Entertaining

Goin’ Coastal

An easy coastal themed tabletop perfect for relaxed summer entertaining
Filed Under > "Hostess with the Mostest"

With the first day of summer officially come and gone I’m focused on soaking up every bit that summer has to offer. Which for me means easy, relaxed dinners alfresco.

Typically in summer with the heat being what it is I like to keep the meals light, which usually means seafood. Grilled fish, shrimp skewers, and in today’s case white wine and garlic clams. And with seafood typically on the menu my summer table decor tend to lean in the coastal direction. Think blues, whites, and natural fabrics mixed in with no fuss accents. Which is exactly what I’m sharing today.

If you asked me to pick a favorite from this setting, I couldn’t. I honestly want every single piece. The updated take on spongeware by Mark D. Sikes mixes perfectly with my favorite blue and white stripes and coastal inspired melamine accents like these $5 dipping dishes and the bread board. And the rattan accents in the form of placemats, glassware and place card holders add that relaxed feeling that is summer.

And continuing on the theme of relaxed, our no-iron linen napkins are an absolute must for entertainers of all levels. They’re not too fussy and YES no-iron means no-iron. So you can wash them time and time again and they’ll be ready to go from the dryer straight to the table.

Lastly, I rounded everything out with ivory acrylic flatware in the shape of bamboo, melamine wine coasters, cobalt blue hibiscus VIETRI bud vases filled with tulips, and sea-salt citronella candles to keep the bugs away. And I pulled out my bamboo folding chairs. I ordered two sets of these years ago and I’m so glad I did. I love having them at the ready for extra guests or any extra seating needs. I really do use them all the time!

Jumping back to the flatware real quick; these stopped me in my tracks when I first spied them. I had wanted the traditional brown bamboo flatware for ages, but had never pulled the trigger and I’m so glad I didn’t because the ivory is STUNNING! Plus it goes with absolutely everything. I did say I couldn’t play favorites, but if I was pushed it would be these!

So that’s it friends. A relaxed summer tabletop ready for all those long summer nights ahead. Enjoy! Truly, MKR

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Photography: Rustic White Interiors

An Easy At-Home Holiday Breakfast Bar For Guests

How to set up an easy and festive self-serve holiday breakfast bar
Filed Under > "Hostess with the Mostest"

One of the favorite things I have in my home is a makeshift tea station upstairs in my bedroom.  Ove the years, I’ve become a major night-time tea drinker.  And because I spend the majority of my evenings cozied up in my bed working, reading, or watching TV I got tired of running downstairs 2-3 times just to put the kettle on to get more tea. So, to alleviate that last year I purchased an electric tea kettle and turned a bar cart into a tea station. 

It’s nothing fancy, just an electric tea kettle and a tray full of mugs, tea bags, mulling spices, and all-things cozy. So when thinking about hosting all of our holiday guests this season I thought, why not turn my upstairs bar into an at-home holiday breakfast bar.  

If you’ve been following my Blog for a while then you know I have an upstairs loft that I turned into a sort of game room/bar area. It’s an awkward space, that truly doesn’t get used a lot. But it’s beautiful and I knew it would perfect for this self-serve idea.  

So why not set this up in the kitchen? Two main reasons.  One, it’s festive and fun, and I love doing small things like this to really make guests feel welcome and like you went all out for them. 

And two, all of the bedrooms are upstairs while the kitchen is downstairs.  I, like many people, love a slow, quiet start to my morning.  I don’t necessarily want to get dressed, and ready and head downstairs and start my day right away.  By having everything guests need right outside their door they can pop out and grab a cup of coffee or tea, and a breakfast pastry and head back to their room to have that nice leisurely start that every vacation should have.  Plus at night it can be used as that sleepy time tea station has become part of my nightly routine.

Regardless of where you set it up, a self-serve, holiday breakfast bar is beyond easy to create.  First, I made sure that I had all the morning necessities present.  Coffee maker, electric tea kettle, and toaster. I love this new vintage set from Russell & Hobbs.  It’s well priced, works like a gem, looks adorable, and the toaster even has a croissant toasting shelf!

Second, stock your holiday breakfast bar with everything guests would need to make it self serve so everyone can run at their own speed in the morning.  Think mugs, water, tea bags, coffee, sugar, utensils, napkins, etc.  And I stashed all of the extras in the drawers making it super easy if guests run out of anything. 

Third, I made it festive with holiday-themed coffee blends, pastries,  jams, packets of cocoa and tea. And of course, added a wreath and a few of my favorite rosemary and lavender Christmas trees as decor.

Lastly, I always make sure guests know that this is there for them to access at any time.  There’s nothing worse than being a guest who feels they have to tip-toe around their hosts.

And that’s it.  An easy at home holiday breakfast bar that is as festive as it is functional! Tell me, how do you make guests feel welcome in your home? Truly, MKR
 


 

Thanksgiving Dinner Made Easy

Making the holidays enjoyable again with Whole Foods
Filed Under > Entertaining

Between juggling the shop, the blog, travel, and everything else that comes with the season, this year I decided to make Thanksgiving easy. No three-day food prep, no failed recipes, no arguments in the kitchen. No none of that. This year, I was going to actually enjoy the only day I have off and let Whole Foods do the heavy lifting for me.

You see, Whole Foods is just waiting to make all of your holiday dreams come true with their massive holiday menu! From charcuterie boards and bacon wrapped apps, to turkeys, hams, pies, and all the sides you could dream up, Whole Foods has the holidays covered.

They cook it, and all you do is finish it in the oven and place it onto the table.  It’s that easy.  But seriously, it’s that easy.  They send you on your merry way with very detailed instructions that even someone who’s never cooked a day in their life could handle.  And I loved the fact that while Whole Foods takes you 90% of the way there is a little work that you still have to put into it so I felt as if I had actually cooked the meal.

As far as the meal itself, I went with the Festive Feast for 12, and it was a feast.  Every single thing was delicious, and we had leftovers for days. But if I was playing favorites I’d say it had to be the ham, the creamed kale and spinach, and the apple pie. The next day I poured the creamed kale and spinach over tortilla chips and added a little salsa and it was like heaven.  Highly recommend that little leftover.

While I did go with the Festive Feast for 12, I love that you don’t have to go with a full feast and can just pick and choose, truly creating your own custom menu. So if you love baking pies, or the turkeys your thing, but don’t want to mess with the sides you can just get Whole Food’s sides.  If the sides are your thing, but you don’t want to mess up that big glorious bird, you can just order the turkey.  Whatever will make your Thanksgiving enjoyable again, you can make happen with a little help from Whole Foods. 

And of course, Whole Foods being Whole Foods, they’ve got plenty of options for vegans, vegetarians, grain free, Keto-friendly, and whatever else seems to be the diet trend this year.

And I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention the cost.  I knew, being Whole Foods the food quality would be bar none, but what shocked me was how reasonably priced everything was.  It was the least expensive Thanksgiving dinner I’ve EVER hosted.  Ever!

So, the only question left to really answer is are you going to make Thanksgiving stressful this year, or are you going to be like me kicked back with a glass of wine and actually enjoying the day! Truly, MKR

Photography, Rustic White Interiors | This post is in collaboration with Whole Foods, a brand I love and adore.  Opinoins and images are 100% my own.

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