where there's a will



...there is a way. Yesterday we had 24 guests inside our house for a sit down dinner, a feat I never thought possible and yet it worked.  Cold drizzly weather left us no choice.  It was cozy to say the least.  These are the before pictures, I was too tired to take afters.



I clipped foliage from the trees outside.





We had to move the refrigerator in order to squeeze in a table for the food.  That essentially cut off a good portion of the house.  So instead of being in 970 sq ft, we were in about 600.










The black and cream toile is a drapery panel.  The napkins are just cut fabric, I didn't have the time to sew them but no one seemed to care.  The flatware is from my childhood.



The stuffed portobello mushrooms were a big hit even with the meat eaters. All in all it was a success.  I'm exhausted but giving thanks that I don't work today.  The linens are being washed as I type and the house will slowly be put back together.  How was your day? x


80 comments

  1. Just beautiful Janet! Values and aesthetics perfectly aligned.

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  2. Holy crap Jan I REMEMBER that silver!!! Wow. Good for you keeping it together. I need to give you all the Christmas decorations.
    jeanne

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    1. i know! i love it, and i think alex has some of it that i need to get back from him. and yes i'll come out and get the ornaments!

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  3. oh shoot no edit button. that should say Holy Crap Janet ;)

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  4. Your table looks absolutely gorgeous. Hope you're well rested and recovered now! x

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  5. You did a great job decorating and arranging. The house looks lovely and harmonious, as usual. You are soooooo smart. Now you can de-stress a little.

    Sincerely,
    Debra from SENC

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    1. thanks debra. i don't know about being smart, it really was a challenge b/c of the weather but it all turned out. :)

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  6. Very lovely. My Thanksgiving was lovely too. I made a vegan seitan roast with herbs de provence, quite tasty. <3

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  7. WOW it looks amazing! It's completely decorated in your style. You really pulled it together Janet and I am loving it. Put your feet up and have a drink tonight XOX

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  8. My goodness! You are amazing. I have a little house as well, just under 1100 sq ft and I can't imagine having that many for Thanksgiving dinner. Major kudos to you.

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    1. thanks jeannine. i never thought it could happen either but where there is a will...lol. x

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  9. Sounded and looked like a fabulous day!
    Zxx

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    1. thank you so much. it was a bit hectic but still v good. x

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  10. how utterly beautiful!!! I love stuffed mushrooms! You are a genius when it comes to organising stuff Happy Thanksgiving- off to the last ever kindy christmas party! x

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    1. Absolutely! Your house looks so lovely - and the tables are divine with the black and white toile panels and the cut fabric napkins.
      Hope you were able to put your feet up the next day! Belated Happy Thanksgiving! Pammie x

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    2. thank you ff and pammie. i stayed in my pj's the next day and it felt great!

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  11. Amazing and it all looked so gorgeous....well done Janet. Hope you got to put your feet up today!

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    1. thank you QV. i am all rested and ready to take on christmas. lol x

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  12. Wow! That is just SO pretty, and I can smell the rosemary through the screen!
    Would loved to have seen a during AND an after :)
    Well done!

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    1. thank you anon. the rosemary really did scent the whole house. i thought about posting during pics but i would have had to get everyone's permission. the after was pretty bad. pumpkin pie tracked through the house.:) there were 7 kids under the age of 10. x

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  13. Looks beautiful!!! I kept thinking about you yesterday! You pulled it off so fabulously. My house is a disaster and there are dishes and pots and pans everywhere. Literally in my coat closet.

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    1. lol, i know what you mean. my pantry turned into the place to stash dirty dishes and anything overflow. it was a mess. if i had a coat closet i would have used it. your day was stunning! x

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  14. oh AJJ!
    audrey or jackie themselves couldn't have pulled it off so simply and so elegantly!
    lovely in EVERY way. ♥

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  15. So beautiful! Everything all the details are executed with such an eye for design....I am gobsmacked yet again by your talent. I should not be surprised but you keep impressing me so much. I might try to copy some of your ideas....imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!
    Rest up and enjoy the evening. Your guests must be delighted to have been invited...and kudos on those mushrooms.

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    1. oh you are too sweet leslie. i think some of them were quite surprised by how much they liked them. in fact the people i thought wouldn't even try them loved them the most! funny.

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  17. Gorgeous. I love it all. Thanks for sharing - and I'm sure you are tired! :)

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  18. I can't stop looking at these gorgeous photos! Love your idea of using a curtain as a tablecloth and fabric as napkins. So creative- though I am not sure I could make it look as elegant and beautiful as you do. I also adore your spectacular floral arrangements. You have a great eye, and a golden touch. Thanks for sharing- loved it all!

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    1. oh wow dana, what a sweet comment. i just used what i had on hand. i just cut branches and stuck them here and there with no real plan. my favorite ones were the chinese lantern on either side of the stove, they looked great in person! x

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  19. Bravo! Everything looks wonderful and as my house is small, too, I know what its like to make the best of things. On Christmas morning we have to move the coffee table out of the living room and add various chairs from all over the house. Still, being together is the most important thing!

    Jane x

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    1. thanks jane. it is a challenge isn't it?! we thought about removing all the furniture in the living area so we could all sit together while eating but then where would we sit afterwards? lol, it was like a puzzle. x

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  20. Janet it is perfect in every way!!!! And I especially love all the little natural touches.

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  21. Janet,

    Love this. Like you, we haven't let a small space stop us from entertaining large groups, even on cold and rainy days. We move the couch and chairs and ottoman out of the living room into the garage for the day and host a large group with two tables.

    Love it!

