Mardi Gras, Baby!

I…AM…STIR CRAZY!!! Nine – count ‘em – NINE weeks since this most recent spine surgery and I am STILL on lockdown for what seems like perpetuity! I’ve been growling and pacing, and I’m just about ready to bite!!! But I am making progress, albeit at a snail’s pace.

Thank goodness for a very welcome email from a freelancer on behalf of TasteOfHome.com who reached out to me for permission to use a photo from my 2013 post, Mardi Gras Madness.  My chance to blog without having to do any real work!!! I hope you will pop over to take a look at “10 Centerpiece Ideas for Your Mardi Gras Party” which went live yesterday. I’m #5 on the countdown.

Have a joyful and raucous (but don’t come to me for bail money!😉) Fat Tuesday, and a loving and memorable Valentine’s Day! I”ll see ya when I’m a bit more limber and mobile!

Other Mardi Gras-themed posts on this blog include:
Celebrate Mardi Gras
Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!
Mardi Gras Lite
Mardi Gras Mojo
The Peacock Effect
Peacock Pizzazz!

Valentine’s Day is less than a week away so here are a few posts you might consider for planning a celebration of love for your Valentine or Galentines!
Queen of Hearts Card Party
Platinum & Pink
Be Still My Heart
Should Have Put a Ring On It
Days of Wine & Roses
Chocolate Traditional
Love’s Arrow
Peonies and Pearls
French Poodle
Pretty In Pink
Fairy Tale Wedding Shower
Showered In Pink
Princess Pink Birthday Party

I’m happy to once again join all the ladies and gents over at Susan’s place for the 489th Tablescape Thursday. Pop on over to get lots of Valentine’s Day AND Mardi Gras ideas!

Are You Ready For Some (2-Year-Old) Football?

Hello, howdy, hi there! While I’m still working hard on recuperation (from surgery exactly 8 weeks ago!), I can now at least sit in my office chair for 10-15 minutes at a time before pain swallows me whole. Meanwhile, the Lord works in mysterious ways, and I came across photos from a “Better Kansas City” show Super Bowl 50 segment from two years ago that I never posted! With Super Bowl 52 this coming weekend, it’s perfect timing! Thanks for stopping by, enjoy Super Bowl weekend, and I hope to “see” you sometime in March!

 

 

For this segment I wanted to represent both teams. I had no horse in this race, so no big deal! (Fellow Kansas City Chiefs fans, please forgive me this transgression.  :-))

 

I’m quite fond of these stretchy Spandex tablecloths from LinenTablecloth.com because they go on easy, clean up nicely, and don’t have to be folded. Really! Just scrunch ’em up and store them without wrinkle worries! (I don’t get paid to say nice things about the company. I just want you to know where to find stuff!)

 

The buffet “table runner” is actually composed of 3 gridiron placemats that I previously used for “Hometown Pride: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos” and “Kansas City Chiefs in the Red Zone“.

 

 

 

This horse head was first used to poke fun at the Broncos in my “Hometown Pride” post, but here it is merely fun team symbolism.

 

It is rare that I advocate disposable products, but if you want faster clean up, don’t trust the rowdy folks on your guest list to not throw ironstone dishes at the TV if their team is losing, or just want some variety, there’s lots of fun stuff out there.

 

I’m a big fan of choosing food and/or drinks in the team colors!

 

 

The Denver Broncos presence is felt all over the buffet table with the team colors of orange and blue. I found the cute little “official” bottle cozies (with working whistles!) and the pom poms (fun favor for guests to cheer on their chosen team!) at a local Party City.

 

This snazzy, jazzy guest table is all decked out in the Carolina Panthers’ team colors. Layering linens is a great way to bring color and interest to your table! The triple layer linens of Carolina blue, black and white are all from LinenTablecloth.com.

 

 

The place settings are simple but fun with matching placemats and napkins. I sometimes like to use both a fabric and paper napkin. Here, the team colors are well represented by tucking the patterned paper napkin inside the fabric one and allowing it to just peek over the top. (Fabric for your lap, paper for your hands & lips!)

 

Quick, inexpensive, and easy describes this centerpiece in celebration of 50 fifty years of Super Bowl. I bought plain numbers at Hobby Lobby and spray painted them gold, the traditional color for 50th anniversaries. Three footballs from Dollar Tree were also painted gold and set atop  tiered candle holders to lend more varied height to the tablescape.

