Update: I was honored to have my blog and 4th of July clothespin wreath craft featured in American Profile’s Community Table Magazine, Parade Magazine, and Real Simple. At the request of readers, I have also created a Christmas version with instructions here and a Valentine’s Day version with instructions here.
With 4th of July just around the corner, it’s time to start decorating with some red, white, and blue! I saw a similar patriotic clothespin wreath and thought, Hey, I can do that! so hit up Michael’s and Walmart to pick up my supplies and whipped up a few.
For those DIY’ers, here’s what you’ll need to make your very own 4th of July Clothespin Door Hanger. Since I’m a visual learner, I took lots of snaps of each step to help you along the way.
What you’ll need:
- 12″ Wire Wreath. These are sold in the florist section of any craft store for less than $3.
- 70 Clothespins (give or take one or two). I found Walmart was the cheapest at $1.98 for a pack of 100.
- Red, white, and blue spray paint. I went with Krylon Indoor/Outdoor since I wanted something to hang outside. I also went with country colors instead of traditional but you can do whichever you like. My colors were Burgundy, Ivory, and Oxford Blue, all in Krylon Satin. They cost about $3.50 a can at Walmart. You’ll have a ton left over so keep that in mind for future projects.
- Star Punch. A 1/4″ star works great so I bought an $8 Fiskers hand punch.
- Ivory/Cream textured card stock. When I bought my wreath at Michael’s, I swung by the scrapbooking section and picked up a piece of cardstock that was textured to make the stars pop a bit more.
- Gel Super Glue
- Hot glue gun & hot glue
- Ribbon to hang the wreath.
Spray stuff! I suggest working outside and laying down some cardboard so you can chuck your items on it and spray to your heart’s content. Your wire wreath will be green so spray both sides with your Krylon Ivory spray paint so the green doesn’t peek through.
Wire Wreath: Before
Wire Wreath: After
Spray Paint Clothespins: You’ll need 25 red, 25 white, and 20 blue clothespins. Since not every wire wreath and clothespin is identical, the total number needed might be off by one or two clothespins so I suggest making two extra blue just in case. The clothespins come pre-clipped to a piece of cardboard so I left them attached and sprayed the uglier of the two sides first, let dry, gave it another quick coat, let dry again, then sprayed the prettier side with 3-4 coats, drying in between. The drying time is short so it’s really not that time consuming and when you have your assembly line of red, white, and blue clothespins it’s pretty quick and easy. Be sure you spray at various angles to get the sides and crevices nice and coated.
Punch Stars: Using your Fiskers start punch, punch out 100 stars out of your cardstock (5 stars for each of the 20 blue clothespins).
Using the gel super glue, glue your stars onto your blue clothespins. I did 5 per clothespin, alternating each one.
I really like Loctite ’cause it’s a gel and less messy and it has comfort squeeze sides on it.
Assembly Time: Now that your clothespins are ready, it’s time to put it all together. You’ll notice that your wreath is basically four rings. You’ll be attached to the center two rings which I’ll call #2 and #3 from top to bottom.
Pick a starting point (See above picture and start top and center and move to the right of the wire divider.) and pick either red or white to start with. If you start with red then you’ll end up with white or visa-versa so it doesn’t really matter. If you look at the four rings from top down, clip your first clothespin to the 2nd ring.
With your second clothespin, clip it to the 3rd ring.
With the third, you’ll clip to the 2nd ring again and keep on alternating until you have 5 white clothespins clipped.
Now it’s time to swap colors. Keep alternating rings and colors until you’ve clipped all 25 red and white clothespins. Finish by clipping the starred blue clothespins for the last section.
Add Ribbon: Cut a 17″ piece of ribbon and glue or tie around the back wire part of the wreath.
Hot Glue Time: It’s time for gluing! Work from the back and glue any loose clothespins to the back wire part of the wreath or in between the clothespins themselves, just to secure them on to the wire wreath.
Helpful Tip: See those nasty glue gun cobwebs? A very quick and easy way to get rid of them is to blue dry them away. Take your hair dryer and apply heat to any offending cobweb and it will shrink back up, essentially disappearing. Just be careful not to apply too much heat or it could remelt the glue you want to stay stuck. 🙂
All finished! Just hang indoors or outdoors and you’re ready for the 4th of July!
