This is one of my favorite recipes to make during the holidays, fresh cranberry sauce with orange zest sand cinammon. Delish!
Fresh Cranberries (2x 12 oz bags)
1 cup of oranges juice
Zest of one orange plus juice
2 cinnamon sticks
1.5 cups of sugar
In a saucepan dissolve sugar in orange juice. Add cinammon sticks, fresh cranberries and zest and juice of one orange. Bring to boil then reduce heat to medium/low and simmer til the liquid is gone and craberry sauce thickens. Remove from heat. Refrigerate when cool.
I used these Oui yogurt jars and covered with parchment paper and twine to secure. Add a fresh sprig of rosemary. Set a jar of cranberry sauce on each place setting or deliver a few to a neighbor.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
I love sharing easy DIYs to decorate your home for any holiday and this Halloween Yarn Garland is a simple and inexpensive one to make. Not to mention the kiddos love it!
This photo was from a surprise Fall Home Decor Makeover for a military family. Click here to see the full makeover.
There are two methods you can use to make these.
Repeat pumpkin steps to make the spiders, no leaves here, but use black pipe cleaners to make the legs. Attach legs to the bottom of the yarn with hot glue and cover with a round piece of black felt to keep the legs secure.
To string the yarn pumpkin, spiders and ghost on the jute cord tie a pieces of fishing line through the yarn and tie a knot making a large loop so they can hang on the cord.
Hope you enjoyed this nifty little craft.
This pegboard organizer is a fast and inexpensive DIY. It's a great way to personalize your nursery with what design style you may be going with.
Materials you'll need:
Pegboard (We had a brown one and painted it white)
10 foot 1 x 3 (Cut to the size you want. We had ours cut for us at a local home improvement store 2 x 40 inches and 2 x 16 inches)
Hanging baskets (These are from At Home)
Nail gun or hammer and nails (Ryobi)
Blue Chalk Paint
Cut pegboard to the size you want. Ours was 40 inches wide and 20 inches tall. Create a frame around the pegboard with 1 x 3 cut to size (width and height). Put wood glue on back of wood frame pieces, lay over top of peg board and nail in place.
I am so excited about this 4th of July. It will be the first time in years that my husband and I are together for this day in years. Winner! No deployments or TDY or summer projects that will have had us apart. It's the simple things that make me happy. So let's jump right in. I created a video to share a few tips and tricks to setup a wonderful 4th of July event.
This Patriotic Very Berry Spritzer is one of my favorite beverages to make for the summer. You can switch it up an make it our own. Maybe switch out the strawberries for raspberries or add star fruit.
What you will need:
1 large bottle of mineral water
1-2 cans of Lemon-Lime Soda or Lemonade
2 - cups fresh cut strawberries (you can use frozen too)
2 - cups of Fresh blueberries (you can use frozen too)
Sweeten to taste with sugar or Stevia (we did not add sweetener)
Water and Ice
We used a large mason jar dispenser. If you are making a smaller pitcher you could adjust the amounts accordingly.
Fill the mason jar dispenser with 8 cups of water and add 6 cups of ice. Squeeze the juice of the lemons and pour into the dispenser. Pour in 1 bottle of mineral water (San Pallegrino), pour in 2 cans of lemon soda (Limonata), add strawberries and blueberries. It's that easy. You can sweeten if you would like.
I enjoy creating tablescapes, but I'm always looking to do it on a budget. I had the silverware (IKEA) and the wicker chargers (Walmart) on hand. The blue dishes are from Target at $6.00 a place setting, the red napkins from the Dollar General the chinoiserie vase is from Ross $6.99.
Hope you enjoyed the video and we encourage you to follow and like us facebook. Thank you for supporting our mission to celebrate military families. Wishing you a Happy and Safe 4th of July.
Creating a 3D paper flower focal piece for our surprise bedroom makeover was one of my favorite things to make. Catch the episode right here.
Use the template to trace the pedals onto the paper you will be using. The largest pedal will take an entire 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper. I recommend practicing first with white copy paper to figure out how to do it. Arrange other pedals on the paper to get the most pedals from one sheet of paper.
For a large flower you will need:
7 pedals of A
7 pedals of B
7 pedals of C
5 pedals of D
5 pedals of E
(you can use more pedals for a fuller look)
Cut all pedals you have traced.
Cut a 2 inch slit a the bottom of the pedals.
