Articles on this Page
- 11/17/14--06:40: _My Thanksgiving Mus...
- 11/17/14--08:44: _A Different Thanksg...
- 11/17/14--11:18: _JANE TREACY AND ME ...
- 11/17/14--11:34: _Getting Ready for T...
- 11/17/14--11:46: _Dyson Engineer Live...
- 11/17/14--14:16: _Risotto-Stuffed Col...
- 11/17/14--15:21: _Butternut Squash Tart
- 11/18/14--07:16: _The Power of Words……
- 11/18/14--10:31: _Calista Rollers
- 11/18/14--10:49: _Our First Thanksgiv...
- 11/18/14--11:09: _Forcing A Bit Of Sp...
- 11/18/14--11:14: _Thanksgiving Tradit...
- 11/18/14--11:30: _Creating Special Mo...
- 11/18/14--11:42: _Using Your Favorite...
- 11/18/14--14:55: _Three Easy DIY Proj...
- 11/18/14--14:55: _Have questions for ...
- 11/19/14--07:48: _Homemade Thanksgivi...
- 11/19/14--08:34: _WHY do we decorate ...
- 11/19/14--08:47: _Creamy Tomato Soup ...
- 11/19/14--09:46: _Wish List
- 11/17/14--06:40: My Thanksgiving Music Playlist
- 11/17/14--08:44: A Different Thanksgiving
- 11/17/14--11:18: JANE TREACY AND ME – 20+ YEARS OF FREINDSHIP
- 11/17/14--11:46: Dyson Engineer Live Chat This Sunday, November 23!
- 12 oz thick-cut bacon, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 4-1/2 cups chicken broth, hot
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 lb collard greens, stalks removed
- 1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
- 2 (14.5-oz) cans petite diced tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Cook bacon over medium heat until it begins to crisp in a 4-quart sauté pan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent. Add the rice and cook another minute. Ladle in 1/3 of the hot stock, bring the mixture to a simmer, and continuously stir until the stock is absorbed. Repeat with remaining stock. Stir in Parmesan, butter, thyme, salt, and pepper. Spread the risotto out on a baking sheet and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
- While the risotto is chilling, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add half of the collards to the pot and cook for 1 minute. Remove the greens from the pot with tongs and place them into a dry bowl. Repeat with the remaining collards.
- Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a separate bowl. Spread about 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of a deep 9" x 13" baking dish.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Working with one collard leaf at a time (or if small, two leaves overlapped) place about 1/4 cup of the risotto in the center of a leaf. Fold up the base of the leaf over the filling, fold in the edges, and roll it up tightly. Place the roll, seam-side-down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining leaves and risotto. Spoon the remaining sauce over the rolls. Cover and bake for 1 hour.
- 11/17/14--15:21: Butternut Squash Tart
- 11/18/14--07:16: The Power of Words……
- 11/18/14--10:31: Calista Rollers
- 11/18/14--11:09: Forcing A Bit Of Spring - Bulbs In Your Home
- 11/18/14--11:14: Thanksgiving Traditions
- 11/18/14--11:30: Creating Special Moments - The Reason I Love What I Do.
- 11/18/14--14:55: Three Easy DIY Projects, One Incredible Thanksgiving Tablescape
- Medium to large-size pumpkin
- Serrated knife
- Various fall flowers
- Cup or glass to set inside pumpkin for water
- Cut a circular hole in the top of the pumpkin.
- Scoop out the flesh, pulp, and seeds with a scooper or scraper.
- Fill the cup or glass with water and set inside pumpkin.
- Arrange flowers in the glass so that they look full and abundant, starting with your tall flowers and then filling in the rest.
- Neutral-colored or burlap runner
- Various fall colors of acrylic paint
- Paint markers (I used black and purple)
- 4-5 paper plates
- Plastic or paper bags to lay under the runner
- Lay out the plastic or paper bags under the runner to protect the table.
- Pour a small amount of paint onto each paper plate.
- Dip your hand (or help little ones) dip their hands into the paint and then press the color onto the runner.
- Let the paint dry for 10-20 minutes and then add the turkey legs, eyes, beak, and wattles with the paint pen.
- Add the year and names to preserve your wonderful family memories.
- Roll of craft paper in brown or black
- White paint pen
- Roll the paper out on the table and cut it to length, if making a runner. Or, cut the amount of place mats you will need.
