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 the link for the video!: The do’s and don’ts for throwing a brunch

And here are a few still photos!

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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.

It’s All About Me!

You’re not seeing double, folks. My darling “helpful” husband mistakenly sent this unfinished post out last year as I was recovering from shoulder surgery, but then quickly deleted it when the error was discovered. Sigh! It’s all done now and ready to roll out!

As we prepare to whisper farewell to the last vestiges of Spring and start the Summer fun, this “All About Me!” pink, brown & white tablescape is one that would be fun for Mother’s Day, a birthday party, a bridal shower, a bridesmaids luncheon,  a singles Valentine get-together, or to celebrate the strength of a breast cancer survivor.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

DSCN4131WM

INSPIRATION: Fun note pads found in the clearance bin at Michael’s Arts & Crafts Store

In recent times I’ve had only a little money to spend here and there on fun new things. I spend a lot of time sifting through clearance bins, and sometimes I’m really surprised at the neat stuff I’m able to find! These note pads, with their pink polka dot on brown frames and slinky striped tops, gave me instant inspiration.

It's All About Me - Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Full dining room

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Dining tableThis table for 6 started off with a full-length brown linen. I used two pink satin runners from LinenTablecloth.com on each side of the table to add color and give it a striped effect.

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Double place setting in pink, brown & white

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Single place setting in pink, brown & whiteI used a deep pink Bormioli Rocco “Inca” glass charger from Burlington to perk up the setting and complement the paler pink runner beneath it. Plain white Corelle dinner plates get a facelift with chocolaty brown napkins laid across and tucked beneath, keeping with the striped effect.

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Flatware, Rim Shot, Favor BagI used a contemporary flatware pattern, J.A. Henckels “Bellaserra”, with a mirrored finish. The paper favor bag on the plate complements the notepad.

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Stemware, rim shot close up collageA smoky brown stemmed glass from Dollar Tree and stemless martini glasses from Pier 1 complement each place setting. TIP: Stemless martini glasses also make great punch cups!

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Full centerpiece in pink, brown & white

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Table floral collage with pink hyacinthThe centerpiece of the table starts with this wonderful pink, brown and white polka-dotted cloth box from Michael’s brimming with pink hyacinth. For demonstration purposes here the flowers are faux, but when setting the table for guests I splurge for the real deal!

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Table "lamp" made with candlestick and lamp shade

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Lamp collageI created the “lamps” flanking the floral arrangement with white turned wood candlesticks from Z Gallerie and a brown bell lamp shade from JC Penney. An LED candle of your desired size/intensity is all that’s needed to lend flickering ambient light. (To see other candle lamps on this site see “Raining Orchids“, “Should Have Put a Ring On It“, “All A’Bloom for Spring“, and “Just Us Girls“.)

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Pink & white M&MsBowls of hot pink, pale pink and white M&Ms in white poppy bowls from Pier 1.

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Brown & white striped pillowsA fun little accent in the chairs: pillows striped in shades of brown and white to complement the stripes on the table.

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Buffet

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: Cake, plates, server, marshmallows collage

Candles, cupcakes collageAs always, the buffet behind the dining table gets a little special treatment. Cupcakes are served up on a creamy white American Atelier “Empress” ironstone tray. A brown-tinted glass urn from Burlington holds miniature marshmallows, and lacy white porcelain “doily” plates from Pier 1 stand ready to serve cake. The white pitchers are from Home Goods. Candlesticks like the ones on the dining table hold chunky pink candles from Tuesday Morning.

It’s All About Me! – Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One: White hyacinth in pink vases on tea cartInspiration is everywhere! Don’t forget to check those clearance aisles…you never know what you might find there! 🙂

Other pink & brown posts on this site:
“Chocolate Traditional”
“Breast Cancer Awareness Month”
“Au Revoir”

I am joining Christine this evening at Rustic & Refined for her brand spankin’ new link party, “Table It!”. Tomorrow I’ll be at Susan’s at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” (anytime after 9:00 a.m. CDT). Come on and join me! You’ll meet some of the most talented tablescapers the world has to offer!

Happy Mother’s Day, ladies!!!

Easter in Pink & Grey

HIP-HOP HOORAY!!! I’M CELEBRATING MY 200TH POST TODAY!!!

