A Coke & A Smile – Summer’s Last Hurrah

Labor Day weekend. What can I say? Time for a Coke and a smile with friends and family!

An all-American red, white & blue table for 6 – perfect for any patriotic celebration – is set up around our square picnic table.

I bought these fun double-sided melamine plates at Tuesday Morning YEARS ago and have just never used them. They’re great for keeping wet and dry foods separate. The hotdog boats, also from Tuesday Morning, keep that all-American delicacy upside right.

These fun retro Coca-Cola glasses were purchased at Dollar Tree a long, long time ago and – you guessed it! – have never been used until now.

In keeping with the 2 apparent themes – Coca-Cola and never been used – I dug up these aluminum ice buckets large enough to hold lots of drinks. Notice there’s no specific “centerpiece” as all the colorful food at the table’s end was enough.

Hungry anyone?

One last Coca-Cola representation in another bucket that holds the last of juicy summertime desserts.

Well, of course there’s an outdoor bar cart!!!!!! I have bar carts all over the house! I found this very handy rustic aluminum one at Hobby Lobby for 75% off!!! Ecstatic? Uhhhh…YEAH!!!

I’m actually OK with seeing the end of summer roll around. This summer of 2021 was…interesting.

I have several patriotic tablescapes on this site that I’d be tickled for you to use as inspiration.

Looking for a just good old-fashioned picnic? Click on a link below for ideas!

Have a joyful end of summer!!!!!!!! See you in the fall, y’all!

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!

4th of July Coastal Style

I’m linking this week to Cuisine Kathleen‘s “Summer Whimsy” tablescape challenge!

What says summer more than the 4th of July? While this is a photo-intensive post, I hope each of you will be able to get at least one idea for your own nautical-inspired or Independence Day, Flag Day, Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day or other patriotic celebration.
(Click on any photo, then click again to enlarge/enhance it.)   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Full deck   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: full table, partial buffetThis casual patriotic table for 8 is set on our back deck.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: linentablecloth.com white stretch tablecloth The table begins with a white stretch tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. If you’re new to this blog, please allow me to introduce you to one of the most fabulous inventions for casual dining ever!!! These babies just slip right over the table top and down to be secured by the legs. Voila! Done! And what’s best of all…I honestly just scrunch these up and stuff them in a drawer for storage. Pull them out and put them on the table with NO IRONING necessary. A true wonder! They come in a variety of colors in 4-, 5-, and 8′ x 30″ sizes at LinenTablecloth.com.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: multiple place settings   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: single place setting   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: nautical melamine salad plate collage     Square white melamine plates from Target are topped with these mix-and-matched nautical-inspired salad plates from Home Goods, one with a massive ship and the other with a compass. Melamine sure has come a long, long way since I was a child!

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: red napkin, navy & white striped placemat, flatware, stars & stripes tumbler collage I found the fun navy stars & stripes plastic tumblers on the clearance shelves at Target a few years ago. The navy & white striped cotton placemats are from Bed, Bath & Beyond. Contrasting against the navy blue is a solid red napkin from LinenTablecloth.com. The white flatware is from T.J. Maxx.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: red, white & blue stretch chair covers from LinenTablecloth.com These red, white and blue stretch chair covers from LinenTablecloth.com are one of the most fun and unexpected elements of the tablescape. Like the tablecloths, they just slip right on and are secured beneath the feet in mere seconds. They, too, can be balled up and stored without worry of telltale wrinkles when you’re ready to use them. (Use them with coordinating or contrasting stretch sashes for a different look!)

  Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: red geranium centerpiece   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: red geranium   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: glass cylinder with LED candle and seashell candle ring collage   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Tall cylinder votive holdersThe centerpiece is a relatively simple one using a trio of potted red geraniums along with a series of clear glass cylinders for candles and votives. The larger cylinders hold a white LED (for safety!) pillar candle surrounded by a Z Gallerie seashell candle ring. The elevated cylinder votive holders are from Pier 1.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: buffet table   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: buffet table   The buffet table on one end of the deck is laden with drinks and desserts for after the main feast.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: partial buffet table   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: starfish-shaped ceramic plates, patriotic paper cocktail napkins The buffet line begins with a tower of creamy white starfish plates (Tuesday Morning) offset by a bright red striped cloth for making short order of spills. Patriotic paper cocktail napkins bring a little sizzle.

