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October 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Collection | Wheat Bundles, "We Are Thankful Cards" & Lots of Linens!

The Thanksgiving Collection 

While everyone else is rushing toward Christmas, I am going to relish in Thanksgiving - just for a couple of weeks, after all it is my favorite holiday.  A celebration of harvest and bounty all centered on a big family feast in the middle of Autumn.  Would could be more fabulous!

I have restocked many favorites that went fast earlier this Fall - including Herringbone Throws in Chocolate, Warm Grey Plaid Linens, My Everyday Candles in Classic & Chestnut Fig, and lots of baking essentials like Vanilla Bean Paste and Wooden Baking Baskets.

To see the entire Thanksgiving Collection, visit here.

Happy Thanksgiving browsing!

The Wheat Collection

I have always loved Laurel Wreaths, the symbol of abundance and harvest.  There is something about the iconic image that is stately and gracious, but with agricultural roots.  
Because I grew up in a family of farmers, the harvest season is busy with, well, harvesting, and the holiday season is the first moment of rest and time for celebrating the bounty of blessings.   I will love using these during the harvest season, Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season.
Wheat Laurel Wreath Small Tags, 20 for $6

Lexington Wheat Candles, 2 for $10.50

Here a Small Wheat Tag hangs from a Pumpkin Pie Gift baked in my
Petite Tart Pans.  
See the entire Wheat Collection, here.

Boxed Gift Cards

I'm so thrilled with how these turned out!  The presentation of the box really does make it a special gift.  The boxes are wrapped in thin Edgartown Sand grosgrain ribbon with a Wheat Laurel Wreath tag.  

Inside, Kraft Krinkle cushions the certificate that includes a code for the gift card.  For an emailed gift cards, visit here.   Paired with a Linen Tea Towel or Candle, it makes a very special gift.

The Linen Collection

Of course, for Thanksgiving being the biggest entertaining holiday of the year I have a large collection of linens!

Natural & Cream Striped Linen

This Natural & Cream Striped Collection has coordinating Tablecloths, Runners and Tea Towels (that I use as napkins).  This collection of linens are the perfect investment - they can be used all year long.  I love how they look for Thanksgiving with Wheat Bundles down the center.  The classic European design will look equally as great with fresh greens and candles for the Holidays.  

Hemstitch Linen Collection

This collection of Hemstitch Linens are so luxurious, elegant and classic.  They are made in Europe from a very heavy, soft 100% linen.  Anytime I want to add some extra elegance to my table, I use my collection of Hemstitch Linens.   This collection has a herringbone pattern in the white linen that adds another layer of texture and luxe to the linens.   Buy them for Thanksgiving and use them the entire year.   They launder and press beautifully.
They look great together, or mixed with the Natural and Cream Striped Runner or Tablecloth.
100% European Linen

All of the Linen Tea Towels featured here that went so quickly earlier this Fall have now been restocked.  
Left to Right : 

Bayberry Candles - A Holiday Tradition

I have been so excited to get these candles in stock.  I carried them last year for the holidays and they went so quickly, that I didn't even get a chance to give them to my friends and family as gifts.  Only available during the holiday season (the candle company only makes one batch!) they are my favorite hostess gift to give during the holidays.

The natural scent that these candles have from the Bayberry is warm, earthy and just a bit spicy.  If you've ever visited Nantucket, the scent of the Bayberry shrubs greet you as you get off of the fairy - completely nostalgic and comforting. The candles were among the most prized candles in colonial America because of their clear, consistent light and warm scent.
The card that is enclosed with the candles tells the history of using Bayberry Candles at Christmastime :

"These tapers are handcrafted using the purest bayberry wax.  Bayberry wax is the rarest and most prized of all candle waxes, and has a warm, earthy, spicy aroma.  According to tradition, to bring good luck, you must burn a Bayberry Candle on Christmas Day.  If the flame burns bright and the light shines clear, then heaven will bless you throughout the year."

10 for $6

Last year, this "Thankful" card became a tradition for many of you.  Last year's read "I Am Thankful For" - but this year I've changed it to "We Are Thankful" to really reinforce the Thanksgiving spirit.  It is such nice way to be greeted as you sit down to a feast that is all about bounty and thanksgiving.  Sometimes knowing (and seeing) that someone is grateful to have us in their lives is all we need to be fulfilled - feeling this love just might encourage them to spread that love to others.  I like that it brings the real point of the Thanksgiving holiday into focus.  Having it right there on the table helps everyone remember what the holiday is all about.
These cards work great as Place Cards or as Gift Tags tied on a present or hostess gift.

