Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Peppermint Bark Muddy Buddy Chex Mix COPYCAT Recipe

If you haven't experienced the delicious treat that is Chex Mix Peppermint Bark Muddy have missed out!!  I love all things peppermint and look forward to trying the new fun snacks and items that come out this time of year.

A few years ago, I stumbled upon this bag of sweetness at Target....and I was hooked!
Each year, I make a special trip to the Christmas aisles of Target in search of a bag...okay, several bags. This year, however, it WASN'T THERE!!  What??!!??  After a fruitless search, I went online and even Amazon said "unsure if this item will be available".  Ugh.

A holiday season without my favorite treat??  It couldn't happen, so I scoured Pinterest for recipes.  There are plenty.  BUT, do not be misled.....while the recipes may be yummy, many of them didn't even look like the Chex brand version.  Some of the recipes have pieces of peppermint bark in them, others include chopped candy canes, and then there are some that do not even have powdered sugar....gotta have that!

I finally decided I was going to try one I thought looked and sounded closest to the original simple store-bought version but then.....I saw these bags of candy Cane Wilton Candy Melts at Walmart today!

It seemed too easy....but, not only is this a super easy recipe, it tastes just like the original!
Easy and tasty...can't beat that!

5 cups Rice Chex cereal
1 bag (10 oz) Wilton Peppermint Candy Melts
1 cup powdered sugar (add extra if you need it...can't go wrong here!)

Melt your candy melts in the microwave or on the stovetop and pour over the cereal. Be sure to mix it gently but thoroughly so that all the cereal pieces are covered.  Then pour on the powdered sugar and mix well again.  Let it sit for a few minutes to cool completely and then try to keep from eating the whole bowl!  


Saturday, December 3, 2016

DIY Silhouette Yard Nativity

I have been wanting a Nativity scene for my front yard ever since I bought the house nearly 6 years ago, but I just haven't found "the one".  This year an idea popped into my head one lazy morning as I was laying in bed....could it work?  Could I make it easily enough?  Why not?  :)
So, I tried it....and it did work!  I think it looks lovely both day and night too!

During the day, a simple, rustic look:

And, at night, all lit up:

It wasn't hard to do, but it does take a little patience.  First, I purchased the supplies at Home Depot.  (I already had the wood stain, nails, and wood screws on hand.)
I used a 4ft x 4ft square of plywood flooring underlay because it is thin, smooth, and inexpensive. You'll also need four 1"x2"x8' furring strips, one 1/2"x10' pvc pipe, 1/2" pvc pipe end caps, and  a package of 1/2" pipe brackets.
The overall cost is only ~$15!  Not bad at all!

Using a piece of chalk, I sketched my Nativity design onto my plywood square.
Lesson Learned:  BE SURE to leave at least 2" on all edges to account for the frame support that will be behind your might want to draw a square that is 2" smaller than your plywood before drawing your figures.

Once happy with the sketch, i used my jigsaw to cut around the figures leaving the bottom intact.  The only thing I cut out completely was the star.  In order for the Nativity figures to be silhouettes and not full cutouts, you MUST not cut across the bottom!  What I did was drill a small hole (just large enough for my jigsaw blade to fit in) at the bottom of each figure as a starting point, then cut along my chalk outlines.  I repeated this a second time about 1/4" from the first cut.....this gave it a nice amount of space for light to shine through.

After the cutting was done, I added a simple frame using the 1x2s.  Cut them and nail to the back first, then add your frame to the front to finish.  

With the frame on, I used MinWax Wood Stain in Espresso (leftover from my Front Porch Bench Project) to stain everything but the figures!  Give the whole thing a coat of sealer (for outdoor use) once the stain dries.

In order to make it stand in the yard, I cute my 10ft pvc pipe in half and mounted the two pieces to the back of the frame.  Place end caps on top and it easily goes into the ground with a rubber mallet or hammer.

I had my son help me once it got dark to place the spotlight in just the right spot behind it.  I love how it turned out!  Several friends, family, and neighbors have commented on it already too.  (I'm actually building another one by request from a friend this weekend!)

Please be sure to send a pic if you build one!
Merry Christmas!

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