By Sybille C. Denninger


Good afternoon, everybody, and happy (???) Monday :-)

I realized that I haven't posted any recipes or household tips lately so I wanted to share some ideas and photos with you which I took yesterday. A friend of mine was coming over for Sunday afternoon coffee and I was excited to try out a really simple yet cute idea which I discovered in one of my Mom's German magazines. Since I just happened to be over there I was able to hunt down the things I needed and arrived back in the US armed with all sorts of nifty stuff.

I greatly enjoy inviting people over but I'm decidedly better at presentation than actually cooking and baking. I always look for ways to cut some corners while at the same time make everything appear unique haha. As one of my friends once summed it up: I'm on this earth for decorative purposes :-) Hey, that's fine with me!

Behold these adorable (store bought) waffle cookies! I just stacked four cookies on top of each other and simply tied them together with lace. It took 5 minutes tops but is much more fun than just spreading the cookies out on a plate. I brought the lace back from Germany but Crackerjacks in Rockport, A.C. Moore or Michaels should have some.

What also always makes a huge difference are your table settings. Go with a theme and better yet, with a theme that goes with the silverware and china you are already planning on using anyway. In my case I knew I would set the table with my vintage looking coffee set from Germany. Sad to say it probably really IS vintage at this point since I've received it as a gift from my parents in 1988 haha. I went for a shabby-chic kind of look with the flowery table cloth and lace placemats on top. Those placemats are actually reusable, wipable, and I found them at Michaels on Rte 1 South for $7.99 for a set of 4. But with the china they really look so frilly and pretty.

I always stock up on tons of fun paper napkins at the Christmas Tree Shop where each package literally costs under $2.00 as opposed to $5.95 elsewhere! Most of their napkins are imported from Germany or the Netherlands, so the patterns are quite European looking which I like a lot. I always get a mix of contemporary, cutesy, and nostalgic so I have something for every theme I might come up with. In this case pink with crown-wearing kittens seemed like a good fit haha. I further rummaged through my china cabinet and re-purposed my great-grandma's porcelain jewelry container as a strawberry bowl. Genius! It's unexpected which makes it cool. You probably have tons of random trinkets which make awesome serving dishes. They don't need to match to your china as long as they enhance your theme. In my case: Frilly vintage/shabby chic. This particular item I inherited comes with three porcelain roses which match the cover, so I just placed them around. You'll see them in the third photo.

Lastly here is the table as a whole. I tend to pile on anything I have hanging around that fits my overall idea. The crown tealight holder happened to look cute with the lacy, flowery theme. I placed printed paper doilies (also from Michaels) under the sugar bowl, creamer and the tea-and coffee pots. The cake is a marble cake I baked from a mix the night before but even a banana bread would be great and so easy to pull off. I love the Chiquita mix they sell in the produce section at Stop & Shop. You don't even need a mixer for that one, and with 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips added it tastes amazing! I save time on the baking and go all out on the overall presentation. What was that about "decorative purposes"???

Blow your friends away at your next get-together with these simple little tricks; they will love it! Pinterest is an awesome resource for all sorts of easy yet fantastic ideas as well. Check out our boards there! I'm quite addicted to pinning ;-) 

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