I am back here blogging after a most lovely family weekend
just being together!
I spent last week styling the tablescape
with the luxury of time to let it build into what I had envisioned.
I wanted to combine tradition
with some SoCal whimsy.
But on the very top of my Holiday entertaining list
was rearranging our space
so that it was truly one
rather than two smaller 'rooms'
it has always been in the past.
I learned from throwing my daughter's Bridal Shower
simply rearranging furniture can be
towards the end game
of true group inclusiveness.
We swapped out our upholstered dining chairs
for some retro rentals
which also made the space feel bigger.
Our house by Southern California standards
is actually quite small
but I have never wanted it's size
to hold me back from luxurious entertaining.
I have found
many times over the years
that smaller spaces
can actually add to the feeling of intimacy
I let go of traditionally well placed furniture
moving couches against the wall
forgoing fireplace usage
in order to truly open up the space
so that everyone could feel a part of conversations.
On the opposite side of the room
shelves under the stairs were turned into a well stocked bar
ensuring more space in the kitchen
for my husband and daughter's
preparation of an amazing meal!
I brought in the same garnishes
for the bar areas
as I used on the dining table.
The front and back patios were also made ready
if anyone wanted to be outside.
I had my outfit for entertaining picked and ready
high low dress and kimono
That is something I have learned the hard way.
So many times in years past
I would plan and prepare for hostessing at home
only to realize I had not even paid attention to what I was going to wear.
My hostessing mood definitely suffered for it.
Now I know that how I feel about myself and what I'm wearing
is such an important part in my entertaining
the better I feel about myself
the more I have to give to all of my guests!
I also try to make sure I have all of my holiday styling
guest room prep
done by the day before
so I can be relaxed enough
to savor visiting family
rather than being rushed and frazzled .
I am ever so grateful that Jeff and Ellis
love to cook our Thanksgiving feast!
People sharing their individual passions
make for the very best in celebrating!
I was most happy with this years centerpiece
that I built up from a huge driftwood piece
on top of a grey flannel tablecloth.
It's the same one I used last year HERE.
I love using flannel straight from the fabric store.
The color choice is large
there is absolutely no sewing involved!
To the driftwood I added a spectacular AirPlant
with planted paper whites in glass urns
finished with slate pebbles.
Two garden cloches added height and structure.
My newest styling addition
tiny dew lights on copper wires
powered by battery packs
that I tucked under the plants.
I am so tickled with these lights
I have added them all over the house!
They have a timer for six hours
with a safety shut off.
I have seen these lights sold all over this season
now even Target carries them
at a great price!
I sprinkled in some SoCal color
with some small citrus.
I garnished each place setting
with rosemary from the garden.
I held off trimming so I had plenty to decorate with!
I love adding in
collected whimsical salt and pepper shakers
between place settings.
Functional and fun.
I once again used tiny art easels
with chalkboard names
for place cards.
In the end
it was family sitting around the table
that was the most beautiful part of the
family gathered around a table
to share a celebratory meal
is sacred time spent.
It's so much more about the togetherness.
The taking the time
to be together
that touches my heart.
Because I am of an age
that realizes what a tremendous gift it is
to celebrate with loved ones.
To hold hands with loved ones with us here today
to keep those who have passed on in our hearts.
Through years with an estranged child
I have learned how to celebrate those who choose to sit at our table
while always having an open heart for those we miss.
This is the second year our oldest son is back with us for Thanksgiving.
I mention this
to offer hope to those traveling that same painful path.
Things can turn around.
I am so grateful he is back.
I am equally grateful for all those at our table this year.
It felt like a beautiful exhale
to have everyone
including the newest addition to our family
our daughter's husband sitting down together
for a celebratory meal of gratitude.
Such a tremendous gift
simply to be together.
I am of an age
where I have learned
I can celebrate holidays with joy and gratitude
while also keeping my heart open
to sit quietly with those who grieve
with my arms tightly wrapped around.
For this is life.
This is true holidays.
Not everyone comes to the
at the same place in life.
We must remember
to give grace to those who grieve
celebrate with joy those who are seeing life from a peak.
It is the love we share
that binds us tight.
May your holiday season be filled with much
joy, love and grace.
As always my friends
I wish you love and joy
as you style your life
Savvy Southern Style
Savvy Southern Style