Sweet Treats - DIYInspired.com
09th Feb2012

Valentines

by Dinah Wulf

I know I have a while until my little one starts going to school, but I can’t help but be excited to participate in all the fun classroom activities. I recall that Valentine’s Day was one of my favorite holidays in grade school. That week, we would make “mailboxes” out of old shoe boxes to prepare for all the Valentine’s Day goodies coming our way. Even though I knew that every kid gave Valentines to everyone in the class.  I still got excited to receive one from the boy I thought was cute that week.

So, for now I’ll live vicariously through these other Mommies and share some cute valentines I found from other blogs.  All of these are super cute, creative, and inexpensive.  You can get some inspiration from the plastic toy bins or the candy aisle at your local party store.  Add a catchy phrase and voila! Instant valentine!

Here are my favorites. Just click on the links for the tutorials from these inspiring sites!

“O-Fish-Ally Mine” from Tammy Mitchell Photography

“I Dig You” from The Fry Family Blog

“I’m Bananas For You” from Fiskars

Valentines Crush from Design Glow

Tic Tac Toe from Shim and Sons

“You Rock!” from A Small Snippet

Super Valentine from Be Different Act Normal

“You Make My Heart Bounce” from The Crafting Chicks

 

28th Dec2011

Indoor Smores

by Dinah Wulf

My husband and I were invited to a casual pot luck style party.  Our assigned dish was dessert.  Being that the evite had the words “bounce house” in it I knew immediately what to bring… Smores!   Indoor Smores are quick easy, inexpensive, and both children and adults love to participate in making and eating them.  Smores were the perfect sweet for the kid friendly evening BBQ.  I was right!  They were a hit.

Being that I didn’t have to cook or actually make anything, I decided to embellish a mason jar with a quick scrapbook paper sign and twine. I used a round dolly and inserted the BBQ skewers in the jar.  I chose to bring both mini Hershey bars and Reeses Peanut Butter Cups for a little variety. Chafing dish fuel warmers can be purchased at a party supply store and are less than two dollars apiece.  They will last for several hours.

Here are some pictures.   The party was a blast and we had a lot of fun.

 

Here are some other cool Smores inspired ideas perfect for any party. Consider Smores for birthday parties, showers, weddings, small get togethers, or as a sweet gift!

 

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27th Dec2011

New Year’s Specialty Cocktail Recipes

by Dinah Wulf

Recipes by David Edessa

I hope you had a Merry Christmas! Can you believe it’s already over?  It’s time to celebrate the New Year! What better way than with a great cocktail?

Here are some more delicious New Year’s Specialty cocktail recipes by David Edessa for your upcoming New Year’s party!  I hope you enjoyed his first post on Holiday Martinis.  I tried the Santa’s Cookies recipe and it was so good.

The first two use martini recipes use Monin Lavender Syrup.  It can be purchased online or in some coffee/tea shops. It’s about $6.00 for a 750ml bottle and adds a well worth refreshing hint to your party cocktails.  He ends this post with a yummy Egg Nog JELLO shot that is to die for!  Check them out!

Enjoy!

Lavender Lemontini

  • 2 oz. Stoli Lemon Vodka
  • 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. Monin Lavender syrup
  • Lavender sprig for garnish

Directions: Fill cocktail shaker to the rim with ice cubes, add ingredients and shake vigorously. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with a lavender sprig.

Blueberry Lavender Martini

  • 1.5 oz. Stoli Blueberry Vodka
  • 1/2 oz. Peach Schnapps
  • 1 Tbsp. Monin Lavender syrup
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice

Directions: Fill cocktail shaker to the rim with ice cubes, add ingredients and shake vigorously. Pour into a martini glass.  Finish your martini glass with a splash of Sparkling Moscato wine.  Use fresh blueberries as a garnish.

Pomegranate Persuasion Martini

  • 1.5 oz. Pearl Pomegranate Vodka
  • 1/2 oz. Peach Schnapps
  • 1/2 oz. Cranberry Juice

Directions: Fill cocktail shaker to the rim with ice cubes, add ingredients and shake vigorously. Pour into a martini glass.  Finish your martini glass with a splash of Sparkling Moscato wine.  Garnish with a few pomegranate seeds.

Eggnog JELLO Shots

Servings: About ten

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Eggnog
  • 1 oz. Envelope Unflavored Gelatin
  • ¾ cup Spiced Rum
  • ¼ cup Coconut Milk
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ tsp. Ground Cinnamon

Directions: In a small saucepan, bring eggnog to a boil. Pour eggnog into a heatproof bowl. Sprinkle unflavored gelatin over the eggnog and let it sit for a minute. Stir until gelatin is dissolved; allow the mixture to cool. Add rum, coconut milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon; stir until well combined. Pour the mix into shot glasses and refrigerate until firm.

Helpful Tips:

  • Consider using plastic shot glasses available at most party supply stores.
  • Garnish Ideas- Whipped cream and holiday sprinkles, crushed candy canes or cinnamon sticks.
  • Use a few drops of green or red or blue food coloring for a festive look.

 

 

Photo Sources: PetitChef.com, Sarahjio.com, TheNibble.com

 

22nd Dec2011

Just Add Ice Cream

by Dinah Wulf

I remember being inspired by this idea on Tip Junkie and I finally got around to doing it.

My husband and I were invited to a November BBQ (California LOVE). I put this “Just Add Ice Cream” idea together as a quick and easy hostess gift.  I picked up all this yummy goodness (basket, sugar cones, cherries, Magic shell, sprinkles, Gummy Bears, chocolate chips) at Target for less than twenty dollars and even had extra for a second gift.

I turned this:

Into this:

Here are some budget saving tips:

  • Check the dollar bin! I found this adorable black and white basket for only one dollar.
  • The hosts for this party have two sons.  I found this animal variety of sprinkles for less than five dollars and separated them into six different packages using inexpensive treat bags from the craft store. Also consider adding fudge, caramel, wafer sticks, nuts, M&M’s, crumbled cookies.
  • Use your computer, paper scraps, and ribbon for embellishments, instead of buying a card.
  • Use a Ziploc bag to keep the ice cream cones fresh.  You can always fold and hide the seal with clear tape and ribbon.

 

Holidays equals many parties! Here are some other similar Do It Yourself hostess gift ideas:

  • Hot Chocolate: hot chocolate, peppermint sticks, marshmallows, mugs, “just add water” note
  • S’mores: Graham crackers, chocolate cracker, chocolate, marshmallows, caramel, sticks, flame (or “just add fire”)
  • Movie Night: popcorn, candy, movie passes or an inexpensive DVD, popcorn bucket (these are always in the dollar bins)

**I heart comments! If you have any comments, ideas, or suggestions, please feel free to comment below.  Is there a craft project you want me to try? I’ll gladly do my best to take on your craft challenge and I’m always looking for new ideas! Just let me know! Also, if you have a project you’d like to share, please email me at dwulf@diyinspired.com.

 

01st Nov2011

Sweet Gift Idea

by Dinah Wulf

Quotes for candy 3

What do you do with all that left over Halloween candy?  Here is a sweet gift idea.

My poor hubby severed his Achilles tendon playing soccer.  He’s in a cast and crutches for six weeks and will be in a boot for another six weeks after that.  Needless to say, it makes his life a lot tougher.

To make his life a little less miserable, without a thought, I knew exactly what would make him much happier… SWEETS.  So I decided to surprise him and leave one treat with a note with candy sayings in his work bag every day for several weeks.

I made the note from his daughter.  Here are the quotes for candy I put on this sweet gift idea.

