Organize your dinner party like the pros do!

November 10, 2011

It’s party season, people.

Birthdays, holidays, cookie parties – you name it – with cooler weather brimming, kitchens are heating up everywhere. People are cooking, gathering, drinking and juggling festivities galore. Yay!

Check out these tips that I totally stole from my latest e-newletter from The Chopping Block (ok, technically I’m borrowing since I’m giving credit and linking you to thier awesome website).

Don’t let hosting be a hassle! Here are some holiday entertaining tips from our chefs so you can enjoy your time with friends and family:
– Always make a prep list of what can be done in advanced.
– Create a timeline when everything needs to go into the oven or reheated, especially if you have just one oven.
– Set out all of your platters and bowls and stick a post it on each with the specific dish it will be used for.
– If you have a dishwasher, make sure it is empty. Loading as you go will prevent a kitchen full of dirty dishes and you won’t have to wash dishes with guests in the house.
– If you have guests who like to help out in the kitchen, have a plan of what they can do in advance.
– Assign a willing guest to provide beverages as guests arrive, which will make them feel welcomed right away.
– It’s okay to use a store-bought spread or starter to simplify things.

Happy hosting!



Picture This!

October 11, 2011

Just left Chicago Home + Garden’s Picture This event at the Merchandise Mart Chopping Block. Amazing venue! Spacious and welcoming, this premier cooking school really showed off its assets as the perfect multipurpose hostess with the most-est. Added bonus: amazing food prepared in house with a lovely complimentary wine bar.

Great advice from ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) designers. I tagged along with my friend Layney who “speed dated” with several designers, moving among tables that seated one or more designers open for casual consultation, showing photos and talking through her own den/guest room design dilemma.

I had a great time eavesdropping on her conversations with designers from Jessica Lagrange Interiors and Susan Fredman Design Group. In attendance were several reps from different firms throughout Chicago (you can find the full list here).

All in all I give the event a 4 out of 5 – there were, unfortunately too few designers to really facilitate the “speed dating” format very well, but the designers who were in attendance were gracious and good humored.

Definitely an event to look out for the next time CH+G hosts one – and let’s hope they do. My parting gift was a great goodie bag too, with the latest issue of the mag, and chocolate! (along with the requisite adverts and designer flyers).

HUGE thanks to Layney for telling me all about it in the first place – CH+G is lucky to have such a loyal fan.



Get free advice from design professionals in Chicago 10/11

August 23, 2011

Check it out! A friend of mine just shared the details of an upcoming event in Chicago. Sounds like it will be a fun October! Visit to RSVP with your design delemma. Maybe I’ll see you there!

Got a design dilemma?

ASID Picture This Event

Let the professionals help you when Chicago Home + Garden and the American Society of Interior Designers present PICTURE THIS.

Bring pictures of your latest design dilemma and receive free, in-person advice from an ASID designer.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011
6-8 p.m.
The Chopping Block
The Merchandise Mart Plaza, Ste. 107
Chicago, Illinois 60654


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