Tag Archives: party

Belated Thanksgiving 2012 Update

Now that we’re safely into the new year (ohhh, by almost two months!), I think it’s time I posted my thanksgiving decor. It was super low budget, but I accomplished the feel I was going for. Without further ado, our alfresco Thanksgiving dining experience:

First, I painted the stems of small pumpkins gold.

sink

Then I cut the pumpkins on the bottom in order to hollow them out and create luminaries. This was my first time carving/decorating a pumpkin, and I was surprised at how tricky it is! You have to really put some muscle into it. Those seeds are a beast to get out.

pumpkin guts

I found a rather Tim Burton-esque looking face while I was working.

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Our sweet white rabbit {who is no longer with us 😦 } loved getting some of the scraps, while Diesel our dog supervised.

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For the table runner, I use a long sheet of craft paper and stamped two different sized circles all over it at random with gold acrylic paint.

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The gold circles tied in with the gold stems of the pumpkins.

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I continued the “polka dot” theme by drilling circles in the pumpkins that would  allow the luminaries to glow.

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For place cards, I made a few batches of carmel corn {recipe here, though I added a ton of cinnamon, SO good!!} and filled individual, name-stamped paper bags with the crunchy goodness. Guests could munch throughout dinner, or during dessert if pumpkin pie didn’t float their boats {holla!}.

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emma

You’ll notice nothing on my plate but carbs and veggies. 🙂 None of that turkey nonsense for me.

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Our table full of lovely neighborhood friends . . .

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The pumpkins came alive as the sun went down.

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The food was placed around this buffet table my mom set up. I love the placement of the crates and pumpkins!

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That wraps up our thanksgiving festivities. We all gathered around the fire-pit for dessert when it started to get chilly.  I say it very often, but I love where I live! So grateful we were able to enjoy our thanksgiving meal outdoors this year. 

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Pumpkin Decor

Thanksgiving is coming up and this year my family will be hosting a shindig alfresco. Of course, I’m pretty excited to come up with decorations. There are so many wonderful ideas floating around the internet nowadays. Here are some of my favorite ways to decorate using pumpkins:

I still have some time left to start narrowing down my options. Since we’ll likely be eating outside (shouldn’t be too bad in Southern California), I think I’m going to run with the idea of warmth and glow. Hmm. Decisions, decisions. Do you know what you’ll be doing for Thanksgiving yet?

Sources:
Paint Glitter Drill Lace Decoupage Scrape Carve Gild Paint

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Bountiful Birthday Boozy Bears

Last month I hopped on the vodka gummy bear bandwagon. It was Friday morning and Saturday night I would be  going to a friend’s birthday party (who happens to have a thing for bears). I knew everyone around said that ideal gummies take 5 days to “marinate”, but I simply didn’t have that kind of time. I was up for the challenge though and figured the worst that could happen would be me having my own personal giant stash of vodka bears a few days after the party.

All the recipes I read said to keep the bears in the fridge as they absorbed the booze. I figured though, 1) They don’t need it; it’s straight up alcohol and sugar. Nothing to go bad anytime soon. And 2) Room temperature bears would absorb the liquid way more quickly than hard, refrigerated bears.

Since the vodka alone made for some perky bears, I wanted to tone down the burn factor and add a little sweetness. I had triple sec and organic apple juice on hand, so I threw some of that in there Saturday morning to meld with the bears. Saturday afternoon I noticed the bears starting to loosen up, so I kept them in the fridge until that night to try and maintain the structure of the bears (they end up somewhat delicate and jello-like, so you don’t want to go overboard with the mixing and tossing ((though the sound of these things stirring is out of control!))).

Whohoo! I’m happy to report my experiment worked wonderfully. I put them together to soak at around 11am on Friday, and they were tasty (and addictive, uh oh) and  jolly, squishy bears by 9pm Saturday night.

I got so excited by the finished product that I forgot to take the always-popular comparison photo of original bear and boozed bear. Whoopsies. The finished bears were definitely significantly bigger, and all around more fun.

What makes this whole process even more awesome than expected? My bears didn’t soak up all the liquid, so after straining the bears, I was left with some delicious. Gummy bear. Flavored. Vodka. I mean truly tasty libations. It’s a tad thick and perfectly sweet from all the bear goodness that seeped out. Ohh man. This shaken with ice and straight in a glass is quite a tasty treat. There was sort of a white filmy/sediment thing (I assume from the gelatin breaking down) so I strained that through a coffee filter, but in the end I don’t think it made much of a difference. It wasn’t worth the extra effort and is fine as is straight after bear removal.

I assume the key is to get good gummy bears since the majority of the flavor will come from those. Because of my time crunch, I bought the only gummy bears Costco had that morning, which happened to be a great tasting pick (Black Forest). It wasn’t very convenient though, as it was a box of 24 individual serving packages. haha.

Have you tried any other gummy candies this way? I’m wondering about worms, sour strips/belts etc. And of course adding different flavored vodkas/liquors/juices. Hmm. So many possibilities!

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Thanksgiving Decor

Hey friends!

This year is the first Thanksgiving in 15 or so years in which my family hasn’t been camping. We had a treasured tradition of spending Thanksgiving week camping with nearly all of our close family friends. We’d come together on linked picnic tables for a shared meal (starting at 2pm! quite a food fest) Thursday and again for “leftovers day” Friday.

I have sooo many wonderful memories from our annual campouts, but this year it was time for a change! We had a good, old fashioned, indoor Thanksgiving. No down coats or plastic tablecloths to be seen. I was in charge of table decor and had a blast rummaging through my mom’s collection of dishes and tableware. I lucked out finding various Waterford goblets and small crystal vases. I knew I wanted to play with cranberries, so I made mini topiaries with toothpicks and grapefruit. I also found super fun (and very affordable) whole sugar cane that I knew had to be incorporated somehow!

The final look combined the cranberries, sugar cane, and really interesting flowers (protea) that added amazing shape and texture into the mix.

We had a lovely meal with a few friends and family, and tons of delicious food, of course. It was an excellent holiday! Already looking forward to next year.

Thanks for reading!

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