- Write the words, “I Am Thankful For:” in paint pen on the runner or place mats. Draw lines for answers or allow guests to write anywhere.
- Give your family and guests a paint pen or marker to fill in their answers.
- 11/18/14--14:55: Have questions for the Calista Tools team? Ask Now!
- 11/19/14--07:48: Homemade Thanksgiving Turkey Loaf Treat for Dogs
- 11/19/14--08:34: WHY do we decorate for Christmas?
- 11/19/14--08:47: Creamy Tomato Soup with Chicken
- 11/19/14--09:46: Wish List
It's Thanksgiving morning… The house is decorated, family and friends are waking up or are on their way and the food is ready to prep and cook, but do you have your music playlist ready?! I love having music playing in the house, and usually do, however on Thanksgiving morning it’s so important to have music to set the mood. I’ve put together this playlist of some of my favorite songs to have you dancing, smiling and laughing while cooking Thanksgiving dinner and to play on through the dinner and beyond.
"Mashed Potato Time” - Dee Dee Sharp - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTa_GUQCFmY
"Build me up" - The Foundations - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwx8Voq373A
"Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie" - Jay & The Techniques - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5njDmUMhfa0
"Sweet Potato Pie" - Ray Charles / James Taylor - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpD2L5J4CW4
"How Sweet it is (To Be Loved By You)" - James Taylor - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zls8DFx9UCw
"You Are The Sunshine Of My Life" - Stevie Wonder - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wZ_b_uUAdQ
"What A Wonderful World" - Louis Armstrong - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3yCcXgbKrE
"Wonderful World" - Sam Cooke - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNO72aCnVr0
"Our House" - Crosby Stills Nash and Young - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4sDPeLsinQ
"God Only Knows" - The Beach Boys - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkPy18xW1j8
"Everyday People" - Sly & The Family Stone - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUUhDoCx8zc
"We Are Family" - Sister Sledge - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBpYgpF1bqQ
What’s your favorite dinner party music? I’d love to hear!
This Thanksgiving will be very different for me.
Thanksgiving has long been a favorite holiday of mine. I have so many fond memories of gathering with my Grandma, Grandpa, Aunts, Uncles and 14 cousins at my Aunt Jenny and Uncle Wayne’s home in Minnesota. I am so fortunate to have grown up close to my extended family, and remember that on this day, as we all gathered around the many folding tables, one by one we shared what we were thankful for. Most often, the expressions of gratitude were for one another. We loved each other, and still do. After dinner we would head outside for a very competitive game of football, often in the snow. Later, we’d burn more competitive energy around a board game or charades. Wayne and I would also play the guitar together. As we grew up and had children of our own, the gatherings at Jenny and Wayne’s expanded. When my Grandma Dooley passed away, she had 18 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren. There was always room for another card table or TV tray!
This Thanksgiving will be difficult for my family, as we lost our beloved Jenny to cancer this summer. So much like her mother, Jenny lived for her family and her church. Cancer took Wayne from us 15 years ago. My heart aches for my cousins Marty, Eric, Tony, Angela and their families. Jenny and Wayne were such an inspiration, always putting family first. Their house was filled with joy and laughter. They were always up for a parade, a picnic, the State Fair, or a road trip; and we were all invited. They were inseparable. In fact, it was never “Jenny” or “Wayne”, it was “Jenny and Wayne”, or when I was little, “Wenny and Jayne”.
This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for the importance my Grandma, my Mom, and my Aunts and Uncles placed on family. I know how fortunate I am to have so many memories, thanks to the traditions we held so dear. I am grateful for the comfort and joy Jenny and Wayne brought to my life. I realize how important it is in this busy new age of ours to make time for creating special memories for our children and grandchildren. I am thankful that Bill loves to do this as much as I do.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all!
One of the joys of working with QVC is the long-standing friendships I’ve made over the years. My dear friend, Jane Treacy,is a wonderful example of this.
Joan Rivers taught me a wonderful lesson early in our relationship: laughter is the most important thing. Laughter will carry us through the good times and the bad times. Laughter helps us to heal. Laughter should always be the common denominator in a GOOD friendship.
Laughter is certainly something I share with my friend Jane.
