Coloring Pages For Thanksgiving (:

 These Coloring pages are super cute for Thanksgiving & Humoring !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Holiday Crafts You’ll Love

red and white pillows

 

Joyful Pillows

Upgrade store-bought throw pillows in a jiffy with simple appliqués. To make them, type JOY into a word-processing document, using a font you like. Enlarge each character to full letter-page size. Print, then cut out the letters and trace them onto white felt; cut out. Next, pin strips of fusible bonding web, such as Stitch Witchery ($2.99; joann.com), to the back of each felt letter. Center each one (with webbing underneath) on a pillowcase and carefully remove the pins. Iron on according to the package instructions. Once the letters have adhered, add decorative stitching with embroidery thread, if desired.

 
 
hannukah menorah craft

Hannukah Menorah Craft

Arrange a memorable menorah in minutes! Who knew plain old salt and pepper shakers could look so sophisticated? Simply unscrew the tops, fill each shaker with decorative blue sand, and place a menorah candle inside. Once the candles melt down, use tweezers to remove residual wax before reusing.
 
 
glass ornaments
 

Upgrade a Plain Glass Ornament

At around a dollar each, these empty orbs offer an affordable catalyst for creativity. Fill one with small wooden chips, another with a single stunning peacock feather (attached to the ornament’s top with hot glue). Or compose a more obvious Christmas scene by dropping a model fir tree into a globe dusted with artificial snow. You can also use tweezers to position branches inside and even hot-glue a tiny cardinal in place.

(Ornaments, starting at $4.99 for four, and cardinal, $1.99; michaels.com for stores. Peacock feathers, $2.99 for three, and artificial snow, $2.99; joann.com. Wood chips, $3 for 4.8 ounces; walmart.com for stores. Model tree, from $2.99; hobbylinc.com)

 

Christmas Tree Skirt

A literal take on the Christmas tree skirt, this resourceful project makes clever use of old duds gathering dust in your closet. All you need are two kilts (or other pleated skirts) in complementary colors and a little sewing know-how. For instructions, visit countryliving.com/tree-skirt.
 
 
 
 

Snow Globes

For a cooler-than-cool stocking stuffer, create a mini winter wonderland with a snow-globe kit ($13.95 for two; snowdomes.com). Here’s how to get the ball rolling:

Step 1: Decide what you’d like to put in your globe (we chose cupcake toppers from fancyflours.com), keeping in mind that plastic and ceramic work best underwater.

Step 2: If desired, cover your globe’s base. Since ours feature outdoor scenes, we used sheets of model-train “grass” ($2.49; modeltrainstuff.com), adhered with waterproof epoxy. Spray with Watco’s clear lacquer ($7.99; woodcraft.com); let dry.

Step 3: Position your figure on the base; affix with the epoxy.

Step 4: Once the epoxy has dried, attach the dome to the base and fill with distilled water and the included snow, following the kit’s instructions. To hide the seam where the base and dome meet, use glue dots to affix a decorative ribbon around the globe’s circumference. Looks like it’s a small world, after all.

 
w Thumbnails

Crafty Kits

Instead of a single present, treat loved ones to a customized kit packed with stuff they’re sure to use — buttons, thread, and needles for a friend who likes to sew; polishes, brushes, and buffing cloths for a well-dressed dad; or cookie cutters, sprinkles, and icing tubes for a friend who bakes. To re-create these kits, start by spraying a clean tin (we used old metal cookie containers) with Rust-Oleum Universal All-Surface paint in white; let dry. Next, download an image to match the tin’s contents at countryliving.com/dec-templates. Print the silhouette and cut out, then spray the back with adhesive. Using a pair of craft tweezers, pick up the graphic and place it, right side up, on the tin’s lid. Once it dries, coat the lid and base with a spray sealer (try Krylon’s Make It Last) and let dry. Use black card stock, cut to the tin’s dimensions, to create dividers, if desired. Then fill with your goodies
 
 

