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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

How to Host a Friendsgiving Dinner


Thank you to Oriental Trading Company for sponsoring this post. Product and/or compensation was provided to me to share my ideas and tips, however, all opinions are fully my own. 




Thanksgiving is literally a few short days away and you may find yourself looking for last minute ideas for hosting a small gathering of friends....also known as a Friendsgiving. 

A Friendsgiving is a great way to host your friends for the Thanksgiving holiday, but you don't have to break the bank or do a lot of work to get ready - especially with my easy and affordable tips for setting a beautiful tablescape and preparing a delicious meal.  Below are some ideas and tips that I have on how to pull together a quick tablescape and meal for your closest pals.


Thanksgiving, Dinner, Holiday, Entertaining

With the right combination of decorative pieces, you can create a beautiful tablescape  that looks like you put in a ton of work....(but you really didn't)....I used a 
gold shimmer burlap table runner, a faux boxwood garland, mirror glass votives and metallic string placemats as the foundation of tablescape.  Using the votives creates a very intimate space and provides an extra element of lighting.  Spacing out votive candles with autumnal elements, like decorative pumpkins, down the center of your table, you can create perfectly natural looking centerpiece that will certainly wow your guests. 

Little details like
 burlap bows hot glued to the ends of the runner add another level of dimension to a simple decorative piece.  I just love, love, love mixing elegant pieces with more casual pieces and the combination of metallics and burlap completes this look perfectly.


Make it easy for guests to find their place at the table.  I painted wood cut gourds gold and white and wrote down the names of my special friends.   This is a simple DIY and if you add a magnet to the back of the place cards, your guests can take them home to attach to their fridge or magnet board as an instant thank you gift!



Instead of florals, I used a faux boxwood garland to fill in the middle of the table along with decorative pumpkins from my fall decor stash.  There is so much you can do with a few decorative pieces.  Keeping special occasional dinnerware on hand will always come in handy.  



These 'Thank You' gift tags make perfect napkin rings.  I plucked a few pieces from the garland to bring in some of the greens to my linen napkins I already had on hand.  



Place a wall sign or framed quote out to remind your closest friends how much they truly mean to you and how thankful you are for their friendship!



If you need an affordable idea for feeding your guests, my quick and easy tip for preparing a Friendsgiving meal is to keep it super simple. 

I went to my local Aldi and Trader Joe's and found a full meal to feed 4-6 people for less than $35.  Trader Joe's had a Turkey En Croute with cranberry sauce and gravy for $12.99!  That's a major score.  I also found frozen green beans and pearl onions, and frozen sweet potatoes...I doctored the side dishes up with spices and herbs and turned out a delicious meal!  I was even able to find mini pies from Aldi that were a perfect treat for dessert.

What makes this idea THE BEST is that there is very little clean up and the time to prep and cook everything was less than two hours!




Pulling together a last minute Friendsgiving is totally doable.  Just remember my tips when  setting it up:


  • Simple decor can go a long way, a few elegant pieces mixed in with casual everyday tableware and linens will give you a stunning tablescape.  
  • Dress up your place settings with cloth napkins, thank you tags and a few botanical sprigs (faux or real).  
  • Make gifts serve a dual purpose by personalizing take home name cards....they'll mean a lot to your besties because you made them (and they take no time at all to make). 
  • Make meal prep effortless with heat and go dishes that you can easily flavor with flair!


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Thanks again to Oriental Trading for always providing festive elements for my holiday entertaining ideas! 


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Friday, November 10, 2017

Winter Holiday Drink Station

 Disclosure: Thank you to Cost Plus World Market for sponsoring this post. Product and/or compensation was provided to me to share my ideas and tips, however, all opinions are fully my own. #GiftThemJoy #ad #worldmarkettribe


I absolutely love hosting parties in my home, especially during the holidays.  For years, I've centered most of our entertaining around our kids likes.  As they're getting older now and our family dynamics are changing, I'm turning more of our entertaining towards adult flair and fashion.  That being said, I realized with the holidays fast approaching, I needed to get our home into holiday hostessing shape.

We have a vintage dresser that my husband converted into a buffet for our dining room. I usually use it for displaying desserts or food when we entertain....mostly, it's just set up with regular seasonal decor and sometimes ends up being a catch all spot for homework - you know....real-life living.  




