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host a tamale party

How to Host a Tamale Wrapping Party

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Last weekend I attended a tamale wrapping party. Well, halfway attended. My neighbor threw it, so my husband and I kind of traded off during the kids’ naps. It was a good time, so I figured I’d share how she pulled it off. It wasn’t my first rodeo with tamales (my husband loves them and we’re from Nevada, so it’s kind of a typical Christmas thing), but I do have a confession. I really don’t like tamales. It’s the masa. So gross. But, I like the idea of them, and I love a big group of people getting together to wrap them up, so I’m totally going to recommend you do it anyway! Just don’t make me eat them if you invite me. 🙂

Tamale Wrapping Party Guide

Set a Price

I’ve talked about parties for pay before, but this is totally not the same thing. Tamales are expensive, and unless you’ve got a group of super hungry guests, they’re going to take the tamales home. It’s one thing to invite friends over and provide food for them at a party. It’s another to provide them with take-home meals. My neighbor does $20 for 2 dozen tamales, which is pretty reasonable. However, she makes all the meat filling herself. If you’re going to have guests bring meat too, you’ll probably want to charge less. Speaking of…

Let Guests Know What to Bring

Tamale wrapping party tips. Tamalada parties can be a great way to get together! #tamales #tamaladapartyideas #tamalepartyideas #tamalada

This is up to you. If you’re hosting the tamale wrapping party, you should probably have the masa, cornhusks, take home bags, etc. But, it is a lot of work to make a whole bunch of meats, so maybe you want to split that chore. That’s fine; only cooking up one meat and dragging it along with you is no big deal. You should still check with everyone and see what filling they’re going to bring, though, or you might wind up with only super spicy pork or something.

Send them Home with Instructions

People who want to come to this party probably already know what tamales taste like, but that doesn’t mean they know how to cook them. It’s really not hard. You steam them forty minutes to an hour. There you go, copy and paste that to a text message and you’ve gone and an extra step besides just telling them what to do! Oh, you should also let them know they’re great for freezing.

Provide Snacks & Drinks

Tamale wrapping party tips. Tamalada parties can be a great way to get together! #tamales #tamaladapartyideas #tamalepartyideas #tamalada

This tamale wrapping party was your idea, friend! Since it is a form of party, you should be offering your guests refreshments and snacks. I suggest chips and guacamole and/or salsa. I also think it’s fun to have margaritas or Mexican beer like Dos Equis, but that’s all up to you. If you were having a cookie baking party or something, people might eat the ingredients as they go along, but that’s unlikely with tamales. You don’t have to spend a lot, but have at least a little something.

Set Everything Up on a Big Space

If you don’t have a big table, use your counter space to set up your tamale wrapping party. You’ll have big bowl of maza, husks, paper wrappers, and all the different fillings you’ve made. It’s easier if your guests can get to everything without constantly passing it back and forth, so if you can put two bowls of each out, that’s helpful, but in smaller spaces it’s not realistic.

Demonstrate

Tamale wrapping party tips. Tamalada parties can be a great way to get together! #tamales #tamaladapartyideas #tamalepartyideas #tamalada

It’s totally okay if you’ve never wrapped a tamale before, but you should be the one willing to look like an idiot and go first no matter what. It’s  not hard, but it is time consuming, and no one has the time to sit around guessing what you’re supposed to do. If you don’t want to demonstrate, pull up a YouTube video on your phone. Here’s one. Play that and you’re good to go!

Well, that’s it! It’s pretty simple to throw a tamale wrapping party. Now, you may have noticed I didn’t provide any recipes. I don’t have any that I didn’t steal from someone else, so I’m not going to provide that, but here’s a few places to get started:

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Frenzied Guide to Getting Ready on New Year’s

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How do you plan on getting ready on New Year’s? Will you be locking the bathroom door as your children bang on it? Perhaps throwing on a nice coat over your stained t-shirt and refusing to take it off all evening? Or, even better, paying the babysitter for an extra hour so you can actually make yourself look presentable? I’ve gone to three different events over the past month, ones that required more than my regular jeans, and I have a few ways to survive getting ready. Warning: Not meant to be taken entirely seriously. 🙂

1. Give yourself an extra hour when getting ready on New Year’s

New Year's Eve outfit ideas and tips for Getting Ready on New Year's. #newyearseve #gettingready #goingout #newyearseveideas

Well, okay, you guys, you actually can take this one seriously, especially if you’re a mom. However long you think it’s going to take you to get ready, start an hour before that. That gives you time for multiple interruptions, such as your husband barging in to have you decipher your son’s toddler babble or your dog sneaking in to destroy everything in the bathroom garbage can. Trust me, you need the extra hour.

2. If you can’t get an extra hour, wear something sparkly.

New Year's Eve outfit ideas and tips for Getting Ready on New Year's. #newyearseve #gettingready #goingout #newyearseveideas

 

The whole point of New Year’s fashion is to be flashy, right? Sparkly, metallic, whatever. If you’re wearing something really bold, maybe no one will notice that you’re not wearing any makeup and your hair hasn’t been styled in approximately six months.

