Holiday Hospitality Guest Room Essentials

Holiday hospitality guest room essentials in mi casa es su casa fashion fit perfectly into the ’tis the holiday company’s coming season.  Creating a comfortable home away from home guest room for visiting family or friends begins with holiday hospitality guest room essentials.

luggage

Our Canadian snowbird arrived home last week, officially kicking off the There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays party.  That red suitcase is the ultimate holiday decoration.

“The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friends and family, Mr. Emerson.

guest-bedroom-essentials-quote

The goal at Places In The Home is for our guests to need or want for nothing.  My darling Daddy welcomed guests with a heartfelt declaration “if we don’t have it, we will get it.”

Welcoming words for sure, and that is the objective.

anderson-geo-quilt

When Dave the Builder and I are overnight guests at the homes of friends and family, we consider the comforts of home furnished by our hosts not only thoughtful, but guest room life savers.  Let’s take a look at my list of guest room essentials.

Guest Room Essentials

Topping the list of guest room essentials is space!!!  Dresser and bedside tabletops and drawers cleared and ready for guests to clutter set out and fill is always appreciated.  To reduce the risk of scratching the top of a dresser or bedside table(s), simply place a plush bath towel or blanket on top of the furniture piece.

Joy Mangano Huggable Hangers® 10-Pack Shirt Hangers

wrinkle-releaser

Closet space complete with extra clothes hangers and a bottle of wrinkle releaser, thank you.

luggage-rack-guest-room

Rack ’em up

I like to put out one or two luggage racks for our guests to utilize vs. wall to wall luggage on the guest room floor.  Navigating the guest bedroom should not resemble an obstacle course.

Looking good, Billy Ray!
Feeling good, Louis!

The snowbird loves our long standing holiday tradition of watching the movie Trading Places on Thanksgiving night (Black Friday Eve).  I love the above line from the movie, and seize every opportunity to inject it into a conversation.  His and Her looking good-feeling good baskets are a big hit with overnight guests.

holiday-guest-toiletries-basket

His and Her looking good-feeling good baskets are a big hit with overnight guests.

travel-kit-him

travel

Wrap these welcome kits up and tie them with a holiday bow for festive gifting fun.

Gift Your Guests with the Gift of Comfort and Hospitality

guest-bedroom-flowers

Festive faux or fresh flowers.

H2O-Cone-Night-Bottle-Set

A beside water carafe.

willow-basket

A stylish basket packed to please with his and her slippers, plug-and-power charging station for devices, reading glasses, tissues, extra toilet paper, room and linen spray, and a pair of mini flashlight (to avoid things that go bump in the night like toes and kneecaps).

guest-room-essentials-ideas

Extra blankets, a scented candle, note pad with pen, and trinket tray on the bedside table or dresser top my holiday hospitality guest room essentials list.

through-the-woods-jar-candle

Through The Woods – Signature Soy 2-Wick Candle

Over the river and through the woods, To grandmother’s fantastic smelling house we go.

wifi-frame

Staying connected to the world wide web while connecting with friends and family is the business and leisure routine of daily life.  Holiday sales, where to go, what to do, checking emails and social media, tracking Santa’s route- when you need to know you need the password.  Frame a WiFi password printable for beside table display so guests can connect to your WiFi network.

Downtime is the Right Time

noisli

Noisli

Travel, especially holiday travel, can be a stressful event.

Enter Noisli.

The Noisli app is a little peace on earth and goodwill toward traveling men and women.  Peaceful background noises promote a serene environment conducive to a relaxing sleep.

A Good Read

Place a few best sellers and shelter magazines around the guest room for guests to enjoy.

end-table-booksDomino – photography by James Waddell

A good read before bedtime can unwind even the tightest of clocks, and is proven reading often promotes a better night’s sleep.

i-read-past-my-bedtime

Guest Room Service

A bedtime sip and snack is a token gesture of comfort, or as we say in Louisiana, a little lagniappe.  A tray of holiday or anytime of year sips and snacks served in room service fashion is a hospitality treat.

