My 3 Monsters

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12.02.2016

Top 5 Tips for Hosting a Simple Holiday Cookie Decorating Party with Krusteaz

Hi guys!! One of my favorite things about the holiday season is making {and eating} Christmas cookies. I swear, I could eat a whole batch of frosted sugar cookies all by myself and not even feel bad about it. Not to mention the snowballs, and peanut blossoms, and snickerdoodles, and chocolate crinkles. I have a crazy sweet tooth this time of year!! Every year I want to make batches of all my favorite cookies, but I do not need to eat that many cookies. Also, baking them all from scratch?! Ain’t nobody got time for that! But I’ll let y’all in on my little secret -- Krusteaz cookie mixes are THE BOMB! Cookie baking was so easy this year we decided to throw the world’s easiest Cookie Decorating party to celebrate and I'm sharing my Top 5 Tips for hosting a simple cookie decorating party!

Want to host a cookie decorating party, but feel overwhelmed by how much work it might be?  Get the Top 5 Tips for hosting the world's easiest cookie party from my3monsters.com and @krusteaz

1. The cookies don't have to be made from scratch.  For reals.

Seriously, you guys. Krusteaz cookies are suuuuper easy and waaaayyyy yummy! All I had to do was add butter and eggs to the mixes and blend it all up in a stand mixer. The dough wasn’t too sticky, so rolling it out was a dream and the cut cookies held their shape really well while baking. I hate it when sugar cookies spread so you almost can’t tell what shape they’re supposed to be. These did not do that, which is awesome. 

Want to host a cookie decorating party, but feel overwhelmed by how much work it might be?  Get the Top 5 Tips for hosting the world's easiest cookie party from my3monsters.com and @krusteaz
I tried my hand at cutting sweater shapes out without a cookie cutter. I just used a small knife and shaped them how I wanted. They’re not perfect, but they looked really cute decorated. I was even able to roll out and cut the shortbread into Christmas tree shapes and they baked up beautifully, too!

Want to host a cookie decorating party, but feel overwhelmed by how much work it might be?  Get the Top 5 Tips for hosting the world's easiest cookie party from my3monsters.com and @krusteaz

2. Start your Cookie Party planning with a great invitation. 

People are 10,000 times more likely to come to your party if the invitation is cute.  I'm pretty sure I read that somewhere . . .  Download my free printable invitation here. Open the file in PicMonkey, Photoshop, or any photo editing program you like and add all the details. If you’re not comfortable with all that, just print the blank version and write in the info by hand

Want to host a cookie decorating party, but feel overwhelmed by how much work it might be?  Get the Top 5 Tips for hosting the world's easiest cookie party from my3monsters.com and @krusteaz

3.  The frosting can come from a can.  Seriously.  No one cares as long as you have lots of it.

I used a store-bought cream cheese frosting to simplify things, but you could get fancy with it and make your own from scratch. {You, me, and Sweet Brown know how I feel about that.} We had the frosting in small cups with knives for spreading and in bags with piping tips for decorating and detail work. 

Want to host a cookie decorating party, but feel overwhelmed by how much work it might be?  Get the Top 5 Tips for hosting the world's easiest cookie party from my3monsters.com and @krusteaz

4. When in doubt, use festive paper party cups.

I also provided a fun assortment of sprinkles and food-safe markers. These cute paper cups from the party section of my store worked perfectly to hold the sprinkles, giving us easier access to the good stuff. Give each of your guests a paper plate or piece of parchment paper to work on and get to decoratin’!

Want to host a cookie decorating party, but feel overwhelmed by how much work it might be?  Get the Top 5 Tips for hosting the world's easiest cookie party from my3monsters.com and @krusteaz
We had some really clever and creative cookie decorators! Personally, I’m loving the ugly sweater cookies with the candy Christmas shapes on them. I also like the way the star-shaped cookie got turned into a snowflake. We had a blast sharing our creations and trying to one-up each other in the creativity and skill departments!

