The holidays are upon us, whether we’re ready or not. These 4 Simple Things to do now for the holidays will help you to enjoy your holidays with less stress. Plus, there’s a great giveaway for you. Can’t beat that!
This post is sponsored by Hope Hummus and Raw Spice Bar. It also contains affiliate links. All opinions are 100% our own.
Preparing for a large gathering and huge feast can be overwhelming and exhausting. My Mom seemed to host Thanksgiving every year almost and we had extended family, friends, and the occasional stray from a college kid to the hermit next door. Where my Mom really excelled as a hostess was details. She got out the nice dishes and the cloth napkins. Every year she created a new centerpiece for our hand built 20 foot dining table made by my dad with a huge slab of tree. Come to think of it I am sure this table was made just in time for one of my Mom’s celebrations and Dad was forced to finish because people were coming. Behind the scenes of this production, my Mom was running around like a crazy hen at slaughter. Sorry for the farm to table reference. I am pretty sure she would run in 5 minutes before people arrived and get dressed, makeup on, and hair did.
Oddly enough this turbulent time has rubbed off on me. I always said I would NEVER do what my Mom did. But I catch myself doing similar events and wondering if I am indeed my Mothers daughter. I began planning for Thanksgiving festivities as soon as Halloween conceded defeat. There are several things I think if you do in advance it can calm your big day and make it more Martha Stewart without the crazy hen analogy. Here’s the four things I believe in planning and executing before the big feast:
BUY SOMETHING ALREADY MADE
I feel like this is so taboo for many. It seems like cheating to buy things premade for the feast, but I promise you if you get the right things nobody will say a darn thing. And if they do they need Miss Manners. There are some no no’s for my premade choices, pies and the turkey, I just feel like a big faker if I buy those. One year I went to a Thanksgiving where they served a store bought “turkey roll” biggest disappointment of my whole year, my Mom made me a turkey a few days later. BUT I highly suggest buying a side or appetizer premade, they are not the star of the show but they would win the supporting actor award. This year I am going to wow people with my favorite new find, HOPE HUMMUS brand. They have big flavors and these are the hummus flavors that will make even the “I don’t eat hummus, you hippie” guest/uncle become a believer. Because they have numerous flavors that are all delicious I am going to be serving several flavors, Thai Coconut Curry my favorite, Spicy Avocado, and Siracha for all my super spicy lovers. This is a brand that everyone will be ok eating, it’s organic, a small business that does good things, vegan, and gluten free. Plus, because we love our readers you can enter to win a free HOPE HUMMUS flavor of your choice coupon for your holiday table. They even have chocolate y’all!
MAKE SOMETHING NEW AND UNEXPECTED
It seems like there is always something at the table that people go wild for and all the sudden it’s gone and that one cousin has a pile on their plate. Back in the day this was probably deviled eggs at our family table. But I think the key to bringing or making the “it” dish is something special that people wouldn’t make on a regular basis because it’s a process. So here is what I think you need to make that dish. Spices. Spices that make people go wow. With deviled eggs it’s that creamy texture, the mayo, the paprika, the relish with spices. This year my wow factor is inspired by our favorite monthly box, RAW SPICE BAR. Each month these lovely people grind fresh spices and send them straight to your door. These are NOT your grandmothers stale cinnamon and black pepper. These are so fresh you might wonder if you have ever really cooked with real spices before. They curate each monthly package with recipes that are drool worthy to get you using those spices. This year I am using their recipe for “Caraway Cheese Soft Pretzels” from the October Fest box. My kids go crazy for soft pretzels, going past the Target food court and not getting a soft pretzel is weeping, wailing, nashing of teeth. These are a crowd pleaser and can I just say, these are perfect for hummus dipping. PLUS, guess what readers you get to try RAW SPICE BAR with our giveaway below. You are so welcome!
MAKE A PIECE OF DÉCOR
This one has two purposes, first, everybody will wonder and ask where you got said décor. Second, it is therapeutic in the chaos of holidays to sit down and get creative. I truly believe that everyone can be creative and it’s good for our souls to create. Nothing can reroute my brain like a good painting session, I usually have to lock myself away somewhere and just be. It makes me crave that outlet as I write about it. But let’s face it, I am no longer painting huge self stretched canvases, I have wild children and a house that will be destroyed by my absence. What to do? Simple quick signs of course. Because people go crazy for signs right now. I mean have you been on Instagram or into Hobby Lobby? Signs are everywhere and they are super simple and quick to make. Find a good stencil you love or freehand that’s what I love. Figure out what you want to say and paint. Done. I used an old piece of barn wood we had from a project and paint I had and finished in about 30 min start to finish. And it’s so fitting for the world today, “come together.” Thank you Beatles.
DO A SIMPLE HOUSE UPDATE
Every year we had some project to do the night before Thanksgiving. It was awful. One year my siblings and parents and I stayed up and finished grouting a floor and painting a room. My brother snapped a polaroid of us working and wrote “welcome to hell” under it. Yes, do not wait for the last minute. It makes you feel confident to accept guests when things are fresh and new and you get that project done that has been on the back burner but you have dreamt about doing. Fresh paint, or hanging a new mirror makes a whole lot of difference. I decided to add some moulding in my bathroom, add new fixtures and shelving, and make some quick art. Gussied up and ready to go this was a quick one day project and I only spent $40. I know you are thinking of that project in your house. Just go and get the stuff and do it this weekend, I promise you will be happy you did.
I am happy these things are done and ready to go I can now avoid too much crazy. AND I am thankful this year for this blog, my blogging bestie Kathleen, and you readers. And because of that we have a fun festive giveaway for you below. Plus, Raw Spice Bar is offering our lovely readers with a $5 off coupon code for a 6 or 12 month gift or subscription, using code FLAVOR6. Awesome, right? Now, don’t forget to enter the giveaway!