Monday, November 19, 2012

Tweaking the Bar area for the Holidays

Tis the season!   

 One of the first areas I streamlined recently was this bar area in my kitchen.  I've been using this desk in my kitchen as a bar for sometime now.   I still don't have that wine cooler underneath yet but I'm still hopeful.  I've just got to get the Mr. on board with the logistics of that part.  LOL!  Anyway, this area had gotten a bit cluttered so I changed up a few things.

First thing I did was moved the big wine crate I had hear and replaced it with the slab of granite that I've had sitting under my utensils in the kitchen.  It's a much cleaner look to me.

Second thing I did was remove the red zinfandel sign and added my new chalkboard tray.  I've had the tray for a while now but finally bought some chalkboard paint and converted it.  Oldest blog trick in the book I know, but hey it looks great and will be a wonderful spot to leave messages for family and friends when entertaining and all year long.

And last but not least one of the biggest improvements was simply changing out my wine goblets to ones that all matched.  I previously had a mixture of some of my favorite glasses but the mix of colors,styles and sizes was a bit junky looking.  Now everything is very streamlined and I even managed to cover up two more outlets behind the tray and slate in the process. 

So there's my latest makeover and cleanup.  Just one more step towards making the holidays merry and bright!  What about you?  What are your preparing for the holidays?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

One Plate Short

Once again I find myself one plate short of an even number after finding a new pattern of dishes that I just couldn't resist.  Instead of fretting over it I have decided to embrace the message I have received in my quest to find one more plate.

Recently you heard me talk of my desire to rid myself of all the clutter.  Part of what spurred this on was finding these new dishes.  I immediately fell in love with them and wanted them so badly because I knew in fact these would be dishes I would use often.  I almost talked myself out of them because I have so many other sets filling up my cabinets after a few years of tablescaping.  Can you relate?  I decided instead that it would be better to rid myself of a few other sets to make room for these.  For those of you who asked, that is still a work in progress but slowly the decluttering is coming about.

This is dish number seven.  When I first came across these at TJ Maxx I only found three.  I decided I would get them anyway because surely I would find at least one more.  Several weeks of popping in and out of both TJ Maxx and Marshalls finally resulted in me finding only four more dishes, but only after I also found a few serving pieces as well.  LOL!  I am still hopeful that one day I will find one more dish so I can have a set of eight.   Somehow though, I think if I do I will most likely find four more again which will still result in me being one plate short.  But that's okay because here's what I discovered while pulling this setting together.

Instead of setting the table for eight as I usually do for Thanksgiving I have set it for only six.  You see, I can get by with that this year because I'm not hosting Thanksgiving here.  I am going to my mothers house, so this setting is really not even going to be used except that I've set it to share with all of you.  Let's just say this is OUR Thanksgiving table shall we?  

This is for all of you whom I consider my tablescaping sisters.  You are part of a family of bloggers that I always enjoy getting together with when time permits.   

I am so very thankful to each of you for who you are.  Some of you have remained my blog friends for awhile now and that is so very special.  In this busy world of changing times I really do appreciate you who have managed to stop by every so often and keep in touch.  You understand that we all have different agendas for blogging and mine is simply just sharing.  You all were there to fill a void when time was plenty and gave me so much inspiration and encouragement, thank you.  I will always be grateful for that and for the connections I have made through this blogging adventure.

 So grab a chair and I'll share my latest finds with you and just a little more.

My place setting starts with my dinner plates from Lenox.  Since they are an off white color I knew   my newest dishes would go well with them.  

The background of my new turkey plates is the same shade of off white.  This pattern is made by Royal Stafford.

I just fell in love with the color of these and the pattern as well.  I love the scene of the farm in the background and the fruit and flower border.  But... did you happen to notice the rope pattern on the border as well?  I would say that it also has somewhat of a nautical flair too doesn't it?  Well, I think so anyway.  Haha! 

I've pulled out my grandmothers crystal that is etched in gold.  It has just the right colors for this setting and reminds me of her as well. 

