Building a Better Brunch Buffet

Dropping back in to share with you this morning’s “Better Kansas City” show segment on Building a Better Brunch Buffet! (Try saying that 3 times fast!!!) This quickie 3:45 piece focuses more on structure and execution than the actual dishes, but it’s kinda fun! And away we go…Just click on this link for the video!: The do’s and don’ts for throwing a brunch

And here are a few still photos!


Join me for brunch! (Click HERE to watch the short television segment!!!)


Chatting on the set with “Better Kansas City” co-host Gina Bullard.


Linen-lined baskets are always a great way to display breads!


Be sure to go both high and low on your food display.


Lots of color comes to the table via the foods you choose. Have fun with it!


Place plates in two stacks on the end of a double-sided buffet table. Pictured here: gorgeous cobalt blue, yellow and white “Mirandela” plates from Pier 1 Imports.



Here I used a single large centerpiece – a mass of Spring daffodils in a large white base – that adds another dimension of height, texture, and color without interfering with food service.

Thank you so much for stopping in, and Happy Spring!

To see other Springtime brunch tablescapes on this site, click HERE (Springtime in Paris Buffet), HERE, (Easter Brunch), and HERE (Taste of Wine Buffet).

To see another tablescape using the Pier 1 “Mirandela” plates, click HERE.

Ideas for Throwing a Winter Dessert Party

Winter Dessert PartySource: Ideas for throwing a winter dessert party

(Just click on the Source line above for the 3-minute video. Still photos are below.)

I’ve been away for quite awhile, but here’s my most recent appearance on the “Better Kansas City” show. For those of you missing the sparkle of the holiday months and battling the winter blahs like I am, this may be a fun way to put a little pep in your step and bring neighbors together to spite Old Man Winter!

To those of you who have come on board while I’ve been away, WELCOME!!! To those who have hung in there for all these years and visit when you can, I love and appreciate you. Thank you for stopping by. Please note that I have disabled the Comments button. Not that I don’t appreciate your comments, but they aren’t necessary…I feel the love! (And my continuing health difficulties don’t let me sit for very long to be able to read and respond.)

Happy 2017! If you have questions regarding details of this post, please drop me an email at

P.S. I’m doing this from my iPad as I am no longer physically able to sit at my desktop for extended periods of time. If it publishes crazy, I apologize…I’m trying to get the hang of this new way!








Coming Full Circle

Whether you’re just bored stiff with nothing better to do this weekend, you’re just curious, or you’ve been looking for a solid reason to have me committed…I now have an updated “About Me/Media” page that lets you in on how I came full circle to create Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One. Some of the pictures are good for a belly laugh. 🙂




Thanks for your visits and support. It gives me something to look forward to each day!

Better Kansas City Morning Show


I’m just back from making my third appearance on the “Better Kansas City” morning show here in Kansas City! Even though I have to get out of bed before dawn to make that long drive into the city, it’s totally worth it when everything comes together. Sheri and I were able to get this morning’s table up in less than 45 minutes, so I even had a few moments to actually study my script!

The look for today’s show is similar to the one I did back in mid-March, “Rolling Fields of Green“, which captures the versatility of a table that can transition from Easter to Spring and right on into summer.

I mentioned fellow blogger Vernice of We Three Dogs & Me during the segment. Vernice is a very special over-the-miles friend who is very dear to me and who recently celebrated her 82nd birthday. Listen for her name, and then drop by her blog if you have a moment. Vernice puts her heart and soul into her tablescapes, and she always appreciates a visit!

A few pics that Sheri snapped….see if you can figure out what I forgot!
Horrors!!!! Too late to turn around and go back home!
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)


Starting the table set up…moving much faster than this photo depicts! 🙂


Getting closer to completion…and running out of breath!


Who’s letting me play with sharp objects??!?!?!?


Place setting. Have you figured out what’s missing yet?


All done! Off to powder my nose, slip into my high heels, and take a breath before air time!

The finished table is created with a full-length white linen from topped with a moss runner, gold glass chargers from Costco, white dishes with scrolled edging from TJ Maxx, Godinger “Dublin” crystal stemware, lots of moss balls, faux cabbages, evergreens and spring florals in rustic pots.

Reviewing the script with producer, Sherie (not to be confused with my best friend, Sheri, who was on set taking photos of me!), before the show.

Reviewing the script with producer, Sherie (not to be confused with my best friend, Sheri, who was on set taking photos of me!), before the show.


Cameraman Chris is the best! He always gets my good side…even if he has to search for hours to find it! 🙂


Lovely producer’s assistant, Lauren, gets me mic’d up.


On the set after the show with co-host Lisa Holbrook

On the set after the show with skinny (I’m so jealous!) “Better Kansas City” co-host Lisa Holbrook

Many thanks once again to producer Erin Cansler for inviting me back! I had a blast and a half!

