Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mexican Tablescape (No Swine Flu Here...I Promise!)

I can't tell you how much I have been enjoying this warm weather here in Mexico. We've opened all the windows in the hallways that connect with the courtyard and it's wonderful to feel the fresh air inside.

One of the reasons we built such a large home was because we wanted a place where friends and family could meet for lunches, parties, receptions, even church-related meetings, so when my friend mentioned that we should have a luncheon for another friend who was having a birthday, I jumped on it. I quickly suggested we have it at my house and began fantasizing about what dishes I would use, how many places I would set and where I would send the twins.

There's a wonderful woman who I can call when I need extra help, so I knew that it would be no problem to have the luncheon the next day, even though my house was a mess. The kids could help with the babies, she could help with the sweeping, dusting and such and I could prepare the food and set the table. Several hours later, however, I sat bolt upright when I realized that we would be having the luncheon on Cinco de Mayo! No one would want to work on this most celebrated of Mexican holidays, so I was to be on my own. To top it off, I remembered I had scheduled an appointment with my doctor in the big town for some routine blood work (related to being a vegan, about which I will report later), so that left even less time to accomplish the necessary tasks.

As luck would have it, the twins woke me up at 6:30 in the morning, so I was able to shower, dress, and assign, in writing, tasks to all the kids to finish while I was gone. I don't know if you find it ridiculous when I blog their chores, but I'm going to anyway. Some feedback on that would be nice.

The 14-year-old girl:
-Clean the kitchen and declutter the counters (I requested that she just please try to remember where she put the clutter for later reference)
-Bake "The-Best-Chocolate-Cake-in-the-World-That-Just-Happens-to-be-Vegan" and set it out on racks to cool (for the recipe, click HERE)...

The 12-year-old boy:
-Clean, sweep and mop the courtyard and the kitchen entrance sidewalks

The 9-year-old boy:
-Clean the living room, including putting away all of the clothes on hangers on the sofa
-Clean all of the large stainless steel appliances with Windex

The 7-year-old girl:
-Clean and sweep the entryway
-Clean the formal living room

When we arrived home about an hour before the luncheon was to start, everything was almost done. I did struggle a bit with the 12-year-old boy on his quality of work, but he made up for it by making some really great guacamole dip.

Now...the reason for this post....

The Tablescape!

I decided to set up a table out in the courtyard (which is not quite finished as you will see) as the weather has been perfect and there is a sandbox in the corner in case anyone brought their kids. I set a table for eight, then brought out four tall bar chairs and lined them up in a semi-circle next to the table to use as overflow.

Here's how it turned out...


The plates are pieces I inherited from my grandfather. To him, they were just his everyday, refried beans and tortilla plates, but to me, they are priceless and only to be used on special occasions. The bowls and glasses were given to me by my mother-in-law. They originally came from Guaralahara. The clear glasses were purchased at Big Lots, and the napkins and silverware were purchased at Sam's in the restaurant supply section. I love that section!


As a centerpiece, I used three different colors of geraniums we had just purchased that morning at our favorite nursery in the big town. I know, it was a little large and I ended up moving it after we all sat down, but I had to do something!


As a side note, this talavera tile in the background is some of my favorite tile on the property...


The table I used was actually two camping tables pushed together, so I had to use three table cloths to cover it up. My favorite is this pink shawl I actually purchased from an authentic Indian vendor in a kiosk in the mall. It is laid over a very Mexican tablecloth I purchased at, who would have known, Walmart...


Below is on of my very favorite pitchers in all the world. I bought it at Ross. Actually, when my mother saw it, she bought it, because I told her that even though there was only one, she could have it because I really didn't want it that bad. Yes, I had purchased the appetizer plate and bowl that went with it, but that was okay. She could have it. I really didn't want it. Really. Okay, true confession time. Every time I looked at the pitcher in her living room, displayed with the extra appetizer plate and bowl set she had also purchased, I coveted like a banshee. And every time I went to Ross, I looked for one of those pitchers to go with my set, but I could never find another one. It was only $12, but still, it was so perfect!

One day we were sitting in her living room after my dad died. She looked over at the pitcher, appetizer plate and bowl and said, "You know, Jen, those really never did go very well in this house. Why don't you take them?" Finally! I agreed that they never did go well and that they would look much better in my house. And doesn't the pitcher work out well?...


Although I think the table is gorgeous set like this...


I think it looks much better like this...


