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St. Patrick’s Party

15 Mar

Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!!!

We are getting ready for the St. Patrick’s Day parade, and to keep the celebration going, we will be going to the O’Rourke’s for their annual St. Patrick’s Day party.

Here are some ideas for you to help celebrate the occasion with your family and friends:

Candy Bar

Check out all the cute ideas for a St. Patrick’s Day candy/dessert bar from http://party-wagon.com/childrens-party-blog/2012/3/15/sweet-st-patricks-day.html

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St. Patrick’s Day Printables

Found these through Pinterest and thought they were great:

http://livelaughrowe.com/irish-blessing-printables/

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St. Patrick’s Décor

Check this out for the fastest way to decorate with great colors:

http://www.twotwentyone.net/2011/02/thrifty-hurricane-tutorial/

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The real staples of a St. Patrick’s Day event – Corned Beef and Cabbage and Scones

Corned Beef is a really easy meal to make – and it definitely tastes better the next day.  Check out this super simple recipe:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/corned-beef-and-cabbage-i/

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And being a 1st generation Irish American girl, I would never offer up a recipe for traditional Irish Scones off the internet – it’s just not done in my house.  You have to use my Aunt Bridget’s recipe to make scones

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!!!

This family friendly blog is provided by www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com.  We specialize in high quality, affordable Baptismal gowns, rompers & suits, First Communion dresses, girls headpieces and boy’s suits.  In addition, we have a full line of Confirmation robes for churches to choose from with sizes to fit any size Confirmation candidate.

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Time To Put Away The Holidays…

3 Jan

Christmas has come and gone, and the 2014 is here.  Time to get back to the reality of what you house really looks like for the next 11 months of the year…

Happy-New-Year-card-2014-1

Here are some tips to help you tuck away all of the holiday decorations so that they are ready for next year:

Supplies I use to store Xmas decorations:

  • 3 drawer cart on castor wheels
  • Empty toilet paper rolls
  • Ziplock sandwich bag to hold cut floral wire
  • Ziplock sandwich bag to hold twist ties from the dry cleaners
  • Artificial Christmas tree boxes
  • Rubbermaid bins

Christmas Tree

The first thing you want to do is deal with the Christmas tree.  If you have a real tree, you will need to make sure the water is mostly evaporated from the tree stand.  Once our presents starting filling in under the tree, it was pretty much impossible for us to water the tree.  Hopefully you stopped watering your tree several days before you are going to be taking it outside….

Step 1: Remove the Ornaments

Most of the ornaments on our tree have 2 ornaments to 1 hook.  This actually serves 2 purposes – it makes the tree look fuller when the ornaments are on it AND it takes only half the effort to put them on/take them off the tree.  I’m all for minimizing effort around the holidays…

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We actually store our ornament on the hooks – just make sure you bend the bottom of the hook around both ornaments so they don’t pop off. I then place them back in the original containers that they came in.  Of course I can never get them all to fit the way they came, so I put the overflow into a drawer in a rolling cart that stores Xmas tree supplies.

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Step 2:  Remove the Ribbon

The wired ribbon I use is attached to the tree using floral wire.  To attach it to the tree, I use floral wire and twist it around the ribbon onto the tree in a clockwise direction.  To remove the ribbon, it just takes several counter-clockwise twists.  I keep the floral wire pieces from year to year as it saves all the time of having to cut a million new little wires each year.  As the ribbon comes off the tree, I wind it around an empty toilet paper tube – you can’t get any more low-tech (or cheaper) than that.  This helps the inside part of the ribbon from getting too tightly wound and helps to save the edges of the wire on the ribbon from getting all twisted around itself.  To keep the ribbon wound up, I use the really long twist ties that come back with our dry cleaning.  These are the best and once again, low tech and free (except for the dry cleaning bills throughout the year…)

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Step 3:  Remove the Lights

The lights are removed from the tree and just wound in a circle from our hand to our elbow – like you would roll up an extension cord or a hose…  The handy-dandy dry cleaner twist ties step in once again and are used to secure the individual strands together.  This helps them from getting all tangled up once the go into the box.  The box?  Just an old cardboard box that used to hold printer paper….

