Giving Back - Who We Donated to This Year

A tradition I started two years ago was to donate a percentage of profits from my Etsy shop and blog at year-end to Charity.  I’m so happy to say that this year we were able to help support The American Cancer Society in addition to our donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Thank you so much for all your support for my Etsy shop and blog this past year, I hope to continue to grow them and be able to give back more each year in return. 

Birch Landing Home Giving Back

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Merry Christmas from Birch Landing Home!

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Birch Landing Home!

We’ll be spending the next week with family and planning goals for the year ahead. Please let me know what kinds of blog posts you’d like to see from Birch Landing Home next year.
Happy Holidays and see you in 2019!

Hand-painted Lobster Buoy c/o The Lost Buoy.

Hand-painted Lobster Buoy c/o The Lost Buoy.

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Giveaway with Wolfeboro Candle Company!

We’re co-hosting one more GIVEAWAY before the holidays and it’s with our friends, Wolfeboro Candle Company!  

Head on over to our Instagram for details and to enter! Winner will receive one of Wolfeboro Candle Company’s Wooden Wick Candles and one of our Hand-Etched Snowflake Ornaments.  

Giveaway ends 12/21/18

Giveaway ends 12/21/18

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Giveaway with S.Lynch Knitwear

So excited to have teamed up with Samantha of S.Lynch Knitwear for a great giveaway over on our Instagrams. Winner will receive a pair of her cozy Fair Isle Mittens and a set of our Hand-Etched Snowflake Ornaments. Head on over to my Instagram for details and to enter - just look for the post with these photos - good luck!

Giveaway with S.Lynch Knitwear and Birch Landing Home!
Giveaway with S.Lynch Knitwear and Birch Landing Home!

Giveaway ends 12/14/18.

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Nautical Decor with The Lost Buoy + Giveaway!

As a native New Englander, I definitely have a soft spot for nautical decor. After all, when we redid our older daughter’s room a few years ago, we gave it a Cape Cod theme! And you can’t get much more nautical than a painted buoy - it just adds that quintessential New England touch. That’s why I was so excited to find The Lost Buoy on Instagram and give our space some nautical flair.
| This post contains an honest review of product provided by The Lost Buoy |

Nautical Decor with The Lost Buoy + Giveaway!

The Lost Buoy was started by Katie, who grew up in coastal Massachusetts and has many fond memories of beaches, lobster shacks, and exploring in her grandparents old Ford woody station wagon (really, does it get more New England than that?). Katie has turned all these memories and charm into a great line of coastal-inspired decor, clothing, paper goods, and even wedding accents.

Nautical Decor with The Lost Buoy + Giveaway!

Katie was kind enough to send me one of her iconic Striped Lobster Buoys to add some nautical flair to our home. These lightweight, hand-painted buoys are cute in every room but I think I settled on having it add some coastal charm to our door for the holiday - there’s just something about Christmas greens and red lobsters - you can’t go wrong!

The Lost Buoy offers lots of great designs on their Decorative Buoys too - from different New England places, to nautical elements, and even custom color buoys to show your school spirit. And the wedding buoys would be perfect for anyone having a beachside ceremony.

The Lost Buoy definitely has something for everyone who loves nautical or preppy style!

Nautical Decor with The Lost Buoy + Giveaway!
Nautical Decor with The Lost Buoy + Giveaway!
Nautical Decor with The Lost Buoy + Giveaway!

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* GIVEAWAY! *

Want a chance to win one of these beautiful buoys for yourself? Head on over to my Instagram for a chance to win a Decorative Buoy of your choice to compliment your home. Just look for this post and follow the directions to enter. Good luck!

Giveaway ends 12/12/18 at 5PM EST.

Giveaway ends 12/12/18 at 5PM EST.


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Tips for Perfect Christmas Cookies + Boston Family Entertainment Giveaway!

