Hosting our first holiday

Good morning! I realize it’s now two weeks into December and I’m just now sharing our Thanksgiving recap – oops! Between work, teaching, training and leading a challenge at work, it’s left very little time at night for blogging, but since Thanksgiving turned out so well, I wanted to pop in and share some photos and tips that helped it be relatively stress-free. I’ll preface this by saying that we don’t really have the ideal house/space to host a formal event like this, but it was something I really wanted to do so we made it work!

I’ve always loved entertaining, but I won’t lie and say that it’s not a lot of work. No matter what you’re hosting, as the host, there is always more work to do than one might think, but over the years I have figured out ways to manage all of the little details without being super stressed out. This year, the key for me to be relaxed on Thanksgiving and not running around like a chicken (err, turkey) with my head cut off was doing a lot of things in advance. That, and asking for help! Sure, I could’ve prepped all of the side dishes on my own, but if others wanted to help, who am I to take that away from them 😉 As is with most things in life, asking for help isn’t a bad thing and doesn’t mean you can’t handle it on your own. It simply means you’ve learned that asking for help makings things easier!

IMG_2467[1]

I’ll be honest – the real reason I wanted to host Thanksgiving was so that I could decorate the table and use my fine china that we received for our wedding 🙂 There’s just something so great about a beautifully decorated table with matching dinnerware, glasses and a beautiful centerpiece, #amiright?! Here’s what I did to make my vision come to a reality:

  • I knew I wanted whites & golds for my color scheme, rather than traditional oranges and reds, because of my china. It’s gold and navy and so pretty 🙂 That said, I went to Whole Foods and picked up a bunch of lily’s, hydrangias, white roses and greenery. All of the flowers came to about $35 and I made 2 centerpieces so that’s a good deal. I’ve been into making my own flower arrangements so this was fun for me. I did them on Sunday and by Thursday they were bloomed and settled.

IMG_2409[1]

  • While I had vases I *could’ve* used, I stumbled upon these great vases at Target as part of their new Chip and Joanna line and I’m obsessed with them! They went well with the candle holders I bought last year at Target as well
  • Since we had to have 2 tables, I needed to figure out the table cloth situation. I used the table cloth and table runner from Crate and Barrel that we received for our wedding and then I picked up a white table cloth with gold and silver in it from Target as well. I thought they worked well together!

IMG_2463[1]

  • I thought about getting cute Thanksgiving-y napkin holders, but ultimately went with the gold ones I got from Crate and Barrel for our wedding. they looked so nice with the plates!

IMG_2454[1]

  • Lastly, the black chairs were an impulse buy when I saw Target was having a sale. I found the exact same chairs there as I saw on Wayfair, but for $100 less. AND! They were delivered in less than 24 hours from the time I placed the order. Can you tell I’m a big Target fan these days?

IMG_2453[1]And that’s it! While we certainly didn’t use all of the dishes in the place settings and had to remove the flowers so that we could eat and see each other, the table decor outcome made me so happy!

IMG_0503.JPG

I never used to be into these types of things in terms of making everything look so pretty and planned, but I have to say, it’s really fun! I’ve been doing it with Christmas, too – I mean, I spent an embarrassing amount of money on Christmas/Holiday pillows, lol.

How about you guys – do you get really into the decorating aspect of parties, holidays and get togethers? Or, do you care more about the food and drinks? Do you like to entertain?

Advertisements

Weekending: Hopsters Date Night, Handle Bar & Brunching in Harvard Square, Hosting my Parents

Good morning! What a busy, but fun weekend we had- let’s recap 🙂

Friday

After work on Friday I had to go into the city for an appointment. I had some time to kill and decided to pop into City Sports since I knew they were doing “going out of business” sales and I had a gift card I needed to use. I didn’t find much worth looking at (sales weren’t THAT good year), but I did find these awesome Saucony running sneakers I was able to get for 35% off! I’ve never run in Saucony’s, so I hope I like them!

IMG_3002

By the time I finished up at City Sports, it was time to head to my appointment near the North End. As she was finishing up, she asked if I wanted any water, which I declined since I had a water bottle with me. She then asked if I wanted wine and I said “well, yeah! that’s more like it”. I thought she was totally kidding until she came back in the room with a big ol’ cup of wine. Best surprise ever 🙂

IMG_2995

RM got home shortly after me and we decided to walk to Hopsters for a drink and dinner. I was there last Friday night with my sister so it was funny to be back again! We decided to get the sausage and arugula flatbread and harvest salad and both were incredible, the pizza especially. Wow- so so good!

IMG_2997 IMG_2998

Saturday

Saturday morning we woke up kind of early and decided it was a good morning for healthy pancakes so RM got busy.

IMG_2999

Usually we do Sunday morning pancakes so this was a fun treat 🙂 It’s rare to have a Saturday at home without having to teach.

IMG_3001

My sister and I had plans to go to The Handle Bar’s new Harvard Square location for an 11:30 class and then brunch after. The class was really good and challenging, the brunch was a big disappointment 😦 We ended up going to Park Restaurant and Bar and everything from the slow service to the really, really sub par food made for a less than stellar brunch.

IMG_3003

I ordered the goat cheese and spinach omelet and it looked like they literally put a scoop of goat cheese in the middle of the omelet and threw in some barely cooked spinach. I could have made something way better than that. My sister’s burger melt looked like it was from McDonald’s- the slice of yellow cheese wasn’t even melted and the burger itself was tiny. And the kicker? it took 40 minutes to get the food and it wasn’t even busy! I would not suggest going there if you’re looking for a bunch spot in Harvard Square- save your money!

After I got home, RM and I booked our wedding photographer (!!!) and went to Chelsea to go to the huge Home Goods to get some house stuff. We ended up getting new pillows, a new throw and laundry baskets- we are getting there!

IMG_3007

photo 1 (2) photo 2 (2)

The rest of the night was spent food shopping and meal prepping for my parents visit on Sunday. I also made our favorite Shrimp and Veggie Curry Dish for dinner, which is such an easy and delicious meal to throw together.

IMG_3006

Sunday

I woke up early because I knew I had a lot to prep in advance before my parents and my sister came over for a little luncheon. On the menu?

  • Easy Pumpkin Soup from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen
  • Roast Chicken
  • Roasted sweet potatoes, Japanese sweet potatoes, celery, carrots and onions
  • Spicy broccolini
  • Fancy veggie filled stuffing that my sister made and brought- it had grated carrots, onions, celery, mushrooms- it was a really fun change from your traditional stuffing.

IMG_3009

We had such a nice afternoon drinking bubbly/wine, catching up and talking big time wedding talk. My mom got me my first bride magazine, which was fun to look through! I love that my parents are so willing to come down for a few hours and a meal.

After they left, we finished cleaning up and got comfy on the couch- preparing a big meal and hosting a luncheon is tiring!

Questions for you: What did you do this weekend? Did you get any good workouts in? Do you like to entertain? Have you been to Park?

Although I still don’t know how to put into words the sadness and fear I have after hearing about the terrorist attacks in Paris, I’d feel remise if I didn’t take a little bit of blog space to mention it. We have been watching CNN and listening to NPR steadily since Friday night and I woke up Saturday wishing that it was all just a bad dream. What is this world coming to, where people can’t go to a concert, a game or out to dinner without the fear of an attack? My heart goes out to all the people who have been affected by this tragedy. I pray for a world with peace and love, not this crazy world filled with terrorists and fear.

I’ve only been to Paris once, but it has always been a place I’ve wanted to visit again. I loved everything about it and still hope to get back there some day.

196028_504256705098_8484_n 197104_504256700108_7087_n