How to Decorate an Autumn Country Kitchen

Autumn brings an unmistakable rustic charm that’s simply breathtaking! With a few adjustments and a couple of additions, you can bring this traditional appeal into your very own country kitchen. Here are some inspiring decorating ideas to give your kitchen a warm pastoral charisma:

Pumpkins and Gourds on Your Shelves 

pumpkins and gourds on cabinets and mantels
Photo 1 and 2 from Houzz

Pumpkins and gourds exhibit the colors of autumn vibrantly. By adding these natural decorations, you can bring the colors of the fall landscape into your space. Place these on your shelves or nook. Pair these with orange candles or dried leaves.

A Bowl of Potpourri on Your Counter 

dried potpourri can bring a fragrant atmosphere to your home

You can also breathe in the fragrance of the countryside! A bowl of freshly dried potpourri fills rooms with the soothing aromas of autumn and adds a touch of bright hues in minimalist areas. Best of all, it eliminates various odors brought on after cooking.

Candles in Glass Cylinders

glass cases with a candle stick and nuts and beans
 Photo 1 and 2 from Houzz 

One fine way to bring fall’s rustic colors into your kitchen is to take a glass cylinder, fill it with various types of nuts and beans, and stick in a candle. This provides subtle accent lighting to accentuate your homely space.

candles can create an ideal mood that go well with family dinners

Pumpkin candles on your breakfast nook are also a delightful choice. The soft radiance from these items is ideal for setting a warm mood during evening meals with the family.

Autumn’s Lovely Blooms in the Corner of Your Kitchen 

autumn flowers paired with a pumpkin spicd candle

Fresh flowers create a cheerful atmosphere in your space. This is especially needed for stuffy kitchens. Chrysanthemums, heleniums, and sunflowers in a corner of your kitchen give your room a dab of vibrancy that many will find quaint and pleasant.

Bring autumn’s country charm into your precious kitchen space with these design inspirations from Tree Classics.

Tree Classics Salutes Our Military Heroes

The bravery of men and women who serve our country inspires all of us at Tree Classics. In celebration of Veterans Day, we are commemorating their heroism in our own simple way.

Tree Classics's Tree for Our HeroesHeroes Camouflage Christmas Tree

We designed our Heroes Camouflage Christmas Tree as a tribute to our unsung military heroes. The unique foliage features camouflage colors and is made from 100% premium and flame-retardant PVC. Standing tall in a proud area of your home, this wonderful statement tree brings an atmosphere of gallantry and patriotism that will encourage all who see it to cultivate the same values.

The Heroes' Christmas Tree Up Close

Our 7-foot camouflage Christmas tree not only commemorates the selflessness of men and women in the armed forces; it also instills in children the important contribution of our soldiers to the peace and security of our nation.

Parents can share a wonderful moment with the kids: they decorate this tree with ornaments patterned after insignia worn by our heroes. This is also a marvelous time to teach kids a bit of American history or perhaps your own family legacy if you or a relative has ever been called to defend the country.

A Star Adornment for your Tree
Modern Holiday Decorations by Other Metro Furniture and Accessories Crate&Barrel

Have fun placing small paper flags between the branches. Silver stars and military dog tags can also make for unique ornaments.

Display the camouflage Christmas tree in honor of those in the military service. And rekindle the message of bravery and selflessness espoused by our heroes.

Films that Honor American Heroes

Heroism and patriotism have always been a favorite subject in film. These narratives are a wonderful way to remind people about the importance of struggling against injustice and defending our community and country against all that threaten them. At the same time, these narratives also honor the bravery and sacrifices made by the people who chose to fight for what is right. Here are five American films that pay tribute to our modern day heroes:

All the President’s Men (1976) 

the film poster for Alan Pakula's All the President's Men

Alan Pakula’s All the President’s Men focuses on one of America’s most talked about controversy: the Watergate Scandal. Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford play Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, two journalists who try to uncover the secrets behind the strange burglary at the Watergate complex. Aided by a secret informant, who calls himself Deep Throat, the investigation leads the two newsmen to a startling discovery that might compromise the integrity of the president and the administration. Based on real-life events, this movie shows Bernstein’s and Woodward’s unbreakable commitment to the truth, to journalistic integrity, and to what they owe the public.

Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July

Born on the Fourth of July is part of Oliver Stone’s trilogy of films about the Vietnam War. This critically acclaimed movie takes the subject matter out of the deadly battlefield and brings it to the home front, in the invisible war that the media did not cover. Tom Cruise plays Ron Kovic, a soldier taken out of the war zone due to injuries sustained during combat. In his hometown, the audience becomes witness to his difficulty in adjusting to the life he once knew before seeing everything he had seen in Vietnam. He finally gets his bearings, realizes that he does not want what he experienced to happen to anyone, and joins a coalition protesting against the war. The film is a testament to the horrors of war while honoring the men and women who would put themselves in the line of fire for their country.

The American President (1995) 

Rob Reiner's The American President

Rob Reiner’s The American President is an enthralling look into the life and responsibilities of the world’s most powerful man. Written by award-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, this film focuses on President Andrew Shepherd, played by Michael Douglas, as he deals with re-election, a debate over a crime bill, the conflict in the Middle East, and an impending environmental crisis, while trying to make a relationship work with a liberal lobbyist. The film expertly showcases the dedication of a man in his efforts to improve a country and his willingness to sacrifice his personal happiness for the betterment of the electorate.

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan

Considered a modern-day masterpiece, Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan is a breathtaking and harrowing account of a small band of soldiers under orders to retrieve and bring home Private James Ryan, a paratrooper who had lost three of his brothers in World War II. With uncertainty, the soldiers plunge head-on into enemy territories, risking life and limb just to save one man. This film exhibits the bravery of our soldiers fighting out of the country and their dedication even in the face of death.

United 93 (2006)

Paul Greengrass' United 93

One of the most heartbreaking movies in our list, United 93 takes a look at the greatest tragedy of our times. On September 11, 2001, against the threat of an attack on US soil, the passengers of United 93 bond together and stop the nefarious plans of the Al Qaeda. Armed with nothing but their bravery, without any military training whatsoever, they fight off the terrorists and bring the plane down, just so they could save the capital from an act of violence designed to take hundreds of lives. This movie is beautiful and stands as an inspiring reminder that everyone can make a difference.

Remember the heroism of our dear countrymen with these stirring and inspiring film recommendations from Tree Classics.

How to Throw an Autumn Picnic

an autumn picnic with the family in a beautiful scenic spot

The fall season brings remarkably beautiful changes to the landscape. Before the cold settles in and the lovely rustic colors of nature fade into winter, clock in some quality time with the family and throw an autumn picnic. Here’s a quick guide you can use for this unforgettable outdoor meal:

1.  Pack the Essentials

a picnic basket filled with the essentials

Make sure to have everything in a large autumn-inspired wicker basket before you take off. Pack a big picnic sheet and several blankets in case the wind gets crisp and chilly.

Bring paper plates, paper cups, utensils, and condiments. Check if you need other kitchen tools, such as a bottle opener, cheese grater, or pepper grinder. Bring garbage bags and cleaning materials so that you can take care of any mess afterwards.

2. Choose the Ideal Location

a quaint place perfect for an autumn picnic

The perfect place for an autumn picnic is one that truly showcases the exquisite splendor of fall. Head out of the city to the nearest state national park. A beautiful setting should feature the wonderful colors and delightful blooms of autumn.

3. Prepare a Wonderful Autumn Menu

a delicious and refreshing cheddar and potato bacon

Prepare easy-to-pack but warm and filling food choices for your outdoor meal. Start off with a delicious autumn salad or Naked Avocado’s Paleo Chicken Caesar Salad or Simply Potatoes’ delicious and creamy Cheddar and Bacon Potato Salad.

a filling ham, brie and apple sandwich

Sandwiches are always an excellent choice for picnics. Thy can be prepared early on and are easy to manage. A delicious recipe is Fabtastic Eats’ Chicken, Sun Dried Tomato, and Asparagus Pesto Sandwich and Serious Eats’ Ham, Brie, and Apple French Toast Panini.

a delicious glass of strawberry iced tea

Dessert is always a plus. Prepare a crunchy and yummy apple pocket pie or a delectable peach cobbler. Don’t forget to blend refreshing drinks, such as Gimme Some Oven’s Sangria and Deep South Dish’s Southern Strawberry Iced Tea.