   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Red chicken wire bread basket, potato chip collage   Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: strawberries & blueberries in red metal colandersI found this terrific red chicken wire basket at Home Goods earlier this year. Here it holds assorted breads, but it could be used for a variety of purposes. A heavy blue crockery bowl offers up potato chips while cheery red metal colanders are a fun way to serve up juicy strawberries and blueberries.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Patriotic melamine nautical trays and captain's bell collageMy good friend, Monica, recently gifted me with 30+ melamine trays. When I saw these 2, I just about went bonkers with glee. I knew they would be perfect for this setting! The captain’s bell is from Home Goods.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Cupcakes on patriotic ceramic cake stand collageCupcakes with cherries on top (from the tree George Washington allegedly chopped down?) are displayed on a patriotic ceramic cake stand from Hobby Lobby.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: beverage boat, drink station

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Crab sign, wooden mallets, seafood cracker collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Silver ice scoop, blackberries, cherries collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: boat pulleyThe opposite end of the buffet has lots of goodies. This canoe was used just as a prop for my “All-American Seafood Boil” a couple of years ago. Today it is lined, filled with ice, and used to hold fruit and beverages. An old iron boat pulley hangs casually from the side on the end, its hook nestled among a throng of seashells. Wooden mallets and metal seafood crackers from World Market are displayed beneath a “Steamed Crabs” sign from Home Goods.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: drink tray

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Drink tray collageAnother of the wonderful nautical/patriotic melamine trays from Monica is used here to hold lemonade. The red stars & stripes plastic drinkware was purchased at Target and complements the tumblers used on the dining table.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Grill area collageHere’s the kind of food we’d grill up. That lobster looks like he knows what’s comin’, and I think he’s trying to make a run for it! It’s already too late for the crab! 🙂

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Outdoor living room in red, white & blue

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Patriotic pillows on settee, chairs, rug, wind sock collageIt’s nice to have a “living room” setting outdoors for guests to enjoy a cocktail before dinner or to linger after. Our wrought iron furniture is decked out in a variety of comfy red, white & blue pillows. A star-trimmed jute rug “connects” the settee and chairs. A patriotic wind sock softly billows from the overhang.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Occasional table set up on deck with patriotic sailboat

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Patriotic sailboat, wooden fish, cocktail, fishnet overlay collageThe side table is covered with a 108″ red tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com. A fishnet overlay is a nod to the nautical theme.

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Outdoor wrought iron baker's rack

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Metal stars, fishing bobbers, patriotic tray, message in a bottle collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Old Glory wooden box, starfish in planter collage

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One, www.tabletwentyone.wordpress.com, 4th of July Coastal Style: Iron crab, wooden nautical box, fish platter collage

The wrought iron baker’s rack in a corner of the deck is laden with fun nautical and patriotic elements, mostly from Hobby Lobby.  The metal stars are from Old Time Pottery.

Other tablescapes on this site with a nautical, patriotic, and/or seashell theme:
All-American Seafood Boil
Stars & Stripes
Lauren in the Library

Show Me State Dinner

Flamingos in Paradise

Ocean Blue – Starfish & Seashells
Caribbean Queen

Tropicana

Summer Breeze
Old Navy Seafood Cruise
Peacefully Patriotic
A Coke & A Smile – Summer’s Last Hurrah

You’re bound to find lots of great summertime tablescapes if you join me at the following blog parties:
Christine’s Rustic & Refined “Table It!” (starting Monday)
Cuisine Kathleen‘s “Let’s Dish!” (Wednesday after 5:00 p.m. CDT)
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch‘s “Tablescape Thursday” (Thursday after 9:00 a.m. CDT)

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!!!!! 😦

DSCN0397

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.

IF

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…

IF…SUCCESS!!!

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