Birthday Celebrations


This year my birthday fell on Easter Weekend!  It was incredibly awesome to share the weekend with all the celebrations of Easter.

 My husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday this year.  The one thing I really wanted was to be with my good friends around a table.  We thought about a restaurant but I don't like restaurants for parties, you can never really chat with everyone.


  Being that my hubby loves to cook, he recruited our daughters and 2 of their friends to cook for us in our own house.


The weather was perfect so we did it outside by the pool.  It was casual and FUN!  Great music and loads of laughter with 14 of my good friends that I do life with!


We had salad and appetizers and the girls served us all evening.  Even Ava, our doggie, enjoyed the party!

My wonderful, talented friend made these amazing tufted cupcakes.  Aren't they incredible?  They were super delicious too, all decorated in easter colors.

Kimmberly Ramos at 

It was my husband's birthday about a week before mine.  He turned the BIG 50.  We have some amazing friends that took us out for dinner at a new restaurant in Dallas to celebrate.  If you haven't been there, it is an amazing steakhouse.

"The Knife".

the knife

Bacon Tasting of 5 varieties for the appetizer, so good! Notice I am just sitting nicely while my husband just about stabs me LOL.

For my present, my wonderful handyman husband hung these vintage stained glass lanters for me in our cabana! I've had them in my storeroom for a while now and just didn't have time to do anything with them.  He agreed to hang them for my party!  Best gift ever is one done with LOVE!


Speaking of LOVE.....

17 years ago my husband Dan sold his TR6 because we had babies, I quit working and we needed the money. I remember standing upstairs looking out the window as his car drove away!  It was a sad day but he did it with no hesitation because it was the right thing to do.  He and my dad had totally rebuilt the car and had put loads of hours and lots of memories into it.  I remember thinking to myself as I watched it drive away, "one day, I'm going to buy him a car just like that." This month he turned 50 so I surprised him with a totally refurbished 1974 TR6, just like his old one. He has encouraged me, supported me, and worked hard along side me in my business.  Nothing I give him can ever thank him.  Most of all, he has loved our family so well!  It was a great suprise but I realized, it is not about the car.  It's about the meaning behind it and the memories we created with it.  


Every where we go in the car, we are stopped and someone tells us a story about how they use to have one just like it.


 So Fun!

My birthday was the same thing this year, filled with memories with good friends.  These kinds of memories are priceless!!

Girls night out Entertaining Tips


If you are like me, you love to entertain but find it hard to do with all the hats you wear as a mom. We are all involved in so many activities, commitments, work, charities, church, etc. that it's hard to find time to relax and enjoy.

Picture12However, we find a way to do things that we love, right?

The other day I had about 6 friends over to sit under my gazebo for the evening.  My girlfriends are extremely important to me.  It is easy to get so "busy" with our lives that we forget to make time for those that we love the most.

5-23-2014 8-04-00 AM

 I refuse to let that happen and am purposely making time to enjoy and nurture those friendships, despite my crazy, busy life these days.


I knew I wasn't going to have time to prepare homemade appetizers but wanted them to feel treated. I not only wanted the food to look good, I wanted it to taste yummy.


So I purchased some  of my favorite appetizers.  Some of great places to get yummy treats is Central Market, Trader Joes and I've even found some tasty favorites from Costco, if you can believe that :)  This time around I chose guacamole, hot sauce, fresh veggies, grapes, chicken salad, corn salsa, chips, crakers and some tasty cookies.  All easy "grab and go" snacks.


The key to making your appetizers look more "appetizing" is the way they are served.  It's tempting to open up a store bought chicken salad or hot sauce and put the container out and call it done.  There is nothing wrong with that and believe me I won't judge you if that is the way you do it :)


What I like to do is place my items in different kinds of bowls, dishes, jars, glass cups, etc.  It takes a few more extra steps but it's easy to do and makes your guests feel a little more cared for.  It shows them that you spent some time getting things ready.


 I purposely look for different kinds of  interesting plates and glass containers when I'm at estate sales, etc. Actually, most of you have these kinds of things in your kitchen cabinets.  Some of the glass jars I use are actually candle holders.  I love etched glass and glasses with colorful bases (as seen below).



