There’s A New Animal In Town: Zebra Print

There’s A New Animal In Town: Zebra Print

Sweater | Jeans | Boots | Bag

As you’ve probably noticed, animal prints are having a moment. Snakeskin has been a huge trend this year, and leopard is also more popular than ever. But this season there’s a new print to embrace…zebra! Today I’m sharing some of my favorite zebra print picks, including my adorable sweater I grabbed the other day (and the price can’t be beat!). I think it looks great with jeans and boots, but would also be so cute dressed up for the holidays too. Also I just have to say…these boots are on major sale and I absolutely love and highly recommend them! (And they come in five color options)

 

Zebra1Zebra2

One | TwoThree | Four | Five | Six | Seven | EightNine | Ten

Signature

Advent Calendars For Everyone On Your List

I hate to feel that I’m skipping over Thanksgiving by starting to think ahead to Christmas, but this is one gift I always shop for early as the gift giving actually begins December 1st! Yes…it’s time to think about advent calendars – which just so happens to be one of my kids’ favorite holiday traditions. Not only do they love getting a special little treat each day leading up to Christmas, it’s also a really fun way to count down the days. And advents aren’t just for kids anymore! There are so many fun grown up options and I think they make a great gift for friends, family, teachers, neighbors, hostesses…really anyone on your list.

For the kids…

KidsAdventOne – Any little boy would love to have this fun hot wheels advent

Two – Instead of a traditional toy or treat, I love the idea of reading a story together each day.

Three – What kid isn’t obsessed with Paw Patrol?!

Four – You can never go wrong with classic candy

 Five – I love this sweet little wooden toy advent you can use year after year

Six – Kids who saw Toy Story 4 this year will sure love this advent

 Seven – This is the advent I grabbed my kids this year! Legos are always a hit

    Eight – Perfect for any little girl

 

For her…

HerAdventOne – This Charlotte Tilbury set is ultimate advent for the beauty and skin care lover

Two – Voluspa has such amazing scented candles and I love the packaging of this pretty little set

Three – This jam and honey set is perfect for the foodie in your life

Four – A fun mix of sparkling wines

Five – I was introduced to Sugarfina at a baby shower years ago…and their candies are incredible.

Six – Some classic beauty essentials at a great price

Seven – The perfect kit for getting glammed up for the holidays

Eight – A grown up candy advent

  Nine – A pretty tea sampler makes a lovely gift

 

For him…

MensAdventOne – A great mix of sweet, savory, and spicy snacks and sauces

Two – Great essential toiletry items

Three – The ultimate hot sauce set

 Four – A great array of hard liquors

 

For Fido…

PetAdvent.jpgOne – Meat treats for your best friend

Two – The ever popular Trader Joe’s advent calendar. And there’s one for cats this year too!

Three – Catnip treats will be a hit

Four – Christmas cookies for your pup

Signature

Our Thanksgiving Kids Table

Our Thanksgiving Kids Table

This year we are hosting my husband’s family for Thanksgiving, and as my table only seats six, the kids are going to have to sit at their own table for Thanksgiving dinner. Since they don’t get to sit with everyone else, I really wanted their table to feel just as special as the grownup’s table.

In years past I’ve done coloring placemats for them, but this year I took it up a notch with an entire coloring tablecloth. I added a diy gratitude tree with some card stock leaves where we can all write down something we are grateful for, as well as added some other festive decor. These darling plates are melamine, which makes them completely kid friendly. I’m really excited to set their sweet little table for them on Thanksgiving, and I hope the kids love it as much as I do!

Coloring Tablecloth | Dinner Plates | Dessert Plates | Pumpkin & Gourd Decor | Napkins | Napkin Rings | Flatware | Milk Bottles | Straws | Similar pitcher | Mini Tin Pail | Faux Eucalyptus

Signature

Say Thanks With A Thoughtful Hostess Gift

If you are invited to join friends or family for Thanksgiving this year, it is customary to bring along a hostess gift. Of course you can stick with the basics like wine, chocolate, flowers, or a candle…but today I wanted to share some other ideas that your host is sure to love!

ThanksgivingHostessGifts-1ThanksgivingHostessGifts-2

One – The last thing someone wants to think about is making breakfast the day after Thanksgiving! We occasionally join friends here in town for dessert after Thanksgiving dinner, and one year we brought along homemade cinnamon rolls and hot cocoa for them to have for breakfast the next morning. I think breakfast is such a thoughtful gift, and I love this cinnamon roll pan you can bake their rolls in and then tell them to keep.