Thank YOU for stopping by, and I’d like to invite you back for my regular weekly post tomorrow!

I’m linking up with Tablescape Thursday!

Cottages & Bungalows Magazine – Published!!!

Have you ever had one of those incredibly bad days that started out like this:

Water from master bathroom shower leaking through dining room ceiling!

Water from master bathroom shower leaking through dining room ceiling!

Drying process collage

Giant fans and dehumidifiers brought in to dry the bathroom wall, dining room ceiling and floor.

Yes, that’s right. I was setting up a tablescape when I suddenly noticed a single drip…followed by a rapid succession of LOTS of drips…followed by a downpour!!! Not only was I not going to get this very special table done (more on that next post), but I was going to be thrust into a world of insurance claims and deductibles and plumbers and all kinds of stuff I’d prefer to avoid. (The bathroom wall will have to be torn out tomorrow morning to identify the exact cause.) This was NOT good.

THIS, however – after Ramon checked the mailbox – WAS good!!!
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

Cottages & Bungalows Magazine spread, April 2013 issue, front cover

Cottages & Bungalows Magazine spread, April 2013 issue, pg. 84

Cottages & Bungalows Magazine spread, April 2013 issue, pg. 85

Cottages & Bungalows Magazine spread, April 2013 issue, Resources pg. 97

A two-page spread in the April 2013 issue of “Cottages & Bungalows” magazine including 5 of my original photos and 2 pages of my design tips!!! Long story short, I didn’t think it was going to happen. This, therefore, came as a complete and utter shock on a day when a GOOD surprise was needed more than you will ever know!

Photos are from original posts “Tropicana”, “Pleasant Under Glass”, and “Oranges & Blossoms”.

I hope this mess in my dining room is all cleared away in a few days so that I can resume work on that very special tablescape in honor of one of my very special blogger friends who celebrated a birthday today. Better late than never, I suppose!

“Cottages & Bungalows” is printed 10 times a year by Beckett Media, LLC, and is available by subscription or on newsstands. Please pick up the April 2013 issue and scream excitedly to everyone around you, “I KNOW this woman!!!”

I’m linking up with Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!” and Susan for “Tablescape Thursday”.

Moss & Manzanitas

We’re under a stupid winter storm watch here in the Midwest. Wednesday night into Thursday is supposed to get really ugly. Stock-up-on-supplies-and-pull-out-the-longjohns ugly. (Mine actually have a Dennis the Menace flap in the back! :-)) So as we brace ourselves for a less-than-pleasant end of the week, I’m getting more and more anxious for Spring to arrive.
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

DSCN1448WMThe concept for this table for 8 started back in January when I made an appearance on a local morning show here in Kansas City. (Click HERE to see the post, “Ready for My Close-Up, Mr. DeMille” with video clip and start-to-finish photos.) I set up a buffet table that would work well for this weird in-between stage when the bareness of Winter is still painfully evident, but Spring is just a stone’s throw away. On that buffet, I used a lot of bling along with the moss and manzanitas that would have been great for a bridal luncheon or a 60th wedding anniversary, traditionally dubbed in the U.S. as the “diamond anniversary.” The post with that television appearance does include photos so you can compare that buffet setting to this sit-down one.

DSCN1395WMWhile diamonds are absolutely a girl’s best friend (well…diamonds and Spanx! :-)), for this more casual table I wanted to use “rocks” of a different kind. Hence the abundance of smooth river rock nestled around the manzanita “tree” centerpiece.

DSCN1387WMNothing says Spring like color, and this citrusy green dinner plate really grabs your attention! (Dollar Tree, folks! Dollar Tree!!! If you don’t have one in your area, petition the company to build one there!!!)

Flatware, napkin, menu collageA plain white cotton napkin is wrapped around a tri-color menu and topped with a single stone. The natural look of bamboo in the flatware further complements the setting.


DSCN1428WMUnadorned clear glass stemware gets an upgrade with the addition of individual bottles of chilled wine. I like using these mini bottles from World Market to dress a casual table, but always have plenty of the big boys on hand as well. Some guests take the minis home as a souvenir, others drink it on the spot.



IFThe centerpiece is made up of these cool manzanita branches I bought last year at Gordmans. When I first used them last Halloween I gave them a much more ghastly graveyard look. Here they take on a totally new role, dotted with white orchid blooms as if Spring is making its first appearance. With all the moss (the famous Moss Bridge, not to mention the mossy hillsides) and the stone (stone walls, the Blarney Stone), this would make a great table for St. Patrick’s Day!!!

IFI just love the color and texture and smell of reindeer moss! It’s so…woodsy! I tucked little sprigs of it among the branches as well as loading up on it at the base of the branch structure.

