careyvanwagoner's picture

Homemade Holiday Fudge Recipe

Hi friends! My name is Carey Van Wagoner and I blog over at Little Cherry Blossoms. I also own a Baby Boutique of the same name that is located on the cutest Historic street in North Utah, Historic 25th Street. I am so excited to be guest posting with Ella Publishing, and I know that you will love this recipe. It is super easy to make, and your friends and family will just love it. Each year I make 2 batches, one to keep at home, and one to give away as gifts.

Homemade Holiday Fudge Recipe


  • Butter for greasing your pan
  • 1 can of Evaporated Milk
  • 4 1/2 cups of Sugar
  • 8 oz of Marshmallow Creme
  • 36 oz of Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup of Butter softened
  • 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla

The first thing you need to do is prepare your pan. This will make removing the fudge when it has cooled and set, much easier. First line it with tin foil, and then cover that with wax paper. Then grease the wax paper with butter.

Next combine your Evaporated Milk and all of the Sugar in a saucepan on low heat.

You want this mixture to come up to a boil, and then you will boil it for 10 minutes.

Make sure that you watch it so that is does not boil over. It should look like this.

You don't need to stir it for the entire 10 minutes, but make sure that you stir it often.


Luckily when I made this recipe yesterday, I had my nephew's sweet Mommy to help me stir.

While your mixture is boiling, put the chocolate chips, marshmallow creme, and softened butter in your mixing bowl.

After the sugar has boiled for a complete 10 minutes, pour it over the chocolate chips in your mixing bowl. Mix on medium heat until completely combined. Stop once and scrape down the sides. Add the vanilla. Continue mixing until completely combined. Be super careful, the sugar is extremely hot.

Quickly spread it into your prepared pan, and try to spread it as flat as possible. Refrigerate overnight.

The next morning turn the tray of yummy chocolate loveliness onto your cutting board. This is where the wax paper comes in very handy!

Cut your fudge into small bit size pieces. This desert is very rich, so a little goes a long way.

For the tray that you keep at home, just store it cut up in a sealed container in your refrigerator for up to 6 weeks. When guests come over, pull out the treats and serve with Coffee or Cocoa! They will love it.

For gifts, package small amount in little boxes like these:



Delicious and adorable!



Angie Lucas's picture

DIY Bookmarks: GREAT holiday gift-giving idea

Hope y'all had a Happy Thanksgiving!

Did you hear the news about our Black Friday sale? Check our homepage or sign up for our email newsletter to make SURE you're in the know.

And in all your Thanksgiving/Black Friday shopping madness, did you by any chance buy anyone a book?


Well, here's a fun gift-giving idea that's perfect for the readers on your list! Personalize that book-related gift by including a handmade bookmark or two. We've got a bunch of easy and fun ideas in our latest episode of Books&Crafts.

Our book picks this week were:


And you can always find our book recommendations in our Books&Crafts Amazon store!

Happy shopping (and crafting)!


Angie Lucas's picture

Holiday journaling helpers

Did you see our brand new List It! product on sale this week? It's our Christmas List It!, which will help you capture all your favorite holiday memories using lists, quizzes, and shaped journaling cards (star, ornament, tree).

Ella Friend Valerie Mangan used a list to capture her must-see holiday movies on this festive layered layout.

And Ella deputy editor, Wendy Smedley, used one of the included quizzes to capture memories from a recent Christmas in mere minutes! There may have been no tiny tots with their eyes all aglow, and grandma stayed out of the way of the reindeer this year, but Wendy still had herself a merry little Christmas.

Me? I plan to use the Christmas List It! to create some little albums for my family members (shh! don't tell them!) so they can quickly fill-in-the-blanks, slip in some photos, and have a mini book of Christmas memories to look back on for years to come.

So, what are you waiting for?

Well, if you'd rather wait, you may be in luck. If you wait until Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, you could save up to 30%! We've got a new coupon code being offered each day from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. Make sure you're on our email list so you hear the news!

AND, all of our List It! Digi plus versions are on sale for $1 off through Monday. And yes you CAN use your Thanksgiving weekend coupons on sale items.

Get any of the following for just $8.99. (Regularly $9.99.) They include all the printable lists plus the PNG files too so you can colorize, resize, and generally do your digi thing with them.