Recently, we changed the location of the buffet in the dining space.  It is now situated in front of our dining room window....that window has an eyesore of an AC unit behind those velvet curtains.  So, this setup is great for colder weather months....but it will certainly not work for the spring or summer.  This setup also works great as I can change out the drapery to suit the decor I plan use for whatever particular holiday occasion I'm hostessing.


We have an actual bar in our home but it is located in the Man Cave.  We also have a liquor cabinet in our dining space as well, but it doesn't function as a suitable place to mix and serve drinks.  Since most of our holiday entertaining takes place in the main living area of our home, I decided to use our buffet as a drink station.



I love the holiday selection at Cost Plus World Market so, I headed to my local store at Pentagon Row in Arlington, VA to find some essential 
Christmas Dinnerware pieces for our festive holiday Christmas Food and Drink station.  There were so many Christmas Decorations/ChristmasDécor options to choose from. 

was instantly drawn to some of the icy accented decor as it reminded me of the day after a beautiful snowfall, from my years growing up in Connecticut.  I also thought the bold golden metallic glassware that I found was just beautiful and deserved a spot at our drink station.  





Here are my tips and suggestions on pulling together a winter holiday drink station for your home.

To set a winter holiday drink station, I recommend decorating with snow and iced kissed decor.  You can hang icy wreaths as a focal point to your backdrop.  They're festive and seasonal and add just the right decorative touch to the space.


Use metallic and mirrored pieces to bring lots of light and reflection to your drink station.  I found a beautiful mirrored tray and placed metallic confetti gold glassware on it.  I also added a few whimsical decorative snow birds and some fresh rosemary sprigs to create a winter look and feel to the table.




I like to offer guests options for their adult beverages, some people like alcohol and some do not.  So, for a signature drink, I recommend trying an Elderberry Cordial.  It's a very concentrated fruit blend that must be diluted with, sparkling water or juice for a non-alcoholic drink.  However, if you'll be serving alcoholic drinks, you can add white wine or vodka. 

I like to place Vodka or Gin in a large glass flask alongside the rest of the mix-ins.  This lets guests control what they would like in their drinks.  The cordial and sparkling water is the base for your cocktail mix and can be combined in a decanter.   


Set out garnishing to complete your drink set up - I think cranberries and fresh sprigs of Rosemary are perfect complements and trust me, the Rosemary adds just the most subtle and delightful flavor to your holiday drink!




When serving drinks, its a really good idea to offer some edibles.  Cost Plus World Market has a wonderful selection of quality gourmet meats.  You can create a simple meat and cheese platter and garnished with fresh seasonal fruit and rosemary.  You can present them on a white platter, slate tile or cheeseboard, whatever you have on hand would work perfectly.






Don't forget to add festive plates for your appetizers and bites!  




Adding a bit of candle light is another way to bring light and reflection to your drink station.  I like to use battery powered candles and dress them up with decorative candle rings.




Holiday entertaining is always a joy for me to share with those in my life I love dearly.  I hope you will be able to use some of the tips I shared on creating a winter holiday drink station and that your next holiday gathering is full of fun, food and good times.







FOR MORE HOLIDAY ENTERTAINING IDEAS LET BRANDI MILLOY SHOW YOU HOW TO BRING 3 DELIGHTFUL (AND AFFORDABLE!) COST PLUS WORLD MARKET LOOKS TO YOUR HOLIDAY TABLESCAPE.



Go for classic Christmas dinnerware colors, add a touch of wintery shimmer with silver and white table decor, or create global style with vibrant table linens. These festive finds also make fun Christmas gifts! Imagine the joy you’ll bring. #GiftThemJoy



Visit your local Cost Plus World Market for your holiday entertaining needs.  Find your local shop here: 
 http://stores.worldmarket.com/index.html






Metallic Confetti Glass Decanter



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holiday cocktails, holiday decorating, mirrored tray, metallic glass decanter, metallic glassware
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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Llama Themed Holiday Gifts

Disclosure: Thank you to Cost Plus World Market for sponsoring this post. Product and/or compensation was provided to me to share my ideas and tips, however, all opinions are fully my own. 








With the holiday season now in full swing, you can find all sorts of llama themed gifts and LlamaOrnaments at Cost Plus World Market.  I can always find what I'm looking for at my local Cost Plus World Market at Pentagon Row in Arlington, Va.  and I've gathered a list of perfectly adorable llama themed gifts to share with your faves!