IFI found these fun-shaped ceramic vases at Home Goods about a year ago. They help extend the bright, invigorating color of the lime green plates and reindeer moss from the dining table to the buffet behind it.

Buffet cake, flatware, lg. floral collage



I want to extend a HUGE thank you to The Home Girl for naming my blog as one of her “Five Fabulous Finds” and to Jenna at The Painted Apron for listing me among her picks for “Very Inspiring Blogger”! It’s always uplifting to receive recognition from fellow bloggers, and I appreciate it very much! These ladies both have an enviable array of weekly posts on tablescaping, recipes, home organization & decor…their talents abound! If you’ve not seen their blogs, I most certainly recommend that you treat yourself!

This week I’ll be joining Cuisine Kathleen for her weekly blog party, “Let’s Dish!“, The Style Sisters for “Centerpiece Wednesday“, and Susan for “Tablescape Thursday“. Join me, and you’ll be able to see the work of talented tablescapers from all around the world. It’s really cool to see decor from places like Sweden (Chubby ‘N Chieque), India (Crystal Grandeur), Australia (Desire Empire), and, of course, right here in the good ol’ U.S. of A.!

Other tablescapes on this site to help you prepare to entertain this Spring:
“Spring Has Sprung”
“Welcome Back, Joel!”
“Apple Green Luncheon”
“Mum’s the Word”
“Carousel Colors”
“Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Brunch”
“Peony Power”
“Taste of Wine Buffet”
“Mikasa Daylight Giveaway”
“Daisy Crazy”

Ready For My Close-Up, Mr. DeMille!

L to R: Friend/Neighbor/Fabulous Helper Barbara, Host Kelly Jones, me.

L to R: Friend/Neighbor/Fabulous Helper Barbara, Host Kelly Jones, me
I feel like Uncle Festus standing next to these skinny women! 🙂

I wanted to share the video with you from my second appearance this morning on “Better Kansas City“. This is a local morning show that covers a wide spectrum of topics including home decor and entertaining. I was so honored to be invited back after my first appearance in November! Today I discussed buffet tablescapes…really fun!

When I arrived home later this morning, I hopped out of my car to greet a neighbor and slipped on a patch of black ice in the driveway. I can’t show you the photos of my backside (think rug burn at its worst on top of cottage cheese a.k.a. cellulite! :-)), but my hands got roughed up pretty good. My head may very well have left a dent in the concrete, too. It hit so hard that I literally saw stars!!! The worst part, though? I really scuffed up my beautiful black leather boot!!!!! 😦


I’ll work on getting the post from today’s show ready and try not to completely off myself with clumsiness in the process. Meanwhile, I hope you’ll pop over to the KCTV-5 “Better Kansas City” site and check out the segment! It’ll be up all week, although the page it’s on will change. Many thanks to everyone at Better Kansas City (co-hosts Kelly Jones and Lisa Holbrook, producer Erin Cansler, tech guy/gracious gentleman Mike who, when putting on my mic, didn’t say a word about all the Spanx goin’ on under there, always good-lookin’ cameraman Chris, and sweet, pretty Lauren) my neighbor Barbara, and my friend Sheri who took lots of great pictures!
Happy Monday, everyone!

Here are the photos from the show that tell the story from start to finish!

(Click on any photo to enlarge/enhance it. Photos by Sheri L. Grant)

Set collageThe set of “Better Kansas City”

Placing linen, manzanitas & moss collageWe arrived at the studio at 7:45 a.m., unloaded in about 15 minutes. With just 45 minutes to set up the entire tablescape, there’s no time to waste! (But I still always take time to measure for proper placement!)

Placing bowls, spoons, forks collageDepicting a “nearly Spring” buffet, I used a variety of vessels including chafers, flat trays, stacked cake stands, and glass ramekins.

IMG_0567Lots of bling hung among the manzanita branches and placed on the table with the reindeer moss to add a little glitz. This is a table that would work well for a Springtime bridal shower, bridal luncheon, or 60th wedding anniversary.

IFAs Barbara adds the finishing touches, I consult with the producer’s assistant on the minutiae of the script.


Finished table close ups collageWith just about 5 minutes to spare, the table is completely set and ready!

Getting dressed collageThe table is dressed, now it’s my turn!

IFThe sound guy is ready to get me mic’d up. Don’t I look lovely in my gym socks and sneakers? Maybe I should have kept them on to avoid the slip & fall described earlier! 🙂

Final impressions collageOh, so picky and NEVER satisfied, Barbara and I discuss possible adjustments in the remaining moments before the show goes live.

IFWe swoop in to make a couple of quick tweaks (like adding “ice” to the forks assembled in the little crystal bucket), then finally declare…


To see how this same concept translated into a sit-down dinner for 8, click HERE to see “Moss & Manzanitas”.