Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Eve Dinner

I hope everyone had a wonderful and happy Christmas with friends and family!!!  From all of the beautiful tables, I'm sure that many Christmas memories were made!!

I am posting our Christmas eve dinner which is when my family gets together.  I wanted to use the actual table so I didn't post last Thursday.  Yes, this is the real Christmas eve!  I love getting to use my Christmas dishes. There is something so wonderful about setting a table with dishes that are for a specific and fleeting time.  I appreciate them BECAUSE of the short length of time I use them.  Fresh flowers have the same effect on me.

 Hope you aren't too "over" Christmas tables yet...

It seems that we always start with this view, but I think it's a good introduction!

Here is a closer view...we started with cream of spinach soup (I don't have "food" pics)

The tea cart is all ready for handling serving dishes that won't fit on our small dining room table
This is the "bird's eye" view
The evergreens in the arrangement are from our "wreath " trip and the flowers almost didn't make it...I had to wait at my favorite florist for the deliveryman.  Apparently, he was several hours late, but I came at the tail end of the panic at the florist and they were able to sell me the carnations and roses I wanted for my centerpiece
In keeping with the "holly and berry" theme, I made these placecards
 This is the silver that we bought when we first were married...and more holly and berries
I set out desserts on the sideboard...tempting us all through dinner!!
This is my Brit in his Christmas crown from his Christmas cracker!  He wears that Christmas tie every year.  He was enjoying dinner...pork roast and roasted potatoes
Meanwhile, while we were having dinner....two of our three kitties were guarding the Christmas tree while keeping toasty warm!
We no longer exchange gifts...we put names of our favorite charities in a hat, pool our "gifting cash" which makes a tidy sum; then we pull one name and donate all of the money to that charity.  We've been doing this for a few years now.
I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and best wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year!!
Now for the dish on the dishes:
  • My Christmas dishes are Gibson. I found them in the Winterthur catalog (when they had a bigger variety of wares)
  • Cream soup bowls are Royal Albert "Val D'Or" from ebay
  • The damask tablecloth...hmmmm...I can't remember
  • The napkins were a sale purchase from you know it was a while ago
  • Reed and Barton "Rathmore" silverplate from Marshall Field's in Chicago-now gone  :-( 
  • Waterford "Marquis" crystal stemware-T.J. Maxx (still waiting for a Homegoods here!)
  • The flowers are arranged in a three legged cut glass bowl which was my mother's
  • The mercury glass votive holders are from Michael's...wish I had bought more
  • Christmas ornament placecard holders were purchased on ebay last year
  • The candle globe on the teacart is from T.J. Maxx...I just put "berries" and real boxwood with it set on a red toile plate
  • Red and gold placemats on the teacard are from Big Lots and Walmart-great price for all
  • Dessert service on the buffet is Old Country Roses that we received as wedding gifts from my husband's family
Thank you for stopping by and I love reading your comments...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Traditions


I love anything traditional...whether ages old or newer traditions of just a few years! 

One Christmastime my sister P. and I went to a local Christmas tree farm to get wreaths.  She is an Adirondack lover and I have an artificial tree, so we both wanted the smell of real pine.  We had breakfast at a favorite little place that is on the way to the farm.  Well, we have now been doing this breakfast and wreath outing for several years, so I guess it is a tradition...Yippee!! 

 This is part of their display of decorated wreaths that they make to sell.  Some are quite fancy!

This year our sister L. joined us for breakfast and I got a picture of them playing with the restaurant's decoration (can't take them anywhere!!!)
This is a view of the big barn filled with fresh pine trees.  It smells WONDERFUL in there!  We each brought home a wreath and I got some boughs to use on my tables

But this has nothing to do with Part II of this post is about a casual little Christmas table for two.

This is an unsparkly, non-golden, casual table for two...

This is in our small dining room at our "cozy" table

I love traditional red and green, but I never seem to have enough green!

We have to have Christmas crackers...that's an OLD British tradition

 Here are fir branches (from our wreath trip) and my folk art Santa..I just love him!

 Here he is, center stage, on the table

Well, actually, our Christmas eve dinner will be more formal, but I wanted the chance to use these wonderful pieces that I have.  I hope everyone's Christmas preparations are going smoothly!!

Now for the dish on the dishes:
  • Toile plates from T.J.Maxx
  • Red salad plates from Big Lots
  • The beautiful red and green center cloth is from my sister  (Thanks L.!)
  • The basket is from a co-worker
  • Jim Shore Santa is from a friend
  • Green "napkins" are fingertip towels from Dollar Tree
  • Placemats from T.J.Maxx
  • Glasses-Waterford Marquis (from T.J.Maxx)
  • Silverplate flatware from Oneida (my mother's)
  • Christmas crackers from T.J.Maxx-so glad they are carryng was getting expensive ordering imported ones from England!!!!

So glad you stopped by even with all of your baking, shopping, wrapping, and decorating!!  Thank you! 
Please check out all of the beautiful tables at "Between Naps on the Porch" hosted by Susan (her link is up on the right of my blog)

I love to read your comments!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Winter White

We had snow's so pretty and really puts me in the holiday mood (of course, working at home, I don't have to go out in it!).  My husband has to bring the Christmas dishes and decorations down from the attic soon so I don't have Christmas decorations at hand.  But in keeping with the snowy mood of today, I decided that an imaginary wintery dessert party would be a fun thing to do.  I have a " thing " for polar bears and, since they are white, I decided to invite them.

Since this is a fictional party, there are not real treats...but we can use our imaginations and THAT'S sugar and guilt free!!

This was the view out of my "office" window today...Isn't it pretty???

I'm sure you can see why I'm getting in the holiday spirit!  So away we go with a snowy white setting

Here is polar bear number one...he came as a surprise for a donation to National Wildlife Federation to help save these beautiful creatures from extinction in the wild
And this little guy was a gift from a friend.

How about some sparkly champagne in icey crystal flutes...

Some cool peppermint chocolates (Ghirardelli-yum!) in a shiny silver pedestal dish
I only wish there were a snowy white coconut cake on that glass pedestal...wouldn't that be perfect?

We could serve it on white plates 

And use sparkling silver to enjoy that imaginary coconut cake

Thank you for indulging my fantasy of a winter dessert party...hope you enjoyed it!

Now for the dish on the dishes:
  • Champagne flutes are from ebay (where else??)
  • White cotton undercloth is also from ebay
  • White china plates are Royal Albert Val D'or
  • Silverplate forks are Towle (unknown pattern) from an apartment sale
  • Cut glass cake pedestal purchased on line at Tea with Grace
  • Silverplate pedestal dish holding peppermint chocolate-don't know when or where
  • The flameless candles from QVC
Hopefully next time will be more Christmas-y.  Be sure to visit all of the beautiful tables at Susan's Between Naps on the Porch (link is up on the right)...she's the wonderful hostess responsible for Tablescape Thursday.

I look forward to your visits!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am posting late but hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.  I do want to share our Thanksgiving table with all of you talented tablescapers.  So here it is!
I am usually much more traditional in my tastes, but really wanted a very colorful table this year.  And this is pretty colorful for me!!
I love these colors!  My inspiration came from the leaf-patterned tablecloth.

My husband picked up the flowers at the grocery store...I think he did a great job!  There were so many flowers in the bunch that I was able to split them and use the others on the tea cart.

I used my more casual dishes (more later) but, alas, I forgot the glasses when pictures were taken...I did used my crystal iced-beverage glasses
I put the desserts on the buffet.  There was apple pie and cookies (for my non-pie eating husband) and the pumpkin cream cheese pie was still in the fridge.  The silver pedestal dish holds the cutest acorn and maple-leaf cookies I bought at TJ Maxx
Our dining room is small so this tea cart came in handy during dinner.  And there are the rest of the flowers.

These are placecards I made.  I looked for autumn placecard holders but never found any :-(

This is the view of the fireplace from the dining was cold outside and the fire was wonderful and toasty throughout the day.  Don is keeping watch over it for us!!!

Our menu was pretty traditional:  Roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, fresh green beans, peas, rolls.  We started with squash soup and then had salad before the main course.  Dessert was pumpkin cream cheese pie, apple pie, m&m cookies and fresh whipped cream. 
We have so much to be thankful for!!!

Now for the dish on the dishes:
  • My inspiration tablecloth was found on ebay
  • The white plates are Royal Albert English Garden also from ebay
  • The red salad plates are from Big Lots...versatile for a red lover like me
  • The little yellow leaf plates, which I adore, were found in T.J. Maxx
  • The square soup dishes are Temptations "Old World" from QVC,  I also used the other pieces from that set for serving the food
  • The red placemats are from Big Lots
  • The red cotton napkins were purchased on the internet at a great price...don't remember which site!  Silver napkin rings from Oneida-I've had for years
  • The silverplate place settings are Oneida Vanessa/Francesca
  • I don't know the patterns of the soup spoons and butter spreaders but they are from ebay
  • The missing glasses were my Waterford Marquis iced beverage glasses
  • Those cute little acorn and maple leaf cookies were from T.J. Maxx
I want to thank each and everyone one who posts here for your inspiration and ideas (which I admit to stealing from time to time);-)
Now onward toward the Christmas Tablescapes!!  I'm looking forward to visiting your tables

Special thanks to Susan at BNOTP (link on upper right side of this post)

Love to hear your comments!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Belated Birthday Party

My sister's birthday is November 3rd, but she has been very busy so we ended up celebrating November 13th.  She chose the restaurant and we met for dinner.  It is a really nice restaurant on the Erie Canal in NYS and the food is fabulous...I got to dress up, which is a treat now that I am working at home!!

Then we came back to our house for cake and gifts.  Unfortunately, because we were focused on dinner and then birthday cake, I don't have photos of the actual event.  I have just put out the pieces used on the table.   We were in the dining room and these are dishes that we used.  Here's your golden opportunity to use your imagination!!!

Here are the dishes that we used for the birthday party

These dishes were nice and big to put cake AND ice cream on the same plate
Cold beverages were the choice of most, but there was one request for hot tea.  What is nicer than your very own little pot of tea?

