Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Mexican and Portuguese Inspired Tablescape

During my trip into town to have my haircut at the salon, I stopped in at the kitchen and dining section of TJ Maxx to spend a half hour of browsing time before my appointment.  Not really intending to buy anything, (okay, I know, I say it all the time) I walked over to the first aisle where there are markdown items (just in case I did find something I could not resist buying and having to justify.)  Well, as I carefully looked through full shelves of items, I came across a tablecloth which reminded me so much of our family's trip to Cancun, Mexico and Lagos, Portugal that I had to purchase it.   Several years back, as a family, we were fortunate and blessed to have the opportunity to travel to both countries on separate occasions. While I was there, I was so happy to have purchased a few of their hand-painted ceramic plates as a sweet nostalgic reminder of this culturally flavorful trip.  They are so beautifully painted and include such bright, happy colors.  The Mexican plates are Talavera plates.  I was fortunate that the tablecloth was just the size I needed, 60 x 84" and it was on clearance.

The first picture below is of the tablecloth pattern and the second picture has the tablecloth pattern and the Talavera plate.  In my opinion, they looked like they had similar elements in design. What do you think? 

The Talavera plate reminds me so much of the beautiful blues that I was so shocked to see as we walked on the beach in Cancun, Mexico.  Don't you think their hand-painted work reflects the variation of the blues in their surroundings?

This view from the hotel balcony shows a greater variation of the blue colors, especially in contrast to the orange tiled roof.

The white puffy clouds seems to intensify the blues and seems to mirror the waves rolling in on the shoreline.

Now to incorporate the variation of the color blue with the bright, sunny orange in the Mexican and Portuguese Inspired Tablescape.  I wanted to use the tablecloth with a mix of patterns for a eclectic tablescape.

I love the fun look of the pinwheel folded napkin. 

There is something so happy about the color orange.  These oranges make a simple yet attractive centerpiece.

Care for a tasty Mimosa Sunset?  It can be made with alcohol or without.  So fruity and refreshing and it does look like a setting sun.  Pour into glasses in this order:  4 oz. of champagne (or ginger ale), 2 oz. orange juice, and top with a dash of raspberry syrup.  Garnish with raspberries and/or orange slice. 

The festive design of the various plates reminds me of the beautiful and lively Mexican culture and it's people.

Another cheerful Talavera plate.  The contrasting blue and orange colors really compete for attention.

This plate is the one from Lagos, Portugal.  I can taste the Baked Salmon with Piri Piri Sauce that I had at one of the cozy sidewalk cafes in Lagos. 

The Portuguese plate reflects the charm of the quaint city of Lagos (below).

I love the cozy, narrow streets.

Again, the orange tiled roof contrasts against the white of the buildings and the sapphire blue skies. 

However, what do you think about using the folk art design of the Mexican and Portuguese plates with the traditional pattern dinnerware, country checkered napkins and a contemporary design in the tablecloth?  Some how I thought I could get away with it.  What do you think?

Casual and fun ......and all from treasured memories. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Fourth of July Breakfast Picnic

First off, I wish to say a warm thank you to Sherry from No Minimalist Here blog site for informing me that I became a featured blog in the Share Your Style Blog Party on June 11th.  I am grateful and very humbled.  My Breakfast on the Farm post was an absolute joy to put together.   I hope it was fun and pleasurable for those who read my post as it was for me to create it.  Remember, there are other counties in Wisconsin that participate in Breakfast on the Farm during various times throughout the month of June.  So anyone visiting Wisconsin during this month and interested in any of these farm events can check the various locations and dates on the Dairy Days of Summer website at:

At this time of the year with June in full swing and setting the stage for the start of summer activities, like most people, I spend a moment thinking about the various possibilities.  One of the activities I love the most in summer is having more opportunities to picnic outside.  (Of course, as a Wisconsinite, I can say this because we have way too long of winters that keep us indoors much longer than sanely desired.)  At the beginning of every glorious summer, I top my summer list  of plans with a commitment to take advantage of every opportunity to picnic outside, including a breakfast picnic.  What better way to enjoy the outdoors than to leisurely dine outside as often as possible, including a quiet, relaxing breakfast, especially one to celebrate the July 4th holiday.

So before family and friends come to visit or before the parade and fireworks, indulge in a quiet moment for yourself.  The pictures of our Fourth of July breakfast picnic below may help spark some of your own creative summer planning ideas.

 A yummy cheese and ham casserole and cool refreshing watermelon.

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

Those muffins go well with some blueberry-lemon iced tea.  The tea, which was sent to me from my daughter, came from a little tea shop in Fort Collins, Colorado.  It makes a perfect iced tea.

Or, if you prefer, an iced butter rum coffee with vanilla sweetened whipped cream and red, white and blue sprinkles.

And some fresh sweet cherries. 

So lets grab the food tray and go outside to feel the morning breeze, warmth of the sun and to hear a occasional "moo" or two from our nearby neighbors (cows).