August Pinteresting Picks

bootie-cutiesWe’re starting to feel fall and so are our Pinterest followers. From what they’re pinning, it looks like they’re getting ready to get cozy and get organized! From kitchen gadgets to help streamline dinner time to cute winter accessories, they’re definitely excited about the season. Here are our August Pinteresting Picks.

Cozy & Cute This pair of bootie cuties gives your favorite boots a playful look with adorable animal cuffs. Featuring knit construction with embroidered details, these critters play peek-a-boo when you fold the cuff over the top of your boots.slim-can-storage

Slim Storage Get maximum kitchen storage in a minimum amount of space with the wooden Slim Can and Spice Rack. Nearly 3 feet tall, it’s just 3-1/2 inches wide, so it fits in between appliances, cabinets and other narrow spaces. It’s on wheels, so you can use the silver pull handle on the side to access it whenever you need it. Open shelves are made to securely hold soda cans, spice jars and other small items.shearling-infant-booties

 

Baby Booties Keep baby’s feet comfy and stylish with these Faux Shearling Infant Booties. The shearling-like trim at the top and bottom, coupled with the fancy stitching, make these booties absolutely adorable. A stretchy elastic band around the top of each bootie makes putting on and taking off a breeze. Nonslip grippers add traction on tile and hardwood floors. buffet-caddy

Dinner Designs Buffet Caddy frees up space on the serving table by keeping all of your dinnerware in one spot. The top section organizes your flatware in 4 round baskets, the center section holds napkins, and the bottom section keeps dinner plates easily accessible. Metal frame has a scrolled design and durable balled feet to keep the caddy in place on any surface. dr-who-throw

Time Travel Blanket Although they won’t transport you through time and space, the Doctor Who Throw and Pillow are perfect for cuddling up in front of the telly to watch your favorite show. The Plush Throw (50″ x 60″) features the Doctor’s Tardis, a police call box, on the front. Machine care. The 10″ x 20″ Pillow, shaped like the Tardis, is ultra soft and plump to lay on.

The Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items of the Week

When the cold winds of winter blow, there is nothing better than snuggling up in a comfy shirt or relaxing loungewear. Not only does The Lakeside Collection have a wide variety of cozy gear, we also have wonderfully scented candles to fill your home with fragrance. If you must head outdoors, don’t forget a toasty coat. Here is The Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items of the Week.

The Women's Feminine Fit Flannel Shirt is a laid back style made just for you.

The Women’s Feminine Fit Flannel Shirt is a laid back style made just for you.

He'll be in the mood to kick back and relax with these Men's Licensed 2-Pk. Boxers.

He’ll be in the mood to kick back and relax with these Men’s Licensed 2-Pk. Boxers.

 

Sweet Treat Aromabeads™ Candle Jar makes your smell like a bakery or candy shop.

Sweet Treat Aromabeads™ Candle Jar makes your smell like a bakery or candy shop.

Girls' Hooded Toggle-Front Peacoat will keep her warm and looking stylish all winter long.

Girls’ Hooded Toggle-Front Peacoat will keep her warm and looking stylish all winter long.

 

The Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items of the Week

As the build up to Thanksgiving and the winter holidays begin, it is easy to get caught up in the coming wave. Remember to take some time for yourself before the stress gets to you by wrapping up in a sweater, enjoying a good book, massaging away your aches, or grabbing a cup of tea. Here is The Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items of the Week.

Fall in love with the soft chunky knit construction of the Women's Long Open Front Sweater.

Fall in love with the soft chunky knit construction of the Women’s Long Open Front Sweater.

Use this set of 3 Plantar Fasciitis Massage Balls to help relieve pain and soothe aching feet.

Use this set of 3 Plantar Fasciitis Massage Balls to help relieve pain and soothe aching feet.

 

You'll read comfortably for hours with your book or e-reader on this plush Book Pillow.

You’ll read comfortably for hours with your book or e-reader on this plush Book Pillow.

Honor the professional who works hard for you with the gift of this Occupational Double-Walled Tumbler.

Honor the professional who works hard for you with the gift of this Occupational Double-Walled Tumbler.

 

Fun Facts About Candy Corn

Candy CornLove it or hate it, Halloween would not be quite the same without candy corn. It’s been around as long as we can remember — but the confection we’re so used to seeing this time of year just becomes part of the Halloween decorations. But it has a few interesting details you may not be familiar with. Here are some fun facts about candy corn — the fall candy Americans fell in love with more than a century ago.

