May 2016Occasionally Crafty: May 2016

Tuesday, May 31

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches with No-Churn Vanilla Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BiteSizedBitsOfJoy #CollectiveBias

My parents never met a sale they didn't like.  Their motto was basically "Why pay full price when you can buy it on sale, used, or secondhand?"

Brand names weren't a thing in my house.  We grew up on generics for everything, from our shoes to our potato chips.

There were two things my mom splurged on, however-- Oberweis Dairy milk and Keebler Soft Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies.

It was always a thrill when you were the one unloading the grocery bags in the kitchen, when you saw that red package peeking out of one of the paper bags.  "SOFT BATCH COOKIES!"  we would yell to the other kids.  

They rarely lasted more than a day.

Well, what's old is cool again, and for the first time in my adult life, I picked up a package of Keebler Soft Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies from Fry's Food and Drug (a Kroger banner store) for MY kids,

this time in a cool yellow package.  

My kids are way more spoiled than I was.  Packaged cookies and treats are no big deal to my kids.  So I don't think they were all that excited.  But once I told them my plan to make them into delicious ice cream sandwiches, we were all suddenly starving for cookies!

First up, you need to make your no-churn vanilla chocolate chip ice cream.  This is super easy to do, but it takes a bit of time to freeze up.

Mix 2 cups heavy whipping cream in a stand mixer or with beaters until stiff peaks form.

Carefully stir in 1 tbsp vanilla extract, a 14 oz can of sweetened, condensed milk, and 2 cups of mini chocolate chips.  (Regular or chunk chocolate works too!)

Put into a loaf pan or other container and cover tightly.  I save old plastic ice cream tubs so I put mine in those.

Freeze for at least 2 hours or overnight for firmer ice cream.

Once your ice cream is ready, open your Soft Batch cookies.  Place a small scoop of ice cream on the flat side of one cookie,

then place another cookie on top and flatten slightly.

Place cookie sandwiches on a tray in the freezer and freeze for about an hour.  Then enjoy your sandwiches and wrap any leftover in cling wrap.

This is the perfect way to enjoy an old favorite in a new way- and perfect for the summer heat!

Keebler Cookies at Kroger: Summer 2016  Enter this fun contest for a chance to win Kroger gift cards up to $1000.  That's a lot of cookies :)

Printable Recipe here:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups mini chocolate chips
Keebler Soft-Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies

1.  Beat heavy whipping cream on high until stiff peaks form.

2.  Gently stir in sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, and chocolate chips.
3.  Mix until a soft batter forms.
4.  Transfer batter to loaf pan or other container and cover tightly.
5.  Freeze for 2-6 hours depending on firmness desired.
6.  Place small scoop of ice cream on a chocolate chip cookie.
7.  Place another cookie on top of ice cream and flatten slightly.
8.  Place sandwiches on cookie sheet in freezer for 30 min-1 hour.
9.  Wrap sandwiches in cling wrap until ready to eat.

What was your favorite treat as a kid?  Have your kids tried it?

You can find tons more great Keebler Cookie inspiration here!

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Wednesday, May 25

Bloom Where You are Planted Activity Days Recognition Night

One of my responsibilities at church is to plan activities for girls ages 8-11, which are called Activity Days girls.

Twice a year, we plan a Recognition night to showcase the girls, their talents, and what they have achieved over the last six months.

This was my first one and I was excited to plan around the theme "Bloom Where You Are Planted".

We have a small but strong group of girls.  I sent out invitations I made on PicMonkey.

Bloom Where You are Planted Activity Days Recognition Night!

The day of the activity, I set up a little table in the front with some chalkboard art (not that I'm very talented at that, but it worked!), some cupcakes and fruit, and pictures of the girls at some of our activities.

Bloom Where You are Planted Activity Days Recognition Night!

I kicked it off with a short talk talking about the things flowers need to bloom- good soil, water, and plenty of sunshine.  I asked what would happen if the flowers didn't get enough about even one of those things (they wouldn't bloom and could possibly even die).

I compared that to our testimonies.  I had the girls name things we need to bloom spiritually.  They named prayer, scripture study, church attendance, good friends.  I told them that most of all we need the "Son"- just like flowers need the sun.  And if we are missing just one of those things, then we won't bloom to our fullest and our testimonies can die away.  I challenged them to "Bloom where they are planted" and to surround themselves with the things they need to thrive.

Then, wee had each girl share their favorite activity we had done together, and then share something they had achieved, whether at church in the Faith in God program, or on their own in a sport, hobby, or in school.  It is such a great way to get to know the girls and their interests outside of church!

