Category Archives: fall

Thanksgiving Cheese Ball

We woke up to a few inches of snow here…and our first snow day from school. Seems a bit early, no? I don’t remember ever having a snow day this early in the school year. Check out instagram to see Stella’s first walk in the snow….hilarious. I hope you had a fabulous weekend. I know that many of you are getting ready for the big turkey day….and I wanted to share one more great appetizer to serve up to your guest….Have a great Monday friends:)

Realizing that this is my 2nd cheese post within the last couple weeks….love me some cheese:) Cheese ball & holiday’s….it’s like peanut butter and jelly….bacon & eggs….mac & cheese…you get the point…. I used to love going to the mall during the holidays and seeing that big Hickory Farms kiosk…..guarantee sausage sample….It doesn’t take much to make me happy. Sausage and cheese….hellllooooo:) So in the spirit of the big day of turkey…I thought I would create a turkey shaped cheese ball. It is so fun to play with food:) You can obviously make this into any shape you desire…..go play….Thanksgiving cheese ball @cleverlyinspired (2)

I bought a box of kitchen gloves…and I use them all the time for recipes like this….getting cheese out of nails=not fun at all…..


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Combine everything except the bacon. Make a basic turkey head by shaping the body and then a small ball for the head. Roll the entire thing in bacon….wax paper makes for  quick cleanup:)


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I used 3 kinds of crackers to create a “feather” effect.

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Thanksgiving Cheese Ball
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 16
  • 8oz cream cheese
  • 1 C shredded smoked gouda
  • 1 T chives
  • dash of tabasco
  • ⅓ C bacon chopped or bacon bits
  1. Combine all ingredients except bacon.
  2. Form into turkey head
  3. Roll in bacon (spread bacon on wax paper for easy clean up)
  4. When ready to serve, place crackers in "feather" shape and cheese in the center.


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You can make it ahead and then just place the crackers on before guest arrive:) Try not to say gobble gobble to much:) (recipe adapted from RachelRay)


Rustic Thanksgiving Table & DIY candles

Talk about one-stop shopping! With Thanksgiving and holiday entertaining coming up, I wanted to create a beautiful yet simple DIY centerpiece with common household items. I think I succeeded! To make this tablescape, you’ll need just a few things from your local True Value hardware and grocery stores, but other than that it’s an inexpensive, rustic and easy table to put together. While I used an assortment of vegetables and candles, you could really use anything you wish. I think tablescapes can often be kind of intimidating because all we see is the end result, but I created a gif below to show you how I went about putting this one together and you’ll see building blocks is all it is…building one thing upon another. Here is how I created this rustic table…perfect for your fall entertaining :)

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For my table, I picked up a few cabbages, oranges, pomegranates, eggplant, squash, sweet potatoes and a 2 lb. bag of lima beans. Some good additions would be pumpkins, cranberries and apples. Of course you definitely need some mood lighting. I added candles of all shapes and sizes using votives, tapers and some DIY candles too.


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I cut a small round hole in the cabbage and oranges and scooped out some of the “guts” so that my votives would sit inside. Tearing off the outer layers of the cabbage makes a perfect little vessel for a votive candle. I think the key is just adding layers. Starting with a clean, wide open table, add in some inexpensive kraft paper, which you can find in the paint prep area of your local True Value. Add in some height with cake platters. Upside down vases also work great. Start with the biggest vegetable, working down to the smallest. For mine, I placed the squash than added the eggplant, cabbages, pomegranates, sweet potatoes, oranges and finished up by scattering the lima beans. I love the varied texture and colors that all the different vegetables bring together. (click on this picture below to see how I arranged from start to finish)


Start with a clean wide open table, add in some inexpensive craft paper, which you can find in the paint prep area at True Value. Add in some height with cake platters, or upside down vases also work great. Start with the biggest vegetable, working down to the smallest. For mine, I placed the squash than added the eggplant, cabbages, pomegranates, sweet potatoes, oranges and finished up by scattering the lima beans. I love the varied texture and colors that all the different vegetables have together.


