A Washer Update, A New Purchase + 4 Beautiful, Affordable Designs for Thanksgiving

Welcome to the 771st Metamorphosis Monday! Did you make it through the time change okay? I thought I read a couple of years back that we were going to stop the changing of the clocks every fall and spring. Does anyone else remember reading that? I guess something didn’t get passed or make it all the way through for it to become a reality. I was really looking forward to that.

I’ve just returned from a 10-day visit to see family in Ohio, so I’ve been washing clothes and playing catch-up over the weekend. Have I mentioned a time or 5 how much I love my Speed Queen TR7 washer? I think I have officially found the perfect wash setting to replace the handwash basket that I had to give up on my 43-1/2 year GE washer when it finally had to be replaced this past summer. (Read more about that here: Why I Returned My Brand New Washer And The Washer I’ve Chosen To Replace It.)

This is my favorite combo for washing clothes: Cold Water, Light Soil, and Delicate Wash using the Speed Cycle. The Speed Cycle is only 27 minutes long, which I really, really like! It’s great for clothes that aren’t really stained or super dirty–but just need a quick wash. The “Delicate” wash is so gentle on my clothes, just like the GE handwash basket used to be. I love how I can completely control the water level and adding a missed item in once the wash has started is super easy. I just press the “pause” button and it unlocks the lid within seconds. Love, love, love this washing machine and can’t recommend it enough!

LOVE my Speed Queen TR7 Washing Machine


I flew up this time and had a great flight both ways–but not so much my luggage. Unfortunately, one of the wheels on my favorite suitcase was badly damaged. That suitcase has seen me through trips to 10 countries and countless trips to see family, so I was sad to see a gash in the fabric on the underside and the wheel broken after this last trip. I need to remember to buy a new “big” suitcase sometime soon. Have you ever had your suitcase damaged after a trip? Thank goodness it happened en route back home, and not on the first leg of the trip. You have to really wonder what happens to our luggage once it leaves our hands.


This weekend I drove over to a shop to check out some rattan chargers a BNOTP reader had told me about. (Thanks, Maureen!) The chargers are currently on sale so I purchased six to bring home to see how they would work with some of my current dish patterns. Here are the results below. They look great with vibrant autumn colors.


I really like them with plaid.


And I love the contrast with blue. Since they’re currently on sale and I don’t have anything quite like these in my charger collection, I decided to keep them.


If you love how they look, you’ll find them currently on sale here: Rattan Charger. I think the sale ends today, based on what the sales associate told me when I purchased mine.


My shopping trip for the chargers started me thinking about Thanksgiving–it’s just 17 days away! If you are itching for some new dinnerware for your Thanksgiving table, this beautiful heritage pattern by Johnson Brothers is super affordable. (See more of this table created by Jackie here: A Beautiful Fall Thanksgiving Feast.) This beautiful autumn pattern is available for a great price here: Johnson Brothers Friendly Village.

Johnson Brothers Friendly Village


Of course, you can never go wrong with Spode’s wonderful Woodland pattern. I love this pattern and use it almost every Thanksgiving. Here’s a view of the dinner plate from a previous table setting. The 5-pc place setting comes with salad plates featuring a Red Grouse. I love all the birds/animals featured in this pattern! This is how I normally use it, with its original salad plate.

Spode Woodland Dishware


But occasionally I’ll pair it with Spode’s “Turkey” salad plates for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Table with Woodland Spode, Turkey Salad Plates


I have six, 5-pc place settings and have always wanted to add a few more. It’s currently on sale for the best price I’ve ever seen, so I ordered another 5-pc place setting a couple of days ago. I may go ahead and purchase a few more while the price is this good. If you’ve always wanted to add this pattern to your collection, you’ll find it for the best price I’ve ever found it, here: Spode Woodland.


One more option for your Thanksgiving table is this beautiful pattern that you’ve seen me use called Xavier Gold. I was afraid that it had been discontinued, so I was happy to see it’s still being made.

Noritake Xavier Gold Dinnerware, Perfect for Autumn-Fall Dining


It’s a gorgeous pattern and you’ll still find it available here: Noritake Xavier Gold.