I can recall a dinner party I held at my place in Pennsylvania with Jane and her lovely husband Sean, and a few other good friends. I have no memory of what we ate or drank or even what time of year it was, but I do remember laughing for 4 straight hours. Face hurting kind of laughter. Make-it-stop kind of laughter!
Another evening I remember almost being thrown out of a very fancy restaurant on the mainline in Philly as Jane recalled fabulous stories of the early days of QVC. We were literally screaming with laughter!
Laughter aside, Jane is one of the kindest and nicest people in my life. And one of the funniest!! I know its the reason Joan adored Jane and its mine as well!
Jane and I will share a fantastic two-hour show this Thursday from 6-8pm EST. Loaded with chic fashions, gorgeous jewelry and LOTS of laughter and of course wonderful remembrances of our good friend Joan.
Here is a sneak peek:
Joan adored wearing a set of matching brooches; she always said it reminded her of old Hollywood! I find it very chic and loaded with glamor.
Every chic, stylish woman I know has a good “Tuxedo” style jacket in her closet. For Joan it was the go-to style she knew would always look right! We have updated the tuxedo with a sharp new silhouette and styling, and added a winter white choice that is amazing!
Created for Lisa Robertson’s Posh Presents, this watchsold out in an instant and is finally back! Perfect for all of the dressy holiday events this season and pretty major with a pair of jeans and a turtleneck!
And two other exquisite new pins that are perfect gift ideas (gifts for YOU I hope!)
My next BLOG will be all about Thanksgiving… a very BIG deal in my household! I will be sharing family recipes and hope you might share one of your favorites too! See you next week!
Thursday, November 20
6-8pm Joan Rivers Classics Collection
Saturday, November 22
5-7am Joan Rivers Classics Collection
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Hello, Denim Divas!
I can’t believe how fast this year has flown by and the holidays are upon us. You all know that I love this time of year, but it does get hectic just trying to fit everything in. The team at Denim & Co. want to help make it a little easier by getting you ready…(unfortunately, we can’t make the turkey)! But, we always want you to look awesome and comfortable at the same time, so we put together three different looks as a ‘before,’ ‘during’ and ‘after’ ensemble that we feel will cover all of your needs. You can click on the links under each picture to see if this is something that works for you!
Look 1: Before
The hours leading up to the Thanksgiving dinner can be hectic and messy. From last minute errands to cleaning and prepping the turkey, you need something comfortable that is ‘easy care, easy wear.’ This French terry tunic is your tried and true silhouette with a feminine floral print that will keep you looking pretty during prep time. Paired with these super comfy polar fleece pants and Skechers, you will be ready to run from room to room.
Look 2: During
So the table is set, your guests are arriving, and you are looking classically chic. This Active velour tunic is soft, comfortable and holiday appropriate. The tunic is elevated even more with the sparkly statement necklace. The ‘How Classic’ pants are the perfect basic – ready to be dressed up with these Sole Society mid-heel pumps, but low enough for going to and from the kitchen.
Look 3: After
Dinner has been enjoyed, dessert has been devoured, and now it is time to kick back and relax with your guests. This comfy, cozy marled sweater is drapey, soft and perfect for lounging in a love seat. These duo-stretch leggings are your favorite bi-stretch fabric updated with the pin-tuck detail. Whether you spend the rest of the evening swapping stories and laughter with family or make your way to the next family Thanksgiving dinner, you are ready to go.
We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and wish you awesome and peaceful times with your family and friends! Gobble! Gobble!
P.S. - Don't forget to check out my toGather page: http://gather.qvc.com/member/84591/
Chat with a Dyson Engineer on Sunday, November 23 at 9am, noon, 3pm & 6pm CT for expert answers to your Dyson questions. Discover the engineering, power, and innovation that separates this brand!
After two tasty pies (in honor of Sides and Pies month on In the Kitchen with David) it’s time for a savory side. And so this Wednesday, I bring you stuffed cabbage with a Southern twist: Risotto-Stuffed Collard Greens with Bacon!
Risotto-Stuffed Collard Greens and Bacon
This recipe is prepared with the Cook's Essentials® Color Smart Nonstick 10-Piece Aluminum Cookware Set (K39180).
Go to David's Recipe Item Page for the full list of items that David has used in his recipes.
So now that you have a side, let’s explore the main course for your Thanksgiving table a little more. It’s time for more Turkey Talk! Today’s topic: how to pick the perfect size turkey.