Want to host a cookie decorating party, but feel overwhelmed by how much work it might be?  Get the Top 5 Tips for hosting the world's easiest cookie party from my3monsters.com and @krusteaz

5.  Get rid of 'em.

The cookies, not the guests.  Finish off your cookie party by serving cold milk and letting everyone dig into the cookies they just decorated. The most important aspect of this party, for me, was to get the tempting cookies out of my home after I had enjoyed just a few. If this is your goal as well, make sure to have some plates or small boxes on hand to send each of your guests home with their own stash of cookies.

Want to host a cookie decorating party, but feel overwhelmed by how much work it might be?  Get the Top 5 Tips for hosting the world's easiest cookie party from my3monsters.com and @krusteaz
We all thought the Krusteaz cookies tasted pretty much like homemade. If you don’t tell them, your guests will probably be none the wiser. So, there you have it. Don’t let the idea of hosting a cookie decorating party overwhelm you. Just buy the right products, invite a bunch of fun people over, and have a no-stress holiday get-together!


Happy Holidays, friends!
Amy


11.25.2016

DIY Donut Stacker for HAPPY Holidays

Happy Black Friday, guys!  Have you recovered from your turkey coma yesterday yet?  I am rearin' to go today because . . . you guys . . . IT'S FINALLY OK TO BE EXCITED ABOUT CHRISTMAS!!  We can finally listen to Christmas music and bake and decorate without fear of judgement.  I mean, that wasn't really stopping me -- I've had my tree up for a couple of weeks already, but now I don't have to apologize for it.   One of my favorite things about this time of year is the HAPPY Holidays series over at Tatertots and Jello.  Honestly, as a crafter, it's one of the best parts of the holiday season.  Where else can you get so much brilliant holiday baking and crafting inspiration?!  I have to pinch myself every single year when I get invited to participate!!  

Looking for a creative way to serve dessert this holiday season?  This DIY Donut Stacker from my3monsters.com is exactly what you need. Your guests will love it!
This year I'm sharing a fun way to serve one of my favorite winter treats -- donuts and hot cocoa.  Sure, you could lay your donuts out in boxes or pile them on plates, but why would you want to when, instead, you could wow all your family and friends by building this DIY Donut Stacker?!  It's like a whole'notha level of post-caroling coolness. 


Looking for a creative way to serve dessert this holiday season?  This DIY Donut Stacker from my3monsters.com is exactly what you need. Your guests will love it!
Because it's Black Friday and I'm all about the bargains, I'm also sharing a free printable that works perfectly as a back drop for your holiday dessert table.  Head over to Tatertots and Jello to download your free printable and get all the details to make your own DIY Donut Stacker!


Happy Holidays, friends!

Amy


11.22.2016

Hand-lettered Holiday Treat Bags

Hi guys!  I'm super excited to be sharing some hand-lettered holiday treat bags today on Lolly Jane. Have you ever wondered how to create your own cool, custom bags?  It's easier than you might think -- so easy, in fact, that you don't need to wait for a special occasion to make them. These treat bags will add a little extra-special oomph to your next family holiday movie night!

Download these super-cute hand-lettered holiday designs from my3monsters.com today on Lolly Jane.  It's easier than you might think to make "custom" treat bags!
Because c'mon, aren't you in the mood to "get your jingle on" by watching Elf curled up on the couch with your kiddos and some hot popcorn?!  I also designed some gift bag toppers that would be great to package neighbor and teacher gifts, or any small gift under your tree this holiday season.

Download these super-cute hand-lettered holiday designs from my3monsters.com today on Lolly Jane.  It's easier than you might think to make "custom" treat bags!
Either way, you can make Christmas extra special by sprinkling on a little hand-lettered goodness this year.  Head over to Lolly Jane to read more and download the files, and invite your friends to join you!

Happy Holidays, friends!

Amy


11.09.2016

Free Floral Thanksgiving Party Printable Set

Hi guys!  Can I just tell you how excited I am for Thanksgiving in a few weeks?!  It's like the grand kick-off to the holiday season.  Plus, I love time with family and big, fancy meals, so Thanksgiving is no-brainer on my favorites list.  {It doesn't hurt that we get a few days off from school and work, too. Just sayin'.)  Today I'm sharing a bunch of printables designed to make hosting a beautiful Thanksgiving party a no-brainer as well.

