So long as I am living I will remember this one conversation with my mother that went down at the Washington Square Mall in Tigard, Oregon. (Wow, what an opener!) We were registering for china, and I was a baby. I was an infant! Okay, I was 20. And I was getting married. 

Prior to this funny time in my life I had been a college student at BYU, being all responsible and stuff by sleeping through my all classes (every single one) (I still graduated!), dating a red-haired boy with a beautiful smile, and decorating the hell out of my student apartments. 

I loved putting together my student apartments. I was the one thumb-tacking D.I. drapes above the windows at the start of every semester and running to the store for twinkle lights and accent lamps when things got stressful. This one time I constructed a seating area in my lofted bedroom out of patio furniture and swaths of gauze. I had this giant shipping trunk I'd discovered for $5 at a junk store + loved irrationally even though it was coming apart in giant wedges of deadly stake slivers? Sometimes I ate dinner on it with fancy chipped plates. Come on.

Oh! Relevant! But barely: One time a boy my roommate liked came over to pick her up for a date, wandered back to my bedroom and shouted, "It looks like a Pottery Barn catalog in here!" Not to brag or whatever but, while at the time I didn't really know what a Pottery Barn was, I did know that it sounded like an honor. A mostly useless honor, really--I was getting a D in Econ. Fortunately he wasn't remotely attracted to me and I didn't feel like I was upstaging my roommate with my housewife skillz (#roommatecode!) (#byu!), because my roommate, it must be said, had a really great rack and wasn't failing Econ. (#actualcatch!)

I'm still mostly bad at everything valuable in life, but boy do I love putting things together in a somewhat cluttered yet ultimately pretty, eye-pleasing way. It feeds my soul! Poor Brandon sometimes says, "Can't we just enjoy this for a couple months before you do something different?!" (He also sometimes takes down the twinkle lights while I'm in Arizona for a funeral, but what can you do? The man does not appreciate twinkle lights.), but what can I tell you, B? When all else fails and something's dumb, I can switch the chairs in the living room + pull out a table cloth and feel instantly better about things. So there.

There is a point to all this, probably. 

Oh yes! So there I was, holding my scanner gun aloft, thoughts midair, attempting to register for grown up things while also being a very young person, knowing instinctively that I would never be able pick out just one look for the rest of my life (and / or until the last plate broke and I'd get to buy a new set), and so my mother, sensing my distress, proclaimed unto me the following:

"Plain white. Trust me."

Yes ma'am! 

and ultimately the reason why this was the best advice ever in my life

I'm a scatterbrained ninny most of the time. I can't help it! I've moved around a lot in my life and I feel like that's contributed a lot to my somewhat scattered life with my somewhat scattered interests. I like a lot of very different things. Still to this day I could never pick an aesthetic, hobby, home style, lifestyle, that I know I could settle with for the rest of my life. Or even an entire year! (Oh but I've gotten real close!) I'm a windy person, in that my whims like to chaaaaange with the breeze. 

Snowe emailed about collaborating with their line of simple, white, basic, beautiful dinner, drink + serving ware, and I knew. I knew the way you know about a good melon. We were MFEO.

Because, as my mother once told me: 

"Plain white. Trust me."

So, back story accomplished, let's move on to the pictures, shall we?

With help from Snowe, I styled a few of my favorite "looks" ("feeeelings!") over the weekend. Not necessarily place settings, not especially dinner party ready, just fun. All featuring favorite doodads collected over the years; all held together by this one impossibly beautiful set of porcelain, sterling silver, and Italian crystal. Here we go!


When I was in high school I went through a massive pink phase that never fully left me, and then recently, after my grandma Shirley died, I rediscovered my love of obnoxiously feminine florals. Add in mini marshmallows and ya got it.

(This plastic cutlery is from Michael's and it. is. fun.)

Snowe porcelain is oven safe! Microwave and dishwasher too, and its slim profile makes it stack together in your cupboard like a dream. 

I just want to say while we are here, sugar-free jello in antique cut glass is a really good way to go, thumbs up.

