5 Delicious Recipes for Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

If you’re planning to prepare a big Thanksgiving feast, it’s a given that you will have leftovers. What can you do with all that extra food?

If the thought of turkey sandwiches for a week is less than appetizing, why not plan ahead with a leftover menu of its own? Here are some creative ways to use up your holiday leftovers.

Fried Stuffing Bites with Cranberry Pesto Sauce

Leftover stuffing
2 eggs
2 teaspoons milk
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 cup cranberry sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup walnuts
Oil, for frying

Preheat oil to 350 degrees F.

Cut leftover stuffing into bite-sized cubes and set aside. Whisk eggs and milk together in a small bowl. Coat each stuffing bite with egg mixture, then dredge in the bread crumbs until fully coated and set aside. In a food processor, blend cranberry sauce, pepper and walnuts and set aside. Once oil reaches 350 degrees, fry each piece of stuffing until golden brown (about 4 minutes). Drain on a paper towel and serve with cranberry pesto.

Chunky Turkey Vegetable Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 large sweet potato, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and thinly sliced
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with juice
1 can (14.5 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound cooked turkey breast, cut into bite-size pieces
1 small head escarole, trimmed, leaves torn into bite-size pieces and washed well

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat (covered). Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened (about 5 minutes). Stir in tomato paste.

Add sweet potato, tomatoes and their juice, broth, 1 cup water and rosemary; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cover; cook until potato is tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

Stir in turkey; add escarole in two batches, waiting for the first batch to wilt before adding the second. Cover and simmer just until turkey is heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

Turkey Hash with Country Gravy

1/2 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 cup frozen chopped onions
1/2 cup frozen chopped green pepper
2 tablespoons chopped pimientos
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups leftover stuffing
2 eggs
2 cups diced turkey meat

For serving:
Leftover gravy
6 poached eggs

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble sausage into skillet. Add onions, peppers, and pimientos. Cook until sausage is just cooked through (6 to 8 minutes), stirring often to break up sausage. Transfer to a large bowl. Clean pan and heat oil.

Add stuffing, eggs and turkey to bowl with sausage mixture and stir to combine. Add to heated pan and press down with spatula until bottom of skillet is covered with hash. Brown 5 to 7 minutes untouched. Use a spatula to flip over hash and continue to cook another 5 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, take leftover gravy and heat in a saucepan over medium heat. As gravy heats up, whisk in enough milk to thin to desired consistency.

Serve hash topped with poached egg and warmed turkey country gravy.

Turkey Quesadillas with Chutney and Brie

4 flour tortillas, (10-inch)
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3/4 pound sliced leftover turkey
1/2 cup leftover cranberry chutney or cranberry sauce
8 slices thick Brie cheese (8 ounces)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spread 1 tablespoon of mustard on one side of each tortilla. Divide the turkey over one half of each mustard-coated side; dress with cranberry chutney (about 2 tablespoons per quesadilla). Layer each with 2 Brie slices, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold and press to seal edges. Brush on all sides with olive oil; transfer to two rimmed baking sheets.

Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until cheese has melted and tortillas are golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing into wedges. Serve topped with more chutney, if desired.

Pumpkin and Ice Cream Sandwich

Filling from a leftover pumpkin pie
Graham crackers
Softened vanilla ice cream

Scoop out filling from a leftover pumpkin pie. Spread on a graham cracker. Top with softened vanilla ice cream and another graham cracker. Freeze until firm.

7 Easy, Beautiful Fall Crafts

There’s just something about fall that gets us in the crafting mood. Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so now’s the time to get out those fall decorations and make the most of the beautiful autumn colors.

Need some inspiration? Here are some of our favorite fall craft ideas:

Shimmering votives: You’ll need small glass votive holders (if you need to buy some, try the dollar store), metallic gold spray paint, gold glitter spray and a spray bottle with water for this project. Lightly spray the inside of the holders with water and then spray the paint over the water. Once it’s dry, spray a light coat of glitter over the paint. Bonus: Depending on your Christmas décor color scheme, you can use these through the Christmas season, too!

Leaf garland: Display fall hues on your mantle with a colorful leaf garland. Simply cut leaf shapes out of fabric scraps in autumn colors, string the leaves from twine or even floss and hang from your mantle. Leaf garlands also look adorable strung in front of windows or across an archway or opening in your home. For a more detailed tutorial, click here.

