July 4 Reprise: Table Ideas for the Holiday

One of my favorite things about working for a coupon company was writing this blog post for our company blog about setting a great table for Fourth of July. Sharing here…

Setting the Stage for Fourth of July

crate-barrel-vinca-dinnerwareThinking about how to decorate for the Fourth of the July holiday? One of the best ways to bring it all together is to put your attention right where the focus is – not just on the food, but right there on the table itself! Whether you’re decorating the patio table or dining room table, getting a little bit fancy can make a big splash and make your guests feel welcome.

It’s one of the easiest ways to set the tone and mood for your get together and makes everyone feel special. And you’ll be sure to get that, “Wow! Everything looks great!”

Continue reading “July 4 Reprise: Table Ideas for the Holiday”

Around the table tribute for Memorial Day

We enter this weekend remembering those who gave everything for us, families around the country will be gathering for parades, beach days, picnics and memorial services.  And so I decorate by setting the table in the colors of our country.

Using red Fiestaware and Franciscan blue and white dishes…

…My mom’s Jim Shore Uncle Sam and Polish pottery pitcher.

Some may think setting  the table with china for a summer holiday is a bit much, but the tradition comes from my mom always setting the table, no matter what the occasion, as long as the family was gathering around the table.

My family and I took some time to recall what soldiers had done for us in the past to keep our country free. Their sacrifices take my breath away.


Purple and yellow makes Easter table memories

I just love the combination of purple and yellow for Easter. It seems I used to wear the combination a lot as a child in the 60s, and for some reason it always it just brings me back to my childhood.

This is one of my favorite combinations for a tablescape, and one that always gets great comments from friends and followers, and received the most compliments at the luncheon at the Safety Harbor Spa.

The combination of the purple Spode, matched with the toile of the Williams-Sonoma tablecloth – I think they are just made for each other!

I added small rabbits from House of Hatten to surround the florals, which are irises and sunflowers.

Have you made a tablescape in purple and yellow?

Easter gets a pink makeover this year

I’d been seeing so much milk glass and so much pink this year that I decided to pull myself away from my typical purple palate and go pink.

At first I just used the pink Bordallo Pinheiro cabbage plates, but it didn’t seem to pop until I added the green plates, too.

I added several milk glass vases filled with pink gerbera daisies. Very sweet I thought. The casablanca lilies were so pretty and fragrant, I just put them in a large crystal vase. No assembly required.

It’s rare that I show my tablescapes with food, so here finally, is some food. We had steaks, salad, green beans and potatoes. The coconut Bundt bunny cake was a hit. It was supposed to be a bit more dignified, but when I remembered my Mr. Potato Head Easter edition, I just had to use it for a “whimsical” — if not silly — touch.


April Cornell tablecloth a welcome addition to Holiday table

Have you ever seen something – say, on social media – and you knew you had to have it? That’s how I felt when I saw this April Cornell holly tablecloth on the feed of Instagram user The Tablescaper, who has been one of my favorites for years.

I have several holiday tablecloths, and two or three Lenox tablecloths that match my Lenox Holiday pattern, but this one took my breath away.

However, it happened to be Christmas day that I saw it, so I wasn’t sure what kind of luck I would have. The Christmas supply would probably be already sold out, and anything worthwhile would probably have been picked over already.

Since my local HomeGoods often has April Cornell, I took off in the morning as soon as they opened.  It wasn’t Really early. It was probably about 10:30 and I just wasn’t going to get my hopes up.

But I am a bargain shopper too, and I sometimes have a way of sniffing these deals out. So I headed in.

I searched the Christmas aisles, the holiday aisles, the clearance aisles. There were some nice things still there, but no April Cornell.

I wandered the aisles looking under other tablecloths, picking through items that had been tossed aside and into the wrong category.

Disheartened,  hearing my cousin’s voice in my head: “You’ll never find it!” I headed to the front of the store toward the exit.

I noticed some holiday candles and pot-pouri and other castoffs on the white shelves near the check out.

Looking, looking, looking.

And there it was. ONE lone tablecloth, still in the plastic, still in tact. April Cornell. Holly pattern.

And of course it was 50 percent off the day after Christmas.

OMG! Well all I could say was thank you Home Goods and thank you to the God of Christmas!

I grabbed that baby so fast and brought it home to where it was meant to be.

It’s the day after Christmas so I just set it up to get a glimpse of how it will look.

Next year it will be my tablecloth for the holiday table! And it couldn’t be more perfect.

Old Northeast Neighborhood Association shows off festive candlelight home tour

I have wanted to go on the  annual historic Old Northeast Neighborhood Association candlelight tour of homes for years. Finally! I couldn’t find anyone who would go with me, so finally I just went by myself. And I’m so glad I did!

There were eight homes on the tour, from one that was remodeled and did not have furniture yet, to modern designs, to traditional.

My favorite was the first home I toured. The homeowners had created a very warm harbor in a traditional bungalow style home. Done in rich reds and traditional evergreen boughs, it was magnificent.

Moving into the traditional and separate dining room was a feast for the eyes! Tablecloth, runner, chargers, elaborate decorations on the plate, crystal tipped tree in the centerpiece, amongst swag garlands and a beautiful chandelier – all reflected in a large mirror — well it was all breathtaking.

More of her china collection, including Bordallo Pinheiro from Portugal, was neatly displayed in two smaller china cabinets that looked like built ins.

The whole room was charmingly welcoming and elegant at the same time. 


After going through the beautiful kitchen, there was the family room dining room, more casual but just as welcoming.

Down the hallway, i was delighted that she had her linen collection so that others could see. Usually people store them away in drawers – but a collection like this Should be on display! I thought I had a large collection!

It was awe-inspiring.

What’s more, the homeowners couldn’t have been nicer, and the lady of the house indulged me by talking about china, patterns, and tablecloths for quite some time.

What a wonderful day!!

Create the perfect holiday table with tips from Plate Girl and WFLA


This month I was honored by WFLA’s Gayle Guyardo to be asked to be on her Pinterest segment. Gayle loves featuring crafty how-tos and the people who love to pin!

She heard that I loved setting tables and l knew how to do it on a budget — visiting thrift stores to find many of my great finds.

I was able to share several pieces of my Christmas china – Christopher Radko, Fiestaware red, Noble Excellence’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, vintage Scio’s Holly and my favorite, Lenox Holiday.

I showed how to make an easy floral centerpiece using flowers from the grocery store, and how to swap out different collectibles or candlesticks from an existing collection.

It was so much fun to be able to set a lovely holiday table in Gayle’s own dining room!

Spode turkeys make Thanksgiving the most Thanksgiving of all

I have had many Thanksgiving tablescapes that Really loooked Thanksgiving ish! Tablecloths of all patterns that screamed “fall,” Beautiful orange and yellow and brown china. But when I found these plates, I almost fell over. (I DO like my plates, you know!)

I nearly keeled over when I found these Spode turkey plates in my local Goodwill — in pristine condition with not one fork or knife mark on them. I found them in March – a great time to shop for Thanksgiving by the way – and stashed them away in my china cabinet until the time was right.

So now that it’s time, I’m so excited to share my table.

The tablecloth is from Ralph Lauren and the crystal vase is Waterford Marquis.