Tortellini Soup

Another cold day, another warm dinner!

I made this eMeals Tortellini Soup recipe last week and it was a huge hit.  Well, the soup was…the tortellini was not.  What kids don’t like pasta?  Mine apparently.  Tortellini is one of my favorites…I keep it stocked all the time.  But my kids ate their way around the noodles.  Go figure.

Anyway, we got this GORGEOUS new orange Le Creuset Cast-Iron Braiser from Dave’s grandmother for Christmas and I’m always looking for an excuse to use it.  Even though this recipe is definitely more of a soup, it worked perfectly in the braiser.  Lots of protein from the beans, and low calories {only 490 calories including cheesy muffins!!}.  And because I keep tortellini all the time, and the rest of the ingredients in the soup are staples, it was super easy and fast to make {only took about 45 minutes total}.

A winter staple at our house....Tortellini Soup form eMeals and Palmettos and Pigtails

Tortellini Soup with Cheesy Toasted Muffins

490 calories, serves 6, 45 min

Ingredients in Soup

1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped carrots
1/3 cup sliced celery
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 cups fat free, reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 (14.5 oz) can navy beans
1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
1 (20 oz) pkg three-cheese tortellini
1/3 cup basil pesto {I used the Costco brand}
{and I added a Tbsp of shredded parmesan cheese to the top too…not included in calorie count}

Soup Instructions

1. Saute onion, carrot, celery and garlic in hot oil in a Dutch Oven {I used my new braiser}, for three minutes.

2. Stir in broth, beans and tomatoes and bring to a simmer.

3. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

5. Add tortellini; cook for 4 minutes or until done.

6. Divide into 6 servings, and top with pesto {and cheese if desired}.

Ingredients in Cheesy Toasted Muffins

3 slices reduced-fat provolone cheese, cut into quarters
3 multigrain light English muffins, split

Cheesy Toasted Muffins Instructions

1. Preheat broiler.

2. Arrange cheese pieces on muffins.

3. Broil 2-3 minutes or until cheese melts.

Let me tell you, this soup had so much flavor!  And although the girls didn’t care for the tortellini, they asked for seconds of the soup broth and beans.  So tasty!  In fact, I think next time I make this, I will double up on the liquid/bean ingredients and keep the amount of tortellini the same, so we can stretch it a bit further.

One more winner from eMeals!  Don’t forget you can try any one of their 19 different meal plans out for 2 whole weeks!  That’s half a month of daily meals!!

Meal Planning Made Simple

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As always, all opinions in the post are 100% my own.*

Baby Teeth and Baltic Amber

*I received the products mentioned in this blog post for free in exchange for a review on my blog.  As always, all opinions are 100% honest and my own!*

Last week was a big week around here.  Milestones galore…including Lincoln’s first taste of puffs, Jayna’s perfect report card and teeth drama.  Comin’ and goin’ like nobody’s business!

A Week of Teeth-Coming and Going Lincoln has been teething since about 3 months old.  As in, drooling and knawing on anything he can get his chubby little hands on.  I was positive that he was going to get them quickly.  But alas, they only popped through last week…the week he turned 8 months old.  Now, if you don’t personally know Lincoln, let me just tell ya, he is a happy kid.  He does”t really cry or fuss.  He will smile at jut about anyone {not just the old ladies at the grocery store}.  He is content to play with his toys for hours alone.  A chill kid.

But even my chill kid experienced teething issues.  They didn’t really seem to bother him much coming in, but the amount of drool he produced was ridiculous!  I mean, I was changing shirts and bibs by the hour, some days!

A Review of Bouncy Baby Boutique's Baltic Amber NecklacesLucky for me though, way back last April, I was given a Baltic Amber Necklace from Bouncy Baby Boutique as part of my Big Baby Giveaway.  Although Lincoln wasn’t even born yet, I was eager to try it out.  I’d seen lots of kids wearing them, but was somewhat skeptical about the claims.  According to Bouncy Baby Boutique, Baltic Amber is found in the Baltic Sea area, where ancient trees fossilized to create a this healing resin that is high in succinic acid.  Succinic acid is a natural pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, and calms the central nervous system, all with zero side effects.  It’s been used for centuries to sooth all sorts of inflammatory pain, so it’s perfect for teething children!  Bouncy Baby Boutique‘s sells baby and adult necklaces and bracelets/anklets.  They are individually knotted between each piece of Amber, and have a safety clasp closure on necklaces and a screw clasp on the bracelets/anklets.  They should not be worn tightly, but lay against baby’s skin, where the warmth from the skin causes the succinic acid to release and be absorbed into the skin and into the bloodstream.