Use the edge of the table to shape the top of pedal creating a curve. To avoid creasing the paper press on the paper lightly as you move it paper pedal across the edge of the table.
Place hot glue on the edge of one of the slits and then place the other side of the slit on top of the hot glue.
Secure all the pedals on a piece of cardboard. (We used a paper plate) Work from the outside in using the largest pedal first.
Take your time a have fun with it. If you have any questions, drop us a comment and we will be glad to help you.
“It’s cold outside baby.” In Texas, in February and it is 17 degrees outside. The schools have been canceled just with the potential idea of ice and snow coming down. You've got to be kidding me. I was born and raised in North Carolina, ice and snow came every year. We had to wake-up at 6am and check the news channel to see if they canceled school and just because we could see 6 inches of snow on the ground, didn’t mean it was a guarantee it would be canceled.
I will say this, it was nice to have the kiddos home and chill'n in front of the TV, not having to think on a school day. However, we always have this debate in our home. My husband and daughter are the cold-blooded-I-am-freezing-all-the-time people and my son and I are it-is-always-hot-unless-it-is-65-degrees people. It is an unless debate.
My daughter is really feeling alone with this debate because her side-kick debate team member is gone. My husband is deployed right now. Which really translates to she is never going to win. Although, even when he is home they still don’t win. And the reason is because logic is on my side. And here is my logic: “You can ONLY take off so much. However, you can put on a lot.” Honestly, people my birthday suit is as far as I can go and my kids don’t need to be scarred like that. But if the house is cold you can layer away and snuggle under a nice blanket until your heart is content. And I am an awesome momma, I have -like a million- throw blankets around the house. They can find one in just about every room in the house. I have so many of them, I keep thinking I need to donate some of them to others. Every time I start to this hot-cold debate comes up and I dismiss getting rid of them. I don’t want any excuse for the two of them to think they might win the debate. Blankets stay!
So, then the dilemma is what do I do with all these throw blankets. Baskets, blanket ladders, trunks, hidden storage ottoman, the ideas are out there, but which one works for me. Well, I have done them all I think. And for us the basket that allow easy and quick access has been the best. Although, I have this constant “if you don’t fold the blankets…” rant with the kids, it still has been the best for us because we have a nice size living room.
But what if you don’t have a large living room. My favorite is the blanket ladder. This is an easy DIY project too. It doesn’t take up a lot of space and it is pretty.
Step 1 – Cut the pieces to length. See the diagram below for measurements and quantities. You will need the following pieces:
Step 3 – Lay everything out.
Step 4 – Screw everything together. We used (2) screws in each side of each rung. We made the holes using the Kreg Pocket Hole system.
Step 5 – Angle the legs. We made a 10 degree cut on each leg so the ladder would be more stable leaning against the wall.
Step 7 – Stain or paint. . And I always recommend applying messy products like this with gloves and outside. Once everything drys and you have the look you want…
There are always some wonderful hidden storage solutions too. I love these. The only thing I caution is think before you buy. If you have a ton of things that need to be store and you only have one thing (the storage ottoman) then that probably is not going to work for you. So, think about what you want to store before you buy. Yes, there is the basket thing…okay if you are going to go this route make sure you find a basket you are going to love. After all you will be looking at it every day. And, make sure it goes with your style and décor. There are a million different baskets out there…find the one you LOVE!
Okay, so if you have some amazing creative ideas for throw blankets tell us…
Until next time,
I am so ready for spring! I love winter and snow, not that we got any snow this year. It was just cold. I am ready to see the leaves on the trees, the flowers in the garden and sit outside on the back porch a enjoy the warmer weather. That said, I started planning how I wanted the patio to look. I made a pallet bar last year, my first! It was turned out great and very rustic. Keeping with that theme, I decided on farmhouse-inspired lanterns. YES! Lanterns are great to decorate with, beautiful on their own or you can dress them up with items for the season.
Check out these beauties. Love. Them.
Here's what you will need.
If you don't have a way to cut the wood to size, your local hardware store will usually cut them for you. We tried it out and Lowes was able to cut all the wood to the sizes we needed. Because there where so many cuts they charged .25 cents for 10 cuts so $2.50 in addition to the wood. If you've got scrap pieces of wood, or pallet wood at home you can use that too. Your look and size may vary, but you get the idea.
