Orange Dreamsicle

Have you ever tried the grownup version of an orange Dreamsicle? The one with whipped cream vodka, orange juice, triple sec or Cointreau, and cream or half & half? To beat this ongoing heat to a pulp (See what I did there? Pulp? Get it?😉), I whipped one up
at breakfast. Don’t judge me. It contained 2 of the 5 food groups.😜

Here’s a fun luncheon or dinner tablescape where a grownup Dreamsicle might be more appropriately enjoyed! (Faux flowers used here, but real ones would kick it up a BIG ol’ notch for guests!)

I first used these fun open tulip salad plates in 2010 for a Mothers Day tablescape, “Tulips in the iHop Hour”, referring to my Mom’s penchant for eating so early on Sundays. I’d not used them since, so this is as good a time as any. I’ve set them with plain white dinner plates and juicy orange Bormioli Rocco “Inca” glass chargers. My Mom’s Towle “Calypso” flatware and recently acquired orange stemware from Home Goods add a nice finishing touch.

Red-orange and white (faux) ranunculus in a curvy white ceramic vase.

Bright orange (faux) tulips are prominently used across the table.

Brilliant orange (faux) poppies add color and texture.

What’s a meal without dessert?🍰

Reticulated dessert plates look almost like old-fashioned doilies.

The piĂšce de rĂ©sistance
Dreamsicle cocktails by the pitcher! Here’s the Pinterest recipe I most often use: Dreamsicle Martini

Do you love the color orange as much as I do? Here are a few more posts featuring this energetic color!🧡

Powder Blue Memories on Mother’s Day

My Mom often recounted the story of how she and Daddy met back in the early 1950s. He was at work and saw her cruising past in her sleek powder blue convertible. It was love at first sight
for the car AND the lady driving it. Both of my parents are gone now, but I often think of that story. When I saw these fabulous powder blue ceramic vases at Cameron’s in downtown Lee’s Summit, MO, I knew my Mother’s Day table in Mom’s memory would have to include them along with her exquisite Royal Danish flatware. I miss you so much, Mom, and I think of you every. single. day.

Powder Blue Memories on Mother’s Day – A Tribute to Senator Mom, Yvonne S. Wilson

Each Martha Stewart for Wedgwood “Conservatory” place setting is anchored by a plain white charger.

Dinner rolls are neatly tucked into the rear side of napkins arranged in the cream soup bowls from Nell Hill’s.

Mom’s Royal Danish flatware has always been a favorite of mine, and I cherish it.

Godinger “Chelsea” iced beverage and Cristal D’Arques-Durand “Capella” wine stem.

I’m enjoying experimentation with faux flowers these days. The blue thistle here is from Petals & Potpourri
in Blue Springs, MO. The tulips are from Home Goods, and the greenery and Queen Anne’s lace from Kirkland’s.

I kept the flowers fairly soft in color to complement the color of the vases. This could easily become an Easter tablescape with a bit of tweaking.

The white glass vases with pink and yellow (faux from Nell Hill’s) ranunculus blooms tucked in are from Hobby Lobby. They complement many elements on the table.

Dessert and coffee service on the vitrine with Mom’s favorite lemon meringue pie. She couldn’t bake ’em, but she sure loved to eat ’em!

One of my favorite birthday parties celebrating my Mom’s 85th…

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

There are a few Mother’s Day celebrations featured on my blog including:

There are also a few other posts that would be perfectly suitable for a Mother’s Day celebration:

I wish each and every one of you Moms out there a fabulous Mother’s Day. If your Mom is gone from this world like mine is, I wish you peace.

Easter Breakfast Room

Easter Sunday is just about a week away now. Whether you’re hosting a big family affair or just taking it easy, you still have to eat a good breakfast. Why not set the table the night before and start the day with something slightly luxurious without too much fuss?

It will be just the two of us for Easter Sunday breakfast at the kitchen table, but we both have hearty appetites! So yes…we’ll be eating ALL the foods!😋

I always try to add a little something extra special like these rose-topped sugar cubes for our coffee.