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Step 4:  Gather up the needles that dropped off the tree, spread the tarp and out it goes…

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I purposely leave the tree skirt on the bottom of the tree until the end.  It tends to catch the brittle needles that drop off the tree before most of them hit the carpet.  (We have a Berber carpet in our family room so you almost have to pick the needles off the carpet one by one because they get caught in the loops of the carpet – NOT FUN!)  Just fold up the tree skirt and carry it outside and shake it off.

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Now that the tree is bare, it’s my husband’s turn to step in with the tarp, the drill, and the muscle.  He spreads a tarp on the floor of the family room near the tree and he and my son lift it out of the base and lay it on its side. Our Xmas tree stand has a bottom brace that you drill into the bottom of the tree, He un-drills the brace and out the tree goes to the curb for the town to pick up.

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Whew – that was the first part of putting away the holiday…

Now for the rest of the house:

Our game plan for the rest of the house tends to be a search & rescue mission – search for holiday decorations and return them all to the kitchen table area.  From there, they can be packed up in as efficient manner as possible.  I try to keep the decorations for the different rooms together but at some point that became way too unwieldy.  95% of the decorations are on the first floor of our home so those 6 rooms are close enough to each other that careful packing of everything together seems to work out the best.

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Candles for all the windows are repackaged in their original boxes (from 21 years ago…) along with replacement bulbs and placed in a clear plastic bin with a folding cover.  This year the Xmas tree skirt was tucked in alongside the candles so they wouldn’t shift around in the box on their journey to the basement…

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The garland that hangs over the kitchen doorways stay decorated with ribbons and ornaments and gets folded into a box that held an artificial Xmas tree. Next year we just have to unfold the garland and attach it to the hooks that permanently stay on top of the doorways.  Easy peasy!

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The garland for the staircase gets put away in other large boxes – again – staying decorated and just gently folded for easy decorating next year.  Boxes and bins are labeled appropriately:

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Other decorations are carefully wrapped and stored in a large Xmas tree box and a very large Rubbermaid container (sorry I don’t know the exact size).  My son’s nutcracker collection goes into the Rubbermaid bin along with other very lightweight items so as not to crush the nutcrackers.  The bigger heavier items are stored in the large Xmas tree box with the heaviest items on the bottom and lighter weight items as you move to the top of the box.

  •  Sorry for the lack of pictures of these – this project went on way too long and I needed to get it done – stopping to grab the camera was just too much for me to bear…

All of these items are brought down to our basement and stored in the area underneath the staircase.  That way they are safe and secure with little fear that my son and his friends won’t play football, or basketball, or whatever else they may do and go crashing into my Xmas stash…

Some final notes for you to consider:

Now is the time to “pass on” the holiday decorations that no longer match your decor.  I passed on a 4 foot Xmas tree to my niece this year.  Now I am looking for a new home for the decorations that used to adorn that tree when my son was little…

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Save all the red ribbon for Valentine’s Day, but pack up the rest.  I saw Valentine’s Day candy in the store on Christmas Eve – really people???

red wired ribbon

Do something with the photo cards that you receive with all those smiling baby faces…  I tend to keep mine from year to year – tied up with a ribbon and labeled for the year.  These are excellent keepsakes of years gone by…  I’d love to hear what you do with you photo greeting cards!  Anyone want to share?

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Buy paper, cards, and ribbon for next year (on sale now).  And as a spoiler alert – this may be a little insight into a future blog post…

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This family friendly blog is provided by www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com.  We specialize in high quality, affordable Baptismal gowns, rompers & suits, First Communion dresses, girls headpieces and boy’s suits.  In addition, we have a full line of Confirmation robes for churches to choose from with sizes to fit any size Confirmation candidate.

‘Tis the Season… for Christmas returns!!!

26 Dec

Just a day or two ago, there were piles of presents that lay beautifully under the Christmas tree – full of the promise of happy times.  After the dust settles on the Christmas holiday, your eye naturally turns to the new piles of “stuff” that seems to have exploded in your house.  Here are some survival guide tips on how to sort through the piles and restore your home to some normalcy.

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Step 1:  Separate the gift from the wrapping supplies….