 At this time of year, memories of family members past always surface. Some memories are joyful and full of happiness and good times. Such is the case of my memories of my grandmother.   Sometimes families are left with bittersweet memories of loved ones of a life that struggled that ended tragically.  I share this with you because it is a reality for many including my family in regards to the loss of my sister.  It has been many years since she passed in 2003, but I can assure you our love for her has never diminished as I know those of you who are missing loved ones has not either.

So how do you cope during these times of the year when all the memories come flooding back?  I choose to cope with them by just simply being thankful.  I am thankful for the good times shared and for the beautiful memories that were made. 

I am also thankful for those whom are a part of my life now.  I am thankful for those who can and who will relate.  I am thankful for those who understand that this world often carries sorrow as well as joy.  I am thankful for those who know that a willingness to lift others up is of a godly nature.  Coming along side of another and meeting them where they are is at the heart of Jesus himself.  I have been there and received this understanding from others during the toughest of times.  Now, I often try and bring it to the table for others.  Sometimes all it takes is a listening ear, a smile or a hug from another especially this time of year.  It is sad that so many people do not have anyone else to lift them up or worse do not let others help.  I say just do it anyway!

So for any of you who may be a bit sad I've lit this candle for you too.  Remembering the good times and embracing the light of those you have loved is truly a blessing.  For those of us who are believers it is also comforting to remember that one day you will be together again.  

I brought this hurricane from the den to use as my centerpiece for this setting because it just seemed to fit so well this year.  It has a scented candle that smells of orange and clove.  Mmm!

The turkey shakers were found last year at Ross.  I love how colorful they are.

Speaking of colorful how do you like the table runner.  It was a spur of the moment purchase from Joanne's several months ago.  I just love the paisley background and it even has a reversible side that has only the pattern of the boarder on this side.  

On my sideboard is the two serving pieces I found while searching for an even number of plates.

One day I found this large bowl at Marshalls and then....

...later I found the small bowl at TJ Maxx.  I love that they fit my plate holder so well.  Boy, do I have some eliminating of other pieces to do now.  LOL!

I was reminded by another blogger, to bring out my Turkey platter when I saw she had featured hers.  I shared this one I inherited from my inlaws with you last year.   I had forgotten all about it but am glad I was reminded of it.  Thank you Sharing Shadymont! 

I was tickled to see it seemed to coordinate pretty well with my new dishes too.  It's not exactly the same but sure does have quite a few similar pattern designs, don't you think?

Having this platter displayed brings out more beautiful memories of two more loved ones we have lost and miss, both my mother and father in law.  I think I will hang on to this platter for quite a while longer.  Heehe!

Thank you so much for coming to the table today.  I hope you enjoyed my settings as well as my message.    Time is so short and getting together or coming along side of another really is so important.  It's what creates memories that really do last a life time.   We all touch each others lives in one way or another, even in blog land. 

Setting a beautiful table for those you love is wonderful way to share yourself with others.  Thank you to each of you who have helped me to embrace this world of tablescaping.  I am ever so grateful.  I pray each of you will also be celebrating Thanksgiving with family or friends somewhere.

Most importantly if you find yourself thinking you are one plate short like me, maybe you just need to look at it a little differently and you will see that what you really have is an extra space for someone else who just might want to join you given the chance.

Please stop by the following parties to see some more great tablescaping inspiration and ideas.

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!
(Big Hugs!)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Savoring Our Fall Weather

Hello friends!  I have not dropped off the blogosphere I've just been working way too much overtime lately.  Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be letting up anytime soon.   However, I am not letting that stop me from taking the time to stop and enjoy the beauty of the season and the simple joys of life whenever I can.

I don't even have to go anywhere to catch a glorious glimpse of fall splendor.  This is the view out of my den windows into the backyard.

Looking into the woods shows me a wondrous mix of color.

Looking down at the woods I am also in love with the new carpet of leaves that have fallen to the ground.  It's so pretty in person!

In my front yard I have a crepe myrtle that is so full of mixed colors this year.  It is so amazing!

Here's a closer look. It looks like my tree has been tye-dyed with fall colors.

I hope you all are enjoying the colors of the season in your neck of the woods as much as we are.
Thank goodness it's not quite winter yet.
Happy Fall Yall!