Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thanksgiving Ideas

I am so looking forward to a lovely day and full, satisfying meal with those I love.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days. 
Gratefulness for what we have been blessed with, sharing the table with dear friends, and just soaking up the gift of family, food, a warm house, and togetherness.

Here are a few of my favorite ideas for the day...

{just click on the picture}

THANKSGIVING PLACE CARDS

CANNING RING PUMPKIN


THANKSGIVING TABLE SETTING

Free Thanksgiving Gift Tags & Note Card Printables for sharing Thanksgiving Goodies

THESE CUTE INVITATIONS
Free "Give Thanks" Thanksgiving Dinner Invitation

THIS IDEA IS JUST LOVELY
Free Thanksgiving Day Printables. Print on kraft paper for a rustic look. Love the smaller file for Utensil holders!

AND THIS SITE, FOOD52....THEY HAVE THE BEST RECIPES AND MENU FOR THANKSGIVING
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Wishing you a very lovely week in preparation of a thankful day!

~Julia


Friday, November 21, 2014

How to Make a Flannel Infinity Cowl {Tutorial}

Cozy and warm, I love cowls in the winter.
They are just enough warmth and pair perfectly with so many outfits.
Here is a simple tutorial for a flannel infinity cowl.
It is so easy to put together and requires minimal sewing.
These would make lovely Christmas gifts!
The directions are the same for all sizes, from children to adults.
The size doubles over nicely for a looser fit, and triples for a cozier fit.
I like it because I can put it over my nose and mouth when I walk in the cold :)





SUPPLIES

flannel fabric {at least 1 yard} 36 inches long, and 45 inches wide
*Recycled flannel sheets and pillow cases make GREAT sources of fabric!! 
sewing machine

SIZES

Children: 36"wide x 76"long
Adults: 36 inches wide x 90 inches long


First cut fabric to desired size.
For the adult size, simply lay out your fabric, folded in half, so it is facing you 36 inches long and 22 1/2 inches tall.
Cut straight up the center, so you are left with 2 pieces that are 18 inches wide and 45 inches long.
Sew the two ends together to make one giant piece of fabric, 18" x 90".
For the child's size, the measurement will be 18"x76"



Sew the top ends together, right sides facing each other.



Turn inside out.

Now fold one end in, like so...


And tuck the other end in evenly.
Pin together, and sew.

Whalaa!

You have a cozy, snuggly, new cowl to wear.



Stay warm!

~Julia

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Today...

Today I love the rhythm of crochet hook and yarn...creating lovely, warm cowls to bundle up in.
It's best at night, cuddled on the couch with a warm cup of tea.

If you'd like to make one, too...




Monday, November 17, 2014

Cold Weather Inventions

The winter weather is here.
Frosty, pure and crisp-aired mornings that require hours of ice breaking to get fresh water to the animals.


It is just part of living here.
Tim talked to some old-timers and looked online to come up with this tank heater for the cows.
We have a really large water tank for this particular group that is waiting to be bred {we AI our cows.}


An old barrel sunk in the middle with a lid, loaded with rocks that absorb heat, and then a fire lit at night and in the morning with some good chunks of wood.
The fire goes out and the heat from the rocks keep things from freezing.

It's working.
If there is ice, it's a thin layer to break for the cows.
Much easier than shoveling out big chunks of ice.




Hope you have a lovely Monday!


~Julia

Monday, November 3, 2014

Today...



I am reveling in the fact that I can STILL hang laundry out to dry and it is November!
The bright reds and glorious oranges and yellows catch my eye out my kitchen sink window.
And...I am living this day. This day....one day at a time, from a state of rest.
Rest is where God wants us.
Everything in the Bible points to rest being an integral part of living a good life.
A life where you cast your anxiety to the Lord...and then rest.

Hope you are having a restful Fall day....in spite of a full schedule....like mine {smile}.

~Julia

Friday, October 31, 2014

How to Make a Fall Centerpiece for Your Table {Tutorial}

I still have so much to harvest from the garden, but the pumpkins and squash are cleaned out. 
They are piled in lumps and groupings all over the farm.
Some are stored for the winter and some will be baked and roasted into a lovely puree to freeze.