4. Play Games with the Kids

an exciting game of frisbee with the kids

Before packing up, spend a few hours in your picnic spot and relax. This is a wonderful opportunity to have a little fun with the kids. Take out the old pigskin or Frisbee and have a short game of catch. Or take a nice walk and see the gorgeous sights. Catch up and swap stories. Take a lot of pictures.

5. Wrap it Up before the Day Ends

a scenic view to end the day

Autumn evenings can get real cold. Make sure to end your picnic before sunset. Pack up your things and clean up your picnic spot. Don’t leave anything behind. Take a last group picture against the backdrop of your picnic destination! Turn this into an annual tradition so that your family will always have a date to look forward to every year.

Have a lovely and memorable autumn picnic with your dearest family members with this guide from Tree Classics!

Photo Credits

Photo by jplust via flicr. CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0.

Photo by twopolishedpennies via flickr. CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0.

Photo by Devon Miles via flickr. CC-BY-NC-2.0.

Photo by roboppy via flickr. CC-BY-NC-2.0.

Photo by rosemilkinabotle via flickr. CC BY 2.0.

Photo by Diamond Geyser via flickr. CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0.

Photo by James Marvin Phelps via flickr. CC-BY-NC-2.0.

Classic Halloween Films for the Family

Nothing makes Halloween more fun than watching the perfect not-so-scary movie in the dark with the whole family. For your wholesome entertainment, here are Tree Classics’ picks for some of the best films that will put the entire household in the mood for a great Halloween night:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Poster1. Harry Potter (2001-2011)

A world full of wizards, witches, ghosts, centaurs, unicorns, trolls, demons, owls, and other magical creatures make any Harry Potter installment truly apt for the Halloween season. This is, of course, aside from the fact that many critical events in the series appropriately happen on October 31st. But one particular scene that is sure to put everyone in the Halloween spirit is the yearly Halloween Feast at Hogwarts – just because the Great Hall is festooned with candy-filled pumpkins, black cauldrons of big lollipops, carrot cake, bats, and orange streamers during this bewitching night.

Casper the Friendly Ghost movie poster2. Casper (1995)

Featuring the classic friendly ghost and his three mischievous ghost uncles, “Casper” sets a fun, spooky mood for Halloween. In this comedy fantasy film, a paranormal expert and his daughter bunk in a drafty old mansion with not-so-mortal inhabitants, who have their twisted ways of getting rid of the unwanted guests. As if to make it more appropriate for the occasion, the movie ends with a dance party on Halloween night.

The Corpse Bride movie poster3. Corpse Bride (2005)

Tim Burton’s “Corpse Bride” tells the story of a shy groom who is whisked away to the underworld and wed to a deceased young woman as his real bride waits in the land of the living. Perfect for a Halloween night with the family, this animated fantasy horror is spooky and twisted, but sweet and magical at the same time.

 

Ghostbusters movie poster

4. Ghostbusters (1984)

In this supernatural comedy film, three unemployed parapsychology professors set up a ghost-catching business as unruly haunters run amok in New York City. Kids will love the spooktacular adventures the trio embarks on as they attempt to prevent a disaster of Biblical proportions!

 

Scooby Doo movie poster5. Scooby Doo (2002)

With a humor perfect for kids of all ages, the live action “Scooby Doo”, much like the popular Hanna-Barbera cartoon series, is a fun movie to watch during Halloween. In this horror comedy film, the Mystery Inc. gang find themselves reunited on a resort called Spooky Island for some spine-tingling ghost hunting.

 

Coraline movie poster6. Coraline (2009)

From the director of “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, “Coraline” tells the story of a neglected child who discovers a strangely idealized parallel version of her frustrating home, but she later finds out that this Other World is not as good as it seems. With disturbing themes such as sewing buttons into eye sockets, this stop-motion 3D horror film is perfect for Halloween night but not with kids below eight.

