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11/12/2014
Thanksgiving has a special place in my heart. Life is so busy—my family is running in multiple directions on any given day—but on Thanksgiving we stop and concentrate on one another. So I set out to create a welcoming table where people want to sit, have that extra cup of coffee and converse. Here are four simple tabletop ideas that can add friendly warmth to mealtime. 1.... More
11/5/2014
When the outside temps drop below 50 degrees, you can find me inside curled up in a chenille throw or cotton blanket. (Yes, I'm a wimp when it comes to chilly weather.) But gorgeous coverlets, quilts and lamb's wool can warm up more than my shoulders. Spread their coziness throughout the house with these easy decorating ideas. The cold, get-dark-early days of late autumn will seem a... More
10/31/2014
This year, my friend Natalie ambitiously dug up half her yard to install raised beds. Back yard. Front yard. Side yard. The woman went veggie-mad. At various points, she treated me to ruffled chard, giant tomatoes and glossy eggplants. But the real gift came this fall, when she invited us to her First Annual Potato Harvest Gathering. “One of my most cherished childhood memories is... More
10/20/2014
'Tis the season for photos of pumpkin spice lattes, thick sweaters, changing leaves and bear rugs by fireplaces. Fall is like an Instagram feeding frenzy. And I've gladly added to it. I took this season for granted while growing up in my northwest Ohio hometown of Maumee. Then I graduated from Maumee High School and joined the Army. Letters from home would... More
10/17/2014
I think Mother Nature does her best work in fall—painting the outdoors in a wash of golden hues that I could look at for hours. I love the autumnal color show so much that I’m always looking for ways to decorate my house so I can enjoy the season inside as well as out. See how I took one mantel and decorated it three ways in celebration of fall. For a golden glow,... More
10/10/2014
The days are getting shorter, which means I'm up before the sun peeks over the North Dakota prairie. My morning routine involves sipping coffee and scurrying around the house to help our kids get ready for school. But when I catch a sunbeam darting through the window, I embrace the interruption. I stop for sunrises. Even Butler the farm dog stops for sunrises.... More
10/8/2014
It’s that time of year when pumpkins pile up on hay bales outside grocery stores and overflow at orchards across the Midwest. Instead of searching for the biggest pumpkin in the patch, I have my eye on mini pumpkins this autumn. They’re cheap (50 cents to a couple bucks apiece), lightweight, and come in a variety of colors and shapes. My favorite varieties: standard orange ‘Jack... More
9/26/2014
Golden mums and bronzy foliage might be taking over garden centers these days, but my mind is on frilly daffodils and dainty tulips. Though it may seem odd to focus on spring when Halloween is around the corner, now is the time to get those spring-blooming bulbs in the ground. Rosie Lerner, extension consumer horticulture specialist at Purdue University, explains why and offers her top bulb... More
9/19/2014
FALLelujah! FALLelujah! Admit it. You’re singing the song in your head right now. How can you not? Monday marks the official start of autumn and I, for one, am ready. Fall is my favorite time of year. Brightly colored leaves, crisp morning air and hot apple cider usher in the season. But to me, nothing marks the transition from summer to fall more than changing out the... More
9/3/2014
In the last full month of summer, Instagram photographers captured the bright colors of the season in Midwest fields, flowers, sunsets and lakes. Here are our five most-liked Instagram photos for August: #1: Lavender Hill Farms in Boyne City, Michigan, by @wanderingz (http://instagram.com/p/rX2oxyGzZ8/). "I just can't get enough of this place,” she wrote. “I... More