 

So this was me two years ago (the picture of good health, loud & proud in my Kansas City Chiefs jersey!), one year out from the 3 surgeries (2 spine, 1 shoulder) I endured that year. I was feeling strong and energized after months of physical therapy. This look of healthy glee and accomplishment is my goal for later down the line in 2018, so I’m going to let slow and steady win this race. While I’m still nowhere near being able to create tablescapes at this point, I hope to get there soon!

Other sports themed tablescapes on this blog include:
Hometown Pride
Kansas City Chiefs in the Red Zone
Home of the Lions
Boys of Summer – Baseball Tablescape
The 19th Hole – Golf and Forever Love
Tartan on the Tee

I’m joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for her 488th Tablescape Thursday blog party and the 114th Celebrate Your Story with Chloe and Sandra. Lots to see over there from other very talented tablescapers, so check it out!

 

 

 

Shop ‘Til You Drop – Prepping for Black Friday

Alycia and “Better Kansas City” host Alexis del Cid, playing with dishes

Every tablescape blogger and those who read the blogs have at least one thing in common: WE LOVE TO SHOP!!! We chase after bargains, bright ideas, and innovative styling tips. Shopping can make a person awfully hungry and thirsty, and with Black Friday just over the horizon now, this super high-spirited 4-minute segment from the “Better Kansas City” show has tips on creating a fun and fanciful after-the-hunt tablescape. A few still photos of the tablescapes created on set follow, and at the end stick around for a super silly 60-second bonus clip from the show I think you’ll enjoy!

 

I created two separate tables for this segment: a colorful dining table for guests and a fun buffet table.

 

 

Bright pink/fuchsia 17″ poly napkins from LinenTablecloth.com are neatly stacked at the end of the buffet table. The fun metal figurine in the background depicts a carefree young woman out on a shopping spree and is one of 3 purchased at Hobby Lobby a couple of years ago. The cake…well, you’ll learn more about that cake in the video clip at the end of the post!

 

When I saw this stainless steel stiletto heel cake server at Burlington a few years ago, I just couldn’t resist! This would be great for showers and wedding events, too. Such a fun, feminine way to serve up dessert!

 

Here’s another of those metal shopping figurines from Hobby Lobby. This chick is ready to shop ’til she drops come rain or shine! Next to her is a fabulous glittering stiletto heel vase overflowing with an array of colorful flowers and greenery.

 

 

 

This was one of my favorite parts of the whole buffet tablescape! The drink station is set up on a wooden Lazy Susan for easy access. The wine glasses with purses all over them are from the Dollar Tree and complement the shoe wine glasses on the dining table. The stiletto heel bottle stoppers were an impulse buy from a Michaels clearance bin a couple of years back that really add style and a little shimmer. We were really pressed for time, and I asked my genius friend, Barbara, to figure out something to do with the shot glasses on the table. She stacked them pyramid style for a look that is a real winner! A+!!!!! (She’s a retired teacher!)

 

 

When setting up a buffet table, I like to have various sizes, shapes, textures and anything else available to give the table “motion.” Setting the spoons on the diagonal seem to do just that. The bowls by Rosanna feature a stiletto heel motif. They were purchased at Tuesday Morning some time back.

 

A feminine dining tablescape for ladies who have had their fill of shopping for the day. (Wait…what does that actually feel like??!?!) I chose to go with very colorful place settings to complement the buffet table. Each place setting is grounded with a hot pink Bormioli Rocca “Inca” glass charger topped with a solid white plate. The pretty salad/dessert plates by Rosanna each have a fun shopping reference along with the stiletto heel motif. The flatware is J.A. Henckels Bellaserra.

 

The polyester LinenTablecloth.com napkins in “Caribbean” blue are folded lengthwise and placed with one end beneath the charger. Each napkin is cinched with a colorful beaded napkin ring rescued from the clearance bin at Bed Bath & Beyond 5+ years ago.

 

The fun stiletto heel glassware from Dollar Tree rounds out the place setting.

 

Each place setting had its own separate nosegay displayed in a bright pink fluted glass vase from Michaels. I like to do this for ladies luncheons and such. It’s such a personal gesture that guests really appreciate both during and after the event. All flowers for this segment were purchased at Aldi’s!