Dunking_OreoMilk & Cookies

A glass of ice cold milk paired with home for the holidays cookies.

decorated-doors-wreaths-Christmas-cookiesDecorated Doors Cookies

What do we holiday have here?

hot-cocoa-oreos

Hot Cocoa Oreos.

sipsA mug of hot cocoa  goes well with the holidays.   Add a zing of seasonal deliciousness to hot cocoa with a dollop of flavored whipped topping, peppermint or cinnamon sticks, a splash of Kahlúa or a generous shot of Southern Comfort for a 21 and over spirited nightcap.

tea-cup

A relaxing cup of decaffeinated sweet cinnamon spice herbal tea.  Little details pamper and please, and a bedtime treat always goes over big with guests.

homesweethomepillowingreen-1

It’s the little touches that make them feel right at home sweet home for the holiday.

Love your style!

The Celebration Countdown to 4th of July Party Ideas

The celebration countdown to 4th of July party ideas is on.  Allow me to take this opportunity to express a very big thank you in patriotic colors to the Earth, sun, moon and calendar year 2016 for the three-day weekend we have to celebrate Independence Day.

thank-you-noteZazzle

The big blogging plan to share with you pops of 4th of July party ideas for your copying, ordering, and/or purchasing consideration fizzled out like a firecracker with no pizzazz.  An area wide internet outage hit the Places In The Home neighborhood last week, and with it went my connection to the world wide web.  That’s two internet outages in one month, but’s who’s counting?

internet-outage

Meet Jeremy, the at&t man with the get you back online ASAP plan. Jeremy, your good deeds and expert skills are greatly appreciated.  You’ve got a well deserved three-day weekend coming your way.

thom-filicia-fire-pit

Now comes the disclosure portion of this post.

Disclosure:  As it in life and disclosure policy compliance with FTC rules, honesty is the best policy. This post contains affiliate links.  If you click on one of the product links and make a purchase from the retailer, I receive a commission from the sale. To read the entire policy in full (fun, fun) please read my disclosure page. 

Our 4th of July three-day holiday weekend plans are set to serene with an emphasis on slow and easy.  Outdoor living spaces furnished to the hilt in summer style and let’s get the patriotic party started creature comforts in mind deliver just that.  Let’s take a look at some, shall we?

white-hanging-chair

 

The Swingaswan Hanging Chair is a stylish throwback to the hanging chair glory days of the swingin’ 60s & 70s.   Just add a decorative pillow, a refreshing beverage or summertime treat, a good read and you’ve got yourself a rest and relaxation haven for the 4th of July three-day weekend.

loop-siclesPopsicles and champagne come together to make Summer’s Sweetest Sparkling Sipper.

How to Make Rainbow Sangria from Country Living Magazine

lemon-icebox-pie-ice-cream

Lemon Icebox Pie Ice Cream 

Ingredients

3 to 4 lemons

2 cups half-and-half

1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

3/4 cup coarsely crushed graham crackers

Directions

Grate zest from lemons to equal 1 Tbsp. Cut lemons in half; squeeze juice from lemons into a measuring cup to equal 1/2 cup.

Whisk together half-and-half, sweetened condensed milk, and lemon juice. Pour mixture into freezer container of a 1 1/2-qt. electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. (Instructions and times may vary.) Stir in graham cracker crumbs and lemon zest; transfer to an airtight container.  Freeze 2 hours before serving.

~Southern Living via My Recipes

 

okl-historical-documentsA good and patriotic read ~ American Historical Documents

A star spangled theme is instantly recognizable as the traditional theme of 4th of July celebrations.

Eagle-glasses

In keeping with tradition, the American flag meets and greets neighbors and friends, but I opt to decorate with items such as fabric and serveware in a broader range of holiday patterns and colors.

flying-the-flag

The activities, food, sports, colors and celebrations generally associated with the summer months give great inspiration. Pick a favorite as your 4th of July party ideas theme foundation and go 4th from there.

summer-fabrics

OnlineFabricStore

Wallpaper and fabric closeouts can be a great source for affordable and stylish patterns to use as tablecloths, table runners, napkins, basket and serving dish liners.

4th-of-July-party-ideas

Handbag charms as napkin rings?

Absolutely!

I picked up six of these long fringe handbag charms on clearance at Rue21 for $1.20 each to use as napkins rings and parting party favors.  Love the look, the price and the dual purpose.  Blooming blue hydrangeas from the yard of a very generous and giving neighbor will star in the centerpiece arrangement along with a trio of small American flags.

