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FREE 10 SO YOU WANT TO BUILD A HOME! 14 THE BEST AIR FILTER EVER! 16 COWBOY BACKYARD BARBECUE 19 GOT JUNK? TURN IT INTO CASH

s e v a e L Falling

… A Golden Opportunity

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Fall 2019

Contents

g n i l l a F … s e v a le

A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY

Gold, brown, red and orange leaves present a golden opportunity for nutrient-rich garden mulch—free from mother nature! page 8

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DREAM KITCHENS BEGIN WITH ORGANIZED PANTRIES

THE BEST AIR FILTER EVER!

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SO YOU WANT TO BUILD A HOME?

COWBOY BACKYARD BARBECUE

SUCCEED WITH SEEDS

SPIDER PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

RECIPE: GOT JUNK? TURN COWBOY BURGER IT INTO CASH!


home garden

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Managing Editor Suzanne Fox

CREATIVE TEAM Director Dianne Waller Design Tra Pham

Yeehaw! Suzanne Fox

Production Claire Thomas

Hay & Shavings Tack Apparel Clothing & Gifts Lawn & Garden

Contributing Photographers Milestone Photography www.milestonephotography.com

Pet Feed & Supplies

Contributing Writers Patricia Danflous Michele Robert Poche Christina Leidenheimer

Copy Editor Chad Ruiz

Don’t you just love the fall? The leaves are changing to beautiful hues of orange, red and yellow and the air is crisp. It’s a great time to get outside and do some fall cleanup. Read our article on curb appeal to find out more. In this issue we are going to make our own mulch, sell some junk and once everything is cleaned up, we are going to celebrate with a Cowboy Backyard Barbecue! We hope you enjoy our tips for decorating and getting your home and yard in tip top shape for the winter!

LETTER from the Editor

Executive Publishers Greg and Suzanne Fox Jumpstart Publishing, LLC

Farm Supplies

A special thanks to Diane and Buster Johnson of Covington, LA for allowing us to use your beautiful garden for our Cowboy Barbecue! V3

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R

emember when you bought that jar of autumn-colored sprinkles—the perfect topping for homemade sugar cookies? Do you remember where it is? Of course not. Months later, while looking for an expensive bottle of olive oil, you find the sprinkles next to several cans of expired vegetables. How many times has that happened to you? You rush in from the grocery, grab what you need for dinner, and randomly place everything else in the pantry. There’s always time to straighten things out later, right? Wouldn’t life be simpler if your pantry was organized and arranged in such a way that it would be easy to maintain that organization? It is achievable. With just a little planning and effort, organizational tools and labeling materials, you’ll be well on your way to an organized pantry and a dream kitchen. Whether you have a large food storage area or just a cupboard in an efficiency apartment, an organized pantry helps you to see what you have in stock and what you need to add. Best of all, you will find what you need quickly and easily. You will save time while saving money as you eliminate the need to buy another bottle of ketchup when you already have three hidden behind the cereal.

DREAM KITCHENS BEGIN with Organized Pantries By Patricia Danflous

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Start with an open space. No, don’t throw everything away. Do take everything out of the pantry, and sort it on your counter or kitchen table according to food type—cereals, dry goods, canned meats and vegetables, and cookies and snacks, for example. Be sure to inspect each item and discard anything that has reached its expiration date. Now, take a good look at the space you have. Try sketching a rough format of the pantry. Think about what foods you use the most and what types of storage solutions—if any—will make life easier. Fill in that sketch before you start shopping for organizational tools and restocking the pantry. If your budget allows, professional organizers offer customized solutions to meet your family’s lifestyle. Doing it yourself, with suggestions from your home supply store or specialty organizing and container store, will work well. The key to a successful, organized start is knowing which foods you use the most, which items you use occasionally and which you should purchase on an as-needed basis.


Storage solutions are abundant. Consider your budget, your space and your individual preferences. If you are dieting but want to keep cookies around for the grandkids, you may decide an out of sight approach is best. You can choose non-see through baskets or containers with a simple label. Families with a morning dash out the door would be best to keep cereals and lunch-making items in clear, open containers on an easy-to-reach shelf that encourages putting things away. Stackable square containers take up less space than round containers, and small tiered-shelving is a great way to handle spices, small jars and some canned products. Shelf dividers are also an option if you want to keep storage costs down.