I've added more colors to my Thin Taper Collection.  These candles are a fresh take on the classic taper candle.  Tall and Thin, they are elegant and perfect for any table setting or mantle display.  You might remember them from the Barefoot Contessa's home - they are they exact candle (She has an account with my candle supplier!  Of course, I got all of the fun details about what she orders from my sales rep...) she displays in her signature orange (Mango) or natural beeswax (Navajo Cream) on her mantle on a daily basis.
They fit perfectly in my Thin Taper Candle holders - they require a 1/2" diameter hole for the candle. 

I hope  you've enjoyed browsing all of my Thanksgiving products - hope you found something that will make your Thanksgiving more special for your family.  I will be featuring menu planners, check lists, table settings and recipes to get you ready for Thanksgiving in the next month... I can't wait!

October 27, 2014

Top 10 Entertaining Secrets

Entertaining Season is almost upon us.  I'm busy behind the scenes this week packaging up and photographing my products for Thanksgiving - my favorite holiday.  In just a couple of days I'll share the new collection with lots of inspiration for setting a beautiful Thanksgiving table.  These photos from last year's store collection are a little sneak peak of something that I'm stocking again - after many requests, hint hint.

For the next month I'll be focusing on my favorite easy entertaining tips to help you get ready for what is usually our biggest entertaining meal of the year with worksheets, checklists, recipes and more.  I can not wait to get started sharing... there are actually petite pecan and pumpkin pies baking in my oven as I type : )

As you know, I write a monthly column for  This months as we gear up for Thanksgiving and the Holidays my article featured my Top 10 Secrets for Easy Entertaining :

Top 10 Secrets for Easy Entertaining

I owned a catering and event planning business for almost 7 years and during that time I learned a lot about how to throw a great party without spending too much time or money.  Here are my Top 10 Secrets for Easy Entertaining that I still use today when I'm hosting a party for my friends and loved ones!  

Keep Reading the entire article at > 

Hope you are able to use some of these tips while you plan your holiday entertaining!

October 24, 2014

Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes for Halloween

I can remember trick-or-treating and being thrilled when we were offered peanut butter cups - my sister was always looking for Butterfingers.  We would happily swap at the end of the night.   Peanut Butter Cups have always been my favorite candy treat.  
Even as adults, my mom gives us peanut butter cup eggs in our Easter basket and trees at christmas in our stockings.
You might remember the Milk Chocolate Glazed Cupcakes that I made for Valentine's Day and topped with a single giant red heart sprinkle.  For Halloween, I used the same recipe to create my favorite trick-or-treat treat in the form of a cupcake.  It was so simple - and a very quick project.  The cupcakes themselves have 5 or 6 ingredients and take no time to make (just be sure you have a can of Hershey's chocolate syrup).  

After baking, I scooped out the center of each cupcake and put a dollop of smooth peanut butter in the middle, then put the cake back on top.

  It requires a little smooshing, but don't worry - the Milk Chocolate Glaze fixes any goops and globs.

Here is the original Chocolate Cupcake with Milk Chocolate Glaze recipe.  Hope you treat your little spooks to this homemade treat!

October 17, 2014

Fall Fun on the Farm | Our Trip to Fahrmeier Farms

My cousins have a farm just outside of Kansas City - a real farm.  Where they grow things.  They produce amazing heirloom tomatoes, vegetables and fruits.  This year my cousin and his wife, Lorin, (that have a little boy Emma's age) have developed a U-Pick area of the farm.  They saw a need in our area's market for a real farm experience for kids and familes.

So many of the area's U-Pick apples, pumpkins and berries farms are filled with other attractions that really have nothing to do with the actual art of farming - the experience of getting to come out to the beautiful wide open, see the fields, see how things grow and breathe fresh air.

They built their own "Little Red Barn" as they call it.  It houses their fresh produce, fresh apple muffins and local cider.  Lorin has done such a cute job with everything - charming and quaint.

Each weekend in the month of October they have good ol' fashioned activities planned - s'mores roasting over a bon fire, apple butter making, pumpkin carving contests and family photos.  

Here is their facebook page that has a schedule of events : Fahrmeier Farms Facebook

Emma just wanted to pick flowers...

We tried to take a good family picture... but I had my camera settings all messed up when I handed off my camera to my cousin : )  Oopsy!  Guess we'll have to think of something else for the Christmas card...

Hope your kiddos get to do some running around in the fresh air this weekend - the weather is soooo beautiful around here!

