Daily Archives: January 25, 2022

Happy 7th Blogiversary!

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all well and staying healthy and safe.

I can’t believe I am saying this but today marks the 7th year that I am posting DishingwithDiane and it has been a wonderful part of my life. I consider all of my members my extended family and I wish I could meet you all in person.

I hope in some way over the years, I have entertained you with my family stories and inspired you to celebrate life with a tablescape idea or a new recipe.


The last anniversary tablescape that I posted was the blog’s 4th Anniversary in 2019 and that was just before I received the call from the hospital to receive the greatest gift of all, a second chance at life and that was my heart transplant. Who knew when I was cutting that slice of anniversary cake that 6 days later my life would change forever.

As you know, I was too weak to post the 5th anniversary in 2020 a year later after a few complications and setbacks but I did take pictures and set a partial table and I will get that together and post it for you to see.

And last year for the 6th anniversary in 2021, Bob and I were recuperating from having Covid and I did not prepare a tablescape and only posted a cake recipe that I hope you all enjoyed.

But this year is different. This year with your love and support over the past three years and the fabulous transplant team that looks after me I am ready to prepare a tablescape.

I have the strength back and I am allowed to lift and carry a little more as approved by my transplant team. But I will admit I am a bit rusty remembering to take all the photos I usually take. I get so excited to prepare the tablescape that some little details might have slipped by. I will do my best.

Bob and Michael bought me these Kate Spade dishes by Lenox (pattern Deco Dot) for Mother’s Day last May, and as soon as I received them I knew this would be my anniversary tablescape. Each 12 piece set comes with 4 dinner plates, 4 salad plates, and 4 mugs. Kate Spade seems to add monthly to the accessories to this pattern and my inventory is growing from her collection. It seems as soon as I add a piece she comes up with more great additions.

I hope you enjoy the tablescape and continue to enjoy the postings from Dishing with Diane. It would be a personal favor if you could spread the word and ask your family and friends to join DishingwithDiane either on Facebook or via email.

My goal is to welcome at least 10 new members this anniversary. So please, make a few calls and have some of your friends join the family. Thank you.

So let’s get started.

JANUARY 25, 2022

I have absolutely LOVED polka dots since I was a young teen and it has just carried over into my adult life. Here is some proof….

And I have loved the black and white combination since I saw “My Fair Lady” with Audrey Hepburn and the black & white ball that was a famous scene in that movie so this tablescape was a little bit of heaven for me.

Since I only had two colors to work with, this was supposed to be an easy tablescape right? No!…. not every black and white shade matches exactly and at times can get a little frustrating but it all works out in the end.

I started with one of my many white tablecloths but I chose this particular tablecloth because the scalloped edges reminded me of the round edge of a dot and the pattern could pass for dots as well.

(Sorry it is not coming out a true white due to the lighting but it is a very bright white).

Of course, my tried and true black placemat was an easy choice. I love how the combination with the tablecloth matches the dish pattern with the large black dots against the white background.

Now for the chargers– I have two glass chargers. I highly recommend owning a glass charger if you only want to keep one charger on hand. They are so versatile, you will use them constantly.

I usually favor a completely clear glass charger with the bubble pattern edge, but for this tablescape, I chose a glass charger with a slight ribbed pattern and a steel gray edge that I thought would accent the black and white much better.

Next, the star of our tablescape, the dishes. As I said earlier they are the Deco Dot pattern from Kate Spade. I am also using the mugs from the set along with glassware.

KATE SPADE FOR LENOX-DECO DOT PATTERN

The glassware is part of the Kate Spade collection (Deco Dot pattern)… I have to say that I was very surprised and very disappointed in the quality of these glasses. They are listed as glass but when I opened the box, they are very light and feel like plastic. They hand wash beautifully and don’t get cloudy like plastic does, but I thought Kate Spade would have a better product, but visually they work.

For the cutlery, I chose casual flatware with a matte-finished black handle.

The napkins are NOT from the Kate Spade collection and they are 18 X 18 polyester napkins that I purchased from Amazon a few years ago. The white is slightly off from the shade of white in the dishes but there was no chance of me finding an exact match and I think they work well with the dinnerware.

The napkin ring is from my personal collection I purchased over the years and they are black and white beaded in an abstract pattern. I love them paired with the napkins.

Now for the complete place setting… Casual and a little fun.

Complete place setting

For the centerpiece, I used black and white silk flowers and pearl sprays in a 9″ Waterford crystal vase.

I didn’t want too many accents on the table because I wanted to add a few snacks in addition to the cake so I just used a few votive candles not to crowd the table and two serving containers that match the Deco Dot pattern from the Kate Spade collection to hold some black junior mints and white buttermints.

The votives I chose came from my safari collection of animal prints and they were the only two in black and white and I think they were just enough for the table.

Now some snacks…. Bob and I were celebrating late afternoon with coffee and the anniversary cake and then I got the idea in my head that I wanted some black and white desserts and the first snack that came to mind was black and white cookies – a childhood favorite and together with the ultimate black and white cookie -Oreos, this theme could work.

I ordered the mini black & whites cookies from Costco and I have to say -big mistake! They were tasteless. The Oreo’s are an old standby that I still enjoy and I placed a few in black and white polka dot cupcake liners to continue the theme.

Since I was on my black and white dessert idea I thought about mini donuts, so I ordered the Hostess donut variety, and once again- big mistake.

I have come to the conclusion that I have outgrown these desserts. I can no longer tolerate the fake ingredients and they are not worth the added calories to me or the clogged artery that will eventually come along with them.

Now the big challenge, the anniversary cake. Normally I would call up my local bakery and order a cake to go along with whatever my theme was for the occasion. But this year because of the pandemic and the numbers being out of control with Omicron, neither Bob nor I were running off to a bakery, so I decided to bake.

Yes, that’s right me, the one who doesn’t bake cakes was about to bake a cake from scratch. I have baked cookies and muffins and a few holiday recipes for traditional cakes but this is not my comfort zone.

Thank God I had the help of the King Arthur website and I made a basic vanilla cake and vanilla frosting (not bad, I survived) and then I decided to work with black fondant and cut out circles – should I say it again- big mistake. This project confirmed why I order cakes.

After many ovals and not perfect circles, I declared my project complete once I thought I had enough circles and made enough of a mess. I topped it with a few polka dot black and white candles, a number 7 candle, and an anniversary sign, and I was done.

Remind me to hug the girls in the bakery the next time I see them- they are miracle workers to me. Although I was happy with how the cake matched the dishes, cake decorating is something I have to work on.

Here is my finished project and I have to say it was delicious even though it took longer to decorate than expected….. I used a basic black and white enamel cake stand (from Pottery Barn) to continue with the black and white theme.

All in all, we had a lovely celebration and I reviewed some of the pics from previous anniversaries and counted my blessings that I am still here to have these milestone anniversaries, continue to share my family stories and recipes on a blog that I love producing and blessed to receive lovely comments and the opportunity to speak to so many members over the years.

Thank you is not enough to say but you have all brought such joy to my life by being so supportive.

Thank you for sharing in this anniversary post and DishingwithDiane is on our way to more recipes, tablescapes, and stories going into our 8th year.

I hope the next year brings us all many blessings- good health, lots of love, laughs, good times, happiness, and a peaceful world!

Don’t forget to ask your friends and family to join the fun and sign up now via Facebook or email (the right-hand column on the main page).

That would mean the world to me.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

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