Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Well, it's been quite a while since I have posted. I have so many ideas and usually think through my posts in the car. Then when I get home, life hits, and it isn't until my drive the following morning that I remember all of my creative ideas to share with you. Anynwhoo, enough excuses for my two readers, lol!

My favorite magazine, House Beautiful, recently had a great article on entertaining and dinner parties with 100's of do's and don'ts.  Many of them were a bit too "fancy" for my taste, but several were really great! So, I thought I'd share!

1. Flowers are overused as centerpieces. Use seasonal fruit, a tureen, or an interesting sculptural centerpiece instead. (Christopher Spitzmiller)
2. The perfect number for a dinner party is six to eight. You want festive conversation, but not too many people that conversations are always split up. (Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan)
3. Don't wait for late guests. People resent being hungry. (Isaac Mizrahi)
4. We all look better with light on our faces. Put lamps on your buffet or server. (Jan Showers) [or use lamps throughout your space instead of overhead lighting where possible]
5. Always, always make introductions. If you are going to make a guest feel alienated, why invite him? (Jessica Nell Graves)
6. Serve take-out on your finest china. (Kelly Wearstler)
7. Always start with an empty dishwasher. (Chesie Breen)
8. Seat guests next to someone they know and someone they'd enjoy meeting. (Alex Papachristidis)
9. Don't create such impressive centerpieces that the guests can't see each other across the table. (Sue Fisher King)
10. Unscented candles, please. (Bradford Crowder)
11. Switch lamp bulbs to pale pinks, which make evevryone looks great. (Karen Bussen)
12. Make a home-cooked meal, even if it's just a bowl of chili and a salad with garlic bread. There's nothing better than simple and delicious. (Lisa Fine)
13. I discovered early on that the best parties involve a certain amount of serendipity. I try not to have everything done when the guests arrive so that people can pitch in and help in the kitchen. It's a great icebreaker. (Ruth Reichl)
14. When I was in Italy one summer, our hosts served cashews and potato chips in crytal bowls while we sipped prosecco. It was a revelation: right-out-of-the-bag snacks become sophisticated when they're served in a gorgeous dish. (Stephanie Ballard)
15. Stick your candles in the freezer for a couple of days prior to using them. The freezing will eliminate most of the messy dripped wax all over your furniture. (David Stark)
16. Don't ever make it feel formal. It's such a snooze. (Jonathan Adler)
17.  As a host, don't sit at the head of the table--presumptious and archaic. (Darryl Carter)
18. Serve an amazing dessert. Even the worst main course will be forgotten of it's followed by a spectacular dessert. Extra points for making it yourself. (Michael Devine)

And my two favorite:
19. Light up the backyard so there won't be a big black hole outside your windows. (Joni Webb)  [perfect for holiday decor!!]
20. Don't tidy up the table too soon. Once the plates are cleared away, often so is the mood. (Lisa Borgnes Giramonti)
(All from pages 118-121 in the November 2010 issue of House Beautiful.My personal comments are in [brackets].)

Now, this makes me want to get the gang together!! Cheers and Merry Christmas!!

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