Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I am wishing all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving filled with joy, laugh and many thanks

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cup full of Thanks

Every year we celebrate Thanksgiving in a large gathering of 35-45 people at my friend's house. Everything is done in a potluck style: great food and great recipes always. We do it for ten years now and I think I call it a tradition by now, another tradition that we practice for this gathering is saying a grace before and after the meal, but this year I've decided to add something new to this tradition: we are going to have a Cup Full of Thanks .....

I found beautiful FREE Thanksgiving printables HERE . On each piece inside, I've printed in large font some simple things that we use or see but forgetting to acknowledge sometimes.

Each guest will pass the cup filled with messages to each other, pull one and read it loudly starting with the phrase "I am thankful for..." and then read what's inside. Things I've included are for example humor, beautiful flowers, GPS, WiFI, Facebook, Sunsets, cell phones, movies in 3D and etc. You've got the point. I think it could be a fun, will see!

There is always a place for a new tradition, right?

What are you doing to make your Thanksgiving even more fun?
I'd love to hear it!

I hope you'll have a great day

Monday, November 22, 2010

Turkey Brine

If you are in charge of turkey this year and wondering what to do to please your company, here is a recipe of a brine that makes every turkey super delicious and you are guaranteed to get a lot of compliments:)

Brine Ingredients

1 gallon of water
1 small orange sliced in half
1/2 lemon
1 cup of Kosher (coarse) salt
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 large head of garlic sliced in half crosswise
1 table spoon of black peppercorns
6 branches of fresh thyme
4 branches of fresh sage
1 bay leaf

In a large pot combine all ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring from time to time. Let it boil for 3 minutes, set it aside and let it cool. You can store it in a fridge for up to a week.

Usually you brine your turkey for 24-48 hours and here is how: Place your bird into a clean plastic bag and lower into a bucket or deep bowl. Pour the brine through the strainer into the turkey bag. Move your turkey around a little bit to make sure the brine will fill the cavity. If your turkey is too big and brine doesn't cover it, add some cold water to make sure your bird is completely submerged. Seal the bag tight and put in a fridge for 24-48 hours to soak.

After that no matter how you cook your turkey, you can't ruin it - it will be moist and delicious ALWAYS. I've roasted, deep fried, baked in a brown paper bag, baked without brown paper bag mine and it came absolutely fantastic , I think it is pretty encouraging.

Have a stressless holiday:)


Last Minute Autumn Wreath

Hello, there
Where did this month disappeared? Thanksgiving is going to be this Thursday but you still have sometime for a last minute decor on a dime!

You will need two pieces of cardboard, plastic table cloth, plastic letters from you child's ABC set and few Autumn related items for decoration (I am using few Autumn leaves from a Dollar Store)

Cut two cardboard circles

Wrap them in orange plastic table cloth

Add letters and decor using your choice of glue.


This project is very easy and suitable for kids and I think all recyclable elements of this wreath can bring a very good conversation with your children about recycling and being thankful to Mother Earth.

Have a great day!

Linking this post to The Shabby Nest Blog

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Here is another ATC made by moi. The theme of this swap: Zodiac Series #11 - Scorpio.
My swap partner's profile says that she doesn't care about horoscopes and loves everything vintage, that's why I put my effort to make this Scorpio as vintage as possible. Take a look.

What do you think?


Friday, November 19, 2010

Shampoo Bottle Wreath Tutorial

As crazy as it may sounds that's what it is - My Shampoo Bottle wreath.
For a long time I've had my collection of empty shampoo bottles.

The colors were so pretty that I didn't want them to go to my recycling bin. I was desperately looking for an idea on how to use a shampoo bottle in any craft project but wasn't successful, and then I saw this beautiful wreath from Williams-Sonoma....

Bay Leaf Wreath

I simply fell in love with the shapes of bay leaves and then I've got an idea.... I still don't understand how my brain connected shampoo bottles and bay leaves but it did... I've decided to slice my shampoo bottles and cut out "bay leaves" and since my bottles had "autumn" colors I thought it should work for Thanksgiving Decor. Why not?

First I cut off the top of the bottle

Then I cut along this red line and around the bottom to open up the main body part.

When it's all open - it is super easy to cut out "the leaves"
That's how they look like!

Then I've decided to use the tops of the bottles.....

You'll need to help flower "petals" to open up by pushing them against their natural curve.

Note. Since I am having a lack of storage most of my items have to be flat in order to fit into my garage cabinets, that's why my wreath is going to be flat as well.

I've cut out two cardboard circles and glued them together.

(As you can see, I am using old cardboard box)
Then, I wrapped an old plastic tablecloth (leftover from my Halloween decor) around

and your base is ready!

Now that you've got all components - get your hot glue gun ready, and let's rock-n-roll!

Start with flowers first, I've decided to cut off the spout to make my flowers sit closer to the base of the wreath and hide connection points.

This is my half way in the making and it took only 5 minutes to get here:)

5 minutes later, I've got it all done

Few finishing touches, like pom pom hearts of the flowers

and a piece of ribbon and we are done.

Reduce, reuse, recycle! works all the time!

This wreath is my way of saying "Thank You!" to our Mother Earth.

Be thankful and have a great day!

I am sharing this project on the following link parties

Garden full of thanks - Stepping Stones Tutorial

I have been thinking about this project for awhile. I've been collecting plastic containers from food and grocery packaging in my garage for 2 months and bought a 60 lb bag of concrete for $4.65 at local Home Depot but couldn't start the project..... During our last trip to Sedona, I finally got that push that I needed to start the project. Here is the moment

My daughter was simply mesmerized by colorful pieces of glass embedded in concrete and then I knew we have to do it.

Next morning, I've got everything out and we started.....

Concrete is a very easy but also a very tricky thing. You need to get a feel of concrete: it should be not too thick and not too thin. Here is an example of how "too thick" looks like

Don 't worry it's fixable - just add a little bit of water. By a little bit I mean a little bit- 1 table spoon at a time and stir, stir and stir!

The most successful recipe for my mixture was 10 parts of concrete to 3 parts of water.
That's how it looks

When you've got the right consistency pour it into containers

Then we've got pieces of mosaic tile, glass marbles and etc. for embellishing. Our theme - "things we are thankful for". I thought it would be a good idea to embed our thanks into concrete and keep it in the garden as a constant reminder. Here is what we came up with, with my three year-old in charge:) I guess summer was her brightest memory:)

We pushed mosaic pieces into concrete creating different images and let it sit outside for 24 hours (our temperature outside around 65 F)

that's how it looks when it's ready to be taken out of the form - edges are dry and separated from the form and concrete has light grey color.

and that's how it looks all finished and in the garden.

I still have half a bag left for may be more "thanks" - will see.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Autumn in Sedona

In my previous post I've been talking about how much I miss Autumn Foliage, well my prayers have been heard and I finally got a chance to witness Autumn at its best - Autumn in Sedona.

I am so thankful for this opportunity to see all my favorite colors that Mother Nature so generously creating for us. I hope you are enjoying this beatiful season as mush as I do.
Have a great day!