Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Pampered Chef Tablescape

I hosted my own Pampered Chef party this weekend and I thought I would show you some pictures of my tablescape. Nothing fancy... but you know I love me some pictures of food tables. Maybe you can get some inspiration from it. Maybe? Enjoy!

P.S. - Over the next few days I will be sharing some of the recipes for the delicious food I served... so stay tuned!

I'm big on themes, but didn't really have one for this table.
Until I realized that there is a subtle hint of a color theme throughout -
from the tablecloth, to the veggies, to the flowers and the punch.
Do you notice it?

Mmmm....Pumpkin Bars!
They just scream out "Fall is almost here!"
I could eat a whole pan of them by myself.

The centerpiece. Green apples surrounded by red gerber daisies.
I sure have gotten some use out of that dollar store hurricane vase I made using inspiration from my favorite blog, 320 Sycamore. You can see the inspiration post on 320 Sycamore HERE.
See what other events I have used these vases for HERE and HERE .

Asian Spinach Chicken Salad

New punch recipe - Lucious Slush Punch I think is the name... courtesy of Allrecipes.com.

My new favorite dip, Warm Italiano Spread, with Triscuits.
It has pesto in it - one of my current favs.

Taffy Apple Pizza - The Pampered Chef recipe I demoed for my group of party-goers. It was a great fallish/back to schoolish recipe.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A tale of two rocking chairs...

I brought this chair home from a garage sale a couple weeks ago. I drove by the house, not intending to stop, when I spotted this rocking chair near the curb. It was late in the day and I was surprised it was still available. Something about it called to me. I saw potential. I loved the lines, the spindles on the top, and the way the arms curved. I loved its curves.

The novelty of this chair managed to blind me to one major issue. The seat. Bet you didn't notice the lovely, yellow, rope seat? I didn't at first. All I saw was a chair that could be painted and look really good as a side chair in the living room or even a nice porch rocker. I didn't even think about the challenges that chair seat would bring.

When I asked the owner about it, she said that she was asking $20 and that it had been her grandfather's rocking chair. He had hand-woven the seat after one of his grandkids had broken the old one. Wow. It even had some history and a handmade touch. I was even more convinced this chair should come home with me.

I offered the woman $10 for it - since it was late in the day. She hesitated and then agreed. I was happy. But it didn't take me long to consider the logistics of painting the chair when the seat was woven around the wood in key places that would be painted. Maybe I could put a chair cushion over the seat? Hmm...my vision for this chair was unraveling.

Fast forward a couple weeks, to when I found this beauty. Again, the curves got me. I'm a sucker for good curves. And this chair was all wood. No odd colored seat issues. I saw it at a garage sale and it was priced at $25. I thought, "no Nicole, you just bought a rocking chair!" So I left and tried to put it out of my mind. After all, I was only half way through my garage sale list that Saturday and was determined to stick to my budget.
Unfortunately, I couldn't get this chair out of my mind and decided to go back and see if it was still there. It was. I offered the woman $15, the last of the cash in my wallet, and she accepted. I drove home with part of the chair in my lap and wondered what I was going to do with the other chair...
And here they sit, in the basement at my in-laws house. Both rocking chairs. Waiting for their fates to be decided. I think I will try and sell the first chair on Craigslist...The second chair I would like to paint and add a cute chair cushion to soften the seat. I really liked what Ashley from Shanty 2 Chic did with her recent wood rocking chair find. You can check it out HERE. I would love to hear your thoughts about these chairs. What do you think? I will be sure to update you on any makeovers I decide to perform...
Maybe these chairs can live happily ever after? Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Finding sweet, simple beauty at the grocery store...

Do you want to add a little sunshine to your kitchen or dining room table?
Next time you are at the store, pick up some green apples - or any other fruit of your choice such as peaches, nectarines, oranges, lemons, etc. Place them in a simple, white bowl so the color really pops, and display it on your kitchen counter or dining room table. It is one of the most thrifty yet refreshing things you can add to your home. I love the hint of fall and that back-to-
school feeling that a bowl of apples adds.
It also serves double duty - your kiddos or husband can munch on them for snacks (when fruit is out in the open at my house it tends to get eaten as opposed to growing mold in the produce drawer of the refrigerator) or make your family some apple pie or other delicious treat!
Who knew you could find such sweet, simple beauty at the grocery store?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Home is where your story begins, so tell that story with pictures!