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Mixing in some more elegant candlesticks against all the rustic tones makes it feel casual and thrown together but with purpose.



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These simple oil lamps make great use of different size jars (how-to below!). You just want to make sure that the washer fits on the top because that is what’s going to hold your wick. These wicks make great use of wine bottles also:) I like the fact that this tablescape is really no fuss; it could be used for a Thanksgiving buffet or a sit down dinner, and when you’re done you can use all your vegetables. Win win!

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To make these DIY oil candles, you will need:

· 3/8th inch size washers

· Cotton roping (I buy this cotton wick material online)

· Lamp thread kit (1/8th inch sold at True Value in the lamp repair area)

· Lamp nuts (1/8th nut)

· Clear lamp oil

· A bottle with an opening that is no wider than your washer. I found these vinegar glass jars at my local Dollar Tree, but a wine bottle also works.





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The bottles that I bought said “vinegar” on the side, so to hide the words on the side I used some kraft paper and double sided tape to wrap the bottles. Burlap ribbon would also be great! I would suggest that you take the washers with you when you’re looking for the glass bottle that you want to use.

*Caution* The wax rests on the top of the bottle, so always keep your eye on the candle and do not leave it unattended. You can read more about fire safety precautions here.



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The washer sits in between the two nuts and threads onto the lamp rod. The cotton wick goes up through the middle.What I love about these DIY candles is that they make use of an old bottle…plus you can make as many as you need! They are so pretty all lined up on a table.

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Putting together a casual rustic table is easier than you thought right?? So just add these things to your Thanksgiving list…and your shopping will be done!

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I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

Baked Cheese Appetizer (Easy Thanksgiving Snack)

Hey yall! We are in the beginnings of basketball season here! My buds is the manager of the freshman basketball team for his high school. He is so stinkin excited about it! We are thrilled he is meeting so many nice boys…and he loves being a part of the team. I am trying my darndest to get my holiday things organized. Figuring out where things go and what to decorate will be a challenge this year:) I am NOT one of those bloggers who has it all together and all the holiday stuff is out and looking fabulous:) As always….I blog in “real time”…I try to give you some things to work on ahead of time…like this recipe I am sharing today. It is a great one to have for Thanksgiving festivities….

Don’t you love a recipe that starts off with “3 ingredients”….it’s screaming “HEY YOU—seriously this is the easiest thing ever!!!” Make this for Thanksgiving….it will impress your guest…and it so easy you can have your 11 year old put it together. I made a couple for my party a few weeks back…and it is always gone.

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You can use any seasoning packet that you would like. I used dried onion soup and spinach garlic. Any of those dried dip mixes will work. If you need to make your own….here is a post I shared last year that would work perfectly.

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Baked Cheese Appetizer (Easy Thanksgiving Snack)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 10
  • 1 can crescent rolls
  • 1 packet of dried dip of your choice
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  1. Heat oven to 375
  2. Roll out 4 crescent rolls into a rectangle. I roll it out on wax paper to prevent sticking.
  3. Sprinkle half of the season packet on crescent
  4. Place cream cheese on rectangle.
  5. Sprinkle the remaining seasoning.
  6. Gently wrap the crescent on top of cream cheese.
  7. Place seam sides down on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes until browned.


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DIY leather napkin holder with free thanksgiving printable

So my peanut is going to her first high school dance tonight:) She is very excited! She is going with a very nice boy….we are friends with his family–which gives some comfort to the whole situation. I’m sure I will share a pic on instagram if you want to pop over there later.

Here is an easy little napkin holder to make for your Thanksgiving table this year:) I hope you have a great weekend!!…..

Thanksgiving is probably one of the only times of year that people actually spend more than 2 seconds worrying about what their napkins look like. My friends at the sent me some gorgeous tortoiseshell leather and I thought it would make really pretty napkin ties.

