New Year's Eve Charcuterie Board
Charcuterie. It's such a neat word. I just like saying it, char·cu·te·rie pronounced
/SHärˈko͞odərē/. Main and Vine describes charcuterie as an array of preserved and prepared meat dishes, such as cured sausages, hams, bacon, pâté and confit. The origins of charcuterie are simple: salting, curing and drying were the most effective ways to preserve meat before refrigerators came along. I won't be doing any salting, curing or drying meats myself, but I will be putting together some cured meats on board for our New Year's Eve celebration.
Appetizers are the new dinner party and a charcuterie board is the ultimate lets gather around the table eat, drink and be merry way to entertain. The holidays are about gathering with friends and family. We've got enough going on that to over complicate it. Festive is our mahantra! Bring out a charcuterie board and your guest will feel at home.
So now the question is how do I put this /SHärˈko͞odərē/ board together? Don't fret. I've got you covered. Here are some basic tips for assembling a charcuterie and cheese board:
Arrange everything on a wooden board. A cutting board works well.
For a large gathering, use your charcuterie and cheese board as your centerpiece across the length of the table. This makes an outstanding presentation. Here we come 2018!!
Black-Eyed Peas On New Year's Day
One of the things I love the most about being a military family is the wonderful people we have the opportunity to meet along the way. These are the friends we call "framily". Even though we may not always live near each other, we always find a way to connect again. When we were stationed at Fort Stewart and then at Fort Benning, both in Georgia, I learned many a Southernism and tradition, like cattywampus or bless your heart, along with that possum's on the stump and eyeballs are floating. If you are from the south, you know exactly what I'm talking about. I also learned about "must have" Southern dishes like pimento cheese, watergate salad and sweet tea. I had never had any of those tasty treats until we moved to the south.
With New Year's Day only a couple of days away, I thought it would be the perfect time to share the Southern tradition of having black-eyed peas on New Year's Day. In fact, it is the first meal you should have before anything else. Why is this? According to legendary Southern food researcher John Egerton’s Southern Food: At Home, On the Road, In History, black-eyed peas are associated with a “mystical and mythical power to bring good luck.” As for collard greens, they’re green like money and will ensure you a financially prosperous new year. https://www.southernliving.com/new-years/new-years-traditions-black-eyed-peas
I started looking through recipes and found a modern take on this traditional dish. BLACK-EYED PEA SALSA. Heck yeah! We added our own twist to the recipe by The Kitchen Girl. Definitely need to check her out.
So how do you cook black eyed peas? Well, I didn't. For this recipe, You can use:
HERE ARE THE INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED:
For a little kick, try adding diced serrano peppers.
Surprise Holiday Front Porch Makeover
It's the most wonderful time of year and it truly is better to give than to receive. We were so fortunate to work with PCSgrades on this project. We couldn't have done it without them and all the volunteers who cam to help.
So, what did we do you may ask? We surprised an active duty military family with a Holiday Front Porch Makeover. Oh yeah we did. It was amazing! (I am so glad my husband has returned from his deployment and was able to work on this project with me.)
In November, we hosted a Giveaway with PCSgrades open to any active duty military family in the Lackland/San Antonio, Texas area. We received hundreds of entries and on November 27, 2017 we drew a random winner. Wow! That was crazy. We asked the winner for a photo of the front of the home so I could get started with creating the design. I then made a mock up in Photoshop. This way I would know what we needed to make it all possible. I had to keep in mind the rules of the military installation and work within their guidelines, but I love a challenge.
Once the winner was drawn we had less than 7 days to put everything together, from coming up with the design concept, to shopping, shopping, and more shopping to making all the decor DIY projects. We then packed up the truck and drove to San Antonio where we had 6 hours to overhaul the exterior of their home with holiday magic. Landscaping, Christmas trees, wreaths, lights, decorations, you name it, we made it happen. What a wonderful surprise it was. Check out the video below and see for yourself.
Check out this easy DIY projects.
DIY Project 1 Pizza Box. Wrap a pizza box. We headed over to a local pizza shop and asked if we could have a few empty pizza boxes for a holiday project and they were more than happy to give us a few for free. Thanks for that! Wrap the boxes with wrapping paper and ribbon an use velcro Command strips on the back to attach to the wall and use as decoration.
DIY Project 2 Lantern and Christmas Bulbs
We picked up these lanterns at Kirland's during their Black Friday sale. Great discount. Kirland's also offers a 10% military discount and if you get their app you can even get ore discount. And yes, you can combine all the offers. Fill the lantern with Christmas bulbs and decorate the tops of the lantern with fresh or artificial greenery, pine cones and ribbons.
