Inspirational Entertaining For The Backyard

Ready for some outdoor entertaining? Here are some of my favorite bar setups for the backyard. (Note the pancake bar above!).

Ice cold tea from a dispenser and Mason jars (these ones with handles from Pottery Barn). Add a jar for lemon and another one for raw sugar and you are in business.

Drag the bar cart outside.

A casual but still inviting set-up.

For those of you with beach property. Thank me for the idea later!

Ohhhh Myyyyy! An open kitchen/outside bar. All white and fresh. Some happy owners there I’d say.

Yes, I mentioned this one years ago. Still one of my favorite set-ups. Note to myself: Need to f.i.n.a.l.l.y get a pair of rustic wine barrels!

Moving over to the food bars.

What a perfect popcorn set up for an outside movie night with friends!

An attractive S’mores bar!

Something cheesy. (My kind of hang-out).

And of course something desserty. Check out these creative set-ups.


Need to get a vintage shutter like that (and paint it midnight blue). It sets the mood.

A dessert buffet nestled under a pretty tree. A white tablecloth and lots of wondrous treats. I am in.

Which set-up, if any, will you copy speaks to you?

Hope the sun is shining on you all! Happy rest of the week.

Images: No. 1 Sweet Occasion,  no. 2 Scanned via House & Home (June 2012), no 3. via Chinoiserie Chic, no. 4 via Sarah’s Fab Day, no. 5 via Style Me Pretty, no. 6 via Simple Blueprint, no. 7 & 10 via Splendid Willow, no. 8 via The Party Dress, no. 9 via Martie Knows, no. 11 via Lemon Sprinkle Events,

Written by Splendid Willow in: Flowers & Ideas for the table |


Happy Displays & My Purple Glass Bottles

Ok, that did it. When I saw this happy flower arrangement I immediately trotted over to our great, local antiques gallery, Haystack Antiques, and picked up a few vintage purple glass bottles that I have been eyeing for a while but did not quite know what to do with.

BTW do you know how the bottles got that nice purple color? From sunlight!

 “American glass manufactured between 1860 and 1915 was made with manganese (an agent that replaced lead), which imbued the glass with an interesting trait; the glass turned purple when submitted to prolonged exposure to UV rays.”

Some more white flowers will go beautifully in them, don’t you think? (Sorry, not many fun flowers in my garden yet. Spring arrived late in Seattle. But at least my trees are blooming!). I plan to get a couple more even larger, vintage bottles and mix them with bowls and vases.

Some Allium flower heads/Garlic Flowers are also a must for these bottles. You know how crazy I am for “round” things.

Speaking of happy displays. Isn’t this vignette lovely? Fresh, fun, stylish and yes – happy. I am clearly lusting for more colors! I also love the mix of a few white-blue plates with b/w art. A nice and unexpected contrast. Once again, simple flower arrangements are always right — at least in my book.

Wishing you all a happy end of the week!

Images: no. 1 + 4 via Skona Hem, no. 2 via Splendid Willow, no. 3 via Netherland Bulb, no. 4 via Depositphotos.


Written by Splendid Willow in: Flowers & Ideas for the table |


Lovely Ways Of Displaying Plants Indoors

I have said it many times before — I am pretty hopeless with indoor plants (or plants in general). I really would like to be better at it. I so appreciate and enjoy plants and they are so good for the indoor air but I seem to have zero nurturing instinct as far as caring for them (the kids are pretty well nurtured, thank goodness).

I somehow have told myself that if I only had one spot dedicated to plants — then this would be an entirely different story. I would be so alert, I would never forget them! (Who am I kidding?). My Mom used to have a gorgeous Gustavian style plant stand with a zinc insert. (She later threw it away!). I like the  idea of being able to splash water without guilt.

In the latest issue of Living Etc I saw this pretty window box, originally meant for the outside, inside and dedicated for plants by the window. How clever and lovely! It also offers some leafy privacy.

I have shown this fantastic indoor gardening table before, hosting these stunning plants. How can you possibly forget to take care of your plants when you get to see this beautiful arrangement on a daily basis?

At Crate & Barrel I have been eyeing this Conservatory table (on sale right now) with a removable tray which I think would make the most perfect orchid table. I envision several weathered pots with lovely white orchids. (I seem to manage them better than green leaf plants).

If no tables and boxes will do, a cluster of plants placed in a decorative way like this is a lovely way to embrace greenery at home.

