Now that I’m a mother, I understand that life can get busy and sometimes we need to remember to keep it simple so we can enjoy what’s most important in our lives – connecting with family and friends. You don’t need to make getting together with those you love a complicated event – create a simple meal and give yourself the opportunity to appreciate your guests with good food, good conversation, and lots of laughs.
Recently, when having friends and family over for an authentic Italian dinner, I kept it very simple. I set a simple table – reminiscent of a meal in Tuscany with a huge cutting board as my centerpiece, branches from an olive tree and the simple beauty of candlesticks to set the mood. Instead of spending the better part of the day preparing for the meal, I decided to make a salad, some simple garlic rolls, and a Bertolli Italian Sausage Entrée. Anyone with a skillet and a few minutes to spare can create a warm and delicious meal for their friends and family.
This year I’m toasting to spending more time with friends and family. I’d rather be less formal and spend more time with those I love. Thinking outside the box for ways to make this time happen on a more regular basis is a great idea. I only have to look as far as my freezer to have a delicious Italian meal ready in no time. Pop open a bottle of wine, and you’re ready to go!
For more inspiration check out our virtual table over on Pinterest to create your own Mangia moment.
Last spring, I had the pleasure of meeting Laurie of Elsie Green House & Home when she was selling her beautiful French wares at the Remodelista market. I immediately felt at home with the items she collected from markets throughout France – stunning monogrammed napkins, restaurant silver, bed linens of natural linen, and incredible rustic cutting boards. We decided for the holidays to have a gathering using her treasures. Nothing says December like having a table with delicious homemade desserts and greenery from the forest. I took a small wreath and placed it on the candlestick for an easy centerpiece. Lately, I’ve been loving a moody table and this one takes me back to my childhood during the holidays.
If you have a chance to visit Laurie of Elsie Green at her shop, I promise it won’t disappoint. I left with a huge basket filled with priceless goodies for my home as well as the homes of my clients. Stop by and see the jaw-dropping collection of French antiques and accessories. It’s definitely worth a journey – you’ll find things for yourself and gifts for friends and family. I would be thrilled to have anything in the store and I’m sure you would too.
I think I’m a child at heart, as I definitely get excited as the winter holiday season approaches. I love when the air begins to have a bite to it, the leaves have fallen from the trees, and even the darker days as of winter approach. I find this is the perfect time to enjoy the holiday season with gatherings of both family and friends. This year, we will have extra reasons to celebrate with Jackson turning one in December. I’m already planning how to change up my décor throughout the holidays to keep it fresh and new.
I’ve teamed up with Pier 1 to decorate my entry three different ways. The entry is an easy place for you to restyle and have a little bit of fun in the process. One thing I like to do is decide what my theme will be. In this case, I decorated my entry three different ways: Winter Solstice Party, Christmas Traditions with the Family, and Champagne Festivities. You’ll see even more details in the video I created with Pier 1 below that I’ve remained true to my love of a neutral palate in all three cases. It definitely got me in the holiday spirit!
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First Look – Winter Solstice Party
This décor is perfect to celebrate the shortest day of the year. The twinkle of candles, stars lights, and ornaments will give you the perfect start to a party that pays tribute to our long winter ahead.
Second Look – Christmas Traditions with the Family
Growing up, one of my favorite memories were the traditions we did together as a family – the cookies we baked, the crackers that launched our festivities, and always bringing nature indoors. All of these were key elements for making this time of year special in our house. I wrapped our gifts in birch paper that adds texture and keeps with the neutral tones of my décor. Remember, when you have a neutral palate, you need to be sure to have texture and a variety of shapes to keep the look interesting.
Third Look – Champagne Festivities
Whether you are planning a small soiree with close friends or a huge blowout celebration for New Year’s Eve, champagne never disappoints. In this entry arrangement I decided to create something called the landscape effect, where the items displayed go up and down. I loved adding a bit of whimsy into this by having ornaments hung on branches. This is something you can also easily recreate in other rooms of your house.
Now it’s time to gather all of your favorite people together and let the holiday festivities begin!
This year I wanted to create my Thanksgiving table with as many things possible that I sourced locally. While November 28th is shop local day, I try to shop locally all year long. What I love about this particular holiday is that it is about family and gratitude and very little commercialism has seeped into it. As we lose the leaves on our trees and we prepare ourselves for winter, we give thanks for the things that matter and take pause in our busy lives.
As I prepared the table for Thanksgiving, I turned to three local sources to put the space together – Erica Tanov, Hudson Grace, and Heath Ceramics. These are all local businesses located in the San Francisco area. I wanted a natural look for this particular celebration with a “less-is-more” approach. An abundance of light by way of candlelight and a simple bouquet of dried cotton are all the adornment there is. The simplicity of Heath dinnerware was the base of the design. Added to this were the stunning napkins designed by Erica Tanov and artist Emily March Payne. For flatware, I turned to Hudson Grace and chose a stunning set of copper utensils that contribute to the simplicity and at the same time add to the elegance of the table.
Whatever Thanksgiving décor you choose this year, I hope you are able to take the time to enjoy family and friends together!
Every year I always look forward to fall arriving. Don’t get me wrong – I love every minute of the long days of summer, but as the days get shorter and there is a crispness in the air, I start turning my focus inward to our home.
Most Sunday mornings my family and I walk to our local farmer’s market for fresh fruits and vegetables. With the change of season we started to see apples making it to the market. A few weekends ago we decided to switch it up a bit and go to an apple orchard instead. Bringing home a crate of apples motivated me to create a new tabletop for my dining room that celebrates the arrival of the new season.
I teamed up with Target Style to use their new collection of fall inspired items for the table. When I think of fall I have images of richer tones, more texture, and definitely delicious baking from the bounty of apples. I knew I wanted to find copper and metal tones along with wicker and wood to warm up my dining room. I found more than I could ever have hoped for – pounded metal bowls and vases, plates and bowls with a muted copper rim, a wooden bowl to display the apple crisp, and gold votives to light up the table. I usually love all-white flowers, but in the spirit of autumn I chose deep maroon flowers, hops, branches with small red berries and a few white flowers.
The result had me giddy for the season that is upon us in a few short days. In our On the Menupost tomorrow Amanda will share her delicious apple crisp recipe that was inspired by this tabletop. It will definitely help you to bring in the new fall season.
This post is brought to you by Target Style. Shop the new Home collection in stores and online.