You should know that Cost Plus World Market is one of my favorite shopping spots and they always have the most fun ways to get the most out of your holiday shopping experience!  Starting today you can join in on the Golden Llama Treasure Hunt and win over $1 Million in rewards!


Here are all the awesome details!

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3XheKgq8nA 

Golden​ ​Llama​ ​Treasure​ ​Hunt

Find​ ​a​ ​Golden​ ​Llama​ ​and​ ​receive​ ​a​ ​coupon​ ​valued​ ​at​ ​$20,​ ​$50​ ​or​ ​$100! Over​ ​$1​ ​Million​ ​in​ ​Total​ ​Rewards!

How​ ​to​ ​play:

● Every​ ​day​ ​beginning​ ​Wednesday,​ ​November​ ​1st​ ​through​ ​Wednesday,​ ​November 22nd,​ ​your​ ​local​ ​Cost​ ​Plus​ ​World​ ​Market​ ​store​ ​will​ ​hide​ ​5​ ​Golden​ ​Llama​ ​pieces throughout​ ​the​ ​store.

● Each​ ​day,​ ​we’ll​ ​share​ ​the​ ​daily​ ​clue​ ​in-store,​ ​via​ ​email​ ​and​ ​on​ ​our​ ​social​ ​media channels.​ ​Use​ ​the​ ​clue​ ​to​ ​help​ ​you​ ​find​ ​a​ ​Golden​ ​Llama​ ​and​ ​you​ ​could​ ​receive​ ​a reward.

● Locate​ ​(1)​ ​Golden​ ​Llama​ ​piece​ ​and​ ​bring​ ​it​ ​to​ ​the​ ​nearest​ ​store​ ​associate​ ​to exchange​ ​for​ ​a​ ​reward​ ​coupon​ ​valued​ ​at​ ​$20,​ ​$50​ ​or​ ​$100.​ ​Reward​ ​is​ ​valid​ ​only​ ​on the​ ​day​ ​it​ ​is​ ​awarded.

*Limit​ ​one​ ​(1)​ ​reward​ ​per​ ​person​ ​throughout​ ​the​ ​Promotion​ ​Period,​ ​regardless​ ​of​ ​store location(s)​ ​visited.​ ​EMPLOYEES​ ​NOT​ ​ELIGIBLE.​ ​See​ ​Terms​ ​of​ ​Participation​ ​for​ ​complete details.

Link​ ​to:​ ​www.worldmarket.com/hunt



 
So, now that you have all the details, are you ready to play?  Here's your clue for the day...


DAY​ ​1​ ​CLUE:

GOLDEN LLAMA WHERE ARE YOU? HIDING NEXT TO SOMETHING BLUE 




Sounds like so much fun!  I love all the fun ways Cost Plus World Market makes shopping fun!


I personally love creative planning - and if you aren't familiar with what that is, it's simply using a daily planner calendar, creatively, by adding decorative items like, stickers, washi tape, and other embellishments to plan out your day to day tasks.  So, I've found a tribe of other creative women who do the same, so I know for sure that I will be sending a lot of stationery gifts to my planner friends.  The 
Llama JournalsLlama Paper ClipsLlama Sticky Notes, and Llama Notepad are on my list for sure.





Do you have a coffee loving friend or coworker?  Well, then you definitely want to pick up this Llama mug - I love the quote on this mug - it's perfect - save the drama for your llama - LOVE IT!





I'm  not fashionista, but I do love a good accessory piece and the  Llama Mittens and Llama Faux Fur Pompom keychain are perfect for that bestie who must have a fun showpiece to complete their winter ensemble....and of course I want the pompom keychain for myself - you know I love all the pompom things!


You cannot let this holiday season go by without grabbing the 
Llama Felt Stuffed Stocking and  No Probllama Pillow for the person in your life who adores decorating their home for Christmas!  Each of these items are just perfectly whimsical and I'm definitely grabbing that Llama pillow - I mean.....come on....#musthave



If these gifts I shared are something you think are perfect for the favorite people in your life, let me know what you love the most by leaving a little comment love below.  Make sure you also take part in all the extra Llama love and participate in the Cost Plus World Market Golden Llama Treasure Hunt starting today!

Find a Cost Plus World Market near you
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