Easter Brunch Tablescapeย 

If you have been following along, then you know how much I love to host. I get all the feels when I get the chance to entertain friends & family. Like literally, my heart feels like it’s going to burst. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ This year I decided to host an Easter brunch. My goal wasย to create a whimsical garden party table setting. To do that I needed lotsย & lots of flowers. I think the types of flowers you use really sets the tone and brings a tablescape together. But that is just my opinion. I might be biased. ๐Ÿค” I do love flowers though!

So to get this look, I first laid moss down the center of the table. It was a little messy so I would encourage you to do this before putting anything else on the table.ย I bought the preserved moss at Joann Fabrics. The large bag was only $4! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ

Next, I added the teapot with the floral arrangement I put together. Sinceย the tea set has blue details, I went with blue hydrangeas, then added white flower spray and touches of greenery. The hydrangeas and flower spray was under $10 at Trader Joe’s!

Then I put moss in each teacup as I stacked them. I have 5 teacups, so I did a stack of 3 and then a stack of 2. I added fresh flowers to the top then placed a stack on each side of the teapot.

Side note, this tea set was passed down to me from my grandma. It was given to her by her husband. A gift he brought back with him from when he was stationed in Germany. It is one of my most favorite possessions. ๐Ÿ’™

Okay, now back to tablescaping…

Once I had the tea set all floral-y. That’s a word right? No, it’s not. But now it is. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I randomly placed {real} broken egg shells on the moss along with faux eggs.

After putting the centerpiece together I laid out the plates, silverware, and mason jars for the glasses. For the napkin I did a bunny fold. The fold is simple. Trying to secure it was not. ๐Ÿ˜ค So I used a straight pin to secure the napkin in the back. You can’t even tell. I will have to remember to tell my guests though. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

Here are the step-by-step instructions for the napkin bunny fold. Please note, this fold works best with a large dinner napkin.

After step 8, you’ll need to flip the napkin over to complete steps 9 & 10. Then you’ll flip it back over for step 11.

To secure the fold, I put a straight pin in the back (after step 13).

See…easy peasy! Well, with the straight pin. ๐Ÿ˜‚
Ok,now dessert!

I found a recipe for mini mason jar garden carrot cupcakes on Pinterest via My Cup of Cake and knew that’s what I wanted to make for a dessert. They are so dainty and thought it would fit my whimsical woodland tea party theme perfectly! My favorite part are the mini mason jars though. ๐Ÿ˜

Before I give you the link to the recipe I do want to tell you that I didn’t follow the recipe, more like used the idea. Instead of making the frosting and cake from scratch I used store bought. My oldest son had one and he loved it, store bought and all. ๐Ÿ˜Š That was all the confirmation I needed.

Note, I did follow the recipe in regards to length of time to cook and how to make the strawberries. ๐Ÿ“ Ok, I think that’s all I wanted to tell you about the cupcakes so click hereย to get the full recipe.

For the final touch I used individual cupcake stands I found at Target for $1 each and placed one in front of each table setting. Hold on…can we go back to the $1 cupcake stand?!? Is that not crazy? $1 each! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ Target dollar spot for the win! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ

Well friends that all for this post. I hope you enjoyed it and leave here feeling inspired to create your own tablescape for the upcoming holiday. Until next time. Xoxo

 

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Valentines Day Tablescape

With my husband being a chef, holidays are some of the busiest times for him. In the 7 years we have been together we have yet to spend Valentines Day together. I knew that when I married him I was giving that time up, and I am ok with it. Over the years we have always celebrated Valentines Day a few days before or after with a card and some sort of material gift, but this year instead of getting him something materialistic, I decided to make him dinner. Plus we don’t want to spend a lot of money, so dinner at home it is!

I want it to be perfect, so I spent some time planning out the meal and of course tablescaping.

I found this cute envelope napkin fold on Pinterest.ย Click here for the instructions.ย But I took it a step further and placed felt hearts I already had from baby K’s first year monthly pictures. I think it gives it the perfect Valentines touch. Plus I spent $0 since I already had the napkins and felt hearts.

For the centerpiece I used an assortment of carnations, eucalyptus, seeded eucalyptus, waxy white mini flower spray, and white roses. Then laid some extra seeded eucalyptus stems on the table and set my brass candlestick holders on the side. Super simple right?!? Plus we can eat by candlelight to make it more romantic. ๐Ÿ˜‚โค

I also wanted to make a signature cocktail. So I started experimenting. I used brute champagne and poured a teaspoon of Rasberry Grande in it to make the drink red.

It tasted quiet good and the sweetness of the raspberry evened out the dry taste of the champagne. To give the drinks a romantic touch, I topped them with pink carnations and greenery I had left over from the cakes I made for my best friends baby shower. I simply cut the flowers down to the head of the bloom and laid them around the rim of the coup glasses.

