Friday, July 31, 2015

Celebrate National Sisters' Day!

As one of three sisters, and as the mother of two sisters, I know that sisterhood is as powerful a bond as any. This Sunday, August 2nd is National Sisters’ Day and an ideal opportunity to honor the special bond sisters share.

Here I am with my mother and my two sisters. I'm the baby!

My beautiful daughters, Francesca and Alessandra!

You don’t have to have a biological sister to celebrate Sisters’ Day; we often consider our sisters the women with whom we share the deepest connections and most extensive histories. Sisters’ Day is an opportunity to celebrate your relationships with those women too.  

Here I am at 18 with my sorority sisters! 

And here I am now with my life-long girlfriends, whom I consider my "sisters!"

Ladies Choice, one of Rosanna's newest collections, pays homage to the power of women and the strength of that sister bond, as does our Cross My Heart Sisters dish.

 Ladies Choice Collection

Make this Sunday sister-themed. Spend the day with the women you consider your sisters, celebrating your relationship over a meal, maybe continuing to a ladies’ night out on the town, or some other activity you love to do together.

If a friend is a second self, as Cicero says, a sister is many things: a mirror, an advocate, a reality check, a guardian angel, a witness to your entire life. The list goes on…but you probably already know what I’m talking about.

This weekend, reach out to your sisters and celebrate sisterhood. It is a force to be reckoned with.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

4 Quick & Easy Fourth of July Entertaining Tips!

Whether you are just having a few friends over or you have your doors open to the neighborhood, aim to have a stress-less Fourth of July this year with a few of my quick and easy entertaining tips!

1) See what you already have on hand and keep the decorations to a minimum.  A burlap runner, a tray, small florals from the yard, a candle and a few small trinkets keep this coffee table fresh, yet festive.

State Tokens Large USA Tray, Trinket Tray Star
2) Forage your yard first for flowers.  Hydrangeas are in full bloom, here in the Pacific Northwest, and the beautiful blue hues in these flowers make for a beautiful, simple centerpiece.  

3)  Dress up your mantel/fireplace with a simple garland or banner like our USA Canvas Bunting. A banner is quick to hang and can make any room holiday-ready in seconds.

USA Canvas Bunting

4) Raid your grocery store bakery section for freshly made desserts & add to them.  You'd be surprised at the selection!  You may need to order a cake in advance but for less than $15,  its worth it.  This simple white cake is dressed up with in-season berries. For a different look, try topping the dessert with fresh flowers in red, white, or blues.
Dore Nesting Scallop BowlsLes Desserts Round Beaded Pedestal

One thing I've learned in my many years of entertaining is to zero in on your strengths. Are you a great cook?  Put your effort and focus on that.  Love baking?  Bake your grandmothers blueberry pie from scratch.  For all the rest, simplify it.  Find ways that make the other tasks easy (like in the above suggestions). Or delegate tasks to others that emphasize their own strengths.  

I hope that you have a wonderful weekend full of new memories, delicious food, great company, sparkling fireworks, and warm campfires.  Here's to a very Happy Fourth of July! 


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Summer is Here: Cool Off & Connect...with Gelato!

Summer is finally here!  What a perfect reason to reconnect with others outside in the sunshine after being cooped up indoors for so long!  (Which happens to feel like a very long time, here in Seattle!)

A favorite summer treat of mine is gelato (especially while in Italy, of course!)  In my opinion, it tastes creamier and more robust in flavor compared to ice-cream.  Pistachio has to be one of my favorite flavors...just the right amount of sweetness mixed with a light nutty flavor.  This is the perfect indulgence on a hot day! Fortunately, I've noticed that the gelato selections at our local grocery stores have been rapidly growing, making it so convenient to enjoy it throughout the year. (Just try an affogato in the winter ~ its divine!)

Buon Gustaio Gelato Bowl & Spoon
Thankfully, the days are longer in summer, making it easy for people to have a light dinner early on and afterward, still have time to enjoy being outside for a few hours.  Why not invite a few neighbors or friends over for an impromptu gelato night?  No prep work involved ~ just scoop, serve, and enjoy!  The simple act of enjoying a special treat with others ~ while enjoying the fresh summer air, can connect friends and family alike.

Buon Gustaio Gelato Bowl & Spoon

If you decide that you need a little more than dessert for your summer night gathering...check out the rest of our Buon Gustaio collection.  Its simple, textural pieces are perfect for effortless, summer entertaining!

Buon Gustaio Collection

What is your favorite way to cool off and connect with others during the summertime?  I would love to hear in the comments below!


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day Treats: S'mores!

For many, Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to summer, and if you’re old-school like me, the beginning of white shoe season. 

Along with the Memorial Day picnics, BBQs and family gatherings, it's also a time of remembrance and reflection of what our armed forces do for our great country. I would like to express my sincere appreciation and respect to the men and women in uniform and their families for their sacrifice and dedication.

Rosanna's USA American Flag Tray, Roll Play Dice

One of my favorite Memorial Day activities is making s'mores! Gooey, chocolatey, and crunchy all at the same time-yum! Why not try to sophisticate the tradition a bit by hosting you very own DIY s'mores party to kick off the summer festivities? 

Even without a bonfire present, you can still enjoy the summer-is-almost-here excitement with a s'mores party!

Top: Rosanna's State Token USA Tray Large, State Token USA SmallUSA Pennant Tray, USA American Flag Tray, USA Map Tray, Voyage Cookies Tray, Roll Play Dice, Moonglass White Votive

While I love the traditional graham cracker s'mores, everyone goes crazy for s'mores with a twist like the ones we made with Pepperidge Farm Brussels cookies, Reese's Peanut Butter cups and marshmallows.

Here's what we put on our S'mores Bar (but you can purchase your favorite cookies and candy):

  • Marshmallows
  • Graham Crackers
  • Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bars
  • Hershey's white Chocolate Bars
  • Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
  • Pepperidge Farm Brussels Cookies
  • Fudge Stripe Cookies

Are you excited about Memorial Day? Seeing all of these awesome dessert ideas is really revving me up. I can’t believe the summer kick-off is already here! Hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day!


Friday, May 8, 2015

Waffles for Mother's Day Brunch!

Mother's Day is almost here! If you're stressing about something new and exciting to do for your mom--how about making a decadent and oh so easy-to-prepare waffle bar brunch?

Dore Dinner Plate, Dore Hexagonal Platter, Dore Nesting Scallop Bowl Set, Dore Mug, Kashmir Appetizer Plates, Kashmir High Balls, Kashmir Nesting Catchall Trays, Kashmir Mug, Lattice GlassNapoleon Flatware

Our waffle bar includes fresh raspberries, fresh strawberries, sugar butter (recipe below) as well as our Farm Belle Marionberry syrup, jam and honey. You could also put out these toppers;  blueberries, blackberries, sliced bananas, Greek yogurt, nuts, dried fruit, maple syrup, as well as some chocolate chips and whipped cream for fun.  If you want to make the meal even heartier, serve some scrambled eggs and turkey bacon.

The key to making waffles that are crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside is preheating your waffle iron. Be sure to read your manufacturer's instructions as the time as each is different. 

Here's a delicious Basic Waffle Recipe, courtesy of Food Network, and my Sugar Butter which is out of this world on waffles!
If you don't have a waffle iron, you can buy frozen waffles.  I like Julian's Sweet Belgian Waffles, and Van's (which makes regular waffles, gluten free waffles, Belgian, and 8 Whole Grains).

And to toast your mom, make a batch of these fun Red Mojitos, courtesy of Every Day with Rachael Ray. They are colorful and refreshing, and you can make them with rum or without.

Wish you a very Happy Mother's Day! 


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

To make your party extra special, think about going beyond the traditional margaritas, and serving up these delicious Red Mojitos, courtesy of Every Day with Rachael Ray.  

On your way home from work, pick up some chips, salsa and guacamole, and your all set for a quick and easy happy hour fiesta.
Highballs: Rosanna's Kashmir Collection Trays: Rosanna's Portico Collection

And when you raise your glass, say "salud" as they do in Mexico! This toast means "to our health!"