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HOLIDAY entertaining

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Thanksgiving: Revisiting Turkey Basics and Tabletop Ideas

thanksgiving truffle-scented roast chicken

thanksgiving truffle-scented roast chicken
photo credits: Home & Home October 2010, photography by Michael Graydon, prop styling by Sasha Seymour, food stylish by Ashley Denton

There will be no big Thanksgiving dinner for us this year. We will celebrate it just the three of us. Frankly, I welcome it since I was exhausted. We all feel tired lately. My hudband, my son and I had to adjust to a new schedule since Zack started day care. Yesterday, Zack slept up to 11 AM. This morning, he woke up at 8:45 AM. I start to feel refreshed.

It is a colder, bright sunny day here in Montreal. Before we go outside, I compiled a list of last-minute Thanksgiving ideas based on old posts.

For roasting your turkey, check out

For dressing your table, get inspired by

Explore the rest of my Thanksgiving posts for menu ideas and more tabletop inspirations. Lastly, do not stress out with the preparation. The most important in any event is to serve good food and to be amongst good company.

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Thanksgiving Tabletop Ideas from Classic to a Modern Look

thanksgiving tabletop ideas from traditional to modern

I propose you five festive looks for Thanksgiving, that are suitable for the Canadian way and the American way to celebrate Thanksgiving.

If you are new to my blog, here is my design philosophy when it comes to my table settings for a Holiday celebrations. My guests eat on bowls and plates that can be reused for other parties. This is my way to be thankful towards Mother Earth. My table linens and my centrepiece deliver the decorative elements of my Holiday tabletop.

Tabletop Ideas for a Classic Style Table

I always say that you need a casual chic table for a Thanksgiving meal. So, go with would make you and your family happy. I like the idea to use a halved globe as a vessel for your centrepiece. It should not be too hard to find an old World globe since so many of them have become obsolete. Ask your friends and family to help you locate one; there is probably an unused World globe that is stored in their garage or basement of someone you know.

thanksgiving tabletop ideas from traditional to modern
photo credits: No. 1 Eclectic Fall Bowl Centerpiece from BHG.com | No. 2 Woodland Forest Jacquard Tablecloth $155-$183 USD at Williams Sonoma | No. 3 Autumn Summer Table by Crate & Barrel

Tabletop Ideas for a Modern Style Table

The snowberries of the Marimekko Lumimarja Orange table linen collection takes a different direction in orange. As a bonus, I can imagine this tablecloth reinterpreted for a Halloween party.

thankgiving table with a modern Finnish touch
photo credits: No. 4 Marimekko Lumimarja Orange Tablecloth and Napkins $8.95-$89.95 USD at Crate and Barrel

I am a fan of the tête-à-tête placemats. With tête-à-tête (which means face-to-face) placemats, your table puts the emphasis on guests that seat in front of each other. Don’t think that you can use this look only just for a romantic dinner. The concept works well on a communal table. Simply remember to get three “placemats for two” for 6 guests, four for 8 guests or six for a group of twelve. Then, use the same between the placemats to place the dishes that you will share and the centrepieces.

duo linen placemat and napkins
photo credits: No. 5 Duo linen placemat for two $15.95 USD at CB2

I hope this small round-up will give ideas on how you can dress your table for Thanksgivings.

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Spooky Forest Halloween Party Food

spooky forest halloween party theme for kids

spooky forest halloween party theme for kids

I started to think about how we will celebrate Halloween. Yesterday, I ordered online my son’s costume. You will notice the influence of my geek husband when I tell you that my son will dress up as an astronaut. He played Darth Vader last year.

Now that his costume is taken care of, I can concentrate on an Halloween party for young kids. I look for a fun twist on the eerie theme. Something that would be unusual but that will not scare the children. I also care about the ingredients. Too much sweet is not good for toddlers. And if I can put a touch of healthy that it is even better. I feel that I compiled a winner mix with this assortment of party food and drink.

For the signature drink, style your favorite kid-friendly sparkling lemonade with a gummy fish, eggs made of coloured tapioca pearls topped with a gummy worm. Get the entire Swamp juice recipe (No. 1) at Family Fun.