3. If that’s not enough, make your hair shiny.

There’s so many shiny hair products, like this one.  I have curly, frizzy hair on the best of days, and I look like an 80’s hair band on the worst (okay, I secretly think those are the best, but don’t tell anyone), but I can put my hair up and spray those shiny products on and it looks like I tried. Getting ready on New Year’s is much easier when you don’t have to turn on a curling iron. If you’re really feeling sarcastic about it, don’t even get the shiny kind of spray. Get regular hair spray and put it in your normal hair. People will probably assume you did a lot of work.

4. Show up fashionably late.

Hear me out on this one guys. I’m not suggesting you wait to go to the party until you’ve spent hours making yourself look perfect. In fact, I’m suggesting the opposite. Don’t bother getting dressed up at all! Stay at home, drink a glass of wine, enjoy yourself. Or leave your kids and go hang out in the car for an hour just to get some peace. Whatever. Then you show up after everyone else is already drunk. They’ll tell you you look beautiful. Plus they’ll look wasted in all the pictures and you won’t, so it’s a win-win. 🙂

5. Still worried? Do some prep work.

I don’t mean prep yourself. Actually, I mean the opposite. Spend a couple of weeks running around town in your pajamas with crazy messy hair. Make sure you run into at least half of the other New Year’s party guests you expect to see. Then dress completely normal on New Year’s, perhaps with a clean shirt and brushed hair, and everyone will talk about how refreshed you look! How’s that for prep?

Well, I know all you busy ladies will look fantastic on New Year’s no matter how much time you have to get ready. Concerned I was a little too silly with this advice? Sorry, but I am the person who suggested you jump under a table to avoid political conversations, so I’m not sure what you thought you’d get!

New Year's Eve outfit ideas and tips for Getting Ready on New Year's. #newyearseve #gettingready #goingout #newyearseveideas
New Year's Eve outfit ideas and tips for Getting Ready on New Year's. #newyearseve #gettingready #goingout #newyearseveideas
New Year's Eve outfit ideas and tips for Getting Ready on New Year's. #newyearseve #gettingready #goingout #newyearseveideas
New Year's Eve outfit ideas and tips for Getting Ready on New Year's. #newyearseve #gettingready #goingout #newyearseveideas

New Year's Eve outfit ideas and tips for Getting Ready on New Year's. #newyearseve #gettingready #goingout #newyearseveideas

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MBA Graduation Party Ideas

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I can’t believe it’s finally time for me to come up with MBA graduation party ideas. Yes, that’s right. The Frenzied Hostess is about to be less frenzied. If you’ve ever read my about page or read this steadily, you probably know my husband has been doing his MBA program on the weekends at UT. Since I work from home, that means I’ve basically been on my own Monday-Saturday either pregnant or with two children for the whole thing. Yeah. Super fun. So even though this is his accomplishment, it’s just as much my celebration as it is his, and I want to do it right. When I think of MBA grads, I think of Wall Street, despite the fact that Mr. Davidson works in government, so we’re going high class all the way.

I do want to point out a few things about MBA graduations here before we get started. First, they’ve already had two other graduation parties, so you don’t need to get those cheesy high school decorations. You don’t need to throw a kegger like in college. My hubby’s already had both of them, although I didn’t know him in high school and I missed his bachelor’s degree party since I was the maid of honor/officiant at a wedding that day. It’s fine though, my master’s degree graduation party was the next day, and he missed that due to being hungover. Hmm. I’ve apparently always had too much going on. Anyway, since he’s already done those, it’s  okay to make an MBA celebration totally different.

5 MBA Graduation Party Ideas

1. Get a Bottle of the Good Stuff

MBA Graduation Party Ideas include nice bottles, fancy meals, and the general Wall Street lifestyle. #mbagrad #mbagraduation #graduationparty #graduation #party #fancypartyideas #graduationpartyideas

If you don’t drink alcohol, that’s fine, but you can’t tell me there’s no beverage you ever splurge on. Only drink water? Get it sparkly. Soda’s your thing? Fine, get the glass bottles. There’s like 8 million juices and teas to get crazy with. Now on to the hard stuff. My husband’s a whiskey man, so that’s what I went with, but my parents think champagne is where it’s at, so they’re getting him something fancy. This is what the MBA life tastes like, right? Whether he shares it with everyone is up to him.

2. Cook a Beautiful Cut of Meat

MBA Graduation Party Ideas include nice bottles, fancy meals, and the general Wall Street lifestyle. #mbagrad #mbagraduation #graduationparty #graduation #party #fancypartyideas #graduationpartyideas

Oh hey vegetarians, what’s up? Vegans, I’m sure you’re hating this list by now, but hang with me. There is amazing vegan food out there, right? Like, the very best stuff? That’s what you need to be serving. Now, as far as meat goes, it can get really expensive and I am aware of that. For my husband’s graduation party, that’s totally okay because I’m using his credit card. Muhuhahaha. It’s also okay because there are only a few people coming. That’s what happens when you graduate over the Christmas break. I can go ahead and serve a full dinner with steaks to my number of guests, but if you’re MBA grad has a lot of people coming, I suggest steak appetizers, like this or this.

