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A Fresh Start....My goals for 2014


I love new beginnings....new years, new weeks, new seasons.   For me, a new beginning means a fresh start.  And I am in need of a fresh start.






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My Favorite Recipes of 2013


Friday I shared my favorite DIY projects of the year, and today I thought I'd share some of my favorite recipes.  Which one is your favorite?

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My Favorite DIY Projects of 2013


I can hardly believe that I have been blogging for over seven months now.  It has really become a part of my life and I am so excited about what 2014 will hold for anderson + grant.  With the new year beginning in just a few days, I thought I'd share my favorite DIY projects I've posted since May.  Enjoy!
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25 Days of Christmas Comes to an End



I know.....this does not technically count as a post about decorating, recipes, or DIY projects as part of my 25 Days of Christmas, but quite frankly I'm out of ideas and time.  I consider it a job well done that I had 23 days of projects along with an opening and closing post.   It's still 25 days that I posted in a row, which I'm surprised I was able to do!  Here is a recap of all the previous days posts all in one place for you in case you missed any of the other days.





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Some of my favorite Christmas ideas



Great ideas really seem to explode during the Christmas season in blogland, don't they?  Here is a little of what I found creative this season....


While it's not a new idea, I just love seeing all the toy trucks and cars with trees strapped to their roofs.  Over my Black Friday shopping weekend, I saw one at a consignment shop that used a vintage bottle brush tree with a vintage toy car (and you know my love of vintage!).  But, I didn't buy it and now regret it....I always regret what I don't buy.    This display from A Cultivated Nest is a great version of the idea, don't you think?  I'm loving the old looking truck.

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Favorite Blogger (Christmas Edition)....The Fancy Shack



I thought I'd share another one of my favorite blogs with you today.  The Fancy Shack is written by Kimberlee and she does an amazing job of putting together fantastic displays.  The recent Christmas tour of her house is actually what inspired me to blog about her here today.  There are very few blogs out there who I feel are really MY style, but Kimberlee's blog is one of them.





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Chocolate Covered Pomegranates



Covering something in chocolate makes just about anything taste better, don't you agree?  Being someplace where there is a chocolate fountain is just about like heaven for me.  Last year, I made a recipe  from  Pinterest for chocolate covered pomegranates and they were delicious!  I made them again this year with a little adjustment and thought I'd share the idea with you.


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Very Berry Double Chocolate Cookies



I love having new and different cookie recipes to try for my Christmas baking.  These cookies use two of my favorite ingredients.....berries and dark chocolate.  The recipe has been created from a couple of different cookie recipes and I think that the finished product is delicious.....almost like a brownie.  You'll love them!



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17 Ideas for Your Christmas Place Cards



Adding place cards to your Christmas table is a simple way to make your guests feel special....especially if the place card is something that they can take with them after the dinner is over.  Even if you have only a few guests and even if they have "their chair" where they always sit, adding their name to a space at the table makes them feel welcome.  There are so may ways to create unique place cards at Christmas incorporating nature, icons of Christmas like Santa or reindeer, photography, or ornaments.  




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What's For Christmas Dinner?



While the side dishes may vary, our Christmas Dinner always consists of prime rib as the meat.  The tradition started years ago after watching Martha Stewart create the dinner on her show.

Standing rib roast (another name for prime rib) is a traditional British dinner and is popular at the holidays.  It is a pricey cut of meat, but totally worth it for a nice meal.

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Painting a Merry Christmas Sign



At a yard sale over the summer, I purchased a tall wooden box that has a latch.  I'm not sure exactly what the box's original purpose was but I bought it figuring that I would figure out what to do with it later.  Since it was so skinny, I decided it would work well to turn the box on it's side and paint it like a sign.

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Gingerbread Waffles



On Christmas morning, I like to have something that is really easy to throw together for breakfast.  Who wants to be trying to prepare a meal when there are gifts to open?!??!





I wanted to find something with a "Christmas" taste, and thought what is better than gingerbread?  And one of the easiest breakfast foods to prepare is waffles.  They can even be made the night before and placed in the oven for about 10 minutes to warm in the morning.

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Nature Inspired Christmas Display






Has anyone else seen the Pier1 commercial featuring the little deer talking to his mother in the store?  If not, here is the YouTube video....go ahead and watch it....I'll wait.
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Creating a Hand Painted Snowman Pillow



Pottery Barn is always a source of inspiration for me.  I saw a painted snowman pillow that they have for sale and knew I wanted to do something similar.  Their pillow is made with a plain, neutral background, but I wanted something a little more eye catching.





Jo Ann Fabrics has a great red plaid print in the bolts of home decor fabric that I knew would be perfect.  Home decor fabric holds up better and makes a nicer pillow than regular weight fabric.