A Review of Bouncy Baby Boutique's Baltic Amber NecklacesLike I said earlier in the post, I was skeptical, but had an open mind.  We put the necklace {which is a tad big on him right now, but will fit better as he turns into a toddler} on occasionally when he was 3-6 months old.  I didn’t see really any results, but certainly no ill effects.  However, we were only having him wear it when we remembered to put it on {maybe once a week or so.}.

A Week of Teeth-Coming and Going But as his teething got more severe as those teeth started to push through, we started having him wear it at all times, except for sleeping.  And then we did notice quite a difference in the amount of drool.  To the point where he rarely needed a bib anymore {he used to soak through bib and shirt constantly!}.  And although he never really showed any physical indicators of teething pain, the reduction in drool was enough for me to be impressed!  He’ll continue to wear the necklace, and I’ll keep you posted as more of his teeth come in!

Baltic Amber Necklaces from Bouncy Baby Boutique {A Review}Be sure to check out Bouncy Baby Boutique’s website for more information on Baltic Amber and to see their other products, or go to their Etsy Site to order your own.  And I’d love to know about your experience with Baltic Amber, leave a comment!

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The One and Only

My initial feeling is one of annoyance as my three year old climbs on my back as I attempt to do some one-handed computer work while bouncing the baby on one knee.  The microwave beeps for the umpteenth time {what was in there, again?},  and my five year old hollers for more toilet paper from the upstairs bathroom.  So. much. going. on.  And, if I could just finish this one email…. But, the annoyance quickly disappears as my little one’s arms slide around my neck and she nuzzles her face in my {slightly dirty} hair. “My Mama.”  She says it matter of factly.  Because to her, it is fact.  I am her world.  I am Mama…the fixer, the wiper, the scolder, the hugger.  Anything she needs, she knows she can count on me.

Things to remember when your kids are annoying you!

My kids need me on average, every 3.4 seconds of each day.  And most of the time it is for silly, trivial, {annoying} little things.  But.  My three-year-old now insists on getting her own water out of the “fountain” in the fridge door.  She takes her merry old time, but can now officially buckle herself into her carseat.  And her hair.  Ermagard, her hair. It’s always a mess, because she insists on brushing, headbanding, and pony-tailing it herself.  And once again, I am reminded that she will not always need me.  The days of complete independence will soon be here, when friends and iPhones and sports will take the place of her time with me.  So why is it such a constant struggle for me to remember this daily?!?

Things to remember when your kids are annoying you!

I may not always have a smile on my face as I stop in my tracks to fix the seam on her socks.  Again.  I can’t promise that there won’t be a little attitude or sarcasm in my answer to impossible questions {over, and over, and over again} while I’m trying to concentrate on traffic in the car.  And I can’t promise that I’m not secretly rolling my eyes as I hear the high shriek of “MooooOOOOOOM!” from the playroom…..to think, they were playing so nicely together for the last 2 minutes!

Things to remember when your kids are annoying you!

So, once again….I remind myself to put that negative attitude away and appreciate these little moments….snot in my hair and all.

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A Pain in My Heel {5 Ideas for Plantar Fasciitis}

I think I mentioned last week that both Dave and I have started going to weekly bootcamp sessions.  We both are loving them {and VERY sore!}.  Dave’s been working out very early in the mornings a couple of times a week with about 50 other guys in town, doing F3.  I’ve started going to a Bootcamp here in town that’s been kicking my butt.  And I’ve only been to two workouts so far!

The first one was a skills assessment, so we ran through drills to see how many pushups, squats, etc. we could do in a minute.  I was relieved to see I was not the only one struggling.  But low numbers are ok, right?  My margin for improvement will just be greater that way!!  The second class we did some partner work, alternating a cardio routine {push-ups, squats and sprints} with a strength training sequence {tire flips, box jumps, and pull ups}.

The next morning, I couldn’t put any weight on my right foot.  It improved a bit over the next hour, so I could hobble around, but it was bad.  My foot had been kind of sore for a week or two prior, but it was definitely getting worse.  So Dave took me to the medical center and I got it X-rayed to make sure there were no stress fractures.  Turns out that I have Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Spurs.  Very painful, but as it turns out, manageable.

