It is that day again. A day when small business takes center stage. I love that it is the focus today, but I also think the emphasis of shopping and eating at small businesses is a practice that should be in our minds throughout the year, not just one day. Of course I believe that–it is such a big reason why I do what I do. And I know so many of you feel the same. Small business is what gives a city or town its flavor. It is that shop with the fabulous owner that greeted you, told you an interesting story of where she found the good you are purchasing, and then graciously wrapped it up, that you still remember to this day almost 10 years later. Or that family restaurant where the kids of the family sat and worked on homework at one of the tables while their parents cooked away making a memorable meal for you. The word authentic is one of those buzz words that is starting to get slightly overused, but it applies here in spades. You are being treated to an authentic, one-of-a-kind experience when you frequent a small business. So I like to think of this day as a reminder to all of us. Shopping or dining for the lowest price is not the only factor in deciding how to spend our bucks. It is the experience, the memory. I know so many of you feel this way too, so I hope this does not come across as preachy. Just a reminder to myself and all of us, on this very cool day of shopping/dining small.
Little jars of Veuve Clicquot vinaigrette were parting gifts last eve as guests left after Thanksgiving dinner. This is the time of year to collect any extra left at the bottom of bottles that is not consumed. Let it sit in the fridge uncorked for a few days or even weeks and then turn that liquid gold into a tasty vinaigrette to have on a healthy salad. It is a fun memory from the bottle of Champagne earlier enjoyed.
3 tablespoons Champagne
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Being a good dinner guest is as important in my mind as being a good host. The focus so often is on the host, but my thought today is on bringing your ‘A game’ when invited to someone’s home for a dinner or a party. The amount of time, effort and love that goes into hosting a dinner or party at your home means that guests should really step up to the plate to ensure a lovely time is enjoyed by all. Here are a few random thoughts of mine on the topic, as we head into busy host/guest season.
*Be on time. Sure, a few minutes fashionably late is totally fine, but if the dinner invite says 8, arriving at 9 is not ok.
*Arriving with a gift is such a lovely way to kick-off the eve. Just keep in mind your host/hostess is probably busy getting last minute things ready, so a quick giving of the gift is best.
*Offer help. Often times it will be declined, but it is the thought that counts. Your host might be in a pinch with something and might take you up on it, which is grand too.
*Mingle. Come with a good story/stories. Being a good guest means interacting and being part of the party or dinner.
*Compliments are always appreciated–on the meal, the table setting, the home. They are music to the ear of your host.
*Offer more help. Again, often it will be declined, but maybe not, and an extra set of hands clearing the table is always a nice thing.
*Leave on a high note. Dessert has been enjoyed, a fabulous story has been told. Time to skedaddle. Always better to be one of the first to depart, is our rule of thumb. It has been a long day for our hosts, with still a bit of work for them after everyone leaves.
*Send a thank you note. Think of the joy received when they open that piece of mail. It is a fun way to relive the event for a quick moment.
For those of you celebrating Thanksgiving today, have just the best time, whether host or guests.
Sending love from Seattle,
where we will be wearing the host hat today,
If polishing silver is what deters you from having cherished family silver pieces out & about for visual enjoyment, then let them tarnish. Enjoy the patina it takes on. But have it out, use it, love it. They will bring back such fond memories of travels, family & gatherings.
As we officially head into the season of thanks & giving, which can be so fun yet busy/stressful, let’s all remember to stop along the way, take a deep breath, and give thanks. Often. Good for the mind, the body and the spirit. We all have so many things to be thankful for. Let this week be a reminder to have all we are grateful for be our happy focus.
This just in, Sketches From A Google Safari by Hugo Guinness. Just the coolest little book filled with drawings by Hugo. A perfect gift for any Hugo fan on your list. A lovely addition and conversation piece to any cocktail or coffee table. Hugo’s style has become known around the globe, so I am honored to be one of a handful of places where you can find this. There was a limited run of the book, which makes owning one even more special.
Happy Monday all and a grand start to our Thanksgiving week!
Our pooch Bailey gets her own post this morning. Thought it was fitting as she turns 10 today. It has been a bit of an emotional few months with her–learning of the Mast tumor, all that involved, getting her healthy and on the road to recovery. So this is a very happy day, indeed. She is actually sleeping pressed right up against me as I write this, which is common most mornings when I am working on the post. The amount of love and affection she shows each day is just extraordinary. Animals can teach us so much. Amazing unconditional love. We feel it is an honor & privilege to care for her. She is our constant companion. So many of you have met the feisty girl at one of the shops or on our travels, which I just love. Thought I would share some photos from over the years. She is a miniature Schnauzer, hailing from Minnesota. Good Midwestern stock, just like her daddy. Insert big grin or eye-roll, I will leave that up to you… She was the runt of her litter, so we call her a mini, mini, weighing in at 11 pounds. She has hair not fur, which means she does not shed, but it does mean she has to get her hair cut several times a year. So in the photos you will see her hair in various lengths of shagginess. The below one of our all-time favorites, where she is sitting on TPS’s chest at WestWard and I was able to capture her head tilt, which is what she does when we ask her a question and she is thinking about the answer. The above a gift given to us yesterday by our friend, artist extraordinaire, Jeanne McKay Hartmann. Cheers and Happy BIRTHday to our Miss Bailey!
Please join us tomorrow, Saturday, at our Market shop, from 10 to 6 for our Holiday Open House. Lots of things to celebrate–the shops 17th anniversary, Bailey’s 10th birthday, and kicking off the Holiday season of thanks & giving. Bubbly, sparkling cider, as well as Louis Sherry truffles will be served. We will be wrap, wrap, wrapping away! Gifts to give, gifts to keep. We are more than happy to ship your gifts for you too. A raffle for our Watson Kennedy 2016 Le Jacquard Francais calendar towels will be held. Music will be swirling about, as well as good cheers. Hope to see you there!