My First Thanksgiving!

No, I don’t mean this was my first Thanksgiving…I mean this was my first time hosting Thanksgiving. For 12 people. In our apartment. Sorry for the late posting!

Now, most people would think I’m straight up CRAZY for even suggesting this. But we had a wedding to go to the weekend right after the holiday in North Carolina and didn’t see the point of trekking up 95 N to our families to just go back 95 S to NC sooo we had everyone come here.

BUT honestly it was a great day. I am #blessed to have the most supportive parents & in-laws who helped out A TON and I wouldn’t have been able to pull this off without them. We rearranged our furniture to be able to fit two tables, I set out my late grandmother’s china, & crafted A LOT in preparation for the day.

Below are some highlights:

We have a tradition where someone is the designated turkey for the day and they have to wear the Turkey Hat (It’s really fun to chant TURKEY HAT! TURKEY HAT!). I found this awesome post on the Silhouette America blog that I tweaked a bit (used paper instead of balloon for the gobbler and didn’t buy all the designs only the hat and the feathers). Isn’t it cute?!

TURKEY-HAT

The wall our dining room table is perpendicular to is completely bare, we’ve looked into some prints but haven’t found anything we like. I knew I wanted to put a wall decal & a little something else to had some whimsy and also to jazz up that wall since it was going to be at the head of the table for our feast. I decided to create a wall decal using gold vinyl (I used Cricut brand even though I have a Silhouette– it was the only gold vinyl I saw at the craft store). I bought the Give Thanks design from the Silhouette Design Store then cut it out and placed it on the wall using transfer paper (comment if you need more details but it was SO easy). Then I hung the cutest little paper garland (from my friends Etsy Shop, Luxeworthy <– check it out!) with some gold sparkly tape…and DONE.

give-thanks-decal

Here are my awesome parents stuffing our 20.5 lbs bird–Learned SO MUCH about this process but mostly that it’s hilarious & takes determination. Here’s a little glimpse into our little but nice apartment kitchen!

mom-dad-turkey

I also cut out brown paper maple leaf napkin rings (I forgot to snag a pic!) but they’re in the Silhouette Design Store, really no skill required: download, place as many as you can fit to a page, cut out, assemble.

I’ve been playing around a lot with digitizing my own handwriting so I digitized my handwriting for “im thankful for” and cut out on silver printable foil (Silhouette brand) and put on kraft paper 3×5 cards I cut out using my Silhouette as well. [Sidenote: I try to remember what my life was like without a Silhouette and it’s bleak. Dramatic, I know.]

im-thankful-for

So there you have it, check out the pano below Matt took of the whole crew/set-up (you can only see the back of my head). It was the first joint-family holiday, but I’m excited for many more to come and to eventually have a proper house to fit everyone it. But as my aunt said “‘a home filled with love has no walls’ and it looks like there was a lot of love there.”

thanksgiving-pano

Stay tuned as I decorate for Christmas!!

 

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Fall to Winter Wreath

I have been crafting all things Thankgiving/Fall recently in preparation of hosting Thanksgiving dinner for our families next week. Yes, families, as in 12 people + my parent’s dog will be feasting at our apartment for the holiday.

So what better way to welcome¬† my guest than with a cute wreath on the door. I found the idea for the wreath from this blog. I had every intention of making exactly the wreath Little Lovelies has in her tutorial, but my trip to Michael’s last weekend proved that no one cares about Thanksgiving anymore and it’s all Christmas all the time. I searched that store top to bottoms for any fall leaves — and nothing. So, I revised the plan with the options available and ended with faux poinsettia flowers. I nixed the glitter initial on the wreath after I couldn’t find a size & style that looked good with the grapevine wreath I picked.

Final Supplies:
1) Grapevine Wreath (small-medium sized)
2) Off-White Burlap Ribbon (2.5in width)
3) Dark Red/Purple Poinsettia Garland
4) Hot Glue Gun
5) Command Hook & Strips (I had a little clear hook already so I used that to hang the wreath on my apartment door)

I basically followed the same directions Little Lovelies gives, to make the loops with the burlap, glue on the flower, then glue the little unit to the wreath . I configured it a few different ways before I ended up with my final product. I really like the simplicity of the wreath and it makes our apartment more homey!