Chicken Feed Little has changed about candy corn since it was first manufactured in the 1880s except for the name. Candy corn was originally called “Chicken Feed” and the packaging featured a rooster as part of the logo. It originally had a very strong following among farmers.

Wedding Cake One of the ingredients that gives candy corn it’s unusual hard-yet-soft texture is fondant. Fondant is sugar and water heated together just long enough for it to be moldable. Fondant is used as icing on elaborate wedding cakes because you can sculpt it and make beautiful, ornamental cakes you can’t make with regular icing.

Candy CornSpecial Recipe Though Brach’s wasn’t the company to introduce candy corn to America, they’ve been making it for a long time with their own recipe – and that recipe includes honey. Most other candy corn is made with plain corn syrup.

Not for Vegans Even if you opt for the makers who don’t use honey (honey is not a vegan product), it still wouldn’t be a vegan treat because one of the ingredients in candy corn is marshmallow which contains gelatin. Gelatin is made from animal protein. More specifically, gelatin is made from collagen which comes from bones and joints of animals. It’s an ingredient in many of the things we eat but it’s a no-no for a vegan diet.

Shellac Shine Candy corn allegedly contains shellac – it’s what makes fingernail polish shiny. Shellac is a resin secreted from a lac bug found in India and Thailand. It’s used in all sorts of products and candies to give them a sheen – but it’s another reason candy corn isn’t considered vegan.

candy pumpkinPurple Corn You’re probably familiar with the slight variations in shapes and colors — pumpkins for Halloween or bunnies for Easter — but in eastern Canada, they produce a purple candy corn. The flavor is blackberry cobbler.

Of course, if you really love candy corn, you don’t have to wait until October every year to have it – you can eat it year-round if you make it. The Food Network’s Alton Brown has his own recipe for the fall favorite. Otherwise, there is plenty of candy corn coming at you in the next few weeks!

 

6 Facts You Might Not Know About Fall

fall leaves5On September 22nd at 7:29, we celebrate the first day of fall or the fall equinox. Popular assumption is that we get 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness — that actually happens on September 25th this year. But that’s not the only interesting fact surrounding fall, here are 6 facts you might not know about fall.

Squirrels and Nuts Squirrels are known to collect nuts in the fall and store them to eat in the winter (where we get the term “squirreling away”). Red squirrels store them in piles where they dry out but gray squirrels bury their nuts. Gray squirrels tend to forget where they bury most of the nuts. Those nuts don’t dry out but take root and develop to be big trees. If it weren’t for forgetful gray squirrels, we might not have as many oak and walnut forests which depend on gray squirrels to thrive and grow.

pumpkin-dishesPumpkins We carve them for Halloween and put them in pie for Thanksgiving and Christmas because 80% of the pumpkin supply in the United States is only available in October. And, while we enjoy our spiced pie fillings, pumpkins were originally used for the pie crust and not the filling.

Cider Hot spiced apple cider keeps us warm on chilly fall nights and we don’t stop drinking it until the holidays are over. In New Hampshire, though, they celebrate cider all year (even if it’s not available all year). New Hampshire’s appreciation for the hot fall beverage is so deep that in 2010, cider beat out milk as the official state beverage.

Gourds Starting in September, we start seeing gourds everywhere — in a centerpiece for big fall dinners, on decorative door wreaths and to dress up the mantel to welcome fall. While we use them for decor now, Native Americans had a more practical use for them. In the 1700s, gourds were used by Choctaw and Chickasaw native American tribes as bird feeders to attract purple martins to keep bugs out of their villages.

fallleaves6Apples The apples you know and love — the ones that fill an apple pie, are boiled down for a spiced cider and give a juicy crunch to caramel as a caramel apple — aren’t native to North America. When the English settled in the northeast, the only apples they found were crabapples — those tiny bits of fruit that can really only be used for making jelly. Unsatisfied with the crabapple, the English  brought over seeds to plant apple trees in the New World. Now apple trees grow in all 50 states.

scarecrowScarecrows While scarecrows are a favorite fall symbol, they are not native to North America. One of the earliest scarecrows was used by Greeks to scare birds away from grape vineyards. They were made to look like Priapus, the son of Greek god Dionysus and goddess Aphrodite. Priapus was said to be very ugly and legend has it, while playing in the vineyards, he scared all the birds away and the farmers had a bountiful harvest.

