Tabletop Topics

My fifth anniversary is coming up this weekend, so weirdly I have been thinking about dishes. I’ve been getting really into browsing Etsy in every moment of spare time. If I were getting married today, I would set up an Etsy registry and sign up for a bunch of pretty vintage china.

When Doug and I got married we registered for Crate and Barrel Aspen dinnerware, and I am still so happy with it. No chips, breaks, or anything in the past five years (knock on wood). We use it for two to three meals daily and have used it when large groups come over instead of buying (and subsequently throwing out) paper partyware. If something were to break I like knowing that they still carry it. I didn’t register for “fancy” china because honestly I wasn’t, and still really am not, a “fine china” person. But I was so ill-informed. I didn’t know all the options out there! Still, I probably wouldn’t use it. But… my collector side begs to differ. Now, I just want to have an amazing, colorful, retro, collection to gaze at 24/7.  The struggle!

The good thing is that my white set can mix and match with anything! Especially these patterns which I am totally crushing on.

Villeroy and Bosch, Acapulco (’83-’91)

This is it. This is the one. I am sure of it. Those prices, though! This would be an amazing thing to get pieces of here and there and build up a set over time. Hint, hint; family and friends.  More drool worthy pieces here on Etsy.

Studio Nova, Hi-Fi (’85-’87)

I passed up a set of this at Goodwill a couple of years ago and to this day I regret it! (Stereo would be an OK one too but Hi-Fi has that special something!) Check out more pieces here. This similar pattern is cool too.

Figgjo Lotte

This set is not as bright and vivid as the two patterns above but the cute little people on them get me every time. They are so adorable and I love the Scandinavian flair! Shop Figgjo on Etsy.

Honorable mention: Fiestaware. Every time I dine somewhere that uses Fiestaware I want to go out and buy up a huge mix and match bunch and serve all my food on the bright and fresh colors.

Did you register for fine (or not so fine) china? Are you still in love with your pattern, or has your taste evolved over time? Do you know any patterns I need to check out? Let me know in the comments :)


Wedding Registry Tips

Summer is here, and with it Wedding Season. My sister’s getting married, and a flock of couples on my Facebook feed have just gotten engaged! I decided to draw on my knowledge and experience of registering and helping others register to share a few tips.

In-store vs. online

I always, always, always, recommend registering in-store first. It’s hard to know what a product is really like until you see it in person. Take the time to hold the flatware in your hand, hold up the towels with an accent color–picture how these items will be in real life. Feel the bedding and make sure it’s soft enough–or does it seem cheap? There’s nothing worse than receiving a registry item that falls apart less than six months later. What a waste of your time and your friends’ money! That said, it’s very convenient to add more items online as those you registered for get discontinued or if the date approaches and many items have already been purchased, especially if you have seen the items in-person ahead of time.

Wedding Registry Tips

Items: 1, 2, 3

Fill the Home

If you’ve lived on your own for a while, there is a good chance you have enough “stuff” to fill up a house. Use this opportunity to fill in the gaps–to replace the ratty towels you used for 4 years in college, or the toaster that still technically works, but you suspect will cause an electrical fire any day now, for example. Register for a few nicer pieces of cookware, to replace the $5 skillet you got from IKEA a while ago. If you’re just starting out, this is a good time to get the basics. Registering at somewhere like Target is great for someone who needs everything, just know that many items will wear out much more quickly than their higher-end counterparts, and it will be up to you to replace things. (Example: I am approaching the 3-year mark and have begun replacing the cookware I received from my Target registry, as it is wearing out).

Wedding Registry Tips

Items: 1, 2, 3 

“Forever” items

If you’re getting married at an early age and have a whole home to fill, it’s tempting to register for quantity over quality. However, there are gift-givers who truly want to give you an item that will last forever. Don’t be afraid to include a few “forever” items in your registry… for some people, fine china (around $150 per place setting) is still a priority. For others, a high-end juicer or Vitamix ($650) is something they would use daily as part of a healthy lifestyle. Remember that it’s common for people to pitch in together to get a big-ticket item! Don’t worry about looking greedy–just mix in a few high-end items with a majority of things at an accessible price-point. Remember, this is a big life event and many people want their gift to reflect that.

Sometimes it’s hard to talk about registries without feeling greedy or like you’re a part of the Wedding Industrial Complex. I want to remind you that people will attend your wedding and most will feel led to bring a gift. This is because they love you and want to celebrate the milestone with you! Take all “wedding registry must-have” lists with a grain of salt and register for what you will actually use. If you don’t bake much, don’t feel pressured to add a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer just because all the kitchens in magazines have one. Be true to yourself!

Your turn: Anything to add? Leave a comment!