    Ann

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    1. that's a great idea ann. we don't have an actual garage so with the rain i was worried that the upholstery could get wet and then there are tons of squirrels that would be running over it. oy...:)

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  22. Everything looks beautiful! Is that a new desk in your dining room?
    Betty

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    1. hi betty, thanks. no that's an old desk that alex had stored under our house. i pulled it up sometime earlier in the year. :)

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  23. Everything looks beautiful! Is that a new desk in your dining room?
    Betty

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  24. so impressed. I have a home that is just a bit larger and have had a max of 17 people. love the way you make use of nature and the things you have. and I bet it was delicious too. enjoy your time off, you certainly earned it!
    Darby

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    1. thanks darby this was the most we've had for a sit down dinner so it was an accomplishment of sorts. :) x

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  25. FANTASTIC.........YOU DID IT!I did it too but only SIX of us.........I realized this YEAR I am probably the only one who does everything herself?From three desserts to Four side dishes.......the TURKEY and the STUFFING.I worked for TWO days straight from 7 am...........all day.THANK GOODNESS I had enough to send to my MOM's and then we are having a repeat performance tonight!I ASK MYSELF is it worth it?I think so.........but the roasting pan is still sitting in the SINK.The GREASE just does not come off!

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    1. lol, i get that. when it's all over it does seem worth it. :) x

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  26. Janet, Well it looks like you pulled off a fabulous feast...love the table settings!

    We went to my daughter's in-laws house for dinner so I only had to bring an appetizer and a dessert. (I made a vegan chocolate tart from Bon Appetit that was a big hit with many of the non-vegans) I was happy that Amanda and her husband were off for Thanksgiving this year, but she had worked the graveyard shift the night before and was running on almost no sleep.

    Get some rest my friend! I hope things calm down for you at work soon. Maybe after the holidays we could try to meet up if your schedule isn't too hectic. :)

    Linda
    xo

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  27. I love your home! What a beautiful setting for a Thanksgiving feast.

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  28. That's what it is about ... family and friends together. And you did it beautifully!

    Joyce

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  29. Beautiful. Your place always looks so tranquil; even amidst the bustle.

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  30. I love your attitude, Janet. I have a small home as well, although the living room, dining area & kitchen are open. I've never seated that many, but I sometimes have about 14 or 15 on Christmas Eve. I buy small antique tables & chairs & set up the entire area in sort of an early tavern look. It fits my decorating style, & is the best solution for me. Your tables are beautiful. I especially love the black ticking with black toile.....casual with a bit more formal is fantastic !! I'm sure everyone loved being in your cozy home.

    Anita ~ the cabin on the creek

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    1. thank you anita. your decor sounds so pretty and inviting! x

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  31. Janet,
    As always, everything looks beautiful! It never rains in Southern California....isn't that a song or something....so not true! I adore your clippings all over the house! The ones on each side of the range....no detail left untouched. You're amazing!
    xo
    annie

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  32. Wow! It looks amazing! I'm sure it tasted fantastic too. I converted our garage into the dining room and had two seatings to accommodate our 21 guests. So much work! Cheers to you

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    1. julie!!! where have you been?! so glad you said hi. it is soooo much work! x

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  33. You are a brave soul taking on such a feat... It all looks so cozy wonderful, and I bet everyone of your guest looked around in amazement as to the small wonderment you have created this Giving of Thanks.

    Love all the little touches here and there, a wonderful choice in linens. As for the frayed edges, that's what I loved best.

    Happy holidays past and happier ones on their way.

    Will visit your creative beauty soon.

    Xx
    Dore

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  34. I see on tv all this stupidity has spilled over into Redlands ..... I pray you are safe. Take care, Lisa

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    1. thank you lisa. terrifying day yesterday. so tragic...

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  35. Dear Janet, I almost never write but had followed you for years, this is so pretty and inspiring, to keep it simple and enjoy life and friends xx

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  36. Janet,
    Just wanted to tell you that I am thinking of you during this time and hope your family and friends are safe. Always wanted to think of Redlands as a peaceful haven (by everything you have posted about it). PEACE.

    Sincerely,
    Debra from SENC

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    1. redlands has always been so peaceful to us. this incident is so tragic and heartbreaking and way way way too close to home. thank you for your concern debra. x

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    2. It has been peaceful to us too and you said it...way way way too close to home. I finally ditched the news media after seeing them like vultures going through the couple's home.
      blessings, jill
      your neighbor on the eastside

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  37. Been thinking of you and your beautiful town and neighboring community. Peace....

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  38. wow this looks so lovely and such a lot of work i bet.:) it exhausts me thinking of cooking for 4 much less 24!

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  39. I'm so thankful you are safe. Way too close to home. Ilove you girl.
    j.

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  40. Three things: (1) Very impressive Thanksgiving! Your "plan b" in the face of bad weather deserves an award for ingenuity. As do the table settings and floral arrangements. (And the food looks great too.) As always, well done. (2) When I heard the recent news reports from Redlands, my first thoughts turned to you. To echo Debra, I've also viewed Redlands as a peaceful place, largely thanks to your serene home and garden. As they say, bad things happen to good people, and I guess that bad things also happen in good places. (3) Hope that you will again post pictures of your home decorated for Christmas. Have been looking at various blogs with places decorated (or more precisely way over-decorated) for the holidays. Too too much. Need to go back to revisit your Christmas postings from previous years.

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  41. FABULOUS! Your home always looks so serene but must have been joyful crammed with family and friends. I love having a house full of folk; the preparation, the event itself and then the glorious calm afterwards and enough to eat the following day without having to cook! Christmas ahead, all the family home - bring it on!

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kindness is never out of style.

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