Cinco de Mayo On the Cul-de-Sac

Our annual Cinco de Mayo cul-de-sac celebration was another fun success last night with beautiful weather, great food, FABULOUS margaritas, and terrific music…all shared by the best neighbors ever! I was able to snap a few pics with my phone that I hope you will enjoy and keep in mind for your next South of the Border-inspired celebration!

I set up a table for 6 in front of our house for us who are fully vaccinated. We all routinely socialize, so it was nice to be able to sit together after a full year of separation! Inspiration for the tablescape came from the fancy hand painted rooster glasses I recently purchased at a friend’s yard sale. Eight of them for just $10!!! Add orange Dollar Tree plates, Cambridge “Esben Beachwood” flatware, a couple of colorful crisscrossed runners, and a rooster to the table’s center flanked by succulents and (faux) Gerbera daisies…and voila!

I made and individually packaged up snickerdoodles and copycat Sara Lee pound cake (SO good!) for everyone as a take home favor. I don’t think any of it actually made it home with anyone. It was all really tasty, and I hit the kitchen early this morning to fill orders for more!🤣🤣🤣

That was our Cinco de Mayo! How was yours?

To see additional Cinco de Mayo/South of the Border-inspired tablescapes on the site:

Grazin’ In The Grass – 80th Birthday Party

GRAZIN’ IN THE GRASS
(a re-post from April 2009)

My husband and I hosted a much less formal birthday bash for my Mom in 2009 to celebrate #80. We started off with a wine and cheese bar for family & friends.

 

My Mom’s official birth date is March 22, so what better way to ring in the season than with a spring tablescape rich with the colors and elements we miss over the long, cold winter? Mom really got a kick out of my sudden “green thumb” with rye grass grown just for the occasion in clear glass containers. (She then tried to play it off…like, “Whatever, dude. No big deal. I could’ve done that with my eyes closed.” Look at that look on her face…and the one on mine!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 )  Rye grass only takes a couple of weeks to look like this! See Tip #15 under the “Table Tips” tab above. Fresh Gerbera daisies add a playful and colorful element to the centerpiece set atop a length of moss.

 The casual dining room setting included a double layer of placemats. The cabbage leaf placemats were perfect for ushering in Spring! Mikasa stoneware in various Spring colors gave the table a little kick in the pants, while plain yellow linen napkins layered with gauzy floral ones danced above.
 
Just about everybody loves a cupcake! Makes you feel like a kid again, doesn’t it? For this celebration, vanilla cupcakes frosted in spring pastels and decorated with “fluttering” butterflies were the talk of the party! You can’t go wrong when decorating with butterflies…they enchant both young and “not-as-young”!
 The official octogenarian and moi! I’m not scared of aging…I’ve got good genes! 🙂
Other birthday posts on this site include:
The Party She Deserves
Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous!
88 Years & 88 Keys
Princess Pink Birthday Dinner

Brilliant Italian (a re-post from July 2010)

Summer has become one of my favorite seasons. Sure, it’s hot and often sticky here in the Midwest. That’s to be expected. But there are just so many opportunities for outdoor entertaining that just can’t be taken for granted! My husband and I hosted a little dinner party that involved wine tasting (one of my favorite activities!) to forget about the heat for awhile. Neighbors came over to feast on tasty homemade Italian dishes while sampling red wines from the Adam Puchta Winery in Hermann, Mo.
First things first….gather up all the necessary items and create a menu board. The chalkboard is from Kirkland’s, and it really works out well for casual events!
 I let the wine breathe a bit before the guests wandered out onto the deck.
 Juicy black grapes to munch on before dinner sit alongside the night’s chalkboard menu.
  The pasta dish gets a chance to “rest” for about 15 minutes after pulling it from the oven.
This little table was set up near the dining table so that guests could nibble on homemade bruschetta and antipasto while sipping a glass of wine before dinner.
 The 6-ft. oblong table is set for six.
This occasion provided a wonderful opportunity for me to pull out colorful Italian-inspired dishes in brilliant, cheerful reds, blues and yellows. “Yellow Talavera” dishes by Maxcera (TJ Maxx) set atop sunny yellow placemats from Bed Bath & Beyond were the foundation of the color scheme. Bright cobalt blue water glasses (Pier One) juxtaposed clear wine stems. A mix of red roses and playful yellow Gerbera daisies in cobalt blue vessels completed the look. Corks of wine parties past displayed each place card. (Square appetizer plates and red dipping oil bowls from Crate & Barrel.)
You simply can’t go wrong with brilliant colors when serving Italian food!
Mangia, y’all!