3. Skip the Slideshows/Collages

You’re probably thinking skipping something shouldn’t count in this list of MBA graduation party ideas. But, it’s important. This is NOT the time for some slideshow of his accomplishments (or her – mine is a him, I’m sticking with it). MBAs don’t take that long. The average age of an MBA student is 27-29. No need to pretend they’ve just finished some great chunk of life.  It feels like my husband has been complaining about school for a lifetime, but it was really only 18 months. Not much of a slideshow for a 34-year old. Instead of doing a collage,  what about honoring him with something related to his school? Since Mr. Davidson attends UT, we’ll be celebrating by having him turn down the head football coaching job.  Just kidding. We’ll be presenting him with a UT degree frame.

4. Use Real Dishware, Classy Decorations

MBA Graduation Party Ideas include nice bottles, fancy meals, and the general Wall Street lifestyle. #mbagrad #mbagraduation #graduationparty #graduation #party #fancypartyideas #graduationpartyideas

Do you know how much the average MBA grad makes? Well, it depends on your program, but the low end is HR graduates, and they can still expect to make about $48K with hardly any experience.  Since most people don’t go into an MBA program before they have experience, they can expect to be making good pay. Now, you aren’t always going to be celebrating this person with fancy things. But just this one time, get fancy. Put out actual platters instead of dollar store ones. Skip streamers. Balloons are nice; I’m not a super fan of heavy decorating, ever, but I like a nicely done balloon archThings like dessert stands will add a little class as well and don’t require any work. Even better, hold it at a restaurant. Then you know it’s all real and you don’t have to do a darn thing.

 5. Dress Up

MBA Graduation Party Ideas include nice bottles, fancy meals, and the general Wall Street lifestyle. #mbagrad #mbagraduation #graduationparty #graduation #party #fancypartyideas #graduationpartyideas

My MBA graduation party ideas wouldn’t be complete without a dress code! I love throwing fancy dinner parties anyway, but in this case it’s essential. If you’re celebrating right after graduation, it’s not even an issue since you’ll probably already be dressed up. Now you’ll be looking all classy while you sip your fancy drink and eat tasty food. Then tomorrow it’s all back to the same old same old. At least your MBA grad got to enjoy the Wall Street life for a minute, right? 🙂

MBA Graduation Party Ideas include nice bottles, fancy meals, and the general Wall Street lifestyle. #mbagrad #mbagraduation #graduationparty #graduation #party #fancypartyideas #graduationpartyideas
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Ways to Create Fun Christmas Food Traditions

Everyone needs some fun Christmas food traditions. I don’t mean fun as in, oh yes, it’s fun to have the same traditions year after year. I mean, let’s jazz this up and get a tradition that can change a little bit to keep it interesting! If you haven’t heard, millennials are foodies. My husband and I are technically millennials,  and we are most definitely food people. I’m not going to mess with Thanksgiving. Those foods are sacred. But Christmas is a little more flexible, and I think it’s a great idea to come up with traditions that evolve. Here’s a few ways to do that:

4 Fun Christmas Food Traditions

1. Get Crazy with Breakfast

Fun Christmas food traditions can stay the same each year but offer different foods. #Christmas #christmasfood #christmasmeals #foodtraditions #christmastraditions #holidays #familytraditions

I don’t know about you, but I enjoy a late Christmas breakfast. Well, later. I guess it’s still pretty early since I have a toddler with serious FOMO. I don’t have any fun breakfast traditions yet, but if my family decides they want to have the same dinner year after year, I can definitely see myself turning breakfast into a surprise meal. There are so many ways to do this. I suggest making really Christmassy breakfasts. One year you can try Christmas tree waffles, the next a candy cane pastry. Seriously, so many options!

2. Choose a Base Dessert and Dress it Up

Fun Christmas food traditions can stay the same each year but offer different foods. #Christmas #christmasfood #christmasmeals #foodtraditions #christmastraditions #holidays #familytraditions

Desserts are the most important part of fun Christmas food traditions, right? So make yours especially fun by choosing a basic dessert and changing it each year. What do I mean exactly? Think of cheesecake. You’ve got a basic cheesecake, and they’re delicious, but there’s approximately 8 million cheesecake recipes out there (that might be a slight exaggeration). One year you do basic, the next year you try a pecan pie or a caramel apple crisp cheesecake.  Now every year your family knows they’re getting cheesecake, but you get to experiment with new ways to make it!

3. Go International

Fun Christmas food traditions can stay the same each year but offer different foods. #Christmas #christmasfood #christmasmeals #foodtraditions #christmastraditions #holidays #familytraditions

What if your tradition was celebrating a new culture every year? Then every year you’re doing the same thing, but eating something totally different. I personally love this idea, because there’s nothing I like more than cooking up something new and delicious. Here’s just one place to start on your search for other country’s Christmas food. If you can’t stand the idea of having something different every year and not getting that big fat turkey, you could always implement this on Christmas Eve, or make Christmas Eve your regular dinner. Christmas is so nice it gives you two chances for fun Christmas food traditions.

