Feast on Your Life
With no gifts, tree, glitzy ornaments or gaudy lights, I look forward to Thanksgiving more than ever this year. Enduring two years of a worldwide pandemic plus massive wildfires and a first ever bomb cyclone on the West Coast, brings perspective to what’s important in life. I look forward to gathering with people I love to give thanks for our lives, our health, our blessings, our planet, those we love – past and present – and for this sacred holiday filled with love and gratitude.
Backdrop of Our Lives
What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than venturing into your own back yard, a nearby park, a hiking trail or a wildlife area to relish the gifts of the season. Fall brings extraordinary beauty, filling paths where we walk with vibrant colors, textures, patterns, shapes and even sounds as we trudge through crunchy autumn leaves. What could be more meaningful at this time of year than to show our awe and appreciation for the backdrop of our lives – nature.
Rather than buying plastic turkeys to decorate your holiday table, grab some garden gloves, a pair of nippers and a basket to gather fall leaves, berries, pumpkins, colorful squash, leafy branches and the last of summer’s flowers to embellish your home with beauty. Augment your collection with finds from the farmer’s market or the produce section at your local grocery store that offer an abundance of decorative and edible possibilities for your creative spirit.
When decorating your table, consider warm colors – hues between red and yellow on the color wheel. Tone-on-tone shades of soft apricot, salmon, rich golds, rosy pinks, bold oranges and vibrant reds speak to the season. Bring in these shades with pomegranates, persimmons, golden dates, red berries and kangaroo paws then compliment the warmth with dark green bay leaves and lime colored seeded eucalyptus for contrast and texture.
If you don’t have time or energy to peruse nature’s outdoor gifts, you can find everything you need to create your holiday centerpiece at your grocery store or farmer’s market. Pumpkins, squash, pears and artichokes piled on a platter surrounded by coffee colored eucalyptus pods and brilliant green eucalyptus seeds sets a perfect tone for an autumn feast.
For Your Mantel
Your fireplace mantel with artwork above is the perfect place to install a unique fall vignette. Here we placed apricot-colored dates, crimson red pomegranates and creamy yellow green artichokes among luscious shades of textured outdoor greenery. The French blue in the antique painting behind and silvery blue toned pine branches and bay leaves in front cool down the warm palette.
Finally, this mash-up of art and nature’s shapes, colors, textures and patterns are grounded by the gray stone mantel and brown pinecones hanging from the edge – neutral colors that don’t appear on the color wheel – brown, gray, black and white – absorb and reflect light.
Think Outside the TG Box
Have fun setting your holiday table this year by thinking outside the box. Mix up colors of plates and napkins, use drapery rings for napkin holders, pull out your wedding china and mix it with funky flatware and mismatched glasses – then tie everything together with color and texture from nature. Do the unexpected and surprise your friends and family with an enchanting holiday table.
Lighting is the finishing touch. It’s the foundation for creating a soft sensual feeling that will delight all who sit at your table. Dim or turn off overhead lights and turn on lamps. Then add as many candles as you can – tall, short, warm colors and cool colors. These soft sensual beacons of light will cast a magical spell over the room and your guests.
The butterscotch-colored candles lining the middle of the table in this Sonoma barn harmonize with the warm knotty pine walls, armless gold chairs and yellow plates and napkins. They make the room and everyone and everything in it glow.
If you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned Golden Gate, our archaic home on Belvedere Island, it is still in critical shape above ground, but her decrepit roots are undergoing a transformation below ground, thanks to our hard-working boots-on-the-ground crew. Trudging through mud, wind and rain, these guys continue to amaze us with their strong work ethic, ingenuity and expertise. Many thanks to Edwin and Carlos and their superb crew for the dedicated renewal of our treasured historic home.
I also want to thank Scott for his long-standing commitment to promoting our brand on social media. In addition to his internet marketing skills, this guy is truly multi-talented – an extraordinary painter, talented photographer and seasoned creative writer. LA&A is blessed to have him.
With three degrees in math, some friends call Marshall a genius. I call him my husband and Toby’s dad. But this guy is amazing with numbers that continue to be his passion and my good fortune. He’s also my ever-ready IT guy and oversees the Golden Gate jobsite multiple times a day. Thanks, Marsh, for all that you do!!!
Here’s Jackie and me in the Santa Ynez Valley on the central coast of California where she lives. Jackie has been writing and editing our newsletters for years. Currently she sends out the newsletters and edits my monthly blogs. Her passion is overseeing the correct use of the English language, worldwide traveling, cooking in her own back yard with freshly grown herbs and vegetables and Jackson Browne concerts.
Cristine is the newest member of our team who lives in Southern California. She posts our blogs each month plus keeps all WordPress systems in check. She is a dedicated high tech digital handywoman whose meticulous attention to detail is a true gift for LA&A.
