Cyber Monday at McKinneyX2Designs

McKinneyX2Designs at Mars Holiday Craft Show 2017

McKinneyX2Designs at Mars Holiday Craft Show 2017

Cyber Monday at McKinneyX2Designs.

It’s Cyber Monday!  The most popular day for online holiday shopping.  Cyber Monday follows Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.  So many shopping terms!

‘Tis the season!

Will you be cyber shopping today?

Well, my daughter-in-law, Colleen and I thought we would get in on the action too by offering a 10% discount on anything available in our McKinneyX2Designs Etsy Shop as our little holiday gift to you!

Use Promo Code “Cyber10” when placing your order to assure the discount!

Will you be cyber shopping today?

Happy Shopping!

McKinneyX2Designs at Mars Holiday Craft Show 2017

McKinneyX2Designs at Mars Holiday Craft Show 2017

Cheers & Hugs,

P.S.  Speaking of Daughters-in-law and specials, my DIL Liz offers FREE 15-minute Nutritionist Phone Consultations to those local to the Mars/Pittsburgh area who are interested in learning about healthy decisions for eating well.  Her areas of expertise include:  digestive health complaints including SIBO, IBS, IBD (Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s), and GERD, Autoimmune conditions, Natural Hormone Balance, and General Health and Weight Management.  Check out Nourish & Flourish for more details.

S’More Cookie Bars

S’More Cookie Bars.

What S’more fun than S’mores?!

And what s’more perfect with hot cocoa or coffee than s’mores.

And what s’more delicious than campfire s’mores?

S’more cookie bars any time of year!

I love these adorable little cookie treats I learned from my daughter-in-law, Colleen, who first served them at a holiday cookie exchange she hosted a couple years ago.

They are simple.   They are fun. They are beautiful.  And best of all, they are SCRUMPTIOUS!

The teeny tiny miniature dehydrated marshmallows totally make them!  I purchased them locally at Make a Cake, a local, charming little cake and candy decorating shop, but they are also available online if you can’t find them near you.

Here is how to make them.

S'more Cookie Bars



After breaking all graham crackers and chocolate bars into rectangles, place one chocolate rectangle between two graham cracker rectangles forming a sandwich.

Melt Merckens milk chocolate one pound at a time in microwave.  Heat for 1 minute on high.  Stir well.  Heat 20-30 more seconds.  Stir well until smooth.

Dip each graham cracker and chocolate bar sandwich into chocolate – coating 1/2 – 2/3 of cookie.   Let excess drip, and place on sheet of wax paper to cool and harden.  Dip 4-6, place on wax paper, and sprinkle with marshmallows.  Working in groups allows the marshmallows to stick to the melted chocolate before it cools to harden.  Continue until all are coated and sprinkled with marshmallows.  Allow to cool and harden.

They are ready within 20-30 minutes to enjoy or store in an airtight container.


Cheers & Hugs,

P.S.  If you are local, I made these to share at the Berry Vine Gifts Christmas in the Woods Open House, which starts today, Friday, November 17th (10-6).  It also runs through the weekend, Saturday, November 18th (10-6) and Sunday, November 19th (12-4).  Come munch on one with a cup of cocoa while you browse the beautiful holiday handmade crafts, antique furniture, and gifts in this one-of-a-kind shoppe (including my art and Colleen’s rustic pallet signs!) 

My Revised Holiday To Do List

What are you up to this weekend?  Do you have a crazy, long, exhausting “To Do” list for getting ready for the holidays?

I recently saw a great revised list on Instagram… and it really made me think.   So I got to working on re-setting some of my own priorities.

Christmas to do list 2014

#1:  Do you have a lot of presents left to buy?  I do!  But I’m not going to worry about it.  If it gets down to the wire, I’ll just give gift cards or money.  I think my kids like that best anyway.

And when I receive a text from my cousin’s six-year old daughter like I did earlier this week that says:

I have a concert on Saturday December 13.  Can you be there?  I don’t know what time

Well – you can bet I’ll be there.  Those kind of invites are too precious to pass up!