4. Add a Fancy Drink

Fun Christmas food traditions can stay the same each year but offer different foods. #Christmas #christmasfood #christmasmeals #foodtraditions #christmastraditions #holidays #familytraditions

I’ve been known to throw a cocktail competition or two, so this makes perfect sense to me. Except, instead of alcohol, I think it would be really fun to try a different hot chocolate every year. Then the kids can play too. Of course, I’m not anti-alcohol, so that also works. Either way, this gives you the chance to make the same food every year but add something a little extra to keep yourself interested. Or to keep yourself from getting too irritated by all those new noisy toys, if you choose the alcohol way. 🙂 Now go out, enjoy your new fun Christmas food traditions, and be merry!

 

Fun Christmas food traditions can stay the same each year but offer different foods. #Christmas #christmasfood #christmasmeals #foodtraditions #christmastraditions #holidays #familytraditions
easy wine bottle

Easy DIY Wine Bottle Christmas Decor

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I must confess, I had a hard time forcing myself to make this easy DIY wine bottle Christmas decor. Why? Because I’m busy, friends! I have too much to do. I just took a four day weekend for Thanksgiving, and I didn’t even catch up with half of my projects. But, according to my calendar, Christmas is coming, so I need to add about five hundred more things to my to-do list, like Christmas baking. Great. At least I can drink wine for this one. Oh, who am I kidding, I can drink wine for all of them. I work from home!

One whole year ago, when I started the Frenzied Hostess (happy anniversary to me!), I knew I wanted to create DIY projects, but only ones that I could do really quickly. To celebrate that and get back to my goal, let me tell you why this easy DIY wine bottle Christmas decor actually is easy compared to other wine bottle crafts. First, you don’t have to cut a glass bottle. Seriously, take “easy” and “quick” out of the equation if you have to cut glass. Second, there’s no paint. Go away, paint. I don’t have time for you. Third, you don’t even have to put it away when you’re done. Toss it out. Bam! Sounds too easy, right? Let’s get started.

Easy DIY Wine Bottle Christmas Decor Instructions

If you feel like making a DIY Christmas decoration but don’t want to put in a lot of effort, try this easy DIY wine bottle Christmas decor. #christmascraft #winebottle #winebottledecor #christmasdecoration #DIY #DIYchristmasdecor
If you want to pull off the labels, go ahead.
If you feel like making a DIY Christmas decoration but don’t want to put in a lot of effort, try this easy DIY wine bottle Christmas decor. #christmascraft #winebottle #winebottledecor #christmasdecoration #DIY #DIYchristmasdecor
Food coloring goes in first so you don’t have to stir.
If you feel like making a DIY Christmas decoration but don’t want to put in a lot of effort, try this easy DIY wine bottle Christmas decor. #christmascraft #winebottle #winebottledecor #christmasdecoration #DIY #DIYchristmasdecor
Add water and it turns the color of your choice.
If you feel like making a DIY Christmas decoration but don’t want to put in a lot of effort, try this easy DIY wine bottle Christmas decor. #christmascraft #winebottle #winebottledecor #christmasdecoration #DIY #DIYchristmasdecor
Candle goes in the bottle. They fit, but you can push it down further to get it stuck if you want.
If you feel like making a DIY Christmas decoration but don’t want to put in a lot of effort, try this easy DIY wine bottle Christmas decor. #christmascraft #winebottle #winebottledecor #christmasdecoration #DIY #DIYchristmasdecor
If you don’t have dripping candles, take another one the same color and drip it instead.
If you feel like making a DIY Christmas decoration but don’t want to put in a lot of effort, try this easy DIY wine bottle Christmas decor. #christmascraft #winebottle #winebottledecor #christmasdecoration #DIY #DIYchristmasdecor
Beautiful messes.

 

1. Drink Lots of Wine

I had to get through three bottles on a Wednesday just to do this craft for you!** It doesn’t matter what wine you drink in this particular instance, because most likely your bottles are going to be clear or green, right? Sometimes you get a blue one or something, but you can see what you’re getting when you buy the wine so that shouldn’t be an issue. Clear and green both work in this case.  If you want to take your labels off, you can, but if you’re going to put them against a wall you don’t have to. One of mine still has a label on. Try to peel it off first; that top picture was from one pull, so it can work. Then put it in hot water to loosen it and scrape it off. It only takes a few minutes.

**I didn’t actually drink three bottles of wine on Wednesday. I did make a tasty sangria to sip and share.

2. Buy some long skinny candles.

Okay, so here’s where you can actually use some help other than looking at the pictures. Did you know taper candles are made specifically not to drip? It’s true. Do they actually drip? Only when you don’t want them to. So, you can use taper candles, or you can find drip candles like these. Yes, this is easy DIY wine bottle Christmas decor either way, but with drip candles you will seriously not be doing anything. Color-wise, I suggest Christmassy unless you have some other color scheme set up for the holidays.

3. Fill up your wine bottle with colored water. Or don’t.

I filled up the clear bottles with water and added food coloring. Well, actually, that’s backwards. I added food coloring, then filled it up with water. Who wants to stir things or shake up a full, open wine bottle? Not me. The green bottles I did nothing to. They’re already green. Good enough for me.

4. Stick a candle in the bottle.

Here is where you can be creative with your choice in color. Get wild. This is not a difficult process. Most taper candles will easily fit, but if yours doesn’t just work it around a little until it does.

5. Burn, burn, burn.

You should probably put your candle on something first, like newspaper or foil or plastic. You know, something you can throw away. Because that wax will get everywhere if you let it! If you bought the dripping candles, you’re done. Move directly to step six. If you didn’t, you can try a few things. First, you don’t want your candle straight. It should lean a little for more drip. If you only have one candle, take it out and drip it on the bottle every once in awhile. Or,  if you want to set it and forget it, use a second candle of the same color and melt the wax on the bottle candle for a few minutes. Both of them will then drip onto the bottle.

6. Do Something Else.

Sit back and relax, because your work is done. To finish up this easy DIY wine bottle Christmas decor, you can go do whatever else you want until the wax has run down enough to suit your pleasure and your candles are the height you want. Then blow out the candle. That’s it! I love a decoration that makes itself while I work. If you want to jazz it up a little, put a wine glass upside down with a Christmas ornament or candle underneath. Snazzy! I think I might put a whole row of them on a bookshelf, so I gotta go drink more wine…

If you feel like making a DIY Christmas decoration but don’t want to put in a lot of effort, try this easy DIY wine bottle Christmas decor. #christmascraft #winebottle #winebottledecor #christmasdecoration #DIY #DIYchristmasdecor

If you feel like making a DIY Christmas decoration but don’t want to put in a lot of effort, try this easy DIY wine bottle Christmas decor. #christmascraft #winebottle #winebottledecor #christmasdecoration #DIY #DIYchristmasdecor
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Yummy Port Wine Sangria Recipe

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Have I ever mentioned my love of yummy Port wine sangria? No? Well, it’s time I did then. I did the whole study abroad thing in Spain when I was an undergrad, and I fell in love. Not just with sangria; the whole country was amazing. Alas, I cannot incorporate the siesta into my busy lifestyle, and my husband doesn’t enjoy Spanish tortilla the way I do, so the only thing I really keep with me is sangria. I guess I can’t complain though. I mean, who doesn’t want to reminisce with a glass of booze in their hand?

The thing about sangria is you can pretty much put whatever you want in it. Seriously. I add apples to mine, but not because they’re a perfect fit with limes and oranges. It’s because I like to eat sangria soaked apples. If that doesn’t sounds like your cup of tea (I mean, your cup of sangria), leave them out. Add other fun fruits. Put no fruit because you hate them all. I don’t care. But whatever you do, don’t skip the wine or the brandy! They’re the best part. Is this a traditional sangria? No. There’s Sprite in it, don’t kid yourself. But after you’ve made it, you’ll want to bring it to a housewarming or potluck, that’s for sure!

Yummy Port Wine Sangria

This is a yummy port wine sangria recipe and easy to make too! #recipe #sangria #redsangria #sangriarecipe #wine
This is a yummy port wine sangria recipe and easy to make too! #recipe #sangria #redsangria #sangriarecipe #wine
This is a yummy port wine sangria recipe and easy to make too! #recipe #sangria #redsangria #sangriarecipe #wine
This is a yummy port wine sangria recipe and easy to make too! #recipe #sangria #redsangria #sangriarecipe #wine
Print Recipe
Yummy Port Wine Sangria Recipe
This is a yummy port wine sangria recipe and easy to make too! #recipe #sangria #redsangria #sangriarecipe #wine
Prep Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
drinks
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
drinks
Ingredients
This is a yummy port wine sangria recipe and easy to make too! #recipe #sangria #redsangria #sangriarecipe #wine
Instructions
  1. Mix Port wine, brandy, lemon juice, and orange juice in a pitcher. Add Sprite, then orange and lime slices. Chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours. To get the best flavor, chill overnight.
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Menu Items for an All Day Thanksgiving

All day Thanksgiving menus probably sound crazy… If you’ve never had to work on Thanksgiving. Guys, if you and your family all have the whole day off and you’re free to eat whenever you want, you might not need any of this. But if you’re like my family, where one or more of you are shift workers at places that don’t close down for the holidays, eating at a regular time might not be an option. This year we’re basically eating Thanksgiving lunch, but imagine if you had to eat earlier than that. Yes, you can always eat your Thanksgiving dinner on a different day, and you still should if you want a whole turkey. But why not celebrate at least a little on the day of with a few of these all day Thanksgiving ideas?

All Day Thanksgiving Menu Suggestions

Breakfast/Brunch

All day Thanksgiving items #Thanksgiving #thanksgivingmenuideas #holidayfood #holidays #thanksgivingsnacks #thanksgivingbrunch #menuideas

Most people probably don’t think about breakfast on Thanksgiving because they’re saving up for the big meal or don’t want to cook more than they have to. At least, that’s how I am. But if you have to head into work by 11:00 AM, why not have a big breakfast or brunch to hold you over until whatever day you celebrate? Or, if you’re eating really late, how about a little holiday food to kick off the day and make the wait easier? Here’s a couple of ideas:

Pumpkin Butter (for toast/French toast/cinnamon rolls)
Maple Bacon Sweet Potato Hash
Thanksgiving Stuffing Cakes
Cranberry Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Snacks

All day Thanksgiving items #Thanksgiving #thanksgivingmenuideas #holidayfood #holidays #thanksgivingsnacks #thanksgivingbrunch #menuideas

I know you need snacks whether you’re dealing with all day Thanksgiving or not, but hear me out. If you’re eating at 4:00 PM, you know what to eat for snacks. Cheese, crackers, vegetables. Easy stuff. But, if you have to change your Thanksgiving dinner to a different day, or if you’re eating really late, perhaps you’d like a little hint of Thanksgiving.

