Wednesday, November 30, 2011

{Random} Holiday House Tour

Good Morning! Our little, old home is going to be on the Holiday House Tour sponsored by The Little Red School House this year. If you are a local girl {or guy -- GARY ;-} and aren't busy next Friday night, then stop on by and visit us!

House tours are one of my favorite things to do during the holiday season. Not only do I love seeing different style homes and decor, but the holiday decorations are pretty to look at and put me in the Christmas spirit.

We are finishing up a few house projects that we had been putting off {pics soon}. The tour has actually been that kick in the rear that we needed to get stuff done around here!

Hope to see you there!

Holiday House Tour
East Greenwich, NJ
Friday, December 9, 2011
$10 per ticket
**Tickets sold at The Little Red School House, Haines Pork Shop & Affinity Furniture

Monday, November 28, 2011

{Entertaining} Thanksgiving

My family had a wonderful Thanksgiving from start to finish. Wall to wall sunshine and an unseasonably warm temperature started the day and family and delicious food and sweets ended the day. Perfect.

To say I flew by the seat of my pants this year with my tablescape would be an understatement. Thankfully, it all came together in the end, and I really like the combination of traditional and untraditional colors and details. I bought my dinner napkins first {Crate & Barrel} and built everything else around them. Maize, turquoise, green, eggplant, brown, orange, etc -- I had quite a palette to draw from.

I served ten guests total, so it was a manageable number. I set up a little card table in front of our fireplace and used burlap as a table cover to accommodate the overflow of guests.

I created individual dinner menus for each guest's place setting. I sized them to fit inside the center of the salad/dessert plate, which I sat on top of the napkin and dinner plate. Then I placed a few berries on top.

I also attached a round name tag with rafia to each guest's drinking glass. The table was already set when guests arrived, so everyone knew where to sit during dinner.

The green glasses are another Crate & Barrel purchase. I had seen them this summer, but decided to hold out for a little while. When I went back a few weeks ago -- GONE. Uggh. As a last ditch effort, I asked the saleswoman to check the back for me and she came out with ten of them. That was the last of them, and they were marked way down. Score.

The centerpiece was a hodgepodge of different items I pulled from here and there. Most of the items I already owned. I found the sparkly cream pumpkins and gourds for $.50 at Walmart. I snagged a few of those and scattered some acorns and pinecones around too.

The turkey was a PB splurge when my friend Alyssa and I took a decorating class there this fall. He's one of my favorite Turkey Day decorations.

We had some light munchies for everyone before dinner was served. Cheeses, crackers, some fruit, and wine.

I used my galvanized tiered tray, which is pretty big, so I filled in some of the open spaces with fresh parsley and artichokes.

The dessert table was pretty simple, and I added a pop of color with the pears. Anders Ruff's Thanksgiving tablescape was my inspiration {mentioned in my Thanksgiving inspiration post}.

My dad made an awesome homemade apple pie from scratch! He's my new pie maker for all future Turkey Days ;-}

I dipped my pears in caramel sauce {it went on a little thinner than I had hoped but oh well} and then sprinkled shimmery sanding sugar on them. So pretty!

I also made pumpkin pie mini's just for a change from a normal sized pie. They were simple -- I followed a normal pumpkin pie recipe for the filing. Then I lined a cupcake tray with pie crust {I used a glass to cut small circles and push in each cupcake mold}, filled with the filling and popped in the oven. Super simple.

I made a friend from work a ribbon bunting for her Thanksgiving dessert spread, and I really liked the way it turned out, so I made a mini one using the same colors {cream, brown and burnt orange} for one of the pumpkin pie tarts.

That's it!

**I can't believe it's already Monday again :-{
**Wishing you a quick and painless Monday ;-}

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

{Sneak Peek} Thanksgiving

Just a quick little look at my Turkey Day preparations. Lots of cooking left to do tonight!

**HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you & yours!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

{Inspiration} Thanksgiving

Ahhh....Thanksgiving. I look forward to this holiday all year long. Fall, food, family, football, fun -- what's not to love? Here are some of my favorite inspiration pictures I've collected over the past few months.

Pumpkin mousse parfaits via The TomKat Studio.

Beautiful tablescape. I LOVE the pops of green using Granny Smith apples via Anders Ruff.

Vintage drink station via Anders Ruff -- I die.

Caramel pears via Fresh. I'm going to attempt to make these for my own Thanksgiving dessert spread. We'll see if they turn out!

Another simple yet stunning tablescape using white pumpkins. I love the natural feel to this table -- very beautiful. Pic via Martha Stewart {of course ;-}

No matter how tired or busy or overwhelmed I feel sometimes, I am beyond GRATEFUL for the gifts God has blessed me with. My family -- all healthy, all safe. A supportive, loving husband and the greatest blessing of my life, my son. My Christian faith. A warm, cozy home to go home to every day and food to put on the table for my family. A great job. This country where I am free to dress the way I please, practice whatever religion I want, marry whomever I like, get an education, vote, etc, etc, etc. GRATEFUL is a gross understatement.


