Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cinnamon Crust-- A Thanksgiving Treat!

While I love making pie for Thanksgiving, what I love even more is making my mom's Cinnamon Crust with the leftover pie dough! 


This was my favorite treat as a child. When my mother made pies, she'd let me use the scraps of dough to make a delicious cinnamon-sugar pastry. My children love this special treat at Thanksgiving. They gobble it down within minutes after it has cooled.

girl eating

For a delicious pie dough recipe, try My Mom's Extra-Flaky Pie Crust Dough.

Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving!


5 Last-Minute Easy Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas!

If you're hosting Thanksgiving you may be starting to feel a bit overwhelmed with all there is to still get done before the big day--last-minute shopping, cooking and cleaning the house. Often the table--especially the centerpiece--gets overlooked as time runs short.

I'd like to pass along these simple ideas on how to create a beautiful Thanksgiving table in minutes. These fresh centerpieces make the most of the rich colors of autumn and fruits of the harvest. And best of all--they can be achieved with a single trip to the grocery store and a little creativity. We think these centerpieces are so charming that your guests will never know they were put together just the day before.

Seasonal Abundance
Carve out the centers of  three acorn squashes and fill the space with florists' foam or a small vase and water. Place the acorn squashes on a pedestal cake plate, fill the openings of each with your favorite blooms from the florist, and surround with some pine cones from your yard.

Fruit and Greens
Place pears, clementines, pumpkins, grapes and leaves in a compote for a nature-inspired tabletop arrangement. Pictured is our Les Bon Bon Compote with Handles.

Naturally Simple
Traditional elements such as cranberries coupled with the warm glow of candles can also be a beautiful way to add style to your holiday meal. Select three festive glasses like these from our Luxe Moderne collection and insert a votive candle in each. Place the candles on top of a cake pedestal and fill in with fresh cranberries.

Autumn's Bounty

Squash, gourds, nuts and fall leaves form a pretty centerpiece that celebrates autumn's bounty. Pictured is our Les Bon Bon Compote with Handles.

Autumn Elegance
Fill a compote like our Les Bon Bon Footed Bowl with water-soaked florists' foam and add flowers from an already-made floral bouquet,  Or make up your own bouquet, Fall flowers in rich reds, orange, and golds create a welcoming autumn elegance in any dining room. 

Imagine your Thanksgiving table decorated with one of these beautiful centerpieces. I wish you and your family many wonderful memories of the holidays. Treasure the times you have together and create a legacy in your own home that will last a lifetime and maybe longer.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Power of Gratitude and Why Thanksgiving Truly Matters!

Hard to believe ...but Thanksgiving is just a little less than 3 weeks away! 

I love Thanksgiving! It's a time not only to celebrate the beginnings of the nation but also to be thankful for the bounty nature brings forth; for all our life's blessings; and for our family and friends. 

But did you know that there is a remarkable science backing up how powerful celebrations of gratitude like Thanksgiving can boost our levels of happiness, health, mental well-being and energy? 

Check out Robert Emmons', study on "The Power of Gratitude and Why Thanksgiving Truly Matters" below where he shares why gratitude makes you 25% happier! 

(Emmons is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, and the founding editor-in-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology. He is also the author of the books Gratitude Works!: A 21-Day Program for Creating Emotional Prosperity, Words of Gratitude: Mind, Body and Souland Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier.)

Looking for ways you can express gratitude? Emmons suggests the following 6 ways:

1. Keep A Gratitude Journal

2. Think About 5 Things Every Morning You're Grateful For

3. Send Thank You Notes of Appreciation To Friends and Family

4. Reflect On Previous Days Celebrations While In The Shower

5. Meditate

6. Send An Appreciative E-mail To A Co-Worker

Another great tip--to make gratitude a daily habit with children, ask them "What was your happiest moment today?"  (This could also help strengthen your parent/child bond!)

May you give and receive gratitude all throughout this holiday season!  

P.S. Love to hear some of your own ideas on how you express gratitude during the holidays and all year long! Please leave a comment below or on our Facebook page!


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Table Wear: La Cité

Add some glitz to your Thanksgiving table and holiday entertaining!  Our new La Cité collection is comprised of unusual serving pieces with retro patterns that create an uber-sophisticated look. These pieces make a stunning addition to any modern tablescape or bar cart. 

