Thursday, November 24, 2011

Au Naturale Thanksgiving


September, October and even most of November rolled around and I was without any ideas nor time to prepare for Thanksgiving. It's been a roller coaster of repairs, sickness, lack of sleep, full schedules and that's just the kids!

But I knew that I wanted to do and make this Thanksgiving special just like the others as we truly have a multitude of reasons and things to be grateful for.

For starters, our loving family; without them, we would all be like chickens with no heads! lol (true, though)
For God and his Son who sacrificed much for us, and this year alone, our own family's blessings are innumerable!
For my children and husband-where would I be without the frustration and chaos? (at a beach sipping pineapple smoothie, maybe?)
For having a brain that works for me- it landed me a temp job that I LOVE!
For our home that kept us warm, cool and in between
For higher education- there's just nothing like knowing you have a degree to fall back on.
For music and books! My sanity saver, for sure!
And for friends and wonderful acquaintances-- rounds you out as a person (who wouldn't want that?)

Ok, ok... Here's what our dining room looked this year... Mind you, this idea came to me, 3 hours before the ham had to be in the oven. And it took me 45 minutes total to finish. All I had before that, were mums. Just mums. ("Brain" was also under the weather...)

"Under the Canopy of Gratitude"

"Our Crape Myrtle Trees"

I first would like to confess: With 15 CM trees around our house, appreciating them is not always easy for me. Add to the fact that our neighbor also have about 5 big ones that drape over our fence and it's like we are in a grove of CM trees! But this Fall, I am in total awe of each trees individuality: I had one tree full of vibrant red leaves, another yellows only, another, a wave of orange-red and another, a dull burgundy... In short, just a beautiful Autumn rainbow!

I'm so glad I'm not a shopper, but rather, I'm a gatherer. A gatherer of ideas around me... Enjoy the view!

No fancy vases of plant holders, they are held together by the nandina and crape myrtle branches! Had the tealights forever (Ikea). I used the nandina berries, leaves and crape myrtle branches from 4 different trees we had around the house. Who knew the myrtle leaves can produce shades of yellow to burgundy? Just amazing during Fall!
I also found 2 great runners from JCP Outlet ($6), other than that, no direction, no ideas swam in my head. It was so frustrating! I even went and visited multiple blogs, but none gave me that "a-ha!" moment.

So it was back to just using what I already have, and I think it worked out better. I cut several branches of CM trees and placed them everywhere to give the illusion of being under the canopy of CM groves. It was very calming sitting in this room...

This beautiful chandelier, my sister gave it to me this past summer, it's called "Carolyn". (Costco)

Does anyone know what tree these beautiful leaves belong to? I see them everywhere around here, but I have no idea what they're called!
I used fallen leaves and branches with colorful leaves. I only had to purchase 2 bunches of burgundy & chartreuse mums ($8)
Dinnerware: "Tuscan Retreat" (BHG, Walmart)
Silverware: "Katrina" (Oneida, Sears)
Glassware: American Living (JCP-Discontinued, 80% off + extra $15 off $15 coupon)
Placemats: Woven Round, Kohl's (80% off)
Hurricanes: Michael's (75% off, 2005)

Even though it's just our family this year, my children were not going to let me get away with ordering any food, but since I've been under the weather, we opted for quick dishes:
Cliff House (Maine) Clam Chowder, Honey Butter French Bread (from scratch), Sauteed Asparagus, and the newest dish, Lobster Medallions & Chanterelle Mushrooms with Saffron Butter Sauce and of course, the Spiral Ham with Sugar & Spice Glaze

The dessert table always have to be just as exciting as the dinner menu: We always have fruits, cookies (gingerbread shaped cookies-maple leaf & acorn-21 cent clearance find at Kroger's)
You want to know which pies we chose this year?
Bittersweet Ganache Pie with Shortbread Cookie Crust
Key Lime Custard Pie

I'm linking up with Michael Lee at Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday

I hope you enjoyed our Thanksgiving feast this year. Thanks for stopping by; hope it gave you ideas for yours next year!

TABLESCAPING IDEAS: ("Brain" is glad to pull through this year!) Just like I did this year, often ideas just don't come, but don't panic, instead look around! Take a walk around the neighborhood and observe the colors, textures and smells of Fall. Then imagine what you would love to bring into your own home.


  1. Everything looks so pretty and the food looks and sounds so yummy! Sorry you all have been under the weather.
    Thanks for stopping by and hope you and your family had a Happy Thanksgiving also.

  2. We did have a great Thanksgiving! Thank you for visiting!

  3. Looks fabulous! Love your new chandelier! Enjoy your Sunday!...hugs...Debbie

  4. You set a beautiful, warm welcoming table. I love your dishes placed on your gorgeous runner. Thank you for swinging by to say hello. hugs ~lynne~

  5. Thank you all so much for visiting!


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