Christmas is right around the corner and boy has it sneaked up fast! It’s always hard coming up with gift ideas for family and friends… but these days we’re personally trying to cut back on the amount of “stuff” we buy and give, and focus more on homemade items and experiences for gifts. What better gift than something made with love and the opportunity to create lasting memories? Read on for my tips to make the Perfect Christmas Cookies and then be sure to enter the amazing Boston Family Entertainment Giveaway at the end of the post for a chance to win some spectacular tickets to Boston-area events!
| This post is sponsored and contains affiliate links |

Tips for Perfect Christmas Cookies + Giveaway!

5 Tips for Perfect Christmas Cookies

Sift

Make sure to sift all your dry ingredients. Doing this breaks up any clumps of flour or baking soda, combines everything evenly, and helps make your cookies light and fluffy.

Parchment Paper

Always line your cookie sheet with parchment paper, this is key to getting the cookie bottoms that perfect light golden brown. If you're planning on doing several batches of cookies make sure to round the corners of the parchment with some scissors first, as the sharp corners of the paper can start to burn after a few times in the oven.

Cookie Scoop

A cookie scoop is probably one of the best little investments you'll make in the kitchen and I don't know how I ever lived without mine. Using a cookie scoop ensures you get uniform-sized cookies every time and makes the whole process of getting your cookies ready for the oven go so much faster.

Time

Always bake your cookies for the lower suggested time.  Cookies that are just cooked all the way through make for the softest, chewiest cookies.  If they aren't cooked in the middle yet you can always put them back in for another minute or two, but it's best to start with the lowest time.  

Your Secret Weapon - the "Bread Trick"

Accidentally over-cook the cookies?  Forget to cover them on the counter?  Believe it or not, the magical solution for over-cooked or stale cookies is just a slice of sandwich bread and a big ziplock.  Put all the cookies in a gallon ziplock bag, throw in a slice of bread, seal, and leave for a few hours - the cookies will get softer as the bread gets staler.  Magic!  


Boston Family Entertainment Giveaway
There is so much to see and do for families visiting Boston. We have an amazing Boston Family Entertainment Package that will mean loads of family fun for one lucky winner! Get those Perfect Christmas Cookies Ready! Today's giveaway has been brought to you by the following sponsors: This holiday season, consider experience such as tickets to a show, museum passes or a gift certificate for other fun family entertainment. Experience gifts are a great way to help families create lasting memories.

Ultimate Boston Family Entertainment Package

One lucky winner is going to receive the Ultimate Boston Entertainment Giveaway Package that includes:
  • (4) tickets to Bricktacular at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Boston (every weekend in Dec.)
  • (4) tickets to Blue Man Group (to be used after Jan. 1st)
  • (4) tickets to American Girl LIVE, a new musical featuring the iconic American Girl characters playing at the Boch Center, Feb. 22-24 (for Friday, Feb. 22 at 7:00 pm)
  • (4) tickets to Archery Games Boston (can be used anytime)
  • Dinner for 4 at South Street Diner (can be used anytime)

Boston Entertainment Giveaway

Official Rules and Conditions: One winner will receive the Ultimate Boston Entertainment Prize Package. No cash value. Open worldwide to adults 18+. One (1) winner will be chosen. Prize must be claimed within 48 hours of announcement or a new winner will be drawn. Prize will be delivered electronically. All entries will be verified. This giveaway is in no way associated with Amazon, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Rafflecopter, or any other entity unless otherwise specified. Giveaway ends 12/16/2018. Enter using the widget below. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check out all the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways!

Click to Enter More Giveaways

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New England Maker: Away Up North

As you know by now, I love sharing about companies and products we love on the blog and our Instagram - and most especially those made right here in New England.  Next in our series of interviews from New England Makers, we have Glenna Oliver of Away Up North!
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New England Maker:  Away Up North

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your business.

My name is Glenna Oliver and I am married with two grown children, living in the western mountains of Maine. I am the owner and creator of Away up North and enjoy hiking, skiing, camping, and many other outdoor activities that Maine has to offer! At Away Up North I create handmade wool fabric Christmas stockings, decorative pillows, and balsam pillows.