List It! Christmas digi plus

List It! Everyday Life digi plus

List It! Childhood digi plus

List It! Holidays digi plus (includes a few Christmas lists but all those other holidays too!)

katie shepherd's picture

Worth Writing About

My name is Katie Shepherd, the owner of Meaningful Moments. I am honored to be asked by Wendy to guest blog. As you well know, Ella agreat site full of lots of helpful information, and I hope in a small way to add to that.

What I do in my business is to help, teach and encourage people to write their life story. I do this through the most effective and simple tool I’ve found, which is called an Ethical Will. It sounds a little scary, but an Ethical Will is a simplified way to write about what’s important. I have found that most people fear writing anything about themselves for a few main reasons; one being they don’t know what to write, and why anyone would want to read it. A valid fear, but it need not be an obstacle anymore. Ethical Wills help the writer to focus on what to write, making it more engaging for the reader.

My favorite quote from Benjamin Franklin is “If you are not to be forgotten the moment you are dead, either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing”.  Such great motivation and direction.

If you are to write the meaningful moments of your life, and keep your reader engaged, I suggest  you focus on four main areas.

1. Write what’s important.

Write why you were affected by the moment, and what you learned. I have found that a simple moment, with the time taken to reflect, can have a profound impact.

2. Write with a purpose.

Asking yourself your motivation to write keeps you on track, and the reader focused. Don’t forget that sometimes you need to spell things out plain and simple for someone to understand what you are trying to say.


3. Write to motivate.

Think to yourself what lessons you have learned in your life, and what values have created who you are. If you were to motivate someone to get through a similar situation, what hope could you provide for them?

4. Write with love.

Your audience needs to know you love them, or you will not be listened to. Just as a teenager doesn’t want to listen to your most profound advice, your reader doesn’t want to be criticized either. If love is the underlying tone, they will listen. Sometimes perhaps at a later date, but they will listen.

My hope is that you can focus on the meaning of your life, who you are and why you are that way, and incorporate these tools into your journaling, scrapbooking, or memoir writing.

Go do the things worth writing about, and write what’s important, and you will be remembered as such!

To learn more about writing an Ethical Will, or to incorporate the ideas of this tool into what you are already doing, join me on my Ethical Will website  where you can learn more, watch videos, purchase products, join a class, or schedule a presentation.

Katie Shepherd, Owner of Meaningful Moments

Bobbi-Jo Grunewald's picture

How to Take Great Group Photos: Part two

Bobbi Jo here with part two of How to Take Great Group Photos


3. Make sure you can see each face. This takes just a second looking through the viewfinder in your camera. Take a quick glance at each face to be sure they can be seen easily with nothing concealing any part of anyone (including shadows from other faces!).

Creative posing can help with this, too, as well as moving yourself around. Find the best possible spot where you can see each and every beautiful face.


4. Get CLOSE Together. Going along with the idea mentioned in number one, we want to convey a feeling of, the obvious solution is to physically GET CLOSE to one another! Look for gaps and try to fill them by having your subject shift slightly, move an arm, or tilt their head. It will change the whole feeling of the photo!

5. Have some fun! I know it sounds cliché, but really having FUN makes for the best and more memorable group photos. Remember, that they don’t have to be looking at the camera to get a great shot! Let them interact with each other naturally. Tickle fights are usually a great start, unless it’s great-grandma - though, maybe even then ;) Have a few knock-knock jokes up your sleeves to get them laughing. Have the parents tell a joke to the kids, or have them sing their favourite song. Having them sing their “A,B,C’s” gives you a lot of great expressions. I have even resorted to telling them that I need to change a few settings so they can just relax for a bit – then I secretly start shooting. I find these group shots are the ones that families love best.

I hope these tips give you a little more confidence when photographing groups – whether they are groups of 2or 3, or groups of 20 or 30!

Visit me on my blog, It Works For Bobbi, for more fun Photography tips, as well as Photoshop tutorials and lots of free printables!

Bobbi-Jo Grunewald's picture

How to Take Great Group Photos: Part one

I have been a professional photographer for the past 6 years and the number one question I get asked from other professional and hobbyist photographers is...HOW do you pose groups? GREAT question. I struggled with the same thing for a long time, but I have since come up with my four favourite tips that really make for interesting group photos. These tips will work with any group size from 3 to 30!

1. Pay Attention to Hands!

Hands play an important part in the language of the portrait. Especially when photographing families, we want to portray a feeling of closeness and togetherness. That means we want to see the subjects interacting with each other and looking as natural as possible. Try not to have arms or hands hanging straight down. It looks about as fun and exciting as it sounds. BLAH! Instead, encourage those you are photographing to put their hands into their pockets, around shoulders of those next to them, or have them hold hands.

