Tips & Planning Ideas

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A Citrus Themed Table Setting Perfect For A Summer Brunch, Lunch or Baby Shower
Filed Under > Entertaining

In all my years of parties thrown and dinner parties hosted I’ve never been one to go all in on a match-matchy theme. Typically, I to like working from a specific color palette, or menu and let things organically flow from there. But if there was any theme I could completely get behind, especially in summer, it would be citrus.

Citrus is a great theme for numerous reasons. First, it’s completely relevant to the summer season. Second, citrus is an extremely easy idea to incorporate into your recipes. From drinks, like a refreshing Aperol Spritz (recipe HERE), to dishes such as a simple fruit salad (similar recipe HERE) the possibilities are endless.

Lastly, citrus is an easier and more inexpensive way to decorate than flowers. Bowls and vases full of oranges, lemons, and limes have never been labeled ” high maintenance” nor will they cost near the price of a few dozen peonies.

Now that we’ve got the food and decor taken care of lets talk about the table itself. For this particular tabletop I kept things light, bright and easy by using paper table runners, placemats and place-cards. I’ve used and carried these paper accents at Waiting On Martha Home since the beginning and I never tire of the way they always add a whimsical and fun touch to any table and because of their price you won’t feel guilty by constantly switching things up.

Being summer and wanting to keep things on the lighter side of fussy I mixed my VIETRI melamine plates, acrylic tumblers and serving dishes with my more formal ceramic melon and orange plates. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I love investing in a core white place setting, like VIETRI Lastra, and mixing in fun salad, appetizer, and serving pieces when the mood strikes.

Finally, I topped the look off with the white bamboo flatware I cannot stop using and VIETRI paper cocktail napkins and neon Le Jacquard dinner napkins sure to pack a citrus punch.

I can honestly say this was the easiest, and most fun table I’ve ever put together and it was definitely a team favorite. It simply made everyone happy! So next time you’re thinking about implementing a theme for a dinner party, brunch, bridal shower, or really any time you just want something more on the sunny side of the street I suggest thinking citrus! Truly, MKR

Photography Rustic White Interiors

Everything You Need To Set the Thanksgiving Table

From flatware to bar carts turned pie carts I'm sharing my tips for setting your holiday table
Filed Under > Entertaining

Pinecone Candlesticks | Rose Gold Flatware |Gourd Plates |  Wine Glasses | Pumpkin Staub |Emile Henry Ruffled Pie Dish | Emile Henry Baking Dish | Taper Candles

With November basically here I’m officially in full Thanksgiving Dinner prep mode. While I love everything that comes with hosting during the holidays, my favorite part has got to be setting the table for the big dinner itself. And over the years through setting my fair share of tables I’ve learned that no matter what you’re celebrating there’s always a few items that make getting the table holiday ready easier than ever which I thought I’d share with y’all today.

First up, flatware. There’s no better way to dress up a table than with metallic flatware. Gold or rose gold flatware make every dinner party feel a bit more like an occasion, and will be perfect for any and every holiday you celebrate.

A few years ago finding flatware that was any color other than silver was incredibly difficult and often expensive.  Thankfully, that’s no longer the case. For example, the rose gold flatware shown here is only $15 per setting! And this gold set I found is only $65 for an entire 24 piece setting complete with a case! They’re even making disposable sets in gold that look almost like the real thing.

Another signature holiday table move of mine is switching out the salad plates.  Trust me when I say, there’s no one that would rather have enough room to store, or money to spend, on numerous holiday place settings.  If storage or money were of no issue I’d have a new place setting each season! So how do I keep things fresh, while not breaking the bank or bursting at the closet-door-seams…I switch out my salad/dessert plates.  

I often start my place setting with my classic white dinner plates and then dress the white up with a festive salad or dessert plate like these gourd plates.  This way your table doesn’t feel like an everyday setting, and you’re not worried about how much you spent, or where you’re going to store them next month.  And trust me this works for every season; I love these ones for Christmas!

A word to the wise, make sure you get round white everyday plates.  I made the mistake of registering for oblong ones when we got married which are awkward and don’t work with any other plate in my cupboard.

Lastly, don’t overcrowd the table.  Thanksgiving, or any dinner party for that matter, should be focused on spending time with the ones you love. Nothing is worse than having a guest more worried about where they’re going to set a dish or if they’re going to spill that bottle of wine, than conversing with their neighbor. How I handle this dilemma is by utilizing my bar cart.

During dinner parties or holiday celebrations, my bar cart is wheeled over to the table where it plays the integral role of both beverage dispenser and pie cart. By keeping both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic bottles off the table it allows for conversation to flow and the guests who talk with their hands like myself, to joyfully recount stories without worrying of knocking anything over.  And I’d much rather have my collection of Staub Pumpkin baking dishes gracing the table rather than empty bottles of wine.  Plus doesn’t the cart make the most perfect setting for all the holiday pies?

And much like the flatware I spoke about earlier, bar carts are extremely reasonably priced now.  I like this one and this one if you’re looking for your cart to serve in more of this capacity than full-time bar.

So whether it’s your first time hosting, or you’re an old pro, I hope sharing my go-to entertaining tips helped. And most importantly I hope your Thanksgiving is full of what’s truly important: family, friends, great food, and plenty of thankfulness.  Truly, MKR
 


 

Photography, Rustic White Interiors | This post is in collaboration with eBay, a company I love and adore.  All opinions and images are 100% my own.

