Hello Lovely Thanksgiving 2019

My favorite part about this Thanksgiving was feeling relaxed, being unplugged, dining near the fire as the sun set, and laughing through stories as we reconnected. In spite of another challenging year of health issues, God has been so faithful, and there were so many blessings to count at Thanksgiving 2019!

Neutral Thanksgiving 2019 - Hello Lovely Studio.

Our day of thanks was an intimate, cozy, small gathering this year since our family is sprinkled across the country. I spearheaded the cooking and baking, but because I kept things simple, there were no headaches beyond a #bundtfail which was fun to laugh about. This girl provides plenty of fodder around here. Hahahaha.

Hello Lovely Thanksgiving 2019

I had to film these turkeys (below) in the neighborhood, and yes, we have tons of them showing up at the window all the time!

I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.

Neutral Thanksgiving 2019 - Hello Lovely Studio.

My white roses should have looked perfect since I babied them for two days before Thanksgiving dinner, but since they were droopy, a few of them went into THESE SPANISH WINE TUMBLERS (I use them constantly, and they’re a steal) at each placesetting.

I clipped boxwood branches from the garden and layered them on our advent wreath (similar here) with bosc pears. I lit the candles for this photo so this is more accurately, a Christmas Day table. (One at a time for advent holy days.)

Neutral Thanksgiving 2019 - Hello Lovely Studio.

The advent wreath was a Target find a few seasons ago. The linen blend napkins from Magnolia are HERE.

I’m crazy about the modern look and weight of my MIRO FLATWARE, but a gold toned set would have looked even better.

Neutral Thanksgiving 2019 - Hello Lovely Studio.

The Edward goblets (for wine, water, and other beverages) were purchased many years ago so the design may have evolved slightly, but they are masterfully made, high quality and found HERE.

Neutral Thanksgiving 2019 - Hello Lovely Studio.

I never tire of a timeless linen slipcovered slope arm dining chair! Ours from RH have stood up to more abuse than I can say over the years. We’re talking countless parties, unsupervised teens, swim team pasta dinners, and daily use. Spotcleaning the Belgian linen has worked every time.

Here’s a gorgeous one:

They aren’t inexpensive, but investing in quality can serve you for years.

Neutral Thanksgiving 2019 - Hello Lovely Studio.

The antique barn wood custom farm table you see through the French doors was commissioned by us almost 21 years ago. It rotates with a small round dining table (a dead ringer for THIS ONE) between here and my studio.

Belgian linen slipcovered chairs in my white and serene kitchen. Hello Lovely Studio.

The farm table is truly oversized for this kitchen, and almost daily I think about expanding our breakfast area (into the patio beyond) before I decide it might be easier to move!

Remodeling in your 30s and 40s is different than in your 50s, and it’s for the brave! We definitely need more space when we entertain, but for the two of us, it’s just right.

Neutral Thanksgiving 2019 - Hello Lovely Studio.

The galvanized tubs serve as storage and can be brought into service for casual entertaining. They were found HERE, and I picked up the silly palette coasters HERE (above) in honor of my beer loving sons to display just for the holiday.

Neutral Thanksgiving 2019 - Hello Lovely Studio.

My husband doesn’t drink alcohol, and despite the gazillion pics of me with a glass of wine in my paw, I probably average 1.5 drinks per month. Turns out I am more crazy about wine drinkers than the actual wine. I went WILD this year at dinner and sipped two flutes of champagne…what a lush!

In Dog Beers Sign

I definitely could have added this silly sign above to my gift guide for Millenials!

Neutral Thanksgiving 2019 - Hello Lovely Studio.

I love these Christmas bells<—-(not an affiliate link) from Urban Farmgirl and Trove, and you can’t miss my entire etagere shelf covered with clear jars from pickles, olives, and marinara.

Neutral Thanksgiving 2019 - Hello Lovely Studio.

The jars are somehow now an obsession because I love how they look massed, and they work so well as minimal vases and votive holders.

Should you need an instant collection of wee jars (I think I need them!):

Best of all, I like how they add an apothecary chic look to this dining room which is rarely used.

Neutral Thanksgiving 2019 - Hello Lovely Studio.

(Cannot believe I have yet to paint that wall behind the shelves with an accent color!)

Neutral Thanksgiving 2019 - Hello Lovely Studio.

No styling happenin’…had not yet hung this starry light string I drape around my kitchen window each year.

My Christmas kitchen with Scandinavian style and a fresh wreath over farm sink - Hello Lovely Studio.

You can find Tuscan style terracotta urns HERE.

