2 Potato Recipes to Celebrate National Tater Day (My New Favorite Holiday!)

Who knew that starchy food on the side of your plate had a day, National Tater Day is a time to celebrate the potato a nutritious vegetable that provides essential vitamins, minerals and fiber.

 

tater day

National Tater Day is observed annually on March 31. Whether you prefer the sweet variety, yukon golds, russets, or some color be sure to whip up some of your favorite taters in honor of the national holiday. You can do just about anything to a potato — baked, boiled, steamed, roasted, mashed, hashed, fried, grilled or scalloped (anyway you like them) and they’ll taste amazing. The potato is in fact a major staple in my meals, since I’m a picky vegetarian and it’s one of my favorite go-to foods. 

tater day

Veggie Loaded Baked Potato

  • One Large Baking Potato (Idaho or Russet)
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt & Pepper
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Snow Peas
  • 1 cup Veggie Stock
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Sour Cream, Chives or Bacon (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees and start by giving the potato’s skin a good scrubbing under warm water. Next, place the whole potato on the aluminum foil and lather the skin in olive oil (we use extra virgin olive oil). Once the potato is covered with the oil sprinkle on the sea salt and close the aluminum foil. By adding these ingredients on the skin you’re helping the natural flavor the potato to be released, as well as provide a crunchy, yummy exterior. We first learned this trick from Hillstone’s Restaurant (formerly Houston’s) who have the best baked potatoes hands down!

Let the potato cook for about 45 minutes or until soft, use a fork to test the center’s softness before serving. As the potato cooks, make your fix-ins’. I love making the potato my meal so we add vegetables on top that include: broccoli, carrots and snow peas. Use a few drops of extra virgin olive oil to a sauté pan then add the carrots first because they’re dense and take longer to cook. After the carrots sauté in the pan for a few minutes add your broccoli and 1-cup of veggie stock. Finally add the snow peas into the mixture a few minutes before serving so they’re cooked but still crisp.

I’m a cheddar cheese fanatic, so I add that on top of the vegetables after layering them into the spud. Now, of course you can add anything to a baked potato so get creative! Feel free to add beans for a good source of protein, sour cream and chives or even bacon.

tater day

Skinny Fries

  • One Large Baking Potato (Idaho or Russet)
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt & Pepper
  • Baking Tray

Pre-heat the oven to 475 degrees and start by giving the potato’s skin a good scrubbing under warm water. We leave the skin on to give the fry a good crunch. Slice the potato into wedges (too thin the potato will be soggy and break, too thick and it won’t taste like a fry). Coat potatoes with oil/spice mixture and place on a baking sheet. We used sea salt and pepper for these fries, but you can use just about anything to spice up these delicious taters: garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, rosemary, etc. Bake in the oven until golden brown (up to 35 minutes).

Since they’re baked not fried you can save on calorie intake and still enjoy this delicious staple of American culture. We love making these as a side for lunch or at summer BBQ’s our friends and family eat these up!

How do you like to dress up your taters? Let me know in the comment section below, I’d love to hear your potato recipes and don’t forget to post your tater photos here and use hashtag #nationaltaterday to show off your love for this starchy food.

Happy Entertaining,

 

Use a Flower Arrangement to Spruce Up Your Home

A beautiful flower arrangement can transform a room and be an eye-catching centerpiece that can brighten up any room. As a home stager, I consistently turn to mother nature to bring our stagings to life with this natural, fresh-looking home accessory.

flower arrangement

If you’ve always wondered how to arrange flowers but not sure where to begin, don’t worry — these tips can help. The first decision you’ll have to make is whether or not your want real or fake florals in your home. There are positives and negatives to both. Fresh flowers are always beautiful and fragrant, but tend to die quickly especially if not taken care of properly. While fake florals, often look just that FAKE. Not to mention they become dust collectors, if forgotten. Check out this Facebook Live to see how to work with both real or fake flowers and how to combat these problems.

To keep fresh cut flower arrangements longer try these tips:

  • Add lukewarm water in the vase
  • Snip the ends of the stems before placing them in water 
  • Use a flower preservative that comes with most bouquets
  • Try this mix (12-24oz) vase, add 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons sugar with the vase water before adding flowers
  • Change the water and continue to trim the stems regularly 
  • Remove leaves that are submerged in the water and any wilted flowers

Reminders when working with fake florals: 

  • Look for realistic stems (Pier1Imports hand-paint their floral highlights)
  • Bend or cut stems to size with wire cutters 
  • Use a compressed gas duster to remove dust on the petals

But how do you actual create an interesting arrangement? Here are a few tips to remember when building your own flower arrangement.

The Vessel

Choose a vase or container that not only matches your style, but will fit the area where you want the arrangement displayed  as well as the size of the arrangement you’d like to create. The vessel should be in proportion to the stems being used. Stems should be no longer than 1 1/2 times the height of the vase.

Bold Blooms

Rather than choosing one of each different flower stem, go for a bold impact by using a lot of stems from one or two of your favorite flowers. The more stems used the fuller the arrangement will look. A hydrangea has a bigger bloom, than let’s say a tulip — so consider the shape and size of the bloom when choosing how many stems you’ll need.

