Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving Revisited

Not a long post today. I just wanted to share my Thanksgiving table with you to especially highlight a centerpiece that was sent to me by my very special niece and nephew.

We had a small gathering this year. Most of the family was at their respective in-laws' homes (we alternate every year).  So that just left Hubby and me, my cousin, and my daughter, son-in-law, and 17-month old granddaughter.

I decided to bring in dinner from Marie Callendar's. I've got to tell you, it was delicious. The only problem was that re-heating all the components (microwaving was recommended) took up those precious minutes before serving and it was rather confusing getting everything on the table at the same time!

Here are a couple of pictures to show you the table and the beautiful flowers I received:

I hope your Thanksgiving was joyous and delicious! Now, it's onward and upward as we enter the fray of the Christmas holidays!!

I'll be linking up to Christine's Table It! at  and Susan's Tablescape Thursday at Be sure and check out these blogs that have some wonderful things going on, especially during this season!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Special Dinner

On December 4th, my Hubby and I will celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary. We always take a trip to celebrate. We don't necessarily go very far; just a change of scenery. One advantage to having a near-to-Christmas anniversary is that no matter where we go, there are decorations and lights: almost as if everyone is celebrating our special day! Hotels have large festooned trees in their lobbies, garlands of greenery welcome us at the check-in desk, twinkling lights greet us everywhere, and seasonal music surrounds us no matter where we go.  We also make sure we are near an Outlet Center so we can start our Christmas shopping. We buy everyone in the family new pj's and that means we buy 18 sets!! They are passed out before the holiday with the instructions: "Do not open until Christmas Eve!" Since our four girls all have husbands and children, we don't see them on Christmas Eve: they want to be home for Christmas morning and Santa's reveal. So, we see them for Christmas Day.

I decided to have a romantic anniversary dinner this year before we "hit the road'.  The menu will be Cesar Salad, filet mignon, baked potatoes and steamed asparagus. There will be chocolate cake for dessert. We'll have champagne for a toast, wine for dinner and an after dinner cognac.

Here is the table I have planned:

Here's How It Was Created:

I start with a white lace tablecloth. It seems appropriate for a romantic dinner, especially one commemorating a wedding!

My place setting starts with a silver placemat. I want a white and silver tablescape, so this placemat anchors that color combination.

I then add my openwork white ceramic charger from Maryland China Co.  Be sure and check out their clearance section on their website: these chargers are seconds (although you could never tell) and were 50% off when I bought them!

The dinner plate is from HomeGoods and is labeled Metaceramica (you've seen it many times on my blog!)

The salad plate is from Pier One and is part of their Madeleine collection. I love the scalloped nature of the rim and the delicate swirls.

To dress things up a bit I used a silver napkin sheath on top of a white and silver patterned napkin found at HomeGoods.  I had found the silver napkin ring at a yard sale and found it had just enough sparkle to complete the look I wanted!

The place setting was completed with my late mother-in-laws silverplate in the Heritage pattern from the International Silver company. It is such a romantic pattern and perfect for this dinner! I also added my Waterford toasting flutes (part of their Celebration series) and the wine and cordial stemware from the Rogaska collection in their Gallia pattern.  The silver glass votive holders are just to add some lighting ambiance to the table.

My centerpiece requires explanation.  I found out that the traditional gift for the 27th Wedding Anniversary is sculpture.  I immediately thought of the sculpture that my sister-in-law, Marie, had gotten us. It seemed a perfect anchor piece for my centerpiece: so romantic and precious with its intended anniversary blessing. I also added the cake topper from our wedding day: a tiny sculpture, but huge in its sentimental meaning.  I have been waiting to use the lighted wreath for just the right table, and I do believe I found it! It actually looks very much like the headpiece I wore for our wedding! (minus the lights, of course!) The candle holders were wedding presents from a beloved friend who left us far too soon.  I think of Eddie whenever I take these out of my hutch.

Accent pieces on the table include my crystal bowl which I will be using as a salad bowl,  (another wedding gift from a dear friend, Frankie) , and an etched glass carafe which holds our gifted cognac.

