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Musical Chairs for the Holidays

Even if you don’t love to entertain, don’t you find that there is something about this time of year that makes you want to invite people over to your house? For some, it is about showing off the perfect tree, and for others, a need to share that cozy family feeling that we all crave. Whatever it is, the holidays are here, and all those extra people eventually need to sit down and eat their shrimp. I am a big believer in sourcing my home before I shop, and it always surprises

Porcelain, Plastic and Picnics

Years ago, we had a St Patrick’s Day party. Up until then, our parties had always been built around plastic; it was easy to buy, disposable, and who didn’t love writing their name and drawing funny faces on a Red Solo Cup? But, this time, I wanted to serve Irish Stew, and it was March. So, I decided to forgo the picnic attire, and buy large soup bowls from a real, proper kitchen shop. I spent a fortune; I bought 20 of them, as well as beer glasses (I didn’t even know you coul

Tea, Coffee and the Table

It began as a Tea Table (“… used for serving hot drinks or putting down one’s cup between sips”). It sounds so fancy, and really did begin, like most things, as a practical way to solve a problem. Originally, they were hidden behind a sofa, and later, the legs were shortened (so you didn’t have to strain your neck to see who you were talking to) and they were carefully placed in front of the tea-sipping people. Designs changed depending on the year, but gradually they became

How to be a Good (not perfect) Guest

I know there is a deluge of posts right now on how to be the perfect host, make the best gravy, and plan a stress-free Thanksgiving, but what about being a good guest? For some people, the only time they visit other homes is around the holidays, and while the host is rushing around, it’s always nice to know that their guests have arrived, are enjoying themselves (and are behaving). Whether you are staying for dinner, or popping in for dessert, here are some ways to get you in

Summer Road Trip

To me, Summer seems to be one of those times when we try to capture a different American Dream; we suddenly want to create the perfect BBQ, drink strange, frozen drinks with our friends, and watch the children run through sprinklers on a perfectly manicured lawn (stopping occasionally to eat a red Popsicle, say “Thank you”, and smile lovingly at their doting parents). We are inundated with photographs and commercials, showing us snapshots of a pretend family, and implying tha

Seasons Cheating’s!

I know we have a month or so until Christmas, but why does everyone seem so busy and worried? Maybe it’s because of all that has happened over the last month, or maybe it is just that normal insanity that seems to take over at this time of year. We want to buy the newest, favorite thing, and we have to try and create the perfect memory (again). We all know that it won’t be perfect – we’ll stand on line for the one thing we can’t find, the dog will throw up from eating somethi

Thanksgiving Made Easy

I spent some time researching beautiful Thanksgiving photographs, then I came across this one. Of course, we all strive to have the beautifully set table, with the perfect family, but rarely does that happen. Now and again, the stars are aligned, and the day may go exactly how you dreamed it would, but usually it looks a little bit like the one above – mis-matched casserole dishes, warm bread from the supermarket, and football on the television. Have to be honest, I never un

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