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News from the Nest, November 20

I hit the ground running today! I figure I’ll continue to hit the ground running from now through Thursday. Between preparing for Thanksgiving and our two-week trip which we depart for on Saturday, it is going to be a busy week. My daughter, her boyfriend, and our son will all be arriving on Wednesday, and I want to soak them up as much as possible, so I am trying to get most of it done in advance.

At the same, we are dog-sitting our daughter and her BF’s two, three-year-old Golden Retrievers. It’s like having two, very busy, 80-lb toddlers underfoot! But dang, they sure are cute and they make me laugh on the regular!

Two dogs on blue sofa.

I figure I have a long flight to Amsterdam on Saturday, which will allow me plenty of time to catch up on rest. If you missed last week’s post, I shared my schedule for getting done what I could in advance. I did check off my to-do’s for this weekend, so I’m off to a good start.

I will be writing to you from Amsterdam next week! We land on Sunday, so I hope to gather some photos to share with you.

New on the Blog

  • If your family loves anise cookies as our family does, you will love these little, easy-to-make Italian Anise cookies. Typically sprinkled with multi-colored nonpareils, we change it up for the holidays with green and red nonpareils.
Anise cookies on red and green napkin
Images of Kitchen Knit Projects.

From the Knit Studio

knitted gift tags
Looking for a quick, home decor diy craft? This thick, chunky blanket was knit in one day, with some unusual knitting needles!

From the Kitchen

Cranberry, Apple and Banana Bread on a cooling rack with scattered cranberries.
  • Rigatoni al Forno, literally ‘Rigatoni from the oven,’ is Italian comfort food at its best. Pasta baked in a flavorful tomato sauce with oodles of delicious mozzarella cheese. It is virtually impossible to mess up this simple recipe. It would be a great and simple meal this week when you don’t have the time for a complicated meal or next week when you are tired of turkey leftovers.
Baked Rigatoni in white baking dish.
  • Maybe not Christmas cookie-worthy in appearance, but these fiber cookies are nonetheless a tasty and effective way to help you get your daily fiber intake.
Fiber cookies on a counter with a glass jar of fiber cookies and two oranges in the background.
  • Substituting brown sugar for white sugar gives this classic Date Nut Bars recipe a deeper, richer flavor with just a hint of molasses.
Stack of three date nut bars.

Holiday Baking

  • Take it from someone with first-hand experience, before you begin your big Holiday baking extravaganza, ensure that your baking soda and baking powder are fresh. I had a whole year of Christmas cookie disappointment before I realized that my baking soda was flat. This article not only explains what these critical ingredients do for your baked goods, but how to test their freshness. Luckily they are very economical ingredients, so replacing them is a very inexpensive insurance policy.
  • I don’t want to cause any hard feelings, but can we all agree that some desserts are just more festive than others? Believe me, I LOVE traditional holiday and Thanksgiving desserts and every Christmas cookie recipe imaginable. But every once in a while, you need a little festive action on your holiday table and these little Chocolate Cranberry Curd Tarts…now these little sweeties say ‘festive’ to me. It’s adding extra pizzazz to your Thanksgiving or Christmas dessert menu!
Mini Chocolate Cranberry Tart
  • While not gingersnappy-crisp, these adorable little Gingerbread Button cookies are slightly crisp on the edge, though still soft in the middle. The combination of molasses and dark-brown sugar gives them that perfect ‘tooth’.
Gingerbread button cookies for Christmas or party
  • This Brown Butter Rosemary Shortbread cookie recipe is a relatively new addition to my standard Christmas Cookies lineup. I mean, I’ve been baking them for the past 6 years, which I guess is relatively recent in the grand scheme of things. The Rosemary provides a lovely, piney fragrance to brown butter shortbread, resulting in a delicious cookie. There truly is something wonderful about brown butter shortbread, but the addition of the Rosemary in this recipe simply takes it over the top. 
Brown Butter Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

From the Arts + Crafts Studio

  • This lovely, wool-felt holly leaf garland will bring Old World charm to your Christmas mantle. And ringing in at around $30 for all the supplies, it is easy on the wallet too!
  • For a glitzier garland, string some ornaments together. I made two of these ornament garlands for our exterior trees at our previous home.
Pink and Green Ornament garland on Christmas tree at front porch.

House + Home

  • I’m printing off the guy and gal versions of these Travel Checklists today to help in our packing this week. They are super helpful in jogging your memory for what you need/want to have with you on your travels. If you will be traveling over the holidays, I highly recommend the checklists. These checklists are just one of the many handy printables you will find in the Subscriber Library. If you’ve forgotten the super secret password, it is always included in the email I send out every Monday morning.
A travel checklist with clothes and shoes.
Mattress, towels and plant.

Some Fun Finds + A Few Favorites

Some of these are affiliate links, and I will earn a small commission off the sale of these products, but the price you are charged is not affected. You can see my full disclosure policy here.

Missed Last Week’s Dispatch?

Not to fear, just pop over here to catch up!

I am Thankful for YOU!

 It is only appropriate that today I take a few minutes to thank each of you for making this little ‘job’ of mine so enjoyable and rewarding. Truthfully, my feet daily hit the ground with my head full of ideas I want to share with you. If only the clock would slow down so that I could get them all done.

I could still publish my ideas and share my project to the ether without you all, but…that’d be really lonely! Knowing that you are all out there, in different time zones, on different continents, reading and writing back to me is a joy that I don’t have words for.

I’ve told you that I have been approached by people who want to buy this little blog of mine. And I can honestly say that I turned them down without even hearing their offer. This is more than a job to me; it brings me joy and gives me purpose.

So, thank you for making it so much fun!

This doesn’t come close to showing my gratitude for each of you, but I thought Thanksgiving Place Holders might come in handy with Thanksgiving this week. Even if you are not in the U.S. and celebrating Thanksgiving, these fall-themed place cards would look lovely on your table. Print them off on card stock and cut them outside the dark lines. Then, fold the cards in half and write names on the front.

Just click the image below to access the free, printable download of these Thanksgiving Place Cards. They come in a sheet of four.

Thanksgiving placecard.

Many hugs and wishes for a wonderful week!

Signature of Lynn

Thanks for making my day by SHARING!!

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