Tag Archives: New Traditions

Naming Thankful Moments

Traditions bring a calmness and renewed spirit to my life. A few years ago I started a new tradition over Thanksgiving by asking our guests to write down something they were thankful for over the past year. The following year I placed their original thoughts underneath their dinner plate as well as a new card to fill out. It was a total hit.


It was a time of personal reflection during what can be a chaotic and energetic tradition, the Thanksgiving meal. This year, if they wish, our guests will once again fill out a new card (found these Thankful Cards at Paper Source this year), document their gratitude from the past year, and be reminded of how life may have changed over the past year by reading their 2012 Thanksgiving Thankful Card. It’s a gesture guests will appreciate.

Name cards are another way to bring a personal touch to your table and it doesn’t need to be complicated. To accent your place card, grab a dozen pears or clementines or head outside to find natural goodness around you!

Fragrant Herb Bouquet

thanksgiving place cards 2

Kumquat Kabob

Thanksgiving Place Cards 1

Brown Ink Paper Goods also sells perfect place cards for your Thanksgiving feast setting (Still plenty of time, shipping is on us for these pretty things!)

So before you head off to pick up the turkey and puree the pumpkin, take a look at my favorite pics from Design Sponge’s Thanksgiving Table series where they’ve showcased beautiful settings created by fellow designers over the past few years. Inspirational to say the least!

Eddie Ross gets creative by using walnuts for place cards



Brilliant use of piano music by House of Brinson



Stamped place setting cards created by children (designers Rinne Allen & Lucy Allen Gillis)


Known for his nature-filled aesthetic, John Derian believes place cards create an even flow on the table. Here he uses his own name cards to create his charming Thanksgiving table.

Austin-based Spartan keeps the fuss out with this pared down yet warm setting

Designer Matt Armendariz uses wrapping paper tied to gourds with blue string.


My favorite store in Portland, OR, Alder & Co. keeps the table minimal yet stylish. I love the salut! name cards with the simple gold bell attached.

Keep it simple for Thanksgiving, maybe create a new tradition and reflect just a bit before enjoying that second or third piece of pie.

New Tradition

Our sweet Beatrice turned 1 this past week. Hard to believe. We found ourselves reliving each moment of the day she was born, as we often do on our childrens’ birthdays.


We gathered with friends and family, and after singing a strong Happy Birthday chorus we watched with anticipation as Bea eyed her birthday cupcake, similar to our older boys’ 1st Birthdays. (Unlike myself and her brothers, she only picked at her frosting, no smearing this year!)


After all the pink cupcakes were eaten, balloons deflated, and gifts strewn about the house, we read through the birthday wishes once again. Over the years the mantle over our kitchen fireplace has become the natural location to display cards, and they seem to stay their for awhile. I like this tradition. It seems fitting. However this year I started a new tradition.


Katherine, a good friend of mine who lives in Portland, has been writing a birthday letter to her children since their early years. It began when a friend shared the idea of writing letters to her kids in case she passed away while they were still young. She thought, “You are nuts. I can’t write those (thoughts) without crying like mad.” But then she tried it and loved it. And now, Katherine no longer thinks about the possibility of not being around to share this information, but, instead, centers her letters towards details such as “this year you…And we did….” She also includes a photo of herself and child during that time, anecdotes, and maybe a bit of motherly advice. Katie looks at the letter like a big journal entry about her children, delivered directly to them, but not opened until years later.


So this year, I found a Birthday card, (I have just a few in the basement waiting to be sold on Brown Ink), sat down and wrote my first “year in review” letter to Beatrice. It did feel a bit like a journal entry but was even more meaningful knowing these written words would not be read until Beasie’s an adult. Hopefully my handwriting won’t look unfamiliar to her and the stories – some she’ll know, others she won’t – will help her understand what makes her Beasie.