February 09, 2007

Your Beautiful Things ARE Meant To Be Used!

How many of us have beautiful china, serving pieces, candlesticks, vases sitting on a shelf collecting dust? I would be the first one to say, "I do." So many times I think we feel like the "good" stuff is only to be used for special occasions. NOTHING could be further from the truth! We should take great joy in using these "special" items because they will add not only beauty to our homes but also make our families feel extra special. Aren't those two goals that we as homemakers would love to achieve? Of course, when we use these special items we should do it with the utmost care because we should always treat with respect what we have been given, but we shouldn't be so worried about something breaking or chipping that we nearly have a panic attack when we see somebody using them! Why do we have these beautiful things if we aren't going to enjoy them?

All this got me to thinking about what "special" things I could bring to our dinner table so I went on a "scavenger hunt" this week. You will never guess where! In my dining room! I looked through my china hutch and brought out some pieces I haven't used for a long time! What fun I had doing this! I found beautiful pieces that I had completely forgotten about. What a shame. I know when I originally put them away I was thinking I would bring them out for "special" occasions. But why wait? Make today special! Why don't you go on a "scavenger hunt" and see what special pieces you can find that you can bring out so that you and your family can enjoy them!

I have always loved this antique pitcher and I thought it would be the perfect way to replenish our water when we are sitting at the dinner table. Much better than getting up and getting it out of the faucet!
Instead of always using Tupperware I can bring out my pretty goblets!
Instead of using paper napkins I can use some pretty cloth napkins for a change!

I can keep that unsightly margarine tub in the refrigerator and use a pretty butter dish instead!

After baking cookies, instead of putting them in aluminum foil or in a ziploc bag I can put them on a pretty plate and display them proudly!
Finally, when given a chance I plan on using fresh flowers instead of artificial. I can go on a "scavenger hunt" in my backyard and see what I can come up with. During the winter months when things aren't blooming I can always make a beautiful arrangement of greens and display them in a beautiful vase. What a perfect centerpiece for the dinner table! The fresh flowers will definitely add that perfect touch and make my family feel, "oh, so special!" Those are some of the things that I plan on doing. What about you??? When you get a chance why don't you go on a hunt in your own home? Maybe you could make it your goal to use some of these "found" treasures for your Sunday dinnner. I'd love to hear what treasures you come up with!


Mary said...

Susan, I loved this post. I do this in my home. I love using pretty things, even washing the dishes is then enjoyable. I have to confess, I sort of enjoy washing dishes, smile! I have goblets like the one in the picture. Aren't those cake plates beautiful? Also, we first feast with our eyes, then our tummies.

Karen said...

It's the little changes you mention that make home special. I don't do this often enough. You have inspired and challenged me yet again!

Coffeeteabooksandme said...

I learned about using beautiful things from my mother-in-law. When she died, she had all these lovely things that she never used. I had to throw away some of her beautiful, vintage linen items because they fell apart since they weren't use.

I keep the china I inherited from her in my kitchen, next to the china I use each day. (I have plastic plates that the guys use when eating in the family room, though. I'm a romantic but also a realist!) Over the weekend, I accidently broke one of the little plates. I told my son I'd rather have a few items broken here and there than never have them see daylight!

Just this morning, I was looking through a magazine and saw the neatest idea, which I copied. I already had a pretty, little glass pitcher with a design on the side. I took most of my teaspoons and put them in that little pitcher, just as it showed in the magazine. It looks so pretty and the added benefit is the teaspoons are there where we use them.

Love your Blog, Susan!

Kelli said...

Wonderful post, Susan and very good advice! I will go on the hunt for the pretty things I've tucked away tomorrow!
I love how you shared the ways you use your special things! So pretty!

clarice said...

Susan, I love the before and after pictures. I always could never understand why anyone would use plastic and paper napkins. Yeah pull out all the pretty stuff. Clarice

G.L.H. said...

Thank you for the reminder to use our "stuff." Great post, and I love the photos!

Anonymous said...

Love this post Susan :)
I love pretty things and using them every day.

