Archive for Entertaining

Planning a Fabulous Killer Event

Planning any event takes time, precision, planning, logistics, help and execution.  Usually, guests just don’t see the details of how an event gets put together.

All the energy it takes to make it a memorable, flawless event is absolutely exhausting but totally worthwhile when you see your guests enjoying themselves and hearing about the rave reviews afterwards.  But how to you get there?  Where do you start?  What is your budget?  What are you celebrating?

I’ve have a few tips on what you need to get your creative juices flowing.

  1. Start with a theme.  Sit down, buffet, picnic style, casual?
  2. I’ve already mention this, but what are you celebrating?
  3. Recruit help that you trust … you just need 1 or 2.  The more the merrier.
  4. Color scheme – very important.  It will be the foundation of how you decorate the create the atmosphere.
  5. Food – another important item.  Keep it simple though.  Potlucks typically don’t work.  Bring an overall food theme to the party.  pasta, Mexican food, seafood … you get the picture.
  6. Location location location
  7. Guests guests guests
  8. Number number number
  9. Think of your party flow from start to finish.  Write the details down and run it through your mind.
  10. Put all this on paper.  Chances are you’ll miss something and you’ll chance it when it’s on paper.

Happy planning!

Vintage Wall Mounted Bottle Openers

Bottle OpenersDid you know that there are several different varieties of bottle openers?  Who knew?  They are:

Guinness Wall Mounted Bottle OpenerThere are new ones you can get on the internet and in stores and they are ones that are vintage and antique.  These are the ones my husband and I LOVE to collect!  All serves the same purpose which is removes the bottle cap from the bottle you want to drink from.  So what is so unique about a wall mounted bottle opener?  Convenience and great to look at when you get the right style and design for your home or as a gift.  It is also very personal.  You have to know what they like.  Right?  They may like a specific kind of soda, a kind of beer or a drink.  Are they in public service such as a fireman or served in our armed forces like the Navy or Marines?  How about a world traveler, Belize, Panama, Cuba, Venezuela or Ireland?  Or they may just LOVE a store such as Home Depot.

Whatever you choose, rest assure you or the person you are gifting it to would absolutely LOVE THEM!  A novelty item with a purpose!  Now that’s pretty awesome!

A Better Kitchen with a Wooden Cutting Board

Custom Made Cutting Board

Custom Made Cutting Board

Let’s face it, a kitchen is not a kitchen without a cutting board, right?  The one essential tool (along side a knife and a pot) that you need in order to function properly in that space.  But having a cutting board shouldn’t just be dull or boring.  Liven up your kitchen with a custom made wooden cutting board.  Not plastic although plastic does have some advantage – can be easily cleaned and placed in the dishwasher, light to carry around from countertop to countertop and inexpensive.

A wooden cutting board is all that and much more.  How much more?  Check it out.

1. A serving platter.  Yup.  Try it out.  I bet you’ll get “wow, never thought of using my cutting board like that before” comment.

2. A decorative piece.  Place candles on top of the board when you are not using it.  Position it center on your dining table and voila!  You have an elegant centerpiece.  Or maybe you just want to spiff up your kitchen with colors.  Just leave your board on the countertop and display it.  Your wooden cutting board is made all the natural colors of the wood that brings out the beauty of the board and your kitchen.

So the next time you’re looking at your kitchen and you think it needs pizzazz, try a custom made wooden cutting board.  Maybe even engraving it to personalize your space.  It will look fabulous!

Planning for Your Next Wine and Cheese Party

Fruit and Cheese

Fruit and Cheese

Having a wine and cheese party?  Inviting your favorite friends over to hang out, educate and share your favorite wine and cheese pairings?  I love the notion of people coming together and bringing their knowledge and experience of worldly wine and cheeses.  Well, here’s some ideas to consider.  Some you might already know, but you may find an idea that resonates with you and want to implement.  I hope so.

Enjoy.

