07 Jul2014


Mrs. MM and I had really BOTH celebrated our 50th birthdays early, with a wonderful trip to South Africa. So when the actual dates of our birthdays roll around, we were hoping for something simple but special. The setting for Mrs. MM’s birthday was driven by the ten dozen wonderful roses from DowntoEarth. One arrangement with two varieties of roses (roughly 4 dozen) went into a crystal vase on a side table.


Elsewhere in the living room, a vase filled with orange and yellow roses (roughly two dozen) were also placed in a plain glass vase.


Along the center of the dining table(s) we placed 24 simple straight glass vases (a box of them purchased at S&R several months ago on sale, for roughly PHP30 each or so) and used roughly 4 dozen roses, some vases holding one bloom, other vases with as many as three flowers.


We actually positioned them on the table a day before the dinner, so they would have a chance to open up nicely.


It was really simple to do. But you DO have to look at the vases from all sides of the table, to make sure they are “balanced” and pleasing to the eye. Flowers can’t all be the same height, colors need to be “randomly” positioned, and the positions have to be adjusted so it all has a certain finesse, even if you want it to look as casual as possible.


Taking the cue from the flowers, we picked linen jacquard placemats in orange and fuchsia, which we have had for almost 10 years, are slightly faded from use.


White linen napkins monogrammed with Mrs. MM’s initials, a gift from Sister several years ago. Our colorful Laguiole steak knives fit the color scheme perfectly.


The roses were slightly to several inches below eye level, so conversing with guests across the table wasn’t blocked. Several guests noted how “fresh” and “natural” the blooms looked, and I have to say, they were spectacular.


Next up, birthday dinner, then back to the last of the South African posts including a couple more vineyards, and a few days in Cape Town and its environs… I hope you all have a great week ahead!



  1. Joey says:

    Masayang birthday, M!

    Jul 7, 2014 | 5:10 am


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  3. Ron says:

    love love love!

    Jul 7, 2014 | 6:13 am

  4. Junb says:

    lovely fine dining setting fit for a queen! Happy Birthday Mrs MM!

    Jul 7, 2014 | 7:11 am

  5. Thel from Florida says:

    Happy Birthday Mrs MM. God Bless always! Love, love, love the flowers :)

    Jul 7, 2014 | 7:15 am

  6. andrea says:

    love it as always!!! Happy birthday, Mrs. MM!

    Jul 7, 2014 | 7:53 am

  7. Betchay says:

    Great flower arrangement!
    Yellow flowers for the Golden Lady….Feliz cumpleanos!

    Jul 7, 2014 | 8:53 am

  8. ami says:

    Belated happy birthday Mrs MM! Haha, I know what you mean by putting in time and effort to make something look as “random” as possible. I’m excited to see the menu especially since you have steak knives out!

    Jul 7, 2014 | 9:04 am

  9. millet says:

    so beautiful! happy birthday, M!

    Jul 7, 2014 | 9:41 am

  10. joyyy says:

    I just melted…

    Jul 7, 2014 | 9:44 am

  11. Footloose says:

    Here is an apparent paradox: Actually, it takes a modicum of talent and tremendous effort to acquire the skill to do anything that looks as though it was done without any effort. True with performing a musical piece and true with making puff pastry.

    Jul 7, 2014 | 9:45 am

  12. Ginabeans91 says:

    As usual, in love with your flowers and tablescape. Simple, unpretentious. Yet, elegant. Happy birthday to you both!

    Jul 7, 2014 | 10:16 am

  13. ConnieC says:

    And I might add…putting on make up that does not look made up as a cousin spending hours in front of a mirror trying to make her look as natural and unstaged as can be!

    Exquisite flower arrangement and table setting!

    Jul 7, 2014 | 11:21 am

  14. Debbie says:

    Fabulous arrangement of roses!

    Jul 7, 2014 | 12:28 pm

  15. Cheryl says:

    happy birthday MM and Mrs. MM! may God give you long satisfied life!

    Jul 7, 2014 | 1:36 pm

  16. chichay says:

    Happy birthday Mr & Mrs MM. Wow you are lucky to chance upon those vases at P30, I had mime at P80 from 999, Divisoria.

    Jul 7, 2014 | 3:00 pm

  17. Irene says:

    Happy birthday to you both, MM!

    I remember those vases from S&R. Very good value for money.

    Jul 7, 2014 | 3:25 pm

  18. sophie says:

    Happy Birthday MM and Mrs MM. Stunning set up :) !

    Jul 7, 2014 | 6:52 pm

  19. Gej says:

    Happy Birthday M!!!

    Jul 7, 2014 | 8:46 pm

  20. Khew says:

    Spectacular indeed! I suspect what sealed the deal was the fact that the roses had such straight stems which matched their tubular receptacles. Roses grown in the tropics do tend to have straggly, crooked stems…which make good ikebana but not for what you did.

    Silver looks like Georg Jensen.

    Jul 7, 2014 | 11:08 pm

  21. marilen says:

    Happy birthday to the both of you!!

    Jul 8, 2014 | 3:16 am

  22. Sleepless in Seattle says:

    Happy Birthday Mrs.MM..Lovely setting,simple is the hardest thing to do.

    Jul 8, 2014 | 3:32 am

  23. La Emperor says:

    Happy Birthday to both of you. All the best.

    Jul 8, 2014 | 6:58 am

  24. moni says:

    Happy, happy birthday Mr. and Mrs. MM.

    Jul 8, 2014 | 8:03 am

  25. pixienixie says:

    Lovely flowers! Happy birthday to both of you. :)

    Jul 8, 2014 | 9:37 am

  26. Ros-Anna says:

    Happy Birthday Mr. & Mrs. MM!!! Lovely setting as always. God bless you more!

    Jul 8, 2014 | 12:50 pm

  27. kristin says:

    happy birthday Mrs.MM

    Jul 8, 2014 | 6:23 pm

  28. Mart says:

    Happy Birthday Mr. & Mrs. MM!

    Jul 8, 2014 | 11:38 pm

  29. Mari of NY says:

    Happy Birthday to both of you! Lovely display of roses…and love the colors! Wish you both a wonderful and blessed birthdays!

    Jul 9, 2014 | 10:44 am

  30. peterb says:

    Happy Birthday MM & Mrs. MM! :)

    Jul 9, 2014 | 12:08 pm

  31. MrsKookie says:

    Happy Birthday!!! :)

    Jul 9, 2014 | 4:59 pm

  32. Eileen C says:

    Simply effortlessly tasteful….understated elegance- just like the birthday celebrants! Happy birthday MM and to The Mrs!

    Jul 9, 2014 | 11:03 pm

  33. Kasseopeia says:

    The setting is beautiful! Happy birthday, MM and Mrs MM! :)

    Jul 11, 2014 | 12:53 pm

  34. Mrs. Kolca says:

    So beautiful! I remember David Tutera in this arrangement. I love it!

    Jul 11, 2014 | 1:28 pm

  35. Corrine says:

    Happy birthday to a gracious lady, Mrs. M. Holden milestone indeed. Thanks for the link to downtoearth MM. Loved it and I have been looking for heirloom tomatoes! May I know how long the roses lasted? Tks!

    Jul 13, 2014 | 4:23 pm

  36. cucharatenedor says:

    It’s always a joy visiting your blog Market Man! always!

    Jul 22, 2014 | 6:17 pm


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