White & Rust Traditional Thanksgiving

traditional decor with zazzle

Although I don’t host our family Thanksgiving, I do host a very special occasion in the week prior.  We gather to eat and celebrate with all of those who we choose to be our nearest and dearest – our friends. Friendsgiving has been something this group has been doing for almost 13 years.  Although one of our other friends used to host, as we’ve aged and our group has changed, I’ve begun hosting.  This will be my third year with the honor.

In the past, these gatherings have always been pretty informal – sweats, football, and a bonfire all encouraged, but I have fancied it up a bit… why?  Well, we get together all of the time for impromptu bonfires, patio drinking, and football watching, so I felt like this day should be a little more formal to show how much we cherish and celebrate some of our favorite people in our lives. I always dress up the table nicely like a sit down dinner party, but the food is potluck which allows everyone to contribute, something that I feel is so integral to the Thanksgiving spirit.  I make a turkey the traditional way, but the men all gather earlier in the day our in our yard to fry a turkey as well.  Meanwhile, I sit inside and pray that they don’t burn down our house (and the 100 acres of adjacent nature preserve).

This year, I was very inspired by the in-store display at my local Crate and Barrel store.  Everything was white and worn wood with just a touch of iron or rust.  It was so soothing and still very classic.  I decided to do my own take on this very traditional look.

The formal invites are from Zazzle and although I designed them from Scratch (which is one of the main reasons I use Zazzle), you can also buy my design (and customize) if you’d prefer not to design your own! Mine are simple with a red fox (which we have here on our property) and a plaid back.  I used the same plaid in a custom wrapping paper which I’ll use as a table runner. Lots of white serve ware and dinnerware will bring the light look to the table.  I love the very traditional turkey bowl and the black rimmed stock pot and some simple wheat as table decor (can’t have too much table decor with a potluck!)

Last year I did these fun little ‘thankful’ booklets for name cards, but this year, I’ll use another natural.  I’ve taken my inspiration from this walnut card holder.  For a personal touch, I am going to ask all of our friends to submit their favorite quotes and have them printed on these wooden coasters!  It will be a fun addition and something they can take home!

So far, I’m very happy with the initial plans.  Of course, I’ll be sharing a few of the DIYs along the way, so stay tuned for more Friendsgiving goodness!

 

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5 Tips to Setting a Festive Tablescape

creating a fall tablescape

Creating festive table decor for our parties is actually my favorite part of the entire party!  It’s something that I love spending time playing with and experimenting with different set ups, but something that most people tell me they have trouble with.  I decided to put together my top five tips for creating a compelling table arrangement for your next gathering.

Let’s get started!  [Read more…]

The Sleepy Hollow Cocktail

halloween white russian

I have such a treat for you today! White Russians are a bit of a staple in our house and if you like them, you’ll love this little martini.  It’s basically a White Russian, but just a little deconstructed.  I love a sweet treat after dinner, and my favorite part about this take on the classic is that with each drink you get a little taste of the whipped cream followed by some cream laced Kahlúa – why cream laced?  That’s my secret! This recipe is a tad lighter than the regular recipe, but has all of the wonderful flavor.

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I named it the ‘Sleepy Hollow’ because as the whipped cream melts, it gives a spooky foggy look through the darker body of the drink.  The recipe is for one drink, but with so few ingredients, it’s so easy to make in a larger batch, adding the cream topping on each drink for a beautiful and delicious cocktail!

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The whipped cream vodka adds such a wonderful depth of flavor, and with just the topping of cream, it isn’t too heavy to drink after dinner.

Treat yourself this halloween to a spooky swirling drink and for more holiday drink ideas, visit Kahluaholiday.com (ps. take a look at the polaroid photo on the home page – haha!)

 

 

Disclosure: This post was done in partnership with Kahlúa and compensation was provided.  All recipes, photos, ideas, and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that allow us to bring you fresh content 5 days a week!

Fall Fruit and Jam Brunch

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I’m back for party two of the ‘That’s My Jam’ party!  Part one was two weeks ago (here) and the second portion got a little delayed because we had about two straight weeks of rain, but we totally lucked out this past weekend with some absolutely gorgeous fall weather.  It was sunny, slightly chilly, and the leaves are just beginning to enter serious fall mode.

I had to act fast on Sunday and gather the group for some jam-making and drinks.  The jam itself takes all of about 45 (mostly passive) minutes to make, so I focused on the snacking, drinking and chatting that were to take place during the cooking.  I’m not a huge jam person, but felt like it was such a wonderful activity for the fall harvest fruits, so I made two types that both pair with a cheese (Mmmm, cheese).

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I set up my outdoor harvest table with fruit, bread, crackers, cheese, and (most importantly) some Sparkling Rosé.  I got the mini bottles of Le Grand Courtâge so that each mimosa was as sparkly as the last and also so that each friend could take a couple of bottles home in their ‘That’s My Jam’ Tote along with the jam we made.

We focused on two unique recipes, both created to be eaten with cheese – Maple Apply Jam and Rosemary Pear Jam – and we created some custom labels for each variety.  What is best, is that they can both be made in the crockpot (awesome!) so that you can do this outside or anywhere you have an outlet.  There are tons of gorgeous photos and the two recipes so read on!

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[Read more…]

White Gourd Placesetting DIY

fall dinner party name card diy

When it comes to dinner parties, I like to think outside the dining room sometimes to create a more magical experience for our friends.  I’ve always wanted to do a big outdoor sit-down dinner, but various technicalities have gotten in the way.  This year, it’s happening.  I built a table (more on that later) and have been starting the planning process.

outdoor dinner party fall fall tablescape

One thing I knew I wanted to include were some white name card holders.  Although actual white pumpkins can be used, they’re fairly pricey and don’t last super long once cut.  I made a very sleek, modern version using some run-of-the-mill foam pumpkins from the Home Depot.

fall dinner party outside fall name card

The result is a beautiful, serene tablescape that isn’t a cacophony of color (which you know isn’t my thing). The white gourds lend themselves well to the other colors incorporated in the table and won’t compete with any of the other decor.  The best part is that since they’re faux, they’ll last throughout the whole season and I can use them all of the way through Thanksgiving.

It’s a super easy project that I’m almost embarrassed to call a ‘DIY’ but sometimes it’s the little things, right?  Let’s go!  [Read more…]