All posts in thanksgiving

yum | simple cranberry compote

Happy Thanksgiving week! Can you even believe November is almost over? Blech, I can’t. Usually for Thanksgiving, Josh and I stay close to home. It’s never long enough of a break to make the six hour trek to our home town, so we hang out together. Last year was my first attempt at making Thanksgiving dinner 100% from scratch, and you know what? It turned out pretty well for a newbie. I’m talking the turkey and everything.

One of my favorite and simplest Thanksgiving recipes is this Simple Cranberry Compote. I’m kind of weird with cranberry sauce. My mom likes to make this traditional german cranberry sauce from scratch, but when I was a kid I always preferred the canned stuff. Yup, the kind that’s still can shaped on a plate. But, this recipe changed all that.

simple-cranberry-compote-promoThe trick is the addition of dates and honey. It totally sweetens up the tart cranberries but you still get their flavor. Plus with only 4 ingredients, it’s too simple not to try.

simple-cranberry-compote-ingredientsSimple Cranberry Compote:

In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, dates, honey, water, and salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer. Stir often until the cranberries begin to burst and the mixture thickens. About 6-8 minutes.

Let cool and serve at room temperature.

Originally, this recipe called for figs instead of dates, so you can easily substitute for whichever one your store carries.

simple-cranberry-compote-23The recipe is super simple and will add almost no extra time to your Thanksgiving menu. Plus, it can be made up to three days in advance. Just cover and refrigerate then when you’re ready, bring to room temperature before serving.

 Yum, I can’t wait for Thursday! What are your favorite Thanksgiving dishes?

Linking up with:
Somerset Lane
Three in Three

gilded pumpkin-y goodness

So, we kind of failed on the Halloween tradition front last month. The pretty little pumpkin I picked up at Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago has sat untouched on our bookcase for the whole spooky month. Whomp whomp.

But this past weekend, I couldn’t bear it any longer. I took down our Halloween decorations and set out to dress up this poor little gourd in something fancy.

gilded-fall-pumpkin-promoAnd what’s fancier than gold, right? This quick little project took the whole of an hour and now a gilded pumpkin graces our bookcase.

gilded-fall-pumpkin-3To make your own gilded pumpkin all you need to do is tape a border around the top portion of your gourd. Since, pumpkins are pretty oddly shaped, you’ll have a hard time getting a perfect circle, but the goal isn’t perfection. Just make sure you press the tape into all the grooves.

Once I had my line taped, I also secured a plastic bag around the bottom part to prevent any spray paint splatter. I wanted a nice crisp line.

gilded-fall-pumpkin-comboTo get the best gold sheen, I used some Krylon Metallic spray paint I had left over from this gilded chair makeover. Two quick coats was all it took. I let it sit outside for about 45 minutes before bringing it indoors.

gilded-fall-pumpkin-9And while the dipped gold look was fantastic on it’s own, I also added a few yarn tassels to bring in some more fall colors! These were super easy to whip up and make sure this pretty pumpkin looks more autumn-y than spooky.

gilded-fall-pumpkin-6Do you use pumpkins as decorations after Halloween? What are you favorite no-carve methods for dressing them up? Share below!

Linked up with:
Huckleberry Love

holiday prep boot camp (my class on atly!)

Okay, here we go. Some BIG BIG THINGS are happening this week. As of late Monday night, I have officially launched my very first e-course to get you completely, 100% prepared for the holidays! Oh yes, it’s Boot Camp time!!! Holiday Organization Class on atlyI was approached by the wonderfully amazing people behind the online learning site atly.com about a month ago. I could not even believe it, y’all. I mean, really. You want me to teach? Um, okay, yeah I think I’d freakin’ love to do that. So, I did it.Holiday Organization Class on atlyI have always always been a love of the holidays, so that’s where I started. I put this class together in about 4 weeks and it has been a whirlwind of excitement. If you follow along on twitter or instagram you might have even seen hints of a holiday photo shoot in August with my lovely friend Savannah. And, now, this month of craziness is closed, and we’re up and running, baby! Holiday Organization Class on atlyNow, let me give you some snazzy details about this little class I’ve created. What I most wanted to address were the issues that seem to plague people the post come November and December. So we talk about decorating, buying gifts, hosting overnight guests, and how to keep everything organized! I didn’t want to have a class that tells you how you can do everything! I wanted to create something that gave you permission to let go of those holiday components you seriously loathe and focus on the ones you actually enjoy! What a concept right?

Holiday Organization Class on atly

In this class, you’ll get SIX super detailed planning worksheets, learn how to create simple and easy-to-maintain systems for organizing any and all holiday events throughout the year, and so much more information, tips, tricks, and ideas! Seriously, you do not want to miss out!

You can sign up for this course at any time for only $10.00 (the lowest price point allowed on atly, because I know you guys want value! :D) Plus, I’ll be available to give feedback and address scenarios that might now have been covered in the course material for one full year after you’ve completed my course. So, now matter when you enroll, you’ll have access to the vast caverns of holiday knowledge for a holiday season!