Simple.  Affordable.  Appropriate.

Lincoln_Square_Farmers_MarketLincoln Square Farmers Market

Our star spangled celebration menu takes a celebratory cue from the best part of the summertime bounty- fresh from the farmers market fruits and vegetables.  I am entertaining the thought of developing a recipe for s’mores cake to debut over the 4th of July holiday weekend.  Fresh beans, roasting marshmallows, and bursts of color on the table and in the sky. That’s how we snap, crackle and pop a 4th of July party in the USA at Places In The Home.

fresh-squash

These 4th of July party ideas place an emphasis on fun, easy, delicious, stylish, and affordability.  Celebrate smart, safe and stylish this 4th of July holiday weekend.

Love your style!

***Post contains affiliate links***

Our Home For The Holidays

Happy Holidays friends!  We are T-3 to Christmas 2015, and the joy of the season is electric by way of white Christmas lights and treasured traditions.   Welcome to our Home for the Holidays where the theme of comfort and simplicity is well represented.

grape-vine-tree

Our tour is of the dining room and the part of the foyer decked for the holidays. The dining room, a forever work in progress, has seen several design and decor changes in 2015, and will continue to see more in 2016.  The walls are devoid of artwork (the piece you see in this photo is part of the kitchen gallery wall) and the style jury is unable to reach a unanimous decision on accent rug vs. hardwood floors.  The dining room isn’t the only space getting a makeover.  My Mother’s Day gift from our son was paying for the new wallpaper I fell in love with at first sight but took several months to decide if I really had to have it. Turns out I did. Dave the Builder began the project, but real life obligations and unexpected circumstances stepped in and halted the foyer beautification project.  Patience is not only a virtue it is a necessary tool of the trade in design and decorating.

our-home-for-the-holidays

On the Monday before Christmas, my true love gave to me.  A single Santa leopard-ing

Santa-dinner

and a Christmas goose in the foyer displayed in front of the new zebra wallpaper sitting pretty (pronounce it prit-tee and it rhymes with tree.  Get it?  Partridge. Pear Tree).

Christmas-Goose-in-foyer

A  holiday table centerpiece of magnolia leaves and holly is indeed so Southern, so holiday, so easy and so beautiful.

magnolias-berries

angel

Bob’s Sweet Stripes as swizzle sticks and crystal finial ornaments as wine charms? You bet!

home-bar

I purchased these vintage mini framed Madonna prints for my kitchen gallery wall.

place-setting

Inspiration is everywhere.

ring

The subject matter is holiday appropriate, and the petite size of the framed prints sealed the DIY deal.  Napkin rings it is!

frame-napkin-ring

mother-and-child

I have collected Victorian inspired Santa Claus figurines for years.  Due to the epic move aka the gift that keeps on giving, combining two households into one and the renovation of my childhood home into our new to us home, most of my Santa collection now resides in climate controlled storage.  These inexpensive stand-in Santas have no great provenance or famous artist signature assigned to them, but I do love the colors and facial features of these old world replicas.

Santas

A picture is worth a thousand words, and this perfectly imperfect image serves as a visual reminder of my personal design and decorating philosophy.  Perfection, style and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  The life lived within a home comes alive through personal style and taste, and there is nothing more gorgeous than a home that beautifully illustrates personal style lives here.  Design and decorate it with a sense of you!

dining-room-table

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Love your style!

Thanksgiving Turkey Talk: How To Cook A Turkey

Tryptofantastic turkey times make the holiday celebration go round.  With the holiday countdown on, the Thanksgiving turkey talk centers around how to defrost and how to cook a turkey.  Being prepared for the gather round the table holiday celebration with a bird done to absolute golden perfection is the Thanksgiving holiday way to go.

plymouth-turkey-platter-1

Williams-Sonoma

Well then, let’s get the how to cook a turkey conversation started.  You may want to copy and paste or at the very least hit the bookmark icon- there’s some good information here.

raw-turkeyMy Recipes

Rules of Thawing:

Last minute does not work well in the grand scheme of turkey thawing. Since the majority of supermarket turkeys are sold frozen, prepare to thaw. Figure 1 to 1½ pounds of turkey per person when purchasing the bird.

As tempting as it may be to leave the bird out on the counter to expedite the thawing process, don’t.  Why invite a problem to the party?   You don’t need or want the hassle of food poisoning.

