Thursday, December 18, 2014

WINTER POTPOURRI


Need a last minute gift for a teacher?  Neighbor?  Co-worker?  Mailman?  The "Oh No, I forgot a gift for you" person?  Or could your house just benefit from a yummy-smelling concoction?

With just a few simple ingredients and about two minutes, you can throw together some cute bags of Winter Potpourri.  My sister-in-law shared this recipe with me about 10 years ago, and I've used it in the past but had forgotten about it until recently.  I saw someone (please remind me where I saw it if it's you!) refer to something similar on Instagram and it sparked my memory.


Here's the basic recipe:

1 orange, 1 lemon, 4 cinnamon sticks, 20 whole cloves, 2 bay leaves
*I didn't use the bay leaf, but saw these cute star anise packs at the store, so I substituted those. They're mainly for looks, they kind of smell like licorice.  Nothing is set in stone, you can play with the combo of ingredients.  I've switched up the fruit in the past also, using limes or grapefruit instead.

Now, that recipe is actually enough for 2 rounds.  You'll want to half the orange and lemon, and slice up those halves.  Save the other halves for later.  Half everything else in the recipe and combine it with the fruit slices, along with about 2 cups of water.  Simmer in a pot or in a mini-crock pot.  This mixture will last for 2-3 days, then you can use the portions you reserved for another batch.

To gift, put all ingredients in a clear or seasonal cellophane bag and tie with a pretty ribbon.  I should have printed the recipe and instructions out on a card to attach as well, but I didn't get to that yet.  ;) Another tip, I used the smaller mandarin type oranges, just because they fit in the bag better.


These are a thoughtful little gift on their own, or would be terrific party favors or that little extra something to tuck in and add to a gift you already have.


I've had a batch simmering for the past two days and the kitchen smells lovely!


7 days and counting!  I'm needing to finish up my shopping today and tomorrow before the kids are out of school.

This will most likely be my last post for the year, so I wanted to leave you with my sincere thanks for reading and following along here.  It still amazes me that people are actually interested in my projects!  I hope you all have a blessed and joyous Christmas, and that you know the Savior that was born for us to bring us hope, peace, and new life.

See you in 2015 for lots of new possibilities!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

CHRISTMAS TOUR WRAP UP AND LINK UP YOUR HOME!


Well, there's been a whole lot of touring going on everywhere lately!  I enjoyed each and every home, and appreciated each one for it's unique and individual presentation and care that went into creating a lovely holiday home.

Here's a recap from the 12 Days of Christmas Tour of Homes.  If you missed any, you can click on the photo banner to go straight to the tour.





 

   







We'd love to see YOUR holiday home!  Link up with us at the end of this post and come join the fun!

* * * * * * * * 

I also wanted to share just a few favorites from that Blogger Stylin' Home Tours that I participated in last week, too.  I wish I could highlight more, but with 40ish fabulous homes in the tour...whew!


*Please be courteous and click the link below each photo to pin from the original source.  Thanks!






With that, I believe we'll wrap up the Christmas posts here on D&T for this year!  But first, don't forget to link up your Christmas Tour... you've seen our homes, we're ready to see yours!




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Monday, December 15, 2014

GREAT IDEAS FROM THE PAGES OF BHG


Even with the convenience of Pinterest at our fingertips whenever and wherever we want it, I still think there's something about flipping through actual pages of a great design book or shelter magazine.

I thought the December issue of Better Homes and Gardens was especially inspiring this year.  One of them spurred ideas for my own Christmas decor this year:


There is so much I love about this photo, but the candles with the "snow" around them caught my eye.  I decided to adapt this idea and do a grouping of candles on my dining room table.  I used a little snow, also, in the big candleholders flanking the tray.  I'm probably not through with this image, though, there is so much good stuff there (those hanging lanterns!!).


A few other images from that issue that I'm keeping tucked away for the future...

This simple outdoor tree with pinecone ornaments is just as charming as can be.


Someday I'll make some fun pinecone stars for the tree, also.