INSPIRATION: This stately-looking bunny rabbit wearing a jacket & vest similar to what I used to wear...minus the pot belly, of course! :-)

INSPIRATION: This stately-looking bunny rabbit wearing a jacket & vest similar to an outfit I used to wear during my “Brat Pack” days back in the 80s…minus the pot belly, of course! (Slap a pair of wire-rimmed glasses on this fellow and smooth his ears down like hair, and he’d be Benjamin Franklin’s doppelganger! 🙂 )

Easter is a few short days away. If you’re looking to do something a little more on the formal side for brunch or dinner without being totally stuffy, this post might be of some help to you.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge/enhance it.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Full room

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Full table diagonal

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Full table lengthwise

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Multiple place settings

 

Tablescapes at Tale Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Single place settingI decided to go with a bare table this time around. That’s a little unusual for me, but I thought all the elements would work well on bare wood. Gleaming silver metal chargers are topped with Easterling (no pun intended…really! 😉 ) “Majestic” china from my Mom. I thought the shade of grey on the rims complemented the inspiration rabbits’ jackets.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Napkin and menuAn easy pocket fold for the medium pink napkin from LinenTablecloth.com allows the menu to be neatly tucked inside.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Flatware/place card holder/stemware collageThese adorable moss topiary place card holders were graciously given to me by Beau-coup.com. You’ll be seeing a bit more of these, used in different ways, over the summer months. The flatware is Hampton Silversmith’s “Patriot – Mirror”, and the stemware is Mikasa “Jamestown Platinum”.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Full centerpiece

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: centerpiece collageThe centerpiece starts with a moss table runner with various-sized moss balls strewn about. For this demonstration I used faux pink and white hyacinth in the silver champagne bucket and little pots of pink and white grape hyacinth. For your actual Easter table, though, it would be really terrific if you could go fresh. There’s nothing in the world quite like fresh flowers!  (For the sake of uninterrupted conversation during the meal, the champagne bucket of flowers can be easily moved to the sideboard.) The bunny figurines – looking quite dapper in their grey knicker pants and jackets with pink and white accents – are from Home Goods.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Buffet florals

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Short floralsThe buffet has florals that complement those used on the dining table. They are on the ends only to leave room for the big ol’ Easter ham or desserts. The tall moss ball “trees” mimic the place card holders as do the shorter moss ball “bushes.”

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Vintage tea cart

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - Easter in Pink & Grey: Cart top, cart bottom, cups & saucers collageThe vintage tea cart in the corner is readied for coffee service after the meal.

 

Other posts on this site featuring Spring & Easter tablescapes:
“Easter Brunch”
“Barton’s Easter Brunch”
Easter Floral”
“Pinky Peter Cottontail”
“Easter Bloom”
“Carousel Colors”
“Spring Green”

“All A’Bloom for Spring”
“Spring Has Sprung”
“The Bluebird Special”
“Daffodilyicious”
“Purple for Spring”

“Zen Garden”
“Mum’s the Word”
“Rolling Fields of Green”
“Taste of Wine Buffet”
“Goin’ Green for Spring”
“Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Buffet”
“Peony Power”
“Moss & Manzanitas”
“Daisy Crazy”
“French Poodle”
“Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous”
and the “Spring” tab above for a couple of fun Springtime tablescapes

I will join Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for “Tablescape Thursday” later this week and Alma at The Tablescaper for “Seasonal Sundays” over the upcoming weekend. I hope you’re up for the parties, too! Oh…and I’m posting each week on BeBetsy.com, too!

From our loving home to yours, may you and your family be blessed with all the grace of the good Lord this Easter and always.

All A’Bloom in Pink for Spring

INSPIRATION: Crunchy, ugly, brown grass that just teases us with sprigs of green. :-(

INSPIRATION: Crunchy, ugly, brown grass that just teases us with sprigs of green. 😦

It’s April 1 and still dipping below freezing each night. Would somebody PLEASE text Mother Nature and let her know she’s tardy for the party??!??!!!
(Click on any photo, and then click again to enhance/enlarge it.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: Full dining room

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: Full table

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: Full table lengthwiseIf Mother Nature wants to play it that way and hold Spring back a while longer, I figured I’d just have to bring my own version of the season alive in the dining room!

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: Double place setting

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: Single place settingEach place setting starts with a pink, green, buttery yellow and white Pier 1 cotton placemat upon the bare wood table. The placemats are turned vertically to create a slight drop off the side of the table. A deep pink Bormioli Rocca “Inca” glass charger is topped with Mikasa “Daylight” china, chosen for its graceful, leafy branches.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: Cloche bell jar on Mikasa Daylight china

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: Carnation in white egg cup, flatware, stemware collageA brilliant pink carnation peeks over the rim of a white egg cup from Crate & Barrel. It is covered by a clear glass cloche bell jar from Hobby Lobby. (A brightly colored egg would make a nice substitute to create an Easter brunch setting.) A soft pink napkin from LinenTablecloth.com is simply folded and laid alongside the dishes with Hampton Forge stainless steel “Bamboo Mirror” flatware. The simple glassware is from Old Time Pottery. (Other posts on this site using cloche bell jars include “Pleasant Under Glass”, “Spring Has Sprung”, and “Apple Green Luncheon”.)

