Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A visit with my sisters


I had a wonderful visit with 2 of my 4 sisters this week.

They drove well over an hour each way to come help me celebrate my birthday.

You KNOW I had to set a pretty table for them!

Since we'll be away on Valentine's Day (our anniversary)

I thought I would take the opportunity to use some of my shaped dishes.



My original menu plan was to make little individual chicken pot pies

in the white shaped ones & use the RED ones for coleslaw.






RED & white with polka-dots galore!


Since it was just family, I put the cups & saucers on the table.

I realize you're not suppose to have them there before hand.

Normally, I would keep them on a side table until the end of the meal

but with only 4 place settings, it looked a little sparse without them.



RED Colonial candles (Susan's BNOTP Favorite) in Ralph Lauren crystal candlesticks.



The day before their arrival, I got an email saying

"We'll be at your house by noon...don't feed us, we're both too fat!"

Of course, EVERYONE is on a diet at the start of a new year.

Us, too!


So, I put out these BIG bowls & changed the menu to just salads with grilled chicken.


Plans quickly changed to very low calorie choices.

This lovely combination is only 5 calories & tastes delicious & is good for you, too.

Lots of antioxidants!


Salad served from my Waterford crystal bowl that I carried home from Ireland in my hand luggage.

I didn't trust the baggage handlers not to break it!


Instead of the pot pies, we enjoyed

Apple Pecan Grilled Chicken Salad

(from Wendy's)

It is soooo good with fresh spring greens, dried cranberries,

blue cheese, pecans & chunks of grilled chicken breast.

The Marzetti Pomegranate Vinaigrette dressing is awesome.

I wish we could buy it for home use but

its unavailable for purchase other than at Wendy's with this salad!


I used the little dishes to hold their pecans that come in little bags with the salads &

I also added some of my own pecans that I glazed with

about a tablespoon of sugar in a non-stick pan.

Watch them closely, as it melts fast & can burn quickly!


I served a healthy, low calorie fruit salad of grapes, Mineola oranges,

watermelon, strawberries & pineapple.

Sweetened with just a light sprinkle of Splenda® & a wee bit of orange juice for moisture.

I had strawberry yogurt ready to also use as a topping but everyone preferred it plain.



Yummalicious & soooo good for you, too!


The cute Department 56 cake dome on the Ralph Lauren cake stand

was just meant to cover a plate of cookies for dessert,



They surprised me by bringing along lemon meringue pie...my utmost favorite!

I have had lemon pie, instead of a birthday cake, for as long as I can remember.

Usually, my sweet hubby makes it for me,

using French's lemon pudding & pie filling.

He just follows the recipe on the back of the box,

but they saved him from all that work this time.


Wasn't that SWEET of them?

Thanks, Sisters, for a delightful visit.

I loved having you over.

Hurry back!


Candy Apple Red Chargers: Big Lots
White stoneware dishes: American Antelier, Bianca
Flatware: Napoleon Bee, Horchow
Red polka-dot plates: T. J. Maxx (last year)
Red & white heart bowl: Michael's (last year)
Napkin folding tutorial:

Thank YOU, too, for visiting The Gazebo House.

Our doors are always open to you.

I have some sewing projects to share next.

I finished almost 75 peri-pads for the girls in Haiti

then completed a corduroy pants outfit for Ms. Caroline.

I've been in my sewing room so much lately that hubby came

downstairs to visit, saying

"I just wanted to see how my other half lived".

I'll be joining Susan at
Between Naps on the Porch
for our favorite Thursday event

As well as The Tablescaper for her Seasonal Sundays meme.

and Marty at her blog

A Stroll Thru Life

for her Tabletop Tuesday.

EDITED TO ADD: I'm also joining Jojo at her blog

Jojo's - Joys

Pie Party, which I just heard is going on this week!

How perfect for this post...thanks for inviting me, Jojo!


  1. Happy, happy birthday! Pie instead of cake...me too!! You should join my pie party and add your lemon pie!!!

    What a beautiful and feminine table and I love your quick menu change. That was a lovely gesture (though that pot pie sounded delicious)!

  2. Good Morning Rett! Your birthday table is lovely. You have the cutest valentine dishes! I love the way you folded the napkins too. As for the food, it looks delicious! I bet you didn't miss those pot pies a bit, even though they did sound good. Happy Birthday!

