Sunday, May 31, 2009

My Almost V-Day Disaster

We've reached another Sunday, another opportunity to share past posts that was a fave but not much face time. Chari, our gracious host is letting us have our old posts shine a second time around. All I have to say is, thanks so much!

For my V-Day tablescape, there was one cakestand that I felt completed the vision in my head. I found it at Sur La Table dot com and I was thrilled that it was on sale! It was perfect until this snag happened... Enjoy reading!

From February 12, 2009


And this time she waged war on Sur La Table! With "Mouth", Mr. Man and me. (Of course, she won!)

Do you remember the first "ITEM OF THE WEEK" on the sidebar? It was this cute, whimsical 8.25" x 3" red embossed heart cake stand. Anyway... I ordered this cutie on Feb 2, full price (I know, I know... But it was soooo cute!- I, too, am subject to weakness from time to time, ain't I?)
Back track to Feb 6- I saw this cutie offered down to $8.99 or 40% off (Woo-hoo!!! I'm free from the bondage of retail cuteness angle! I can now spare my fingernails that are now down to pathetic nubs from guilt.)

Fast forward to Feb 10- Mr. Man and "Brain" cornered me into dialing for an explanation.

("Brain" was fuming... DH was in the living room with us when he too, asked, "What's up with that? They didn't ship it until the 10th? What happened to your order? You need to call them.")

("I'm on it before you even thought it. Carolyn, dial already!")

So I dialed and a nice lady picked up the call. Mr. Man was mouthing out what I should be asking. (Man, I feel so bossed around!) To continue, I politely asked why my order didn't get processed to be shipped the next business day from my order date. The associate, after looking up my order manifesto (I like that word, so business like), she sheepishly with a cute nervous laugh, declares, "I don't know what happened, ma'am. That shouldn't have happened. I don't know what to tell you."

("What kind of an explanation is that? What are they gonna do about it? Ask, Carolyn, ask!")

DH is also intently waiting for me to continue the conversation so I did; I asked, "Well, now that it was just shipped today, is it still guaranteed to arrive on Valentine's Day? That's obviously when I need it." The embarrassed lady on the phone says honestly, "I understand that. But I don't know, ma'am, because it says here 5-7 business days. I don't think so..."

Now, it was my turn to get upset! "What?! That's the only reason why I ordered it! Why even order it if you can't guarantee it, or now that I can't use it for what it's intended for?

("You stick it to 'em, Carolyn! Atta, girl!") ("Brain, just let me handle this, will ya?")

(But "Brain" couldn't let it go; so questions like, "What are you going to do about it, Sur La Table?" "Don't we need to be compensated for this inconvenience?!", were spit out through "Mouth". She mostly listens to "Brain" too, before me. I'm just a puppet really...)

The lady finally said, "I can't stop it to upgrade your shipping for free nor can I give you anymore discount, but what I can and will do for the inconvenience, is to give you back your shipping fee of $5.50. So that means, your card will be debited back that amount as well as the 40% off discount." I finished the confirmations and hung up. I relayed everything back to anxiously waiting Mr. Man who planted himself in front of the desk.

("That's more like it! You did well, grasshopper...") Then they let me gloat with them.

Afterall, I saved $11.51 or 56%!!!
and they took off the tax, too!

It arrived this afternoon, two days before V-day! So got my money's worth!
VICTORY once again! "Brain" - 2; Walmart & Sur La Table - Zippo!!!

(Ok, tell me this isn't cute enough to snatch up at $15.oo; I dare ya!)

Mr. Man was pleased as well- how can he not? A $20.50 acquisition, but we only dented the account by $8.99? The "what now" question was pacified, too, since it will be put to use for EVERY Valentine's and/or our Anniv Days- for both Dating and Wedding... Whew!

"Brain" says hello to all, "Mouth" too! And they both wonder... How was your day?


TABLESCAPING IDEA: ("Brain loves that cakestand") For a quick centerpiece, use different but complementary cakestands to showcase candles, flowers or appetizers. Keep your dishes understated to help the centerpiece standout more!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pink Invades Harbor Freight!