Half of the volume of stuff in your house is the packaging that the presents were delivered in.  You can easily weed down the piles by simply removing the gifts from the gift boxes and tissue paper that seem to take over the house on Christmas day.

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If you tend to save the gift boxes like I do (not every store offers gift boxes anymore), I immediately fold the boxes down flat and put them in a single neat pile.  Tissue paper gets thrown away – or if it’s not too wrinkled – it can be folded neatly to make tissue paper poms (refer to this link for a tutorial on how to make these fun decorations https://baptismalgownsplus.wordpress.com/2013/06/06/make-your-own-tissue-paper-poms/

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Step 2:  Make sure everything fits properly….

If you haven’t done so already, have everyone in your family try on the clothes that they received for Christmas.  If the item fits, put it away in a drawer or closet right away.  If it doesn’t fit, or they just don’t want it, put them in a pile to be returned/exchanged.

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Step 3:  Make a plan to handle the returns/exchanges….

If these items were purchased by someone in your home, pull out the receipts and put them with the items.  If they were purchased by someone outside your household, decide if it’s appropriate to ask for the receipt for the item so you can get the proper value that the gift giver paid for the item (and any sales tax they may have paid).  If you think the gift giver would be offended or upset by the thought of you returning the item, then you will probably need to just get a store credit for the current value of the item (less any state sales taxes paid).

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Step 4:  Sort the items by store…

I put all of the items that need to be returned in one bag per store and pile them up in a busy spot in my kitchen.  Just the thought of tripping over these items each time I walk by helps give me the push to actually go out there and make the return/exchange.

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Step 5:  Make a driving plan to return the items – and get out there and actually do it!

After the craziness of the holiday, I am not usually in the mood to spend a whole day going from store to store returning items.  I tend to group the stores by their location to each other and tackle one direction at a time.  Writing out a list helps me to organize my thoughts and remember all of the things I have to do.

www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com

If I am feeling really ambitious, I will put all the bags in my car in order to get the piles out of my house.  After all, if the items aren’t in your car, you can’t ever make the return – right?

HAPPY RETURNING from all of us at BaptismalGownsPlus!!!

This family friendly blog is provided by www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com.  We specialize in high quality, affordable Baptismal gowns, rompers & suits, First Communion dresses, girls headpieces and boy’s suits.  In addition, we have a full line of Confirmation robes for churches to choose from with sizes to fit any size Confirmation candidate.

Last Minute Christmas To-Do’s

19 Dec

It’s Not Too Late!

OK, it is just a week before Christmas and you are not ready.

Where do you start?

What do you do?

busy christmas

Before you throw your hands up and surrender, stop for a minute and evaluate what you CAN get done to make this holiday memorable. Here is a step-by-step guide on guide you through so you get the basics done before the holiday.

santa - xmas list

Make a List and Check it Twice

The first thing you should do is make a list of what you need to do. Let’s face it, you don’t have time to run around like a chicken with your head cut off!  Every minute counts and the more organized you are, the more productive you will be.

I am including a copy of a last minute To-Do list to be sure you get the basics done.

last minute - decor

Last Minute Decor

It’s not too late to make the house look festive

There are just a few simple steps (ok, except the step abut putting up the tree) that can be done in just a few minutes of your time.

Hang Wreath on Door – 5 minutes – tops

Hang Stockings – another 5 minutes

Candles in the Windows – 10-15 minutes – depending on how many windows you have in your house…

Set up Tree – whether real or artificial, this is a ‘must do’ for the holiday! Although this isn’t a 5 minute project, setting up a tree this weekend is a perfect opportunity to spend time with family

Cookies for Santa – don’t forget to put the cookies out for Santa! And a glass of milk! And don’t forget carrots for the reindeer!

Gifts Under the Tree – the final touch to make Christmas morning special

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Last Minute Errands To-Do

The better you are organized when leaving the house, the more effective your errands will be. Before you leave the house, make sure you take with you any coupons or lists you have. One of the biggest time-savers I have found is being able to buy stamps AND gift cards for many retailers right at the grocery store. So you may have to be a bit flexible when it comes to store selections or gift card amounts, but seriously, IT’S JUST A WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS!!!