With or without the little known facts, the colors of the changing leaves, the chill in the air and anticipation of the holidays is interesting enough to make it one of our favorite seasons.

Pinteresting Picks for August

Summer has come to an end, and it is time get our homes ready for relaxing indoors. The thoughts of our followers on Pinterest definitely turned inward, with a lot of attention paid to making homes more convenient and comfortable as the weather cools. Here are our Pinteresting Picks for August.

Deluxe Smartphone Charging Station keeps your phone protected and off the floor. Designed for versatility, it has 3 standard outlets, so you can keep other appliances plugged in along with your charger, or charge up to 3 additional devices at once.

Deluxe Smartphone Charging Station keeps your phone protected and off the floor. Designed for versatility, it has 3 standard outlets, so you can keep other appliances plugged in along with your charger, or charge up to 3 additional devices at once.

Shot Glass Display Shelf organizes your collection with ease. It holds up to 36 shot glasses for all to see.

Shot Glass Display Shelf organizes your collection with ease. It holds up to 36 shot glasses for all to see.

Trade your real candles for this Set of 6 LED Candles for the safety of your children or pets.

Trade your real candles for this Set of 6 LED Candles for the safety of your children or pets.

The Wine Bottle Glass is perfect for the wine lover. It hold a full-sized 750ml bottle.

The Wine Bottle Glass is perfect for the wine lover. It hold a full-sized 750ml bottle.

The 8 Best Fashion Trends Every Woman Should Have In Her Closet

Fashion-ClosetEvery year there are new fashion trends that are hot and trendy. If you are at a lost when it comes to knowing what you should have in your closet to keep up with the fashion world check out these 8 must have trends you need to have in your arsenal right now.

Leather
Leather is making a come back and it is easy to add it to your wardrobe through wearing skirts, blazers, leggings or dresses. If you already have a closet full of denim it may be time to add some leather to your wardrobe. Go with leather that hugs your figure perfectly and makes you look and feel sexy. If you can’t afford authentic leather look for pleather instead.

Nude Fabrics
Nude fabrics are a must have fashion trend all women should take advantage of. Especially, if you want a look that is sexy nude fabrics will allow you to be revealing and concealing at the same time. These fabrics are very versatile as you can wear them over a camisole top or over your skirt or a pair of jeans. This piece of clothing can also be used as an overlay material for a dress.

Monotone Look
Fashion experts around the world admit that the monotone look is definitely a must have. Try wearing different pieces of clothing in the exact same neutral color such as camel, beige, or pale yellow. The monotone look is one of the hottest fashion trends out right now, and it has the added benefit of helping you to look taller.

Fringes
Fringed clothes are definitely a must have fashion as they can be worn with everything. Wear fringes with your dresses, pants, shoes, or jackets. Wear them on the edge of your clothes or shoes or you can wear them to cover up your entire piece.

Boyfriend Jacket
You can’t go wrong with an over-sized boyfriend jacket, as they are simple and the masculine look along with the volume at the shoulders will create a stronger looking posture and slim waist. Along with boyfriend jackets add a pair of boyfriend jeans to your wardrobe as well. Look for ripped jeans or take a pair of blue jeans you already have in your closet and cuff the legs.

One Should Dress
Nothing says elegance and style more than a nice one shoulder dress. This style will help add a whole new dimension to your current fashion.

Belts
One of the best fashion trends involves focusing on your waist. Go with large belts that are 5 inches wide or wider. Look for belts that have straps on the ends and that curve around the back and come back around to the front.

Jewel Encrusted Clothes
This fashion trend has long been used for denim clothes, but now you can find stones on just about everything. Look for tops, shoes, and even purses with stones or jewelry on them. To accomplish this same look you could even wear accessories such as necklaces that will look as if they are part of your clothing.

Try implementing these different styles as soon as possible. If you are on a budget there are always cheaper substitutes you can take advantage of. Get started with enhancing your wardrobe by executing these fashion trends. When your’e prepared to make a fashion statement head to www.gipsydharma.com where you will find all the most up-to-date female’s fashion trends such as their new footwear collection.

Image Credit: arnoldscloset.webs.com

Cleaning the Yard for Fall

cleaning-fallAlthough we tend to focus our energy on spring cleaning, cleaning up in the fall is just as important, if not more so. Take care of your yard in the fall to make things easier once the winter weather is over. There are a few essentials that need to be taken care of before the seasons change.

