Friday, December 7, 2012

'ALMOST 101 CHRISTMAS TABLE DECORATING IDEAS....WE LOVE! OUR NEW ERMENEK URN ARRIVALS AND MORE!...OUR WEEK IN PICTURES...THE FINAL MOBROS OF 85 TALLY AND THE SHAVE OFF....OUT AND ABOUT AT THE BELVEDERE DEAR BOY....THE EASIEST CHRISTMAS FINGER FOOD RECIPE EVER!...OUR CHRISTMAS SNOWBALL COCKTAIL RECIPE....AND WHAT BUDDHA SAID....ENJOY!

ALMOST 101 CHRISTMAS TABLE DECORATING IDEAS

credit djpalmer via flickr

Is it just me freaking out about Christmas once again this year?  Every single year I tell myself somewhere around September to get the Christmas act together early so I am super organised and ready to not only dazzle but be the secret envy of my friends with the amazing decorations, gifts and food that I have loving prepared in my kitchen (with apron)...etc...etc....etc.....
It all works so well in my mind, but unfortunately has not translated into reality as yet.  
Well, there is always next year......


Cath taking a final look over last years Christmas setting before the hoards arrived.


Out on the new back deck for Christmas dinner...we joined two tables together to make room for everyone.


For now, heres a collection of our best Christmas Table decorating ideas, that are achievable and easy to do.

1. Candles!  Candles set the mood, bring a sense of occasion to the table and look sensational.  Whether it be huge pillar candles or little glowing tealights in an assortment of colourful turkish tea glasses, candles are a fave of ours.



2.  Fresh flowers.  Keep the rest of the table reasonably simple in white, with sparkling clean crockery and tinkling glassware, then grab a large glass vase and a bunch of tiger lillies for the centrepiece...its a no brainer this one and looks beautiful.

3.  Bon Bons!  If youre very handy you can make your own, or if youre like me...buy them from the shops at the last minute.  I like to buy the middle of the range ones and then poke my own little treats in the ends.  Make name tags out of recycled card and tie them to the ends...everyone will think youre just so clever and Martha Stewart-ish!

credit Julietteculver via flickr

4.  Candlesticks!...or Candleabra as some call them.  Make it big and bold for dramatic effect. (see ours above on the family table setting)

5.  Theme the table in Black and Silver on a white tablecloth....stunning!


6.  Start at the beginning and give your table the VaVaVoom factor with a beautifully textured fabric piece as the tablecloth....dont have one big enough, but perhaps enough to make a statement...no problem, just layer it over the top of a plain colour.  

via houseandhome.com

7.  A rustic plank of wood looks spectacular as a table runner and creates a foundation for all kinds of additions.  The rustic textures against beautiful crockery and glassware adds another dimension to your table setting.  




8.  Grab your best clear vase and fill it with beautiful Christmas decorations....we love the combo of Antique Silver, Gold and Black.


9.  A sprig of green rosemary on each plate....simple, yet classic and a nice way to remember those who didnt get to the table this year.

10.  Olive branches (the spindly peripheral ones) with the leaves attached are great to use for napkin rings.  They are super flexible, so just snip the shoots from your tree, wrap around the napkin and just twist and intertwine into itself so theres no need for tying....snip off the protruding ends...add a little card made from recycled product either with your guests name, or a special message to personalise..just tuck under the ring.

Pinned Image
image via oncewed.com

.............enjoy your table decorating!  We would love to see your table setting photos, so be sure to share.

Oh...and did I say 101....???...must have been a typo!  Oh give me a break....I can barely organise Christmas drinks this year!

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WE LOVE....



Our new urns have arrived this week.  From Large Turkish Ermeneks to smaller vinegar jars crafted traditionally...all authentic and completely divine.  Available for sale now and a great Christmas gift idea.


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OUR WEEK IN PICTURES







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MOBROS OF 85

Well, its finally the end of Movember and no more Freddie Mercurys..Tom Sellecks or Salvador Dalis walking the streets for another year, although I do know of some guys keeping their moustaches much to the disdain of their wives/partners!
The final total raised thanks to you was $1548.  Not bad for 4 guys who are mostly used to raising a glass...not funds!


