A Charming Friendsgiving Brunch

charmingly_styled_brunch-9-of-52-copycharmingly_styled_brunch-3-of-52-copyBalloons & Tableware: Paris 312 // Event Space: DL Loft // Prosecco: Chloe Wine //  Services Provided by Angie’s List

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, and not only because it’s the best meal of the year. There’s something incredibly wonderful about getting together with friends and family to share what you’re thankful for – and celebrating a beautiful life together. Plus, there’s pie…and turkey…and mashed potatoes. Seriously, what could be better?

This year, Thanksgiving is going to be a little different than years past. After switching jobs mid-year, I had quite a bit less vacation time than in the past {and was a total fool to not really take any vacation earlier this year!}, I had to find a time that I was already getting a few days off in order to plan an epic vacation. I’ve been joking lately that the only way I can actually take vacation from work is if I travel internationally and don’t bring a computer – but it turns out that it’s actually pretty true. So Tom and I are packing our bags and heading to South America next Thursday – backpacking, exploring Patagonia, and finding a place where that’s wi-fi free. The only bad news? There’s not going to be an epic family feast for us since we’re missing Thanksgiving this year! Here’s to hoping our moms keep some leftovers for us…  charmingly_styled_brunch-7-of-52-copy charmingly_styled_brunch-8-of-52-copy charmingly_styled_brunch-23-of-52-copycharmingly_styled_brunch-5-of-52-copyTo make up for missing my favorite holiday, I decided to get a few of my favorite girlfriends together in Chicago to celebrate the season and share a few things we’re all thankful for. Rather than going for a traditional friendgiving dinner, I thought a girly friendsgiving brunch would be the perfect way to celebrate the season – especially when most of your friends are bloggers 😉

Since I’m a party planning novice, I teamed up with Angie’s List to search for the best services to make my Friendsgiving Brunch a success. Since it was my first time hosting Friendsgiving, I sifted through their tips throwing a successful fete, which included a few ideas I’d never considered {like how to be prepared for anything, clean up spilled wine in a flash, and why you shouldn’t bother cleaning your oven – life changing!}.

As an Angie’s List newbie, I signed up test the waters and I was amazed at all the incredible advice they had for party planning, painting, handy work and everything in between. To give you some background, more than three million consumers nationwide use Angie’s List, which is a leading provider of reviews, offers and information in over 700 service categories to make life {and taking care of your home} easier. I love that Angie’s List provides over 10 million verified reviews of local service pros while connecting consumers directly to its online marketplace of service offerings. Angie’s list offers three different tiers to their services depending on what you’re looking for, one that’s free-of-charge and gives you access to all of the company’s online reviews, the silver package that’s just $24.99 a year and includes a fair price guarantee, service quality guarantees up to $100,000, and the gold, which is $99.99 and also includes access to exclusive e-Commerce savings, dispute resolution service and customer service via email and phone {always a good idea!}

While I had heard of Angie’s List for years {even though my mom told me time and time again to check it out!}, this was my first time testing it out {I opted for the free package as a first timer!}, and I found a ton of services to help me plan the ultimate stress-free Friendsgiving brunch. charmingly_styled_brunch-4-of-52-copycharmingly_styled_brunch-12-of-52-copy While I want to think I totally kill it in the design department, I usually need a little help to make an event look truly beautiful. I discovered Halstead Flowers on Angie’s List and was impressed by all the amazing reviews I read – from brides, to event planners and even customers who just came in to pick up a bouquet. I ordered a few pretty bouquets online,  and came in a few days later to pick them up before the party.

When I stopped in, the owner {who was there and had just designed my bouquets} asked me what I was using them for – and when I explained I was hosting a brunch with a few friends.  She let me know that I ordered flowers that were too tall for a table setting. Me {being the complete flower novice that I was} didn’t even know that was a thing – and the owner very kindly shortened the stems, re-arranged them, found more fitting vases and sent me out the door with the most beautiful flower arrangement I’ve ever seen. Talk about over-delivering when she definitely didn’t have to! I’ll definitely be coming back for any parties I’ll be hosting in the future! charmingly_styled_brunch-15-of-52-copy charmingly_styled_brunch-16-of-52-copy charmingly_styled_brunch-18-of-52-copyPlanning the brunch menu was another moment of panic for me, mostly because I’m not exactly known as a fabulous chef {which is basically the understatement of the year…}. I wanted to have a laid back and delicious spread, so I looked through Angie’s List for some good caterer or delivery options. After reading some stellar reviews about Peapod on Angie’s List from people who had ordered through the service in my area, I ordered everything I’d possibly need for a friendsgiving brunch get-together with my girlfriends, including fresh fruit, apple cider donuts and all the fixings for fruit and yogurt parfaits. And I couldn’t forget some prosecco and orange juice for mimosas too – after all, what’s brunch with your girlfriends without a few cocktails? charmingly_styled_brunch-27-of-52-copy charmingly_styled_brunch-28-of-52-copy charmingly_styled_brunch-30-of-52-copy charmingly_styled_brunch-41-of-52-copycharmingly_styled_brunch-32-of-52-copy charmingly_styled_brunch-36-of-52-copy charmingly_styled_brunch-37-of-52-copy It was pretty much the best way to kick off the holiday season, and I was so thankful that Erin, Sarah, Katie and Amanda swung by to celebrate with me over brunch! Now that I know planning an event isn’t quite as stressful with Angie’s List, I’m looking forward to planning a few more get togethers before the holiday season is officially over. Cookie decorating party? Secret Santa get together? Christma-Hanukkah-Kwanza celebrations?  I think they all warrant a party, don’t you?

To get even more info on Angie’s List {as well as more tips and tricks on hosting a killer Friendsgiving bash!} make sure to visit www.AngiesList.com and become a member! charmingly_styled_brunch-22-of-52-copycharmingly_styled_brunch-31-of-52-copyA special thanks to Angie’s List for sponsoring this post! As always, all opinions are my own, thanks so much for supporting the brands that make Charmingly Styled possible.