Get Tree – chop one down, get one pre-cut at a lot, buy an artificial one – whatever you prefer

Pick Up Christmas Cards – if you ordered them online, swing by the retailer that is printing them for you

Shop for Gifts – If you live near a Wal-Mart or Target, you can seriously knock off a bunch of your list in these type of department stores…

Shop for Meals (don’t forget cookies for Santa & carrots for reindeer!) – Hmmm, one trip to the grocery store can help you with: food, beverages, items to include in a gift basket for a hostess, gift cards, stamps

last minute - correspondence

Last Minute Correspondence

Last Minute Correspondence For everyone that thought it was just way too later to properly wish your family & friends a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year – it’s not! The US Postal Service is working really hard to help folks spread their holiday cheer, but you need to ACT FAST so your wishes get there in time.

Christmas Cards – If you live near a store that offers a 1 hour photo service (Wal-Mart is my favorite for price, quality and speed) you can easily create a Christmas card in the comfort of your own home on their website. Don’t think you need to go through all the hassles of taking a picture of the kids all dressed up in their Holiday finest to get this card done. Lot’s of folks use family pictures from their vacation, or from when they cut down their tree, or any other time of the year when everyone looked happy. My standby holiday card includes a collage of my son playing basketball, baseball and football…

Facebook/Twitter Post wishing everyone a Merry Christmas – While Christmas cards can be sent to your closest family & friends, a lovely heartfelt post on Facebook or Twitter can reach more distant friends.

Thank you notes to staff – A must-do for this time of year. Taking a few moments to write a heartfelt card expressing the gratitude you have for your staff goes a long way for making them feel appreciated. The key here – handwritten notes. Your staff will know and appreciate that even at this busy time of year you took the time to focus on them.

Thank you notes to customers – Another must-do for this time of year. A heartfelt card expressing the gratitude you have for your customers is necessary to maintain relationships you have taken all year to build. If possible – handwritten notes to your largest customers. For companies with many, many customers, a printed card will have to do – if possible, a handwritten signature perhaps?

last minute - miscellaneous

Last Minute Miscellaneous Tasks

Last Minute Miscellaneous Tasks You could probably write a list of things you want to get done that is a mile long, but there is no sense getting caught up in the miniscule details that won’t let you enjoy your family time this holiday. Focus on the biggest things and be happy! Key words there – FOCUS and HAPPY!!!

Write up a menu and shopping list – remember, the better your list when leaving the house, the more productive your time will be while you are out and about

Wrap gifts – prioritize your gift wrapping by doing the gifts that need to be handed out first – teachers, bus drivers, staff – and then move on to the gifts for your hostesses and finally your family since those gifts will be given out last. And yes, you won’t be alone if you are wrapping gifts after the kids go to bed on Christmas Eve!

Put out cookies for Santa & carrots for reindeer – don’t forget to do this before the kids go to bed on Christmas Eve! You don’t want to give anyone an excuse to get out of bed on Christmas Eve because they realize they forgot to leave a treat for Santa. Especially if the elves are still wrapping gifts!

Follow Santa on a Santa Tracker – There are several apps and online websites that track Santa’s journey around the world on his way to your house. This has proven to be the best way to get kids to bed on Xmas Eve! They have to be asleep so Santa can actually come!!!

last minute - gifts

Last Minute Gifts

Sorry, I had to save the biggest task for last…

Last Minute Gifts Gift buying can actually take the longest time of all the tasks you have left to do. Remember that the most memorable gifts you can give are possibly to most unexpected. A generic gift card is nice for most folks, and I certainly love to get a gift card to Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks, but have you ever thought to give a gift certificate book to the local car wash, or how about the local movie theater? Gas cards are also a nice treat that most folks might not think of.

Keep in mind that people who get gifts from many folks (teachers, bus drivers, hair dressers) might very well appreciate even the ‘generic’ gift card over a tchotchke (aka chachki) item like a Worlds Greatest Teacher mug filled with hot chocolate fixings… although the hot chocolate might be nice, they really don’t need 30 mugs from this Christmas alone….

