Since my boyfriend and I's schedule can get a bit crazy, I realized how quickly time was passing and I needed to secure a special date, for a much desired FRIENDSGIVING. We've hosted tapas and picnic style parties but never a dinner party. I also wanted to take on the challenge of making the turkey! I've seen it done a bunch of times, but I always partake on baking duties. Fortunately for me, my sister Sylvia had made the RECIPE POST last year, and gotta say she was a great sous Chef this year. I needed the moral support and an extra hand on some prep!
I say " much desired" because I already knew the first thing I wanted to decorate was my boyfriend's handmade barn table. He put so much work into that table, I wanted to make it the focus. Some of our closest friends were available and others were out of town, it worked out to our advantage because we were able to seat everyone at the table. It was intimate and sweet. We knew that time would be very limited to us, so I needed to find loop holes for this. So with just a little under two weeks of planning, I knew that for a "FriendsGiving", the hostess makes the turkey and it's common for everyone to bring a dish. So a POTLUCK it is. I like to write things out as I go, so I used TWG Designs " Thanksgiving Meal Prep" sheet organizers [ BUY HERE].
I created a private facebook invite so that we could easily keep track of who's bringing what and also "inspo" pins from #Pinterest (check out WHOLE FOODS pic below). It was so nice to see everyone take charge of their dishes. One thing I wish I would have done, was gather everyone's recipe's prior to the event. Print them out, package them and have them ready to go as a take home gift. UGH!!! Next year, next year....Maybe you all do that before your next gathering. My friend Amy, put together a beautiful Invite and it really set the tone for this occasion. It went perfectly with our sweet and simple rustic "DIY" decor.
With a week exactly away from the event I made sure I had all the decor I needed. I recycled my indoor gourds from Trader Joe's [ SEE POST HERE].
We already had a huge roll of craft paper, sharpie pens, DIY wine bottle candle holders we made forever ago, mason jars for cocktails, stemless wine glasses, linen napkins and strung lights from TARGET [BUY HERE]. Most of our costs went to food and drinks.
Below is our official POTLUCK menu, incase you all needed some inspo (stock images provided by TWG DESIGNS):
TABLE DECOR & IDEAS BELOW
For place cards we hand calligraphed everyone's names and tied their place card around the linen napkins, with a touch of rosemary for "luck" from the garden. I wanted to keep it somewhat formal by opting out of plastic plates. Luckily my bf has these beautiful white ceramic plates. I proceeded to mix round and square. On top of that, we added a small "activity" of "I am thankful for", the responses were either very sweet or very funny! Even as the guests would take their plates, we added a nice floral design of where your plates would rest.
Next up is food and cocktails. For the mulled wine, we kept it in a slow cooker on top of the bar so guest could easily pour themselves a glass. To eliminate my bf from spending more time behind the bar, we pre-made the mojito cocktail mix ( container from HomeGoods) and had a variety of accessories to dress the apple cider mojito; cinnamon sticks, mint leaves, and cute stir sticks from the "3 dollar section" from Target!!!
As guests brought their dishes, we had them place them around the kitchen counter where we added more craft paper so people could label and personalize them just a tad more. This also made for easy clean up!
For the FULL RECIPE and PROCESS on the TRADITIONAL TURKEY [CLICK HERE]. Recipe's on the sweet potato souffle', the poached figs and blackberry cake, and cocktail recipes to follow in next post.
It really was a beautiful intimate evening. Whether big or small, I do wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by all the ones you love. Cheers all of you from, our family to yours.
Caro & BLONDE2BRUNETTE
P.S. STAY TUNED for more recipe's this holiday season! Be sure to check out our old post for decor, recipe, and "peace of mind" reminders. Like what you see? Please " vote" for us by click the photo below for " Top Mommy" blogs!