2. Stagger the head levels. This is so important in creating an “interesting” group pose. We want to avoid lining everyone up like they are being arrested. This is supposed to be fun! Pose short people next to tall people, have tall people sit, crouch, or kneel, or have moms hold little ones in their arms. Try to be considerate of the elderly who may not be able to crouch or kneel, though.

A great way to get a bunch of different levels in your group poses is to use uneven footing. For example, if you can find some stairs – it’s a guaranteed way to get lots of levels. Or you can use benches, stools, chairs, the floor – whatever is at your disposal! Be confident in asking your subjects to sit here or try kneeling there. It’s not written in stone, people can move! You’ll find you’ll love the results of using lots of levels in your group shots.

Come back tomorrow for three more tips. I hope these tips give you a little more confidence when photographing groups – whether they are groups of 2or 3, or groups of 20 or 30!

Visit me on my blog, It Works For Bobbi , for more fun Photography tips, as well as Photoshop tutorials and lots of free printables!

Ella's picture

Decorate your Books! Episode 7

Another show is up and this one is all about decorating your books, check it out.

Wendy Smedley's picture

Hard at Work...

Wanted to drop in and say hi and let you know that Angie and I are hard at work on our early 2012 eBooks. So much fun stuff coming up for Ella and we do have fun holiday posts planned so stick with us.

For now, here is a link to some favorite fall tutorials at Lil Sugar, enjoy!

Wendy Smedley's picture

Recording Conversations

Books and Crafts Episode 6: Conversations

This is a favorite of mine- but we want to know  what do you think??

Brenda Johnston's picture

More cardmaking from Ella friend Brenda

All of Ella's eBooks are fantastic, but I have to say that this one ranks up there in my top three favorites! You don't want to miss this one! I was inspired by Heather's Thank You card on page six. Before I had children, I dabbled in quilting with a sewing machine that my Mother-in-law picked up for me at a thrift store. I no longer have time for quilting, but I do love to sew on paper. When I saw Heather's card with details of sewing throughout, I knew I had to pull out my machine!

Instead of using squares, I turned to my circle punches.

The sizes I used for this card are as follows:

  • 3/4"
  • 1 1/8"
  • 1 1/4"

For this card I mixed several of my favorite patterned papers. Punch your smallest circle first, then your medium and finally your large. Be sure and hold your punch upside down so that you can see what you are doing and get a perfectly thin circle. I used liquid glue to adhere my thin circle.

Next I lightly tacked my 3/4" circles with my mono adhesive. I stitched a straight stitch through all of the circles and then pulled up the sides of the 3/4" circle to add dimension and interest to my card. I added a birthday sentiment and I've got a simple card ready for giving!

Donna Jannuzzi's picture

Hooray card inspired by new eBook 31 Thank You Cards

I was inspired by one of the thank you cards made by Kimber McGray. I was drawn to the design of her card because it was very close to my own style and so I knew I'd be able to easily replicate the design myself.

I wanted to make a general sentiment card, something that could be used for a birthday or any celebration, and so I chose the word "Hooray" for my sentiment.

Once that had been decided I set about selecting a few papers from one of my favorite collections, Simple Stories' 100 Days of Summer.

The overall design of my card is almost identical to Kimber's original and the only changes I made were to use a trio of buttons instead of ribbon and I embossed my sentiment in a coordinating color instead of using a sticker. Even with those changes the card came together very quickly. There are so many great cards in the new eBook and I'm looking forward to going back to this book time and time again for inspiration.

Ella's picture

Answer our Ella Friend call!

It's our annual Ella Friends call! See if you'd like to be a part of our 2012 team. (And meet our amazing 2011 team here.)

What We're Looking For

Passionate scrapbookers who are active online, whether via blogs, online scrapbooking galleries, Facebook, Twitter, manufacturer design teams, and more.

  • Paper, hybrid, and digital scrapbookers. All creative types are welcome to apply!
  • Scrapbookers who offer a wide variety of styles, from simple to artsy
  • Scrapbookers from all over the world and from all walks of life

NOTE: Previous design-team experience not expected or required! We're looking to work with current influencers AND fresh new faces in the industry. This is not a popularity contest! And while we had nine Ella Friends last year, we are not limited to any specific number. We may choose eight, we may choose a dozen!

What You'll Do
Be Ella's online ambassadors, helping us spread the Ella news via blogs, Facebook, Twitter, scrapbooking forums and galleries, and more!

