Thanksgiving Recap - Hosting on a budget

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love hosting people in my home. I may not have a big formal dining room or table settings for 18, but I do have a folding table, mismatched chairs and cute paper dessert plates that I picked up at TJMaxx. You don't have to be fancy to pull off a pretty Thanksgiving! So today on the blog, I'm gonna get real with y'all and give you the 'story beyond the instagrams', if you will.

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I spent $20 on some greenery from Trader Joe's and I probably could have gotten away with less. I had a ton leftover! (Not pictured: red and green solo cups).

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I took all of the little pumpkins I had leftover from October and used them as place cards or actually, place pumpkins. I bought paper napkins and copper plasticware from Target.

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The moral of the story, you don't have to have the best of things to make the best memories. I love to get creative and make things pretty but I have no doubt that Thanksgiving day would have been just as good without the extra $40 I spent on a few things for the table.

XOXO,

Di

 

Fun bonfire tips for your next fall gathering

I'd like to start out by apologizing for the photography you're about to see. I took my own photos with my iPhone and I'm ashamed but I wanted to show you some things I did for a casual hangout at my house this past weekend.

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We had some friends over for dinner and a bonfire last Friday and I think it's important for me to call out that we survived Tim's giant, 7 foot tall, bonfire that was fueled by my anxiety and gasoline. He had a rather large woodpile in our backyard (aka the tree he chopped down from the front yard) and I think I was in denial that he'd ever burn it. But he did. And I had to apologize to all of my friends after the fire died out because I may have overreacted a bit (or just reacted normally) but the jury is still out on that. All I know is I shouted things like "make it stop!" and "get the hose!" and I had my kitchen fire extinguisher in hand - as if it would be able to battle the fire. But in true Tim fashion, he knew it would be fine and it was. And now I have the trauma of the whole scenario to discuss with my counselor next week. Anyway, I digress.

What we served for dinner:

We made two different types of chili - white chicken chili and also a vegan option where Tim basically replaced the beef in his normal recipe with things like zucchini and carrots. It was delish. I would give you guys the recipe but I have no idea what it is. Tim just throws things in a pot when he makes chili and it's amazing. I will however share my go-to white chicken chili because there's an actual recipe for that. Y'all, it is so. good. You must try it.

We also had a little baked potato bar and it was my favorite part. It's a super cheap and easy way to feed your friends. And who doesn't love cheese and bacon on a potato?

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I found those cute little gold buckets and the letter stickers at target and I lined them with parchment paper before I filled them with the good stuff. Except onions. I hate onions. But I know people who like them so I had to make them a bucket full of chives.

I scrubbed the potatoes, poked some holes in them with a fork, rubbed olive oil all over them and salted them. Then I wrapped them in tin foil and baked them on a sheet pan for a little over an hour on 400 degrees. 

The Smores situation:

Because I knew that my nerves wouldn't allow me to get within 30 feet of the mega-fire, we also lit a proper fire in the fire pit. So while the men were shouting and pouring gasoline on the monster bonfire, my gals and I sat around the lovely lady fire. There were smores so the men joined us eventually.

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Have you tried a smore with a Reese cup? A friend of mine told me about this magic so I had to try it out. It was definitely next level. Also, pro-tip, whenever serving smores, be sure to have some wet naps on hand. Your guests will love you for it.

What are your favorite tips for a fall gathering?

XO,

Di

My latest obsession, burrata toast

In August, my best friend Danielle and I went to the beach to celebrate her birthday and I'm still sad it's over. Our favorite 30A restaurant is Caliza, so that's where we went for her birthday dinner. It's the most incredible poolside restaurant and every single detail is absolutely gorgeous. I wish you could tell from this adorable selfie of Danielle and I, but you can't. 

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Anyway, while we were there, we ordered the burrata toast with tomato jam and from that moment on, it was love. What is burrata you ask? It's a soft, fresh cheese made from mozzarella and cream. It has a texture like ricotta and it tastes like heaven. So when I got home, I tried to recreate it. And while I don't have an amazing poolside table to sit at with incredible chandeliers and a waitress with the most beautiful European accent, I did find some burrata cheese at Costco and I have a pretty cute dining room with a handsome husband to pour my Pellegrino. And I must say, my homemade version was pretty darn good.

Brittany Wood Photography

Brittany Wood Photography

It's just three ingredients, burrata cheese, tomato pesto and a delicious crusty bread of your choice. I lightly toast the bread, spread on a thin coat of tomato pesto and then add as much burrata as you like on top. I also like to sprinkle on some fresh ground pepper. It's simple as that!

Brittany Wood Photography

Brittany Wood Photography

So next time you're having your girlfriends over, whip this up in just a few minutes and be prepared to wow them. 

Happy Monday!

XO, 

Di

Stars and Spots - My Latest Fall Faves

You guys, I absolutely cannot believe it's October. It's nearly Tim and I's fourth anniversary! (Was that proper grammar?) This year is flying by much too fast. 

Recently, I was shopping with my Nana in Ohio at a great department store call Von Maur and I fell in love with a sweater made by Miss Me. It wasn't on sale - and I'm not one to pay full price - so I decided to keep an eye on it on their website and wait for it to go on sale. Much to my dismay, I was looking for it that night and I couldn't find it anywhere on Von Maur's website or Miss Me's website either. It's not everyday that I absolutely love a piece of clothing and worried that it was maybe discontinued or something, I made Tim stop back by the mall on our way back home to Tennessee so I could pick it up. 

Photo cred: Brittany Wood

Photo cred: Brittany Wood

On that same shopping trip, I fell in love again, with a pair of leopard mules. Again, they were more than I wanted to pay, they're Kate Spade, but I ended up doing some research later on and found them on Kate Spade's Website for a much better deal. Be sure and sign up for her newsletter for an additional coupon! So now I have a great fall shoe that I'm obsessed with.

Photo cred: Brittany Wood

Photo cred: Brittany Wood

OUTFIT LINKS: Sweater | Jeans | Shoes

Photo cred: Brittany Wood

Photo cred: Brittany Wood

It's a perfect, comfy outfit for a fall brunch. Currently, my favorite Nashville brunch spot is Caviar and Bananas. It's the cutest place in town! And their lattes are to die. This past weekend, I went with my sister, my cousin Brittany and her girls and had the absolute best time. 

Photo cred: Brittany Wood

Photo cred: Brittany Wood

I was quite surprised to have had a pretty good hair day this past Saturday. I honestly couldn't remember when I washed it last. It was held together by nothing but dry shampoo and wishes.

XO,

Diana

Before and After: Our Kitchen Update

When we moved into our house in 2015, we knew we had our work cut out for us. We've still got alot of projects around here but the kitchen is definitely something to be proud of. Also, it should be said that my husband is a miracle worker. Here are some before photos:

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And here's what it looks like now (photos by Brittany Wood): 

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Tim painted all of the cabinets by hand and we found the new hardware at Ikea!

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It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do. And I'm in love with the flooring that Tim and my brother-in-law installed.

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That sweet man of mine has made my kitchen dreams come true - and all on a budget!

XO,

Di