With all the homes I visit during the holiday season it is great to have a delightful treat to offer my hosts. There is no better sweet treat than these homemade apple cider caramels!
This awesome apple cider caramel recipe comes from a great blog, Blondie’s Cakes and Things. The recipe is easy to follow with no alterations or additions needed, be sure to wear your protective goggles while stirring the bubbling candies. When you select an apple cider for making these little gems don’t buy the cheap stuff. I used apple cider from our local orchard because Wilson’s Apple Orchard makes divine cider, and it is a great place for a family outing, see my Tiny Hippo at the Apple Orchard post.
Once your awesome caramels have cooled its time to turn them into perfect little presents that all your buddies will love!
I hope that you try these great caramels and take them with you when you visit friends and family this season.
Advice from a Tiny Hippo: Things to do When the Power Goes Out
There are plenty of activities that you can do when the electricity goes out, so don’t fret.
Electrical outages provide you with many opportunities for fun and adventure! So don’t be the grump when the power goes out for a few hours.
This is a great DIY project to welcome a new baby into the world. I have done this for several of my friend’s little ones and it is always a hit.
To do this project head to Hobby Lobby, or an equivalent craft store and purchase some wood or resin letters. The color of the letters is not important, you can spray paint them any color that you like. Also, be sure that you are spelling the name correctly, I have had to paint a new letter after completion of all the letters because I miss spelled the name, talk about embarrassing. I like to get letters that have mounts for hanging and also can stand up on their own so the parents can decide how they would like to display them.
Make sure to find out the color scheme or theme of the nursery so that your letters don’t clash with the decor, no one wants monster truck letters in their cloud themed room. Once you have selected a color, sand and spray paint the letters. This will probably take many coats, depending on how long the name is be sure to buy more than one can of spray paint. The name “Eleanor” took about a can and a half of spray paint.
Now that the letters are the correct color, its time to think about how to decorate them. If you want to take the quick approach pick up some stencils from your local craft store and just sponge paint them onto the letters. Or you can look online for vector graphic silhouettes of what you want and print them out in the size that works for letters. All you have to do is then cut them out, trace them onto the letters and paint.
For these letters I went with the more time intensive approach of hand drawing the designs. For this I would suggest starting a Pinterest board with inspiration that you can use to reference while drawing your creatures. When you have plenty of reference ideas, draw out your ideas, I like to trace the letters out on paper so that I have an idea of how the drawings will fit on the letters.
When you have perfected your sketches use tracing paper or tissue paper to trace and then transfer your images on to your wooden letters.
The last step is to paint your creatures. I like to use acrylic paint mixed with a little bit of Liquitex Slow-Dri Blending Fluid, which allows you to work with the paint for a longer amount of time before it dries. I also like to buy premixed colors so that I am not constantly trying to recreate the same color. If you are going with a flatter sort of look, like I have done here, just paint all of the letters with one color and then move on to the next letter. This way you don’t have to clean the brush as often. Be sure to apply many coats of paint to your creatures so that they look solid and well-defined.
And there you have it, a great DIY gift for the new baby in your life.