gallamore west: January 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Hearts!

These little homemade White Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Hearts were a hit!  Seriously... you should make them. 

They took about 10 minutes to make, plus another 10-15 minutes to set in the fridge, and my family thought I was a professional candy maker.
{I'm also a professional at putting socks on cold little feet... yes, one of my boys told me that the other night! }

 Here's what you need:

-6 squares of white melting chocolate 
{I used CandiQuik, but Wilton melting candy or white choc. chips would be great too}
- 3 whole graham crackers
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
- sprinkles
-silicone heart mold trays 
{I got mine in that $2.50 section at Target that's right next to the $1 Spot- it comes with 2 trays}

I was inspired to make these little cuties when I saw these PB Hearts by  I pinned them to my xoxo board on Pinterest and have been dreaming about them for weeks!  I thought a mini version would be so sweet.

Crush your three graham crackers into fine crumbs. I use my Kitchen Aid, but if you don't have one, just throw them in a Ziploc bag, seal it up and roll over it with your rolling pin, over and over and over until finely crumbled.  Add in 3/4 cup peanut butter and mix until thoroughly combined.  
Set aside.

Melt 6 squares of your white chocolate in the microwave, stopping it and stirring about every 30 seconds.  
Continue until completely melted.  
My picture shows 4 squares, but I had to melt 2 more later {see note at the end... 1 more would've been plenty!}

Using a small spoon, fill each heart mold about 1/3 full of melted white chocolate.  Scoop about 1/2 teaspoon of your graham cracker/peanut butter mixture on top of the white chocolate.  

You really only need a tiny bit of the PB/graham cracker mixture since these hearts are small.  If you put too much peanut butter mixture in, they'll look like this when they're done... peanut butter popping out the sides {not really a bad thing though- it just doesn't look as pretty}.

Fill the remainder of each heart with a top layer of melted white chocolate.  Decorate with Valentine's Day sprinkles and pop the trays in the fridge until set, about 15 minutes.

I bagged these up for a sweet friend, but all the rest were on a plate in the kitchen and were gone so quickly!  

Just a note: this was the 1st time making these so I was guessing on all of the ingredient amounts.  I ended up with some extra white chocolate and lots of extra peanut butter mixture.  Not wanting to waste it, I put together some quick little graham cracker/pb sandwiches and covered the tops of them with the extra white chocolate and some sprinkles.  They were soooo good that I forgot to take a picture of them before gobbling them up!

I'm linking these sweeties up to my favorite link parties! xoxo

Ohhh, I'm SO excited to be starting our 14 Day Valentine's Day Countdown tomorrow for our boys!  I've switched some of the ideas that I originally posted... tomorrow is "Whooo's Crazy for You?" Day.  Mommy and Daddy, of course :)  I hope you'll check back often to see the fun we're up too these next couple of crazy weeks! 

And don't forget to enter to win one of my original handmade burlap wreaths here... it's the very FIRST one ever made for outside of our own home and I'm so excited to see where she'll be headed!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Burlap Wreath Giveaway!

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend!  

It's been a great couple of weeks here at Gallamore West, and I'm thrilled that my Facebook page recently hit 500+ likes, so I'm celebrating with a giveaway!  

You can enter for the chance to win an original, hand-made Gallamore West burlap wreath!  I love, love crafting with burlap {it's kind of my thing} so I'm thrilled to have one of my readers have one of these cuties in their home.  

The winner can choose either a "Simply Sweet"-- that's one of my originals, with tons of natural colored burlap rags on a  straw wreath base, a neutral ribbon for hanging {no embellishments added}.  Here's an example:

{an upclose look at how it looks... packed full of burlap beauty!}


A "Little Miss Fancy"-- that's one of my originals with tons of natural colored burlap rags on a straw wreath base, a neutral ribbon for hanging, and your choice of up to 3 ribbon colors, and a paper/jute pennant banner with your choice of wording.  Here's an example:

And here's just a little personal bit about me...
In the past when I've hit a milestone number on my Facebook page, I've given away something made my someone else.  It's a big deal for me to give away something I made myself because it brings out all my self-confidence "issues" if you will... 

What if no one likes it?  

What if no one wants it?  

What if no one enters to win it?

What if it's not good enough?  

What if...?

What if...?

What if...? 

So I did what I always do when I start to doubt myself... I go to my just say it board on Pinterest and read some of the uplifting quotes I've pinned. 