Colored acorns: If you live near an acorn tree, this is a simple craft you can do to bring nature into your home and add some color, too! First, gather as many acorns with intact tops as you can find. Next, you’ll want to be sure the acorns are good and dry, so bake them in the oven for about two hours on low heat (about 170°). After they have had plenty of time to cool, paint them using colorful acrylic craft paints and a brush. Want to add a little shimmer? Use metallic paints or apply a final coat of a glitter spray. Here’s a simple tutorial on how to paint acorns.

Cozy pumpkins: Dress your pumpkins up a bit with strips of plaid fabric scraps and large wooden buttons. Wrap the fabric (about two to three inches in width) around the center of the pumpkin. Add large wooden buttons and secure with straight pins. So simple and just too cute!

Fall foliage mobile: For this craft you will need twine or ribbon, an 18-inch embroidery hoop, hot glue, eight pieces of 3-foot-long waxed strings, eight small pinecones and artificial fall leaves in varying fall colors. Wrap the hoop in twine or ribbon and tie the pieces of waxed string to the hoop. Secure a pinecone to the bottom of each string for weight, and then add the leaves by tying the string around the stems, varying the space between leaves. Click here to see an example.

Fabric pumpkins: For pumpkins you can use year after year, create soft and cozy no-sew fabric pumpkins. All you need is fabric, twigs and toilet paper to make colorful fabric pumpkins of varying shapes and sizes. This tutorial explains how to create these simple pumpkins.

Thankful tree. ‘Tis the season to be thankful. Take time to reflect on all of your blessings with a simple thankful tree. Find a branch that will fit in a vase and paint the top white. Add some weight to the vase with nuts or rocks and insert your branch. Cut leaves out of construction paper and punch a small hole in the top of each leaf. Write something you’re thankful for on each leaf and hang it on the tree using ribbon or twine.

These are just a few ideas of simple and stunning fall crafts. Any of these would also make a great activity to do with your grandchildren! Take some time to enjoy the harvest season before winter arrives with the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season.

Eight Creative Uses for Fall Leaves

Fall is here and that means cooler weather, pumpkin spice and changing leaves. Though the leaves offer beautiful scenery as their colors turn, they can also become a nuisance once they start littering your yard.

Here are some ideas to help you keep those leaves from piling up. You can even create some beautiful fall decorations with a few of these fun tips!

Mow them. Raking piles and piles of leaves is great exercise, but it can also be hard on your body. If you don’t have the time, strength or energy to rake the leaves, mow over them instead. The mowed leaves will break down and become fertilizer. Remember, the finer the leaves are cut, the faster they’ll decompose.

Use leaves for compost. Leaves are a prime source of carbon for your compost pile, and when mixed with nitrogen-rich materials (plant or grass clippings, herbivore manure, alfalfa hay), they can be an effective fertilizer for your garden. Cut the leaves into small pieces using a lawn mower, leaf vacuum or chipper/shredder to get them ready for compost.

Recycle them as mulch. Need mulch for your flowerbed? Save some money and use those leaves instead. Trying one of the methods listed above cut the leaves into small pieces, enough to create a 3-inch layer of leaf mulch in your bed. Not only will the mulch help keep the weeds out, it will also decompose into fertilizer. When mulching around your plants, be careful not to pile the material up against your plant stems or trunks.

Create a giant jack-o’-lantern. Grab some orange garbage bags with jack-o’-lantern faces on them and fill them up with your raked leaves. Then set the bags in your front lawn to add some Halloween cheer. After Halloween simply put the leaf-filled bags out with your trash for the garbage collector to pick up.

Stuff a scarecrow. Leaves are prime stuffing for a garden scarecrow. Grab a pair of old jeans or overalls and a flannel shirt, secure the arm and leg openings and stuff the clothing with leaves to create a life-size scarecrow to give your front yard a fall flourish.

Make a beautiful clay leaf bowl. You don’t have to be a skilled crafter to create a stunning clay bowl out of a few fall leaves. The trick is picking leaves off the tree before they fall to the ground and become too brittle. For a full DIY tutorial of this simple craft, click here.

