sparkles from my week (and hosting tips!)

thanksgiving table 2

sheesh, so sorry these are late! last night, i hosted thanksgiving, and we were in clean up mode until midnight – certainly didn’t have it in me to sit at the computer after that! oh, and then i took advantage of today’s holiday here in canada and slept in. that like, rarely, if ever, happens, and i shoved the guilt to the back of my mind and just cozied up. after a healthy breakfast of coffee and pumpkin pie, here i am.

thanksgiving was a huge success – the lamb turned out great, despite my meat thermometer breaking in the middle of cooking. i rely on that thing in a major way since i’m always scared to a) undercook meat and kill people b) overcook the meat so that it’s dry and tasteless. neither of these things happened, thank goodness.

have a great week! on wednesday, i’ll show you how i did those fabulous gold foiled pumpkins.

(above, stage one of thanksgiving prep commences – pulling together the decor, and about to head out for groceries)

west elm

a fun night out with jen and monika for monika’s west elm holiday presentation.

(read on for my full menu and tips for hosting a huge thanksgiving or any dinner, really!)

whisk cookie

cookies from whisk were the parting gift from the west elm event, and were so, so, so good. my bf said they were the best ginger cookies he’s ever had.

vampy lip

i rocked the vampy lip – and loved it! (m.a.c fixed on drama)

a few tips on thanksgiving prep:

make a menu list and stick to it. i chose to go somewhat traditional, but with a modern spin. get your groceries and extra items you don’t have around a few days before you are hosting (for instance i needed a gravy boat, napkins etc.). prep and bake the day before the dinner to set yourself up for the day of – trust me, this is key to actually enjoying the process and your guests company! live and die by a list and check off as you go, including what time things need to go into the oven. my kitchen is tiny, so this strategic planning saved me from a melt down. don’t forget, if it’s chilly out, your patio doubles as an extra fridge. oh, and don’t forget to call your partner into the fold. he spent the day prepping the house, grabbing items from storage for me etc. – couldn’t have hosted without him!

my menu included:

balsamic glazed charred brussels sprouts with bacon + onion
roasted acorn squash (i added cinnamon and pecans to this)
classic stuffing (i omitted the cornbread – one tip for this is to make sure your bread is really, really dry. pop it into the oven for a bit to dry it out and brown it. definitely add sage to the mix)
roast leg of lamb (this was a huge hit! i’m not into turkey, and this is our new tradition)
garlic mashed potatoes
pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese icing

get some leaves from outside, pillar candles on a simple plate of charger for an affordable centerpiece. the placemats are from hudsons bay (buy them here), and are paper, which makes for easy clean up! i also opted for linen style paper napkins – less stress. use tea lights in holders for a little sparkle across the table.

 

thanksgiving table 1

thanksgiving morning, we had a lovely cup of coffee together, and then got down to bidness.

thanksgiving table 3

stage one setting, complete. i then found out i didn’t have enough west elm gold cutlery for 6 ppl, darn!

thanksgiving table

tablescape complete and ready for hungry bellies!

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