Entertaining Idea : Book Club Social

I've always loved the idea of hosting a book party - I feel like most people do.  At this point in my life (and most of my friends!) reading an entire book is a big ask.  For me, it could take weeks, 30 minutes at a time before bed - if I can hold my eyes open that long.  However, recently I've read a couple of classics that are short enough to enjoy in just a couple of nights, or over a long weekend - one being To Kill A Mockingbird.  If you haven't red it as an adult, I highly recommend it.  It is especially timely, since the story concludes on a Halloween night.  

Pinnacle Vodka asked me to come up with some ideas for hosting a book club party this fall, and I thought it would be a great jumping off point.  I picked some photos of a fall table setting I did last Autumn for inspiration.  Get the details on this setting, here

I hope you enjoy my tips for creating a fun and easy Book Club Social this fall!  Thanks to Pinnacle for sponsoring this post : )

Theme the Party After the Book

Hosting a book club social is all about the theme. Take cues from the book you’re reading to help decide the menu and decor. Ask yourself: Did the central character have a favorite food?  Was it set in a location you can mirror for the decor? Classic works like To Kill a Mockingbird are great sources for inspiration!

Keep Books the Center of the Room (Even if it’s not the center of conversation...) 

Let’s not forget the purpose of your book club social is not only to chat books, but also to catch up with your girlfriends. Use stacks of old books as simple centerpieces (and conversation starters!) at each table area.  Make stacks of random sizes, even turning some on their sides.  You can throw in a few decorative pumpkins or other seasonal items to add subtle ambiance.

Stick to Finger Foods

Prepare a menu of finger foods so everyone can neatly indulge at your party. My favorite go-to appetizer is a tasty squash dip with toasted bread.

Pinnacle® Mockingbird Punch 

1 part Pinnacle® Peach Vodka
1 part Dry White Wine
1 part Apple Cider
1/4 part Honey Syrup (Half honeyhalf hot water to liquify) 
Sliced Apples

Method: Pour all ingredients into glass and mix in ice and sliced apples.

Personalized Touches go a Long Way

For the takeaway gift, create a recipe card that looks like a library card with your cocktail recipe on it. That way guests can enjoy the cocktail at home the next time they curl up with their favorite book! There are plenty of library card templates you can download for free online, so just choose the one you like best.

Pinnacle® is a registered trademark of Jim Beam Brands Co. and is used with permission.  The information, comments and ideas expressed on this website do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Jim Beam Brands Co., its affiliated companies or any of their directors or employees.  Pinnacle® does not sponsor, authorize, or otherwise endorse this website.

October 16, 2014

Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Halloween Cookie Cutters

Emma has recently decided that pancakes are her very favorite food... especially now that she has been introduced to Chocolate Chip Pancakes.  She'll hardly even look at a Blueberry Pancake anymore.  And plain?  Forget it.  Yesterday, we had a little more fun and made them into Halloween shapes using my Halloween Cookie Cutters... which are now on sale for $12.50.

I'd seen this idea before, but had never actually tried it.  In fact, I wasn't really sure it would work - I pictured the batter seeping out under the cutters.  I was pleasantly surprised that it was just as easy as it looked.  The pancakes turned out very thick and fluffy.  This morning Emma requested stockings and mittens... what have I started?!

In addition to some items being discounted (cookie cutters and sprinkles...) I'm now offering 15% off orders over $50 just in time for making Halloween goodies.  More details below.

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups of milk
2 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla Bean Paste
Mini Chocolate Chips
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
Softened Butter
Real Maple Syrup
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Begin by mixing together dry ingredients.  Separately, whisk together milk, sour cream, eggs and vanilla bean paste.  Mix wet and dry ingredients, then fold in chocolate chips.

Spray cookie cutters with non-stick spray.  Put butter and oil in a skillet.  Place cookie cutters in the pan, then spoon in batter.  Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes - until bubbly in center.  Remove cutter, then flip.  Cook for another minute or two until cooked through.  Serve immediately or keep warm in oven.

I tried to add a Jack-O-Lantern face to this one... ended up being a little scary after it was flipped and cooked on the other side.

Hope you're enjoying your Fall & Halloween Baking... next we are going to try homemade glazed donuts with sprinkles!  While I love our chocolate glazed donuts and our cider donuts, I've really be craving good old fashioned, light and fluffy donuts with a classic glaze.  I'll let you know how it goes!

Again, don't miss the 15% off orders over $50 in my store.  Stock up on sprinkles (on sale), cookie cutters (on sale), cello bags, twine, ribbon and tags in time to make festive and spooky treats for your little (or big!) ghosts and goblins.... or princesses, if you are at our house.

Use the code : HALLOWEEN15 at checkout.

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