This is our very first year with a full-sized Christmas tree! I loved my little apartment-sized bookshelf trees we had in years past, but gosh is it fun to decorate a big tree in our new home — it feels just a little more like the holidays seeing it in our breakfast nook. One challenge with upgrading from a mini-tree to a 7ft tall tree is we never really owned full-sized ornaments. I have been on the hunt for the perfect colored glass balls to fill in the gaps between our smaller, more sentimental ornaments. Of course, I gravitated right to bright-colors and expensive price tags (like these and these), but couldn’t justify breaking the bank when I knew I needed lots of them. So I DIY’ed my own in the simplest way possible!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset read more

Just a few days after we had moved into our new house in October I got an email to participate in one of the most fun photo shoots I’ve worked on to date — a holiday entertaining piece in the Improper Bostonian. We had a tiny window to shoot this holiday DIY feature and by some amazing luck, a group of talented, creative ladies got together with me to help pull it off (with stacks of my unpacked belongings in the nearby background). Below are a few pictures from the shoot (and two more behind-the-scenes pictures from that day); you can read the full article here: Improper Bostonian – Home for the Holidays.1125DIY-9 read more

I’ve got one last minute recipe to add into the Thanksgiving mix for tomorrow, a savory, skillet-baked corn bread stuffing with apples and sausage. I didn’t grow up with corn bread stuffing (mom, we need to have a talk about this), but I love it and think it’s got such a savory and sweet flavor combination perfect for your turkey-dinner plate! Full recipe below:apple cornbread sausage stuffing 1 read more

Countdown to Turkey Day is on! I cannot wait to eat all.the.stuffing. I’m not ashamed to admit it, I love the junky, classic, out-of-the-box stuffing. But one can never have enough stuffing, so I’ve been experimenting with some new recipes for this delectable, carb-y side dish. This recipe uses brioche which gives it a light and fluffy texture, and it has tons of flavor from the maple roasted squash and onions. Plus a little fresh sage adds that seasonal flavor that makes it just taste like Thanksgiving. It was a winner when I brought it to a Friendsgiving party last week so this one has earned a spot in my holiday rotations! Full recipe below:SquashBriocheStuffing 5 read more

We’ve been in our house for exactly one month now, and are starting to finally feel settled (yay!), but aren’t in a place yet to be hosting a massive Thanksgiving dinner. I dream of this though! Maybe in the next few years we’ll be ready to host on our own, I mean, it’s basically the Super Bowl of entertaining and eating and I think I’d be a pretty strong contender at that game (ladies and gentlemen, the first time a sportsanalogy has ever been used on this site!). Even though I’m not hosting, I still have lots of ideas for a spectacular Thanksgiving tables to share, so I worked with Julie from Posh & Prep Calligraphy to come up with a few special details that are easy to translate to your own turkey day celebrations!
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This recipe should come with a disclaimer: if you are on a diet right now please immediately close this window and don’t read any further — I can’t be responsible for what you do next after you’ve seen this recipe! At our annual friendsgiving celebration this past weekend I decided to test a fresh spin on scalloped potatoes and they were a hit. I heard lots of mmmms, and ahhhhs, and then a few shrieks when I told my girlfriends that the potatoes were boiled in heavy cream and baked with three cups of cheese in between them. I’m sorry I’m not sorry, but it was worth it. What makes these scalloped potatoes different? I layered in sweet potatoes with traditional yellow potatoes, and gave the dish a distinctive, nutty flavor with a mixture of gruyere and manchego cheeses. Full recipe for the calorie-brave below:Mixed Potato Gratin 1 read more

Remember when brussels sprouts were that food you would use to describe what could only be the worst possible meal someone could possible force upon you as a child? Like, ugh, I’ll eat anything but brussels sprouts, yuck! And now I’m 30, and brussels sprouts are having their moment, and I’ve probably said out loud at some point in the last 6 months: “you should really order the pancetta skillet brussels sprouts, they’re the chef’s speciality” or,I can’t stop thinking about those fried buffalo brussels sprouts with whipped blue cheese mouse from last night’s menu.” Funny how things like that work out, right? So while b-sprouts are in my culinary spotlight, I thought it would be a good time to mix up how I make them at home and tested this recipe with the intention of it being a Thanksgiving side dish.
Brussel Sprout Salad 1It’s *almost* a salad — a way to get a little bit of green onto my gravy-soaked plate on Turkey Day. The good thing is that you can make it all on the stovetop — it’s always smart to have dishes that don’t take up precious oven-room on Thanksgiving. The dish also tastes great served hot or cooled down to room temperature. So go ahead, make sure you eat your veggies! Full recipe below:  read more

Our trip to New Orleans last week was full of what the city had to offer …. lots of eating, lots of drinking, and lots of exploring! We stayed at the Old No 77 Hotel and Chandlery, which was beautifully decorated and had a hip, laid back vibe. It was a great location, right on the edge of the French Quarter and close enough that we could explore other areas of the city. The first day we arrived we walked around the Garden District and meandered down Magazine Street to check out the shops, and then the second day we tackled the more touristy areas in the French Quarter. As always, I collected a list of all of our favorite places we visited along the way!
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Well, would you look at those two nerds taking a selfie with Elvis? (My husband is a saint for agreeing to my antics, don’t you think?) We just got back from another road-trip adventure, our favorite vacation ritual. We flew into New Orleans for a few days and decided while we were there to take a quick excursion to Memphis for the day to see Graceland and get some local Memphis flavors (read: BBQ!). Graceland was everything I hoped it would be, tacky and over the top. The house itself is actually sort of small by today’s ‘mansion’ standards but the interior design was hilariously gaudy and rich. One of the best parts is that you can tour the inside of Elvis’ two planes and check out his massive car collection too. Graceland was the main Memphis attraction, but we also stopped into Central BBQ to try one of just about everything on the menu (my favorite was the pulled pork).

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Christmas gets egg nog, New Year’s Eve gets a champagne cocktail — but what’s our go-to Thanksgiving drink? I’m all for mixing up cocktails at family Thanksgiving celebrations, and my friends-giving parties tend to have a few drinks flowing too.  A holiday as delicious as Thanksgiving (my second favorite holiday, actually! carbs!) deserves one, don’t you think? I started thinking this week about some of my favorite autumnal flavors that could make up a festive cocktail for friends-giving gatherings and a marrying of pomegranate (fresh seeds + IZZE Sparkling Pomegranate), sage leaves, and the herby flavor of gin felt like the perfect combination when served in festive flutes. Check out the full recipe below!Friendsgiving Cocktail 4 read more