My Wonderful Walls Blog — Holiday

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Getting Creative with Thanksgiving Leftovers 2

If you are lucky enough to be the one cooking for your family this Thanksgiving, you may just be lucky enough to have some leftover turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes: just a few of the most common items that American families serve during the culinary holiday. But as it is sitting in separate plastic containers, cluttering your refrigerator, you may be wondering, “How am I going to eat all of this? I’m really not in the mood for another full Thanksgiving dinner.” Fear not. Some simple recipes can transform your Thanksgiving leftovers into some completely new dishes.

The Sandwich
Sure you can throw some turkey between two slices of bread and call it a sandwich. But why not take just a couple more steps and turn it into a restaurant-worthy one? Take Paula Deen’s Turkey Cranberry Monte Cristo for example. Her recipe calls for arugula and Fontina cheese, but let’s face it – how many people have those items in their fridge the day after Thanksgiving? Since the tartness of the cranberry sauce and the richness of the turkey are the real stars, it is somewhat safe to experiment with whatever cheese you have in your fridge, except maybe American. Simply make the sandwich with as much turkey, cranberry sauce, and cheese as you like; dip in the egg mixture, and prepare as stated in the recipe. You can’t go wrong!

The Salad
After stuffing yourself with a week’s worth of carbohydrates, a nice green salad may be exactly what your body is craving. It may even be worth investing in some greens when you do your Thanksgiving shopping for the sole purpose of preparing this salad. It is simple enough, using leftover turkey, cranberry sauce, and pecans; but tastes completely transformed and delicious.

Breakfast
That turkey and stuffing may still be calling your name when you wake up in the morning. Satisfy the calling by making a breakfast hash. A hash is typically some sort of meat and potatoes served with eggs. Why not use turkey and stuffing? This recipe involves cutting and boiling potatoes, but who wants to do all that prep the day after Thanksgiving? Try using frozen hash browns instead. Plate alongside your favorite style of eggs and breakfast is served.

Share the Love
Be a rock star host or hostess when you send your guests home with these both cute and convenient leftover jars. You can assemble them in individual mason jars using whatever leftovers your guests prefer. Just be sure to put the items to be reheated on the bottom with cold items (cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie) placed on top, separated with something like a cupcake wrapper for easy removal.

 Although you can make a Thanksgiving meal any day of the year, there is a certain amount of extra effort and affection that is put into it when prepared for the ones you love. Make it last an extra day or two by making Thanksgiving leftovers something to celebrate once again.

 

  • Stephanie Goins
  • Tags: Holiday

How to Set a Memorable Thanksgiving Table 1

setting the thanksgiving tableGolden, fragrant, cozy, and crisp. These are the words that come to mind when Thanksgiving season rolls around. The light has changed, the sun is low and offers more of a glow than a shine. The landscape is vibrant and aflame in color as well, submitting its suggestion to seek warmth, fire, and the hearth. The harvest has passed, and the abundance of produce and splendorous natural growth is brought within. The Thanksgiving Table is a perfect place to express what your senses feel, and is also the perfect avenue for creating a visual statement for what stirs in your soul.

Illumination
Give the soft flicker of candlelight, and the warmth it spreads over faces and food, with an abundance of different sizes, colors and shapes of candles. This provides a romantic and timeless atmosphere that crackles with festivity. Setting them on a mirror that is laid on the table will provide even more illumination and mystery, and both kids and adults will enjoy sharing stories and laughter by the flicker of candlelight.

Nature’s Bounty
There is always something to harvest from those long fall walks that we go on. Branches bearing seed heads and berries make for elegant and organic table décor. They are also very easy to have children help gather and assemble.

A creative use for your leftover Halloween pumpkins is to transform them into place setting markers by carving the initial of the guest into each pumpkin. The squirrels are sure busy gathering nuts, and if you have a nut-bearing tree you are sure to uncover an abundance of them in your fall raking. Try filling clear vases, mason jars or glasses with nuts and then top them with a rich colored fall flower like a chrysanthemum. Nuts make a good base in candle jars as well.

Fragrance
The aroma when you step into a home is always a lasting and pleasant memory, evoking the thoughts, sights, sounds, good food and good company that holidays are all about. One way of bringing the scents of the season into your home is with clove scented fruits. Simply press whole cloves through the peel of an orange, lemon, or apple in a specific design or just in a random pattern. The spice will preserve the fruit and will emit a delicious smell that will last for quite some time. Bowls of handmade potpourri will not only add a good scent, but are a visual feast of texture and autumnal tone

Mulled cider is another great way to add holiday fragrance and a festive look to a table. Serve it hot in clear glass mugs; you can also float a cranberry or an orange slice on top for added pizazz and color.

Kids Table
Holidays are such impacting and memorable times for children, why not make their dinner table something fun and special. Set a small table and chairs close to the adult table, yet far enough away so they feel like they have their 'own space'. Cover the table with brown paper, and write the menu items with a Sharpie along with a fill-in-the-blanks sentences stating things like: “I am thankful for...”

You can also draw circles where the plate, glass, and cutlery goes; arrows, pictures, poems, riddles....have fun! Be sure to leave a mason jar with markers, pens, or pencils for your young guests to use throughout dinner as well.

 

  • Stephanie Goins
  • Tags: Holiday

Crafting the Real Meaning of Thanksgiving 0

True thankfulness. A good harvest. Friends, and family. The real meanings of Thanksgiving are often obscured by an abundance of cute and iconic representations of what the holiday has become. Take some time this year to bring a reverence for all that we have been given to your home by doing some meaningful Thanksgiving crafts with your children.

Dinner Table Decoration
Kids can learn about the importance of a good harvest by making their own centerpiece for the dinner or buffet table. Take a cornucopia basket, line with moss or excelsior, and add a gourd and small pumpkin or two. Then let the children show what they are thankful for by including their own favorite foods such as bananas, apples, or wrapped homemade treats. For added depth, tear strips of paper and curl to look like 'crolls. Keep them in a small basket or drawer near the table, and use them to write things they are thankful for in everyday life – including their favorite foods, activities, health, and friends. Place these scrolls in the cornucopia for the family to read at mealtimes

Thanksgiving Tree
The baring of tree branches at this time of year is a dramatic and unmistakable sign of change. It is something that no one can miss, with mountains of leaves piling up on yards and curbs. This can provide a striking metaphor to reflect on the abundance of blessings in our lives. One great idea is to make a Thanksgiving Tree with your children as a way of counting your blessings by adding gratitude leaves onto bare branches.

 First, fill a clay pot or large mason jar with pebbles or glass nuggets and set a branch into it so it stands like a tree. Cut colorful leaf shapes out of paper, and use a hole punch to make a hole for string or ribbon, about 8” long. Write something you are thankful for with a marker or colored pen and gently tie the leaf onto the tree.

Handmade Cards
The art of a handwritten letter or card is a beautiful way to express thoughts and feelings, and to teach the value of verbalizing our gratitude to friends and family. All age groups can participate making their special card on some festively colored cardstock and seasonal embellishments. And remember, the words are the most important thing; have fun as you help your child understand that the beauty is in the message.

Thanksgiving Table Cloth
Create a family tradition of expressing gratitude with a Thanksgiving Table Cloth. Simply purchase a plain white tablecloth and a variety of fabric markers. Use it on your holiday table, and encourage family and guests to write down the blessings of the year. Be sure to sign and date the inscriptions and let it become a fun family record of the special things and moment that have tied you together over the years.

Crafting for Charity
Raising children who understand the value of giving back is ultimately one of the most important quests as a parent. Thanksgiving provides an excellent platform for providing the gift of artfulness to those who do not have access to craft supplies. Take your child shopping for a 'goody bag' of supplies for making a holiday decoration. Make sure to include all necessary items (including scissors, glue, etc.). Include a treat for the child and the parent (perhaps some teabags, and a hot chocolate for the child), and print out and enclose the instructions. You can use a local church, shelter, or halfway house as a starting point for finding families that may enjoy receiving this little token of holiday cheer.

