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Thanksgiving Four Ways

I love Thanksgiving. All the yummy food. Family is all around. Football is on TV (I grew up in Dallas...nothing says Thanksgiving like a Cowboys win!) I've actually never hosted Thanksgiving, believe it or not! But I donate my time (and oven!) to making all the deliciousness. On a side note, this year I'm making Parmesan Chive Smashed Potatoes, Green Bean Goat-Cheese Gratin, and an Apple Cream Torte. Ok, I digress. But what I love even more than cooking, is the decorating. I love to set a welcoming table. So today I'm going to share with you four Thanksgiving tables to inspire your holidays. I didn't buy anything new, I just grabbed from what I have. Yes, I have way too much. You may not have all these different things, but perhaps you'll find some inspiration from one of the tables. Here we go.

First of all, I'm partial to the rustic farmhouse look. So here's my "Farmhouse Thanksgiving."

I found this great antique grain sack at a local Antique store. It has my favorite color in it, that aqua blue. I used it as a table runner, woven jute chargers, and went with a rustic wood box as a centerpiece, complete with white pumpkins, pine cones, and acorns.

To mark the place settings, I used these adorable Clover mini-chalkboards. They're perfect for a large Thanksgiving table.

I know not everyone is sold on the farmhouse look. So next, I came up with a more traditional look. It's still casual, and because it's my house, it still involves blue, but you can use any color scheme you'd like.

(Sorry about the bite in the pumpkins...squirrels.) I used a bunch of gourds and pumpkins that I've had in my decor since September. I found these adorable pumpkin and turkey placecard holders a few years ago in the Target Dollar Spot, and set the rest of the table with some everyday dishes.

I rarely have an opportunity to use my china that I got when we got married. But Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to bring out the best. So here's my version of a formal table.

Ok, so you might have to go out an grab a few grocery store flowers to make this one work. I had these leftover from the Beaujolais Nouveau party last week. Of course, you don't have to go with an all-white color scheme either, but this just seemed to flow so nicely with the china, crystal and white pumpkins.

And finally, the kid's table. My older ones beg to not be put at the kids table. So I tried to think of ways to make it fun for those that are relegated to the corner.

I actually got this butcher paper in a delivery box. It makes the perfect, easy to clean and fun to create table spread for kids. I drew hands at each spot, for each kid to decorate their own turkey. And they each can write (or draw) for what they are thankful.

I hope that gives you all some ideas for your own Thanksgivings. We wish you all a very yummy, and warm Thanksgiving!


Simple Summer Flower Pots

I've never been great at growing things. I probably never will be either, because I'm just not willing to devote the time and effort to it. I'm okay with that. But I do like to have a pretty house and I like to embrace each season in my decor. My kids especially enjoy doing the new things that each season brings. So, in that spirit, I wanted to do some simple summer flower pots.
Everyone who knows me also knows that I love neutrals. To me, too much color = chaos! So I knew I wanted a color scheme for my flowers and I wanted to keep it simple with just a few varieties. That was probably the hardest part, because there are so many flowers I love!

I got lucky when we moved to our house because there were already two beautiful peony bushes (my FAVORITE flower!) and they grow amazingly well without me doing a thing! I think my helpful hubby has made sure the sprinklers water them.

I also love hydrangea and lilac, and zinnias, and ranunculus...

I could go on, but let's just say I really REALLY love fresh flowers. Most of my favorites aren't potting plants, however, and I haven't ever done flower pots that I've really loved the end result. I think too many varieties and colors was my problem.

This time, I started with white. I LOVE white. It's so clean and bright. I thought about ranunculus, but in the end I purchased white gardenias from a Greeley Rotary Club fundraiser. I love local just as much as I love white! (Love where you live!)

We had a bunch of chilly Colorado weather this spring, and my gardenias started to get a bit wilted sitting in my garage. Time to plant! The sweet potato vine provided a striking dark contrast and I knew from seeing similar sweet potato vines in Hilary's flower pots that they would grow and drape beautifully. My third choice was Alyssum, another one of my favorites. I love the dainty white flowers and the sweet smell. I pictured our family and our guests noticing their scent as we walked up the path to the front porch.

I chose classic terra cotta pots mostly because my mom had some extra ones, so they were free and again, simple.

Before I planted, I put rocks in the bottom of each pot as recommended by my mother. I think it provides drainage and saves dirt. I find that even though my mom and I have pretty different styles, I get a lot of my eye for decor from her. She's usually my go-to for helpful how-to's as well!

Next, I gently separated the roots of my sweet potato vine into thirds. The rest was pretty easy, i just loosened the roots, dumped them in the pots, and filled in with dirt. Like I said, I'm no master gardener!

Of course, pots look best after they've had a chance to grow and fill in a bit. (Don't mind my neighbor's truck in the background!) My daughter waters the pots as much as I do, so between the two of us they are still alive!

I'm pretty happy with my no-skill-required, summer-embracing, project. As I like to say, "Check! We're doing the things! Summer fun!"

I'd love to hear about your summer fun and any easy planting tips you've got to share!

Happy summering,


Ready for Summer

We finally have had some sunshine and warm days. Maybe summer is here to stay. I hope so. I'm ready for barbecue and ice cream and playing in the sprinkler. Do you have big plans for Memorial Day weekend? Here are some ideas to get ready for your next summer get-together.

The first step was to grab the hose and give the porch a good spring-cleaning. Goodbye, winter-dirt! Then with the addition of a new rug and some potted plants, things were looking better already.

Set a simple table for the adults. A fan from a daylily made the perfect fresh and free napkin ring. Old baby food jars are just the right size for little votive candles, and if they're various sizes it makes it even more fun. Kids will love the chance to picnic on the lawn. So stretch out a blanket or two and serve up their hot dogs on some plastic or paper plates.

At a barbecue it's great to have easy access to all you need. So this amazing tiered stand, seen in the corner, is the perfect piece to serve your guests. Have glasses, straws and iced beverages ready to go when guests arrive. Little chalkboard labeled glasses make it easy for kids and adults alike to find their drink.

When dinner is ready, it's great to have all the condiments, napkins, forks, and knives at arm's length. Kids will love the ability to reach the ketchup and mustard to dress their own hot dog. And of course, the fun kid napkins are also easy to snag.

And don't forget to prepare to be outdoors. If the kids are in the sprinkler, place some towels out for them to dry off when it's time to eat. And there's also a place for sunscreen and bugspray.

After dinner, clear some room for the ice cream. Everyone can serve themselves, including chocolate syrup and sprinkles!

After dinner, the candlelight and some string lights will provide a lovely ambience to enjoy the sunset and the onset of the first summer nights. Just don't forget that mosquito spray!

We hope you have a great Memorial Day Weekend. Join us in giving thanks to all who have served our country! What are your plans? How will you celebrate?


Guest Bedroom

For this guest bedroom, we created an atmosphere for guests that is welcoming and restful.

We gave the bed a plush, one-of-a-kind look with down pillows custom-made by Clover.

Family visiting from Texas felt especially at home with the personalized touches.

Make your guests feel at home, too, with warm candlelight and freshly cut flowers.

A chalkboard gives a unique welcome to each guest, or displays helpful information such as a wifi password or breakfast time.

Now the guests can truly love where they sleep.

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