Here They Come – The Holidays!!!


Yes, the time has come! It’s time to start thinking about and planning for the holidays.

Here are a few things we like to do to get ready for the holidays. These tips help minimize the amount of pre-holiday angst which is often present this time of year. Take a look at our thoughts about food preparation, a decorating idea, some hostess gift suggestions, a garden update, and, of course, the bears!


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This time of year (or anytime) when cooking dinner, double the recipe. The oven is on anyway! Double up on soups, pasta sauces, chili, meatloaf, roast chicken, casseroles and side dishes that freeze well. During the busy holiday season, its great to have a meal ready to go – just re-heat and eat! Our chicken rice soup pictured above is a perfect example of this idea. (Hint – brown rice holds its shape when frozen and re-heats beautifully.)


Last year, we presented this Thanksgiving Tree (see the link below for instructions).

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This year, rather than put up a tree, we hung the leaves – clothesline style. We first featured this clothesline banner idea in September’s blog titled, “Nice to Get Away”. Check it out here:

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‘Tis the season for parties and get togethers. It’s great to bring the host or hostess a little something to show your appreciation.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Seasonal live plant (last longer than fresh flowers and busy host or hostess doesn’t have to hunt for a vase)
  • Candy
  • Bottle of wine
  • Baked items
  • Jarred goods
  • Ornaments

A couple of presentation ideas:

  • Bottle of wine: We re-purposed the paper bag the bottle came in as the gift bag (above). A silk leaf photocopied onto card stock makes a great seasonal gift tag.
  • Tins of cookies and tea make a good combo gift. We topped the cookie tin with a faux, fall-colored flower.
  • Jar of pepper spread. Trim the lid of the jar with a fall-colored fabric. Hold the fabric in place with a rubber band and then tie a piece of jute over the band for a rustic look. Make a more complete gift by adding a box of special crackers.

Combine multiple items like these into a wonderful gift basket!

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A great way to stay organized for the holidays is to use lists. Make lists of what you need to do and what to buy. We keep our lists, coupons and holiday ideas on handheld clipboards for quick reference. When a creative idea strikes, we grab the clipboard and jot it down. For the more technologically savvy, there are clipboard apps.


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This has been a crazy year for our garden. It has brought us great joy. These pretty flowers are hanging in even though it’s mid-November.

Still harvesting tomatoes and peppers and enjoyed some in pasta sauce and salads just this week.

We are very grateful for our abundant 2015 patio garden! (Made this year’s thankful leaf clothesline!)

Photo bonus: Love the fall colors of this vine on our fence along Route 95!

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What kind of music did the Pilgrims like? Plymouth Rock!                                                   source:      


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The chilled bears enjoyed a nice cup of hot tea as they contemplated the upcoming holiday season. Looks like they borrowed our scarves!

And last but definitely not least. Veteran’s Day this week was the perfect way to begin the Thanksgiving season. We thank all those who serve and have served, keeping our country safe.

Roy & Kevin


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