I remember arriving for Thanksgiving at my aunt and uncle’s house as a child. The tables were set with family china and an assortment of silver. Nothing matched – there were too many people joining to use only one set – but everything was special. 

Did I know how much that meant to me at the time? These special details? Did I appreciate it? Not instantly – I just knew I looked forward to seeing my cousins. Playing Spoons on the living room rug, all generations at once. Eating shrimp cocktail from my grandparents, artichoke dip from my second cousins, creamed onions from my uncle, cornbread pudding from my aunt. 

Did I know how much thought, and care went into the planning and execution of such a big event? Not when I was 8, or 10, or 12. Not consciously at least.

But I felt it. The love of family, the tradition of coming together, from near and far, every year. Watching time pass in slow motion. 
And these tables, these beautifully set tables, pulled us in, set the mood, gave us a physical place to come together. To talk, to laugh, to tell stories heard again and again, gaining meaning with each additional telling. They gave us a place to linger, and we did.

As I set the table this year, taking time to polish each fork, lay out each plate and glass, iron the napkins and place the candles, I think back on these memories and hope to create a space for family and friends to linger. Our lives are busy, for better or worse, and Thanksgiving is a day to remember to slow down, be thankful, reflect. These special details help jolt us out of our every day routine, and are a reminder to do just that.

Weekend wanderings…

It felt like the perfect weekend, with just the right balance of relaxation and productivity.

Why is that balance often so hard to find? 

Too much lounging, and I find myself stressing about not getting stuff done…but too much running around doing errands and I wonder why I can’t just find the time to sit, and smell the roses. 

Or, in my case, stare at the beautiful leaves! Look at those colors, just stunning.

On Saturday, I made a Thanksgiving centerpiece. A few friends and family came to join, and we spent an hour drinking bubbly and arranging flowers. 

Perhaps this was the key to such a satisfying weekend – the perfect combination of productivity and fun. Hanging with friends while getting stuff done. 

Here are some of the results! Not bad right?

I did two of these for our table.

Sunday was filled with more outdoor time…

And more Thanksgiving prep. While polishing silver we came across these beauties. I will be sure to make a big soup next weekend just for an excuse to use them.

And finally, chili, football, and a healthy dose of play.

What is your recipe for a perfect weekend?

How about some eye candy?

Houzz. I could browse for hours. And in fact, I did. 

Here are some of my recent favorite kitchen finds, if you’d like to take a look…

So peaceful, and bright. The rustic wood island adds the perfect touch of warmth.

Navy, brass, crisp black lines and classic white subway tile for the win.

The unpainted wood island is stunning with a more elegant marble top. Larger subway tiles are a fun modern twist. I wish the stools were different – perhaps a splash of color would have been nice? Burnt orange or lime green perhaps? I have my eye on these beauties:

Serene. Perfectly mixed metals. Those copper pendants!

Some color! Bright, fun, but still feels timeless.

I love the black window sashes, the farmhouse sink, the simple shaker cabinets. And the view.

A distressed oriental rug adds so much character to an otherwise neutral space.

What do you think? Do you have a favorite? I think I would go with #3 (but with the lime bar stools swapped in!).

Sticks and stones

When I look at this picture my blood pressure drops significantly. It’s like a breath of fresh air.

From a distance they all blend, but up close they are so unique and full of color.

Look at this beauty.

We can spend hours on the beach sorting through stones, looking for heart rocks and seaglass. There is something so soothing about this. Like active meditation. 

Yes, sticks and stones can break your bones – but they are also incredibly therapeutic.

Here’s to a weekend full of fresh air, forest, and beach walks.