Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Home Decor Plans: Master Bedroom

For those of you who are unaware, my husband and I moved into a new house 9 months ago. Our new house is more than double the size of our old house, so we still are not even close to having every room furnished. {Not even close}. I do have plans, however. Design plans, and plans for funding my design ideas. Eric and I each put a portion of our paycheck into a separate account that is my designated "decorating" fund. I know exactly how much money will be added to this account each time we get paid, thus I can plan for when I will have enough money to buy the items I need, etc. It's a really good and responsible plan. {Although it takes much longer than I would prefer since I'm incredibly impatient.}

So, although I am not able to share pictures of my beautifully decorated house, I can show pictures of my current empty spaces and my future decor plans for the space. 

I'll start with the master bedroom. This is not a top priority on our list of rooms to complete, but I still know exactly what I want in the room when that time comes. 

This is our master bedroom currently: 

{There is also a long dresser with a mirror along the same wall as the armoire, but I didn't get that in the picture because it's covered in laundry at the moment.}

........And these are my plans for our bedroom........

New Bedding. Old bedding will be used in guest bedroom upstairs.
New lamps on night stands. Old lamps will be used on night stands in guest bedroom.
Amazing new chandelier fan. Old fan will be put in guest bedroom.
Two of these chairs will go in the bay window nook to create a sitting area.
Floral arrangement that will go on a small table between the two chairs in the sitting area.
Stunning raw silk drapes with champagne and silver tones.

Area rug for the sitting area.
Small table to go between the chairs in the sitting area.

It's going to be AMAZING... in like 5 years when I finally have the money saved up to make this happen. Haha. Oh well, at least I have a plan :) 

Oh, and everything is from Horchow. Go figure.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

B.Cannon Look Book

This Christmas eve, I spent most of the day at work. 
That may sound awful, but I have to remind myself that I am incredibly fortunate to work for such a wonderful company and to have such a great group of co-workers who make each day fun. Additionally, on Christmas Eve we are allowed to wear normal clothes instead of our uniforms-- which is really exciting for someone who has to wear the same thing 5 out of 7 days of the week!

The only restriction was that our look had to be business casual and work appropriate, of course. I have a slight obsession with suits {tweed suits in particular}, and I probably have 10 of them that I never get to wear, so I knew I wanted to incorporate one of my suits in my look. I also thought that wearing a suit would look professional and help clients to differentiate me as an employee from the rest of the swarms of people in our store. {Seriously, you would not believe how busy our store was during the days leading up to Christmas.} I also knew that I wanted to wear my fabulous Louis Vuitton belt that my parents gave me for my birthday... so, this is what I came up with:
{sorry for the poor photo, this was taken via iPhone after working a full day, then driving 3.5 hours to Elgin on Christmas Eve}

Ann Taylor tweed suit jacket & skirt 
Ann Taylor LOFT blouse
Louis Vuitton belt
Express hounds-tooth tights
Tory Burch wedges
Ann Taylor LOFT silver & gold chain necklace
Louis Vuitton bow bracelet (not visible)
David Yurman cuff bracelets (not visible)

Why it works: 
Tweed is super timeless, sophisticated, and classy all at the same time. Additionally, black and white is always an ultra chic combination. I chose to wear the hounds-tooth tights to give the look more texture without adding contrast {as I mentioned before, mixing different textures of the same color is a very chic way to give dimension to your look without losing sophistication by adding too many colors}. The bright red and fuchsia blouse adds a festive pop of color, and the ruffle down one side of the neckline gives a funky yet feminine touch to the look. I love the belt with this look, as the silver and gold tie nicely together with the necklace, bracelets, and the gold hardware on the shoes; it makes a statement without looking out of place because of it's neutral palette. 

Style Challenge:
Add a single pop of bright color to a neutral look. If you're wearing all brown, add a pop of bright teal or orange. If you're wearing gray, add some yellow or purple. If you're wearing black, just about any pop of color will do... although red is my favorite combination with black and white. {And don't forget about layering and mixing textures of the same color to give your look more depth and dimension}!