Noritake Xavier Gold Dinnerware


One last pattern that’s super budget-friendly (if you’re looking for an affordable Christmas/winter option) is this beautiful holiday pattern that I fell hard for a few years back. The salad plate depicts adorable cottages on a snowy winter’s day. Do you see the tree being brought home in the back of the sleigh? ♥

Magnolia Centerpiece, Christmas or Thanksgiving Table Setting


The dinner plate is just as charming and shows several beautiful homes decorated for Christmas. Love this pattern so much! You’ll find it available in a 16-pc set for a great price here: Christmas Holiday Village.

Affordable Christmas Dinnerware, Christmas Village


I’ve done something a bit different this year for my holiday wreath. I saw a place advertised on Instagram that ships fresh wreaths and decided to order one. It should be arriving just before Thanksgiving. I’ll share how it looks and if I’m pleased with it once it gets here. I hope it’s as beautiful as the pictures I saw online! Are you all decorated for Thanksgiving? Will you be hosting this year?

Looking forward to all the great Before and Afters linked for this week’s Met Monday! Pssst: Did you know Between Naps On The Porch is on Instagram? You’ll find me on Instagram here: Between Naps On The Porch. Like to know when a new blog post is up? Subscribe for email updates (it’s free) and your e-mail will never be shared. Subscribe for free post updates here: Subscribe.

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  1. Such good news on the washer! One less thing on your plate. Once again I have a single sock but I suspect it is behind the washer front panel. The first time I removed it, I was shocked at how many socks etc were in there!
    The Noritake Gold is such a stand-out pattern. Gorgeous.

    • That is wild! I didn’t even know that was possible. I wonder how it gets back there? That shouldn’t even be able to happen in a washer. Ha! Mia, do you have your Advent Calendar, yet? I still haven’t been able to find the ornament smashing game.

  2. I can’t believe Thanksgiving is almost here! I love your new rattan chargers, thanks for the links Susan~

  3. SharonFromMichigan says

    I used to work at an airport. You wouldn’t believe what they do to people’s luggage! (lol) Remember that old Samsonite commercial that showed a gorilla throwing the bags around? That’s exactly what happens. The workers are so strong and fling those bags like they’re pillows! I recall taking a flight somewhere & sitting in the window seat watching as my bag fell off the tug onto the tarmac & got left off the plane. I had to wait a couple days before they could find it and deliver it to my hotel room. There are some new types of luggage out there that have USB ports made into them & they’re hard sided so they can take being handled ruff.

    • My husband began as a baggage handler in 1969 and yes, they threw luggage like they were pillows. Have no idea if they’re more efficient now than before. I had a friend who worked at the PO who said if a package said Fragile they didn’t throw it quite so hard! lol

    • I can just imagine…makes me sad to think what goes on with our luggage after we let them have it. Ohhh nooo! I would have gone nuts, stuck on that plane watching my bag get left! Ha! There’s a video I periodically see on Instagram of one rolling away on the tarmac, off to who knows where! They at least try to chase in down in that video. lol

  4. Susan,
    Thanksgiving is early this year, on the 23rd…The earliest it could be is the 22nd…so it will be here before we know it…
    Thanks so much for hosting this lovely party each and every week!! Thank You!! I hope you are having a great week!!

  5. My matching set of luggage was returned from a trip to Norway with a rolling wheel missing”…I was so sad for I did not want a new set of luggage….I found you could order a replacement wheel from Amazon and it was a few screws to deal with but like new…what did we do before Amazon?

    • I should do that…look and see if I can a replacement on Amazon. Thanks for that suggestion. It wasn’t expensive luggage, I think I bought it in HomeGoods, but I would love to find a replacement. There’s a spot where the fabric is bulging out, so not sure it’s going to last a lot longer. I sure did love that suitcase, though–being plaid, it was always so easy to spot on the conveyor thingy.