  • Share ideas, insights, and anything else you'd like to share to help Ella grow and evolve.
  • Write articles, blog posts, and possibly even eBooks.
  • Support and participate in design challenges and product showcases on the Ella blog.
  • Offer feedback and guidance about Ella's upcoming editorial plans.

What You'll Get

  • Free advance copies of all new Ella eBooks.
  • Occasional product packs from our sponsor manufacturers.
  • A profile on, with links back to your blog.
  • Opportunities to guest blog, write articles, and possibly even eBooks.
  • Opportunities to design pages and projects for articles, eBooks, blog posts, design challenges, and more.
  • Occasional "happy mail" from Angie and Wendy.

How to Enter
Send an email to with "Ella Friend Call" in the subject line by Wednesday, November 30. In that email, attach pictures of four layouts or projects that you feel illustrate your scrapbooking or paper-crafting style. And in the body of the email, please answer the following nine questions:

1. Why do you want to be an Ella Friend?
2. Why do you scrapbook and/or what are your scrapbooking goals?
3. What are your top three sources of scrapbooking inspiration? (Apart from Ella, of course!)
4. Where and how are you active online?
5. How many people are you able to reach with your online efforts? (Share number of Facebook or Twitter followers and/or blog traffic numbers.)
6. What design teams are you on now or in the past?
7. How would you describe your scrapbooking style or philosophy?
8. Where are you from?
9. Give Ella one sincere compliment (insincere compliments are also welcome):


The new team will be announced on or around January 1, 2012.

Valerie Mangan's picture

Project Inspired by 31 Thank You Cards eBook

How was I not inspired by this ebook!? As a card maker, it's always great to see how others approach the craft and 31 Thank You Cards does just that. For the first of what I'm sure will be many cards produced as a result of this book, I took inspiration from several of the projects.

Tags and element clusters - two of my go-to techniques for making cards.

I loved seeing Kimber's take on the tag in card #25 - where she attached 2 to make a card base. I knew I had to try that. I also love the idea of clustering accents together, as Kristina demonstrates in card #12. I used one larger cluster at the base, and a smaller one for balance in the upper left. Lastly, I took inspiration from Kimber's card #4 when I let the largest element on my project hang over the edge.

materials: tag: Jillibean Soup; tape, transparency: Hambly; stickers: SRM, Girls Paperie; string: Pink Paislee; ribbon: American Crafts; pin: Maya Road

alirae's picture

Be Inspired By Your Outfit

Hi, I am Alison Lindhardt. I’m a graphic designer, office manager, and also in charge of buying all the fun goodies found at the ADORNit Boutique. I also have my own design business creating custom wedding invitations. I’m so excited to be a guest blogger here at Ella and show you how to draw inspiration from an outfit and incorporate similar elements into a scrapbook layout.

Part of my job is buying and displaying the clothing and accessories sold in our store. I was inspired by the outfit in this photo.

It is an adorable girly outfit. I love the sweater trimmed with a gathered edge along the collar and layered over a cream lacy tank that is tiered with lace ruffles. And of course, no outfit is complete until you bling it up with jewelry.

What I love about this challenge is you can apply it to any outfit that inspires you – from either your own closet or from your favorite apparel store. The outfit I used is from the ADORNit Boutique. For your scrapbook page, be sure to find an outfit that is layered (this is a perfect example, because the lace tank top was layered over a plain white tee, a sweater, and then topped off with a chunky necklace). All the more to take inspiration from!

The papers in my layout are from the new ADORNit Daisy Dew Paper Collection. I drew inspiration for my lace embellishment from the beautiful cream lace on the top. I took a piece of vintage lace and ran a gathering stitch to gather it and tacked the lace down with glue dots.

I then "layered" my layout with layers of patterned paper. Now keep in mind the importance of using harmonious colors and keeping things tone on tone. When layering you don't want to use too many colors because it can “tackify” any outfit or in this case layout :D. Use your creativity by picking elements with texture and depth.

To top off your layout, be sure to add strategically-placed bling. I put jewels in the center of the daises and then finished it with a blingy flourish – just like my outfit!

Be sure to stay in touch with me at or at the ADORNit Facebook page. You can also see more of my designs at my little company blog at and the Wistful Moments Facebook page

I hope you will look at your closet a little differently now and find inspiration in all the goodies you have. I can’t wait to see how you incorporate them into your next layout, card, or craft project.