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I'm going to write a more detailed post later, but here are some precious photos from our Christmas thus far...

Wishing you and yours the most wonderful Christmas full of God's blessings!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cannon Christmas Decor!

I have been inspired by so many others who are posting pictures of their beautiful and festively decorated homes, so I want to add my pictures, too! Although, we started from the ground up with our decor this Christmas since moving into our new home. Thus, we don't have a ton of things yet, but it's a good start! I love what we have so far, and it'll only get better and better each year :) Also, we  have a second tree that I never got around to putting up. It's a TCU themed tree that we had in our old house, and I plan to put that tree upstairs in the game room. However, since the game room is currently a huge empty room that we don't use for anything, I thought having a random tree all alone would be kind of silly. Haha! Maybe next year we will have some furniture up there and a tree will make more sense :) 

With that being said, here are the lovely Cannon Christmas decorations thus far... 

Our pretty trees and our giant 8-foot tall inflatable polar bear (in a TCU Purple sweater)
Stair case!
Pretty tree!
(With my large, brown, Louis Vuitton box underneath!) 
Tree up close...
we have some giant ornaments that are super cute and whimsical!
Fireplace with garland and stockings.
Stockings with our names-- and our fur babies' names, of course!! :)
TCU Santa!
 Our super sweet neighbors gave us the precious TCU Santa. We have another one, too, from Eric's mommy, but we didn't get any of our preexisting decor down this year. Maybe next year!! 

Pretty cute, huh? I like it. and I LOVE Christmas!


Monday, December 19, 2011

B.Cannon Look Book


Can you believe this year is already almost over?! I can't. It feels like time literally flew by! 

Today is my ONE day off this week. During the month of December, all salaried managers for Louis Vuitton work six day work weeks... lucky us, huh? So I have REALLY enjoyed my day today. I got to sleep in until 10:30am {amaaaaazing}, then I went to a luncheon for Shenanigans Weddings and Events {a wedding planning company that I write blog posts for... the same wedding planning company I used for my wedding, actually!}, and then ran a few errands! The weather is YUCKY {rainy & cold} but my look is super cute, regardless! 

Here's the look I'm cruising around in today... 

Ann Taylor LOFT tan, knit vest with faux fur collar
Ann Taylor LOFT cream blouse with brown & green splatter print
Ann Taylor LOFT gold & silver chain necklace with tassels
Zara chocolate brown skinny pants {I'm not calling these leggings because they are much thicker than normal leggings, therefore less awkward when your behind is exposed}
Gianni Bini tan slouchy boots 
Detachable faux fur boot cuffs from... {you're going to die}... CLAIRE'S! {For, like, $6!}
David Yurman cuff bracelets
Louis Vuitton rouge fauviste bow bracelet

{oh, and say hello to my little Lucky dog in the background of my last photo... haha}

Why it works:
Well, this looks is super fun. I was actually really excited about the way this turned out because I definitely threw it all together in a hurry on my way to the luncheon. First, let's start with proportion... if you're going to wear something that has a large amount of volume on top {such as this faux fur vest and very blousy/unstructured top} it's very necessary to make sure your bottom half is slim or fitted {and vice-versa}. The color palette works beautifully here-- a gradient of browns {all the way from cream to chocolate} and some pops of olive green. {Neutrals always look nice together.} Also, fur is a big deal right now, so the vest and the boot cuffs make the look feel very current. Now, let's talk about these $6.00 faux fur boot cuffs, haha! Wearing just anything from Claire's is not necessarily OK. It takes a very keen eye to decipher the gems among the garbage in a store like that. The same goes for Forever 21 and all other teeny-bopper stores, as I like to call them. However, it IS possible to find some great things if you have the right eye for it. These faux fur boot cuffs are a nice color and texture that, when observed casually, can pass for being more upscale. Additionally, I put them on a good looking pair of boots that fit the bill perfectly in color and style, looking as if the fur cuff was part of their original design. The necklace is a great choice because it's long, and matches the proportion of the top and vest. If I were to put a short necklace with this look, the balance would be off. Likewise, the silver and gold chain design compliments the look nicely, keeping consistent with the neutral palette and trend-right appearance.

