Giveaway for a Custom Zip Code Sign!

This week I’m hosting a Giveaway for one of our Custom Zip Code Signs!  Entering is easy on Instagram, so please look for this photo on my account for details and to enter - good luck!  

  Giveaway runs from May 21st-May28th, 2018.  Open to Continental US Residents Only.  

Giveaway runs from May 21st-May28th, 2018.  Open to Continental US Residents Only.  

Just want to purchase a sign or another one of our products?  Please check out our Etsy Shop:  

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Create a Tick Removal Kit to Help Protect Your Family

Living in the Northeast, ticks have just been awful the last few years and it seems as though you can't enjoy the outdoors anymore without finding one.  It's so important to protect yourself and family from getting a tick in the first place (if you want to read more on my tips to keep ticks at bay, check out my previous post "Safeguarding Against TICKS").  But in the event you unfortunately get one on you, you need to be prepared so you can remove that awful thing ASAP.  By having a Tick Kit handy, you'll be able to remove the tick quickly and safely and hopefully lessen your chances of catching a tick-borne illness. 
| This post contains affiliate links and personal tips - I am not a medical expert |

Create a Tick Kit & Help Protect Your Family

I recommend putting together several tick removal kits and keeping them handy at all times - keep one at home, one in the car, and one in your hiking bag for outdoor trips or diaper bag for playground excursions.  That way if you're out and about and find one on you or your family you can safely remove it and document it, ready for testing purposes.  

What to Include in your TICK REMOVAL KIT:  

Items for a Tick Kit

If you unfortunately get a tick attached to you, safely remove it immediately to help reduce your exposure to tick borne illnesses.  Use the alcohol wipes to cleanse the area where the tick was removed as well as wipe down the tick spoon after removal. 

How to record a tick bite.

It's important to keep the tick itself - as well as note when and where it was located and any other information about the situation (if the tick was engorged, your best guess at how long it could have been attached, etc).  Tape the tick to an index card and use your pen to record all of this information, then place in an empty ziplock bag - feel free to double bag it if you want.  Then call your doctor right away for advice on any precautions you may need to take, or if he wants to order to get the tick tested.   

Whether or not you get the tick tested (either by your doctor or privately), make sure to also report your tick bite to TickEncounters. TickEncounters is a program run by the University of Rhode Island, recording and monitoring trends and information regarding tick bites. Your information is important to their research, so make sure to report it. They can also help advise you about how to get the tick tested for your peace of mind in the event your doctor's office doesn't do it.

Related posts:  

How to record and save a tick for testing.

DISCLAIMER:  I am NOT an expert or medical professional.  These are tips and information I've learned over the years living in a tick-prone area.  Always check with your own doctor and local experts for the best prevention and treatment plans for yourself and your family.  Discuss with your doctor ahead of time what to do in the event of a tick bite (and I hope you never need to use that information).  Stay vigilant and stay safe!  

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Heirloom Clothing

A week ago our youngest got Baptized.  She wore the same Baptism Dress I did and big sister did, which is so special!  ...However I did have to cut a slit in the slip to get it over her head that morning (she's a big baby!).  So now I’m hemming that, and the dress will be cleaned and put away for their own kids someday. 

Family Tradition:  the Baptism Dress, worn by me and our two daughters.

Do you have any heirloom clothing in your family?  We also have my Grandmother's wedding veil/crown from the 1940's that both my sister and I wore for our First Communions - so very special.   

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Birch Landing Home at farm + table!

So excited to say that our ornaments are now being carried at the beautiful farm + table in Kennebunkport, Maine!  This eclectic gift shop features lots of handmade and small-batch goods made by artisans all over the country and I’m so honored to be included. 

Make sure to stop in next time you’re in the area!  

   Photo courtesy of farm + table

 Photo courtesy of farm + table

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Gold-Dipped Birch Egg How-To {As seen in Food Network Magazine!}

A few months ago, Food Network Magazine emailed me and asked if I'd be interested in designing a New Hampshire-themed egg for their Easter issue!  I was completely blown away and honored for the opportunity.  My New Hampshire egg design was a gold-dipped, faux birch bark egg - gold-dipped to represent our State House with it's golden dome, and the birch bark paint finish to represent our our state tree, the white birch. 
Fun Fact:  My great-grandfather was a steeplejack and did the gold leaf on the New Hampshire capitol dome back in the 1920's!  
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Gold-Dipped Birch Egg How-To | As seen in Food Network Magazine!  New Hampshire-Inspired Easter Egg

Creating one of these gold-dipped birch eggs for yourself is pretty simple!  Here's the full how-to:  

Materials:  

Eggnot ready to be painted
  • faux egg (for the Food Network Magazine example and most of the photos in this how-to, I used an Eggnot, a fake ceramic egg - but you could also use a wooden egg. If you use real hardboiled eggs I would not recommend eating them after painting)
  • gold acrylic paint
  • black acrylic paint
  • white acrylic paint (if your fake egg isn't already white to begin with)
  • paper cup
  • thin paintbrush
  • tinfoil to make a stand for the egg to dry on

How-to:  

Adding the gold-dip to the egg.