Bye bye Mo.....


Trish does the honours.....

We had our shave off last Saturday at The Grove Bar Ashgrove.  Pete the Greek was the only one game enough to shave in front of a crowd...here's the pics!

Congratulations to the team and we look forward to garnering more funds next year.

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OUT AND ABOUT

at 

THE BELVEDERE HOTEL


I love a Sunday drive and after our stint at The Grove which went on into the night, I particularly like a drive that is going to end in a meal cooked by others and a quality hair of the dog.

So, we took off in the convertible to somewhere cool with water views...and ended up at Woody Point.  I had seen the signs for the Belvedere Hotel enroute and at the time had no idea we would end up there for lunch.  The billboard beckoned with sunsets and cool looking people gazing into the distance at the water...it looked too unattainable, but before you knew it there we were driving right past the place.  I said...STOP!...so we did.



Its not often that all boxes are ticked for me, but I found the Belvedere to be a great place to stop for lunch.  First off we were greeted by the nicest lady with a Santa hat and tinsel earrings who just made us feel so welcome...and it was packed on this day too, but she took the time to explain the menu, where to order..even where the loos were!  She gets 10/10 for being so bloody marvellous and the hotel should be very proud to have staff such as her....anyway....


I ordered the fish and chips because my hangover was screaming for that...and Pete had the steak, smoked style (yes, there are two types of steak..normal or their house smoked style...how awesome) with the seafood accompaniment.  We both had a glass of red, sat back and watched the world go by.  Our food was excellent, with beautiful presentation, fresh and clean...wine list is small but serves the purpose and you get some suggestions for meal pairing that are easy to follow.


So, thats service, ambience, food and wine boxes all ticked....I really liked it here and will be back..even if its just to say hi to the jolly waitress who really made the experience.


Belvedere Hotel Steak & Crabhouse on Urbanspoon

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Rest In Peace Daniel Morcombe 
Finally laid to rest today
7/12/2012
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MORE CHRISTMAS FINGER FOOD TO DAZZLE YOUR GUESTS AND GIVE YOU TIME TO REST........

Family crisis this week, with my darling cousin Lanie sending out a Facebook S.O.S to friends and relatives for finger food suggestions.  It had to be fast...and it had to be easy.
Fortunately for Lanie I had the perfect recipe already under my little Santa belt.
This would have to be THE simplest recipe ever...in fact its not even a recipe...its just a four step process.

via everdaygourmet.tv

What you need....

Enough ready made pikelets (Coles bread aisle) for your guests.
Same with the smoked salmon...a little goes a long way.
Cream Cheese
Dill Sprigs

What to do...

On each little pikelet spread some cream cheese, top with a slice of smoked salmon and twirl it slightly as above so it looks pretty.
Top with a sprig of dill

Serve on a pretty platter...stand back and watch them get devoured!
YOU are a star entertainer...right there!

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THE CHRISTMAS 'SNOWBALL' COCKTAIL

Well, if youre going to make cocktails at Christmas time you may as well create something really dazzling...and if the presentation criteria includes a candy cane, then this cocktail is the one for you.

You really do need to don the Santas Little Helper outfit though when serving these up...theyre just soooo much fun.



via chuckumentary at flickr

WHAT YOU NEED...

1 shot vodka
1 shot Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur
1/2 shot candy cane infused vodka
1/2 shot cream
Peppermint Syrup to taste
Dollop of ice cream

WHAT TO DO...

Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with some ice.
Strain into a Martini glass and garnish with a candy cane for a true Christmas Cocktail.

Important Note:  Too many of these at the Christmas Party may result in you never being able to show your face back at the office....

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OUR BUDDHA THIS WEEK



Until next week have a brilliant weekend...dont get too flustered at the shops.  See you next week and be sure to pop into the showroom for a quiet retreat from the insanity, plus some beautiful gift ideas to boot....

Love, Light and Laughter....

The Charcoal Team



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