12/4/16

Oh Christmas Tree

Oh my goodness, it has been quite awhile since my last post, but I've been busy decking the halls!  It has definitely taken longer this year, what with working around naptime, laundry, naptime, dinner, naptime....okay, you get the picture!  Anyway, it is now finished, and I wanted to share our big tree with you this year.  We didn't put up this tree the last two years, but decided to deck it out this year and have it in our family room instead of the living room.  The Man and I are really enjoying it in this new spot, and we can watch our little fur-baby play with the decorations and try to get under the tree skirt!  I was so pleased with how I did the ribbon on this tree and shared an IG pic with just the ribbon.  Several of you wanted to know how I did the ribbon, and I will share a brief explanation (it is truly so easy) at the end of this post.  Now I just want you to see my "no-theme" Christmas tree!


No words are needed!
 
          

             

             

         

                           


                           

            



    Ho! Ho! Ho!


                       


  


                                                


Now, about the ribbon.  This is a 7.5 ft. tree, and I used 100 ft. of ribbon total.  I did not decorate the very back of the tree where it fits into the corner....no one can see it, so....!  I had two rolls of the burlap w/snowflakes (25 ft. each) that I bought on sale at Michael's and six rolls (9 ft. each) from the dollar store.  The key is that all the ribbon is wired.  Over the years, I've used mesh or regular ribbon, and I much prefer the wired ribbon.

As for technique, I've tried them all, but decided to attempt something different this year.  I cut my ribbon in 3 ft. lengths, but this depends on the size of your tree.  My tree is very full and 3 ft. lengths made it possible to get two really nice loops and have plenty to tuck into the tree between loops.

I used pipe cleaners (also from the dollar store) to cinch the loops to the branches in a few places.


I didn't have any great plan for placing the ribbon loops, except that I basically wanted them going down the tree, not around.  Having the cut lengths made it so much easier to work with, and if I needed to move one a little bit, it was easy.


There you have it....one of the prettiest trees we've ever had, except for a few along the way where all the ornaments were no higher than 3 feet off the floor and clustered in one spot.  Yeah, you know what I'm talking about!


Thank you so much for allowing me to share our sweet Christmas tree with all of you.  I will be posting pics of our mantel and other vignettes around this room and the rest of our home.  I do hope you are enjoying the festivities of the season and not getting overwhelmed with the chaos.

Make lots of sweet memories this year!

Warm hugs,
Carol


  I often party with these lovely bloggers:


Monday
 Cindy at Dwellings--The Heart of Your Home for Amaze Me Monday
Maria Elena at Our Home Away from Home for Tuesdays at Our Home

Tuesday
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life  for Inspire Me Tuesday

Wednesday
Suzy at Worthing Court for The Scoop

Thursday
Jemma at  At Home With Jemma for Thoughts of Home on Thursday
Richella at Imparting Grace for Grace at Home



11/23/16

Happy Thanksgiving


Happy Thanksgiving


Where has 2016 gone?  It just seems to have jetted by, except for the endless days of "politics"...lol!  As much as I try (and usually with success) to live in the moment, Thanksgiving always brings with it a feeling of melancholy.  I find myself missing those days of trying to stuff a turkey with a baby on my hip, creating all those wonderful foods to share with our family.  I miss those days of "helping" to orchestrate that delicious meal while a grandchild slept on my lap.  Yes, I miss those gatherings, but understand that lives change, and I must change with them in order to bring happiness into our home of "just the two of us."  I am truly happy and very thankful for all that I have, knowing that the past, both the good and the not-so, have brought me to this day.

I wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving!  If you are traveling, please travel safely.

Warm hugs to all,
Carol

10/23/16

A Little of This and That


Happy new Fall week, everyone!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend with some nice Fall weather to enjoy....not that Fallish here, but it's coming.  In my last post I mentioned I had a thing or two to share, so I am finally getting to it.  I have a serious love-affair with my crockpot....please tell me I'm not alone or I might just feel totally weird about the whole love-affair-thing!  Nope, it's true and I don't feel even a little bit weird about it.  I absolutely love popping ingredients into this workhorse and letting it do its thing!


 While I do enjoy using it in the cooler months, it's very much an all-season kitchen appliance.  This particular day, I wanted to make ham and bean soup.  We had cooked a spiral-cut ham a few months ago and tossed the bone with several pieces of the ham in the freezer.


I soaked the beans overnight, then drained, tossed them in the crockpot with the ham bone and other ingredients.


Ham Bone & Bean Soup
Crockpot
Serves: 8 (approx.)

1 lb. dry navy beans
1 ham bone, plus extra ham
8-10 baby carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 med. onion, diced
Garlic powder (or fresh minced garlic) & black pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
6 cups of water

  1. Rinse beans, discard any stones or pebbles, cover with water & soak overnight.
  2. Remove any coating or surface fat from the ham bone & add to crock.
  3. Add drained beans, carrots, celery and onion to the crock, along with seasonings and bay leaf.
  4. Add 6 cups of water
  5. Cook on high to get everything heated up, then on low for about 8 hrs.
  6. Remove ham bone, allow to cool, and remove all meat.
  7. Return meat to the crockpot and continue cooking for 1-2 hrs., or until beans are soft.
  8. Taste at this point to see if any salt is needed.

The soup can be served at this point, or what I like to do is use my emulsifier just a little to add some creaminess to the soup....don’t overdo, this soup is meant to be chunky.

I serve mine with cornbread!  Enjoy.

You should be able to cut and paste this recipe.
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This next recipe I have to share I found on Pinterest, and it adds a whole new dimension to "Pumpkin Desserts!"  It is Pumpkin Dump Cake and the recipe can be found HERE.

Super easy to mix up!

This smelled so good while it was cooking.  I baked this the evening before we were expecting company, and The Man was so cute.....he kept saying how good it smelled.  Finally, I said we really should taste-test it since it was a new recipe, to which he responded "THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

You have to watch it close toward the end of the cooking time so the pecans don't burn...oops!  They were still so good!


I made this because we were having company, and it was a huge success.  I seriously think this is better than pumpkin pie....oh, yes, I just said that!
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Next up is a super-easy craft.  In my last post, I shared my Fall mantel with the two garlands -- one being a leaf garland and the other paper circles.


I had a package similar to these in my stash from a year or so ago.

All I did was paint them on both sides with Folk Art Home Decor Chalk Paint -- White Adirondack, also in my stash.  Any chalk paint would do.  I tried to leave some of the leaf edges bare, 
for the color.


I simply hot glued them to some jute twine.  For the circles garland, I punched a bunch of 
different size circles out of book-page design cardstock.....this is the reason I hoard scrapbook paper! I glued them back-to-back on another piece of jute twine.  I painted a bunch of those leaves and have scattered them around in my Fall vignettes....love the look!

I hope you enjoyed your visit today, because I very much enjoyed your company! 
 Come back any time.

Warm hugs,
Carol

  I often party with these lovely bloggers:

Monday
 Cindy at Dwellings--The Heart of Your Home for Amaze Me Monday
Maria Elena at Our Home Away from Home for Tuesdays at Our Home

Tuesday
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life  for Inspire Me Tuesday

Wednesday
Suzy at Worthing Court for The Scoop

Thursday
Jemma at  At Home With Jemma for Thoughts of Home on Thursday
Richella at Imparting Grace for Grace at Home

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