Trevor and I attended a fundraising event at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts this past weekend, and I fretted a fair amount over what to wear. I assumed we should outfit ourselves in clothes a bit fancier than our normal attire, but I also thought it was a good bet that the overall appearance of the crowd would be on the conservative side. I ordered this dress online from Anthropologie, not really knowing what it would be like in person, but I was intrigued by the details – the delicate flowers on the sleeve, in particular. Upon arrival and looking more closely at the dress, the number of design elements was kind of surprising. Surprising that the dress could have that much going on – “see through” parts on the bodice, lace, cut outs, and tulle (!), to name a few – yet not come off as a train wreck. I suppose that’s what good design is about. Although I ended up not wearing it to the event (see Reality Check below), I know I’ll get plenty of use out of this unique dress for social and work functions. It’s conservative in some important aspects (neckline and hemline, namely), but the intricate and interesting detail sets it apart from the normal LBD I reach for on so many occasions.
Anthropologie dress | DKNY tights | Coach heels | Mark & Graham clutch | Silver Cocoon earrings
As I shared last week (in the first of three posts with the Thanksgiving theme – link here), the upcoming holiday next Thursday is my family’s favorite. I’m particularly excited for this week’s post, as I’m finally getting the recipes for my mother’s fantastic meal all in one place. A couple of weeks ago my mom gave me her collection of Cook’s Illustrated magazines … and it gave me a fair amount of anxiety. How and where to start with these things? If you feel the same, particularly about hosting a holiday meal, I hope that you find a few things to try in this list of savory and sweet Thanksgiving options (full recipes below). Recall from last week’s post, all of these recipes are geared toward being able to prepare the food the day or two before, to help ease the stress on the day you are hosting.
I love the holiday season, as Trevor and I tend to ditch our preference for being homebodies in favor of getting out and about to see friends, attend events, etc. I suppose it doesn’t hurt that cute invitations and festive spirits are present to draw us in. Friends recently had a group of us over for game night, and I offered to bring an appetizer and specialty cocktail. I always gravitate toward appetizers when looking at a menu or cookbook, and who doesn’t like a specialty cocktail, but I find it challenging to bring those items to a party. The whole point of chipping in for the food or drink should be to ease some of the stress or burden on the host, but most of my go-to appetizer recipes involve cooking or fussy preparation. And when I’m the one hosting, that’s okay, but for this occasion I needed to find some options that I could prepare fully in advance, would travel well, and could be served as-is upon arrival. I landed on yummy garlic roasted nuts, shrimp pate (sounds much fancier than it is, yet “fish dip” doesn’t quite do it justice) and a whiskey apple cider cocktail – recipes included below. For transporting as well as serving, I picked up inexpensive glass jars and a large basket at T.J. Maxx. The basket made for a good presentation (and handy transport), and the glass jars were nice enough such that my friend could simply open them up and include them on the table of other savory snacks.