Statement Color  

While you can mix n’ match different floral colors, my favorite is using a monochromatic color scheme where you choose one color hue, then use different flowers in the same tone. This creates a luxurious statement that adds depth and personality to the arrangement.

Flower Arranging

Arrange the base shape of the flower arrangement by adding the largest, focal point blooms first into the vase. Spread them out so they’re not all clumped together. Fill in the gaps with smaller blooms, then add something dramatic with height like branches or draping vines. It’s important to use varying heights in the arrangement to create an elaborate, professional look.

Comment below and let me know if you use real or fake flowers in your home? I’d love to know you’re preference! If you want to share your floral arrangement add an image to the comment section under the Facebook Live video and don’t forget to like our fan page and tune in every Tuesday to see all our live videos.

Happy Arranging,

Ringin’ In the New Year | Planning Your Night for New Year’s Eve

Three, two, one…Happy New Year! With the celebration of the year just a few days away, what are your plans to ring in the new year? The countdown is on and if you’re feeling the pressure to have the best night ever consider these simple solutions to start the new year off right.

The period leading up to New Year’s Day is a time for setting things straight: a thorough housecleaning, paying off debts, returning borrowed objects, reflecting on one’s shortcomings, mending quarrels. In many cultures, people jump in water-literally washing the slate clean or the kiss the one they love to insure the relationship flourishes in the new year. According to British folklore, you should not take anything out of the house on New Year’s Day–not even trash. As this poem suggests:

Take out, then take in
Bad luck will begin
Take in, then take out
Good luck comes about

Some believe everything that you do on New Year’s Eve and day is significant for your future, now if that’s the case let’s make it count! Here are a few ideas of things to do on New Year’s Eve.

Party On

Let’s start with a big bash! Wherever you live attending the annual New Year’s Eve party practically guarantees you a night of fun, however many times these parties get booked up quickly. While this might sound like something you’d like to avoid, grabbing some friends and enjoying a stress-free night out together takes the pressure off of hosting an event or trying to figure out what exactly to do.

We’ve done the club scene, parties on the roof top in NYC, and banquet halls on Long Island, but Sal and I often go back to the party at Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach, it’s an amazing local catering hall that doesn’t skimp out on food or liquor and even sends you home with a few goodies from their full venetian menu with breakfast. They also put on a themed show and pump up the music to break out your dance moves.

Throw a Party

Despite our home being small, we’ve also thrown a few New Year’s parties over the years. As the hostess you can make this event as small or as big as you’d like! Throwing a last minute party with a few close friends and family members, not only gives those who had no concrete plans something to do (so you look like the hero) but, they tend to be the best events because there’s no hype. Try a themed party like a decades bash, winter wonderland, black and white ball or a masquerade party. If you’re doing a theme make sure you have decor that matches, as well as food and why not have your guests dress the party too! Whether you’ve had your party planned for months or just a few days here are some helpful tips from Tiny Prints, that features 75 New Year’s Eve party ideas to help you plan your celebration, including decor, desserts, cocktails and more.

Reflect

Maybe 2016 was a tough year for you and partying just isn’t your thing. Take the evening to do YOU! There is no better way to kick-ass in 2017 than to reflect and come up with a plan. Take some time to pamper yourself — draw a bubble bath, get a massage or facial. Pop a bottle and do a brain dump of everything you’d like to accomplish in life, no matter how crazy it may seem, just write it down. Then focus on a few goals you’d like to take on immediately. My go to book that instantly helps with this process is Rituals for Living Dreambook & Planner this will help keep you on track all year long!

Jump Start Your Health Kick

Many areas throw a local exercise event for those who are sick of the party scene. New York Road Runners have a midnight run on New Year’s Eve. The four-mile run will begin on the stroke of midnight, as will a spectacular fireworks display lights up the night and the start of 2017. If running isn’t your thang, then see you can take a late night yoga class at your local gym or other event happening in your area to kick start healthier living.

new years ideas
Photo by: runningusa.org

Test Your Skills

Ok, another idea to start the new year off right is to sign up for a class! Yes, learning something new on New Year’s Eve can put you in good spirits and is a night you won’t soon forget. Again, check your local events calendar to see what’s available, but the in Baltimore Chef Shop hosts a couple’s cook New Year’s Eve dinner, so schedule a cooking class or paint night to brush up on the skills you want to embrace in the new year.

Couples Retreat

Simplify your New Year’s Eve by staying in with your significant other or your BFF and watch movies, crack open a bottle or two or three, plan an amazing dinner complete with dessert and watch the ball drop on TV. Keep it interesting by playing a few games (sexy or not) or even challenge your brains and chat it up while doing a puzzle. This can be as romantic as you want, but the important thing is to spend quality time together! 

Take a Trip

Imagine waking up with a few friends, somewhere secluded, after having spent the night eating and drinking your way into oblivion? Whether you plan a road trip or somewhere across border lines, this a great way to celebrate the new year with people you love! We’ve taken several ski trips during this time of year and it’s a fantastic combination of partying, playing and getting some activities in. Try planning your trip on Homeaway.com to save money!

Happy New Year,

Holiday Gift Guide for the Home

The holidays are just a few days away, so for all you last-minute shoppers here are some gifts for the home. When in doubt as to what to give a friend or family member, a present for the home is always a good option.

holiday gift guide for home

There are so many options for home gifts, so you’ll be able to find something unique and impressive for even the pickiest person on your list.

