Wishing You a Happy Thanksgiving

Hope you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

I will be celebrating the holiday with my husband and my son and his family.  My two daughters will be traveling to celebrate with their husbands' families so, that left our group to a total of seven. My daughter-in-law, Jessica, and I decided to make it easy on ourselves and go to a restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner this year.  Sam, my son, and Jessica are in the middle of a big home renovation (very cool) and didn't feel comfortable hosting.  I decided to decorate my home for Christmas early this year because my daughter, Amanda, is expecting her third baby any day now and, also, I am doing the flowers for a wedding on December 11th.  (More to come on both of those great events!)  I knew I was going to be VERY busy in early December and getting the decorating done seemed like a good idea.  So far, so good, although I am not entirely finished yet!  So....letting a restaurant take care of the work of Thanksgiving seemed to be the way to go.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

Until then, I hope you have a beautiful and enjoyable Thanksgiving with lots of joy and laughter!

Bittersweet Florals

Bittersweet is a VERY invasive plant that has, unfortunately, made its way into my yard.  It's awful and REALLY hard to get rid of.  One lecturer I heard speak on the subject of the invasive nature of bittersweet said the only way to get rid of it is with a bulldozer.  Judging from my yard, I'm pretty sure he was right.  However, at this time of the year, it is so enticing to use it in fall decorations. I've been looking at this cluster of berries for a month now and finally decided I couldn't resist the urge any longer.  It was time to make a fall centerpiece with the stuff.

It just so happened that at my last garden club meeting I won this plum colored vase.  I thought the orange of the bittersweet would look beautiful in my new vase.

To compliment the orange bittersweet berries, I chose fuchsia colored carnations, purply-pink spider mums and rust colored button mums.  All of which I got at my local grocery store for a total cost of $12!  Isn't that great?!  Of course,. the free bittersweet makes the arrangement.  At least, I think so.

Sorry all these photos are taken outside on my rickety old picnic table.  It was cloudy that day and trying to take pictures inside simply did not work.  My flash kept going off and that makes for a weird exposure.  It really is time for me to take a photography class!  I'm sure there are ways to turn off the flash but, I haven't figured out how...yet.
I loved these colors together and really thought the arrangement look very pretty.  However, since there was no reaction from my family, I may have been the only one who thought so.  I comforted myself with the thought that my family has simply become desensitized to flowers since I am always experimenting with them.  My family has just gotten spoiled!
 However, I persevered and decided

 to place the arrangement on my kitchen counter and enjoy...even if I am the only one!

I did want you to know that I disposed of the left-over bittersweet branches the correct way, by putting them in a plastic bag and throwing them away in my garbage.  I've heard you shouldn't put invasive plants in your compost pile because by doing so you allow them to spread even more throughout your yard.  I know it doesn't amount to much but I would have felt guilty throwing them back into the woods.
There you have it, my bittersweet florals.  I think this will be the last of the fall colors for me.  Next, it is on to Christmas!

Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt

If little children are going to be among your guests for Thanksgiving
this year, I have an idea as to how to keep them busy while dinner is getting ready.  Why not try a nature scavenger hunt?  The preparation for the hunt can be done well in advance and it will get the kids out in the fresh air, providing you have good weather that day.  If the children are very young, they will need an adult to help with the reading and the searching.  Usually you can find a dad or grand parent to volunteer!

Here is a list of materials you will need:

                          Shopping or tote bags
                          Pens or pencils
                          Kid snacks
                          A simple prize for all participating children
                          If you are really industrious, a magnifying glass

First,...the checklist:

For research, go in your yard ahead of time and pick items that are somewhat readily available for the hunt.  Also, look for some things that might be a bit more challenging to find.  Kids are quick and the goal is to keep them entertained for a while.

  I created this checklist on my computer. I used the Clip Art function to find images of each item on the list.  The visual is nice and it helps the children who don't know how to read yet to realize what they are looking for.
  My computer skills leave a lot to be desired but, if you don't have time to create a checklist of your own, contact me and I will e-mail you this document. It actually looks nicer in person.

