Friday, November 27, 2009

Celebrated Day of American Bounty

We celebrated Thursday with traditional American Bounty, retelling stories of the Pilgrims and Indians to the kids and counting our blessings! Most of you have already seen the Thanksgiving table set up HERE. But this post is about the yummy goodness of the day!

The holiday kicked off with a surprise delivery of this gorgeous Fall bouquet from my Sweet friend and cousin, Jessica and her family. These flowers delighted me and made my spirit ready for the festivities.

I framed our Dinner Menu as you see here.

This is what the menu reads:

Thanksgiving Menu 2009
Buttermilk-Brined Turkey with Savory Gravy
Green Beans tossed in Mushroom Sauce
Creamed Potatoes Mashed
Ginger-Spiced Cranberry Sauce
Assorted Homemade Pies

5 Cheese Macaroni for the kids

This Cranberry Sauce was made with
Crystallized Ginger making it {extra} delicious!
Nothing beats homemade rolls on Thanksgiving Day...
Apples, Cranberries, fresh herbs, and bread equals
stuffing heaven.

I made the Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake on the cake plate
and my Mom made the Chocolate Cream Pie and Traditional Pumpkin Pie.

She makes the absolute BEST pie crusts EVER. ;)

After dinner it was time to search the ads
and plan our Black Friday early morning 4am quest
into the madness!

We played games in the afternoon
and the kids had fun with some Christmas kick off treats
from Grandma and Grandpa!

I received this beautiful hostess gift from my Amazing Mom!
...look at the adorable thank you tag!!...
She knows me well, I will LOVE this (Gooseberry Patch!!) book.

Happy Thanksgiving from our Family To Yours!

This post is linked to: DIY Fall Festival, Under the Table & Dreamin, Think Pink Sundays, Seasonal SundaysMet Monday, Making the World Cuter, Tuesday Tutorials and Tips, Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy, Tip Junkie, Get Your Craft On, DIY Design, Works for Me Wednesday, Blue Cricket Design, Transformation Thursday, House of H, Tablescape Thursday, Show off Your Stuff, Strut Your Stuff,   Show and Share Day, Foodie Friday, Frugal Friday, I'm Lovin It, Tickled Pink, Friday Flair, Design Dazzle, Be Different Act Normal, Funky Junk Interiors, Weekend Wrap Up  DIY by Design

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My note to GRATITUDE!

Gratitude is surely a precious virtue!

Dear Gratitude,

Thank You Gratitude for showing me how lucky I am to have a big down coat when I am complaining of ice cube hands.

Thank You Gratitude for showing me how spoiled I am to have a plate of full rich food as I get upset about poor service and a bland-flavored meal at the restaurant.

Thank You Gratitude for reminding me how warm all the layers of my bed are when I mutter about a bad night's sleep.

{my favorite Thanksgiving accent decor}

Thank You Gratitude for showing me that the loud aggravating sounds of three boys is better than the dark silence of loneliness.

Thank You Gratitude for reminding me what a luxury it is to have running water when I am mad because I run out of a hot water during a shower.

Thank You Gratitude for hushing my complaints and shame about my weight by showing me that I am capable of walking and running and have full mobility of my body.

{even my calendar reminds me}

Thank You Gratitude for quieting my grumblings over the alarm clock that threatens my sleep as you show me that I am here on this great earth, alive, and able to meet each morning, breathing life.

Thank You Gratitude for stopping the foolish words of mine that say
"I have nothing to wear"
by bringing to mind the barefoot photos of children far away.

{compliments of my sweet boys!}

Thank You Gratitude for showing me how insignificant petty annoyances are as I realize what a treasure it is to be in love with my best friend and have a forever companion.

Thank You Gratitude for showing me that the painful times I had a few years ago pales when reflecting on the pain people felt in past times of war and unrest.

{a Happy Day message to my family}

Thank You Gratitude for trying to abide in my heart every day!
My life is full of passion and energy because God has given me the tool of practicing gratitude.

Thank You Gratitude for showing me how valuable you are so I can show my precious boys how to use Gratitude in their lives, giving them an always positive outlook as they deny negative thoughts that threaten to rob their happiness.

