Oatmeal Scotchies Cookies in a Jar

Thanks for Making Me a Smart Cookie - Oatmeal Scotchies Cookies in a Jar

If you're like me and have more than one child, thinking of meaningful Christmas gifts for my kids teachers has always been challenging. I wanted to make a homemade gift that my kids could help with. Because I had a lot of extra mason ball jars, I thought a cookie mix in a jar would be a great gift, and inexpensive to boot! Oatmeal Scotchies Cookies in a Jar seemed like the perfect gift.

We started with the recipe below from Organized home.

Ingredients (for one mason jar)

  • 1 wide-mouth quart (4-cup) canning jars with lid and rings
  • 3⁄4 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1⁄2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup sifted flour, all purpose
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3⁄4 cups butterscotch baking chips

Instructions

1. Sift flour before measuring. In large bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt.

2. Layer in butterscotch chips, oatmeal, layering the flour mixture last.

3. Add mason jar lids.

4. Print a greeting card and the recipe card needed to bake the Oatmeal Scotchies. Cut the cards apart and attach to ribbon.

Let the Work Begin!

Since I adapted this for 6 mason jars, I multiplied all of the measurements above by 6. Then we got to work! We started by sifting the flour – Liam was all about this and he and Sage took turns.

Sifting Flour - Oatmeal Scotchies in a Jar
Then we measured the flour and put it into a bowl that was sitting on our kitchen scale (zeroed out, first, of course!). This is important because later, we divided the dry ingredients into 6 equal portions (by weight). We measured the dry ingredients (brown sugar, white sugar, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, baking soda, and salt and dumped them into the bowl. Measuring dry ingredients was fun for the kids, and it was easy to clean them up afterwards!

Dry Ingredients - Oatmeal Scotchies in a Jar
Then we mixed the dry ingredients together with a whisk. I tried mixing with a spoon at first, but you really need a whisk to make sure ALL of the ingredients are incorporated.

Mixing Dry Ingredients - Oatmeal Scotchie Cookies in a Jar
Then we added the butterscotch chips to the ball jar. It was really hard to resist eating these yummy chips!

Pouring Butterscotch Chips - Oatmeal Scotchies Cookies in a Jar
Once the jars are filled with the butterscotch chips, you'll wonder how you're going to get the oatmeal AND the rest of the dry ingredients in… but it does work!

Butterscotch Chips - Oatmeal Scotchies Cookies in a Jar
Adding the oatmeal was pretty easy…
Pouring Oatmeal - Oatmeal Scotchies Cookies in a Jar

The dry ingredients were a bit harder, because you do need to make sure you're adding the appropriate number of oz or grams to each jar. Proportions are so important in any recipe!
Weighing Dry Ingredients - Oatmeal Scotchies Cookies in a Jar
Here's what the jar looked like filled to the brim! The Organized Home site says you can use your Foodsaver accessory attachment to seal these, but when I tried, it didn't work for me. Because the dry ingredients are sitting on top, the flour, etc. gets on the “seal” of the lid, and the lids won't stay on.

Filled to the Brim - Oatmeal Scotchies Cookies in a Jar
After adding the ball jar lids, we added a little brown ribbon and a free “Thanks for Making Me One Smart Cookie” printable from Sweet Metel Moments. The kids signed their names, and we taped the printed recipe card inside the printed card.

Thanks for Making Me a Smart Cookie - Oatmeal Scotchies Cookies in a Jar
The best part of making these homemade gifts was seeing the pride and satisfaction on Liam's little face! He and Sage were so happy to make their handmade Oatmeal Scotchie Cookies in a Jar for their teachers!

Child with Oatmeal Scotchies in a Jar
Have you tried any cookies in a jar recipes lately? How did they turn out?

 

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Conquer your Clutter!

conquer your clutter

With a family of five, we have a LOT of stuff. School papers, bills, kids artwork, toys, clothes, sports equipment, recipes, craft supplies, kitchen gadgets, home improvement tools, etc. can really take over our home. De-cluttering and organizing really helps me feel like I have control of my life. The biggest benefit to me is saving TIME. I can't count the number of times I've been searching for that one thing, spending minutes, maybe hours trying to find it. Have you been there?

I have tried to organize my house before, and have made progress here and there, but needed some encouragement to really make it happen. 

I just bought the Conquer Your Clutter Super Bundle from Ultimate Bundles and really love what it offers. It's a package from a group of organizing gurus  – regular people who’ve found practical solutions to their everyday struggles, and who want to share their best tips and tactics with us. This package will help me feel less stressed, and will help me my kids and my life too!

