Skip to main content


Countertop Review

This time last year I was packing up our house to prepare for our down-to-the-studs renovation in our kitchen, family room, and master bath as well as the addition of a screened porch. The family room wasn't originally part of the plan, but that's a post for another time. The kitchen was where I really had to plan and scheme, and, yes even fret, to stay in our footprint and budget and to get the function and look I wanted. I love a challenge like this, though, so despite some occasional frustration with my client (aka me! ), I enjoyed the process. A key "want" of mine was honed marble countertops. There are dozens--maybe hundreds--of blog posts, articles, and showroom sites that compare various types of countertop materials and their pros and cons. I read most of them and took notes from a lot of them in the months leading up to our start date. One of the most helpful things was visiting a sweet friend's kitchen, where I was able to ask questions about cleaning, a

Talking Turkey about the Table

The most the Mister and I have ever hosted for Thanksgiving is 23; this year looks to be between eight and 12, which still makes for a full table.  I’m fine tuning the menu, and I’m also considering the table.  The other night I decided to pull some things out and take some pictures, with the hope that you, dear readers, will offer your suggestions.

Usually, for Thanksgiving, I tend toward formal—the old Haviland china, the Hepplewhite sterling with a coin silver spoon for coffee, a white damask napkin in a sterling napkin ring, and—my favorite touch—a sterling nut dish with some sort of treat.  I’m not sure I’ll use M&Ms, it’s just what I had on hand for the photo.  Most likely I would set the table on a white damask cloth, and use the crystal, of course.  For flowers, I’m imagining silver cups with rust-colored chrysanthemums and a sprig of ivy, pine, or fern.  Ivory tapers would complete the table.
A casual place setting has its appeal, too, though.  I’d still use the sterling, but I could switch to a large and heavy pinecone plate (from Target) and a paisley print placemat.  The monogrammed linen napkins are always fun to use, too.  If I decide to set a casual table, I have a small collection of wooden candlesticks that I would use around an arrangement of mixed autumn flowers in a low wooden bowl.
One benefit of the casual arrangement is that we could use our Pilgrim salt and pepper shakers.  I bought these at Publix at least 10 years ago, shortly after the company introduced its adorable Thanksgiving commercial.  We love using them in the days leading up to Thanksgiving every year.
IMG_2665If you don’t have Publix grocery stores in your neck of the woods, or if you don’t remember this darling spot, by all means, click and watch.  I am sure it will make you smile.  It’s also a great way to teach your children to always pass the salt and pepper together—never separately!
So, what do you think, formal or casual?


  1. How neat is that ~ we have the same Mr. and Mrs. Pilgrims!! But, obviously, my memory failed since I thought the commercial was Hallmark (glad you replayed it!); but the memory of the tears daughter and I shared when she gave them to me as she explained the reason for the gift, I'll never forget! I'd vote for using them regardless of which beautiful table you set!

  2. For some reason we're always formal on Thanksgiving. Not that formal means severely matched, just that tones of gold and white and silver predominate. So I like your first photo quite a lot:).

  3. formal. absolutely. My china is Haviland as well... a simple onyx and platinum rim. I love playing dress up whether it's myself or my table!

    Btw... yesterday was Robert Louis Stevenson's Birthday. He would have been 160 had he lived. I broke out the Child's Garden of Verses... I am still amazed how I forgot to include him on my Favorite 15!

  4. Both settings are lovely but there is just something so cozy and welcoming about the second. We tend to be more formal for the Christmas season. Either way, your table will be beautiful!


  5. Around here Thankgiving is a casual holiday, but I know it is a big deal in the US. You could always do casual with lots of panache!

  6. I grew up with pretty formal holiday dinners. HOWEVER, this year I am hosting my husband's family of twenty. They are more casual and I am at such a loss!

  7. I love the casual setting! I might even try to copy it for NEXT Thanksgiving (this year we're out of the country). I'm especially in love with the monogrammed napkins. They totally complete the look!

  8. Both are extremely pretty, but I think I prefer the formal, as that is what I'm used to...Lovely silver and china! I love the week before Thanksgiving. Planning is all part of the fun. Your table will look gorgeous!


  9. Oh, I forgot to say that video was just adorable!

  10. either place setting looks beautiful! but i do like the informal and the salt and pepper shakers are a must! precious! loved the comercial!

  11. i think both settings are wonderful but love
    the classic beauty of your first photo.

    add the charming salt and pepper shakers
    for fun.

  12. I tend towards the formal, but the informal is cute too!

  13. We don't have a Publix, so I really enjoyed seeing the video for the first time. Very cute. I always go formal with the table, even when we are dressed pretty casual. And I love the nut dishes.


Post a Comment

Thanks for taking time to leave a comment! I love hearing your thoughts.

Popular Posts