Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

The Week before Thanksgiving Checklist

One week before Thanksgiving! Though I love this time of year, staying organized and balancing work and fun requirements can sometimes drive me nuts. Because of that, I wanted to create a week before Thanksgiving checklist that will help offer tips and direction for those last minutes needs.

The week before Thanksgiving Checklist:

  1. Finish your grocery list and purchase whatever you can now that doesn’t need to be fresh, save those items for the last minute run.
  2. Do you have a craft to keep the kids busy or games to play? While you are working, keep the kids occupied making place tags that can be as easy as using stickers, stock paper, and markers. If the kids are older they could look up gratitude quotes and create inspirational notes for each guest. If you want something printed, click here for printable place cards, all you have to do is insert the name! Whatever you plan, keep it simple with minimal mess.
  3. Do you have an after-dinner activity planned? I know there’s usually a football game but if you are not a football watching family you may want to include a family-friendly movie. One of my favorite things to do is watch old home movies, play Tripoley or start a difficult puzzle and leave it on a table for all to walk by and try!
  4. If this is your first time hosting Thanksgiving at your home, click here for fabulous recipes and tips for a traditional Thanksgiving that will keep you organized and on track.
  5. If you are still unsure how you want to decorate the serving table and need some inspiration, click here to get some ideas from Pinterest.
  6. If you are unsure how to set the table, please click here to review the guides for the various table layouts. If you want the kids to help, click here for a printable of the table setting from Emily Post that they can use.
  7. If you are dealing with a frozen turkey, click here to understand how long it will take to safely thaw (in your refrigerator.)
  8. Do you want to serve appetizers? Since you are eating a big meal, you don’t want anything heavy, hard-to-make, or time-consuming. Personally, I like a platter of veggies and dip, nuts, and cheeses anything that can be prepared ahead of time and quickly set out as the guests arrive. Be sure to have cocktail napkins available! Another option is to ask a friend or family member to bring an appetizer.

Have a wonderful holiday with your friends and family! Enjoy yourself and don’t spend all your time working. Relax, grab a glass of your favorite beverage and connect, after all that is what this holiday is about, giving thanks for times together!Redesign Right, LLC

By Debbie Correale, founder and owner of Redesign Right, LLC. You can learn more about her at RedesignRight.com. Find her on Facebook.com/RedesignRight, Twitter @RedesignRight, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Houzz, Google+ and Instagram.

Last Minute Thanksgiving Planning Tips

Happy ThanksgivingWe have a few days before Thanksgiving, and it’s time to make our last-minute list of things we need to remember. To help you out here are five things you will need:

  1. Shop for all of your perishables vegetables, ice cream, heavy cream.
  2. Pull out and clean each serving platter that you want to use and decide if you are going to serve at the table or go buffet style. Be sure your turkey roasting pan or any other special tools are readily available.
  3. If you plan to use a table cloth or runner, pull them out and iron if necessary and decide which napkins you want to use.
  4. If you have overnight guests, do you have a plan for breakfast Friday morning? Since you’ve been in the kitchen all day Thursday, you may want to keep it simple and serve cereal, breakfast pastries, yogurt and fresh fruit and lots of juice, coffee, and tea choices.
  5. Pick up your flowers for your centerpiece, table settings, etc. You can pick up inexpensive options at your grocery and combine with greenery to create lovely arrangements.

Now for the fun part! Have you decided on your table décor? If you need table setting ideas, click here to view 15 stylish pictures from HGTV. Now you will want to create name cards for each place setting. For an idea of what kind you would like, click here to view some unique ones. For instructions on how to set the table click here to see instructions from Emily Post.

Looking for a fun way to fold your napkins? Click here for an option to fold as a turkey or other clever folding ideas.

If you have kids that will be running around on Thursday; you will want some activities planned for them. A favorite Thanksgiving movie or creative activity, for some ideas, click here from BHG.

Redesign RightI hope you have a fabulous Thanksgiving with friends and family! For all your redesign and home decorating needs give Debbie Correale a call 610.955.8202!

By Debbie Correale, founder and owner of Redesign Right, LLC. You can learn more about her at RedesignRight.com. Find her on Facebook.com/RedesignRight, Twitter @RedesignRight, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Houzz, and Instagram.

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7 Tips to Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

shutterstock_222070243I like to have a plan for big dinners, I’m a list maker and have found much success with this type of organization. I come up with a timeline on what day I need to do what, so I’m not a harried mess on Thanksgiving day. We are less than two weeks from Thanksgiving what should we be thinking about to be prepared? This week and next I will be offering tips to help you out, enjoy!