If you fry your bird, you can make my Chicken Cordon Bleu Bites to munch on while the turkey rests. If you smoke your bird, you can also make my Baked Corn Casserole at the same time. The same day that you buy your turkey, why don’t you make your dessert? That’ll be one less thing you have to do on Thanksgiving. Might I suggest my Pumpkin Pie with Marshmallow Frosting?
Going back to our Stuffed Collard Greens recipe for a moment, tell me what’s your all-time favorite Turkey Day side for today’s blog question? Is it the stuffing? Green bean casserole? Candied sweet potatoes? I’ll see you Wednesday night at 8pm ET.
Keep it flavorful!
P.S. Be sure to check out my Facebook page on Wednesday for an EXCLUSIVE opportunity to get Saturday’s Today’s Special Value®--a Keurig K40 Coffeemaker early! This machine is BRAND-NEW and comes with 48 K-Cup packs. The featured price is $89 and change. But, you can get it on 4 Easy Pays AND before everyone else. Don't miss it!
I love roasted butternut squash, and last week I loved the Swiss Chard tart. So I thought I would try a Roasted Butternut Squash Tart!
First I cut up about 1 pound of Butternut Squash into cubes. Then added 1 Red Onion, cut in large pieces.
I used the leaves of about 5 branches of Rosemary.
I chopped them fine and added them to the squash.
I peeled the cloves of one head of garlic, and cut each clove into slices. Adding those:
I added Balsamic Vinegar
Then tossed it in Olive Oil and Sea Salt
Put it on a cookie sheet
And baked it at 400° for 30 minutes
Next, I rolled out pre-made pie dough
Then I added the squash mixture to center and folded up the sides. I brushed egg white and water over the edges.
I cooked it for 10 minutes, then added goat cheese.
Roasted it for 30 more minutes....
I figured anything in pie dough would be good and I was right.
It's comfort food, baby! Try it! :)
For Quacker Factory, Jeanne, myself & our entire team, the power of the written word is very important in our world. In fact one of the very first sweatshirts that Jeanne created, many moons ago, had the word “Believe” in the design. As many of your know Jeanne knew the power of positive words and placed them all over her home. There were plaques, signs and even post-it notes with words she felt she needed to see all over her office. When she passed, many of us brought these signs home with us, so that we could share in the power of words.
For me personally, I remember my mother being an avid reader—there were always books in our home. I would come home from school & she would be reading- her favorite—science fiction. I too love to read, although I do not make the time as I should. But my office is full of wonderful books I have collected over the years.
Words are so powerful—labels have become such a negative part of our society. That is why I think it is very important to put GOOD, HEALTHY, JOYFUL words where I can see them every day! The world can be a very negative place, so you have to put good things in to your brain!!!
Knowing our love or words got our team thinking…. How can we share our love of words with our Quackers, and how can we share this love in a fun way?? We then decided to create a craft that would share this Power of Words.
Ever since I was a little girl, I remember my Mom, her sister Joan Marie & my grandmother crafting. They would paint ceramics for Halloween & Christmas, crochet blankets & scarves, basically whatever they could imagine, they would create. I still have some pieces that my mother painted for me & a blanket she crocheted is one of my prized possessions. I guess this is where I caught my crafting bug!!
So I asked my Aunt Joan Marie, a long time Quacker, to join me & Kristy from our team for a crafting day at my home. We decided that we would use words & personalize some of Valerie Parr Hill’s beautiful Christmas ornaments that we will use for Christmas gifts.
Now I can do many things… but free handing some words onto a 3-D ornament is not one of my talents, (Hehe) so I chose to use precut glitter letters to create my ornaments. Aunt Joan Marie & Kristy chose to create theirs using glitter paint & free handing the letters. They also used some stencils. It is very easy & you can purchase all of these supplies at your local craft store!!
I just love what we created during our craft day! And everyone got some gifts to take home too. Speaking of gifts, look what Aunt Joan Marie painted just for me!!!
We all had so much fun crafting and spending time together. Why not schedule a craft (or baking) day with someone you love today!
Visit my toGather page to see all of the great my Words To Live By toGather Collection
Aunt Joan Marie and I are wearing our New Believe t-shirt… Get your Believe t-shirt here.
Until next time—Quack, Quack.
