Noel Progressive Dinner 2010

For the third consecutive year, four households on our cul-de-sac participated in a holiday progressive dinner. It’s a time for us to all get together before the hustle and bustle of the season gets us too wrapped up to wish one another good cheer. Ramon and I look forward to it each year.

This year another couple from the neighborhood joined our group to make it all the merrier. We began the evening at 5:30 for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, then on for salad, followed by the entree, and last – but never least! – dessert! We ended the evening with a few rousing games on the neighbor’s Wii. Much needed exercise after all that delicious food!!!

This post is also about opportunities to reuse decor items and ideas. Elements from two recent posts are freshened and incorporated for a whole new look on one table. Given the number of dinner parties we host, it sometimes makes sense to not try and reinvent the wheel…but to simply give it a facelift! I hope you are able to take away some ideas for your own use!

We started with tasty hors d’oeuvres and cocktails at Lynn & Barbara’s. Barbara always creates wonderful and imaginative treats, and this time was no exception!

After popping delicious hors d’oeuvres for an hour or so, we all trudged next door to our house for salad (graciously and lovingly prepared by neighbor Mary Ellen!), assorted soups (gumbo, chicken noodle and vegetable beef made by yours truly), and melt-in-your-mouth, buttery good rolls brought by our round-the-corner friends Carla and Jim.

Some of you may recognize some of the decor used for this table. With back-to-back dinner parties hosting different guests, it seemed prudent to recycle some of the decor with a twist to make it special. This meal, served in the living room, is set up on two 6-ft. tables pushed together horizontally to create a square that can comfortably seat up to ten guests.


The “Noel” theme was carried from the fireplace mantel onto the table with the addition of this velvety red ribbon tucked around each charger. (I recently employed this same technique using plain red satin ribbon around silver chargers. See “Celebrating the Season“.) Clear glass plates allow guests to see the ribbon before salad is served.

My much-loved, stiffly starched linen napkins were neatly folded and tucked into each place setting’s wine glass.

Also used in a previous post (“Roman Holiday“) was this chunky candle on a gold scrolled riser. Last week it was presented with just the candle. For this occasion, however, I tucked in the same greenery and berries found in the floral arrangements and on the mantel. This is a great way to create an instant centerpiece without having to use a ton of flowers!!!

Instead of the creamy white & gold Christmas tree toppers used in the “Roman Holiday” post, I subbed in elegant red & gold with scrolls that mimic the design on the floral containers.

I found this fun wine bottle decor at Pottery Barn a couple of weeks ago. Isn’t that typical? The lady is all dressed up in her finest diamonds and fur while the guy just kinda shows up in a casual holiday hat & scarf! 🙂

After stuffing ourselves at our house, we all miraculously still had room for dessert. So on to Bob & Jane’s for a fancy sweet treat to end the evening! What a fun night!!!

A few other Christmas tablescapes on this site include:
Celebrate the Season
Christmas in the Woods
“Kaleidoscope Christmas”
“Merry & Bright – Multi-Color Christmas”
“Christmas Through the Red Door”
“Life Is A Cabaret – New Year’s Eve”
Waking Up to Christmas – Bedroom Decor
Black, White & Red All Over Christmas
Christmas 2012 – Red, Black & Silver
Checkered Christmas
Pink & Purple Chocolate Christmas
Sugar High Payback
Contemporary Christmas
Gentlemen’s Winter Retreat
Woodland Men’s Tablescape
Cranberry Christmas
Cranberry Christmas Squared
Get Me To the Church On Time
Christmas Progressive Dinner
White Hot
Winter Brunch
Really Red Christmas
Roman Holiday
Cardinal Christmas
Frosty the Snowman
March of the Penguins
Winter Cardinal
Ideas for Throwing a Winter Dessert Party
Christmas Fiesta
Over the River and Through the Woods
Black Friday Luncheon
Old-Fashioned Red & Green Christmas
Timberland Christmas
Christmas Coffee
Warm Metal Christmas
Let It Snow
Tuscan Holiday

I am delighted to join Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday. After peeking in on my photos, please feel free to wander on over to Susan’s place to see what other tablescapers around the world are up to!

Between Naps On The Porch

I’ve Been Published!!!

It has been excruciating to keep this under wraps the last two+ months, so I’m ready to shout it from the rooftop:


Back in October, the Creative Director for EA Bride – a new magazine that caters to the Greater Kansas City area – called me to meet with her at a local restaurant. Once there, she presented me with a roll of ribbon. “This,” she said, “is your inspiration. It’s up to you what you do with it.”

A couple of weeks later I found myself in the ballroom of the beautiful, sprawling Lone Summit Ranch setting up a table. Being SO leery of “jinxing” myself, I kind of kept it low-key. Last night, Sheri and I attended the Preview Party for the magazine’s Winter issue at The Stanley in Lee’s Summit, MO. (For those of you who don’t know, the Winter issue is traditionally the biggest and most widely read issue of quarterly bridal magazines as Christmas, New Year’s and Valentine’s Day engagements prompt happy couples to start the planning process.) I have to tell you…I felt kind of like being a supporting cast member at a movie premiere! We really got the red carpet treatment, and it was fun to meet many of the other vendors whose work is showcased in the magazine.

I hope to get photos from the photographer who shot the table in the next couple of weeks or so, and I’ll post those as soon as I do. You’ll be able to see the detail of the table elements that aren’t visible in this photocopied image. For those of you in the Greater Kansas City area, pick up a copy of EA Bride at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Price Chopper, Hy-Vee, Hen House Markets, KU Bookstore, K-State Bookstore, and even in some hospital gift shops! I’m on page 52!!!

Pictures from the party…

Cake by Sherrie's Cake Magic (Photo by Sheri L. Grant)

Click here for information on Sherrie’s Cake Magic who created the party cake!

Me with Stanley Historic Event Space owner Cindy King (Photo by Sheri L. Grant)


Chatting with sales director Treasa Hershberger. (Photo by Sheri L. Grant)

L to R: Publisher Christie Scott, Creative Director Anne Kelly Acock, me, floral designer Ashley Hotka. (Photo by Sheri L. Grant)


I know, I know… it’s not that big of a deal, but it’s a big deal to me!!! My work as a wedding planner/designer and business owner has been the subject of many different articles in various publications, but this is the first time for my new venture and I’m doggone psyched about it!!! 🙂

Look for photos from the photo shoot (courtesy of Phoenix Photography) in the next few weeks!

I’m once again joining Susan and the other tablescapers at Between Naps on the Porch!

Between Naps On The Porch