Also, my favorite stain is Minwax Gel Stain in Chestnut. I love the consistency of the gel, how it goes on and the color.
These knobs tho! The knobs are what really make the lantern stand out. We found these at Hobby Lobby and snatch up a few while they were on a 50% sale.
Check out our Date Night DIY video as we tackle this project, show you step by step how to put it together and have a little fun.
Let's make something!
When we landed in Texas, it was June. Honestly, I thought they made a mistake and took us to Iraq. The heat was crazy as we existed the plane and the sun was blinding. We weren’t in Texas but a few days and I started feeling sick. When I went to the doctor he asked where we had moved from, I told him Germany. He decided to do some blood work and learned that I was feeling so bad because of the sun. REALLY-the sun was making me sick! I have never heard of such a thing. Sunlight to be exact, he said. With my hot flashes, I was sure he meant the heat from the sun, but no he meant the light. He then schooled me on the effects of light on our bodies.
I learned there is a whole psychology of lighting and how our emotions and bodies react to it. Who knew. Germany doesn’t get much sun yearly. Apparently, coming from a country like Germany to a state where the sunlight engulfs you almost 90% of the year, it can make you sick. Just shows too much of a good thing isn’t always a good thing.
Now, I work with light every day in photography and filming. I make a living using lighting. I know how important and amazing different lights and lighting techniques are. But I never knew the effects of lights on our psyche all the way to our cellule level. It is a thing, really.
So, after being schooled and doing some research on my own, I learned that the types of lights you choose for your house is important. Restaurants intentionally set the mood using this lighting psychology, so why should we not in our homes?
Military housing is not known for beautiful open floor plans with big bay windows, that allow large amounts of sunlight- which is the best kind of light source there is. Natural – God created – light is always the preferred way to go. So, what can we do in houses where natural light is not prevalent?
Mix-lighting! It is a must!
Ambient Lighting is the most general lighting. It’s basic and easy to do. Most rentals (including military housing) are most likely going to be covered in it. You can do this type of lighting with chandeliers, ceiling or wall-mount fixtures, track or recessed lights and table and floor lamps. This type of lighting to your foundation…you will build most of your other light types on this type of lighting. According to the American Lighting Association, ambient lighting provides an area with overall illumination.
Task lighting is important, why… well because it is your bright lights. Studies have shown the brighter the lights the more intense your emotions are. Therefore, if you are in a happy-go-lucky mood then you are going to be really-happy-go-lucky. If you are feeling-sexy-needing-some-hubby-alone-time then you are going to REALLY…get the point. You can achieve this lighting technique by track lighting, pendant lighting, specialty lighting, vanity lights, and floor, table and desk lamps. Task lighting helps you perform specific tasks.
Accent Lighting is another type of lighting that is used. This is the kind of lighting that will help you highlight the positive things in your home. You can highlight houseplants, your favorite paintings, the special sculpture (you bought from Italy), or your favorite spot in a room. The important thing to remember about accent lighting is that it is NOT to be used as the focal point in a room. It should be about three times the general illumination level. You can get this by using track lighting the right way, chandeliers with dimmer switches, over-and specialty lighting, and wall sconces.
A great solution for accent lighting is to use battery powered light fixtures like this LED battery operated picture light with remote control.
Living in houses (and apartments) I don’t actually own and moving every three or so years, the one thing I have learned is; NEVER be afraid to change things up a little. Just because the housing department put in that awful plain-jane light fixture, doesn’t mean you have to keep it there. I always have a box labeled “original house stuff”, in this box I have shower heads, knobs, lighting fixtures, and whatever else I want to change. I don’t get rid of it, I tuck it away and when the time comes to move again I pull it out and put all the original stuff back up. No harm, no foul. I also invest in beautiful lamps. I invest in lamps for every room, yes even the kitchen. There are some great battery saving efficient light sources out there…look around. This kind of investment will never be useless. Lamps even do great at yard sales if you get tired of them and want to change things up a little. I have used my lamps in every place lived from the U.S. to the over-seas. In my family lamps are even something that is handed down to you…my grandmother gave me her lamps.
The key is don’t be afraid to invest in your home. Lighting in the home is huge and can really change the mood of the house. No matter how short lived “home” is, enjoy it, lighting and all. Caution: when changing your lights…make sure not to lite yourself up (maybe a sad joke, put I did make you smile -_-).
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