The Preparations…

On Sunday December 14th our long awaited Christmas Party with the British Columbia Mennonite Girls and their husbands began at three in the afternoon. My preparations had been going on for a while.

2014-12-11 More XmasJoy was the theme and red and gold were the color choices I picked. I had red glassware but only had a total of 10 pieces so I was on the hunt for 6 more goblets or glasses to fill the 16 place settings we would need for our party. When we traveled to our son’s home in eastern Washington in early November we shopped at some thrift stores and found a set of 8 red goblets for a real good price. Yippee!

We do not have an open concept home by any means and to be able to fit 16 around tables we had to get creative. We decided to empty out some of the furniture from our living room so we could fit two round tables that would each be set with eight place settings.

Where there’s a will there’s a way. I saw a package of red and gold Christmas Crackers at Costco and knew they’d be a fun addition to the table. The red and gold sparkly chargers came from HomeGoods. I already had a stash of cloth napkins in red and gold tones and napkin rings that worked nicely with the color theme. I found flat Christmas wreaths and red candle holders for my center pieces.

Here’s a photo the day of our gathering with all the last minute touches added to the table. This photo was taken by Lovella. The next couple of  photos were taken by Anneliese.

Our front porch was transformed with a fake little Christmas tree that we had in our condo when we lived in Southern California for a few years. The vintage red step stool was a fun piece to put some of my lanterns on. The cedar branches and all the greenery with red berries, rosemary, and holly came from my yard. I had the large glass jars that I filled with the greenery and added a candle in to warm up the entry to our home.

I’m enjoying our new 3D star that we purchased this year that adds it’s light to welcome you to our front door.

My next post will show the people that made all these preparations worthwhile. Here’s the sneak peek of the girls and the guys.

More to come soon with some great photos from Anneliese and Lovella who clicked away while Dear and I worked on getting the food ready for everyone.

Since I finally set a table and took some photos I’m going to link this post to Cuisine Kathleen’s Let’s Dish for this week. If you’d like to see my guests seated at these tables click here.

Tea Table Inspiration…

Here are more of the tables that were decorated for our Friendship tea last Saturday. Lots of photos and few words. Enjoy…

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2014-04-04 Tea 20145One of the tables had food art. I really enjoyed looking at all the details.

2014-04-05 2014 NSB Tea7I didn’t get a photo of the croissant sandwiches that we were served.

2014-04-05 2014 NSB Tea16All the tables on the main floor. There were 8 half tables in the balcony, too.

2014-04-05 2014 NSB Tea15The view of the room from my table.

Do you have a favorite color combination or centerpiece or theme from these tables? Also which piece of food art did you enjoy the most?

I’ve been getting busy around here preparing to be gone from this old house. We took Katie and Andrew’s car in to be checked over before we take it on the road across the country. Have any of you driven across country through Washington, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee and North Carolina? Any recommendations on cities to spend the night in or attractions to see along the way? Any tips on cities to avoid like the plague?

A Bright Fall Table…

I used 2 different cameras for these table scape shots and you’ll be able to see the difference.

I bought the tablecloth at Target and set the table around it.

Josh and Laura were going to come over to help eat my latest test recipe for our new Mennonite Girls Can Cook book coming out next May.

A lot goes in to creating a cookbook. I’m glad I have 9 “sisters” to go through this process with.

It would be daunting to do a project like this on your own.

It was fun to put together things I’ve collected here and there to finish off the table setting.

Stemware, dishes, flatware and linens from antique malls, thrift stores, discount stores and on huge markdowns from major department stores rounded out the table.

We enjoyed a wonderful meal at this table with Josh and Laura. Everyone gave my recipe a thumbs up and I’ll be sharing the recipe in our new cookbook.

The day was cold, clear and sunny and it was fun to see how the sun added it’s brightness to the setting.

I’m looking forward to enjoying many more meals with family and friends in November and December. I find enjoying fellowship around food to be so satisfying. It feeds me physically and spiritually.

