I had just unpacked the china in time for the party. Fortunately, there were only five of us so I did not need my table leaves (they are still being painted). I borrowed the beautiful cloth napkins from my sister Kimberlee; mine are not in great shape. I stopped ironing them back in February and they have lots of mustard and tomato sauce stains. Note to self: don't buy white napkins again.
I baked two desserts to accompany our eggnog lattes. I chose the recipes based on which festive ingredients were already in my kitchen. The top dessert is a pumpkin spice bundt cake which I had to slice to fit on my china platter. I don't currently own a cake plate, but my solution totally fits in with my holiday theme of using what I already own. The cake was absolutely delicious. I altered the recipe slightly by replacing allspice with powdered ginger (because I already owned it) and added a lot more cinnamon. The other dessert is a lemon tart. My family is really big on lemon, and this recipe did not disappoint. Winter is citrus season in Florida and my local farm just picked some of their lemons. These are not your ordinary grocery store lemons, however. They are the size of oranges and I got almost 1/2 of a cup of juice from one. And because I like to brag about how awesome it is to live in Florida, I will share the price: 25 cents per lemon. As you may have noticed, the top of my tart is not perfect. I could not find my crust shield so I improvised with tin foil. When I was pulling the tart out of the oven, part of the tin foil dipped into the tart and broke through the surface. Oops. Also the tart is sitting on a cheese platter. Use what you have!
My centerpiece is actually at one end of the table. It was perfect because everyone had access to both desserts and we didn't have to lean around the globes to chat. The mercury glass globes have christmas lights inside and glow beautifully. The set was a wedding gift from two of J's aunts. The candlesticks were a Christmas gift from J last year. I just love them!
As you can see, I have not made any visible progress on my thrift store chairs. I have, however, purchased the fabric and paint along with designing a stencil for what I will paint on the seats. Now I just need to choose my plum paint and start working. I will definitely get to them in 2014.
Don't mind the messy bookshelf. We use it to store all kinds of things since we don't have much closet space in the apartment. J keeps organizing it, and I keep putting things back in the wrong spot. I do the same with the pantry. Good thing he loves me!
Melinda hosted a Christmas brunch for 21 people! We plan on continuing the theme of "how to host" so if you have any party ideas, let us know!