Hosting Thanksgiving?  Take your table to the next level with these darling Thanksgiving Party Printables from my3monsters.comYou guys, I'm a planner.  The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?  I like to have every little detail squared away well in advance -- especially when it's my turn to host an event like Thanksgiving dinner.  I'm also a very visual thinker, so a couple of weeks before the big day I pull out all my serving dishes to make sure I have enough of everything, and see how it is all going to coordinate. {And to make sure the gravy boats didn't disappear since last year. Ain't nobody got time for hunting down gravy boats on Thanksgiving Day!}   I gather all my cloth napkins and get them pressed an folded.  I decide which sets of dishes to use and settle on a color scheme.  

Hosting Thanksgiving?  Take your table to the next level with these darling Thanksgiving Party Printables from my3monsters.com This year I decided on a non-traditional turquoise, navy, green and gold set up.  I also wanted to add a little faux bois wood grain in the mix.  I designed this set of printables around that theme and I am IN LOVE with it.  Like, seriously, I would marry it if it would have me.  In LOVE!  Let me show you all the goodies in this set:

Hosting Thanksgiving?  Take your table to the next level with these darling Thanksgiving Party Printables from my3monsters.com
Every great celebration starts with a pretty invitation.  I had these 5x7 flat cards printed on cardstock at Staples.  All you have to do is cut them out, add the info, and pop them into envelopes.

Hosting Thanksgiving?  Take your table to the next level with these darling Thanksgiving Party Printables from my3monsters.com
I created a Give Thanks Banner that coordinates with the set to use as part of your decor.  I put mine up on my chickenwire frame and have some small tags and mini clothespins nearby so guests can write things they are thankful for and clip them to the board. 

Hosting Thanksgiving?  Take your table to the next level with these darling Thanksgiving Party Printables from my3monsters.com
Next you need some cute place cards to help tie your table into the theme.  I designed a couple of different versions for y'all.  {I like having options!!}  The first is the simple floral and striped ribbon tent card, shown above.  But if you want to get a little more tricky with it,

Hosting Thanksgiving?  Take your table to the next level with these darling Thanksgiving Party Printables from my3monsters.com
Hosting Thanksgiving?  Take your table to the next level with these darling Thanksgiving Party Printables from my3monsters.com
. . . I designed this napkin wrapper place card as well.  Depending on how you fold your napkin, you can place the silverware inside the napkin {awesome for buffet style serving situations} or place it beside the plate for a more traditional, formal look.  Also, I just now decided to go with gold chargers instead of burlap.  See?  It pays to plan ahead.

Hosting Thanksgiving?  Take your table to the next level with these darling Thanksgiving Party Printables from my3monsters.com
Oh, folks!  I also found these eco-friendly plates made from palm leaves online. They look like wood, but they're disposable.  They're a super-cool option if you are serving a big crowd and want a nicer-than-paper throw-away option.  I'm thinking they might be perfect for the dessert and pie buffet after dinner is cleaned up.

Hosting Thanksgiving?  Take your table to the next level with these darling Thanksgiving Party Printables from my3monsters.com
If you are serving your food buffet-style, you can use these tent cards to label the dishes.  I always like to know what something is before I put it on my plate.  Thanksgiving plate real estate is valuable y'all, so I want to make sure I have room for all the things I love!  

Hosting Thanksgiving?  Take your table to the next level with these darling Thanksgiving Party Printables from my3monsters.com
Hosting Thanksgiving?  Take your table to the next level with these darling Thanksgiving Party Printables from my3monsters.com
Finally, send your guests home with a lil' sum'n sum'n for later!  Box up leftovers in these cool take-out boxes so all your guests can have a midnight snack.  Make them extra special by printing these cute labels onto full-sheet mailing labels and cutting them out to make your own custom sticker labels.  



I hope your holiday season is full of beauty and joy, and that you are surrounded by those you love!  What we all need right now is to focus on our blessings and move forward into the future with peace and respect for one another.   Happy Thanksgiving, friends!!
 

