It’s very hard for me to do anything simple and modern looking. It just is. I love to look at trendy simple things: clothes, home decor, scrapbooking pages, patterns….anything. And I love it. But when it comes right down to it, it’s impossible for me to duplicate that look in anything I touch. It starts out simple, but very soon another element creeps in, an extra detail here or there, some brighter color sneaks in….and soon whatever I’m working on is full right up with all sorts of visual junk! Yes, I am a messy person, and it usual shows up even in my “designing” (art, decorating, crafting, junk making, whatever you want to call it). It’s hard to stop myself. I know, I know, I’ve heard: Art is knowing when to stop. And I agree. And I guess that’s where the line between crafty and artist is drawn. All this to say, I felt rather proud of myself for creating (in my mind) a simple modern-looking Thanksgiving table setting this year. It was excruciatingly hard to hold back and not add more and more, but I forced myself and getting some new simple dishes from Ikea helped (and a time crunch helped, too).
Last year’s Thanksgiving table here was more like what I usually do. This year I tried a new color scheme, and I must say I liked it. I just loved the bright colors (that is normal for me) what wasn’t normal was the more simple decorations.A plain white cake stand, a dried gourd (from Guatemala), a couple of small pumpkins and pomegranates, a few candles, a bunch of purplish carnations and a few green flowers. Yes, it did involve a shopping trip to IKEA for a few things: new blue dishes, a couple of blue candles, purple table runner, purple juice jug and purple serviettes. I had lots of orange things already in my stash 🙂 No time for place-cards this year, just a few plain wooden leaves from Walmart. I did print out some Thanksgiving things on kraft paper, but we didn’t really use them…..they were to make a thankful paper chain. We were thankful without the craft. The rest of the photos were taken under the dining room lighting so the color looks kind of weird…. I quickly crammed all the flowers into an orange bowl (and left the other non-color-coordinated flowers in the kitchen).simple but pretty, I thought. And yes, that is an old fashioned jello mold!For that old fashioned, traditional touch. I enjoyed it, even if few others did! I had made one awhile ago, from an old recipe, then totally lost the recipe!! So this was kinda made from my memory: grated carrot, crushed pineapple, orange gelatin (jello), and a cup of plain yogurt. Does anyone have a recipe like that? It would be nice to have the exact amounts!
My daughter the turkey,I mean, my daughter cooked the turkey this year! She did a good job, though we had a few nervous moments 😉
There was a kids’ table this year, with a few Snoopy treats…very simple (not like the other Peanuts kids’ table)When the younger kids couldn’t take the wait for supper, we gave them a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving meal. It’s what Charlie Brown and Snoopy served in the classic cartoon: buttered toast, pretzels, popcorn and jelly beans! (It’s starting to be a tradition!)Another food that is now a Thanksgiving tradition around here is Guatemalan enchiladas! I think this was the day after Thanksgiving, though traditionally they are served on Nov. 1st in Guate. (It was a short weekend with family, so we had to cram a lot of food into it) Mmmmm good!! I’ll have to post the recipe someday…. 🙂 And so that was our little Canadian, American, Guatemalan Thanksgiving!!
Happy Thanksgiving to our American family and friends! It’s always great to celebrate and give God thanks for all His blessings!
There were a couple of extra Thanksgiving ideas that I forgot to add to my Canadian Thanksgiving post so I thought I’d quickly share them here. I’m always doing things last minute and I’m wondering if anyone else does it too….so here are some free printables and ideas for some last minute Thanksgiving decor!
These lovely printable pages are from Hope Ink, and I printed them off on kraft colored cardstock. Here is the cozy house coloring page and the cute turkey coloring page. Perfect for Thanksgiving! I used them for decorating my piano, and then forgot to let the kids color them! They would look great colored in with those really nice colored pencils (Prismacolor I think?)
I found another great printable at The Creativity Exchange for a child’s chalkboard place-mat. This is such a fun idea, to have a black area that can be used as a chalkboard. I printed out the regular-paper sized one, also on kraft cardstock, so the plate is oval shaped, but if you print out the larger size the plate is round. My printer’s out of colored ink, so the color you see here isn’t what would print out on your printer! 🙂 Here’s our Menu for today: It would make a great place setting with your guest’s name written on it in chalk….or just a fun place-mat for the kids to write on!
