Hello crafty friends! Nicole here, excited to be guest blogging today on the FSJ blog – something I haven’t done since 2014! It’s Memorial Day Weekend – the official start of summer, for most a 3-day weekend (yes!) and most importantly, a time to reflect and honor those who have sacrificed so much for us to enjoy the freedoms and privileges that we as Americans enjoy.
In that spirit, I can think of no better time to share with you a bit more about a recent activity that Reagan and I did, and to challenge you to do the same. Many of you have already seen glimmers of this during our Easy Breezy Launch Party, but for those that haven’t, let me give you a little history.
Last year, Reagan wanted to start doing karate. Despite the early Saturday morning wakeups, I loved it and so did she. Like me, my child is among the clumsiest people you will ever meet, so the hand-eye coordination required for executing the moves was good for her. But better than that, her karate teacher spent a good portion of time teaching them the non-physical aspects: respect, responsibility, service, and confidence. These are the aspects that resonated strongly with Reagan, who, by nature, is a very rule-abiding child. One of her karate homework assignments last year was focused on service and challenged the kids to do random acts of kindness. Reagan embraced this and one of the acts she wanted to do was bake cookies for the local firemen. I called ahead to make sure they could accept the cookies (who knows anymore?) and we headed down the road – just a 5 minute drive. As luck would have it, as we pulled in, the truck was pulling out. We couldn’t let our freshly baked cookies go to waste, so took them next door to the police station, who happily accepted our gift.
Fast forward to this spring. Reagan and I were driving home one afternoon – passing the fire station – and she noted “Mom, we still owe cookies to the firemen.” (Those kids have great memories, don’t they?) She was right, so we went to action to bake up some yummy cookies and to put our crafty spin on it too. Two things Reagan loves (besides making slime of course) is baking and crafting! Kim loved the idea of capturing it for our Easy Breezy Spring launch party, so Roy and Kim joined us as we baked up yummy chocolate chip cookies and then used our crafty supplies to package them up and decorate the boxes (because presentation is important too!)
Would you like to see our baking and crafting fun?
I used one of my tried and true recipes that I received from a friend years ago. They are called “Neiman Marcus cookies”… not sure if they originally were sold at Neiman Marcus or are just called that because they are so rich and delicious. Anyway, here’s the recipe, should you be inclined to try them. And don’t skimp on the grated chocolate – they MAKE these cookies!
Neiman Marcus Cookies
2 ½ cups oats
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
12oz chocolate chips
1 8oz Hershey bar, grated
Grind the oats in a food processor until they are a fine powder. Cream the butter and sugar, then add eggs and vanilla and mix together. Stir together dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder & salt and add slowly to butter mixture. Add chocolate chips, then add in grated chocolate. Roll into 1” balls and place on cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes or until golden brown. Makes a lot!
After baking, we packaged up the cookies in our Window Boxes with a little shred, then tied them up with satin ribbon (Catalina Splash and Candy Apple) and adhered a cute tag to each. We cut the tags out of the Tag Set Steel Rule Die (love it because you can cut a bunch of tags out at a time!) and embellished with stars and stripes – stars cut from our Star-Dom Die Set and strips simply cut with the paper trimmer. We then used the All You Do ATS to add a message because the sentiments are perfect.
Then came time to deliver! Reagan had a great time handing off the cookies to the firemen that greeted us at the door and thanked them “for taking care of our world.”
Would you like to see a few snippets of our cookie delivery?
And now, to the challenge: the summer is a perfect time to get crafty with your kiddos, grandkids, friends or other family and then to SHARE your crafty goodies with others. We want to hear your stories! As crafters, our handmade creations bring such joy to others and I encourage you to reach out to your community to share your creativity. Happy Memorial Day everyone, and welcome summer 2019!