It's easy to bring the glamour of the 50s and 60s into the home: mix 'n match geometric patterns, retro-inspired furnishings, and of course (our favorite), lots of metallic gold!

Order La Cite by 11/18 for Thanksgiving delivery and by 12/17 for Christmas delivery (ground shipping).

Monday, November 3, 2014

Save The Date for Our Bi-Annual Warehouse Sale!

We're excited to announce that our Bi-Annual Warehouse Sale will take place on Saturday, December 6th from 9am-3pm. We hope you will join us.

You will enjoy huge savings on award-winning tableware designer Rosanna Bowles' classics, discontinued, and overstock items, in addition to pedestals, one-of-a-kind pieces, antique furnishings, and collectibles—all at or below wholesale prices! Great gifts for Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentine's Day, Birthdays, Mother's Day and more!

There will be opportunities to purchase raffle tickets for beautiful gifts baskets of Rosanna items all supporting One By One, a Seattle nonprofit dedicated eliminating obstetric fistula worldwide. 

We look forward to seeing you on December 6th!  (Be sure to arrive early for the best selections!)


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Host A Party Inspired By Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead)!

On November 1st and 2nd, Mexicans celebrate the lives of their ancestors and deceased loved ones--each of whom is remembered with a gaily decorated sugar skull. The holiday is not a mournful gathering but a lively and colorful celebration. I am drawn to the positive energy and accepting view of death.

Years ago I started bringing back Dia De Los Muertos decorations as presents for my daughters when returning from business trips to Mexico.  I wanted to share this festive and soulful holiday with my daughters and teach them about other cultures.

Our Dia De Los Muertos Decorations
On one visit I picked up a few small calacas (skeleton figurines). They really liked the cute and decorated skeletons, and each time I have returned to Mexico I have brought home a few more. Over time our collection of calacas has grown to 25, and each year we mingle them with our other Halloween decor. 

Our Calacas Collection
Tonight, my youngest daughter Francesca has invited 30 of her high school friends over for a Dia De Los Muertos party. We will serve a a menu that is Italian and Mexican. I will make pasta with Tomato and vodka sauce with spicy peperoncino. It is a baked pasta that tastes like a bloody mary, We will have fresh crudities platte, tortilla chips, guacamole, mixed green salad and a platter of Italian charcuterie.

I made toasted pumpkin seeds from the 3 pumpkins I carved last night. We will have huge bowls of candy and chocolate chip bars. We will be showing 3 movies on various TVs and computers-- Rosemary's Baby,The Shinning, and Practical Magic.The kids will play games like Twister, Charades and 20 Questions.

It is not the typical day of the dead celebration where the Mexicans visit the graves of their loved ones and celebrate their lives, but rather a high-bred of American Halloween with decor and ambiance  influenced by the joyful celebration of life done by the Mexicans for Dia De Los Muertos.

Here are some tips for throwing your own Dia De Los Muertos party and incorporating the holiday's traditions into your family's own.
Sugar Skull Cookie
  • Send out tombstone invitations.  You can find these online at sites like Paperless Post and Evite.
  • Decorate with Marigolds. They are one of the most important symbols of Dia De Los Muertos! They are traditionally scattered around the floor, streets, and even graveyards. It is believed that the bright colors and strong bright colors and strong scent of the petals scattered in a path to the altar, lead the invited spirits to the party.  
  • Dress up in traditional calacas with festive masks. The cheerful colors represent a joyful afterlife. You can find Day of the Dead Masks at Party City and Oriental Trading as well as Costumes and Make-up Kits. You can buy Sugar Skull kits at Hearth Song.
  • A Mexican-themed soirée wouldn’t be authentic without the guacamole! Prepare this classic party dip and put it out with chips and freshly cut veggies for guests to munch on throughout the night.
  • Share enchiladas and tamales with your guests, along with a salad tossed with edible marigold petals.
  • Decorate in vibrant colors -- use brightly colored plates, napkins and flatware.
  • Use traditional Mexican blankets or tapestries as table coverings.
  • Have a pitcher of  traditional margaritas on hand as well as a selection of Mexican beers.
  • Keep the lights low and fill the house with candles. Play lively Mexican music, after all it is a celebration!
I hope you'll host your own Dia De Los Muertos party. I will be there in spirit with your ancestors!

P.S.  We'd love to see pictures of your party. Please post them on our Facebook and Instagram pages!