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Hollywood’s Life Style Expert Anicia Bragg: How to Create a Memorable Goddess Southern Style Thanksgiving

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When is it that a holiday party will actually begin? Is it when you decide on the guest list? When you start preparing the meal? Or when your friends and family show up at your front door? The party starts as soon as you start executing a plan.

Celebrating with my family and friends are some of the happiest moments of my life. Many fond memories are filled with the planning and preparation to entertain at my family’s house in East Tennessee as a kid, and now at my own home here in Bel Air, California as an adult.  I still approach everything with a southern entertaining spirit. It is all about the experience — the welcoming hospitality, the food, and the ambiance. 

Let me share my own Thanksgiving entertaining design approach and my choice of seasonal table decor, proving that tradition and sophistication go hand-in-hand. For me, I believe your guests will long remember the presentation and ambiance just as much as the food you serve. The most important thing to remember anytime you are entertaining is to stress less over the food and more about creating a memorable event for friends, family, and yourself.

It does take a few days to plan a Thanksgiving dinner party but with my Thanksgiving countdown, it’s going to be ever so goddess simple.

What you are wearing is so important and sets the theme for you and your guests. I prefer pulling out any excuse to dress up and get glam like most of you ladies out there. Choose an outfit that shines as bright as your personality. You need to slay your way through your holiday party effortlessly. Celebrity stylist Ali Levine-Jacaruso, sent over a haul of holiday wardrobe attire and I choose this beautiful beaded romper. It mixes an elegant yet unique, comfy, and casual style for holiday festivities. How many times have you played hostess and spent the entire time in the kitchen slaving away and a complete train wreck. You deserve to relax and enjoy yourself!

By now, you’ve drawn up your theme, sent out invitations, and have written out your shopping list for the days leading up to the big day. Now we’re going to look at how to make Thanksgiving a day of “thanks” rather than a day of ‘Thank God, it’s over!’

For me, creating that perfect, beautiful ambiance for guests to relax and enjoy themselves is as important as the meal itself. In the end, it’s all about having a good time and creating a memorable experience that doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive, or overwhelming. I find that the table setting is a major key to creating that lasting impression. Somehow food always tastes better when it’s presented with care.

Here’s my step-by-step guide to creating a memorable Thanksgiving for you and your family.

I start with this Thanksgiving table decor with treasured mementos you can use year after year. I enjoy creating an impressive tablescape that make my guests say “Oooh!” and “Ah!” Dishes adorned with Thanksgiving motifs that make their long-awaited debut each year. I chose the pumpkin and leaves decor dishes because they bring together the whole fall theme. Fabulous turkeys placed back to back as the centerpiece and brilliant leaves scattered about on the table add a welcoming scene and add an air of enchantment. Pottery Barn has a beautiful  Thanksgiving dinnerware and accessories selection for you to try and emulate.

I pull together my own delicious menu by preparing a few of my grandmother and mother’s recipes that have been handed down for generations, like the stuffing, cranberry sauce, and sweet potato pie. Sometimes it’s fun to mix up traditions and perhaps try something new, like an all vegetarian thanksgiving with a soy based turkey from Whole Foods market for a healthier alternative to a classic Thanksgiving meal.

You can grab a Tofurky at many local grocery stores, including Albertsons, Vons, Ralphs, Publix, Fred Meyer, Safeway, Shop-Rite, Food Lion, Kroger, Harris Teeter, Wegman’s and even some Costco locations, as well as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.

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