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UPDATE: Host and Hostess Gift Guide 2013

Monday, 16 December 2013 11:19
Even with my good intentions, I must admit that we continue to basically be wine givers when it comes to host and hostess gifts. (Although we did manage to bring a bottle of bourbon for a couple who loves a good drink on the rocks. So, maybe that’s progress!) I think most party hosts would love to receive any of these gifts, and I’m still going to make a good effort to branch out from the wine cellar when attending events at other people’s homes this year! 1. Tray from Target – I absolutely love the graphic nature of this… Read more...

Host and Hostess Gift Guide

Tuesday, 26 November 2013 06:08
Don't forget the host or hostess gift the next time you're headed to a party. You could go the standard route and grab a bottle of wine, or keep a few hostess-worthy gifts on hand. Here are a few items that do the trick.  Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, or truffle oil from Old World Olive Press. Pretty much everyone uses olive oil, right? And having a fancy flavor like blood orange isn’t something you’d buy for yourself, but is straight-up lovely as a hostess gift. Mercury glass salad serveware from World Market. You just can’t go wrong with mercury glass. If you… Read more...
For some people—many being of the male persuasion—football season is a celebration of team and sport that culminates in a winner-takes-all final Big Game. For the rest of us, it’s a season to endure; an annual period when we lose our significant others to the television for hours on end and our kids devour more chips and soda pop than we care to confess. Yet it doesn’t have to be this way. Football season is here to stay. And while we may never embrace it with unbridled enthusiasm, we could take action to make the best of it. Part of what… Read more...

Super Mexican Recipes

Wednesday, 16 October 2013 03:21
Serve up an authentic Mexican dish at your next party with these favorites from Supermercado Mexico co-owner Kerry Olvera! Kerry began sharing her recipes at the request of many, and since February 2013, her blog has received more than eight thousand hits. Activity on Pinterest has also "unexpectedly taken off," Kerry said. "People have enjoyed specialty dishes from my hands and stovetop and ask for the recipe. I'm not one to keep secrets. At least not cooking secrets! I love getting a helping hand in la cocina." Here are some of her suggestions for any meal of the day—all packing… Read more...

A Shopping Soirée

Tuesday, 24 September 2013 04:28
Most women get invited to countless in-home parties. While the comforts of in-home shopping are obvious (free and discounted products are nice, too), a little research should go into the parties, products, and themes that could be tailor-made for you and your friends.  “My objective was a skirt and a glass of red wine,” said Michele Heibel, a former CAbi (Carol Anderson By Invitation) representative, of her first CAbi party invite. Heibel attended a trunk show featuring the boutique clothing and, to her surprise, ending up selling the line—including higher-end, investment pieces “you don’t see all the time,” such as… Read more...

Last Chance Summer Events

Wednesday, 21 August 2013 10:13
As we finish out the last full month of summer, it's time to schedule (at least) one more get-together! Summer in Michigan opens the door, quite literally, to options that are not available year-round to us —namely, outdoor entertaining. So, take advantage of these last few carefree weeks, gather some friends or family, and enjoy! Backyard Movie Night For a night that can be customized toward kids, adults, or both, a backyard movie is the way to go. Spread out the blankets, pass out the popcorn, and wait until dusk to get things started. We're all used to watching movies… Read more...

A Sweet Surprise for 25 Ottawa

Tuesday, 23 July 2013 05:05
Michael McKay Santo, or Chef Michael, as he prefers to be called, is bringing bold new concepts to Grand Rapids with the opening of his restaurant McKay’s Downtown. Represented by David Wiener and Ray Kisor of Colliers International, McKay’s now occupies a heavily trafficked area of the Arena District at 25 Ottawa.  You’ve read about the ingredients being all Michigan-made and the upscale casual atmosphere. You may have heard about the in-house butchered meats, the “Steak a la sundae,” or the 1920s-era speakeasy-style cocktail bar. But there’s something especially sweet about McKay’s, and it’s a little-known detail to many. The restaurant will also have an on-staff pastry… Read more...

Crushworthy: Styled Bars

Wednesday, 19 June 2013 09:28
One home decor feature that has been floating around a lot lately is the styled bar cart. It’s probably a page taken from the 1960s Mad Men era, but no matter where it came from, I’m very much in favor. As our dining room progresses, I’ve been working on styling our own bar. I’ve noticed a lot of similarities in the bars that I pin—they’re typically colorful, have gold details, and contain some whimsical elements. Still, I still tried to bring a little variety here! Crush #1 (right) This beautiful bar from Style Me Pretty Living is so soft and girly,… Read more...

Outdoor Entertaining Essentials

Thursday, 30 May 2013 10:15
Now that we have passed the unofficial start of summer, we Michiganders know that it is time to take advantage of entertaining outdoors! Creating an outdoor space for entertaining is like adding a room onto your house. A few well-chosen accessories can make the space work even better for hosting friends and family for an enjoyable event. Lighting … Just as inside your home, lighting can make all of the difference outside—particularly when an event runs into the late night hours. Candles, of course, always give off a warm glow and citronella options can be helpful for keeping away the… Read more...

An Egg-cellent Easter Party

Monday, 25 March 2013 14:38
Although we’re continuing to get snow flurries in Michigan, Easter is just around the corner! After months of gray weather and few reasons for big celebrations, it’s time to get creative. Whether you celebrate with a small or large group, bright spring colors and a festive table setting can really set the mood for a great Easter holiday event. #1 – One of my favorite things to look forward to each spring is the birds returning! Hearing them sing is a clear indication that the seasons are changing. This tablescape has a nest runner and a color scheme of robin’s… Read more...