Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Share Your Christmas Card and Link Up!

Today I am co hosting a link up with Kara from Ramblings of a Marine Wife to see all of your Christmas cards.

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It has been more years than I want to admit since I have sent out a Christmas card. We receive so many wonderful cards every year from friends and family from all over, sometimes from around the world. We always enjoy them so much, especially the ones that have a picture on them. So I thought, why don't I order some cards and send them out this year.....So I started searching our pictures trying to find one that would work. Found nothing taken recently that would really work. Forget asking the teenager to pose for a new picture just for a Christmas card, no way, such a rebel, cough, cough..... I decided that a card, even without a picture, would be better than no card. Now to find one....Oh boy.... I found one that I really liked, simple, the graphics and the colors used were nice so I ordered them. When they arrived, I did not like them at all! Too simple and did not convey our message. Now what????
After getting reassurance that they were not THAT BAD, I decided that they would work if I wrote a little something on each one. So that is what I did and now I am glad that I sent them out. A new tradition is born!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Bloody Mary’s Count As A Salad

I am so happy and excited to be the special guest co-host for the Bloody Mary's Count as a Salad blog hop! As you know, I am pretty new to the blogging world and I honestly am having so much fun learning how to blog, finding new things around Maggie's Garden to blog about, and the best part, I am realizing, is meeting all the wonderful fellow bloggers out there! Thanks again to my wonderful daughter-in-law for encouraging me to try again and stick with my blog. Be sure to check out her blog, Ramblings of A Marine Wife So make sure that you visit all the blog hosts, enjoy their musings, and say hello!

Welcome to Bloody Marys Count as a Salad # 23

Bloody Marys Count as a Salad

What's with the name?  We named it Bloody Mary’s Count as a Salad, because anything goes in this hop! Need to vent? Go for it! Need to say something snarky? DO IT!  Or do you just want to share your blog and/or a specific post?  We'd love to read it!  Anything you want to share, we want to see it!

And introducing a social aspect of the hop!  Each week we will feature a different social media linkup.  This week is Instagram!  Link up your blog in the first linkup and your Instagram URL in the second linkup!  

Of course, there are a few rules, we aren't going for hop chaos here!

  1. Follow your hosts and each weeks special guest co-host.
  2. Link up your blog or specific blog post.  Whatever you’d like to share is ok with us!
  3. Visit 3-4 other blogs and say hello!  Try to be nice and follow those who follow you.  And don’t forget to say hi to your hosts if you are new!
  4. Grab the link up button and put it in your side bar, in your post, or put our link on your link up party page.
  5. Not mandatory, but we’d love to have you share our hop with others.  Tweet it, post about it, or share it on Facebook.  We’ll love you forever if you do… And it might help you grab a co-host spot next week.

Don't Forget to follow your Hosts and special Co-Host:

               A Girl                                                                           Erin                                                                        Kara
A Boy, A Girl, and the Marine Corps                 Unconventional Mommy Tails                             Ramblings of  Marine Wife

Special Guest Host: Maggie- Maggie's Garden 

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thanksgiving Table

This year for Thanksgiving we  headed up to my husband's Godparent's house for some wonderful food and company. We are never disappointed!
We also got to meet a special new guest at the ranch that day. Meet Vinnie. What a cutie pie!

 The Godparents live on a 40 acre ranch about a 45 minute drive from our house. When I met my husband 23 years ago, he lived in a caretaker's residence on the ranch.
We got married there and lived the first year of our marriage in that caretaker's residence. Loving, happy memories are happily relived when we go visit.

But I am getting way off subject here.........Our family celebrated Thanksgiving on the Saturday after Thanksgiving Day so that all of us could be together. Reality of blended, divorced families. I say whatever works for us to be together!
 So, hubby smoked a small turkey and a ham. I made a pumpkin pie and all the usual side dishes. Everything turned out delicious and we had a good time being together as usual.
This year I wanted to do something a little different. We usually all sit around, eat way too much, then do not want to do much after that. Big E, our 9 year old granddaughter always wants to play games while all the adults are sitting stuffed around the table talking. I decided to make it so everyone was happy. I printed out some crossword puzzles, word search, and word scramble pages related to Thanksgiving with prizes for the person who got the most words correctly in 5 minutes. It was a big hit, especially with Big E!
Here is the link if you want to take a look and save for next year.

I also wanted to do something a little different for my Thanksgiving dinner table setting. While I love my farmhouse table, I have wanted to change the top for a long time. I plan on removing the existing top and replace with pine plank boards. Until then, I wanted something different and fun.
  It has been used and abused over the years and looks worn and dirty, not distressed like I want. Water spots and stains are an eyesore. As you can see from this picture. I usually hide this under a table cloth when company comes.

So I used a new product for me called Klean Strip Sander Deglosser that I purchased at Home Depot. I liked how I did not have to do any sanding to remove the shine finish and water stains.

After I wiped this off, ( I recommend using TSP if you have alot of built up on your project ), it was ready to paint. I wanted to have a chalk board surface so that family and guests could have some fun while sitting at the dining table.
I applied 3 very thin coats of chalk board paint with a small roller letting each coat dry for at least 4 hours.

After letting the paint cure for 3 days, I then used chalk to cover the surface to "season" it and make it ready for writing on.

I also found a table runner on Pinterest that I liked and it looked simple to make. Check it out on my Pinterest Board, "projects I want to try"
I purchased some burlap. I already had the stencils and black paint. Then I did some research on how to "wash" or prepare the burlap for my project. So many sites said to wash the burlap in the washing machine, and an equal amount of sites said to never wash burlap. Now I was really confused. Then I found a wonderful site that explained that you can remove the odor of the burlap and "wash" it all in one step by ironing the burlap on the highest setting with alot of steam. It worked great!!

Now I wanted to add a frayed edge to my table runner. Just gently pull out a few of the strings of burlap on the edge until you have the look you want. Easy!!!

Then I aligned a straight line with painter's tape on the burlap for my stenciling. Once the letters were exactly where I wanted them to be I used a small sponge to dab the paint on the burlap to form the words THANKFUL and on the other end of the table runner GATHER.

I was really happy with the end product and it was so easy to make!
Here are some pictures of our table set for Thanksgiving.

And of course, the table would not be complete if it did not have a special place setting for our military who could not be home for Thanksgiving with their families. All gave some, some gave all. We will never forget.

As I said before, we played the word games after everyone was finished eating. I also made circles under each plate and once the plates were taken away, I set out chalk and asked everyone to write what they were thankful for in the circle. I took pictures to keep them forever.

By the end of the day, the table was a big hit with the family. We sat around and laughed, told stories, gave each other a bad time ( especially the oldest grandson ), wrote out our blessings, doodled, drew pictures, and loved. 
What a wonderful day.

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