Tag Archives: Christmas

candy cane star

Candy Cane Star Wreath

I love the way this wreath forms a star.  All you need are 10 candy canes, 5 peppermint mints, some ribbon, and a hot glue gun.

candy cane star

Start off by gluing two candy canes together to form a heart, using a dab of glue at each of the two points where the candy canes meet.

glue hearts

Repeat until you have 5 hearts.

Shape the hearts into a star following the visual below. You form a star into the center of the larger star – I love that.

candy cane star put together

Hot glue the star together.

Hot glue the mints to the tips of the star.

glue on mints

Add a large ribbon by which to hang the wreath.

candy cane star

Hallee


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candy cane wreath

Candy Cane Wreath

This was SO EASY to make.  All you need is 20 candy canes, some ribbon, some form of support, a decoration for the center, and a hot glue gun.

candy cane wreath

Start off by gluing two candy canes into a heart, with a small dab of glue on the two spots where the two canes meet.

glue hearts

Make 10 hearts like that.

candy cane hearts

Next, glue the hearts together, just with small dabs of glue, to form a circle.

glue canes togetherprogress of canes

canes in wreath

When I made this, I realized that it was flimsy and needed some support.  Since it was 6AM on the morning I had to take them as teacher’s gifts, I used what I had on hand — the cardboard backing of the ribbon spool.

ribbon container cardboard ripped offadd glue to cardboard glue on back

Once I glued the backing on, I flipped the wreath over and, just for decoration, tied ribbon around where each candy cane met back-to-back.

turn over

I glued a poinsettia flower into the center of the wreath to hide the fact that I’d used the cardboard of a spool of ribbon to support it.

add flower

Finally, I tied a larger ribbon around the top to use to hang it.

candy cane wreath

Very easy, very fun, and the perfect Christmas gift.

 

Hallee


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The Ultimate Romantic Suspense Christmas Giveaway

Nothing says Christmas like a warm fire, a cozy blanket, a nice rich cup of hot cocoa, and….

A crazy stalker killer or a nuclear espionage plot!

christmas giveaway tall

Enter to win a gift basket that contains Godiva hot cocoa and four mugs, along with books 1 and 2 in my Song of Suspense series, A Melody for James and An Aria for Nick.
melodyforjamesfinal2.7A Melody for James

Melody and James lead separate lives of discord until an unexpected meeting brings them to a sinister realization. Unbeknownst to them, dark forces have directed their lives from the shadows, orchestrating movements that keep them in disharmony. Fire, loss, and bloodshed can’t shake their faith in God to see them through as they face a percussive climax that will leave lives forever changed.

An Aria for Nick: book 2 in the Song of Suspense seriesAn Aria for Nick, Book 2 in the Song of Suspense Series
Aria Suarez uncovers a nuclear plot that threatens the heart of our very nation. Sinister forces surround and threaten her when, out of nowhere, the man who reportedly died so many years before returns as if from the grave – intent on protecting her. Has God finally joined them together? Or is Aria doomed to mourn Nick Williams twice?

One winner will receive autographed copies of both books and the Godiva cocoa tower!

There are 7 ways to enter to win this giveaway worth over $60. The Rafflecopter will take you through each entry. International entries are always welcome.

  1. Leave a comment on this blog telling me what your favorite part of Christmas is.
  2. Read my FREE novella, Christmas Diamond, and leave a review either on this blog or on Amazon or Goodreads.
  3. Follow me on Twitter here.
  4. Tweet about this giveaway, adding @halleeb to the tweet. You can do this entry daily.
  5. Subscribe to my RSS feed here.
  6. Sign up for my newsletter here.
  7. Like Hallee Bridgeman, Novelist, on Facebook here.

