GIVE THANKS AND GATHER

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There is nothing I enjoy more than sharing a delicious meal with family and friends. And for that very reason, Thanksgiving might just be my favorite holiday. This year, because of travel plans following the holiday, we are preparing to host Thanksgiving dinner for the first time in our home. Also because of travel plans following the holiday, I needed a no muss, no fuss dinner set up that would be an easy clean up (especially with a toddler on the loose) and allow us to enjoy more time with our family.

My mom hack for an easy dinner clean up? Disposable (gasp) plates and utensils. I repurposed disposable bamboo plates, made by the aptly named brand, Bambu, and gold plastic utensils, both from Lena’s birthday party last summer. Not only are the plates an environmentally friendly alternative but they offer a more elegant display at the table when compared to traditional disposable options.

Much of everything else for our table set up was repurposed. Rosemary and a little pampas grass from our own garden, little mercury glass votives we typically use for year round decor at the dinner table, and then gold chargers borrowed from my mama. The chargers were originally from Pottery Barn years ago but a similar style can be found from Michaels for only $1 each here.

Finally, my easy clean up set up was made complete with a tablecloth designed from one of my personal most trusted brands, Gathre. We have and continue to use several mats by this brand, everything from diaper changing to play, and now dining! Plus, you can get 25% off mats from their site now for their Black Friday sale!

Get: disposable plates from Bambu here // tablecloth mat from Gathre here // letter board from Letterfolk here

A Year of Firsts: Bridal Shower Gift

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Fall is increasingly becoming a popular time for weddings. In fact, the hubs and I are preparing for four weddings this season, one of which will be celebrating the union of his youngest brother and our soon to be sister-in-law. Admittedly, I often struggle with the (bridal or wedding) shower gift registry because the sentimental side of me seeks a more personal gift. There was no exception to this for my sweet, soon to be sis-in-law's bridal shower.

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For me, every year of marriage is my favorite; yet, there was something so extra special about the first. I was originally inspired by the champagne glasses on the couple's registry and planned to combine them with a nice bottle of champagne to use for celebrating their first wedding anniversary. While exploring the idea with my trusted friend, Google, I stumbled upon another - a "basket of wine for those special moments in time".

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I inquired with the groom-to-be about the couple's wine preferences and combined their favorites with hand lettered tags for a variety of "first" experiences as husband and wife. I also hand lettered little messages about each experience on the back of the tags.

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Coincidentally, the couple registered for storage baskets; so, I purchased one for their gift and added the above mentioned champagne glasses with a wine accessory from their registry. I completed the gift with a little reusable slate plaque, reading "A Year of Firsts" and attached it to the basket.

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Looking for gift ideas this wedding season? I find it helpful to not only purchase from the registry but to get inspired by it. And if all else fails, here's an idea that is sure to please both the groom and bride-to-be! For a nonalcoholic version, try substituting the wine bottles with candles for a similar effect.

Get: basket from Target here // slate plaque from Michaels here // tags from Amazon here