Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Homemade Gifts & Goodies

I have been on a quest the past couple of weeks to find a great gift for Abby's teacher, Mrs. Kepley.  We adore Mrs. Kepley!  She is a sweet, hardworking lady, and I really wanted to put some thought into her gift.  When I couldn't find what I wanted, I decided to make her something.  (Warning: picture heavy post!)

Mrs. Kepley usually doesn't leave the school until after 6:00PM.  She stays late to prepare for the next day.  I decided to make her a basket full of meals in a jar to helpfully make dinnertime a little easier on her.

The basket full of jars.  I'm going to add a pretty bow and a tag to finish it off. 

Cookies for Santa mix found HERE.  These will be great for Mrs. Kepley and her husband to share!

Texas Two-Step Soup.  We are in Texas so I thought this would make a great dinner on a cold winter evening.  I bought THIS recipe book a few years ago at Country Clutter and it has all kinds of great recipes.

Another recipe found from the book listed above.  This one is for Goulash, one of my favorites!

Peppermint Hot Cocoa mix.  I found the recipe HERE.  This picture was obviously taken before I embellished the jar and added a label.  This would be great to have with the cookies!

I also made Mrs. Kepley a little sign for her classroom.  She is a new teacher, so I don't think she has accumulated many handmade gifts yet.

I bought the unfinished chalkboard at Michael's and embellished it with ribbon and little wooden cutouts.  I used a paint pen to look like chalk.  I searched all over the place for a little tiny eraser and chalk to add to the bottom.  I thought I might find something made out of polymer clay or something similiar, but it was a no-go. 

Abby signed the back to make it extra special!

I also picked up a cute monogrammed ornament for her and might swing by the local teacher supply store to pick up a gift certificate.  Teachers spend so much money out of their own pockets for their classrooms.  (I have already begun stocking up on supplies, books, and other necessities so that I'll be a little ahead of the game when I have my own classroom!)

Abby's class Christmas party is coming up on Thursday, and I am in charge of bringing a "sweet snack".  I gone back and forth between decorated sugar cookies and cupcakes and have finally decided on the cupcakes.  I found some cute liners and picks.  I can't wait to make them tomorrow!

I wanted to make something special for her classmates so I decided on inexpensive snowflake ornaments. I found the kit at Hobby Lobby (50% off!) and finished them last night.  They are supposed to be picture frame ornaments, but I decided to just write each child's name and the year in the spot meant for a picture.

Pink for the girls...

and blue for the boys!

In addition to all this (I've been pretty busy!), I made my holiday treats today that I will be delivering to my neighbors and friends tomorrow.  Here's what I made...

Peppermint bark.  Sometimes I add the dark chocolate layer on bottom and sometimes I don't.  This year, I did!

Pretzel bites(?).  Not sure what these are called.  They are just square pretzels with a Hersey's Kiss or Hug (I made both)  melted on top with an M&M in the center.  Super easy and yummy!

Fudge.  Need I say more?

"Turtles".  These are my absolute favorite.  I had to package them up right away so I wouldn't eat them!

I'm still working on these next two items (I had to stop and blog!), so I haven't taken pictures yet. 


Holiday Popcorn Balls.  I love popcorn balls, especially if they have M&Ms in them. :-)

My friend Bre made homemade marshmallows recently, and they were SO good!  I'm currently making peppermint marshmallows and am even going to dip some in chocolate.  Bliss!

One of the goodie baskets (less the popcorn balls and marshmallows).  I hope my sweet friends and neighbors enjoy them!

I'm completely worn out after today and still have to take my final for a graduate class I'm taking.  Ugh.  I might need to snack on some sweet treats to keep me going!


Bre said...

WOW you have been super busy!!! I'm making one goodie for friends to have :) I'm using pregnancy as my excuse. I like the chalkboard it turned out cute. That is nice of you to get a gift cert. too, because yes they do spend a LOT of money.

Mrs. Huse Clifton said...

You are very creative and generous. I am sure she will be very appreciative of such a thoughtful gift.

Kacie said...

I just found your blog and from reading a few posts, I've already found some connections! My grandparents live in Amarillo and attend Comanche Trail Church of Christ! We are about to go visit for the Christmas. I just think common links and connections are fun! I'm looking forward to reading more!

Lisa said...

I'm so glad you came across my blog. How neat that we have connections! We actually know some people who attend Comanche Trail. I hope you have a wonderful visit with your family here in Amarillo!