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Winter Inspired Mantel



The other day, I shared my Christmas tree that is decorated in silver, clear, and steel blues.  Since the mantel is right beside the tree, I wanted the two to coordinate.  In addition to sticking to the same colors, I also used silver German glass glitter and pinecones in both places.  Repeating different elements helps your theme to look cohesive between two objects.



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Creating Primitive Candy Canes



Candy canes are one of those "symbols" of the Christmas season that can fit into any decor.  I've created this great ornament that can be made very primitive or be left clean and modern.  They have an little added sparkle with a dusting of mica flakes.







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Winter Wonderland Decorated Christmas Tree



For me, the Christmas tree is probably my most important Christmas decoration.  If I did no other decorating at Christmas, I would still need to have a tree up.  I'm happy adding some garlands and a few meaningful decorations around my space, but the tree is a must have.







As I mentioned before, I like to do something different with my Christmas tree each year.  I was really torn with how to decorate it this year, though.  I finally opted to do a wintery tree inspired by the wrapping paper I purchased for my holiday gifts.  The tree actually ended up silver and clear, if you can consider clear a color!

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Country Christmas Tablescape



Yesterday I shared the steps I take to create a perfect centerpiece.  I was creating it using a country Christmas theme and I'd like to share how I finished off my table with the same theme.




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Tips for Creating the Perfect Centerpiece



Last month, I shared tips with you about how to set the perfect table.  One of the most important parts of the perfect table is the centerpiece, so now I'd like to take you step by step through how I create one for my table.  And a centerpiece doesn't just have be for dinner around the table.  If it is done correctly, a centerpiece can look beautiful anytime!





I was in the mood for a little bit of country for my Christmas table.  It is easier to decorate a table if you have a theme in mind.
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Old Fashioned Ginger Cookies




With all the fabulous, creative cookie recipes out there, sometimes I still like to go traditional.  And what is more traditional that a ginger cookie at Christmas?  This recipe makes delicious, chewy cookies that I think you'll love!
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Repurposed Log Carrier Bag





I'm always on the lookout for unique items that I can paint pictures on.  I was at a sale and found this great old log carrier bag.  It has been used and shows some wear but was a perfect surface for adding a snowman.
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Decorating a Vintage Sled for Christmas



Last November, I found a vintage sled at an antique store and bought it to decorate for Christmas.  I purchased a swag of greenery that had berries, pinecones, and snow from Hobby Lobby, as well as a big spool of plaid ribbon from Michaels.  Right after Christmas I put it all together knowing that it would be perfect to sell at my open house almost a year away.  It turned out beautiful and was super easy to make.


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Using Jars to Create Fabulous Christmas Gifts







Libbie, one of my friends from college, contacted me about collecting some ideas for her that involved using recycled bottles for Christmas gifts.   She has a lot of gifts to give to her family and likes to find an inexpensive way to give each person a little something.  When she brought up the suggestion, I had no idea how many great ideas I'd find!
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Making Oven Baked Corn



One of my favorite side dish recipes is for baked corn.  It has a pudding like texture when it is done and is a good old-fashioned recipe.  Plus, it's a breeze to create and can be made using just one dish!





Normally this side dish is made in a large baking dish and all the ingredients can be mixed right into that dish.  I wanted to do something a little special, though, and decided to bake the corn in individual ramekins.  They turned out perfectly and the only change I made was that I mixed the ingredients in a separate bowl and poured the mix into the ramekins.










To make the baked corn, you'll need:

1 can cream style corn
4 egg yolks
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon melted butter
1 cup milk
2 Tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 beaten egg whites




Combine all the ingredients except for the egg whites.




Fold the beaten egg whites into the rest of the ingredients.



If you are making the corn in ramekins, pour the ingredients into the individual dishes.  They could have actually been filled a little more than I did in the picture above.  The corn will puff up a bit as it bakes, though, so don't fill it to the top of the dish.




Bake the corn in the oven at 300 degrees for one hour.  Oddly enough, the baking time was the same for the ramekins as it was for the large baking dish.  When the baked corn is done, it will be firm in the center and will start to pull away from the edges of the dish.





Serve the baked corn straight from the oven.  It can also be reheated in the oven or microwave.





So what do you think?  Will you try this for your Christmas dinner this year?






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Making A Snowman from a Screwdriver



I am always on the lookout for something old and beaten up that I can turn into something totally different.  These snowman screwdrivers do just that!





I was shopping at a store called Surplus City, outside of Altoona, PA.  They have an enormous amount of craft supplies, home decor, and tools. (Perfect store for husbands and wives to shop in together!!!!)  I was wandering through the tool section and came across a whole bucket full of rusty vintage screwdrivers.....3 for a $1!!!   Who could turn down that deal?  I bought a bunch and immediately my mind was going trying to figure out what I could create.

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Favorite Christmas Songs



I enjoy a mix of new and old when it comes to music at Christmas time.  There are some songs you just have to listen to at Christmas time because they've been played for so many years.  Others are new and fresh and something a little different.
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