Neutral Thanksgiving 2019 - Hello Lovely Studio.

A few pale pink roses and boxwood from the garden were a sweet little combo which set me back all of $5. The almond pistachio cookies on my antique Belgian compote are sooooo yummy. I developed a gluten-free recipe for them I’ll be sharing soon.

Neutral Christmas decor 2019 - Hello Lovely Studio.

Pom poms and pinecones are the beginnings of my holiday decorating…again, I prefer not toiling to perfect it all by Thanksgiving, Instead, I do a few little touches at a time, tweak and add to the mix throughout the season.

Swedish gnome on window set - Hello Lovely Studio.

I love my sweet Swedish gnome which was a gift from my mom last year. Did you see the cuties in my Swedish Christmas post? You can call him Moustachio.

Neutral Thanksgiving 2019 - Hello Lovely Studio.

For appetizers, I made my EASY CHEESY FLATBREAD and….

Hello Lovely's 10 minute cheesy easy festive appetizer comes together quickly with store-bought flatbread! Perfect for holiday entertaining and Thanksgiving. #appetizer #easyrecipes #flatbread #briecheese

assembled some gorgeous graze boards but didn’t snap any photos so just imagine they were as pretty as these others I created…

Wine and cheese board buffet. Holiday gift inspiration on Hello Lovely Studio! Perfect Gifts for the Hostess With the Mostess...you'll love these smart picks. #hellolovelystudio #holidaygifts #giftguide #christmasgifts #entertaining

In addition to these flatbreads,

Hello Lovely's 10 minute cheesy easy appetizer comes together quickly with store-bought flatbread! Perfect for holiday entertaining and Thanksgiving. #appetizer #easyrecipes #flatbread #briecheese

I also made this g-free, flour-free healthy bread which I’ll be blogging about soon.

My special g-free and flour free seed and nut bread - Hello Lovely Studio.
Hello Lovely Studio

Boo, I also failed to get photos of some of my desserts! I served individual gluten free pumpkin cheesecakes with an oatmeal cookie crust, pumpkin pie, and cookies including these which I snapped on the patio:

Pistachio Almond Crinkle Cookies on a Wood Pedestal - Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #cookierecipe #pistachio
Hello Lovely Studio

Here are my tried and true appetizer plates:

Boxed 6" Appetizer Plates, Set of 12
Set of 12 Square Appetizer Plates

I shared Thanksgiving menu ideas with you in this post and tried this Bundt Stuffing recipe which was delicious, but it couldn’t quite keep its schtuff together. Who among us cannot relate!?!

Of course, I could have easily helped the fail look more appetizing, but it became the subject of a son’t snapchat, and perhaps #uglystuffing will become a new tradition like awful Christmas sweaters. ๐Ÿ™‚

#bundtfail #hellolovelystudio

I prepared richly indulgent mashed potatoes loaded with herbs, garlic, and cream cheese and “garnished” with parsley and bacon. Even though I could not enjoy them (fat restricted diet maybe forever), everyone else did.

I can’t say enough about this pretty bowl from Crate & Barrel that I use for everything all the time. It’s the perfect size for a tossed salad, side dishes like the potatoes above, fruit, muffins, or as a decorative receptacle for ornaments or seashells. It makes a perfect gift too!

Little cabbages were delicious, and I ate mine plain but prepared this Simple Brussels and Bacon recipe for the family.

The artificial tree (Balsam Hill) went up but I had not yet shaped the branches so it looked gnarly.

Neutral Thanksgiving 2019 - Hello Lovely Studio.

For small business Saturday, we supported some local favorites: Urban Farmgirl and Mother Wilma’s Marshmallow Factory (the BEST homemade marshmallows and s’more parfaits!!!).

Urban Farmgirl decorated for Christmas - Hello Lovely Studio.

When I attended Urban Farmgirl’s open house a few weeks back, I asked a gentleman to snap my photo sitting on this truck’s tailgate.

Vintage pickup truck decorated with wreath for Christmas at Urban Farmgirl - Hello Lovely Studio.

Turns out, it is his granddaughter’s cute and a button (and instagram famous) pickup!

Christmas plaid farmhouse Christmas decor in a vintage truck at Urban Farmgirl - November 2019.

Don’t you love the vintage ironing board turned console table?

Mother Wilma's Marshmallow Factory at Urban Farmgirl - November 2019. #vintagecamper

We’re talkin’ COZYTOWN, people. We waited in line for a half hour in the rain, and it was all smiles.

