Happy Birthday, Barf!

You know how kids pick at each other and give each other a lot of grief, but then grow out of it in later years? All that applies to my sister and me…except the growing out of it part. I lovingly bestowed the nickname “Barf” on my big sister about 40 years ago, and it just kinda stuck. Barf this, Barf that, Barf the other….regardless of the name on her birth certificate, to me she is simply “Barf.”

Barf and her sweet friend, DeEtta, visited Kansas City a little over a week ago on their way to Columbia, Mo. Barf is an October baby and was on her way to an annual October babies celebration with other family & friends.  Because she was turning 100 or 150 or something like that on this birthday, she was pooped out from all the driving. So we held a jazzed up little “come-as-you-are” birthday dinner party at our house.

Everyone was dressed comfortably and casually, but I wanted to do something kind of swanky for the table. Barf and DeEtta had already traveled quite a distance from Minnesota and still had another two hours to drive after dinner to get to Columbia. I wanted the table to be something she would enjoy but that would also be easy to put together since I was feeling particularly lazy. So I went with spiffed up basic black.


Silver metal chargers and Noritake “Spectrum” china are my “go to” pieces that take a lot of guesswork out of the whole thing.

IMG_2718WMBlack napkins folded into a neat little square with an orchid bloom for a shot of color.

The menu card has a photo of Barf at 6 months old. Wasn’t she a cutie patootie? (Speaking of patooties, I tried to cover hers a little here with my watermark! :-)) Creating these menus was my favorite part of the whole set-up!

I went with J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra” flatware…just because. 🙂

IMG_2732WMAnother great “go to” is my Mikasa “Jamestown Platinum” stemware. I love it for its timeless beauty, its incredible versatility, and the way it feels in my hand. It’s perfect!


I bought these cool triple-decker bling mirrors a while back at Hobby Lobby. Yes…Hobby Lobby! They’re very sturdy and reflect a lot of light. While they are meant to be hung on a wall, I decided they would make much better centerpiece trays. The neatly lined votive candles and 25″ metal case candles (much safer taper if you don’t want candlewax everywhere!!!) double back in the mirrors. My Dad was quite intrigued with the design.

Mirrored cylinders hold a mix of bright green cymbidium orchids, dusty miller (rescued from the back yard before the frost got to it!), and raw coffee bean clusters.


I wanted something lush for a buffet piece that leaned toward fall without screaming it out loud. “Peacock White” flowering kale had both just the right color and texture I wanted mixed with the dusty miller, cymbidium orchids, and raw coffee beans. This heavy 4-light silver epergne (also seen here filled with mounds of baby’s breath at the “Princess Pink Birthday Party“) is a great buffet or centerpiece item, and it has a removable bowl for easy arranging and cleaning.

Candles and a small floral on the china cabinet.

L to R: Mom, Me, Daddy, DeEtta, and the Birthday Girl…Barf!!!

I’ve done a lot of teasing here (as always, because what are sisters for? ;-)), but I really do love my sister. She’s a very warm, kind, giving person with a heart as big as all outdoors.  Yes, she’s weird and goofy…but she’s mine.
Happy Birthday, Barf! 🙂

Note: This would make a great New Year’s Eve tablescape, too!!!

Other tablescapes on this site using a mirror centerpiece include:
Shake, Rattle, & Roll ‘Em!
Happy Birthday, Barf!
Hooray For Vodka!

Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Contemporary Christmas – Fire & Ice
Roses In October
Princess Pink Birthday Dinner

As is always my distinct pleasure, I am joining Susan and the other talented tablescapers from around the world for Tablescape Thursday this week. Won’t you come along?

60 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Barf!

  1. Beautiful tablescape as always. Just look at all that bling! And, the buffet arrangement is just gorgeous! Happy Birthday Barf! Alycia, Barf does realize how blessed she is to have such a fabulous sister does she not? xx


  2. Happy Birthday, Barf! And what a party! Gorgeous setting…as always and love the floral arrangement on the sideboard with the flowering kale. The menu looks soooo delish.
    Wishing you many, many more happy birthdays.


