Sunday, December 14, 2014

Quick Christmas Party

Ever have to throw together a Christmas Party really quickly?

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If so, Costco can be your best friend.

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It’s amazing the little feast you can pull together…

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…with a trip to Costco…

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…and pulling out your treasures.

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The side board held the plates. Everything was to be finger food, but I added a stack of little forks just in case. Even the roses were Costco.

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Cutting the spiral cut ham into smaller sections makes it finger food…

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Some choices of sliced cheese completed the sandwich.

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We’ve all heard the expression, shop your house. Well, Santa was on the front entry table but he was needed to anchor the table. I gathered up a grouping of brass candle stick holders and was fortunate to have a box of unused burgundy tapers in house. While shopping at Costco, I was looking for something to pull it all together and the fresh garland did just the trick with the added bonus of a wonderful scent.

At the far end of the table was a black metal plate stand which I didn’t get a shot of. I set my Christmas Tree Spode dinner plates upon the plate stand and filled them with crowd pleasing pigs in a blanket, mini chicken tacos and bagel bites (perfect for the primarily young crowd I was serving).

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Entertaining in one’s home can be a true joy. Don’t let the party prep stand in your way. With all of the options in our marketplaces, one can entertain quickly and festively with ease.

- The Tablescaper

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Slowly Getting Ready

Christmas is just around the corner!

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I am ever so slowly getting ready.

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It’s a wonderful time of year…

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…to pull out special treasures.

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And think of the memories behind those treasures.

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Hope you’re moving a bit faster than me!

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In the midst of all of the hustle and bustle remember to BELIEVE!

- The Tablescaper

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Birthday Celebration

Birthdays deserve celebrating, no matter the age!

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Life gets busy and it’s hard to find the time to find the time to get together with family, but it’s celebrating together that helps keep us together.

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Not having the time to prepare a birthday dinner, we went out for dinner…

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…and came home for dessert. We were actually celebrating three family birthdays at once.

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The request was for an ice cream cake, so even that was store bought. But it wasn’t about whether the cake was homemade.

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It was about being together. We exchange gifts,…

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…enjoyed a cup of coffee , and caught up with each other, all in the comforts of home.

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Happy Birthday! Be sure to celebrate all of life’s events. The ages of birthdays being celebrated ranged from 13 to 83. No matter the age, everyone deserves to be celebrated.

- The Tablescaper

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Labor Day Celebrations!


The last weekend of summer approaches we anticipate a wind up with a wonderful weekend of friends and entertaining.

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It doesn’t need a lot of prep or cooking.

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Laying out the bounty of the garden (or the farm stand) can be a feast for the eyes.

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Thoughtful display can bring grocery store purchases to another level.

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Sometimes we hesitate to entertain because we dread the work involved. It can be as easy as selecting some delectable treats and displaying them in a pleasing manner.

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Hope you enjoy Labor Day weekend!

Participating in Cuisine Kathleen’s End of Summer Challenge.

- The Tablescaper

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


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They say that change is good.

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I must say that I am struggling with it.

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I am trying to look at things differently.

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Trying to gain a little perspective.

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Change is hard. I’m not to the good yet, but I’m trying.

- The Tablescaper

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Life Rolls On


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Life has been busy!

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Mine is recently been full of many changes.

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I’ve done a little visiting here and there as time allows.

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Hope you are enjoying your summer.

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- The Tablescaper

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Where do you keep it all–Part 5?

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In celebration of my fifth blog-a-versary I am hosting my fifth annual “Where do you keep it all?” party. Without a doubt, whenever someone reads my blog, the most frequently asked question is “Where do you keep it all?”. There was no doubt in my mind what I would be sharing this year. There is a small room in my basement at the base of the stairs which we used to call the Train Room. Many years ago we had a huge table built in the Train Room so that my husband and son could set up their trains. Well, I don’t think it every really got set up and now my son just finished his freshman year of college, so I departed on my journey of taking over the last possible bit of space in my home to store my tablescaping paraphernalia.

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This is what the Train Room looked before. Clearly there were no trains running in there! More like a train wreck!

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The first step was to clear it out. See, there was a train platform under all of that! Now, this room was a real challenge to figure out how to set up. Behind the louvered doors is our HVAC system so access to it was an important consideration. Access during it’s life as a train room wasn’t any too good. We needed to remedy that.There were wheels on the table so it could be shifted to gain access, but the table itself was so darn heavy, not to mention all of the crap stuff on and around the table. It really didn’t work. I hired my talented nephew to change the doors from hinged to sliding. That way I didn’t need to accommodate space for the doors to swing and if something needs to be removed or repaired in the HVAC system, the doors could be easily removed.

