DIY: Super Quick Glitter Ornaments

My friends and I sure do love craft day - we try to have it as often as possible - but at least once every other month. When we hit the holidays - we try and come up with something that fits the season. The thing is - we each play our parts: I usually come up with the idea, Rachel sources the supplies and Danielle - well Danielle makes us delicious food - and we love her for that!

Rachel came across a couple of easy holiday ornament crafts and we all thought it sounded like a fun one. Danielle is a newlywed and we knew we would probably need more time for talking than we would crafting! 

The supplies were easily sourced. Rachel found glass light bulb-shaped ornaments at Hobby Lobby on sale (not exactly what's pictured here - but as close as I could find online). Other than that - we needed a bottle of Pledge Floor Care (uh - okay?) and glitter!!! Rachel found a multi-pack of tiny little tubes of glitter at Hobby Lobby as well. These little tubes turned out to be PERFECT - you'll see why as you scroll down. 


(This post contains affiliate links. If you click and purchase 
anything after the click I make like 14 cents.) 

So you just pop the top off the ornament - and pour a little bit of the Pledge Floor Care inside. We had a little tiny measuring cup that was perfect - pour it in - swirl it around - then pour out the excess. You won't use much - but since we weren't exactly sure why we were using the Pledge Floor Care exactly - we didn't know if we could substitute with something one of us already had.

Still no clue about the magic of the floor care - but it worked so I say stick with it!

So here's why those little tubes of glitter were perfect! They had a little opening at the top that allowed you to pour the glitter right into the ornaments! I would say we poured 1/3-1/2 of the glitter per ornament.

If you got one that was a bit clumpy - we just took the pokey end of the ornament and loosened up the glitter. There's some line from Big Bang Theory about clumps in glitter that I'm remembering... ;-)

Then you just roll the ornament and get the glitter to coat the whole ornament. I found that I poured maybe 1/3 in, rolled it and then added a little more. Now you want to make sure you get that Pledge Floor Care over the whole ornament - that's what makes the glitter stick.

Now before we recap - I have to introduce you to the newest member of Craft Day - Utah! He is Danielle's newest family member that came with the wedding ring. He's adorable and a big ball of energy!!!

And here are some of the finished ornaments! I love how we all chose different colors and our different styles showed through. We also had some of the glass ball ornaments which were larger and required more glitter - so Danielle got creative and just used two different colors on some and they turned out great! It's a very forgiving craft! 

I have to say - these are Danielle's colors and they were so beautiful! Those rich jewel tones were very well suited to this craft! 

Luckily her tree was up and ready to have the ornaments hung with love and care! 

This was such a fun craft and good for all ages! I mean - who doesn't love glitter! Plus - it took less than 30 minutes for us to do LOADS of ornaments - so it's not a big time suck. 

What a fun craft to do with the kids before Christmas! Everybody in the group loved this craft - it was easy, affordable, quick and pretty. What more could you want?

Here are some other crafts we've done together:





Recipe: 3-Ingredient Pulled Pork Empanadas!

This post is sponsored by Curly's. All opinions are my own. 

I'm always looking for quick and easy meals that I can make when I get home from work. Unless I plan ahead (haha) - I need something that can be on the table in 20 minutes or less. 

One of my favorite quick serve meals is empanadas! Now - there are the REAL empanadas - and I love them - where you make the dough and the fillings - they're amazing - but guess what - ain't nobody got time for that! 


I've got a super easy short cut for you - puff pastry! I got a roll of puff pastry and some Curly's Pulled Pork and went to town! I made three varieties of pulled pork empanadas and they were on the table in less than 20 minutes!

These were so easy to make and the little twists on them were super simple as well - from top to bottom:

* Top: Pulled Pork + Coleslaw - yes I put coleslaw (from the deli case) in with the pork before I cooked it! 

* Middle: Pulled Pork + Apple Slice - I had some leftover apple pie filling and just put a slice of apple on top of the pork

* Bottom: Pulled Pork + Gouda - I had some leftover shredded Gouda and topped the pork with a little cheese!   

They were super simple to make - I just unrolled the puff pastry and used a small plastic IKEA bowl and cut circles out of the pastry. Then add a heaping spoonful of Curly's Pulled Pork on top and my add-on topping. (You can find Curly's in the refrigerated meat case at the grocery store.) Then fold over and pinch together with the edge of a fork.

I basted mine with a beaten egg - that gives them that shiny golden brown color. My husband is allergic so for his - I just brushed on a little butter. It doesn't give it the pretty color - but who doesn't need a little more butter.

