Thanksgiving Help from SheKnows.com & Joyus.com ….

Can you believe that this time next week that it will be Thanksgiving?!?  Kinda crazy right?  Well don’t stress out because I teamed up with two different partners to show you how to avoid the Thanksgiving “craziness” ……..

Joyus Screenshot

The online retailer Joyus.com invited me onto their web talk show to discuss my short cuts and tips on throwing a stress-free holiday party and creating beautiful holiday tablescapes.  In the segment I show three different table settings that can take you from Thanksgiving all the way through New Years without breaking the bank or you in a cold sweat!  It’s all about creating a fun and easy approach to decorating.

Courtney Lake Thanksgiving Buffet

For my monthly column at SheKnows.com, I am talking about how to set up a Thanksgiving Buffet.  Whether you are opting for a more relaxed holiday this season or a simply don’t have the room in your abode, I show how you can create a beautiful buffet that will wow your guests and leave you with time to still enjoy the meal!

And next week for all you procrastinators still in need of a menu, I break down my picks for simple, quick and yummy Thanksgiving dishes!  So relax I got you covered this holiday season!  Now I just have to follow my own advice and get started!  Sometimes the “teacher” is the worst pupil.  Now if you will excuse me, I need to start planning own menu…..

[photo credit:  joyus.com//photo by adza]

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Motivational Mondays: Valentine’s Day “Tablescape”….

Valentines Quote Shot_Horizontal

One of my favorite times of day is that hazy, peaceful moment between awake and slumber. You are zen.  Your mind is calm.  The world is quiet.  It is during those times where I roll over and look at my Partner’s face, so sweet and peaceful as he sleeps, that I am filled with gratitude for having such a special person to share my life with.

This Valentine’s Day I plan on forgoing some elaborate dinner and night out.  With both our schedules, anything that takes us past 9:30pm finds us struggling to stay awake.  So why not make your special person something truly special for the most important meal of the day….breakfast?  So this Valentine’s I plan on making The Partner breakfast  in bed……

Valentines Angle Close

Valentines Day Close Up Plates

Valentines Day Paperwhites

Valentines Day Flatware 2

Valentines Note

It is not quite my usual tablescape, why not mix it up with something I am calling a “bedscape” — perfect for Valentine’s Day.  It’s quick, it’s easy and honestly, who doesn’t think breakfast in bed is the quintessential romantic gesture?

This Valentine’s Day, I am celebrating that my dreams are my reality and my reality is pretty darn awesome!

Sources: Candlesticks & Tray : CB2 //Bud Vase: vintage//Flatware: Zara Home//Dinner Plates: HomeGoods//Salad Plates: Wedgewood//Napkins: West Elm//Champagne Flutes: Ross Dress For Less//Love Bird Salt & Pepper Shakers: vintage//Bed Linens: Crate & Barrel//Accent Pillow: Courtney Lake Interiors

[Photography: Photos By Adza //Styling & Art Direction: Courtney Lake]

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Holiday Snapshots…..

Thanks to copious amounts of eggnog, champagne and mulled wine I have found my holiday spirit or your inner drunkard…..but regardless I am officially relaxing to enjoy the holiday season.  As I settled into my holiday buzz, I realized that  somewhere in my “holidaze” I never posted pics of this year’s holiday decorations.

So I humbly present some shots of the house  decorated for the holidays as we enter into this Christmas Eve….

CourtneyOutLoud Christmas Collage 3 CourtneyOutLoud Christmas Collage 4 CourtneyOutLoud Christmas Collage 5 CourtneyOutLoud Christmas Collage CourtneyOutLoud Christmas Tree Collage

Is it perfection?  Not by a long shot.  Does it need to be?  Nope.  What it needed to be was a warm and welcoming retreat for our family and friends as we gather then near for the holiday.   And it does that in spades.

As the day fades to night, take time to celebrate your accomplishments, appreciate your family and love the moment you are in because it only happens once.  That is my holiday wish for each of you…..stay present and soak it all in.

Okay, I am thirsty again and running out of stuff to spike….. so MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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