Whether I’m making fish tacos, chicken enchiladas, or spicy shredded beef tacos, I always pair my Tex Mex with salsa! I like to play around with my salsa pairings, sometimes going traditional tomato or mixing it up with pineapple or mango. What’s become a staple on Tex Mex nights is this spicy cilantro cream sauce concoction. This simple sauce is super simple to throw together but packs some serious flavor and completely replaces the need for a dollop of sour cream. I usually make a double batch so I can use it as a dressing to drizzle over taco salads the next night.
- 4 ounces (1/2 a package) cream cheese
- 3 Tablespoons sour cream
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro (use more or less to suit your taste)
- 1/4 small jalapeño, seeded (optional)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
Directions (SUPER SIMPLE!)
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth and creamy!
2. Pour into a serving bowl or store in an airtight container to serve later. Enjoy!
With Spring officially here, I’ve seen so many adorable Spring and Easter holiday ideas so put together a list of my favorites to share with you all. Whether you’re looking for a kid-friendly craft, Easter Sunday recipes, or just something cute for your office potluck, you’re sure to find exactly what you’re looking for in this list!
Rainbow Easter Egg Nests
Source: Taste of Home
Bunny Carrot Cakes & Cookies
Source: Taste of Home
Easter Basket Cupcakes
Source: Blog Lovin’
Rabbit’s Easter Cupcakes
Little Lamb Cupcakes
Easter Chicks Nest Cupcakes
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Easter Chick Cupcakes
Bird Nest Cupcakes
Easter Bunny Truffles
Easter Egg Truffles
Easter Egg Marshmallow Truffles
Jelly Bean Bark
Easter Marshmallow Bark
Easter Pretzel Chicks
Peeps Bunny Patch Cake
Peeps Sunflower Cake
Easter Basket Cake
Hidden Rainbow Easter Egg Cake
Bunny Butt Cake
Easter Marshmallow Pops
Almond-Butter Cookie Bouquet
Little Peeper Cookies
Easy Easter Cookie Pops
Robin’s Eggs in Brownie Nests
Easter Nest Cookies
Easter Oreo Cookie Suckers
Bird Nest Cookies
Hidden Surprise Easter Egg Treats
Easter Basket Cookies
Easter Bunny Tails
Easter Egg Cookies
Easter Bunny Cookies
Bunny & Chick Cookies
Robin’s Egg Nest Treats
Homemade Cadbury Eggs
Nutter Butter Easter Chicks
Easter Bunny Rolls
Easter Bunny Treats
Spring Celebration Brownies
Marshmallow Chocolate Peeps
Peeps Pudding Cups
Fruity Spring Animals
Easter Chick Sugar Spoons
Easter Veggie Pizza
Easter Chicks Deviled Eggs
Easter Party Carrot Cutlery
Rainbow Easter Eggs
Swirl Easter Eggs
Love is in the air…or is that just the smell of cupcakes in the oven? Either way, these cupcakes will have you channeling St. Valentine in no time. A classic vanilla cupcake combined with the tartness of pink lemonade is just the incentive needed to pucker up and smooch somebody. This lemony tart concoction is perfectly complimented by a sweet butter cream frosting and packs a deliciously sweet and sour punch. Oh and they’re super easy! They’re perfect for a Valentine’s party or for making for your sweetheart.
Pucker Up Buttercup-cakes
Makes 24 cupcakes
- 1 box of vanilla cake mix
- 3 Tablespoons powdered pink lemonade mix
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1/4 cup water
- red or pink food coloring
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 4-5 cups powdered sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup milk
- yellow food coloring
- sprinkles and edible Valentine’s decorations, optional
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line your cupcake pans with paper baking cups.
2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pink lemonade mix, eggs, oil, and water and beat for several minutes, until combined. Add a few drops of food coloring, until batter is the desired shade of pink.
3. Scoop batter into lined cupcake pans and bake for 15-20 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.
4. Frosting: In a large bowl, cream together the butter and shortening. Gradually add in the cups of powdered sugar and salt. Beat in the milk and add more powdered sugar if necessary. Add a few drops of yellow food coloring until it’s your desired shade of yellow.
5. Frost the cooled cupcakes with a piping bag or with a spatula. Decorate with optional sprinkles and edible Valentine’s decorations.
It’s time to pucker up! Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!
