Our Thanksgiving

raised by design thanksgiving holiday table setting

This was our third year hosting Thanksgiving at Lil’ Spot and each year I feel like we get better at juggling all of the happy chaos. Here in New York it was a day filled with snowfall, turkey basting, pie eating and baby bump rubbing.

My two sweet sisters and brother-in-law were up from DC which made my day extra special. I can’t get enough of the times when the three of us are together. #reunitedanditfeelssogood

While I pampered the turkey and set the house up for guests, James worked hard shoveling snow and making a path for Grammy’s wheelchair. She arrived with Mom early in the day for hors d’oeuvres (cheese ring is fancy enough to qualify as an hors d’oeuvres, right?). We snapped pictures and compared outfits and after a few hours of fun she headed home, tuckered out and filled with love from her ‘grand-babies’, as she calls us.


Dinner was centered around our big ol’ turkey, of course, and conversation about music technology (from The Beatles vs. The Beach Boys to T-Pain and Auto-Tune). My Dad had just found an article about the Grateful Dead shows he produced back in the early 70’s and how they changed live music forever. (He’s pictured but not mentioned.)

After we filled our bellies with Mo’s Mac N’ Cheese and Dad’s Sausage Stuffing, James’ family arrived for dessert and aperitifs and things got cray-balls. We played a bazillion rounds of Heads Up (best free download ever!) and opened a dozen or so bottles of wine, including a special bottle of port from our wedding. Perfectly suited for this occasion.

It took a few days of movie watching and leftover turkey sandwiches to come down from the high of family, food and fun. We have a lot to be thankful for this year. Here are some snaps of the scene at our house.

raised by design thanksgiving holiday table setting



raised by design thanksgiving holiday table setting


raised by design thanksgiving holiday table setting

raised by design thanksgiving table setting holiday

happy hosts

Happy Hosts with an extra turkey in the oven this year!

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday weekend too! Onto the next one!

Loveyoubye, Maggie

Friday Links

links - thanksgiving

We are right on the heels of Thanksgiving, my absolute 100% hands down favorite holiday of the year. This will be our 3rd year hosting in our teensy weensy cozy house – something I really love doing. Sure, I would like to have a Downton Abbey-sized castle with rooms we can ‘move through’ and fireplaces we can plot marriages by.

Instead we all squeeze around our IKEA-via-Craigslist table and I pull out all of our beautiful wedding china and the fancy tabletop items I’ve collected and inherited over the years. We reach and laugh and pass plates and pig out instead. It’s way more fun.

Leading up to the day, the planning and prepping is one of my favorite parts. Each year I try to make things easier and more streamlined without compromising deliciousness.

Last year we switched to a Potluck Thanksgiving which worked really well since our relatives are all avid cooks. James and I make the turkey, mashed potatoes and a few apps, and everyone else brings one side dish (or beer). Our tummies are full and our faces are smiley. After dinner James’ extended family joins us for dessert, which we do cocktail style.

This week’s links are all about The Game Plan.

Loveyoubye! Mags

9 Easy Halloween DIY Projects

We already talked about my lukewarm enthusiasm for Halloween. And we’re still friends, right? So here are a few Halloween DIY projects that are just about my speed. Most take a few hours, some a few minutes (!!) and all can be done with things you either have at home or can find at your local hardware or dollar store. Go get weird!

raised by design - 9 easy halloween diy projects


Top Row: ghost garland /// spirit jugs /// spider ice cubes

Middle Row: pumpkin party cooler /// mousy book cutouts /// trash bag spider webs

Bottom Row: spooky eggs /// candy corn wine bottles /// spider’s nests

Loveyoubye! Mags

Love Fest 2014

Valentine’s Day has always been one of my most favorite holidays. There’s something about a whole day dedicated to telling people you love them that I just…well, LOVE. Looking around my home yesterday, I realized I’ve surrounded myself with little bits of Valentine love everyday, everywhere. What does your Valentine’s Day look like?



Row by row from top: Le Creuset Classic Tea Kettle, Vintage Mugs collected here and there (you can buy a legit Milton Glaser I Heart NY mug here), red Baker’s Twine, Vintage Paper House Ornament inherited from my Ma, Red Lipstick, Wedding China bowl filled with dime store heart candies, Sharpies, Essie Nail Polish in A-List and Ballet Slippers

LOVE, Maggie