Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Ok we’ve got a few more days but I got my Thanksgiving started early when we had our first “Friendsgiving” yesterday. It was a great time. I think it’s the first time we really had a party at this apartment. We got to break in our new Ikea table, eat lots of food, play games, and hold a very high-stakes pie contest.
I completed my Thanksgiving decorating prior to Friendsgiving. First we made and hung the Thanksgiving banner, and then I decorated the “mantle” (i.e. floating shelf over the TV), and table, and some other areas. I got these turkey salt and pepper shakers on sale at Michael’s for a couple dollars. We certainly did not need any more salt and pepper shakers, and the print was sort of obnoxious, so I decided to cover them in…something.
Against my good judgment, I decided to cover the first one in gold glitter. As always, that was a messy and frustrating disaster. I continued down that path until it was all the way covered, but decided to NOT USE GLITTER EVER AGAIN after that (ok, I have said that many times and I cant seem to dump glitter completely, except for all over myself).
I had this gold nail polish I got for free in something, so I decided to cover the second turkey in that. MUCH better. It took a couple minutes, no mess, and I also think it looks better. Lesson learned.
Much to my delight, I found two of these concrete Smith and Hawken turkeys at Target in the clearance section for $6 each. They would be perfect for the table!
I sprayed them with a flat paint to brighten them up a little bit, and then decided to try my hand at gold leaf. I don’t know if it’s because gold leafing is difficult, or because gold leafing an uneven concrete surface is difficult, but I got as far as gold leafing the beaks and gave the hell up. Good enough!
Then I went to Trader Joe’s where I had previously obtained a whole lot of small pumpkins for my Halloween decor. Unfortunately, finding pumpkins AFTER halloween is no easy task. All they had left were some medium-sized “tiger” pumpkins that were cream colored and striped with either green or orange…not exactly matching my decor. I got some high gloss white spray paint and painted them all and put them in the hurricane. tada!
The next thing I did was decorate the shelf over our TV. I also decorated this shelf for Halloween a month earlier. I was kind of at a loss as to what to do, and honestly I have no idea what I am doing with artificial/dried flowers/plants. Michael’s was having a 70% off sale on the fall-themed dried and artificial flowers by late October, so I grabbed a few in yellow, orange, and purple colors and figured I would figure something out. I also got a 5′ strand of battery operated “Starry String Lights” in amber from Restoration Hardware. Don’t you just love these?! I may get more in the silver color for Christmas.
I also held on to a few of my Halloween Trader Joe’s pumpkins that were still in ok shape, got a roll of burlap at Michael’s, put some stuff in my apothecary jars and also added the painting I did at Cheers to Art recently. Do you have a place like this in your city? Basically you and a bunch of your friends go paint a painting according to step-by-step instructions by someone while you drink wine. What a great idea. Anyway, so the colors sort of matched the decor so I threw it in there, too.
I am really loving burlap as a “trend” right now. It’s neutral and cheap and you can use it for a million different things.
I also loved these Thanksgiving Printables from TomKat Studio. I have Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, so I made my own “Happy Thanksgiving” sign similar to the one they have available, and bought some super-cheap 3- and 4-packs of plastic frames at Big Lots.
Much of what I found to decorate the table and the buffet table, just like everything else, was decided based on what I already had and what was cheap and/or on sale at places like Michael’s, Big Lots, Home Goods, Ikea and Target. I just wanted everything to have the black, white, gold, silver, purple, orange and golden yellow colors that I put on the shelf.
I found these great serving ware dishes at Big Lots for I think maybe $9 each, and three 4-packs of the white placemats for $6 a set. I also found this burlap runner at Michael’s – a few yards for less than $10…I could cut it to the length of the table and it actually fits, versus all the table runners I found which were upwards of $40, $50+ and not even remotely long enough for the table. NO THANKS! I found the napkin rings and napkins at Homegoods, and got a bread basket at Ikea and used some black and white kitchen towels from Target that I’ve had for a couple years and haven’t ever used for anything.
I made a couple different deviled eggs recipes and they were pretty good. I got these deviled eggs with goat cheese and proscuitto recipe from Food and Wine magazine (also available online), but took out the sour cornichons. I got the Paula Deen’s loaded deviled eggs recipe here. I also got the apples on horseback recipe from Food and Wine (here). They were really good and super easy! I wrapped 16 slices of Manchego cheese/Fuji apple with panchetta, stuck them on some metal skewers, sprayed some foil with cooking oil and grilled them on the grill for a few minutes on each side. I wanted appetizers that you could make without using the stove or oven since my boyfriend was busy with the turkey and other things…they were so easy and very good! I took them off the skewers and stuck them with toothpicks. I got the roasted garlic and rosemary pumpkin hummus recipe here. I made more labels, also inspired by the TomKat Studio post.
I got a crockpot mulled cider recipe here. It was so good and smelled even better! I also found this cute Pilgrim Rum picture online and swapped it out for the Bacardi Gold label…I didn’t want to make the cider alcoholic, so if somebody wanted it to be, they could just add as much rum as they wanted…and had cinnamon sticks as the stirs. 🙂
And finally, I bought a couple chargers and a few candles at Michael’s and decorated them with some leftover twine. My boyfriend really likes to go all out with things (for better or for worse, haha!) so his turkey was no exception. We got a fresh turkey from the local Tewes Farm and did a dry brine on it for two days. Then he wrapped it in bacon on Friday night and slow-roasted it at about 225 degrees for over 12 hours. He had to get up every few hours to baste it.
If you can’t tell from these pics, it definitely turned out delicious. The only problem was that with the bacon fat in the turkey drippings, the homemade gravy didn’t really turn out. It tasted good, but the consistency was sort of clumpy. When we make the turkey again on Thanksgiving for my family, we’re not doing the bacon!
Last but not least, we held out First Annual Friendsgiving Pie-Off. There were five entries. I attempted to make some gluten-free, low carb “crustless pumpkin pies” in cupcake cups…Ugh! Haha. I don’t recommend it (not that I thought they’d turn out great).
We got this medal online for $5 with free engraving, plus shipping. Not bad!!
Overall it was really fun. We are looking forward to doing it all again next year! 🙂