Sausage Stuffing Balls
Cranberry Barbecue Meatballs
Sweet Potato Tots
Crispy Green Bean Fries

Desserts to Go

All day Thanksgiving items #Thanksgiving #thanksgivingmenuideas #holidayfood #holidays #thanksgivingsnacks #thanksgivingbrunch #menuideas

This is the one I personally have to use on my all day Thanksgiving. We’re eating early so my dad can go to work on time, but he might not be hungry enough for dessert before he goes. Pies are a staple for a Thanksgiving meal, but they’re not the easiest to take on the go, especially if you want all the good stuff that goes with it, like ice cream or whipped cream. You can still have your pie, but if you’ve got night shift workers in the house, perhaps you can send them off with a couple of these treats.

Apple Pie Bites
Mini Pecan Pies
Pumpkin Cheesecake Balls
White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

Well, I hope some of these all day Thanksgiving ideas will help you out.  I obviously don’t expect you to cook meals all day long, or even eat them. It’s just some menu items that might help those of us celebrating at weird times. Oh, and whether you’re eating at 4:00 AM or 4:00 PM, don’t forget to have a fun tablescape. Here’s my historical ideas to get you started. So, anyone out there also celebrating at a weird time or a different day? What kinds of things do you eat while you wait?

All day Thanksgiving items #Thanksgiving #thanksgivingmenuideas #holidayfood #holidays #thanksgivingsnacks #thanksgivingbrunch #menuideas

All day Thanksgiving items #Thanksgiving #thanksgivingmenuideas #holidayfood #holidays #thanksgivingsnacks #thanksgivingbrunch #menuideas

All day Thanksgiving items #Thanksgiving #thanksgivingmenuideas #holidayfood #holidays #thanksgivingsnacks #thanksgivingbrunch #menuideas

style sneakers

Ideas for a First Thanksgiving Inspired Tablescape

Welcome! This first Thanksgiving inspired tablescape is part of the Thanksgiving Blessings Blog Tour. I’m super excited about that because there are some awesome bloggers on the list. In fact, there’s chance you already know that because Tori at Toriorioria sent you over here, but if not, after you check out this post, be sure to click on the links at the bottom of the page and circle all the way back around. You’ll get a ton of fun ideas!

Onto the post. If you didn’t figure it out, my first Thanksgiving inspired tablescape is all about history. Yes, that’s right, I’m going to force you to learn while you decorate your house. Wait, come back! You won’t have to learn that much, I swear. In fact, you can just look at the pictures if that suits you better. Okay, let’s get on with it. The first Thanksgiving happened a super long time ago and doesn’t have a lot to do with what we celebrate today, but sometimes it’s fun to go back to our origins. Now, I’m not trying to make your table look like it belongs in the 1600s. I’m just trying to to take a few pieces of history and throw them into the mix. I have a big table and a small table, so I’ll show you how it looks on both.

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First Thanksgiving Inspired Tablescape Ideas

1. A Natural Look

First Thanksgiving Inspired Tablescape #thanksgiving #thanksgivingdecor #thanksgivingtable #thanksgivingtablescape #tablescape #tabledecor #tabledecorations

To be honest, I have no idea what kind of table coverings they used back then, if any, but if you read me regularly you know I think you need something nice for a modern Thanksgiving. In this case, natural seemed to be the way to go. So, of course, I went with burlap. Runners are pretty cheap, but you can’t wash them, so if you want to reuse it be careful with that red wine.  For my small table I borrowed a fall table runner from my mom. it’s a little old so I can’t tell you where to find it, but there are plenty of similar ones out there. I like that the runner still has a natural color scheme, but also adds details for a smaller table because I don’t want to overload it with objects.

2. A Hint of Pilgrim

Ha, the term “a hint of pilgrim” is really amusing me right now. Hopefully it amuses you too. Anyway, I’ve seen plenty of pilgrim hat decor before, but come on. I don’t want a giant hat on my table. So instead, to keep this first Thanksgiving inspired tablescape going, I’ve made candles in the vein of their buckled hats without being a hat. All you need are some black candles, white ribbon, and gold buckles (you can pick the last two up at a crafting store). Cut a ribbon to go around the bottom of the candle, put two buckles on it (so both sides of the table see a buckle) and then tape or glue the ribbon. Super easy crafting.

