Thursday, June 25, 2009

Some Tablesetting Inspiration

As the famous line goes, "There's no place like home."

...and our 3rd Annual Rosanna table setting contest provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate this classic truism.

In the past year, I've noticed a renewed emphasis on creativity in home decor and the revival of treasured customs and home-based rituals. As many of you already know, this trend is one that I intuitively identify with. One day, a name to characterize this phenomenon popped into my head, without any thought at all: neo-traditionalism.

And as it just so happens, this movement to invest extra energy and care in our home environments coincides perfectly with our annual table setting contest! I say, take this opportunity as a jumping off point. Eat and entertain at home. Celebrate togetherness with beautiful design elements and delicious, home-cooked meals.

Even the UK Telegraph has caught on, devoting a lengthy article to the topic of home entertaining, complete with an entire "Recession" dinner party menu. Return of The Dinner Party

It is true what they say, that the hearth is the heart. But I also see my home as my own personal canvas for creative expression and experimentation. I hope our contest will encourage you to see this kind of opportunity in your home and help you discover the joy that comes from making your space beautiful and filling it with the warmth of others.

*painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir Luncheon of the Boating Party

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tablesetting Contest!

Join us for a chance to win a $500 Rosanna gift certificate!

I'm pleased to announce our third annual table setting contest, which will start next week, on July 1st and end on August 31st.

I look forward to this contest every year. It gives us a chance to see how people are incorporating Rosanna product into their lives, in interesting and exciting new ways. For a little inspiration, take a look at the photographs from our last two contests:



Here are the rules and a few guidelines:

1. Anyone with a passion for Rosanna-ware is welcome to compete, regardless of age.
2. Contest begins on July 1st, 2009 and ends August 31st, 2009 at 11:59pm PST.
3. Digital submissions must come as jpegs, around 4x5 inches, no less than 72 dpi and no more than 180 dpi.
4. When entering your photo, make sure to include your name, your city, and an email or phone number where we can reach you . We respect your privacy and will not give out any of your information.
5. Photos in hard copy will not be returned.
6. Rosanna Imports, Inc. reserves the right to use and/or publish photos of your table setting submission, however we see fit. By sending in your photo, you agree to these terms.

-Set your table for at least two
-Include a statement with a little bit about yourself and your inspiration for your design
-No actual food or Rosanna products required.

Please sent all entries to or via snail mail to 440 S. Holgate St., Seattle, WA 98134 USA Attn: Table Setting Contest.

I'm very excited to see this years' group of submissions. Good luck!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Rosanna Book Update!

You may have read in an earlier post that I'm in the process of writing a lifestyle book. The most recent exciting development? We just finished the long and detailed process of photographing everything. Now, all of the heavy legwork is done and the book will be in print as early as January 2010. I'm very excited. With this book, I attempt to outline a seasonal guide to living well with a focus on tradition, ritual and creating a soulful home. I also spend a lot of time talking about how to cultivate fulfilling relationships with our neighbors, friends and family. The book will feature absolutely stunning photography by the talented John Granen , as well as stories that demonstrate the way I incorporate tradition and rituals into my life, tips on living well and a collection of my favorite recipes, also beautifully photographed by John.

Keep reading the blog for more updates as we approach the book release by Stewart, Tabori & Chang, a division of Harry Abrams!

Simplicty: An Avenue to Happiness

Last weekend, I took my girls to see Up, the gorgeous new Pixar film that just came out. We laughed and laughed and adored the movie. Halfway through the film, the adorable, chubby boy scout named Russell talks about going out to ice cream with his dad after a scout meeting. He describes the flavors they'd get, and the special curb they'd sit on as they ate it. Then Russell says, "It may seem boring to you, but I really liked that curb."

I loved that the movie took the time to focus on the beauty inherent in sitting on the edge of the sidewalk eating ice cream. I think Russell even says something like, "It's the everyday things that mean the most in the end" and I believe that is so true.

There is so much value in small things like staying at home and making an evening of it by preparing a meal together, playing a simple game of cards or taking a walk in the neighborhood and capping the night by snuggling up on the couch and watching a great movie. When we take the time to enjoy these kinds of moments, we learn that we can in fact find joy in the textures of our everyday lives. Evenings like these cost little and mean much. Enjoy what you have in your own backyard. Enjoy the wonderful array of gifts right in front of your eyes. You'll be amazed at how far it goes in making you feel closer and more connected to your partner and/or your children.

I can't emphasize this phenomenon enough: When we truly take a moment to look around us and become conscious of all the wonderful things we have right at our fingertips, that elusive feeling of contentment magically alights on our shoulders.

This related quote about the topic really resonates with me:
"Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it, like my heart's going to cave in."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Recipe For Happiness: $2.99, a Loaf of Bread, and a Day With The Ducks.

Much of what we do at Rosanna and what I talk about on this blog is with the intention of exploring ways to help us live well and happily in the world. However, living within the constraints of this recession, we have all had to reassess what it means to live well. Lately, I've been thinking about this a lot. For inspiration, I've revisited my own childhood when times were simpler and slower and having fun didn't require spending a large amount of money, or any money at all.

Time and time again I seem to return to the same theme. Cultivating happiness and peace, often times means taking time to enjoy small pleasures that don't cost a thing, like taking a walk in nature...or feeding the ducks.

Last weekend I was out with my family for a stroll through Fremont, one of our favorite Seattle neighborhoods. We blazed through our window shopping faster than expected, and were left with nothing "to do." Again, I thought back to the things I loved doing as a child...playing make believe games for hours, exploring the natural world in a pack of neighborhood kids, or dancing in the living room around my parents to the smooth sounds of Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66. I wanted to do something that would elicit that same feeling of simple delight for my family. Then I had an idea.

We went to the grocery store and bought the cheapest/healthiest loaf of bread we could find. Then we walked over to the canal and looked around for some ducks. When we found some, we sat down and got to work on the bread. At the risk of sounding like a geriatric, I have to say that the hour we spent with the ducks was the best hour of our day. We laughed together watching the ducks interact with their different personalities, that made up the dynamic of their flock. As silly as it seems, just spending an hour as a family feeding the ducks was a sweet experience that made us feel closer, happier, and more peaceful.

It's quite the revelation, no? You don't need to spend large amounts of money to be entertained. You don't need a day at the spa to relax and you don't need to go on an expensive vacation to have quality family time. All you need is a loaf of bread and some ducks.