10 2015 Oct

Ready Get Set, It’s Pumpkin Carving Time!

Pumpkin Carving kitOctober is here and everywhere we look there are pumpkins galore!  Of course these days we get to choose between different colored pumpkins along with a multitude of shapes and sizes.  For the real purest, carving pumpkins doesn’t just mean carving a Jack O’ Lantern face but saving the seeds to roast plus seeing who can carve the most intricate pattern.  A book written to help is titled Extreme Pumpkins: Diabolical Do-It-Yourself Designs to Amuse Your Friends and Scare Your Neighbors.  Then there’s the all-inclusive Halloween Pumpkin Carving and Seed Roasting Kit with Pumpkin Light and Stencil Set or for some more crazy fun the Halloween Pumpkin Carving Kit – Pumpkin Teeth for your Jack O’ Lantern – Set of 18 glow in the Dark Buck Teeth.

Fortunately parents no longer have to use a dangerous butcher knife and warn their children to stand back in case that huge knife slips.  Blood everywhere would definitely put a damper on the pumpkin carving fun!  Much safer tools such as the Pumpkin Masters® Deluxe Pumpkin Carving Kit: 21 Pieces; 15 Patterns; Safer than Kitchen Knives to accomplish this chore have been invented and are packaged in just about any possible way.  An assortment of colored carving tools Colossal Pumpkin Carving Kit and fancy made-to last Brass and Walnut Pro Pumpkin Carving Tool Kit and electric Dremel Pumpkin Carving Kit are available as tool investments.  Or simply rely on Grampa Bardeen’s Family Pumpkin Carving Set! and enjoy!!

9 2015 Oct

5 Good Resources for Vintage Halloween Costumes

1920s Guide for 60 Vintage CostumesWould your friends say that your creativity, to echo Mel B, is “off the chain?”  Well you don’t need to let on that you’ve found some amazing resources that are actually vintage to help and guarantee you and your children won’t see their costume repeated by anyone else at a party this year.

Vintage is making another comeback, so take a look at some amazing vintage Halloween costume ideas.  How to Make Crepe Paper Costumes provides instructions for a variety of flowers, butterfly’s, bumble bees, and costume ideas from around the world to name a few.  Some of these costumes are a slip over style made to be worn over regular clothes and others are glue and/or sew varieties with a simple fabric foundation.  An additional volume is How to Make Crepe Paper Costumes – A 1930s Guide to Making 64 Vintage Costumes and Accessories that includes colonial dress for men and women, story book characters such as Little Bo Beep, fairies and a variety of wigs and hats.  The same author, Dennison, also lists Paper Costume Instructions for 15 Vintage Edwardian Designs and another Instructions and Illustrations for Over 60 Vintage Costumes.

For the more adventurous, there’s the GMG Studios Professional Mask Making book for Beginners for purchase along with a 12 oz. size of InstaMorph – Moldable Plastic.  This is a super strong material that molds into any shape when heat is applied.  So enjoy this Halloween remaining the creative costume maker extraordinaire!

6 2015 Oct

Pumpkins, Candy and Costume Fun!

What’s a Home and Garden website in October without a how-to section filled with Halloween ideas?  Whether carving Halloween pumpkins, gathering candy, constructing a special costume, or putting together decorations for a fabulous party, fall screams loud for new ideas!  Costume designs can be the most fun and the most aggravating all at the same time.  What mom doesn’t remember pulling all-nighters at a sewing machine to make their darling kindergarten child that animal or clown or princess costume?  And then there’s your teenager who decided at the last minute to throw on their football uniform or cheerleading outfit and go out trick-or-treating because they were “taking their younger sibling” door to door so you wouldn’t have to.

Distlefink Candle Magic HalloweenIn a complete 4-DVD set, the Halloween Craft Making and Costume Making activity resource teaches you step-by-step how to make a wide variety of costumes, trick or treat bags, tasty treats, to put on make-up and to even carve pumpkins.  Then there’s the Spooky Halloween Guide: 10 Must Know Things Towards Your Best Halloween Ever!  Whether looking for costume, food or decoration ideas, this fun book is also available for downloading to your Kindle.  And finally, if you are looking for adult costume ideas, The Halloween Handbook: 447 Costumes promises an imaginative collection!  Happy Halloween everyone!  More candy, costume and, yes, some candle ideas.  M&Ms Fun Size Halloween Costume Party Mix 19 oz Bag in Grocery & Gourmet Food, Free Stuff for Sewing Fanatics on the Internet and Distlefink Designs Candle Magic Halloween Candle Kit.

30 2015 Sep

Fast and Furious Yard Clean Up Tools!