I am excited about our dinner and can’t wait to pamper him. I haven’t finalized the menu yet, but I can check the tablescape off my list. #priorities ๐Ÿ˜‚

Side note, these are the cakes I made for him friends baby shower. When I did the tablescape I had them and thought they made pretty table props. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

Well that’s it friends. I hope you leave here feeling inspired for the upcoming holiday. Just know you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make your significant other feel special. Until next time. Xoxo

Our Christmas Day Traditionย 

When we purchased our home in 2014, I told my husband I wanted to start traditions with our family. Traditions where our kids would grow up one day making comments like “Yeah I know mom, we do that every year”.

One thing that has become a family tradition is Christmas breakfast. I make homemade French Toast & hot chocolate for Carter. It’s nothing crazy creative or fancy, but it’s ours. I do sprinkle powdered sugar on top of the French Toast though. So maybe a little fancy. ๐Ÿ˜‚

My husband and I drink coffee while Carter drinks his hot chocolate & we eat breakfast before opening gifts. Last year I bought all the boys matching PJ’s. I might do that again since they looked so cute last year. Maybe it can be another family tradition…hmmm. ๐Ÿ˜Š

However, we have never eaten at the dining room table. We sit on the couch watching tv while we eat, but this year I want us to sit at the table. So, I decided to do a fun tablescape for the kids and make Christmas tree napkins. I added a red bow for the tree topper and a cinnamon stick with twine for the trunk. I found the idea of a Christmas tree napkin on Pinterest. Click here for the step-by-step instructions.

To make the trunk, simply tie a bow using the twine around the bottom of the cinnamon stick. It was super simple and it’s oh so cute. The materials I used are in the picture below.

I found the Christmas mugs at Crate & Barrel last year, but they have super cute ones this year too. Click here for more details.

The Christmas music sheets are from an old Christian hymn book my mom gave me. For the silverware I just tied them together with twine. All very simple. Put it all together and you have one fun tablescape for the kids!

Now that the place settings are out of the way, lets put some food on those pretty plates. ๐Ÿ˜‹ 


French Toast Recipe

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs
  • 4 tbsp of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 8 slices of sourdough bread
  • Powdered sugar to sprinkle on top
  • Maple syrup (warmed)

This recipe makes 4-5 servings

Step 1: Whisk the eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla extract in a medium size bowl.

Step 2: Put some butter in the pan to coat the bottom, and turn the burner on medium.

Step 3: Taking one slice of bread at a time, submerge the bread in the egg mix until completely coated.

Tip: Whisk the egg mix before you dip each slice. This will ensure the cinnamon is evenly portioned on the bread.

Step 4: Put the coated bread in the pan and allow to cook on each side for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.

Step 5: Repeat steps 3-4 until done.

Step 6: Cut each slice diagonally, sprinkle powdered sugar over the French Toast, then top with warm maple syrup.

Step 7: Enjoy! ๐Ÿ˜‹

In case you are wondering, I don’t put that much effort into Christmas dinner. We actually get takeout from a Chinese restaurant that is attached to a gas station. ๐Ÿ˜‚ It’s called balance.โ˜บ๏ธ

I hope you enjoyed my post and it inspires you to start creating your own family traditions. Family traditions don’t need to be tv worthy or elaborate as long as they are special to you, like takeout from a restaurant attached to a gas station. Ultimately, traditions are about spending time with the ones you love. 

Well friends, that’s it for now. May you and your family have a magical and memorable holiday. Until next time. Xoxo

Our Festive Friendsgiving Feast

If you know me, then you know how much I love to host dinner parties. I plan them weeks in advance down to the smallest detail. I look at it as my guests take time out of their lives to come over, so I want to make my dinner parties memorable. It’s my way of saying thank you & letting them know how much I appreciate them.

I do have an advantage though. My husband is an executive chef and one of my closest friends is a catering manager, so they always let me borrow table clothes, napkins, votives, and sometimes even decor. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Moving away from the place I grew up in was hard. It was exceptionally hard to leave my family and friends. Even though the drive back home is less than 2 hours, I rarely visit and when I do I’m usually visiting my husband’s parents or mine. With having 2 kids, a husband, and a full time job it’s hard to make time for yourself, let alone friends. So this year I decided to host Friendsgiving. Plus some of the friends we’ve made up here don’t have the luxury of spending the holiday with their family so I thought it would be nice to let them know we may not be family by blood, but we consider them family, by choice. Bonus, I get to host. Win, win!

Ok, now let’s talk tablescaping.

I always try to use greenery or foliage. It’s is a fairly inexpensive way to give the table a touch of elegance. This year I used seeded & regular eucalyptus. I bought the seeded kind through a local florist for $2.50 a stem and the regular eucalyptus from Trader Joe’s for $2.99! I spent a total of $20 on the foliage. Not bad for the beauty it brings to the table! I simply laid the stems down the table around the brass candle sticks and glass candle holder, then added a few green votives. It took no time at all to put it together once I figured out what I wanted to do. 

