You’re Invited: Thanksgiving Dinner

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I’m in serious denial that we’re halfway through November with Thanksgiving only a little over a week away – anyone else? I’ll be hosting for my family for the third year in a row, so it’s nearly down to a science at this point without a lot of guesswork or planning. But, you guys know how I love to plan imaginary holiday get togethers (see Thanksgivings past: 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015) so I couldn’t break with tradition no way, no how.

 

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Earl Grey Bourbon Punch // Grapefruit-Lemongrass Cocktail // Smokey Harvest Apple Cider Margaritas

Few things are more welcoming than showing up to a holiday spent with family and friends and being handed a cocktail. I like to have bar basics on hand for traditional libations, but a few specialties mixed up as well. Pitchers are great for this purpose, just label them with the cocktail inside. A nice punch in a bowl is even easier, just add a ladle and guests can feel free to serve themselves.

 

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Ceramic Marbleized Vases // DIY Acrylic Menu // DIY Blue & White Olive Holiday Wreath // DIY Metal Fall Leaf Garland // Molded Plaster Candlesticks // DIY Origami Cornucopia // Round Beeswax Pillar Candles // Small Brass Candleholders // Translucent Tealight Cups

This time of year I’m especially drawn to all things warm and inviting, so I want to have lots of candles sitting in out of the way places as well as on the dining table. Mix things up a little with different heights and widths to add interest. I also want vases full of greenery, a big full wreath on the front door, and the menu posted somewhere in a fun way so guests know what we’ll be eating.

 

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Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Tartines // Dark Beer Cheese Fondue // Slice and Bake Cheese Crackers

While guests are milling around talking to one another give them something to nibble on. I like how these particular three contain different levels of involvement – if you’re a little munchy go with the crackers, a little more the tartness, skipped lunch go for the fondue!

 

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Circle Chopping Block // Copper Louise Bowl // Copper Salad Serving Spoons // Faceted Marble Cheese Knives // Glass Cheese Dome with Oak Base // Ivalo Punch Bowl Set // Large Porcelain Serving Bowl // Round Nesting Ramekins // Serving Platter // Serving Dishes // Trap Pitcher // Acacia Tiered Server

Serving pieces are my absolute favorite part of planning any meal. For this one I’m opting to stay close to that warm and cozy feeling I already mentioned by using lots of wood, metal, glass, and ceramic pieces. The warm tones all pull together so nicely, and solid pieces like this are great for any season throughout the year.

 

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Blackline Stoneware Plates // Blue Chambray Cotton Dinner Napkins // Brass and Walnut Rail Trivet // Brass Photo Stands // Dearborn Wine Glasses // DIY Leather Napkin Rings // Flat Iron Trivet // Washed Linen Tablecloth // Aquarelle 5-Piece Place Setting // Brass Salt Spoon and Ceramic Cellar // Latte Mug Set // Porcelain Gray Plates Set

More of the same for the table itself. And though my table isn’t large enough to set out the entire spread of food, I like to pull in a few trivets. If I see guests going back for seconds on something in particular it’s easy enough to make room for one or two of the more popular dishes. I also like for my dinner and dessert dishes to feel related but not match, in this case both are a sort of stoneware grey.

 

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Challah Bread Stuffing // Crispy Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Parmesan Sauce // Gin Brined Turkey // Hasselback Roasted Beets // Homemade Turkey Gravy // Orange-Cranberry Chutney // Roasted Cauliflower with Breadcrumbs, Capers, Almonds & Raisins // Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing // The Ultimate Stuffed Artichoke // Toasted Sesame Mashed Potatoes // Whole Grain Apple Butter Parmesan Biscuits with Honey Sage Syrup // Wine-Braised Rainbow Carrots with Sage

This entire year I’ve been trying to eat close to the Earth, less processed food and more real food. My menu keeps in line with my intention, lots of vegetables and grains to feed and nourish the mass around the table. And all of it delicious!