 

Home Gift Guide

 

 

For the person who always open their doors to hosting dinner or cocktail parties, there are plenty of accessories or helpful finds for the hostess with the mostest. Have someone always on the run? Give the gift of a cozy blanket, pillow or a luxurious candle that makes the place look comfy and cozy to help them unwind after a hard day. Maybe you have a cook on your list, give them a kitchen gadget, or chalkboard to list their daily menu. Not sure what color or styles to get, always go with something neutral or mixed metal those items usually go with any style and instantly create luxe living. This selection goes beyond the ordinary to offer both functionality and delight — with a little extra joy for the upcoming year.

Happy Holiday,

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Ombre Effect on a Christmas Tree

Ombre’s popularity has surged in the past few years appearing in hairstyles, on the runway, home decor and now to your christmas tree. This technique adds gradual color to, from light to dark. Ombre is a perfectly imperfect art form, so don’t worry about messing up!

ombre christmas tree

The word ombre is derived from the French word ombrer which means to shade. The definition is having colors that shade into each other – used especially of fabrics in which the color is graduated from light to dark. Since there is no right or wrong way to ombre, you can choose any colors or items to create this technique as long as the final result is that of gradual shading. 

Now you can choose one color and it’s shades to gradually place down the tree like, the Better Homes & Gardens Special Edition of Christmas Ideas, where they used nine different shades of red from light pink to magenta, red to burgundy.

Photo by: www.bhg.com
Photo by: www.bhg.com

 

This became the inspiration for my tree this year! Although, I didn’t want to go out and spend a lot of money buying new decorations for this technique. So, the first thing I did was accessed my current decor to determine what colors to use. My tree is usually covered in golds and silvers so I took a cue from those colors and chose the three main colors I’d use: white, silver and gold. Now, I know those are three separate colors, but watch how I gradually blended them together to create the ombre effect.

Choose a Color

Pick between three and nine colors to place on the tree that vary in shade or correlate with one another. Place each color in a piles from lightest to darkest to easily place them on the tree. Now, for my tree I didn’t have a lot of white decorations so, I bought some more glass balls and ribbon in that color. Remember, you need fewer ornaments on the top than the bottom, so it didn’t cost much to add the new color to my tree.

Lighting It Up

While I chose white lights you could get very detailed oriented with your lights and add the same color lights to the tree correlating to the color ornaments. Add the lights first before decorating the tree.

ombre christmas t

 

Zoning

Define your zones ahead of time before you start decorating. With my tree I had three major zones so I visually cut the tree in thirds, so I would know where to stop one color and start another.

Cascading Decor

To create an ombre christmas tree you can use varying sizes of glass balls, ornaments, ribbon and mesh. Just remember to keep the colors grouped together on the tree. So, in between my three major colors, I used decorations that had both colors.

ombre christmas tree

Finishing Touches

Continue the ombre effect by using a tree topper and base that fits the shade being used at both ends of the tree. We chose a white star to feature on top of the tree and used a tree collar in gold to cover the tree base. Take it one step further and wrap all your gifts under the tree in the same shade of the ornaments near the base of the tree. We’ll, be using wrapping paper and ribbon in different gold hues and sheens to make this christmas tree the main focal point of the room come Christmas Day.

Spraying It

I wanted to show you one other way to ombre a christmas tree if you have a fake tree. Many times what is done to create this effect is to spray paint each section of branches in the varying shades then add on decorations to match that particular color. Check out this video from Live Your Style to learn how to do this technique yourself. This method of course can be more expensive because when you tire of this look, you’ll  have to go get a new fake tree.

If you’re celebrating Christmas this season, then you can’t miss our FREE Christmas Wall Art Printables! It’s my way of saying thank you for following our videos, blog and tips for creating a space you’ll feel at home in. We have six printables for you to choose from that will go with any holiday design style you showcase in your home.

christmas village tips

Happy Holidays,

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Simple Floor Plan Tips for the Christmas Season to Maximize Space When Entertaining

When it comes to entertaining for the holidays, it seems your home’s floor plan is never big enough. Arranging furniture is an important step when hosting a festive party because it dictates how the guest will perceive and feel in the space.

Christmas furniture arranging

When planning a get together at home a host should maximize their square footage so guests can easily get around, have a place to sit, chat and allow the homeowner to navigate around guests to keep up on party maintenance. 

Before furnishing any room, a homeowner should draw out the floor plan of a room, including the placement of windows and doors. Every room should invite you in, rather than stop you from entering, so pay attention to the traffic patterns throughout the home. Use these six main tips to determine an ideal traffic pattern when placing furniture and creating your Christmas floor plan.

Tree Placement

The first thing you want to do is figure out where the tree will be place. Will the tree be flanking a wall? Maybe you want it nestled up by a window? Or does the tree take center stage in the middle of a room? Wherever the tree is placed  make sure  you have at least three feet of walking room around the tree to avoid guests from knocking into it and possibly breaking a few ornaments. Remember the tree is the main focal point in the room this season, so make it stand out. (To see how I decorated our tree this year click here or on the video below.)

Conversation Area

Make it easy to socialize. Furniture should be no further than 10 feet away from each other, this way the person across from you can have an intimate conversation without shouting that could easily elevate the party’s noise levels. 

