September 07, 2011

Hostess Survivor Guide - Part 1

Hostess  Survivor Guide to the Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner

It's a beautiful season! Nature is changing colors, leaves are falling and we are gathering the harvest in. The air is crisp. We leave our outdoor patios and start to feel a new appreciation for the indoors and the warmth of a burning fireplace... For me, it translates in time spent more in the kitchen cooking and baking....

Don’t get me wrong, I love summers but it’s so lovely to have an apple pie in the oven, a Chai latte in my hand, and a comfy seat by the fire.  There is something so magical about the fall season.  Most people always talk about Christmas being that special season and yes, Christmas time is my favourite as well, but autumn brings with it a season of thankfulness.  It’s one of the only times of the year that we actually reflect on the past and are grateful for all the blessings that we have. 
 Then, there is the changing of décor with the season. Even if your home looks nothing like fall you can add a few decorating elements. One way to cozy up a room is by adding (or changing) a few throw cushions, in warm, earth tones. Add some scented pillar candles on the mantle or on your coffee table. The glow can add warmth to any room. Use apple and cinnamon, citrus or other scented candles that you like. 

To decorate a table, take your inspiration from the Harvest theme and create a wonderful centerpiece with apples, pears, grapes, corn, and gourds. They are available at most local farmers markets or grocery stores. They come in different shapes and colors which makes them wonderful for decorating. They can be grouped in a bowl, added to centerpieces or floral arrangements or used as place card holders for a formal dinner party, like Thanksgiving.

Add fall accents to a table by making a centerpiece with fall flowers like chrysanthemums, adding new place mats and napkins, using scattered leaves, and fall colour candles, like burnt orange wrapped around in fall fabric or ribbon. Dress up a plain candle using cinnamon sticks (see photo above).

*Avoid using scented candles on the dining room table though as it can interfere with the scents of the food and could make some of your guests nauseous.*  

Make your own napkin rings using twine, fake berries  or fall blossoms tied together with floral wire, then tie them around the napkin. Set your table with richer tones – browns, oranges, mustards, and teal.  Try tying a leaf to you napkin to help bring the outdoors in.

Food!  Start adding some richer elements to your menu. 

These last couple of years my daughter and her family weren’t able to be home for Thanksgiving and though it was a little tough, I had wonderful friends to share the season with and I was thankful for that.

We rejoice in our harvest and we want to share our bounty with all our family and friends.  So we dream up a fancy dinner, we call up all our friends, and we run to the grocery store and the next thing we know, we are so stressed out we yell at our husbands, kick the dog, and end up in the bedroom with tears streaming down our face. Our glorious Thanksgiving dinner just lost its splendour.

From my experiences of trials and errors I want to share with you my thoughts and ideas to help you to achieve the same level of enjoyment, or more, that I have for the season of Autumn and all the pleasures that it can bring into your life.  For me, nothing makes me feel more cozy then sitting by the fire place and enjoying a hot drink by the glowing fire….or having the smell of freshly baked apple pie…which brings me to the Part 2 of my mini-series; Planning and Organizing
  Happy Autumn!

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