What’s better than Thanksgiving dinner? How about two Thanksgiving dinners!! Family gatherings are important and traditional, but a growing trend is hosting a Friendsgiving, a special Thanksgiving-style dinner with your favorite friends. Hold it before Thanksgiving to create a trial run for the big day, or after to make the most of leftovers or serve something completely different. Here are some things to consider before hosting your Friendsgiving:
Friendsgiving is the perfect time to hold a potluck, making it easier than Thanksgiving because no one person will be in charge of the entire meal. Assign specific dishes or a category, such as veggies or dessert. Or be bold and enjoy whatever dishes show up in hand.
Set a theme
Another dinner-planning idea is to choose a theme and have guests bring something that fits. For example, set a theme of Italian, Chinese farm-to-table or even deep-fried. This could be a nice break from your Thanksgiving leftovers.
Think about drinks
If you are serving alcohol, plan how you’ll stock your bar. You can make it easy and serve just wine or beer. Or create a special cocktail for the day, such as a special martini or mixed drinks. Or set out what guests will need for the most common drinks.
Make sure to accommodate special diets
Check in with friends and see if anyone has food allergies or intolerances, or follows a special diet, such as vegan or Paleo. Then make sure you have enough on your menu to fill them up.
Decide if you want a special décor
Thanksgiving dinner usually includes a special holiday tablescape with a centerpiece, place settings, napkins and place cards. Friendsgiving, however, can be as festive or casual as you wish.
Do you hold Friendsgiving? Share you favorite tips in the comments below!
You could go out and invest in new dinnerware for the holidays. Gorgeous designs that are perfect for holidays like Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas are festive and fun. But you can also easily dress up your existing dinnerware with some easy and inexpensive details that will give you the same result. Here are five tips for setting a holiday table dressing up your existing dishes and making them shine for the season:
1. Purchase New Salad Plates
Instead of investing in an entire set of china, why not purchase salad plates that you layer atop your everyday dinner dish? The single piece won’t cost a lot, and the top plate is the star of the setting. Choose something for the holiday or season, and it will look like you went all out.
2. Use Chargers
Classic white plates look chic and elegant when you place them on a charger. Choose luxurious silver or gold for a classic look. Or brighten up the table with jewel tones, such as ruby, emerald or sapphire. We love this snowflake charger craft idea. You’ll be surprised at the impact a charger can make when setting up a holiday table, and it can happen in a snap.
3. Add the Details
Little things can make a big impact, and your choice of salt and pepper shakers, napkins and napkin rings can set the tone. Instead of classic white napkins, choose a bold color or pattern. Or stick with white and let the ring take center stage. You could even go simple, and tie a sprig of evergreen with twine or ribbon.
4. Roll Out the Table Runner
Add flair by using a dramatic table runner. Not only does it introduce a theme; a runner allows the natural beauty of your table show through. You’ll find a wide assortment of options designed for your specific holiday, or head to the fabric store and purchase a piece of velvet, satin or even faux fur. You could also use a beautiful plaid blanket when setting up a holiday table; the contrasting texture will create a warm, festive setting.
5. Think About Place Mats
Place mats offer another design opportunity, and they help protect your table. Choose a color that enhances your holiday décor, or personalize a set of your own with this fun burlap place mat craft project.
We’d love to see how you create a festive tables design for the holidays. Post your photos in the comments below!
Who knew? Labor Day is THE BIGGEST retail savings holiday of the year!
So how can you make sure you’re squeezing the most out of every $$$ during the crazy awesome Labor Day Sales? These tips from savvy furniture shopper Jocelyn Wolf – whose family has been in the furniture business for 116+ YEARS (!!!) – should help.
ONE: A Labor Day Sale means GREAT BIG DEAL$
Stores are putting the latest fall merchandise on their showroom floors so they need to clear EVERYTHING out to make room. (Help them out – buy some stuff!) You’ll get serious bargains -with greatly reduced prices on floor models, closeouts and discontinued items.
$AVVY $HOPPER TIP: Inspect your floor sample finds closely before buying. There’s typically a “no return” policy on this stuff.
TWO: It’s the PERF Time to Shop for Back to School
Moving into the dorms or your first college apartment? Treat yourself with BIG savings on bedding sets, wall art, futons and anything else you need to make your new space awesome.
THREE: Shop for better sleepzzzzzzzz
Labor Day Sales are THE BEST for shopping mattresses. Stores and manufacturers are handing out HUGE discounts and the promotions are HOT. Buy now and you’ll sleep better – long after Labor Day.
FOUR: Don’t cry – Shop outdoor
As much as we hate to see summer end – seriously, we’re crying big tears over here – retailers are putting greatly reduced price tags on outdoor merchandise. Now’s the time to get that new patio set you’ve been drooling over – for a steal. Retail therapy, anyone?
FIVE: Prep to cozy up indoors
Again, we hate to do this but FALL IS ALMOST HERE. That means pumpkin spice, cooler weather, more time spent indoors and maybe more pumpkin spice. It’ll be less depressing if you plan now and make your living room a family sanctuary. That old sofa? It’s not getting any comfier or any cuter. Replace it with a gorgeous sectional and you’ll have room for the whole fam to cozy up for Netflix binge time.