How cute are the little sweater leg warmers on this stool?


And the sweater cuff with jingle bell embellishments on that candle, so fun!  That gives me a few more things to add to my thrifting list.


I LOVE the chunky hardware added to this rustic planter.  That would be such an easy DIY.  Definitely remembering this one!


And can we just talk about this jaw-dropping gorgeous kitchen that belongs to Grace Sorensen?  It's so, so good.


A few other magazine photos inspired me this season.  I snapped some pics on my phone while flipping through a few of my Mother-in-law's magazines so I'd remember the ideas.  I believe these were from the BHG Christmas Ideas magazine, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!

These pom pom pillows belong to Karianne at Thistlewood Farms-


and seeing them encouraged me to add some poms to my own pillows... (DIY pom pom post here)


This milk glass dish tower full of ornaments


inspired me to do this in my kitchen.


And the fresh green potted trees here


inspired me to use something similar on my Christmas Mantle.


So where do YOU find inspiration?  Have you gleaned any ideas from magazines to actually use in your own home?

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Friday, December 12, 2014

NEED TO FEED A CROWD THIS HOLIDAY SEASON?


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Farm Rich for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.


'Tis the season for friends, family, and food!  Are you ready to feed them all? Today I wanted to share some of my favorite appetizers with you, both for our family and for get-togethers. 


One of my go-to party foods is meatballs, and since a friend shared it with me years ago, this has been my favorite meatball recipe.  I make them every Christmas Eve for a party in our home, every summer for the teachers at Vacation Bible School, and for many fellowships that we attend.  Even though I consider them "party food", my kids even requested them for dinner a few weeks ago!

It couldn't be easier, and you only need three ingredients.  Start with a bag of frozen Farm Rich Meatballs.  I usually use the original beef, but tried turkey this time.  They're both delicious, and if you or your guests have diet concerns, any of the meatball varieties are gluten-free.  Farm Rich products are easy, fast, convenient food made with 100% real cheese, 0 trans fats, and are good sources of protein and calcium, so you can feel good about feeding them to your family even when you're in a hurry.  

Along with the meatballs, you'll need some italian salad dressing and apricot preserves.  That's it!
  

For this 28 oz. bag of meatballs, you'll want to use about 1/3 to 1/2 of the 16 oz. bottle of dressing and about 1/3 to 1/2 of the 18 oz. jar of preserves.  Your measurements don't have to be precise, just eyeball it.

Usually I use a crockpot, but this time I was in a hurry so I heated everything up in a big pot on the stove.  The meatballs don't need to be thawed out, just put them in your pot, pour the dressing over them and spoon the preserves on top. 


Give it a quick stir and heat on medium until the meatballs are thawing out, then let simmer on low.  I kept the pot covered and stirred occasionally.  The preserves will melt and combine with the dressing for one delicious sauce!  On the stove, it took about 45 minutes for them to get nice and hot.  You'll want to give them some time for the sauce to soak in as well. If you're using a crockpot, it will take a couple of hours for them to be ready.  

You can certainly leave the meatballs on the stove or in the crockpot and allow guest to dip out a few, or you could plate them with toothpicks.  Aren't they cute in these mini-baking cupcake liners?  I think the foil liners would be even better, but I used what I had on hand. 
  

I promise, your guests will be coming back for more!

I have one more little entertaining tip to share with you.  In the South, I know there's no question that the tea is sweet, but where we live people are given a choice.  So, one of my favorite tricks to use while hosting a party is to label the tea pitchers with a dry erase marker!  It's quick, the guests know exactly what they're getting, and it wipes right off when you're ready to clean up.  


So, with delicious food and drink covered, who's ready for a party?


If you're looking for a quick, delicious party food or even an everyday snack for your family, there is a wide variety of Farm Rich Snacks to choose from, including the Loaded Potato Skins and Pepperoni Pizza Bites... I think my kids would live on pizza bites if I'd let them.  We also love the mozzarella sticks. You're sure to find something that will make everyone's mouth happy!  

