Stylish Entertaining

Welcome to my blog, A place where I can share my ideas with you. From great tips on entertaining to tasty cocktail recipes that make it all easier for you to host with style in a flash. You’ll find lots of projects to inspire you for your home and garden, friends and family. Plus some kitchen gossip, for good measure of course, because everyone needs a little dish now and then.

So visit often!

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Kitchen Dish

I thought of course my first dish would be just that, very dishy…..and there will be plenty of that. But as luck would have it, something happened that made me rethink my first entry here. Something I wanted to share.

Last week, I was running out the door to pick my daughter up from her friend’s house, she had gone over for a short while after school, and, just as I was walking out the door the phone rang…”do you have a daughter Grace?” Yes I said with caution. Was she playing on Elm Ave? Yes, I said, now my heart is racing so fast I am beginning to not think…she fell off her bike, her two front teeth were knocked out, and I have her here you need to come now…

You need to come now she said, this voice on the other end of the phone.

I jumped in the car, and drove to the house, not very far, and in a minute I was there, she was crying and covered in blood, and I had not a clue what to do, I gave her a hug and told her I had to call people to help, and as the world was spinning around me, a voice, the same voice from the phone, asked gently, is your doctor so and so? And I said yes, and then I heard the number, slowly from her mouth, she was telling me the number to dial, and when she saw my hand shaking too much to dial, she took the phone and dialed for me.

And I don’t know her, never met her, but she was there for me, and I was nothing to her. But, she was there for me.

And so I write this because we live our own lives and in our own worlds and perhaps we don’t let other people in enough, have them over for a bbq, or glass of wine or beer, but in reality, we should, because our neighbors are our community, the houses that surround us are filled with extra-ordinary people, the kind that will take in your paper when you’re away, the kind to pull in your garbage cans from the street, and the kind that will dial the number when you just can’t.


Infusion Confusion

Lately I have been on a kick, an infusion kick, I have these fabulous glass containers with spickets on them, and I have been filling them up with vodka and fruit, any kind of fruit really. I am partial to berries, raspberries especially, their colors seems to explode and they give off a sweet taste that is just delightful. It’s like jello colored botox in a glass. Making infusions in large batches have many benefits, you throw everything in there and the flavors do the work for you, and they are perfect for entertaining especially in the warmer months, I just bring my latest infusion out to the patio, grab some glasses and presto-instant party!

Infusions are also great with a topper of champagne, because it’s really like adding another fruit, and we’re all after a healthier lifestyle here, so get going. I recommend a good quality vodka, I usually use a non-flavored one and them rely on what I add for the flavors, but go for it, the more flavors the better. Here are a few of my favorite combos:

Vodka with
Pineapple slices and mint
Strawberries and mint
Orange slices and basil
Lemon slices and mint or basil or sage
Lime slices with mint
Raspberries and blackberries


Pour the vodka into the glass container, and add the fruit, cover and chill.
How easy is that?

Shell Seekers

What is our fascination with shells? Perhaps it is their one-of-a-kind beauty. Each is unique-a tiny treasure sculpted and colored by nature, each one perfect in its own way. Shells have a soothing beauty. Looking at them calls up memories of lazy weekends by the sea, the warmth of the sun and the salty scent of an ocean breeze. Shells lend themselves to endless crafting possibilities. They can be scattered across tabletops, arranged in glass bowls, pressed into candle wax, or glued into intricate sculptures. No matter how we use them, shells are the perfect reminder of summertime.

Napkin Rings Napkin RingsHandcrafted Shell CandlesShell CandlesShell Place Card HoldersPlace Card Holders

Table talk
Napkin rings crafted from minature grapevine wreaths studded with seashells recall a tangle of driftwood washed ashore.

Glow for it
Create a magical dance of light with pillar candles surrounded by handcrafted shell candles. Simply place the wick in the center of the shell, and pour melted paraffin wax into the shell. Use a variety of shells that have ample space to hold the wax. Use scented or colored wax to create your unique beach style.

At Your Place
Shells when used with a combo of different sized shells can make delightful place cards. Here, I used a rams horn as a base and filled them with smaller shells, gluing two together to create a clam shaped base for the place card.

Shell Chic
I love shells displayed in clear bell jars , I keep a collection of them on top of the tv cabinet as a reminder of our family vacations and the places that we’ve gone together. Group them together for instant shell chic.

I also love to put a collection of shells around a pillar candle in the bottom of a hurricane vase. These make for a nature –inspired table ready for summer entertaining. Easy-to-assemble, make a bunch and line a walkway or deck for a summer night sure to glow.

There is no end for what you can do with shells, and setting a shell seeking summer table tops my list anyday.


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Copyright © 2010 Colleen Mullaney, All Rights Reserved.