“Carnegie” by Christopher Stuart iced beverage glass with a pineapple motif sits alongside Cristal d’Arques “Ashville Gold” champagne flutes for mimosas.

Hey! Don’t judge! It’s been a LONG Lenten season. Our sweet tooth has some catching up to do!

These sweet wood bunnies have been sold at Hobby Lobby for several years now. This one looks so at peace…right in line with Easter Sunday.

We can be a couple of Messy Marvins, so I often employ full-sized decorative towels as napkins. These are from those bins we all know and love at the front of every Target store!

You may recognize this arrangement from my recent post, Bunny Pink Easter Luncheon. It found its way here to the breakfast bar for the season.

A few Easter touches added to the ever-present coffee bar.

I love my collection of Grace Teaware “Pin Dots” pink dishes.

Still looking for just the right tablescape for your Easter celebration? Check out these past Easter/Spring posts for ideas!

Next week, just in time for the Easter Bunny himself/herself, I’ll have a fun tablescape that kids and adults will enjoy!

Bunny Pink Easter Luncheon

Less than two short weeks and counting until Easter Sunday! I have a few ideas that I hope will serve to inspire as you prepare your table this year. First up, a lovely luncheon or brunch table sure to delight your guests.

I’m so thrilled to finally use these Kate Spade “Rutherford – Pink” dishes!!! They are a favorite in my collection! For a fabulous tribute to a Breast Cancer survivor or a sweet bridal or baby shower, just swap out the bunny, ears, and eggs!

Each guest treated to a pair of bunny ears from Dollar Tree. Great for selfies later!

Flatware from my Mom’s house that I thought would be fun with this setting.

The blush of just barely pink glassware from Home Goods doesn’t compete with the dishes.

The pink and white checked table runner is a fortuitous Hobby Lobby find from last year.

Who’s this handsome fellow? Why, it’s BARTON, of course! My year-round bunny who lives all over the house! Barton stands in a Home Goods basket surrounded by a lush menagerie of muted faux greenery, berries, and tulips. I added a trio of metal garden spheres from The Painted Sofa in Kansas City, MO, and a fabulous oversized bow tie from Nell Hills.

I’ve had all kinds of ideas for Spring and Easter tablescapes over the years. Some wild, some weird, some peacefully wonderful. If you’d like to check them out, here’s a sampling!

Stay tuned for a couple of new Spring/Easter tablescapes I hope you’ll enjoy!

Informally Formal: Marrying modern and classic in your table setting

My 4-minute segment on yesterday’s “Better Kansas City” show on KCTV-5 was all about “informally formal” entertaining at home!

As mentioned in the video clip, our Easter dinner tablescape was, I think, a good example of informally formal design. We simultaneously celebrated my son’s 39th birthday, and I wanted both my son and the rest of the family to feel special – because they are! But this was a day I wanted to be able to relax a little, too, so instead of formal china and crystal, I pulled out some terrific Pier 1 plates to fill the bill. This tablescape, minus the obvious nods to Easter, would be perfect for any Springtime event including birthdays, Mother’s Day, ladies luncheons, bridal or baby showers, or even engagement parties.

 

 

 

 

I’ve not used these beautiful Pier 1 plates since 4 years ago when I posted a piece called “The Bluebird Special“. While certainly far from what might be construed as traditionally formal, they have a simultaneously staid/laid back look. The woven square chargers and faux bamboo flatware lend texture and an organic feel to the place setting.  The yellow undertones of the flatware complement the bird on the plate as well as the floral centerpieces. The lavender napkin is fashioned in a traditional pyramid fold, and the green goblets are from Dollar Tree.

 

I enjoy creating specialized menus on my computer for at-home events. This colorful one in shades of yellow, purple and white with a bright pink clip leans to the side of informality. The colors complement the florals.

