Dinner with friends

bonnieann925August 7, 2010

Tonight we're having friends for dinner to celebate the end of my first week at my new job. DH is doing all the shopping and cooking. I set the table using Mikasa French Countryside dinnerware, Mom's silver and some French country placemats. Flowers are freshly cut from the garden. Dinner will be crab cakes, salmon on the grill, lentil salad, corn on the cob, grilled zucchini and for dessert: strawberry shortcake.

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Very nice table, and I love when you tell about your dinner selections!

Congrats on the new job! :)

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 7:18AM
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Those placemats are so colorful and pretty. Love your pretty white plates, bet they really let the food be the focal point that it should be. How wonderful that your DH shops and cooks--and the menu sounds wonderful--you lucky woman! Congrats on surviving the first week on the job!


    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 10:39AM
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Crab cakes? Did someone say crab cakes?? OK. I'll be right over.

By the way, I love the dishes. I think their style is simple, yet full of character. Lots can be done with them - from casual to elegant.

Congrats on the new job.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 10:50AM
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Very pretty table and your menu sounds wonderful. Love the vase and are your flowers real? Looks like a cute little figure that matches your placemats and napkins too. Having a husband that shops and cooks is priceless.

Tell us more about your new job and how it's working out so far. If I remember you will be home more than your last one so that's wonderful.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 11:33AM
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Ohhhhh, "white" dinnerware, again on this forum! They are calling to me! Pretty, pretty!

bonnie...your table looks so fresh & summer-y & of course, the garden flowers look great with your choice of linens! Congrats on getting thru the 1st wk & celebrating it! Menu so different than meals around here...sounds wonderful! TFS! Jeanne S.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 5:29PM
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Thanks for your sweet comments! Punk, the vase is a family treasure. It was my paternal great-grandmother's and then my grandmother's, then my mom's and now ours. It has so much sentimental value. It was on the table for ALL the holiday meals throughout my childhood and on into adulthood. My mom gave it to me a few days before she died. I mean she really made a point of saying how special it was to her and how she wanted me to keep the tradition going (I'm an only child so much of our discussions right before she died were of a very different nature, because she knew I'd take good care of all her precious possessions.) So, it has LOTS of meaning for me!

The flowers are Knockout roses and Blackeyed Susans, which are doing well, despite the drought here in Boston this summer. It's been very hot for us and we're simply not used to it!

The job! Where to start? I'm teaching in a career institute (dental assisting program) that just opened what is expected to be their flagship campus in MA. It's lots of fun. I have my own office for the first time in my career and have had fun decorating it with plants, picture of the family, the animals, etc. I'm meeting with perspective students and getting the curriculum set up. There is never a dull moment and I'm loving it! It's much closer to home than the last school I taught in, which is a big plus. It's about a 20 minute drive vs. 1 1/4 hours on public transportation into Boston. I do miss my coworkers in Boston and do miss the excitement of the city, being a city girl at heart. I went to college in Boston and will always have a soft spot for the city!

Getting into teaching is something that has been such a great lift for me at this point in my life, with my children almost completely "launched". It was a fluke and just happened by chance, but was the best thing that could have ever happened. I'm now planning on getting a Masters in Ed, which will help me in my new career.

In addition to that, I took a job in private practice (I'm a dental hygienist), working with 2 dear friends, at an office that's exactly 4 miles from my new school. I will initially work 4 hours/week and then it will go down to 3 hours/week, which is just about all I want. It's good to keep a hand (no pun intended) in the real world vs. teaching only. So I'll be working 4-8 at first and then after 3 weeks, it will change to 4-7 (3 patients). I'm looking forward to it.

That money will go into my "fun money" fund (napkins, placemats, etc....)! Hmmmm....really should be working more on the wedding fund, given that we have 3 DD's.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 6:56PM
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Congrats on your 'new position'...sounds wonderful.

Your table looks very pretty. I love your white dishes against those pretty placemants. Everything compliments each other nicely. I also love the look of simple white dinnerware that you can 'Dress Up or Down' and use just about ANYTHING to go with it...
A DH that Shops & Cooks such a wonderful meal...Does he freelance?


    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 7:50PM
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Bonnie, thanks for the update on your career. It sounds like you have a wonderful life. Busy but great. I bet your office is decorated so well with all your plants and pictures. Tickled to here you plan on going to get your Masters in ED too.

So sorry to hear you lost your DM but sounds like she let you in on what was important to her and you care enough to enjoy her precious possessions as everyone has done in the past. I had to laugh when I took a closer look and seen your knock outroses!

Great to have you here sharing more with all of us.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 11:21PM
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LOL, everyone gets such a kick out of my DH being so domestic. He lived on his own before we met so he came with good domestic skills and has always been a better cook than I am.

He does his own laundry too...and he irons it! He does all the grocery shopping for us and for my dad, who lives in an assisted living facility.

I am blessed :)

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 5:52AM
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That is such a pretty table!!(of course it's got lots of RED :^), and I love the story about the vase. I had several of those discussions with my Mom and LOVE using her pretties all the time!
A question regarding the white dishes. I am in the market to replace my OLD white ironstone dishes with some that I will be able to use in the microwave. Are the French Contryside plates really thick like some of the newer dishes that I see? I have limited storage and need something not so bulky since I have to stack at least ten dinner plates. I have seen recommendations for the Corelle, but I just DON'T LIKE the feel of it. I love the French C. looks, but have never seen them in person to see how big/thick they are. I can get the measurements off internet sites, but they don't give the thickness either.
Many thanks!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 12:12PM
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What a lovely table, that red really brings out the pretty tones of the wood in your table. Congrats on your new job! It sounds like the perfect fit for you. Also, your menu sounds yummie, I love crab cakes.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 5:31PM
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Yes, Jaybird, FC is thick! But it's so worth it really. It's a lovely pattern and very versatile. For everyday use I have plain white Corelle and we really like that too. I keep that in the kitchen. All my other dinnerware is stored in the DR and FR. I don't think you'd regret buying it, but honestly in our house, it's not in daily use. It also doesn't fit that well in our dishwasher, which drives us nuts :(

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 5:57PM
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The menu sounds yummy, the table is beautiful, and I love that you have your cherished heirloom vase as the centerpiece.

My regular dishes are white Pfaltzgraff dishes that look very similar to yours. I have a problem with the center of them getting stained from flatware and the dishwasher. How do you keep yours so white?



    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 7:59PM
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Thank you Bonnie. Unfortunately, I think you have answered my question :^( I will continue my hunt! My cabinets are 1950's version and too narrow for the plates, as well as too shallow. Guess the old ironstone will be around for a few more decades. It is a VERY old pattern, I think they were a bit smarter back then!
Candy, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser will take those black marks off. Pfaltzgraff also sells a cleaner that does the trick. I'm cheap and use the Dollar Tree Magic Erasers. They work perfectly well :^)HTH
and Thank you Bonnie for the quick response.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 1:21PM
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Hi Candy,
Re: how to keep the Mikasa French Countryside dishes so white.

Really, I don't do anything special. I do run them through the dishwasher (although as I said, they are a bit bulky). They don't scratch I guess.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 2:13PM
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