Browsing Category

Hospitality and Entertaining

Proper English Tea: The Perfect Downton Abbey Watch Party

Hospitality and Entertaining
proper english tea

Taking an afternoon break to enjoy a soothing cup of hot tea has long been a part of my workday. But my recent trip to England and a visit to Highclere Castle have renewed my appreciation for serving and enjoying that most satisfying and civilized of snacking rituals, A Proper English Tea.

(Grammar snobs: please don’t write to me about the incorrect usage of capital letters here. I’m just trying to indicate that a truly proper tea is something of an occasion. I’m also trying to be funny. Thank you.)

Even if you’re the only guest, and perhaps especially then, hosting and enjoying a proper tea is a wonderful way to add touch of elegance and tranquility to your life. It’s also a lot easier to accomplish than you might suppose.

Yes, a proper tea may involve multiple courses and a full-blown decorating scheme with accompanying floral arrangements but simpler variations on the theme can be just as proper and just as enjoyable. The point of a proper tea is to make space in your day to nourish your body, renew your energy, and refresh your spirit.

continue reading

Book Club Appetizers: Fast & Fun

Books, Hospitality and Entertaining
book club appetizer

I know a number of people who go to book club meetings just for the food and wine. They never, or almost never, actually read the book. They just like the idea of having a party with smart, bookish buddies every month.

I’m certainly not recommending or promoting this attitude. In fact, if you are that girl I want you to picture me right now, pointing my finger and tsk-ing my tongue at you. Life sometimes gets in the way of our reading schedule but this should not be a regular thing! If you aren’t carving out time to read the book, you’re not holding up your end during the discussion and that’s not fair to the group. You’re also missing out on the fun, which is even worse.

continue reading

Patriotic Party Platter In Time For July 4th

Hospitality and Entertaining
fruit patriotic platter cheese board

Last week was the summer solstice, which across the Northern Hemisphere means the longest day of the year. Which technically means every day between now and December 21 has a littttle less sunlight. But it also means that the days we are having right now are some of the loooongest of the year. And yes, the days are probably kind of hot. But it’s that beginning of the summer hot that still feels novel. And we still have clothes in our closet that aren’t drenched in sweat.

Remember being a kid, when we were out of school for the summer and how much possibility and opportunity lay in those long days? We might build a tree fort. We might invent a whole new game and teach it to the other neighborhood kids. We might turn on the sprinkler and run through the spray for hours in our swimsuits, laughing and giggling with no regard for time. After all, there was no homework nor other responsibilities that required watching a clock.

continue reading

Hospitality 101: How to be a Fierce Host

Hospitality and Entertaining
hospitality 101

This blog is going to be on the short and sweet side because I’m a little busy today.

I’ve got to finish packing for my upcoming glamping trip with my mom (we’re leaving tomorrow morning), plant my porch pot flowers, answer the backlogged email, finish the laundry, run to the market, and make a batch of Fiesta Miracle Muffins for my husband to share with some of his old high school friends who are coming to visit while I’m away camping this weekend.

Oh, and when I ran into a couple of friends at my quilt guild meeting yesterday, I invited them to come over for dinner tonight. They’ll be here in 5 hours.

That’s right. Even though I knew I had a very busy day ahead of me, I went ahead and invited a couple of friends over on the spur of the moment.

Now, some of you completely get this but a lot of you are saying, “That’s crazy! Why would you suddenly invite people over on such short notice? And for dinner, no less. That just sounds so stressful!”

You have a point. Entertaining can be stressful – for you as well as your guests.  But it doesn’t have to be. Not if you keep a few simple principles that will make get togethers a pleasure for you as well as your guests.

Are you ready? Here’s my crash course on Hospitality 101.

continue reading

Go Pro with These Three Healthy Super Bowl Recipes

Food for Grownups, Hospitality and Entertaining
healthy super bowl recipe chicken chili
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN REFERRAL LINKS. IF YOU CLICK THROUGH AND TAKE ACTION, I MAY BE COMPENSATED, AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU.

It’s almost time for the Super Bowl (and the Puppy Bowl and Super Bowl commercials, take your pick of which one you’ll spend your time watching!)

No matter which you are watching it’s almost guaranteed you’ll be eating something. Because food and the Super Bowl go together like chips and salsa. (Or chips and guacamole, but more on that later!)

continue reading

My Son’s Wedding: The Dress! The Flowers! The Epic Mother Son Dance!

Celebrate Life, Family, Hospitality and Entertaining
mother son dance

It seems like yesterday when my youngest son thought every single animal, no matter what it was, was a cow. Moo! (it was a cat), Moo! (it was a dog). Moo! (It was an elephant for goodness sake).

Just to embarrass him, here’s a picture of him as a little ball of fluff. Adorable, right?

Oh, and here is one from those awkward middle school years with braces.

It’s my right as a mother to share these on the internet, yes? I think so. continue reading

The Art of Easy Entertaining and the Cutest Fall Baby “Sprinkle” Ever

Hospitality and Entertaining
easy entertaining
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN REFERRAL LINKS. IF YOU CLICK THROUGH AND TAKE ACTION, I MAY BE COMPENSATED, AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU.

 

I love to entertain.  Always have.  I’d go so far as to say that I enjoy throwing parties even more than attending them.

But for a lot of women, the idea of entertaining at home is an intimidating, even frightening prospect.

I think that’s because many people have the wrong idea about what it takes to entertain.  You don’t need to have buckets of money, a fancy house in a fancy neighborhood, or the culinary skills of Martha Stewart to throw a good party.

Showing hospitality is simply about sincerely welcoming others into your home with a warm and open heart. It doesn’t have to be complicated, or expensive. In fact, some of the best parties I’ve ever been to, or given, have been the simplest.

continue reading

Cool Down with Low Calorie Cocktails (4 points or less on Weight Watchers!)

Food for Grownups, Hospitality and Entertaining
low calorie cocktails, weight watcher cocktail recipes
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN REFERRAL LINKS. IF YOU CLICK THROUGH AND TAKE ACTION, I MAY BE COMPENSATED, AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU.

 

I don’t know about you, but in Central Oregon, we’ve had quite a heat wave. My car said the temperature was 104 yesterday. My car can be a bit dramatic (we have that in common), but still, this part of the country just isn’t set up for three figure temperatures. Most houses around here don’t even have air conditioning.

continue reading

Perfect Make Ahead Summer Dinner Party Menu (Just 5 Weight Watchers Points!)

Food for Grownups, Hospitality and Entertaining
summer dinner party menu weight watchers
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN REFERRAL LINKS. IF YOU CLICK THROUGH AND TAKE ACTION, I MAY BE COMPENSATED, AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU.

If you’re busy (and who isn’t?) hosting friends for dinner can be a real challenge.

Unless, of course, you’re prepared.

This summer, I’ve pulled together some gorgeous, favorite recipes into an easy summer dinner party menu that can mostly be made ahead.

You know what that means, don’t you? You can actually go to your dinner party instead of spending it in the kitchen. Doesn’t that sound like a nice change? continue reading