Style Challenge: 
Wear fur!!! Regardless of whether your fur is real or faux, find a way to incorporate fur with your look! BUT-- beware of gross looking faux fur! If you're going to go the faux route, make sure the color and texture of the fur appears tasteful. Also feel the fur before you make a purchase to make sure it has a nice, smooth feel and not a yucky synthetic texture. {If the fur looks like it needs to be brushed with de-tangling spray, then it's probably a no-go!} Also avoid colored fur. It's very rare for colored fur to look tasteful-- so it's best just to avoid it unless you feel confident that it's a great quality piece and your look is better because of it. {I do have a pink and black mink head wrap, which I LOVE... but it requires just the right look to make it appear fashionable and not tacky.}

Tips for shopping at low-end retailers: 
  • Never wear anything that has a design element on the front that should continue onto the back but it doesn't. {For example-- when a shirt is striped on the front, but then a solid piece of material was used for the back. Or when a shirt is sequined on the front but the back is solid. You will NOT find this in up-scale designer collections. The design is ALWAYS complete from the front to the back.) 
  • Fabric is SO important. Don't buy anything that looks like it would melt if you ironed it-- for starters. Cotton is usually a safe bet, and less color is typically better. {It's hard to tell if a top is $10 or $100 when it's solid black!}
  • No rouched elastic bands!! If you're buying a cute halter from Forever 21, turn the top around before you buy it and check out the back! If it has that nasty rouched gathering from the elastic band, then put it back on the rack and walk away. Sometimes elastic rouching is acceptable, but not often, and that's usually when it's on the waist band of a skirt... not on a top. {The rouched elastic is used when the design needed a zipper, but elastic was MUCH cheaper option. You'll never see elastic used this way in a high-end designer's collection, thus it's a dead giveaway that your look is not luxurious.} 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

You better watch out, you better not cry...

Well, I cried. 

I cried happy tears this evening when I came home after a super long, incredibly hectic, and frustrating day at work to find a Louis Vuitton box under our tree!

Eric came to my store this evening "just to say hello because he knew I wasn't having an awesome day"... Well, truth be told, he (with the help of another manager and associate) purchased my favorite bag (Melrose in Amarante) without me ever knowing! I was busy helping clients, trying to break free so I could chat with him, and then after I came back to the floor from making a quick run to the stock room, he vanished! Justin, an associate at our store and one of Eric's partners in crime, told me that Eric said he would "be right back". After a follow up phone call, Eric said he had a sudden stomach ache and had to leave immediately. Gross, but believable. So I felt horrible that he drove all the way to the Galleria (35 minutes) and I never even got to talk to him! He assured me that it was fine, and he was just out and about running errands anyway.

When I finally got home this evening around 11:30pm, Eric said that our neighbors brought us a Christmas present for us to open; he said, "go get it, it's the gift bag under the tree".. So I walked over to the tree, picked up the gift bag without even noticing the large Louis Vuitton box right next to the bag, and brought the gift into the kitchen for us to open. He started laughing, by which I was completely confused. He asked me if there was anything else under the tree, so I went back in the formal living room and immediately noticed the big brown box!!! I was stunned. I just looked at it for several seconds and then, without looking away, I asked, "what's that?" To which Eric replied, "it looks like a Louis Vuitton box!" Then I said, "whose is that?!?" Eric just laughed, then said, "who do you think it's for?"

At that point I knew exactly what was in the box. Pretty much from day one {well, that's a lie, on day one every single product looked amazing to me} I have wanted the Melrose bag in Amarante. And that's what's in the box. He let me take it out and hold it, but then he made me put it back and said I'm not allowed to open it again until Christmas. {Definitely do-able since I've been staring at that bag on the shelf in our store for about 260 days now! Haha!}

I'm shocked, ecstatic, and sooooo looking forward to Christmas day when I can start carrying my new, gorgeous bag.

