Monday, May 31, 2010

Can the weather ever make up it's mind? Not in Chicago!

I didn't think we could get through Memorial Day weekend without some type of bad weather-it's storming now! I have lived here for 26 years, and I don't ever remember a Memorial Day weekend with perfect weather. So it's a good thing I set my table for dinner outside yesterday! Since Memorial Day is the kickoff to summer barbecues and the grilling season, it is appropriate to have your first barbecue of the season during this weekend. So with the best intentions, I set a summertime dinner table outside in the grass! It was a beautiful day - in the high 70's by the lake. Using sea fans as place mats, I used a casual ironstone plate and these cool antique crab casseroles that my friend Marlene gave me. Using a long rectangular glass vase, I filled it with herbs from the herb garden and water for the centerpiece. Clear floating candles in the water make it really glow! But good thing it was yesterday! Now it's nippy and still raining. I think I'll make a pot of soup!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Spring Florals

We were enjoying the most beautiful weather, so setting a table for lunch outside was a priority. I still had peonies, stock and wax flowers from the shower, so creating a new floral arrangement was a cinch. . The Italian tablecloth mixed with floral antique plates created a springtime color treat for the eyes.. The turquoise napkins were made to look like flowers and floral brooches were placed in the center as favors for the guests. Special silverware, crystal, and compotes were pulled out of storage and enjoyed for the day. The colors, turquoise and hot pink, are a great combination with chartreuse and the deep purple of blackberries. They looked beautiful in the vintage chartreuse and turquoise compotes with "Love Disarmed" berry spoons.

Friday, May 28, 2010

It's All About the Presentation

A simple menu was prepared for Jessica's bridal shower- so simple that Lynda and I were able to prepare most of it the day before the shower. A chutney chicken salad was the main ingredient, which we saved time by having our local grocery store roast the chicken breasts for us. A fun project was creating the beautiful ice bucket of fresh flowers and ferns. We used it to serve the champagne for the signature Strawberry Lemonade Champagne Cocktail. Our 3 ingredient mousse was garnished with edible gold leaf, sugared roses, and sugar pearls. The beautiful little cakes were purchased from a french bakery in the city, Vanille Patisserie. This menu was easy to do and allowed us the time to do one of our favorite things- setting a pretty table.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Color Purple

I am not sure what happened that caused the color purple to be so obviously present at the Bridal shower on Sunday. Guests were inspired to bring many beautifully wrapped gifts, and it seemed purple was a popular color. In a very romantic combination, tulle, rhinestones, feathers and purple flowers all created a purple feast for the eyes. Purple roses crowned the cherub statue on the buffet, while a rhinestone crown peaked out of the top. Beet Tartines on a silver tray added a bold purple color to the array of appetizers. The mother of the bride, the maid of honor and the bride looked simply purplelicious in a purple haze of color. And as I looked out to my garden, it seemed that I had planted mostly purple flowers this year. Maybe purple is the color of the season!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Jessica gets Crowned!

Bridal showers are girls time to connect, to get to talk, the time to appreciate just being female. Crowns can be worn with abandonment, flowers can be abundant, and female conversation is the way of the day. The day was beautiful, conversation flowed and the day meandered on to be a restful day.. People sat on the porch, ate lunch, drank wine and relaxed and enjoyed the soft breeze. The Plack girls did wear their crowns, but details to come on that detail and this shower tomorrow. Don't they look great?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bridal Shower Pieces of the Puzzle

Spending the day cleaning silver and setting the table is very therapeutic, especially when all the doors are open and the fresh air is coming in. I'm getting the elements together for the bridal shower we will have on Sunday. It's for Jessica, the daughter of one of the Romancing the Home girls, Katha. I'm trying to keep some of it a surprise for the mother of the bride, so I'll just show some of the elements of the table. How they go together will be revealed on Sunday! Wine's in the fridge chilling, champagne is on it's side for the signature cocktail, and we are just waiting for the flowers. There's cooking to do on Saturday, but otherwise we are pretty organized! Sunday is going to be beautiful.I can't wait for the day- close friends getting together to shower a new bride with love, gifts, and lot's of free advice!