Happy Christmas!

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Wishing you the most wonderful holiday with those you love! I am signing off for a few days to celebrate by the sea and take a little break. I’ll be back on Monday with our year in review!

Happy Christmas!

Love,

Chelsea

P.S. If you are last-minute (like me!), here are some links to some of our favorite, simple projects:

How-To: A Wild Wreath

Pandoro French Toast with Blood Orange Butter

Colorful Christmas Decorations

Paperwhite Gift Bags

How to Make a Classic Bay Wreath

Mini Wreath Gift Tags

Orange and Olive Wreath + Citrus Arrangement

A Simple Foraged Wreath + How to Make Your Own Wreath Base (In about 10 minutes!)

An Easy Way to Wrap Food Gifts

5 Brilliant Ways to Wrap Christmas Gifts (Using things you probably have around the house!)

Oh and last but not least, if you need a last minute Christmas gift for a flower lover in your life, consider one of my flower classes! 15% off for you until the end of the year. Click here for all the information.

Photos: 2,5,7, + 8 by Lisa Warninger. All others by Chelsea Fuss.

Pao de Ló de Margaride

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Each day my local pasteleria (pastry shop/coffee shop) changes their windows with new festive baked goods and treats. One day it might be boxes of speciality local cheeses, another day a tin of roasted quince stuffed with marmelade, and today it was pear tarts! I have a personal goal to eat all of the Christmas pastries…though by now I think I’ll need to leave a few til next year. One item I kept eyeing was this sponge cake. It reminded me a bit of pandoro which is one of my favorite Christmas treats. The temptation of eating this cloud-like cake, the beautiful insignia, and the gorgeous hat box type packaging, had me convinced me to bring one home.
 
pao de lo
 
This particular sponge cake, or pao de ló, has been made since the 1700’s! I really want to visit the factory where they make them. Obviously different bakers have taken over the tradition, which one of the most famous being Leonor Rosa da Silva (which I just love the sound of!). My local bakery has little signs everywhere saying they carry her baked goods. So of course, I became intrigued. Read more about the history of this artisan sponge cake right here.
 
pao de lo with oranges and cream
 
I ate mine with a bit of yogurt and some clementines and it hit the spot! I am going to try making this French toast with it also. I’ll keep you posted on my Portuguese pastry adventures! What are you eating this holiday?
 
Photos by Chelsea Fuss.

8 Pro-Tips for Styling Your Thanksgiving Table!

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In continuation of our styling series, I am excited to share tips about how to style your Thanksgiving table today! I always love the holiday Instagrams and to see how everyone puts their tables together. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to have a good time with the people you love! The second most important is to enjoy the food. But for those of us who are “visually sensitive” the way the table looks can be important for us or just fun to put together. For me, my sisters and mom always do the cooking, and I put together the table. It’s my happy place. I absolutely love styling tabletops! Though, I do feel a bit funny writing these posts because I don’t really believe in rules, but I do have certain things I stick to when I go to style a table so I am happy to share a bit of what I do for my job as a stylist.
 
– Don’t feel like you have to use wine glasses or the particular glasses for whatever you are drinking. I like to use a couple different heights of these type of tumblers for meals. They are classic. I actually don’t love the shape of wine glasses and they feel a bit cheesy to me.

– Food should be first and foremost the center of the table. Don’t go crazy with centerpieces. If you are eating family style, make the food front and center by focusing on pretty garnishes – green herbs make everything look better, candles, and maybe a few bits of greens in tiny little vases.

– Not everything needs to be matching. Mix and match plates look lovely. Stick to one or two colors to keep things cohesive. Though I have to say, I love the cripsness of all-white plates and food always looks perfect on white plates!

– If the table is gorgeous on it’s own, I set the plates and food right on it. If I am using a fold-out table, I always use a tablecloth that goes to the floor. I love these linen ones but sometimes it’s cheaper to just use fabric. Painter’s canvas is always an inexpensive, rustic choice and it comes already hemmed!
 
anna joyce table
 
– I don’t like a lot of formality but I love to use cloth napkins. You can make your own from linen or buy here. Or for a more inexpensive option, try tea towels from Ikea! I also love the tea towel fabric you can find at fabric stores.

– Consider using benches or stools for seating. They are inconspicuous and seat a lot of people. Growing up, we had a big farm table with four benches. My parents still have it, and it’s so great for big crowds!

– Flowers seem a little funny to me for a thanksgiving centerpiece as they aren’t really seasonally appropriate. Consider some of these options: bittersweet, viburnum berries, eucalyptus, olive branch, tall stems of japanese maple, bowls of fruit. If you do a centerpiece, keep it super short or super tall and just keep it to a few branches.

– Mix old and new! It’s wonderful to have bits of patina on your table: old speckled pottery, a brass spoon from grandma- pair that with new dinner plates or new napkins! It’s fresh and dynamic!
 
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First and foremost, have fun! Tables that are casual, undone, not too serious or formal, and have a simple, inviting, seasonal color scheme will make everyone feel comfortable!
 
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All images styled by Chelsea Fuss with assistance from Amber Furqueron. 1.John Kernick for Williams Sonoma. 2 + 4: Lisa Warninger for Anna Joyce. 4 produced for Abrams Books, Stamp Stencil Paint. 3. Lisa Warninger for Kinfolk Magaine.

Happy Autumn!

frolic! simple + thoughtful living
 
I’ve felt a bit homesick this week for some strange reason but then I saw Mercury was in Retrograde, so maybe that explains! I wanted to share this beautiful photo taken by Lisa and styled by Hannah. You can get the instructions for a similarly lovely cloth collar, here. Below, some more of my favorite autumn posts from the Frolic! archives.

A visit to Leva Kunsglador on the Swedish island of Gotland.

Festive fall place cards.

The island of Fåro.

Walnut-Crusted Stilton Macaroni and Cheese

A cozy outfit idea.

All about Fika!

Have a lovely Autumn weekend!

Photo by Lisa Warninger.