#2:  Do you still have wrapping to do?  Remember there are always gift bags.  Instead, make sure you wrap everyone you love with lots of warm hugs.  And my little twist is to always try to be the last to let go….  You never know when you might get the chance again or how much that person needs it at that moment.

#3:  I still haven’t sent my cards out.  And you know I’m a card making fool!  Much more fun creating them than addressing and stuffing and licking envelopes, so whatever ones I do get out, I do – and it will be sent with all the love and time I put into it.  But if I don’t get them out, or even mail them after the holidays – that’s ok – right?!  No crime!  I want to make sure I’m sending love, not just a card for a card’s sake.

#4:  I’ve got lots of food shopping to do – and no worries – the stores are open 24 hours, so I will eventually get there.  What I do want to make sure we do is donate food to those in need.

#5:  I love to make cookies – and it is a rare occasion that we don’t have a homemade cookie in the house to munch on or offer a guest – but guess what?  No Christmas cookies baked yet.  I’ll get to some I’m sure.  What is more important is making time for people – like the little cutie we’re going to go listen to sing on Saturday or the chocolate-making class I went to last night with my daughter-in-law.  Sure – I could be baking, but I first want to make time for those I love.

#6:  I adore seeing all the Christmas lights, and Marty and I sure had fun at Kennywood’s Festival of Lights, but what is more important is that I make time to BE that light.

#7:  And Parties….. I kinda live for hosting parties.  We are hosting four in a row from Christmas Eve until Saturday 12/27, and then again on New Year’s Eve.  YIPPEE!  Am I stressing over it?!  NOPE!  Will I fuss?  Probably not so much.  Or maybe a little – if I have time.  But if I don’t — – not gonna worry!  As long as the people show up, we have something to eat and drink, and there is lots of love and laughing – then the party is a success!  Right?

Christmas to do list revised 2014

So check your list.  Does it need a little tweaking?  A couple of revisions?  Make sure you are cherishing each moment along the way.

Cheers and Hugs,


Holiday Gift Ideas: Chocolate Uranus? Suitjamas?

It is December 3rd.     22 days till Christmas.     That’s like a blink – right?


And I have not even begun my Christmas shopping.

When the kids were young, I had organized lists well ahead of time, letters to Santa sent early, Christmas club accounts cashed out, layaways picked up, gifts wrapped and hid… and likely all done by December 3rd.

Not so much these days….

So even though I’m saying again this year we are downplaying the gifts, I’ve been scouring the internet looking for “just the right” little sumthin sumthins.

Here are a few things I am considering.  What do you think?

Did you ever wonder whSolar system Choco Kaiseki (nine sets)at Uranus tastes like?

For my chocolate-loving friends, Chocolate Boutique Rekura RIHGA has these gorgeous chocolate planet balls each with their own unique flavor.

For $50 a box, I think I’ll pick up a dozen or two to keep on hand for those last-minute gifts you always find yourself needing.

And you know how hard it is to find a gift for your boss that pretty much can buy anything he wants?  Well, I’m betting since he loves being in a suit so much all day that he would just be super-thrilled to have these suitjamas from ZBoss to wear all night too!  And they are quite the steal at only $99.95!    Check √

Now for that hard-to-buy for hubby…

Well – If I would not have just spent $100 and several hours of Jake and Nick and Colleen’s time buying and re-felting the pool table Marty got on Craig’s list, I would for sure have got snatched up this Ford Mustang pool table, which is a total steal for $9,995.  Dang!  It’s even in his favorite shade of red.  Oh well – sorry dear!
1965 Mustang Pool Table

pet-hoodiesBut I did find just the thing for my grandkitten!

Wonder if she will love her pet hoodie as much as her Mom and I love wearing our hoodies?


So thanks to the This is Why I’m Broke website for the great start on my holiday shopping!  If you have any more great ideas, please share.  I’m still looking for a bit more inspiration…

Cheers & Hugs,



White Christmas Shaker Card

White Christmas Shaker Card

It’s the day after Thanksgiving…

What a wonderful day we had sharing with family and friends.  I hope all of you that celebrated did also.  We are STUFFED to the gills with turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie, and we have lots of leftovers to continue the feast for at least a few more days.  I hope to share some more about that later, but for now I wanted to share another Christmas card I made, since we are now in full fledged Christmas season!

