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Posts tagged ‘centerpieces’

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

Thanksgiving Highlights

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Here are some highlights from our day, in addition to the great company and great food, of course!

With a record number of guests coming, let’s just say I had better things to do the night before than trace, cut and tie 115 paper leaves!

But once everyone wrote in what they’re thankful for and we hung the leaves on branches, I was excited to see them all hanging beautifully in the late afternoon sun and the way the bare branches gracefully bent, heavy with all our blessings.

Later that night, I was thinking how one could take this a step further by creating a game out of it. Guests could take turns reading one and guessing who wrote on each leaf. We didn’t end up doing that, but I did enjoy reading the leaves after everyone had left. It was an eclectic mix of heartfelt and humorous sentiments, by both children and adults.

Livi and I also created our own version of the veggie turkey tray from a previous post. We had fun with it, but then, (gasp!) I realized afterwards that I forgot to put out the hummus dips! Bad hostess :(

I was probably a bit distracted with cooking two turkeys (of different size) and working out the seating. We had to move some furniture around but we happily discovered that the two long buffet tables we keep on hand for parties were the perfect height AND width when lined up to our dining room table… SCORE!

Compared to past years, I kept the centerpiece fairly simple this year, but was still happy with the results. It consisted of a few candles surrounded by small pieces of driftwood connected by fishing wire. Sometimes, less is more.

Here’s hoping you have leftovers and a long weekend ahead!

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

The Thanksgiving Table

Some people are busy planning their menus and beginning the food prep in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. I’m on the hunt too… but not for Grandma’s pumpkin pie recipe or a new sweet potato dish. I enjoy hosting the big event but my real love lies with creating the centerpiece! Here are a few things I’ll be experimenting with this year:

Ornamental cabbage/flowering kale

Turnip and pumpkin votives

and some driftwood. I never know exactly what I’m going to end up with until I make it, so I like to have a few items to play with. Need more eye candy? Just enter Thanksgiving in the blog search to pull up past posts on centerpieces.

Isn’t this turkey veggie tray cute? Livi and I are going to tackle this after we get the real bird in the oven!

And this paper bag turkey looks like fun too!

I also want to do a giving thanks tree like this one; you’ll find the leaves on Etsy.

Happy planning!

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Pinterest Picks of the Week

Wondering what to do with all those animal figurines sprinkled around the house?

Colorful wall art


Favor boxes


Awesome string letters


Festive photo balloons for a birthday or anniversary

(Wedding Chicks)

Ever photograph your youngster with a mirror?


Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

A Tree-ific Yarn Craft

from Jamie

Love the simplicity and unexpected colors in these yarn trees! Directions can be found at One Pearl Button.

(image courtesy One Pearl Button)

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Teeth, Turkey and Tree

from Jamie

I hope everyone had a long and memorable holiday weekend! It was good to have a break from the everyday routine, but it’s also nice to be back in the saddle, so to speak (even if it’s a tighter fit thanks to a couple of food-focused days!)

The last five days were chock full, and began with Livi finally losing not just her first tooth, but her second as well. After feeling like she was the only second grader in the whole world who hadn’t lost a tooth, she was happy to experience this big kid milestone. We, as parents, were relieved as well, since two rows of teeth is what you’d expect to see in a wild predator’s mouth and not your kid’s. Holding the baby teeth between my fingertips, it’s hard to believe just how tiny they are; I’d like to think this is the reason it sometimes takes my kid FOREVER to finish her meal!

What have I learned about this particular rite of passage? The bottom two front teeth are usually the first to go, followed by the top two in front. Most kids have their first loose tooth at age 5 or 6, but it can happen when they’re as young as 4 or as old as 8 (Livi happens to be 7-1/2.) Some kids do indeed develop two rows of teeth — often called shark’s teeth — when the permanent teeth come through before the baby teeth have fallen out. The new teeth will push forward on the baby teeth, usually causing them to fall out within a few weeks (but according to, consult your dentist if the double row lasts for longer than three months.) And one interesting fact to counteract the anxiety of late losers? There’s actually an advantage to getting permanent teeth late because the teeth will be harder as a result of remaining in the jaw longer, and they’ll be more resistant to cavities. And to answer the last question I have — kids lose about 20 baby teeth between the ages of 6-12 so 2 down and only EIGHTEEN to go!

Being the family of planners that we are, we were armed and ready for this long-awaited event with our very own Twinkle Toof by Toysmith, which makes for a fun and handy place to store teeth until they’re in the safe and trusted hands of the tooth fairy. It also glows in the dark which provides much-needed assurance that the mystical purveyor will find the tooth and leave a financial reward.

As timing would have it, the teeth came out the night before Thanksgiving, providing us with yet one more thing to be thankful for. The turkey was a success and after torturing myself for a short time, I ended up with the centerpiece below. The main attraction was a “peanut pumpkin” I picked up at a local farm stand at the beginning of October. It’s also referred to as the warted sugar marrow, and is a light-colored heirloom winter squash covered with warts that look like peanuts. First grown in France, early-stage peanut pumpkins look like regular green pumpkins. They don’t start to develop warts until they begin developing their color. The flesh of the pumpkin is high in sugar and when it extrudes through the skin, it cracks and forms the interesting-looking warts, which continue to form even after the pumpkin has been harvested. It tastes like a regular pumpkin, with a little sweet potato mixed in and can be cooked like any other pumpkin. I just had to have it when I first saw it!

