Saturday, February 21, 2015

Surviving February

January seems to be the most hated month of the year. I guess coming off that holiday high probably has something to do with it. But truthfully, I love January. I love how empty and fresh the house feels once all the Christmas decor has been packed away. There are resolutions, ambitions and the chance to begin again because there is a brand new year ahead of you. It's a time to slow down after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and catch your breath. I know I look forward to the quiet and the cold weather that forces you to stay indoors and relax. I realize that the newness and excitement fade away fairly quickly. Resolutions are usually broken before the end of the month and that cold weather that was so welcome starts to feel oppressive and never-ending. 
Welcome to February.
I don't know about you but for the shortest month of the year February sometimes feels like the longest. It's not my favorite. And let's not even get started on how brutal this particular February has been. Yesterday I was thinking about how I have always wanted to live in Alaska and that this  is actually what it would feel like since it's been about 1 degree for the past week.
Speaking of crazy, how do you keep it at bay through such a tough month? Since hosting gatherings is one of my most favorite things to do, I break up the February blues and have the family over for a dinner party/my sister in laws birthday celebration. We throw dinner parties all year long but this annual February gathering feels extra special because it is probably the highlight of the whole darn month.
I am currently obsessed with having fresh flowers in the house. Remember when I was able to bring my holiday floral dreams to fruition? Well, since then mentally envisioning the kinds of florals I need for a table setting and actually locating them has become a sport (of sorts). My local, lame grocery store will never carry what my mind decides upon so I have to think outside the box to find them. I wanted a very cozy, wintery mix of flowers for this table and I especially wanted some bright red berries in it. I went to a Wegman's one night leaving work (the closest Wegman's to my home is about 40 minutes away) and naturally found exactly what I wanted. Beautiful red hypericum berries with stunning white blooms and some pretty green filler fit the bill.
I am also currently obsessed with "table throws" and I recently found this denim remnant with perfect selvedge edges at a thrift store. I cleaned it, pressed it, then tossed it across the table. I love how it adds such an air of informality. I can use a beautiful vintage fine china salad plate and gorgeous antique flatware but it doesn't feel stuffy because of the denim throw. The rattan charger and stoneware plate probably take it down a notch too but who's judging? This $3 denim throw might be my most favorite new possession. Well, that and the $5 plaid runner I also recently found at a thrift store and threw on top of the denim. Cozy, winter feel indeed.

For the second year in a row the weather called for snow (big shock) and I actually made the same menu I did last year. I pretty much counted on the fact that my family has not made Ina Garten's Weeknight Bolognese for themselves (they had not, I was correct). Comfort food at it's finest. Instead of doing every single thing myself, I had my sister in law bring a salad and my dad bring a birthday cake for dessert. I supplied some bread, a big pitcher of Sangria, wine and suddenly February was not as bad as I thought it was.
There's magic in gathering around a table with some pretty fine folk.


  1. Beautiful tables--clearly you created much warmth for your friends and family in this bitter month. And that last picture is perfect!

  2. Love the tablescape! When we were in NY, I felt the same way about February... the LONGEST month ever! Friends, family and food is the way to go ;)

  3. I do not know about you but for the shortest month of the year February sometimes feels just like the longest. It's not my favorite. And let's not even get started on how brutal this particular February has been.