Two – A festive holiday throw is cozy and functional

Three – A luxe soap for the powder room is always appreciated

Four – These festive little salt and pepper shakers are adorable

Five – Something monogrammed really makes a gift feel more personal, and I love the idea of tying this to a bottle of the host’s favorite wine

Six – Chic looking festive kitchen towels are a no-fail gift

Seven – I never seem to have enough serving ware at Thanksgiving, and this versatile set is sure to come in handy

Eight – A wooden cutting board is a perfect gift for all of those holiday charcuteries

Nine – Bring a pie for the dessert and this pie server for them to keep, which looks way more expensive than it is

Ten – Bring the apple pie, and tell them to keep this darling apple pie dish

Eleven – The foodie/chef will love this array of salts

Twelve – Such a sweet little gift for someone who loves to bake

Thirteen – Be extra thoughtful with a small gift for the kids! My kids love this book

Fourteen – These gorgeous cheese knives only look expensive

Signature

How To Plan And Host The Perfect Thanksgiving

How To Plan And Host The Perfect Thanksgiving

thanksgivinghosting2019-2.jpgTurtleneck | Skirt | Heels (Kurt Geiger, old – similar)

With the holiday coming right up, today I wanted to share some of my tips for hosting a successful Thanksgiving! I’ve been hosting and cooking Thanksgiving for family and friends every year for the past 10 years, so at this point I feel that I have developed a pretty solid routine. I’ve found that with a little practice and planning, it’s actually fairly easy to put together a large meal and entertain…and you truly can have a no-stress Thanksgiving. Today I wanted to share my tips and I also included my checklist to help you host your best Thanksgiving!

Shop in advance

While this includes food of course, don’t forget all the little extras like tablescape, kids table, florals, entertainment, decor, etc. Cute fall themed decor and dishes are often going on clearance and selling out in early November. This makes it a great time to buy now – but don’t wait much longer! You will also want to put together your menu early and make a shopping list of all the groceries you are going to need.

Practice and/or get help with recipes in advance

If you’ve never made a turkey or a certain dish you want to try, you probably don’t want to be attempting it for the first time when you are hosting a lot of people on a day that is already hectic with tons of other dishes to make! Reach out to friends or family who have experience & get their advice and consider doing a trial run now so that you feel confident on the big day. I also love watching all of the Thanksgiving specials on the food network to get new ideas and tips!

Prep the kitchen

Make sure you have all of the cooking utensils you need for the foods you are making well ahead of time (roasting pan, casserole dishes, meat thermometer, cooking twine, etc). You will also want to make sure your oven is clean and make room in your fridge for everything! I try not to buy a lot of extra groceries in the days leading up to Thanksgiving so I have room for the turkey and all of my assembled casseroles.

Start prepping food 2 – 3 days in advance

They key to pulling off Thanksgiving dinner is prep. You can’t possibly make the entire meal on the day itself (unless perhaps you wake up at 1 am!). So much of the food can be made a day or two in advance, and I also complete all of the tedious work like chopping ahead of time. Most casseroles can be completely assembled the day before, and then just popped in the oven on Thanksgiving. I’ve often had guests ask me how in the world I’m managing to make all this myself & am I sure I don’t need help?! The trick to making it look easy is that the 1-2 days before are usually quite hectic with tons and tons of prep.

Use shortcuts where you can

While I personally love to make the majority of our Thanksgiving dinner from scratch, there is a motto of Ina Garten’s that I love … “store bought is fine.” Don’t feel like you have to make every single thing from scratch. One area where I always buy store bought for Thanksgiving is what I like to call “cheater crusts.” Pies are actually really quick and easy when you don’t have to make crust as homemade crust can be quite time consuming. I also buy chestnuts for my stuffing pre-roasted and shelled, which is another huge time saver. Sometimes I will even buy already whipped, whipped cream from Whole Foods along with my turkey (it’s way better than the canned stuff!), and while it is easy to make, it’s just one less thing to worry about.

