Thursday, November 26, 2015

Make Your Own Evergreen Wreath...It's Not Hard

Happiest THANKSgiving Day to you all!
Enjoy this special time together...and to get you in the mood for is a past post on making you own wreaths.
They really are simple to make and so beautiful!

The smell of fresh evergreen is tantalizing around Christmas time.
And truly...I's so easy to make your own.

If you have trees in your yard, or possibly have a neighbor willing to let you cut a few branches, the cost is virtually nothing.
Some tree farms will also let you have excess clippings.
Or, you can get a forest service permit to go cut in the woods.

To make the wreath you'll need: 
*a wire frame {you can find them at craft stores, or make your own from an old coat hanger}.
*floral wire {found at a hardware or craft store}.
*evergreen branches, other plant clippings

To start off, cut about 3-6 sprigs about 5-8 inches long and bunch together.

Depending how thick and fluffy you want your wreath, a fuller bunch of sprigs will give you a fluffy wreath. Less sprigs in the bunch will give the wreath a sparser look.

Lay the little bunch on the wreath, pointing slightly toward the outside.

Wrap your floral wire around 2-3 times, pulling tight.
Leave it just to the side outside the frame, the wire laying underneath....don't cut the wire!

Make another sprig bunch and this time lay it down about an inch below the first one, pointing slightly inside the wreath frame.

Wrap your wire around 2-3 times pulling tight.
Make sure you leave it underneath and to the side again.
That way you are ready for the next bunch!

Keep repeating this sequence....laying the next bunch about an inch below, and alternating pointing inside or out.

You can also tuck in different foliage to give the wreath more dimension.
Just include it in your little sprig bunch.

When you get to the end, you will want to "tuck" the remaining bunches underneath the overlapping sprigs.

They will overlap and create a seamless overlay.
Cut the wire and lace it through the back and twist to tie off.

That is it.
Easy peasy and such a great gift for neighbors...or just for you!

You can add ribbon by twisting some floral wire around the wreath and attaching it, or pine cones, Christmas balls...the possibilities are endless!

Hope you find this holiday season filled with joy!


Friday, November 6, 2015

Rolling In

The fog looms down the field, rolling its way up to blanket us.
Meanwhile, I enjoy rays of gold streaming on my kitchen table.
Sprinkling a delightful light across my still-blank to do list and cup of chocolate hazlenut tea.
A creamy bowl of oatmeal inspired by this book  to go along with the plans for today rolling in steadily.
One by one, the page fills, brimming with the possibilities of today.
Some large, some small. My day seems like a rolling jumble of to-dos and good things to come.
I've learned to pare down to only 3 big tasks in the day and then a list of other things that might get done.
A pie to bake for an FFA auction, outside gardening to finish up for the year, a fun movie night to plan, a Christmas card to design....
things to work on at a steady pace with a peace about it.
Just having this day?
That's the blessing.
And finding small moments like the early morning to enjoy it...there is the treasure.

Hope your Fall is off to a lovely start!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Foggy Tea

Sometimes you just have to brew a good cup of tea. 
In fact, my kids and I regularly have tea time about 3 or 4 in the afternoon.
I love the time we all spend around the stove creating the perfect cup of tea.
I fell upon a delightful tea recipe recently.
It's called a London Fog.
A drink rich and creamy, perfect for Fall days.
The recipe is made to my own liking and has just a smidge of half and half to enhance the flavor.
It has been the perfect compliment to breakfast and a go-to drink for the car.
You just have to try it...especially on a foggy day :)

{ Cup from the thrift store. No name on it, just a little bird design.}

London Fog

Brew a 1 1/2 cups of Earl Grey Tea {let it steep for at least 3 minutes.}
2 tsp. half and half
Sweetener of choice {I use stevia}
1/4 tsp. vanilla
Fill to the top with almond milk

Stir and enjoy hot!


Friday, September 25, 2015

Grief and Gratitude

We are going fishing soon to a place that is part of my make up.
A place that Dad loved and took us to several times a year.

 The year he passed, we started a tradition of getting together as a family once a year in the Fall for a camping trip to our favorite fishing spot.
A chance for the cousins to make memories.
A place to feel closer together and closer to Dad.

 It's a small piece of iconic America.
Unchanged since the 60's.
Maybe even before.
Where the kids bug the poor owner for candy in his shop Mom and Dad have to tell them to take a break.

