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Carrying On Holiday Traditions with Vietri

Choosing the perfect holiday pattern to grow year over year
Filed Under > Entertaining

Growing up during the holidays, one of the things I remember most is my mother setting the table on Christmas Eve. Dressed up in her Christmas best, she would carefully remove each piece of Christmas China from the cabinet placing it all around the table in preparation for the big day.

Every plate was rimmed in gold with a hand painted Christmas tree and holiday snow scene at the center.  And I would watch her with anticipation, knowing that tomorrow, we’d all gather around the table and for one day eat off the fanciest plates I had ever seen.  Yes I had an obsession with table settings even back then.

Year after year we’d gift my mother new pieces to add to her collection, a collection that still graces her China cabinet today. As I grew older, and adopted my own holiday traditions I knew this was one I wanted to keep.  But choosing a collection; which pattern, which brand…seemed daunting.  How do you choose?

I had actually been putting off choosing a pattern for years now.  That was until the Vietri Lastra Holiday collection, and like a fine wine or a great piece of art it just spoke to me.  When I saw those hand painted trees I honestly gasped out loud…honestly.  And I just knew this was the collection I had been waiting for. The Lastra Holiday collection was the perfect mix of lighthearted whimsy and pomp and circumstance.

Complimenting the Lastra, or any bar cart, the Drop Glassware Collection is mouthblown in Veneo, Italy.  I first spied the Drop Glassware Collection during The Southern C Summit this past summer and added them to my cocktail cabinet right then and there.  The collection is both playful and classic, plus look how beautifully it shows off my favorite holiday sangria recipe.

Lastra Salad Plate

When starting a collection salad plates and baking pieces are a great way to go.  You can easily layer salad plates on top of your everyday tableware and still get the look you’re going for. Then each year you can slowly add in the additional pieces to complete your collection.  How gorgeous would these Lastra Salad Plates look on a red dinner plate!

Lastra Salad Plate | Lastra Square Platter | Lastra Baker

So this year, for the very first time, I’ll begin my own Christmas Eve tradition and my Lastra will be the star of the show.  Tell me friends do you have a holiday table tradition?  Truly, MKR

P.S. My friends at Vietri want to help you start your own collection this year, so use code WOM50 and take $50 off any $200 purchase.  Happy collecting!

Photography, Kathryn McCrary | This post is in partnership with Vietri.  A brand I love and adore.  All opinions are 100% my own.

Easy Apple, Citrus & Cinnamon Stovetop Potpourri

An easy way to fill your home with the smells of the season
Filed Under > Entertaining

Stovetop Potpourri, Waiting On Martha

If you’re a Pinterest addict like me then I’m sure you’ve seen the dozens of pins boasting large pots of seasonal goodness that is stovetop potpourri.

I hadn’t thought of making any DIY potpourri myself because I’m an avid candle lighter and essential oil diffuser.  But recently when faced with an over abundance of fruits that would likely spoil if not used I decided to give it a whirl.  And I’ve got to say, I was impressed.

Easier than easy, stovetop potpourri is basically a giant diffuser filling your home full of whatever citrus, herbs, spices and possibly even vegetable smells you choose to use.  Based on what was in my refrigerator and pantry, I decided to go with a harvest-esq potpourri vibe combining crisp granny-smith apples, grapefruit, lemon, orange, cinnamon sticks, and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary from my garden.  

After the potpourri began whirling I noticed it wasn’t quite hitting all the fall fragrance notes I had hoped so I grabbed my favorite essential oils to lend a hand.  By adding just a few drops of clove, cinnamon bark, lemon, orange, and rosemary we were now officially in business.  I mean, the smell…I can’t even begin to explain how wonderful, and festive, stovetop potpourri is!  I’ll definitely be making this before entertaining guests this season.

I’ve included the recipe below, but feel free to mix up the ingredients and play around with the recipe.  I do highly suggest adding in some essential oils though if you have them.  Not only do the essential oils really amp up the smell, they also allow you not to have to add as much of each ingredient which in turn saves money. Cinnamon sticks aren’t cheap people!  Enjoy! Truly, MKR

P.S. If you don’t have any essential oils my question is why not? Read about why I love them HERE and check out the other ways I’ve used them HERE, HERE and HERE.