The lawn
Possibly the most important feature of your yard, the lawn is the first sight everybody sees when arriving at your home. The steps you take during the fall will ensure your lawn will be healthy for springtime again. Make sure to water it properly as long as necessary, and continue to keep it looking nice. This will stop any need for heavy duty maintenance in a few months. Besides just watering, it is important to:

Fertilize your lawn – this should be done both in the spring and fall. When done during this time, it will help maintain the roots of the grass, and keep the nutrients stored all winter long.

Air out the soil – after constant footsteps tracking across the lawn throughout the summer, it is good to have the soil aired out as winter approaches. There are professionals that will aerate your lawn for a reasonable price.

Pick up leaves – leaves can be damaging to your lawn if left there for too long. Not only will this kill your grass, but procrastinating will only leave the project for later in the spring.

Take care of your lawn before it’s too late. It is better to get these things done as early as possible, in case an early cold front comes through.

Clear out the junk
As organized as we try to be, junk can quickly accumulate over the summer months. Use the beginning of fall to get rid of the worst of the junk. Organize your garage, shop, and anywhere else around the house. Determine what you still need, and what can be thrown away. Before taking a load to the dump however, check and see if what you have is worth anything.

Some people don’t realize just how much scrap metal they have hanging around their home, or how much they can get for it. If you have non-ferrous metals, the price jumps significantly. Go throughout your yard, combining all the metal products you no longer have need of.

To test and see if the metals you have are non-ferrous, grab a magnet. If the items are magnetic, you have a ferrous material on your hands, such as steel. Non-ferrous metals such as copper and aluminum will bring in a much higher profit. Rather than just throwing these items away, take them to the scrap yard to get some benefit from them. Not only will you be cleaning up your yard, but you will also earn a little extra cash to work with. Invest this in future home projects or whatever else you want.

Take the time this fall to improve your yard. Not only will this save you time for spring cleaning, but it will also keep your yard and garden healthy. By breaking up the tasks between the seasons, your yard will look better than ever before.

Cassie Costner writes on DIY projects, yard maintenance, and recycling metals. She has experiencing with fall cleaning projects on large and small yards. 

Exciting Fall Pumpkin Recipe Ideas

Fall-PumpkinAs this especially steamy summer segues into fall, we’re beginning to turn our heads toward the seasonal tastes that we know and love. Goodbye watermelon and iced tea, hello mulled cider and pumpkin! It’s easy to bring out the old standards, like pumpkin pie and those unbelievably good pumpkin spice lattes, but maybe it’s time for a change. If you’re looking to really make the most out of this season’s pumpkin harvest, read on to find out my favorite ways to use that most versatile of squashes.

Pumpkin Curry
This squash makes a fabulous vegetable backup dancer to the proteins in Thai or Indian curries. It’s easy to adapt your standby curry recipe to fit it, too! All you need to do is sauté about two pounds of chopped raw pumpkin with your curry spices and paste, then simmer it with coconut milk and vegetable stock until the pumpkin becomes tender. The flesh of squash will absorb the curry spices; you’ll love how its sweetness compliments the warm spiciness of your curry paste.

Pumpkin Hummus
Believe it or not, pumpkin goes fabulously with chickpeas. If you’re looking for a quick hors d’oeuvres for a fall-themed party, this recipe takes about 30 seconds to make. Simply combine a whole can of unseasoned pumpkin puree and a dash of pumpkin pie spice with a 32 oz. container of pre-made hummus. Of course, you can and should add a few dashes of cayenne pepper to it if you’re a heat fiend. The resulting creamy concoction tastes like a pleasant fireside chat feels. This dish is nicely complemented by a bowl of multigrain pita chips.

Pumpkin Granola
Preheat your oven to 325˚F. In a large bowl, mix half a can of pumpkin puree, ⅓ cup of coconut oil, ⅓ cup of maple syrup, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a couple hefty dashes of pumpkin pie spice until everything becomes well-distributed. Mix in your granola fixings — that could include coconut, oats, pepitas, sunflower seeds, whatever! Spread your granola mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then bake for about a half hour, stirring intermittently. Once this mix cools off, it’ll harden up and become the most pumpkin-y breakfast cereal you’ve ever had! (I also like to put a palmful of this granola on top of vanilla ice cream.)

