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Heather Hastings

An inviting front door creates some serious curb appeal. Here are some simple suggestions that will help you dress up your exterior entryway.

Be Natural

Accenting your door with wreaths adorned with flowers, fruits or greenery is a fresh way to create an inviting ambiance.

lemon wreath

Nothing says summer like an ice-cold glass of lemonade. So, why not welcome guests with a zesty wreath made of lemons, like the one pictured here? Get crafty and make your own or check out Etsy if you’d rather buy instead of DIY. You can also incorporate other citrus varieties, using the wreath pictured below by celebrated floral designer Ariella Chezar as inspiration.

The Flower Workshop

If you prefer flowers, create a floral wreath from the annuals in your garden or assemble a gorgeous bouquet, like the one pictured below.

tulips

In addition to wreaths and hanging door decor, you can adorn your entryway with potted plants, colorful flowers or even fruit trees!

Say Something

No need to roll out the welcome mat with this friendly decor. Say “hello” to this modern, yet playful boxwood wreath. Eucalyptus leaves also make a simple yet elegant backdrop for a DIY  message. Chalkboard gives you the option to customize your message and works beautifully when paired with a colorful floral arrangement.

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If you’re going for a bold look, put writing on the wall (literally). Blogger Start At Home Decor likes to change up her greeting seasonally.

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As always, look to Pinterest and you’re sure to be inspired by all the creative DIY projects.

Get Festive

Summer is the season to kick back with with a fruity drink donned with a cute umbrella. Get the party started from the minute you walk through the door with this adorable party umbrella wreath. It cost this blogger $10 and one hour of her time to create.

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Another easy, breezy idea for a wreath is to use pinwheels, like the one pictured below. We’ve compiled a few DIY options here, here and here that look simple enough to tackle on a rainy afternoon.

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We’d love to see how you’re dressing up your door this summer. Share your pictures with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Rocky Hullette

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Since 1995, Mary Rigdon has been producing award-winning farmstead artisanal cheeses from Saanen goats on her land outside Atlanta, Georgia. Lovingly known as Farmer Mary, she started researching dairy goats and practicing making cheese with books from the library after a trip to England where she ate delicious cheese, milk and yogurt. Soon, she was making cheese for her family and buying land. What started as a 12.5-acre farm is now 40 acres and a thriving business that services some of the best markets and restaurants in the Atlanta area.

Farmer Mary took time out of her day with the goats to answer a few questions about her experience.

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What’s special about your goats?

They are a world-renowned Swiss breed called Saanen, known for their milk production and sweet disposition. The woman I purchased my first goats from was an excellent farmer. She had a healthy, accredited herd with great qualities. Recently, some folks from Saanen Valley in Switzerland came to Georgia and heard about our goats. They came for a tour and even wrote a feature about them to be distributed in their hometown!

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Pictured: Three new kids resting on Nature’s bedding, getting ready for a nap.

What’s the most rewarding part of your work?

The same things I found rewarding years ago are what I find fulfilling now. I love dairy farming – working each day to get a little bit more milk, a little straighter leg, or utilizing the land in the best fashion.

Part of the reason I started selling cheeses, rather than making cheese just for my family, was because so many people with allergies and digestion problems contacted me. We do our best to keep our cheese a pure product and many people find that goat’s milk is gentler on their digestive systems than cow’s milk.

I also love that people are using goat’s milk and goat products around the world. At the farm, we receive visitors from so many countries – most recently, from Venezuela and Bosnia. Goats are universal.

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Pictured: Two of Farmer Mary’s goats relaxing on a bed of Nature’s at a market.

Why do you choose Nature’s Bedding for your goats?

There’s a feed and supply store nearby that has been my go-to for over 25 years. Before I found Nature’s, the bales I bought from them were difficult to separate and use. One day, probably about 10 years ago, I went to another store and saw Nature’s. I gave it a try. I loved it so much that I asked my regular store to stock it. I’ve been using Nature’s ever since.

What I love about Nature’s is that it flakes easily and does a great job absorbing moisture. There are no heavy bales to separate. When my children want to help out, Nature’s chips are so manageable that they can spread them. And I like to stack the packs to create a playscape for our baby goats – they love jumping on and off them!

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Thank you Farmer Mary for sharing your experience and choosing Nature’s!

Joseph Merkley

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Is it already December? It’s hard to believe, but winter holidays are upon us, and my wife has been happily decorating our home for Christmas. Her enthusiasm inspired me to share some easy DIY holiday ideas using wood you may find around your home or that can be purchased inexpensively at your nearby Home Depot or other hardware store.

This first project idea came from a festive purchase my wife just made: a dowel Christmas tree. If you have some basic tools and 30 minutes to spare, you can follow this excellent tutorial from lifestyle blogger Rubyellen of Cakies. Don’t have dowels around? For a selection of dowels to purchase for the project, click here.

Did you just replace your old moulding with Finished Elegance? Don’t throw it away just yet! Courtney from Diamond in the Stuff recommends using scrap wood and moulding to create a festive Christmas tree. Add different shades of green paint for a quick and fun way to recycle leftover pieces. For a Hanukkah celebration, follow Randi’s advice from Sowdering About in Seattle to create an antiqued Happy Hanukkah sign with scrap wood.

Need a centerpiece for family gatherings? Robin from Happy at Home has a quick tutorial for a custom wooden statement piece using scrap 1X4s and 1X2s. She decorated her centerpiece with stones, but you could use wide candles, greenery, or ornaments. A versatile piece, no matter your occasion.

I hope this list inspires you to be creative this holiday season. Comment below to let us know how your projects turn out!