Festive Outdoor Decor to take you from Fall to Thanksgiving

Just a few easy changes make your home's decorations work from September thru November
Filed Under > Entertaining

The minute October, more like September, hits I’m ready to decorate my porch in all of the festive-goodness the season brings.  However, when I first bought my home four years ago, I found that I was spending a ton of money decorating for each season: fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. So over the years, I’ve made it my mission to figure out how to make my outdoor decor able to transition through the seasons with only minimal changes. And after a few rounds of trial and error, I think I’ve finally gotten it down well enough to share.

Before I dive into the details, I thought it important to share that this is not my home.  This is one of my Waiting On Martha Home Retail Manager’s gorgeous home. I think it’s important to state that because you may be looking at this and feel, “my porch is not near this large so this look just won’t work for my home.” Well trust me, my porch is tiny (like tiny-tiny), and this same formula works, I just use less of it.  So whether you have a giant farmhouse with a sprawling yard, a row home stoop, or even an apartment balcony you want to make feel more festive, this will work. I promise. Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty shall we?

When building the “bones” or base of the outside design I first start with the idea of fall. For me, fall means corn stalks, mums, and plenty of pumpkins. The great thing about starting here is it’s obviously the first season, but all of the fall decorations will also work for Thanksgiving.  If you have any pillars to work with, corn stalks are a great way to decorate those.  All you have to do is tie the stalks around the pillars using two ropes and then peel back the corn husks to reveal the corn.  Corn stalks are pretty inexpensive and will last from fall to Thanksgiving. Corn stalks also look great flanking each side of a garage, or any driveway gates or fences posts as well.  For this particular look, I used two bunches of stalks per pillar, so four total, with each bunch costing $10 each. If you know a local farmer, he or she may even give you a few bunches for free!

Next up, pumpkin stacks and mums.  Mums are the quintessential flower of fall. I love them because they come in a variety of colors and as long as you water them they can easily withstand the Georgia heat.  Typically I pick them up at Costco or Home Depot and then place them in my large apple barrel baskets which I get at Hobby Lobby. The apple barrel baskets will be a one-time investment that you’ll have for years to come. I personally love to mix up the sizes and colors of the mums to accentuate all of the colorful pumpkins.

Which brings me to my favorite part, pumpkin stacks.  Warning, this is the most expensive part of the look, but for me going to my pumpkin patch and supporting my local farmers is something I look forward to each and every year so I just bite the bullet and know that pumpkins are always going to cost me a bit of dough.  They’re costly mainly because I love the specialty pumpkins; the whites, greys, greens, and princess pink pumpkins which are harder to find.  These specialty pumpkins are also the easiest to stack because of their shape. I do make sure to work in the less expensive standard orange pumpkins, and also talk to the owner of the pumpkin patch about pumpkin rot which I suggest you do too  Because of the Georgia heat and also the bees, sometimes pumpkins rot before the season ends.  My guy makes me a promise that if that happens to any of my pumpkins I can just come by and pick out another at no cost.  That way I feel like my investment is worth it because I’m assured my decorations will last the entirety of the season.  Another option is to go faux. Faux will save you money year over year, and time. Plus faux pumpkin stacks like these have gotten very close to looking like the real deal.  Completely up to you.

To finalize our fall (which remember will also be our Thanksgiving) design I completed the look with a great wreath and doormat. I chose to go with a green pumpkin wreath rather than your traditional orange because I knew with the mums and pumpkins I’d have a lot of oranges already present. Totally your call though on color, just buy a good wreath. Wreaths can be a bit of an investment, but I believe they’re the one thing you should actually invest in. Out of everything you’ll see in this post I’ve had the wreath the longest, 4 years now.  And it’s still in perfect condition. I’ve purchased less expensive wreaths in the past and what I’ve found is they simply fall apart. So if you’re able to, listen to Miles Redd and “buy the best and you’ll only cry once.”  That and store it in a great wreath box like this

Lastly, adding a festive doormat is the perfect way to cap off any design. Because I typically find that all the fun, festive doormats, to be too small for the actual space I love layering the doormat on a larger rug such as this.  It adds depth to your design and allows you to switch out doormats easily. I’ve got a pumpkin doormat shown here, but just after our shoot, my new one came in that’s a bit more on the fun side.

I’ve scoured the internet and the closest I can get to mine (the one in the picture) is this one from Frontgate. Typically my store has these exact ones, but we sold out within the first week of putting them up. I promise next year I’ll buy more for y’all.  But there are some gorgeous harvest colored ones I’m loving like this one from Williams Sonoma that would look just as good.

And with that, we’ve completed the perfect outdoor design for fall and Thanksgiving. Now, without disrupting the overall scheme, it’s time to add a bit of Halloween into the mix.

To take my porch from fall to Halloween all I did was switch out the wreath and doormat, plus added a few crows and witches brooms.  

Because the crow wreaths were smaller, I decided to hang two vertically with fishing wire to really make a statement.  The doormat, witch-themed, to match my overall theme. Crows from Amazon I placed in the mums and on the pumpkin stacks. And lastly two crooked, old witch brooms from my shop. I mean how easy is that? Changes that took me less than 10 minutes to complete, with items I’m able to use for more than one season.

*Sorry the brooms are too tall to ship, but if you’re local stop in we’ve got plenty left*

Halloween Porch Ideas Halloween Porch Ideas

All in all, I couldn’t be happier with the way this look turns out each and every season and I know you’ll love it too and let it transition you from September thru November.  Happy fall-Halloween-Thanksgiving friends! Truly, MKR
 


 

Photography, Rustic White Interiors

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