M&M’s Seven Layer Bars + M&M’s Peppermint Brownies Recipes

This post brought to you by Glad & M&M’S®. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Make Life Lovely.

If you have a massive sweet tooth (like me), then today is your lucky day!  I’m sharing two amazingly rich and delicious baked treat recipes with you that you’ll love- M&M’s seven layer bars and M&M’s peppermint brownies.

Every Christmas I make one of my all-time favorite treats- seven layer bars.  If you’ve ever tried these before (some call them magic cookie bars), then you know why they are one of my top favorites!  If you’ve never tried them, they are the easiest dessert you’ll ever make, and are probably one of the richest desserts too!  Which I think is definitely a good thing… ;)

This year I made the standard version, but added a little something to the top to make them extra special- M&M’s Baking Bits, tiny little red and green candies that add a tasty little crunch to my favorite recipe.  Here’s how you can make your own!

M&M’s Seven Layer Bars:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 sleeve of graham crackers, finely crushed (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 1/3 cups coconut flakes
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional- I didn’t add any)
  • 1 cup M&M’s Baking Bits
  1.  Place the stick of butter in a 9×13 pan, place in the oven, and reheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Remove the pan when the butter has completely melted.  Evenly pour the graham crackers crumbs over the melted butter, and press down firmly over the top.

  2.  Combine the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, coconut, and nuts (if using) in a bowl.  Sprinkle the mixture over the graham cracker crust, making sure that it’s spread evenly.  Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk over the top of the entire dessert.  Sprinkle the M&M’s over the top, bake for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely before cutting into small bars.

These bars are SO rich and delicious, and just a little piece goes a long way!  Do yourself a favor and make this if you haven’t yet… you will definitely not regret it.

Onto the next dessert- M&M’s peppermint brownies.  This dessert is fun because it has a unique twist to it.  Two twists, actually!  The first twist is that this recipe uses an exclusive flavor of M&M’s that is only available at Target- White Chocolate Peppermint!

Right now, Target-exclusive M&M’s Holiday recipes are featured on the back of the Target-exclusive Glad Holiday packaging.  Each recipe is designed to fit within the Glad container that features the recipe, which I think is just brilliant!  Glad storage has exclusive holiday prints for their containers and wraps (only available at Target), which make them perfect for storing your holiday baked goods or giving them to friends, family, and co-workers.

The second twist to these M&M’s peppermint brownies is that the bottom layer of crust is actually made up of sugar cookies- YUM!

M&M’s Black & White Peppermint Brownies:

  • Sugar cookie mix
  • Brownie mix
  • 1 tsp. mint extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • Package of White Chocolate Peppermint M&M’s
  • Holiday sprinkles

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare the sugar cookie mix according to the package, and press down into the bottom of  9″x13″ pan.  Prepare the brownie mix according to the package and add 1 tsp. of mint extract, then pour evenly over the top of the sugar cookie mix.  Sprinkle the semi-sweet chocolate chips over the top, and bake for approximately 35 minutes, or until the brownies are completely baked.  Remove from oven, and let cool completely.

Melt the white chocolate chips according to the directions on the package, and drizzle over the cooked bars.  Sprinkle the White Chocolate Peppermint M&M’s and holiday sprinkles over the top, and let the chocolate set.  Once set, cut into squares, and store in your favorite Glad container.  The designs are so cute on the packages!

And there you have it, two amazingly delicious and simple chocolate recipes that are perfect for this time of year!

Be sure to check out all of the yummy holiday M&M’s at Target this season, including the M&M’s White Chocolate Peppermint (only available at Target), M&M’s Holiday Baking Mini’s, and Glad Holiday Storage Products.

Happy baking!

XO, Laura

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Rewards You’ll Love This Holiday Shopping Season

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Chase Ultimate Rewards. All opinions are 100% mine.

Have you ever had a rewards card that offers rewards for your spending, only to find out that the rewards aren’t quite what you had in mind, or are very difficult to redeem?  For a great rewards program, look no further than Chase Ultimate Rewards!

Chase Ultimate Rewards is available to Chase Freedom, Chase Sapphire, and Ink from Chase cardholders.  When you use any of these cards, you earn points on every purchase and those points can be redeemed for your choice of rewards.  This includes travel, experiences, merchandise, gift cards, and even cash back!

