I’m thankful

Talking about how lucky you are can be an extremely boring topic for others and often comes across all braggy and self-righteous. You all know what I’m talking about.

But it’s flipping Thanksgiving, folks, and some things are just undeniable and need to be expressed. For instance, how lucky most of us truly are to simply be alive, healthy, and loved, not to mention having a home, a job, an iPhone … oh, and also maybe the fact that we have free speech and we don’t live in a war torn country.

So here’s my “I’m thankful post,” because it’s due, it’s time, and I have a long list. I could have been born into a really neglectful family, I could have married a really abusive husband, my life could be so different and even bad … but I really, really scored.

First off, I’d like to thank my family. Regardless of how different we all are, I was raised so well it’s crazy. A childhood full of making forts and 4-H and the chance to learn every musical instrument and play every sport, not to mention being raised in a religion that really installed a moral compass that is hard to shake and is clearly still with me. Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that I was raised feeling loved at all times, which is kinda the only thing that matters.

That’s the gang. All five sibling and six nieces and nephews, although it’s even bigger now by two babies, one of which is only two weeks old right now, and I can’t wait to squeeze.

That’s us at our family reunion two summers ago in Wyoming, which was incredibly fun. We brokebacked all over that place, rode some four-wheelers, shot some guns, and played with baby cows.

So thank you, Mom, Dad, Michelle, Garen, John, Mary, Allie, Kendrin, Kara, Cameron, Christal, Curtis, Erin, Nelson, Logan, Ken, Katy G, Katy, and Travis, for accepting Brian and I and our funny little lifestyle.

I’m in Sacramento right now with Brian’s family, who feel very much like my family. NO ONE has better parents-in-law, NO ONE. They are officially the best.

That’s Brian with his parents. I know. Suz is super beautiful (and so are you, Bob). We got married in their backyard, have lived with them at different times at their home in Fair Oaks, and they just feel like home.

So thank you Bob and Suz for making me feel like their daughter the last 12 years. I have many friends who struggle with their spouse’s parents, so I totally totally, totally lucked out. I can’t wait to hang out with them and I enjoy every second. Thank god, and thank you.

But I can’t forget to be thankful for my friends as well:

These are all my LA friends, playing paintball in Compton, as you do.

And then we rented out a summer camp for the weekend and wore matching custom made shirts … as you do. Officially the most fun people in the world.

I met one of my best friends in the world four years ago, which i didn’t know would be possible:

One Corbett Tuck. Life before you was sad and lonely in LA. And now, life is just so much more fun with you in it.

So thank you Parva, Charlie, Blimitri, and Graciosa for creating a family in LA that no one else can rival. Los Angeles is a tricky town full of a lot of douchebags obsessed with Hollywood, so to find ten people that are down to earth, open, generous, hilarious, and so, so, so smart and creative is a bit nuts.

Oh and Orlando, how I do love thee. You make every day at work feel like a carnival instead of a circus.

I can’t forget my best friends that I grew up with that I’m still obsessed with:

Nicole, Robyn, and Megan. We’ve been best friends for 20 years. Through junior high, high school, and college roommates. We always called each other “sisters we got to choose.” Our relationship epitomizes what friendships should be. Just so nonjudgmental, supportive, and unconditional. I’ve never gotten annoyed or sick of these girls even once. They are just that amazing. We are spending New Year’s together in a cabin in Oregon full of our dudes, which all happen to love each other, too. Here’s to future vacations with all of our kids.

Not pictured, but people I can’t live without and am so grateful for: Scotty, Paul, and Maricha.

Now to that dude that is always hanging out with me. One Brian Von Henderson.

Thank you Brian for being hot:

And fun:

Because he lets me put Ban-do’s on him …

And cool. I mean, how “coo”‘ is that guy? He’s all, what? I wear a beanie, cargo shorts, and a hoodie when I backpack through ‘Nam. NBD.

Plus, he makes us wear our labor day whites on labor day, to represent our inner wasp. He plans these amazing group trips, wears costumes whenever he can, and is just kinda that guy that everyone knows and loves. But the main reason he’s so great is he is very, very nice to me, respectful, loving, and supportive. And just so god-damn fun to be around. Through our many ups and downs I never doubted that he is the best man I know. So thank you, Bri.

Oh and what about our kitten cats. Hopefully this is our last Thanksgiving without kids, so until then you are our furry little feline children who we are totally obsessed with.

Dear God we are Obsessed.

Don’t look at me like that, Bear, we’ll be back in three days. Go lick something.

But thank you General Meow and Bearcat for bringing us a criminal amount of joy.

Thank you, life. You really done really killed it.

Lastly, thank you readers and HGTV for all the support and love. It’s like having a pack of cheerleaders at all times right behind you so whenever I doubt myself I immediately get more courage and confidence. That is truly a VERY amazing gift.

That’s what I’m thankful for.  What about you?

Best Thanksgiving Tablescapes

It’s that time of year where we put turkeys on everything, including our hips. I’ve been trolling for good DIY stuff but then I kept coming across all these beautiful not-so-DIY tablescapes, which I figured never hurts to share. A turkey can always dream, right?

For the first one all you need is:

A prop stylist to prep it for three days (around $500 a day, some more, some less), a food stylist for one prep, one shoot @ $500/day, $500 in food, $1500 in props, an exotic location rental @ $2500/day, an amazing editorial photographer ($1500 a day at LEAST), two PA’s, an art director and photo editor.

DIY it!!!


From Gourmet Magazine. May it rest in peace. Still one of my most favorite magazines even though I didn’t cook. Their spreads were just insanely beautifully shot and styled.

 

She-n-he photography

This one is WAY more approachable. It’s burlap (which is under $5 a yard) with pretty brass candlesticks that you can get at thrift stores across america for $1 to $3. Still rustic and warm and all thanksgiving-y.

 

styled by Scott Horne

 You don’t need to orange to say thanks. This table, styled by one of my best friends Scott Horne, is all moody and cozy and beautiful with the dark purple and black accents on that rich wood table. Yes. I’ve loved this shot for four years and I continue to love it. Shot by Kate Mathis, who is amazing.

via Bon Appetit

Green, orange, white with hits of black? I wouldn’t have thought of it, but YES, it’s beautiful. The natural elements keeps it feeling warm while the modern elements give it an edge.

via Elle Decor

Those white gourds are simple and fresh, but still say “thanks.”  This one needs some warmth, candlelight, or another dark color but it is BEAUTIFUL.

I’m rounding up the best DIY thanksgiving decor right now, which is why and how I found all these very much not-so-DIY Thanksgiving tablescapes. So stay tuned for all the ideas you can actually do. Meanwhile, which one would you do?