  3. Alycia, As usual, you have created another amazing table. You pulled all the pieces together to create a very elegant mood. I love the height of the candles and those centerpiece trays are really great. You have a lovely family and your sister is as beautiful as you are. Dianne


  4. What a sweet thing to do for your sister! The table looks beautiful, love that mirror centerpiece. The orchids add such class and beauty too. Happy BARFday, Barf:):):) XO, Pinky


  5. Well, if you can’t tease your sister, who can you tease? She looks like a sweet person and good sport! I think your impromptu birthday table is gorgeous! Those mirror jewels are amazing–gotta love that bling! Black and silver is always so elegant and the orchids are a nice touch, too. I’m sure your sister felt as special as she is! She looks really good for 100 or 150! Now, the question is what does she call you? 🙂


  6. Aren’t sisters the most amazing blessing! It’s so wonderful that you had the opportunity to fete your precious big sister, and the table was a gorgeous picture of sophisticated design. I don’t quite understand the configuration, but the mirrored wall piece used on the table is fantastic! Thank you for inviting us for a peak at the party table. Cherry Kay


  7. What a lovely table you created! The menu sounds scrumptious!
    Such a wonderful treat you created for your lovely sister Barf!!! 🙂
    I call my sister and say “hello ugly” and she replies “hello uglier” 🙂 then we both laugh! It’s a sister thing!
    The kale looks awesome with the dusty miller and the touch of color from the orchids is perfect! What a great combo! I’ve never seen fresh coffee beans used before- neat idea!
    Perfect choice of stemware and china…. It goes so well with the centerpiece, of which I like the bling that it brought in!
    Love your family picture! A real treasure!


  8. Well, I was REALLY confused. I get the email of your post, but for some reason I’m thinking it’s another blogger, and I’m chuckling as I read it, because you say the table was something simple because you were feeling kind of lazy….simple?! Orchidsd?! Menus?! 25″ candles?! It’s beautiful!! So I get to the end and figure out it’s YOU!!! Of course it’s you!! LOL Leave it to you to “throw” this “simple” (read: beautiful) table together! I bet Barf was in heaven! Tell her your blogger friend wishes her a happy one too! 🙂


  9. Alycia, you never disappoint! If you were feeling lazy, it doesn’t show.
    With all of the bling , mirrors and candles, your table is so elegant.
    How sweet you are to celebrate your sister’s birthday, fitting for a queen.
    I love your Mikasa’s glassware. What a nickname! Who knew? Barf?
    Treasure your sister…….I lost my younger sister in 2004. She died the night after her daughter’s wedding. She passed away unexpectedly in her sleep.
    I do treasure our memories. Thanks for sharing this lovely event. XOXO Linda


  10. Bling Bling Baby!! This is a really nice table. Tell “Barf” Happy Birthday. I am happy for you and your family that you are still able to celebrate birthdays together. You Dad looks good. Love ya!


  11. Ok, I want to know what she calls YOU! I am sure it is just as attractive! Love the menu, and the simple, elegant table. Those trays are pretty cool.


  12. Alycia, you will always be my “umbrella sister” but don’t ever nickname me Barf! You lazy? Excuse me, I can’t even imagine that. I can tell this table was set with love and admiration. I have two sisters, and must confess that I nicknamed one of them Noodle. Thanks for sharing this lovely event. Happy Birthday to your sister. Debbie


  13. Happy Birthday Barf!! Looks like you were treated like the Queen of the night.. and rightfully so.. Alycia your family is beautiful…. Your table is gorgeous as always… love the mirrors on the table as the centerpiece.you know me.. anything different is perfect in my book.. Girl…. I look forward to you coming next week.. it will be GREAT to meet you!!!! hugs ~lynne~


  14. Hi Alycia~ I’m sure your sister was THRILLED with your elegant, sparkling table & mouth-watering menu! She obviously is a very good sport for you sharing with the WORLD her nickname 🙂 Love your photo~ everyone is so photogenic! Happy Birthday to Barf!


  15. You are blessed with a dear family, and one can tell that love abounds there.
    “Barf” had to be so enamored with the table for her birthday celebration…..who wouldn’t love that spoiling!! Beautiful table and the menu card is really fantastic!


  16. What a beautiful table you set to celebrate your sister’s birthday! I know I would have felt very special to be the guest-of-honor at that table. Your menu sounds delicious as well. I love that you share your menus with us, too, and the lovely menu cards you make, even bare-bottomed Barf’s.


  17. What a wonderful family gathering. Beautiful and classic table for your sister’s celebration. I love those candles….they look almost a tall as me! I’m sure your sister must have felt very loved with this special table set just for her!


  18. When I saw your title come up on my iPad I was afraid, very afraid!
    You are so funny. My sister used to call me, horsey high socks! Her name is Andrea , so I called her andiarrhea. Sisters! 🙂
    Your table is gorgeous, those tiered mirrors are so unique. A very elegant scape. I am sure she appreciated it. My birthday is in March , you can call me anything you want, just call me and invite me for dinner at a beautiful table like that!


