Easy Thanksgiving Table Ideas

It might be just over a week before Thanksgiving is upon us but there is still time to refine your table.  Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to relish the warm burnt tones of Autumn and the spicy scents of pumpkin pie and mulled cider.  Not everyone likes their Thanksgiving to be a lesson from a history book or a trip to grandma’s country cottage but I love this holiday best when it is a mix of the layered textures and colors.  Here are some of my favorite ideas for Thanksgiving this year.

There are still plenty of pumpkins and other gourds to go around this time of year and there is no reason to not use them in your decorating.  This candle in a pumpkin idea from henryhappened.com brings in the natural colors and textures of the season.  They would look great on a dessert buffet lending a subtle spicy compliment to pastries.  Click the photo to go to the tutorial

One more candle project, this time for the main table. This diy candle holders would look great clustered or scattered about the table. I am really liking the idea of creating enough of these to make sure the whole room is illuminated in candle light. Not only does everyone look better by candlelight but if you opted for the sequin version of these (shown below) the diffused effect would be like a beauty shot for the food as well. The picture below shows the candle holders in some amazing jewel tones but for my table I am thinking metallic. These would be great in copper and brass hues. The picture will take you to the tutorial courtesy of decor8blog.

More Metallic! More more more! I really am having a metallic moment right now, particularly copper. These glasses from
West Elm would look great in leiu of traditional stemware on the table. Switching up your glass options is a great way to add a casual element to your table. This idea goes particularly well with the next item on the list.

Instead of a centerpiece this year, be bold and try something that will definitely encourage cross table conversation. I doubt I will be able to talk my mom into it, but I love the idea of a big punch bowl in the middle of the table. Guests can ladle up their own beverages while they eat. Click the picture below to be taken to a recipe from theglitterguide for a delicious sparking cider rum punch that will be the center of my Thanksgiving table soon.

I have definitely got enough sparkle and shine going on for the table at this point. As stated before, I am a fan of mixing texture so these kraft paper placements from oh nmy deer handmades are perfect. They take the disco ball effect of all that metallic down to a subtle shine and allow guests to reflect on the parts of this holiday that can all too easily get swept up in the turkey and stuffing madness. As above, click the photo to be taken to the amazing yet simple tutorial.

To further both the layered look of the table and to mix in yet another texture, I love the idea of these embossed velvet place ribbons from DesignSponge. The tutorials on this blog are always incredible and very easy to follow. This is a simply way to provide your guests not only with an idea of where they will be sitting for the meal but also to give them a subtle monogram they can take home and repuprose as they see fit. Click, read, craft!

This last idea is a bit expensive but a girl can dream. Horchow’s Napoleon flatware set looks amazing in all the offered designs. Right now, I am drawn toward the ivory colored handles. They would be reusable for so many different occasions. I can imagine these nestled on top of a linen napkin, the smooth handles adding yet another texture. Amaze.

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Thanksgiving Luxe: Fireside and Football

thanksgiving luxe featured image

 

A lot of families in the US have a Thanksgiving Football tradition. They watch, they play, they strategize. While personally I do not see the appeal of football, I definitely see the appeal of a Thanksgiving outfit that is as comfortable as it is stylish and will hold up in any impromptu touch game.

lets start with a good foundation. Yes you could wear jeans, but the theme is Thanksgiving Luxe and these velvet leggings are every bit as comfortable as a good pair of jeans while looking a heck of a lot dressier. They also play very nicely into the 90’s grunge trend that I am absolutely loving right now.

City Adventure Crushed Velvet Leggings from Modcloth

City Adventure Crushed Velvet Leggings from Modcloth

I love an extra long shirt over leggings and in keeping with the grunge look, I would go with this nice rich red plaid shirt.

Joe Brown’s rugged plaid check shirt from Simplybe

You may want to change into a pair of sneakers for the post-dinner kickoff but you will want to spend the rest of the day (and frankly your life) in these Diba Everhart booties. I have a pair in brown and I cannot say enough about these boots. They are so ridiculously comfortable and absurdly adorable I think I might need them in black too.

image via shopstyle

The best way to finish off an outfit like this is to remember how many of our forebearers got this country in the first place, by sea. This catbird ring is intricate and substantial, perfect alone as statement.

Soundtracking – Watch and Listen

It’s been a hectic few months and I have seriously fallen behind with listening to new music.  I am happy to announce this ends starting today.  Part of what makes me happy is exposing myself to new sounds and exploring music as a soundtrack for my thoughts.  This is a little collection of what is ticking my boxes this morning.  It’s a bit female heavy and a bit electronic heavy but that’s just my mood right now.

∆AIMON – Seraphim


In Complete honesty this duo is always ticking my boxes. Definitely on the darker side of romance this is not the track to play if you want an impromptu underwear disco. That being said, it is absolutely ridiculously stunning. December 3rd will mark the release of their debut but there is plenty to love on their bandcamp page right now. They just might save what remains of the “witchouse” (HATE that term) scene.

