Chasing Away The Winter Blues


I’m at the table with my personal recipe

to chase away the Winter Blues:

Blooms, Dishes, and Sunshine!

While sunshine can be hard to come by in January,

flowers and dishes never fail.


Our weather this month has fluctuated from the

single digits to temperatures in the 60s.

A little January sunshine is always

welcome and warming on the porch.


Mikasa French Countryside is generously sized,

with the sun highlighting the gently

scalloped edges and curves of the dinnerware.


I filled the tea cups and a sugar and creamer with Paperwhite bulbs, saved for planting in January rather than the traditional month of December.

Ideal to chase away the winter blues for me, when the house is bare of Christmas greenery, and a reminder of the promise of spring.


Paperwhites are easy to grow with nothing more than small stones to anchor the roots (I use pea gravel, $3 a large bag from Lowe’s) and water. Add water just until the level reaches just below the base of the bulbs. The bulbs will bloom in 4 – 6 weeks, perfect timing for the dreary month of February when the gardening season is still a couple of months away.

You can find more about growing Paperwhite Narcissus here.


 In addition to being Paperwhite-safe :)

Mikasa French Countryside

is also oven, freezer, and microwave safe.


Onion Soup Bowls offer a handle, convenient

for serving steaming bowls of chili, soup

or dips, along with 5 inch spreaders.


French Countryside Wine Glasses

offer a graceful shape with hourglass stems,

adding a little sparkle to the table.




A set of 3 French Countryside Posy Vases hold

long-lasting Alstroemeria blooms, $4 a bunch, and

 available from the grocery store year round.


Also making an affordable arrangement,

in an 8″ French Countryside Bouquet Vase.



And a French Countryside Canister

is potted with a begonia

for additional blooms for the table.





You can find all the Mikasa French Countryside

options here:


Chasing Away The Winter Blues Table Details:

*Dinnerware/ Mikasa French Countryside

*Flatware and Stemware/ Mikasa French Countryside

Napkins/  Pier 1

 Coverlet/  Bed, Bath & Beyond

Woven Chargers/ World Market

Urn, retail days used here & here.


*Lifetime Brands’ products have been provided

free of charge in exchange for

promotional consideration.

Mikasa French Countryside Dinnerware

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

 Metamorphosis Monday,

The Scoop,  Inspire Me Tuesday,

Wow Us Wednesdays,  Tablescape Thursday

  69 comments for “Chasing Away The Winter Blues

  1. January 20, 2014 at 5:19 am

    I love blue and this is amazing post. Thank you, with my love, nia

  2. January 20, 2014 at 6:04 am

    I’m with Nia, and I love the sunshine too … haven’t seen the sun for 8 weeks now.

  3. January 20, 2014 at 6:29 am

    I love your personal recipe to chase away the winter blues :-) we have some paper whites getting ready to bloom in our office. What a nice surprise since they were left unattended from Christmas 2012 and bloomed again behind the stack of file folders.

  4. January 20, 2014 at 6:32 am

    Good morning, Mary! We are still cold here in Fl. I brought in some herbs and it brightens my kitchen and adds some brightness to it. At least it makes me feel a little like Spring? ( wishfull thinking!) love the French country dishes , on the blue and white quilt it shows up nicely!

    • January 20, 2014 at 7:00 am

      Good Morning Michelle, Thanks for all your visits & comments! It’s going to be 60 today and then we’re going back to the teens, cold for us in NC.

  5. January 20, 2014 at 7:06 am

    Bring on the sun! Love the begonia … makes me want to go find one! Beautiful post as always.

    • January 20, 2014 at 7:45 am

      Thanks Snap :)

  6. January 20, 2014 at 7:06 am

    Oh, Mary…I just enjoyed seeing the sunshine in your home. We haven’t had much sun. We did yesterday, but the wind was howling and the wind chill was COLD! UGH! Plus we were at the barn most of the day. Not. Fun.

    I love your idea for the paperwhites. (and the potted begonia) The French Countryside by Mikasa mixed with your blue is truly lovely, Mary. I love that shade of blue, too, on the quilt.

