This past weekend, my company took part in a charity holiday tree decorating event. For the past couple of weeks my co-workers and I have been collecting ornaments and trimmings to decorate the perfect tree. Saturday morning, we met at the old school building to decorate our tree for the upcoming Festival of Trees.  And although we had enough decorations to trim not one, but two trees, we realized we had neglected to bring tree skirts! Even though that wasn’t required, the skirts give the trees a finished look that ours were lacking. So back home I went to see what I had handy in my fabric bin. I found this pretty piece of soft polar bear fleece

No Sew Fleece Tree Skirt Polar Bear Fleecewhich I thought would be perfect with the silver and white snowflake theme of tree #2. So I cut and knotted it and created a cute little skirt for the tree. Here is the HOW-I-DID-IT:

1. Fold the fleece in half lengthwise and make sure it is long enough to go around the base of the tree.

No Sew Fleece Tree Skirt Matched Edges2. Cut the unfolded end into a semi-circle, making sure the edges are even. I happen to have a round dining room table which was the perfect pattern, but you can just do the old pie plate method where you fold it in 1/2 and then cut an arc from corner to corner.

No Sew Fleece Tree Skirt Cut Circle Edges3. Starting at one end of the cut edges, cut strips of the fleece approximately 1 inch apart.

No Sew Tree Skirt Cutting FringeI typically measure these lengths to 5-6 inches, but this time I just used the scissors as my guide and did one cut to the end of the blades for each strip. The deeper the cuts, the longer the fringe.

No Sew Fleece Tree Skirt Cutting Scissors

4. Moving around the arc, you need to cheat in just a bit; the top of the cut will be a bit narrower than the edge.

5. Once the semi-circle is cut, you can start knotting. Take a top and bottom strip that match up.

No Sew Tree Skirt Fleece Matching StripsTie the ends into decorative knots I use a square knot, but you can do any type you like. I took pics of this, but their not very clear so check out this Animated Decorative Knots by Grog-any type of knot is illustrated here!

6. Knot all the way around the arc, creating the fringe effect, until you get to the other side.

No Sew Tree Skirt Fringed Edge7. Decision time! To have this skirt fit properly you can leave the folded edge as is and just drape it around the tree base to create a “blanketed” look like this. It reminds me of Linus’ blanket wrapped around Charlie Brown’s little tree.

Linus Blanket Around TreeOR you can cut a semi-circle in the middle of the folded half that is large enough to accommodate the tree base. This will allow the skirt to lay flatter on the floor. Either way is great and your holiday tree will look pretty and toasty warm.

8. Step back and admire your decorated tree : ) We did good, ladies!

No Sew Fleece Christmas Tree Skirt Logo

Total time for the skirt: 45 minutes. And, at this time of year the local craft stores stock an endless style and variety of fleece designs, so you can do anything from a jazzy zebra print to Star Wars to a Frozen theme. Have a warm and toasty Sunday everyone!! Susan

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One of our  annual Thanksgiving family favorite desserts is chocolate cream pie. Over the years, I have baked many an apple, pumpkin or squash pie, only to see them get pushed aside in favor of the creamy-chocolate-graham-cracker-crust delight. This year, I made the chocolate pies (shhh, no one knows that I served one, but there is another one left in the fridge), but also created a new family favorite: S’Mores Chocolate Pie Bites!

S'Mores Chocolate Pie Bites from Country Design HomeThese yummy little clouds of toasty chocolate goodness were a fam favorite, and sure to become another traditional holiday treat! I originally saw these marshmallow melted cups transformed into shot glasses, but since this was a kid-friendly holiday, I decided to create the pie bites instead. Here is the How-I-Did-It:

These are quite simple to make and only require four key ingredients: Chocolate Pudding Mix… I used the Jello Cook and Serve Chocolate Fudge Pudding.

Jello Cook "n Serve Pudding

I was making the pies at the same time and planned to use the pudding as the filling, but you could certainly save some time and make the instant stuff.  Milk to make the pudding according to the box, Large Marshmallows…these Jet Puffed Marshmallows

Jet Puffed Marshmallowsare just that-large and fluffy. These misshapen sugary lumps were sent off to the land of misfit marshmallows.

S'Mores Pie Bites Misshapen MarshmallowsI figured if they weren’t straight before I toasted them, they would become melted molten messes once the heat hit them. Saving them for some hot cocoa action : )

 Keebler Graham Cracker Crumbs…

Keebler Graham Cracker Crumbsyou can make your own crumbs, but I happened to have these already crushed and ready to go. OK, ready?

