what we’ve been up to lately…

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Rustic Thanksgiving Table

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Here in Canada we celebrated Thanksgiving a few weekends ago.  I’m excited to share the beautiful table that my sister and I put together this year, and to maybe inspire some of my American readers for their Thanksgiving.

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My sister and her family spend the summers in beautiful cottage country, and having Thanksgiving there this year was so beautiful with all the changing leaves, that we decided to set the table outside.

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We began our table with some wood slice chargers.  My sweet brother-in-law went out into the woods for us, and cut some slices, than sanded them smooth.  They came out beautifully.  I love them, and they were the perfect foundation for our rustic Thanksgiving table -thanks Shaun.

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My sister found some old antique silverware, and we left it tarnished for the perfect rustic look -I kind of wanted to sneak it into my suitcase when I left.

Rustic thanksgiving table wood slice charger

For an easy, fun place card we used a white paint pen to write everyone’s names on fall leaves.

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My sister had some gold napkins, that worked great with the tarnished silverware.

Rustic thanksgiving table amber glass

We also used some pretty vintage amber goblets, love how they looked with the bittersweet.

Pumpkins bittersweet grapevine candle centerpiece

For the centrepiece, we layered pumpkins, and candles on a piece of vintage lace.  The candles were in clear glass vases, which was perfect for outside, so they didn’t blow out in the breeze.

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My sister wound in some grapevine, and bittersweet -it was simple and so pretty.

Rustic thanksgiving table pine cone garland

Over the table, and between two trees, we strung up a pretty pine cone garland.

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With a beautiful rustic, outdoor Thanksgiving table like this, life really is a party!

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This post is linked up at The Inspiration Gallery, and The Weekend Retreat Link Party.

Sleeping Beauty Princess Slumber Party

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

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On the weekend we had so much fun hosting an “almost” slumber party with #DisneyBeauties and #CollectiiveBias.  The party was to celebrate the new release of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty DVD!  I say “almost” slumber party, since we had all the fun of a Princess slumber party – with new pj’s, watching the Sleeping Beauty DVD, an amazing popcorn snack bar, and a photo booth, but we sent our little friends home to sleep, along with a Princess breakfast all packed up “to-go” for them to enjoy in the morning.  It was so much fun.

Let’s begin at the beginning, with this great party checklist -click here for your own free printable Party checklist.

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We picked our date – a Friday night, and invited a few special friends.  Our theme was Sleeping Beauty, and after watching the movie as “homework” I got some great ideas for some special movie inspired details.  I headed to Walmart to find everything I needed for the party.  Love their party section and all the American Greetings Disney Princess Party Supplies.

Walmart party supplies

Of course, we also picked up the Sleeping Beauty Diamond Edition Blu-Ray DVD Gift Set.

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Since it was a slumber party – almost, along with the great Princess party supplies at Walmart, I picked up matching Princess pajamas for all the girls -these were so much fun and a great take-home favor for the girls (I love giving something useful).

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I also picked up a Princess photo backdrop that came with great props, such a fun and simple way to do a photo booth at the party.  As soon as the girls arrived they changed into their matching pj’s.  Then we invited them into our “theater”.  We transformed our living room, by removing most of the furniture.

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I strung up curtains to hide the kitchen, and decked out the couch with lots of gold and fur – the perfect Princess decor.

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The wall behind the TV was decorated with fun bunting, in our pink and gold color scheme.  I made it out of scrapbook paper and created a few Princess bunting flags from paper plates.

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And the fireplace got the Sleeping Beauty treatment too.  I made a curtain of pink tulle, and added a chalkboard with flashing Christmas lights.  I found the pictures of the fairies on-line, and added them for a little fairy magic.  A little rose bush seemed like a fun detail, since Aurora was re-named Briar Rose by the fairies.  I also made a simple “Once Upon A Dream” banner, and added a little gold glitter for fun.

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The star attraction was the Movie Popcorn Buffet.  Over the buffet I hung a pretty Princess chandelier, and for added sparkle I wound a string of tiny lights around it -it was so pretty.

Princess party decor

My favorite scene from the movie has to be the fairies arguing over whether Aurora’s dress should be pink or blue, so I used this idea for the popcorn buffet.  One side was “Make it Blue” and the other was “Make it Pink”.

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I made these fun free printables, get them here -Make it Pink -Make it Blue, and set up lots of fun treats.  We started out with popcorn – pink and blue of course, as well as caramel corn and regular popcorn.

Sleeping beauty make it pink make it blue snack buffet

Along with the popcorn, I added lots of fun candy add-ins, so everyone could personalize their snacks.

Sleeping beauty popcorn buffet

The girls used the pretty Princess cups to make their personalized popcorn.

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For drinks there was blue sports drink, or pink lemonade, in pretty bottles with paper straws, and Princess wands.

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Once we had our snacks, it was time to enjoy the movie!

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One of my favorite details of our “almost” sleepover was to send the girls home with a special Princess breakfast to enjoy in the morning.

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Click here for the free printable “wishing you sweet dreams and an even sweeter breakfast”.

Sleeping beauty slumber party breakfast to go

I used some gable boxes to hold all their goodies, and decorated them with some princess washi tape.  On the top of the boxes and tied with a bow was a thank-you card – since Princesses always remember a thank-you card, that had directions on the back for the breakfast.  Inside the boxes were breakfasts fit for a queen – or a Princess, lol.