Pickled Pumpkin
This is a recipe idea that I got from my Anglo-Saxon friends, who would regale me with stories about their Old World grannies who tended to pickle everything in sight. Though I wouldn’t leap to have a taste of their fermented pigs’ feet or rutabagas, pickled pumpkin actually tastes much better than it sounds. It’s actually incredibly easy to make, especially if you can get your hands on some pre-chopped pumpkin flesh. All you need to do is put together the pickling liquid. I like to make it equal parts white sugar and white vinegar, with a handful of cinnamon sticks and whole cloves to add some fall spiciness. Boil the liquid to dissolve the sugar and pour it over the pumpkin, which should be in a heatproof bowl. Let it sit in the fridge overnight, then pour the whole mixture into a pot, but without the whole spices. Boil the pumpkin until it becomes transparent, then let the mixture cool. Transfer the pumpkin and pickling liquid into small mason jars — they make great gifts!

Pumpkin Lasagna
Now this is my all-time favorite pumpkin recipe, especially since it doesn’t require the kind of hacking and chopping that pumpkins generally require. The recipe that I use again and again comes from Food and Wine magazine — you can find the complete rundown here. Basically, instead of meat and tomatoes, you use Swiss chard, heavy cream, sage, nutmeg, and pumpkin puree to hold this lasagna together. The salty richness of Parmesan cheese makes a great counterpoint to the slightly bitter greens and sweet pumpkin. Frankly, I prefer this variation over normal lasagna!

Soleil is a former chef, with an encyclopedia of recipes floating around in her head. Nowadays, she applies her culinary expertise to the wonderful world of fancy picnic baskets. 

Freshen Up Your Home for Fall

FallNow the kids are back in school, you’ve probably had some time to sit down, step back, and take an honest look around your house.

Do you like what you see? I’m not talking about major renovations—you probably still like your couch, your countertops, and your coat closet. But you may feel that your home has become a tad bit stifling, or that you need a subtle change as you and your family transition from summer to fall.

It’s amazing what a simple cleaning and subtle décor shift will do to rid you of that uncomfortable, stagnated feeling! Here are four simple ways to freshen up your home as the seasons change to fall.

An All-Over Clean
Not a deep-clean of every last surface in your house—this is like you freshening up at a hotel after a long drive, not a long primping session for opera night. But you should, before you begin, give your house a basic cleaning job all over. It actually used to be a common yearly ritual in European households to clean at the start of a new year to bring in new life and good fortune, especially the sweeping out of old dirt and debris and replacing the rushes, which were a common medieval floor treatment. While it’s not likely you’ve chosen that particular option for your floors, sweeping them as well as cleaning the house will give you the same refreshed feeling.

Dust where needed, clean & disinfect surfaces, sweep and/or vacuum your floors. Clean and organize your cupboards, throw out any dead plants or spoiled food. Doing this will leave you with a clean, blank canvas to work with, and everything will feel fresher now you’re rid of that old dust and last season’s dirt.

Shift Paradigms by Shifting Furniture
You can laugh, but I’ve got evidence to back this one—frequent re-arranging of furniture keeps people happy by keeping them from being bored with their surroundings.

If something absolutely needs stay in place, like the TV near the cable hook-up,  move around the things you can—you’d be amazed what placing the same items of furniture differently does to the look of the room.

A More Polished Look
Even if your home doesn’t have hardwood floors, there are probably still some wood surfaces you could stand to polish.

If you don’t want to drop a lot of money on expensive furniture or all-natural cleaners, never fear! Just add a little lemon juice or essential oil to vinegar and olive oil. The vinegar pulls out dirt, the oil polishes, and lemon gives it that clean smell. And you’ll feel like your hardwood flooring and furniture are brand new!

Clear the Air
The air you breathe has to be good air if you want to feel refreshed! So make sure to clear the air in your home.

Clean vents and replace your furnace filters. If you haven’t already, see if you can’t buy and install filters meant to reduce allergens.

Then, bring in some summer-to-fall seasonal potted plants to match the rooms in your home! You don’t have to be a total green thumb to enjoy the natural, oxygen-replenishing benefits of plants—you just need the plants in their pots, your own sink, and maybe some led grow lights, and you can easily enjoy potted plants in this changing season. For flower lovers, try sunflowers, chrysanthemums, dahlia, or Chinese lantern. For those of you more practicality-minded, why not grow useful herbs, such as flavorful basil or soothing mint.

Doesn’t your home feel fresher already?

Nina Hiatt researches and writes articles to help people find balance and beauty in their personal space through landscape and interior design. In her free time, Nina blogs about many of her interests, which include gardening, technology news, and baking.

Image Credit: Best Quotes 4 You