Holiday Crate x 10 ~ Vintage Truck with Christmas Trees #HolidayCrateProjects

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... That's right... the holiday decorating has officially begun. I don't know about you, but the task of decorating for Christmas is often daunting for me. It might have something to do with the daily clutter and needing to get that cleaned up before bringing out the boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations. This year, though, I started small and worked my way into the decorating in baby steps. To get the ball rolling, I was invited to participate in a Holiday Crate x 10 Challenge. Bloggers were asked to decorate a plain crate for the holidays. I immediately envisioned my Holiday Crate with a Vintage Truck carrying Christmas trees. 

I had so much fun pulling this project together. I hope you enjoy seeing how each blogger decorated her crate too.
Just so you know, we all started out with the same simple crate and turned it into something really special for the holidays.

I opted to keep mine in its natural state, as I was going for a rustic/vintage vibe. Before I did anything in the crate, I had a little makeover to do.

We've had this old wooden dump truck for 6 years. I bought it in St. Louis at a church rummage sale. I loved that it was solid wood and knew it was old. I tried tracking down the story behind it, but was never able to find any information on the manufacturer. Anyway, it has sat unused in my son's room for the better part of those 6 years. Last year, I started thinking about painting it, but finally got around to it, oh, last week. ;-)

I chose the bright Apple Red 2X Ultra Cover Paint + Primer spray paint by Rust-Oleum to get the job done. After taping up the wheels, I went ahead and gave it a couple of coats of paint. Immediately, I was smitten! I wish I would have painted it much sooner. 

After painting it red, I felt like it still needed something. So, I invented a family business. The Higby Family now has a Tree Farm! Well, at least we now have a truck that has "Higby Family Tree Farm" painted on it. 

I just used a simple transfer method to get the letters on the side of the truck. This was my first try with this technique. I was positively giddy when it actually worked. After drawing the letters, I went back over them with white acrylic paint and a fine tip paint brush. It is by no means perfect, but I love how it turned out. The truck now has some character! Just for giggles, let's look at the before and after pics side-by-side...

An ugly duckling to beautiful swan... When my 14-year-old son saw the truck with its shiny new makeover, he promptly reminded me that it was his truck and that he expects to get it back after Christmas. Who knows, maybe he'll pass it down to one of his children one day. Oh no... now I'm getting weepy (sniff, sniff). We better get to the crate before I turn into a puddle of tears!

After turning the crate on its side, I started with some small battery-powered lights and strung them through the slats. A little Scotch tape keeps them in place. 

Next, I placed a piece of crumpled wax paper on the bottom of the crate and started sprinkling some fake snow. The paper is there to keep most of the snow in the crate instead of all over my entry table.

Then came the big red truck with bottle brush trees piled in the back. I put it in the crate at a slight angle.

The truck needed a little snow on it too. By the way, do you have any idea what I used for the windows? It's not paint...

The inside of the crate was finished off with a tree standing beside the truck. In order to keep our dog and cat out of the "snow", I placed the holiday crate on top of my entryway table and added some greenery and a white lantern.

I couldn't be more pleased with how this crate turned out. I love how I was able to breathe new life into the vintage truck to make it the star of the project. It seriously puts a smile on my face each time I pass by it on my way out the door. 

The little lights in the top of the crate bring the most beautiful glow to the crate at night. It looks almost magical perched atop my entry table. I'll be showing the rest of that to you later in the week.

Be sure you check out the other bloggers participating in this neat challenge too!

Carole - Garden Up Green 
Patti - Garden Matter
Bon Bon -Farmhouse 40
Meredith - The Palette Muse

You're next! What will you do with your holiday crate? 

 photo signature_zpsd4bb4d5b.png

I'm linking up at some of these great parties and

Loaded Chicken and Potato Casserole

Oh, comfort food, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...
easy preparation
sometimes cheesy, always creamy
carbohydrate heaven
sometimes sweet/sometimes salty
always brings smiles

When the rain is pouring and the thermometer flirts with freezing temperatures, there's nothing better than good, old-fashioned comfort food. It warms the bones and fills the bellies. My guys are not big soup eaters, much to my chagrin. However, they are always up for a hearty, cheesy dish. This Loaded Chicken and Potato Casserole is a new favorite for all of us.

This Loaded Chicken and Potato Casserole is the ultimate comfort food! Packed with flavor and easy to prepare, it's bound to be a new favorite for your family.

With simple ingredients, and 'cubing' potatoes and chicken as the only "technique", this casserole was a cinch to pull together.

Potatoes, Chicken and Bacon come together in perfect harmony in this dish!

The hearty ingredients can stand alone as dinner, or you could serve it up with a side salad if you truly felt like it needed a little "health" kick. (wink, wink)

This Loaded Chicken and Potato Casserole is the ultimate comfort food! Packed with flavor and easy to prepare, it's bound to be a new favorite for your family.

When I'm at a loss on what to make my family for dinner, baked potatoes tend to be my go-to meal. My husband isn't usually satisfied with "just a potato", so the Loaded Chicken and Potato Casserole is now a perfect stand in... partly because this has the added protein with the chicken.  

Cheesy, bacony goodness come together in this Loaded Chicken and Potato Casserole!

