The Thanksgiving table can get very crowded. What with the turkey, side dishes, gravy, and sauces, there’s no place for anyone to actually sit down and eat! I solved this problem long ago by setting up a Thanksgiving Buffet Table for all the food and having an adult table as well as a kids’ table.
Depending on the space you have and the number of guests you are expecting this could take some doing. You might consider setting up different stations or bars; appetizer, sides, desserts, and drinks; or any combination there of. If you’re limited on space your stations may have to do double duty after dinner; appetizer station can be converted to dessert bar.
You may have to think out of the box and re-purpose furniture pieces to hold food and tableware. You will more than likely have to rearrange furniture to accomplish your goal. However you decide to set up the meal it will require advance planning, so much easier to move furniture without a ton of guests milling around.
Here are a few tips to help you set up a Thanksgiving Buffet Table.
1. Plan your serveware. Know ahead of time what dishes you will be using. I usually do this as soon as I’ve planned my menu, making a note beside each dish what I will be serving it in. Be creative, make your buffet interesting by adding height, this also creates space.
I love tiered stands and racks, but you don’t have to spend a fortune buying them. Stands can easily be made from dollar store items with very little time and effort. Check out Savvy Nana’s DIY Hurricane Vases & Lamps to learn how to make your own tiered stands.
You can also stack platters on upside down stemware or bowls to create height. Or use books or boxes wrapped in pretty paper. If you don’t have time to wrap books or boxes, just place them where you want them on the table and cover everything with a large tablecloth. You can even set Plates on pumpkins to create varying heights
For some great ideas on how to set a buffet table watch Kid’s Smart Living‘s video tutorial
A table in the middle of the room allows several guest access to the table at the same time, in this case taller dishes should be placed in the middle of the table. If the table needs to be set up against the wall meaning it will be front serving then taller dishes should be in the back.
2. Once you know which serving pieces you will be using you need to decide what you’re going to put them on. Breakfast tables, sideboards, baking racks, kitchen islands and counters work well as long as at least 2 people can serve themselves at the same time without blocking the way for everyone else. You may have to move furniture to accommodate the this traffic and arrange your serving ware accordingly.
Consider setting out trays of appetizers on coffee tables and end tables in the living or family rooms. This frees up space on the buffet table for the main event.
If you don’t have enough room on the table for plates and eating utensils consider setting up another table, shelf or rack to place them on.
Dinner plates stacked neatly on a chair will work![spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]
Make use of all the flat surfaces in your house. Setting up a bar on the mantle works well![spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
3. Keep eating utensils neat and within reach by placing them in mason or apothecary jars, or on trays.
4. Decorate your buffet or bar with centerpieces and even a backdrop. You don’t need table cards but they’re a nice touch as is a framed photo or sign. You can hand write your own on card stock or use one of these printable.
I guess it’s that time of year again! We’ve already started the countdown for Halloween at our house. I’ve been busy making costumes for the grands, Halloween cards and decorations. We’re also starting to plan this year’s Halloween party for my grandson Jett. It’s supposed to be a small one, but we’ll see. Our parties tend to grow as we plan.
One of the activities we love during the Halloween season, in our family that’s pretty much the whole month of October, is the neighborhood game “You’ve Been Booed!”. We play it in our neighborhood every year. It’s a great way to get to know some of your neighbors and a good way to teach kids about sharing and giving.
The older kids love helping prepare the gift baskets, but the highlight is really dropping them off without being seen!
If you’re not familiar with the game I’ll explain. The object of the game is to anonymously drop off a Halloween treat to 2 of your neighbors without being seen. You must include a copy of the poem and game instructions with your treat, as well as a sign that let’s everyone know that house has been booed.
The treat recipient hangs the we’ve been booed somewhere visible so everyone knows that house has gotten a treat. Then each recipient will continue the game by giving treats to 2 other neighbors who haven’t been booed yet.
I know I said it’s a neighborhood game, but really you can play it in school or at the office too!
By the way the treat doesn’t have to be just candy, you can include stickers, decor, and other fun Halloween stuff. You can be as creative as you want!
To help you get started we’re sharing 2 new designs for Halloween 2016! Each design has the instructions and the sign hung by the recipient. You have a choice of “I’ve been booed” or “We’ve been booed” . If you’re playing in school or at the office you may want to display the I’ve been booed sign.
