An elegant New Year Celebration at home.

A Kiss at Midnight: A New Year Celebration

 
Spending New Years Eve at home doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate and bring in the new year with style! 
 
We dressed the table in a lovely “Kiss at Midnight” theme complete with silver and gold accents, a clock plate at every place setting to count down to midnight, confetti streamers and of course, Hershey Kisses so that everyone gets a kiss at midnight!


Sparkling Cider or Champagne makes a great centerpiece. The non-alcoholic grape juice or apple juice versions mean you can bring this celebration into New Years Day for a lovely New Years Day brunch, or let the kids stay up late on New Years Eve and toast the new year with their own kid-friendly glass of bubbly! 

Pssst…Want to hear a secret? These lovely clock plates were made right here at home, and you can make them too. It’s just a clock face printed, cut out and placed under a clear glass plate on top of silver charger plates. If you’d like to make these yourself, you can get the free printable below! Also check out some more great custom table settings you can make with clear plates here! (link coming soon)

Make sure you have some Hershey Kisses saved from the Christmas candy stash for your midnight kiss! I put aside some of the red and green ones as well – to find out why, look here!

 

..and just a few photos with only the warm glow of the Christmas lights.

Free Printable to use at your own New Year’s Eve Party. Happy New Year!
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Winter Wonderland Tablescape 2015

Last year we created a cozy warm burgundy Christmas decor to welcome home our Evie who had been in the hospital for 4 months. We wanted it warm and inviting as a big welcome home. This year we went in a completely different direction, creating a winter wonderland look full of frosty snowflakes and sparkling silver.

Both the table and the sideboard are decked out with pine bough garlands, with silver balls and snowflake accents. We spent forever polishing every piece of silver in the house so that everything would sparkle in our frosty wonderland.(Once again, please ignore the empty picture frames – two professional artists in the house and we have empty frames – yep- cuckoo birds!)

The snowflakes have been carefully placed to appear as though they have just randomly fallen from the sky and landed around the house.

 

 

Mr. and Mrs. Clause are a cherished family heirloom that come out every Christmas. This year they have taken center stage as our Christmas table centerpiece.

 

We placed a few Christmas balls in silver candlestick holders. An elf seems to have photo-bombed our decorating photo shoot! So fun! Such an awesome trick for taking ADORABLE pictures of your pets, kids, grand-kids or even some whimsical selfies. 

Check out how it’s done here: 

 

These gorgeous silver ornaments are actually salt and pepper shakers. Its quite a rare delight when form and functionality meet like this.

 

 

Here’s the table place settings with baroque silver charger plates and baroque silver candy dishes on top. The candy dishes will be filled with candy for Christmas day. 

 

Our sideboard/buffet has got a cascading sheer cover that has an embroidered lace pattern that subtly mimics snowflakes.

 

At night, this look really comes to life with white twinkle lights everywhere!

I’ve just realized there are no pictures that include the tree or any other parts of the house. More pictures to come!

Thanks for stopping by, and have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday and Joyous Season!

Here is a look at last year‘s cozy warm burgundy decor.


Last Christmas! Check out more pictures here:
Christmas 2014

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Super Easy Trick: Adorable Christmas Pics

A Super Easy Trick for the Most Adorable Christmas Pictures!
Facebookpreview ChristmasPhotos2 

I was photographing some Christmas decorating ideas when a little elf photobombed my pictures! The results were so adorable that I immediately knew I had to share the idea.

All you need is an adorable baby, an adorable child, adorable pet, or your adorable self and a shiny reflective Christmas ball for the cutest and silliest pictures or video you’ve ever seen.

The giggles will abound and the memories will last a lifetime.

SPECIAL TIPS! If the Christmas ball is on the tree you’ll have a lovely pine background, but you can also place a Christmas ball in a candlestick holder making it easier to take the picture in the best selfie (or elfie) lighting!

If you have some antique heirloom ornaments this would be an even more sentimental picture. Taking these pictures every year as a family tradition would be a great alternative to a more serious family portrait, and they would look great on your own custom Christmas Cards!

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Above: The Christmas ball is hanging on the tree.

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Above: the Christmas ball is placed in a silver candlestick holder making it possible to take the picture in the best selfie (or elfie) lighting!

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You can sneak the camera in over their shoulder and hide behind them for a solo portrait, or you can both squeeze into the shot together for a unique holiday couples portrait.

Have fun with it, and let me know how your pictures turned out in the comments section below!

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Thanksgiving Table: The Spendor of Autumn

This Thanksgiving I used all my restraint to resist the urge to let our Christmas decor arrive early. So often I cannot resist that urge and we end up with a Thanksgiving/Christmas fusion. 
 
Everything stayed well within the Autumn color theme this year without even a hint of Christmas!
Burlap has always been an inexpensive fabric mostly used for making things like potato sacks or for wrapping shrubbery for the winter, but somehow it has become very popular in decorating as well.
It does offer a nice warm neutral base and lots of texture so it makes sense that decorators would be bringing this into their designs. 
 
What does NOT make sense is that this traditionally inexpensive fabric is now carrying a designer fabric price tag! I had to shop around a bit but finally found a nice large bolt of burlap at Walmart for a reasonable price.
 
So, on with the show… The table and the buffet are both topped with the above mentioned burlap. Burlap is a fairly open weave, so pairing it with a nice pumpkin colored table cloth really worked well together.


Gold beaded charger plates and white china (retired pattern Alsace by Farberware) with the salad plate swapped out for a lovely leafy pattern plate that harmonizes well with the autumn theme.


I know right now that tree slices as chargers is all the rage in decorating, but for me this is a sentimental accent. These tree slices are from the tree in our yard. 

I grew up with this tree and when a hurricane took it down I was heartbroken and I requested some mementos in the form of tree slices. I had no idea what I would do with them, but all these years later and they have finally found a home on our Thanksgiving table.


I fell in love with these white porcelain pumpkins. I’ll admit I am a bit pumpkin obsessed, but these just sent me over the moon. I want more! Here they are sitting on some silk autumn leaves and my beloved tree slices.


See that silverware? Yes, I do too. I swapped it out for gold flatware, but not until after discovering the error in this photo shoot. Details, details!

 

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Halloween 2015

This Halloween we wanted to create a spooky haunted forest but still keep it light and playful enough that it was still warm, inviting and not too gloomy.  

Some dead tree branches from the yard were perfect for making a huge impact – and the best part is that they cost NOTHING!


When you bring lots of natural elements into the decor everything falls into place. Sea shells, leaves, branches, pine cones and any other natural element can cover your decorating schemes for all the seasons and holidays.


“Creepy Cloth” is a very loose weave gauze-like fabric that can be draped from almost any surface to create a delightfully creepy look. Here we have draped it on our picture frames (two professional artists in the house and we have EMPTY picture frames….we’re cuckoo!).


A simple branch in a flower pot with some floral foam and a centerpiece is born!


Birds perched in random places makes it feel as if they have landed there themselves, and that we are being quietly outnumbered by some spooky guests.

 


Orange and black is such a traditionally Halloween color scheme, but it can feel a bit tacky at times. With the right balance and some natural elements some Halloween elegance can be attained.

A bird and some silk leaves on each place setting helps tie the buffet decor to the table. We found our birds at Dollar Tree.

We like to bring out the ornate silver charger plates and accessories for a Halloween look because it feels like they could be right out of an old haunted mansion!


We found some lovely salad plates with a subtle embossed leaf pattern covering the entire surface of the plate. The natural leaf pattern makes them ideal for autumn decor and because they are plain white instead of fall colors they will fit in beautifully with Spring and Easter decor as well.


Here is a look back at last Halloween with our buffet in burgundy and black. 

As always, thanks for stopping by! Likes, shares, pins, follows and comments always greatly appreciated!

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Return of the Light. Lessons from the Eclipse.

I don’t mean to wax poetic about the waxing moon, but I just wanted to share a little moon moment.
 
One quick glimpse at social media and the flurry of blurry photos of light blobs on black backgrounds and you know that there was some sort of lunar event.
 
There was also ample warning leading up to the eclipse that made sure we all knew that there was yet another once-in-a-lifetime sight to see in the sky.
 
But imagine life before technology.
 
Imagine a time when instead of our little glowing phone screens, the only thing to light our night was that big comforting ball of cheese in the sky.
 
