thanksgiving decor + cranberry conserve

It was a simply scrumptious Halloween this year! Jilly and I made Monster Nachos and Pumpkin Donuts with Buttermilk Glaze and I ask, how could that be anything but wondrous?
But now on to my FAVORITE holiday!
It's finally cooling off (ok, just in the mornings and at night) which really gets me thinking that Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Jilly and I, along with our families have made Thanksgiving traditions together for the past 4 years and it continues to be a magical occasion for my family and I. I consider it to be a well-deserved weekend off for the men folk, so Jilly and I are already hard at work on centerpieces, table linens, and finely tuning this years wildly anticipated feast.
Here are a few pics from last year just to get the creative juices flowin. And don't worry your pretty little heads, there was no harming of animals in the making of these button mum centerpieces. Our life-like, feathered friends came from a great on line supply called
These florals had to be kept alive through the weekend so they were put into oasis foam and ended up being real heavy! Thanks Rhett for being a good sport when a gust of wind came and garnished your turkey with button mums and feathers! Why didn't I have my camera ready for that?

We had dinner outside in Jilly's back yard where there are several tall oak trees. With all the leaves changing colors, it was a rare and glorious sight for the natives. The food better than Martha Stewart, the weather a perfect 80 degrees.....and there was much to be grateful for.

If you think you don't like cranberries, may I introduce you to my Cranberry Fruit Conserve. I really hate to brag, but this goes down as some of my best Thanksgiving work.
Try it this year and see if there are any leftovers!

2 (12oz) bags fresh cranberries
3 1/2 C sugar
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
Grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
1 1/2 C chopped pecans

In a large saucepan, simmer cranberries and sugar in 2 cups water over low heat, about 5 minutes or until skins pop open. Add apples, zests, and juices, and cook 15 more minutes. Remove from heat and add raisins and nuts. Let cool and serve chilled.
*It will thicken upon standing

All this Thanksgiving talk is making me really warm inside and I just want to say how thankful I am for Jilly. She has taught me so much about humanity. She leads by example and her spirit radiates light to all who know her. I'm also grateful for her extended family, they are truly an amazing and special group. Her parents are some of the most wonderful people I know, bestowing love and goodness wherever they go. Stopping now because I'm getting a little tear in the corner of my eye.
Oh ya, and Mommy could beat the pants off of anyone in a pie baking contest:)

I sincerely hope whatever your Thanksgiving traditions are, that you enjoy them in a serene place with the people who love you and inspire you to be your very best.
That's it for now.
xoxo, Mia

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Mia & Jilly

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