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If you have a pantry with roll-out storage, you know that it is fairly easy to pull out the drawer for a full view of its contents. It’s easy to cover up a layer of cans or boxes with bags of chips. If you use a roll out system, commit to keeping like items together, and label each drawer. Specially designed back-of-the-door racks add space for spices, small bottles and canned goods. Designate the back of the pantry door for breakfast foods and after-school snacks—easy to see, easy to reach and easy to restock. Now that you are beginning to see the light, even way up on that top shelf, it’s time to develop a maintenance plan. You have good intentions, but things are not always going to stay as neat as they are today. Try straightening the pantry once a week or once a month if things start to get out of place. Invest in an inexpensive whiteboard to keep on your kitchen counter or inside the pantry door to track what you use and what you need. You may want to keep a separate list for those everynow-and-then items, such as holiday sprinkles!

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Falling leaves… A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY By Christina Leidenheimer GOLD, BROWN, RED AND ORANGE LEAVES PRESENT A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY FOR NUTRIENT-RICH GARDEN MULCH—FREE FROM MOTHER NATURE!

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oney may not grow on trees, but falling leaves can save you some green on garden mulch. Not only are leaves free and abundant during fall, they are an all-natural source of nutrient-dense, organic matter, perfect for protecting and nourishing plants through winter. Tree leaves are nitrogen rich, so using only leaves for garden mulch is not a good idea. Leaf mulch needs to be balanced with a rich carbon source, such as shredded wood chips. This ingenious combination will help each source decompose into healthy garden humus. Leaves can be very dry, too, so adding in the wood chips will help the soil retain a certain amount of moisture. This dynamic duo of wood and leaves will provide adequate protection for plants during the cold months ahead; they will work together to insulate the ground and reduce freezing. After they have done their work as a protective barrier, the leaves and wood chips will likely decompose into rich garden soil with a good pH, perfect for spring planting.

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Mow Your Mulch In the fall, rake a few medium piles of leaves in long, low piles. Shredded leaves will decompose better, so you will need to mow the leaves with your lawn mower a few times until you reach desired consistency. Take your mowed mulch and mix it with shredded wood chips. Do not use fresh wood chips, as these can be damaging to the plants as oils leak from the wood. Use wood chips that are at least one to two years old. Once you have a good balanced mixture, begin spreading evenly around plants you want to protect and nourish. Make sure the mulch is thick enough to protect the plant through the winter.


So You Want To Build A Home?

Home Builder Jason Yancey

By Suzanne Fox

HOME BUILDER JASON YANCEY GIVES US THE LOW DOWN ON WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW.

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uying a home is one thing, but building a home is a whole different ball game. We met with home builder Jason Yancey to find out just how difficult it is. We discovered that if you are prepared with a little know-how, things can go very smoothly for you. First, know your budget. Get pre-approved. It’s that simple. If you know how much you have to spend, you can focus on a home in your budget. No one wants to build a home without knowing what it is going to cost. The same goes for hiring a builder or contractor. They need to know how much you want to spend before they help you with plans or selecting a neighborhood. Once you are pre-approved, you can research neighborhoods you

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like. Chances are, when you find a neighborhood, you may also find a builder. Some builders buy lots in particular neighborhoods in order to build custom homes for buyers. That same builder may also have spec homes in the neighborhood. These homes have been built with the intention of selling them. Ask the builder if they have a spec home in the neighborhood. You may find one that suits you. When choosing a builder, make sure to consider how they lay their foundation. Have them explain their process and possibly show you a house that is having the foundation laid. According to Yancey, a sound foundation is the most important part of home building. Have the builder show you homes in different stages of construction

so you can see the quality of their work. The finishing touches really set builders apart. Make sure the finishes you like are available within your budget. Show the builder pictures of homes you like to see if they can build that type of home. If they can, they probably have plans for you to choose from. It’s easier for you and the builder if you know what you want. Consider your family's needs


er d l i u b e h t d n a u It's eauskiernofworwyhoat you want and if yo e a list of requirements. hav

when choosing a plan. Will your family expand, or will your children soon leave on their own? Will you require a guest room, craft room, office, hobby room or play room? Make sure you don’t spend money building rooms that never get used. More families are going with open floor plans where everyone gathers in living, dining and kitchen areas instead of formal dining and living rooms. Don’t forget storage space! A good builder can help you with all of these decisions, but it is easier if you have a list of your requirements. Your final walk-through can be very exciting. Don’t get caught up in the moment by overlooking items that require attention from the builder. Make a list of things that should be completed or corrected before you sign the final dotted line. Attention to detail will leave you and the builder more satisfied with your home.

