Wondering what to do with those empty wine bottles from your exquisitely successful dinner party last night? Grab a handful of “Bottle Lights” and treat yourself to a new collection of soft night lights for your pre-bedtime meditation or yoga session. Alternatively, you can use these newly fashioned bottle lights to add a bit of mood lighting to an intimate dinner or a romantic evening in!
It’s never too late to add some whimsy to a dinner party. Create a nook in your kitchen or your bar cabinet where you can store your bar accessories. Add the Buddy Bottle Opener to your collection and let him sit happily in your bar until you’re ready to use him. Simple additions like this can add so much charm and easy joy to your home and to your hosting experience!
A common mistake of the amateur dinner party host is to leave your guests with no means of identifying their wine glass! This is particularly a concern when the evening is not limited to a sit down dinner! Once your guests have been invited to meander or mingle, the chances increase that they will set their glass down and (unable to distinguish which glass is theirs) simply pour themselves a new glass. This can result in an inordinate amount of glasses to clean at the end of the night! Whether you choose to make your own creative wine charms or pick some up from a local wine shop, these simple additions to your party will be welcome by all!
Treat your dinner guests to the full experience of a high-end restaurant with the entire spectacle of cutting the foil before you uncork your wine! The ‘Edgy’ wine foil cutter is a streamlined and easy-to-use option that will make this task simple and painless, facilitating the path to pouring your guests (and yourself!) a nice glass of wine!
1. Supplies: large river rocks or bricks or medium-sized stones, Dutch oven or cast-iron pot, shovel, fire making supplies, meat thermometer
2. Prepare the oven: Dig a hole approximately twice as wide and deep as your cook pot. Line the bottom and sides with river rocks. Place additional rocks around the rim of the pit (to be warmed by the fire and then placed on top of the pot later).
3. Build a large fire in the rock-lined pit. Be aware of local regulations and any nearby structures or flammable material. Have water and a fire extinguisher handy. Enjoy the fire while you wait for it to heat the stones.
4. Cook. Dig out the ash, being careful not to displace the stones. Place the pot, filled with delicious dinner items, into the stone-lined pit, then, using a shovel, place the extra stones that were heated earlier on top of the pot. Cover all of it with dirt left from digging the hole.
5. Wait. It seems like forever, especially if anyone in your group is hAngry. We recommend having a snack ready for this interval. It may take an hour or so for the food to be cooked. Check the soil temperature with the meat thermometer periodically.
6. Take the food out of the oven. Gently uncover your pot by digging dirt off the top and using the shovel (the stones are still hot!) to remove the stones on top of the pot. Using a gloved hand, remove the pot by the handle.
7. Enjoy! Underground, or Dutch, oven cooking, is one of the most rewarding ways to prepare a meal, whether it’s in wilderness, or your backyard. It forces you to slow-down, and spend a little extra time outdoors.
1. Covering it up: If the wallpaper in your rental property is vomit-inducing and not pleasant for you, try applying a new layer of more acceptable wall paper. Be sure not to glue this paper to the old paper, pick up some flat, clear thumbtacks to hold it in place, this will allow for a new look and easy removal once your lease is up!
2. Ripping it down: If you own your home and you are ready to make a change in your wall paper, don’t forget the rule of thumb: rip it down, don’t just paint over it. Even if it takes a while, it will be worth it to be rid of the wall paper before you start painting your wall! Otherwise, you might get stuck with ugly creases and bubbles in your wall!
3. Covering it up: This last option can work for fixing ugly wall paper but also for covering any kind of wall that you are unhappy with. Pick up some Tempaper Temporary Wall Paper in the pattern and color of your choice and carefully apply it over your problem wall!
1. Command Strips: If you are looking to minimize the damage to your walls so that you can get your full security deposit back on your rental, your best bet is to use command strips to hang your art pieces or decorative objects from the wall! They remove easily from most surfaces and will not leave holes in your walls.
2. Velcro: Another option for lighter and more delicate décor is to simply use double sided Velcro which you can pick up from any fabric or craft store (JoAnns or Michaels!).
3. Ladder Décor: Comb your local flea markets, garage sales and thrift stores until you find a cute wooden a-frame ladder that you can give a layer of chalk paint to and then place in a corner in your home. The shelves of the ladder will work beautifully to display your personal curios and souvenirs as well as books!
4. Large Art: If you are looking to create height with your décor, I suggest placing a low bookshelf or a small coffee table flush with your wall and then a larger artpiece on top! The art will lean casually agains the wall and give some variety of height to your space with no damage to your rental wall!
5. Light the Way: A bold and imposing floor lamp could also help solve your problem! If your walls are looking bare, consider placing a unique and unusual floor lamp in one of your corners, you will get more light and the added benefit of filling up your walls!