 

  • Stephanie Goins
  • Tags: Holiday

Creative Ways to Use Pumpkins as Fall Home Decor 0

Pumpkins as Fall Home Decor

Halloween may be over, but that doesn’t mean that pumpkins have gone out of style. With plenty of them still in stock at the store or pumpkin patch, these orange accessories can put the perfect final touch on your autumn home décor. Durable, daring and seasonal, pumpkins can put an edgy twist on any autumn theme. So here at My Wonderful Walls let us offer you some fun ideas. Enjoy!

Finish your autumn look with a pumpkin vase
Flowers are a must-have when giving your home a fresh and fun look. So why not let a pumpkin play the role of vase? Easily carved into a variety of shapes and sizes, pumpkins make great homes for flowers that adorn your tables and countertops.

Paint a pumpkin, make a stylish statement
If you’re looking to utilize pumpkins in your home, but want to avoid a Halloween feel to the décor, consider taking a spray paint to the orange surface. Easily applied in silver and gold—spray painting a pumpkin can create a glistening and edgy appearance that fits in seamlessly with autumn decoration without looking hooky or spooky.

Give a pumpkin a technical edge
Your home office gets a lot of use, so why not include it in your autumn-themed décor? If you’re feeling a little adventurous and very creative, try carving a pumpkin to fit around your computer screen! While this look might not last long, it’s sure to put a smile on the faces of your friends and family.

Keep it cool—pumpkin style
If you’re not looking to cover your home in pumpkins, but do want to put the last few on your doorstep to good use, try revamping their purpose by creating organic, orange coolers! They could be the perfect addition to your next seasonal party, and will definitely keep guests happy and as they take delicious beverages from warm to cold and ready in just a matter of minutes.

Serve up the best of what pumpkins have to offer
While you’re at it, consider continuing the pumpkin trend by using carved out pumpkins as serving bowls. From chips and dip to treats and candies, pumpkins add a seasonal flare to your tableware without having to hit up the stores in search of the perfect look at all! If you’re feeling extra creative, try painting the outside of the pumpkin to make each bowl unique and eye catching as guests pass by and take a taste.

Paint up a pumpkin art project
Pumpkins don’t last forever, but they’re sure fun while they’re at home! Consider grabbing a few end-of-the-season pumpkins and creating an extravagant autumn projects for you and the kids. Paint each of the pumpkins with a funny, crazy or silly face, and then take a group pumpkin picture to hang on the wall. The pumpkins will be unique and fantastic, and your wall will hold a memory that’s one of a kind for years to come. Consider making the pumpkin picture an annual event so you’re children can see how their pumpkin friends change and grow.

 

Fancy up Fall with a Fantastic Seasonal Centerpiece 1

fall centerpiece

For many people, the first thing that comes to mind when that initial cold chill arrives in the air is…Halloween. While the holiday definitely dominates the coming cold season, fall itself provides an endless number of inspirations when it comes to decorating your home. From changing leaves to the bold, warm colors that set fall uniquely apart—there is much to be taken from the outside and brought in when it comes to giving your home a seasonal boost. Let us at My Wonderful Walls help.

One of the best ways to give your home a warm, autumn flair is to add a great fall centerpiece to your dining room or kitchen table. This is an easy way to bring the best parts of fall into your home and share the joy with friends and family! Here are a few of our favorite ideas when it comes to creating a fall centerpiece to remember.

Sweet and sophisticated seasonal décor
Fall comes with color, but it also arrives with tasty treats. What better way to celebrate the season than with a candy corn vase? Simply fill a clear mason jar with candy corn, or your favorite October treat, and add a few colorful flower topers to finish it off. Not only will this centerpiece look great in your home, but it will get your guest’s taste buds talking the minute they walk in!

