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Friday, December 12, 2008

Über Holiday Décor Tips




Furniture Arrangement for parties and gatherings...
Whether a gathering is 6-60 your furniture arrangements in your public areas need to be redesigned. A formal living room can be arranged to serve as seating for dinner guests. Circular tables and chairs can be added and dressed with layers of coordinating tablecloths, placemats and runners to serve as extra seating for dining guests.

A foyer can host a bar; a family room extended dining, and a formal living room more than one conversation area. A favorite is to use an entry console to host wine or beverage selections, along with stemware and an ice bucket.

Focal points may change away from TV viewing to a glorious blazing fire or brightly lit tree. A definite party faux pas would be guest watch the tube rather than enjoying the company. Redesign your furnishings in a new arrangement with the emphasis away from the entertainment unit by creating a new focal point on the fireplace or tree.

Always take of traffic patterns and how you want your guests to move about your home into consideration. Guest should be able to move about your home freely and easily w/out bumping into chair arms or tables. Removal of a few pieces for the gathering to a storage area frees up space for large amounts of people.

Great Conversation is the pinnacle to any gathering. Here are a few tips to help motivate your revelers....

Champagne flutes hanging from red velvet ribbons from the foyer ceiling. Cut lengths of red velvet ribbon and mount to a ceiling or hang from an entry chandelier. Have a selection of scissors for each guest to ceremonially cut the ribbon upon entry to your home. The foyer serving as the bar area, especially works well with this conversation starter. Take the idea one step further and use the red ribbon as part of the invitation, as a small clue of the surprise ahead.

Baskets filled with Santa hats, red & white boas or scarves and toasty slippers set the stage for a lively party. Adults and children alike all like to “Dress-Up.” For extra fun, have a Polaroid camera or two available for impromptu photo shoots.

Vignettes showcasing antique family photos enjoying a special celebration or mementos such as antique ice skates, sled or ornaments will bring up stories of the past and thread together guests. These vignettes are especially wonderful in areas that guests can mill around or be seated to chat about the past memories.


Fabric & Linens are easy holiday decor. Shop your local fabric store for fresh ideas and trendy prints...

Tablecloths, napkins, placemats, runners and fabric yardage can really help create a dazzling table settings and home decorating. Choose or shop for fabrics that coordinate with your holiday or home’s décor.

Fabric can be tucked into bookcases, rivered on sideboards, topped on armoires or draped on chairs. Don’t be afraid to mix and match textures and colors. Fabric is one of the easiest decorative elements to when hosting a celebration.
The best part about using fabrics is they're compact and easily stored.

The Dining Room should make a real decorative statement in your home, but in many cases, it’s one of the hardest to creatively decorate. Here are a few suggestions to inspire you...
Whether for an intimate family dinner or a huge buffet gathering, a dining room was meant for celebrations and conversation; celebrate this “family” room with a rich, warm colors, conversation making displays, and wow décor that will make every guest want to sit down!

Divine Décor – Wrap wall art in holiday paper, bow and all.
Sprays of evergreens, berries and seasonal picks can halo mirrors, paintings and doorways.
Seasonal China can be hung on walls with plate hangers, easeled within China or curio cabinets or used as a tray for soaps in powder rooms.

China Cabinets can be refreshed to highlight seasonal china, heirloom ornaments, and seasonal floral. Normally mundane cut crystal with glow with a toss of color tinsel, small glass ornaments or a string of garland. Ribbon wrapped silk amaryllis or paper whites look splendid laid along a China cabinet shelf.

Chandeliers can host ornaments on ribbons, ivy, snowflakes and mistletoe. New holiday colored silk chandelier light shades can replace the existing ones, and the chain can be wrapped with fabric. Take it one step further and “wrap” each of the dining room chairs with seasonal fabrics also.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The "Neiman Marcus" Cookie

Easy Gourmet Cooking & Entertainment Show DECEMBER - Seen on cable TV Palos Heights, Palos Park & Orland Park Channel 4
This Urban Legend has been circulating for over 50 years … Neiman-Marcus charged a shopper $250 for its cookie recipe, not the $2.50 - The woman had been expecting to pay. As revenge on the store for refusing to reverse the charge, she now provides the recipe for free and exhorts others to pass it along.
This is a great recipe to share and tell the torrid Tall Tale... Make sure to include the recipe with your cookie gift to pass along the recipe!

Shopping Cart – Recipe can be halved.

2 cups butter

2 cup packed brown sugar

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla
4 cups flour

5 cups blended oatmeal**

2 tsp. soda

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp salt

24 oz. chocolate chips

1 8 oz. Hershey Bar (grated)

3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)

Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey Bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees - Makes 112 cookies.


** Measure oatmeal and blend in a blender to a fine powder.


 
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