Orange You Glad You Came To Dinner?

ORANGE YOU GLAD YOU CAME TO DINNER?
(a re-post from August of 2010)

Folks, I’m revamping my blog a bit and getting rid of “pages” that featured multiple posts in an effort to make it easier to find things. I don’t want to lose the posts altogether, though, so I’m re-posting them. Makes no sense, huh? Believe me, if there was an easier way…!!! So, if you’ve never seen this one before it’s all new to you. If you have seen it, I apologize for the rerun but hope you can enjoy it all over again! There will be additional reruns coming into your box every couple of days until I’ve emptied these pages from the early days of blogging. Who knows…maybe what’s old can be new again with ideas. Let’s hope!

 Sigh! As the kids reluctantly prepare to head back to class, we try to squeeze in just a few more outdoor family dinners.

 I’ve been itching to use these creamsicle colored dishes all summer! Orange is “the new red” when it comes to stimulating the appetite and lifting spirits. For my tablescapes indoors and out, I am totally on board!

 

Rather than my usual (and beloved!) long, narrow table, I kissed two 6-ft. tables horizontally to create more of a square shape. Doing so allows for a more generous centerpiece as well as plenty of elbow room for each guest. (With the trays, this seats 8; without trays, however, this table configuration comfortably seats 10.)

 

 

Each of this tablescape’s place settings consists of a bamboo tray (looked good, and sure made clean up a lot easier!) from Old Time Pottery. The orange & white melamine dishes are from Target. The square shape lends a contemporary feel, while the floral design gives them a timeless look without being stuffy. (See these same dishes used for another summer tablescape HERE.) I fell in love with the icy orange flatware from Burlington and the flower & butterfly napkin rings from Hobby Lobby. Even the Costco stemware is plastic, but the design gives it an “authentic” look. The cool cube place card holders from Crate & Barrel finish the place setting. Off to the side, a small table holds snacks in complementary colors.

 
I mulled over centerpiece options for this tablescape for several days. Sure, the weatherman is predicting a drastic cool down from the upper 90s to the mid 80s, but how can I be sure? Fresh flowers will wilt as soon as I walk them out the door if he’s wrong. So…I went against everything I know and bowed to decorating with FAUX flowers!!! Somehow, though, with the cool orange color and the unrealistically large heads, it looks kind of 1960s mod instead of flat out weird. I may need to find more uses for faux flowers! Stay tuned!!!
 
This is my Dad, Jim. I love him very much!!!
(postscript: Daddy died in May of 2013.
I’m so glad we had this quality time together.)
Other tablescapes with lots of orange (other than autumn and Halloween):
Mandarin Bling
Summer Orange
Oranges & Blossoms
Hot Tropical

     

Popsicle Party!

We’re just about midway through the summer swelter, and every day calls for something cooling and refreshing to beat the heat. Here’s an idea for a popsicle party where after dinner it’s all about popsicles for the over-21 set! (There are numerous recipes on Pinterest for “adult” popsicles that will put a little pep in your step!)

When the temperatures are soaring but you still want to get outside to entertain, make it something special with treats that will visually AND literally cool your guests.

 

Bright colors abound across this table for four. The tablescape begins with a pure white tablecloth to show off the brilliant hues on top.

 

Each place setting starts with a fabulous natural round “Water Hyacinth” placemat from Pier 1. These are so incredibly versatile! I’ve used them in various tablescapes including “Barton’s Easter Brunch“.  Next up are woven round placemats in a glorious “Peacock Blue” from Bed Bath & Beyond also seen on “Summer Fruits & Penny-farthings” and “Give Peace A Chance” on this site. White melamine dinner plates from Target are topped with dazzling orange-rimmed pink melamines from Burlington that I first introduced in the post “Oranges & Blossoms” back in September of 2010 and then reintroduced in “Hot Tropical“!

 

Cheerful Gerbera daisies in juicy orange gourd-shaped ceramic vases decorate each place setting.

 

When I break out the melamine plates, it’s time to scrounge up color coordinated flatware from TJ Maxx like this  in snowy white that really stands out against the deeper color of the top placemat.

 

I found this terrific plastic stemware at Old Time Pottery a few years back. I wish I could use it more often. It’s the safest way to go for summer outdoor entertaining! I used the same style in a creamy yellow back in 2014 for a post called “Cupcake Colors“.

 

The inspiration for this tablescape came not only from the heat and my affinity for adult popsicles, but from these super cute Dollar Tree dish towels! I like to use them as napkins for their super powers of absorbency as well as the colorful themes! I’ve used dish towels as napkins for several warm weather posts including “Grill It Up!“, “Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast“, “Italian Honeysuckle“, “Picnic Ants“, and “Black & White Barnyard Breakfast“.

 

Well, don’t say you didn’t see THIS coming!!! Popsicle-shaped menus created on my desktop computer!!!

 

The centerpiece is a simple one: curvy plastic bowls in vibrant turquoise and pink placed together so both colors show. Fill with fragrant summer fruits like the oranges, mangoes, lemons, peaches and limes shown here, and voila!

 

I get a LOT of mileage out of the hooks I installed beneath the overhang on the deck! On this day a few vividly colored metal lanterns from Hobby Lobby swing in the gentle breeze and add ambience when the shadows fall. (I first used these lanterns as a part of the centerpiece for “Hot Fun In the Summertime” back in 2014.)

I hope you’re finding a way to stay cool this summer! Thanks so much for stopping by!

Other warm weather posts using lots of dramatically juicy colors on this site:
Carousel Colors
Tulips In the IHOP Hour
Caribbean Queen
Hot Tropical
Flamingos in Paradise
Casablanca Cool
Hot Fun In the Summertime
Brilliant Italian
Tropicana
Daisy Crazy
Cupcake Colors
Summer Fruits & Penny-Farthings
Give Peace A Chance

 

 

 

 

 

Give Peace a Chance – Retro Tablescape

With the recent passing of the Bee Gees’ Robin Gibb and iconic disco queen Donna Summer, I find myself in a retro sort of mood. I have been listening to a lot of music from the 60s and 70s the past few weeks. I have a whole “British Invasion” playlist on my iPod that includes a lot of Beatles music. John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance” somehow played twice in a row, and I took it as a sign (a peace sign?) that I should pay homage to the era. So tuck a flower in your hair, put on your mood ring, slip into your bell bottoms, and get ready for a hip and very colorful retro tablescape!!!
(Click on any image to enhance/enlarge it.)

The day was a breezy one, so it was a challenge to keep everything on the table! The hot pink table linen kept going all Marilyn Monroe-on-the-subway-grate-in-the-“Seven Year Itch” on me!!! 😉

IMG_6218WM

I drew on all the bright, mind-bending colors of the 1960s including hot pink, yellow, and a range of blues. Each psychedelic place setting starts with a yellow woven placemat, slightly overlapped with an aqua one, both from Bed Bath & Beyond. Hot pink ruffled chargers from Crate & Barrel are then topped with an aqua blue plastic dinner plate and a funky fun tie-dye “peace” salad plate from Hobby Lobby.(Have your corneas burned out yet? :-))

Bright hot pink flatware from TJ Maxx is positioned to resemble a peace sign. The color really resonates against the aqua blue of the placemat! Right on!!!

IMG_6214WM

IMG_6224WMYou might think I’m totally zonked and trippin’ to imagine this, but I actually thought that this so-called “bunny ears napkin fold” looked a lot like a peace sign! Work with me, people! Look at the hot pink napkins folded and secured with a Bed Bath & Beyond daisy napkin ring (to soothe your inner flower child!) and tucked into the simple clear glass stemware. Tell me that doesn’t look like the fun resin peace sign here from Home Decorators Collection!!!

