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last year’s dining room, holiday plans & turkey sushi

Okay, so don’t turn me in to the blog police or anything but I’m recycling an old post.

This was our holiday dining room last year in Canada.

Since I had all of about seven followers back then, I thought I could get away with recycling.

I had a winter wonderland kind of theme going on with wood tones, burlap, white, silver and mercury glass.

I found the pinecone garland (crate&barrel) new in the package at Goodwill. I made the sheet music ornaments and the glittery ornaments came from Dollarama and Wal-Mart. I made the burlap and ticking stockings.

The cool white tool box was found at a garage sale and I stenciled 1225 for Christmas in grey and sanded it.

The basket was a garage sale find and the “gifts” are shoe boxes and cereal boxes wrapped in kraft paper and sheet music.

The bar cart below was a roadside rescue that I spray painted white.

All of the platters over the mantel (which I got for free at a garage sale and spray painted white) were thrift store finds.

Tablescapes are my favorite. That’s the only thing I miss about having a formal dining room. I had seasonal tablescapes on the dining room table year round. Well actually, we have a formal dining room but it’s been converted to a billiards room which gets much more use!

The chair back covers were made from canvas and ticking stripe fabric.ย The how-to is in this post, and in case you are wondering…yes it does involve a hot glue gun. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Most of the cake plates came from thrift stores. The little Christmas trees on top of the china cabinet came from Goodwill!

All of the tureens and white creamers came from thrift stores.


I’m slowing things down around here for the remainder of the year. I’ll post here and there but I really want to enjoy the holidays with my family and not have the pressure of posting every day.

We are taking our first family cruise for Christmas and New Year’s so I’m keeping the decorating to a minimum. Shocker. I know. I don’t even think I’ll put our tree up. Just stockings and wreaths and such.

I’m excited for Thanksgiving this year, too. We’ve gotten gypped out of Thanksgiving living in Canada the past three years. They celebrate Thanksgiving at the beginning of October which felt waaaayyyyy too early, so we didn’t do that. But then when our Thanksgiving rolled around, that didn’t feel right either.

This year we are travelling to Ohio to Jim’s sister’s house. I can’t wait to see my niece and nephew and sister-in-law and brother-in-law who we haven’t seen in a long while!

The second best thing about the trip is that I don’t have to cook the turkey! The last time I made a turkey for Thanksgiving, let’s just say it resembled sushi more that turkey. It was a little under cooked. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ย The rest of the food was a disaster as well. I’ll never as long as I live forget what my nephew, Walker said after that meal…”But the rolls were good, Aunt Susan.” ๐Ÿ™‚ Yep, that was about the only saving grace from that debacle.

I have, however, volunteered to bring some desserts. So if you have any tried and true Thanksgiving dessert recipes you wouldn’t mind sharing with me, I’d be ever-so grateful! Just leave it in the comments, or shoot me an e-mail.

Well, I’ve rambled on enough here.

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

Check back early next week for one of my favorite finds!

17 Comments Post a comment
  1. cndesigns #

    In a word…Gorgeous! I love the silvery white feeling! I may have to get into that in our new house ๐Ÿ™‚

    November 19, 2011
  2. Mel #

    You have the best thrifty finds. But your real talent is in your displays. Who cares if you are a member of the “I hate cooking club”, I’ve been a member for years LOL

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    November 19, 2011
  3. I love your dining room. It’s amazing how you can take Goodwill finds and make them special. What part of Ohio are you visiting? I’m over in mid-central Ohio but may have a place or two to suggest you hit, if you get a chance while you’re in the area.

    November 19, 2011
  4. I guess I was one of your 7 followers as I remember loving your dining room! My American friends tell me that Thanksgiving is a WAY bigger deal in the US than Canada. In fact, I had my best friends mother in law, who is from Florida, here for our Thanksgiving dinner this year and she felt it was so strange to be so early. That’s all I know, so it seems perfectly normal to me =)

    November 19, 2011
  5. Diane J. #

    It’s amazing what can be found at thrift stores & garage sales. Some of my best finds are from these places. Where in Ohio are you traveling? I live in North Central Ohio between Mansfield and Columbus. Have safe travels & a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    November 20, 2011
  6. Susan-LOVE the fireplace and all the white stuff! I love anything white! I have a suggestion for your dessert-go to and type in “Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars”. They travel really well and I doubled the filling ingredients, but not the crust, and put it all in a 15×17 jellyroll type pan. They come out super flat and feed a crowd (read the comment by SweetPea123-that’s me!) They don’t taste like cheesecake and are a great alternative to pumpkin pie. They look really pretty cut into 2-3 inch squares and whipped cream piped onto the center (done after you get to your destination, of course!)Happy Thanksgiving to all!

