Black Friday / Tree Friday

Image: Google

A great way to kick off the holidays 🙂

Trail Baboon

While America now knows the Friday after Thanksgiving as Black Friday, for the last couple of decades at our house it’s been Tree Friday. For many years this was the day that Child and I headed out to chop down a tree for the holidays.  These days I head down to Bachmans (they have a 25% off fresh trees on Black Friday and they are really close by).

In fact, it was 7 years ago on Tree Friday that I got my nickname from Jacque. Dale had written that day a great bit about Black Friday and used some Shakespearean language to get us going.  My bit was:

But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the north and Hansen Tree Farm is the sun.

Open up, fair Tree Farm and await the crowds
Who, already stuffed and sleepy from yesterday
Swing saws and other implements of destruction.

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Must See Creative Table Decor To Wow Your Guests

Holiday Tables

Image: indeedecor.com/Article Source: marthastewart.com

Hey! How are you? Do you have all of your Thanksgiving preparations ready? Well, since I wasn’t able to post this on Friday…I just had to share these great tips on how to present your meal with some extra pizzazz. Enjoy! 😊

 

Flaming Foliage Candle holders

Give colorful fallen leaves one last chance to shine…or glow, by repurposing them as decorations on glass candle holders.  Dress up inexpensive glass candle holders with real fall leaves.  The kids will have fun helping to gather leaves for this craft.

 

Kernel Candles

This idea, again…only requires a couple of glass candle holders, or you could even use your own large drinking glasses.  Add some un-popped popcorn kernels & a pillar candle of your choice. Surround the outside of the glass with nuts or leaves…voila!

 

Glass Bowl Leaf Candles

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A beautiful, simple way to embrace fall’s beauty. A glass bowl filled with an array of colored leaves with candles. You can also use flame-less candles to avoid any mishaps.

 

 

Mayflower Ship Place cards

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Photo: Andrew Ingalls

Really neat huh?  The pilgrims had a long voyage before hosting their first Thanksgiving. Luckily, your guests only need to walk to the dinner table! These paper ships double as both place cards & an easy way to serve dry snacks like popcorn, nuts, & dried fruit. Perfect for the kids table. You’ll hit a home run with the kids with this one…believe me. 😉

Great ideas right?

Now…my question for you is, What are YOU thankful for today?

Fun Friday – Caramel Apple Treats

Recipe From allrecipes.com

Happy Friday Everyone.  It’s fall y’all!  I’ve been waiting all month to say that. 🙂  Yes, fall is here, & although its early in the season, I have a fun activity the family can get together to do this weekend.

Apples are very popular this time of year.  They’re great for a variety of known favorites… apple pie, apple muffins…etc.  I especially love caramel covered or taffy apples as they are also called.  And this is the perfect season for apple picking.

So, how about making your own caramel apples!  It’s much more fun when you get together & whip up the ingredients to do it yourselves, & I have the perfect recipe for you.  Enjoy! 🙂

 

Ingredients 

8 large tart apples (can adjust accordingly)

8 wooden chopsticks for handles

1 cup butter

2 cups packed brown sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

30 min Prep time ~  30 min Cook ~  Ready in 2 hrs  (Directions)

(You can add whatever extra toppings you prefer…nuts…etc)

Because the caramel requires constant attention when cooking and you will be in a hurry when coating the apples, prep everything beforehand. Have your parchment paper laid out, your toppings ready in bowls, etc. Also, each stove differs as far as temperature & how long you will need for the caramel to cook.  It can take 20 min for some…others 40 min, so it can vary greatly.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the recipe…& if you prefer not to do it yourselves, that’s ok too, just go to your local grocery store & buy some already made! Have a great weekend…until next time, “Toodles!” 😉

 

Fun Friday – Back To School Tips

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Resourced From huffingtonpost.com

Things can get hectic when the school season starts, using these simple tips can help you plan ahead. With a little organization, your kids will develop good habits that will help the whole family transition into the school year with ease. 🙂

 

Plan Ahead 

1) The beginning of the school year is an exciting & nerve-wrecking time for not only for the kids, but for the parents too, so try to start your routine early, like a few days before school starts to prepare the kids to get into school mode. 

2) Have everything the kids will need such as book bags & supplies, at the door the NIGHT BEFORE, to cut down the stirring chaos of looking for items at the last-minute. Also, have most of their hot breakfast meals(if applicable) pre-cooked if possible the night before, as well as their lunches, to cut down on prep time the morning of.

3) Have school clothes laid out the night before as well.  Have fun with it. Let the kids help pick out their own outfits.  Especially, if they went shopping for new school clothes prior, they will be super excited to step out in their new, stylish threads. 🙂

4) Keep Calm!  Try to keep your cool & focus. (Easier said than done I know 😉 ) The first couple of weeks will be challenging for all of you, but if you can plan the essentials ahead of time, hopefully, your transition will be a smoother one.

