25 Burlap Banners: Inspiration for all Seasons

I have a love affair with burlap.  I use it for projects all the time.  MY one favorite thing to do with it is make garlands, usually intended for my fireplace.  The robustness of the burlap makes it a great material to use (as opposed to something like cotton fabric which is too flimsy.)  So for Flahsback Friday I thought I would round up all of my burlap banners along with some other inspirational styles. You will see with this round of up burlap banners, that the simple stenciled pennant style banner is only the tip of the iceberg.

For convenience I have broken down the 25 banners into different holidays and seasons.

Spinach, Parmesan and Sausage Cornbread Muffins

When I was a kid my mom would always make something she called “Sausage and Cornbread Pie” which was nothing more than cornbread with sausage mixed in, spread in a pie plate and baked.  We would eat it for breakfast (I loved mine with either honey or maple syrup) and even now, the flavor combination of sweet cornbread and salty-spicy breakfast sausage reminds me of my mom.

Recently I was asked to come up with a recipe on behalf of Hillshire brands and the Mom It Forward Blogger Network and of course my mind went straight to that Sausage-Cornbread Pie.  I did want to update it a little, and with the addition of spinach and parmesan it becomes a great brunch option. The perfect balance of starch, vegetable and protein.  A complete little meal in one bite.  I even stuck them in the kids’ lunches to eat cold, since the protein rich sausage and cheese keeps them full. 
Cornbread spinach sausage cheese
Spinach, Parmesan and Sausage Cornbread Muffins

K-Cup Recycled Garland (Ghosts By Day, Pumpkins By Night)

If you are stopping by for the Silhouette Giveaway.. you are in the right place.  But first I want to share my latest silhouette project with you!
Recycled Kcup halloween lights
I recently received the new Keurig 2.0 machine and I have been so excited with it**.  My biggest gripe with the old Keurig system was that for heavy coffee drinkers (like me) the 1 cup at a time brewing just wasn’t enough.  This new machine not only brews individual cups, but it also brews full carafes which is perfect for when I want to make a large pot of coffee and then chill it to drink iced over the course of the day.
Keurig2 0
Of course, the Keurig 2.0 is still great for brewing individual cups of coffee and I do use it for hot coffee throughout the day.  But that leaves me with another gripe about the Keurig.  The amount of WASTE the K-cups generate.  Compared to a standard drip brewer with grounds and a single filter, the little K-cups create a ton of non-recylcleble trash.. and this hasn’t gone unnoticed by environmental activists.

I love my Keurig coffee, and I love my K-cups.. but I don’t love the guilt.  So I have been saving and washing my used polystyrene K-cups with hopes of creating a project out of them, and this fall I finally collected up enough to make a great little garland for Halloween.
Halloween pumpkin lights
The whole thing cost me a total of $1. Yes. I bought the string of lights at the dollar store, and the K-cups were free (obviously.) I used my silhouette to create the faces but you could easily just draw them on in sharpie, like I did on the milk carton Jack O’Lanterns.
Kcup recycling craftFirst I need to give you a quick lesson on how to clean out the K-cups.

You're Gonna Love It Tuesday: Pumpkins Galore!

Welcome back to another You're Gonna Love It Party.   It feels like this week has flown by.. and it probably has, because I have been spending so much time getting my Halloween Home Tour ready!

If you have a few seconds after linking up I'd love for you to swing over and take the tour!

Time for Last Week's Features!!

Halloween House Tour

 Halloween House tour where she decorates with things that can be easily changed to use after Halloween is over 
I’ve never teamed up with any other bloggers to do a holiday house tour, so I’m probably a tad too excited about this!

Today I’m taking you though my house and showing you how I decked it out for Halloween this year.  At the end of the post are the other awesome ladies who on this house tour with me.. be sure to visit them as well, we all have very different styles and you are sure to find something you love! 

I am not actually a super hard-core Halloween decorator, but I like to use fall vignettes with a Halloween spin that can easily be converted to Thanksgiving vignettes come November.

Let’s start with my favorite place to decorate.. My family room mantel:
Halloween mantel

How to Add Twitter Cards to Your Blogger Blog

How to install Twitter Cards On Blogger Blog
If you are a frequent user of Twitter, you may have noticed that some tweets containing URLs have a lot of extra information associated with them.

This is what a typical tweet looks like:

But did you know your tweet could look like this (without actually changing your tweet at all)? 
Tweet with twitter card

These expanded tweets are called “Twitter Cards” and if you are a blogger they are a great way of getting you blog post tweets a little more exposure. When you have the Twitter cards code installed on your blog, any tweets with your blog's URL will also contain this extra image, title and summary.

They are sorta like Pinterest’s “Rich Pins” but for tweets.  (If you don’t have rich pins I also have a tutorial on how to install them)

To add them it is simple copy and pasting of some HTML code.  (Even a rookie blogger should be able to do this! Don't panic because it is HTML!)

You're Gonna Love It Link Up

Welcome back to another You're Gonna Love It Party.   Before we get started I wanted to let you all know that next Monday, I am co-hosting a Halloween Home Tour with these five other bloggers!

I am actually a little intimidated since they are also so amazing!  I'd love for you to come back and tour my little house.. (I'll even clean up for you!)

If you aren't already a subscriber, you can join my mailing list and get the post emailed directly to you.. then you will be sure not to miss it!

Time for Last Week's Features!!

Dollar Store Placemat Pumpkin (Cut File Included!)

Dollar store placemat pumpkin

It is Silhouette Challenge Time!  The theme this month was “Fall” and since I’m in Halloween mode I decided on a Jack-o-lantern.

When I saw these round orange woven placemats at the Dollar store, I knew I could add some vinyl and make a cute wall hanging.  And that is exactly what I did.   The trick was choosing the face. Originally I was going to just find a Jack o’ lantern face and trace it, but then I decided I would try my hand at designing my own so I could share that file with you! 

That is right!  This month I am going out on a limb and attempting to share my first ever cut files!  I have never offered a free download before and I really want to start doing it more often.. so this is a trial run to see how well it works out.  If you have a cutting machine (Silhouette or Cricut) the file for the pumpkin’s face is available at the bottom of this post.  Not only that but you also will be signing up to receive additonal Silhouette inspiration, DIY, decorating and more!

So how did I design the cut file?  And how did i get the vinyl to stick to that highly textured surface?  Never fear! I’m going to walk you through it!

How to Keep Lettuce Fresh after Washing

How to keep lettuce fresh
I know I don’t usually post on Sundays, but when Fresh & Easy asked me to share my favorite cooking hack to be included on their “Hacks of Life" Pinterest board I thought you wouldn’t mind a quick ‘bonus’ post from me this week.

As you can guess, as a mom of three kids and a pretty much full time blogger and slave to social media, I am a busy lady.  So when I buy produce I like to get everything prepped in advance, so when the time comes all I have to do is pull something out of the fridge and serve it.  

An example of that is with lettuce.  I like to wash my lettuce ahead of time and then just pour it out into a salad when I need it.   I sometimes buy the ready-made salad mix that is supposed to be washed, but I really do prefer to wash it myself.  (Plus it is much more economical to buy a head of lettuce and put it into my own bags.)

So once I have prepped and washed my lettuce, how to make it last as long as the bagged stuff? 

Easy! The trick is to keep moisture away.  (Yes, that is counterintuitive, but it is true.)
Storing lettuce in plastic bag
Moisture on the outside of produce is what makes it start to break down and get slimy.  If you can keep the moisture away from the surface, you produce will last much longer. So here is my process for prepping lettuce in order to keep it fresh: