How are you today? Really....how are YOU?   Most of us trudge, or breeze, through the day. The trudging or breezing has to do with the load we carry. If we have a ton of worries and responsibilities weighing us down....trudging might be a generous term. On the other hand, when we're working within our giftedness, living with hearts filled with joy and gratitude, and spending our hours with others who build up rather than discourage....we breeze through our day and the minutes seems to fly away as easily, too.     If you are one who flits through the day … [Read more...]

    It's been nearly a year since I've had the pleasure of hosting overnight guests. My friend and her daughter were driving between Chicago and New York State when they took a detour to visit us. We aren't sure, but it seems like it's been close to two years since we've been able to get together.  When you do life with someone on a nearly daily basis...through the thick and thin, but mostly thin....it's a joy to finally be able to spend time together.  We've burned many minutes chatting on the phone, but that isn't quite the same, is it?     I love serving a nice … [Read more...]

I love wildflowers! One of my favorite things to do is to walk the roadside and pick bouquets for decorating the table(s) for the Fourth of July. Earlier this week it rained quite heavily for a few days, so the wildflowers were pretty beat up. But, Wednesday, I went for a very long walk and discovered just what I wanted.  Happy Day!     The next morning I went for another walk scissors in hand. To my dismay, the massive scissors of the local road crew had come through and leveled my wildflower garden. You should have seen my face. I think it fell to my knees. Why, at … [Read more...]

Several houses and towns ago, my neighbor enjoying hosting a few ladies for coffee and tea.  She usually orchestrated it so that those of us who were working could enjoy a lovely weekday morning together.   It wasn't anything elaborate, but it was very thoughtful and pretty. One thing she always did was to purchase some beautiful paper napkins.  You know the ones with the gorgeous designs that are too pretty to use? She would set her table with special dishes.  Pieces she picked up here and there from antiquing.  They didn't necessarily match, but everything always looked beautiful. And of … [Read more...]

By now you all know that I'm a big time nature lover.     I truly enjoy creating with the beauties of nature...like I did here and here and here. So when my friend enlisted my help in creating a tablescape for Easter I just had to add in an extra touch or two from Mother Nature.   Creating A Bird's Nest Themed Easter Table This springy bird's nest themed Easter table all started when my friend picked up a variety of ceramic birds in white, yellow, and blue earlier this spring.  Those sweet birds were the inspiration for this lovely table. Before Valentine's Day she had … [Read more...]

Raise your hand if you're just now getting started on figuring out your Easter table and menu. It's okay.   Today I have a few last minute ideas for your Easter table.     Generally in the blogging world these things are done in advance simply because we need time to process and post our projects.  This week I've been helping my friend put together a lovely Easter table.  We finished it on Friday.  Because my friend will be working over Easter weekend, it needed to be done ahead.  And it worked out great for me, because that meant I was able to do a photo shoot yesterday.  But, it also means … [Read more...]

Birch is such a fun wood to decorate with in the winter. It gives a space a certain brightness and the bark almost seems reflective.  Both of which brighten corners and more during the dark gray days of winter. If you've been following along, you may remember the birch wreath for Christmas.  Shhh...don't tell anyone...but it's still up and it has a few cardinals residing in it's quickly drying greenery. [wink]  We also used it to decorate the front of the house, which for some reason none of my photos turned out, and we used it to decorate the fireplace and mantel area for Christmas as well. After … [Read more...]

  This birch branch winter woodland tablescape just might be my most favorite table setting ever. What is it about natural elements that make my heart sing?     This winter we've been having fun decorating with birch branches.  You may have seen some of it here and here and here. We had a few longer birch branches that hadn't been used over Christmas, so I thought creating a birch branch winter woodland tablescape would be fun.  Actually, creating a centerpiece of the branches for the table would set the stage and theme.     Birch branches are perfect for winter … [Read more...]

Are you getting excited for Thanksgiving? Usually, we gather with friends and family we rarely see and enjoy those foods we only eat at Thanksgiving. If I'm hosting the meal, I put almost as much effort into creating a beautiful Thanksgiving Tablescape as I do the meal.     I have to admit, for me it isn't all about the food.  Though I have shared a few recipes that would be a great addition to your Thanksgiving menu.  My Far East Celery is crunchy and light and makes a perfect accompaniment to turkey and stuffing.  Or a true fall dish that you can enjoy as a salad or dessert, Crunchy … [Read more...]

  Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Many of us are thinking about how to set a beautiful and bountiful table. As I was dreaming about table decor, I remembered that this past New Year's table would be perfect for Thanksgiving. Actually...it's probably even more appropriate when you look at the elements of the table. Plus, mixing gold and silver in home decor is gaining in popularity right now. So...why not think about mixing gold and silver for Thanksgiving to create a truly elegant table setting?     The key elements were leaves and nuts and pine cones. The nuts … [Read more...]

Welcome to Day 10 of 31 Extraordinary Days to Be...  Or...simply: Be... Together, we will learn to Be… to live fully and beautifully in our “skin” and in our homes and beyond.  If you missed The Introduction or you'd like to follow the entire series, you can find each post listed here.     We woke up to our first frost this morning.  Clear, cool, and crisp. When autumn comes, we're ready for cuddly sweaters and evenings at home. And hearty meals at the table.     There's nothing like creating... a cozy and warm homespun table setting in the fall. My menu is generally … [Read more...]

  What is it about the colors of fall that make my heart sing?     Rusty oranges.  I think they just might have been my dad's favorite.     Golden yellows.  Rudbeckia and Goldenrod are two of my favorites. I couldn't believe there were still Rudbeckia, often known as black-eyed Susans, still blooming in the garden.     Greens.  The backdrop for making the colors of fall even more dramatic.     Taupe and every shade of brown.  Who doesn't like acorns and pinecones.     Table for four, … [Read more...]

Autumn has unofficially arrived! Each morning I get up in the dark and sit with my chair facing the window to the East, drinking my Chai, and drinking in the quiet and HIS "still small voice." The nearby fields are coloring golden and heavy with dew as that first light magnifies in each tiny droplet. What a contrast from last Fall in the mountains of Pennsylvania where the day begins shrouded in fog. I am seizing the beauty around me in this new season of my life....and the year.     One of the things about Fall Nesting is the aromas.  I love it when my husband comes home and says, … [Read more...]

  As the days get shorter, we hang on to every breath of summer's sweet breezes.  There's the "one last time" at the beach day.  Or, if you live in the mountains, the desert, or in America's heartland, all of that may be just a dream.  But, it doesn't stop us from creating our own little breath of fresh air and wind and waves....even on our supper table.  Our own casual coastal tablescape....ah!     Today, I used my everyday, Longaberger Classic Blue dinner plates and Woven Traditions Cereal Bowls.  No...we won't be having cereal for supper.  These generously sized bowls are perfect … [Read more...]

  There's nothing like a day at the beach. Living at least five hours from the beach, I decided to bring the beach to the mountains of Pennsylvania. At least to my dining area.   Will you  join me for a beachy brunch?     The table is simply set with my Longaberger dinnerware and crystal goblets, and my vintage silverplate that we use everyday.     We're having the yummiest blueberry pancakes with real maple syrup. Creamers sitting on saucers are perfect for serving the syrup.  And cute too. An old vintage low bowl with a sea green interior is … [Read more...]

  Usually, this time of year I am up to my eyeballs creating fantastic spaces for kids.  I would hardly have time to notice the beauty of creation around me.  But, this year....I am having so much fun picking blossoms, creating fun tablescapes, and enjoying springtime.     I love how the pink detail on the plates comes alive with the pink crabapple blossoms.     Just for fun, I put together a centerpiece for the table using book pages and my vintage Ball Mason jars. The jars usually take residence on the shelves in my laundry room.  They are so happy in their … [Read more...]

“Eating, and hospitality in general, is a communion, and any meal worth attending by yourself is improved by the multiples of those with whom it is shared.”  Jesse Browner   Have you noticed when you gather for a meal with friends, the food always tastes better?  Eaten alone, food is nutritious...it feeds the body, not the soul.   But, eaten in community, it is a communion, where body and soul are fed. That's the point of hospitality.   It's a shared table. It might mean taking what you have prepared and offering it to someone in need.  Or it might entail opening your home.  It's the sharing … [Read more...]

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