#SoMe Link Party #62 Gimme Some Bloglovin’

  Come join the Social Media Link Party – #SoMe2

Welcome to #SoMe2 – Week #62
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 Bloglovin’!

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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 @ 7:00 (est)

Meet your hostesses:

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We are pleased to meet this weeks feature and Co-Host!

Meet Jennifer from Organized Home Organized School

Jennifer Organized Home

Jennifer Renee is the creative writer behind Organized Home, Organized School, where she shares tips about organizing home, homeschool, and life. She believes everyone can have a beautifully organized space, and you don’t have to spend a fortune to have it!

Organized Home post

Christmas Shopping List Organizer from Organized Home, Organized School

Check out our awesome weekly feature.

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.

So 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.

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1) Please follow your hosts and featured blogger. DON’T link and RUN! ~ No one likes Party Poopers!

2)Please add the ~SoMe2~ button 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

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4)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 unsubscribe option.

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1) Link up your main Bloglovin’ Page

2) Follow your Hosts and Co-hosts (the first 6 links below).

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 Blog Post –

2) Comment on your Host and Co-Host blog posts (the first 6 links below)

3) Comment on the blog posts for the 2 links in front of yours. This way everyone receives some Blog Love! Our Hostesses will make sure the last 2 link ups get comments.

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Ikea Ornament Hacks-Snowballs & PineCones!

Yesterday I shared a quick and easy DIY Christmas Tree Skirt that I made for an upcoming Holiday Tree Festival. Once we had signed on to this charity event, it was all hands on deck to find ornaments for our Winter Sports Themed tree. During several shopping trips, my co-workers and I managed to find skating and skiing snowmen,

Ikea Ornament Hack Michaels Skating SnowmanSantas and reindeer at the local big box and craft stores. A trip to Ikea produced a multitude of these silver plastic ornaments,

Ikea Silver ball Ornamentswhich were needed for some shine. But, with thoughts of adding some snowy ornaments to the every-growing pile, I decided to take a few of the silver ornmanents and transform them. With a little fake snow and some glitter, the silver balls became sparkling snowballs

Ikea Ornament Hack Sparklking Snowballsand the long spiky things (not sure what these were supposed to be) were transformed into snow-speckled pine cones.

Ikea Ornament Hacks PineconesHere is the How-I-Did-It:

1. For the pine cones, I sprayed them with some brown metallic spray paint to mimic pine cone colors. Since it was a nice enough day, I was able to spray outside, first one side, then the other.

Ikea Ornament Hack Brown Metallic Spray Paint

2. Dabbed with the fake snow-Snow-Tex by DecoArt, using a stiff paint brush to “pounce” the snow onto the pine cone.

Ikea Ornament Hack Pinecone Painted

3. While the fake snow stuff was still wet, I sprinkled the pine cones with clear glitter,

Ikea Ornament Hack Glitter

then allowed to dry. Repeated with the other side.  Allowed to dry.

Ikea Ornament Hacks Pinecones

1. For the snowballs, I sprayed them with a can of the fake spray snow you use to decorate the corners of your windows.

Ikea Ornament hack Santa Snow

Which looked great, but then I discovered that it doesn’t actually dry to the touch. Fail.

2. So I wiped them off, then dabbed on the same textured snow stuff,

Ikea Ornament Hack Deco-Arts Snow Texstippling with the stiff brush to give the snowball plenty of uneven texture. After all, how many snowballs are perfect, anyway?

Ikea Ornament Hack Stippling Snow on Balls

3. Before they dried, I sprinkled them all over with the same clear glitter, then hung them on a makeshift clothesline in my workshop. And then I repeated the whole process because the clothesline let go and all the balls went bouncing around the room.

Ikea Ornament Hack Snowball Clothesline

Of course… thankfully they were plastic!

4. Here are the snowballs and pine cones on the Winter Sports Themed Christmas Tree we decorated this past Saturday.

Ikea Ornament Hack Winter Sports Theme TreeSo we added a touch of winter wonderland for pennies to tree #1 and saved the shiny silver ornaments for tree #2.  And, now it’s December first, guys! Time to get some shopping and decorating done! I hope your December starts off with some sparkle and shine. Susan

 

Easy No-Sew Fleece Tree Skirt

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

S’Mores Chocolate Pie Bites-YUM!

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!

Ever So Thankful

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

#SoMe2 SOcial MEdia Link Party #63- Pin It Up!

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!
SoMe2-party-graphic

 

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!

Image Map
We are pleased to introduce our #SoMe2 featured blogger of the week…
Mekaela from Cavegirl Culinarian
mekaela cavegirl

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.”

cavegirl pinterest

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.

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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Wait, Thanksgiving is THIS Thursday?!?!

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

Rusty Bedspring Coil Votive Holder-DIY!

What do you do when you have not one, but two giant, antique, rusty bedspring frames? Well, the first one you transform into a large marquee sign for your shop,

Rusty Bedspring Marquee Sign

and the second one you mull over for awhile until you come up with a bright solution. So, without further ado, I’m introducing the

Rusty Bedspring Coil Votive Candle Holder!