And as I’ve researched it and talked to my other runner-friends, I’ve found that Plantar Fasciitis is  very common.  So I wanted to share with you the 5 things I’m doing to cope with both problems.

5 Remedies to Help Heal and Prevent Plantar Fasciitis from Palmettos and Pigtails

1. Work out your muscle:  Use a golf ball {frozen if you want!}, or tennis ball to gently massage the bottom of your foot. Roll it around in circles, putting on gentle pressure.

5 Remedies to Help Heal and Prevent Plantar Fasciitis from Palmettos and Pigtails

2. Stretch: By rolling up a towel and wrapping it around the ball or arch of your foot.  Arch your toes upward and slowly straighten your knee and lift your leg slightly off of the ground.

5 Remedies to Help Heal and Prevent Plantar Fasciitis from Palmettos and Pigtails

3. Stretch: Use a wall or stairs to stretch and strengthen your calf muscles {which are attached to your heel and arch muscles}.  Put your good foot against the wall, and put your bad foot slightly behind.  Bend your knees a little and go downward for the stretch.

5 Remedies to Help Heal and Prevent Plantar Fasciitis from Palmettos and Pigtails

4. Ice it down: Freeze a water bottle and use the arch of your foot to roll it back and forth.  Not only will you be working and stretching the muscle, but also icing it down.

5 Remedies to Help Heal and Prevent Plantar Fasciitis from Palmettos and Pigtails

5. Take some Motrin or Ibuprofen as needed to control the inflammation and manage the pain.  Invest in some heel cups or orthopedic inserts, and get a new pair of sneakers that support your feet well.  I’m trying a new pair of Asics sneakers and  Heel Cups from Heel-the-Pain.

5 Remedies to Help Heal and Prevent Plantar Fasciitis from Palmettos and Pigtails

Refrain from high-impact activities, like running or jumping, until your pain is gone!  I’m keeping it low impact in my bootcamp class, and taking short walks with the girls after stretching my arches and calves really well.

I also found this cheat-sheet of exercises on Pinterest, from the site Padel Star.

5 Remedies to Help Heal and Prevent Plantar Fasciitis from Palmettos and Pigtails

I hope these tips give you some relief!

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Budget Friendly Recipes: Smoky Chili for a Wintery Day!

*I am an affiliate blogger for eMeals .  This means that when you click on and/or purchase anything from the links in this post, I will get reimbursed.  Of course all opinions are 100% my own!*

Smoky Chili: A Budget Friendly Recipe from eMeals

I’m not sure where you live, but I live in the South.  I’ve lived here for about 10 years now, purposefully moving here from the North.  To get away from the cold.  Yet today’s high here in South Carolina was 32. Degrees.  As in, that was the warmest it got.  Not cool.  {Freezing!!}

So I thought I’d share with you one of our family’s favorite recipes.  It’s the Smoky Chili from eMeals.  The liquid smoke that’s added last is what really makes it comforting to me…reminds me of campfires!

1½ lb ground beef
½ (9.6-oz) pkg ground pork sausage
1 cup chopped onion
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1½ cups homemade chicken broth
2 (15-oz) cans tomato sauce
1 (15.5-oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
½ (15-oz) can corn, drained
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp liquid smoke

Cook ground beef, sausage, onion and bell pepper in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until meat is browned and crumbly; drain. Stir in broth and all remaining ingredients; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
 

Feel free to play around with the ingredients to customize it for your household.  For example, we use ground turkey and omit the sausage.  I also add a can of undrained chili beans…it thickens the chili up and adds a little more kick!

This recipe is also on eMeals’ new “Budget Friendly Meal Plans .”  This is a brand new option that combines weekly sale prices with stock items from your pantry that allows your family to stay on budget while still eating delicious and easy meals.  We just switched our plan over to the Budget Friendly Recipes, and are spending an average of $85 a week for 7 dinners!  It’s the prefect way to help keep our financial resolutions, as well as stay healthier by eating at home.  And I keep it all organized by using my Meal Planning Worksheet.  Head over to the eMeals page and check out ALL of their meal plans!  If you wanted to get started right away with a 2 week trial of Budget Friendly Recipes, go to http://emeals.com/lp/budget/, and click “Try Us” at the top right hand side of the page.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, and keep warm!

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{From the Archives} DIY Mr. Potato Head Felt Board

This is one of my favorite posts.  I love the kids.  I love the party theme.  And I love my readers….who clearly also love this post {or at least they love Mr. Potato Head!}, because this is one of my most read articles!  Take a trip down memory lane with me today!

