Making Spirits Bright

I have never been the “hostess with the mostest” type of girl. Since Emily and I became friends forever ago, I have relied on her for these kinds of things. Over the years, I have probably called her with a hostess or etiquette related question a million times.

 

“Help! I have to make a cheese plate!” 
“How long do I have to send a wedding gift?” 
“SOS, Joe’s parents are coming over and I have to cook.” 
“How do I make chili?” 

She has gotten me out of countless situations like this. I have always admired the way she does everything so effortlessly. Thanksgiving dinner for twelve people is no big deal for her. The timing is always perfect, the dishes and servingware all match, and she looks perfect doing it. My friend Bobby used to tell me that I was lucky my personality was so entertaining because that’s about all I brought to the table (don’t worry, he meant it with love). I am proud to say, I have come a long way since he said that.

Before I moved in with Joe, I had my routine down: oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast, a salad or sandwich every day for lunch,  and usually eggs for dinner. Typical “single girl” behavior- and I had been in this routine for years. When we moved in together I promised myself I was going to make a solid effort to be more domestic. I had finally met someone that I wanted to spend my life with- so I wanted to start making that life a good one. I started cooking more and became more adventurous when it came to trying new recipes. Joe and I both pack our lunches for work every day so it was important to me that we both always had home cooked food for each meal.

My absolute favorite part of my journey into domesticity has been decorating our house for the holidays. I had always traveled home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc – so I never had the need to decorate my own place; because my parents always did such a good job and that’s where I always was. Now that Joe and I are building our own life together here in Pacifica,  it’s important to both of us to be as festive as we can and start our own little traditions.

Living in the Bay Area- you sacrifice a lot of things in order to be able to call Northern California home. Some of those things include: space, parking, closets, updated kitchens, spacious bathrooms etc. Coming to terms with this has been difficult for me- as most of my friends and family have very large and spacious homes in Reno. While we technically have room for a tree- it would be pretty cramped. Because of this, we really rely on smaller decor accents and seasonal serving ware to get our place “holiday ready.” After lots of practice,  advice and help from my friends & family (especially Rachael for helping me with the floral arrangement), and a lot of really cute new decor- I think I finally nailed the holiday tablescape.

I absolutely love all of my holiday items from Crate & Barrel. When I saw the Glitter Wreath, I knew that I wanted it to be in the center of my table.  I love that you can use it with or without the London Hurricane– and change the color of the candle at any time.  As always I love pieces that can be used for a multitude of things. The Brooklyn Vase and the Tilt Bowl can be used all year long and tweaked for specific holidays or occasions. For my decor this year I also pulled things that I use every day and turned them into holiday items. I filled tall vases with mini gold and silver ornaments and I pulled the Mercury Glass Votives  (that normally hold my makeup brushes) and put them on the table as an accent as well. The Snowflake Ramekins and  Dish Towel are two of my favorite touches. The dish towel really pulls the look into the kitchen and makes the kitchen more festive. The ramekins are perfect for baking, serving, or using as a candy dish. They make another appearance in an upcoming post featuring the recipe for my famous Peppermint Oreo Truffles, so keep an eye out for that!

The Camille Wine Glasses just might be my favorite part of the entire tablescape. I have had my eyes on these for years- and celebrated a raise at work by buying them. Each time I use them I feel like a badass a la Olivia Pope. And, of course, the holiday wouldn’t be complete without some nice red wine. This Sanford Pinot is especially festive because of the gorgeous red and green label, not to mention the amazing taste! Use code TERLATOINSIDER for 20% off your order at Uncorked!

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**A huge thank you to Crate & Barrel for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own. 

 

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