...and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it because John took the five youngest to the big town for lunch and Mexican popsicles. Thanks, John! Love you!

I am pleased to list this post at...
Between Naps on the Porch's "Tablescape Thursday"
and
The Apron Queen's "Vintage Thingies Thursday".


Go to these blogs and check out everyone else's stuff! You're going to love it!

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22 comments:

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

Your tablescape turned out beautifully, love all the colors...

The Blossoming Skillet said...

I love your creativity with your table. It looks so festive and perfect for celebrating. I think I am in the mood now to go iron some of my table cloths!

P.S. I love the pitcher.....and your honesty.

Jeni's thoughts said...

Wheres the picture of you JEn? Yes it turned out nice, thanks for all you do! Someday I'll be able to host these again, but I dont have the fancy dishes:)

ceekay said...

Love your festive table and the chore list. I remember those days! We love Mexico...planning another trip in October!

Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer said...

beautiful Cinco de Mayo table.. I love that you use your grandfather's dishes! Happy Tablescape Thursday ~ Susan

Barbiemat said...

We are so glad you like to have us over. You have such a beautiful house to share!

Chandy said...

Beautiful table! The colors are just lovely and company, too!

Janie's World said...

Your tablescape turned out so wonderful!! It all looks so great!

Melinda said...

NICE! What alovely afternoon.

Kim @ Manning Family Tree said...

Fabulous!!! Glad that everything came together in time. And the pitcher does look better on your table.

marty39 said...

Your tablescape is gorgeous. I LOVE the dishes, the are so pretty. It looks like you had a wonderful time. Hugs, Marty

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Looks like you and your kids put on a great luncheon!

Lydia said...

Love the chore list it is nice to know I'm not the only mom who assigns chores. The Table looks wonderful.

Kammy said...

Such a nice day to eat outside ! I love all your food pics ! Looks like your family had fun too (except maybe the cleaning part, lol)
Hugs ~ Kammy

Blondie's Journal said...

Your table certainly set the festive tone for the holiday and your luncheon with friends!!! Nice to hear how your children helped~that doesn't happen here!! Just love your coutyard and how you decorated the tables. Your grandfather's dishes are treasures for sure! :-D

xoxo
Jane

Bobbi said...

It looks so beautiful. Sorry I missed the party. :(

Linda/"Mom" said...

* Y*O*U should be named "MOM OF THE YEAR", as you certainly ARE!!!

You have my deepest ADMIRATION for all you do, and so cheerfully & beautifully, w/ such a loving, happy attitude!!! You & your family are A*L*L so VERY BLESSED and WOW! YOU are an INSPIRATION!!!!

Warmly,
Linda in AZ *

Robin said...

Everything turned out wonderful.....very festive.

Have a beautiful Mother's Day

~jes~ said...

I just discovered your site and I'm so glad I did!!! Love, no... I LOVE your pitcher!!!! Who made it?

I am looking forward to learning all I can through your blog. I'm a mom of two beautiful babes and have been trying to do right by them. It's challenging for me because I'm truly raising them completely different from the way I grew up (which in this case is a good thing...nothing against my wonderful mother)...learning to make homemade vegan/vegeterian meals from scratch, making better food choices, maintaining a welcoming and clean home, and trying desperately to prepare my children for when they are to go out into the world on their own...hoping I've given them the best foundation to make wise decisions.

Thank you so much for blogging such informative posts...there are people out there that do appreciate it!

Have a wonderful day!

~jes~

Mama Bean said...

How beautiful! I love vintage dishes! My Mom gave me her first set of dishes that are Mikasa... I love them! I'm going to take some pointers from you on the chore assignments, what a great idea! I have noticed that you probably do this often, so it works well? As my kids get older, and more come along, I am going to have to try it!

Thanks for the ideas!

Mom2my9 @ 11th Heaven said...

Mama Bean, yes, I do assign chores often. Every day, several times a day! You asked if it works well. The answer is, that just depends on the day and the child. It's not an easy thing assigning kids chores and teaching them how to do them right. It's time consuming and can be frustrating, but as they become older, their help in invaluable to me! The older kids cook meals, deep clean bathrooms, and drive other kids to sports, music and church activities and I am grateful that I stuck it out when it came to teaching them to work. We're doing it over and over again with each child, but it's so, so worth it!

Sharon said...

I love your tablescape! The colors are so bright and beautiful! Thanks for posting.

Sharon