Oh yes, there’s also the printable that I came up with for my living room frame…you can find the link here.
Some more last minute Thanksgiving decor ideas….use fruit. Wooden fruit, plastic fruit or real fruit. I was looking through some old Thanksgiving photos and noticed that that is what I tend to do. Especially grapes. Grapes appear adorning a naked turkey (in the family photo), and around jello salad and on plates, cake stands, everywhere! So that’s my big advice. Have some grapes on hand, and maybe a few other fruits. Just in case. You never know. And if you are really running last minute and the turkey isn’t thawed and the pies aren’t baked….You can always do what Charlie Brown did……serve them buttered toast, popcorn, jelly beans and pretzels!!! 🙂 The idea is to be together and to be grateful. The rest is all “dressing”!!
I love Snoopy and Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang! I remember looking forward to watching their specials on TV when we were young. (I also love pumpkins) so it was easy to come up with the perfect theme for a fall birthday party for my son. I haven’t watched “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!” for years, but I remember how Linus made me laugh, trying to wait all night in a pumpkin patch. So this party started with a little pumpkin patch. I had made some fondant pumpkins for cupcake toppers, and so there were still some just sitting around, waiting to form a pumpkin patch for Linus.Add in a “great pumpkin” and some more chipboard Peanuts characters (from last year’s kids’ Thanksgiving table)…..I had found some little packets of tissues with Snoopy on them, so they were a bit of a favor at each place….There were some other cute and fairly easy pumpkin ideas that were fast enough to put together for this party. My sister told me about using mandarin oranges as little pumpkins….Just peel them and add “stems” from celery, or in this case, stems from spinach leaves! And a bit of cilantro for leaves around the pumpkins. And then a jelly bean favor for each kid, this idea I found here on Parenting.com. I happened to have some red tulle (no orange!), so wrapped the orange jelly beans in it, then added pipe cleaner for a stem (and to hold the bag together) and some green curled ribbon for the tendrils. Didn’t take long to put together.The orange tablecloth and birthday banner I had saved from last year’s Garfield party…My preschool nephews were visiting, so I was trying to think of ideas that they could help out with for this party….baking!! Let’s make some birthday brownies!! (from a box!!)You could always add a pumpkin puree swirl into the chocolate brownies, that would be finger lickin’ good! (or pumpkin and cream cheese!! ahhhh!) Another idea that turned out great to do with the little kids was to make a birthday poster. First I drew a picture of Snoopy with a Sharpee marker on posterboard, then covered it up with white paper and painter’s tape. Then let the kids at it with paint daubers (bingo dabbers?)A fun idea even the youngest can help with!After painting is dry, peel off the tape to reveal….Snoopy!Then an older kid colored the words in with black marker so they’d stand out a bit. Posters, bday banner, favors, centerpiece, check!!….bring on the food and the party!
