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While there are plenty of beautiful ornaments available at any store, it is more fun to make them and it keeps your tree more personal. You will end up making your ornaments from items in your yard and home and you cannot get more personal than that! Plus it is a fun way to spend an afternoon. Put on some Christmas music, make a mug of coffee, and get gluing. You can of course make anything, but here are a few tips to get you started!

Snowball Yarn Ornaments – This one is really pretty and fun!

All you need is white yarn or colored if you like, glue, and some balloons.
Blow up a balloon to a round ball size and wrap your yarn around it. Next, brush on the glue with a small brush.
string2

Let it dry then pop the balloon! Out comes a pretty ball that you can easily tie a string to or display in a bowl Add ribbon for an extra touch.
string1

Remember ladies ribbon and glitter are everything.

Another really great one is the spool Christmas list. You can also change this up by adding names instead of gifts.
All you need is a spool, some string, glue, paint, and a piece of paper cut to size.
spool

How about wooden message signs. I LOVE these, all you need is some flat pieces of wood, you can even use paint stirrers from Home Depot. Paint them white and then stencil or paint on your favorite sayings, names, whatever you like. Punch or drill a hole to hang a string.
100-copya

Do you make ornaments? If so what do you make? Let us know in the comments!

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We are almost there – Black Friday 2016! While most of us are getting food ready today, many are thinking of their black Friday plan and how to score the best deals. It can be kind of tricky with all the ads saying when stores are open as we have the Blue Law here. The Blue Law means stores cannot open on Thanksgiving day. Don't worry,they open at the stroke of midnight or 1am. Also, where are the best deals? That is a bit harder to determine as everyone has different items they are chasing, but here is a quick guide that will surely help you on your day. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Walmart:  1 a.m. (4 a.m. in Avon)

Best Buy: 1 a.m.

Target: 1 a.m. (6 a.m. in Salem)

Sears: 5 a.m. (Thanksgiving/Black Friday ad prices also apply on Wednesday in Mass.)

Macy’s: 12:30 a.m.

Kohl’s: 1 a.m.

Toys R Us: 1 a.m.

JCPenney: 12:30 a.m.

T.J.Maxx: 7 a.m.

Marshalls: 7 a.m.

Dick’s: 12:30 a.m.

Home Depot: 6 a.m.

Office Depot: 6 a.m.

Staples: 6 a.m.

GameStop: 5 a.m.

Bed Bath & Beyond: 6 a.m.

Kmart: 12 a.m.

Babies R Us: 8 a.m.

BJ’s: 7 a.m.

Sam’s Club: 7 a.m.

Costco: 9 a.m.

Also, one of the best things people do not realize is that all the same deals are available online. Sure, you can stand outside and freeze or you can boot up your laptop, under a blanket, and shop away.

Target. Target says all of its Black Friday deals will be available online with free shipping on Thanksgiving Day. Sale items include Powerbeats 2 Wireless Earphones for $89.99, regularly $199.99, and the Dyson V6 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum for $299.99, regularly $499.99.

And there will be plenty of Apple deals up for grabs, too. The Apple Watch Series 1 will start at $198, regularly starting at $269.99, and the iPad Air 2 will start at $274, down from $399.99.

Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart customers can shop the majority of the retailer’s Black Friday deals on Walmart.com beginning at 12:01 a.m. ET on Thanksgiving morning. Then, Wal-Mart’s Black Friday event will begin in most stores at 6 p.m. local time on Thanksgiving Day.

Some of the standout Black Friday deals include TVs, toys, drones and connected home items. The DJI Phantom Standard 3 drone will be $369, amounting to $130 in savings. The PlayStation 4 Slim “Uncharted 4” 500GB bundle will be $249, a $50 savings, plus it comes with a $30 gift card. And a Samsung 50-inch Smart 4K TV will be $398, good for $230 in savings.

Kohl’s. Last year, Kohl’s limited its Black Friday doorbusters to in-store customers only, but not this year. Doorbusters for 2016 are available in store and online from 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day until 1 p.m. Black Friday, or while supplies last.

Deals include a Haier 49-inch Ultra HD 4K TV for $249.99, compared to the regular $349.99. You can also choose between a Sony PlayStation 4 500GB “Uncharted 4” console bundle or a Microsoft Xbox One S 500GB “Minecraft” favorites console bundle for $249.99, regularly $299.99 each.