Here is a list of the people you may want to remember at this time of year:

Hostesses

School Teachers

Religion Teachers

Bus Drivers

Nanny/Babysitters

Cleaning Lady

Postal Worker

Garbage Removal

Hair Dresser

Door Man

Parents

In-Laws

Kids (from parents)

Kids (from Santa)

Friends

Co-Workers/Boss

Grab Bag Gifts (Gift Exchanges)

Don’t forget to have a few extra gifts stashed away for that awkward exchange when someone hands you a gift and you just weren’t prepared to give them something…. some items that you can have ready include – bottle of wine, gift cards, tin of cookies and nice ornaments. Go as far as actually wrapping these gifts (including a bow) and marking them with a post it note with the contents. This will help to disguise the fact that you didn’t think there would be a gift exchange with them this year….

Merry Xmas-Happy New Year from BGP

This family friendly blog is provided by www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com.  We specialize in high quality, affordable Baptismal gowns, rompers & suits, First Communion dresses, girls headpieces and boy’s suits.  In addition, we have a full line of Confirmation robes for churches to choose from with sizes to fit any size Confirmation candidate.

DIY Stocking Stuffer Ideas

12 Dec

If you can believe it, Christmas is less than two weeks away!

But no worries, there is still time to pull together some inexpensive but thoughtful stocking stuffers for the members of your family.  Here are some of our favorite ideas from some of our favorite blogs:

The following are fun ideas to make the magic of Christmas even more fun for the Toddlers in your life:

Minnie Mouse Button Hair Clips from Architecture of a Mom:

http://www.architectureofamom.com/2013/04/minnie-mouse-button-hair-clips.html

minnie_hairbow (6)

Gingerbread Playdough from The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle:

http://www.sweetsugarbelle.com/2011/12/gingerbread-playdough/

Gingerbread Playdough

Cozy car caddy from Homemade by Jill:

http://homemadebyjill.blogspot.com/2009/12/cozy-car-caddy-tutorial.html

cozy car caddy

Busy Bag: Velcro Sticks from The Tip Garden

http://www.thetipgarden.com/2013/02/busy-bag-velcro-sticks.html

Busy Bag - Velcro Sticks

Here are some fun tips to stock the stuffings for the Tweens/Teens in your life:

Cord Rollup Project from Brit & Co.

http://www.brit.co/cord-roll/

Cord Rollup Project

Pipe Cleaner Pencil Topper by Chica Circle:

http://club.chicacircle.com/pipe-cleaner-pencil-topper-crafting-extravanganza/

Pipe Cleaner Pencil Topper

Ribbon Bookmarks from The Partiologist:

http://www.thepartiologist.com/2013/08/back-to-school.html

Ribbon Bookmarks

Fabric Scrap Key Chain from Craftiness is not Optional:

http://www.craftinessisnotoptional.com/2011/06/scrap-your-stash-guest-post-living-with.html

Fabric Scrap Key Chain

These last suggestions are appropriate gifts for Anyone on your List:

Felt HandWarmers from Henry Happened

http://www.henryhappened.com/diy-heart-hand-warmers.html

Felt HandWarmers

Washi Tape Pencils from The Pink Doormat:

http://thepinkdoormat.blogspot.com/2013/06/decorate-your-pencils-with-washi-tape.html

Washi Tape Pencils

Cord Bracelet from Thanks, I Made It:

http://www.thanksimadeitblog.com/2012/05/diy-cord-bracelet.html

DIY Cord Bracelet

Poured Glitter Tin Candles from Something Turquoise:

http://somethingturquoise.com/2012/11/16/diy-poured-glitter-tin-candles/

Poured Glitter Tin Candles

Hot Chocolate on a Stick (yum!) from About.com:

http://candy.about.com/od/christmascandy/r/Hot-Chocolate-On-A-Stick.htm

Hot Chocolate on a Stick

Do you have any ideas for DIY stocking stuffers that you can share with us?  Please let us know by leaving us a comment.

This family friendly blog is provided by www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com.  We specialize in high quality, affordable Baptismal gowns, rompers & suits, First Communion dresses, girls headpieces and boy’s suits.  In addition, we have a full line of Confirmation robes for churches to choose from with sizes to fit any size Confirmation candidate.

