Thursday, April 17, 2014

Quick and Easy Easter Table

Hosting Easter at your house this year?  It's a great time for welcoming friends and family and serving up some hospitality.  And hospitality looks great on a pretty table setting.

Chances are, you're focusing your attention on the menu, so I've got a few simple ideas for your table that will save you both time and money.

You may have noticed I love using paper for my tablescapes.  Sometimes it's wrapping paper.  This time, it's patterned scrapbook papers.  The 12x12 papers are the perfect size for using as chargers, and the possibilities are endless when it comes to colors.  

You don't need a ton of different table cloths to get a variety of looks for your table.  Just start with a white or ivory, then add on the layers.  Hobby Lobby has this great basic burlap runner for only $7.99 (use a coupon for 40% off), and it can be used a hundred different ways.

I thought a nest would be cute for each setting for this table, so I took some excelsior (other kinds of straw or basket filler would work, too) and formed the little nests.  A couple paper maché eggs in each were just right, and I placed each one on a saucer so guests can easily set them aside when the food is served.

I love basic white dishes because they're so versatile.  A piece of burlap ribbon layered in between plates adds a punch of color, and a chalkboard tag makes a great place card!

For just pennies per place setting, you've got a colorful, custom look.

Need a nice centerpiece?  Why not use a potted plant from your porch?  Place it in a bowl or on a tray, if needed, for a more polished look.  Remember this one I told you about here?  I brought it in, made a chalkboard banner from black card stock and bamboo skewers, and I had an instant centerpiece!

Colorful teacups and saucers can make great little vases, and if you don't have enough sets for each place setting, just put them in the center of the table.

Since I used mainly what I already had for decorating, this tablescape was only a few dollars to put together!

My friend, Denise, used the same general concept in Easter brights and I love how hers turned out as well.  She calls it Kate Spade meets Punky Brewster, but I call it fabulous!

I hope this inspires you to save your dough for the dinner rolls and make a great tablescape for less. I'd love to see how yours turns out!  

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How to Patch a Drainage Hole in Your Planter!

I recently found this great pedestal bowl planter at Marshall's that I thought would be great on my porch...

The only problem was that it had a drainage hole, and since I didn't want it leaking on my table all the time, I had to find a way to fix it.

So I took a piece of duct tape and covered the hole well, pressing down all around to form a seal.

Then I just used some basic window and door caulk to make it waterproof.

Just squeeze out the caulk over the duct tape area and spread it around with your finger.  Be sure to extend past the tape to seal all the sides.

Then, just let it dry for several hours or overnight.  Pour a little water in the bottom to test it once it's dry.  

Since the plant will still need good drainage once it's planted,  I recommend placing some rocks or styrofoam peanuts in the bottom of the planter before adding the soil.

Once you've done that, pop in the plant, and you've got a great, leak-proof planter for your indoor space!

 Hope this quick fix is a help to you, too, as you prep your outdoor spaces.  Happy planting!

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Drinking Generic Orange Juice in a Tropicana World

Motherhood is a constant learning experience.  Every week there's something new you thought you had already figured out, but no.  Reality shows up, smacks you in the face, robs you of whatever confidence you have in yourself, and promises to come back next week and do it all over again.  At least that's how it happens in this house.  This week, I learned that I can no longer buy "the good orange juice".  And here's why:

You see, I typically buy generic orange juice, seeing as how you can get an entire gallon of it for almost half the price of a smaller jug of the name brand.  And it normally lasts the whole week.  Dave and I usually don't drink it, and the kids never complained, so it's been a pretty good arrangement for us.

But last week, the Tropicana was on sale, so my husband and I thought, "Sure. Why not?  Our little angels deserve a little fresh-squeezed goodness sometimes." And I smiled to myself as I placed it in the cart, counting up the cool mom points I was going to score when the kids saw this one.

Fast forward to the next morning.  The kids were getting cereal bowls, Dave was making eggs, I was packing lunches, and everything seemed to be pretty normal until someone pulled out the Tropicana.  

Immediately, the mood among the kids changed.  They started grabbing for glasses and clamoring for cups.  Elbows were flying as they rushed to the table to be the first to pour the precious juice.  And over the usual morning racket, I began to hear the bickering.  Child B was yelling at A for choosing the "largest glass possible".  Child D was fussing because no one would pour any juice for her.  Child C was mad because Child A didn't pour enough for her, and every child was stating their case for orange juice justice to Mom and Dad who were the only ones completely speechless for the moment.

Who knew that Not From Concentrate could have this much power over people?  It was the most blatant display of self-interest I think I've ever seen in my house.  Dave and I stared at each other in disbelief, until the sad verdict was finally announced that if this is what Tropicana does to us, then we will henceforth and forever, (or until the last child goes to college) buy only generic orange juice in this family.  The sad silence hung over the breakfast table for approximately 3 seconds while the new information sunk in, afterward producing a new surge of selfish propensity, heightened by the "last chance" desperation factor.


"Those kids!"  I muttered as the last one walked out the door to school.  "Well if that's how they're going to act, then they'll be missing out on a lot of Tropicana."  

Then, not like the usual ton of bricks, but more like a clean, refreshing wave gushing over me, I got it.

"Ah! So that's it, Lord."  And I realized:  I've been missing out, too.  But, on what, I wondered?  What have my attitude, my actions, my lack of attention to the right things, been causing me to miss?  Oh, I'm blessed, for sure, but what more could I be enjoying?  What more could my kids be experiencing, if only I would get my act together?  What might the Lord bless me with if He knew I would handle it well?  

More influence?  More time?  More financial gain?

{He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good... Proverbs 16:20}

And maybe even more prayers answered the way I hope they will be?  

{If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me... Psalms 66:18}

I've known these things for as long as I can remember.  But, every now and then, I need a reminder that I need to be living it.

He's promised it.  He will withhold no good thing from those who walk uprightly.  I don't want any of God's good things withheld from me.  Not even orange juice.  How about you?

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