Final Product:

winter-wreath

Stay tuned for more Thanksgiving decorations as I prepare for next week!

Self-Inking Address Stamp

Matt & I have been in our apartment since February and we’ve decided it’s a good place for us to stay until we buy a house. With that decision made, I jumped on getting a self-inking address stamp. I send A LOT of cards to my friends & family and have had my eye on one for a while.

I took a peek at a few companies on groupon but ultimately I wanted to get one from a maker on Etsy. So after looking at some different options I decided to go with a shop called SimpleANDPretty.

This is the listing I picked for our stamp. Jamie sent a proof in a few hours of purchase and I decided to do an ampersand (&) instead of the heart between our names. The stamp shipped that same night I ordered (Tuesday) and I got it on Saturday, so the shipping time was fast! Here is a picture of the cute little packaging it came in:

etsy-stamp

I would LOVE to show you the awesome quality of the stamp buuuut then you’d know where I live. SO just take my word for it…SimpleANDPretty makes simple and pretty address stamps.

Turkey Lurkey Time Calligraphy

If you don’t know the reference it’s a song from the show Promises, Promises. If you were ever into musical theater you may have watched the movie Camp. This is the scene from Camp where they do that song. Needless to say I sing this song on repeat in the coming days of Thanksgiving.

I also fell off the calligraphy practicing wagon since going to India so I needed to get back into it. And this little phrase I scribbled the best. So I prettied it up with some watercolor and called it a night.

turkey-lurkey-callig

India

elephant-indiaAs many of you know, I’ve recently returned from a week in INDIA with my parents, brothers, and boyfriend.

FIRST STOP

CITY: Goa
ACCOMMODATIONS:
The Leela Goa
HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Prisha & Chirag’s Wedding (see below for wedding breakdown)
  • Elephant Riding at Sahakari Spice Farm
  • Swimming in the bath-like waters of the Arabian Sea
  • Attending Catholic mass in Old Goa

The wedding celebrations for Prisha & Chirag spanned over 3 days:
Day 1. Sunday: Mehndi, beach formal celebration at a seaside restaurant (Zeebop) with large dance floor & plenty of energetic Indian music plus two girls doing henna on anyone who wanted it–guys included! nora-wedding-goa

Day 2. Monday: Vidhi, late morning ceremony for Prisha’s family & friends in one of the conference rooms at the Leela. The Vidhi consists of 3 ceremonies, but my favorite was the pithi when all the women attending¬† (me included!) rubbed a sandalwood paste on the brides face, arms, and legs to purify before her wedding day.

Day 3. Tuesday: Wedding Day started off with a outdoor morning ceremony starting at 8:30am (to beat the hot afternoon sun) on the Leela Lawns, beautiful green space near the beach. The ceremony had dancing, music, prayers, & tradition! The ceremony finished before we all melted and the festivities resumed after-dark for the cocktail hour and reception, also on the Leela Lawns, filled with dinner & dancing under the stars. If I had to describe the evening in one word, I’d choose: Magical.

FINAL STOP

CITY: New Delhi
ACCOMMODATIONS:
JW Marriott Aerocity
HIGHLIGHTS:

  • THE TAJ MAHAL
  • The Red Fort in Agra
  • Tasting a guava & red pepper flake doughnut at Dunkin’ Donuts

The Taj Mahal is a masterpiece that truly blew me away in person. The architecture is balanced & perfect, playing tricks on your mind with the composition. Plus the grounds are manicured and clean. While the Taj is magnificent we all were more intrigued with the Red Fort, created by the Mughals, resembles the El Alhambra in Spain especially with the careful use of water for comfort. I highly suggest not to miss the Red Fort if you find yourself in Agra!

Our week in India was unforgettable and I am so #blessed to share it with my favorite people.

matt-nora-taj