1.Toast the marshmallows. If you are lucky enough to live in a part of the country where freezing cold weather is not a factor, then do this outside on your firepit or campfire. We, unfortunately, had quite a snow fall on the day I was making these, so the stove top burner it was. Mine is a glass topped burner, so I just cranked it to high.

S'Mores Pie Bites Hot BurnerWARNING!!!! Do NOT TOUCH THE HOT BURNER. THIS IS NOT A KID’S PROJECT. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DO THIS AFTER HAVING A WEE BIT TOO MCUH SPIKED CIDER… THIS IS DANGEROUS!!!!

2. Spear the marshmallow with whatever implement you wish to use. I tried a single metal skewer but the marshmallow kept turning as the inside melted. This three-tined fork was the perfect length and the tines created heating holes that caused the inside of the marshmallow to melt more evenly.

S'Mores Pie Bites Three Tined Fork

Now, don’t ask me why, but the fork handle never got hot to the touch. Which was interesting, because the hot glow from the burner on HIGH made me feel like I was under a sun lamp!

3. Starting with the bottom, hold the marshmallow over your heat source approximately 1-2 inches above the surface.

S'Mores Pie Bites Holding Marshmallow Over Heat

DO NOT TOUCH THE BURNER. Hold it there until you see a light smoking from the marshmallow, this means the sugar is starting to melt. Time to turn the marshmallow. Look at that-a thing of golden sugary beauty!

S'Mores Pie Bites Golden Toasted Marshmallow Bottom

4. Repeat around the sides, turning when you see the pale smoke trail as you lightly brown each side until the entire marshmallow,

S'Mores Pie Bites Toasted Marshmallow Sidesexcept the top,  is a light golden brown.

…this is what happens when Coach distracts you and asks a question about the upcoming Holiday Fair in the Barn at Todd Farm.

S'Mores Pie Bites Flaming Marshmallow

5. Remove the marshmallow from your fork using another implement- DO NOT USE YOUR FINGER!! The interior of the marshmallow is HOT and melty.

S'Mores Pie Bites Removing Marshmallow From Fork

6. Place toasted marshmallow on foil to cool.  Not wax paper, that will melt. And then you’ll have a S’Mores Pie Waxed Paper Bites. As they cool, you will notice that the marshmallow centers begin to implode, but the toasted exteriors stay upright. The hot melted middles sink down, creating the cup vessel you will need to hold the pudding. So cool!!

S'Mores Pie Bites Sunken Middles

7. Make your pudding according to the instructions on the box. This is the cook-‘n serve style, so it takes a few minutes cooking in a sauce pan to get to the molten lava stage.

S'Mores Pie Bites Molten Pudding in Pan

8. Using a teaspoon, fill the toasted marshmallow cups to the top (each one will take about a teaspoon of pudding). I was a bit worried that the hot pudding would disintegrate the marshmallow cups, but they were little toasty troopers and stood up fine.

S'Mores Pie Bites Filling Marshmallow Cups with Pudding

9. Immediately sprinkle with the graham cracker crumbs. This is a sprinkle-as-you-go project…you have to add the crumbs to each one after you fill them.

S'Mores Pie Bites with Graham Cracker Crumbs

If you wait until the pudding has cooled, the crumbs will just fall off. And you cannot have a S’Mores Chocolate Pie Bite without graham cracker crumbs!

10. Cool in fridge. An hour or so should do, since each S’Mores Chocolate Pie Bite only holds about a teaspoon of pudding.

S'Mores Pie Bites Cooling in Fridge11. Arrange on pretty platter and serve. The best part is no serving implements required, just pick up with your fingers and enjoy!

S'Mores Chocolate Pie Bites from Country Design Home

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving that you shared with family and friends. Now it’s time to go continue with the kitchen clean-up…hope you’re planning s’more fun today! Susan

PS: If you like this blog post and would like to receive emails containing my awesome inspired designs and DIY’s, please add your email to the subscribe button in the column on the right! We promise, we don’t use your emails for anything other than messages from me! Thanks!

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Happy Thanksgiving to my family and friends and the wonderful people in my life who make me a better person every day…in the words of the great Kelly Clarkson…

Lyrics Thankful Kelly ClarksonI hope you have a day filled with gratitude, love & laughter…xoxoxoxo Susan

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Come join the Social Media Link Party!!!

Welcome to #SoMe2 – Week #63

SOcial MEdia is all about ENGAGEMENT, and we want to do more than find new followers, we want to grow our engagement! The

more we comment, like, and share each other’s posts, the more engaged we

become and that makes the SOcial MEdia “algorithms” happy!

Each week we will link a different Social Media platform and post from that platform.
This week we are growing and engaging with Pinterest!
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If you want to GROW your SOcial MEdia channels and GROW your engagement,
This is the party for you!