Enjoy some good clean fun with these easy-to-make soaps, shaped using animal-themed cookie cutters ($3.99 for six; ikea.com for stores). For your own menagerie, heat a medium-size chunk of melt-and-pour glycerin ($6 for two pounds; sweetcakes.com) over a double boiler or in the microwave. While it melts, place the cutters in a deep metal baking pan. Once the glycerin liquefies, tint it with food coloring, then pour it in the middle of each cutter so the glycerin fills it to the top (use only one soap color per pan, in case any spills over). Spray with rubbing alcohol and let sit until the glycerin hardens. Using a knife, cut around the inside of the cookie cutter, then gently press the soap through to release it. Wild!

 
 
 

A sweet alternative to store-bought cards, these greetings put your tree-decorating skills to work — on a small scale. Download our illustration at countryliving.com/dec-templates, and print in color onto 8 1/2- by 11-inch card stock. Fold the stock in half lengthwise, creasing with a bone folder. For the card at top left, attach small bugle beads and paillettes to the tree (use craft glue for all designs). To replicate the middle version, cut out ornaments (made by tracing a button), a tree base, and a star from patterned fabrics and adhere. Make the last card by zigzagging a length of ribbon across the tree. Fold the ends under and glue, then try other widths of ribbon to craft a base, star, and gift. Or use your imagination, and whatever supplies you have on hand, to make your own one-of-a-kind cards.

 
 

4th Of July Dinner & Ideas

MAKE A REAL AMERICAN MEAL THIS 4TH OF JULY

(This can also be used for Father’s Day)

 

-Grilled Pork Tenderloin With Corn on the Cob-

Total Time : 1 hr 0 min
Prep : 35 min
Cook : 25 min
Makes : 4 servings

Ingredients
For the pork and corn:

1 tablespoon paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 small pork tenderloins (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
4 ears corn, husked

For the sauce:

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher salt

Directions

Make the pork: Combine the paprika, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, the brown sugar, cumin, mustard powder, onion powder and garlic powder in a bowl. Rub the olive oil all over the pork, then coat with the spice rub. Wrap each tenderloin tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate 3 to 6 hours.

Make the sauce: Combine the vinegar, 1/2 cup water, the brown sugar, ketchup, red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves; remove from the heat.

Remove the pork from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before grilling. Preheat a grill to medium high. Cook the pork, turning occasionally, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 140 degrees F to 145 degrees F, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, brush the corn with olive oil; grill, turning, until marked, about 5 minutes. Slice the pork and drizzle with the sauce. Serve with the corn.

Per serving: Calories 442; Fat 11 g (Saturated 3 g); Cholesterol 111 mg; Sodium 1,143 mg; Carbohydrate 44 g; Fiber 7 g; Protein 41 g

 
-PAIR THIS WITH MACARONI SALAD-
Total Time : 2 hr 35 min
Prep : 15 min
Inactive : 2 hr 0 min
Cook  : 20 min
Makes : 4 to 6 servings

 

Ingredients

4 eggs
1 pound large elbow macaroni
4 ounces ham steak, finely chopped
2 stalks chopped celery, including leaves
1 large shallot, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Dressing:

2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 (4-ounce) jar chopped pimentos, drained
3 tablespoons sweet pickled relish
Kosher salt and pepper

Directions

To make the hard-boiled eggs: Add the eggs to a medium-sized saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring up to a boil over medium heat. Cover with a lid and turn off the heat. Let the eggs sit in the hot water for 14 minutes. Drain and cool under cold running water. Peel the eggs and chop. Reserve.

While the eggs are cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and add the macaroni. Cook until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.

In a large serving bowl, combine the eggs, ham steak, celery, shallots and lemon juice Add the macaroni and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, pickled relish, and salt and pepper, to taste. Add the dressing to the macaroni and toss to coat. Season with more salt and pepper, if needed. Cover and chill for 2 hours for the flavors to meld.