There was a double layer yellow cake with white frosting and blue decorations (the color of that bow-she loves blue!).  It had a delicious strawberry filling (...and no, silly...I didn't bake it).  There was vanilla ice cream too...what is a birthday without ice cream to go with your cake?!?!?

My sister, P. opened her was a delicious and fun night.  And well worth waiting for!

Not a very exciting table but thank you for stopping by.  Here's the dish on the very few dishes:
  • The transferware plates have been seen here a lot lately-they are from T.J. Maxx
  • The dessert forks and spoons are Oneida's Vanessa/Francesca silverplate (ebay)
  • The glasses are Waterford Marquis (ebay)
  • The small teapot is from the former East Germany and I've had it for years.  I bought it at a small giftshop and it came with two matching cups
  • The mug was purchased at Linens'n'Things before...well, you know..
  • That nifty cake cutter was a gift from my sister, P. and I think she bought it from QVC
  • The napkins are an ebay purchase
Thanksgiving is so close!!!  I'm sure your Thanksgiving preparations are starting.  For everyone celebrating Thanksgiving, have a wonderful, safe, and happy one!!

(Don't forget to visit Susan's "Between Naps on the Porch"...the link is up to the right)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My New Teacart

My new teacart arrived!!!  It actually is an all-purpose cart that will come in very handy in our small house.  It is real wood and folds up to be stored in a very slim space (just 5 inches wide when folded).

But today, I thought I'd take it for a test drive in teacart mode.  This is a perfect way to have some sweet treats and a hot cup of tea.  So here we go...

Here is the "teacart" with all of its accoutrements.  The cranberry color seems fitting with the autumn season

This pretty china pattern is Royal Albert "Celebration"

These colors are so pretty and sort of "girly", no?

The roses on the silver go with the roses on the I've said before, I am very "match-y, match-y" even though I know it's not so fashionable right now

I think a fragrant raspberry tea would do nicely

A closer look at the tea cup before it goes back with my teacup collection

I'm sure that this cart will show up again!

Now for the dish on the dishes:
  • The hardwood cart is from QVC...I've been looking at it for quite a while and finally bit the bullet
  • The cranberry placemats are from ebay
  • The plates and teacup are Royal Albert "Celebration" also from ebay
  • The teapot is Polish china from "Tea with Grace" which is a great site with lots of beautiful table treasures
  • The sterling is my "Damask Rose" by Oneida from ebay
  • The silver stand...I honestly have no idea where I got it
Thank you for stopping by.  I love to read your comments!!  Please let me know you were here.  Also, be sure to visit our hostess, Susan at Between Naps on the Porch (see upper right side of this blog for her button)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Election Night Dinner

One of the best things about being an American is having the privilege to vote!!  I remember the first time I voted.  I was nineteen and it was the first election for which I was eligible after the voting age was lowered (Yes, I'M OLD!!!).  Our family has always been interested in politics.  My mother worked at  the polls every year and was happy and proud to do so.

So we decided to watch the returns together and I said I would make dinner if they wanted to come to my house.  Peter was working so it was just us girls.  It was a great night with lots of discussion!!

Nothing fancy...just a casual table

I just wanted to show this pumpkin a little closer

This is just a closer look of the placesetting

Oh yeah...left-over Halloween candy...anyone else have a bowl of these???

I actually remembered to take photos of the food.  I know the quiche looks a little lopsided, but there is a story behind that..  When I was removing it from the oven, I had pulled out the rack.  Since I routinely burn myself on the racks, I had on my HUGE oven mitts which made me more clumsy than usual.  I just happend to hit the quiche dish and pushed off the back of the rack and it tipped into the back of the oven.  I was able to pull it back up, but it had slipped in the dish.  That's why it is lopsided.  And the ridiculous thing is that is the second time I have done this...and the first time was when I was having a little luncheon.  Oh well, it still tasted good!!


 This was for dessert.  We had a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream with home-made chocolate chip cookies

And here are those cookies...this is Tyler Florence's recipe...Peter's favorite!!

 It was a great way to watch the returns!

Now for the dish on the dishes:  
  • The toile plates are from T.J. Maxx (we don't have a Home Goods, so I hit T.J.Maxx a lot!)
  • The silverplate is my Oneida Vanessa/Francesca
  • The salad bowls are from my everyday Gibson set
  • The glasses are Waterford Marquis (TJM again)
  • Taupe placemats are from Linens & Things several years ago
  • Ralph Lauren napkins (TMJ)
  • The white pumpkin is T.J. Maxx as well
  • The white bowl for the salad was from a garage sale about 25 years ago...we usually use it for potatoes.  I think it was about $2!!
  • The little footed ice cream dishes have been with me for as long as I can remember
  • Creamware dessert plates are Wedgwood queensware.  I LOVE this pattern!!
 I hope you all voted for the candidates of your choice!!!

Thank you for stopping sure to visit all of the beautiful tablescapes at "Between Naps on the Porch" ...the button is up on the right of my blog.