Additionally, consumers can shop select Black Friday deals online all week. Through Black Friday, shoppers can earn $15 in Kohl’s Cash for every $50 spent. It's redeemable Nov. 27 through Dec. 5.

Happy Shopping and Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Regardless of your vote, Trump is the new president and he is not going anywhere. Things have calmed down a bit by now and instead of complaining people are now starting to wonder what his take on policy will be. Will he be like every other president elect and change his tune once he has power or will he follow through with all his promises? Seeing how he is not a "politician" maybe it is possible to finally have someone in office that will follow through.

Time will tell. Something we have all been hearing about is his stance on the Second Amendment. Us northerners value our right to bear arms and if Clinton was elected, that would have been severely hampered. So what is Trumps policy?

The Second Amendment to our Constitution is clear. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period. The Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right that belongs to all law-abiding Americans. The Constitution doesn't’t create that right. It ensures that the government can’t take it away. Our Founding Fathers knew, and our Supreme Court has upheld, that the Second Amendment’s purpose is to guarantee our right to defend ourselves and our families. This is about self-defense, plain and simple.

It’s been said that the Second Amendment is America’s first freedom. That’s because the Right to Keep and Bear Arms protects all our other rights. We are the only country in the world that has a Second Amendment.

I have to say I am impressed and surprised by his affirming stance. The right to bear arms is a right that should not be taken away. People have always had the right to protect themselves and that right will never cease no matter what government has to say. Nice to know though it is not going to be an issue in Trumps presidency.

Where do you stand on the right to bear arms? Let me know in the comments.

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Today is the day when we vote for the next president.

All we have heard for the past year and a half is Trump or Clinton. No one spends any real time talking about the ballot questions that will actually affect us. We've all seen the commercial spots that are for and against all of the ballot questions. For those heading to the polling stations, you will have more to vote on than just the presidential election. There are 4 big ballot questions that will be voted on and I am going to break them down for you and how much they will cost us.

Marijuana – Voting yes will allow the use and growing of this plant to people over 21 years of age. No one is doing it now so you can see how this is a big deal 🙂 There are many groups rallying behind this equal to the number against it. I do not myself smoke this, but honestly I am tired of hearing about the legality of what 80% of the population already does.

Slots – The next question is expanding the slot realm and add another slot parlor. the town of Revere is very opposed and is trying to battle off major support for this new parlor.

Schools – This is where we will be hit in the wallet. The state is looking to add up to 12 new charter schools. This will be a close contest I imagine as it is the only question that has a massive monetary effect.

Lastly Chickens – this question basically says that no one can sell animal meat or by products of animals that were treated cruel. If this does not pass, I will lose all faith in humanity.

So that's the scoop people. What way will you vote? We will all find out soon enough!

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A new study shows that people over 50, who engage in new activities, are less likely to develop dimentia and could live an average of 1.3 years longer. In other words, ditch the vitamins and get a pottery wheel! I think this is a fabulous idea and I know all of us have tons of things we'd love to learn and try. You've always thought about them, but never had the time. Well, now it is good for your health so get out there and get creative! To help you out, I have gathered a list of local classes and groups that I think are great! Know of another class not listed? Post it in the comments and let me know!

Learn an instrument – Rick's Music – Raynham
http://ricksmusic.com/music-lessons/
For over 30 years, Rick’s has introduced over 10,000 beginners to music. If you have the desire, we have the know-how. And if you need an instrument, Rick’s friendly staff will guide you in choosing the right instrument for you. Learn Guitar, Piano and much more.
Zumba! – All over Raynhamhttps://www.zumba.com/en-US/party?search=Raynham%2C+MA%2C+USZumba is a blast. I've gone many times and every time it feels like dancing rather than exercising. People of all shapes and sizes go so it is not awkward at all. If you have not tired it, it is a must.

Indian Cuisine Cooking Classes – Sandhya's Kitchen – Franklin, MA – (630) 864-0468
http://www.sandhyaskitchen.com/
Learn to cook all the flavors of Indian Cuisine. Master the techniques and then host an unforgettable dinner party.