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I am so excited that we will be having our first Thanksgiving at the farm. I will get to cook some of the meal in the outdoor pizza oven and 20 of our family members and friends will feast with us in our outdoor living space. Like all of our holidays, Thanksgiving centers around simply being together. Football, a more than bountiful buffet spread, and comfy seating for the post-feast nap or two are our Thanksgiving must-haves. And to top it off this year we will be surrounded by my favorite room of all – the great outdoors!
I am making apple and boxwood centerpieces for the tables. I love the green of the boxwood branches against the red and gold of the apples. I use any excuse to incorporate magnolia leaves – one of my favorites for its shape, color and sheen – so I surrounded the base of the centerpieces with them. I also scooped out small apples and made votive candle holders (McIntosh and Lady Apples work wonderfully). Always thinking of how many ways I can “recycle” the apples, I am planning a wonderful Sunday all to myself to make apple pies, caramel apples and/or homemade applesauce. Making the centerpiece like this one is very easy to assemble and be creative with your materials – it doesn’t have to be just apples. I like to add fresh components of my meal into my arrangements whether it be herbs, pears, squash… anything will look beautiful and somehow I think it makes the meal just tastes better!
For the meal, Joe is on the turkey (or turkeys) from our neighbor down the road and my only concern is the feathers, but Joe has promised me all will be well. I prepare the side dishes that are delicious, true comfort food. I am known for my Turnip Soufflé. I think turnips get a bad rap, but I promise they are wonderful in this recipe (see below and give it a try!) Kids and adults alike absolutely love this and it’s shocking how good it is. I make at least two or three types of stuffing; one with sausage, one with water chestnuts, raisins and mushrooms, and a simple no-frill batch. Of course we also have mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls and an ample supply of pies and cakes that our families bring in.
I have to admit, I am not a fan of homemade cranberry sauce. The truth is my entire family loves the canned cranberry sauce straight from the can. It’s like mayonnaise for me – it’s got to be the real kind (that one that begins with an “H”) none of this fancy, fat free, olive oil stuff. And speaking of mayonnaise, here is my heaven-in-a-sandwich Thanksgiving special. Cheap white bread, slices of turkey, mayo, stuffing and a slice of cranberry relish…add a blanket and a warm dog and it truly is a King kind of heaven on earth. I hope you will try one the recipes below and have a Happy Thanksgiving!
3 cups mashed turnips (I peel and steam the turnips)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Buttered bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 75F. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and salt and pepper to taste. Combine in buttered casserole dish and top with bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes at 375F. This makes a side for 8 people – I usually triple the recipe for special occasions.
Stuffing with Water Chestnuts:
8 cups large bread crumbs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
6 ounces mushrooms, quartered
8 ounces water chestnuts, chopped
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoons dried sage
½ tablespoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces chicken broth
Preheat oven to 375F. Sauté celery, onion and mushrooms in olive oil and butter. In a large bowl combine bread crumbs and the sautéed vegetables. Add all other ingredients and mix well. Bake in a large, buttered baking dish (covered) for 45 minutes.
November in Pennsylvania is typically known as a “dreary” month, so it’s the perfect excuse for me to bring some spring into my house with flowering bulbs. When I’m lacking color and fragrance outside there’s nothing better than a houseful of spring bulbs to cheer me up!
Let’s start with the non-chilling bulbs - Amaryllis and Paper Whites. Since these bulbs are native to zones 8 and 9, they do not know “winter” and have no need for a cooling period. I love Paper Whites for many reasons - their simplicity, fragrance, ability to grow in pebbles, dirt or water…and these little beauties go from bulb to flowering plant within 4-6 weeks! I stagger my Paper Whites throughout December and January by planting a group at a time, so I have a blooming Paper White garden in my entryway for weeks. I know that many people consider Amaryllis to be a “Christmas” bloom (think the bright red flowers), but they come in a variety of colors like peach, lilac and whites too. If you can find them, you can plant Amaryllis bulbs indoors as early as October and have a beautiful flowering plant by mid to late November. Be sure to use large, heavy containers for these showstoppers so they don’t topple over. Think of all the arrangements you can create with Amaryllis as center-of-attention!
A few flowering bulbs that require a pre-chill before they bloom include tulips, hyacinth, crocus and daffodils. This simply means that the bulbs need a bit of cold to stimulate development and growth. I like to make containers this time of year with mixtures of spring bulbs (be sure that the mixture of bulbs share the same “chill times”) and some pots of all the same flowers such as daffodils. I take a bunch of bulbs (I suggest selecting the larger bulbs that will provide larger blooms) and place them in my containers that are ½ filled with potting soil. After arranging them in the containers, I water them well and cover with more potting soil and then lay a paper bag on top. I learned from experience to mark the containers – I like to use a small plant label or stick – because chances are good I will forget what I planted in which container. I keep them “in-chill” in my garage (even better a refrigerator in your garage) for the next few weeks (normally 15 to 17 weeks) and lightly water them once a week or so. Once you bring the containers inside, depending on the bulb, you can see blooms within a few short weeks.
And when you make your containers, remember to make a few extra – they make great hostess, birthday or “just because” gifts!
This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for the ability to stop the mad rush of design meetings and on-air appearances and take some time to enjoy the friends and loved ones I don’t get to see often enough. Living in such a fast paced world we forget to take a step back and really appreciate where we come from. I sometimes forget how wonderful New York City can be during the holidays. From Thanksgiving to New Years, the city becomes alive with colors and inspiration everywhere you go.
Thanksgiving at my house starts with a great view of the parade from our balcony. This year Aya will be with us and I can’t wait to watch the parade through Aya’s eyes. I love to see Aya watching the wonders of the parade. Then, as soon as Santa arrives on his sleigh, that’s my cue to put my drunk bird in the oven. My home is filled with the smell of turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing and more! Another great tradition of ours is to put lottery tickets underneath each place setting. I do this every year so that my guests have a little treat waiting for them as they finish their meal, but the rule is that 50% of their winnings go to the house fund ;) We love our little traditions. They keep our friends and families coming back for the holidays.
Tell me about your traditions with your families during Thanksgiving.
With Attitude (and Thanks!),
Everyone has heard me say a million times that “work isn’t work when you love what you do.” And I am so fortunate to live this every day. As a designer my greatest joy comes from gathering details about a client and creating an event or outdoor space that is “them.” What keeps my work interesting is that no two clients, events or spaces are the same. Weddings are one of the most special days to create and I design more than 75 or so each year. I consider each wedding celebration a privilege to be a part of and as each bride and groom remember all of the details to their special day – I do too.
For this recent wedding, when I met with the couple I asked them to describe themselves and their mutual likes. They talked of their love for family, nature, dogs, - especially rescues – and everything outdoors. The bride loves the “Great Gatsby” era of style and elegance, so we worked together all of the elements. I referred to the design as “Crystals Meet Burlap.” We had fire pits adorned with hay stacks, wool blankets and all of the makings for smores, vintage trunks served as ice chests, and a lot of silver cachepots, candlesticks, and mercury glass…
The wedding ceremony and reception took place at the family’s horse farm which made the day even more special (the groom proposed at the farm atop a tree stump the year earlier.) Family and friends alike with were thrilled to celebrate this most special occasion – and my husband Joe and I were proud to be included. It was an evening none of us will forget; filled with sentiment, devotion and laughter. Just like the newlyweds themselves.
I enjoy the scents and look of bringing fresh branches into my home for holiday garlands, arrangements, and centerpieces. I’ve found that if I treat certain types of greenery, I keep the look I want for much longer and can even save some for another time. (I do hate to throw away anything “real” see “Compost Anyone?” blog)
I love the look of white birch, it reminds me of lake fishing trips and snuggling around the fireplace. And preserving branches is easier than you would think – I simply dry them. I take a bunch of branches and tie them together – rubber band, string or anything handy. You want a dry, dark place to hang them for about three weeks – attic, garage or closet. Hanging the branches in a lit place will cause discoloring and if there is moisture in the area this can mold the branches. By simply drying the branches, you can still use some for kindling if you wish. An alternative to drying birch is to use a polyurethane matte spray varnish – this is just a further preserving method to drying. If you are going to use varnish, be sure to do this in a well ventilated area – I strongly suggest outdoors. Also, be sure to spray the entire branch – even where the branch was cut or broken from the tree. This will ensure that the branch is completely sealed.
