Friendsmas | Both my friend Jamie and I traveled for Thanksgiving, removing the possibility of left overs and entertaining at home, so we decided to host a Friendsmas together! We menu planned and joined forces for a tasty meal. It was so fun to work together for holiday merriment. My responsibilities included pre-dinner cocktails, the turkey, rolls, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and a salad. I made a turkey breast in the crock pot and until we have bigger crowds, J and I will not be going back to roasting turkeys. It was SO SO SO good. I used a recipe from Skinnytaste and because Jamie and her fiance brought gravy (among other amazing tasty items) I used the liquid/vegetables left in the crock pot as a soup base that J and I could not get enough of. Following dinner we went and looked at Christmas lights before calling it a night.
Girl’s Earring Exchange | I hosted some dear friends from Athens (who almost all now live in Atlanta) for an afternoon of snacks and an earring exchange. I tried my hand at a fancy cheese plate (#roomtogrow) and had cookies, mimosas, and hot cider.
Cake Contest | An office at work hosts a huge holiday party and they are always kind enough to invite our little office. One element of their party is that there is a dessert competition. I HATE cake decorating but I got a bee in my bonnet about entering the contest with a decorated cake. I did a little pinterest sleuthing and landed on a beauty from Country Living. It took about 2 days of prep work and if you happen to read through the recipe you’ll see at end SEVEN sticks of butter went into this cake between the frosting and cake itself. The frosting was a pain–I had to add a ton of water to make it spreadable, but we got there. It was also my first go round on sprinkling the sides of the cake…again, #roomtogrow.
However, the cake got made, the trees got created, and I got the cake into work (with the hubby helping me carry it into work). The cake won first place in presentation and my prize was 2 tickets to brunch at The 4 Seasons!
Wreaths, wreaths, and more wreaths | Last year at work I was majorly disappointed with the wreaths that we rented from a company. After they were packed up and went away I told my supervisor that I would like to make them myself for our lobby. The team was on board with that and when November rolled around I rolled into Michael’s for some quality time with picks, ribbon, and wreath bases. I spent about an entire day watching YouTube videos on how to make bows and ended with 3 wreaths, including this one:
A coworker saw my handiwork and asked if I would be willing to craft a few wreaths for her and her family. Enter more time at Michael’s, a couple of evenings with craft wire, more time on YouTube and ended with these:
Finally, hubby asked, “where is a wreath for us?” leading to this:
I am hoping hat none of those balls start popping off. I sorely underestimated how heavy the wreath would be and it makes me a little nervous, but hey, we have our own wreath now! And I feel confident to make any wreath for our front door.
J and I hosted our 3rd annual Halloween party and we went all out!
There were decorations and thematic food, and a photo booth:
“Healthy” candy corn
and our costumes took actual effort:
Tying a bowtie was a slight challenge
Despite the festive-ness, it may be our last party. Do not get me wrong. It was a house full of people we all really enjoy and consider our good friends. But, with the exception of 2 couples, they were all good friends who did not know each other. J and I struggled to be in 3 different places at a time and we ended feeling stretched thin. As I was pondering it I realized at the first Halloween game night it was all J’s friends and I was the outsider. For last year’s it was mostly J’s friends and a couple sets of mine, so overlap. But this year—lots of independent circles. While we are torn about hosting a large event again and ended tired, we are glad we did it. We love our people, and it was a fun time to put on some costumes with tasty snacks.
The Sunday after the party we went to late church service so we could get our house put back together beforehand. After getting home from the “membership interest” meeting (we joined) we went to Piedmont Park and walked the Beltline and trails for about 2-2.5 hours. It was so hot and I did not feel well so there was no running involved. After getting home I prepped our lunches (chopped Brussels sprout salad for me, processed zucchini for J’s veggie side) and made dinner (stuffed cheesy chicken, roasted cauliflower, basalmic green beans, and focaccia bread from the farmers market). I worked on a photo job before going to watch Walking Dead, then hurried to bed.
In September I had the joy of partnering with some lovely ladies to throw one of my dear friends a baby shower celebrating her and baby girl! The shower was full of lots of love, tasty food, great presents, and much rejoicing. Can’t wait to cuddle this sweet baby when she arrives!
Kelli’s sister set the theme of including tractors and farms (totally appropriate for our guest of honor). I googled “diaper cake” and came across tractors made out of diapers and I had so much fun putting this guy together for Kel. The total labor was about an hour and a half (and a lot of that was trial and error).
A baby shower game that led to lots of laughs and fun!
The Grazing Station; each hostess provided a different food item or two and everything came together so well! And all of the food had a farm name, “haystacks” “veggie patch” “spinach and artichoke patch” “barnyard cupcakes” “biggie sandwiches”
Hostesses and the guest of honor: