Marshmallow Sweet Tree Tutorial

Imagine something that no only looks good as a gift but tastes yummy too.

Sweet trees are a very popular gift to give to friends and family who have a sweet tooth. They are easy to make but do take a little time to put together and you do need a little patience. They are ideal gifts for teachers, birthdays, weddings and even Easter as an alternative to a chocolate egg. Designed to make look like a tree but instead of leaves they are covered in a sweet of your choice. They are ideal to share, nibble on or devour at your pleasure and they look amazing as a centre piece for any occasion.

I recently made a marshmallow tree for a raffle a prize to raise money for Bowel Cancer. I originally wanted to add little love heart jelly sweets onto the marshmallows but after searching tons of shops I couldn’t find them anywhere so decided to change it to Giant Milky buttons and a little pearl sweet into the middle to finish it off.

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You will need:

  • A small bucket/glass
  • Plaster of paris
  • A dowel rod or some garden sticks
  • A polystyrene ball
  • Cocktail sticks
  • Coloured ribbon
  • Sweets of your choice, in this case Marshmallows (5 bags from Tesco) pink and white
  • 2 Bags of large milky buttons
  • White chocolate to melt
  • Pearlised balls from the baking isle for decorating
  • Rainbow drops to add at the bottom or any sweet of your choice

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  • Firstly you need to wrap the ribbon around your rod. I couldn’t find a wooden dowel so i used 4 garden rods and attached them together with tape. I cut them to the size that i wanted and then securing the ribbon at one end with some tape I wrapped it around the rods20170320_163022
  • I used two different types of ribbon, one to cover the whole rod and then the other to wrap around sparingly. Secure the end in place with some tape. You don’t have to go to the end as it will be stuck inside the ball and the paris.

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  • Make a whole in the polystyrene ball, about an inch deep. Just the right size for your rod to fit in. Make sure that it is very central, you don’t want a wobbly tree.

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  • Next make up your plaster of paris and pour into the bottom of your pot. I bought my plant pot from B&M. Place your rod into the paris and hold in place until it begins to set. This should take a couple of minutes. Try to be as central as you can. Leave to set overnight. If you don’t want to use plaster of paris and want a tree that can be completed eaten you could try to set your stick into chocolate but it might not last in the hot weather.

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  • Cut your cocktail sticks in half using some sharp scissors.
  • Melt some of the white chocolate in a bowl
  • Place the ball onto the stick and secure in place with some of the chocolate
  • Place a shortened cocktail stick in the centre of the top of the ball
  • Get a marshmallow and dip the smaller end into the white chocolate, just to cover the bottom and then place onto the cocktail stick. The chocolate helps the marshmallow stay in place
  • Once you have the first one in place you then need to add all of the others the same way. I did alternate colours on the rows, so one row pink and then next white and so on

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  • If the marshmallow is placed onto the ball on the smaller end then they should fit around much easier
  • Next place the chocolate buttons onto a plate and using the end of a cocktail stick place some of the melted chocolate into the centre and add-on a pearlised ball20170322_115838
  • Now begin to stick them onto the marshmallows using the melted chocolate. Again, I alternated the colours of the pearlised balls, using the white on the pink marshmallows and the pink on the white ones. This is where you need a little patience as you need to hold the button in place for a little while until the chocolate sets, otherwise they just slip off as you go around the ball towards the bottom

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  • Once they are all in place. Put some tissue paper on top of the plaster of paris inside the pot and then pour in your chosen sweet. I used rainbow drops as they went with the pale colours of the marshmallows but you can use anything even crumbled up chocolate muffin to look like mud.

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  • I added a couple of bows to the stick for decorative purpose.

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Your tree is now ready to gift to someone.

I bought some pink cellophane from the florist and a big bow and wrapped it up for the presentation. I think this type of tree would make a lovely centre piece for a wedding or even a baby shower. Something that everyone could have a nibble at around the table.

