If we’ve ever met, chances are I’ve waxed on about my love of Charleston at some point or another, and if we haven’t, I’m sure the numerous posts I’ve written on the topic quickly gave me away. There’s just something special about the city. Sure, the weather is pretty perfect, the homes charming, and the food scene rivals that of a larger city, but what has always struck me is the sense of community.
Like the rest of the country my heart broke for Charleston last week, but scenes like this creative potluck featured on Lonny’s blog remind me that Charlestonians seem to come together by nature and I know they will do so in the wake of the recent tragedy.
The creative synergy in Charleston is truly inspiring and I couldn’t love the concept of this dinner conceptualized by Ellie Somerville McNevin and Lucy Cuneo any more. Ellie, founder of a boutique PR firm, and Lucy, a photographer enlisted the help of talented friends and fellow creatives to put together a backyard soiree.
From the invitations to the flowers, tablecloth, and menu, each guest had a hand in creating what appears to have been a magical evening and only stokes my desire to pack up and move to the Holy City. Charleston creatives, if we ever get up the nerve and move South, let’s be friends. You’re all amazing!
DC creatives, we should totally take a page out of Charleston’s playbook and create a magical evening of our own!
It’s almost here! I’m watching the clock waiting for it to be time for us to start our drive down to Virginia (fingers crossed we beat the snow!) and I’m looking forward to the holiday in a big way. We’ll be meeting my sister’s new puppy Penelope and I know that there will be pie in our future–it doesn’t get much better than that, right?
If you’re equally eager to start celebrating, here are a few distractions…
To Make Holiday Travel A Little Less Painful: This American Life is our go-to distraction when our 8 hour trip inevitably turns into a 10-12 hour trip thanks to the never ending traffic and construction on 95. We got hooked on their latest venture, Serial, on our drive up for the wedding back in October. It’s so addicting. If you have some combination of planes, trains, and automobiles in your future start listening!
Last Minute Entertaining Tips from Martha: A few tips and tricks from the master. I can personally attest to the fact that number two is a game changer–no more “where should we put the mashed potatoes?!” which I swear happened in my family every year.
- Lay out all of your place settings to ensure that you have ample plates, utensils, and linens.
- Label your serving dishes to help get organized, and relieve stress on Thanksgiving Day.
- Choosing the Perfect Roasting Pan:
- SIZE – The pan should be just large enough to hold the roast and no larger.
- ROASTING RACK – Use either a V-shaped rack or a flat grid type rack for even browning and clean pan juices.
- POSITION – Top of the roast should be in the upper-middle part of the oven for maximum air circulation for even cooking.
Getting a Head Start on Sale Shopping: When it comes to spending, my wardrobe almost always comes in runner up to my home, but I really can’t ignore it anymore. After donating and consigning three huge bags of clothes it’s time to re-invest! Financially, it’s super daunting, but with all the crazy good sales, this is the time of year to start. Here are a few I’ll be hitting up:
- Shopbop: Up to 25% off with code: GOBIG14. My strategy? Shop the sale section first and double dip on the discount. I have my eye on this jacket and am thinking this will be the perfect opportunity to try out this denim line people are raving about.
- Net-A-Porter: The site keeps crashing because it’s just.that.good. I’m going to keep looping back on this one because I’ve scored amazing deals in the past!
Ah, blue and white… has there ever been a more classic combination? I think not (although I’m admittedly biased, our wedding was blue & white!) These fantastic napkins in the prettiest shade of gray-blue were the jumping off point for today’s tablescape. Horn comes in a close second to my tortoise addiction so you know I’ll be buying these napkin rings.
I nixed formal china from our registry in a last minute freak out (too many patterns to choose from, was I picking the right one?!) but Hermes’ Chaine D’ancre is going on my short list when I finally get around to making a decision.
This bamboo serving set did stay on our registry, along with the corresponding flatware. I love that it can be dressed up or down and bamboo always seems to work with blue and white. Beautiful ribbed glassware and ginger jars filled with bunches of white blooms round out a timeless Thanksgiving table.
When it comes to setting a table, Eddie Ross is definitely part of the Master Class which is why I wanted to revisit one of my favorite Thanksgiving tablescapes featured in Lonny wayy back in 2010 (oh the good ol’ days when Michelle Adams was at the helm!)
One of the reasons I love Eddie’s tablescaping style is his uncanny ability to mix the old–often flea market finds and vintage treasures—with the new in a way that is always fresh, inspiring, and expertly layered.
I’m hardly DIY savvy, but this particular spread suggested a few tips that even I could imagine executing successfully, like giving vintage napkins new life with Tintex dye, or spray painting mini pumpkins and adding construction paper leaves to serve as place cards. Totally achievable, right? Famous last words…
Any plans for Thanksgiving DIYs this year, or something you’ve pulled off in the past you’re particularly proud of?
Our first Thanksgiving tablescape is a thoroughly modern mix of color and pattern that I happen to adore. Classic Spode Woodland Turkey dinner plates are given a fresh look when paired with faux bois chargers and hot pink napkins (one of my favorite sources for inexpensive linens–can’t beat a set of 6 for under $10!).
A wood grain runner continues the faux bois theme, and brass talon candlesticks might be a little macabre given the main course, but paired with striped taper candles they add the perfect element of whimsy. Agate coasters would be beautiful topped with glass votives interspersed along the runner, or at each guests’ place setting.
If you really wanted to make the table a show-stopper I can’t imagine anything more festive than a Bolivian frazada pillow on each chair. Your guests would be so comfy I can almost guarantee there would be less leftovers the next day!