Tablescape

At the Table: A Fall Transition with Mikasa Ventosa

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I’m making the transition to fall at the table with

Ventosa Dinnerware by Mikasa Gourmet Basics.

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Organic in design, Mikasa’s Gourmet Basics’ Ventosa Dinnerware is a

handcrafted collection that offers a modern option for dining.

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 A reactive glaze provides a natural variation in color, while the starburst and linear design adds a feeling of movement, adding to the handcrafted appeal.

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Stoneware square plates are framed and accented in shape with woven chargers at the table, along with a checked tablecloth and napkins, providing a foundation of autumn colors.

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Mikasa’s Ryland collection of stemware offers a coordinating square shape in goblets as well as highball glasses. A maple leaf is tucked inside the glass, showing the first hint of fall color that I was thrilled to discover, since we don’t normally see the leaves change in our part of North Carolina until October.

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{Insert a *cheer* for an early fall if you’re below the Mason-Dixon line, or *groan* if you’re above :)}

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Square shaped soup/cereal bowls with a matte black glazed exterior

top the stack of salad and dinner plates. . .

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. . .and amber glass vases are filled with an assortment of foliage clipped from shrubs

for a variety of texture and color for a simple & easy centerpiece.

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Crimson Queen Japanese Maple, burgundy tipped Loropetalum, Kaleidoscope Abelia, and flowering dill.

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Mugs offer a ready-made and handy napkin ring for easy and casual dining.

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Enjoy 20% off one Ventosa item through September 28th,
with the link below (some exclusions apply):

http://www.mikasa.com/source?src=MARYMBLOGMKVT201

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 Table Details:

*Dinnerware / Ventosa, Gourmet Basics by Mikasa

*Flatware / Mikasa Harmony

*Stemware / Mikasa Ryland Highball Glass

Rattan Chargers / Kohl’s

Napkin Rings / Pottery Barn (several years ago)

Tablecloth & Napkins / HomeGoods

Vases / Target

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*Lifetime Brands’ products have been provided free of charge in exchange for promotional consideration.

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Are you cheering on an early fall or groaning in anticipation?

Gourmet Basics by Mikasa Ventosa Dinnerware

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{Less} Labor Day Picnic

 {Less} Labor Day Picnic

As we sail into Labor Day weekend, I’m wrapping up a few projects and feeling a little lethargic, so here’s a labor-free post from me of our {Less} Labor Day Picnic. Pottery Barn shared my picnic on their blog last year, so here’s a timely & tasty repeat if you’re in need some inspiration for your end-of-summer celebration!

Wishing you a Safe & Happy {Less} Labor Day Weekend!

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We’re enjoying a lakeside picnic over the holiday weekend.

I’m testing the theory that everything tastes better out of a jar~ it certainly is convenient & more fun :)

A layered salad made in advance~ a minimum of 8 hours or up to 24~ chilling for the flavors to meld.

You can enjoy the fruits of your labor later,  since that’s  the point of this summer holiday.

Tasty & satisfying, and a salad that my husband enjoys.

You can make individual salad jars, so serving is less problematic & less labor is required.

Layered Cornbread-and-Turkey Salad, recipe courtesy of Southern Living, here

Ingredients

1 (6-ounce) package buttermilk cornbread mix (I used a box of Jiffy corn muffin mix)

1 (12-ounce) bottle Parmesan-peppercorn dressing

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup buttermilk

1 (9-ounce) package romaine lettuce, shredded

2 1/2 cups chopped smoked turkey (about 3/4 pound)

*2 large yellow bell peppers, chopped

2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped (I used cherry tomatoes)

1 red onion, chopped

1 cup diced celery (about 3 celery ribs)

*2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese

10 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

2 green onions, sliced

Preparation

Prepare cornbread according to package directions; cool and crumble. Set aside.

Stir together dressing, mayonnaise, and buttermilk until blended.

To make 1 large salad: Layer half each of crumbled cornbread, shredded lettuce, and next 7 ingredients in a large glass bowl; spoon half of dressing mixture evenly over top. Repeat layers ending with dressing mixture. Cover and chill at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Sprinkle top with green onions just before serving. Prep: 45 min., Chill: 8 hrs.

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*I substituted some chickpeas for yellow bell peppers and used a blend of Monterey Jack & Cheddar cheese instead of Swiss since that’s what I had on hand.