 

 

 

 

 

I might have gone a little wild with all the florals this year, but they were all so pretty! Our generous across-the-street neighbors allowed me to snip from their lavishly blooming lilac bush to complete the springtime floral designs of pink & yellow tulips, Mardi gras Solidago, and alstroemeria in white vases. The florals extended down the length of a fresh moss runner dotted with moss bird nests from Home Finishings. (HINT: If the smell of moss wrinkles your nose, open it up and air it out for a couple of days before use.) For additional height, texture, a burst of color, and the pure drama of it all, I filled a white glass vase with forsythia branches and placed it at the very end of the table. Note that the full-length white tablecloth from LinenTablecloth.com is knotted at the end for safety as well as a cool contemporary look.

 

The alternating pink and lavender satin chair sashes almost didn’t make the cut. My husband thought the plain white stretch chair covers were sufficient. I, however, begged to differ. When he saw the chairs with the sashes, high fives and mea culpas were in order. (We agreed they made the chairs resemble Easter eggs!) Depending on the type of event you are hosting, chair sashes may or may not be appropriate. It’s up to you!

When planning your next Springtime event, keep in mind who your guests are, what feeling you’d like the space to evoke and, as always, just what level of formality is within your comfort zone! As alluded to in the video clip, formality may be circling the bowl, but it ain’t dead yet! 😉

For more photos of tablescapes seen in the video clip:
“Blurred Lines With Shades of Pink”
“Celebrating 85 Years of Fabulous”
“My Sister’s Wedding China”

A few other Spring tablescapes on this blog you may enjoy include:
“Springtime In Paris”
“Patisserie de Paris”
“Easter Brunch”
“Pinky Peter Cottontail”
“Barton’s Easter Brunch”
“All A’Bloom For Spring”
“Spring Has Sprung”
“Welcome Back, Joel”
“Peony Power”
“Tulips in the IHOP Hour”
“Float Like A Butterfly”
“Purple & Pastel”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 EvereadyÂź batteries in with her oatmeal for breakfast!
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

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

Easter Floral – Purple, Pink & White

This is nuts! It’s St. Patrick’s Day already, and Easter Sunday is just 2 short weeks away!!! I really feel like we’re in a time crunch, so I’m just going to jump right to it!

Starting this week, I will begin each post with a photo of the inspiration for the tablescape. I hope this will help novice tablescapers to expand your creative thinking skills.

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This week’s inspiration: a pack of cocktail napkins with purple & pink tulips that I spied at the grocery store!

Last week’s table was serene and subdued. This week’s is its polar opposite so get ready for an over-the-top color explosion, baby!!!
(Click on any photo to enhance/enlarge it.)

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Flatware, Napkin, Stemware, Egg Cup collageI started with a full-length white tablecloth (LinenTablecloth.com) and topped it diagonally with a reversible Easter egg-colored striped cloth. I used this same topper on the flip side for an Easter buffet table last year. Rose-colored chargers from Michaels (picked up for the bargain price of just 49Âą each last year!) are the foundation of the place setting topped with a white Corelle dinner plate, a Bordallo Pinheiro green cabbage salad plate, and a Pier One white floral bowl. A pale green napkin from Bed, Bath & Beyond peeks out from beneath the plate. The stemware is the ever-familiar Dollar Tree green goblet paired with a beautiful purple number from T.J. Maxx. The flatware is International Silver “Danish Princess”, and each place setting is finished with a pink, purple or yellow sparkled egg in an white egg cup from World Market.

DSCN2418WMThe centerpiece – a melange of figurines and florals – runs the entire length of the table.

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Bunny collageI love these super feminine twin bunnies all dressed up in their Easter finery! I have named them Hilary and Henrietta. 🙂 I arranged their bunny ears to look as though they’re a bit wind-blown in the Spring breeze!

Table floral collageThe main table floral is pulled together in a wire basket with woody green accents. Heads of cabbage are joined by a bunch of perky pink larger-than-life faux tulips set to give it an asymmetrical look. The basket is surrounded with pots of pink and purple African violets and white ceramic vases of tulips and hydrangea.

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Buffet floral collageI’m back to my old dramatic tricks with these over-the-top floral arrangements on the buffet behind the dining table. Oversized pink tulips and cabbages spill from curvy white glass vases (T.J. Maxx) to create quite a stir!