#1 30 Yummy Weight Watcher Dinner Recipes
#2 Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers
#3 Hash Brown Cups
#4 Spinach Artichoke Chicken
#5 Double Decker Taco Cupcakes
#6 Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
#7 Red Velvet Poke Cake
#8 Reese’s Peanut Butter Crispy Treats
#9 Nutella Brownies
#10 Meatball Bubble Biscuits
#11 Beer Cheese Dip
#12 Rosemary Chicken Lasagna
#13 Churro Waffles
#14 Skinny Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins
#15 Beer-Candied Bacon
#16 Vegetable Tian
#17 Cinnamon Toast the Pioneer Woman Way
#18 Cheesy Baked Spaghetti Squash Boats with Grilled Chicken
#19 Strawberry Nutella Poptarts
#20 Two-Ingredient Banana Peanut Butter Ice Cream
<<<2016 UPDATE: Click HERE for the 2016 list of best prices.>>>
Thinking of getting a flu shot? Don’t have insurance and not sure where to go? Flu season is in full swing so when it came time for flu shots, I priced out the cheapest options for individuals without health insurance. To ensure accuracy, I called two different locations from each of the following stores and pharmacies (In Charleston, SC & in January, 2014) and was quoted the below prices. **I do not represent any of the companies listed below. Please note that prices may vary depending on your location and are subject to change at any time so I strongly recommend calling and confirming the price when scheduling your appointment. Some stores also run special promotions, offer coupons, or match competitor prices so always check before you head out the door.**
Sorted by Price:
Costco: $14.99 According to their corporate policy listed online, ANYONE can use Costco’s Pharmacy with no membership required. Yay! If you don’t have a membership, it’s not a bad idea to print out their pharmacy policy to take with you just in case.
Target: $14.99-$23.00 *If you have a Costco in your area, many Targets do price match.
Sam’s Club: $15-$16.50 *According to their site you DO NOT need a Sam’s Club Membership to use their Pharmacy for Rx medications. Although unclear whether flu shots are included in that rule, it does say at most a 10% service fee is added to all other nonmember purchases from the pharmacy so still a great deal. If you don’t have a membership, it’s not a bad idea to print out their pharmacy policy to take with you just in case.
Walmart Flu Shot Clinic: $20 *Only select Walmarts offer a Flu Shot Clinic so check availability. I was also told the cost varies by store.
Rite Aid: $29.99
Have a store or pharmacy to add? Care to list a pricing update? Feel free to leave a comment below!
After falling in love with my 4th of July Clothespin Wreath, I really wanted to do a Christmas one for the holidays. This one was so much fun to make and I’m so happy with how it turned out! Since I’m a visual learner, I took lots of snaps of each step to help you along the way. Here’s how to make your own Christmas holiday wreath.
What you’ll need:
- 12″ Wire Wreath. These are sold in the florist section of any craft store for less than $3 or you can pick up on Amazon.
- 70 Clothespins (give or take one or two). Walmart and Target both sell packs of 50 but I prefer the Target brand clothespins which are much better quality and they are also a bit longer. Packs of 50 are sold at Target for $1.79 or at Walmart for $1.
- Emerald Green & Hunter Green spray paint. I went with Krylon Indoor/Outdoor since I wanted something to hang outside. I went with two shades of green instead of one to make it look like a real fir or holly wreath and give it that depth of color. I went with emerald green and hunter green in Krylon Gloss. They cost about $3.50 a can at Walmart. You’ll have a ton left over so keep that in mind for future projects or you can always plan on making an extra wreath to give as a gift. 🙂
- Decorative glitter balls. I found a bag of cute decorative container glitter balls (picture of bag below) for $7.99 at Michaels. The center is foam so it made it very easy to glue onto the wreath and didn’t weigh it down. You could also use little red beads, fake red holly berries, or mini glass ornaments. Another cute idea is to use those fake large Christmas lights and glue all over. You can definitely have fun with the decoration!
- Premade Christmas bow or buy ribbon and make your own. Pick whatever bow or ribbon to make a bow that you like. I fell in love with this gold crinkly ribbon and made my own bow but it was a tough choice because Michael’s always has so many cute Christmas ribbons in stock.
- Red Ribbon to hang the wreath. Any ribbon will do but I picked up some pretty red satin ribbon that was about 1/2″ wide. You just want to make sure it’s thick and strong enough to hold up the wreath.