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It doesn’t take a lot of leather to make these but they do add a lot of interest to the table paired with some inexpensive jute roping a nicely pressed white napkin and some favorite silver. I’m sure you aren’t using your white dinner napkins right now…so if you are hosting the big shin-dig this year…you might as well get a head start and make these up this weekend. They will be one less thing to worry about:)

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I love the mix of textures….makes it look really warm on the plate. I encourage you to stop by Leather Hide to see the huge selection of all sorts of beautiful leathers. You can order any quantity that you need. There are so many fun projects that you can incorporate leather with…like all of these on pinterest.

What you will need is 12 inches of leather, some jute roping, double sided tape,  this free printable that you can download and a white dinner napkin.

First for the super easy napkin fold….

lay pressed napkin on a flat surface and fold one corner up almost completely to opposite corner

roll in both side until they meet in the center

Flip over

Fold the rolled edges over

Flip napkin back over and place on the plate.

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For the tie:

cut a piece of leather 10-12 inches in length

cut out notches on each end as shown below

use some double side tape to secure leather to each other.

tie with some jute roping

tie on the printable

guest can fill out the printable during the day


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You can right click on the printable below to save it to your computer. I printed mine in “wallet” sizes.

Brown Multi Layered Background

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Easy!! Slide the silver into the pockets in the napkin. Wow your friends and family:)

Have a great weekend!


Kids Thanksgiving Treat

I will be sharing a few things to do/make for Thanksgiving this week and next. It seems every year that Thanksgiving gets no respect….it is that awesome holiday before Christmas…remember? I love Thanksgiving….a holiday about food…and thanks…what’s not to love? I wanted to share with you this fun kids treat that would work great for a Thanksgiving party at school. I shared it recently over at Jen’s…but I didn’t want you to miss it:)

It seems we are always looking for a fun way to present a treat for the holidays or school gatherings. These little graham cracker “wheat stalks” would be so cute lining a kids table at Thanksgiving time. Even better, you could put the older kids in charge of making and displaying them for the younger ones…win win!

I used peanutbutter for the filling….but you could use something else if you have allergy kiddos….kids thanksgiving treat @cleverlyinspired (5)



What you will need:

cute straws:)

graham crackers snapped into rectangles


dipping white chocolate or milk chocolate

holiday sprinkles


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To put together:


flatten the top part of the straw

spread peanutbutter onto both graham crackers (creating your “glue”)

place the straw and top with another cracker

let set and finish making the others

melt the chocolates

Dip into white chocolate set onto wax paper (hold by the base of the cracker for most support)

dip into sprinkles

Let dry

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How sweet would these be on the kiddos table this year?!?

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Fun with food:) Awesome:)


Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup

I bet the Pilgrims would have loved a good slow cooker recipe….after long hard day…building a house and pillaging for food…probably would have been real nice to come home to hot cooked meal. I often think….geez-Louise we have it good….I mean we can plug this device in…throw some food in…and it cooks for us…all day long…so that all we have to do when we get home at night is put it on a plate and dig in. Dang we are spoiled! Sidenote: have you ever watched the History Channel’s series called The Story of Us? It is mind blowing and truly incredible. It is basically the story of the United States…and how we came to be….from the Pilgrims landing and onward. Highly recommend if you haven’t seen it….Anywho, here is a fabulous cozy fall meal that truly is comfort in a bowl. Try it this weekend….:)


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The beef is so incredibly tender…I suggest a “chuck roast”…. also, it MUST be cooked on low….low and slow= tender and awesome;)

Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 8
  • 2 T oil
  • 2 large onions minced
  • ¼ C tomato paste
  • ¾ t dried thyme
  • ½ C red wine
  • 28 Oz crushed tomatoes
  • 2 C beef broth
  • 2 C low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • ⅓ C soy sauce
  • ¼ C pearl barley (do NOT use quick cook kind;)
  • 2-3 Lbs chuck roast
  • salt pepper
  1. Heat oil in pan, add in onions, tomato paste and thyme. Saute 10 min till browned..Stir in wine and combine.
  2. Place onion mixture in slow cooker.
  3. Stir into slow cooker, tomatoes, beef and chicken broths, carrots, soy sauce, barley.
  4. Season beef with salt and pepper and nestle in slow cooker.
  5. Cook on low 8-9 hours.
  6. Remove beef and shred, place back in slow cooker and keep warm to eat!


