We’re over-the-moon about Hallmark’s latest collaboration with Crayola: four new coloring books for us grown-ups! We’re all about zen-ing out with original line art and our favorite hues, and we know a lot of you are, too. These new books feature unique Hallmark art and are perfect for Crayola’s colored pencils and fine line markers.
Two of the new books are by individual Hallmark artists: Folk Art Escapes by Flora Chang (seen coloring in this post!) and Whimsical Escapes by Terry Runyan. Both Flora and Terry contributed to Hallmark’s own coloring book earlier this year; we’re jazzed that they have their very own books now, too.
The other two Hallmark + Crayola new coloring books, Patterned Escapes and Elegant Escapes, are group efforts. They feature artwork by a whole host of Hallmarkers alongside some fresh finds from our archives.
Remember to add these bright books to your Black Friday shopping list—especially for people in your life who need some non-digital downtime! You can find them all at both Target and TRU.
Share your coloring book art with us @think.make.share! We want to see your masterpieces!
Emily A. is a Hallmark editorial director with a knack for crafting some seriously tear-inducing cards…and some seriously smile-inducing gifts. Read on for an easy and tasty mason jar gift idea perfect for your Thanksgiving host!
This time of year you won’t have to look very far to find an opportunity to give someone a gift. Whether it’s celebrating the holidays with co-workers, expressing gratitude to neighbors or just sending someone a little long-distance love, this cake mix in a jar is a great way to say “Hey!” to someone who means a lot.
It’s also a great way to give someone a meaningful yet convenient experience. By giving your friends or family almost everything they need to bake pumpkin bread, you are giving them an opportunity to share a dessert with whoever is around their table. And because it’s shelf-stable, you are also giving them the freedom of baking when it’s easiest for them. Not to mention, this is a nice, edible gift you can actually mail with no problems.
The components of the bread mix look lovely inside the jar, and you can use any jar that holds one dry quart. Of course a mason jar works perfectly, and I think by now we all have one of those lying around in our cupboards. But spruce up this project with a jar or glass canister of a different shape or size if you’d like. Use a wide-mouth mason jar to allow easy filling and packing, and if you have a canning funnel, so much the better.
Round out this gift with these printable recipe cards and labels, to add a nice personal touch. (It’s always lovely to look back on recipes written in the penmanship of an old friend or family member, so I left room for you to write in the recipe yourself.) Include the full recipe in case your friends or family want to recreate this bread later on their own, but specify that all they have to do with the bread mix is add the three wet ingredients.
You could even include a small pie pumpkin and a dozen farm fresh brown eggs from the farmers market. If you’re delivering this gift locally that would make a bountiful and beautiful arrangement.
Make a couple of batches all at once and have ready-made gifts just waiting to give when you need them. This would also make a unique addition to a bake sale. And it might not hurt to make an extra one to keep in your own cabinet, just for those times during the season when you suddenly find yourself in need of a pumpkin bread and no time to bake or buy one. You can whip up one of these in under an hour and with hardly any mess if the mix is already made.
Feel free to explore other recipes if you have a favorite vegan or gluten-free cake you like to make or give. Any recipe that requires mixing all the dry ingredients together first would work well in a jar.
Emily’s Deluxe Pumpkin Bread
For the mix:
1½ cups whole-wheat flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon all spice
1⁄8 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1⁄3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup oats
½ cup raisins
½ cup choc chips
To finish the cake:
1 can canned pumpkin
½ cup vegetable oil
Prepare the layered mix:
In a large bowl, combine the flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir until well blended.
Place mixture into a 1-quart jar and pack down.
On top of the flour add the brown sugar layer, the white sugar layer and the oats, packing each one down before adding the next.
Add the raisins and chocolate chips.
Give these instructions with the cake mix:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour a 9×3 bundt pan (or use two loaf pans).
In a large bowl, combine 1 can of pumpkin, ½ cup of vegetable oil and 2 eggs, stirring until well blended and set aside.
Place contents of jar into a medium bowl and mix until well blended.
Add dry mixture into the pumpkin mixture, stirring until well blended.
Pour batter into the prepared bundt pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes (use less time for two loaf pans) or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
My recipe was inspired by this one, but I modified my pumpkin bread to include favorite spices and flavors and more whole grains.
Printables designed by Hallmark designer Leslie S.
Are you giving homemade gifts this year? Show us! Tag us on Instagram, @think.make.share.
Lindsay T. is an innovative designer, fast problem-solver and impeccable taste-maker. She’s also a key part of the Think.Make.Share team and back today to share a cool and useful Black Friday family tradition. Definitely one to pass around next week!
The holidays are full of traditions, and today I thought I’d share a long-standing (and quite handy) family tradition in hopes that it can make your holidays a little easier, too.
My parents are Black Friday shoppers. They always have been. I always thought it was cute of them to wake up the day after Thanksgiving and head out into the world together to tackle the crowds and get good deals for their kiddos. Pretty early on they started asking us some basics the night before: what we wanted, what we didn’t want, what size shoe we were…which I always thought was so smart. How nice is it to have your son’s shoe size written down so you don’t find yourself guessing (or texting and ruining the surprise) in the middle of the aisle?
So now, on the evening of Thanksgiving, we all “turn in” our Black Friday wish lists, which includes handy things like hat size, shirt size, what stores we’re into, what colors we like this year…etc.
It has evolved from mom and dad asking before they headed out the door to all of us having a fun assignment on Thanksgiving. And even though we are now all spread out across the nation, come Thanksgiving night, the emails start rolling in with everyone’s wishes. I print them out, pop ’em into my purse, and am armed for mall madness.
