Tuesday

In All Things Give Thanks

I LOVE Thanksgiving!!!  What isn't there to love?  We get our families together to bake, cook, eat, play football, laugh, nap...and then do it all over again!  I am so grateful for one holiday that is dedicated to expressing "Thanks in all Things", even if the next big holiday is slowly creeping it's way over it. 


I created a new pattern this month called "In All Things Give Thanks" and is available now at my shop.


When I was at Sundance a month ago having breakfast with a dear friend and our kiddos...I saw these velvet pumpkins at the gift shop for way more than I wanted to pay for them.  So, I took some left over velvet from a quilt I am making and cut a circle out, stitched the edges with a running stitch, gathered the string together, filled with bird cage litter (chopped corn cobs), stitched shut, and glued the stems from my favorite pumpkins...and embellished with a few springs of berries and leaves.  Soooooo stinkin easy!!!  I am going to be collecting different colored velvet's this year to make a whole mantle's worth for next fall.


I created a garland for the mantle using clip art silhouettes of Pilgrims and Indians and embellished them with fabric leaves.  I clipped them to a collection of ribbons so that my boys can clip "gratitude" blessings along with the leaves.  I have three ancestors that were at the very first Thanksgiving.  We hung this banner the night we sat and shared their stories with the boys.  I think it meant a little more to them...but who knows...they are teen-aged boys!

I made the fabric leaves by cutting out a clip art leaf template collection.  I then took Heat and Bond and adhered it to the wrong side of the fabric I wanted.  After the glue cooled, I peeled the paper off and folded a top piece of the fabric onto the glue (or wrong side of the fabric) and pressed until the two layers stuck together.  I then took the template and cut out my leaves and clipped them to the string. Super easy and so so cute!

I finished up the mantle with some vines and a chalkboard list of our greatest blessings.  There was a little discussion about what the boys felt were their greatest blessings...but we all agreed that our faith, our family and our dear friends are among the greatest blessings we have.  The print over my mantle came from Kiki & Company.  I have used several of her prints in my home for Christmas and throughout the year!
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and lots of pumpkin pie!!!

Monday

Pies in a Lid

As you know, I am soooo in love with pie anything.....pies in a jar, pie pops, pie bites, pie...pie...pie etc.!  I thought I had mastered them all until I found "pies in a lid".  I so wish I knew about these when I was making pies for my daughter's wedding in September.  


They are the easiest most simple way to make a little individual pie I have ever seen!  All you need is a wide mouth canning jar lid and ring, a baking sheet, non-stick spray, your favorite pie dough and filling.  Lay the rings on a baking sheet and place the lids inside the rings.  Spray with a coat of non-stick spray and press your pie dough into the lid.

I found the easiest way to do this was to find a round "template" to cut the dough out.  I used a round plastic bowl just a half inch larger than my wide mouth rings.  This allows for extra dough to pinch into a lovely crust.  Pour in your filling and bake at a normal temperature.  I have found that these little pies bake in a quarter of the time of a regular pie...so set your timer accordingly.

Once they are finished baking let cool a few minutes and pop the ring and bottom off the shell and serve! They come out perfect every time.  I am busy making some up for our family's Thanksgiving feast...a little apple, pear & cranberry, and of course pumpkin!  I hope you have fun with this new little idea!!!


Wednesday

Mamma's Loaded Potato Soup

The recipe that my children request the most is homemade potato soup...or as we call it Mamma's Loaded Potato Soup.  I have tried using a soup mix when we are super busy, but they know the difference and aren't very happy unless it is the real thing.  We have a weekend storm approaching and this will be our Sunday afternoon comfort...


Momma's Loaded Potato Soup

10 to 12 Large Potatoes (peeled and cut into 1/2 chunks)
1/2 Gallon Milk
1/2 Cup Butter
1 Bunch Green Onions (chopped)
1 Package Pre-Cooked and Chopped Real Bacon Bits
2 Cups Sour Cream
4 Cups Grated Cheddar Cheese
2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
Salt
Pepper

Place peeled and chopped potatoes into a large pan and cover with water.  Add salt and boil until the potatoes are fork tender.  Drain potatoes into a colander until the water is removed.  Add potatoes back into the pan, saving 2 cups of potato chunks to the side. Add softened butter and let melt over hot potatoes for a few minutes. Using an immersion blender or a hand mixer, mash the potatoes until they are soft.  

Add the milk and sour cream and mix until you get the consistency that you prefer.  I like my soup thick, but my husband like his thin.  Which ever way you like it, add the milk to that consistency. Once this is blended, add the bacon, chopped green onion, and half of the cheddar cheese and garlic powder.  Stir in and let simmer on low to medium heat until everything is warm.  Salt and pepper to taste.  

Serve garnished with the additional cheddar cheese and your favorite rolls.

Enjoy!