  1. You will want to create a menu and collect all the recipes that you will need.
  2. If you have many family members or friends attending your dinner, assign projects to them to offload your work.
  3. You can order your fresh turkey or buy a frozen turkey and place in the freezer. For a helpful calculator on how big a turkey to order, click here. I like to use this information from Martha Stewart: “For a large party, you’ll need a big bird — say, fifteen to twenty pounds; figure one and a half pounds for each person. Smaller birds — twelve pounds or less — have a smaller meat-to-bone ratio, so allow two pounds per person. Remember that the larger the bird, the more likely you are to have leftovers for the next few days.” If you purchase a frozen turkey click here for a calculator to determine how long it will take you to thaw the bird. As an example, a 20lb frozen turkey will take five days to thaw, plan accordingly.
  4. There are many food alternatives to a Turkey for Thanksgiving, and you will want to serve your favorite dishes for your friends and family. If you are searching for ideas I like to use the Epicurious app as it offers me fabulous recipes, creates a shopping list, and I can keep my personalized recipe box on file. For more information click here, if you have a favorite app that you like to use I would love to hear about it, please share!
  5. Pick up drinks this week. You can plan on five servings of 5-ounce glasses of wine from one 750ml bottle. Always have non-alcoholic options for your guests and kid-friendly drinks when applicable. Click here for a fun non-alcoholic holiday drink that could also be used with alcohol for those who prefer; it’s an Autumn Chiller.
  6. Shop for all of your non-perishable goods now. If you plan to use already made pie shells, you can purchase all of that this week, or if you intend to make them you can do so this week and freeze them.
  7. Decide on your décor. I left this for last as it’s the most fun in my opinion! To inspire you, click here to view my Pinterest board for beautiful table centerpieces, etc. Gather your ideas this week, so you will know what you will need.

Redesign RightHave fun and enjoy this beautiful holiday of giving Thanks! If you need a last minute dining room redesign or tips on how to decorate your home for guests, call Debbie 610.955.8202 or email for all your home decorating needs!

By Debbie Correale, founder and owner of Redesign Right, LLC. You can learn more about her at RedesignRight.com. Find her on Facebook.com/RedesignRight, Twitter @RedesignRight, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Houzz and .

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Tips for Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

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Since Thanksgiving is a couple of weeks away, I wanted to send you some tips to help ease your stress and assist you in creating a beautiful day!

Planning the Meal

Thanksgiving is a time of traditions and old recipes. If you are fortunate to have tried-and-true family recipes, meal planning will be straight-forward. For all of those who have never done a large Thanksgiving meal or would like to try my suggestion is to use a tool such as this one, click here, from Epicurious that will help you with your meal plan. You will want to plan on one pound of turkey per person. I would suggest adding more to that figure if you plan to have leftovers! To understand thawing time, if you are purchasing a frozen turkey, click here.

Click here for a former post of mine with fabulous last minute tips titled, “Count Down to Thanksgiving.”

Unsure what type of wine to pair with your meal? Click here for some tips from BHG.com to get some ideas. I always recommend having non-alcoholic drink options available. For some tasty ideas, click here.

Decorate the Table

I love the look of layering beautiful items such as a table cloth, placement or charger, and dinner plate. Use the items that you own and pull out that special china or dish from past generations or friends. Don’t be afraid to mix and match your items, try to tie together with matching placements or chargers.

Looking to set a casual table? Check out a very easy idea, using all white, from Martha Stewart by clicking here.

Create place cards. These can be plain or fancy, in fact, I like to get the kids involved with this activity as it keeps them busy and it can be their contribution to the Thanksgiving meal.

Create a center piece! The center piece does not require that you blow your budget! You can use beautiful berries, gourds, and cuttings from the outdoors. I love this idea where they used vegetables, click here to view.

If you are unsure where things go on the table, click here for some instruction from Emily Post. Please note, there is no space for a cell phone!

If you need some decorating inspiration and tips, click here to view my Pinterest Board! Make a list and plan out your days, and assign jobs to friends and family! Creating a plan will ensure a less hectic day for you and everyone! Happy planning!

Redesign RightFor all your home decorating, color choices and home staging needs give Debbie a call 610.955.8202!

By Debbie Correale, founder and owner of Redesign Right, LLC. You can learn more about her at www.RedesignRight.com. Find her on Facebook.com/RedesignRight, Twitter @RedesignRight, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Houzz and .

