Saturday, November 26, 2011

Gearing up for Christmas

How was your Thanksgiving? I still feel full!

Today I wanted to blog about why I am thankful for Holiday Parties.  
I love Christmas time because it is a great excuse to go to lots of parties. My husband and I both have big fun work parties, Secret Santa parties, we have a Christmas Eve Breakfast party, Baking parties, Cocktail parties, Christmas movie parties, and many other fun parties. What is the best Christmas party you have gone to?
Here are some simple ideas for throwing a gathering at your house this year:
  • Decide on what type of party you want. Do you want a big bash with alcohol flowing, do you want an intimate dinner party, do you want a cookie exchange with your girl friends?  Decide what is most important to you and what you want to accommodate.
  • Pick a date. The Holidays are booking up so pick your date, put it on your calendar, and send out a Save-the-date to all of your guests ASAP.
  • Decide on a menu. You can do anything from a dessert bar, just appetizers, create your own cookie bar, a full catered dinner, or make your traditional family favorites.  
  • Plan your decorations. Use anything from flowers, holiday nick knacks, lots of candles, etc. Cherry Kissed Events is awesome at helping people decorate for their parties. You can also check out some great online resources like Martha Stewart's website:  
  • Plan the events for the evening. Do you want Christmas music playing in the background?  Do you want to play games? Do you want to go around the room and have everyone share what they are thankful for this Christmas?  Think about what would be special to you and your guests at this party.
  • Lastly, do it!  Get everything you need and have that great party. Have fun this year!  Christmas only comes once a year.
We are excellent at planning great Holiday parties if you need a hand in planning your party this year.  Contact us to book a party!  

BONUS: Here are 3 great Holiday ideas:

1st) Free Christmas printables for your Holiday dinner table, party, or to top your presents

2nd)  If you are feeling crafty here are 101 gift ideas that you can make for your friends or family
 3rd) Here is a really cute Christmas card idea-very easy to make

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful for TURKEY! {Day 4}

With only three days left till Thanksgiving I'm showering you with all you need to know to make the perfect turkey! It’s important at any event to give people what they expect and a little bit of the unexpected.

I am so TICKLED to be spending Thanksgiving with our best friends; we might as well call them family.  Right now the baby is napping and I am working on some Christmas crafts because my internet is down and I can’t get on! ARGH it's driving me crazy, but it makes me focus on things I am thankful for like the INTERNET! But that’s not the blog for today, but it does lead way to what I am thankful for and that is; all the resources we have to make the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey this year!  Yummm Turkey:)

I’m watching my Martha Stewart recordings and she is showing all the best side dishes for Thanksgiving and how to carve the perfect turkey. Fun fun! 
Click picture to learn how to carve your turkey like this!

After many years of making Turkeys, the best one I have ever had is a Deep Fried Turkey!  Here’s a yummy recipe to click and check out:
Emeril's Fried Turkey

To brine or not to brine?? Martha says NO – my neighbor says yes, want to try a brine this year? Here’s a five star recipe to try! 

For our health nuts out there who don’t want to fry their turkeys, try this Roasted Turkey Recipe for something fun without the guilt!  
Click picture to get this recipe:)

TURKEY TURKEY TURKEY! Now you have the task of figuring out which turkey you want to make this year.  Most people stick with their classic family recipes, but I dare you to go out on a limb and try something new!  In my family we always buy two smaller turkeys and do something different and fun to one of them and still keep one for our classic recipe.  Then have a table taste test! It’s really fun for dinner table conversation.

Favorite side dishes: I’d love to go on and on about some classic side dishes but THIS blog is all about the Turkey!  But I don’t want to leave you hanging so here are some links to some favorite side dishes you can try!

Martha Stewarts Green Bean Casserole with Caramelized Onions

Click picture to get this recipe:)

By far the Best Oyster Stuffing

Click picture to get this recipe:)

The Perfect Gravy

Click picture to get this recipe:)

Fannie Farmer’s Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese (or as I call them “Cheese Noodles” :)This is a traditional real 1946 recipe that you can bring to life again! Yummm can’t wait to make it this year.

