Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Warm Holiday Scent for Your Home

In my world, making my house smell like Christmas is just as important as decorating for the holidays.  I enjoy walking into my house after the air has been filled with the warm scents of Christmas simmering on the stove.

Not far from my house is a great farmer's market with the best selection of reasonably priced spices.  I purchased a few spice containers to create my own holiday potpourri.

A few whole nutmeg
2 Tbsp dried orange peel
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp whole allspice
A few dried orange slices
Two cups of water

Place all the ingredients into a saucepan.  Fill the saucepan with water and stir to dissolve the dried orange peel.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer.  Be sure to add more water as the water boils down.  I refrigerate the leftovers and reuse them for about a week.  The smell is wonderful.  It truly does make the house smell great!

If you like you can view a clean fragrance for your home here.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Boxwood Wreath Holiday Pillow

Last week, I participated in my first ever arts and crafts show.  Let me tell you, I was so nervous, but overall it was a positive experience.  The event was held at my aunt's workplace.  My aunt called me before the show and asked, how many pillows could I make in two weeks.  Two weeks?!  Sewing is not a quick thing, especially for me, but I worked hard and came up with a few creations.

I was inspired by the leaves in this wreath and came up with the idea for my first pillow.  

To create the wreath, I traced a large round bowl onto the fabric.  I added the leaves by pinching the ends of each felt circle and gluing them together, making sure to group the leaves tightly.  I added a tiered bow for a festive look.

This pillow was fun to make, although attaching the felt leaves can be time consuming. *To save time, you can purchase pre-cut felt circles on Etsy.  

I hope you enjoyed my pillow.  I'll be back later to show you a few more that I made! 

I am linking this post to:
Savvy Southern Style

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Family Favorite- Sweet Potato Orange Cups

Does your family have any Thanksgiving recipe traditions?

Growing up, one of my favorite dishes my mom made for our family was Sweet Potato Orange Cups.  It makes a perfect side dish or can be used as a dessert.  I was always so impressed by her presentation of the dish.  Best of all, the  pre-portioned cups make after-dinner cleanup a breeze!

2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup salted butter, softened
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes
6 large oranges

Using a juicer, remove pulp from oranges, leaving a shell.  Reserve orange pulp for a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.

Beat eggs, granulated sugar, and 3/4 cup butter.  Add milk and vanilla.  Combine with the mashed sweet potatoes; spoon sweet potato mixture into shells.  Place filled orange cups in a muffin pan.  Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20 minutes or until heated through.  Serve warm topped with homemade whipped topping

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Natural Thanksgiving Centerpieces

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner can be costly.  If we spend all our money on decorations, there's less to go around the table.  I wanted to create a centerpiece for our table this year without spending a fortune.  So I gathered a few things from outside to decorate my table for the holiday.

On my kitchen table sat a bowl filled with hedge apples.  I am in Georgia and have yet to see a tree here, so I ordered mine from Ebay.  

I filled the rest of the bowl with pine cones, leaves and berries from my yard.

I created a second centerpiece using the same concept, leaves and pine cones from my yard and acorns collected from a walk in Grant Park.  The pears are plastic!

You don't have to spend a lot of money on decorations.  Bring the outdoors in for a natural Thanksgiving display.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Soup Can Planters

Early in September, Target started selling special edition Andy Warhol-themed tomato soup cans.  I grew up on tomato soup and grilled cheese, so I picked up a few cans for lunch.  After the soup was gone, the cans were too pretty to throw away.  So after some thought I decided to reuse the cans as planters.

After cleaning the cans, I hammered a few drainage holes at the bottom of each can.  Be careful not to get the labels too wet.  If you should, just allow them to completely dry before moving on.

Then I applied a thin coat of Mod Podge over the labels to seal and protect the surface.

I purchased a few succulents from Home Depot and replanted them in each can.

I love the bright pop of color!

Simple and inexpensive!  What will you create today?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Book

Do you, like me, love the blog Young House Love?  I've been a reader of Young House Love for years.  The moment I read there was a book in the works, I couldn't wait.
I received my copy in the mail this week.  They share some really great ideas.  

I've been thumbing through the pages and appreciate all the hard work and planning that went into their projects.

The book is written with the same friendly and cheerful voice of their blog.  Highly recommended!  Love their blog?  Then you'll love their book! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

No-Sew Placemat Clutch

Placemat clutch.  I've seen them around and always wanted to make one.  I took pictures of the process so you can make one too.

I started with a placemat purchased at Target on clearance.

Most of the tutorials I found involved sewing.  To keep this simple, I used my glue gun instead.

Fold the placemat into thirds.  Adjust the top fold so the flap is shorter than the bottom fold.  Secure the bottom half of each side with glue.  I created pockets by adding a line of glue down the center of the clutch.  I chose to close the clutch with velcro cut to size and glued in place.

Determine the placement by folding the top half down.

I embellished the clutch with a few buttons and feathers.

It was so easy to create and so quick, I made another one.

You'll want to make more and give away to friends.

They would make great, inexpensive handmade gifts for the holidays.

A clutch or a makeup bag, you decide.

I hope these ideas will inspire you to create your own.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Choffy Winner!

The winner of the Choffy Giveaway is, Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness.

True Random Number Generator  1
Congratulations Tammy!  I've emailed you. 

Thank you to everyone who entered and a huge thank you to Jill for offering up such a tasty sample.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Semi-Homemade Nutella Frosting

Friends were headed over and I needed a quick dessert that I could make in very little time.  I settled on cupcakes.  I had all the ingredients on hand and saved myself from making a trip to the grocery store.

I started with a basic chocolate cake mix and doctored it up a bit, but the frosting was the star of the show.  I don't know about you, but I love Nutella.  My favorite way to eat Nutella is with a spoon straight from the jar! 

One of my friends never had Nutella before.  A look of pure joy came over her face as she took her first bite.  Nutella has that kind of effect on people!    

1 (16 ounce) can ready to spread milk chocolate frosting
1 (13 ounce) jar of Nutella spread
4 ounces of Cool Whip (thawed)

Combine ingredients using an electric mixer.  Beat until well blended.  Refrigerate for one hour, then slather it all over your cupcakes!