Mandy Moore knows a thing or two about making family time a priority. On her hit NBC show, This Is Us, she is the matriarch of the Pearson clan, but in real life, her holiday plans involve her friends as much as they do family. In between bites of macaroni and cheese, stuffing and a little pecan pie, Pret-a-Reporter caught up with Moore during lunch at The Eveleigh in partnership with Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred Card to talk about holiday craziness, dinner-hosting duties and her perfect outfit for turkey day.

"My parents split when I was in my mid-20s, so we usually gather for Thanksgiving in some form, but not like my immediate family all together," said Moore as she took a seat at the table wearing a leopard-print Isabel Marant top and a black L.K. Bennett pencil skirt. She added, "We are going to be celebrating Friendsgiving-style together this year. My family, Taylor’s family, a bunch of friends all under one roof. There is going to be like 40 or 45 people!" The actress is co-hosting with her future mother-in-law. (She is recently engaged to Dawes frontman Taylor Goldsmith.) Though her MIL is handling the turkey and Moore is still waiting for her official marching orders, she is already dreaming of the side dishes she is bringing. "I'll do a sweet-potato dish and maybe a Brussels sprout dish and a dessert," she said, explaining that her tribe’s celebration is a more casual affair, with some stopping by for just for a drink or others coming by to have a piece of pie later in the evening.

Unsurprisingly, when the former pop star hosts a soiree, music is a big part of the evening’s ambiance, along with flowers and candles ("I’m a big scent person"). Curating a “really solid” playlist is at the top of Moore's to-do list, and, yes, tunes by Dawes can be expected. "I would definitely include something of Taylor's — he wouldn’t want that! But I would find a way to sneak that in." Not on the agenda for Friendsgiving? High heels and a tight dress. "I want to feel flowy and elegant but still polished, a slightly elevated version of day-to-day life." Though Moore does admit there is "definitely a shopping trip for a dress" in her future.

Another important tidbit Moore discussed was the importance of taking time for a little self-care and relaxation during this busy season. "I feel like oftentimes the holidays pass in such a fluster that you won’t even have really taken the time to appreciate it while it is happening because you are [so] stressed about getting your holiday cards out and going to parties and wrapping gifts that you sort of miss the whole experience."