After you bake them for 15-20 minutes at 425 - dinner is served! They took just five minutes to put together and then 15 minutes in the oven. That's just enough time for me to sit and pet the puppies before having them drool at my feet while I enjoy my empanadas!

Once they came out of the oven - you could top them with more fun too! The ones with the cole slaw on the inside - I added a little more on top with BBQ sauce. These empanadas are the perfect little hand pie! And if you have kids in the house - what kid doesn't want to eat dinner with their hands?!
  
I have to admit - the apple pie pulled pork empanada might have been my favorite! The sweet of the apple really does pair well with the pulled pork. It's like my own version of PORK CHOPS + APPLESAUCE!!! This one I just topped with a tiny bit of bbq sauce.

The last version was simply pulled pork with a little shredded gouda inside - cuz who doesn't like cheese?! Why Gouda? It's a soft and smoky cheese and pairs well with the pulled pork. Then pop it out and dip it in a little sour cream! The sour cream really cuts into the acidity of the bbq sauce.

And - at the heart of every one of the empanadas was the Curly's Pulled Pork! They made it super simple and quick to the table. I was able to just pop open the tub and put it right onto the puff pastry!  

So there you have it - 3 ingredient pulled pork empanadas - and 3 varieties! All on the table in 20 minutes! Woohoo! Dinner is served!

3-Ingredient Pulled Pork Empanadas!

- Curly's Pulled Pork BBQ
- Puff pastry
- Toppings:
---- V1: Shredded Gouda
---- V2: Cole slaw
---- V3: Apple Pie Filling
- Beaten egg

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425
2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
3. Cut out rounds of puff pastry with a bowl and set on the parchment paper
4. Top with 1-2 Tbsp of Curly's Pulled Pork & your topping choice
5. Fold circle over and use edge of fork to pinch edges together
6. Brush tops with beaten egg
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes until tops are golden brown
8. Serve with bbq sauce, cole slaw and sour cream for extra dipping!

If you want to see more delicious recipes by watching videos made by Curly’s Kitchen + Chef Clara - visit RoadTripEats.com/videos and a new tasty favorite is just a click away.

Restaurant Review: Crazy Bowls & Wraps - Blue Ash

Crazy Bowls provided free meals in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.

A couple of months ago our office moved to Blue Ash and we suddenly have about 50 restaurants right outside our doorstep! It's pretty amazing since before we had to drive to go anywhere! 

One place that caught my eye right off the bat was Crazy Bowls & Wraps. It's right near Kenwood & Cooper Road near the CVS and US Bank. It's got quite a large area inside to eat and there are a couple of tables outside. The bonus for me - they have online ordering as well! So I can order from my desk and walk downstairs to pick it up.

The menu is a bit like Chipotle - you build your own bowl or wrap - you add the protein - pick the sauce and they make it up for you. They don't do it right in front of you - but it's the same idea - in the realm of "quick service" as they call it now.

They're going for a very healthy, organic vibe - which is easily noticed in their drink selection. Lots of choices in the organic tea world. They also have a salsa and sauce bar next to the drink bar.

I've been a few times now since they are so close!

First I tried the Fajita Stir Fry Bowl - Grilled Chicken ($9.05) - comes with Red pepper, red onion, zucchini, tomato, lime, jalapeño-cilantro sauce, cheddar, avocado, beans, roasted jalapeño; served with a warm tortilla.

I liked this but the chicken is a little bland and all in all - it's a little dry. Definitely ask for extra sauce - they have a really great lime ranch that I love so I always ask for a couple of those in addition to their corn salsa.

I would love for them to have the option of steak or carnitas. The other options besides grilled chicken are crispy chicken (+ .50), grilled tofu or grilled salmon (+$2).

On another occasion I tried what is now basically my standard order - the Santa Fe Salad ($8.95 + $2 for salmon) which has mixed greens, corn salsa, tomato, avocado, cheddar, jalapeño-cilantro vinaigrette. I usually get the dressing on the side and ask for the ranch as well.

I felt bad about eating fish at work but nobody complained so I guess it's ok - at least I'm not cooking it! The salmon is a really nice addition - you don't really find fish as an offering for quick service often and this is so healthy! They cooked the salmon perfectly - it was actually not overcooked!

The corn salsa is my favorite add-on - they have it on the salsa bar but when I do the online order - I always ask for that as well.

You can get chips and salsa with your order as well - but I usually don't. The chips are a little hard and I just don't figure I need the extra calories - the salad is good on it's own.


Why Should You Go? Crazy Bowls is a great addition especially because pretty much every choice you make there is healthy. In addition to the bowls I've tried, they also have wraps (buffalo, caesar, thai & more), soups, sides and kids meals. Here's a link to the Blue Ash menu - they also have a location in Mason and are opening one on Beechmont soon.