Kate Wax – Dust Collison


This song sounds like how I feel when I watch Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. It’s beautiful. Upbeat without being obnoxious, this is a great one for the morning.

The Happy Hollows – Endlessly


One for the morning. This is a get out of bed and start the day kind of song. Its got great big sound that feels epic and inspiring. If you like synth, if you like new wave, if you have ears you will like this. Oh man this would make a great driving song too, through Big Sur.. yeah.

Blood Orange – Time Will Tell


Quoting the song here: “It is what it is”. Its smooth and infectious. It also speaks for itself.

Charlie XCX – Superlove (Yeasayer Remix)


I love Charlie XCX, I love Yeasayer. If I was in high school getting ready for a winter dance, this song would be on loop. My best friends would be in my room and there would most assuredly be some spontaneous underwear disco action. I love the stark visuals provided by the video here as they contrast very well with the bubbling sounds. I totally said I love Charlie XCX and I care not who knows.

Julianna Barwick – Harbinger


The world needs more Julianna Barwick. A lot more Julianna Barwick. She wields her voice like the paintbrush of an impressionist and the outcome is pure dream bliss.

Lola Colt – Jackson


Nick Cave and Grace Slick had a music baby. Lola Colt’s Jackson thuds and screams into ears like a black storm. The music recalls the best of Nick Cave’s various projects and the vocals recall Grace Slick’s authoritarian boom. This is a swirling backwater dust storm of a song choking with brilliance.

Dum Dum Girls – Lost Boys and Girls Club


This song sounds like it could have been included on the Lost Boys soundtrack. It straddles the line between the band’s previous dark girl group sound with a bit of Sisters of Mercy thrown in. It’s winter perfection. I may be now be convinced that Dee Dee and Co can do nothing wrong, at least musically.

Thanksgiving Luxe: Classic American Beauty

thanksgiving luxe featured image

I wanted to kick off my Thanksgiving style series with a look based around classic American sportswear names (especially since I goofed and missed the Canadian Thanksgiving).  When I think American sportswear I think Ralph Lauren, Diane vonFurstenburg, Calvin Klein, Donna Karen and Michael Kors.  I am in love with the way the sweater dress uses the pleats and the stitching on the sweater to give shape.  I had a really hard time finding a good alternative to the plus sized version.  The look has an over-all sleek and slightly New York vibe to it. As a challenge I decided to stick to one store and I found the dress at Nordstrom, so all items are available there.

Calvin Klein fit and flair sweater dress.

Straight size alternative

Sleek bootie from Michael Kors

classic hammered bangles. Lauren by Ralph Lauren

Lauren Ralph Lauren station hoops

Lauren Ralph Lauren Long Link Necklace

Pinterest board for this look here.

* All images provided by Nordstrom

Spice Profile: Clove

It seems like the only time I think of cloves is during Autumn.  In truth this spice can be harvested year round and and is most commonly found growing in places like Indonesia and India.  We all know clove as one of the spices that defines our colloquial meaning of the word “spicy”.  This is especially true when describing a fragrance.  Often times things that smell “spicy” have heavy notes of clove and cardamom.  Despite its many uses as a digestive aid and natural toothache remedy (It just occurred to me this is why it is in so many old toothpaste reciepes), I think it is the smell of clove in the Autumn and Winter that brings me the most joy.  I have put together a couple great ways to enjoy the spicy aroma of cloves this holiday season.

Cleaning Products, yes cleaning products with a great citrus clove scent. These are holiday only limited edition products from Mrs Meyers so grab them while you can.

Pomanders! Image from Martha Stewart

Pomanders are a great easy craft that you can do while watching a movie or even use as a nice holiday craft for little ones. Just make sure you have firm oranges before you start. I recommend using a toothpick to pre-poke your holes for your cloves. There are a few different methods to how many cloves to use. If you intend to make your pomanders last (and they can, for years even) then you will want to cover as much of the orange as possible and treat the finished pomander in a curing spice mixture of cinnamon, ground glove and orris root. The pomander will take up to a month in this mixture to dry out. If you are hoping to make your pomander a little closer to the day of display and are okay with potentially having to discard them then you are free to use the cloves in a more decorative fashion. I like striping the oranges personally.

dried cloves, from wikipedia

Finally and my personal favorite use for cloves during this time of year is to make spiced cider. There are plenty of “Mulling Spice” mixes available for sale but why pay money for someone else to decide how your cider should taste? Use nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice to mull the cider. Take orange peel and stud it with cloves. Once the cider has been heated add the peel and let it simmer. Not only will this fill the house with the most delicious aroma but you can also use the peel as a garnish for the cider. With this method you will need to strain the cider into your mug. Add some rum and a pat of butter for a hot buttered rum cocktail that will keep you warm all winter.