  6. Beautiful tables! I’ve always wanted the Spode Woodland pattern. I have the Christmas tree pattern and love them!

    We had some wonderful Delsey luggage a few years ago and arrived in Ft Lauderdale a day early for a cruise. My checked suitcase was rolling really wonky after our flight. The wheel had been bent and the front side of the suitcase apparently had a forklift fork go through it. The brand new book I had purchased took the brunt of the jab! The only thing that saved my clothing in the main compartment of my suitcase. Of course, Delsey no longer carried that shade of blue so I got a pretty cocoa color. A couple of years later, we purchased a set of Away hard sided luggage based on rec’s from dear friends. First trip, checked luggage came off with deep scratches and yellow paint streaks everywhere. So disappointed.

  7. love love the Christmas Village Pattern! Thanks for having us over, Susan. Have a super week!

  8. I just got my Friendly Village dishes out of my dish storage closet and started planning and washing in preparation for Thanksgiving! They always signal fall and Thanksgiving to me! Being in Southern CA we don’t really get “Thanksgiving weather”, so my dishes have to put me in the Holiday spirit—-which they most certainly do! Love this time of year and the family gatherings about to begin. Enjoy the season, Susan!

  9. Growing up in a small village in the 60’s….the local grocery store had a promotion on Friendly Village dinnerware. You would receive a piece depending on how much your grocery total was. In no time, since we were a family of five…my Mom had a large number of pieces. And we used them for every meal….saving the “good china” for Sunday & special holidays. Whenever I see collections of the Friendly Village…it brings back warm memories. Being in Canada…we celebrated Thanksgiving in October…another reason it is my favourite month!! I love the new chargers…btw.

  10. Glad to hear the washer is performing and doing a good job! I notice you have a bulky setting. That would be for comforters and heavy coats? On my SQ I can only pick water level and heavy duty wash. Love all of your pretty dishes. It really makes one want to set a table for a party! Happy for you to spend time with your family (more time actually flying v. driving!). Do you think you can replace the wheel on your suitcase as suggested by a reader? You are so good at fixing things!!!

  11. Let me just second the endorsement of the SQ TR7! I love mine too! And my hairdresser bought the TR5 on my recommendation (she preferred the manual dial for cycle selections), al I ng with the dryer. She LOVES both.
    Beautiful dishes, Susan! I was surprised to see the Nortake is dishwasher safe with that gold trim. I love your new chargers too. You’ll get a lot mileage from those. Unlike the luggage. I can just imagine how those things get thrown around in cargo.

  12. Last time I flew, my wheeled tote was destroyed. I usually put it under the seat but, since there was room in the overhead bin, I decided to store it up there. A nice man offered to help lift it. When it was time to deplane, I found out the nice man had slammed my tote in the bin so hard, both wheels broke off and there was even an opening into the tote itself. I traveled quite a bit for work. I’ve had my luggage rifled through and things stolen out of my luggage. Both items were around $100. Not enough to make a claim though. I cannot understand why airports refuse to install security cameras in the baggage handling area. My husband and I will be going to Disney for Thanksgiving. We don’t usually do the Disney parks. Instead, we stay at the army-owned Shades of Green resort. They have two golf courses, a spa and a couple of pools. Their Thanksgiving buffet is incredible. We go with another couple and have been doing this for several years. That reminds me, I had better make the spa appointment soon. Enjoy your holiday.

  13. So glad your washer is working out! And glad you had a good trip, though getting the luggage through unscathed is a challenge. The rattan chargers are lovely, and so are your beautiful fall and Thanksgiving tables. Love those turkeys! Thanks for another round of inspiration, and for hosting!

  14. Elizabeth Glass says

    Would you please share the name of your blue and white pattern that you shared with the rattan chargers? Thank you so much,Elizabeth

    • Sure, it’s Blue Willow by Churchill and says Made in England on the back. It’s dishwasher safe and very practical for everyday use. Many years ago Publix did a promotion where you could purchase it with each grocery buying trip for a super reasonable price and I collected 12 place settings during the promotion period. You can usually find it on eBay for reasonable prices.