Multi-Functional Furniture

Use multi-functional furniture to provide additional seating. For instance, your dining chairs can be moved to the living room to form a seating space. Ottomans are a versatile piece, which can be used as a coffee table or to sit on depending on your needs. Use any available benches or chairs to augment seating and create flexible conversation areas. Chances are your guests might want to move them around.

christmas furniture arranging

Formal Setting

What type of party will you be hosting formal or informal? Will it be a sit down dinner or more buffet style? In our home, we have a small dining area that only fits six comfortably, so any soiree over six guests we use a buffet table to display food and have lots of smaller side tables around for people to use to eat. So, the lesson here? Know your space.

Points Pieces

Sometimes you may find that removing furniture can free up more space for sitting, displaying your tree, or just moving around. Remove furniture pieces you will not be needing for the party. This might even be a good time to consider whether or not you need these pieces at all. Make sure to leave enough table surfaces, so guests can rest their drink, plate or event their personal belongings on as they mingle with guests.

Avoid Overcrowding

Don’t overcrowd a room or dining table for a sit down dinner. There is nothing worse than being in an overcrowded space that’s hot and lacks a place to sit. Add onto the entertaining space if possible – set up another room, table or area so people have enough personal space to feel comfortable to edit the guest list.

For more furniture arranging tips check out our latest article in the real estate section of U.S. News & World Report A Fool-Proof Plan for Setting Up Furniture When Selling Your Home and don’t forget to comment below and let me know where you place your Christmas tree in your home?

If you’re celebrating Christmas this season, then you can’t miss our FREE Christmas Wall Art Printables! It’s my way of saying thank you for following our videos, blog and tips for creating a space you’ll feel at home in. We have six printables for you to choose from that will go with any holiday design style you showcase in your home.

christmas village tips

Happy Holidays,

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Tasteful Outdoor Christmas Decorating to Shine Bright this Season

What neighborhood doesn’t have a house that looks like their outdoor Christmas decorating were an after thought, just a hodgepodge of items thrown together on the front lawn? This is holiday overload whether a guest or buyer is at your front door…and will instantly give your company anxiety. So, let’s skip putting out all your decorations and focus on using pieces that will enhance the positive features of the property.

outdoor christmas decorating

According to a Pro Flowers survey 73% of Americans begin their outdoor Christmas decorating right after Thanksgiving and nearly 102 million Americans say, “decorating for the winter holidays is one of their favorite things to do each year.” This is one reason why it’s so important to get your exterior decor right!

This photo below is quite the contrast from the one above and makes a huge difference, right? This is an ideal way to show-off your property with holiday decor, especially if you’re selling your home this time of year. There is nothing taste specific here with this outdoor decor, rather it highlights the architecture of the property and the beautiful landscaping.

outdoor christmas decorating

Whatever your particular interest, there’s probably some kind of Christmas lawn decoration to match it. That’s not always a good thing. The inflatable lawn decorations or figurines already has an air of tackiness to it already, but by adding cartoon characters, motorcycles or santa in his bathing suit to blow up the scene I find represents the homeowners “big-box” greediness versus the true meaning of Christmas. Yes! They’re easy to decorate with, but they distract the natural beauty of the home and are a personal touch on public display that can turn off buyers, guests, even neighbors. 

Photo by: Getty Images www.DailyMail.com
Photo by: Getty Images www.DailyMail.com

Less Is More

When all of this “stuff” is out on display in your front yard the overall picture can look cluttered. You need to give the eye a place to rest, which simply means to see empty space, to process the scene. Stick to one theme — do you want a traditional rustic look, glitz and glitter or a fun whimsical look? Having a mismatched look with no particular style in mind will makes the front yard look like a mess.

Make a Statement

Figure out what the focal point is in the front yard. Can you highlight your mature landscaping, your entryway, maybe the unique architecture of the home. Add a statement piece, like greenery with white lights around your porch or use colored lights to decorate a large tree in the front yard. Maybe only decorate near the door to attract and welcome folks inside.

Color Coordinate

Consider sticking to a maximum of 3 colors in your front yard to create a nice elegant look and the colors should coordinate with the exterior of your home. You can even try spotlights to show off the front door or exterior flower beds. Try white, red and gold or white blue and green.

Religious Display

So, here is my take on religious decor. If you’re not selling a home and want to have a menorah, the nativity or crosses on display, I say go for it, but use it sparingly and make that your statement piece. One religious statement could be paired with seasonal decor  to celebrate the holidays. If you’re selling a property, avoid displaying any religious decor at all unless you specifically know everyone in the neighborhood is of that religion because most likely the buyer then will by of the same religion. While I know these holidays do have religious meaning behind them, they could offend a visitor or make them feel uncomfortable so embrace all beliefs when possible. Here are some tips to tone down the religious spirit, but still be festive:

  • For Chanukah: Add a decorative wreath on your door by using a variation of blues or use winter berries and just a colorful blue bow. You could use a white light to spotlight the door to create a simple, modern twist on the holiday.
  • For Christmas: Use bows, wreaths and garland, either evergreen or grapevines. Decorate with pinecones or even snowflake lights. Of course you can also dress up your outdoor trees and porch with large plastic ornaments.
  • For Kwanza: Add green and red lights to your landscape and highlight the front door using a wreath that represents your celebration of harvest. 

