Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
For the Foodie Friday potluck today, I feel like South of the Border, but pardon my lack of authenticity. I only wish to capture the flavors of the area.
You are welcome to come and join me.
Wash your hands, pull up a chair, and let's get eatin'!
Thanks, Michael Lee for hosting this awesome potlucks!!! Honestly, where do you the find the time?
First the appetizer... How about some quesadillas with bacon and green onions?
Alright... Before we dive into the rest of the meal, let's clean our palette with some freshly picked blackberries- from the thornless bushes.
There... Our palette's ready for more. How about some... Taco Beef Soup?
Done? How did you like it? I'm glad you enjoyed it. Now let's dive into... Some fresh tacos you make yourself (you washed your hands, right?)
That was truly delicious! I had two myself. How about dessert? Let's go to Hawaii, ok? I'm craving for some macadamia nuts and good chocolate. How about these?
Well? How was everything? Do you still have room in those pants? I hope I didn't make you eat too much. Thank you for coming!!! I'm glad you came to see me! :-D
Til next Friday then... I know you have other goodies to check out at Gollum's. That's where I'm headed! Let's go together... :-D
Thursday, February 26, 2009
For today's Tablescape Thursday, I went through my pictures and quickly realized that I love doing buffet tablescapes as well as traditional ones. Of course, since my children are little still, with my oldest only a teenager, elaborate ones are not quite in order yet.
So here are the ones I've done over the past years:
to some households,
to saturate a table with practically
And here's my Thrifty Thursday...
Like always, thanks for peeking! Now go peek at other beautiful tablescapes and thrifty finds...
Oh, and did you notice, there are now 20 awesome and fabulous ladies following this blog. I feel so loved!
Thank you , thank you, thank you!!! You all rock even for just visiting!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I don't own a home yet so this bulging collection is always in danger of damage, loss or being scrapped. The latter will never happen so in order for the dh to be pacified, I find ways to store them carefully without taking over the whole place.
But how to do that?
First, it would be a fair warning to say that since all of my dishes, outside of my fine china, are chosen to coordinate because setting up for the holidays can be a little daunting.
Also, each holiday is pretty much the same every year, in exception to Easter which can either fall in March or April. So, to get everything straight, I have these to go by.
1. The solids and patterns are lined up in their own shelf or shelves. This makes it easy to mix and match. For the solids, do the rainbow pattern to grade the shades so it's easier to find.
2. If sets have to be in a box, take a picture and record name of pattern. Slap info on the box for easy tracking.
3. Decide on the next two holidays and keep those patterns and colors in the hutch or shelf; both to prepare and to refresh the look of the dining room.
4. Keeping small spaces in mind, choose colors that can be multi-purpose:
Blue- good for 4th of July, summer and winter parties, Americana Christmas or New Year's Eve tables. And all surprise celebrations
White- is good for all holidays and "Just Because" moments
Yellows and Oranges- good for Summer and Autumn tables
Burgundy and Rust and Sage- are all good colors for the country theme and classic Christmas and Thanksgiving
Black- good for Halloween, Modern and Fun Teenage themed tables
Greens- St. Pat's, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Garden or Summer themes
Red and Pinks- Valentine's Day, Tea parties, Any Ladies' club or girls' party themes. Christmas, Independence Day and Easter can also be good for these colors.
Gold & Platinum- Best if kept simple and matched and highlighted with candlelight.
5. I don't buy patterns that I can't imagine my other plates fitting in with it. Also, chargers are dinnerware bling.
6. I only buy plates on clearance of 40% off or more.
7. Because I practice Feng Shui, my tables are focused on balance, symmetry and color harmony. For example, my last Valentine's Day was mainly Red and Black, but I laid it all on white tablecloth, bowls and cake stands to neutralize both strong colors and lighten the look.