  3. Happy Birthday Rett, I was beginning to wonder if you had taken a cruise or something cause things were quiet at Gazebo House. I see how that your attention was just elsewhere. What a great switch regarding your menu, I'm not sure I could get my "stuff" together that quick to think in another direction. I do however, love that Wendy's salad.

    Your table is so pretty, I bet your sisters felt so special to have had you set such a pretty table. The covered cake plate caught my eye as soon as I opened the thread, just too darn cute. Have a good day my friend and come up out of the basement for air from time to time.

  4. Happy Birthday to you! Beautiful table. And thanks for visiting my blog.

  5. Rett,
    Beautiful table. Sisters are fun. I only have one but she is the best.

    Happy belated birthday!


  6. What a beautiful, festive table, Rett. I love red and white, especially as we approach Valentine's Day. It looks like you had a lovely birthday lunch with your sisters.

    Belated best wishes.

  7. What a delightful post and "to die for" table! I love red and white and I guess I didn't realize how much until I saw that table. Wow! So whimsical too with the polka dotted plates and cake stand!

    I'm sooooo sorry I missed your birthday! I hope it was happy!

  8. Happy, Happy Birthday to you Rett! I truly enjoyed this post. Aren't sisters the best? I only have one but we are very close. Funny thing ~~ we actually do have birthdays very, very close to Valentine's Day and most of the time celebrate together.
    I LOVED seeing your cheery table and pretty dishes. I giggled several times reading this and how sweet of you to change the menu for the dieters. Chicken pot pie sounded delightful!

    Anxious to see your sewing. I'm still trying to get back into sewing after so many years of not touching my machine!


  9. Happy Birthday! What a gorgeous, festive table! And the food all looks delicious! Sounds like a great time with your sister's!

  10. Happy Birthday, Rett! I'm glad you got to visit with your sisters. Beautiful table too!

  11. Aren't sisters just the best gift of all! Your Valentines Day tablescape is absolutely perfect....I love dots, too! Thank you for sharing your charming design and for stopping by my post... and for alerting me to the white on white comments debacle...I have corrected it. I probably would have never seen it...I don't usually ever look at the comments within my blog. I see them in email and in Blogger Dashboard, so I wasn't even aware of the problem. Come visit any time. Cherry Kay

  12. Happy Birthday Rett!
    Your table was adorable - who better to enjoy it than sisters?
    Thanks for the napkin folding tutorial - great for Valentines.

  13. Happy Birthday, Rett! I was wondering where you were. I was afraid someone was sick!
    The table looks great! Just love that cake plate!
    Lunch looks good too. I make that salad often , use a low fat raspberry vinegarette . We have it for dinner sometimes in the summer.
    I will look to see if we have the one you mention in our stores here in NY.
    There were 4 girls in my family, I am the baby! :)
    You had 5 girls?

  14. Oh Happy Birthday!!! What a gorgeous tablescape. I love that cakeplate, it is unreal and all of the dishes are fabulous. Such a beautifully put together table with such fabulous dishes and accessories. I love pie too, so that would be perfect for me. Gorgeous. Thanks for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

  15. Happy Birthday, Rett! Your white and red table is so nice and cheery. Beautiful cake plate.

  16. Happy Birthday, Rett!

    Your table is so pretty and cheerful. I love the little heart-shaped dishes. Very pretty.

    Have a great week! La

  17. Happy Birthday! and what a gorgeous table. I love Lemon anything! So that pie looks fabulous! Hope you got lots of yummy presents....

  18. Happy Birthday to you...

    Happy Birthday to you...

    Happy Birthday, Dear Rett...

    Happy Birthday to YOU!

    Hope it was a very happy day, and from the looks of this party, it was. What a pretty table. Love all of your Valentine touches, Rett. They are so clever. And I enjoyed watching the napkin folding tutorial. Thanks for the link.

    You always set a cute table, but I think this is one of my favorites, mainly because it is for a true sweetheart... YOU!


