Jingle and Mingle party warms the Christmas season

I was so happy to be invited to my friends Lindsay and Andrew’s new home for their Jingle and Mingle Christmas gathering.

The young couple renovated and decorated this four-bedroom, two-bath home in a great neighborhood and recently moved in. I’m so impressed  that they were all set to decorate for Christmas and party!

I just love the warm farmhouse feel. I will be sharing a post soon about the renovation and decorating. For now, here are some photos I hope you enjoy.

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Santa is coming to town with traditional plaid and Lenox holly

I will always set the Christmas dinner table with my Lenox Holiday, but it’s fun to mix it up with different tablecloths and centerpieces.

This year I’m going traditional  – using a Ralph Lauren plaid, along with my Waterford Ashling wine and champagne glasses,  Lenox red holly napkins and gold flatware. I also used my large Santa from Dillard’s and tucked in are two red glass candleholders that were my mothers, and a red glass cake plate.

I try to set the table about three days ahead of the holiday, so I can enjoy it as long as possible. But here, I’ve not set out the evergreen, pine or flowers.

In the meantime, I hope you’re enjoying setting your table for friends and families, or are enjoying at the homes of friends and families! Merry Christmas to you!

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Nebraska friend shares gorgeous Christmas dining room

Sharing the beautiful table and dining room of my friend Mary Jane Ingram, who lives in Nebraska, and who is the sister in law of my local friend, Linda Ingram.

I love her Lenox Winter Greetings china and the candelabras.

Doesn’t she have a gorgeous table and dining room! And two trees!

Thanks for letting me share, Mary Jane!

A little inspiration for setting the holiday table at Sweet Peas Cafe

Had a great morning out at Sweet Peas Cafe for Working Women Of Tampa Bay Dunedin Coffee Connections.

I brought out several different Christmas patterns and tablecloths, along with a few accessories, hoping to inspire guests to use their creativity while setting their holiday table.

I love this great setting of Sweet Peas in quaint little Dunedin right by the intercoastal in Tampa Bay.

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Basking in the glow of Tampa’s iconic Donatello Italian Restaurant

We had a super delicious night at Donatello Italian Restaurant in Tampa with the Tampa Bay Bloggers.

Due to my relationship with Tampa Bay Bloggers, I received dinner and drinks from Donatello. However, all opinions here are my own.

Some of the Tampa Bay Bloggers at Donatello in Tampa.

I had never been to Donatello before but now I am a convert.  It was absolute perfection in food, atmosphere and service.

The grand thing about going with the TBBloggers, or a large family, is having the opportunity to try many dishes, and not just yours and your date.

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Get inspired for your holiday table at The Hen House with Plate Girl

Holiday Tablescapes: Watch and Learn/ Dec. 12th 1-2pm

Holiday Tablescapes: Watch and Learn/ Dec. 12th 1-2pm

I’m so excited to be collaborating with The Hen House for a class on holiday tablescaping! The Hen House is located in Carrollwood and is an adorable shop that also has classroom space for fun events like this! Feel free to share with your friends and learn more!

Thank you Amy Lemons McDermott of Lemon Tree Vintage Market for the referral!

Here’s the announcement from The Hen House:

Holiday Tablescapes: Watch and Learn/ Dec. 12th 1-2pm

Holiday Tablescapes: Watch and Learn/ Dec. 12th 1-2pm





“Something fun is happening in The Coop on Tuesday, December 12th. Come and learn how create a beautiful and stunning opulent tablescape just in time for Christmas Holiday Entertaining. Presented by Marsha Strickhouser, The Plate Girl. This free demonstration will be happening from 1-2pm. Sign up and  reserve your space on-line.

More about Marsha! 

Holiday Tablescapes: Watch and Learn/ Dec. 12th 1-2pm

Marsha Strickhouser writes a blog called Plate Girl, is an avid tablescaper and helps people set their tables for holidays and general entertaining. She is obsessed with plates and has been collecting dishes since she was little. She believes setting a festive table makes the meal better and the day or night more memorable.

She will demonstrate how you can set a festive holiday table using many of the things you already have around your home.

She has appeared on WFLA and Daytime TV as Plate Girl, done tablescapes and florals for All Children/s Hospital Guild, Dress for Success and HCC, and collaborates with many area businesses to set tablescapes.

Her blog features tablescapes, restaurants, hotels and beaches and sometimes her Pomeranian and chihuahua.

She has a degree in journalism from the University of Miami and worked as a journalist for six years, including as a lifestyle and food editor at a tiny daily newspaper in South Dade county. She has also worked in public relations for almost 20 years, at the University of Miami School of Medicine, the University of South Florida and Valpak. (Yes, the coupon company, which makes me an official bargain hunter as well.)

You can also find her on social media at:
Facebook: PlateGirlFla
Twitter: PlateGirl19
Instagram: Plate_Girl
Pinterest: PlateGirl


Stalking the Dillard’s Christmas china department … is that wrong?

So after I went to Macy’s to check out the Christmas china, (see my previous post) I decided I needed more and headed over to Dillard’s.

Our local mall Westfield Countryside has a large department and selection. I always go there for Christmas and ALWAYS the day after Christmas for tons of great 50% off deals. It’s mobbed – but it’s fantastic.

I love that they have so many brands – in addition to Lenox, Spode, Fitz & Floyd,  Fiesta, Southern Living, Waterford, Christopher Radko and Swarovski, they have Dept. 56, Byers Choice, Annalee and more.

Here are some of my faves.

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Taking a trip to Macy’s china department to start the holidays

I don’t know if you can relate, but I love hanging out in department store china departments.

Yes. Really.

I worked in the Burdine’s (now Macy’s) china department when I was in college, and I guess that’s where it really got to me. It was there I saw the most elegant women choosing Christmas china patters such as Lenox Holiday.

And yes, I was hooked.

So now, I love to see all the china patterns set out for Christmas. And just when I think I know all of the companies and patterns, there’s something new.

My favorites: Lenox, Spode, Villeroy & Boch and even the sweetness of Pfaltzgraff.

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Annual St. Joseph’s Woman’s Hospital Foundation’s luncheon, epic fashion show rings in the holidays

I had the opportunity to attend the 29th Annual St. Joseph’s Woman’s Hospital Foundation luncheon and fashion show. What a show!  The fashions are from Georgette’s Boutique in South Tampa and they were extraordinary!

Models include many Tampa Bay media personalities, which makes for a fun show. This is a great kick off to the holiday season and sells out every year due to the great venue, auction, planning and dancers!

Here is a peek at the gorgeous tables!

I can’t wait to go back next year!


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