12 Ways to Welcome Spring & Celebrate Easter

12 Ways to Welcome Spring & Celebrate Easter

After over four and a half years of blogging, I’ve shared a wide selection of seasonal tables, napkin folds, decorations, wreaths, crafts, and activities that welcome spring and celebrate Easter.

Here in Pittsburgh, spring seldom really arrives before mid to late April. Even then, we’ve been known to have the occasional snowfall! There’s nothing worse than having to bundle up in a winter coat to go to church on Palm Sunday or Easter. And, since the holiday can occur between March 22 and April 25, there can be years we’ve barely finished enjoying Easy, Hearty Irish Stew for St. Patrick’s Day, before its time to regroup for Easter.

But this year, they are predicting warm weather for Easter, and the forsythia, bulbs, and flowering trees will be in blooming.

Today, I’ve assembled a roundup of 12 ways to celebrate Easter and change of seasons — all in one place! Simply click on a photo or title to see each post or DIY tutorial in their entirety.

Hoping one or more will inspire you!

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Easy, Hearty Irish Stew for St. Patrick’s Day

Easy, Hearty Irish Stew for St. Patrick’s Day

This is the second year in a row that I’ve organized a St. Patrick’s Day theme hop, and I’m delighted to have 13 other talented blogger buddies join me!

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For the When Irish Eyes are Smiling party, I’ve expanded from just holiday tablescapes to include vignettes, crafts, and foods. You’re sure to find plenty of inspiration for celebrating —whether you’re Irish or not! Links to each feature are listed at the end of the rainbow post.

Today, I’m sharing my favorite St. Patrick’s Day dish, a stout-infused Irish stew with herbed dumplings. It’s the ultimate comfort food! And, perfect for the season here in Pittsburgh. On March 17th, we’re usually still experiencing cold, if not winter weather. Rather than seeing the green, it’s not uncommon for a blanket of white snow to cover the ground!

Mr. Buzz loves this flavorful, filling dish, with it’s fork tender meat and rich, deep brown gravy. He wishes I’d make it more than once a year. Happily, there’s usually enough leftovers to enjoy another day.

My approach to making Irish stew offers numerous options, so you can pick and choose the ingredients and cooking method that is sure to please family and friends.

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Traveling Irish Shamrock Cloth Tablescape

Traveling Irish Shamrock Cloth Tablescape

March has arrived and I’ve already set the kitchen table with a “new” Irish shamrock cloth in anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day.

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I’m actually the 12th Keeper of the Cloth to incorporate and style the Irish linen into a holiday table top.

My blogger friend, Linda of Life and Linda, bestowed me with the honor for 2022. See her Keeper of the Shamrock Cloth post for the origin and complete history of the tradition that began in 2010. There’s also a listing and pictures of all the previous posts as the shamrock cloth passed from one blogger to the next.

Six of those ladies are among a wonderful group of stylists who I regularly join in seasonal and holiday tablescape blog hops. Although I’ve never met any in person, they are all part of a supportive and talented community of acquaintances with shared interests. Sadly, we lost two fellow bloggers and bright lights recently; dear Paula of Virginia Sweet Pea, and Michelle of The Unpainted Hinge.

Lovely Linda sent me the Irish shamrock cloth — and it’s traveling leprechaun companion — all the way across the country from California to Pittsburgh. I’ve waited months for my opportunity to style the St. Patrick’s Day table, and hope you enjoy the results.

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Family Pasta Making, Smoked Ham & Asian Dishes

Family Pasta Making, Smoked Ham & Asian Dishes

Homemade pasta making around the kitchen island bar, smoking a ham outside on the porch, and being treated to Asian specialties. These were just several of the fun and tasty food-based activities and meals we enjoyed together, while our sons were home over the holidays.

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Eldest son’s girl was also here for two weeks, and R was determined to show off every aspect of our family’s traditions here in Pittsburgh! On the first day everyone was home, we attended a frigid Steelers game, followed by gourmet pizzas while decorating the live Christmas tree.

Another evening, we visited Phipps Conservatory’s annual Magical Flower & Light Show. Afterwards was barbeque and craft beers at a favorite local brewery. Because of the pandemic — and with three of us coming down with bad colds (omicron?) — that was the only night we ate dinner out.

Instead, everyone helped out making snacks and meals together. Many times, that included sipping on special cocktails, craft brews or wines. We all worked together in the kitchen to prepare both Christmas Eve and Day dinners. Hubby made his mini crab cakes to accompany beef fondue on New Year’s Eve, and then apple cinnamon waffles for brunch the next day. And V prepared not one, but three Asian meals!

But, special dishes and family meal making activities shouldn’t be limited to just the holidays. These days, anytime we can gather with family and friends is an occasion to celebrate, right? Hoping you find inspiration here to eat, drink and make merry all year long!

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Fold a Heart-Shape Napkin for Valentines Day

Fold a Heart-Shape Napkin for Valentines Day

Looking for a quick and easy way to set a Valentines Day table without investing in specialty holiday dishes? Then, learn how to make a draped, heart-shape napkin.

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It’s one of 20 different Napkin Folds for All Seasons, Holidays & Occasions that I’ve included in numerous tablescapes over the past few years. I’m a big proponent of using napkin folds to enhance a setting and raise the bar in terms of table styling. Not only that, but if you already have the fabric napkins, there is no additional cost.

Another major benefit is that fabric napkins are reusable and easy to store — taking up little space. And, they aren’t breakable like dishes and glassware. That’s a big part of the appeal for me. As a life-long dish addict, I have an extensive tableware collection, and am maxed out on storage space. Incorporating unique folds (or by changing the napkin color and pattern) allows me to continually update the styling of table settings.

Since sharing the Romance & Red Roses Reign on Sweetheart Table, I’ve had numerous requests on how I folded the soft draped heart. Let me show you how to do the moderate difficulty heart-shape napkin in five illustrated steps.

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Puttin’ on the Ritz for Romantic Table

Puttin’ on the Ritz for Romantic Table

As part of this year’s Valentines Tablescape Blog Hop, I’ve pulled out my West Elm Dapper Animal plates to set a romantic table.

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Depicted on the whimsical plates are either a gentleman owl sporting a monocle and top hat, or lady penguin wearing a dazzling diamond necklace. It’s perfect Puttin’ on the Ritz attire for an evening out on the town to celebrate Valentines Day.

Originally, I purchased six plates for a New Year’s Eve dinner party. To ring in 2022 with our sons and eldest’s girl, I used them to serve five a meal of surf (crab cakes) and turf (filet mignon fondue), while sipping champagne.

It was the first time we’ve all been together for New Year’s Eve in a very long time. As a result, the ‘kids’ had never seen the plates before. That’s when it dawned on me that I was only getting use of the awesome dishes once a year! Right then and there, I decided to build a romantic table setting around them for Valentines Day.

Please pull up a virtual seat at my Puttin’ on the Ritz little soiree — formal attire is not required!

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