Both my grandmother and great aunt (sisters) are French and I must say, only #5 on this list applied to any of their dinners (and out of the two, my great aunt was a real social butterfly). There was always an apéritif, but it was never champagne - often it was a port - and it was always served with some sort of hors d'oeuvre but never anything fancy or heavy so as to not ruin the rest of the meal (even if it was served some time in advance of actually sitting down to the table). The meal was always served in courses - usually 4 (starters (often cold meats and vegetables), a main course, a cheese and salad course (to cleanse the palate I was always told), and then dessert. This was usually followed by coffee - or it was just served with dessert. There was always wine with the meal, but that's really all that's ever served with any of their meals - it's just what you drink and not unusual at all (not much thought went into it). With that said, I think what I learned from the dinners they had was that as long as you're enjoying yourself then your guests will enjoy themselves and the dinner will be exactly what it should be. I don't remember much about the food or drink or anything about the dinner itself. There just wasn't any effort put into these dinner parties beyond cooking the meal and even then, I do remember seemingly everyone at one time or another in the kitchen helping or sipping their port and talking while my aunt and/or grandmother cooked (people brought stuff too - no dish was turned down!) - in and out of the kitchen everyone went, sipping drinks, helping out, and just relaxed. There were no decorations, places were set with whatever was available (and often by a guest who was helping out), chairs from all over the house were used to accommodate all the guests (we'd all go find our own chairs and help others find ones too - whatever would work), tables were pulled out from where they normally were so people had places to eat; it was just not a huge production. It was mainly: invite friends, buy food, cook food, enjoy company - the end. What I mainly remember are the conversations and laughter and sitting at a table for hours - well after food was gone and coffee cold.
Secrets of a French Hostess Sous Style
|11/16/12 10:03 PM|
I have two cats and haven't really had a problem with them jumping on things they aren't supposed to. They would do it a few times but as long as I was consistent in telling them no and putting them back on the floor, they pretty much don't ever go any place I don't want them to. Of course, not every place is off limits - so there are approved high locations if they want (I have one cat who is sort of jumping impaired (short legs), but the other likes to occasionally be up higher.) Cats are pretty trainable though, believe it or not - you just have to find their motivation. (One loves - loves I say - treats and I used that to train her to sit. They also seem to understand the word 'outside' and are ready to run to the back door to have some time on the patio. Move the chain on the front door and they're both there ready for their walk in the grass. They also know when their names are called in a certain way or 'No' is said as they stop (perhaps not immediately lol) doing whatever it is they're doing.) I don't keep my cats off the sofas, chairs, or beds though - one has claimed an ottoman and if anyone dares to use it, she seems to appear out of nowhere to take her rightful place. lol So, I just say be consistent and patient - eventually they will learn what is and is not acceptable.
Cat-Friendly Decorating Ideas? Good Questions
|10/12/12 1:06 PM|
I lean towards modern and minimalist design, so this already looks good to me. I would consider changing the sliding door blinds for something more sleek - I lean towards sliding panels (something like these:http://www.blindsgalore.com/WindowProduct.asp?id=255442) that would very closely (if not exactly) match the white walls. I would also hang the speakers if possible - for looks as well as for the sound quality (nice system by the way). I would remove whatever is sitting in the left-hand corner. If you would like something more than the tv and speakers on the wall (though, I don't think it's necessary), you could get several of the Ikea BESTA shelf units with doors (in white) and put them in a row above the tv and to the left (not going past the right-hand edge of the tv and ending just before the corner). You can use these for storage and can also display a collection on top if you would like. I'm not sure if the BESTA would be too large, so I would also consider the LACK shelves - you would lose storage, but still have room for display [I imagine either items all of one accent color or - this is the nerd in me - a collection of toys and items from something like Star Wars, or video games, or the like.] Though, these shelves might look really good without anything displayed and really stick to the minimalist look. This is probably not the way your decorating leans, but I hope I at least gave you something to think about. Good luck and enjoy your entertainment system!
Balance TV and Window in Living Room?
|9/30/11 10:17 AM|