Tag Archives: candy

The Halloween Candy

Candy 003bb

This is just a simple way to display the office candy or treats. It is very easy to do and requires little to no extra purchases.

Here’s What you need:

  • candy (your choice)
  • vase or glass container (ideally you want it to be clear so everyone can what’s in it)
  • decor (if you like, though not required)

Here’s What You Do:

  • place the goodies in the container
  • decorate with ribbon or other themed decorations
  • enjoy!

I love ideas like this one because it’s not specifically tied to one holiday or time of the year. This works year-round and is very easy to do. Even the kiddos can help!

The Year in Review: 2013

As 2013 winds down I thought I’d share a quick year-end review. This year has truly flown by. I know that’s what everyone says, but it’s true. It was a lovely year for which I am grateful. I was fortunate enough to do a lot of traveling and was able to create some really great memories that I will speak of for years to come.

I am very excited that I was able to start this blog this year too. It’s been a wonderful challenge creating posts and images that go along with it. I wanted to re-post my favorites and well as your favorites from the year. Enjoy.

May you have a safe and Happy New Year from Hannah and Harley.

This was the very first post from Hannah and Harley.

This was the very first post from Hannah and Harley. There’s always something special about the first of anything.

This post is favorite simply because it started an early interest into researching the benefits of essential oils. An interest that will most likely get a lot more attention in 2014.

This post is a favorite simply because it started an early interest into researching the benefits of essential oils. An interest that will most likely get a lot more attention in 2014.

This is my favorite image from this summer. From June to mid-July of this year I was in a different city each weekend. It was a great experience, but I looked up and it was almost August. Thank goodness for photography. Without these images I may have forgotten the entire summer.

This is my favorite image from this summer. From June to mid-July of this year I was in a different city each weekend. It was a great experience, but I looked up and it was almost August. Thank goodness for photography. Without these images I may have forgotten the entire summer.

The Berry Salad, a simple mixture of berries, was by far the most successful new recipe I tried this year. I've made it countless times since this post. It's delicious and healthy!

The Berry Salad, a simple mixture of berries, was by far the most successful new recipe I tried this year. I’ve made it countless times since this post. It’s delicious and healthy!

The marquee says it all. This was actually a contest. Who ever submitted the winning marquee suggestion won a free combo.

The marquee says it all. This was actually a contest. Who ever submitted the winning marquee suggestion won a free combo. This is one of many photos I took over the weekend Arkansas State University played Auburn. An experience more appreciated now because in less than two weeks, Auburn will be playing Florida State in the national championship. Very cool.

Believe it or not this post about baked carrots is the most popular post from this year. It's the most shared pin from Hannah and Harley on Pinterest. It just keeps popping up randomly. Its success is most likely due to its simplicity.

Believe it or not this post about baked carrots is the most popular post from this year. It’s the most shared pin from Hannah and Harley on Pinterest. It just keeps popping up randomly. Its success is most likely due to its simplicity.

This is my personal favorite post from 2013. I don't think I've had so much fun writing something since college. I had forgotten what it was like to write for fun.

This is my personal favorite post from 2013. I don’t think I’ve had so much fun writing something since college. I had forgotten what it was like to write for fun. Hopefully I will get a few chances to write for fun.

This was the most shared post on facebook. For clairty, this post was about my mom so I'm pretty sure the facebook shares were from folks that knew my mom.

This was the most shared post on Facebook. For clarity, this post was about my mom so I’m pretty sure the Facebook shares were from folks that knew my mom.

The 12 Days of Christmas: The Survival Package

I am very excited to bring to you the second annual 12 Days of Christmas. This project began last year as a last-minute gift idea guide and because it was so successful it started this very blog you are reading now! I will feature 12 different holiday gift ideas and/or recipes with instructions. I hope you enjoy them and are inspired. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Hannah and Harley.

Don’t let the name of this post fool you. It’s sounds neat, but it’s really more of a thank you package. As part of our Christmas card  this year we handed out “survival packages” at the office. The package included the following:

  • a handful of peppermints – because you (or someone near) may need a breath of fresh air
  • a handful of Kisses, Rolos, or both – because everyone needs chocolate in their lives
  • a package of Advil – for those everyday headaches even — or especially — this time of year
  • a pack of Kleenex – because you are human and sneeze or may need to wipe something off
  • hand sanitizer – because it’s just handy to have around
  • a package of Swiss Miss hot chocolate – because life needs a little of flavor from time to time.

