November 17th, 2018
My friend Rachel has a saying…”It’s not Thanksgiving at Arina’s until the Golden Turkey Appears!”
She’s right, when the golden turkey makes its way to the kitchen, Thanksgiving can officially commence! Of course, I start displaying the golden turkey waaaayyy before Thanksgiving. We change its placement in accordance to the party theme. For cocktail parties, you’ll find it at the bar or appetizer table. For family dinners, we’ll display it on the buffet section of the kitchen. Sometimes, I’ll even place it in odd little nooks just to be funny, it’s a lot like an elf on a shelf except you can touch it, rub it, reposition it, bend it, and pretty much have fun with it! It’s quite the conversation piece.
We acquired this big bird at a garage sale and I probably paid $3 for it. Ironically, it has given us so much entertainment and fun that it has become one of our cherished family pieces. I know my boys will be fighting over who gets the golden turkey (HA! Probably not!).
I guess my point is, consider having one or two fun pieces that you traditionally display during the holidays. In addition to the expensive crystal, fine china, or grandmother’s silver, maybe you too can find yourself a golden turkey!
November 16th, 2018
Family at the Thanksgiving Table
Simple Thanksgiving Decor
Each year, my sister Anna, volunteers to host Thanksgiving and our family gathers at her home to celebrate the holiday. Anna is a wonderful hostess, I’ve said this many times. She and I are always stealing each other’s ideas and recipes. Unlike me, Anna does things very simply with a relaxed feel but always seems to WOW her guests. She never seems to stress over the details. Even the few times she’s asked me for help, Anna always seems relaxed and at ease while I’m running around stressing over pretty much everything. Nevertheless, we always seem to pull off a great party and when working together, we make a good team.
During this particular celebration, her table was simple with red placemats and a bouquet of fresh flowers. However, she added candlelight as her main decor element, creating a soft, warm, and quiet atmosphere. She used different style and height crystal candleholders which were set on mirror tiles to reflect the light. She also placed some candles in her silver candleholders on the back buffet. Last but not least, she added some votives to bring various levels of height. It looked so beautiful.
This look was very minimal but definitely brought the WOW factor.
Smoked Salmon Appetizers
It’s no secret, our family is ALL ABOUT THE APPETIZERS… Anna always prepares a wonderful appetizer spread that is easy and festive. Above are the smoked salmon appetizers which she serves at practically every function. They are served on small pieces of bread, smothered in plain cream cheese and topped off with a generous slice of smoked salmon. She finishes by sprinkling green onion on top and watches them disappear off the plate in a matter of minutes.
Veggie Plate and Hummus Dip
I’m always in charge of the veggie plates and dip.
Veggie Plate and Basil Hummus
This veggie plate featured my favorite basil hummus which I make for practically EVERY occasion.
I also love bringing my beet hummus which adds a vibrant color to an otherwise boring cracker bowl.
The dinner is typically traditional with turkey, cranberry source, her famous mixed roasted vegetables, and of course, mashed potatoes. Here’s my son and my parents enjoying her delicious buffet.
Last but not least, the dessert always comes from The Smoke House Market, which is a wonderful store in Chesterfield, Missouri. It is affiliated with Annie Gunns, which is a famous steak house in St. Louis, and sells many of their freshly prepared food creations. Their pies are in HIGH DEMAND during the holidays and since my niece worked there, we always had fresh pies for Thanksgiving… with a bit of vanilla ice cream on top.
All in all, my sister does a fantastic job with Thanksgiving. And I’m alway impressed with how beautifully and seamlessly she executes this annual celebration.
November 14th, 2018
I truly enjoy working with Mary Tuttle’s, a beautiful home décor and fresh flower retailer in Chesterfield, Missouri. I’ve worked for them for over seven years creating their marketing campaigns and developing their marketing strategies. Walking into their store is like walking into a magazine. Every nook is filled with inspiration on interior design and entertaining.
Each year, they are part of a tabletop event for a local St. Louis publication. This year, they chose to create a holiday table with the centerpiece that didn’t include a Santa, Christmas Wreath, or Christmas Tree. This year, their centerpiece was a bunny. A cute stone bunny that was tied with a burlap bow, wearing a necklace of cranberries, nestled inside a tartan napkin filled punch bowl… and I’m not done yet…sitting on top of a cake plate covered in pine clippings. Yes, that was the centerpiece and it was DIVINE!!!
The tablecloth was a simple burlap and the place settings were all different, with primarily holiday themed Juliska plates in Country Estate Winter Frolic. Even the wine glasses were different which added a casual feel to the table which still looked festive and holiday themed.
I love the new tartan napkins and beautiful napkin rings. And of course, a gold votive at every pacesetting is such a wonderful touch.
So for your holidays this year, step out of the box a bit and bring out those bunnies to create something unique and unforgettable! Oh, and most importantly, if you live in St. Louis, stop by Mary Tuttle’s and get inspired with a lot more creative ideas.
October 31st, 2018
Gold and red Thanksgiving tablescape from Pottery Barn
Today is Halloween and I’m sad because, if you know me, you know that I LOVE everything Halloween! However, I won’t be down for too long because during the holiday season, when one holiday passes, another one is just around the corner!