- Hot glue gun & hot glue
Spray painting time! I suggest working outside and laying down some cardboard so you can just throw your items on it and spray to your heart’s content. If your wire wreath is already green then no need to spray paint it but if it’s a white wire wreath then I suggest spraying it green so the white doesn’t show through.
Spray Paint Clothespins: You’ll need 35 emerald green and 35 hunter green clothespins. Since not every wire wreath and clothespin is identical, the total number needed might be off by one or two clothespins so I suggest making two extra of each color just in case. The clothespins come pre-clipped to a piece of cardboard so I left them attached and sprayed the uglier of the two sides first, let dry 10 minutes or so (or until no longer tacky), gave it another quick coat, let dry another 10 minutes or so, then sprayed the prettier side with 5-6 coats, drying 10 minutes in between. What you want is for a solid colored clothespin that is nicely coated and very glossy. Be sure you rotate the clothespins and spray at various angles to get the sides and crevices nice and coated.
Assembly Time: Now that your clothespins are ready, it’s time to put it all together. You’ll notice that your wreath is basically four rings. You’ll be attaching clothespins to the center two rings which I’ll call #2 and #3 if you’re looking at the wreath from top to bottom.
Pick a starting point (See below picture and start top and center and move to the right of the wire divider) and pick either emerald green or hunter green to start with. I like the look of having the emerald green toward the back and the darker hunter green toward the front but it’s up to you if you prefer to have the lighter and brighter green up front. If you look at the four rings from top down, clip your first clothespin (hunter green) to the 2nd ring.
With your second clothespin (emerald green), clip it to the 3rd ring. Then keep going back and forth with hunter green on the 2nd ring and emerald green on the 3rd all the way around. You’ll go all the way around the wire wreath until you’re done.
Add Ribbon: Cut a 17″ piece of red ribbon and hot glue or tie around the back wire part of the wreath.
Hot Glue Time: It’s time for gluing! Work from the back and glue any loose clothespins to the back wire part of the wreath or at the bottom of the clothespins themselves, just to secure them on to the wire wreath. This is especially important if you plan on hanging the wreath outside. After you’ve glued down the clothespins, it’s time to glue the decorative red glitzy balls. You can go as crazy as you want with the red balls but I chose to glue to only the hunter green clothespins and alternate with gluing one ball to the top of the clothespin and the next to the bottom and so on. You can certainly do more or less to suit your taste.
Helpful Tip: Notice those nasty hot glue cobwebs? A very quick and easy way to get rid of them is to blow dry them away. Take your hair dryer and apply heat to any offending cobwebs and they will shrink back up, essentially disappearing. Just be careful not to apply too much heat or it could remelt the glue you want to stay stuck.
Attach Bow: Finish by gluing or tying on your bow to the bottom of the wreath.
All finished! Just hang indoors or outdoors and you’re ready for Santa Claus! I hope you enjoy and if you end up making this wreath and want to share a picture, I’d love to make a cute collage on this post. Feel free to send me a private message with a picture or email me at missbutterbean(at)gmail.com. Merry Christmas!
Whether it’s pot roast, spicy meatballs, chili, or even chocolate pudding, the crock pot does just about everything. I use it at least once a week and will be forever grateful to my Mother for giving me my first crock pot when I graduated from college. Granted, there have been a few failures–usually due to forgetting I had something in the crock pot and arriving a few hours later than planned to a pot of mush–but there have been so many more delicious successes. So today’s post is a fun tribute to the crock pot and all of the yummy things you can do with it. Before I get started, I get this question a lot so I’ll go ahead and answer it now: What crock pot do I personally use and why? I have the Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker. I’ve owned a couple over the years but this is my favorite for a couple of reasons. 1) It has little clamps so I can seal down the lid and not worry about sloshing if I’m transporting food in my car. Been there, done that, and it’s no fun cleaning chili out of the floor of your car in the freezing cold. 2) It’s programmable so for recipes that call for 8 hours of cooking time it means I don’t have to rush home because the timer setting just switches to WARM when it’s done. 3) It has a meat thermometer/probe so you can set the crock pot to switch to warm as soon as it reaches a certain internal temp. I actually first gave this crock pot to my Mom as a present but was so impressed by it that I scooped one up for myself.