June 2013

A couple of weekends ago, Millie’s boyfriend turned two.  I say boyfriend, because:

a) she looks forlornly out the window waiting for him to come home each day,and b) I caught the two of them canoodling over dinner the other night!Seriously though, I love this little boy!  Isn’t he adorable!?!  And his mama threw an awesome “Toy Story” Themed birthday party for him, complete with “Toy Story” jump castle {see it in the background?}.  Did you notice the “Woody” and “Jessie” outfits?

All that was missing was a party game, so I volunteered to make a Mr. Potato Head Felt Game {kind of a twist on Pin the Tail on the Donkey?!}.   And I couldn’t believe how easy it was to do.  I started with a large piece of felt that was the size of the easel we’d be putting it on.  I then “sketched out” with a skinny marker on felt, one half of the Potato Head.  I’m terrible at making things even, so then I folded the felt in half and cut on the line I had drawn, creating a mirror image on the other side {and a perfect Potato Head!}.

I hot glued the blank potato head onto the background felt, and cut little slits at the top of the background, where I tied ribbon through to attach it to the easel.  The greatest thing about felt {other than that it sticks to itself}, is that it doesn’t fray!!DIY Mr. Potato Head Felt Board and Toy Story Party from PalmettosandPigtails.comI used the Mr. Potato Head toys that we got at Disney as my model.  Then, folding all the rest of the felt in half {to make everything even}, I sketched and cut out eyes, a red nose, mustache, feet, ears and mouth.  I did the same for the hat as well, adding a second layer of a black felt strip to give the lip of the hat a little dimension.  I also added black pupils to the eyes.  I’m not the greatest artist, so I tried to keep it simple!  And I didn’t even attempt to go authentic on the hands….five fingers and I was happy!I don’t think anyone actually played the game, but the kids had a lot of fun creating silly Potato Head faces!

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Christmas Traditions

Happy New Year!

Hope the start of 2015 has treated you well so far.  As you know, I don’t really believe in New Year’s Resolutions, but we do have a couple of projects coming up that we are excited about.  My parents gave us the gift of peace this Christmas by whisking the girls away for four days immediately after Christmas, so Dave and I could get some stuff done around the house.  Our first big project of 2015 is the Playroom Renovation…more to come on that later.

Dave and I also have joined a couple of Bootcamp programs to get rid of the baby weight that we’ve gained.  Dave’s program is especially cool…it’s called F3 and is new to our area.  It’s completely free and stands for Fitness, Fellowship and Faith.  Basically a Bootcamp Bible Study!  Wish they had a women’s one….

Christmas was kind of a whirlwind this year.  Both sets of grandparents traveled in from Florida for a few days.  It was great to have the kids surrounded by their grandparents…and I loved that we, once again, got to continue most of our little family’s Christmas traditions this holiday season.  That’s my favorite part about Christmastime…the traditions.

Christmas Traditions from Palmettos and Pigtails

None of them are groundbreaking or terribly creative, but they mean so much to our family.  For instance, we begin celebrating Christmas by decorating the house the day after Thanksgiving.  Dave always puts the tree up, while I decorate the rest of the house.  The kids hang their handmade ornaments on the bottom half of the tree, while the fragile ones go more toward the top.  All the while listening to Christmas music.

Christmas Traditions from Palmettos and Pigtails

Our favorite tradition is our Christmas Eve Morning Brunch.  It started out as 30 of our closest friends and neighbors gathering in our house for a potluck brunch with a last minute visit from Santa.  But this year {our 4th year}, we finally had to move it down to the Farmhouse {our neighborhood clubhouse} to accommodate the 120 people that showed up this year! And with our kids getting older, we finally had to retire our Santa’s helper that used to come {Dave} in exchange for the real deal…who comes in his red car and has a real beard!

Christmas Traditions from Palmettos and Pigtails

On Christmas Eve, we enjoy crock-pot chili, the Night Before Christmas, and new Christmas jammies after visiting our church for their 5:00 service.  I love “Silent Night”, but the glowsticks are the highlight for the kiddos!

Christmas Traditions from Palmettos and Pigtails

And much to the dismay of my father-in-law, we make the kids WAIT to open their presents on Christmas morning.  That’s right…I am a mean mommy who insists on brushing her teeth, starting on breakfast and grabbing a cup of coffee, before settling down on the couch to enjoy the kids arriving downstairs to begin the all-morning process of opening gifts.  We are also a one-gift-at-a-time kind of family.  I’m thrilled that the girls are just as happy to hand out gifts to everyone else, as opening their own.  And they actually take time to play with their new toys and appreciate them before tearing into the next.  It may take us all morning to open everything, but I think that the whole family enjoys the leisurely buffet while watching the Jayna and Millie show!

