Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thanksgiving and Holiday Prep Talk

Just a fast post while I'm running about this week. I cannot believe it's already been a week since I was in San Francisco with my blogger besties. Isn't it funny how time always flies by after a getaway?

Though I wish I could beem myself back to last week and the beautiful Hotel Monaco, I'm scrambling this week to get Thanksgiving for 16 ready and also tick some of those Christmas boxes off before the after Thanksgiving madness!

 I want to not stress about the holidays and I am for once #gettingitdoneearly! This is so not my modus operandi, but people can change no? I hit Target the other day and got an amazing amount ticked off and there was much to choose from. That was my problem last year…Things were picked over already quite early. I got most my wrap there. I'm kind of picky about wrap and hate garish stuff. I generally like simple and graphic styles and like to go with 2 shades so all the ribbon easily coordinates. This year I pretty much did Kraft paper brown, black whites, cream and deep red. 

Here's a little hint, check out the dollar section. Last time I went there I didn't do this. All the good ribbon and labels are there! Thanks Most Lovely Things for the tip! Some pretty high-end bits and bobs. I loved what I got so much I turned my pantry into a wrap station and even cleared out a cabinet for all my goodies..

 I find umbrella stands so useful to hold wrap!

Now for turkey day, I turned my house around. Do you ever do this? My husband hates this with a passion, but I prevailed. I turned our largish and long living room into the dining room. I moved my glass table and dining table...

I love this wing-back chair at the head of the table. My husband had real issues with it as the height of the seat is lower than a regular chair. Men! I told him fine I'd sit there with a pillow!

Please don't judge my tables yet, as I haven't figured out my theme, tablecloths, etc yet. I'm not so great at tablescapes, but I like to try and make it look festive.

I then made the dining room, which is small, into a conversation area. I did this by dividing a sectional and adding our other sofa and ottoman. I added a standing lamp too. It's perfect for a cozy chat pre-dinner. Everyone has a spot for their cocktail and I'll add bowls of nuts and pretty napkins. I really wanted an area everyone could socialize, but be close to the dinner area. People like my 96 year old grandma can hear what everyone is chatting about in here...

Pictures are a bit odd and off-centered. Haven't decided on the wall things yet. Naomi, please disregard my messy throws! This is still in laboratory stage!

 I don't know about you, but I love changing spaces up and I think keeping rooms exactly as they are supposed to be is one of the biggest flaws with American decorating. Change your home, change your life! Try to think out of the box! Use all your spaces! Why be boring?

Cats have expressed approval…Isn't that all that matters?? :D

Already one of my kids brought a laptop in here and put his feet up. It feels intimate and I may just keep it like this. I  like having more space for dinner parties and guests won't feel cramped to get in their seats. I think it will be a win-win. The only thing is where do I put the Christmas tree now???

Speaking of Christmas, I realized I have almost zero red in my wardrobe. When I was up in San Francisco with Adrienne and Heather, I found a red layered Calvin Klein shell that's a great basic piece that can be dressed up or down. Adrienne loved it too and also got it. I'm thinking of ways I can wear it for the holidays and also for Adrienne's next How I Wear My post which is Red! (The leather pants look pretty cute don't they? Not sure if I could pull that off.)

Calvin Klein top- Macy's 

Well yesterday I ran to TJ Maxx for some Thanksgiving table items and found something I've been wanting, but resisted buying, due to the price. It's a wristlet that is a wallet/phone holder. I've seen a few girls out with them and they are so simple for evenings -or just a walk or a bike ride. Perfect for when you don't want to carry a lot. The Michael Kors' versions are particularly nice, but run closer to $100.  I found this red one for $39 yesterday! Now I have something to pair with my top, and two red items in my wardrobe! (Note..the top is not as blazing as it looks here!)

Have you embraced this new wallet/phone thingy at all? I swear as I get older I want to carry less and less and even a purse feels like baggage at times!

Tomorrow I'm off to get all my veg from the Farmer's Market in town. I've really been enjoying the winter market (well, I guess it's still fall officially), and all the offerings. With the baked good there and  holiday music, it almost feels like the Christmas Markets in Europe. I'd love to be there one Christmastime and have roasted chestnuts!!

This is me at the market last Sunday..My hubs took this. DO not look at the bagels..SO not going with the organic vegetables, but I have teenage boys to keep full!

Have a great weekend and I'll be back soon with my Thanksgiving set up.
I would love to hear any ideas you have about Thanksgiving or getting ahead on the holiday thing…

Oh and I am not shopping on Black Friday and definitely not Thanksgiving. I plan on enjoying the natural world and get nowhere near a mall! And how about this below? Totally agree. As one smart person said, "How can you be thankful for all you have when you are out scrambling to get more?" That really epitomizes it doesn't it? 

A special black-themed post is in the works though!

xx Kim

 P.S. Persimmon tree spotted on one of my morning walks. Two Californians told me this week they never had one! Wha? Seriously good! Persimmon 101…Eat it like an apple! It has a core called a calyx, that you can just avoid by slicing the sides off and eating those. I love slices in a green salad with pomegranate seeds and toasted walnuts. It's a good Thanksgiving salad too!
- Also make sure if you are buying it to eat you get the tomato-shaped ones-fuyu. The other heart-shaped ones are better for baking and more acidic.


