Getting Back to Normal

After a couple of months of doing nothing much except laying in bed with my foot elevated, it felt good to get back to normal activity like cooking  and setting the table.

Mind you the effort was minimal, but it doesn’t take much to make a happy table especially when there’s already something there from which to work.  The handblown vases that have been  on the table for weeks gave me a starting place.

I started with pink placemats, but the turquoise ones insisted on being chosen.  Since I like color I had no problem letting them have their way.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChoosing the napkins was a piece of cake as these multicolored ones from Anthropologie play off  both the vases and the placemats.  No fancy folds required because the fun napkin rings continue the colorway.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was tempting to add more color with the dinner plates, but I opted for white ones

and added salad plates with playful patterns and complementary colors.  They were pleased to be included as they have been hiding in the cabinet for far too long!

Finished with the ever faithful Fostoria thumbprint stems, a gift from my now hubby several years before we were married, the table is done.  It is a first step that makes me feel that all is right with the world!  The hubby is even happier as he has had enough of kitchen duty and is glad to welcome me back to the business of preparing meals.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind


Tablescape Thursday

Tips for Hosting Houseguests

Having a house in Maine means lots of company which I thoroughly enjoy, but it also means going for days without writing a word except in the ship’s log!  Having just said goodby to friends, it seems a good time to share what I’ve learned about hosting visitors.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe most important thing is to provide comfortable spaces that allow guests to unpack and settle in.  A bedside reading light is always a good idea as is having books and magazines for nighttime perusal.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAdults like having their own bathroom, and  I make sure each has shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and, of course, fluffy, fresh smelling towels.  There’s also a hair dryer  just in case someone forgets to bring their own.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABefore guests arrive, I stock the refrigerator and pantry with foodstuffs making sure to have checked in advance to see if anyone has any special dietary needs.  Most people don’t expect us to provide much in the way of meals, but I like to have some things ready to share. For breakfast, there’s generally a made ahead of time egg casserole ready to pop into the oven and always there are muffins bursting with those wonderful little Maine blueberries.  These, too, are so easy to make in advance and freeze until time to use them. The important thing is to make it easy for guests to find something to eat that will make them feel at home and, of course, you never want to run out of coffee in the morning!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor most of our guests, traveling to Maine is an all day affair.  Rather than go out for dinner the first night, we have a lobster dinner with lobster a few hours out of the water thanks to my lobster guy.  

blueberriesTo finish dinner off, there is blueberry cobbler topped with  ice cream made in minutes in a little electric freezer, one of my favorite kitchen tools.  We may have another dinner or two at home, but we alternate with meals out at one or another of the wonderful restaurants in the area.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe whole key to having guests is to enjoy yourself and not try to do too much.  I’ve found that most people are more comfortable in our home when they feel they are helping out whether it’s assisting with a meal or cleaning up after.  I welcome their participation not only because it makes things easier on me but because it’s fun to work together.  No time is this more true than at 5 PM tini time when we relax on the porch for appetizers and drinks that everyone has had a hand in preparing.  

Having houseguests is fun so long as you don’t make it too hard on yourself.  If you have great tips, do pass them on.

i  so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind