The jack-o-lantern is about to get a much deserved makeover!
There are so many new and whimsical ways to add pumpkins in to your home decor -the new trends are bright, modern, and playful and offer more livable options – decorations that you don’t mind leaving up for longer than just Halloween night!
Pumpkin Trends for 2016
CHIC ALERT Metallics are all the rage – try spraying your pumpkins in gold or dripping gilded pastel paint for instant abstract art!
CUTE ALERT Have a little fun by adding text to your pumpkins – use a stencil, buy ready made letter decals OR paint your pumpkins in chalkboard paint and use chalk to scribe away!
PLAYFUL ALERT Go abstract and grab a paintbrush to paint playful dots!
PRETTY ALERT Carve out a vessel for plants and bouquets to live for an instant centerpiece!
xo chic farm girl.
I use my family recipe for strawberry freezer jam. And, honestly, once you have homemade jam, its hard to go back to storebought.
This is my go to recipe:
- 4 cups of crushed berries (1L)
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar (375 mL)
- Package of fruit pectin* (I prefer Clubhouse Garden Fare No Cook Freezer Jam gelling powder)
1. Wash and rinse containers. 2. Wash and hull your berries. 3. Blend all of your strawberries in the food processor. 4. Place prepared [4 cups fruit] in large mixing bowl. 5. Gently stir in 1½ cups of sugar and allow to stand for 15 minutes. 6. Slowly sprinkle gelling powder a little at a time onto fruit mixture while stirring for 3 minutes. 7. Allow to stand for 5 minutes. 8. Gently stir again for 1 minute. 9. Pour jam into jars, leaving 1 inch (2.5 cm) head space. Seal tightly.
Jam is ready to eat! No standing time is required.
*The fruit pectin directions often will tell you to “not puree” your berries. I use my food processor because I do not like big chunks in my jam. But, you can still use your food processer and get chunks. Just use your pulse button. Super EASY.
You then need to store the jam in the refrigerator and use within 6 weeks, or you can freeze your jam for up to one year (next berry season!) and enjoy fresh summer jam all winter long!
To defrost the jam, just place in the fridge overnight and it will be ready for you in the morning.
Easter preparations are under way for most keeners like me.
I like to do things simple… but simple doesn’t mean not cute or darn right adorable! This year, I am making paper bag bunnies to hold each place setting’s cutlery, complete with cottonball tails!
Easter is one of my favourite holidays to decorate – after a long winter, the practice of adding spring-like colour back in to our decor is a welcome guest!
Here are some of my favourite Easter place setting ideas.
Happy Easter Everyone!
These cookies are the prettiest cookies to give and a favourite to eat! Experiment with cutting different shapes for the top (letters, flowers, circles, snowflakes – any smallish cookie cutter works). I like keeping the little cutouts and baking them up as they are – but, you can also incorporate them back in to the dough.
- 1/2 cup Butter
- 2 cups Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 5 cups White Flour
- 2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/2 cup raspberry jam, strained
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition. Sieve in the flour, baking powder and salt and mix well until a dough forms.
- Store the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut out 25 – 30 rounds using a round cookie cutter. Cut smaller shapes out of the center of half of the rounds. Place them all on a parchement lined baking tray.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat jam in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced and thickened, about 6 minutes, leave to cool.
- When the cookies are done, remove the tray from oven and allow to cool.
- To assemble, sandwich the whole rounds and the cut-out rounds together with prepared jam.
- Once the jam is set, dust with icing sugar.
I host Christmas dinner at my home every year. I love making special touches to the table settings that capture the magic of Christmas and coordinate with my playful decorations already in my home.
Think outside-of-the-box and use unexpected items like miniature stockings (or mittens) for napkin rings, personalized cookies for placecards, and make party hats or Christmas crackers.
Here are some of the cutest ideas I’ve found for setting your festive table in style this season!