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A Friendsgiving from Tablescape to Dinner is Served

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I'm partnering with Honeybaked Ham to bring you a guide to throwing an easy, gorgeous, and delicious Friendsgiving. This time of year, especially for those of us who don't live in our hometowns, can be absolutely crazy. Trying to squeeze in seeing friends before the holidays, packing for a few days away, waking up early for a Thanksgiving morning flight (okay, maybe that's just us this year...), and the usual work and life obligations — trying to pull together a dinner of your own needs to be quick and effortless.

THE SETTING

A few days before people starting taking off to leave town, ideally the week before, is the best time to host a Friendsgiving. I always prefer a Sunday to allow plenty of time for relaxing and set up beforehand. Make sure to send the invites a couple of weeks in advance so that you'll get on calendars early. Paperless Post always has the best selection of invitations, and it isn't too hard to find one that doesn't cost money (or coins, or whatever they call them.)

As far as setup around the house goes, I like to make sure my apartment is freshly cleaned whenever we have people over so I'll do a quick dust and vacuum, but I also don't break my back cleaning knowing that people will come in with shoes that have picked up leaves outside, drinks may be spilled, crumbs will be dropped. No one will notice if you haven't spent an entire day cleaning every nook and cranny, especially if they're dining in a candlelit, dim room. Bottom line, don't stress too much.


Weekend Thoughts

Thanks to a few unforeseen circumstances, I actually have a couple days in town this weekend! I thought we'd be out of town every weekend from the first weekend of November through New Year's, but now I'm getting a glorious couple days to stay put and do exactly what you see below. 

Okay, maybe not, no surprise I've already got plenty of things on my agenda, but it's so nice to get some time to catch up on things around the house instead of packing and unpacking.

ABOUT THIS ROOM BELOW

So I'm working on a travel recap that I'm super excited about and should have done for y'all by Monday. Stay tuned for all the florals, all the colors, and all the meals.




And if you need a little bit of reading on this lazy weekend, here are a few of my favorite links, favorite sales, and favorite posts I've written recently.

THE WEEKEND LINKS AND THOUGHTS

  • We picked a venue and date! Read all about it in this post.
  • Speaking of, I'm thinking I'll go the BHLDN route for my dress since I just can't justify spending much more than $1,000 on a dress I'll wear once. Has anyone gotten a wedding dress from BHLDN or had any experience with the brand?
  • If you live in DC and haven't been to the Wydown, go ASAP and get the chocolate raspberry scone. Adam and I stopped in this morning on the way home from the Farmers' Market and omg, I'm obsessed with the vibe. They also have wine in the evenings and I now understand why it seems to be the hot spot for weekday dates every time I walk by.
  • I finally got my Rekjavik travel guide up on the blog. Now I have just one more Europe recap to do and that should be up this week. Stay tuned!
  • I'm working on a Thanksgiving tablescape post this weekend and while I already got placemats for the occasion, I'm also loving the vibe of this geometric placemat. Plus, they're under $4.
  • Looking to invest in a Barbour jacket this year? Check out my guide to one of the best splurges you'll make for your wardrobe.

All Around the World

When Adam and I moved into together, I knew I wanted some way to track our travels together. Over the past year and a half, we've trekked all over the place — 4 countries and roughly 30 cities, to be exact. Whenever we have a weekend that's empty on the calendar, we start looking at flights and close by getaways, and I wanted a way to reflect that in our home.

THE QUESTION

But how were we going to look back on all these adventures? Besides the obvious memories and pictures, I wanted something physical to represent our journey. However, I'm not exactly the souvenir type, and we certainly don't have the room in our 614 square foot apartment to accumulate any unnecessary objects.




THE ANSWER

The answer I found is an old school map that we can mark off with push pins. I wanted something with a vintage feel as we've been trying, with varying degrees of success, to lean towards neutrals in the apartment. I combed through options all over Etsy and Amazon, and this map came the closest to the look I wanted at a reasonable price. It's big — 25.5 inches by 37.5 inches — but extremely lightweight, which makes sense given it has to be foam board to actually stick the pins in. The map comes with colored pins, but, of course, I decided to elevate the look a bit with gold push pins (how could I not at $5.50 for 100 pins?!)

An Instant Classic: Everlane Cashmere

Let me start off by saying, in the first week alone that I had this gray cashmere v-neck sweater, I wore it so many times that Adam commented on its regular appearances. I’m not sure if he often notices what I’m wearing, but that tells me it’s basically become my uniform. Seriously, I’d wear it every day if I could. It’s that classic and that comfortable.





THE BRAND

Everlane is one of those brands that I’d seen around but it took me until this fall to actually make moves and explore it for myself. Well, I’m never looking back. Their pieces are timeless and tailored, yet they feel totally current and young at the same time. That’s a tough balance to strike but they do it every time.


Tackling Fall Clean Up

With the crisp fall air used to come the promise of a new school year, and even now as an adult I like to look at fall as a time to clean up paperwork and start over. If spring cleaning is about purging and creating a clutter free home, fall cleaning is about tackling all of those loose ends that never seem to get checked off our to-do lists.




Why is fall such a great time to tackle this list? Because crossing off all these nagging to-do's is like turning to a fresh page in a notebook and we're already accustomed to doing that in the fall. And, because heading into the holiday season is not the time you want anything hanging over your head.

Search for A Wedding Venue

No surprise to those who know me, I’ve kept a mental log of potential wedding venues for years, so when it came time to start looking, I had a decent idea of where to start. Shortly after we got engaged, I began contacting those venues, scouring their websites for any information on pricing, and creating a spreadsheet of realistic options.

OUR SEARCH

We were quickly able to narrow down our search to Charlottesville and the surrounding areas. Charlottesville has always seemed like a natural choice for me, and luckily Adam has come to love the city as much as I do (okay, maybe not AS much as I do, but enough). It doesn’t hurt that Charlottesville has become such a popular wedding destination that venues and vendors there are now super easy to come by.

WHAT WE WANTED

As we looked at the options, it became clear that what we wanted was a venue that could not only hold the ceremony and reception, but also house all 16 of our guests on the property. With such a small wedding, the idea of having to arrange transportation and multiple venues seemed silly. We also didn’t want to deal with finding a caterer, so a venue with the ability to do a multi-course, delicious dinner was essential.



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