The Conquer Your Clutter Super Bundle package includes 38 digital products on topics like how to organize your photos, decluttering, family systems, meal planning, time management, and much more. All together, it’s worth over $650!

This is what you get in the bundle:

Cleaning & Chores

  • 2017 Motivated Moms Chore Planner by Susan Cramer ($9.00)
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Decluttering

  • Chaos To Clutter-Free: 16 Realistic Steps To An Organized Home by Davonne Parks ($4.99)
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  • 30 Days To An Organized Life by Kimberlee Stokes ($9.00)
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  • 5 Days To A Better Morning by Crystal Paine ($2.99)
  • Mindspace: 10 Practices To Help You Let Go Of Mental Clutter And Make Room For More Joyful, Creative Living by Melissa Camara Wilkins ($9.99)
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  • Spend Your Days: How to Control Time with Rocks, Bullets, Chisels, & a Boat by Tsh Oxenreider ($8.00)

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  • Meal Planning Made Easy by Kelly Smith ($7.95)
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  • The Ultimate Guide To Freezer Cooking by Crystal Barton ($10.00)

Organizing Paperwork & Digital Files

  • 10 Steps To Organizing Photos & Memorabilia by Lisa Woodruff ($3.95)
  • 2017 Budget Planner by Jessi Fearon ($19.97)
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  • Paperwork: Sorted! by Chrissy Halton ($12.39)
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  • 2017 All Inclusive Binder by Mique Provost ($19.99)
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  • Homekeeping Foundations Kit: The Perfect DIY Homekeeping Binder Kit by Clean Mama ($20.00)
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  • How To Create Your Own Printables by Laura Smith ($49.00)
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Plus, it comes with two brilliant bonus offers worth over $40:

    • SaneBox – An exclusive credit to save you 12 hours per month ($20 value)
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Besides being so incredibly helpful and inspiring, one of the things I like best about the bundle is the price. By offering the bundle for a short time only, they’re able to give you access to over $650 worth of amazing products for only $29.97.

After Monday night, January 30th, the sale ends and you’d have to buy all of these products individually.

I’d hate for you to miss out, so click HERE to learn more or buy the bundle.

It’s even backed by a full money-back happiness guarantee, so you can get a refund if it's not for you.

Get the Conquer Your Clutter Bundle here

Happy Organizing!
Carolyn

This post may contain affiliate links. I only write about products and services that I love!

 

Qixels Fuse Blaster Review

My boys each got a Qixels Fuse Blaster for Christmas. The Qixels Fuse Blaster is kind of like a Perler Bead alternative, but instead of using an iron to make the plastic beads stick together, you use water in a water gun! My daughter has loved Beados in the past, which has a similar concept, but the Qixels Fuse Blaster is geared towards boys! And the Fuse Blaster kit was on $10 on Amazon.com!

qixels fuse blaster review

The Qixels have square beads that are pushed into a peg board. There are pros and cons – the pro being that if the board is flipped over accidentally, the beads still stay on the board. This is a huge plus because we have encountered several occasions where the kids have flipped a Perler Beads or Beados creation over accidentally, and their creations get ruined. Instant tears = no fun for parents or kids at all. Qixels solves this problem with having to push the squared beads into the pegs in the board. On the flip side, it was sometimes hard for my 4-year old push some beads by himself, but that was more the exception than the rule.

Here, Noah is making a robot Qixel. He really loved these boy shapes!

qixels fuse blaster

Once he finished pushing the beads into the board, we filled up the Qixels water gun so we could spray the Qixels beads with water. You spray the board 10 times, making sure to cover all of the beads. Then you pick up the board, shake of any excess water, and let it dry for 30 minutes. We did make sure to put newspaper under the board before we squirted water on the beads!

qixels fuse blaster

After 30 minutes, you peel the paper off the board, and then peel the beads from the paper. The beads did stick together with only water, no iron needed!

Noah had a blast playing with his robot, shark, dragon, and viking! At 4 years old, he loves little toy figures, and these he made himself!

qixels fuse blaster

I would say that Qixels Fuse Blaster was a hit with my boys and kept them busy for a good couple of hours. Liam, my 6-year old, doesn't typically have a lot of patience for crafts, but he really got into this boy themed craft. It would be a great gift for one of my nephew's upcoming birthdays!

Have you tried Qixels? What do you think and are there any other Qixels kits we should try?

Christmas Candy Cane Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods

This year, I had a bunch of red and green Wilton candy melts that I needed to use, so I bought some candy canes and pretzel rods and made these festive Christmas Candy Cane Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods.

