Dinner Napkin Nest for your Easter Table

Blue and White cloth cotton dinner napkin fold

Of course we love napkin folds but they have to be easy like our linens.  This one is very simple and will add an extra 'wow' to your Easter table.  You might even get the children to put the napkins in their laps!  

blue and white cotton dinner napkin folding tips for easter
blue and white cotton dinner napkin folding tips for easter
Cotton blue and white dinner napkin fold
Cotton blue and white dinner napkin fold

Steps 1 & 2

cloth napkin fold blue and white dinner napkins
cloth napkin fold blue and white dinner napkins
Blue and White cotton dinner napkin fold cloth
Blue and White cotton dinner napkin fold cloth

Steps 3 & 4

Easter Napkin Fold
Easter Napkin Fold
Blue and White Easter cloth napkin fold
Blue and White Easter cloth napkin fold

Steps 5 & 6

Easter Dinner Napkin fold blue and white cloth
Easter Dinner Napkin fold blue and white cloth
Cotton cloth dinner napkins blue and white
Cotton cloth dinner napkins blue and white

Steps 7 & 8

Cotton dinner napkin for Easter Blue and white
Cotton dinner napkin for Easter Blue and white

Voila!

Cotton dinner napkins for Easter napkin folding
Cotton dinner napkins for Easter napkin folding

 Pick your favorite goodies and stuff the napkins for a sweet treat on the table.

The Hen’s Thanksgiving Table

purple and white cotton table linens
purple and white cotton table linens
simple decorations for Thanksgiving
simple decorations for Thanksgiving

I am back on the Thanksgiving tablescape!  My yummy junque sale finds are still making me happy, but not actually striking the right giving thanks note for me.  We traditionally host several families for turkey and trimmings and the formal pattern of the limoge doesn't really fit our laid back vibe.  The rustic crate I use in my office to hold sample fabrics is our vibe and it all started to come together after a recent trip to my favorite garden shop.  White pumpkins.  Simply perfect white pumpkins.  The owner of the shop informed me that they were part of the "largest, most interesting crop" he had ever seen.  Then I came across these gorgeous fall cabbages and sweet potato vines in the deepest darkest purple-y plummy yumminess.  The linen selection was a cinch.  Aubergine all over.  And the place settings?  I went with my mother's wedding china.   Casual yet sophisticated with a nod towards what has come before us and a wink to what is here and now.  That is totally our vibe and a lot to be thankful for.

cotton table linens for the holidays
cotton table linens for the holidays
easy centerpiece for Thanksgiving
easy centerpiece for Thanksgiving
white and purple cotton cloth linens for the table
white and purple cotton cloth linens for the table
setting a table for thanksgiving
setting a table for thanksgiving
the perfect tablesetting
the perfect tablesetting

Don't RUFFLE your feathers! This napkin fold is easy...

Ruffle napkin fold
Ruffle napkin fold

1. Start by folding into a triangle.

napkin fold for Thanksgiving
napkin fold for Thanksgiving

2.  Fold up the corners.

fun napkin fold for Thanksgiving
fun napkin fold for Thanksgiving

3.  Flip it over.

gold napkin for Thanksgiving
gold napkin for Thanksgiving

4.  Fold up the bottom corner.

fun cotton napkin folds
fun cotton napkin folds
napkin folds for the kids table
napkin folds for the kids table

5.  Flip back.

gold cotton napkins
gold cotton napkins

6.  Fold in the sides.

turkey fold for Thanksgiving
turkey fold for Thanksgiving

7.  Tuck the right side into the left side

napkin fold for the Thanksgiving table
napkin fold for the Thanksgiving table
fun napkin folds
fun napkin folds

8.  Stand up.  Adorn with feathers or tuck in a name card.

tablesetting for Thanksgiving
tablesetting for Thanksgiving
cotton napkin folds
cotton napkin folds

The Glamorous Side of Going Green | Hen House Linens

Going green does not mean giving up the glam.

Case in point, our dinner napkins.  Colorful, beautiful, and best of all... made to be used everyday.  What does that mean anyway?  They wash beautifully without losing shape or color and there is no ironing required.

Elevate your everyday.  Entertain with effortless style.  Make your family and friends green with envy because you are doing it right!

 

 

set the scene

Emily and I have finally reached the final “chunk” of planning for her “grown up” Thanksgiving dinner.  Read more here and here.  Setting the scene.  I explained to her that this is part of the planning that will put you in a tizzy and take away from time spent braising the turkey and enjoying your guests.  My advice, do as much as you possibly can days in advance. 1.  GO WITH THE FLOW.  Determine where you are going to put people before during and after you eat.  Set up seating areas, move tables, lamps, décor to make your space more festive and more importantly for better flow.  Set up drink and hors d’oeuvre “stations” away from where you are working in the kitchen!   Have a pre-determined place for coats, bags and gear.  Emily and I came up with a great idea to set up a bench by her front entrance with a sign that reads coats and cell phones here.  (We love the idea of being tuned out for a few hours.)