It's been official for a long time, but now it's even more official-- I HAVE THE MOST WONDERFUL HUSBAND IN THE WORLD!

I love you, Eric!
Thank you for spoiling me :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

B.Cannon Look Book

Yesterday was my one and only day off this week, so I tried to make the very most of it without wearing myself out too much!

I worked a little {not as much as I should have} on addressing our Christmas cards, took our Christmas stockings to the embroidery place in Grapevine Mills Mall, renewed the state inspection on my car and got a car wash, did some dishes, wrote a blog post, and then went Christmas shopping with Eric when he got home from work! Believe it or not, that's a pretty relaxing day in my book.

During all of my errands, I styled myself in the following:

BCBG Maxazria gray, cowl-neck sweater
Ann Taylor LOFT tan cardigan with gray crystal embellishment on the pockets
Zara chocolate brown leggings
Donald Pliner cheetah print flats with a chocolate brown bow
David Yurman cuff bracelets
Ann Taylor LOFT silver & gold chain necklace

Why it works:
Neutrals always make a great color palette. This combination of brown shades with accents of gray was a sophisticated blend of neutral tones. Additionally, the gray crystal embellishment on the pockets of the cardigan tied the color palette together nicely. The silver and gold necklace and the cuff bracelets added a little extra shine to the look so the bling from the pockets didn't look out of place. Lastly, the cheetah print flats were a fun and unexpected addition to the look, bringing in a playful print that incorporates all of the same colors from the existing palette. Cheetah print and/or fur (these flats are made of calf hair) is being featured all over the place in nearly every designer's collection right now, which is a plus for any look where incorporating this element would be fitting. Lastly, it's always in style to mix patterns and prints that coordinate without matching too perfectly. Being matchy-matchy is not what fashion is about, but carefully mixing unexpected patterns and prints to compliment each other is always en vogue.

Style Challenge:
Choose an unexpected pattern or print to wear with your look. Instead of reaching for the plain colored shoe, scarf or whatever... Choose something that compliments your look without matching perfectly. Polka-dots and stripes, florals and plaid... Nothing is off limits as long as the combination has complimentary colors and vibe.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Protect the Tradition!

I'm proud to announce that the
Southlake Carroll Dragons

{my high school football team}
are headed BACK to the
State Championship!

You might think it's so lame to be this excited about high school football, but allow me to clarify a few things for you: 
  1. We're in Texas. In Texas, High School Football is a BIG deal. 
  2. Southlake Carroll won three back-to-back state titles in 2004, 2005, and 2006, and were considered the "National Champions" of High School football. 
  3. In total, Southlake Carroll has won 7 state titles, which is a tie for the most state titles between Abilene, Brownwood, Celina, and Plano. If the Dragons win state this year, they will have the most state title wins in Texas High School Football. 
I am going to do everything in my power {aka: beg my boss to let me leave work a little early} to be able to cheer on my Dragons as they kick off at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington against Fort Bend Hightower on Saturday, December 17 at 4:04pm. 

We have a saying in Southlake when it comes to Dragon Football--- PROTECT THE TRADITION. The tradition of excellence, success, and WINNING. I hope the Dragons play their hearts out this weekend to bring the title back where it belongs-- Southlake, Texas! 

Here is this year's Playoff Intro Video that a current Carroll Senior made for the football team... {I think it's kind of amazing that my high school's intro video is better than that of some universities! Just sayin'!}

...And we cannot forget about the Belles of the ball: The Southlake Carroll Emerald Belles Dance Team! I was an Emerald Belle in High School, and if I am able to attend the state game I will be SO eager to see what kind of amazing performance the Belles WOW the crowd with this time! Here is a video from 2007, which is long after I graduated but the performances look exactly the same. {Still as impressive as ever-- gotta love those jump splits!