Then we played some fun games.  First we did a version of Pictionary, with the girls going against their parents.  (They smoked us!)

Then we did a Parent/Child version of The Dating Game.  We asked each pair a question about each other, and they had to write down the answer on the board.  If their answers matched, they got a point.  It brought a lot of laughs into the room.

Bloom Where You are Planted Activity Days Recognition Night!

We finished up with refreshments and time to chat.  Two things I've learned about girls this age- they love to eat all my food and they love to talk!

It was a really fun evening!  I hope it gives you some ideas for your next recognition night!

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Monday, May 23

Pride and Prejudice Graphic Tee

If you love Pride and Prejudice, you’ll love this easy-to-make graphic tee with all your favorite characters’ names!

Find the directions over at Kenarry: Ideas for the Home where I am posting my last contributor post this month.  I'd love if you stopped by and gave it some love :)

Happy Monday!
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Thursday, May 19

The Handmade Hangout #102

Welcome to the Handmade Hangout- where you can link up all things made by YOU!

Here are your Handmade Hangout Hosts!

Allison from A Glimpse Inside

Becca from From Gardners to Bergers

Kim from Too Much Time on My Hands

Heather from Twin Dragonfly Designs

Valerie from Occasionally Crafty

Alli from Made with HAPPY

We'd love it if you would Share our button or party link in your post or wherever you share your linky parties

Occasionally Crafty

Link up your projects!

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Monday, May 16

Find Me At the Lake Summer Vinyl Sign

If “summer” to you means spending days on the lake, you’re going to love this Easy Vinyl “Find Me at the Lake” Sign!
 If you've been following me for a while, you know that one of my favorite things to make is vinyl signs.  I created this one for I Heart Naptime last summer, but I knew it was time to share the full tutorial for you today.
Easy Vinyl Sign by Occasionally Crafty
I grew up in Illinois, in a town caught between the Midwestern prairie and the big city of Chicago.  While big Lake Michigan was just an hour’s drive down the freeway, it’s not what I think of when I think “lake”.
Summers on the lake are like The Cove, Lake Billy Chinook, where my husband spent his summers with his family up in Oregon.  If you’re lucky, you have a boat to take out and spend the day on the water, but if not, you’re just as happy to camp out on the shore with a blanket, some chairs, and a cooler full of food.
Summers on the lake mean canoeing at our yearly girls’ camp, where someone always “falls” into the water.
Summers on the lake mean leaving TV and video games behind, and enjoying the beauty nature has to offer “away from it all”.
Are you now, or were you lucky enough to spend your summer on a lake?  I’d love to hear about it!


  • 12×12 blank wood plaque (I found mine at Michaels)
  • White or cream paint and paintbrush
  • Navy vinyl
  • Gray vinyl
  • Transfer tape
  • Scraper, vinyl squeegee, or credit card
This vinyl design was made by me and designed in Silhouette Studio.  I used part of this shape from the Silhouette store to make my design.


1.  Cut your vinyl design and weed away the extra vinyl.  You will have to cut all the navy blue parts together, then the gray parts.
2.  Since this is a multicolor design, you will place them one section at a time.  It may be helpful to draw a line in light pencil on your plaque to help you line up the words.
3.  Using transfer tape, pick up your vinyl, then place it sticky side down on the plaque.
4.  Rub firmly with your scraper, vinyl squeegee, or credit card to make sure vinyl adheres firmly to your plaque.
5.  Remove transfer tape slowly and carefully, making sure vinyl remains on the plaque.  Depending on the quality of your vinyl, this may take some time and careful effort.
Easy Vinyl Sign by Occasionally Crafty
You can see a step-by-step tutorial I did using vinyl and a plate here.
I would display this by placing it on a shelf, but you could add a ribbon or a sawtooth hanger to place on the wall.  This would make a great addition to your lake house, or to give as a hostess gift when you stay in someone else’s house or cabin!
Thanks so much for stopping by today!
If you like vinyl crafts, check out my “Special Date” Wall Canvas
Number Wall Canvas 3

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund this blog so I can keep bringing you fun new craft projects to try at home!
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Monday, May 9

Summer Song HTV Cooler Bag

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #BestSummerMemories #CollectiveBias

Make this personalized cooler bag to take with you as you make your summer memories this year!

I cannot believe it is May already.  That means, for us, school is out in three weeks!  Summer vacation is right around the corner!