For Refrigerator Thawing:

Place turkey on a tray to eliminate leakage to other areas of refrigerator. Thaw breast side up, in original unopened wrapper on a tray in the fridge (40 degrees F or below).  Allow at least 1 day of thawing for every 4-5 lbs.

Suggested thawing time for a frozen turkey:

4 to 12 pound turkey:       1 to 3 days
12 to 16 pound turkey:     3 to 4 days
16 to 20 pound turkey:    4 to 5 days
20 to 24 pound turkey:    5 to 6 days

Cold Water Thawing:

Thaw breast side down, in original unopened wrapper.  Cover the turkey completely with cold water.  Change the water every 30 minutes.  Estimate a minimum thawing time of 30 minutes per lb.

4 to 12 pound turkey:       2 to 6 hours
12 to 16 pound turkey:     6 to 8 hours
16 to 20 pound turkey:    8 to 10 hours
20 to 24 pound turkey:   10 to 12 hours

Now, let’s say Thanksgiving Day comes and you’ve followed the above rule, but the turkey did not cooperate and the bird is still frozen.  Then the bird needs a soak.  Place the uncooperative turkey in a kitchen sink filled with cold water.  Soak the bird 30 minutes per pound to thaw; changing water every 30 minutes.

Remember to practice safe turkey prep & handling.  Clean and sanitize all the surfaces and utensils that come into contact with the uncooked bird and its juices.

mrs-meyers-apple-cider-scent-dish-soap

Don’t forget to wash those turkey covered hands thoroughly with soap and warm water!

Prepping the Bird:

Remove any contents from the turkey cavity.  Remove the clamp from around the legs.  Remove the extra skin from the neck area.  Tuck the wings up under the turkey bottom to prevent burning.

stuffed-turkey-on-platter

Martha Stewart

If you plan on stuffing the turkey, now is the time to do so.  The ingredients you will be stuffing the turkey with can be prepared ahead of time.  It is advised by the USDA to keep the wet and dry ingredients separate.  Keep wet ingredients refrigerated until time to use.  Do not mix the wet and dry ingredients until time to fill the turkey cavities, filling loosely.  Immediately cook the turkey.

Use a food thermometer to make sure the center of the stuffing reaches a safe minimum internal temperature of 170 °F.

Rub butter, margarine, or oil of your choice under the skin of the breast area, over the legs, and the turkey undercarriage to promote browning.

Place turkey breast side up on rack in your roasting pan and secure legs with kitchen twine.

prepping-turkey

Martha Stewart

Seasoning the Bird:

Rub turkey with seasonings of your choice of seasonings such as salt, pepper, thyme, garlic, rosemary, or Creole seasoning.

turkey-seasonings

I usually add a stalk of celery cut into three equal parts and ½ peeled and sliced onion or 2-3 cut green onions.

Add 1 ½-2 cups of chicken broth or white wine to roasting pan to keep the turkey moist during baking.  Cover with roasting pan lid or a foil tent for first 1-1½ of roasting.

turkey-seasoned

House and Home

Roasting the Bird:

Roast the turkey at 325 °F using the chart below as a guide for approximate roasting times.  The turkey and the stuffing is done when the internal temperature reaches an internal temperature of 170 °F. Make sure to also check the stuffing for an internal temperature of 170 °F.   Use a food thermometer to check the turkey in the thickest part of the breast.  The internal temperature should reach 170 °F for safety.

turkey-cooking-chart1Resource: USDA Food Preparation and Inspection Service

I do not baste our turkey.  I find opening the oven door frequently allows the oven temp to swing and adds more time to the roasting.  Sufficient prep and seasoning will keep the turkey moist.  When the turkey is done, remove it from the oven and cover with foil.  Allow to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving for easier carving.

To Baste Or Not To Baste:

basting-a-turkeyThe Kitchn

Nobody Loves Dry Turkey:

Turkey breast dries out easy due to the fact lean breast meat cooks quicker than the legs and thighs.  Here’s several suggestions to eliminate this issue:

You can separate the breast from the whole turkey and cook the bone-in breast separately.