SIX: Sign up for special offers
We all need more email, right? Ummmm … no. But in this case, signing up for your favorite store’s emails is a GOOD IDEA. Before Labor Day, sign up for promotional emails from your favorite stores and brands and follow them on social. You’ll want to know who’s offering special sales or amazing savings on pieces you’ve got your eye on.
$AVVY $HOPPER TIP: Sign up to become an Art Van VIP and you’ll get notified of our special events and promotions.
SEVEN: Get a price guarantee
Make sure the store you’re shopping has a price guarantee or a price adjustment policy. Then you can shop with confidence, knowing you’re getting the best possible deal. And if you find it for less somewhere else or see the price drop, you won’t miss out – you’ll save even more.
EIGHT: Don’t be blinded by a good deal
Furniture is a commitment! Buy what you love and only what you love. If you don’t love it or don’t need it, don’t bother. And definitely NEVER sacrifice your style for a great price. On the flip side, if you see something you love, don’t wait to buy! During Labor Day Sales, many items – like outdoor sets at super low prices– are limited inventory and won’t be restocked. If you wait, it may disappear. Poof!
NINE: Shop in-person and online
Are you a hands-on shopper? Or a shop-from-the-sofa pro? Either way, we have you covered with amazing deals and special promotions at all of our stores and online. Go ahead and shop how you want, when you want and where you want. You’re good.
$AVVY $HOPPER TIP:Art Van has sales teams ready to assist in-store or online with questions you may have about products and special financing offers.
TEN: Look ahead to the holidays
Were last year’s holidays overcrowded? Did ALL the cousins show up? Make sure you have enough seating for this year’s holiday parties now. Take advantage of Labor Day Sale prices to update your dining situation so you can invite everybody and still have room for unexpected guests.
$AVVY $HOPPER TIP: Furniture delivery schedules fill up quickly before the holidays. Avoid the stress and plan ahead this year. You’ll be glad you did, come November!
ELEVEN: Save now, pay later
Check to see if the retailer you’re shopping offers financing options. If so, take advantage of 0% APR offers to get the furniture, mattress or flooring you want at the price you can afford – with flexible payment options.
Great deals are just the excuse you need to try something totally new with your decor. Think accent pillows, artwork, area rugs and more. Add color, texture or maybe even a faux fur throw to glam things up.
Mother’s Day might be all about the brunch, but for Dad’s day, he wants to stay home. A survey by Zagat found that 52% of dads prefer to stay home for Father’s Day, 29% want to go out, and 14% “just want to be left alone.” The ideal meal? The majority of dads said grilling at home. Sounds like a backyard Father’s Day BBQ party is on the menu.
Here are five tips for making it fun:
Keep the Décor Simple
The great thing about Dads is that they really like to keep things simple. You don’t need to worry about elaborate centerpieces or decorations. Less is more. Set up your outdoor space by making sure everyone has a place to sit, with the seat of honor for Dad, of course. Stackable chairs are convenient, or you could throw a few blankets on the lawn for a picnic-style meal.
Get Dad’s Favorite Foods
Burgers, ribs, steaks, fish and portabella mushroom caps—they all taste better when they’re grilled outside. Grab dad’s favorite entrée and add side dishes, such as corn on the cob, potatoes, fruit and tossed salad. Then add a cooler of Dad’s favorite beverage, as well as family favorites like bottled water, lemonade or iced tea.
Crank the Tunes
Dads often have big music collections so keep the mood going with a playlist of his favorite artists. From classic rock to rap to country, become the DJ and keep things lively and fun. Maybe Dad will even start a family dance challenge in the back yard!
Set Up Games
Before or after your meal, set up some games Dad can play with the family. Croquet, tag football, corn hole, bocce or badminton are all good choices. You can create teams—boys vs. girls—or let Dad be captain and choose sides.
Plan for the Weather
Check your local forecast so you can be prepared in case it rains on Dad’s day. Come up with Plan B, such as a gazebo that can be shelter from rain or heat. And have plenty of sunscreen on hand so no one gets burned.
Dad will love the thought and attention you give him on his special day. Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there!
Celebrity dad Shaquille O’Neal knows how to have fun on and off of the basketball court. A dance challenge video he made with his kids and shared on Instagram went viral. He clearly enjoys his children, making memories that will last a lifetime.
Shaquille O’Neal Style
The video not only gives us a glimpse into Shaq’s playful side; viewers get a tiny peek into his family room. It looks like his space is set up for watching a movie marathon or the latest sports playoffs. Comfort is key as is space to unwind—Shaq’s not a tiny guy, after all. His style is sleek but relaxed, and reclining leather furniture is the perfect way to outfit his space. Dance first and kick back later—sounds like the perfect way to spend a Friday night with family.
Design a Shaq-inspired by focusing on fun. Choose items that help you unwind and connect with you family and friends, like reclining furniture. Durable materials, like leather, are kid-friendly as well as indulgent. Then add accessories and art that celebrate your accomplishments and passions, such as trophies or pennants. Make a statement with your space.