4113Wt94fVL._SL210_It seems like it was just yesterday and it was 85 degrees outside but have you stepped outdoors lately?  The leaves have started falling everywhere on the decks, the porches, and the patios not to mention all over the shrubbery and the walkways.  It’s time to dig out the yard clean up tools and check to see that your trusty tools are working.  But alas, there is nothing more daunting than the whirring sound as you pull that cord to no avail.  You try checking the gas, the oil, the switch, the rope…anything to get the darn thing working.  Nothing works, and then you remember how many years you’ve had this machine and decide to order a new one.  Where to start, Carolina Home and Garden Products catches your attention so you begin there.  Finding a list of popular 3 in 1 Vacuum, Blower, Mulcher machines made by companies such as Black & Decker, WORX, Lawn Master, Remington, Troy-Bilt and Husqvarna, they range in price anywhere from $65 – $300 depending on the features you are looking for in your purchase.  Being sure to check out the Best Review guide to learn which machine will best fit your needs decides for you!  Soon, you’ll be ready once again to tackle that dreaded fall clean up!

29 2015 Sep

Tips on Bread Making Machines for This Fall’s Baking

PAC-20 Bread MakerEach fall as the temperature outside drops I head to the kitchen to bake, and, ever since discovering luxurious bread making machines, the job is so much easier!  Whether I’m looking to bake a simple loaf of white, wheat or rye, or am eagerly trying out a new recipe for brown nut bread, a cranberry orange or some variety of pumpkin, the bread making machine turns hours into what seems like just minutes.  Having the right machine for you is, of course, a must!  Some of the favorites rated by Best Reviews are:

Zojirushi Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker with Gluten Free Menu Setting is of consistent quality, bakes a variety of breads, doughs and cakes and bakes everything evenly every time.

Panasonic Automatic Bread Maker with Yeast Dispenser is easy to clean, with a non-stick inner bake pan from a quality company.  It boasts a 2 ½ pound capacity and is reasonably priced.

Cuisinart Programmable Breadmaker is a deluxe stainless steel machine with a variety of settings including pasta and gluten free.

Two machines priced under $75 are the Sunbeam Programmable Breadmaker, a good basic white plastic 12 setting machine, and the Oster Expressbake Breadmaker a lightweight easy to use machine with Teflon coated baking surfaces.

Happy Baking!

29 2015 Sep

It’s Time for a Color Boost!

Benjamin Moore Color SamplesIf you’re thinking it’s time for a color boost, try embracing one of the newest neutrals to freshen up and add warmth to your home.  Behind every color there is white or gold.  White gives off a cool clear vibe whereas gold gives off a warm comfortable feel.  What ‘feel’ are you going for in your room or house?  What do you want people to ‘feel’ when they walk in the front door of your home?  The warm neutrals so popular this fall say creamy, subtle, soft and comfortable.  So check out some of these paint colors but, while you are at it, don’t forget to add some fresh new textiles…pillows, wall hangings and those ever popular throws to snuggle up with on the couch!

Combine some of these colors to maximize that impression!
Apple Cider from Olympic – Amber from Benjamin Moore – Artic Tern from Nautica at Home – Deckled Edge from Ralph Lauren Paint – London Stone from Farrow & Ball

29 2015 Sep

Gourmet Foods for the Perfect Tailgate Party

Bull's Eye barbecue sauceIt’s football season and, whether you’re rooting for a team south of the Carolina border or north, football means a tailgate party!  What better way to have fun than to embrace All Things Carolina as you lay out your tailgate spread.  From Carolina garnet and black decorations in the south to Carolina blue and white in the north, check out items on our website from vendors like Creative Converting.

While you’re at it, add some spice by taking along a bottle of Bull’s Eye North Carolina Style Regional Barbecue Sauce, CATTLEMEN’S Master’s Reserve Carolina Tangy Gold BBQ Sauce or the hottest of them all Reaper Sling Blade Hot Sauce – Made with the Carolina Reaper! by CaJohns. Enjoy the GAME but be sure to enjoy the TAILGATE!  Also, consider using BBQ smoking wood chips for flavor.

20 2015 Apr

3 Keys When Buying Flannel Sheet Sets

Thomas Train flannel sheet setThey may be just sheets, like the red plaid that graced my boys twin beds every winter when they were kids, but today’s selection of flannel sheet sets come in all types.  Some are the typical kid friendly lightweight flannel variety but others are placed in the category of soft and luxurious!  So, ask yourself the three basics the next time you’re looking to buy a set of flannel sheets for snuggling between during those cold winter months!  Who are these sheets for, how fast do I need them to arrive and how much am I willing to spend.  With Amazon Prime membership the how fast question is answered but the other two may take a bit of browsing.

Kid sheets are colorful, sometimes need to be a bit fuzzy and always need some intrigue.  Whether your boys are into themes such as Dinosaurs, Thomas the Train, or sports or your girls are oohing and aahing over kitty cats, Disney princesses or all things PINK, there are gads of reasonably priced flannel sheet sets to choose between for them. And if this purchase is for the occasional family camping trip, you might want to think under $25 for basic solids or the Italian stripe in grey. But, on the other hand, if this is for your master retreat, otherwise known as the big bed in your house, why not splurge this once on the WOVEN Deluxe Portuguese Flannel or at least order the Genuine Egyptian Cotton variety! Don’t you deserve a bit of luxury sometimes!