 

Hope you enjoyed reading 🙂

Comment below with what type of tree you would make or even share your picture with me if you make up this one.

 

Homemade No Churn Coconut Ice Cream

Love ice cream but you have no ice cream maker to make some in! No worries. Ice cream can be made without the use of a machine, just with a little patience

Homemade ice cream couldn’t be easier. I have always been a little worried that It wouldn’t turn out as nice as a churned ice cream but I was proved wrong last week when the eldest and I made up a batch for the first time of Coconut ice cream. It was simple to make and tasted incredibly delicious.

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Once you master the basics of making ice cream you can then go on to invent your own flavours, becoming more adventurous with the flavour and texture. I have previously tried making ice cream from bananas, which tasted lovely but i wanted to try it another way.

This recipe is so creamy and smooth. You will be making up batches every day.

You will need:

  • A tub to store your ice cream in
  • Hand held electric mixer
  • Tin of condensed milk
  • Carton of double cream
  • Tin of coconut milk
  • 1tsp Vanilla essence

Method:

  • In a bowl pour in the double cream. Using a mixer or by hand whip the double cream until it begins to thicken
  • Add in the condensed milk and whip again
  • Fold in the coconut milk
  • Add in any flavouring or colouring
  • pour into you tupperware tub and place in the freezer

The ice cream will set around the edge first so take it out after an hour and stir to combine it all. Repeat an hour later.

Leave to set over night.

You are now ready to serve up your treat

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We added banana slices into our ice cream. For my next batch I am going to try ginger and cinnamon.

Thank you for reading 🙂

Homemade Nutty Cacao chocolate, perfect for gifting

I think I may have found a recipe for the tastiest dark chocolate that has ever passed my lips. It has everything you need, dark, smooth, nutty, sweet and rich.

Chocolate doesn’t need to be a guilty pleasure with this recipe as there is no sugar added into it, yes that is correct No added sugar.

Can I tempt you in trying some?

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It is so simple to make and can be adapted to your taste by adding nuts, orange zest, Himalayan salt, dried fruit or ginger. It’s up to you!

Recipe

  • 4 heaped tbsp Raw Organic Cacao Powder
  • 4 tbsp Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup or Honey
  • 1 Tsp of vanilla extract or 1 pod
  • A selection of nuts, chopped

Method

Melt the coconut oil in a pan, add in the honey and vanilla essence. Stir together.

Once melted and combined add in the cacao powder. I used heaped tbsp not levelled. You can add more in if you feel that is too runny. To check if it is of the right consistency dip in a spoon and coat it with the mixture, leave to aside to set. This shouldn’t take too long. If the chocolate hardens it is ready. If not add more cacao and honey to thicken.

When ready pour into your desired moulds and add in any extras that you may want. At this point I added in the chopped nuts. I used almonds, brazil, macadamia and peanuts.

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I used a silicone mould as they are easy to pop out when set.

Place into the freezer to set. This should take about 10 minutes.

Once set they can be individually wrapped in cling film and stored in the fridge.

Wrap them up in cute little cellophane bags and give them away as gifts

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Let me know if you try them 🙂

Thank you for reading

 

 

Thank you for helping me grow plaque

It is the little ones last few days with his childminder before he starts full-time in school. He has been with her for 3 years and I wanted to give her a special gift that she would be able to remember him by. She has done so much for him and he really cares fo her.

I had made Thank you for helping me grow cards for the teachers at the end of the summer term and thought that it would be a great idea to try to do the same thing but in plaster.

Thank you for helping me grow is a tree with the children’s finger prints on the branches as leaves.