Hosted by Beverly & Christine

In light of Memorial Day, I wanted to take a virtual trip with you to PEARL HARBOR IN HAWAII... To also remember the brave soldiers who fought to keep us free. I know that December 7th since 1941 has been it's Memorial Day, but such brave moments in history should be remembered more than once a year...
Here's the USS Oklahoma also to "die" in Pearl Harbor, so when you (and hopefully me someday) go to Hawaii, you'll see two ships, USS Arizona and Oklahoma to commemorate the lives spent defending our honor...

Thanks Christine!
Hope you all can join us next Saturday!
Now we know that today is Pink Saturday's birthday celebration over at Beverly's
so to "mix up" the party, I looked for unusual pinks. And guess where I found some!
Another Harbor...

Some pink car wash solution for the cars of the invited,

Some pink can coolers for the sodas,

how about some pink key holders to get each car key straight...
Of course we can't finish a painting job (for our virtual mural to Beverly) without some pink tape...

Or some pink twine to tie up the wrapped gifts...
Or even tie up anything together in style if not for some pink tie wraps!

And of course if a Pink Birthday Bash ever gets out of hand,

You'd need a PINK hose to clean the mess up!

Thanks for hosting Beverly and a Happy Birthday to Pink Saturday!

TABLESCAPING IDEA: ("Brain" is just tickled pink!) Many of us adore the color pink. And honestly, which woman doesn't? Anyway, if you truly are a pink fan, why not make a table of just pink! Use b&w or light sage green plates, outline floral not colored in and use different shades of pink to make it pop! Centerpiece, easy, light pink roses with hot pink tulips. An instant wow!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Foodie Mosaic

I haven't done much cooking lately since the kids are busy wrapping up school events, business and all that end-of-year jazz. So... I just made a mosaic of the foods I made and enjoyed!

TABLESCAPING IDEA: ("Brain is hungry again...) Next time you are stuck on a centerpiece idea, use food! Artsy cuts, create tiers, and even create a rainbow, but use food. If you do, you only have to worry about which plates to use! Simple and delicious!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Lara's Garden

Hosted by Susan and Leigh

Another Thursday, it can only mean two things for me! A Terrific & Thrifty Tablescape! I officially declare myself a dishaholic like many of you, but to my defense, I am still quite controlled. How do you say? On my "Must Get" wish list, is the Churchill or Johnson Bros. "Blue Willow" and though Ebay sellers had cheap auctions and Marshall's had over a dozen dinner plates for only $4 each, I walked away! Why? Because it didn't feel right just yet... Don't ask me why but that's how I buy my dishes, the timing and price has to be perfectly aligned... ;-)
Ok on to this week's Thrifty Tablescape...

"Summer Romance"

CC (Catherine de 'the Cups) "Life" Placemats
Summer Time
American Atelier's "Lara's Garden" Salad Plates

This pair is from Goodwill a few months back. They only had two and since most of you were so ready to give your dishes a taste of the outdoors (which I still can't cuz it rained and stormed again), this design called out to me. I was lucky enough to find these two charming floral and bug design and thought...

... it would go great with the two placemats that I won from Catherine's Giveaway! The white handwriting spells out "LIFE" in different languages. See my note on there, can you find the word I was talking about? Hint: underneath the word, "have".

Can't you just see how cute these plates are against the placemats, but since they are on the pastel side, I wanted another strong dish to connect the colors better and thank goodness I have these red solid Canopy "Cranberry" plates. The back of each placemat is striped so I can do so much more with them. Happy dance being executed in my head as we type! LOL

Here's what I came up with... since our patio is still soggy...
I put together this table in less than 5 minutes, but the photoshoot took over 30! Yikes! DH had to show me how to best use the Program feature but the amateur in me still didn't like the grainy look of the photos. I wanted enough candle to float around and from different containers to simulate being outdoors and compensating for the dark. Also the different candles evoked a casual setting while the colors provided the romance. Did I tell you that I met my gorgeous hubby in summer time. Yep, late August, 1993... So this table was in honor of that.

And this is without flash, with the kitchen light on.

How is it thrifty you ask? Oh, so you doubt me now, huh? Well...


Day Spring "Life" Placemats- CC; FREE (I won them)

Hard Rock Cafe Cocktail Stemware- Goodwill; 59 cents each

Canopy "Cranberry" Dinner Plates- Walmart; $1.96 each

"Lace" Trinket Boxes- Big Lots; $5 each

Green Hurricane Glass Vase- Freecycle; FREE

Tealights & Votives- 22 cents each

Tealight Holders- 25 cents each

American Atelier "Lara's Garden" Salad Plates- Goodwill; 59 cents each

Hamilton "Lace" Forks- 87 cents each (92 pcs for $80)

Red Napkins (2008)- 25 cents for 20pcs/pkg


Taco Bell fare because that's where we met...