Thanksgiving Blessings

28 Nov

thanksgiving blessing

This family friendly blog is provided by www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com.  We specialize in high quality, affordable Baptismal gowns, rompers & suits, First Communion dresses, girls headpieces and boy’s suits.  In addition, we have a full line of Confirmation robes for churches to choose from with sizes to fit any size Confirmation candidate.

Thanksgiving Recipes

21 Nov

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is just one week from today?  Now is the time to kick your Thanksgiving dinner preparations into high gear!

Here are some recipe ideas that should help you out – whether you are cooking the whole meal for your family and friends, or if you just want to bring something to the hostess so you don’t walk in empty handed.

Appetizers

Turkey Vegetable Tray

Turkey Vegetable Tray

http://www.livinglocurto.com/2012/10/turkey-vegetable-tray/

Turkey Veggie Platter

Turkey Veggie Platter

http://www.eatingwithfoodallergies.com/turkeyveggieplatter.html

Cranberry-Stuffed Brie en Croute

Cranberry-Stuffed Brie en Croute

http://www.annarbor.com/entertainment/food-drink/holiday-brie-en-croute/

Creamy Artichoke Bruschetta

Creamy Artichoke Bruschetta

http://www.culinary.net/recipes/RecipeDetail.aspx?ID=3512&CourseName=Appetizers&CourseID=1

Soups & Salads

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-butternut-squash-salad-with-warm-cider-vinaigrette-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

Pumpkin Soup with Chili Cran-Apple Relish

Pumpkin Soup with Chili Cran-Apple Relish

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/pumpkin-soup-with-chili-cran-apple-relish-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

Main Course

A Simply Perfect Roast Turkey

Simply Perfect Roast Turkey

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/A-Simply-Perfect-Roast-Turkey/Detail.aspx?evt19=1

Olive-Oil Mashed Potatoes with Garlic and Sage

Olive-Oil Mashed Potatoes with Garlic and Sage

http://www.marthastewart.com/1038824/olive-oil-mashed-potatoes-garlic-and-sage?czone=food%2Fthanksgiving-center%2Fthanksgiving-center-dishes&gallery=274448&slide=1038824&center=276949

Quick Skillet Garlic Green Beans

Quick Skillet Garlic Green Beans

http://magpiesrecipes.blogspot.com/2013/02/quick-skillet-garlic-green-beans.html

Sausage Stuffing Recipe

Sausage Stuffing Recipe

http://www.chow.com/recipes/29030-sausage-stuffing

Baked Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Baked Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

http://southernfood.about.com/od/sweetpotatoes/r/bl40329j.htm

Honey Glazed Carrots

Honey Glazed Carrots

http://www.katiekayskitchen.com/2013/02/honey-glazed-carrots.html

Desserts

Pear, Apple and Cranberry Crisp

Frame 17

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/pear-apple-and-cranberry-crisp-recipe/index.html

Easy Blackberry Cobbler

Easy Blackberry Cobbler

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/easy-blackberry-cobbler-10000001816143/

Double Apple Pie with Cornmeal Crust

Double Apple Pie with Cornmeal Crust

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/double-apple-pie-with-cornmeal-crust-10000001831980/

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/pumpkin-pie-recipe/index.html

We are so grateful for our loyal customers and friends and we wish everyone a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

This family friendly blog is provided by www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com.  We specialize in high quality, affordable Baptismal gowns, rompers & suits, First Communion dresses, girls headpieces and boy’s suits.  In addition, we have a full line of Confirmation robes for churches to choose from with sizes to fit any size Confirmation candidate.

Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere!

14 Nov

Between jack-o-lanterns for Halloween and pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, it seems like pumpkins are everywhere for the months of October & November…. Growing up I thought they were just for Halloween, but the older, more mature (?) me appreciates so many things about pumpkins…  Here are just a few of those things:

Decorating With Pumpkins

There are SO MANY ways pumpkins can be dressed up for the season.