TIP: If you see a home builder’s home for sale, consider buying it. The upgrades, attention to detail and high-quality construction are well worth the price!


Succeed with SEEDS By Michele Robert Poche

M

aking pumpkin soup anytime soon? What about pie? Ooh! Or a jack-o-lantern? In any event, you’re going to have seeds—lots of ‘em!—and the last thing you want to do is toss them. Not only are they filled with nutrients such as vitamin E, magnesium and zinc, they also make a great snack. Grab your roasting pan, and let’s get started. 1. Preheat oven to 300°. 2. Extract & clean. This is the hardest part. Plunge pumpkin contents into a pot of water, and separate seeds so they rise to the top.

3. Dry. You will get crunchier seeds if you let them dry out (perhaps even overnight) before the roasting process. 4. Coat. Melt butter (please use the real thing!) in microwave, and pour over seeds in large bowl. Add Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder and salt to desired taste. Mix well. 5. Roast. Spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet coated with nonstick spray, and place in oven. 6. Babysit. After 15 minutes, stir seeds to prevent scorching. Maintain single layer. Taste. Feel free to add seasoning, butter or cooking spray if needed. Roast another 15 minutes, then repeat inspection process. Continue this way until done. Total cooking time will vary depending on oven and seed quantity. On average, they’ll roast 45-60 minutes. Don’t turn your back on them too long. Pumpkin seeds are like children. As long as they have almost all of your attention, they’ll turn out deliciously! Add your freshly roasted pumpkin seeds to dried cranberries and sunflower seeds for a quick, delicious trail mix.

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Spider Peanut But er Cookies Ingredients:  1/2 cup Jiff peanut butter  1/2 cup packed brown sugar   1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup white granulated sugar  1 egg  2 tablespoons milk  1 teaspoon madagascar vanilla  1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour  1 teaspoon baking soda  1/2 teaspoon salt  24 chocolate Lindor Truffles  48 decorative candy eyeballs  1/2 cup Wilton decorative chocolate Directions:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with baking parchment.

 In a large mixing bowl, beat shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup white sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth. Whisk egg then beat into the creamy mixture until fully incorporated. Stir milk and vanilla extract into the mixture until smooth.  Mix flour, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl and add to the wet mixture slowly until incorporated into a dough.  Using a melon baller, or a small cookie scoop, spoon mixture into hand and roll into balls.  Roll dough balls in sugar to coat and place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart.  Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove cookies from oven and quickly press the choco-

late balls into the middle of each cookie. Cool cookies on sheets for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.  Melt chocolate in a large zip lock bag or icing bag. (use chocolate setting on your microwave) Do not burn the chocolate. If you do not have a chocolate setting, melt on 50% power in 1 minute intervals, kneeding the chocolate between each minute. It should only take two minutes.  Put a chocolate dot on the back of the candy eyes and attach to chocolate ball. Pipe melted chocolate in four thin lines, starting at the base of the candy, on each side atop the cookie to resemble spider legs.  Store cookies in an airtight container.

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t s e The B

Air Filter Ever!

Pet dander, dust mites, insufficient ventilation, mold‌oh my! These issues could be contributing to poor air quality in your home. Don’t despair—there is one simple thing you can do to dramatically improve the air you breathe.

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By Christina Leidenheimer

ome indoor plants may remove toxic substances from the air, according to a study conducted by NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America. In fact, the natural filtration system these plants provide may help neutralize the effects of sick building syndrome, a term that was coined in a 1984 World Health Organization report. The report suggested that up to 30 percent of new and remodeled buildings worldwide may be the subjects of complaints related to poor indoor air quality. These complaints ranged from headaches and eye, nose or throat irritation to difficulty concentrating. Surprisingly, many SBS complaints are related to new construction. However, whether you have a new home, newly remodeled home or an older home, toxins could be culminating in the air, causing you discomfort and adversely affecting your health. How can you start improving

your indoor air quality? Start by adding indoor plants and let them do their air cleaning magic! Not only is indoor greenery aesthetically appealing, the symbiotic relationship between humans and plants contributes to health. According to a University of Agriculture in Norway study, indoor plants can reduce fatigue, coughs, sore throats and other cold-related illnesses by more than 30 percent. Not only do they improve physical health, they also improve mood; various studies suggest that being around plants can make us feel happier and calmer. Harness the power of plants by adding an English ivy to your office space or a bamboo palm to your living room or bedroom. Decorating with living plants is fairly inexpensive, revitalizes indoor air, reduces the risk of various ailments, and makes you smile, all of which are exceptional reasons to take advantage of the best air filter ever!


