Nov 16, 2017

Breathtaking Thanksgiving Day Tablescapes

Because we're traveling up to Richmond to be with the girls, I still want a breathtakingly beautiful Thanksgiving Day tablescape that will be easy to put together away from the large stash of fall themed tablecloths and d├ęcor I keep here at home. Since I'm already making the mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, lemon meringue pie and caramel apple cider cocktails, I don't want to spend a lot of money to decorate the table for just one - although very wonderful - cold November day.

 
Any type of greenery placed down the center of the table from end to end
makes a beautiful backdrop for white and orange mini pumpkins,
small votive candles and randomly placed nuts.
 
 
I love the idea of painting mini pumpkins with a variety of the quick drying acrylic paints
I pick up at Walmart for only fifty cents each. But since we're on our way today (hopefully
with no traffic through the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel), I won't be able
to recreate the unconventional but very inviting tablescape shown above.
  
 
White and orange candles placed at various heights makes this Thanksgiving table look
elegant and expensive. Notice how this table has a plain tablecloth with plaid
napkins - just the opposite of the table at top. Small woodland animals
create a rustic and whimsical atmosphere.

Nov 12, 2017

Healthy Christmas Tree Appetizer Trays

I'm on the lookout for healthy appetizer trays, ones that don't lean so heavily on crackers, cheese and processed meat like salami (a mysterious collaboration of pork shoulder, pork fatback, salt and sugar - stuffed into a cellulose casing). In fact, my goal has been at least two fruits each and every day which usually includes red grapes and blueberries, called "the King of antioxidant foods." And for those of you that only eat canned pineapple, consider this. A good friend sent me a box of fresh pineapples from Hawaii and they were so fresh and fragrant, you could smell them unopened from down the block. Try one and you'll never go back! These Christmas tree shaped appetizer trays are easy and elegant, healthy options when so many holiday dishes we eat are heavy, starchy and overly sweet.

 
To keep apple slices from turning brown,
dip them in lemon juice or soak the cut fruit in ginger ale. 
 
 
Broccoli and cauliflower are both on the list of the World's Best Super Foods. 
A great appetizer to help you digest a heavier meal
with mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy.
 
 
Admittedly, cheese cubes are heavier and have more calories than fresh fruit. 
Seven cubes of cheddar cheese contains about 120 calories but has lots of calcium,
which is usually lacking in an American diet.
 
 
This star fruit makes the perfect tree topper.  Raw broccoli and cauliflower taste best
served with a homemade or store bought Ranch dip.

Nov 3, 2017

Best Selling Memorial Wedding Sign

This vintage inspired memorial wedding sign is available for only ten dollars at a shop on Etsy that I've featured before. The fact that this attractive unframed 8 x 10 print is such a best seller suggests we all remember and deeply cherish those loved ones we have lost. On a day when two people come together joyfully and without reservation to become husband and wife. Promising to be loving and faithful, in sickness and in health. And every other ordinary day, when your late father's favorite song comes on the radio on your way home from a rough day at work.

 
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Nov 2, 2017

Williams Sonoma Marshmallow Snowmen

Fun hot chocolate marshmallow snowmen courtesy of Williams Sonoma. You can purchase a twelve ounce container of Williams Sonoma hot chocolate mix, made with delicate bittersweet chocolate shavings that melt into milk for a rich and velvety sip. Their European style hot chocolate has been made by the famous Guittard family of northern California for over five generations and it doesn't come cheap. I'm not that fussy about drinking hot chocolate that's been finely ground from the world's best cacao bean. But I would love to serve these charming marshmallow snowman (with chocolate mouth and eyes and nose made of orange icing) - also available from Williams Sonoma in a little clear boxed set for $12.95.

 
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Oct 20, 2017

How To Display Polaroid Wedding Photos

So many rustic ways to display polaroid wedding photos - but this is my favorite. Not everyone has a polaroid camera laying around but you can pick up the popular one made by Fujifilms at Amazon ($59.00) or Walmart (currently ten dollars less and no shipping) for "the perfect selfie photo every time." The larger the frame the better - even if you have to make your own. Staple twine from side to side, creating rows of charming photos held in place by mini wooden clothespins. The Instax Mini 9 camera (available in cobalt blue, ice blue, flamingo pink, lime green and smokey white) might be your biggest expense but repurpose this photo display idea at birthdays, bridal showers and family reunions.

 
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Oct 10, 2017

Wedding Cake with Baby's Breath

Today I found this lovely three tier wedding cake with bits of green fern entwined with baby's breath on one of my favorite blogs at Evermine. Having once owned a small bakery myself and spending many an afternoon - slim metal spatula in hand - trying to get my buttercream as smooth as silk, I love this refreshing new trend of roughly iced wedding cakes. Because you don't need to be a professional to recreate this look. Wedding cake pans on Amazon and elsewhere, about $30 a set. Freeze all of your layers - so much easier to frost! Assemble three frosted tiers with cardboard rounds in between for support. No cake is complete without Wilton's buttercream icing. The recipe recommends you sift the confectioners' sugar, but I never bother, and it comes out light and fluffy every single time.

 
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Oct 7, 2017

Unforgettable Donut Inspired Wedding Cake

Just how much would it cost to recreate this unforgettable donut inspired wedding cake? My eyes tell me this "cake" has about twelve dozen glazed donuts decorated with lovely bits of baby's breath, Shasta daisies and white carnations. Here in Virginia we have two donut chains - Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts. That means I'm paying either $7.99 a dozen from one or a dollar more from the other. So between ninety five dollars and $107 for just the donuts alone. Compare that to the average price of wedding cakes in America - over $400 - and this donut inspired cake is fun, affordable and a real crowd pleaser.
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