Click picture to get this recipe:)

OH and I can’t leave without sharing these super fun Kid Friendly Thanksgiving ideas:

Click picture to get kids recipes and look for fun crafts to keep the wee ones busy while you cook:)

TIP: Make sure you let your turkey sit out for 20-30 minutes before you carve it to keep a nice juicy bird

TIP: If you’re not going to stuff your turkey place a few pieces of plane bread inside to keep its plump shape!

- Hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful and that you remember all you are thankful for each day! –Cheers*Nicole

Friday, November 18, 2011

What I Am Thankful For-Day 3

One thing I am always thankful for during the holidays are all of the beautiful cards I get in the mail. I love to see pictures of my friends and family and accept their wishes for joy and “merry” in my home. I usually choose to send out Christmas cards every other year. This year I will be sending out Christmas cards but I decided that instead of buying cards I would like to make them. I found these great ideas on I love the simple and cute ideas that I can choose from.
Decorate A Paper Tree On A Christmas Card

created on: 11/25/08

Stamp A Quick Holiday Card Greeting

Check out more cute ideas here: 

Use A Dingbat Font To Create A Quick Holiday Card

Accentuate Parts Of A Holiday-Print Paper To Make An Easy Card

Which card do you like? What are you going to do for Christmas cards this year?

I hope you find a great idea and run with it.

Have a great weekend.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I am Thankful For: Martha Stewart {Day 2}

Today and everyday day I am so thankful for MARTHA STEWART!!  
Every thing Martha does is perfect! I love her show, her magazines and her great user friendly web site to give you inspiration.

This blog in particular will give you simply, unique, fun Thanksgiving Table setting ideas to get your guests or family really feeling thankful to be at your table!  Even adorable kids tables to boot...

Here's a simple idea if you have glass plate, just slip a real or fake leaf underneath and walah! Cute plate setting! 

Doesn't this look familiar?  We spray painted pumpkins for decoration all over for our Fall High Tea and for Halloween decor on the porch! Easy peasy...and here is Martha using them for her tables...

Don't forget the kidos! It's no Thanksgiving with out the excitement a little one brings for turkey and sweet potato pie. Here is the most adorable and teachable table setting for the wee ones.  Teach the kid's the Mayflower story as they embark on there table settings! 

Paper Pilgrims Table: Create a Mayflower centerpiece for the kid's table by lashing a watercolor paper sail to wooden dowels and anchoring it in a small, pebble-filled pail. Paper bonnets and hats are easy to craft with these printable templates. (again thank you Martha!)

I just wish I was having a sit down Thanksgiving Feast so I could make these adorable place setters! Next year...

Were all about easy and affordable or FREE! Go on a brisk walk around the block and if your as blessed as we are in Northern California you can collect these Fall colored leaves to create name tags for your table! +Black paper and white pen = done!

Visit Martha Stewart's website for even more Thanksgiving ideas..Let us know what YOU are thankful for?? - Nicole

Monday, November 14, 2011

What I am Thankful For-Day 1

Today I am thankful for some great Do-Your-Own holiday gift ideas that I found on Pinterest (from many other cool sites).  I don’t know about you, but things are tight for us this year.  So, being able to still give some adorable gifts to my friends & family without breaking the bank is awesome! 

Here are some great jar ideas that I am going to glean from:

I am going to make the peppermint Cocoa and the Lemon Sugar Hand Scrub.

 The Peppermint Cocoa was originally featured in “Sunset Magazine” and the Recipe is here:

The Sugar Lemon Scrub was originally featured on “Under the Table & Dreaming” here (you can also add your own variations like almond oil, lavender, or grapefruit)

I would also love to try making homemade Vanilla for my friends and family sometime.  The bottles and labels really make it a special gift.

Thank you “Texas Cottage Blog” for posting these adorable ideas.  I am excited to try them out and I will let you know how it all turns out.

You can see all of my Holiday gift ideas on my pinterest here

Happy Holidays & Remember ALL You Are Thankful For This Season!

Love, Kendall

Friday, November 4, 2011

Locally Helping others this Christmas Season...