Imagine how terrifying it would have been when that big ole’ cheese-ball suddenly and unexpectedly turned an ominous shade of crimson, and we had no idea why — and we wondered if it was the end of the world.
 
Now we’ve got google and iflscience to light our way and explain these mysteries to us, so it isn’t scary. We know our beloved cheeseball is safe and sound and playing hide and seek in our shadow — it will be right back and as bright and beautiful as it ever was.
 
If only all of life was that simple.
 
For me, this eclipse was a little reminder lesson about when we enter the dark moments in our lives. We have no control, and we don’t know if the light will ever return.
 
We don’t have a magical website that explains the reasons behind the dark and scary moments in our lives –we don’t know how long they will last. We don’t have that same reassurance that like the eclipse, it is natural and normal and everything is going to be alright. We don’t know for sure that it is not the end of the world until we start to see the return of the light.
 
Above is the picture I took as the September 2015 Blood Moon eclipse event was coming to a close. The moon was just beginning to free itself from the darkness. 
Don’t worry ’bout a thing, because every little thing is gonna be alright.

It is the return of the light.
 
Hang in there… 

I took this picture (above) of a ‘supermoon’ in its full glory a year or two ago.
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Pineapp-O-Lantern: A Tropic’alloween Treat

Who says you can only make a Jack-O-Lantern out of a pumpkin? 

Not me! 

Allow me to introduce you to a frightfully fun Halloween treat that makes a great presentation when serving a fruit plate, or fruit and cheese platter or even an awesome Halloween breakfast!

I’m calling it a Pineapp-O-Lantern: A Tropic’alloween Treat!
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It’s basically the same process as carving a Jack-O-Lantern, so I wont bore you with an in-depth how-to, but I will share some tips.

I went the traditional route – cutting the top to make the ‘lid’ of the Jack-O-Lantern and then scooping out the contents, but I’ll definitely be doing things differently the next time I do this (see tips below).

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A much more efficient way (and what I ended up doing about half way through digging and scooping pineapple) would be to make the ‘lid’ cut at the top, and also chop the bottom off the pineapple so you can approach it from both ends.

Then you’ll only need to run the blade of your knife around the inside edge of both ends, hollowing out a cylinder and sliding it out. This will leave you with nice hollow shell for carving a face, as well as a nice neat tube of pineapple to core and slice for serving.

All that’s left to do is carve a face, and pop in a battery operated tealight candle (I got my candles 2 per pack at Dollar Tree, batteries included and they even flicker like real flames!).

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This project is great for bringing some whimsical Halloween fun to an unexpected place like a fruit platter, and I love that the pineapple top looks like spooky spiked hair!

EXTRA TIP: It’s not just for Halloween! Change the facial features slightly and you could carve a tiki face into the pineapple for an awesome display for a luau or other tropical themed summer party!

Instagram PineappOLantern

Well hello there Mr Creepy Pinapp-O-Lantern face!

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Star Spangled Seashore Celebration

When summertime rolls around, we love to bring the beach and seashore into the decor — so for our Fourth of July theme, we went with a ‘Star Spangled Seashore’!
 
 
Sometimes it’s hard to part with a particular decor or theme and this year we really did not want to take down our cool summertime Oysters and Pearls: Seashore Celebration
 
We couldn’t skip the fireworks and the Red White and Blue though, so we created a sort of patriotic seashore fusion.
 
 
Though there are quite a few similarities between this theme and the last, we don’t mind because we are using many of our most favorite things.
 
Making their return are the silver charger plates and matching silver nut dishes in both baroque and seashell shapes. Also the pearls, fishing nets, lantern and seashells are back. 
 
New to the table is a gorgeous navy blue blanket being used as a tablecloth topper. Also new to the table are some lovely red salad plates and some Navy blue napkins.

 

We’ve got our patriotic red white and blue ‘fire’Cracker Jacks ready as a nostalgic summertime treat. We added red white and blue striped ribbon just to make them extra special. 

With a name tag or note attached to the ribbon they would make an awesome place card or party favor as well.

 

We’ve also got our Pop Rocks, because they are like having a fireworks show in your mouth!

The sideboard is all gussied up with red white and blue bunting and other patriotic  themed items. 

We found these sparkly balloon weights from Dollar Tree. They certainly are not a statement of understated elegance, and they may be a bit gaudy, but they feel like a fireworks launch! 