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: Full centerpiece

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: cherry blossom branches and meringue candies collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: deep pink carnations in white ceramic teapotsThe centerpiece runs the length of the table so that each guest has a little eye candy in front of them. It is a melange of deep pink carnations in white ceramic teapots, white ceramic cylinders filled with small manzanita cherry blossom branches with carnations tucked around the lower perimeter, and white ceramic baskets of pale pink, yellow and white meringues. Notice how the colors of the centerpiece items reflect those in the placemats.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: Full buffet arrangement

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: Buffet florals collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: Tray with teapots

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: Mikasa Daylight teacups & saucers collageThe buffet behind the dining table is partially covered with a the same placemats as used at each place setting to sweep the color and pattern across the room. On top of the placemats is an American Atelier white ironstone tray topped with various white ceramic teapots. Mikasa “Daylight” teacups and saucers stand at the ready nearby along with a few sweet treats. The floral vessels are taller, broader versions of those used on the dining table and also contain manzanita branches. Among the branches are stems of pink magnolias and more cherry blossoms. Notice how the cloche theme from the dining table is reiterated here.

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: Full tea cart

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: tea cart collage

 

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com - All A'Bloom in Pink for Spring: candlestick lampThe vintage tea cart in the corner holds a few more sweets beneath cloches, a pot of bright pink cosmos, and a stack of Pier 1 doily dessert plates. A fun chalkboard sign wishing guests a “Happy Spring” leans casually against the base of a yellow candlestick lamp. (For more candle lamps on this site, see “Raining Orchids“, “All A’Bloom In Pink for Spring“, “Should Have Put a Ring On It“, “It’s All About Me!“, and “Just Us Girls“.)

This easy-to-create table setting would work nicely for any Springtime celebration including a ladies’ luncheon or tea, birthday, baby shower, bridal shower, retirement, or to help rejoice in the good news of a breast cancer survivor.

 

Other posts on this site featuring Spring tablescapes:
“Spring Has Sprung”
“The Bluebird Special”
“Daffodilyicious”
“Purple for Spring”

“Zen Garden”
“Mum’s the Word”
“Rolling Fields of Green”
“Taste of Wine Buffet”
“Goin’ Green for Spring”
“Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Buffet”
“Peony Power”
“Moss & Manzanitas”
“Daisy Crazy”
“French Poodle”
and the “Spring” tab above for a couple of fun Springtime tablescapes

 

Thank you for stopping by! I’m headed over to Susan’s at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday and to How Sweet the Sound for Pink Saturday. I hope you’ll come with! And don’t forget to join me next week for Cuisine Kathleen‘s Spring Tablescape Challenge featuring entries from tablescapers all over the world!!!

 

Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous – Happy Birthday, Mom!

There are certain moments in our lifetime that simply need to be extravagant. Yesterday, in celebration of 85 years of touching the lives of so many in only a way my Mom can, was one of those moments.

INSPIRATION: My Mom. Ever poised, elegant, and ahead of her time, but much more than that...forever young!

INSPIRATION: My Mom at 85. Ever poised, elegant, and ahead of her time; but much more than that…forever young!

If I tried to put my Mother’s lengthy & powerful resume on this post, I would crash the system. She has always been a go-getter in every sense of the word. I have only to aspire to her greatness in this life. For all that she is, all that she does, and all that from her has spurred me on, I wanted to bring a few ladies together again this year to celebrate. Mom has graciously consented to allow me to share her special day with all of you. Enjoy!
Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge/enhance it.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Table positioned lengthwise

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - table from side view

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - multiple place settings

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - white rosette chairs & runner from LinenTablecloth.com