Christmas Traditions from Palmettos and Pigtails

Christmas Traditions from Palmettos and Pigtails

Christmas Traditions from Palmettos and Pigtails

Later that day, while the “guys” smoke turkey and pork on the smoker and then promptly take naps, the kids play with their new toys and I start fixing supper.  We eat around 4:30 or 5 each year, since we’ve just been snacking all day.  And I just love that time in my kitchen, surrounded by the ladies that raised me, encouraged me and inspired me.  And although my feet are killing me by the end of the day, it’s all worth it as we gather around the dining room table to celebrate the Lord’s birth together.

Next year, we will have the same crazy schedule.  Despite all of my careful planning, we’ll get stressed about the amount of people coming to the brunch.  I’ll panic as I realize that I forgot three ingredients crucial to the feast I’m making for Christmas Day.  We’ll fight tooth and nail to get the children in their Christmas best, hair done and shoes on…AND get to church on time.  But when it’s all said and done, I’ll sit back with {just one more} Christmas cookie and a coffee with Irish Creme, and thank God for all of my blessings!

Christmas Traditions from Palmettos and Pigtails

Hope y’all had a wonderful Holiday too!

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January 2015 Cleaning Calendar

Happy New Year!  So, my father-in-law visited over the holidays and attempted to call me out on my cleaning calendars.  My December calendar was up on my fridge, but he wanted to know if I really used it.

Wanna know too?

Yes.  I really use it.  However, I will admit that I don’t do one chore a day.  Some days, I just don’t have the 15 minutes it takes to do the daily chore.  But then other days, I end up having a free hour, and I can bang out five or six things at once.  I also don’t do the chores in order.  I do the ones that are realistic for me to accomplish on any given day.

And my personal resolution regarding the calendar?  To start holding my family a little more accountable for helping out with the chores too.  I purposefully put outside/garage/heavy lifting chores on the weekends with the intent that Dave will be able to help out with those. There are also a bunch of really simple chores each months that the kids can definitely help with.  For example, dusting the blinds and wiping down the light switches are super easy for kids to help with.  For more ideas, check out my master lists of ideas for age appropriate chores.

Here’s to starting the new year with a clean house! Click on the picture to print your own January 2015 Cleaning Calendar.

January 2015 Cleaning Calendar from Palmettos and Pigtails

click here to download and print!

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Merry Christmas 2014

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!  Here is the Christmas card that I finally decided to go with from Minted.com…it wasn’t one of the ones I showed you originally, but I’m super pleased with it!

Merry Christmas from Palmettos and Pigtails 2014

And now I’m off to spend the rest of this year with my family!  We have folks coming from all over the South to celebrate with us, and it’s the highlight of my year being surrounded by family!  I wish you and yours the happiest and healthiest holiday season!  See you next year!

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{Guest Post} Peppermint Cake-In-A-Jar Recipe

Betsy’s back today with another delicious recipe for you!  Just in time for the holidays!  I had one of these the other day…and it was the highlight of my day!  Delicious!  Take it away, Bets!
Hey there! With the holidays suddenly super close, I thought I’d share a quick and easy homemade gift perfect for teachers, neighbors, etc. I started making these when one of my closest friends moved to Texas to be a traveling nurse and said how she missed my cakes and cupcakes. I wanted a way to send her a cupcake from time to time without having to worry about the frosting getting all messed up and the cake drying out. Thus, the cake-in-a-jar was born!

Cake-in-a-Jar Tutorial: The perfect neighbor or teacher gift! Palmettos and PigtailsI first saw these mini mason jars when Shara gave me a little jar of honey butter when she was up in Maryland this fall. It was delicious, and when I finished it off I wanted to send her back the jar with something in it (one of my favorite little niceties to practice!). I had been thinking about trying to cake-in-a-jar thing for my Texas friend, so I decided to use Shara as a guinea pig for sending these in the mail because the little jelly jars were a great size. I went out and bought some extras so that I could make more than just the one going to Shara. I found them in a 4 pack at Target in their small canning area. Hobby Lobby {on sale for .99 each this week!} and craft stores also have them.

