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Monday, November 30, 2009

Cyber Monday!

It's not too late to get good deals! Black Friday may be gone but Cyber Monday is here and many stores will honor your internet order placed up until midnight tonight so you still have time to catch some great deals & discounts. Here are some of my favorites for home decor and organizing as well as some miscellaneous sites. Just click on the name and you'll be directed to the website:

WILLIAMS SONOMA - They have free shipping on over 400 of their items. I love love love their bay leaf wreath and it makes a great gift! If you are making a turkey for Christmas, I highly recommend their dry brine.
WISTERIA- 25% off their entire site
HOME DECORATORS COLLECTION - $20 off of an order of $100 or more...both unique and traditional items (check out their rug selection)
FARMHOUSE FRESH GOODS - I love their scrubs AND they are locally (Southlake) based. They have free shipping through FRIDAY!
THE CONTAINER STORE - I love everything about this store and they have free shipping and gift certificate specials
WHAT ON EARTH - This is just a fun & unique shopping experience....
ZGALLERIE - 15% - 25% off and check out their "Essential Glassware Balloon Red Wine Glass" - AMAZING
Woot! - A little gem of a site with daily deals that are worth checking every morning.
And of course eBay and Amazon have great deals!
Gotta run...HAPPY HUNTING! I'll update as I continue to surf and shop and please let me know any of your favorites and I'll be sure to share....

Here are a couple I just patronized:

BALLARDDESIGNS
FRONTGATE

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Whew!


How do people manage to update their blogs AND have a life outside of cyberspace? We had a full house this holiday weekend and I could barely fit in the time to brush my teeth, and somehow I still received updates on the blogs that I follow?! WHEW! I have a long way to go as a blogger, but it's something I do aspire to....

Our family left earlier this morning and I have been busy catching up with the housekeeping and responding to emails that I ignored all weekend. I will definitely sleep well tonight! All in all, we had a fabulous holiday...and I AM THANKFUL the turkey turned out so well. We used a dry brine from Williams Sonoma and then snuck some home-made compound butter under the skin which made the bird exceptionally tasty.


If you haven't made compound butter, it is incredibly easy. Just let about half a pound of butter sit out and soften, and then whip in some fresh herbs (we used rosemary, sage, and thyme and about a teaspoon of this delicious dry brine). Roll it into a little log, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it until needed. When you are prepping your bird, cut it into medallions and sneak it under the skin of the turkey before putting it in the oven...YUM YUM! We used the rest of the butter on the table at dinner for rolls, mashed potatoes, etc....

In my opinion there are three keys to maintaining sanity during this holiday:
1) The early prep-work that was done the week leading up to Thanksgiving day...the pies (pecan, pumpkin & pumpkin layered cheesecake) were made Sunday, fresh cranberry sauce Monday, compound butter Tuesday, balsamic scented pearl onions and green bean almondine Wednesday night and Grandma's yummy sausage dressing was done Thanksgiving morning - but the celery & onions that go in it were chopped the night before!
2) Let your guests contribute! We had a juicy ham that my in-laws brought, beautifully light mashed potatoes thanks to my sister in law, delicious cornbread dressing from a sweet friend, a variety of cheeses & crackers thanks to my other sister in law and of course, everybody brought wine!
3) Finally, keep perspective. If the turkey is dry, the potatoes lumpy, or you don't have enough matching plates, as long you have your loved ones around you - isn't that what really matters?

(Oh, and the table turned out beautifully, although my chandelier still has not arrived. (Boo!) We had a last minute guest addition that we managed to squeeze in about three hours before we ate - so I'm not sure if I had a clear enough mind to take pictures of the table fully set, but if I find them on one of the cameras circulating this weekend, I'll be sure to post because it was gorgeous!)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

GOBBLE GOBBLE



Thanksgiving is at our house this year. We will have 10.5 people over for dinner (the .5 is for my 2 month old nephew, Connor, who won't actually partake in the traditional fare but who will show up and look exceptionally adorable) so I am in the midst of figuring out how to set our table in a dining room that comfortably seats 8. But let's talk about what is really important: THE DECORATIONS.



The centerpiece is 2 strands of gold twig garland from a fabric store and is interspersed with gold & ivory votive candles and a bag of potpourri (I laid it out early to ensure the fragrance tones down before company arrives for dinner - nobody wants a bite of perfume with their turkey!). Our table isn't super wide so we needed a thin & low centerpiece so it didn't interfere with the settings OR catch fire with the candles I love to include!

Remember the chandelier I was obsessed with? I just couldn't bring myself to spend $2500 on it, so I found another that I am hope-hope-hoping will be in before Thursday.