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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Project Life: December 12-18, 2011

Hello everyone!  Super quick Project Life post today; everything is getting so busy with Christmas just a few days away!  So here we go:
Here's the full spread; there's an insert this week, but it's a receipt that was included in a gift I had shipped to my work address, so it's super-secretive!  But it's a standard 8.5" x 11" insert.  I liked the message on the receipt, so that's why I decided to include it in this last week's PL.
Left-hand side: I included a foam Christmas tree craft that Liam did at daycare, a Google-d image of A Charlie Brown Christmas that we watched (I couldn't get a good picture of the TV screen).  And yes...there is a picture of me, firing a rifle...something that my husband thought it was important I learn...moving on.  :-)
Right-hand side: the stack of Christmas cards that made it out in a timely fashion this year, a 10 Month Old picture to celebrate Jacob's birthday, and some journaling about the teacher gifts I made this year (see the post here) and how Liam surprised me by counting up to 9 the other night. (!)

Have a great week everybody!  See you back here soon!

Project Life is a Becky Higgins' project for documenting your Everyday.  FInd out more information here.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Month of Christmas Crafts: Project 6-Peppermint Cocoa Jars

Hi everyone and welcome to the week of Christmas!  I'm getting so excited and am ready to start giving out presents!  Which brings me to our Christmas craft: Peppermint Cocoa Jars.

If you have little ones, then chances are you have some teachers or caregivers around that you'd like to thank for all their hard work during the year.  For my boys, there are 5 daycare teachers that mean the world to my husband and I, for taking such good care of our sons.  I thought this would be a great gift for them; it's easy to replicate (since I needed to make 5), it's fairly cost-effective, it looks really fantastic when you hand them out AND the hot cocoa is absolutely delicious!
So on to the directions:

I started by ordering (5) 1 quart Glass Cracker Jars with Aluminum Lids here.  (They also have these at Target, but they didn't have the quantity I needed)
Next, I bought the ingredients for the recipe (this is per jar, and each jar makes about 10 cups of cocoa):
1 cup powdered milk
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups mini milk chocolate chips
1 cup crushed peppermint candy
Mini marshmallows to fill the jar to the top (about 3/4 cup)
(The order of the recipe is also the order that you'll pour the ingredients into the jars...except for the chocolate chips, but keep reading to see where those go!)

Once you have all your ingredients, just start layering them into the jar.  When I poured a layer, I would tap the jar so that it would even out some, and then continue to do that with each new layer.

I broke up the 1 1/2 cups of mini milk chocolate chips for both under the peppermints layer and on top of the peppermints layer.  I thought this helped to break up the whiteness of the sugar, peppermints and marshmallows.
(I had my sister unwrap and my husband crush the peppermint candies...)
(See how the mini milk chocolate chips break up the peppermint layer from the sugar and marshmallows layer...oh it looks so yummy!) After you pour all the layers, use the mini marshmallows to fill the gap in the jar to the top.  I used about 3/4 of a cup on mine.
Once you're finished with the jars, start on your tags, which I found here.  I changed the colors from black to brown, didn't use the polka-dot backgrounds, and only used the red-rimmed tags to accentuate the red from the peppermints.  I typed the directions for making the cocoa on the tags (mix everything together, add 1/3 cup of cocoa to 1 cup boiling water) along with a personal holiday 'thank you' from our family to the teachers.
Print and cut those out, hole punch, and tie with ribbon!
(I found this ribbon at Target and thought that it also brought out the red and white stripes of the peppermints...if you haven't noticed yet, I LOVE Target!)
This was a lot of fun to put together (and more fun to make cups of the leftover cocoa!).  It would work well for co-workers or to put in a bigger basket of homemade goodies...I know for sure whoever is lucky enough to get one of these jars of cocoa mix will thank you as they're enjoying a cup on a cold winter day/night!

I hope you give this a try, and come back soon for a new Christmas craft!