{some more sprinkles of the holiday}


Quotes to think about this Thanksgiving...

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.
-H.U. Westermayer

The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.

-Eric Hoffer

You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.

-G.K. Chesterton

Friday, November 20, 2009

Maple Sugar Cookies bid Fall Farewell

Taking a big bite out of the season tastes so delicious with these fall treats!

Some Maple Sugar goodness all rolled out and ready to transform into acorns and leaves.

Maple Sugar Leaves
I made these using my favorite Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie recipe but substituting maple extract for the almond! This gave it the rich maple taste.

I divided the dough and dyed it a variety of vibrant fall colors before rolling them out.

Before baking I used a knife to make leaf veins and to add details.

And out of the oven...
I'm disappointed my flash washed the colors out so much. The colors are actually much more bold.

Sugar Acorn Maples
For these Acorn Maples my mom and I made the dough and cut the cookies at her home sweet home, and I decorated them later at my house.

Skyler took a break from regular scheduled home school classes to help us out!
Sorry to side track this post
but while we're at my Mom's I wanted to sneak you a peek of her dining room.
It's all set up for a Ladies Luncheon
and super festive!

Okay...back to baking.

Again I substituted maple extract for almond extract. After baking these acorns I dipped the tops in melted chocolate, added almond slivers, and set to dry on parchment paper.
How cute are these?!! I'm loving these fall cookies.

Which one is YOUR favorite?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thanksgiving Table 2009 and the Kid's Table too!

I recently posted a little peekaboo here of the supplies I gathered to make our Thanksgiving Day table. It's now finished and ready for Thanksgiving 2009!

Take a look before it gets messed up with turkey gravy and cranberry sauce!

My intentions for this year's setting were to have a Natural Rustic tone with a hint of elegance. I decided against using all the pillar candles and just used two candles instead. I DID use everything else previously mentioned though.

The table has all muted colors to carry peace and a calming atmosphere to the table. I really focused on bringing a lot of texture to the table for these colder months. I also worked to maintain the simple rustic feel, borrowing nature and taking it in.

I used burlap to keep the table current and updated, while the candles gave a classic timeless look.

I made a bow and tied the long burlap table runner off with an aqua-sage wired ribbon and let the burlap and ribbon pool on the floor.

I did a subtle fold on the napkins to maintain the simple look I wanted to achieve. I special ordered the color of these AMAZING tags from!
I used them to embellish the napkins. Every guest can take a moment to reflect on what they're thankful for and take the tags home.

They read "Count Your Blessings"
I made this wheat bouquet using inspiration and a tutorial from Martha Stewart. Once again, this brought the nature in...

I wrapped and glued twine around a couple of candles.

For an easy way to post the GRAND Thanksgiving menu I took a photo frame and typed out the menu. Then I easily traced some leaves onto it.

etc, etc, etc...

The kid's table was {extra} fun to play with. I found this table from Pottery Barn Kids several years ago and it has always been the boys' special table.

I've used these adorable placemats (also from Pottery Barn Kids) every year. It's a little tradition.

I spent a bit of time brainstorming a fun centerpiece and came up with nothing! Then a GIANT size thank you to Beth for inspiring me to make this CUTE Mayflower ship! She has a special talent with decorating that always excites me. I also used some inspiration from Martha Stewart too, although I will say my first attempt at making a ship was a huge failure! But I'm happy with the big basket choice.
I filled the ship with various nuts and pears.
I used burlap for the sails, sticks to keep my natural theme, and a Longaberger basket for the ship. (see this post for more of my Longaberger love affair!)For their placecards I used pears and pinned in their names.

And that's a wrap for Thanksgiving Tables 2009!

Curious minds ask me, "why go to all the fuss??"

I want a corner of comfort and warmth

A few moments in time to escape the frazzle of rushed living

A chance to still the race in our heads and calm our eyes

I want to create a haven for hearts to rest and feel loved

I want an atmosphere that captures the minutes of our holiday
creating forever memories

A place for loved ones to gather 'round with warm chatter lifting up to the ceilings

A home sweet home for the holidays