My focus for the next few weeks is going to be Thanksgiving! I love Thanksgiving because it’s all about fall… the colors, textures, but most of all, the food! Thanksgiving makes me think of warmth and comfort. I love watching QVC and seeing all the fuzzy blankets, flannel sheets, and pajamas that go on sale. I love the cool crisp air and the fragrance of peoples’ fireplaces burning in the evenings. It’s just a fabulous time of year.
I had a chance to visit Plaza Frontenac, a shopping center in St. Louis, and stop in some of the stores which display beautiful tablesscapes. Here are some of my favorites. Also, I am going to show Christmas tablescapes as well since I know some people like to put out their Christmas china on Thanksgiving. Enjoy!
Another Pottery Barn Fall Table Setting
Stunning silver fall table setting from Williams Sonoma
Loving this color combination of black and gold fall table setting
Another beautiful Williams Sonoma fall tablescape
Reindeer, reindeer, reindeer! I can’t help but adore this whimsical reindeer themed place setting from Pottery Barn
Plaid tableware from Pottery Barn. I will always love plaid. It’s one of the most classic and elegant winter patterns. I can definitely see using these plates and mugs even after the holidays.
Plaid and Santa… Need I say more? Pottery Barn never disappoints.
May 18th, 2014
Whether you are celebrating Easter, or just the beauty of the arrival of spring, this centerpiece could not be any easier and makes an incredible impact on your table or buffet. All you need is clear glass vases, various carrots, and some mums or daisies. For a step-by-step instructional video, just VISIT MY VIDEOS PAGE and look for the EASTER CARROT CENTERPIECE segment on Better Kansas City!
April 22nd, 2014
Each year, an incredible event takes place at the Ritz Carlton in St. Louis. The Children’s Hospital Table Tops Annual Spring Event. This stunning event is the most talked about event of the spring with very elaborate table tops created by local designers. Best of all, proceeds benefit the Friends of St. Louis Children’s Hospital Endowment Fund for Camp Rhythm, a summer camp specially designed for children with heart problems.
Here are a few photos from some of my favorite designers who participated this year. There were a lot more table tops, but these are some of my favorites!!
Mary Tuttle’s – The Art of Living is a stunning store in Chesterfield Commons, which may just be the most amazing experience you will have, shopping for beautiful home decor, flowers, and fine china. If you are in Chesterfield, make sure to stop by their beautiful store. Their table-top was a garden theme with a variety of potted flowers and plants. The Juliska china was a show-stopper!
The St. Louis Service Bureau – Is a beautiful non-for-profit boutique in Ladue, Missouri that benefits local charities. If you love unforgettable stationery, unique home decor items, gifts, and jewelry, this store should be on your list to visit! And the fact that it benefits local charities, is icing on the cake! Their theme at the Table Top Event was the May Pole. It was colorful, stylish, and a breath of fresh air! Just looking at this table makes me happy! I especially loved the mint julep cups and the long tapered candles.
Cosmopolitan Events is a St. Louis based special events planning company. The team at Cosmopolitan Events are incredible at making their clients’ vision a reality! This year, they created a beautiful table with the most stunning color platte.
Wildflowers, a custom floral designer in St. Louis, created this gorgeous design… need I say more?! It’s no wonder their floral masterpieces grace the halls of the St. Louis Art Museum.
Last, but certainly not least, is Belli Fiori’s wedding jaw-dropper! The entire design is dripping with opulence! Orchids, hydrangeas, diamonds… seriously, what else can a girl ask for? Are those sequins on the tablecloth? I’m in LOVE!
March 18th, 2014
I love walking through my favorite stores and seeing the latest trends in tablescapes and entertaining. Pottery Barn Kids never ceases to amaze me with their beautiful designs for childrens’ tables. This Easter table is just adorable!
Here is a beautiful table from William Sonoma. It is from their Provencal collection. Very different from the pastel colors you tend to see in the spring, but I love it!
February 18th, 2014
Valentine’s Day is either a hit or miss for me! Sometimes I go all out, and sometimes I just tell my husband to take me somewhere special. This year, we decided to have another couple over for dessert, so I created a chocolate fondue buffet with a Valentine’s twist. I found heart Peeps at the store, which is a HUGE treat for me, since I shamefully admit, I love Peeps! I created Peeps heart-kabobs with Little Debbie marshmallow treats, brownie bites from the Target bakery, and heart Peeps. The rest of the items were cut-up fruit and some other goodies to dip in a super easy chocolate fondue. I loved that this party required little prep time. For drinks, we made champagne cocktails, which are simply glasses of champagne with an added sugar cube. I also added a strawberry to every glass.
For my fondue, I kept it simple with a half a bag of bittersweet chocolates and 1/4 cup of condensed milk. Worked out beautifully! Seriously, I wish all parties were this simple!
February 11th, 2014
Absolutely loving this gorgeous table design from Mary Tuttle’s for Valentine’s Day!
February 1st, 2014
I’m always excited to find out what the latest trends are in table décor! I stopped in at Dillards and photographed a few of their displays for spring and summer. I like all these ideas, but my favorite are the floral plates… so pretty!