Just click on the link, download and print! Enjoy!
Should your baby shower have a theme? Here we’ll help you find the perfect theme to kick off your new life with your baby as you explore dozens of creative baby shower theme ideas.
Picking a baby shower theme should reflect the personality and interests of the parents, but narrowing down all of the options can be a hassle. Depending on if your shower is a neighborhood potluck, a gender reveal or a simple Sunday brunch, we’ve gathered hundreds of baby shower theme ideas that will delight any parent-to-be.
This gender neutral baby shower theme features vintage toys, sweet baby’s breath flowers, and white decorations.
Elephants make great baby shower themes for girls that your guests will never forget!
Your favorite iconic children’s toy is great inspiration for a baby boy shower theme, like the classic sock monkey.
Skulls and cactii from the desert are the ultimate decor for a modern chic themed baby shower right now.
An amazing boy baby shower always includes adorable decorations, sweet printable details, a delicious assortment of desserts (cake, cookies, and candy) and charming details. This yellow vintage baby shower features the cutest duck printables, old children’s books, gingham checks and vintage glassware. You will be smiling over all of the bright, cheerful details.
A new baby definitely calls for tossing some confetti in celebration! This confetti baby shower is a unique theme and fun way to honor an expectant mother. Recreate the look by incorporating plenty of confetti inspired dots throughout the decorations and treats. You can DIY paper circle garlands by punching circles of varying sizes in party colors and sewing them into strings for hanging. Wrap boxes in polka dot paper to display a variety of delicious treats like cookies, cupcakes and cake pops.
Mother’s Day is fast approaching, this year it’s Sunday, May 12th. If you’re planning to take mom out for breakfast, lunch, or dinner you should make reservations now if you haven’t made them already; Mother’s Day is one of the busiest days for restaurants and reservations fill up fast.
Along with taking mom out for a meal the kids like to give her a gift as well, and what better gift to give mom than something made lovingly for her. Here are some really unique ideas that kids can make with just a bit of help from dad, aunties, or older siblings. Moms can make them too for grandmas, friends, and aunties!
This is one of my favorite gifts, my grandson Devon made it for me a few years ago.
His mom, my daughter, helped him make the hand print tree and write the poem. She then had it framed and Devon presented it to me on Mother’s Day. It proudly hangs in our family room. Here’s the poem, feel free to use it for your projects.
I love this idea of taking a picture in a frame, my daughter did this with her kids last fall!
This pic was done by Moose Photography, professional photographers and posted by Cool Mom Picks But you can DIY it!
You’ll need the same frame in 3-4 sizes depending on how many generations you want to include. Take a photo of the smallest member, the baby, frame that. Take a photo of the next, mom, holding the framed picture of the baby, frame that.
Continue with each generation, grandma, great-grandma, etc.
Be sure the pictures are all taken using the same background.
This is too cute!
This idea came from Tips from a Typical Mom.
Just take photos of your child in 5 different poses, each pose holding a letter to spell “Mommy”. Mat and from the photos. Easy peasy! Great gift for Moms and Grandmas!
These photo flowers in a card stand are adorable and easy to make.
Mother’s Day is fast approaching; but you still have plenty of time to think of something to give Mom this year. If you’re thinking about taking her out to brunch or dinner you better make reservations now! Mother’s Day is one of the busiest days for most restaurants, that’s probably because Moms don’t want to cook on Mother’s Day, I know I don’t!
Instead of taking her out this year why not make Mom breakfast in bed? You don’t have to be a great cook, it can be as simple as bringing her a bowl of cereal or even a pop tart and a glass of orange juice. The idea is to make the day special by doing something for Mom instead of how it usually works, Mom getting up and doing for everyone in the house!
Here are some ideas and recipes for Mother’s Day breakfast in bed. I hope it will inspire you this Mother’s Day!
First things first! It all begins with a tray, you’ll need to put her food on something to carry it to her room. Even if it’s just a pop-tart it will look yummy dressed up plated on a nice dish and served on a pretty tray with a flower from the garden.
If you don’t have an old cabinet door you can paint an old metal or plastic tray with chalkboard paint and add a couple of cabinet pulls from the hardware store to make a similar tray. Or just paint the frame of a chalkboard and add the cabinet pulls for handles. Lots of possibilities here to show off your craftiness!