Yesterday I went shopping for a new pair of jeans and some boots. I forgot about Monday being a holiday and didn’t anticipate the crowds at the stores. Thankfully I had success. I find it difficult to find jeans that fit right and was happy to find some that will work and at a good discount. What did you do on our Monday Remembrance Day /Veteran’s Day holiday?

Mosaic Monday ~ In the Pink!


I was at a baby shower today at my Daughter in Love’s home that she and her friends put together for a good friend of theirs. Can you guess what she’s going to have?


The girls did a wonderful job of putting everything together. Isn’t that cake something else? One of the girls made it herself.

To see more mosaics click on over to Mary’s at The Little Red House. I think she’s yearning for Spring!

Photobucket replaced all my photos with ugly black and grey boxes and they are holding my photos hostage until I pay them lots of money. I’m slowly going through all my posts and trying to clean them up and replacing some photos. Such a bother.

Wedding Show Tablescapes

On Thursday you can click over to Susan’s at Between Naps on the Porch to peruse many tables set for all of us to enjoy.

We’re planning a wedding around here and as soon as the U.S. Marines let us know when that will be possible we will hit the ground running. Until then we are getting acquainted with all the wedding services available. Here are a couple great tablescapes presented at the Wedding show we went to this last Saturday.


This setting was put together with accessories you can rent at Grand Event Rentals in Bellevue, Wa.





The next table setting was presented by All Inclusive Weddings by Blue Ribbon in Seattle.






I’m looking forward to coming around and seeing your tables this week.

Photobucket replaced all my photos with ugly black and grey boxes and they are holding my photos hostage until I pay them lots of money. I’m slowly going through all my posts and trying to clean them up and replacing some photos. Such a bother.

Tablescape Thursday ~ Yorkshire

Time to visit Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for more tablescapes from around the Sphere.


Oopsie I bought some new/old dishes this week that I thought would be fun for a Thanksgiving Table. Now my dilema is how to get them up to Seattle for Thanksgiving this year. These dishes are Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Ironstone made in England. I got 36 pieces for $55.00. That comes out to about $1.54 per piece. I bought these at Goodwill.


I really enjoy dishes with English country scenes. I don’t have much in the Thanksgiving decorating realm here at the condo in California so I scrounged around to try to create something that might feel like harvest.





These are the 36 pieces that I purchased.

Be sure to visit Susan to see lots of fun table settings!

Photobucket is holding all my photos that I stored on their site from 2007-2015 hostage replacing them with ugly grey and black boxes and asking for a large ransom to retrieve them. It is a slow process to go through all my posts deleting the ugly boxes.

2008 Christmas Tour of Homes

It’s time for Boo Mama’s 2008 Tour of Homes. You can travel all over the world and see homes all decked out for the most wonderful time of the year.

A very warm welcome to you from ellen b.  in Washington State and Southern California.

The tree above is our first annual Mystery Tree. I started a new tradition last year. I walk into Home Depot look at all the tied and wrapped trees, pick one without unwrappping it, bring it home all wrapped up, and surprise our Mystery tree is unveiled and we can laugh or cry at what we ended up with. Actually it’s quite fun to pick a tree this way. Good way to lighten up during the season…


Like many of your homes Jesus is at the center of our Christmas celebrations and Joy! This is what you’ll see at our entry in Washington.


And this is from our condo  in Southern California.


Let me serve you a festive drink and some chocolates and let’s start our tour before I serve dinner. These chocolates are the easiest things in the world to make. Just melt 1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 bag of butterscotch chips then throw in some pecans or walnuts or whatever nut you like, spoon them onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and let them cool and voila you have candy. I’m so darn sorry I forgot whose blog I saw these on. If you happen to visit here let me know if it was you and I’ll give you credit!!


