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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Christmas House Tour/Thanksgiving Recap


How was your Thanksgiving?  Did you overspend on Black Friday?  Our Thanksgiving was fabulous, and I definitely over ate.  At least, that's what my jeans are telling me.  

I am proud to say I did not overspend on gifts on Black Friday.  Whether I overdid it on purchases for myself is another story.  I come from a long-standing family tradition of one for them -  two for me

Today's post centers around Thanksgiving Day and a mini-Christmas tour.  

And the best part of all... 

I won't try to sell you one thing. 


I have two jobs when we entertain: setting the table and buying and arranging the flowers.
The Mister does everything else.
Obviously, I get the raw end of the deal.

Oh, how I love blue, white, and a pop of orange!

The best part of downsizing is that you have limited space to decorate.

As you can see from our decor,  I never met a check I didn't like.  
By the way, I'm going to do a before/after post on my kitchen mini reno within the next couple of weeks.  If you are a regular here, you probably see a change with the bar stools.  

The Mister thinks I'm having an affair with the upholstery guy.  I keep coming up with new projects for him.
I don't mind keeping the Mister on his toes. 

We had a challenging time figuring out where to put the tree.
This is our first Christmas at home in this house.
Last year we went to Mexico.
Midway through our decorating debacle, I tried to convince the Mister that we should ditch the tree and head back to Mexico. 
He pretended that he didn't hear me.

I received this darling limited edition print from my design crush, Edith Anne Duncan.  She was my first (and only so far)  Designer of the Day.  Edith Anne collaborated with a very talented artist, Kelly Pelfreyart, to create this Chinoiserie Santa, which depicts some ornaments and ribbons from EAD's home.

I bought these trees and the red ones behind the couch at Target about twelve years ago.  They are no worse for wear after four moves. 
Wish I could say the same for myself.

On to Thanksgiving Day.

Ought-oh... company is due in minutes, and there is no sign of the chef!
We hosted Adorable Jonathon's family, who also happened to be our dear friends.

Whew... that was close.
Good news:  he didn't leave me. 

My #1 and Adorable Jonathon brought the beautiful flower arrangement from The T Shopmy favorite florist and gift shop.

Adorable Jonathon's twin, Adorable Michael, and my #2. 
I know what you're thinking.
Unfortunately for us, they are not dating, just good friends.

The two Mrs. A's

The Adorables!

Mr. Adorable & AJ

Chowdah is spending the day at home at #2's pad. Meanwhile, Miss Millie's nose was out of joint because no one had mentioned her new dress.  She pitched a fit until I took it off of her.

In dog years, she is a preteen.

Can you tell that she is still pouting?

Btw... that necklace she is featuring is a reminder collar not to jump on people. We only use the beep button, never the one that shocks her.

This was two seconds after Millie almost knocked the glass of wine out of Mrs. Adorable's hand.

There is nothing sexier than a man with a torch!

 If you think that this is our dessert, you are sadly mistaken.
It's actually my favorite side dish of all time.
The recipe is at the end of the post.

Question of the day: mushrooms or potatoes?

Spoiler alert:
Our family goes rogue on Thanksgiving.
Instead of having turkey, we used to let the girls decide on what we would have for dinner.
The key was to begin the debate months in advance because they couldn't agree on anything.
FYI: you can see the menu at the end of this post.

Another question of the day...
Which twin is the mischief-maker?

Adorable Jonathon looks on with pride in his eyes as his bride works her fingers to the bone keeping the family hydrated.

The Mister's Mantra:
If it's not at least 5000 calories, it's not worth his time.

Happy kids

Happy Mamas

And one moody preteen.

Need some hostess gift inspo?
Click here and here.
Gifts for the cook?
Click here.


Goat Cheese Butter Board

Cranberries, butternut, pumpkin, sage, And hot honey

Grilled Sausage

Maple mustard

Shrimp Cocktail

Lemons and cocktail sauce

Sous vide filet mignon

Mustard and Horseradish Beurre Blanc

Pumpkin puree

Mushroom new potatoes

Mexican corn brullee’

Grilled asparagus

Pecan Apple cobbler

Mexican Corn Brûlée

8 Servings

4 packages of frozen niblet corn

3 shallots minced

2 tbs butter

White wine 4 oz

1 pt Heavy Cream

1 tb cornstarch

 ½ tsp Cumin

TT Tajin


6 oz Cojita crumbled

2 tbs mayonnaise

Brown or Turbinado Sugar


 Saute shallots in butter until transparent add 1 pkg of the corn and white wine and reduce wine by ½


Add heavy cream and reduce by ½


  Blend with an immersion blender until smooth


      Mix corn starch with 4 tbs water and mix smooth; add to cream/corn mix and bring to simmer, and remove from heat.


  Add Cojita cheese, mayonnaise, and spices to taste.


    Place in casserole dish and heat in the oven for service

    Finish with Bown Sugar or Turbinado sugar and Brulle' with a torch for service

Preppy Empty Nester
Preppy Empty Nester

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Feel free to contact me through comments and email. I love to hear from my readers!


  1. I am loving your tablescape (I am planning to do a nice Christmas dinner with my parents and am borrowing my friends' special dishes) and your decor. Love your pillows!

  2. Everything looked wonderful ! I especially love the table setting.

  3. What a beautiful family Thanksgiving! Happy faces and darling Millie! I LOVE all the checks and blues you’ve added. Your home is gorgeous, and now looks even more “you”! Brimming with charm and personality! 💙💙💙

  4. I say potato disguised as mushrooms. And I have no idea who the mischief maker is. Your new favorite side dish sounds like a winner after reading the recipe.
    I’m still trying to master keeping broccoli warm/hot after steaming so it does not have to be the first thing to eat or else it’s cold. Happy Tuesday! m in HI.

  5. It looks like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! As for the Mushroom Potatoes - did he cut each one individually by hand? Love them.....Your home looks lovely!

  6. I was going to ask you where you got those trees. I want the red ones. Maybe Target still has them.

  7. No kidding on the jeans! Why is it that the holidays is the one time of year pie for breakfast is like poptarts for adults. Love the tree! It all looks yummy! Oh where did you ge the beep collars. I think you gave me the brand a few years ago and I bought it and then could not figure out how to get it around Elliott's neck and beep at the same time. His neck is like Mrs. Tischel with the neck brace. laura

    1. Laura - your Mrs. Tischel reference is hilarious! xo Sherry

  8. Dear Preppy Empty Nester, I must tell you that I have been strongly advised not to mention — even one more time — that I would love to have a partner who did the cooking, and I could be in charge of decorating, setting the table and being the party girl-hostess that I was destined to be. I guess I wore that one out, but I’m seriously happy for you!! And, ditto on the one for you, two for me family tradition. It’s nice to have a kindred spirit like you.

  9. The food looks incredible! (So do all the pretty people and the pretty house!). Saved this recipe. I do not have a torch. Would a few minutes under a broiler do? Ellen Shook

  10. Your Thanksgiving table looked beautiful, I too love the blue and orange. Thanks for sharing the Mexican Corn Brulee, I definitely want to make that! So nice you are such good friends with your son in laws family~ my son in law's mother is one of my besties too, which makes holidays much fun!

  11. Gurl, you kill me. I need an upholstery person! Not biting the bullet until I get a reference though. May have to lower my standards.

  12. You are The Best entertainment!

  13. Hi Katie,
    I had my response to you almost completed then “The Master Gardener” came calling. I was hopeful my communication would be saved but it all got wiped out. Errr.
    I just want to say back to back you can conquer the world together. It sounds like that is what you and both do. What a great team you are.
    Your table setting, flower arrangements and the food looked all just wonderful. Wow, hubby prepared so many different things. He is a gem. I don’t know many men that plan, and cook a meal like he does. You better be nice to him. 😂
    Twin young men, wow they are cute. The daughter-in-laws are being so pretty. Is Jonathan the mischief maker? It’s hard to tell.
    Ms. Millie’s dress is cute. Maybe she was still pouting because she received no compliments.
    I think the mushrooms are potatoes. How cool and so gourmet.
    Make sure you tell The Mister his pie turned out so beautiful. If you want to gain a pound that is the pie to eat.
    Keep up your fabulous sense of humor, you always bring smiles to my face.

  14. I love your tree and your art and your decor and your menu and your darling family!! I always love to open your emails and see what new fun and shenanigans you're getting up to! Millie looked adorable in her new dress, but, oh well! :) Thanks for the recipes. And I see you have the little french chef cheese knives like we do! Don't you love them?! Happy end of November!