Next,...the bags for collecting the treasures:

I had some white bags left over from another event so, I decided to use them for this purpose.  I simply traced leaves from the yard onto construction paper and cut them out.  I used a glue stick to glue the leaves to the bag.  Real leaves tied to the bag handle give the bags an authentic look.  (Add the real leaves the day of the hunt.  Otherwise, the leaves will dry up and wither and not look very pretty.)

In addition, a fun snack is always welcome for kids and adults alike. I found this easy and neat "acorn" recipe on Pinterest.  The recipe can be found on the six in the suburbs blog- Sixinthesuburbs
Since there are only three ingredients, this recipe is super easy to make.

Aren't they cute? 

So, now the kids are all set to go on their scavenger hunt.  They have the checklist, a pencil, a bag and a snack. And, maybe an adult friend. (And, yes, I realized I had spelled scavenger wrong on the checklist after taking this photo.  I quickly fixed it but it was too late for the photo, unfortunately!)

 Here are the treasures found on the day of our scavenger hunt.  Not bad!  The end result was that everyone had fun.  The goal I was aiming for!

Finally, don't forget to have some sort of prize for all the kids.  My "go to" often seems to be candy.  I know that's not always the best choice so, go with what you know your kids will like.  Any little prize will do.

Happy Hunting!

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Thinking Thanksgiving and Etsy Finds

Now that November is here, it is time to start thinking about Thanksgiving.  I happened to be browsing on Etsy one night and thought I would look and see what the "shops" might be offering in regards to Thanksgiving.  As it turns out, they are offering quite a lot.  If you haven't discovered Etsy yet, (I'd be surprised it you haven't.) you really need to check it out.  You can find almost anything you are looking for and it is so much fun seeing how creative and talented people can be.  Also, it is a great way to find interesting accents to add to your holidays while, at the same time, letting someone else do the creative work, leaving you time to devote yourself to other things...maybe more time to visit with your friends and family.  Who knows?

Here are some of the items I found: 

I thought the best way to start the Thanksgiving holiday would be to place a seasonal wreath on the front door.  I found this wreath at the Etsy shop-- VirginiasPainting .  I think it is so pretty and just the right colors for Thanksgiving.  The shop offers all sorts of beautiful wreaths.  You'll love checking them out!

I found this banner at Etsy's snippetsandstrings.  I love the scraps of fabric and think this banner would look perfect hanging from a fireplace mantle or a china cabinet.  Don't you?  Maybe you have the perfect spot for it in your home.

I love these burlap and fabric pumpkins.  I know pumpkins are usually for Halloween but, thankfully, {pun not intended} they carry over to Thanksgiving.   These little guys are from the Etsy shop Amyloowho10.  You could put them just about anywhere in your home; a coffee table, a dining table or in the entry hall.  They are multi-purposeful!

These wooden turkeys from hillbillyandme  make me laugh. Aren't they cute?  Sometimes you just need a laugh when it comes to the holidays, with all the stress of cooking the perfect meal :).  

This baby onesie is from getthepartystarted.  It is so adorable!  Do you have a newborn in the family?  If so, I am sure you are very thankful!  Wouldn't this onesie be fun for her or him to wear?

This message sign from farmhousechicsigns really made me think.  I know I am guilty of taking many things for granted and not being grateful enough.  Perhaps, you will find a sign from this shop that speaks to you, as well.

Finally, since I have a very small Etsy shop of my own, I thought I would share my Thanksgiving Turkey Favor Bags with you, as well. I think they would look pretty nice included in a Thanksgiving tablescape filled with nuts or candy; adding to the overall festive feel of the day.  AND, I really loved how the sparkle glitter paint added an extra punch to their look.

Well, there you go...my mini Etsy Thanksgiving tour.  I think it is important for you to know that I chose all of these items randomly on the merit of the quality and scope of the work.  I do not know any of the shop owners personally, although I have been in touch with each one and feel as though I know them a little bit better now.  I simply thought their products were beautifully made and very appealing.  (P.S. Click onto the name of the shop to find out more about the product or the Etsy shop.)

  I hope you have fun browsing Etsy for yourselves and discover some finds of your own!

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