    • January 20, 2014 at 7:45 am

      Thanks Ricki Jill! The wind was howling on the lake here too yesterday.

  7. Peggy Thal
    January 20, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Just beautiful and so inviting. Love the blue and crisp white in the sunshine. Blue does chase the blues away!

    • January 20, 2014 at 7:44 am

      Thanks Peggy! I think I have seasonal affective disorder, I feel so much better when I see the sun :)

  8. January 20, 2014 at 7:57 am

    You chased away my winter blues this morning, dear Mary! French Countryside is such a timeless pattern that always looks beautiful and no one can showcase dishes like you. The paperwhites, the begonia and the alstroemerias just add to the magic. xo

  9. January 20, 2014 at 7:58 am

    What a wonderful way to wake up this morning! Mary, this is exquisite. I also love paperwhites in January!

  10. January 20, 2014 at 8:05 am

    What a lovely harbinger of spring, Mary! I’m not sure that we’ll have much sunshine here today, but I’m watching the forecast, and when we do, I’m going to set up a little table like yours in our breakfast room, which has lovely windows for morning sun.

    • January 20, 2014 at 8:39 am

      Thanks so much Andrea! You can’t beat a table by the window with the morning sun :)

  11. January 20, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Beautiful table….wonderful way to chase those house bound blues away!

  12. January 20, 2014 at 8:12 am

    You are so artistic. Love the bulbs in the dishes…It’s fun to grow the bulbs like that- they just about take care of themselves don’t they!

    • January 20, 2014 at 8:38 am

      Thanks Liz, yes just add water and watch them grow!

  13. Cheryl
    January 20, 2014 at 8:31 am

    So refreshing, Mary! Thanks for a glimpse of spring. :)

  14. January 20, 2014 at 8:33 am

    Hi Mary,
    I just planted 20 paperwhites earlier this week in anticipation of those dreary days ahead! A wonderful way to chase away the blues–but not the beautiful blues on your table! Mikasa French Countryside is the one white pattern I have been thinking of adding to my dish cupboard. The creamy white goes so well with everything, and I love the way you have just used the white dishes with blue accents in other places. I am in Maine this week and we are expecting temps of -7 to -15! Actual temps!! I may need to go to the French countryside to warm up. Thank you for an inspiration! Linda

    • January 20, 2014 at 8:38 am

      BRRRR Linda! Stay warm and thanks Linda, I’d love a trip to the French countryside too :)

  15. January 20, 2014 at 9:03 am

    I can see right now, I am in serious need of adding to my French Countryside collection! This is beautiful, Mary!

  16. Carla
    January 20, 2014 at 9:32 am

    I have always loved that pattern and the flowers are lovely. Wishing for sun!

  17. franki
    January 20, 2014 at 9:41 am

    This WAS a brief respite (a beautiful one!) however…I am sick and tired of this cold weather…honestly, another -13 coming up…oh, well…franki

  18. Annie
    January 20, 2014 at 9:49 am

    I just love how peaceful this blue is…and the simplicity of how to grow Paperwhites has brightened my day AND motivated me to go to Lowe’s to ‘pot’ my own. Lovely… xoxo, A

  19. January 20, 2014 at 10:30 am

    This gorgeous table gives me hope for Spring as I sit here listening to the latest weather for the week and another polar vortex headed our way! I too have a paperwhite blooming in my kitchen which is so cheery! The white china is so pretty on those rattan charger mats and it all looks dreamy on your blue and white quilt. Thanks for the spring breeze and sunshine to start the chilly week!

  20. January 20, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Awesome table scape. Totally in love with the blue quilt. The quilt reminds me that it is still winter but the flowers give me hope for spring. Lovely.

  21. poussière d'Argence
    January 20, 2014 at 10:52 am

    your flowers is very nice. No speack inglish.
    Très belles photos d’une table de fête, j’aime beaucoup votre nappe.
    Passez une agréable semaine.