      • Elizabeth Glass says

        I was unaware that their is such a difference with the Blue Willow pattern! I did purchase some off of Amazon and on the back of this grouping it says,Queen’s by Churchill…made in England! So I did a little research and have found out information as to the “why” so many different names and colors! Some are a lighter blue, some darker! Very very interesting! Thanks again for your information and Happy Thanksgiving,Elizabeth

        • Interesting! I knew there was the original old Blue Willow, but I guess it’s such a popular pattern, it keeps getting produced Thanks, Elizabeth! Hope you have a beautiful Thanksgiving!

  15. It looks like your link went through without any hitches this week. 🙂

    • You may have just solved a mystery for me. Not sure if you remember me mentioning that I had one other person who was encountering that issue and we were never able to figure it out. If she has that issue again, I’ll tell her to wait about 15 minutes before linking up to the party. Thanks for letting me know!

  16. Alicia Hathcock says

    Hi Susan, I’m writing to find out information about your puzzles and puzzle tables or mats used to store them. I’ve never been a puzzle person, but now I find myself scrambling to learn everything I can about them. You see, my husband, has just been diagnosed with dementia. One of the techniques I keep reading about to slow down the brain destruction are puzzles! After being married to him for more than 25 years, he admits now that he’s always loved puzzles. so I thought, PERFECT! Amazon is full of tables but I would rather take someone’s advice and I remembered your posts, but I can’t find them. Please, can you help me? What is your favorite table? We don’t really have the room for a table, but I will fit it somehow, but in the meantime is there a mat you can use to fold up the puzzle? I would be so grateful for any advice. Many thanks.

    • I’m sorry to hear about his diagnosis, Alicia. I hope he sees improvement over the coming months.

      The puzzle board I use is this one: https://amzn.to/3QMw0rW . It’s pretty big but fits pretty comfortably on the end of most dining room tables. When it needs to be stored away, there’s a top that can be placed on it to cover/protect the partially completed puzzle so it can be moved without disturbing the puzzle.

      I haven’t purchased any of the roll up mats for puzzles but I think they work well from what I’ve read. You can see quite a few here: https://amzn.to/3SpqX20

      This one appears to have good reviews: https://amzn.to/3QLb9Wa . So does this one: https://amzn.to/3QAaZ2G

      Here’s another style puzzle board that has good reviews: https://amzn.to/3QWSPtn

      Just check the reviews and make sure you can return it if it doesn’t work out for you. Most things on Amazon do say “Free Returns” so I would return anything that doesn’t work as you need or isn’t as expected.

      Hope these suggestions help. ♥

      • Oh Susan, they do help! I’m so overwhelmed& couldn’t figure out where even to start. Thank you so much! Sending hugs,

  17. Hi Susan! I decided to get the Speed Queen based on your recommendation and it is absolutely wonderful. Thanks for sharing information about it. I love how fast it washes.

    • I love that, too–how fast it washes. I love all the washing options and how we can set the water level to what we need. Thank goodness there’s an American company out there that still has the common sense and skills to make washing machines that actually work the way we need them to! I’m so glad you are happy with your Speed Queen–thanks for letting me know! Hope they are around for a long, long time!

  18. Jill from Southern NH says

    Love those chargers, especially with the blue and white dinnerware, and the gorgeous Noritake pattern too! I’m still in the process of decorating for Post-Halloween Fall over here. For October and November, I decorate my mantel with two big blue and white chinoserie vases filled with faux bittersweet branches, and just add Poe books, ravens or mini jack-o-lanterns in between around Halloween. Come November, I bring out my favorite gold mini pumpkins from PB, put some white ones from Crate & Barrel in my cornucopia, and put some faux acorns and berries in apothecary jars, etc. all around the house. I have a lot of autumn wreaths, table linens and plates that need to be on display this year as the season goes by so fast!

  19. Hi was was wonder which speed queen washer did you purchase? Thanks

  20. Maureen E. says

    So glad you like the new WS rattan chargers, Susan! I can’t wait to see how they look with dish patterns appropriate for spring and summer. I think they are so versatile, they will be perfect with those, also.

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