I also included some butternut squash and turned them into flower vases by cutting off the tops and carving out some of the flesh. I selected the flowers below for their bright color and graphic quality. It didn’t hit me at the time I was putting it together but several guests commented on how the arrangement had an underwater quality to it, not unlike coral and sea anemones. Some years I have a clear vision of what I want to do and it’s just a matter of collecting the pieces but other times, like this year, it’s more of a mysterious path from start to finish and I might not use everything I gather or I’m improvising at the last minute. But I enjoy the creative challenge since my other focus of the day — the turkey — is a fairly straightforward process.

The third part of the long weekend included finding this year’s Christmas tree and decorating for the holidays. In case you’re wondering why I included a picture of the storage bins below, I’ve come to realize that one of the most exciting moments of the holiday season for Livi (topped only by Christmas morning) is the moment I bring up the bins from the basement. She anticipates the event for days and gleefully explores the contents for hours. Not only is she reunited with favorite objects, she is also reminded of past memories. And there is always some holiday-specific craft that she immediately dives into. We also experience the bin phenomenon prior to Halloween and Easter.

Hosting Thanksgiving one day and transitioning to the holidays the day after makes for an exhausting amount of housework in a short period of time, but seeing the joy on my daughter’s face reminds me that there’s more to a holiday than just one day. Let the celebrating begin!

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

From Turkey to Table

from Jamie

Wow. Thanksgiving is just one week away! For eight years now, I’ve hosted the big meal and what I enjoy more than prepping the bird or eating it is the challenge of creating a fresh, new look for the table each year. So what am I doing this year? I have no idea but it all comes together once I start hunting and gathering! The clock is ticking. In the meantime, here are some ideas from past years and even better, some inspiring arrangements from Better Homes and Gardens. Enjoy!


Friday, August 19th, 2011

Review: Play With Your Food

from Jamie

If you’re tending to your own garden or making frequent trips to your local farmer’s market this month, you may have an abundance of fresh produce in your kitchen. If so, what better time of year to check out a copy of Play With Your Food.

Ok, so I haven’t gotten around to trying out the fruit and veggie figures in the book. But don’t let that stop you from being inspired in other ways!

Here’s hoping there’s lots of play in your weekend… enjoy!

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Party Animals: From Plain to Perfect

from Jamie

Here’s a simple DIY project to create one-of-a-kind candles for a child’s birthday cake, found via Little Lovely, created by The Sweetest Occasion. This would also work well with baby or wedding shower-themed objects.

(images courtesy The Sweetest Occasion)

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

The center of attention

from Jamie

A great way to get kids excited about a special meal, or better yet, to make an everyday meal more special, is to ask them to create a centerpiece for the table. Let them have full creative freedom (unless it involves grandma’s crystal, your wedding china or that vase you brought back from overseas!) It will spur their imaginations and give them great pride in contributing to the celebration. And don’t be surprised when they enthusiastically ask about a centerpiece the next time you are prepping for a memorable meal. The ultimate goal? Tell them they did such a nice job with the centerpiece that maybe they’d like to set the rest of the table too!

Celebrating the beginning of summer and all things nature, by Livi.

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Lil Sugar Blog Feature: National Park Baby Shower

from Jamie

Thanks to Lil Sugar for including Egg2Cake’s passion for parties in their Real-World Baby Shower Pics, Tricks, and Inspiration feature!

Adventure Hits Close to Home with a National Park Baby Shower

What kind of a shower do you throw in November for someone who’d rather be outside than inside and who hiked in Alaska when she was pregnant? None other than a National Park Baby Shower! Guests were advised of the theme well in advance, when they received their passport invites that included a shower itinerary, arrival logistics (comfortable shoes, water and bear bells are recommended, and use caution if packing in edibles), an equipment/survival gear list (a.k.a. registry info) and GPS coordinates.

Upon arrival, trail markers directed the guests down the long driveway to the private setting and lodge-like destination. Once inside, guests were heartily refreshed and a wild time was had by all as we celebrated my brother and sister-in-law’s journey into the unmarked territory known as parenthood! (p.s. No humans or animals were harmed in the celebration of this event and all activities were in keeping with the guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Recreation and Procreation.)

“Passport” invites arrived via the mail and included a shower itinerary, GPS coordinates and registry info (i.e. equipment list/survival gear for one bundle of joy)

A smores centerpiece and species identification for all

Guest favors: packing list, journal and eye pillow (purchased from Michaels)

On to the watering hole…

The food chain

Campsite cake (by Jennifer Haubert)

Party game #1: Survival 101

Party game #2: Identify the scat

Warning: You may never eat chocolate again!

The hostess’ gift: A library of wilderness books

The proud mama-to-be