"Merry" used to be my favorite word this time of year.
But now, I kind of like "JOY."
It is this silly elf's middle name and that has made it my favorite seasonal word.
Plus, we could all use all the joy we can get.
I hadn't planned on Sugarwings being here for book club, but her daddy had a chance to go camping with his buddies. (Even though it was going to be EIGHTEEN DEGREES THAT NIGHT!!!!!!)
So, I picked her up after school, and we ran some errands, then came home to foof up the house for the party. She was glad to help, but I was worried about her being on her own all evening while I entertained.
She had no problem with it and was excited to dress up like an elf to greet the guests (she is all about the costume, no matter what the occasion is)
I set up a table of crafts in my bedroom in front of a TV full of holiday shows to watch on the DVR. First of all, she never gets to craft in the bedroom in front of the TV, and take food in there too. Double forbidden fun.
Of course, there was some hot cocoa spilled on the chair, but hey, why use slip covers if you don't plan on pulling them off to wash them?
I guess these photos are pretty similar to the previous post, showing the dining room all set up for a party. But since this is an evening gathering and that was a luncheon, maybe they are different enough to show?
I love to use lots of twinkly lights when I have a party. The ones on the table are wrapped on gold branches and are battery operated. (bought on clearance after Christmas last year, 75% off)
I've added lots of layers of table clothes, and some lights under the table too. This time, I have vintage curtains as a table skirt and the string of lights show more. Usually, I have a regular table cloth draped to the floor, and get a softer glow. But this look is kind of fun too.
I chose the wine for the pretty labels. And it was good, too, and very affordable. It's nice to find a tasty wine under ten bucks.
I kept the food simple, like brie sprinkled with rosemary and wrapped in puff pastry, with a side of fig jelly and crackers. That is one of the easiest things to ever make, but sure looks special.
Another trick I have for elevating an ordinary dish is to, well, elevate the dish.
Here, I've set a compote of chicken salad on a plate, and set that on a cake plate, making three levels.
This compote full of dip makes this veggie tray more interesting than it would've been if I'd had it served on an actual tray. And lining the bowl with ruffly kale made it prettier too.
The three vases of flowers (left over from my last party) are also on different levels. I turned a bowl upside down to set one vase on to lift it up.
The cheesecake is a regular cheesecake, but I added a hand full of chopped pecans to the graham cracker crust, and then mixed in some of Trader Joe's Pumpkin Carmel Sauce into the batter. When it was done baking, I drizzled a little more on top.
One thing I should have done was to take some leaves out of the table, but I can't do it by myself and my husband was out of town. There is too much space between the dishes. since it was a small gathering, I didn't have a ton of food out, and it was spread out a bit too much to look its best. But that is just nit picking, huh? I doubt if my friends were gossiping about how much space I'd left between bowls...
For party favors, I made tiny, glittered books out of vintage papers. I'll have a mini how-to coming up soon if you want to make some yourself.