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I made regular waffles and cut the tops to make them into crowns!  I also included an individual maple syrup, and “Briar Rose’s Berries” and some edible fairy dust!

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I used little glass jars and combined pink sprinkles and some edible gold glitter.  The little princesses loved them.

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Along with the waffles, I bought fun mini cereal boxes and added a pink spoon with some more washi tape, and a package of hot chocolate.  So much fun!

With an “almost” slumber party to celebrate the release of the Sleeping Beauty DVD, life really is a party!

This post is linked up  at The Inspiration Gallery, and The Weekend Retreat Link Party.

Caramel Apple Fondue

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We had such a fun Fall Fondue Party on the weekend.  We enjoyed Cheese Fondue, and then an oil fondue with chicken, and tempura vegetables, along with lots of fun dipping sauces.  See all the fun details and recipes here.  After that it was time for a delicious fondue dessert -and we chose a Caramel Apple Fondue, perfect for fall.

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My husband and my kids LOVE caramel apples, and I think this fondue version is even better than a traditional caramel apple, since it’s easy to eat, and you can try out all kinds of different toppings.

Caramel Apple Fondue

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 3/4 cup condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Put the butter in a heatproof bowl, set over a pan of simmering water and melt it.
  2. Add in the sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup, water, condensed milk, and cinnamon. Stir and cook until the fondue is smooth, and all the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Pour into fondue pot, and enjoy with your choice of dippers.
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I highly recommend a fondue pot that has a ceramic bowl, inside the metal pot, where you can add water and create a double boiler to keep your fondue warm, without letting it burn on the bottom.

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I sliced up some honey crisp and granny smith apples for dipping.

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We also had lots of fun toppers.  We used coconut, chocolate sprinkles, rainbow sprinkles, chopped walnuts, mini chocolate chips, chopped M&M’s, and popping candy.  The kids loved trying all different kinds of combinations -every apple slice was a new adventure.

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With homemade caramel apple fondue, life really is a party!

This post is linked up at The Inspiration Gallery, and The Weekend Retreat Link Party.

Fall Fondue Party

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

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I love fall.  I love the colours of the leaves, I love the cooler days, I love the food, I love the pace -the return to school days, and lessons, and schedule.  Fall is also the perfect time to slip in some casual entertaining before all the fuss and pressure of the holidays begin.  Today I’m sharing with you a fun, and no-fuss, easy fall entertaining idea -a Fall Fondue Party that I came up with for  #CollectiveBias.  I used Maple Leaf Prime Chicken Strips, to make this into truly easy entertaining, and so delicious.  I picked them, and everything else I needed up at Walmart while visiting the #FallMarketplace for some #BrightIdeas.
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Half the fun of fondue is trying lots of fun sauces, and the perfect accompaniment is French’s Honey Mustard, in the convenient squeeze bottle.  French’s Honey Mustard combines the sweetness of honey with the tangy taste of the finest grade of mustard seeds to enhance the flavour of any meal.  French’s Honey Mustard is great for chicken strips, sandwiches, pretzels, as a glaze for grilling and as a dip for fondue!  It’s also fat-free and cholesterol free, making it a great treat for the entire family.
Fondue party dipping sauces
For the party, I put together a simple fall table, and brought out the fondue pots.
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I picked up a ready made cheese fondue at the grocery store, and cut up a fresh baguette for dipping.  Yum. We served apple cider as the perfect fall drink.  I made a dish of scalloped potatoes as an easy side dish.
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For the Chicken Fondue, I heated peanut oil on the stove to 375 F  (190 C), and then kept it hot on the fondue stand, with the fuel.  For the chicken, let the  Maple Leaf Prime Chicken Strips come to room temperature , and cut them into bite size pieces.
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To cook the chicken, guests skewered a piece and cooked it in the hot oil until it was golden brown on the outside, and white in the middle.  (Chicken is fully cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 F or 74 C.)
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We had several fun dipping sauces to enjoy with the fondue.  There was ketchup, soya sauce, plum sauce, French’s Honey Mustard, and a Honey Mustard Mayo dip.
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I also made Tempera Vegetables -such a yummy way to eat veggies.

Fall Fondue Party

Ingredients

    Honey Mustard Mayo Dip
  • 1 Tbsp French's Honey Mustard
  • 2 Tbsp mayo
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • a sprinkle of paprika
  • Tempura Vegetables
  • 6 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup ice water
  • 1 cup flour
  • broccoli flowerets
  • white mushrooms
  • zucchini, sliced into bite size pieces

Instructions

    Honey Mustard Mayo Dipping Sauce
  1. Combine the ingredients in a bowl, and stir to combine.
  2. Tempura Vegetables
  3. To make the batter, beat egg and water together in a bowl. Add in flour, and stir briefly being careful not to overheat -it should still be lumpy.
  4. Place the cornstarch in another separate small bowl.
  5. To serve, invite guests to skewer veggies, dip in cornstarch to lightly coat, then dip in batter, and fry in peanut oil until golden brown.
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Fondue is perfect for relaxed fall entertaining.  It takes a while to cook your food, and that leads to fun, laid back conversation, while everyone takes their time and lingers at the table.
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For dessert, I made a caramel apple fondue with lots of fun sprinkles and add ons, like nuts, coconut, mini chocolate chips, sprinkles and popping candy.  It was a sweet ending to the meal.  Find the easy Caramel Apple Fondue recipe by clicking here.
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With a fun fall fondue party, life really is a party!
This post is linked up at Between Naps on the Porch.
 
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