A great big thank you to our lovely hosts, Susan and Leigh and to all of you for taking a peek! Heart you all for taking time for li'l ol' me! ;-)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Whitest Beach of Asia

Hosted by "A Southern Daydreamer"

Now that it's almost summer time, I can't help but long to lounge on the beaches of the Philippines. And if you have ever been to the Philippines, you'd know the first beach to try would be the Boracay Islands!

I'll let Yahoo Travel and Nomad4Ever tell you just how beautiful it is...

Yahoo Travel's 2007 World's Most Popular Beach

"Most people have heard of Boracay, which is sometimes called the “Whitest Beach of Asia” - and it’s true! If you thought so far, the beaches of Bali are nice, or Thailands beaches are white - you haven’t seen the real deal. I kid you not! Boracay has truly a powdery white sand, which is of no comparison to any other beach in Asia. Maybe the Maldives come close - but then, they are much more expensive, exclusive and you are basically locked on a tiny island for the time of your stay." (Nomad4ever dot com)

Are you ready to pack your bags? I am! (At least I wish I am...)

Thanks Susan for letting me go on a virtual beach tour of my beloved birth country.

TABLESCAPING IDEA: ("Brain so misses the Philippines) Create a table using only colors of the country you wish to visit or have visited the most. Don't worry about the artwork or images that represent the country, but rather, focus on the colors... Let the food from that country shine when placed in in solid colors of its origin place in the world.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A 2nd Time Around Tablescape!

Hosted by "A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words"

Hosted by "The Gypsy's Corner"

Yes, you read right! A tablescape full of 2nd time around goodies! For Memorial Day, we decided that since the kiddos were home and hubby's off, we will barbecue some brisket! Well, as if we had no prepping to do, we still slept in! (head low in shame...) But... to rescue the day, we cleaned some of our storage boxes out and got errands done plus a lunch at Sonic, to the delight of the kiddos as we were also treated to a viewing of a loose all-black rooster feasting at Sonic! LOL

"Sacrifice for Freedom"

Red and Blue Tealights
Mikasa Intaglio "Annette" Dessert Plates

On to the "meat" of the post... I'm sure Tam can see the multiples on this table. The 6 Sangria goblets, the 6 placesettings, the 9 mum flower heads and the 8 tealights. But... what you couldn't see is all the second go around items on the table!

The tablecloth, an old twin-sized flat flannel sheet. Also used for my Graduation tablescape. The vases of the mums, the Glade Scented Candle holders turned upside down and filled with water. The mums, back from May 11th, third arrangement for the bouquet. The red napkins, 20-in package, my V-Day find last year, for 25 cents! The dessert plates, my Goodwill find, Mikasa "Annette" from the Intaglio collection. Paid 59 cents each!

The red plates, back from my "A Love Bug Bit Me!" and "Beautiful Together" tablescape; Canopy, $1.96 each from Walmart.

Here's a close-up of the placesetting...

And closer still... The creamy white salad plate is my Thomson Pottery, "Bianca" set. $1 each at Ross. Shelia of Note Songs, found some just recently. It is a great versatile set. The design mimics Mikasa's "Antique White" dinnerware. You see the overlapping design on my Mikasa Annette's? Isn't just beautiful? :-D
It's been two weeks and quite humid in our apartment, but the mums still looked amazing! Of course I wasn't gonna pass another opportunity to use them! See the purple tealights, not purple at all. They are BLUE! But the flame rendered them purplish... ;-) I don't mind... Also, note that my tealights are haphazard, proving that there's no need to "polish" off your centerpiece. My mums made the containers look straight, but they're noooot... :-)
A sideview if you prefer it... See my other sets peeking? If you notice the middle container is inset more compared to the other two and the one on the right, is actually more forward than the one on the left. Was it deliberate? I'll never tell... (hee hee...)
And here we are! The end of the tablescape tour for this tabletop design. Now pick a seat and let's start to eat. Have you washed your hands?
Before we dine on BBQ Brisket, Chandy's Potato Salad (no mayo), Steamed Broccoli, Steamed Jasmine Rice and Asian Melon Sangria (dh found it in the Philippines, and I have to make it at least once a warm season), let's first offer a blessing on the food and offer gratitude to the men and women who allows us to enjoy great food, great company, blogging and tablescaping- through our freedom in this country. May Heavenly Father keep them all safe and to those that passed on, an angel status to watch out for others...