Be thankful with this gold leaf garland. Carefully spray the tips of some leaves with gold spray paint. Once dry, use a white paint pen to write something you’re thankful for on each leaf. To learn how to create a display out of your “gratitude leaves,” click here.

Make a fall wreath. Is your front door in need of some fall color? Create a beautiful fall wreath using a base and leaves. Gather the leaves you want to use and bunch them together in groups of four or five. Pinch the stems of one bunch together and attach it to the wreath base using a U-shaped floral pin. Repeat this process until you’ve covered the wreath base, slightly overlapping each bunch of leaves to cover the pins.

Don’t let an overabundance of fall leaves leave you frustrated this season. Instead, use these creative ways to minimize the growing pile in your front yard and even make your own beautiful fall decor.

Five Fall Activities Your Grandkids Will Love

Who doesn’t love fall? Cool, crisp air, changing colors, the smell of pumpkin spice in the air — there are so many reasons fall is a favorite season for many.

Are you planning a visit with your grandchildren over fall break? Here are some fun fall activities you can enjoy with the kids.

Go apple picking. When you go to a local orchard to pick your own apples, the fun is just beginning! There is so much you can do with apples once you get home. Warm up your house with the scent of apple cider, bake an apple pie or make caramel apples. The options are endless! Henrietta Creek Orchard in Roanoak is a favorite pick-your-own orchard in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Call ahead to set up a walking tour of the farm, including a presentation about bees, a tour of the “pizza garden” and a look at the apple-washing machine.

Enjoy nature. Go for a nature walk. Take in the colors and explore the fall foliage. Pick up a few fall leaves to press in a book to help preserve the memory. Rake leaves in your front yard into a pile and watch the thrill on your grandchildren’s faces as they jump into them. Rake and repeat!

Pick out a pumpkin. Sure, you can buy a pumpkin at any grocery store, but why not make a day of it and head out to a local pumpkin patch? Once you’ve picked your pumpkin, take it home and paint it or carve it and put it on display! Don’t forget: if you’re carving your pumpkins, be sure to save the seeds and roast them with a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper for a delicious and nutritious snack! If you’re up for a little drive, Yesterland Farm near Canton is a nostalgic, old-fashioned farm complete with a pumpkin patch, corn maze, small amusement park, wagon train rides, an apple cannon, pig races and much more!

Lose yourself in a corn maze. Get out and enjoy the weather while giving your brain a little exercise, too! Corn mazes are fun for kids and adults of all ages, and they’ll certainly test your navigation skills. Check out Hall’s Pumpkin Farm and Corn Maze in Grapevine. The corn maze is two acres of towering corn stalks, some standing nine feet tall! You can also enjoy the pumpkin patch and a hayride while you’re there.

Plant bulbs for spring blooms. Now’s the time to plant bulbs for spring flowers, and it’s also planting season for grass, trees, shrubs and even some vegetables. Get out your green thumb and get your hands dirty with a fun (and productive!) activity you can do with your little helpers.

No matter what you do, remember that what’s most important is making memories with the ones you love, especially those little ones. By taking a little time for a fun fall activity with your grandchildren, you can give them a memory that will last a lifetime.


Make Dinner A Snap With A Slow Cooker

If you’re looking for a way to prepare simple, affordable meals at home, there’s one tool that’s a must-have in your kitchen: a slow cooker.

Using a slow cooker is a convenient way to prepare a mouth-watering meal with minimum effort. Just put all the ingredients in, set the desired cook time and get on with your day. Make fall-off-the-bone pork ribs, a soul-warming beef stew, chili con queso, juicy, tender barbecue chicken or even dessert! The options are endless.

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of using a slow cooker to prepare a meal is the easy cleanup. You won’t need to fill your sink with pots and pans to clean after dinner. Just take out the removable crock for quick and easy cleanup.

As with any kitchen tool, there are a number of options, from basic to high-tech, but even the most basic slow cookers can prepare a delicious meal. If you don’t already own one, buying a slow cooker isn’t a big investment—you can pick one up for under $40.

Get the most out of your slow cooker with these tips:

Plan ahead. Slow cooker meals are perfect for days when you’re running short on time and need a healthy “fast food” option. Prepare your meal the night before, put all the ingredients in the crock of your slow cooker, cover it and put it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, simply pull it out and set your slow cooker to the correct heat level.

