Today I am talking Easter prep: my blue and white table setting and minimal dining room decor, the orzo and roasted veggie dish I make every year, plus Nora Murphy’s new book!


Can you believe Easter is in just two weeks?!

Are you ready?!

I won’t have family here, but I still set a table.

Because I enjoy it.

And really, I can remove the three bunnies and it would be perfect for any spring get-together. Even Mother’s Day!

In fact, I am just enjoying looking at it as I go about my everyday!

It is much better than the usual detritus that litters the table.

I added a few other bunnies and spring blooms to the dining area. Again, when I say a few, I mean it. But I will still share with you, because they are cute.

Today I am also sharing the orzo and roasted veggie salad I always make for Easter brunch or dinner. It is a keeper!

Lastly, Nora Murphy/s new book Country Living House came out this week! I have been waiting for this for 18 months!

I will explain…

Let’s get to it!

A Blue and White Table Setting

Table runner and napkins

The inspiration for my table setting came from a trip to the fabric store.

I drove up to Belfast for a Facebook Marketplace pickup and couldn’t resist stopping at my favorite fabric shop, Fiddle Head Artisan Supply.

Of course I was drawn to a mix of beautiful blue and white floral prints.

Once home, I got to work sewing — a pieced table runner, napkins, and a fresh sink skirt for spring.

The varied shades of blue and mix-and-match patterns make me so happy!

These are the fabrics I used:

William Morris by Freespirit Brer Rabbit, navy. How could I resist this bunny and bird pattern??!

William Morris by Bettermere Mini Strawberry Thief, indigo

Floral Leaves on Deep Cream, Brensham, Lewis & Irene

Mancini in Indigo by Bleu de France, French General

Curved Floral in Sky, Flower Press by Moda

Maintenon in Indigo, Bleu de France, French General

For details on how I sew my napkins, table runner, and sink skirt, see my blog post Easy Sewing Projects to Warm Your Kitchen and Table for Winter.

Place settings

Once I had my color palette and theme set, choosing the dishes and glasses was easy.

Layering dishes is the key to a beautiful and interesting table.

I started with pale blue/gray earthenware Rua Nova dinner plates from Bordallo Pinheiro. They create a neutral base.

On top I layered two antique blue and white transferware plates from my mom’s collection. They are all different patterns and different shades of blue.

I placed the folded napkin in between the top two plates.

As a “palate cleanser” I grounded the mix of patterns with a wicker placemat. I always likes to add some brown to my blue and white. It creates depth, and the wicker adds texture!

A quick aside: There is a happy story behind these placemats! I had been eyeing them at Serena and Lily for years. I never pulled the trigger, though, because they are a bit pricey.

Then, last month I was in a church thrift store in Camden. I rarely stop there, but noticed it happened to be open, so I popped in. And there, on the shelves, were 8 of these placemats, with the Serena & Lily tags still stuck to the bottom! Priced at just $30 for the set! As you can imagine, I skipped out of the shop that day!

Shop the placemats:

The final addition was glassware. I chose antique pressed glass goblets in a variety of patterns. My mom collected these too, and I have added a few pieces myself to the collection. With their floral designs, they are perfect for spring!


I always keep a simple centerpiece on the dining area table — usually my stack of wooden bowls and some candles.

Then, I make easy changes and additions seasonally or for special occasions.

For my Easter table I simply placed a blue and white Burleigh bowl planted with grape hyacinths on the top of the stack of bowls.

Four easy steps to plant a bowl of flowers:

  • Add a couple inches of small stones for drainage to the bottom of whatever bowl you choose.
  • Remove flowers from plastic pots and arrange in the bowl. I used 4 small pots in my bowl.
  • Fill in with potting soil as needed
  • Top with preserved moss for a finished look.

Bonus: Planted flowers last longer than cut flowers! And I love their natural look.

I left the glass candle holders and blue and white flameless candles as is.

As a final touch, I added a few of my vintage flocked bunnies. I will remove them after Easter and still enjoy a pretty spring centerpiece!

For more Easter table inspiration, check out last year’s table in my post My Naturally Vintage Easter Table Setting!

Dining Room Easter and Spring Decor

My seasonal decor in the rest of the dining area and kitchen is minimal.

Some willow branches with their fuzzy buds.