Easy Apple, Citrus & Cinnamon Stovetop Potpourri
An easy, DIY Stovetop Potpourri perfect for bringing in the warmth of the season.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
  1. 2 Granny Smith Apples, sliced
  2. 2 Lemons, sliced
  3. 2 Oranges, sliced
  4. 2 Grapefruits, sliced
  5. 2-3 sprigs of Rosemary
  6. 3-6 Cinnamon Sticks
  7. 3 drops Clove Essential Oil
  8. 3 drops Orange Essential Oil
  9. 3 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
  10. 3 drops Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil
  11. 3 drops Lemon Essential Oil
  1. In a large pot add fresh fruits, cinnamon sticks, and rosemary. Fill the pot with water till it's 3/4th full.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low/simmer. Add essential oils. Allow to continue to simmer to fill your home with an amazing smell.
  1. **Do not leave the stovetop potpourri unattended.
Waiting on Martha


The Best Books for Holiday Entertaining

A collection of beautiful resources for planning all of the parties on your dance card this holiday season
Filed Under > "Hostess with the Mostest"

Entertaining Books, Waiting on Martha

It’s officially my favorite time of year!  October marks the start to a string of holidays that brings on the festive memories and excuses for merry-making left and right.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and everything in between call for seasonal recipes galore, and drinks that are just as beautiful as they are mouthwatering. 

Whether you’re planning a slew of holiday parties, hosting an intimate evening for friends and family, or simply enjoying the coziest time of year, you’ll love this roundup of holiday entertaining books.  These books include recipes that are begging to be made at home, and include so many tips and tricks to planning and enjoying an unforgettable occasion. 

While this is a time for many to indulge, some find it tricky to navigate the holiday menus.  That’s where Vegan Holiday Kitchen comes in.  And if you’re like me, you find the holidays to be the best reason to enjoy a champagne cocktail or cozy warm boozy cider.  The Coupe, Artisanal Cocktails and Cocktails for the Holidays are all great books to inspire some home bartending for the season. Truly, MKR

P.S. Check out all of our cocktails in our Recipe Index HERE. xo 



Confessions of a Serial Entertainer

Waiting on Martha Home, $30

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We’ve carried this book in the shop for years now, and for good reason.  It’s one of my favorite books when it comes to entertaining in style.  Think menus, anecdotes and tidbits that will have you eager to host and open your home to friends and family.

The author’s inspiration for party food are classic, too: dips and cheese spreads with crackers, family recipes for delicious roasts, breakfast casseroles, and desserts.

The Coupe

Target, $13.56

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My husband loves a good cocktail, and I love mixing the up.  This gorgeous book by our friend Brian Hart Hoffman includes signature recipes with simply stunning photography, as well as inspiration for collecting coupes and styling them at your home bar.  Included, also: easy and elegant dessert recipes perfect for serving in coupes, a primer on citrus garnishes, and simple syrup recipes that add depth and flavor to cocktails. 

The Pumpkin Pie Spice Cookbook

Amazon, $11.66

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Nothing says fall like pumpkin pie or pumpkin spice!  This book is a no-brainer for any fall lover out there.  This book includes 40 recipes designed around this winning flavor combo.  I’m talking chai latte and vegan nog to waffles, chilis, bisques, breads, and chutneys.  YUM.

Celebrate Everything

Amazon, $16.50

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Darcy Miller, the ultimate celebrations expert and Editor at Large for Martha Stewart Weddings, brings us a jam-packed book with everything you need to throw a wonderful party.  She’s packed it with planning strategy and original ideas that promise to make the celebration personal. 

Vegan Holiday Kitchen

Amazon, $15.10

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It can feel daunting to navigate the holiday season with vegan dietary restrictions, but author Nava Atlas shares more than 200 totally doable and totally delicious recipes.  Whether you’re planning Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas or celebratory brunches, lunches, dinners, potlucks, and buffets, you’ll find inspiration for mouthwatering dishes.  

Cocktails for the Holidays

Amazon, $12.80

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This bright and cheery book will make you even more excited about the holidays, trust me!  Think holiday punches, sparkling champagne cocktails, seasonal sips with apples, clementines, cranberries and spices.  You can plan to take comfort with a cozy mug or elegant coupe with 50 stylish and festive recipes.

Southern Appetizers

Amazon, $11.32

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Like all Southerners, I love appetizers, and especially this time of year.  This book is full of tried-and-true recipes that really show some Southern hospitality, like smoked pecans, cheese straws, hot and irresistible dips, and pickled shrimp.

Along with recipes, you’ll also find tips on creating the ideal party flow, being a great host, arranging fresh flowers, handling invitations, and ultimate menu planning.  This book makes a great hostess gift, and one you’ll want to keep for yourself! 

Artisanal Cocktails

Amazon, $24.99

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This beautiful, full-color collection of 50 cocktail recipes will have your mouth watering.  I especially love this book for its use of organic, sustainable produce, and local, handcrafted ingredients. The author’s attention to detail and technique are apparent; the drinks are STUNNING and inspiring to even the novice home bartender. 

Photography, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

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