1.  First, make a tinfoil ring to hold your egg while it dries between steps.  Then if your egg isn't already white, paint white and allow to dry between coats.  It may need several coats of paint.  

2.  Next shake the gold acrylic paint well and pour about half an inch of it into a small paper cup.  Dip the top of the egg carefully into the cup.  (I found it best to to do the gold-dip first, then paint the bark pattern after since sometimes the black lines were visible under the gold-dip.) 
Gold paint tends to be thick and you may have some swirling or thick drips after dipping.  You can try to smooth these out a bit with a paintbrush but it usually looks cleaner if you just leave it as-is, even if you end up with a thick spot within the dip.  After the gold dip, carefully place the egg in the tinfoil ring to dry.  

3.  Once the gold-dip is dry, use a thin paint brush to paint horizontal black lines on the egg, all the way around.  Vary the placement and thickness of the lines a bit to mimic the look of birch bark.  
You may have to carefully hold the egg for a few minutes to let it air dry a bit before carefully setting it, gold top down, into the tinfoil ring to finish drying.  

Hand-painting a birch bark design to the egg.
Gold Dipped Birch Egg drying in a tinfoil holder.

And that's it!  While making them can be tedious with the drying time between steps, it's really quite easy.  And in the event you don't feel like tackling this project yourself,  I have a limited supply of painted Wooden Gold-Dipped Birch Eggs in my Etsy Shop!  

Gold-Dipped Birch Egg How-To | As seen in Food Network Magazine!
  As seen in the April, 2018 issue of  Food Network Magazine !  

As seen in the April, 2018 issue of Food Network Magazine!  

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Honored to Say: “As Seen in Food Network Magazine!”

Incredibly honored and excited to say that I designed and painted the New Hampshire egg for the latest issue of Food Network Magazine!  I was completely blown away when they sent me an email last November, asking if I wanted to be a contributor for this piece (um, YES!) and it’s so exciting to finally see it in print!  Thank you, Food Network Magazine! 

If you want to make your own NH-inspired egg, please check out my full tutorial HERE.  

Birch Landing Home - as seen in Food Network Magazine!  New Hampshire-Inspired Easter Egg
Birch Landing Home - as seen in Food Network Magazine!  New Hampshire-Inspired Easter Egg

PS - Make sure to pick up a copy, so many creative eggs from every state - not to mention all the yummy recipes!

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Protein + Fiber Packed Turkey Chili Recipe {and Instapot Giveaway!}

It's been cold and snowy here in New England these last two weeks (like 3 Nor'easters in two weeks snowy!), so what better way to warm up than with a bowl of hearty and healthy chili!  This recipe was done in our crockpot but could be made in less time in an Instapot.  Don't have an Instapot?  You're in luck - I've teamed up with several other bloggers to give one away!  {Scroll down to enter the givewaway}

Protein and Fiber Packed Turkey Chili

This chili is super easy to make and can be adjusted to your taste with whatever veggies you'd like to add.  I often make chili as an excuse to use up all the extra veggies we have in the fridge - once all the flavors meld together you can hide just about any vegetable in there (perfect for picky toddlers or husbands).  While not in this current batch, I've often added things like mushrooms, spinach, sweet potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes, carrots, squash, etc.  As far as using canned beans and tomato sauce I always buy store-brand organic varieties when I can - they tend to have less additives and salt than non-organic and are cheaper than the name brand ones!  

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of lean ground turkey (can also use lean ground beef if you prefer)
  • 2 cans of low sodium tomato sauce
  • 1 can of red kidney beans
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans
  • 1 can of lentils (adds a lot of protein and you won't even notice them mixed in with the ground meat!)
  • 2/3 cup of frozen corn (using frozen veggies is a great shortcut)
  • 1/2 cup of frozen chopped peppers
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon chopped jarred garlic
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric (turmeric has great anti-inflammatory properties)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • shredded cheese and/or crackers to garnish

Directions

  1. Brown ground meat in a skillet, pouring off excess fat.  

  2. Add meat and all remaining ingredients (except for garnishes) to crockpot.  

  3. Cook on low in crockpot for 8 hours or high for 4 hours, until veggies are soft and flavors have melded.  

  4. Garnish with shredded cheese and crackers, if desired.  

Looking for a way to make this yummy recipe faster?  Use an Instapot! 
I've teamed up with several other bloggers to give one away to a lucky follower.  Enter below for a chance to win - good luck!  

Instapot Giveaway!

Instapot Giveaway!

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