Lighting Up

The key to successfully stringing up the lights starts with mapping out your scheme carefully before installation. Measure the distance carefully and write everything down so you’ll only have to make one trip to the store. Use only light strings and extension cords approved for outdoor use. Strings are designed to plug into each other to create long runs, but never use more than three strings on any one run. Plug light strings into same-length strings. Don’t mix and match strings of different lengths — the wires are rated for different amperages.Don’t forget to hide those wires. Use green cords on landscaping, brown on grapevines, around mulch or gutters. Plus, use white chords too  on the house or on decor that is covered in fake snow.

If you’re celebrating Christmas this season, then you can’t miss our FREE Christmas Wall Art Printables! It’s my way of saying thank you for following our videos, blog and tips for creating a space you’ll feel at home in. We have six printables for you to choose from that will go with any holiday design style you showcase in your home.

christmas village tips

So, the question is are you the homeowner who’s decor is tacky or tasteful? What do you use to dress up your home’s exterior for the holidays? I’d love to hear from you, please let me know below.

Happy Decorating,

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Thanksgiving Ideas for a Stress-Free Feast

Host your Thanksgiving guests with ease this year by setting a stylish table, make a centerpiece that wows and be prepared before dinner time. Here is a quick guide to reference to make the most out of Thanksgiving day as the countdown begins.

thanksgiving ideas

Think being a hostess with the mostest means stressing in the kitchen while your guests enjoy the party? Think again. Your guests are there to spend time with you! With a little advanced preparation, you can unlock the secrets of pulling off an amazing dinner, spend more time chatting and be the center of attention without breaking a sweat. The following time-saving tips will give you more time outside the kitchen, and less stress while you’re in it!

Plan Ahead

Test out new recipes in advance and choose dishes that don’t have to be served piping hot. Once you’ve got the menu figured out, prepare what you can ahead of time like chopping up ingredients, or pre-cooking casseroles. Make food that will keep for a day; then heat them up just before your guests are set to arrive this is what busy restaurants do to have a seamless culinary experience.

Drink Up

Try serving a signature holiday cocktail, whether it’s alcoholic or family-friendly. Find one that can be premixed and served from a pitcher or in a slow cooker. Chill other beverages in an ice-filled tub to free up refrigerator space. Have a drink station, out of the way from cooking prep or buffet table to create a nice flow and avoid bottlenecks. Make one of these Martha Stewart drink recipes that will surely quench your thirst.

thanksgiving ideas

Appetizer Overkill

While appetizers are a great way to quickly comfort guests and spare you more time to perfect dinner, there’s a lot of food at holiday gatherings, so a ton of fancy appetizers may stuff guests before the main course. Simplify snacking with an antipasto tray, complete with crackers, cured meats, pickled vegetables, a few cheeses, olives and spreads. You can even add some sea food. (All prepped in advance, of course!)

Spare the StoveTop

Slow cookers can do more than make chili. You can slow cook mashed potatoes, “baked” potatoes, root vegetables, and even apple crisp. So, set it and forget it (at least for a little while) to free up some time to prep other courses, finalize the decor or mingle with guests. Here are 23 slow cooking recipes for Thanksgiving to check out.

Peelin’ Blues

Another tip to save on prep time when making an infamous Thanksgiving staple is to peel a ton of potatoes in seconds. Here’s what you do, boil the potatoes as usual. Immediately after boiling, place them in ice water for five to ten seconds. Then remove them from the ice, the potato skins will peel right off. How simple is that?

Easy Cleanup

The worst part of the feast is cleaning up after it. So, recruit some family members to help ease cleaning time. This can be a great way to bond with a family member. To simplify the process plan out the number of serving dishes you’ll need in advance. Want to reduce your dish-washing burden? Serve hors d’oeuvres, which can be filling with a napkin or decorative paper plate. Begin dinner with an empty dishwasher so you can clear plates and glasses as soon as guests have finished.

Table Toss Up 

Traditional holiday tables can get crowded, create traffic jams and clutter on the tabletop. Try buffet-style service, placing all the prepared dishes on a separate table or in a separate room. People can eat at different times or all together. Getting seconds just got a lot easier, too! Make sure your buffet table is decorated accordingly and try using serving dishes with varying height to create an interesting tablescape.

thanksgivingtabledecor-tinyprints

Table Dressing

Thanksgiving Day is a time for friends and family to get together and reflect on what they’re thankful for. Along with sharing laughs and special memories, the array of delicious food is typically the highlight of this fall celebration. Family dishes are often passed down for generations, but every year it’s fun to surprise your guests with new Thanksgiving decor. From creating a festive centerpiece with local flowers or personalizing a miniature pumpkin for your place settings, there are hundreds of ways you can style your Thanksgiving tablescape while sticking to a budget.