We totally adore this tiny creature who makes us laugh and embodies what love truly is every day!
And finally, my heart is filled with gratitude for all of you who have followed my crazy path for the past three decades, and those who have signed up recently for our newsletter. I am still passionate about creating beauty and thank all of you for reading my blog, following our Golden Gate journey and posting your gracious and supportive comments along the way – they mean so much!
With love and gratitude,
Happy Thanksgiving Linda and Marshall and Toby! This entire post is filled with so much inspiration, so many wonderful ideas and the most important reminder that love and gratitude are the foundation of all! Thank you!
Well written, Linda! Happy Thanksgiving!
Thanks so much for reading my blog!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration and many blessings to you and your family this holiday season.
Thank you so much for your words of appreciation! And you are right about valuing love and gratitude at the top of our list! We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are looking forward to a blessed Holiday at the end of the year.
Linda, Marshall and Toby
Happy Thanksgiving to you, Linda and Marshall! Especially to Toby!! I appreciate your spirit filled approach to this time of year, considering your home is undergoing a rising from the ideas you have, and the reality of what is!
I am doubly grateful for my family, friends, home and last but not least Charlie Brown, who makes me laugh at his merry mischief from the moment he awakens til his last eyelash drops!
Your home will be especially appreciated when it arises, since you have patiently been waiting through the process.
Thanks for your words of inspiration. We so appreciate you accompanying us on this journey and do look forward to our home
“RISING” at some point in the future!
I loved hearing your words of love and joy for Charlie Brown. Of course we feel the same about Toby! Aren’t we fortunate to have such furry treasures in our lives! Happy Holidays Joan and hope this season is filled with love and blessings for you, your family and Charlie Brown!
Linda, Marshall & Toby🧡
MAY GOD’S RICHES BLESSINGS (WHICH COME IN UNUSUAL WAYS AND TIMES) BE WITH YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES DURING THE HOLIDAYS AND ALWAYS.
Thanks for your beautiful words this holiday season! May God’s Grace shower you and your family with abundant blessings as well. Thank you Danelle for your continued presence in my life. Happy Holidays!
Precious Linda and Crew/Family etc.
What a lovely post. Thanksgiving and giving thanks 🙏🏻 there is nothing better!
Beautiful inspirational photos and a priceless photo of Toby! Happy Thanksgiving 🍁 love.
What a delightful treat is this holiday post!
So inspiring and makes me look forward to Thanksgiving all the more.
Happy Holidays Linda and love to you and to all
So great to hear from you Maureen! Thanks for your gracious comment. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family and much love!
This is all so inspiring and to be saved for eternity to look at as a reference when wanting to creating the kind of warm and welcoming fiesta that I see on all of these picture!!!
Thank you so so much and Happy Thanksgiving!!
Your gracious comments overwhelm me. Thank you so much for your wonderful response to the holiday tables. May your own Christmas table be beautiful and surrounded with people you love!
What a blessing you and yours are to us all!The heart and soul you share,the wondorous gifts and ideas that flow from you and the kindness to continuelly give amazes me.Know that you are a bright light to so many.
I am overwhelmed by your generous appreciation Courtney. I have dedicated my life to creating beauty for others. Your words reflect that perhaps I have succeeded in some small way. What would life be without beauty including your kind and gracious comments.
Thank you and Happy Holidays Courtney to you and your family! Linda
My best to you and yours for a lovely and blessed Thankgiving holiday. Yours is a life well-lived, filled with love, nature, art, beauty, enjoyment and appreciation for it all.
And I’m sure your life is abundantly filled with all these same wonderful things in addition to your fulfillment as a writer and love of poetry that takes one so easily to the depth of the soul. So grateful you are in my life Jenny! Happy Holidays to you and your family!
Though I’m reading this the day after Thanksgiving, Linda, it warms my heart and inspires my everyday. Beautifully done! You are a gift that keeps on giving. I love you and give thanks for you in my life❣️Blessings to you and Marshall ad Toby.
And you indeed are the gift who keeps on giving with your gracious comments on my blogs. I trust you and Dave had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are looking forward to a lovely Christmas with you family. Love to you and the Hunk and hope to see you soon in the
Linda, you are a genius with tablescapes and using nature in your designs. I only wish I had your talent and skills. Beautiful.
Thanks so much for your lovely comment Liz!
But if you have the talent to arrange that art wall I totally admired in your second bedroom, I’m sure you would be great at tablescapes!
It’s just like doing a vertical art wall but on a horizontal surface. And it’s actually easier as you don’t have to hang anything but just place objects such as plates, bowls, glasses, utensils and napkins that can be moved around with ease. Then incorporate nature in the middle of the table which is free and adds such amazing beauty, color and texture. And don’t forget the candles which are so important too. The warm toned ones create the best glow. Happy Holidays Liz!