Category Archives: Entertaining

All In The Details

plaid

After a busy week at work and an epic weekend last week, I’m looking forward to some low-key R&R with Kevin at home. I’m looking forward to seeing Burnt tonight, possibly enjoying some fireside wine at the Wine Cellar at the Lambertville Station (a lovely fall retreat for anyone looking for a quick weekend trip), and indulging in our latest Netflix binge: Louie. I’m also planning to get busy in the kitchen with testing out some Thanksgiving recipes to share on the blog over the next couple weeks. I cannot believe it’s less than 2 weeks away; I am just giddy with excitement for all that food, wine, and cozy clothes to accommodate our expanding waistlines.

Speaking of cozy, nothing says fall for me like plaid. After seeing some adorable plaid details at Allie’s wedding last weekend, I’ve been daydreaming about a festive, plaid spread for Thanksgiving. Recently I’ve talked about my efforts to not play the comparison game and lust after the perfect clothes and homes I see on blogs or Pinterest, but one thing I simply cannot give up is a beautiful tablescape. I’ve always loved looking through Pottery Barn magazines or watching Ina’s show for this reason: admiring the impeccable elegance of a beautiful table that is equally effortless and inviting. For me, a welcoming, well-decorated table is a symbol of togetherness and the anticipation of the great meal and memories that are to come. This is why I’m also so excited to meet with our caterer next year to pick out the flatware and linens for our wedding – sounds trivial, but for me, these little details can really tie together your dinner or event and create more of an experience or emotion, not just another meal. So while my Thanksgiving table probably won’t be this Pinterest-worthy, the comforting and classic look of these plaid tablescapes evoke the feeling that I hope to curate at my own Thanksgiving some day.

Images: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

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To Bridesmaid or Not To Bridesmaid?

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One of my best friends, Allie, is getting married this weekend! I can’t believe the day is finally here – I think we texted each other every single day last December wondering if today would be the day that Raven popped the question. Kevin and I always have the best time with Allie and Raven, usually thanks to lots of cheese, wine, some serious laughs, and plenty of bathroom humor. So I have no doubt that this weekend will be amazing – wine, cheese, and all. I’m also honored to be one of Allie’s bridesmaids! This is my first time as a bridesmaid and I’m so happy to be a part of their incredible day.

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That being said, one of the first decisions I made about our wedding was not to have bridesmaids. I get easily stressed out by other people’s drama and way too consumed about everyone’s opinion. Not that I don’t value other’s opinions, but for our wedding, I want it to be truly what Kevin and I envision, not something else that we felt guilted or pressured into. Also planning-wise – dresses, flowers, photos, etc. – it’s a lot easier with fewer people involved.

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Every now and then I wonder if I’ll regret not having a bridal party. Who will be at the rehearsal dinner? Who else will be in our pictures? Will I want more people to get ready with? But I think we’ll find ways to keep our friends involved without the bridal party title (i.e. having a larger rehearsal dinner, welcome drinks the night before). On the plus side, that means more time for pictures of just the two of us 😉

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I’ve gotten a few mixed reactions when I tell people I’m not having a bridal party, mostly from people who have more traditional views on weddings. But I’ve learned throughout the wedding planning process, that everyone has an opinion about everything when it comes to weddings. Ultimately it’s the couple’s day, so you gotta do what feels right to you, bridesmaids or not.

And with that, I’m out to celebrate two of my most favorite people! Love you, A & R!

Quick & Easy Cheese Board Tips

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I’ve always loved Halloween. My theatrical side loves getting dressed up and taking on the character of someone else. I’m also a total horror nerd: scary movies, haunted houses, Ouija boards, I love it all. As if that wasn’t enough reason to get excited, Halloween has also felt like the unofficial start to the holiday season (as marked by Starbucks holiday cups launching on November 1st and my mom’s Christmas shopping is usually finished by November 5th). So yea, I’m pretty pumped for tomorrow.

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Our plans are still unclear. I was so excited for our first Halloween in the burbs last year, but then we only got 2 trick-or-treaters, so I ended up OD’ing on Milky Ways and passed out on the couch in my sad excuse of a costume (we were Crazy Ira & The Douche from Parks & Rec, which really meant wearing a sweatshirt and backwards hat). So I’m hoping to step up our game this year. We’re thinking Suzy Bishop and Sam Shakusky from Moonrise Kingdom. Thoughts?

DSC_0652What is definitely happening is this festive cheese board. When I have last minute plans, but still want to put something together that seems somewhat personal, I love to do a simple cheese plate. It’s easy and just a few extras will make it seem like you spent a lot more time on it than you really did. And let’s be honest, everyone loves cheese. Here are a few of my tips for throwing together a fun and festive fromage ensemble.

  1. Stick to 3 different cheeses to keep it simple and not overwhelm the guests.
  2. Go for a variety of milks and textures. For example: 1 goat, 1 sheep, 1 cow. Or, 1 soft, 1 hard, 1 stinky.
  3. Pick cheeses that you like and always sample before buying if you can. Don’t worry so much about what pairs well together. If you like it, chances are others will too!
  4. Start the cheeses by slicing or crumbling a few pieces so guests know how to eat it. A big hunk of cheese can be intimidating to go at if you don’t know how to eat it!
  5. Leave cheeses out an hour before serving to get them nice and ripe (even the soft ones).
  6. Keep the accouterments simple and tie in elements from the cheese. For this plate, I added some dried cranberries (for the White Stilton with Cranberries), rosemary (for the Asiago with Rosemary), and some honey (for the fresh goat cheese).
  7. Keep the presentation of the plate more organic and flowing. It’s more inviting and more appetizing if it’s not so rigid looking.
  8. Skeleton hands, spider webs, or little mice (fake ones of course) can add a cheap and easy touch to your spread.