 We hike and take in the sweetness of leaves crisp and colored.
The kids play, swing, and ride bikes.
But mostly we fish.

And run from too-friendly raccoons that think you have a treat for them.

I can feel him Dad.
He is on the dock with us, sitting on the bench, baiting his hook.
Just there, the happiest with his family. That was his love and his legacy.
And that gives us joy.

{ Dad and his brother top right. Both went home 2011 & 2013}.

I think all too often we think that grief goes away, and we tuck it away it deep down inside...
carrying on with life and getting used to a new normal.
I am not sure that grief ever does elude a person who loses someone they love so much.
 I still shed tears almost daily because I miss my Dad.
I can feel his heart strings tied to mine all the way to heaven.
But I am grateful for that.
 I am grateful for love that transcends.
Pain dulls a little over time, but that empty spot is still open in my heart.

A friend shared this quote with me the other day, and I think it sums up what God means to do with our grief.

The work of the mature person is to carry grief in one hand and gratitude in the other
 and to be stretched large by them.
How much sorrow can I hold?
That's how much gratitude I can give.

I am so grateful for the gift my Dad is even to this day.
That hole in my heart if filled with a certain warm cup of thankfulness that I am stretched farther in my faith, farther in my empathy and understanding of others, widened to what it means to have another day together.

It's true: grief really can fill a heart with gratitude :)


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

My Very Favorite Fall Soups

Maybe it is the harvest from the garden, a sort of finishing round of applause for the vegetables.
Maybe it is just the cooler nights
The sweater weather around the corner.
Soups beckon to be made this time of the year, providing a simplistic meal, a quick meal to put together, and even a perfect meal for guests.
Paired with a crusty bread and salad...maybe a pie for have one fantastic meal.

Here are some of my favorites...

And bread....who can live without it?
Here are some great recipes...

And dessert....every bite screaming Fall.


Monday, September 21, 2015

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Tomatoes have been on my mind this weekend.
I ended up roasting some plump little romas, cherry tomatoes, and beef steaks.
I chopped up a few and added basil and cheese for a delicious caprese salad.
Some were just eaten plain jane off of the vine, warm and juicy and oh -so fresh.
Perhaps you, too, are in the mood for tomatoes?

Last year, I froze much of my harvest last year.

Roasted Tomatoes
{I froze to use in soups this winter}.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Fill a cookie sheet with quartered or halved tomatoes {depending on the size}.

Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, half cup olive oil, 2 tbs. minced onion, 2 tsp. dried rosemary, 2 tbs. balsamic vinegar. 

Roast in oven for 25 minutes, stirring once.

Caprese Salad

Recipe from Ree Drummond
I just chopped my ingredients up and used cheddar and feta instead of's what I had.
The balsamic glaze is delicious drizzled on top.

Friday, September 18, 2015


The leaves twinkle a bright yellow and beckon cooler weather to set in.

Apples beg from the carboard crate to have something done.
Apple butters, sauce, maybe a pie or two?

Last flowers clinging to summer gather in bouquets to brighten a table top.

And plump pumpkins sprinkle the farm stand.

Fall days graced with all-too-good things. 

How about you? What do you love about today?


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Bags by Bevy

A couple of weeks ago, I won this darling little bag from my friend, Bevy.
Her blog is one of my favorites, Treasured Up and Pondered.
And what a treasure my little Pocket Pouch has been. It sits in my purse, all filled up with toiletries and such.
 It is sturdy, well-made, and darling all at the same time.
 I just love it!

Bevy uses the most wonderful upholstery fabric, buttons, and lines her bags with a soft linen-like material. 

 The button encloser is you can fill the little bag to the top.

My package came with the sweetest note. 
I am so glad to know people like Bevy who make life so much sweeter.
You should pay her a visit. I promise her beautiful words will leave you uplifted and joyful.
Her blog, Treasured Up and Pondered, is a true treasure.

Bevy has a lovely Etsy shop where you can find so many other treasures!
Here are just a few...

Homespun Baby Shoes (girls, 0-6 mo.)

Classic Medium Tote - Freshly Brewed

Tea Wallet (small, holds two tea bags)

Pop by her shop to see more of her sweet designs!

Thank you again Bevy :)

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