These types of kits are very easy to create. The ones we created at work couldn’t be gender or themed specific because of the variety of people we gave these to. The kits are great for themed or gender ideas. For example, if you have an all ladies book club to give you can create a fingernail themed kit with polish, file, remover, clippers, cuticle cutters, toe separators, etc. You get the idea. For men it’s the same way you can create a shaving kit, food related kit, sports kit. That list goes on and on as well.

These are really good if you are on a budget as well. There are a few things you should keep in mind. Listed below are some tips I provided based on my experience gathering everything for our survival package.

  • Know your audience. Is it a mixture of ages? Is your group all men or all women?
  • Create a list. You will need to know what you are going to put in the kit before you ever purchase a single item. This include the final package. You need to what you are going to put the kit in. We started with plastic container, moved to a glass container, and decided on cellophane bags wrapped with ribbon. It was shipped in a USPS small flat rate box.
  • Know how you are going to distribute these items. Are you mailing or shipping anything? There’s a cost there too. Make sure you include shipping in your budget. We choose to USPS flat rate small boxes. Are you going to hand deliver these kits? Think about the gas it will take to get from place to another and all over town.
  • Be willing to adjust your list based on availability, cost, and ease of purchase. Initially, we wanted to include band-aids and dental floss in the kits. The floss was too expensive. We considered for a brief moment the floss sticks , but who wants to use it knowing someone else may or may not have touched the floss sticks. Pass. We didn’t use band-aids for presentation reasons.
  • Buy in bulk. Unless you are creating less than five of these kits the cost of purchasing everything not in bulk will get expensive quick. Buying as many items as you can in bulk will assist in keeping the costs down. The peppermints, Kisses, Rolos, Advil, and hot chocolate were all purchased in bulk. I’m not saying go to your local warehouse store and buy it all there in 20-pound bags. No. Let’s say you want to include Hershey bars. Instead of buying 20 at the checkout line in individually wrapped bars for a $1 go to the candy aisle and price check the multi-pack. That’s what I mean by buy in bulk.
  • Price check. Everything. Do the math. You may think it’s a great idea to include a newly released cookbook from your favorite chef in the kit, but if that cookbook is $15.99 and you’ve got 20 kits to gather that’s $319.80 already spent. Research everything. I spent about 30 minutes looking up prices and availability on the items we choose before I presented it for approval from co-workers and bosses. That help me set my budget and know what I could purchase.
  • Check out the dollar stores around you. It most likely won’t be name brand items, but you will be able to find more than you expected in these stores. I purchased the hand sanitizer and cellophane bags from The Dollar Tree and spent less $40. Browse the aisles you may even be inspired.
  • Have fun. If you have fun then other people have fun. Fun spreads. Share the fun!

The 12 Days of Christmas: The Christmas Candy Flower Pot

The Christmas Candy Flower Pot from www.hannahandharley.com

The Christmas Candy Flower Pot

I am very excited to bring to you the second annual 12 Days of Christmas. This project began last year as a last-minute gift idea guide and because it was so successful it started this very blog you are reading now! I will feature 12 different holiday gift ideas and/or recipes with instructions. I hope you enjoy them and are inspired. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Hannah and Harley.

This was a such a cute idea I decided to do it again for Christmas. You can find my original post here on The Halloween Candy Flower Pot. I did the exact same thing here except it’s Christmas themed. The Halloween Candy Flower Pot was such a success even my local UPS guy enjoyed a few Tootsie Pops. He’s welcome to these as well.

Here’s What You Need:

A flower pot, a bucket, vase (You choose. The bucket you see is the very same bucket from the Halloween post with wrapping around it. There’s no need to purchase anything new if you can help it.)

Candy (Suckers are much easier to use, but any individually wrapped candy will work. Think Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Trust me when I say Rolos are too small.) The suckers I used for this post are candy cane flavored Tootsie Pops and they taste much better than they sound.

Styrofoam  ball. (Make sure it will fit the base of your choosing.)

Here’s What You Do:

Place the Styrofoam ball in the base.

Start from either the top of the ball or the bottom (your choice) and work your way up or down placing the candy in the ball. (You could randomly place the candy in the ball, but you might end up with gaps.) I started from the bottom and made layers working my way up. I tried to make sure there were no gaps.