Mother Wilma's Marshmallow Factory at Urban Farmgirl - November 2019. #vintagecamper

I immediately wanted to get in my kitchen and whip up some homemade marshmallows!

Mother Wilma's Marshmallow Factory at Urban Farmgirl - November 2019. #vintagecamper

Here’s a secret: I was worried about Thanksgiving this year. Diet restrictions when the focus of the day is supremely f o o d, one son and his puppy were ill and ended up alone in Colorado, being far away from all of my extended family gathered in Arizona, and being unsuccessful at getting us invited to someone else’s table (I dropped hints, and none of my friends took them!) meant it was a different sort of holiday. Last year was also different (we skipped the feast and delivered turkey sandwiches and supplies to homeless).

Hello Lovely Studio at Urban Farmgirl - November 2019.

The thing about Thanksgiving in America is that most folks cherish their traditions…but ours our changing.

Take our longstanding family favorite treat–Special K Bars–which I grew up with and introduced to my kids. Since they contain both gluten and dairy, they no longer play a starring role or serve as a taste memory for three out of four of us. But of course, a successful Thanksgiving dinner has zero to do with what we CAN’T enjoy or the way things WERE.

It truly is about PRESENCE, and as Shauna Niequist says, PRESENT OVER PERFECT. Thanksgiving is about unity, gratitude, and staying at the table despite the differing political and philosophical viewpoints around it.

It’s about looking into the eyes of your dear ones, knowing this day will never come again…allowing your heart to swell with the miracle of another year of togetherness.

Peace to you right where you are.


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  1. Janelle
    December 5, 2019 / 10:13 am

    Michele, I totally agree on your thoughts about Thanksgiving. It has certainly changed for our family as well. Especially since weโ€™ve gotten older, the kids are having kids and starting their own traditions. I always enjoy your posts and seeing your lovely home..so tranquil and serene. BTW, you should definitely paint that wall. It would be a good cold weather indoor project. Iโ€™m thinking a gunmetal grey. Happy holidays to you and your family, Janelle

    • Michele
      December 5, 2019 / 7:59 pm

      Thank you, Janelle – it is so forlorn in its current state, and you are right about doing it this winter. Thanks so much for your kind words and support. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Joanna
    December 5, 2019 / 5:30 pm

    Your centrepiece is simple but very pretty, and perfect for a smallish round table. Do you have glass on your table? I love the reflection of the candles.

    Perhaps, your hints of an offer to dinner were too subtle. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Iโ€™m sorry you had a quiet Thanksgiving without all your family around the table. Hopefully, your Christmas table will be surrounded with loved ones.

    My daughter is gluten free and dairy, as well. She quite often eats differently than her family Or adapts recipes to suit her restrictions. Itโ€™s not fun when you can no longer eat your favourites but just the threat of the ills to come keep her in check. Your tummies thank you!

    • Michele
      December 5, 2019 / 7:54 pm

      Thank you, Joanna. Yes – a glass top is so easy to live with in here! Families evolve so Thanksgivings do too, and it’s up to us to roll with reality. ๐Ÿ™‚ Since I have lived for so many years with Crohn’s (since age 18), it isn’t strange at all to cook and bake things I don’t get to enjoy – I LOVE creating things for others and these days, it requires lots of creativity. ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a wonderful almost weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Amy
    December 5, 2019 / 11:14 pm

    There is so much to love in your Thanksgiving post! Your simplistic yet elegant decor…love the Bosc pears ๐Ÿ in your boxwoods and the pale pink roses in the same, as well as the coziest pom poms, the gneatest gray gnome, your giant jingle bell, & your homemade “apothecary” bottles(I do the same thing with all shapes & sizes, sooo many uses for them) & I love yours in mass! (Only thing I don’t like is scrubbing the labels off the bottles) Here’s hoping you’ll share all your tasty treat recipes…your cheesey bread/pistachio cookies/flourless bread/the cookies on the patio/& even the ugly stuffing๐ŸคฃI can so relate to providing too much fodder for the family!! I find the same thing is true about the changing of traditions through the years as kids grow older, etc. I actually enjoy it & it reminds me of some country music lyrics I heard once that ring so true…”life is always changing, nothing ever stays the same.” But one thing will not change…what you said about allowing your heart to swell with the miracle of another year of togetherness…I love that! โค๏ธ

    • Michele
      December 5, 2019 / 11:59 pm

      You’re such an amazing support and encourager, Amy. Thanks so much, and I really am going to deliver the recipes soon! I took photos so I just need to write the commentary to accompany them. It is a comfort to feel joined, and I’m so grateful for your words here. Happy weekend, friend. xox

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