Monday, November 30, 2009

Eureka! I Found Some More Christmas Plates!

I found some more Johnson Brothers Old Britain Castle Christmas plates!

And I didn't have to pay a mint for them! (I had been computer shopping to add to my collection but the sites I found them on wanted anywhere from $8 to $21 each plate). But I found four more at TJ Maxx for only $3.99 each, and I also got four with the castle scene for only $2.99 each.

And while shopping there I found these vintage-looking pink ornaments for only 70 cents each!

And I added them to my Christmas centerpiece:

And it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Here our granddaughter Mia is very happy... watch the train that Grandpa put up around the tree!

And our grandson Jayden had lots of fun looking at the window displays at Lord & Taylor...

...and helping to trim the tree!

And we got a big chunk of our Christmas decorating done outside this weekend too!

Hope you all enjoyed a wonderful weekend too!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Changing Tables Is Easy When You Keep It Simple (And It Helps If You Can Embrace Imperfection)

My motto for the Season this year is "Keep It Simple And Enjoy"!

I am joining Susan for Tablescape Thursday, after visiting here please join our hostess Susan @ Between Naps On The Porch to view her beautiful Christmas tablescape and then click on the other participants to view some more wonderful creations.

My Thanksgiving table is usually decorated in all the beautiful Fall colors, but this year I didn't go with the traditional. I used creamy white pumpkins and I kept the centerpiece very simple. All I used was a vase of white roses.
This was my inspiration:

And so I went with it!

I kept the place setting very simple too:

I used the turkey dishes that I had found at TJ Maxx (only $12.99 for a set of four, I bought two sets):

Unfortunately there was only one set of dessert plates left, so... problem, I used the plates from a set of amber dishes that once were my Mom's:

And I used the shallow bowls from the amber set as salad plates for all the place settings:

I like that the amber dishes are transparent enough for the strutting turkey to still be seen.

And once this tablescape serves it's purpose... will be very easy to change to this!

My usual color scheme at Christmastime is the traditional red and green, or silver and gold, but again, this year I am breaking my tradition and going with creamy white for my dining table.

I added some decorative bead branches to the vase:

I switched out the pumpkins for a floral tray and filled it with decorative beads and Christmas decorations:

The beautiful doilies were crocheted by my very talented friend Diana and they arrived just a few days before Thanksgiving and I was happy to be able to include them in both tablescapes!

I exchanged the creamy marble candlestick holders for silver:

Another very simple place setting:

I was so happy to find these Christmas plates as they weren't the usual Christmas tree pattern I see everywhere. I also loved the color, not a true red, more of a rose/pink/red. They fit in well with the color scheme I wanted this year.

Unfortunately I could only get a set of four (I'm still searching to add to the collection), so, again, no problem, I'm Blessed, I was able to use dishes that have been gifted to me. They are a plain creamy white and I thought they coordinated with the Christmas place settings:

I also did the same with the salad plates, they don't match at all, but I thought they went well with the dinner plates:

I used these small decorative green plates for bread:

I was lucky to find these red napkins, they too were not the true Christmas red:

The cups are actually coffee mugs from Ikea, but I reach for them a lot when setting the table as they are sturdy, they hold a lot, they are not a 'traditional' coffee mug in that they have no handles, and so I use them for other beverages:

Last look during daylight:


These tablescapes are not at all elegant table settings (in fact, all my table settings are exceptionally casual, they are more a hodgepodge of dishes, glassware, and flatware). Yes, my tablescapes are far from 'magazine quality', and my home never did live up to 'Martha Stewart standards', but I find as I've grown older (and now with grandchildren underfoot) I've become very comfortable with my imperfect life and I hope my guests are too.

And I wish you all a wonderful, Blessed Thanksgiving, and I hope the Christmas Season finds you taking time to enjoy special moments with family and friends, and take time to enjoy the simple things in life! (And embrace imperfection! It's liberating!)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

An UN-Traditional Thanksgiving This Year And Trying To Keep Things Simple

We usually have Thanksgiving at our home each year. This is the first year in awhile that we won't be serving Thanksgiving dinner around our own table. My sister-in-law very kindly offered to host Thanksgiving in her home, so my husband and I, and our children and their families will gather together there. (I will be making a turkey dinner that following Sunday for us though.)

Now, I feel that the Christmas Season is so short so I try to stretch it out for as long as possible, plus I like to get as much done as early as possible so that I can relax and enjoy the Season. So my husband and I usually spend the days following Thanksgiving taking our time and decorating for Christmas. The Friday after Thanksgiving is usually spent putting up the tree, then trimming it and decorating inside the house over the weekend. The following weekend I usually dress the front windows with a Nativity scene and my husband decorates outside the house. This year though the first Sunday of Advent is early (November 29), and I'd like to have everything done by then. So, we have our work cut out for us this year, the day after Thanksgiving the tree will have to go up and be trimmed, and Saturday I can devote to dressing the front window and trimming the rest of the house, and my husband can work outside, and hopefully by Sunday everything will be done and the family can enjoy some Christmas sights and sounds along with another 'Thanksgiving' dinner.
I don't want to go overboard with Fall decorations for the table, as Christmas will already be ushered into our home. I want to keep it simple. And since this is a break from our normal routine anyway, I thought I'd like to do something UN-traditional (I usually have all the beautiful Fall colors adorning the table for Thanksgiving dinner).

While searching the internet I came across some wonderful ideas:

This is simple and so 'homey' and inviting looking.

I already have some creamy white pumpkins on the dining table now and a lace table cloth, so something like this photo below would be no extra work at all!

Here's another simple white setting. I love the idea of the soup tureen holding court as the centerpiece with a few white roses sitting prettily like 'ladies in waiting' on either side.

I think this one below is my most favorite! After Thanksgiving dinner is cleared off the table and the last of the pumpkin pie is served, I can see this beautiful bouquet of white roses with some green boughs added and placed on a mirror, and with some silver and white Christmas ornaments strewn about.

I think my motto this holiday season is going to be "Keep It Simple"!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

And The Winner Is...

...well, I have to keep you in a little suspense.

My give-away package included a burlap tote from Williams-Sonoma, a wooden salad server set, and wooden salt & pepper shakers, both sets from Anthropologie, and from Pier One there was a woven star-shaped basket, decorative gems, and a set of memo notes:

Twenty-three people left comments on my give-away post and my international friends very kindly told me not to include them as they felt it would be too expensive to ship the items, but I included you ALL in the drawing.
I had the help of my grandson, Jayden, as he ripped strips of paper for me to write the names on, then folded each in half, and we used my granddaughter's little duck pail to draw the name from. Jayden mixed them all up, stuck his hand in the bucket and...

...he drew out ...


Rebecca @ Life & Godliness, actually Rebecca has a few blogs, each one wonderful as she shares her faith, her family, her thrift shopping, her home decorating, her gardening, her travels, her home-improvements, and her self-improvements with us!
Congratulations, Rebecca!

You can email me at to let me know where to mail your winnings.