Baby, It’s Chili Weather Outside {Casual Fall Tablescape}

Happy Monday to you! I realize that I run the risk of sounding like a broken record but I am sooooo ready for Christmas decorating! The trees, the lights, the candles, the candy canes. I.cannot.wait.

But, I kind of have to. That process takes time and we just haven’t had a chance to get the stuff out of the attic and make the pumpkins turn into a coach tree. So how about we make some pumpkin spice lemonade out of this?

By hosting a little Autumn inspired mid-week dinner party. There is no better time than now for chili and what’s better than chili? Chili x2- chicken and traditional. And what is better than 2 types of chili? A really fun, super casual table.

It all started with some dishtowels from Ikea that were really meant to be so much more: Napkins! While it’s not traditional, the mixed blue patterns were the perfect jumping off point for fall festivities. (West Elm also had some napkins in similar patterns for a not similar price- I saw them AFTER purchasing the Ikea cheapies- I’ll take that pat on the back now, thank you :)) 

Throw in a piece of fun zig-zag fabric in a burnt orange, a centerpiece of chili fixins…

teeny treats at each place setting…

Add plain white bowls, light a few candles and you got yourself a casual chili feast- perfect for a cool fall night (while we countdown the days till Christmas)

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Fall Tablescape: Green, Cream and Gold

Here’s a little tip for you: before you leave for vacation, set your table all pretty. When you get home, you won’t even be tempted to throw everything on it. At least it worked like that for me. I actually had it set and pretty for a little dinner a couple of nights before we left, but keeping it that way saved me tons of clutter.

As much as I love a beautifully set table, it’s not something that is easy for me. Even if I have a perfect vision in my head, I have to start with a layer and keep going- adding, subtracting and scratching my head the whole time. I started with regular pumpkins, which I love with my whole heart, but  sometimes that’s just a bit too much orange. The more I layered the more I had visions of neutrals and green and that is where I eventually stopped scratching my head and smiled. On the tablescape menu: gold chargers, white dishes, neutral pumpkins & gourds, understated white flowers and a touch of mercury glass for some shimmer. 

The “tablecloth” is actually a vintage piece of fabric. It has a sweater-like texture and really warmed the whole table up. I really like using a strip of fabric as opposed to a runner or table cloth. I love my table so I like to see it but I love my table so I also like to protect it. Fabric solves both problems. Simple and casual with a little bit of shimmer. Looks like we’re ready for the perfect Fall dinner. Who’s bringing dessert?  Want some more tablescape tips and ideas? Take a peek back at last year’s Fall tablescape. 

Girl’s Night In: Pizzeria Style

I live with a boy now. It’s one of the consequences of getting married. While that’s a very good thing, it does tend to limit the Girl’s Only nights so I like to try to take advantage of the few times that Robb leaves for the weekend and host a fun night with my BFF. (BTdubs, she can come over when there is a boy here, I’m just talking about those real girl’s only nights. And this way I don’t have to kick anyone out. Thats rude :))

What was I saying? Girl’s Night In-Fun! While Robb was away playing (boring) golf all weekend, I made sure I planned a night where it would be just me and my BFF.

And that meant there had to be a theme. And girl friendly food. When Sarah and I think girl friendly food- that usually means cheese, not cucumber sandwiches. We went with Margherita so that means Pizzeria theme!

I grabbed a little gingham fabric at Joann, topped it with some craft paper and picked plain white dishes and napkins. Pizzeria=simple!

A simple salad with lettuce fresh from my garden and homemade vinaigrette we can count and coloring on the table until the wee hours make for a pizza perfect evening!

Recipe Favorite: Cornbread Salad

It never fails when I make this no one wants to eat it. It’s too pretty! But someone finally tries it and the rest is an empty triffle dish history.

You know Paula Deen is one of my favorites and this is one of her recipes that contains no frying or butter but it is still delish! For the whole recipe, go see Paula here, but this is how I make it. It is as simple as layering up all the ingredients- cornbread (that you can make yourself or pick up at your grocery store, I’ve done both), beans, corn, onion, bell pepper, tomatoes (that I forgot-oops!), cheese and ranch dressing- and letting it sit in the fridge for a few hours.

And that’s really it! So simple, so pretty, so yummy! What’s your favorite go-to summer salad recipe?

Easter Tablescape

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter! We sure did and I think I still have a food hangover but don’t confuse that with a complaint. The only time I ever complain about food is when it’s gone or fish. Ick.

Anyway, we had the best day. Sunday was also our FIRST ANNIVERSARY (yay) but it was actually our second married Easter. Last year was a royal crash and burn- our AC went out and since it was later in April it was roasting so we cancelled Easter dinner and grilled for 2 after church (I also had enough wardrobe malfunctions for a lifetime that morning getting ready for church and wore the worst dress in my closet, but I’m over it now, or maybe I’m not.)

So this year we kept our plans and hosted both sets of parents, with perfect open window weather and had enough food for an army. It was a small affair of six, but I still like to set a pretty table so I must share! Easter may be over, but this will still work for a festive Spring table and guess what, it was super cheap. Take a look…

If you’ve visited Home Sweet Here even once you know that my projects rarely turn out perfect or how I originally intended, butI have to say that this is one of my favorite tablescapes ever. I heart it. It makes me happy.

You know how I said it was cheap? Let’s talk about that. I made a few little purchases to pull this look off. I got  2 bunches of Tulips from Trader Joe’s at $4.99 each and…

…some fancy smancy vase filler, aka split peas for $0.99 at the grocery store. They are the perfect shade of green. 

And no Easter table is complete without a little Easter basket. The little boxes and filler were Dollar Tree finds (for a whopping $3) and the candy was a $3 Target investment. It was good and now it’s almost gone. Happy Easter.

The rest of the centerpiece is just my $0.99 votives from Target and an assortment of Dollar Tree Vases. If you’re keeping count- this cost a grand total of $Cheap.

Add in my great aunt’s green glasses… And a simple table setting with a napkin for a pop of color…and your favorite people and you got a perfect Easter-Versary table. (thanks Dad About You for that phrase)

And speaking of favorite people, I was reminded that it has been too long since an Avery picture so here are a few. She needs a haircut, but she is the cutest little shaggy girl ever.

Pretty Girl!

(And thanks for the reminder about Avery Pictures, Diane! And if any of you need a recommendation on a book, check out Diane’s Blog. I added a new selection to my list from hers like 5 seconds ago!) 

Back to Easter- I still need to share some food with you and our anniversary weekend festivities. I’m sure you can’t sleep with anticipation but we’ll get to all of that. But for now, proof of our fabulous Easter lunch ;)