Inside This Issue:
* How to take your home from summer to fall
* Quick tips for hosting a girls night in party
* Halloween decorating tips on a shoestring budget
* A satisfying treat for any occasion
Pairing parties are great social events designed around the education and sampling of two ingredient themes. A pairing party combining the delicious varieties of dark chocolate with food and drinks will be a huge hit with your friends. Imagine the girls laughing over the different combinations of dark chocolate with drinks and food, making notes of their favorites and discussing the intricacies of all the flavor combinations.
Take your home from summer to fall
Bringing your home from summer to fall is simpler than you think. It all begins with taking inventory of your home to determine which nonessential items you can eliminate or switch and where you can add.
"Start with anything fabric," says Maria Aguerri-Gomez, Academic Dean of The Art Institute of Michigan-Troy, a branch campus of The Art Institute of Michigan. "You can change your couch covers, pillows and your throw blankets, add a duvet to your bed, change your window treatment or bathroom towels; or simply add a table runner to bring fall into your home without breaking your budget."
Take couch covers from creamy and off-white tones to fall tones and colors. Choose earth tones such as reds and browns to bring depth and warmth. Navy blue can also be a great color to add in fall that can transition to winter. Not completely committed to bringing that much color into your living room? Change your pillows or throw blankets to develop an accented atmospheric change. Take a look at your window treatments and consider a heavier fabric with possible prints.
"Paisley is coming back this fall." Aguerri-Gomez says. "Use paisley prints on curtains or pillows, or venture out and buy a paisley arm chair that can nestle nicely into an unused corner in your bedroom or living room."
Elizabeth Polish, an Interior Design Instructor at The Art Institute of New York City and owner of Elizabeth Polish Design, says bird prints are making their way into homes via lampshades and carpets this fall.
Keep the cold away by adding rugs. Overlapping rugs is a trend that can bring contrasting elements together, while unifying sections of a room. Aguerri-Gomez recommends taking a bamboo or wicker rug and overlapping it with a more classical rug. "It's a great way to bring contrast, color and texture to the room."
Aguerri-Gomez predicts that mustard will be a key color this fall. Add a mustard table runner and change up your dinnerware and placemats to bring your table from light and airy to warm and welcoming. Don't want to part with the lemons and limes nestled inside your glass vase as table decor? Try compromising and replace the citrus with artichokes and pomegranates for a fall final touch.
For those that like to have feng shui elements in their home, you'll be happy to know that gold is making a comeback. Try mercury or gold canisters, vases and accents. In the past, gold and mercury were reserved for the holidays or special celebrations, but now you can bring them out earlier to bring that shiny pop the room will need.
The last touch to bringing your home from summer to fall is mood lighting. Polish recommends utilizing energy efficient LED lights and bulbs. Because you've most likely added thicker curtains to keep the cold out, make sure key areas are lit. Where you don't need too much light, go for the dimming effect. "Change your lampshades if you can't dim your lights. Make your living space as cozy as you can while saving energy at the same time," Polish says.
To learn more about The Art Institutes schools visit www.artinstitutes.edu.
By the way, now through the end of October you can take advantage of our special pricing on votives and tealights with our stock up sale. Get 4 dozen tealights for $25, 3 dozen votives for $35. Call, email or visit my website and I'll be happy to help you with your order.
How to host a girls' night in 'pairing party'
You can always find a good reason to organize a girls' night in with your best friends. But why not spice up the theme of the gathering this time and host a "pairing party" featuring everyone's favorite ingredient: dark chocolate?
As you begin planning your party, follow these guidelines to make it both educational and fun.
Tip 1. Invite your friends.
Invitations are very important for pairing parties, because you need to know exactly how many people to prepare for. A gathering of 10 to 20 is ideal. Give your party a fun name. Send invites out early, explain the purpose of the party - including the main ingredients - and request an RSVP. Invite each guest to bring a specific item.