Personalize your pumpkins
Not every pumpkin of fall is destined to be a Jack-O-Lantern. In fact, some of those pumpkins you pick could be the perfect fall centerpiece for your home! Personalizing a pumpkin with your family monogram gives it a decorative kick, and makes it the perfect centerpiece for your table. Combine the pumpkin with some warm candles and fake leaves to create a fabulous fall scene right in your home.

Be prepared to bedazzle
Fall is fun, but when it comes to creating your centerpiece, feel free to make it fancy. Bedazzling a centerpiece of red or orange fruits is a great and easy way to take a simple centerpiece to dazzling with nothing more than a glue gun and some rhinestones. Create a variety of glittering patterns directly on the fruit to gain a gleaming centerpiece with seasonal sparkle.

Light up the table
While the nip in the air is only a taste of the cold to come, fall still leaves people snuggling in their sweaters that have been packed away all summer long. In celebration of warm fires and hot cocoa that are waiting just around the corner, use a lamp and candle to adorn your table as a centerpiece. Small lamps with candle doors allow you to switch out your candle as the season progresses, and when placed amidst some colorful leaves, can set a warm and comforting tone at your table.

Bring in the branches
Sometimes all it takes is a few well-placed branches to set the seasonal tone of your centerpiece. Simple pick some fresh branches with colorful leaves, and arrange them in a clear vase. The simplicity of this project is enough to evoke autumn inspiration for your family and guests.

 

  • Stephanie Goins
  • Tags: Holiday

Celebrating the Season with Fun Halloween Decorations at Home 0

leavesAutumn means a variety of changes in life, including a chill in the air, school work finally in full swing, and a colorful palette of leaves that begin to cover the ground. It also means one creepy crawly holiday is on its way—without a doubt, it’s Halloween!

Whether you celebrate in cool, creepy or cute style, this is one of the holidays that provides a free pass for fun home decoration inspiration. What’s better is that many Halloween DIY projects are most enjoyable when mom, dad and kids get creative all together! Let My Wonderful Walls help. Don’t let Halloween pass you by without taking some time out for a creative project to celebrate this yummy seasonal treat of a holiday.

Count on the candy early on
Halloween wouldn’t be complete without a bucket load of candy to complete the night. In anticipation of tasty treats to come, and possibly a way to provide kids with a little inspiration as their costumed night approaches, try incorporating candy into your decoration schemes early! These candy globes don’t only make taste buds water, but they combine the colors of the season into your home. All it takes is a Styrofoam ball, adhesive and some of your favorite Halloween treats to create eye candy fit for your home.

Give garlands a Halloween twist!
Many people associate garland with Christmas, but hanging decorations from the stairwell or over the fireplace isn’t exclusively for December any longer. With a little imagination, felt and puff paint, you can create an entire Halloween garland fit for the season! Feel free to include ghosts, goblins and pumpkins to make sure your holiday highlights are complete. Raffia bows to tie your pieces together will give the appearance of corn stalks, and incorporate an autumn celebration into your home’s seasonal décor.

Give candles a Halloween kick
This is a fun and easy way to bring new, holiday life to candles you already have in your home. Take time out with the kids to choose fun, pumpkin rubber stamps from your local craft store, as well as the candles they want to decorate. Then, simply stamp directly onto the candles and watch your Halloween theme come to life. Lighter colored candles work better as they allow vibrant paint colors to show up more easily on the smooth surface. Not only does this revitalize an old candle with seasonal pizzazz, but when you finally light the candle, it will add an eerie glow to your pumpkin picture. This makes your candle creation perfect for visitors when they set out for trick-or-treating on the big night!

Be inspired by the season
No matter what type of Halloween you expect to have, make sure to enjoy the season and use the weather and celebrations to inspire you towards unique DIY projects at home. Candy, fall colors and creepy crawlies can all be creative incentive when it comes to creating Halloween projects that are fun to do when you have time with the kids.

 

  • Stephanie Goins
  • Tags: Holiday