First Thanksgiving Inspired Tablescape #thanksgiving #thanksgivingdecor #thanksgivingtable #thanksgivingtablescape #tablescape #tabledecor #tabledecorations

First Thanksgiving Inspired Tablescape #thanksgiving #thanksgivingdecor #thanksgivingtable #thanksgivingtablescape #tablescape #tabledecor #tabledecorations

First Thanksgiving Inspired Tablescape #thanksgiving #thanksgivingdecor #thanksgivingtable #thanksgivingtablescape #tablescape #tabledecor #tabledecorations

 

3. Cranberries for the Wampanoag

If you don’t already know this, the Wampanoag are the American Indian tribe that joined the pilgrims for the first Thanksgiving. Now, we live in divisive times, and some American Indians actually call Thanksgiving their “Day of Mourning.” Because of that I don’t want to try anything that’s stereotypical American Indian, but I know the Wampanoag celebrate cranberries, so I figured it would be a good idea to have them represented that way. These cranberry decorations are super simple. Cranberries float, so just throw them in something cute with water. Add a tealight. Done.

First Thanksgiving Inspired Tablescape #thanksgiving #thanksgivingdecor #thanksgivingtable #thanksgivingtablescape #tablescape #tabledecor #tabledecorations

4. First Foods

Unsurprisingly, we don’t eat the same way people ate back at the first Thanksgiving. So, instead of forcing your guests to eat those foods and really sticking to your theme, just add a few odds and ends to your table decor. Walnuts and chestnuts are great and easy. Corn is good too, and wheat adds for a fun centerpiece. I got the fake items from Hobby Lobby and walnuts from the grocery store. I chose not to use any of this on the small table because there just isn’t room. To make a smaller table pop, see the next idea.

 

5. Non-Historical Color

First Thanksgiving Inspired Tablescape #thanksgiving #thanksgivingdecor #thanksgivingtable #thanksgivingtablescape #tablescape #tabledecor #tabledecorations

Okay, so your table is probably looking like it knows a lot about history now. But it’s probably also missing color. Time to add some place mats, charger plates, napkins, silverware, cups, whatever. I’ve got two different color schemes going on each table, so there’s definitely room to play with your own. The dishes on the big table are my actual good dishes, so I happened to luck into that particular color scheme. You’ll notice a big of alternating colors as well, in these placemats from Target and ribbon napkin rings on the big table, and the napkins on the small. And yes, those are my interchangeable holiday plates on the small table. See? Versatile.

As a time saving tip, I do want to tell you one thing. Once you pick your color scheme, commit. It shouldn’t take that long to set a table, but it can take forever if you second guess yourself. Really, whatever you choose is going to look awesome, because you have  so many options to make a first Thanksgiving inspired tablescape. Take ideas from the big table, small table, or both and see what you can come up with.

Next on the Hop

That’s all I’ve got for you, but there’s so much more to see! The next stop on the blog tour is Marlize Van Rooyen’s South African style Thanksgiving and you have to see that, plus steal a couple of her recipes if you have time to browse. Look at you, learning about history and other cultures all in one day. Or, if you have a more organized mind and need to start back at the beginning go see Kristy Mastradanos at Steeplechase Manor. Either way, you’ll have a ton of great ideas for a happy Thanksgiving!

First Thanksgiving Inspired Tablescape #thanksgiving #thanksgivingdecor #thanksgivingtable #thanksgivingtablescape #tablescape #tabledecor #tabledecorations

First Thanksgiving Inspired Tablescape #thanksgiving #thanksgivingdecor #thanksgivingtable #thanksgivingtablescape #tablescape #tabledecor #tabledecorations First Thanksgiving Inspired Tablescape #thanksgiving #thanksgivingdecor #thanksgivingtable #thanksgivingtablescape #tablescape #tabledecor #tabledecorations

 

how to

Easy Small Octopus Pull Apart Cake

This is honestly an easy small octopus pull apart cake. I wouldn’t lie to you, friends! I will let you know a little secret though. My mom frosted it. I could have done it in my regular haphazard way, but she made all our cakes growing up and knows how to make stars. Amazing! This idea came to me because of my sister’s baby shower. We had a really small group of people. Well, relatively. Eight people is a lot for a dinner party. It’s not very many for a baby shower. Anyway, there are all these octopus cakes online that look great, but they’re so huge! I definitely didn’t need two box cakes for eight of us. So, I had to resize it. Here’s what we came up with.

Instructions for an Easy Small Octopus Pull Apart Cake

How to make an easy small octopus pull apart cake. #cake #octopuscake #birthdaycake #babyshower #underseathemeparty #babyshowercake #pullapartcake

How to make an easy small octopus pull apart cake. #cake #octopuscake #birthdaycake #babyshower #underseathemeparty #babyshowercake #pullapartcake

Ingredients

1 box of your favorite cake mix
Buttercream frosting
Marshmallows
Piping Icing
Food Coloring

Directions

  1. Bake your cake. You need 12 cupcakes and one round pan. Split the batter as equally as you can, and keep cupcakes as even as you can.
  2. Make your frosting. I use this recipe, but I recommend not adding milk and making sure it’s non-salted real butter so it doesn’t break down. Also, you’ll have to at least double it.
  3. Set up the octopus the way you want it on a covered space. I use a flat pan with aluminum foil. You will have four legs of three cupcakes each (yes, I’m aware an octopus actually has eight legs, calm down). I liked the legs slightly separated, but maybe your covered space will look better a different way.
  4. Frost the whole thing. It doesn’t have to be colored frosting yet, but make sure  you are getting the frosting to look continuous on each leg up to the head.
  5. Put the cake in a fridge for at least half and hour.
  6. Separate your frosting into one main color and one minor color. Mine are pink and purple for reference on how much you need.
  7. Frost the whole thing again with your main color frosting. This time you will need to smooth it out after you’ve got enough on there to make it look like you only baked one weird shaped cake.
  8. Use a cake bag and pipe some stars in your second color along each leg to act as suction cups.
  9. Put two marshmallows on the circle cake to be eyes. Use your piping icing to add pupils.