This is what I used for ingredients:

Other supplies I used were:

Since the pretzel rods are fairly long, I needed a tall container to put the candy melts in. I happened to have a couple of empty barbeque sauce bottles lying around, so I thought they might make a good dipping container. I filled them up with the candy melts, and then put each bottle in the microwave for 2-3 minutes on 50% power until they melted. I used a chopstick (you could use the end of a stirring spoon) to stir up the melts once they are out of the microwave. If you don't have tall bottles, you could break the pretzel rods in half and then use a coffee mug to melt your chocolate discs.

Before I started melting the Wilton candy melts in the microwave, I put 12 red and green candy canes in a quart-size Ziploc bag.

It was time to crush the candy canes! My kids came over to help with this part. We took a meat tenderizer mallet and my kids took turns banging away. I tried not to let them bang too much because you don't want the candy canes to be crushed into a powder!

I then took each pretzel rod and dipped it into the bottle of melted candy melts. Once they were covered, I sprinkled them immediately with crushed candy cane! They smelled really great but I couldn't take a bite yet!

I dipped about 15 pretzel rods in the green chocolate and 15 pretzel rods in the red chocolate. I covered most of them with the crushed candy cane, but left some without. Then I melted about 10 candy melt discs in a wilton decorating bag in the microwave for 1.5 minutes, snipped the end off the bag, and drizzled the pretzel rods in the opposite color (the green rods got red drizzle, and the red rods got green drizzle).

The combination of sweet, salty, and minty in this Christmas Candy Cane Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rod was to die for! Loved it! They'll make a great Christmas gift for neighbors, friends, and family!

Kiwi Crate Review – Woodland Creatures – October 2015

We were so excited to get October's Kiwi Crate. This is our first official review of this kid's activities subscription box. If you aren't familiar with Kiwi Crate, every month they'll send you a box full of materials to complete 2-3 themed projects a month. The projects are based on art, science, or engineering concepts. It's a great box for 5-8 year olds and only costs $19.95/month including shipping! Plus, you can get your first month of Kiwi Crate for only $10 using this link!

We got a green “crate” addressed to Noah. Noah is almost 4 years old, so we wanted to see if this box would work for him.

When we opened the box, we saw a cute welcome letter with a free pair of kid-friendly scissors! I can never seem to find kid-friendly scissors when I need them, so these will come in handy! This month's Kiwi Crate theme was Woodland Creatures.

Inside the box were materials for 2 craft projects:

  • My Forest Friends (left): Decorate and put together zipper pulls!
  • My Marble Run (right) Construct your own beaver dam marble run!

My Marble Run

Noah wanted to get started on the My Marble Run project first. Materials for this project included a board for the beaver scene, pre-printed cardboard chutes and boxes, green ribbon, velcro pieces, and a ball.

Noah attached the green ribbon for the hanger, assembled the cardboard boxes (chutes), and velcro'd them to the beaver scene board.

Noah really loved this project. Mainly because it was like a game to him and had a moving ball! This activity reminded me of the diagonal car ramps that we had when my kids were younger. The great thing about this was he could experiment with the placement of the chutes, since they were attached with velcro. I love that Kiwi Crate included some engineering and reasoning in this fun little marble run!

My Forest Friends

When Liam got home from school, he wanted to join in the Kiwi Crate fun! The My Forest Friends project included felt bodies for the forest animals, sticky felt pieces for the body parts, stuffing, googly eyes, ribbon, and lanyard hooks to hang the creatures once finished.

I don't really love messy craft projects, so really enjoyed that this project had self-adhesive pieces. This is so much easier for little kids to handle too! The kids made a squirrel, fox, bear, and owl.

Liam wanted to attach his bear zipper pull to his backpack! He was so proud of his creation!

I would say this month's Kiwi Crate was a hit with my boys! It also included an “Explore!” magazine that had comics, coloring, drawing, and another diy project to make your own binoculars using paper tubes, masks to cut out, and more! The Woodland Creatures box was a cute theme and provided hours of fun for my kids!

You can get your first month of Kiwi Crate for 50% off using this link and if you don't love it, you can cancel at anytime.

What did you think of this month's Kiwi Crate?

Get a Green Kid Crafts Box for only $4.95!

TRY GREEN KID CRAFTS FOR ONLY $4.95!

Green Kid Crafts is designed for kids 3-10, and was built out of a passion for hands-on fun and learning. Every month’s Discovery Box is packed with 4-8 unique and engaging STEM science and creativity kits designed to foster a child’s curiosity, creativity and confidence while helping to raise the nation's next generation of creative leaders. You’ll also find detailed instructions for all the projects, plus exclusive online extras that provide bonus articles and DIY activities about the month’s theme to extend the learning and fun.