Beetlejuice poster7. Beetlejuice (1988)

Directed by Tim Burton, “Beetlejuice” revolves around a recently deceased young couple who hires a bio-exorcist to scare away the obnoxious new owners of their house. Comedic with dark undertones, this fantasy film is suitable for a fun, not-too-terrifying Halloween evening.

 

The Addams Family movie poster8. The Addams Family (1991)

Who better to entertain you this Halloween than the eccentric and macabre members of the Addams family? In this comedy film, Gomez’s lawyer attempts to steal from the bizarre family’s vault using an accomplice who claims to be long lost Uncle Fester.

 

 

Hocus Pocus movie poster9. Hocus Pocus (1993)

On Halloween night, three witch sisters are inadvertently resurrected in Salem Massachusetts after their hanging 300 years ago. This time, they intend on getting eternal youth and beauty by sucking the life force out of children. Complete with song and dance numbers, this fantasy/comedy film casts the right spell for Halloween fun!

 

The Haunted Mansion movie poster10. The Haunted Mansion (2003)

Inspired by the Disney theme park attraction, “The Haunted Mansion” shows some fun moments with creep factor. This fantasy comedy film revolves around a workaholic realtor who is trapped inside a haunted house with his family. Of course, he learns a valuable lesson in the end.

 

A fun Halloween night doesn’t have to be terrifying. Curl up on the couch together and be entertained by these family-friendly flicks.

Top 10 Silly and Spooky Halloween Decorations

Halloween is a fun time to get creative with your home decorations. Whether you are planning to set up a scary scene, or finding a way to show off your silly side, there are lots of ways you can wow trick-or-treaters. Get inspired by these silly and spooky finds!

1. Twisted Vine Wreath with a Vintage Photo

Who knew such a simple, easy-to-make wreath could give your home the nostalgic appeal of American Horror Story? Twisted vines, spiders, cobwebs, a pumpkin, and a ‘Boo!’ sign give this Halloween décor undeniable spooky (and, well, seasonal) charm! Plus, that old mysterious photo provides the creep factor!

2. Bloody Hands Bathroom Shower Curtain

Help Me Bloody Hands Bath Shower Curtain

Help Me Bloody Hands Bath Shower Curtain

Build up the suspense in your home by creating a shower scene reminiscent of the Hitchcock horror film Psycho. Featuring gory hand stains and the words ‘Help Me’ written in blood red ink, this bathroom shower curtain will give anyone a good fright!

3. DIY Graveyard

Makeshift Graveyard for Halloween

Photo by Tammra McCauley via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Turn your front yard into a creepy cemetery. Make eerily realistic tombstones with scary epitaphs using wooden boards or plastic foam. Accents like skulls, chains, and a zombie bride will amplify the spine-tingling effect.

4. Pickled Brains as Edible Decorations

Bring the Halloween jitters to your dining room with a spooktacular hors d’oeuvre that is sure to satisfy every zombie or hungry monster on your guest list. Make pickled brains by soaking cauliflower in a mixture of water, vinegar, salt, peppercorns, mustard seeds, and onions.

5. Spiders on Cobwebs

Spiders on cobwebs Halloween decor

Photo by akfoto via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Halloween is not the same without spiders on cobwebs! This classic Halloween décor is cheap and easy to make, and is great for draping furniture and covering windows. You can use store-bought spider webbing or an old net. Either way, these arachnids will give your guests a hair-raising experience.

6. Scary-looking Pumpkin Carvings

Take fright night to a whole new level with ghoulish pumpkin carvings. Put your own creative spin and let their fearsome faces peer out from porches and doorsteps. Illuminated by candles, these jack-o-lanterns will stare out at passersby.

7. Spooky Eyes

Spooky eyes for Halloween

Photo from indulgy.net

Add fun to your Halloween lawn décor by putting chunky eye balls in your trees and bushes. This pair of peepers can be made easily out of old beach balls or pumpkin buckets. With this creative decor, trick-or-treaters are sure to do a double take as they pass by your watchful trees!