 
-DESERT-

  Sweet and Tangy Summer Patriot Pie

Patriot Pie Berry Pie for 4th of July Dessert Idea- easy!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ingredients:
2 – 9″ round pie crusts
1 tsp. fresh orange zest
4 c. rhubarb, diced bite size
3 C. fresh strawberries or raspberries
1 1/2 C. sugar
6 tbsp. quick tapioca
1 tbsp. whole milk
 

  Directions : 1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and place one of the two crusts in your pie tin.

2. In a separate bowl, using a spoon, gently toss together the rhubarb, berries, zest, sugar and tapioca. Pour into bottom crust.

3. Place the second crust on a floured surface and, using a star-shaped cookie cutter (you can use all one size or a variety of star sizes), cut out enough star shapes to make a top crust.

4. Decoratively arrange your cut-out stars into a top crust, covering most of the top of the pie but leaving a bit of space for air to escape. When putting one pastry star on top of another, tap them lightly so they’ll adhere together.

5. Brush the top with the milk, and if you wish sprinkle a little more sugar on it so when the crust is done, it will shine like sparklers.

6. Bake in a pre-heated 400-degree oven for 10 minutes, and then turn down the heat to 350 for another 30 to 35 minutes.

An Easier Alternative: If you’re not fond of two-crust pies, use only the bottom crust and make a brown-sugar crumble topping instead.

 
 
 
 
-IDEAS, GAMES & MORE-
Color Themed Picnic. Even if you don’t want to go all-out with the planning, you can plan a fun, themed picnic easily. Just assign a color for everyone to wear, whether it be all white, all red, black and white, etc. (including picnic blankets of the assigned color completes the look). The full gazebo in the photo above looks great, but this simple theme is also fun for a more casual picnic.

Beach Picnic. Live close to a great beach? Then plan an afternoon of great food and playing in the water. Bring a volleyball and nets and set up teams for beach volley. Or bring boogie boards and splash in the waves. Or plan a sand-castle building contest, and break your guests up into teams. The beach is an entire playground! So the sky’s the limit when it comes to the picnic games you can play.

Nature Lovers’ Picnic. This is a really fun picnic theme for kids! Have everybody dress is safari themed clothing, and go on a nature tour around your picnic site. Watch birds and animals, capture bugs and butterflies, and catalog plants and flowers. Just make sure everyone has good shoes on, and bring along a pair of binoculars. This picnic game is both fun and educational. You can even set up a “nature scavenger hunt” if you want to!

 

Victorian Picnic. If you’ve ever read an old Victorian novel, you know that picnics arrived at the height of their popularity during Queen Victoria’s reign. Want to go all out? Plan a Victorian picnic. Ask everyone to dress in Victorian costume, and choose foods like lobster tails, cold poached chicken, etc., for the main meal. Finish up with a few bottles of cold champagne served with a fresh fruit and custard trifle and a game of croquet. Definitely a picnic theme for bigger budgets!

Italian Picnic. Now, it doesn’t matter what you wear to this, or what picnic games you play. It’s all about the food! Check out our Italian picnic page for the perfect Italian picnic menu (coming soon!).

Spanish Picnic. Another picnic theme idea that’s all about the food. Serve up big pitchers of sangria with plates of jamón and cheese, pa amb tomaquet (crusty bread rubbed with tomatoes and olive oil), olives, green salads, and cold tapas. Serve it all with plenty of gazpacho and fresh fruit.

Scavenger Hunt Picnic. A scavenger hunt is a natural choice for a picnic game. Seperate your guests into teams, have them hunt for things they’ll find at your picnic spot, and set aside a prize –say, a pie to take home– to the winning team.

Christmas in July Picnic : Who says you have to wait until December to celebrate Christmas? Have your guests wear red and green and set up a secret Santa exchange between your guests. Also have each person bring a decoration for your summer Christmas tree (which can just be any tree at your picnic site). Don’t forget to bring Christmas cookies and pass around chilled glasses of spiced (and for the adults, spiked) cider!