Here is a link to our post on How to Make a Pumpkin Planter

how to make a pumpkin planter

How about these pretty pumpkins?

pretty pumpkins collage

You can carve your Pumpkins…

carved pumpkins collage

Cooking with Pumpkins

Make a Pumpkin Shake:

2 scoops of vanilla ice cream

1/2 cup of milk

3 tablespoons of pumpkin purée

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Tastes just like pumpkin pie in a glass!

pumpkin pie milkshake

Pumpkin Bites – see our previous post for how to make them

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Roast Pumpkin Seeds:

2 cups pumpkin seeds

1 1/2 TBSP butter

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp garlic salt

2 tsp c

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Clean and dry to seeds.  Melt butter in saucepan and stir in salt, garlic salt & Worcestershire sauce.  Add seeds and stir to coat.  Spread seeds on a single layer on a large un-greased cookie sheet.  Cook for 60 minutes stirring at the 15, 30, 40 and 50 minute marks.  Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.

roasting pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin Soup (courtesy of Allrecipes.com)

Makes 8 to 10 servings6 cups chicken stock1 1/2 teaspoons salt

4 cups pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

5 whole black peppercorns

Directions

  1. Heat stock, salt, pumpkin, onion, thyme, garlic, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.
  2. Puree the soup in small batches (1 cup at a time) using a food processor or blender.
  3. Return to pan, and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for another 30 minutes, uncovered. Stir in heavy cream. Pour into soup bowls and garnish with fresh parsley.

pumpkin soup

And finally, you can always store your false teeth in them!

pumpkin with teeth collage

This family friendly blog is provided by www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com.  We specialize in high quality, affordable Baptismal gowns, rompers & suits, First Communion dresses, girls headpieces and boy’s suits.  In addition, we have a full line of Confirmation robes for churches to choose from with sizes to fit any size Confirmation candidate.

Make an Autumn Wreath

7 Nov

Make an autumn wreath

Make an Autumn wreath

Now that Halloween is over, you can put away all the ghosts and jack-o-lanterns until next year.  The Autumn season is still in full swing so now is a perfect time to make a beautiful wreath that celebrates the colors of the season.

 

A grapevine wreath is very easy to work with and has the perfect natural look to go with the Autumnal colors.  Your choice of flowers and a bow can dress up or down the look of your wreath.

 

Prep the flowers and leaves for your wreath by cutting them off the longer stems:

Autumn wreath - prep

Now is the time to make the bow for your wreath.  Our How-to guide can be found in this post:

Autumn Wreath - make the bow

Dry-fit all of the pieces on the wreath until you get the look you want.  We recommend you take your time with this step so that you are truly happy with the final look.  Remember, there are no wrong answers here, and you can’t make any mistakes.  Enjoy this step and let your creative juices flow!

Autumn wreath - dry-fit

Once you are happy with your wreath, now is the time to hot glue all the pieces together:

Autumn Wreath - put it together

That’s it!  Your Autumn wreath is all finished.  Now all you have to do is hang it and enjoy!!!

 

This family friendly blog is provided by www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com.  We specialize in high quality, affordable Baptismal gowns, rompers & suits, First Communion dresses, girls headpieces and boy’s suits.  In addition, we have a full line of Confirmation robes for churches to choose from with sizes to fit any size Confirmation candidate.

Are You Hosting Thanksgiving?

24 Oct

Although Halloween has not yet passed, now is the time to think of Thanksgiving — especially if you are hosting the holiday.

Modern Family Thanksgiving

Plan your menu now including appetizers, main course (turkey, of course!), dessert and beverages.   Purchase any non-perishables early since many of these meal items are on sale now.  Cranberries can be bought and frozen and butternut squash can be stored in a cool place.  Beer, wine and soda can also be purchased in advance.

Thanksgiving Day Menu

If you are serving dinner for a crowd, designate which food items are being contributed by your dinner guests.  Ask them to bring items that require advanced preparation so they will prepare them before arriving at your house.  This will free up more kitchen space and time for you!

family at dinner

Finally, if you are having overnight guest, now is the time to prepare the guest room.  Change the sheets, dust and find some pretty towels.

guest room preparation

Most importantly, don’t sweat the small stuff and have a happy Thanksgiving!

May your Thanksgiving be

Are you hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year?  What preparations can you possibly do in advance to prepare yourself so you can enjoy the day and not be as stressed out?

 

http://www.BaptismalGownsPlus.com specializes in Baptismal, First Communion and Confirmation apparel for boys and girls.