Making Memories To Treasure

tday tableI hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

ThanksgivingMy favorite part of the holidays is the decorating and entertaining.  Because I love to entertain, I start the decorating early.  In that way, you can take your time and be creative in the process.  So, as Thanksgiving arrives, the Christmas season has already begun in our home. While the Christmas tree glistened with its white lights twinkling the Thanksgiving table was aglow with various squashes carved out to hold oil candles and flowers.squash with flowersMiniature pumpkins from Pottery Barn added holiday joy to the center of the table.

On one of my many walks along the Erie Canal I gathered the most beautiful colored fallen leaves of purple, green, gold and orange.  Some of my most favorite colors.  I brought them home and put them into pages of books to dry.  Weight the books down with something and voila a month or so later you have dried preserved leaves.  I reuse them year after year. tday berriesThe art of napkin folding has always intrigued me.  The napkins add a special finishing touch to a festive table.  This year I used silk berries and leaves with burlap ribbon cut in half to make a fringed edge.  I folded the napkins into a cornucopia shape and placed them on the plates. holiday napkin

Special touches abound all around…..For me, holiday decorations are also the glasses, plates, and flatware.  These are the fine details of decorative interior design.  Each place setting usually has placecards, and a small wrapped gift.  This year I made the most wonderful pumpkin bread.breadEach small loaf was put into a pint size rectangle wood berry box I purchased online from Garnish Inc.  I wrapped them with burlap ribbon and silk berries I used on the napkins.  Water infused with pomegranate seeds and sliced apples in my infusion pitcher from Crate and Barrel provided a nutritional thirst quencher and added a special touch of color.  I let the mixture cold steep overnight in the refrigerator.water and glasseswater

Finally the most important special touch was my ten and a half month old grand niece joining us for her first Thanksgiving.


Tday KaleighThere’s something magical to me about the holidays.  Whether I’m entertaining neighbors or family and friends, people who attend our parties love it, because they don’t usually decorate to the extent that I do.  There’s something truly magical about their joyous attitudes and sparkle.


Baseball and Beer Bridal Shower


Color themed polka-dot straws to mimic baseballs for the ice tea from Shop Sweet Lulu.

Well it’s been quite a busy summer – One fun “project” I worked on was a beer and baseball themed shower held at my home for my niece, Tracy.   I always love a challenge and this was a good one.


Coming up with new ideas for her theme of beer and baseball was the challenging part.  To enhance my senses, my husband and I took a day trip to the town that has every souvenir you can think of for baseball…..Cooperstown.  I had never been there and what a lovely place it was.  So amazing we have such beautiful towns so close to us.  We enjoyed a scenic lunch on the veranda of the Otesaga Resort Hotel.  If you’ve never been, it’s worth a trip to have lunch and enjoy a glass of wine by the lake.


Ice cold sangria ready to serve in a beverage dispenser.

My husband, who’s such a good sport, followed me around as I meandered in and out of shops.  In one shop,  I found a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle of the United States with all the baseball stadiums.  My mother-in-law, husband and brother-in-law, Len worked diligently putting the puzzle together before the shower as I was using it as part of my centerpiece.

Nestled behind a building and downstairs, we came upon the Chocolate STUDIO.  One of the owners, Heather made the most adorable chocolate half back, peanut butter filled baseball candies for my favors.  So very cute and so very delicious!!


Creamy peanut butter filled chocolate baseball shaped favors.

As we were walking past a shop I wasn’t going to stop in, the owner spoke to us as she sat outside with her dog.  I explained I was looking for things for my beer and baseball themed shower.  “Please go in she said, you might see something.”  Well I’m glad I did. Most of their products are made in the State of New York.  I found an 8″ round baseball cutting board made in the Catskills from New York hardwood.  The artists laser engrave the distinctive baseball stitching and “Cooperstown” in a vintage baseball font.  It was a perfect raffle drawing prize.

So many creative people out there….

  I can’t thank Katrin Naumann enough for her artistic talent.  She painted an entrance ticket booth for my front storm door.  On the backside, which faced into the house, she put; “Had a ball/Catch you later”  How fun is that!FPT_0094FPT_0056


The mantle with Miller High Life bottles and packages wrapped in beer bottle wrapping paper for the raffle gifts.

I love collaborating with the ever so talented, Nanette Haynor from Whistlestop Florist who created the flowers for me.  When we get together there’s electric sparks as our creative juices flow. I just loved the mums formed into a baseball that I nestled inside a baseball glove.  The flowers in the pot for the centerpiece carried the bride-to-be’s color theme.  Nanette used dried pincushion flower pods in the arrangement as we kept the round baseball theme going.  I bought Pottery Barns wooden caddy holder for part of my nieces shower gift.  Inside each cubby was a beer bottle filled with flowers.


“Live flower baseball”


Wooden caddy with beer bottles filled with fresh flowers I used as part of the centerpiece on the kitchen table with the desserts. The caddy was part of my niece’s shower present that could later be used for napkins and silverware for a buffet.

I have so much fun with the decorating part of the event…..The dessert was predetermined after I found baseball cupcake liners and banners.  My sister, Barb, who is an excellent cook and baker made the wonderful assortment of cupcakes with decadant frostings.


Cupcakes with decadent frosting topped with banners.

I love surprises and what a great surprise it was…Grace, My friend Dina’s daughter, came decked out in a Yankee uniform to do the traditional call out of “POPCORN, PEANUTS and of course, CRACKER JACKS…..


“Peanuts, Popcorn and of course Cracker Jacks.”






Back deck ready for the gathering of guests and lunch.

With all the rain we had I was hoping it would be a beautiful day so the guests would be able to gather for conversation and lunch on the deck.   As you can tell by the picture above and below it was a glorious day indeed.

outside3The marvelous photographs were taken by Jonathan Beach of Beach Photography.

Do you have an event coming up?  Make it extra special for the recipient by not only holding the event with food but also by setting the stage for the theme.  It enlightens the guests senses and really enhances the party.

Would you like me to help you with an event?  Give me a call…