I hope you find my tips helpful. It took years to finesse while not letting my obssessions get the best of me. I truly love collecting dishes and I'm glad that my budget is never big enough to get out of control. I'm just glad that I haven't traded any of my kids for a set of dinnerware. (I don't think the DH would like that... What do you think? ;-D)
TABLESCAPING IDEAS:(Love "Brain" for helping me come up with this...) Pick pictures with a theme and frame them accordingly on small frames. Use white and green or floral plates with green placemats on bare table for nature themes and coordinating plates for other themes. In the middle for a centerpiece, choose three sizeable items to giveaway the theme with a few candles around or anything fun around it. Place these framed cuties on each plate with the person's name assigned to that seat and ask each guest to come up with an image for their picture. After everyone is done with their "image" about the picture, hand the frame to the next person and start over again until each picture comes back to the original plate. You have an instant conversation starter and a game to immerse everyone in the theme of your tablescape!
Here are a few of God's creatures residing near us! Sometimes, they are the simplest tokens to show us how we are all connected...
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Ever since seeing Cinderella's glass slippers when I was a kid, I've always been fascinated with crystals. When I look around a store, I find myself looking at crystal vases, candleholders and goblets.
I am a big fan of Lenox and Mikasa.
TABLESCAPING IDEAS: (Sometimes, I even amaze myself! This is such a great idea!) Break out your fine crystal goblets and candleholders. On a white tablecloth, use silver chargers, a platinum rimmed solid white fine china and a clear glass salad plate. For the candleholders, use white taper or votive candles and gather them all in a nice grouping in the middle of the table. Use a white napkin with carved glass or crystal napkin rings. Fill up the crystal goblets with room temperature water, only a little over halfway. Use polished chrome utensils and throw some opalescent flat glass pebbles and scatter them around the candleholders and in between. From the chandelier, hang some opalescent bead strings and then turn off the lights but one that reflects off the table. Take a picture on slower frame and capture all the shine!- Sidenote: you can use this as a sophisticated Mardigras tablescape. Just add silver masks on each plate and "voila!" a festivity right in your own dining room!
The following are only three styles in my collection. Enjoy the peeking!
I enjoyed sharing these with all of you. Thanks for visiting! Make sure to stop by Gypsy's blog to see what others chose for their Three or More Tuesday!
See you all tomorrow for Outdoors Wednesday!
Monday, February 23, 2009
It's amazing to realize just how much change happens in one year. This entry is to remind me of just how very grateful I am for the blessings my family and I have received each passing year...
This is for my very first Metamorphosis Monday! Thanks, Susan!
November 2007; all we could afford was a vinyl tablecloth and some meager items for Thanksgiving. We had just moved that summer and most were confined in the storage plus things were much tighter than we anticipated. The purple linen was used as a shipping buffer, so we grabbed that real quick from another box headed for storage.
As you can see, I just set the table... We were truly just "Simply Grateful" for being together and blessed with enough for a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner.
November 2008; Things turned around and we reflected that gratitude on our tables. Of couse, all items were either at 50% off or more, so we didn't break the bank. Thank goodness for that! Though everything else is different and new, I used the same plates to help remind us how it was like the year before...
I made my own centerpiece- spent $10 on three bouquets. The pot was a 99-cent find.
The placesetting was inspired by Texas sunsets in Autumn. Plus we gathered our own leaves to use for the place cards my children made and colored.
I made most of the desserts myself and played around with how to best showcase them all.
I hope you enjoyed my very first Met Monday. Make sure to check out Susan's blog (link under logo) and enjoy how others' participated.
Love you all for visiting! And don't forget to accept your award for finding this blog. Click on it on the sidebar and follow the instructions on how you can share it!
Sunday, February 22, 2009
So when I got married, I decided I wanted the same. I taught myself how to cook and started to "design" my tables and I haven't stopped since! But as far as blogging, I found this post from Pink Ink after being so excited to find other Pinay (Filipino) bloggers, about going for your dream, so I did! Blogging about my love of tabletop designs and my dinnerware collection is such a therapeutic thing for me!