If you’re looking for inspiration, check out this interactive Thanksgiving decor tool by Tiny Prints. It allows you to sort through 100 photos by choosing a filter that suits your style such as modern, rustic or traditional to find the perfect DIY ideas for this year’s turkey dinner. Once your table is set, all there is left to do is to fill the air with sweet apple pie and enjoy your company!

setting-the-table

Formal Setting

To set a formal table for dinner, start with a table runner or table cloth (maybe both). Place a charger or place mat under the dinner plate to dress it up. The dinner plate is positioned in the center of the place setting and everything else is placed around it. Next, flatware is arranged around the plate to the left of the plate is the fork, to the right of the plate is the knife and spoon. The knife is placed to the right of the plate with the sharp edge toward the plate. The spoon is on the other side of the knife. If a salad is being served, the salad fork is placed to the left of the dinner fork. The beverage, soup and/or dessert spoons are to the right of the knife or can be brought to the table when soup or dessert is served.

If soup is served, set the bowl on the plate and a soup spoon to the right of the beverage spoon. Salad or bread and butter plates go to the left of the forks. Position butter plates above the forks with the butter spreader placed across the plate. Cup and saucer go above the spoons with the handle toward the right. Wine or water glasses can be positioned to the left of the coffee cup. A water glass goes above the knife. White and red wine glasses (if necessary) along with the water glasses are positioned to the left of the coffee cup. Napkins can be placed under the forks or on the plate for an informal setting. 

From our house to yours, we hope these Thanksgiving ideas spark a festive time with your family and friends. Remember, the party is only as good as the hostesses mood so plan ahead and don’t let anything ruin your day, because today is about being thankful and gathering with loved ones. Oh…and don’t stuff yourself too much…

black friday

Be on the look out for more details about our 1st annual Black Friday sale, we’re were going to be offering 50% off all our products, it’s our best offer ever and we’re sharing it with you! So, make sure to get on our list by emailing me your favorite Thanksgiving tradition. Make sure to leave a comment below as well to share, how you’re preparing for Thanksgiving this year.

Happy Thanksgiving,

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Thanksgiving Centerpieces: Ideas Using Seasonal Flowers

Fall is in full swing and it’s time to start planning your Thanksgiving tablescape! Flowers are essential for any holiday table, which is why FTD came up with these floral Thanksgiving centerpiece ideas to inspire your table decor. 
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Each centerpiece includes the richest colors of fall, including the season’s most stunning florals including dahlias, chrysanthemums, and amaranth. They even created custom moodboards of each centerpiece idea, which highlight the most unique elements of each arrangement including harvest-inspired elements like wild blackberry branches, pomegranates, and persimmons. Checkout the centerpieces below and get inspired to make your holiday table this year a truly memorable experience!

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Photography by: Tory Williams for Matthew Robbins Design

This creative arrangement showcases the color orange, which is one of the most iconic colors of fall and makes it perfect as a Thanksgiving centerpiece. Bold ranunculuses create the focal point, and are perfectly accented by kumquat branches. Adding texture and dimension, the rich oranges are complemented by lush foliage in various forms including mint, jasmine vine, and other greenery.

Kumquat Branch – Kumquats are small citrus fruits that grow on trees. The small round fruits are a great way to play up the color orange in a creative way. Use the entire kumquat branch to add a rustic flair.

Ranunculuses – Ranunculus flowers are available in a wide variety of bright colors, including orange, red and purple. Known for their densely layered flowers, ranunculuses have delicate paper-like petals that can add a pop of bold color and texture to your fall centerpiece.

Mint – Fall centerpieces are the perfect opportunity to include fragrant herbs into your arrangement. Here, mint is used as foliage and adds a delicately fresh fragrance for the table.

Jasmine Vine – Jasmine vines have recently become more and more popular for their wispy vines that curve and cascade, adding a whimsical texture to any arrangement. Jasmine vines also produce delicate flowers that give off a sweet fragrance often used in perfumes. When unopened, the flower buds are tube-shaped and elongated.

Crocosmia – Crocosmia are related to the gladiolus plant. It has delicate tube-shaped flowers that grow along a central stalk. They are drought tolerant plants that can withstand the cold fairly well. Their bright orange flowers bloom for a period that can last five to eight weeks from summer to fall.

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Photography by: Tory Williams | Florals by: Bedford and Company

The combination of pastel pinks and greens combined with rich maroons and purples creates the perfect fall color palette for the Thanksgiving table. Lush dahlias are arranged alongside delicate spray roses and tuberoses, and accented by star-shaped sea hollies, dried ornamental grasses and Queen Anne’s lace flower. The combination of dried and fresh florals create a centerpiece that combines the new with the old.

Semi-Cactus Dahlia – The star of this Thanksgiving centerpiece is the dahlia. This particular type is called the semi-cactus dahlia, which is a double-flowered cultivar that displays elongated petals that appear pointed.

Stock Flower – Also known as gillyflowers, stock flowers consist of small delicate blooms that grow on a long stalk. They are popular for their wide variety of colors and give off a delicate, clove-like scent. The stock flower symbolizes lasting beauty, leading a happy life, and contentment.

Sea Holly – Sea holly is a silvery blue green flower that goes by the scientific name, Eryngium. To extend the life of these unique flowers, they are typically dried and are used in floral arrangements to add a touch of texture and whimsy.

Eucalyptus ‘Baby Blue’ – This varietal of eucalyptus is unique in that the rounded leaves are stacked along a central stem. The leaves are thick and they are extremely popular in flower arrangements. The dusty blue color makes them the perfect accent for any fall color palette.

Queen Anne’s Lace Flower – These delicate flowers grow wild throughout the United States and are related to the carrot. Also known as Green Mist, their umbrella-like flower heads consist of many tiny and delicate flowers which are a favorite amongst bees and butterflies.

