Days of Chalk and Chocolate

Friday, November 27, 2015

Christmas Link Party!



It's Christmas season! Woo Hoo! And what better way to kick off this festive time but with a Christmas Link Up! I am partnering with some of my favorite bloggers to provide you  with 4 weeks of holiday ideas!

Week 1: Christmas trees
Week 2: Home Tour
Week 3: Gifts
Week 4: Holiday Food and Recipes

Your hosts:

I hope you'll visit a few of these blogs too!

Rules of the link up: 
1. Please link to a specific post on your blog, not your blog’s home page.You may link up to 3 posts per blog.

 2. Please leave a comment for your host, remember it's a party!

3. Please be sure to visit a couple of other blogs and leave comments.

 4. No Etsy stores, giveaways or other link parties allowed.

5. Please link with a text link or party button to your host.

6. By submitting a link, you’re giving us permission and granting us the right to feature your project and photos on this blog, website and on social media. We will always give proper credit and a link back to your post.

 7. Each week, a few of our favorites will be featured on our blogs. Features will also be pinned to our Christmas Link Up Pinterest Board for even more exposure! If you were featured, be sure to grab a button!

I can't wait to see what  you link up!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Last Minute Thanksgiving Decor: Placecard Free Printable

Thanksgiving is practically here and if you want something to jazz up your holiday table I have just the thing. I made these cute little placecards that you can simply print, cut, and place! I used regular printer paper but card stock would work the best.  Click the link below to download and print.

You will need to cut each out so there is a side for the name and then a plain white side. You can see in the picture below how I cut. You will end up with 8 placecards per page.

Here are some more Thanksgiving ideas!  

Have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Free Christmas & Holiday Printables

This is a post and run! I fiddled with making some holiday printables this weekend and thought I would share. Click on the links under each picture to download and print. They are all sized for 8x10.  Stick them in a frame and voila! Christmas!




Monday, November 16, 2015

How To Create A Pie Tasting Bar! Holiday Entertaining

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ShareTheJoyOfPie #CollectiveBias

Create a sweet pie bar complete with mini tasting servings of your favorite flavors and whipped topping!

 It is so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of the holidays, isn't it?  Shopping, wrapping, baking, is overwhelming at times. Slowing down on an afternoon with friends after a full day of shopping is the perfect way to savor the season and what better way to do that but with a sweet treat!  A pie tasting party is the perfect way to share the joy of pie!

I want my pie bar to be delicious but easy and affordable so buying my pies at Walmart makes sense.  I only ever buy Marie Callender's® Dessert Pies because I think they taste the best and the closest to homemade. There are so many varieties to choose from too!

 I found them in the frozen dessert section of the freezer aisles. I also scooped up a few cans of Reddi-Wip® whipped topping with which to crown my sweet tastings!

If you cannot keep your pies refrigerated on your pie bar I suggest choosing the non-cream pies such as the fruit or nut flavors. I chose Dutch Apple, Cherry Crunch, and Southern Pecan. Ok, fine..I bought a Razzleberry one too but that one is just for us! (Shhhhhh)

The next step is to create a pretty presentation. I want my guests to feel pampered and special after battling crowds!  One of my favorite tips for entertaining is to use good quality wrapping paper as a runner/table covering. It looks pretty, saves your tablecloths from stains, is affordable, and can be thrown away for easy clean up.

Next, after baking and cooling the pies, I cut them into squares instead of wedges. This allows me to easily slide pieces of pie into my cute little cups. I like to use clear cups so we can all see the gorgeous fruit and fillings.

pie-whipped cream-christmas-entertaining

 If you don't have a tiered dessert tray on which to serve your pie tastings you can place the cups onto pretty platters instead. I think it is helpful to label the flavors so everyone knows what they are tasting and can go back for their favorites easily.

pie-whipped cream-christmas-entertaining

Don't forget to provide a large can of Reddi-Wip® whipped topping!  It is the perfect complement to Marie Callender's® Dessert Pies.

pie-whipped cream-christmas-entertaining
pie-whipped cream-christmas-entertaining

In addition to the pie selection, be sure to include some festive beverages!  Eggnog with a flurry of cinnamon and glistening champagne are always holiday favorites.

pie-whipped cream-christmas-entertaining

If you happen to have pie leftover the next day (but really, who has leftover pie?) I have a super easy recipe for you!  Cherry Crunch Pie Ice Cream!


Cherry Crunch Pie Ice Cream

1 pint high quality vanilla ice cream
1/4 Marie Callender's Cherry Crunch Pie or about 1.5 cups

1. Soften the vanilla ice cream in a large bowl or beat it in a stand mixture using the paddle attachment until soft.
2. Break up the pie into small pieces and stir it into the softened ice cream.
3. Spoon cherry crunch pie ice cream into an air tight container or in a dish covered with plastic wrap. Freeze until firm.

pie-whipped cream-christmas-entertaining

My daughters DEMOLISHED this ice cream!  It was so delicious and I am planning on using the Southern Pecan Pie next time.


You can find a ton of ideas to share the joy of pie, recipes, and print money savings coupons here .  What would your favorite pie flavored ice cream be?

You can stay in touch with ConAgra Foods on Facebook, Twitter: @ConAgraFoods, Instagram: @ConAgraFoods, and Pinterest,


Monday, November 9, 2015

How To Host A Neighborhood Open House

While certain stores are telling us it is Christmas time (I'm looking at you, um, every store) the truth is that it is fall and I am celebrating it by showing you, my lovely readers,  my pictures from a Halloween/Fall open house we hosted for our neighborhood. Open houses are a fantastic way to entertain because the times are fixed and YOU get to fix those times!