(Photo from Shutterstock.)

Count Down to Thanksgiving

I know you are very busy this week, so I did not want to tie you up for long.  Here is a quick checklist to ensure that you have thought of everything this Thanksgiving week:

10 Last minute things to do before Thanksgiving Day:

  1. Check camera or video camera to be sure it is fully charged or get new batteries.
  2. If you plan to use the family silver, be sure it’s polished and ready to go.
  3. Create your dinner music playlist – or subscribe to Pandora – it’s fantastic!
  4. Purchase your flowers.  If you need assistance, click here for step-by-step instructions on how to create a beautiful classic floral arrangement for your Thanksgiving table.
  5. Be sure you have the proper color and size candles for your dining room table or buffet table.
  6. Do you plan to have a fire burning?  If so, be sure you have your firewood loaded and ready to go.  Check that you have matches or a lighter.  To ensure that you do not have issues with starting your fire, plan a trip to Home Depot or your local home store and pick up a box of the Duraflame Firestart bricks, they work like a champ!
  7. Do you plan to have cordials after dinner with dessert? Plan to stock up on your favorite port, brandy or dessert wine.
  8. Create your cooking schedule.  I find this helps immensely as you are not trying to juggle everything in your memory, and it ensures that you don’t forget anything.
  9. Create a seating plan,  name cards and food arrangement. 
  10. Have fun!  Relax and take some time for yourself, a cup of tea, a moment alone whatever allows you a moment of peace and relaxation.

oliver-thanksgiving-2012Oliver and I are wishing you a fabulous Thanksgiving with your family and friends!

By Debbie Correale, founder and owner of Redesign Right, LLC. You can learn more about her at www.RedesignRight.com. Find her on Facebook.com/RedesignRight, Twitter @RedesignRight, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Houzz and .

Planning for Thanksgiving

shutterstock_148587731Next week is Thanksgiving, do you have your plans all organized?  I have compiled a few tips to help you save time and eliminate the aggravation, and I’ve thrown in a few holiday decorating tips.

8 Planning Tips to help you with your Thanksgiving

1. Clean out your refrigerator this week!  That way you will have room for everything when you shop next week.

2. Are you buying a fresh or frozen turkey?  If you are buying a frozen turkey you need to allow one day of thawing, on a tray in the refrigerator, for every 4-5lbs.

Here are some useful Turkey tips, click the link below to read more:

3. Set your table the night before Thanksgiving and use sticky notes on each serving dish and bowl so you see how everything will fit on your table.  When it is time to serve the meal, you won’t be scrambling looking for that special platter!

4. Create place cards for each table setting and be sure to put some thought into the placement to ensure family peace.  You may want to solicit help for this project, perhaps involve the younger kids in the creation of the place cards.  I created a board on Pinterest of Thanksgiving Ideas to help you with this task; click here to view.

5. For an instant display on your dining table use natural elements from your yard for a casual table.  Combine branches, pinecones, nuts and place candles down the center of the table for a natural and cozy feel.

6. If you don’t have enough table settings in one pattern don’t worry – you can mix them perhaps use a charger and match and always use cloth napkins.  If you are unsure how to properly place a table setting, click here for instructions from Emily Post.

7. Consider serving in a buffet style creating food stations.  You can always use a folding 6’ table with a lovely table cloth as a second serving area and use the dining room table as an eating area.  Remember to elevate dishes using cake or pie stands of food on the buffet table to create a beautiful display of food.  If you use one color, such as white serving dishes and platters you can create a visually beautiful arrangement of food.

8. If you have a houseful of family, you will want to plan some activities, or put someone in charge of activities, so they are not bothering you and the cooking helpers.  Here are a few ideas:

    • Get the Christmas lights out and decorate the outside of the house.
    • Go on a long walk.
    • Get shopping for the holidays, plenty of stores are open on Thanksgiving now.
    • Go to the movies.

Thanksgiving is a fabulous time of year, make your plans early and enjoy yourself!

redesign rightIf you are in need of a dining room redesign, contact Debbie@RedesignRight.com or call 610.955.8202 to make an appointment!

By Debbie Correale, founder and owner of Redesign Right, LLC. You can learn more about her at www.RedesignRight.com. Find her on Facebook.com/RedesignRight, Twitter @RedesignRight, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Houzz and .