Here is a picture of me from my days as an Emerald Belle-- just for kicks! 
{I'm so punny.}

In conclusion--- Goooooooooooo Dragons!!! :)


Sunday, December 11, 2011

B.Cannon Look Book

I'm so happy to report that the response to the first B.Cannon Look Book post was super positive! It was wonderful to hear so many comments via Facebook, Twitter, and of course, Blogger! :) More than anything, I'm glad that someone {anyone} found the style tips helpful, and wanted to read more! Well, have no fear!  Posting about fashion and style advice is way fun for me, and knowing that people enjoy reading about it is like the last, super shiny coat of varnish on a Louis Vuitton Melrose bag! {Cough... that's the bag I want next... Cough!}

Here is my casual Friday night look, which I wore to our neighbor's house for several rounds of Catch Phrase and some tasty beverages! {Please excuse my pathetic looking makeup... it was a loooooooooong day at work. I'm glad this photo is kind of blurry so you can't see my face too clearly. haha!}
Ann Taylor LOFT brown sweater
Ann Taylor LOFT cashmere scarf
Zara chocolate brown leggings
Gianni Bini tan, slouchy boots

Why it works:
As I mentioned in my last post, combining textures of the same color is a safe and easy way to create a chic look. Similarly, this look combines several shades of brown, with a multicolored scarf. The colors from the scarf gave the outfit a playfulness that was perfect for my casual evening, and also tied together all of the shades of brown. Additionally, boots, leggings and over-sized sweaters are featured everywhere in fashion right now-- just make sure your sweater covers all or most of your bottom, please. I don't know about you, but I'm not a fan of a bare bottom in leggings unless it's for athletic purposes-- which I also am not a fan of {haha}. Anyway, lastly, I would like to add that without the layering piece {aka: the scarf} the outfit is very two-dimensional. The scarf adds excitement and gives the outfit more depth, very similarly to the role of the fur vest in my previous look. Remember, a really good look should include at least three pieces-- and sometimes a really amazing necklace can count as a third piece. Shoes {usually} don't count, so without the scarf this look would have been boring incomplete. 

Style Challenge: 
Wear at least three pieces! Start with a top and bottoms, then add something fun, like a huge statement necklace, a pretty scarf, or a super fab fur vest! It's easy, and it makes all the difference!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

B.Cannon's Look Book

As you may already be aware, I have a serious passion for fashion. Not many things make me as excited as clothes, accessories and super great looks {that's what I call an outfit-- a look}. So I couldn't help but be inspired by Christin's blog at when she does her "Outfit of the Night" posts. She takes a quick snap of her outfit, and then gives the details. I love this idea, so I want to do something similar in my blog!

I'm going to post "B.Cannon Look Book" entries periodically, and I'm also going to briefly explain why the look works, give style tips, and whatever fashion related goodness comes to mind at that moment. I hope this will be fun for others to read... but if nothing else, I'll love looking back on my different looks over time to see how my style evolves!
Without further adieu...
Here's today's look! 

BCBG Maxazria black, long sleeve under shirt 
Forever 21 antique gold, cap-sleeve tunic 
BCBG Maxazria black, rabbit fur vest
Nike black, thermal leggings (they're SO warm)
Nine West black, knee-high boots (as seen on The Zoe Report!)
Ann Taylor LOFT gold, chain necklace

Why it works: 
Black and gold (always more black than gold) is such a fabulous combination and it's hard to screw up. I put the long sleeve shirt under the tunic primarily because it's freezing cold outside, but it was a fashionably appropriate choice because the spandex-like texture and fit of the top matches the texture and fit of the leggings. Additionally, layering is a major part of creating a stylish look. The fur vest was the right addition because it adds texture and volume. Not to mention, fur is a big deal right now. Without the vest, everything is very flat, but the black fur creates excitement without adding too much contrast. {I love playing with different textures of the same color.} This theme is continued with the knee-high leather boots, which add to the various textures of black. Another key note in this look is the varying garment lengths-- the vest is short, as is the tunic, and the boots are tall. Proportion is very important in every look, and this has just the right balance. The necklace is the right finishing piece because it is a muted gold, similar to the color of the tunic, and it has black stone accents, which tie together the black and gold color palette. Additionally, the simplistic chain design helps to maintain this very chic yet understated look.

