Comforts of home…what’s new chez nous

Last night we hosted the annual family break-fast for Yom Kippur. It was a smaller group than usual (10 of us this time), but fun & lively.


Fall centerpiece with sunflowers, dahlias, rose, freesia.

I threw this centerpiece together from a couple of random grocery store bunches/bouquets, and was quite pleased with how it turned out! I haven’t really done much in the way of flower arranging in decades (though I’ve been thinking about taking a class). The container was clear and I didn’t like the stems showing, so just put it inside a small lunch bag.

We haven’t entertained in quite some time, so this was a good “shakedown cruise” ahead of the holiday season. Our entertaining style is casual: we serve buffet style and everyone sits where they want. But I do like to pull out the silver flatware for company.

Towle silver flatware set.

This set was my grandmother’s, and probably dates back to the 1920’s when she was first married. So it’s almost 100 years old! It’s due for a good polish, which I’ll probably tackle next week.

We have a small house, and if we have more than six for dinner, I pull out the folding chairs from the garage.

I’m always so glad that I bought some slipcovers for them several years ago. Mine are a similar style to these.

Bed & bath

A few people have asked about the bedding in the background of my outfit mirror selfies. It’s this one from Pottery Barn. We really like this quilt; it’s warm enough but seems breathable so we don’t swelter.

Frontgate bath towels.

We finally had to replace a set of towels last month. Le Monsieur and I always have a difference of opinion on texture. He prefers towels that are soft to the point of just smearing the water around. I just want them to be absorbent, and I don’t mind if they’re even a little scratchy. He read some good reviews of these, so we ordered a set, and both like them.

Stay in touch

Sign up to be notified of new posts and updates from une femme d’un certain âge.

Affiliate links in posts may generate commissions for See my complete disclosure policy here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. table looks lovely! one of the best tips for flowers I ever read was to buy 2 mixed bouquets of the same style, at the supermarket, and then split the flowers in 3 short vases (I actual use three same color toothbrush holders, from HomeGoods!) according to color. the short arrangements look great as a “runner” on the tabletop and don’t impede conversation or sight.

  2. Susan, your flatware pattern is Towle Old Lace, the same as my mother’s. Seeing your photos brought back so many memories of holiday meals and special occasions. My sister has the flatware now and it is still being used! Thanks for prompting the happy memory.

  3. I loved your comments on towel absorbency! I am like you; I want my towel to DRY me. My mother-in-law uses fabric softener on her towels which gives that smearing the water around effect. Since we drive there for visits, I actually bring my own towel along from home so I can feel dried off after a shower. I’m very discreet about it and I have the same towel as hers. Everyone is happy

  4. Very nice! Our home environment is something we can control and when balanced, contributes significantly to our sense of well-being. Thanks!
    PS My husband and I have exactly the same towel preferences as you and your husband—too funny.

  5. I didn’t want this post to end. Would like to read more about how you entertain—buffet menu and esp how you set up your space to seat folks. We also have a small space and don’t really want to seat people around a table.

    I know this is fashion blog but maybe once or twice a year a similar post would be great.

  6. I also enjoyed your home style feature. I already ordered 4 of the chair slipcovers. I too love using real silver and have decided at age 68 to use it daily. Life is short. I put it through the dishwasher(except for knives) and occasionally polish while watching tv with toothpaste. Nontoxic and easy.

    1. Ooh. The only other person I’ve ever “met” who also uses toothpaste to polish. I use it on my silver earrings — works perfectly.

  7. Not only is it important to use your silver flatware, but use your good china every day as well. China is actually more chip resistant than other materials. I have 16 place settings of Wedgwood Nantucket Basket that I’ve used for 33 years and I’ve only broken 4 pieces….not a bad track record for breakage. I also have my Grandmother’s sterling flatware that dates back to the 1930’s. I always wash and dry it by hand.

  8. L;shana tovah, Susan!

    I too have my grandmother’s silverware, as well as her chine, and love being able to pull it out for holidays. I also have my other grandmother’s folding chairs, which are carved wood, with slightly upholstered seats, with a matching table for six. I have not had any big dinners still at my home, so they remain in the closet. Part of that is because I have almost no family living near me anymore, with my children and grandchildren living far away and the older generation now all gone. I miss the big break-fast dinners, the seders, and the Thanksgivings. . . You have made me think about how perhaps I can begin to imagine new kinds of dinner events, with friends.

  9. I smiled at your comment about not wanting to see stems in the vase. I love glass but don’t like seeing stems, either, so I use a variety of blue, green, or cranberry glass vases (in my Winter colors, LOL). Always on the lookout for vases, esp in thrift stores, where they are usually a dollar or two.

  10. Susan,
    Regarding using your sterling silver… A friend commented to me many years ago, Chris – if you don’t use your sterling, you will die and it will be left in the drawers! That prompted me to use mine every single day! It’s much nicer to use it at every dinner time! She even suggested putting it in the dishwasher, which I do, except for the knives because they can have problems at the blade and handle joints if they go through the dishwasher. I have my mothers sterling and it gives me great pleasure every day to use it at the dinner table. We’ve always eaten in the dining room, and even though the dishes are not my good China, using my mothers sterling makes me feel good every single day! I encourage you to do the same thing and not just save it for the holidays…

    1. I totally agree! USE YOUR “GOOD SILVER” EVERY SINGLE DAY!! What are you “saving” it for??!? No knives in the dishwasher…we enjoy it every day, and I want my children and grandchildren to remember that we used our nice things because every day is **special**

  11. I have these same Frontgate Resort towels. I really like them. Very thick and luxurious as well as very absorbant. I’ve had them for about a year.

  12. I too set my holiday table with my mother’s and grandmother’s silver and china. Its my small way of keeping these beloved women in my heart at holiday dinners.
    Wishing you and your family a sweet new year.

  13. I love absorbent towels as well. I have a sea glass colour in the ensuite and have found L.L.BEAN striped towels that work perfectly. Wear extremely well too. From Turkish cotton which is likely why.
    A set of thick Turkish cotton towels purchased in 2005 are in our shower room, and just now showing wear on the sides. The face cloths did not last as long…not surprising…but can’t beat 17 years!

    Looking forward to my table decor for our Thanksgiving ( Canadian) this weekend. Love doing something creative from my garden.

  14. Non-absorbent towels drive me nuts! I’ve been buying Penney’s Dri-towels and mostly like them because they’re inexpensive, absorbent and dry quickly in the dryer. I was ready to order your recommended brand. They sound wonderful, then wondered if they dry quickly in the dryer.

    1. I haven’t found they take longer than our other towels to dry, but I also use an auto setting on our dryer so don’t monitor it closely.

  15. Another fan of Frontgate towels! So soft. One way I’ve found to keep them soft is to add a little vinegar in the rinse to help get more of the soap out, and dry on lower heat.

  16. we entertain in the same way! I have my great Aunt’s silver and we use folding chairs also. I love the slipcovers.

  17. Glad you had such a nice family gathering. I don’t like having people over for dinner, just because I am a lazy so and so. I cannot be bothered with setting the table, clearing everything away and doing the dishes (we do have a dishwasher, but some of the stuff is antique and needs to be done by hand). Of course I enjoy the company and the food, but again, I am so lazy.
    Your silverware is beautiful. I have sold mine but that wasn’t a family set, just a purchased one. I hated the polishing. Once again, I am lazy.
    There are tricks for polishing them. Something with alumuniumfoil, soda (??) and hot water. You have to research it yourself.