1.IN YOUR OVEN WITH WOOD CHIPS AND A BAKING RACK
The first thing to do is to adjust your oven rack to the second to the bottom notch so you don’t burn yourself later! Then, place one layer of soaked wood chips (preferably hickory!) in the bottom of a metal pan. Go ahead and preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Place your meat on a baking rack resting on the metal pan. Using aluminum foil, create a smoke tent that seals in the metal pan and the baking rack. The better the seal, the more deliciously smoked your meat later! If the chips dry out, feel free to add more water to the chips so your meat doesn’t dry out! Leave the meat to smoke for 3 to 6 hours. Check the meat with a meat thermometer. Finally…enjoy!
2. GET A SMOKENATOR TO USE WITH YOUR WEBER KETTLE GRILL
If you already own a kettle grill and are looking to expand your grilling prowess, consider investing in a Smokenator to fit inside your kettle grill and astound your guests with your smoked meats and ‘falling-off-the-bone’ delicious feasts! The Smokenator is one of a few options of meat smokers that work in conjunction with the structure of the kettle grill. This option is perfect for an outdoor summer party!
3.STOVE TOP SMOKED SALMON
Rub your salmon with brown sugar, salt and pepper and leave it to get delicious overnight. Place your soaked wood chips in the bottom of a large wok and then rest your greased grill pan on top of the wood chips. Heat the wok on high until the wood chips start to smoke. Reduce the heat and cover the wok in several layers of tightly sealed aluminum foil. (Hint: the tighter the seal, the smokier and more delicious your salmon!). Cook for 30 minutes and then enjoy! NB: What is accidentally called smoked salmon by some is actually cured or cold-smoked lox! What you are creating with your wok and woodchips will rock your socks!
4. BUILD A FIRE, HANG RIBS FROM CHICKEN WIRE ABOVE FIRE
If all else fails, build an open fire in your outdoor fire pit or in a public fire pit in your community. Place your piece of meat (preferably a rack of ribs for this method) in a loop of chicken wire strung onto a metal rod. Use whatever you have handy to prop the rod up so that the chicken wire (and therefore, your meat) is hanging above your fire and getting maximum smoke factor! For best results, use an aromatic wood like oak or hickory!
- Straighten it up! Make a quick trip to your local hardware store and pick up a standard level, the last thing you want is a crooked gallery wall!
2. Measure twice, cut once! Cut out paper or cardboard templates of the pieces you would like to use for your gallery wall. This way you can tape them to the wall using painter’s tape to ensure you are happy with the configuration before you start drilling into your wall!
3.Color! I would recommend choosing one pop of color as an accent for your gallery wall. This does not mean you can’t have other colors, it just means that when you squint at your wall, there will be one dominant theme color to unify your wall. This will keep your gallery wall from feeling over-crowded with color and a bit dizzying to the eye!
4. Frames! In order to keep your gallery wall under control and classy, I recommend limiting yourself to one or two frame colors until you really get the hang of it. This will not only promote a united feeling, as the whole wall is really one big art piece, but will also help with coordinating your wall to the rest of the room!
5. Balance! If you find that you are primarily choosing larger pieces for your wall, try and add in one tiny frame to offset the others. The same goes if you are creating a wall entirely of itty bitty frames, it will look better if there is one contrasting larger piece to create a more balanced look.
Let your nose take you to an island paradise with this quirky ceramic pineapple candle from West Elm! This piece pulls double duty as an adorable tropical themed decor item and as a peaceful reminder that the ultimate beach is always inside of us, waiting for us to take a deep breath and get our priorities sorted out!
- THE REAL DEAL
Never again will you break open a can of pineapple and be satisfied with the sub-par wilted offerings therein. Now you will realize how simple it can be to open up a real pineapple and extract its sweet delicious contents! Williams Sonoma knows what it is talking about when it comes to pineapples, it is their logo after all!
Don’t stop to think about it, just mix one can of pineapple juice, one can of apricot nectar, one can of frozen orange juice (thawed, but undiluted) and one cup of water. Then add champagne. Then serve yourself a whole glass of pineapple pleasure. Rinse and repeat.
4. SOFT ISLAND HANDS
One of the worst hostess faux-pas is to leave your guests stranded in the bathroom with no hand lotion. For shame! Make sure you find yourself a tropically scented lotion this summer to relieve your dry skin and your soften the edges of life.
5. POP ART PINEAPPLE
If you are still on the Aloha bandwagon and want more pineapple in your life, why not spritz up your living space by opting for a bright splash of Warholesque pineapple art? The fastest and easiest way to liven up your living room this summer is to swap out your art pieces and give your walls a new outfit!