Fall is my second favorite season of the year! It begins colder weather, oversized chunky sweaters, pumpkin everything, and my favorite: Friendsgiving & Thanksgiving ♥ For the past 4 years, I have hosted the annual Friendsgiving dinner. I have a REALLY close group of friends that play such a huge part of my life. These people are family to me, and I truly don’t know what I would do without them. My life would be insanely boring without them.
We are all within the ages of 23-24, and some of us have known each other since we were 1-2 years old. IT’S CRAZY CUTE, like I said, my group of friends are really, really close. Our families are close, we’ve done trips together, graduated together, played on the same sports team together, you name it and I’m sure we’ve done it. Since we are lucky enough to have done these fun things together, we have been a part of each other’s growth and accomplishments in life. My friends are smart (but give them some alcohol and we turn not so smart haha), driven, passionate, and caring. I like to say we are the perfect balance and blend for each other.
So, this year’s Friendsgiving marked 4 years of us getting together for another special meal. It was the first year we made it a little more special, and put together! I want to share with you our dinner, what we do, and show you these special faces that I love to pieces.
FOOD & DRINKS
Instead of cooking a turkey, we like to change it up! I forgot to mention we do Friendsgiving every year the day before Thanksgiving. (It’s a Long Beach thing. It’s a huge reunion night on 2nd street, so that’s why we ALWAYS make it that night.) So, we don’t like to have turkey because we literally eat it the next day. Let’s be honest, you eat turkey for DAYS after Thanksgiving, so why not switch it up. My friends and I have come to decide, Naples Rib Co. is our favorite thing to eat on Friendsgiving! Who doesn’t love a good BBQ right?! If you don’t have a Naples Rib Co. near you, find another local BBQ place that you all love.
This was the second year we had Naples Rib Co. cater our meal. The amount of food and sides you get is perfect and MORE than enough! Depending on the amount of people you have, you can look at their catering menu or the takeout menu to decide what would make the most sense and to be cost efficient! So that’s the main food that we have, and then I assign everyone to either a dessert, another home cooked side, champagne, wine, and more alcohol of course!
This year I made a small appetizer dish: Cream Cheese Caramel Dip. That was literally the fastest and easiest recipe ever. Buy a bag of your favorite apples, I chose Fuji apples, and slice them up! Put some lemon all over to slow the process down of them turning brown. Then get a stick of cream cheese, then throw the slab on your serving plate with the apples. Then use a spoon and make a few divots in the middle of the cream cheese, and then pour some caramel on top! Drizzle all over and make it cute! Top it off with a little bit of toffee or nuts, and that dish is good to go and lasts all night long! I popped mine back into the fridge until everyone got there to keep the apples as fresh and cold as possible.
My favorite part about hosting is decorating!! While some stress about it, I get super anxious and excited. This year I had a super cute Fall themed idea with Eucalyptus leaves, white berries, and mini pumpkins. It was going to look like a transitional setting of Fall going into Winter and I was SO excited! THEN when I went to get the table décor pieces, every Trader Joes and floral shop was completely out of Eucalyptus. Epic fail. So instead, we had a total Christmas themed table, but I still loved it! Christmas wreaths went down the middle of the table, topped with red berries and baby’s breath flowers. The mini pumpkins were center pieces! I used gold terrarium’s and decided inside them with copper twinkle lights to light them up! We had Thanksgiving themed napkins, but that was about it! TIP: When hosting young people in their twenties who eat and drink a lot, use pretty plastic!! It saved SO much time cleaning, and the tables still looked super cute.
GET YOUR TOAST (ROAST) & A MEMORY BOOK
After our first year of having one of our friends give a toast before we ate, we were never able to not let that happen the years following. With my group of friends, it was easy to pick who should give the toast. Make sure it’s someone who can be sincere, funny, questionable, but loving above all to give your toast. With my group of friends, it wasn’t hard to pick. My friend since elementary school, Ryan Napolillo gives our toast and it’s always something we look 365 days forward for. Lastly, we started a new tradition this year. I found the cutest Giving Thanks book at World Market that everyone signs and writes what they are thankful for. I’m really excited for this because I’m a cheeseball and love collecting as many memories as possible.
I hope you enjoyed reading this short post about my 2017 Friendsgiving. It was something really special I’ve been excited about writing about, and made me even more grateful for everyone I have in my life. These faces that I’m surrounded by are my people. My best friend, couldn’t make it this year and we all missed you so much. Pretend your pretty little face is in this picture! I think it’s rare to have a group of friends like mine. I love you all!