**For more Turkey Day inspiration, take a look at my Give Thanks board on Pinterest.
**I'm working on my own tablescape tonight -- wish me luck as I am totally winging it! Still not sure what I'm doing -- just gonna go with it ;-}

Monday, November 21, 2011

{Just For Fun} Hendricks Crew

This weekend I had the pleasure of taking some pictures of some super cute kids. Two were my niece and nephew and the other two were my niece and nephew's cousins {on my sister's husband's side of the family}. My sis' husband and his siblings are hoping to give their parents some pictures of all four grandchildren for Christmas. I'm far from a photographer, but they asked me, so I said I'd give it a shot. Yikes. It's hard to get FOUR kids to cooperate, all look at the camera, and smile on cue at the same time.

Hence unsuccessful attempt #1.

Here are a few of my favorite individual shots.

Maura Kate.

Jack David.

Charlie May.

Blakely and her pretty mama. Sweet girl was not too keen on getting her picture taken, so I opted for one with mommy & baby together.

Jack & Char having a little "promised" fun after being such good little subjects for their photoshoot.

**GRATEFUL for a 3 day work week!
**LOTS to do before I'm ready to host Thanksgiving at my home -- details soon!
**Some house projects underway and nearly complete -- pics soon!

Friday, November 18, 2011

{TGIF} TGIF...You're Not Kiddin'

PHEW! THANK GOODNESS it's Friday. This was quite possibly the longest and most stressful week I've had in a long time. Just a little more grad work to do and then...FREEDOM ;-}

**Thanksgiving is just around the corner -- hoping to be back next week with some Turkey Day inspiration for ya'll!
**Pic via Pinterest

Monday, November 14, 2011

{Weekend} A Little of This & A Little of That

Time off rocks. I'm feeling so refreshed after a relaxing four day weekend. A little Christmas shopping, a little Mom/daughter/Dean day, a little meal preparation for the coming week, a little trip to Grassy, a little not waking up to an alarm get the picture. Pure bliss.

I LOVE being home with this little man. Love it, love it, love it.

My hubby and I were fortunate enough to have a great {and unexpected} date night on Saturday night. Freda's Cafe in Cape May, New Jersey was our little dinner spot. SO YUMMY. Freda's is a teeny, tiny hole in the wall in need of some major updating, but it didn't matter one bit -- the food was incredible.

Why a quick overnight to our shore house? Well, my husband, his father and brother-in-law are in the process of tearing it down and re-doing the entire house. It desperately needs a facelift, wouldn't you say? BUT....we love it there and feel so fortunate to have a cute little place right on the bay. And thankfully, my in-laws own a second home right next door that was gutted and renovated about ten years ago. We are able to spend time there while the "pink house" is under renovation. Progress pics soon! We're excited!

Monday, November 7, 2011

{sLd News} Holiday Craft Show

On Saturday, I was a first-time crafter at the holiday bazaar at the school where I teach. I have been wanting to enter a craft show for the longest time, so I finally took the plunge. With only one month to prepare and no design programs, it was a real CHALLENGE to even make it there!

Please excuse the horrible backdrop {gym bleachers} behind my little set-up. I wasn't sure if I would have a space against the wall where I could lean an appropriate backdrop, so I didn't waste time planning for one when there were so many other things to do! Go figure that I actually was fortunate enough to have that wall behind me! Next time...

Using my son's table and chair set, I created a children's party table to model some of the items I had created for purchase. It was so much fun putting this little table together!

I used a silver tinsel tree to hang some Christmas tags on...

...and then packaged the rest of them in sets of 8 and laid them out for purchase.

Party packs were a package deal including invitations, food tents, and cupcake toppers for upcoming holiday shindigs.

I also sold cake toppers/centerpiece sticks and cake buntings made of ribbon. There were Happy Birthday, Give Thanks, and Merry Everything toppers.

There were also these sweet bunting thank you cards...

Recipe cards in lots of varying colors...

...and 2012 desk calendars.

Not pictured but also for sale were bookmarks, rolled flower toppers, and cupcake toppers {sold in sets of 8}.

**I have a few extras from the craft show, and they are available for purchase and ready to ship ASAP. Please email me if interested!
**I'm feeling very thankful that I have a short week and am off with my baby boy on Thursday & Friday.
**Make it a great Monday!

Friday, November 4, 2011

{Sneak Peek} Just a Little Something...

...I've been working on. Details Monday!

**Grad class #2 starts tonight. ANOTHER Friday night class. UGH. 1 down -- 4 to go. Double ugh.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

{Invitations} Thanksgiving

It's officially November, which means I am starting to think more about Thanksgiving. I went bold with my invitations by using a trellis pattern and the colors lime and blue.

These colors accent the dinner napkins I will be using on my table. I'm welcoming the change from the traditional fall color scheme this year.

**More Thanksgiving details to come this month!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

{Holiday} Cowboy Dean

In recent years, Halloween has become one of the nights I look forward to the most. Why? Just for the simple fact that I LOVE how adorable all the kids look dressed up in their costumes. The entire night is priceless!

Cowboy Dean was a little cranky and wasn't too keen on wearing his cowboy hat or carrying his stick pony last night -- oh boy.

I thought a cowboy costume would not only be cute but budget savvy. Ummm...not so much. Dean was able to wear a pair of jeans and plaid shirt he already had in his closet, but after buying the cowboy hat & boots, kerchief & sheriff star, and stick pony, this costume started adding up! And I was trying to find a vest and belt with a cowboy buckle too -- my wallet was thanking me for not being able to locate those last few items!

I knew that oversized horse would come in handy some day ;-}

**Whether you were handing out candy or trick or treating with the kids, I hope you all had a fun Halloween!