Decorating for Thanksgiving

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As we head toward the holidays, I would like to dedicate this post to a topic that is very dear to my heart … home decorating!  I wanted to share some tips to help you decorate quickly and inexpensively.  Anyone can be inspired, and either purchase or create a look that is pleasing, welcoming, and beautiful in your home!  For fun, I went through Houzz and created an inspirational idea book for you to peruse to see some unique ideas and what I love about them, click here to view to get inspired!

Let’s start with your front door!  Why not create a beautiful fall wreath to accentuate your entryway and create an appealing and welcoming entrance?  Click here for a video from BHG.com on how to quickly make a beautiful fall wreath.

What about a feature or center piece for your dining or side table?  For an easy to put together fall arrangement using gourds and pumpkins, click here to get instructions from Martha Stewart.  What do you think of turnips?  I know, a vegetable your grandmother used a lot, right?  This idea, also from Martha Stewart, is very clever as she creates votive holders out of turnips and what I love about this idea is a lovely purple color that you see in a ripe turnip.  Think of how that would look with a combination of small pumpkins and other natural items.  (Click here for instructions on how to make a Turnip Votive.)

Get the family involved!  Since the upcoming holiday is about giving thanks, I love the idea of getting the whole family to participate in the preparation.  I particularly like this idea from Crafts Unleashed where you create a ThankFul Tree!  Not only does this involve your family, it serves as a beautiful decoration and helps everyone to focus on the true nature of the holiday and express their personal sentiments of gratitude.  Click here to view an example and see the step-by-step instructions.

Now is a good time to get your planning done.  The key to you feeling relaxed is to be organized, which means you need to do things when you can on your own time.  I love information such as this post from Williams Sonoma where they offer you a full traditional Thanksgiving menu and tell you exactly what day to start each dish.  How clever is that idea!  It takes all the guess work out of the procedure.  Click here to read the blog post from Williams Sonoma.  If you are unsure of yourself in the kitchen, have some fun, enroll a loved one or friend and take a cooking class!  (Click here for the cooking class calendar at Sur La Table in King of Prussia Mall, PA.)

Redesign RightEnjoy this special time of year and if you need help preparing your home for the holidays, call 610.955.8202 or email Debbie@RedesignRight.com to set up an appointment!

By Debbie Correale, founder and owner of Redesign Right, LLC. You can learn more about her at RedesignRight.com. Find her on Facebook.com/RedesignRight, Twitter @RedesignRight, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Houzz and .

How will you decorate your table this Thanksgiving?

I love Thanksgiving and the opportunity to get together with family and celebrate gratitude.  It is one of the meals that I make every year from scratch!  I use the same menu each year that my children (all grown) love, and use many of the same recipes that my mom and grandmother used.  I love the wonderful spread of food and a beautifully set table.

Let’s talk table settings.  Are you hosting a large family dinner this year?  I recently read the best idea for people who don’t have a dining table to accommodate a large group.  They recommended purchasing two 6’ folding tables and placing them together, which will comfortably seat 12 people.  Go to your local rental store and rent 12 chairs, and you’re set!  For a table cloth, you can always use a king sized flat sheet!  There’s much to do before the Thanksgiving holiday, here are a few tips I would recommend:

Organize and prepare:  I’m a big list maker!  I find if I sit down and organize everything into different lists I’m organized and don’t forget things, which can be a source of stress!  I also pre-measure all the dry ingredients for my breads and pies in Ziploc baggies a week before.  This saves a great deal of time when baking day arrives!

Keep It Simple:  Create an interesting center piece for your table, but keep it simple.  Keep your centerpieces low so guests can talk to each other without looking through the arrangement.  Use votives and vases that you have, mix and match but use all the same flower color selection.  Mix in fall nuts, fruits and vegetables and you will instantly make a beautiful centerpiece.  Be sure to include candlelight – there is nothing more appealing than a table lit with the soft glow of candles!  If you are unsure how to set the table, click here to get the scoop from Emily Post!

oliver-thanksgiving-2012Remember the purpose of the holiday:  It’s a special time of year when you have an opportunity to sit with your family, express gratitude, and relax.

Enjoy your holiday preparation and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

For all your redesign and home staging needs, contact Debbie@RedesignRight.com!

(Click to see the Photo from HouseBeautiful.com.)

Debbie Correale is founder and owner of Redesign Right, LLC. You can learn more about her at www.RedesignRight.com. Find her on Facebook.com/RedesignRight, Twitter @RedesignRight, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Houzz and .