Looking back and cleaning out for the New Year, I forgot about a post I meant to write!
No surprise, but it’s perfect for now.
These photos are some ideas I was trying out for different Thanksgiving place settings. Before hosting Thanksgiving, I took stock of my table linens. Usually, I get some new napkins and switch it up from the previous year. I’ve always got some idea in my head for the tables. Last year it was burlap and linen. This year was much the same, but with some pops of color from yard vines.
I laid out all my table linens in rows by color and the sheer amount of cloth napkins I have amassed over the years was impressive. To be honest, I really only used them at holidays and when we had dinner parties. Summer and pool parties, when we entertain the most, we used paper napkins.
It bothered me that these were lovely, like new and yet hardly ever used. So back in October I made a resolution to change and use cloth daily. I certainly had enough of them and how hard could it be I thought?
We started with a pile put at breakfast to grab and left a basket of them out on the counter during the day. It’s actually been a joy choosing the napkins and placemats and creating nicer table settings at meals. It upgrades the whole meal and I frequently add candles at dinner now also.
I used these old floral napkins I have had forever, and some new placemats I just got on sale at Crate and Barrel the other morning for breakfast. Fun!
Another basket I keep on top of the washer is for used napkins. I do one napkin wash load about every 5 or 6 days.
I don’t mind the folding and I do not iron them. I actually find folding the pile of them while they are hot kind of calming and can do it while watching a show or listening to music. It takes about 10 minutes total.
I like the quality it has brought to our daily lives. My kids even love them. My oldest, Jackson grabs a cloth napkins when he takes a plate to his room. Griffin has a little napkin with bees on it he likes to take in his lunch.
I cannot see us going back to paper now. I know many families have always used cloth. I think a lot of us got into the paper rut a long time ago. Perhaps it was growing up in the 70s. and part of the whole TV dinners, frozen foods, convenience thing. It was easy, but it’s not so nice and costly too.
Cloth napkins cost less, add quality to the dailiness of life and another benefit is they are green. Think of all the trees you are not wasting.
I’m trying to add some simple pleasures to our life and one of them is quality meal times. I want my kids to grow up thinking food and meals are to be savored and not gulped down in front of a screen.
Here’s to living a more authentic life in 2014!
Are you in the cloth camp or firmly with paper? Love to hear my dear readers thoughts on this!
All other photos property of Northern California Style.