Enjoy! :)

PS: I took the photo using the night scene setting on my camera. I used an 18-70 mm (for tech folks it was a 3.5-5.6 aperture) lens with the camera’s pop up flash. As I pushed the shutter button I moved the lens in and out to create movement. The flash stops what’s still and gives you the idea of movement with everything else. You should take as many photos as possible to make sure you get the effect you want. I took at least 50 photos. Seriously.

The 12 Days of Christmas: The Cranberry Caramel Chex Mix

The Chex Mix 033

I am very excited to bring to you the second annual 12 Days of Christmas. This project began last year as a last-minute gift idea guide and because it was so successful it started this very blog you are reading now! I will feature 12 different holiday gift ideas and/or recipes with instructions. I hope you enjoy them and are inspired. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Hannah and Harley.

This is one of those recipes that turned out better than expected! There are those recipes that look great, but for whatever reason don’t turn out so good. There are those easy recipes that look easy. And then there are those recipes that look great and taste better than they look. This is a simple and easy to make recipe for cranberry caramel Chex Mix.
Here’s What You Need:

  • 3 cups Rice Chex
  • 3 cups Corn Chex
  • 1 1/2 cup honey roasted nuts
  • 1 1/2 cups twisted pretzels
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/4 cup light Karo syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups craisins
  • 1 1/2 cups M&Ms or chocolate chips

Here’s What You Do:

  • Mix cereals, nuts and pretzels in a large bowl.
  • In a 2 cup glass measuring cup, add brown sugar, butter and Karo syrup and microwave for 2 minutes until melted, stirring well after 1 minute.
  • Add baking soda to the caramel sauce and mix well.
  • Pour sauce over cereal mixture and mix gently until cereal is completely coated.
  • Pour coated cereal mixture onto a jelly roll pan and bake at 250 degrees for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
  • Cool completely and add raisins and M&Ms

Enjoy.
You can find the original recipe here. It’s from myblessedlife.net.

The Chex Mix 039

The Tootsie Roll

The Tootsie Roll by www.hannahandharley.com

As an individual piece of candy the Tootsie Roll is fine. It’s a classic. It premiered in 1896 and has remained a candy staple for decades. You can’t deny its chocolatey, chewy goodness. There is, however, a time and place for the Tootsie Roll like the everlasting candy bowl at the office or as a sweet treat after dinner. As a Halloween trick or treating staple? Unless it’s a giant handful of them — not so much.

As a child, I adored Halloween. Not so much for the costumes. I usually created my own costumes the night before like the literary character, Pippy Longstockings, or a mash up of mixed and matched clothes from my mom’s closet. I made an effort with my costumes, but I loved Halloween for the candy! Truly. If I could have gotten away with putting hosiery on my head and calling it a costume — I would have. My mom encouraged the creativity and some years actually challenged me to top the prior years’ idea. I never could beat Pippy Longstockings until I was an adult as Marge Simpson!

But, OH!, that candy!

It was that bag full of sugary, chewy, yummyiness that was the end-all-be-all for me. I loved coming inside from a long haul around the subdivision and dumping my collection on the floor and just staring at it. I usually sorted the best from the worst based on my preferences. The best type of candy varied from year to year, but the worst was always the same. The worst were those cheap peanut butter flavored chews. You know the ones. They were wrapped in black and orange paper and tasted like stale bread soaked in sugar. It was the signal that whatever house you were at that handed them out were instantly marked off the list for next year.

As in years past, and in the years following 1990, I was in the best subdivision for Halloween candy in my hometown. For the parents, it was safe and comfortable to take the kids. There were fewer concerns of harm coming to a child. Adults watched out for all children — their own and those they had never seen before or since. Children loved it for the candy, countless yard decorations, and streets upon streets of Willy Wonka child-like generosity. In a word, it was safe.

So when you’re that young it makes sense to equate outlandish and extravagant decorations with the mother load. Right? Yeah. I don’t know what my costume was that year. Nor do I know who I was with, what street I was on, or the color of the house I was at.  What I do know was the disappointment I felt for an unmet expectation. It was probably an unrealistic expectation, or maybe, a child-like desire for my wishes to be reality. Regardless, I learned a lesson. A lesson I didn’t fully comprehend until I was an adult and on the other side of the moment.