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If you are making this for a weeknight meal….you could make the onion mixture the night before….then in the morning just toss it in the slow cooker and place the beef and juices on top. Done:)slow cooker beef barley soup @cleverlyinspired (4)


Have a wonderful weekend friends:)


(recipe adapted from Slow Cooking Revolution cookbook:)

Homemade Apple Chips with Cinnamon Sugar whipped crème

I was invited to participate in a really fun blog hop this fall. Over 75 bloggers are participating. All sorts of fun fall inspiration from recipes to projects you name it…all things fall!

We call it #FallHarvestIdeas and it is a celebration of all things FALL!!!homemade apple chips with cinnamon sugar whipped creme @cleverlyinspired (4)


I decided to try a new recipe that I’ve been wanting to do for a while. Apple chips with homemade whipped cream . Yum yum yum! I made homemade whipped cream not too long ago. It could not be any easier and taste so much better than the store bought brand.

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All you need are 4 simple ingredients. The trick to making homemade whipping cream stand up and stay for awhile in your fridge is the addition of powdered sugar. I added some cinnamon and it is the perfect complement to these apple slices.

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One thing I learned when I made the apple slices is you should use parchment instead of the baking racks. If you are going to use the baking racks then be sure to spray them with cooking spray. Several of mine stuck to the baking sheet. When I do it again I will definitely use parchment and flip them halfway during the cooking. I got mine super thin by using a mandolin. I found this KitchenAid one at Costco for $14 and I use it all the time. If you don’t have a mandolin just slice as soon as you can. They may take a little longer to cook.

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I hope you can pop around to see some of the fabulous fall ideas….from crafts, to recipes, to home decor and more…we have you covered for Fall inspiration!


Homemade Apple Chips with Cinnamon Sugar whipped crème
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12
  • 2 large apples (I like honeycrisp)
  • cinnamon to dust
  • Whipped creme:
  • 2 C heavy cream
  • 2 T powdered sugar
  • ¼ t cinnamon
  • ½ t vaniila
  • cinnamon & sugar to dust
  1. Slice apples as thin as possible and place on parchment lines cookie sheet.
  2. Bake 1.5 hours on 250 until golden and crisp.
  3. Meanwhile make whipped creme"
  4. In a large metal bowl whip creme and sugar until stiff peaks form.
  5. Fold in vanilla and cinnamon.
  6. Keep in fridge until ready to serve
  7. Dust with cinnamon sugar.


Check the gallery below and visit some of my blogging friends to see their awesome ideas!!

Be sure to go searching on your fav social channels for #FallHarvestIdeas ….we will be lighting it up all day today!!

Healthy Halloween Snack (Monster Cheese)

Nope, I don’t have preschoolers….yes, they are in high school….does that stop me from making really fun, cute halloween treats…NO! Sadly this is how my brain works….while in the grocery looking at string cheese…I thought, “hey it would be so cute to make that into a ghost for a preschool Halloween snack.” Have I seen this somewhere and it is just in my “random crap you remember from pinterest” memory?? If so…and you have seen this before…please tell me! I am thinking it is an original idea….but what are those anymore #pinterestoverload :)

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So….make some of these cute healthy monster cheese….serve it up with some crackers and fruit…to monsters of any age:) Really….no tutorial needed…yall are quick like that:) And hey….teens love them too:) This one came home from school and opened the fridge and shouted “MOM that is SO CLEVER!!” awwww shucks….I still got it:)

monster cheese


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You will need:

string cheese

feather boa in black

orange pompoms

double sided tape


stick on eyes


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This one reminds me of beaker from Muppets….see it??? So basically you dry off the string cheese to get off the condensation. Use a piece of double sided tape to pop on your eyeball….and place a piece of the top to adhere the pompom or feather….whatever you like…no rules:)

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Have a great weekend peeps!

