Our Dining Room at Christmas

We are having some family over for dinner this weekend which is the motivation I needed to  finish putting a few holiday touches in the dining room.  My decorating had stalled  after the initial burst of getting it done early.   Is there such a thing as decorating fatigue?  Yes, I think it’s a thing.

But there is nothing like having company to get me going again.

The greenery on the mirror is new this year.  Having that swag on the top of the mirror does draw your eye to this side of the room.


And the centerpiece on the table varies from year to year.  This one is more simple than in the past.  I used faux greenery with some pillars and ornaments.  I  dried the artichokes back in the fall which is pretty simple to do.  You basically just leave fresh artichokes out on a counter and they dry, retaining their shape perfectly.  When the Christmas season rolled around it seemed that they needed to be spray painted gold.  What a budget friendly item they have turned out to be!

My sister gave me this Spode Christmas china.  I look forward to using it every year.  Traditions give us the continuity and unity of the past.  But I do like to update and tweak too.

Honestly I did not have much going on over here on the sideboard.  But I decided it would be a good place to stage my dessert plates.  I usually use this area for wine and side dishes when we have guests over.

The chandelier is always the same.  I found that hanging ornament at TJ Maxx a few years ago and this has always been the perfect spot for it.  I keep those gold spray painted hydrangeas from year to year.


And here is another new variation: some greenery and lights on the armoire.  This end of the room is always dark and it finally occurred to me that a few lights up here would remedy the situation.  I might just leave those up year round.  I don’t think it would be weird.

What’s on the menu, you ask?  I am making Jamie Oliver’s recipe for lamb shanks.  It’s really good!

Ten days until Christmas!  Are you ready?

Linking with Remodelaholic.





Thanksgiving Links: From Roasting the Turkey to Decorating the Table

When you have hosted as many Thanksgiving dinners as I have, it is easy to get stuck in a rut and do the same things you always do.  However, I have found that  a little creative boost helps me get more enthused about the process, the work that is involved in making a memorable day for everyone.   That’s when I sit down at my computer to find inspiration and ideas that spice up my usual dinner.

These two links were so thorough that I didn’t need to go any further.  I hope they help you too!

The New York Times has an entire section of helpful tips for the novice and the experienced cook  here.  From How to Roast a Turkey to How to Plan the Menu, you will find a comprehensive guide for your Thanksgiving meal.  Even though I have hosted Thanksgiving more times than I can count, I  am always interested in new ideas for recipes and tips for making the preparations  go more smoothly.

This article had so many ideas for making your table festive.  From simple to elaborate you will find something you like.

Happy Planning!

Centerpiece of Forsythia and Lenten Roses

My favorite floral arrangements and centerpieces are like the best hairstyles,  casual and  effortless looking.  As we all know, getting that effortless effect can take a bit of effort.:)

We had some friends over  for dinner this weekend.  Once the menu is decided  my next thought is what shall I do for a centerpiece.  Even though all of the stores are full of tulips and daffodils and other spring bloomers, I love using flowers from the garden.  And my forsythia is blooming! Perfect!

Lenten Roses are also blooming. These flowers last for months in the garden.  They do  have a tendency to droop somewhat once they are cut, but the petals are soft and pretty and they work well with the forsythia.  I added some cuttings from my privet, which is glossy and deep green.
I gathered all of my small glass vases and started working.

With several vases you can spread flowers down the table and have varying heights.  I find it more dynamic than one central arrangement.
Tucking in a few birds helped with my spring theme.

Candles, both tapers and votives, finished it off.  The tablecloth was made from some fabric I had bought years ago.

I always take pictures of my tables.  I don’t know why because I never do the same thing twice.
It’s just fun coming up with something new, I guess.
Have a great week!