Now you can try a FULL-SIZED Green Kid Crafts Discovery Box for free! This offer is valid until October 31.You will be automatically enrolled in a Green Kid Crafts monthly subscription at a price of $19.95/month (shipping included), and may cancel at anytime. The first month is free except for $4.95 shipping. One free box per household. To get your free Discovery Box go here!

Minions Perler Beads Bucket

My kids have recently gotten into Perler Beads lately – they have kind of been taking over our house lately.

We were at Barnes & Noble one day and this Minions Perler Beads Bucket caught my eye!  We have used the Perler Biggie Beads before, which are great for little hands, but this was our first time with the regular size Perler Beads.

minions perler bead bucket - carefree crafts

I thought Noah and Sage were going to fight over it – but, there were plenty of beads to go around. The bucket has over 6,000 beads in it. Yes, and we went through every last one of them!

IMG_8008 (400x300)

The bucket included 3 pegboards (round, square, and hexagon) instructions and patterns to create the Kevin, Bob, and Stuart characters!

minions perler bead bucket instructions and patterns - carefree crafts

We found it easier to spread the beads out on a paper plate so the kids could each have their own set of beads to work with.

IMG_8012 (400x300)

Sage started on Stuart and found it quite easy to make this Minion character very easily.

IMG_8013 (400x300)

This is what he looked like before we ironed him.

IMG_8015 (400x300)

Ironing Perler Beads does require an adult! The bucket included ironing paper that you lay on top of your design so the iron can melt the beads indirectly. It only takes about a minute to warm up the iron and then you iron in a circular motion until the beads start to melt together – for 10 seconds on each side.  For my kids, this can seem like an eternity for me and them… but they are always happy with the finished result.

IMG_8016 (400x300)

Noah was so intent on making all of the Minion characters, we spent the next few evenings making more characters. Some were our own Minion designs and some (the ones below) were from the instructions that came with the bucket!

minions perler beads

This bucket was definitely a winner in my house and has spurred us on to buy more Perler beads – which I’ll post more about later!

IMG_8005 (400x300)

If you think your kids will like this Minions Perler Beads Bucket, you can get it here for only $12.99!

Buy the Minions Perler Beads Bucket HERE

**This post may include affiliate links. I only write about products I love! 

Green Kid Crafts Coupon – Get 50% off Your First Month + Bonus Wall Map!

SAVE 50% OFF GREEN KID CRAFTS' OCEAN SCIENCE BOX!!

Get ready for Back-to-School with Green Kid Crafts' Discovery Boxes! From now until midnight on 8/2/15, you can receive their August Ocean Science Discovery Box for less than $10 (50% off) when you start a new subscription! (You can cancel anytime.)

Your pint-sized oceanographers will go on a journey to the deep blue sea with SIX different projects. They’ll make their own “motion ocean” while learning about density and ocean wave formation, design coral reef bubble paintings, “save” felt sea life caught in nets and learn about bycatch, create a mock oil spill and learn about oil spill science, and make glowing jellyfish for bath time. PLUS new subscribers using the code OCEAN50 will receive a free bonus wall map of the world's oceans and continents.

Green Kid Crafts' award-winning Discovery Boxes pack a lot of fun and learning into convenient packages. Each box contains lots of Creativity and STEM Science Kits, extension activities, and free online extras. Projects are designed for ages 3-10. Use code OCEAN50 from 7/31/15-8/02/15 to get your 50% off using this link!

Green Kid Crafts Coupon – Get 10% Off Your Entire Order!

JULY FOURTH — IT DOESN'T HAPPEN OFTEN — 10% OFF YOUR ENTIRE ORDER – JUNE 27 – JULY 6

Stock up and save during Green Kid Crafts' July Fourth Sale! From now until July 6, you can enjoy 10% off your entire order with the coupon code FIREWORKS, including subscriptions (annual subscriptions are included too!), single Discovery Boxes, and all Creativity and STEM Science Kits.

Green Kid Crafts is a monthly science and creativity kit subscription service that provides all the hands-on materials needed to inspire creative and educational fun. Plus they also offer tons of single-purchase items with themes like Kitchen Science, Detectives, Dinosaurs, Mad Scientist, Nocturnal Animals, and much more. We don't see many coupons for the longer-term subscriptions, so this is a great chance to get a deal on those! Visit here to start shopping!

 

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