8. Witch Flying into a Tree

Witch Flying Into Tree - Halloween Decoration

Witch flying into tree Halloween attraction

Head on over to the silly, humorous side of Halloween by displaying funny yard decorations. This witch who has flown straight into a tree will give kids and grownups a good laugh, and will help you create that grim ambiance on this fun holiday.

9. Ghoul Hiding in Tree

 

Ghoul hiding in tree

Scary looking tree

Create a hauntingly realistic yard décor by hiding a ghoul in your tree. This clever décor will trigger screams as guests find themselves looking into a creature of the night just when they least expect it.

10. The Classic Ghost

Classic ghost decoration

Photo by this lucid moment via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The classic ghost makes a perfect family-friendly decoration that gets you into the Halloween, er, spirit. Hang this happy ghost silhouette in your lawn or beside your front door as a fun welcome to trick-or-treaters!

Whether they’re for a fun or fright night, our picks for Halloween decorations are guaranteed to bring out the screams. Start prepping your house for Halloween with these creative ideas.

Celebrating with Tree Classics: 7 Steps to Organize a Memorable Class Reunion

Class reunions offer everyone a unique opportunity to reconnect with people they grew up and shared memorable moments with. To celebrate such deep and lasting bonds between old schoolmates and the many accomplishments and successes they’ve had since graduation, Tree Classics is sharing a quick and easy guide on how to throw a memorable class reunion:

how to organize a class reunion

1.  Assemble a Reunion Committee

Throwing a reunion party entails a lot of planning and coordination. It’s important to have a group that would handle all the chores and concerns that come with mounting this sort of event. Contact your closest friends from school. Assign them a significant role in the preparations. Make sure that important aspects of the reunion, such as sending out invitations and selecting the food and venue, are covered.

2.  Start Brainstorming

Gather your committee for dinner to have a preliminary discussion on what’s going to happen at the reunion. There are a number of factors to consider, so it’s important that everyone is aware of what they should do months ahead. Outline an initial plan of action.

3.  Decide on a Theme and Setup

an elegant bouquet of flowers

Once you’ve delegated some top-level assignments, it’s time to pick out a theme and setup. Will you be having a brunch party? Luncheon? Sit-down dinner? Or a cocktail party? Go for something sophisticated. An outdoor brunch party is a welcome alternative to that prom-like celebration at your old high school gym, a cliché that most people see in movies and TV shows. Have an elegant all-white décor scheme and a stylish buffet table. Tell everyone to dress in their best Sunday attire.

4.  Pick out a Wonderful Venue

a lovely garden with a gorgeous view

Choose a venue that would best suit the lovely garden party you’re envisioning. A classy country club with a large garden and a scenic view is a wonderful choice. For something more idyllic and rustic, choose a marvelous bed and breakfast in the country. This way, you can also spend more time with friends and sleep in when the celebration gets too late.

5.  Send Invitations and Request for RSVPs

Send out invites to your guests at least three months before the event. This is to ensure that they can make plans to attend the reunion. This is especially important for the attendees who will be traveling from other states. Include relevant details in the invitation, such as the location, attire, and theme of the party. Don’t forget to inform them if there are accommodations so they can pack accordingly.

6.  Set up a Wonderful Dining Spread and Serve Lots of Cocktails

cool fruity drinks for your reunion

Make sure there is excellent food at the celebration. Since the party will be in a country club or a B&B, you don’t have to slave in the kitchen for hours. But do make sure that the menu is splendidly delicious. Also serve sumptuous wines and delicious brews. For a brunch party, mimosas, cold cocktails, and sangrias are great choices.

7.  Plan Fun Activities that Bring Back Great Memories

When selecting a host for the celebration, choose an old schoolmate with a shiny personality that everyone just gravitates to! During the program, recognize the accomplishments of the people who attended and mention the great things they were most known for in school. Play silly games that help everyone reminisce about the good old days. Play music that everybody loves and let everyone enjoy the company of old friends.

Throw a delightful class reunion with these tips from Tree Classics.

Photo Credits

Photo by Canadian Film Centre via flickr. CC BY 2.0. (Image 1&2)

Photo by Rennet Stowe via flickr. CC BY 2.0.