  19. Your post made me smile, remembering all the names my brother and I had for each other. What a wonderful celebration you gave her. You have put together such an elegant fun table! Happy birthday to Barf!


  20. What an elegant setting! Your family is beautiful! I hope your sister had a wonderful birthday! and you got it pretty much right about my brother and his laid back personality…although he is kind of a food snob:) but he’s still mine!


  21. Your “lazy” table is unbelievably “unlazy” looking. It’a gorgeous!!! And so nice to have family together. I’m sure it was a wonderful time and a happy 150th birthday for Barf!!!!


  22. If my younger sister ever called me “Barf” I’d knock her into next month!!!
    I’m going to be like your sister’s friend, 150 years old, on my birthday in December and I would love to sit down to a table as lovely as this. The menu sounds wonderful too. I’m getting hungry just reading it. 😉


  23. How wonderful to have a sister and be pals with, I don’t, I’m the only girl! You did a gorgeous, elegant and inviting tablescape for her, I love the look and the atmosphere the skinny very tall candles do to your lovely arrangements. The menu sounds like it’s going to be TDF! Fabulous my dear friend, thank you for sharing it with us. Happy birthday to Barf! FABBY


  24. Hi Alycia~ I made two attempts to comment last night with no success so I hope the third time is the charm! I’m sure your sister was THRILLED with her elegant & sparkling birthday table~ if not your letting the WORLD know her nickname 🙂 She obviously is a good sport~ love your photo, everyone is so photogenic! Happy Birthday to Barf!


  25. You did wonderfulyy.

    Have I ever been this happy to learn that some sisters decided to stop picking eachother and be friends? Can’t remember ;).

    Bravo Alycia. (Belated) Happy Birthday Barf!!!

    I love that pic… we all have on of those and I can understand when you say it was a favorite moment to come up with it.

    The rest is perfect!!! And thoughtful!!!

    Like you are.



  26. Barf! Omigosh, I’m not going to let you give me a nickname, but with your joy and thoughtfulness, I’d take you for a sister any day. Leave it to you to make any occasion something special.xox


  27. Alycia, I don’t even quite know where to begin here. I love so much about your table, from those wonderful mirrors to the tall tapers to that beautiful stemware. It”s all just awesome.

    I love that it was a birthday tribute to your Barf. When I first saw the title, I wondered what in the world you were up to this time. How funny that it’s a nickname for your sister.

    I hope she had a wonderful time, and even more, I hope she appreciates your protection of the Barf Butt in Blog Land.

    As always, I am leaving with a smile. You are one of my favorite table scapers. Have I ever mentioned that?


  28. Hi Alycia,

    This is such a funny post. Obviously your big sis has had lots of ribbing from you over the years. Barf?! And 100 or 150 years old. This really made me laugh. 🙂 It’s also obvious that the ribbing is done with lots of love, which is what really matters. My sister and I have lots of nicknames for each other as well.

    Now I have to ask you — did you inherit your amazing creativity from someone in your family? And you’re so knowlegeable about plants and flowers; you’re always able to come up with something interesting for floral touches. Did you take classes in design or entertaining?

    This looks like such a fun party, and your sister must have loved it!! Happy Birthday Barf. Alycia, you must check out my tablescape if you get a chance; I finally got my flatware. Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend.

    Denise at Forest Manor


  29. I’m laughing, because my idea of lazy is posting something already shot. YOUR idea of lazy is a big birthday bash with a beautiful and very cool mirrored centerpiece, candles, menu cards, gorgeous Noritake china–I could go on and on lol!! Seriously, you really are soo very creative! Not only that, but when I read your comments on blogs, you know just the right thing to say to make people feel good!! One day we have to meet! Until then, thank you so much for your inspirational and beautiful creations. You and Barf are fortunate to have each other. Funny, we all had nicknames growing up too!! Sorry for the delay commenting this week, I’ve been out of town and those laptops just drive me crazy! Have a great week!!


  30. Alycia, what a great sister you are!! This table is just beautiful! I just adore your creativity!! You always get it just right! The menu is awesome! And I love the black linens. Very elegant! You did an absolutely fabulous job!


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  35. So loved the fact that your sweet Dad loved and was intrigued by this tablescape. I know you are treasuring that picture. Beautiful tablescape. NOW, I am trying to go back to Tiffany.


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