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Items you will need:

Resin Plaster 1kg – bought from HobbyCraft £7.99

Silicone mould – I used a 9″ cake mould

Water – to  mix in with the resin powder

Paint – brown, green and red

Small paint brush

Modelling tools

Fine line blank ink pen

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Instructions:

  • Mix the plaster resin with 1 part water to 3 parts plaster. Pour the water into a clean bowl and sprinkle on the resin powder, leave for a minute and then mix together. Pour slowly into the mould.
  • Leave aside to set. Just as the mould becomes hard, putty like, using a moulding tool inscribe the shape of the tree

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  • Now to add the thumb prints onto the branches, push down with some pressure in order to leave an imprint
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leaving his print

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  • Leave to set completely

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  • Once dry, remove from the mould. Using a thin paint brush paint in the lines of the tree and then finger print in the leaves

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Once set I wrote on his name and the date of the last day he would spend in the company of his childminder ( I say childminder but I would like to think of her as an extended part of pur family)

The finger prints and name gives more of a personal touch and hopefully she will see the love that has gone into the gift. She will be in our hearts forever and hopefully as we will be in hers.

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A gift that can be kept forever

A New Home Map Card DIY

My brother has recently moved into his new home and I wanted to give him a quirky home-made card; something that showed that I had put some thought into it, something that was little different to what you could buy in the shops, with a personal touch to it.

This is what I came up with

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You will need:

Paper

Printer

Colour Ink

Coloured card

Small Wooden Peg (I have attached a little wooden heart on to mine)

Button

Patch Liner Relief Paint ( gel ink)

Glue

Scissors

  • First I searched for the address using online Maps and I screenshot the page. I looked at a normal view and a satellite view.
  • From the screenshot, using photo editor, I cropped the area that I wanted to use and copied in onto a word document
  • I printed out the map images onto strong paper
  • Fold the coloured card into half to create a card
  • Making sure the road that the new house is on I drew out a puzzle piece onto one of the maps images and cut it out
  • I stuck the satellite image down onto the front of the card in the middle
  • I stuck the wooden peg into the top left corner of the card and pinching it open I placed the image puzzle piece in
  • I decorated the rest of the front with a single red button and wrote New Home

I loved how the card turned out, It has the personal touch and didn’t take much time to put together.

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Hope you find this post helpful 🙂

 

A Crafty Christmas with Yellowmoon

Everyone loves to get crafty especially at Christmas. My house becomes inundated with little homemade gifts that the children make at school. It’s a struggle to push the boys to do crafting with me now as they are getting older, the eldest spends most of his time in his bedroom doing his homework and the middle one is always on Minecraft but the youngest has found a new love of art and loves to make things.

Every Christmas I like to sit around the table with my boys and make decorations, this year we tried our hand at salt dough decorations and they loved it, I really enjoy the time with them even if it is a short time before they rush off to their own activities.

We was recently sent a crafty box from Yellow Moon, Joseph has become aware of the packaging now and when the postman delivers our little gifts he quickly knows whats going to be inside, the excitement is too much as he rips off the distinguished yellow and blue tape off of the box and opens it with a gasp as he looks inside.

We was sent:

  • Finger Lights (pack of 4)      £2.49
  • Christmas Foam Glitter Stickers (pack of 120)     £2.99
  • Santa’s Workshop Kits (pack of 2)      £3.95
  • Christmas Self Inking Stampers (pack of 10)     £2.99
  • Jumbo Paint pad – red     £2.55 -washable paint, ideal for all crafts
  • Snow Pals Mugs (pack of 3)     £2.95
  • Wooden House Boxes (box of 4)     £3.95
  • ‘Merry Christmas’ Pop up Cards (pack of 8)     £1.99

I knew straight away that the finger lights would be a firm favourite as the boys rip away the packaging and sort out between them what colours are whose. They come in 4 colours, red, white, green and blue. These little finger lights are ideal for this time of year when your out walking in the early evening, the boys put on a little light show as they walk to the shops and back. Each little light has an elastic strap attached to it so that it stays securely on the finger. Batteries are included and each finger light has an on/off button.