Tip 2. Create your pairing list.
Plan the pairings that you will all sample during the party. Dark chocolate is a complex ingredient and blends well with many different flavors. For example, candied ginger and apricots taste delicious with Ghirardelli's Evening Dream 60 percent cacao Intense Dark chocolate, according to Leslie Sbrocco, author, television host and wine consultant. For drinks to compare with this treat, line up some smooth green tea, or white dessert wines like Sauternes from the Bordeaux region of France.
Tip 3. Develop an ingredient sheet.
Organize a tasting sheet, listing all the dark chocolate flavors and all food and drink ingredients that will be served during the party. On your sheet you can showcase recommended pairings - for example Sbrocco highlights framboise (a raspberry liquor) and red zinfandel with Ghirardelli's Twilight Delight 72 percent cacao Intense Dark chocolate. But also leave room on your sheet for your guests to make their own pairing preferences.
Tip 4. Determine serving ware and supplies.
Make sure you have the correct serving pieces and accessories on hand, including plenty of wine glasses and serving trays. If you decide to feature a red wine like malbec, which Sbrocco says pairs well with a savory and bold dark chocolate like Ghirardelli's Midnight Reverie 86 percent cacao, you'll want to serve the malbec slightly chilled in deep-bottomed wine glasses for best flavor. Small platters for nuts, dried fruits and even cheese varieties will also be very handy for your party. Make sure you also have plenty of corkscrews around, and provide your guests with wine glass charms so they can easily identify which glass is theirs.
Tip 5. Research everything.
Research your products and brands so you can share interesting facts about both. For example, Ghirardelli is partnering with the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) to promote the importance of early breast cancer detection. Specially marked pink ribbon packages of Intense Dark chocolates will have a code inside the package redeemable for a $1 donation to the NBCF. Enter the code at www.ghirardelli.com/intensedark for your donation to be counted. As you're serving different pairings, also educate your guests about proper serving practices for the foods and drinks.
Tip 6. Get conversations started.
Make a note of interesting conversation topics you can bring up to get discussions started, if needed. Since you'll already be chatting about breast cancer awareness, also encourage your guests to discuss the importance of early detection efforts and doing both monthly self examinations and yearly mammograms.
Hosting a pairing party is perfect for girls' night in and your party will be a hit with your friends. Before you know it, pairing parties will become a common theme for your group's gatherings.
For those of you thinking about hosting a party, October is a great time to book a party. I still have a couple of dates available to take advantage of the special extra $50 FREE product coupons. I'd love to help you get a jump on your Holiday shopping, so give me a call!
Create Halloween magic on a shoestring budgetGhoulish ghosts. Wicked witches. Things that go bump in the night. What better way to have a little Halloween fun than to decorate your home for that spooky night?
Halloween decorations can be expensive if you buy them in a store, but don't let that stop you from capturing the spirit. It's easy to transform the things you already have around the house into spooktacular decorations your trick-or-treaters will love.
"Many people don't realize how easy it is to create Halloween magic from next to nothing," says Rust-Oleum designer Angie Stinner. "All it takes is a few beverage cans, terracotta pots, pumpkins, some paint and a little imagination."
Here are a few projects from the archives of paintideas.com to help you deck out your home for All Hallow's Eve:
Create a gaggle of ghoulish ghosts. Reclaim a few aluminum beverage cans from your recycling bin and rinse them thoroughly. Flip up the tab on each can so it's upright. After the cans are dry, take them outside and give them a couple of coats of Stops Rust Gloss White spray paint. Make sure you cover the entire surface and let them dry for about 24 hours. Then take a permanent marker or foam paint pen to draw on ghostly faces. Attach a 4-by-4 piece of thin gauze to each can by draping it over the top and affix a pipe cleaner or piece of yarn through each tab to hang. They're perfect for decorating a porch, entry hall - even your child's room.