My personal favorite way to combat dry turkey is to simply roast a turkey breast.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.   Dry the skin of the turkey breast by patting with a paper towel.  Give the outer skin of the turkey a generous rub down with butter.  Season the turkey breast with salt and pepper or Creole seasoning.  Rub the seasonings into the skin of the turkey breast.

Place turkey breast, breast-side up, into the roasting pan.  Roast the turkey breast at 325 degrees for 2 to 2 ½ hours or until thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast reads 170 degrees F.

Clean Up:

In a spray bottle combine 1 quart (4 cups) warm water, 1 teaspoon liquid soap, 1 teaspoon borax and ¼ cup undiluted white vinegar.  You can also add 1 tsp. of essential oil such as rose, lemon, orange, or lavender.  Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and cleaner however, I don’t suggest using this on granite or marble countertops.

carving-turkey-williams-sonoma

Williams Sonoma Edge-Grain Carving Board

Williams Sonoma Edge-Grain Carving Boards

Carving the Bird:

Place the bird on a carving board or reliable surface for carving, breast side up with the legs facing away from you.  Position the carving fork in the lower part of the breast to hold the turkey steady as you carve.

carving roasted turkeyFood52

Find the hip joint connecting the thigh and the breast and begin slicing through.  Repeat on the opposite side.

Separate the drumstick from the thigh by cutting through the joint.

carving-turkey-on-board

Martha Stewart

Let’s move on to the drumstick/ turkey leg.  Pull each leg to extend them away from the body and slice between the breast and the drumstick.

carving-turkey-thigh-legThe Kitchn

Move the leg backward to loosen it away from the socket, cut away from skin and remove.  Repeat on the opposite side.

Paula Deen turkey recipePaula Deen

Now we’re winging it!  Locate the joint connecting the wing to the body and slice on through.  Repeat on the opposite side.

For the breast, begin by slicing as close to the breastbone as possible.  Slice all the way down as to have one large piece and repeat on the opposite side.

Turkey-breast-carved

Better Homes and Gardens

Place breast on cutting surface and slice from smallest end to the largest.

Arrange and plate as you like.

carved-turkey-the-kitchnThe Kitchn

enjoy

Holiday Prep and Decorative Detail

Holiday prep and decorative detail time is upon us here at Places in the Home. All is merry and bright with the help of caffeine, precision planning, patience (lots of merry patience), swift kitchen detail and keeping a cool and relaxed tude to guarantee a cool yule.

holiday-china-crystal

I tapped into the decorations closet of Christmas past for inspiration and holiday show this year.   Everything is new again is the holiday decorations running theme.  It’s a great way to reacquaint yourself with treasured favorites and to fall back in love with them all over again.

Christmas-centerpiece-light

I had more fun pulling vintage, antique and new accents from here and there and grouping them together in holiday harmony.

table-accents-light

Items that immediately identify with and tell the story of  individual tastes, collections and personality are always in the best of style, your style.

John 3:16

The centerpiece is one of those “it all just came together” accents, and I couldn’t be happier with the result.  A big thank you to the florist at Kroger for her well timed and generous markdown on the roses, and to my brother who showed a magnolia tree and juniper bush who was boss with his mad clipping and cutting skills.

fresh flowers

No shrubs or trees were harmed in the making of this Christmas centerpiece, just pruned and picked.

centerpiece

From all of us here at Places In The Home, we wish you a Places In The Home for the Holidays very Merry Christmas filled with peace, joy, fond memories old and new, blessings, love, relaxing times with family and friends and a joyous celebration of the beauty of the season in your places in the home.

 

Love your style!

 

Gift Guide For The Deck The Halls Decorista

I received a wonderful holiday delivery via email week before last.  Christmas came early to this decorista, and it was my Pinterest pleasure to create a gift guide for the decorista board with all things house that make a home goodies in mind.

Pinterest-email-post1

I recently ran across an article stating  home decor and home furnishings would be high on the all I want for Christmas list of the very merry kind for the holidays.  Sounds beautiful to me!  Inspiration is everywhere, and Pinterest is the showcase of choice for holiday gift ideas for the Deck the Halls Decorista.

