Thursday, November 24, 2011

Au Naturale Thanksgiving


September, October and even most of November rolled around and I was without any ideas nor time to prepare for Thanksgiving. It's been a roller coaster of repairs, sickness, lack of sleep, full schedules and that's just the kids!

But I knew that I wanted to do and make this Thanksgiving special just like the others as we truly have a multitude of reasons and things to be grateful for.

For starters, our loving family; without them, we would all be like chickens with no heads! lol (true, though)
For God and his Son who sacrificed much for us, and this year alone, our own family's blessings are innumerable!
For my children and husband-where would I be without the frustration and chaos? (at a beach sipping pineapple smoothie, maybe?)
For having a brain that works for me- it landed me a temp job that I LOVE!
For our home that kept us warm, cool and in between
For higher education- there's just nothing like knowing you have a degree to fall back on.
For music and books! My sanity saver, for sure!
And for friends and wonderful acquaintances-- rounds you out as a person (who wouldn't want that?)

Ok, ok... Here's what our dining room looked this year... Mind you, this idea came to me, 3 hours before the ham had to be in the oven. And it took me 45 minutes total to finish. All I had before that, were mums. Just mums. ("Brain" was also under the weather...)

"Under the Canopy of Gratitude"

"Our Crape Myrtle Trees"

I first would like to confess: With 15 CM trees around our house, appreciating them is not always easy for me. Add to the fact that our neighbor also have about 5 big ones that drape over our fence and it's like we are in a grove of CM trees! But this Fall, I am in total awe of each trees individuality: I had one tree full of vibrant red leaves, another yellows only, another, a wave of orange-red and another, a dull burgundy... In short, just a beautiful Autumn rainbow!

I'm so glad I'm not a shopper, but rather, I'm a gatherer. A gatherer of ideas around me... Enjoy the view!

No fancy vases of plant holders, they are held together by the nandina and crape myrtle branches! Had the tealights forever (Ikea). I used the nandina berries, leaves and crape myrtle branches from 4 different trees we had around the house. Who knew the myrtle leaves can produce shades of yellow to burgundy? Just amazing during Fall!
I also found 2 great runners from JCP Outlet ($6), other than that, no direction, no ideas swam in my head. It was so frustrating! I even went and visited multiple blogs, but none gave me that "a-ha!" moment.

So it was back to just using what I already have, and I think it worked out better. I cut several branches of CM trees and placed them everywhere to give the illusion of being under the canopy of CM groves. It was very calming sitting in this room...

This beautiful chandelier, my sister gave it to me this past summer, it's called "Carolyn". (Costco)

Does anyone know what tree these beautiful leaves belong to? I see them everywhere around here, but I have no idea what they're called!
I used fallen leaves and branches with colorful leaves. I only had to purchase 2 bunches of burgundy & chartreuse mums ($8)
Dinnerware: "Tuscan Retreat" (BHG, Walmart)
Silverware: "Katrina" (Oneida, Sears)
Glassware: American Living (JCP-Discontinued, 80% off + extra $15 off $15 coupon)
Placemats: Woven Round, Kohl's (80% off)
Hurricanes: Michael's (75% off, 2005)

Even though it's just our family this year, my children were not going to let me get away with ordering any food, but since I've been under the weather, we opted for quick dishes:
Cliff House (Maine) Clam Chowder, Honey Butter French Bread (from scratch), Sauteed Asparagus, and the newest dish, Lobster Medallions & Chanterelle Mushrooms with Saffron Butter Sauce and of course, the Spiral Ham with Sugar & Spice Glaze

The dessert table always have to be just as exciting as the dinner menu: We always have fruits, cookies (gingerbread shaped cookies-maple leaf & acorn-21 cent clearance find at Kroger's)
You want to know which pies we chose this year?
Bittersweet Ganache Pie with Shortbread Cookie Crust
Key Lime Custard Pie

I'm linking up with Michael Lee at Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday

I hope you enjoyed our Thanksgiving feast this year. Thanks for stopping by; hope it gave you ideas for yours next year!

TABLESCAPING IDEAS: ("Brain" is glad to pull through this year!) Just like I did this year, often ideas just don't come, but don't panic, instead look around! Take a walk around the neighborhood and observe the colors, textures and smells of Fall. Then imagine what you would love to bring into your own home.

Monday, November 21, 2011

"Orange" you glad I remembered?

I can't believe it! I'm posting! Something new! I get to join in on the fun! Woot! So linking up with Marty, Leigh and Susan's awesome memes! Such lovely ladies who indulge us in our blogging fun!

Tabletop Tuesday, Thrifty Thursday and Tablescape Thursday

Wow! I cannot believe I forgot to post this tablescape! What is wrong with me? (Ok, a lot, but you're not suppose to know that) Anyway, this is back from January 22, for Mr. Man's birthday! He turned 40 and I wanted an all-orange theme. Why? Because he loves, loves orange and I think I love him enough to do one. (Oh, you caught the "I think" part? Man, can't get away with anything in the blog world!)

"Orange I nice to do this?"

"Mr. Man"

First, let me tell you, finding orange in January is like asking for a root canal without anesthesia! If it wasn't cost prohibitive, the selection was not up to par. Especially when the birthday boy decided he doesn't want bright orange. It took all of December and most of January to figure out what orange direction I wanted to go. 

I wanted it to reflect him: gorgeous, warm, elegant, casual and family oriented.

So... using my creative juices to glue (ewww!) the theme swirling in my head, I decided not to look in stores and into my closet instead! Well, what do you know, "Brain" did it again!

Had the rust colored heavy fabric from 2009, found candles in Marshall's for less than $3 each, used my fall dessert plates and my off white Bianca set, my country plaid napkins I found at Kohl's, orange marbles and tealights and "voila!" a gorgeous, warm, orange tablescape for Mr. Man!
The paper chains and origami birds on top, a family project. I found the pitcher at Marshall's, too ($7.99)

We made sure he didn't forget how "young" he is so we got just the right candles to remind him! lol
I made the cake, chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting mixed with a lot of orange food coloring!

Isn't my son, I-Dude, only 9, so clever to make cranes and eagles origami?
He also made that orange star. Mr. Man asked for pasta with shrimp and creamed peas and potatoes.
Used Nandina leaves and berries. Last December, the berries were very red, but in January, they were orange! How cool is that?!

Aren't these candles just gorgeous? The scent is called "Orient Tangerine". I love it!

Heeeeeeeeere's Mr. Man! The birthday boy, the gorgeous love of my life and father of my children! 
Here's the two little ones, J-Pony, 12 and I-Dude, 9. L-Infinity is in Hawaii, attending Brigham Young University in Laie, Honolulu. She thought it was a great table, too!

So... I hope you forgive me for not posting this sooner. I was not thinking of you. I'm so sorry! But, will it help if I told you that Mr. Man was so pleased with the decor that he asked me if I was showing it to you? I was so pleased that look, I forgot! Heart you all for stopping by! See you soon!

TABLESCAPING IDEAS:("Brain" is sighing that we remembered) Now that the holidays are upon us, let's not worry about trends, traditions or aesthetics. Focus on what you know-what you have and the reasons why they stayed in the first place. Instead of one massive spread of flowers, trinkets and baubles on the buffet, why don't you scatter different picture frames of past Christmases? That way, when the guests arrive, you have an instant focal point and a conversation starter!

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.