To preserve small branches with leaves and/or berries and even ferns, I use a glycerin solution (this works wonderfully for Magnolia branches too.) You can find glycerin at your local art supply store or even pharmacy. Take freshly cut branches and crush the lower 2 inches of the branch. This will help the branch soak up the glycerin mixture. I use a hammer or even a kitchen mallet. In a large container, bucket or vase, mix 1 part glycerin to 2 parts water. Like my drying process, I store the containers in my garage and leave for about 2 weeks so the branches absorb the mixture. I suggest you check on the containers after the first week in case the branches have depleted the solution. If so, add more solution as an extra week or two will only be more beneficial for your results.
As you know, I do like to mix styles so why not add some embellishments to the natural look of the preserved branches? How about spraying some seeded eucalyptus, pine cones or dried pomegranates a glossy silver or gold and weave into your boughs of greens? Feathers are festive too – add a few pheasant feathers to your centerpieces and garlands. And one last bit of fun – you can spray glue branches and sprinkle or dip them into glitter. Everything deserves a bit of sparkle especially around the holidays, don’t you think?
What will you be doing this time next week? Traveling home for the holiday? Doing the grocery shopping? Tidying up? If you’re feeling a little panicked, don’t. You’ve still got plenty of time to get everything in order. In fact, I'll bet you even have time to personalize your holiday table. Here are three easy DIY projects that add up to create one terrific table. Do one, or do them all.
I think every table needs to have a colorful centerpiece. And in the fall, I like to use pumpkins. I love pumpkins...the color, the shape, the size, the smell. And, I really do have them everywhere in and outside my home right now. A pumpkin makes a terrific vase for a fall arrangement. Here’s how I made this one:
You will need:
If you’re all done “carving” pumpkins for the season, you can always use faux pumpkins from the local craft store. They look great...and you can use them year after year. And, did you notice the silver and gold gourds? I showed you how to make those last week if you missed it!
This idea couldn’t be easier—or more budget friendly. And, I love how it emphasizes that Thanksgiving is about family and being together.
Here’s how you make this:
You will need:
Now, you might consider adding new hand prints to the same runner year after year. It could almost be like a growth chart...which my kids always loved. Whether you add new turkeys or not, you and your family will cherish those tiny prints many years later.
Do you play the “I’m thankful for...” game at your holiday table? We always make time to go around the table before we eat and I think it helps us all remember what the day really means. I chose to make "thankful" place mats for my table, but you could also do a table runner if the turkeys aren't your style.
Here’s how you make this:
You will need:
There are more great (and fast) autumn DIY ideas on QVC.com and there are a ton of great holiday recipes, including my Dumpy Pumpkin Cake which we staged on our Thanksgiving table. Have a terrific night, everyone…I’m thankful that you allow me to do these fun projects!
From my home to yours,
Calista Tools new Hot Wavers Today’s Special Value offer is HOT HOT HOT! Have a styling question you’re dying to ask? The Calista Tools Team will share styling tips from Maria McCool herself and answer all your questions throughout the day on November 22nd. Can’t wait to chat with you!
During Thanksgiving, it can be so tempting to give your fur babies a taste of the big meal!
But the fat, grease, and herbs are trouble for our furry friends. Instead, here's a special treat for your canine friends that they'll ''gobble'' up! It's yummy and healthy for them, and best of all, you can make it yourself! Of course, if you know your dog has a sensitive tummy, or has any dietary restrictions, ALWAYS check with your vet to see if they can dig into this treat. Some vets recommend not giving your dogs turkey, and you could substitute chicken.
1 lb ground turkey
1 cup cooked rice (brown or whole grain is best)
4 oz peas
1-1/2 carrots, diced
1/2 apple, diced
Preheat oven to 375°F. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well (using a hand blender or by hand).
On a baking sheet, form the mixture into the shape of a large dog bone. Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes. Let cool and serve.
It's so fun to make this, and really makes you feel like your including the pups in the big day! Be sure to check out my toGather collections for Pet Lovers, and please share pictures of YOUR animals on my Facebook page anytime! Happy Gobble Day to you and all your fur babies!!
Well Thursday November 20th at 10:00 AM I have my last edition of Home for the Holidays with Dan show, for the year. So I thought for a moment that maybe we should just talk about why we decorate for Christmas. After all, the whole show is dedicated to Christmas lights, and trees, and things that sparkle and shine. And I am not talking about my usual history lessons on who did what and when they first did it, (Although, Martin Luther was credited with being the first to bring a tree into his home and lighting it for the holiday back in the 16th century). NO, I want to discuss the "WHY" we do it. The psychology behind all of this madness. Let's face it, it really doesn't make sense.