  • Mini Chips Ahoy Cookies – For our own special ‘COOKIE’ monster!
  • Butterfinger – We love you so much “BUTTERFINGERS” won’t count that high!
  • Kit Kat – Daddy, we don’t ever want a break from you!
  • Snickers – Daddy, we love how you make us laugh and “SNICKER”!
  • Junior Mints – Daddy, you are worth a “MINT”!
  • Peanut M&M’s – We’re “NUTS” about you!
  • M&M’s – Daddy, you make us melt!
  • Rice Krispies Treat – I think it’s a “TREAT” that you’re my Daddy!
  • Peanut Butter M&M’s – Daddy, we think you’re Magnificent and Marvelous!
  • Hazelnut Chocolate Bar – We love you so much it’s “NUTS”!
  • Milky Way – Daddy, we think you are out of this world!
  • Zero Bar – You’re not a “ZERO”. You’re our hero!!
  • Heath – Sugar and Spice you’re everything nice!
  • York Peppermint Pattie – Daddy, we get the sensation from you!
  • Twix – Just be “TWIX” you and me, we love you!
  • Rolos – Daddy, you’re my “ROLO” model!
  • Slim Jim Twin Pack – Daddy, we hope no one gives you any “BEEF” today! Love YOU!
  • Candy Dipped Fortune Cookies - We are so FORTUNE ate to have you in our lives!

Another option is to make this DIY gift idea and present them all at once in a gift basket for Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day or any special occasion!

Here are some pictures.

Quotes for candy

Quotes for candy 1

Quotes for candy 2

Candy Sayings

Candy Sayings 1

Candy Sayings 2

Candy Sayings 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you know any other great candy sayings?  Please leave a comment!

 

 

24th Oct2011

Finger Food

by Dinah Wulf

Easy Halloween Desserts – Creative Ideas for Halloween

This chocolate pretzel recipe doubles as a great Halloween dessert and as DIY Halloween props.  It definitely gives a new meaning to “finger food”.  These chocolate dipped pretzels are SUPER easy and quick to make.

The materials you will need are:

  • One bag of pretzel rods
  • Melting candy or chocolate
  • One bag of sliced almonds
  • Waxed paper
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Glass Measuring cup
  • Vegetable oil (optional)

Step One: Line a cookie sheet with wax paper or parchment paper.

Step Two: Follow the candy/melting instructions on the bag.  I like to melt the candy in a glass measuring cup in the microwave at defrost setting in thirty second increments. Use a spooky color like green or blue to make it look like monster fingers.

Step Three: When candy/chocolate is melted, consider adding vegetable oil to thin out the candy.  Add a little at a time until you reach the desired thickness.  The vegetable oil will not alter the taste.

Step Four: Break the pretzel rods in half and dip the broken side into your mixture.  Carefully lay them in a neat row onto the lined cookie sheet.

Step Five: Gently lay a sliced almond sliver onto the edge of the dipped pretzel to make it look like a finger nail.

Step Six: Refrigerate until you are ready to serve!

This finger food will be a favorite at your next Halloween party!

Click here for a complete step by step tutorial for candy dipped fortune cookies!

 

31st Aug2011

Carnival Theme or Circus Theme Party

by Dinah Wulf

Carnival Theme or Circus Theme Party

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One of my best friends, Jennifer Hostetler, ALWAYS comes up with amazing ideas for a theme party.  This year, for her daughter’s first birthday, she decided to do a Circus theme.  With a little do it yourself creativity and a lot of imagination, Jennifer hosted a fabulous party on a budget.  Carnival theme or circus theme parties are great party theme ideas.

DIY Centerpieces

If you read this blog, you KNOW what a HUGE fan I am of dollar bin decorating, especially for a kid’s theme party.  Jennifer found these great circus themed pieces for the centerpieces. She took it one step further and glued popcorn and peanuts to give them a more realistic look. I love the way she made them all different.

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Carnival Game Ideas

Jennifer came up with these easy and inexpensive party game ideas to fit the carnival theme.  To keep the little guests busy, some of her party games included, a ring toss, baseball toss, and balloon dart throw.  For the ring toss she secured each empty beer bottle with glue onto a square wooden board.  I give it two thumbs up just for the beer bottle recycle factor!  Jennifer also recycled baby snack containers for the baseball toss by removing the label, painting the can, and weighing them down with pebbles.  She simply stacked three cans on a bar stool.

