A (Belated) Housewarming Party

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Hello, my name is Kelly and it took me just over two years to have a housewarming party. It’s a ridiculous thing and maybe I should have called the party I had last Saturday an open house, but a housewarming is what it was. Aside from my immediate family and friends there haven’t been a ton of guests and plenty of people were curious, or so the past 26-months would lead me to believe. So last month I decided I was ready to entertain on a larger scale and invited fifty people over for November 19th. Not only would everyone get to mix and mingle, but the timing also meant my place would be clean and ready to host Thanksgiving Thursday! Two birds, one stone.

 

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I knew I wanted to do as little cooking as possible, which meant it was going to be heavy snacks and appetizers. Everyone knows those are the best parts anyway. But the thing I was most excited about it, aside from seeing everyone, was getting to use all of the serving pieces I’ve collected with World Market generously filling in the gaps (source links following the post). In fact, I pulled out all of the Type A stops by laying everything out a few days before and labeling them with Post-Its so I knew where all of the food was going to go.

 

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I made up a delicious apple cider sangria and infused water with citrus fruits, both were set out in decanters in serve yourself fashion. There was also a selection of Italian sodas for underage guests, a variety of beer, and so many bottles of wine! Let’s just say I’m set for the entirety of the holiday season thanks to my guests and their generosity.

 

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A non-negotiable for hosting any party is the presence of cheese. Well, at least it is in my book. I picked up six fancy varieties as well as plenty of sharp cheddar, gouda, swiss, and pepper jack to go on crackers and mini toasts. Oh, and there was a parmesan spread as well because cheese is delicious.

 

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Minted, one of my favorite ongoing partners, is currently running a promotion where all of their digital invitations are free though December 31st, so I was fast to hop on the train and email out this type heavy invitation. My timeline was a little too tight to order their fabric table linens, so I went with the prettiest gold foil-pressed table runners for both the dining room table and buffet instead. Not only did they protect the wood, I was also able to roll them up for later use since there were no spills! I also customized some of Minted’s Inkblot foil-pressed place cards with foods that might need some explainging, like my Mom’s addictive cracker candy. All it took to use them in a new way was some toothpicks and tape!

 

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My stepdad made his famous poppyseed cake that’s actually a recipe from my Mom’s grandmother. At the end of the night there were only three pieces left, which made him plenty happy. I’ll be sharing the recipe here in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

 

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I picked up the florals here and there throughout the prior week and kept them well watered until I was ready to put together the arrangements Friday night. If your table is longer than 96-inches I recommend going with two slightly smaller, yet equally tall bouquets for more of an impact. Some empty places on the table were filled in with produce – apples, acorn squash, oranges, and persimmons. It’s a great trick, just use whatever is seasonal.

 

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Recently I had picked up some lavender extract paste that I was anxious to try, so I baked up a batch of lavender cakes with lavender-honey cream cheese icing in some cute paper cups. I’m not sharing the recipe because I think they forgot an ingredient or two, but they looked so pretty!

 

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The party got started around 4:30 and I think the last guests rolled out around midnight. I had such a great time playing hostess that I basically forgot to eat and the only thing I drank was coffee, but I’d call it a success! My house was filled with so much love and laughter, and just maybe the first snow of the year that happened during the party was a sign of good to things to come.

Charcuterie Cutting Board // Marble Paddle Cutting Board with Copper Handle // Oval Wood Tray with Copper Handle // Woven Bamboo Salad Bowls Set of 2 // Mid-Century Creamer // Bamboo Salad Tongs // Small Olivewood Spoon // White Frosted Glass Pedestal Stand // White Rectangular Lacquer Serving Tray // White Coupe Oval Platter // Black and Gold Double Walled Ice Bucket  // Mid Century Bottle Stoppers Set of 2

A special thank you to Minted and World Market for providing product to help turn my party into a reality! And thanks to you for supporting the brands that help keep Design Crush creating fresh content.

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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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Seaworthy

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We’ve shared Seaworthy‘s incredible jewelry collection before, but sometime in the year and a half since they’ve started branching out into small objets for the home. Each piece is both beautiful and functional – a palo santo set, brass salt spoon and ceramic cellar, bookmark, cocktail picks, incense holder, and jewelry storage hook – all hold their own weight in this small but very well designed collection.

 

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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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Pitchers + Jugs

I’ve been taking stock of serving vessels that I have in the house as holiday entertaining season starts to draw near. By putting out pitchers of water, decanters of wine, and jugs of cream for coffee you’re sure to save yourself time and make your guests feel very much at home. No one needs to ask about refills when it’s serve yourself!

 

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ROW 1: Pot De Lait Collection // Arctic Jugs
ROW 2: Carter Pitcher // Gold Serve Pitcher // Halston Pitcher
ROW 3: Morandi Pitcher // Northern Lights Pitcher // Onyx Dipped Pitcher
ROW 4: Stainless Steel Mirror Pitcher // Still Life Jug // Trap Pitcher

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Sigrid Calon Memory Game

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I grew up as an only child activities that I could do on my own were kind of a staple, and memory games were one of those things for sure. I’ve added this grownup, graphic take on the classic featuring fluorescent, Risograph print-inspired patterns by Sigrid Calon to my game collection at home. The cube holds 52 paired cards and works as a design-savvy gift, mental challenge, and beautiful art object.

 

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The Dreslyn Tarot Deck + Guidebook

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Hi, I’m the girl who took a deck of tarot cards to church camp and was promptly reprimanded by my counselor. That is to say I’ve always been intrigued by a wide range of belief systems and not one to believe something just because someone says to.

The Dreslyn Tarot Deck and Guidebook sets are the collaborative efforts of The Dreslyn and Kati Forner, who took what is almost always ornate in design and pared it down to a stunning minimalistic look. Each includes all 78 traditional symbols as well as a concise guide book, allowing a novice or advanced reader to interpret the suits, symbols, and card meanings. Choose from the Rose Gold Edition or the Silver Edition.

 

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