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Cowboy

Backyard Barbecue By: Suzanne Fox

Harvest your sunflowers, add a few mums (which are plentiful in the fall), find a pair of cowboy boots, and you have the beginning of a cowboy-themed backyard barbecue. Bright yellows, browns and orange with a pop of turquoise are all the rage this fall. You are going to see this color combination everywhere!

Yellow bandannas for napkins with cowboy hat napkin rings made from small cowboy hats found at the craft store are a nice touch. Use twine, ribbon or leather strips to tie to the napkins. Rust colored chargers are actually 10� candle plates. Have cowboy boots? Put a vase or mason jar in the boot and fill with flowers! Fill rust or tin cylinders with sunflowers and top the entire table off with turquoise stained mason jars for glasses.

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Take the popular mason jar salad to the next level and serve them in a wheelbarrow. There’s nothing worse than wilted lettuce at a barbecue. The individual mason jars allow you to keep the salads on ice and fresh until they are ready to shake and pour onto your plate.

Mason Jar Salad Recipe

Take the popular mason jar salad to the next level and serve them in a wheelbarrow. There’s nothing worse than wilted lettuce at a barbecue. The individual mason jars allow you to keep the salads on ice and fresh until they are ready to shake and pour onto your plate.

Mason jar salads are a great way to keep salads fresh, and they are easily customizable so that your guests have several options to choose from. Your guests simply pick a salad, shake it to mix with dressing, and pour onto a plate. You’ll have fresh, crisp lettuce every time. (Make ahead—salads can hang out in the jar for a week in the refrigerator.) Ingredients:  Dressing  Nuts or trail mix  Dried fruit  Cheese  Vegetables such as carrots, peppers, cucumbers, broccoli or cauliflower  Lettuce, kale or spinach Directions: 1. Layer all ingredients, starting with dressing and ending with lettuce, kale or spinach. Do not let dressing and lettuce touch or the lettuce will wilt. 2. Shake and serve!

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Ingredients:  Fresh ground turkey or ground sirloin (1 lb. makes 4 ¼-lb. burgers or 8 to 10 sliders) Per 1 lb. of meat add:  1 heaping Tbsp. mayonnaise  2 heaping tsp. black pepper  1 cup grated cheese (any kind)  ¼ cup chopped banana peppers or jalapeño peppers, if you want some heat  Pepper jelly

Directions: 1. Mix turkey, mayonnaise, black pepper, cheese and banana peppers or jalapeño peppers together. 2. Form into patties, and grill. 3. Top with pepper jelly. 4. Dress with your favorite toppings.

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Got Junk?

Turn It Into Cash! By Michele Robert Poche

L

et me guess…Your closets are cluttered, your cabinets are crowded, and your shelves are disheveled. Sometimes it seems like everything in the house is completely overstuffed—except, of course, your wallet. I have a solution. How about making extra money by unloading some junk? Not a garage sale…work all day selling things for a nickel? Too much work, no thanks.

Try selling on eBay. Here are 5 tips to success. 1. Download the app on your smartphone. You can check things on the go and list an item in about a minute. Because of the camera, your phone is preferable for listing. 2. List just one thing at first. Find something in your house you think would sell—such as sports memorabilia, an old smartphone or clothing—and walk yourself through the listing process line by line. Before setting your price, look up similar listings for comparison.

3. Use suggested shipping charges. Unless you offer free shipping, the buyer pays the postage.It’s up to you to make sure you’re covering your expenses but not overcharging. This knowledge comes with experience. As a new seller, use eBay’s suggested amounts as your guideline. 4. Designate somewhere in your home as your “mailroom.”You’re going to start accruing boxes, envelopes, tape and, most of all, things you plan to list. Pick a spot and get organized.

5. Be honest. Your success as a seller is largely dependent on your reputation. For that reason, you want to be 100 percent accurate about everything you sell. If the item is used, say so, and point out any damage or defects in your listing. Take a picture of it. eBay allows you to upload a certain number of free pictures.

Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer. What would you want to know?

It’s been 14 months since I became an eBay seller. How have I done? I’ve sold everything from a $0.99 book to a $128 iPhone. It’s all just stuff from my house. And so far, I’ve made nearly $1,900. That’s a little better than a garage sale, isn’t it?

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