2nd Annual Plaid Party | 2018

Last year, Evan and I decided we wanted to throw a Christmas Party in our new home. We wanted to do something different than the usual “Tacky Christmas Sweater” parties. I debated on what we should do and I think I finally found the idea of the Plaid Party on Pinterest. Everyone seemed to enjoy it last year, so we thought why not make it an annual tradition!

The party didn’t start til 8, so I prepared very little food. I believe we had the exact same food last year! I made some ham rolls using Hawaiian bread, ham, Swiss cheese, mustard and poppy seed. I can’t forget the butter, too! They are so easy and so yummy! My girl, Heather Cannon of All Sugared Up, made some beautiful cookies for me. Seriously, check her out on Instagram, allsugaredup17. My mom makes “white trash” every Christmas season, which is Chex mix, pretzels, and M&M’s smothered in white chocolate. She sent over a tin of that for the party! Melissa brought over some freshly baked monkey bread (be looking for a food Friday post on that). My mom also prepared a delicious cranberry spread that I put over cream cheese. Everyone was asking for the recipe, so here it is:


  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 4-5 green onions chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 cup sugar (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about one large lemon)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (8 ounces each) packages of cream cheese light or regular, softened
  • Crackers for serving
  1. Pulse the cranberries in a food processor or blender until coarsely chopped. Add all other ingredients, excluding the cream cheese, until well combined or finely chopped. Transfer the mixture to a covered bowl  and refrigerate for 4 hours (or up to overnight)so the flavors have time to develop and the cranberries lose a bit of their tartness.
  2. When ready to serve, spread the cream cheese in an even layer on a serving plate or 9 inch pie dish. Top with the cranberry-jalapeno mixture, spreading evenly over the top of cream cheese.
  3. Refrigerate for up to an hour before serving. Serve with crackers or tortilla chips.

I only used one package of cream cheese and half of the cranberry-jalapeno mixture to fit it in my moms Christmas tree dish!

Three Tiered Serving Dish: Macy’s (on sale) | Plaid Table Runner: Amazon| Plaid Tablecloth (not pictured): Amazon | Spode Christmas Tree Dish: Macy’s (on sale) | Cheers Spreader: Swoozie’s (also locally at Something Special)

As I have mentioned before, I have a thing for table runners. You should see my hall closet, it is full of table runners and table cloths! I found a pretty plaid runner and table cloth on Amazon this year. I found some plaid napkins, paper plates, and wrapping paper at T.J. Maxx about a month ago. The wrapping paper was used for the backdrop for pictures. I found the tinsel garland at our local Dollar Tree. It wasn’t the prettiest backdrop, but it got the job done! Check out these party people!

My Flannel Top: Abercrombie & Fitch  | My earrings: Kendra Scott (on sale) | Evan’s Plaid Coat: My father’s wardrobe, circa 1970, haha!

Fun was had by all and the ham rolls were completely devoured once again! Until next year, ya’ll! Merry PLAID Christmas from the Gangaware’s!


Married Christmas | Tree Topper

Evan and I are enjoying our third, married Christmas this year. It’s hard to believe we are in year three! He and I have decided not to decorate before Thanksgiving, like a lot of you do (Nothing wrong with that! We just prefer to wait).

We have made it a tradition to start decorating Thanksgiving night, and this year was no different. He brought down all of the decorations that morning before we went to lunch with his family. He thought he would feel more up to climbing steps before our thanksgiving feasts rather than after! Boy, was he right! We enjoyed spending time with my sister and her family so much that we got home a little later than we expected. I put out a few things when we got home, but we were so exhausted from the day we put the majority of it off until the weekend.

I work in retail, so of course I worked that Friday, but Evan got the day off! He spent the day putting the tree together, stringing lights on the back pergola, hanging garland on the front door, AND installing a new light fixture his mom bought for us! He truly is a GEM!

This year, I decided to upgrade my tree topper to something a little more earthy and modern. In the past I used a big bow with several picks coming out of it. I went to Patina the weekend of Thanksgiving and told Marty, the owner, my vision and she helped me pick out some great picks for my tree topper. We went with three holly berry picks and lots of eucalyptus picks. Marty also explained to me how to arrange the picks. She said I need a thriller, filler, and spiller. The holly berry picks are my “thriller”, the eucalyptus picks beneath that are my “filler”, and the ones beneath that pointing out are my “spiller.” I have always done my potted plants this way, but have never heard it worded the way she worded it. I love it! I wanted to keep the traditional red and green colors, so I used a Christmas plaid ribbon that I found at Wal-Mart to tie in the topper colors.  I am pleased with how it turned out.

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