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From the desk of Lauren Palmer

Good morning McKinney!

Last week I had the opportunity to speak at The Heard-Craig Center of the Arts at their Tea & Conversation series. The topic was Creating Beautiful Tablescapes, and today I’m recapping some of the tips and tricks I gave the ladies in attendance.

1.) Have a go-to centerpiece.

Mine consists of 1 table runner, 3 square vases, 4 votive candles, and 6 hydrangea stems. This is a beautiful, easy centerpiece that works every time–especially since Hydrangea are easy to arrange. You can find the vases here and candle holders here.

2.) Be prepared for casual entertaining with elevated (but disposable) plates and utensils. I like wooden cutlery and plates that are eco-friendly but look nicer than paper.

You can find the wooden cutlery here and my favorite wooden plates here.

3.) Make dessert simple!

Two of my favorite sweets to serve are Cowboy Bark and Dark Chocolate Butterscotch Balls, both from Trader Joe’s. No one needs a giant piece of cake after dinner. Make a little sweet and coffee tray for guests to graze while visiting at the table after dinner.

4.) Keep ingredients for an easy charcuterie board on hand. The best most amazing cheese ever is called Black Pepper Toscano cheese from Trader Joe’s. I was introduced to it by my Resident Chef Lorie Fangio, and it is now an absolute favorite! Even the rind is delicious!


4.) Get creative when serving and use a disposable berry basket lined with parchment to serve a salad. You can find these here.

5.) Stock up on beautiful entertaining items available at Belk!

The lovely Julie Belk allowed me to come borrow a few pieces from Belk in McKinney to feature at my talk, and I had such a lovely time shopping the assortment at Belk.

Here are a few of my favorites:

4-in-1 Cakestand

Spanish tile wooden tray and matching salad bowl

Flatware Caddy-this is perfect to keep in the pantry stocked with your wooden cutlery!

7 piece drinkware set

Happy entertaining friends!

To learn more about Lauren and The Art of Living Beautifully, please visit our ‘about’ page.

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