Spring Outdoor Table Setting with a Carved Watermelon Whale Centerpiece

Welcome to the 610th Tablescape Thursday!

Thanks so much for all the comments on yesterday’s post: Where Would You Like to Live for the Rest of Your Life. You gave me so many awesome ideas and suggestions, I have a lot to think about.

I LOVED the idea of renting for a while in any place I may be thinking of moving–brilliant idea. I know from the comments that so many of you are also struggling with this decision, trying to decide if you should stay where you, move closer to family, or move to a place where you’ve always dreamed of living. I will keep you posted on my plans as they develop in the future. Thank you again for all your wonderful, helpful thoughts and ideas! ♥

It has been raining a lot here in Ohio over the past few weeks. I’ve been hoping to set a table outside, but Mother Nature hasn’t been cooperating. We finally got a break in the weather over the Memorial Day weekend and I thought it would be fun to carve out a watermelon in the shape of a whale for my grandsons.

You may remember when I did that a few years back for this summertime table setting. (View this table setting in full here: Summer Table with Carved Watermelon Centerpiece.)


I got the idea (and instructions) from this book purchased many, many years ago. I feel very nostalgic when I use this book because it’s one of the 2-3 cookbooks my sister and I both purchased back in the day. She was much more into the cooking than I am and as I recall, she recommended this book and that’s how I ended up buying it. Sadly she passed away a few years back, but if she were here now, she would get the biggest kick out of knowing that I still refer to this book today.


A few years back I set this table outside while my son, daughter-in-law and grandsons were gone for the day.

Pagoda Umbrella for Outdoor Table, Outdoor Dining 2


I used a fun dishware I picked up in Pier 1 that year. Sadly, I read recently that all the Pier 1 stores will be going out of business soon. I really hate hearing this. I loved shopping in Pier 1 and have purchased so many wonderful things from them over the years, including much of the furniture on my screened porch.

Driftwood Chargers for Beach Themed Tablescape 2


Here’s a closer view of a place setting from that previous table.

Seahorse Plates, Beach Ocean Themed Table Setting 2


This was a very rushed table setting, literally thrown together in two minutes’ time. I didn’t get to fully set this table because the food was coming off the grill and we needed to eat while it was still hot. So try to imagine salad plates at each place setting, they would have been perfect for the fruit. lol

Outdoor Dining Table Setting for Summer


In this photo, you can see a recent addition to this beach-themed setting, the beach coasters I shared in a previous blog post.

Carve a Watermelon Centerpiece


I love these coasters for summer! They are really beautiful in person and well-made. (They are available here: Beach-Themed Coasters.)


Beach Ocean Themed Coasters


Here’s how the carved watermelon centerpiece turned out.

Carve a Watermelon Centerpiece


His little whale face isn’t as symmetrical as it was the last time I carved it. I’m blaming it on a 4 and 6-year-old asking me every 5 minutes what I was doing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

This is such an easy piece to make, especially if you’re alone while carving it! ๐Ÿ˜‰  You’ll find the full tutorial here: Carved Watermelon Whale Centerpiece.

Watermelon Carved for Summer Fun Dining


A view from the top…two little boys had already made off with most of the strawberries by the time I took these photos. lol

Carved Watermelon for Summer Dining


This was some of the food my daughter-in-law and son prepared for this meal. I think my dil made the Brussel Sprouts in her Air Fryer mentioned in this post: Nancy’s April Favorites and the Ones I’m Buying for Myself.

My son grilled the shrimp on his Big Green Egg. We also had hamburgers and hotdogs, if I’m remembering correctly. We’ve had so many dinners from the grill recently, they’re all starting to run together.

Shrimp Cooked on the Grill


It was raining (again!) this morning but it appears the sun is out now. I think I’ll head outside to enjoy it while it lasts. Hope you are having a wonderful sunny day wherever you are right now!

Carve a Watermelon Centerpiece


Looking forward to all the beautiful tables linked for this week’s Tablescape Thursday!

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Tablescape Thursday


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  1. Oh that whale is so fun! No wonder the kids wanted to see as you went along! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I love eating outside, and your tables are always so pretty! Hope you have a lovely day in the sun, and thanks as always for hosting this wonderful party! Can’t wait to dive in!