 

One of my favorite tricks for bringing color and depth to the table is to layer linens. Here I used a white 85″ square (to let the colors of the accessories on top really pop) over a hot pink/fuchsia 108″ round, both from LinenTablecloth.com.  (To see a couple of other examples of linen layering on this site check out Caribbean Queen: One Table, Three Looks, Queen of Hearts Card Partyand Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon. And if you’d like to see another post-Black Friday tablescape, check out Black Friday Luncheon from back in 2012. )

 

OK…post over, but here are a few bonus pics and a video you will get a kick out of from later in the show. The pic above is of co-host Rob in the kitchen with famed chef/author/restaurateur Lidia Bastianich who was also on the show that day. Yes…THAT Lidia!!!  I was too starstruck to ask for a selfie with her!

Then it just got loopy around there!

 

Rob and Alexis just had TOO much fun with that fake food!!!

 

Group hug! Me with co-hosts Hallie, Rob and Alexis with my buddy Barbara on the other end. Another show down!!

I will once again join Susan and the gang over at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday. I’m also joining Sandra at Sweet Sensations for Celebrate Your Story. You can still catch cool ideas for your Thanksgiving tablescaping as well as the upcoming Christmas holidays!

Candy Colored Autumn and A Nell Hill’s Experience

Gotta lead with this because it was SO exciting for me:
THIS IS ME WITH
NELL HILL’S OWNER, MARY CAROL GARRITY!!!
Talk about over the moon!!! Many of you may know Nell Hill’s from Mary Carol’s books like Rooms We LoveEntertaining In Style, O’ Christmas Tree and Feather Your Nest, or from the extraordinary shopping experience that is worth the travel time to get there. I shop at Nell Hill’s, about 40 minutes from our home, every time I go for an appointment with my surgeon, but I’d never actually run into Mary Carol. I wasn’t brave, but my son told her how much I admire her and asked if she’d mind taking a photo with me. She cheerfully obliged, and…here it is!!! We’re both “vertically challenged”, have the same hairdo, and like wearing scarves…practically twins!!! 🙂

This season I’ve presented both traditional and contemporary takes on fall tablescapes, and today I’m doing a mashup of customary and novel colors that work together to create a different, yet somehow familiar, tablescape.

 

We’re back in our dining room today with this casual table for 6 with colors extracted from the same runner I used in “Autumn Chinoiserie – Classic Blue & White” a couple of weeks ago. (This runner is now a part of the permanent autumn decor in the dining room for this season as seen in “Autumn Flourishes 2017” in last week’s post.) I am getting a lot of mileage out of this versatile plaid runner! The colors remind me of Skittles candy!

 

 

 

 

 

So…drawing from the colors of the runner (see how it picks up on the colors of the artwork on the wall?), I started with a shiny metal charger (Pier 1) in an electric blue. Not a typical color associated with autumn, but when offset by the goldenrod Pier 1 dinner plate and creamy ivory soup bowl, you start to see how well it works. To add softness and a bit of texture, a deep berry-colored (complementing those in the centerpiece) brushed cotton napkin (Pier 1) is slipped beneath the bowl (Kirklands). Faux bamboo flatware (JC Penney) and substantially weighted amber glassware (Marshalls) finishes the place setting.

 

 

 

 

 

The straightforward and relatively inexpensive centerpiece is made up of traditional elements including various gourds and pumpkins ranging in shades from the deepest orange to the purest white, deep nutmeg-toned berries, plump white snowberries, acorns, and a twist of wild vine to visually consolidate it.

 

 

 

On the buffet behind the dining table is a simple vignette that mimics the elements on the table. A heavy aluminum bowl filled with white mini pumpkins shares center stage with a white pheasant. On each side are oval Pier 1 platters that match the dinner plates and a charger as a simple backdrop to a single white pumpkin.

A few other fall tablescapes on this site you might enjoy:
Warm Fall Colors
Dinner With Friends – Gumbo Dinner Party
September Wine
Pumpkins & Peacocks
Autumn Blues
Pears & Pine Cones
September Harvest Breakfast
Simply Bittersweet
Ap-pear-ently Autumn
Casual Fall Harvest Dinner
Italian Honeysuckle
Quick & Casual Fall Dinner
Autumn In Cactus Country
Sunflower Simple
Most Egg-cellent Fall Breakfast
Copper Zen
Serape High Style
Pheasants & Pumpkins

I’m joining Susan’s Tablescape Thursday bunch again this week. Check out other fall ideas from a lot of talented tablescapers from all over!!!