Love Candy

Jodi said...

Oh, Susan, I have been guilty, of scrimping on the glamor at times. I think that there are moments in life where it is reasonable to simplify -- like during a difficult pregnancy, new baby, bad health, moving, major projects etc. But it's so easy to fall into a rut after those "moments" and never go back to putting in the effort to use the good stuff.

Your post is such a good reminder to make memories with our precious items so they have value to our children, too! And I loved the before and after pictures - very to the point - lol! :o)

Rachel said...

You are so right! No sense in saving that good stuff. We should use it and enjoy it!!

BTW, I made those brownies last night (from the recipe you shared in your last post) and they are awesome. I added some chopped nuts to mine. A recipe I will definitely keep and use again. No more boxed brownie mixes for me. Thank you!!

Copper's Wife said...

Yes, Yes, Yes (jumping up and down) yes, yes, yes!!! My mother was one to only use the china for Christmas and to only use the cake stand for my birthday. sigh..... My mother-in-love bought me a beautiful platter the last Christmas she was with us. But you know what she did?? She made my promise to USE IT! Her philosophy, what's the use of having it if you aren't going to use it? True, but we also want our families to know that they are special enough to use special things! Great post, Susan!

Peggy said...

what great ideals and cost free too!

Betty said...

Susan, this is a great post and so true. I have a two friends who lost their houses by fire. They had saved things to be used "later." They don't do that anymore but use their good things every day.

I don't have anyone more important than my family to use my good things for, so let's enjoy them each day.

Mrs. Monise said...

Oh my goodness what a great post! I have some beautiful dishes and silverware that I don't use, they are just collecting dust, I could be using these beautiful dishes and silverware for my family! I also have some very nice table napkins that are just sittin around. What A Great Post!

Have A Blessed Day!

Deb said...

Thanks for the encouragement Susan, I am certainly guilty of not using all the 'pretty things' as often as I would like. Debbie

smileymamaT said...

What a nice idea! We should all do this now and then. I have a charming glass punch bowl with little glass cups, was given to me when my hubby's mother passed, I think I'll bring it out tomorrow and make some punch to go with Sunday brunch...with orange slices floating in it!! Thanks for the refreshing idea. My kids will love it. I enjoy your blog, by the way. First visit. Have a great week!

Susan P. said...

Mary, I think some of the best conversations happen when washing dishes by hand with a loved one:) I loved what you said about first feasting with our eyes, sooo true!

Karen, isn't it amazing how the "little" changes can make such a "big" difference?!!

Brenda, I would love to see a picture of the teaspoons in the pitcher, what a neat idea!

Kelli, isn't fun to go "scavenger" hunting in your own home? The best part? It's free!!! YAY!

Clarice, you are a perfect example of someone who uses their "good stuff!"

G.L.H., you are welcome! I love showing pictures because I think it helps to get an idea across:)

Candy, that is great that you use your pretty things everyday! I know it must please your family:)

Jodi, I would be the first one to admit that paper plates and napkins can be a WONDERFUL blessing at times!! LOL Gotta love Chinette, sometimes:)

Rachel, I am so HAPPY you loved the brownies!! Funny thing, the recipe called for nuts but we are just not a "nut" family (LOL) so I just didn't put that in the recipe! Goodbye Duncan Hines!!

Copper's Wife, your mother-in-love was a very, very wise lady:)

Peggy, that's why I love to go on a scavenger hunt in my home because it doesn't cost a penny!

Betty, what a tragic story that serves as a wonderful reminder to us all. Thank you for sharing with us.

Mrs. Monise, it sounds like you have some beautiful things to use for your dinner table! Your family will be so pleased:)

Debbie, you're welcome!

Smileymamat, I'm so excited for you! The punch bowl with the orange slices in it sounds just wonderful!! Makes me want to come to your house for brunch!

Mrs. U said...

You make everything SO very warm and welcoming. What a wonderful gift you have!!!!!

Mrs. U (who is going to use her "nice" dishes today!!!)