Thanksgiving: Table Decor and Tips for First Time Hosting

Hi guys! As you know I just hosted my first big family holiday, Thanksgiving!

I was so nervous because of space in our small 1 bedroom apartment, but it was great!! The biggest challange was my tiny kitchen (there’s only so much space where I can put prepped food and ready to eat dishes!!!)

Some lessons were definitely learned.

I took my own post advice for my table set up, and I feel it turned out beautifully!



I had a white table cloth, with a burlap lace table runner (from our wedding),  some white plates in different styles from Target, and these lovely wood plate chargers. In the middle I put a bunch of greens, pinecones, mini pumpkins/gourds, and weaved in some fairy lights. I think it was a simple and glowing effect.

 I topped the plates with cloth napkins, silverware, and a green sprig!

On the side “buffet” table to compliment the dining table vibe, I propped up more of the wood plate chargers, black candlestick, an apothecary jar filled with pinecones, cinnamon, and cranberries, and more greens and mini pumpkins/gourds!20161124_145613


It all ended up working very well together and set the cozy fall tone I wanted for the night!

What I will say next will make some of you gasp…..we are not big turkey people. I know, I know, it’s Thanksgiving, but most of my family isn’t big fans of turkey. As an alternative I cooked cornish game hens! Everyone got their own and it was like a mini Thanksgiving on each plate!


Super excited about how these turned out! The skin was crispy and the inside was plump and juicy!

The food was done a little later than expected due to my poor time management and limited kitchen space. Plus I should really get an instant digital read meat thermometer….

Which leads me to

Lessons I Learned Hosting:

Put stuff away: Don’t be afraid to rearrange some furniture or stash stuff away in a bedroom corner or closet. Make the room as airy as you can so people can move around comfortably.  Lock away delicate breakables if there’s kiddos around.

Set Up Beforehand:

Try to set the table, and any other decor the night or even a couple nights before. Make it easier for yourself.

Prep Food Ahead of Time:

This goes hand in hand with the set up one. Wash and cut up vegetables the day before, etc. You can put stuff in containers or zip up bags good to go.

Set Out Serving Dishes:

Whether it’s for the stuff you’re making or the stuff people are bringing. Make sure you have appropriately sized serving dishes, utensils, and space for all of it to go.

Add Nature:

Bring in some plants, flowers, pinecones, greenery…anything to bring a little bit of nature indoors. It has a way of making people feel cozy and it’s only a backyard away.


Make sure you’re stocked up on toilet paper, hand soap, and the like. Add a plug in light by a light switch if it’s hard to find, consider the little characters of your home that may confuse people and address them (or at least warn folks).


Most importantly Relax! It’s one day, one meal, one holiday. The hiccups make the best stories in years to come. If you try to take a step back and go with the flow so will your guests! A little mess never hurt.

Hope your Thanksgiving with your family was wonderful! I love my mother, sisters, and niece for taking the time (and risk 😉) of letting me host. Forever grateful for having them be a huge part of my life!

What are some of your tips for first time hosts?



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