The National Retail Federation reports the average shopper will spend $738 on holiday gifts this year. With that being said, considerate price points sprinkled in with a few a decorista can dream luxe items complete my Gifts Ideas For The Deck The Hall Decorista board.

green-home-for-the-holidays

Want to see more?  Click on the image below to head over to the complete Pinterest Gifts For The Deck The Halls Decorista board where you can check out my fabulous and festive finds of the season and resource information.

gifts for the decorista

Holiday Shopping Season: Keep Calm And Be Very Merry!

The holiday express has left the Black Friday stop and is heading straight into Cyber Monday station.  Do all the deals, steals and doorbusters of the holiday shopping season have your head spinning?

Home Alonevia

Savvy planning and a determination to stretch a dollar like a rubber band gets the holiday shopping job done.  I keep things in check by making Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping an enjoyable activity to participate in online between the prep, serve, clean, relax and end of the Thanksgiving weekend.  I learned a long time ago to take the holiday focus off the retail and place it where I feel it rightfully belongs.  It’s the holiday priority formula that keeps the real reason for the season in check without me bouncing one!

holiday shopping season

Keep Calm and Be Very Merry is a lovely sentiment and sound solid advice.  If you find ye olde holiday gift giving budget or lack thereof is taking the jingle out of your bells immediately Keep Calm and Be Very Merry!   Everyday life isn’t in the habit of pausing for holiday budgets, and I swear it’s no coincidence that unexpected expenses pick this time of year to make their presence known. When and if the aforementioned applies give yourself the gift of permission- permission to realize, accept and create festive fabulous with what you have.

IKEAvia

There’s no better time to embrace the art of editing from within to repurpose and refresh existing Christmas decorations. Decorating for the holidays is a beautiful and festive experience, but it is an expense that can get away from you quickly. ‘Tis the season to tap into imagination!  Don’t pack away those Pheasant feathers, pine cones and burlap anything and everything that adorned fall and Thanksgiving vignettes and tablescapes just yet.

pine cone decorationsvia

With inspiration and imagination you can take one holiday’s accents way beyond the rinse and repeat theme.  If you think you created decorative magic September through November with these gems, wait until you see the decorative impact they bring to the Christmas decorating scheme of things!  A pine cone takes to a can of spray paint, a glue gun and a dusting of glitter in holiday colors like a shot of bourbon takes to a glass of eggnog.

Whitney clockvia

Time is a precious commodity.  For a gift that basically is cost free, it is one of the most expensive things you will ever give to someone because you are giving a part of you.  My Las Vegas is showing when I quote Wayne Newton, but his words resonate my point. “You can take of a man’s money, but when it’s all said and done, you’ve only taken his money. When you take of a man’s time, you’ve taken a part of his life.”  The time and love put into decking the halls of your home’s interior and exterior is a gift of color, wonder and talent.  It’s the ultimate to/from tag addressed to family, friends and neighbors.

to from tagvia

Please feel free and festive to email me pictures of your holiday creations in all their Christmas decorating splendor.  I would love to see what you all do with your do and share the beauty with fellow readers.  Let’s holiday show and tell!

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Dinner Holiday Checklist

Time to mull over the Thanksgiving dinner holiday checklist.  Festive gets a lot of mileage at our house, and why not! It’s a wonderful time of year that should be embraced for what it is- a time to eat, drink, decorate, table set, and celebrate with family and friends.  From kitchen to turkey to table, the more Thanksgiving dinner holiday checklist (works for Christmas, too!) help I can offer, the merrier and hopefully the less holiday rushed things will be.

There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays

Creating a handsome holiday table and scrumptious dishes worthy of the c’est si bon distinction while all in an inviting and relaxing setting is quite the labor of love.  A holiday helping hand is the hostess gift that keeps on giving.

Here’s holiday hoping this holiday checklist comes in holiday handy.

2 weeks to go:

Plan, tweak, adjust, and finalize menu.

menu-dinner

Delegate and Dish

Don’t be a holiday hosting hero.  Say yes to the offers of what can I do-what can I bring.  Make a list of who’s bringing what, and thoughtfully delegate and dish from there.

brown-white-transferware-vegetable-bowl

Take an inventory of the pantry staples, spices, seasonings, and required recipe ingredients you will need.

Make out grocery list.