  15. Just as I would expect, the Mister is quite the chef and how lucky are you that he is. Those potatoes are too cute and I'm sure quite tasty. Your home looks so lovely and I do love the checked upholstry. Have a great rest of the week!

  16. Oh my goodness, the food all looks AMAZING. Thanks for the recipe, of which I don't even know what four of the ingredients are. Looks and sounds delicious, though! Our family has two sisters who married two brothers... being friends first isn't a bad thing!! Your tree and your home are so beautiful, Katie!! xo

  17. I’m always so happy when I see a post from you in my inbox! I smile the entire time I’m reading, so thanks for being such a fun friend! Love your stories, the peeks into your beautiful home and of course Miss Millies shenanigans and the Mr.’s delicious meals. I plan to copy your blue and green colors at our winter place in Florida! Have a great week…Xo Sharon

  18. Oh my gosh, why of why do I ever read your blog on an empty stomach?! The menu, the presentation ... the butter board, the mushroom new potatoes, the corn brûlée ... the the the everything. I can't stand it. I'm starving. But back to your upholsterer ... I hope he's discrete because clearly you cannot live without him. Checks on one side, floral (hydrangeas?) on the other. I'm dead. Well, PEN, your Thanksgiving was much more exciting than mine. If I was your neighbor I'd be over sniffing around for leftovers. Did I not mention your beautiful holiday home tour? Everything is amazing and those Target trees are the best. That said, Mexico ... hmmmm. xoxo Juliet/makemineaspritzer

  19. The food looks amazing, and I can tell by your smile that you were happy to have everyone there for Thanksgiving. What a blessing!

  20. Oh my goodness. Mexican corn brulee? Looks incredible. The entire menu is gorgeous and those mushroom potatoes just amazing. The Mister looks so happy doing his craft! Beautiful celebration and I will guess that AJ's twin is the mischief-maker - it shows in his eyes, lol! xo to Miss Millie. Sherry

  21. I will definitely be making the corn brulee...sounds so good! Your house is lovely and looks like a grand Thanksgiving!

  22. At the risk of superlative overload, let me just say I enjoyed your home & holiday decor immensely, your personal chef is the best, and your families quite beautiful, all! Happy holidays!

  23. Love everything, the decor, food and lovely people. I’m definitely going to try the Mexican corn brûlée. Is there any way of getting the goat cheese butter board recipe?

  24. The table, the food, the family, the decorations. Katie, it all looks wonderful. Those checks on the chairs are so pretty too. Love it all. The Mister is one great chef and you have the decorating down too.

  25. You are so funny! I really enjoy your sense of humor! And what a lucky gal you are to have a "Mister" that does all the cooking! We solve that problem by going out for Thanksgiving. Christmas is another story, but oh well! Your decor looks beautiful, simple and elegant.

  26. Your dinner and your home are both fabulous. I have blue and orange in my house- no apple green though-love it!

  27. Certainly a beautiful Thanksgiving with lots of memories to savor. And food. WOW.

  28. Everything is so beautiful! I know you enjoyed your family time.

  29. Does overwhelmed sound too dramatic? Seriously, your Thanksgiving home was perfect in all that counts in my book. From the symmetry and decor of your living room, to the gorgeous tree, the checks, the happy, happy faces, the food presentation, and yes, the tablescape; it was nothing less than what we have come to expect from the Preppy Empty Nester and her Mister. Thank you for sharing your home and your special day with special people. Can't wait to see the re-do.

  30. Everything looks perfect! I can't wait until we downsize and have to find a spot to squeeze in a Christmas tree... sounds good to me.

  31. Great post Katie. Your celebrations are always the best! I have those same plates and also used them at Thanksgiving. Everybody loved them! Charlene G

  32. It's lovely, Katie. Beautiful and cozy. And oh, the warmth and love! It just flies off the screen and wraps us up! Happy December!

  33. Looks like a perfect day! So many blessings! Home ,food and especially family look gorgeous

  34. Your tree is a showstopper and worth every bit of torment from where I'm sitting. I ALWAYS love seeing pictures of your fam and #1 is positively radiant! Oh what fun the new year will be with another addition, holidays become magical again! So happy for all of you! KTG

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