Sometimes life just calls for something extra special.
I put together a Fall setting at our kitchen table and everyone was so excited to sit down to dinner tonight.
It would be a perfect Thanksgiving centerpiece!


Everything was from my garden, but you could easily create this with goods from the grocery store, farmer's market, or even a kind neighbor with a garden.



I have friends who tell me that they don't have a creative bone in their body and could never make something like this for the holidays.
I say pshaaw...
Our God is a creative God and He gave each of us the ability to create in different ways.



Would you like to put together something similar?

Here is a little "how to." {smile}

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

1 bigger squash for the center
2 orange pumpkins about 8 inches tall
2 white pumpkins or squash in a light color, about 8 inches
4 smaller squash like acorn or butternut
2 small vases of flowers
2 candles
various other small squash or mini pumpkins, pine cones, leaves, branches
table runner...if you have one :)
cake stand



First, place your bigger squash of your choice in the center of the table on the cake stand and add two candle sticks off to both sides.



Next, add your 8 inch pumpkins/squash.
Just like this...

Remember, you can use whatever you can find. It doesn't have to be exactly like the picture.
There are so many beautiful varieties of squash out there!


 Look!
It is starting to really come together.
The third step is to add some of your smaller squash.
I staggered mine, can you see?
I placed one just in front of the candle stick to fill in space, and then on the opposite side with the other candle.
Don't worry, we are playing with balance, and it will look perfect in the end.

 Now comes the fun part....filling it all in!
Basically, you are looking to fill in spaces with the smaller pumpkins.
I placed them in various spots and tried to keep the color balance right. 
Things don't have to be symmetrical, but if you are nervous, then whatever you do on one side, do it on the other.
So, if there is a little orange pumpkin next to the white one on one side, do it on the other end.
Look for big open spaces and fill in!



Last, you are going to add in all of the little stuff.
I placed my flowers just to the side of the candles.
On either side I added pine cones next to the smaller pumpkins.


 I had some small pine cones that I spread on either end, and then tucked in a few leaves.
They had berries which was such a bonus!
Tuck in all kinds of little details to fill in space.
Move things around if they don't look pleasing to the eye and if you are struggling, remember to balance things by repeating on each side.


Enjoy...and have fun!
Creating with nature is so lovely.

Wishing you a warm Fall day.

~Julia

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Nutty Buddy Cookies

I made these delicious cookies the other day that resemble Aussie Bites from Costco.
The kids promptly gobbled them up.
The were a taste a goodness ~moist and chewy, yet super healthy!




 

I found the recipe HERE.

Hope you have a lovely Fall day filled with treats!

~Julia


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Today...

The colors.
Oh, the Autumn colors are permeating the view.
It's a treat to see such beauty.


Do you love the Fall, too?

~Julia

Monday, October 20, 2014

Firewood

That crisp and sappy, fresh wood smell is just Fall to me.
I love cutting and stacking firewood....even though my kids do a little more of it because my hands are laden with other obligations.
I still love it.

We don't have the luxury of a wood stove, but Nannie {my Mom} does.
My hubby cuts the rounds and then we do the rest.
My Dad made the log splitter years ago and I spent many hours using it as a child.


There is just something about a a crisp Autumn day and the sound of wood cracking.
The smell of leaves and sawdust saturating the air.


I love it that Tim has Jack in training and lets him run the lever as he carefully places the rounds in.
Jack feels pretty proud that he is old enough to finally help split.

We usually plop a couple of big fat rounds on the ground to use as a seat.
And away we go.
A log splitter is a wonderful investment.
Really...it is if you are putting away cords and cords of wood :).


It's a good workout and such a satisfying view when all of that timber is piled high!


Next up on the list...

taking apples in to get pressed for cider.


We are drinking the last little bit in the pantry.
A warm cup with a little cinnamon in the morning is a perfect treat.

Enjoy your day!

~Julia

PS: If you are wanting to can apple cider HERE is a great link!
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