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Table linens & chair cover collage To create this spring green and white birthday tablescape, I used all linens from LinenTablecloth.com. The tables are cloaked in 90″ x 132″ white tablecloths with a pair of beautiful white rosette runners. The chairs start with a fabulously utilitarian white stretch banquet chair cover topped with a white satin rosette chair cap. They are finished with a flowing white satin chair sash tied in a prim and proper bow. This look is perfect for weddings, birthdays, and all special occasions in need of an exquisite feminine touch! An extravagant look for a not-so-extravagant price point!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Full place setting The 12 individual place settings begin with a silver metal charger. The Noritake “Whitebrook” china, embellished with white flowers and grey scrolls, is on loan from my sister who co-hosted the luncheon.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Stemware, napkin, favor collage LinenTablecloth.com napkins in tea green serve as a lovely backdrop to the rose-topped favor boxes. The stemware for water and lemonade is basic glass from Old Time Pottery.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Menu   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Bread basket, S&P shakers, plate of food collageI created the 3-layer menus for the luncheon on our home computer. I used a photo of my Mom in her 20s as the watermark, mimicking the look of the invitations. I actually found the strength to do all the food preparation, too, with the exception of the rolls (Costco…those things are tasty!!!) and the cake! My sister and my friend, Barbara, expertly plated the food to presentation perfection!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Centerpiece view from end of table   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Full Centerpiece view from side of table   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Centerpiece floral collage   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Moss dog with floral basket   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Dog collageThe centerpiece….OH, that centerpiece!!! I wanted each guest to be able to enjoy a little bit all the way down the table, so I put together four medium-sized fresh florals (white roses, cream spray roses, white spider mums, seeded eucalyptus, leatherleaf and goldenrod) in silver julep cups, two smaller versions in miniature juleps, glass pilsner vases topped with white faux rose balls that extended slightly into the vases for a little drama, and then two moss covered dogs. Yes…DOGS! They represent my parents’ beloved dog, Cupcake, who is my Mother’s constant companion. I slipped a small glass votive into the little basket the dogs are carrying, jammed in some wet oasis, and then filled it with flowers. A really FUN and unusual centerpiece item that added whimsy to the overall look!   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Coffee Service collageJust across the way from the dining table I set up a silver tray with coffee service for after lunch.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Guest book table collage

Clockwise from upper left: My Mom with my social butterfly niece, Von; with my stylish cousin, Dee, whose scarf reminded us of movie stars from the 50s and 60s; with my cousin Cynthia, whose fabulous gloves boasted bows at the wrist, and; with my beautiful inside & out cousin Madeline from my Daddy's side of the family.

Clockwise from upper left: My Mom with my social butterfly niece, Von; with my stylish cousin, Dee, whose scarf reminded us of movie stars from the 50s and 60s; with my cousin Cynthia, whose fabulous gloves boasted bows at the wrist, and; with my beautiful inside & out cousin Madeline from my Daddy’s side of the family.

Clockwise from left: Mom with her baby sister, Vivienne; with my stepdaughter, Robyn, who wore her hair as a fascinator instead of the actual fascinator hat (very clever!), and; my sweet friend & neighbor, Barbara.

Clockwise from left: Mom with her baby sister, Vivienne; with my stepdaughter, Robyn, who wore her hair as a fascinator instead of the actual fascinator hat (very clever!), and; my sweet friend & neighbor, Barbara.

Mom with my cousin, Irene, who was stunning in red & black. Check out those fishnet gloves and fabulous shoes!!!

Mom with my cousin, Irene, who was stunning in red & black. Check out those fishnet gloves and fabulous shoes!!!

Mom with my sister, Berishia

Mom with my sister, Berishia, who is a cowgirl through and through as you can tell by the hat!

Mom and me...and yes, we both just happened to show up in blue!

Mom and me…and yes, we both just happened to show up in blue!

As guests arrived they were invited to sign the guest book set up in the foyer and then join Mom for an individual photo op. (I just set the camera up on a tripod, and it was SO easy!)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Moscato service collage DSCN2604WM

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Cake collage Guests were then invited into the library to pick up a glass of moscato and view the cake which I had displayed on the vitrine.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Group photo at Mom's 85th Birthday luncheon Hail, hail…the gang was all here and it was time to eat! (Camera on tripod with timer feature…a Godsend!!!)

After lunch, the ladies serenaded my Mom with the birthday song. Despite a fabulous starting note from Irene, I still couldn’t get on key! Turn your volume down, folks…I’m standing right next to the video camera, and my singing kinda sucks!!! 🙂

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Alycia & Barbara in their fancy lady hats Thanks again to my wonderful friend, Barbara, for all the help she rendered to make sure this party went off without a hitch!

It was a stellar day, and I am so grateful that I was able to recover in time to get everything together and actually look nice for the day. Oh…for those of you who did not know, this was my stylish footwear up until 3 days prior to the party: Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com: Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous - Alycia with fracture bootSO glad I was able to trade this in for stylish pumps for a few hours!

If you’d like to see five other birthday party posts on this site, please click on the “Birthdays” tab above,or pop in on these individual birthday party posts:
The Party She Deserves
The Bluebird Special
Blue & White 30th Birthday
Purple & Green Birthday
Happy Birthday, Barf!

Later this week I will join Cuisine Kathleen for “Let’s Dish!” (Wednesday after 6:00 pm, CDT) and Susan for “Tablescape Thursday” (Thursday after 9:00 a.m., CDT). I hope you’ll pop in on those fun blog parties with me! And check out a new link I’ve discovered, BeBetsy. It’s a wonderful lifestyle site featuring the work of fabulous bloggers covering everything from food to fashion that will blow your mind!