Good luck! This giveaway ends on December 13, 2013, at 5PM EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Gingerbread Cookies

Christmas Baking Planning

I have a confession to make: I barely baked last Christmas at all.  I did gifts for Scott’s teacher, and that’s about it.
This year, my intention is to do my mammoth baking that I’ve enjoyed in the past.  I want to make cookies and candies and breads and just have a blast doing it.  But, to incorporate something like that into my schedule, it takes some planning and some time. With just three weeks until Christmas, and only two full weeks of school left, it’s time to get to planning!
I love giving my friends delicious homemade treats as a Christmas gift. I used to do it while I worked full time, and would spend and entire Saturday and most of a Sunday baking and cooking and cleaning and mixing. Over the years, I’ve learned how to space the work out so that it’s not so frantic and exhausting.

Candy

My fudge recipe was given to my grandmother in 1946. A friend brought a plate of fudge to a Christmas party at church, and wrote the recipe down on the back of a church bulletin. The only thing that I changed was to remove the margarine from the recipe and replace it with half butter and half coconut oil. This fudge is amazing — it’s even better with homemade marshmallow cream.

We call this Captain Crunch Candy. I don’t know what the original name was, or where my mother got the recipe. However, I remember eating this every single Christmas of my life. It’s amazing and a favorite in our goodie baskets we make for friends.

This year I tried my hand at a layered Jell-O recipe. The Christmas Jello Stars were so festive and so good.

Cookies

Now that Gregg is home, he is in charge of making Gregg’s Gingerbread Cookies. He will make them at night, and have the dough ready to go the next morning. This is a huge batch – plenty for Christmas gift giving, or for a gingerbread house decorating party. We use Gregg’s Quick & Easy Royal Icing when we decorate them.

I grew up making Traditional Sugar Cookies at Christmas time. My mom would have them baked and ready for when I came home from high school, and I would decorate them with Buttercream Frosting – colored all different colors. We had a variety of sprinkles and imperials. I’d pull out my decorating tips and bags and spend hours on Christmas trees and angels, making each one perfect. The flavor combination of the sugar cookie and frosting is wonderful, and they are always so pretty in gift baskets.

Kaylee tried a new recipe last year – Engaging Eggnog Cookies. She sandwiched the cookies with Engaging Eggnog Icing. They were so yummy and will now be part of our Christmas gift baskets.

I love my spritz cookie press. You can bake a pan of spritz cookies in no time. I have a butter recipe and a chocolate recipe. I like to make the wreaths and dip them in white or dark chocolate, then sprinkle them with Christmas imperials. The Christmas trees are also awesome to make – just sprinkle them with green sugar and you’re good to go.

I also came across this tip on how to decorate Christmas sugar cookies.

I have a fresh ground flour/sweetened with honey sugar cookie that I fell in love with last year.  I’ll get the recipe posted early this year so that you can have a real-food option for baking.

Breads

I love making miniature loaves of breads for my gift baskets that I hand out to friends and families. Two recipes that are a must each year are Shannon’s Banana Bread and Delicious Cranberry Nut Bread.

This year, I will also be making loaves of my Whole Wheat Honey Oatmeal Bread.

Cakes

red velvet cakeI have a miniature bundt cake pan set. I make Heavenly Red Velvet Cakes and just drizzle them with mascarpone cheese frosting.

And a new try this year: Red Velvet Cake Roll. Heavenly. It would be a perfect gift to accompany with Pumpkin Roll.

Once you have your lists made, go ahead and stock up on the supplies. A lot of the cookies and breads can be made ahead of time and frozen.

During the remaining weeks leading up to Christmas, I’ll be making breads, cakes, candies, and cookies, getting ready to put the baskets together.

Do you give homemade treats as gifts? What are you making for Christmas?

 

Hallee


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
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jesus tomb

Jesus, Yeshua, God With Us

During the Christmas season, in many households and many communities, the focus is on Jesus — specifically on baby Jesus.  While it’s exciting to think about God the Son becoming flesh and dwelling with us, we often focus so much on the infant child and forget the absolute magnitude of Jesus – Yeshua – God With Us.  He is almighty and all powerful, and He IS the common thread sewn throughout the Bible.