Like these...

and just like that, I feel better :)  

So enter away!
I can't wait to see whose home will be the FIRST to own a Gallamore West original hand-made burlap wreath! xoxo

Friday, January 27, 2012

Valentine's Day Mantel 2012

"If You're a Bird, I'm a Bird"

It's my very favorite line from my very favorite movie {The Notebook}.  I even have an If You're a Bird, I'm a Bird board on Pinterest!  

I love decorating with cute little birds and bird houses all year long, but I think they're especially darling for Valentine's Day.  

Here's my Valentine's Day mantel for 2012... 

 {p.s.  I hope to get a paintbrush to that hideous rock/oak combo soon!  For now, imagine a beadboard mantel in Heirloom White and all those rocks a gorgeous coordinating shade of lighter/fresher neutrals, k?}

When I saw that Kelsey at Tattered and Ink made this adorable Valentine's Day printable {free for her followers!} I was so excited to incorporate it into my Valentine's Day mantel...

I bought the bird houses from Michael's for $1 each, painted them, put them on pedestals I put together and added a burlap ribbon... because if you know me, you know I LOVE to incorporate burlap into just about everything I make. 

Hmmm... wonder if my hubs would like some burlap sheets?! :)

And I cut this quick little burlap banner and added on little hearts {the center of a white doily with the center of a red doily taped together} on each pennant, strung together with ribbon I bought on clearance after Valentine's Day last year...

I painted the wood blocks and added another one of my favorite quotes in vinyl {I tried to paint the letters, but it was a major fail so I flipped the blocks over and did vinyl instead!}

And that adorable, vintage, shabby chic birdhouse... it was actually brand new from Michael's {used my coupon} and painted it a quick coat of white paint to look aged.  And those cute little white love birds in it are actually our salt & pepper shakers {a genius idea from my 4 year old!}

Sitting on the hearth is the cutest pillow cover ever, from Shabby by Melissa.  She's a sweetheart too... a lucky Gallamore West reader just won one of her adorable pillow covers last week!

 Besides the fact that the mantel itself is dreadfully outdated with it's colors, another challenge is that the fireplace is in a corner so the mantel goes around on the side too.  Here's what I put on the side... my red burlap bubble wreath and some sweets, of course! 

Happy Valentine's Day from Gallamore West!

I'm linking up my Love Birds Valentine's Day mantel here...

Home Stories A2Z

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Why we celebrate so much {including Chinese New Year}

Gong Hey Fat Choy! 
{That's Happy New Year in Chinese. I googled it- it's spelled a million different ways}

It's no secret that we celebrate just about every holiday here, national "whatever" day it is {did you know that today is National Peanut Butter Day?  Oh yeah, you can bet we're celebrating that one here! }

Some people might call it over the top that we celebrate so much here, but I assure you that it's really not.  On a *very* small budget, we celebrate so much in our house because these celebrations are all about making memories with our kids.  

When our boys grow up, if I hear them tell a single story to their kids about our silly traditions, I'll be a proud Mama.  If I see them re-create one of our fun celebrations with their kids, I'll be over the moon and cry happy tears.  

I used to be in MOPS {Mothers of Preschoolers}, a fabulous organization that reaches out to Moms with little ones, encouraging them, inspiring them, and lifting up these Moms.  I remember one guest speaker in particular who talked about making memories with her family and that stuck with me.  She talked about having a pirate dinner night where the food was nothing out of the ordinary, but by wearing silly eye patches, eating on pirate themed party plates, and talking like pirates it transformed their ordinary weekday dinner into something magical.  And that is the kind of Mom I knew I already was, but thanks to her I realized that it wasn't about just being silly... it was about creating lifelong memories and family connections through these fun little celebrations.

On a budget of about $20, we had a fabulous Chinese New Year celebration last night that included decorations {some that will stay up for Valentine's Day because I purposely bought plain red rather than the decorations with Chinese characters on them}, special napkins and chopsticks, fortune cookies, dragon cupcakes, and party favors for the boys.  

Our dinner was something already on the menu for the week {orange chicken, rice, and salad} so I'm not including that in my $20 total because we would've eaten dinner anyway :)

Red balloons were hung to look like lanterns {leftover from a previous party and will stay up for Valentine's Day}

{Fortune cookies from Target that I dipped in chocolate and red sprinkles that were also leftover from another party... these were so good with the chocolate!}

Our table set-up... I've had the red placements for years, bought the red paper plates, napkins, and chopsticks.   The cake stand is new- it's white like most of our dishes so I can use them for many different occasions, and the boys helped decorate with plastic pandas from their toys.  The takeout boxes had an orange from our backyard and some chocolate gold coins, both symbols of good luck for Chinese New Year.