New England Maker:  Glenna Oliver of Away Up North

How did you start Away Up North? Had you been making stockings and pillows for awhile or was this a new leap for you?

To me it seems I have always known how to sew and create. When I had children, I made clothes, doll clothing, and quilts. Christmas has always been my favorite time of year to make gifts for family and friends, including Christmas stockings for my family and then stockings for a friend’s antique shop where she started to sell them.
After being a stay-at-home Mom for twenty-plus years, I was looking for work when my daughter suggested making and selling Christmas stockings on Etsy - that was seven years ago.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I am an early riser and do have an exercise routine that helps me keep up with all my outdoor interests and also helps me mentally jumpstart my day. I begin with my work day about 9AM and depending on the time of year, I am either prepping and preparing for my busy season (September through early January) or sewing and making inventory.
During the busy holiday season I am personalizing and completing stockings as the orders come in. Many days you can also find me working on orders well into the evening hours. During the slower times of the year for my business you can find me enjoying the outdoors where I find the inspiration for so many of my designs.

New England Maker:  Away Up North

What is your favorite part about owning your own company? And least favorite part?

I enjoy the flexibility it gives me - I enjoy using my passion to create and also to spend time pursuing my outdoor passions. An unexpected pleasure I have found with the business is watching families grow as returning customers request new stockings to celebrate the new additions in their families (babies, adult children getting married, grandchildren).
My least favorite part is the administrative side of the business - keeping the books and keeping track of numbers. I much prefer creating over numbers!

New England Maker:  Away Up North

What has been the most exciting moment for Away Up North since you started?

In 2013 I was asked to submit a stocking to Downeast Magazine for their Maine Made Gift Guide. When I received the magazine, I saw my Woodland Bear Christmas Stocking on the front cover! I had no idea it would be on the cover! It was a very exciting moment for me. Since then Away Up North has been in other publications and newspapers, but the Downeast Magazine feature was definitely a highlight for me.

What advice do you have for people just starting out?

Do your research before your begin, but don’t hesitate to take the leap. Surround yourself with resources, not only reading information but good people resources. And always be ready for the “big moment!” No matter how slow it’s going, always create product, always be prepared with photos, samples, and new ideas because you never know when your “big moment” is going to happen.

New England Maker:  Away Up North

What is your long-term goal? Where do you see yourself in five years?

To develop year-round pillow designs and possibly DIY kits for the stockings. Eventually I would also like to develop patterns for all my stocking designs.

Who’s one of your favorite New England Makers?

Alana from A&E Stoneworks! She and her husband Evan make a great product. They make stone cheese boards, coasters, and other products from stone. I love her cheeseboards and her energy! I personally love prodcuts made from stone and natural materials, they compliment the outdoor environment I love and how I enjoy deocrating my own home.

New England Maker:  Away Up North

A note from Away Up North: Items ordered after November 29th will ship in early January, 2019 - but there are currently three designs ready-to-ship available on Amazon with Prime Shipping: Woodland Bear, Woodland Bunny, and Wolf in the Pines.

New England Maker:  Away Up North

- All photos courtesy of Away Up North -


DO YOU OWN A NEW ENGLAND-BASED BUSINESS AND WOULD LIKE TO BE FEATURED IN AN UPCOMING INTERVIEW?  OR WOULD YOU BE INTERESTED IN HAVING ME STYLE, REVIEW, AND FEATURE ONE OF YOUR PRODUCTS?  
Please drop me a note.  


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An Easy Way to Make Budget Christmas Cards Look Expensive

Looking for a super easy way to dress up your budget Christmas cards?  Emboss the envelopes!  We bought this Embosser on Amazon over seven years ago for our wedding and it’s definitely earned it’s keep. 

The best part is it’s under $20!  This would make a great wedding or engagement gift too.

SHOP: Monogram Embosser (affiliate link)

An Easy Way to Make Budget Christmas Cards Look Expensive
An Easy Way to Make Budget Christmas Cards Look Expensive

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