I made this SU White Christmas Shaker card after Linda Heller from Where the Rubber Hits the Road was kind enough to send me some SU shaker frames (from our #FreebieFriday random drawing contest).  For this card, I cut and pieced two of them together to create a larger shaker to contain this scene that is reminiscent of this time of year – getting the annual Christmas tree.  I stamped it all in Memento Black Ink and then colored in with SU Stampin’ Write Markers.  I filled it with some sequins, wrapped it with SU DSP and sponged the edges to vintage it up a bit.  Finishing touches were a linen thread bow and brown metal brad.

The SUO Challenge SUO#110 this week is “Marker Fun,” and this one was fun with markers, so I am sharing there.

I know just who this card is going to, and I hope they have as much fun shakin’ it as I did coloring it!

White Christmas Shaker Card

Cheers & Thankful Holiday Hugs,



Rubbing our Feet, Rubbing our Eyes, Creating Memories

#Writing 101: Your Voice Will Find You

You’re told that an event that’s dear to your heart — an annual fair, festival, or conference — will be cancelled forever. Write about it. For your twist, focus on your own voice.

A couple years ago, I was invited into a “sacred” ritual with my (then future) now daughter-in-law and the girls in her family.

BLACK FRIDAY Girl’s Night Out Shopping Extravaganza!

I can just hear some of you right now as you read this saying/thinking:



Only Crazies go out shopping on Black Friday!”

(I used to be one of these!)


Then there are some of you reading this that have a secret smile slowly forming at the corners of your mouth.  You know who you are!

Your mind is beginning to race.

Admit it – by now you are already starting to think about your plan, beginning to map out your excursion.  You’ve got the bug!

Black Friday Shopping is a crazy “tradition” here in the United States that is designated as “Opening Day” of Christmas Shopping Season (even though Christmas decorations are ridiculously already out now in the beginning of October at most every discount and department store).

Black Friday occurs on the last Friday in November – the day after Thanksgiving each year.  There is a huge hype created by most every retail store by advertising (weeks ahead of time) very specific special sales and discounts for just this day.   The special sale price is usually on particularly popular items, sometimes hard to get, and most always in very limited quantities causing waiting lines to form hours (and sometimes even days) before the sale begins for savvy, smart, competitive, mentally-deranged shoppers.


I used to laugh at those half-baked lunatics that stormed Target to save $10.

Now I’m in the club.

It’s not that I even ever really have anything in particular on my list that I have to get.  For me, it’s just about being with the girls, celebrating a “tradition,” and doing something completely different than I ever do any other day of the year.

We meet up at around 10 or 11pm Thanksgiving evening so we can start our shopping at the stroke of midnight to take advantage of every second.  We shop our way through the entire time we are usually snug as a bug in bed and don’t quit until noon for a full 12 hours of laughing, shopping, eating, rubbing our feet, rubbing our eyes, creating secret pacts over gift selections, hiding from the others to purchase something someone gasped over, helping hide others from the one buying something for the other, bumping into friends, eating breakfast at 3am and lunch by 10 am.  We shop until our feet and eyes can take no more.  Until we’ve laughed so hard our throats hurt.  Until our wallets are empty and our trunk is full.

We are creating bonds, creating memories, creating traditions.  It’s so much more than shopping.  It’s an event to look forward to, look back on, tell stories about, grow close together through.  I think it should be called Fun Friday – not Black Friday.

What would truly make this Black for me would be if it were cancelled, if we didn’t do it, if I wasn’t invited/included.  It has come to be an annual event I look forward to.  A special time with the girls that gives me some kind of nonsensical, ludicrous pleasure.

Yep – I joined the club.  The Annual Fun Friday Club.  I think I am going to put this name up to a vote this year 🙂

Call me crazy, but don’t call me at 3pm that day (zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz)

Cheers & Hugs,