Get Organized: Make a Christmas Planner

Planner for the holidays

As we get ready for Christmas, we’ll be making lists (and checking them a lot more than twice!), holding discussions with spouses, children and parents, and drawing up a holiday budget. Too often, we record our plans piecemeal, consigning them to a confused clutter of scrawled envelopes, jotted notes and cryptic calendar entries—none of which make it to the shopping center with us when it’s time to buy gifts.

Organized people keep the results of their work in a central place: a Christmas planner.

Easy to make and easier to use, a Christmas planner cuts through holiday clutter and keeps planning on track. Home to lists and recipes, calendars and gift ideas, this simple tool is the architect and source of a serene celebration.

Try these ideas to create and use a Christmas planner: your personal guide to an organized Christmas.    Read More >>

Print a House & Holidays Planner

Ready to prepare for the holiday season with the House & Holidays Plan?

Beginning September 2, 2018, the House & Holidays Plan organizes Autumn events from back-to-school, through Halloween and Thanksgiving, and on to the Christmas holiday season. Working week by week, you'll cut clutter, clean house, and prepare for the holiday season so that you arrive in December relaxed and ready.    Read More >>

Back-to-School Craft: Make a French Memory Board

Make a French memory board

It's pretty place for photos, cards and mementos: a French memory board!

If you can sew a button and wield a stapler, you can make it.

Begin with a stretched artist's canvas, add batting, cover with cotton fabric, then criss-cross with ribbons.

Novelty buttons secure ribbons to the memo board's canvas and add a bright touch.

Light, pretty and oh, so easy!    Read More >>

Make It Now, Give It Later: Confetti Bean Soup

Confetti Bean Soup

Looking for a make-ahead holiday gift? Try this gift-in-a-jar treat: Confetti Bean Soup! Savory Italian herbs spark this hearty, easy soup. Paired with Texas Cornbread Mix, this duo is just the thing for cold winter weekends!

Better, it's a good keeper, so make this gift-in-a-jar ahead for holiday giving. Unlike cookie jar gifts, Confetti Bean Soup won't go stale in storage.

Makes 12 gift jars at a cost approximately $2 per jar.

Includes free printable gift tags.

Fun BBQ Recipe: Beer Can Chicken

Beer Can Chicken Recipe

In the Ewer household, it's a "can-do" barbeque treat: a whole chicken cooked on a hot seat. Grilled upright. while seated on a half-full can of beer, soda or stock, Beer Can Chicken is steam-basted from within, grilled smoky golden-brown without.

The unusual cooking method, combined with a spicy rub and aroma from smoker chips, creates a tender meat, dripping with tangy juices. Beer Can Chicken is a late-summer favorite paired with potato salad and a platter of homegrown tomatoes. Happy grilling!

Beat the Heat: Make A Cool Tie!

Make a Cool Tie

Beat summer's heat with this sew-simple craft project: a cool tie!

This bright cotton neckerchief has a summer secret: a filling of water-absorbing polymer granules from the garden center.

Soaked in water, the cool tie's polymer granules absorb more than 200% their weight in water. Tied around the neck or worn as a headband, a cool tie provides all-day cool relief through evaporation.

A cool tie is simple to sew, requiring only a straight-stitch sewing machine. It makes a great gift for gardeners! Printable Cool Tie gift tags adds a splashy note to your hot-weather gift.    Read More >>

Santa Saves: Back-to-School Bargains for Holiday Giving

back to school bargains

With summer winding down, school is on the way--and so are rock-bottom prices on back-to-school needs!

During late summer, office supply stores engage in penny price wars, while discount stores bring racks of school supplies front and center ... and cheap!

Back-to-school loss leaders--products sold below cost to attract sales--are hot and heavy in the supermarkets these days--and even the crafts stores offer a variety of binders, stickers and backpacks at sharply reduced prices.    Read More >>

Too Early to Think Christmas? Starting Now Makes Sense!

planning for Christmas

Summer's in full swing--and baby, it's hot outside! Need a diversion? "Christmas in July" can be the perfect time to look ahead to the holiday season! But not everyone agrees. Many people resist the idea of starting early for an organized Christmas.

So why begin Christmas organizing early--and without the benefit of holiday sentiment? Here are six reasons why starting now makes sense:    Read More >>

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