Thursday, November 20, 2014

last minute ideas for your Thanksgiving table…


Hello friends.

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is around the corner. I’ve been busy working on lots of projects around here, going at a steady pace and enjoying that feeling of nesting. And I can’t wait to share some of my progress on my office re-do and my kitchen.

But today I needed a dose of escapism and what better topic is there… than to chat about your Thanksgiving table. I so enjoy setting a pretty table and I like to help you do it too.

Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year?



We’re headed to my parents home for the holiday and Mom has already mentioned she’s using dark burgundy and gold on her table.  I think jewel colored napkins and metallic shades are perfect partners and it’s so easy to grab a spray can of gold or silver or bronze and add those shiny details.

I actually have these dark purple napkins which is why I was drawn to this tablescape.

Look how easy this centerpiece is…you could do this. Magnolia leaves and persimmons down the center of the table with fresh flowers that pick up the colors in your napkins.

And of course, candles.


Maybe because I’ve been so busy this season but lately I’m in the mood for simplicity and this table fits the bill. Piling creamy colored pumpkins and gourds in the middle of your table and using greens to fill in the gaps is easy to do and looks so pretty with votive candles.



If you’re not lucky enough to have a collection of fancy fake pumpkins (I don’t) you can still achieve this look.

Glam up your pumpkins with spray paint and glitter and lay them on straw colored raffia for a textured look. Press leaves from your yard in books overnight, and use these for your placecards. Simply use a gold pen to write the name of each guest on the leaf.

Simple and pretty.


Or… spray pinecones gold and use these as your place cards.

Do you want to convey a personal message on your Thanksgiving table but lack these cool black plates?  This is what you do. Turn over a salad plate and trace a circle on black construction paper and then cut out the circles. Write out your message with a gold pen and place these on each dinner plate.

Voila!  The same look for pennies.


Here’s a table set with gold everywhere for a dramatic effect.


I haven’t done this one yet, but here’s another idea for easy placecards. Make a slit in the stem of a miniature pumpkin and slip your guest’s name inside.


This is a wire shaped into a circle with a piece of fresh rosemary tied to it, you can hide the wire with the green leaves and a ribbon on top.

I think this is lovely don’t you?

However.. if you’re in a time crunch or you’ve got a small army invited for dinner, keeping your table decor simple doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice beauty.


You can never go wrong with fresh flowers and candles and a few pieces from the farmer’s market…






And before I go I have to share a favorite.

This table setting is not simple but I’m crushing on the details of this elegant look…the woven placemats against the black tablecloth, the white napkins with this chic dinnerware…and the use of a white pen on black paper for simple placecards…it’s perfect.

It’s such a different look for Thanksgiving, maybe that’s why I’m loving it. 

Do you have a favorite here?



I sure hope I’ve given you some ideas you can use

…but mostly I hope my blog has been a happy place for you today.

And that later you find time in your busy schedule to stop yourself and simply dwell on the good moments that have happened in your day.





Wishing you a peaceful November day,






Tuesday, November 11, 2014





We just got back from a whirlwind visit home

and I’m beginning the week feeling wonderfully replenished.

October was jam-packed with activity and I ended the month feeling tired and looking around the house with a sense of overwhelm, aware of a growing momentum to hurry up and get things done before the holidays approach. I don’t like this rushed feeling. Or the idea that I’m already behind schedule if I haven’t done any Thanksgiving posts yet-- or god knows-- Christmas topics which are already popping up everywhere in blogland.

Sigh. This is the part of blogging that I have to be wary of; it’s the need to stay ahead of the seasons for one’s readers and it’s the modus operandi of a successful blogger. And I totally get it; the idea that readers are looking for their holiday decorating ideas weeks-- and even months-- ahead of time is something I can relate to.


In fact, I’m one of those readers. I lovveeeee searching Blogland and Pinterest for creative ideas but as a blogger on the other side, it’s always a dilemma for me because I’m aware that when I’m creating Christmas tablescapes in October,

I’m not able to fully relish the present season.

Do you know what I mean?

Recently I was listening to a talk by Tara Brach and she mentioned that in today’s techie world we spend an average of eight hours a day in front of a screen. The point she was making was how hard it is to be awakened to the present moment and to feel what’s here in front of us

when so much of our time is spent in a virtual reality.

Think about that. How many hours are you in front of a screen?

It’s a powerful realization. And so I love this reminder.


Or better still, how about we give ourselves this gift?


So…you might think driving in the car over 850 miles for only a three day trip might seem hectic but it was exactly what I needed. I hadn’t been back home since we moved and it was time.

  Thursday evening was my dear friend Mary’s annual birthday party and as usual, the house was filled with women that I’ve known since my kids were in kindergarten and that’s such a special feeling.



I only wish I’d taken pictures of Tracey’s beautiful home to show you, but I was too engrossed in conversations about relationships and engagements and breakups… topics that seem to reflect the changing ages of our kids.

And like all good trips, there were moments that stand out in my mind.

Kirsten and I clinking our wine glasses with Mary and sharing the latest news before we headed to the party.. A conversation at the kitchen island with Tracey about our sons… Sitting on the brick hearth at my parent’s house and eating Chinese food with the family… Making a mad dash back to Pottery World to find my Mom’s lost eyeglasses only to learn  they were in her purse the whole time… And my funny Dad shaking his head behind my Mom’s back.

and sadly, there was a tragic one too…

On the way home when we pulled off the freeway for a sandwich and while I was waiting in our car, I heard a loud, sickening thud and the sound of twisting metal. When I got out of our car I could see men running toward what was a three car collusion at the off ramp. It was a scene that deeply affected me especially when I discovered the next morning that a man had died in that crash.

Afterwards I told Jim –who was inside at the time—that I can’t stop thinking how when I heard that crash, a man’s soul was leaving the earth. To me, it was a stunning reminder of how tenuous life really is.

In the meantime I’m home again, and even though nothing much has changed around here I’m feeling incredibly grateful.

For our safe trip home.

For my family.

For my Friends.

For the health of my parents.

For the fact that my kids are well and safe as I write these words.

That I have a house.

And a warm bed.

And food whenever I need it.

And our sweet Stella Bella.

For the computer that allows me to write these words

For any blog post I manage to publish here

for all my dear blogger friends

And for YOU, for taking precious time to get to the end of this post.


Oh, I could go on forever but you get my point.



It’s an interesting question, don’t you think?









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