And a large hand-painted bunny pitcher I ordered from Amazon back in January. I mean, with its blue and white design, how could I not? So cute! Sadly, it is no longer available on Amazon, but you can order it here, here, and here.

I filled it with some faux forsythia. In my opinion, forsythia is one of the most realistic artificial flowers. I can’t get enough of its sunny yellow blooms this time of year!

Last year the forsythia bushes I had planted along the driveway in spring of 2022 didn’t bloom. So disappointing! Something to do with the polar vortex we had in February. Fingers crossed they bloom for a happy yellow welcome home this year!

And lastly, yes, a few more flocked bunnies from my collection.

It all feels fresh, clean, and natural!

The Recipe I Serve Every Easter

I first made Ina Garten’s Orzo with Roasted Vegetables years ago for Easter brunch, and it has since become a tradition.

I have made a few tweaks to the recipe — swapped zucchini for eggplant, because I am not a fan.

And added asparagus, because to me it is a harbinger of spring. Also, it is the yummiest.

The feta cheese adds a burst of creamy salty goodness! Make sure you cube it, as the recipe says, and always use the real Greek stuff, made from sheep’s milk, if it is available to you. It makes a difference!

The pine nuts contribute a delicate crunch and buttery flavor. And the basil is wonderfully aromatic. Again, follow the directions and cut into slivers instead of chopping it. You want that pop of flavor.

The dressing, with lots of lemon juice, is fresh and zingy.

I particularly like this recipe for a gathering, because it is a good side for the traditional Easter ham, but serves as an entree for those who don’t eat meat.

You all know that Ina never disappoints!

Country House Living by Nora Murphy

This was a big week for me!

On Tuesday, Nora Murphy’s new book, Country House Living: Celebrating Life at Home, was finally released.

Eighteen months ago, way back in September 2022, Nora and her team came to photograph my house.

It was the honor of a lifetime. And something I could never even dream would happen. It was also lots of fun!

I have been a fan of Nora’s since long before I was Molly in Maine. Her first book, Nora Murphy’s Country House Style: Making Your Home a Country House, is one of my favorites. So much beautiful inspiration!

And bonus — I learned, when I spent two days with her, that Nora is every bit as sweet as she is talented.

Believe it or not, I haven’t seen it in person yet, since my copy from Nora has not yet arrived.

But I took a little facetime “tour” with my daughter Zoë yesterday evening.

Plus, House and Gardens UK, shared an excerpt from the book featuring my house on their website. Another huge honor!

You can read it here!

You might be surprised to know that I am a huge introvert . So, to put myself out there, like I do here and on Instagram, is not easy. Sharing my home, a true labor of love and an expression of who I am, can make me feel vulnerable. Therefore, milestone moments like these are all the more meaningful to me.

They also wouldn’t be possible without all of you supporting me, cheering me on, and celebrating my successes with me. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I am so grateful you have joined me on this wild (sometimes scary) journey!

Shop the books:

This Week Into Next

House projects

This week in addition to my usual activities, I was busy sewing the napkins and kitchen sink skirt for this blog post.

Phew! Got it done!

I also painted the new-to-me bed for the guest cottage. It needs one more quick coat and then I can pull it all together.

I already know that this is going to be one of those situations when I wonder why I didn’t make a change sooner. The headboard I have been using was fine, but nothing special. I can’t wait to share the new bed with all of you!

Saturday is supposed to be a pretty nice day here, so I might take advantage of it and cut back the limelight hydrangeas. It is time. You can read all about how I care for my limelight hedge in my post How To Grow Limelight Hydrangeas for Beauty All Year.

A Morning Boost

For a little over a week I have been starting my day with this Golden Glow Morning Tonic:

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 t grated fresh ginger
  • Honey to taste
  • 1 t Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 t vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t ground turmeric
  • A pinch each of salt freshly ground pepper

I have mixed it with both hot and sparkling water. You could also do it as a shot!

I made a big batch of it, so it was ready to go each morning.

The ingredients support your immune system, improve gut health, and have anti-inflammatory effects. I also feel it starts my day with a burst of energy.

Would you give it a try?

In Zoë’s Kitchen

Lastly, this is Indian food week on Zoë’s newsletter. She is sharing recipes for Saag Paneer (with feta instead of paneer) and Coconut Dal.

Be well, friends!


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