10 Modcloth Picks – November edition

I had so much fun doing my October Modcloth picks, that I wanted to do another set for this month. This time I will be including 3 items I have purchased this month into the mix (reviews to follow once they arrive – canNOT wait). November also seems like a good time to focus more on accessories and home items so aside from the clothing pieces I purchased, everything should be not only cravable but giftable.

november picks

1.  Jazz Standards Dress*
2. Breakfast in Bed-Stuy Top*
3. Finder’s Keepsake Shelf
4. Cinnamon French Toasty Gloves
5. Groom Service Travel Bag
6. Concert Lights Scarf in Lawn
7. Metro Ride Bag
8. Fine Dino-ing Bowl
9. Fetch of Allegiance Pet Bowl Set
10. Fairest of them All Dress*

*Items I have purchased this month

Thanksgiving Hostess Gifts

Thanksgiving Hostess Gifts

I just finished up a list of 4 amazing hostess gifts for Thanksgiving over at ChubbyCheeksBeauty!

Murder Mystery Party Costume Help Needed

On the First of November I am going to a “How to Host a Murder” party hosted by my sister.  My mom did one of these back in the 80s when I was a kid and I remember being REALLY jealous of everyone doing the dress up and pretend to be someone else thing.  I am also a huge fan of the detective show genre (Hello Murder She Wrote!).  Needless to say, JAZZED!

One small little problem, I think I exhausted my creativity trying to come up with a makeup look for my actual Halloween costume (Pictures of both the ingredients used and the final dish upcoming after the holiday). My character is Glumda, the depressed witch from the grey part of Oz. The invite describes her skin as pale green, but I am REALLY loathe to risk getting a bunch of face paint on my normal clothes. I was thinking maybe, do contour highlight and blush in green colors? Do my lashes and brows in green as well? Throw on a purple lip? Anyone think that would work? Help a girl out!

Reality is a pest

In the past two months I have lost a job, a pet, a family member, and my place to live. Two of the losses were voluntary due to circumstances relating to my husband’s employment and two them were absolutely devastating blows. I am still in a place of mental dissociation. I think about the changes that have forced their way into my life and it seems like I am writing a story about someone who happens to resemble me in almost every way possible. Sometimes I pretend like I am on vacation and none of it is actually happening. Reality has been slowly sinking in.

This is the kind of reality that I could easily get lost in. Luckily I have friends and family with worth beyond measure. People have not only made themselves available to patiently listen to my venting,/ranting/complaining/mental meandering but they have also been quick to offer up distractions. A look at my instagram will show that I have been doing a bit of crafting lately which has been encouraged and mostly financed by my mother. I have friends checking in with me daily. I have a friend who kindly gifted me with a big bag of beauty products to play with and review (If you are interested check out our beauty blog here for a list of items):

I do not say this as a brag, but rather as an admission. There are things I am not capable of facing on my own. It is my hope that somehow this post finds its way to someone who is likewise overwhelmed. It is my hope they reach out and ask for help from a friend. It would be my honor if someone like that reached out and asked me to help with the distraction. I may be dealing with my own life snarls, but helping others is therapy. After everything that has been done for me lately, tell me how I can help you.

Last minute Halloween diy

That frightful tables cape not quite frightful enough?  Halloween is one of those holidays where going overboard should not only be tolerated by encouraged.  More blood!  More bats!  More glitter?!?!  I might have a preference toward the simple and well worn for my every day style but I definitely like a bit of glam when it comes to my holiday displays, so yeah, MORE GLITTER.  I found a few Halloween diy guides that are primed to be late game additions I thought I would share.

Image Courtesy of DesignSprinkle

This Paper Halloween Witch Display from DesignSprinkle has printables for every piece shown as well as some amazing ideas for how to use the invidual parts.  The focus on black and white makes this display sharp and potentially re-usable.

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Image and recipe courtesy of EchosofLaughter

This Easy Spiced Pumpkin butter can be used as a garnish to dishes but I like it best as a dip for pretzles.  That salty sweet combo is a halloween diy dream fuel.  I would make a double batch, one before crafting and one to share with friends.

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Image and idea provided by ThePaperMama

The next Halloween diy idea might take a little bit more time and effort than the others but the efforts will be well worth it.   On their own terrariums look amazing but this spooky version inside a pumpkin ups the ante.  To use it longer, trade the tombstones for fall foliage (hello Thanksgiving stunner!).

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Image provided by Work In Progress

A bright Candy Corn Wreath from Work In Progress will spend the entirety of fall on your looking oh so sweet.  The instructions look simple enough that even a clumsy kid like me might be able to pull this one off (not that being clumsy has ever stopped me from trying before!

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