PS thanks for all your good vibes and prayers…my friends son is improving daily…. #prayerswork!


Where I share fun ideas:

BeDifferentActNormal, The36thAve, Whipperberry, TipJunkie, Tatertots&Jello, TodaysCreativeBlog, SerenityNow, PositivelySplendidByStephanieLynn, TheDIYClub, CRAFTHomeStoriesAtoZ, InspireMePleaseRemodelaholic


Cheap update for plastic planters

Thanks for all the kinds thoughts and prayers about my friend’s son…this I know…Prayers WORK! He continues to improve everyday and I will keep you posted….

So I was hanging onto 1/2 of a yard of burlap FOREVER….I mean like FOREVER…I have had it for probably 3 years….and yet I still moved it to the new house. Time to put that burlap to work!!! I bought some mums at Lowes last week (only $4!! Holla!) and I don’t replant….just because…A. I don’t’ really know how. B. It causes me stress to move all the root thingies. And C. it is just so much easier to just place them on the porch ya know? So, I was on a mission to use the burlap AND make my planters prettier. Here is how is went down….


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Cut some twine, cut a square of burlap, wrap and tie. Are you with me? I know right…..a bit to easy to call it a “tutorial”…and yet at the same time it took me 41 years to think of this idea. I’m sure I’m not the first person to ever wrap material around a planter….but I just had to show you in case you wanted to try it too:)


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I ran out of burlap….so I used kraft paper for 2 of the mums….yes, it will get wet….but I don’t really care…I like how it looks;)


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Now cross your fingers for me so that they bloom mmmkay?!?! :)


fall porch cleverlyinspired

Easy Fall Planter (Outdoor Fall Décor)

Good gravy we made it to Friday! My boys have big sports plans this weekend that include an NBA exhibition game…an NFL game and a huge rival high school football game. The peanut and I are looking forward to PUPPYTIME with our Stella girl who will be coming home on Saturday:) Plus, the weather is turning cooler…whoot!!! I wanted to share this super easy fall planter….in case you wanted to make some this weekend….

I drilled some fake pumpkins this week. I probably enjoyed it a bit too much….I wanted to go buy more fake pumpkins just so that I could drill some more….anywho, these easy fall planters are my new favorite thing and they would be a perfect weekend project!


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There are similar projects all over the internet…and I am sure this is not an original idea….but my thought was to try and save the plants that were still thriving (which is quite  amazing I might add…) and just add a little fallication to them. Yes…that is a word.

I bought these tall planters at a place called “At Home”…(which was formally garden ridge). I think they were $50 each….which didn’t seem too bad given how large they are. I think they will look great year round too….10623811_759801160727582_1249539671_n


Perfect for the scale of the front door and they looked so pretty with these green plants inside (cannot remember the name of them…. #brownthumb.) To add a bit of fall to the green leaves….and to match the wreath on the door….I decided I would add some fake pumpkins….Here is how I secured them to the plants….


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You will need:

2 tomato stakes (mine are 30inches)

2 medium fake pumpkins

2 smaller fake pumpkins

1 9 foot fall garland (cut in half)

3/8 inch drill bit and drill

To Do:

Drill a hole in both the bottom and top of the medium pumpkin

Place tomato stake in planter

Thread the medium pumpkin onto the stake

drill hole in bottom only of smaller pumpkin

thread onto stake

wrap and wire garland in the center (I cut one garland in half…but use whatever you wish…your planters not mine:)


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A simple and quick tip to bringing a little fall to your greenery:)

Go forth and fall up the house this weekend:) And if you have a chance to sit and peruse….be sure to check out some of my new additions in my etsy shop.  Use coupon code FALLYALL for $5 off!! I have been busy crafting for the upcoming season:)


Where I share great ideas:

BeDifferentActNormal, The36thAve, Whipperberry, TipJunkie, Tatertots&Jello, TodaysCreativeBlog, SerenityNow, PositivelySplendidByStephanieLynn, TheDIYClub, CRAFTHomeStoriesAtoZ, InspireMePleaseRemodelaholic

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