Our church’s Christmas production focused on the power of the name of Jesus, and the following is pulled from that production.  This is one of those that should be printed out and saved – a reminder of the glory of God and the Eternal presence of our Christ.

No Other Name

by: Mike Speck and Cliff Duren

In Genesis: He is Creator – for all things were made by Him.

In Exodus: He is the Deliverer – the Passover Lamb.

In Leviticus: He is the Great High Priest – our eternal sacrifice.

In Numbers: Jesus is the Trusted Guide – the cloud in the daytime and the pillar of fire in the darkness of night.

In Deuteronomy: He is the Prophet who is greater than Moses.

In Joshua: He is the Captain of our salvation…the One who leads us into the Promised Land.

In Judges: He is both Judge and Lawgiver.

In Ruth: He is our Kinsman Redeemer.

In Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles: He is the Prophet of the Lord and the Reigning King.

In Ezra: He is the One who fulfills His promises.

In Nehemiah: He is the rebuilder of the broken and torn down walls in our lives.

In Esther: He reveals the providence of God.

In Job: He is our Ever-Living Redeemer.

In Psalms: He is our Shepherd and our Song.

In Proverbs: He is wisdom.

In Ecclesiastes: Jesus in our holy hope.

In Song of Solomon: He’s the Bridegroom, the Ros of Sharon, the Lily of the Valley, the Lover of my soul.

In Isaiah: He is Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

in Jeremiah & Lamentations: He is the Potter who puts our broken lives back together again.

In Ezekiel: He’s the Watchman of our soul and our High Tower.

Creation: Moonrise, Moon over EarthIn Daniel: He’s the 4th man in the fiery furnace.

In Hosea: He’s the Faithful Forgiver and Everlasting Love.

In Joel: He is the One who pours out His spirit on all flesh.

In Amos: He is our burden bearer.

In Obadiah: He’s our Savior.

In Jonah: He is merciful and full of grace.

In Micah: He is the Ruler called out of Bethlehem.

In Nahum: Jesus is our Avenger.

In Habakkuk: He is the One who justifies by faith.

In Zephaniah: Jesus is the Lord mighty to save.

In Haggai: He is our Stronghold in a day of trouble.

In Zechariah: He is the One whose feet will stand in that day on the Mount of Olives as King over all the earth.

In Malachi: He’s the Son of Righteousness, rising with healing in His wings.

In Matthew: He’s Messiah and King.

In Mark: He’s the Wonder-Worker.

In Luke: He’s the Son of Man.

In John: He’s the Son of God.

In Acts: He’s our Ascended Lord.

Resurrected Jesus ChristIn Romans: He’s our Salvation.

In 1st & 2nd Corinthians: He is Redeemer and the Lord of Glory.

In Galatians: He’s the One who sets us free.

In Ephesians: He’s our Chief Cornerstone.

In Philippians: He’s the God who meets our every need.

In Colossians: He’s the Hope of Glory.

In 1st & 2nd Thessalonians: He’s our Soon-Coming King.

In 1st & 2nd Timothy: He’s the Mediator between God and man.

In Titus: He’s our Great God and Savior.

In Philemon: He’s the Friend that sticks closer than a brother.

In Hebrews: He’s the Blood that washes away my sins.

In James: He’s the Great Physician.

In 1st & 2nd Peter: He’s the Chief Shepherd.

In 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Hohn: He is our Righteousness, Trutyh, and Love.

In Jude: He is the Lord coming with 10,000 saints.

