Impressing the Parents…the Thrifty Way!

My First Not-So-Hostile Hostel Experience

For those you who have been commenting for the last couple of years or so that you’d like to see a nice young man in my life, rejoice!

Meet Brian!

This handsome bearded gentleman is Brian. We get along swell. We geek out over a lot of the same things and he likes my dog.  If you’re feeling particularly stalker-y, you can listen to his podcast here (It’s actually quite funny). Things are going well.

So well, in fact, that I’ve met his parents (who are also lovely, and considerably less bearded).  Brian and I decided to have them over to my place for dinner.

This was a big deal to me for a few reasons:

  1.  I like Brian, and I want his parents to like me.
  2. I like his parents and want them to have a good meal and a nice time.
  3. I take dinner parties verrrry seriously.

I decided we would make roasted chicken and veggies, because it’s always a safe bet and something I do well. Brian wanted to make paella. We went back and forth on this.

Me: “Neither of us have ever made paella before!”
Him: “But I can cook anything!” (True)

Me: “We’ll put Douglas in the middle of the room and call him. Whoever he comes to wins.”
Him: “Fine.”
*We both call Douglas and he comes to me (of course)*
Him: “I still really want to make paella.”

After a morning/afternoon of him reciting paella recipes/explaining exactly how he would make said paella, I caved.

Now that the menu was determined,  it was time to set the table.

Any time I go thrifting I make sure to take a peek at the linens and dishes. I’m happy to report that I’ve amassed an impressive selection of mix-and-match-able items for nearly nothing. :) For this dinner, I opted for a light green theme. :)

Pretty, no?

Everything you see on this table is thrifted (except for the flowers that came from the grocery store). :) I scored the two green and white tablecloths for $2 apiece and the vase was free (a thrift store I frequent had way too many so they were giving them away). I didn’t have enough of anything to make everything matchy-matchy (which isn’t very fun anyways), so I opted instead to make two sets of two place settings that matched each other, with coordinating thrifted Fiestaware plates. :)

Let’s take a closer look!

I <3 cross stitch!

This meant my two cross stitched peacock napkins ($6 for the set) got to come out, along with my two 50 cent teal and gold fish tumblers and two of my $1 crystal wine glasses (because I’m fancy).

The other two sets looked quite nice as well!

Also fancy.

Two of my off white linen napkins (50 cents apiece) and my two gilded wine glasses ($6 for the set) and $1 crystal water goblets completed the tablescape.

Brian cooked up a fantastic paella (recipe here) in my Le Creuset paella pan I savagely thrifted for $20 along with my dutch oven.

Nom!

I even managed to find a $1 album that helped give our meal Spanish ambiance!

Feel the spirit.

Brian’s parents loved the paella and at least seemed to have a great time. ;) We ate, laughed, sipped wine and enjoyed a lovely evening.

They also loved the $8 thrifted owl I have hanging in my dining room. :)

#OwlClub

How do you use your thrift scores to up your host/hostessing game?

4.9 (98.18%) 55 votes

21 thoughts on “Impressing the Parents…the Thrifty Way!

  1. Awwww so happy for you both! <3 Glad you found him. Although it would have been amusing if you had found him in a thrift store. ;-)

  2. Brian is adorable! The table looked beautiful. I’m so jealous of your thrifted fiesta plates. So far all I’ve found is a Fiesta serving platter. But it was a steal at $1.99 and happened to match what I already have.

  3. YAY!!!! So glad to see that you’ve brought home a man that can make paella, and can rock a beard. This is an art that not everyone can pull off.

    ALSO….I feel like we’re so kindred with our peacocks. My dining room decor is teal and gold(With some black and white damask for the extras fancy, of course)

  4. Oh my gosh! Never doubt Brian’s cooking choices again……………a man that can cook like that is a keeper!!!!! Your table settings looked great and it sounds like you all had a great time.

  5. Congrats on the successful party! For my first Thanksgiving hosting, I realized I had NO serving dishes. A quick trip to the local “antique” (think “junk”) store quickly remedied the situation. I got multiple serving platters and bowls that play well with my Grandma’s antique china AND my Ikea dishes.

  6. Sounds like an amazing meal and Brian and his family sound even more lovely. Wishing you every happiness. PS. I have all mismatched plates and glasses. I just buy one off pieces I like in one of our many charity shops.

  7. Wonderful place settings! All of my table linens come from thrift stores. I look for real linen and fancy embroidered pieces. People give them away when grandma dies because they don’t like to iron. Me? I enjoy ironing (while watching a good Jane Austen movie) so I pick up expensive linens for next to nothing. I think all my glassware is thrifted too, as well as dessert plates, serving bowls and platters, and sterling silver dessert forks. I can afford to have the finest of things by thrifting!

  8. What a magnificent beard does your manfriend sport! I’m thoroughly impressed!
    Love your table setting too, and I very much endorse mixing thrifted tableware, much more interesting than matching sets, and when you break of cup or two (the force of gravity is strong in me), you don’t have to worry about having an incomplete set. nicely done!

  9. I love the recycled crosstitched napkins. As a crosstitcher it makes me sad when crossitched items end up in thrift stores. It took someone a bit of time and love and it was anandoned. I’m glad you rehomed them…they look great with your dining set.

  10. i just went on a thrifting weekend with my friend and her 2 sisters. we hit a thrift store and on the way out we noticed all the kitchen ware was 50% off. I decided I need a set of 8 mismatched place settings. I got chargers, dinner plates, and little dessert plates and none of them match. I spent about $14 on it all!!!! I only need 3 more chargers to complete the set and I’m ready for a dinner party. don’t ask me why I needed all these dishes….

  11. Congrats! I am happy for you. You need to post more often even if it is just daily life even if it is not a refashion. I love your wit!

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