If you’re going to be spending the money anyway, why not use a rewards card and get something back for yourself?  It’s a great way to stretch your dollars during the holiday shopping season.  You can redeem rewards for holiday gifts for loved ones, or use your rewards credit card so that you earn points while shopping.  Chase also offers extra incentives to cardholders with Ultimate Rewards during the holiday season, making it even easier to help stretch your budget.

The redesigned UltimateRewards.com also delivers a more personalized and accessible way for cardholders to redeem their points for the experiences and offers they value most.  From exclusive VIP access to concerts, sporting events and movie premieres, to travel on ANY flight, any time, without blackout dates and restrictions.  Can I get an amen? ;)

If you’re looking for a great rewards card that will earn you points for travel, gift cards, and merchandise (even cash back) that you will love, then be sure to check out Chase Ultimate Rewards!

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Personalized Gift Idea + $250 Visa Gift Card GIVEAWAY

I believe that the best gifts are those that the giver personalizes for the recipient.  It shows that you care enough to take the time and effort to choose something that you know the receiver will love!

Laura Kelly for Expressionery

My friend Laura Kelly just sent me two awesome personalized gifts that I love!  She is a talented designer, and you can find many of her designs at Expressionery.

Laura Kelly for Expressionery

My kids couldn’t believe it when I showed them the set of cards that she designed for us, complete with their names and their personalized hair color.  Each child was all decked out in adorable Christmas clothes, including a Santa dress, reindeer ears, reindeer slippers, and Christmas jammies… too cute!  They’re already trying to decide who to give their cards to, and how many cards each child will get.

Laura Kelly for Expressionery

I also received my own set of personalized Christmas cards for this blog, Make Life Lovely, that I love!

You can find so many different options for customized cards, stationery, and more at Expressionary.  Laura Kelly has tons of different designs that can be used year round, and make perfect customized gifts!  Right now you can save 30% site wide at Expressionery when you use promo code PEEPS at checkout.

Laura Kelly for Expressionery

The deadline for ordering for Christmas is Dec. 19th, so be sure to order soon!  You can get full shipping details and deadlines on the website.

Right now you can enter to win a $250 gift card.  Just enter using Rafflecopter below!

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Good luck!

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Free Printable Random Act of Kindness Cards

This post brought to you by BIC®. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Make Life Lovely.

Tis the season for giving!  I’ve been thinking a lot about meaningful ways that my family and I can give back to others this holiday season, and how we can teach our children that it is truly better to give than to receive.  I designed some free printable holiday random acts of kindness (RAOK) cards that are easy to print, and then write a little note on when performing a small act of service.

These random act of kindness cards a great way to teach my family about helping others, and can be personalized to any RAOK that they would like to complete!  It doesn’t get much easier than this to help others.

Here’s how to use these RAOK cards:

Step 1.  Print out the free printable RAOK here.  Cut out each card so it’s ready for giving.

Step 2.  Decide what kind of random act of service you will do.  Are you going to pay for the drink for the person behind you in line at Starbucks?  (I did that last year, and it was great!)  Are you going to anonymously drop off some toys or a meal to a family in need?  One thing I did was to add more coins to some parking meters that were about to run out of time.

Step 3.  Write a quick note.  Once you’ve chosen a few RAOK ideas, write out a quick note on a few cards, telling what you’ve done.  I wrote out my notes with the #blueskiesblue BIC Mark-It™ permanent marker.  They came in a large 36 pack, so I have the right color for all of my creative needs.

Step 4.  Just do it!  Now that you’ve printed and written out your cards, and decided on your act(s) of kindness, it’s time to get out there and do it!  It’s such a great feeling helping others, especially at this time of year.

Free Printable Random Acts of Kindness Cards for the Holidays

For tons more creative holiday ideas, get the booklet of merry marking and a coupon to start marking.  I challenge Tyler, Barbara, Eliot, and Margot to use their creativity and participate in BIC’s Month of Merry Marking!

Happy crafting!

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Downton Abbey Tea Party + a GIVEAWAY

Thank you World Market for sponsoring my Downton Abbey tea party.  All ideas and opinions are always 100% mine.

If you follow me on Instagram or have been reading my blog for very long, you know that I am obsessed with Downton Abbey.  It is pure torture waiting for each new season to come to the U.S.!

