Saturday, October 19, 2013

Thanksgiving Dinner

Between my pies cooling and basting my turkey, I took a few photos of our Thanksgiving table. It was a wet, rainy Saturday and therefore the perfect weather to be inside a warm kitchen.

Sage Butter Basted Turkey with Orange Bourbon Cranberry Sauce and Giblet Gravy
Sausage, Apple and Walnut Stuffing
Mashed Potatoes
Maple Butternut Squash
Broccoli Bake
(This staple is Ryan's favorite, and something my mother in law brings just for him - I can't make it as well... I'm getting better, but it's still not the same.)

And for dessert I made Pumpkin Pie with Maple Cream and Apple Pie a la Mode.

As my family celebrated on Thanksgiving weekend, it was just Ryan's parents, my sister-in-law, and his two grandmas that came.

I thought purple and yellow seemed like a pretty fall combination. The arrangement is very whimsical with Sunflowers, Cabbage, Willow and even some Pine Cones and Lavender from the garden. Once we sat down for dinner, I moved it to the coffee table. It's nice to be able to see everyone at the table.

I kept the place settings simple with my vintage cutlery, linen napkins, and a white gourd.

I picked out this table cloth at Homesense for $15. It's a Ralph Lauren and it's nice and thick. Someone in my family will comment on all the color going on, I know it. I don't usually stray far from classic white or neutral table linens.

You can see that above my door there is a lovely dark spot waiting to be painted. This past week was fire safety week at school. With Willen's help, we replaced all of our smoke detectors and moved them to more optimal locations. We also replaced our carbon monoxide and natural gas detectors. We even came up with an emergency evacuation plan and picked a meeting place safely away from the house.

It was a lovely evening. I think the pie was my favorite. This year I used a real pumpkin and made my own puree. It's not quite perfect. I need to alter the spices to my taste. But it was still delicious, and the texture was perfect!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Greener Clean

I have to admit, when it comes to cleaning, I'm not the first to reach for a green cleaning product. I've tried a few products and have been left disappointed with the quality of their cleaning power. The only environmentally friendly cleaner I really enjoy using is Mrs. Meyer's Window Cleaner in Geranium.

I am in love with this scent.

However, I had purchased it on a trip the the States and I've never found it again. I even looked on Amazon and just couldn't justify an entire case of toilet bowl cleaner. I finally gave up. That is, until Target came to Canada. I soon discovered that Target carries the Mrs. Meyer's line. But, still no Geranium.

Without wanting to commit to purchasing an entire collection of new cleaning products, I took home a bottle of her Lemon Verbena scented Counter Top spray. Now, I'm not obsessive when it comes with cleaning. I do not stay up long after my children are asleep to wash floors, and I rarely wake up early to scrub my bathrooms. But I did really enjoy the scent of this spray.

So I returned later in the week and purchased the line. I even took home a bottle of fabric softener.

I feel good knowing that it's mostly plant-based, and that it doesn't consist of any harmful chemicals like my previous cleaners. Plus it makes the house smell fresh. 

Now back to cleaning and getting the house ready for company.

PS. Did you know that Mrs. Meyer's had 9 children? Bless her heart.

Thanksgiving Dinner Preparations

In the midst of preparations for my sale, my house suffers. Laundry piles up, boxes are stacked all around, dishes remain in the sink and nothing really gets more than a quick clean.

With Thanksgiving dinner this Saturday, I've been spending my time trying to bring order back to our home.

Along with cleaning, there are some other preparations I'm very much looking forward to:
Baking my pies, setting the table, arranging a centerpiece, and of course preparing dinner itself.

Tomorrow I will be doing a deep clean of the house. Sickness didn't effect me enough to believe that my house will remain in such order until the weekend, but at least the morning of I know I will simply need to do a light clean.

I've also taken out my silverware to give it a quick polish, brought down my table linens to be washed, planned my menu and written my list for the market.

I know that a lot of people can't be bothered with such details. After all, they aren't necessary for a wonderful time together. But I personally enjoy the preparations nearly as much as I enjoy the dinner itself.

I feel much more relaxed as things start to declutter and return to normal.

I think this year I might include some of my brown transferware and use them as serving pieces.

My mom and I have been collecting silver-plated tea and coffee pots, as well as cream and sugar sets. They are planning on including a small tea room area in their shop and so we've been putting a collection of serving pieces together. These are my particular favorite.

On another note, last weekend I went to sale by Oliver and Rust. Meg, the proprietor, did a wonderful job! It's always so nice to find someone who chooses pieces that you yourself are drawn to. I found this antler and this beautiful framed watercolor painting. It's a cozy rural scene and it matches my other frames in my living room perfectly.

I also picked up another pair of beautiful brass candlesticks. These will be used in my table setting as well.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Our 3rd Annual Vintage Tag Sale

In hindsight, it's ironic to think that I stared at this chalkboard, with this exact message for the days leading up to my sale.

"In all things, remember to give thanks."

So how does one find thankfulness lying sick in bed, unable to get up the morning of a day that you have spent a year preparing for, and weeks and weeks of countless hours working towards?

By counting my blessings one by one, and feeling my heart begin to overflow with thanksgiving.

Thankful for family that worked so unbelievably hard to do what I couldn't.
Thankful for the ability to have every detail finished the night before.
Thankful for a husband who washed sheets, and made tea and toast, and entertained sick babies so I could rest.

And thankful for each one of you who came out and showed your support, and those who couldn't but sent their encouraging words.

I am truly grateful, and very blessed.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving
Luckily, my dinner isn't until this weekend.

I feel the need to include the fact that my mother baked 50 of these gorgeous pies the day before the sale! Then she sold out.

I did manage to enjoy a piece of her pumpkin pie the next day. 
It was delicious.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Annual Fall Drive

Each year, around the first day of Autumn, my cousin and I take our annual Fall Drive. We've been doing it for years - ever since I got my first car. The first stop is always to pick up a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks, and usually includes local craft shows, a few farm stands to pick up gourds and pumpkins and a tour through the beautiful countryside to enjoy the changing leaves.

This year we had a few specific places we wanted to stop.

Garrison Village in Niagara on the Lake was our first destination. Their weekly farmer's market included a small antique sale and I knew I'd find a few good treasures. While there, we came upon a shop called Refuge. I had never shopped it before and I was so excited to find it! It's a beautiful collection of vintage finds, and really is a shop where you could find just about anything for just about anyone. 

After that, we made our way to 13th Street Winery where they were hosting a Handmade Market. 

It was a lovely day.

Really, it's Fall in a cup.

As you can see, there were so many great finds!

These donuts were from Willow Cakes and Pastry in Niagara on the Lake. I picked the second from the right, on the top. Are you ready for what it was?

It was covered in caramel with Toblerone bar on top, and filled with caramel cream cheese filling.

It was to die for.

Here's a little peak into Refuge. Be sure to stop by when you are in the area and browse her wonderful collection.

And finally 13th Street Winery. It's so clean and simple and it reminds me of a perfect modern farmhouse. It was a great location for this Fall's Handmade Market.

And there was wine... And butter tarts in their bakery.

And food trucks!