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Freshen Up Cocktails

While mixing myself a cocktail tonight, I came to a realization that I had been using lemon to freshen up my drinks all summer long and now into the fall and winter.  A spritz, a twist, or a squeeze of a citrus fruit will add that freshness that many mixes do not provide.  This is an easy way to make a cocktail taste custom without all the work and mixology lessons.  Mix flavored rum (my favorite Cruzan Guava) with soda and a twist, add lime to Stirrings Pomegranate and vodka, the citrus cuts through the sweetness and adds a zing.  Yum!



Fresh Ideas for Fido

Dog bowls are often highly themed and cartoonish, not something that fits into your décor.  When we adopted our Chi-Bo (Chihuahua/ Boston Terrier), Truman, I did not want to spend a fortune on dog bowls.  I went to a thrift store and purchased two white bowls and a silver tray all for under $5.  To find something that will fit in your apartment for your pet think about repurposing bowls, find antiques from a flea market, buy colorful mixing bowls, use cool planters, if you think big you will not be stuck with a painted dogbone dish.  Shown are some cool options that do not scream, “I feed a dog!”

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Small Tiles Big Impact

My little brother jumped the natural order and got married and bought a house before me.  After seeing his house and flipping through the Ann Sacks catalog, I was thinking if I were to own my home I would use these tiles to make a big impact.  Each tile has a completely different feel, I would use Aura Desert Sands in an enclosed shower, it would make your skin glow.  The Kibak tile is great in a small dose as a kitchen backsplash,  without doing a single other thing you immediately change the atmosphere.  I want the herringbone mosaic in an entry some day.  A lot of glamour that you can just wipe the mud off.

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Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving in a Small Space

1. Catch up with the cleaning, repairs, and other home improvements that you have been meaning to do - but try to complete several days in advance.  This is not a time to take on massive home improvements, but oil the squeaky door and hanging a framed photograph that has been leaned up against the wall for months will make you feel more at ease.  Or maybe install a dimmer switch on the glaring overhead light and satisfy tips 1 & 2.   

2. Do something to your apartment to make this meal special.  For example, put a tablecloth on the table, buy new glasses (see my previous post for ideas), serve sparkling water, use cloth napkins, make a dinner playlist, (I like music in other languages or without words as to not distract from conversation), use placecards, or print a menu.  Just because there is not a lot of room doesn’t mean it should have a big impact.

3.  Flowers and candles, treat your space as important and others will to.

4. Consider moving some of your furniture out of the common space, but make sure there is enough seating for everyone.  If you don't have room to move or store your furniture elseware, at the very least clear clutter to keep the space looking streamlined and not chaotic.

5. Consider where you want your guests to be while you are cooking, my kitchen just doesn’t have space for more than one person, and since that is where most people gravitate to, make another space just as inviting.  Keep appetizers and the alcohol in that area to keep them occupied while they wait for dinner. 

6.  After dinner, do the dishes and sweep the kitchen floor, this may be the last thing you want to do after eating 5 pounds of food, but you will be thankful you don’t have to clean in the morning.

7. Most importantly, relax and your guests will too.

Remember, even through you have a small apartment, it is important to the soul of your home to entertain and create happy memories.

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