 

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Cardamom Pear Upside-Down Cake // Mile High Apple Pie // Pumpkin Tiramisu Cake

Ahhh, now we’re down to it. The best part of the meal in my humble opinion, the sweet finish! At my house we usually take a little break between the main meal and dessert for everything to digest and settle, a (very competitive) game of Yahtzee is usually involved. Dessert is then had, to-go bags packed up full to the top, and goodbye hugs given.

I hope your Thanksgiving planning goes smoothly, friends!

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Pumpkin Bourbon Hot Toddy

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I can never get enough pumpkin when autumn shows its pretty face, no matter the form. So today I’m happy to take part in the #virtualpumpkinparty organized by Sara from Cake Over Steak with a cocktail recipe I’ve reached for a few times this month.

While experimenting I really wanted to accomplish two things:
1. Quick and easy to pull together.
2. Showcasing fall flavors.

 

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Pumpkin was a no brainer, and so was bourbon as far as I was concerned. My favorite lately has been Hudson Whiskey Baby Bourbon, a 90% corn and 10% malted barley combo that’s the first whiskey made in New York since Prohibition and the first bourbon ever. All of the ingredients are sourced within 60 miles of the distillery, with the end result being a little smoky with notes of vanilla and caramel. The perfect choice for this cocktail.

 

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Ingredients

• 4 C water
• 6 oz Hudson Whiskey Baby Bourbon
• 1/4 C pumpkin puree
• 4 Tbsp pure maple syrup
• 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
• 20 whole cloves
• medium apple, sliced

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat on medium, stirring occasionally, until gently boiling. Drink while hot, garnish with apple slices or cinnamon stick. Serves 4.

 

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Check out the rest of the nearly 100 other recipes being featured in today’s #virtualpumpkinparty listed over on Cake Over Steak and Twigg Studios!

 

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A special thank you to Hudson Whiskey for providing a bottle of their Baby Bourbon for use in this recipe!

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48 Halloween Things

Halloween was always played up as the best holiday at my house as a kid, which is probably why it remains my favorite to this day. I love the childhood innocence involved, as well as the more macabre side you learn about a few years later. My house is all decorated – maybe you’ve already seen it on social media – and I’ll be sharing more about that tomorrow. But for now here are four dozen All Hallows’ Eve treats I think you’ll love!

 

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1/ 2-Ingredient Ghost Chocolate Cups  2/ Caramel Apple Sangria  3/ Screaming Face Print
4/ DIY Ghost Tassels  5/ Hand Painted Floral Pumpkin  6/ DIY No-Sew Monster Trick-or-Treat Bags
7/ DIY Paper Leaf Fall Garland  8/ Double Double Toil and Trouble Print  9/ Halloween Devotional Candles
10/ DIY Ghost Pinatas  11/ Moon Garland  12/ Printable Fang Treat Bags

 

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13/ Printable Spooky Treat Bags  14/ S’mores Caramel Apple  15/ Skull Placemats
16/ Surprise Bloody Cake  17/ 3-Ingredient Hatchet Cookies  18/ Creepy Chocolate Chip Cookies
19/ DIY Bloody Baubles  20/ DIY Gilded Insect Faux Taxidermy  21/ DIY Marbled Candles
22/ DIY Optical Illusion Pumpkins  23/ DIY Skull Cake Plate  24/ Glow in the Dark Skull Pillow

 

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25/ Skull Wall Decal  26/ Kitchen Sink Halloween Chocolate Bark  27/ Black Crow Doormat
28/ Printable Halloween Art  29/ Printable Spell Book Covers  30/ Sanderson Sister Black Sangria
31/ Sophisticated-Spooky Chalk Poster Set  32/ Vulture Print  33/ Beyond is All Abyss Necklace
34/ Creepy Eyeball Lollipops  35/ DIY Fornasetti Trays  36/ DIY Halloween Silhouette Plates

 

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37/ DIY Marbled Indigo Pumpkins  38/ DIY Paint Pen Pattern Pumpkins  39/ DIY Sun Dyed Treat Bags
40/ Halloween Banner  41/ Hand Pillow  42/ Ladies Mannequin Hands
43/ Paper Bats Wreath  44/ Printable Spooky Candy Poppers  45/ Halloween Ornament Set
46/ Skull Chart  47/ Spooky Swirled Meringue Cookies  48/ DIY Wax Dipped Flowers

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Extreme Valentine’s Day Roundup

This roundup turned out to be a little haphazard. I’ve been bookmarking things here and there since early January and didn’t realize just how much I’d pulled together to share. So if you’re looking for the right gift for your sweetheart, a tasty cocktail or sweets recipe, free printables, or any number of other things… well, there are 80-some of them willing and waiting below!

