Sunday, November 25, 2012


Wedding china and silverware have been inaugurated.  Thanksgiving dinner has been eaten, and then eaten again, and then broken down into leftovers, which have also been eaten.  Family has been here and gone.  China and a few decorations await being put away, to make room for new.  

It's crazy how much thought and planning go into these single days, and then suddenly they are over.  I almost like the planning and the thinking and the dreaming part more than the actual holidays themselves.  Now looking towards Christmas, it's not even the day itself that I'm really excited for, at least not yet.  I'm excited for the wrapping, and the envelope addressing, and the tree put-upping, and the Christmas music listening, and the peppermint mocha drinking.  But not yet.  December 1st is the date for beginning my own personal Christmas season, but not before.  (Ok, I may indulge in a peppermint mocha or two in the meantime...)  I don't see the need to rush out and decorate in red and green and Nativities and candy-cane stripes and start listening to the fa-la-la-ing right away the day after Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving deserves it's own time and space, and I like the idea of taking a break between the two, even if it's just for a week.  There's too much pressure otherwise.  I like to step back and take a breath and do some of this dreaming and planning in my head, without having to actually dive into it all right away.  

Today I took a break to do some cooking and baking, not because it was necessary, but just because I wanted to.  Breakfast was pumpkin pancakes and sausages.  I accidentally thinned the batter out by adding too much milk, but I really enjoyed the end result.  The pancakes were almost crepe-like, thin and light without being too bulky.  

Then I moved on to cranberry crumble bars and banana bread (not shown).  I used homemade cranberry sauce from Thursday to form the middle layer of these bars...I'm not a big fan of cranberries on their own, but in these bars, they are delicious.  I look forward to eating them for breakfast all week.  And for dessert.  And maybe for a snack in-between.  Ok, so maybe they won't last all week.  I impulsively sprinkled some nutmeg and cinnamon on top before baking, which gave them some nice color and a smidgen of extra flavor.

Here's to one last week of the Thankgiving "season", before diving into the next one.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving Readiness

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I love that it's a celebration of fall, and food, and family, and there are no presents to worry about (except my brother-in-law's birthday gift, but that's okay), and the food, and the fall, and the leaves, and the colors, and the food...and it's awesome.

Tyson and I are hosting Thanksgiving this year with his family, so I've been menu planning, decorating, china washing (okay, drying, Hubby did the washing), and grocery shopping.  It's been fantastic.  

Our wedding china and silverware is all ready and waiting, prepped for it's inaugural use.  It's also currently taking up the majority of space on our dining table...waiting for me to get up the energy to find a proper spot in our kitchen cabinets.

The designer in me had to take a trial-run of the place settings the other night.  Clearly, the $4.99 roll of burlap that was an impulse-buy from Michael's has come to good use.

The napkin rolls have sparkly letters with each person's initials on them, too (kind of hard to see in this image).  The final napkins have a leaf attached to them, and you can see the initial better.  I live for this kind of stuff.

Happy Thanksgiving sign.  Hello again, sparkly letters and string.  Yes, the sparkles were an impulse-buy, too.  

I made this simple leaf garden with a perfect template from here.  I simply cut out the leaves from the template, and outlined them with metallic markers.  These are also the leaves that will be added to the rolled napkins. It's hard to tell from the image, but I printed the leaves and the Thanksgiving banner on sparkly paper left over from our wedding invitations and stationary, which looks makes them a little more elegant.

I love how everything looks.  The best part is that it looks like I tried really hard to get everything to coordinate, when really I was just working with a really small budget.  Meager budgets = more streamlined design.  It's like impossible to go overboard when you're trying to spend $15.00 or less.