Thanksgiving Leftovers Recipes

Can you believe it’s almost Thanksgiving? I’ve been meaning to write this post for almost a year! Before the holiday rolls around again, I wanted to share a few leftovers recipes that you might be able to use this year.

Last year was our first holiday season in Tennessee. We didn’t know a lot of people yet, but some kind new friends opened their home and shared their family meal with us. This year we have plans with more new friends. It can be awkward trying to make new traditions when you’re an adult living in a new area, but it can also be really nice.

I went overboard and made three pies to bring to last year’s dinner. I have to admit we still have some in the freezer, because who needs that much dessert, but they were really good.

I’m also all about trying new things and using up leftovers. So with a little experimentation, I came up with some ideas – besides the classic turkey sandwich – that you might like to try.

Turkey Bone Broth – Our friends gave me the turkey carcass to try this one, and it’s a great way to get another use out of it. If you’re used to store-bought bouillon cubes, it doesn’t taste like that, but it has some great nutritional benefits. I used this Crockpot Recipe, and I kept containers of it in the freezer to pull out whenever I wanted to make soup.

Pumpkin Pie Waffles – If you’re like me and have too much filling for your small pie pan, you can add about a cup to a regular waffle recipe. Otherwise use this Pumpkin Waffle Recipe with canned pumpkin. Leftover homemade whipped cream tastes great on these too!

Cranberry Jam – I had extra cranberries from a delicious apple-cranberry pie. If you enjoy real fruit jam that’s tart and not too sweet, this Cranberry Jam is amazing, especially with the pumpkin waffles!

I hope you enjoy these recipes! Maybe I’ll come up with more in a few days! Let me know if you try them, and feel free to follow My Pinterest Page for more ideas!

New for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is once again around the corner and this year, in an effort to narrow down my jewelry collection to items that showcase my best and most unique skills, I am offering all new items. These ones happen to feature a technique called caning. Please check out my Mountain Scene Cane post if you’re curious about the process.


These three sets are all made in the same heart shapes, each one with a different image. The glittery repeating hearts design is a classic Valentine’s Day pattern done in darker, more sophisticated colors. The iconic reflecting cityscape, my personal favorite, is great for couples remembering a special location such as where they met. And the mosaic/stained glass set, done in translucent pastels, symbolizes the idea that your heart doesn’t have to be unbroken to be beautiful. 

I think they are all subtle enough to wear throughout the year, and I also have a lot of floral sets available, which are perfect for the occasion and for Spring. And finally, for those hard-to-shop-for men in your life, I have a selection of cufflinks and tie/lapel pins featuring animals and landscape designs.

Shopping for romantic gifts can get a bit cliche at times – not that that’s the worst thing, I’d say love is allowed to be a little cheesy – but buying handmade is a great way to find something different. 

Please visit NoelleLewisArt.com or Pastiche Accessories on Etsy for more details on each item, and feel free to use coupon code “BETTER2GETHER” for $5 off any matching set. Have a lovely Valentine’s Day! 

A Quiet Christmas for Two

I figured I should go ahead and write about last Christmas before this Christmas gets here – my final “late holiday post.”

The holidays can be magical but they can also be stressful. I think as adults, most of us have fond memories of childhood holidays, but we can also feel a lot of pressure in celebrating them now, whether it’s due to our own expectations or those of others.

In the eight years Joe and I have known each other, six of them married, we’ve spent a lot of special occasions either separated or traveling, due to military life and wanting to spend time with our families.

December is also an extra busy month for us, as I’ve probably mentioned. I get a lot of orders, especially custom work, and we also have a birthday, anniversary, and of course Christmas.

So last year, as weird as it might sound, we decided to spend Christmas at home, just the two of us. I made a simple but festive meal for two, and we decorated gingerbread houses, exchanged modest gifts, and took pictures with our little tree and our big cat.

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It may not have been exciting but it was relaxing, and I think it was good for us. I used to think we’d start building our own traditions once we had kids, but I want that for us too, because two is still a family.

So I don’t have any recipes or projects to share this time, but I wanted to share anyway, and I hope everyone can find their own way to enjoy the holidays. 

Wilson Living Holiday Expo & Giveaway Winner

We’ve lived in Tennessee for a few months now and, like most relocations, it has been a challenge for me. 

Our quiet house in the woods is actually surrounded by annoying roosters and loud dogs, I basically have no friends, and despite my efforts, I’ve found no successful opportunities to grow my business. Partly I am too tired and stressed out to try harder, but still. 

In addition, for whatever reason, my online sales have been weirdly slow, so I was having some doubts about my business when I stumbled upon a Facebook post about a local vendor event, the Wilson Living Holiday Expo. 

I immediately emailed and found that they still had a couple spots left. I wasn’t sure if I could afford it, but it was really well promoted and seemed too good to pass up. 

Once I’d committed, I had a busy week of event prep ahead of me, but luckily I’d already done a lot of the work for a previous event. 