 

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ROW 1: Instax Heart Glitter Frame // Beary Favor Bags DIY + Free Printables    ROW 2: Heart of Glass Mug // DIY Heart Drink Stirrers // Cherub’s Cup Cocktail    ROW 3: Custom Leather Banner Keychain // Valentine’s Day Cocktail // I Heart You Fill-In Books    ROW 4: Love Sux Conversation Heart Pin // Be Mine Heart // DIY Watercolour Heart Cookies

 

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ROW 1: Raspberry Mousse Meringue Hearts // Big Time Love // Many Moons Card    ROW 2: By Your Side Card // Bisous // Let’s French    ROW 3: Heart Sing // I Really Like You // DIY Confetti Treat Box and Printable    ROW 4: DIY Eucalyptus Heart Wreath // My Anchor // Always & Forever

 

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ROW 1: Forever Card // I Love You Card // Beautiful Smile Card    ROW 2: You Repulse Me the Least // Ombre Heart Blank Folding Card // Venn Diagram Love Card    ROW 3: You’re the One // Smitten Gold Foil Card // The Heart Cleansing Sponge    ROW 4: Printable Valentines // Bananas for Your Art Print // 5 Minute Paper Bag Valentines

 

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ROW 1: Lou Lou Heart Hipster // Readymade Be Mine Neon Sign // DIY Conversation Heart Cookies    ROW 2: DIY Love Tokens // DIY Flair Valentines // Heart Shaped Cookies    ROW 3: Printable Gift Wrap // DIY Colorful Paper Fortune Cookies // Tattly Heart Set    ROW 4: DIY Etched Heart Flair Pins // Heart Cake Knife // Big Love Ice Cream Bowl & Spoon

 

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ROW 1: Strawberry Heart Hand Pies // Red Velvet Melting Moments // DIY Heart Manicure    ROW 2: The Underpinning // DIY Envelope Liners // Red Velvet Sundaes    ROW 3: DIY Valentine’s Day Bath Bomb // I Love You Copper Foil Card // I Love You the Most Card    ROW 4: Crazy Love // Lucky for Us // Raspberry Chocolate Cups

 

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ROW 1: Heart Bun Tool Kit // DIY Hand Holding Hearts Pop Up Valentines // Red Velvet Popcorn    ROW 2: Heart Drink Stirrers // Sun Printed Heart Valentines // DIY XOXO Valentines Painted Planter    ROW 3: Printable Valentine’s Day Postcards // DIY Mini Bouquets // Love Card    ROW 4: DIY Breakfast in Bed Tray // DIY Square Lollipops // XO Valentine

 

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ROW 1: Beaming // DIY Envelope Wraps // DIY Gold Heart Garland    ROW 2: Single and Psyched Patch // The Pink Lady Cocktail // Crochet Heart Garland    ROW 3: Printable Rap Lyric Valentines Cards // H’Eye There Printable Valentines // Melted Chocolates with Edible Gold Foil    ROW 4: DIY Mini Eclairs // Printable Valentine’s Day Posters // Heart Eye Emoji Patterned Cake Roll

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Sideshow Press

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Designer-owners Amy Pastre and Courtney Rowson are creating amazing things for desktop, tabletop, and travel. Within the past year or so I’ve become a massive fan of these ladies and what they’re doing over at Sideshow Press. Amy and Courtney believe in great design and craftsmanship for everyday products and are dedicated to working with remarkable materials and like-minded American manufacturers. All things I stand behind wholeheartedly. It doesn’t hurt that they know their way around a letterpress machine like a couple of bosses either.