Rusty Bedspring Coil Votive Candle Holder Country Design Home

Now, I have spotted many a rusty bedspring photo with a votive tucked underneath, but I wanted to take it up a notch by adding a second rustic element: the birch log slice. This elevates the rusty bedspring into a lovely woodland mantel decoration, does it not? Here’s the how I did it:

1. Get Coach to drag out the rusty bedspring frame from behind the fence where it had been weathering over the summer.

Vintage Rusty Bedspring Frame with Coils

Have Coach cut off all the rusty bedspring coils during your freezing cold yard sale. Watch the pile ( of coils and $$$) grow.

Rusty bedspring coils in box

2. Assemble your ingredients: A rusty bedspring coil (well, you know where I got these, and I have a ton more if you need one!), a birch log slice (this one I got at Michaels for $6.99 using  a 50% off coupon, but you could certainly go into the woods and grab a log or two and slice ’em up), a votive candle-whatever style you choose as long as it fits in the bottom of the ring

Rusty Bedspring Coil ingredients

and a small clamp and screw (these I had kicking around the workshop-but if you need to purchase one, they’re in the plumbing aisle at your local hardware store. And they don’t need to be old and rusty, they’re not going to show anyway.)

Small Clamp for Hinged Coil Spring Votive Holder

3. Place your rusty bedspring coil on the log slice and arrange in a pleasing manner. These springs are not exactly round, but neither are the log slices, so its a win-win. In this case, I kind of liked the little coiled knot in the front, but you could certainly turn that to the clamp side, or the rear of this rustic piece of art.

Rusty Bedspring Coil in place

3. Attach the rusty coil to the log slice with the clamp assuring that you hold the clamp securely in place with the coil underneath the arched part-this will create a hinge effect.

Attaching Rusty Bedspring to Log Slice clamped

Now, this can be a bit tricky, because in order to attach the screw properly, you need to hold it at a 90 degree angle while you push down. So, just use the spring as a “tunnel” and go right down the middle. Remember, its a spring, so you can push it down to get a better grip on your screwdriver.

Attaching rusty bedspring coil to log slice

4. Test out your mechanism by slowly lifting the coil away from the log slice and you will immediately see the simple brilliance of this design! You’ll note that the coil does not slide off the log, thereby creating a safe cage for your votive to sit inside. So, in the event that somehow your rusty bedspring coil votive holder gets knocked over while the candle is burning inside, the rusty coil and the votive stay firmly in place : )

Lifting Hinge of Coiled Bedspring Votive Holder

5.  Decorate your holiday mantel with your new rusty bedspring coil votive candle holder and wait for the compliments! So, there you have it. A simple, quick and easy project that costs under $4 (assuming that you have a box full of rusty bedspring coils).

Rusty Bedspring Coil Votive Candle Holder Country Design Home

Now you’ll have to excuse my while I go slice up one of my precious birch logs and make a few more of these. I see many potential Christmas gifts in the works! Hope you have a sunny Sunday everyone, Susan

 

Making A List(s)…

…but not for Santa!! I am so behind the Thanksgiving 8 ball this year. Somehow the holidays have snuck up on me while I was so busy doing other stuff like creating a constant stream of new DIY projects for the barn shop and the blog,

Lit Mason Jar Crackled Halloween

transitioning my blog from a .com to a .org, working with a new online company doing Beta testing for “the next big thing” (coming soon), and yesterday, in one of our proudest family moments, witnessing our daughter being sworn in to the Massachusetts Bar as a new attorney.

Kate Mathison EsquireWhat an incredible busy, crazy ride this has been, with so much to be thankful for! With the end result being Coach repeatedly asking me for a holiday shopping list over the past couple of weeks and me saying “sure, I’ll get right on it”. (Luckily for me, Coach is the grocery shopper in our home, and he constantly re-stocks our kitchen cabinets with whatever he has coupons for that particular week. Essentially, I cook what he buys-with few exceptions.) BUT, Thanksgiving is all on me and he has patiently waited for me to produce the massive shopping list that is required to feed a house full of hungry pilgrims.

Thanksgiving Pilgrim Free Clip Art

This morning, I awakened with that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I realized that Thanksgiving is 5, yes 5 days away! Typically, by this time, my cupboards are stuffed with all of the necessary ingredients to start the baking and prepping process. But alas, just as Old Mother Hubbard discovered that her cupboards were bare,

Old Mother Hubbard Illustrationso are mine-at least by Thanksgiving standards- and its time to get a move on and get this done! So this morning over coffee, I created three lists:

Thanksgiving liststhe guest list with a head count, the menu and the shopping list, which I just handed over to Coach so he can begin his coupon-sorting and store selections.