  22. January 20, 2014 at 10:54 am

    first i am glad to see i did have the right date, phew! second, this gave my heart a little pang, not just because i am wild over bulbs, but these were the first dishes i bought with my husband decades ago… i LOVED these, they were my everyday dishes, only retired because of overuse, damage and breakage. as in the husband / bull / china shop syndrome… i still have the covered ramekins and cherish them, but they too are always on my husbands hit list with chips and constant threats for survival. i think i have broken 3 dishes in my life time, every week i hear it just slipped from hands :-( more like forked hooves! thanks for memories, its like meeting an old friend…

  23. January 20, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Your crisp whites and pretty blues make for a perfect way to enjoy a January day. Fortunately we’ve had blue skies and sunshine over the weekend. Bulbs are a winter favorite. Hyacinths are blooming here. ;-)

  24. January 20, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    One of the things I like about being in Houston this time of year is that the winter is generally pretty pleasant so no winter blues for me unless it is as you have used them in a warm and charming way.

  25. January 20, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Such a beautiful table, love all your touches. Those Mikasa dishes are so pretty!


  26. January 20, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    I love your idea of chasing the winter blues with blue and white…
    My favorite color combination! Lovely!

  27. janet
    January 20, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Looks beautiful! Love the dishes and the table covering. Is that a quilt? Great idea for planting bulbs!

  28. Lynn@Happier Than A Pig In Mud
    January 20, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Very pretty, there is nothing plain about these white dishes Mary! I like all the extra pieces too. I haven’t forced bulbs in years and promise myself that I’ll get some this December to play with too-enjoy:@)

  29. January 20, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    What a fantastic idea to force bulbs in January rather than December. I’m usually so busy in December that I never got a chance to enjoy them when I did take the time to force them. I love this Mary, as well as the gorgeous white Mikasa dinnerware. I never really realized just how versatile white can be. Can I justify adding another set of dishes to my collection? Yes, I think I can. Hello, Mikasa!

    • January 21, 2014 at 5:28 am

      Happy Dish Shopping Pattie! :)

  30. January 20, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Twenty leagues beyond beautiful!!!!!!!!!

  31. paula
    January 20, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Lovely just lovely ! we all dream of spring I think the day after Christmas!!
    I too would enjoy a visit to the French country side, maybe a set of the dishes will have to do (for now) :)

  32. January 20, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Beautiful idea — this would def chase the winter blues away!

  33. January 20, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Oh this is JUST what I need right now. I have spent the last 2 days taking Christmas down and putting it away. I WILL finish tomorrow as we are expecting 5-10 inches of SNOW! I went to the grocery tonight to be ready. I adore this table, it is so warm and inviting and I wish I could sit there with you, IN THE SUNSHINE, and have a cup of whatever! Love the little vases and now wish I had some paper white bulbs. My Amaryllis is just now blooming and THAT makes me happy:)

  34. January 20, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    PS, I wish so much I would win a beautiful set of white dishes like this sometime. I have SOME white dishes but they are a big conglomeration:):) I need a SET:):) Love these.

  35. January 21, 2014 at 1:34 am

    As usual another lovely tablescape. I don’t know what paperwhites are but they sure are pretty and the white scallop plates look perfect.Always such a joy to read your blogs.thank you for this bit of sunshine.Susie

  36. Botanic Bleu
    January 21, 2014 at 4:56 am

    Another beautiful, yet distinctive, Home Is Where the Boat Is tablescape. I continue to be amazed and inspired by your endless talents in pulling together yet another table setting in which each has its own personality. You use some of the same ideas, locations, and/or dishes, but they never look quite the same. Each has its own unique look.

    The paperwhites and the blue quilt are perfect with the Mikasa French Countryside pattern..


    • January 21, 2014 at 5:27 am

      Thanks so much for your visits and the kind words Judith!

  37. January 21, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Another gorgeous table – That coverlet is perfect background for the lovely dishes..
    I’ve been looking at the French Country pattern recently. I had started a Butler’s Pantry collection but after having it chip & ‘craze’ I decided to sell it all off. Now I find myself wanting ivory dishes for many of my table settings as my white bone china doesn’t always work. I enjoy a pattern that has a lot of pieces and the shape goes with a lot of other patterns. All the best!