  2. I love your whale watermelon Susan, I know your grandsons eyes were popping!! Yes, definitely rent somewhere before you buy, I have good friends who had always dreamt of a place in Southwest FL and when they rented a house their they quickly realized it wasn’t for them! I can’t wait to see what you decide for your next adventure!

    • Interesting! I wonder what made them change their mind. If you happen to find out, I would love to know. Have a wonderful weekend, Jenna!

  3. That whale is so cute! But now I am really hungry for cook-out food.

  4. OMG!!!!!!! I have ALL of Marlene Sorosky’s cookbooks. They are dog-eared. I have found that most of the newer cookbooks are usually riffs on our old standards (lol). I’ve done the whale as well. Did you know she had a recipe for making “Craisins” before they were invented??? It is indeed a sad day for those of us that frequented Pier One. Nothing is yet open in NJ, but earlier in the year Pier One was closing a few stores & had a sale. I picked up 12 pale blue on white lattice patterned napkins. Can’t wait to use them. Your table is cute for the grandsons.

    • Really? I didn’t realize that! Arggg, she should have invented them and copyrighted the recipe…or whatever you do with recipes!
      I know, I can’t believe they are closing. I still haven’t gotten over Parisian and Lord and Taylor closing in my area…then A Classy Flea closed. It always feels like I’ve lost a good friend that I’ll never see again. The napkins sound beautiful! I’ve bought so many napkins there over the years, more there than anywhere. I don’t know where I’ll find napkins now. ๐Ÿ™

  5. Gayle Kesinger says

    Susan, I have that very book. I have used it over the years for the Mexican dinner party in particular. Will have to look up the carved whale. Her recipes are very doable.

  6. Brilliant Susan. Simply brilliant.

    Will always regret not buying this umbrella. Gorgeous.

    • It looks like they have in another color and it’s on sale: https://www.pier1.com/pagoda-9-red-whimsy-wood-patio-umbrella-/3279647.html
      I haven’t seen it in the blue and green color this year. Wait, never mind…just realized both colors are slashed out on the site. I wonder if any of your local Pier 1 stores would still have it.

      • No, it’s long gone. I don’t know who else sold them, but I’m sure they sold out as well. Pier1 will be missed by so many of us BNOTP fans. Pity. I hate to see all these great stores close forever. Shopping online is a 50/50 for me, but we’ll have to adjust. Not shopping is an absolutely “Are you kidding”

        • If I see them anywhere, I’ll let you know. I hope someone is still making them for when mine wears out. I managed to snag another one on sale a couple of years ago and I’ve kept it stored in my garage for when either mine at home wore out or my son/dil’s wore out. There’s is very close to needing replacing unless we can clean the current one. It’s a very heavy umbrella, so not the easiest to remove to wash/scrub.

  7. Love the whale – such a cute idea! I’m sad about Pier 1 too. I have always loved shopping there. Thanks for hosting and enjoy the rest of your week!

  8. Cute whale and tablescape. It’s so sad about Pier 1, and so many other stores that were already suffering and will eventually close now.

    I loved reading all the comments from yesterday’s post also. We traveled all over Florida – the Atlantic coast, the Gulf coast, the Emerald coast and everything in between over the past several years. We ultimately decided we loved Naples, but since moving into our loft here in town, we’ve since been rethinking moving to any other area, whether it be primary or secondary residence. Like so many suggested, we just decided renting for a few months would be our choice. We only had one mentionable snow this year in early Jan, and it was melted by the time we walked in it and on our way home! We enjoy all four seasons.

    • Yeah, the quarantine was the death nail for stores that were already struggling. ๐Ÿ™
      A bunch more comments have been added so you may want to check it out again. I LOVE reading them and have found it sooo helpful. Seems a lot of us struggle with this. I enjoy all the seasons, too…just wish winter was about months long. lol I love wearing sweaters and curling up in front of a heater or fireplace, but I sure do hate going out in it. I’m so glad you guys are loving your loft! Love that!

  9. What a lovely and colorful tablescape! I adore the carved watermelon which you did so perfectly. Susan, you definitely have the precision knife skills of a trained professional chef, I am very impressed. :0)

    I am also despondent about Pier 1 closing! Besides Williams Sonoma and Pottery Barn, Pier One was one of my top 3 favorite stores. They had so many lovely, stylish and affordable home decor and tablescaping treasures. Every season of the year brought new and wonderful surprises, and I especially LOVED the spring and Easter season.