Photo by Joz007 via flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

5 Heartwarming Gifts for Teachers

October 5 is World Teachers’ Day! Tree Classics joins everyone in saying ‘Thank you!’ to the people who have shaped our minds and helped build our character. Show your appreciation for your own mentors and teacher-friends with these thoughtful gifts.

1. Baked Goodies with a Lot of Heart

Teachers deserve a sweet treat on World Teachers’ Day. Express your appreciation by spending a little time in the kitchen to whip up a scrumptious gift. Remember to place the baked goodies in a decorated bag or cute box tied with a ribbon, and add a personal note saying: ‘You are the sweetest teacher ever!’ This sample from Canada’s Sweet Flour Bake Shop is perfect for the world’s #1 Teacher.

Baked goods for teacher - A great gift for World Teacher's Day
For the world’s sweetest teacher!

Have fun and be creative in your presentation. You can bake special apple-shaped sugar cookies that say: ‘Thanks for making me a smart cookie!’ You can also give away S’mores and attach the note: ‘We need S’more teachers like you.’

2. A Fancy Flower Pen Bouquet

Give your favorite teacher a set of pens whose tips blossom into a colorful bouquet. This heartwarming gift featured on Kreations by Kendall carries a message of gratitude and provides useful supplies in the classroom.

A colorful flower pen bouquet featured on Kreations By Kendall
A colorful flower pen bouquet featured on Kreations by Kendall

Create flower pens by gluing your choice of silk flower on top of the pen and wrapping the tube casing all the way to the base with green floral tape. Place the flower pens in a cute watering can or mason jar decorated with a fancy ribbon. Finish it up with a special note that says ‘Thanks for helping children bloom!’

3. A Bright and Groovy Sun Jar

Teachers enlighten young minds. Give our mentors these colorful DIY sun jars to symbolize their own brilliance. Choose a fancy shape and an enchanting color of lights. It’s as easy as applying frosting to the jar then gluing to the lid a self-contained solar unit, which can be found in any hardware store. Make your gift more meaningful by writing a note on the jar that says ‘You light up our world’ or ‘Thanks for making us bright!’

4. A Cute Owl Mug Cozy

For years, the owl has come to represent wisdom and teaching. Show your appreciation for your mentor with this meaningful owl mug cozy from BellusThreads on Etsy. You can also knit your own nice and thick owl hug using a three-millimeter crochet hook and DK yarn. Choose your teacher’s favorite colors to make it more attractive.

An owl mug cozy as a gift for teachers
A cute owl cozy for your teacher’s mug

A cute way to dress up a mug, this little owl not only protects your teachers’ hands when holding a hot drink but also reminds them of the fulfillment they get from their profession.

5. A Classy Chalkboard Journal

Simple, meaningful, and useful, a personalized journal is a great gift for any teacher. Wrap a plain composition notebook with chalkboard contact paper. Get creative as you scribble stories, quotes, and anecdotes on the cover of this lovely journal. With a chalk pen, you can decorate the notebook with different sayings, such as ‘Teachers have class’ or ‘Teachers rule’. Tie a bow around the notebook and place a pretty note card that says ‘Write on!’

Teachers deserve only the best for molding the minds for our future generation. Bring a smile to a teacher’s face by giving any of these heartwarming gifts on World Teacher’s Day.

5 Heartwarming Gifts for Grandparents

A grandmother and grandchild holding hands

September 8 is a special day for the family: it’s Grandparents’ Day! Tree Classics recommends five treasures that say how much you love Grandpa and Grandma. Make these together as a family and celebrate the wonderful people in your life.

Hug Pillow

Grandparents love it when the kids give them big hugs. Every time Grandma and Grandpa miss your little ones, let them give your kids’ personalized hug pillow a tight squeeze. Make a cute pillow that features the children’s handprints, names, photographs, or baby clothes. You can also ask them to write a sweet note for Grammy and Grampy, and put this on a postcard-inspired pillow.

Luggage Locator + Personalized Keychain

Show that the whole family is always thinking of Grandpa and Grandma by gifting them with something they can take even during their travels. This luggage locator will assist them in finding their checked-in bags from the carousel at airports. For an extra special touch, attach the remote transmitter of the luggage locator to a personalized keychain that features your kids’ artwork and name.

