Although the holiday decor in the above photos may appear to indicate something to the contrary, I want you to know I did manage to get the very most out of the last days of summer just as I vowed I would. But now it's mid-October and there's just no denying it. Autumn is here. We just recently had our first big downpour; -three days and nights of rain- signaling that winter is well on its way. (Granted, a Southern California winter...but still.)
I've had the heat turned on for about a week now and these first-of-the-season rains sent me scurrying to "batten down the hatches" -pulling in summer furniture and bicycles and checking windows and doors. My daughter and I spent a fun afternoon yesterday "re-discovering" coats, scarves and boots we had stashed away just a few months ago. Summer blankets have been exchanged for plump down comforters and each night I ensure my coziest robe is nearby to entice me from the comfort of my warm cocoon to greet the brisk morning air.
I don't know about you, but my nesting instinct goes into high gear this time of year and I always get the urge to bake. So far, just two loaves of banana nut bread- but it's early yet. Every year it happens. Even though ít's been many moons since I've lived in snow country, I still find myself going in to some sort of "hibernation prep" every fall like a bear readying for a long sleep. My thoughts have turned to soups. All kinds of soups. Like butternut squash and tomato basil -always with toasted cheese sandwiches- and lentil soup with crusty bread. And I've been craving drinks that I never think about any other time of year; -like hot apple cider and Russian tea that my grandma always used to make.
Also, I'm suddenly inexplicably entertained just reading recipes when the temperature drops. (Is anybody else like this?!) I can while away the time just sifting through books and boxes of recipes, completely happy planning this and that I'd like to make. (Thankfully only a fraction of these dishes ever come to fruition or I'd soon be about the size of a hibernating bear, too.)
Yes. I've definitely switched modes. The long days of summer are behind us and it seems these shorter daylight hours leave little room for dilly-dallying. Thanksgiving is just around the corner and all the other holiday get-togethers start soon after. It's time to make lists and take stock. Let's see... Do I have enough napkins? Tablecloths? If I want to order anything, now would be the time. --Ah-hah. Back to what prompted me to write this post in the first place; --A linen source I want to share--
Libeco Home is a company based in Belgium specializing in linen home goods. I've included a few of my favorite table linens from them above, but they offer a wide range of colors and design options. I own many items by them; everything from bed sheets (love their white, hemstitched "Helena") to kitchen towels to laundry bags; -even a linen nightgown that still looks fabulous after many washings.
They recently started selling directly to the customer on-line. If you go this route, just be sure to verify shipping charges and turn-around time with them.
If this has inspired an on-line shopping excursion to complete your own tablescapes, I encourage you to peruse all the other items Libeco has to offer while you are there. I admit I'm not an early bird as far as holiday shopping goes, but I'm looking at my calendar and thinking it would be wise to order a few Christmas gifts now to have shipped with my Thanksgiving order....That reminds me...
...I still like my idea to gift old-fashioned "milk and cookies" to friends and neighbors this year...I have the milk bottles and I'm going to order those wire baskets I've had my eye on. Wouldn't a couple "Bastide" napkins or tea towels look wonderful lining them?! Maybe I'll include some of that spicy hot chocolate mix I love to go with the milk and...
I'm really starting to get into the spirit now! It's still early for holiday music, but maybe just a little snippet while I shop?
—I'll put a song or two in the playlist in case good ole' Dino is calling to you, too!
UPDATE, Tuesday October 20, 2009:
I contacted Libeco directly to ask a few questions regarding their shipping costs and approximate ship times. what follows is a summary of the reply from Hans of Libeco Home:
UPS is their main transport company.
The "regular mail" option is only available for sample cards.
Please disregard the tracking page (with info regarding TNT Express.) It will be updated soon.
Summary of information found on their shipping chart:
Most European Countries: Price includes shipping costs and VAT.
Outside European Countries (excluding USA): Price includes shipping costs. All other taxes and duties are at the customer's expense.
USA Customers: Price includes shipping costs, duties and customs charges.
They mostly use express service, so for U.S., allow 3-5 working days.
Most European Countries, about 1-3 working days.
For Australia, Canada allow about 5-7 working days.