Goodbye for now, not goodbye forever

Good Morning!!   So clearly I have been missing from the Threads & Berries since March of this year, and though I loved writing on here and sharing recipes, the site will be closing down in the next couple of days.  If there are recipes you liked, please copy them because they will be lost in the internet black hole forever!

I started Threads & Berries a couple years ago with the intentions of sharing recipes, designs and little bits about me, and really it turned into more of a recipe blog.  I loooove sweets, and I looooove fashion, but somehow only one of my designs made it up here!  But I’m still happy with how the blog turned out, it was so much fun baking, sharing and eating!

I’ve just found there wasn’t much free time for writing on the blog anymore, with moving into a house that needs full renovation, and working full-time.  Yes, now it sounds like I’m whining, (poor me, not enough time in a day) but it’s true!  I feel exhausted, kudos to those of you out there who have a social life, are working on a house, working a full time job, and also working on side projects, oh and of course, double kudos if you have kids too!

Though this is the end of Threads and Berries, it is not the end of my creative adventure.  I just went on my first vacation with my husband (as a married couple) and as cheesy or silly as it sounds, being in “nature” really opens your eyes to what’s important.  It’s like my brain had it’s first breath of fresh air in years!   Clearing out the clutter in life, getting rid of that constant “daily grind” weight, and just enjoying life, is what matters.  I think both my husband and myself have forgotten what that was like as soon as we bought our house.  It’s always, “okay, what’s next on the list.”  I really don’t want to live life like that, because in the end all of the experiences we will have had will be about the house, and what we’ve done to it.

I feel good today, feel happy, excited for new adventures and excited to see what doors  will open next.  I was just looking on this blog today ( Inspired by This ) about a “traveling boutique” …converting an old trailer into a mobile storefront, and just traveling the U.S. and selling pretty things! How BAD-ASS is that?!  This very well may be my new adventure, so keep your eyes peeled!

Thanks so much for supporting me and reading Threads & Berries, love you little people behind those glowing screens! If you still want to keep in touch I’ll keep my email ThreadsAndBerries{at}gmail.com     Till next time!

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Salvaged Pallet Luminary

Salvaged Pallet Luminary @ThreadsAndBerries.comI finally jumped on the bandwagon and decorated my house with a pallet.  It’s a little fun to take “garbage” and then turn it into something useful, I feel kinda happy this didn’t make it to the trash!  This project was inspired by these “floating vases” seen on Cupcakes and Cashmere, and Pinterest.  And hey if you want this to be a floating vase too, well then it can be!

I didn’t have the intention of making anything out of pallets, but on a cleaning rampage, I found these pieces of wood in the yard and decided they needed a new life.  The piece with the serial number on it caught my eye and I thought, “I should make something out of that!”  And so, here we are…

On a scale of 1-10, this project was probably a three.  I rate it a three because using that wire was not as easy as I thought (it’s a little marred up from the pliers) and when I drilled my holes, I busted off one of the glued planks from the other, which just meant I had to re-glue and wait for it to dry again.  I had my husband use the chop saw to cut the pieces of wood to the length I needed, but other than that I did everything else.

Most people probably have the supplies at home for this project, but I wanted to use copper wire and a fancy jar, so this project cost me about $5.  The supplies I bought were- an old Planters Peanut jar ($1 from the thrift store) and the copper wire ($4 from Hobby Lobby for 10 ft).  I had plenty of mason jars lying around the house for this project, but I liked the crosshatching on this one, which looks great once you light the candle.  And a side note for the wire, Lowe’s has it for the same price and for 25 ft!  I estimated I needed about 5 ft. of wire for this project, so the amount I bought was perfect, and you can never have too much copper wire..

Here’s the step by step on how to make one for your house!

Supplies & tools you’ll need:
  • 4 pieces of salvaged wood/pallet, cut to size
  • 3 pieces of wire (I used 16 gauge copper wire)
  • glass jar
  • drill
  • wood glue
  • pliers
  • wire cutters
  • tea light candle

Salvaged Pallet Luminary @ThreadsAndBerries.com Step 1:  Using a chop saw, cut the wood planks to size.  These are not all the same length, I wanted them just a bit staggered.  My finished luminary measures 12 inches long x 10 inches wide.  And my jar is about 6.5 inches tall x 3.5 inches wide at the mouth.  The mouth of the jar is big enough to fit a tea-light candle (I have a votive in there in the photos, but the flame felt just a little too hot for my liking).

Salvaged Pallet Luminary @ThreadsAndBerries.comStep 2:  Decide how you want your planks to look next to each other, staggering them just a bit, then apply a thin layer of wood glue to the inside edge, and place together, pressing firmly.  

Salvaged Pallet Luminary @ThreadsAndBerries.comStep 3:  Apply a good amount of glue to the backside of the fourth piece of wood (piece with serial number) and place on top of the three planks, press firmly to first three planks.

Salvaged Pallet Luminary @ThreadsAndBerries.comStep 4: You can use clamps if you have them, but I just left my planks to dry, about 24 hours with the glue I used.

Salvaged Pallet Luminary @ThreadsAndBerries.com

Salvaged Pallet Luminary @ThreadsAndBerries.comStep 5:  Roughly center the jar on the planks and mark two holes on each side of the jar, this is where your wire will weave in and out to secure the jar to the wood.  At this time, you will also drill six holes near the top edge of the planks for your hanging wire, and for the weaving wire which will add strength to the planks.

