Thankful and Grateful

My favorite day of the year…Thanksgiving!

It’s simple, for everyone except the cook! The food is amazing! It’s a time to acknowledge our gratitude. And finally, it’s a time to come together with those we hold dear; sometimes including someone that perhaps didn’t have a place to go.

My family plays a game; Thankful from A to Z. In a busy, full life, taking a moment to focus on blessings I don’t always recognize is telling. They aren’t ‘secret’, merely blessings that help make my life complete.

Today, here is my Thankful from A to Z!

Apples, a Bed to sleep in, Children, Daisy, a happy Ending, Family, Good health, a Home, Independence, Jesus, our Savior, Kindheartedness, a good Laugh, a full Moon, Noble people, Olive, supportive People, QuickBooks, Running, Soles4Souls, Time, Umbrellas, Vacations, a train Whistle, X-Rays, Yogurt (Frozen and not!), a Zest for life

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Planning Made Perfect!

There’s an art to entertaining, and it starts with the planning. It doesn’t have to be elaborate decorating, or the food made from scratch, it just needs a little bit of planning and organization to make the event feel and seem effortless for you, and your guests!

I’ve had parties when I cleaned for a week beforehand, and ones when I merely fluffed the sofa cushions; when I stayed up all night cooking, and when I ordered the food out; when I hired a decorator, and when I didn’t! The success in entertaining started with the planning. 

Here are a few helpful reminders to make your holidays AMAZING! 

  • Take time to pre-plan every detail, writing down notes to yourself to remember. I’ve had such detailed notes that I kept them because they became a part of my fond memory to remember the time together

  • If you’re making a new recipe, try it in advance to make any adjustments needed (Once I had the idea to make homemade bread in star shapes for sandwiches on the 4th of July. I started the morning of, had company coming, and my dough didn’t rise … need I say more?!) Make notes on your recipes, my books are a mess with my added scribbles! Ina Garten ( says if it can’t be made in advance, don’t make it!

  • Think of the time of year you’re planning for when creating your menu. I won a bake-off contest in the fall because my cake was an apple cake with caramel topping. I didn’t win because the cake was better than the others; I won because it was festive and fun!

  • Don’t be afraid to call your favorite restaurant for that one tried and true item you love that would make your menu go from good to great!

  • Clean your house, days in advance. No one will notice that the bathrooms weren’t cleaned right before they arrived! I’ve had my house smell like Pine Sol instead of the meal I prepared ... the one time I didn’t want a clean smelling house!

  • Decorating (including setting your table!) can be done in advance and will be perfect for the day of! I set my table the day before, which gives me time to add details that I wouldn’t have added last minute 

  • A centerpiece doesn’t have to be big or elaborate. By setting your table in advance, you’ll know the space you have left for table decorations, after the serving pieces are added. Sometimes I’ve added a few candles, or sprig of flowers from my yard, and it was perfect! 

  • Think of your guest list, and plan your seating accordingly. I like to add a children’s table to make it fun for everyone. Make the kid’s table, ‘kid friendly’, and even let yourself use paper plates. The kid’s table possibilities are endless, from the table setting, to the food served, making a dinner party even more enjoyable for the parent’s!

  • Don’t talk politics :) A little added tip since it’s a hot topic right now! 

  • Don’t forget to have fun! A relaxed host makes your guests feel comfortable, allowing time to enjoy one another and make beautiful memories along the way!

Cheers to Easy Entertaining!

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"Some people look for a beautiful place. Others make a place beautiful."

Hazrat Inavat Khan, Sufi Teacher

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Table Setting Rentals, CeCe Setting Table

Long before there was a global computer network called the internet, before Kroger gathered groceries for pick up, and Amazon took over retail, I had a business called Super Shoppers. I shopped at the market for people that didn’t have time to shop. I was barely twenty and thought the idea was innovative and genius! I caught the attention of the Portland Trailblazer’s wives, and I was in heaven, creating a business that made my customers happy!

Fast forward many years, many ideas, and I’m still creating. Some businesses thrived, and some never got off the ground, but my lessons learned have soared. I found out I can do many things, even learn skills along the way, but I am my best when I focus on what I am great at doing. When the pieces fall together easily, and it’s almost effortless to create, I have found my niche!

The Occasional Tables is just that for me ... what I bring to the table (literally) is a concept to be time efficient, cost efficient, environmentally efficient, and super cute ... always gotta add the ‘experience’!

Nashville is a city for entertaining! There’s resources at our fingertips and creative brands to make entertaining fun! Hester and Cook, is my source for place and accent cards, making your guests smile, all the way to their seat!

The holidays are upon us ya’ll ...

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