My in-laws have this large wall in their living room area that has not had anything hanging on it for as long as I can remember. Several years ago we started talking about how we could decorate it. It was decided that this would be a picture wall with lots of picture shelves adorned with frames. This would minimize holes in the wall and allow pictures to be changed out and moved around with ease. With 5 children all married and starting families of their own, my in-laws needed a place to put wedding pictures and pictures of grandchildren.

My mother-in-law bought some shelves for the wall and then they sat in the spare bedroom for several years...waiting to be hung - until several months ago. While my in-laws were out of town, I took the opportunity to finally arrange the picture wall. I dug through pictures, spray painted old frames black, collected other accessories, and spent a long evening with my husband as he hung the shelves and I decorated them. This is the final result:

(Please excuse the bad lighting in these pictures. This area does not enjoy much natural light and so you get these dark pictures.)

My goal was to unify all the pictures frames by spray painting them black and then mingle in some light colored accessories.
I encourage you not to be afraid of spray paint! I took a whole bunch of frames that were every color under the sun and made them sleek and streamlined by making them all the same color. Don't throw out old frames! Keep them and paint them as your tastes and decor change - it will save you money!

This wall has really become quite a focal point in the room.
It has created lots of interest for guests as they come to visit and has become a place of great memories in the Davis household.

What a beautiful reminder for my in-laws of what they have created...
All because two people fell in love.

Decorating with pictures is such a cheap and easy way to fill a space. I would also venture to say that pictures are more meaningful than any piece of artwork you could buy. I love walking into someone's home and being greeted by pictures of their loved ones!
Keep your eyes open at garage sales and thrift stores for picture frames on the cheap! You can also find narrow picture ledges at garage sales too. I just picked up a set of 2 shelves for $3 at a garage sale a couple weekends ago.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Beautifying Some Thrifty Finds

My Saturday mornings have been filled with garage saleing. It is such a thrill to bring home something average and transform it into something spectacular! Here are some of those transformations:
I found this cute, red chair at a garage sale a couple weeks ago for $5!
I loved that it was red.
Red is my color.
I pictured it in a cute display on the porch.

Here it is holding a wood crate I also found at a garage sale.
A little spray paint magic ("Blue Ocean Breeze" by Krylon) and a beautiful, overflowing pot of lantana transforms this porch area into a welcoming, cheerful sight as you come in the front door.

I LUV it!

Here's another garage sale find: a plastic planter for $1

It was quite dirty and needed a little elbow grease to get all the caked-on dirt off!

Add a little Black Satin Krylon for Plastics spray paint and the overflowing lantana pot and you have a sleek, black planter for the front porch.

I am picturing a stack of pumpkins for this pot come October...
Can you imagine?
3 pumpkins in 3 different sizes stacked on top of each other.
Oh the possibilities!

I am completely in love with these thrifty finds!
Lovin' the garage saleing excursions too!
You never know what you are going to discover!

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Bridal Shower

I always love to see pics of a great party or shower. However, I can't take credit for this beautiful bridal shower. I contributed homemade sugar cookies, but that was it. I just thought I would show some pictures of the hostess's work:

The food table.
Love me some pics of a beautiful food table!

Chicken salad sandwiches.
Love the cute little flower picks!
The hostess handmade them by gluing little paper flowers from Hobby Lobby onto toothpicks. It's all in the details...

The sugar cookies I made :)
Nothing displays cute desserts better than a three tiered stand...
and a simple tulle bow to finish it off!

Notice the floral arrangement?
The hostess arranged the flowers in a clear container but she didn't want all the stems to show. So she took some fake grass and swirled it around in the container to hide the stems. Genius!

The cute M&M favors.
Pretzel M&Ms are the bride's favorite.

Guests could take a favor from this tiered basket on their way out.
Lovin' the tiers again!