What are you waiting for?? Sign up now!!

thanks!

Thanksgiving is mere hours away and I wanted to take a step away from the kitchen (where I’m cooking a 100% from scratch feast for four!) and reflect on the things I couldn’t live without. In all honesty, I have a wonderful and very fortunate life with a great husband, nice apartment, a job and though I take these things for granted all the time, I will always take this time of year to reflect on how lucky I am to be me.

image via

My husband, obviously. Without whom, I would be a very unbalanced individual. Josh is great at a lot of things. He’s a super analytical-thinker but he also has an amazing creative side. He broadens my scope to include things that I normally wouldn’t care about but should, like politics and how to pack things in the most efficient way. He also saves me from myself a lot. There is so much I want to do in life. I have about a million projects on an ever-lengthening to do list; I want to grow this blog, open a business, make our apartment perfect and so many times, I try to do these things all at once and burn out. Josh is amazing at reminding me that it takes time to do these things and that the people I admire in these areas didn’t become a success over-night. He’s my soul-matey and I don’t know where I’d be without him… but my best guess in institutionalized.

My family. It almost feels a little generic to just write “my family” but I think it’s important to take some time to reflect on the impact they’ve had on my life. Like my mom, she is one of the most hilarious people I know and she works so hard to be an amazing parent. My grandpa has been one of the biggest motivational forces in my life. He’s always pushing for me to reach my full potential. One of the reasons I always knew I was going to attend college is because he talked it up all my life. My Uncle Scott and Aunt Brandi are the most amazing family model. I was a flower girl at their wedding in 1995 and I’ve never seen anything but love emanating from their relationship. They got married young, they’ve taken chances, and, together, they built this amazing life. I have so many wonderful family members, each as unique and amazing as the next. Though I probably don’t call as much as I should, I love them all.

This blog. An ever-growing, never ending, creative project that I love working on. I’ve been blogging for almost three years and I’ve recently decided to really commit and try to turn Two Live Colorfully into something awesome. This means more frequent posts, more DIY projects and tutorials, better interaction with the blogging community, and a lot more. I’m in the perfect time in my life to pursue something like becoming a professional blogger so why shouldn’t I? It’s something that I love doing and I’m going for it.

It would take me forever to write out everything I’m thankful for (because there is a whole lot!) but these are the big three. What are you thankful for this holiday season?

diy: falling leaves installation

Yesterday, I shared our fresh take on fall décor and now we’re back to share the tutorial on the amazing Falling Leaf installation we created to celebrate the autumn months! Seriously, this is probably my favorite holiday project to date.

Here’s what you’ll need to create a similar version!

  • Dollar store silk leaves (Since you’re painting them, they don’t have to be high quality. I just looked for a shape that I liked.)
  • Craft paint (I used a plum and burgundy color)
  • Paint brushes
  • Mod podge
  • Glitter
  • Fishing line
  • A cool looking branch (You could probably get a nice, smooth decorative one from a craft store, but I just tracked mine down from outside. You can’t beat 100% free.)

The first thing I did was paint the leaves. Most have two coats so they show a solid color but I did leave a few the prettier ones with just one coat to get that marble-y colored goodness.

 For the glittery ones, I used a foam brush to apply a thin coat of Mod Podge to the leaf and then pressed it into a plate full of glitter. With this, you’ll want to make sure to push all of the edges into the glitter to make sure everything is covered. I stopped here, but if you wanted to add a layer of anti-glitter rain protection, you could use a clear spray sealant to keep the glitter in place.

After all my leaves had dried, I used a needle to thread a length of fishing line through the leaves. I tried to mix up the location of the string so that the leaves would be ‘falling’ in a more whimsical fashion (not just all point straight down).

 Once you finished stringing your leaves, you can start tying them to your branch. The easiest way to do this is to hang the branch somewhere temporarily and then add the leaves. Less tangling and it’s easier to see make sure your leaves are spread out.

Now, it’s time to hang! We used our track lighting to our benefit and hung the branch from there using more fishing line and binder rings! They just slip right over the light. You could also use ceiling hooks to create the same affect. The whole project weighs less than a pound so it’s not creating a huge strain on the light fixture and it can easily be removed after the season ends.

 Isn’t it lovely? The leaves sway lazily in the breeze from our AC and the colors just scream autumn!

The only purchase I made for this project was the leaves which I snagged from the Dollar Tree for $2.00. Everything else I had on hand. It took a few hours total and, since I’m pretty lacking in the height department, my super awesome husband helped me with the hanging steps.

 And it’s done. A pretty easy project with a huge payoff.

 Do you ever use outdoor materials like branches, leaves, or maybe pine cones in your home for decoration? What are some big impact projects you’ve done with tiny price tag? I’d love to see them!