And in Revelation: Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End…the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

Wherefore God has highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: That the name of Yeshua (Jesus) every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.  Philippians 2:9-10

 

Hallee


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
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Santa Cupcakes

Planning for Christmas Baking

As I write this, it’s December 13th and we have just under two weeks to prepare for our Christmas baking gift giving. This is a tradition my mother taught me, and something I look forward to and plan for every single year.
I love giving my friends delicious homemade treats as a Christmas gift. I used to do it while I worked full time, and would spend and entire Saturday and most of a Sunday baking and cooking and cleaning and mixing. Over the years, I’ve learned how to space the work out so that it’s not so frantic and exhausting.
However, I found myself writing a book during peak holiday planning time instead of planning, prepping, and blogging for/about Christmas baking.  So, here it is, a week later than usual, but still on time to make amazing gifts in the coming weeks:

Candy

My fudge recipe was given to my grandmother in 1946. A friend brought a plate of fudge to a Christmas party at church, and wrote the recipe down on the back of a church bulletin. The only thing that I changed was to remove the margarine from the recipe and replace it with half butter and half coconut oil. This fudge is amazing — it’s even better with homemade marshmallow cream.

We call this Captain Crunch Candy. I don’t know what the original name was, or where my mother got the recipe. However, I remember eating this every single Christmas of my life. It’s amazing and a favorite in our goodie baskets we make for friends.

This year I tried my hand at a layered Jell-O recipe.  The Christmas Jello Stars were so festive and so good.

Cookies

Now that Gregg is home, he is in charge of making Gregg’s Gingerbread Cookies. He will make them at night, and have the dough ready to go the next morning. This is a huge batch – plenty for Christmas gift giving, or for a gingerbread house decorating party. We use Gregg’s Quick & Easy Royal Icing when we decorate them.

I grew up making Traditional Sugar Cookies at Christmas time. My mom would have them baked and ready for when I came home from high school, and I would decorate them with Buttercream Frosting – colored all different colors. We had a variety of sprinkles and imperials. I’d pull out my decorating tips and bags and spend hours on Christmas trees and angels, making each one perfect. The flavor combination of the sugar cookie and frosting is wonderful, and they are always so pretty in gift baskets.

Kaylee tried a new recipe last year – Engaging Eggnog Cookies. She sandwiched the cookies with Engaging Eggnog Icing. They were so yummy and will now be part of our Christmas gift baskets.

I love my spritz cookie press. You can bake a pan of spritz cookies in no time. I have a butter recipe and a chocolate recipe. I like to make the wreaths and dip them in white or dark chocolate, then sprinkle them with Christmas imperials. The Christmas trees are also awesome to make – just sprinkle them with green sugar and you’re good to go.

I also came across this tip on how to decorate Christmas sugar cookies.

Breads

I love making miniature loaves of breads for my gift baskets that I hand out to friends and families. Two recipes that are a must each year are Shannon’s Banana Bread and Delicious Cranberry Nut Bread.

This year, I will also be making loaves of my Whole Wheat Honey Oatmeal Bread.

Cakes

I have a miniature bundt cake pan set. I make Heavenly Red Velvet Cakes and just drizzle them with mascarpone cheese frosting.

And a new try this year: Red Velvet Cake Roll.  Heavenly.

Something the kids have loved in the past, and that I’ve taken to Kaylee’s school for her Christmas parties all through elementary school are my Santa Cupcakes and Reindeer Cupcakes. They are way easier to make than they look.

Once you have your lists made, go ahead and stock up on the supplies. A lot of the cookies and breads can be made ahead of time and frozen.

During the remaining weeks leading up to Christmas, I’ll be making breads, cakes, candies, and cookies, getting ready to put the baskets together.

Do you give homemade treats as gifts? What are you making for Christmas?

 

Hallee


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


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stars

Christmas Jello Stars

Christmas Jello Stars

These were so much fun to make.  The flavors worked really well together and it looked incredibly festive on the platter. They were gone within minutes at a church potluck dinner. Be prepared, though.  It takes a little over 2 hours of regular (20 to 25-minute intervals) working with it.

INGREDIENTS:

2 2-ounce package green Jello
1 2-ounce package red Jello
1 2-ounce package yellow Jello
6 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
5¾ cups boiling water (used separately over stretches of time)
¼ cup cold water

SUPPLIES:

Measuring cups
small glass or ceramic bowls
spoons
larger bowl
small amount of oil and paper towel

PREPARATION:

Bring water to a boil

Using a small amount of oil on a paper towel, grease the inside of the pan.