Monday

Under A Rainbow - DIY Ribbon Canopy

I am so excited to share one of my favorite elements from Maggie and Taylor's wedding...(actually it was hers as well).  Maggie loves to dance and besides marrying her sweetheart, the thing she wanted most was dancing under the stars...and tons of color!


We had a huge area to cover in lights and ribbon.  When we began pricing ribbon, we figured it would cost about $2,000 to buy enough ribbon to cover this amazing garden in color.


One day I was searching Ebay for an antique and thought it would be worth a try to see if they would have a solution (as true to Ebay...they did)!  I found sarees, the Indian wrap dresses that come in silk or cotton and are 18 feet long by 4 feet wide.  They had an amazing gold embroidered edge and came in about 30 colors.  The shocking truth was I purchased them for $5.80 per dress!!!


When they came, they were more beautiful than I could have imagined.  I laid them out and cut them into 4" strips and then glued the ends together to make a very long 32 foot pure silk color ribbon.  In total the cost of the canopy came to $520.00 (including lights and poles).  Maggie wanted that boho-chic look and what is more boho than 1970 swag lights.  I found eight of them on Ebay.  Usually they price out at $300.00 a piece, but I bid low and was able to get them for around $40.00 a piece.


We gathered the ribbons in the center and clustered three swag lights which added colored light and a great point of interest.  For the poles, we went to Home Depot and found 15' electrical conduit poles for about $8.00 a piece.  I painted them with a bronze colored spray paint and drilled and screwed hooks to the tops to anchor ribbons and lights to.



To anchor the poles into the ground, we pounded 3 foot re-bar into the grass and slipped the poles over the top of the re-bar.  We strung the bistro lights around the perimeter of the poles, set the reclaimed wood tables on the two far sides and ran the ribbons from the center out to the poles and then spread them out across the tops of the bistro wires.






It was a dreamy night with all of her friends under the stars and a ribbon rainbow (after a massive thunderstorm)!  It was a fabulous dance party!!!  If you have any questions with how to pull this off or if you are interested in renting the canopy, bistro or swag lights, you can contact me and I will be happy to help you!

Saturday

Alicia & Colby

This past September was one of the most blessed months of our lives.  We had our own daughter and our sweet "adopted" daughter Alicia both get married.  They have been "sisters" since they were gawky teenagers.  They were engaged within hours of each other and married two weeks apart. 



I was so honored to be asked to help her with her wedding.  Alicia wanted a fall picnic in the canyon for her wedding.  We were all a little worried about the weather in late September, but we couldn't have been given a more perfect day.  Alicia found her stunning dress at an antique shop in Oregon and it could not have been more perfect for her!


Alicia's dream for this day was to have a venue in the canyon, handmade quilts on the ground with beautiful flowers and a picnic dinner of peanut & butter sandwiches with peaches and cream for dessert. Each quilt had a hand built wood tray in the center with a powder blue ceramic berry basket filled with the most exquisite flowers by Sarah Winward.




Her sweet sisters made jelly jar favors to give to the guests and the labels were tied together by her beautiful bridesmaids.  They made pear-vanilla, berry, strawberry, and orange marmalade.  (My personal favorite was the pear-vanilla!)


The picnic dinner was fabulous with the homemade bread and nut butter/jelly bar, but as the sun set and the band began jamming their own kind of "jam", the guests kicked off their heels and danced until the moon was over head!  
Their send off was so sweet and personal in their vintage family bus and the scent of lavender and maple "twirlers".  The lavendar was from her sister's garden and the maple "twirlers" came from the tree in her family's front yard.  
We dearly love Alicia and Colby and happy that they found each other.  We miss them terribly as they are on a three year trip to China....but we know the time away will go quickly and they are having a great extended "honeymoon"! Their wedding was one I will remember forever!!!
Flowers - Sarah Winward
Photography - Abby Hicks & Jessica Peterson
Venue - Big Springs Park in Provo Canyon
Cake - Magelby's
Lighting & Design - Tweetle Dee Design Co.

Monday

First Snow-Doodles Cookie Recipe

This Sunday morning we woke up to white everywhere and in our family we have a tradition of making Snickerdoodles or as we call them Snowdoodles on the first big snow of the year.


Our family has loved these for years... the perfect combination of crisp and chewy...sugar and spice, and even better with hot chocolate!  So warm your ovens to 400 degrees and get out the following items....

Snow-Doodle Cookies

1 Cup Butter
1 Cup Butter Flavored Shortening
3 Cups of White Sugar
4 Eggs
2 Teas. Baking Soda
4 Tsp. Cream of Tartar
1/2 Teas. Salt
6 Cups Flour (or enough to make balls)

Cream butter, shortening, sugar and eggs until light and fluffy.  Do not under beat.  Add dry ingredients.  Make into small balls, then roll in 1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.  Bake at 400 degrees for 9 minutes.


Winter is finally here...my backyard is white and I don't mind so much while eating my cookie and sipping some hot cider.  I hope you love this easy treat as much as we have.
 
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