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Tuesday
Dec152009

3...2...1...happy new year!

Let’s get this party started!

Toasting the fresh start of a New Year is right up our alley so we’re ready to set-up the bar so everyone can raise a glass. The question is, which bar do you want to keep coming back to?

If you’re tight on space, a peekaboo console doesn’t create visual clutter and it can be multi-purpose. In an entryway, behind a sofa, as a desk or as a bar with all the necessities.

If mid-century is more your style, an acacia mini bar could fit right in—and store spirits behind closed doors during off hours.

If your existing furniture can mix with high-gloss, a halogen credenza would work now…and later as a media console for the big game.

The only thing left to ask is “what’ll you have?”.

hint: Try Raymond’s favorite “champagne” cocktail—procecco with a sugar cube and a dash of bitters.

Thursday
Dec102009

10 essentials: dinner at 8

Whether you’ve snail-mailed or e-mailed invites, your sit-down dinner starts at 8.

Following are essentials to set a casual mood that will relax guests so they can be themselves and linger over good food with pleasant company.

1. Set the mood with music and put it on long play so the rhythm of the party—and you—don’t get interrupted.

2. Let guests pick their seat and skip the place cards. They’ll most likely enjoy the conversation more if their neighbor was their choice.

3. Bring in some natural foliage as a centerpiece. A branch cut from the outdoors, or fresh lemons, are playful elements that make it casual.

4. A curve candleholder not only compliments the background jazz which keeps the party lively, it doesn’t get in the way of conversation.

5. Smart candles are reusable and create a glow as warm as a burning candle.

6. Ditch matching plates and create a softened, relaxed look by layering dinnerware colors and materials—such as green glass cayman with white porcelain plates.

7. Mix things up and layer table linens—such as rustle napkins with high gloss placemats.

8. Stainless pitchers of water keeps everyone hydrated—and keeps you at the table.

9. Think outside the box and mix up stemware. Think stemless wines as water glasses with shapely sophia stems for reds and whites. Together the organic shapes will compliment a relaxed mood.

10. Wine decanters allow wine to breath before pouring, add a sparkle to the table, and keep the tablescape neat and cohesive. Bonus is that you can serve less expensive, while no less delicious, wines without anyone being the wiser.

Hint: position your seat at the table closest to the kitchen for easy access since something’s always forgotten.

And for a neater, edited tabletop, plate entrees in the kitchen and present them to everyone at the same time. This saves the hassle of passing dishes and gives guests a chance to toast the chef!

Wednesday
Dec092009

recipe: easy pesto salad

baby spinach
pesto
defrosted frozen peas
pine nuts
grated parmesean cheese
salt and pepper

Base proportions of ingredients on taste and the number of guests.

Nutritious, greens, yummy.

hint: keep pine nuts in the spice cabinet to perk up simple recipes.

Tuesday
Dec082009

Hanukkah or Chanukah?

Known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah is observed by lighting a Menorah which holds 9 candles. One for each night of the holiday, and an extra light called a shamash—meaning guard or servant. The shamash is traditionally placed higher than the others and is lit each night since it’s used to light all the other candles.

Mark your calenders—Hanukkah begins at sunset December 11th.

Chag Sameach!

Thanks to todd, store designer west hollywood, for photos of their windows which included a Menorah made of blok crystal candleholders.

Thursday
Dec032009

CB2 party hints

Curtis I like to create a party play list on my iPod and try not to touch it for the rest of the night.
Raymond Stay clam. Plan ahead. Don’t procrastinate. Prep anything you can ahead of time. Music and flowers are key.
Sara Keep it simple…beer, wine, chips and dips. For me it’s more about the guests, the conversation.
Jen If it’s really last minute, the quickest clean up you can do is Windex all mirrors and sweep the floors. And turn on an iPod!
April I like to put out a new fragrant hand soap and guest towels in the bathroom and light a scented candle.
Jaime Fill rooms with holiday scents like cedar, pine, pear or freesia.
Ali I usually make one new appetizer or dish when I entertain. It’s a good opportunity to expand my repertoire.
Sandra Tell myself the party starts 30 minutes before guests arrive—so I’m dressed in time!
Ryan I don’t have a lot of parties but I always have a good bottle of wine and scotch on hand, just in case.
Marta Candlelight is a must and no paper napkins.
Amy Music sets the tone and the rhythm of any soiree. Figure out who’s coming and chose wisely. Remember it should be cheerful and inspire good conversation.
Vance No overhead lights…and never invite more than one ex.
Steve If it’s in the budget, call a maid service. Before is nice but after is heavenly.