Be sure to follow me on Facebook as well - I'll be doing a flash giveaway there as well for a couple of free lunches! And hey - you can message me and I'll meet you there!


Crazy Bowls & Wraps Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Review: AR Workshop DIY Craft Classes

This post is sponsored by AR Workshop. All opinions are my own. 

As you know - I love doing crafts! I have craft day with my girlfriends once a month (and a post coming later this week) - it's so fun! Well - recently I came across AR Workshop online and fell in love! 

AR Workshop is a national company with locations around the US and the Cincinnati location is located right off Hyde Park Square next to US Bank. They offer DIY classes, parties and retail.

The classes are a lot of painted sign classes but also have pillow cases, wall hangings, boxes, framed art and more. I would love to do every class they have!!!!

 They also have a bunch of holiday-themed signs! Seriously - these things are adorable!!! These would make great gifts for folks that love holiday decorating or for yourself. The quality is impeccable!

So how does it work?

First you check out their calendar and figure out which project you want to make. From there - you'll choose which specific item you want to make. Nearly every item is personalized - so you when you purchase your class online - you tell them the personalization that you want. It was really easy.

Then you show up and get crafting!!!! Be aware - street parking is premium right there - so show up early or prepare to walk a block or so. I know a lot of folks were parking in US Bank parking lot after hours - (I'm not telling you to do that or not! Park at your own risk.)

I had really liked the canvas wall hanging - and it seemed like something I wouldn't really be able to do very easily on my own. I'm pretty crafty - so I figure if it's a class that I would normally pay for - I should do something I can't do on my own.

Once you get there - they have the projects all laid out at the tables. If you're signing up with friends - you can note that in your registration so you get seated together. From there - I was able to pick out the stain I wanted (since I was doing the canvas wall hanging) from the choices you see on the left. Then they gave us some keyrings of wood samples with the paint colors on them so we could choose from those.

I am so indecisive and always need help! Plus - I saw this really cool finished project that had hombre text and loved it! The staff at AR Workshop was so helpful - they consulted with me and helped me choose colors for the different parts of the wall hanging and which part would look the best with that hombre effect! Very helpful!

From there - we got to work. The folks at AR Workshop print out your personalized design on this blue sticky sheet. Then each person goes through and pulls up the pieces that will need to be painted. We then stick the blue sheet to our fabric (I did the wall hanging, my friend did pillows). After that we tape over the areas to make sure they're stuck really well. The whole goal here is to make sure that it's down on the fabric as tightly as possible to keep paint from seeping under. We then painted our areas and while that dried - I stained the wood.

While it dried - I also walked around to see some of the other projects - you can really see them coming to life! They're super cute!

Here's a particular one that caught my eye - I'm not really a holiday decorator. We don't have a lot of space to store things out of season - so I just keep the holiday stuff to a minimum.

Here are some other finished projects. The one on the left is one a girl at my table did. This was her second time with AR and I have to say - I was IMPRESSED! You'll notice how PERFECT her lines are! There was no paint that seeped under the design - every letter is perfection! All hail the friend of the Satchell family that made this pillow!

Mine is on the right - and you can see - I kind of had some bleeding spots. The workshop leaders said that wood is more forgiving than canvas - but she had a trick for me too! She brought over some paint that is the color of canvas and I touched up most of the spots that bled. Now is it perfect like the one on the left? No. But when you hang it up and just walk by it - IT'S FINE!!! I think I just didn't know what I was doing as much and didn't take the time I should have.

My advice is to take your time - really focus on getting the blue flat and stuck to your surface. The better that is - the better your project will turn out.

Am I still happy with my imperfect wall hanging? Hell yeah! I love it!!!!

After my hanging was done - she helped me put the wood pieces on so it could hang. We had a staple gun issue so she went to her workshop and grabbed a nail gun and voila - it worked! I like that even when something went wrong - I had multiple staff members there to help me out. That's impressive knowing that the class was FULL. Everybody got personalized care.

So here I am with my final wall hanging. She said I could take an iron to this once everything was fully dry to flatten out some of those puckers.

The funny thing is - I didn't realize until after I had already painted everything on - those were our wedding colors! I was having such a hard time deciding and then I gravitated towards that light/bright blue (like my sweater) and the hot pink - and then it hit me - those were our colors! Awwww.

My friend Erin did state pillows - one for her and one for her hubby - they turned out fantastic!!!! I mean I think an Iowa pillow would be much better - but I can't fault them for where they were born! ;-) They also had dog pillows that I was DYING to do - I could have one for each dog! They were so cute!!! But alas - that will have to wait until I visit another day.