To save even more time, plan and prep multiple meals at once, bag the ingredients and freeze them. When you’re short on time, just pull a freezer meal out, dump it into the slow cooker and walk away. In six to eight hours, you’ll have a meal that would make anyone think you’d been working in the kitchen all day.

Trim the fat. If you’re preparing a fatty cut of meat, trim most or all of the fat before putting it in your slow cooker to avoid a pool of grease in your food. To keep meat moist while it’s cooking, add a bit of beef or chicken stock. Just remember that liquid won’t evaporate like it would in the oven or on the stove top, so reduce any liquid in the recipe by about a third, or just enough to cover the contents of your slow cooker.

Go slow. If you’ve got the time, set your slow cooker on low and let the food gently cook over eight to ten hours. The slower your meal cooks, the more flavorful, juicy and tender it will be.

Simplify cleanup. To make cleanup even easier, purchase disposable slow cooker liners. Then all you’ll have to do is remove the liner, toss it in the trash and cleanup is done!

Ready to make an easy dinner? Pick up a slow cooker cookbook, look up some slow cooker recipes online or try this delicious chicken recipe.

Jalapeno Chicken Breasts


6 bone-in chicken breast halves, skinned
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup sliced pickled jalapeno chile pepper, drained
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1 8-oz. package reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened and cut into cubes
2 slices regular bacon or turkey bacon, crisp-cooked, drained and crumbled (optional)


Sprinkle chicken with chili powder and salt. Arrange chicken, bone sides down, in a 4 1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker. Pour broth and lemon juice around chicken. Top with drained jalapeno pepper.

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Transfer chicken and jalapeno pepper to a serving platter, reserving cooking liquid. Cover chicken and keep warm.

If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. For sauce, in a small bowl, combine cornstarch and the water and stir into cooking liquid. Add cream cheese, whisking until combined. Cover and cook about 15 minutes more or until thickened. Serve chicken with sauce. If desired, sprinkle with bacon.



Five Tips Tor The Perfect Fall Dinner Party

Fall is near; we can feel it in the air! And there’s nothing quite like fall—the crisp morning breeze, the changing colors, and of course, football.

Fall is also one of our favorite seasons for hosting gatherings with family and friends—whether it’s to celebrate a holiday, to watch a big game or just to relax and enjoy time with loved ones.

Are you planning a fall dinner party or gathering? Here are a few ideas for your next party.

Have confidence in your cooking. A dinner party is the perfect occasion to try new dishes, but be sure to give new recipes a practice go-around a few days ahead of your party so you’ll have time to tweak the menu if the recipe doesn’t turn out quite right. Being confident in your cooking will reduce stress the day of your event.

Go seasonal. Take advantage of the foods that are in season during the fall season and plan your menu around those foods. Here a few delicious fall recipes you might want to try:
 Cranberry Ginger Tea
 Mushroom and Brie Bruschetta
 Pomegranate Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
 Roasted Butternut Squash
 Pumpkin and Turnip Green Lasagna
 Grilled Pork Chops with Apple-Bourbon Glaze
 Apple Pecan Carrot Cake

Bring in the colors. The colors of fall are simply stunning, and by bringing in a touch of nature with fall flowers, you can create a gorgeous centerpiece and decorations. Shop the floral section at your local grocery store for mums and sunflowers, and pull in feathers and dried wheat for the perfect fall touch.

Get festive with favors. Put the final touches on your party by sending guests home with a festive fall treat. Caramel apples or flavored popcorn balls wrapped and tied neatly make an affordable, tasty gift for guests.

Plan ahead. No matter the occasion, be sure to plan ahead so you won’t be scrambling the day of the party to get decorations out and prepare your menu. Set your table ahead of time, prepare favors and prep any food that can be made ahead of time to save yourself stress the day of.

What are some of your favorite ideas for a fall dinner party?

10 Tips To Prepare Your Home For Fall

Let’s face it—summertime is not the best time of the year to work on projects around the house. Not only does the sweltering heat make it miserable outside, but you’d probably rather be spending your time with your grandchildren while they’re out of school and maybe even taking a vacation (or two).

Now that fall is approaching, it’s time to turn your focus to the home maintenance checklist that may have been on your back burner this summer. Be sure your home is ready for cooler weather with this checklist.