Pink Sedum – Pink sedum flowers are composed of tiny flowers, similar to the heads of the Queen Anne’s lace flower. They are one of the easiest plants to grow in the garden, and are long-lasting as cut flowers.

Ornamental Grass – Ornamental grasses are typically dried and can be dyed to any color. Their long blades add height and dimension and are perfect for keeping with the harvest theme for any Thanksgiving centerpiece.

Spray Rose – Compared to garden roses, spray roses have much smaller blooms are are used as accents or filler flowers. They are available in a wide variety of colors.

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Photography by: Catherine Truman | Florals by: The Farmer’s Florist

Burnt oranges combine with vibrant reds and vintage hues like cream and dusty pink to create a color palette that evokes a sense of nostalgia and elegance. Fall is the perfect season to utilize the season’s color-changing leaves. An easy Thanksgiving table decor idea is to add entire branches to your centerpiece to create drama and dimension.

Dinner Plate Dahlia – The dinnerplate dahlia is one of the most magnificent types of dahlias due to their impressive size and layered petals. Although not an official classification on their own, different cultivars may belong to other groups.

Marigold – Marigolds are popular for their bright orange and red blooms and are one of the most popular gardening flowers. As the official October birth flower, marigolds are the perfect addition to any fall-themed centerpiece.

Ball Dahlia – In addition to the semi-cactus dahlia, this centerpiece also includes ball dahlias. These dahlias are much rounder in shape as their name entails, and are smaller in size. Their petals “revolute” or curl inwards, creating tube-like petals.

Live Oak Branch – Live oak trees are evergreens, which make them the perfect choice for fall foliage. Here, live oak branches are used which exhibit deep green leaves that are round in shape. If you’re lucky, you might find a branch with acorns attached to add to your fall arrangement.

Miscellaneous Fall Leaves – Sometimes the best Thanksgiving centerpiece ideas already live in your own backyard! Here, different types of fall leaves are used. Choose branches with leaves that have changed into rich fall colors.

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Photography by: Aubrie Pick for Apartment 34

Simple, elegant, and creative are three words that best describe this Thanksgiving tablescape. Dramatic magnolia leaves are paired with bold orange persimmons, creating a generous spread that is anchored by multiple arrangements of vibrant chrysanthemums. This unique centerpiece gives everyone at the table a great view of the decor and is a casual yet polished way to decorate your Thanksgiving table.

Chrysanthemum – Chrysanthemums are popular for their lush flowers and come in a variety of colors. Fuchsia, white, and dark purple chrysanthemums are on display in this Thanksgiving centerpiece. To recreate this look, bunch flowers in small arrangements along the length of the table.

Persimmon – Persimmons are one of the most bountiful fruits of fall. Not just for eating, this bright orange fruit takes center stage on this Thanksgiving tablescape. There are several types of persimmons that have different shapes including small and round, or wide and flat.

Globe Amaranth – Globe amaranth, also known as globe flowers, are annuals that bloom from midsummer to mid-fall. Their blooms are known for their longevity and can last all year long. Globe amaranth are drought-tolerant plants and thrive under sunny and dry climates. Their attractive bright fuchsia colored flowers are great both fresh or dried and are perfect for adding a pop of color to any fall arrangement.

Magnolia Leaves – Magnolia flowers are one of the most popular flowers in the American South. Not only are their large white flowers impressive, their dark green leathery leaves are attractive as well. Rich green on one side, and golden brown on the other, magnolia leaves add dual-toned foliage and can complement a variety of fall-inspired color palettes.

Magnolia Seed Pod – Magnolia trees produce large golden brown seed pods that are filled with bright red and shiny berry-like seeds. Use a variety of different seed pods including immature green ones for a unique touch to your Thanksgiving table decorations.

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Photography and floral design by: Sweet Root Village

Fire thorn berries, dual-toned dahlias, and seedy amaranth branches combine to create a texturally rich and asymmetrical arrangement that is effortlessly dramatic. Dusty green hydrangeas and bold Snow on the Mountain leaves add to the drama which complement the rusty orange tones showcased by this fall arrangement.

Decorative Dahlia – Decorative dahlias are different from other dahlia types in that their petals lay flat, giving them a wider and less elongated shape. There are two types of decorative dahlias: formal and informal. Formal ones have uniformly dispersed petals, and informal ones have an irregular formation and their petals can sometimes have slightly rolled tips.

Hydrangea – Hydrangeas are known for their globe-shaped flower heads that are lush with tiny flowers. There are five types of hydrangeas with the most popular being the bigleaf hydrangea. One unique feature about hydrangeas is the fact that they can change color depending on the pH of the soil they are planted in. Common colors include pink, purple, white, and light green.

Fire Thorn – Also known as Pyracantha, the fire thorn bush produces bright and colorful berries from fall through winter. Berry colors are available in red, yellow or orange. Be careful when handling fire thorn branches, as they have thorns that are hidden amongst their shiny green leaves.

Orange Amaranth – Amaranth is a drought tolerant plant that produces nutrient-rich grains. Amaranth branches are commonly used in floral arrangements due to their bright colors which remain even after being dried.

