What's On The Menu This Thanksgiving?

Today I got my menu laid out for Thanksgiving and I always like to share what my family is cooking up, as well as hear what everyone else is going to be grubbing on this year!  I always get some great ideas from looking over everyone's menus.  This year I am in need of some good appetizer ideas, as I am wanting some fresh new additions so I haven't added those to my menu yet.  So I would love to hear everyone's Thanksgiving menus, especially any appetizer ideas you may have, and if you have recipe links - do share!

Our Menu:

2 Chocolate Peanut Butter Pies - They go really fast!  Recipe here (you won't regret it!)
Pumpkin Pie
Loaded Mashed Potatoes with Gravy
Cranberry-Pineapple Minis - First year trying this one - Recipe here!
Green Bean Casserole
Candied Yams
Sparkling Apple Cider

Tips To Help Keep Your Plants Protected This Winter


Tips To Keep Your Plants Safe

You put a lot of work into your garden and plants. Be sure to not let all that work go to waste by using the following tips to keep your plants safe from winter weather. Here you will also find listed some ideas for winter plants to use around your home that stand up nicely to the harsh chill of winter.

Handy Tips


  1. To prepare ahead of time for winter weather when planting new plants, consider planting them close to the house where they will have some protection from the wind.
  2. When possible, consider bringing plants indoors and out of the harsh winter weather. A greenhouse or a shed are good places to consider.
  3. Apply mulch fairly thickly over your plants during winter months. Mulch acts as a great insulator, but be sure to rake back the mulch once the weather warms back up!
  4. Spare milk jugs can be very useful in helping plants retain heat during the night. Simply paint your empty milk jugs black and fill with water. Then, if you are getting some limited sun during the day you can let the milk jugs warm up, and then place them around your plants at night to keep the surrounding area from reaching freezing levels. If you have no limited sun you can place your jugs indoors for the day before placing them outside around your plants.
  5. Another tactic that proves useful is by placing tomato cages around the plants you are most worried about. Use this frame to wrap fabric or burlap around it. This will help the plant stay guarded from the weather.

Winter Plants


Below are a list of some plants that seem to do well in the winter months. You may want to consider planting some of the following:
* Camellias - These beautiful flowers come in a variety of species that suit winter weather perfectly including the Frost Prince and Snow Flurry varieties
* Japanese Maple - This tree not only provides beautiful color changing leaves during the fall months, but during the winter months this tree will stand through the winter months very well when mulched
* Snowdrops -(Here are some beautiful flowers that can withstand snowy conditions. Like the Japanese maple, mulch is suggested for additional protection against winter weather conditions
* Berry Bushes - Berry bushes fair very well during the winter months. Some good varieties to consider are chinaberry and chokecherry. Not only will these bushes do well in the winter weather, they will also provide food for the local birds during months when their food supply can be scarce

Tip 1: Mulch works as a great insulator!
Tip 2: Bring potted plants indoors during the winter when possible
Tip 3: Avoid watering your plants during freezing climates

Gift Ideas For a Couple's First Christmas

Make The First Christmas Together Extra Special!

A couple's first Christmas is a joyous occasion! Giving a personalized gift that recognizes this special occasion is a great way to bring an added special touch to the holidays. First Christmas gifts are a wonderful way to preserve this memory. This article gives some great ideas on gifts that are perfect for your better half, or for the loved ones in your life.

1)  For a unique gift idea, take saved photos of the couple and make them into a personalized slideshow with music on a DVD.

2)  Giving the gift of an ornament to celebrate a couple's first holiday season together is a touching gesture that can adorn the tree for years to come!

3)  How about pampering your spouse or the newly married couple on your gift giving list with a couples massage?

4)  Compiling photos of the happy couple in a personalized photo album also makes a very sentimental gift that will be much appreciated!

5)  Another fantastic idea is creating a gift basket with movies, popcorn, and candy that the couple can use for a date night in.  Or, another alternative is to gift the couple a restaurant or movie gift card to create the perfect the night out!


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