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

Food for Grownups, Hospitality and Entertaining
summer dinner party menu weight watchers
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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

Proper Picnic Planning Guide: Picnic Recipes, Al Fresco Etiquette and the Best Gear

Food for Grownups, Hospitality and Entertaining
proper picnic guide, picnic recipes, picnic gear
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What do you get when you combine delicious food, the great outdoors, time with friends, and  a pretty quilt, all wrapped up into one adorable and portable party? It’s a picnic. And it’s my favorite.

Here’s how to throw the perfect picnic with the best food. continue reading

The Dos and Don’ts of Family Reunion Planning

Family
family reunion planning

One of my relatives loves to assert at every family get together that “You can’t choose your relatives.” She smirks and we laugh because we are so lucky to have such a fun bunch, despite the quirks, dysfunctions, and fiery Irish personalities. But her statement rings true for everyone: you really can’t choose your relatives. Whether you like it or not, you’re a lifetime member of the club. You are bound by shared DNA, shared memories, shared secrets, and shared histories. Essentially, you’re stuck together. And that’s not such a bad thing, is it? continue reading

Fiesta Party Ideas and Recipes Perfect for Summer

Food for Grownups, Hospitality and Entertaining
Mexican fiesta strawberry margarita
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My new home in Central Oregon is pretty close to paradise. Beautiful scenery. Wildlife. Perfect weather. Lots of locally owned restaurants, wineries, and breweries. Fun outdoorsy things to do at every corner.

However, it lacks in one critical area. Shocking no one, there doesn’t seem to be any authentic Mexican or Tex Mex food where I can get a proper bowl of queso for at least 200 miles.

I used to live in Mexico. I also used to live in Texas. While both places were fun and exciting in their own right, there’s one thing I miss this most. The food. The sizzling smells. The vibrant colors. The cumin and garlic and oregano. I’m making myself hungry just thinking about it.

Enjoying Mexican food and its somewhat less authentic but still delectable cousin, Tex Mex, is the perfect way to ring in summer. And if you’re looking for a way to celebrate reaching the finish line of a long, hard week, lift yourself out of a funk, or simply jolt yourself out of a food rut – my Tex-Mex party menu will definitely do the trick.

On the other hand, do you need a reason?  Any day is a good day to invite a few friends over, play some lively Spanish guitar music, and have a fiesta! Ole’!


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Mother’s Day Brunch Recipes You’ll Want to Make All Year Long

Food for Grownups, Hospitality and Entertaining
broccoli quiche, mothers day brunch ideas
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Mother’s Day and brunch seem to go together like April showers and May flowers. So why not knock it out of the park this year? Whether you are celebrating your own mother, celebrating yourself (we know, you’ve done a great job and deserve a delicious meal), or perhaps daughters, daughter-in-laws, or friends, Mother’s Day brunch calls for a sense of occasion. It should be pretty, feminine, bright, and delicious. Most of all, it should make the moms in your life feel special and loved. continue reading

Reviving the Lost Art of Letter Writing

Friends and Community
letter writing lost art
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The prediction I’m about to make is somewhat surprising, possibly even audacious. So I want you to remember that you heard it here first.

I believe that letter writing is about to make a comeback. continue reading

What to Know When Making A Cheese Board (and Why it’s Perfect for a Party)

Food for Grownups, Hospitality and Entertaining
what to know when making a cheese board
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I know I’ve been singing the praises of the Weight Watchers Freestyle Plan for a while now, so temporarily ignore everything I said about that so we can have a real, honest discussion about one of life’s greatest joys: cheese.

Now we aren’t talking Velveeta. Or string cheese. Or queso. I’m talking about fancy cheese—the kind that gets its own stage when its served. The type that’s displayed with a little fanfare on a cheese board. Hungry yet? continue reading

Starting (or Joining) a Bookclub: Friends, Food, and Fellowship

Books, Friends and Community
how to start or join a book club
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One of the biggest pleasures of reading a good book is discussing it with other readers.  There’s no better place to do that than a book club.

There really aren’t any downsides to joining a book club. I mean, sure every now and then you might not love one of the books. But even that can have its benefits.  Sometimes, discussing a book or character you didn’t care for can be even more fun than talking about one you did! Who doesn’t love trash talking the villain you love to hate? continue reading

Doing Good for Others is Also Good For You: 30 Random Acts of Kindness Ideas

Friends and Community, Grow in Wisdom
random acts of kindness ideas

I was raised on the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Chances are you were too. But did you know that doing good for others is also good for you?

Studies have shown that being kind to others and doing good deeds on a regular basis can help reduce anxiety, increase personal happiness, and even promote heart health and longevity.

Wait…the antidote to anxiety is a random act of kindness?

Possibly.

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