Monthly Archives: September 2010

How to Be a Good Guest

It’s important to be a good hostess, but it’s just as important to be a good guest. Try some of these tips the next time you’re invited to someone’s home.

  1. RSVP immediately.
    Obviously make sure there are no scheduling conflicts, but one of the most annoying things to a hostess is uncertainty about how many people will actually be showing up.
  2. Offer to bring a dish of food.
    Hosting a party is often stressful; your hostess will appreciate the offer to help ease some of the stress.
  3. Even if she declines your offer to bring food, bring a gift.
    Try to choose something you know the hostess will like; if you don’t know her particularly well, bring something that she can use for her party, like a bottle of wine, or flowers for the home. You can also bring a piece of barware, or a nice tabletop accessory.
  4. Be prompt.
    The unexpected comes up — it’s a fact of life. But make this a rule: if you can be on time, be on time. Showing up late for no good reason is rude, both to the hostess and the other guests.
  5. Offer to help clean up.
    Like the offer to bring food, this is one that the hostess probably won’t take you up on, but it’s important for her to have the option.

Edible Centerpieces

One of my favorite shows on the FoodNetwork is Sandra Lee’s “Semi-Homemade”. Sandra has themed shows every episode and creates matching cocktails and “tablescapes” for her guests. One particular episode I loved featured spring themes and a cupcake, May pole centerpiece. I’ve been hosting dinner parties and special occasions in my home for decades and I’ve probably receiving dozens and dozens of hostess gifts and tabletop accessories. Never did it occur to me to make an edible centerpiece! What a fabulous idea!

After I saw Sandra Lee’s cupcake centerpiece, I decided to come up with one of my own!

Edible Fruit Bouquet

To make this simple, yet elegant edible fruit bouquet, take a simple shaped vase, yet shallow vase (glass or ceramic will do just fine) and wash it clean. After doing this, wipe dry, leaving zero watermarks. Use your favorite fruits for this arrangement; I like blueberries, grapes, strawberries and pineapples.

With skewers you use for shish-kebobs, slowly thread pieces of fruit, in any order or preference you like, onto the skewer. When you have enough to fully decorate your vase, arrange them as you like and voila! You’ve got a beautiful centerpiece that your guests can eat! Enjoy!

Treat Your Hostess to the Classic Hostess

By the time I started throwing my own parties, I was lucky enough to have witnessed my mother in action hundreds of times. Watching her host a party was like watching an artist at work. She was always vigilant of when her guests were running low on food or drink, and had an eagle’s eye when it came to minor mishaps — she kept a little bottle of club soda on her in case of spills. Dad used to tease her and swear she had a hostess’ handbook stashed in the kitchen, to sneak peeks at while she was getting more iced tea and cake, but I wasn’t so sure it wasn’t true. It was crazy the way she never missed a beat.

Mom still loves having guests over, and recently redecorated her apartment, so for her last birthday I went to the Classic Hostess web site and found her a bunch of tabletop accessories and barware to match her new decor. She was ecstatic! When I told her where everything came from she checked out the site immediately and found a dozen more things she wanted. She was especially smitten with the selection of crystal flowers and pewter fruit figurines, and by the next day had even more tabletop accessories coming her way.

My Favorite Barware Items

I love hosting events at my home. Cocktail hour, brunch, dinner parties, you name it, I love hosting it. The most important thing to keep in mind when hosting an event is to have durable and practical yet decorative items, such as barware, to serve your guests with. Today, I’m going to share some of my favorite barware items, ones that are sure to please not only your guests, but yourself as well.

The Glass Shop Martini Glass Chiller

A multi-purpose glass/chiller is a unique way to chill your martinis between sips. Fill the bottom resting glass with ice and rest your glass for continuously cool and refreshing martinis.

Chateau Set of 6 Shot Glasses with Black Tray

Shots, shots, shots. This elegant black tray houses 6 shot glasses for a serving your favorite cocktail, juice, wine, liquid candy, virtually anything you want.

Dublin Whiskey Decanter

For all you whiskey and scotch enthusiats out there, if you don’t already have a decanter, then what are you waiting for? This beautiful contemporary style decanter is the perfect barware for anyone to have or to give as a housewarming gift.

Whether you’re a hosting pro or amateur, purchase these lovely barware items today for yourself, your guests, or as great gifts.