Fatten up your regular old Tuesday routine this Mardi Gras!

Mardi Gras table linens cotton green gold purple

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Fatten up your regular old Tuesday routine this Mardi Gras, March 4th.

Set a table with rich purples, golds and greens.

Throw some Mardi Gras beads in a glass vase or bowl.  (I can always find a fine selection of broken beads in my kid’s toy chest!)  Fold your napkins into this fleur-de-lis shape.  Light candles and don some gold, green and purple lone Ranger masks!  Voila!

cloth napkin folding gold and white
cloth napkin folding gold and white
gold cotton dinner napkins napkin folding
gold cotton dinner napkins napkin folding

Now for the Gras to your Mardi!  Here is our menu fit for a King!

Mardi Gras place setting cotton table linens green purple
Mardi Gras place setting cotton table linens green purple

Thank you to Este for providing these delicious recipes!

Sausage-and-Shrimp-Jambalaya Hen House Linens
Sausage-and-Shrimp-Jambalaya Hen House Linens
King Cake Hen House Linens
King Cake Hen House Linens

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

Tips for YOUR perfect Thanksgiving table

1.  Let your table reflect your style. traditional, bohemian, casual.

2.  Don't stress about an over the top table.   Keep it simple with great color, a festive centerpiece and a few personal touches.

purple table linens cotton
purple table linens cotton

3.  Set the table the night before.  It will save your sanity and guest will arrive and immediately feel relaxed and welcome.

orange white cotton dinner napkins
orange white cotton dinner napkins
gold and white cotton table linens
gold and white cotton table linens

4.  Linens distract and dazzle!  A colorful cloth napkin on a bare tabletop will steal the show. Or if you want to hide the table (too many crayon marks), lay a seasonally inspired cloth down.

cotton tablelinens for the holidays
cotton tablelinens for the holidays

5.  Eat out!  If your dining room can't accommodate the masses or you want to shake it up, dine outside!

Saturday Swoon | Cocktail Hour

We love this drink recipe from Tide and Thyme…all the seasonal fruit make for delicious happy hour servings.

PEACH RICOTTA CROSTINI

YIELD: 18 small bites

PREP TIME: 10 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 10 minutes

Use bagle chips (salty and crunchy) or make your own crostini (baguette bread). You can also use an aged balsamic vinegar if you do not have a glaze.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 16 bagle crackers or 16 toasted baquette slices

  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese

  • 2 peaches, chopped in small pieces

  • 8-10 small cherry or heirloom tomatoes

  • Balsamic glaze (I use DeLallo brand)

  • Fresh basil, finely chopped

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Spread the ricotta cheese on the baguette or bagle crackers. Sprinkle with peaches and tomatoes.
  2. Drizzle with balsamic glaze. Sprinkle finely chopped basil on top. Serve!

Sunday Supper | Gather | Summer Entertaining

From our Creative Director, Katherine

Sunday Supper.  A gathering of 160 neighbors and friends to celebrate the beginning of summer. A beautiful and inspired reminder that nothing is more important than gathering with the people you love.

So, how did we pull it off?  It is simpler than you think.

First, I got my committee together.  My committee consisted of marvelous Martha, my friend and just the kind of boots on the ground co-host you need.  Martha handled the pre-party logistics and I took care of the details.  Beautiful division of labor.  

Next we sent out an enticing invitation that let our guests know exactly what to expect.  Here are the deets we included:

1.  We are having a sit-down dinner served family style.

2.  We are planning a menu and will assign each guest/couple a dish to bring from that menu.

3.  Each guest/couple is responsible for bringing their designated dish plated on a serving platter that evening.

4.  Each guest brings a plate.  No paper.  Break out the good china!

5.  Guests bring their own booze.

Martha and I rented chairs, tables, stemware and silverware.  We also provided serving utensils.  We prepared our menu, then emailed the recipes out to the guests.  We made sure that we had enough main dishes and salads to cover all the tables we set up.  One chicken, one orzo salad and one strawberry salad for each table.

Here is the menu:

Appetizers: Pickled Shrimp and Bacon and Goat Cheese Wrapped Apricots

Dinner: Rosemary Lemon Chicken, Roasted Vegetable + Orzo Salad, Strawberry Salad and Crusty Bread

Dessert: Pound Cake

All recipes were easy to prepare and could be served at room temperature.  No need to get fancy.  

The day of the party we got down to business.  With the help of some great friends and our own husbands and kids, we set up the tables, we strung a few lights, we clipped hydrangea and magnolia from our yards and we iced up coolers and tubs.  It was a production, but came together so easily because we kept it simple.  Nothing more than beautiful tablecloths and napkins to welcome our friends to the table.

As guests arrived, our waitstaff (our kids and their buddies), directed guests to place their dishes on the table and join us for cocktails.  Then at the appointed time, we said grace and sat down to Sunday Supper.

It was a memorable evening and so much more meaningful than the usual neighborhood get together.  It is because we sat down together to break bread.  Conversations were deeper.  New bonds were formed.  Laughter and joyful faces lit up the night along with the lightning bugs that showed up as if on cue.

Here is a peek at how it all came together.




Gathering | Summer Tablescape

An elegant dinner party for friends.  Sounds delish, right?  It is. And, you can totally pull it off tonight. (Okay, you can wait until the next Friday rolls around.)  How do you bring the fancy, fast and without a fuss?  Answer: orchids.  A lovely orchid arrangement as a centerpiece is always a showstopper.  We went all out orchid and dressed up our table in our Nouveau  cloth with coordinating napkins in white and that fabulous shade of pinky-rose.  Layer in simple white plates, fine silver and a variety of interesting glassware.   An elegant tablescape needs nothing more than that.  Just add your classy friends, some fine wine and a thoughtfully prepared meal.  Voila!

Gathering | A Bridal Tea

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something brewed...

Recently, a friend held a tea for her niece who is marrying this fall.  Invitations went out to all the women in her family: mother, daughters, sisters, cousins, aunts and, of course, Grandmama.  It was an opportunity for everyone to gather around the table and share stories about family weddings: the good, the bad and the ugly bridesmaid dresses.  

The table was simply set with our modern, yet elegant Palm Mineral cloth and coordinating ruffle napkins.  Bowls of hydrangeas cut and tied into bouquets served as the centerpiece and as a lovely takeaway from the day.  To help set the scene and inspire story telling, china and crystal dating back three generations (and borrowed from an aunt or two) was laid out.  And as a surprise, my friend's niece was given a china tea service that belonged to her great, great grandmother.  The tea and the tears flowed, the laughter and the finger sandwiches fed them and a new generation of matriarchs was begun.