 

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Leatherette Postcard // Cocktail Tray // Note Pad // 5-Inch Drink Stirrer //
Lapel Pin // Napkin Coaster

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You’re Invited to Christmas Brunch

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I can hardly believe Christmas is a week from today! The holidays always seem to sneak up on me, but the unusually warm weather we’ve been experiencing here on the east coast has really thrown everyone for a loop. It’s been more of a challenge than usual to get into the spirit, but I’m doing my best. I’ve also been thinking about the brunch my family will be sitting down to Christmas Day and what it might include – and you’re invited.

 

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ROW 1: Buffalo Plaid Stocking // Choose Joy Banner // Felt Ball Wreath    ROW 2: Metal Cap String Lights // Nomad Candle // Painted Tin Merry Christmas Sign    ROW 3: Paper Top Star // Poplar Cone Tree // Porcelain Cityscape    ROW 4: Selenite Fireplace Logs // Teak and Brass Tree Stand // Wooden Tree

 

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ROW 1: 3-Piece Marble Trivet Set // Abbesses Plates in Green // Cotton Tablecloth    ROW 2: Heathered Napkins // Iridescent Serving Utensils // Kinto Dew Glass Tumbler    ROW 3: Lily Pad Tray // Maple Wood Kitchen Utensil Set // Marble & Wood Cheese Boards    ROW 4: Marble Ceramic Dinner Plate // Ombre Bottlebrush Trees // Painted Concrete Candleholders

 

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ROW 1: Black Tea and Cardamom Cake // Blood Orange Buttermilk Upside-Down Cake // Bourbon-Cherry and Almond Dutch Baby    ROW 2: Browned Butter Sweet Potato Squares // Caramelized Banana Bread with Gingersnap Butter // Cranberry Curd Tart    ROW 3: Eggnog Custard Oatmeal Brûlée // Make Ahead Orange Clove Rolls // Orange Pomegranate Scones    ROW 4: Ricotta Goat Cheese Polenta Bake // Roasted Broccolini, Bacon, and Caramelized Shallot Quiche // Salt Crusted Potatoes

 

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ROW 1: Blender Eggnog // Dark Hot Chocolate // Mulled Apple + Tangerine Cider    ROW 2: Mulled Winter Punch // Pineapple Cinnamon Sangria // Pomegranate and Orange Champagne Punch

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Alcoholidays 2015

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1/Cranberry Ginger Whiskey Smash  2/Butterscotch Eggnog  3/Cranberry-Apple Cider Punch  4/Pomegranate Vodka Fizz  5/Apple Brandy Allspice Fizz Cocktail  6/Fig Manhattan  7/Wassail  8/Cranberry Shrub Cocktail  9/Spiced Blueberry Rum Punch  10/Apple Orange Hot Toddy

 

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11/Persimmon Collins Cocktail  12/Pumpkin Punch Cocktail  13/Citrus Sting  14/Gin Citrus Punch  15/Ginger Blood Orange Margaritas  16/Cucumber-Infused Gin and Grapefruit, Black Pepper Fizz  17/Thyme & Citrus Moscow Mule  18/Apple Thyme Cocktail  19/Lemon Rosemary Bourbon Sour  20/Christmas Caipirinhas

 

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21/Chambord Ginger Beer Cocktail  22/Clementine Prosecco Cocktail  23/Key Lime Cooler Cocktails  24/Fig and Lemon Fizz  25/Rose + Rosé Bourbon Cocktail  26/Pear Spiced Sangria  27/Sparkling Pomegranate Punch  28/Cranberry Ramos Gin Fizz  29/Cinnamon White Russian  30/Jingle Juice Holiday Punch

 

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31/Boozy Chocolate Horchata  32/White Glogg Mulled Winter Wine  33/Cardamom Rose Gin Tonic  34/Pina Colada Milk Punch  35/Candy Cane Peppermint Punch  36/Cranberry Thyme Gin Tonic  37/Maple Bourbon Smash  38/Spiced Cranberry Paloma  39/Chai Tea Cocktail  40/Quince Hot Toddy

 