A happy pumpkin with a jack-o-lantern face from Papa Murphy’s pizza…..it’s the season for those, and they were just right for our pumpkin theme. We love Papa Murphy’s pick up and bake at home pizzas!Time for pizza!Pumpkins! (oops, that’s from something else!)Linus’s pumpkin patch moves over to the birthday brownies….Make a wish….Happy birthday! Check out some more pumpkin ideas…Here are some more pumpkin food ideas that I’ve worked on in the last few days, and they’d be perfect for a Charlie Brown pumpkin theme. My mom told me about some cute pumpkin cheese-balls that she saw, so I tried them out….How to: mix up softened cream cheese with spices (garlic, onion, paprika, pepper, season salt, or whatever you like) and some grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese. I also added chopped sun dried tomatoes. Let sit for a few moments in the refrigerator to harden a bit, then pull it out, divide into two chunks, cover with plastic wrap and shape into 2 balls. On top of the plastic wrap, mark the lines on the pumpkin with a back of a knife. Return to fridge. Later, before serving, take off the plastic and roll the cheese-balls in crushed nacho cheese tortilla chips (Doritos!) and add the stems from some bell peppers.The stems were easy to cut out….cut out from the pepper, along with the seeds, then cut right at the base of the stem, it kind of just popped off….crushed Doritos…I added paprika, but don’t do that, it dulled the color….When you press in the stem, it helps squash it into a pumpkin shape…I took a knife and re-made some of the indentations on the sides….Such cute, tasty little guys!And one last pumpkin idea….we just loved this one! I found a video on how to make these adorable pumpkin buns, by Hani, from Haniela’s. She has all sorts of great how-to videos for lots of yummy eats! She made these in just an hour. My first time to try took close to an hour and a half, but the next time was faster….and really, 35 minutes of that time is letting the buns rise, so really they’re pretty quick to make! And so adorably pumpkiny!! (Click on the link above for her video and recipe! you can do it!) You can make large ones for hamburger buns, how fun is that??Make the dough and cut….Let rise, add egg wash and sesame seeds, Bake for about 12 minutes…Add a stem and there you go!! I didn’t have the big pretzel sticks, so used several small skinny ones. I’ve also seen photos with pecans as stems!I just love those pumpkins!! All pumpkins, I guess. We had a lovely day out at a pumpkin (and everything else) farm and I had such a great time! Love photographing pumpkins!Hope you got some ideas for your next fall party…oh, I just saw that It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown is on TV tonight….pumpkin memories!! 😉
Like I mentioned before, I didn’t grow up celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving…at least not very often. I grew up in Guatemala, in a mainly American and Guatemalan community, so we weren’t exposed to many Canadian traditions back then. Now that I live in Canada and have my own little family, I’ve tried to start a few of our own “Canadian” traditions for our October Thanksgiving celebrations. The other day I saw a quote that said “My favorite color is October!” and I totally agree! I just love everything about fall in Western Canada! Our biggest tradition so far is having my siblings come to our house for Thanksgiving weekend, and I try and put together a Thanksgiving meal. Here are a few photos from our Thanksgiving this year…
We made cookie place cards and chocolate acorns for the table-settings. And yes, we actually ate at the dining room table….I finally got my stuff cleared off it. It happens about once a year, for Thanksgiving (maybe possibly for Christmas). Now that it is cleared off, every time we’ve eaten there recently I feel like we need to have a really delicious dessert after every meal….
The moose is to represent our relatives who live in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and just Canada in general. The tablecloth and place-mats are from Guatemala, to remember our family in Guatemala.
The cornucopia celebrates a good harvest and being thankful for abundance, good food and fall!I am so not an expert cooking meat or poultry….and have only cooked about 3 turkeys in my life….so our turkey was fairly amateurish (and would you believe, last minute?). No time for a fancy bed of yumminess for this birdie… I’m finding it really hard work to get a fancy meal cooked, put together and on the table….(really hard, that’s why I have to take a lot of photos of when it actually happens!)
This is the part where I feel a
little lot more comfortable….the desserts. Though I kind of lost my Mom’s pie crust recipe this year, so had to go on a big search….I think I found one close enough that it tasted the same (we use the old-fashioned version that uses an egg and vinegar). Yummy pumpkin pie!! Though we grew up eating a different kind–carrots disguised as pumpkin, since pumpkins were scarce in Guatemala for some reason…
A tradition that I’ve started in the last few years is making Linzer cookies for Thanksgiving. This year I cut out moons, and decided they looked like mouths, so added some eyes for some cute little critter cookies. I used a new Linzer cookie recipe with ground up pecans this year, but wasn’t sure if I liked the pecans in the dough. I’ll try and find another recipe next year. Do you have a recipe for Linzer cookies that you’d like to share?
We watched the cartoon A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and I just happened to have Charlie Brown’s ingredients on hand, so made up a plate for the kids….pretzel sticks, popcorn, jellybeans, and buttered toast!! 🙂
I like to have visual textual reminders of the season…..like a framed Thanksgiving printable
The best part is sharing a delicious meal with family and remembering to live in an attitude of gratitude to God, for Him and all His blessings.