 

Autumn Chinoiserie – Classic Blue & White

I recently did a “Better Kansas City” show segment on using unexpected colors and patterns for fall decorating. I’ll publish that clip next week. Meanwhile, here’s a taste of that decorating style that I have come to embrace with great enthusiasm: incorporating autumn touches into existing chinoiserie decor.

 

 

 

Ralph Lauren “Mandarin” dinner and salad plates rest upon a stark white ceramic charger from Old Time Pottery.

 

 

I found these lovely cream soup bowls at Nell Hill’s in Parkville, Mo., about 40 minutes away from our home and only 5 minutes from my orthopedic surgeon’s office. (Best place to regroup after bad news!)  I LOVE that place!!! I never spend less than an hour when I visit. A crisp white cotton napkin is fashioned into a variation on the classic crown fold. A sprig of autumn berries brings color and additional texture to the place setting.

 

 

Faux bamboo flatware is perfect for this setting.

 

I bought scads of this sturdy cobalt blue stemware at Pier 1 some years ago, and it has served me well.

 

A very autumn-y pattern of plaid in the table runner with shades of russet, orange, amber, burgundy, cobalt and white is a perfect contrast to dishes. The riot of color contributes to and enhances the overall  boldness of the tablescape. The runner is from TJ Maxx.

 

 

 

 

Ginger jars from Nell Hill’s and temple jars from Home Goods make up the main part of the centerpiece.

 

 

 

 

The length of the centerpiece is punctuated with deep orange mini pumpkins, real and faux acorns, and a meandering garland of berries. Latticed white ceramic planters hold mounded arborvitae.

 

 

The buffet behind the dining table holds its fair share of chinoiserie pieces including a pitcher, an octagonal bowl filled with oversized acorns, and Victorian foot baths mixed with silver candlesticks. The white foo dogs are a nod to the chinoiserie style and add a little unexpected touch.

The bar cart in the corner extends the touches of chinoiserie including the bowls filled with acorns.

Other tablescapes integrating chinoiserie on this blog include:
Mandarin Bling
Mother’s Day Brunch
Blue & White Family Picnic
Blue & White 30th Birthday

Peony Power

I’m joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for her 471st Tablescape Thursday! I’m seeing lots of fall and Halloween tablescapes over there today, so drop on in to get inspired!

 

 

 

 

 

Polly Want a Party!

Every summer I feel the need to do one real doozy of a tablescape, and earlier this summer THIS was IT.  My inspiration: the pool parties and other hot cha cha patio gatherings my parents hosted WAY back in the day (1960s), and it just kind of took off from there.
(P.S. – In response to requests to please do so, I have turned the Comments section back on. PLEASE do not feel obligated in any way to comment. I’m totally OK with “glance-and-go” or “peek-and-pin” without remarks. The Comments section is merely there for your convenience.)

C’mon up the back steps and join the Beach Blanket Bingo fun! (Those 55+ will totally understand that reference!)

 

When we got new energy-efficient windows, I couldn’t bear to part with all of the original ones that came with the house. I use them in decorative ways in various places inside and out like here at the top of the deck steps.

 

The barrage of bright-colored paper lanterns hung with hot pink ribbon starts here at the top of the stairs.

 

 

This old wrought iron bakers rack on the deck comes in handy for food and beverage service from time to time. Here I have stacked up bamboo trays, plates and flatware bundles for those who prefer to eat away from the main table. Just pick up your tray cafeteria style, go through the buffet line, then pick your seat! Notice the throwback paper honeycomb pineapples! (To see this baker’s rack completely decked out for food service, check out “Patisserie de Paris“.

 

 

 

 

The “lounge” area of the deck includes the coffee table where an abundance of fresh tropical fruit serves as a centerpiece. I spread out a trio of monstera leaf placemats over the glass for visual interest.

 

 

 

A mini bar is set up on a round side table. Today’s specialties: your choice of mind-blowing margaritas or fresh and frothy piña coladas! (Seriously, y’all…drink a couple of my margaritas and you’ll find yourself in a hotel room with a tramp stamp, eyebrow piercing and French braided hair, staring at a license signed by “Not-the-Real-Elvis” that makes it official between you and some gnarly barely-of-age surfer dude named Bodhi!)

 

 

I used weathered crates (reminds me of driftwood) as side tables in a couple of areas. Yep…there sits one of those life-altering margaritas! The bamboo tray is loaded up and can easily balance on your lap. To see another way I’ve used these bamboo trays purchased at Old Time Pottery, see “Orange You Glad You Came to Dinner?” And speaking of dinner, I guess I should show you the actual table!