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Whenever I try to organize anything, I always start with sorting.I used bins and gave them a temporary label to help keep it all straight.

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These metal racks are one of my favorite storage devices. They can hold up to 300 pounds per shelf and each shelf can be set at a height of your choice. That being said, it’s a little hard to predict as you’re building the shelf exactly where you want the shelf. Mr. Scaper was a huge help in building the shelves.One of the primary purposes of the new space was to accommodate my vast collection of glassware.I previously kept it in plastic bins, labeled as to content, and with each glass individually wrapped. That system made it difficult to remember exactly what I had and hard to locate. Plus it was time consuming to unwrap and rewrap for each table. While being out on open shelves may make them dustier, thus necessitating washing before each use, I used to wash them before each use anyway.

Putting the glasses into their new homes was a huge task. I wanted it by color so it was key to be sure that I had finished emptying all of the storage bins of any given color before I moved on to the next. I realized I needed to dig into all of the bins and get one glass of each set out so I wouldn’t miss any of a particular color, before moving on to the next color. The photo above was from when I finished the greens, was moving into the blue greens and getting ready for the blues.

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I have my dishes in color order and find it an extremely effective way to find and use my dishes. I wanted to do the same with the glassware.

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I remember that I had stored some of my pink depression glasses with my pink dishes so I went and pulled them out too. What was great about that was that it allowed for some new dish space!

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This was such a huge project (and truth be told there are a still a few things that are not finished) that I thought I ought to name this post “How I spent my Winter” but like any good organizational project, it sure was worth it. I also thought about “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”. Hah! The entrance to the room (formerly the Train Room and now the Glass Room) has a pocket door from when we refinished the basement years ago. I love pocket doors! They are all over my home. Such a space saver.

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The above photo is the view as you first enter the room.

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It’s such a pleasure to be able to access all of my glassware so easily. It’s wonderful to see it all too!

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Do you see the pieces of cardboard on the floor? I emptied out most of the glassware that was in boxes and kept one panel of each box so I would know it’s manufacturer, model, etc.

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The above photo has the oranges, yellows, golds, browns, blacks and clear. I actually buy less now because I can finally see what I have (which I know, is too much).

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This shelving unit was in the room already. It was an Ikea purchase and was low enough to fit under the soffit but still maximize the space. It too got completely cleaned out and now houses glassware in red, pink, lavender and purple.

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Another goal of this project was to remove all of the candle holders from the china room to open up some space for china that didn’t have a home. I couldn’t move the candles themselves as this room has a fair amount of heat coming from the HVAC system (thus the louvered doors for ventilation) and I was afraid they would melt. If I every buy another candle holder, someone should shoot me. It’s sad to say that the hurricanes are in a completely different closet (I’ll have to share that another time).

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I boxed the votive candle holders by color. This makes it a whole lot easier to take a grouping of them upstairs to a table to decide exactly which one works best.

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I moved my plastic drawers of placemats (of course organized and labeled by color) in from the other room as they were behind a pole and the sofa so it was rather difficult to open the drawers. They fit perfectly to the left of the one metal shelf.

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I had previously shared where I kept my runners (chest of drawers above by color) and napkin rings (small plastic drawers by color) but the problem was I had many napkin rings that didn’t have a home.

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So, I added more small drawers for napkin rings and small items such as place card holders and other small table accoutrements. The boxes on the shelf shown above hold all sorts of things that I have a hard time figuring out where to put: moss for floral arrangements, floral frogs, carpet balls, vase fillers, potpourri, faux fruit and vegetables, and the list goes on. When trying to organize anything I always sort first and then label, label, label!

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The clear boxes in the photo above hold part of my napkin collection. That seems to be the only downside of this project. Some of the boxes of napkins are in another room but they are all labeled and organized by color so it’s not that much of a downside.

This was a huge undertaking, but I’m so glad I did it (and so glad that my family finally let me takeover this space). It allows me to see and use what I have so much easier.

Check the prior post or see the side bar for easy links to the prior “Where do keep it all?” posts.

On another note, those that are regular readers of my blog know that I have taken a bit of a break. My blogging break will continue.I recently went back to work full time after being a stay at home mom for many years. I hope that my full time position transitions into a part time position so that I can continue to blog, but only time will tell. I hope to have a better handle on it by the Fall. It has been an extremely busy Spring for me and will continue to be an extremely busy Summer. Sometimes these things are beyond our control. While I won’t be posting much, I love to see all that you have to share so I will be visiting.

I know I haven’t been able to promote the fifth “Where do you keep it all?” party very well but I’d love to have you link below. Feel free to share an old post, as long as it relates to where you keep it all.

- The Tablescaper