Purple for Spring

DSCN0643WM

INSPIRATION: Fun, lightweight plaid-rimmed pots in purple, green & white!

As I am writing this, the temperature is hovering right around the freezing mark with expectations of it dipping appreciably below that in the wee hours of the morning. Spring? I don’t think so! Be that as it may, I wanted to participate in Cuisine Kathleen’s “Birds, Bees, Flowers, Trees” blog party this week. I braved the cold temps to get out on the deck to put together this purple, green & white tablescape that welcomes Spring…whenever it decides to finally show up! 🙂
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge it & see up-close details.)

IFA stark white palate shows off the very vivid purples used for this Spring tablescape. A full-length white linen from LinenTablecloth.com covers the 6-ft. table from head to toe.

IF

IF(Don’t let those blue skies fool you…it was COLD out there!!!)

IFEach place setting begins with a lavender acrylic charger from Michaels. Purple is one of those colors infamous for coming in a-billion-and-one different shades that are difficult to match. So – like green – I simply use shades of purple ranging from light to dark. Creamy white plates from TJ Maxx are separated by a royal purple napkin from LinenTablecloth.com that gracefully drapes off the side of the table.

Flatware, rim shot collageI chose silver flatware with a pattern that complements that of the plates.

DSCN1651WMWhen trying to draw out more than a single color in a design, I like to use more than one color in either my dishes or stemware. Here, a luscious purple goblet from TJ Maxx is paired with a green flute from Dollar Tree. TIP: Use wine glasses for water. Why, you ask? Why not? 🙂

Floral & butterfly collage IIUnlike our more fortunate sisters and brothers in the South and on the West coast, the Kansas City area is still devoid of all the fabulous fresh blooms enjoyed in those warmer climates. (We actually had snowflakes mixed in with the rain on Tuesday!) These faux floral arrangements boast a wealth of hydrangea, lilac, purple star blossoms, and tulips. Fun purplish butterflies hover overhead. TIP: Keep a few realistic-looking faux floral stems on hand to create spur-of-the-moment designs or replace suddenly wilted blooms in your fresh arrangements.

Moss ball, fleur de lis collage IIA large iron fleur de lis symbol anchors the center of the table and is flanked by two smaller ones. Various sizes of green moss balls are tucked in here and there to add color and texture at the lowest level. The cotton runner is woven in shades of purple, green and white.

Other Spring-inspired tables on this post you might enjoy:
“The Bluebird Special”
“Welcome Back, Joel”
“Daffodillyicious”
“Carousel Colors”
“Going Green for Spring”
“Springtime in Paris Mother’s Day Brunch”
“Tulips in the iHop Hour”
“Peachy Keen Breakfast”
“Something Blue Bridal Luncheon”
“Peonies & Pearls”
“Peony Power”
“Peaceful Peonies”
“Daisy Crazy”

Other Spring tablescapes in shades of purple on this site:
“Purple & Pastel Tablescape”
“Purple + Green = Happy Birthday!”

In addition to Cuisine Kathleen’s fun blog party this week, I am joining Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday“. Join me, won’t you?

Going Green for Spring

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INSPIRATION: Fun acid green woven favor boxes from Beau-coup.com

It’s finally starting to feel a bit more like Spring here in the Kansas City, MO area. Hooray! This time of year means a round of Spring cleaning (ugh! :-(), which means it’s time to reduce, recycle and reuse. So here’s a tablescape to remind us to go green (have a garage sale, donate to thrift stores, use old items for new creations, vow to stop shopping…..whoa! Wait a minute! Who threw that last one in there??!?!?!!). In other words, time to go green!!!
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IFThis fun green & white table for 8 begins with a fresh white full-length linen from LinenTablecloth.com. I was so happy to once again have a chance to use this fabulous Mikasa “Daylight” dinnerware. With its freshly sprouted leaves on a wispy branch, it says Spring to me like no other dish I have whether it’s for a birthday, a ladies’ luncheon or Sunday brunch! (Click HERE to see these dishes used in another colorful Spring setting AND in a subdued Asian-inspired theme. They’re just that versatile!)

Flatware, stemware, charger collageSimple clear glass stemware from Old Time Pottery doesn’t compete with the flurry of decor on the table.  The “chargers” are rustic grapevine wreaths. (These were also used as chargers for an American Royal tablescape HERE.) Dark faux bamboo flatware from Home Goods works in concert with the chargers and branch design on the plates.