Pottery and Clay – Just Claying Around – Bridgewater, MA
http://myjca.com/Just Claying Around is a creative space for all ages. Come in to have Fun and Create Memories! Whether your skill level is beginner or expert our amazing staff will guide you through your projects from start to finish.Our crafts include Pottery, Clay, Mosaics, Stuff-a-Plush and Glass Fusing.

Dancing – Revolution Performing Arts – Raynham, MA
http://www.revolutionpa.com/
Revolution Performing Arts is a cutting-edge studio for professional dance lessons in Raynham, MA. Our instructors are certified to teach by Dance Masters of America and The Dance Teacher's Club Of Boston and are excited to share their knowledge and experience with others. Voice lessons too!

What do you do to in your spare time? Let me know in the comments!

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Apple picking around here is an annual mandatory requirement for those of us in the southcoast. Once October hits, we all head out into the orchards and pick us a ton of applies, snap family photo's, and take our bounty home. Okay, but then what? If you are trooping a family out to the orchard, chances are you will now have a mountain of apples that seemed like a fabulous idea to pick at the time. Sure, you will snack on a few, but what about the other 100? I wanted to share some ideas with you on what you can do with this sweet and juicy fruit and give you a couple of recipes that are delish.

Apple Pie

Apple Crisp – oh yes

Apple Turnovers

Candy Apples – so yum

Baked Apples

Apple Jelly

Apple Juice

Dried Apples

Applesauce

Apple Butter

Apple Fritters

Cider Doughnuts

Apple Tarts

Oh, so much more…

Apple Tart –
1 whole sheet puffed pastry, cut in half

Nonstick cooking spray

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

3 whole apples, cored, halved and sliced, but not peeled

Store-bought caramel sauce, for serving

1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Place the puffed pastry rectangles onto a baking pan that's been sprayed with nonstick spray or lined with parchment paper. Add the sugar, salt and lemon juice to the apples. Stir to combine. Allow to sit for a few minutes.
Arrange the apple slices on the pastry rectangles in a straight line, overlapping as you go. Bake until the pastry is puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Remove from the pan immediately and place on a serving platter. Serve with caramel sauce and chopped pecans.

Apple Crisp –

Apples

4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch wedges

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, diced and chilled

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Crisp:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup rolled oats

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, diced and chilled

1/4 cup caramel candy squares, quartered

Vanilla ice cream, for serving, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the apples: In a large bowl, combine the apples with the brown sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, orange juice, diced butter and cinnamon and reserve.

For the crisp: In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon and salt. Add the butter and, using your hands, rub the mixture until it resembles crumbs. Cover and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
Pour the apple mixture into an 8-by-8-inch baking pan. Sprinkle on the caramel squares and salt. Place the crisp mixture on top of the apples, scattering evenly without pressing it down. Bake until crispy and golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream if desired.

What do you bake? Tell me in the comments!

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This is by far and away the best reason to live in New England. I'm talking about Fall people! The pumpkins, the harvest, the falling leaves, picking apples, the smell of burning in the air, corn mazes and haunted houses, and of course Halloween! I could go on and on and so could you figuring out where to go and what to do. I decided to put together my list of the top places to see this season. Please make a point of going to at least one!

Sauchuk Farm Corn Maze- We go every year and every year it gets bigger and better. It is a blast. Each year they feature a new maze and this year is the 50th anniversary of "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown". You can get lost in the maze while solving the mystery, plays tons of games, eat great food, ride out to the pumpkin patch, and so much more. – http://www.sauchukfarm.com/Maze.html

Roger Williams Park Zoo – Join your family and friends for this amazing fall tradition: A nighttime display of 5,000 illuminated jack-o-lanterns all along our beautiful Wetlands Trail, with well over 100 of the pumpkins carved into veritable works of art. It opens this weekend!

Great Pumpkin Fest – Held at Ecotarium. This Halloween event features over 1000 carved pumpkins, live entertainment, family fun with trick-or-treating, displays and more.

HONK Festival – Parade features six stages of live entertainment; dozens of international food vendors; street vendors selling artwork, jewelry and vintage clothing; neighborhood sidewalk sales and HONK! bands from around the country.

Sturbridge Harvest Festival – This popular festival takes place on the Town Common and at the Public House Historic Inn. Local crafters, artisans, food vendors, food from the harvest and a popular Scarecrow Contest.

Where will this fall take you? Comment below and let me know!

