Entertaining… add the extra details

Entertaining… add the extra details

Entertaining… add the extra details

 

2020 really has us appreciating time in a myriad of ways. The time we spend with others beyond our immediate family has dwindled down in frequency, size, and scope. All out extravaganzas have transitioned to intimate soirées and we’re all for it.

Thanksgiving is nearing and hosting can be an ordeal. Your relatives have postponed visiting until next year and while you are secretly relieved Uncle Bob’s boisterous opinions are staying away, you will miss Aunt Mildred’s warm smile and perfect mashed potatoes. Count your blessings and maybe try something new this year! Scale back on the menu, splurge on that bottle of red and get ready to make this dinner, or any feast, a truly special one for you and yours.
A thoughtful presentation and some fun tips just might free you up enough to begin your Christmas list.

 
Preparation
For any style of entertaining it’s important to prep ahead.
Take some pressure off this year and…wait for it…cook the bird the day before! No way you say? Everyone agrees it tastes better the next day. Warm it up, or better yet serve casual yet elegant open faced turkey sandwiches on thick slices of brioche and fresh thyme.
Tip: warm a stack of plates in the oven to keep food hot when serving a plated meal 

While you’re prepping your green bean bundles wrapped in bacon, sip on some apple cider mimosas complete with a brown sugar and cinnamon rim. Have a few glasses prepped on a tray along with pretty napkins, some cinnamon sticks and some shiny apples and you’re good to go!
Tip: keep a few bottles of champagne on deck complete with a bow. You’ll always have a reciprocal gift if someone swings by

Appetizers– make them graze worthy and gaze worthy. Use greens to provide a base on dishes and platters.Colorful cabbage, collard greens and fresh kale are sturdy and help elevate how pretty your stuffed mushrooms are. Speaking of elevating, build your scrumptious morsels a tiered base. Make bites easy to reach with a chunky candle holder and heavy plate. Stack old books as a base. Turn a basket or bowl over for a stand. Soften edges with frilly lettuce and cascading grapes. Use peppers to hold dips or spreads. Turn a basket or decorative box on its side, line with cloth napkins and crackers, rolls, and breadsticks with look amazing spilling out. 
Tip: use fresh herbs and stir into softened stick of butter. Roll into wax paper and twist the ends. Freeze. When ready to serve, slice or cube and arrange a pattern on a small dish- lined with a leaf of green of course

Personalize the Experience Allow each diner at your table to feel special with a place card. Kids love finding their name and adults like it too. Add a sprig of fresh mint, a small piece of chocolate, or even a seasonal trinket suck as a perfect strawberry in summer or a pine cone in colder months. 
Tip: place cards and place settings don’t need to match. Mix and mingle! Think of something that will make them smile.

Set the Tone Don’t forget the background. Music please! Even a casual family dinner deserves ambiance. Music is also a great way to fill the silence as you eat, calm the senses, and camouflage the clinking and chewing. Let conversation be the forefront and choose something mindful and appropriate. 
Tip: Classical instrumental choices soothe, relax, and don’t interrupt. There is a reason why restaurants choose wordless medleys.

Sharing is caring. Sharing your time is always appreciated and sharing a meal with people you love is a great thing. Share with them some of these small details and they’ll really take notice.  
If they don’t? Well then, they’ve got dishes.
A Fireplace Makeover

A Fireplace Makeover

A Fireplace Makeover

Lighter, brighter and oh so cozy!
Lots of us are jumping into projects in our homes. Some of these projects stem from that ongoing list that seems to grow instead of shrink. With the curveball we’ve all been thrown, we are reminded of how much we all yearn for a comfortable and functional space. Sometimes though, a little spruce up in the scenery department is what our home sweet homes need.
Take that brick fireplace surround. You know you love a warm fire on a chilly evening. You love the crackling wood, the snuggles, the movie nights and the family time. You don’t love red-ish, pink-ish , mauve-ish standard brick. Give us farmhouse vibes! Give us a cleaner and modern update! Give us paint!
That’s it folks- white paint and a couple of hours and you’ve got an updated focal point that you’ll adore this season and many more.
Grab and go! You’ve got this!
-Couple of old paintbrushes
-A container to mix paint and some water – we use a mason jar and lid
-A spray bottle with water
-Old washcloths (get a couple wet and wring out)
Tape off the walls and lay out some plastic on the floor. Prep the area accordingly as there might be some splatter with the consistency of the paint.
A 50/50 mix of paint and water is a good start. You can always add more paint if you prefer a thicker, less transparent application. Use a bright and clean white paint. You can always use the same white as your trim if you want a perfect match.
Start in the grout lines at the top and using quick, scrubbing strokes work the paint into the grout and along the edges of the brick. Working from top to bottom allows you to tackle any drips and frees up your standing spots. Ball up your wet washcloth and scrub and rub the paint to the center of the brick. You’re not going for a uniform look here and if you feel like you applied to much paint in one section, use your washcloth to scrub the paint around and just lighten it up as you move around. Again, you can always layer on more paint.
Every now and again back way up and admire your progress.
You may notice how easily the brick just soaks up the paint. Use your spray bottle and spritz some extra water and use your index finger to rub, dab, pounce some additional texture to achieve the look you want.
Have fun and enjoy the process! There really is not a right or wrong look; it’s truly a matter of preference. Before you know it,
you’ll be relaxing with a cozy fire, a whole new look and the satisfaction that you did it!

 

Ready for your mantel makeover?

 

CONTACT US.