Be sure to click here to get $1.50 off 2 Farm Rich snacks  before you head to the grocery store.  These products are easy to find at Wal-Mart, or check Farm Rich Product Finder for your closest store. You can also find more great recipe ideas with Farm Rich on their Facebook or Pinterest page.

Visit Sponsor's Site

This post is sponsored by Farm Rich, but all opinions are mine.  We really do use and love these products, so I was happy to partner with Farm Rich to spread the word.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

CHRISTMAS 2014 HOME TOUR {BLOGGER STYLIN' HOME TOURS}


Welcome friends, I'm so glad to have you here today!  I'm am always thrilled to participate in each installment of Blogger Stylin' Home Tours, it's one of the best blog tours around!


A million thanks to Lindsay of The White Buffalo Styling Company for organizing the tour and keeping the 40+ bloggers that participate informed and in line...that's no minor task!  If you're joining me from Beth's at Home Stories A to Z, thanks for coming over!  And if you missed Beth's tour, head over right away to check out her amazing Christmas kitchen.  I have a soft spot in my heart for kitchens right now (I just completed a kitchen refresh makeover).

My approach to decorating is to use what I love, find unique treasures (mostly from thrift shops, yard sales, and Craigslist), not be afraid to make something my own, always include bright pops of color, and just have fun with it and everything usually works out in the end.  If not, we just go back to the drawing board!


Lantern Set (affiliate link)

This year I went over the top with the red and green color palette.  Most everything I used was things I already had from Christmases past, or accessories I use throughout the year but gave them a little twist for Christmas.  I love how the Entry turned out so fun and festive!




In the Dining Room I corralled a collection of brass candlesticks on a large tray, layered it on a strip of fabric (just fold the edges under!), and topped it off with some fresh cut greenery and a few ornaments.





The strong dose of red and green continues in the Living Room.  I used feather boas on my tree many years ago, and came across them again as I was pulling out my decorations.  I thought this was the perfect year to bring them back!  This is our main tree, so it's a hodge podge of sentimental, hand made, and collected ornaments and sets.  The DIY silver tray photo frame ornaments that I made last year really stand out on the tree.







Anything around the house that was red or green was fair game!   I swiped the euro pillows off of my son's bed and a couple of old Southern Living cookbooks with festive spines.


 My in-laws spent several years as missionaries in Thailand, and gifted us with some gorgeous, unique nativity sets from their time there.  We have an olive wood set from Bethlehem, a Celadon pottery set from Thailand, and a glass set from Myanmar.  Such treasures!


I used these chalkboards last year, and they kept perfectly throughout the year.  I just sprayed them with a light coat of aerosol hairspray to keep the chalk from smudging, then replaced the regular picture that goes in the frames for the remainder of the year, storing the chalkboards in an out of the way spot.






More of my Christmas Mantle here.


My son has been crazy about trains lately.  He begs for us to take him to the tracks to watch for one to come by, and keeps track of everything he sees in a notebook that is with him at all times.  ;)  I happily agreed to his train circling the base of the tree.


My engineer at work...







See more of my Christmas Kitchen and Breakfast Nook here.


Thanks again for coming today, I hope you enjoyed the tour!  I'd love for you to check out some of my other Blogger Stylin' Home Tours posts:


And if you're new I hope to see you around here more often!  You can find me around the web here:
Bloglovin'  ||  Facebook  ||  Twitter  ||  Instagram  ||  Pinterest 
Or, sign up to receive every new post right in your inbox!  Just enter your email address in the box just below my picture back up at the top of the page.



Next on the tour is Summer from Simple Stylings!  I've already had a peek at her Christmas dining table, and oh my!  It was yummy.  Can't wait to see the rest of her house!

Here's this week's complete tour line-up.  You won't be disappointed with any of these fabulous homes!

Monday:

Tuesday:

Wednesday:

Thursday:
>>>Dimples and Tangles<<<  Thanks for coming!

Friday:

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