 

The more you put in to this SOcial MEdia link party, the more you will get out!
Don’t link and run – share-comment-pin-like and tell your friends!

#SoMe2 is a SOcial MEdia link party where we link up 2 items every Tuesday @ 7:00pm EST!

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We are pleased to introduce our #SoMe2 featured blogger of the week…
Mekaela from Cavegirl Culinarian
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Mekaela has shared this with us:

“No stranger to weight loss or a low carb lifestyle, I have made the switch to paleo, and am sharing my very best recipes for success with you! I have lost 113 lbs following a low carb lifestyle, and want to get back to a more natural, whole foods, style of eating. My blog is all about my love for food, and the healing benefits that go with it.”

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Thanks, Mekaela!

Wanna be a #SoMe2 featured blogger?

Everyone who enters the Rafflecopter below each week will have a

chance to win a spot as our featured blogger. We will feature your blog,

and links to your social media. Your links will be inserted into the

Rafflecopter for that week – gaining you more followers.

Be sure to enter to win the weekly featured blogger spot!

Note: Please be sure to fill out the Rafflecopter form accurately. Entries are verified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The rules are simple! 1) Please follow your hostesses and featured blogger. 2) Please add the #SoMe2 button (found at the bottom of the post) to your sidebar or link page. 3) Tweet about the party! More partiers = More followers! All you have to do is click the “tweet” button! Use our hashtag #SoMe2 when tagging or posting so we can find each other! You will automatically be entered into our email reminder list by entering a link. You may remove yourself from the list by using the un-subscribe option.
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1) Link up your main Pinterest Page.

2) Follow your Hostesses and Featured Blogger.

3) Follow 2 people before your link, if you already follow them, find 2 new people to follow.

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1) Link up 1 recent Pinterest Pin.
(Go to your Pinterest page, click on your profile, click on view profile, select a post, copy the Pinterest url, and paste that URL into link party.)
2) Like and comment on your hostesses and featured blogger’s Pinterest post.
3) Like and comment on at least the 2 links in front of yours. This way everyone will get Instagram Love! One of hostesses will make sure the last two links get comments.

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Ok, so I’m running a bit behind schedule, so what else is new? I typically do my best work when I’m up against it anyway. Sipping my morning coffee, trying to find some Thanksgiving inspiration that I could replicate with stuff I have on hand and with little time to spare. Searching Houzz.com for creative and pretty ideas, I scored with a few fab finds that might just end up on my dining room table. Hopefully they will inspire you too…

1. This tablescape by… loving the striking simplicity of the white pumpkins and candles by Ann West Interiors.

White Pumpkin Tablescape

2. Stunning autumn colorful tablescape by Anita Diaz for Far Above Rubies

Thanksgiving Table Stunning Autumn Colors

3. Thankful tree from the French Larkspur Blog. This is so sweet. Except for the bird. But at least its encased in glass.

Thanksgiving Rustic Thankful Tree

4. Gratitude. I LOVE THIS. One word says it all. This one by Amelia Hirsch Design.

Thanksgiving Gratitude Banner

5. Elegant chocolate brown tablescape by Focal Point Styling.Thanksgiving Table Simple Chocolate Brown

6. Every time I see this holiday mantel from It’s the Little Things  it makes me smile : ) So much to be thankful for this year.

Thanksgiving Give Thanks Sign

7. Blue and white and gold by Savvy Southern Style . This I can do because I essentially have one of everything on this table.

Blue & White Savvy Southern Style Thanksgiving Tablescape

8. This place setting page by This Is Happiness Blog would be lovely to set on everyone’s plate to have them write what they might be thankful for and then share.

I am thankful for from This Is Happiness Blog

9. Simply rustic elegance. By Rikki Snyder NY. Love the acorn jute rope napkin rings and the mason jars. You all know how much I love mason jars!

Rikki Snyder NY Tree Slice Centerpiece

Black and Orange Tablescape

10. Sweet white and black chandelier decorated with  burlap, berries and oversized acorns on Houzz.com. (This one did not have a source listed, but if anyone knows who the rightful designer of this chandelier is, please let me know…I always want to give credit where credit is due : )

Thanksgiving Chandelier

Which reminds me, I need to go finish painting the chandelier I started last month! Gotta go! Have an inspired Tuesday, everyone! Susan

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Welcome To Country Design Home!

Inspired. Rustic. New Country Style...in the suburbs. Because you don't have to live on a farm to create a warm and inviting country-styled home. Follow my DIY junkin' journey as I give tips of the trades and inspired fresh country design ideas to create your own Country Design Home.
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