8 Easy and Fun Thanksgiving Decor Ideas

Posted on November 21, 2013 by Christina Young | 0 Comments

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. It's time to celebrate life and give thanks to all the people around us that made a difference in our lives. Whether it's a large Thanksgiving feast with many families and extended families or a smaller gathering of immediate family, it's always fun and festive to add some autumn Thanksgiving decor touches to complement the lovely dishes that will be served.

Here are 8 easy and beautiful ways to decorate for Thanksgiving:

1. Autumn Leaf Cork Mats/Coasters

Cork mats not only help preventing the hot plates and pans from burning the table, its medium brown rustic color is perfect for the autumn decor look. Either purchase them in already Thanksgiving themed pre-cut shapes like turkeys, pumpkins, or leaves, or one can very easily make them at home. For people who love to DIY, search for a leaf or turkey picture that you like online, enlarge or reduce the picture into the size you like the mat to be in, print out a copy, and trace the outline of the leaf or turkey with a thick black marker. After placing the outlined picture on top of the cork mats, use a sharp blade to cut through both the outline paper and cork mat. Clean up the edges with a sharp scissor.

2. Large Vases With Fruit and Candles

Filling large vases with fresh fruit and candles is an organic and wholesome way to decorate. Fruits that are bright in color, firm, and round in shape are great choices, such as green apples, lemons, limes, and oranges. Candles in vases add warmth and a nice glow to the atmosphere.

3. Decorative Tags and Flags

For a more formal gathering, placing tags and flags is a charming way to personalize your message and the occasion. The flags can be placed in little hors d'oeuvres ramekins, in cheeses, fuits, cupcakes, or desserts.

4. Stacked Fruit Tray Tree

To create a more engaging visual display, adding height to a decor creates a focus point. An easy way to achieve this is to stack two cake stands over another plate, and fill each layer with breads, fruits, cheeses, or desserts.

5. Vegetable Wrapped Candles

This may not sound so appetizing, but they are visually very pretty. Wrap large candles with fresh garden vegetables such as asparagus, artichokes, brocollinis, or green beans, and secure them in place with a nice mustard color ribbon. The vegetables will look cohesive together as they are from same color family; their different heights and textures will layer each other to create a nice effect.

6. Edible Fruit as Place Holder Decor.

A pretty piece of fruit, like pear, apple, or pomegranate with a handwritten tag pinned or tied with ribbons as place holders is a chic way to decorate the plates.

7. Picture Frame and Pumpkin Banners

Let's not forget to decorate the mantels or fireplaces. Hang a "Give" banner over one giant or two medium sized picture frames with some dried flowers or plants in vase, and place a few painted pumpkins with the word "Thanks".

8. Miniature Pumpkin Painted in Gold

Love this Martha Stewart's pumpkin painted in gold as place holder idea. The gold adds glamour and refinement and very complementary to the golds and browns fall colors.

Wish you all a very heartwarming and festive Thanksgiving!

By Martha Stewart, By Digs Digs, By Catch My Party, By Indac,  By 2 Shopper, By Trio Giovan, By Courtney Carmean, By Martha Stewart, respectively

Posted in Dining Room, DIY, Entertaining Guests, Holiday, Modern and Rustic

DIY Cursed Gingerbread Men Cookies for the Holidays

Posted on November 05, 2013 by Christina Young | 0 Comments

There's a little love of the dark side in me that loves The Nightmare Before Christmas and all the other Tim Burton movies, so I adore these Cursed Cookies Cutters when I first laid my eyes on them. They are also featured on our website; (click here) if you have a passion for cute dark things.

I found a highly rated gingerbread men cookie recipe at All Recipes and increased the servings to 60 since the cookie cutters are rather big. I ended up with about 30 cookies (unfortunately, 4 out of 30 became casualties as I accidentally broke them during plate transferring). I noted that the longer the cookies are in the oven, the better tasting and less breakable they are, so I would recommend putting in the oven 12-15 minutes instead of 8-10 minutes that the recipe calls for.

For the icing, there are 3 different options: sugar cookie icing, decorator frosting, and royal icing. I wanted to use royal icing as they dry to a nice glossy hard finish. When I was searching for good royal icing recipes, I came across recipes that use egg whites and recipes that use meringue powder. Since I was baking for a lot of neighborhood children for Halloween, I didn't want to run the risk of serving cookies with raw egg whites. I also did not have meringue powder at hand, so I was so happy when I came across this recipe that does not call for either ingredients and they turned out just fine! It was my first time ever royal icing cookies, so I googled the techniques for doing royal icing right. There are a few tutorials online that I found very helpful: Flood or Fill Icing Tutorial, Outline Piping Icing Tutorial, and Royal Icing Technique.

Finally when they were all done, I served them on large cookie sheet trays and then placed them on a dining bench by the door for the little kids to come trick or treating. The kids were surprised and happy to see these cute cookies. One little kid even yelled out to their parents that this is "THE House"! Lol.

Posted in DIY, Entertaining Guests, Holiday, Recipes

Entertain In Style With Rustic Bread & Cheese Spread

Posted on October 08, 2013 by Christina Young | 0 Comments

A stylish and easy way to entertain guests at home is to bring out all your nice platters, cake stands, and cheese boards, and put a beautiful display of exotic cheeses for a cheese tasting party. To add a gourmet touch to the spread, shop your local cheese shops or farmers market for specialty cheeses, marinated olives, and artisan breads. Include some fresh rosemary sprigs and candles for their nice scent that doubles as accent decor. Your dining room wall or a simple board with some personalized message can be a nice backdrop for the display. Adding little signage on toothpicks that show the names of cheese and olives adds a special touch to the spread. If you don't have time to make the signs, my cousin wrote the names of cheeses on a scotch tape and taped it on the plate for easy display and removal.  Of course, let's not forget, some nice bottles of wine will be be a lovely finishing touch to a scrumptious cheese spread. Cheers and bon appetit!

Blog inspired by cousin Tiffany. By Melanie/, by Melissa, by Buttercream Bakehouse, by Alchemy Fine Events, and by Tiffany Young, respectively. 

Posted in DIY, Entertaining Guests, Holiday, Modern and Rustic