Ideas and takeaway tips to help you set a pretty gold pastel Easter table or any table that's colorful and celebrative.      What is it about a few sunny days and their power to flood the soul with joy and inspire creativity? I didn't realize how much I NEEDED sunshine.  There is no doubt that Jesus is our source of JOY... but SUNSHINE after winter's heavy gray shroud hanging low and heavy for MONTHS really pushes up my joy meter.  Does it do that for you, too? I can't really say for sure... but as I was dreaming about my Easter table... and yes I DO do that... I just KNEW that … [Read more...]

  Make Easter dinner a SNAP! Serve up this No Bake! Deliciously Easy Lemony Bird's Nest Dessert.         Between church and dinner and the egg hunt, there's so much to prepare for on Easter Day. Make it easy on yourself and fun this year with this yummy Easter treat topped off with everybody's favorite... Peeps!  Plus, everything can be gathered and prepared in advance for easy serving. I can guarantee that your guests will LOVE this light springtime dessert. But the best part is that it makes life EASY for you on a super busy day. It's a double … [Read more...]

  Inspiration to set a pretty but simple moss green St. Patrick's Day table and thoughts on why I enjoy celebrating this Irish holiday.     Do you love to rearrange your furniture with the seasons or on a whim?  I have many friends who do that, but that's not my style.  I work hard to find a permanent furniture placement and instead of changing up my room arrangements I change up my decor with the seasons.  If you've been hanging around here for any time, I'm sure you've noticed my love for seasonal home decor... especially on the table.     One of my favorite … [Read more...]

  The PERFECT easy to make ice skating centerpiece for your impromptu Winter Olympics party.     Are you following the Olympics? Growing up in Michigan, I started ice skating when I was a little girl.  There wasn't anything better than the freedom of skating as fast as I could at our local ice arena.  And then my dad signed me up for figure skating lessons.  JOY!  That meant that I could be on the ice nearly every single day!     As a mitten state girl, I enjoy winter sports, but between the weather and my schedule and life, I'm not doing them so much anymore. … [Read more...]

  Don't skip Valentine's Day because retailers and the media make it all about romance and roses.  Instead, make it about fun and love.  Here are some easy ideas to help you set a simple Valentine table that's perfect for friends, family, and even lovers, too.    I almost didn't use any red for my Valentine's Day tablescape this year. When I envisioned my simple Valentine table, the one thing I wanted to be cautious of was the overuse of red.  Don't get me wrong... I like red... but this year it just felt like too much for me.     Why was one of my favorite colors... … [Read more...]

  Create beautiful memories around a festive Christmas brunch table. Here are a few ideas to help you quickly and easily plan for a special morning gathering.     How was your Christmas? Christmas can be a challenge on so many levels, but I hope you had moments of peace and joy amidst the celebration and quiet. My happiest Christmas memories as a child are those that were made around the table and sharing it with friends and family. Whether you have the family over on Christmas morning for a late brunch, or it's just a few around the table, these ideas will help you make your … [Read more...]

  Need a coffee table but don't have one? This DIY modern farmhouse tray is a cheap and easy solution with style.   In my home, I'm the beneficiary of a nightly ritual that will make most wives jealous...     My husband prepares a cup of cocoa or chai for me every evening before bedtime. He's been doing this for most of our married life and I love it.  It's a very special way to end the evening. Since we've been living in this postage stamp of an apartment my choice is to sit at the table or on my little loveseat.  Usually, I choose the loveseat.  But, it's risky for … [Read more...]

  Learn how to create a budget Thanksgiving table setting with dollar store items and more that is simple and elegant, plus a fun DIY pumpkin centerpiece project.   It was just the two of us that Thanksgiving. As usual, since we moved to the Southtowns of Buffalo, there was snow and lots of it.     There was no way I was going to get in the car and drive 8 hours for dinner.  So I set the table as elegantly as possible and roasted a turkey. Tim and I were having a blast in the kitchen together, making a week's worth of stuffing, potatoes, Far East Celery, two kinds of … [Read more...]

