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25 Halloween Costumes w/Your LBD

The easiest way to create a last-minute or inexpensive Halloween costume is to start with things you already have. I do it every year, because I get so frustrated with how expensive yet poorly-made most Halloween costumes are. I'd rather use what is already in my closet, or spend a little extra on accessories or a new dress that I can wear anytime of the year. A little black dress is the easiest way to use what you have to create a Halloween costume with a few inexpensive accessories and other accessories you probably already have in your closet.Pictured Above: Halloween Black Mesh Dress

1. Black Cat - This is the easiest way to use your little black dress on Halloween. I know it's pretty much the most generic costume in history, but for good reason - it's just so easy and affordable. It's the perfect last-minute costume for women, because you could really use any black outfit even if you don't have a little black dress. Pair it with your black flats or heels and a…

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. It is all about food, after all. Okay, it's also about being thankful, which I also love. But let's get back to the food. A juicy roasted turkey, gravy with just  touch of mashed potatoes, sausage stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie - those are the things I HAVE to have on the table every year. I'll be adding lots of yummy new holiday recipe in the following weeks, like a cranberry layer cake with maple cream cheese frosting, my savory sausage and mushroom stuffing, and my signature herb-and-citrus roasted turkey recipe.

I tend to get a lot of last-minute calls from my friends on the big day. I've become the holiday-dinner information hotline basically. So if you have any questions you'd like to submit, please leave a comment at the bottom of the page, and I'll be happy to answer it.:)

Shop Turkey Roasting Supplies:
roasting pans / turkey fryer / thermometers / turkey lifters / carving knives / cutting boards


Nothing is more important than the turkey. I used to get so intimidated by it, with nightmares of a dry and inedible turkey and everyone's holiday dinner ruined, much like the one on National Lampoon's Christmas vacation. Though it's something I've perfected over the years and am now happy and proud to cook for my family. See my tips, tricks, and my favorite turkey brine recipe below to pull off the perfect turkey this Thanksgiving.

My Sweet & Savory Turkey Brine Recipe
I've made my holiday turkey many different ways over the years, often with a completely different recipe each time in my attempt at achieving the perfect roasted turkey. This sweet and savory orange-spice brine adds so much flavor and moisture throughout the turkey. I didn't expect the cinnamon and citrus to shine through, but it did, and the result was so delicious. It's how I plan to make my holiday turkey for years to come. Get the Recipe >

More Turkey Tips and Tricks: 
How to Perfectly Prep and Roast Your Holiday Turkey
Expert tips on cooking your turkey from start to finish, from thawing and prep to roasting and when to carve, to brine or not to brine, and why I never cook the stuffing inside the bird. See full post >>

Products for Prepping, Cooking, & Carving the Perfect Turkey
A perfect Thanksgiving dinner requires the right tools. See my top picks in products that make the task easier from start to finish. See full post >>


I do have my must-have side dishes every year, like mashed potatoes and stuffing, but I always try one new side dish on Thanksgiving, whether it's a sweet potato casserole or a new twist on my homemade cranberry sauce. I also like to keep hungry guests at bay with at least one cold appetizer and one hot appetizer.

Bacon & Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
Blue Cheese & Fig Jam on Crackers

Browse More Appetizer Recipes >

Impress your guests with this tasty and festive Pumpkin Puree Soup

Quick & Easy Homemade Dinner Rolls
Garlic and Herb Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes

How to Make & Store Homemade Cranberry Sauce
For the beginner, homemade cranberry sauce can seem intimidating, but it's actually quite easy, and it only takes about 15 minutes to make. You can even add in yummy things like orange juice, apple cider, or even wine. See the full post >>

More Soups and Sides for Fall:
Ginger-Roasted Carrots / Parmesan-Herb Roasted Cauliflower / Rustic Rosemary Potato Galette / Garlic-Rosemary White Bean Soup

eat, DRINK, and be merry

You can't celebrate properly without a festive drink. Well, I suppose some people can and do, but assuming a delicious holiday buzz is just as important to you as it is to me, here are a few of my favorite cocktail recipes for Thanksgiving.

Sparkling Cranberry Vodka
Spiced Apple Cider Sangria


After everyone has unbuttoned their pants and poured another drink (or in my house, made the post-dinner coffee), it's time for something sweet. A pumpkin pie always has a place at my Thanksgiving table, but I love to add on another sweet treat like an apple pie, cranberry cake, or something chocolatey.

Whipped Pumpkin Cheesecake
Rustic Mini Apple Pies

Banana Cream Tart with a Hint of Fall Spice

More Festive Fall Desserts:
pumpkin gingerbread trifle / fried apple hand pies / apple crisp / pumpkin butternut squash crumble / banana cream pie in a jar / maple-glazed pumpkin layer cake


The perfect Thanksgiving dinner needs a beautiful backdrop. Start with big pumpkin in various shapes and sizes, then fill in the gaps with fall flowers, small autumn squashes, and pinecones.

Get the Look: A Pumpkin Harvest Table Setting

A Rustic Brown Color Palette for Thanksgiving Fall is full of vibrant colors like orange, yellow, and red; although I find myself gravitating towards the simplicity of brown. From a light linen shade to the darkest chocolate brown, this neutral color palette is anything but boring for a Thanksgiving tablescape. When layered with natural varying textures and crisp white, browns can look extremely elegant with that rustic vintage feel we all seem to aspire to lately. Read more >>
Thanksgiving 911: What to Do In Case of Emergency

10 Tips for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving Dinner
I've been hosting Holiday dinners for nearly a decade since I was 23 years old, and I've learned the hard way which tips really work and which ones don't, though I'm always learning new ones. I've found that the most simple and seemingly obvious entertaining tips are not only the best but often the most easily overlooked. Whether you're new to hosting dinner parties or simply a little rusty and need a refresher course, here are my top ten tips for hosting Thanksgiving dinner. See the full post >>

7 Tips for an Elegant Thanksgiving (Image via Oh Happy Day)


If you're a guest in someone's home for the holidays, don't forget to take a small gift for the host or hostess. If you're bringing a dessert or wine for the meal, the hostess gift should be something in addition to that, like a nice candle or some boxed chocolates. Make your own with one of my sweet handmade gift tutorials. Check out the one below, or see more handmade holiday gifts here >.

Gourmet Popcorn Three Ways

KitchenAid Roaster


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