    Thanks again for another LOVELY Tablescape Thursday. I look forward to Thursdays, my very favorite day at BNOTP.


    • Thanks, Elena! ๐Ÿ™‚
      I know, me too! I’ve bought sooo many napkins from there over the years. Exactly! I couldn’t wait to see what new dishware they had in for each season and holiday! Makes me so sad they are closing.

  10. I’ve got to try making that whale; he is so cute! I love that the boys kept inquiring what you were up to, lol (and making off with strawberries.) ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I too am so sad about Pier 1!! They have been around for years. I wonder what happened? Maybe it’s the amazon influence. Pier 1 always had the coolest stuff and I like it so much more than my local Pottery Barn. Oh well.

    Susan, does Chip season the shrimp at all? It looks scrumptuous, as do the brussel sprouts. I’m going to go check out Nancy’s air fryer. Thanks for the tip. And do you realize what a big influencer you are? The coasters are already sold out!

    • My daughter-in-law does the preparation part by either marinating or seasoning whatever my son will be grilling. I always tell them that they make a great team. I’ll ask her what she did to the shrimp before he grilled it and will let you know.

    • Pam, I just checked with Nancy and she said she only used salt, pepper and garlic, but that Chip added a bit of BBQ sauce to them while they were grilling. She said that sometimes they use sriracha and honey on them since they both like spicey foods. I don’t care for spicey so they normally leave it off some of them for me when I’m here.

      • Thanks, Susan! They really looked delicious and I wasn’t even hungry when I was browsing, lol. Appreciate the info. I bet the sriracha and honey is delicious.

  11. Thank you so much for hosting! This week I am excited to share week 3 of the One Room Challenge, a Father’s Day gift idea, and how to create a gallery wall from thrift store picture books! Hope you are having a great day, and are staying safe and healthy!

  12. Sandra D says

    That shrimp and brussel sprouts photo is making me soooo hungry. Very sad that we’re losing Pier 1. I bought a watermelon the other day and it is not disappointing at all. The yellow belly and brown stem plus the hollow thump drew me to it. So sweet! Sometimes those signs are all present and I’m disappointed because it’s over-ripe and mushy inside. I’m in Illinois and the hard downpours have flooded my back yard several days. Yesterday I trimmed the back yard and wanted to mow but the rain beat me to it. At least it wasn’t so hard. We have April Showers bring May downpours anymore. Last year I couldn’t plant (many farmers too) until the first week of June due to the rain. I have seen flooded areas that are worse on the news so I’ll stop complaining.

  13. It was a picture perfect day in Acworth today. I didnโ€™t comment the other day, but we lived in Punta Gorda FL 25 miles North of FT Myers, FL for 15 years. We loved it there except for Hurricane Charley in 2004. There hadnโ€™t been a hurricane there for 40 years. However, there is no such thing as a place in FL that canโ€™t be impacted by a hurricane. We moved to the Acworth, Ga area in 2013 and we love it here, except for the winters. It is still too cold for our FL blood! Ha. We love the hills and views of the mountains, and the traffic isnโ€™t too bad out where we are.

  14. Love the whale! I remember making one years ago I’ll have to try it out again. I totally agree about the sadness of Pier 1 closing ๐Ÿ™ I love that place and have always found cute things for my table there. Such a bummer. I really like your Tablescapes and the melamine plates are really cute!

  15. Cyndi Raines says

    Great whale Susan! I am sure the boys were mesmerized watching you create Moby Dick! I want you to know I purchased 2 bags of those oven chicken wings from Krogers and one bag is already gone. I just used my toaster oven and they turned out great for lunch. So glad I purchased a second bag, we both enjoyed them very much. Thank you so much and thank Nancy for me as well. (Oh yes, the shrimp and brussel sprouts look oh, so good.)

  16. wondering how the “weeds” you cleaned out last year is coming along. Did any come back? I bet it most likely still looks wonderful. Hope so. Love the whale. rls

    • Just checked with Nancy and she said they are coming back but are a lot better than before. She and I are going to get out there and pull them/kill them this weekend. When the world ends one day, all that will be left is that $^%##$%^ weed and cockroaches!

  17. Brenda Lawrence says

    Such a fun table setting Susan and that whale watermelon is just as cute as it can be! Yes, lots of rain and if no rain, dreary, dull gray skies. I’m ready for more sunshine. Hugs, Brenda

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