I made the dragon cupcakes from a boxed cake mix and frosted them myself.  The boys loved them!  The idea is from Hoosier Homemade.

Place settings also included real glasses {a rare treat for these boys} with cherry 7-up, a *very* rare treat here!  We went around the table and said our goals for the new year and toasted our 7-up.  

Cheers! Here are our goals for 2012...

Sam:  To learn Karate and Science
Jake: To make great train tracks
Ben: To spend more time doing fun things with us
Me:  To have more balance in my life and be better at making dinner
Luke:  To continue being the cutest little guy in the world {he'll have some competition come May when his baby brother arrives!}

Ignore that Valentine's Day ribbon on the cake stand... I didn't bother changing it because 1- it was red, and 2- I knew no one besides me would even notice it.

We drew names to see who got to eat the dragon head... Jake won and then decided it had too much frosting :)

I loved this fortune... 

For me, life isn't always what I've thought it would be like when I was growing up.  As our kids grow up, they will realize that more and more too.  Having a strong family unit and fun memories to reflect on will surely help them realize how important they are and how loved they are.  I believe it will help them "ride with the waves." And sometimes, even though life doesn't go the way we think it will, sometimes it's even better than we imagined.  "Smooth seas lie ahead."

Ohhh, and after dinner we watched a Kung Fu Karate show in the family room {courtesy of Sam and Jake} followed by a family game night of Ker-Plunk.  Jake is the funniest because he thinks the goal is to make the MOST marbles fall.

What family traditions are most important to you and your family?  

Any fun, different traditions that you 
celebrate with your kids?  

I would LOVE to read about them!  Feel free to leave a comment or a link to a blog post... I'd love to stop by your blog and check it out. 


Monday, January 23, 2012

Red Burlap Bubble Wreath

I love making wreaths, especially with burlap.  It's like therapy for me somehow.  So when I found RED burlap recently, I was thrilled and quickly made two red Valentine's Day wreaths that same day I bought the burlap.  

I kind of ran out of burlap on this one because I still need to add some "bubbles" on the sides, but I couldn't wait any longer to show it to you, so here she is... my version of a Bubble Burlap Wreath! 
Hopefully will make it back to Jo Ann's to buy more soon 
{raise your hand if you wish Target sold more craft supplies... 2 hands up here!}  
My inspiration came from this bubble burlap wreath from Today's Fabulous Finds that's been around blog land and pinned a gazillion times, so I searched for the tutorial and followed it.  

For mine, I added a little pennant banner on kraft card stock glued on to jute that says "LOVE"   

  The font is Circus, a free download on  {Every time I type dafont, I think it should be called daBOMB... even though I don't actually say that, I think is really just THAT cool.}   

Oh, and here's the burlap wreath that started my burlap wreath obsession {cute boy's head not included}.  

And here is that same original one dressed up for Jake's Red Scooter Birthday Party.  I saw it pinned as a "4th of July wreath" and that got my wheels spinning on all the different ways I could use this baby!

And here's another one that I added seashells to for our Beachy Sun Room.   

See what I mean?  I love making these little cuties.  I love when I find other bloggers that love making them too!  We should start a burlap support group :)

Love is in the air here with RED burlap wreaths,

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Happy Saturday... and a giveaway winner!!

Happy Saturday!  

I was out and about playing with my boys at the zoo yesterday, acting like monkeys and hanging out with lions

so I'm a little late announcing the winner of the 
Shabby by Melissa giveaway winner...

Congratulations to Emilie!!  You're the winner :)  
An email has been sent and Emilie has 72 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.  

Thank you to all who entered and a big thank you to Melissa @ Shabby by Melissa!!  I adore her creations and I hope you'll keep her in mind for adorable, handmade items.  

Also, thank you so much to all of you following Gallamore West!  Seeing my number of followers here on the blog and on my Facebook page JUMP the last few weeks has been so exciting for me... I'm truly grateful to have each one of you here following along.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A cold morning conversation

 It was super cold this morning 
{super cold for San Diego= 37 degrees this morning... brrrr!!!}  
so Luke was bundled up and this was the conversation with his biggest brother Sam {he's 7}...

"Oh my goodness M-O-M..." 
{because when you're 7 you spell M-O-M instead of saying Mommy or even Mom anymore}

 "He is soooo cute I could cry!"

"I mean, he is soooo cute I could just eat him up!"

"I mean, not seriously.... you know?"

"Yeah Buddy, I know."

And then it warmed up to 70 degrees and off came the hat!

  I hope wherever you are, sunny or snowy, that you have a great day and find a sweet little moment to enjoy today. 


p.s.  I should clean Luke's chair :)


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