Who else grew up watching the Charlie Brown specials on TV? And I’m sure some of you even watched them in Spanish, like we did! This year I really wanted to do some sort of Snoopy theme….for something. There’s just something so fun and comforting about those old cartoons (and when I say old, I mean even before I was born! That makes me feel good, and young). The Peanuts gang just brings back warm and fuzzy memories! And in fall especially! I guess it’s because they had so many fall specials…the Thanksgiving special, the Great Pumpkin special and the one about the origins of Thanksgiving.
So I decided to do a Thanksgiving kids’ table with Snoopy and the gang. It was kind of a last minute thing, and it was inspired by this box of chipboard embellishments that I bought a few years ago with my 50% off coupon at Michaels….I had been saving them for something special.I ran downstairs to the basement to look for something yellow to use as a tablecloth….I knew I had a length of yellow fabric, wait, that was 14 years ago, maybe I’m not going to find it…..so the black and white striped sheet would have to do! (I have an old stash of colorful sheets that have been handy for everything, especially tablecloths…but no bright yellow one!)Next I added my recent IKEA purchase of cork placemats…they were too cute to resist and perfect for fall. I set the Charlie Brown chipboard characters on them and they looked…perfect.Now I pulled out a recent gift from my thoughtful Mom….mason jars!! I had been saving them for something special. They are the small ones that are all the rage for serving juice or milk at children’s parties (online at least!) You unscrew the top, and take out the flat metal lid, then turn a cupcake liner paper upsidedown over the top of the jar and re-screw only the outer rim of the lid back on. Punch a hole and add a straw and it’s good to go! I used yellow cupcake papers and added a cardstock cutout of that classic Charlie Brown signature chevron to the jar. It’s a little hard to see in the photo, but looked great with lemonade!For a centerpiece I used a cornucopia basket filled with balls of yarn. That was a “craft” we worked on another day. I just plopped it on the table and added a few chipboard embellishments. (I don’t know why it says BONK.)I had fun putting the table together, and it was pretty quick…except the next part. We have so many Snoopy comics around, I figured I just had to incorporate them in some way or another, so I scanned in a page from a book, played around with them on my computer, and changed the text. Then I printed the comics out to make into little placecards.The next part was the best idea of all….genius, I’d call it. It happened in one of those spur-of-the-moment flashes that sometimes happen when I’m crafting with the available supplies. I was winding a ball of yellow yarn to add to the centerpiece, when I thought that the yarn would make a good napkin holder. I had tried to fold the napkins into paper airplanes, but they weren’t holding together (even with tape). As I was wrapping the yarn around a folded serviette, I had the brainwave: the kids could unwind the yarn while they said what they are grateful for. Like a real THANKSGIVING GAME! So that’s what they did. Each kid took a turn to slowly unwind their yarn napkin-holder while they listed things that they are grateful for. There was everything from food and friends and family, to Benjamin Franklin and Charles Schultz (the creator of Peanuts) on their lists!! They also listed their parents and siblings in their “grateful lists” and for that I am truly grateful!There are other things that would have been fun to do at a Snoopy and Charlie Brown themed party…like a Snoopy-drawing contest, or a football-holding-and-pulling-away contest!! I had wanted to make Charlie Brown parfaits, with yellow pudding and oreo crumbs, yum, but ran out of time. If you don’t have an IKEA store handy, you could get cork at the dollar store or hardware store for placemats, or how about just cardstock or construction paper? My sister did a Snoopy party and photocopied Peanuts comics and pasted them onto large sheets of cardstock for the placemats and they looked great!!This meal wasn’t our actual Thanksgiving meal, it was the day after, we just didn’t have time to squeeze everything into one day!! It was so fun, though! And after supper, we watched the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving specials together and ate cookies and milk. For sure it was a warm and fuzzy memory-making time for the kids, and for the biggest kid of all……me! 🙂Hope this helps out with some ideas for a Snoopy themed party or for your (USA) Thanksgiving Kids’ Table (since it’s already come and gone in Canada)!
(my youngest said she wants her next birthday party to be Snoopy, heh heh!)