1. First I created a simple invitation/flyer. This was stuffed into everyone's mailbox in our neighborhood. I made sure to let our invitees know that they were not obligated to come at a specific time during that 2 hour window and they could stay as long as they liked. I also put that it would be held outside so people could dress appropriately. I did this quickly and could have lined it up perfectly blah blah blah but I didn't because life.  You will though.


2. Everyone knows the most important of every party (after your guests, right?) is the food!  Open houses need food that doesn't need to be piping hot, frozen, or eaten in a certain window of time since everyone will be eating at different times. Slow cookers are a must for anything hot you may decide to serve but I try to think of finger foods (no utensils!) that are both kid and adult friendly and need no preparation.This is not the time for Great Grandma's sardine souffle.



brownies-popcorn-cotton candy



Placing food in its own one-serving container makes it easy for guests to eat, mingle, and play.

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Offer enough beverages that people have a choice but not a whole bar. I like to have two alcoholic options and two non-alcoholic options. This year we had a slow cooker of hot chocolate that could be "warmed up" with brandy or Irish cream if one was so inclined. This is easy entertaining so offering a whole fancy hot cocoa bar was not happening but a pretty dish of marshmallows is a must!

halloween-fall-hot chocolate

We also offered cold beer, water, and apple cider.  Tags on the straws on which guests can write their names ensures no cup mix ups.


3. Games or an activity is a also a must if you are hosting a party with children. We put out a few lawn games such as ladder ball and bean bag tosses.  A fun party activity is tying donuts to the trees and the kids have to eat them without their hands. And when the donuts are gone they can just climb the tree, apparently.


or the kids can just eat the donuts like my sweet fox, Ellie.

4. Decorations can set a festive mood but don't need to be extravagant. I used a tablecloths I already had and I topped them with a yard of burlap. I grabbed a few decorations from my mantel and put them on the table too. I found the cute sparkly bat pics at the craft store and my decorations were done!  Jim moved our mums to the tables too but again, we already had those. No fuss stuff.

Pixie photobombed me. Stinker.

5. Lastly, as a host it is your job to mingle and bring people together who may not know each other. Remember to introduce people or to introduce yourself to new faces. You are obligated to make your guests as comfortable as possible! Walk around and ask if anyone needs a refill, invite guests to help themselves to food, play a game or two to get the kids started, and make room on your table for any offerings your guests may bring. 

My neighbor baked and decorated these cookies. Aren't they fab?

Open house entertaining is a carefree way to bring friends and family together!


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Holiday Baking: Pumpkin Eggnog Chiffon Tart

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NestleHolidayBaking #CollectiveBias

Thanksgiving is always a special holiday but for our family it is one of the only quiet moments in the middle of craziness to just enjoy each other.  Between Molly's birthday being on Halloween and our travels during Christmas, the fall and winter tend to extra hectic. But Thanksgiving is the holiday in which we stay home and savor our time together.

We like to plan our menu together as a family and while we generally stick with tradition we do sometimes like to bring something new to the table. This Thanksgiving I am serving a luscious, velvety Pumpkin Eggnog Chiffon Tart! It is a perfect way to end our holiday meal! (I will admit that I spent a long time getting ideas from the Flavorful Moments Pinterest board!)


My mother taught me to make pumpkin pie only using LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin, 15oz and NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk, 15oz and I made sure to use them for this recipe too.  LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin, 15oz is all natural and contains no preservatives so it is perfect for all kinds of yummy sweet or savory recipes! And what is fall without the flavor of pumpkin?

Finding all the ingredients at Walmart was easy as they had a baking kiosk set up near the seasonal section showcasing everything one may need for holiday baking. I found the pumpkin, evaporated milk, and NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Pumpkin Spice Morsels (remember to buy more than one since this is a seasonal item!) all in this area and in the baking aisle as well.

Now I was ready to create a sweet masterpiece, Pumpkin Eggnog Chiffon Tart! Doesn't that sound like holiday to you?  There is a printable version of the recipe below too.


It is delicious and very light despite the luxurious ingredients. The pumpkin comes through in just the right amount and the eggnog is the perfect compliment.  I garnished it with NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Pumpkin Spice Morsels which looked festive and gave it just a little extra spice!  Everyone loved it!




High quality ingredients ensure the best tasting results and you know you can trust NESTLÉ® products! Be sure to check out more delicious holiday recipes on the Flavorful Moments Pinterest board and The Very Best Baking Pinterest board!

You can also find new products and recipe ideas by liking Nestle Toll House on Facebook 
and following NESTLÉ® on Instagram.

I love hearing from readers....what are some of your favorite sweet holiday desserts?


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

DIY Halloween Decor: Potion Bottles

We are hosting an outdoor Halloween open house for our neighborhood this Saturday!  It isn't anything fancy, just some donuts, cider, and some spiked hot chocolate but I still wanted it to be festive and spooky. I thought a few potion bottles leftover from some witches that partied the night before may be in order!

Using transfers I bought at the dollar store made these cheap and easy. I'll be honest, I had started making my own but when I found these I figured half my work was done. The transfers work just like those temporary tattoos we all say we will never let our kids use but always do anyway.

The bottles are a collection of empties I accumulated but to jazz them up and to make them look like old mercury glass I first sprayed the inside with mirror finish spray paint.  I let it drip and splatter, not fully covering the inside.  Once that was dry, I swirled green, purple, or black acrylic craft paint inside to create a different color effect with the mirror finish. I love how they came out!

With some old books and a plastic skull, my table decorations are done!


If you still need a Halloween treat idea, you may like my Halloween cookie decorating ideas!  No talent necessary!