Another thing I like to do, if we are eating outside, is serve the items inside on my kitchen island but have all the dishes on trays.  This allows us to move all the appetizers easily to the table outside if we decide to do so.


So next time you feel like you miss your friends and want to have a time around the table chatting, catching up, encouraging one another and laughing until you cry, don't hesitate!  Offer up your home and make it easy on yourself by purchasing your food and displaying it with some of  the tips I just mentioned.

 There is nothing better than being in a Home vs. a restaurant.  You will find that there is deeper conversation and a more meaningful time when it's around a kitchen table or an outside patio.

Step out of your comfort zone, I promise you won't regret the memories you make with friends gathered around yummy food!  Don't let "I'm too busy" be your excuse.

Gel Staining... Small change but big impact.

Mini Wax Gel Stain is my best friend today!
I have this antique buffet in my living room that I love but I wanted to update it a bit.   I contemplated painted it but I knew that wouldn't fly with my husband :(   As you might know, painted furniture is all the rage right now, it's a great way to give a new look to old antiques.
Take a look at Noteworthy Home and see what amazing work she is doing!  I love following them on Facebook!
I thought about gold leafing the insets on each side but couldn't get brave enough to do that either. 
But what I did do was use my Walnut Gel Stain to make the insets stand out.
We use this gel stain a lot for staining stair banisters, cabinets, doors and much more.  It's wonderful because there is no major sanding needed.  It sits on the surface of the existing stain and darkens it immediately. 
Small change, big impact!
I'm happy!  What do you think?
I also wanted to say thank you to Kathy Greenley for featuring me on her blog today!
Here.  I feel honored that she included me in this feature about Collections.
 Order her book "The Collected Tabletop" here you will love it!  As you know, I LOVE to entertain and set a beautiful table.   You can see a few of my posts about entertaining here and here.
Visit my websit DecRenew Interiors to see my Design Portfolio with before and after pictures you won't want to miss.

Tablescapes and Dinner

My husband and I belong to a Gourmet Dinner Club and it's such fun to rotate to different homes each month.  Last night it was our turn to host!
Hosting together was a blast!  He loves to plan and so do I.  I love to make things beautiful and he loves to make things taste incredible.  We make a good team and it's always fun to find things to do together that we enjoy!

It was a blast preparing the table scape as well as the menu.

I created this menu on Microsoft Publisher and printed them on card stock.  The turquoise print matched one of the leaves on the tablecloth.  The menu was a bit of fun added to the table and made for great conversation as the guests were seated.

Casa Roca is our house name.

Fresh flowers always make a nice statement on a table.  I bought the small vases about a year ago and hadn't used them yet so it was great to pull those out. 

I made the napkin rings out of ribbon and they added a pop of color and interest to the table!

I had this beautiful round tray and it happened to coordinate with the tablecloth so it was in the center of the table.  I placed all the flowers on the tray and I think it really made a nice centerpiece and smelled divine.
My girls enjoyed helping me set up so it became a family affair.  Of course they didn't want to have anything to do with the thousands of dishes that were in sink after the party :(
We had Bruschetta for the Starters as well as hot crab dip.  We tried to prepare as much as possible ahead of time so we weren't too frantic when our guests arrived.
Everyone was served champagne as they arrived with a raspberry floating on top :)
We served a wedge salad with blue cheese or ranch dressing as our starter.
 Visit Pinterest to get the recipe I used.
The main entree was roasted carrots with shallots and thyme. 
 Visit Pinterest to get the recipe.
English roasted potatoes.  These are my absolute favorite and growing up I was the one who had to make them each Sunday after church.  
Visit here for a great recipe!
Rib Eye Steak with Devil's Sauce cooked to perfection. 
 Visit here for the recipe.
  The sweet raspberry jam in the sauce made it divine.
We then had this chocolate delight for our dessert.  I made them in individual glasses so it was easy to serve out on the patio with coffee.
Visit here for the recipe.
Ruthie's Party Tip:  Plan as much as you can in advance.  You want things to be fresh but things you can do ahead of time make it less stressful for you.  You want to be a good host or hostess and not be frazzled to the max when you guests arrive.  We always allow for about 20 minutes before the party to sit and just relax before everyone shows up.  We put it on our "to do" list for the party day.  I even have the coffee ready to brew so I don't have to think about that later either.
The best part of the whole evening was the conversation, laughter and time shared together! 
Hope your week is filled with beauty!  Remember I can help you with your next party.  I offer a party consultation that helps you walk through all the details of planning a party and how to "use what you have" for the setup.  It's money well spent and lots of stress relieved on your part.
I get to enjoy these flowers all week now so that's amazing!
Visit my website DecRenew Interiors to see my design portfolio. 

