Good morning, friends! I am so excited to have started a new Instagram account just for the blog. This is going to be fun! I’m putting my personal Instagram to rest (more on that here) in order to focus on creating more original content and pursuing my actual dreams and goals — not just watching everyone else achieve theirs! There’s enough success to go around for everyone, and I am venturing out to find mine. Thanks for being along for the ride. 🙂 Oh, and my new Instagram can be found here.
We had my parents over for a little winter dinner get-together last weekend and it was so much fun. It was a super cold night so I just put on a pot of chili and whipped up some Jiffy cornbread last-minute. My mom made a really beautiful charcuterie board so my part was easy — just had the dinner simmering on the stove and it was ready when we were!
I always like to set a pretty table. We all have different gifts that we give to our guests. Some of us love to cook elaborate meals. Some of us love to clean up a storm! Some of us love to set a table and make pretty. That’s me. 🙂 I get anxiety sometimes about the food prep and the cleaning prep. But the table prep? For me that’s the best part.
This table setting was so simple. I posted about the centerpiece a little bit last week. When all else fails, apothecary jars (inexpensive ones from HomeGoods are my favorite), fake “snow” (Hobby Lobby), and Target Dollar Spot trees always look really pretty. I was inspired by some eucalyptus leaves at Trader Joe’s when I was prepping for the dinner and I knew just how I wanted to use them! I always like to peruse flowers when I’m preparing for a party or get-together to get my creative juices flowing. I guess you could say it’s my “starting point.” One bunch of these was $2.99.
The red charges are from the Dollar Store, and the “napkins” are actually dish towels from IKEA. I was walking from our hall closet where we keep our linens to our kitchen and I was just lightly twisting the towels, which is what inspired the casual twist on the table. Happy accidents! I used my Spode as the base plate and then a large white soup bowl on top so everyone could grab their bowl and load up with chili and toppings, and then rest their cornbread on the plate. Which brings me to the buffet…
I recently bought an inexpensive rectangular card table from Target that has been such an awesome investment even in this short period of time. I used it a ton during my Christmas baking season, and I’ve just found another use for it — a buffet station!
I draped a couple yards of fabric that I had on hand over the table and then used a kraft paper “runner” that comes in a roll from the Target Dollar Spot — I think they still have it! I saw some recently. I also used my mom’s trick to set out all of my bowls and serving dishes that I want to use and put little paper labels in each. My sweet Gramma used to do this, too.
I love the simple greenery running the length of the table. I put candles in a bunch of mismatched glassware that I have. It was fun — when we were ready to eat, we turned the lights down a little low and had the glow of the candlelight next to the table, too. The stove was directly adjacent to this table so the flow was very easy and simple.
I miss my Gramma something awful when I do things like this. But it’s during those times of nesting and arranging that I feel her most. I feel her cheering me on, I feel her getting excited with an idea, and I really just feel her smile shining upon me.
We have a very tiny house, a very cozy house — hosting in our small space can be a challenge sometimes but I am starting out the year with an intention of doing it more so that I can get more comfortable. The together time is priceless and I love making memories in our space and filling it with love. I want to use my house for hospitality. I want you to do that, too!
For dessert, it was a store-bought Costco cheesecake with homemade blueberry sauce, which was so darn good. Grey and I have a saying in our house that “no one is too good for a store-bought pie” so I will never ever feel bad about serving something that was pre-made. Allow yourself to make those memories in your space with as little stress put upon yourself as possible!