 

 

Dealing with Anxiety

Anxiety is an emotion we all experience from time to time. It’s natural to feel stressed out before an upcoming performance, or during a particularly busy or overstimulating period, like the holidays. However, if you experience a stretch of anxiety that you can’t seem to kick, a closer examination of your habits may be in order. Taking the following measures can help reduce your anxiety level, both in the heat of the moment and on a long-term basis.

Eliminate anxiety-inducing foods from your diet. It sounds almost too simple, but changing what you ingest on a daily basis can have a huge impact on your anxiety level. Rethink your consumption of the following common anxiety provokers:

  • Coffee. The most popular “energy drink” of all time may also be one of the leading causes of anxiety. [1] If you drink coffee every morning, try switching to decaffeinated tea or just water for a few weeks. It may be hard to give up, but chances are you’ll see a reduction in your stress levels over this period of time.
     
  • Sugar and starch. People often see eating sugary and starchy treats as an option for stress reduction, since comfort foods like ice cream and cookies provide a momentary sense of, well, comfort. However, the rise and fall of blood sugar that occurs after eating these foods can actually make your emotions yo-yo even more. Try replacing these foods with fruits and vegetables to avoid sugar highs and lows.
     
  • Alcohol. After a stressful day at work, many unwind over a few drinks. Alcohol makes stress feel far away in the moment, but the after-effect cancels out the temporary sense of relaxation. Since alcohol is a depressant, it ends up having a negative effect on your mood in the long run. Drink sparingly, and when you do drink, make sure to hydrate to reduce the chance of getting a very stressful hangover. [2]
     
 
  • 2

    Incorporate mood-enhancing foods into your diet. Keeping yourself healthy with a balanced diet can go a long way toward stabilizing your mood. If you’re getting the right nutrients, your body will be better able to ward off anxiety during stressful situations. Consider incorporating more of the following foods:

    • Foods high in antioxidants, such as bluberries. Acai berries also have high levels of antioxidants. [3]
       
    • Foods high in minerals like magnesium and potassium, such as bran, dark chocolate, and almonds. Most people do not get the recommended amount of magnesium, which results in a variety of symptoms, including anxiety.
       
     
  • 3

    Try exercises that relieve anxiety. Studies have shown that regular exercise relieves symptoms of everyday anxiety and also helps to treat anxiety disorders. It improves feelings of wellbeing both in the moment and for hours afterward.

    • Cardiovascular exercises such as running or biking, as well as weight training and other muscle-building exercises, all serve the purpose of reducing anxiety.
       
    • Consider giving yoga a try. The soothing atmosphere of yoga studios, and the chance to be quiet and internally-focused for an hour or so, make this physical activity particularly conducive to calming anxiety.
       
    • If the thought of exercising itself makes you anxious, try incorporating low-impact physical activity into your routines. You don’t have to play a team sport or join a gym to get enough exercise; simply walking around your neighborhood can go a long way toward boosting your mood every day. [4]
       
     
  • 4

    Learn how to breathe correctly. Breathing deeply and slowly has immediate effects on your stress level. Most people practice shallow chest breathing, drawing breath into the upper portions of their lungs and exhaling at a rapid rate. When we’re feeling stressed, we tend to breathe even more quickly, which stresses us out even more. Instead, focus on bringing air into the lower portion of your lungs, breathing as deeply as possible. This helps decrease your blood pressure, relax your muscles, and calm you down.

    • Try to be mindful of your breathing even when you aren’t feeling anxious. Deep breathing is important no matter what your state of mind.
       
     

Method Two: Mental Remedies

  1. 1

    Confront sources of anxiety you can control. There are many different situations that induce anxiety, and it’s helpful to pinpoint exactly what might be making you anxious and take steps to confront it. If you’re behind on doing your taxes, for example, you may feel like you’ve got a yoke around your shoulders until the chore is finally done.

