You ladies crack me up.
Many of you inquired as to what decorating inspiration hit me for my
washing machine dilemma.
Can I mention that reading your comments was a highlight – you are some funny women!

My husband got home right before my friends arrived, but he assured me that having the oven and dryer right where they were was just fine.
( I left out the part about our oven also having been replaced. I’ve been cooking on only two burners for two years – it was about time. That oven was on our back deck…yep, it was.
Just tellin’ ya – had to have a bit of confession time).

Across the dryer, I spread out a long table runner with an accent napkin, and then lit a beautiful jar candle. It was glamor at its finest, and such a cozy welcome.
Some thought it was a memorial, and others responded, “only at Jen’s.” 🙂

On to better things….
My quick and thrifty Tablescape.

I must preface my post.
Typically, when we have family gatherings, we line up the food like a feeding trough and herd them on through. I mean… line up in a single file line and help ourselves buffet style.

Christmas Eve, we were going to have a very small group since two of my three brothers’ families were not joining us. Seating, and serving 19 is a breeze, and I really wanted to make the kids feel special with their own themed table.

At their table, I went with the candy cane theme since I could put it together in five minutes.
I already had the red table cloth on the table, and I purchased all of the candy cane candles (ten in all) at two different yard sales this summer at the staggering price of $0.05.

That’s right…five cents a candle, and they were brand new.

The elevated glass bowl – $2 – yard sale.

I am going to say something about the tacky plastic covering glaring through the camera lens.
First of all, it’s not very noticeable in real life.
Second of all, a few true designers read my blog and will CRINGE in contempt at what I am going to say.
Adding this to my daily table was a great decision. I know, stop throwing tomatoes.
I thought it was going to seem like I was taking up residence in an ’80 tacky diner as well, but it’s not so bad…at all!
This comment is for those ladies with small children.
I LOVE a pretty table and tablecloth. I change them out nearly every month and have different themes that go along with our varying traditions, but life, kids and cloth covered tables were NOT cutting it until I splurged on this top of the line addition.
Now I can decorate to my hearts content and just wipe the spills right up. Yes, my kids have stopped cringing in terror every time they drop taco dip from their plate.

Recently I came across the Candy Cane Sleigh idea and I love that. I will have to add this next year because the candy canes are a new tradition. 🙂
Candy Cane Sleighs
I did double duty with the dining room.
First, for my family, and then for the ladies who made it past the warm “dryer” greeting.

My table doesn’t compare to many of the gorgeous tablescapes that were being shown around blogland, but this was done quickly, simply, inexpensively and with much love. 🙂
Any one can do it in minutes, and that’s literally all the time I had to give.
I was singing for our Christmas eve services which meant I would be gone from 2:00 until my company came.
It’s amazing how one simple touch makes all the difference.
My girls loved folding their napkins for the candy cane table. 🙂
I love cloth napkins.
People don’t use them on a regular basis anymore and you can find them in droves at yard sales for pennies.
Check out the easy napkin fold post, complete with video for you visual learners.

I wanted to show you the Christmas present I bought for myself….at a local thrift store.
I had been eying these dishes since Thanksgiving, but knew they were a want and not a need – even though they were dirt cheap, so
I passed.
And then the week before Christmas, I did a big U turn when I saw a sign out that said all Christmas merchandise was 50% off.
Yes, even at a thrift shop.
I thought there was no way she had any left, but SHE DID.
Brand new…in boxes.
Do you really want me to tell you? It may make you covet?

(oh yikes – the plastic table looks really 80’s dinerish with the flash).
Focus on the bowl, people.
I got complete place settings for 12 people (dinner plates, salad plates – 16 of those, bowls and mugs) $20.
I know hate me.
It was such a highlight, and I feel the Lord just gave me a big bear hug for waiting.
I am thrilled that both of my tables, and all the decorations, from candles/candlestick holders to napkins, came together for literally pennies on the dollar.
With a bit more time, I would have added greenery and a table runner etc, but this shows you what can be done with little money and little time. 🙂

Now here is the bedlam behind the scenes (although, when your doing dinner by candlelight, I don’t think bedlam moments are possible). Did you catch it an earlier picture?

You see, my dining room has been taken over by my school room.

One of these days, my beautiful buffet will not be surrounded by a little plastic desk and school books. And I am not even showing you the wide angle….whew!
Thanks for joining me.
Here’s a great big “Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year” from Santa.
I mean my dad – the Patriarch of our family.
Shouldn’t he do Santa some year? He’d be the best.
He’s even told the Santa at the mall to call him if he got sick