I like this frilly little look. Good for a tea party, a little lunch gathering, or some rather important business meetings. :) 

only a little bit though, let's not get carried away

While I was in Paris last April, the one thing I was consistently taken with was all the simple, rustic dinners at the most crowded outdoor bistros, and the simple, beautiful way in which that simple, rustic food took center stage. Maybe like me you think about French food and it starts to get all fussy, but these meals were the exact opposite. And so easy to replicate.

A couple sprigs of bay leaves for garnish, small handfuls of scattered nuts + dried fruits, the simplest florals on the planet, lots of cheese, and a really beautiful roast chicken.

none of my ladies were harmed in the making of this table setting


It's been a long time since I lived in the desert, but on recent trips back I haven't been able to keep myself from raiding every local Goodwill I pass for physical reminders of my first 12 years. 

LIKE THAT CROCHET HOT PAD. (I told my aunt, "I could just make that . . ." and then she said, "Or you could just BUY it, now." #logicwins!) 

Now that I think about it, I think I've instinctively been gravitating toward this look for years--who knew!? ;)

(I almost wanted to put little potted cacti on the table and then I realized, yeah that's probably a dumb idea; spiky things when you're reaching for the butter?)


Oh gosh I can't help myself. Sometimes I like to see all of my things! all at once! Brandon's people are farming people, mine aren't, so this is new territory for me, but what with this crumbling farmhouse we're living in and the barn out back . . . the miles and miles of wheat fields and cows wherever you turn. . .  I think I've been grandfathered in?

Currently the favorite. Easily.

Anyway and worth noting: these chef's towels will make you weep! Beauty! I've ordered similar linens on Amazon before and those just do not feel the same. Those feel like towels. These feel like parsnips and turnips and goats in the back yard. AND they have these amazing connected ties that make it double perfectly as a chef's apron. Dude.

And if you ask me, that's a damn good way for a towel to feel. ;)

. . . until we make our next move to a houseboat somewhere wherein I will decorate with fishy stuff and seashell themes. Hey! Here are some sources!

Snowe provides all sorts of sets, so it's easy to get exactly what you need for your unique situation, all the basics for life itself, while taking all the guesswork out of it.

Whew! This post was brought to you in partnership with Snowe. And the hoarded contents of my basement. ;) 


  1. This couldn't have come at a better time - I'm right in the middle of picking items for my wedding registry and I've been so unhappy with the options available for table settings! You saved me! Thanks girl xo

  2. you are such a great designer! I love how you've got each theme and they are practically perfect! you are a genius! now come decorate my house!!

  3. I totally get this post is about beautiful dishes and all, but WHAT ABOUT THAT LOAF OF BREAD? The gorgeous one on the dark cutting board which looks amazing and I want to eat the whole thing with butter and jam. If you made that... PLEASE share the recipe!

    Beautiful post of course. :)

  4. You put an amazing amount of work into this!!

  5. You passed on the cacti, but left a white dreamcatcher on the table? Hmmmm...

  6. You passed on the cacti, but left a white dreamcatcher on the table. Hmmm.....

  7. Best advice, for sure! We nixed the fancy patterned china for simple and timeless plain white dishes and serving pieces from C&B and I've not once in almost 8 years regretted our decision. I love them just as much today as I did the day we picked them out... which saying a lot for someone who also pretty "windy" and likes to change things quite often ;)

  8. White calms me... but I also inherited my Grandmas gold and pink "spring cherry blossoms " wedding China, and I sort of would love more pink in the kitchen. Don't think my husband will like it.. he's got opinions about stuff. Still, love all these ideas! Xoz

  9. ditto to the beautiful bread!
    loved this post :)

  10. I love this! You have so much talent -Hanna Lei

  11. I am in a downsizing mode now but I just loved the post! white is best..

  12. Love this whole set up, and your taste in table setting in different forms with themes is unique, and just lovely! Very french like! I love it!

  13. I personally believe that decoration and location are really important and must be done carefully. I got married at one of iconic Chicago wedding venues and that had beautiful DIY d├ęcor and all arrangements were simply superb.

  14. These photos are beautiful.
    On another note...and I tread lightly here. I understand you are a smart cookie and just in case you aren't already aware, out of love and care I'm sharing this. It's about artificial sweeteners and their connection to alzeimer's, etc. I guess anything "sugar free" contains them. Most recently aspartame has been given a new name to trick people,"amino sweet".


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