You can bake your cornbread the night before and assemble your salad in bowl or jar in the morning so it’s ready for dinner. It’s great to take to a pot luck, barbeque, or reunion and a crowd pleaser!

Skewers of cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, prosciutto, cheese, olives, & cheese tortellini~

Citrus infused water with lemon & orange slices,

easy, refreshing & thirst quenching!

 Dessert in a jar with very little labor using fruits in season~ plums, peaches, berries of any kind or combination.

 Peach-and-Blueberry Parfait, recipe & inspiration courtesy Southern Living here.

Instead of making a custard, I mixed a jar of lemon curd with 8 ounces of  1/3 less fat cream cheese~ (less labor :)

Layer custard or lemon curd mixture with ready-made angel food cake or pound cake from the grocery store, peaches & blueberries.

 Assemble, chill & enjoy!

The Novel Bakers return September 8th for Picnic Week

with themed picnics, recipes, inspiration and guest bakers!

Wishing you some food and fun in your weekend~

Have a Safe & Labor-Free Holiday :)

 Plates/ Kohl’s

Flatware/ HomeGoods

Napkins/ World Market

Mason Jar Drink Dispenser/ Pottery Barn

Galvanized Bottle Caddy/ Pottery Barn

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A Farmers Market Table

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I’m taking a trip to the Farmers Market via the table for

Cuisine Kathleen’s Farewell to Summer Table Challenge!

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I had a little tabletop inspiration with a trip to one of our local Farmers Markets to enjoy some farm fresh summer veggies and peaches while they last, soon to be replaced by fall’s bounty of apples, pumpkins and winter squash.

Davidson Farmers Market

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I also had some inspiration from a Farmers Market tray,

fresh for the picking from World Market. . .

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. . . and some vintage-inspired Farmers Market seed cards to plant on the table.

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A berry basket holds a medley of vine-ripened tomatoes, okra and South Carolina peaches, topped with some flowering basil.

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And a zinc seed tray from my Potting Shed is offering this week’s Farmers Market harvest of zucchini, cukes, heirloom tomatoes, peppers, and fresh local eggs.

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Rooster glasses are AWA certified and pastured, found foraging at Tuesday Morning.

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And ears of fresh summer corn are *weighting* to be shucked ;)

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Help yourself to a Farmers Market Bloody Mary!

Puree some summer heirloom tomatoes in a blender, strain the seeds and pulp to make fresh-from-the-garden tomato juice. Season your tomato juice with celery seed or salt, horseradish and tabasco to taste, a squeeze of lemon or lime, Worcestershire sauce and add your vodka.

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Garnish and top with some garden fresh veggies: pickled okra, cucumber, heirloom cherry tomatoes, a sprig of parsley and basil and a celery stalk! You can find a recipe for Spicy Pickled Okra (which would also work for green beans) for a Bloody Mary garnish from Cottage at the Crossroads.

Farmers Market Pasta Salad

To savor the flavors of summer, help yourself to Farmers Market Pasta Salada bumper crop of delicious flavors in a pasta salad! Add some rotisserie chicken from the grocery store for a time saver and complete meal.

The Flavors of Summer Pizza

Corn, Tomato and Basil Pesto Pizza, a trio of summer flavors in every slice!

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And infuse the flavor of summer in your salt for your tomato recipes this winter with an easy recipe for Basil Salt.

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Farmers Market Table Details:

Chargers & Baskets / HomeGoods

Red Marble Enamelware, Crow Canyon Home/ Mast General Store

Flatware & Quilt / Pottery Barn

Rooster Glasses / Tuesday Morning

Plates / Mikasa French Countryside

  Rooster / Hobby Lobby

Farmers Market Tray / World Market

Berry Baskets & Napkins / Kohl’s

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Hope you’re savoring the flavors of summer!

Here’s a handy seasonal produce chart for North Carolina, courtesy of Davidson Farmers Market. When you eat ‘in season’ you’re enjoying the most fresh, flavorful and nutritious foods, while also helping support local agriculture and preserve regional farm land.

NC Seasonal Produce

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Foodie Friday

Crowing in Delight: Sunflowers and Pfaltzgraff Evening Sun

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Sunflowers make me crow in delight, their cheery faces symbolizing the

the sun and conveying warmth, happiness, adoration and longevity!