All in all - we loved AR Workshop and think that - while a little pricey - it's super fun. (1 pillow is $45, 2 pillows $65 and the wall hanging is $60.) The quality of the finished product is excellent and I think that's the thing - if you are wanting to do something like this and you want to be sure it's done right and worthy of being hung in your home (or that of a loved one) - it's worth every penny. They consulted with me, helped me at every step along the way and that made a lot of difference!

Their classes before the end of the year are filling up quick - she told me that most of the classes are full by the time they happen - so I would say - take a look at the schedule and book it out in advance. You can also bring wine and snacks if like to enjoy while you're working. It was a really fun night for Erin and I to hang out - it's much more fun with a friend for sure. Plus - you can help each other out while you're working on the project.

I hope you guys check them out! Oh and - if you want to have a party - reach out - they'll help you! You can book a whole class for your group with just a little notice! Enjoy your crafting!!!

Holiday Shopping Tips for Liberty Center!

This post is sponsored by Liberty Center. All opinions are my own. 

The holidays are here! And if you're looking for someplace to shop - Liberty Center in West Chester is a great option. Besides great shopping - there's a lot of fun stuff to do! 

They have a huge courtyard with a ginormous tree and light display - it's really pretty. You can walk into the tree and see a manger display or if you're feeling frosty - they have two horse drawn carriages that pick up on the square for rides around Liberty Center.

Source: https://www.instagram.com/happy_daisy_life/
It's a great time of year to go - especially with the crazy warm weather we're having! You can walk around and enjoy the sights while picking up some of those gifts you've got on your list! 

Here are a few tips for shopping at Liberty Center

* Just park in the garages on either end! Don't fight the crowds in the open parking lot in the front - head to either end - the garages aren't used as much and - if you go to the mall side - you can walk through the indoor portion of the mall to get to the festivities! 

* Bring a mug of hot chocolate! If you're just wanting to enjoy the lights, Santa and nativity - bring a mug of hot chocolate and just enjoy the atmosphere! It's so fun! There's a holiday train display too! 

* Bring your appetite! There are lots of restaurants - from quick serve to sit down - where you can grab a bite! We got some food court sustenance and then grabbed cheesecake to go from The Cheesecake Factory for home. 


* Check around for good deals! We stopped into Old Navy cuz my husband wanted a puffy vest - found one super quick and turns out - it was 50% off and only $15! 

I also have to say - it seems that everyplace you shop during the holidays is packed to the gills. So the nice thing about shopping at Liberty Center is that because of the inside mall and the outdoor mall - even during the holidays - it doesn't FEEL that crowded even when there are a ton of peeps there. 

So enjoy the holiday shopping a little more at Liberty Center! 


Recipe: Swirly Apple Stuffed French Toast

This post is sponsored by Thomas' Breads and all opinions are my own.

I'm not much for specialty breads - except when it comes to swirly breads! I love them - it makes toast into a dessert! And now - I found a way for it to make french toast even better!!! Why? Because today is National French Toast Day! 

Thomas' Breads have three kinds of swirl bread out right now: Cinnamon, Cinnamon Raisin and Cranberry. I made a Thanksgiving Leftover Dip last week with the Cranberry bread.

But with the Cinnamon bread - I wanted to try something fun for National French Toast Day! So I made Stuffed French Toast with apple pie filling. It was super easy - which is always the way I roll. All you do is take Cinnamon Swirl Bread and then put pie filling in the middle - smush the edges and french toast it up!

You can serve this all sorts of ways - with powdered sugar, extra apple pie filling or syrup. I always love syrup - of course - but I was going to try powdered sugar but we didn't have any.

This is such a simple recipe and yet it's so much better than plain French toast. You only need to add one ingredient and blamo - you have fancy breakfast! Here's a fancier version that uses Apple Chutney - but you know me - I go to the cupboard first - and I had apple pie filling so that's what I used.

Swirly Apple Stuffed French Toast
  • 2 Tbsp Apple Pie Filling
  • 2 pieces Thomas' Cinnamon Swirl Bread
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/8 cup Milk/cream/half & half
  • Dash Vanilla
  • Dash Salt
  • Dash Pepper

- Heat a skillet on medium with cooking spray or butter
- On a cutting board, top one slice of swirl bread with apple pie filling 
- Top with 2nd piece of bread and pinch the edges together. They won't really stay together - but do the best you can
- In a bowl, wisk together egg, milk, vanilla, salt & pepper
- Dip apple stuffed sandwich in the egg mixture on both sides and add to hot pan
- Cook for approx 2 minutes until brown and flip for another 1-2 minutes on the other side
- Remove from heat and top with powdered sugar or syrup