Hope you all had a great one! Thank you again, Tam and Diane for graciously hosting! Make sure to come by and visit them!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Teen Sanctuary Redo

Hosted by "Southern Hospitality"

Hosted by "Between Naps on the Porch"

Back in 2007, a few months after we moved in, we figured out how my teen's room would look like. I even repainted her mirror to reflect her new color scheme. It used to be blue with a gray wash.

Then last year, early May, she decided she wanted a more Asian look after we found those melamine plates at Target. Though it looked cleaner, it still didn't feel right if she wanted an Asian feel to the room plus the drapes were too busy.

I even had the silly idea of uploading to RMS, but the moment I did, I knew it didn't look right. So here's the before of the second redo. That headboard, FREE from a friend. The mirror, normally $7, marked down to $5, at the check out, rang up $3! Woohoo! These are my thrifty treasures share for today.

Here's after we bought some deep red stain with sealer. Several coats on the mirror and headboard to reflect the color design on the plates and the iron lamp color. But it still didn't feel Asian... "Brain", wake up and help me figure this out!

Since my teen didn't want too much color, we opted for earthy colors. I found these solid taupe drapes at a Mervyn's in Utah for 50% off clearance. We gave our daughter a mini treasure chest for a Young Women's activity at church a few years before, so I used that since it was made in India, found in Target. It has intricate carvings and very solid. The iron bamboo frame was from Kohl's, 70% off and the slim ceramic vase with thin bamboo stems, $5 from Ross.

Now, it is more serene, and since her Feng Shui color is green, her element is metal, and her number is 5, we incorporated complimentary elements to bring her peace and quiet when she is in that room. For example, 5 is a middle number indicating indicisiveness, change or transition, so to break that up into more positive numbers, I grabbed two dinner plates and three salad plates.

The number 2 symbolizes unity and strength while three is symbolizes communication, openness. Metal is strong, unyielding, powerful so to tone it down, using the earth element colors tone down my daughter's strong personality side and allows her to think. Also, having the lamp lit at night to her right and the light fixture above her represents the fire element that further tames her "metal" personality, allowing her to be moldable, teachable. She has understood many complex AP Calculus AB & BC and AP US History homeworks in that room that she normally would be impatient about in any other room.

She has a schedule most adults would avoid so this room calms her down and she loves it!

I hope you liked it as well... Thanks for peeking!

TABLESCAPING IDEA: ("Brain" wants her bedroom redone) With any redo, there will be remnants of some sort. See if any of the pieces can be salvaged. Either take a picture or use it as part of your centerpiece to help you celebrate your accomplishment with a great menu! Even if it's a table for one!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Hosted by "Happy to Design"

First off, I want to thank all of you for visiting my posts. I know you are all busy planning for summer and taking care of others and I'm truly humbled that you remember to stop by. Right now, like many of you, life is taking us for a spin and I am a bit emotionally spent... I've been "escaping" in my blogs, so please be patient with me if I don't get to visit much of you. I know things will settle down soon and I can have a clear head. No one is sick, but my side of the family is dealing with so much right now that I can't help feeling helpless. Ok, I've ruined your morning already. Sorry for venting, you are all so wonderful to have even bothered with my blog and I can never repay you for that. For now, I simply thank all of you...

On to a happier note... It's Sunday again and that means we get to dig out through our blog archives for another great past post to share! Chari, if I haven't told you yet that you're a genius for coming up with this meme, I'm telling you now, you're a genius! Heart ya dear friend!

Ok, just to remind everyone, I started this blog just back in February and I practically had no readers until I saw Susan of "Between Naps on the Porch" tablescape posts and I commented on it and on a few others. Now that I've found all of you, I hope you enjoy this repost!

From February 9, 2008


If you look on the sidebar, you'll see that I also use FreeCycle to add to my collection. I've only been a part of it since early this year, so I haven't fully utilized it. But those few times that I've had, I've gotten a white cake stand (sidebar), a bird cage (no, it's not for the table...) and today, I picked up this morning...

