Days of Chalk and Chocolate

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Halloween Free Printable

Are you all getting ready for a festive, spooky Halloween?  Halloween is a huge holiday in  my house because it also happens to be my oldest daughter's birthday!  We do Halloween here in a big way! 

I recently made some Halloween printables to get us in a ghoulish mood for the big day and I thought I'd share them with you!  Just click on the printable title  underneath each version! I couldn't decide which font I liked best so I created 3 different versions!  Enjoy!  Oh and these should be formatted to be an 8x10 image (fingers crossed).

Halloween Printable 1

Halloween printable 2 

Halloween Printable 3 

If you would like to see some of my other Halloween projects click on the links below!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Beginner Sewing Project: Pot Holders!

What do you do with old towels?  You turn them into something pot holders!

pot holders 15

 Making pot holders is a great beginner sewing project. It is an easy and quick project and I am happy to share it with you today!

You'll need old towels or thick terry cloth fabric, fabric for the outside pieces, coordinating thread, and basic sewing notions along with a sewing machine.  These directions are for 1 pot holder, by the way.

I used an old pot holder to size my fabric, increasing the size by a half-inch on all sides for the seam allowance (my measurement was 8"x8").

pot holders 01

Cut out one square from the towel and two from your cover fabric. You'll have three squares all the same size.

Layer them from bottom to top:  terry cloth, fabric square right side up, fabric square right side down.

pot holders 3

Sew around the edge, through all three layers, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance, and leaving an opening for turning the pot holder right side out.  Clip the corners for easier turning.

pot holders 10

Turn your pot holder right side out. You'll need to turn the terry cloth and its closest piece of cover fabric together as if they are one piece so that your terry cloth is sandwiched between the two cover pieces.  Fold in the opening and pin. Top stitch about a 1/4"-1/2" from the edge all the way around, sewing the opening closed.

pot holders 6

Now you can leave your pot holder like this but I chose to quilt diagonal stitches to keep the terry cloth from rippling or shifting inside.  I did this in two ways. The first was to simply sew a line, back-stitch, cut thread. Repeat over and over. This created a ton of threads that needed to be clipped. The second time I used a different method and it was quicker and neater.

Begin sewing a straight stitch from one corner to the opposite corner. Stop when you reach your top stitching.

pot holders 11

Turn the pot holder 90 degrees, sew an inch or so (you'll be sewing on top of your top stitching) and turn 90 degrees again. Stitch another line straight until you reach your top stitching. Your second line of stitching will be parallel with your first. Continue sewing and turning until you have run out of space and have reached the corner. Back-stitch to secure.

pot holders 12

Complete the other half the same way. Then turn the pot holder 180 degrees and repeat the whole procedure to create a criss-cross pattern.

pot holders 16 

I love my new pot holders!  They are thin enough to bend to grasp handles securely but thick enough to keep me from burning myself. I plan on whipping up a bunch to use up more of the old towels!

 pot holders 13
 pot holders 14

pot holders 15

Thanks for visiting today! I hope to "see" you again!


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Hello Autumn! Fall Printable

It's October 1st! Are you feeling the fall in the air? It is chilly and windy here today...the perfect weather to usher in one of my favorite months! To celebrate, I'm sharing a fall printable I made this year with all of you! Print it out, frame it, and say "Hello!" to this gorgeous season! Then share this post to your friends so they can do the same! Yay Fall! 

Click on the link below to download and print your own free fall printable! 

You can find Halloween cupcake topper printables here!


Monday, September 21, 2015

Burlap and Lace Fall Silverware Pockets

I love burlap and lace together....don't you?  The sweet and rustic balance is easy to decorate with and can be used in fancy occasions or just for the every day.  These little burlap and lace silverware pockets give a soft but rustic vibe to fall tablescapes and entertaining!

They were very easy to stitch up using this pretty ribbon I found at the craft store and while I sewed these, you can easily glue them or use a glue gun.

Choose a ribbon that is at least 2 inches wide. If you have wired ribbon like I did just pull each wire out of the sides after you cut the ribbon. 

Cut two pieces of ribbon: long piece=7" and short piece=5 "

Layer the short piece over the long piece, both right sides facing up.  \Sew around the edges starting the top of the short piece, down, and back up the other side. I ran my stitch up just a little past the short one and back stitched a few times so the seams didn't open when people pulled out the silverware.

It took me about 3 minutes to sew 5 of these pockets. I keep them in a basket in our dining room and it makes it very easy for the girls to set the table for dinner!

I hope you like this little fall craft project!  If you need a cheap centerpiece for your fall tablescape you can get an idea from this other fall craft idea


Monday, September 14, 2015

Slow Cooker Caramel Dip

caramel snacks dessert sweets

Today I'm excited to share with you a happy experiment gone right:  Slow Cooker Caramel! It is delicious and easy!  Read on to find out how to make your own caramel dip in your slow cooker!

 There really are only two kinds of people in the world. Those who prefer chocolate and those who are wrong. HA HA HA!  Kidding. Or am I? Ok fine, some people (ahem wrong people) prefer vanilla.