We spend money on decorations that probably could be better spent elsewhere. It's cold outside and all of us are already much too busy for such nonsense. I have spent countless hours outside on a ladder in the pitch black of night or up on icy roof ledges when any sane individual would be inside by a roaring fire, that's just plain foolish. And I am no child any more, I am a man now approaching my mid-fifties and you would think I would have matured past the point where things that sparkle no longer fascinate me.
So let's all agree the whole practice of stringing lights and garland, standing outside freezing our tails off is, illogical, foolish, immature and nonsense.........
Now before you think I went "bah hum bug" on you, those are all the good reasons we do it.!
You see, Christmas is the time of year when we all try just a little bit harder, to be the good people we wish we took the time to be all year long. Life today is so busy that we forget to take the time to be fascinated. A single plastic electric light bulb can never compare to the glory and grandeur of a single star in the night sky. And those stars are there all year, on most any given night for us to enjoy. But like I said, we get busy and we simply forget to look. We don't take the time. For those of us who love this time of year and take the time to decorate, the process itself pleads us, implores us, to slow down and just enough to take it all in.
When we were children we didn't worry about what made sense and what didn't. We did things because they were fun. As children we didn't concern ourselves with being mature or looking foolish, we just played for the simple joy of the action itself. And as far as logical, there was joy in believing that reindeer could fly. And that the world was good and people still cared.....When we transform our homes for those quick few days between Thanksgiving and New Years we are actually transforming ourselves. It is not so much about the decorations and the lights as it is how they make us feel. We want to believe in all that is good and amiable. And just believing that it might be true is what starts the path way that makes it true.
Christmas lights remind us to be children. That sense of wonder and awe that we tend to grow up and grow out of. Our lighting displays here on the farm tend to be a little exaggerated a tad over the top. But when I am outside in the cold, on a star lit night, I find myself looking upward and being humbled by what I cannot, and would never attempt to compete with. And when a neighbor drives by and sees them, if they smile even for a moment, even while thinking that guy is nuts for doing all that work, without me even being aware of it at that moment, the question is asked, did I make a difference?
So call me foolish, illogical or even immature, but on Christmas eve I will still put out cookies. And just maybe I will take a bite of one for my wife's amusement in the morning.
To answer your question, yes Virginia there is a Santa Clause, and any and all of you will be hard pressed to convince me otherwise.
Merry Christmas to everyone and thank you so much for your support and understanding of my show.
You can find me on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/DanHughesQVC
When the cold weather starts to set in, there is nothing like a bowl of tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich. I added some veggies and chicken to this classic soup recipe for a hardy stick to your ribs meal. Served with a Brie BLT (Brie, bacon, lettuce & tomato grilled sandwich)!
Creamy Tomato Soup with Chicken
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped carrots
1 small chopped onion
1 cup chopped mushrooms
2 cloves minced garlic
Couple handfuls of fresh kale
8 oz. tomato sauce
8 oz. crushed tomato
1-cup coconut milk
1-cup chicken stock
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
Salt & pepper
Directions: Season chicken breasts with salt & pepper. Set pressure cooker to brown/sauté. Add oil. Sauté onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms & kale until softened. Add tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, coconut milk, chicken stock, sat & pepper, and stir. Add chicken. Lock the lid in place and set pressure cooker time to 30 minutes.
You can find me on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/JayneBrownQVC
Santa Baby put some clothing, jewelry, tools, toys etc. under the tree for me...I just received the first of probably many wish lists from my daughter Chelsea. Of course she also asked me what I wanted Santa to bring me too.
Did you know that qvc.com has a wish list feature? You can create your own personal registry. Throughout the year when I see great products that I would love to try, I add them to my wish list. As I get closer to the holiday I check/edit my list and I can email it directly to James and the girls.
How do you get Santa to bring you exactly what you want? Create a Wish List!!
Here is where you can see your wish list (once you create it).. click on Wish List:
When you see an item you like, click add to Wish List.
If you haven't signed in already, you would need to sign in to your account or create one.
Now you can send your Wish List to friends or family! Just put their email address in the email section and click send!
And Viola.. Santa will bring you Q-Presents!
You can find me on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/JayneBrownQVC