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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.

4. No one wants to hear your conversation. When you must speak on the phone in public, remove yourself and take your call in private. If you cannot find privacy, step at least ten feet away so you minimize the chance of disturbing others. No matter how private we try to make our call, our body language speaks volumes. Patrons enjoying a dinner out do not want to be disturbed watching someone throw their arms around while arguing on their phone.

​I am convinced we need to start thinking of our phones as a human persona. I do not care if you make it look like your spouse, mother, or college roommate. If we were to add eyes, a nose, hair, and a big smile to the front of our phones, we might begin making the connection that every time we converse with someone via text or email, we are allowing them to become a part of whatever we are doing.

  • Prostrate on the ground praying earnestly for those in his life.

  • Living on 3 hours sleep for months to build something special to improve the lives of thousands.

  • In all his busyness, never making me feel I come in second. Even when it means sacrificing himself.

  • Alina Gersib

Plum and Cracked Pepper Salad with Shaved Parmesan



Sweet and tangy, this combination of plums, Parmesan and seasoning create a unique and tasty appetizer that is sure to surprise and delight anyone you share it with. Taking inspiration from a Caprese salad, I wanted to create a dish that utilized in-season plums and a flavorful cheese like Parmesan. Reminiscent of warm summer breezes and evening walks on the beach, it is a perfect symphony of flavors for your next back yard soirée. I hope you enjoy!


Plum and Pepper Salad with Parmesan
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Makes 4 servings

Preparation Time: 10 minutes



Ingredients:

*6 ripe plums, sliced

*1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

*1/4 cup shaved Parmesan

*2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

*1 Tablespoon honey

*Drizzle of olive oil

*1/4 teaspoon Maldon flaky sea salt

*Basil for garnish


Preparation:

*Add vinegar, cracked black pepper, and honey in a medium bowl - stirring until fully combined.

*Place plums and peaches in the bowl of dressing and toss until coated.

*Add Parmesan and carefully toss the salad together until distributed evenly. *Transfer fruit salad to a serving dish.

*Top with extra shaved Parmesan, drizzle of olive oil, basil, and a sprinkle of flaky salt and pepper.



Recipe created by Alina Gersib - inspired by Bon Appétit