Now that your “stage” is set you’ll need to move on to the main event, FOOD! Whether you’re a top chef or a kitchen klutz I’m sure you’ll find something yummy to serve Mom. Just remember presentation is everything; even a store bought donut can look special plated on fine china with a paper doily from Walmart.
Want to impress Mom with your culinary skills? Cook her up some of these yummy things from Donal Skehan.
Oh, right! You’re banned from the kitchen because you’re the burn the kitchen type of cook! No worries, pop on over to the neighborhood coffee shop and pick up a couple of pastries and her favorite tea or coffee. Slip them out of the bag and plate them on a doily covered dish and pour the hot drink in a pretty cup or mug, she’ still love it!
Many of these projects are very simple, all you need are cardstock or construction paper, glue, scissors, small pom poms, and scraps of ribbon and twine. If you have a cutting machine you can definitely use that to cut out cute little bunnies; if not you can use the free templates I’m sharing and cut them out by hand.
(This post contains affiliate links to the products we used)
One of the easiest, and in my opinion, cutest Easter Paper Craft is this Bunny Frame. I just used an 11″x 14″ frame I already had, luckily it was light blue, a perfect Spring color! Here’s how I made this:
Frame – any size you want, mine is 11″ x 14″ which holds an 8″ x 10″ photo.
Cardstock – any color you prefer, I used dark pink for the background, pearly white for the front card, and blue for the bunny.
Small pom pom – you can get some from the craft store
Die cut machine, letter stencils, or letter stickers
Cut the background cardstock to the size of your frame opening
Cut the front piece of cardstock 1/2″ smaller than the background piece. If you have a die cut machine you can cut out the letters for “Hippity Hop Easter’s on its way!”
If not you can stencil the words on, or use stickers. Or you can just print them on with a marker!
Cut out the bunny shape using a die cut machine or the free template here.[spacer height=”-20px”]
If you want to you can emboss the bunny with an embossing machine if you have one, but you don’t have to. You can also hand emboss it, here’s a great tutorial from The Frugal Crafter to show you how to emboss with out a machine![spacer height=”-20px”]
The picture tutorial below will show you how to emboss with the Sizzix Texture Boutique! It’s a cute little machine that’s shaped like a purse. The item you want to emboss is placed into an embossing folder (sold separately in different designs). The folder is then sandwiched between the 2 black plates and in this case because I was embossing a single sheet of cardstock, a mylar shim (plates and shim is included with the machine).
The “sandwich” is then placed in the slot of the machine and cranked thru. When the “sandwich” get thru the cardstock is embossed with the pattern.[spacer height=”-20px”]
Once you’ve cut and embossed all the pieces it’s time to assemble the picture. I used Elmer’s Craftbond Glue Runner, to glue all the pieces together.
Another Easter Paper Craft we did is this adorable Bunny Banner.
Like the Bunny Frame I cut out the bunny shapes with the Cricut and embossed some of the with the Texture Boutique. I wanted each bunny to be different so I stamped a couple of them with white ink. [spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Cut out the bunnies.[spacer height=”-20px”]
Emboss and/or stamp each bunny. [spacer height=”-20px”]
Punch a hole on each ear of each bunny. Make the holes evenly.[spacer height=”-20px”]
Glue a pom pom tail on each bunny. To learn how to make pom poms using a pom pom maker click here![spacer height=”-20px”]
Thread twine thru the holes and you’re done![spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
We also made this vertical Bunny Banner using glitter paper.
I cut the bunnies from glitter paper which we glued vertically along a strand of ribbon. We glued on the pom pom tails and tied on a bow. Easy!
Here’s an Easter Paper Craft the kids loved! A paper plate wreath.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Again I cut out bunnies and eggs on the Cricut and embossed some, and stamped others. Then I cut a circle out of the middle of a paper plate and let the kids glue the eggs and bunnies on it.
When they were done I punched 2 holes on the top of the wreath and threaded a length of ribbon thru for hanging.
These are just a few crafts the whole family can do this Easter season. They are all very inexpensive, easy, and fun. You can decorate your whole house! You can even use the cut outs to make cards and signs. Check out my Easter Plaque craft!