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Candy Dessert Table

I’ve posted before that a candy dessert table has a trifecta factor.  It is beautiful to look at, gives the guests something to do, and is tasty to eat.  Check out Jennifer’s gorgeous and colorful candy dessert table. She used a round table, which looked beautiful and yummy from all sides.  She created height with wrapped boxes and color and pattern with ribbon.

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Do It Yourself Decorating

One thing about Jennifer is her attention to detail.  Check out these other great do it yourself decorating ideas for a circus theme party including a photo booth, cake table, and signs.

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Jennifer is definitely someone who inspires me.  I didn’t even post half of the amazing details of this party.  Look out for her upcoming budget party blog to see the rest!!! I’ll be the first to let you know when it launches!  Thank you Jen for the inspiration! Love you!

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29th Aug2011

Baby Shower Dessert Table

by Dinah Wulf

Baby Shower Dessert Table

Dessert tables are becoming more common for baby showers, weddings, and birthday parties.  It’s a simple party idea that can spruce up your decorations and can also be affordable.  A set of various sized candy jars is a great investment for any Host or Hostess.  You can find inexpensive sets at discount stores, or buy unique pieces at thrift shops.  Hosting a party can be stressful and a dessert table adds triple duty as décor, food, and entertainment.

This particular dessert table is one I did for an Asian themed baby shower.  The guest of honor is having a baby boy, so I chose hues of blue and green.  To fit the party theme, I used an Asian style font for the labels, served almond cookies, wafers, and chocolate dipped fortune cookies. I also made blue and green Chinese take-out boxes stuffed with useful goodies for the baby and mommy to be.  Each box was embellished with ribbon, a charm, and wooden chopsticks. I printed a Chinese character on the front that stood for “family”, “baby boy”, “happiness”, etc.

To make the labels and “sweets” banner, I used coordinating scrapbook paper, cut slits on both sides, and inserted a matching ribbon. The candy I chose also coordinated with the theme and colors.  The candies included were chocolate, coconut, almond blue M&M’s, assorted blue and green lollipops, blue vanilla Tootsie Rolls, and blue cookies and cream Kisses.

To create height, I used boxes covered in wrapping paper and matted the top with black scrapbook paper cut to size. I used photo holders and frames for some of the labels and made sure to put out napkins, tongs and scoops for the guests to use.

 

15th Aug2011

Candy Dipped Fortune Cookies

by Dinah Wulf

I made these blue and green candy dipped fortune cookies for my cousin’s baby shower.  I had never done this before and found it quite easy. Here is what I did.

Materials Needed:

  • Candy Melts
  • Fortune Cookies
  • Spatula
  • Double broiler or Saucepan and glass bowl
  • Water
  • Vegetable Oil (optional)
  • Wax Paper or Parchment Paper
  • Baking Sheet

I didn’t have a double broiler so I used a small saucepan, glass bowl, and strainer.  Add enough water to simmer over medium heat, but make sure the water does not touch the glass bowl. Another option is to melt the candy in the microwave.  Heat and stir the candy at thirty second intervals at half the power.

When the water is simmering, add the candy melts.  Make sure the water does not boil. Gradually and gently stir with a rubber spatula as the candy melts. If desired, add vegetable oil a teaspoon at a time to achieve the desired consistency.  Adding vegetable oil will thin out the candy, make it easier to dip, and will not alter the taste. Another option is to use chocolate squares.

Dip each cookie one by one and gently rest them on a wax paper covered baking sheet.  Allow the candy to set by placing the baking sheets in the refrigerator.

After the candy hardens, place each cookie in a 4” by 8” treat bag and tie with a ribbon.  I added a personalized tag using colored card stock, my computer, and a heart shaped punch. These candy dipped fortune cookies made perfect favors for each guest to enjoy immediately or take home for later.

 

Check out these Sweet Treats, perfect for any party:

11th Jul2011

First Birthday Party DIY Decoration Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

First Birthday Party DIY Decoration Ideas

Friend and fellow Crafty Chick (and may I add GORGEOUS), Tara Woelfer, did a fabulous job for an Elmo themed first birthday party.  Here are some Birthday Party DIY Decoration Ideas. She used bold primary and secondary colors coordinated with polka dot and checkered patterns. She covered boxes with colorful gift wrap, which is a great way to add height and dimension to any table scape.

