Burlap Wreath Saves Ugly Front Door!

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A front door says a lot. Mine is the ugliest. Really, really, U-G-L-Y because it has no alibi ugly. Worn dingy green paint job finds door with no structural character, topped with a silver number plate that makes it look more like a motel front than a home.

So I wanted something to jazz it up. A wreath I could make, and the pinecones I found while hiking the Lincoln National Forest Trails in New Mexico in October inspired me to move on this endeavor. 20131028-215028.jpg

I went to pinning. I found plenty of ideas, most of which featured wire bases with burlap wrapped around the outside. But it takes a lot of burlap to build a big, full wreath as well as a lot of patience–once you find out that burlap falls apart quickly and leaves little strings everywhere. When I went to Hobby Lobby, I found an alternative I liked much better.

Here’s the easiest little wreath you can make and one you can accessorize every season. Come Thanksgiving I’ll be adding some red, orange, and yellow ribbons. Christmas might be more green and red by removing the ribbons and pinning on ornaments, but who knows. Go where the wreath takes you, right?

Materials

1 wreath base (bunched twigs)

1 yard white burlap20131028-215020.jpg

2-3 pipecleaners

string from burlap or clear fishing line

Baubles and ornaments you want to decorate with

Note: I chose pine cones, a wooden J, and a faux white branch, but you can play around with this as much as you like, as noted above.

Directions

Start with your burlap. Cut the burlap into 2.5 inch-wide strips that all link together by alternating the sides you cut down. So you don’t want your burlap to look like one large tasseled end. Instead, cut down the first strip, stopping about 2 inches from the end of the first row. Flip sides and cut from the other end; continue to alternate until you have a longer, connected fabric that almost snakes or zigzags. 20131028-215039.jpg

Wrap the burlap onto the base. To secure the first part, use one of the pipe cleaners, sliding it through the twigs on the backside of the wreath to secure the fabric. Continue wrapping upwards to cover the entire wreath, but you might leave out a few twigs or gaps to show the twigs, if you like. Secure the final end with another pipe cleaner.

Next, I attached by white sprig branch by wrapping the wire stem around one lower part of the base. That wrap around stem I used to attach my other baubles. So I used the extra burlap strings to tie the pinecones onto the sprig branch’s wire, and did the same with the J.

Depending on what you use, yours could be very different, but as it stands, this might be the easiest wreath you could put together, and I think it’s lovely. I’m glad to have a chic, country touch on my ugly motel-esque front door. My only piece of parting advice might be this: In picking your baubles or even burlap color, consider the color of your front door and the colors around it. White works well to distract from mine without clashing, but if you’ve got a white door, you might want something different.

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Hatch Chiles & Cheese Over Easy

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Since arriving in Fort Worth at the start of this month, I’ve been less consumed with being the new girl in town and more into all the new things this town can offer. My foodie favorite is Hatch Chiles from an awesome new grocer called Central MarketScreen Shot 2013-08-15 at 2.20.42 PM

The Hatch Chile Festival was not the traditional festival I thought it to be–more of an in-store roasting and celebration than an off-site extravaganza. Nevertheless, my spicy side had to try, so I picked up some of those big green chiles, the “Hot” ones, one night before a Rangers game.

Were they as “Hot” as advertised? I didn’t really think so. But these once-a-year peppers from New Mexico are fresh and tasty. I thought they’d be the perfect compliment to eggs. Some simple cheese and red pepper spice later, I had an excellent Southwestern breakfast. It’s not novel, but it is good. Lots of egg-white protein and some capsaicin make for a delightfully healthy mix.Screen Shot 2013-08-15 at 2.20.16 PM

Ingredients

1/2 small Hatch chile, sliced into rings

4 egg whites or 1 egg + 3 egg whites

1 oz. fresh cheese, crumbled or sliced

1 T fresh salsa

optional: Red pepper flakes

Directions

-Lightly grease a skillet. Add in eggs one at a time after the skillet has reached medium-medium heat. Cook until almost all of the egg white has hardened, and then using a wide spatula, flip carefully.Screen Shot 2013-08-15 at 2.21.04 PM

-While eggs are cooking, prepare other ingredients as necessary. When egg is cooked through, plate it. Top with cheese first, then chiles, then salsa and spice. The egg should be hot enough for the cheese to melt down a bit on it’s own, but if not you can microwave on high for about 30 seconds.