DIRECTIONS:

Mix package of green Jello and one envelope of unflavored gelatin.  Add one cup boiling water.  Stir about two minutes or until dissolved.  Pour into the pan.  Refrigerate until set, but not firm — about 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, sprinkle two envelopes of unflavored gelatin over ¼ cup cold water.  Let stand for 1 minute.  Stir in ¾ cup boiling water.

In another bowl, mix condensed milk with one cup boiling water.

Add the gelatin mixture to the milk mixture and stir.

Pour 1 ¼ cup of the milk/gelatin mixture over the first layer and refrigerate until set, but not firm — about 25 minutes.

Mix the red Jello with one packet of unflavored gelatin and one cup boiling water.  Stir about 2 minutes or until dissolved.  Pour into the pan and refrigerate until set, but not firm — about 20 minutes.

Pour 1 ¼ cup of the milk/gelatin mixture into pan and refrigerate until set but not firm — about 25 minutes.

Mix the remaining package of green Jello with 1 package of unflavored gelatin and 1 cup boiling water.  Stir 2 minutes or until dissolved.  Pour into the pan and refrigerate until firm but not set — about 20 minutes.

Pour the remaining milk/gelatin mixture into the pan and refrigerate until set but not firm — about 25 minutes.

Mix the yellow Jello with 1 packet of unflavored gelatin and one cup boiling water.  Stir 2 minutes or until dissolved.  Pour into the pan and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

When it is fully set, cut into star shapes with a small cookie cutter.

Serve.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

 

YIELD:

Depends on the size of the cutter.  My instructions said to cut into 1-inch squares — that would yield 117 servings.  I got about 20 stars and a whole bunch of scraps that my kids have been eating off of — and they love the scraps as much as the stars.

~*~
~*~
NOTES:

I would love to hear any feedback about this recipe. Did you make it? Did you enjoy it? Did you make any adjustments to it?

Hallee


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!

 


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christmas bundle

Online Deal & the Autograph is Free!

Looking for the perfect gift to give that special someone in your life? How about a gift of love, romance, adventure, and stories of the amazing grace offered by God?

I have had a ton of people write me and ask if it was possible to get autographed copies of the Jewel Trilogy to give as gifts and the answer is…YES! Of course!

You can purchase any or all of the trilogy for $9 per book, plus shipping. I know there are authors who charge you to sign the books, but I do not. I am happy to sign them and to personalize them.

If you order now, you may have time to even have them shipped media mail, which, if you order all three, will save you about $10 over priority mail. I am happy to ship anywhere — just understand that some international shipping rates are expensive.

Email me at hallee@bridgemanfamily.com — let me know what you want, how many, and I will give you my paypal information. Please note that I will package them, weigh them, determine price, and let you know the total; but I cannot ship until I receive the paypal payment.

Merry Christmas!

Hallee


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


 

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picture source

Thinking of Christmas in June

One of the easiest things I’ve ever made homemade is homemade vanilla extract .

picture source: http://www.couponsaregreat.net

The instructions to make it are found by following this link.

You literally cut vanilla beans in half, length-wise, then put them in a mason jar filled with clear alcohol — like vodka or Everclear.  That’s it.

Homemade vanilla extract makes a beautiful gift come Christmastime.  It’s something most people don’t think to make or know how to make, and the pure, real stuff is expensive.  Put it in a neat little jar and you have an easy, loved, homemade gift.

But, it takes a while to make it.  You can’t pop beans into alcohol and the next day have it ready.  It takes MONTHS to steep.

Hence this little reminder.

If you want to give homemade vanilla extract to your friends and family for Christmas this year, you need to go ahead and make it now.

Your friends and family will LOVE it!

 

Hallee


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


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