DIY Country Décor For the 4th of July

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It’s hard for me to believe that the 4th of July is nearly here.  I’m hoping for a warm and sunny day with lot’s of good food and drink, along with a clear and starry night complete with fireworks and a roaring campfire to finish it off. 

To help make this Independence Day more festive I made this simple garland.  This decoration can be custom made to fit around any votive holder. 

If you’d like the instructions on how to make this decoration then click here.   I made a similar version (minus the buttons) for Valentine’s Day.  The only difference between the two is that the 4th of July garland has color coordinated buttons between every piece of material and the Valentine’s Day garland does not.

How do you want to celebrate your 4th this year?  Remember, if you aren’t hosting this years 4th celebration this would make a great hostess gift!

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The Two Ingredient Mini Cupcake

Okay, for those of you who have heard of this recipe, why the heck didn’t you tell me about it?  You’ll never guess who did end up telling me about it – a doctor.

This recipe only requires two things to make these delicious, moist, and chocolaty mini’s.

1.) Your favorite brand and flavor of cake mix. 

2.)  One 15 ounce can of pure pumpkin.

That’s right, no eggs and no oil.  The elimination of those two items makes this recipe much lower in calories, and much healthier.  

Want to be creative? Try adding dark chocolate chips to these, or make them with a carrot, spice, or vanilla cake mix. 

I did a little research on these mini’s after the doctor told me about them.  I found the directions for making them, along with the nutritional information, at the Hungry Girl

I made a couple minor adjustments.  I added about 2 tablespoons of water to the bottom of  the pumpkin can to rinse it out.  I then added that water right into the batter.  I also baked my mini’s at 325 degrees for about 14-15 minutes.  Check with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean before removing them from the oven.

I am currently looking for healthier recipes to share here at The Joy of Caking.  If you’ve got a healthier tried and true recipe that you’d love to share, or would like to guest post with me – PLEASE email me!

 

Photo giveaway, and here’s why

December is the month when I start thinking seriously about the approaching new year.  It’s the month when I reflect on what I’ve accomplished, and where I want to be in the year to come.

This January, like a lot of other people in this world, I will start the year with a new plan that I will attempt to execute.  And when I evaluate myself next December, I hope to see that I’ve met my goals, or at least some of them.  I have a rather long list this year so I guess I’ll start by taking one day at a time.

And as Thomas Jefferson once said, “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.”  

With that said, I have set up a photo shop on Esty where  I’m going to be selling some of my photos.  I’d love for you to hop over there and take  look – but make sure you read the rest of this post first!

In celebration of making my first move toward the new year I have decided to host a giveaway of  one of my 5×7 photo’s.  The photo I’m giving away is titled Little Creamer.  I had a lot of fun creating this image, and I’m hoping the lucky winner will appreciate it’s uniqueness and enjoy it in their home, or office.

victorian pitcher with watermark

So, here are the giveaway details.

To enter;  visit my shop at E and Esty and  look at my pictures and decide which one you like the best.  Once you’ve done that, come back here and leave a comment (in the comment section of my blog) telling me which photo is your favorite.

For additional entries you can tweet or pin this post.  Or you can (from your favorite photo page at Esty)  tweet, pin, or like the  photo you’ve chosen as your favorite.   Just make sure that you  leave a separate comment (in the comment section of my blog) for each of the extra activities you have completed.

There is a maximum of six entries for this contest.  I’m sorry it’s only open to US Residents only.  The winner will be picked December 24th.  Remember to leave an email address so I can contact you if you’re the winner.

Good luck! 

Also, if you are an Esty seller then please follow me and I will follow you back.

Congratulations Denise, the winner of the photo Little Creamer.  Your prize will be shipped soon!

This contest is officially closed.

TJOC DIY Wine Charms

I like to know that the used wine glass I pick up at a party is the same wine glass I originally set down, and I can imagine that most everyone else feels the same way.

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I think the easiest way to keep track of your wine glass is by using wine charms.  These are usually inexpensive to buy, but I love making them myself.

For this batch, I used my Cricut.  I cut out several small tags, added a few stickers, and finished them off by putting a small piece of waxed jute through the hole of each tag so they can later be tied to the stem of each wine glass. 

You can get as fancy as you’d like, or keep them as plain and simple as you like.  Remember to decorate them so they each have their own individual look – you’ll need to do this so (hopefully) everyone will remember which one is theirs.

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So go ahead, dig through your craft supplies and see what you can come up with.

PS:  If you haven’t already done so, check out BeBetsy.com.  Their readers (including me) share some cute DIY projects there.  And a big thanks to Fox News Magazine for publishing my wine charms on their very cool on-line lifestyle magazine.