I'm still recovering from surgery, but every day brings more strength and energy.  I look forward to our anniversary dinner and the short trip that follows it.  We seem to use this anniversary trip every year as a starting point for our Christmas holiday time.  When we get back, the decorating will start as well as the frantic race to Christmas Day when our beloved family fills our home. Of course, things will be somewhat calmed down this year. However,  this year more than ever before I greet this time with gratitude and appreciation.  Happy Anniversary, dear Hubby..........

I'll be linking up to Christine's Link It! Party at ,
Susan's Tablescape Thursday at and Kathy's Home and Garden Thursdays at  Please stop by these wonderful blogs to see what others have to share.  Thank you, ladies, for hosting these parties!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Back for Bundt!

Hello, Dear Friends........twelve weeks past open heart surgery and a much harder recovery than I anticipated, I have re-entered the blogging world again. I can't tell you how excited I was to start digging through my tablescaping storage closet, and retrieve the things I would need for my first tablescape in many months. It was so wonderful to feel in control of my life once again and have the stamina to do what makes me so happy!  Thanks to Kathleen at Cuisine Kathleen I had a starting point to aim for.  November 15th is National Bundt Day and Kathleen issued a challenge to complete a table that showcased the Bundt cake!  I participated last year and it was so much fun that I jumped to the challenge (well, I wouldn't say "jumped"; I sort of got up on my feet and walked!).  Here is the final result:

Here's How It Was Created:

I decided to create a fall table since I had not done one yet this year. So, I started with a fall tablecloth I had used for previous Thanksgiving tables.

I then added a woven grass placemat. I just wanted some texture on the table, and to tie in the burlap "runner" I wanted to use.

I wanted to create a dish stack, eventhough I'd really only be serving Bundt Cake with liquid refreshments. I  was just looking for a more formal look for the table since it's been the first one I've completed in so long! So I placed a brown charger with a woven design as my first layer.

I then added some new plates I bought in the clearance aisle in HomeGoods. They are made in Portugal and are called Value Ceramic SV . I loved their cream color and brown edging:  perfect for this time of year.

I added the matching napkin to the tablecloth as a buffer between plates on the dish stack. I just wanted some separation between the layers.

For my top layer, I used the cake plates from my Johnson Bros. Friendly Village set.  This is my go-to dinnerware for Thanksgiving and the fall.  I love the village patterns on the plates (especially the covered bridges!)

My place setting is completed with flatware from late mother-in-law, Johnson Bros. mugs, and amber-colored drinking glasses.

The centerpiece is , of course, the celebrated Bundt cake!  Since the table celebrates fall, I made a Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake (yummy!)  I overturned a ceramic bread basket (from the Italian Pottery shop in Santa Barbara)  to use as a cake stand.  Glass turkey taper holders and tapers (from Williams-Sonoma) complete the centerpiece. I should mention that this cake will be doing "double duty".  It's for the Challenge, but I'll also be sharing it with my special niece and nephew who are visiting from Pennsylvania to check in on me and celebrate their 10th Wedding Anniversary! Congratulations, Patty and Chris!!

Accent pieces on the table include the Johnson Bros.' sugar and creamer set, and an amber-colored glass pitcher with the face on an owl!

It felt so good to complete this table and blog post.  First, I had to find the right recipe and do some baking!  Then I started the whole process of planning a tablescape: scrounging around amid my supplies deciding what plates, etc. to use;  setting the table after ironing the linens; re-arranging things until the "picture" looks right; photographing the final result; then, writing my post and adding the photos before publishing.  It's been so long since I had the energy or mental capacity (cardiac drugs are DIFFICULT to live with!). But, with the help of my family (especially my Honey who saw to my every need; even styling my hair when I couldn't lift my arms above my head!) and loyal friends and blogging family whose prayers and moral support made such a difficult time bearable. Recovery became possible.  Many thanks to all of you. It feels wonderful to be back!

I'll be linking up to  Kathleen at for her Bundt Pan Challenge,
Susan at for Tablescape Thursday and Christine at her Link It! party at Please take some time to visit these terrific blogs and enjoy what other bloggers are sharing.  Many thanks to these busy ladies for hosting these parties!

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