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41/Whiskey Hot Chocolate  42/Cider Bourbon Jam Cocktails with Ginger Beer  43/Pomegranate Poinsettia  44/Spiced Pineapple Rum Hot Toddy  45/Red Ruby Grapefruit Ginger Cocktail  46/Hard Cider Spritz  47/Spicy Rosemary Rhubarb Margarita  48/Black Peppercorn + Cranberry Shrub with Gin  49/Tamarind Whiskey Sour  50/Orange Cranberry Blended Margaritas

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You’re Invited: Thanksgiving

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I look forward to these imaginary holiday dinners every single year, and this Thanksgiving feast is no exception. This year, in reality, I’ll be hosting ten for the big day and am looking forward to pulling out the serving pieces that aren’t used nearly often enough as well as my trusty white dinnerware that goes with everything. However, this is how the day would look if I set the table and cooked every single thing I want to make!

 

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Apple Cranberry Moscow Mule // Autumn Pimm’s Cup // Crockpot Apple Pear Cider // Cucumber-Infused Gin and Grapefruit Black Pepper Fizz // Orange Cranberry Blended Margaritas // Tamarind Whiskey Sour

The moment guests set foot in my home I want to pass them a beverage or cocktail to set a tone of jovial relaxation. I find that having the makings of between three and six cocktails on hand is a good amount, that along with the usual bar staples should have you set for the day’s events.

 

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Antler Candle Holders // Bottlebrush Pine Wreath // DIY Pinecone Garland // Gather Door Mat // DIY Gobble Gobble Bunting // Hand-Dipped 18″ Taper Candles // In All Things Give Thanks Print // Modern Dinner Bells // Vanilla Cupcake Candles

Next I want them to take a second and notice some of the more subtle touches I’ve thought about. The muted palette, the mentions of togetherness and being thankful, the scents in the air. I don’t want to overdo it, because we all know Thanksgiving is all about the food and the table.

 

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Apple Cranberry Turkey Meatballs // Crispy Sweet Potato Wontons // Everything Bagel Goat Cheese // Pomegranate Salsa // Roasted Butternut Squash Hummus // Walnut and Honey Baked Brie

No one wants to wait around until dinnertime to start eating, so making sure there are plenty of appetizers sitting around to snack on is a big deal. Again, I like to stick with the three to six rule. This Thanksgiving I decided to keep things seasonal by sticking to recipes that include staples like turkey, cranberry, and sweet potatoes.

 

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1948º Oval Serving Plate // Copper Cocktail Pitcher // Criss Cross Watercolour Napkins // Copper Top Flatware // Dipped White Tray // Ellipse Platter in Watercolor Blue // Gugo Pitcher Jug // Hex Baking Dish Set // IVO ViRTU Copper Carving Knife Set // Long Zulu Platter // Marta Tasting Glasses // Oval Outline Trivet // Pemberton Ink Collection // Rain Tablecloth // Round Brass Tray // Space Place Card Holders // Washington Copper Tray // WUD Plate

This year I’ve put a lot of emphasis on the table, with plenty of ceramics, woods, and metals covering it from end to end. I’m reality I’d need a pretty big spread to fit everything I’m dreaming of!

 

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Balsamic Roasted Baby Carrots // Buffalo Cheddar Beer Bread Stuffing // Cauliflower and Coconut Milk Soup // Cheesy Garlic Butter Potatoes // Fall Slaw with Miso-Ginger Dressing + Tamari Pumpkin Seeds // Herb and Butter Roasted Turkey with White Wine Pan Gravy // Homemade Cranberry Sauce // Honey Roasted Brussels Sprouts // Market Bean Salad // Orzo with Goat Cheese and Arugula // Prosciutto and Sage Garlic Bread // Sweet Potato and Rosemary Gratin

The main event! I’m forever hoping for one of those lingering meals in the movies, when in reality we spend an entire day preparing a feast and everyone’s pushed away from the table in less than thirty minutes. I think I’d like to serve this spread a few dishes at a time, almost forcing everyone to slow down and enjoy the smaller things – like each bite and every word.