Floral chair collageThis room is truly about florals!!! The seat of this child-sized chair has been replaced with a moss ball cut in half and topped with faux florals to mimic those on the dining table.

Tea cart collageThe tea cart holds a Ralph Lauren white ceramic cake stand with pierced edges I picked up at Tuesday Morning a few years back. The white tea pot is from Home Goods. Last, the whole inspiration for this tablescape: paper cocktail napkins with pink & purple tulips.

China cabinet collageAnother Ralph Lauren cake stand on the china cabinet holds glittered Easter eggs.

That’s one Easter tablescape down, one to go!
For more Easter inspiration on this site visit:

Easter Brunch
Pinky Peter Cottontail
Barton’s Easter Brunch
Carousel Colors

Before I get out of here, I’d like to say thank you to The Home Girl for featuring my tablescape, “The Party She Deserves”. It was the most-viewed entry for her blog party, Festive Friday Fiesta, last week. That sure put a smile on my face!

Come party with me this week at:
Cuisine Kathleen – Let’s Dish!

The Tablescaper – Seasonal Sunday
Between Naps on the Porch – Tablescape Thursday
A Humble Creation – A New Creation
The Home Girl – Festive Friday Fiesta

Check out this and other posts from this site on BeBetsy.com!

Peachy Keen Breakfast Tablescape

A great big hello and welcome to all my new followers, and a huge welcome back to those of you who have been following for awhile! I always appreciate your visit!

I had tulips leftover from the Mother’s Day tablescape for my Mom last week, so I thought I’d bring you a look at those arranged in a completely different way in a casual breakfast/brunch setting.
(Click any image to enhance/enlarge it.)

I found this beautiful peach-colored full-length table linen at LinenTablecloth.com. I felt its soft color to be fresh and invigorating, yet soothing enough for a breakfast ensemble. I have also used it to dress a wedding cake table, flaring it at the bottom for a totally different look. (Click HERE to see that look.)

Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One - Peachy Keen Breakfast

Peachy Keen Breakfast

I was bowled over by this 222 Fifth “Indochine” floral dinnerware from TJ Maxx. It looks great for a Spring or Summer table thanks to the capricious design in shades of orange, peach, green and blue on a stark white background. The salad-size plate is fully covered, while the dinner-size plate restricts pattern to the rim. The colors on the table are toned down by the use of a plain white hemstitch napkin.

IMG_6071WMI like to use a bread plate whenever possible, even at breakfast. If you’re like me and don’t like bread made soggy by runaway sauces or gravy, opt for something like this plain white appetizer plate from Crate & Barrel. Notice that I used a square appetizer plate to complement the shape of the other dishes on the table.

I love the squared off look of these coffee mugs! So cool!!! Plain clear glass stemware for a healthy serving of juice or water is added to the setting. If you have squared glasses (I’ve seen them around but haven’t bought any yet), go for it!!! That would be even cooler!

I used my “Royal Danish” sterling silver because the shape of the tip end mimics the scrolled pattern of the dishes.

A plain white pot from Home Goods serves up steaming hot coffee or tea in style.

Plump white bird salt & pepper shakers from Pier 1 work well with the other white elements on the table.

When in need and flat broke, improvise!!! I didn’t have a jelly server for the orange marmalade that looked good, so I fashioned one out of a white ramekin from Pier 1.

This is what I was trying to get those crazy tulips to do last week for my Mother’s Day table!!!! They look just like the ones on the salad plate! I just love when tulips open wide and flail themselves outward with total abandon, but nothing I did would coax them into it last week!!! Oh, well…better late than never!

IMG_6151WMBreakfast – at my house anyway 🙂 – is not complete without a Bellini bar!

Other posts on this site using shades of orange or peach:
Mandarin Bling
Oranges & Blossoms” (1st post on page)

Orange You Glad You Came to Dinner” (scroll to 6th post on page)
Raining Orchids
Tulips in the iHop Hour
Flirty Peach Skirt

I’m linking up with Cuisine Kathleen again on Wednesday this week for “Let’s Dish!” starting at 6:00 p.m. Central Time. Stop on by and see what’s going on!