Cheese Serving Platter

Cheese Serving Platter

1. Serve your cheeses in individual cheese boards and label them.  Try this out.  Take an old cutting board, sand it down a bit and paint the bottom half (the picture shows most of the board was painted but just do the bottom half) with chalk paint (about 2-3 times).  Voila!  Instant wooden serving platter.  Here you can mark the cheese and the wine that goes together.  I just love this idea!

2. Ask your half your guests to bring their favorite cheeses and the other half their favorite wine.  Most are on a budget so set a dollar limit they can spend when sharing.  Makes it more fun when you can find affordable wine and cheese to pair together.  Don’t ask your guests what they are bringing.  It’s a surprise.  When they arrive, pair them up.  Make sure to serve bread and crackers to cleanse the palette.  Very important.

3. Decorate lightly.  Remember, it’s your home your inviting them to.  Just make them feel like their home.

Bon Appetite!

Common Mistakes When Selecting a Cutting Board

Wooden Cutting Boards

Wooden Cutting Boards

Let’s face it.  You need a cutting board and not just any cutting board, but the one that would be versatile for you to cut on and serve with.  Why not?  Often times, when shopping for a cutting board the top reasons to buy one generally falls on price and then quality.  Price is always a good thing to shoot for but you really shouldn’t sacrifice quality especially on a cutting board.  After all, your food is going on this.  Here are common mistakes that we all go through when selecting a cutting board.

  1. Price – we’ve mentioned this already but it is a huge factor.  Price is always a consideration especially if you have a budget, but shop and compare.  You can get a quality cutting board for a good price.
  2. Type – plastic versus wood.  There are plenty of good reasons to select either one.  Convenience vs longevity.  Ask yourself what is important to you.  I myself prefer a wooden cutting board.  Did you know that wood is a natural fighter of bacteria?  Not a lot needs to be done to the board to clean it other than soap and water.
  3. Quantity.  We often think we only need 1 cutting board and for the most part that is true.  However, having more than one can help you ascertain what to cut on it.  For example, cutting fish or poultry.

4 Ways to Say I Love You

Personalized and Engraved

Personalized and Engraved

Many ways to say “I love you” especially on a special day of celebration like Valentine’s Day, anniversary, birthday or whatever day you choose to celebrate with your spouse or spice in your life to let them know how much they mean to you.  Here are 8 easy ways to show them just how much:

Just Give Me Stamps

Just Give Me Stamps

  1. Make a handmade card.  Even if you are not creative there is always tutorials all over the internet.  Check out “Just Give Me Stamps“.  I love her ideas!  Easy to do and follow.
  2. The ole’ standy – send flowers even to a guy.  Yes ladies, guys love the attention it brings when it comes into his work and his colleagues sees the floral arrangement.  It will bring a smile to his face and a nice chip on his shoulder to his fellow co-workers.
  3. Personalized and engraved handmade cutting board especially if he loves to cook.  How brilliant is it that you can present a board with his name and “simply the best” written on it.  Really, personalize the board to whatever is meaningful to him.
  4. A handmade sign made out of old wooden pallets.  Check out “Catch as Catch Can 151“.  I love that sign she made!

Most of all … have fun at it!!!

How To Cut Onions Without Tearing on a Cutting Board

Chopping An Onion

Chopping An Onion

Why is it that when you cut an onion, often times it makes you cry?  An onion has enzymes that is released each time you cut into it.  The enzymes acts as a gas, spreads into the air and ultimately onto you and your eyes can feel it.  So how do you cut an onion without tearing?  Here’s a few suggestions.

  1. Use a very sharp knife (sharpen your knife before using) and a wooden cutting board.  The enzymes are released when it is crushed.  If you are using a dull knife, you will most certainly crush the onion rather than cut through it.  Cutting through it will release the enzymes less.
  2. Before cutting into the onion, place it in the freezer.  Studies shows it helps reduces the amount of enzymes that is release regardless of what knife you use.
  3. If you don’t have time to place the onion in the freezer and don’t have a sharp knife to use, after peeling the onion, cut it in half and run cold water through the onion.  This helps the onion get cold and release less enzymes.
  4. Open the window in your kitchen.  A nice breeze will divert the fumes from coming your way.