If you can’t add a little over-the-top sparkly glitz and glam for the 4th of July, when can you?



We’ll be adding some of our favorite patriotic recipes and entertaining ideas soon — until then, here are some pictures from last year’s 4th of July celebration, and a few more from this year.

 

 

 

 

 

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Seashore Tablescape – Oysters and Pearls

Oysters and Pearls : A Seashore Tablescape for Summer.


 
It’s not quite summer yet but most people see Memorial Day Weekend as the official start of summer fun and festivities. 
 
So after a quick change from the red white and blue (that will all come back with extra sparkle for July 4th) we converted into a nice beachy summer at the seashore look.
 
Oyster shells and pearls are the theme this time and they are a perfect combo because pearls come from oysters! 
 
We grabbed the pearl garlands from our Christmas decorations, and we have lots of collected sea shells from every time we ever get near a seashore. These Oyster shells were collected in Greenport New York.
 
 
We found lovely Caribbean sea blue bottles at Dollar Tree and got incredibly lucky when we found awesome matching salad plates at Savers. Together they give the table a fresh pop of color and the blue is so refreshing and serene.
 
 
We paired the Caribbean Blue glass accents with our white china and silver chargers.  
 
 
The centerpiece is a lantern that is not necessarily beachy, but it is reminiscent of the top of a lighthouse, so it works! It’s raised up a level on a silver tray resting on a glass block and surrounded by fish netting, pearls, shells and little glass balls that look like bubbles!
 
 
 
We finished off the look with some fishing net, shells and various trinkets and baubles that fit the summer at the seashore theme.
 
 
 
We still need some more fishing nets and accessories to complete the look on the sideboard — it’s looking a bit sparse, so we’ll update when that gets it’s finishing touches.
 
This may be my new favorite tablescape — not looking forward to ever changing this one!  It’s time to celebrate – Summer is here! It’s Beachy Keen!



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Happy “Bird” Day Celebration – Our Evie Bird’s Birthday and Mother’s Day Celebration.

Happy “Bird” Day Celebration – our Evie Bird’s Birthday Celebration.
 


You may have noticed that we love giving each other nicknames (Evie, Feather, Peggo, etc.).

We also love personalizing every celebration and playing with words. 

When we needed a theme for our little Evie Bird’s birthday, it just seemed natural that we would have a bird-day party instead of a birthday party!

 
As soon as we saw these beautiful plates covered in birds, lace, tea-cups and flowers we knew they would be perfect for her Springtime bird-day party, as well as Mother’s Day!


The bird plates and napkins are paper (from Dollar Tree), so we pressed the paper plate between a silver charger plate and a clear glass plate. 

This is our new favorite way to dress up a place setting and create a custom looking party theme. We did this for Feather’s birthday party as well. 


We added a grapevine wreath on top to give each place-setting its own little “nest.” 

The table was decked out in a pink tablecloth with a white lace overlay and silver candlesticks wrapped in delicate spring blossoms. 

We added a lovely antique bird cage as the centerpiece.


Of course this birthday party would not be complete if we didn’t serve all of the birthday girl’s favorite treats(no matter how peculiar a collection of food items they may be!). 

We whipped up one of her favorites — Rice Crispy Treats!


We made a batch of our family recipe for macaroni salad. 

Our family recipe brings me right back to so very many childhood memories. 

We used to have family gatherings so large that we would make the family macaroni salad and potato salad in such large quantities that we made them directly in the crisper drawers of our fridge!


Of course we had a birthday cake for blowing out candles and making birthday wishes. (I didn’t get any pictures of the delicious Chocolate Sundae cake before it was cut, because we all gobbled it up before I could snap a single picture! Here is picture of the very last piece)


We also picked up some fresh ripe strawberries, shortcake and whipped cream for making strawberry shortcakes. 

Evie often tells the story of how she would have strawberry shortcake on her birthday when she was a child, and how it was extra special because strawberries were not available year-round like they are now. 

Strawberries were a springtime treat that always made her childhood birthdays extra sweet!















So there you have it —  Evie’s 88th Bird-day party full of birds, berries, blossoms and blessings.

Happy Bird-day to you Evie!

 

 

 

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