I've seen some cute advent calendars in the stores, I'll bet you have too! The problem for me, is either we don't want cheapy tasting chocolates, or little Tsum tsums! We want something we love!! PINS!!
The best part of an advent calendar is opening a door, and then the anticipation of what's inside, right? So while YOU don't have to fill your advent with pins, I'll bet there's something you, or the person you are making the advent for does love! Stickers? Coins? Better tasting chocolates? A joke or riddle?
You can be totally creative, and make an awesome advent calendar with most anything you have laying around, or, you can dust off your advent box (thank's dad!) that you might have gotten a few years back when they were so popular!
Day one, ohhhhh a slipper, from Ariel!
Since we are planning to go "home" this summer and spend a wonderful week at Disney, we are going to need to start collecting pins! I forsee the Easter Eggs being loaded...! And this is just another run way to start collecting!
What will be inside of your advent calendar?
It doesn't have to be a holiday to make a copycat Disney treat, but I really couldn't think of anything better than Halloween, and caramel apples. I FINALLY got one on our last trip, and for weeks after I dreamed of them! I tried to make my own, and I'm only slightly embarrassed to say the 8 I made were gone in 2 days. I'd like to say I had help eating them, but to be honest, only one of them went to my oldest. Yikes! This time, I made a dozen, with the intention of sharing! I've learned a few things since the last time I made these, so these tips are updated!
A quick note on the apples-- green apples last longer. They area little tart, so that plays well with the sweet of the caramel, so if you make these using red apples, they might not taste as good, and most importantly, they won't last as long. These can last several days (just not in my house!!) without any taste loss.
These are super simple to make. The hardest part is unwrapping all those caramels. I used the recipe on the back of the bag:
However, I did use milk, instead of water, and I felt like that worked better than before, when I used water.
Also, don't forget to make sure you wash and DRY your apples. If you don't dry them, the caramel won't stick!
Put the sticks in. I ran out of sticks, so I cut bamboo skewers (like for the grill) in half. Those worked great!
Next, get your pan ready.
Now it's time to decide how you want to melt the caramels. I've done it both ways, a bowl over simmering water, and also straight in the pot. I really prefer to just dump them all in my pot. It goes faster in the melting process I think, and then I don't have a bowl precariously balanced on a pot, trying to tip onto the stove.
Once you've decided how you want to melt your caramels, unwrap, put them in the pot and add your liquid. Stir, stir stir... it transitions... keep going until it's all melty. Don't leave it alone though! It could burn and ruin your caramels.
Eventually, your caramel should start to transition like my photographs.
Dip your apples into the caramel, no photo here, it goes quick and starts to harden fast! Roll into nuts if you like, but you could do chocolate chips or sprinkles too, and place on a sheet of waxed paper. They set pretty fast!!
Aren't they sooo pretty? Takes less than an hour to do these. If you have people helping unwrap the caramels, it will go much faster!
So delish, and easy, and pretty close to the Disney ones. It's not spot on, but in a pinch, or dire Disney emergency, these will do the job!
Be sure to keep them chilled just until serving, because the caramel might stick to the wax paper otherwise.
Happy Halloween everyone!!
Mr. Disney Magic is a wiz at making these awesome printables! If you didn't notice when we snuck this one in the Printables tab, here it is! The perfect, and totally FREE, accessory for your stroller, wheelchair or even scooter! I'd go so far as you say it's absolutly INCREDIBLE!
You can right click to "save as" and download, or if your computer doesn't like that, you can click on the uploaded file under the picture.
Print, and for a longer lasting sign, laminate it with a machine, a self sealing pouch, contact paper or even packing tape. punch holes in at the top, and attach to the handles of your transport device with ribbon, zip ties or rubber bands!
Want some more printables? We've got several up, with more on the way! Just click here to see what we've got!
Now get ready! Set! Go! Time for your Incredible Adventure!
Do you love Ducktales? Woo-oo!
We do!! I think each episode is better than the last, and it's one of those that if the kids play over and over, I don't mind a bit because I catch new things each time, and the jokes NEVER get tiresome! I love how each of the triplet's has their own personality, and I love, love love Donald and Mr. McD!
We've a special treat for you Ducktales fans, in the form of FREE Printable tags. Use them on your kid's lunch boxes, backpacks, (heck, yours too!) or when you are on your way to Disney!
Print them, cut them out and then for longevity, laminate either with a lamination machine or self adhesive pouch, clear contact paper, or even packing tape! Punch a hole in them and attach with anything you like! Coordinating ribbons or yarn, rubber bands and zip ties are all things I've done in the past that have worked great.
You can right click on the photo below and save, or if you have trouble that way, you could also click and download the file located just under the photo.
Want more FREE printables? Click here, and go to the main Printables page. We've got lots of new ones in the works, and can't wait to share them!
Comment below with your favorite Triplet, (I love Louie!) or episode, and visit us on Facebook to show how you used your tags!
A while back, I turned our downstairs hallway into a little Disney are area. We don't have the best of lighting in this area, but it looks awesome in person, and we all love to walk past and remember some of our favorite rides. The best part, is it looks so expensive, and difficult to do, but it hardly took any time at all!
In addition to only a little time, I'm not lying when I tell you it was only around $20 to make this! Here's how YOU can make something like this for yourself or give as a gift later!
Your supplies are simple if you want to make something like mine! You can change it up with sizes and shapes easily, but this is what I used:
12 x 12 blank canvas
(4) 8 x 8 blank canvas
(4) 8x8 Word Arts
12 x 12 collage
The above items I got at a craft store, with sales or those 40% off coupons or already had on hand (like the paint brush and mod podge).
The prints were made on Shutterfly. I used a coupon (you know they always have great ones) and got it mostly for free, just had to pay shipping. If you are impatient to wait for a free code, they often do 40-50% any one item. There are loads of shapes you can choose, and I'm really thinking of going back and making ones for previous trips.
The Word Clouds are from Tagul. You make them, any way that you want, and then you get to save your images. This is all FREE! If you want a higher quality, you can pay for a download of a higher quality, but I found the lower quality did just fine for the 8 x 8 prints. I honestly don't think we could have gone much bigger, or they might have been grainy.
A side note here, you can make these for ANY occasion! As a matter of fact, for last year's Christmas, I even did family gifts of these Word Clouds, typing in everyone's name, along with words like love, family and etc. I think everyone liked them! I printed those out just as 4x6 and 5x7 and mounted them on painted wooden cutouts I found at the craft store, that were fancy, and painted to match whatever word color I used.
Back to the DIY!
You can go here, to WordArt.com to get started. It's very simple, and fun to play around with. In just minutes, you too will have all kinds of creativeness going, and make some amazing art for your walls, or to give others!
These are what I made, you can copy to use them for yourself, or make your own! I don't have all of the attractions listed, I just wanted to do our favorites, or ones we want to experience or have a particular memory of.
Once you have your canvas, and your prints, you're going to brush mod podge on the canvas, all over, AND mod podge on the back of the print. Quickly lay the print on the canvas, glue to glue, and let it dry. I actually turned mine face down so that the edges wouldn't curl.
Afterwards, they were hung on the wall with command hooks. Amazingly, they have only been knocked off once, (hence that bent corner on Hollywood Studios and the collage) but I have boys who love to run down that hall, so it's a miracle that it's not worse! They were also so easy to make, and inexpensive, it's not too big of a deal.
I plan to fill in those gaps between my prints next summer with 5 x 7 canvas with character autographs!
So there you have it, easy, inexpensive, and AWESOME!! It only LOOKS hard to do! Now go make some for yourself, or others and enjoy their delighted faces!