    Sheila :-)

  19. HAPPY HAPPY Birthday to my dear Friend RETT!!!!!!
    I got your card mailed, but it will be late as Monday was a holiday!!!
    how fun, your sisters drove to you to celebrate your birthday!!!
    lucky you 4 sisters!!!!
    That table was AWESOME, you know I love RED, and then add some Polka dots and OH My made me smile ear to ear!!!
    SO glad your day was special!!!
    Many hugs to you today,

  20. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!!!!! Your table and food both look GREAT! So nice that your sisters are willing to drive there for your special day!!!! And thank you for the napkin folding tutorial! I will be using this one too!!!!! XO, Pinky

  21. Hi Rett-Happy B-Day! Your table looks pretty, lovin' the square dish with the ribbon! Lunch looks yummy and thanks for letting me know about the Pie Party! Love that idea:@)

  22. Happy Birthday, Rett! As always, everything looks lovely and yummy! What is the name of the white tableware in the first pictures of this post? I love them!

  23. Happy Birthday, Rett. I had forgotten that we share a birthday. ;-)
    I'd love a slice of that lemon pie, a favorite here as well.
    Glad you celebrated with your sisters. Thinking of you! ~ Birthday hugs ~ Sarah

  24. Happy Birthday!! I love both time spent with sisters and pretty tables so you doubly delighted with this one. The reds and whites are so crisp and cheery. I hadn't even started any Valentine's Day decorating, and now I want to.

    Personally, I think getting those salads was a brillant idea, too.

  25. Hi, Rett... loving your birthday party again. I'm popping back by to wish you a very Happy Tablescape Thursday!


    Sheila :-)

  26. What a darling table, Rett! I know your sisters loved it as well as your lovely light lunch! All the red and white looks so fresh -- love the stacked plates you chose!

  27. ♪♪♫Happy birthday, dear Rett...Happy birthday toooo yooouuuu!♫♪♪
    I hope it was a happy one! Your party tablescape is so festive! And your menu sounds yummy! I know everyone had a wonderful time! I hope you are having a great week!...hugs...Debbie

  28. Happy Birthday, Rett! What a lovely Valentine table. I just love your white dishes - very elegant and simply gorgeous. They look great with the red accents. Glad you got your lemon meringue pie. The entire meal looked great!
    Hugs and blessings, Beth

  29. Such a gorgeous table setting and lovely sounding lunch with your sisters.

  30. Aha!!! So THIS is where that ribbon embellishment went! I think it looks great with your white, Rett. That blue ribbon on my patterned plate was just too much. Love your red/white table setting. ♥ Everything is so bright and cheery- such a contrast to our weather, isn't it? Sending you best wishes for your B-day! hugs, Sue

  31. Happy belated birthday Rett! Your Valentine themed table is so pretty! I love the folded heart napkins and your gift package cake stand.
    I think we may the same Waterford crystal bowl! It broke my heart that Waterford is no longer being made in Ireland..I think I may have been on one of the last tours of the factory before it closed :(

    Love that luscious lemon meringue pie!

  32. Happy Birthday and Happy Pie Day!...Your luncheon looked adorable with all your hearts and polka dots....and the pie...Lemon Meringue is one of my all time favorites....Sue @ Rue Mouffetard

  33. Happy Birthday! It seems like there are a lot of bloggers out there who are celebrating birthdays in Jan. Interesting, don't you think? Mine is at the end of Jan.
    What a darling tablescape! I just love the red and white!! I bet your guest were just thrilled with this delightful table!!


  34. What a sweet and charming table. Hope you had a wonderful time with your sisters and a very Happy Birthday to you!

  35. Happy Birthday Rett! Your table is so cheerful and you are lucky to have your sisters visit. The menu is so tempting, and lemon meringue is my very favorite pie and dessert too!! I have seen that cake cover in a few photos and always love it. Have a wonderful day. Hope it is warm where you are. Linda

  36. Happy Birthday Rett. How wonderful for you to be able to celebrate with your sisters. I love your table. It's bright and cheerful. You were so good to change your menu. It sounds great; looks great and is healthy. What more could you ask?

    Thanks so much for bringing your celebration to Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  37. OOO, what a beautiful table you had for your darling sisters. Wish you'd shown us a photo of THEM. :))
    sO glad you had such a good time..and how sweet to bring your fav. pie. :)

  38. What a lovely table. I went back and looked over and over. I just love red and white. And thanks for the napkin folding tutorial.


Thank you so much for leaving a comment. I read them all & each one is so very special to me & I try really hard to return the visit!