Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Graceful Hostess Tip:
When Asked, Bring Your Signature Dish

Graceful Hostess Tips
Ideas for hosting with style and elegance

At pot-luck events, you have the opportunity to exhibit graceful hostess skills even if you're not the organizer. This is especially true when you're asked to bring one of your signature dishes.  If at all possible, say, "Yes!"

If someone makes a special request, it's because they love your dish, the way you present it, and possibly even how it livens the crowd.  So, be flattered, and try to oblige.

Yesterday was our Thanksgiving lunch at work, and I was asked to bring my famous Fruit Tea by the lunch's organizer, Linda.  Fruit Tea is not exactly a perfect fit for a fall gathering, but I was thrilled to receive the special request.  I found a way to make the tea fit in with the festivities by decorating my dispenser with a cute little fall label that I hand-stamped with a little acorn in fall colors.

Thanksgiving Punch Fruit Tea

Thanksgiving Menu Card Label

I wish you could see how excited my co-worker Linda is on days when I bring in Fruit Tea!  There's a lot of clapping. giggling with excitement, and a special Fruit Tea dance....that's right, a Fruit Tea DANCE!!!  This time I wanted to do something a special to make the Fruit Tea happiness last a few days longer.  I made a little gift pitcher for Linda, so she could take home all of the leftover Fruit Tea.

Pitcher with Hand-stamped Tag for Hostess Gift

My husband used a Dremel to drill a small hole in the pitcher's handle big enough for a binder clip.  I thought a binder clip would be a perfect way to attach the sparkly handmade "Property of" tag to the pitcher, so it could be easily removed when the pitcher needs to be washed.  Plus, the clip will let Linda attach the tag to whatever she needs (luggage, cake carrier, etc.).  I also had the tag laminated, so it won't get damaged by condensation or drips.

Property of Tag for Hostess Gift

So, what's your signature dish?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Gourd-geous Fall Front Porch

The day before Halloween, my husband and I took a trip to the local farmers' market, where we picked up 10 unique ornamental gourds for under $10. I piled them up in a planter on my front porch in front of what was left of my geraniums. I think the result is gourd-geous!

Fall Front Porch Decorated with Gourds

Best of all, after Thanksgiving, we can kick them to the curb with our bags of fall leaves for pick up! How easy is that?!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mini Cake Bunting: Oh So Cute!

Yesterday was my sweet husband's birthday, and he wanted oatmeal cookies as his birthday treat instead of cake. It's a little hard to make cookies festive in the same way as birthday cake or cupcakes, but I think a found a fun way with this Birthday Mini Cake Bunting.

Cake Bunting for Cookies

I just don't think it gets any cuter!   It couldn't be simpler to create this mini cake bunting either.

How to Make Cake Bunting
I used two medium-sized bamboo skewers (available at Publix) for the posts.  I cut 2 x 0.75" strips of paper out of patterned paper and folded them in half.  Then I cut the edges of the folded paper at a diagonal on each side.  All of the triangles were slightly different and definitely not perfect, but I think that suits the homey style of the cake bunting just right.  Then I glued them to some baker's twine. Finally, I stuck the posts into the pile of cookies on my favorite cake pedestal and tied the cake bunting to the posts.

Cake Bunting Birthday

I wish I knew who started the trend of cake bunting.  I've been seeing it on all sorts of blogs for quite some time, and I'm so glad the opportunity presented itself for me to try it out.  It looked precious as the backdrop to three lit birthday candles, too!

Cookie Bunting for Birthday Parties

What do you think of cake bunting?  I'd love to see your photos if you try it out!

Here's another fun birthday cookie idea from my mother-in-law.

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