 I borrowed the napkins and tablecloth from my husband’s work. I really wanted white napkins, but he could only get me gold. I actually really like the gold against the white dinnerware. Plus, we didn’t have to pay for them so no complaints on my part.


I didn’t have enough matching napkin rings for all the place settings, so I got creative and mixed and matched. When I ran out of napkin rings I used twine. I wasn’t really ok with this at first, but I think the mismatched look gives it character. Add a sprig of fresh rosemary to the napkin ring and lay the napkin over an old book page and you’ve got yourself a lovey and simple table setting. 


Oh, one more thing! Name cards, but instead of writing a name, I wrote down a question. Not all of my guests knew each other and we ALL know how awkward that can be, so I wrote conversation starter questions on the cards like, “what is the most spontaneous this you have ever done?” Or “what is you favorite holiday movie?” It was a fun way to get us all talking.


I also mixed and matched the chairs and even used our white bench from the hallway. Mainly because I didn’t have enough chairs in the first place. My good friend Julianne helped me out in my time of need and brought me 4 white folding chairs from her work. ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ Thank the hosting Gods, otherwise some guests would have been standing. ๐Ÿ˜‚


Now let’s talk food. 

Our menu consisted of: chicken noodles, mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing, green bean casserole (my all time favorite), bourbon cranberry sauce (the recipes for the bourbon cranberry sauce is at the bottom of this post), & turkey, of course! You can’t have a Thanksgiving style meal and not have turkey.

My wonderful hubby brined it the day before & made it look fancy. He did a great job! I definetly couldn’t have done all this without him. See look how yummy it looks. ๐Ÿฆƒ 


We also served a cheese tray while my hubby & I finished up the cooking. The cheeses we used were: semi soft cheese, spiced cheddar (that was the guest favorite), and organic white cheddar with fig jam. It was a big hit! ๐Ÿ˜‹ 


Now for the very best part (in my opinion). Dessert!

We served pumpkin pie & apple pie made by yours truly. โ˜บ๏ธ I glitzed them up from their traditional look. I mean, let’s be serious. Pumpkin pie usually looks bland. So I used mini letters to church it up. The guests really liked it. I also made one that said “GRATEFUL”, but it was eaten before I had a chance to photograph it. ๐Ÿ˜‚ #bloggerproblems

With dinner we served  a signature cocktail. Cranberry Bourbon Smash. 

I found this amazing drink on Crate & Barrels’s Blog I did a taste test before the day and it tastes exactly as described on their blog, like fall. ๐Ÿ‚

I took it one step further and made sugar coated cranberry & rosemary ice cubes. Again, all in the details. 

Look how pretty they make the drink. ๐Ÿ˜


Ingredients:

  • Cranberries
  • Rosemary
  • Sugar

You also need ice cube trays. I reused the trays I bought to make baby K’s baby food. I don’t make his food any longer, but I’m so glad I kept them! 

Step 1: In a medium pot put 3 cups of fresh cranberries in water over low/medium heat. Make sure water is covering all the cranberries.

Step 2: Add 1 cup of sugar to the pot and stir until well blended.

Step 3: Bring the cranberries to a simmer. Do not boil. This will cause the cranberries to pop. You want to keep them whole.

Step 4: Drain the cranberries and put in a mixing bowl. Add 2 cups of sugar and use your hands to mix the sugar & cranberries.

Tip: I used my hands to mix the sugar and cranberries to prevent the cranberries from bursting. 

Step 5: Cut the fresh Rosemary into 1/2 inch sections.

Step 6: Fill the ice cube trays a little over half full. You’ll need the extra room for the cranberries and Rosemary.

Step 7: Add 2-3 sugar coated cranberries to each of the ice cube compartments as well as 1 of the Rosemary clippings. The sugar will come off the cranberries, but when the ice melts in the drink, it gives it that extra sweet taste.

Tip: Keep the remaining sugar coated cranberries as garnish for the drinks.

Step 8: Put the ice cube trays in the freezer.

Serve with the cranberry Bourbon smash drink and enjoy!

I am so pleased with how everything turned out. Everyone left with full bellies and smiles on their faces, so I chalk that up as a successful Friendsgiving feast!

Well friends that’s it for this post. I hope I inspired you for the upcoming holiday. My bourbon cranberry sauce recipe is listed below. Happy Holidays! Xoxo


Bourbon Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of cranberries
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1.5 cups of sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of Jim Beam Bourbon
  • Fresh rosemary to garnish

Step 1: Put the package of cranberries in a medium pot with 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer. 

Step 2: Add the sugar, vanilla, and bourbon and stir. 

Step 3: Turn the burner to low and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Make sure to stir frequently.

Step 4: Put the cranberry sauce in a bowl and garnish with rosemary.

Serve and enjoy! This is a super simple recipe and oh so yummy!