Style Challenge: 
Mix different textures of the same color and see what you come up with!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Louis Vuitton {Galleria Dallas} Holiday Dinner!

On Sunday night, the employees from our store gathered together for a Christmas Dinner to kick off the holiday season! I was in charge of arranging the dinner {which I was really excited about} so I wanted to make sure we got the most bang for our buck! I was really pleased with how everything turned out!

I chose to make reservations with the restaurant in the Le Meridien hotel. A representative from the hotel came to our store several months ago to tell us about the renovations that have been completed, and she urged me to consider Le Meridien for a future event or party. Well, her efforts paid off because when it came time to plan this party, they were the first place that came to mind. I was hoping that since they have undergone a renovation recently, and they were sending people out to drum up some business, they might be willing to give us a great deal on a pretty fancy menu for our dinner. I was right-- they were absolutely willing to work with my requests, and they created a fabulous menu for us that was exactly within our budget after tax and gratuity. Shall we say-- impressive!

Our meal consisted of: 

  • A salad with candied pecans, dried cranberries and crostini, with a white balsamic vinaigrette dressing
  • Butternut squash bisque (so yummy-- this was my favorite!!) 
  • Steak fillet 
  • Seared Atlantic salmon with a lobster and shrimp warm salad with a chardonnay butter-sauce
  • Steamed winter vegetables 
  • Pumpkin risotto
  • Yule log for dessert 
  • 2 glasses of wine per person   

Yum, yum and more yum!!

After our dinner concluded, we played Catch Phrase! If you haven't played that game, you need to go buy it right now! It's SO.MUCH.FUN. We laughed SO hard!! It was a wonderful time. In whole, our dinner was around 4 hours long!

Here are just a couple photos... the first one (of the hotel) I got from the Le Meridien website. Unfortunately I forgot my camera and the lighting was dim, so I didn't get many good photos. Although, one of our associates (Judy) brought her camera and took some group photos, so when I get those from her I will post them :)

Le Meridien Hotel
Some of my co workers :)
My favorite part of dinner-- the Butternut Squash Bisque 
Yule Log for dessert!
My favorite Vuittonite, Kyle!

Friday, December 2, 2011

What are you waiting for? Use the good china.

I have a new addiction-- it's called Pinterest and it's wonderful! I absolutely love seeing what everyone pins on their boards... It's like a picture version of an "About Me" book. You really can learn so much about your friends, in addition to learning great recipes, home decor ideas, fashion trends, etc. Practically anything you could ever want a picture of can be found on Pinterest... And if you can't find it, you can upload it yourself.

{Here's the link to my Pinterest boards:}

While browsing through some pins, I saw the pin I have posted below, which reads, "I have an irrational fear of wasting a good outfit on an insignificant day". While I know this pin is just intended to give the viewer a good laugh, I think a large majority of ladies out there really can relate to this point of view. But not me... I feel differently about this.

I firmly believe in looking nice every day just because it makes me feel good. I love to wear cute outfits even if my day consists of nothing more than grocery shopping. There have even been days when I have worn a cute outfit and literally never left my house. Why? Because I like to wear cute clothes, regardless of who sees me wearing them. I don't feel the need to "save them" for a more important day. After all, our days are numbered... Right? So why wait? I have the same opinions about china, crystal and jewelry... What are you waiting for? You don't think it's ok to have a glass of wine after work poured into a crystal glass? I do. In fact, I use crystal stemware quite often. And why not wear pearls or diamonds with a t-shirt? If you have it and it's pretty-- wear it!

Am I afraid of ruining something nice? Naahh. There's not much that can't be replaced. (Granted, if I had something that was absolutely irreplaceable, that might be different.) For the most part, however, I'd say not using the nice things you own instead of taking on the small chance that something might get damaged with more frequent use is just a sad situation.

My advice: Dress up! I think it's fun and it always makes me feel good. Break our your fine jewelry just for the heck of it, and use the nice dishes more than once in a blue moon-- you're worth it :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Turkey Day at the Cannon Casa!

