Issue #228: declaring it the summer of fun tablescapes 🍽️

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 our best recommendations for your downtime
issue 228 ~ week of July 9, 2021
editor's note


TGIF ,

Outdoor entertaining and having friends over for food and spritzes — it’s a thing we can do again! While I’m pumped for this season of gathering around extravagant cheese boards, I’m mentally blocked by the desire to have the perfect spread and tablescape. In particular, the kind that I uh, saved approximately 4,538 photos of during quarantine: the flower-filled, fairytale, countryside tablescape kind. So far, I’ve scooped up these $12 candles from Etsy, this block print tablecloth*, and I already have these melamine plates and woven placemats. I’m still on the hunt for a pretty serving tray to complete my vision. Will I nail it? We shall see!

Last week, we asked and you delivered *your* best tablescaping tips, which I’ve reshared below along with some of our team’s. Thanks for sharing some rather genius pointers! Please send me any pics of your effortless (or decidedly fussy) tabletop spreads and finds. 

Alisha, editor/founder at GNI

*I learned that if you search “block print” on Etsy, many treasures await…

P.S. Have you noticed in some recent newsletters we’ve been including Guest Recs from people we admire? We’d love to know who you want to hear from in the future.

weekly picks


Some tablescaping & outdoor entertaining recs
  • If you’re looking for recipe ideas perfect for a group, paired with beautiful and inspiring visuals, check out A Table for Friends by Skye Macalpine and Tables & Spreads by Shelly Worcel.

  • These beverage dispensers are such a life saver when hosting outdoors and limit back and forth to and from the kitchen! I also always leave out our instant mini camera to capture special moments throughout the gathering.” - Olivia 

  • “Cement vases — they don’t blow over.” - reader Wendy E.

  •  “For tablescaping — I love using a fabulous, oversized platter. I have this one in large and surrounded by some mismatched bud vases with wildflowers, it’s a stunner! Also, a floral trick I learned from @therealmarketman — different flowers in the same color make for a super chic and expensive-looking table but it’s super simple and foolproof.” - reader Marissa F. 

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  • Beautiful outdoor “leisure chairs” that come with cute matching tables/footstools? Absolutely yes.

  • Okay so after sending out this email and posting this, we learned you have some serious fanny pack opinions. Here they all are!

  • “‘Heavy snacks at 4pm is the best way to entertain when there are kids involved. It's big enough for a meal, people are gone by 7, and you can have cleanup done and still time to watch a movie before bed.” - Carey (See: mini meatballs, crudite platter with your dip-of-choice, frozen phyllo dough with veg...)

  • If you’re not into the DIY approach, there’s a few ready-made tablescape companies that will simply ship you a set of everything you need: Social Studies, Hestia Harlow, and Freshly Set come to mind.

  • Some beautiful cutting boards made from recycled plastic. They’d look pretty effortless as a serving tray for cut up fruit!

  • Some dream tablescape items that are a bit more spendy: this handpainted pitcher from Pomelo Casa, darling checked pink napkins from Heather Taylor Home, a ruffled (!) tablecloth from Cutter Brooks.

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You can try Splendid Spoon yourself with $50 off your first purchase today. Pssst, Olivia's favorites are the recovery shots!

 

weekly reads


share them with the group chat
good tablescaping vibes from @rowan_blossom
  • “It’s okay to outgrow the life you thought you wanted.” (Medium)

  • Loved these simple tips for practicing joy if you’re stuck in a rut and...languishing. Relatedly, check out the Joy Generator. ✨ (NPR)

  • New fiction from Sally Rooney, whose books I somehow still haven’t read but are definitely on my list!! (New Yorker) 

  • Loved this week of outfits, especially the idea of having a goal to look “pulled together at least one day a week.” (Cup of Jo)

  • A peek into Lil Nas X's hot boy summer. (New York Times)
  • I enjoyed this (at times really funny) piece on the psychological benefits of commuting to work with some after-work ritual ideas to signal the end of a day. (The Atlantic)

  • Let’s-dismantle-capitalism meets dating apps. (The Cut)

  • I have this one bookmarked because, well, I’m on deadline: What deadlines do to lifetimes. (New Yorker)

  • A reading list for “beauty intellectuals.” (Into The Gloss)


 take action and take care


Ways to take action this week... Learn about the actions to honor, protect, and reclaim Indigenous land, especially after last week's Canadian and U.S. national holidays and severe environmental events. Learn about the various ways to support an Indigenous-led environmental movement to Stop Line 3.

Ways to take care through racial trauma... Celebrate Disability Pride Month and make space for your own and others' disabilities (one way to do this could be to find support through the Diversability community).
Thanks for reading and supporting GNI and our partners — they help make the creation of this free newsletter possible. Just a note: GNI may receive a small commission from items you purchase from this newsletter. 
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