    November 20, 2011
  7. love your ramblings….you are a true artist, those decorations are just fabulous, I got so many ideas, thank you for that and enjoy your fabulous holiday

    November 20, 2011
  8. Jasmine #

    Hi I recently made this recipe after trying an amazing salted caramel brownie. This sauce has been a big hit with my family both poured over brownies or ice cream. It makes a great gift in a little jar and will keep refrigerated for a couple of weeks.

    Salted Caramel Sauce (modified from a Julia Child recipe)
    1cup sugar
    1/3 cup water
    1 cup heavy cream
    1/2 tsp kosher salt
    2 tsp vanilla

    Mix sugar and water in a heavy pot with a tight fitting lid, warm first on low heat to dissolve the sugar. Once dissolved increase the heat to medium/medium-high to start boiling the sugar. After it starts to boil don’t stir the sugar instead swirl the pot to mix. At first keep the lid on the pot (this will keep the sugar from crystallizing, peeking is allowed). Once the sugar becomes thick with bubbles (about 10 minutes in) remove lid to caramelize. Keep a close eye on the sugar as it will caramelize quickly. The trick is to take it off the heat early at a light caramel color, as it will continue to cook after the heat is removed. Swirl the pot to cool the sugar. Add the cream when the sugar has cooled slightly and stopped further caramelizing. This will cause the sugar to bubble then congeal. Bring the cream and sugar back to a simmer to dissolve the sugar, then add the vanilla and salt. Be careful as hot sugar is a really bad burn and the desire to taste will be strong!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    November 20, 2011
    • Jasmine. thanks so much for the recipe. Definitely trying this one! ๐Ÿ™‚

      November 20, 2011
  9. Inspired and pretty #

    Beautiful dining room !
    For dessert recipe you should take a look at this wonderful food blog
    In this post he gives ideas on Thanksgiving meals and have a Rich Chocolate Glazed Cranberry Chocolate Cake with Walnuts recipe and a Toasted nut tart recipe.
    Have a nice sunday !

    November 20, 2011
  10. Rosie #

    I really enjoy your blog, and am a fellow Northern Illinoisian! So, I Iook at your sources closely! ๐Ÿ™‚ As far as recipes, I tired Southern Living’s iron skillet apple pie….VERY easy and VERY good!!! And to serve it, just keep it in the skillet and tie a bit of raffia around handle….too easy….it is on line if you want to search for it. Has a brown sugar bottom. Did I say VERY good!??!!? ๐Ÿ™‚ Rosie

    November 20, 2011
  11. Jenette Burr #

    Love all your decorating ideas!!! Here is a recipe I tried last year and the minute I tasted it I knew it was going to be on our Thanksgiving table every year. (oh and it is super easy!!!)

    Turtle Pumpkin Pie

    ยผ Cup plus 2 Tbsp. caramel ice cream topping, divided
    1 Graham Cracker pie crust
    ยฝ Cup plus 2 Tbsp. chopped pecans, divided
    2 pkgs. (3.4 oz each) Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
    1 Cup cold milk
    1 Cup canned pumpkin
    1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    ยฝ tsp. ground nutmeg
    1 (8oz.) tub Cool Whip, thawed, divided

    Pour ยผ Cup caramel topping into crust; sprinkle with ยฝ Cup nuts.

    Beat dry pudding mixes, milk, pumpkin and spices with whisk until well blended. Stir in 1 ยฝ Cups of cool whip, spoon into crust.

    Refrigerate for 1 hour or more. Top with remaining cool whip, caramel topping and nuts just before serving.

    November 20, 2011

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