In the end, you can’t completely get rid of the tears when you do cut an onion, but the advice above can certainly help you.

What Every Woman Needs In Her Life – A Cutting Board

Fruit, Crackers, Cheese and a Cutting Board

Fruit, Crackers, Cheese and a Cutting Board

Really.  Unless of course you don’t cook.  I don’t know any woman that doesn’t really cook (well maybe I know a few).  But either way, if you or your spouse cooks, you will need a cutting board in your kitchen.  A simple tool that would make your life infinitely easier.  Don’t believe me?  Check out the many different ways you can use a cutting board.

  1. The obvious one – cutting on it.  I usually like my cutting board thin and medium size so that I can carry it around the kitchen for ease of use.
  2. Serving on it.  Yes.  A cutting board is meant to ideally cut on, but you can definitely use it for serving your hor d’oeuvres or cheeses and crackers or fruit.  Your options are limitless.  You are just limited to the space you have on the board.
  3. A home decor piece. Try it.  If you have a beautiful wooden cutting board with it’s gorgeous natural colors coming out, place the board on your table and add a flower vase with fresh flowers or candles.  It will serve as a center piece and a great conversation piece.
  4. A chalk board.  Right.  If you take a cutting board and painted a small portion of the bottom with chalk paint.  You can then label all your cheeses or food on it so that your guests will know what they are eating.  Genius!

 

Wines and Cheeses to Go With Your Cutting Board

Wine Cheese Pairings

Wine Cheese Pairings

Music to my ears!  I hear wine and cheese and I bee-line it to wherever it is.  YUM!  I love going to wine and cheese parties.  First off, you get to eat cheese and drink wine for as long as you are there!  Score!  Secondly, you can contribute by bringing your own favorites to share with the group.  Here are some of my favorite wines and cheeses that I don’t necessarily pair them together, but I really don’t care what blends with what just as long as it tastes good.  Right?

1. A hardy red wine like Silver Oak with triple cream cheese – OMG!  To die for!  Get some bread or crackers and I could eat this all day.  Really.

2. A fabulous light and buttery chardonnay like La Crema (YUM!) with a great Irish Cheddar cheese.

Wine and Cheese

Wine and Cheese

When hosting a wine and cheese party, here are a few suggestions on what you can do to make it fun and alive.

  • Serve all your cheeses on a cutting board and label it either with a tooth pick or a chalk board surface.  Have bread or crackers too.
  • Place the wine you believe will be a great pairing with the cheese right along side of it.
  • Have table markers describing the wine and the cheese so your guest will not only enjoy reading about it, but they’ll learn and that’s always fun!

4 Home Decor Ideas with a Wood Cutting Board

Wood Cutting Boards

Wood Cutting Boards

What?  A wood cutting board as a home decor piece?  Yes!  It is just not for cutting anymore.  LOL.  Wood cutting boards can be absolutely beautiful.  The natural colors of the woods are well … natural.  Meaning the colors are not only vibrant, they are colors that go through and through.  Nature produce this!  Amazing.  The colors will not fade unless you purposely cause it to fade.  So here are 3 great home decor ideas you can consider.

Coat Racks

Coat Racks

Dining Table Decor

Dining Table Decor

1. A coat rack.  Right?  Take your board especially if it is long or old.  Sand and oil it – bring it back to life.  Check out UR Coat Racks for more ideas or just got one from them.

2. Your cutting board as a platform for housing your flower vases or candles then place it in middle of your dining or coffee table.

Cutting Board Table

Cutting Board Table

End Grain Edge Grain Cutting Board

End Grain Edge Grain Cutting Board

3. A piece that you can hang as artwork.  Yes there are people out there who buys a beautiful hardwood cutting boards and simply just hang it on their wall.

4. How about getting a board big enough to use as a table?  Dual use.  Brilliant!

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