Let’s be honest. Florals can be intimidating. But they don’t have to be hard! Using Scott’s grocery store flower arranging tips from last year as a reference, I found a way to make them my own by keeping things monochromatic and incorporating fresh produce.
Here’s how to get a similar organic look for your Friendsgiving flowers:
1. Select a grocery-store arrangement with colors you respond to (I love rich jewel tones) and pick up an extra bunch of greenery if you can. Eucalyptus looks great with most any flower and smells fantastic to boot, so that’s usually my go-to. Remember that you won’t have to use everything in the arrangement. In fact, I recommend sticking to around three different types of blooms. So if there are some stems that make it into secondary arrangements (say, for your entry or powder room), all the better!
2. Select your produce. Have fun with this! I used artichokes and kale leaves for their fullness and texture (and because they were readily available at my local grocery store), but there are no rules for what you can and can’t do. Kumquats, grapes, green pears, cuties and herbs are all great options. Tip: Keep it seasonal to lower cost.
3. After choosing a simple, round glass vase, I started with a nest of greenery. You don’t need a lot of this, and it doesn’t have to be symmetrical. In fact, if you are going for a more organic, wild look, it’s best to have at least one long stem in there. I used eucalyptus and kale for my foundation.
4. Layer in your largest flowers and work your way to smaller blooms. I took Scott’s advice and clustered the types of flowers for a more sophisticated look. (A monochromatic color scheme helps keep it chic, too.) If you’re incorporating large produce, place those early as well. You may end up shifting things a bit once you get more in the arrangement and start to see where your gaps are.
5. Finish things off with a few more sprigs of greenery where you see fit. You want a little bit of this interspersed with your flowers to add interest throughout.
Ali from Gimme Some Oven is one of our favorite bloggers. We love her positivity, her adventurous spirit, and (of course) her food. She’s guest-posted for us before, and we’re very happy she’s back to grace our Friendsgiving with her stand-out sides and swoon-worthy sangria!
‘Tis the season for all things “giving”!
And even though Thanksgiving is still a few weeks away, November has already been full of celebrating. And full of good friends. And full of food. (I still feel full of food!!)
Just this week, a few dozen friends from downtown gathered at my loft for our annual Neighborsgiving, which is ultra-casual and ultra-fun. Next week, I have a Friendsgiving on the calendar, hosted annually by a dear friend who coordinates a beautiful candlelit meal full of friends, and then sends everyone home with a blank thank-you card to pass along. And then, of course, I’ll be traveling home to be with family on Thanksgiving, where we go all out each year with a traditional turkey meal with all the fixins.
But one of the highlights of November was getting to begin the month with another lovely Friendsgiving with a bunch of new and old friends from Hallmark! Once upon a time, I used to help with some food styling in the photo studio at Hallmark, and still am so inspired by all of the creative people who work there. So when Tobe mentioned that a bunch of people were getting together for a Friendsgiving at her place (in her gorgeous new dining room, no less!), I was all in.
Since I’m always testing and re-testing holiday recipes around Thanksgiving, I volunteered to be in charge of the food and brought along a little feast to share. But instead of messing with a turkey, we decided to keep things easy and fun (and as it turns out, vegetarian) and go with a theme I’ve always wanted to try: a “sides-only” Thanksgiving!!
Of course, we also needed something sparkly to toast to the occasion. So for something festive, I decided to mix up a simple Sparkling Cranberry Orange Sangria recipe.
Sangria is often my go-to drink for entertaining because it’s quick and easy to make, lends well towards mixing up in large batches, it can be made in advance, and —with the addition of a few fruity garnishes—always looks and tastes extra lovely! And because cranberry+orange happens to be a favorite holiday combo of mine (like in this baked brie and this cheesecake, for instance), I figured it would be a winner in sangria.
Turns out, it was delightful.
To make it, simply stir together some cranberry juice (I recommend finding a brand with 100% juice), some sort of orange liqueur (I used Cointreau), a fresh orange and lime (or lemon), and a few cinnamon sticks for spice. Let the flavors chill and meld together in the fridge for a half hour, or even up to eight hours if you’d like to make it in advance.
Then when it’s time to serve, pour in some sparkling wine…
…and serve it up!
Sangria is always more fun when served with some extra garnishes. So I added some extra orange slices, fresh cranberries and cinnamon sticks to the glasses for serving, and they were so lovely.
Even more lovely, of course, when raised in the air for a toast!
Definitely a wonderful meal, made all the more wonderful when shared with good friends. So cheers to simple cocktail recipes and to many more delicious “givings” to come!
Sparkling Cranberry Orange Sangria
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 0 mins
2 cups cranberry juice
½ cup Cointreau (or any orange liqueur)
1 orange, thinly sliced
1 lemon or lime, thinly sliced
2 cinnamon sticks
1 bottle sparkling wine (Cava, Champagne, etc.)
optional garnishes for serving: fresh cranberries, extra cinnamon sticks, extra sliced oranges
Stir together cranberry juice, Cointreau, orange slices, lemon (or lime) slices and cinnamon sticks in a large pitcher. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or up to eight hours).
When you are ready to serve the sangria, add the sparkling wine to the cranberry juice mixture and stir briefly to combine. Serve immediately in glasses, topped with optional garnishes if desired.
What’s your favorite Friendsgiving (or Thanksgiving) food? Let us know in the comments below!