Archive for the ‘Dishes and Serving Pieces’ Category


Uncle John, my dad’s only (and younger) brother,  was in the service stationed in Japan in the early 1950s.

When he came home, he brought all his sisters (including his lone sister-in-law) a lovely tea set.


The pattern is Noritake Morning Glory and from what little information I’ve been able to find, it was only manufactured from 1950-1953.


I can remember my mom using her tea set for  extra special occasions.

snake plate

She would carefully take the cups and the little snack plates down from the high shelf of a cupboard and serve special little sweets to the ladies gathered in our home.

Long admiring the set, I was thrilled beyond words when my Dad gave it to me the last time we were at their house. Trying to downsize since their move from the farm into town, I was more than happy to give the tea set a new home.


And I need to plan a little party so I can use these beautiful china pieces.

Thanks, Uncle John, for being so sweet and bringing them back to your sisters in the first place!

If any of you know more history about the dishes, I’d love to hear it. Please leave a comment or send me a message at shanna@shannahatfield.com

She Who Loves Old Dishes

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I stumbled across these Hot-Handle holders by Lodge the last time we were at Captain Cavedwellers most favorite store on the planet.

Snatching up a set to try, I was very glad I did.

You slip this little holders over the handle of your hot skillets and it not only protects our hand from the heat, it is way easier to maneuver than trying to keep a traditional potholder wrapped around the handle.

If you’ve ever burned your hand on a cast-iron skillet handle, you can understand how important it is to keep those handles covered.

Give these a try and see what you think!

She Who Likes These a Lot

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I was flipping through a magazine the other day and saw this lovely photo.

The soft, pale hues spoke to me. The whispered of loveliness and a certain aura of elegance.

Turning the pages in another magazine, I found an entire spread about Palescapes and I was hooked.

So I quickly started digging through my cupboards and storage closets to see what I could find.

I found much.

Like these plates. The one on the far left is from a Mikasa set Captain Cavedweller bought for me. The one next to it and the one on the far right are both from Willow House (formerly Entertaining at Home), the direct selling company I was proud to be a part of for several years. The dish with the delicate little flowers is part of a set my grandpa bought for my grandma way, way back when.

This plate was a gift several years ago from my niece, Miss Molly, when she was still in school. I love the beautiful lace etching on the clear glass.

These five pieces were  given to us (I say us, but I really mean me because Captain Cavedweller really isn’t all that excited about my dish collections) right after Christmas by two people who are very near and dear to our hearts.

A beautiful mug, part of the Mikasa set, from CC.

Creamy, snowball shaped candles nestled well in a clear glass bowl. I love the fluted edges on this serving piece and I use it for decor purposes as much as I do for serving food.

I love, love, love this bowl Captain Cavedweller gave me for Valentine’s Day last year. See the little dangly hearts? CC makes me feel all dangly when he gives me presents like this.

A cupboard full of pale, pretty pieces.

It makes me smile.

She Who Likes Dishes Way More Than She Should

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So, you’ve got a houseful of guests arriving and are starting to go into panic mode because you want everything to be beautiful and wonderful and perfect!

Take a deep breath and relax! Remember, the most important thing about upcoming gatherings is building relationships not worrying about dust bunnies.

There are some simple things you can do now to help ease your stress load later this week.

If you will be serving your meal buffet style, here is an easy step-by-step guide to setting up a buffet table. And you can set it up now! No need to wait until the last-minute.

Start with a blank table. Get it positioned where you’d like to have your buffet. If you want the buffet to run down both sides of a table, make sure there is plenty of room for guests to get completely around it. I like to push my table against the wall because it gives me the opportunity to be a bit more creative with how I design the buffet.

Drape your table with a neutral cloth. You can use white or cream, but I like black best. It makes the colors on the table pop and come to life. It also hides spills and stains so your guests won’t worry because they can’t see it!  I use sheets a lot because they are inexpensive, easy care and come in a variety of sizes. Please ignore the fact I did not iron the wrinkles out of this sheet before putting on the table! Promise you will not tell my mother! Please!

Next, you want to add height to your table. Focus the tallest point off-center. I like to put it off to one side and create a bit of a “waterfall” effect. By that, I mean that your height is at the back and on one side and the height decreases as you come toward the other side and to the front. You want the highest point to be where  you will place your centerpiece. Think about what serving pieces you want to use and place height accordingly. For example, you wouldn’t place a huge platter on a small box. If you don’t have sturdy boxes, you can use stacks of books or even cooking pots turned upside down. As you can see, I’ve even used a little storage crate.

You are going to cover up your height elements (boxes) with another cloth that matches your base cloth. Hello beautiful black drape! Don’t worry about making it perfectly smooth. It won’t be. Embrace the lumps and wrinkles and give them a bit of a  fluff to look artistic.

Here is where your colors are going to start to pop. Choose a third cloth that goes with your theme, scheme or matches your serving pieces. The table I’m doing today is heavy on red with some cream accents, so I went with a traditional holiday plaid. You want to drape this casually over the table.

And the next thing you know, you’ve got a beautiful buffet ready to greet your guests. Go ahead and position all your serving pieces, tweak them to just how you like them and leave them there until you are ready to fill them with food. If there is a possibility you will forget what food goes in which serving dish, label them with sticky notes. You can get this table set up now and save yourself oodles of time the day your company is arriving. Just drape the entire table with another sheet to keep any dust (or kiddie fingers) from landing on the dishes.

Wasn’t that easy?

Now, go out there and create your own beautiful holiday buffet table!

Happy Holiday Entertaining!


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