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WOW, what a show. That is really what it should be called, an entertaining show, not a debate. All night long both candidates skirted around questions and answered few with any real reply. Plenty of insults and self propagation was to be heard. Trump was most entertaining though with his eye rolling, facial expressions, and his "WRONG" commentary. Clinton was her usual political self saying everything but really saying nothing. It must be exhausting.

It really makes you wonder how this country chose these 2 individuals. They are going to lead our country after all and I am starting to see what people all over the world are seeing the US for. It is very sad. Our country is young, an infant compared to others, and we have already turned this nation into a joke. Solution? Let's make the brunt of the joke one of these two.

Right on cue, the Clinton campaign stepped up the ugly commercial game. Wow, there were some low blows even for her. Did any of you catch the teen girl montage one? Brutal.

This debate was the most watched debate in history and it was a gross display. There are still 2 more debates to go and Trump needs to step up his game if he has any shot. Honestly, he probably does not as Clinton was chosen long ago. Odd that he makes no mention of her recent odd fainting spells or the fact that her husband cheats. Makes you wonder…

What did you all think of the debate? Are you for Trump or Clinton or no one? Sound off in the comments!

 

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The weather is really starting to turn, pools are being closed, school is back in session, and folks are starting to think hibernation. Living in the North means always having to prepare for a new season and Fall is no exception. While it is still mild, there is some maintenance that needs to be done. Winter will be here before you know it and preparations need to start now. I have put together a list of things that I do myself and a few things that other people do that I do not. What do you do to get ready for the upcoming season? List it in the comments below and let's see some helpful tips we may not have known!

1. First up is cleaning out your gutters. This is often overlooked and very important. It would be a good idea to get some of those gutter screens installed too. You can pick them up at Home Depot or Lowes and install them in a weekend. It is affordable and avoids having to climb up there and scoop out the muck.

2. Have your fireplace swept and your wood stoves cleaned. It is going to be freezing before you can blink and you really want to have these in top shape.

3. Replace your filers in your furnace and vents. You'd be amazed how fast these get gunked up and cleaning them is essential.

4. Drain your hose lines and irrigation systems. You can hold off till the first freeze, but that is cutting it close. Most likely your garden is done bearing now so it is a good time to get the lines drained. You can water your mums with a watering can.

5. Install new weatherstrip around your doors to ensure no leaking. You will be cranking up the heat before you know it so get ready to keep that heat in.

6. Stock up now on ice melt, pellets, scrapers, wood, etc.. Buy now before the cost goes up.

7. You should also have a storm shelf. You should stock this with a few cases of bottled water, batteries, flashlights, radio, matches, and other various items you will need if the power goes out. If you have a generator, grab some gas and store it in the garage. When the power goes, those 5 gallon jugs will fly off the shelves so grab them now.

8. Clean all your garden tools and store them in the garage.

9. You should also winterize your lawnmower and weedwacker. Having these stored properly will ensure they run properly in the Spring.

10. Give you home that final power washing of the season. Get rid of all the pollen buildup and get it clean for the new season.

What else do you all do to get ready? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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Football season is officially underway! With one game down in the books as a 23-21 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday night, it is sure to be a great season. What a win it was too. Who would have thought we could be that successful without Gronk or Brady? But successful we were and in a spectacular fashion.

 

Jimmy Garoppolo was the starting quarterback as Brady watched the game from his couch. Brady is currently on a 4 game suspension. He finished 24-of-33 for 264 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Not too shabby. After the game, Garoppolo was presented with a game ball from coach Bill Belichick, which Garoppolo said meant a lot to him. Let’s not forget, Brady replaced Bledsoe when Bledsoe could not play so….

 

Brady does not seem to be too worried though. He was watching the game and playing catch with Gisele. He had this to say after the game: was a great game to watch," Brady said. "It's a tough environment to play in. The team went in there and looked like they were focused and prepared. They played so well in so many areas. It was great to see the offense get off to a great start, it was a great first drive — lot of great plays by Jimmy, by the skill players; the offensive line did a great job. To get up 10-0 like that was huge, on the road. I think that was a great way to start the game for our team."

 

The next 3 games should be much easier now that the Cardinals are behind us. Time will tell what will happen with the QB position, but I have not been this excited to watch in a long while.

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