Downton Abbey Tea Party

This year I teamed up with World Market to throw an elegant English Downton Abbey tea party with my mom and friends.  I’m sharing all of the details with you today, PLUS you can enter to win an amazing Downton Abbey World Market prize package at the bottom of this post.  Woo hoo!

Downton Abbey Tea Party

This tea party was actually VERY easy to put together, thanks to World Market.  They have a gorgeous line of exclusive limited edition Downton Abbey products that are just stunning, and can be mixed and matched perfectly.

Downton Abbey Tea Party

I used the Downton Abbey wrapping paper to create a table runner for my tea party.  I love the additional color and pattern that it gave the table.

Downton Abbey Tea Party

Each place setting was set with an exclusive Downton Abbey Black Friday giveaway cup, along with a plate, a teacup and saucer, small forks, knives, and spoons, and a small tea bag gift bag that I made, filled with a few tea bags for each guest.  Tutorial for the tea bags coming soon!

Friends

I served two different varieties of tea in two different Downton Abbey teapots- the Downton Abbey English Rose tea and the same Peppermint Chocolate Tea that I served last year that was a hit.  They were delicious!

Downton Abbey Tea Party

The food I served was all bite-sized, and I tried to serve traditional food that would be served at tea time.  Most of the food was served on the lovely Downton Abbey 2-tier serving stands- of course I had to have two of them. ;)  On one of the bottom tiers were tart cherry scones (made from a mix sold at World Market) were one of my favorites, especially when topped with lemon curd, blackcurrant jam, or clotted cream (don’t let the name fool you- it’s delicious!).  If you haven’t tried lemon curd yet, you have GOT to- it’s so delicious.

Downton Abbey Tea Party

On the top of the serving tier I served lemon curd and strawberry tarts.  All I did was spoon some lemon curd into tart shells (these tasted just like shortbread- yum!), and added a fresh strawberry slice to the top.  They were so delicious (and easy!).

Downton Abbey Tea Party

On the bottom of the second serving stand, I added some cracked pepper smoked salmon to black pepper water crackers, and added a fresh sprig of rosemary (cut from our rosemary bushes) to the top.  I also made some chicken salad sandwiches, too.  The top tier of this stand was filled with shortbread rounds that somewhat matched the Downton Abbey products.  Silver candle holders (purchased last year from World Market) and white candlesticks added to the elegance and ambiance of the formal table.

Downton Abbey Tea Party

I have LOVED throwing a Downton Abbey tea party for the past two years (you can check out last year’s tea party here), and hope to make it an annual tradition.  It’s a great way to force myself to slow down and relax during this busy time of year and spend some quality time with friends and family.  It’s a wonderful tradition!

How would you like to win your own tea party set to host your own amazing tea parties?  World Market is generously giving away (2) Downton Abbey Prize Packages valued at $237.27. The giveaway will begin Sunday, 12/7 and end Friday, 12/26.

Downton Abbey TT Giveaway

Downton Abbey Prize Package includes a Downton Abbey Teapot, DA Teacups and Saucers (set of 4), DA Plates (set of 4), DA 2-tier serving Stand, Walkers Luxury Assorted Shortbread Tin (21oz), Republic of Tea Downton Abbey “Downton Estate Blend” Tea Tin, DA Wrapping Paper, DA Blackcurrent Jam, DA Christmas Preserves, DA Lemon Curd, DA  Napkins, DA Notecards, Mrs. Patmore DA Apron, DA Tea Towel, and DA Gifts Bags.  Whew, what a prize!!

Be sure to enter below using the Rafflecopter widget.  Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Downton Abbey Sweeps Image

Now for all you fans of the show (and non-fans too), can you imagine having your own private tour of Highclere Castle, a traditional English estate where the series is filmed?  Be sure to enter now to win a dream trip to London, England (hotel & accommodations), a private tour of Highclere Castle, a visit to the set of Downton Abbey (eek!!), and a $1,000 World Market gift card. Absolutely worth entering, right?! Plus three first prize winners will receive a $500 World Market gift card. Be sure to enter here today!

For all of your holiday entertaining and holiday baking needs, be sure to check out World Market.  They have so many fun items to choose from at GREAT prices.

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