Tuberose – Tuberoses have small clusters of flowers that grow along a single stem. They are typically found in shades of yellow, pink and white and have a strong, sweet fragrance.

Snow on the Mountain – Snow on the mountain is a shrub that is known for its ornamental leaves. The thick leaves are green and surrounded by a decorative white border.

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Photography by: Wedding’s Art | Florals by: Flors Bahí

One of the best things about fall centerpieces is the opportunity to include seasonal fruit. In keeping with the harvest spirit of Thanksgiving, adding fruit is a fun Thanksgiving centerpiece idea that’s both decorative and edible! Here wild blackberries and pomegranates are on display along with exotic proteas, classic calla lilies and pink pepperberries.

Pomegranate – Fall is the peak season for juicy pomegranates, so why not include them in your Thanksgiving decor? Perfect for the table, pomegranates are known for their high levels of antioxidants which aid in benefiting blood vessels and improving heart health. Split open a pomegranate as part of your centerpiece display to showcase the beautiful ruby-like seeds hidden inside.

Calla Lily – The name “calla” is derived from the Greek word for beautiful. In addition, the calla lily symbolizes gratitude, making it the perfect flower to include into your Thanksgiving decor. Although the classic calla lily is white, it is also available in a variety of other colors including yellow, pink and deep purple.

Pink Pepperberry – The pink pepperberry comes from the California Pepper Tree, which goes by the scientific name, Schinus molle. It is an evergreen tree that produces its pepperberries from fall into winter.

Cream Mink Protea – Proteas are popular for fall arrangements due to their bloom times and long lasting flowers. The Cream Mink protea blooms from fall into winter and spring, and is highly drought tolerant. It has creamy white petals that are tipped with a decorative furry border that is dark maroon in color. The Cream Mink protea will certainly make a statement in any Thanksgiving centerpiece.

Heuchera – Heucheras are one of the most popular foliage plants in gardening. They come in a variety of colors ranging from green to pink and from brown to dark purple. Their wide, fan-like leaves are boldly veined, making them an excellent filler in floral arrangements.

Elephant Head Amaranth – There are many types of amaranth, however the Elephant Head amaranth is one of the most impressive. It’s seeds are bright magenta and grow along a heavily packed branch producing dense bulbs along the way. In an arrangement, these bulbs cascade down to produce a dramatic effect.

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Photography by: Jen Huang | Florals by: Poppies and Posies

Dahlias take centerstage in this eclectic arrangement. Featuring a variety of dahlias including large semi-cactus dahlias and smaller decorative dahlias, this centerpiece combines fall’s most popular flower with unique elements like wild blackberry branches, petite persimmons and rust-tinged oak leaves. Soft orange ranunculuses and ashy green eucalyptus leaves complement the overall rustic palette.

Blackberry Branch – Not just for eating, blackberries are great for floral arrangements as well. Here, wild blackberry branches are used as a fun and edible touch. The non-uniform color of the blackberries ranges from light magenta to dark purple, which adds dimension.

Oak Leaves – These fan-like oak tree leaves are some of the first leaves to change color in the fall. Their large size make them excellent fillers. Plus, they can be found in your very own backyard!

Eucalyptus Leaves – Eucalyptus leaves are widely available and are known for their ashy blue green color. Their long leaves allow them to drape and add delicate texture to any fall centerpiece. Their colors can range from dark green to a lighter grayish tone.

Written by Alexandria Heinz, FTD Fresh

6 Last-Minute Halloween DIYs for the Home

Happy Halloween! Halloween is a great time for decorating your home. Many homeowners spend days, not to mention a small fortune, making their spaces look scary and fun. The truth is that you don’t have to spend a lot of time or money making your house look haunted. 

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Spook up your space with these cheap and easy DIYs. Let’s start with a few different illuminating ideas:

Mason Jar Mummies

To create this simple DIY candle holder you’ll need an odd number of mason jars with varying height. White ribbon or gauze, scissors, a hot glue gun and a small package of google eyes. Then you’re going to wrap the white ribbon around the mason jar a few times securing the material with hot glue. Once you’ve wrapped the jar add two google eyes to bring the mason jars to life. This project cost just under $10.

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Ghost Candles

These ghost candles are simple to make and cost $1.50 each. All you need to get started with this project are tall, skinny white candles in a clear jar and a black sharpie marker. Create faces halfway down the candle displaying different emotions on them. These candles will last in your holiday decor for years to come. Light them up on a dining table or mantle to awaken the spirits.

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Pumpkin Candle Holders

Next up add some natural elements to your centerpiece by adding these pumpkin candle holders. Grab a bunch of small pumpkins and ghords that vary in color and shape. You’ll need a pairing knife and melon ball scooper to create a small hole in the pumpkin to add a candlestick. WARNING: make sure the candle sits on a flat surface so it doesn’t fall over and watch the candles while lit to avoid a fire. Also, be careful cutting the ghords they’re tougher to carve.

 

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Decorating Pumpkins

Here are three easy ways to dress up your pumpkins without carving or painting them. Get creative and find items to use around your home. We used halloween mask, chains and spider rings. 

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See the entire tutorials on how to complete these halloween DIYs by clicking on the video below:

Let me know below what you thought about these simple halloween do it yourself decor ideas by commenting below. I’d love to hear from you.

Happy Halloween,

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