Another collage of my little fake Christmas tree with lights that I bought for the condo from a local thrift store here in Camarillo, California. I’m usually in the State of Washington the whole month of December and only put up a tree there but this year is different and we’re not flying to Washington till Christmas day so we need something at the condo so people won’t think we are part of the Grinch family!

Now if you visit us in Washington I could serve you at this table.


Or from this Christmas table in Southern California.


Here is what I will be serving and what is part of our traditional Christmas Eve meal.


We’ll have a Rib Roast, Creamed Corn, something green, and Yorkshire Pudding. (Ok, it used to confuse me that they called Yorkshire Pudding pudding when it’s not pudding but a popover type bread that you bake using the hot drippings from the roast, I’m way over it now. You can make it in any pan but I bought this great popover pan that works great for them.)  After dinner we can sit by the fireplace and enjoy the tree with a cup of cocoa or coffee. If you stay for Christmas morning we’ll have those yummy Swedish Pancakes above that Dear makes for us every Christmas morning after we open our stocking gifts…


Now for some of the people God has put in our lives to share all the wonder of Christmas with…


I’d like to introduce you to our family. Our daughter Katie and DIL Laura. Our oldest son Josh with Dear. Our son Dan. Josh and his wife, our DIL, Laura. Another shot of our son Dan. Dan and Katie live in our home in Washington and take care of it while Dear and I are living in California. Josh and Laura live in Washington, too.


More shots of the family and extended family. The top left photo is of my sister Lana G! and I. She has a tour happening at her blog too, Above the Clouds . We have a great time blogging and tablescaping together. Dear, our daughter Katie, and me at Molbaks in front of the Poinsettia Christmas tree, Our girls…Katie and Laura, ellen b. and Dear at our 34th wedding anniversary celebration.

Thank you for taking my tour and meeting some of my family…

To see more tours click over to Boo Mama’s.

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007 to 2015 hostage and has replaced them all with ugly black and grey boxes asking for a ransom to have them re-published. Such a frustrating bother as I go through each post to delete the ugly boxes.

Tablescape Tuesday ~ French Duvet & Blue

It’s time to visit Susan again at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Tuesday.


This week my inspiration came from a Goodwill purchase I made last week. The tablecloth on this table is actually a twin french ruffle duvet that I bought for $7.95. It’s from the Target Shabby Chic line and sells in the store with a pillow sham for $59 or $69 (I forget which). I came home pulled it out of the package (still pretty wrinkly) and gathered up everything I could find in blue or white in the condo.


The main patterned dishes are Johnson Bros. Indies. I purchased all the different pieces of this pattern at different times at Goodwill or other thrift stores. The Teapot is Blue Danube (Japan). The larger blue-gray plates are from a Target Holiday line a couple years ago that I bought on a really good clearance. I even bought the great silverplate with the letter B engraved on them from Goodwill. The little white jar with lid is Villeroy and Boch. Nothing on this table was purchased at full-price retail.



To see more tablescapes click here. (on Tuesday)

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage and demanding a ransom for me to access them. I’m slowly cleaning up many of my posts where PB have added ugly black and grey boxes where my photos used to be. So frustrating!

Tuesday Tablescape

I’m re-linking to Susan’s Tablescape Thursday with this oldie. Disregard the link above.

Since Susan is reminiscing with the first ever Tablescape party that was called Tablescape Tuesday way back at the beginning today 7-5-2012. I looked back to find my first table that I participated with on September 16, 2008. Fun times and boy things have changed a lot in my dining space since this table setting.

Each Tuesday’s, participants will be posting a tablescape of their choice on their blog. It can be a single place setting, a bistro table set for two or a full blown dinner table, for a party of six or more…what ever tickles your fancy. Have fun with it!

I’m going to post one of my Fall Tables


For more Tablescapes visit Susan here.

Photobucket is holding all my photos that I posted on my blog from 2007-2015 hostage and replaced them with big black and grey boxes with threats. So discouraging…as I’m slowly trying to clean up thousands of posts!