  • Check windows and doors for gaps or cracks, and seal any leaks with weather stripping and/or caulk. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, sealing leaks around your home can save up to 10 percent on your heating and cooling bill.
  • Check your heating system to make sure it will be in tip-top shape when it’s time to turn it on. Whether your heater is gas or electric, it’s a good idea to have it checked by a professional once a year. 
  • Schedule a chimney sweep to come clean out your fireplace and chimney of any soot or creosote build-up. Even if you don’t use your fireplace often, any build-up is dangerous, as it can be flammable and cause serious problems. Birds also like to nest in chimneys, so be sure it’s all clean and clear in there before you light the first logs this winter.
  • Inspect sidewalks, outdoor steps and your driveway for any cracks or hazards that may need to be repaired. Small cracks can be a DIY repair, but larger cracks may require professional repairs. 
  • Check your roof for damaged shingles, leaky vents or corroded flashing. Do this from the ground using binoculars, or call in a pro to climb on your roof and give it a thorough inspection. 
  • Replace air filters in your vents and clean plates or pads in your humidifier. 
  • Clean out gutters. Clogged gutters can cause big problems when it rains, so be sure yours are clear of debris and take some time to cover them with mesh guard to keep the leaves out this fall. 
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace batteries. 
  • Check the indicator on the pressure gauge of your fire extinguisher to be sure it’s charged. Inspect the nozzle for any dents, scratches or corrosion, and make sure the lock pin is firmly in place. 
  • Make time for some fall cleaning and clear out any clutter that may have accumulated over the summer. Be sure the space around your heater or furnace is clear of papers and other potential flammables.

Home maintenance projects aren’t always fun, but they are necessary to be sure your home remains a safe, inviting environment for yourself and your loved ones. If you are uncomfortable performing any of these maintenance tasks on your own, call in a professional to help ensure they are done right.

Tips To Throwing A Memorable Labor Day Party

For more than 120 years, Labor Day has been celebrated as a U.S. holiday—a day to celebrate the social and economic achievements of American workers. Although some municipalities were celebrating Labor Day as early as 1885, Congress did not declare it a legal holiday until 1894. Labor Day “constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country,” according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Labor Day is a day to gather with family and friends. Celebrate Labor Day this year with these tips and ideas.

Potluck Dinner: Invite guests to bring a favorite side dish to share. Make things a little bit more fun by incorporating recipe-sharing into your potluck. To do this, ask guests to bring a recipe card with the recipe on it and place it on the table next to their dish. Provide blank recipe cards and pens for guests to write down recipes they’d like to take home.

Farmers Market Dinner: Prepare a dinner made with foods from your local farmers market. Not only will you have a meal full of fresh, seasonal foods, but you’ll also be supporting local farmers. Pick up some fresh blackberries and treat guests to this delicious blackberry crisp

Host an Outdoor Movie Night: All you need is a white sheet and a projector, and you can set up your own movie theater under the stars. Outdoor movies are especially fun for the kids.

Visit a Local Park: Pack a picnic for you and a friend and go for a walk or hike at a nearby park. Take in the sights and breathe in the fresh air. Do you enjoy bird watching? Don’t forget to pack your binoculars!

Take in a Baseball Game: Baseball is, after all, our nation’s favorite pastime, so why not celebrate Labor Day at the ballpark? If you are spending the day with your grandchildren, a baseball game makes a fun Labor Day celebration. Tickets to minor league games are less expensive than major league games, so going to a baseball game doesn’t have to break the bank. Food and drinks are also more affordable at minor league games, so grab an all-American hotdog and enjoy the game.

No matter how you choose to celebrate this year, be sure to take some time to reflect on the hard work it took to make our country great.

5 Tips For Late Summer Gardening

We’re in the midst of the hottest month of the year, and if you love gardening, you’re probably focused simply on keeping your plants watered in this extreme heat. But gardeners should always be looking forward to what’s next for their plants. What should you do for your plants today to ensure they thrive the coming months?

Here are some pro gardening tips to transition your plants out of summer and into fall.

Keep plants watered, but not too much. Be sure to point your water hose at the base of your plants, rather than watering all of the ground around them. Surface watering will encourage the roots to stay shallow and close to the surface rather than rooting deep below the plant. Look for signs of stress from lack of water in potted plants. Any plants grown in pots may require more frequent watering. Hanging baskets will dry out even faster than potted plants.