  It persuaded me just a little with its $7 clearance price tag. That small red tag pushed me from simple infatuation to head over heels in love. With a tablecloth.     Which is why this lovely dark blue and white tablecloth with the huge gingham checks jumped into my hands and came home with me. I couldn't wait to put it on my little table.     Do you know the difference between the hugely popular buffalo plaid and gingham? I didn't. Want to know? Lean in... Buffalo plaid is a larger square plaid of two colors... one is always black and … [Read more...]

  Inspiration and tips for hosting a super easy to pull off sunflower themed tea or luncheon.     One of my favorite things about blogging is that I have an excuse to do the things I love and share them with you. More than anything I would love for you to be able to join me for a little breakfast tea where we could swap stories and get to know each other.  But, since that's not to be, today I set the table for an early fall morning tea and I'm pretending that you are sitting here with me. It's a beautiful mostly sunny day.  The trees have a little bit of color, but here in the … [Read more...]

  This has been the summer of flowers.     It all started when my little grocery store started carrying locally grown flowers in the spring.  I almost did flips when I saw ranunculus. In the most beautiful colors, ever.  So, of course, I purchased some, and arranged them, and took their picture... over and over again. As spring became summer,  there was a constant flow of flowers each week into my store. And when I could, I purchased a bouquet and arranged it, and too more pictures.  For the past month, there's been a steady flow of sunflowers in every … [Read more...]

  Do you cringe at the idea of inviting people to your home? My friend Melissa Michaels, of The Inspired Room, has just published a new book that will help you overcome your hospitality fears and inspire you to send your first invitation for a simple gathering. Simple Gatherings, 50 Ways to Inspire Connections offers a refreshing perspective on opening our hearts and homes to guests. I truly believe that it's what's in our hearts and minds that make our attempts at hospitality successful. Melissa uses this Bible verse as the basis for her efforts... "Serve one another in love." Galatians 5:13. … [Read more...]

  How do you like to eat fresh picked blueberries? When it's blueberry season our family's favorite blueberry food, aside from blueberry buckle coffee cake, is blueberry pancakes.  Or at least it was until I decided to make blueberry waffles.     The thing is, the stove in our apartment has the most uneven burners ever.  Everything slides to one side of the pan. Making pancakes on the stove is sheer craziness.  So when Tim suggested we make pancakes for our Sunday brunch I got all twitchy... until I remembered I have a waffle iron. My waffle iron was purchased a while back for … [Read more...]

  Have you ever had an old friend come to town and want to meet up with you and friends she hasn't seen in a year or two or ten? You're happy to make all the arrangements. Lunch at a great restaurant is a good option.  It seems so much easier, but, there's the noise of the other diners, the interruptions of the servers, and who knows what else. Why not go all old-style and host a small gathering or luncheon at your home?     So much more is in your control and the peace and comfort of your home tops everything the restaurant has to offer.  You don't have to worry about staying … [Read more...]

  Happy Fourth of July!     I LOVE everything about celebrating the 4th, but especially I love all things red, white, and blue. It's been a while since I've been able to set a patriotic table, but this year is finally my year... thanks to an unexpected clearance at Walmart way back in January.  Right smack in the middle of the main aisle was a display of deeply discounted housewares items.  Since I always prefer shopping anything house related over clothing, I was immediately drawn to the display.  Down on the bottom shelf, I noticed a stack of red plates.  Cute red plates with a … [Read more...]

  Be inspired today with these fun and creative patriotic holiday decorating ideas... Holidays give me a great reason to have people over. We love spending time with friends in an informal way. There's something about a holiday that puts everyone in a more celebratory mood. Plus... it gives me a theme for table decor and more.     With that in mind... Memorial Day is almost here and it's the perfect reason to open the cupboards and drawers and pull out all things red, white, and blue. Since Memorial Day is about remembrance and appreciation, it's a great teaching … [Read more...]

    Whenever we're short on time or having friends for the weekend... and I need an absolutely delicious but quick to prepare dinner, I always turn to my amazing and easy beef taco meat recipe.   It's always a favorite and I love how those who try it for the first time are surprised and delighted by the unexpected ingredient. The main ingredient in standard taco fare is usually ground beef.  I make a delicious southwest chicken meal, too.  But for the beef lovers, this is a standout with a myriad of wonderful flavors.   Since tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo... you may have … [Read more...]