Seven (7) FREE Italian ceramic Pagnossin salad plates!

It is a solid beige plate that has a simple chocolate striping on the verge and rim edge. That means... each one is perfect to pair with my Mocha Swirl plates for the next V-day table!!! Yes! And since there are seven, if one breaks, I still have a full six place settings to use! I love that guarantee!

Thanks, Teri K, for parting with these very chic cosmopolitan looking plates. Did I mention they are authentic Pagnossin's? (they are among the better ceramic and china manufacturers in Italy since the '70s, but have been making ceramic dinnerware since the '50s.) To compare, the current pricing for the salad plates, I found Pagnossin Taupe-Rim; a salad plate is steady at $11.99 and dinner plate at $33.99 each at Replacements, Ltd.

So, yes, "Brain" and I are celebrating!!! Yes, yes, yes!!!

Here's what the back looks like:

(This is no longer the logo you'll see in the back of Pagnossin dishes. The new one looks embossed, similar to what you'll see on
I presume this is just before they were fully automated. I can't find this pattern- 851 on any English written sites, nor any pictures, so I don't know if it is still being distributed in Europe. I placed the stack on my pink cake stand to drop a hint of what's to come...)


TABLESCAPING IDEA: ("Brain is feeling FREE!) You know the feeling of being given something wonderful, better than you expected kind of a gift? Well, why not interpret that into a tablescape! Dishaholics like me can easily pull this off... LOL Gather all of your "free items" and create a table with it. For a centerpiece, just gather flowers from your garden or your friends' gardens. Scrounge up a menu from your cupboards that were bought three months ago. Yes, even meat if you froze it right! ;-) Caveat, most non-big ticket items are considered well-paid-for after three months, so you can use that in grabbing your items and planning a menu. Gather your family after everything's ready and have a great evening reminding them why you gathered all these items and the wonderful feeling getting something FREE is. Then tie it to the FREEDOM we enjoy in this country, how it is constantly paid for by bravery, sacrifice and even lives of those who wish to maintain it...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dreaming of Spain & A Pretty Teacup

Hosted by Beverly and Christine

While back in Mesa, AZ, we ran into a Basha's grocery store for some dental wax for my teen's braces. And while my fam looked, I explored the floral department and look what I saw!

Isn't it gorgeous? But as you can see, it's attached to its saucer! It's meant to be a cute planter... Too bad for me. But then again at $12.99 each, I couldn't afford it! ;-(
Now, let's move on to my Destinations Wish List - SPAIN!

Since I am part Spanish from both sides, Spain is one country I wish to visit someday for some genealogy information huntdown adventure, but look at all these places to enjoy first.

All photos and info courtesy of Iho-Ohi dot org
Alhambra Palace in Granada. Look at those beautiful hedges. From the Towers, you can view the Battlemented Tower, Other Towers, The Torre de las Infantes, Torre de las Damas, Torre del Aqua, Torre del Candil, and Tower of the Girl Captive.

The City of Arts and Sciences, designed by world famous architect Santiago Calatrava, in Valencia

Estepona, in Andalusia. A farming & fishing community.

And of course, The Royal Palace, in Madrid

TABLESCAPING IDEA: ("Brain" really wants to go) Want a motivation to save those pennies for a trip or want a quick cultural theme decor? Try buying a cheap tourguide book and carefully cut out pictures. Laminate and hang them from the chandy to almost the table and have a great centerpiece! Since you're using paper and plastic, better not to have any lit candles nearby. Instead, use plants lit with string lights and small jarred candles with shades for ambiance. Use dinnerware from the area and cook the local foods that you'd most likely be looking for while you're there, if you ever get there.

Niceties first

HELLO AND WELCOME to this blog dedicated to my obsession of tablescapes, and ONLY TABLESCAPES!
That means that whatever I post will be redirected to tablescapes or you will see tablescapes or the dishes and glassware that I used AND wish to use.
I hope you like you what you see; but you can't do that unless you take the tour- the TABLESCAPE TOUR that's on the side bar! I'd also love to take you on my adventures on finding great dinnerwares to display and use while leaving some serious change in your pocket, so stay a while and see all of my great deals!
Wanna know the reason behind the madness, too? Then make sure to read, Why this blog for my philosophy.