  1. You are hilarious!! Funny I didn't notice it but I was thinking how comfy your home looks and I was envying your color scheme and spotting of a pool outside! You should see my house! But you know I love giving house beautiful a hard time ;). But I didn't know you had such organizational skills. I used silver foil as wrapping paper last year... Don't knock it till u r desperate ok? Xx

  2. I love your blogs as I am a transplanted northern California girl in my early 60's and miss it everyday! Love that you like to change your house around - I do the same thing and drives my husband crazy, too! My grandmother used to do that and my grandfather would say he never knew where the bed was...Love it! Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for sharing the wonderful life in Northern California!

  3. We are so alike...I completely agree with your philosophy of changing things around in the house periodically (as much as our husbands groan about it....until they see the potential or see the finished product and then they rave about how good it looks and claim they were on board all I love how you've rearranged your furniture (I'm a fan of your furniture and the white shelves by your table!) Hubs and I are in the middle of transforming one of our spare rooms into a den/reading room/ we had always intended to do when we moved into our house, it was a second bedroom but I was so sick of only using it for that purpose 3-4 times a year when company would stay over (we have another guest room so we really only need one). We were keeping a big clunky bed & frame in the room, as well as all of our junk so we decided to do a drastic overhaul. We're almost done redecorating it, painting, etc....just waiting for the new furniture to arrive and it's made such a huge difference already! We actually want to use the room now!

  4. I had my first Persimmons this year because of the fall vignette you featured and I was pleasantly surprised, they go so well in a salad. Love your wingback chair at the head of the table, like dining in the presence of royalty! X :)

  5. I love changing things around! It looks fab Kim! So cozy!
    I admit I've never tried a persimmon but now I really want to!

  6. I love the idea of mixing things up. You are so right about making the rooms work for you! I am so glad that I found your blog. Love the photos. I live in the East Bay and we have a friend who gives us lots of persimmons every year. Delicious.

  7. I love the idea of mixing things up. You are so right about making the rooms work for you. I am so glad that I found your blog. Love the photos. I'm in the East Bay and we have a friend who supplies us with persimmons. Delicious.

  8. Love the house change-up Kim! I also have a wristlet that I use for concerts and sports events. The handle of mine detaches and loops through my belt so I don't even have to hold it. Persimmons are great as well. My father loves the kind that you must let ripen until they are mushy then makes my mother make him persimmon bread lol. I also refuse to shop on Thanksgiving Day as retail folks need a break too. Perhaps if enough people don't participate, they will change that for next year. I am sure I am wishful thinking. Have a great Thanksgiving! Kelley

  9. Naomi, Love your House Beautiful reviews!! My favorite posts…Aluminum foil I haven't tried..Have done newsprint though… xx

  10. Dear Anonymous,
    So glad you found my blog! Thanks for your note! What a cute story about your grandparents. Love that! Well, I'm glad you can get a little California here on the blog. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving too! Your note made my day! xo Kim

  11. LR, Husbands seem pretty short-sighted about the furniture moving! All they can see is some heavy moving and possible rearranging back…At least that is what my husband keeps mentioning…"Remember we did that and you hated it and…" so on. :D

    Thanks about the shelves. I will do another post on those. They were very pretty built-ins, but have a large opening in the center for a couch or…? Still not sure what looks best with it!

    Your new room sounds super. I love transformations like that. I do hope you'll be posting photos on your blog! xx

  12. Paul, SO glad I helped you try a persimmon. Maybe there is some kind of persimmon council and I should get a kickback no? Lol!!

    Anyhow, I think wingback chairs look nice with dining sets too! I'll have this king's chair out for you if you visit California and have dinner here! xo

  13. Karen, Thank you! Wish I could ship you a persimmon! Our cup runneth over here! They are now falling of neighborhood trees everywhere! xx

  14. Janice, Thanks for stopping by! Love the East Bay! Isn't it fun changing things up? Makes me feel like we have a new house. Guess you all are full of persimmons now also. Have a great Thanksgiving! Your note was so sweet. :)

  15. Kelley, Just used my wristlet/wallet the last 2 days, no purse and I'm loving it. As long as I have pocket for my keys I'm free! A concert would be nice too. I'm so glad I got it.

    Funny , I also grew up eating persimmon bread and cookies baked by my grandmother..They were okay, but not my favorite. I think those ones that have to ripen are hachiya (heart -shaped ones) and they aren't good just sliced. They are best for baking. The tomato shaped ones are fuyu. They are more common and don't need to ripen till soft.

    I never really ate one until a few years ago and now love this time of year and all the fall trees with them!

    So glad you think the same about Black Friday and all that craziness! If enough people get the message out by not shopping we can make a difference!! However, it's getting so ingrained in Americans that all they can think about is shopping and not giving thanks.. It's messed up!

    Hope you have a good Thanksgiving Kelley!! xx

  16. I think changing up the house is brilliant! Love what you've done. When I tell people who disagree with me is this "it's not fatal nor permanent so you can deal with it."
    Lovely post, Kim. xx's

  17. Kim! How clever with the turnaround. You have so much more light with the couches in their new room! I too have zero red in my wardrobe, need to an orangey or pinky red, would love to suit that Chanel red but sadly do not suit it. I have way shrunken to a really small little hippy bag I bought ages ago. I do find I need a strap so could not do the lovely all in one clutchy numbers

  18. You are certainly getting organised with all your gift wrap and trimmings and I must say that I am determined to shop early this year. What a great idea to swap around the rooms too. The persimmon tree looks so pretty. I don't think I've ever seen one before. Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving Day!