Well, that about wraps up my tips for now.  Have a great school year…& happy learning! “Toodles!”😊

 

Fun Friday – Tasty Fourth Of July Party Food Ideas

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Article Reference: Food Network Kitchen

Wow, summer is here!  The Fourth of July is vastly approaching, but no worries, help is here 🙂  I’ve come across some mouth-watering grilling ideas to help kick off  your awesome summer celebration 🙂

 

1)  Asian Turkey Burgers

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Now, what kind of party would it be without a delicious burger to throw on the grill? Ok, I know some of us our trying to be more health conscious, no problem. This recipe is sure to satisfy!

 

2)  Asian Chicken Burgers

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Here is another great healthy alternative.  Prep time is under 30 min! Sambal-oelek, a spicy sauce made from tomatoes, onions, green peppers, vinegar & spices, replaces the traditional ketchup condiment for this burger.  Add the extra fixings you desire to this savory meal 🙂

 

3) BBQ Chicken Burgers

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You can easily ease up on the beef with this juicy chicken burger recipe.  Each grilled patty is souped-up with a homemade, concentrated barbecue sauce & piled high with slaw once finished.  I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to salivate 🙂

 

4)  Grilled Ratatouille Salad

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Take your salad to a new level by taking a classic French stewed side dish to the grill! And you don’t have to worry, unlike the movie, “Ratatouille”, no rats are involved 😉  This smoky salad packed with yummy favorites, is bound to be a hit at your party bash.

 

 

5) Mango-Strawberry Snow Cones

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Bring out the treats! A favorite childhood treat gets grown-up flavors (and an extra bonus, no added sugar!)

Well, I hope you enjoyed all of the recipe tips…now get your party on! Have a spectacular Independence Day! Until next time, “Toodles!”

Fun Friday – How Rad Is Your Dad? Great Father’s Day Gift Ideas

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Image: etsy.com

Mother’s Day is over…now it’s Dad’s turn!  Woo-Hoo!  Ok, now we know that no two Dads are the same, but I’ve come across a few ideas & gadgets that I think most Dads will give the ‘Thumbs Up’ 🙂

 

 

1)  Helping Dad Organize

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Do you remember that pile of tools & stuff that’s all over the garage or shed out back?   You know what I’m talking about… 😉  You can purchase some great shelving & storage containers at your local Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowes, Sears store…etc.  Get the kids involved. Everyone can pitch in to help dad’s work space look like a true, Handy-Man Professional! Get a new tool set to go in the organized space, if he doesn’t have one or if the old ones are shot.  Even if he did attach the handlebars on your bike backwards…it’s worth the effort 🙂

 

2)  I Feel The Need, For Speed!

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Whoa!  Look at this baby right here…Need I say more?   Please, guys…do NOT break the computer screen in attempt to grab this mower 🙂  I am sure you will have NO problem getting dad to mow the lawn with this cool ride! Again, you can shop around for one similar at your local Home Depot, Lowes, etc.  Okay, Ok…to be fair, SOME guys are not really into the mower thing…& maybe this would be a bit much for some dads…no worries.  You can hire a lawn service company for the month (or for just a few weeks), to give dad a break…or, you can just get the kid next door 😉

 

3)  Stylin’ Dad

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How about taking dad to the mall?  Or, to his favorite sports store to get his favorite jersey? I know we’re all familiar with the typical “tie” as a traditional Father’s Day gift, but it’s time to help dad spruce up!  Don’t just get the tie; get him a nice shirt or a sports jacket to go with it. And, if you really want to go all out, an entire outfit!  If you chose casual wear, how about throwing in a nice new set of golf clubs too!  Now, if things are tight, you can always improvise & just get one simple item that you think dad would appreciate, like a new sports watch, pair of shoes…etc. Or, you can just get him the tie 😉

 

4)  Fit For A King

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There are always other, more practical ways you can express to dad, just how loved he is. For instance, you can prepare his favorite dishes & sweets. For meat eaters…let the pigs fly!  Fire up the grill, better yet, let HIM fire up the grill, (most dads prefer that 🙂 )   If you don’t have one, buy him a new grill!  Take him out to his favorite restaurant or sports event, (if you planned ahead of time) to a show or movie of his choice.  Or, simply just let him watch the game on TV, spend the day fishing, or, just NAP ALL DAY long. NO, To-Do-List, NO, mediating between the kids, just a day of peace & rest, allowing him to just…BE.   Now, that’s relaxing 😊

 

5)  Keep It Simple

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For some families, most of the suggestions above may not be feasible. Ok, I got it covered. Give him you!  Yes, ALL of you make possible the awesome day we celebrate Dads to begin with!  So make the cards/gifts out of paper if you prefer…& the tie. 🙂 All of the fancy grills, tools & gadgets in the world, CANNOT compare to the Hugs, Kisses, Respect & LOVE that only a Family can give.

Shout out to all of the awesome Dads out there!

Have an awesome Father’s Day!  Until next time, “Toodles!” 😀