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A Sandoval Pumpkin Gathering, the 1st of many to come.

There are many activities during the fall season, from going to the pumpkin patch, an apple orchard, wreath making & the good ol' pumpkin carving. Over the weekend, we gathered here at Country Chic Homes & hosted our family for some pumpkin carving fun & yummy food. Memories were made & a new tradition was born.

Saturday couldn't have been more perfect if we tried. The weather was the perfect fall: cool temps; the sun was covered by the fall clouds that gave that moody evening vibe; Sonoma County was definitely in the fall spirit. All was perfect here at CCH.
Custom fall cookies

Billy & I had planned an evening with family; we invited his siblings & their partners. Cozy fall fashion was the attire & oh, they were! A late lunch / early dinner had been prepared by yours truly. From pesto, sausage & peppers & meatballs in sauce & green salad with all the veggies was on the main course. Appetizers: a good fall charcuterie board is a must in any gathering, shrimp, veggies & dip added to the mix. Desserts were abundant, from a custom pumpkin cake surrounded by donuts & cookies to macarons, & chocolate brownies were on the dessert menu. I'm sure I am leaving out several dishes, but our kitchen island & the counters were full of trays. Drinks were served in copper mugs, giving a fall touch. The menu was perfect for a fall gathering.

We set out three tables & I styled each one differently, but all were similar in style. From natural elements to layered linens. & in CCH fashion candles were present. I wanted to keep it cozy & worry-free, so instead of tapers, I used tealights as they have a low flame. I kept the tealights in votive candle holders, three different styles & three shades of fall. A basket held the gold silverware wrapped in a cotton napkin tied with jute. Mix-matched chairs & a free bench found on FBMP gave a cozy seating.

fall centerpiece

Copper mugs moscow mule

As the sun set on Country Chic Homes, the twinkling lights started to glow upon us. From the sparkling chandeliers to the trees & the fence line, all came to life; it was magical. The laughter, the chatter, & the toasts to family were bounced & carried through the evening & into the early night. Memories were being created.
Pumpkin carving is for the kids and the kids in heart. The ladies carved away & painted their pumpkins. From creative carving to a ghost-painted pumpkin & a pumpkin beauty was amongst us. Of course, we voted as a group & all were winners, but we had to choose just one. To hear the laughter & the friendly competitiveness was the best. Seeing us gather over a simple childhood activity many of us hadn't done in years was beautiful. But to see Billy see his sisters & sister-in-law was the icing on the cake!

The Sandoval's

The pumpkin caving winner

a family fall pumpkin gathering

As the night was coming to an end, we still had the dessert to enjoy. We decided to go inside; what seemed like a small kitchen to us who live at CCH somehow felt huge; we all fit perfectly around our DIY island. Was it that our kitchen miraculously grew in size? Well, we know that isn't possible, but where there is love, love fits in all places, even in the tiniest kitchen & I truly believe that is what happened that night at CCH. With Billy's brother & sister's birthday, one a week ago & one coming up on Halloween, we celebrated them with the traditional Happy Birthday song. I cut the three-layered cake & it was oh-so tasty! The slices were mighty! We passed the tray of cookies & treats! We had fall cookies with an "S" on them for their last name; as some saw it, maybe it stood for SIBLING. The saying is true, "The kitchen is the heart of the home," I love our kitchen; I always have it is where we gather for our nightly dinners & weekend brunches that Billy & I make for our boys. Now, we know it can hold the strongest family too. Billy & I & our boys have given it the perfect foundation to do so.

Pumpkin cake and fall do nuts

fall desserts

As we approach the holiday season & the time to gather with family & friends, Saturday was a perfect way to begin the season. I have added a few tips if you're planning & hosting a gathering to help you have it go smoothly where you can enjoy every bit.

Gathering Host Tips:
  • Plan a meal that is easy to prep, make & easy to clean up.

  • Make any meals that can be made the night before so you can heat up quickly.

  • Have all of your ingredients ready & organized by dish

  • Have your platters & serving ware ready to be used, washed & dried.

  • Clean up as you go, as in the kitchen when cooking. This is always a game-changer for me. I can enjoy my time & have hardly any clean-up afterward.

A perfect gathering with our family that is now a tradition & yes, I have begun to plan next year's pumpkin gathering. What can I say? I love to plan. That's what brings me joy. & now I can add another reason to why I love fall so much. So, to all the gatherings to come in our home or yours, may it be memorable, festive & most of all, may you feel the love for one another. & if you're the host, may you create a cozy & inviting gathering & embrace every moment!

Until next time!

To see clips of the gathering on Instagram I have added the link here for you to watch.

Coming Up On CCH:
Fall Inspiration
Halloween Inspiration
VICI fall Inspiration
Amazon live with Folkulture on creating a Thanksgiving Tablescape

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