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When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food, drinks, a clean bathroom, and a home that does not smell like the local pet store. What some people forget is there are also expectations of the guest. When a hostess plans a party, a great deal of time is spent deciding who she will invite. What group of friends go well together?

Have you ever seen someone walk into a party looking scared, so unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screamed, “I wish I was anywhere but here!”

You are invited!!! There is something special we feel when we receive an invitation. It is the anticipation of a celebration, the excitement of choosing what to wear, but more importantly, it is the affirmation that tells us, “I was chosen!” We know a hostess has responsibilities to ensure her party is a success, but did you know there are expectations of the guests? And your first job begins when you receive an invitation that says RSVP. Follow the six steps below and the hostess will be singing your praises!

Elevator etiquette? Did you know there was such a thing? Use these 1-minute interactions with fellow passengers to show kindness. Even the smallest gestures can make someone’s day better.

Every party needs an invitation, and there are certain guidelines that need to be followed. You have made your guest list and chosen your theme, so the next step is creating or purchasing invitations.

There are different forms of communication you can choose, from evites to hand-written notes. For a special evening, I recommend staying with an invitation that requires a stamp. For something quick and easy, an evite might be a suitable choice. No matter what you decide the information included will remain the same.

Do any of you relate to this question I received from a reader? “Hosting a dinner party alone can be stressful. I know all the work will be on me, and I am still expected to have a nice meal ready, the house clean, and have my hair and make-up done. I also need to get the children dressed, looking clean and tidy, all while nagging my husband a thousand times to do his man-chores and shower before guests arrive. He seems to wait to the last minute to get ready, then I get upset and no one is happy. Help!”

Creating the guest list for a party can be stressful. My desire will always be to minimize the pressure we put on ourselves and get to a point where all aspects of entertaining become a joyful experience. With that said, I admit deciding who will and will not be invited to an event can be intimidating. Not to add more pressure but who makes it on the guest list and who does not often pre-determines if the party will be a success or just ho-hum. Here’s the good news. If you follow these steps when creating your list, it will not matter what type of event you throw as fun will be had by all!

At Lisa Lou’s we believe no table is complete without a decorative charger! These underplates, along with napkin rings, are the go-to accessory every tablescape needs. They can dress up, or dress down, the simplest of dinner plates. Just as we can change the look of a black dress by the accessories we choose, we can do the same to basic pottery with the chargers and napkin rings we use.

What is a charger plate and why are they used? Drop into any boutique that sells place settings, and you will see tables decorated with, what appears to be, exceptionally large dinner plates. Chargers, sometimes called an underplate or service plate, can set the tone for your entire look. This is the one piece in your setting that will stay on your table throughout most of the meal, and it is the item that will be most visible to your guests once they are seated.

“I don’t know what to say when I enter a room full of strangers!” I hear this quite often from people, including some you would never suspect had any type of social anxiety. Knowing how to engage in small talk is an essential tool we need to increase our soft skills. But before we learn a few tips, we need to change our psychology.

A duck on water. On top, it appears to glide gracefully over the pond, but underneath you see webbed feet paddling energetically towards its destination. When hosting a party, we may feel more like the duck under the water than the duck on top of the water. Throwing a gathering takes time and can be stressful, but our goal should be to reduce as much of these feelings as possible. Is this realistic? It can be if we get our priorities right.

When I read the words, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” I am reminded that as a spouse and a parent, our homes and families come under our leadership. We cannot control whether those under our roof accept Christ, but we can control how we act within those four walls.

Have you attended a party where you were enjoying (or maybe not enjoying) a conversation with the people around you, but you needed to remove yourself to speak to someone else? How do we graciously extricate ourselves without seeming rude. Here are a few tips to help you exit a conversation with style.

  • Alina Gersib

Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Pop Tarts



A healthy version of a classic dessert, these homemade strawberry Rhubarb Pop Tarts will become a quick to prepare favorite in your repertoire. The strawberries add a nice bit of sweetness to the otherwise tangy rhubarb. If you want to speed up this recipe's preparation, make the jam the day before. It will stay fresh for up to 10 days in the fridge. If you're really short on time, feel free to use pre-made jam of any variety instead of making your own. Enjoy!


Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Pop Tarts
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Makes 6 Servings

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes



Ingredients:

*1/2 cup of rhubarb, diced

*1/2 cup of strawberries, diced

*1/4 cup sugar

*1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

*2 pre-made pie crusts

*1 tablespoon cornstarch

*1 egg

*1 tablespoon water

*1 tablespoon heavy cream

*1 cup powdered sugar

*1 tablespoon jam mixture

*Sprinkles


Preparation:

*Combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a pan over medium heat.

*Cook for around 10 minutes until the mixture is bubbling.

*Set to the side and let cool.

*Preheat oven to 400F.

*Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a reusable silicon mat.

*Mix 3/4 cup cup of jam mixture with cornstarch in a small bowl.

*In another small bowl whisk together the egg and a tablespoon of water.

*Flour a work surface and lay out the 2 pie crusts, use a rolling pin to flatten the crusts to 11 inches wide and cut all of the rounded edges off to create two 9 inch squares. Cut 3 equally sized rectangles out of each of these squares to make 6 total.

*Spoon 2 tablespoons of the jam onto one end of the rectangle, a thumb width from the edges.

*Use the egg wash as a "glue" to wet the edges in a rectangular shape around the jam, then fold the non-jam side down and press into place.

*Use a fork to crimp around the edges on all sides of the tart.

*Repeat this process with each rectangular strip of pie crust to create 5 more pop tarts.

*Bake for around 15 minutes until golden brown.

*While pop tarts cool put together the frosting by whisking together powder sugar, heavy cream, and 1 tablespoon of jam.

*Drizzle over each tart and top with sprinkles.

*Enjoy!