Photo Book / Corkboard with Pictures

Express your love and appreciation for the grandparents in your life. Design a Grandparents’ Day photo book using images taken throughout the year, as well as old favorites that your grandparents can browse through. You can also make corkboards and photo holders featuring cute pictures or silly expressions of grandkids. This gift, along with a heartfelt note, is guaranteed to make Grandpa and Grandma smile!

Flowering Plants in Personalized Pots

Make Grandma and Grandpa feel special when you gift them with a carefully chosen flowering plant. Giving plants as a gift is always a charming and affordable way to surprise Grams and Gramps. This beautiful gift becomes even more sentimental when the pot is decorated with the grandkids’ hand or footprints.  Get extra crafty by making a photo flower pot that features their fun pictures.

Artwork by Grandchildren

Art projects for kids and parents make for wonderful keepsakes for grandparents. Have the kids draw something special for Grandpa and Grandma, and embroider or trace these drawings using a fine tip Sharpie on a tote bag, bookmark, or tea towels.

From sharing funny anecdotes to teaching new things, grandparents shower grandkids with love and enrich their lives in so many ways. Say “Thank you!” by gifting them with heartwarming presents on Grandparents’ Day!

How to Throw a Lovely Garden Party on Labor Day

Celebrate Labor Day and say farewell to the summer that was by throwing a pleasant garden party for friends and family. Here are a few tips on how to throw a quaint and marvelous get-together right in your own outdoor space:

A Lovely Location for a Party
Photo by Devonshire via flickr. CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0.

1. Send out Invitations

Make sure to send out personal invitations to friends and family. Almost everyone makes plan for the Labor Day weekend, so it’ll be great if you get confirmations early on. Don’t forget to attract them with delicious dishes and good company.

2. Organize a Great Menu

Juicy and Tangy Ribs
Photo by stevendpolo via flickr. CC BY 2.0.

Food is the star of any gathering, so prepare something truly sumptuous and filling. For starters, prepare this delicious and refreshing watermelon feta salad with mint from The Shiksa in the Kitchen. For the main entrée, go for something smoky and delectable. Fire up the grill and prepare this mouthwatering sweet and tangy barbecue ribs from A Sweet Pea Chef. Everyone will go back for seconds with this juicy and irresistible entrée.

A Yummy Turkey Burger
Photo by isab3l via flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

For a different spin on the classic American burger, try these Hawaiian turkey burgers from Taste of Home. As a side dish, prepare this hefty serving of potato and cheese puree from The Galley Gourmet.

Delcious Sangrias
Photo by divya_ via flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0.

For drinks, these classic sangrias from Smitten Kitchen will perfectly complement the amazing food.

3. Prepare a Charming Dining Space

Set up a couple of tables and comfortable chairs. Make sure to place mats for a more elegant and sophisticated look. For the food, it might be better to prepare a buffet table. This will make it easier for the host to distribute the food and drinks. Make sure to serve a wide selection of drinks, including beer and wine for the adults, and different kinds of sodas and juice boxes for the kids.

A Great Buffet Table
Photo by Cambridge Brewing Co. via flickr. CC-BY-ND-2.0.

At the same time, the guests can easily stand up and enjoy seconds to their heart’s desire. Also, hire someone to put up a tent for the occasion. This might come in handy if it becomes too hot or if it starts to rain.

4. Prepare Games for Children

Some of the kids might get bored while the adults immerse themselves in their lively and engaging conversations. To avoid this, prepare a couple of board games that will occupy their time. Classic ones like Monopoly, Clue, Scrabble, and Sorry are surefire hits. For something a little more challenging, set up a Ping Pong table or volleyball net so that your kids can play a match or two. This is also a great way for the kids to make friends.

5. Enjoy the Company of Friends

After all the preparations have been made, it’s time to sit back and relax. Introduce people to one another. Spark up interesting conversations. Relive the fun memories of summer. Just enjoy! At the end of the day, it’s all about good people coming together.

Throw a wonderful garden party to cap off the summer and celebrate Labor Day with these tips from Tree Classics.