Well, I kind of think that the chocolate/vanilla teams can meet on a common ground in the middle which is caramel.  Who doesn't like caramel?  Right. No one. It's like not liking puppies.   Caramel is a creamy, gooey, bridge between opposing forces if you will.

And I love it. So I made it a few weeks ago with sugar and cream. It was amazing but playing with hot melted sugar is NO JOKE.  In an effort to make things simpler, I finally tried the condensed milk-in-the-slow cooker method and I found it works! Sort of.

Slow Cooker Caramel Dip
1. Open a can of sweetened condensed milk.
2. Pour it into cute little jars. Some people just stick the whole can in the slow cooker but that feels unsafe to cook in a can to me.
3. Cap jars.Place in your slow cooker.
4.  Pour enough water over the jars to cover the tops. This step is supposedly VERY IMPORTANT!!  I guess the containers can rupture or explode if they aren't completely submerged.
5. Cook on low for 8 hours or until it looks like caramel.Carefully remove the jars from the slow cooker.
They will be super hot so you need to let them cool. If you are using canning jars, the lids will seal but since it isn't processed it isn't shelf stable. Refrigerate!

caramel dulce de leche

So did the condensed milk really turn into caramel?  Well, it turned into a thick, creamy, amber colored confection that was yummy stirred into my morning coffee. I would call it more of a caramel flavored dip as it was perfect for scooping up with apple slices. Molly loved it. Ellie gave it the stink eye before deciding she would stick with chips.  This was a good stand in for making caramel with melted sugar. It was easy, didn't make a huge amount which is good for us, and really tasted very yummy.

After a week in the fridge, it started to get a bit grainy but it smoothed out when I heated it a bit in the microwave.
So are you team ca-rah-mel or team car-mul?


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Hammock Love! Swinging through Summer

I'm digging in my heels and I'm not going into fall gracefully.  I am abiding by the calendar and squeezing every second out of this season before being hurled head first into the next!  I love fall, don't get me wrong, but we had an epic summer and I am not ready to give it up!  So I'm not. And while everyone is paying full price for fall decor at the craft store I will continue to stock my summer shelves with 80% off stuff!

For Father's Day this year, the girls and I got Jim a hammock.  He is something of a leisure guru, if you will. Need to relax?  Ask Jim and he'll tell you exactly how, when, and where you'll find optimal relaxation. So what else do you give a guy like this but a hammock, right?  The ultimate in leisure.

Hammocks are like the anti-lawn mower. You are outside and you are literally hanging from nature. And yet, you are not doing yard work. You aren't getting sweaty, hauling anything, or edging a damn thing.  It is the stuff weak abdominal muscles are made of. Beautiful!

We threw on a few outdoor pillows (tutorial here!) and a cutesy sign to discourage wee visitors looking for goldfish crackers (which works exactly as well as you think it works...not at all) and his ultimate leisure spot was ready for him.

So how does he like it?  I have no idea. He's used it once. I, however, use it almost daily.  I whole-heartedly recommend getting one, putting it as far from the house as possible, and flopping in it often. It feels decadent and isn't that what summer is about?  Too much ice cream, long vacations, toes in the sand?  And leisure, lots and lots of leisure. 


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Overnight Oats Recipes!

School has either started will be starting soon for us. Mornings are hectic and making the kids and yourself a healthy breakfast can take time. This is when overnight oats come to the rescue!  They are the perfect busy morning breakfast that you can make the night before. You can even make a whole week's worth and just grab one every morning! Lifesaver!

Have you eaten overnight oats?What are they you ask?  Imagine a sweet, cool, creamy breakfast made with oats so it is healthy too!  If you haven't tried overnight oats, I encourage you to try. It is easy to whip up different flavors and you really can't mess it up! 

The ratio I use is 1 part oatmeal to 1 part milk to 1 part yogurt and then you can add all sorts of lovely flavorings!   I have rounded up a collection of overnight oat recipes that I am anxious to try. Maybe you'll try one too! How does Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough sound to you??

My own recipe: Peanut Butter Maple Overnight Oats


Blueberry and chocolate is one of my favorite flavor combinations. When I saw this recipe that uses both chocolate and blueberries I was sold!

Blueberry Chocolate Oatmeal
overnight oats

Do I even need to explain why this appeals to me?  Anything that resembles cookie dough is ok by me!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Overnight Oats
overnight oats

Do you love pumpkin pie any time of the year?  Then this overnight oat recipe may be for you. I love anything pumpkin at any time, plus pumpkin is so healthy that I would feel like I'm starting my day off on the right foot with this!

Pumpkin Overnight Oats
overnight oats

Peanut butter is often paired with chocolate but I feel like PB is like the can stand alone. But a little brown sugar never hurt anything!

Peanut Butter and Brown Sugar Oatmeal
overnight oats

I love the idea of gingerbread flavored oatmeal. Such a comforting flavor!

overnight oats

Thanks for visiting!  Hope to see you at again!