Tip: A good investment for any party host or hostess is glass candy jars and glass bowls in various sizes and heights.  Add a ribbon and label to fit any party theme.

The dessert table was adorned with a “sweets” banner a topped with creatively labeled yummy treats like marshmallows, chocolate covered strawberries with sprinkles, colorful candies, cupcakes, and savory cheese popcorn.  Tara also added a special touch by personalizing some of the treats with the birthday boy’s name and age.

The centerpieces were assembled with checkered pinwheels in plastic pales, and pictures of the little man of honor.  Do it yourself Pinwheels are a creative and simple way to add whimsy to any party centerpiece. Use decorative scrapbook paper in any color or pattern to fit any occasion. Also, consider using pages of old novels, children’s books, or magazines depending on the party theme.

Thanks for the inspiration, Tara!! You are amazing!

The fabulous photography is by Carrie Sparks.

Need More DIY Party Ideas? Try:

Check out these Sweet Treats, perfect for any party:

14th Jun2011

Sweet Treats: Custom Cakery

by Dinah Wulf

Sweet Treats: Custom Cakery

A friend and former co-worker, Robert Hetrick, is the man behind Custom Cakery in Corona, California.  I had to blog about Robert and share some of his incredible edible designs.  He is so amazing and talented and these are some of his creations.

His repertoire consists of fabulous custom cakes for any occasion; graduation, birthdays, showers, weddings, and corporate events to name a few. Isn’t the iPhone cake brilliant?

The minute a perused Custom Cakery’s Facebook page, the first thing I thought of was… well…actually the first thing I thought of was, “I didn’t know Robert could bake?” Then the second thing I thought was that Robert should be on the show Ultimate Cake Off on TLC!

 

These are just some of my favorites.  It was tough to narrow it down, as there were so many to choose from! I may have to go with the Scrabble Cake as the favorite…

Check out more of Robert’s custom creations on his Facebook page.  I’m sure he’d be happy to give you a consultation.  Hey Robert, when are auditions??? Oh, and thanks for inspiring us!

Need more sweet treat ideas? You may also like:

 

08th Jun2011

Carnival or Circus Themed Party

by Dinah Wulf

Carnival or Circus Themed Party

My family and I went to the Strawberry Festival this year over Memorial Day weekend and I took these pictures to inspire one of my best friends because I knew she was planning a carnival/circus theme for her daughter’s first birthday. I took pictures of anything that inspired me including the colorful lighted signs, the giant inflatable prizes, and the abundant walls of furry creatures.

After a little research, I found that one of my favorite blogs, Hostess With The Mostess, had highlighted several parties with a Circus or Carnival inspired theme.  Here are some of them (Jen, I hope this gets your already creative juices flowing). The common elements are bright colors, animals, stripes, and lots of sweet treats!

Macy’s Carnival Parade

Carnival Caper Birthday

Modern Circus Soiree

Cirque du Bebe Baby Shower

Need More DIY Party Ideas? Try:

06th May2011

LA Laker Cupcake Decoration

by Dinah Wulf

So it happens to be NBA Playoff time, and my Los Angeles Lakers aren’t lookin’ too hot right now. I figured I’d better inspire myself and make a good luck cupcake decoration to bring to a Laker party tonight. This was quick and easy and I did it in less than a half an hour. Go Lakers!!!

Materials:

• Computer and printer
• Colored paper
• Circular punches (1” and 2”)
• Glue stick
• Hot glue gun
• Toothpicks

Step 1: Google Images is my best friend. Look up your team’s logo and copy and paste it (as many times as you have cupcakes) on a Word document at 1” in diameter and punch them out.

Step 2: Punch out your team’s contrasting color with a 2” punch.

Step 3: Glue the logo onto the 2” circle and hot glue a toothpick on the back.

Step 4: When the glue is dry, insert them into the center of your cupcake (mine are deliciously store bought) and enjoy!

Need More DIY Party Ideas? Try:

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