My Philosophy on Tablescaping:
I use my practice of Feng Shui to produce beauty, harmony and balance to my tables. I believe in multi-sensory tables that you just can't stop looking at. I believe that each tablesetting should make the food look good but accessible. I also believe that if I can't afford it, I won't use it, so all of my designs were a culmination of clearance finds and all of my dinnerware can be paired for different holidays and occasion. Plus, my approach is based on three facts: Still a student, a Mormon SAHM to three and entertains a lot! So yes, all these tables, they're soooo doable! This is a love in progress. I am no Sandra Lee; her style is very different from mine. So no, you won't find birdcages on any of my tables... (Don't want to traumatize our cockatiel!)
I LOVE FOOD. I respect it and use it as my way of honoring my Chinese and Spanish heritage and my family of five. For our wedding, my then boss Andreas, got us two 5-pc place settings of our wedding china, plus two water goblets and flutes or our wedding crystal. Plus, on our 1st anniversary, my hubby got me this beautiful set of pink scalloped floral Noritake Fine Bone China and since then, I was hooked on tablescapes! I have lots of dinnerware and tabletop goodies- I use them all!
So now, after almost 12 years, I'm coming out of my hutch and sharing all of my secrets! With every idea, poor dh is left asking, "What now?"
Thanks for reading! If you want to see my tablescapes, click on the Table Tour on the side bar and enjoy!
Love to all that shares this love with me and love to all that cared to get to know this simple PINAY tabletop designer. Someday, when I have a great big store room to house all of my dinnerware, then I will start a rental business for wedding host tables...
BTW, make sure to grab your award on the side bar. You deserve it!
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Take it and share it with others, so tell them where you got it by posting about it on your blog and asking them to do the same.
Also, make sure you let me know that you earned one by leaving a comment. That's all. Now go and be FABULOUS!
Enjoy it! You deserve it for being fabulous and any fan of a great blog will always be FABULOUS!
It's not crystal but the fact that it came from my sister, my only and younger sister who is bravely raising two children on her own is enough to make this quite priceless... So yes, NO ONE (not even my children) is allowed to touch these babies! ("Brain" is always watching... Remember?)
I hope you all enjoyed going down memory lane with me. I miss her so much and my "babies"- my niece April and nephew Kyle... They are so cute! I remember this one time when we--
("Snap out of it, Carolyn! This is not the Oprah Winfrey show!" ~"Brain") (Sorry, my bad...)
(Thanks for the encouragement, "Brain"! Sharing was so much better... Ok! Onto the next thing.)TABLESCAPING IDEA: Think of a reason to have a dinner for two in your own dining room. With a light pink tablecloth (Anna's Linens have a great selection) and some white candles on smooth crystal candleholders and a white rose bud on a crystal bud vase. Set up a footed tray of finger foods, and at the bottom, two special goblets like mine (just for these types of dinners) filled halfway with your fave libation (hopefully nothing strong or non-alcoholic, preferrable). Turn down the lights, share the food, the drink and declare your undying love for each other, all over again...
(This is a great idea. Even "Brain" is quite impressed; and she's the smart one! Love that!)
Happy Pink Saturday everybody!!!
Friday, February 20, 2009
Another fun one from the gals...
Here's my first attempt. Hope everyone likes it!
TABLESCAPING IDEA: (This is another good one) Use this dish as a centerpiece by taking three coordinating cake stands, big to small, stack them up and fill up the space with these cups separated by grapes or strawberries. It'll be a stunning showpiece and it wouldn't take too much time! (That reminds me, I need to go back to Ross... for some- um... skirts, yeah, skirts, I'll go with that excuse!)
We all need a quick appetizer to get the party star---ted!!!
Here are my "Creamy Cups" to share. It's got sausage, black pepper, cheese and sourcream in wonton wrappers made into a cup in a mini-muffin dish. Baked for 8-10 minutes until cheese mixture is melted, and because it's baked, it's actually a light dish. It is very yummy!
She said, "Oh, I don't know if I should tell you. It's not very healthy!" To me, that's ok... It's party food!