For the healthy part, make these cut cheese fingers (No. 3) with mozzarella string cheese. Make the fingertip by glueing a piece of green pepper, a piece of cucumber (skin up), half of a black olive or half a red grape with cream cheese .

The Apple bites (No. 5) are not more complicated to make. To create the mouth, quarter and core an apple. Then, cut a wedge from the skin side of each quarter. Slivered almonds make realistic teeth. Do not forget to sprinkle some lime juice or orange juice on the apples to keep them from browning.

For treats, you can make the awesome spooky forest sticks and orange candy apples (No. 2) from Stephen Brown of Glitterville. You will find the recipe in his book: Glitterville’s Handmade Halloween: A Glittered Guide for Whimsical Crafting!

These spider cupcakes (No. 4) are super cute! Decorating them is so easy that you can ask your kids to help out.

Add a few candy boxes, decorate the room, plan three or four fun activities and you are all set for a spooky forest Halloween party that the kids will remember.

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Decorating Ideas for a Fourth of July Table

fourth of July diy decoration ideas

After 5 years of covering the Fourth of July party scene, I must confess that I have a feeling of déjà vu. I found two DIY projects that you can do with the kids. I feel that it is always important to involve them with family celebrations.

fourth of July diy decoration ideas
Star and Stripes Garland Kit $10.50 USD at Paper Source | USA Party mega kit by Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff $4.80 at MyGrafico 

Many of you will celebrate the Fourth of July at a cottage. This is why I present two festive tabletops by the lakeside. Both of these tables are made of plain white tableware mixed with galvanized metal containers. The key is to add a festive touch through the accessories.

Light pendants that float over the dining table are a must if your party will continue after the sun is down. Select a model that will also look great during the day. I have my doubt about the Southern Living set up. Do the bamboo sticks will stay up against the wind or with people moving around them? But you could recycle the principle with the sticks put on the ground.

southern living fourth of july table by the lake
photo: Jennifer Davick for Southern Living

The second table has a different feel. I like the general feel of this BBQ Burger table except  for the flower centrepiece. I would replace it with the pinwheel centrepiece.

lakeside BBQ for the fourth of july
photo: Pottery Barn

How and where will you celebrate this weekend? And if you created an innovative design for your Fourth of July celebrations, make sure to send me the details.

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

My Fourth of July Stylish Dessert Round-Up

fourth of july desserts

You will hear Wow! and see smile in your guests’ face if you serve any of these at your Fourth of July celebrations this year.

fourth of july desserts

  • Get the fresh fruit flag recipe at Family Fun. The idea is so simple that you can do it with your kids. All that you need are blackberries, strawberries, bananas and lemon juice to to keep the bananas from browning.
  • Martha Stewart did these flag cupcakes a while ago. What I like about them is that they are easy to decorate for anyone.
  • The tricolor parfaits are from Martha Stewart. Simply alternate a red fruit gelatin and a panna cotta layer to make your own.
  • Although the look like ice cream, these are frosted cakes that are topped with sugar crystals. Get the snow cone cupcake recipeat Bakerella

 

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

What To Drink: Go Pink for Mother’s Day

pink drinks for mother's day

pink drinks for mother's day
Mom-tini recipe from NUVO Sparkling LiqueurPomtini recipe  from POM  | Pink Blossom recipe  from SAQ | Nude Nuvo recipe  from NUVO

Here are four feminine cocktails that you could serve your mom this Mother’s Day.  Personally, I look forward to sip my Pink Blossom.

Mom-tini recipe

  • 2 oz POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice
  • 2 oz Vodka
  • Splash of fresh lime juice
  • Top with 1oz of chilled NUVO Sparkling Liqueur
  • Garnish with an orange peel and serve in a martini glass

If you live in a place where the NUVO Sparkling Liqueur is not available, you could prepare a Pomtini instead.