    • Keep a journal to help you figure out what exactly is making your mood dip. Writing down your thoughts can often reveal sources of stress you hadn’t yet acknowledged to yourself.
       
    • Even if a particular source of anxiety feels as though it is out of your control, you may be able to change something about the situation to make it feel less stressful to you. For example, if you feel anxious about the holidays months before the time to visit with family actually rolls around, figure out a way to approach the situation differently. Try hosting your extended family at your house so you won’t have to travel, or holding your celebration at a restaurant so you don’t have to host. Look at the flexible side of stressful situations.
       
     
  2. 2

    Avoid sources of anxiety you can’t control. If a certain type of situation makes you feel anxious, it’s OK to simply avoid it. If you hate flying, and don’t feel this fear is every going to abate, it’s OK to drive. Know your limits, and practice self preservation.

     
  3. 3

    Practice meditation. Relaxation and meditation routines are very effective at lowering anxiety levels. There are many different types of meditation, so it’s best to experiment with a few different methods and choose the one that makes you feel the most comfortable and relaxed.

    • Guided meditation is a good option for beginners. A guided meditation can be practiced in person, but it may be easier to buy a meditation CD or watch a meditation video on YouTube to start. You’ll learn techniques on how calm yourself down when your heart starts to race or when you feel you are not in control of your thoughts. Many guided meditations incorporate soothing music or nature sounds to help calm your spirit. See http://www.fragrantheart.com/cms/free-audio-meditations for access to free guided meditation audio clips.
       
    • Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on a particular thought or pattern of thoughts that make you anxious, allowing your mind to dwell on them until they fade away and your mind is cleared. This practice can be as simple as finding a quiet space to think for five minutes at the beginning of each day, but it is an ancient practice that has many helpful components if you want to delve deeper. See How to Do Mindful Meditation for more information.
       
     
  4. 4

    Ask for help. For many people, talking about anxiety is a very helpful release. If you need to vent, ask your spouse or a friend for advice and tell them how you feel. Sometimes just putting your feelings into words can take a lot of stress away.

    • If you lean on the same person for advice too often, your problems may overburden someone else. If you have a lot of anxiety to work through, consider seeing a therapist. You’ll be free to discuss your problems as much as you need to in the knowledge that a trained professional is there to help.
       
    • Know when it’s time to get a doctor involved. If you are experiencing chronic anxiety and feel you may have an anxiety disorder, make an appointment with a psychologist or a psychiatrist. It’s very difficult to treat anxiety disorders without the help of a doctor, and the sooner you see one, the faster you’ll feel better.
       
     

Method Three: Medicinal Remedies

  1. 1

    Try a natural remedy. Certain herbs, teas, and supplements are said to decrease symptoms of anxiety. Try the following options:

    • The chamomile flower is traditionally used to treat anxiety, stress, and an upset stomach. It has properties that are similar to anti-depressant drugs. It can be brewed into tea or taken as a supplement. [5]
       
    • Ginsing is said to help the body reduce stress.
       
    • Kava kava is a Polynesian plant said to have a sedative effect that relieves anxiety.
       
    • Valerian root is popular in Europe for its sedative properties.
       
     
  2. 2

    Consider anti-anxiety drugs. If you experience prolonged anxiety that affects your ability to sleep and go about your day for an extended period of time, it’s time to schedule an appointment with a doctor. Panic attacks, extreme social anxiety, and other symptoms can be effectively treated with a prescription drug that suits your needs.

    Edit Tips

    • Realize that your anxiety will not disappear instantly. It takes a long time to retrain your body and mind to cope with the feelings of anxiety.
    • Be kind to yourself. Anxiety is a very common emotion, and you do not have to face it alone.

     

    Edit Warnings

    • Severe anxiety and depression should be treated by a health professional. Please see your doctor if you are worried about your condition.
    • Consult with your doctor first prior to engaging in any physical activity. This is more important if you have not exercised before or have been laid up for a while.
    • Don’t take herbal supplements without first talking to your doctor.