Trim back your plants for more growth. Pruning can be hard to do when you simply want to enjoy the fruits of your labor, but by keeping your plants pruned and trimmed, you’ll actually encourage more growth. Stalk tall flowers and remove dead flower stalks.

Clean out any dead or fallen leaves or blooms. Keep the soil around your plants clear of any dead leaves or blooms, as these can harbor disease that will quickly consume your live plants. Pick up and discard fallen fruit to prevent pests on your fruit trees. Thinning out thick, full plants to allow for more circulation can also discourage disease from spreading among your plants.

Pick your produce regularly to encourage more production. Summer squash, zucchini, basil and many other herbs, fruits and vegetables will produce more if you keep your bounty picked.

Use fertilizers high in potassium. Look for fertilizers that contain high amounts of potassium, which will encourage your plants to grow even larger fruits and vegetables. For an inexpensive and organic fertilizer, try rabbit food. It is rich in nitrogen and phosphorous. Sprinkle rabbit pellets around your plants as fertilizer.

You’ve worked hard all summer to grow your garden, and with these simple tips, you can keep your garden blossoming for months to come. If you want to enjoy the beauty of your garden indoors, try gathering and tying herbs and flowers upside-down for drying. 

Scrapbooking For Beginners

Why scrapbook? Whether you’re the crafty type or not, scrapbooking has its benefits for anyone willing to give it a try. Thinking about scrapbooking but not sure where to start, or if scrapbooking is even for you?

Let’s tackle some of the most common questions (and hesitations) about scrapbooking.

Why you should start scrapbooking

It is certainly convenient to be able to store all of your photos on your phone or digital device, but let’s face it—some memories deserve more. Creating a scrapbook of your travels, hobbies and faces of the ones you love most is truly a special way to remember some of the best moments in life. Here are a few of the reasons you should start scrapbooking:

  • Scrapbooking not only creates a nice “home” for some of your favorite photos and memories, but it allows you to be more organized, which means you’ll actually be able to find those pictures next time you’re looking for them, rather than having to scroll through hundreds (or thousands!) of images on your digital device.
  • Scrapbooking allows you to express your creativity and unique taste. One of the first rules of scrapbooking is that there are no rules! They are your memories and you can make your scrapbook look however you want. No matter how “crafty” you think you are, there’s just something special about sitting down and creating something.
  • Scrapbooking is relaxing. For some, scrapbooking is an activity they enjoy with friends, while others prefer to scrapbook in solitude. However you do it, scrapbooking is a great way to release stress and simply relax.
  • Most importantly, scrapbooking encourages reflection and gratitude. When you look back over the scrapbook you’ve created, you’ll remember places, people, conversations and experiences you may have forgotten. Scrapbooking is a great way to reflect on the happy times and the moments in life that shaped you.

If you’re ready to give scrapbooking a try, here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Select your photos. This can be the most time-consuming part of scrapbooking, especially if you have a lot of photos to sort through. Take some time to sift through your pictures and organize them as much as possible by date or event. Now’s also the time to toss any photos you don’t want (or need) to keep.  If the pictures you choose are on a digital device, print them at home or send them to your nearest photo center to be printed.

2. Choose your paper. If you don’t have scrapbooking paper on hand, you’ll need to pick some up at a craft store. Choose a mix of patterned papers and solid colors. You can go with one theme for your whole scrapbook, or choose different themes for the different pages or sections of your scrapbook. The solid paper you choose will work well as a mat, or frame, for each individual photo on a page. Matting your photos will help them stand out on the page.

3. Arrange your page. Play with different arrangements of photos, text or embellishments (which can also be found in the scrapbooking aisle of any craft store) on your page. As a rule of thumb, stick to two to four pictures per page.

4. Write your memories. Your scrapbook should tell a story, so take some time to journal your memories with a few sentences—or even a short paragraph or two—to include on the page. The “journal” portion of your scrapbook can be handwritten or typed. It’s simply a matter of preference.

Need some ideas or inspiration for your scrapbook? Search Pinterest for scrapbooking ideas, or take some tips from Martha Stewart.

Remember: Your scrapbook is your own, so let your creativity come to life!