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The Small Things

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to cook, have people over for dinner, and enjoy good food & good drink. In saying that, I also like to make sure that my tables look pretty, and the food I’m serving looks delicious. ‘They’ say you eat with your eyes first, and although aromas can be tantalizing your nose all day, if you serve something that doesn’t look remotely appetizing, you and your guests (or your kids!) may not be as inclined to eat it.

set up table collage
set up table collage

This mind set has been brought down from my mother. Growing up, she ALWAYS had beautiful tablescapes (with or without food involved), and it has taken her a lifetime to collect pieces from various stores to give her that ‘complete’ look. I will say this, she uses and reuses what she has, but in recent memory… I can’t think of a time that she copied herself. When I was a little girl, I used to roll my eyes and think all of her “stuff” was just too much to handle, as I would watch her decorate around the home for Christmas, Easter, Spring, Summer, Snowy days, Winter Themes… I would say she probably has spent ¼ of her life decorating, rearranging and coming up with new ideas to ‘get into the spirit’ (of the season/holiday that was required). Now 15 years later, I have a family of my own, recently moved in to our new place with a space of my own, and you know what?! I’ve already done it… I’ve already started decorating with cushions or flowers, vases and table runners, looking at each piece thinking “when fall hits, I can replace this beautiful pastel pink with a gorgeous burnt orange”. #turningintoMama

Fruit and dip
Fruit and dip

It really dawned on me when I hosted my book club the other night. These ladies (that I have mentioned before) are such a great group of women and I was lucky to have everyone gather around my dining room table, sit, talk (and obviously eat). It was something I was really looking forward to. And it hit me, it’s the small things that matter. Little things are appreciated by your guests… for example, instead of throwing all of my fruit into a bowl, I decided to lay each type of fruit into this beautiful serving tray I picked up half off at Pier1. I made a quick summer berry dip to add, and used little wooden serving knives/scoops to allow my guests to serve onto their own plate.

Next I made Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies (and let me tell you they were just that… plus that #RecipeReview will be coming up on the blog in the next couple of days). Instead of leaving them in the pan, I pre-cut them and arranged on a simple white plate. The beauty of this plate… it’s tin! I actually picked up 8 of these for our ‘outdoor eating’ escapades this summer, but why wait to use them?! When Clint and I knew we were about to move, and when Target still existed in Canada (I’m still crying over the fact they are gone), I found our basic white porcelain dishes on a clearance rack. I picked up enough for 12 place settings, and figured I could always add extra salad plates of any colour to mix and match… and that I did! The grey salad plates (which make my heart sing they’re so pretty) are from Ikea.

Long Table

And lastly, the homemade salsa was pretty, but adding the small bowl into a bigger bowl allowed me to add the chips, without having to have a ‘special dip & chip’ tray to try and store in my house. A few fresh flowers, and some paper napkins that colour coordinated with the rest of my items made the whole process easy and look cohesive.

The best part? The whole ‘decorate the table’ idea came to me last minute, and took about 15 minutes to put together. I already pre planned the snacks I would be serving so I made sure to have it all on hand before the day of.

Some of the lessons learned here, and that I realized as of late, are:

1. Not everything NEEDS to be from scratch or very fancy. Cut up fruit served on this plate makes everything accessible, easy to choose what you like, and just plain pretty.

2. My mom owns A LOT of dishes… but I’m learning to take my time and not just buy everything I see. Learn to love AND USE the pieces you have.

3. Buy lots of white… lots and lots of white. This could have easily been changed by using different paper napkins and a new table runner, and all of my stuff would have STILL looked intentional.

4. The few coloured pieces you buy, love them… love them and use them. They may be beautiful, but every occasion can be made special by taking the few extra minutes to lay it out and serve it so it not only SMELLS amazing, but LOOKS fantastic.

5. Not everything needs to be expensive. Look for deals, ½ off or clearance racks. Even if you don’t have a full set of what you’re looking for, mix& match.

Breakfast with flowers
Breakfast with flowers

Thank you so much for stopping by today. More recipes are cooking up in my kitchen, and the next book for the Fuchsia Freezer Book Club will be announced shortly. I hope to share more design & DIY ideas with you in the future and if you have any suggestions, PLEASE SHARE! I would love to hear them. It’s always great seeing any space through someone else’s eyes!

Cheers and have a wonderful weekend! Xo

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  1. As a former caterer, I have collected so many serving trays and dishes and like you I have white as my main color. Then for salad plates I can choose, red, or blue or whatever. It’s really cute how you displayed the fruit. I’m going to have to try Ina’s brownie recipe also. Looking forward to your future posts!

    1. I love having such a white base to mix & match. I’m way to… indecisive to commit to one colour dishes, and this way it’s the most affordable and practical way to mix up the look of your table. Also, her brownies were nothing short of amazing. Thanks for stopping by!!

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