Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you all a blessed Thanksgiving!

Kathryn :) 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Brazil Gets Organized

11/25/14  My Small Space Organizing book is on the Amazon Brazil Top 100 bestsellers list in both the lifestyle and religion categories today.  (Amazon rankings change hourly.)  

Happy organizing, Brazil!

Buy my book from your favorite retailer.

Celebrating the art of simple, charming, elegant living!

Kathryn :) 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Fast Food Healthy Holiday Lunch

This is my idea of a fast food healthy lunch for the holidays.  So I don't gain weight in the season of overindulgence that surrounds us on all sides.

So I keep up my energy and can celebrate well.

Spinach salad, mixed fruits, nuts, seeds. Organic everything.  Light dressing.  Made at home.  Or eaten at a restaurant, it's my holiday go-to meal.


My (almost) girlish January, 2015 figure will thank me!

Celebrating the art of simple, charming, (healthy) elegant living!

Kathryn :) 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Music for Dinner & Dancing

When I wrote about our personal style of how we like to dine and entertain at home, I mentioned we usually play soft classical music, and I also like to play music that coordinates to theme dinners--Italian, etc.

These are my fave music selections for dinner and parties:

Vivaldi on the Terrace is my very favorite and it goes with any style dinner you're serving!  Everyone has different taste in music, but I find it easy to listen to time and again--it's my fallback CD if I just can't decide what music to play for a gathering.

I like Tuscany: A Romantic Journey, too.

And Dinner in Italy is so festive and fun!

The soundtrack from the movie Midnight in Paris is also one of my fave dinner party CDs.

Henry Mancini fans, we played the Breakfast at Tiffany's soundtrack for our Tiffany party this summer.

Moonlight in Paris is nice, too.

Provence:  A Romantic Journey is great for an outdoor backyard summer dinner.

Here are some  more dinner/entertaining CDs  I'd like to try sometime.

Do you play music at home when you dine or have parties?  If so, what are your favorites?!

Celebrating the art of simple, charming, elegant living!

Kathryn :) 

Entertaining Angels Unawares in Your Home at Holiday Time

Are you busy with excited anticipation in getting ready to entertain family and friends in your home for the upcoming holidays?  Or are you frazzled and overwhelmed at the thought of all the preparations?   

To help you out, I just totally updated my Entertaining Resources & Recipes page on my website, freely sharing many of my own secrets and tips and lists I've used beginning when I was a young bride of 21 and hosted my first bridal shower in our 400 SF newlywed cottage.  

Be sure to download my Master Entertaining Checklist so you don't forget a thing!

Speaking of entertaining angels in your home...

After I wrote about  When Three Marines Came to Our Home for Thanksgiving Dinner, my hubby and I began talking about other guests we'd hosted in our home over the years.  Now here's a (pardon the pun) entertaining story like no other! ...

"Remember cute little Helen when we lived in tiny Valentine, Nebraska as newlyweds?" my hubby asked me recently.  I smiled and nodded.  We attended the same tiny Episcopal church, St. John's, and since Helen was alone one holiday, on a whim after church we invited her to have dinner at our home with us and my husband's parents who were visiting.  At the time, she was in her 80s, we were 21 and 23, and our priest told us six months later she still hadn't stopped talking about coming to our home for dinner. Now mind you, we lived in a very humble cottage at the time, and while I've always tried to set a nice table and cook a great meal, our home was no palace.  But then, that's just the point.  You don't need to live in a McMansion to share your home lovingly and artfully at table with others.  And you never know when you invite someone interesting like Helen to your home, just who's really at your table ...

After my hubby's comment, I decided to do what any journalist worth her salt would do in the year 2014 when they wonder whatever happened to so-and-so:  I Googled our long-ago guest Helen.

Oh my.  Turns out, Helen lived to be 113 and at the time of her death in 2007, she was the world's 4th oldest person!  And the oldest person to have lived their entire life in Nebraska.   And the second oldest American!  According to her cousin Bob, age 70, she was healthy almost 'til the end, never had a drivers license, walked everywhere, was always slender, was healthy and on an even keel most of the time, and never complained about living in a nursing home for many years.  He also said she was a gracious lady whose Episcopalian Christian faith was important to her.  "One time I (Bob) said, "Helen, do you say your prayers every night?"  And she said, "Indeed I do."

Talk about aging with grace.  And entertaining angels unawares at your dinner table, as the old cliches go.

I still remember cute Helen in her spiffy little blue and white dress and perfectly combed silver hair, walking to church every single Sunday, rain, shine, or snow.  (Have you ever experienced a western Nebraska winter?!  If so, you know why I moved to California!)  Helen was faithful, fun, and feisty.  When an older gentleman constantly offered her a ride home from church, she'd politely decline and then say under her breath to me, "I don't need some old man giving me a ride home!"  And then we'd both giggle. :)  

What special guest is coming to your home this year for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas dinner? 

Make it special and memorable, in your own way, okay?  And remember to use my checklist!

Happy Holidays!

Kathryn :)

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