When there’s a crowd at a house on Halloween night, there is bound to be something good there or at least worth seeing. This is what drew me to this house. There was a line! Oh my, there’s bound to be something cool there. I remember being directed towards the end of the line by someone in something black: a witch or vampire. There’s really no telling. As I stood in line, my anticipation grew. There were thoughts of Snickers, Milky Ways, or PayDays. The big ones — the kind that required you to behave at the grocery store as a reward for not bugging the crap out of your mom while she’s shopping for dinner. (God bless you, Momma, I had no idea how a day can take its toll on you.) As I’m waiting in line I can hear scary music — Frankenstein movie-like music. I heard organs, witches cackling, a wolf howl, and a creaky door. It was the quintessential music for Halloween.

There was also dry ice fog billowing from front door lit by a black light and guarded by a mummy. As I followed the line that runs the length of the wrap around front porch, my excitement continued to grow with each step. The fake cotton cobwebs startled me as I got lost in my daydream of the candy I was about to receive. A hot dog barks at my ankles. Literally. It was a little dog dressed up as a hot dog! My excitement continued to grow. I neared the front of the line and I could hear others happily, cheerfully say “thank you” as they hop down the makeshift steps the owners had created for the night’s event. At the front of the line there was a black blob moving about at the end of the porch. In nearing closer, I realized it was a gorilla. The gorilla — the big man, had the goods! I could hardly contain my excitement and it took the little cheerleader behind me to get the line moving again. It was my turn! My heart was pounding. My hands were shaking. I could barely eek out the required “Trick or Treat” for the candy. As I stood there, I could barely see from the lamp light coming through the window the large, black hand sliding forward on the table he was sitting at. He slowly moved his hand back to reveal my treasure trove that — wait! What? A Tootsie Roll? A stinking mini-Tootsie Roll? One. Single. Mini-Tootsie Roll. Are you kidding me? That’s all I get? What?

Dejected. I spit out the required “thank you.” I’m good girl. That’s what good girls do, but inside I was disappointed. Why? Why go to all that trouble and cheap out on the one thing I’m there for? I don’t care about the experience. It’s the goods I’m after! I’d be much happier with a simple porch light on and single serving bag of Skittles. Really. It’s true.

It’s true to this day. It is more about the experience today, but when it comes to Halloween, my porch light will be on. I may or may not be dressed up, but I promise you I will have the good candy. There will be none of the peanut butter chews and most certainly never, ever, be one single mini-Tootsie Roll when I’m on the other side of the door. You see: Halloween is still about the candy.

So tonight, please be careful. Be safe. Be smart. Enjoy. And may there be more than one single Tootsie Roll at every door you knock. Here’s to the good candy!

The No-Bake Reese’s Peanut Butter Bars

No Bake Bars7B

I’m not a fan of the practice, but a lot of people who write blogs will share a long, dramatic, sometimes awkward life experience that segways into the recipe they want to share. You know what I’m talking about. It’s that great “Eureka!” moment in life people like to share, some moving experience that leads them down a path, or even an awkward moment where they sought comfort in a sweet  treat. This post is not one of those times.

I told someone the other day “not everything is a life lesson.” He wholeheartedly disagreed with me, and within the context of that conversation he was right (as usual). Sometimes I think, though, life is about enjoying something simple like a great cup of coffee, a long rain shower on a let’s-sleep-in-kind-of-Saturday morning, or storybook football weather. I think this recipe is one of those simple things. Yes, it’s that simple and delicious! Five ingredients and four steps. It doesn’t get much easier than that. The hardest part about this recipe will be finding the patience to wait long enough for it to cool in the refrigerator.  (I failed.)


Here’s What You Need:

  • 1/2 cup salted butter, melted (Make it the real stuff!)
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (use more if you want a thicker crust)
  • 1 cup of powered sugar
  • 3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter (You can’t go wrong with JIF.)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Here’s What You Do:

  • Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and set to the side.
  • Mix the butter, graham cracker crumbs, and powered sugar together until combined. Stir in 3/4 cup of peanut butter, mix well, and then spread onto pan.
  • Microwave the 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and one cup of the semi- sweet chocolate chips until melted. Stir until smooth. Spread over peanut butter layer.
  • Chill until firm. It will take about three hours. (The outer edges are ready in about an hour. FYI!)

You can find the original link and recipe here.