You’re probably thinking, “um, Barb.. this is an ALL Halloween-inspired Friday Fab Five,” and to that I would say, “I KNOW! Aren’t you proud of me for thinking ahead?!?”
But seriously, I know all these cute paper products will be clearing from the shelves, so I wanted to show you my inspiration and where to get it before they are all gone. Again, I get nothing from this, but to inspire you to have a darling table set-up. I am ending the week up at my favorite spot, Orson Gygi, and you can find all of these cute paper products there. Just check my IG stories, I’ll show you the goods.
1. Three Things I Wish I Knew 2 Years Ago
I’ve been doing some thinking — deeper than usual — and sometimes I like to reflect back on what brought me to this very point. I never go back and beat myself up for past decisions, but I do like to see what I can learn from and what will help me be better in the future. Two years ago, as you know, I started this business. I love business, the art of connecting and creating and building something I am proud of. I’ve done it a few times in my life. The last business I built and sold was “The Farmhouse,” a brick-and-mortar store in the heart of our small downtown. What does that have to do with now? I will tell you. The number one lesson that came into play as I was selling my business, actually came from a quote. After reading that, I re-prioritized my time and realized I was much more needed at home than as a successful designer making her way in the “Magnolia Market” type of world.
And what was that quote?
“When you get tired, learn to rest. Not to quit.”
I’ve taken that into heart, as I wonder if selling my last business (that I loved) was the right thing to do. I could have stepped back, hired more help, not overly committed to everything and definitively should have taken more vacations and days off. But that is done. Here is how it applies today: I have set boundaries. I know my limits and I know what I need to fill my cup and what my family needs to feel successful and supported by Mom. It’s a balance, right? This whole life thing can be a lot, so when you are knee-deep in orders or have over-promised your time, think back to the very quote that guides my ship.
Lastly, what is one thing that navigates your time and what is one thing that lights your fire? For me, it’s creating. I love everything that uses my creative side. I am not great at math, won’t win any scholar awards for science (unless its baking) but creating, that is what warms my soul.
2. Tablescapes (second in a series)
So I told you these would get good. I love tablescaping so much. So here are three tips that you can use to make any table setting pop.
- Wrapping paper. Yep! You heard that right. I use it as runners down the middle of the table, I also cut it and run it cross-ways to highlight seating areas. So instead of one long runner down the middle of the table, I have 5 or 6 strips that line up with a place setting on each side of the table, two per strip. Adding that visual texture makes everything else seem so polished.
- Be Creative. This will not be popular among traditionalists, but I love to stack my silverware in unique ways to frame the place setting (see below). I stacked the silverware around the plate instead of just to the right or left side (which is traditional). Just this little modification can give any tablescape a fresh look.
- Chargers! These are the bigger plates/dishes that layer on the bottom of every spot. I’ve been collecting them over the years. I have gold, woven, white, black pink, I just love them. You can find cheap ones everywhere. WARNING: If you are like me and don’t have a lot of storage space in your house, get cloth chargers, as they take up lots less room.
I LOVE food. I truly do and I am not sure if this is a blessing or a curse but I try to make new, different foods for my family each week. I always repeat the good ones ,but this week I stumbled upon three new recipes that I think will be forever in our “keep” pile.
Millionaire BLT. Sometimes as moms and wives and errand runners and taxi drivers we don’t have the time to make a perfect 3 course meal, so this sandwich was PERFECT for our carpool nights.
Sheet Pan Honey Balsamic Chicken. One pan wonders are making a comeback in my house and I love anytime I can cook veggies with chicken. It’s no secret I love balsamic vinegar (I usually prefer to dip my foccacia in it and not put it on veggies, but turning to a new, healthier method has its challenges). This was so simple, I served it over Jasmine rice, but you could also make mashed potatoes, pasta, it’s so versatile!
and Last but not Least…
Chicken Wonton Tacos. I had to hunt around the grocery store for a minute trying to find the wonton wrappers, so I’ll save you the headache. They are in the produce section by the salad dressing. They last months and one pack was enough to make two dinners worth. Try them! They were so good. Even the kids ate them.
You can check out ALL the other recipes I pin on the daily on my PINTEREST boards. But fair warning: it will make you hungry!
4. Ready to Teach
I am always excited to find myself back in the Orson Gygi kitchen. I never knew I loved teaching so much until July when I taught my first set of classes. It truly lit my fire for teaching. So I’m heading back up to Utah and by the time you are reading this I will be starting the first of 4 classes. Mac 101 (2 sessions of this) Mickey Macs and Fillings. I can’t wait to share my new yummy fillings with you. As soon as I am fully back from my hip surgery I’m thinking I should travel to a city near you to teach and connect. Where should I go first?
5. What’s On the Blog
Chocolate Ganache and Donut Macs were a big hit. I also linked a bunch of cute table place settings on our last FFF: (They are HERE). I wanted to share with you some fall favorites from last year. Last year (If you weren’t here quite yet), I made a slew of new cookies mixing our crumbles right in the batter. They were truly so yummy. Find the Maple Pecan ones HERE, our kitchen sink cookies HERE. and don’t worry, we have more on the way!