Partly because...this comfort dish is packed with flavors, from the smoky bacon to the slight zip of the Tabasco.

Cheesy, bacony goodness come together in this Loaded Chicken and Potato Casserole!

Loaded Chicken and Potato Casserole

1 1/2 lbs. chicken breast, cubed
5 cups cubed potatoes
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
few dashes of Tabasco sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped cooked bacon
chopped green onions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease 13x9 inch casserole pan. In large bowl, combine olive oil, sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley flakes and Tabasco sauce. Stir in potatoes and coat completely. Pour potatoes into prepared pan, reserving the leftover oil mixture.  Bake for 35 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. While the potatoes are baking, stir the chicken into the oil mixture to marinate. After the 35 minutes, remove pan from oven and arrange chicken pieces on top. Return to oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring once during the baking time. Remove from oven, sprinkle with cheese, chopped bacon and onions. Return to oven for 5 more minutes, or until cheese is melted and chicken is completely done. Top with sour cream and more chopped green onions for garnish.

I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as we did!

Need more Comfort Food Recipes for those chilly nights? Try one of these!

Hamburger Potato Casserole by Posed Perfection

This Hamburger Potato Casserole continues to be my post with the most views.

Sour Cream Pork Chops by Posed Perfection

Creamy gravy combines with juicy chops to form these Sour Cream Pork Chops.

Chicken Tamale Casserole by Posed Perfection

This Chicken Tamale Casserole is a favorite in our house too! Just enough kick!
 photo signature_zpsd4bb4d5b.png
I'm linking up at some of these great parties and

Food for the Soul ~ Psalm 150:6

Hello, dear friends! Thanks so much for stopping by today. I hope that you have had a wonderful week. We're coming to the end of the Thanksgiving weekend, and my heart is overflowing with gratitude. Although our Thanksgiving did not turn out quite like I had hoped it would, it was still a sweet day with my little family. We then enjoyed a quiet weekend at home... no outside commitments, no Black Friday sales...just a cozy time with those I love most. I'm so grateful to my Heavenly Father. We have all that that we need and way more than we deserve when we are called His children. 

To God be the glory forever and ever!
 photo signature_zpsd4bb4d5b.png

Creative Ways Link Party #82 and Features

Happy Wednesday, y'all!  Thank you for making the Creative Ways Link Party such a success! I am grateful that you choose to spend part of your week with us. Also, thanks to everyone who entered the Tree Classics Wreath Giveaway last week. So, here we are on Thanksgiving Eve... I'm hoping you'll be inspired to try out some of the delicious recipes you'll find here at the party, as well as get a jump on those handmade Christmas gifts! Most of all, I pray that you are surrounded by close family and friends as you celebrate the many blessings you have in this Thanksgiving week!

Before we get to the party, here are the features from last week's shindig!

I think I may need to add this Pumpkin Pie Sopapilla Cheesecake by I Should Be Mopping the Floor to my Thanksgiving menu!

I'm in love with this Seed Stitched Infinity Scarf by Kira Bee! It seems like something even I could make for Christmas gifts! 

I can think of lots of occasions coming up to make some of this Best Holiday Cranberry Punch by Giggles Galore!

Just look at this clever Rustic Candy Cane with Clamps by Domestically Speaking! How cute would this be on someone's mantel, or even to welcome guests at your front door?!?

After all the heavy foods of the holidays, this roundup of 32 Quinoa Salad Recipes by Life, Love and Thyme will certainly come in handy to get back on the healthy eating track!

Be still, my heart! This tutorial for How to Make a Pom Pom Wreath by Tidbits had me swooning from the first picture. Not only is the wreath adorable, but check out those rustic stocking hangers too!

If you missed these wonderful posts, be sure to click through their links to check them out! 

To see some of the past features, check out my Creative Ways Link Party Features Board on Pinterest. I'm hoping that will bring your posts even more exposure! I hope you'll follow along! 

Link Party Guidelines
  • Please link up to 3 of your family-friendly DIY Projects, Crafts or Recipes...your Creative Ways
  • Please link to a specific post on your blog, not just your home page.
  • Please do not link up Etsy shops or giveaways.
  • Please follow Posed Perfection by clicking on one of my pretty, colorful buttons on the sidebar, and let me know so I can follow you back.
  • I'd love for you to add the party button to your post, a visible link back on your post, or a link on a party page. We want your creative friends to join us too!
  • Be sure to visit at least 2 links and leave some comment love. 
  • By linking up to this party, your are giving authorization for your projects/recipes to be featured with a photo and a link back to your blog.
    Posed Perfection
    <a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="Posed Perfection" width="250" height="177" /></a>

    Would you like to get notifications for the Creative Ways Link Party posts and the other recipes and projects I post throughout the week? Make sure you SIGN UP TO GET EMAILS delivered right to your mailbox so you don't miss a thing! You'll find the place to follow right under the pretty social media buttons on the sidebar. I can't wait to see all your Creative Ways!

    Remember, this is a party... be sure to mingle! Please don't link up and run. Visit a couple of the posts above yours and just practice kindness. We all want to hear, "Great job!"
     photo signature_zpsd4bb4d5b.png