Giving Thanks

Since this is my first post, allow me to give you a brief explanation of my mission:  Celebrate Life with Style. I whole-heartedly believe we should make the most of our lives, and the best way I can express my joy for life is to celebrate its special moments (big or small) with attention, beauty and grace – how I define style. That is why I refuse to be influenced by the seemingly ubiquitous message that Christmas is already here.  I love Christmas, but I do not want to miss all the wonderful moments that happen before December 25, 2011. Moments such as Thanksgiving, my sister-in-law’s college graduation and cookie decorating.

I’ll admit Thanksgiving is not my favorite holiday.  Modern day Thanksgiving is centered around family, food and football.  All good things in my book (well football keeps my husband happy which makes me happy; therefore, it is a good thing). However, I am not a fan of traditional Thanksgiving food. I fill my plate with mashed potatoes and rolls. No turkey. No stuffing. No cranberry concoction. No casseroles. No pie.  So, that leaves family and football. Which leads to the male members of my family watching football and the females cleaning up and storing all that food. Bravo if your Thanksgiving celebration has evolved beyond these stereotypical gender activities, but mine haven’t. Nonetheless something very special happens around the table, TV and kitchen. We are reminded to be thankful to have this time together. Life slows down just a bit, and I don’t think it’s all from the tryptophan. That something is what I like to celebrate. Here is my idea how to add style as we celebrate Thanksgiving 2011:

“Giving Thanks” Custom Placemats


  • Clear self-adhesive vinyl shelf paper (recommended: Con-Tact Paper)
  • Scissors
  • Word Processor (ex: Microsoft Word) and Printer or Magazines
  • Glue stick
  • Legal size paper


  • Make a list of what you are thankful for from the past year. (You could have each person send you their list beforehand so that each placemat also serves as a place card – “ Brittany gives thanks for…”)
  • Option A:  Type it in the word processor and manipulate the different items by selecting different typefaces, sizes and colors. (Personally, I like the black and white look, but it could be interesting to select one to three items to make pop with color). Print on legal size paper. Option B: Cut out letters or words from magazines. Use a glue stick to paste on top of legal size paper.
  • Cut out an 18" x 11" piece of clear adhesive paper. Peel off the backing and lay the adhesive paper on a flat surface, sticky side up.
  • Smoothly press paper to the Con-Tact paper, face up, leaving a border along each edge.
  • Cover it all by carefully placing a second 18" x 11" sheet of clear adhesive paper sticky side down over the first. Trim around the border for a neat look.