Entertaining & nesting
with do-it-yourself details.

9 Free Caligraphy Fonts

As if I didn’t have enough to do, I sometimes day dream about starting to learn caligraphy. I mean, I sort of have neat handwriting. When I try to, at least. And how great would it be to embellish homemade gifts with custom-lettered calligraphy, like, all the time? And if you’re planning a wedding or another huge bash, don’t even get me started. You could save tons of dough if you knew how to do calligraphy.

But I usually snap out of that day dream pretty quickly when I realize that calligraphy can be an expensive hobby. And it takes a lifetime of practice to become as good as gals like Melissa Esplin and Jessica Hische.

So for the rest of us, there’s fonts. I’ve spent some time collecting them on my laptop for my projects and crafts (like the Pumpkin Place Cards I made last Halloween, featuring the Some Weatz font), and I thought “Why not share these?”

So here you go. Put calligraphy on everything, no ink neccessary.

9 Totally Free Caligraphy Fonts

1. Antrokas
2. BlackJack
3. Centeria Script
4. Respective
5. Contribute
6. Some Weatz
7. Dancing Script
8. Janda Stylish Script
9. Janda Elegant Handwriting

How to Eat Garlic Jam

So, a funny thing happened on my way down to Florida recently. And by funny, I mean delicious.

Somewhere along the way between Atlanta and Gainesville on I-75, as I found my bladder too full and the gas tank too empty, we stopped at a cute and only moderately sketchy old-school truck stop called Magnolia Plantation. It looked a little run-down on the outside (the gas pumps had mechanical counters), but inside it was amazing. There were jams, jellies, syrups and butters for as far as the eye could see. There was tradional stuff, like blueberry syrup and apple butter, but also some really unqiue things, like Garlic Jam.

You know what happened next. I bought jam. From a gas station.

So here I am, with some of what is sure to be delicious Garlic Jam, and no idea what to do with it.

I turned to the web, and found a few inspiring and mouth watering ideas. I can’t wait to try them all. But I wanted to jot them down in one place first in case there’s any other impulse truck stop shoppers out there like me.

And if you don’t have a sketchy-vintage-amazing Southern gas station/truck stop nearby, you can also make garlic jam at home. This would be a great gift, methinks, as long as you give them some ideas of what to do with it.

Wishbone Wrap Place Settings

I’ve managed to combine some of my favorite things with this project: Neutals, Neon, and unwrapping presents.

Even though Thanksgiving is still a month ahead of the gift-giving holiday we all know and love, it’s never too early to unwrap a little something. But instead of unwrapping presents, we’re unwrapping plates. Because the real gift at Thanksgiving is all of that insanely delicious homestyle food you get to enjoy with your family and friends.

I found these plastic wishbones from Lucky Break at a local party store, and they were too cool to pass up. They’re designed to snap in two just like a real wishbone. I mean, we all love breaking the wishbone at Thankgiving. But it’s messy and there’s only one. And wishbones always end up with one person who doesn’t get their wish.

With these plastic ones everybody gets their own, so there’s plenty of wishes to go around. And integrating them into the place setting in such a fun way is a great way to get everybody psyched about their turkey and stuffing. Because before you chow down, you have to break open the wishbone to get to the plates.

Making these is really easy, too. You just need some wishbones (one for each person; plastic or real, whatever you can get your hands on) and ribbon. I used a simple cotton twill, but this would be great with a thin satin ribbon or even baker’s twine. If you want to give your wishbones dipped tips like I did (neon yellow, if that’s your thing), you’ll want to grab some paint and let a few coats dry before tying them on to plates.

When you’re setting the table for Thanksgiving, lay a length of ribbon across each setting (measure out a strip 2.5 times the diameter of your biggest plate). Then, set the plates and napkin down on top with a wishbone in the center. Pull the ribbon tight and tie the ends around each side of the wishone, trimming any exess.

Wrapping the plates helps Thanksgiving to feel like the special occassion it ought to be, and your guests will love kicking off dinner with a wish. Hopefully they wished for turkey.

Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

I’m a firm believer that holiday calories don’t count. Especially the sweets. Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie? Eat away. Christmas cookies? Have a dozen.

It’s this philosophy that allows me to enjoy—nay—to revel in this dessert, whose recipe calls for more than a dozen gloriously glazed Krispy Kreme donuts.

Because this is really the perfect holiday dessert. It reminds me of Christmas celebrations: Sweet, sugary, warm, and with a touch (or a lot) of bourbon.

The sauce isn’t as sweet as you’d expect, and complements the strangely satisfying soft-crunchy-sweet bread pudding perfectly.

Salivating yet? Get the recipe below, but first here’s a tip: The best part is the very top, where the glazed and soaked Krispy Kreme pieces get all crispy and crunchy. If you have a big, shallow dish that maximizes top-surface area, use it.

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Guest Post: Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

I’ve got a sweet guest post for you today. These adorable pumpkin cheesecakes come to you from Meredith K. on behalf of Reddi-wip. I think they’re the perfect treat to serve at your next holiday party or to round out your Thanksgiving dinner.

Halloween may be over, but pumpkin season is just getting started. Just because your Jack-o-lantern is headed for the trash bin doesn’t mean it’s time for your pile of pumpkin-flavored recipes to be stashed away until next year, which is excellent news for all us pumpkin-lovers! November and December are full of holiday parties, family get-togethers and general fall and winter festivities, meaning you’ll have plenty of reasons to indulge in pumpkin goodies galore in the coming weeks.

Pumpkin pie has always been the most popular pumpkin dish out there, but if you’re anticipating a pie-overload this season, these mini pumpkin cheesecakes are perfect for putting a little twist on your typical pumpkin dessert. These cheesecakes are made with a nutty walnut crust, filled with a creamy mixture of pumpkin, vanilla, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg, and finished with a dash of sweet whipped topping; is there any combination more perfect for the holidays?

Need another reason to make these cuties? They’re mini! Mini things are not only easier to serve to a crowd than are big desserts that need to be sliced or scooped, but they’re also lighter for when you just need a mouthful of something sweet—perfect for rounding out a huge holiday dinner. And if you can’t tell from all of the yummy ingredients, these cheesecakes are absolutely scrumptious.

Get the recipe below.

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Life According to Instagram: October

Games, crafts, drinks and football. I love the fall.

Favorite activities: Miniature golf, pool at the bar and seeing a few bands. The best was seeing the insanely talented Delta Rae live in Atlanta. Check out their single “Bottom of the River” if you haven’t already.

Favorite crafts: The painted pumpkins I featured here on Formal Fringe, and the London 2012 silver medal I put together for my Halloween costume; I went as McKayla Maroney from the McKayla is Not Impressed meme.

New obsessions: Tea. Warm, unsweetened tea. Oh, and the vanilla Slurpee I got my hands on when we visited Florida last month. There’s no 7-11 near us in Atlanta–what a bummer!

Good news/bad news: My Florida Gators were on a roll in October, staying undefeated until a late October loss against the Georgia Bulldogs. I lost a bet living here in enemy territory and have to spend the season with a Georgia flag at my desk.