Our Welcoming Home!
by Jolene Hanig-Jones
It's January and time for me to dig into closets, cupboards, and pantries and begin my annual organizing, purging, and clean up! We are experiencing record low temperatures and wind chills and since, I am cooped up inside, it is the perfect time to set about these tasks.
I sat down to read a few blogs one morning with a cup of coffee in hand. I started coveting the look of organized pantries, with beautiful containers, and pretty shelf paper. My first thought was, my pantry could never look like that, and then, do "these" people really use their pantries? Next thought, "I want...I "need" to go buy all matching beautiful containers"... I "need" to purchase fun shelf paper!"
My practical voice gently reminded me I was "putting the cart before the horse." Take a look at how I applied the following principles to organizing our kitchen pantry: 1.) Use what we already had. 2.) Organize like things together in one spot. 3.) Label, label, label! 4.) Think long and hard about which items were most used and place them in the most convenient places for our use.
Read more to find out how I went from...
Spoiler Alert: I didn't buy any new containers or shelf paper...yet!
I am a list person. When it comes to getting organized for the holidays, I follow Santa's lead of making many lists and checking them twice. I get a special satisfaction from crossing off each item as it is completed. While I'm making a list, I'd also like it to "look" pretty. Subscribers to this site may download any of these pdf files for free. Click on CONTACT in the menu bar to submit your email and receive the password for PRINT IT.
The vintage truck artwork was created by Alexa, Creator and Designer at ReachDreams.etsy.com. Alexa is a very talented artist. Click HERE to see more of her work.
These plaid Christmas gift tags come four to a page. I like to print mine on card stock. They can be trimmed out and attached to packages with tape or glue dots.
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Sometimes it's the little things...
It is so easy for me to get mesmerized by all the twinkling lights, glittery ornaments, and festive store displays. Christmas is the one time of year when more ornaments and lights can transform any Charlie Brown tree into a thing of beauty and awe. The magic formula seems to be just pile on more and more "stuff". That formula does work, but sometimes, I like to step back and decorate with little touches that can add that special Christmas delight! I'd like to share a few of my favorite delights!
I placed this beautiful poinsettia in a rustic coal bucket. I like the simplicity of this pairing and also the contrast. It's got a little of a "Beauty and the Beast" vibe about it. A poinsettia this beautiful doesn't need much more adornment.
I have discovered the transformative powers of spray paint and the plethora of choices in colors and finishes! Spray paint fits right in with my desire to use what I have, recycle that which may be destined for trash, and create something that looks expensive or custom for very little money.
Today, I am going to attempt to do more of a photo montage of some of the many things I have transformed with spray paint. Preparation and patience are the keys to success with spray paint. I follow the directions for cleaning and prepping each piece, as given on the can. That usually involves a thorough cleaning with dish soap and water, sometimes alcohol, and sometimes sanding. It all depends on the object you are painting. Patience is key. Doing a few light coats helps achieve a smooth drip free finish. Then, follow the recommended drying times on the can. Most times you can give a second coat within an hour.
A Sampling of a Few Spray Painted Makeovers...
Last week I started a new page on Our Welcoming Home: Cook It! Fall weather draws me into the kitchen and I begin nesting with my recipes and experimenting with some new finds.
Today, I am sharing some of my recipes from across the web.
Zucchini-Bell Pizza by Skinny Ms.
Slow Cooker Chicken Mushroom Chicken by Skinny Ms.
Easy! Oven-Baked Cod from Genius Kitchen
Slow Cooker Honey Lime Ginger Pork by Recipe Critic
Salsa Verde Corn Chip Pie by My Recipes
Originally Featured in Southern Living Magazine
I have tried each of the above recipes and feel confident in recommending them to you. I hope you will share some of your favorites with me. Please leave a comment and a link to your favorite recipes. As I said, there is something about fall that draws me to the kitchen and recipes. I like to whip up old favorites and experiment with the new!
I love to make soup in the fall…and in the winter, too. Certain foods just set a certain mood for me. Tacos, pizza, hamburgers are all fun, party foods. Soups are part of my “cozy” food category. Making soup can require shopping for various ingredients, chopping, measuring, boiling, and simmering. That can add up to time that you may not have. Let me introduce you to one of my favorite soup finds: Cooke Tavern Soups.
I challenged myself to use a neutral palette of creams, blues, greens, mixed with some classic black and white prints to decorate our home for: Early Fall Decor Phase 1. Included in my personal challenge were a few more variables: keep it simple, shop our home for hidden treasures, (think of things stuffed into cupboards and closets), and move some thing around. Take a peak and let me know how you think I did?
It took me awhile to figure out my early fall decor, but once I did, the pieces began to fall in place. I needed a second table runner for our dining room table. It seemed like a natural progression for me from a coffee table runner trimmed in black grow grain ribbon with white polka dots to a white and black buffalo plaid table runner. The white and black buffalo check plaid runner was even easier than my first table runner. (Click HERE for the first table runner.)
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Last year, I began my first year of retirement from teaching by creating "Read to Me" pillows. I was advised by former colleagues to take a trip, get out of town, have some fun, and take your mind off not starting a new school year. (Contrary to what some may think, most teachers do enjoy the excitement of opening a new school year, and welcoming another group of boys and girls.) I admit, I had my annual "back to school preparation anxiety dreams" last year, (and this year), too. I guess when you've done something for 37 years every August, it is just embedded in your personal calendar.
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After "auditioning" a few different fabrics from my fabric stash, this home decor fabric in a neutral shade with a pronounced weave texture, and just a hint of sparkle made the cut for my no sew table runner. I thought the black grow grain ribbon with white polka dots added just the right amount of whimsy to give this neutral runner some fun! The best part of this project is that it is no sew and "so-o-o-o" easy to put together!
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