  38. January 21, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Oh that table would chase away the winter blues for sure…but I love the “blue” sticking around in the winter for a crisp, happy feel!…I love the dinnerware…actually considering them to replace an old set of every day dinnerware…Love how you adorned the table with the gorgeous flowers, seeds, and bulbs…Truly a “Mary” magnificent table!

  39. January 21, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    You certainly chased away the winter blues for me with your bulbs growing and flowers on the table!

  40. cdahlgren2013
    January 21, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    I am so jealous of your warm temperatures! We have been doing the happy dance around here at 10 above, without sunshine. I also love your blue and white dishes.

  41. January 21, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    So pretty. I love the white and blue with thewhite flowers adn sunshine! Snowy here all day.

  42. January 21, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Beautiful Table! love the coverlet! I have always wanted to try growing paper whites and have never attempted it. You have inspired me to give it a go- I put the supplies you listed on my shopping list :)

  43. January 22, 2014 at 8:04 am

    I’m SO ready for Spring and your table is taking me there. Love how you paired your Mikasa French Countryside with the woven chargers and coverlet. The sprouting bulbs reminded me that I hadn’t planted my Fritillaria bulbs, so I quickly planted them before everything froze again. Thanks for the Spring inspiration.

  44. January 22, 2014 at 8:33 am

    Your tablescapes chase away all the blues;]

  45. January 22, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Your gorgeous coverlet makes me swoon. The rattan tray and chargers on top of the blue and white coverlet makes the Mikasa French Countryside gleam. The shape of the dishes are so pretty. Of course, I love the bulbs and flowers. Nature is always the brightest star to me.

    I haven’t gotten the blues yet. As long as the sun is shining I can take the cold. Beautiful post as always. Have a great week, Mary.

  46. January 23, 2014 at 8:51 am

    Perfect for that springtime feeling!

  47. January 23, 2014 at 9:52 am

    This table would definitely chase away my winter blues! I love all of the pretty flowers. Those make me feel like there is hope to get away from all of the dull gray and brown (and brown snow that hasn’t left in forever!)

  48. January 25, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    Nothing really can compare with a blue and white table…even a gorgeous blue and green! Those dishes are timeless and go with everything.
    Have a great week, Mary.

  49. January 26, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Mary, coming to you from my new blog. Well this tablescape with the beautiful blue tablecloth & white dishes would brighten any meal. The flowers look so pretty too.

  50. Bev
    January 27, 2014 at 7:03 am

    Your quilt is perfect for this table. Love the narcissus bulbs!

  51. January 27, 2014 at 8:58 am

    I just love your table! So beautiful…..I love your whites and the quilt is lovely! Just came from BNOTP…..

  52. January 27, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    What a beautiful table you set! Love the blue and white and all your attention to detail. The quilt is just gorgeous!

  53. January 27, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    Just gorgeous! The whole thing! I absolutely love the Mikasa. and the paperwhites in the cups are a great idea. And the blue knocks it all out of the park!

  54. January 28, 2014 at 6:00 am

    Every detail is just gorgeous! What a wonderful and inviting post!

  55. January 30, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Cute idea with the bulbs in the white cups, but how are you protecting the inside of the cups? Our water is so bad here that scale and minerals would ruin my cups. Linda@Wetcreek Blog

    • January 30, 2014 at 1:44 pm

      Hi Linda, You only need a small amount of water for the bulbs, the roots will seek the water. They bloom in 4 to 6 weeks so it’s not long enough to damage the cups. A soak in white vinegar would remove any temporary staining or you could use distilled water.

  56. January 31, 2014 at 3:07 am

    Thank you for this inspiring post. Your photography is so pretty. Found you from Inspire me Tuesday

  57. January 31, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Hi Anything with blue and white catches my attention. Just beautiful!

  58. February 2, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    I’m a bit fan of this pattern and have been adding to my collection slowly. I didn’t know they made those French onion soup bowls! I’ll have to add these to my list.

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