I have always wanted Christmas time to turn back into a real time of giving to someone less fortunate and in need.  This year, instead of thinking about it, I want to actually do it!  In my time of serving in the Air Force in Japan I was consistently helping in the local orphanages during this time of year.  Now that I have started my family I really want to emphasize how important this is; that it is not all about us but about what can we do for others less fortunate than us.  There is always someone less fortunate then we are.  My best friend and co-business partner, Kendall, has put together a LEGITIMATE list of people we can help, serve, or give to. Because I didn't want to just write a check and be done with it I asked Kendall for help in what resources and places are legitimate for donating.  She has worked with a lot of organizations and friends that are personally involved in these things, so I can trust her advice.  I really want to make relationships with those that I give to for some reason God has put that on my heart.  I'm hoping to find a family or single mom or child that needs some love and support through letters and packages that can continue forever or until they get on there feet.  So here is the LEGIT list that Kendall created for me that she knows of these people personally so that you can help to!!! 
 CLICK THE LINK YOU WANT TO CHECK OUT!Some local and abroad sites:)
The Salvation Army-adopt families for Christmas-contact your local Salvation Army
Bless you this holiday season, create a Thanksgiving Tree and remember what you are thankful for this month, and start preparing for what you can give during Christmas time!  -Nicole Johnson

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Intimate Backyard Tea

Pyxie Productions of Roseville: Photography
We threw a "Fall Backyard Tea Birthday Party" (that's a mouth full!) for our friend and client, Heather, this last weekend.  We spent many weeks planning this event and thinking about all of the little details. We met with Heather multiple time and had unlimited contact with her to keep the lines of creativity going to get exactly what Heather wanted with still a few surprises in store for her that day.

Nicole keeps telling me that God is on our side with this business because little things happen all the time to make each event special.  Before this specific event we worried about getting good photos of all the details and hard work we had put into the party, but luck was on our side that day.  We randomly got a call from Jaymie from Pyxie Productions Photography in Roseville.  She had seen our business card in Shady Coffee.  On the whim she decided to call us and see if she could work with us and she was willing to came out and take some pics of our party.  So, enjoy a few good pics below.

About this party:

Heather wanted a party in her backyard where she could invite her closest friends for a tea. She wanted a fall theme and she wanted some fun details like an option for her guests to dress up.  Heather was a great client because she basically let us take creative license with the decorations.  She just wanted a great menu, pumpkins incorporated, and some fun games.  We were on a limited budget so we came up with some fun inexpensive ideas.  We incorporated a tea time trivia game and a game about the Birthday girl.  We spent time on a lot of little details like gold framed pictures, gold painted pumpkins, gold framed mirrors, and lace and burlap in other areas. Lace & burlap lined the tables, and pumpkins hid in many corners.  We also handmade tags for all the tea pots and food.  We found some great gold fabric leaves that we stamped with the word 'Joy' and put under each tea cup.  Each setting of tea had a classic original china setting that has been around for years in Nicole's family line.  As always, we love to rent from our dear friend Marci from Sacramento Vintage Crockery Rentals for all her cute unique things that add flare and fun to our tables.  We were able to get some crystal jam jars and extra tea pots from her for this event.

The favors for the guests were mini pumpkins signed with fun saying from the birthday girl.  We decided to make a mini pumpkin patch to display the cute pumpkins.  Each guest was asked to go pick their favorite and take it home with them.

We had a delicious fall menu that included butternut squash soup, Fat Cat scones, classic tea sandwiches, pumpkin cookies, and some amazing teas.  We found the most yummy Chocolate Mint Black Tea that was so delish it didn't even need sugar.

Heather did not want a traditional birthday cake so we ended up having an amazing cake from Ettore's Bakery of Sacramento.  It was a Tiramasu Birthday Cake with some Cherry Kissed Flare!  We made a special birthday flag that was displayed on a cute twig.  We also paired the cake with a tea cup full of flowers and fall leaves.

We put so much time and effort in all the details of this special party. We wanted the perfect touches that showed Heather's guests just how much they meant to her.  Many of the guests commented on what a great party it was and Heather was so pleased at how everything turned out!  Some even said it was the best party they had ever been too!  We could not ask for a better compliment.  We want to thank everyone who came and our great vendors for helping us out.

Celebrations Rentals of Roseville: Chair Rentals

-Kendall Burley

Enjoy the pics: