Sneak Peek

My brain is once again swirling with ideas 
as the weekend of Carin's Tacky Christmas Sweater Party fast approaches.

Carin & I have been brainstorming food, decorations, and activities to make their annual
Christmas Party

Today I thought I would share with you my little inspiration board of treats for the party.
All of the recipes were picked out according to my two party food rules:

1) Foods must be one (or two if you're a lady) bite 
& fit on a cocktail napkin.

2) They must be "make-ahead" recipes.

In all my past party planning, I've realized that the less you make ahead the more chaotic your party day becomes. 
So without further ado, I present to you, Carin's menu:

What are your favorite make-ahead recipes?
What staples do you always have at your holiday parties?



Currently being inspired by...

Candy Canes!

That's right, folks.
Thanksgiving is over which means it's officially the 
And ooooweeee do these stripey sally's get me in the mood!

Here are some of my faves:

Loving Martha's treat package collection for Michael's. So festive!

A scrumptious Candy Cane Dessert Square recipe

For all you knitters out there - a little candy cane sock DIY

Um, I'll have 7.
Immediately go check out this recipe.

I thought these were just the cutest stocking holders.
Don't you?

A great gift idea from my number one lady, Martha.

My roommate got me this a couple years ago as a Christmas present and it is honestly so festive & pleasant that I always go and get myself some in time for Christmas.

Do you love candy canes?

{long} weekend re-cap

As promised!!

Here are some of my favorite shots from this weekend,
 which was truly filled with people I am thankful for!

Hope you are as blessed as I am.

The bird

My mom's Thanksgiving spreaders.

GPC's first Thanksgiving
(naturally I decorated his little seat like a turkey...)

Catholic Casserole

A little post dinner jam sesh.

Friday night gathering with my faves:

Saturday with the other side of the fam:

Jack (on the left) is 8 months old
Grady (on the right) is 4 months old.
Can someone say moosey?

Not so baby Lilly.

The best shot of the grandkids (on my dad's side) I got on my camera.
*Keep in mind this is still 6 short of the entire crew...

Uncle Ed and baby Grady

I also saw Love & Other Drugs this weekend.
I totally recommend it - if for no other reason than to oogle Jake Gyllenhal's manly shoulders for 2 hours...

So, how was your Thanksgiving??


Happy Thanksgiving!

My Turkey Cakeball.


Thankful for...

 the debauchery that is

Although not quite as chic as the party I'm featuring today, 
tonight is sure to be a good time and I promise to do a recap post.

In the meantime, to fill the void of a celebration-less Wednesday,
check out this Rustic Fall Celebration featured on

What are you thankful for?


Tasty Tuesdays!


If you like Pumpkin & Chocolate (are normal) you're going to LOVE these.
Mine were slightly undercooked and they were still heavenly.
They would be a lovely addition to your Thanksgiving dessert spread.

Here are the deets:

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 to 3/4 cups sugar (the original recipe calls for the larger amount; I think it could be dialed down a bit)
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat to 350!

Butter a 9inch square baking pan and set aside.
Melt the chocolate and the butter until smooth.

Whisk together the flour, cayenne, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
Mix together sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Beat until fluffy then add the flour mixture.

Now you want to pour half of the batter into an additional bowl and add the melted chocolate.

In the other bowl (stand mixer) stir in the pumpkin, oil, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Now put half of the chocolate batter in the bottom of your greased pan.
(Feel free to do it prettier than I did...)

on top of that add half of the pumpkin batter.
Repeat it again (layer of chocolate, layer of pumpkin)
and if you want, swirl a knife through all 4 layers to create a SWIRL effect.

Now pop that sucker in your preheated oven for about 40 - 45minutes.

When they have cooled pop them out of the pan and cut into small squares.

"Um, excuse me Auntie Meghan, if you need a taste tester just let me know..."


Recipe found here

What's on your dessert menu?


Currently being inspired by...


Yayaya!! The week is finally here!
Family is flying in, the week has just begun and yet it's almost over,
the kitchen is stocked with delicious ingredients just begging to be baked,

In honor of the delicious day,
Here are some of my faves:

A gorgeous collection on Modern Centerpieces

Annie over at Annie's Eats has a seriously steady hand.
Check out her fabulous Spiced Brown Sugar Cookie Favors

An easy but elegant way to spruce up your candles

LOVE Papersource's Paper Pumpkin Placecards.

A divine DIY courtesy of Jami from In the Life of a Davis

Slightly obsessed with these Thanksgiving Favors

um, stop it.
How cute is this little guy?
The perfect addition to any "Kid's Table"

And speaking of kid's...
I will seriously give my right arm up if someone can 
find this in time for Grady to wear it Thursday.

What are your plans for Thanksgiving?
What are your Traditions?
What are you looking forward to most?