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A Sewing How-to to Brighten Your Day!

Like Molly over at Purl Bee, I can’t wait for Spring to arrive. I am so sick of slushy snow, grey days, and cold temperatures!  That’s why when I saw her tutorial for making these super cute napkins with the little rick rack scalloping on the edges, I knew I had to go to fabric.com and order some of Amy Butlers fabrics to whip up some of these super easy napkins and I had to share the tutorial!

Click here for the directions, step-by-step 🙂

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Turkey Day Countdown: Wine Time

wine-glassespreviewNow is a good time to get out to your local bottle shop and pick up the libations for your Thanksgiving dinner.  Every year the food and wine magazines have a hay-day debating which is the best wine to serve for this holiday so centered around the delicious meal and every year I find it so interesting as they recommend wines from albarino to zinfandel as the perfect “turkey” wine.

What I think is more important in selecting your wines is thinking about what you’re serving with the turkey.  From the oyster stuffing to brussel spouts with bacon to cranberry relish to the other 15 necessary dishes, the flavors of the sides served on Thanksgiving really set the tone for your pallete. This means a wine that not only tastes delicious, but has a perfect balance.  It needs the zest to cut through the cream-infused mashed potatoes, the complexity to enhance the subtle seasonings in the stuffing and the umph to stand up to the smorgasbord of all the flavors of the table combined.

I’ll be taking a cue from some my favorite wine writers…

Ray Isle’s picks at Food & Wine

Laurie Woolever’s picks for whites at Wine Spectator

Dave McIntyre’s picks at The Washington Post

Eric Asimov’s picks for bottles under $25 in The NY Times

So, think about what you’ll be serving and remember, it’s supposed to be enjoyable!

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Filed under Beverage, entertaining, holiday, Uncategorized, wine

How to: Homemade Terrariums

On one of the overcast days last week, we scoured the woods for little pieces of moss and interesting ferns to bring the outside in by making miniature gardens. It’s really fun to search for the perfect inclusions and spend an afternoon getting dirty.

To start, gather a couple of interesting containers that you’d like to house your garden. Then grab a basket and a trowel and head to the woods in search of the perfect little plants

Upon returning with a full basket, begin by placing a few rocks in the bottom of your container to help control the amount of moisture, the fill with potting soil.

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Fabulous Finds: “Quel” Tea Towels

Linens are one of my favorite splurges. From over-sized bath towels to the prettiest of napkins for luncheons, I love towels. Recently, I came across Quel Objet, a website with all sorts of great accessories for the home. Witty and charming, these towels are almost too cute to use for drying dishes… Order a couple to frame and hang on it wall in the kitchen. These are some of my favorites…

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The tea towels are $20 each and can be ordered here.

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Tip of the Day: Properly Setting the Table

This is a question that I am often asked as people host their first more formal dinner party. It is actually quite simple and practical.

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Everything goes in the order that it would be used.

Start by placing the dinner plate at the center of that guest’s place setting. Place the salad plate on top (this could also be a charger underneath the dinner plate, either way). Next place the napkin to the left of the plate (the napkin could also be placed on top of the plates) with the dinner fork closest to the plate, then the salad or appetizer fork on the outside. On the right, the knife goes closest to the plate and the spoon on the outside. Water and wine glasses go above the knife with the wine glass closest to the guests right hand (just think, you want them to drink more wine so you put the glass in a more easily accessible place).

The bread and butter plate and butter knife go either above the forks or to the left of the forks. As for dessert cutlery, the easiest way to remember is that the pieces would slide down into the correct position for usage by the correct hand. Meaning, the bottom of the dessert fork is on the left and the bottom of the dessert spoon is on the right.

For a more elaborate table setting from the Emily Post Institute,

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Filed under entertaining, Food, Home Keeping, How To, Tip of the Day

Tip of the Day: How to Keep Whites White!

After returning from our trip early yesterday morning, I was DESPERATE to do laundry as every piece of our clothes was filthy, especially our whites. This is how I keep them white…

imperialpercallrg.jpgFirst, start by boiling water in a couple of pots on the stove. Then block the drain in the kitchen sink and fill with the hot water. Carefully add 1/2 cup of powdered Oxiclean (do NOT use chlorine bleach) and stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve. Add clothes and let soak until the water is room temperature. Drain the sink then rinse clothes in cool water. Launder as usual.

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Heavenly Hydrangeas Serves Up Thanksgiving Flowers

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to help out with an incredible workshop at Susan Poneman’s (owner of Heavenly Hydrangeas) house in McLean. Susan hosts these small (less than 15 people) and intimate floral arranging workshops a couple of times a year and they are not to be missed! She started off with a demonstration full of tips for the average person trying to put together a nice vase with flowers they pick up at Whole Foods or the Farmer’s Market as she was putting together a beautiful basket full of autumnal flowers. Then each of the participants was free to put pick any basket, vase or tray out of Susan’s large collection of supplies to start arranging. The results were incredible…

It’s hard to make have a final product that isn’t beautiful when all of the supplies and flowers that we started with were of the utmost quality.

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A shot of the arrangement I put together after helping.

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A beautiful long arrangement to lengthen the Thanksgiving table.

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Another long arrangement that came out beautifully!

For more information on Susan’s workshops, check out her website and send her an email to be included on the mailing list.

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