First of all, HOW was your Thanksgiving? I'd love to hear about it! Especially if you have pictures of tablescapes! I want to see them!

This year was the very first Thanksgiving that Eric and I were the hosts! It was so much fun! We had Eric's mom, grandparents, and our friend Jim over for the day, and then my mom and her friend came by later in the evening for dessert. At first I was nervous about preparing everything and having enough time... but everything turned out beautifully!

First, I set out all of the serving dishes with labels designating which food goes to that dish. That was super helpful because---
A.) It helped me to make sure I had enough serving platters for everything,
B.) My presentation was pre-set and dummy proof,
and C.) As Eric and I worked on things individually, there would be no mis-communication about what goes where. 

Another thing that was super helpful was the little assembly line Eric and I had going in the kitchen. I cleaned while he cooked, and when I got caught up with the cleaning, I would help cook... but when the dishes got piled up again, I would stop cooking and go back to cleaning. At one point, the dishes were coming too fast, so Eric stopped cooking to help me clean, and then started back cooking once we were caught up. Having a messy kitchen is unbelievably stressful to me... so I loved that we were able to manage the whole thing without a bit of messiness!

The night before Thanksgiving we had the dinner table set, the serving platters put in their place with labels, the green bean casserole pre-made and ready to cook, turkey ready to be put in the oven, stuffing pre-made and ready to cook, and my little Pinterest-inspired cookies already made and ready for display! That way, on Thanksgiving morning, we weren't stressed at all!

On Thanksgiving day, we woke up just as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was starting, poured ourselves a mimosa, and picked up right where we left off in the kitchen. At noon, Jim and Eric's family arrived with more food to add to our presentation-- and they knew just where to put everything thanks to my handy-dandy labels! :)

We planned to eat around 2:00pm, and wouldn't you know it... right at 1:59pm everyone had a full plate of food, making their way to the formal dining room! We were right on schedule-- pretty impressive for Turkey Day hosting rookies!!

Everything turned out so yummy, and we had quite the menu...

For starters, we had: Chips & queso (a must in my book for any occasion), spinach and ham baked snacks, a vegetable platter, homemade banana bread and blueberry bread, and sharp cheddar cheese and port wine cheese balls served with water crackers.

For the main course, we had: Turkey (of course) with cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, dinner rolls, and green bean casserole.

For dessert, we had: Pumpkin pie (no Thanksgiving is complete without it), cherry pie, and (can't forget about) my Pintrest-inspired pilgrim hat cookies! YUM!

I was also really proud of our tablescape, which consisted of Lennox linens and china, with decorative chargers in gold and chocolate brown crocodile print. The contrast looked perfect with the decor in the formal dining room. Additionally, the super fun napkin rings that I found at Pier 1 imports were the icing on the cake, as they were gold with a spray of gold beads and chocolate brown crystals! Our centerpiece was made of real gourds that I carved into candle holders! I got the idea from a photo I saw on Pinterest, and I tweaked it just a bit. I think it turned out really cute and festive! We were excited to use our Waterford crystal wine glasses (from Ed Albrecht and John Bittrick) and the Wusthof seak knife set that our fab friend, Sean Morgan, gave us for our wedding! I also enjoyed using all of my Arthur Court serving platters... I have used them before, but never all at one time. They were so pretty! I have acquired a good amount of the "Grapevine" Arthur Court collection so far... and I plan to keep adding on for as long as possible!

By the time we finished our meal, it was time for the Dallas Cowboys football game, so we all headed up to the media room-- fully furnished with seven recliners, each with individual tray tables and cup holders-- for an afternoon of relaxation! (Or, in my case, an afternoon nap!)

It was a really nice day off from work (excellent preparation for the craziness of Black Friday that followed) and we had a wonderful time seeing Eric's family. They are always such a joy :)

Here are some pictures taken from my iPhone (you're probably noticing that I've been using my iPhone a lot for pictures lately, huh? It's just so much easier!)... I hope you enjoy!!