I was also stressed about running my booth by myself for a day and a half. Most of all I really hoped it would be worth it.

But I got everything done in time, my husband helped out so I could take breaks, and I practically didn’t notice twelve hours pass on Saturday as I ran my booth on two hours of sleep, because everyone was wonderful. 

I made some money on top of my booth fee, I got email signups and potential custom orders, and I met all kinds of people who talked to me about their lives and told me that my work is amazing and that I am awesome.

It’s not that I never hear those things (though sometimes I doubt them when things get hard) but it’s nice to know I live in a place where more than a couple people actually care about what I’m doing, and that I can take a risk and not fall on my face. 

So I just wanted to share my experience and thank you guys for showing your support. 

And now for the giveaway results! If you visited my booth and signed up for email updates via my blog, please head over to YouTube to watch this video and see if you won a custom ornament! 

While you’re there, feel free to subscribe for future giveaways, craft tutorials, and more. Thanks for reading! 

Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

As promised, here is part two of my late holiday post series, where I will share some Thanksgiving dessert recipes. It’s so late it’s just in time for this Thanksgiving! Can I pretend I did that on purpose? 

Last year, much like the year before, we invited some friends over for a sort of potluck style meal. I’m not all that social but I do like to be hostessy from time to time and I really enjoyed it. Living in a military town with most of our families miles away, it’s nice to come together to create a nice holiday experience for each other.

Everyone brought stuff, so I think we just made the turkey and a couple other things. I love baking and really wanted to try this Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie. I ended up looking up a couple other recipes and modifying it cause I like to mess with things, but this one is nice and simple. 

My other dessert is a little more extravagant and actually from Halloween, but it works for Thanksgiving too. I’d been watching Eugenie Kitchen on YouTube. She makes a lot of slice and bake cookies. They’re kind of like polymer clay canes, so of course I was intrigued. 

I was inspired to create my own design and, at the same time, decided to try a No Spread Cookie recipe from Pinterest. It didn’t work that well for this technique. They turned out okay but next time I would probably use a regular sugar cookie recipe or these amazing Pumpkin Sugar Cookies.




I get that making art out of food is probably not everyone’s thing, but if you like that sort of challenge, it can be fun. 
So there’s a few recipes and ideas; try one or all and let me know how it goes! I’d like to do some more experimenting myself but wanted to get these posts done at least before this year’s holidays! 

Halloween Couple Costume – LOTR: Aragorn & Arwen

I’m going to be doing a series of late holiday blog posts (now that I’ve recovered enough from the actual holidays to write about them, haha). I’ll probably space them out between other posts, but I have some recipes and ideas to share that I hope you can use later this year. 

So first, Halloween. This time Joe made my nerd girl dreams come true and agreed to dress up as Aragorn and Arwen from my favorite movie series, Lord of the Rings.

I had a dress I’d made in high school (as well as a purchased necklace, brooch, sword, action figures – don’t judge me) so all I really had to do for my costume was resize it – shown below with the dotted lines – and find some pointy ears. Ok I didn’t have to get pointy ears but they were awesome.  

 
My husband ended up wearing a shirt and pants he already had, along with a simple vest and boot toppers I sewed, a wig from Amazon (actually a biblical wig), and, my favorite part, the arm bands I also made, again shown below.

   

The armbands were inspired by some really legit looking leather ones that I can’t seem to find now, but I made these out of craft foam.   
Here’s us in our finished costumes. It is both exciting and disappointing going to a party as your favorite thing when you put more effort into the details than most people would ever notice. 

  

Just for fun, here are our pumpkins (each carved on both sides). 

  

Hope everyone had a safe and fun Halloween! 

Valentine’s Day Promotion and “Watercolor” Jewelry Set

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I wanted to do something fun and different for a promotion this year. So instead of the usual percent off or free shipping, all of next week’s Valentine orders will ship with a free gift. It’s a surprise but I will say that it’s inspired by a Valentine’s Day classic.

I had a couple other projects going on and only managed to design one new love-themed jewelry set, but I think it turned out pretty cool. I used three different colors of alcohol inks to create an abstract faux watercolor pattern on white polymer clay hearts. I think I will experiment with other colors and shapes later in the year.

As usual, I’ve also brought back several items from previous years, mostly hearts in red and pink, but some are definitely subtle enough to wear year round, and one of them can be personalized. I moved  all these items into the Valentine’s Day section of my Etsy shop so you know what’s included in the promotion.

 

My Valentine’s Day jewelry collection

So check it out and maybe you will find something special to gift or to wear. Handmade jewelry is a great option (in my biased opinion) because it can be a lot more affordable than fine jewelry, but more unique and personal. 

If you’re in a relationship this Valentine’s Day, I hope you can enjoy the day to celebrate your love and not feel too much pressure to make it perfect – it’s the thought that counts, right? 

And if you’re single, then I apologize for couples getting all the attention, and I hope you can feel good about doing something nice for yourself or other people in your life – cause you don’t have to be in a relationship to deserve that!