Thanksgiving Dinner Tips

I always used to feel stressed and anxious going into hosting a dinner. Getting the timing right, making it look effortless, enjoying it. I wanted to share a few tips and a few round ups of tips that I think will help you get through Thanksgiving dinner, or any other dinner party.

  1. Make a timeline, working backwards. What time do you want to serve your main course? Work backwards from there, allowing time for each recipe. I assume an extra 10 minutes for everything I’m making which allows me to:
  2. Clean as you go. The kitchen, when preparing for a holiday meal or dinner party, can become so unruly so quickly. If you clean as you go, you won’t be stressed 5 minutes before guests arrive trying to clean up in a panic.
  3. Set your table the night before. I even set out the serving dishes with sticky notes to remind myself what I wanted to use the dish for.
  4. Make sure you have a list. This seems so obvious, but make your grocery list well in advance and tick things off as you go. This will save you from the “honey-go-get-me…”.
  5. Make sure your menu makes sense. And isn’t overwhelming. I start with a huge list, then get practical and scratch things off. I also always, always try to mix in hot and cold things for appetizers, knowing my stovetop and oven will be occupied. I always make sure I have a few things that I can make the day prior and reheat the night of. Write the reheating instructions on your containers and account for reheating in your timeline!
  6. Be prepared for your guests arrival 15 minutes before. And account for it in your tasks for the day. Make sure the wine is chilled, glasses are out, music is playing and all your candles are lit.
  7. Make a playlist!

 

Here are some other Thanksgiving tips that will help you get to the main event with a smile on your face:

The Kitchn’s Thanksgiving Tips

Martha’s Thanksgiving Tips

Pioneer Woman’s Tips

Food52’s Thanksgiving Hotline

And of course, the Butterball Turkey Talk Line: 1-800-BUTTERBALL

 

Holiday Entertaining Essentials: Music

Whenever we host a gathering, I like to think about how I can set the mood and music is always a part of that planning. Putting together a great playlist is a wonderful way to set the tone for your celebration and only takes a little bit of uninterrupted thinking. With just a week until Christmas Eve,  I’ve started to put together the music we’ll play for our guests during our celebration.

When I put together a playlist there are a three things I like to consider:

  • What time of day is the gathering? If it’s day-to-evening like our Christmas Eve celebration will be, I start a playlist with up-beat music and shift into low key music for dinner and after.
  • How long do I expect to be entertaining? I try to include as many songs as I can to cover the time we’ve invited our guests..
  • Who will be joining us? Hubby and I love country music, but not all of our guests do. I try to make sure I include music I know everyone will enjoy.

Here is our Christmas playlist you can subscribe to on Spotify – I’ll be editing and adding music to it over the next week. I’m always rearranging my playlists as I listen to see if I like the way the songs transition. I know. A little crazy.

Happy listening!

Holiday Gifting: The Hostess

There is an etiquette saying, “always ring the door with your elbow.” I love this sentiment, especially around the holidays – it’s meant to say that you should always go to a friend or family’s home with your arms full.

Bringing hostesses a little something for themselves is one of my favorite gifting opportunities. It’s a way to show how grateful you are to that person for having you in their home and for the gift of their time. It doesn’t have to be a big or expensive gesture, and often something you love is the perfect gift – they’ll think of you whenever they see it!

No. 1 Potholder set // No. 2 Pretty gold bluetooth speaker // No. 3 Pine scented dish soap & lotion // No. 4 Sweet little honeypot // No. 5 Rewined candles – champagne is THE BEST scent // No. 6 Rosemary trees – Trader Joe’s has them! // No. 7 A beautiful ornament – my FAVORITE gift to receive // No. 8 A light box // No. 9 Gold mixing bowl set // No. 10 Your favorite home made cookies in a pretty jar

Holiday Gifting: The Ladies

We’re kicking off our gifting week with gifts for the ladies! From big to small, there are so many great gifts for women to really make them feel special, which is always my goal in gifting to the women in my life. I think these ideas are perfect for everyone from your mom to your best friend to your wifey.

If you’re like me and not that into gifting cash for the holidays, I have two simple tips when thinking about gifts for the ladies (which really works for everyone):

  1. Think about what she’s really into (does she love to get her hair blown out, go for manicures, take photos, cook?)
  2. What would she probably not buy for herself, but still love to receive?

No. 1 A luxe bag in a neutral color to be worn year round // No. 2 Gloves with an extra special detail, like a sweet bow // No. 3 A beautiful pot for her kitchen // No. 4 The fresh sugar lip suite – I love these, want to try them all, but just can never bring myself to buy them for me // No. 5 A beautifully designed aromatherapy diffuser // No. 6 Fun and trendy earrings in a seasonal color // No. 7 Treats from Sugarfina // No. 8 Cozy slippers in a neutral color to go with all her favorite pj’s

 

holiday gift guide series: the hostess

a hostess gift is one of those classic gestures – you can never go wrong bringing something along with you and the effort is always appreciated. it’s one of those things your mother probably always told you to do, or even one of those things you’ve read about in emily post. it is timeless, and you should do it regardless, but especially when visiting someone’s home for the holidays. here are a few of my favorites to make this holiday season a little extra special.

do you always bring a little something for a hostess?

holiday gift guide: the hostess

1. wine bottle holder (to catch the drips and make a bottle look fancy) – gift it with a nice bottle of wine
2. white truffle oil goes lovely with a homemade loaf of bread or a cutting board (or wine!)
3. bottle opener
4. bourbon maple syrup is great for holiday brunches
5. homemade spreads with fresh loaves of bread and a dish towel (edible AND they get to keep something)
6. an ornament – swarovski has a new design each season, but it could be out of your price range so really any ornament would do (check out west elm, crate and barrel and anthropologie)

holiday gift guide series: the fitness junkie

i’m pretty sure all of us have that one friend who’s a total fitness junkie. and let’s admit it, we wish we could be more like them! gift giving for this friend can be so simple – give them something they would appreciate for their workouts! try headphones, a great water bottle or workout gear.

here are some of my picks for this year:

holiday gift guide: fitness junkie