do is to organize meals for families who’ve just had babies. I am a *huge* proponent of this idea (not just because I love food…I know that’s what you were thinking :)) because after Dr O and I had Little O, my Real Housewives of the School of Medicine (yes, we called ourselves that AND we have magnets and coffee cups where we’re posing as “real housewives”…it’s awesome and you’re definitely jealous!) organized dinners for us for 2 weeks or so after we came home from the hospital. It was one of the biggest blessings–not having to worry about when to cook dinner, going to the grocery store, etc. and it gave us a chance to visit with our friends that brought dinner (we usually coaxed them into staying and helping us eat their delicious goodies…it helps that they got to hold Little O if they stayed!). So, I jumped at the chance to sign up to bring dinners to these families. One of the spouses that I just met at a different doctor spouse organization (amazingly, there is more than one…), had her sweet baby girl (3rd child….how does someone even grasp the idea of having THREE kids?!) and I signed up to take her dinner. I took her family veggie lasagna, garlic parmesan knots, and a homemade apple cobbler. However, she wasn’t going to be at the house when I dropped it off (her mother lives in town and would be watching the kids), so I wanted to label and give instructions for the meal (in a cute way, of course!)

I could easily have done this by writing on the foil and baggie with a Sharpie, but everyone appreciates something cute πŸ™‚ So, I quickly whipped up a couple of tags for the dishes!


Here’s how I made these using Microsoft Word (get ready, there are going to be a few six million pictures of my laptop coming up….and…GO!)

First, in a new document, bring up your autoshapes.

Under basic shapes, choose the plaque.

Then create it to be however large or small you like. I did it pretty large and used the paper in a landscape setup.

Now, seriously, who wants to use a thin black border? Not this girl, so right click and format autoshape.

I aways prefer to use the “more colors” option and get this pretty color wheel (What?! It just makes me happy!).

Then make that border a lot thicker!

Already WAY better, right?! Now, add a text box. Then right click on it and format text box.

You want to get rid of the outer box around it so there is continuity in your food tag…clearly, this is all very serious stuff….adding tags to food you take as a gift.

Simple, just click “no fill” under line.

Now, use a super duper cutesy font to write “From our kitchen to yours”, the recipe, and any special reheating or baking directions, and sign it from your awesome family! I played around with the colors of the fonts too….no one likes plain old black, right?!

Then print and grab a pair of scrapbooking scissors. I love to use the scallopped edge ones. I just followed about 1/4 inch or so outside the plaque. Then, I simply taped it onto each dish.

Who doesn’t love a free, homecooked meal made with love?! Everyone does, but who doesn’t pee their pants get really excited when the instructions for the meal look this adorable?! Ok, maybe I seem a bit over the top about this, but I really appreciate the little details in life! Also, this took less than 5 minutes to whip up and stick to the prepared dishes.

Mrs O

1 Comment

Filed under Gifts

Sweet Cheeks Baby Gifts

My younger cousin welcomed her first child, a sweet boy, into the world on Sunday, September 25th. She had the largest of all baby showers I have ever seen and got what looks to be everything and more that a first time parent could need! So, I decided I’d make her a couple gifts to send after the baby was born. When Little O was a baby, I took monthly pictures of her and just wrote how many months old she was on a piece of paper, decorated it, and snapped. However, this became increasingly difficult as she grew. Evidence below:

So, I’ve recently seen throughout the blogoverse (as I like to call it) some really cute monthly onesies. So, I grabbed some long-sleeved onesies (1 newborn, 1 0-3 month, 3 3-6 month, 4 6-9 month, 3 12 month) and some iron-on printable transfer paper and got to work. I chose long-sleeved onesies because he will spend the majority of his first year of life in the cold weather, but you could do it with colored onesies, short-sleeved, etc. I began to create my own image in Microsoft Word (which is very simple, but a little time consuming and all the choices of things I could do were overwhelming me; plus, I wasn’t quite sure of what she would like so I needed to go simple) and then decided I’d just use some from another site. I found printables from parties by hardee here : http://www.tipjunkie.com/baby-photos/. I printed out the red and cut right along the circle’s edge. Then I ironed them on with no steam. Let them cool complete before tearing transfer paper off. **~TIP~** Make sure you pay attention to whether your image needs to be reversed or not before printing! Some transfer paper requires that the image is flipped, others don’t. Here is the finished product:

I think they turned out pretty simple and cute! It’ll be good with the same stuffed animal or in the same place each month, so you can really see the changes in baby. I hope she likes them πŸ™‚ I also wanted to make her a blanket with his birth stats on it. We got one when Little O was born and I loved it. I didn’t want to give her a “baby size” blanket that would only last for 6 months, so I decided to make a tie blanket of minky and fleece and use my embroidery machine to embroider his stats onto the minky fabric. I’m sure you remember these blankets, they were quite popular a few years back and JoAnn actually sells kits to make double-sided fleece ones now, but I love the texture of minky fabric and I think it complements the fleece well. I made it pretty large (large enough to just cover the top of a crib/toddler mattress because I know that way they will be able to use it for a longer time). So the first thing I did was purchase some minky (on sale or with a coupon) and fleece (on sale or with a coupon). I used 1 yard of each, lined themΒ  up, cut the edges so they were basically the same size:

(sidenote, don’t mind the materials in the chair….you’ll see those in later posts!) Then I embroidered baby’s birth stats into the minky fabric. I used a stiff, tearaway stabilizer behind the minky fabric since it is stretchy and that worked really well. I chose to embroider in a color that would pop–green πŸ™‚ I thought this way the blanket wouldn’t be too boring. I chose the fabric patterns because of their texture and simplicity. This way they would go with anything and he would be able to snuggle with it for many years to come!

Once I finished and tore away most of the stabilizer, I placed the minky against the houndstooth fleece on my table and began cutting strips along the edge.

The strips were about 1 1/2 inches wide and 3 1/2 inches long. Also, the last two strips on the corners need to be cut off (only one two sides, not all four).

Then tie your knots. I tie a good tight not and pull the opposite fabric up during the last knot. This way the part of the knot showing on the minky side was houndstooth and vice versa.

Continue with your knots down the side of the blanket. When finished, they will be tight and bunched together, like this

Gently pull the opposite sides of the blanket to stretch the fabric back out, it will begin to take more of a rectangular shape when you do this.

Big difference, right?! Then complete the other 2 sides, doing one side at a time. And you will have this

Here is my finished, folded blanket

Ready to ship to sweet baby! I know that both of these projects are very simple and maybe didn’t need that much of an explanation, but this is my very first tutorial so I wanted to make it with something simple. These are wonderful, personalized baby gifts that anyone would love. Don’t forget to become a “Follower” of My Mint Julep so you can be updated on my newest projects, recipes, etc.!

Mrs O

2 Comments

Filed under Gifts