Harvest setting
Harvest setting
entance
entance
fireplace
fireplace

2.  SET THE TABLE.  So what if you have to eat at the counter for a few meals.  Go ahead and set that beautiful table EARLY.  It will inspire you and there is nothing more inviting to your guests than entering to a table ready to gather around.

printable menus for Thanksgiving
printable menus for Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Table
Thanksgiving Table

3.  PLATE IT UP.  When a meal as large as Thanksgiving comes together, chaos can ensue.   Cut down on the crazy by labeling trays, serving spoons, platters, pitchers and bowls for every dish.  You will thank me later.

Thanksgiving planning
Thanksgiving planning

When the big day arrives, all you will need to do is tie on that cute hostess apron, pour a nice drink and welcome your guests.   Oh, and relax.  Everything won’t be perfect, but it isn’t about the corn pudding not setting, it’s about the memory for years to come of how everyone laughed and enjoyed corn soup.

Talking Turkey

My neighbor Emily has enlisted me to help her put together a “grown up” gathering of friends this Thanksgiving.  To catch up on our planning, read up here. The next “chunk” we needed to tackle was the menu.  We pulled out some tried and true recipes, scanned our collective cookbooks and did a little pinteresting search to get our taste buds activated.

When putting together a menu, think first about yourself.  What can you realistically pull off given the amount of time, ability and interest you have in  the culinary arts.  Emily is a busy mom of two babes.  While she enjoys cooking, there is a limit to the time she can dedicate to any dish let alone a turkey and trimmings.  I suggest that she delegate.  I have never liked the term potluck as it leaves way too much to chance, so we come up with a very specific menu.  A pre-planned menu, right down to the recipe, is perfect.  It saves guests from coming up with a recipe on their own and everyone will feel that they have contributed to a wonderful meal.  This is where you think about your guests when planning a menu.  Beyond dietary considerations, also consider time constraints, ability and budget. Abby loves to bake, have her bring pies.  Candace stresses out in the kitchen, give her a specialty cocktail.  Ben travels a ton for work, don’t even bother giving him a dish and let him bring a music playlist!  You get the idea…

beautiful linens for Thanksgiving
beautiful linens for Thanksgiving
Homemade apple pie for Thanksgiving
Homemade apple pie for Thanksgiving

Another great tip from our Creative Director, Katherine Poole is to outsource.  Her own Thanksgiving traditions include collard greens prepared by a local bistro that specializes in Southern cuisine and homemade yeast rolls made (with love) by the women at her church for a holiday bazaar.  Whatever you are serving, make it the best you can.

Our favorite holiday recipes are found at Tide & Thyme and The Nourishing Home.

A Grown Up Thanksgiving

My neighbor Emily is finally settling into her new house and new role as mother of two very young children.  She and her friends are in that stage of life where rushed meals between bottles, naps, and toddler wrangling translate to lukewarm stewed green beans and something resembling chicken.  She wants to throw a Thanksgiving dinner for friends that is more "grown up" this year and sought my help.  I understand exactly what she means and knew just what to do. Emily invited me over for a little tea and sympathy so we could chart out how to put this gathering together.  Since she is short on time and brain space, I knew we had to approach it in manageable chunks.  One overly long to-do list can exhaust and overwhelm.

Thanksgiving Day planning
Thanksgiving Day planning
Thanksgiving prep with family
Thanksgiving prep with family
menu planning for Thanksgiving
menu planning for Thanksgiving
menu planning with friends
menu planning with friends

First chunk, start with the fun stuff... dressing the table.  Just as a bride often selects her dress first, it allows all of the other decisions to fall into place.  Color palette, mood, theme, etc…  Consider the china, silverware and serving pieces you want to use.  For practical reasons, Emily needed to use her everyday china. (She is still collecting place settings in the fancy stuff!) She also had a great collection of creamware serving platters and trays.  So, with simple white tableware, we could give the linens some flair.  Emily was drawn to our pattern Garden Gate Ochre.  We paired it with a solid napkin in the same color and the ruffled edge nicely set off the shape of her plates.

gold and white table linens
gold and white table linens
silver for Thanksgiving
silver for Thanksgiving

Next, find that inspiration piece that will add a personal touch to the table.  Your grandmother’s kitsch-y turkey shaped gravy boat, a beautiful basket bought on your honeymoon, acorns and pine cones the kids’ collected on a recent hike.  Emily and I quickly honed in on an assortment of antique silver-plated spoons she recently acquired.  Click here to see what we ended up doing with them.  She also had a set of heirloom silver candle sticks.  It was all coming together.  A little rustic, a little contemporary.  All Emily.

Thanksgiving place setting
Thanksgiving place setting

Punch Up Your Porch Party

colorful punch

Kitcschy cocktails are de riguer this summer and that is fine by me and my not-so-fine-wine.  The key is to keep it simple (and flowing) by mixing it right in the pitcher.  No shaking, no blending, no muddling (well, maybe after a few of these…)   fall porch party green and orange fall porch party table settings

    Porch Party Punch

     Serves 8

             3 cups of blueberry-blackberry juice blend

             2 cans of frozen mojito mix

             2 bottles of chilled club soda

              1 ½ cups white rum

               3 sliced limes

               1 (12 oz.) package of frozen blackberries

              Fresh mint sprig for garnish

 Combine ingredients in a pitcher, stir, add mint for garnish, and serve over ice. Can be made non-alcoholic         with ginger ale.