Paint a pumpkin. Give a traditional Halloween activity a new twist. Paint a few pumpkins you've picked at the pumpkin patch with a spray paint like Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Paint. Give them 24 hours to fully cure, and then use chalk to draw pictures or write messages like "Boo," "Go Batty" or "Happy Halloween." Line them up on the steps leading to your front door and you're ready to welcome trick-or-treaters. Or, purchase mini-pumpkins at your local supermarket and spray paint them with on-trend finishes like Universal Copper Hammered or Oil Rubbed Bronze. Place them in a basket on your dining room table or scatter them around your house for a sophisticated alternative to the traditional painted pumpkin. The paint will preserve your pumpkins so they last through Thanksgiving.
Pilgrim's landing. Here's a project that can make your Halloween party extra festive and make great placeholders for your Thanksgiving table too. Purchase several inexpensive four inch terracotta pots from your local home or garden center - or recycle some you may have in your garage. Take them outside and give them a couple of coats of paint like Ultra Cover 2X Gloss Black spray paint or Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Paint. After the pots are completely dry, cut felt circles slightly larger than the opening of the pot and attach them with a hot glue gun. Then decorate the pots with orange ribbon, candy corn, dried flowers or other seasonal decorations to make festive pilgrims' hats. If you spray painted your pots, you can use a silver permanent marker to write names on the pots - or leave them as they are and use them again to decorate your Thanksgiving table. If you used the chalkboard paint, use any color chalk. The chalk will erase easily so your pilgrims' hats can be used over and over again.
Looking for more holiday decorating ideas? Visit Facebook.com/Paintideas.
I just want to say that I'm so grateful to each of you for making my business a succes. Without you, none of this could be possible. In fact, I'm looking for someone to help me! If you or someone you know could use a few hundred dollars a month for very part time work, please let me know. I have a handy little brochure that I can give you for more information. Thanks!
Prepare a satisfying treat for any occasion
Whether it is a delicious dish to bring to the family feast or a tasty addition for your next Friday night dinner party, preparing the perfect treat for any occasion can be simple. Here are some ideas to spruce up that festive event menu or add a special touch to your afternoon snack.
* Serving an appetizer that is adult-friendly and kid-approved at family get-togethers can be a difficult task. Here is a platter idea that will keep everyone reaching for more: a delicious fruit flight prepared with pineapple pieces, banana slices and apple wedges drizzled with Marzetti Caramel Dips.
* We've all been there - a friend asks you to bring dessert to their dinner party but time got away from you and you're scrambling for a quick solution that won't be a letdown. No need to panic! Impress guests with a taste of indulgence by topping bakery fresh angel food cake with strawberries and blueberries and finishing it off with a scoop of sorbet.
* The neighborhood gathering is right around the corner and you need to create a treat that will please the whole crowd. Be the talk of the block by bringing foil baking cups layered with vanilla pudding, cookie crumbles and cherry pie filling and top with whipped cream for a mini indulgence everyone will enjoy.
* When you've had a long day at the office and are craving sweet and salty snacks but can't choose just one flavor - enjoy both. Turn ordinary popcorn into a sweet and salty treat by swirling Marzetti Old Fashioned Caramel Dip over the top for a quick and easy pick me up.
Looking for more satisfying treat ideas? Visit www.marzetti.com for simple solutions.
Well, that wraps it up for this month. I hope you and your family are smoothly enjoying the back to school season. We'll be back next month with tips for holiday entertaining. In the meantime, don't forget I have a couple dates left this month for you to take advantage of the special host coupon! I wouldn't want you to miss out on all the goodies this month. Please also remember that I'm looking for some help with my business, so if you have anyone in mind, please let me know. Lastly, if you want to take advantage of our tealight and votive stock up sale, please shoot me an email or give me a call while it's fresh in your mind. I'd hate for you to mis out because you forgot to order before the October 31 deadline!
With Love and Laughter,
Wine, Women and Wax