Oliver loved the Santa’s Workshop Kits made from foam. They were easy to make just by pushing in sides together so that the notches met up, once all the side were securely in place all you have to do is decorate it with the self-adhesive foam stickers. Oliver is 3 years old and really enjoyed this activity, we made the first one together and the second one he done himself. He managed to peel away the paper backing from the stickers with ease and he chose where to place them on the house, he is very proud of his little workshop and it has been placed under the tree for everyone to see. Each house comes with all of the templates needed to make the 3d workshop, the templates slot in easily making it a simple craft activity for all to enjoy.

The snow pals mugs have been added to our kitchen cupboards and I am under instruction not to touch them as they belong to the boys. The youngest claimed the blue polar bear one, the middle boys chose the red penguin as he loves penguins, leaving the purple snow leopard mug for Jak. They are an ideal size for the little ones and would make lovely little gifts for the Santa Stockings. The plastic mugs are bright and colourful and very cute.

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The next item in the Yellow Moon craft box was the pop up Christmas cards, they come in a pack of 8 with envelopes. The boys enjoyed colouring in the cards in colours of their choice. Everyone likes to recieve home made cards, so much more thought and time goes into drawing your own cards. The boys have made cards for their Grandparents.

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The youngest boy had lots of fun colouring in the Wooden House boxes, he couldn’t get over the fact that when the lid was moved to one side it revealed a hidden little hole a perfect little place to hide some treats. Each little trinket box is made from natural wood and can be decorated with deco pens, felts or stickers. We used Deco sparkle pens and they dried really quickly, which is ideal for little hands that want to touch all the time. Oliver wants to give his little decorated houses to his friends at school, I’m not sure he will give away some treats with it too.

The Christmas Stamper come in 2 assorted ink colours – red and green and 10 festive designs. The designs include, Santa, reindeer, snowman, elf, robin, star, gingerbread man, penguin, penguin and a tree. The stampers are ideal for giving wrapping paper, gift cards and labels a personal festive touch. We used ours on our gift tags for the presents.

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How cute are these!

The Christmas Glitter Foam Stickers come in 8 different colours and 16 assorted designs, they are ideal for Christmas crafting and card decorations. The colours are nice and bright and the stickers come in all different sizes. One thing about using glitter for decorations is that the glitter comes loose and stays all over the house but with these stickers I found that the glitter pretty much stayed on and even after handling them and the boys using them to stick on their pictures I haven’t been covered in glitter.

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Beautiful and bright
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Oliver’s Christmas Glittery tree

All of the items were wrapped and delivered in a secure box. Yellowmoon is an online shop that offers a wide range of arts and crafts, party bag fillers and toys for all ages.

 

We was sent a box of crafts for the purpose of this review

Personalised Chocolate Valentine Messages

If you want to say something, say it with chocolate

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These Chocolate Valentine messages are the perfect gift to give to your love one on that special day, they are quick and easy and will not break the bank. You can add your own personal touch to the gift, maybe you have a pet name for your partner or maybe you want to ask them that special question (you know the one that every girl dreams of) whatever you want to say you can do it with these little messages.

All you will need is:

  • A bar of your preferred chocolate
  • Grease proof paper
  • Cocktail sticks or for those bigger messages some skewers
  • A piping bag
  • Edible glitter or any cake decoration

First melt the chocolate, I used my chocolate fondue machine but a glass bowl over a hot pan off water will do just as well

While your waiting for your chocolate to melt place a piece of grease proof paper out on the side and place some sticks out sparingly

Empty your melted chocolate into the piping bag (remember to choose a nozzle with a small hole)

Pipe any word that you want onto the paper making sure that the chocolate lands on top of the stick, use fancy joined up writing

Decorate with edible glitter or any cake decoration that you prefer

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Leave to dry

Once set carefully peel the words away, I found that the thicker the words the easier to peel away and the more chance of the words staying together

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They can now be placed into plastic bags and given to your loved one or used as cake toppers

This message isn’t for a loved one but for a very special team of bloggers

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If you make some let me know how you got on and what word you will be writing on February 14th