Cake-in-a-Jar Tutorial: The perfect neighbor or teacher gift! Palmettos and PigtailsSo, to start off I just made a batch of cupcakes. I made sure not to fill them too full with batter because I wanted them fairly level to the wrapper and flat not domed. I used a box mix because I wanted to do red velvet for a Christmasy look and red velvet is a pain to make from scratch and knew Shara wouldn’t judge me anyway.

Cake-in-a-Jar Tutorial: The perfect neighbor or teacher gift! Palmettos and PigtailsAs they cooled, I made a batch of vanilla buttercream. My buttercream recipe starts with these below and then I add things to customize the taste:

1 cup butter
1 cup Crisco
1 2lb bag powdered sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

For this batch, I added peppermint extract and a handful of peppermint chips {I found these at Target in the baking aisle}.  For chocolate, omit the vanilla extract and add about a cup of cocoa powder {to taste}.

Peppermint and Red Velvet Cake-in-a-Jar Tutorial: The perfect neighbor or teacher gift! Palmettos and PigtailsI also made a batch of chocolate ganache for an extra special touch. Here’s the super easy chocolate ganache recipe I found online a few years ago:

1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream

Microwave heavy cream for 1 minute, stir, then again in 30 second increments until it bubbles. Add chocolate chips and stir, stir, stir, until you have delicious thick ganache. I could eat this by the spoonful!  And added to chocolate cake and chocolate frosting, it’s decadent!

Chocolate Cake-in-a-Jar Tutorial: The perfect neighbor or teacher gift! Palmettos and PigtailsOk, so I got too excited by the ganache while I was working on Shara’s cake-in-jar. I knew I needed to let it sit for a bit to set up, so I left it alone while I cut each cupcake in half and started laying the bottom layers into each jelly jar.

Peppermint and Red Velvet Cake-in-a-Jar Tutorial: The perfect neighbor or teacher gift! Palmettos and Pigtails

Cake-in-a-Jar Tutorial: The perfect neighbor or teacher gift! Palmettos and PigtailsThen I poured in a layer of ganache. It was great that it was still liquid enough to pour, but I really should have waited longer for it to set up because it made for a less attractive side view of the jars as you will see in the pictures.

Cake-in-a-Jar Tutorial: The perfect neighbor or teacher gift! Palmettos and PigtailsNext I took some of my vanilla peppermint frosting and piped it into the jar on top. If you don’t have a piping bag, I’d recommend using a large Ziploc baggie with a 1/2″ hole cut in one corner to help make sure you get a nice clean, even layer in each jar.

Cake-in-a-Jar Tutorial, with bonus recipes for ganache and buttercream! Palmettos and PigtailsThen I layered the top half of each cupcake on top and squished it down in a little bit.   Some were a little shorter than others so any that had a little extra space before putting the lid on I layered one more thin layer of frosting and sprinkled a few extra peppermint chips on top. The rest I lidded just as they were.

Cake-in-a-Jar Tutorial: The perfect neighbor or teacher gift! Palmettos and PigtailsFor Shara’s I made sure to get it in the mail right away. I packed the box with blankets I was sending to Lincoln anyway, and she said it made it just fine! Yay! For some of the others and other batches I’ve made since, I got cute and decorated the jars with a little ribbon and flower sticker. These would be great Christmas gifts with a little Christmas ribbon on them!

Cake-in-a-Jar Tutorial: The perfect neighbor or teacher gift! Palmettos and PigtailsI’ve also since made these with scraps from larger cakes I’ve made instead of a batch of cupcakes. After leveling a regular round cake that I had made for another occasion, I just cut holes in the excess cake using the jar lids as a guide.

Use scraps from homemade cakes to create Cupcakes-in-a-Jar: The perfect neighbor or teacher gift! Palmettos and Pigtails

Use scraps from homemade cakes to create Cupcakes-in-a-Jar: The perfect neighbor or teacher gift! Palmettos and PigtailsIt’s a fantastic way to use up cake scraps {without eating them yourself!}, and show a little love to your mailman.  Or your bus driver.  Or your favorite blogger. {Just sayin’!}

Cake-in-a-Jar Tutorial: The perfect neighbor or teacher gift! Palmettos and Pigtails

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Tips, Advice and Activities for Disney World from Palmettos and Pigtails
Magnetic Photo Box from an Altoid Tin from Palmettos and Pigtails
Easy Homeade No Bake Granola Bars from Palmettos and Pigtails
DIY Fireworks or Snowflake Print Tee Shirt from Palmettos and Pigtails