The dish it's sitting on is also a Target find back in Mesa, AZ for 50 cents each and I got the last decent four. When we moved here to Texas, they were one of the Christmas items that got separated from the pack. What great luck because we didn't have time to go to the storage to grab our other Christmas items. I had four of them; I used one and the kids wanted to use the other three to hold their individual pieces of this delish finger food. So they did... (The chocolates got moved to a lowly regular plate after this shot)
Every New Year's Eve, we make sure that we have tons of round fruits to bring in continous cycle of prosperity and sweet life.
We had a pretty difficult year then, so most of my items were minimal and "pennies on the dollar" clearance of 75% off or more. I think that's why we didn't have any photos of Christmas 2007 table- I don't think I did a tablescape then plus we were entertaining the missionaries of our church who stopped by for some desserts! (Did anybody bring some?)
Make sure to let me know how the potluck goes! Can't attend; got homework again on Public Admin Finance... :( Enjoy!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Sa-weet! Hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I do! These are just some... On the sidebar, you'll see a little bit more. Also, those you've seen from my other posts. I even amazed myself!
("Brain", remind me to give my hubby a big kiss tomorrow for letting me have this much fun with our tables!)
I guess eleven years of collecting + 4 years of storing dating crystal will give you a sizeable stash. Yay, me!!!
75% off retail- Ross. These two square Tuscan platters were Ross finds. I needed them for a church function and when I got them, they were slashed down to half off the Ross price tag. So my total savings from retail was 75% off! It's actually greener up close...
50% off- Target. These are Target's Holiday '08 line called "Snowfall Splendor" in gold. It also came in platinum. I waited after Christmas and snagged 8 for the price of 4!
FREE- It was gifted to me before we left California. This is from Montgomery Ward, I think it's called "Autumn Foliage", I'm not sure. The dinnerware set that came with this, all had heat cracks and I had to give them to a friend of mine who loved them despite the crack. I handwash this every time I use it. I don't want to damage it in anyway.
66% off- Tuesday Morning. I found these Gorham "Flowering Meadow" flutes (I got water goblets, too) at Tuesday Morning that just opened up near us this month. $5 a piece instead of $15.
50% off- Ross. These are my Blossom china. I don't know what they are called. The dinner plate (behind pitcher) are so big that they could pass for chargers, but they only had two, so I only grabbed one because I wanted at least one of all the different pieces. I just recently found others they made and they are just as beautiful, but Ross acquired them in small quantities and "lookie-loos" managed to crack and ding them.
80% off- Target. I found these originally at $2.50, but since I was the only one who was lucky enough to find the only 12 good ones, the manager sold it to me for 50 cents each!
FREE- 1st wedding anniversary- Costco, 1997. My second Noritake dinnerware after my wedding china; I forgot the series name, but this also comes in blue floral.
FREE- A gift before we left California. These are called "White Christmas" done exclusively for Montgomery Ward; and the glasses were gifts from my MIL the following year. Not of the same line, but very complimentary (ha, complimentary design for a complimentary (aka FREE) set of glasses! I made a joke!)
90% off- Fry's Grocery store. These were called "Swirls" and I found them during a clearance stumble. I paid 50 cents each.
50% off retail- Sears. Oneida "Katrina"- These were promotional silverware. San Jose, CA 1995
FREE- This is a gift from my husband, while we were dating. It is a bud vase crystal from a local florist in San Jose, CA 1993
FREE- Gift. My mother-in-law (MIL) gave me these as part of my Christmas service silverware back in San Jose, California.
50% off- LNT. Just for the serving pieces. These were from LNT during a special clearance closeout to make room for the Christmas dinnerware stock; Gilbert, AZ
75% off- Kitchen, Etc. I found these in an outlet mall in Mesa, AZ. They only had 9, I was going to take them all, but the last one had a noticeable crack and damage on the rim.
FREE-My wedding china. Noritake "Halls of Ivy" (darkened so you can see the embossed ivy leaves) My boss back in 1996 got us two place settings for our wedding reception.
I am so glad that I have them! But I'm more glad that I got them for a great price or FREE!
I love every piece I own, and I can't stand that many of them are in storage, far from our home!
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.