Chewy Chocolatey Rice Crispies Recipe

Who has a sweet tooth?

Yum

I do! These rice crispy treats are the perfect sweet. I love chewy treats and am a huge fan of caramel. This recipe has melted chocolate and bits of caramel, perfect for any sweet craving.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 cups marshmallows
  • 5 cups rice cereal
  • 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of caramel bits

Ingredients
Since I used brown rice cereal, it makes this a bit healthier right?

Directions:

1. Melt butter in a large pan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until it’s melted and blended. Remove from heat.
2. Add cereal and stir until pieces are well coated.
3. Add chocolate chips and mix well.
4. Add caramel bits and mix well.
5. Use a spatula and press mixture together into a 13 x 9 inch pan and let cool. Once cooled, cut into squares and serve!

Product

It’s such an easy treat to make and extremely satisfying. Those caramel chewy bits MAKE this recipe the perfect after dinner dessert. Or midnight snack. Or afternoon snack. Or breakfast… Yeah!

Bits

Caramel bits can be hard to find. Another option is to cut up bits of Werther’s chewy caramels.

Who’s craving something sweet? I would also like to know, who’s the lucky person you would you make these treats for?

Yum,
Jay

  

DIY Wine Bags & Giveaway!

Congratulations to Connie for winning this giveaway! Please check your email for shipping information. Thanks to those who participated. It’s an easy DIY, so you can still own these wine bags!

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I love making gifts for people. I enjoy spending time getting creative and thrifty! Since Christmas is coming up, I’ve been busy coming up with ideas for presents. Repurposing things for gifts is my hobby. That’s a hobby right?

For instance, I love using paper grocery bags for gift wrap. I like using string or baking twine for bows. It’s also time to bust out those cassette tape pom poms!

Since my wedding, I’ve had a bunch of burlap laying around. While I was drifting off to sleep, I came up with the idea of making wine bags with the burlap (I tend to come up with the best ideas while I’m about to fall asleep. I have a journal to jot down my thoughts since I’ll wake up and totally forget). These make fantastic gift bags, and it’s great if you’re hosting a wine tasting party!

Tis the season of giving, so here’s another giveaway! Just comment on this post for a chance to win.

Bags

Materials:

  • 60 inch width by 30 inch length sheet of burlap
    • As long as you have 10 inch width by 30 inch length for each bag, you’re good to go
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine
    • For the no sew approach, you’ll need double sided tape
  • Ribbon

Burlap
You need burlap, minus the cat! For some reason kitties love burlap

Here’s the tutorial:

DIY Wine Bags

CRAFTER’S TIP:

  • Burlap can be hard to manage. What I typically do to ensure I’m cutting straight is take one strand of burlap and pull the entire string through. It will create a straight line to serve as a cutting guide (numbers 2 & 3 in the tutorial above).
  • For the new sew approach, use double sided tape to tape down the edges after ironing.

For the mystery tasting party, each wine was put in the burlap bags so that all labels and types were hidden. Guests were asked to taste each and rate aroma, body, taste, and finish. After adding up the scorecard, you find out which wine you like most. It’s so fun when you find out that sometimes the cheapest wine is actually your favorite!

I created a scorecard for the wine tasting party. Feel free to use this template! Download it here.

Pens
Scorecards and pens, with glasses ready to go

Cheese
Cheese is necessary on any and every occasion

Bottles
Wine bags are numbered and hidden

PartyEnjoying at this point!

Tasting

For a chance to win three wine bags, comment on this post!

Cheers!
Jay
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Only one entry per email. Email must be valid. Shipping address must be in the United States. This giveaway ends at 11:30pm PST on 12/10/13. Winner will drawn and announced on Wednesday, 12/11/13 at 12:00am PST via blog and email provided.

  

Advent Conspiracy & Fair Trade

Why do we celebrate Christmas? Truly think about that question.

Christmas tree

As a follower of Christ, I celebrate Christmas because it marks the birth of our Savior. Jesus came down to earth to walk with sinners and eventually paid for our debts. But for some reason, Christmas is about wish lists and presents. We rack our brains trying to figure out the “best gift.” But is there ever such a thing as the perfect gift? To be honest, if you wanted something really badly, don’t you just purchase it for yourself anyway?

This past Sunday at church, I was asked to share about Advent Conspiracy. This is a movement to bring Christmas back to what it really means, the birth of Jesus, not the consumption of goods. It’s hard for me to completely give up the idea of presents because I really do love giving presents. It’s usually the one chance I can buy gifts for people and show them a bit of love.

I recently entered into a Pinterest contest hosted by Global Partners to showcase fair holiday gifts. Then I thought to myself, I can buy fair trade Christmas presents, a gift with a huge story and a huge impact. With fair trade products, you are breaking cycles of poverty and paying for someone else’s dignity and independence. When you buy these products, you’re making the world a little bit better, sometimes in the poorest and darkest countries in the world. God called us to love the poor, the marginalized, and the outcasts. Purchasing fair trade is an action that can display faith.

Ultimately, buying fair trade is a way to live out the Gospel.

I made some stickers to be stuck on credit card to remind people to purchase thoughtfully this season. They look like the “activate your credit card” stickers. Maybe you’re interested in giving these stickers to a few friends, colleagues, and/or your congregation. Feel free to print them out on sticky paper, and stick it onto your credit cards! Download the sticker template here.

Activate

I’m posting a fair trade gift guide for those of you that need some ideas – consumables, gifts for women, men, and the little ones. See some of the awesome things I found online. There’s a range of costs so you can buy something that is within your budget.

Consumables
1 Divine Chocolate Holiday Gift Set (6 items) $39.99 // 2 Choice Tea Sampler (12 ct) $3.49 // 3 Canaan Fair Trade Infused Olive Oil 2-pack $28.99 // 4 Alaffia Spa Gift Set $30.00 // 5 Thanksgiving Coffee 4-Pack $48.00 // 6 Trade As One Gift of Good (one-time gift) $99.00

Women
1 Sweetheart top from Mata Traders $37.99 // 2 Aquamarine studs from Given Goods Co $109.00 // 3 Arrow clutch from Sseko Designs $65.99  // 4 Lace and leather pouch from Hearts $14.00 // 5 Camera strap from Fotostrap $85.00 // 6 Stationary from Noonday Collection $18.00 // 7 Print from Sevenly $24.00

Gifts for men
Blackwood sunglasses by SOLO eyewear $78.00 // 2 Bottle opener and horseshoe magnet from Sevenly $28.00  // 3 Men’s chukka boot from Oliberté $140.00 // 4 Watch from Fair Indigo $55.90 // 5 “To My Health” flask from Sevenly $34.00 // 6 Print from Sevenly $24.00

For the Kids r1
Alpaca baby beanie from The Little Market $28.00 // 2 Balancing monkeys from Rosie Hippo $23.00 // 3 Wooden fruit set from Rosie Hippo $20.00 // 4 Wooden stable from Bella Luna Toys $179.95 // 5 Wooden marble run from Bella Luna Toys $94.95 // 6 Knit donuts from Rosie Hippo $19.00 // 7 Cotton receiving blanket from Rosie Hippo $14.00

Are there any products that are your favorite? Do you have any fair trade items you’re putting on your wish list? Perhaps now you can buy a bit more consciously this year.

Let’s bring Christmas back to what it truly means – Jesus and giving for good.

In His Love,
Jay
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For even more fair trade ideas, check out my Pinterest board