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 Pfaltzgraff’s Evening Sun is blooming with sunflowers,

the speckled glaze surface of the dinnerware

saturated in a color palette of rich oranges, fiery reds,

sunny yellows and sage green.

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Goldenrod and the burgundy foliage of Loropetalum

are sprinkled in with sunflowers in a watering can,

 joining a rooster for a centerpiece for the table.

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Goldenrod has been blooming for a couple of weeks now, earlier than normal

 and hopefully a sign the fall will arrive here in the South

sooner rather than later, something else to crow about!

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Placemats and napkin rings provide more flowers for the table,

framing the plates with a woven ring of petals and

providing a burlap bloom on plaid and solid napkins.

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Bold in design, Pfaltzgraff Evening Sun is also

 generously sized, with a 12 inch dinner plate, 9 inch salad plate,

24 ounce soup/ cereal bowl and 18 ounce coffee mug,

microwave and dishwasher safe.

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I added a sunflower cloche to the table,

attracting bees and butterflies. . .

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Sunflower Appetizer Plates are decorative as well as functional

and also microwave and dishwasher safe.

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Hard Cider Glasses from Mikasa Brewmasters Collection

 feature a tapered base that also helps to hold the carbonation

and prevent overwarming of the glass when held.

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They’re filled with orange juice but would work equally well

for serving a mimosa and sunny start to the day!

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And a small sunflower plate provides an embossed bloom

for a sunny addition to the table.

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Enjoy 20% off one Evening Sun item through September 14th,
with the link below (some exclusions apply):

http://www.pfaltzgraff.com/source?src=MARYMBLOGPFEV201

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Sunflower & Evening Sun Table Details:

*Dinnerware / Evening Sun by Pfaltzgraff

*Pfaltzgraff Sunflower Appetizer Plates

*Flatware / International Home Rockport

*Stemware / Hard Cider Glasses, Mikasa BrewMaster’s

Water Hyacinth Placemats/ Pier 1 imports

 Napkin Rings & Rooster / Hobby Lobby (several years ago)

Sunflower Cloche / HomeGoods (several years ago), used here

Placemats & Napkins / Kohl’s

Burlap Tablecloth /  Couleur Nature, Amazon, used here

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*Lifetime Brands’ products have been provided free of charge in exchange for promotional consideration.

Sunflowers and Pfaltzgraff Evening Sun

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At the Table: Mikasa Belmont Green Stalks

 

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I’m at the table with green stalks of bamboo and Belmont Green Stalks,

Mikasa Gourmet Basics Dinnerware.

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 Organic in design, Belmont Green Stalks Dinnerware

is a handcrafted collection, with

 the reactive glaze providing a natural variation

in color, adding to the handcrafted appeal.

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Leafy stalks provide pattern and color on

the salad plates of the stoneware.

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Lucky Bamboo was growing in stalks at Lowe’s,

making for a quick and easy centerpiece

in a green vase, filled with an assortment

of dried beans and lentils for texture and color.

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A floral patterned cloth with green and blue leafy blooms

is layered with striated placemats,

providing a little texture and contrast

 for the round stoneware plates.

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Enjoy 20% off one Belmont item through August 31st,
with the link below (some exclusions apply):

www.mikasa.com/source?src=MARYMBLOGMKBT201

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Table Details:

*Dinnerware/ Belmont Round Green Stalks by Mikasa Gourmet Basics

*Flatware/ Mikasa Natasha

*Stemware/ Ridgefield All Purpose Glass, Mikasa

Green Vase & Napkin Rings/ Pottery Barn, several years ago

Placemats/  Kohl’s

Tablecloth & Napkins, Threshold / Target

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*Lifetime Brands’ products have been provided free of charge in exchange for promotional consideration.

Mikasa Gourmet Basics Belmont Green Stalks

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Waterside Dining: Pfaltzgraff Cayman

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I’m at the table with some waterside dining

and Pfaltzgraff Cayman Dinnerware.

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Pfaltzgraff’s Cayman brings sun-muted shades of

 turquoise and browns, sea and sand, to the table.

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An island of crushed shells adds a little

Caribbean touch for a centerpiece . . .

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Along with jute knotted bottles,

washed ashore from World Market,

and a candelabra insert for

 island ambiance for dining.

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Shell napkin rings were found

beachcombing the aisles at Kohl’s

a couple of years ago. . .

