Tray Decorating Fun in Atlanta

Merry Christmas all 🙂  Or Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hannukah, or any other holiday you may be celebrating this season.

I decided to post on Christmas Eve because it has always been my favorite day of the year for a couple of reasons:

1)  Growing up my family always had a large gathering involving good food, great company, and good cheer.  The gathering has changed over time and I am now a good bit farther from my family, but on the occasions when I do get to go, it is still a wonderful time with so many of the people I care about.

2)  Anticipation.  The obsessive part of my personality results in me looking forward to lots of different events in my life, and I clearly enjoy this sense of anticipation.  Since Christmas comes once a year, it is regular and predictable anticipation, and Christmas Eve is the final night of that.

I think someday I’d like to start hosting my own Christmas Eve celebration.  I’ve done it once, back when we were in Atlanta in the house that we own.

Anyway, I didn’t actually start writing this post to start talking much about Christmas Eve.  I apologize for my slightly off topic ramblings.

Two weekends ago, we went to Atlanta to celebrate birthdays for some of our good friends there.  We settled on a weekend in between the birthdays, and decided on a low key afternoon, followed by dinner at The Salt Factory Pub,  and then chatting by the firepit.

During out low key afternoon, the boys went upstairs and played some games on the Wii U.  The ladies did a craft project.  Since I was the only lady without a December birthday, I selected the project and brought the materials for us to use.  I brought three wooden trays from Michael’s, modge podge, an assortment of ribbons, a variety of Christmas-y scrapbook paper, sticky-backed foam cut outs in various shapes, and letter stickers.  I spray painted the trays according to the colors that each girl wanted to work with, and we went to work.  Here is our table full of things.


Obviously, these trays were slightly different from the fabric ones I made with friends in Charleston for Halloween.  Still fun though, and a lot less horrible drilling.

Suzanne provided us with a nice ambiance of Christmas music and a nice fire in the fireplace while we worked.  Nadine went with a very organized arrangement of her favorite Christmas shapes.  I especially like the strand of lights at the top.  We were all careful to not stick anything down until we were certain what we wanted on the trays.  Suzanne went with a simple phrase and an ornaments theme.  I decided (as usual) that reindeer would be the center of my tray.  Love reindeer 🙂  Here we are hard at work with our masterpieces.


In case you cannot read my awesome t-shirt, Harry Potter fans will be please to know that it says “Butterbeer: Wizard of Beers”.

I don’t remember the name of the beer that Suzanne and I are drinking, but it was really really tasty.  I know it was a seasonal beer for the holidays and that it had hints of peach and pecan in it.  Yum!

Here are the finalized trays.


Well, almost.  I was still in the middle of gluing the ribbon to the edge of mine.  Suzanne didn’t use any 3D objects on hers as she hoped it would actually function as a tray.  She also sealed it with a few layers of modge podge in hopes that putting a drink on it won’t leave rings or marks on the paper.  Nadine and I went the decoration route I think.  Mine is currently leaning on a bookcase shelf near some other Christmas decorations.  I could see it going on the mantle of my fireplace someday (however this rental place does not have one).  We took one final picture of us together with our creations.


Dinner was delicious after we finished slaving over our craft projects all afternoon.  Here were some of my favorites from the restaurant:


Suzanne and Colin ordered a butcher block plate with 2 meats and 3 cheeses.  I was floored by the epic pile of noms that arrived at the table.  The other two couples each shared a pork tacos appetizer, with some yummy spicy coleslaw and sauce.  Jesse had a pork chop special for dinner I think, and I had a steak.  Both were very good.  I highly recommend Salt Factory Pub to any Atlanta folks I know.  The place is small though, so go early.  We got there around 5:30 and it was already hopping.  Fifteen minutes later there was a line out the door.

Of course, there must be cake at birthday celebrations.  Rather than make three cakes, Suzanne decided to make a red velvet, since she knew everyone likes it.  I helped decorate a little so that each of the birthday people had a cupcake with their name on it.  The cupcakes were delicious as usual, since Suzanne made them.  Though I still feel bad that she made her own birthday cake 😛  We ate cupcakes around the firepit and drank Christmas sangria.  It was a good day with good friends, and I can’t ask for a better way to spend a weekend! 🙂

And with that, I conclude my last post before Christmas!  Soon you will all know what things I have been working on for gifts.



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