Participating in Tablescape Thursday from Between Naps on the Porch

Party decor and tasty recipes

I was so inspired by this skirted table with all these colorful ribbons....I had to try it!
DecRenew Interiors
(Our Baby Shower Color Scheme)
This past weekend some friends and I hosted a baby shower for a dear friend of ours.  My job was to come up with some fun decorations to decorate the hosts table and misc touches here and there to set the mood and create ambiance.
All girls love to come and be with their friends especially when their is a celebration in order.  It does take extra work to make things look prettier but it is SO worth it.  The extra time we spend makes the person we are honoring as well as the guests that get to come to the party feel special. 
"Sip and See" is the perfect way to host a shower, especially with the busy schedules we all keep these days.  Guests came and went and coffee, ice tea and yummy desserts were served.
I decided to put a variety of different color and patterned ribbon all the way around the table, creating a beautiful cascading skirt around the table (see above).  The kids that were there before hand, really enjoyed cutting all the ribbon the right length and attaching them all carefully with pins.  I always love getting children involved, especially girls.  They LOVE to help out and it makes them feel so important.  It takes some patience and guidance but their expressions after they have finished is priceless.
These colors are so joyful!  Perfect for this happy celebration.
The girls and I enjoyed putting together these tissue paper rosettes for the event too.  Balloons are great but these are just so much more spunky than the typical.'s always fun to try a new idea.
They added such a fun cheery color to the table full of irresistible desserts!  Of course a party is no party if the food doesn't taste FANTASTIC.  If it's beautiful and the food tastes horrible, that's no good.  We have no excuse these days, we have lots of options!  We had several purchased desserts....lemon cakes from Costco that were divine and finger press cookies from Market Street that melted in your mouth.
The girlie's overlooking the fun and anticipating the guest of honor!  What girl doesn't want to see a cute little new born baby and hold him!  They hung all the decorations and felt proud.  Aren't they so very adorable in their little skirts and dresses.
Plates and napkins - Party City
There are so many cute plates and napkins out there for baby showers, etc.  Ruthie's Tip of the day:   Remember to look down all the isles in all the theme categories. These plates weren't in the baby shower section but the napkins were.  Mixing and matching is the best.....not matching and matching!
My friend Kristi made these petits fours.  I've always wanted a good recipe and she says this one is really easy.  Visit the link here that she shared with me so you can make them too!  They are absolutely melt in your mouth delicious!  Perfect for wedding and baby showers as well as birthday parties and any special occasion.  I could get all kind of crazy thinking about fun ideas to decorate these little cuties. 
Recipe for Tracy's Oreo Truffles.  WARNING...You can't just eat one of these!
(Marilyn's homemade peanut butter cups!)
 1/2 c. smooth peanut butter + 4 1/2 tsp. butter (soft) + 1/2 c. powdered sugar - mix (sometimes have to make a bit more)...Melt in microwave, 1 pkg. semisweet choc. chips + 4 hersheys bars + 1/2 c. peanut butter. Drop a bit of chocolate mix in little muffin each with a small 'ball' of peanut butter all with more chocolate. EASY!!!
 Refrigerate to set.
Mindy's iced tea Recipe is always a hit!
2 large ice tea bags
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups Lemon Juice
1/2 cup white grape juice or apple juice
Water to fill gallon jug
Here are some additional photos that inspired me for this event and others I have up my sleeve that are coming up soon!
Now that we are done with the tissue paper rosettes, we are going to hang them above my daughter's bed.  Her room is SW gecko green so they will look perfect in there!
The larger the grouping and all hung at different heights, the better!  We have 9 so that should make a grand statement.
So elegant!
Visit my website Decrenew Interiors and book your consultation today.