Thanksgiving Shopping listOf course, Coach understands that this list is fluid and could change at any second as I remember something I forgot or someone offers to bring something that I had planned to make myself. I’m not doing anything fancy this year, just the typical Thanksgiving dinner I’ve served over the years, with the same recipes and ingredients that my mother prepared for us when we were kids. Thankfully, mom still makes the gravy, because I’ve never been able to master the art of lumpless gravy. This past week at work, I was asking everyone what one special “must-have” dish they served or ate on Thanksgiving, the one that everyone says “hey, where is the …???” and the holiday would be ruined without it. I was looking for some special side dish or secret family recipe that had become a new family tradition…perhaps in place of the traditional green peas and pearl onions…

Rachel Ray Creamed Peas and Onions Recipeor sweet potatoes with marshmallows. Pretty much, across the board, the answer was either the “family recipe” stuffing or the potatoes and gravy. One guy said lasagna (huh, did the Pilgrims eat pasta?), but no one mentioned the vegetables and side dishes! So, now I’m asking all of you. Do you have a special side dish you like to serve, perhaps a new one you just created or one that has passed down from generation to generation that you’d be willing to share? You can post it here, send it to me via email or if you have it “pinned”, just add the link so we can check it out and add the ingredients to our shopping list! We would be ever so thankful : ) OK, now back to work getting the last few DIY projects finished so they are out of my family room/dining room/living room and we can finally clear the way for the upcoming Thanksgiving festivities. Hope you are in a little better holiday shape than I am, everyone! Susan  

Weather-Proofing Your Porch!

This is a PSA for those of you who live in cooler climes…like we do here in the Northeast…and wish to “shrink-wrap” your screened-in porch before the winter hits. This most definitely will NOT be helpful for those of you in the Buffalo NY area-it’s a little too late for that! Anyway, this is a post from a couple of years ago when I was preparing to serve our Thanksgiving dinner outside. Yup, that happened. I figured if the Pilgrims could eat outside, then why not us??

The First Thanksgiving Dinner

But, even with a heater it was still a bit chilly, so we are back inside this year. So, without further ado-I give you…the shrink-wrapped porch!

“Last year Coach and I converted our deck into a screened-in porch, which was simply awesome. No more buggy nights, or rainy afternoons when we couldn’t use the deck for anything other than furniture storage! Since we had decorated it with quite a few pieces of antique wicker, I decided to “shrink-wrap” it to prevent any winter weather from ruining our newest addition. We used thin plastic sheeting and some lathing strips and tacked it up all the way around. Functional, not very pretty and it wasn’t very transparent, it flapped in the wind (which drove me crazy!) and the plastic kept ripping away from the lathing. Uggh. So this year I decided to get a more permanent wrap, something we could re-use each season. I went online to purchase a custom porch weather-proofing system, only to find the prices @ $1500.00 and up, to be a bit exhorbitant. Sooo, this past weekend’s project was weather-proofing the porch, country design home style! With this how-to video on You Tube as my guide, we began the laborious task of wrapping it up! The supplies: 20 gauge clear vinyl (heavy enough to withstand the winds and rain, clear to let in the light) and 2″ white Duck Tape Dritz 7/16″ steel grommets 5/16″ screw-eye hooks.  I measured each section, determining the placement for the grommets. Cut the vinyl, then wrapped the edges with the tape on both sides for extra stability, overlapping in the corners where the grommets will be installed. Some sections had to be taped together, since the width of the vinyl is only 54″. That proved to be the most difficult part of this project, as the unrolled edges were a bit curled. You just have to smooth it as you go. Mark the center holes for the grommets, cut out the circles and then hammer the grommet into place (this pounding away with a hammer activity is fun for anyone wanting to vent some anger or angst : ). Hanging the large panels requires 2 people to make it level and install the screw-eyes. The finished project : ) Hard, painstaking work, this easily took 20+ hours. The cost? All of the materials, with the exception of the screw-eyes ($5.19/50 @ Home Depot), were purchased at Joann’s using 60% coupons, of course! So the vinyl that normally would have been $7.99/yard became $3.20/yard and in total we will probably use 25 yards-so $80 + tax. The grommets, screws and tape totalled approximately $70, so the grand total (aside from the band-aids, the Motrin and a trip to the nail salon to repair that damage) comes to $150+ tax- one tenth of what the online estimate was! It wasn’t easy, but it looks great, the sun shines through year round AND we don’t have to pack away all of our deck/patio furniture-it just stays in place! And now we will have another functional space for the holidays- as long as you wear your winter coat and mittens : ) And remember, always measure 3Xcut once!! Susan”

So there you have it, but just a couple of side notes for those of you who are interested in doing this project on your screened porch. Since the installation, a few of the grommets have come loose, and some of the tape as well, so that needs replacing. Also, this installation needs to be done on a fairly warm day. The vinyl is quite thick and in the cold it’s very difficult to work with to get it to lay smoothly to tape the edges, and then stretch it out to attach it. Otherwise, it was a great DIY project that I am very thankful we have installed now! Have a great weekend, everyone! Susan 

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