Pomtini recipe

  • 1 oz. freshly squeezed pomegranate juice* or POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
  • 1 1/2 oz. vodka
  • 1 1/2 oz. grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz. sour mix, or 1/2 oz. freshly squeezed lime
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup (equal parts sugar and cold water dissolved together)
  • Ice cubes

Assemble all ingredients in bar or mixing glass. Shake well with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass.
Garnish with spiraled orange rind.

Pink Blossom recipe

  • 45 ml (1 1/2 oz) dry gin
  • 15 ml (1/2 oz) lemon liqueur (Limoncello or other)
  • 90 ml (3 oz) pink‐grapefruit juice
  • 3 ice cubes

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker filled with ice cubes.
Shake vigorously for 8 to 10 seconds.
Strain into a martini glass using an ice strainer.
Garnish with two raspberries or small strawberries.

Nude Nuvo recipe

The last one can’t be easier then this.

  • Chilled NUVO sparkling liqueur
  • Served over ice in a champagne flute

Although its color is a faded pink, I enjoy the taste of the grapefruit mimosa at Griffintown Café. This is where we will go for brunch this Sunday.

How do you plan to treat your mom this Sunday? Start by telling me which cocktail (it doesn’t have to be those) that you or your mom will be delighted to drink?

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Easter Egg Decorating and Crafting Ideas

easter egg hunt prizes

easter egg hunt prizes

At only a few weeks ago from Easter, it is more than time to plan your Easter Egg activities. Hiding special eggs adds cheer and joy to your Easter Egg hunt. I like to include eggs that the kids can keep after the party. The wood hen sized eggs would be a nice addition to any market pretend shop. They have been painted in all natural non-toxic soy paint. You could use the plastic egg string lights to delimit the start and end line of the race.

I found two adorable crafting projects that transform your eggs into other animals. First, you could make an owl Easter Egg designed by Donna Bush. Or  do like Martha Stewart and create your own crepe surprise bunny eggs. Imagine those for your Easter tablescape.

Egg Decorating Kit Premiere Moisson

Lastly, why not paint chocolate eggs during your Easter celebrations? Premiere Moisson sells an egg-decorating kit at their store. The kit includes 3 chocolate eggs (two milk chocolate and one white chocolate), 3 jars of food paints and 3 brushes. If you like what your children’s creations, submit them to the “Fais-toi beau mon coco!” Facebook contest.

SOURCING:
+ Plastic Easter Egg String Lights $9.99 USD at Target
+ Owl Easter Egg DIY project designed by Donna Bush and published at Michaels
+ Crepe Paper Surprise Bunny Eggs by Martha Stewart
+ 12 Rainbow Wood Eggs by Applenanos $32 USD on Etsy
+ Chocolate Egg Decorating Kit $19.95 CAD at Première Moisson

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Happy Valentine’s Day!

happy valentine's day cupcakes

happy valentine's day cupcakes

In this day where we remind the ones we love about how much they are important for us, I want to tell each of you how much I appreciate the support that you gave me over the years. And I want to thank all the fabulous home design / lifestyle / party and wedding blogs that inspire me on a daily basis. Happy Valentine!

SOURCING:
+ photo: the Valentine’s Day cupcakes that I bought at Les Glaceurs this afternoon.

 

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Easy Valentine’s Day Breakfast Ideas

valentine's breakfast eggs hearts

Scrambling to come up with a Valentine’s dinner plan? Both Kim and I agree that staying in is the way to go, but if you really want to surprise your loved ones, create a special start to their day by putting a little love into the most important meal of the day.

Although Tuesday mornings don’t usually afford a lot of time for a leisurely meal, these quick Valentine’s day fixes will send them off with a smile without having to set your alarm for 5 a.m. wake-up-call.

Bacon and Eggs
A match made in heaven if ever we’ve tasted one, this classic breakfast combo gets a couple of creative tweaks to make it V-Day appropriate.

paper mama valentine's breakfast bacon heart

  • The Paper Mama cleverly twists strips of bacon into the shape du jour

valentine's breakfast eggs hearts

  • A heart-shaped cookie cutter turns easy-to-make egg-in-the-nest into something to remember (we love the cute ketchup hearts too!)
  • If hardboiled eggs are your family’s preference, try this heart-shaped version – you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make. (Tuck this idea away for Easter brunch.)