Salvaged Pallet Luminary @ThreadsAndBerries.comStep 6:  For the top “weaving wire” (this length of wire was roughly 14 inches on my luminary)  start at the first hole, weave in, then out, then in, and so on, through the holes at the top of the planks, until you get to the last hole.  Leave about 2-3 inches of wire on each side to twist into decorative loops with your pliers.

Salvaged Pallet Luminary @ThreadsAndBerries.comStep 7: Take your second piece of wire (about 20 inches) and loop through each top outer hole, wrapping it up at the base of the wire with the pliers, twisting up and around so that it holds securely.

Salvaged Pallet Luminary @ThreadsAndBerries.comStep 8: Wrap the third piece of wire around the jar about 3 times, making sure it is tight and secure, twist the wire at the back so the wire securely stays in place.  Leave enough wire on each side to weave through the two holes on each side of the wood, about 7 inches on each side (this length will vary depending on the size of your jar and placement of your holes).

Salvaged Pallet Luminary @ThreadsAndBerries.com

Salvaged Pallet Luminary @ThreadsAndBerries.comStep 9:  Attach the jar, bringing the wire through the top holes drilled next to the jar and weave them through the bottom holes, twist wire around itself to make decorative loops and making sure jar is secure.  I had a little bit of slack in the wire, so while the jar was already attached I was able to turn the jar one full rotation to have a second twist in the wire behind the jar for a much more secure hold.  Here is a photo of what the weaving should look like on the backside.

Salvaged Pallet Luminary @ThreadsAndBerries.comStep 10:  Hang up on the wall and enjoy! 

*With all candles, trim the wick to 1/4 inch and do not leave burning unattended. Or use a LED flickering candle!

Here are a few other pins from Pinterest that caught my eye.  I love the natural look of salvaged wood…. Upcycled Pallet Table @FarOutFlora.com

Salvaged Shutter Shelf at Better Homes & Gardens Hotel Key Rack DIY @Remodelaholic.com

Pineapple Chile Chicken Tacos

Pineapple Chile Chicken Tacos

Pineapple Chile Chicken Tacos Okay!  I have been trying to get things in order here at Threads and Berries, rearranging and updating a blog is hard work… especially when you have a full-time job, husband, dog, full-time nonpaying job (aka housework), distractions (Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook) AND being sick for a full month to steal your attention away!   And now a sick husband.

I posted these chicken tacos on Instagram and quite a few people requested the recipe, which is originally from Everyday with Rachael Ray, but I’ve adapted it, changed a few ingredients which my taste buds prefer over the original.  This is a great “Sunday” recipe, as it takes a while with marination time (unless you marinade overnight) and cooking time in the slow cooker…but boy are they worth it!  Enjoy!!

Pineapple Chile Chicken Tacos

Pineapple Chile Chicken Tacos
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
 
Ingredients
  • 3 dried ancho chiles
  • 1 20 oz. can sliced pineapple (1/2 cup juice & 3 pineapple slices for marinade, reserve the rest for slaw)
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ red onion
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp.kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 1 whole chicken (4-5 lbs.)
  • Pineapple Slaw:
  • ¼ head of red cabbage (cored)
  • ½ red onion-finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno-finely chopped
  • remaining pineapple slices-finely diced
  • ½ bunch cilantro-finely chopped
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup pineapple juice (from canned pineapple)
  • 12-14 corn tortillas (or flour if you would like to substitute)
  • ½ cup of cotija cheese-crumbled
Instructions
  1. For Pineapple Chile Marinade- Tear chiles into pieces, throw away stems & seeds. Place chile pieces into a small bowl & pour boiling water on top so chiles are submerged. Soak for 30 minutes.
  2. In a blender, add chiles, ½ cup liquid from chiles, ½ cup pineapple juice, 3 pineapple slices, orange juice, onion, brown sugar, cumin, kosher salt & pepper. Blend ingredients until smooth, set aside.
  3. Prep chicken rinse inside & out, remove any giblets, dry thoroughly. Place in large bowl, and pour pineapple chile marinade inside chicken cavity, and all over, covering skin. Cover & refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.
  4. Transfer chicken and marinade to slow cooker pot, place into slow cooker, turn on high and cook chicken for about 4-5 hours, until thermometer inserted into chicken thigh reads 165*F.
  5. Pineapple Slaw- Finely shred red cabbage, red onion, remaining pineapple slices, jalapeno, and fresh cilantro. In a separate bowl whisk ¼ cup pineapple juice & mayonnaise. Toss all ingredients, season with salt & pepper, refrigerate until chicken is ready.
  6. Once chicken is fully cooked, transfer to a plate to shred. Pour marinade into heat-proof bowl or measuring cup, allow fat to rise, & skim fat off the top, discard fat. In a, medium size saucepan, add marinade and simmer until it reduces to about a cup.
  7. Shred chicken with forks, discarding fat & bones. Add chicken to reduced marinade, cook until heated through and coated with marinade
  8. Warm tortillas so they are soft and pliable, add chicken to tortilla, a bit of the pineapple slaw, and a sprinkle of cotija cheese on top. Enjoy!!