10.24.2016

"Candy Bomb" Caramel Apples


Hi, guys!! I have a pressing concern on my mind today. A question for the ages -- Why do we only eat caramel apples in the fall?! They’re so yummy. The perfect balance of sweet and tart, healthy and …. not healthy. I always forget HOW MUCH I like them until September/October rolls around and I start seeing them all over the craft and food blogosphere and simply MUST have one. You guys, they’re delicious with a capital D. Especially when you roll ‘em in white chocolate and the equivalent of a chopped up full-size candy bar. {Maybe that’s why they are a once-a-year indulgence!} Need a great way to use up your leftover Halloween candy next week? I got you. Make a few of these “Candy Bomb” caramel apples.


These delicious Candy Bomb Caramel Apples from my3monsters.com are the perfect way to use up leftover Halloween candy!
The trend this year is caramel apple slices. Those are cute and all, but you’ll need a full apple to hold the quantity of sweet, tasty goodness I’m talkin’ about here. I used Honeycrisp apples because they’re my absolute favorite and I prefer a sweeter apple, but if you like it a little more tart grab a pretty green Granny Smith. I started with small-ish apples because we’re going to add several layers of good stuff to these bad boys.

These delicious Candy Bomb Caramel Apples from my3monsters.com are the perfect way to use up leftover Halloween candy!

Insert a stick into the top of your apple.  I wanted a more rustic look, so instead of popsicle sticks I grabbed some thin tree branches from my back yard, scrubbed them clean and microwaved on High for about 2 minutes to dry them out. Using a  Swiss Army knife, whittle the tips into points so they go in the apple without a fight. 

To prepare for dipping, roughly chop your candy bars. I used one full-size bar for each apple. If you are using fun-size bars you will need 3-4 per apple, I’m guessing. Place the candy into small bowls and set aside for later. 

Next, follow the melting directions on the back of the bag of Caramel bits. I like to use the bits {found on the baking aisle next to the chocolate chips} so I don’t have to unwrap a million individual caramels. Last, melt a bag of white chocolate chips in a separate microwave-safe bowl and get ready to make some magic happen.

Lay out a sheet of wax paper to rest apples on in between dips. Give each apple a good dunk in the warm melted caramel, shaking off the excess, and set on the wax paper to set up a little bit. Because I wanted mine extra gooey, I went for a second dip of caramel before adding toppings. You could skip the double-dip, but I highly recommend it!


These delicious Candy Bomb Caramel Apples from my3monsters.com are the perfect way to use up leftover Halloween candy!
Your next layer will either be white chocolate or candy depending on how you want your finished apple to look. For a few of mine, I dipped the whole apple into white chocolate then sprinkled the candy evenly over the top and around the sides. Finish it off with a light drizzle of more white chocolate or caramel – or both. The Twix apple shown above was done this way.

These delicious Candy Bomb Caramel Apples from my3monsters.com are the perfect way to use up leftover Halloween candy!
For the others, I sprinkled the candy directly over the warm, sticky caramel. Sprinkled is probably too gentle of a word for this process – I dumped on as much candy bar as I could get each apple to hold, pressing it gently into the caramel so it would really stick. That’s why we call ‘em “Candy Bomb caramel apples, after all. Finish them off with a heavy-handed drizzle of the white chocolate.


These delicious Candy Bomb Caramel Apples from my3monsters.com are the perfect way to use up leftover Halloween candy!
Once each apple is dipped, dumped, and drizzled to your heart’s content, allow them to set up on the wax paper. The caramel and white chocolate set up pretty quickly, so you won’t have to wait too long, I promise. We tried Snickers, Butterfinger, Heath, and Twix on our apples and they were each my favorite!! My boys may have even called me “The BEST mom EVER” while scarfing down their apples. 

If you can manage to keep them away from your teenagers, they would make awesome fall treats for your besties. Just tie a little bow around the stick and place on a cute paper plate and become “The BEST neighbor/friend EVER”.

Do you have a favorite treat or indulgence that you save for a particular season? If you try these and you might have a new one!

Happy Halloween, friends!

Amy




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