IFThe good folks at Beau-coup.com sent me these eye-popping acid green woven favor boxes. They look terrific “as is”, or you can dress them up with any manner of flourish. Here, to keep the organic look and  theme of recycling to go green, I hot glued pieces of broken from the chargers. Imagine these with a pretty silk posy, a tilted bird’s nest, a pouf of ribbon, or a simple twine bow. Just go wherever your imagination and theme take you! TIP: This shade of green is often hard to “match.” Don’t even try to go there. Take your cue from nature’s variegated colors and strive to complement rather than match.

Agapanthus, butterfly collageI found the squared-off green vases at a nearby wholesale store that always has something fun to tempt me. The shape of these vases lends itself to a variety of looks. On this table the arrangement is merely 3 majestically tall faux agapanthus. (I used these same green vases on the buffet with lots of orchids overflowing HERE.) An oversized acid green butterfly with pretty mesh wings perches on the side. To bring the moppy heads of the agapanthus down closer to eye level, I snipped and plopped a few into sleek white ceramic urns.

Mercury ball on candlestick collageCandlesticks aren’t just for candles! I used these white turned wood candlesticks from Z Gallerie to hold large, heavy mercury balls that sow a little shine into the otherwise unpolished setting.

Rose collageI bought a bunch of these little rose bundles wholesale a while back in several colors. I’ve seen similar ones in stores like Michaels. They look really good massed together as seen here in this white weathered aluminum planter. A single bundle is just enough to fill a smaller white ceramic urn.

Buffet collage

Wreath collageOn the buffet is a massive grapevine wreath that carries on the look of the chargers on the dining table. In the spirit of recycling and looking for something with a funky little beat, I used the stems cut from the agapanthus on the table to create a rambling design on one side of the wreath. The asymmetrical design is balanced a little with the presence of 3 more of the large butterflies. A mercury ball finial brings shine to the vignette, while dessert plates and forks peek out from beneath a floral arrangement.

Tea cart collageOn the tea cart are faux bamboo spoons and gorgeous Mikasa “Daylight” cups & saucers. A Ralph Lauren pierced cake pedestal (Tuesday Morning) holds more of the Beau-coup favor boxes, this time unadorned and filled with cookies for guests to take home. Your choice: favors on the table at each individual place setting, or displayed en masse for guests to pick up on their way out the door.

Many thanks to Beau-coup.com for providing these pretty favor boxes for me to play with! It was tons of fun! Beau-coup has a wonderful variety of “favors, party supplies, gifts, and more for all of life’s celebrations.” (I couldn’t have said it better myself, so I didn’t even try…I just plagiarized it! :-)) Stop by and check them out!

Other posts on this site with green and white tablescapes:
“The Party She Deserves”
“Moss & Manzanitas”
“Ready for My Close-Up, Mr. DeMille”
“Spring Has Sprung”
“Rolling Fields of Green”
“Apple Green Luncheon”
“Upscale Irish”

There are lots of fun blog parties out there with ideas from the creative minds of bloggers all across the United States and around the world. Partying hearty here in the Midwest (U.S.A.) are blog buddies like Marigene “In the Middle of Nowhere“, Lynne at “Lynne’s Gifts From the Heart“, Cindy at “Beaux R’eves“, Cherry Kay at “Entertaining Women” (she had a gorgeous green & white table last week!), Judy at “JBiggs Little Pieces“, sweet Pat at “Back Porch Musings“, “The Home Girl“, and newcomer Christine at “Rustic & Refined“. Join us this week at:
Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish!
Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday

Blog parties are a wonderful opportunity for you to learn from tablescapers who do this regularly and have lots of tried and true ideas!

Better Kansas City Morning Show

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

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Getting closer to completion…and running out of breath!

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

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

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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 LinenTablecloth.com 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.

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

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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!

Easter Bloom

Easter Sunday is just a few days away now, and here is one final table that I hope can be of help to someone in search of last-minute ideas.
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INSPIRATION: Wreaths with pale pink & yellow Easter egg-like beading that I bought 8 years ago and have never used.

INSPIRATION: Wreaths with pale pink & yellow Easter egg-like beading that I bought 8 years ago and have never used.

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IFI started this demure Easter table with a full-length pure white tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com.

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Flatware, rim shot, lace plate collageEach place setting begins with a pink, green, yellow and white striped cotton placemat from Pier 1. (I used these reversible placemats on this side in “Pretty In Pink” – a birthday luncheon for my Mom – and on the flip floral side in “Days of Wine & Roses”.) A white ceramic charger from Old Time Pottery is topped with the inspiration for this table: a wispy pink & yellow beaded wreath that has a very “Easter-y” look about it. The dinner plate is creamy, buttery yellow stoneware purchased at a local grocer last autumn (for just $1 each!!!), and the lacy white salad/dessert plate is one of my favorites from Pier 1. “Danish Princess” silver given to me by my Mom looks smart and adds just a touch of understated formality to the table.