 

A sweeping 108-in. fuchsia tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com sets the scene for this table for 5.

 

 

I like to layer up! In this instance, TWO placemats: natural round “Water Hyacinth” from Pier 1 topped with a fun and floppy off-center monstera leaf from Z Gallerie. (I also used the monstera leaf placemats for “Caribbean Queen“.) The brightly colored ruffled chargers in hot pink, lime, and turquoise are from Crate & Barrel, and can also be seen on posts like “Popsicle Party“, “Pleasant Under Glass“, and “Tropicana“.

 

Faux bamboo flatware is a staple around here! I use it a LOT!!!

 

Paper napkins striped with bright colors are tucked into these fun parrot napkin rings from Z Gallerie.

 

Mixing stemware is a definite YES!!! Just find something that ties them together like shape, color, or style. (The aqua blue stemware is from Pier 1, and the clear hurricane glasses from Old Time Pottery.)

 

 

Just like on the bar (filled with lemons and limes), these jaunty floral Hawaiian shorts are a fun addition! Here the shorts are filled with sago palms for an easy-to-assemble tropical centerpiece.

 

 

 

Yes, my paper lantern addiction continues!! (Don’t they look extra pretty in that 2nd pic with the lights glowing?) This time they have a bright pink grass skirt backdrop. I dropped in a few more swingin’ parrots, too.

 

Off to the side is a bowl of leis for guests to get in the spirit of the evening. Flip flops for everyone!!!

 

Cheers, everyone, from my buddy, Barbara (who is probably still laid out trying to make the room stop spinning from this drink!!!).

Other tropical-inspired posts on this blog include:
Flashy Flamingos – Navy, White & Pink Tablescape
Summer Breeze
Hot Tropical
Hot Fun In the Summertime
Flamingos In Paradise
Old Navy Seafood Cruise
Oranges & Blossoms
Caribbean Queen
Tropicana

Other posts using paper lanterns include:
Fairy Princess Party for Little Girls
Chinese Takeout
Cupcake Colors
Butterfly Kaleidoscope
Blue & White 30th Birthday
Easter Brunch
Under A Paper Moon

I’m joining Susan and the gang for “Tablescape Thursday” this week. If you want to see some really cool tablescapes by a variety of talented artists, head on over!

 

 

 

 

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!

Mother’s Day Brunch

This colorful brunch tablescape in Springtime shades of blue, white, and cheery lemon yellow punctuated with bright pink paid homage to my Mother. The bouquet – my son and his girlfriend’s way of honoring me on Mother’s Day – was perfectly coordinated to the setting, especially the fresh fruit compote! (Please pardon the horrible fold lines in the table linen! This is one of my very early blog posts before I realized just how awful lines look in photos!!!)

These placemats from Bed, Bath & Beyond caught my eye because of the playful lemons adjacent to the traditional & decidedly staid damask. The lemon yellow cotton napkins are also from BB&B. The cornflower blue juice glasses and compotes are from Old Time Pottery, and the cobalt blue chargers from Pier 1. The plates are basic white Corelle.

Fresh, fragrant lemons in blue & white transferware bowls with a few lemon leaves tossed in for color elongate the tablescape’s centerpiece. Not one to be wasteful, freshly squeezed lemonade is on the next day’s menu. (Oh, for heaven’s sake…those folds in the linen are killin’ me!!! :-()

I embellished the lush mix of lilies, roses, Fuji mums, orchids, hyacinth, button mums, monkshood and carnations with a few butterflies.

Coffee cups in the colors of the day are from Old Time Pottery.

Pre-sliced bagels are presented in a long napkin-lined basket. Find the recipes for the homemade vegetable or honey cream cheese spreads HERE or by clicking the “Recipes” tab above.

Nothing like a little fruit juice to get the day started! Here, clear glass decanters hold a choice of pink grapefruit, orange or apple.

I just love to take something basic and make it special! Plain white ceramic pitchers from Home Goods are gussied up with the addition of custom silver tags that mark the frothy, cold chocolate and strawberry milk.

The hostess awaits her guests’ arrival!