Hot Drinks for Valentine’s Day
For those who prefer a liquid breakfast, these creative ideas put a Valentine’s spin on their favourite warm-me-up drink – whether coffee, tea or hot chocolate.

valentine's tea wrapper printable creature comforts

adore magazine valentine's tea printable

  • Make their tea simply sublime with free printable teabag wrappers from Creature Comforts or Australia’s Adore Magazine. If a mid-afternoon cuppa is your love’s thing, stash one in their work bag or notebook for a surprise.
valentine's day drinks hot chocolate printable
  • What could be more fitting for Valentine’s Day than a steaming cup of hot chocolate with heart-shaped marshmallows? All if takes is a mini heart-shaped cookie cutter (or a warm knife and a steady hand) to make these.
  • If they’re taking their bevvie to go, wrap their travel mug (or ask for an extra cup when you stop at your favourite café today) in this adorable printable sleeve from Eat Drink Chic.

Do you have any Valentine’s Day traditions? How will you celebrate this year?

SOURCING:
+ Bacon Hearts How-To from The Paper Mama
+ Heart-Shaped Egg-in-the-Nest How-To from Cute Food For Kids
+ Heart-Shaped Hard Boiled Egg How-To from Anna The Red
+ Free Printable Valentine’s Tea Bag Wrapper from Adore Magazine
+ Free Printable Valentine’s Tea Bag Wrapper from Creature Comforts
+ Heart-Shaped Marshmallow How-To from MarthaStewart.com
+ Free Printable Je T’aime Coffee Cup Wrappers from Eat Drink Chic

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

eValentine cards from West Elm

west elm valentine's day ecards

west elm valentine's day ecards

West Elm partnered with their favorite New York city small design shops, sites and green organizations to this Valentine’s Day initiative. They told us they have a crush on Etsy, Brooklyn Flea, Book By Its Cover, Grow NYC, La Colombe and Brooklyn Brew Shop. Each card is a wordplay that is representative of its associated brand. I love them all.

  • You are sew cute
  • Love you to pieces
  • we’re on the same page
  • You’re my pick
  • You give me buzz
  • with you, it’s always happy hour

So. tell me which one would you prefer to receive from your partner? I wish to see “with you, it’s always happy hour” on my inbox.

SOURCING:
+ Send your eValentine from West Elm

 

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Pink and Orange Little Monkey Valentine Party Theme

little monkey cupcakes

little monkey cupcakes

I’m glad that the New York photographer now based in California Djamilla Rosa Cochran told me about the fabulous “Let’s Monkey Around” sock puppet party that she photographed. You might have seen it featured on the blog of Amy Atlas. Let’s discuss why you should consider a pink and orange color scheme for your Valentine’s Day party.

monkey pop cakes

It is OK to refrain your use of red on Valentine’s Day. Here, the typical red is used sparsely or as a support while the orange and pink steal the show. The result is fresh, bold and playful, just like my Jonathan Alder’s Chevron Pink Toilet Roll Cover for Cottonelle. By the way, I was glad when I saw it inside the swag bag that I received at the Canadian Design Bloggers meetup. The cute toilet roll cover now cheers up my powder room.

monkey sock puppet dessert table for valentine's day

Going back to the party colors, I like the childish elements that would be cute even for grown ups. Tell me who can resist to the charm of monkey sock puppets?

This party is a team effort from California-based vendors. Marjenah of Candy Bar Couture created the dessert table. Jazzy Cupcakes modernly decorated the cupcakes while Cake Pop-in did the cake pops. If you do it yourself, do not be afraid to work with several vendors for a party. Communicating well the colors is key to get a cohesive dessert table. To make sure that everyone is on the same track, rely on colors from paint fans or the Pantone colors to communicate your color choices.

SOURCING:
+ photos by Djamilla Rosa Cochran of The Rose Weddings