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The square shells resembling the chiseled stones

that border the edges of the stoneware.

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Water hyacinth placemats

provide some coastal texture and

contrast to the stoneware.

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And jute bottles are filled with

white powdered sand and shells.

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 Cayman accent plates provide flowers for the table,

a welcome and pleasant surprise as spying

Beach Morning Glory growing in the sand.

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Providing blooms and

 pattern to the table.

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Enjoy 20% off one Cayman item through August 17th,
with the link below (some exclusions apply):

http://www.pfaltzgraff.com/source?src=MARYMBLOGPFCY201

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Cayman Table Details:

*Dinnerware/ Cayman by Pfaltzgraff

*Flatware/ International Silver Forte

*Stemware/  Barmaster’s All Purpose Wine Wine, Mikasa

Knotted Jute Vases, Bottles/ World Market

Glass floats/ Pottery Barn, several years ago

Candelabra bottle insert/ Amazon

Crushed Shells/ Michaels

Napkins / Target

Napkin Rings/ Kohl’s, several years ago

Water hyacinth placemats/ HomeGoods

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*Lifetime Brands’ products have been provided free of charge in exchange for promotional consideration.

Pfaltzgraff Cayman Dinnerware

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Tying the Knot: Mikasa Cameo Platinum Dinnerware

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I’m at the table with a processional

of white porcelain dishes courtesy of

Cameo Platinum Dinnerware by Mikasa.

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Bordered with a simple and classic platinum band,

Cameo Platinum Dinnerware

sets the stage for elegant dining.

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Described as ‘unrehearsed glamour’,

I had a little bridal inspiration

with this processional of white porcelain

dinnerware at the table.

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An accent plate, bordered with a graceful flourish,

 is topped with duo of napkins. . .

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A metallic silvery overlay, as a sheer veil

and married with white linen napkin

and silver napkin ring.

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 I added a bit of the garden to the table for

alfresco dining with some hydrangeas and ivy.

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Ivy which symbolizes eternity,

fidelity and wedded love and hydrangeas

for a pop of color and something blue.

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With a nod to a bridal gown,

pearl-trimmed napkins are used as placemats,

as a delicate layer to dress a light blue tablecloth.

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Cameo Platinum is also available in a square shape

for a modern version of the traditional dinnerware.

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Mint Julep Cups are serving

as vases for hydrangeas. . .

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And a silver candelabra is softened

with some additional ivy sprigs

‘tying the knot’ on candles at the table.

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Orion Crystal Iced Beverage Glasses with their

etched bases lend an elegant and graceful shape. . .

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And Wallace Tatum Flatware is a handsome companion

to the dinnerware and contrast

to the delicate pearl trim of the placemats.

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You can see all the Cameo Platinum options by Mikasa here:

 http://www.mikasa.com/source?src=MARYMBLOGMKCP201

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Cameo Platinum Table Details:

*Dinnerware/ Cameo Platinum by Mikasa

*Flatware/ Tatum by Wallace

*Stemware/  Orion by Mikasa

*Mint Julep Cups/ Towle

Napkins / Pier 1 Imports, several years ago

Napkin Rings/ Pottery Barn, several years ago

Tablecloth/ HomeGoods

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*Lifetime Brands’ products have been provided free of charge in exchange for promotional consideration.

Mikasa Cameo Platinum Dinnerware

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Setting Sail for Independence Day

Setting Sail for Independence Day

We’re setting sail for Independence Day

onto a sea (or lake :) of Red, White & Blue

for the holiday weekend!

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Spending time with family. . .

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Flying our Flags. . .

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Boating. . .

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And enjoying 

the fireworks!

Independence Day Berry-Lemon Sparklers!

Grab a cup and help yourself

to a Berry-Lemon Sparkler!

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Paper sails were hoisted from

scrapbook paper with bamboo knot pick masts

for nautical rope napkin rings. . .

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And can be used to

mark place settings. . .

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Or decorate a regatta of

Red Velvet Cupcakes

for a sweet and patriotic bite!

Red Velvet Cupcake Sailboats

 If you want to set sail with some other

 patriotic table inspiration,

click on the links below:

A Star-Spangled Celebration

A Star-Spangled Celebration

Long May She Wave Patriotic Table

Long May She Wave

Celebrating the Red, White & Blue Patriotic Table

Banner Yet Wave:

Celebrating the Red, White & Blue!

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Setting Sail Table Details:

Rope Cocktail Plates/ Pottery Barn

Salad & Dinner Plates/ Mikasa Jet Set Blue

Stemware/ Mikasa Swirl  

Flatware/ Towle Living Everyday Nautical

Sailboat, Chargers & Placemats/ HomeGoods

Rope Napkin Rings/ Bed, Bath & Beyond

Napkins/ World Market

Quilt/ Kohl’s

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Wishing you a Safe & Happy Independence Day. . .

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With Liberty & Potato Salad for All!

Setting Sail for Independence Day with a Regatta of Red Velvet Cupcakes!

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Stop and Smell the Gardenias

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Our Gardenias are in bloom,

I wish my photos had a

scratch and sniff feature. . . :)

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I was afraid our colder than normal winter

had taken its toll since they were a little

later blooming this year.

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 I smelled their fragrance as I stepped out

the back door before I even saw them. . .

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“Sultry as a summer evening and as intoxicating as an exotic perfume, the scent of gardenias settles like a memory onto your soul. The blossoms are just as enticing.”

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“Buds shaped like seashells unfurl into velvet soft flowers in the warmth and humidity of early evening. But it’s the fragrance that captivates.”

~Southern Living

Gardenias in the Garden

 As I pause to stop and smell the gardenias, help yourself to some Gardenia Tea and enjoy a charming book The Novel Bakers shared last summer. . .

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Dancing with the Moon,

A Story of Love at the Villa della Luna

by Jana Kolpen and Mary Tiegreen

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 “Gardenias are known to attract high spirits, induce peaceful vibrations and strengthen love potions.”

~ Dancing with the Moon

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They are also considered an edible flower and safe to brew for tea, so you can gather some gardenia blooms and petals to steep.

Brew a pot here.

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Or prepare a Gardenia Love Bath

for yourself or the birds :)

Gardenia Love Bath

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And dine with them at the

table with shells here.

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I hope you take time to

stop and smell the Gardenias!Sultry as a Summer Evening Gardenias

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Three Cheers for the Red, White & Blue: A Star-Spangled Celebration

A Star-Spangled Celebration for July 4th!

With July 4th approaching, here’s a round-up

of some Red, White & Blue treats

for your Star-Spangled Celebration!

Click on the links to revisit or for a taste :)

A Star-Spangled Celebration

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Land of the Free Lemonade

A refreshing combination of pureed watermelon

& lemonade,  garnished with watermelon

stars and blueberries.

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What So Proudly We Hailed 

Watermelon “Cupcakes”

Banner Yet Wave Burgers

We pledge allegiance to small bites, allowing us the freedom to snack in good conscience over the course of a long holiday :)

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Rockets’ Red Glare Potato Salad

A Red, White, and Blue Potato Salad,

 liberated from mayonnaise, and

garnished with a fireworks display of flowering dill!

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Broad Stripes Berries

White Chocolate Dipped Strawberries,

rolled in blue sugar and served in a

Bright Stars cupcake liner.

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Patriotic Mini MoonPies

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 Dawn’s Early Light Pretzel Sparklers

sure to be extinguished quickly :)

Patriotic Berry Trifle

Patriotic Berry Trifle

an easy no-bake dessert to celebrate

the Red, White and Blueberry!

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Blueberry Salsa

Fresh & flavorful served with

 Red, White, and Blue Tortilla Chips!

Berry Caprese Bruschetta

Berry Caprese Bruschetta

Quick and easy to throw together with an hour or two of chilling time to allow the flavors to meld. Slice and grill or toast a baguette and serve with a bowl of berry-mozzarella medley and let your guests help themselves!

Patriotic Pretzel Popcorn Crunch

Patriotic Pretzel Popcorn Crunch

 A sweet & salty treat for July 4th snacking with

Snyder’s Patriot-Shaped Pretzels

Red Velvet-Berry Cobbler

 Red Velvet-Berry Cobbler

Quick, oh so good, and

the star of your celebration!

Red, White & Blue Sangria

Red, White & Blue Sangria,

And an anatomy of Sangria chart to exercise

your Freedom and Independence

for mixing your own summer sangria!

Funfetti Cupcake Trifle,

Light a Sparkler and Serve!

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