 

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Apple Cider Doughnut Cake // Blackberry Jam Tart // Flaky Apple Dumplings with Salted Maple Caramel // Gingersnap Pumpkin Pie // Pumpkin Chocolate Crumb Cake // Sugar Cream Pie

In my opinion nothing tops the day like a slice of dessert. Any dessert. Again, I like that three to six rule of thumb. The beauty here is that whenever someone asks if they can bring anything, well, there can never be too many deserts. Have some boxes on hand so people can take home some of whatever they didn’t get a chance to try at the table.

Come on over any time after 3 o’clock!

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Your One-Stop Halloween Roundup

If I’ve never mentioned it before, Halloween is my favorite holiday. I’d actually wager that it’s my family’s favorite, so it was essentially ingrained in me from the get go. Some October soon I plan on having my first Halloween party since, oh, college. But this year I’ll be celebrating at a friend’s house party with a snarky costume that you’ll have to see on Instagram! In the meantime, check out DIYs, party ideas, food and cocktails, and of course pumpkins.

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ROW 1: Dyed Halloween Treat Bags // Halloween Banner    ROW 2: Halloween Transfer Wood Plaques // Paper Maché Candy Bowls // Plaster Hands    ROW 3: Printable Halloween Treat Bags // Printable Stick ‘O Treats // Spooky Cornstalk Decor    ROW 4: Witch Broom // Floating Head in a Jar // Spectral Mirror

 

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ROW 1: Apple Votives // Bone Stirrer    ROW 2: Toilet Paper Roll Candy Garland // Eyeball Ping Pong Ball Lights // Pumpkins in the Chimney    ROW 3: Floral Skull Centerpiece // Mid-Century Table Lamp // Witch’s Curtain    ROW 4: Menu Balloon // Muertos Plates // Wax Dipped Whiskey Glasses

 

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ROW 1: Chocolate Covered Caramel Popcorn Balls // Dark Chocolate Mocha (Full) Moon Pies    ROW 2: Blood Slide Suckers // Poison Toffee Apples // Halloween Surprise Cookies    ROW 3: Halloween Candy Bark // Chocolate Jack-o-Lantern Graham S’mores with Homemade Marshmallows // Marbled Candy Apples    ROW 4: Brain Cupcakes // Monster Doughnuts // Skewered Eyeballs

 

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ROW 1: Get Lucky // Black Widow    ROW 2: Cinnamon Candy Apple Cocktail // The Grave Digger Cocktail // Creepy Cocktail    ROW 3: Monster Cocktail Stirrers // Black Lagoon Cocktail // The Poisoned Apple    ROW 4: Shrunken Skull Cocktail // Sleepy Hollow Cocktail // Witch’s Brew

 

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ROW 1: Constellation Pumpkins // Melted Crayon Pumpkin    ROW 2: Fresh Floral Moon Pumpkin // Galaxy Art Pumpkin // Halloween Floral Centerpiece    ROW 3: Copper Snakes Pumpkin // Malachite Pumpkins // Nail Polish Marbled Pumpkins    ROW 4: Mud Cloth Pumpkins // Gold Studded Pumpkin // Tissue Paper Pumpkin

http://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/travel-dining/interviews/a3864/death-and-co-classic-cocktail-recipes/

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Happy Weekend

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This week on Design Crush:
Karen Gunderson’s Water series is deep, moody, and made of the unexpected.
Check out the 12 wardrobe pieces on my fall wish list.
Meike Harde’s aquarelle technique A. genius B. mind-blowing C. all of the-above.
Such a beautifully inspired collection of home pieces from Pop & Scott.
Want to feel all of the feelings? Take a peek at Betsy Walton‘s introspective paintings.
A solid collection of 12 modern DIYs to attempt in September.
See a next level mastery of color and layering in Torben Giehler‘s paintings.
The most incredible perpetual calendar you’re likely to ever see.
Sonia Pulido‘s transitional art is spot-on for autumn.

Design Crush elsewhere:
It’s almost that time of year – is your house guest ready? Some tips and tricks to help.
I’m getting ready to dress my place up for a very vintage Halloween!

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