Sunday, December 20, 2015

Handmade Holidays: Christmas Stove-top Potpourri + Free Printable


Happy Monday!  Can you believe that Christmas is this week?  I can't!  It doesn't help that we've had incredibly mild temperatures and no snow on the ground.  In fact, we've only had one snowfall so far this year and the snow only lasted a couple of days before it warmed up and melted. I'm not complaining - dry roads and above average temps are OK by me!

I made a batch of Christmas Stove-top Potpourri this weekend to hand out to family and friends.  I think they make a great last minute gift for neighbors, work friends, and hostess gifts.  Also, who wouldn't enjoy a house filled with the scents of Christmas!

Because of our mild temps, my rosemary plant in the garden is still going strong!  It's actually huge.  I was able to pick a large amount of sprigs to use for the stove-top potpourri.  Hard to believe for the end of December!


Supplies:
- Quart size mason jars
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon dried orange peel
- 1 tablespoon whole cloves
- 1 tablespoon whole allspice berries
- 1-2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 lemon
- 1 clementine or orange (an orange might be hard to fit in the jars, so I used clementines)
- Ribbon
- Labels (PRINT HERE)

Please note - the amounts listed above are what I added to one jar.  Multiply the amount by the number of jars you'd like to make.



Add the bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, orange peel, cloves, allspice berries, followed by the rosemary, cranberries, and finally, the citrus fruit.


Close up the jars and add a decorative ribbon and labels.






Have a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Handmade Holidays: DIY Christmas Card Holder


This year I wanted a better way to display my Christmas cards.  Normally I place them all in a basket and keep it out throughout the holidays, but they are all too pretty not to see! I love how this simple holder turned out and I'm looking forward to seeing all my cards on display this year.


Supplies:
- Wood boards (size of your choice - I used 1 x 2 boards)
- Chicken wire
- Spray paint (if desired, for chicken wire)
- Saw and miter box
- Hammer
- Wood glue
- Wire clippers / cutters
- Paint or stain (color of your choice for boards)
- Finish nails
- Sand paper
- Staple gun & staples

Directions:
1.  Use a saw and miter box to cut boards to length of your choice with 45 degree ends.  My finished card holder is 36" long x 17" h.


2.  I used finish nails and a little wood glue at each corner to attach the boards together.  I'm sure there is a better way, but this worked for me!  Use sand paper to smooth each board and prep for painting.  Paint and set aside.


3.  Use wire clippers to cut chicken wire to size.  I wanted to make the chicken wire stand out a bit and look a little fancier than the plain silver finish, so I spray painted it gold.  To do this, I attached the ends together with clothes pins, and then sprayed it.  This worked well because the chicken wire wouldn't stay flat, and also I was able to spray both sides at once.  Let dry before attaching to boards.


4.  Use a staple gun to attach the chicken wire to the back of the boards.


5.  Display and enjoy!


I just love how the gold spray paint looks on the chicken wire.  I used a few old cards from last year to test out my new holder.



I found little gold clothes pins at Michael's to attach the cards to the chicken wire.





I hope you're having a great week - can you believe that Christmas Eve is only two weeks away?!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Minted Giveaway Winner!


Thanks to everyone who stopped by to enter the Minted giveaway!  I used random.org to select a winner...

Congrats Suzluvsflowers - you are lucky comment 59!  I hope you enjoy using your $250 credit!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

$250 Minted Giveaway


It's that time of year again - time to start planning your holiday cards.  I am happy to be bringing you a great giveaway to help you get started.  Minted is giving away a $250 credit to one lucky reader!





I am a longtime fan of Minted.  Their Holiday Cards are by far my favorite.  They offer so many design options, including a completely custom option that let's you submit your own artwork and turn it into your Holiday card. How fun is that?!  The image below is an example.


I also love the option of adding an patterned envelope liner and a return address label wrapper.  Look how pretty these cards looks all assembled!



Also, did you know that Minted will address your envelopes for free?!  Huge time saver and the many designs you can choose from are so pretty!

Another thing I love about Minted?  The huge selection of non-photo Holiday cards.  Don't get me wrong, I love receiving photo cards, but for me, the non-photo cards are perfect and I always have a hard time deciding which design to go with because the options are endless!




I also love that Minted offers Custom Wrapping Paper.  So cool (and really pretty)!


How to Enter:
Visit Minted and pick out your favorite Holiday Card design.  Come back here and leave a comment telling me the name of your favorite design.  That's it!

Giveaway will remain open until Monday, November 23rd.  I'll pick a winner by random and post the winner here.

Please leave your email address in your comment so I can contact you if you are the winner.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Weekend Kitchen: Balsamic Glazed Roasted Carrots


This past weekend I did some Fall clean-up in the garden and harvested this whole bunch of carrots.  I waited all summer for these carrots!  I planted them from seed in early June, and boy, they took a long time to grow.  They were delicious though, so I guess they were worth the wait.



Balsamic Glazed Roasted Carrots
- 1.5 - 2 lbs of carrots; cleaned and trimmed to equal size; if preferred
- 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley; minced (use dried if you don't have fresh on hand)
- sea salt, for garmish

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Add balsamic and 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to a small glass bowl.  Gradually add olive oil while whisking vigorously.  Continue whisking until mixture is combined and emulsified.

2.  Place carrots in large glass bowl.  Pour balsamic mixture over carrots and stir to coat all sides of carrots.  Place carrots on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in a single layer.  Place in oven and roast for 40-45 minutes, or until carrots are soft.  Roasting time will depend on the size of your carrots, so check often.  Turn once while cooking.

3.  Remove from oven and top with parsley and sea salt, if desired.  Place on serving dish and enjoy!

{ Recipe adapted from this one on Cravings of a Lunatic }

Right before going into the oven:


And, here they are, fresh out of the oven:






These really were delicious.  Wouldn't they be a delicious side dish for Thanksgiving? Speaking of Thanksgiving, Can you believe this is the last week of October?!  Wow, this year has just flown by.  

Hope you are having a wonderful week!

 

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