IMG_6222WMThere’s a lot of 1960s flower power going on here! This groovy chick was so much fun to create using a simple Styrofoam head and inexpensive faux Gerbera daisies from Hobby Lobby. I just clipped the daisies from the cluster, leaving a 2-inch stem that I simply stuck into the head to create a full 1960s “afro.” She, of course, is decked out with her soulful shades. (Make the floral hair a bit longer on the sides and in the back, and you’ve created a Beatle-esque “mop top“!)

IMG_6239WMI created the look of the mega-sized hoop earrings of the era using floral wire spray painted gold and formed into a circle around a coffee can.

More flower power with this vase of oversized faux Gerbera daisies!

Sources: hpvf.com (Goldie Hawn); hippiefan.com (Janis Joplin); wikipedia.com (Beatles); zazzle.com (Sock It To Me button); wikipedia.com (Supremes); rollingstone.com (Jimi Hendrix); urbanmodernista.com (lava lamps); technorati.com (John Lennon)

Can you dig it? Did I blow your mind?
This setting would be great to celebrate the birthday party of someone born in the 60s or turning 60!

Jet on over with me to Susan’s crib anytime after 9:00 Central Time this Thursday to let it all hang out with some other really far out chicks & dudes for Tablescape Thursday.  It’ll be a gas, man!

Have a nice day! 🙂
(Post update: Tablescape Thursday has been cancelled for this week due to technical difficulties in the hostess’s change over from Blogger to Word Press. Please join us all next week for Tablescape Thursday!)

Pink Plaid & Posies

I’ve created a bonus tablescape this week so that I can participate in The Tartan Parade co-hosted by blogger buddies Babs (Upstairs Downstairs), Sarah (Hyacinths for the Soul), Delores (Vignette Design), and Alison (The Polohouse). Stop on over to see the other fabulous and fun tartan plaid tablescapes! I’m also linking up with the fun weekly party, Pink Saturday. If you like pink like I do, you’ll love this party!

Celebrate National Tartan    Day

I wore a plaid uniform nearly every single day in grade school and high school, so a tiny masochistic vestige of tartan plaid clothing remains in my closet. I don’t, however, own much of anything that is plaid in the way of decorating. When I found these pink plaid salad plates, though, I knew I was in like Flynn! (Or “Flint”, depending on which camp you belong to!) I could do a Spring tablescape in pastel pink plaid for the Tartan Parade! I decided to dress the table accordingly using various shades and widths of pink ribbon in a woven plaid design.

I liked the way the ribbon treatment came out over the white full-length table linen, so I just kept running with it! (My husband – the infamous “Tablescape Whisperer” – wanted me to do the entire table in this ribbon plaid treatment. He must be trippin’! ;-))

A white ceramic charger (Old Time Pottery) is topped with a plain white Corelle dinner plate. The pretty pink plaid salad plate is topped with a neat little bowl from Pier 1 that cradles the napkin.

A white cotton hemstitch napkin is gathered up with a bright pink glass napkin ring from Bed Bath & Beyond.

International Silver’s “Danish Princess” flatware rests comfortably atop the ribbon treatment. You can see more clearly here the use of two shades of pink ribbon.

Everyday clear glass stemware from Old Time Pottery is perfect for a pared down Spring luncheon without a lot of frills.

Using two shades of Gerbera daisies lends depth to the bouquets plopped into a parade of curvy white ceramic vases from Michael’s.

What’s a Springtime luncheon without a little take home gift for your guests? Again, two shades of ribbon to make it look just a little more interesting.

So there you have it! A Spring (or Summer!) luncheon (that would also work well for Mother’s Day, a birthday, baby shower, bridal shower, or to celebrate a friend who has battled breast cancer) in pink plaid with posies! I don’t think you’ll ever see this plaid in a Scottish kilt, but I think it works for lunch!

Other light & airy tables in pink on this site:
Peonies & Pearls
Princess Pink Birthday
Showered in Pink
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Blushing Bridal Shower
Just Us Girls
Chocolate Traditional
Days of Wine & Roses
Daisy Crazy

I’m also hooking up with “The Tablescaper” for Seasonal Sundays this week! Check it out to see a variety of tablescapes and ideas for Spring and Easter!

Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon

Finally! After months of “entertaining drought” I finally got the chance to do something at home again!!! Thanks to two dear friends who so generously provided all the food and libations, I was able to host my most cherished annual
Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon.

This is always a very intimate event, but one of the very biggest in my heart as the same friends gather each year to celebrate the battle won for one of us.

Again this year we dined out on the deck, basking in the sunny warmth of a perfect 72 degree autumn day.

A generous layering of brown, pink and white linens is the starting point.
I chose to use an 85″ x 85″ square top layer over the round ones beneath to provide a little more visual interest.

 

 

Glossy silverplate chargers are topped with deep chocolate brown and white silver-rimmed “Delfina” china from Z Gallerie. (Click here and view “Just Us Girls” to see this china used in another pink, brown & white tablescape.)

Soft pink cotton napkins are fashioned into replicas of the much-recognized pink ribbon that is the international symbol for breast cancer awareness.

Godinger “Dublin” highball glasses are used to serve pink lemonade, while two Cristal D’arques goblets await wines served with the appetizer and entrée.

“Royal Danish” sterling silver flatware.

Pink organza bags of Good & Plenty licorice candies are a sweet treat for each guest.

I used an adjustable height bust form from my dressing room as the foundation for the centerpiece.
I chose to keep her uncovered so as to “expose” us all to breast cancer awareness.

A fragrant combination of fresh roses, hydrangea and Gerbera daisies along with some faux pink wisteria creates a dramatic “head” on the bust form centerpiece that symbolizes flowery, upbeat thoughts! (I wired together the flowers, then just removed the bust form’s cap and stuck the stems down the neck. Easy peasy!)

As many ladies do for luncheon, this bust form is adorned in a triple strand of pearls. The necklace peeks out from beneath a pink ribbon arranged to mimic the international symbol.

Clumps of fresh and faux flowers are arranged on a large silver tray at the bust form’s foot.

To bring a touch of autumn to the table, I bought 4 mini pumpkins from the local grocer (just $.50 each) and spray painted them in Krylon’s “Ballet Slipper.” After a day of drying, I painstakingly (and I do mean painstakingly!!! :-() blinged out the pumpkins by adding tiny pearlescent beads purchased at Hobby Lobby. I used clear Elmer’s Glue for those on top and a great little newly discovered product called Zap-A-Gap on the sides. (I strongly recommend wearing gloves when working with this stuff. Even nail polish remover wouldn’t get it off my fingers!!!)

A small side table dressed in pure white linen offered sweet pink lemonade on a silver tray and two kinds of chocolate dessert cookies on silver beaded edge pedestal trays. A diminutive bouquet of pink roses and a Gerbera daisy was arranged in a tiny Mikasa “Petit Points” crystal vase.

After the luncheon, each guest went home with a pumpkin and this note to remind her to get that all-important mammogram. Additional bling pumpkins were delivered a few days later to beloved neighbors.

Please be sure to schedule that yearly mammogram, ladies! (Guys, encourage the women in your life to go! And as for you fellas, uh….prostate check!!!) It could be – as with my friend who was diagnosed early – a true matter of life and death.
Choose life. Get that mammogram!

More tablescapes on this site using shades of pink that could serve to honor Breast Cancer survivors:
Showered in Pink
Pinky Peter Cottontail
Pleasant Under Glassgo to page & scroll down
Au Revoirgo to page & scroll down
Coming Up Rosesgo to page & scroll down
Just Us Girls
Tea Rosesgo to page & scroll down
Princess Pink Birthday Dinner
Pink Plaid & Posies
Peonies & Pearls
Blushing Bridal Shower
Pretty In Pinkgo to page & scroll down
Peony Power

Join us, won’t you, for Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch and Bev’s “Pink Saturday” at How Sweet the Sound! And don’t forget to check us out on BeBetsy.com!!

Blessings, thanks, peace & love to Liz at Infuse With Liz
for helping me to spread the word!