JOY42

A Short Day Trip to London

TravelHannah DrakeComment

A couple of weeks ago, I went down to London for the day. It may or may not have been just to have Chipotle for lunch. But it gave me a good excuse to wander around some of my favourite parts of the city and explore a new area: Hampstead. I was surprised and how many gorgeous floral displays were around the city, but with autumnal colours and blooms. It was almost as good as Chelsea in Bloom in the spring!

Thanksgiving Tablescape Inspiration

At HomeHannah DrakeComment

When I was asked to set the table as a kid, I was always happy to oblige. I have no idea why, but I just always loved setting the table, especially for special occasions. Sometimes my mom would help me make a table in a Word document and figure out how to print folding place cards on special paper. I remember downloading the Harry Potter font (you know, from the US printed books) for our Harry Potter feast celebrating the release of the final film. I remember one year using some of the smaller Santas from my mom’s collection as place card holders. For whatever reason, it’s always been such a joyous chore for me and I love getting creative with it.

Now that I’m old enough to be hosting my own dinner parties or holiday feasts, it’s even more fun! I love picking out items to use in our tablescapes or to otherwise entertain. Simply put, it just makes me happy.

So if you’re like me and love it, or if you dread setting the table but somehow find yourself tasked with the chore at every family gathering, this post is for you! I’ve combed the internet to gather up some of the best Thanksgiving table inspo for you!

First up, here’s my table from last year. I was inspired by the post below from Julia at Gal Meets Glam, but I put it off too late to find the right eucalyptus leaves. Our table is quite narrow, so it wasn’t feasible to make the centrepiece fuller by adding larger pumpkins or more candles. Still, I love the simplicity of it. I wanted a very clean look to it with the pumpkins and napkins adding an autumnal pop of colour against the muted green of the leaves. Even though the leaves weren’t flat like in Julia’s photo, they did the trick and we actually repurposed the longer stems in the photo booth backdrop at our wedding six months later!

My absolute favourite part of the whole table was the place cards. They came together exactly how I imagined. First, I scoured the internet for napkin folding tutorials until I found one that was clean and simple and would match my aesthetic. Around that, I designed the place cards. I measured and cut strips of paper and hand-lettered everyone’s name to the top. When everyone sat down, it just looked like a small piece of paper tucked inside the napkin. But soon they realised that actually there was more below the surface! (Like a happy iceberg!) Below the names (and low enough to be hidden under the napkin), Luke and I had written why we were thankful for their friendship. (Luke had written the notes for me and the three other gentlemen there. I had written the notes for Luke and the three other ladies there.) Some of our friends still have them on display in their dining room and that just touches my heart like you wouldn’t believe!

We got everything from IKEA, except the mini pumpkins & greenery:

In Julia’s 2016 post Our Thanksgiving Table, she says, I didn’t go very far to find everything we needed for our table. It all started with a simple open weave table runner from Pottery Barn for our burl wood dining table. I knew I would be re-using our clear charger plates I bought last year as the base with our china, but I wanted an effortless and more neutral-tone center piece. So I took a handful of mixed pumpkins in white and orange and mixed them with unscented Santa Rosa candles in various heights and sizes. To bring a little green to the table, I added in fresh silver dollar eucalyptus leaves and weaved them through the candles and pumpkins.

WHITE RUSTIC

A POP OF ORANGE

BOUNTIFUL HARVEST

BOLD & GLAM

PUMPKIN PALOOZA

LIGHT AND AIRY

LUSH GREENS

DARK AMBIENCE

MAD ABOUT PLAID

GREEN IS A NEUTRAL

NATURE WALK

VIBRANT JEWEL TONES

MIXED TEXTURES

BUFFALO CHECKED

So if you’re taking over the table this Thanksgiving, I’d love to see what you do with it! Email or DM me your beautiful tablescapes!

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DIY Cozy Movie Night at Home

MarriageHannah Drake2 Comments

Maybe you know by now that at the Drake household, Wednesday is date night. We have made the commitment to block off that time each week for each other, no matter what. Sometimes we go big, sometimes we stay home, sometimes we’re somewhere in between, which usually involves a free trip to the cinema. One of our favourite at-home date night ideas is just hanging out in the living room watching a movie (or two). Since the idea is to step out of a routine, we watch a movie instead of whatever show we’re currently bingeing. And on special occasions, I even transform our living room into the coziest movie theatre we’ve ever been to.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Mattress (preferably off a bed since air mattresses can be noisy and uncomfortable)

  • Pillows (all of the pillows you have!)

  • Blanket(s)

  • Movie of Choice

  • Snacks + Drinks of Choice

  • Candles and/or Fairy Lights

WHAT YOU DO

It’s so simple:

  • Start with prepping your space. I move the coffee table into the kitchen and vacuum the living room.

  • Grab the mattress off your bed. I use our spare room mattress since it’s lighter and more convenient to move. If fits perfectly between the couch and fireplace.

  • Pile your mattress high with blankets and pillows. Seriously, all the pillows! I use all five from our bed plus the four throw pillows on the couch. You want it to be fluffy and comfy and heavenly! It’s up to you how many blankets you use. I usually use one to cover the mattress (so I don’t have to rewash the guest linens) and then add two more.

  • Light candles or string up fairy lights. Bonus points for both! Remember you’re going for the coziest space of all time!

  • Prepare your favourite movie snacks and beverages of choice. I could definitely live off popcorn, so I’ll make a big bowl and grab some candy if we have some. (We usually do since we import it in from the States.) For a themed evening, it would be fun to do a special drink, weather it’s a cocktail or something to warm you up.

  • Watch your movie and snuggle up!

See? So easy and totally doable without going out to buy new stuff. We chock it up as a free date night!

The first time I did it, I hustled to get it all ready for Luke before he got home. We watched Animal House. (Wow that movie really did not age well!) Recently, I did it again, watched some fall movies, and had homemade Chinese food for dinner too. This is why you need to get breakfast-in-bed trays. They always come in handy!

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