And why not settle for one dramatic statement piece! Different and lovely!

Speaking of lovely. Meera over at First Sense recently honored me with a blog award. Thank you! She is cute as a button Ms. Meera, and she has a really good eye for design. It is a joy following her inspirational blog!

My week has been insane. I will fill you in at a later time. For all of my readers who think that I have moved to a different planet, I am still here and I look forward to catching up on e-mails and visiting in blog land soon.

Happy, Happy!

Images: no. 1 via Bloom IQ, no. 2 Scanned from Living Etc (April 2011), no. 3 via Apartment Therapy, no. 5 via Martha Stewart Living, no. 6 unknown (sorry!) 

Written by Splendid Willow in: Flowers & Ideas for the table |


Thanksgiving Ideas & Inspiration

10 days left to Thanksgiving and I’m just starting to prepare a tiny bit. Usually we fly to California and hang out with Peter’s huge family (think 50 happy people!) but this year we are staying close to home. Low-key it will be — but the food will be gourmet (my husband is cooking!).

Here are are few things going on in my house (and in my head) before the big day. Yes, we have the fine china and the crystal and all of that. But I’ll tell you, if I had to pick just a couple things for the table, the iron squirrels (my husband refers to the kids a his squirrels), for placement cards, (I always make my own) and the old gravy boat from Sweden my Mom once gave me. Nothing expensive and fancy — just sentimental.

And a must for every major holiday is linen napkins. No skimping there, regardless of the number of guests. And for a little presentation, I found these feather bouquets at Michael’s ($2.99/each). They are padded in the back and I think they are going to last for years. I just tied a simple leather string around the arrangement. Nothing complicated nor phony. (I have never really cared for napkin rings. What do you think?).

For the dining table I fill a couple of large glass hurricanes with fresh chestnuts and just a few bud vases with flowers spread over the long table. I usually skip a flower center piece entirely. (Everyone should get some flowers in front of them!).

Some other ideas brewing in my head:

Gourds are always beautiful to use as decoration. I almost like them more than pumpkins.

Perhaps a little bit of decoration on the mantel. I can do that.

Some new additions to the traditional menu.

How about some truffled potatoes instead of that mandatory mash? Simple & good with sea salt on.

For receipe go here.

I am really liking my dear friend Ewa’s turkey stuffing. With mushrooms in it. My hubby can fight with the bird — this dish I will own!

For the recipe go here.

These balsamic glazed onions would also add a different flavor to that old turkey.

For recipe go here.

And for the grand final. I am thinking this pumpkin mousse would be a winner. (But I have to fight my hubby over that because he’s an old school pumpkin pie type). I have never tried it but it looks delicious!

Go here for the recipe.

And here is a good & practical thing for your food loving guests! Prepare some pretty food-to-go containers in advance. Smart!

Happy new week to you all!

Images: No. 1, 7, 9, 12, 13, 14 via Country Living, no. 2 via Sweet Paul, no. 3-6 via Splendid Willow, no. 10 via Sunday Suppers, no. 11 via Delishhh.

Written by Splendid Willow in: DIY,Flowers & Ideas for the table,Holidays & Celebrations | Tags:


Lavender Lemonade & A Song

Hello friends! Busy times here. I am fixing — and fixing some more for my upcoming trip to Sweden. Next week I will be united with family and friends back home. What a fun & lively time that will be! But right now I am enjoying our summer to the fullest here in Seattle.

We have a hillside in our backyard with one section filled with gorgeous lavender that I never know what to do with — until I came across this stunning image! (Note: those are not my lavender fields – just so you don’t think I am trying to mislead you! But we have 44 large bushes, Frida just counted! And they grow fast!)

Lavender lemonade — well of course! How brilliant. Must try before I leave!

I am also obsessing over this Mary B. Blige song (Each Tear), this summer. (My husband is shaking his head to this upbeat pop tune). I love everything about it. The rythm, the lyrics, the message, the voices (including the unexpected raspy voice by the Italian pop singer Tiziano Ferro). I am even using the song to further teach my girls about the importance of learning, staying strong and the art of kindness (to others and yourself). Turn on the speakers and take a listen.

Happy Tuesday, friends!

(I will be back with a post or two before I leave!)

Images 1  via Flickr , 2 + 3 via Everything Fabulous, last image via Flickr

Written by Splendid Willow in: Flowers & Ideas for the table,Just Because I Like It |

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