Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Thanksgiving Table

Entertaining during the holidays is one of my favorite things. I love the opportunity to be fancy, I'll take it any time of the year, but it's especially fun when it's cold out and everyone is ready to celebrate and eat as much as they can.

As a child my mother would let me set our dinner table for special occasions. I would admire all the silverware and pretty china, relish the scent of the cabinet the pretty things were stored in, get in a trance ironing linens and flipping through the Emily Post book and memorize how to arrange a place setting. 

I love the details.

When it comes to planning for a party, nothing beats an intimate gathering. One that is just small enough to focus entirely on the intricate details. Six place settings at a cozy table says it all to me. Think of of the deep conversations that will ensue.

I'm loving fresh centerpieces right now. Think fall foliage, squash and pumpkins from your garden, fruits, bright roots or branches. I was inspired by jewel tones and winter fruits and added some mint for contrast. 

There are some tips to keep in mind when arranging a centerpiece. In my opinion your goal should be to create a beautiful arrangement with as little clutter as possible. While table settings that are jungles of beautiful, shiny things can be inspiring, the lack of space is not. You wind up moving the little details all over the place and sometimes entirely off the table to make room. I don't see the point. 

Try to avoid items that are overwhelmingly distracting or too tall for eye to eye contact from across the table, but add height with a cake or candles. When it comes to candles I prefer them short and stout, with enough height to add dimension.  

Place cards are always a must. You can create a lively and fun environment just by placing the right people next to one another. Separate couples to some extent, sit the quiet next to the talkative, people with similar interests in close proximity and keep friends that tend to create a cliquish vibe apart. Whether you decide to go all out creatively or simply place a printed notecard on a plate, do go for arranged seating.

For my place cards, I chose to add the last touches to our table with some lovely pieces from a local boutique in the North End. Evolve Home has so many gorgeous tid-bits to choose from, I highly recommend stopping there to stock up on Holiday details for your home.

Here's to a beautiful table! I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.


Photography by Candice Hackett
Styling by Sarah Kyle
Place card details: gold pear candles, glitter tubes and gold frame in the background c/o Evolve Home 

**To check out more parties I have style, click the "parties" tab above. Here's a favorite of mine. If you are interested in hiring me to style your affair email me!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Holiday Place Cards // A Vintage Touch

More from the place card front. A way to control your guests using minimal "pintrosity" inducing craft techniques. This one is easy as eating pumpkin pie and adds a cute sparkle to your table setting. It's sure to be a hit and is completely fool proof. 

You could even print the name cards out if your penmanship isn't brag worthy.

You guessed it, use vintage brooches! Find some at a local thrift store/antique shop or scour your mother or grandmother's house for some.

Just make your name card (or print it out) and pin that pretty thing to it. All done. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Split Pea Soup

Brisk, cold evenings beg for a good soup, but as the winter drags on and you've made your signature chicken soup ten two many times it's good to have some alternatives.

The beauty of soup is it's one pot nature. This recipe is my mother's and she has made it for as long as I can remember. It was one of the first foods my oldest son ate when he was getting into solids and I remember him loving it so much he got a frantic look in his eyes.

The thyme provides 90% of the flavor in this soup, so it's arguably one of the most important ingredients.


1 lb dried split green peas
8 cups water
1/8 cup good olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme


• In a large stock pot add peas, salt and olive oil to water and let simmer for about 2 hours.
• Once the peas begin to soften, stir frequently to keep from sticking to the bottom.
• Season with pepper and thyme.