A few years ago, I had one of the best summer vacations!  When I was in college, I had a special group of roommates.  I had moved halfway through the previous year into an apartment to escape a horrible roommate situation.  As the new year was about to begin, I found that that I would be joined by 5 roommates that all knew each other.  I thought for sure I would be the odd man out and have another rough year.

These girls became my best friends.  They took me in their group with no hesitation and we made some amazing memories.

A few summers back, we had a roommate reunion.  Not all were able to come, but those that did got together, rented a lake house, and spent days just playing together at the lake.  It was so much fun to catch up with these lovely ladies, to meet each other's families, and to watch our kids play together.

We also had a crazy experience while we were there.  My son Kyle had an accident on the playground where a carabiner clip from the swing tore his arm.  We had to rush him to the hospital (30 minutes away), where he received 27 stitches.  Thankfully my roommate's husband is a doctor, and he helped keep everyone calm and prepare Kyle for the trip to the hospital. (I won't put a picture because it's kind of gross).

His wound ended up being severe but mostly superficial (no muscle or vein tears), and could have been so much worse.  It served as another reminder to me how precious my family is to me, and how much I love each one of them.

It truly was a unique and special vacation.

That trip required a lot of time in the car and outside at the lake.  We all had coolers and cooler bags, like this one I picked up at our local drugstore.  You can make your own to take with you on your summer adventures this year.

I designed a decal to cut out of heat transfer vinyl and press onto the bag.

Simply download this file, mirror it, cut it in layers (words and pineapple separately), and weed away the excess vinyl.

Press the pineapple first (I guess pineapples are all the rage this year!) and then your phrase on top.

If you don't have a cutter but still want to make a cute bag, then check out this easy tutorial for a Painted Pool Tote from my Fun in the Summertime Series.  It's so easy and so cute!  

In case you're wondering, this phrase on my cooler bag comes from one of my favorite country summer songs. "Ain't Ever Gonna Beat This Summer" has the cutest video ever, and is all about summer memories. I just love it!   I love how music can evoke so many memories.

When I hear old 90's music, I remember days of "laying out" for a tan with my friend down the street. (Don't do that.  Your 40 year old self will thank you.)

When I hear "Brown-Eyed Girl", I think of a trip to Chicago's "Taste of Chicago" Festival over the 4th of July Weekend.

When I hear "Hold My Hand", I think of a last summer trip made with friends for a concert in the next state over.  I had to beg my mom to let me go on that one.  

Coca-Cola is also celebrating your memories with it's "Share a Coke and a Song" campaign.  You can stop in your local CVS store to pick up a 20 oz Coca-Cola for the road or whatever else you might need last minute.  I stopped in at 11:30pm for a glue stick once.  I love shopping at CVS because they are so friendly, convenient, and always have what I need.  Check out the Best Summer Ever Deals at your local CVS. Buy 2 20oz bottles of Coca-Cola products for $3

I picked up a few bottles of Diet Coke®, which had these fun song lyrics on them.  Some stores have a special display, but mine didn't.  These were just back in the coolers in the drink section.

I immediately started singing them and wanted to play them in the car.  So I used the Shazam app, which you can download on Apple, Android, and other devices, to get my Coca-Cola Share a Song.  Then my kids and I had a little dance party in the car!

What is your favorite summer song?  Check out more fun ways to "Share a Coke and a Song" here
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Thursday, May 5

The Handmade Hangout #100! Plus Features

Welcome to the Handmade Hangout- where you can link up all things made by YOU!

It's been quiet on the blog this week- I'll tell you why soon but I can't spill the beans just yet.  But I want to make sure you get the chance to link up and be featured on one of our SIX blogs!

Here are some of my favorites from last week's linky:

1.  This Vintage Tennis Racket Table from Sweet Pea is so creative- I've never seen anything like it!  

Vintage Tennis Racket Table - Learn how to make a table base with six vintage tennis rackets.

2.  It's already 100 degrees here and this Frosted Mango Lemonade from Dukes and Duchesses sounds like the perfect treat to beat the heat!

recipe for frosted mango lemonade

3.  I'm all about the curb appeal, and this Farmhouse Front Entry from Worthing Court has it in spades!  I especially love the seed packet wreath!

Farmhouse style front porch and easy containers

1.  Become a follower of the blog where you linked up.  Of course we'd love it if you follow all our hosts on whatever platforms you use most!

Allison from A Glimpse Inside

Becca from From Gardners to Bergers

Kim from Too Much Time on My Hands

Heather from Twin Dragonfly Designs

Valerie from Occasionally Crafty

Alli from Made with HAPPY

2.  Share our button or party link in your post or wherever you share your linky parties

Occasionally Crafty

Link up your projects!

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