Egg cup, napkin, beaded wreath collageThe pretty petal pink napkins and the celery green silver-banded napkin rings that adorn them are both from Bed, Bath & Beyond. I wanted to pick up just a little of the green in the placemat through the napkin rings. The white egg cups are from World Market.

Stemware collageIf this stemware seems at all familiar to you, it’s because the pink patterned stem graces the Home page of my blog. The green goblets are a part of one of my favorite go-to sets from Dollar Tree. (If you can get a goblet that will work as hard for you as these green ones do for me year-round for just a buck each, buy every one you can possibly fit in your storage closet!)

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IFTIP: I’d like to call your attention to the dried curly willow branches running along the two long sides of the centerpiece florals. This is a way to easily (and very economically!) visually corral your centerpiece. It has the same subconscious visual effect as placing the florals on a tray or setting them on a runner.

Floral (table) collageLook at the effect of the willow branches…how they lend a truly organic feel to the overall look of the centerpiece. These evergreen topiaries are faux, but you could certainly use real ones and plant them later. (Unless you live in the Kansas City area where it seems like the snow is NEVER going to melt!!! 🙂 )

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Bunny collageI used these fun paper hydrangea bunnies in another Easter tablescape two years ago. They have such a fun and feminine quality that I really like. Something I like about these is that they are both cream and white which allows me to use them with either shade.

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Rabbit floral, tie & geranium collage

IFThe buffet has plenty of space on it for food, but I wanted to dress it up just a little. On one end is my stone bunny, Barton. Barton last made an appearance in another Easter tablescape two years ago as well as on an Easter brunch buffet table last year. This year, Barton has switched up from the usual eggs on his tray in favor of pretty pink carnations surrounded by a bed of white waxflower. He’s sporting a pink Ombre ribbon tie that Ramon put on him like a proud Papa. 🙂 Nice knot, huh?

I want to wish you and your family the very best of this Easter week,
and may you be blessed always by the grace of God.

Tablescapes suitable for Easter breakfast, brunch, luncheon or dinner on this site:
“Easter Floral”
“Barton’s Easter Brunch”

“Easter Brunch”
“Pinky Peter Cottontail”
“Carousel Colors”
“The Bluebird Special”
“The Party She Deserves”
“Rolling Fields of Green”

I’m joining the following blog parties this week, and you’re invited along!
Marty’s “Tabletop Tuesday
Cuisine Kathleen’s “Let’s Dish!
Susan’s “Tablescape Thursday
The Home Girl’s “Festive Friday Fiesta

UPDATE: This post was featured as the most viewed entry for The Home Girl’s blog party!

Find this and other fun posts from my blog at BeBetsy.com!

The Bluebird Special – In My Mother’s Honor/My Brother’s Memory

It’s going to take forever to write this, but this time I’m going to do it……………

I love my parents. They put up with a LOT from me when I was a kid. I mean A LOT, people!!! I was crazy!!! If I had a daughter like me, I would have put her in a nunnery and not just throw away the key, but melt it into a doorstop to make the door more secure!!! They hung in there, though…especially my Mom. Frustrated and befuddled as she may have been, she hung in there. Throughout my life she has weathered my boyfriends, husbands, breakups, career changes, household moves, hairstyles, and even my “I just want to experience life” crap. My Mom has been good to me and good for me. For all three of us – Berishia (who I call Barf), Jay (my little brother who I called Hemorrhoid because he was such a pain in the @$$!), and me (who Jay called “Erica” as in Erica Kane because of the aforementioned “husbandS” thing!). She has been a role model and a cheerleader in more ways than I could write without a serious case of carpel tunnel setting in. She has been a Mother and a friend all in one…and that’s not always easy with a kid like me. 🙂

So….my Mom’s birthday is coming up this Friday. I don’t think she’ll mind my telling her age because it’s in her Senate bio and has been splashed across every newspaper and mentioned in every television or print media interview she has ever given. She’ll be 84 years young. And when I say “years young”, believe it!!! She can still out-shop (“rag pullin'” as she calls it), out-party, and out-dance me by a mile. (I suffer from extreme “Elaineism” when it comes to dancing…y’all know that “Seinfeld” episode!) This woman stirs Eveready® batteries in with her oatmeal for breakfast!
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Inspiration collage

INSPIRATION: (1) I almost broke this little pot I found about a month after my little brother, whose trucking handle was “Bluebird” – lost his life in a motorcycle accident. (2) While driving today, I saw 3 of these Pavlich trucks (the company he loved and worked for) when I haven’t seen any in months. It was a sign. I knew it was time.