Involve the kids

Keeping kids busy is hugely helpful and makes the whole day a lot more fun. I like to put together fun activities to entertain them (bingo, coloring placemats, crafts), plus I also get them to help me in the kitchen! My little one makes butter which is super cute and my big one can almost completely independently make simple dishes like cranberry sauce and this year he’s making pumpkin pie too! (Here’s a post I shared last year about making Thanksgiving fun for kids.)

Timing is everything

The hardest thing about Thanksgiving is timing everything to be finished and ready to eat at the same time. This took me a few years of practice to get this completely down, and this is really key to a successful dinner. Warmers are hugely helpful by allowing you to make things early in the day, and then keep them warm until dinner. For example, I typically make the mashed potatoes a few hours early, and then pop them in my crockpot on warm while I finish with dinner!

I’ve put together a checklist of everything I do to stay on track to share with you, and I hope you find this helpful!

ThanksgivingChecklist

Signature

Tips For Choosing Outfits For Those Christmas Card Photos

With only 7 weeks until Christmas it’s time to start thinking about Christmas cards! If you haven’t already taken your family photos, I wanted to share a few of my tips for deciding what to wear to get your best photos!

Start With One Item and Coordinate Around It

Picking a color palette and deciding on outfits for everyone can feel overwhelming, so this is how I typically decide on my family’s outfits and color scheme. I usually start with my outfit (although occasionally I will see something just perfect for one of the boys and grab that first!) and then I select items that coordinate with it for everyone else. When we took this pic (years ago!) I had found this darling little romper for Ev and knew I wanted him to wear this for our photos – so I found items that all coordinated with it for the rest of us.

Go Neutral

When in doubt about making sure everything looks good together, stick with a simple, neutral color palette. Think beige, gray, brown, navy, olive green, blush, ivory…these colors all work well together and create a really soft and flattering look.

Coordinate But Don’t Completely Match

Remember when it was THE look for everyone to wear white shirts and jeans for their family photos? It’s safe to say that look is somewhat dated now. Instead go for outfits that coordinate but don’t go completely matchy matchy.

Avoid Really Bright Colors

While I do love color in photos and the right colored outfits can add some punch, it’s best to stay away from super bright colors. For one, this can create something called a “color cast” on your skin tone in photos and can cause a lot of extra editing for your photographer. And two, you ideally want the subjects themselves to be the focus of portraits, and the clothes should merely compliment. Instead of really bright reds, oranges, yellows…switch for softer burgundy, rust, and golden tones.

Keep Patterns Small

Just like with lots of color, some pattern can add interest and personality. Too much pattern (especially lots of large, loud prints) can quickly turn into an eyesore and distract from the subjects. I think one statement piece (like a floral dress) can add some punch to an image, but I would keep other patterns smaller and complementary to that print. Make sure you also add some solid pieces to ground the whole look.

Think About Your Background

Lastly, think about where you are going to be shooting your photos. If you are outside, you may want to think about avoiding a lot of green in your clothing as you may completely blend in! Also, while I’m not typically a huge fan of black for portraits, against a light background in a more formal setting it can really pop and look amazing.

Family Photo Outfit Ideas

XMasOutfits-1XMasOutfits-2OneTwoThree | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | NineTen | Eleven | Twelve

 

ChristmasOutfits-1.jpgChristmasOutfits-2One | TwoThree | FourFiveSixSevenEight | NineTenEleven

Signature

Thanksgiving Home Decor (and more fall decor I’m loving)

I’m not quite ready to deck the halls for Christmas yet, but I still like my home to feel festive this time of year! Over the weekend I transformed my home from Halloween to Thanksgiving with a few simple fall touches.

Plaid Pumpkin | Gold Mini Pumpkin | Orange Mini Pumpkin | Rose Gold Mini Pumpkin  | Similar Gold Pumpkin | Similar Velvet Pumpkins | Fall Plant | Similar Fall Leaf Arrangement

Eucalyptus Garland | Candle Holders | Mini Pumpkins (Target – similar)

img_7962Pomegranate Arrangement (Target, similar) | Similar Velvet Pumpkin | Rose Gold Pumpkin | Tray | Fall Wreath | Similar Wooden Bowl | Candle | Similar Towel

img_7928Similar Faux Filler Flowers | Similar Gold Pumpkin | Similar Velvet Pumpkin

I also wanted to share a few other fall and Thanksgiving decor pieces I’m loving!

FallFavorites-1FallFavorites-2One | TwoThreeFourFiveSixSevenEight

Signature