Onward we go to 33 amazing recipes!
Copycat Panera Bread Broccoli Cheese Soup
Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
Classic Crockpot Chili
White Bean Chicken Chili
Chicken & Dumplings
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Slow Cooker Carnitas
Crock Pot Lemon Garlic Chicken
4 Ingredient Balsamic Pot Roast
Slow-Cooker Pepper Steak
Chicken Tikka Masala
Easy French Dip
Crockpot Brown Sugar Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin
Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
Crock Pot Fettuccine Alfredo
Au Gratin Garlic Potatoes
Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken
Slow Cooker Lasagna
Slow Cooker Italian Beef for Sandwiches
Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken
Sides & Appetizers:
Crock Pot Mac ‘N’ Cheese
Crock Pot Baked Potatoes
Slow Cooker Cheesy Bacon Ranch Potatoes
Bourbon Lit’l Smokies
Crockpot Green Bean Casserole
Crock Pot Sweet & Sour Meatballs
Crock Pot Au Gratin Garlic Potatoes
Crock Pot Apple Betty with Almond Cream
Slow Cooker Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Slow Cooker Chocolate Lava Cake
Slow Cooker Turtle Upside-Down Cake
Crock Pot Hot Chocolate
Anything is better with Nutella, right? Well that’s certainly the case with these little tasties. A rich buttery cookie is taken straight to heaven when rolled in coconut and a lovely gem of nutella placed in the center. It’s actually a really easy cookie to whip up and oh so yummy. A great cookie recipe for holiday baking or cookie exchanges and it will quickly become a family favorite. Yummy to the max!
Nutella Thumbprint Cookies
Yields 36 cookies
- 3 sticks (3/4 pound) butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
- 7 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
- Nutella (the amount depends on how generous you are but you’ll need approximately 1/2 cup)
1. In a mixer, cream together the butter sugar for several minutes.
Add the vanilla and gradually add the flour and salt until well combined.
2. Transfer the dough onto a piece seran wrap, form into a large ball, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to chill. If you’re in a hurry you can also pop it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 350°. Form the chilled dough into balls, approximately 1 1/4 inches, or weighing 1 ounce if you’re using a scale.
Dip the balls into the egg wash, roll in flaked coconut, and transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet. Use your finger or thumb to form an indentation in the dough for filling with Nutella. 🙂
Using a teaspoon, fill each indentation with about 1/4 teaspoon of Nutella.
4. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until the edges are a light brown and the coconut is toasted. Since all ovens vary slightly, I always recommend baking one cookie first to see what the exact time is to avoid burning an entire sheet.
5. Transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack. Eat the cooled Nutelal Thumbprint Cookies with a glass of milk or hot cocoa. Enjoy!
A very fond memory I have of growing up in Germany is of baking cookies during the holidays. A popular German tradition is holiday cookie baking, where families will spend several days or even weeks preparing for the holidays by baking dozens and dozens of cookies and lining them in prepared holiday tins. When visiting friends and family you bring a box of cookies as a present and often receive one back. German cookies tend to be less sweet than a typical American cookie and often filled with fruit and nuts. This recipe for Cranberry Tangerine Cookies is inspired by the German cookies you could expect in your tin. Filled with cranberries, almonds, and tangerine, they’re the perfect bit of sweet treat you want.
Cranberry Tangerine Cookies
Yields 4 dozen cookies
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon grated tangerine zest
- 2 tablespoons tangerine juice
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups fresh cranberries, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped (you can also use walnuts or pecans if you prefer)
- 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 3 tablespoons tangerine juice
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, cream together butter and the brown and white sugar for several minutes.
Add the egg, tangerine zest and juice, almond extract, and mix well. Gradually add the flour, baking soda, and salt until well incorporated.
Stir in the cranberries and almonds.
2. Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, scoop rounded tablespoons of cookie dough on ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 12-14 minutes. Since every oven varies slightly, I always recommend you bake one cookie all by itself to see exactly how long you need. Better to accidentally ruin one cookie than an entire tray!
3. Transfer from cookie sheet to a cooling rack.
4. While cookies are cooling, mix together the ingredients for the icing.
Using a fork or a whisk, drizzle icing over the cookies.
Allow icing to set before transferring to cookie tins or eating. Enjoy!