First Annual Friendsgiving

This was not only Ben and I's first Thanksgiving away from Michigan and our families, but our first time hosting Thanksgiving. We opted for a "friendsgiving" with Michigan pals who were also far from family. It was different from any Thanksgiving we've had before but it was perfect. I tend to feel homesick around the holidays but this Thanksgiving taught me that it possible to find home in many different places. 

A Classy Holiday Potluck - Costa Mesa, California - 2014

I was excited to host and have so many guests in our home but I wasn't quite ready to take on the task of preparing an entire Thanksgiving dinner by myself. So, I enlisted the help of our friends. I was slightly worried we'd end up with a nothing but a slue of wine and mashed potatoes – so Ben and I designed a menu and sent it around for our guests to fill out to make sure we had all our bases covered.

Friendsgiving / Thanksgiving Menu Idea - Sign up

I had so much fun putting together the tablescape and creating a nice atmosphere for our guests. I clipped greens and strung them together to make a garland centerpiece and lined it with candles. This was an easy and inexpensive way to dress up our table and I love how it turned out.

Thanksgiving Tablescape – Garland Table Runner Eucalyptus DIY
Thanksgiving Tablescape – Garland Table Runner Eucalyptus DIY
Thanksgiving Tablescape – Garland Table Runner Eucalyptus DIY
Ben Biondo Thanksgiving Selfie
Amanda Vanvels, Sara Martin, Travis Martin

If you ask me, we should live every day like its Thanksgiving. Eat good food, drink wine, spend time with the ones we love, take naps, play games, and eat dessert. What's not to love? 

Photos taken by our lovely friend, Mae Stier .

A Piece of Home

I have only lived in California for three months now, but three months is far too long without some Chayole (pronounced 'shell' with a southern accent) in my life. When I lived in Michigan, this girl spent every single weekend at my apartment without fail. She would pack an endless, Mary Poppins-esque, bag of clothes and come over immediately after work on Friday and stay until late Sunday. She's the kind of girl who doesn't care what the plans are – she's always down for anything as long as she's with the ones she loves. I really love that about her.

Venice, Califorinia - Michelle Essenburg, Kayley Elder

Michelle bought her ticket to California a month after I moved out here and we have counted down the days until she would be here ever since. Moving away from everyone and everything I knew and loved in Michigan has been slightly harder than expected, but having Chayole here has given me the most comforting piece of home.

Slurpee, Michelle Essenburg, Kayley Elder
California Girl Style, Michelle Essenburg

On her last night in California, we took Michelle to our favorite little beach in Corona Del Mar. We dipped our toes in the pacific and we danced, laughed, and waited for the sun to set.