That’s it! Your easy small octopus pull apart cake is completed! Seriously, it’s super easy, but if you’re like me and don’t know how to decorate a cake, either use candies for the suctions or don’t use suctions at all. Who cares? It’s your cake. Besides, it’s an octopus that only has four legs, how serious can the situation be?

How to make an easy small octopus pull apart cake. #cake #octopuscake #birthdaycake #babyshower #underseathemeparty #babyshowercake #pullapartcake
how to make a

How to Make a Marine Life Diaper Cake

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Do you need some instructions for a marine life diaper cake? Have you just wandered over from the post on my sister’s baby shower? Either way, I had a fun time making this diaper cake so I’m glad you dropped by. There are plenty of other diaper cake tutorials out there, and obviously I used those ideas. I did run into a little trouble though, in the form of a two-year old, so I had to add a couple layers of protection. Before you roll your eyes and call me an idiot, no, I cannot do things like this while he’s sleeping. I have to do my actual job then. Isn’t working from home grand?

Instructions for a Marine Life Diaper Cake

What you Need

Directions for a cute marine life diaper cake. #babyshower #diapercake #underseathemeparty #underseababyshower #marinelifeparty

70-80 diapers, size is up to you
70-80 small rubber bands
3 large rubber bands
twine or string
Bottle of Champagne (use baby bottles if your recipient doesn’t drink)
ribbons
seashells
baby items

If you plan to move your diaper cake, you also need something to set it up on. I used heavy posterboard.

Steps

1. Prepare the Diapers

Roll up the diapers and put rubber bands around them. You want them to be relatively even, so make sure you start with the opening and roll towards the crease.

2. Build the Cake

Directions for a cute marine life diaper cake. #babyshower #diapercake #underseathemeparty #underseababyshower #marinelifeparty

If you are like me, you didn’t waste time making your diapers perfectly even, so they’re probably not going to stand up perfectly. If you have a toddler wandering around, they will probably also be trying to sabotage you. So, this is where the big rubber bands come in. Set up your first layer on the bottom. They should stay up since this is the sturdiest layer. Secure a big rubber band around it.

Directions for a cute marine life diaper cake. #babyshower #diapercake #underseathemeparty #underseababyshower #marinelifeparty

Then do another layer around your newly secured first layer. You won’t have a rubber band big enough for this one, so tie some yarn around it. Then do a third layer, add yarn. For the middle tier of the cake, you can put a band over the champagne bottle first and then put diapers into it. This level only needs one yarn layer.

Directions for a cute marine life diaper cake. #babyshower #diapercake #underseathemeparty #underseababyshower #marinelifeparty

The top tier only needs one rubber band layer and then you have your whole cake built. Beware of roaming toddlers. They may discover it’s the perfect time to learn about rubber bands and strew them all over your living room.

3. Decorate

Okay, so here is where things are going to differ. If possible, you should be using items on the guest of honor’s registry. If they have receiving blankets or burp cloths (my sister wanted these), wrap those around the cake. I just taped it on there. Who cares if there’s a gap at the back? You’re giving them a whole diaper cake, it’s fine. Then I put dollar store ribbons over that. Since my sister is having a girl, I used headbands as bows, but you can do actual bows or no bows for boys. I threw a couple pacifiers on there, and then dollar store seashells and fishbowl beads to keep it fun. I also added fishing bath toys. Finally, my topper was this cute dolphin toy. Here’s a blue boyish version if you need one.

Directions for a cute marine life diaper cake. #babyshower #diapercake #underseathemeparty #underseababyshower #marinelifeparty
Taping burp cloths so they’re the right size for the diapers.
Directions for a cute marine life diaper cake. #babyshower #diapercake #underseathemeparty #underseababyshower #marinelifeparty
If you can’t cover the whole thing, put the ugly diaper side towards the back.
Directions for a cute marine life diaper cake. #babyshower #diapercake #underseathemeparty #underseababyshower #marinelifeparty
Add some ribbon, bows, headbands, whatever.

 

Directions for a cute marine life diaper cake. #babyshower #diapercake #underseathemeparty #underseababyshower #marinelifeparty
Keep decorating until you run out of space and/or energy.

That’s really it. Just have fun with it! Throw things on there that your baby mama needs, or things you think are cute. I know my sister really wanted diapers, so I felt pretty good about that. But, once she started going through it and realizing almost all the decor was also gifts, it got even better. The real kicker, of course, was pink Prosecco on the inside. Now that’s a marine life diaper cake a mom can enjoy!

How to make a marine life diaper cake for a baby shower. #marinelifeparty #underseapartytheme #marinelifebabyshower #babyshower #diapercake #underseadiapercake