Other posts suitable for a Mother’s Day celebration on this site:
Peonies & Pearls
Showered in Pink
Pink Plaid & Posies
Days of Wine & Roses
Blushing Bridal Shower
Pleasant Under Glass

Another tablescape using lemons on this site:
Lemonade From Bill

A few fun accessories that will help make your Spring table feel fresh, inviting, and alive!

  • Budding branches (you can get these from your yard or nearby wooded areas)
  • Fresh curly willow (adds a lot of character and dimension to arrangements or can be used alone)
  • Grapevine
  • Flowers in seasonal colors (e.g., daffodils, tulips, hyacinth)
  • Potted green plants
  • Topiaries
  • Moss
  • Freshly grown grass in pots or flats
  • Nests
  • Birdhouses and cages
  • Glass bell jars and wire cloches
  • Chicken wire
  • Baskets (plain, moss covered, embellished with twigs or pussy willow branches, etc.)
  • Pots and vases with a vintage look
  • Parasols
  • Fresh or faux veggies (e.g., lettuce, cabbages, carrots)
  • Easter eggs
  • Smooth river rock
  • Floral wreaths
  • Softly colored solid and patterned fabrics: plaid, paisley, floral
  • Ribbon and twine
  • Candlesticks, chargers, and other tabletop items made of wood, grapevine, straw, iron and other natural elements
  • Flatware with handles made of wood or bamboo
  • Figurines of woodland animals (e.g., rabbits, squirrels, birds)
  • Figurines of Spring- or Easter-related animals (e.g., chicks, hens, roosters, sheep, butterflies)
  • White or pastel spray paint for lightning and brightening everything from branches & twigs to….you name it!

Summer Breeze

SUMMER BREEZE
Folks, I’m revamping my blog a bit and getting rid of “pages” from my early days of blogging that featured multiple posts. 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. Who knows…maybe what’s old can be new again with ideas. Let’s hope! Meanwhile, all new posts are on the way, too!!!
I have put off doing a tropical tablescape all summer long, but this last dinner party before Labor Day seemed like the right day to do it. I’m glad I did. Summer is good to the last drop! (The aftermath of this dinner party was a near tragedy. Click HERE to see what happens when you don’t take care with candles!)
 
The matchstick placemats drape lengthwise rather than horizontally for a bit of added interest.
I loved these “Exotic Floral” dishes the moment I saw them at Pier 1! It wasn’t so much the pattern as the color combination with that dash of bright red-orange. The red-orange finger bowl was filled with a bit of lemon water for each guest to cleanse their fingers between bites of sticky Tequila-Lime Chicken. The green embossed stemware is also from Pier 1, and I’m sure you’ll see a lot of it in future posts!
 I picked these napkins up from BB&B for next to nothing on the clearance table! They have many of the same design elements as the dishes, so they were just perfect! The seashell napkin rings (surprisingly similar to some custom-created ones I saw in Preston Bailey’s “Inspirations“) are Pier 1.
I really enjoyed creating the centerpiece items for this summer tablescape! The larger ones are simple raised “fishbowls.” Although I bought these as shown wholesale some years ago, they could be easily reproduced by gluing a fishbowl atop a large glass votive cup or short-stemmed/stemless martini glass. Large pillar candles are surrounded by colorful, interesting seashells and finished off with a snippet of alstroemeria which looked very similar to the red-orange flower on the dishes. To complete the centerpiece, I twisted a piece of feathery sword fern and topped it with a shell. (For other fun tables using seashells, visit “Tropicana“, “Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells“, “All-American Seafood Boil“, and “Flamingos In Paradise“.)
 The smaller centerpiece arrangements are these really cool reversible bowls with a little indentation for a votive candle. (This bowl could be flipped the other direction and have a tiny flower in the indentation with perhaps a floating candle in the larger part.) I tucked sword fern and alstroemeria underneath. By keeping all of the centerpiece items the same shape, it created a unifying effect.
 When we sat down to dinner, the sun was just beginning to set. By the time we finished, we were able to enjoy the warm glow of the candles. (I can’t stress this enough…be careful when using candles, especially when it’s breezy out or THIS – or something far worse – could happen to you!)
 On the dessert/drink table, I piled Pier 1 dessert plates high on a beautiful bamboo tray alongside the homemade 3-layer chocolate fudge cake. The faux bamboo flatware is from JC Penney. The acrylic palm tree pitcher is from BB&B.
Raising a glass with our honored guests.

Other tropics-inspired tablescapes on this site:
Hot Fun In the Summertime
Caribbean Queen

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