IFI started this Spring birthday tablescape with a full-length white linen from Linen Tablecloth.

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IFI display the bluebird pot in a guest bedroom. I’ve had it since 1999. When in 2010 when I saw these beautiful “Early Bird” plates & bowls at Pier 1 with the bluebird in the bowl, it hit me right away that I had to have them. I wanted to create a table to honor my brother. For 3 years I tried…and for 3 years, I couldn’t do it. It was just too hard. Still is. So this year, I’m using them to honor my Mother’s birthday – which is joyous and because last year I teased her about eating dinner at “The IHop Hour” which is like 3 in the afternoon when the senior discount starts at IHop restaurants! – and my brother whose memory from this day forward I choose to rejoice in rather than mourn.

IFI ran my sister all over the state of Minnesota looking for these square rattan chargers from Tuesday Morning last year. She shipped them here just in time for my stepdaughter’s birthday dinner party. The faux bamboo flatware was a great buy at JC Penney Outlet.

Stemware, Napkin collageThe stemware are those wonderful green Dollar Tree goblets we all know and love! These are the best buy!!! Attractive, usable in all four seasons and, at just $1 each, unbeatable in value! I bought the napkins, aptly named Spring Tulips, and the green woven napkin rings at Bed, Bath & Beyond several years ago. I like this “bow tie” because it can be both masculine (in black, gray, or some manly pattern) or feminine like it is here in this buttery yellow.

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Centerpiece collageThe centerpiece is a tangle of delicate yellow tulips in white ceramic vases (Michaels), a variety of bird nests filled with eggs, birdhouses, and boxwood balls atop white ceramic pots.

TIP: When using multiple elements in your centerpiece, try not to line everything up straight like soldiers. Try lining up a single element and then “scattering” the rest to break up the uniformity and add visual interest.

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Birdcage & clock collage

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IFThe buffet is simply topped with a wire birdcage and vase full of willowy branches at one end, a vintage-looking clock in the center, and an urn filled with Spanish moss and bird eggs on the opposite end.

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Tea cart collage

Finally, the tea cart is made ready for coffee or tea with “Early Bird” mugs and a white teapot from Home Goods.

Mom & Alycia Collage II

Clockwise: Mom & me when I was 3 months old; Mom & chillin’ on a Sunday afternoon; Mom, Jimmo &  me at last year’s Mother’s Day dinner at our house; Mom, Barf (hands on skinny little hips) & me; Mom & me at Mario Tricoci Salon; Mom & me at her 80th birthday dinner at our house. Center photo: Mom, Daddy & me before they headed out to a gala

Mom & Alycia Collage III

Clockwise: Ramon, Mom & me celebrating my 50th birthday in the nerd…uh, computer store; Mom & me doing that Grape Nuts commercial thing where the mother is mistaken for the daughter (we do weird stuff like that!); Mom & me at her campaign party; Barf, Mom & me at Thanksgiving 2010; Kelly, Mom & me celebrating Mother’s Day at our house, 2010; in the parking lot upon my return from living & working on Capitol Hill in D.C. Center photo: Mom, me & famed hairstylist/entrepreneur Mario Tricoci (he cut her hair!!!)

Mom & Alycia Collage IV

Clockwise from top: Mom & me at Bruce R. Watkins Center; at my cousin’s wedding; at Watkins Center again (we spend a lot of time there!); at my parents’ home before heading out to the Rod Stewart concert; posing like the Doublemint Twins! Center: Mom & me at her 81st birthday luncheon at our house.

Mom & Alycia Collage I

Me being the very annoying kid I am giving Mom the bunny ears; kissing her little head at her 80th birthday party at our house; my sister, niece (kneeling), Mom & me at one of her Senatorial pep rally/photo shoots; Mom, Daddy & me on the Missouri Senate floor; we laugh alike!!!; Mom & me at Elton John concert. Center photo: Mom, Daddy, Ramon & me out to dinner at the M&S to celebrate Daddy’s 83rd birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!!!

Jay collage

In memory of Bluebird
July 3, 1960 – Forever in Our Memories

Joining Susan for “Tablescape Thursday”.

For more Spring-inspired tables on this site:
“Rolling Fields of Green”
“Easter Floral”
“Peonies & Pearls”
“Moss & Manzanitas”
“Easter Brunch”
“Spring Has Sprung”
“Taste of Wine Buffet”
“Apple Green Luncheon”
“Barton’s Easter Brunch”
“The Party She Deserves”
“Pinky Peter Cottontail”
“Daffodillyicious”
“Springtime in Paris”
“Welcome Back, Joel”
“Peony Power”
“Carousel Colors”
“Spring” page – featuring 2 Spring tables