DIY Project 3 Chalk Painted Bench
I was on the hunt for a white bench. I really wanted to put an antique white bench in the porch, but all I kept finding was black. Well, alright then. I will just chalk paint it. So I did. Chalk painting is so easy. No prep or sanding required. I simply grabbed a pint of white chalk paint and paint on 2 coats. I let the paint dry a few hours in between coats. I then sanded off some of the white painted in certain areas to give it a more rustic look and then used brown antique wax for the final finish. Really easy and just a couple of bucks.
DIY Project 5 Joy Door Decor
Since we were going for a more whimsical look, I didn't want to do a traditional wreath. I decided to make a piece that could go down the length of door instead. We attached a silver ribbon to the front of the door and then hot glued light weight wooden letters that we painted with red chalk paint and covered with red glitter spelling out the word JOY.
Here are some behind the scene photos. Hope you enjoyed this Holiday Front Porch Makeover episode.
It's All In The Mix
There once was a rule that said you shouldn't mix metals. Mixing brass and nickel, or copper and gold was a no, no, a decorating death sentence. Who came up with that notion anyway? I love breaking rules, especially outdated ones. Make room for metals in 2018 because it's all about the mix. This is a great way to bring together your thrift store finds with items you've acquired from an overseas duty station.
Here are a 5 steps to get you started on this beautiful design trend.
1. Choose a Primary Metal
Pick a metal that you love to be the primary metal in your space. So, if you love copper, start there. Look for a copper light fixture or mirror to set the tone. Then select one or two metal accents to round out the look.
2. Keep Your Color Scheme in Mind
Metals can even out your room temperature.
Tip: Warm color tones like reds, browns, and yellows love warm metals like gold, brass, and copper. Cool color tones like blue, green, and violet invite cool metals such as chrome and silver. But hold on. It's the neutral rooms like white and grey that beg for metallic accents. If you’re space has gray tones, a gold chandelier can bring the room to life. But, don't be afraid to mix in a gold metal in a cool room or a silver metal in a warm room. Be daring!
3. Incorporate Texture
Mix up the texture. Combine matte, polished, and hammered finishes to create a well put together look.
4. Use Iron As a Neutral
Iron is the neutral of the metallic world. It doesn't clash with other metal tones. It also helps to balance other metals in the space.
5. Keep It Subtle
Don't go metal crazy. Keep it subtle. Choose 1 dominate metal and 2 or 3 accent metals. Less is more. Look for something simple like a drawer pull that incorporate 2 finishes like gold and silver. This idea is easy and inexpensive.
Start small, mix it up in the bathroom or kitchen and then work in larger pieces. Have fun with it and let your home decor be a reflection of who you are.
As many of you might remember, I accepted the mission to get our house in tip-top shape, just in time for the holidays. (Phew, where in the world has the time gone?!) And, I challenged you to join me.
But, boy, was I in for a real treat. I mean, we’re talking 31 days here. And, I had to be laser-focused in order to turn my home upside down, giving each room the attention it needed (and deserved). From purging to donating things we no longer needed, simplifying, and even ensuring everything was in its rightful place (that’s tough with two kids!), it certainly was a labor of love.
So, for those of you who missed joining in on the fun and kicking your house into gear before the holiday season inches closer, not to worry. We’re recapping everything right here, right now. All you need to do is mark your calendar for when you’re personally going to tackle this mission and get your organization game face on!
You ready? Let’s get to reminiscing on Moving With The Military’s 31-Day Organization Boot Camp, all collected from our YouTube channel.
And, there you have it. 31-days of organization goodness all laid out for you. All you have to do is decide whether or not you’ll accept the challenge and work your way to a clutter-free, perfectly peaceful humble abode. Hey, maybe this can even help you get a head start on that ambitious New Year's resolution of yours!
Remember, however, getting organized is not a one-time thing. It’s an ongoing process and it changes with every PCS move. Cut yourself some slack, give yourself some grace, and pat yourself on the back for any progress made.
So, what do you say? Are you up for the challenge? If so, let us know in the comments section below and keep us posted (and even send pictures) of how things went. Happy organizing!
Christmas Coupons With Love
So you're down to the wire, Christmas is tomorrow and you need a last minute gift. Amazon can't get it to you overnight and there is no time to shop. No worries. Here is the perfect gift idea. Christmas Coupons! Give someone something they couldn't or wouldn't do for themselves. A home cooked meal, a spa day, a night out with babysitting included. Are you feeling me know. Something so simple could really make the difference in someone's day. Download these coupons, print and your all done. There's even a blank one to fill in yourself.
Here are a few popular ideas. Some for him and some for her. These are great to give to a friend too. Think about a milso that may have a deployed service member. This little gesture can go a long way.
Coupon ideas for kids.
The I font used for the main gift text is Nouradilla download it here.