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Have you ever seen someone walk into a party that looked scared to death, unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screaming, “I wish I was anywhere but here!” Entering a room full of people that you do not know can be intimidating. I get that. Yet, your entrance is important in displaying overall confidence and portraying a strong image.

When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We will enjoy and appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food and drinks. We would also like 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.

Giving a party, of any type, requires a great deal of work. If you have been fortunate enough to be included in a festive soiree, it is nice to arrive with a gift for the hostess. The typical present will cost between $15-$30, but there are less expensive things you can find at the local discount store.

Attire: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture


Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for your party, make it clear. Do not let your creative thoughts have you writing a description that requires an interpreter.  We do not want to force our guests to solve a riddle to understand what is expected of them. There is a phrase I like to quote, “To be unclear is to be unkind.”

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.

Do you believe there is a creator behind this painting, or did it create itself? I believe if I polled 1,000 people, 100% would say, “Of course, there is a creator. That’s common sense.” Do you believe there is a Creator behind this picture? If I polled 1,000 people with the same question, stats show I would not receive 100% agreement that there was a Creator behind this picture.

People are returning to work, which means many of us will be navigating changes that would otherwise seem mundane. Elevator etiquette? Did you know there was such a thing? Below are 9 basic reminders when riding the lift. I have thrown in a few exceptions while we live in a COVID world. 

Throughout history we have seen God place people in power that made us say, “What is He thinking?” Yet God clearly reminds us in Isaiah that the way He thinks is far beyond what we can sometimes understand. In a child’s eyes, a parent giving her yucky medicine when she already feels poorly can seem cruel. “Why would Mommy make me take this?” The child lives in her “here and now” moment of life, yet the parent sees the big picture. The mother knows what is best for the child, even when the child does not understand. 

Our 4-part series on living as Christians in a political world was written in response to questions I have been receiving on knowing how to separate truth from lies, when to engage in our political system, and the most effective way to stay informed. In Part 1 we learned the biblical formula for seeking truth. In Part 2 we discussed the importance of knowing your foundation. In this post, Part 3, I will provide you with 7 practical tips I use to find truth in our news driven world. 

We are living in a time where many do not know who or what to believe. It seems our national 24-hour news media seeks ratings more than they seek truth (regardless of which way their bias leans). Many journalists receive bonuses based on how many clicks their story receives, and companies earn more advertising revenue if they can show a high click-through rate on articles. It has become too common to read endless bait-and-switch headlines.

“How do I know what is real? How do I know truth when I see it? I want to stay informed, but where do I turn when I feel every news source is somehow deceiving me?”

Giving you tips on hosting a Halloween party during COVID is sure easier than tackling subjects on news, politics, and finding truth. Yet these are the questions filling my inbox. 

Does this blog seem early? Did you know we only have 10 weeks before we move into December? It is time to start planning!
1. Decide how much you can spend. If you have a $500 budget and 10 people you need to give gifts, then you can only spend $50 a person.

Halloween in 2020 will be different than past years, but there are still ways to enjoy this festive start to the holiday season. This blog may seem early, but October 31st is only 7 weeks away! It is time to start planning. Below are my top 10 ideas for a jovial and happy start to your fall celebrations.

  • Alina Gersib

Orange-Oregano Crusted Lamb Rack with Horseradish Sauce Taste Test

Happy Foodie Friday! This recipe comes courtesy of Penny and Eleazar Martinez.

Each of our Taste Test Reviews comes with the original recipe and the tester's notes/changes listed with the ingredient list in blue. We hope you enjoy!

This was such a beautiful dish to both create and consume. The gaminess of the lamb contrasted the tang of the horseradish and the freshness of the broccolini to create a delicate and enjoyable bite. This is not the type of meal you would want to rush through to move on to the next thing. This is a sit-down, enjoy your wine and good conversation type of dish. The Bourdeaux was a perfect balance to the richness of the lamb, hints of plum, and the slight dryness of the drink provided a wonderful compliment to counter the overall weight of the dish.

Since the meat has to marinate for an hour, I took this time to prepare the Patatas Bravas and Crab and Mango Salad for the whole tapas spread.

Orange-Oregano Crusted Lamb Rack with Ho
Download • 2.40MB

Makes 4 servings

Preparation Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 10 Minutes


*1 pound lamb rack, French trimmed (French trimmed means with the rack bones cleaned and exposed. Ask your butcher and they will direct you to pre-Frenched lamb or they will “French” it for you on-site.)

*1 cup chopped fresh parsley and oregano

*1/2 cup fresh orange zest

*1 cup olive oil

*Salt and black pepper, to taste

*4 ounces steamed broccolini, for garnish

Ingredients for Horseradish Sauce:

*1/4 cup plain yogurt

*1/4 cup sour cream

*2 tablespoons store-bought horseradish

*Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation for the Horseradish Sauce:

*Place all ingredients in a small bowl and mix by whisking until well combined.

*Place in refrigerator and reserve until needed.

Preparation for the Lamb:

*In a large bowl mix together the chopped parsley, oregano, orange zest and olive oil.

*Add the whole lamb rack and massage the mixture onto the rack for 10 seconds.

*Cover with plastic film and let marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

*Place a sautee pan on stove on medium heat.

*Take lamb out of refrigerator and season to taste.

*Pour 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan and place lamb rack in it.

*Cook the lamb for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. (I cooked mine for about a minute and a half longer as my lamb roast was rather thick.)

*Take off the heat and let rest for 5 minutes.

*Cut the lamb rack into individual chops and serve one chop on a plate.

*Garnish with steamed broccolini and a tablespoon of the horseradish sauce.

This dish was featured along with two others in a Tapas spread. For the full experience be sure to try the others!

Crab and Mango Salad

Patatas Bravas

Recipe and Taste Tester - Alina Gersib

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