1 week to go:

Add the finishing touches to your selected tablescape theme.  Stake out the vases, rose bowls, trays, dough bowl, or clear glass jars you’ll be using for centerpieces and spot arrangements.  Take a count of the number of candles you will need.  If you will be using new or on hand LED candles, make sure you’ve got the enough batteries.

intimate-affair-tableModern Thanksgiving Tablescape

Take inventory of table linens, cocktail napkins, china, glassware, flatware, and serving pieces.  Iron the napkins, polish the silver, and dust the lighting fixture(s).  I’ve been known to replace the chandelier and light bulbs as a proactive holiday hostess “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong” Murphy’s law defense.

Ready.  Set.  Go to the grocery store for the turkey and non-perishable food items.  When deciding on how big of a turkey to purchase, allow 1 to 2 pounds of meat per person.

copper-roasting-pan

Make sure your roasting pan is large enough to fit turkey.  Consider using a meat thermometer to help take the guesswork out of when the bird is done. Now is the time to purchase these items.

Let the dessert planning begin!

scalloped pie plate

Now is the time to plan out the dessert table and serving pieces.  Perhaps it’s time for a new cake plate or tiered tray to add to this year’s holiday finery.

Metallic Lace Cake Stand

Metallic Lace Cake Stand

Plan the beverage menu and stock the bar.

champagne-bar

5 days to go:

Prep dishes, flatware and stemware.

holiday-china-crystal

Take a chair inventory.

extra-dining-chairs

Aunt Belle’s disco decor days have gone the way of avocado green appliances, wall-to-wall shag carpet, and the Merry Mushroom dinnerware straight out of the housewares department at the local Sears.  Her get down tonight may not be able to get up today if she is forced to sit in the bean bag chair from the kids playroom.

Know your audience, and buy, borrow, or rent the extra items to meet your holiday hosting needs.

antique-silver-salt-pepper-shakers

Antique Silver Sentiment Salt and Pepper Shakers

Fill salt and pepper shakers, sugar bowl and artificial sweetener dish.

Glass-Sugar-Packet-Holder

3 days to go:

Remove turkey from freezer and place in refrigerator to begin the thawing process.

frozen-turkey

 

Company is coming!

Curb appeal doesn’t take a holiday.   Cut, edge, clip, blow and manicure.

magnolia-wreath-on-door

Southern Living

Clean house accordingly.

Round Kaboo Basket LargeRound Kaboo Basket Large

Helpful hint: Decorative baskets and storage cubes come in mighty handy as a stylish storage solution.

2 days to go:

Take inventory of holiday hospitality guest room essentials.  Clean and stock guest bedrooms and bathrooms with fresh linens and paper goods.

guest-bedroom-essentials-quote1

You know that lightly damp dishtowel left over from last night’s KP duty? On your way to the laundry room with it, hit the holiday table and chairs dusting high notes.

Two tasks taken care of with one swipe.

drying-dishes

Set out candles, arrange centerpiece, set table with linens, place mats, chargers and place cards.

natural-centerpiece

1 day to go:

Make cornbread for dressing.

buttermilk-cornbread2

Chop vegetables, place in Ziploc bags, and store in refrigerator.

Let the dessert baking begin!

Cakes really do taste better the next day.  All the flavors and spices get in there and do their thing, bringing forth the next day flavor c’est si bon.

homemade- carrot- cake

Fill soap dispensers and paper towel holders in kitchen.

turkey-appetizer-plates

Set out dinnerware, glasses, serving pieces, dishes, bowls and platters. Turn over or cover with dishtowels until next day.

The Big Event!

Preheat oven.

Take turkey out of refrigerator, season to taste, and place in roaster. Approximate roasting time for a thoroughly defrosted 12-14 lb. unstuffed turkey is  3-3 ½ hours roasted at  325°F until done.

turkey-roasted

About a half hour before the turkey’s finished, take it out of the oven. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast.

You’re looking for a temperature of 170 degrees F.  If you don’t have a thermometer simply pierce the turkey with a fork.  The juices should run clear.

roast-turkey

Allow the turkey to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving to allow juices to saturate the meat evenly.

beverage

Chill beverages.

clear-glass-pitcher

Prepare other side dishes, salads and desserts while turkey is roasting.

Sweet-Potato-roast-recipeCrispy Sweet Potato Roast

Prep coffee maker for after dinner coffee.

Take a deep breath.

Remember to enjoy the beauty, food, fellowship and fruits of your holiday labor of love!

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